“Anything else?” I asked in disbelief.
“We have to get up early to see Rita tomorrow,” Charles replied coldly.
I was confused. I could not help but wonder if he returned just to make a point.
“I’ll sleep here tonight,” he added.
I came to my senses the instant I heard what he had said. I wanted to ask him if it was really okay for him to stay here, but I decided to swallow my words instead.
“I’m afraid you’ll oversleep because of the jet lag,” he explained. He must have seen the confusion on my face.
“Oh. Okay. I’d better clean the guestroom now.”
As soon as I finished speaking, I turned around and walked over to my suitcase, ready to leave with it.
But then, Charles walked up to me and blocked my way.
“Why are you avoiding me?”
I looked back into his cold eyes and reminded him, “I’m just doing what you want. Didn’t you ask me three years ago to keep a distance from you?”
As soon as I said those words, he slowly walked towards me, a hint of anger in his eyes.
“You stay here.”
His words made me lose my grip on my suitcase, making it fall to the ground. He then walked closer, and my heart beat faster and faster…
To my surprise, he just walked past me and then sat on the sofa. There he unbuttoned his shirt and made himself comfortable.
“I’ll sleep on the sofa,” he said flatly.
I could not help but hit my head and scold myself for being imaginative. A dirty thought crossed my mind just now! Without another word, I picked up my suitcase and put it aside.
I turned my back on Charles and heard him take his clothes off and open the closet to get fresh ones. A moment later, he finally entered the bathroom.
It had been three years since we got married. The man of my dreams, my legal husband, was now only a few feet away from me. Even though he had gone to the bathroom, his scent still lingered in the air. It smelled so good, and it made me feel butterflies in my stomach.
I walked to the bedside and lay down on the bed. I lay on my side with my body curled up and listened to the sound of running water from the bathroom.
When the sound finally stopped, I quickly closed my eyes and pretended to be fast asleep. I even slowed down my breathing, so he would not notice I was just feigning sleep.
There were so many guest rooms. Why did he insist on sharing a room with me? Perhaps it was because we had not seen each other for three years. Nevertheless, this man was getting more and more unpredictable.
A deafening silence filled the air after a long while. I secretly opened my eyes and looked at Charles. He was lying on the sofa with his back to me. As I gazed at his figure, my body finally relaxed. I had known that nothing would happen tonight. Even so, I still could not help but be disappointed deep inside.
Charles was already gone when I woke up the next morning. I checked the time on my phone, and my eyes widened in shock. It was already ten o’clock in the morning!
I jumped off the bed and washed up as fast as I could. When I walked out of the room, I saw Charles reading a book on the sofa in the living room.
“Why didn’t you wake me up?!” I asked, my voice slightly louder in panic.
“I did. In fact, I almost splashed cold water on you just to wake you up.” Charles did not even take his eyes off the book when he spoke. There was no emotion in his tone either.
“Sorry. I was a little tired yesterday. Let’s go now,” I said awkwardly with my eyes lowered to the floor. It seemed that I slept so soundly last night.
“Eat something first.”
“What? Then Ri—”
“There’s no need to hurry. We’ll meet later at lunch.”
His words took me aback. Did he not say that I was supposed to get up early? Did I hear it wrong? Perhaps he said that only to trick me.
Anyway, I did as I had been told. I ate a light breakfast and then urged him to leave afterwards. It was not because I was in a hurry to see Rita. It was just that I wanted to get this over with as soon as possible.
I was silent on the way to the restaurant. Charles did not say a word either. We had been married for three years. But for some reason, we were like strangers to each other. To make this worse, I was currently accompanying my husband to his fiancee.
The car stopped at Rainbow Dream, a Michelin three-star restaurant. This was the most luxurious restaurant in the city. Truth be told, I had never been here before. Even after becoming Mrs. Moore, Charles never took me to this place.
The instant we entered the restaurant, a waiter approached and greeted us. “Mr. Moore, Miss Lively is waiting for you on the second floor.” Judging from the waiter’s greeting, it seemed that Charles was a frequent guest here.
Without a word, I followed Charles into the elevator.
“Smile when you see Rita and don’t pull a long face,” Charles ordered coldly.
I forced a smile and reassured him, “I will.”
“Scarlett, long time no see!” Rita greeted us with a wide smile the moment we entered the private room. It appeared that she had not aged after all these years. She must be paying an exorb
itant amount of money to maintain her youthful face. Impressively, her face was exactly as that in the movies. She did not look like a patient who had been ill for a long time.
“Long time no see,” I greeted back with a gentle smile.
“Have you gotten over the jet lag? I was worried that you wouldn’t be able to get up in the morning today, so I set the time at noon.”
“Yes, thank you. I slept soundly last night. This is my hometown, after all.”
“You’ve suffered a lot in the past three years. It’s all my fault. Good thing Charles is here. I feel so much better now than I did in the past.” Rita coughed as soon as she finished speaking. As if on cue, Charles handed her a glass of water.
When he saw Rita today, it felt as though the ice in his body melted, and he changed into a completely different person in an instant. His attitude towards Rita was different than the way he treated me.
Today’s main course was steak. Charles carefully cut the steak on Rita’s plate. It was unusual to see him like this—so gentle and considerate.
“I’m fine. Don’t worry. I’m doing great. Actually, I just got my diploma.” I smiled at Rita as I struggled with the steak with the knife and fork.
“You stayed in France for three years. Do you have a boyfriend? We’re going to spend our honeymoon in France during the Cannes Film Festival this year.”
Boyfriend? As a dutiful Mrs. Moore, I had never considered being with another man while I was still married. For some reason, I still had a glimmer of hope for Charles.
“Uh… yes, actually. I met a guy there. He’s an artist.” I immediately thought of a guy whom I could show to her. As Charles had said yesterday, I should make Rita rest assured.
I saw him from the corner of my eye. He was cutting the steak. He stiffened for a second.
“Do you have any photos of him?” Rita asked inquisitively.
Her curiosity caught me off guard. I looked at Charles in hopes that he would help me. Sadly, he did not even glance at me.
“Well, we’re not together yet, so I didn’t save his picture on my phone,” I reasoned out and then continued cutting my steak.
“Does he have Facebook? Maybe he posts photos there. I want to see him,” Rita urged. It seemed that she had no plans of dropping the topic until she saw the man herself.
“Let me check.” As I spoke, I took out my phone and thought about which classmate I should pretend to be my pursuer for a while. The first person that came into my mind was Pierre. He and I had a good relationship, so my plan could work. I visited his Facebook page and immediately saw a picture of him in front of the Eiffel Tower. He had long wild hair and a young and handsome face. Pierre and Charles were polar opposites. The former was artistic and went with the flow, while the latter was cold and reserved. I handed my phone to Rita with Pierre’s photo on the screen.
Her eyes beamed with happiness upon seeing the picture. “Oh my! He looks just like an artistic and carefree Parisian guy. I’m so happy for you, Scarlett. After all, Charles and I… I’m sorry.” She then showed the photo to Charles.
He just glanced at it for a second. “You two are a perfect match,” he coldly remarked.
Rita finally returned my phone. “Will he come to America to visit you?” she asked excitedly.
“He’s still in Europe. He’s holding an art exhibition in Lyon. He’ll come here next month to establish his career, though.” I lied. Everything that came out of my mouth was nothing but fiction. It did not matter, though. The most important thing for me right now was to make Rita happy. Besides, I might not see her again after I signed the divorce agreement. Otherwise, I would have to think about how to make Pierre come here.
“Do you love him?” Rita asked, her eyes twinkling in anticipation.
I was stunned.
“Of course.” I tried my best to keep calm and composed, so she would not see right through me.
“That’s great! Charles, it seems that we don’t need to worry about Scarlett at all. Let’s wish Scarlett happiness!” Rita excitedly raised her glass.
Charles also raised his.
“Scarlett, promise me that you’ll be happy.” Rita looked at me in the eye when she spoke. But then, I knew very well that this was all a facade. Underneath her gentle mask was an ugly evil heart.
“Of course. You too.”
We drank up the wine in our glasses as a sign of promise.
When I put down my glass, my hands suddenly trembled. Not only that, but I also felt sick to my stomach. I wished that this meal would be over soon. I did not want to see this hypocrite anymore.
“Sorry, I have to go to the bathroom.” I excused myself, unable to take it anymore. I wanted to go outside and breathe the fresh air to ease the sickening feeling in my stomach.
When I returned to the table a few moments later, Charles was already helping Rita put on her coat.
“Rita doesn’t feel well. I’ll drive her home. Later, I will—”
“It’s okay. I can go home on my own,” I reassured.
I watched helplessly as Charles walked out of the restaurant with Rita in his arms. All of a sudden, the tense muscles all over my body loosened up.
Bye My Irresistible Love, Chapter 2 Sick Feeling