COPYRIGHT © 2019 Miu
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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.
The moment Alvaro left her tent, Rozarria packed her things while biting the edge of a smile, a vain attempt to keep her silly grin at bay.
Spending the past few weeks with him, she admitted the layers of his freezing heart was cracking. The man was a natural charmer. Every day with him was pure joy, and every night with him was unforgettable and unpredictable, yet always irresistibly enjoyable.
Till she got out and was about to pack her tent, her silly smile never left her face. That was until Aaron’s face stumbled upon her when she got out.
Her smiling expression turned to one of ice as she ignored the man and focused on packing her tent. But his hand which reached out and grabbed hers stopped her, and she was forced to face him.
“Is there something you need?” she asked. Her voice was as cold as her face.
“What is your relationship with that guy?” Aaron asked straight to the point.
Rozarria knew who he was referring to. She didn’t have to guess. Pulling her hand back, she replied, “I believe it is none of your business.” She then resumed packing her tent.
However, Aaron’s next words stopped her again.
“Are you sleeping with him?”
The accusation, the entitlement in his voice bothered her, and she blurted out.
“Yes. Yes, I am––!”
Rozarria barely finished her sentence when a massive force hit her cheek. She almost forgot Aaron was a triathlete. The force almost caused her to stumble and fall. Luckily, her body wasn’t a frail decorative vase on display. Even though blood was dripping from her nose, she stood straight and met Aaron’s gaze. Her eyes were more freezing than the temperature in the summit in the coldest of winter.
Aaron wasn’t intimidated, though. Instead, he rose in full height, spine stiff as his face contorted in anger.
“Slut! How dare you use me! How dare you cheat on me! And with that feminine asshole no less!”
“My Lady!” Shura sauntered at Rozarria’s side in an instant.
Raising her hand, Rozarria stopped Shura in her pace. “I’m fine.”
Not looking away from Aaron’s angry stare, Rozarria faced the man with a calm demeanor, almost appearing like she was dealing with an insignificant little thing, which made Aaron fumed with anger even more.
He was about to explode when Rozarria spoke.
“First, you and I didn’t have any relationship except for that one-night stand, which was a mistake on my part. I thought you’ll be able to satisfy me, being a triathlete and all. But clearly, I was overestimating you and your little penis.”
“W-what that fuck did––!”
“Second, the guy you called a feminine asshole had ruined me for any other man. Something you couldn’t even dream of doing.”
Veins protruded on Aaron’s neck up to his head while his face was red from anger and embarrassment. He had this overwhelming urge to strangle and punch her.
But there were more and more people going out from their tent, preparing for the climb.
He restrained himself. Pointing at her, he gave a low growl of warning. “After this climb, I promise you, I’ll destroy your puny little corporation. And when you returned to being a beggar you once were, I will sell you to the underground market, and you will serve all kinds of men like the whore that you are!”
After he gave his threat, he turned and marched away, stomping his boots against the snow.
“. . .”
“. . . My lady.”
“It’s fine. My cheek is just a little numb.” Sweeping the area with her gaze, Rozarria mumbled, “A good thing there’s a lot of ice,” she joked.
Shura frowned. It was more than numb –– it was swelling!
That guy! Wait till I get my hands on him––!
Before Shura could finish her thoughts, Rozarria spoke.
“Don’t tell anyone what happened.”
“. . .” Shura hesitated. But watching Rozarria’s serious expression, she could only give a nod in response.
Before the climb officially started, Alvaro secretly led Rozarria to a secluded area. He wanted to steal a kiss since he wouldn’t get the chance anymore. Climbing the summit would take approximately nine hours, and they have to climb back down again. Overall it was roughly a day with no rest in a zone where oxygen was the thinnest. They had to wear goggles and oxygen masks during the climb, and this was his only chance to kiss her before then.
But to his chagrin, Rozarria was already wearing her goggles and mask, obscuring him from her lips.
“Remove your mask,” he commanded.
“Why?” Rozarria asked. She caught his eyes beneath her goggles. He flexed and wiggled his brows, a smile lighting his face, one matching the mischievous glim in his eyes.
“Don’t ask questions and just do it.” Alvaro urged once more when she just stood there, unmoving.
Rozarria hesitated. Without her mask, the swelling of her face would come into light. It would only complicate things if he saw her cheek.
“Stop messing around. We should return,” she said, “The climb is about to start.”
Alvaro stared at her with those ashen blue orbs which unnerved her. It must have been her imagination, but she saw his pupils turned into a dot but was only for a fraction of seconds.
Alvaro took his hands out from his pockets, unsure where to put it before he raised it and smiled.
“Alright, alright. You win.”
Rozarria breath a quiet sigh of relief when Alvaro turned around. But right when she lowered her guard, he pulled her, cupped her face and removed her mask. It was so fast. Her brain hadn’t caught up.
When she came to, he was staring at her, pupils constricting, which sent a chill gliding through her spine.
“Who did it?”
He didn’t even ask what happened. He was getting straight down to business. And she bet, just one name from her, he would kill that person. At least, that’s what she was getting from the lethal intention coming from him that he could not contain.
She shifted her head away from his hold and said a lie with a straight face, “It was an accident.”
“. . .”
Feeling that she wouldn’t tell him the truth no matter what he’d do, the murderous air around Alvaro disappeared, and he was back to his usual charming self.
“Is that so?” Alvaro smiled without mirth.
“Yes. I trip and bump against a rock.”
Alvaro continued to smile, though his smile appeared menacing. Still, he didn’t question further. He leaned and gently kissed her swollen cheek, and her eyes closed when he moved towards her lips.
The kiss wasn’t deep and forceful. It was slow and lingering, savoring every moment. Both of them were gently kissing the other. Though Alvaro’s eyes remained opened, looking particularly at nothing, the promise of death burned in his eyes.
The treacherous climb continued, and they reached the death zone, passed eighty thousand meters were oxygen was practically non-existent. The lack of oxygen ultimately tarnished the body. The body basically consumed too much energy to keep them alive. It was an area that there was a true finite period of time that one could stay. Without supplemental oxygen, no one could survive for forty hours, and that was why it was called the death zone.
If it was not bad enough, everyone had to watch out for constant threat of avalanche. Fierce storms may blow up unexpectedly, trapping or blinding the climbers and shifting glaciers created deep crevasses, often obscure by snow.
Even with all the supplemental oxygen, the climb was difficult and slow –– one or two steps, stopping, taking a few breaths before taking another step. After climbing a fifty-meter rock and ice with a single rope going up, they had to climb yet again a sloppy mountain of ice where fierce storm occasionally blew.
To make matters worse, the more they climb, the more bodies they saw loitering around. It was like they were not climbing a mountain but seeing another horrible moment after another. Most of them probably had been stubborn to turn around. Didn’t listen to reason and ended up walking till they die.
One could only carry enough supplemental oxygen for the climb. The moment it ran out, they had to turn back, for no one can get their lungs and brain to work. It could be terribly confusing. People would decide they didn’t want to move and sat down –– and that was it.
And once someone was beyond the point of rescue, everyone had to save themselves. Carrying a dead body back was incredibly difficult in an area were oxygen was none existent. And to those saying that they had abandoned them hadn’t the slightest bit knowledge of the difficulty.
Thus, the dead bodies lining towards the peak.
For expert climbers, all of this was nothing. They were already accustomed to it. But for the beginners, most have already turned tail and abort their mission of reaching the peak.
And for Maxine, the only thing that kept her going from this torturous journey was her extreme hatred towards Rozarria. She didn’t even take notice of the annoying rumbling Henry, who was by her side, assisting and holding her. All her attention was towards Alvaro and Rozarria, happily chatting away without a care in the world.
Her curled fists grew hot from the force she was exerting as she observed them. Watching how the woman was so happy after she stole Alvaro from her, a primal urge to hit and destroy her overwhelmed her mind.
Something clouded her brain, a thick desire for revenge. Fantasizing about her getting what she deserves.
I was the one who stayed by his side. I was the one who loves him the longest. And yet . . . why . . . why did he choose you? A woman he barely knew.
If only . . . if only you disappear!
If only you’re not here! Alvaro will be . . .
A hint of madness crossed her eyes as she looked at the deep crevice meters away from Rozarria.
If only you disappear!
If only you disappear!
If only you disappear!
. . . . .
. . . .
. . .
Walking up from the sound of her name, Maxine blinked. She was panting and whizzing for air, a little disoriented. When she came to, Rozarria was already falling towards the crevasse, and her hands were extending like she just pushed her, and she blanked out. Before she could register what she had done, Alvaro jumped towards the abyss.
Maxine called, but no one paid her any attention, everyone’s focus was on the fissure. There were yelling and shouting, but none registered in her mind, and she slumped where she stood. She didn’t even know Henry was grabbing her hand, pulling her away from the hole.
Her brain was still hang up on the scene where Alvaro joined Rozarria to their doom.
W-what have I done . . . I-I . . . I killed him . . .
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