XXIV | A New Ray of Hope

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The rain in that city was often short-lived, coming suddenly and ending quickly. No more than half an hour later, the big storm had calmed to a small drizzle. In the end, the dark clouds faded and a faint ray of light could even be seen.

That was when Isabelle came back to her senses, realizing that both of them had been standing in front of the window for such a long time.

She turned and saw that Alexander was still lost in his thoughts, staring out at the window. Remembering that she was called up by him, she asked, "Is there anything you need me for?"

Only after Isabelle spoke did Alexander remember that he had called for her. He had wanted to clarify that there was nothing going on between him and Sophia, but since they weren't lovers or a real married couple, it didn't make sense for him to do so.

He remained silent for a long time, trying to figure out how to go about explaining. In the end, he just randomly asked, "What about you? Don't you have anything to ask me?"

He was the one who had called her up, and now he was asking her what she wanted to ask him... Isabelle was struck dumb by his question. Shaking her head, she looked at him questioningly, "What should I ask?"

Alexander thought that Isabelle didn't understand his meaning, hence he hinted, "This afternoon when we were eating lunch with Sophia, you didn't have anything to ask me?"

The mention of Sophia dampened Isabelle's spirits that had been slightly lifted when Alexander ate and watched the rain with her. Moodily, she stared out of the window in silence.

Alexander stood beside her with surprising patience. He continued to wait, giving time for Isabelle to speak first. But after a long time, she still remained silent, and disappointment engulfed him.

What was he expecting when he had asked her that? Expecting her to mind what Sophia had said about him getting together with her?

Regardless of which woman was with him or had something going on with him, she had always been indifferent. Why should she start minding now?

Self-depreciation floated into his eyes. He couldn't help laughing at himself mockingly, as though he was really defeated by her. Helplessly, he said, "Me and Sophia..."

The moment Isabelle heard her sister's name, she couldn't help feeling a deep sense of fear surrounding her. At that moment, she was terrified that Alexander would say that they had gotten together. Unconsciously, she clenched her hands into fists, her lips tightening. She interrupted him with, "My sister is a good choice, she's pretty, has a good background, there's nothing bad about her... "

Before she could finish her sentence though, Alexander rudely commanded, "Go and take a bath."

Isabelle stopped in her tracks, stunned by the random command "Go and take a bath". She turned and was about to "Huh?" in response but was stopped by Alexander's expression. At some point, his expression had grown distant, his gaze cold. Even the surrounding air seemed to have gone cold.

Isabelle opened her mouth, but nothing came out. She just stood there, not moving.

Alexander pressed his lips together, his hands clenched tightly as though desperately suppressing his emotions. After about ten seconds of no movement, he spoke again, his voice laced with fury, "Didn't you hear me? Go and bath! Or are you expecting me to bathe you?"

Alexander's voice turned savaged towards the end, not giving Isabelle any room for objection. She trembled slightly, stumbled backwards. Turning, she hurriedly walked into the bathroom.

After she bathed and came out, Alexander was still standing with his back to the living room, a cigarette in his hands, taking deep puffs. Hearing the bathroom door open, he lifted his head slightly, observing Isabelle. The moment he saw her, he sucked in another deep breath before extinguishing his cigarette in a nearby ashtray. Casually, he turned around to stare at her. In a calm voice he said, "Didn't you ask me why I called for you? You think I have any other use for you? My body just needed you, I just wanted to have sex!"

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