The corners of Rachel's lips twitched and even Ivan couldn't suppress a chuckle.
'She really does look quite different.It's not just her look; she seems to have had a personality make-
over.That's why it's so hard for people to recognize her"
Victor thought to himself, as he looked at Carson with apprehension.
"No, that would be impossible.No procedure of that magnitude could have such a short recovery time,
right? By God, Rachel, you..."
Carson kept babbling as he walked around Rachel, examining every inch of her face and body.
"Mr.Scott, I assure you there is nothing of that sort.I simply changed my makeup routine.I decided to
keep it as light as possible,"Rachel said shrugging and she took a step back to put some distance
between her and Carson.
Arms crossed in front of his chest, Carson marveled, "Well I'll be damned! The clothes really do make
the man...and a woman! Rachel, what were you thinking before, putting on so much make up? That
stuff only covered your beauty! You look so pretty now that even I would..."
Carson felt Victor's stare ready to poke a hole on the back of his head.
He felt a shiver running down his spine and immediately stopped talking before he said something he
would regret later.He swallowed hard and wiped off a drop of sweat that had formed on his forehead.
'What the hell was I thinking? I almost blurt out that I would love to take Rachel out.I need to get a grip!
She is Victor's woman and I'm his best friend.Even if they broke up, she used to be his wife! She is off
Carson berated himself.
"What's going on here?"
Victor glanced first at Ivy, who looked like a mess, and then fixed his eyes on Alice.
He didn't even acknowledge Rachel's presence.
Alice started recounting the whole story, in a small, trembling voice, her eyes lowered all the time.
Although, she conveniently left out the part where lvy had poured coffee on Abby on purpose.
When she finished, Victor's face was set in a frown.He immediately turned to Rachel.
"What the hell were you thinking, spilling hot water on her?" he shouted angrily, pointing at Ivy.
"Apologize this instant!"
Rachel stared back at him boldly, one eyebrow raised.
'Reaching conclusions without enough evidence again, Victor? Your specialty" Rachel thought angrily.
'He didn't even ask for my side of the story; he just ordered me to apologize"
She gave a mental eye roll, disgusted by his attitude.
When Victor saw the look in her eyes, he grew even angrier.
This was what he hated the most about Rachel! That infuriating woman was so stubborn that she never
Victor spoke again in a cold, threatening voice, one that would send the bravest of men running.
"I asked you to apologize to Ivy, Rachel!" Rachel didn't move a muscle.
Abby's face had turned pale with fear.
She walked forward and stood right in front of Rachel, facing Victor.She lowered her head and barely
managed to utter, "Mr....Mr.Sullivan, it's all my fault.I am the one that should apologize to Ivy."
She then turned around and looked at Ivy, ready to bow her head, but before she could do that, Rachel
"Stop it, Abby."
Rachel's voice was so strong and commanding that everyone turned to look at her simultaneously.
She grabbed Abby's wrist and moved the girl behind her, shielding her from view.
She looked into Victor's eyes as she said in a steady, clear voice, "I did nothing wrong.No need to
apologize for me.If anyone thinks an apology is in order, they should make it themselves.Blue veins
were bulging out on Victor's neck, his eyes as frosty.He was gritting his teeth so hard that he barely
managed to get a few words out.
"Very good.Rachel! Well done!"
The two of them just stood there with identical expressions of fury and challenge on their faces.
"Miss Bennet, it's okay.I don't mind apologizing.I don't want you to get in trouble.Really..." Abby said,
anxiously looking between the two people in front of her, ready to spew fire from their eyes like some
mythic creatures of old.
Without taking his eyes off Rachel, Victor barked, "Ivan, send a note to the HR department! All the
cleaners get the day off.
Rachel will be in charge of cleaning all the bathrooms in the building today.
She can't get off work until she is done and if anyone helps her, he or she will be fired!"Abby gasped in
All the bathrooms in this building? That was too much.
The Sullivan Group had sixty-six floors, and there were at least half a dozen bathrooms in each floor.
Rachel was a woman of good breeding, her family one of the most important ones in the city.
Asking her to complete such a demeaning task as clean bathrooms- both ladies' and men's- was
clearly an attempt to humiliate her and trample her dignity.
Carson also seemed to think that this was taking it a little too far.
He tried to talk Victor out of it.
"Isn't this...Isn't it a bit extreme, Victor?"
"Well, Carson you could never resist a pretty face," Victor said coldly.
If you feel this is unfair, I can always make an exception and let you help her."
"Come on, Victor.What are you talking about? Rachel is your woman.Who am I to tell you what to do
with her?" Carson said raising his hands in a placating manner and smiling awkwardly.
Victor snorted and turned to leave.
Relieved to have dodged a bullet there, Carson sighed and followed his friend.
"Wait for me!"
That night, the two of them were at the Crown Club.
Carson had stayed in Victor's office all afternoon and when he could no longer stand the boredom, he
tried his best to persuade him to go out for a drink, preferably in the company of beautiful women.
"One more drink, Mr.Scott?"
A slim, sexy brunette asked, as she snuggled in Carson's arms, holding a glass of wine to his lips.
Carson gave her his most charming smile and held her waist tighter as he took a sip.
"Victor, my man, we are here to have a good time.Don't drink alone.I found my lovely company for the
night already! Go ahead and find one yourself, or I'll pick one for you,"
Carson drawled, looking at Victor sitting on the sofa right across him all by himself.
He was leaning lazily against the back of the sofa.
His face was in the shadows, making him look rather mysterious and, quite frankly, threatening.
No woman in her right mind would dare approach him if he kept this up.
"I'm not really interested in them,"
Victor answered before taking a sip of his wine.
"Are you serious? When you were married, I thought it was fine that you resisted temptation, even with
so many beautiful women in the club.But now you are divorced, man! And you say you are not
interested in women?"
Carson had let go of the woman and he was leaning towards Victor hesitantly.
Eyebrows raised, he asked, "Do you still..."
"Carson, it seems that you really want your father to receive the list I told you about,"
Victor teased, tilting his head to the side as he looked at Carson with a half -smile.
Carson shivered and returned to his seat.
"You're the worst, Victor."
Victor's eyes sparkled with amusement as he took another sip of wine.
Knock, knock, knock.
Someone was at the door of the private room, a fact that seemed to delight Carson.
His face lit up as he turned to Victor and said, "Well, well, my friend! Didn't you say you are not
interested in women? None of the staff would be stupid enough to disturb us and since I have my
beautiful date in my arms already, I am not expecting anyone.So tell me..."
Carson paused for a few seconds, savoring the moment.
"Who is at the door?"
"You know I'm not like you," Victor replied in a low voice.
Carson was playing with a lock of hair falling on his date's shoulder.
"Then why do I get the feeling that whoever is at the door is looking for you? Let's play a game, shall
we? See the two bottles on the table? We bet on who the person at the door is looking for.If it's you,
you drink them both, if it's me I do it."
Victor rolled his eyes at his friend's suggestion and glanced at Ivan.
This subtle look was enough for Ivan to get Victor's meaning and he immediately stepped forward to
open the door.