II | All These Years

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It was as though Alexander was thin air.

As Mrs. Williams waved Isabelle over to sit down, she also ordered the housekeeper to prepare tea. Without any intention of waving Alexander to sit down, she turned to look at Isabelle and smiled graciously. She asked with care, "Izzy, how have you been recently? Has filming been tiring?"

"No." Isabelle pursed her lips, and thanked her again, politely.

"That's good. If you're tired, stop filming. Say you don't want to work for the Davis family, I can arrange for you to join the Williams family..." Midway through Mrs. Williams's words, the housekeeper brought a tray over. On it were three steaming cups of tea.

The housekeeper firstly placed a cup in front of Mrs. Williams, then another cup in front of Isabelle. The final cup was left on the table, but they didn't bother to offer Alexander a drink. It was as though the final cup was just for show.

Isabelle thanked the housekeeper in a low voice, before replying to what Mrs. Williams had just said. "I like filming, so please, you don't have worry about me."

"Since you like it, then do as you please." Mrs. Williams's red lips curled into a smile, and she took the cup in front of her.

Isabelle gave her a warm smile. From the corner of her eye, she saw Alexander standing in front of the floor-to-ceiling window. His demeanor was neutral as he stared out the window. Who would know what he was thinking about.

Isabelle gently creased her brows, then remembered that ever since they walked in till now, Mrs. Williams was fixated on her. She didn't care at all for Alexander. Even the servants of this house didn't bother to offer him a seat.

There were no outsiders in the house, so everyone knew it was Alexander impersonating James. Isabelle didn't bother playing along, and directly called his name, "Alexander?"

Alexander, who was staring out the window, heard Isabelle's voice but only slightly turned his head. His eyes fell on her. He didn't say a word, but looked over, puzzled.

Isabelle waved at him and patted the empty seat next to her. In a soft voice, she said, "Why are you standing over there? Come sit."

With a cup in hand, when Mrs. Williams heard Isabelle's words, her expression froze. For just a second, a hint of avoidance and disgust flashed across her eyes. Then she smiled with her eyes and took a sip of her tea with a relaxed posture.

Despite Mrs. Williams's expression, for an instant, her eyes clearly met Alexander's. 

Back when he was young, he'd seen the same expression on Mrs. Williams's face the first time she met him - hatred and disdain.

After all these years, she hadn't changed.

Alexander's expression didn't change at all, as though he was long used to it by now. His composed eyes jumped off of Mrs. Williams's face and into Isabelle's pitch-black pupils. He blinked gently and said in low voice, "There's no need for that."

He didn't wait for Isabelle to say anything more and turned around and continued to look out the window.

Mrs. Williams curved the corner of her lips into a grin when she heard Alexander's words. She then took a few more sips of tea and turned her head. With a sincere smile, she continued to chat with Isabelle about everyday life.

Out of respect and good manners, Isabelle chatted with Mrs. Williams, but every now and then, she would look over at Alexander from the corner of her eyes.

He was very quiet. So quiet in fact, if he wasn't sneaking a glance at her from time to time, you wouldn't know that there was a person standing in front of the floor-to-ceiling window.

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