My one in a million wife [Ashlyn and Lucas] chapter 36
Since young, everything Ashlyn owned had been hand-me-downs from Penelope, even though she was the rightful heiress to the Berry family.
Back when she was younger, whenever Penelope got into trouble by breaking vases, destroying the garden, or smashing antiques, Ashlyn would take the rap for her. She would be blamed for anything Penelope caused.
No matter how she explained herself to Horace, he would only ever believe Mary and Penelope.
Thanks to the two of them, she had been hit by Horace many times.
Once, when her grandma visited them in the city, Ashlyn was beaten up by Horace and was down with a fever.
No one cared about her except for her grandma, who sent her to the hospital and took her back to her home in a rural village.
Only then did her days improve.
Although she lived a poor and simple life with her grandma, it was heartwarming and peaceful.
It was only when she became the top scorer for the national exams that Horace remembered that he had a daughter called Ashlyn.
He brought both Ashlyn and her grandma back into the city to live together with them.
However, her grandma had gotten old and her body was deteriorating rapidly.
Ashlyn could not put up with the Berry family and had no choice but to marry someone.
I can’t believe that I had no choice but to marry or die.
Ashlyn sighed deeply and took a look out of the window.
Argh, why must these unlucky things happen to me one after another? It’s like I’m the main character in some third-rate novel!
The Berry Residence was located in a normal district in Lake City. The front of the district was filled with high-rise buildings and bungalows while the back was filled with villas.
The property prices were rather high. The fact that Horace owned a villa there made him feel arrogant and he would act as though he owned the entire street.
He felt that he was superior to those who lived in the high-rise apartments and bungalows in front.
Ashlyn got off the cab and walked into the district.
She had not visited in nearly a year, but everything was still fresh in her mind.
However, the only feelings she had for this place were hatred and disgust.
In the living room of the Berry Residence.
Susan was wearing a fresh set of clothes and waiting by the sofa.
In a silk dress, Mary questioned Susan haughtily, “When Ashlyn comes over, you know what to say, right?”
Susan looked at her feet and did not respond.
She looked frail and was slightly pale.
Her eyes that had once seen the world seemed like they were glowing dimly.
“Hey! I’m talking to you! Did you hear me?” Mary snapped at Susan.
She was nearly screaming at this point.
“I heard you,” Susan muttered.
Unsure of what Susan was thinking, Mary glared viciously at her.
As she felt her malicious intent, Susan shuddered and repeated, “I heard you, Mary.”
“Is that so?” Mary raised an eyebrow and grabbed Susan’s arm.
Susan trembled and turned toward Mary. She tried to retract her arm but Mary had gripped it tightly and sneered, “Next time, respond the first time I talk to you, got it?”
Susan mumbled, “I’m getting old, so I’m hard of hearing.”
“Looks like I’ll have to raise my voice in the future then.” Mary smiled. “Susan, we’re all one family. Now that Horace is in trouble, you’re the only one who can help him. He’s your son, so you’ll definitely help him, right?”
My one in a million wife [Ashlyn and Lucas] chapter 37
“Right,” Susan replied. Mary’s fake smile was so sickening that it sent shivers down her spine. She nodded reluctantly. “I understand everything you just told me.”
At this juncture, the housekeeper walked over with a plate of strawberries.
Mary picked one up with a fork and offered it to Susan. “Here, these strawberries are freshly imported from France. I got them especially for Ashlyn. Won’t you have one as well?”
Susan shook her head. “T-Thanks, but I’ll pass.”
“Surely you’re happy that I’m being nice to Ashlyn?” Mary scoffed as she stuffed the strawberry into Susan’s hands. “If you don’t eat it, I’ll get angry again.”
The housekeeper called out, “Madam, Ms. Ashlyn has returned.”
A glint appeared in Susan’s eyes. She immediately got up and turned toward the door. “Ashlyn, you’re back!”
She rushed forward and took a good look at her granddaughter.
Ashlyn was in slippers anyway, so she did not change her shoes and simply walked into the living room.
Only then did Ashlyn notice that she was still in pajamas. She passed Susan a box of strawberries she had bought on the way here. “Grandma, this is for you.”
Susan held the box of strawberries as though it was her greatest treasure. She smiled brightly. “Ashlyn, I’m glad to see you.”
“Ashlyn, don’t blame me for saying this, but aren’t you dressed a little too casually?” Mary scrutinized Ashlyn’s casualwear and slippers with contempt.
Ashlyn was beautiful, so she would look stunning even if she were dressed in rags.
Mary continued spitefully, “You look so unkempt! If your dad’s business partners see you in this state, they’d think the Berry family is full of beggars! I’m saying this for your sake as well.”
“Oh, shut up!” Ashlyn spat at Mary.
Mary nearly burst into a rage but kept her cool when she remembered what she needed Ashlyn to do.
Her face was turning purple from the anger.
Ashlyn turned to Susan and said, “Grandma, how have you been? Dad said that you’re ill.”
“I caught a cold a few days ago but I’m fine now,” Susan assured her. She showed Ashlyn some needle marks on the back of her hand and said, “Look, your father brought me to see a doctor and I had an IV drip.”
“If there’s anything you need, just let me know. Don’t forget that I’m a doctor. My skills are much better than your average doctor,” Ashlyn instructed Susan kindly.
Mary, unable to join in the conversation, was furious, especially after seeing Susan hold the strawberries Ashlyn gave her so dearly.
She kept signaling toward Susan, but the latter simply ignored her.
That damn hag! She promised to talk to Ashlyn about that matter, but she’s not saying anything now. All she talks about are the useless things.
She forced herself to put on an endearing smile and inquired, “Ashlyn, how are things at work?”
“Not bad,” Ashlyn replied casually.
“Ashlyn is back?” Horace enquired. He was called downstairs by the housekeeper. Horace was a fit and decent-looking middle-aged man. Even at his age, he had not put on weight and one could still see the shadow of a handsome young man in him.
“Dad,” Ashlyn called out monotonously. She crossed her arms and declared, “Well then, I’m a busy woman. Quit beating around the bush and tell me why you called me over.”
While she took Susan’s hand earlier, she had checked her pulse and noticed that Susan was healthy, other than the fact that her respiratory functions had deteriorated with age.
She heaved a sigh of relief. As long as grandma is alright, nothing else matters.
“Ashlyn, both your grandma and I have missed you! Why must you make us sound so heartless?” Horace acted as though he was a kind father.
My one in a million wife [Ashlyn and Lucas] chapter 38
You sure were heartless when you hit me so hard that I couldn’t show my bruised face for a week! I don’t recall you missing me when you beat me up even though it was Penelope who was in the wrong, and you made me kneel outside the house on a winter night! You have no right to talk to me like that!
“Dad, state your business,” Ashlyn scoffed. She had no time to play nice with Horace.
Horace glanced at Susan for help but she simply averted her gaze.
Horace was livid. Hey, we’ve been through this before! Why are you keeping quiet now? Do I really have to say it myself?
He then stared at Mary.
Mary felt indignant but she had no choice but to come into the picture. I’ll make sure this hag doesn’t get away with this later!
Ashlyn caught their interactions and commented, “If that’s all, I’ll be taking my leave then. Grandma’s health is alright.”
“Wait, don’t leave!” Horace called her back. He took on a negotiating tone and began, “Ashlyn, my company has met with some trouble lately. In the renovation trade, we need to give our workers a portion of their pay before starting work. However, the client will often try to stall for payment…”
“Cut to the chase,” Ashlyn snapped.
“Some time ago, we received a job to renovate the Haddock Group’s new hotel. The Haddock Group is a major company, and I spent a lot of time and effort getting this job. However, due to sheer misfortune, one of the workers met with an accident during work and fell from the ladder. Now, the Haddock Group wants to stop working with us and wants us to pay them double the amount as a penalty. The worker’s family members aren’t understanding either and keep causing trouble for us in front of the office building.”
Horace then requested, “Ashlyn, I know you’re a doctor and a rather famous one at that. I heard that Arthur Haddock has contracted a rather severe disease. Would you mind taking a look at him? If you manage to treat him, perhaps Dixon won’t pursue this matter any further.”
Horace had finally told her what he needed. However, given his personality, it was unlikely that he was telling the truth.
After all, he had not mentioned the injured worker at all.
Ashlyn knew that things were not as simple as they seemed and queried, “How’s the worker? Is his injury severe?”
“Don’t even talk about him! He’s staying in the ICU now! He’s done nothing but cause losses for the company. I’ve already compensated a hundred thousand!” Horace grumbled. If this worker weren’t so careless, I wouldn’t have to deal with this mess.
Ashlyn raised her eyebrow in a mocking manner. If he’s really in the ICU, the hundred thousand won’t last him a week!
“How long has this been going on for?”
“A week,” Horace replied in trepidation. Ashlyn had been a very obedient girl when she was young, but she has become temperamental as she grew older. To top things off, she’s so smart! I really can’t get a handle on her. I have to use my mother as bait to meet her. Otherwise, she doesn’t care about me at all!
Every time he met Ashlyn, he would be furious, but he could not explode because he needed her help.
Ashlyn smirked. “You’re only telling me this after a week?”
“Your dad just doesn’t want to trouble you! We’ve really asked a lot of people for help. If your grandma weren’t ill, your dad wouldn’t have turned to you for help,” Mary explained.
Argh, this woman will be the death of me! Penelope is working at the First Hospital as well, but she is only an ordinary surgeon. On the other hand, so many rich men support Ashlyn! I get angry just thinking about this! Also, what does she mean by only doing one surgery a month? Stop acting so high and mighty! You must’ve slept with some rich men to get this status! You’ll lose everything sooner or later!
My one in a million wife [Ashlyn and Lucas] chapter 39
“Alright, I got it,” Ashlyn replied. She took Susan’s hand and said, “Grandma, see me off, alright?”
Horace did not dare to refuse since she needed a favor from her. All he could do was complain, “Alright, we all know you love your grandma the most.”
Susan took Ashlyn’s hand and the two of them left the villa together.
Ashlyn came in a rush, so she had not brought much cash with her. She did not want to inconvenience her grandmother by bringing her to the ATM. Susan did not have any money saved up for retirement and hence did not have a lot to spend. Every time Ashlyn came, she would give Susan some money to spend.
She sent Anderson a text: You have ten minutes. Bring twenty thousand in cash to the Berry Residence.
Anderson replied in confusion: Huh? What for, boss?
Ashlyn responded: Just do it. I need it urgently.
When Anderson saw the reply, he hurriedly went to withdraw money.
Ashlyn placed her phone back in her pocket and brought Susan to take a seat on a chair. She inquired, “Grandma, has Mary been making life difficult for you?”
An uneasy look flashed across Susan’s eyes. She smiled. “She is my daughter-in-law after all. She won’t give me trouble!”
As though she was hiding something, she changed the subject, “Ashlyn, how are you doing now? You haven’t been back in a long time. I’m worried for you. I know it isn’t easy for a girl to strike it out on her own.”
Her eyes turned red and she started sobbing, “It’s all my fault. If I were a little more capable, you wouldn’t have had to move out of home at such a tender age.”
Susan was the only one who would still treat Ashlyn like a child.
She lived in a rural area, so she was uneducated. Her husband had died early and she had raised Horace alone. Horace did not disappoint and managed to get into a university.
After that, he got together with Ashlyn’s mother.
In Ashlyn’s memory, her mother and Susan had had a good relationship with each other. Back then, even though Ashlyn was young, she had the impression that they had gotten along well.
However, it was a different story when it came to Mary.
Ashlyn took Susan’s hand and replied, “Grandma, I’m living pretty well, so don’t worry about me. Just give me a call if anything crops up. You can call me if you miss me as well. I was a little busy of late, so I didn’t come back. Don’t worry about it, I won’t let myself get bullied by others.”
In the meantime, Anderson had rushed over with a black plastic bag.
He passed the bag to Ashlyn while struggling to catch his breath. “Here.”
Ashlyn took the bag and passed it to Susan, “Here, grandma, here’s some money for you to spend. When you’ve finished spending that, I’ll give you some more.”
“Ashlyn, I haven’t finished spending the money you gave me last time!” Susan protested. I can’t take this child’s hard-earned money!
“It’s fine, I’m rich. Just keep the twenty thousand. It’s not a lot. Keep it well and make sure they don’t see it,” Ashlyn nagged as she placed the bag inside Susan’s pockets.
Susan reluctantly accepted it. She knew that Ashlyn was nice to her and if she did not accept it, it would only make her worry.
Susan smiled at Anderson and commented, “This kid looks like a good person.”
“You flatter me, grandma,” Anderson replied.
“Alright, I’ll be taking my leave, grandma. I still have matters to settle in the afternoon.” Ashlyn hugged her and left with Anderson.
Susan stood by the door and watched them leave. She spent some time there before turning back.
Then, she trudged back inside with her back hunched.
She dragged this on for over ten minutes before returning home.
“Mom, what did I tell you before! After telling you time and again, how could you go back on your word?” Horace bellowed.
Susan stood there with her head bowed low as though she was a child being rebuked.
“Do you want to see your son dead?” Horace roared. “Do you know how much I’ll have to pay if this matter isn’t settled? When I become bankrupt and lose the house, you’ll have to sleep on the streets! If I haven’t been providing for you, you’d still be planting vegetables in the countryside!”
My one in a million wife [Ashlyn and Lucas] chapter 40
Susan stood by the door and did not respond. She had scrimped and saved to raise this son, but he had long forgotten about that.
Mary glared at her from behind Horace and grumbled, “Mom, the company is really doing badly now and we’ll have to compensate at least twenty million. Horace can’t eat or sleep well and is worried about the company. If Ashlyn doesn’t help us and get the Haddock family to let us off, we’ll all be sleeping on the streets. What’s up with you today? As long as you ask, Ashlyn will surely agree.”
“Ashlyn said that she’s got it,” Susan retorted. Ashlyn is but a little girl. Do you people really think she’s a god? If even my son can’t solve this mess, why do you expect my granddaughter to do it? You two are just trying to sabotage Ashlyn!
“She acknowledged it, but she didn’t make any promises. What’s the point? I won’t be fooled so easily. These tricks will only work on people like you. Your granddaughter thinks she’s so great now and even left her father to die!” Horace spat.
“What’s that in your pocket?” Mary spotted a bulge in Susan’s pocket and grabbed it.
“Nothing!” Susan tried to hide it, but Mary was younger and easily outwrestled her. She removed a black plastic bag and took a look. Then she screamed, “Oh my gosh, so you were the one who stole the twenty thousand I couldn’t find a few days ago!”
“No! Ashlyn gave this to me,” Susan explained. “You can’t frame me like that!”
“Honey, you know I lost some money a few days ago.” Mary lashed out as she slapped Susan with the wads of bills. “We provide for you and let you stay here for free! How dare you steal from us!”
Mary was infuriated and continued hitting Susan even though Susan’s hand was already swollen. She yelled, “Since when have I ill-treated you? Have I deprived you of food or shelter? I’ve been looking all over the place for this money only to find out that you stole it!”
“Alright, Mom might be getting forgetful because she’s old. Don’t pick a fight with an old lady.” Horace held Mary back impatiently.
“Horace, Mary, this really was given to me by Ashlyn,” Susan insisted between tears. She was indignant and protested, “Even if I were about to starve, I won’t steal a single cent. I’ve never seen your money before. I don’t even go to your room!”
Susan shared her room with the housekeeper.
There were guest rooms available in the house, but Mary felt that she was old and dirty and refused to let her stay there.
Susan knew that her daughter-in-law loathed her and avoided her as much as possible. She would almost never go anywhere besides the servant’s room, the dining room, and the living room, much less head over to Mary’s room to steal.
“Will you just shut up for once? Do you really want this family to fall apart?” Horace shouted and shoved Susan. She was caught off guard and slammed heavily against the reinforced door behind her.
She had knocked against the back of her head.
Susan felt the world spinning around her and slid onto the floor.
“Quit faking it! I just pushed you a little. Don’t tell me you can’t get up from that! I’ll make sure you apologize to Mary today,” Horace bellowed as he kicked Susan. “You live off me and now you’re even stealing from me! You’re nothing but a disgrace!”
Susan’s eyes blurred and her head hurt. She was getting old, so she felt giddy after such a large impact.
Struggling, she tried to get up, but to no avail.
When Horace kicked her, she slumped onto the ground and groaned in pain.
Soon, she was drenched in cold sweat.
Ouch… my head hurts…
Mary picked her up by the collar and pinched her on her arm. Susan shrieked in pain and grimaced. “I really didn’t steal money from you. I don’t ever steal.”
“When Ashlyn came, she was empty-handed and wearing pajamas! She didn’t even have any pockets. How could she give you anything? Think before you lie!” Mary scowled.