The Billionaire's Ex-Wife
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Leonel Grisham, CEO of Mountain Ltd, 38th, considers his wife a status symbol. There is no love between them. It's cold. They rarely spend time together. They rarely even show affection to each other, which can be counted on one hand. Throughout their 5-year marriage, nothing was special except that Chloe Delilah is Leonel's parents' favorite daughter-in-law. Leo has a girlfriend whom he loves deeply. Unfortunately, Leo's mother disapproves because his girlfriend, Ester Gabriella, is an ordinary-class photo model. Leo's world revolves around his work and Ester. Chloe is not a part of his life; she is just a trophy wife. The unfortunate incident that took away Chloe's eyesight also shocked Leo when Chloe, after waking up from a coma, requested a divorce. Leo cannot accept Chloe's ridiculous request. But she insists, no matter what happens. This includes demanding all Leo's assets and shares as stipulated in their prenuptial agreement. Leo can't understand how Chloe could express such a crazy idea. One by one, Leo discovers that Chloe's accident was staged. Someone orchestrated it all. Mountain Pte is also in a significant crisis because the mastermind targets the destruction of the Group that Leo leads. Chloe continues to insist until she eventually realizes that her accident was not without reason. Will Chloe maintain her desires or help Leo regain his power in Mountain Ltd?
"Divorce me," Chloe whispered.
Those words sounded dreadful to Leonel, her husband. His eyes, accustomed to looking at his wife with disdainful gazes, now widened in disbelief. Even his mouth, which usually spoke with a sarcastic and ungrateful tone, gaped open wide from the shock. Inside his head, those words repeated like broken tape, continuously playing without stopping.
Chloe's ears could still hear whatever was being said on the flat-screen TV in the living room of their large house. However, her eyes couldn't see the scenes playing there. She had to feel around first to lift her favorite jasmine teacup.
When she recalled the incident six months ago, Chloe felt the urge to curse God.
"Chloe, what do you mean by talking like this?" As usual, Leonel started raising his voice when he spoke to Chloe. For some reason, many things had changed since his wife left the hospital—especially Chloe's increasingly annoying attitude.
Gone was the compliant Chloe, the one who spoke softly and rarely contradicted Leonel whenever he said something. But now?
"My words were clear enough for you to hear, Leo."
The black-haired woman smirked sarcastically. Her lips curled into a grin, accompanied by a sharper gaze. Although she couldn't see her husband, she was confident that her eyes conveyed her feelings. "Why?" Then, not long after, a mocking laugh escaped her somewhat pale lips.
Instantly, Leonel felt a lump in his throat. He couldn't accept Chloe's behavior. For the first time in their five-year marriage, he saw his wife giving him a pretty terrifying look. That grin especially. The gentle, loving, obedient gaze disturbing Leonel all this time had vanished. Chloe's brown eyes looked resolute, unwavering.
"I will not divorce you."
Once again, Chloe sneered. This time, she spat to her left side with even more impertinence. "After all your betrayals? With me being this damaged? And your intimacy with her here?"
"You were the one who asked, Chloe. Forgot?"
Chloe always remembered the request she made since returning from the hospital. Her memory never forgot the day when that incident happened.
She witnessed the affair with her own eyes becoming more and more prominent. Chloe admitted that Leonel indeed had another mistress. But she didn't expect it to be displayed so clearly day by day. It was as if intentionally done. Her heartache had reached its peak. Her car got involved in a single-car accident, causing her to fall into a coma for two months.
To make matters worse, she had to endure semi-permanent blindness and ongoing therapy sessions. Her life now was genuinely tragic.
That's why she asked her husband to marry his mistress. It had yet to be fully accomplished to live together in this house. Leonel suddenly hesitated in taking a stand but let that woman roam freely in this house. A sudden feeling of compassion arose in Leonel's heart when he learned what Chloe was going through.
Leonel took a long breath and tried to hold his wife's hand. He had never done this before. Chloe usually initiated their interactions. Even when touching Chloe in their bedroom, Leonel was always reluctant. Chloe's presence had never truly felt the depths of this man's coal-black eyes.
But now, for some reason, Chloe's words made him feel a little afraid.
Although all this time, Leonel had made every effort to divorce Chloe. Even his affair with Ester was done openly, regardless of how much Chloe cried over his behavior. Ester was the woman he had loved since college, but his influential family opposed her profession, especially the role model, Robby Grisham—his grandfather.
Leonel couldn't defy the command given by Robby Grisham regarding his meticulously arranged marriage to Chloe. She was an innocent and naive girl, though quite beautiful, but more was needed for Leonel. Chloe was too obedient. Whatever he said, Chloe would do. No objections. No protests. And she never refused.
However, his wife's figure has changed in front of him. Since waking up from a coma after the accident, Chloe has been very different. The Chloe that Leonel knew no longer exists. She has transformed into someone else who is cold and harsh when speaking, and she doesn't want Leonel around, whether it's accompanying her or just talking to her.
Chloe only wants to meet her friend, Adrianna Jacob. Leonel also knows Adrianna since their marriage. They have been friends since college.
Initially, Leonel didn't pay much attention to the doctor's warnings about Chloe's psychological and traumatic condition. But after seeing her rejection and how she didn't hesitate to throw anything near her to keep Leonel away, Leonel started to take notice. Not to mention the outbursts and screams every time he approached.
Now, he can only communicate with the woman who is still his wife.
Before, Chloe was always willing to sit for hours to wait for Leonel to come home. Or she would go to great lengths to bring him lunch at his office. Although Leonel never responded positively, Chloe never gave up. Throughout these five years, Chloe always wanted to prove to her husband that she was a faithful wife.
She always smiled and remained patient. And now, that person is gone. Disappeared, although based on the analysis of the doctors who handled her during her treatment at the hospital, all the changes Chloe has experienced will gradually improve.
Although it requires prolonged therapy and a very supportive approach, that's not to mention what surprised Leonel the most. One thing that also worried Leonel was Chloe's vision. He was worried that Chloe would never regain her sight.
"I only did it in your dream, Chloe!" Leonel exclaimed. He rose from the comfortable sofa he had just sat on. His eyes were red as he stared at his wife, who challenged his gaze. Her brown eyes looked empty. Occasionally, her eyes moved slowly, but Leonel knew they couldn't be used as before.
His wife was blind, although it couldn't be said to be permanent yet. But still, it was undoubtedly difficult for Chloe to live her life now. And that brought a sense of pity that deeply settled in Leonel's heart, especially when he remembered a large gift box, which was her lunchbox, lying on his office desk.
There was a note that Leonel knew was written by his wife's hand.
'Happy anniversary, my husband. May we be happier in the future?'
And then the accident happened, leaving a disturbing hole in Leonel's mind.
During the day, as Chloe closed her eyes, a sudden pain took over her head. It was pounding so intensely that she grabbed her hair tightly. "ARGH!" She shouted, gasping for breath. She reluctantly woke up. There was nothing her eyes could enjoy except darkness and a faint light.
The sound of impact, screeching tires, and cries for help from herself invaded her dreams again. It wasn't easy to forget the terrible event in her life. Although she had tried hard to eliminate her nightmares, they often recurred without being prevented.
In the past, her world felt beautiful. She was born into a good family. Although she lost her parents in middle school, she had extraordinary love from her grandmother and grandfather. Until she graduated from college, she lived a life like any other average child. Despite her arranged marriage, she learned to accept it and put aside the knowledge she gained during college. She chose to dedicate herself as a housewife, just as her mother-in-law desired.
She had abundant wealth. She had a husband with a handsome appearance. Just by pointing at something, she could quickly obtain it. But that was only what could be seen from the outside, without knowing how miserable her life was here.
After she managed to regain control of herself, she forced herself to leave the room. Initially, the room she occupied was on the second floor. It was a large main bedroom with many complete facilities. However, there was no warmth there. The atmosphere in the room seemed stiff and superficial.
Just like her relationship with Leonel. She realized it day by day, especially since she became like this. She slowly dragged her feet, making sure with the tip of her cane that nothing would harm her.
"Oh... the lady of the house is awake."
Chloe fell silent. She recognized that voice. Ester Gisella. The woman loved by her husband is now allowed to enter their house. However, Chloe was somewhat confused because Leonel didn't immediately marry that woman. She thought Leonel would immediately legalize his affair within their marriage since she was helpless like this.
But the reality was different. Chloe no longer cared about what Leonel was waiting for. Once permission was granted, Ester became more arrogant and behaved like Ruthen in the large house that Chloe lived in.
"But it's okay if you stay in the room. Besides, it's useless for you to be around here. Dangerous. You might fall and cause trouble."
Chloe remained silent, not wanting to say anything to Ester.
"You're just ruining the view for me. Just go back to your room. Leonel will be home soon. You're useless anyway. You can't take care of him properly. You can't even serve your husband with good eyesight, let alone now," Ester said with sarcasm. There was a sense of satisfaction every time those harsh words were uttered, especially when she saw Chloe becoming more helpless.
It was her fault for agreeing to this ridiculous arranged marriage with Leonel. He was forever hers. Her love. Her sweetheart. She didn't care about being called a home wrecker. In her eyes, Chloe was the one who destroyed their love story. And now, she would reclaim what Chloe had damaged.
"I don't understand," Chloe strolled, not caring if her steps were correct. The tap of her cane indicated that there was nothing to worry about. Once again, she took a step. She hoped to get closer to Ester. "Here, am I the host, or are you?"
Ester burst into laughter immediately. "Are you... still sane?"
Chloe remained still. She continued her words. "Remember one thing, Ester Gisella. If it weren't for my permission, you wouldn't be able to enter the Hartono family. I am still the legal wife of Leonel Grisham. And you..." Chloe didn't care if her pointed finger was aimed directly at Ester's face. "You're just an outsider who satisfies my husband's desires. Without my consent, your so-called legitimate marriage would never exist."
"You!!!" Ester exclaimed in frustration. Her eyes widened in disbelief. Her breath was heavy, and she felt the urge to slap the woman standing in front of her. Even her finger was still pointing there.
"Never forget that I picked you up from the street." Chloe quickly lowered her hand. She tried hard to suppress her anger. Ester's words became more and more unbearable day by day. Not to mention, her ears were not yet deaf to hear the intimacy that happened between her husband and this serpent woman.
"Chloe," someone called, causing Chloe to turn towards the source of the voice. "It's Mama, dear."
Her anger vanished immediately. It was replaced with a genuine smile for the woman approaching her. Her arm received a gentle touch, and she could smell Agatha Theodore's perfume, her mother-in-law's.
"What are you two doing?" Agatha asked suspiciously.
"Nothing, Ma," Chloe quickly interjected. "Just discussing Leonel's visitation schedule. Right, Ester?"
Chloe didn't care if Ester's growl reached her ears. If only her eyes could see usually, she would surely be grinning with satisfaction at Ester's defeat in their conversation. But like this, she felt it was enough to convey her position.
"Is Mama just arriving?" Chloe broke the sudden silence.
"Yes, just now." Agatha looked at Chloe with a gentle gaze, which was in stark contrast when her eyes shifted to the tall and elegant woman nearby. "Mama bought your favorite low-sugar cookies. Come and taste them," she invited as she led Chloe away from Ester. That woman truly made her heart race.
How could her beloved son fall in love with a woman who resembled Medusa? She couldn't understand. And Chloe, she couldn't grasp her thoughts at all. She even asked Leonel to formalize their affair and bring Ester to live here. Agatha gave a scornful look at Ester, who also stared back at her future mother-in-law with a resentful gaze. She didn't care if Agatha didn't like her. Since the beginning, Agatha had never approved of their relationship, right? But now, Ester chose to find a new way to make Agatha submit to her.
Just wait, foolish Mother-in-Law. That's what she thought. Ester lets Chloe be showered with sympathy from Agatha. The time would come for them to know who Ester Gisella indeed was here. And also in Leonel Grisham's heart.
Ester couldn't wait to continue her grand plan. A cunning smirk unconsciously appeared on her face. Her eyes gazed at the backs of the two women she would soon destroy. "Enjoy your time together," she whispered.
Leonel hasn't been feeling calm since what Chloe said three days ago. Divorce. That's something Leonel has been longing for a long time. To free himself from the shackles of an unwanted marriage. Then marry the girl he loves. And now, that desire is starting to come true, one by one.
But why is Leonel feeling uncertain instead? He still feels unfamiliar with all the changes Chloe is going through. Leonel racked his brain, trying to figure out how to return the old Chloe as soon as possible. There's an unusual sense of intimidation that Leonel is experiencing, and he doesn't like it.
He's used to asserting his presence at home. There shouldn't be any objections coming out of Chloe's mouth. His wife should comply with all his wishes. That's the punishment Chloe has to accept for agreeing to the ridiculous arranged marriage five years ago. If Chloe hadn't decided, maybe Leonel wouldn't hold such resentment towards her.
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