173 The press conference
It was sunny the next morning. The sun was shining brightly with no sign of clouds anywhere.
It would be a hot day, no doubt.
Ryn blinked her eyes sleepily and sighed a bit when she woke up. Waking up on a familiar bed in a familiar room when yesterday she decided to start a new life in her new home.
All because of Jennifer. This was all Jennifer's fault, she grumbled to herself.
She made a quick dash to the bathroom to freshened up before changed into the suit dress Mrs Long chose for her. She first wanted to wear semi-formal clothes but Mrs Long told her to wear full formal outfit for the press conference as this was relating to a serious matter. Mrs Long chose the dress. It was a black sleeveless dress that ended just below her knees. To this, she would pair with a thin necklace with ruby red pendant loaned by Mrs Long. No other jewellery she would wear except for the necklace. Well... other than her watch.
Mrs Long tried to persuade her to wear the elder woman's dainty watch but Ryn prefered her own.
"This is it," she murmured. Her hair was brushed into a neat ponytail. She even put on a light make-up, just to enhance her youthful face. It made her look wide-awake even though she was still a bit sleepy.
"Good morning, Miss Catherine. The breakfast is served," Lela announced loudly from outside her room. She could not control her giddiness when she, and the other servants, saw Ryn return home yesterday. Yes, Miss Catherine grumbled and glared at Young Master Jeremy for a few times, but all the servants cared was their future Young Madam did not move out.
Lela's eyes widened when Ryn opened the door and stepped out of the room. She knew Miss Catherine was beautiful but she was so used with Ryn's bare face, when she saw Ryn with make-up on, Lela was taken back. So beautiful. No wonder Young Master really loved Miss Catherine. She was pretty with or without makeup.
She bobbed her head in greeting before led the way to the dining room. She kept glancing at Ryn, still could not believe her eyes. So beautiful. So elegant.
She quickly went to her twin sister, Lily, after she sent Miss Catherine to the dining room. She told Lily to see for herself how elegant and beautiful Miss Catherine looked today. Then, both of them, along with some other girls, peeked from the door at Ryn. Their eyes widened and their mouth made a small o.
"What are you all doing there?" the butler hissed when he saw them.
"Nothing... nothing..." the girls quickly scrambled away.
The butler shook his head. He turned back his focus on serving his masters. Later, he would go to the girls and nagged at them for forgetting themselves.
Ryn, unaware of the ruckus from what she was wearing, just focussed on finishing her breakfast. She listened to what Mr and Mrs Long told her, reminding her what to do during the press conference.
"Do not worry too much, dear. If the questions are too provocative, Jeremy and the lawyer will handle it," Mrs Long patted Ryn's hand comfortingly.
Ryn nodded. She did not tell them she was used with the press conference. They were so worried about her that they could not stop from giving her tips on what to do and to expect during the press conference. Mr Long even gave a box of mint when she sat on her chair for breakfast. It was touching but at the same time made Ryn feel a bit uncomfortable.
"Don't worry, father, mother. I am there as well," Jeremy chuckled seeing how worried his parents were and the funny thing was, they did not even spend a minute telling him it would be alright. They spent all the time fussing over Ryn as if he was the outsider while Ryn was their beloved daughter.
He was grateful and happy seeing his parents accepted Ryn with open arms and treated her like one of them. Now, if only he could knock on the stubborn girl's head to open up her heart and accept him back, it would be better.
Even when Jeremy and Ryn were getting into the car, both Mr and Mrs Long were still sharing tips and admonishments. Jeremy could see how worry they were despite him telling them repeatedly that he would handle everything. No need to worry about anything.
Jeremy smiled seeing Ryn closing her eyes and leaned back comfortably. He leaned forward to tap the button to lift up the divider between the driver side and the passenger side. Then, he leaned back and continued watching her with interest.
"Stop looking at me like that," she murmured without opening her eyes. They were on their way to the hotel where the press conference would be conducted and truthfully, she was a bit nervous.
"Why not? I like looking at you," he replied back with a leer.
She scoffed. Now she wished he was the one driving the car instead of letting the family's driver bringing them to the location.
"Don't worry. Everything will be alright. You just trust me," he told her.
She let out a sigh but did not reply. It was better for her to use the time to calm down and plan what to say during the conference.
The car stopped at the entrance. Jacob and the lawyers were already waiting for them at the door. Jeremy helped Ryn out of the car and even adjusted her arm to wrap around his.
"Smile," he reminded and smiled at everyone who was there to watch them. Some of the reporters were outside and they were busy taking photos of Jeremy and Ryn's arrival.
Wow, coming together and even holding hands. Were they really a couple? What about Jennifer?
Jacob whispered something to Jeremy and Jeremy nodded, giving his approval. Then, they all continued walking toward the hall, where the rest of the reporters were waiting anxiously. These reporters, when they received the invitation, could not help from smiling widely. Yesterday they all talked about the scandal and even commented and wrote what Jennifer said in the show. The news was all over the country this morning. And now, they were invited to hear what Jeremy would want to say about the scandal.
Cameras kept flashing as Jeremy, Ryn, Jacob and his team of lawyers entered the hall and proceeded to the front to the long table. Jeremy pulled a chair for Ryn before sat next to her. He gave a slight nod to Jacob to start the conference.
Jacob cleared his throat and welcomed everyone to the press conference. He then introduced himself, Jeremy, Ryn and the leader of the lawyer.
The reporters started to look at each other. Something smelled fishy.
"As you all know, two days ago a video was circulated. A few hours later, in a show called Hot & Spicy Ginger, one of the three people involved in that video, a Miss Jennifer Lin, claimed that Mr Jeremy is her boyfriend and Miss Catherine is breaking their relationship apart. This press conference is held to talk about that scandal," Jacob started.
"I would like to invite Mr Jeremy Long to explain his relationship with Miss Jennifer and Miss Catherine," he said and handed the microphone to Jeremy, under the flash of the cameras.
Jeremy stood up and opened his mouth, "Good morning, everyone. My name is Jeremy Long and I was the man in the video which was widely distributed two days ago."
His eyes looked at each one of them calmly.
"In my whole life, I have never had an intimate relationship with Jennifer Lin. Contrary to her claim, the only reason I appear or meet her because of work commitments. Other than that, she and I are strangers," Jeremy did not even hold his words. He spoke slowly and clearly so none of the reporters miss any word.
"You mean you are not her boyfriend?" one of the reporters asked loudly even though they were told the Q&A would be after this.
Jeremy smiled. "Never. I never have any romantic feeling on her, and even any sexual feeling on her."
Some of the reporters gasped when he mentioned sexual feeling. He did not even care about Jennifer's image at all.
"At first I want to ignore the video because I don't find it important to explain. The video is all clear. You should understand Jennifer's behaviour based on the video."
"But she claimed that you two are hiding your relationship for almost two years for the sake of her career. What do you say about that?" another reporter asked.
"It seems like we go straight to the Q&A session," Jeremy said dryly and the reporters just laughed when he did not seem to be mad.
"Answering that question, I would like to know when did Jennifer and I start our relationship. I think that she has mistaken me for someone else. Maybe another guy names Jeremy," he shrugged.
The reporters laughed at his answer.
"Then, what about Miss Catherine? Is she, like Jennifer said, the relationship destroyer?" another reporter asked.
"I guess you did not understand my previous answer just now. How does Catherine become the..." Jeremy made a quote mark, "...relationship destroyer when there is no relationship at all?"
Some of the reporters who brought laptop were typing furiously.
"Then, if she is not... I mean... the third party, why is she being accused by Jennifer to be... well... the bad guy?"
"Would you like to answer that, Ryn?" Jeremy asked Ryn casually.
"Are you sure you want me to answer?" Ryn asked back dryly.
Ryn simply took the microphone closer to her mouth. She cleared her throat and smiled.
"I guess not many of you realize my relationship with the Longs. Jeremy's sister, Mika, is my best friend and coincidentally, Jeremy, Mika and myself were schoolmates. You can check this with our high school. Even until now, my friendship with Mika and of course with Jeremy are still strong and that's all."
Jeremy chuckled hearing Ryn's words. He guessed she did not notice how nervous she was right now.
"Well, like Ryn mentioned earlier, Mika, my little sister, Ryn and I were schoolmates and best friends. That is why Ryn is our spokesperson for all of our products. She is also one of the shareholders in the company."
"Are you sure you two are only having platonic relationship? Just friends?" one of the reporters asked, sensing the chemistry between Jeremy and Ryn.
Jeremy grinned. He nudged the microphone toward Ryn, wanting to hear her answer.
"We are just friends. We are close because we know each other since young," Ryn answered firmly.
Jeremy's face changed but only for a second. He quickly put on a smile and looked at the reporters who were furiously typing or taking pictures or recording this conference. "Do you have anything more to ask?"
"Can you explain why the three of you were having quarrel at the lobby? I mean, you said you are not in a relationship with Miss Jennifer and Miss Jennifer claimed you two are."
"Ah... finally we're talking about that particular incident," Jeremy mocked a heavy sigh then looked at them, "Jennifer came to visit my little sister and that happened. I guess she came to visit her friend at the hospital and took the chance while there to visit my sister as well. If there is more to that, you have to ask her."
Then, Jeremy signalled Jacob with his eyes. Jacob quickly stood up.
"I would like to have Mr Hanson to continue the session."
One of the lawyers stood up. He adjusted the glasses he wore and looked at them seriously.
"My clients, Mr Jeremy Long and Miss Catherine Wong, are suing Miss Jennifer Lin for slandering Mr Long and Miss Wong's name. We will send the documents after this press conference."
Everyone froze. This was way too serious than they thought. Jeremy and Catherine took legal action against Jennifer.
The reporters looked at each other in shock before they turned back to type in the news furiously. This was huge. A huge story. Jennifer is being sued by Jeremy and Catherine and they know it first!