Her lively personality and Simon’s company made it easy for her to blend in naturally. Melanie stood by the side for a while. With nothing to do, she decided to go behind a grill and put some of the prepared skewers on it.
Melanie hardly ate barbecue and rarely cooked, so she was not accurate with the cooking times. It was not until she smelled something burning that she realized she had overcooked the skewers.
Simon happened to come over to fetch something and caught a whiff of the smell, making him frown. “What’s that smell?”
Expression unchanging, Melanie scooped up the burnt food onto a plate to discard it when Simon took notice of it.
He chuckled exaggeratedly and mocked, “Melanie, are you that bad at cooking?”
Her hand that was holding the plate paused for a moment before she looked up at Simon. She did not say much to him, however.
Simon’s disdain intensified. He had not been able to get back at Melanie for her retort in the afternoon, so he naturally would not let this opportunity slip by.
He glanced at the burnt food on the plate, tutted, and said, “Is this virtuous wife persona something you want to show Eugene? Or is it for Stephen?”
He sneered, seemingly enjoying the spectacle.
Simon deliberately blocked Melanie’s way, and she stood there holding the plate with an unchanging expression. “Simon, has anyone ever told you that you’re really annoying?”
Melanie spoke indifferently, with not even a falter in her expression. In return, Simon’s expression abruptly turned cold as he raised his voice at her. “Have I been too kind to you?”
His sudden increase in volume attracted everyone’s attention, and they all turned to look. Joshua, who had been discussing a collaboration project with LeapCo involving Eugene, shifted his gaze toward Simon and Melanie upon hearing the commotion.
He frowned slightly and murmured under his breath, “Why is Simon targeting Melanie?” Then, he remembered that Eugene and Simon were good friends.
He smiled dryly and was about to tell Eugene to go check on the situation when he noticed that Eugene had already started walking ahead. Joshua hesitated for a moment before catching up.
Simon had drunk and was getting a little heated at the moment. Staring at Melanie, he said, “You think I’m annoying? Take a good look at yourself, flirting with men everywhere. Who do you think you are?”
Being berated by him while cornered, Melanie was unable to suppress her temper any longer despite her patience. She closed her eyes and coldly rebuked, “Simon, you repeatedly claim that I’ve flirted
with men. Who have I actually flirted with?”
The mockery on Simon’s face became even more apparent as he retorted, “Are you really that clueless? If not for your flirtatious ways, do you really think you deserved to be LeapCo’s chief secretary?”
Simon wanted to continue, but Eugene’s cold and stern voice suddenly cut in, “Simon.”
Simon looked up and saw Eugene approaching them. He frowned, as if wanting to say something.
Having perceived the situation, Joshua followed Eugene and intervened by handing Simon a glass of juice. “Weren’t we planning to play a couple of rounds later? Don’t drink too much yet.”
Simon hesitated, but when he sensed Eugene’s warning gaze, he begrudgingly acknowledged their words with a nonchalant hum. He took the juice offered to him.
Joshua breathed a sigh of relief and then turned his attention to Melanie.
Melanie’s face was blank, her beautiful eyes emotionless as she held the plate in her hand still.
Anyone who was scolded publicly would feel irritated. Joshua understood this too well. Awkwardly rubbing his face, he took the plate from Melanie and whispered, “Do you have anything specific you’d like to eat? I can grill it for you. I’m quite skilled.”
Melanie glanced at him, hesitated for a moment, and finally said, “Thanks, but it’s alright.