Thus, the matter was deemed resolved.
Julia then turned her attention to Christina. “Are you hurt, Christina?”
Instinctively, Christina hid her wrist behind her back and gave an easy smile. “I’m fine.”
However, her subtle gesture did not escape Julia and her hawklike eyes. She strode over. “Let me see,” she said, her voice ringing with authority.
Forced to oblige, Christina held her wrist out. Her skin bore scratches caused by the bramble, and her white sweater, torn by the branches, was stained red from blood.
Poor girl! Her fair, unblemished skin is all scratched!
Julia grimaced with pity. “Why didn’t you say something, child? Come inside with me at once,”
While they were running earlier, Christina had been shielding her from the whipping barrage of branches, which was how she had emerged unscathed.
Charlie, too, grew worried after taking a glimpse of the scratches on Christina’s arms. As the three of them. turned to enter the house, the trio did not pay Moira, who was frozen to the spot, any attention.
Her scheme to paint Christina as a curse failed. The indignity of the failed scheme rose up within Moira.
Despite having promised to stay for dinner, she had lost her appetite.
Hence, she departed after giving them an excuse that she would visit another day.
Raymond summoned the doctor, who quickly dressed Christina’s wounds and reported that they were not very deep and would most likely not leave scars, but she was not allowed to let them come in contact with
Julia felt a surge of gratitude. “Does it hurt? You shouldn’t have done that. At this age, I’m used to getting battered. Your skin, however, is so delicate.”
Christina was flabbergasted upon hearing those words.
How is it possible for such thoughtful words to part from Mrs. Hadley’s mouth? She even once mentioned that I am rough and uncouth. Now she feels bad for me?
Christina felt a warm, fuzzy feeling well up within her. “I’m fine. It’s all right as long as it doesn’t affect my work.”
Good thing it was my arms and not my wrists that were hurt. Injuries on my arms won’t affect the work that I do daily.
Unable to argue with her, Julia sighed. “You silly girl…”
Christina intended to go to work, but Julia stood firmly against that idea. Instead, she forced the former to stay for dinner, then had her chauffeur send her home to Scenic Garden Manor.
Radiant Corporation had a slew of activities lined up for its anniversary; so the employees found
Soon, the day of the gown exhibition arrived.
The highlight of the show was Shelley’s new designs. Once it gained recognition, it would secure her place within the company.
Many wives of rich men received an invitation to the exhibition. All of them were Radiant Corporation’s VIP clients while the rest were women with higher social status too.
When it was time, the venue was packed.
With its recent releases, those wealthy women regarded Radiant Corporation as the voice of authority in the fashion industry.
That was why the gown exhibition that night was a highly anticipated affair.
Standing in the corner, Christina, Gina, and their colleagues were gazing ahead of them with rapt
Cued by the music, the models emerged from backstage.
The first few gowns looked rather plain to the discerning eyes but the subsequent exhibits mesmerized the crowd from the moment of their appearance.
They were a series of black gowns adorned with jasmine flowers at the front, succinctly encapsulating the beauty of Oriental culture.
The audience below began to chatter.
“What a lovely design!” “I want that!”
“I love them too. Call the company to reserve one before they get sold out.”
“Radiant Corporation’s new designs never disappoint!”
All five of the jasmine–themed designs were well received.
After the show, Shelley went on stage for the final curtain call and basked in the applause.
She reveled in the crowd’s adoration. Her smile was as beautiful as her designs.
Suddenly, a figure emerged from the audience and fixed her with a severe glare. “I have a question. Are the black gowns shown tonight a design of Ms. Ada’s?”
Shelley was brimming with confidence. Another fan?
With a smile, she answered, “Indeed. Please contact the staff if you wish to make a reservation.”
My designs are going to sell like hot cakes!
As soon as Shelley’s response came, Julia sneered. “I do want to contact the staff, but not to reserve a dress -I’m going to sue you.”
-At once, every head in the crowd turned at the proclamation.
Under the stage lights, Julia’s silhouette looked just as slender as the models‘. Maintaining her determined gaze, she went up the stage. Then, she undid her cloak and exposed the exquisite black gown underneath.
The crowd was stupefied.
How is Mrs. Hadley wearing the same gown as the one exhibited on the stage?
However, Julia’s had more intricate workmanship. The embroidered jasmine upon it seemed alive, looking as though it was about to bloom at any moment.
There was also a faint, sweet scent in the air that seemed to emanate from the gown.
Given this juxtaposition, it’s obvious that Mrs. Hadley’s gown is the real deal. Does that mean the ones that were just shown were fakes? That makes no sense. Aren’t the dresses on the show new designs? Could it be a coincidence?
Gaping at the gown on Julia, Shelley looked as if she had been struck by lightning.
Ada’s design had already been in production when she had gotten her hands on the draft. Despite her reservations, she realized she didn’t have to fear even if the original turned up because Ada’s design had been sold to only one individual.
Now that they’re side by side, however, the differences are worlds apart.
Though it was of the same design, the effects produced by the finished products were vastly different.
Faced with the crowd’s suspicious stares, Shelley clenched her fists, and dared not speak.
I cannot admit it, or my career as a designer will be over.
Instead, she smiled. “Similarity in designs is a very common occurrence within the industry. There are many elements to jasmine flowers as a theme after all. You can’t accuse me of being a copycat over a coincidencel”
“Accuse you? Hah!”
Julia’s scoff sounded capable of turning the entire venue into ice.
“The piece I’m wearing is custom designed for me by Ada, whose expertise I have sought with a handsome reward. She has blended her design very creatively with my favorite flower, jasmine. Furthermore, much thought and effort have gone into the production to achieve such a perfect result. As a copycat, you have not only taken it as your own, but you’re also challenging me of accusing you?”
Unable to utter a word in her defense, Shelley could not rebut. Her pallor became increasingly worse.
The wealthy women in the crowd recognized Julia in an instant. Given her status and influence, most were more inclined to believe her.
With that, they threw accusatory stares at Shelley.
Julia sneered, “The actual designer of this gown is my daughter–in–law, Christina Steele–the legendary genius designer, Ada!”