COPYRIGHT © 2018 Miu
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All pictures and multimedia used are not the author’s work and doesn’t claim any legal rights.
MATURE CONTENT and VULGAR words not suited for young readers below eighteen (18) years old.
Satele stared at Asher in complete disbelief before she lowered her head.
She couldn’t believe this day. First, some hooligans made her realized what a person she became. And second, this man, this untouchable man who was so hard to ignore with his intimidating presence, this crude man who didn’t know what subtle means –– was encouraging her? She was receiving encouragement from the one person she didn’t want to have any more dealings with. From the one person, she didn’t expect to care nor bother about her.
It was also the same at that time. At that time, when she was at her lowest point in life. Where the world was the cruelest to her. Where living was no longer bearable. Where she thought she was no longer a person but a commodity. Where she lost not only her innocence but also her will to survive –– he was the unexpected light illuminating her darkest thoughts.
His words were crude and degrading, but she lost count on how many times it saved her. He was her tormentor and savior at the same time –– not only at that time but even now.
No one helped her. Not her family. Not her father. Not her friends. Not the man she loves. It was him, a stranger she barely knew.
Chuckling at herself, Satele tucked a hair beside her ear.
After an awkward silence, she stood to her feet and walked the opposite direction.
“Where are you going?” Asher asked, raising an eyebrow at Satele, who was snubbing him.
Satele paused but didn’t turn back while she answered in a calm tone, “I still have an interview to finish. If you’ll excuse me.”
With a steady pace, she walked away. She was still feeling conflicted, yet her eyes were much brighter now while her gaze was steady.
Asher watched Satele until not a shadow remained. His dark onyx orbs rippled with emotions he was not familiar with. It was very foreign, and . . . uncomfortable.
Before his mind could process what precisely those emotions swirling inside him, his mood deflated when he heard a chuckle from behind.
“Eavesdropping is really a bad habit in the family.” Asher turned around, hands still inside his pockets while he faced his older brother who was exposing himself behind a tree.
Laughing a bit, Alvaro took his time as he strode towards Asher. “Can’t argue with you there.”
He stopped in front of his little brother and smirked. His devious eyes glanced at the direction where Satele had gone. “Your taste has changed, brother. Is she that good in bed that you’re so concerned about her?”
An angry vein popped on Asher’s forehead as he barked out, “Shut up! Stop making assumptions you know nothing about!”
Holding his chin, Alvaro playfully eyed Asher. “My, my, such temper. And you’re even angry on her behalf. This is indeed . . . unexpected. Who would have thought that my little brother would finally found his spring?”
Face turning unsightly red, Asher snapped, “What nonsense are you spouting about?! She’s a pitiable girl who just arouses my manly instincts! Nothing more!”
Afraid of what more his older brother would say, Asher calmly, yet speedily ran-walk away.
Alvaro grinned, watching Asher’s retreating figure as he murmured to himself, “He’s still a kid.”
“There you are! We’ve been looking everywhere for you! Where have you gone to?”
Lanky and fatty ran towards Satele when they saw her, panting and gasping for air, faces covered in sweat.
Satele was somewhat guilty at the sight of their haggard faces. They were apparently searching for her everywhere until they were this exhausted.
She was about to say she was sorry for losing her temper and for running away like that when the two beat her to it.
She blinked when they bowed and apologized to her. For a moment, her mind went blank, didn’t know how to react.
After which, she hurriedly said, “N-no . . . it should be me who is sorry.” She looked seriously at the two who were looking at her in bewilderment. “I went out of line. I apologize for my rudeness. If it’s no trouble, I wish to continue the interview.”
Looking at each other, the duo felt relieved, and the corners of their lips stretched, forming a smile that urged everyone to slap their faces silly. “Don’t worry about it! We, too, are also in the wrong for not taking you seriously.”
Lanky smacked his chest. “From now on, we will answer all your questions, truthfully. So ask away!” After all, if we don’t, the boss will beat us. He did say that we have to take care of this woman.
Smiling, Satele’s prejudice vanished entirely. Even though the two were scary, looking like they were up to no good, she realized that they have a good heart.
“Why don’t we find somewhere to sit first?” Fatty suggested.
Eventually, they made themselves comfortable under the shade of a gazebo. Thirty minutes passed, and Satele mostly got what she wanted from the two. Well . . . mostly.
“Is . . . Asher Cole, who owned this place?” she asked. Her lashes dropped at her notepad, pretending to be serious. But the slight quivering of her lips between her teeth betrayed her inner feelings.
She hated the man, yes, but now . . . she was curious about him. And . . . she was shocked at herself to find that the hate bubbling inside her for a year lessened while the loathing towards herself, which laid deep within her heart, was being cleansed with forgiveness.
The duo glanced at each other –– silent understanding in their eyes. The Queen’s identity is top-secret. With a determined straight face, they rocked their heads back and forth. “Yes, boss owned this place.” It’s true, anyway. Boss built this place for our Queen to make her happy. Ah! Such devotion!
Looking at the two with a raised eyebrow, Satele’s gut feeling was telling her that they were hiding something. And besides, she couldn’t see how Asher would build a place like this. It was out of character for him. She didn’t peg him to be an animal lover. She wanted to push her questions further, but her pride got in the way. She didn’t want to ask anything about that man anymore.
After another rounds of questions, Satele watched the two who were sitting in a carefree manner, taking in the cold air, their expression bored.
Her eyelids fluttered. Gathering her courage, she asked the question she wanted to know the answer so badly.
“Have you ever done something . . . illegal before?”
The two slowly stared at each other before their back shut straight from their seats like something sharp poked their behind.
Lanky and fatty started to sweat as they stuttered, “W-what do you mean . . . i-i-illegal?”
Satele continued in a calm voice, ignoring their uneasiness, “You know, stealing or threatening someone for money. I heard you two are . . . not well off. And since most labeled you as hooligans anyway, didn’t it ever come to your mind to be like that? Blackmailing or stepping on other people to get what you wanted?”
That’s right . . . just like that woman.
Satele’s eyelids dropped as her eyes dimmed. She rapidly blinked when she heard their relief sighs.
“*whew . . . It’s only that? I thought you found out it was us who vandalized that ugly car parked at the side of the road, or it was us who burned that dog meat processing house or that –– ump!”
Fatty didn’t finish his sentence when lanky shoved his hand against his mouth, shutting him up.
“Ahahahaha! Look at you and your wild delusions!” Lanky gave Satele an awkward laughed. “Don’t listen to this fatty. The cold air must have gone inside his brain and he’s spouting one of his dreams. Ahahaha.”
Satele’s was taken a back. His face didn’t know what expression to take in. She had the feeling that it was not one of fatty’s dreams as those things actually happened in the past.
Lanky coughed as he straightened himself. Looking at Satele seriously, he changed the topic. “Hmm . . . doing illegal things, huh . . .” He then sported an expression which was seriously thinking while he said in a solemn voice, “I did think of it . . . countless times in the past.”
“. . .”
“. . .”
The air turned severe and tense . . . until lanky went back to his slumping state, infected with a lazy virus as he answered in a nonchalant tone, “But then, that man’s hateful face always appeared in my mind. It felt like, if I do something he did in the past, I’ll turn out to be like him. And that is the one thing I don’t want to happen the most!”
Fatty seconded the motion in a droopy voice, “That’s right. We maybe your common thugs, but we still fear the law (at least if boss isn’t around to help us). Just thinking of my cute little sister’s face when she finds out his brother became a criminal gives me the shudder. That alone is enough to deflate any evil thoughts in my mind.”
The duo treated the subject matter carelessly. Nonetheless, Satele was dumbstruck at their answers –– yet again.
In pursuing her goal, she was not aware she was losing something bit by bit. If not for these two and Asher, who knew what she’d become?
That woman she hated and admired, without her knowing it, she was turning to be like her. Becoming a person she hated the most.
Satele bit her lips. Ah . . . I am . . . an idiot . . .
She was depressed and pressured for so long for the reason that no matter how hard she tried, no matter how much she accomplished, no matter how many times she struggled, in the end, it was like all her efforts where useless as she couldn’t uplift their lives. She was still so far away from her peers, who were already successful and happier –– so far away from that woman.
With these feelings, she thought she was not determined nor doing the best she could and resorted by any means to get results even if she had to fabricate stories –– just like what that woman did.
But in the end . . . she wasn’t happy, feeling like there was always something heavy weighing in her heart. And for the obvious reason, for the obvious reason, that was so simple, yet taken for granted . . . she was she. Not her.
In the end, she didn’t want to trample on other people nor achieve her goals with any means necessary for the straightforward reason that she couldn’t face her mother and little brother’s innocent look.
She was still lost and anxious about her future. But this time, she was leaning on the right track at what her heart wanted –– leaning in the direction that made her feel right.
Smiling, she glanced at the two who were busy talking with each other before she tipped her head back and stared at the clear sky.
Angel Lin . . . you and I are different, after all.
Show your love and support by donating here.
Buy milk or tea to help the Author sleep at night.
Thank you for the love and support.
Please take in mind the other person’s feelings.
Like they say, if you have nothing good to say, best keep it to yourself. You can literally save a person’s life.