Lunch With Liu Ling

 After Emmi walks through the door of the building Jiang Weiming calls his brother, “ Brother, I need your assistant to find out everything he can about Liu Ling.”

  “Liu Ling? The famous medical researcher?”

  “Yes. I will explain later. Also, the reservation is for a private room at Ming’s right?” He wants to be alone with Emmi.

  Jiang Chonglin crosses his legs behind his mahogany desk in his office. “Weiming, what are you up to? It isn’t like you to pester me for favors. Do you know I had to promise Han Weisheng I would renovate his apartment free of charge to get that room with a day’s notice.”

  “Fuck off! I heard you and him the other day, you are renovating his penthouse and his cousin is featuring it  and your Design Company in the next issue of her magazine.” 

  Jiang Chonglin bursts out laughing, “Weiming you aren’t to be underestimated. What… were you hiding in the kitchen?”

  “No it was fate. I happened to smell the sweet osthmaus cake the cook was baking and went to the kitchen to get a piece. I was eating it when I heard you two.”

  Jiang Chonglin’s assistant comes into the office with a folder and Jiang Chonglin waves at him to wait. He is curious, his brother is pursued by girls but never takes the initiative to ask a girl out. “Who is the girl? She must be special for you to go to such lengths to impress her.”

  “No one special. I  plan to discuss a business arrangement and want a quiet place to eat.”

 “You could have taken her to any restaurant the family owns and had a private room.”

 “When did you become a gossip columnist? I need to get to class. Call me when you have the information.” I heard the private rooms have their own balcony  that overlooks the city. Supposedly Ming’s restaurant is the most romantic spot in the entire city. That bastard friend of yours only lets his friends use the private rooms. I even tried to offer an exorbitant amount of money to secure a private room.

 “Wait. Weiming, how did you know that Zhou Group stock after it plummeted would rise yesterday?” He wishes he had listened and at the very least bought stock. Weiming made a small fortune buying shares from two of the major investors who feared it would go belly up.

 “Brother, you should have trusted me. You can only blame your lack of foresight. Didn’t I make you a bundle when I told you FutureTech would go public?” Once they secured the secret government contract it was a given.

 “Okay, whatever I won’t doubt you again. It is just old man Zhou Gao didn’t look like he would be able to rise after his own fucking son screwed him in the ass.”

  “Yeah not everyone is a vegetarian like our father.” He nods to two of his friends passing by him. “It’s amazing our family is still one of the top five in Bashu City the way he always takes the high road. I knew the crafty old fox wouldn’t let his own son bury him in the ground. Anyway, I have class. Bye.”

   When Emmi gets out of class she hangs limply on her friend Yue Hua’s arm, “Oh My God! That test! I am exhausted! My mind is fried!”

   Yue Hua giggles, “Don’t be so melodramatic Chen Emmi. I’m sure you did fine.”

  Emmi puffs out her cheeks and pouts,“I just don’t understand why a Fashion Major needs to take Calculus. I mean seriously I was stumped on the second page.”

 “True. I’m hungry, do you want to get lunch at the cafeteria?”

  Emmi looks at her watch, “Can’t today. I have an appointment.” But I am hungry, all I had was the breakfast bun and the spinach smoothie. Maybe Brother Ling wants to get some lunch.

   When they reach the bottom of the steps they say goodbye. Emmi looks at her phone while slowly walking over to the bike rack. I wonder if Wang Hao woke up? Should I call? He looked very sound asleep. He said he didn’t have to work in the morning but it is lunchtime.  While she considers calling him she unlocks her bicycle. Forget it he probably woke up..she puts her phone into her backpack to ride over to the building where Liu Ling’s office is located.

  Liu Ling is sitting at his desk checking the results from an experiment performed by one of his students. Emmi knocks on the door, he is engrossed in the findings and doesn’t answer. Emmi isn’t sure if she should knock louder when Dr. Fu passes by. He recognizes Emmi, “Chen Emmi?’

  “Oh Dr. Fu hello. Do you know if Dr. Liu is in his office? I have an appointment but if he is busy I don’t want to keep knocking and disturb his work.”

  “Should be.” He looks at his watch, “I was going to see if he wants to go to lunch. You have an appointment? Then I won’t bother him.” he walks away then turns around, “he might be working and didn’t hear you knock.”

  Emmi knocks louder and this time Liu Ling says, “Enter.”

  He has his glasses off and is cleaning them. Emmi’s heart flutters when he looks up and smiles at her, “I’m glad you came.” 

   Emmi’s hands are trembling and she puts them into the pockets of her overalls, “Am I disturbing you?”

 “Not at all I was studying the results of an experiment but I can finish after lunch.” He stands up and puts on his glasses, “Is there anywhere you want to go? I don’t have another class until three so we don’t have to rush.”

  “Anywhere is fine.” If I am with you I don’t care where we eat or what we eat or if we eat..

 “You didn’t get a chance to eat  at the Italian restaurant, do you want to eat there?” 

“Sure. I love Italian food.”

   They walk out of the building and she looks up at him behind her sunglasses, her eyes are full of adoration.

    They are both beautiful people so they attract the attention of students walking through campus. He is tall and handsome wearing a silver gray suit and a crisp white shirt that accentuates his tight waist and long legs. She is petite and cute wearing a pair of oversized blue cotton overalls cuffed exposing her snow white delicate ankles with a short white top underneath that shows a hint of the thin waist. Emmi’s long black ponytail sways as she struggles to keep up with his long strides. Several students take pictures until Liu Ling glares at them giving them an icy demonic look.

  When they arrive at the restaurant because it is past one o’clock there are only two people waiting to be seated.Emmi gazes up at Liu Ling, “Good timing. It was so crowded on Wednesday.” She noticed the people taking pictures. She wonders if she should mention something to Liu Ling. It would be selfish not to warn him it could cause him a problem.

  They walk into the restaurant and the server gives them menus, “Did you want anything to drink?”

  Liu Ling asks Emmi, “Something?”

  “Water thank you.”

  Liu Ling also requests a glass of water. He has been considering how he should bring up the subject of her safety. “Little Emmi, I think of you as my little sister and I want to discuss a few things with you. I hope you will consider what I have to say.”

  “Huh?” Emmi’s heart tightens Little Sister? Maybe I should have worn a more sophisticated outfit. Emmi you idiot what were you thinking! Well, I will slowly get that notion out of his head.

  Emmi grips the menu as the words Little Sister..Little Sister ring in her mind.

   He notices the look on her face. Am I overstepping? But if I don’t warn Chen Emmi who will. Her family obviously doesn’t care. I want to know who the man she called Brother is, according to Fu he was intimidating and his car was expensive. “Well, we can discuss after we eat. What looks good.”

  YOU! YOU LOOK GOOD!

 “Emmi?”

 “I’m sorry Brother Ling. Everything on the menu looks delicious.” BUT NOT AS DELICIOUS AS YOU! “I will have whatever you order.”

  The server comes back and Liu Ling orders Minestrone Soup, Shrimp Alfredo and Veal Parmesan.

   Emmi decides maybe a good way for him to see she is an adult is to talk about business. “Brother Ling, I did want to ask you a couple questions about the Medicinal Herb business.”

  He gazes across the table at her serious expression and thinks she looks cute. “Father told me you sell him medicinal herbs. Your grandfather taught you?”

  “Yes. He taught me quite a bit and I also researched on my own to develop different ointments, medicines and creams. I tried to enhance the effects by tweaking his original formulas. Of course since I don’t have any certification I can only sell the medicinal herbs I grow. But I might have an opportunity to expand my medicinal herb business by partnering with an investor I know.” I really want to ask you to try my formula but how can I be so bold. You are a world renowned medical researcher and doctor. If I had only taken before and after pictures of Wang Hao! I was actually amazed at the excellent results.

  He can’t help but be sucked in by her beautiful green eyes sparkling as she talks with such youthful exuberance. She is untainted by the business world..she has no idea how ruthless and dangerous it can be for someone as soft as she is. Emmi’s eyes are so clear and innocent it makes a man want to bully her and press her underneath him. He shakes his head, what are you thinking?

  “Brother Ling?” Did I bore him? He has a strange expression I have never seen on his face. I thought I knew all his expressions. 

   The server arrives with the Minestrone Soup. Liu Ling’s eyes are filled with a complex emotion. I don’t want to dash her hopes but..

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