Chapter 1 Can You Stay
Word Count: 640 |
On this day, the Nixon and Marshall families had planned to unite in matrimony. The ambiance was brimming with excitement. The spacious banquet hall were decked out in rich, dreamy decor.
The wedding officiant called for the groom to step onto the stage. “Presenting to you our handsome groom, Mr. Anthony Nixon!”
Barely had the officiant’s words resonated through the hall when the attendees erupted in deafening cheers.
Yet, after a few moments of waiting following the introduction, there was no sign of the groom on stage.
Guests started to murmur amongst themselves. Maintaining a cool demeanor, the officiant brushed it off as a minor hiccup. However, as the moments of silence stretched, even he realized something was off. His silence added to the sudden quiet in the hall.
Suddenly, a resounding smack echoed from backstage. Those close to the stage could see the scene unfold.
Anthony, the groom, had just been struck by his own mother. He ripped the boutonniere from his tuxedo jacket and stormed off.
Meanwhile, the bride-to-be, Claudia Marshall was backstage with her father, Jace Marshall, waiting for their cue to enter the spotlight.
“Feeling nervous, Cece?”
Jace gently patted her arm. Claudia offered her father an embarrassed look.
Just as she was about to respond, the commanding voice of Rachel Nixon, Anthony’s mother, caught her attention. “Anthony, get back here right now!”
Claudia couldn’t help but turn at the sound of Rachel’s voice.
The moment she turned, she saw Anthony dashing past her.
His gaze flickered when he spotted her. “Cece, I apologize. There’s been an emergency with Delilah. We must postpone our wedding!”
He didn’t pause in his stride as he spoke.
His words extinguished all of Claudia’s exhilaration and delight, leaving her feeling deflated and disheartened, as if a bucket of cold water had been poured over her.
Only moments ago, her father had asked her if she was anxious. Indeed, she was, but not for the reasons one might expect. She wasn’t worrying over marrying Anthony but over whether the wedding would proceed without a hitch, as that woman—Delilah Lopez—had assured her in last night’s message!
Jace’s expression soured. He had extended invites to his loved ones, acquaintances, and business contacts. The wedding was just about to commence, and Anthony had bolted at this crucial moment!
As Claudia watched him fade into the distance, she was paralyzed with shock.
She couldn’t let Anthony depart without a fight!
Regaining her composure, Claudia hoisted up her wedding gown and dashed after him. “Anthony!”
She was in high heels that didn’t quite fit and every step she took was painful.
Yet Claudia didn’t halt. She gritted her teeth, determined to catch up with Anthony.
The wedding banquet was on the second floor. As Anthony neared the stairwell, he heard Claudia’s cries and paused briefly.
After a moment’s hesitation, he continued to stride briskly out of the hotel.
By the time Claudia made it outside, Anthony was already crossing the road.
Without missing a beat, Claudia gave chase.
As Anthony was about to board his car, the screech of tires reverberated through the air, followed by a terrifying scream from his mother. “Claudia!”
Claudia, adorned in her pristine white wedding dress, was struck by a black vehicle, searing pain shooting up from her shin and engulfing her body.
Claudia was thrown to the ground, her white dress instantly stained with blood. Her arms bore multiple contusions. The bride, once the picture of beauty and grace, was now a vision of chaos and suffering.
Using her remaining strength to prop herself up on her hands, Claudia struggled to sit upright. Biting her lip, she fixed her gaze on Anthony who stood by his car.
Her lips remained sealed, but her tear-filled eyes silently implored him.
Would he stay?
Would he choose her over Delilah this time?