One month later, it was a bright and sunny day. At noon, the distinguished guests in their fanciest attire gathered on the top floor of a five-star hotel in Vancouver.
This was the wedding of Bella, the eldest daughter of the city’s land agent Len Sanders, and Martin Smith, the son of the DB Group’s founder.
Both were famous figures in Vancouver. The guests arrived early and waited for the arrival of the couple which was not very favourable for them.
Most of the guests were women and the more women there were, the more gossip there was.
Someone said, “Len’s surname is Sanders. Why is his daughter’s surname, Brook?”
Another woman replied, “Oh, you don't know that? Bella is the daughter of Len and his ex-wife, Bess. After they got a divorce, she took Bess’s last name.”
The former lady said, “Oh, is it true? Mr. Sanders has been successful for several decades. If he had divorced his wife, we would have known that for sure. But we never heard about it. I would have thought it would have been on the radio or the tabloids?”
The other woman was smug, her face blushed because she knew the secrets that others did not. However, she kept the woman who had doubts down with her quick retort, she said, “That happened a dozen years ago. I heard that Len’s ex-wife had love affairs when she was pregnant with Bella, so she was thrown out of the house by Mr. Sanders.”
“Ah? So, the eldest daughter may not be the child of Mr. Sanders?”
“Yes! So, I think that Len is really kind-hearted to help her hold such a grand wedding.”
“You are right!”
When the music on the stage started, the audience gradually quieted down. Then, everyone looked forward, and no one noticed that the lady who had just let out the secrets had quietly left.
In the lounge, Bella wore a white wedding dress dotted with lots of embroidered butterflies which were hand-stitched by her mother, Bess. The butterflies seemed to be dancing lively under the light and shadows, which made her look more charming.
Bella’s mother Bess looked at her daughter and sighed with some regret, “Today is your wedding day, but your father didn’t agree to invite your friends. I tried...”
Bess had come from the main hall just now, so she had heard the terrible things the ladies were saying.
Bella couldn’t comprehend what her mother was talking about, but she said she could understand that her father didn’t want to lose face due to her friends who were underprivileged in her father's eyes. Her father would not have even allowed her to enter such a high-level place if Martin hadn't taken an unintelligible fancy to her.
Bella didn’t want her mother to be sad, so she said with a faint smile, “I don't have a lot of friends anyway. Ann had already gone abroad to study, and Dora White is busy with her business. Even if I asked Dora to attend my ceremony, she still would not have come.”
Bess patted her hand and kept quiet with a lot of complicated feelings showing through her eyes. Bess opened her mouth several times to speak, but she didn’t utter anything in the end.
She was delighted with her intelligent and thoughtful daughter. However, Bella could not live a good life because of a mistake her mother had made several years ago.
“Bella, are you ready? We are going up,” said Martin. Martin stood at the door of the lounge in a white suit and looked dazedly at Bella. She looked beautiful in her wedding dress.
After a lovely, and slightly younger girl came through the door, she ogled Martin and said, “Bella, Martin, you two are next.”
Martin coughed with his face slightly pale and said, “Bella, let's go.”
Bella walked into the hall with Martin, hand in hand. Under the guidance of the officiator, they completed the ceremony step by step.
Martin held her hands and poured wine into a ‘99-storey’ champagne glass. The video that played behind them was prepared elaborately by a planning team, which was showcasing them over the years, getting to know one another and being together.
The music was beautiful and romantic, and Bella was calm as she performed her tasks. She let Martin guide her to complete them all.
“Well, our prince may kiss his princess bride, and we shall leave this beautiful moment behind,” said the officiant. The sonorous sound of his voice brought a burst of booing.
When Bella was looking at the slowly approaching face of Martin, the image of a pair of silver-gray eyes flashed through Bella’s brain. A thrill of tenseness appeared in her heart, and her body stiffened with her hands on both sides of her body tightly clenched into fists.
Martin asked for kisses from Bella at the beginning of the four years that they were together, but after she refused multiple times, Martin made no more excessive demands from her again.
Bella didn’t have a lot of opportunities to go on dates with Martin after going to college, so holding hands with him like they were today was a little bit strange for her, not to mention kissing in public.
“Kiss her, kiss her!” The audience below the stage chanted louder and louder. Even Martin laughed and said, “I will ravish a kiss from you if you don't kiss me right now.”
Bella closed her eyes and leaned forward to kiss Martin with her lips pouting recklessly.
Suddenly, the crowd started to boo and hiss. Bella opened her eyes immediately when she heard the change from cheers to boos, she found that Martin had turned in the direction of the screen behind them. She slowly turned around and saw that the video, which was supposed to show sweet pictures of them, was showing a collection of erotic photos.
The screen was the size of a whole wall so the faces of everyone in the photos could be seen clearly. The images showed the men and women holding each other in strange and unbearable positions. The men in the pictures all had different looks and figures, while it was only one woman in all of them, unexpectedly it was Bella.
No... no, this was not her at all!
It was a deliberate attempt to frame her for adultery. She had no such experience and did not know the men in the photos.
When Bella stared at the continually changing collection of erotic photos, her small face became reddened with humiliation, and her chest violently moved up and down due to indignation.
What kind of person would detest her so much as to ruin her?
“Ouch! This is really disgusting. I didn't expect that Bella’s private life was so slutty,” said one woman.
“Haven't you heard that her mother had love affairs when she was pregnant with her? As the saying goes, like mother, like daughter. Oh, I feel sorry that such a kind man like Mr. Sanders had anything to do with his ex-wife.”
“Ho ho! I’m not surprised that this kind of loose woman would still want to marry into a wealthy family. She thought that no one would know these dirty things if she did it secretly. However, what is done by night appears by day,” said someone else.
Bella’s ears were full of all kinds of insults, and she just stood there completely still as if she heard nothing. Then she gazed at Martin and asked, “Martin, honey, do you believe that woman is me?
She had not said his name like that for quite a long time.
Stunned Martin looked at her with grief as if he watched a beggar under his feet who was starving to death.
Bella was slender and thin like the elf from the forest, who would disappear if the wind blew gently. At this moment, Martin suddenly felt some regret.
“Sister? How can Martin trust you now?” said Lynn, Bella’s younger sister. She came out of the crowd in a white dress and stood next to Martin as if they were a couple.