Jewel rolled her eyes dismissively, huffing. “She’s just a mediocre designer. What’s so special about that? She’s only making a name for herself by riding on Nathaniel’s coattails.”
Then, she turned to Christina and said, “The woman who ordered your clothes last night was obviously trying to curry favor with Hadley Corporation. Who would be interested in your stuff otherwise?”
Christina was no pushover and wouldn’t tolerate this impertinent young lady.
With a cold smile playing on her lips, she retorted, “Let’s not forget who threw a fit backstage last night after failing to get a few dresses. I wonder who it was who hit and yelled at people?”
Jewel’s face turned ashen, her eyes glaring at Christina as if she wanted to devour the latter whole.
Just who does this woman think she is? Does she actually believe her position as Mrs. Hadley is already secure? How dare she talk to me like this!
Noticing the imminent quarrel between the two, Julia cast a pacifying gaze at Jewel.
Jewel was seething. She was her parents‘ treasured child, pampered since her childhood.
Even after debuting in the entertainment industry, she was catered to by many influential figures in the industry, all because of her ties to Hadley Corporation. This was the first time she had been so humiliated.
Suddenly, a mischievous glint appeared in her eyes. “I have a party later today, with all the biggest stars attending. Why don’t you come too, Christina?”
Christina was suspicious of Jewel’s seemingly kind invitation. She was sure that there was some ulterior
Hence, she began to contemplate a way to decline the offer.
Seeing Christina’s silence, Jewel continued, “Don’t say I didn’t look out for you. This isn’t just any party. You could hand out a few business cards and attract many customers.”
Her tone was boastful, as if she was doing Christina a huge favor.
Christina had no interest in attending any party. She was about to decline when Julia intervened. “You two are of the same age, and we’re a family. It’s good for you to interact more.”
“Aunt Julia has already said so. Are you still going to refuse?” Jewel’s gaze held a hint of contempt.
What a hypocrite for looking all reluctant! I bet she can’t wait to attend a party full of big shots.
Now that Julia had spoken, Christina felt it would be impolite to refuse. “All right, let me call Nathaniel
Jewel snatched Christina’s phone away as she was about to pull it out. “We’re just going out for a bit. What’s there to tell? Besides, Nathaniel isn’t such a petty person”
Christina’s brows knitted together. Not petty? Does she truly know Nathaniel?
“Aunt Julia, we’ll be leaving now.”
With that, Jewel pulled Christina toward the front door.
The butler approached Julia worriedly. “Mrs. Hadley, are you sure about this?”
Julia calmly sipped her tea. “Relax Jewel knows her limits. It’s good for them to spend more time together.”
The butler felt relieved at Julia’s words and was happy for Christina at the same time.
Mrs. Hadley must approve of Ms. Christina for her to say so.
Soon, a bright pink sports car stopped at the gate of a mansion nestled halfway up a hillside.
Jewel, with a firm grip on Christina’s wrist, ushered her toward the grand entryway. “This is a gathering of A–list celebrities, something I wager you’d never have the chance to attend in your lifetime. What a pity that a commoner like you only gets to enjoy shabby activities as your pastime,” Jewel condescendingly remarked.
Christina frowned slightly, but she chose not to engage with Jewel’s belittling comments.
As they ventured further in, the pulsating beats of music echoed around them. Every passerby was a familiar face, and Christina recognized them to be famous celebrities.
“I’m going to catch up with some friends. Feel free to explore.” Jewel casually tossed the words over her shoulder before sauntering off, leaving Christina all alone.
Christina stood there, the unfamiliar surroundings unsettling her. She felt like an unwanted extra on a grand stage. Disinterested in partaking, she opted to sit in an unoccupied corner, waiting for Jewel’s return so she could make a quick exit.
Meanwhile, Jewel, concealed within the mansion, surreptitiously observed Christina.
Christina’s delicate silhouette seemed out of place, a lone figure detached from the boisterous party.
Jewel couldn’t fathom Christina’s actions. Shouldn’t she seize this opportunity to network with industry bigwigs? Hah, she’s acting all high and mighty again.
“What’s the matter?” A friendly voice interrupted Jewel’s thoughts. It was her close friend, Jamie Carlson.
Jewel pointed at Christina with a cold look on her face. “See that woman over there? Get some people to have a bit of fun with her.”
“No problem, leave it to us,” Jamie assured her.
In every social circle, there would be cliques. Jamie was Jewel’s sidekick, always the one to carry out her orders without question.
Back in the courtyard, Christina was contemplating a quick escape when she felt a light tap on her shoulder.
She turned around to find three young celebrities about her age standing behind her.
“Which company are you from? You look unfamiliar,” Jamie said, her lips curling into an insincere smile. Christina blinked, a little taken aback. “I’m not an artist.”
Jamie’s smile faltered slightly. Given her good looks, this young woman does have the potential to become an artist. Well, she only has herself to blame for crossing Jewel. I don’t care who she is. I have a mission to complete.
Then, Jamie stepped forward to grab Christina’s hand and cheerily said. “It doesn’t matter. Since you’re here, you’re a friend. Come join us over there.”
Another girl grabbed Christina’s other arm. Startled by their overly familiar advances, Christina tried to pull away. “I need to leave. You guys carry on.”
She tried to wriggle out of their grasp, but they held on tenaciously.
“Come on, the swimming pool is huge. Let’s have some fun in the water!” Jamie suggested, pulling Christina toward the poolside
Christma’s expression hardened, her voice filled with warning. “What are you doing? Let go of me! I don’t
want to swim!TM
Her attempts to break free were futile, as the two girls had overwhelmed her.
I don’t know these people. Why are they harassing me for no reason?
Then, Christina caught sight of Jewel in the crowd. The latter had her arms crossed, and a hint of smugness was evident in her eyes when her gaze met Christina’s.
The pool’s edge loogned closer as Christina was jostled and tugged by the two girls flanking her. Jamie firmly pushed Christina’s slender waist and said, “In you go!”
With that, Christina’s lithe figure tumbled into the water. But just as a triumphant smile crept up Jamie’s face, Christina’s hand shot out, gripping her shirt. In a surprising turn of events, all three girls plunged into the pool.
With a resounding splash, the icy water felt like a thousand needles piercing Christina’s skin..
She was not particularly good at swimming to begin with, so she struggled for a few moments before she managed to find her footing. Christina’s hair and body were thoroughly soaked.
A gust of cold wind swept the pool, causing her to shiver uncontrollably.
The other two girls weren’t faring any better. Falling into icy waters in the dead of winter was far from pleasant.
“Look, someone’s shirt is torn!” An eruption of snickers echoed across the courtyard.
Only then did the onlookers spot a piece of fabric resembling a section of a torn shirt floating on the surface of the water.