The Gazebo

    Jiang Weiming and Emmi arrive at the exit on the highway by the Riverfront Landing property and Emmi has a stunned expression, “They were able to build this road in a couple weeks? That is amazing.”

   “The main road isn’t completed at the other end of the Development yet. I heard one of the construction workers say Zhen Sihao personally requested this road to be built.” He points out the window, “That is his villa under construction.”

  Emmi looks in the direction he is pointing, WHAT! Why would that old fart move here. The mansion he has at the top of the mountain is magnificent.

   Jiang Weiming is watching the narrow road and can’t see Emmi’s frightened expression. “Yes. I guess he is an avid fisherman.”

  “Oh.” I guess that makes sense.

  Jiang Weiming reaches the end of the road. He parks and they get out of the car not noticing the black Rolls Royce Phantom to the left. Emmi’s art studio is about 500 meters away through the forest.

  “You should have a walkway made from your Art Studio to this road. If you want I could have it done for you.”

  “I have troubled you enough. I don’t mind walking through the forest. It isn’t far from my studio.” Maybe Zhen Sihao isn’t aware someone else will use his road, it might be for his private use.

  They walk through the forest and when they reach Emmi’s property Jiang Weiming stops while staring at the fairytale-like garden with the wooden gazebo in the middle.  Along the stone paths are concrete pillars slightly taller than him with globes resting on top. He points his trembling finger towards the slightly glowing orbs. Are those globes…Night Pearls?

  “My grandfather brought the Night Pearls back from an expedition in the Eastern mountains. They are really cool when it gets dark, you will see. They will light up the entire garden.”

  He has a puzzled look, does she not know they are rare artifacts? He looks around,they are far away from the Chen mansion and until the construction of the Riverfront Development it was an isolated spot.  I guess that is why no one has noticed them. Otherwise, someone might steal them.Well, who would come at night to this forest.

  “Your garden is bigger than I anticipated.”

   “Originally grandfather only grew medicinal herbs and plants but because I liked planting flowers he expanded the garden. Gradually over the years it has become a bit large.”

   Jiang Weiming doesn’t know anything about medicinal herbs and plants. He merely thinks the garden has a magical feel and the fragrance is very appealing. When they walk down one path full of  beautiful white and blue flowers he comments, “How can these flowers survive in winter?”

  “They are called Frost Flowers, grandfather discovered them in a cave in the Himalayas, actually they bloom in winter and wither when the weather warms up.” She picks a flower, “Smell, this flower, its leaves are used to make the calming tea I spoke of for your mother. I will brew you a pot when we get to the Art Studio.”

   He sniffs the flower and feels a wave of euphoria. “Chen Emmi, this flower is amazing.”

   Emmi feels comfortable talking to Jiang Weiming after he freely spoke of his mother’s condition. “Grandfather worried about my mother. She was prone to depression and would cry inexplicably. He had an Old Master when he was young who spoke of these caves so he went on an expedition and came back with these flowers. Those flowers are over a hundred years old. They are a little hard to care for because they need different nutrients than normal flowers. Once a year a monk from the temple by the caves sends a package.”

  Jiang Weiming is fascinated listening to Emmi and doesn’t realize they have arrived at her Art Studio. Emmi opens the door and turns on the lights, “I hope you don’t mind how small it is. Have a seat. I need to use the bathroom.”

  He glances around the neat room, on one side is a kitchen then a workspace. He notices a small daybed and a wooden table. There is a large embroidered screen of an ancient style landscape by the wooden table. Although the room is small the window is large giving it an airy feeling. The colors are vibrant and everything is well organized. He grins, just like Chen Emmi.

  Emmi comes out of the bathroom and walks to the kitchen. “I will brew some tea. Let me put the flower in water, it will give off a light fragrance.”

  He hands the flower to Emmi and watches as she places it in a small dish. It floats on the surface and the water turns blue. He lazily leans on the table looking at Emmi’s designs. “Chen Emmi, you are very talented.”

   “Well, I am learning a lot in my classes. I try to use that knowledge to improve my designs.”

   Emmi grabs a large tin of tea from the cupboard. She pours some tea leaves into a  metal tin for Jiang Weiming to take to his mother. While the water boils she walks over to a drawer and takes out an embroidered sachet. “Jiang Weiming here is a sachet for your mother.”

  He looks at the exquisitely embroidered pouch, “Chen Emmi, did you embroider this.”

  “Yeah, I hope your mother likes it. I just finished one for a friend of mine and this one I used the leftover silk.”

  “I can’t take this. It is too..too beautiful. It must have taken you a long time.”

  “I like to embroider, I find it relaxing, moving the needle in and out helps me find my inspiration. Smell it. What do you think?” 

   He puts the sachet to his nose and the tension in his muscles instantly lessens. What do I think? I think I want to keep it for myself. “My mother will definitely benefit from the relaxing effect. Well, let me pay you for your hard work.”

   Emmi pouts and teases, “Jiang Weiming don’t insult me! You are my friend and benefactor. This is the very least I can do.”

   The tea is ready, “Do you want to drink the in the gazebo?”

  “Won’t it be too cold?”

  “No. The gazebo has heating elements to keep it warm. I especially like sitting there and watching the sun go down.”

  “Alright.”

  Emmi puts it on a rosewood tray and Jiang Weiming opens the door. They walk to the gazebo and sit on a padded bench by a unique agarwood table.

  She sighs, I do owe Wang Hao for convincing CEO Zhen to protect my property. Wang Hao is a bit of a scoundrel but he has helped me a few times. 

   Zhen Sihao is leaving the construction office when he spots the Silver Bugatti. He turns to the foreman who is walking him out. “Whose car is that?”

  The man scratches his head, “I think the vehicle belongs to Young Master Jiang. I have spoken to him several times about the construction progress on Lot #34 that he purchased.”

  “He purchased property here? Why wasn’t I informed?”

  The man can detect a hint of annoyance in Zhen Sihao’s voice. He takes off his yellow hard hat and scratches his head, “Ah. I don’t handle the sales. That would be your Director Yang or his assistant Miss Gu.”

   “Where is Young Master Jiang now? Did someone take him to his property?”

   “I don’t think so. Everyone but me is gone for the day. I was locking up when I got the call you were coming.”

   Zhen Sihao’s suspicions are confirmed. He has a raging storm within his dark eyes The little bastard is at Chen Emmi’s Art Studio! I saw the little girl drinking wine..what are they doing? The image Emmi drunk in his apartment surfaces in his mind. Emmi’s half naked body and her face flushed in a seductive color of red. He turns to the foreman. “Call Jiang Weiming and tell him he needs to move his car. The workers need to level the bottom of the road. I will wait in the office and don’t mention that I am here.”

  “Will do.” What is with the CEO? Does he have enmity with Young Master Jiang. The boy seems quite amiable. 

  The Night Pearls light the area and Jiang Weiming is in awe of how beautiful and surreal the garden looks. He sips the tea and feels like he is floating while staring in a daze at Emmi who is in the garden bending over a sea of flowers. This is like a scene from a fucking fantasy drama. I feel like I have been transported to ancient times watching the celestial beauty in front of my eyes. Emmi’s long black hair is cascading down her back and when she tilts her head he can see her delicate snow white clavicle. He is captivated by her delicate beauty. When his phone rings he is brought back to reality. Jiang Weiming gulps down his saliva and his voice sounds raspy “Yes.”

  “Mr. Jiang. I didn’t see you, are you at Lot #34? I need you to come back tomorrow. The truck will be arriving soon to level the road.”

  He is disappointed but he didn’t check in with the office as he should have when they arrived. “Mr. Tang, I apologize I was with a friend who leaves next to the development. I will move the car as soon as possible.”

  The foreman raises an eyebrow, who lives next to the development?



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