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My One-month Marriage With Mr. Hawkins

Chapter 169: The Contest Between the Two Women

Florence halted in her steps upon hearing Gemma’s query, and she could perceive Gemma’s ashen complexion when she had looked up towards her. Her heart was slightly jiggled from that realization, and she replied while pretending to feel embarrassed after being exposed, “There is only a small bruise on my leg, but Ernest does not allow me to walk on my own on the grounds that I’m still injured, hence he has been carrying me around wherever I go. ” Gemma was greatly astonished to hear how Ernest had treated Florence, “Has he been carrying you up and down all this while?” Florence nodded her head in reply while stealthily observing the abrupt changes in Gemma’s expression, and she continued in a low voice soon after, “He is also the one whom has personally changed all the dressings on my wounds every day. ” She stared at Gemma and asked resignedly, “Did he take care of you in such a way when you were previously involved in that car accident as well?” Gemma was stunned on the spot by her sudden question as a flash of disappointment swept past her eyes in an instant. She had come very near to losing her life during that accident, but all she had gotten in return was just a little bit of concern from Ernest. He had only dropped by to pay her a visit and gave her his word that he would take care of her in the future, and that itself had sufficed as she was fully contented with his promise. She had always thought that for someone like Ernest to promise her that he would look after her for the rest of her life was already his greatest extent of giving of himself towards a woman, and it was the maximum warmth that he could offer to a woman as well. She had always taken pride in her special treatment and promise by him before this, and she was well-pleased with her current standing as well all this time. However, she had lost her composure the moment her eyes were set on the treatment that Florence had been receiving from Ernest. He did not even bother to help her up when she was unable to stand on her own due to her grave injuries back then, yet he had been carrying Florence up and down the stairs himself when she had only suffered from such a minor injury on her leg. It was as if he had treated her like a fragile porcelain doll, caring for her in such an extremely gentle manner for fear of dropping or hurting her at all. In comparison, Gemma was worth nothing in Ernest’s heart. Florence had been observing Gemma’s expression all along, so she was able to catch the flash of disappointment that had flickered across her eyes. She hesitantly paused for a moment and blurted out in shock shortly after, “Was he not like this to you back then, Ms. Marlon?” The realization had caused Florence’s memories of that time when they had gone to Collin’s to treat Gemma’s illness to be suddenly evoked, and she could still clearly recall that even though Gemma was required to strip naked for the examination, Ernest had only instructed Timothy to look after her. Meanwhile, Ernest himself had followed Florence around during her unimportant full body checkup instead of keeping an eye on Gemma. She had always thought that it was weird for him to act like that, but now that she had perceived Gemma’s unusual series of reactions, the thought that had materialized in her heart was on the tip of her tongue now. Gemma snapped right back from her thoughts upon detecting the suspicion in Florence’s eyes, and she hurriedly explained in a guilt-stricken manner, “Of course Ernest had looked after me meticulously as well back then. Although he appears to be aloof and remote, he is actually really kind-hearted, and his sense of guilt is able to be roused easily. This is why he has been taking care of you in such a thoughtful and considerate manner after knowing that you are injured

” Every single one of Gemma’s words was sincere and truthful to the ear, and she sounded so convincing that Florence had almost believed in her subconsciously. Having said that… It was not true that Ernest had not impelled her to marry him. After Florence had rejected his proposal, he was still ceaselessly chasing after her and exhausting his every means to try to coax and pester her to change her mind

. He was also relentlessly flirting with her by employing all kinds of tricks and making romantic advancements to her all the time just to get her to say yes to him. Furthermore, she could sense that he was very adamant and resolved to walk down the aisle with her apart from all those efforts. Both their parents had even started the discussion to set the date for their marriage, so it was apparent that he was not fooling around this time. It was apparent that Ernest was dead set on getting her to marry him. However, Gemma had implied that he would not force Florence to wed him, so was she trying to comfort her, or was she totally unaware of Ernest’s true intention? Florence narrowed her eyes and stared at Gemma, and she soon uttered in a particularly solemn voice that had been lowered a few decibels, “What if I want to get married to him for real?” Gemma’s body went rigid as her stunning face gradually turned colorless. She stared at Florence with her wavering expressions from the shock, and her voice had been raised uncontrollably as she asked in disbelief, “You want to marry him?”Florence paused for a moment, and it looked as if she was in a dilemma as she struggled with her inner conflicts, but she finally made her call and said decisively, “You have told me previously that if I want to strive for this relationship, you could let go for my sake as I’m Ernest’s rightful wife after all. ”“That is just to palliate you!” Gemma could not hold her smile anymore as she blurted out her true intention without giving it much thought, and she was immediately stunned on the spot after she had lost control of her temper. Florence shot a penetrating gaze towards her and uttered thoughtfully, “So, you’ve been speaking with a forked tongue then, Ms. Marlon?”Gemma had been feigning her magnanimity and generosity towards Florence since the beginning for the sake of her so-called relationship with Ernest, but now all her big-heartedness that she had put on seemed like hypocrisy and pretense as she had been unmasked after just a simple trial. If her self-sacrificing manner was an act, how much of her words could be trusted, and how much of them was actually deception?Florence’s suspicious gaze had filled Gemma with fears, and her piercing eyes seemed like they were about to see through the intricate web of lies that she had scrupulously set up. However, if her words were to be disproved now…Gemma could not even bear to think about the consequences that would come to her if she were to be exposed this instant. If Florence were to mention her spiteful lies to Ernest, it was very likely that she would not even be able to stay friends with him anymore based on his temperament, and in the end, it stood to reason that Florence would get married to him as a result. No. How could she let that happen?Gemma’s eyes welled up all of a sudden, and she almost stepped forward as she grabbed Florence’s hand in a hurry. A glum look had manifested on her face as she explained with a catch in her voice, “I’m sorry, Flory. I didn’t mean it that way. You should know that love is selfish, hence how could I really hand him over to others willingly when both of us still love each other so much? You’re a woman as well, so I believe you can understand where I’m coming from, am I right?”