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   Chapter 522 Are You Free Tonight

The Substitute Bride By Mi Lu Characters: 12082

Updated: 2019-02-05 00:11

After Alice and David left for lunch, Leila sat in the secretarial room alone. She was typing something in her computer. She pretended to focus on work while all her attention was towards Charles's room. She could see the door from the corner of her eyes and eagerly waited for it to open. The door did not open until half an hour later.

Leila straightened her spine with the sound of the door. She hastened her fingers on the keyboard and dug her eyes into the screen to make herself look busy. She did not ever look up at Charles as he walked out of his room.

The secretarial room had a transparent glass that separated it from Charles's room so he could see that Leila was working diligently. When he saw her sitting alone in her cubicle, he asked,"Why didn't you go with them for lunch?"

"Mr. Lu," a shocked Leila stood up abruptly as she heard from Charles. Charles could not help observing the striking change in Leila's attitude. The fiery and desperate girl had sobered down to be a responsible mother. Rather reserved, Leila looked at Charles and replied,"They are all busy with their work through out the day and seldom get any time to date. I don't want to come in between them. More importantly, I still have some documents to read. As the proverb goes, 'a slow sparrow has to make an early start.' I am just trying to catch up."

Leila was more optimistic than before. She could already see empathy for her in Charles's eyes. Hence she curbed her aggressive nature and pretended to be genuine. For her, just a small step back for a giant leap she was planning to take. She had learned to make concessions in order to gain advantages from Charles. In this way, she believed that he would take the initiative to get close to her sooner or later.

"It is difficult to work with an empty belly. You have to eat," Charles said with a frown. He stared at her and said,"Let's go and eat something. Even I am hungry."

As he finished his words, he asked her to get up from her seat and stepped ahead before she could react. Leila got up from her seat obediently and followed him as he walked out of the office. Though Leila couldn't help but chuckled herself inwardly, she did not let her excitement come on her face.

Charles walked her to a nearby restaurant that he had visited often with Autumn. After Autumn's disappearance, Charles became a frequent visitor of this restaurant. It was not only the dishes in this restaurant that suited Charles's taste and platter. He had some priceless memories with Autumn in this restaurant. Whenever he came here, he felt as if Autumn had never left. She was still there right beside him.

After a long time Charles visited this restaurant with someone else. Usually, he ordered for himself so he ordered his preferred menu. Today, as they sat down, he handed over the menu card to Leila going by the ladies first etiquette. He said to her,"Look it through. You can order any dishes you want."

Leila smiled softly and obliged by ordering two dishes. "Is this your girlfriend?" blurted the banquet manager all of a sudden. The manager looked at Charles with speculative eyes and smiled as he asked. Leila was surprised to see how an outsider asked such a personal question to Charles.

Even Charles could not help but express his awkwardness with a frown. The banquet manager knew him very well since he was a frequent visitor of his restaurant. He came here often for dinner and ordered the same dish.

He knew that Charles visited this restaurant to miss his wife. The manager was really moved by this gesture. He could not believe how a man could

d have never dined at such a small place. And that of course meant that he would have missed lots of delicacies that he happened to explore during his dining encounters with Autumn.

In this respect, Autumn played an important role in bringing about many changes in his life.

In these years since she disappeared, Charles explored many such roadside food joints that offered delicious food at a very low cost. He loved to dine in these places. He had decided that he would take Autumn to dine at these places if he could see her again someday. The very mention of Autumn and assuming her possible presence in his life gave Charles the impetus to get along with his life even if it came with an 'ever-again' tag.

"It sounds so romantic. I really didn't expect you to condescend to eat in such an unconspicuous place," Leila replied diplomatically. Her eyes narrowed down with jealousy. She realized that even if she achieved her goal to get married to Charles, she would never be able to take Autumn's place in his heart. And the very thought of it stung deep into her heart like a needle. Leila felt the overpowering shadow of Autumn over her head even though she was not physically present. It only made her go green with jealousy.

"You just said the food at these places always tastes good. Mr. Lu, I have a presumptuous request," said Leila with a smile. Charles looked up at Leila and was quite surprised to find her staring at him motionlessly.

"What is it?" Charles asked sounding rather confused and skeptical about what could be in her mind.

"Don't be so anxious, Mr. Lu." Leila looked into his anxious eyes and gave a reassuring smile. She then continued,"Mr. Lu, do you remember you promised me to dine out with me when I left your company several years back?"

"Yes, I still remember it," said Charles while nodding his head slightly. He could remember his promise, but after that so many things happened one after another, no one took the initiative to mention it and it was left unsettled. "Why do you mention it now?" asked Charles.

"Mr. Lu..." Leila hesitated for a while and then spoke in a soft voice,"Are you free tonight?" She finally spoke her heart out to Charles. He stared at him with a very hopeful expression in her eyes. However, to her disappointment, Charles shook his head slightly and declined her invitation politely,"Thank you, but I am occupied tonight."

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