“Michael!” Charlotte was momentarily taken aback, but quickly broke into a smile. “It’s been awhile.”
“Indeed, it has.” Michael’s gaze never once left Charlotte. “How are you?”
“Good, good.” Sensing the storm brewing in Zachary, Charlotte held his arm in the nick of them and smiled. “We’re getting married soon. We hope you can make it!”
“I see. Sure.”
Michael’s gaze fell on her hand which was curled around Zachary’s arm. He resembled a falling star, gradually dimming before winking out completely. How he wished that Charlotte would one day hold his arm like that.
For many years, he had hoped for his wish to come true, but all to no avail. It seems like it’d be close to impossible for that to happen now…
“We’ll send you an invitation once the date is confirmed,” Zachary stated courteously before walking away with Charlotte.
Charlotte brushed past Michael’s shoulder and left without looking back.
Although he had mentally prepared himself and imagined meeting her again more times than he could count, when both of them brushed past each other at that moment, his heart still wrenched painfully in his chest.
He lowered his gaze and stood rooted to the spot, waiting for the footsteps behind him to fade away.
Picturing Charlotte’s retreating figure, Michael released a pained sigh. Perhaps we’re destined to miss out on each other in this life…
Charlotte felt slightly guilty toward Michael, but she stopped herself from looking back. She knew that a blunt rejection was better than stringing him along by giving him false hope.
“Why didn’t you stay to chat for awhile, seeing as he’s your old friend?” Zachary asked casually.
“He’s probably still there. Why don’t we go back and look for him?” Charlotte pretended to turn back.
“Don’t you dare!” Zachary immediately grabbed her and confined her in his arms, pinching her cheek with a slightly annoyed look on his face. “I’ve been spoiling you too much and you’re getting bolder now, aren’t you?”
“You were the one acting all sarcastic about it.” Charlotte gave him a chaste kiss and explained, “Michael and I never had anything going on between us. If anything, I’m the one who owes him. I never should’ve used him as a shield.”
“It’s all in the past now.”
Zachary also felt that he was a tad too reckless before, but of course, he would never admit that aloud. After all, men were prideful creatures.
Charlotte rolled her eyes at him and changed the subject. “Looks like the wedding’s about to begin. Let’s go.”
Even though she did not approve of Hector and Helena’s marriage, the wedding vibes still got to her, so much so she started planning her own wedding.
Mellow, romantic music was playing in the banquet hall, signifying that the wedding ceremony was about to commence.
Samuel and Steven welcomed Zachary and Charlotte by the entrance, decorously ushering them to sit at the main guest table. The other guests would occasionally smile and greet them earnestly.
Zachary coolly swept his gaze around the hall, but did not catch a glimpse of the man he was looking for, Mr. L.
Since he’s already here, why isn’t he showing himself?
He can’t be attending the wedding just to see me, right?
Zachary’s expression was glacial even as he elegantly sipped on his wine.
Seated beside him, Charlotte quietly watched the wedding ceremony on the stage.
Her mind drifted back to that night four years ago, when she had almost gotten engaged to Hector. At that time, he was also wearing a white suit like this one, looking noble and dignified.
Only, he used to have a pair of crystal-clear eyes. Though he was flawed, he could never conceal his virtuous nature.
But the present him had a wickedly penetrating gaze that chilled her to the bone.
“Helena Brown, do you take Hector Sterling as your lawful husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?” The ceremony was drawing to a conclusion.
“I do!” Helena answered unhesitatingly.
The emcee turned to Hector. “Hector Sterling, do you take Helena Brown as your lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do you part?”
Hector’s eyes darted to the audience below and found Charlotte, but he withdrew his gaze almost immediately. Tugging his lips into a smile, he replied, “I do!”