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Test Drive : A Night of Forbidden Desire

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Misfortune in both work and love seemed to be Vonda Raveena Scoot's constant companion. Just when work pressures had her on edge, she had to endure a broken heart as she witnessed her boyfriend, who also happened to be her subordinate, indulging in a romantic affair within the empty confines of their office space. These two factors were compelling reasons for Vonda to unleash all her emotions at her company's CEO's wedding party. She drowned her sorrows in glass after glass of alcohol until she was intoxicated and decided to call for a ride-hailing service. However, little did she know that her inebriated state would lead her to board the wrong car. “Uh... I'm a bit tipsy. But just because I'm tipsy, I feel like I'm riding in a red Lamborghini taxi.” Vonda laughed heartily. Eventually, she found herself pouring her heart out and ended up asking a crazy question. “Sir, you don't have to drive tonight, okay? How about just accompanying me instead? After all, I'm quite pretty, right?” In the days that followed, Vonda came close to considering checking herself into a Mental Health Institution.

Broken Heart or Mental Illness? 1

Vonda Raveena Scott walked gracefully, adorned in an off-white knee-length gown that mesmerized many with her tall, slender, and beautifully curvaceous figure. The gown's design appeared simple, yet it exuded a seductive and tempting allure, perhaps due to its low-cut neckline, revealing her smooth shoulders and back. Complemented by the elegance of her long legs supported by black seven-centimeter heels, Vonda appeared as a model rightfully stealing the spotlight.

Especially when eyes fell upon the shimmering wavy hair intentionally let loose and the clutch she held in her left hand. It would not be wrong to say that Vonda's appearance was utterly flawless. Her lips, adorned with a shade of expensive red lipstick, faintly moved into a thin smile as she stepped into the luxurious hotel ballroom.

The wedding celebration was grand, exceeding the expectations of both Vonda and the other guests. Few people could pull off such a magnificent wedding in such a short time without meticulous preparation. Vonda had heard it from the circulating gossips; the CEO of Greatech, the company she worked for, was truly head over heels in love with his wife, who had once been his subordinate in Vonda's department.

Their love story carried a sense of drama, arousing the enthusiasm of the invited employees, including Vonda, who was eager to enjoy the festivities. She hoped to spend the night in joy and forget the sorrow she had experienced just yesterday.

Yes! Everyone here is having fun. Who knows? Maybe I could meet a handsome available guy tonight. Hm, what if Mr. Lucas Hernandez is drop-dead gorgeous? Surely, his family is just as fabulous as he is. Oh, how should I approach him? I'm not any less beautiful than Velia Angelica Howell, who now holds the title of Mrs. CEO. Hahaha.

Vonda grinned, feeling her confidence levels soaring, urging her to raise her chin as high as possible, striding with grace like a world-class model on a catwalk. She truly looked...

“Shh! Look, Ms. Scott has arrived.”

“Oh, my goodness, she looks stunning.”

“Seriously! Her figure is just wow!”

Vonda's smile widened. Hearing those voices, she purposefully flicked her hair a bit, hoping her radiance would spread throughout the party until...

“But Andrew is still clueless, huh? Can't he see that he's openly holding Livy here?”

What?!

Vonda's steps were instantly halted. Her head and eyes now swiveled, searching for the source of the whispers, and... gulp!

Vonda saw them. Not too far away, at a guest table, Andrew Phillips and Livy Barnes were sitting together with their friends, who happened to be Vonda's subordinates as well.

Oh, God. Vonda froze. She could not say anything now, except for the sound she heard in her ears.

Crack!

“Ugh!”

Vonda winced, even the sound of her broken heart was audible. It was truly heartbreaking. This time, she was not sure if her legs could still carry her gracefully, as they did when she first entered. Her knees felt shaky and weak.

Vonda took a deep breath, trying to remain standing upright instead of collapsing to the floor and crawling away. She attempted to keep walking, just before...

“Tsk! Even though Ms. Scott looks absolutely stunning, it's just... Andrew and Livy are way out of line!”

“Exactly. They're showing off their affection shamelessly, even after getting caught in such an embarrassing situation just yesterday.”

“I wonder how Ms. Scott must be feeling right now.”

My feelings?

Vonda tried to remain calm.

Want to eat glass, huh?

Suddenly, Vonda's confidence began to wane. It gradually diminished, and finally, she turned around. The door was still open for her to leave.

“Hei, Von!”

Vonda turned to see a Human Resources Department employee named Sarah Roberts walking towards her.

“Sarah, I—”

“Wow!” Sarah's eyes widened as she saw Vonda that night. “Oh... my... God! You look so beautiful, Baby.”

Vonda winced. She felt like stuffing Sarah's big mouth with the swan-shaped ice sculpture in the middle of the room.

Her head? Her wings? Ah!

Vonda nodded her head.

Maybe I should stuff my whole body into Sarah's mouth. So, she won't be able to breathe anymore!

However, even if Vonda really wanted to do that, it seemed too late. Sarah had already reached out and spun Vonda around to get a better look at her dress. Vonda spun around, torn between wanting to escape from seeing Andrew and Livy's affection or because of Sarah's embarrassing behavior.

Sarah whispered in Vonda's ear, asking softly, “How many installments did you use?”

“It's cash, by the way—”

Sarah covered her mouth with her hand, her eyes darting. “Oh.”

“But it was paid using a credit card.”

“Huh?”

Sarah looked puzzled, blinking her eyes.

“Listen,” Vonda said then. “I don't know what your intentions were to act crazy tonight, Sar.”

Sarah's lips pouted.

“It's just... I know you can be a bit wild sometimes. But for tonight, please.” Vonda gave her a pleading gaze. “I want to live peacefully without any disturbances.”

“Peacefully?” Sarah asked, feigning innocence as she raised her hand to point at a spot, before continuing, “By watching your ex-boyfriend getting cozy with his mistress after catching them red-handed in a compromising position on a chair?”

Vonda took a deep breath, wondering why she ended up with a friend as brainless as Sarah.

“How can you possibly stay calm, Von?”

Vonda winced. “Thank you so much for reminding me of the exact reason Andrew and I broke up, Sarah.”

Sarah quickly nodded. “You're welcome.” Her hands clasped together on her chest. “By the way... when you broke up, Andrew's... masculinity was still inside Livy, right?”

Vonda glanced at the swan-shaped ice sculpture again.

Okay, it's still not melting.

“Listen,” Sarah said, placing her hand on Vonda's shoulder. “You can choose to leave now through that wide-open door.” Sarah pointed at the door. “Or you can enjoy this party. Running away means you lose, Von.”

“Please, Sarah. This is not a competition.”

“It's not, but... it's about your dignity.”

Oh!

That statement widened Vonda's eyes.

“You're beautiful, Von. You're not at fault here, so why should you back down?” Sarah asked. “They're the ones creating a scandal, why should you be the one embarrassed? What's there to be ashamed of?”

Vonda blinked again.

“This is one of the reasons why Oceana is becoming more backward. Every time there's a case, the victims are the ones feeling ashamed. Meanwhile, the criminals roam freely without any shame. It's like they've lost their sense of decency. But it's the victims who have to ignore their shame, Von. They didn't do anything wrong.”

Vonda's forehead furrowed as Sarah's words started to sink in one by one. She nodded along with the increasing number of words Sarah uttered.

“So, you, as a revolutionary figure, Von. You have to change people's mindsets. Don't let the wrongdoers become the main characters.”

Vonda's lips closed. Her face also hardened, and she nodded.

“So, don't run away. Show them your beauty. Your charm, Von,” Sarah said with a serious face, just like a criminal figure trying to hypnotize her victim. “The Vonda I know has always been able to turn things around.”

“That is it.” Vonda nodded again. “I am an undefeated female warrior.”

“Yes! That's it, Von. This is the real Vonda.”

As a result, Vonda straightened her posture, giving Sarah a cunning glance. “Wanna watch the show, Baby?”

Sarah returned an equally cunning look. “I'll record it, Baby.”

*

Broken Heart or Mental Illness? 2

Vonda did not comment any further. Instead, she gracefully walked away again. Meanwhile, behind her, Sarah quickly caught up and took out her phone.

Ignoring Sarah, Vonda could see how the people at the table were looking at her. The faces of the five people sitting there displayed various emotions. Andrew gave her a slight smile. Livy shot her a mocking gaze. The two other guys and one girl whose names Vonda did not know exchanged discreet glances. Their faces turned wary.

Vonda pulled a chair and joined the table, looking at Andrew and Livy alternately.

“Just relax. Office matters should stay at the office. After office hours, it means we're not boss and subordinate anymore,” she said.

“Ehm.”

The three of them took a deep breath, anticipating various possibilities that might unfold.

“Oh, by the way,” Livy said. “Did you come alone?”

Vonda blinked once. Adding to that, Andrew, sitting next to Livy, appeared to be trying to hold back a smirk

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