"Miss Lovren, this way, please." The receptionist took Ashley Lovren to the interview room.
Ashley pushed the door open and walked in. There were five people sitting in the spacious office.
The man sitting in the middle was exceptionally attractive.
He wore a white shirt and black trousers. The sleeves of his shirt were rolled up slightly, and his collar was unbuttoned. Even though his outfit was plain, he looked classy and elegant. His manly charm was overpowering.
All the interviewers asked Ashley a few questions one after another, except the man sitting in the middle. He kept reading the documents in front of him and never looked up at her.
Finally, he slowly raised his head up and said, "Miss Lovren, it seems that you have a recommendation letter from Bill?"
He looked at her indifferently. There was an emotionless expression on his face, but the look in his eyes were deep and unfathomable.
Ashley was stunned. She felt that the man's voice sounded rather familiar, as if she had heard it somewhere else.
Snippets of a distant memory suddenly flashed across her mind.
She recalled being in a dark room, feeling as though her body was being torn apart. Her slender fingers touched the muscular chest of a man, feeling the intense warmth of his body and listening to his heavy panting that made people blush.
"What's your name? Why are you here?" His low and cold voice, which was full of suppressed lust, overlapped with the voice she heard right now made Ashley shuddered.
"Miss Lovren?" She didn't make a sound for a long time as if she was in a trance. The man frowned unhappily, but the supervisor sitting next to him came to her rescue. "Miss Lovren, President Montel is asking you a question."
Ashley quickly calmed down her thoughts. She swallowed and nodded. "Yes, Bill was my professor when I was studying in France. When he knew that I was going back to my home country, he offered to write a recommendation letter for me."
The president of the company, Delmont Montel, tapped on the table lightly with his slender fingers and asked. "Did you bring any work here?"
Ashley quickly replied. "Yes."
Delmont raised his eyebrows and motioned her to take it and show it to him.
Ashley was filled with hope. If she was accepted by Eastasia, a giant corporation, she no longer had to worry about both her and her daughter's living expenses.
She was full of confidence because she had gone through a lot of interviews. She also knew that Delmont, the most powerful person in the company, had taken a fancy to her since he had asked her to show him her work.
She thanked Bill for his recommendation letter from the bottom of her heart.
Ashley walked forward, flipped open a file folder that she kept her design draft in, and handed it to Delmont. "This is the design I drew when I was still in Paris at that time, and I haven't made any final modification, but I think that this..."
"Miss Lovren." Delmont cast a glance at Ashley's work and then interrupted her with a frown on his face.
Ashley was stunned.
Delmont raised his bony index finger slowly and pointed to the folder in front of her. He looked at her with a faint smile and said, "Are you sure this is your design?"
Ashley was a little confused, so she nodded subconsciously. Did he suspect her of plagiarism?
That was impossible!
She swore that she had put her heart and soul into her work, and it was impossible for her to plagiarize someone's work. So after thinking for a while, Ashley said firmly. "President Montel, I give you my word that this is in fact my work."
The supervisors who sat beside President Montel also took a glance at the design. Perhaps it would be less embarrassing for Ashley if they didn't look at the design. As soon as they did, they all burst out laughing.
A middle-aged man, who was sitting on Delmont's left, couldn't help but point to the design and said to Ashley, "Miss Lovren, are you treating this interview and Eastasia as a joke? How can you present such a thing to President Montel? It's such a farce!"
Ashley had no idea what they were talking about.
Was there anything wrong with her design? Why was it a farce?
Ashley had a puzzled look on her face. Delmont finally became serious. The playful glint faded from his grim eyes. He picked up the so-called design draft that Ashley had sworn by and handed it back to her. "We are looking for a designer, not a children's book illustrator. Not to mention this drawing is worse than that of a primary schooler."
Ashley's mind went blank. She stared at the so-called design draft with her mouth wide open. That piece of paper was not her design at all!
Her face gradually turned red when she was staring at the paper filled with drawings of Disney Princesses.
This was her daughter's drawing. She had no idea how it ended up in her folder.
Ashley was extremely astonished and frustrated. For the moment, she became speechless and could not explain herself.
After she walked out of the magnificent office building of Eastasia, Ashley still couldn't help but knock herself on the head for being so careless.
She had wasted such a good opportunity!
It must be Marcy Lovren, her daughter, who had switched her drawing and Ashley's design draft. That little rascal! Now, Delmont probably thought that she was a careless person. He might just rejected her job application.
Ashley was disheartened.
She picked a random restaurant to fill her stomach. She had just returned from overseas not long ago. When she was studying abroad, she rarely ate any local dish. She felt very nostalgic when she looked at the names of some dishes in the menu.
In the blink of an eye, six years had passed since she left Chandler City. Six years ago, when she was only 18 years old, her father was thrown in jail, and her mother suddenly passed away...
Ashley began to recall what had happened that night. She remembered the man's hot and heavy breath, his warm hands, and the pain that tore through her body...