The Substitute Bride: Making Memories Of Us-n

Chapter 33: Nothing But Contempt


"It's not what I think?" said Arlene sarcastically. "You're unbelievable! If you don't want to give me money, just say so! I can't believe you're being so selfish and ungrateful. After. all those years we spent raising you and taking care of you!". Arlene knew her little sister very well. While Ayla didn't get anything from the Woodsen family, she believed she was still indebted to them. "I really don't have money,” Ayla said unhappily. Even as she spoke, however, she saw movement out of the corner of her eye. Brian had entered the room. How long had he been standing there? How much had he overheard?. "You're back,"she blurted out. She was so surprised that her grip on the phone loosened, and it fell to the floor. Brian frowned. "What's wrong? Are you short of money? Who is trying to borrow money from you?". He walked quickly forward and grabbed the phone before she could pick it up. He looked at the number displayed on the screen. Ayla snatched her phone back, pressing the button to end the call. “I can't let him find out who called me” she thought anxiously. ‘If he finds out, who knows how he'll react?”. "Which boy toy of yours is asking you for money?" Brian asked in a dangerous tone. He moved closer to her, placing his hand on her neck. To Ayla, his touch felt threatening. "Are you deaf? Answer me!" he snapped. When she still said nothing, he said grimly, "I've been gone for only a few days, and already you're lonely?". He moved his hands to her shoulders and pushed her backward until she sat down heavily on the sofa inside the bedroom. “Remember who you are! Have you already forgotten your current identity?". "Mr. Clark, please don't do this," Ayla said desperately. "I really didn't do anything wrong, I swear. She wanted to push him away, but he was pressing her down into the sofa, gripping her wrists tightly. "It's not up to you what I do," he said. His eyes were dark with anger. She felt a wave of fear. Her refusal was only making him more determined to have his way with her. She didn't have any say in the matter. She clenched her fists. The terrible feeling of having no control over the situation made her bite her lower lip so hard that it bled. ‘He must truly hate me” she thought frantically. After all, he had never bothered to treat her gently. He'd never even kissed her lips. And he wasn't nice or gentle this time, either. Later, when Brian had left her room and the sky had turned black outside her window, Ayla crept downstairs. All the rooms were dark except for a dim yellow light in the living room. She went quietly to the kitchen and poured herself a drink of water, feeling dazed. Her thoughts turned to Arlene, who had called just to ask her for money. She knew her sister very well, too. Ayla knew that if Arlene didn't receive any money, she would just keep calling and calling until she got her way. It was not the first time such a thing had happened. In the past, when Arlene couldn't get money from Clayton, she would ask Ayla instead. Ayla had no choice but to give her the bulk of the salary she earned by working. “What can I do?” she thought. She was so tired she didn't even have the energy to return to her bedroom. The next morning, when Brian went downstairs, he saw Ayla fast asleep on the table, her head buried in her arms. He scowled. “She's acting this way on purpose, pretending to be pitiful so I feel sorry for her” he thought irritably. “She has a comfortable room just upstairs. There's no reason for her to sleep in the dining room

He grabbed the empty glass on the table and put it b ack down with a heavy thud. The sound roused Ayla, who sat up immediately, rubbi ng the sleep from her eyes. She saw the co ld face lookin g down at her. "Mr. Clark, " she said uneasily. She stood up, stepping away from the table. She was unconscio usly putting dist ance between them. Brian saw what she was doing. As he poured himself a glass of water, he asked , "Am I so frightening?” . "No," Ay la said quickly. The truth was, she was indeed afraid of him. However, she had no choic e but to face him no matt er how great her fear was. "Then what are you doing?" he said, watching as she made sur e not to get anywhere near him. He deliberately sat down in the furthest chair, raising an eye brow at her hesitant expression. Ayla twist ed her hand s together. Unexpectedly she said, "I would like to go out tod ay. May I leave the villa?" . She wanted even the slightest bit of freedom. But in order to go out, she had to obt ain his permission. He said, "Go ahead. I won 't stop you. Ayla couldn't believe her ears. Brian had agr eed without hesitation! . "But remember w hat I said befo re," he warned. "You can go out if you want, b ut you are not allowed to go ou t with other men. ” Ayla nodded. “I won't be out f or long. She had a bankbook, and although there was not a lot of money in her account, she decided she would give the remaining . balanc e to A rlene. She went to her room to get ready and to tell her sister to meet her at a coffee shop. Soon, Ayla arr ived at their meeting place. Arlene was already waiting, and she snapped, "Finally, yo u're here. Where's the money?" . Arlene didn't bother to was te any time on greetings or catching up with her sister. Arlene's brown ha ir fell in curls o ver her shoulders. She wore a gorgeous dres s and tasteful makeup. Sh e looked very beautiful. “Arlene, how are you doing ?" Ayla asked. They hadn't se en each other f or a long time. Ayla had no idea what Arlene was up to, or why she needed money. "It's none of your bu siness!" said Arlene, sounding aggravated. “Anyway, Aren't you Brian's wife now? Loo k at yourself! Why are you dressed in suc h shabby clothes? Are you pretending to be . poor so I'll stop asking y ou for money?" . Arlene took a sip of her c offee, glancing with disda in at Ayla's simple outfit. Ayla s hook he r head. "Why do you always think the worst of me ? Now that Dad is having such a big probl em with his company, are you still living . els ewhe re?" . "I don't need you meddling in my life! Wha t I need is for you to give me more money, " Arlene said angrily, putting down her cup . so hard that c offee splashed onto the table. Wordlessly, Ayla handed her sist er the bankbook. "Is this all?" said Arlene, l ooking with disgust at the to tal amount she would receive. "I told you, my sister, I don't have a lot of money. That's al l I have," said Ayla patiently. Although Arlene was difficult to deal with, Ayla would never turn her away, because of the gratitude she felt towards the Woodsen . family f or adopt ing her. Otherwise, she would have been left out on the streets to starve. Arlene suddenly said, "Is Brian treating you badly? Doesn't he give you a large allowanc e? If he's that kind of man, it's fortunate I

didn't marry him. B y the way, have you had sex with him?” . Ayla froze, stunned and humiliated. Alot of people had said that Brian was the devil, and now Arlene was saying the same t hing but instead of telling him to his face, . they avoide d him. Was this the reason why she became the substit ute bride of her sister? . "I see," said Arlen e, smirking at the look on Ayla’s face. "Well, don't become bitter, Ayla. I n the end it's still good to have a man. Just try to enjoy yourself!" . Without saying goodbye, she stood and w alked out of the coffee shop, leaving he r half-empty cup of coffee on the table. For a long time, Ayla just sat there, miserab le and lost in thought. Finally, with a heavy sig h, she decided it was tim e to return to the villa. On her way out, she ran into Molly and a nother well-dressed, wealthy-looking wom an as they were entering the coffee shop. "Ms. Woodsen, what a coincidence! Are you here for coffee alone or waiting for someone?" asked Molly spitefully. She glared at Ayla, recalli ng the words she'd said to her the last time they met. She thought, "This woman should be embarrassed to run into me in public ! But of course, she's shameless. "I was just le aving," Ayla s aid, flushing. She thought, "Molly must be very happy now. I! wonder i f Toby is also doing well?” . If so, that was enough for her , Ayla decided. "Oh? Really?" dr awled Molly, wri nkling her nose. “Are you about to go a nd meet some man? Or pe rhaps you already did. Smiling coldly at Ayla, Molly to ok the arm of her mother, Miley, and guided her to a nearby seat. Miley turned to loo k at Ayla’s receding figure as she left. "Molly, how did you come to know a woman like that ?” she asked her daughter. "Mom, stop," M olly groaned as they sat down. "I have nothing but contempt f or that bitch. Let's not ruin the day by talking about her. Molly gestured for a wait ress to come over so they could place their orders. As long as Toby stayed wi th her, she wouldn't give a damn about that bitch. He had been going to the villa every day to spen d time with her recently. Well, what more could she as k for? Meanwhile, Ayla headed for the nearest bus station. But instead of catching a ride, she just stayed in t he station, feeling gloomy. It was a cloudy da y, and soon, it beg an raining heavily. Ayla brought out her cell phone and open ed the contact list. There was only one number save d on her phone. She took a deep breath and thought, “I have to stop moping around. I need to fac e my circumstances as bravely as I can. Before she could dia l the number, the pho ne rang. It was Brian. As soon as she answered, sh e heard his furious voice o n the other end of the line. "Where are yo u? Why aren't you back yet?" . "I. I'm at the bus station. I'm on my way back to the vi lla right now,” she replied. Ayla realized that she had be en outside for much longer th an she'd originally intended. But it st ill wasn' t enough. Even now, she wished she could stay out here just a bit longe r, so she could breathe freely. The villa was palatial and luxurious, but she did not feel at home in that place. It might resemble a castle, but t o her, it was a prison. Inside, sh e was completely at Brian's mercy. "Which bus s tation?" Bri an demanded. She told him. Soon, she caught sight of Brian's car speeding towards her in the rain. It came to a stop beside her