Morning

 LiMei wakes up when her alarm goes off at six o’clock, she looks at the dress she is still wearing she barely remembers getting home. Her head is throbbing she crawls out of bed tripping over her black boots, shit I must have just taken off my boots and collapsed on the bed when I got home. Rubbing her head she enters the bathroom taking out the bottle of ibuprofen, thank god there are two left. Popping them in her mouth she gets a glass of juice from the refrigerator, ahh..hopefully they work quickly.

     She reaches into the cupboard, three instant noodles left she will need to go to the grocery store after work. Oh that’s right I won’t have time I need to go to the Crescent Moon to work tonight. I need to get it together!

     LiMei walks out to her balcony to practice her Tai Chi and martial arts. Her body is tense from last night’s debacle, she stretches and meditates for awhile clearing her mind of all the clutter. The weather is chilly and there is a nice breeze, it is invigorating. After practicing for an hour she feels renewed, Daiyu remember who you are! You are not weak, don’t fall into anyone’s traps! Be strong and live the quiet life you came here to have!

     Going back inside she gets her water bottle and drinks it down, then heads into the bathroom for a relaxing bath. This morning she will stop at Morning Glory for a coffee and a pastry before work to save the noodles for when she comes home.

     When she gets out of the shower she looks at the clothes in the closet, she picks out a loose light blue dress and a wide belt that would look cute with the black boots, no that look would be too stylish. No belt no boots hmmm..some tennies? Too casual, black flats yes that will work to achieve the don’t notice me look I want. No leather jacket, just a bulky sweater fits the look. LiMei gets dressed then sets her uniform out for her shift at the hotel so when she gets home in between jobs she can quickly change.

     Fixing the short brown wig on her head she puts on some lip gloss and her large glasses. Today I will wear my bunny charm necklace it will remind me of who I am -Qin Daiyu. She touches it as she tucks it into her dress, Ready! She takes the small purse with her ID out of her black leather jacket pocket and puts it in her larger black purse with her brush, employee badge. She reaches in the other pocket for her phone, where is my phone?

     She looks all around the small apartment, Shit! Did I lose it last night at that Black Lotus Club? She decides when she gets to work she will use the phone on her desk to call, it probably dropped out in the room. Wait, no I had it at the restaurant when I saw Rui’s calls, maybe I left it on the table. What was the name of the restaurant? I only remember the sign in window advertising the chicken.

     LiMei leaves her apartment and walks down to the Cafe, all her games are on the phone, she only has three phone numbers in the contacts but what if Du Chang tries to call he might be worried she told him to call today about the swim meet, Dammit! She arrives at the Cafe they are just opening, the flower boy is opening the door when she arrives. She smiles at him, “Good Morning!” He ignores her and opens the door.

     “Pfft.” The other day when she was herself he was all over her, what a shallow guy. LiMei politely sits at a table while he turns on the lights and sets up the counter. She has time to sit and enjoy her coffee and pastry before the bus comes. She watches him waiting until he is finished then approaches the counter, “May I have a cup of Blue Mountain and a Raspberry Sweet Bun.”

     He grumbles, he was up late playing video games and should have been here an hour ago, if Lau An comes in right now he is screwed. Why did this plain girl come in right now he will need to go to the back for the pastry the coffeemaker isn’t warmed up yet. Fuck! He needs to finish turning the chairs over and set up the tables. LiMei can hear him muttering under his breath, oh he is late and in a bad mood. She decides to help him even though he is a jerk, maybe he will be nice to the next girl who isn’t pretty.

      LiMei walks to the back of the Cafe then  starts fixing the tables and putting the chairs down while he is making her coffee. She has worked her way to the middle when Chen Jianyu and Wang Li enter the Cafe.

     Chen Jianyu sits at his usual table towards the back, Wang Li one table behind him. LiMei sees them as they enter and she keeps her head down as she turns over the chairs at a table towards the middle, she wants to go hide but the flower boy gave her a big smile and thumbs up when he saw her helping him. What the hell Chen Jianyu won’t recognize her.

     She is fixing a table when she hears, “Miss where is Lau An?” Wang Li can see the Boss is waiting to be served his usual coffee and Lau An hasn’t come out. She seems to have a sixth sense when the Boss arrives and hurries out from her office.

     LiMei turns around, “Ah I don’t believe she is here yet what would the gentleman like?”

     “…” Everyone knows here what the Boss drinks.

     “Are you new?” Wang Li thinks she looks familiar but..

     Without answering his question she says, “Tell me and I will go get it for you.”

     “He wants a Blue Mountain served black.”

     “Alright.”

     The flower boy is in the back she sees he was starting hers so she finishes it and brings it over to Chen Jianyu’s table. “Here.” She sets it down Chen Jianyu doesn’t look up from his newspaper and reaches for the cup.

     LiMei is thinking how rude! Not even a thank you. She likes Wang Li he was nice to her at the Hushang Group the other day, doesn’t he get a cup of coffee too?

     Since the flower boy is still in the back doing god knows what she brews a cup for Wang Li, she will pay for it. She takes it over to the table and sets it down with some cream and sugar on the side. Wang Li looks at her with a quizzical look he never has coffee with the Boss. LiMei can see the look on his face she winks at him,” It is on me, if you have to wait for your boss you should have a cup too.” Chen Jianyu hears this and glances up from his paper, what does she mean by that. He rustles the paper angrily and continues to read.

     Before Wang Li can say anything she walks away she has just enough time for her little breakfast before the bus comes. He notices his boss’s aura got colder when he heard that comment from her, Wang Li isn’t sure if he should even drink it but the aroma is too tempting he puts a little creamer and two sugars in it then tastes it, oh so good. He will suffer the consequences afterwards.

     The flower boy is now behind the counter with the pastry thinking where is the coffee I was brewing for the plain girl. LiMei points to the back and says, “I will pay for my coffee, the pastry and the one gentleman’s coffee who is sitting by the window.” The flower boy puts another cup to brew then takes her money, does she know Wang Li?

     When the coffee is finished brewing LiMei takes her coffee and pastry to a table by the door then quickly finishes putting down the few chairs that are left. As she sits down Lau An comes through the front door. She rushes back to Chen Jianyu’s table she usually personally brews his morning coffee. “You are early today Jianyu is the coffee good, should I brew you a cup?”

     He is still pissed off about her hounding him last night if he could go to a different Cafe to get Blue Mountain Coffee he wouldn’t be sitting here. His cheek still is slightly swollen from Qiao Rui’s punch last night and his ribs hurt. If she hadn’t put him in a bad mood he would have noticed the look in Rui’s eyes and known not to provoke him.

“     It is better than usual, the girl brewed it well.”

     Is he calling Shirong a girl? He is feminine looking but definitely a boy. “Chen Jianyu I need to talk to you.”

     Chen Jianyu finishes his coffee and stands up to leave, “No time today I have to go to Shingu Island to discuss a big resort project, the land is still owned by a native tribe they don’t want to sell.”

     “Call me on Friday.”

     Lau An is visibly upset, Friday, her father is counting on Chen Jianyu’s support or his business could be in jeopardy. But if she acts too anxious again Chen Jianyu might refuse to even see her, she was nagging him last night which she never does and he looks angry this morning.

     She smiles pleasantly , “Have a good trip I will talk to you Friday then.’

     “En.”

     As Chen Jianyu leaves he notices the girl who served him is sitting having a coffee and has pastry crumbs all over her lips, Lau An should fire her waiting on one table then taking a break, giving away free premium coffee.

     Wang Li is walking behind Chen Jianyu he glances at LiMei now he recognizes her she is the girl from the Accounting Department. He smiles at her and motions to her to wipe her lips, what a cute little girl. He is looking forward to when the Boss calls her into his office, will he recognize her?

      Qiao Rui wakes up his mouth is dry and his head feels like it is about to explode. What the fuck! Last night is a blur he gets out of bed the towel that was wrapped around him falls to the ground. He walks into the bathroom and tries to turn on the shower with his right hand. 

     He grimaces his hand is swollen, black and blue, if he broke it he is screwed. He tries to move his fingers, it hurts but he can move them it is probably just severely bruised. He needs to call Bai Chiyu and cancel his one surgery scheduled today, he can have another surgeon take today’s scheduled operation.

     Luckily he is scheduled for vacation time so he doesn’t have any other surgery commitments for two weeks. He washes his body thinking about last night, what was he thinking forcing himself on her. She isn’t the type to fool around, he was crazed when he saw her Dammit, that’s right he was going to rush over to LiMei’s it is a good thing he passed out that could have been a disaster. Rui is more rational now maybe she lost her phone and whoever found it was an asshole playing a trick.   

     He rinses his body, he needs to get an x ray of his hand then he is going to the Hushang Group to talk to her. When he gets out of the shower he picks a suit he recalls Bai Chiyu saying she liked the way it looked on him. It is a grey Armani suit, he can’t decide if he should wear a black shirt or a white one, white is less domineering.

     When he is dressed he calls Bai Chiyu, “Chiyu cancel my scheduled appointments for today tell Dr. Hong he will need to take care of Mrs. Zhao’s surgery he consulted with me on it, he has taken care of the Zhao Family for years so there shouldn’t be a problem. I will meet with the Architects at their downtown office this afternoon as planned.”

     Bai Chiyu is worried, Qiao Rui never cancels his appointments. “Dr. Qiao is there anything wrong?”

     “No, make a reservation for me tonight at Chez Dominique for two at 9:00.” He recalls LiMei saying she had a second job tonight, he needs to have her accept his help so she doesn’t need to work two jobs.

     He is about to leave when he see Zhong Hai, “Zhong Hai.”

     “Yes.” The Young Master looks to be back to himself.

     “Have cleaners come and do the living room order another table exactly like the one there.’

     “Any other orders?”

     “Yes call the Florist on Lingu St. have them send flowers that express undying love to Feng LiMei in the Accounting Department, Hushong Group. Make sure to tell them I want to leave a deep impression with the flowers spare no expense.

     “Yes Dr. Qiao.” Did he say undying love? Who is this woman is she the one that pushed him over the edge of his sanity last night? The Chairman will want her investigated.

     Rui leaves to go to the clinic he will have his x ray technician there do it, no need to have gossip at the hospital. He gets into his Porsche maybe he needs a driver for a few days his hand hurts gripping the steering wheel no reason to aggravate the injury.

    He gets out his cell calling the Qiao Corporation, “Hilda, this is Qiao Rui I need a driver have him come to my home immediately.”

     “Yes Dr. Qiao.”

     While he is waiting he is debating if he should try her cell again when his phone rings, “What do you want?”

     Chen Huan is pissed Rui ruined the dinner with Henri Armand but he knows approaching Qiao Rui you need to be tactful. “Rui, Henri Armand is coming to the audition we are having today at Hushang Entertainment he wants to know if you have time to join us?”

      He does owe Chen Huan for giving such a large donation to his new wing, and after the x ray he will have time. “What time?” This will also give him a chance to see what type of man this Henri Armand is, he sensed a dangerous aura from him, what is his game.

     “Eleven o’clock. At the Performing Center on Wushang Road behind the Headquarters.”

     “Will Chen Jianyu be there?” He doesn’t want to see that cocky bastard today.

     “No he needs to go to Shingu Island for negotiations.”

     “See you at Eleven then.”

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