Love’s Cruel Stroke Chapter 22 by NovelsYou

Chapter 22

Rachel broke off and lifted a fraction of her skirts, then gave them a light flick. The champagne droplets rolled down the fabric and fell to the floor, leaving no trace behind in the teal dress. “See, I know how ugly jealousy can get, not to mention messy. It’s only practical that the dress is made of satin; not a speck of water or wine will seep through it,” she elaborated sardonically. “That said, I’m sure you didn’t mean to spill champagne on me out of jealousy; you were probably just clumsy.”

Tiana blanched and cursed the dress for being made of waterproof fabric.

“Tiana, go back to the Ashe Residence if all you’re here to do is to make a scene!” Caleb, who had been in the dressing room, warned harshly. He had seen for himself how Tiana had deliberately splashed champagne onto Rachel’s dress, and anyone with eyes could tell that it was not an accident. He couldn’t fathom why his sister would resort to such underhanded and foolish schemes.

Tiana, on the other hand, couldn’t fathom why her brother was so avidly defensive of someone outside the family. She wanted to lash out at him and throw a fit, but because there were others here in the house, she had no choice other than to suppress her rage.

Presently, Rachel gazed into the mirror as she dabbed on her lipstick, and when she was done, she looked even more stunning than she had moments ago. She walked over to Caleb and smiled as she said, “Shall we go down to the party, Caleb?”

Caleb nodded, and the both of them walked out of the dressing room side-by-side.

Meanwhile, all the guests had already arrived dressed to the nines. The banquet hall in Sinclair Residence was decked out in lavish decorations, and everyone was chauering among themselves, their combined voices filling the space with an air of festivity,

Everyone was taking guesses at the reason behind the Sinclairs’ banquet this evening whethcrowd near the doorway suddenly grew restless. Those further in the hall turned to see what was going on, only to be surprised by the newly arrived guests,

Coodness, I didn’t think anyone from the Ford Family would come this evening!”

“What are the Sinclairs up to? Why is Jordan here?”

Jordan hardly ever makes an appearance at social events like this, If he’s here, then something important must be taking place tonight!”

As the crowd descended into a frenzy, Jordan walked slowly into the hall. He was dressed in a black tailored suit this evening, which only accentuated his stoic and reserved front. The air around him seemed to drop to sub-zero lemperatures as he

made his way through the crowd.

“Come on, Jordan, stop being a buzzkill!” Howard couldn’t help grumbling under his breath as he walked next to the frigid man. “You’re like a walking iceberg. No ladies are going to chat me up if you keep looking so constipated!”

Jordan shot him a sideways glance. “Weren’t you the one who asked that I circle the room with you?”

Quentin grimaced and said with no small amount of contempt, “Howard here has his eyes set on Layla Lacey and made us come along for moral support. I can’t believe you were unfortunate enough, not to mention free enough, to be dragged into this. Jordan.”

Jordan lowered his gaze and made no reply. He hadn’t shown up voluntarily at the banquet because Howard made him, but because he had seen a certain woman walk into Sinclair Residence the day beforeShe must be from the Sinclair FamilyThus, when the Sinclairs sent him an invitation, he had pushed back his work schedule to attend the banquet.

But it had been a while since he walked in, and the woman was still nowhere to be seen.

Jordan had become the center of attention as soon as he appeared. Every socialite from respectable upper-class families was eyeing him with interest. There were plenty of young ladies here at the banquet who wanted to walk up to him and introduce themselves, but he seemed so cold and intimidating that they started to gain second thoughts. Eventually, they missed out on their window of opportunity.

For at that moment, the lights on the second floor landing were turned on, and a couple began to make their way down the stairs.

The first person everyone took notice of was Caleb, the first young master of the Sinclair Family:

At the sight of him, slow realization dawned upon the guestsIs this banquet thrown in honor of Young MasteCalebengagement

The Sinclair Family were in the top ten prominent families of Seaview City, and Caleb naturally became a strong contender among the women of nobility who were seeking a capable and powerful son-in-law. Everyone at the banquet was instantly eager tsee which socialite had been lucky enough to become Caleb’s fiancée.

Al that moment, everyone‘s gaze fell upon the woman next to Caleb, and this was followed by a collective sharp intake of breath. ShegorgeousWhere did she come fromHow could she be this gorgeous and exist in the same universe as us

Even the socialites in the audience were taken aback by the beauty and grace of the

woman who was supposedly Caleb’s fiancée.

“My goodness, where did Young Master Caleb find such a beautiful fiancée? Look at her! She’s a vision!”

“Her skin is like flawless porcelain, and check out her figure! At this rate, even I can’t help falling in love with her, and I’m a woman!”

“Don’t you girls think she looks a lot like that young lady from the Yates Family? They’re both the breathtaking, ethereal type.”

“Are you talking about Rachel? Well, she might have been Seaview City’s Aphrodite back in the day, but Young Master Caleb’s fiancée is definitely more beautiful than

she was!”

Indeed, the present Rachel looked far more stunning than she had four or five years ago. Back in the day, she had been eighteen, and she had eyes that were filled with naivety and endless hope for her own future.

As time passed and the years flew by her, the curious look in her eyes was replaced by tenacity and serenity. She had also filled up her frame, and her silhouette had grown more womanly over the years. She moved with such feminine grace and elegance that her every gesture was captivating-seductive, even.

“Holy c**p! Isn’t she the mermaid from yesterday?” Howard asked incredulously, his eyes wide with disbelief as he stared at Rachel from across the hall.

Quentin was bemused as he drawled, “The mermaid is now Young Master Caleb’s fiancée. She’s way out of your league now.” ||

Next to them, Jordan had a grim expression on his face as he registered this twist of eventsSo really did misunderstand herShe was never trying to get close to me at allSheabout to marry into the Sinclair FamilyWellwhat do you know? He clenched his wine glass tightly as an inexplicable rage and frustration seized him.

On the other side of the hall, Rachel was standing next to Caleb with a courteous smile on her face when she suddenly felt a sharp gaze on her.

Frowning, she looked around and finally met Jordan’s smoldering obsidian orbs, which had a somewhal mutinous gleam in themWhy is he looking at me like that! She pursed her lips anbroke eye contact,

Shortly after, Caleb went up on the raised platform and bowed at the guests politely, then said, “Thank you for taking the time to attend our family’s soiree tonight, but the star of the evening is not from the Sinclair Family, but my cousin, Miss Rachel Yates.”

When the words left his mouth, a deathly hush fell upon the hall.

Then, mere seconds later, everyone burst into an uproar.

*”Rachel Yates?!” “I wasn’t imagining it, was I? Young Master Caleb really did address that woman as Rachel, didn’t I? But didn’t she die four years ago?”

“See, I told you that she looks similar to Rachel, and none of you believed me! I was right! She really is Rachel, and she doesn’t look like she’s changed a bit since four years ago!”

“But isn’t she supposed to be dead? Why is she standing there looking very much alive?”

“Remember how the news of her burning down the Yates Residence and committing suicide by drowning thereafter rocked the city for months on end? You can still look it up online!”

“I recall how reporters caught her having a one-night stand with some random guy during her coming-of-age party. She disappeared for eight months after that, and then word got out that she gave birth to stillborn twins. She burned down the Yates Residence out of spite for her family, but now that she’s here… Had she faked her death all this while?”

“Does she really think that everyone here would forget about all the dirty things she did just because she faked her death and stayed in hiding for four years? As if!”

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