Arianne knew exactly who was on the other side of that call.She did not follow Mark as he retreated away, but her eyes trailed after him keenly. She wanted to see what sort of trick Shelly would pull off this time.Frenzy befell Mark as soon as he received the call. He frantically approached Jackson, who was standing close-by, said something to him, and abruptly turned away from the group. He left just like that!Before Arianne could even say anything to stop him, the man vanished into the elevator.Jackson was utterly baffled. “Why the hell did that guy tell me if he’s got an emergency? And why am I supposed to relay that message to Arianne? I don’t get it—why didn’t he just cut the middleman and tell you yourself? You are here! With us!”Arianne’s face, however, had turned ashen. She could see it clearly in her mind already—Shelly’s triumphant, beaming face declaring loudly, “You lose!”Jackson could see the unsettling changes in her expression, and he instinctively spoke in a
The doctor was confident. “Yes, I’m sure of it. It’s not necessarily true that heavy bleeding connotes serious wounds. At worst, her fall might accidentally trigger an older leg injury, and since it’s connected to some of her leg ligaments, it elicited a sudden jolt of pain that could, understandably, cause her to faint in agony. Either way, when the IV drip finishes, she will be ready to go home. Right now, she’s already awake.”Mark nodded and walked inside the emergency room. Shelly was lying on the bed, her complexion ashen. The usual cherry tint in her lips was now pale and bloodless. Fluid from an IV bag hanging above her head dripped slowly through the line and into her body; chilled by the nipping, wintry air, the fluid often left the patient’s arm feeling torturously numb.Mark reached out and held the arm that was being fed the IV drip. Just as he thought, her arm was frigid to his touch.“Why? I texted you. I told you I wasn’t coming.”Shelly flashed him a pallid smile.
Every fiber in Mark’s face that formed his expression froze. “Are… Are you crazy? How could you bring up a divorce at the drop of a hat like that?”Arianne laughed scornfully, but her eyes were red. “‘Drop of a hat?’ Oh, no. This isn’t something said for the hell of it. I’ve simply had enough! Everyone else thinks I’m an idiot, and I agree—I am an idiot! You Tremonts… are just a cabal of bullies! Hell, you bastards dragged my innocent father into your stupid internal politics and killed him, for Christ’s sake! You people are the reason why I’m an orphan! And yet after all those travesties, what did I do in response?—I fell in love with you. I gave my heart to you. I married you and bore you a child! I’m such a punchline, I wanna laugh at myself! Stupid me thinks that we’ll be able to live together, happily, all the way till a ripe, old age. But all that you’ve done up till now has been a slap in the face, telling me that I’m the only one deluding myself. I’m a f**king idiot!“You kne
Yes. She was a moron, because the Tremonts killed her father and made her an orphan, bereft of kindred and support, yet she fell in love with Mark, the scion of the family. She had thought that as long as he stood by her side, she would always be alright, and yet, it turned out that he had helped Shelly hide a terrible, critical secret.It was a direct affront to her face. It was the clearest sign that she was, doubtlessly, the world’s biggest moron—“She isn’t my aunt… She’s my mother!”Arianne was stunned. His sudden confession had sent a seismic shock that locked her into a statue for a second.Then, she cried, “W-what did you just say?!”Mark told her everything Shelly had recounted to him that day. It was so difficult that he had to force himself to say it, the one history he never planned to tell anyone.With this new light being shed, Arianne combed back every detail in Shelly’s behavior and action of the past few months. Suddenly, the fog that had plagued her mind for so
Arianne just wanted Smore to live happily and free from fear. Previously, she thought that having the entire family living together was the best environment to foster that, but her mind had changed. Divorce had become the better option because what was the alternative? Boxing herself into an endless strife with Shelly?No way in hell could Arianne continue shoving humiliation after humiliation down her throat like it was nothing. Nor could Shelly ever brook Arianne’s presence around Mark.Mary closed the door to Arianne’s bedroom and started toward the nursery. By then, Mark had already successfully coaxed Smore back into sleep.She sighed.“Mr. Tremont, we… we’ve really done it this time, haven’t we?” She said in an undertone. “We can’t blame Madam for being upset and wanting a divorce. Before this, she thought Mrs. Leigh was just your aunt, but now? Turns out, she’s your birth mother all along. How do you expect Madam to go from here on out? My heart aches for her, Mr. Tremont. M
Compared to her hysterical outburst, it was when she calmly recounted details of an upcoming divorce that twisted the knife in Mark’s heart. Arianne only ever let loose of how she truly felt when it overwhelmed her control, and even then, these moments were sparse, far and between. It was the sort of sereneness she displayed right now that frightened him, not the least because the tone she used brought an air of matter-of-fact normalcy.Mark would rather see her throw a fit than this, because at least the former implied a slim window of chance for reconciliation…For the longest time, Mark had only silence. He could never let Shelly be incarcerated, especially since he knew Arianne was the type to put money where her mouth is. Of course, Mark did not want a divorce at all, but they had already come to an impasse beyond his control or saving.At the very least, the fact that Arianne was not quitting her job in the Tremont Enterprise, for the time being, made it a lot easier to swallo
From the outset, Mark’s eyes had never wandered away from his laptop to look at Arianne. It was so jarring, it felt as though he was not the one who had been desperately clinging to her for the entire night before.Arianne did not mind his distance, though. After receiving the documents and browsing their content for a few seconds, she immediately found evidence of the “legal tricks” she had suspected Mark to pull off—he was not letting her off just because they divorced.As she had requested, ownership of Tremont Enterprise would return to Mark and she’d gain a house under Smore’s name, receiving no further monetary compensation. Adding to that, however, was a ten-year-long contract between her and Tremont Enterprise, set to be automatically renewed at the end of term. It was also written such that the only side who could terminate the contract was Tremont Enterprise; Arianne would not have a say in it.Last but not least, Arianne was banned from taking Smore outside of the Capital
Shelly was a little hurt by her son’s distance, however small it might be. “Mark, my dear, I only did what I know best! She’s just no good for you, don’t you understand? You can marry anyone else in the world—literally anyone! So, why this hyper-fixation on this woman alone?” she admonished. “I, for one, cannot buy into that idealistic notion that a woman who suffered would harbor nothing against you or the Tremonts. There is no way she holds no grudges or hate, son, and one day, mark my word, she will act on them and hurt you bad. Divorcing her is the wisest way, because now, you’ve opened yourself up for a better, more suitable spouse. Don’t fret, boy. What you’re experiencing is only temporary pain, and it’ll be gone before you know it.”Mark’s eyebrows were tightly knitted in the middle. “I see, is that how it’s like to you? That pain is temporary and flitting? Just because you lack the capacity to let go of hate, doesn’t mean everyone else is incapable of it, but more critically,