At Seamarsh Airport, Stella Anderson stood waiting at the waiting area with a large suitcase at her feet.
She glanced at her watch again. It had been thirty minutes since she got off the plane. And yet, her husband whom she had gotten married to a year ago was nowhere in sight.
She fanned herself with her fingers while frowning. She already had a bad impression of someone she had never met.
This was supposed to be their first meeting. How could he be so late?
As she watched people come and go, she couldn't help but recall her hasty marriage.
It had happened a year ago after her grandfather came down with a serious illness.
Stella, who was abroad at the time, rushed home to see him. It was then he made it known that he hoped to see her get married soon.
Stella wanted to say no. But when she remembered how her grandfather adopted her from an orphanage and raised her into the adult she had become, she didn't have the heart to disappoint him.
And so, she got married to the man her grandfather picked for her; a man she had never met.
The groom wasn't present on their wedding day. Someone else stepped in to handle the registration of the marriage.
She didn't know her husband at all. All she knew was his name and that he was a businessman.
To this day, Stella wasn't sure if her compromise was the right choice. Her so-called husband wasn't particularly giving her something to like about him.
She glanced at her watch for like the hundredth time. An additional ten minutes had passed.
Stella sighed exasperatedly. Just as she took out her phone to call her grandfather, a screeching sound pierced the air and almost burst her eardrums.
A silver Aston Martin came to a screeching halt in front of her. The driver's seat window rolled down.
Stella took a step back. Once she saw a familiar face, she blurted out, "Why are you here?"
Behind the wheel was the last person she expected to see now—her cousin, Oliver Palmer.
"Ouch! That hurts!" Oliver clutched his chest as though he was really hurt. After getting out of the car, he pouted. "Your return is so important. We haven't seen each other for a long time. As your cousin, I couldn't resist the urge to come pick you up. But you are so mean to me. It's not fair!"
Stella wasn't surprised or deceived by his poor acting.
She rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth, refusing to speak.
"Hop in, Stella. You must be tired and hungry. I'll treat you to lunch." After grabbing her suitcase with one hand, Oliver placed his other hand on her shoulder and shoved her to the car.
"Wait! I can't go with you." Stella stopped him.
"Why?" Oliver stopped. He scoffed when something occurred to him a moment later. "Is it because of your husband? You still want to wait for him?"
Stella didn't utter a word, but her look said it all.
Oliver snorted. "Don't wait for him anymore. Need I remind you that he has never contacted you since you guys got married? Doesn't that tell you enough?"
Stella was lost for words.
"If he wanted to come pick you up, he would have shown up before I did. How can you trust a man that has ignored your existence for one year?" Oliver added in a more sarcastic tone.
After it sank in, Stella retorted defensively, "But Grandpa said Maverick will come to pick me up."
She thought Maverick would keep his word since he promised her grandfather.
Oliver held the bridge of his nose and sighed helplessly. "Even if you still want to wait for him, you don't have to stand in the sun. Get into the car. It's hot outside."
While the two of them were arguing, a tall figure appeared in the crowd and was heading for them.
Matthew Clark was talking on the phone. "I'm already at the airport. Take your medicine now."
A soft female voice came from the other end of the line. "Remember, Ella is wearing a red dress today. She has long curly hair. Also, her suitcase is black..."
"I have already seen her, Grandma. Now, can you stop worrying?" Matthew's eyes were fixed on the duo meters away. He frowned.
There was a woman who fitted the description his grandmother gave, down to the color of her suitcase.
But she just got into a man's car while he held the door for her.
Matthew's tone suddenly turned cold. "Got to go, Grandma. I'll talk to you later."
Matthew's face darkened. At the same time, an icy glint leaped into his deep-set eyes.
He put away his phone, turned around, and left.
Back in his car, Matthew's grip on the steering wheel grew tighter as he watched the two people in the sports car.
The man handed the woman a bottle of water. As she drank from it, he smoothened her hair dotingly. Although Matthew couldn't see her face, that didn't matter to him anymore.
He was boiling on the inside.
Suddenly, he laughed at himself.
Why did he even find this surprising? He should have known this a long time ago.
His so-called wife had been away from the city for a whole year after their marriage. They had never met or gotten to know each other over the phone. It was understandable for her to get herself a boyfriend.
Matthew set his lips into a grim line. He took out his phone and typed a message.
As soon as he hit send, he started his car and zoomed off at a high speed.
Later that afternoon, Stella got dressed in a simple and elegant light-colored business suit and went to Prosperity Group.
Prosperity Group was one of the leading companies in Seamarsh. The employees were, in one way or the other, elites in the city.
Stella walked into the magnificent building that housed the headquarters of the group. With her excellent resume, she had gotten a job as the senior private PR professional to the CEO, Matthew.
The director of the public relations department, Luna James, led Stella to meet Matthew.
Unbeknown to Stella, the man she was going to be working for was actually her husband, Maverick.
Matthew had zero trust in people. He used his real name when his marriage was being signed. Only those closest to him knew his real name—Maverick Clark.