Chapter 6 - Master Odell’s Secret Ex-wife

Isabel noticed the doubt in his eyes. She proceeded to produce a mahogany amulet in the shape of a tiny fist and presented it to Liam. The amulet immediately caught his attention. Isabel raised the question innocuously, “Don’t you have something that looks like this too?”

Liam nodded.

He certainly did. It was stashed inside a drawer in his room.

According to the words of his grandmother, it was gifted to him by someone very close when he was born.

Isabel began to explain, “It was Mommy who carved these amulets herself. She said that we loved holding hands since we were born, which was why she made two small fists for each of us. She said that the two fists can be combined.”

Liam took the amulet and caressed its surface.

It was identical to the one he had at home.

He studied Isabel.

She tilted her head to one side and regarded him with a brilliant smile.

Liam pursed his lips, and the faint shadow of a smile began to surface on his lips. He asked,” What’s your name?”

Isabel answered promptly “My name is Isabel Ross, I have the same family name as our mommy.” Mommy? Liam’s expression shifted, “Isn’t your mommy my mommy too?” “Of course, we’re twins.”

Isabel’s mouth began prattling again, “Our daddy and mommy got divorced before we were born, and if it wasn’t for Mommy keeping me hidden, I would have been separated from her as well.”

Liam immediately thought of the woman who was always by his father’s side.

That woman would always put on a show of being affectionate when his father was present, but she would transform into a different person as soon as his father was out of sight. There were many occasions on which she had forced him to address her as his mother in front of his grandmother and his father.

Liam was skeptical about this and went to ask his grandmother who then verified that the woman was not his mother.

So, she truly was not his mother.

Liam rested his chin in his palms and fixed a curious look on his sister. “What does Mommy look like?”

Isabel suddenly perked up with excitement as she exclaimed, “Mommy is so gentle and beautiful. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen!”

Liam’s eyes brightened.

“It’s just that…” Isabel pouted and suddenly stopped talking.

Liam asked, “What is it?”

“Mommy is a little poor, so she’s very cautious about spending money,” Isabel said with a pout, “She is still wearing old clothes and never wears jewelry. She tells me that the dolls and robots I like are too expensive and won’t buy them for me.” Liam dug into his bag where he extracted a small black wallet and offered, “I’ll buy them for you if you bring me to see Mommy, deal?”

Isabel’s eyes sparkled as her hands instinctively reached forward.

However, she drew her hand back when another thought occurred to her. She whispered,“ Mommy said you can’t just ask for other people’s things and that you can’t spend other people’s money.”

Liam smiled and put the wallet in her hand as he said to her, “I’m not just anybody else. I’m your brother.”

“That’s true.” After Isabel put Liam’s wallet into her bag, she gave him a big hug. “Thank you, brother! I’ll take you to see Mommy after school today!”

On the other side, after Sylvia left the kindergarten, she walked for about fifteen minutes before she passed by an art museum and arrived at an elementary school. Both the kindergarten and the elementary school were in the infamous Art Haven district of Westchester City. Sylvia was a painter by profession, and she had taken up a job as an art teacher at the elementary school since it was en route to her picking up and dropping off Isabel at school.

Today was her first day on the job. After going through an elaborate briefing, she got to work. It was soon lunchtime without her even realizing it. She went to lunch with two of her new colleagues.

There was a large plaza nearby with a dizzying amount of options everywhere. Upon their arrival, the two colleagues that came with her suddenly cried out loudly, “Oh my god, it’s Tara Carter!”

“I can’t believe I ran into Tara Carter. Why is she here?”

“She is a distinguished professor at the Academy of Fine Arts. She must be here to teach art as well.”

As Sylvia’s expression shifted, she quickly followed their line of sight and spotted Tara emerging from a luxury vehicle.

Her thick and long hair was curled, and she was wearing a slender and elegant dress.

Shortly after she exited the vehicle, Odell emerged from the other side.

Sylvia’s two new colleagues shirked in unison when they noticed the dashing figure.

“How handsome! Is this Tara’s man?”

“I heard that he’s unfathomably rich.”

“Tara is living the perfect life!” Unsurprisingly, the commotion they caused was enough to draw the attention of Odell and Tara.

Before Sylvia could turn to leave, they looked over in her direction.

Coincidentally, Sylvia accidentally locked eyes with them. The atmosphere became still for a few seconds. After a few seconds, a grim expression came upon Oden’s face. He looked as if he was going to skin Sylvia alive. Meanwhile, Tara quickly grabbed Odell’s wrist and smiled coyly in Sylvia’s direction. Sylvia scowled and immediately turned around to leave. That was when Tara suddenly called out to her, “Sylvia, long time no see. When did you get back?” Sylvia’s two colleagues looked at her agape. The window for Sylvia to escape was gone. She mimicked a mocking smile and responded,” Only very recently.” Tara took a short glance at Sylvia’s two colleagues.

“Are you girls going out to have lunch? Odell was just about to take me to the Elysian House for lunch. Why don’t we go together?” The Elysian House was one of the most renowned restaurants in Westchester City. Sylvia’s colleagues were enchanted by Tara’s proposal. Sylvia gave her a confident look and answered, “Sure.”

In an abrupt moment, the false smile on Tara’s face was wiped away.

Sylvia chuckled silently. She knew Tara only half-heartedly invited them to dinner because she wanted to brag about Odell taking her to the Elysian House.

She noticed Tara’s inner turmoil of not being able to outwardly express her dissatisfaction with the situation. Then, she peered at Odell who still seemed like he wanted to bore two holes into her head with the sheer intensity of his glare. She asked with a coy smile, “I’m sure you wouldn’t mind, Master Carter?”

Odell formed a terse smile. “I don’t mind.”

Sylvia was floored by this response.

Considering his disdain for her, why would he not turn her down?

The only reason she directed the question to Odell in the first place was that she expected to be refused. Then again, it was Tara who had extended the invitation in the first place, so it would be a disrespect on Odell’s part if he were to rescind his partner’s invitation.

Still, to think that he would agree…

Was he going to exact revenge for her holding a razor blade to his neck? Or did he merely go along with it to save face for Tara?

Whichever reasoning it was, all that remained for Sylvia to do was bite the bullet. She replied,” In that case, thank you for the hospitality.”