The animated conversation was starting to kick off when Ingrid’s phone rang out of the blue, prompting the young woman to pull it out and glance at the screen.
Her expression changed, slightly, but almost instantly. “Hey, Agatha? It’s Uncle Claude.”
The same shift in expression befell Agatha as well. “Tell him I’ve left Tael and that I won’t be back for a while.”
Ingrid nodded. She moved out onto the balcony to answer the call.
Their exchange allowed Zayn to piece together a vague picture of what the young women were probably facing. For starters, Agatha was in the middle of a row with her family. She looked about twenty-seven or eight, which meant the problem was likely pertaining to marriage.
Was her family pushing her into some sort of arranged marriage? It seemed possible, even if a little dated.
Ingrid took the call outside on the balcony, but a little distance like that was no hindrance to Zayn’s superhuman hearing. In fact, he heard every word.
A few minutes later, a dispirited, hapless Ingrid returned to the room. She exchanged glances with Agatha, obviously beckoning her to join her.
Agatha turned to Zayn with an apologetic smile before following her. She asked Ingrid, “What’s the matter?”
“Things aren’t looking too good, Aggie,” Ingrid replied in a hushed voice. “Uncle Claude said that Gonzalez is at your house right now! He said if he doesn’t see you within half an hour, that insane jack*ss is going to hurt Uncle Claude and everyone else—”
“What?!” Agatha blurted out, shocked. She gritted her teeth in anger. “Just who does that prick think he is? He can’t just butt into everything and force everyone to comply to his stupid needs just because he’s rich!”
“I’ve told him so many times, I honestly don’t care for him at all! I don’t want his hand in marriage!”
“But that’s exactly how the wealthy are, aren’t they? We can’t beat someone who’s backed up by some political bigshot. Hell, he’s related to the city mayor. How do we fight that?” Ingrid replied, sighing.
“You know… Maybe you should go home, Aggie, and well, I dunno, maybe you should marry that Gonzalez *sshole after all. Like, what’s the worst that could happen if you do?”
Agatha’s face paled. She was trembling. Jaw clenched, she cast her pained, dispirited eyes to the floor before finally, she took the only option made available to her.
She decided to go home.
Zayn could hear their conversation with no trouble at all, but there was something about that man’s name and the alleged connections he had with the city mayor sounded familiar.
He felt as though he had heard or seen about him before…
Either way, judging from the anxiety and fear the two young women harbored, Zayn could tell that Gonzalez was not someone they could afford to anger.
They were in trouble, and Zayn was not going to walk away from someone who needed his help.
He approached the two and started, “Hey, um, Miss Rouge? Are you alright? You look like you ran into some trouble.”
Ingrid’s mood was so foul that seeing Zayn angered her even more. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave us alone, bro. You can’t even pay for your own hospital bill, and now you’re trying to come to our rescue? Who do you think you are, our knight in shining armor?” she snapped impatiently.
“Maybe you should find a way to be a functioning member of society first. God! I swear, meeting you has brought us nothing but bad luck!”
Her rant ticked Agatha off so much that she turned slightly red. “Ingrid! You’re being rude for no reason again! How many times do I have to remind you to think before you speak? Be kind and responsible with your words!” she chided.
She began to apologize profusely to Zayn.
Zayn waved her words off dismissively. He simply picked up where they had left off. His tone was no less serious than it was before as he continued, “Pardon my intrusion, Miss Rouge, but if either of you are running into any problems… I can come with you. Please, let me help.”