After that, Evelyn slandered Vivian, claiming that Vivian had been tainted. Finnick fell for the baseless rumors and refused to believe that the child she carried was his. He persuaded her over and over again to abort it. She must have been frightened back then. She must have hoped fervently that I would trust her, that I would protect her and our child.
But I was a b*stard. I never accepted that child as my own. Even after I conceded for Vivian’s sake, I never loved the child. That was his biological child, his firstborn. Yet, Finnick had abhorred the innocent child, loathing that the child had lived.
Afterward, his prayers came true—the child ceased to exist before it had the chance to see the world. Finnick would never know how that unborn child would grow up to look like. He wondered if it was a boy or a girl.
Finally, Vivian was disappointed in him. She left him and the country altogether, heading to a foreign country to start afresh.
When she came back years later, she was no longer the Vivian William he knew. The woman who returned was Vivian Morrison. Gone was the gentle, sweet woman, and in her place was a stranger who regarded him with indifference.
It is what it is. Finnick chuckled ruefully. I was the one who drove her away from me. It was me; it has always been me!
He recalled an incident where he reproached her because of Fabian. “A trick to seduce men,” he had lashed out. He couldn’t believe that he had said such degrading words to her.
Did I let my eyes blind my judgement? Was that yet another incident where I let my assumptions overshadow the truth? Is that why she was so enraged?
Finnick wished he could punch himself in the face. I am an a**hole, the scum of the earth!
He leveled a stare at Evelyn, his eyes so cold that it turned her blood to frost. “I’ll ask you one last time—what exactly happened? Think it through before you reply. This is your last chance to redeem yourself.”
When Evelyn noticed the rage blazing in Finnick’s eyes, she finally came to terms that nothing she said would save her. Finnick had lost all faith in her. He would only detest her more if she continued to deny it.
“Yes, I did all of it,” she broke down and admitted. Tears streamed down her face as she wept in anguish. “But I did it all for you, Finnick. It’s because I love you so much. I was so scared that I would lose you that I resorted to such petty methods. Can you forgive me this once?”
“Love me?” Finnick repeated cynically. “How dare you claim to love me!”
“There’s nothing I don’t dare to say! I love you, and that’s the truth. I’ve only ever loved you for all these years.” Evelyn’s eyes were crazed as she rasped, “I knew you first, and I loved you first! What right does Vivian have to be with you? How is she better than me? Nothing about her is worthy of being with you!”
“Even if that were true, you shouldn’t have done something so horrendous. Are you even the Evelyn I know? Since when you became this vile?” Disappointment seeped through his fierce tone.
Fear gripped Evelyn’s throat when she heard Finnick’s harsh description of her.
She could not let Finnick view her as conniving. Her life would be over once she was labeled as such.
“That’s not true! Finnick, you can’t say that about me. I’m not a horrible person; I was just overwhelmed by jealousy. I know now that what I did was wrong. Please forgive me, won’t you?” Evelyn reached out to grasp Finnick’s hand, but he flung her outstretched hand away.
“Finnick, I can’t live without you. I’m nothing without you. I’ve already lost my legs; I can’t lose you as well.”
“Finnick, you are the reason I can’t walk now! You can’t abandon me! You promised me. You swore that you would be by my side forever. You can’t go back on your words so easily!”
Obstinate as she was, she made another attempt to sway Finnick, tugging on his arm as she beseeched him to give her another chance.
Fueled with contempt for Evelyn, Finnick pried his arm free of her death grip. Perhaps the Evelyn he knew had died. He could not recognize the woman before him, and he had no intention to know her.
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