+ Add to Library
+ Add to Library

C4 [4]

Wearing a pink tunic that reached her calves and paired with low-heeled shoes, her neatly arranged hair was adorned with a small clip on the left side. Peni lightly applied makeup on Chloe's face and dramatically affected her lips. Chloe told her not to overdo the makeup. She descended the stairs slowly, assisted by Peni. The servant also mentioned that Adrianna was already waiting for her in the living room.

"Would you like me to accompany you, ma'am?" Peni asked cautiously. This was the second time she asked, but she has yet to receive a response. Her responsibility in this house was to take care of Chloe, including attending to her needs during her treatment and recovery.

"No need. I'll go with Adrianna," Chloe replied with a bright smile. "You should rest. I know you must be tired of watching over me, right?"

In truth, Peni didn't feel that way. While watching over Chloe could be demanding, her mistress had significantly improved in the past month. Her emotions were becoming more stable, and she no longer spoke in a raised voice. Peni took pride in being able to provide advice on Chloe's nutritional intake and help her get accustomed to using the cane. She also made the therapy sessions more frequent.

A significant improvement, indeed. Peni couldn't deny that and nodded. At least Chloe was undergoing therapy under someone she knew.

"Is there anyone in the kitchen, Peni?" Chloe asked moments after she descended the last step. The clinking of utensils was audible to her ears.

"Um... Yes, ma'am."

"Who?" Chloe asked flatly. "Ester?"

Peni let out a soft sigh. She didn't want to say this, but looking at her mistress's face, she couldn't bring herself to avoid it. "Yes, ma'am."

Chloe didn't respond. She didn't care either because it wasn't her concern now. She couldn't see what they were doing. Even if they were wrestling and making a mess, Chloe wouldn't mind. Memories of the intertwined bodies accompanied by moans and wild sighs in Leonel's office still lingered in her mind. How could they do that in the office? Couldn't they find a moment to escape to a hotel?

Chloe's heart?

Don't ask.

It was shattered and shapeless. Even she was confused about how to piece it back together, as the fragments had become so small. It wasn't easy to unite them again. Only one question kept rooting in her mind. What had Chloe lacked in these five years for Leonel?

She had tried to be a good wife. Polite, maintaining her dignity, trying to keep up with Leonel's busyness, refining herself. Chloe even willingly dove into the kitchen to prepare meals for Leonel. But it wasn't crucial. Leonel remained Leonel. He was always turning away from her and returning to the same woman—Ester Gisella.

In the Grisham family, Chloe's position was strong because she was the beloved daughter-in-law. But it didn't apply to Leonel's heart.

That's why, for now, she was grateful for losing her sight. To her, the almost life-threatening accident had its blessings. When she saw Leonel and Ester again engaged in the same act, Chloe embraced her husband's absence.

"Prepare the car. I'm leaving now," Chloe said.

Her voice made Adrianna, who was playing with her phone while grumbling, quickly turn around. She smiled upon seeing Chloe and Peni in the living room. She hurriedly approached Chloe and promptly grabbed her friend's hand. "What are you doing, Chloe?" Adrianna asked, exasperated.

"What do you mean?" Chloe needed clarification.

"You let that snake come to this house?" Adrianna felt like shaking Chloe's head and untangling the mess that had settled there. "Ester, Sa. Ester. Your husband's mistress," Adrianna said firmly, staring at Chloe with an unreadable expression.

"Oh, just let it be. I'll provide a place for them instead of letting them breed in the wrong place."

Adrianna was taken aback. Her eyes scanned Chloe from head to toe. Then she placed her hand on Chloe's forehead as if checking for a high fever. People with high fevers usually babbled when they spoke. But not Chloe. She was perfectly normal. She immediately removed Adrianna's hand.

"Hey, we're going to be late. In New York City, nobody makes peace when they're running late," Adrianna nodded softly, walking alongside Chloe with a million questions. After bidding farewell to Peni, who looked worried as she watched her employer leave with Adrianna, Adrianna couldn't help but reflect on her first meeting with Peni. She was confident that Peni had taken good care of Chloe during their time in this house because, to Adrianna, this luxurious two-story house with two large pillars at the main entrance was nothing but a hellish place of suffering for Chloe, mainly because of Leonel.

"Are you sure?" Adrianna asked softly as they were on their way to the hospital. "We're talking about Ester, Chloe. Ester," Adrianna emphasized after hearing Chloe's irrational desire.

Asking Leonel to marry Ester because she didn't want her husband to have affairs out there and inviting his chosen woman under the same roof while Chloe was in this condition—wasn't it like handing her neck to the executioner? Adrianna was well aware that Leonel and Ester were two of a kind. Equally despicable.

"I'm sure," Chloe stared straight ahead. There wasn't much she could see; still the same as before, just a few points of light. And she was grateful for even catching those tiny rays of light now compared to when she first realized she couldn't see anything. Everything was dark, just like her bleak life.

"Let them do as they please in that house. I'm tired of waiting for Leonel to come home until midnight," Chloe smiled bitterly. "Not because of overtime, but because I can see him visiting that woman, Ly. So now Leonel can come home on time. I'm not worried anymore, and I won't lie to Mama. I'm tired, Adrianna. So tired."

Adrianna was speechless. Her lips wanted to say so many things about Chloe's desires and the collection of heartaches and shattered feelings caused by this beloved person's actions. As a form of support, Adrianna tightly held Chloe's hand. "I support you, Sa. Whatever you do, if it can alleviate the tightness in your heart, go ahead and do it."

"Oh, of course. The tightness will decrease day by day," Chloe smiled softly, and this time, Adrianna could see that the smile was starting to show brightness and a hint of happiness. "That's why I'm excited for therapy this time."

Though it felt strange, Adrianna nodded.

Meanwhile, in the dining room, Leonel lost focus several times. It wasn't on Ester's appearance, accustomed to wearing revealing clothes that showcased parts of her beautiful body. It was Chloe that occupied his thoughts. He couldn't fall asleep since he returned to the room across from Chloe's. Somehow his mind kept thinking about who was calling his wife in the middle of the night.

Speaking in a calm voice and from his current position, he could see Chloe's wide smile—the kind he hadn't seen in months. Usually, Chloe would display that smile when welcoming him; even if Leonel only saw it, he knew it was meant only for him. And now?

Oh god. What was he thinking?

"What's wrong with you, Darling?" Ester asked, sounding slightly annoyed.

"What do you mean?" Leonel realized he was already sitting in the driver's seat of his luxurious sedan. Since when? The breakfast event had already finished?

"I brought breakfast, but you seem unenthusiastic. It's your favorite food, you know."

Leonel blinked slowly but quickly regained control of the situation. He gently caressed Ester's cheek, which now displayed a pouting face. "Forgive me, okay? The work at the office is consuming."

"Are you sure?" Ester asked, still with a teasing tone. "Is there something else?"

Leonel chuckled. "Something else?" He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. The familiar scent of her perfume had filled the car and his senses since earlier. "There's nothing else I'm thinking about except work and you."

"You," Ester smiled and continued, "But because you weren't focused earlier, the breakfast turned out to be less. Aren't you hungry?"

"No," Leonel grinned. His gaze shifted to her slightly revealing cleavage. His fingertip, which he had used to trace her neck earlier, now moved slightly upward, paying attention to the owner's reaction, who had closed her eyes with her lips gently bitten.

"Drive carefully, Honey."

Chloe's voice suddenly filled Leonel's head, causing him to withdraw his hand from Ester's body. This made Ester look at him with confusion.

"Why, Darling?"

"Oh, nothing. I suddenly remembered that I have a morning meeting," Leonel quickly turned the car key and started driving. But his mind kept cursing the echoing voice of Chloe. Why was he suddenly thinking about his wife? When he arrived at the office and asked his driver to take Ester wherever she wanted, Leonel still had not found the answer.

It was too sudden for him.

In their five years of marriage, which was incredibly dull, Chloe had never once crossed his mind as he walked through life. He considered everything about Chloe as fleeting. A decoration that didn't exist at all in his wheel of life. For Leonel, there was only the office and Ester. Chloe was only present when necessary, especially regarding family and business colleagues. Everyone knew they were a harmonious couple.

Leonel didn't want to tarnish his image.

What about the rest? Chloe was just a figure in the luxurious house he had built for his family. Considering the meaning of family for Leonel now, it was all in vain. What did he want in this chaotic married life with Chloe?

But now? Why did Chloe suddenly interrupt him? Was it because he felt sorry for her? Ah yes. That made perfect sense. Pity because the accident started with him, right? Yes, that was right. At least that thought could help him concentrate, although he had a bit of worry because Peni hadn't sent any news about Chloe.

Until lunchtime, Peni still hadn't given any updates. "What the hell is a maid's job?" Leonel cursed, glancing at his phone several times. He immediately searched for Peni's contact and made a call. It didn't take long for Peni to respond. "Where are you?" Leonel asked impatiently.

"At... at home, sir."

Leonel frowned. Today was Chloe's schedule to schedule the hospital. He also knew that Chloe was usually accompanied by Adrianna for therapy, along with Peni. But why was Peni at home? Did that mean it was only Chloe and Adrianna? Leonel didn't doubt Adrianna's presence beside Chloe. Ever since Adrianna learned about Leonel's infidelity and the meaninglessness of his marriage with Chloe, war drums sounded in her eyes. Adrianna looked at Leonel like he was a virus to be avoided.

"Has she come back yet?" Based on his observation, since Chloe started attending therapy, she should have arrived home by now.

"Not yet, sir."

The anger grew stronger in Leonel's mind. "Your employer hasn't returned, but you're already at home? How is that possible, Peni?"

"Uh, well, ma'am sa—"

"Speak clearly!" Leonel scolded.

"Ma'am went with Miss Adrianna. I wasn't allowed to come along. She told me to rest."

If Leonel had kept talking to Peni, he might have cursed at her already. He quickly ended the call before venting his emotions. After he felt somewhat calm, although still agitated because his wife hadn't returned home, he searched for Chloe's contact again.

Several calls went unanswered, which only made Leonel angrier. Previously, he had never felt irritated just because Chloe ignored his calls. He had never been missed. On the contrary, he was the one who often missed Chloe. Not often, but almost every day before.

"Damn it!" Leonel cursed after his repeated calls received no response. Reluctantly, very reluctantly, Leonel slid the green screen when his fingers found Adrianna's contact on his phone.

It didn't take long for the call to connect.

"What?" the owner of the voice asked brusquely.

"Where's Chloe?" Leonel didn't want to beat around the bush with Adrianna either.

"Don't you know therapy can't be disturbed?" Adrianna's voice still sounded curt.

"Why hasn't she come back? She should have come back, right?"

Adrianna hesitated. "The therapy will be finished in another hour."

Originally, Leonel wanted to say something, but he distinctly heard Chloe's laughter there. And the unfamiliar voice in his ear, although his heart believed it was the doctor taking care of Chloe. He had never accompanied Chloe to therapy all this time. He relied only on reports from Peni and details about his wife's progress.

"I'm glad you can be happy like this, Mrs. Chloe," the man there said. For some reason, she was hearing that made Leonel even more annoyed.

"Thank you. Thanks to the patient-doctor helping me," Chloe's voice sounded cheerful.

"By chance, I have some free time after this therapy. Shall we talk at the coffee shop?"

Leonel's eyes widened. He repeatedly stared at his phone screen in disbelief. "Damn it!" Then he quickly grabbed his blazers and car keys and ensured he remembered his wallet. As he passed Deborah's desk, he said, "If someone is looking for me, tell them I'm at the hospital. I have to meet my mother there."

Deborah, who was working on a report, blinked but quickly nodded. "Alright, sir." Not complying with Leonel's request could ruin her career. She still valued the paycheck she received every month. Even after the boss's broad back disappeared behind the corridor, Deborah was still busy digesting his message. "Hospital? Mother? Is Mrs. Chloe sick again?" Deborah was astonished by her thoughts. "Oh my God, protect Mrs. Chloe. She's a good person."

Leonel didn't care if he was cursed throughout the way to the hospital. His mind was filled with the proposition of another man to his wife. "Damn it!" he cursed. He remembered everything Chloe had been doing to him lately. "What do you want, huh?!"

Libre Baskerville
Gentium Book Basic
Page with