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   Chapter 1 A Wedding

Substitute Bride: My Perfect CEO Husband By Zhen Xiang Characters: 10729

Updated: 2020-08-10 00:04

This day, the entire city celebrated the union of the top two families in the country. William Mo, one of the most eligible bachelors at thirty-five-years-old, was set to marry Joy Xu, a thirty-one-year-old heiress.

The wedding ceremony was indeed the grandest display anyone had ever seen. With chandeliers that could last for days and columns that could rival the Greek architecture, it was evident that both parties weren't hesitant in throwing a little bit of cash for grandeur.

However, despite having everything in his pockets, William Mo did not expect that the one thing he would not have on his wedding day was his own bride.

The woman he had loved for ten years was missing at their wedding day.

"I am not sure if I want to marry you, William. I just need some place to clear my head for a while. I'm sorry."

He crumpled the note in his fist, and he clenched his jaw. Various scenarios ran through his mind as he tried to think of a reason why she would leave him so abruptly.

How could she do this to him?

All those sweet words of her loving him and never leaving him—were they all a lie?

"Joy!" he yelled out, fighting the urge to rip off his own suit.

At the sudden commotion, the two families sat at the bride's empty dressing room. Due to the bride's escape, the Xu family couldn't bring themselves to look at groom's family.

Finally, Colby Mo, William's father, stood up, breaking the long, awkward silence. His face darkened tremendously, and he clenched his fists. There were so many guests outside just waiting for the event. He was not going to let this slide and have their family be humiliated like this. "Barth, we must do something," he said in a cold voice. "This wedding must be held. Since Joy has escaped, then you should marry the other daughter of yours into our family."

'The other daughter?'

It seemed that Colby Mo was inferring that he let Amelia Xu marry William Mo. Barth Xu glanced at this adopted daughter, Amelia Xu. 'Won't William feel wronged upon marrying her?' he wondered.

"Amelia, are you willing to marry William as your sister's substitute?" he asked hesitantly.

"Yes, Dad. I do." Amelia Xu nodded with no hesitation. Her curly strands fell to her face, but she ignored them. Guarded emotions gleamed behind her gaze as she stared up at them. "As long as he's willing to marry me, then I'll marry him."

Her immediate answer surprised the both sides. In fact, even William Mo found himself stunned by her firm declaration. 'She's willing to be tied up to me?' he thought.

"Why are you willing to marry me?" he asked.

Hearing him, Amelia Xu turned to look at the man she would soon marry. "Is it all right if I talk to you? Alone?" She pursed her lips. She needed to clear out any confusion they might have with each other.

He frowned. 'Alone?'

"Can't you tell me now?" he asked.

"It's about the two of us, if you don't mind. It's private. Look, after I tell you, then you can decide whether you want to marry me or not," she said firmly, returning the option back to him.

Complicated feelings surged through William's heart as he turned to his parents. There was something that she wasn't telling him, and he was curious to find out. "Dad, Mom, I have to talk to Amelia," he said calmly. "Why don't you wait for me outside?"

"Don't try anything on her, son. She's your only ticket out of here," Colby Mo reminded his son and stepped out of the dressing room with his wife.

Seeing this, Barth Xu and his family merely followed suit.

William watched them leave one by one. Once they were gone, he finally turned to Amelia. He took a deep breath, resisting the urge to take all his anger out on her. "You better not be testing my patience," he snapped. "What do you want to talk about?"

"Do you remember this?" Instead of answering his question, Amelia Xu slowly grabbed her handbag and pulled out a small crown. Despite its size, one could tell that it was extremely exquisite and expensive from the dozens of encrusted jewelry on the surface. "You told me that you'll treat me like a princess and you'll dote on me forever," she continued.

When he saw her pull out the crown, he snatched it from her grasp. "What the hell are you talking about?" he snarled. "I sent this to Joy while I was studying in America. Why is this with you?"

"Because I was the one who'd been in touch with you. I was the one who knitted that sweater for you, the one who gave you scarfs and socks, and the one who cooked you those pastries you loved... not her," she stuttered out. She took a step toward him, and the tears in her eyes were evident. Her hands trembled. "Have you ever thought about it? If it was her, why hasn't she worn the crown before? Why doesn't she know the contents of your letters?"

At her insistence, he could only stare at her in disbelief. "And why would you do that? Why would you let her impersonate you?" he asked.

"Because you grew up together! I saw how hell-bent you were on pursuing her." Tears ran down her cheeks as she fell onto the sofa. "How could I ever tell you my feelings? You loved her too much for you to even look my way."

Seeing the tears that had freely slipped down her cheeks, he felt a sudden ache in his heart.

'Was it really her who had been in touch with me?

Should I trust her? Was sh

e the one writing me letters all this time?'

Then again, it made perfect sense. When he had been in America, he had been unable to reach Joy Xu sometimes.

She didn't return his feelings. That was the whole point.

When he could reach her, she would talk to him via video chat. When he couldn't reach her, Amelia Xu would talk to him.

Somehow, it felt as if all the puzzle pieces were falling into place. "So Orange is your nickname, not Joy's?" he asked, remembering the letters they had exchanged.

"Back home, my dad and sister would call me Orange. You can ask Dad if you don't believe me. I've loved oranges ever since I was little." She let out a bitter laugh. Of course, the dad she was referring to was none other than Barth Xu.

William Mo froze, finding it hard to breath as the realizations hit him one by one. The news was like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky.

Amelia Xu was Orange, and yet he had spent nearly ten years on another woman!

He couldn't help but remember all the times he would go to the Xu family's villa to visit Joy Xu. He remembered talking to Amelia Xu and professing how much he loved her sister. He winced at the thought. Those words must've been torture for her to sit through.

He was such an ass!

Kneeling down, the man slowly wiped her tears. Seeing her state, he couldn't help but reach out and pull her into a hug.

But before he could, she quickly dodged his hold. She moved to the other end of the couch and bit her lips. "I never expected that you'd love me, William. All I ever hoped was for us to be in good terms–that I could watch you from afar. But now that you know everything, I won't allow you to hug me unless you love me."

She didn't want William to treat her like that just because he felt sorry for her. Sympathy was far more hurtful than indifference.

He froze, eyes widening by a fraction.

"You don't want me to hug you, yet you want to marry me?" he questioned.

"I love you, so I want to be your woman. But there is no way I can accept that you hold me in your arms while being in love with another woman. You can't torture me like this, by making me wonder who you're thinking of while you're hugging me."

She squeezed her eyes shut, hoping that the earth would just swallow her up. If that happened, did she even have the strength to love him still?

William Mo slowly stood up and gazed up at her figure, feeling his heart pain at the sight. He used to profess his love for Joy Xu. Now that he finally knew the truth, how could he say those same words to Amelia Xu?

Even if he wanted to, he couldn't bring it in himself to say it.

"I want to marry you," he said seriously, forcing her to look him in the eye. "You're my wife, and mine only." William Mo walked to the door and looked at the people outside the room. "Dad, Mom, call the make-up artist in," he ordered. "I want Amelia to be the most beautiful woman in the wedding."

Colby Mo and his wife, Maria Lu, shared a look before glancing at their son in surprise. Had he really made up his mind that fast? Or did he just want to continue the wedding so that the Mo family wouldn't be a laughingstock?

"Son, do you really want to marry Amelia? Or do you want us to announce that you're still marrying Joy?"

Amelia's face turned pale upon hearing that. If she was nothing but a substitute, then what else could she do? Was her abandonment inevitable?

William Mo turned around and gazed to Amelia Xu, whose eyes were sad and bloodshot. He took a deep breath before turning to his father. "I think you've misunderstood," he stated. "There's no substitute. I'll marry Amelia, the second daughter of Uncle Barth."

Aside from the Xu family and the Mo family, no one knew that Amelia was adopted. The only reason why the Mo family knew was that the two families had been best friends ever since Barth Xu and Colby Xu were children.

Barth's face brightened. "Yes. She's our second daughter, meaning she also has the right of inheriting our property," he said proudly. "Don't worry. We will give her the same dowry as Joy's."

Maria Lu pursed her lips. Although she didn't like Amelia Xu and didn't want to accept her as her daughter-in-law, she could make do after hearing what Barth Xu said.

"Now that you've made up your mind, then go ahead. Don't let our guests wait too long. Otherwise, they will laugh at us," Colby Mo said. Then he turned to his wife. "Go and call the make-up artist in. Let's get this over with."

Maria Lu quickly did as she was told. William Mo glanced at Amelia Xu one last time before heading out of the room.

Amelia's heart was suddenly filled with happiness. He had just stated that he would marry her and she was not a substitute.

"Cherish what you have now, all right?" Barth Xu whispered in her ear as he hugged her. "Don't act like your sister."

Amelia Xu nodded. She had longed for this moment since she was a child. There was no way she was going to run away from this.

"Dad, I'll love him," she said firmly. "From now on, William is my husband, and I'll treat him as such."

"William has always been a good man. Now that you're his wife, I believe he will treat you well." After saying this, Barth Xu let go of her. With a small smile, he turned. "I'll go out first, all right? Wait for the make-up artist."

"Yes, Dad."

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