Chapter 1 - A Trivial Incident
A violent smack echoed in my ears followed by a sharp pain. I felt something trickle down and took my hand to my face to find bright red blood on the tip of my fingers.
I had requested all the thorns to be removed, but there must have been some left. Feeling the belated sting, I almost clicked my tongue. The woman before my eyes, standing tall in her heels, glared daggers at me. I looked down into her eyes with a straight face and opened my mouth.
“If you’re not a fan of roses, I can get a different—”
“Is that all you have to say, you f*cking n*tjob?”
One would never imagine that this woman, spitting profanities and erupting in anger, was the very person praised as “the most graceful actress of Hollywood.” I recalled the recent campaign that she had partaken in, but it really did not feel like they were the same person. The actress, who was now cursing while stomping on the bouquet of roses that had smacked my face and fallen to the ground, cried out abruptly.
“I refuse to accept. Let me see Keith right now!”
“As I’ve already said, I cannot.” I blocked her while maintaining my usual formal attitude. Before she could begin cursing again, I continued, “From now on, you must go through me or the lawyer if you wish to see him. Mr. Pittman wishes to terminate the relationship as quietly as possible. Accepting his goodwill would be ideal for your career as an actress—”
“Are you threatening me? You?” she yelled persistently with blue flames in her eyes.
I replied indifferently, “I am only stating facts. I advise that you make a choice that would benefit not only Mr. Pittman, but also yourself—”
“Don’t make me laugh. You think I’ll just suck it up like the other b*tches?” She cut me off and screamed, “I can bring at least a hundred reporters here right now. I’ll spill everything. I’ll tell them what a despicable b*stard Keith Knight Pittman is, and how that f*cking b*stard used me and dumped me! You think I can’t? Just you wait. What does he think I am, giving me this kind of bullsh*t?”
I stared at her, who was now fully aggravated, and calmly opened my mouth. “I understand. You may do so, then. I will let Mr. Pittman know.”
For a moment, she flinched as if she didn’t expect me to say that. I continued like an emotionless machine.
“If that is what you truly want, Miss Elisa, what more can I do? Mr. Pittman has shown enough kindness in the relationship up to this point. However, if you are not satisfied with his actions, that is also your decision to make. If that’s the case, I understand that you will be forfeiting your role as the heroine of ‘Standing in the Rain with You.’ You will also be denied entry to the holiday mansion in Malibu that you have been using until now. We will pack all of your belongings and send them to your private residence. Also, the membership to the Country Club and the annual pass for J Hotel that were to be given to you will both be canceled—”
Elisa interjected frantically. As I stared at her in silence, she muttered with a pale face, “That’s not fair. He already agreed to give them to me. He’s just going to go back on his words like that? Even the role? This is unbelievable. He’s so stingy!”
“They were supposed to be given to you as compensation for terminating the relationship with no issue. I would like to reiterate that this is a contract. If either party does not agree to the given conditions, the contract cannot be established. We have made our offer which you rejected, Miss Elisa. The negotiation has failed.”
“I didn’t reject it! I just… wanted to talk to Keith directly.”
I coldly pointed out, “That was part of the conditions. ‘You must not cause any more inconvenience to Mr. Pittman.’”
For the first time, she remained quiet.
I looked down at her pale face and asked, “What would you like to do? If you need some time to ponder, I can give you three minutes starting now.”
“What? Only three minutes?” she screamed.
“I planned to give you about twenty minutes, but you have already used up seventeen,” I said as I glanced at my watch. “Oh, my apologies. You have about two minutes and ten seconds remaining. Please decide within this period.”
I watched her beautiful face crinkle into a scowl as I pulled out the paperwork and a pen and placed them on the table.
“Please sign this paper when you make your decision.”
She bit down on her lip. Despite her agony, time ticked by. With thirty seconds left on the clock, she picked up the pen. She angrily scritched in her name as if she were giving her signature to an annoying fan against her will. I patiently waited until she was done and bowed down to reach for the paper. Just as I was about to bid her farewell, she looked up. Before I could dodge it, she hurled the fountain pen at my face.