Hector had barely finished his sentence when the patient monitor began to beep.
Matthew replied, “I heard you, Grandpa. I’ll marry the eldest daughter of the Wade family.”
He wanted to reassure his grandfather.
Nicolas and some hospital staff had arrived then and began giving him emergency treatment. They eventually wheeled Hector to the ICU.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth frantically peppered the ICU staff with questions.
“When can my daughter leave the ICU? Can I go in to accompany her?”
Her anxiety was palpable, and her eyes reddened, threatened by a fresh wave of tears.
The nurse answered, “She needs to stay in the hospital overnight for observation. You can come back in twenty-four hours. We’ll take good care of her.”
Elizabeth was hardly going to leave the hospital without her daughter, though she still nodded and said, “Thank you.”
Half an hour later, Matthew arrived at the ICU entrance, where a waiting nurse greeted him.
“How is my grandfather doing?”
The nurse checked the files in her hand and replied, “ Hector is still in a critical condition, Mr. Hilton. We need to observe him for twenty-four hours. The director has prepared a lounge for you.”
Every hospital staff knew who Matthew Hilton was. He was a close friend of their director, Nicolas, and he had visited his grandfather at the hospital almost daily for the past six years. They admired his filial piety.
Matthew acknowledged the nurse’s explanation with a nod. “I understand.”
He turned around after that, and he noticed that a woman hunched over in the corner of the room. She hugged herself, with her toes curled and her head buried between her knees. It was a pitiful sight.
Matthew removed his coat and draped it over the woman before heading for the elevator.
Elizabeth lifted her head, her gaze fixed on his broad back. She called out, “Thank you! How should I return your coat?”
Matthew stepped into the elevator. Right before the doors closed, he said, “Keep it. I don’t know who’s ill, but you should keep yourself healthy while taking care of another.”
His show of concern for this stranger was out of character for Matthew. He was surprised by his own actions as well.
When the elevator doors closed, Matthew smirked and shook his head.
Elizabeth pulled his coat tighter around herself, reveling in the residual warmth of his body.
She sniffed and breathed in the faint, pleasant scent lingering on the coat.
Sometime later, the elevator doors opened and out walked two young boys. The boy walking in front wore a black windbreaker, and he carried a long, white down jacket.
A boy wearing a gray and white-striped baseball uniform and cap trailed him, a pair of snow boots in his arms.
Thanks to their chiseled features, both boys were extremely handsome. They looked so alike that anyone could tell they were twins at first glance.
A man dressed in a gray coat walked behind the boys. Despite his dashing features, Dominic Campbell looked nothing like the boys.
The older of the two boys was Arthur Wade. He walked to Elizabeth’s side, a hint of anguish in his eyes.
“Mommy, you should wear this.”
By then, Arthur had noticed the man’s coat wrapped around his mother. He guessed that a kind-hearted stranger had given it to Elizabeth.
Guilt flitted across the expression of Elizabeth’s second son, Antony Wade.
He asked worriedly, “Mommy, why didn’t you bring Arthur and me along? We could’ve helped you.”
Antony bent down and gently pulled Elizabeth’s feet into his lap. He planned to warm them up before coaxing her to wear her shoes.
Meanwhile, Dominic sat beside Elizabeth, watching as her sons rubbed her feet and tucked her into a coat. Envy swelled in his chest.
He asked, “Lizzy, why didn’t you tell me Abby was sick? I promised I would take care of all of you.”