Meet Me In The Garden

  Zhen Sihao is in the backseat of a Rolls Royce Phantom impatient that Fang Hua hasn’t come out yet. He is looking at his phone when Han Weisheng sends him a photo that his brother reposted. [ Your little songbird looks beautiful. Isn’t that Bai Cai’s mansion?]

    He clenches his fists, why is the little girl at that bastard’s mansion again today. He texts Emmi [Where are you?]

    Emmi is on the way to the Harborview Hotel with Bai Meilin and Bai Chenxi. [I am on the way to the Winter Ball. Why are you texting me? Aren’t you with your date?]

    [No. Why don’t you be my date?]

    [ Sorry. I have a date]

    [He can’t be more handsome than me. Ditch him.]

    [You might be more handsome but my date is much more dependable.]

   [Sounds boring.]

   [Dependable doesn’t necessarily mean boring.]

   [I need to talk to you. When you get there, wait for me in the garden by the Lotus Pond.]

   [It’s snowing!]

   [There is a heated Pavilion to the right of the bridge.]

   [I will think about it.]

  [Be there. It is important.]

   Bai Meilin notices Emmi’s smile as she is on her phone. “Who are you texting?”

   “Oh, an annoying man I work for occasionally.”

   Zhen Sihao has decided he will meet Emmi and tell her the truth. Either way she will find out my identity tonight. It would be better if she hears the truth from me.

   Fang Hua walks up to the car and the driver steps out and opens the back door. She slides into the car, “Sihao, why didn’t you answer your phone?”

   “I was in a business meeting.”

   She maintains the smile on her face but she inwardly curses him. She got a call from Yan RanRan that he was at a bar with her brother getting drunk.

   They don’t talk on the way to the hotel but as they arrive Fang Hua turns to him. “Sihao, I will find a way to convince my father to break the marriage contract but tonight could you give me face. There will be reporters and I am in the middle of an important negotiation with LIn Entertainment. I can’t have them see a joke.”

   Zhen Sihao doesn’t answer as the driver opens the door. He extends his hand to help her out of the backseat as reporters surround them and there is a blinding glare from the multiple flashbulbs. She smiles brightly as they bombard them with questions, “No comment.” Several bodyguards appear blocking the reporters from continuing to hound the two as they enter the hotel.

   Once inside she gazes up at the tall handsome man, “Thank you, Sihao.”

    “I will play the part but after we enter I need to do something. I expect you to patiently wait for me to come back and not follow.”

   “I won’t. But we need to spend some time mingling before you disappear. Otherwise it will draw the attention of our families.”

   He knits his swordlike brows then scans the crowd in the luxuriously decorated ballroom looking for Emmi. “Agreed.”

   She takes his hand and smiles as they walk through the room. Zhou Gao approaches them with a big smile, “Hua you look stunning tonight.”

   “Thank you Uncle, have you seen my father?”

   “Yes. He was over by the bar talking to my nephew, Zhou Jason. I want to talk to Sihao for a moment.”

   “Certainly, Sihao, I will wait for you by my father.”

    Zhou Gao drops the charade and growls, “I see you moved your mother and removed ‘some’ of my spies.” He pats his suit coat, “You better realize I have you in my pocket right now. I don’t know why you fight me on this marriage, the woman is perfect.” He looks over at Fang Hua, ” Well.. Little Hua looks happy. I expect you to keep her happy.”

   “Are you finished?”

    Zhou Gao hates his son’s ability to hide his emotions. He wants to see him agitated over the situation. “For now. I will be watching you.”

  Zhen Sihao smiles then sarcastically replies.  “I should join my beautiful…perfect fiancee.”

   Zhou Gao’s corner of his mouth twitches watching Zhen Sihao walk away. Zhou Gen walks over to him, “Did Sihao irritate you again brother?”

   “That stinky brat is the bane of my existence! Fang Hua is a beautiful, smart and wealthy woman, any man would be happy to have her as a wife. Only my son would reject the woman. I am beginning to think the cold bastard is fucking gay.”

  Zhou Gen starts laughing, “It is true I have never seen my nephew with a woman. When he does attend events he usually brings one of his secretaries.”

   “Whatever his sexual preference is I don’t give a fuck. He will marry the heiress to the Fang Group.”

   Zhen Sihao approaches the bar and Fang Chun remarks, “Gao told me the mansion in the Waterfront Development is completed so you two will be able to move in after the wedding.”

   Zhen Sihao raises an eyebrow, “My father is well informed.”

  Fang Hua  affectionately hangs on his arm and tells her father, “The mansion’s design perfectly suits my taste.” She looks up at the incredibly handsome man wishing what she is about to say is true. She smiles, “Sihao knows how much I love plum blossoms and he surprised me by having the driveway lined with them. He didn’t spare any expense to create a beautiful garden in the back of the house complete with a heated Pavillion.”

  Fang Chun nods his head in satisfaction, “It is good you treasure my little girl. Although her mother and I have always spoiled Hua she has a good head on her shoulders. It is through her efforts we are in negotiations to purchase Lin Entertainment.”

  Zhen Sihao motions to the bartender, “I will have a whisky on the rocks.”

  A flash of irritation crosses Fang Hua’s face but she quickly adjusts her expression. Zhen Sihao’s indifferent attitude is hard for a proud woman like Fang Hua to swallow. Before she loses her temper she sweetly tells her father, “Daddy, I see Yan Ran, excuse us, I need to thank her for my gown.”

  “Okay, if you should see your mother tell her I am at the bar. She went to say hello to Chen Xue”

  “I will.”

  When they walk away Fang Hua attempts to take the glass of whisky from Zhen Sihao and he sneers, “What do you think you are doing? Don’t get too deep into this play..you aren’t my wife and never will be.”

   “Sihao, I could smell the alcohol on you when you picked me up. I am only concerned you might…” She sees his face darkening and quickly gives up nagging him, “Nevermind.”

  He hears a loud commotion by the door and instinctively turns to see what is going on. Several invited reporters have entered the venue and are surrounding three people. 

   “Mr. Chen is your niece coming?”

   “When will she arrive?”

  Chen Chloe and her mother are stupified. They thought the reporters came over to interview Chloe.  Although Chen Chloe’s blood is boiling she maintains a bright smile, “Cousin always arrives late, she will appear when she wants. I can answer  answer any questions you might have.”

  They look disappointed but don’t want to appear rude since they were the only reporters invited to cover the highly anticipated Winter Ball.

   A reporter in the front who is a veteran of these events takes the news in stride. All the elite families in Bashu City and several celebrities will attend tonight so there will be interesting gossip. 

 He hides his disdain for Chen Chloe, it is obvious by her comment she is throwing shade on her cousin hinting the girl is arrogant and flighty. “Are you excited to appear on the Clebrity Assistant Variety Show alongside your cousin?”

  “Very excited. My cousin has no acting experience and I want to guide her as much as I can.” She has a concerned expression,  “I know from discussing the show with Cousin Emmi that she feels apprehensive because she didn’t go through the audition process. Combined with her lack of training she sought my advice since all the other participants are well known in the industry.”

  Another reporter fuels the fire, “I have seen Chen Emmi’s livestreams she is a natural beauty and seems to be very comfortable in front of the camera.”

     Chen Chloe conceals her jealousy and replies, “That will work in her favor but…” before she can continue all the reporters rush to the entrance as Emmi arrives alongside Bai Meilin and her brother Chenxi.

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