Chapter 1 Part 1. She sold her husband
*Rivianna=Riv (for short)*
“I see you had dinner first. How is it? Is it good?” (Riv)
“Yes. It’s great. You should come and eat, too.” (Bake)
She smiled and sat down in the chair on the opposite side of Bake.
He had started eating first and his plate was half empty.
“Hey, honey, the meat looks a little undercooked, do you want me to cook it again?” (Bake)
“No, I like it this way.” (Riv)
“But you always ate it well-done.” (Bake)
“Do you remember all that?” (Riv)
“We’ve been together a few years already, I should remember that much.” (Bake)
“I’m touched.” (Riv)
She cut the steak with her knife and put it in her mouth, nodding appropriately to the rhythm of Bake.
The rare, cooked meat melted in her mouth as mildly as butter, but she didn’t think it tasted good.
“Don’t you have an appetite? Why are you eating so slow?” (Bake)
“Aren’t you curious?” (Riv)
“Huh? What?”( Bake)
“Why did I always eat steak well-done?” (Riv)
She cut the meat firmly, even though she had no appetite.
Because if she didn’t, she might cut something else.
“Is there a reason for that?” (Bake)
“There’s a reason for everything.” (Riv)
“Then what’s your reason?” (Bake)
“It’s because of Mariel.” (Riv)
“Mariel didn’t like food that wasn’t fully cooked.” (Riv)
She turned her head to the side and looked at the empty seat.
She still felt awkward about the empty seat next to her.
Even at this moment, if she closed my eyes and opened them, she felt like she still had a little daughter shouting “Just a bite” for the food on her plate.
“Honey, Mariel…” (Bake)
“She’s dead.” (Riv)
The tip of her fork caught on the plate, and there was a strange sound.
She lifted her chin and glared at Bake.
It was a face she had spent a decade looking at, but now it just made her sick.
“What are you doing now?” (Bake)
“I want to ask you that.” (Riv)
She didn’t care a bit and lifted her lips.
“Was it good?” (Riv)
“I asked you if it was good. Was it good to roll in my house, in my bed, with another woman?” (Riv)
“If you’re going to tell a bunch of outrageous lies, don’t, because I already know all about it.”
They were married on each other’s terms.
There was no burning emotion between them.
Nevertheless, she thought she had maintained it well.
There was a time when Rivianna believed that trust and faith existed between them, even if they didn’t have that amazing love that other people say they had.
If only ‘that’ didn’t happen.
Instead of anger, she chewed the meat in her mouth and swallowed it.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t do it on purpose. I just-” (Bake)
“No, it’s okay. You don’t have to make excuses.” (Riv)
“It’s okay?” (Bake)
“It’s okay for you to love other women. Everyone lives like that. We’re not particularly different.” (Riv)
“Honestly, a lot of people would live that way. They laugh and smile in front of their spouses while hiding their lovers behind them. We’re just one of those people.” (Riv)
Rivianna slowly lifted her fork.
Under the lights, the sharp fork tip glinted, reflecting the light.
“And maybe their children are dying because they are blinded by women.” (Riv)
“They don’t want to be responsible for the death, so they put the blame on their wives…” (Riv)
“If only such a dirty human being wasn’t my husband.” (Riv)
Whenever she roughly stabbed a piece of meat with her fork, bright red juice flowed through the meat. She stared at Bake and popped the tattered meat into her mouth. It wasn’t the steak she really wanted to chew, it was something else.
“…who told you that?” (Bake)
“It doesn’t matter who said it. That’s not what’s important.” (Riv)
“It was a simple accident.” (Bake)
“You said it was my fault.” (Riv)
“When did you blame me for Mariel’s death? Now you said it’s a simple accident?” (Riv)
She set down the fork in her hand.
Bake stared at Rivianna and spoke.
“I didn’t know either.” (Bake)
“You didn’t know?” (Riv)
“It’s not like I was hiding it from you from the start. I really didn’t know Mariel was there.” (Bake)
“Then why didn’t you tell me when you knew?” (Riv)
“The timing wasn’t good. You’ve been depressed and I’ve been suffering, too.” (Bake)
“Usually, people in distress don’t go see their lovers less than a week after their child died.” (Riv)
Rivianna chuckled and shook her wine glass lightly.
The wine in the glass was as red as blood.
“….. I know it sounds like an excuse, but I had no choice. Whenever I came home, the child’s face came to my mind, and you always looked like you were dying. I needed a place to breathe too.” (Bake)
“Thank you for saying that.” (Riv)
“Yes. Thank you.” (Riv)
She thanked him for making her not regretting her decision.
Rivianna smiled at Bake, who was confused. She thought that with all the years they had lived together there would be something remaining in him, but she was wrong. Her heart didn’t skip a beat when she looked at Bake’s empty plate.
“Did you enjoy the food today?” (Riv)
“I asked the chef to take special care of it, and I hope it suits your taste.” (Riv)
“Umm… Of course, our mansion’s head chef is as good as ever.” (Bake)
Bake nodded, deliberately hiding his uncomfortable expression. Rivianna smiled even more at him.
“I’m glad. I actually put drugs in the steak you ate just now.” (Riv)
“And I put some in the wine too, just in case….” (Riv)
Bake tried to leave his seat, but he couldn’t stand properly and fell down. Rivianna, still with a smile on her lips, shook her wine glass.
“The drug seems to have just begun to work. I was worried, but I’m glad.” (Riv)
“Ack, ack…what drug…?” (Bake)
“Don’t worry too much. It’s not poison.” (Riv)
“What…are you up to?” (Bake)
“What am I up to?” (Riv)
She tried to remove Bake Grayton from her life.
Rivianna emptied her wine glass and wiped her mouth with a napkin.
The wine was good, but the more she drank, the colder her head got.
The wine that accompanied today’s meal was made from grapes harvested the year Mariel was born.
To be used as a celebratory drink on the day her young daughter would become an adult, to celebrate the unfolding of the child’s life.
She still remembered the moment when she walked around the farm herself to pick the best grapes.
“So, you want to get divorced?” (Bake)
“You want to divorce me because I’m crazy?” (Riv)
“Bake, I don’t want part of it, I want the whole thing.” (Riv)
She wouldn’t have even started to get a mere part of it.
Rivianna slowly approached Bake.
He was too drunk to move his body properly, so she grabbed his chin and made him look at her. Even if she won the case, there was a limit to what she could get in a divorce.
It was too light a price to pay for the murder of her daughter.
“I’m not satisfied with just divorce. Even if we get divorced, you have nothing to lose. You’ll give me a few pennies of your wealth and chat with your good friends over drinks, saying you’ve done your job as a husband. I don’t like things like that.” (Riv)
“I told you. I’m going to take Bake Grayton out of my life.” (Riv)
“Do you think that’s possible? You know, the master of the house…” (Bake)
“It will be me.” (Riv)
When he was gone.
Rivianna moved her hand and stroked Bake’s neck.
She could feel his pulse clearly through her hand.
“Do you know that there are a surprisingly large number of people who want you gone?” (Riv)
“That’s why I sold you.” (Riv)
Rivianna smiled brightly.
“Don’t think it’s hard. It’s simple. I literally sold you.” (Riv)
Rivianna smiled at him. That’s right, she sold him to the person who hated him the most, the one who gave her the highest price.
She stroked her husband’s cheek, still smiling.
Her heart pounded fast from his shivering she felt on her skin.
“I was troubled for a long time. You’ve caused so much hate that everyone wanted you without saying who was first. Of course, there was also the Duke of Pierre, who you were very jealous of.” (Riv)
“Aren’t you curious? Who really bought you?” (Riv)
Rivianna neatly folded the napkin that was wrapped around Bake’s neck and placed it on the table. It was time to finish their meal and welcome the guests.