"Zheng Tianyi, please—"
A beautiful woman was pushed and thrown onto the floor. Her perfectly curled hair was a mess, her makeup was ruined, and bruises were beginning to form on her wrists.
Glowering eyes filled with pure hatred and disgust stared down at her. He was supposed to be her loved fiance, the man she would soon wed in one year. Yet, here he was, glaring daggers into her.
The look he gave her was bone-chilling as if she had brutally slaughtered his entire family. Was it possible to hate someone so much to the point of where their eyes were practically burning with animosity?
A simple glance at his infuriated eyes was enough to freeze someone's blood.
Xia Mengxi, a petite woman whose face screamed innocence, was standing beside the ruthless man. Her dainty arms were wrapped around his biceps. Pure, docile, gentle, and anything sweet could be used to describe Xia Mengxi. Her skin was pale, like the first fall of snow. Her face was small and adorable, like a cherished and doted bunny.
Because of her meek nature, laidback smiles, and the allure of a female lead, she always provoked the protective nature of men — more specifically, Zheng Tianyi, who vowed to ruin anyone that dared to harm her.
Zhao Lifei, his childhood friend for two decades and beloved fiancee for one decade, was unfortunate enough to experience this treatment.
"You disgust me." Zheng Tianyi spat out each word, every syllable prickling her heart.
Zhao Lifei felt like the villain of their Cinderella story that seemed to walk right out of a Korean drama. It was one that involved a poor and miserable Xia Mengxi who managed to capture the heart and attention of a brutal, but incredibly handsome billionaire.
"Don't touch me with your dirty hands." His voice, so dark, but smooth and pleasant to the ears, echoed throughout the room.
The socialites of Shenbei watched from the corner. Their mouths moved non-stop as they mocked, gossiped, and laughed at the honorable Zhao Lifei whose reputation was pushed to ruins.
Zhao Lifei glanced up at the man. Her heart was torn in every direction and painfully ached from his antagonizing stares.
Zheng Tianyi looked at her like she was the scum at the bottom of his shoes — something that was always with him and would never let go.
"Did I allow you to call me that? You vengeful b*tch." He snarled at her, his voice dangerously low.
Zhao Lifei felt a pang within her heart. She looked at him as if she had been brutally kicked. When did it all go wrong?
Zhao Lifei had dedicated all of her time, attention, and life to him. When he needed help in his company, she was there as the influential daughter of the Zhao family.
She helped him pull strings, threatened the people, did the dirty work, and allowed herself to be pushed into the brink of insanity. She worried over issues that he should've cared about. And while she slaved away at his desk, Zheng Tianyi was with his lover halfway across the world.
Zhao Lifei's long, slender fingers curled into fists. Because of her naivety and heart, she had decided to fall deeply in love with him.
Zheng Tianyi narrowed his eyes at her pathetic state.
He couldn't believe in his youth, he thought this lowly woman deserved the title of a friend. When she was a child, she was quite normal and caring. Now that she has gotten older, he saw how much of a crazy woman she was.
He was fine when she displayed signs of jealousy. What man didn't want a beautiful woman desiring after him? But Zhao Lifei had severely crossed the line when she dared to taunt and bully his lover, Xia Mengxi.
Who did she think she is? He allowed her to exploit the title of "Zheng Tianyi's Fiancee," to a high extent and this is how she repays him? By attempting a hit at Xia Mengxi's life?
"You're nothing but a pawn in my game. How dare the pawn come after the Queen." Zheng Tianyi continued to berate the woman in front of him.
She had already fallen from her grace, but that didn't mean he understood the meaning of mercy. His parents saw her as a lifetime partner, but she saw this as a despicable joke. "Use my kindness as a warning, Zhao Lifei. Stay away from me and my wife." His voice was chillingly cold, like the freezing wind of the Arctic.
If looks could kill, she would've long been cremated and her ashes would have been thrown into the sewers. The atmosphere was frigid, nipping Zhao Lifei's heart.
Perhaps her anger and delusion had finally cracked her, but she wanted to laugh at the title he placed over Xia Mengxi. Wife? More like his Mistress. The Zheng family never approved of Xia Mengxi because of her lowly background and heritage.
"Do you understand me?" Zheng Tianyi hissed in anger when he saw her distant expression. He bent down and roughly gripped her chin up. Zhao Lifei winced in pain, which caused him to tighten his hold. She knew it was going to leave a nasty bruise on her jawline.
"Stay. Away. From. Xia Mengxi." Zheng Tianyi's voice was so calm, that it was beginning to scare the crowd.
Suddenly, bubbles of confidence surged within Zhao Lifei. It was fueled by her anguished heart that desired revenge for being torn, stomped, and disregarded. "And if I don't?" She retorted back at him, her fiery temper beginning to come out again.
A black shadow flew at the speed of light and before anyone could react, a hand had smacked her face with so much force, that it turned to the side.
The crowd gasped in shock. Never in a billion years, would they expect Zheng Tianyi to strike a woman.
Zhao Lifei's face was immediately swung to the side with so much force, she knew she got whiplash. Tears gathered in her eyes at the stinging pain in her cheeks, but she pushed them down.
"Oh my god! Tianyi, are you alright?!" Xia Mengxi immediately grabbed Zheng Tianyi's rough, calloused hand. It was bright red because of how hard he had smacked her. "Does it hurt?" She gently asked him with her sweet as honey voice. She blew onto his red hand, lightly rubbing her cold fingers against it.
Zheng Tianyi's eyes softened at the sight of the fragile woman beside him. "I'm fine, sweetheart." He whispered to her.
Zhao Lifei hatefully glared at them.
Zheng Tianyi had one arm wrapped around Xia Mengxi's waist, holding her incredibly close to him. When Zhao Lifei saw him hold Xia Mengxi like the most precious thing in the world, she nearly laughed.
Who would have thought this heartless man was capable of love?
"Honey, let's not pay any more attention to her. I'm beginning to pity her..." Xia Mengxi's voice turned soft and mellow, like the spring breeze on a hot summer day.
Instantly, Zheng Tianyi agreed with her. The halo of the female lead was too hard to reject. "As you wish, sweetheart." He whispered to her.
He always agreed to whatever she desired. He was smitten by her, and every inch of his heart craved for her. However, his parents and Zhao Lifei saw it as foolish puppy love. They had recently begun to date and were most likely in the honeymoon stage.
That's what Zhao Lifei believed in, to convince her broken heart. A deep part of her knew that wasn't true…
The love that Zheng Tianyi had for Xia Mengxi was beyond words.
Zhao Lifei wanted to keep her mouth shut, but her heart was begging her to open her mouth and seal her fate. Nothing mattered anymore.
Her pride was destroyed, her parents disowned her, the people had humiliated her, and her reputation was blasted into nothingness. What more did she have to lose? Something hot, angry, and bitter trickled down her eyes.
Zheng Tianyi's dark eyes flickered in surprise, at the sight of her tears. It was the first time she had cried in front of him.
He nearly laughed, until he realized it wasn't tears of sorrow. It was tears of anger that came from the violent waves of her broken heart.
Zhao Lifei saw red. She slowly stood up, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, and in a momentary flash, she wanted blood to spill.
But a force was holding her down. "Stay down, it's futile to fight back" A voice whispered to her.
When Zhao Lifei glanced to the side, she was startled to see a mirror reflection of herself. Was she going crazy? Was all this anger and delusions finally getting to her? Did Zheng Tianyi's slap the senses out of her?
"He'll destroy you if you try to fight him. Stay down." The woman softly told Zhao Lifei.
When Zhao Lifei reached a hand to push the woman away, the hand went straight through her. Gasping in shock, Zhao Lifei stared at the woman with her eyes wide open. That was when the floor beneath her collapsed.
Zheng Tianyi and Xia Mengxi were gone. The people that taunted and humiliated her were gone.
Zhao Lifei stood in an abyss of darkness, unsure of where she went wrong.