Awkward

   After Li Tian drags Sara through the lively crowd he impulsively stops in an empty hallway. He turns to Long An who has been struggling to remain by his side, because he wants to be alone with Sara he orders her in a demanding tone, “Get me a glass of wine.”

    Sara expects Long An to refuse but unexpectedly she sweetly replies, “Red or white?”

   Li Tian’s face has an annoyed expression because she didn’t immediately leave. “Red.”

   Long An gives Sara a cold piercing look as she walks away but then smiles towards Li Tian. Yes. I will gladly get you a glass of wine. I will even get one for your little mistress. Haha..one for you to drink with the drug in it and one to spill on the little slut to get rid of her so I can lure you to a bedroom.

    Sara can tell Li Tian is angry but she isn’t sure why. She looks at her hand he is still holding and wonders if she should say something. His threatening attitude with the man from outside appeared abnormal. Does he have an enmity with him?  

    Shortening the distance between them Li Tian backs Sara into the wall behind her and has a very intense gaze as he questions her, “Did he touch you anywhere?”

   Nervous because of the dangerous aura surrounding him she quickly denies any contact with the man, “No..no..I was lost and he showed me the way into the mansion.”

   His hands are on the wall caging Sara between them, his eyes flash with burning fire, “Where is your bodyguard? Why were you with that bastard?”

   She blinks a few times trying to calm her nerves, staring at Li Tian’s intense gaze Sara feels her legs getting weak from the domineering aura surrounding him. I don’t want to get Sun Peizhi in trouble..wuwuu he looks so angry!  She gulps down her saliva then stutters , “I…I..asked him to find you. I told him I would wait on the patio. I didn’t want to walk around in these heels through the crowd I could see through the window gathered inside. She looks down at her feet, “These heels are much higher than I normally wear. I got a little distracted when I saw the beautiful gardens so I wandered towards them, I didn’t realize as I was absentmindedly looking at the beautiful flowers that I got lost.”

   Li Tian looks down at her delicate ankles then notices the dirt on her heels, she is telling the truth…but with all these wolves gathered here tonight the little idiot was asking for trouble. He watches her sexy red lips opening and closing as she explains and has the urge to kiss Sara. He leans into her alluring body, tempted as he inhales her distinct fragrance he doesn’t let her escape pressing her into the wall.  Sara’s bright blue eyes widen as he seems unusually close, she can feel his hot breath on her face. What is going on? Has he been drinking? Reflexively she puts her hands on his shoulders to push him away, “CEO Li, what are you doing?” He comes back to his senses and quickly responds, “ Stupid girl! I want to demonstrate how easy it would be for a man to overpower you. You should be more aware.” 

   He has a faint smile as he backs away from Sara realizing his impulsiveness might frighten Sara. She shakes her head, that was weird. The ambiguous  atmosphere is dispersed when Long An walks up holding two glasses of red wine. After she hands the drugged wine to Li Tian she plans to trip then  douse Sara with the wine. But, Sara sees a server holding a tray of juices and politely says, “Excuse me I want to get a glass of juice before we meet Mr. Difiorno.”

.

  Long An is left holding the glass of wine so she reluctantly takes a sip while watching Sara walk through the crowd.Ignoring the fact Li Tian can’t take his eyes off Sara, Long An coaxes him, “Try your wine, it is really delicious.”

   He lifts the glass to his lips but doesn’t drink the wine, he hands the glass back to Long An, “Hold this.” Li Tian rushes over to where Sara is standing when he witnesses a man about to brush up against Sara’s bare back while she takes a glass of orange juice from the server. Stepping between her and the unimpressive man, he puts his hand on her thin  waist moving her away before the man’s hand can touch Sara. When she has a quizzical look on her face  he casually says, “Too crowded, he was about to knock into you.” Sara sees the middle aged man who Li Tian is referring to and grimaces, she noticed him with a lecherous look on his face as she was walking over to get the juice. She takes a sip of the orange juice, “Thank you CEO Li. “ She shudders thinking of the pervert’s fat greasy hand touching her skin, “That man does seem a little creepy. “

    Li Tian’ eyes darken as he looks over the crowd, the pig like man who is unaware he has crossed a devil’s bottom line, is still staring at Sara lasciviously while talking to a group of men.  Li Tian sees the man’s eyes glued to Sara’s body and wants to kill him You old pervert! Dare to try and touch my woman!  He restrains himself  from lunging at the man’s throat then motions to an intimidating muscular man standing over to the side. Without any warning Li Tian’s bodyguard suddenly grabs the man who was leering at Sara putting his arm behind his back pushing him out of the room. 

    Ignoring the scene to the left of them he has a charming smile as he tells Sara, “ I am going to dock your pay the next time you call me CEO Li.”

    Sara laughs, “I can’t get used to calling you Tian, I’m sorry.”

    “Well practice or you won’t have a paycheck when we get back to Catang City.”

    She doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry, he sounds serious. “Then Tian it is.. I will definitely have to remember.”

    The corner of Li Tian’s lips start twitching as he notices several men admiring Sara’s stunning appearance. He has an idea and grabs her hand, “Did you say you were looking at the gardens? I heard they are beautiful, can you show me?”

   Her orange juice splashes out of her glass onto the floor from the jerky movement when he takes her hand. Sara looks around hoping no one saw her spill her drink.  “Don’t you need to meet Mr. Difiorno?”

   “The business matter can wait. I saw him with Henri Armand and they seemed deep in a discussion. I don’t want to interrupt them. “

   “Okay, but I don’t quite remember the way.” Dammit! I never went to the garden I was covering for Sun Peizhi. Speaking of which I haven’t seen him around. She surveys the crowd to see if she can locate him.

   Li Tian continues to wind through the crowd, “Let’s go, we can wander around. It is a beautiful night.”

    Long An sees the two of them walking through the spacious room in the opposite direction. Where is the slut taking him? She hurries over with the drugged glass of wine, “Tian, your wine.”

    “What?” Shit! I almost forgot about this stupid woman. He takes the wine from Long An, “An, I need to have a business meeting with Rafael Difiorno. I saw your friend Ning over by the bar. why don’t you talk to her and I will find you when I am done.”

   She looks over and sees her friend waving in her direction. I would like to find out what is going on with Song Sara and Tzu Yibo’s engagement and Ning is friend’s with his sister. “Alright but don’t be too long.” If you are, I will find you. Wenli says the drug takes about an hour to work anyway. Let him think I am being amiable.

   Li Tian and Sara exit through the French doors onto the outdoor patio. Lights are strung across into the massive oak trees surrounding the tables giving the area a very romantic atmosphere. Many people are mingling while they  smoke cigarettes and the sound of music floats through the air. Sara can’t help but feel strange as Li Tian maneuvers through the area disregarding the people who are trying to strike up a conversation with him. 

    He stops briefly at the edge of the patio setting down his wine glass to light a cigarette. While he flicks open his lighter a beautiful tall blonde approaches them then holds up an unlit cigarette between her slender fingers. Sara can’t help but notice how beautiful her long manicured nails are,painted a brilliant red color  with small sparkling diamonds . The woman has a slight Russian accent when she says, “Light.”  Li Tian has an irritated expression as he lights her cigarette. The statuesque blond woman takes a puff looking down at Sara waiting by his side  “Tian darling, who is this?”

   The veins on his forehead bulge and his voice sounds annoyed, “None of your business.” He pulls Sara to leave and the  woman steps in front of him, Sara scrunches up her eyebrows as she watches the woman’s bold move. She is wearing a low cut red dress and her ample breasts are plastered to Li Tian’s chest. She has a strong presence and is apparently unafraid of CEO Li’s dangerous aura he is exuding right now. Is she a lover? The woman  provocatively pulls on his gray silk tie then whispers something in his ear. His eyes narrow as he roughly flings her hand from his tie without saying anything. He tosses his cigarette down, crushing it with his foot, then turns to the woman, his voice tinged with rage he responds, “Nyet.” 

    The woman looks amused as she throws her head back then starts laughing. She takes a puff on her cigarette then raises the cigarette signalling a  sinister looking man in the corner of the patio.  After he hurries into the garden she picks up Li Tian’s wine glass gulping down the wine her eyes riveted on Sara’s back. We will see…

   Sara can tell Li Tian is fuming over whatever the woman told him but chooses to ignore his sudden bad mood.  She looks up at the sparkling stars above and the full moon.It is much better being outside on such a beautiful night than in the crowded mansion. I can ignore his bad mood and enjoy the scenery.  

    Once they leave the patio area there is a blue stone path leading to the gardens. The silence between them is broken when Li Tian points to  the walkway ahead veering  two directions. He gazes down at Sara,“Which way were the flowers you were admiring?” I am not going to let that Russian bitch ruin my mood with her threat. Motherf*****g assholes, the nerve trying to intimidate me. 

   Sara could kick herself for lying earlier about wandering into the garden she is at a loss for which direction to go. She scrunches up her nose, “I really forget.” She looks up at him then nervously giggles, “I have no sense of direction.”

   He thinks she looks adorable with the confused expression on her face. “This way looks good.”  Choosing to go to the right, the walkway winds through a beautiful sea of blue yellow and pink flowers  Sara gasps, the gardens are lit up and the colorful flowers are all blooming. Combined with the glow from the moonlight  the  scene is spectacular, she breathes in the sweet fragrance and exclaims as she twirls around excitedly,“So beautiful!”

   Li Tian’s lips curl up in a smile, under the moonlight Sara looks like a goddess, the sparkling crystals on her dark blue dress and the Midnight Lover necklace are glimmering as she wantonly spins around. The hem of her dress is swirling exposing her creamy white slender legs and her long black hair has come loose and is cascading down her bare back.  Mesmerized by the bewitching sight he wishes he could take her into his arms and kiss her as he watches Sara playfully spin around. 

   When Sara realizes her impetuous action, she stops and looks at Li Tian with a complicated expression. “Ha..ha..I got carried away. It is just so unbelievably gorgeous.”

   He smiles, restraining himself from making an impulsive move. “I think that is the first time I have seen you smile.” He steps closer to her casually brushing her hair behind her ear. “I see a gazebo by a pond to the right. Do you want to admire the flowers before we meet Rafael?”

   Sara feels a strange familiar sensation and her body quivers as his fingers lightly run across her neck. A little dazed by his affectionate gesture she looks up at him with wide eyes, her eyelashes fluttering, “It is up to you.” Trying to adjust to the way Li Tian is behaving tonight she writes it off to what Bi said after she had dinner with him at the Japanese restaurant. When Li Tian isn’t working he isn’t as cold and aloof as people say. I guess it is true people have different sides to their personality.

   “We have time.” He starts walking to the gazebo and Sara walks alongside of him sneaking a glance at his perfect profile.  He certainly is a strange man,his aura really fluctuates more so than anyone I have encountered before. Sometimes his Yang is suffocating and I feel drained from the darkness surrounding him, but right now I feel very relaxed . He seemed concerned about me being taken advantage of by that Bellini fellow and blocked the pervert from touching me. When I get back to Catang City I should visit Grandma, maybe I could help him find a balance. He really seems to go from one extreme to the other.

   Li Tian has no idea of the complicated thoughts Sara is having about him right now. He is trying his hardest to be a gentleman and make her feel comfortable so he can make some headway in his plan to seduce Sara. He still doesn’t quite understand how she can be oblivious to what happened between them.

   When they arrive at the gazebo they sit on the cushioned bench looking out at the garden and the moonlight hitting the water.  Li Tian sees she is shivering, “Cold?”

   “Just a little.”

   He takes off his suit coat, putting it around her shoulders as Sara tries to refuse, “No..no..I’m not that cold.”

   “Just wear it.” He thinks she looks cute wrapped in his coat. Damn this is so fucking hard to resist touching her. How am I going to get her to fall in love with me? I want to press her underneath me… how long will it take for her to fall in love with me? 

   Sara shyly looks up at him, this is too weird. I want to go back. “Maybe we should go back.”

    A waiter is walking around with a tray of drinks for the people admiring the Bellini’s famous gardens. He sees Li Tian and Sara sitting in the gazebo and walks over,he doesn’t speak but sets down two glasses of wine. He nods to them and walks away The atmosphere in the gazebo is very awkward so they don’t pay attention to the odd behavior of the waiter.

    Li Tian drinks some wine and reluctantly says, “After this glass of wine we can return.” I’m not making any progress here. Dammit! She obviously has no memory of being intimate with me, how can I jar her memory.

   Sara takes a couple sips of her glass of wine trying to relax. As she does the scent of Li Tian on his jacket wafts into her nose stirring a strange feeling and her heart skips a beat. She glances at Li Tian who seems lost in thought staring at the sky. Why am I having this reaction to being here with him and having his coat on me. She quickly sets her wine glass down that is still almost full, I feel unsettled..maybe it is the wine, I probably shouldn’t drink after being drugged. “I am getting cold, do you mind if we go back now?”

   Frustrated because Sara is so close to him and he can’t touch her he stands up then he gulps down the last bit of his wine. “Let’s go.”

   Sara feels he is irritated by his abrupt tone but really doesn’t want to be alone with him for some reason. Sara holds onto his suit coat around her shoulders as she struggles to keep up with Li Tian while he takes long strides down towards the mansion.

   As they turn a corner in a secluded section of the garden headed for the blue stone walkway the waiter who brought their wine steps out of the shadow. Speaking what sounds like Russian his voice low, he says something to Li Tian as he waves a knife towards him. Li Tian quickly puts Sara behind him in one smooth move then says, “RUN!” 

   Sara remains frozen to the spot watching Li Tian dodge the knife and kick towards the man’s chest. The man takes the hit to the chest but smiles as a needle flies out of his sleeve hitting Li Tian in the shoulder piercing through his black silk shirt. Li Tian’s movements become sluggish and he is using all his internal energy to fight. Fucking shit! The needle had poison on it! He regrets telling his shadow guard to leave them alone in the garden. His vision getting blurry he sees Sara still standing there out of the corner of his eye, why isn’t the dummy leaving, his words slurred with great difficulty he spits out, “Go!” He circulates his qi and sends a palm strike to the man’s neck. The man dodges and as he does he is close to Sara. Li Tian staggers forward clenching his teeth using the little strength he has left with a weak voice   “Don’t touch her! Tell… can have…” without finishing the sentence he falls to the ground unable to move. 

    Frightened as the man with the knife approaches, knowing he is going to kill her because she is a witness, Sara stumbles backwards. Falling to the ground as he hovers over her she can smell his breath and she wants to vomit. When she turns her head away and tries to move back she feels a rock close to her right hand. He has a sinister laugh, then in a thick accent he speaks English, “Your man is paralyzed from the black viper poison but he can still hear. We can’t kill him until he gives us what we want. But..I can make him wish he was dead as he watches me f**k his woman with my big c**k. Listening to you beg me for more will make his blood boil.” He has a grin on his face revealing his two gold front teeth. “Honey, I make you moan and scream my name before I kill you.”

    Li Tian tries desperately to move but is unable to even lift a finger. The rage inside of him is unbearable as he listens to the man’s lewd words inciting him. He can see Sara shaking with her head lowered as the man leans over her slender body. She is shrinking inside of his suit coat like a frightened rabbit. That motherf*****g bitch!  Sending this sick fuck! He recognizes the man now as one of the prison guards from the Bosnian prison.

    Sara sees her chance as he turns his attention away from her to goad Li Tian. She decisively picks up the rock clutching it tightly in her hand. When he reaches down with the knife towards her neck tearing off the suit coat covering her body she swings the rock at his head hitting him in the temple. Stunned from the blow he falls back with blood dripping down his head. Still conscious he reaches his bony hand out towards Sara, his eyes have a crazed look as he growls, “BITCH!”

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