Three years ago, the Moore family opposed Charles Moore's choice to marry his beloved woman and selected Scarlett Riley as his bride. Charles didn't love her. In fact, he hated her. Not long after they got married, Scarlett received an offer from her dream university and jumped on it. Three years later, Charles's beloved woman fell terribly ill. In order to fulfill her last wish, he called Scarlett back and presented her with a divorce agreement. Scarlett was deeply hurt by Charles's abrupt decision, but she chose to let him go and agreed to sign the divorce papers. However, Charles seemed to delay the process deliberately, leaving Scarlett confused and frustrated. Now, Scarlett was trapped between the consequences of Charles's indecision. Would she be able to break free from him? Would Charles eventually come to his senses and face his true feelings?
I came out of the bathroom wearing a thin, backless lace nightdress. I was showing a lot of skin, and the nightdress was so short that it only partly covered my buttocks.
Standing by the French window, Charles Moore turned around. He was wearing a black striped bathrobe with the belt tied snugly around his waist. The top part of the robe was slightly open, revealing his strong, lean chest.
His gaze fell on me, and his eyes instantly lit up.
I knew I had successfully aroused his interest.
I had been married to Charles for three years, but we had never consummated.
I knew that he was in love with somebody else, so I flew to France shortly after our wedding.
A few days ago, Charles's grandmother called me and told me that it was time for the Moore family to welcome a new member.
I knew what she meant. To be honest, I didn't hate the idea of having a child with Charles. In fact, I was happy to hear it.
Because it was the reason I was waiting for to finally come back to Charles.
I had been missing him for the last three years.
Putting my hands behind my back, I slowly walked up to Charles. I let him look at me carefully from a distance.
The surprise in his eyes was undeniable.
"Come here," Charles said in a hoarse voice.
I bit my lower lip, approached him, and then wrapped my arms around his neck.
Charles snaked his arms around my waist and whispered in my ear, "Are you seducing me?"
His warm breath lingered in my ear, making my skin bristle with goose bumps and my scalp tingle.
"Is it working?"
Charles squinted at me and suddenly smiled. "Is this what you have learned in France in the past few years?"
"Do you like it?" I looked at him with expectation, and my heart started racing.
"Scarlett, you are beautiful," he said in a very light voice.
His praise came as a surprise to me. Did that mean he'd also been thinking of me while I was gone?
"But I want a divorce."
We spoke at the same time.
My mind went blank, and I swallowed my words in an instant.
The words at the tip of my tongue were, 'Charles, let's have a baby...'
Charles wanting a divorce was the last thing on my mind.
Charles let go of me and took two steps back, deliberately keeping a distance from me. "Rita's health is worse than before. She can't hold on much longer. I want to marry her."
It turned out that the rumors about him and Rita to be engaged were true.
It was just my wishful thinking that the media was making up stories.
"After our divorce goes through, I will give you another one hundred million dollars as compensation pursuant to our contract." His tone was light but firm. It seemed like his mind had already been made up, and there was no room for maneuver.
Hot, bitter tears started flowing out of my eyes. I quickly lowered my head. I didn't want Charles to see me this vulnerable.
I wiped my face in a hurry and replied, "Nothing, nothing. I'm just so happy for me."
Charles asked suspiciously, "What do you mean?"
"I finally have a good reason to leave you. How can I not be happy?" I said jokingly. Worried that he wouldn't believe me, I plastered a big smile on my tearstained face.
Charles's face darkened, and he chuckled mirthlessly, "Wow. I wasn't expecting you to be cool with it."
I grinned wider. "I think it's a good decision."
A gust of cold wind blew in through the window, slightly lifting up the hem of my dress.
Only then did I realize that I was still wearing a ridiculously revealing piece of sleepwear.
The irony tasted like ashes in my mouth.
I grabbed a bathrobe, put it on, and tightly tied the belt around my waist. I closed the top part and folded my arms over my chest, hoping that it would warm my heart from the sheer iciness of Charles's words.
"If we get divorced, then you can marry Rita, and I can pursue my beloved. Two birds, one stone."
Charles frowned and asked, "When did you fall in love with someone else?"
I bit down the fresh surge of pain, took a breath, and willed my tone to relax. "Many years ago."
My mind screamed at me to tell Charles that he was the only one I'd ever loved.
"Tell me his name."
I found it a little odd that he wanted to know more about my mystery beau right after he told me that he wanted to divorce me. For a moment, I panicked because I didn't know what to tell him, and I coul
dn't make up a fake name on my feet.
Then, his phone rang, saving me from a totally unprovoked inquisition.
"Rita, what's wrong?" Charles answered the phone and walked into the closet.
When he came out again, he was already wearing a pair of pants and a shirt. He grabbed his jacket and put it on in front of the mirror.
"I have to go. Rita needs me. We can talk when I come back."
After saying that, he left without looking back.
It seemed that when it came to Rita, he was on call no matter what time of day it was.
After a while, my phone rang. I looked at my screen and saw an unregistered number.
"Hello, is Charles with you now?" There was a sweet voice on the other end of the line, but it made me feel uncomfortable. I could even imagine the complacent smile on the caller's face.
Although we hadn't contacted each other for many years, I still could tell that it was Rita's voice.
I pursed my lips and didn't say anything.
"Where's Charles? He promised to come and accompany me tonight," Rita pressed despite the absence of my response. Her voice was soft, but it sounded harsh to my ears. It pierced through my heart like a hundred needles.
"Didn't you just call him?" I snapped, letting my voice drip with annoyance.
"Oops, I forgot."
Rita burst into laughter, which sounded like nails on a chalkboard to me. "I'm so sorry that I've asked your husband to come over and see me at this time of night."
"Yeah, fine. Anything else?"
"Well, I just want to chitchat with you and ask if Charles has mentioned the divorce yet."
Suddenly, I heard Charles's voice in the background. "Rita, I'm here. Are you okay?"
I'd never heard Charles talk to me in such a gentle voice. Hearing him talk like that to Rita made my eyes sting with tears.
Without saying anything more to me, Rita hung up.
I tossed and turned in bed all night.
Rita obviously made that phone call to me just to provoke me, but more than her smug, rotten attitude, it was Charles's indifference toward me that made me lose sleep.
He didn't even call me the entire night.
But I could understand. Charles was with Rita now. I shouldn't expect him to pay attention to me.
I spent the whole night sitting on the bitter ache in my heart. Soon, daytime chased away the darkness.
There was a knock on my door.
I opened it and found Charles standing outside. He didn't come home last night.
"Let's meet Rita today," he said firmly.
There were dark circles under his eyes. Was he up all night making love to his precious Rita?
"What do you want me to do?" I asked flatly.
"Don't make her feel guilty. Tell her that you're in love with someone else and that she can rest assured," he answered, walking closer to me and eyeing me carefully.
Charles looked surprised. It seemed that he didn't expect that I would agree so readily.
"Very well. Freshen up and get dressed. I'll wait for you downstairs." Then, Charles left.
A few moments later, my phone rang. It was my best friend, Tiana.
"Bitch, welcome back!"
"So, are you staying this time or are you going to leave again the first chance you get?"
"I'm staying for the time being."
"Perfect. Come work for our TV station. You're a media professional, your voice is pleasant to hear, and you're easy on the eyes. It's a very suitable job for you."
"Okay, I'll consider it."
"Have you spoken to Charles?" Tiana asked tentatively, her voice suddenly taking on a low register.
"Yes, I have."
"Has he told you about the bimbo he replaced you with?"
"Yes, he has."
"Yuck! That jerk really has no shame! He told you about her just like that? Like it was nothing?"
"Yes. He's also asked me to meet her today."
"What? You're going to see that man-stealing whore? I bet she's been urging Charles to divorce you and marry her. Honestly, I don't understand why that woman is still trying so hard. The Moore family rejected her for Charles three years ago. What makes her think that they're going to change their minds now?" Tiana roared from the other end of the line.
"All said and done, Tiana," I said, forcing a smile.
"What are you talking about? You still love him, don't you?"
I didn't answer. Of course I still loved Charles. I had loved him for many years.
"Scarlett?" Tiana's worried tone snapped me back to my senses.
"I have to go. I'll talk to you later, okay?"