“Let us welcome our new CEO, Timothy Cash!”
The grand ballroom of Diamond Hotel Plus was filled with employees, executives, and investors. They all cheered for the future, with Timothy as their new leader.
At the front table, Charlotte mused, ‘This is it, Love. The moment we have been waiting for.’
That day was her husband’s official appointment as the CEO of Strauss Asset Investments, a mutual fund company founded by Charlotte’s grandfather. Only the heavens knew how hard they worked together for her husband to get the CEO position. Finally, it was here. Charlotte could not be more proud.
Timothy was Charlotte’s husband of five years. They met in college and dated for two years before making it official. She cherished Timothy for accepting her imperfections, including the fact that she was infertile and had gained weight over the years.
Not only that, Timothy was a capable man who came from a reputable family. The Cash family had run the political dynasty in Swaxon City over the years. With his blond hair, heart-shaped face, and gorgeous blue eyes, Timothy was undoubtedly one of the most handsome men in Swaxon City.
“Oh, Grandpa Pete. See what Tim had become. You would have seen him for his worth,” she reflected, recalling how her grandfather wanted her to be the CEO and not Timothy. Sadly, her grandfather could no longer witness her husband’s achievements, for he died a year ago.
“I’m happy for you and Tim, Charlotte. Timothy deserves this promotion, and with you by his side, nothing can go wrong,” Charlotte’s best friend, Victoria, remarked.
Charlotte hugged Victoria, saying, “Thank you, Victoria. I’m so glad you are here.”
“Always,” Victoria promised.
When Timothy returned to their table, he immediately kissed Charlotte. She blushed at his actions. Timothy was always affectionate towards her, even in the public eye.
‘So what?’ She thought. They were married.
Everything was going great when suddenly, the double doors to the grand ballroom swung open. A prominent businessman stepped in, making everyone’s jaw drop to the floor.
“Isn’t that the CEO of the Diamond Hotels?”
“Mister Liam Wright?”
Charlotte was stunned. She locked eyes with the famous hotel CEO, but he quickly averted her gaze and walked back out with his bodyguard.
“What was that all about?” Timothy wondered.
“I think they just entered the wrong ballroom,” Charlotte suggested. She did not bother telling her husband how she had known Liam Wright since childhood.
Shortly after settling down, Charlotte excused herself to the ladies’ room, only to find a long line of women waiting outside.
Charlotte decided it was an emergency. She went to the male’s restroom instead. She used the nearest cubicle and let it out. Just then, she heard the door open, and two men exchanged words.
“Mister Wright, Do we keep seeking her, hoping Miss Charlotte gets a divorce? Clearly, she is happily married. She is Misses Cash -”
“Enough! Get the plane ready.”
“Maybe it’s time to let go of this… childhood crush. She doesn’t even know about -”
“Keep your opinions to yourself if you don’t want to get fired.”
Charlotte’s eyes widened. It was Liam Wright! She held her breath, realizing that Liam had come to see her again.
‘Did he still like me all this time?’ Her heart ached for him. But what can she do? She was already married.
‘Should I talk to him? No, don’t lead him on, Charlotte,’ she told herself. Her eyes were cast down as she silently thought, ‘Liam, I hope you find a woman who will love you. You deserve that. I Love Timothy. Forget me.’
She waited there until the two men finally left. Only then did she return to the gathering.
Minutes turned to hours, and eventually, the event ended. The couple went home, and Victoria tagged along. Charlotte and Victoria continued with their girl talk on the patio of their home, like sisters who hadn’t seen each other for years.
Before eleven in the evening, the two ladies concluded their chat. Victoria said, pushing a glass of wine to Charlotte, “Here, you finish this up. I’m gonna take a leak.”
As Victoria rushed to the common restroom, Charlotte drank the wine but choked halfway down and spilled the rest of her drink. “Shit.”
After cleaning up, she realized she was already feeling dizzy. She merely went to see her husband and instructed him to get Victoria an Uber, and the rest was a blur to her.
In the wee hours, Charlotte groaned, feeling like her body weighed a ton. She turned to Timothy’s side of the bed, and seeing no one, Charlotte forced herself awake.
“Tim?” She faintly called.
Charlotte looked around and went downstairs to the living room. Just then, she heard a familiar voice moaning Timothy’s name. It startled Charlotte initially, but soon enough, more moans followed, and seemingly, the sound of slapping flesh.
She gasped. Of course, she was akin to those sensual moans. She was a married woman, after all. Her heart raced as she went to the source of the lustful moans coming from her husband’s study. Whoever was inside didn’t bother to close the door completely.
She did not want to acknowledge it. ‘No. Not Tim. Not my husband.’
Her heart sank, seeing the truth before her eyes. Inside the room, her husband was completely naked, having sex with her best friend. Victoria was lying on the table, spreading her legs for Timothy!
“Faster, babe. I missed you inside me,” Victoria said. “Don’t worry. Charlotte always sleeps like a horse after an extra sleeping pill dose. You can go wild with me.”
“I love you, Victoria. I’m going to take you until dawn,” Timothy claimed. “Tell me that you are mine!”
“I’m yours,” Victoria seductively replied. “I’m all yours. I love you, Tim.”
Charlotte felt like her whole world crumbled, seeing their bare bodies tangled. Her mind returned to the drink Victoria had offered her last night, and she wondered how long they had been deceiving her - drugging her too!
Anger rose inside her, and she forcedly pushed the door open!
Timothy and Victoria scrambled off each other as Charlotte screamed, “How dare you? How could you do this to me?! Why?”
“How could you seduce my husband, Victoria! I loved you like a sister!” She focused her anger on her so-called best friend.
Victoria was completely unburdened. As she covered herself with Timothy’s shirt, she answered, “Sorry, Charlotte, but Tim and I fell in love. We have been in a relationship for more than three years.”
“Three? No! That can’t be!” Charlotte turned to Timothy and asked, “Is this true? You - you cheated on me that long? I thought you loved me?”
Timothy was already in his trousers. Instead of apologizing, he replied, “You weren’t supposed to find out this way.”
“What?” Charlotte was mortified, hearing her husband’s indirect admittance. She asked, “Why? Why didn’t you divorce me, then? Why did you have to deceive me all these years!”
Charlotte noticed his hands formed into fists, and then she realized the reason why. She asked, “Was it all because of the prenuptial agreement?!”
“Divorcing you meant losing my chances of becoming the CEO of Strauss Asset Investments,” he admitted. “And your grandfather always stood in the way!”
“That’s why… we took care of poor Grandpa Pete,” Victoria added, smirking.
“Grandpa?” Charlotte paled. She took several steps back, asking, “What did you do to Grandpa? Tell me!”
A sinister laugh escaped Victoria’s lips, whereas Timothy replied, “I did what I had to do to become the CEO.”
“Oh, my god!” Charlotte felt sick to her stomach. Her grandfather had protected her by insisting on the prenuptial agreement. Unfortunately, she gave it all away to her husband.
After her grandfather died in a car crash, Charlotte transferred all her shares to Timothy, so he would gain the upper hand and become the company’s CEO.
“How could you?” She snapped at Timothy, asking, “Why Tim? I loved you!”
“Oh, come on, Charlotte. Did you really expect him to love you after you got fat!” Victoria ridiculed. She laughed and asked, “I mean, come on. How was your sex life after you turned seventy kilos?”
“And you know what else is funny? You even signed a transfer of assets to Timothy without checking the documents! Haha!” Victoria revealed.
“No! I didn’t,” Charlotte shot back.
“You did,” Timothy said. “All the assets you inherited from your grandfather are in my name now. You signed it together with the transfer of the shares.”
“Haha!” Another malicious laugh escaped Victoria’s lips. She said, “Then, Tim and I will get married, and we can enjoy the wealth of the Strauss family together. Don’t blame him entirely, though. He did it all for me.”
It could not be helped, Charlotte’s anger had reached its limit, and she screamed, “You! “
She was about to attack Victoria when she felt something hard hit the back of her head!
Charlotte fell on the floor, unable to move. As she was losing her awareness, her husband leaned down and whispered, “I’m sorry, Charlotte, but I fell in love with Victoria, and I will do anything for her. She wanted the company and your wealth, so I did everything possible to give it to her.”
“If only you had given me a child, things would have been different,” Timothy added. “If only you did not turn into a pig, I would not have been tempted to find another woman.”
Next, Victoria also kneeled beside her. She pressed her lips in Charlotte’s ear and divulged, “I hate you and your grandfather. I hate your father the most! Sorry that you had to pay the price. I did grow a little fond of you. Because of that, we won’t kill you just yet. We have bigger plans for you. You will die… slowly while suffering in shame! Haha!”
Charlotte could not grasp the animosity in Victoria’s voice. Her head was full of questions. ‘Why did it seem like Victoria’s hate was rooted deeply? What did my father do to her? Why involve my grandparents? Die slowly? What exactly were they planning for me?’
Sadly, her questions remained unanswered. Charlotte’s eyes fluttered, trying to stay awake, but she lost consciousness due to the trauma to her head.
“Wake up. Wake up, Misses Cash!” Charlotte frowned when she forced herself up from the carpeted floor. She saw men in blue uniforms surrounding her. They were policemen. “Misses Cash. This isn’t looking good for you,” the man standing before her suggested. “What’s going on?” Charlotte asked, utterly confused, her head aching. “Where am I?” “Are you going to keep pretending, Misses Cash,” the policeman sarcastically remarked. He sighed deeply and added, “Misses Cash. You are under arrest for the murder of your grandfather and your grandmother.” The words of the officer fully jerked Charlotte awake. She realized that she was in her grandparent’s home, and not too far was a lifeless body of an elderly woman on the floor. It was Cecile, her grandmother! She screamed, “Grandma!” She ran in the body’s direction while crying. “Grandma! Who did this to you? Grandma!” “Misses Cash! You are not allowed to tamper with evidence!” The policeman warned. Two men held her down as one read
Charlotte jerked awake, her chest feeling heavy. “Liam.” She clenched her hand against her chest, soothing the neverending pain. Suddenly, memories of her suffering filled her head; her husband’s betrayal, Victoria’s sinister laugh, her imprisonment, and death. “Aaaaah!” She uttered a resounding cry and couldn’t contain the tears that spilled down her face. Repeatedly, she took heavy breaths as she mourned her death. “You will pay! You will pay!” She unknowingly screamed. “Charlotte! What on earth happened?” The door to the room swung open, and an elderly woman walked in. At the sight of the woman, Charlotte stilled. She gawked at her for seconds until it dawned on her that it was her grandmother, Cecile. “Grandma. Grandma? You are alive!” Charlotte got up on her feet and hugged Cecile. She said, “I am so happy you are alive!” “Dear, obviously you had a bad dream - in the middle of the day, by the way,” Cecile said. “Of course, I am alive. You can’t get rid of me that easily!”
“Timothy is coming over to fetch me. Am I really ready to see him?” While taking a shower, Charlotte asked herself. Then, the next image that flashed in her head was how Timothy and Victoria were having sex. She suddenly felt the urge to stab them with a knife! “No, Charlotte. You are better than them,” she reprimanded herself. Charlotte concluded that she must act normally around Timothy and Victoria. She needed to be that clueless woman who had no idea of their affair. Otherwise, Charlotte would alert them. She could not risk for their plans to change. She considered simply asking for a divorce, but then she recalled their prenuptial agreement. Timothy would be entitled to fifty percent of her company shares at Strauss Asset Investments if she left the marriage without justification. If Timothy would ask for a divorce, he would get nothing. “Then, I need to prove Timothy’s affair with Victoria,” she decided. Her company shares were only a portion of her paternal family’s w
It was precisely how Charlotte remembered it. Victoria arrived with a box of delicious donuts passed seven in the evening. Victoria said, “Something to cheer you up, my girl!” Victoria wore a skimpy skirt, a leather jacket over her frame, and those over-the-knee leather boots. Charlotte’s best friend was a model and an actress. She was charismatic, beautiful, tall, and sexy. Victoria had long black hair, irresistible brown eyes, and a long, roman-shaped nose. Charlotte was quite the opposite of Victoria. She had short golden hair, hazel eyes, and a long pointed nose. Charlotte was shorter than Victoria, even when wearing heels to match her best friend. She may not be as alluring as Victoria, but she considered herself to be cute. Outright, Victoria hugged Charlotte. She said, “Let’s talk about it over donuts and tea.” “Hey, Victoria. Thank you for coming over,” behind them, Timothy greeted after coming out of his study. “Oh, Hello, Tim. Of course, I’d be here for Charlotte. S
“Are you out of your mind?” Charlotte heard Timothy say. “I’m telling you, I gave her an extra dose - just a little. Remember the last time I did that? She was completely out,” Victoria reasoned. Charlotte was tempted to take a peak. She couldn’t understand why they hadn’t left the room yet. She inwardly said, ‘Go fuck already!’ “Come on, Tim. I want to be super naughty tonight. I haven’t seen you for three days,” Victoria begged. Timothy and Victoria remained to speak in low voices, but with the silence of the night, Charlotte could decipher their words. Charlotte was lying sideways to her right when unexpectedly, Victoria pushed her to lie on her back. Victoria described, “See? She is completely out.” “Extra dose again? I told you not to do that so often. It’s dangerous,” Timothy answered. Victoria’s sultry voice softened as she added, “Oh, come on. You are not turning soft on her, right?” The next thing Charlotte heard were their kisses and gasping. A few moans left Ti
Charlotte sat in a daze while staring at the man who was with her before she died. Liam Wright. He was undoubtedly handsome. His features were accentuated by prominent, chiseled jawlines that added a touch of ruggedness to his face. His suit spread nicely against his broad shoulders and chest. His mesmerizing green eyes easily held her gaze. The memory of Liam crying on her deathbed almost made her weep. Charlotte held the urge to walk up to him and simply hug him. She figured she would find a suitable opportunity to do that later. Instead, she smiled at him and said, “Liam, thank you for your time - for seeing me.” Liam had welcomed her in one of the hotel’s mini-conference rooms. He ordered tea and some snacks for Charlotte. Inside, Liam’s bodyguard stood behind Charlotte, watching them as they chatted. “Charlotte, I’m rather surprised that you came to see me. What can I do for you?” Liam asked, his voice exuding authority as he crossed his legs. He picked up his teacup a
"Chadwick! Get me another chair! This seat is broken!" Liam ordered his bodyguard. Charlotte gave Chadwick an apologetic look, for the latter had to fetch a new chair from the side of the conference room. Truth be told, Charlotte did not find anything wrong with the seat. The hotel was new, and so were all the pieces of furniture. The Diamond Hotel brand was not the type to invest in low-quality furniture. Liam's face was flushed as he sat on a new seat. He fixed his suit and cleared his throat, saying, "I think I - I must have heard you wrong. What did you say again?" Charlotte had his full attention. His eyes were narrowed, fixed on her face, and his body leaned closer against the table's surface. He even tilted his head just a little, with his right ear slightly angled toward her. 'How clear do I have to be?' Charlotte wondered. "Liam." Charlotte moved her chair closer and resumed, "After my divorce, I will marry you, Liam." Liam loosened his tie. He puffed air out of his
"Have you ever wanted something so badly you are tempted to take it at the first available opportunity?" Liam asked Chadwick when the bodyguard caught up with him in the car. For the last half an hour, while waiting for Chadwick to join him, Liam had been gawking at the street, wondering what to do. To marry her? That would be a dream come true, but to be with her because her husband betrayed her, he could not help but feel insecure. He certainly did not want to be a rebound guy! He had been in love with Charlotte for as long as he could remember. The problem was, after Charlotte's father died, she left Braeton City without telling anyone where she was going. Back then, he was too young to have the resources to find her. His parents initially did not support his request to find Charlotte. They thought he would get over his young love, but that never happened. He tried, but Charlotte was the only girl that filled his heart. Liam was already in college, studying in London, when he