"Zhiyuan! Are you alright?" Terrified, Huo Mian immediately ran over, trying to help Ning Zhiyuan to his feet with painstaking care.
To her surprise, however, Ning Zhiyuan forcefully shoved her to the side, and she nearly fell to the ground.
"Get lost, it's none of your business! You immoral woman. Don't touch me. You make me sick."
Huo Mian's face was now streaked with tears. She shook her head, hurt. "I didn't, Zhiyuan. I didn't betray you. Please believe me. Those were all things that happened in the past. It's already over between him and me."
"Believe you? About what? That you're still a virgin?" Ning Zhiyuan mocked, wiping the blood off his bottom lip.
Huo Mian looked down, her lashes veiling her eyes. She didn't reply.
"Why aren't you saying anything? Is he wrong? You're not going to tell me that you're still untouched, are you?" Ning Zhiyuan demanded, his gaze full of disdain as he glared at Huo Mian.
"No, he's right. I was with him seven years ago. But it's all in the past now! Zhiyuan, would you let me explain? I'll tell you everything that happened between us."
Pa! A sharp sound cut through the air as Ning Zhiyuan raised a hand and struck Huo Mian's left cheek hard. Immediately, a burning pain surged up where the slap had landed.
Beside them, Qin Chu's pupils contracted sharply. Deep in his eyes were hints of heartbreak.
She reached out to hold Ning Zhiyuan, but he pushed her aside.
"Huo Mian, I thought you were a decent girl, someone I could grow old with. I truly wanted to marry you and build a life together. I never thought that you'd be one of those tramps. I must have been blind. To think that I spent so much time courting you in college, not daring to touch you like you were some kind of goddess, I've got to be f***ing blind!" Ning Zhiyuan laughed. "You f***ing played me, bitch!"
"Zhiyuan. You can hit me or curse at me all you like. None of that's important. You're hurt, let's go to the hospital first, alright?"
Huo Mian stumbled to her feet, trying to help Ning Zhiyuan up, but he shoved her again.
"Don't touch me, Huo Mian. Get your filthy hands off me. You're not taking me anywhere. Get lost! I never want to see you again. Get out of here!" Finishing his bellowing rant, Ning Zhiyuan crawled up from the ground like an injured animal and took off.
Huo Mian stood in place, sobbing silently.
She didn't know why things had turned out like this. Hadn't fate tormented her enough? Didn't she already pay the price for what happened seven years ago?
Why force her like this? Why couldn't she just live like a normal person? All she wanted was to live an ordinary life, nothing more.
"Huo Mian, come back to me. Marry me." Qin Chu's voice sounded from behind her, near-relentless. His statement was not a discussion, nor a plea. It was an order, one that didn't seem to have any room for objections. Huo Mian knew that the Qin Family had that kind of power. People from the Qin Family were privileged from birth, and in this city, they were virtually gods and could do whatever they wanted to. Seven years ago, she'd learned this the hard way, and brutally paid for her mistakes. It seemed that, like her, it wasn't over for Qin Chu either.