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Chapter 1
The sun was about to set on the day Calleigh set foot outside of prison.
She was on a temporary bail: a one-day leave.
She hailed a cab near the prison entrance, and in her tight grasp was a piece of paper with an address written on it. It was almost dark when she arrived at an old villa located halfway up the mountain.
The doorman took Calleigh to a bedroom.
The room was dark, and the metallic smell of blood greeted her when she entered. Before she could adapt to the darkness, a pair of strong arms pulled her into an embrace.
She could feel someone’s hot breath fanned her skin.
“So you’re the escort they sent for me to enjoy myself before I… die?”
Tears welled up in Calleigh’s eyes.
Her voice trembled in fear. “Are you… dying?”
“Yes. Do you regret coming here?” The man sneered.
“No,” Calleigh replied, voice sad.
She had no room for regret— her mother was still waiting for her to save her.
She could not see the man’s appearance in the pitch-black room. One thing for sure, he did not seem like someone who was about to die. After three hot, intense hours, the man finally fell asleep.
Was he dead?
Calleigh had no time to feel afraid as she scrambled away from the villa.
Under the pouring rain, she ran all the way to the Malcolm residence.
It was eleven o’clock at night, and the door to the residence was closed. However, Calleigh could hear noises inside as if there was some celebration going on.
“Open the door! Open up and give me the money! I need to save my mother… Open the door! Open it!”
Despite her shouts, the door remained tightly shut.
The heavy rain coupled with strong winds was making Calleigh dizzy and unsteady on her feet, but she persisted and kept banging on the door. “Open the door! Give me the money! I have to save my mother!”
Finally, the door was pushed open, and a glimmer of hope flashed across Calleigh’s desperate eyes.
The person looked at her in disdain, disgust visible in their eyes.
Calleigh knew that her appearance at the moment was worse than that of a beggar.
Nevertheless, she did not care about her image and simply knelt in front of the person who opened the door. “I have done what you asked me to do. Give me the money. My mother can’t hold on any longer. Please…” she pleaded, eyes watering.
“Your mother is dead, so you don’t need the money anymore.” The person tossed a black photo frame into the rain and then mercilessly shut the door.
“What?” Calleigh was shocked.
“Mom!” she cried when the news finally sunk in, her shrill voice pierced the air.
“Mom… Am I too late to save you? No… My mom is dead… my mom is dead…” Calleigh muttered to herself, hugging her mother’s portrait and curling up in the rain. Later, she got up and banged her fists on the door like a mad woman. “Liar! I’ve done what I promised you, but you didn’t save my mother. Give her back to me! You liar! Your whole family will die a horrible death! Liar, liar!”
Calleigh sobbed until she fainted outside the Malcolm residence.
Three days had passed when she finally woke up, and she found herself back in prison.
When she was in her coma, she had a fever and was sent to the sick area. It took three days for the fever to break, and she was sent back to the original prison area.
Several inmates surrounded her.
“I thought you were free after getting bailed out. It has only been three days and you’re already back?”
“I heard that you were taken to sleep with someone. Is that true?”
Sandy, the group’s leader, tugged Calleigh’s hair harshly and chuckled sinisterly. “Why are you so lucky?” she sneered. “Today is the day you die!”
Calleigh did not even bother to look at her.
Perhaps she could reunite with her mother if she let them do as they please.
The women were about to strip her when a stern voice came from the door. “What are you doing?”
Sandy immediately sent him an apologetic smile. “Calleigh is sick. We’re just taking care of her.”
The prison officer did not deign her with a response and proceeded to call Calleigh’s inmate number. “036, come out.”
Calleigh did as told and asked stiffly, “Did I make a mistake again?”
“You have been acquitted,” the officer said, as impassive as ever.
“What?” Calleigh thought that she was dreaming. Only when she walked out of the prison gate did she realize that it was reality.
“Mom!” she cried in joy. “Can you forgive me for not saving you? I’m going to see you now. Where are you buried?”
“Are you Ms. Lambert?” a male voice asked coldly.
A man in a suit stood in front of Calleigh. Behind him parked a black car, and she could vaguely make out a man with sunglasses, staring at her.
She nodded. “I am. Who are you?”
The man did not answer. He only turned around, nodding at the man in the car. “Mr. Todd, it’s her,” he said, tone respectful.
“Tell her to get in.”
Calleigh found herself being pushed into the car, and she was too confused to react. She sat next to the man with sunglasses and immediately sensed a chilling aura radiating off him.
For a moment, Calleigh felt like her life was in his hands.
“My name is Brennan,” the man introduced himself, not bothering to glance at her.
Calleigh couldn’t help but shiver, asking in a small voice, “I am not actually getting released… but sentenced to death, right?”
“I’m taking you to get our marriage certificate.” With these curt words, Brennan reluctantly looked at her.
Calleigh suddenly felt that his voice sounded somewhat familiar. It was very similar to the voice of the man who died three nights ago.
That man was already dead, however.

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