One Night Surprise Chapter 277

Chapter 277 Alexander’s Fall From Grace

Upon hearing Courtney’s words, Oliver swallowed what he was about to say and looked into her imploring eyes. He could do nothing else but nod in resignation. “Yes, I’m talking about my mom.”

“Better sort it out before it turns into an Oedipus complex or something; girls take it personally when you start comparing them to your mother,” Courtney reminded gently and took her purse as she stood up to leave. “I have to go now. There are some things I need to take care of at the office.”

“I’ll see you off,” he offered and promptly rose from his seat.

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“No need.” She brushed him off with a dismissive wave of her hand before jerking her head toward the kitchen. “Didn’t Tessa say she’ll bring out a pizza? Stay here and make sure you thank her for her kind gesture. I can see myself out.” With that, she slung her purse over her shoulder and headed toward the door of the milk tea shop.

“Where did your sister go?”

Tessa came out of the kitchen with the piping-hot pizza. The sound of the pizza tray clattering against the table made Oliver jump and he glared at her. “What did you do that for? Can’t you act in a feminine manner like you’re supposed to and be gentle in everything you do? You scared the living daylights out of me!”

The smile that was on her face was quickly melted by his snide remark. She shot him a murderous look and snapped, “Good graces are lost on you. Don’t eat the pizza if you don’t want to—I can always feed it to the dogs around campus.”

“Be careful; this attitude will be the reason why you’re never going to find a husband.”

“Don’t worry. I wouldn’t dream of marrying you even if you’re the last man on the planet.”

Oliver blinked. He thought about what Courtney had said earlier and retracted his head as he smiled to himself.

“What are you smiling at?” Tessa demanded in an incredulous manner.

He did not reply and kept smiling instead. He bent his head to bite into a slice of pizza, oblivious of how delicate he looked as he did so. She blushed at the sight before her. She boldly appraised him, wondering how anyone could look that good. He’s better-looking than most of the buffed-up hooligans in the Blue Eagles.

The moment Courtney returned to the office, she immediately looked for Bill. “How’s the order coming along?”

“We’ve asked the manufacturer to hurry up on the process, but the deadline given to us by Sakura Group is rather tight—everything must be ready to go within a month. However, I’m concerned about the quality of the finished work. We have to send someone to keep an eye on the manufacturing process—day in and day out.”

“It has to be someone who works in fashion, isn’t it?” she asked.

He nodded. “Designers will be arranged for the task.”

She grew worried. “Would you be able to make the necessary arrangements? There is still work to be done within these couple of days for the design competition.”

In order for Citron’s designing team to make a strong comeback under Bill’s leadership, Citron Apparel had decided to take part in the upcoming nationwide fashion design competition. As a result, Bill and the team spent the last two days busy brainstorming for designs for the competition.

He currently appeared to be nonchalant as he answered, “It won’t be a problem. The work that we’re doing for the competition isn’t as difficult as it seems. Not to mention, we don’t have to keep an eye on the manufacturer 24/7. All we need is to send a couple of designers over to check things out once or twice a day.”

Seeing that he was confident about the whole process, Courtney did not protest further and simply nodded in agreement. “In that case, you have free rein on the matter—make any decision you deem suitable.”

Upon hearing that, Bill nodded firmly and he began to make a roster for the designers to visit the manufacturer’s factory to check the work in progress. There was no one in Citron Apparel—not even Courtney—who could top Bill when it came to being a workaholic.

After she left the design department, Natasha caught up with her and reminded her about the AW Business and Trade Cocktail Party that would be held the next evening.

“Miss Hunter, will you be attending the party alone or…” Natasha trailed off with implication.

Courtney eyed her assistant with amusement. “Do you think I’m incapable of finding a date?”

Natasha pursed her lips before she slowly responded, “Miss Hunter, perhaps you are planning to bring President Duncan as your date for tomorrow evening?”

“Yes.”

“This may be inappropriate of me to say and please don’t be angry with me, but I don’t think you should bring President Duncan along.”

Upon hearing that, Courtney stopped in her tracks and turned to look at Natasha in surprise.

A flustered Natasha quickly explained, “Don’t be angry, Miss Hunter. I’m just saying that the commercial world is filled with those who won’t hesitate to bring you down and there aren’t many good folks out who would stand by your side. Given President Duncan’s past business maneuvers and his questionable temper, I’m afraid he may have more foes than friends.”

“Go on,” Courtney responded as she wanted to hear more of Natasha’s thoughts on the matter.

Natasha paused as she carefully chose her words. “President Duncan is no longer the director of Sunhill Enterprise, but the head of finance for Hunter Group instead. If he attends an upper-class social event like the cocktail party tomorrow, he might run into somebody he knows, like the Radson brothers who are in charge of AW Group. I heard that they used to be rivals with President Duncan. On one hand, he might have a hard time facing these people and on the other, I’m worried that if you show up with President Duncan, you might become the victim of vicious gossip. I’m just saying that all of this can be easily avoided if you go alone, or if you choose to go with somebody else instead.”

It was apparent that Natasha had given some thought to it and was polite in the way she said it as well. If Courtney were in her shoes, she would have been brutally honest—Alexander’s attendance at the event would be his downfall. His fall from grace would make him the b**t of everyone’s joke.

It was not hard for Courtney to imagine the sneers and jests of those who ran in the business and trade circle. For a proud man like Alexander, who never experienced a downfall in his entire life, it would be difficult for him to brace against the taunting crowd at the cocktail event. With all those in mind, she looked at Natasha with admiration. “I’ll think about it.”

“As long as you aren’t angry about it,” Natasha replied as she let out a breath of relief.

They were heading toward the office when Courtney asked, “How long have you been working in Hunter Group?”

“Five years.”

“That long?” Courtney appeared shocked. “But, why are you…” She trailed off in hesitation. She could not finish her question without sounding rude, but seeing that she could not think of another way to ask it, the unspoken words hung in the air.

Natasha, on the other hand, did not seem to mind at all as she let out a small laugh before she asked, “Do you mean to ask why I am still a secretary despite having worked here for so long?”

Courtney nodded.

“I don’t have excellent academics,” Natasha explained with a sheepish look on her face. “I only graduated from middle school and I got a job here because my uncle pulled some strings with Mr. Hunter. While my grandmother is part of the Hunter Family, she is only a distant relative of Mr. Hunter’s. It was good enough for them to arrange a secretarial job for me.”

Upon hearing that, Courtney softened. “You know what they say—you reap what you sow. Good things come to those who work hard enough for them.”

When she first started working in Hunter Group, she was given a list of candidates from which she would select her personal assistant. An assistant’s job was never easy and the pay was disproportionate to the workload. Furthermore, she needed someone who was well-rounded, paid attention to detail and had unwavering loyalty. It was a challenge to find somebody who could fit that description.

The group’s board of directors were worried that Courtney would have immense power over the company. In an attempt to rein her in, they decided to add a couple of candidates who were related to the board members to the list and Natasha Golding happened to be one of them.

“Thank you, Miss Hunter.” Natasha bowed her head. Regardless of what Courtney said to her, she was always calm and collected, giving off the impression that she was far older than she looked. For that reason, and many others, Courtney had picked her out of all the other candidates.

That afternoon, Courtney and Bill made a trip to the manufacturer’s factory. As predicted by Bill, the manufacturing process was less than ideal. The workers were not meticulous and their skills were subpar at best. As a result, there was a need to rework on the first batch of fabric and he lost his temper on the spot. It wasn’t long before the director of the manufacturing company rushed back to handle the situation at hand.

“What in the world is going on here?”

“What’s going on?” Bill glared at the director before he threw the scraps of fabric onto the floor. As they landed before the director’s feet, he pointed at them in disdain and gave the older man an incredulous look. “See for yourself! Is this the kind of quality that you promised us?”

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