Chapter 3 It’s You

Sara has forgotten about the incident at the Crystal Ice Mountain Resort with the dangerous man, the past two weeks she has been too busy to dwell on the frightening encounter.

    “Is the the cake almost ready? I will be late for work!” Her roommate Han Bi rushes into the small kitchen shouting towards Sara as she puts  icing on  a seven layer French Vanilla Cake.

    “Almost! What is your colleague’s name?”  Sara has finished the last touches on the cake only needing to add the name then a few sparkling ribbons across the top.

   “Forget the name just put it in the cake box.” Han Bi looks at her watch, “I have to leave now if I am going to catch the train.”

   Sara frowns at her impatient roommate,“Just tell me I can’t send a cake that isn’t finished. I will pay for your taxi.”

   “Are you crazy Sara? A taxi will cost more than I paid you to make the cake!”

  “ Bi I want people to be in awe of the cake when they see it then taste its deliciousness so when I finally open my own bakery people will remember my tasty and beautiful cakes.

    “The taxi fare I think of it as my advertising budget ha..ha.. This is the third cake you have ordered for your company.” Sara affectionately hugs her friend from the back.

  Han Bi giggles, “Stop it Sara you will wrinkle my dress! That is true ever since I brought the cake for the Executive Secretary’s birthday a month ago the CEO tells me to order from you.

    “If he knew you made these cakes in the kitchen of our little apartment I wonder what he would think.”

   ” Sara your idea of using pink cake boxes with the name imprinted on it is a good idea, but I worry what if he looks you up online or tries to locate the bakery.” She flicks Sara on the forehead, “You should ask that fiance of yours for the start up money.”

   “No way! Bi you always worry over the smallest details.” Grinning as she thinks about it, “What CEO is going to look for a bakery himself? That is too funny! You said he always has you or Eliza get the caterings for the office parties. It isn’t like he will give me a huge order I couldn’t handle, it is a few cakes.

   Here it’s done! Let me take a quick picture then I will box it up for you.” Sara runs over to the coffee table grabbing her phone then takes a few pictures, “Bi come by me we can take a selfie.” After taking the pictures she smiles, “You..me and the cake… look the three of us are too beautiful for words! ha..ha..ha. I’m going to put this one on my blog.” Sara shows her the last picture she took then uploads it to her food blog.

   Admiring the intricate pink and blue flowers on the top of the cake Bi envies Sara’s baking skill, “Sara you really do have a talent, every detail is perfect, the cake tastes light and sweet and you have a unique style decorating each cake differently.” She looks at the cake box, “Even the ribbon with the flowers on the box is pretty.” 

   Sara throws her arms around Han Bi then kisses her on the cheek, “What would I do without you bolstering my ego! Some day when I am the ‘Queen of Cakes’ you can come work for me as my secretary!”

   Han Bi starts laughing at her best friend,“ Who would want to work for you? I love working for my handsome CEO, let go of me now you will get flour on my new designer dress! Look at the time you should get ready for work or you will be late.” She taps the counter with her perfectly manicured fingernails, “Yeah and hand over the hundred yuan for the taxi..ha..ha..”

  “Let me get my purse”, Sara glances at the clock, “Going into work a little later is one of the perks of working for CEO Zhou I don’t need to be at work until nine thirty, he doesn’t come in until eleven o’clock sometimes not until the afternoon. I guess it is because of his health I’m not sure, I only was promoted to be his assistant six months ago.” She hands her friend the money and cake box, “Enjoy!”

   “Sara do you want to go to the Black Jade Club tonight? A few of the women from the office asked me to go with them.”

   “I will think about it, call me later. Be careful with the cake!”

   After Han Bi leaves Sara wrinkles her nose as she considers the invitation, the Black Jade Club? Where did she hear that name before ? 

   Sara begins to clean up the kitchen the aroma of the freshly baked cake is still wafting through the small kitchen. She glances around at the pans and leftover icing thinking someday I will have my own bakery. if my calculations are right one more year working at the Zhou Group and I will have the down payment.

   She always makes a couple cupcakes with the extra cake batter for CEO Zhou. The first time she brought one in her lunch he saw it on her desk and she offered it to him. He really enjoyed the cake even picking the crumbs off the plate  since then she occasionally brings him some.

   When the kitchen is clean it is eight o’clock Sara goes into the bathroom to take a shower and get ready for work. When she is finished she dries her long black hair then pins it up into a bun, putting on her standard black skirt and white blouse. 

     Sara discovered at her last job it is better not to call attention to herself, it only causes problems. The men try to take advantage and the women find reasons to undermine her because of ridiculous jealousy. Now she wears conservative clothes 6cm heels, light make up and big black glasses, this job is merely a means to an end- having her own bakery.

   She grabs her lunch and places the mini  cupcakes in a small box for CEO Zhou, tossing on a black leather jacket she leaves the apartment. The mornings she bakes a cake she always feels a surge of happiness as it reminds her of her grandmother baking when she was young.

   Going down the stairs she passes the middle aged woman who lives next door, “Auntie where did you go so early in the morning today?” Sara looks at the woman’s clothes,she is wearing a short sleeved blouse and worn pants, “Why aren’t you wearing a coat it is freezing outside!”

   Mrs. Long seems in a daze,“Oh it’s you Sara girl, my cat got out  and I went to find him.”

   Sara knows how much the lonely woman loves that spoiled cat,“Mr. Black got out? Did you find him?”

   Tears are welling up in her eyes as she answers,“No.”

   Sara can see she is very upset since her son got married and moved away the cat is all Mrs. Long has it seems. “I will look I have time before work.”

   Mrs. Long’s expression perks up,“Really ?”

  “I will go now, he probably is in the alley next to Wang’s Noodles.” She has seen quite a few cats congregating there because there is no lid on the dumpster.

   “Thank you.”

   Sara hurries down the steps rushing over to the alley sure enough there are several cats hanging around but she doesn’t see Mr. Black. After walking down the alley she sees him it looks as though he was in a fight. He is curled up next to the dumpster licking his leg and he has a big slash across his face.

   She walks over to him shooing away a few cats circling her, they must be crowding around her because of the milk tea she was going to drink waiting for the bus. “Mr. Black you are an indoor dude how did you think you would be a match for these gangster cats?”

   He meows at her recognizing her as his savior. Sara takes off her jacket and wraps it around him holding him in her arms, the injuries don’t look too bad. Shivering from the brisk wind Sara exits the alley without paying attention. Trying to soothe the cat in her arms that is whimpering in pain she bumps into a tall man looking for something on the ground. Sara ‘s beautiful eyes widen as she collides with him,“Sorry!”

   He looks up his dark eyes glaring at her, then seeing the bloody cat in her arms he moves back a few steps. Sara can see the look of disgust on his handsome face and stops smiling at him quickly her face turning pale it is the man with the dark aura from Crystal Ice Mountain! She can tell he doesn’t recognize her and is relieved, he still has that same arrogant demeanor. Not realizing he can hear her low voice walking away talking to Mr. Black, “We need to hurry and get you home. Don’t mind that scary rude man.”

  Li Tian can hear Sara soothing the bloody cat, scary? rude man? She ran into him holding a dirty cat, his eyes darken as he watches her walk away.

   Sara runs up the stairs then knocks on her neighbor’s door, when it is opened she says, “Auntie don’t be afraid when you see Mr. Black they are only superficial wounds. I will be right over with my first aid kit.”

   She gently sets the black cat down then rushes into her apartment. Hurrying she takes the gauze and medicine to Mrs. Long’s apartment. “I wish I could stay to help you.” Sara apologizes as she sees the time it is getting late and she has never been late to a job. Some of the other secretaries already complain she is privledged. “Can you take care of him Mrs. Long? I need to catch the bus for work.”

    Mrs. Long waves her wrinkled hands towards Sara, “Go..go! Thank you so much for saving him.” The old lady has tears in her eyes as she wipes off the cat’s cheek, ” Naughty cat sneaking out! I hope you learned your lesson.”

   Sara smiles at them as she leaves the little apartment. She runs down the stairs realizing she doesn’t have a jacket it is still wrapped around the cat. Damn! No time to run back to get another coat. She rushes down the street, Li Tian watches her fly past him carrying a handbag and a small pink cake box. What a stupid girl she will freeze in this weather without a coat.

 He walks over to a black SUV, “Found it let’s go.” He looks out the window watching her running next to the bus as it pulls away from the bus stop leaving her there waving her arms.

  Sighing Sara takes out her cell phone to call a taxi, today I certainly am going into the red, it looks like I will be eating instant noodles for the next week to stay on budget. The taxi pulls up she gets in, “The Zhou Group on Nuyin Blvd.”

   Sara leans back in the seat thinking about the dangerous man with the dark aura, what was he looking for on the street? He obviously didn’t recognize me with my glasses on and my hair in a bun thank God!

  Li Tian sneezes who is cursing him. “Go directly to the Zhou Group I have a meeting with old man Zhou.”

“Yes Sir.”

    “Is the the cake almost ready? I will be late for work!” Her roommate Han Bi rushes into the small kitchen shouting towards Sara as she puts  icing on  a seven layer French Vanilla Cake.

    “Almost! What is your colleague’s name?”  Sara has finished the last touches on the cake only needing to add the name then a few sparkling ribbons across the top.

   “Forget the name just put it in the cake box.” Han Bi looks at her watch, “I have to leave now if I am going to catch the train.”

   Sara frowns at her impatient roommate,“Just tell me I can’t send a cake that isn’t finished. I will pay for your taxi.”

   “Are you crazy Sara? A taxi will cost more than I paid you to make the cake!”

  “ Bi I want people to be in awe of the cake when they see it then taste its deliciousness so when I finally open my own bakery people will remember my tasty and beautiful cakes.

    The taxi fare I think of it as my advertising budget ha..ha.. This is the third cake you have ordered for your company.” Sara affectionately hugs her friend from the back.

  Han Bi giggles, “Stop it Sara you will wrinkle my dress! That is true ever since I brought the cake for the Executive Secretary’s birthday a month ago the CEO tells me to order from you.

    If he knew you made these cakes in the kitchen of our little apartment I wonder what he would think.

    Sara your idea of using pink cake boxes with the name imprinted on it is a good idea, but I worry what if he looks you up online or tries to locate the bakery.” She flicks Sara on the forehead, “You should ask that fiance of yours for the start up money.”

   “No way! Bi you always worry over the smallest details.” Grinning as she thinks about it, “What CEO is going to look for a bakery himself? That is too funny! You said he always has you or Eliza get the caterings for the office parties. It isn’t like he will give me a huge order I couldn’t handle, it is a few cakes.

   Here it’s done! Let me take a quick picture then I will box it up for you.” Sara runs over to the coffee table grabbing her phone then takes a few pictures, “Bi come by me we can take a selfie.” After taking the pictures she smiles, “You..me and the cake… look the three of us are too beautiful for words! ha..ha..ha. I’m going to put this one on my blog.” Sara shows her the last picture she took then uploads it to her food blog.

   Admiring the intricate pink and blue flowers on the top of the cake Bi envies Sara’s baking skill, “Sara you really do have a talent, every detail is perfect, the cake tastes light and sweet and you have a unique style decorating each cake differently.” She looks at the cake box, “Even the ribbon with the flowers on the box is pretty.” 

   Sara throws her arms around Han Bi then kisses her on the cheek, “What would I do without you bolstering my ego! Some day when I am the ‘Queen of Cakes’ you can come work for me as my secretary!”

   Han Bi starts laughing at her best friend,“ Who would want to work for you? I love working for my handsome CEO, let go of me now you will get flour on my new designer dress! Look at the time you should get ready for work or you will be late.” She taps the counter with her perfectly manicured fingernails, “Yeah and hand over the hundred yuan for the taxi..ha..ha..”

  “Let me get my purse”, Sara glances at the clock, “Going into work a little later is one of the perks of working for CEO Zhou I don’t need to be at work until nine thirty, he doesn’t come in until eleven o’clock sometimes not until the afternoon. I guess it is because of his health I’m not sure, I only was promoted to be his assistant six months ago.” She hands her friend the money and cake box, “Enjoy!”

   “Sara do you want to go to the Black Jade Club tonight? A few of the women from the office asked me to go with them.”

   “I will think about it, call me later. Be careful with the cake!”

   After Han Bi leaves Sara wrinkles her nose as she considers the invitation, the Black Jade Club? Where did she hear that name before ? 

   Sara begins to clean up the kitchen the aroma of the freshly baked cake is still wafting through the small kitchen. She glances around at the pans and leftover icing thinking someday I will have my own bakery. if my calculations are right one more year working at the Zhou Group and I will have the down payment.

   She always makes a couple cupcakes with the extra cake batter for CEO Zhou. The first time she brought one in her lunch he saw it on her desk and she offered it to him. He really enjoyed the cake even picking the crumbs off the plate  since then she occasionally brings him some.

   When the kitchen is clean it is eight o’clock Sara goes into the bathroom to take a shower and get ready for work. When she is finished she dries her long black hair then pins it up into a bun, putting on her standard black skirt and white blouse. 

     Sara discovered at her last job it is better not to call attention to herself, it only causes problems. The men try to take advantage and the women find reasons to undermine her because of ridiculous jealousy. Now she wears conservative clothes 6cm heels, light make up and big black glasses, this job is merely a means to an end- having her own bakery.

   She grabs her lunch and places the mini  cupcakes in a small box for CEO Zhou, tossing on a black leather jacket she leaves the apartment. The mornings she bakes a cake she always feels a surge of happiness as it reminds her of her grandmother baking when she was young.

   Going down the stairs she passes the middle aged woman who lives next door, “Auntie where did you go so early in the morning today?” Sara looks at the woman’s clothes,she is wearing a short sleeved blouse and worn pants, “Why aren’t you wearing a coat it is freezing outside!”

   Mrs. Long seems in a daze,“Oh it’s you Sara girl, my cat got out  and I went to find him.”

   Sara knows how much the lonely woman loves that spoiled cat,“Mr. Black got out? Did you find him?”

   Tears are welling up in her eyes as she answers,“No.”

   Sara can see she is very upset since her son got married and moved away the cat is all Mrs. Long has it seems. “I will look I have time before work.”

   Mrs. Long’s expression perks up,“Really ?”

  “I will go now, he probably is in the alley next to Wang’s Noodles.” She has seen quite a few cats congregating there because there is no lid on the dumpster.

   “Thank you.”

   Sara hurries down the steps rushing over to the alley sure enough there are several cats hanging around but she doesn’t see Mr. Black. After walking down the alley she sees him it looks as though he was in a fight. He is curled up next to the dumpster licking his leg and he has a big slash across his face.

   She walks over to him shooing away a few cats circling her, they must be crowding around her because of the milk tea she was going to drink waiting for the bus. “Mr. Black you are an indoor dude how did you think you would be a match for these gangster cats?”

   He meows at her recognizing her as his savior. Sara takes off her jacket and wraps it around him holding him in her arms, the injuries don’t look too bad. Shivering from the brisk wind Sara exits the alley without paying attention. Trying to soothe the cat in her arms that is whimpering in pain she bumps into a tall man looking for something on the ground. Sara ‘s beautiful eyes widen as she collides with him,“Sorry!”

   He looks up his dark eyes glaring at her, then seeing the bloody cat in her arms he moves back a few steps. Sara can see the look of disgust on his handsome face and stops smiling at him quickly her face turning pale it is the man with the dark aura from Crystal Ice Mountain! She can tell he doesn’t recognize her and is relieved, he still has that same arrogant demeanor. Not realizing he can hear her low voice walking away talking to Mr. Black, “We need to hurry and get you home. Don’t mind that scary rude man.”

  Li Tian can hear Sara soothing the bloody cat, scary? rude man? She ran into him holding a dirty cat, his eyes darken as he watches her walk away.

   Sara runs up the stairs then knocks on her neighbor’s door, when it is opened she says, “Auntie don’t be afraid when you see Mr. Black they are only superficial wounds. I will be right over with my first aid kit.”

   She gently sets the black cat down then rushes into her apartment. Hurrying she takes the gauze and medicine to Mrs. Long’s apartment. “I wish I could stay to help you.” Sara apologizes as she sees the time it is getting late and she has never been late to a job. Some of the other secretaries already complain she is privledged. “Can you take care of him Mrs. Long? I need to catch the bus for work.”

    Mrs. Long waves her wrinkled hands towards Sara, “Go..go! Thank you so much for saving him.” The old lady has tears in her eyes as she wipes off the cat’s cheek, ” Naughty cat sneaking out! I hope you learned your lesson.”

   Sara smiles at them as she leaves the little apartment. She runs down the stairs realizing she doesn’t have a jacket it is still wrapped around the cat. Damn! No time to run back to get another coat. She rushes down the street, Li Tian watches her fly past him carrying a handbag and a small pink cake box. What a stupid girl she will freeze in this weather without a coat.

 He walks over to a black SUV, “Found it let’s go.” He looks out the window watching her running next to the bus as it pulls away from the bus stop leaving her there waving her arms.

  Sighing Sara takes out her cell phone to call a taxi, today I certainly am going into the red, it looks like I will be eating instant noodles for the next week to stay on budget. The taxi pulls up she gets in, “The Zhou Group on Nuyin Blvd.”

   Sara leans back in the seat thinking about the dangerous man with the dark aura, what was he looking for on the street? He obviously didn’t recognize me with my glasses on and my hair in a bun thank God!

  Li Tian sneezes who is cursing him. “Go directly to the Zhou Group I have a meeting with old man Zhou.”

“Yes Sir.”

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