Curled against Vassi’s hard, naked body, Seri thought about how much life had changed in the past six months since Vassi’s big legal victory.
Even now, Seri could still remember all the days they had spent in court. What should have been a simple case of proving Daniela Martin’s history of blackmail and extortion had turned into a nationwide controversy when a well-known feminist group had decided to champion Daniela.
In the end, however, the other girl had brought about her own downfall. Even though her legal counsel had explicitly warned her not to take the stand, Daniela had gone against them and in so doing had allowed Vassi’s lawyers to expose her true nature. It had only taken several minutes before her lies started to unravel, and when she felt the tide of sentiment turning against her favor, the enraged Daniela had hammered the final nail in her coffin when she blew up and showed her true colors, screaming about the years she had painstakingly spent studying Vassi’s every move and strategizing every step so she could become his perfect bride.
When she then revealed the reporters she had paid and the mob she had hired to harass Vassi, the feminist group that had tried so hard to crucify Vassi through Daniela immediately washed their hands of her.
When the trial concluded, it had taken the jury less than an hour to convict her.
Beside her, Vassi stirred. “Why aren’t you still sleeping? You’ve got a big day tomorrow.”
Snuggling closer to him, she admitted softly, “I was just thinking about Daniela.”
Lying on his side and propping himself up on one elbow, he asked her incredulously, “We’ve been fucking all night, and she’s the first thing—-”
“Sssh!” She hurriedly covered his mouth. Even though everyone knew they were dating now, Seri didn’t think everyone also had to know that Vassi came to sleep in her bed every night.
Taking her hand off, he asked in a slightly lower voice, “Why are you even thinking about her?”
“I just feel bad for her, I guess.”
Vassi gave her a pained look. “You’re being too soft, solnishka moya.”
“I know she’s done a lot of things—-”
“Not just plain things,” he reminded her dryly.
“Okay, evil things,” she agreed, “but she’s also criminally insane. The tests prove it without a doubt, Vassi, and I think it’s sad. There’s no need to get even when she’s already suffering—-”
“Speak for yourself,” he said. “I still prefer her locked behind bars. Having her confined in a mental institution is too good for her.”
“Retribution,” she said righteously, “is only for God to extract.”
But the next day, Seri ended up eating her own words.
It was the official launch of the brainchild of the Rockford-Grachyov merger, and the commercial Seri had shot for it was also premiering on the same night. A red carpet had been rolled out leading to the ballroom, and as soon as Seri and Vassi appeared, fans and reporters alike surged forward.
Yet another thing that had changed for Vassi and Seri was the fact that they had been chosen to lend their voices for the iconic roles of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in an anime adaptation. The one-season series had been a shocking success all over the world, stunning analysts and critics, and since then, Seri and Vassi had become overnight sensations.
If Vassi had been already famous before, he was a hundred times more now, and Seri couldn’t help smiling at the way girls screamed and threatened to swoon as they managed to shake hands with their idol.
After posing with a couple of teenage girls, he returned to her side and continued with their walk down the red carpet. He felt her stiffen all of a sudden, and Vassi asked, “What is it?”
“I see them,” Seri hissed.
“See who?” Then he followed her gaze. “Ah.” She was staring at a group of reporters – the very same group that had been there on the night he had been accosted outside The Avenue. But since that was also the same night he and Seri had gotten back together, Vassi was in the mood to be lenient.
“Forget about them,” he told her.
Seri took a deep breath. “I’ll try.”
Turning his back to her, he started signing autographs again. A moment later, the crowd started to laugh, including the girl in front of him.
He asked curiously, “What’s so funny?”
“Your girlfriend, Mr. Grachyov.”
He spun around and to his shock, he saw a furious-looking Seri throwing anything and everything she could get her hands on. Tickets, pamphlets, canapés, and when she ran out of small objects, she actually tried lifting one of the barrier posts of the velvet ropes holding the crowd back.
Realizing that she wanted to throw that, too, he quickly finished signing the last autograph and, returning to Seri’s side, he curved an arm around her waist and drew her away.