[ Chapter 1 ]
It was a picture of a beautiful setting in a glamorous decorated hall.
A soft and ethereal romantic melody was swarming in the background as a bright, contented smile could be seen blossoming on the bride's beautiful countenance.
The moonlight shone bright upon the certain prestigious seven-star hotel and inside its venue, the grandeur wedding banquet was held glamorously in the middle of the grand wedding hall.
The chandeliers that dangled from the ceiling provided little sparkles of light from one end of the room to the other, giving the room a feeling of being under a bright, starry night sky.
Elegant and lavish round tables were dotted around the room. The tables were decorated tastefully with red and gold accents. The colours represent love, prosperity and good fortune.
The guests were all beautiful women dressed in prestige and suave men reeking with wealth. All of them could be seen relishing themselves in a joyous and blissful atmosphere.
Or so it seemed, except for one woman.
Around the corner of the hall away from the crowds, a woman with feminine grace was sitting by herself in the wittman vuelta chair and a glass of wine was being held elegantly in her hand.
The woman's white skin was lustrous as if she had painted herself with milk. Her set of hazel eyes were like almandine, glittering in the light.
Her gorgeous, exquisite features were framed by long platinum blond hair that cascaded loose behind her waistline like a waterfall.
The woman was otherworldly gorgeous and graceful, yet she appeared to be lonely and melancholic.
The woman, known as Cassandra Qin, brought the glass into her mouth and sipped the red wine through her red lips as her eyes gazed at the distance.
At the direction of the newlyweds who looked loving and blissful.
Cassandra looked at them in silence before a soft sigh escaped her moistened lips. Closing her eyes, she then drowned herself in longing as her mind swam back in the river of time.
Her breathing was soft as she seemed lost in the yearning remembrance, she recalled like it was just yesterday, how blissful and radiant she once was when her father walked her down the aisle.
Adorned exquisitely in a pristine and beautiful wedding gown, her younger self held onto her father's arm with mist in her hazel eyes while her father proudly walked her down the red carpet.
Then, upon reaching the end of the aisle, a dashing man in a black double-breasted suit came to her sight. She held her head high as she looked into those loving eyes of the former.
"She used to be my little girl," sighed her father. She remembered how hard it was for her father to hold back his tears when he spoke those words to the man.
"She means the world to me. Promise me you will treat her well." When her father spoke those words, anyone could feel how deeply he loved his daughter and his reluctance in giving her to another man.
The groom's gentle eyes looked at his beautiful bride briefly before looking back at her father. With determination and devotion in his eyes he curved a genuine, reassuring smile.
"I will." He vowed.
Her father nodded and gave her hand to the man with so much reluctance.
"Father, I love you." She couldn't stop herself from misting her eyes and kissing her father's cheek when he was about to let her go.
In the end, her father failed to hold back his tears as he smiled. "I love you too honey." He then quickly turned around not wanting to embarrass himself any further by crying in front of the guests.
She then saw her graceful mother walked toward her father and gave her a loving, motherly smile from the distance. She then smiled back at her mother before turning around.
Her eyes fixed at her handsome groom, at the man she was about to marry.
She still could picture it clearly the way he looked at her with love and held her hand. He was the man who was very dear to her, the man she wanted to spend her entire life with.
And when both of them vowed their soulful vows, "I do", the rest was just like fleeting memories.
Cassandra then opened her eyes as tears welled up in them. About fifteen years had passed since her husband's passing. And here she was now, a thirty seven something single mother.
The man she supposed to spend her entire life with and the man she vowed to love for with all of her was no longer around.
Had it not been for the thought of her daughter crying alone when she was about to end her own life, she would have already reunited with her husband a long time ago, as she failed to cope with her extreme sadness.
The grief of losing her husband who meant the world to her was unbearable and heart-wrenching.
Ever since then, not wanting to drown herself in sadness, she decided to devote herself to raise their daughter alone as a single mother and chased after her passion in business.
As a result, after years of devotion she put in her business, she had earned the top where she stood right now. Known as one of the most renowned businesswomen, she owned a prestigious seven-star hotel.
To be honest, her late husband was the only man in her life. A lot had happened in her life. She was now a lot more mature and was no longer the young naive girl she used to be.
Among the elite of high society, she was a well-respected and admired person. Women envied her while men could only worship her from afar.
However, as a healthy woman in her prime, she couldn't deny that deep down there was a yearning for the feeling of being treasured and cared by a man.
But that being said, it was complicated, somehow she herself didn't understand why she couldn't get herself interested in seeing another man.
Granted, she loved her late husband dearly, but she wasn't against the idea of reigniting her dating life again. Nevertheless, she didn't force herself to find another man either.
She admitted that she was gorgeous and exceptionally desirable. Throughout the years, countless of striking men had shown their interest, but none of them could attract her.
Quite helpless in her situation, she could only sigh. But fortunately, she was used to singlehood as she had been alone for years. It was always her with her loneliness.
To be honest, although she seemed pathetic, in truth her situation wasn't that bad though since she had long found her source of greatest happiness in her daughter's happiness.
Regardless, it was a fact that she was still a very damn healthy woman in her prime. She had been in dry spell for ages, hell she couldn't even remember how long it was.
Although her dating life had been long extinguished, she wasn't completely without those urges. At some point, she began to think that maybe her bestie was right, she probably needed to get laid.
Cassandra sighed and stared at the dark, never ending sky through the glassy window. She was now in her own world. The night was beautiful but here she was feeling quite lonely.
This banquet was a wedding banquet of one of her acquaintance's daughter. That was the reason why she was here, attending this banquet which was also being held in the hotel she owned.
Thinking about the wedding and marriage, Cassandra smiled softly. She wanted to hold a grand wedding banquet in the near future herself as a mother.
It would be good if she could catch a fine young man for her daughter. Her daughter was a beautiful and attractive girl, but for some reason she didn't know why the latter had never dated a man.
"Honey, there you are. I've been looking for you everywhere." Sounded an angry yet pleasant voice of a woman, bringing Cassandra back from her reverie.
Cassandra swiveled her head to look at the approaching figure. The woman was a mature elegant lady with short black hair, she wore a red off shoulder red dress and looked very attractive, even among the sea of young ladies.
Cassandra cracked a soft smile, "Well, the view is pretty nice here."
Miranda Su walked over and sat next to Cassandra, she looked at Cassandra and sighed.
Cassandra reached her hand and poured some wine into the empty glass next to her. Extending her hand she handed it to Miranda, "Here."
Miranda took the glass in her hand and downed the wine. After taking some time to relax herself, in the next second she stood and tugged at Cassandra's arm, "Come with me, they've been waiting for you."
Cassandra could only nod and Miranda led her into the main hall where dozens of men and women were either talking to each other or simply enjoyed the melodious melody of the music.
Miranda led Cassandra to the table which was situated to the left of the dance hall. Another three women their age could be seen around the table. they were also Cassandra's best friends.
Cassandra joined them and chatted along. The five of them were women in their late thirties and all of them were also mothers. Every one of them were elegant and attractive mature women, but Cassandra was the prettiest.
The five of them had been friends forever, since their childhood times. They had weathered a lot together.
Miranda was her closest friend since they had been together since toddler. As for the others, they all came from the same background.
Becoming close friends was inevitable since they had always ended up in the same circle throughout the years. All of them were elites, proud daughters, now madames of high society.
"What's this?" Cassandra asked as her well-maintained brows furrowed at the glass her friend handed her.
Jessica Wen ordered a white concoction of strong cocktail called White Russian from the male attendant nearby. She knew Cassandra well, she had always been this melancholic whenever she attended a wedding banquet.
Jessica just wanted to help her to relax. "Just drink it," she replied as she urged Cassandra to drink. "It's pretty good, really."
Without another word, Cassandra took a quick sip of the White Russian, realizing that it wasn't too bad, just very strong with alcohol, then took another sip.
"Look at that young man over there." Miranda suddenly leaned over and squeezed at Cassandra's hand. Whispering, "I think he's checking you out."
Cassandra chanced a casual glance over her shoulder at said man and to her surprise, her gaze landed at a very intoxicating sight, and she seemed to be smitten in a matter of a second.
There, among the sea of people, standing tall was a dapper and alluring man who emanated an elusive aura shrouded in stark mystery.
Gentleman in black, was what she assessed him since he was literally donning in all black. Devious black. Dark eyes and pitch-black hair.
Attractive was an understatement. The man was ravishingly beautiful. He oozed with suave confidence and devilish charm.
The man was intensely charming and sexy beyond description. His dashing smile was dazzling and ever so enchanting.
His dark hair was neatly tousled to the side away from his face, showing off his insanely gorgeous features. His set of arresting eyes were startling and there was a slight smirk on his lips.
On his left ear there was a small silver hoop that hugged his lobe, and coupled with that devious smirk on his sinful lips, he gave off the bad vibes which could let any woman swoon.
Standing tall at six three, his towering form naturally attracted a lot of attention. Coupled with his masculine build and that well-deserved features. He was simply irresistible.
The vision of him was also dapper in that new collection of Giorgio Armani black suit. His well-fitted black suit showcased the glimpse of how hot and sexy his body was beneath the suit, leaving women to wander their eyes caressing his frame.
His crisp white shirt peeked out from under his black suit which showed off his manly arms. His black pants also looked like they were tailored to his exact measurements and showed off his strong, lean legs.
Cassandra admitted that such the finest specimen of gentleman was outrightly the epitome of perfection.
She had seen countless attractive men, yet none of them could hold a candle to his ever so adonis visual. He had the best look by far and physically speaking, he was perfect.
However, what actually caught her attention though was the seemingly impenetrable space around him.
A couple of meters or so radius around him was empty, which wasn't surprising since his aura, even from the distance, was practically screaming,
'I fucking dare you to stand next to me and breathe the same air as me. You worthless peasants.'
Cassandra mumbled under her breath, "Lovely."
A normal person with self-preservation instinct would, of course, stay the hell away from him and mind their own business.
Nevertheless, despite knowing what kind of dangerous man he seemed to be, women were still drawn to him. He had that kind of bad vibe which women crave upon their dirtiest fantasy.
Just like any other woman, that lethal sex appeal that was seemingly dripping from his very bones got her completely intoxicated. Her mouth went dry as she realized, to her shame, she was a little breathless and giddy
However, just when she was about to stop checking him, the man tilted his head and their eyes met. For a second, they simply stared at each other before she saw he curved his succulent lips and flashed her a devious smile.
Cassandra then quickly turned her head away from him. Getting caught red-handed checking him out, she could feel her cheeks flush and begin to get hot.
Her hand clutched on the glass of white cocktail as Cassandra took another sip, trying to ease her heated nerves.
"Girls! look who's blushing here." The woman who seated across Cassandra, Mia Ren, cried out in amazement, all of them turned to look at Cassandra with astonishment.
It was something quite shocking since they know their best friend well, Cassandra was that kind of dignified and graceful woman who had always been composed in any situation.
Therefore, seeing Cassandra blushing because of man was something new to them since the passing of Cassandra's late husband.
"I'm not, this cocktail is pretty strong really." Cassandra wanted to keep her dignity intact yet her blushing cheeks betrayed her. She told half truth though since the White Russian was strong enough to make her dizzy.
Jessica then leaned over, a playful smirk slid across her good-looking face. "Damn Cass! He's freaking hot and God, that smile alone is enough to make me hot."
Jessica swung her hand around her face, fanning herself. "I caught him smiling at you."
"If I were you and Daniel wasn't waiting for me at home, I would be all over that hottie and, well, you know the rest." Jessica ran her tongue along her lips.
Jessica just couldn't believe she started to feel uncomfortable, tingling all over just by the sight of that man's somewhat sensual smile. A wave of lust started to glimmer in her eyes as she moistened her lips.
"Stop it Jess. He smiles just at everyone." Cassandra shook her head vehemently, trying to deflect the stormy gaze the man was giving to her. The deflection attempt was to no avail as the image of his alluring smirk kept dancing in her mind.
"Jess, I know you're such a pervert. But damn you're almost old enough to be his mother." Mia chided with a laugh, shaking her head. Personally, she so damn agreed that the man was sensual perfection but for the Goddess sake, he was too young for them.
Jessica twitched her lips and rolled her eyes at Mia, "Does it matter? I bet you'll get wet all the same when you see what's beneath that sexy suit. Caressing those rippling pectorals and fucking hard abs. Don't be shy, we're all women."
"He's so hot. I'm willing to bet he's an amazing fuck and I haven't been wrong yet." Jessica continued as her eyes raked over the man.
While the others casted a distaste look at Jessica's crudeness, Mia could only chuckle and smile bitterly, "Don't tempt me, I'm a faithful married woman."
Miranda peeked at the man and sighed. "Cass, he smiled at you. In fact, he had been checking you out this whole time."
Miranda didn't know whether she should be happy or worry for Cassandra. She had always tried to urge Cassandra to date someone. It had been years already and she knew Cassandra hadn't yet moved on from her late husband.
As a best friend, Miranda wanted the best for Cassandra. She knew the latter well, and Cassandra was obviously attracted to that younger man.
But the thing was, the man looked overly sensual and from the bad vibes he gave off, it was apparent that he was a womanizer. Any woman with a sane mind shouldn't get entangled with him.
As Cassandra heard the unseemly conversation that was happening around her, she caught her lip between her teeth as she kept taking the sip of White Russian.
The effect of the alcohol started to make her dizzy yet she couldn't stop herself from drinking.
Cassandra couldn't understand why that somehow she felt overwhelmed by her desire. It might be because of the alcohol or it was just the fact that she had been in dry spell for years.
She admitted that she was attracted to that younger man. In truth, she was smitten just by his single glance. It sounded ridiculous, it was the first time she was attracted to a man in years.
Furthermore, from the way she saw it. Oh Goddess, the way he smiled at her was simply sensuous. She knew what kind of smile that was. That was definitely not a harmless smile.
Her mind was in a mess.
Cassandra closed her eyes and kept asking herself. What exactly was she thinking anyways? The man hadn't even made a move on her yet, but just as the idea of letting loose together with him seemed appealing to her.
And unexpectedly, she welcomed it. She had never had, that kind of one and done kind of thing, and the idea had never appealed her. Except tonight.
After some thoughts, Cassandra decided to be true to herself. She yearned for the feeling of being a woman. She needed to be touched and pleased by a man, even for only once more.
It might be her only chance. After all, he was the only man that could attract her since she found him as the most attractive man she had put her eyes on.
Cassandra wasn't without desire. Having been sexually dry for so long without being attracted to any man, it would be a waste to not take her chance when finally meeting a man who could ignite her inner fire.
Perhaps it would be better to just let it flow, maybe all she had to do was let her desire take over. For once, she wanted to let loose and needed to stop thinking just for once.
Heaving a deep breath, Cassandra came to a final conclusion.
Straightening her back, Cassandra posed in a very ladylike posture, just like a prideful woman she had always been.
Cassandra crossed her long elegant legs and rested her thigh on the other. Her snowy white thigh was slightly exposed, enough to cause any man to sway beneath her feet.
Curving up the most enchanting smile she could muster, Cassandra titled her head and revealed her most mesmerising smile as she returned the man's stormy gaze.
Sure enough, Cassandra felt heart skip a beat inside her chest as her eyes met those pairs of magnetic eyes.
Cassandra was simply breath taken by his astounding beauty. His set of dark eyes that were seemingly carved from the purest diamond and emitted the same pitch black hue like his hair. They were simply mesmerising.
His gaze was stormy and smoldering, like the irresistible sea of the moonless night, forcing her to drown herself in whatever passionate storm that awaited her. He seemed to get her hint. An alluring smile lined perfectly on his adonis face.
Those passionate eyes were somewhat overwhelming. He didn't look like he was undressing her with those eyes, but who knew what was behind his unfathomable gaze.
Besides, it wasn't just about how sexually attractive he was. It was him, there was something mysterious with the way he moved.
There was something captivating, almost hypnotizing about this young man. He was a vision of masculine perfection, every woman's fantasy and she felt smitten by the way those eyes sparked when he smiled.
Both of them kept throwing flirtatious smiles from a distance. Cassandra didn't move from her seat, she kept sipping her cocktail with elegance as she absorbed the gorgeous view.
Time passed and the banquet turned into a dance session.
Lights started circulating on the dance floor of the hall. Near the dance floor, there stood the band venue that's invited all the way from Vienna. They started playing a melodious waltz tune.
Just when the waltz tune began to sound, Cassandra finally saw the man move from his spot and walk in her direction.
His tall form was fluid and graceful, and his movement naturally attracted a lot of attention, many pairs of eyes were watching every his sexy movement.
He gorgeously waltzed across the marble floor and most ladies couldn't help but gawk at him with a smitten glint in their eyes.
He was only walking but people felt they saw a supermodel walking on a runaway. Not even the most renowned top model or actor could hold a candle to his ever so possessing movements.
Cassandra couldn't stop her heart from beating erratically inside her chest as he got closer and closer.
The man halted in front of her and Cassandra felt like she was in the spotlight, a lot of eyes were now staring at her but Cassandra could care less about them, all her attention was on this enchanting man before her.
Suddenly, the man took a few steps back. Raising his arms, he spun on the ground as he showed off precise waltz dance moves.
Following a few practiced steps, he bowed in front of Cassandra as he offered his arm, doing a graceful 'gentleman invitation' posture so accurate that it's marvelous.
Not only were Cassandra's best friends dumbfounded, almost everyone in the hall even revealed an astonished expression.
All of the young ladies in the hall were shocked before they displayed a heartbroken and defeated look.
It was the first time in Cassandra's life that her mind went completely blank in public. She had never thought that this fine man would really invite her for a dance.
The more shocking matter was, his gentleman pose was absolutely graceful, elegant, and flawless showing how noble born he was.
At this moment, Cassandra got so shy that her heartbeat quickened.
After waiting for thirty seconds without any response from Cassandra, the man smiled and gentlemanly asked,
"May I have this dance?"