Cousin Chloe

   Emmi shivers as she hurries into the dormitory then stomps her feet to loosen the snow from her boots. Brrr..sooo cold. Noticing  Bai Meilin coming down the stairs and she smiles, “Hi, are you on your way to class?”

    “Yeah.” Bai Meilin brushes some snowflakes off Emmi’s coat, “Chen Emmi, I was going to call you. Do you want to come to dinner at my house tomorrow night? I know you admire Henri Armand and he will be there.” 

   Emmi’s eyes light up at the prospect of meeting her idol, “Wow…Henri Armand!”  She knits her eyebrows together then reluctantly declines, “I really appreciate you inviting me but I can’t come. I have been too busy and haven’t finished the dress I promised to make for my Cousin Chloe.”

   “Your..your Cousin? Chen Chloe…she is so mean to you… why would you..” Bai Meilin waves her hand, “Sorry..sorry..I shouldn’t say anything.”

     Emmi laughs,“It is alright. We have a complicated relationship. The Winter Ball is Saturday and I promised I would have the dress ready.”

    “Maybe I could help you. I have a sewing room at my house.” Brother said you must come or I can’t be friends with you. He wants to meet you so he is dangling Mr. Armand like a carrot.

   “I can’t impose on you.”

   “We are friends right? Friends help each other. I don’t mind. There are no classes tomorrow so we could have the dress finished before the dinner party.” Chen Emmi really is a good person, she didn’t jump at the chance to meet her idol and disregard her responsibility. 

   “Are you sure?”

   Bai Meilin nods, “Positive. I think it would be fun to work on the dress together.” I have never had a close friend. I would love to spend time with you!

  “Well…okay…”

  Bai Meilin excitedly grabs her hand, “I can have my driver pick you up.”

  “I will get a ride thanks. I need to go to my Art Studio to pick up the dress and my supplies.”

  “My driver, Reggie, can pick you up there.”

  Emmi gazes at Bai Meilin’s enthusiastic expression and chuckles, “Okay. I will text you the directions. It is located in the back of my Uncle’s property and your driver can access it on a side road by the new development.”

  Bai Meilin’s eyes are sparkling thinking about spending the day tomorrow with her new friend. “It will be fun! I need to get to class, see you tomorrow!”

  Emmi watches as the cute little girl happily skips away. She is really adorable…so bubbly!

  She walks upstairs to her dorm room when she enters she immediately puts her phone on the charger then flops onto the bed. Emmi stares at the ceiling, I wonder if Fang Chao was able to help Brother Ling? She rubs her temples, I should stop drinking haha..hangovers are so annoying. Closing her eyes she drifts off to sleep and is awakened by her roommate YaoYao. “Emmi..Chen Emmi wake up! 

   Emmi rolls over and pulls on the quilt. She mumbles, “ Ahh…so noisy.. let me sleep.” 

  YaoYao shakes her shoulder, “Don’t you have a test in Calculus today?”

  Emmi instantly sits up and wipes the drool from the corner of her mouth. “Wha..what time is it?”

 “Lazy girl! Twelve thirty.”

  “Err..I can’t believe I fell asleep!” Emmi springs out of bed, “I need to hurry!”

  YaoYao watches her stumble towards the bathroom and giggles, “Emmi did you drink last night?”

  “Ahh..yeah..a little bit.” Emmi rushes into the bathroom and washes her face. She looks in the mirror and pats her cheek,  “Chen Emmi!” After she brushes her hair she pulls it into a ponytail then takes a bottle out of the medicine cabinet. Emmi takes two pills, oh my head is throbbing!

  YaoYao picks up a folder on her desk, “Emmi, maybe you could take a make up test.” 

  “You know the professor is unrelenting! He deducts an automatic 25% when you don’t come to class the day of the test.” She chuckles,  “I would never pass!”

   YaoYao puts the folder into her backpack and walks towards the door. “Well, good luck. I am meeting Lu Ying Yue for dinner. Do you want to come?”

   “I will let you know.” 

   After YaoYao leaves Emmi unplugs her phone from the charger and sees several missed calls from Fang Chao.  She immediately dials his number as she grabs her coat to leave for class, maybe he has news about Brother Ling. 

   Fang Chao is sitting at a conference table with several software engineers when his phone rings. He sees the caller is Emmi and turns to his assistant, “You can finish the meeting.” He stands up and leaves the room as he answers. Emmi excitedly asks, “Fang Chao, were you able to help Liu Ling?”

  “I erased all the  manufactured evidence that pointed to him. I made it appear as though the data  was affected by a virus in the Peng Pharmaceutical network. I corrupted some other parts of the system so it wouldn’t send up a red flag. I wanted to check with you before I exposed Peng Pharmaceuticals illegal activities to the authorities. I thought I should warn you that some of the investors are linked to the Underworld. They won’t sit still if it appears there will be an investigation…those gangsters will eliminate any threat. I know your main concern is your friend so I think for now without any evidence Old Man Peng can’t blackmail him any longer. He can break off the engagement and then in a couple months I could send the information I compiled to the police. That way it won’t appear that he is the one behind it. What do you think?”

  “You are amazing! I didn’t think of the possible consequences…that sounds like a very good plan. It won’t implicate Liu Ling and he will be free to break off the engagement. How are you going to make Brother Ling aware the evidence has been destroyed?”

  Fang Chao pushes the button for the elevator, “He is a smart man, he will investigate the situation. When the virus was initiated an email was generated to all relevant personnel which would include him.”

  “I really owe you Fang Chao! When you are free I will treat you to a meal!”

   He steps into the elevator, “How is it going with Jiang Weiming? Have you found a Medicinal Farm to purchase?”

  “Well, our first choice fell through but we are going to see another one tomorrow.”

  “Let me know when you are ready to set up your website.”

   Emmi decides to take a shortcut and hurries across the snow covered lawn towards the Math building. “I will. Thanks for everything.” After she hangs up the phone she looks at her watch and frowns then quickens her pace. When she arrives at the building she bends over and is panting trying to catch her breath. Suddenly someone grabs her arm, Emmi looks up to see her Cousin Chloe glaring at her and hears her spit out, “Bitch! When my father finds out you are dead!” When her agent told her that Emmi was invited to join the Variety Show by none other than the famous Bai Chenxi she was infuriated. No way will I let you enter the Circle and outshine me!

   Emmi grabs her hand from her sleeve, “Let go. I need to get to class!”

  “You aren’t going anywhere now that I found you! I have been looking for you! Last night you weren’t at the dorm or at the house… are you sleeping with a Gold Master? Is that how you got on the list of the Variety Show participants?”

  A crowd is starting to gather and Emmi snaps, “Chen Chloe! How dare you slander me!”

  Chen Chloe lifts her hand to slap Emmi and in midair a strong hand stops her, “Miss Chen, do I need to send you to the disciplinary office?”

  Startled Chen Chloe’s eyes widen and fill with tears when she sees Liu Ling. “Professor..my cousin is going down a wrong path. It is my job as her elder cousin to discipline her for ruining her and my family’s reputation.”

   Emmi wrinkles her eyebrows listening to Chen Chloe spouting nonsense. She glances at Liu Ling and notices he is giving her cousin a reproachful look. He scoffs, “Miss Chen, I heard your conversation as I approached so don’t attempt to turn black to white. Apologize to Chen Emmi.”

  Chen Chloe’s face reddens, she puffs out her cheeks and refuses, “What I said was true. I won’t apologize.”

  Emmi rolls her eyes, Cousin Chloe apologize to me? Haha..that will never happen. “Professor Liu thank you but it isn’t necessary. I don’t want to be late to my class.” 

   He has a gentle tone,“Then go.”

Chen Chloe starts to leave and he narrows his eyes behind his gold rimmed glasses. He glares at Chen Chloe, “Not you.”

  After Emmi leaves he admonishes Chen Chloe, “Miss Chen, in the future you should watch your words. It is against the law to slander a person and if Chen Emmi wanted to sue you she could. Also, if I find out you bully your cousin or anyone else for that matter I will have the disciplinary committee take action. Do you understand? You can be expelled for that type of despicable behavior.”

  The crowd that has gathered is shocked, Professor Liu never raises his voice and from the sound of his voice he seems very angry. They stare at Chen Chloe who has a reputation for being gentle and start whispering among themselves. Chen Chloe’s fingernails dig into her palms, she realizes she was hasty when she hears people muttering. She inwardly fumes, Damn slut! Making me look bad in front of all these people! I need to think of something…She straightens her back and proudly looks up at Liu Ling. She sweetly smiles and her voice is soft, “Professor Liu, I have never bullied anyone. Yes, I was abrupt with my cousin because I am upset about her willful and worrisome behavior. She has not been sleeping at the dorm or at our house so naturally I was concerned. I saw her with an older man entering a luxurious apartment complex if you must know.’ She flutters her eyelashes and her eyes water making her look as though she was wronged. She twists her coat, “ I didn’t want to disclose that information but…”

  Liu Ling knows if she continues Emmi’s reputation will be ruined. “Enough!” 

  Chen Chloe has a faint smile, “Professor Liu, I am only stating the facts.”

  He can tell if they continue to discuss the matter rumors will spread about Emmi he growls, “Go to class.”

  Chen Chloe leaves followed by Liang FeiFei, “I have never seen Professor Liu angry. Do you think it is true about him and Chen Emmi?”

  Chen Chloe’s eyes light up with a malicious gleam, “What? My cousin hooked up with Professor Liu?” Why don’t I know about this? He was defending her right now and looked upset when I mentioned she was with an older man. Haha.. Chen Emmi… I will destroy you!



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