Wendy Finch was smacked in the face. Her skin tingled with pain and her head buzzed.
She staggered a few steps back, one hand instinctively covering her bulging belly while the other one held her swollen cheek.
"Wendy, you heartless bitch! How dare you do this to Eris?! You've always been against us ever since my daughter and I became part of this family. To think that you would resort to hurting Eris with a knife... If anything bad happens to my daughter, I will never forgive you, Wendy Finch!"
Cacia Brown turned away then and walked to the living room.
She crouched to the floor and held her bleeding daughter.
"It's not my fault! I didn't do anything!" Wendy clutched at Brian Oliver's sleeve as though it were her last lifeline. "Brian, trust me, please! I really didn't do it!"
"Didn't you?" Brian asked, shaking her off and glaring at her with burning eyes. "There was nobody else in here besides the two of you! Are you saying that Eris hurt herself on purpose?"
"But she did! She stabbed herself!"
"You bitch! Go to hell!"
Brian was livid. He couldn't stand it anymore.
He raised a leg and landed a solid kick on Wendy's belly, sending her sprawling backwards. Her belly hit the corner of the table, sending sharp pain shooting all over her body.
She screamed in pain and fell to the floor, her arms cradling her belly.
She could feel something hot and wet trickle down her legs.
It frightened her desperately.
"I was so blind to refuse your kind-hearted sister in order to be with a vicious woman like you, Wendy!"
Wendy's heart sank. Her entire world had just crumbled.
An hour ago, she was waiting for Brian to take her to the hospital for her prenatal checkup. Eris had gotten in her way, stopping her and showing a photo of herself and Brian in the act of making love.
"Brian and I have been in love for a long time!" Eris had mocked her. "He doesn't love you anymore!
Do you want to know why he hasn't broken up with you yet? Are you thinking it's because you are carrying his baby? Ha ha! Stop daydreaming! Did you really think I would let you have Brian's baby? The baby in your belly is not his at all!
I'm the only one who loves him the most in the world!
And I am willing to pay any price in order to be with him!"
Nothing could have prepared Wendy for what had happened next, but she eventually learned what Eris had meant by "any price." The doorbell had rung, and Eris had grabbed a knife from the kitchen and plunged it into her own abdomen.
It had all happened so fast, with Cacia rushing into the scene screaming and Brian kicking the front door open to get inside.
And here they were now.
Wendy turned to look at Eris.
The other woman was lying in her mother's arms, weak and bloody. But then she smirked at Wendy.
Horrified disbelief was added into the maelstrom of emotions Wendy was feeling.
How could a person bear to hurt themselves just to get what they wanted?
Another bout of pain burst from Wendy's belly.
She was bleeding!
She had lost a considerable amount of blood at this point, and she could feel that her face had gone pale. She reached out a hand toward Brian in a desperate plea. "Brian, our baby, our baby..."
"It's not ours! It's just yours!"
"What? What did you say?"
"I might as well tell you the truth right now!" He strode over to Eris and held her in his arms, his face full of concern. "Eight months ago, on the night of your cousin's wedding, I'm not the one who had sex with you!"
Wendy Finch widened her eyes in horror.
"What? Is that true?"
"I was with Eris that night. She was young and impulsive back then. She laced your drink and found you a gigolo. Didn't you retire to the mountainside villa after the wedding? I arrived the next day, and Eris told me everything. I was afraid that if you learned the truth, you would report her to the police. I can't let Eris have a crime record. That's why I decided to let you believe that it was me you slept with that night. But all of it is a lie!"
"Eris was young... and impulsive?" Wendy muttered incredulously, her voice trembling. And then she started yelling. "What about me then?! I deserved a choice with whom to lose my virginity and whose baby to carry! How could you trap me like that?"
Holding Eris tighter, Brian shot Wendy a look of disdain. "I wanted to break up with you after that night! I only hesitated because of the three years we've shared. I always thought you were an innocent and kind girl, and I couldn't bring myself to hurt you back then. But I know now that your gentle facade is fake! You actually tried to kill Eris today!
I've been so foolish for not seeing your true colors sooner! Let's end everything here. From now on, we have nothing to do with each other!"
After saying that, he rose, Eris still in his arms. He strode out of the house without a single backward glance at Wendy.
The pain in her abdomen was only growing by the minute.
Her bleeding had not stopped, and she was already feeling dizzy.
She lay back on the cold hard floor and ran a hand over her round belly, tears streaming down her face.
The hatred she felt in that moment was overwhelming.
She hated them so much!
How happy she had been when she had found out that she was pregnant, because she had thought it to be the fruit of her love with her destined man.
She had been looking forward to giving birth, too, and had even imagined what the baby would look like countless times. Would it look like her, or Brian?
But he now told her that all she had known was a lie.
Those people... How could they cheat on her like this!
The door was slammed shut.
Wendy closed her eyes in despair, but a shadow loomed above her.
She opened her eyes and found Cacia sneering at her.
"Are you in a lot of pain? This is just the beginning!"
"What are you going to do? No!"
"What am I going to do? Of course I going to get rid of you for my daughter's sake!"
Wendy was filled with cold dread, and she tried to wriggle away from the older woman. "Are you planning on killing me? That would be murder!"
"Murder? Ha ha! You fell down and hit the corner of the table all by yourself, resulting in a miscarriage and massive bleeding. Your eventual death would have nothing to do with me!"
With that, Cacia put a foot down on Wendy's belly, exerting force on her heel.
"Ah! Stop!" Stop!"
"Don't blame me, Wendy Finch! After all, you are the daughter of Cassie Smith. Both you and your mother are just bitches who made the mistake of going against Eris and me! Cassie Smith stood in my way, so I killed her. And now that you're standing in my daughter's way, I will kill you as well!"
Despite her panic, shock still came over Wendy.
"You killed my mother?"
"So what?" Cacia kicked her again, grinning with satisfaction as Wendy screamed. "I threw your pathetic mother into the sea to be shark food! Didn't you love each other so deeply? I will send you to accompany her in hell shortly!"
Cacia kicked again, and again, and again.
Wendy could feel her body grow cold, and she was slowly losing consciousness. She had become numb to the pain.
The strong, metallic smell of blood permeated the air, and her white dress was now dyed in dark red.
Her eyes were filled with hatred as her sight soon got swallowed up by darkness.