Wiping away the sweat that was beading on my forehead, I rushed to explain, “That’s not what happened! Isabelle, I-I... I was merely discussing some private matters with him!”
However, Isabelle’s face was already as black as thunder. She then snatched up a file and flung it at me. “Get out! Just you wait! I’ll find evidence and put you behind bars!”
Without sufficient evidence, she was unable to fire me from my job. But what she could do was hand anything important I was working on to my colleagues. That was her way of being on her guard!
I sat on my chair dumbly, numb with the shock. All around me, I could hear my colleagues’ whispers.
“I would never have expected her to be someone like that! She must have been blinded by her greed for money!”
“I know! She even tried to deny it by saying she was discussing private matters with him! What has she got to do with the CEO of such a prominent company? It’s not like she’s a somebody either! Who would know her if she wasn’t trying to sell our company secrets?”
Among the murmurs, Isabelle sent her secretary over with an order. She told me that I was no longer promoted as the manager, and instead, Shannon would be taking my place!
Shannon? In an instant, everything became clear to me. That b*tch! All these must be her doing! She probably did this because she wanted to be the manager!
She was the one who sent me to Lucian’s room, which meant she was definitely the culprit behind those photos!
By that point, Shannon had already moved into a personal office of her own. Enraged, I stormed into her office and grabbed her arm while snarling, “Shannon, how could you do this to me?”
“Jenny, you’re hurting me! What are you talking about?” Tears shone in her eyes as she stared at me with a pitiful expression. “Please don’t misunderstand! I wasn’t aiming for the managerial position, I swear! This was all Isabelle’s decision. I didn’t want it either!”
“Hah! Liar liar, pants on fire!” My eyes were getting bloodshot from my anger. “You brought me to Lucian’s room last night, didn’t you?”
The moment I said that, a look of shock appeared on Shannon’s face. “What are you saying, Jenny? You drank a little bit too much last night. I wanted to bring you home, but you insisted you needed to go to the hotel. You said you still had something to do there. That’s why I left!”
My blood boiled when I heard her reply. At that moment, I couldn’t control my anger anymore. I could feel the heat surging through my body from rage as my hand flew up on instinct.
Scowling viciously, I then gave her a hard slap across the cheeks. “Shannon Gott, how could you be so shameless! Have you forgotten how well I’ve treated you for the past year? Back then, you said you grew up on a farm, so I took you in and let you stay with me. You said you wanted a good job, so I helped you with your resume. Heck, I even introduced you to this company! Everything you’ve ever wanted, I have always given to you selflessly! But this is how you repay me? Why didn’t you just stab me to death, huh? Because that’s how much it hurts right now!”
Glaring at her, I smacked my chest and continued yelling hoarsely, “Do you have any idea how deeply you’ve hurt me?”
“Jenny, you’re blaming the wrong person! I really didn’t do it!” Shannon burst into tears and hugged me tightly. “I know how good you’ve been to me, and I really appreciate it. As long as we can be like sisters again, I’m willing to give up everything! I’ll tell Isabelle that I don’t want to be the manager right this instant! You can have this position back as it’s rightfully yours anyway.”
She dabbed at her tears before heading for the office door. Realizing how scheming she was, my hand darted out immediately to grip her arm. “Shannon Gott, are you trying to prove how pitiful you are to the others? And that I’ve gone crazy due to my desperation to become the manager?”
“No, Jenny, I wasn’t!” she screamed. Yet, her hand crept up to pull the door open.
My eyes narrowed when I noticed that the door had opened. Right then, I realized that some of my other colleagues were already standing outside the door, including Isabelle!
I did not know when they had arrived, but every single one of them was looking at me with disgust and scorn.
Continuing her act, Shannon started taking off her clothes as if she did not notice them. “Jenny, I’m so sorry. I was an idiot to have not realized how much you liked these clothes. I’ll return them to you right away! Please don’t be mad anymore!”
“Jenny, I’ve always thought of you as my own big sister. I’ve never really cared for all these materialistic things anyway. Not only that, but I’ll move out of your house immediately! A-and I’ll also try to p-pay back all the rent I owe you as soon as I can.” She took off the tight black blouse on her body and whimpered pathetically.
What a deceitful and scheming b*tch! A top-notch actress, I’d say! This was the first time I realized how much of a stranger this woman was to me. Well, kudos to her because her words succeeded in garnering sympathy from our colleagues. One of them even pulled her to stand behind him while berating me angrily, “Jennifer, all Shannon did was wear some of your damn clothing and stayed with you for a bit. Do you have to be so petty and keep a tally for everything? She’s a farmer’s kid, but that doesn’t give you the right to bully and disrespect her so!”
Another colleague even went so far as to spit on me. “You disgust me! I would never imagine you to be the one to sell off our company secrets. And all that just for money! Now, you’re even capable of hurting an innocent woman like Shannon just so you can get the manager position back! How pathetic!”
Following that, Isabelle went over to drape Shannon’s blouse over her. Then, she turned to me and said icily, “Jennifer, how much does this blouse cost? I’ll help her pay for it. But mind you, please show some respect to her in the future. And you can forget about getting promoted as the manager. I’ll never allow someone so immoral and unethical to be the head of a team!”
Similar accusations and insults came hurling from the other employees after one and another, driving me mad. Hearing their abusive remarks, I bit my lip so hard that it bled as I firmed my resolve silently. Since Shannon was so desperate to drive me out of the company, I was even more determined to not let her get her way. Just you wait... I would definitely make you suffer all the humiliation I went through today a thousandfold someday!
For the rest of the morning, I did not see her again since she had a business meeting with one of the clients.
At lunchtime, I decided to head back home. Despite how unusual and rare that was, I was in need of a warm and comfortable environment to destress right now.
Although the Quinn family was no longer as glorious as it once was, my mother had still left me a small villa. That was also my only property. Truth be told, I took on my mother’s surname instead of my father’s because she was the successor to the Quinn family. So when the family went bankrupt, my mother had been unable to deal with the harsh reality. She committed suicide shortly after that by jumping into a river. My father, on the other hand, was now dating an ex-celebrity. And yes, one could easily guess - it, indeed, had been a long time since he cared about me. I was pretty sure he had forgotten all about me.
Unlocking the front door, I made a beeline for the second floor. Right as I was about to push open my bedroom door, I heard some noise coming from the room opposite mine.
It was Shannon’s room.
The door had been left slightly ajar. Through the small crack, I saw that Shannon was busy packing her luggage. It looked like she was planning to move out.
However, that was not what surprised me. No, I was more shocked by the man standing beside her. It was Howard Coffey, my boyfriend.
Didn’t he say that he was on a business trip? Why is he here?
Although a million things went through my mind at that moment, I took in a deep breath and calmed myself down. After a while of barely holding myself back from shoving the door open and entering abruptly, I peeked through the gap again.
Only this time, it caused me to tremble violently.
Howard, the man who had promised he would love me for the rest of his life, actually smacked Shannon’s butt! There was a wicked and lecherous grin on his face as he pulled the clothes out of her hand and flung them aside uncaringly. Then, he hooked an arm around her waist and pulled her in for a searing kiss.
Lost in their passion, they began to pull off each other’s clothes before tumbling onto the bed.
“Howard, we’ve been sneaking around for over a year. Now that I’m the manager, it’s time to tell Jennifer the truth.”
A year? Tears welled in my eyes at her words. If they had been together for a year, that meant they hooked up the moment Shannon moved here! Everything happened under my roof, and yet, I was completely unaware!