Chapter 140 - Leaving No Means Untried
Hillary held the few pages of evidence.
The first page was about her conflict with Tanya in the kindergarten. The photo clearly showed that she had provoked Tanya first. The humiliated Tanya had then counterattacked.
The second page was photos of her speaking with the lobby manager in Club Prism's lobby. Her facial expression in the photo was exceptionally smug.
Hillary balled up her fists.. She wanted to say something, but before she could, Joel said unhurriedly, "There are surveillance cameras in both the kindergarten and the club. If you continue to deny it, I can ask for the video footage for you. Ms. Jones, allow me to remind you that surveillance camera footage comes with audio nowadays."
Hillary's retort instantly got stuck in her throat.
She stared at Joel in shock. A moment later, she finally hung her head dejectedly and said, "It's my fault this time, Joel… I only did that because I panicked when I saw that Tanya was back. I was afraid that she would take you away from me… Joel, she told me that she's back this time so that she can take revenge on me and take everything from me."
Hillary, whose head was lowered, started to cry. She said, "As you know, Tanya has been fighting with me over everything ever since we were kids. I had no other choice. I just wanted her to leave. I just wanted to protect everything that's mine!"
She looked at Joel again and said, "There's Mia, too. Of all the kindergartens around, why did she go to that one? It's definitely because she knows that Mia is our daughter, so she especially went there for her. Joel, she must be planning to start her revenge with Mia. I don't know how she did it, but she's already bribed Mia. It's only been a day, but Mia's already asking for her…"
She stared at Joel and went on. "There's no way someone like Tanya would be content. Back then, for the sake of dancing, she abandoned you. Even though she won the championship, her life abroad all these years must not have been that great either, right? That's why she wanted to come back. She must be thinking of pestering you…"
'For the sake of dancing, she abandoned you…'
The words stabbed brutally into Joel's heart like a knife.
He lowered his eyes and let out a cold chuckle.
Perhaps that woman would give up glory and wealth for the sake of dancing, but there was no way he would ever believe that she would pester him for the sake of glory and wealth…
No matter how people might change, the pride embedded in one's bones would never change.
Besides… She had gone to that kindergarten for her son. Now that she had Justin Hunt, there was no need for her to pester him anymore.
The icy smile at Joel's lips became tinged with a bit of bitterness—he'd rather she pester him instead.
"Joel, I really am repentant. I won't do anything anymore, no matter how Tanya provokes me again in the future. Don't worry. Even though she betrayed you back then, the two of you are ultimately still friends, so…"
Before Hillary could continue sowing discord, Joel said detachedly, "What did I say back then, when you came to me with your child?"
What he had said?
Hillary bit her lip. Back then, she had wormed her way into the Smiths by relying on her daughter. However, Joel had refused to marry her no matter what, and only gave her the title of his fiancée.
She was the one who moved into the Smiths with the excuse that her daughter needed her mother. She cared for and fussed over Mia greatly ever since, thereby stopping Joel from driving her away.
However, on the night that she moved in, an icy-cold Joel had said, "If you stay content with your lot and behave, I don't mind turning a blind eye to most of your actions. However, you're not allowed to publicize that you're Mrs. Smith. I won't let you off if I ever find out."
Why would Hillary even care about that at that time? She had agreed to his terms right away.
In the years that followed, she waited on Mia carefully, in hopes that once enough time passed, Joel would officially register their marriage in order to give the girl a mother.
This way, even if they didn't hold a wedding ceremony, she would still become the veritable Mrs. Smith!
However, apart from when she was picking up and dropping off Mia, she actually didn't have any chance to meet Joel at all after she moved in. It was no exaggeration to say that they were strangers with the closest relationship with each other.
At this point of Hillary's inner thoughts, Joel said, "Since you've broken the rules… Get lost."
Hillary's head whipped up and she stared at him incredulously.
Even when he was telling her to get lost, Joel's upturned eyes still felt mild-mannered, despite him being expressionless.
Astonished, she asked, "What did you say?"
Joel stood up and said mercilessly, "You violated our agreement."
She had violated their agreement…
Hillary started to tremble all over.
To be honest, this wasn't the first time she had violated it during all these years.
The Joneses had already tacitly recognized them as husband and wife when she moved into the Smiths. It was also thanks to this that the Joneses' businesses started to do better and better.
Hillary was even on tenterhooks when the Joneses first used the Smiths' name in their business dealings. However, she had later discovered that Joel didn't care at all even when he did find out.
After that, she had let down her vigilance.
Yet he was bringing up their agreement now?
Hillary reached out and clutched Joel's sleeves. She said, "Joel, I was wrong. I've really seen the error of my ways…"
Joel pulled his sleeve out of her grip. There was no trace of emotion at all in those eyes on his expressionless countenance. He asked coldly, "Are you going to leave by yourself, or should I get someone to throw you out?"
Hillary's legs went limp and she almost fell onto the floor.
She had lived here for a whole five years!
How cruel and unfeeling must a person be, in order for them to hold not even the slightest bit of feelings for her?
She regained sobriety at once.
Counting on Joel's sympathy or feelings for her would get her nowhere.
That little bastard was the only thing she could count on now!
Hillary's eyes reddened. She gazed at Joel earnestly and said, "I was wrong, Joel. I'll leave, but can you let me see Mia before I go?"
Joel stared hard at her.
"Okay. But when you see her… Surely you don't need me to tell you what you can say in front of her and what you can't, right?"
Hillary's gaze flickered. She lowered her head and replied, "No, I'm aware."
Only then did Joel instruct the nanny, "Bring Mia over."
Mia was resting at home today and hadn't gone to school after suffering an allergic reaction the day before.
She was currently playing by herself in her bedroom. When the nanny brought her over, she asked timidly, "Mommy, Daddy… What's the matter?"
Hillary immediately put on an affectionate and devoted act. She hugged Mia and said, "Mia, Mommy will be away for a while. You must behave at home, okay?"
She had already thought about it. Joel had a thousand and one ways he could drive her away if she kicked up a fuss in front of her daughter.
Her only option at the moment was to make Mia reluctant to leave her, and make her cry her eyes out in her arms… That was the only way Joel would let her stay.
She was confident that she had treated Mia well enough all these years. Besides, she was her mother; Mia definitely wouldn't bear to leave her side.
She stared at Mia and asked, "Will you miss Mommy, Mia?"
However, an anticipative Hillary never expected that Mia would instead nod and reply timidly, "Go ahead, Mommy. I'll be a good girl."