As I walked out of the gate of the company, I saw Charles’s car parked on the side of the road. I debated whether or not to go to him. But in the end, I decided to go to him. We were not on speaking terms these past few days. But since he was here, I might as well talk to him. That reminded me I could mock at him now that he was the one who conceded first and came to me.
A man got out of the car while I was making my way to it. To my surprise, it was not Charles, but Spencer. I could not hide my disappointment. I thought Charles had come for me.
“Spencer, why are you here?” I asked while walking towards him.
“Charles is busy right now. He couldn’t come here, so he asked me to pick you up.” As soon as Spencer finished speaking, a makeup artist got out of the car with an exquisite dress in her hand.
I had no choice but to dress up. If I resisted, Spencer would mention Michael and guilt-trip me. There was nothing I could do but sit there and let them doll me up. For some reason, I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. It was as if something bad would happen, but I had no idea what it was.
We left for the hotel after they got me ready. There I saw Alice and the others greeting the guests by the entrance. The whole hotel had been cleared since yesterday. Those who were not invited to the party were allowed to check in. Everyone here was rich and powerful. The parking lot outside seemed more like a showroom because of the luxury cars that were parked there. “Scarlett, my dear, come!” Alice greeted enthusiastically. She seemed elated to see me.
“Go ahead.” Spencer lifted the train of my gown as I walked up to Alice.
“Darling, you look stunning!” Alice remarked with a smile. She then held my hand and led me to Charles. “You stay with Charles first.”
I nodded obediently stood beside him without a word. Although I felt a little helpless about Alice’s arrangement, it was Michael’s birthday. I did not want anyone to be disappointed because of me.
“Why didn’t you protest?” Charles asked in a low voice.
I just smiled in response. It was hard to figure out what he really wanted. Whenever I was being obedient and submissive, he was skeptical. But when I disagreed, he would pull a long face. It was very difficult, if not impossible, to please him.
“Hold my arm,” Charles whispered in my ear.
His warm breath and hoarse voice tickled my ears. I covered them with my hands and stared daggers at him.
Charles looked at me from head to toe and snapped, “Hurry up. They’re watching us.
It was only then that I noticed that everyone was looking at the two of us with interest. Charles and I were so close that the guests who were just passing by could not help but cast a glance at us. I cleared my throat, embarrassed as the guests were looking at me. Albeit unwillingly, I held his arm and forced myself to relax. “Behave yourself. Don’t touch me without my permission,” I reminded him through gritted teeth.
“How can you still be shy when we’ve been married for years?” Charles muttered in a barely audible tone but loud enough for me to hear. “Watch your words.” I pinched his arm with the same sardonic smile.
At that moment, an elegantly dressed lady came over and greeted Alice. “Alice, long time no see! I missed you so much!”
Alice’s face lit up upon seeing her old acquaintance. She held the lady’s hand and chatted with her for a while.
The woman nudged Alice’s arm and looked at me up and down as if she was guessing who I was. “Oh, wow. Who’s that beautiful lady holding Charles’s arm?”
Before Alice could answer, Rita suddenly appeared. She was wearing a long black spangly gown with a huge emerald necklace around her neck. Her make-up was exquisite, but her smokey eyes somewhat aged her.
Susan and Nate came to the party as well. What was more, a dozen bodyguards were following them. Did they come here to ruin the party?
“People who don’t know the situation might think that it’s her birthday party and not your grandfather’s,” Spencer joked.
I could not help but chuckle at his words. He was right, after all. But then, I noticed that Charles was looking at me, so I quickly straightened up. Both Spencer and Nina were good-looking and funny. They were a perfect match.
However, my good mood only lasted for a couple of seconds as I saw Rita rushing towards us. She grabbed Charles’s other arm without a hint of shame.
I withdrew my hand from Charles’s arm awkwardly, but he stopped me.
He held my hand tighter on one hand and shook off Rita’s with the other. “Spencer, take her in,” he ordered in an icy cold voice.
“No, I don’t want to. I want to be by your side!” Rita pouted and acted like a spoiled brat.
Her voice might sound cute and sweet in other people’s ears. But to me, it was like nails on a chalkboard. It sent shivers down my spine, and I shuddered at the sound of it. All I wanted right now was to get out of this suffocating place and away from that presumptuous woman. I tried to withdraw my hand from Charles’s arm yet again. However, I immediately stopped as he cast a warning gaze at me out of the corner of his eye. 1
Helpless, I tugged on Charles’s sleeve and suggested, “How about I go upstairs now with Spencer?”
“No.” Alice walked up to us and looked at Rita with disdain. “You’re the one who should go upstairs. Just to remind you, you’re not invited here. But since today is my father-in-law’s birthday, I’ll let you stay. You should thank me. At least I have the decency not to humiliate you in front of so many people. But if you continue to misbehave, don’t blame me for being rude.”
Rita feared Alice, so she did not dare to make a scene after hearing the latter’s warning. But before she left, she did not forget to ruffle my feathers. “I’m ill, and I can’t stand up for a long time. I’m afraid you’ll have to help me entertain the guests.
I did not say anything in response and just watched Spencer take her away. Rita reminded me that no matter what happened, everyone would sympathize with the weak, and in the end, I would get the short end of the stick. After all, everyone knew she was dying. People like her always got sympathy and compassion. My heart ached at this realization.
one is your daughter-in-law?” one of Alice’s
“Alice, I’m confused. Which acquaintances asked.
“Me too. But I like the lady over there who’s standing next to your son now,” another chimed in.
“I agree. The one who just went upstairs seems hard to deal with. I heard she’s Mr. Lively’s daughter.”
The ladies kept asking Alice about us in ocnfusion. Embarrassed, I lowered my head and twiddled with my fingers. This was what I had been dreading since the party preparations. And now, what I had feared the most had become true.
Alice cleared her throat and explained loudly, “Of course, my daughter-in-law is the lady next to Charles. Anyway, there will be a spectacular show later. Please wait patiently.” With a smile, she beckoned her friends to go upstairs to the banquet hall.
When the ladies were gone, Charles looked at me and noticed that I was in a bad mood. He stretched out his hands to hold me, but I took a step back away from him. How dare he touch me after getting me into trouble? Charles, you wish! I was so mad at him that I did not talk to him for the rest of the party and kept a safe distance from him.
Once the reception was over, Charles and I went upstairs with the elders. I must say, they were beaming with happiness. They finally saw their old friends after a long time.
Alice sighed and said, “It looks like I’ll have to entertain guests again soon. But this time, it’ll be Charles and Scarlett’s wedding. I can’t wait.”
“Yes. It’ll happen soon. I’m sure the ceremony will be grand and more people will come,” Lawrence echoed.
“We should familiarize the guests with Scarlett then.” Alice tumed around and winked at me meaningfully. Not wanting to disappoint them on such an occasion, I just smiled and said nothing.
The smile on my face faltered the moment I entered the banquet hall. A loud and distinct female voice inside echoed in our ears. It was Susan’s.
“Charles is concerned about Rita. He doesn’t want her to get tired. The lady he’s with downstairs is just his sister. Do you still remember the Riley family? The girl is the daughter of the man who had committed suicide. The Moore family adopted her out of pity.”
“Fucking hell. I’ll tear that bitch’s mouth apart!” Alice was infuriated with what she had heard.
Just as she was about to shut Susan up, I grabbed her hand and smiled reassuringly at her. With a sardonic smile, I walked up to Susan and loudly asked, “If I remember it right, the Livelys weren’t given an invitation, were you? I never expected I’d see you three here.”
Bye My Irresistible Love, Chapter 109 The Birthday Party