Chapter One :Chapter 1

In the hospital corridor, the atmosphere was like ice.

Serena felt her chest tighten and wondered how this sudden news would change her life.

"Are you deaf? I'm telling you again! THE WEDDING is in the THREE DAYS later!"

The women yelling angrily was Michelle, Serena's stepmother.

She stood there with distant and disgusted expression even on her exquisitely made-up face, her voice full of ruthlessness and mockery, looking very impatiently at the quiet and silent young woman in front of her.

Serena froze in place with her head down, the news like a pot of cold water suddenly poured over her head, catching her off guard.

She slowly looked up at the hideous woman in front of her and snapped softly,


Faced with Serena's insensitivity, Michelle couldn't hide her displeasure.

She scowled as if Serena was a lowly, insignificant person, her words filled with coldness and sarcasm,

"Don't you dare put on a pity face! Thank your good father for that! Otherwise you wouldn't have been able to marry Matthew Harrington, bitch!"


Serena knew that the Harrington family were the richest family in all of Hustleburg, if not the country, synonymous with wealth and power.

It sounded like the perfect marriage.

But it was Matthew.

Word on the street was that he suffered from a severe health condition and was on the brink of death.

It had been a long time since he'd been seen in public, and the rumors seemed to hold a grain of truth...

And the so-called 'good father' Michelle was talking about had no qualms about using her like a cheap commodity for a good cause.

Serena chuckled softly at the realization.

She had once believed that her father was deceived by her stepmother, and that he had distanced himself from her out of necessity.

But now, it was clear she had been overly naive.

Michelle noticed the change in her expression as she raised her hand to remove her sunglasses and looked at Serena with disdain,

"What, happy now? All right, it's as good as it gets for someone like you, a bitch."

Serena looked up with a mocking expression and retorted, "It's about time you fought for something good for your own daughter, isn't it?"

It was the first time Serena tried to fight back, she felt the fire burning inside her, but in the very next second...


A resounding slap struck Serena's face, causing her head to snap to the side and her cheek to burn for a brief moment.

Michelle didn't hesitate to raise her voice to threaten her, "Who the HELL do you think you are? The way you're talking to me RIGHT NOW, you should have been DEAD long ago!"

“I'm warning you. We've already promised them. When the time comes, even if we have to tie you up, we'll do that!"

Serena lowered her gaze, her hand gently caressing her numbing cheek, her courage and anger seemingly shattered by the blow.

Michelle, perhaps thinking that verbal threats were not enough, raised her chin slightly and swept her eyes in the direction of the hospital room,

"Bitch, I strongly advise you to be on time, and If you attempt to escape, I will have the dialysis tubes removed right now and then I will have Alex FUCK you!"

Alex, Michelle's son, had long lusted Serena's beauty.

If Michelle hadn't wanted her husband to get suspicious, she would have let Alex rape her!

Serena's fists clenched, a mix of anger and despair surging through her like a tidal wave, but with an underlying sense of powerlessness.

Michelle had a firm grip on Serena's vulnerability, and she couldn't fight back.

She needed their support to cover her grandmother's medical bills, which was the root cause of her inability to escape this hell.

Just yesterday, Serena had turned down the opportunity to pursue her J.D. to work and earn money more quickly.

But evidently, her grandmother couldn't wait any longer.

Serena gazed down at her shoes, took a deep breath, and finally gritted her teeth, accepting her fate. "I'll be there."

"Wouldn't it have been easier if you had been this reasonable from the start? That old woman in there might have suffered a little less, and it would have been easier for you," Michelle sneered, as if expecting Serena's capitulation, and she donned her sunglasses once more.

"After you get married, your punk husband will be responsible for the remaining medical bills."

With that, she turned and sauntered away, leaving behind an air of arrogance.

Only when Michelle's figure had completely vanished at the end of the corridor did Serena turn around.

Suddenly, her legs felt weak, and she bent over, leaning against the doorframe.

Through the window, she saw her grandmother on dialysis, barely clinging to life.

"Granny, I'm sorry."

She hadn't kept her promise, and yet she had given in...


Three days later, the wedding day finally arrived.

However, there was no wedding.

The Harrington family simply sent a chauffeur to pick up Serena.

There was no ceremony, no beautiful cake, no exquisite wedding dress, no well-wishing guests, and even the groom didn't show up.

But Serena didn't mind.

This marriage wasn't worth celebrating, and the fewer people who knew, the better.

It would make the impending divorce easier to handle.

The driver expertly stepped out of the car and took Serena's luggage from her hand.

He glanced behind Serena and asked, "Madam, is there any other..."

"No more luggage, that's all," Serena interrupted him matter-of-factly.

A hint of surprise flashed in the driver's eyes.

Even if Serena's family wasn't considered wealthy, they were still a business family.

How could she have only one suitcase?

Many girls would have 3-4 suitcases filled with luxury clothes for a trip, not to mention a situation like this...

Serena found it ironic to see the shock in the driver's eyes, as no one would believe the life she had endured all these years.

The driver sees Serena's indifferent expression and realizes that he's offended the new owner a bit, he quickly puts away his shocked expression and raises his hand,

"Madam, please"

Serena nodded gently and walked down the steps to get in, but that's when Michelle called Serena to a halt.

"Serena!" her tone was full of warning and threat, though she did her best to hide it.

She forced out a fake smile that looked like the driver's and said quietly,

"There's something I want to talk to her about."

The driver responded quickly, "Of course," picked up Serena's suitcase, approached the car, and promptly took his place in the driver's seat to avoid hearing any further exchange between them.

Michelle wiped away her false smile and spoke vindictively to Serena, "Do as you're told, or I can't guarantee your grandma's well-being!"

Serena stared coldly at the loathsome woman in front of her, her thoughts drifting to her cold and heartless father.

She knew exactly what they expected from her, but Serena had made up her mind.

She was leaving this place, and someone would take care of her grandmother's medical bills.

There was no reason to comply with their demands.

Thinking of her granny, Serena recalled something crucial.

With a spring in her step, she inquired, "Where's my mother's bracelet?"

Her granny had mentioned that her mother always wore a bracelet, a significant and cherished possession for Serena.

The bracelet held substantial value, but her mother had sold it to support her father Stephen when he was starting his business.

When her father's business had prospered, he had repurchased the bracelet.

It wasn't just a piece of jewelry.

It symbolized a significant part of Stephen's business belonging to Serena's mother, and one day she intended to reclaim it.

Serena had asked her father for it countless times, and he had promised to give it to her on her wedding day.

Now the day had come.

Michelle regarded Serena with disdain and callously replied, "The bracelet is missing.!"

"Missing?" Serena narrowed her eyes inquisitively.

Michelle remained unfazed by Serena's probing and continued to issue orders, "That's irrelevant. You..."

Recognizing Michelle's obstinate attitude, Serena realized that trying to obtain the bracelet today would be futile, and she didn't want to engage in a fruitless argument.

Without waiting for Michelle to finish her sentence, Serena rolled her eyes and briskly entered the black Spyker, commanding, "Just go."

The car quickly started, pulling away, and Serena observed Michelle's frozen expression in the rearview mirror, a small smirk playing at the corner of her mouth.

She is not going to be manipulated again, NEVER!