Patting her face and taking deep, calming breaths, Loraine knocked on the door.
A man appeared, tall and strong-looking. His eyes were unfriendly and his lips were slightly pursed. He was as handsome as a god from an ancient Greek oil painting.
"It's late. What's up?"
His voice was ice cold. It was like looking at a stranger.
Loraine almost lost all the courage she had worked so hard to gather.
"Marco, do you remember what day it is?"
Marco frowned. "Get to the point."
The expectation in Loraine's eyes became disappointment. Forcing a smile, she said, "It's our third wedding anniversary. You've seemed so busy lately. But it doesn't matter; I prepared a surprise for you!"
No sooner had she finished speaking than a woman suddenly stepped out from behind Marco. She stood comfortably by his side and greeted Loraine with a smile.
"Loraine, I've heard so much about you from Marco. We haven't been introduced, have we?"
The woman was beautiful. Her voice was gentle, and her eyes were lively. It made people want to protect her.
But the sight of the woman shocked Loraine. She froze, feeling the warmth drain from her hands and feet.
"Keely? Why are you here?"
Though they had never met, Keely Haywood's existence had always overshadowed Loraine's marriage like a dark cloud.
The house was full of traces of Keely. All the members of the Bryant family had reminded Loraine that Keely was Marco's woman of choice and that Loraine was just the titular Mrs. Bryant.
Noticing Loraine's sexy nightgown, Keely lowered her eyes with embarrassment.
"Marco, am I disturbing you?"
Loraine unleashed her hostility. "Yes, obviously."
The color drained from Keely's face. "I'm sorry. Please don't be angry. I'll leave right away."
As Keely spoke, she moved as though she were about to leave.
Frowning, Marco looked at Loraine and said, "Keely is our guest, Loraine. Watch your attitude."
Standing alone at the door, Loraine felt humiliated, as though she was stripped naked.
Legally, she was his wife, but she hadn't received any respect from Marco or the Bryant family for the past three years.
Marco was always busy with work and seldom came home, and even when he did come home, he never slept in the same room as Loraine.
Now Loraine was being told not to be angry about seeing another woman in Marco's room. What the hell was going on?
All of her efforts, patience and expectations over the past three years had become nothing but a joke.
Loraine looked into Marco's eyes. "What about me?" she asked, her voice heavy with disappointment.
"Don't complicate things," Marco replied impatiently. "Keely is recovering and needs rest. Which do you want, money or a gift? I'll make it up to you."
Loraine watched as Keely's eyes shone smugly. Before she knew it, she lost her temper.
"Marco, how do you not understand that it's never your money I want?"
Loraine then spun around and left, dejected.
Marco watched her leave, pinching the bridge of his nose between his eyebrows.
"What is wrong with her today?"
Keely blinked and said gently, "She should be angry with me. I'll go apologize to her."
Loraine walked back into her room, changed out of her nightgown, and lay on the bed.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door.
Loraine's eyes lit up.
Did Marco come to see her?
Loraine jumped out of bed and opened the door. Keely's face was all she saw. The light in Loraine's eyes dimmed.
"What are you doing here?"
Keely got straight to the point. "You and Marco might have been married for three years, but I'm the only one he loves. Up until recently, I was receiving treatment overseas. I didn't think I had much time left, so I let Marco leave me and marry you. But now I have recovered. I hope you'll respect our love and divorce him."
Loraine's heart ached, but she was too dignified to let Keely see her squirm.
"You, a mistress, are asking a wife to divorce her husband? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds?"
The smile on Keely's face disappeared. "Watch your mouth, Loraine. I'm not a mistress. When it comes to love, the one who isn't loved is the mistress!"
Loraine sneered. "As long as I don't divorce, I'm Marco's wife and you're the mistress."
Loraine's words hit Keely hard, and she glowered ferociously.
"Don't get complacent, Loraine. Let's see what Marco does when something happens to me. Will he let you go?"
Loraine suddenly had a bad feeling about it.
"What do you want, Keely?"
Keely suddenly pounced on Loraine and dragged her towards the stairs.
Caught off guard, Loraine was unable to free herself from Keely's grip.
"Marco! Help! Loraine is trying to kill me!"
Keely threw herself down the stairs wildly, still holding onto Loraine. Failing to break free, Loraine was pulled down the stairs.
Loraine rolled down many flights of stairs before finally landing heavily on the floor.
The repeated blows to her head created a deep wound, causing blood to start gushing out.
Sharp pain coursed through her body, making her dizzy and eventually causing her to pass out.
Just as everything began to fade to black, she saw Marco rushing over. He strode straight past her, choosing to pick up Keely and carry her away, leaving Loraine to lie in a pool of her own blood.