It was as if a bucket of cold water was emptied down on Jack's head as he widened his eyes at Lily, a realization that Lily had used him hit him hard. News of him having a meeting with Lily would eventually reach the ears of Sofia and Liam. So, no matter what his decision was, Sofia and Liam would eventually come for him once they resolve their own scandals.
"What? Speechless? Was it because I hit the nail on the head? Why don't you just stop harassing Liam and move on with your pathetic life? Huh? You think this can bring Liam down?" Monique's shrill voice rang even louder, echoing inside the coffee shop. Even though this meant that everyone could hear her, she didn't care because she felt that Liam was the victim here.
Meanwhile Lily was just staring at Jack with a smirk on her face. "We already made a deal," Lily softly said, just loud enough for Jack to hear in the midst of Monique's tirade.
Jack clenched his jaw and nodded in response. Even though he would stand to gain something from this deal, he couldn't help but feel that he had made a deal with the devil. Did he regret it? No, he didn't. Maybe Lily did trick him but she would help him to destroy the woman that he hated the most and in turn he would get Arison Holdings. This was a classic representation of the end justifies the means.
At this point, Jack finally understood the meaning behind Lily's question when she asked him if he would treat Arison Holdings just like how he treats his coffee. Lily was about to let him in on her schemes and she was asking him if he was willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goal even if the means were questionable. Would his conscience allow it? Was he willing to stand his ground and fight to obtain the company?
"What? Answer me! Stop flirting with your ex-fiance's brother and answer me!" Monique's shrill voice made Lily turn her head towards her. With a smile on her face, Lily rose from her seat.
"Monique… your shrill voice is disturbing the peace in this place. Don't you know that this is a high-end coffee shop? Your skanky attitude is not welcome here," Lily said calmly as she opened her purse and placed a couple of bills on the table.
"You think your sharp tongue can scare me?" Monique asked. "Let me tell you something b*tch. I am not afraid of you."
"Alright." Lily nodded before turning her head to face Jack. "I will give you a call the day after tomorrow. Be ready." Lily then walked past Monique only for the latter to grab her shoulders, turn her around before a hand landed hard on her cheek. A resounding slap caused everyone to be quiet, while Jack rose from his seat in shock.
"That's for trying to ruin Liam's career," Monique said with a smug on her face. She then lifted her other hand in an attempt to slap Lily on the other cheek but Lily was quick to stop her hand this time.
Lily's grip was tight – too tight. Monique's face morphed into a scowl. "Let me go!"
Her words only earned a chuckle at Lily. "Oh… look at that. Is that a photograph on the floor? Jack, pick it up."
Everyone's eyes immediately looked at the single photograph on the floor. "Isn't this…" Jack said the moment he held the photo in his hand, "Monique and Liam?"
In the photo was a woman clad in just a bathrobe. She was looking out of the floor to ceiling windows of a room while holding a tall and slim glass in one hand. Behind her was a man who seemed to be whispering into her ear while his hands were wrapped around her waist. Though most of the man's body was blocked by the woman in the picture, it was obvious that he was not wearing anything while he hugged the woman.
Monique's face turned ashened when she saw the photo. Their faces were clearly captured and people would surely recognise the man and the woman in the photo to be Liam and her respectively. She made an attempt to grab the photo from Jack but Lily's grip was too tight. She turned towards Lily and was surprised to see the latter smiling at her. "Did you think, I would let you slap me for free?"
A shiver run down Monique's spine. She wanted to say something but her mind went blank. It was as if her brain had shut down. If her guess was right then… she had fallen into Lily's trap. Fear was apparent in Monique's eyes.
Monique started recalling the events that happened before she stepped foot into this coffee shop. She had just finished taping and she overheard some of the film crew gossiping about Liam's scandal which riled her up immediately. Her mind started asking questions and she wanted some answers. Then her assistant remarked that she saw Lily entering a coffee shop while she was out running an errand. She asked her assistant to tell her exactly which coffee shop it was and before she knew it, she was here.
Now that she thought about it, the events that led her to meet with Lily today was suspicious. If she wasn't so exhausted from taping, she might have sensed something was not quite right. But she allowed her anger to consume her and she forgot that Lily was actually very scheming. How else was she able to thrive in the business world if she wasn't scheming?
"My… My… Monique… Sleeping with your own cousin? Is this why you always dislike me? Because I was engaged to your cousin before?" Lily gasped exaggeratingly and covered her mouth, as if she was truly shocked at the revelation. Though she hadn't spoken too loudly, it was still loud enough for most people near them to hear.
Lily's words pierced Monique's heart like a sharp sword. This was the moment that she dreaded the most. That people would find out about their forbidden affair and judge her for it. She roamed her eyes to look at everyone in the coffee shop, feeling utterly humiliated as tears started to blur her vision. "We are not cousins!" she managed to hissed before a single tear fell from her cheek.
"Really?" Lily suddenly let Monique go, and she weakly fell down to her knees. "Last time I heard-"
"Stop! Stop talking!" Monique said before she held onto a chair for support to stand back up on her feet. Just as she got up on her feet, Lily suddenly leaned over her shoulders.
"Come on." Lily's voice was as gentle as the breeze in an early summer morning. "Say something… But let me assure you that whatever you say will only embarrass you and your lover further. It'll give me more reason to release all your photos and videos together."
Monique's pupil dilated, as fear overwhelmed her. "You…" Lily's words only meant that she still had a lot of incriminating photos in her hands. If Lily was trying to scare her then she had succeeded. But was Lily the type to scare someone?
Then Monique realized that Lily was already planning to release these photos but she needed a basis for such an action. This altercation would give Lily the perfect excuse to expose Monique on the basis that she had made a scene and provoked her first. Monique shivered at the thought of Sofia finding out about this. It wouldn't just be Sofia who would hate her but Liam as well. He would blame her for provoking Lily and implicating him. What was going to happen to her career now?
With wide eyes, she stared at Lily, her lips trembling. She opened her mouth but closed them again. She wanted to beg for her not to release those photos. Maybe even kneel in front of Lily. However, she could see the sinister glint in Lily's eyes and she knew that it would be pointless.
"Goodbye Miss Monique. You will lie in bed tonight knowing that you are the reason why these photos even saw the light of day. Congratulations, you destroyed your beloved's career with your own hands." It was a whisper, or more like a murmur that only Monique could hear. And with that, Lily turned her back on Monique and walked out of the coffee shop. She put on her sunglasses and walked towards her car with a smile on her face.
People always think that they could get away with what they do and forget that sometimes karma comes in a form a Lily Facci-Qin.
"Where to President?" Yang Mi asked from the driver's seat.
"To my apartment," Lily answered. "Make sure to ask Cathy to do a thorough search on the internet tonight and take down any news articles that mention my name," she said. Though she was not sure if any videos or pictures of today's scene at the coffee shop would make their way on the internet, she still had to make some preparations to contain the situation online for it would interfere with her own plans.
In less than thirty minutes, Lily arrived back in her apartment. It was only five in the afternoon but Lily felt physically drained that she practically had to drag her body to her apartment when she got off the car. She desperately needed to sleep as her body was still trying to adjust to the time difference.
"You need food."
"I do," Lily answered on reflex before she froze. She quickly turned her head to look at the person speaking. "You? Why are you here?"