An Understated Dominance
by Marina Vittori
“Mom, take James to the hospital. I’ll deal with this.”
After a moment’s silence, Dahlia finally made her decision.
“Dahlia, you must defend your brother! Don’t let that bastard off so easily!” Florence said hatefully.
“Don’t worry, I know what I should do.”
Dahlia nodded, gesturing for two guards to send Florence and James to the hospital.
“What do you think, Lyra?”
Dahlia rubbed her temples. She felt a headache coming on.
“It’s obvious, isn’t it? It was Dustin who assaulted them first. The security guards were witnesses, so that can’t be a lie,” Lyra said.
“But my mother’s not exactly an honest person…” Dahlia began. She knew her mother and brother well. They were a hot-tempered and ruthless duo.
“Either way, it’s still wrong for him to throw the first punch!” Lyra said righteously. “Even if there was a misunderstanding, why couldn’t he talk it out? Moreover, it was James that he beat up. Your brother! He didn’t think of how you would feel when he attacked your family. This alone is proof that he’s not a good person!”
Dahlia’s frown deepened along with her doubts. Lyra was right. Even if her mother and brother were rude and unreasonable, there was no reason for Dustin to assault them physically, nor was there any reason for him to hurt James so badly. It would seem like her decision to divorce him was right.
“You can’t just let this go, Ms. Nicholson. You have to teach him a lesson!” Lyra said.
Hearing this, Dahlia became angry. She took out her phone and called Dustin. At the same time, Dustin was sitting in a silver Bentley and frowned when he saw the call coming in. Despite his reluctance, he still picked up the call.
“Dustin, I need an explanation!” Dahlia demanded.
“Did you hit my brother just now?”
“I did. But…”
Before he could finish, Dahlia interrupted him.
“So it was you! I hadn’t expected you to be such a person! Are you taking revenge on my family just because I divorced you?”
Hearing this, Dustin was taken aback. He hadn’t expected Dahlia to be so aggressive. She hadn’t even stopped to listen to what he had to say. After three years of marriage, she was treating him as if he was a mere stranger, or worse.
“Dahlia Nicholson, is that what you think of me? You knew that I hit your brother, but have you stopped to think why I hit him?” Dustin asked.
“No matter what he did, you still shouldn’t have hit him!” Dahlia insisted.
Hearing this, Dustin laughed bitterly. He was disappointed in her. At this point, it didn’t matter who was in the wrong. She clearly favored her brother over him.
“Dustin, I’ll give you another chance. Go to the hospital right now and apologize to James, and I’ll pretend that nothing happened. Otherwise…”
“Otherwise what?” Dustin retorted. “Are you going to call the police on me, or hire hitmen to take me out?”
“Dustin! Are you really going to throw away my goodwill like this?” Dahlia snapped.
“Goodwill? Are you sure it’s goodwill that you’re extending me? Anyway, I did beat up your brother, so do with that what you will.”
“You…” Dahlia’s retort was cut off as Dustin hung up.
She almost threw out her phone in anger. Dahlia had always been good at hiding her true emotions. It was one of the reasons why she had managed to get to where she was today. But right now, she was having a little trouble in that regard.
“How rude of him. Ms. Nicholson, do you need me to arrange for someone to teach him a lesson?” Lyra asked.
“No need. We’re done now.” Dahlia took a deep breath to quell her anger.
Lyra was about to say more when Dahlia stopped her.
“That’s enough of this. I need to work on more important matters, like the charity ball with the Harmon family.”
“The charity ball? Has that got anything to do with our partners?”
“That’s right. I just received news that the Harmon family has shortlisted the Quine Group. If we do well at this ball, we could be the Harmon family’s next partners!”
“That’s great! I’ll go make the arrangements right now!”
After hanging up the call, Dustin arrived at Swinton Primary Hospital. Natasha brought him into a VIP ward, where an old man was laying on the bed. He looked pale, and his lips were dry and cracked. His breathing was weak as if he was close to death. Several doctors surrounded him, but none of them looked optimistic.
“Natasha! You’re finally here. These doctors are useless!”
Suddenly, a young woman with a ponytail ran up to them. She was the second daughter of the Harmon family, Ruth Harmon, and the old man on the bed was Andrew Harmon, her grandfather.
“Ms. Harmon, we’ve already done everything we could. There’s nothing else we can do for him,” a doctor said helplessly.
“If there’s nothing you can do, then let someone else take over the reins,” Natasha said coldly.
“Mr. Rhys will take over.”
The surrounding doctors had strange expressions on their faces. Dustin looked too young to be a good doctor.
“Are you kidding me, Natasha? This is Mr. Rhys?” Ruth looked shocked. “He looks about the same age as I am. Is he really a doctor?”
“Don’t judge a book by its cover. Mr. Anderson was the one who introduced him to me. I trust him,” Natasha said.
To be frank, she wasn’t quite sure about Dustin either, but if Hunter recommended him, then he had to have his merits.
“Could Mr. Anderson have been conned too?” Ruth still looked doubtful. “Hey, you, are you really a doctor?”
“I know a little about medicine,” Dustin replied.
“Just a little?” Ruth pouted. “You should know that we only let in the best doctors into this room. Everyone here is a known expert in their field, and none of them could do anything about this illness. How are you so confident that you can?”
“Ruth! Watch your manners!” Natasha scolded.
“He doesn’t look reliable, Natasha! I’m just worried that he might make Grandfather worse!” Ruth said.
“Watch your words.” Natasha frowned.
“I don’t care, I won’t believe in him unless he can prove himself to me,” Ruth said with her head held high.
“How should I prove myself?” Dustin asked nonchalantly.
“Tell me what ails me. If you’re correct, then I’ll believe in you!”
“What’s wrong? You’re scared? If you can’t do it, then please leave. Stop wasting our time!” Ruth snorted.
“Show me your tongue,” Dustin said.
Ruth did as he said.
After a quick look, Dustin said without any hesitation, “Your hormones are imbalanced, so you should be experiencing irregular periods and migraines. You’re also showing some signs of food poisoning, which has affected your digestive system. You’ve been having diarrhoea, haven’t you? Oh, another thing, you have haemorrhoids…”
The more he spoke, the tenser Ruth became.
An Understated Dominance by Marina Vittori
Author: Marina Vittori
Artist: Dahlia Nicholson and Dustin Rhys
Released: July, 9, 2023
Native Language: English