One night later, Rachel woke up with her body aching all over. However, Justin was nowhere to be seen, and only the slightly cool smell of tobacco lingered in the air.
Rachel dragged her fatigued body to the bathroom and took a shower. She first saw a beautiful middle-aged woman sitting on the sofa after coming downstairs, but the latter simply stared at her coldly with her arms folded across her chest.
Rachel had seen this woman in the photo her father had shown her. She was Sue Praham, Justin’s maternal aunt. It was said that Justin lost his parents as a child and was brought up single-handedly by Sue until Arthur Burton, the Old Master of the Burton Family, brought them back to the Burton Residence. Justin built his own business empire with his own abilities, and he had always been filial to Sue as if she were his biological mother.
At this moment, Sue looked Rachel up and down before saying, “Jefferey Hudson, that old fox, didn’t keep his word. He knew that we wanted Amber to marry into the family, yet he sent you—a mute—instead. Does he think the Burton Family is a garbage recycling center? I always wonder why Justin keeps you around, but since things have turned out this way, you’d better behave yourself. Don’t think you will have a meteoric rise by marrying into our family. We, the Burtons, aren’t fools. All right, go and prepare lunch first. Since you’ve married into our family, you should be a virtuous wife!” The large Burton Residence was obviously not short of servants, but Sue ordered a newcomer who had just married into the family to prepare lunch.
Rachel dropped her eyes in the face of Sue’s sharp gaze. Even though the woman was making things difficult for her on purpose, she couldn’t fight back for the time being. A woman with neither power nor influence could never disobey these people, so she could only avoid trouble whenever possible. As such, she merely turned around and went to the kitchen. It’s just a meal, so it’s not a big deal, she thought to herself.
However, her concession didn’t earn her respect. Instead, Sue took it for granted by assuming that Rachel was weak and could be easily bullied. She let out a cold snort and curled her lips before saying, “As expected, you’re simply unpresentable!”
Rachel paused for a moment and then left as if nothing had happened.
Soon after that, Justin returned from his company. As Sue smiled and asked him to have lunch, he turned around and immediately saw Rachel bustling about in the kitchen with an apron on. He knitted his brows, but Sue lied with a smile when she noticed this. “She insisted on preparing lunch herself. Perhaps she wants us to taste her cooking,” she said.
Justin nodded his head without saying anything else.
Rachel had lived with her grandmother since she was a child, so she was pretty good at cooking and doing household chores. She soon made four dishes and one soup before serving them at the dining table. The servants saw how virtuous and capable she was, yet they had little respect for this newly married wife of the family. In the eyes of the public, only those of the lower classes would serve people; after all, the upper-class people were to be served.
Throughout lunch, every single person including the servants focused their attention on Justin while ignoring Rachel as if she didn’t exist. She felt ill at ease because of this, wanting to get away from such an atmosphere. Hence, she casually took a few bites, nodded to them, got up, and went upstairs.
After Rachel left, Sue curled her lips and complained, “She’s so rude. Does she think she can look down her nose at everyone because she’s mute?”
Justin picked up his documents right away and began reading them without raising his head.
When she saw that he wasn’t responding to her words, Sue rolled her eyes and continued, “Justin, the Hudsons don’t know what is good for them. They have simply insulted us by palming off an inferior and giving us a mute! How dare they expect you to give financial aid to their family business? I think they must be dreaming!” Sue was aware of her nephew’s means and wasn’t worried about the Hudson Family taking advantage of him; she simply couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable at the thought that they had taken such an unpresentable mute as a wife, for it would inevitably cause her to be laughed at by the wives of other families when she went out.
However, Justin still gave no response—he didn’t even have an expression on his face.
When she saw that he obviously didn’t want to talk about this subject, Sue said with an ingratiating smile, “Julian is finally coming back after studying medicine in France for so many years. He can’t call a mute an in-law, can he? People will laugh at him if word gets out about this. Just get rid of that mute after a while. I’ll help you look for someone else to assume the position of Young Madam Hudson, okay?”
At last, Justin gave a response this time. He glanced at her expressionlessly and replied, “I know what I’m doing regarding this matter, so don’t worry, Aunt Sue.”
Sue’s face froze at the cold and distant tone of his voice. After he left, Mrs. Duncan, one of the servants at the Burton Residence, came up from behind and comforted Sue in a whisper, “Please don’t think too much of it, Madam. Young Master Justin said so because he’s worried that you’ll be overburdened with worries.”
Sue sighed with a worried expression. “How could I not overthink it? Justin’s personality has changed a lot ever since he was rescued from the human traffickers. He’s no longer as easily approachable as he used to be when he was a child. Even though I have been living in ease and comfort ever since he brought me to the Burton Residence, I know that he blames me deep down inside. If it hadn’t been for my carelessness, he wouldn’t have been abducted by the human traffickers and suffered so much.”
Mrs. Duncan’s lips quivered, but she didn’t know what else to say. She thought to herself, Young Master Justin has been invincible in the commercial world over the past ten years, but he has also become increasingly unfeeling and indifferent. It’s no wonder the Madam is so worried about him.