By then, Pamela caught her breath and anxiously bleated, “Jeremy… Let go of her…”
Jeremy immediately released his grip and tossed Corinne to one side before going over and asking, “How are you feeling?”
Pamela waved her hand weakly. “It’s okay… Earlier, I…I got a prune pit stuck in my throat, but Corinne saved me using the Heimlich maneuver. See that pit on the ground? I spat it out…”
Jeremy froze slightly and glanced down at the inconspicuous prune pit on the ground. Then, he looked at Corinne once more, frowning slightly.
Corinne got up from the ground and rubbed her arm, which was sore after she had been mercilessly thrown onto the ground by Jeremy. She then went up to Pamela and explained, “I baked those pastries for myself this morning, Ma’am. I tend to leave prunes unpitted because I prefer the subtle bitterness that appears when you bake them. It’s not very suitable for old people though, so I sincerely apologize for that.”
She bowed sincerely before straightening her figure and looking at Jeremy.
“You should call a doctor to check up on her, Mister—I mean…Jeremy.” At the end of her sentence, she turned around and went upstairs to the room.
Jeremy felt a wave of mixed emotions when he looked at Corinne’s straight, slender back.
The whole incident gave Pamela a minor scare, and she only fell asleep after being helped into the room. That afternoon, the family doctor came to check up on her, and she had her blood pressure taken to confirm that she was alright.
After the family doctor left, the old lady regained some of her energy and said, “Could you wait outside for a bit, Francine? I have something to say to your brother.”
Francine was a little reluctant to go because she wanted to listen in on their conversation, but Jeremy’s stern look left her no choice but to leave.
With only the two of them left in the room, Jeremy walked to the bed and asked, “Is something the matter, Grandma?”
Pamela smiled warmly and looked up at her tall, handsome grandson. “I’m all fine now, Jeremy.”
“I’m glad to hear that.”
Pamela asked, “I’m curious how you got to know Corinne.”
“It was by chance.”
Pamela nodded slowly. “She’s a good kid. I like her very much.”
There was a fleeting glimmer of surprise in Jeremy’s eyes, and his handsome eyes narrowed slightly. “Are you saying that just because she saved you?”
That escalated quickly, considering how she was giving Corinne some punishment just moments before he returned home.
There was a twinkle of admiration in Pamela’s eyes. “She’s calm when facing tough situations, and she doesn’t try to assert dominance or make herself look meek in front of me. Rather than cry and complain when you misunderstood her actions, she came to me just to calmly explain everything and apologize for what happened. She’s a sensible and understanding woman.”
Jeremy remained silent after recalling how he nearly severed her head off when he choked her in a fit of anger.
“You haven’t slept with her yet, have you?”
The subject changed a little too quickly that Jeremy ended up frozen in place.
Pamela teased, “You’re in your thirties, for God’s sake! Why are you so embarrassed?”
Jeremy was speechless.
“Jeremy, I know that you rushed into the marriage just to appease your stubborn old grandfather, but I think that you chose a good wife. Marriage isn’t child’s play, you know. I do hope the two of you will be able to live a happy life together in the future!”
Jeremy felt that it was inappropriate to explain the entire situation to her.
Pamela added, “I couldn’t attend your wedding because I accompanied your grandpa to prepare for the surgery, but I’ll bear witness to your matrimony today. Remember to consummate your marriage later so your grandfather can hold his great-grandson once he recovers!”
Jeremy’s expression darkened. “Grandma, when it comes to that, I think—”
Pamela frowned and interrupted him, “If you don’t listen to my advice, I’ll tell your grandfather that you tricked him with a fake marriage. You know the kind of temper he has. He’ll surely get sick again, even if he recovers from his surgery!”
Jeremy rubbed his eyebrows. “I’ll have someone bring dinner for you later. Have a good rest now,” he said, then turned to leave.
Pamela still did not give the consummation thing a rest, alas. “I’ll do my rounds later tonight, so don’t let me down!”
When Jeremy returned to the room, he saw Corinne sitting alone at the computer desk. She seemed to be engrossed in writing something that she did not even look up when he came in.
He walked up to her from behind and gazed down to see what it was she was writing. “You’re doing homework?”
Corinne paid full attention to her task at hand while complaining, “I’m copying the house rules. We’re already in the twenty-first century, but your family still has written family rules. My oh my, ancient much…”
Jeremy raised his hand and took away her pen. “You can stop copying now. No one’s going to punish you again.”
Corinne stretched her waist and said, “Guess I’ll go bathe and sleep, then!”
She had gained a deeper understanding of the power gap between herself and Jeremy after being strangled earlier. He could easily crush her to death like he could crush an ant. It was not so much her of him, but rather, she just did not feel the need to make her life any more difficult.
In the coming three months, her priority was to ensure peace during her days in the Holden household, and that meant not making enemies and avoiding much contact with Jeremy. As soon as the three months were up, all she needed to do was pack her belongings and leave.
Corinne got up, walked past Jeremy, and avoided him as much as possible. However, a strong force pulled her arm immediately.
“Ah!” She frowned in pain. “What are you doing, mister?”
Jeremy narrowed his eyes at her. “I’m surprised you know what pain feels like.”
His big palm had just grabbed the sorest part of her arm!
When Jeremy threw her down earlier in the day, her forearm bumped into the corner of the coffee table, resulting in pain.
Her plans to avoid any sort of conflict were taking a hit because of Jeremy’s troublemaking demeanor!
Corinne pulled a long face. “No thanks to you.”
Startled, Jeremy let go and said in a low voice, “Head downstairs and let the family doctor treat the injury.”
“That won’t be necessary. It’s just a scratch.” Corinne did not bother going down and merely shook off his hand before going straight into the bathroom to take a bath.
After her bath, she changed into her pajamas and went to bed to get ready to sleep.
“Come over here!” Jeremy called out to her in a loud voice.
Corinne looked over and saw him sitting leisurely like a king on the single-seater sofa. She did not want to go to him.
“Why should I?”
The man gestured at the first-aid kit at the corner of the table. “To have some ointment applied on your arm.”
Corinne’s lips twitched. “No thanks.”
Jeremy narrowed his eyes and gave her a death stare. “Are you coming here, or shall I go to you?”
Corinne was beyond annoyed at him! She did not want him to go up to the bed, so she gritted her teeth and got up. Once she walked over to him, she stretched her injured arm toward him.
“Fine. Hurry up!”
The maid had brought it the first-aid kit, and Jeremy meant to let Corinne deal with the wound herself. However, she seemed to have misunderstood his intentions and assumed that he wanted to do it for her.
Jeremy had never served anyone before, nor would he do so in the future.
Still, he opened the first-aid kit, uncapped a reddish medicated oil, and dipped a cotton swab into the bottle before gently applying it to the injury on the girl’s forearm.
In fact, Corinne had extended his arm to him on purpose to vent her anger, but she never thought Jeremy would help her to apply the ointment.
She cocked an eyebrow and asked, “Do you feel guilty for what you did today, mister?”
Jeremy was expressionless. “I injured you by accident today, so I ought to take responsibility. As for my grandmother, there’s no need for you to hold a grudge because she won’t be staying here for long.”
Corinne did not think too much into it and remarked, “Why should I hold a grudge against her? She’s not a bad person.”
Jeremy looked up at her. “Well, she punished you to copy the house rules. Don’t you think she’s a bad person?”
Corinne scoffed. “Do you think a bad person will just punish you to do some copying? Copying is probably the most severe punishment that a good person could think of. All the bad people I met before always…”
She stopped her sentence midway, causing Jeremy to frown. “Always what?”
Corinne did not feel the need to share her experiences with someone she did not know well.
“Nothing. Are you done? I’d like to go to bed now!” Jeremy still did not let go of her arm after applying the medication.
Corinne thought that Jeremy was still concerned about their arrangement, so she emphasized her commitment to it. “Relax, will you? I promised to cooperate with you for three months, and I’ll complete my task as if it were a real job. Your sister is a pain in the neck, but your grandmother was simply trying to protect her granddaughter because she didn’t know the full details of what happened. I understand where she’s coming from, so I won’t hold a grudge against her.”
Jeremy stared thoughtfully at Corinne. He had been under the impression that she was rash and muddled-headed, but she turned out to be quite understanding.
To top that off, she looked pretty cute too. Her eyelashes were long, thick, and curly, while her small face was still somewhat childlike with some chubby baby fat and two small dimples. Every frown and smile imparted a lively vibrance to her face.
Jeremy got up suddenly, startling Corinne. “Mister?”
His long arms reached under her waist, and he hoisted her in a bridal carry without so much as a warning.
Corinne was petrified by how sudden this turned. “What are you up to now, mister?!” She had just finished her question when she was unceremoniously thrown onto the bed.
Jeremy took off his suit jacket, yanked out his tie, and unbuttoned his shirt. Each of his movements was aggressive.
Corinne sat up, intending to run, but his big palms pushed her down and forced her to lie back down.
It was the first time in her life that she was able to see a man’s Adam’s apple and chest muscles from up close, and she had to admit—they were rather enticing.
“Don’t fool around, mister! Snap back to your senses and remember that I’m not your type!”
Jeremy propped his arms on both sides of Corinne’s small head and stared down at her like a hungry wolf. “What if I decided to ignore that so I can have some fun just this once?”
Jeremy’s masculine body caught Corinne off guard, and she was about to yell when he covered her mouth.