“Hudson, I’m fine. You don't need to worry!” Esther turned around and forced a bitter smile. She didn’t
want him to see how hurt she felt, but the tears in her eyes gave her away. She didn’t expect the pain
in her heart to be this great.
Hudson stood up and headed out. He still felt uneasy, so he stopped short at the door and said,
“Esther, if you feel hungry, get up and have something to eat; I can ask someone to make you some
chicken soup and beef stew!”
“Thanks!” The tears rolling around her eyes fell onto the pillow, “I’m not feeling hungry!”
Her body silently trembled and she cried. Hudson was even more worried now, so he walked over to
her bedside. Esther didn’t have time to wipe away her tears yet.
He felt a stinging pain at the sight of her. He sat by the bed, as she buried her head into the pillow. He
could tell there was something amiss about her, but he didn’t expect there to be a problem between her
and Elijah. “Esther, did Elijah do something to you?”
“Hudson.” She raised her head and looked at him with blurry, tear-filled eyes. All the sadness came
gushing out from within her. She let out a yelp and suddenly buried herself into his arms and began to
“Don’t worry, it’s fine.” Hudson held her, “I’m still here; I won’t let anyone who hurts you off the hook so
easily! Tell me, what happened?”
Hudson let out a deep, long sigh. His cold expression was mixed with a hint of powerlessness, as he
softly patted Esther’s trembling body. In his eyes, she was still like a child, and right now, she was like a
huge child crying that hadn’t grown up yet. To him, she was and always would remain his beloved little
As she bawled, she tightly held on to his body and uncontrollably released all the pain she bottled up
inside her. After a short while, the sound of her crying became softer and infrequent.
“Esther?” Hudson confusedly called out to her, only to find out that she had fallen asleep. Her red eyes
were the only trace left of her pain from a while ago.
Even though she was asleep, Esther still sniffled from time to time. He slightly shook his head, and laid
her gently down to rest on the pillow, and kissed her on her forehead. “Good night!”
Although he didn’t know what happened between Esther and Elijah, Hudson felt incredibly aggrieved to
see her like this.
He won’t tolerate anyone who had hurt his sister!
He covered a blanket over her and sat and watched over her silently. He knew she was his sister, but
why did he harbor a feeling of romantic love for her?
It pained him to watch her cry as well; it was as though the air in the room was sucked away. He
wanted to give Elijah a beating and to kiss Esther right now to help her feel better.
But alas, he suppressed these inclinations. He couldn’t have such feelings for his little sister, it was just
In his heart, his love was already dead. He didn’t have a reason to live! Each day, he was like a walking
In the hospital’s ward.
Elijah’s face looked ill.
“What’s wrong, Elijah?” Kattie couldn’t help but ask after a long time.
“Nothing!” Elijah said as he shook his head, “Nothing at all!”
“Esther, has class today, right?” Kattie said in a casual tone to probe at Elijah, who suddenly seemed
tense. She blinked a few times, then asked, “Are you two…”
“We’re doing fine!” Elijah quickly replied, “Esther’s at class! I’m heading to the office for a bit!”
“Alright!” Although she was slightly disappointed, Kattie still let out a gentle smile and said, “Go on!”
Over at Perry Group.
The second he got out of the car, Elijah ran into Ethel, who was coming out of the building. From afar,
Ethel could see the scowl on Elijah’s face, so he headed over to greet Elijah, “How are you doing,
Elijah? Everything alright between you and Esther?”
“Right!” Elijah was in no mood to joke with Ethel.
“Hey! How come Esther isn’t picking up? I called to try and ask her to come out, but how come her
line’s always busy?”
“Who knows!” Elijah muttered under his breath.
“Hey!” Ethel stood in Elijah’s way to prevent him from passing, “You can’t do this; what happened
between you two? I’ll bet that it’s your fault this time. Elijah Perry, you go and apologize to my sister!”
“None of your business!”
“What! This is part of my business. I don’t care about other people, but when it comes to Esther, it is my
business! Don’t you dare mistreat her!” Ethel started to look serious, “Don’t think that she’s easy to pick
on just because she’s a little girl. I’m warning you, I’m watching her back!”
Elijah reached out a hand and pushed Ethel to the side; with a moody expression on his face, he
“Fine, if you won’t tell me, I’ll go find out from Esther!” Ethel shouted behind Elijah.
However, he couldn’t reach her even after calling numerous times. He started to get quite worried. He
went to her school and found out that she didn’t show up for class. So, he gave Elijah another call.
“Esther’s not at school. What the hell happened?”
This caught Elijah off guard. He tried to reach her voice monitor, but it failed; there was no sound
coming through. Could the phone be broken?
“What happened to Esther?” Elijah called and asked the servant on the other end.
“Master! Didn’t you tell us not to tail her anymore?” The voice on the other end replied in a distressed
“Shit!” Elijah cursed under his breath.
That was right!
He told them not to follow her anymore!
He saw with his own eyes that she was with another man, and they spend the night together! No, he
must not go find her! Elijah lit a cigarette and sunk into his thoughts.
Esther slept for quite a while. By the time she woke up, she felt groggy, but still quite dejected.
“Doc, how come she has a fever?” Hudson worriedly asked the doctor that came to check up on
Because she was asleep for so long and kept sleep talking, Hudson became anxious and called for a
“It’s just a side effect of food poisoning; there might be some slight damage to her stomach and a high
degree of active bacteria, causing a series of inflammation. Give her an IV drop to see if her condition
improves. If her fever still doesn’t subside, then bring her to a hospital!” The doctor said and he gave
Hudson a prescription.
In a swift second, the medicine was prepared.
Hudson held Esther’s tiny hand and sat by the edge of the bed, with her in his arms. “Careful, don’t
“Alright!” The doctor applied the shot.
“No!” Esther muttered while half asleep, perhaps because the shot was too cold, which made Esther
reject it. She pushed the doctor’s hand away, and shrunk into Hudson’s arms, then fell back asleep.
“Uh, she won’t let me inject the shot!” The doctor laughed and shook his head as he rubbed his hand in
the area where she hit.
In her sleepy dream, Esther felt what she thought was Elijah’s warm embrace. But it felt like someone
was trying to pull her away, and Elijah suddenly became very cold. She refused to leave the warmth of
However, Elijah was still trying to pull her away.
“No—” Esther shouted; she waved her hands, then ran into Hudson’s embrace again. Her thin arms
wrapped tightly around Hudson’s neck and refused to budge.
“Esther, this is Hudson; be good now, you’re having a fever, so we’re going to give you a shot. Behave,
give me your hand!” Hudson said in a gentle voice next to Esther’s ear and grabbed her hand. This
time, she didn’t struggle.
Hudson held her tiny hand tightly. As the doctor was about to inject the needle, he anxiously burst out
and said, “Be careful, don’t make it too painful!”
The doctor rolled his eyes and said, “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt at all!”
Esther slightly twitched as the needle stabbed into her, and Hudson twitched along with her.
“Ow…” Esther let out a shout with her hoarse voice, then her eyes widened and she looked around the
room. She realized she was still at Hudson’s place, and bitterly smiled.
“Esther, don’t move, we’re giving you an IV drop!” Hudson’s voice echoed beside her ear.
“Ah!” Esther looked down to see the doctor fixing the needle in place. An ice-cold needle was in place,
pumping the IV drip into her.
She raised her hand and realized she was sitting on Hudson’s lap; no wonder she felt so warm!
“Hudson, what’s wrong with me?”
“You’ve got a slight fever; the drip will help you feel better, don’t move!” Hudson’s soft, gentle voice
made her feel like crying again.
Her tears began to swell and fall down her face. This was what it was like to have a family. No matter
what happened, he would never give up on her. “Hudson, I want to lay down!”
The doctor took his leave, leaving the two of them alone in the room.
“Alright, come on, careful, don’t touch the head of the needle!” Hudson gently laid her down. Suddenly,
he took a stagger.
“What’s wrong?” Esther noted something was amiss with him.
“Nothing!” Hudson shook his head as he recovered his stance.
“Are your legs numb?” Esther suddenly realized that it must be due to her sitting on his lap. She felt
both abashed and warmed by his consideration, “How long was I sitting on your lap?”
“No matter!” He shook his head. “Are you feeling hungry?”
She shook her head, “Not hungry! Are your legs feeling better now?”
Hudson flexed his leg muscles a bit. “Yeah, much better now!”
Esther relaxed. It was strange; ever since she got food poisoning, she didn’t seem to feel hungry at all.
She began to think about all the things Hudson had done for her and felt more and more downcast. It
appeared that, in this life, Hudson was the closest family to her, and only he would unconditionally do
anything for her and take care of her.
However, this made her feel worse and worse! Hudson was after all just her brother. And the man that
made her feel so downtrodden was some stranger she hadn’t known for more than just a few months!
And that Elijah Perry, that strange man was nothing more than a maniac in the end. She didn’t even
know what wrong she had done. She felt incredibly heavy, and she sighed. She looked to the IV drip
dripping liquid one drop at a time into her body.
Hudson flexed his legs for a while; then, he grabbed a chair and sat down.
“Don’t think too much. How are you feeling?”
“Much better! Just who do you think I am?” Esther suddenly said with a great big smile, “I can’t be
beaten! It’s just a little food poisoning, how could I be beaten by this? I’m the best!”
As she spoke, she raised her right hand, which had a diamond ring that Elijah gave her. Looking at the
ring, her smile began to stiffen.
Hudson also noted the ring on her hand and fell silent.
Esther turned her gaze to outside the window. She glazed over the clear blue sky, and calmly said,
“Hudson, help me call in sick with the school, I missed class today!”