Christina and Victoria settled on their initial plan, Victoria did not linger at Scenic Garden Manor for too long before leaving.
After a brief afternoon nap, Christina headed to the hospital to pay a visit to Timothy as usual.
Timothy’s health showed slight signs of improvement. Although progress was slow, Christina still considered it good news.
Just as Lyle had predicted, Anya was indeed granted bail in the afternoon by a mysterious individual.
At the same time, the person Christina had sent to keep a close eye on Anya fell victim to her cunning tricks, ultimately losing track of her.
Anya’s escape would not have gone as smoothly if she had not received assistance from someone behind the sccenecs.
In the meantime, Christina beefed up the protection around Timothy, doubling the security personnel stationed in the shadows in the hospital.
To be on the safer side, Christina did not stay too long in the hospital, and when she left, she went straight back to Scenic Garden Manor.
Christina immersed herself completely in the ongoing renovation process of the studio. She spent the entire afternoon cngaged in online discussions with Rayne, and she felt fulfilled.
On the other hand, the circumstances grew increasingly challenging for Emilia. Anya’s arrest did nothing to alter her own future prospects.
Upon receiving insider information that Emilia had been abandoned by the company, her manager shamelessly arranged various “reception” gigs for her.
Every day, Emilia found herself either accompanying CEOs for social drinking or acting as their female companion during recreational outings.
However, Emilia refused to surrender easily. She convinced a big shot to let her participate in a live stage event for a small makeup brand. Keeping it a secret from her manager, she attended the event.
Melissa only found out about it when the event came to an end.
By the time the manager reached the event venue, Emilia had already wrapped up the event and was seated in the dressing room, removing her makeup and changing her attire.
“Who allowcd you to take on the gig without permission from the company?”
The second Melissa barged into the dressing room, she began shouting at Emilia, heedless of the fact that the staff of the event was still around.
“Do you have any idea how the company operates? Have you completely disregarded our protocols? The compensation you received from the brand for your endorsement is nowhere near enough to cover the hefty breach of contract penalties. I’ve repeatedly cautioned you against rushing into a comeback, emphasizing the need for patience. Yet here you are, creating such a colossal blunder. How can I possibly maintain my credibility and advocate for your opportunity to make a comeback?”
Emilia stood before the mirror, delicately removing the layers of vibrant makeup from her face. Unfazed by the presence of the woman behind her, she cast a cool smile and retorted, “Melissa, I understand how occupied you are with your myriad responsibilities. | wouldn’t dare burden you with such trivial matters.
Moreover, I willingly took on this endeavor without receiving any compensation. It could be viewed as a voluntary act rather than a violation of our contractual terms, wouldn’t you agree? Since the day I ceased all my previous engagements, your attentiveness to my affairs has been rather scarce.
Your exaggerated reaction today merely stems from your apprehension that my actions might tarnish your reputation and impede the prospects of the emerging talents under your wing.”
Despite the fact that Emilia had exposed what was on her mind, Melissa was unashamed. She still felt that it was Christina who was in the wrong.
“My contract with the company only expires in two years’ time. You can’t work, but that doesn’t mean I have to suffer alongside you. There are few managers who only handle one artiste. Unlike you, I don’t have the luxury of not having to worry about money,”
Melissa hissed, her words laced with sarcasm.
Instantly, Emilia threw the powder compact onto Melissa’s face before leaping up to her feet. At that, the staff hastily fled the scene, wanting no part in the unfolding drama.
Melissa covered the corner of her eye, which had been struck by the powder compact, and inhaled sharply. “Emilia, I’ve treated you fairly ever since you were assigned to me. Despite the company putting you on the back burner, I have made efforts to help you build connections. And now, this is how you repay me?”
Her words, however, only served to add fucl to the fire that was Emilia’s hatred.
“Your ‘connection-building’ was nothing more than a cover for your attempts to make me the instrument to get more resources,” Emilia retaliated. Almost all the insults and hardships she had endured had been because of Melissa. “Do you think I’ll continue flattering you and pleasing you like before? That I’ll plead for you to be my manager?”
A mocking laugh escaped Emilia. “If you think that I’m ruining your reputation, feel free to terminate the contract with me. Even without you, a pimp manager, I can still thrive in the entertainment industry. I, Emilia Steele, have other ways of getting support!”
Melissa locked her gaze onto the woman standing before her, her face betraying her shock. She had been convinced of her absolute control over Emilia, only to realize that she had unwittingly become a subject of mockery in Emilia’s eyes.
Melissa had recently been preoccupied with guiding the new artists, and that left little room for her to keep track of Emilia’s activities. Thus, she could not be certain whether or not Emilia had managed to find a new support system without her knowledge.
When Melissa saw how bold Emilia seemed, she could not help but feel a twinge of anxiety.
“What foolish dreams are you entertaining, Emilia? The one you’ve crossed is Mr. Hadley. Who would dare to be your patron? Do you really believe you can break free of the company’s restraint without paying the penalty? Let me make it clear to you that this is out of the question. As long as I’m your manager, you’ll have to heed my instructions. Unless you miraculously become an A-list artiste overnight, you’ll remain subject to my authority.”
Melissa had no qualms about being harsh with her words.
“Well, too bad now, because you just ran out of chances. I’m not going to give you an opportunity to appcar in public anymore. As a top-ticr manager in the entertainment industry, this is something within the range of my capabilities!”
With that said, she stormed out of the room.
After that, Emilia went on a rampage in the room, throwing things around to vent her emotions.
Right then, someone entered the dressing room again.
With bloodshot eyes, Emilia caught a glimpse of the person’s appearance through the mirror. As if she had scen a ghost, she spun around and gripped the edge of the table tightly, eyes wide and filled with horror.
“W-Why are you here?”
Wearing a creepy grin, Anya closed the door behind her and inched toward Emilia.
“Hey, Emilia, I’m here to make good on my promise.
Remember what I told you back when I got caught?”
“Listen, there are people out there. One shout from me and they’ll come storming in. You won’t be able to escape.”
“Hahaha! You’re still in the dark, aren’t you? I’ve been acquitted. Go ahead and call the cops. I’ll make sure to spill all the ugly secrets about you.”
Emilia’s face went white with fear as she made a desperate attempt to flee, only to be hindered by the clothes rack Anya had toppled. She stumbled and crashed onto the floor with a loud thud.
The second Emilia’s forehead collided with the hard floor, a rush of dizziness engulfed her senses. Driven by a fierce survival instinct, she wriggled along the ground toward the doorway, much like a desperate worm fleeing from the bird.
Anya gazed down at her with a disdainful expression, looking at Emilia as if she were nothing morc than a helpless, drowning dog.
Anya was determined to make Emilia pay back every hardship she had ever endured at her hands.
“Help! Someone, save me! Help! Anyone!”
In the next second, Anya raised her foot and mercilessly crushed Emilia’s hand, taunting, “Did you ever consider that this day would come when you betrayed me?”
Emilia cried out in pain, desperately clawing at Anya’s foot in an attempt to free her own hand. Yet, the more she tried to fight back, the more crucl Anya became.
“You’re as despicable and shameless as Christina! You sisters should go to hell together!”