After I said goodbye to Charles and Rita at Rainbow Dream, Charles’s mother, Alice, called me. She told me that she and Christine–Charles’ grandmother were coming to see us. It had been a long time since I last saw them. I was so excited by Alice’s call that I practically screamed my agreement at her over the phone. I could not wait to see them both, especially Grandma Christine. I had missed her and her delicious apple pies.
They had always been very kind to me and made me feel like I was family. If they found out that Charles and I were planning to get divorced, they would be heartbroken.
So Charles and I tried our best and acted like a normal loving married couple until Alice and Christine decided to go home. It just was not the right time to tell them. We had to be really careful as well because Christine was unusually perceptive. She could sense lies and deception from a mile away like a shark smelling a drop of blood in the water.
I was not expecting Charles home, but as soon as I saw him, I acted like a caring wife to him. I honestly thought I deserved an Oscar Award for my performance.
Thinking about how Grandma Christine scolded Charles earlier like he was a naughty, restless little boy, I had to bite down my laughter.
“What’s so funny?”
“What? Nothing,” I mumbled. I needed to find a place in the house to be alone for a while. Since Charles and I talked about the divorce, I had been finding it a little difficult to stay in the same room as he was.
“Where are you going?”
“Can you run me a bath, please?” Charles ordered with a cold face.
I turned on my heels and went upstairs to the bathroom. I stared at the huge white porcelain double bathtub and realized that I had never used it. Suddenly, I was imagining Charles taking a bath in it.
It took all of three heartbeats before my imagination blew the Charles-in-the-bathtub scene out of proportion and sent me reeling. ‘What the ****, Scarlett? Stop with the inappropriate thoughts about your husband already!’
I shook my head and turned on the tap. After adjusting the water temperature, I waited for the bathtub to fill up.
I sat on the edge of the bathtub and thought about the dinner party tomorrow night. Shall I go with Charles? If I were being honest, going with Charles to the party would make me a bit uncomfortable, but I had not seen or spoken to his family in a long time. I would really love to see Alice and Grandma Christine again and also Lawrence. I had known them since I was a little girl, and I truly think of them as my family.
While I was immersed in my reverie, the bathroom door suddenly swung open.
I instinctively turned around to look, but I was not able to retain my balance.
Next thing I knew, I was falling into the bathtub.
Fortunately, the bathtub was almost full. It was so big that I felt as if I had fallen into a swimming pool.
Scared to death that I was going to down, I flailed around instinctively. Then, I remembered that I was in a bathtub and stopped.
The bathroom suddenly fell eerily silent except for the sound of running water from the tap.
“I’m sorry… I’m so sorry,” I quickly got out of the bathtub. I scattered water everywhere as I stepped out.
“Why are you apologizing?” Charles frowned and looked at me.
I was sopping wet, and all I could see was my bra peeking through my white shirt and my skirt clinging to my legs. Even though I was fully clothed, I felt like I was naked. I tried to wring some of the water out of my shirt, but I just felt like I was wringing my dignity’s neck.
Why did I have to sit on the edge of the bathtub? I could have just stood there as I waited for it to fill up.
“I’ll change the water.” I quickly turned off the tap and opened the bathtub’s drain.
“No, I got it. You go change.”
Charles coughed, threw me his bath towel, and turned around.
I wrapped the towel around my body and ran to my room to change into clean, dry clothes. After changing into fresh clothes, I grabbed another bath towel for Charles to use and went back to the bathroom.
I found Charles standing there half-naked. From where I stood, I only saw one side of his body. He was not that heavily muscled, but he was taut and slender. He looked like a well-chiseled statue of a male Roman deity, and it made me catch my breath. I wanted to turn around and leave, but my eyes seemed to have a mind of their own. I could not help staring him down. His side view allowed me a peek of half of his eight-pack abs and his Adonis belt that extended into his trousers.
I swallowed as my cheeks started to grow hot. Charles was about to take off his pants, but suddenly, he stopped and turned to look at me.
Then, he started walking toward me, giving me a full view of his gorgeous torso. My eyes darted to the scar on his chest. I looked at it carefully.
Since when did he have that scar?
“May I have my towel, please?” I had no idea how long I had been staring. If it were not for Charles’s question, I would not have woken up from my fixation on his scar.
“Oh. Yes. I’m sorry,” I muttered. I lowered my head a
nd handed the towel to him with both hands.
After a rustling sound, the towel was replaced by a pair of trousers and a shirt.
After that, I rushed out of the bathroom and tossed his clothes into the washing machine.
Before long, Charles’s phone started ringing again, and Rita’s name appeared on the screen.
The sudden pang of pain startled me so much that I found myself grabbing on to the sheets. I sat there in bed, thinking about how my own husband never really belonged to me.
After a while, Charles walked out of the bathroom in a bathrobe. He was drying his hair with a towel.
****, he looked so ****. But I forced myself to look away.
“Rita called you just now,” I told him.
He just nodded and quickly picked up his phone. He glanced at me and then went to the balcony to call Rita. I could hear some of their conversation from where I was sitting.
“Okay. Now don’t cry. Drink some water first. I’ll call Jenny and ask her to come over to your place. You need to get plenty of rest.” I scoffed. Rita’s performance would be insufferable even if it were in a movie. I did not understand why she had to torment everyone in real life as well, especially Charles.
After hanging up with Rita, Charles came back in, walked to the wardrobe, and changed into a charcoal black suit.
At this moment, I was no longer in the mood to watch him. The more I saw of him, the more heartache I had to endure.
“I’m going out. Don’t wait up for me. Call me if there’s anything urgent,” Charles told me as if he was reading off a manual.
“You’ve had some drinks. Don’t drive.” Even if it broke my heart to think that he was running off to Rita, I still cared about his safety. I did not want him to get hurt.
Charles appeared to be stunned.
“I’ll call the driver over.”
Then, he made a phone call. Not long after, a car arrived at the villa.
From Charles’s POV:
I got in the car and was about to go to Rita’s place, but the disappointment in Scarlett’s eyes bothered the **** out of me. I suddenly felt fidgety, and after a few moments, I finally told my driver, Burton, my destination.
“The Mint Bar, please,” I blurted out.
I had already asked Jenny, Rita’s doctor, to come see Rita. Rita would be fine if I did not show up at her place tonight.
“Yes, Mr. Moore.”
When I walked into the bar, everything was still the same. The neon lights were still flashing, the music was still blaring, and the crowd seemed to have not thinned out since I was here earlier.
“Charles! There you are! I knew you’d come back!” Spencer came up and punched me playfully in the chest.
David poured me a glass of whiskey. I drank it all up in one gulp.
“Wow, easy there, Mr. Moore. What’s the matter? You look upset. Oh, I know. Let me tell you why you’re upset, Charles. It’s because you’re too greedy. You want too much all at once. Let me tell you something—you can’t have two women at the same time. Just give it up, man.”
“Will you shut the **** up for once, Spencer?” David chimed in and pushed Spencer away.
He threw a cue to me.
“Let’s just play. It’ll take your mind off things.”
“Sure. Why not?” I caught the cue, and David started setting the pool table.
He let me break. Watching the billiard ***** rolling on the table calmed me down for a second.
“But seriously, Charles, do you mind if someone else pursues Scarlett? After you two are officially divorced, of course.”
Hearing this, I approached Spencer with the cue in my hand.
“No, no, you misunderstand. I’m not talking about myself. Scarlett’s like a sister to me. I just think that it’s only fair that she also has someone special in her life, you know? You and Rita have been living like an old married couple since Scarlett left three years ago. Don’t you think it’s about time that Scarlett went back to the dating pool? After all, she’s single and ready to mingle now. She deserves to be happy, too.”
I took a shot at a ball near the side pocket, but I did not get it in.
“Rita and I are not an old married couple.”
“Do you mean that you’ve been sleeping with her regularly during the last three years?”
Rita had always been in poor health. Every time I was with her, we did everything but be intimate. Even if I wanted to, I could not put her through such a strenuous activity in her condition.
“Oh, my. Buddy, don’t tell me you haven’t gotten her.” Spencer shook his head.
Before I could retort, my phone rang again. It was Rita. I rejected the call and turned off my phone.
But on second thought, Scarlett was alone in the villa. If anything happened to her and my phone was turned off, she would not be able to find me.
I turned my phone on again.
“What’s wrong? Was that Rita? Why didn’t you answer?” Spencer asked in confusion.
“It’s none of your business, Spencer.”
“Charles, you can’t waver between two women like this. It’s unfair to both of them. Since you want to divorce Scarlett, you should treat Rita well.”
Somehow, the words “divorce Scarlett” sounded like nails on a chalkboard to me.
“Scarlett and I haven’t gone through the divorce formalities yet. We’re still married.”
Bye My Irresistible Love, Chapter 4 A Greedy Man