Published at 27th of December 2018 05:37:46 PM
Chapter 24

October 28, 20XX (Sunday)

The Grand Royal Palace Hotel- Milan

"It was hard but I truly did love him, he was passionate about painting when we meet, he was one of those determined men that wanted to be successful and that was attractive to me . I guess time has a way of making men crumble, he changed so much in the span of three years… He used to give me flowers, call me every time he had a break, ask me how my day was, and call me sweet names that made my heart flutter with sweetness but then Father Zhao introduced me to my mentor, Mr Giusseppe Alfonsi, and suddenly my path as a painter opened…" Mei Li paused for a little as Ru Shi caressed her back for comfort which was not working because it made the painter want to cry more .

"Chen Zhong had been jealous of it . He tried to hide it but when you're living together, no secret ever stays hidden for long . I heard him talking to his mother about how much I have no future in painting, how hard it would be to provide for the two of us when I would fell to meet expectations… that's also the reason why he never knew my identity as Miss M…" Mei Li continued to tell her story, trying her best to hold the tears already dwelling on the edges of her eyes .

"… you didn't give up even then?" Ru Shi asked bewildered .

Mei Li shook her head, "No, by then we have already been in a relationship for two years… and then came the day when his mother and I were shopping, I found him on a date with another woman . I don't know who she was but she was pretty . "

"Nobody is prettier than you but please don't let that fact stop your story," snorted Ru Shi which caused Mei Li to glare at her but Ru Shi just ignore her narrowed eyes and began to nod again for the continuation of her story .

"… I didn't believe it at first especially when his mother had told me that it was probably just a co-worker so I asked Father Zhao about his work life… and after a few days, Father Zhao took me to the Security Sector to see the security footage of all the woman he had flirted with… some he had even checked in with for many hours . It was obvious, What else could they be doing inside a hotel room?"

Ru Shi's pretty face crunched with disgust at Chen Zhong, unbelieving that he would cheat on a beautiful girl like Mei Li . She then turned to the teary-eyed painter, "What did you do after that?"

"I painted my third collection knowing that our break up is inevitable . To tell you the truth, I should have broken up with him but was too afraid to do so . We shared many firsts, and I really did love him…" Mei Li's voice broke and the tears have now become more evident in her eyes .

Ru Shi was horrified when the tears burst like an opened dam making the actress panic slightly before she pushed a box of tissue to Mei Li's way .

"I'm sorry, it just that it's different looking at videos than seeing it first hand… I just didn't want Yue to worry… and I had hoped that Mother Zhao would be the one to talk to me about it… I just, I… I… loved him! Am I not pretty enough? Why did he have to cheat?"

"Oh, come here you…" Ru Shi pulled Mei Li into her arms, embracing the painter with a tight grip while her hand softly caressing the painter's back .

"Remember what Yang told you?" Ru Shi pulled Mei Li's face so the orphan could look at her in the eye before continuing, "You are beautiful, You are worth it, You are irreplaceable . It's not your fault . Your light was brighter than Chen Zhong and he was too inferior to see you in your glory . Lighten up, someone capable will sweep you off your feet soon… probably someone already has…"

Ru Shi murmured comfort on the painter's ears, letting her cry out the pain she must have been hiding for a week in Paris or it might not have sunk in back then . Ru Shi could not believe someone as beautiful and talented as Mei Li could settle for an ordinary man, it almost sounded like an impossible dream of a commoner man marrying the princess .

Mei Li cried herself to sleep that night .

Her pitiful sobs pulled at Ru Shi's heartstrings . The older woman tucked the orphan in her bed, brushing away the strands of hair that fell into her flawless face . The actress briefly marvelled at the long brownish tresses that seemed to resemble the colour of a milk chocolate, making her milk coloured skin lighter, and emphasizing the red hue on her lips; once again, Mei Li had beauty even an actress like her couldn't help but acknowledge .

Ru Shi pulled the blanket up to Mei Li's chin before going out of the penthouse with a smirk, altering her pretty face . Upon closing the door before securing nobody in sight, She quickly ran her fingers on the hair just above the nape of her neck and picked at a small hidden device that was a size of her smallest fingernail .

She tapped it once with her pointer finger, and a red light started flashing . She spoke to it with malice that was so different from her normal cheerful self, "Yang, you better take care of that Chen Zhong or I'll do it for you . . . And you should convince Mother Zhao to come here earlier than planned . She needs someone to talk to and we are not yet close enough to have a deep conversation like that . "

It was only when Ru Shi arrived on her and her husband's room did she get a reply from the CEO in a form of a text message, 「I'm planning something for him . . . Can't touch him for now because of Mei Li but revenge is best served cold . Mom will arrive on November 1 at 5 AM there . Thanks -Yang . 」

"Darling, Yang just agreed to sponsor your next movie . " Alexandre's voice contained curiosity as he looked up to his newly arrived wife amidst the paperwork that piled in front of him .

Ru Shi snorted, un-ladylike and thought to herself with mischievous glee, 'You finally found your heart, Zhao Yang . '