Six years later, Elizabeth sped to Mistwood’s Ferguson Hospital in her secondhand Carter. It was ten o’clock at night.
She hastily parked her car in front of the hospital entrance despite the security guard’s warnings.
Elizabeth lifted her daughter from the front passenger seat and dashed into the hospital.
The security guard failed to stop her from entering the hospital, and he barked, “Just wait till I clamp your car. Let’s see what you’ll do then!”
Bare-footed and still clad in her pajamas, Elizabeth couldn’t think straight. She could hardly hear a thing. Instead, she ran to the emergency department with her daughter in her arms. Her whole body shook with anxiety.
“Doctor, please, you have to save my daughter. Her temperature is so high that she’s seizing up!” Elizabeth pleaded tearfully.
A doctor hurriedly took the child from her arms and reassured her, “You can wait outside. We’ll treat her right away.”
Then, a nurse led Elizabeth out of the emergency room and said, “You can make payment first. Here’s the receipt. Your daughter will need to be warded for observation, possibly in the ICU.”
Elizabeth nodded several times and pleaded, “Okay. Please save my daughter.”
Abby can’t be sick. What if the fever damages her brain? She could not bring herself to imagine the worst possible outcome. Instead, she headed to the cashier, tears blurring her vision.
Just then, hurried footsteps drifted from the hospital entrance. A group of suit-clad men entered the hospital. The tallest of the lot led their group.
He wore a black coat ironed to perfection, making him seem even more imposing and aloof.
Blessed with sharp features and a pair of piercing, black eyes, the man exuded a mysterious aura. He pursed his lips tightly, giving off a commanding and unapproachable air.
Bystanders instinctively moved back to clear a path for him as he walked through the hospital.
Oblivious to his presence, Elizabeth continued rushing to the cashier. They bumped into each other, and Elizabeth teetered, losing her balance. With a slight frown, the man extended a long arm and wrapped it around her slender waist, stopping her from falling flat to the ground.
They met each other’s gaze, and Elizabeth shivered involuntarily at the sight of his icy expression.
We’re in the deep of winter, and I can hardly feel the chill. Why am I shivering under his gaze? What the heck is he made of? Pure ice?
Matthew Hilton righted Elizabeth to her feet and said coolly, “Please watch your step, miss.”
Elizabeth remained frozen in shock until Matthew entered the elevator. She collected her wits then and turned around, shouting, “Watch your own step, mister.”
Please! He was the one who bumped into me. What a domineering man!
Matthew heard her from the elevator. He turned his gaze to her, only noticing that her bare feet were red from frostbite.
His gaze traveled upward to the old-fashioned pajamas she wore, her swollen, tear-streaked eyes, and her messy hair.
The elevator door closed, cutting short his appraisal.
Matthew took the elevator to the VIP ward on the tenth floor of the hospital. His grandfather, Hector Hilton, had been in a coma for six years. Matthew had hired the best doctors to cure him over the years but to no avail.
Last night, however, Hector had finally regained consciousness. Matthew rushed over to the hospital as soon as he could.
A man wearing a white coat stood at the door to Hector’s ward. The slim and tall man was one of Matthew’s good friends, Nicolas Ferguson.
Nicolas said to his friend, “ Hector’s really awake, Matthew. He wants to see you.”
Matthew nodded before replying, “Thank you for your help.”
He opened the ward door and went in. Hector was hooked up to a variety of tubes. When the elder recognized his visitor, he raised his hand weakly and waved.
Matthew rushed to his grandfather’s bedside and clasped his hand.
“Grandpa, you’re finally awake.”
Hector let go of Matthew’s hand and pointed at his own mouth. Realizing that his grandfather had something to say, Matthew leaned in, placing his ear close to the elder’s mouth.
He breathed, “M-Marry the eldest daughter of the Wade family.”