"Tell me, Sofia, have you ever loved me, or were you always playing a game? Tell me!” With a sudden surge of strength, Sofia was lifted off the ground and forcefully carried by the tall, cold man into the villa. Once inside, he unceremoniously dropped her onto the luxurious leather sofa in the living room. His figure loomed over her as he leaned down, pinching Sofia’s cheek with icy fingers. He looked at her harshly, his handsome brow furrowed, and his eyes narrowed. "Sofia, I was ready to let you off the hook, but why did you hurt Ellie?" "I didn't!" Sofia cried. "I didn't even push her! She fell on her own!” "She set me up! She did it on purpose!” “She framed me!" Smack! A slap resonated throughout the room, and both of them froze. Sofia looked at Finley, her beloved fiancé, incredulously. She knew Ellie Hill was his adopted sister, but she never understood why Ellie looked at him that way.
Amidst the pouring rain, a panicked-stricken woman stumbled outside a coastal villa in New York.
Her silk couture gown was drenched from the rain and clung to her porcelain skin, accentuating her exquisite curves.
With a delicate appearance and creamy white skin, she stood out even more in the rain-soaked surroundings.
But her expression was one of panic and desperation. Running towards the villa's front door, the woman lost her high heels but ignored her bare feet hitting the wet pavement.
Sofia Campbell quivered with fear, her body half-collapsed against the villa door, pounding on it with desperate intensity. Her voice echoed through the pouring rain as she called out the man's name over and over again.
The sound of footsteps walking towards her was followed by the door opening from the inside, revealing a tall, slender figure of a man.
Sofia looked up at her fiancé and took in his angular features and every inch of his cold, hard, breathtakingly handsome face.
He was exactly her type. The kind of man who was calm, cool, and collected. And she had loved him so much.
In his ever-immaculate black suit, his white shirt collar carelessly undone, he exuded an air of frustration. The tight knot at his throat hinted at the tension that coursed through him, while the exposed skin at his collar teased with a hint of restrained desire.
If things were normal, she would have leaned against his broad chest and run her fingers against the column of his throat, maybe even nipping at his skin.
He would instantly become beastlike and pick her up, throwing her onto their bed.
They would have been tangled in each other’s embrace. It would have been perfect on a rainy night like this. Just two people going mad with desire.
But this time, Sofia looked at Finley Stewart, and from the very depths of her heart. she felt afraid.
After four years of being in a relationship and being engaged, she believed she knew him inside out. However, as she gazed at the man standing at the door, his indifferent expression left her feeling unsettled.
Sofia didn’t see the familiar lust and adoration within Finley’s gaze. Instead, she found that his eyes were cold and ruthless.
Gasping, Sofia’s grabbed Finley’s pant leg and held on for dear life.
"The Campbell stocks have plummeted, and the Sanchezs set my dad up. Did you...Finley...did you…”
The man stood in the doorway, a lit cigarette held delicately between his long fingers. As he nonchalantly flicked the ashes, each falling onto the shag carpet, Sofia felt a sense of impending doom.
"Say it!" Sofia cried out. "Finley! Was it you?!"
"Tell me, Sofia, have you ever loved me, or were you always playing a game? Tell me!”
With a sudden surge of strength, Sofia was lifted off the ground and forcefully carried by the tall, cold man into the villa. Once inside, he unceremoniously dropped her onto the luxurious leather sofa in the living room.
His figure loomed over her as he leaned down, pinching Sofia’s cheek with icy fingers.
He looked at her harshly, his handsome brow furrowed, and his eyes narrowed.
"Sofia, I was ready to let you off the hook, but why did you hurt Ellie?"
"I didn't!" Sofia cried. "I didn't even push her! She fell on her own!”
"She set me up! She did it on purpose!”
“She framed me!"
A slap resonated throughout the room, and both of them froze.
Sofia looked at Finley, her beloved fiancé, incredulously. She knew Ellie Hill was his adopted sister, but she never understood why Ellie looked at him that way.
Sofia was engaged to him regardless. How could she push that woman down the stairs? She had no motives!
Sofia opened her mouth, floundering on what to say. Even if she tried to explain herself, Finley would slap her into silence.
"Listen to me, Sofia!" Finley's eyes narrowed into slits as he painfully pinched Sofia's cheek. His words came out through gritted teeth. "You shouldn't have done that to Ellie! You know what? I thought you were different from your father! But I was wrong, you Campbells are all the same. All of you have black hearts!”
"Hmph!" Finley glared at Sofia's pale face as she desperately tried to suppress her emotions. He sneered. "Wanna know what kind of a deal I just made with your dad? I gave Robert Campbell two ways to go, either the entire Campbell family, young and old, dies, or he dies alone on his own accord!"
"No...no….," Sofia's eyes widened, and she desperately grabbed Finley's arm, trying to break free from his iron grip.
Finley tightened his hold, pressing her forcefully against the couch. He took his time saying each word. “By now, I think Robert would’ve probably jumped from the twenty-eighth floor of Nobel Group. What say you?”
"NO!" Sofia's eyes were rimmed with red as she desperately tore at the man pressing down on her.
Like a trapped beast, she cried out mournfully, but the person on top of her was ruthless and never even gave her a chance to catch her breath.
"Sofia, Ellie was a good dancer before, but she hurt her leg while protecting me. Now, because of you, the bones on her hand are shattered, and she'll never be able to play the piano again."
Finley slowly got up and dragged Sofia by the arm to the marble tea table, pressing her hand against it.
Faced with the threat of his attack, Sofia desperately tried to wrench her hand away and kick him, but her efforts proved futile.
"Finley, you're a monster! A monster!” She cried. This man had confessed that he loved her but only got engaged to bring down the Campbells and their business empire.
Finley picked up a golf club and flashed a rare, gentle smile at her. That smile sank down the bottom of her heart.
"Sofia, you should ask your father what he did to the Stewarts back then."
“I won’t kill you, Sofia. I’ll give you three years to serve your sentence in prison.”
"But Ellie's left hand is completely shattered, and you'll have to pay penance for that.”
He swung, and the golf club came down.
"No, no, no…AH!" Sofia screamed miserably as the storm outside the villa raged on.
Three years later, the prison doors slowly opened.
Sofia walked out in a washed-out gray sweatshirt, her frail, thin body making her clothes look too big.
Her long, silky hair had been cut into a short, pixie cut. It looked like dead grass blowing in the wind.
Winter in NY was wet and cold and damp, and her rheumatoid arthritis began to wreak havoc again. Her knees, wrists, and shoulders hurt so much that she cringed with every step.
But this pain was nothing compared to the inhuman abuse she’d suffered for the past three years.
She knew Finley wouldn't make it easy for her in prison. The prison boss had many ways of torturing people, and she was bruised and battered under her frayed clothes.
The sun was a bit harsh, and Sofia tilted her head to look at it, her eyes glazed over, her hair tucked behind her ears, revealing a prominent scar on her right cheek.
The scar on her face was a cruel reminder of the bullying she endured in prison. Out of envy for her beauty, a cruel inmate viciously slashed her with a knife, intending to teach her a lesson about her appearance.
Hmph! Everyone had told her to seek repentance, but Sofia never knew what she did wrong.
Sofia's lips hooked at the corners, her expression numb and rigid.
She used to smile a lot, back when she was the Cambell’s darling daughter–a top designer who graduated from New York’s top fashion school. She even gained a small following from her hobby as a pianist.
Sofia subconsciously hid her withered and disabled left hand in her sleeve. She couldn’t smile anymore. She couldn’t even remember how to. Sofia vowed to herself that she would never smile again.
She lowered her head and deliberately let her hair cover the right side of her face, but a scar ran across her left brow that she could never hide.
"Sofie! Sofie!" a woman called out to her, and Sofia took a slight step forward. She winced, limping since her leg hurt so badly.
Step by step, she moved into the sunlight and out of the prison.