Chapter 1 Strange Man
A fine sweat broke out on Ariella Shelton's forehead. Her fair skin flushed as red as a steamed shrimp. Her mouth was parched, and her tongue scorched.
She struggled to lift her heavy eyelids and met a pair of deep, cold eyes. Her heart convulsed.
"Who... who are you?"
She opened her mouth with all her strength, only to find her voice as hoarse as that of an old lady in her seventies.
"You've climbed on my bed and still play hard-to-get?"
The voice of the man on the sofa was deep and attractive. In the shadows, his features looked cold while his hands were fiddling with a lighter.
What did he mean?
A flash of confusion crossed her eyes. When did she get on his bed?
She would get married tomorrow. How would she have any interest in another man?
It was her bachelorette party tonight, and everyone was having fun. How did she end up here?
She could vaguely remember having a glass of wine from her sister, Rainie Shelton. The following part of her memory was blank.
Anyway, she couldn't stay here and should go home.
She gritted her teeth, trying to get up and get out of this strange room.
"Don't use up your energy; I don't like to make love with a corpse."
His deep, cold voice was as pleasant as the tone of a cello. To her, however, he sounded like a demon.
In a moment, she found herself against a broad chest. His cold, tough vibe enveloped and chained her.
Ariella wanted to scream, but anxiety took her voice away.
She struggled desperately, but it was like a tickle to him.
Her despair and reluctance were shattered...
The long humiliation felt like a lifetime.
By the time she opened her eyes, the man was already gone. The clothes scattering around the floor reminded her that it was not a dream last night.
A stranger really raped her!
She tried to recall the tough man from last night, but the light in the room was so dim that she couldn't see his face clearly. What impressed and frightened her was a pair of eagle's eyes.
She begged for mercy but in vain and passed out in the end.
She gritted her teeth. He was handsome, so what? That didn't change the fact that he was an abominable rapist.
Ariella squirmed but immediately gasped in pain, and her chubby face paled.
She shed tears of grievances. Her heart was gripped by sadness as she thought of what happened last night. Why did such a thing happen to her?
How was she supposed to explain this to her fiancé, Gavin Bates? Right before the wedding day, she lost her virginity.
Moreover, she didn't even see that man's face clearly. How was she supposed to explain that?
She couldn't let others know about this, otherwise...
The door was busted open, and in swarmed many people photographing the woman on the bed.
Scared out of her wits, Ariella wrapped herself tightly in a blanket and shouted, "Who are you? Get out."
"Ms. Shelton, may I ask if you had a one-night stand yesterday?"
"Ms. Shelton, Mr. Bates, and you are getting married today. As the bride, you sleep with another man in this hotel. Do you have any comments?"
The aggressive questions from the journalists overwhelmed her. Now there was nothing she could say to remove the stigma from your name.
"No, it's like that..."
Her face was drained of blood as she grasped the blanket. Her clear eyes were filled with bewilderment. What should she do?
If the news got out, she would be doomed...
In just a few minutes, the photos of the daughter of the Shelton family cheating before her wedding hit the headlines in the tabloids.
She became an object of common hatred. The abuse came overwhelmingly, and she was tagged as vicious.
She staggered out of the hotel and hailed a taxi, "Sir, please take me to XX Church."
A flicker of tenacity flashed across her eyes as she decided to explain to Gavin that she was assaulted by a strange man yesterday.
She believed that Gavin would report the crime to the police with her.
Gavin was her childhood sweetheart, and she had adored him for so many years. Even if the whole world were against her, Gavin would believe her.
The taxi pulled off outside the church. In front of her eyes was a bustling scene.
Was another couple holding their wedding in this church, too?
Since her photos in the hotel had been exposed in the morning, there should be no weddings today.
In dismay, she walked into the church, only to find a familiar couple standing in front of the priest.
"Gavin Bates, do you take Rainie Shelton as your wife?"
Everyone began to applaud, cheer for, and bless the couple, but her heart broke.
The scene was so cruel that he wanted to gouge out her eyes. Should Gavin marry another woman?
When she was just about to challenge him, she felt a pain in her neck and then blacked out.
When she came round, she found her hands and feet bound.
"Don't waste your energy; a wanton like you should be put in a pigsty."
A middle-aged woman with heavy makeup pointed at her nose and shouted abuse, "You want to vie with Rainie? Bah, don't even think about it."
Ariella recognized her stepmother and gritted her teeth, asking, "Where is Gavin?"
She must ask him about everything.
"Little bitch, Gavin has married my daughter, and you should know when to give up. The wedding is not prepared for you from the very beginning..."
The marriage between the Sheltons and the Bates was a big deal. Of course, she would help her daughter take the little bitch and marry into the Bates family.
The middle-aged woman gave a triumphant smile, "Heh, sure enough, just like your mother, you can't stand loneliness. Both of you are frumpy."
Ariella trembled with anger, "Shut up; you're not worthy of talking about my mother."
"Bah, little bitch."
The middle-aged woman slapped her and instructed those behind her, "Tie her up and throw her into the sea."
Only then did Ariella notice that they were on a ship surrounded by the boundless sea.
Her blood froze. This might be the end.
She hadn't asked Gavin about everything nor explained to him what happened at the hotel. She didn't want to die.
"Little bitch, you should be happy because you'll join your mother at the bottom of the sea."
"What... what do you mean?"
Ariella widened her eyes and glared at her stepmother, "It was you. You killed my mother."
She thought her mother was missing.
It turned out her stepmother got her biological mother killed.
Then she was thrown into the sea. In front of her eyes, her stepmother's arrogant, ugly face diminished and became a blur...
She kept sinking, but a school of dolphins shoved her upwards by the waist.
A few fishermen from a nearby island saw a floating woman and rowed to her rescue.
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