Qiqi and Zheng Si are talking while walking to the room where the auction will be held. Across the Ballroom an attractive woman in her early forties notices Qiqi. She stops talking to her husband mid sentence and grins.”Honey, I will be right back.” He watches as his wife hurries across the Ballroom. She is slightly breathless from rushing to catch up with Qiqi.“Miss..Miss.”
Qiqi turns around with a puzzled expression,“Are you talking to me?”
“Yes.” The attractive slightly plump woman holds her chest to catch her breath. “Are you Shen Dandan’s daughter?”
Qiqi looks to see if Sun Zerong is near, she doesn’t want Sun Zerong to know. “Yes.”
The woman’s eyes light up, “I knew it! You are very beautiful, exactly like Dandan when she was young. My name is Lu Bingbing, I went to school with your mother.”
Qiqi smiles, “Oh. Nice to meet you.”
Lu Bingbing continues, “How is your mother?
“Very good. She will be coming back from abroad with my father next week.”
“I will give you my card please have her call me.” She reaches into her purse, “Shen Qiqi,you attend A University don’t you?”
“I do.” Lu Bingbing glances apprehensively at at Zheng Si’s cold expression and hesitates then says, “My son also is enrolled there. You might know him, Lu Mingyu. He is President of the Student Council. I know because he has mentioned you a few times. I think he likes you.
“I am familiar. We are in the same Statistics class.”
“Mr. Zheng, would you and Shen Qiqi like to join me and my husband in our private room on the second floor to view the auction?”
He looks at Qiqi and he can sense she feels uncomfortable, “Thank you Madam Lu but Shen Qiqi wants to see the items at a close distance. She has never attended a Jade Auction.”
“Very well, Shen Qiqi, do you mind if I take a photo with you? I feel like I am taken back to High School when I look at you.” She has a sad expression, “Your mother and I were inseparable, it is a shame as we got older we are too busy to maintain the same closeness we shared.”
Lu Bingbing holds her i phone and looks at it with a puzzled expression then furrows her thin eyebrows, “Hmm..”
Qiqi notices she is having trouble figuring out how to work the camera. “Mrs. Lu, Zheng Si can take the picture if you want.”
Lu Bingbing sounds relieved. “That would be good. My son gave this new phone to me and I haven’t used the camera function.” She hands the phone to Zheng Si and Qiqi stands next to Lu Bingbing. He takes a couple then Qiqi takes the phone and shows Lu Bingbing how to take a selfie and snaps a picture with their heads together.”
Lu Bingbing’s lips curl up in an arc looking at the pictures, “ She wipes a tear in her eye reminiscing about her school days. “Thank you.”
“Mrs. Lu could you send them to me and I will forward the photos to my mother, she will enjoy seeing them.”
“I will ask Mingyu to do it for me when I get home.”
Lu Bingbing’s husband walks up and takes her hand then greets Zheng Si and Qiqi. He has a strange expression as he looks at Qiqi “Zheng Si, Miss Shen.” He gazes at his wife affectionately, “Honey, we should get to the auction.”
After they walk away Qiqi says to Zheng Si, “Is her husband the CEO of LLB?”
“ Yes. Why?”
“No reason, we should hurry too.”
When they get to the auction Qiqi follows Zheng Si to the first row. “Wow! You got front row seats?”
“The organizer is a friend of mine.”
She hugs Zheng Si’s arm “This is awesome!”
They look at the catalogue while they wait for the auction to begin.
Qiqi points to a beautiful small Black Jade Buddha. “Zheng Si, is this the piece you want?”
“It is so beautiful.”
“That piece once belonged to my mother, I have been searching for it for a long time.”
Qiqi is listening to Zheng Si and doesn’t pay attention to the man who sits down on the seat next to her. She smells a light woodsy scent and inhales deeply, “Aahh.. smells so good.” Both Zheng Si and Sun Zhi stare at Qiqi as she mutters to herself. She flips through the catalog to find the bracelet she wants. She looks at Zheng Si with a worried expression. “ZHENG SI! WHERE IS THE BRACELET?!?”
He pats her head, “The Red Lotus Bracelet was a late addition with three other jade items from the Han Dynasty that is why it isn’t in the catalog. Don’t worry.”
Qiqi dramatically fans herself with her paddle. “Oh My! Wheww… That gave me a stir!”
Sun Zhi raises an eyebrow and has a faint smile. The girl should be an actress..very animated. “Miss Shen, you are interested in the Red Lotus Bracelet?”
Qiqi nervously keeps looking at the catalog and doesn’t turn her head. That voice..Sun Zhi? He is the man who smells so good?!?
She grips the catalog and stabilizes her breathing. She tilts her head towards him and smiles, “CEO Sun, hello. Yes. I want the bracelet. Umm..What are you here to bid on?”
“Nothing in particular.”
Qiqi’s heart is racing and she can’t think of anything to say. “Oh.”
Zheng Si isn’t happy Sun Zhi is sitting next to Qiqi. He says Qiqi, “Change seats for a moment, I want to speak to Sun Zhi.”
“Okay.”Brother Si! Why! I was so close to him!
She switches seats and looks at the catalog with her ears perked up to listen to their conversation.
Qiqi can’t hear what they are saying but after a few moments Sun Zhi gets up and leaves.
She pouts, “Brother Si! Why did CEO Sun leave?”
“He is going to watch the auction from a private room upstairs. He wanted to know if we would like to join him.” Zheng Si looks at the second floor and his aura darkens.Sun Zhi told him his brother Chu is in a private room upstairs with. Wei Ning which means he is here for the Black Jade Statue. Bastard! I will kill you sooner or later!
She pulls his arm, “Let’s go.”
“ Qiqi I thought you wanted to see the auction up close so I declined his offer.”
She glances upstairs and sighs, “Well, I do. When will the auction start?”
He looks at his watch, “Soon.”
Upstairs a man has been watching Qiqi with a complicated expression on his handsome face. When his cousin comes into the room he hands him a glass of wine. The little girl was staring at the catalogue with an intense look.“What piece is Zheng Si interested in?”
“He didn’t say.”
“What about Shen Qiqi?”
“She wants the Red Lotus Bracelet.”
Sun Zerong looks at the catalogue, “I don’t see that.”
“It was a late addition.”
“Zerong, are you interested in that little girl?”
“The girl’s Webtoon has become very popular, there are negotiations to make it into a movie. I thought I might reward her effort for the company.” I want to snatch the bracelet then hold it over the stubborn little girls’ head.
Sun Zhi raises an eyebrow, Zerong, you aren’t that generous what are you you up to?
Downstairs Qiqi’s dark brown eyes sparkle as she clutches tightly onto the paddle in her hand as the auction begins.
She fidgets in her seat and holds Zheng Si’s hand. “Brother Si, I am so excited!”