Chapter 1 A Peculiar Dream
A man’s urgent and heavy panting filled her ears. That was how Elizabeth Wade knew she was dreaming again.
Recently, she had been experiencing the same dream at night, where she shared passionate entanglements with a mysterious man.
In the dimly lit house, Elizabeth couldn’t see him clearly. The silhouette of his face hinted at a set of chiseled features. Elizabeth raised her hand to touch his face. She wanted to know if this was reality or merely a dream.
The man clasped her outstretched hand in his. He whispered into her ear almost teasingly, “A gift for you.”
A diamond ring appeared before her eyes.
The mysterious man pressed the ring tightly between their linked palms. Then, he made love to her in a near-frenzied state, driving all thoughts from her mind. The intensity was out of this world, clearing Elizabeth’s doubt once and for all.
I must be dreaming!
Elizabeth woke up with a start, dripping wet from a merciless splash of cold water. Bewildered, she sat up in bed and wiped the wetness from her face.
“W-What are you two doing?” she stammered.
Her stepmother, Celine Woods, and her half-sister, Tiana Wade, exchanged an ominous glance. Both women wore smug smiles on their faces.
Celine crossed her arms in front of her chest and stared at Elizabeth co olly.
She said, “You fainted at the Wade family banquet, Elizabeth. The doctor checked you out and confirmed that you’re pregnant. Only eighteen years old, yet you’re saddled with a bas ta rd child. How shameful!!”
Elizabeth’s expression fell, and she shook her head vigorously. “That’s impossible. I can’t be pregnant.”
Suddenly, she remembered the ring hanging on a chain around her neck. Was it not a dream after all?
Her eyes narrowed in realization, and she glared at the scheming pair.
“Was it you two? You must’ve sabotaged me!”
Celine had always given her a glass of milk on nights when she tossed and turned from dreams of passionate lovemaking. She must’ve drugged the milk.
Distraught, Elizabeth could not bear to imagine what had happened after consuming Celine’s drugged offering. Tears of anguish streamed down her face.
Tiana arched a brow and taunted, “So you do have some functioning brain cells. We arranged an old man for you. Did you enjoy sharing a bed with that sixty-year-old? Or was he seventy? Haha!”
Tiana’s taunts agitated Elizabeth, who grabbed a pillow and pummeled the vile duo.
“You horrid women! Wait till I get my hands on you!”
Elizabeth launched herself at the two women. She pulled out a satisfying fistful of hair off Tiana’s head, causing the latter to grimace in pain.
Two bodyguards stepped forward and restrained Elizabeth then. Celine and Tiana sighed in relief.
Infuriated by Elizabeth’s hair-grabbing stunt, Tiana spat as her expression darkened, “You know, Elizabeth, that old hat said he would ask for your hand if you became pregnant. Alas, he absconded instead of making good on his word. You’re more worthless than I thought. Even an old man would rather kick you to the curb.”
Elizabeth struggled to break free from the bodyguards’ hold. She glared daggers at her stepmom and sister, hellbent on launching herself at the despicable pair. The bodyguards’ iron grip prevented her from doing so.
Celine produced a knife and hissed at Tiana, “Why are you wasting your breath on her? Once she’s dead, you’ll become the eldest daughter of the Wade family and the rightful heir to their fortune.”
With that, Celine raised the knife and approached Elizabeth. Unable to free herself, Elizabeth shouted, “Help! Save me!”
Her pleas for help went unheard. No one came to her rescue.
Celine stabbed her mercilessly, leaving her in a pool of blood. Only then did the bodyguards release Elizabeth. She was in absolute agony as she collapsed weakly to the floor.
She directed a hateful glare at Celine and Tiana, vowing that she would never let them off for their crime.
Celine sneered, “Tia, no one will steal anything from you again. Your grandfather will stop playing favorites too.”
She cackled evilly before instructing the bodyguards, “Get rid of her body.