Kuang Bo stands at the entrance to the Il Piacere Restaurant in his guise of Henri Armand to meet Chloe before he attends the Bellini reception. She anxiously called him because there is a major problem with her upcoming show tomorrow. A young and eager tabloid reporter named Maria Vibaldi has been hounding Chloe for an exclusive interview, threatening to expose the fact she is not the designer behind the collection. The reporter insisted on a meeting or said she would run the article as is without Chloe’s side of the story. She is joining them at the Il Piacere for an exclusive interview and Henri plans on diffusing the situation. He can’t have a scandal as he prepares to sell Henri Couture.
Henri is well aware Chloe’s sister Emmi who is extremely talented but suffers from a severe case of agrophobia, has been responsible for the majority of the designs in the last few years. After almost being exposed last year Chloe assured him the dresses in this year’s collection are all her original designs.
When he sees Nikolai and LiMei enter the hotel he impatiently rushes through traffic hurrying across the street to follow them. Almost hit by a car as it screeches to a stop the driver screams obscenities at Henri but he ignores him. He calls Chloe when he reaches the sidewalk, as he pushes the hotel door open she answers, “Stall the reporter, something came up I will be late to the meeting.”
Wha..no! Flustered by the sudden news Chloe tries to steady her nerves to remain calm, this annoying wench isn’t easy to deal with or I never would have informed Henri in the first place! “But Henri..” He hangs up before Chloe can utter another word. She puts her phone down then clenches her sweaty hands on her lap. What the hell Henri! What is more important than saving my reputation which is tied to yours! Twisting her skirt until her knuckles turn white her mind is in chaos. Chloe was thinking with his domineering presence the inexperienced reporter would be too intimidated to pursue the allegations. Fucking bastard what is more important than saving my reputation!
Chloe has a strange smile that isn’t a smile as she looks across the table at the young woman holding a tape recorder across from her. She nonchallantly picks up the menu then hands it to Maria, “Henri has some urgent business, let’s order, he will join us when he is finished.” If not I might have to send someone to deal with you little bitch behind his back. I am not going to lose everything I have worked hard for these past few years.
The reporter agrees, from her trembling hand on the phone I can tell it will be easier to deal with Chloe without Henri Armand here as her backer. She looks at the menu furtively peeking over it at Chloe’s expression which reveals her trepidation. She wants this exclusive very badly, as a recent graduate this expose would make her famous and she would receive a huge bonus. I will need to thank my stupid ex boyfriend who went to school with them in Paris. Otherwise how would have I discovered merely by accident that Chloe has a talented sister who far exceeds her abilities but is a recluse.
Following up on what he told her she went to find former students who were acquainted with the two sisters. After interviewing many people from the Fashion Institute Maria is fairly certain Emmi Rouseau is the hidden talent behind her sister Chloe.
Chloe relaxes for a minute, after having Maria Vibaldi investigated she can see a bit of herself in Maria’s aggressive attitude and desire for fame. How would I handle this situation if I was her..Chloe flips her red hair behind her ear then takes a sip of water while studying Maria, it is obvious that this slut is smart and ambituous..she wants to use this scandal to make a name for herself and climb up from her position as a freelancer. She has a sly smile on her beautiful face, I know how to handle this! Chloe puts down her menu then points with her perfectly manicured finger to the tape recorder sitting on the table between them.”Is the tape recorder off?” Chloe regains her regal demeanor, “I admire your tenacity but.. would like to give you some off the record advice.”
Across the street at the Postino’s Hotel, Henri walks into the lobby as Nikolai and LiMei reach the elevator. Not wanting to miss this opportunity he takes long strides to reach the elevator right as the door is closing. He extends his long arm then crams his hand between the doors before they completely close then steps in acting surprised to see the two of them. “Nikolai. Feng LiMei? You two know each other?”
Nikolai has a quizzical look on his face, how does the Little Assassin know Henri?
Henri has a complicated expression when he notices she is wearing the off the shoulder chiffon dress from the collection he designed especially for her. How did she get the dress..CHLOE!
LiMei can feel the tension between the two men and she doesn’t like the awkward atmosphere, “Mr. Armand what a nice surprise. I never got a chance to thank you for the food you had delivered.”
Henri shamelessly replies as the elevator door opens to the exclusive restaurant.”Well, my Little Angel, you could pay me back by you and Nikolai joining me for dinner. My dinner partner cancelled and I was going to dine alone but that is so boring… ” He looks at LiMei instead of Nikolai for approval. “Since the two of you are here why don’t we eat together?
??? Nikolai doesn’t want Henri ruining the mood between LiMei and he enjoys her cute affectionate behavior. Without a moment’s hesistation he declines the offer. “Another time Henri, don’t you need to go to Diego Bellini’s party.”
Henri casually looks at his diamond encrusted watch, “I have time.” I will make time to get Daiyu away from you! What about you…aren’t you supposed to be delivering the flash drive to Diego you fucking asshole?
LiMei ignores the two of them as they walk into the restaurant, “You were right this restaurant is beautiful!” She looks over at the panoramic view from the windows. Excited to be able to admire such a beautiful view of Milan she exclaims, “ Do you think they will have a table by the windows without a reservation?”
Henri quickly replies with an air of nobility, “I know the owner Dominic Postino, I’m sure they can accommodate us.”
Nikolai glares at him, what us? I don’t agree to you joining the little Assassin and me! Although Henri could be considered one of the few people Nikolai likes he doesn’t want him interfering with their ‘date’. “I made a reservation for two. Sorry Henri, maybe another time.”
LiMei sounds surprised, “You made a reser..” Before LiMei finishes Nikolai leans down and kisses her then whispers, “When you were sleeping.”
Henri shoots him a murderous gaze, when you were sleeping? Are they sleeping together? Nikolai is surprised by Henri’s sudden dangerous aura, he has never seen Henri display any hostility to him before. How does he know the Little Assassin? He gazes at LiMei who is ignoring them and looking around the restaurant. Interesting girl to make Henri show a crack in his elegant and aloof persona. I almost detected a distinct killing intent until he returned to his usual aloof appearance.
The manager notices Henri and quickly comes over to fawn on him, “Mr. Armand what a pleasure, Three tonight?”
Henri says ,“Yes.” as Nikolai says “No.”
The manager stares at the two equally handsome intimidating men with the beautiful fairy like girl between them. Who should I listen to?Henri Armand is a good friend of Mr. Postino and the other man, well he is just plain scary with his dangerously domineering aura. Helpless as to what to do LiMei looks at Nikolai and Henri shooting daggers at one another and says, “A table for three.” She stands on her tiptoes putting her arms around his neck he can smell her light floral scent that makes his heart race involuntarily. LiMei kisses Nikolai then whispers in his ear, “ Niko..We have all night.”
Her sudden kiss and warm breath on his ear send a strange pleasurable sensation through his taut body. He knows she is under the influence of his hypnotic suggestion but his body still reacts to her intoxicating kiss. I wouldn’t mind tasting her delicious body tonight. I should make her happy..we have all night.. I will let her see the magnanimous side of me. He has a devilish smile as he looks at Henri then turns to the manager with a gloating tone, “Whatever my baby wants.” I would like to know more about your relationship with Henri. Why were you at the Black Lotus Club with Chen Jianyu and him?
Henri is dumbfounded by LiMei’s obviously infatuated expression as she gazes unabashedly at Nikolai. I need to find out what is going on between the two of them. What happened to her relationship with Qiao Rui? I would rather her be involved with a predictable man like the good doctor than this volatile asshole.
Henri points to a table by the window telling the manager “That table.”
“I’m sorry Signore Armand but that table is reserved. I have a nice..” He doesn’t finish when Nikolai walks to the table and pulls out the chair for LiMei to sit, then sits down next to her. The table has the best unobstructed view of the city lights.
The manager’s mouth drops open and he can tell Nikolai isn’t someone he should offend but neither is the man who reserved the table. He looks pleadingly at Henri, speaking in a hushed tone he confides, “That table is reserved specifically by Gino D’Amico.”
Henri raises his eyebrow, this should prove interesting. “Mario, my friend has made his choice, you will have to deal with Fat Gino when he arrives.” He saunters over to the table, when Fat Gino sees Nikolai Naralov at his table he will definitely lose his shit..haha.. I will use the chaos that ensues to take Daiyu away. Perfect!
Henri thinks it is a stroke of luck that particular table is reserved for the fat hothead Gino D’Amico. He lazily walks over to the table with an amused expression on his face thinking about the confrontation between Nikolai and Fat Gino. Nikolai observes the nervous manager who has broken out into a sweat and is pacing around with a handful of menus. “The manager certainly takes his job seriously.” What were you two discussing with your heads together? The manager looks like he is going to wet his pants.
LiMei is oblivious to the situation and seriously responds, “Well, a manager has a lot of responsibilities, They need to make sure the customers are happy, overseeing the kitchen and the dining room.”
“…” Both Nikolai and Henri don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Who cares!
A good looking waiter comes over and asks if they would like wine or a cocktail. LiMei looks at Nikolai, “Niko, what is the name of the vodka you have at your villa.”
“I don’t think they would carry it here. Have a glass of wine.” Uncle Boris makes it only for me.
“No I don’t want wine, I think I will have a gin and tonic with a lime, thank you.” She smiles at the server and he stands there frozen staring at her sparkling green eyes and beautiful smile. Both Nikolai and Henri scowl his direction as he stands by their table motionless.
Nikolai’s demonic aura frightens the server and he stutters, “I..I will be right back with your drinks.” He scurries away from the table, his heart racing from the suffocating aura of the domineering man next to the petite beauty.
LiMei reaches out her soft slender hand and holds Nikolai’s hand resting on the table, she teases him, “Don’t scare the server. Haha.”
Nikolai looks into her eyes and he doesn’t realize himself how sincere he sounds when he says, “I don’t like other men looking at you.”
LiMei blushes as she leans over giving him a feathery kiss then softly nibbles his ear,”I only want you, Niko.”
Nikolai feels his heart pounding in his chest as she tenderly kisses him. Caught up in the feeling he pulls her closer to him then possessively kisses her tender lips. She is breathless when he finally lets her go, he looks over her shoulder winking at Henri who has undisguised jealousy in his eyes watching them. Nikolai gently brushes her hair behind her ears, “You can only have me in your eyes..You are mine…only mine.”
Henri wants to vomit blood when his eyes meet Nikolai’s, he has been suppressing his emotions and it is getting more difficult as he witnesses the affectionate actions between Nikolai and LiMei. He has a piercing icy look in his deep dark eyes as he glowers suspiciously Nikolai, How did she become entangled with this maniac! He must have done something to her..what? He wants to find a way to tell her he is Kuang Bo and take her away. “Feng LiMei how did you meet Nikolai?”
“It is a long story.” I don’t want to tell him I was kidnapped and Nikolai saved me. She feels her head suddenly throbbing and touches her temples. I fell in love with him because… because…he..he is handsome and kind.
Henri notices her frowning as she rubs her temples, “Are you alright?”
LiMei feels dizzy, “Yes. Sorry, I just had a slight pain in my head.”
Nikolai has a worried expression that doesn’t escape Henri’s eyes. Nikolai pulls her onto his lap,“LiMei baby, come here let me massage your head for you.” Is that a reaction to what I did in the car? It has been a long time since I used that technique. I didn’t want to harm the Little Assassin..just have some fun.
LiMei forces a smile as the pain worsens, “That’s okay, I am going to the restroom I will be right back.” When she stands up she leans down giving Nikolai a kiss, “I need to splash some water on my face, Anton was right,your vodka was too strong. Haha..”
Nikolai immediately stands up. “I will go with you.”
“Don’t be silly, sit down. I saw the sign on the way into the restaurant.” She points over to the right, “It is past those tables. I won’t be long.”
After LiMei leaves Henri wants to find out what is going on between them. “Since when does Nikolai Naralov have a woman..or should I say girl.”
Nikolai watches LiMei walking away from the table,“Recent development. How do you know LiMei?” He picks up his glass of vodka swirling the vodka as the ice cubes clink together, then takes a gulp.
Henri doesn’t like the way Nikolai turned the question back to him but answers, “I met her at the Black Lotus Club in Pushong City.” He lies, “I am good friends with her fiance Qiao Rui, I wasn’t aware they broke off the engagement.”
“Engaged? Well that is the past, she is with me now.”According to the information Leon gathered for me they aren’t engaged. Nikolai keeps an eye on the direction LiMei went.
Henri can’t stand the smug expression on Nikolai’s face, he has a threatening tone, “If you want any cooperation with me you need to let Feng LiMei go. You and I both know how dangerous your situation is right now. I don’t want to see her get hurt.”
Nikolai never minces words so he comes straight to the point. Although he is playing with her tonight even after the suggestion wears off he plans on keeping her at his side. “I can protect her. She is mine, I won’t let anything stop me from keeping LiMei with me. As you can see she is very happy so don’t concern yourself.” He finishes his glass of vodka, “As far as the cooperation goes, well..I have other options if you don’t want me to purchase your company.” His eyes narrow and his voice is low as he warns, ” I like you Henri so I will ignore the fact you just tried to threaten me.”
Henri is extremely angry, he can’t contain his murderous rage any longer, the veins are bulging on his forehead. I blackmailed my brother so he won’t go after Daiyu again now she is with this lunatic! He grits his teeth and his deep voice is intimidating, “Nikolai you bastard, she could get hurt. You have too many enemies.” Nikolai observes Henri’s eyes that are burning with rage, why does he seem like a different person right now? Henri always maintains an elegant and noble appearance. I have never seen him lose his temper and right now he is emitting a strong killing intent. I noticed it slightly in the elevator but now it is unrestrained.
Henri is tired of pretending to be the cool and elegant Henri Armand. He still has a French accent because of the modulater on his throat but the intimidating tone is evident,”Naralov if you want to cross..” He is about to reveal the fact he is Kuang Bo to Nikolai when LiMei walks back to the table. He quickly calms his nerves returning to his usual inscrutable countenance, now isn’t the time for a confrontation, when we leave the restaurant I will take her away from the bastard.
Nikolai’s eyes are riveted on Henri trying to discern why the sudden change in his personality. Does he like the Little Assassin? Well too bad!
LiMei has a cute smile directed at Nikolai, “Ahh… I feel much better. Have you ordered?”
“No, I was waiting for you to return.”
LiMei can feel the tension at the table. What happened while I was gone? She decides to try to lighten the atmosphere. “Mr. Armand I love this dress,the champagne color really suits me and the fabric is so light and airy. I feel like a fairy haha.. Chloe said it was your design? I think you are the most talented of all the designers here at Fashion Week.”
Henri snaps out of his murderous thoughts, his usually cold expression softens, “You look beautiful wearing it, as though it was made just for you.” Because it was made for you! I planned on giving the collection to you when I told you I am Kuang Bo.
Nikolai becomes jealous when he looks at LiMei smiling at Henri complimenting him. He doesn’t like Henri’s doting tone either so he pulls her onto his lap. Caressing her waist he then flippantly remarks, “My baby looks beautiful in whatever she wears.” He seductively adds, “But.. I think she is the most beautiful when she is wearing nothing at all.’
LiMei’s face turns crimson red and she glares at Nikolai then waves her hands embarrassed by the innuendo. “ It’s not true..stop teasing Nikolai. Ignore him Mr. Armand.”
Nikolai has a mischievous gleam in his eyes as he embraces her feeling her soft body in his arms. He leans down with devilishly handsome face so close that his warm breath sprays on her face when he playfully teases, “You are adorable when you are shy.” He caresses her cheek then kisses her half parted pink lips. LiMei wants to stop him but she feels addicted to his kiss forgetting Henri Armand is across the table she opens her mouth inviting his hot tongue to enter.
Nikolai is enjoying LiMei’s affectionate behavior almost forgetting this is a play. He hasn’t wanted a woman in a very long time but as he kisses LiMei he feels his body having a strong reaction. Her kisses taste sweet and her petite body pressed against him is igniting a fire in his body. He has his hand on the back of her head with his fingers intwined with her black silky hair as his kisses become more intense.
They continue to kiss until the sound of Henri’s voice interrupts them. Henri is about to explode watching the scene in front of him but he calmly says, “We should order.” He motions to the server to come over to the table.
Nikolai regains his composure, he reminds himself he can’t take it too far, if she finds out later I took advantage of her the Little Assassin will definitely try to leave me.“What do you want to eat LiMei?”
“I’m not picky everything looks delicious, order me what you are having.”
Although Henri is feeling irritated by the way LiMei is sitting in Nikolai’s lap and their PDA he can’t help but smile recalling how she would always say that when they were on assignments. The little girl can eat anything and she always enjoys her meal. He knows she loves eating seafood so he says,“Feng LiMei may I suggest the Fritto Misto di Pesce it is one of the specialties of the restaurant.”
“Oh that sounds good!”
Nikolai tightens his grip on the menu, it is obvious from his pampering tone of voice he is familiar with her preferences and knows she would like that dish. How well does he know her? His face darkens staring at the two smiling at each other. Why am I feeling like this urge to kill him? I don’t actually like the little thing do I? he shakes his head then laughs aloud..no it’s just fun to play with the little wildcat knowing she would blow up if she knew I was manipulating her for my amusement.
‘…” Both LiMei and Henri look over at Nikolai, why is he laughing?
Nikolai ignores their strange looks and says, “I will also take Henri’s suggestion.”
The server doesn’t immediately take away their menus, he looks at his watch, the manager said to have them order something quick because Little Gino would be here for his table in forty five minutes. The seafood dish they order takes a long time to prepare. “I’m sorry we are out of octopus”
LiMei sighs looking at the server with a pitiful expression, “Ohh..that sounded so good.”
A young server overhears them as she walks past, her brown eyes fixated on the two outstanding looking men, “No, we aren’t out of octopus. I saw them deliver some to the kitchen earlier.”
Their server quickly responds, “But a large table in the Moonlight Room ordered the last dishes.”
“I just came from the Moonlight Room, the large group is having coffee and dessert so that was a while ago.”
He wants to strangle the young woman for intruding, he awkwardly smiles, “Let me double check.”
He drags the other server with him as he leaves the table. When they are in the kitchen he stomps his foot. He pulls her by her collar, “ Are you crazy Nita! Why did you butt in when I told them we are out p f octopus! They are sitting at that fat asshole Gino D’Amico’s table and he will be here soon! If they order the Specialty the chef needs to prepare it personally, they will barely have their meal when that unreasonable fat fuck gets here! He will throw a fit! A fucking fit! The manager said we can’t offend Henri Armand or I would have asked him to change tables earlier. He said they specifically wanted that tabel! Do you get it now!”
The young woman’s face turns pale, she has waited on Fat Gino before… he is obnoxious and crazy. “I will go with you to their table and explain I was mistaken. Have them order the Brodeto or Linguini with Shrimp it can be ready in ten minutes.”
“That is a good idea.”
They feel confident as walk back to Nikolai’s table. Nita informs them, “I’m sorry to say I was wrong we are out octopus. May I suggest the Bordeto or Linguini with Shrimp?” LiMei has worked in restaurants before and can tell there is a bigger problem than just being out of octopus. Both of the servers appear nervous and keep looking in the direction of the the entrance.