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.
Blinking lights from the city skyscrapers and the dancing advertisements on billboards and projectors illuminated the cityscape while glittering falling snow blanketed the paved walkway and asphalt road. The people confined in thick fabric coats were sprawling like ants, frolicking about the night market sale, adding up to the festive mood.
Inside a Benz Maybach, Aldrick sensed that something was not right with Angel. Ever since she came back from the restroom, he noticed that she was acting a bit . . . odd.
She even made a few mistakes during the shooting, which was extremely rare. She was not like that this morning. Something must have happened.
The face of Eric Phelps appeared in his mind before he completely shook it off.
Angel couldn’t fall for a guy like that.
No looks, no decent job, no car, no house.
Aldrick didn’t know that Eric was a handsome man beneath his unappealing exterior. He wasn’t informed about that part since, for some odd reasons, all the women and men present at that time decided to keep it to themselves for different reasons.
For the men, who on earth would gossip about a man who was more handsome than them? It was best to let others know that Eric was a nerd. Less competition for them.
While for the women, it was a straightforward reason that they didn’t want more contestant lining for Eric’s attention.
“You okay?” Aldrick asked after a moment of silence.
Not glancing at him, Angel answered, boredom in her tone, “I’m fine.”
Aldrick smiled, reaching out for her hand, wanting to hold hands like they always did whenever they were alone. Only, he didn’t know if it was something he did or said, or Angel was really exhausted when she retracted her hand in silence, and rubbed her eyes before resting her hands on her lap, away from his reach.
He didn’t mind and asked with a gentle voice, “Where do you want to eat dinner? Should I reserve your favorite restaurant?”
Angel, who was feeling annoyed, depressed, and frustrated at the same time all at once, didn’t reply. She was still feeling emotional when Eric rejected her and avoided her like he was avoiding a rabid dog.
She couldn’t believe her charms and tactics didn’t work against him!
Silently nibbling her thumb, all kinds of ideas and schemes flowed inside her head to get Eric to say the words ‘I love you’ to her.
Then her deflated mood brightened when her eyes caught something or . . . someone.
Since traffic was horrible at this time, the car was moving extremely slow. Thus, she caught a familiar face.
Nothing beats a deflated mood than to have it fixed by bathing in the misery of others. Her favorite mood remedy, watching others jealous and envy stares at her.
“Aldrick, I have something to buy at that convenience store. Can you park somewhere nearby?” Angel beamed, and Aldrick complied.
Once parked, they covered themselves enough so the public wouldn’t recognize them. But of course, Angel was confident that woman would recognize them at first glance, especially the man beside her.
They got out of the car, and Angel took the initiative to interlaced her fingers with Aldrick, which made the latter smile in contentment. His eyes beneath his sunglasses softened as his whole person radiated happiness.
But his happiness died down like burning ravaging flames doused by the arctic ocean when he saw the familiar figure behind the counter the moment they entered the convenience store. The softness in his eyes vanished, replaced by harshness while his body emanated hostility and disgust. His hand unconsciously grasped his Patek Philippe watch when his left wrist itched.
Satele, who finished arranging some stocks outside the store, quickly tottered in the comforting warmth inside while she stood behind the counter.
People were busy buying stuff at the night market a few meters away from the store’s location. Thus the little store she was working was near empty at the moment since all were crowding at the other side of the street for the night sale.
The moment the twinkling bell made a sound, she made her usual greetings. And her voice got stuck in her throat when she saw the man who went inside together with a woman. Her vision focused solely on the man. The tiredness on her face disappeared, replaced by a light feeling like the warm, refreshing spring kissed her exhaustion away.
“Aldrick . . .”
The intimate letters from the tip of her tongue erupted the man’s hostile air, and Satele pursed her lips to hold the words she badly wanted to say to him.
“Aldrick, I’ll go and look around to check if they have the things I wanted.” Angel smirked beneath her gentle smile. She tiptoed and kissed Aldrick’s cheek, looking provocatively at Satele, who was behind the counter.
Satele shifted her eyes when she saw red. Her fingers fisted in a painful gripped while her body trembled from the surging hate and jealousy when Aldrick, the man who used to shower so much warmth and love to her and only her, was now turning his gentle gaze at another woman. He was smiling from ear to ear as he reciprocated the kiss –– the gentle smack on Angel’s forehead still echoing in her ears.
“Alright . . . , take your time,” Aldrick said, love thick in his voice.
Beaming, Angel peered at Satele. She flicked her silky dark hair to one side for what Satele knew was on purpose, wanting for her to notice those dangling rare pink diamonds in rose gold on her perfect lobes, accentuating her flawless long neck. She knew those earrings cost more than she would ever make for a year or years to come.
Satele then realized that she was looking at Angel more than necessary, which caused the damnable woman to smile in triumph.
Angel didn’t have to lift a finger. She would let Aldrick do all the work while she eavesdropped at the side. And true to her thoughts, Aldrick didn’t disappoint when he walked towards Satele the moment she left his sight.
“You’ll do anything for money, huh? Though that uniform suits you well.”
Lowering her head, Satele avoided any eye contact. Afraid that Aldrick would see the red and tears in her eyes while suppressing the memories which kept surging in her head.
––”As long as I live, you don’t have to work. I alone is enough to provide for us.”––
Satele pushed that memory aside. But the next words Aldrick said entirely shattered her control, and the waters pooling in her eyes overflowed.
“What?! Business sleeping with men ain’t booming right now?” Aldrick sneered and snorted.
But when he saw the tears on Satele’s cheeks, he abruptly stopped. He cursed himself in silence. His brows, which were knitted together, loosened.
Looking at her was painful. He couldn’t even force himself to utter the few letters of her name without feeling sick to his core. He would always remember. So vivid, like it just happened yesterday, what she did, what she had done to him.
Unconsciously, his hand inched to his left wrist when that vein started to make painful pounding against his skin.
Once upon a time, he had given her everything he could possibly give with no hesitation. He worked tirelessly day in and day out to save for their future. Since his parents were against her, he didn’t have any hope for his inheritance. He was even preparing to buy her a ring! Secretly planning their marriage!
But . . . at the end of the day, she betrayed him. Her betrayal almost plunged him to the abyss, never waking up.
If it wasn’t for Angel who had been by his side, he was afraid his flesh was already rotting down under.
And yet, after five years. Five whole years. What she did still itched perfectly inside his head like it was engraved there. Reminding him again and again, that once in his existence, he had loved her. He had honestly, wholeheartedly, truly loved her.
And now, only fury and hatred filled his heart every time he saw her. It was already considered a miracle that he didn’t ruin her.
When he saw she was still crying, he sneered. Not one bit bothered by it. Once, he was an idiot to jumped to his feet every time he saw a single tear on her eyes.
I will never fall for it again!
“Oh please, stop with the crocodile tears. It might work for those men you’re sleeping with, but not on me. Never again on me. You only disgust me!”
Gasping, Satele’s shoulders shook, her heart constricted. As much as she tried to hold it in, the pain came out like an uproar from her throat in the form of a soundless cry. And yet, she tried so hard to control herself not to break in a crazy fit of tears. She knew Aldrick to be extremely affectionate when in love and ruthless when in anger.
Remaining tight lip, she didn’t refute nor defend herself. Didn’t bother with those curious eyes, which were glancing in their direction. Her gaze flickered towards that hateful woman in silence, who was hiding at the corner, enjoying her misery.
She swallowed her hatred and the words surging in her throat whenever she saw him. Her nails dug against her arms while she bit her tongue to stop the tears, which were sliding freely on her cheeks.
“What are you still doing here?”
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