The woman whose existence saved the men’s lives, Song Sara, just dropped a bombshell on Li Shaoting. He knits his eyebrows together as he stares at the beautiful girl sitting across from him, “Pregnant?”
Sara takes a sip of water, “Well, haha I hadn’t planned on blurting out my personal circumstances but yes..I am.”
“Tell me if I am being too presumptuous but are you running away from your husband?”
“…” Sara spits out the water in her mouth thinking about escaping from Li Tian, “Tang Wu, I rather not say anything more. We just met and although I appreciate your help we are strangers.”
The server walks over to the table, “Did you want to order?”
Li Shaoting looks at the menu, “Give us a few minutes.” After the waiter walks away he says, “What would you like to eat? I will let you choose, when my elder sister was pregnant she was very picky.”
Sara looks over the dishes on the menu and chuckles, “At first I couldn’t eat anything without having a reaction but now it seems I can devour anything. Everything on the menu looks so delicious I can’t choose.”
He laughs adding three points to his already handsome appearance, “Then you should try them all! The baby must be a boy! Haha…my sister had a baby girl and she was very fussy about food her entire pregnancy.”
Sara feels very at ease with Li Shaoting, he exudes a cheerful and sunny vibe which is refreshing “Are you close with your sister?”
He swirls the crimson red wine around in the crystal goblet and his expression turns serious. “Yes. She is the only member of my family who supported my decision to go into acting.”
“Well you are so popular and successful now, did they change their minds?”
“Unfortunately that makes their attitude worse. They look down on actors and basically cut ties with me when I entered the industry.” Of course they monitor every move I make and constantly try to undermine my career so I enter the family business. Being a member of the Li family most people think is a blessing but I consider it a curse.
Sara’s stomach makes a grumbling noise and Li Shaoting motions to the waiter. He has a grin on his handsome face, “Sounds like your baby is hungry, we should order.”
Sara blushes, “Seems so.”
The waiter returns and they order several dishes and ease into a very comfortable conversation. Without realizing it Sara confides in him that she is relocating to Bashu City to make a fresh start for herself and her baby. The more they talk Li Shaoting wants to help Sara. “Song Sara, I have a villa that I rarely use. You are welcome to stay there for as long as you want.”
“Tang Wu, I appreciate the offer but I don’t want to trouble you. If the media found out a pregnant woman was staying at your home, there would be problems for you…and me.” I need to keep a low profile so the arrogant tyrant doesn’t find me.
“My villa is in an exclusive community on the outskirts of the city. My neighbor is a friend of mine and owns a company that specializes in security. My villa is equipped with state of the art surveillence and security is very tight.”
“Tang Wu, we just met. Do you always take in stray cats and dogs? Haha..you are so sweet to offer but I have my own plan.”
The food arrives and Sara’s eyes widen, she gulps down her saliva as she picks up the chopsticks. “I need to take a pic of these delicious dishes!” She reaches into her backpack to take a picture then remembers she needs to buy a phone.
He waits to eat. “Are you going to take a photo of the food?”
Sara giggles then lies, “Ah..I forgot my phone battery is dead. Let’s eat.”
Li Shaoting frowns and calls her out on her lie, “You aren’t a very good liar. No phone? That isn’t safe.”
“I will get one after lunch.” Sara puts a piece of chicken into her mouth and savors the flavor. She dips a piece of chicken in sauce and puts it on Li Shaoting’s plate, “Try this. Really delicious.”
He takes out his phone and texts Han Weisheng, [I need a phone, can you have someone bring one to me?]
[You are at Ming’s?]
He tastes the chicken and nods his head, “Good.” He peels a prawn then places it on Sara’s plate. “This is one of their signature dishes, but it is a little spicy.”
“I love spicy.”
They happily eat lunch and when they are almost finished a stylishly dressed young woman enters the room carrying a bag. “CEO Han sent this.”
Li Shaoting sets down his wine glass then turns to take the bag, “Thank you.”
She stands frozen in place staring adoringly at his incredibly handsome face then stutters, “Emp..Emperor Tang…oh my God!”
He smiles broadly exposing his perfectly white teeth, “People always mistake me for him. Sorry to disappoint.”
She flutters her eyelashes and bows remembering the CEO said he was his friend Li Shaoting.“ My apologies. It must be bothersome …I mean you could be his double.”
“Tell CEO Han thank you for me.”
After she leaves he hands the bag to Sara.
She has a puzzled expression, “What is this?”
“I wouldn’t feel at ease knowing that you have no phone. Take it.”
She looks in the bag then shakes her head, “I can’t accept this!”
“Song Sara, think of it as a meeting gift to my new friend. We are friends aren’t we?”
Sara reaches into her backpack for her wallet. I need to pay him, this is too much. She feels around inside the zippered pocket and panics. Sara’s heart is in a knot and her face turns pale. “My wallet! It’s gone.”
Tears form in Sara’s eyes and she sniffles, “I wanted to pay you.. But..my wallet is not here…all my money…my savings…gone.” She lowers her head and starts sobbing uncontrollably. All the pain and frustration from the last few days overwhems her and she can’t control her emotions. Baby ..Mommy is sorry..she is an idiot!
Li Shaoting angrily slams his hand on the table, “DAMMIT! The fucking thief must have taken it out of the backpack before I caught him. I should have checked before I turned him over to security!” Li Shaoting’s face turns red he usually controls his terrible temper, “ Oh.. ahh..sorry… I hope I didn’t scare you.”
She tries to calm down knowing he is upset. Sara wipes her eyes with her hand and shakes her head. “Tang Wu, It’s not your fault. I should have been more careful in the first place.”
“We should call the police.”
“No.What can they do at this point. He probably hid the money or had an accomplice. How could I even prove how much money was in my wallet.”
Li Shaoting has a helpless expression as he gazes at Sara. She is running away from someone. Why would she have all her savings in cash not on a card? He hands her a glass water, “Drinks this. You don’t want the baby to feel your distress.”
Sara sips the water, “You are right.” She has a forced smile, “It will be alright. I will figure something out.” I can explain the situation to Han Bi and borrow some money. Or pawn mother’s jewelry if I get desperate. I can redeem it when I get a job.
“Song Sara under these circumstances I think you should come stay with me.”
“Like I said I can’t take advantage of your kind heart.”
“Well, didn’t you say you are a food blogger? You must know how to cook. You can be my cook while I am here on vacation. I will pay you and in the next few weeks you can look for a job and find your own place. No one will be suspicious of my household staff, right?”
Emmi wrinkles her nose thinking about his suggestion. Then I wouldn’t need to burden Bi with my problems she would worry for sure.
He can see she is considering his proposal, “It is the perfect solution.”
“Okay. But, I insist on paying you back for the phone also.”
“Deal. Did you want dessert before we leave?”
“No..haha..no room..I am so full.” She pats her stomach then gazes at Li Shaoting with sincere gratitude in her beautiful blue eyes, “Thank you Tang Wu.”
“I told you I have no friends in Bashu City so meeting you was my good fortune.”
They leave Ming’s Restaurant and walk towards a waiting car. When they are sitting in the backseat he tells the driver, “Drive to the villa.”