Chapter 322 The Winfreds
A black car slowly pulled up in front of the Winfreds’. This wasn’t the Winfreds’ primary residence, so the home wasn’t magnificent.
Before they arrived, someone had already gotten in touch with the Winfreds. Therefore, as soon as the car pulled up, someone was there to greet them.
“Greetings, I’m the butler. Mr. Winfreds and the others are waiting inside. Please follow me.”
Ronin nodded and walked in front. Erick was in the middle, and Catherine strolled along at the back. The butler locked his eyes on Erick as soon as the three of them got out of the car. It seemed that he had recognized Erick at first sight.
Ronin found it odd and slowed down to walk beside Catherine.
“Hey, Catherine, why’s the butler so fixated on Erick? Does he know him?”
Catherine stayed silent, and Ronin didn’t push it when he realized she didn’t want to discuss it. Once they entered the Winfreds’ digs, Ronin finally understood why the butler had been staring at Erick.
“Sir, Miss, the man at the forefront is the leader of the Winfreds, and the one beside him is his eldest son.”
Ronin followed the butler’s gesture and thought, “Dang, they really look alike!”
The Winfreds’ master, Xavier, and Erick were like peas in a pod. Seeing Xavier, Ronin didn’t need to wait for years to learn what Erick would look like when he got older.
No wonder Catherine didn’t bat an eye earlier. She must’ve been in the know. Ronin playfully nudged Erick’s arm and whispered, “Man, you’re the spitting image of your dad!”
Erick looked up at Xavier with a fierce look in his eyes. Xavier got up enthusiastically, his face showing a lot of excitement, and he hurried over to Ronin.
“I guess you’re the experts of Hacker Alliance. Thank you so much for helping me find my son. I really appreciate it!”
The sudden warmth caught Ronin off guard, and he wasn’t sure how to react. Catherine stood to the side, showing an indifferent attitude. She squinted her eyes a bit and kept a close eye on Xavier.
After putting in a great deal of effort, Xavier had finally found his long-lost son, Erick, who had been missing for years.
Now that Erick had returned, instead of immediately going to see him, Xavier was surprisingly warm and welcoming to her and Ronin.
Wasn’t that strange?
Catherine chose not to comment. After some small talk with Ronin, Xavier finally noticed Erick standing nearby. He fixed an intense gaze on Erick, and a hint of redness appeared in his eyes.
“Erick, isn’t it?” Xavier asked. “It’s been many years, and I’ve put in a lot of effort to find you!”
In contrast to Xavier’s warmth, Erick remained incredibly composed. His stern face showed no signs of warmth or joy from the reunion. Xavier was slightly surprised by Erick’s coldness, but he quickly regained his composure.
After all, he was an influential figure in the region. If he couldn’t handle this situation, it would be pretty disappointing. He said to Erick, “Your older brother is here today. Let me introduce you.”
Then, Xavier glanced back, and the Winfreds’ eldest son, Jeremy, reluctantly stood up. His displeasure was written on his face, indicating that he didn’t have much affection for his younger brother. After all, they weren’t blood brothers.
People in high society were often quite cold-hearted. Who would have wanted a half-brother with an illegitimate status?
But under Xavier’s hint, more accurately, his coercion, Jeremy took the initiative to greet Erick.
“I’m Jeremy, the eldest son of the Winfreds. Welcome to the Winfreds!”
His words made his attitude crystal clear, even though he didn’t verbally taunt Erick. From Jeremy’s assertion of his authority and emphasis on his status as the eldest son, it was evident how unwelcome Erick was.
It was “Welcome to the Winfreds,” not “Welcome back to the Winfreds!”
Whose home was this, anyway?
Everyone heard it loud and clear, and they understood the message. With Erick handed over, Catherine had no desire to linger with the Winfreds.
They had no business or reason to engage with them. Catherine glanced at Ronin, and he immediately grasped her intention. He stepped forward to bid farewell to the Winfreds.
“Mr. Winfred, now that we’ve safely handed Eric over to you, we still have something to do, so we’ll take our leave. Xavier politely wished them well, saying, “Take care!”
Catherine casually put her hands in her pockets and turned around, locking eyes with Jeremy just as they left.
Jeremy’s expression was complex, blending resentment with gratitude toward them. His conflicted look left Catherine wondering about his intentions.
As Catherine and Ronin walked out, they suddenly heard desperate footsteps behind them when they were about to get into their car.
Catherine stopped and turned around, only to see Erick rushing out anxiously. Catherine glanced at Ronin, and he understood her cue, promptly getting into the car and waiting for her.
Erick quickly approached Catherine, coming to a stop in front of her. His beautiful eyes were locked onto Catherine.
His lips were quivering, revealing the inner conflict and distress. Catherine calmly observed him, silently counting the seconds. She didn’t like waiting, granting everyone only a limited amount of time without exceptions.
Right at the last moment, Erick finally spoke up. He looked at Catherine with a determined gaze, and it was obvious from his body language that he had gathered a lot of courage to say something.
“If I agree to your terms and follow your orders, can you take me with you?”
His voice was hushed, tinged with humility, and tugging at the heartstrings. It felt like a wounded creature yearning for rescue. Unfortunately, Erick was unaware of Catherine’s frosty nature.
She had a reputation for her cold demeanor, and her decision to save Erick, aside from his Ronin-like eyes, was driven by her ties to the Winfreds.
Catherine pressed her lips together, maintaining her silence, but her decision was evident in her expression. Erick felt somewhat discouraged. Although he wasn’t surprised by her response, he still felt a sense of despair.
He struggled to speak, his voice barely above a whisper, his head lowered, and unable to summon the courage to make eye contact.
“I understand. Thank you!”
Then, he turned to leave. In that fleeting moment, Catherine suddenly seized his hand. She pulled his arm and wrote down a series of numbers on his palm.
“For emergencies, call me.”
Erick’s faint smile appeared as he gently tugged at the corner of his mouth. It was as though he had caught a glimmer of hope in the midst of despair.
He had forgotten how long it had been since he had smiled like this.