“Could you please draw the curtain when you leave? That will keep light out.” Xia Mo pointed at the window.
“Okay,” Mrs. Wu closed the curtain accordingly and put a blanket over Xia Mo to keep her warm and comfortable. “Try to relax, or you will get hurt again.”
“I will,” Xia Mo nodded nervously.
After Mrs. Wu left, she was alone in the room again, quiet and still. Even the sound of the wind outside could give her a start.
She lied there, trembling with fright, like a convict waiting for the execution.
After a long silence, the door opened with a click, which startled Xia Mo a lot. Her eyes widened and she could see a flash of faint light through the patch.
But soon the world was back in infinite darkness, and Xia Mo closed her eyes at once.
From the rustling beside the bed, she could tell that he must be taking off clothes.
And before she had a second thought, the blanket over her disappeared and her body was pulled towards another warm and strong body.
Xia Mo bit her lower lip, trying not to make a sound.
The man ripped off her top and pressed his body against hers, which was pretty much same as what she saw in that video. Did he watch that as well?
While she was still in confusion, the man pulled off her pants and raised one of her legs. And the next thing she could feel was being deeply penetrated.
“Ah!” The acute pain made her scream.
She tried to push him away, “Get off!”
“Don’t forget why you are here!” He sounded cold and indifferent. “For the sake of money, behave!”
All her resistance stopped abruptly. She surrendered, silently.
The man continued without any emotion, as if he was doing it with a doll. This delicate and obedient doll took all his repressed feelings, including discontent with his wife and guilt for betraying his loved one.
Next day when Xia Mo got up, she felt even more painful. It might be shameful to admit but she could barely put her both legs together due to the weird feeling down there.
She lied on the bed with remorse until Mrs. Wu came in.
“You were still asleep when I sent you breakfast earlier,” Mrs. Wu explained.
“Leave it there!” Xia Mo’s voice was horse from crying and with her messy hair, torn up clothes and red eyes, she looked as if she had been raped.
‘Why did Master act so violently all of a sudden?’
Mrs. Wu was greatly surprised, but she hided it well.
After bringing in another bowl of soup, she said to Xia Mo, “Take care of yourself. Get up and have some food. I’ll give you a massage later. Maybe that will make you feel better.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Wu.” Xia Mo got off the bed with difficulty and refused Mrs. Wu’s help, “I’m all right. Don’t worry.”
Mrs. Wu hesitated for a while and left.
Xia Mo took off clothes and immersed herself in a tub of hot water. The bruises on her breast kept reminding her of the scenes from last night.
She didn’t move until the water turned cold. She dried her body, got changed,
had lunch, watched the sky and clouds besides the window. As the sun began to set, she had dinner and waited for the moon to rise.
Mrs. Wu was talking to Lu Wanru in the living room.
“I was almost shocked when I saw her this morning. She was totally in a mess, disheveled and pale. And her eyes were swollen from crying.” Mrs. Wu described what she saw vividly, “Even the clothes were ripped off.”
“Really?” Lu Wanru found it hard to swallow, “He’s getting back at me!”
“But Master was not suffering. You are. How could he blame you?” Mrs. Wu was now very upset with her Master.
“He’s defending his lover!” Lu Wanru smiled mildly but coldly, “As long as I’m alive, she shall not dream about being part of this family.”
“Yes, she will always be the mistress beneath contempt!” Mrs.Wu clenched his fists indignantly, “She doesn’t deserve Master’s attention!”
“Both hatred and love can blind people to the truth.” Lu Wanru murmured, and then turned to Mrs. Wu, “As for Xia Mo, prepare some nice food for her and ask her if she needs books or any other things. She’s only a child. We’ll care for her as well as we can.”
“I have sent her nutritious soup three times.” Mrs. Wu answered, “It’s getting late today. I’ll talk to her tomorrow.”
“Okay.” Lu Wanru walked towards the misted French windows, and wrote an “18” with a finger. “The best time of our life. I can barely remember my days at 18.”
“When Your Ladyship was 18 years old, you were second to none among all the debutantes in D city. Many young gentlemen waited in front of our house, hoping to meet you in person.”
The proud look on Mrs. Wu’s face made her smile and blush, as if being brought back to that time. Even her fair complexion seemed to brighten a little.
“I didn’t know about that.”
“You certainly didn’t.” Mrs. Wu looked at Lu Wanru, whom she had been taking care of for ages. “Every morning when I went out to pick up milk and newspaper, they always came to me and asked, ‘Is Miss Lu at home? Is she going out today? Is she learning painting today?’ There was one time when they almost got into a fight.”
“Really?” Lu Wanru laughed, “Why didn’t you tell me at that time? What if I found someone suitable for me?”
“There was one very decent young man. He was good-looking and graceful like a celebrity. Even I found him very attractive.” Mrs. Wu recalled the old days and smiled brightly, “I was actually thinking that you two must make a well-matched couple. But I was afraid if your father found out I introduced you to unknown young men, he would punish me. However, in retrospect, I wish I had…”
Mrs. Wu paused, but Lu Wanru understood her implication already.
If she had fallen in love with another person, she would not have to marry into the Ling family where she had been living like a walking dead.
Having noticed that Lu Wanru was feeling down, Mrs. Wu tried to distract her, “It’s snowing outsi...”
Before Mrs. Wu could finish the sentence, she froze at the scene outside.
Lu Wanru turned to the window as well.
With the snowflakes fluttering around, the tall silhouette of Ling Yichen was drawing near with a beautiful young woman.