Sophia could not care less about Melissa’s scandals, yet she never imagined the model would accost her at her doorstep out of desperation.
A sunglasses-wearing Melissa bodily blocked Sophia’s vehicle the second it drove out of the gate.
Sophia hastily stepped on the brakes and arched a brow at Melissa.
After confirming that Sophia had stopped the car, Melissa walked to the driver’s side window and asked, “Can we talk, Ms. Yarrow?”
She took off her sunglasses, revealing the distress and anxiety in her gaze. It was a far cry from her smug behavior during their last encounter.
Sophia smiled and replied, “I don’t think there’s anything to discuss between us, is there, Ms. Stevens?”
Melissa was running out of options at that point. She had just returned to the country and could not afford to offend anyone in power. Alas, all the information that had been leaked overnight showed that someone was clearly intent on ruining her career.
Her manager, Alicia, had told her earlier that the media companies refused to take down the trending posts. No amount of money could do the job.
Alexander was the only person she knew who was both powerful and wealthy enough to do such a thing.
Unfortunately, she dared not confront Alexander and eventually settled for tracking down Sophia.
Based on their past encounters, Melissa believed Sophia was a timid pushover who would never fight back against her.
Melissa asked, “Have you seen the trending topics this morning, Ms. Yarrow? I’m quite sure that Mr. Xenos is behind them.”
Sophia raised her brow and deadpanned, “You should be looking for Alexander instead of me, then.”
Her indifference befuddled Melissa, whose expression soured. Sophia’s doing this on purpose, but I can’t rage at her, urgh! In the end, Melissa swallowed her indignance and pleaded, “Can’t we talk about this, Ms. Yarrow? Please?”
Sophia checked the time and declared, “You have ten minutes.”
The model nodded gratefully before taking a step back. She thought Sophia would reverse the car back into the compound and welcome her into the mansion for a chat. Instead, Sophia merely alighted from her vehicle and approached Melissa. “What would you like to talk about, Ms. Stevens?”
This was the first time Sophia was voluntarily wasting her time.
Luckily for Melissa, Sophia happened to be in a good mood.
Melissa glanced at Sophia and discreetly appraised her get-up. The latter wore a long-sleeved, white chiffon top paired with tailored beige slacks. The pants legs featured ten-centimeter-long slits near the hem, revealing Sophia’s dainty ankles whenever she moved.
Although she was a woman herself, Melissa could not deny that Sophia was the most elegant and gorgeous woman of her acquaintance.
Sophia’s stance clearly indicated that she would not be inviting Melissa into the mansion.
Despite her displeasure, Melissa knew she was at Sophia’s mercy, and she eventually begged, “Could you please help me, Ms. Yarrow?”
Sophia laughed at her plea. “I’m sorry, Ms. Stevens. I’m not much of an altruistic person.”
“Please help me! I can pay you as much money as you want! I was wrong, and I didn’t mean anything nasty by my past actions. I-I was only jealous of you. Consider this a good deed for a fellow woman, won’t you, Ms. Yarrow?”
Melissa’s present demeanor was totally different from her arrogant behavior just the day before.
Again, Sophia raised her brow and asked, “As much money as I want? Really?”
It was a whole new ball game if money was on the table.
After all, Sophia was a businesswoman, and she loved nothing more than to make more money.
Melissa stiffened in surprise, having expected Sophia to jump on the opportunity to humiliate her. Thus, Sophia’s first response flustered her.
She stared at Sophia as rumors about the latter’s character crossed her mind. Her contempt and disdain for Sophia returned in full swing.
Melissa promptly dropped her damsel-in-distress act as she put her sunglasses back on. “How much money are you looking at, Ms. Yarrow?”
Sophia carefully took in Melissa’s expression and noticed that the latter had reassumed her arrogant demeanor. She could not help but smirk as she questioned, “How much do you think my help is worth, Ms. Stevens?”
Raising three fingers on her right hand, Melissa asked, “How does this sound?”
The words had barely left Sophia’s mouth when Melissa’s expression stiffened. “Thirty million? Ms. Yarrow, don’t you think you’re asking for too much? All you have to do is ask Mr. Xenos for a favor.”
Sophia stared at her and retorted, “Did you think I would get rid of your scandal for a mere three million, Ms. Stevens?”
She paused slightly before adding scornfully, “You underestimate yourself, Ms. Stevens. I didn’t think your future was only worth three million!”
Melissa understood every insult packaged in Sophia’s taunting words. She fumed indignantly, yet she had no one else to turn to for help besides Sophia.
She would have sought Thalia’s help if Alexander had not recently booted his younger sister out of the Xenos residence.
Not being a fool, Melissa was well aware that Alexander would hardly listen to Thalia after kicking his sister out of the house.
Unlike Thalia, however, Sophia conceivably had some sway in the matter. After all, the whole scandal had begun because of her.
Hence, Melissa had no choice but to swallow her pride as she begged, “I can’t pay you thirty million right now, Ms. Yarrow. We can—”
Oh, she’s broke?
Sophia had wasted enough time listening to Melissa. She interjected, “I’m sorry, Ms. Stevens. Do you have any idea how much money I make a day?”
“Not much, perhaps in the range of millions.”
In fact, Sophia had already reduced the number out of prudence.
Melissa smiled and jeered, “A lie will only come back to bite you in the future, Ms. Yarrow.”
Sophia matched her smile before pointing at the car beside her. “Do you know how much this car is worth?”
Melissa did not know much about cars, though she knew Sophia’s car came from a luxury brand. She hazarded a guess. “Slightly over a million, I guess.”
“You don’t know much about cars after all. I’m sure you can Google the price of this car and figure it out yourself, Ms. Stevens.”
As Sophia spoke, she opened her car door and settled in the driver’s seat. Right before she left, she reminded sweetly, “Oh right, Ms. Stevens. Here’s the car model number in case you need it.”
After that, Sophia stepped on the gas pedal and zoomed off.
Melissa knitted her brows in confusion. Why is she acting like a show-off over this shabby car?
Still, she whipped out her phone and Googled Sophia’s car model. Her face turned ashen when she saw the price.
It was worth over three million.
Oh my God! I offered her three million earlier, and it’s little more than the price of Sophia’s car.
Melissa froze in shock. She felt as though she had received a stinging and humiliating slap to her face.
I came here just to be humiliated by Sophia instead of getting her help!
Suddenly, her phone began ringing. When Melissa saw Alicia’s caller ID, she immediately answered the phone, assuming that things had taken a turn for the better. “Ali? Is everything—”
“Did you meet Sophia yet? Get away from her residence right now! Alexander’s secretary called earlier. He vowed to ruin your career overseas as well if you dared to bother Sophia!”
Alicia’s words caused Melissa’s face to pale further.
She knew then that she was truly doomed.