He was almost as she had remembered him, albeit the angles of his face were sharper, and had lost the youthfulness that he had during his university years. The way that he carried himself was also a lot more mature and steady.
However, what had changed the most was the expression on his face. Gone was the warmth that she recalled seeing on his face every day. All that was left was a harsh and hard look.
Currently, he was listening to his subordinates’ reports. Every now and then, he would nod and utter out a few commands.
Not once had his gaze ever landed on her, as the group swept past her and entered the Chief Editor’s office.
The color drained from Vivian’s face.
Fabian Norton… Why is he back here? Two years ago, he had suddenly left, without even saying goodbye. Why has he returned now?
It had been two years. She had more or less given up on their broken relationship by now. However, his abrupt reappearance in her life still had waves of emotions crashing against her relentlessly, threatening to drown her entirely.
She did not even know if he had recognized her as she had him, at first glance.
At this, a self-deprecating smirk curled her lips.
Does it matter if he recognizes me or not? He and I… We’re fated to be apart. There’s no way that we can go back to how we’d used to be…
The rest of the day passed in a haze of unease and worry. She was worried that Fabian would recognize her.
Reality would soon prove that her worries were unfounded.
Being new to his position, Fabian was kept busy in meetings with the various departments. There would be changes happening around the magazine company.
In one of the meetings, he listened intently, as the senior editors made their reports, giving a comment or order here and there. He never once paid any attention to Vivian, who was sitting at the far end of the table.
Seems like he’s forgotten me… But I guess that’s expected of him. If I had been anything of worth to him, he would not have left without a word two years ago. I’ve never heard from him ever since either.
The hours passed by agonizingly slow to Vivian. At long last, it was time to get off of work. Not wanting to stay in the office a second longer, she hurriedly snatched up her bag and prepared to leave.
Unfortunately, her senior editor suddenly called out to her.
“Hold on, Vivian. Could you take this document to Mr. Norton for me, please? Give him a verbal report as well.”
Vivian stiffened before she slowly turned around to face the other woman. Her voice was slightly pleading as she uttered, “Lesley, I have something urgent to attend to at home. Could you-”
Her senior editor, Lesley Jenson, was already in a foul mood from a meeting earlier where she had been rebuked. At hearing Vivian’s refusal, a terrible scowl twisted her face. “So, you think that you’re all that just because you got to interview the president of Finnor Group, is that it?”
Paling at the sharp words that had escaped Lesley, Vivian had no choice but to reply, “Don’t be silly, Lesley. I’ll get right to it.”
She took the document from Lesley and walked toward Fabian’s office. Standing in front of the door, she took several deep breaths to calm herself before raising her hand to rap on it.
Just that one simple motion seemed to have drained all the energy out of her.
Upon hearing his familiar voice invite her in, she pushed the door open and entered.
Although Fabian’s office was not as lavish as Finnick’s, it was still quite luxuriously furnished. The man was sitting behind his desk, flipping through the magazine that had featured the interview with Finnick.
“Mr. Norton.” Vivian struggled to make her voice come out steadily. “Senior editor Jenson wants me to give you a simple report on the interview with the president of Finnor Group.”
Fabian hummed in acknowledgment, not bothering to lift his head. Thus, Vivian steeled herself and began her report.
Even after she was done, he did not make a single sound. At this point, she was at her wit’s end.
Her voice tremored a little despite her best efforts, “Err… Sir, if there’s nothing else that you need, I’ll be taking my leave.”
With that said, she spun around and made her way towards the door.
Just as her hand landed on the handle of the door, a large hand seized hers tightly.
Fabian’s eyes were narrowed, as he zeroed in on the ring on her finger. “You’re married?”
Not having the courage to look him in the eyes, she turned her head away and nodded.
She did not see the way that his emotions had coiled, in his dark orbs, as he glared at the ring on her finger.
Abruptly, a mocking smirk curved his lips.
“Vivian William, in the end, the man you’d chosen could only afford to buy you this plain, simple crushed diamond ring?” As though something had only just occurred to him, a disdainful and disgusted look crossed his face. “Then again, a woman who would be willing to sell her body for the sake of money can be easily bought off. It wouldn’t have been hard for a man to obtain you.”
Vivian was thunderstruck at his words. Her face paled dramatically and she was as pale as a sheet.
“Y-you… You know about what happened two years ago?” she was barely able to choke out, while her lips trembled.
Fabian grunted in reply. For some reason, his chest ached dully, seeing that her first response was not to deny it.
He squeezed her wrist tighter, his voice coming out frosty, “Yes, I do. In fact, I’d already known about it two years ago. You know, I really have to thank you, Vivian. I’m grateful that you’ve shown me just how dirty a woman I’d loved for three years was. Because of you, I’d firmed my resolve to further my studies in A Nation.”
The last shred of color left in her cheeks had soon drained away.
Two years… In the past two years, she had constantly wondered why he would suddenly leave the country when she was at her weakest. He had left her alone just when she had needed him the most.
Now, she was finally aware of the truth.
It was all because of that incident.
In spite of that, however, another thought soon arose in her mind. Two years ago, Fabian had gone out of the country before that incident had even come to light.
Could it be that he had known about it before it had even happened? No way, that’s impossible…
However, it was painfully evident that this was not the right time to think about that. Hence, she struggled to set herself free as she tried to explain, “Fabian, what had happened two years ago was merely a misunderstanding! What actually happened was that I-”