Jewelry Design Competition

   Li Tian watches Sara walk down the stairs, in the light blue shimmering dress she looks like a goddess descending from the Heavens. He gulps down his saliva as she reaches the bottom of the stairs. The makeup artist put blue glitter on the corners of her deep blue eyes. and they are sparkling. The pink lipstick she is wearing makes him want to bite her lip then passionately kiss Sara.

  He is about to say how beautiful she looks when Sara smiles, showing her perfect white teeth and exposing her two dimples. Sara’s blue eyes take his breath away as she sincerely thanks him. “Really, thank you so much CEO Li. This dress is heavenly.”

  Li Tian has a genuine smile that goes all the way to his eyes, “You look.. absolutely beautiful. If you like the dress please stop calling me CEO Li. Call me Tian, I have asked you before.”

  Sara blushes making her look even more alluring and he gazes at Sara with sparks of desire in his deep dark eyes. It is taking all of his self control not to take Sara back upstairs and rip that dress her alluring jade like body.

 Sara bites her bottom lip then shyly says his name.”Ti..Tian. Thank you. I have never worn such an exquisite dress.”

  “Well, I think Julien’s necklace will have trouble out shining your beauty.”

  Sara giggles at the unexpected compliment, “I didn’t think you could be such a flatterer.”

  Li Tian laughs and when he does his face lights up, Sara is taken aback by how god-like he appears. Sara’s heart jumps, he is a strikingly handsome man and when he smiles he could overturn a city with his devastating good looks.

  He casually takes her hand, “Let’s go.”

   Sara looks up at Li Tian and has a warm feeling holding his strong hand as they walk outside. 

  Kang Mingshun opens the back door of the black Maybach. Li Tian holds his hand up so Sara doesn’t bump her head getting into the backseat. Sara notices his gesture and has a faint smile as she enters the car. CEO Li can be quite a gentleman when he wants. She thinks about what the stylist said, ‘ Li Tian is a woman’s dream man.’

  They are both quiet on the way to the Jewelry Competition. Li Tian is reading an email on his phone and Sara is nervously looking out the window. She is full of complicated emotions wondering why Li Tian was so meticulous picking out the dress. Does he have some feelings for me because we slept together or just because he wants LTJ to be represented well tonight.

 When they arrive at the Etienne Hotel they step out of the car and attract the attention of the paparazzi. Li Tian protects Sara as they enter the luxurious hotel amid flashing cameras. She is leans on his chest inhaling his unique masculine scent. He has a pleasant feeling as she puts her hand on his chest as he blocks the intrusive reporters. While the paparrazi are shouting questions he ignores them hiding Sara’s face with his suit coat. Li Tian knows it would not be good to be photographed together. He doesn’t want Sara exposed to any gossip.

  Once inside the magnificent Versailles Room Li Tian relaxes his vigilance because only a few photographers are present who were invited to photograph the Jewelry Design Competition. No tabloid or social media journalists are allowed to enter the room so there isn’t any tension in the atmosphere. Many celebrities and distinguished business men are mingling having cocktails waiting for the highly anticipated Competition to begin.

  Julien Navarre is speaking with an elegantly dressed middle aged socialite when he sees Li Tian and Sara enter the large ballroom. He politely excuses himself and after greeting a few people makes his way across the lively room.

Margot a Supermodel he is dating is curious as to who is modeling his Midnight Lover’s Necklace tonight so she follows him through the crowd.She was positive he would ask her to be the model. When Michelle told her the woman was an Asian woman without any experience she wondered if she was one of his many bed partners. She stays at a discreet distance behind Navarre well aware he doesn’t like a clingy woman. Margot in order to come to the event tonight accepted the invitation to model a Ruby necklace designed by Yvette Marchanne.

She casually sips her white wine spritzer as she watches Navarre approach Li Tian and Sara. Navarre is very pleased with the dress Sara is wearing. My necklace will look beautiful against her flawless snow white skin. Her delicate clavicle is what drew me to her at first.. but now I see everything about the girl is perfect! “Miss Song, you look absolutely gorgeous!”

  He gives Li Tian an appreciative look, “Tian the dress..” He gives Sara an admiring look, “Stunning. I will be presenting my Midnight Lover Necklace in about an hour. Song Sara, my assistant Michelle Dupont will come take you backstage at that time.”

  Sara nods that she understands but is a little apprehensive, when they walked into the room she recognized at least three Supermodels. “Mr. Navarre, I am not a professional model. Is there anything I should do.” She shudders when she sees Marisa hanging on a powerful looking man. Those two people look extremely beautiful and refined who could imagine the poisonous heart they possess.

  Li Tian notices Sara shivering, “Are you cold? Kang Mingshun can get your coat.”

  “No.”

   He glances over where she was looking and remembers she was held hostage at Marisa’s villa. Li Tian’s eyes narrow and there is a murderous air surrounding him. Bitch! What is she doing here with that bastard Hedwig! He doesn’t want to deal with Gunnar Hedwig right now or he would have Marisa thrown out by his bodyguards. He glares at them with an icy expression in his eyes. I will wait until she goes outside then deal with the woman. 

    Navarre sees Li Tian giving Gunnar Hedwig a penetrating look but ignores the drop in temperature surrounding him. Fucking Hedwig! I wonder what he did this time. One of these days he will go to far and Li Tian will kill him. Hopefully he doesn’t choose tonight..haha..I need tonight to go smoothly. He laughs, “ Song Sara, your beauty is unique among these women. Beautiful Girl, all you need to do is smile.” Most of the models are European so she stands out among them with her unusual blue Peach Blossom eyes and snow white skin. He notices Sara’s long ink black hair is like a waterfall hanging down her slender back…I see why Li Tian is obsessed with this woman. She truly possesses an ethereal quality. “Don’t be nervous. I picked you because you are not a professional.” He glances at Li Tian who is gazing at Sara with a tender expression on his usually cold and indifferent face. He playfully winks at Li Tian while teasing Sara.“My Midnight Lover’s Necklace should be worn by a Cinderella.” 

  After being reminded of how dangerous it is to be at Li Tian’s side she ignores his remark.

  Navarre’s mood is very good after seeing Sara very satisfied his necklace will look exquisite around her neck. He drinks his Gin Martini and has an amused expression, “I see Philippe has his eyes on us.”

 Li Tian takes a glass of champagne from a server then raises his glass to Phillipe taunting him. Phillipe and his son Claude walk over, “CEO Li, I didn’t expect you would come personally to support your little pet. Aren’t you afraid there will be rumors.” Claude snickers when he hears his father’s comment. There are always rumors circulating that Li Tian is gay. When he is accompanied by a woman no matter how beautiful  he never touches or appears intimate with his female companion.

  Li Tian impulsively grabs Sara into his embrace and kisses her lips. Caught off guard Sara tries to push him away after the kiss as he whispers in her ear,“100,000 off your debt if you play along.”

    Her answer is she angrily steps on his foot with her heel. How could he say that? Like I would sell myself for money? Does he think I am a cheap woman because I seduced him when I was drugged?

    Li Tian ignores the pain in his foot and wraps his arm around her thin waist, “Julien, Sara is hungry we are going to the buffet.”

  Navarre watches Li Tian and Sara walk away and has a faint smile, “ When I win Phillipe don’t forget the bet we made on the plane.”

Sara feels nauseous as they walk to the buffet table, “CEO Li, I need to use the bathroom.”

Li Tian notices her face is extremely pale, “Are you feeling ill? I will go with you.”

“No..no need.”

 After they leave Albert stands next to his father and brother Claude, he clenches his hand tighter around his wine glass, “Asshole don’t be so confident. Do you think the judges will give the prize to an uneducated upstart like you.” He doesn’t know the men his father bribed have been dismissed from the Committee judging the Design Competition.

  The ballroom is crowded, Li Tian doesn’t see Long An and her mother, Zhao Lanfen who have entered the room looking for him. Long An’s mother was furious when she heard Li Tian’s mistress had pushed her daughter down a flight of stairs. She arrived this afternoon from Catang City determined to seek justice for An. Long An catches sight of Sara going down a hallway. She whispers into her mother’s ear, “MOM..MOM! That is his slut Song Sara.” She points to Sara. Zhao Lanfen has an idea.  Very Good! Better to deal with the little bitch without that bastard Li Tian around.

  Zhao Lanfen’s voice sounds very soft as she comforts her precious daughter “She must be going to the bathroom, Mom will take care of the little whore for you honey. She won’t dare to make trouble when I am done! I don’t want Li Tian to be suspicious. You go join him.”

   Long Ann puffs her cheeks and pouts, “But Mom, he was so mean to me at the Charity Event at Alexandre’s Club. She cautiously looks around the room. “ There are so many reporters, what if he throws me away in front of them.” She knows if her mother is next to her he wouldn’t dare be disrespectful in front of an elder.

  Zhao Lanfen is a crafty woman and as she lovingly smooths Long An’s hair she forms a plan. “Call Grandpa Li, have him warn his insolent grandson. They still have the Mega Mall Project we can delay. The old fart has always doted on you so use that to your advantage.”

  Long An nods she has confidence in her mother, “I will do what Mom says.” 

  “That is Mom’s good girl.” She holds her hand, “Smile brightly and be confident, Mom is here.”

    Long An squeezes her mother’s soft hand. “Thanks Mom.” She scans the crowd to locate Li Tian then finds a secluded spot behind a pillar to call. Keeping her eyes on him she coaxes his grandfather on the phone until he agrees to talk to Li Tian. Long An sees Li Tian reach into his pocket and frown then leave the group of men talking  by a jewelry display. 

  Li Tian goes onto the balcony overlooking the hotel garden then lights a cigarette. What the hell does the old man want. Did Long An run over to the mansion as soon as she returned to China.

  Sara is in a bathroom stall retching when Zhao Lanfen enters the bathroom with two of her female bodyguards. An’s maternal grandfather has deep connections to the Underworld so her mother has grown up being surrounded by bodyguards. After Long An was born Zhao Lanfen decided to switch to female only guards so the little girl wouldn’t be frightened. These two women are inconspicuously dressed as her assistants but both are well trained killers.

  Zhao Lanfen gives the order to one of the women to guard the door and the other bodyguard stands a short distance away waiting for Song Sara to come out of the stall.

   Sara comes out holding her stomach and her legs are weak. She isn’t paying attention to the three women as she slowly walks over to the sink. Sara is leaning on the sink when Zhao Lanfen grabs her arm startling Sara, “Slut! Do you think you can become a phoenix and fly up to the highest branch! Never!”

  Sara has a shocked expression staring at the stylishly dressed middle aged woman , “Who..who are you?”

  The enraged woman squeezes her hand around Sara’s arm digging her long nails into Sara’s tender skin. Tears are forming in Sara’s eyes as she tries to shake off the woman’s painful grip. “Why are you..”

 “ Bitch! you dare to hurt my daughter if I don’t make you die tonight my name isn’t Zhao Lanfen.” She waves over one of the women who is sneering at Sara, “Hold the slut for me.”

  

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