God, I was so blind. I perceived his duplicated kindness as a genuine love for me. I never once thought of this. If anything bad happened to Rebecca, he would always choose her.
Seeing my silence, Sally knew that no amount of lecturing would get to me anymore. A soft sigh slipped from her lips. She headed to her bedroom for a change of clothes before leaving the house.
Thoughts engulfing me whole, I stilled for some time before getting up to leave. Mrs. Eriksen, who stayed with me, immediately got up to stall. “Letty, where are you going?”
She hurriedly blocked the door. “No, don’t! Mr. Ashton and the Moore family are most likely furious with you, so it’s not wise to go there now. Come, let’s stay here, okay? We’ll deal with things once everyone calms down.”
At her request, I sank back down onto the sofa and buried my face into my palms. The villa became abnormally quiet, save for the drums pounding in my head and heart.
Endless confusion weighed down the air around me.
After a while, footsteps drew closer in the villa. Mrs. Eriksen’s voice sounded, “Dr. Crest. Why aren’t you at the hospital?”
A huge shadow shaded over me. Irritation prickled under my skin as I looked up to see Jared’s slender figure standing in front of me. A distant and indifferent frown etched on his face.
I glanced at the blood on my hands then warned, “Please hire a lawyer if you’re here to accuse me of what happened. I’m in a very bad mood right now, so I can’t guarantee whether I will have an emotional episode and start assaulting you.”
He looked at me with profound impotence. Some seconds slipped past before he finally challenged, “There are no knives here. How exactly do you plan to attack me?”
My lips pursed in sizzling annoyance. There was nothing more to say to him.
Then, he sat beside me as Mrs. Eriksen fetched him a glass of water. He sipped quietly with no intention of continuing our conversation.
I turned to him and frowned. “Aren’t you here to lecture me?”
He raised a brow and questioned back, “Why should I lecture you? It’s not like my daughter was stabbed by you.”
“So… you’re here to get amused at my pathetic situation?”
An empty laugh sounded from him as he chuckled, “Do I look like I have nothing better to do?”
Neither? So he’s just here to watch how things will play out…
Footsteps rushed closer from the yard. There was no doubt as to whose it was. Ashton is back.
With blood still tainted on his hands, his slender figure entered the villa. The gloom on his face emitted a dangerous warning, saying that he wasn’t one to be messed with.
His lips parted and he instructed indifferently at me, “We’re going to the hospital!”
“No!” I refused.
He lowered his voice at me as if he were trying to suppress his blazing emotions. “Get up,” he instructed. Then, he pulled me up off the sofa without waiting for my answer.
He yanked at my wrist and dragged me out to the yard. After shoving me into the car, we raced for the hospital.
There, Rebecca had already been rushed into the ER. Perhaps it was Ashton’s seething anger, his hold tightened as his fingers ripped into my wrist.
I felt the faintest tingle before numbness took over my wrist. I barked at him, “Let go of me! If she dies, I’ll pay with my own life. You don’t have to exterminate me in advance.”
Hearing my words, he looked back at me and realized how roughly he gripped onto me. Then, his fingers finally slid off, freeing my wrist.
Purple and yellow blotches obnoxiously seeped across my bruised wrist.
His brows furrowed into an agonizing frown. For a moment, it seemed as if he hadn’t intended to hurt me. He muttered, “S-sorry, I…”
I gnawed on my lower lip. “It’s fine. It doesn’t hurt.”
His face scrunched up. The coldness in his eyes intensified and his lips clamped shut to steady the anger inside him. “How could you, Scarlett? No matter how much you hate her, she’s already lost a child. She’s already been punished. You’ve gone too far this time.”
Empty laughter sounded from me as I asked him casually, “Really? I don’t think I did enough. I didn’t drive that knife deep enough to kill her, now she still has a chance to live.”
My words rendered him speechless. He stilled for a second before responding, “It’s a life for a life, Scarlett! Do you really think Zachary is someone you can mess with? He spent the last twenty years searching for his long-lost daughter, Rebecca. If anything happens to her, do you think anyone can protect you?”
We met gazes again. My eyes were bold, filled with a surety that was also reflected in my words. “If she dies, then I’ll atone with my own death. There’s nothing holding me back in this world—if my death can bring her down then it’ll all be worth it.”
His eyes narrowed again. Clearly disappointed with me, he said, “Nothing is holding you back? Do you even have a heart at all? What about the people around you, those who care about you?”
Annoyance tickled my throat. I slumped into a nearby chair, ignoring his disapproving words.
Seeing my devil-may-care attitude, Ashton rubbed at his temples resignedly. Not knowing what to do, he called for a doctor to check on my injuries.
The doctor scanned my vermillion-stained hands. After seeing that I wasn’t wounded, he left briskly.
Ashton eyed me impassively. “Why did you stab her?”
Why did I?
Now that I’ve calmed down, guilt poured over me like a bucket of cold water. How could I act so impulsively earlier? Regardless of how awful her insults were, they were still just harmless words…
After pondering about it, I looked up at Ashton. “She said that you caused our child’s death. She told me that you gave me those prenatal vitamins to deform him and that you never wanted our child in the first place.”
I was probably upset because of this, and also because of Rebecca’s vile words.
He grimaced. “And you believed her?”