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   Chapter 7 Drive Me To The Hotel

Requited Love: Rise Like A Phoenix By Brilliana Characters: 9707

Updated: 2020-04-29 00:09


"Tell me your address," Jacob said brusquely as he pushed her back into his car.

It was Lola's first day back in the city, and Flora Lin had taken care of the accommodations. The woman had sent her the address, but when Lola took out her phone, she found that it was powered off and had zero battery.

'What should I do?'

"You can just drive me to the nearest hotel."

"Hotel? You want me to take you to a hotel?" Jacob leaned over and leered at her. His face was alive with mischief,

making her heart beat wildly inside. Even so, Lola maintained an indifferent expression and acted as though she wasn't bothered in any way. She did avert her eyes, though. "Just drop me off at the hotel driveway and I'll check in by myself. I can't recall my address, so I'm going to have to spend a night at the hotel. My agent will come for me tomorrow."

Something not unlike cruelty flashed ever so briefly in Jacob's eyes. "Well, then. It looks like you have all the time in the world tonight to listen to what I have to say. Like I said, we have something important to discuss."

He didn't wait for her to agree or disagree. He looked straight ahead and started to speed up.

Lola might not have known what he was planning, but it didn't take long for her to recognize the direction he was taking. "Wait. You want to take me... Back there?"

Jacob shot her a sly mile. "Well apparently, you still remember everything clearly."

"Stop the car!"

Her voice took on an urgent note.

Jacob ignored her, of course, and responded by stepping on the gas even more. Lola's cool expression wavered. "I'm asking you to stop the car! If you don't, I'll open this door and jump off into the road!"

"Jump off? I'd like to see you try."

Lola glared at him. "Fine!" she spat out and turned in her seat.

She unbuckled her seat belt and opened the car door on her side, only to be yanked back immediately. "Louisa, are you out of your mind?!"

"Louisa has been dead for a long time! How many times do I have to tell you, my name is Lola! Just call me Lola, Mr. Jacob!"

She would never step back into the nightmarish place.

Even the slightest thought of it brought on an agonizing pain, as if her heart was being shredded into pieces over and over again.

Sensing that something was significantly wrong, Jacob quickly stepped on the brakes. The moment the car ground to a stop, Lola stepped out of the vehicle.

"What are you doing now?! Do you want to hit the headlines on your first night back? If you walk on the street looking like this, people will definitely take notice!"

"That's enough, Jacob! I don't need you to care whether I appear on the headlines or not."

"Don't get me wrong, I don't care! I never cared about you! My only concern is... Like I said, I have something to discuss, okay? I need you to cooperate with me on this one thing."

Lola finally stopped in her tracks and looked back. "What the hell do you want? Just spit it out so we can get it over with already!"

Jacob took a deep breath and said, "Grandma will be back in a few days."

Lola's eyes took on a sudden light at that, coupled with a measure of surprise. "You mean that Grandma has recovered, right?"

The only thing that she kept worrying about these last two years was Grandma. She had forsaken everything else from her past. Fortunately, she had managed to acquire snippets of news regarding Grandma every now and then. It had her feel at ease and helped her to focus on her career.

"She has almost recovered, but... She can't be overly stimulated or provoked. You see why it's important I speak of this with you? Grandma has no idea you left two years ago. All this time she was thinking that you were studying abroad."

Lola frowned, taken aback. "And the one who told her this lie was you, wasn't it?"

Of course it had to be him. Jacob didn't deny it either.

Grandma's health had been quite delicate even before. That must be why the whole Gu Family had kept their divorce a secret -- such news would have had a negative effect on Grandma's well-being.

"I want to see Grandma."

She had missed the elderly woman dearly.

"Of course. You can see her whenever you want, I won't stop you. But, like I said, you need to cooperate with me. Talk of our divorce is strictly off-limits. You have to pretend to be my wife in front of Grandma so she doesn't worry." Jacob paused then, and threw her a pointed look that lasted longer than she liked. "You wouldn't want Grandma's health to worsen, would you?"

Lola mulled over her options. "Nevertheless, we won't be able to conceal the truth for too long."

"Oh it's no big deal. Grandma will only be staying here for a few days before flying to Switzerland. We only need to pretend for a few days."

"I can't do that!"

Her refusal was sudden and vehement, an

d she kept shaking her head. "There's no way..."

"Why not? Are you saying you don't care about Grandma?"

Lola's eyes were starting to sting somehow, but she continued to shake her head. She saw a taxi approaching from the end of the road and she rushed to hail it. Before Jacob could do or say anything else, she jumped inside and instructed the driver to speed off.

"Louisa, stop!"

But he was too late. All he could do was watch as the taxi's taillights faded into the distance. Jacob was so furious, he kicked his own car tire. "Shit!"

Inside the cab, Lola was crying earnestly. As if a dam had broken, the pain and tears came in seemingly endless torrents. She didn't want to be Louisa anymore!

And yet that man still insisted that she play the part of his wife.

It was impossible!

She couldn't stand even the thought of it.

No matter what happened, she would never again come close to that villa. Especially that room she had once called the marital bedroom.

Lola put her arms around her body and squeezed, so tight that her nails dug into her skin. She felt no pain.

By the time Flora Lin had found her, Lola had cried so much that her makeup was smudged all over her face. Without saying a word, she put a coat over Lola's shoulder and urged her forward. "I'll take you home," Flora Lin said gently.

This home she referred to was the apartment she had initially arranged for Lola to live in.

It was already two o'clock in the morning when they arrived, and Lola immediately washed herself. She emerged from the bathroom shortly, looking supple and rosy. Her feet, however, were covered with thick gauze.

"Don't worry. My feet didn't get wet. It's just a bunch of minor injuries anyway. They shouldn't be a problem during the ribbon-cutting ceremony later today." Lola spoke without any expression, in a robotic way almost. She looked like a totally different person from the sobbing woman that had stumbled out of the taxi barely an hour ago.

"I know you have an aggressive streak, but you need to take care of yourself, too. I canceled an interview this morning and put it off until tomorrow. You should be well-rested by this afternoon, so you can go to the ribbon-cutting as planned."

"Okay."

"As for your contract signing..."

Lola waved a hand before pinching the bridge of her nose. "Flora, I've given you full authority on all matters regarding my career, especially during my return. That means I trust you. You can make the decisions concerning the contracts. There are several companies that aren't so bad. You can pick whichever you think is best. You know the landscape of the local entertainment industry better than I do after all."

Though mildly surprised, Flora Lin's reply was calm and steady. "That's fine."

"But remember to stay away from the Gu Group!" Lola reminded her, not for the first time. They both knew the Gu Family had networks everywhere, and that she still didn't want to get involved with them.

Especially not Jacob Gu.

Flora Lin nodded. "I'll do my best to steer clear of them. But are you really sure you don't want to take advantage of your connection with them, with Jacob Gu? They could practically guarantee your spot at the top in the future. A lot of people tried to get close and curry favor with him, but they all failed eventually. Your true identity would surely cause a stir, it would really help hype up your popularity!"

"Stop! Flora, I've told you many times. Don't insist on something that I've explicitly said no to. Otherwise, even if you work for him, I will leave you! Please keep in mind that you're my agent. You mustn't do anything that could potentially harm my image. The further I stay away from the Gu Family, the better off both my side and theirs will be." Lola's tone was firm and brooked no argument.

"All right, I can't change your mind."

"Indeed, you can't."

They proceeded to discuss Lola's remaining appointments and other work arrangements. When they were done, Lola picked up her mobile phone that had been charging in the corner. With no particular intent in mind, she ended up browsing the news. As expected, the top trending topic was none other than herself.

By some miracle, for which she was utterly grateful, any association with Jacob hadn't been discovered.

She was browsing a bit more when she vaguely heard Flora Lin's phone ringing. She turned to look at her agent, who immediately went outside to take the call. Lola turned off the lights. She needed to get some sleep.

Surrounded by darkness, she opened her phone again and dialed a number that she knew by heart. Instead of the line ringing, though, she was greeted by the operator's voice. "The subscriber you dialed is busy at the moment..."

She smiled a small, self-deprecating smile and finally put her phone away.

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