Bye My Irresistible Love, Chapter 5: The Brightest Girl

Chapter 5 The Brightest Girl

Scarlett’s POV:

I looked at myself in the mirror. I wore a long white evening dress, a pair of Prada high-heeled shoes, and a pair of pearl stud earrings. I tied my hair up into a tight, clean bun.

But I still thought that there was something missing.

Then I put on my black choker necklace with the small turquoise on it and smiled. My father gave it as a gift to my mother, and my mother handed it down to me.

“Are you done? Come on, Scarlett, let me see. Can’t you raise your phone so that I can see you?” Tiana and I were on video call while I was getting dressed. While I got ready for the party, she was protesting loudly on the other end of the line.

“I only have two hands, Tiana. Calm down. I’m almost done.”

At last, I put on my favorite pink lipstick and pouted my lips to check the color.

“Turn around. Let me have a look.”

I looked at myself in the mirror and still felt uneasy.

I picked up my phone and angled the front camera toward myself. Tiana covered her mouth and stopped moving.

The picture had frozen. Was it because of a bad signal?

“Tiana, are you still there?”

“Oh, my God, girl! You look absolutely stunning! Oh, Charles is going to be stupefied by how gorgeous you look tonight! In fact, all the men at the party will be stupefied!”

“Mrs. Moore, if we don’t set out now, we’ll have to take the helicopter,” Burton, the driver, called at me from the driveway.

“Thanks for the over-the-top compliment per usual, Tiana. I have to go. I’m already running late.” Then, I hung up.

I lifted my dress and went downstairs carefully.

“You look beautiful, Mrs. Moore. You’ll be a sensation at the party tonight.” Burton opened the door for me.

“Thank you, Burton. Let’s go.” I was not that much into attending formal events, but I was looking forward to this party.

“Will we make it?”

“We will, Mrs. Moore. Trust me.” After saying that, Burton stepped on the accelerator and drove toward the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

Before I knew it, I was at the hotel’s drop-off area.

I got off the car and felt the cold evening wind on my arms and face. Fortunately, it should be warm indoors.

I entered the banquet hall, and many heads turned toward my direction. All the attention made me feel a little tense and wonder if I had somehow gone overboard with my outfit.

“Scarlett! You’re finally here.” I heaved a sigh of relief as Christine approached me.

“Hi, Grandma. Sorry I’m late.”

“Our little princess is finally here.”

I beamed as Alice and her husband Lawrence also walked toward me.

“Dad, mom. Oh, I’m so glad to see you both. I deeply apologize for arriving late.”

“Don’t worry about it, dear. The best is always the last one to show up anyway,” Alice assured me with a smile.

At this time, many people in the banquet hall had taken notice of me. One of them was a young man who waved at me and smiled. It was Spencer.

I swept my eyes over the buzzing crowd and finally met a pair of cold, dark eyes. It was Charles, and he was staring right back at me. Other than the usual detached look, there was something else in his eyes tonight that I could not quite figure out.

“Who is she?”

“I think that’s the girl Lawrence and Christine adopted. Don’t you think she’s magnificent?”

“Yes, she is breathtaking. She is even more attractive than Rita.”

……

Everyone began to whisper among themselves.

“Look, our little Scarlett has become a charming young woman!” Spencer came over with a smile on his face. David was right on his heels.

“Long time no see.” I extended my hand toward them, and they kissed it.

When Spencer hugged me, I caught a glimpse of Charles. He was standing by the stage and watching me. He still looked at me with those icy, unreadable eyes. This time, I caught a glimpse of anger on his face.

“Ladies and gentlemen, before we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Moore Group tonight, let us first please welcome our dear CEO, Mr. Charles Moore, for his opening remarks.”

Charles went onto the stage, smiled at the emcee, and shook hands with him. The cold look on his face was gone, and he started giving his speech in a warm tone that I had not heard him use. He glanced at me from time to time, and I returned his gaze.

A few reporters were invited to the party tonight. After Charles’s speech, they were allowed to ask him a few questions.

“Mr. Moore, there’s a rumor going around that you and Miss Rita Lively are engaged. Is that true?”

“Were you with her when she was photographed trying on wedding dresses?”

……

I was not surprised by the questions they threw right at Charles. The Moore Group had always been in the spotlight, and Rita was an actress whose career fueled the rumor mill. Financial reporters could sometimes be gossipy.

I turned to look at Alice, Christine, and Lawrence. They were not liking what was happening.

“I think my personal life is the least of everyone’s concerns tonight. And with that, let me welcome you to tonight’s festivities. On behalf of the Moore Group, thank you for joining us and have a wonderful evening.”

Charles handled that quite well, and it was expected. He had been in the game long enough to learn how to deal with nosy people.

After Charles ended his speech, the band resumed the music, drowning out the reporters’ follow-up questions.

Soon, the guests began to fill the dance floor.

“Scarlett, may I have this dance?” Spencer walked over to me and offered me his ha

nd. I beamed as he gracefully bowed to me like a real gentleman.

I found it a little amusing, considering Spencer was a bit of a ladies’ man back in high school. No amount of gentlemanly demeanor could ever cover up the trail of broken hearts he left in his wake.

“Well, why not?” I took his hand and let him tow me to the dance floor.

He put one hand around my waist and held my hand in the air with the other. I rested my other hand on his shoulder.

“Hold me tighter, you coward. Are you afraid of getting beaten by Charles or something?” I whispered to Spencer.

Spencer grinned and shook his head slightly. Then, he held me closer.

We began to dance. After a few moments, I suddenly felt uneasy. I felt as if someone was watching me. I immediately dismissed the feeling. Maybe I was just thinking too much or maybe I just put on my choker too tightly.

“Take your hand off her.” A familiar voice suddenly interrupted my train of thoughts.

Someone had yanked Spencer’s hand off my waist.

I had no choice but to stop. I turned around sulkily and found Charles standing right behind me with that confusing expression on his face. I could not tell if he was angry or in pain.

“What’s the matter, Charles? I’m just dancing with our friend,” I snapped.

He looked stunned. He obviously was not expecting such a reaction from me. But he did not say anything. He just turned around and stomped away like a little boy whose parents did not allow him to play outside.

At this time, a waiter passed by, and I took a glass of champagne from his tray and downed it in one gulp. I was not in the mood to dance anymore.

“Why does he always swoop in and ruin everyone’s fun?” I complained to Spencer.

“Force of habit. Don’t worry, Scarlett. Your good days are on the way.”

Good days? Did he mean the days after the divorce?

I was not sure about that. Soon enough, the revelry in the banquet hall proved too much for me, and I had to get out to get some fresh air. I took off my choker as I made my way to the balcony. The cold night air felt so nice against my face.

Spencer and David did not follow me, and I appreciated it. I needed some time alone to calm down and realign myself.

Los Angeles was a different kind of beautiful compared to Paris where I spent the last three years to study. But even though Paris would always have a special place in my heart, Los Angeles would always be my home.

But since I came home, I had felt a little lonely. I missed Tiana. I could not wait for her to return from her business trip. It was now suddenly occurring to me that I had spent the last three years of my life with just my European friends. Now I missed Tiana even more.

A breeze blew, and my arms prickled with goose bumps. I took a deep breath and welcomed the discomfort. Somehow, it helped ease my nerves.

Next thing I knew, someone was covering me up with a suit jacket. I instantly recognized the scent off the fabric.

I turned around. In the dim light, I was able to make out the contours of a handsome face. I met the gaze of the man standing behind me, and the river of emotions inside me that I had just calmed ran into raging rapids once again.

“It’s freezing out here. You’re going to catch a cold.”

It amazed me sometimes how my husband turned from an uncaring man to a concerned one. It was like he had a switch somewhere that he flipped whenever he wanted.

But why? Why did he do that? Why did he give me the cold shoulder and then turn around and mess with my head? I already said yes to the divorce. He was no longer obligated to care about me.

“Aren’t you cold?” I looked up at Charles.

“No, I’m all right.”

At this time, my phone beeped. It was a message from Tiana. She said that she had already found a place for me to live.

“I’m going to move out in a few days.”

“Why?”

“Because divorced couples usually don’t go on living under the same roof.”

“I haven’t signed the papers yet.”

“The place is close to the office where I’m going to work. It’ll be much more convenient for me.”

“Where you’re going to work? You found yourself a job? I could’ve arranged that for you.”

Hearing that, I smiled bitterly in my heart. I suddenly realized that Charles had been arranging many things for me, the most notable of which was him arranging for me to grow into a woman worthy of his name. I had been living a life that he directed, and I had been flowing with his current like dead fish.

“No, thanks. I’m good. I’ve already spoken to their human resources department.”

“Listen, Scarlett…”

“Why should I listen to anything that comes from you anymore?” I snapped once again.

I started taking off the suit jacket, but Charles stopped me.

“Are you trying to catch a cold so that you can make me take care of you? Or would you like me to go inside right now and get Grandma so that she can scold you?” he said with a half-smile.

I rolled my eyes and put the suit jacket back on.

“Take this.” Charles put a bank card in my hand and then turned around to leave.

“When shall we go through the divorce formalities?” I asked.

“Why are you in such a hurry to divorce me? Is it because of that French artist? What’s his name again? Piero? Pierre?” he asked sharply.

I did not know what to say. I fixed my eyes on him for a few moments. Then, I turned on my heels and left.

If he thought that I had answered yes to his question, then I guess he had just misunderstand me.

Bye My Irresistible Love, Chapter 5 The Brightest Girl

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