Any other emotions Brendan could have felt had been displaced by unrelenting ire. “God, I’m going home. I’ll see her tomorrow.”That took Steven by surprise, but he nodded nonetheless. “Shall I drive you home now?”“No. Pass me the keys. I’ll drive.”He checked his suit and headed to the parking garage, almost a little too frantically. His car zipped through the road, tearing through the air like a fired bullet. When he arrived, he immediately scanned the living room. Resentment flitted past his eyes—he had thought that it would at least be lit. Because that would mean someone was waiting for him to come home. He checked himself. She was blind. Whether a room was lit or not did not matter. He was sure she would be reclining on the couch, just like she used to. Waiting. Brendan strode toward the door and pushed it open.The living room was completely empty. Even the dining table was empty—devoid of the warm supper that was once her staple form of welcome. The days when Dei
“If this is your revenge on me for stubbornly keeping my child, then shouldn’t his death have pleased you enough?! I was incarcerated for a year! I’ve lost everything I’ve ever had! Everything… God… What will it take for you to be satisfied? To let me go? “I’ve already regretted ever taking up the… the toxic mantle of being the fake Mrs. Brighthall, and I don’t want it anymore… Let me go, I’m begging you… I don’t want it anymore. I don’t want to be Mrs. Brighthall anymore…”She swooned after that. Brendan released her. His chest was filled with pain, a pain so great that he could not contain it. It pressed against his lungs, denying him any chance to breathe. What was going on?He had always seen himself as an ubermensch—unstoppable and almost omnipotent. And yet he could not answer this one simple question. His mind was beleaguered by sheer frustration. He stood on the balcony and began to empty his cigarette pack, as though he was trying to self-medicate, however temporarily,
Deirdre hardly had the chance to react. Brute force, seemingly out of nowhere, clamped itself around her wrist, crushing it so hard that she wondered if it was about to grind her bones. Terror then drained the color of her face.Brendan had found them!The man glared at her. “Not bad, Deirdre! You’ve really perfected the art of being a wh*re. Last I checked, you were lying on my bed. But now? Suddenly, here you are, eagerly spreading your legs wide and crying to be banged! Well, well. The two of you would have gone to town if I had been just two seconds late—”Sterling gave Brendan barely enough time to finish his sentence before throwing a furious punch right on Brendan’s nose. “F*ck you, Brighthall! God, the kind of sh*t you say—what the hell is wrong with you? How dare you humiliate Dee like this?!”The force knocked Brendan’s face aside. A stream of blood trickled out of the corner of his lips, but instead of returning the blow, he simply snickered. “So. Your previous lesson ha
Brendan turned back to Sterling. “I’ve got some unfinished business with this *sshole over here,” he snarled. “I’m itching to see if I can beat a man’s lust for another man’s woman out of him!”Deirdre’s heart missed a beat. Panic possessed her, and she immediately clawed at Brendan’s arm. “No, what are you planning to do, Brendan?! This is between the two of us! You can shout and throw punches, but please… don’t drag an outsider into this!”Her instinct to defend Sterling made Brendan’s eyes grow colder. “‘An outsider’?” he parroted mockingly, smirking. “I don’t think any woman would happily elope with an outsider, do you? And now he’s suddenly just some random what’s-his-name to you? Oh my God, Deirdre McKinnon, aren’t you a callous b*tch! You could murder Sterling with heartache alone, my dear.”Deirdre’s eyes watered again. Her—heartless? Who was the heartless one among them? What had happened to the man who had appeared at that charity event all those years ago? The man with
Strewn into their mockery was a thinly-veiled accusation: It was all Deirdre’s fault.How could they be so cruel? She was just as much of a human as they were. She was not an emotionless plaything! Why must she obey Brendan’s every whim? Because she had been unfortunate enough to become the Devil’s object of obsession? Because she deserved to be punished for saying yes to becoming Mrs. Brighthall? Deirdre’s pain was consuming her from within. She seemed to have depleted her entire supply of tears, and now all there was left in her eyes was a bottomless void threatening to swallow her sense of self. Then, she remembered. Sterling was about to be beaten by a violent mob.Fingers trembling, she thought of Brendan’s habit and felt her way to the bottom of the driver’s seat. Then, she pulled out a knife. She turned its pointy edge toward her neck.The bodyguards jumped and panicked. “What the hell are you doing?! Get that thing away from you!” They cried, yanking the car door open.
Deirdre’s situation was critical. It took the emergency staff hours of grueling effort and focus to operate on her. Everyone was working with bated breath, and no one dared to relax. When it was finally over, they breathed a collective sigh of relief. She was sent back to the mansion after that. Or to be more accurate, she was quarantined. Brendan hired more watchers to mind her, and now, she was a blind woman who had lost even the privilege to walk outside.Brendan himself seemed to have vanished from her life. She asked one of the bodyguards where he was, and all she received was a dismissive, “No idea.”A few days later, while Deirdre was on her way down the stairs, she overheard the bodyguards chatting among themselves. “No kidding. This sh*t is still boggling to me—why is Mr. Brighthall keeping Mrs. Quasimodo in his bell tower, man? I almost think he’s planning to have her replace Miss McKinney as his babe!... If it weren’t for the fact that he’s been on these non-stop vacatio
Deirdre was on the verge of breaking down. She shoved the doctor away, but being blind, she tripped over the table leg and fell forward. Her bandage turned a deep shade of red. The doctor hurried toward her, alarmed, but Deirdre scrambled to her feet and hurtled again, her pain forgotten.The bodyguard quickly realized something was amiss. Yanking her by the arm, he cried, “What now?!”Deirdre shrieked, “Let me go! Let me go right now! I want to go out!”“No way!” came the thundering reply. The bodyguard did not even frown, nor did he see the need to be gentler. “Mr. Brighthall has explicitly forbidden you to step outside the house!”His force against Deirdre caused the wound on her neck to tear open again. Blood was pouring out again.The doctor panicked. “Pin her down and don’t let her move any more! If this keeps up, she’s gonna have to return to the operating table!”The bodyguards were immediately mobilized. One yanked her by the hair and pressed her against the table, pin
Brendan had an abrupt heartache. He couldn’t understand why Deirdre would harm herself.He then strode toward Deirdre, held her wrist, and demanded, “Come with me to get something to eat!”Smelling the familiar scent only made Deirdre feel disgusted. “Don’t touch me!”Biting her lip, Deirdre struggled to withdraw her hand. However, because she was starving, she was feeble. Without much effort, Brendan pulled Deirdre into his embrace, grabbed her chin, and snapped her head up. “What the hell are you doing? Do you think you can do as you please because you managed to threaten me the other day?”Deirdre felt a sharp pain in her chin. Eyes red, she lifted her head and said, “You promised you wouldn’t disturb Sterry! You made a promise! So why has he turned out to be so miserable?”Brendan was startled for a moment before bellowing angrily, “So you starved yourself to get me here just for this f*cking reason?”Deirdre was hurt and disappointed. Emotions couldn’t be shared between two