Chapter 200 An Unbearable Past
Madeline could feel the goosebumps crawling up her skin.
She quietly raised her arm for the bodyguard trio to see, where she said to Conrad and Dean, “You two, don’t make him call me so politely. My hair is standing.”
They shot each other a look. “We will do as you say, Mrs. Hart,” they answered respectfully.
Luke had an arrogant expression on his face then. After throwing them a glance, he shuffled in front of her. “Maddie, I want to talk to you alone.”
“Let’s talk in my office.” She nodded before opening the door to her office.
Seeing that, Dean urgently called after her, “Mrs. Hart…”
“It is fine,” she said. “He can’t win against me now that he doesn’t have Aldo and Buddy in his hands. You don’t have to worry about me.”
Luke, who had been silent for a while, rubbed his nose and admitted to the bodyguards. “Maddie is right. Neither my brother nor I can win against Maddie in a fight. And of course,” he pointed in their faces, “if I am not her opponent, then neither are the both of you!”
Conrad and Dean could only hold themselves back from rolling their eyes at him. They couldn’t bother themselves with his strange and random comparison.
They didn’t need to be their lady boss’ opponent; they only wanted to at least be on Luke’s level!
Every one of the bodyguards knew about how Madeline had given Quinton a shoulder toss the first time she and Sebastian had met. Knowing how well she fought, the bodyguards would naturally feel more at ease at leaving her alone with Luke. They took a few steps back and gave her a polite bow before reminding her, “Please be careful, Mrs. Hart. We will be right outside the door. You can shout for us anytime you need something.”
Upon hearing the words, Luke glared at them and huffed, “What do you think could happen to Maddie when I am with her?”
It is exactly because you are with her that something might happen! the bodyguards thought at the same time, but they could only hold themselves back from rolling their eyes again and pretend not to have heard anything.
Luke then put his hands in his pockets and casually followed Madeline into the office before closing the door behind him.
She didn’t say anything as she turned to look at him and only walked toward the pantry. “Juice or coffee?” she asked. Luke then replied, “Coffee.”
“Without sugar and milk as usual?”
Luke had always preferred taking his coffee black since back then. He never liked adding sugar or milk to his cup of bitter beverage.
“That is right,” he said with a nod.
She made him a cup of coffee and poured herself a glass of water,
After setting her glass on the coffee table, and the coffee cup across her, she told him to take a seat.
Luke, who had been walking around the office, strode in front of her and stopped only a few steps away from where she was sitting. With a bend of his knees, he knelt down on the floor.
She could feel a headache coming when she saw that. “What are you trying to do this time?” she sighed.
“I am apologizing to you!” He placed his palms on the floor and loudly kowtowed three times before he straightened his torso again. “You knelt before me, and I am returning that by prostrating myself in front of you. We are even! You are not allowed to bear grudges against me or think that I am a bad guy anymore!”
Looking at him, she felt as resigned as she was speechless, and she shook her head. “Forget it. I will let you off the hook for Logan’s sake.”
“That is a deal, then! You cannot think that I am a bad person in the future. Just pretend that this is the first day we are meeting after I left Worrick, and that nothing has happened between us!” he blurted out.
It was not like there was anything else she could do about this. She would just have to let him be if he wanted to stay in his delusions.
“Maddie, you are so nice!” A wide smile appeared on his face. He then stood up and went to sit beside her. “You are the best!”
She didn’t say anything in reply.
Seeing that, Luke continued apologetically, “Actually… I didn’t mean what I said. I lied to you on purpose.”
Him abruptly saying things without context confused her.
“I am talking about how I said that you are lowly and insignificant. I was lying! People who are bullied are never lowly or insignificant. It is those who bully you or others that are b*stards!”
She looked at him while smiling faintly. “You included?” she asked.
“Not me. I was the one who was bullied, okay?”
She let out a disbelieving laugh at that.
“I am serious!” he exclaimed as he huddled up to her. “I have never told you about how my stepmother abused Logan and me, have I?”
She thought about it for a second before she nodded and hummed in reply.
Both Logan and Luke had only mentioned the abuse and their escape from their house, but neither of them had gone into the specifics.
He then began to tell her the story. “My stepmother was way more ruthless than Phoebe and Isabel. Their tactics and ploys can’t even compare to my stepmother’s! I will give you an example. There was once my stepmother put a blame on me just to hit me. I might have been 6 or 7 years old then. She stripped me. Stripped! I had nothing on my body. I was so naked…”
He sounded rather happy when he told his story. There wasn’t a drop of discomfort on his face. Madeline, however, had begun to frown. “You…You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. I don’t really want to hear it anyway.”
“I do want to tell you though,” he said. “I am only telling you because I suddenly feel like talking about it. Why do you think I have never told you about it before?”
“… Okay. Do as you please.”
“Of course, I am going to do as I please. No one can make me do anything I don’t want to!” His head then tilted as he looked at her. “You are the only exception, Maddie. I will do anything you tell me to. I will listen to everything you tell me!”
His head was so close it almost bumped into her head. She then pushed him away with a finger and scolded, “Sit down properly!”
“Oh!” he gasped, but he was finally in his seat properly. “That vicious woman. She had someone take off all my clothes and whip me with a leather belt. After that…”
He bit his teeth, and his nonchalant tone turned deadly that instant. “She had someone tie Logan’s hands behind his back. She then made Logan kneel and lick off all the dog food in the dog bowl.”
Madeline’s heart seemed to stop when she heard his words. She almost jumped out of the sofa when she incredulously asked, “What did you say?”
He continued coldly, “Do you know what our ‘fault’ was? She said that we insulted her, and as punishment, she didn’t allow us to eat anything for three days. Logan and I hadn’t even touched a drop of water on the second night, but she suddenly barged into our room and claimed that we were stealing her dog’s food. She then said that she was going to let us have our fill of dog food since we chose to do something as despicable as stealing and eating dog food. We refused, of course, but she then had people take my clothes off before they whipped me. She also told Logan that she was only going to stop beating me up after Logan had finished all the dog food in the bowl.”
Luke’s gaze stared into the distance unmovingly. The playful glint in his eyes had disappeared. “Logan then knelt in front of the dog bowl on the floor,” he seethed. “He finished the bowl full of dog food. He…”