Jean Paul

   In the morning Zhen Sihao reluctantly lifts his arm that is wrapped around Emmi’s waist and gets out of bed. He has an important meeting with a young designer he poached from Chloe Designs and needs to go to his company. He glances back at Emmi and smiles because she was clinging to him all night while she was sleeping. I will get rid of all the pesky men surrounding you one by one starting with that pretentious bastard Liu Ling. You will be mine soon…I need to completely possess your tempting sweet body… 

  Zhen Sihao is in a good mood when he  arrives at his company and enters his exclusive elevator. A  slender hand holds the door as it is about to close and he grimaces when the woman steps into the elevator, “ Miss Fang, what are you doing here?” 

  “Yan Ran told me you are having a meeting this morning with Jean Paul and I thought I could help. When we were both studying in Paris we became good friends.”

  “I don’t need your help.” If you think by helping me I won’t cancel this marriage arrangement, you don’t know me at all.

  Fang Hua is wearing a form fitting bright blue dress that Jean Paul designed. The dress accentuates her large breasts and the above the knee length shows off her toned long legs. She expressly picked this dress because it is elegant and sexy. She opens her black and white houndstooth black and white mohair coat.Fang Hua confidently flicks her long red hair back, “Jean Paul designed this dress exclusively for me. He personally took my measurements.”

  The elevator door opens and Zhen Sihao sneers, “Miss Fang, are you telling your fiance that  you have a special relationship with another man? We haven’t cancelled the agreement yet. Or did you?”

  Fang Hua sounds flustered, “Zhen Sihao! I didn’t mean it that way! We are friends ..good friends.”

  “As I said, I don’t need your help. Next time you come to my office, call ahead for an appointment.”

  “Zhen Sihao, it was your grandfather who suggested this marriage. Do you think by avoiding me it will merely go away? I said I would work with you to dissolve the marriage contract between us but in the meantime we need to placate the elders. My father insisted I make an effort to get to know you. When I heard from RanRan you were meeting with Jean Paul I thought it would be a good opportunity.”

   “I don’t like anyone interfering with my business. Your friendship with Jean Paul has nothing to do with me or our cooperation. I want it to be based on mutual benefits not because of personal connections. I find that eventually that becomes cumbersome and counterproductive.”

  “Jean Paul is a complicated and introverted man. At least allow me to help you to understand him. I will have completed the task my father gave me.”

  “Fang Hua, my patience is wearing thin, this is the last time I will say, stay out of my business. If you don’t want to be escorted out by security please leave.”

   Fang Hua’s face turns red as she notices his secretary staring at them. She digs her long fingernails into her palms then has a slight smile on her face, “Very well. But remember you will appear unfilial if you publicly reject the fiancee your grandfather chose for you.” 

  She turns and reluctantly walks back to the elevator. I see I wasted my time coming here. RanRan said he was hiding a beautiful young girl at a small apartment by the University. It must be true, he didn’t show any emotion when looking at my body. I need to find out who the little slut is and get rid of her.

  Zhen Sihao enters his office then walks over to his desk, Dammit! I almost forgot about that troublesome woman. He calls his secretary, “When Jean Paul arrives, send him to conference room three, then notify me.”

   He leans back in his chair with his hands behind his head and closes his eyes thinking about Emmi. She is the only woman I want. How will I be able to convince my grandfather to dissolve the marriage contract with that woman? Fang Hua says she wants to work together towards that goal but I don’t believe her words. 

  The phone rings and he comes back to reality, “I will be right there.”

   He takes long strides down to the small conference room. When he enters he greets a tall handsome man. He speaks fluent French, “Jean Paul, thank you for meeting with me.”

  “Mr. Zhen. I won’t mince words. My contract with Chloe Designs has come to an end and I don’t feel I can grow with that company. I was inspired by a young Chinese woman I met during a Competition. She was able to fuse Chinese culture with Western design and I was intrigued. If you would allow me the freedom to change direction I will accept your offer. I also want to have the young woman be my assistant.”

  “Interesting. I would have to take a look at your design portfolio to see if I can agree. My offer was based on your recent collection. I want Daphne Designs to expand internationally, I don’t know if the fashion industry would be responsive if you deviate from your signature style.”

    Jean Paul opens a folder, “These are my latest designs. Also, although the young woman wasn’t a participant in the Fashion Design Competition, the dress she was wearing caught my eye. When she said she was the designer I asked her to show me her work. She said she didn’t bring her portfolio; she was there as part of the support team. So I took a picture of the dress she was wearing. She has a unique style and I think together we could elevate your brand to the next level.”

  Zhen Sihao takes the folder and raises an eyebrow then nods, “You didn’t disappoint. The designs are bold and vibrant. The Chinese embellishments are eye-catching.” He looks at the photograph of the dress. “Why didn’t you take a picture of her face?”

  Jean Paul has a gleam in his eyes, “She asked me not to, so I followed her wishes.” Not only is she very talented but a rare beauty.

  “The dress is very beautiful but it looks like it would be difficult to put into production. The embroidery is too intricate to reproduce.”

  “This is only an example. Yes, the ancient embroidery technique she used can’t be readily duplicated.”

  “This isn’t what I had in mind but I have confidence in your ability. I will give you the creative freedom you want and as far as assistants go…well you can hire anyone you want.”

  “Then I will have my lawyer check over the contract. If it is as you say, we have a deal.”

   Zhen Sihao and Jean Paul stand up and Zhen Sihao shakes his hand, “The new China division of Zhen and Drake will be ready at the beginning of next week. It will be located on the 31st and 32nd floors of this building. The flagship store will be located in the adjacent building which is also being renovated at this time. Do you want to take a tour?”

  “Another time. I want to meet with the little designer and discuss cooperation.” After he leaves the conference room he calls and is disappointed when she doesn’t answer. He has a complicated expression as he presses the elevator button, I made this decision because of you little girl

  Emmi wakes up and moans because her head is throbbing. The wine last night was sneaky…it tasted light and sweet but really kicked my butt. She shakes her head, I don’t remember anything after eating the noodles. I must have been too drunk to go back to the dormitory. She licks her dry lips, soo thirsty! She reaches over and grabs a water bottle on the nightstand and sees a note from Zhen Sihao. Wang Hao made breakfast Smoothie for me before he went to work? Hmm…that was thoughtful of him. He also reminded me to take my medicine…he is a hard man to figure out. 

   She scratches her head and swallows two pills then finishes the bottle of water. She gets out of bed but her legs feel weak and her knees buckle. She steadies herself and slowly walks to the bathroom. Am I still having a reaction to the poison? My chest hurts too. 

   Emmi takes off the pajama top, when she looks in the mirror she sees red marks on her neck and chest with a few sprinkled down her stomach, is this an allergic reaction? My lips are slightly swollen also. I need to go to my Studio and get medicine before school. She hurriedly takes a shower and gets dressed then goes to the kitchen to grab the breakfast smoothie.

She takes a few gulps then looks at her watch and picks up her backpack from the couch. After she opens the door of Zhen Sihao’s apartment she takes out her phone to call Butler Han. phone is dead!


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