Zachary kept quiet at that score and walked away.
Meanwhile, the duo finally finished performing the final piece. Charlotte got up from her seat and bowed at the audience. She turned around in an attempt to express her gratitude towards the mysterious man, but he was nowhere to be found anymore.
She felt dejected, but she couldn’t care less about it. Immediately after the performance, she returned to the lounge for Olivia in the midst of the audience’s thunderous applause.
Olivia, who had been anticipating Charlotte at the entrance, jumped with joy and denoted, “Charlotte! You’re back! You did a great job! I heard it, and it was nothing less than awesome!”
“The last time I played a piano was a few years ago! Let’s put that aside and get changed immediately!” Charlotte suggested with a bright grin.
“Oh! Yes!” Olivia brought Charlotte to the partition and helped her to get dressed.
Suddenly, someone knocked on the door. They heard Ms. Goldstein’s gentle voice a few seconds later. “Olivia, there a few guests that wish to talk to you. Hurry up and join me after you get changed.”
Ms. Goldstein was no longer the mean and cruel self after the performance.
Olivia panicked and whispered, inquiring Charlotte’s opinion regarding her next best course of action. “What should I do?”
Charlotte removed her white-laced dress and suggested, “Since she’s looking for you, you should join her. After you get yourself changed, put on the face veil and pretend as though you were the one who performed on stage.”
“Huh? That doesn’t sound like a great idea because I’ll have to impersonate you!” Olivia had her doubts, but Charlotte assured her everything would be fine.
“Haven’t I been impersonating you ever since half an hour ago?”
Charlotte beamed her reply. After she got herself changed, she brought her purse and walked out of the room.
Olivia got in Charlotte’s way and stopped her. “Charlotte! Can I have your contact number? I’ll definitely return the favor in the near future!”
“Sure.” Charlotte departed right after she gave Olivia her contact number.
She craned her head to check the surroundings outside of the lounge. Once she ensured no one was around, she let out a sigh of relief. Charlotte had put on the exposing milky white evening gown again. The innocent and elegant-looking pianist was nowhere to be seen anymore.
“Charlotte!” A familiar voice could be heard out of the blue. When she turned around, she noticed Michael was right behind her.
“Michael? What are you doing here?” Charlotte tiptoed to make sure there wasn’t anyone else behind him—she was afraid of being exposed by others.
Michael dashed over in her direction and said, “I’m her because I have something to tell you…”
“What is it about?” Charlotte took a step back and put some distance between them.
“Follow me, Charlotte!” Michael brought her into another empty room and locked the door.
“Why have you brought me here? What are we supposed to do if others see us…”
“Who are you talking about? Zachary?” Michael asked with a frown and started scrutinizing Charlotte’s exposing outfit. “Was he the one who forced you to put on this disgusting dress?”
“You should stop poking your nose into my business! If you’ll excuse me—” Charlotte tried to push him away because he was in her way again.
“Why do you want to go out? What sort of business do you have with the guests out there?”
Michael pushed her and pinned her to the couch, supporting himself with his straightened arms while he was on top of Charlotte, just like Zachary would every time he got her to spend a night with him.
In spite of the similarities between the two men, Michael wasn’t as domineering as Zachary.
“Michael, what do you want?”
Charlotte was shocked because she was never aware Michael had such an aggressive side.
Michael got worked up all of a sudden. He yelled, “Charlotte, I respect your decision, but I couldn’t bear to leave you alone anymore! I don’t get it! Why are you at his mercy? Does he have something that can threaten you? Why don’t you tell me about it? I’ll deal with him on behalf of you!”
“N-No…” Charlotte was at a loss for better words to explain her current situation.
“If that’s the case, what’s the reason behind it? Look at your dress! I-It’s…” Michael clenched his fist while grabbing the train of her evening gown.
He couldn’t bear to blurt out the humiliating remark he had in his mind. “You’re not who you used to be anymore…”
“I know what I’m doing, Michael. Don’t worry about me, okay?” Charlotte whispered and assured Michael, “I’ll regain my freedom soon—”
Before she could tell him the plan she had in mind, Sharon’s voice could be heard outside of the room.
“Zachary, I’m a tad bit exhausted. Can we get some rest in the room? Do you mind keeping me company?”