Scarlett‘s POV: Mr. Walker‘s middle–aged driver got off the car and walked up to me. “Good day, Miss Riley. May I have a moment?”
“Hi. Sure,” I replied politely.
“Are you free at lunchtime? My boss is wondering if he could buy you lunch today?”
“Oh, I‘m sorry. I have an appointment at that time,” I directly refused and chanced a glance at the luxury car behind him.
“What a pity.” He did not insist. “Well, maybe next time then. Have a great day, Miss Riley.”
Then, he turned around and got back in the car.
| stood at the gate of the TV station and watched as Mr. Walker‘s car sped away. I did not leave my spot until the car disappeared from my view. I took a few deep breath before heading inside the station. I thought the invitations would stop after refused that man twice.
But it was just the beginning of a roller coaster ride of dramas. I found out that it had started rolling when I ran into one of the studio assistants in the bathroom in the afternoon. She showed me some photos and news articles on her phone.
“Scarlett, look! Someone took a photo of you standing next to a luxury car and talking to a man this morning. There are many comments that said…”
The assistant did not finish her sentence. The comments must be bad.
I took her phone and checked the news. The headline jumped right at my face.
“Rookie TV host gets dropped off to work by rich mystery man,” the article‘s title read. I could not help shaking my head.
Right below the headline, there was a photo of me and Mr. Walker‘s driver right by Mr. Walker‘s luxury car.
The angle of the camera only captured my profile while the face of the driver was fully shown. We were smiling at each other, but it was only because we were having a polite conversation I looked closer at the photo and found that Mr. Walker‘s outline through the window was highlighted. Reading the article, I discovered that the writer had pointed out that the man was talking to was the driver of the man inside the car, allegedly my rich mystery man.
The article was released by a well–known news site. The netizens would definitely believe it. | scrolled through some of the comments. Most of them were about me being a shameless seductress.
“How do I get rid of this?” I was a public figure now, and stupid gossip like this could tarnish my image and ruin the reputation of the TV station I worked for. That was the last thing I wanted.
The assistant looked embarrassed. “If you delete this news, won‘t you look guilty?”
“So I‘m just supposed to leave it?”
“Well, people will forget about this soon enough. Thousands of things are happening all at once, and social media is always updated with new stuff.”
“I suppose you‘re right. Thanks for telling me about this.” The assistant left the bathroom after that. I stared at myself in the mirror and considered my next move. I could not believe I was already extremely stressed out. But what the assistant said made sense. I would be old news by tomorrow. There was no point worrying about that presumptuous article, so I took many steadying breaths and went back to work.
At the end of the day, I met with Rita.
This woman was really starting to get on my nerves. When I got off work, she was right outside the TV station. I did not understand why she could not leave me alone.
We went to a nearby cafe to talk. We sat in a private area, and as soon as we were settled, she asked right away, “Do you know why || came to see you?”
“To bug me about the divorce. It‘s not my fault, you know. Charles cancelled again because he‘s sick.” Since she was so straightforward, I decided to be blunt as well.
“If you really wanted to divorce Charles, you would‘ve already filed for divorce even if he was absent. You should be more determined to push through with this, Scarlett. You know, Charles is possessive. You are beautiful and young. If you don‘t make a move while he’s stalling, he‘ll think that you‘re unwilling to let him go.”
“Why are you pushing me and not him?” | could not believe the gall of this woman to shift the blame on me.
“I can‘t afford to stress him out. You can. He‘s your soon–to–be ex–husband. You don‘t have to care about his feelings. And don‘t you also want this over and done with? We both know that Charles doesn‘t, has never been, and will never be in love with you. So why are you letting him waste your time? And speaking of time, it‘s not something that I have much of. I just want to become Mrs. Moore before I bite the dust. I‘m begging you, Scarlett. Just cut ties with Charles.”
“Thank you so much for making me realize how much time I‘m wasting.” Rita was about to cry, and I could not help feeling amused. Was she so desperate to marry Charles that she would beg me like this? It was pathetic.
“Here. There‘s one million dollars in this account. I know you‘ve just come home from abroad, and you‘re starting fresh. I want to help you financially. Consider it a gift.” To my astonishment, she took out a bank card and set it on the table in front of me.
“Are you bribing me to expedite my divorce?” | sneered.
“If that‘s how you want to see it, then I can‘t do anything about it,” Rita replied nonchalantly.
“Do you think I agreed to divorce Charles for money?” Mirthless laughter escaped my throat. Then, I continued, “Rita, I need you to understand something about me. I‘m not stupid. If all I really wanted was money, then | would‘ve chained Charles to my side and fought you off with a stick.”
“No, Scarlett. Listen to me. I wasn‘t trying to humiliate you…”
“Oh, stop with the acting already! I see you, Rita. I know what you‘re trying to do. Don‘t pretend to be some poor dying woman whose only wish is to marry the love of her life. You‘re not all what you seem to be. So screw you and your money!”
Rita always put herself in a weak position to win people‘s sympathy and achieve her true goals.
I had seen enough of those schemes, and I was sick of it. “Scarlett…” Rita looked at me with wide eyes. She obviously was not expecting me to react the way I did. I did not want to hear another word from her, so I rose from my seat and left the cafe.
On my way out, I took out my phone and called Charles. “I‘m filing without you, Charles.”
Charles picked up, but there was only dead silence on his end of the line. I was about to speak again, but he suddenly hung up.
Reining in my annoyance, I put away my phone and walked out of the cafe into the sidewalk. I was surprised to see Mr. Walker‘s luxury car again. Had he been waiting for me to come out?
“Good evening, Miss Riley. Could my boss take you out for dinner and drinks tonight?” The driver rolled down his window, poked his head out of the car, and spoke kindly to me.
“Well, 1…” | was about to refuse, but then || caught a glimpse of some paparazzi not far away. They were taking photos again that I was sure would fuel tomorrow‘s rumor mill. I thought for a second. Charles ignored me just now. Maybe the badly titled gossip articles and paparazzi photos would get his attention and make him realize how dead serious I was about the divorce. I took a deep breath and smiled.
“Okay,” I agreed. The driver looked stunned. He probably expected me to decline again, but all the same, he jumped out of the car and opened the door for me.
Bye My Irresistible Love Chapter 19 The Scandal