"Hey, is dinner ready yet? Gosh! You are still not done. I can't believe that my brother married lazybones like you!" Marina Bryant shouted at her, standing at the kitchen door.
Loraine licked her dry lips. She was used to her sister-in-law's mean attitude.
"It will be ready soon."
Marina hissed. "Get it over with. My brother and Keely are waiting for the meal. Keely is different from a bumpkin like you. She had been receiving treatment abroad before coming back this time. Her health needs to be monitored well. We can't starve her. Otherwise, my brother won't let it slide."
Loraine's hand that was holding the cooking spoon tightened. She froze as her heart ached severely.
Since she was married to Marco Bryant three years ago, she had been nothing short of a dutiful wife. But he never appreciated her efforts. She was nothing in his eyes. To him, she couldn't hold a candle to Keely Haywood.
"Listen to me, Loraine. You wouldn't have been able to marry my brother if our grandma hadn't been in a hurry to have a great-grandchild. Had Keely been in the country at that time, my brother wouldn't have married you. You are just a useless woman. Three years have passed, but you haven't given birth to a child."
Tears welled up in Loraine's eyes at this moment. She fought them back as she watched Marina leave.
Just then, she heard a faint voice from outside.
"Marco, am I disturbing you and Loraine? Is she angry?" This female voice was so coquettish.
"No. Your welfare is the most important here," a deep and pleasant male voice said with tenderness.
Never had Marco spoken to Loraine with such loving care. It was what she longed for throughout the past years.
Loraine stood alone in the kitchen, and her aching heart sank. Her eyes fell on the candles and gift box in the trash can. The pain in her heart increased.
She had been trying to make this marriage work all these years.
Her so-called husband whom she always showered with love didn't remember that today was their third wedding anniversary.
Despite her sickness, she prepared a big dinner to celebrate. But it soon turned into a welcome dinner for Keely.
Everything seemed like one big unfunny joke. All her efforts, forbearance, and hope were reduced to nothing tonight.
"Miss Torres, I'm sorry to bother you guys. Let me help you." Keely walked into the kitchen with an apologetic smile.
With her face void of any expression, Loraine stared at the beautiful and feeble woman in front of her. "You should address me as Mrs. Bryant, not Miss Torres."
The apologetic smile Keely had disappeared in the blink of an eye. She eyed Loraine and said arrogantly, "Let me get this straight, Loraine. I'm the only woman in Marco's heart. He only married you because of his grandmother. Three years is enough for this sham of a marriage. Now that I'm back, I will take my rightful place in this household. Don't get your hopes up that you will win Marco's heart. How about you save yourself the shame and leave?"
Intense hurt tugged at Loraine's heartstrings. However, she still put up a strong front in the face of her rival.
"For your information, I'm still Marco's wife. I'm Mrs. Bryant. You are the outsider here."
Horror was written all over Keely's face as soon as she heard those words. They pierced her heart like a thousand knives.
"Stop being so complacent. The title of Mrs. Bryant isn't your birthright. It can be revoked. Besides, you will be in trouble if anything happens to me because of you. Just wait and see!"
An ominous premonition rose in Loraine's heart.
"What do you intend to do?" she asked, squinting her eyes.
Before Loraine knew what was happening, Keely grabbed a knife from the chopping board and tried to stab herself in the abdomen.
Loraine tried to stop her. Holding Keely's wrist, she roared, "Are you crazy?"
Keely shook off her hand.
During the struggle, the sharp blade slit Loraine's arm. She groaned in pain.
It was then she saw blood seeping through Keely's clothes.
Keely smiled at her evilly. The next second, she shouted at the top of her lungs.
"Marco, help! Loraine wants to kill me!"
Loraine's eyes almost bulged out of the sockets. A second later, Marco came rushing into the kitchen.
She tried to explain what happened, but no words came out. It seemed like her throat was blocked.
Loraine suddenly felt dizzy. Blood was gushing from her arm and her head was banging.
As she grew unconscious, she saw Marco walk past her. He picked up Keely and rushed out, leaving his wife on the ground unconscious.