Chapter 2 She Is Back

Three years had elapsed since that fateful night.

As the woman stirred on the plush bed, her eyes fluttered open, gradually adjusting to the soft light. She stretched her lithe body, a sense of laziness enveloping her as she became conscious of the lingering soreness that coursed through her limbs. The gentle symphony of water running in the nearby bathroom hinted at the presence of another figure moving behind the frosted glass.

Stretching once more, she murmured in a soft, melodic voice, "Paige, what time is it? Why do I feel so achy all over?" Her words possessed a captivating quality capable of stirring hearts.

In response, the bathroom door creaked open, and a man entered her line of vision, commanding attention. Clad only in a pristine white bath towel, his chiseled pectoral muscles, defined eight-pack abs, and impeccably sculpted waistline were laid bare. A solitary droplet of water cascaded languidly down his neck, a tantalizing display of seduction. Yet, a frigid aura emanated from his countenance, evoking an instinctual retreat.

Confusion and trepidation etched across her face, Jocelyn furrowed her brow and inquired, "Who are you? Why are you here?" Startled, she hastily wrapped the blanket around herself, seeking solace in its embrace.

Advancing with an air of allure, the man peered down at her, his gaze penetrating and inscrutable. "Shouldn't that be a question you ask yourself?" he retorted, his voice laced with a hint of playfulness.

His eyes possessed an enigmatic depth, concealing any hint of his emotions at that very moment. A palpable aura of oppression emanated from him, casting a weighty atmosphere in the room.

In that moment, realization struck Jocelyn like a bolt of lightning, flooding her mind with shame. This was entirely her fault. Consuming alcohol had been a grave mistake. Did that mean she had committed infidelity within her marriage?

Although they had been wedded for two years, she couldn't even recall the appearance of her husband. Yet, their union was undeniably real, as was their agreement.

Recalling the events of the previous night, Jocelyn remembered how she and Paige had sought refuge in a bar, drowning their sorrows until they were too intoxicated to drive. They had secured a room upstairs, with Paige ascending first while Jocelyn, feeling ill, had ventured downstairs to the bathroom alone. Upon returning to the room, she had thirstily consumed the water on the bed and lay down in darkness, overcome by a sense of unease that plagued her entire being.

It became apparent now that she must have stumbled into the wrong room.

"Fine, it's my fault. I'm willing to take responsibility, just tell me what price I need to pay," Jocelyn admitted, her voice tinged with regret.

"A price? Are you certain you can afford me?" The man arched an eyebrow lightly, his tone as icy as ever.

This woman was amusing, but who did she take him for? A gigolo?

"At most five hundred thousand. Even if you're a popular star, that should be enough. Keep your mouth shut, alright?" Jocelyn chose to handle the situation with money, realizing that causing a scene would only bring more harm.

"Popular star? They mean nothing to me." The man's eyes grew somber, his tone as cold as ever.

As the phone vibrated, interrupting their conversation, the man took it with him into the bathroom. A frigid voice filled her ears shortly after, "In that case, let's proceed."

The bathroom door closed, muffling any further sound. Jocelyn couldn't help but shiver involuntarily. What did he mean? Was he involved in criminal activities, even murder? He seemed like a leader, but it was a pity that he was entangled in such a world.

Suddenly jolting to her senses, she swiftly dressed, jotted down a check for half a million, and placed it on the bed. Her gaze inadvertently fell upon the gold and diamond-encrusted vanity mirror, reflecting her delicate figure. She was a different person now compared to three years ago, with cascading black curls that reached her waist, exuding an ethereal aura.

Regaining her composure, she slipped into her heels and hastily left, the closing door revealing the room number: "8808..." Last night, Paige had mentioned that it was Room 8809, so she had indeed entered the wrong room! But why did that person place a glass of water on the bedside?

Outside, the north wind howled, and the ground was blanketed in snow. Jocelyn rubbed her hands together to ward off the cold as she stepped into her red Maserati. Just then, a message appeared on her phone.

"The engagement party of Joseph Stewart, the heir of Stewart Food Group, and Gloria Murphy, the daughter of Murphy Properties Group, is taking place at the Glorious Horizon Hotel."

"The event boasts a star-studded gathering of influential figures from the political, business, and entertainment realms."

"Originally, Joseph's fiancée was Jocelyn Murphy, but due to Jocelyn's elopement with someone else, Joseph had to engage with Gloria instead."

The words on the screen resembled a gaping, blood-stained mouth of a ferocious beast, instantly dragging her back into the abyss of three years ago. The intense hatred tugged at her heart once more. That couple must be delighted now, not only succeeding in slandering her but also achieving their desired engagement.

Joseph was undoubtedly a scoundrel, shamelessly portraying himself as an outstanding man. She couldn't fathom how she had ever fallen in love with such a despicable person.

Just then, Paige's phone call came in. "Miss Murphy, what have you been up to so early in the morning? Why didn't I find you when I woke up?" Clearly, Paige was unaware that Jocelyn hadn't returned to their room the previous night.

"It's a lengthy tale; I'll share it another time," Jocelyn replied to Paige's inquiry, brushing off the need to explain her absence.

"The hotlist has been compiled. You can take a look," Paige informed her.

"Very well..." Jocelyn responded before ending the call. She opened the hot search list and noticed that "#Joseph's betrayal#" occupied the top spot, generating an overwhelming amount of attention.

Clicking on the topic, she was bombarded with news from various media outlets, all echoing similar narratives. Headlines read:

"Joseph's former fiancée Jocelyn, after selflessly donating her kidney to save Joseph's mother, experienced physical changes, becoming unattractive and overweight. Consequently, Joseph engaged in an affair with Jocelyn's sister, Gloria. Jocelyn, unable to bear the heartbreak, vanished for three years."

There was even an audio recording of a phone conversation between Joseph and Gloria, where they callously discussed their actions against Jocelyn.

Netizens were livid, expressing their outrage and resorting to threats of cyber-violence against the culprits.

"If cyber-violence were an avalanche, I would be the largest snowflake! He's a scumbag, so why does he feign deep affection?"

"When will Jocelyn and Gloria meet their demise? Can I implore the King of Hell to send them straight to hell?"

"I hope you two are the next victims of cyber-violence! My heart goes out to Jocelyn."

Amidst the flood of scathing comments, netizens even shared mock obituaries for Joseph and Gloria on Weibo, captioned, "Joseph Stewart and Gloria Murphy, perished in the winter of 2019."

Joseph and Gloria's Weibo accounts were inundated with a plethora of profanities.

These messages brought solace to Jocelyn, dissipating the lingering shadows cast by her memories.

"Joseph, Gloria, the game begins..." Jocelyn muttered, her expression turning icy-cold, much like before.

Just then, Paige's call interrupted her thoughts once again.

"Miss Murphy, shall we expose Gloria's secret rendezvous with the 'money boy' behind Joseph's back on a daily basis?"

"By doing so, their marriage will undoubtedly crumble, and your sister will be infamous, never able to turn her life around again."

"Why? A scoundrel deserves a harlot," Paige remarked.

"Would you say it's preferable for him to merely abandon her or to be deceived without his knowledge?" Jocelyn asked, her tone still soft, her eyes undisturbed.

"Of course, it's better for him to be deceived without knowing," Paige answered.

"For now, let's keep it concealed and observe..." Jocelyn added, her eyes gleaming with determination.

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