“I can have the information for you in an hour. But, have the man courier your laptop to your Publisher’s office. Don’t meet him or give him your address. Do you understand?”
Shen Qiqi crosses her fingers, she doesn’t like to lie to her family. “Of course. I don’t want to meet the man again.”
“Okay I will send you the info. Make sure you have Auntie Han check you out.”
Shen Qiqi sighs and crosses her fingers again, “I will. Thanks, Cousin. When will you be back from L.A.? Are you still crushing on Lili? I have two VIP tickets that include backstage passes to her Red Butterfly World Tour concert on the twenty fifth.”
He tosses his cigarette off the balcony. YES! Backstage passes! He sounds calm, “I don’t have a crush on Lili. I like her music. If you can’t go..well..yeah send me the tickets.”
“Sure. I will look for your text. Cousin I thought you quit smoking. Throw the rest of that pack away.”
“…” Feng Chao looks down at the four cigarettes left in his pack and shakes his head. Is she a little psychic?!?
Shen Qiqi meets Kang Xue’s death gaze, “What?”
“I thought we were going to that concert? You know Chou Yi is opening for Lili and I love him!”
“Well which is more important, Xue? The concert or my laptop and our jobs? I think the Red Butterfly World Tour will be in Hirachi City next month and we can go. We can go to the concert then over to Shingu Island to the new resort. What do you think?”
“Lili’s manager gave you the tickets because Lili is a fan of ‘Bai Wants Romance’. I mean you can’t just give them away and ask for two more.”
“True, but Lili wants me to model a character after her in the next arc. I will exchange for the tickets.”
“She wants to be in your Webtoon?”
“Silly huh? Anyway, Cousin Chao will call in an hour. I’m hungry, do you want to order takeout?”
“Are you sure he can find the information?”
Kang Xue teases “Can your cousin hack into Xanadu Publishing’s computer and give me a raise next check?”
Shen Qiqi crumples up the empty bag of potato chips “Could but won’t.”
Kang Xue is in a good mood believing that Shen Qiqi can get her laptop back. “Whatever haha…what do you want to eat?”
“Let’s walk over to Woo’s Noodle shop across the street. It is nice out tonight we can sit on the patio.”
“Are you going to change?”
Shen Qiqi looks at the school uniform she is wearing. “No. If I change I would just have more clothes to wash on Saturday.”
“You are so lazy.”
“I’m not lazy. I just don’t like doing laundry.”
“Wait. I need to bring Fat Cat back into the apartment.” She walks out to the balcony and the cat moves his stumpy legs as fast as he can past her into the warm room. The fat orange cat glares at Kang Xue, Brrr..I know it was you woman and your damn allergies!
Kang Xue holds her nose and pushes Shen Qiqi towards the door. “Hurry let’s go before I have an allergy attack.”
When they arrive at the first floor and the elevator door opens, an extremely handsome man wearing a Tang suit lazily strides towards the elevator. Shen Qiqi excitedly runs out of the elevator and hugs him, wrapping her arms around his tight waist. “Grandma Zheng said you were back.” He looks down at what Shen Qiqi is wearing and rubs her head, “Are you cosplaying.”
Shen Qiqi laughs, “No. Long story. Grandma Zheng is very excited you are back. I’m jealous she is making her special pork ribs for you.”
His dark eyes have a soft light in them gazing at her small upturned face. He narrows his obsidian eyes behind his gold rimmed glasses giving Kang Xue a warning look. Zheng Si then affectionately smiles at Shen Qiqi “Why don’t you and your friend join us.”
Shen Qiqi hits him in his hard chest with her tiny fist, “ Brother Si, do you want to send me to my death? You should have seen how excited Grandma was that you came to visit her as soon as you got back. I would be a big light bulb haha.”
He laughs as she lets go of his waist, “Well, we will need to have dinner another night and catch up.”
Shen Qiqi’s eyes curve into a crescent shape and she smiles showing her perfect white teeth, “Sure. Whenever is good for you. Oh. I forgot my manners. I was so happy to see you. This is my friend Kang Xue. She can come with us. You might have a lot in common, you both went to the same University.”
Shen Qiqi doesn’t notice the cold temperature surrounding Zheng Si or Kang Xue’s pale complexion. “ I don’t work at Uncle Lu’s anymore so I have more free time. So whenever is convenient for you.”
He has a strange expression on his face after seeing Kang Xue. Zheng Si composes himself then he casually says, “You don’t work at Lu Corporation?”
Shen Qiqi’s phone rings and she has a notification, “Oh.. Brother Si I need to look at this. Call me.” She walks away to see her cousin’s text leaving Kang Xue standing with Zheng Si. The atmosphere is tense and awkward between the two of them. Kang Xue breaks the silence, “Senior, long time no see.”
“Kang Xue, you know the consequences if you tell Shen Qiqi of our relationship at University.”
“Don’t worry I won’t. Qiqi is too naive..she wouldn’t understand.”
“Then I will be leaving.”
Kang Xue has maintained her cool demeanor in front of Zheng Si but as she watches him walk into the elevator a tear forms in the corner of her eye. Bastard.
He gets into the elevator and as the door is closing he can see Shen Qiqi smiling happily looking at her phone. Zheng Si’s face loses its gentle appearance and he has a terrifying expression while thinking about Kang Xue plotting with his brother Chu against him. How could such a sweet girl like Shen Qiqi be friends with a scheming bitch like Kang Xue? Zheng Si’s ink black eyes reflect his hidden darkness, you had better keep your word Kang Xue or you are fucking dead. Shen Qiqi is the only light in my abysmal world, I can’t have the little girl know my true self. She is so innocent and pure, she makes me laugh. The way she sweetly calls me Brother Si…he clenches his fist, Dammit! Why is she friends with that scheming bitch Kang Xue!
Kang Xue wipes her eye with her finger then puts a smile on her face as she walks over to Shen Qiqi, “Is that your Cousin?”
“Do you believe how fast Cousin Chao got the information! He is such a wizard!” She holds up her phone– Sun Zhi- phone number xxx-xxx-xxx.
Qiqi texts back [What is his address?]
[Call. Have him send the laptop by courier. You don’t need his address]
[I want to get it tonight]
[No. You can’t go to a strange man’s house.] Not to mention he is the CEO of FutureTech and the way his information is hidden he is not a simple man. The villa is not registered in his name but under one of his corporations, which means he does not want its location to be public knowledge. He would definitely wonder how you found him, which would lead straight to me. So…definitely not giving you the address Little Cousin.
[Fine.Thanks. Put that cigarette out now]
Feng Chao looks at the cigarette he is holding between his fingers. How does she know?!?
“I will call him when we get to the noodle shop.” Shen Qiqi walks out the apartment building and shivers. “Xue,did you notice how the temperature drops right after the sun goes down? You must be cold.”She takes her warm woolen scarf off, “Wear my scarf.”
Kang Xue pushes Shen Qiqi’s hand away, “The bulky green scarf will look stupid with my dress.”
“Who cares? You will catch a cold.” She wraps it around her friend’s neck. “It is not like you are going to run into Chou Yi…Haha.”
Kang Xue looks at the high school uniform Shen Qiqi is wearing and shakes her head, “Qiqi do you know you should always dress beautifully, you never know if you will meet a handsome man.”
Shen Qiqi says, “Well Xue, the likelihood of running into a handsome man at Woo’s is zero..less than zero. Haha..because of the cheap noodles and beer his clientele is well.. a bit sloppy to say the least. I only bring my sketchbook here when I need a side character..a fat Uncle with a big belly..or a frazzled Auntie who is depressed from her low paying job and no boyfriend who comes to get drunk on beer and Baijiu while slurping up some delicious beef noodles.”
Kang Xue bursts out laughing and she ruffles Shen Qiqi’s hair, “Qiqi you always make me laugh with your nonsense!”
They both are laughing as they walk onto the patio of the Noodle Shop. But Xue has a point. I should dress up beautifully when I meet Sun Zhi to get my laptop. ..Sun Zhi…hmmm.. nice name..