Chapter 87 The Gift
When the car arrived at the entrance of the banquet hall, Nathaniel alighted from the vehicle and appeared in everyone’s line of sight with Christina holding his arm.
His features were perfect, and his tapered eyes glinted brightly. He was so handsome that he gave others a strong sense of detachment.
Standing beside him, Christina had her long black hair pinned up with a red gemstone barrette. She had a slender figure, and her skin was porcelain white with a hint of pink adorning her face that was devoid of makeup. She was so beautiful that anyone beholding her would laud her as a goddess.
With their outfits complementing each other, one black and the other white, they looked like celebrities who stepped out of a fashion poster, so striking that no one could take their eyes off them.
“Who is she to Mr. Hadley?”
“In the past, it was always Ms. Taggart who stood by Mr. Hadley’s side that I thought they were a couple.”
“This lady is breathtakingly beautiful!”
Madison followed behind the couple, going unnoticed despite her exquisite accouter that day. She felt like she was the leading female who had suddenly been relegated to a supporting role.
After taking a few seconds to compose herself, she quickened her steps and tried her best to keep pace with Nathaniel so that she would not look left out in the eyes of outsiders.
Subsequently, a few people in the industry spotted Nathaniel and enthusiastically pulled him aside to discuss business.
Seizing that opportunity, Madison took out an exquisite box and handed it to Christina. “It’s Mrs. Chassagne’s birthday tonight, Mrs. Hadley. It’d be more appropriate for you to hand this gift out on behalf of Hadley Corporation.”
Calandre Chassagne was the CEO of a multinational company that had many collaborations with Hadley Corporation. As such, Madison would pick a gift for her each year on behalf of the company.
Christina lifted her gaze and eyed the capable woman in front of her. The scene in the study that day flashed across her mind, and a sense of disquiet swamped her.
Nonetheless, she took the box offered. “Sure.”
At that, a cryptic smile tugged at Madison’s lips. “I’ll bring you over to meet Mrs. Chassagne.”
With that, the two of them went further into the banquet hall.
Calandre was a Ferropenian who was almost forty years old yet maintained her looks exceedingly well.
She had short blond hair and wore big pearl earrings with a pure pink suit. The trendy V-neck design rendered her intellectual and mature.
Upon meeting, Madison conversed with Calandre in fluent Ferropenian. The two of them even chuckled every so often. All in all, the atmosphere was very much pleasant.
Throughout it all, Christina stood at the side and listened to their conversation quietly. Her gentle and delicate appearance sparked a sense of protectiveness within others.
Only after talking for some time did Madison deliberately introduce Christina to Calandre in Ferropenian. “This is Mr. Hadley’s wife, Ms. Christina Steele.”
She then went silent, not bothering to interpret it into Chanacan. Instead, she waited to witness. Christina making a fool of herself with a smug look in her eyes.
Calandre was not the kind of person to put on airs, so she greeted, “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Hadley. You’re stunningly beautiful.”
Her speech was somewhat rapid to the point that Madison had to focus intently to understand her.
In spite of that, a calm smile remained on Christina’s lips. “Nice to meet you, Mrs. Chassagne. Thank you for the compliment.”
A stream of Ferropenian with a pure accent flowed out of her mouth, her speed comparable to that of Calandre’s.
At once, surprise flooded Calandre. In fact, she would suspect that it was from prerecorded audio if she had not seen Christina speaking with her own eyes.
Meanwhile, Madison was wholly stumped. She even wondered if she had misheard, querying in Ferropenian, “You know Ferropenian, Mrs. Hadley?”
Blinking her crystalline eyes, Christina swiftly answered in Ferropenian, “A little bit.”
Following that reply, distinct fury showed in Madison’s eyes. She’s calling this a little bit?
It was rare for Calandre to meet someone she liked greatly. With a prominent smile on her face, she enthusiastically chatted with Christina about various other subjects.
Christina listened smilingly, paying close attention to the woman’s subtle expressions, and waited until she had finished speaking before she replied unhurriedly.
Even then, Madison could not believe her ears. The sight of Calandre and Christina conversing happily was like a dagger to her chest, the tip plunging deeper with each passing moment.
Argh! I wanted to embarrass her, but never in my wildest dreams had I ever imagined that she doesn’t only know Ferropenian but also speaks it fluently!
Sheer resentment inundated her, yet she could not do anything about it.
Her gaze furtively fell on the gift box in Christina’s hand, and a jumble of complex emotions surged
After the two women had talked for a while, Nathaniel walked over to Christina after he had finished discussing business to meet with Calandre.
A few pleasantries later, Christina took out the gift box prepared by Madison and held it out to Calandre. “Happy birthday, Mrs. Chassagne!”
It was the first time Nathaniel heard her speaking Ferropenian. The corners of his mouth turned Hmm, she’s pretty fluent in it.
Taking the gift box in delight, Calandre expressed her thanks before opening it.
Immediately, an intense fragrance wafted out, instantly perfuming the air with a sweet aroma.
As Calandre took out the perfume, the smile on her face vanished into thin air. She studied the perfume bottle, her brows creasing in displeasure.
“This perfume smells pretty great. On top of that, it’s priceless since it’s a limited edition. Regretfully, it has already been used.”
In a flash, Christina’s expression stiffened.
On a closer look, it was rather obvious. After all, a brand-new perfume would only have a very faint. fragrance. Contrarily, that perfume had evidently been opened and used before hurriedly stuffed back into the box. That was the only reason for the strong smell when the box was opened earlier.
That aside, the alignment of the bottle was not quite right since the logo was misaligned with the body. All those were traces of the perfume having been opened.
On the whole, giving someone else a bottle of used perfume was a clear sign of disrespect.
At the same time, it plunged both parties into a whirlpool of awkwardness and mortification.
Without giving Christina a chance to question things. Madison quickly stepped forward and bowed at Calandre with panic written all over her face, apologizing, “Sorry, Mrs. Chassagne. Mrs. Hadley definitely didn’t do it on purpose. Would you please forgive her?”
Christina’s heart clenched. It was not until she saw Madison stepping out to apologize that it belatedly dawned upon her that it was all a ploy by the latter.
She knew full well that I wasn’t the one who created this mess, yet she stepped out to put the blame on me. Hah! She only wants to humiliate me before Nathaniel, no? And she even claimed that it’d be more appropriate for me to hand this gift out. In truth, she had long since broken the seal of the perfume bottle, merely making up an excuse to give it to me, then waiting to see me create trouble for Hadley Corporation! But no matter the reason, this perfume came from me now, so all the responsibility is naturally on me as well!
Reaching out, she took the perfume back. Without any visible change of expression on her exquisite face, she stated in an even voice, “I’m sorry, Mrs. Chassagne. Actually, I prepared another gift for you. Would you mind waiting for a moment?”
Nathaniel’s brows furrowed. He took her hand and brought it to his back, telling her without words to let him handle the matter.
Needless to say, Madison noticed that. Intense envy and hatred blazed within her.
This mansion is halfway up the mountain, so it isn’t possible even if she wants to go and buy something new! It’s most likely that she feels humiliated, thus simply making up some excuse to take off and leave us to clean this mess up!
Calandre’s expression was frightfully dark, but in view of the great conversation they shared earlier, she agreed, “Sure.”
After receiving the woman’s assent, Christina threw Nathaniel a look before walking away.
Madison surreptitiously clenched her hands as she stared at Christina’s retreating back. I shall see what
trick you have up your sleeve!