Unblock Me

When Zhen Sihao meets Lu Si at the Cafe he sees Emmi sitting with Lu Si’s son at a round table by a large window. He  recognizes Han Weishengs’s nephew but not the woman and little girl. “Si, I think you have reached stalker status.”

  “Fuck off. I never have a chance to see my son.”

  “Why don’t you swallow your pride and talk to Ying Yue. Even if she doesn’t want to forgive you, a boy needs a father.”

   “You know if I recognize him the kid’s life will be in danger. My mother made sure of that. Why do you think Ying Yue left me? She is afraid of my family. The only people that know JunJie is my son are you, Weisheng, Sun Zhi and my mother.”

   “Your Grandfather doesn’t know?”

   “ That old man hates Ying Yue’s family down to his very bones. Eventually, I will take them all down and be able to acknowledge JunJie.”

  “Well, let’s find a table where you have a good view.” I can’t imagine how miserable he must feel. He can ruthlessly handle business matters but can’t have his wife and son.

   As they are walking through the restaurant Jiang Longwei is coming into the restaurant to meet his wife and daughter for lunch. He greets them, “CEO Zhen, I’m glad I ran into you. I want to thank you for investing in my new Variety Show. We are only lacking two contestants and we can begin filming.”

   “Very good. Look forward to it.”

    “Would you like to join us for lunch. Hua decided to come on this trip and we brought Ning’er.”

   Lu Si recognizes the name of the little girl from the playroom, he nudges Zhen Sihao.

   Zhen Sihao looks across the room debating if this is a good idea. He notices Lu Si affectionately looking at his son,“Sounds good. This is my friend Lu Si.”

   They walk over to the table, Jiang Longwei gently touches his wife’s shoulder, “Honey, look who I met  on the way into the Cafe.” She smiles at Zhen Sihao and Jiang Longwei introduces Lu Si, “ This is his friend LU Si.” He motions to a waiter to bring two more chairs.

  Emmi  dropped one of her earrings on the floor and has her head under the table. She isn’t paying attention to the introductions, when she lifts her head her mouth drops open at the sight of Zhen Sihao. Why does Wang Hao turn up everywhere!  Well, I am going to act like I don’t know him. She quickly composes herself and looks at the menu. “JunJie what do you like to eat?”

  He is coloring a picture the server gave him. He looks up, “Do they have Fried Chicken? French fries? Cheeseburgers?”

  Emmi sees his excited expression but thinks he probably shouldn’t eat greasy food. “Umm..I don’t think they have those here.”

  “Sister, look, I see a boy at the next table with fried chicken and lots of french fries with ketchup!”

  Jiang Ning looks at her mother, “I want fried chicken!”

  Emmi blushes and looks helplessly at Jiang Hua for some back up. 

  Jiang Hua chuckles, “Chen Emmi, once and awhile is okay to indulge a child, I don’t think his mother would mind. The Children’s plate is small.”

  Lu JunJie gives her a big thumbs up, “Yeah, mom says once and awhile I can have fried chicken.I will only eat ten french fries.”

   “…” Emmi wrinkles her forehead, the little fat man has support, not much I can do. 

  Zhen Sihao has a slight smile while looking at his menu. The little girl acts so tough but Si’s kid seems to have her wrapped around his chubby little finger. Haha.

  Lu Si watches JunJie’s concentration while coloring. For a three year old he is pretty good. Staying in the lines and using different shading techniques. He looks over at Jiang Ning’s messy drawing and his eyes are full of pride thinking how much more talented Jun Jie is.

  One of JunJie’s crayons rolls across the table and Lu Si picks it up then hands it back to him. JunJie has a cute grin exposing his dimples as he clutches the green crayon, “Thanks Uncle! Do you want to see my drawing so far?”

  “Sure.”

  JunJie holds up this drawing and points to a stick figure wearing a dress in the corner, “I added my Mommy.”

  Lu Si smiles, “Looks good.”

  “Well then I will give it to you when I finish!”

  Emmi glances at the warm expression on Lu Si’s face as he stares at JunJie. He doesn’t have the frightening aura he had surrounding him standing by the elevator. She blinks  looking back and forth between the two. Wait..his surname is Lu.. they look eight tenths alike especially the eyes. But obviously JunJie doesn’t know him. She shakes her head, Lu Ying Yue said her husband died.

  Director Jiang starts to ask Zhen Sihao about business and he quickly cuts him off, “We can talk later.”

  Jiang Hua can’t help but notice Zhen Sihao has been gazing at Chen Emmi. She is a very beautiful girl. Maybe CEO Zhen can convince her to join the crew of the Variety Show. Her thoughts are interrupted by JunJie’s clapping when the plate of crispy fried chicken is placed in front of him. Everyone laughs as he rubs his hands together in anticipation.Emmi takes the napkin and tucks it in JunJie’s shirt, “Eat slowly.”

   After a very harmonious lunch, Director Jiang insists on treating everyone. Emmi stands up, “Thank you so much Director Jiang, it was my pleasure to meet you and your beautiful family.” She politely nods towards Zhen Sihao. Han Shi left after the appetizer because he got a call from his Uncle. Lu Si was worried Ying Yue would show up so after receiving the drawing from JunJie he left.

    Director Jiang is being pinched under the table by his wife, “Chen Emmi, think about what I said. Being on this Variety Show would be a great opportunity for you.”

   She picks up Jun Jie who is half asleep in his chair, “I will.”

   As she walks to the door carrying JunJie she sighs, Little fat man you are so heavy now that you are asleep! Suddenly Zhen Sihao is by her side, “Let me carry the boy, he looks heavy.”

   Emmi is tired from not sleeping well and babysitting JunJie. “Fine. But don’t think this means I have forgiven you.”

   Zhen Sihao has a faint smile on his handsome face, “Well you are the first person to dare block me so I overreacted.”

  “Pfft.”

   When they enter the elevator he says, “What floor?”

  “15”

    When they reach her floor she holds her arms out, “I will take him now.”

  “Now that I have carried him this far I might as well take him to your room.”

  “I hope you don’t expect a massage in return, I’m tired.”

  He bursts out laughing, “No charge.”

 Once they are in the hotel room Emmi pulls down the covers so Zhen Sihao can lay him on the bed. After she covers JunJie with the quilt she brushes his soft black hair off his forehead.  Wang Hao gazes at her gentle expression. She has a sweet smile staring at the little boy, JunJie’s long black eyelashes are fluttering and he is smacking his lips in his sleep. She points to his face, “Wang Hao look, I bet the little fat man is dreaming of a chicken leg.” He smiles, I have seen that look on your drooling little face before but I’m sure you were dreaming about money.

  Emmi picks up a water bottle then lays on the couch. “You can go now. I need a nap too.”

   Zhen Sihao watches her kick off her shoes then rub her calf, “First,unblock me.”

  “Wang Hao, we are like oil and water. We aren’t destined to be friends.” She takes a sip of water, “The hotel has an awesome spa. Get a masseuse from there, I’m sure with your charm one of the women or even one of the men will make a house call.”

  He resists the urge to take her over his knee and spank her for being insolent. “I need you as an employee, not a friend. I am satisfied with your massage technique and we had an arrangement. Now that you have so many opportunities to make money you are casting aside one of your original employers? Don’t you have any business ethics?”

  Emmi sits up and puffs out her cheeks in anger, “You are twisting the situation around!”

  “Am I? We have a verbal agreement for two massages a day. I am not your driver. You called me for a ride when it was inconvenient. If you hadn’t rudely hung up on me, I was about to tell you I would send the driver the company gave me to pick you up.I even tried to call you back to send the driver  knowing you must have called me because I was your last resort. What did I get..I was blocked.”

  Emmi is speechless, what he is saying is true. He had no reason to drop what he was doing because I called. 

  “Nothing to say?”

  Emmi sits up, “Well..”

  “Yes?”

  “Fine. I will unblock you. Two massages a day for two months as agreed.”

  He lies, “I am staying at my friend’s suite at the hotel while they fix a pipe in my apartment.” The suite is his to use whenever he wants. “I will expect you tonight for my scheduled massage after your shift at Ming’s.” 

   After he leaves Emmi throws a couch pillow at the door. Errrr…No wonder he is so good at manipulating his women clients! He has the ability to turn black to white!

Pool

   While JunJie plays happily with the other children in the playroom Emmi sits with a very pretty young pregnant woman.They are talking while watching the children play. The woman has been staring at Emmi thinking she looks familiar. “Are you in the Entertainment Industry? You look familiar.”

  “No haha..I am a University student.”

  “I feel as though I have seen you before.”

  “I livestream a sewing show, but I am not that popular.”

  “That’s it! My sister loves your designs! She is your follower. I have watched with her a couple times. I especially like your embroidery.”

  “Really? That’s cool.”

  “My husband and I are here on business.” She reaches into her purse, “Here is my business  card. He is directing a new Variety Show and I think you would be perfect to join.”

   Emmi takes the card but refuses, “I am not a professional, I don’t think I am qualified.”

  “It is only for three weekends and the pay is really high. The show is sponsored by Zhen Media and the company is very generous.”

  The woman’s three year old daughter comes running up to them. Her round cheeks are flushed red and she has a thin layer of sweat on her forehead. She dramatically holds her head, “Mommy..ahh.. I am so thirsty.”

   The pretty woman wipes her small face with a tissue.“Oh Sweetie, I didn’t think to bring water. Let’s go, we can go to the cafe for a drink.”

  “NO! I am playing with a Handsome Brother I don’t want to leave!” The little girl frantically shakes her head making her curly hair fly around. “I haven’t had this mich fun in forrrevver!”

   Emmi reaches into her bag next to the bench, “Have a water. I brought extra.”

  The pretty woman looks at her gratefully, “Are you sure?”

 “I brought a few. Here is one for you too.”

  JunJie hurries over following the little girl, he lays his head on Emmi’s lap, “Sister Emmi, I am dying of thirst too! DYINGGGGG!”

  Emmi laughs at his exaggerated behavior imitating the little girl’s enthusiasm. She takes a small white towel out of her bag then wipes his face. “Have some water and take a rest.” She sees him secretly glancing over at the little girl. “Do you still have the energy to go swimming?”

  The little girl takes JunJie’s hand, “I want to go swimming!”

   Emmi chokes on the water she is drinking, this little girl is a hilarious drama queen..haha The little girl’s mother laughs, “Ning! Let go of his hand!”

   She drops his hand and puffs out her cheeks,“Mommy! I want to go swimming!”

   “We are meeting Daddy, we don’t have time.” I am also eight months pregnant and am not going in a pool!

  “Tell Daddy to come swimming with us!”

    She ties the loosened blue ribbon on the little girl’s hair, “How about we invite your new friend to lunch. What do you think?”

  She puts her hands on her hips and turns to JunJie, “Forget about swimming, come to lunch with us.”

  JunJie looks to Emmi for guidance.Jiang Ning is the first new friend he has met and he doesn’t want to disappoint her, but he really wants to go swimming.

  Emmi sees he is conflicted, “Well, I invited a classmate to meet us at 2:30 in the cafe. If it is convenient we could all eat together.”

  Ning’s mother looks at her daughter who is moments away from throwing a tantrum. “Sounds good to me. Let me add you as a friend on WeChat.”

   The little girl is satisfied. When she sees the disappointed look on JunJie’s face she decides to comfort him.Patting him on the back she says,“Handsome Brother, don’t be upset, we can go swimming next time.”

   JunJie has a pitiful expression, I really wanted Sister Emmi to teach me how to swim today!

   Emmi plans on still taking him to the pool but doesn’t want the little girl to throw a fit. “

  Jiang Hua takes her daughter’s hand, “See you at the cafe at 2:30.” The little girl waves goodbye as they leave.

  After they are gone, JunJie sits on the bench next to Emmi, he looks at the clock on the wall. His quivering voice shows his unhappiness but he knows he needs to behave.“What are we going to do until lunch?” He wants to cry but reminds himself he isn’t a baby anymore he needs to be strong.

  Emmi picks him up and swings him around, “Go to the pool of course!!”

  JunJie’s eyes light up and he hugs her, “Sister, you are the best! I really didn’t think..YEAH!”

   Lu Si is watching the scene on the monitor and smiles. He calls Zhen Sihao, “Do you want to go to the hotel pool?”

  Zhen Sihao is still in his hotel suite finishing reading the latest report about tomorrow’s meeting with Daphne Drake. “Hell no!”

 “Hmm..I thought you might want to go to the pool since the little chick from last night will be there.”

  Zhen Sihao throws down the report, “Chen Emmi?”

  “En.She is babysitting my son.”

  “Chen Emmi knows Ying Yue?”

  “Yes.”

    The corner of his lips twitch, she left before he woke up and blocked him again on WeChat.“I will be there in fifteen minutes.”

  Lu Si has a faint smile, “ Very good.”I can use him as a shield and spend some time with my son without looking suspicious. Chen Emmi looked at me with a guarded expression in the elevator like I was a goddamn human trafficker.

  JunJie’s mouth drops open looking at the sparkling blue water in the pool, “Beautiful Sister! So pretty!”

  Emmi blows up the bright orange floaties and puts them on his short chubby arms,”This is an awesome pool! Have you ever been swimming before?”

  “No. Mommy doesn’t like the water.”

  “She doesn’t know how to swim?”

   “No.”

  “Well I will teach your Mommy too, then we can all go to the ocean together!”

  He widens his eyes, “The ocean? I have never seen the ocean!”

   “It is really beautiful!”

   She holds his hand and walks to the edge of the pool.“Stand here. When I am in the water I will hold you into my arms.”

  “Okay.”

  Emmi gets into the water and stands in the shallow area. She puts her arms out, “It is a bit cold but not too bad. Jump!”

   He is a little afraid, “Jump?”

   “I will catch you.”

   “You are sure you can catch me?”

   “Trust me. Sister will catch you.”

     Emmi smiles looking at the apprehensive expression on his face. “Hold your breath so water doesn’t get into your nose.”JunJie closes his eyes and takes a deep breath then fearlessly jumps.

   She catches him as his body enters the pool and water splashes onto his face. She wipes his face with her hand, “Okay?”

   He sputters  and coughs, some water dribbles out of his mouth, “Okay.”

  “Cold?”

  “Not cold.”

  He hugs her around her neck and she laughs, “I won’t drop you,don’t strangle me.”

  Lu Si and Zhen Sihao walk into the pool area and witness this scene. Worried, Lu Si wants to rush into the pool and grab JunJie. Zhen Sihao holds his arm. “He is fine.” He smiles watching Emmi wipe the boy’s wet hair off his face. “Go over there so she doesn’t notice us.”

  Emmi holds JunJie so his body is laying on top of the water. Her hand is firmly placed on his back and she is slowly walking in the pool to relax him.”Don’t be nervous I won’t let you go.”

Listening to her soothing voice JunJie feels comfortable. After she is confident he is getting used to being in the water she says,“Okay now we are going to try what is called the doggy paddle.” He laughs, “Doggy paddle.. that is funny!”

“Yes you will look like a cute little fat poodle!”

He protests and sucks in his belly, “Now..Fatty Mo is fat… but I’m not fat!”

“I’m teasing you! You are not fat at all. You are very handsome! The handsomest.”

“My mom said I am very handsome. She said more handsome than my Dad and he is the most handsome man she ever saw!”

Lu Si grins listening to JunJie. I know Ying Yue still loves me.

Emmi picks him up and holds him under his arms. “Kick your feet and move your arms, with the floaties you won’t sink.”

   He listens intently to her instructions and after a few minutes gets the hang of it. Emmi is impressed, “Jun Jie you are a natural!”

   Lu Si proudly watches JunJie, he turns to Zhen Sihao, “My son is just like me, I learned to swim in one day!”  He takes his phone and snaps a few pictures.

  Zhen Sihao laughs, “True but as I recall you were fourteen at the time.” He is enjoying watching Emmi and Lu Jun Jie. He decides he won’t ruin their fun and approach them. If she sees me she will get angry.

  Emmi and Jun Jie practice for awhile when Jun Jie looks tired Emmi says, “We need to go shower and meet Jiang Ning at the cafe.”

  “I don’t want to leave yet.”

  “JunJie, remember your mom said to listen to me. Your muscles will be too tired if we continue. If your mom says it is okay I will give you a swimming lesson once a week okay?”

  “You will! Not just today?”

  “Of course. If I say I will, I will! It is good to know how to swim so you will be safe around water. I live by a lake and I can teach you to fish too! Then your mom can barbeque the fish and we can sit on the porch watching the fireflies at night!”

  “That sounds awesome! I will catch lots of fish for Mommy to cook. Mommy loves fireflies! She told me my Daddy was super awesome! He knew a secret place with lots of fireflies. She said she was very happy sitting on a grassy hill watching the fireflies with him.”

  Lu Si’s heart tightens listening to his son, we were very happy together before…

  After Emmi and JunJie leave the pool, so do Lu Si and Zhen Sihao. “Sihao, do you want lunch?”

  Zhen Sihao feels sorry for his friend, he and Ying Yue were considered the perfect couple. He was a business genius and she was a music prodigy. It is too bad they couldn’t overcome the problems they encountered after they married. He remembers their beautiful wedding as he glances at Lu Si’s pale complexion.“I could eat. I will change, want to meet at Ming’s?”

 “No. The Cafe on the first floor.”

  “The Cafe? Their food sucks.”

 “The Cafe.”

  “Fine.”

Little Songbird

   Emmi nervously enters the kitchen of Ming’s Restaurant looking around for Mrs. Huang. She said she would introduce her to the server who will be training her tonight. Several servers are glaring at Emmi and she feels very uncomfortable as she walks around the kitchen. She gathers up her courage and asks a tall man who is looking at the calendar hanging on the wall, “Excuse me, my name is Chen Emmi.I am a new server. Do you know where I can find Mrs. Huang?”

  He scratches out his name on the calendar. Emmi watches him,Oh this must be how people exchange shifts. 

  The man turns around as he answers,”She is her office.”

“Thank you. Could you point me in that direction?”

  “ Go past the oven on the right down that hallway.” He puts on his apron while he watches her walk away, she is beautiful but why would the owner request a newbie to serve the CEO and his guests? If you ask me, that is a disaster waiting to happen.

  A young pretty woman approaches him, “Deng Lee, is that girl the new server?”

  “Yes.”

  “Did you hear Mrs. Huang say she would be the server assigned to the Golden Dragon Room?”

  “Did.”

  “Aren’t you upset? Doesn’t the Boss usually assign you to serve the CEO?”

  “Why should I be upset? I would rather work in the Main Dining Room where I can make connections. It is a waste of my good looks serving a bunch of men.” Yeah the CEO tips alot but the money can’t compare to meeting a rich woman to raise me.

  “Well even if you don’t care the rest of us do! I have worked here since they opened and never had a chance to meet the CEO!”

  “I suggest you keep your dissatisfaction to yourself. The CEO has never personally requested a server so she must be special.”

   Emmi knocks on the office door, “Mrs. Huang, it is Chen Emmi.”

   “Come in.”

   Emmi walks into the room and Mrs. Huang tells her to sit down. “Chen Emmi, do you know the CEO of Han Group Hotels, Han Weisheng?”

  Emmi shakes her head, “No. I have never met him.”

  “So do you have any idea why he would request you to be the server for his guests in his private room tonight?”

  When she hears Han Weisheng wants her to serve his guests her face pales, “Mrs. Huang, it is my first night! I can’t handle a group of distinguished guests! I mean all the guests at Ming’s are distinguished but I thought I would be following an experienced server tonight for training.”

  Mrs. Huang watches Emmi’s face for any trace of deception. She doesn’t like scheming women who work at the restaurant to seduce rich customers. The girl appears innocent. She is nervously twisting her hands in her lap and looks like a scared rabbit. Ming’s cousin recommended her and vouched for her upright personality. “Well it is his personal request so you will be the server in the Golden Dragon Room.”

  “I don’t want to show any disrespect to you but I am afraid..very afraid! I don’t want to make mistakes on my first night!”

  Mrs. Huang can’t help but smile, the girl is really cute no wonder Ming’s cousin Peng likes Chen Emmi. Well, I have to honor the CEO’s request so I should calm the girl down. “Chen Emmi relax. I understand you are being thrown into a tough situation on your first night. The CEO is not an unreasonable man, I told him tonight is your first night at work. He won’t make things difficult for you. I asked the server who usually takes care of him and he assured me the CEO is not demanding. As long as you know the menu and get their orders right there won’t be a problem. You studied the menu right?”

  “Yes. I am confident I know all the dishes and their ingredients.”

  “Then don’t worry. Be polite and attentive, serve the food properly and there won’t be any problems. If you want an incentive Huang Peng said you need money for your school projects, the CEO is extremely generous.” Mrs. Huang pushes out her chair from behind the desk and stands up. “Let’s go to the kitchen, I will introduce you to the other servers and the chefs.”

  Emmi stands up and her knees feel weak. Why in the name of heaven would the CEO of Han Hotels request me? This is a nightmare..a nightmare..

  Han Weisheng enters the restaurant while talking to Sun Zhi.”Tonight should be interesting. Sihao’s little songbird will be the server.”

  “What? She works here? Last night she was with Young Master Jiang in the private room next door. I assumed she was from a wealthy family.”

  “I don’t know what Chen Emmi’s background is. All I know is Sihao seems to be interested in the little girl, he told me to request her as our server.”

  “Is your brother Chao coming?”

  “Should be. He is in town for a concert tomorrow night.”

  “His acting career is really taking off. I saw he won the Newcomer Award for the period drama he starred in directed by Yun Xie.”

  “I wasn’t expecting the drama to be as good as it was since it was her directorial debut.”

  “Who would have thought when we were in High School she would become a world famous director. I remember her following you around like a little tail.”

  Han Weisheng has an amused expression.“Haha… She was cute, it was hard to get angry at Yun Xie.When I would get irritated having her as a small shadow and told her to stop following me, she would look up at me with those doelike brown eyes of hers and shyly say, “Brother Han, I just like you.” He shakes his head, “How did that timid mouse turn into a fierce tigress? Chao told me that she kicked an investor in his balls when he said something suggestive. He tried to pull his investment from the movie afterwards and she threatened to expose him if he did. She would sue him for sexual harassment.”

  They walk into the private room, Han Weisheng is surprised. “Fourth! Long time no see.”

  “I had some time.”

  “ Congratulations. You succeeded with the hostile takeover of Phoenix Airlines. I didn’t think their own Board of Directors would facillitate you”

   Young Master Lu sips his glass of whisky, sarcastically commenting, “ Weisheng I am deeply hurt..you doubted my ability?”

   “Well..haha..you have to admit it was a bold move on your part considering the c. The probability ofownclout of the Hu family. Being able to accomplish swaying the Board was doubtful.”

   “Those old fossils won’t hold any power at all when I am finished.”

    Han Weisheng takes out a cigarette,“Fourth,remind me not to offend you.”

   “I thought you said Sihao is coming.”

    Emmi enters the room and timidly looks around, Han Weisheng smiles when he sees her trepidation. “I’m sure he will show up.” 

   Emmi’s legs are shaking and her voice cracks, “Ca..can I get you gentlemen something to drink?”

   She doesn’t know which man is Han Weisheng; they all have powerful auras. She nervously looks between the three men while blinking her eyes. I hope the man in charge speaks up.

  Han Weisheng walks over to Emmi, “Do you remember me?”

  Emmi looks up at him and gulps, he is the man outside Wang Hao’s apartment building this morning. Should I admit I remember or act ignorant? Jeez I am so nervous I am sweating. Emmi has an awkward smile, “Well yes, This morning.”

  “You don’t need to be nervous I am a friend of Wang Hao’s, Han Weisheng. Bring a bottle of Lafitte 1987.”

   “Yes Sir.”

   Their conversation peaks Lu Si’s curiosity and he looks over towards them. He clenches his fists at his side and the veins bulge on his forehead. Dammit! Isn’t that the girl who was advertising Ying Yue’s dessert shop. What is the little bitch doing here! I would like to strangle her! I was so close to destroying Ying Yue. It would have been a matter of time before she came begging me. 

   After she leaves to get the wine he stands up and faces Han Weisheng. “You know that girl?”

   Han Weisheng notices the murderous gleam in Lu Si’s eyes, “Do you?”

   Lu Si doesn’t want to say anything about Ying Yue. “She looks inexperienced. You know I hate bad service.”

 “Well, Zhen Sihao requested the girl as the server so even if her performance is subpar, bear with it.”

   Lu Si narrows his eyes as he looks toward the door, I will settle things with you later. I’m sure if I give you a wad of cash you will forget you know Ying Yue!

  Emmi has no idea she has incurred the wrath of the vindictive psychopath sitting on the leather couch. She asks a server in the kitchen where she can find the wine. The servers have been warned, they need to assist the new girl otherwise it is their job. Mrs. Huang has been in the restaurant business long enough to know servers can sabotage another server they feel is favored. The woman she asked politely walks over and shows her the wine selection. She even takes out the two bottles and shows Emmi how to serve the wine. Emmi looks at the woman with appreciation, “Thank you so much for your help.”

   In the private room Han Chao has arrived and is on the balcony smoking a cigarette talking to Sun Zhi about possibly switching companies. “My contract is up next month, a representative from  Entertainment approached me but my agent is hesitant.”

  “ I know Nikolai Naralov’s new Entertainment Company would like to poach you and is willing to meet your terms, why is your agent reluctant?”

  “Are you acquainted with the CEO Nikolai Naralov?”

  Sun Zhi raises an eyebrow, what is Nikolai up to? It should be an easy task to grab Han Chao his current company is near bankruptcy. They lost the bid to get ‘The General’s Reluctant Concubine’ they are forced to rely on variety shows for their present artists under contract and have no fresh talent to develop.  

  Emmi comes back to the private room carrying the wine and glasses. She attempts to open the wine and Han Weisheng can barely stand watching her struggle. Sihao’s little girl looks like she is about to cry. He takes the wine bottle from her, “I will pour you serve my guests.”

  “Mr. Han please, I can.”

  He pours two glasses, “Take these to the men on the balcony.”

  Emmi takes the glasses on the tray and Han Weisheng opens the door for her. She hands a glass of wine to Sun Zhi and as she is about to give the other glass to Han Chao his eyes widen. “It is you! Fang Jiao!” Emmi looks around who is Fang Jiao? He takes the glass of wine and sets it on the table. He grabs her arms, “I looked everywhere for you.”

  She looks closely at him. Oh my God he is  Kang Jin! But why does he think I am someone named Fang Jiao? “Um my name is Chen Emmi not Fang Jiao.”

  “What? When you were singing at the Black Dragon Club I asked for your name and the woman said Fang Jiao.”

  Emmi starts laughing, “Haha..I was drunk. I didn’t want to use my real name.”

  “…” 

Lu JunJie

  Emmi wakes up in the morning cursing Zhen Sihao, what a lunatic! He is an absolute nut! Last night he insisted she give him a massage even stipulating she needed to sing while she did. She sighs, luckily he fell directly to sleep so I could slip out of the room. I am going to avoid him from now on..if I see him I am going to run the opposite direction! She pulls the soft quilt up and hugs the pillow, that Suite where he is staying is unbelievable, how can he afford such an expensive room? Is that where he brings female clients? When she was looking for a towel she saw a walk in closet full of designer suits, watches, rows of leather shoes. She shudders, he is definitely being raised by a wealthy woman or maybe a few women. Wang Hao is extraordinarily handsome, tall with a perfect body, his face is better than any celebrity or model I have ever seen but…he is a cold hearted narcissist. Demanding..overbearing…conceited… really no good points. He must really hide his true personality from them. She reaches for the water bottle on the nightstand,  Oh well, I am not going to think about him!

   Lu Ying Yue calls Emmi, “Chen Emmi?”

  “Yes.”

  “This is Lu Ying Yue. Did I wake you?”

  “No. Did YaoYao tell you I am staying at the Harborview Hotel this weekend? I can watch Little JunJie if you want, they have a children’s play room, a pool, we can eat lunch at the cafe.”

  “Are you sure you don’t mind?”

  “I think it will be fun!”

  “Alright. Would eleven thirty be good for you?”

  “Perfect. I will meet you in the lobby. Call me when you arrive.”

  “Thank you Chen Emmi.” She is excited to meet with Ruan YaoYao. Since she met Emmi and YaoYao she has been reminded how much she loves playing the piano. 

  “I told you to call me Emmi.haha..see you then.”

  When Emmi gets off the phone she smiles, he is such a little cutie! After my shower I should go buy a swimsuit at the Boutique downstairs. I saw a sign in the window saying they are having a Winter sale.

   At eleven thirty Emmi decides to go down to the lobby and wait for Lu Ying Yue and Lu JunJie. She sees them when they come through the entrance. Lu JunJie has been jumping around all morning thinking about playing at this hotel. He has passed it many times with his mother on the way to her cafe and always wondered what it looked like inside. When he sees Emmi he let’s go of Lu Ying Yue’s hand and runs over to Emmi. His round black eyes are twinkling and his milky voice sounds so cute, ”Beautiful Sister!” 

   Laughing while watching him swing his short arms and running towards her with his chubby legs she hears his mother, “Baby, don’t run.” Emmi bends down and holds her arms out, “Handsome boy!” He runs into her arms and turns around facing Lu Ying Yue, “Bye Mom.”

  “…”  Emmi rubs his head, “Haha..I need to talk to your mom for a minute.”

  He looks up at Emmi with a pleading look, “Then are we going to the playroom?”

  “Sure.” She holds him in her arms and stands up.

  Ying Yue hands Emmi a small backpack, “Sorry, he has been so excited all morning.”

  Emmi says, “Me too!”

   “I packed a swimsuit but JunJie doesn’t know how to swim. Is there a baby pool?”

   “I’m not sure but I got him some floaties for his arms and I can teach him to swim. Don’t worry only in the shallow end and I am a certified lifeguard. My home is on the lake so my mother taught me to swim when I was little.”

   JunJie’s eyes light up, “A pool too! Okay Mom, you should leave now so you don’t keep Sister YaoYao waiting.”

  Ying Yue shakes her head then kisses JunJie, “Baby, you behave for Chen Emmi.”

  “I will Mom, you go have fun.”

  “Emmi, feel free to call me to pick him up if he gets to be too much.”

  “Mom, I am a Big Boy! I know the rules!”

  A handsome man is watching them from the elevator. Lu Si stayed in the hotel last night after drinking and is leaving for a lunch meeting. This is the closest I have been to my son since he was born. Lu Si’s eyes are filled with undisguised affection, he wants to go grab his son from Emmi’s arms and tell him that he, Lu Si, is his father. Ying Yue looks beautiful, her face is glowing. But she is too thin. He clenches his fist in his pocket, Ying Yue why won’t you admit you believe in me that I can protect you and our son! If you gave me even a bit of face I would forgive you. He takes out his phone, “Cancel my lunch with my mother. No need for an explanation.” 

   Emmi and JunJie wave goodbye to Ying Yue and Emmi fixes his brown plaid shirt that has risen up exposing his little snow white belly, “Are you hungry? Do you want to eat?”

  “I ate breakfast. Can we go to the playroom first?”

  “Let’s go put your backpack in my room then we can.”

  “Okay.”

  When they approach the elevator Lu Si is still standing there. He stares at JunJie and the little boy notices his intense gaze. Jun Jie smiles brightly and his beautiful eyes curve into a crescent shape, “Hello Handsome Uncle! This is my first time in a hotel! How about you?”

  “…” Lu Si’s face has a gentle expression, “Not first.”

  “Oh Handsome Uncle you are so lucky! Have you been to the pool?” 

  “Been.”

  Emmi looks up and smiles awkwardly at Lu Si then whispers in JunJie’s ear, “Didn’t your mom tell you not to talk to strangers?” 

  Lu Si can hear Emmi and his face blackens, although that is good advice, I am not a stranger! I am his father! He enters the elevator with them and pushes the button for the 40th floor where Han Weisheng’s office is located.

  Jun Jie notices that is the highest number on the panel. He pulls on Lu Si’s sleeve, “Is that the roof? Be careful!”

  Lu Si can’t help but chuckle, My son is really cute! He looks down at the little hand on his sleeve enjoying his son’s touch when Emmi takes JunJie’s hand away.

  Lu Si glares at Emmi and she slowly moves away from him. I need to educate this little boy..doesn’t he see how scary this man is! He isn’t someone to provoke! She breathes a sigh of relief when they reach her floor. Oh My God the atmosphere in the elevator was suffocating. 

  After Emmi puts Jun Jie’s backpack on the couch in the room she says, “Jun Jie do you need to go to the bathroom before we go to the playroom?

  “Yeah.”

  “Okay. I will help you wash your hands when you are finished.”

  Emmi sends Han Shi a message. [I’m sorry but I can’t meet you for lunch. I am babysitting.]

  He is sitting in Han Weisheng’s office discussing his grades when he hears his phone. He takes it out and Han Weisheng says, “Put the phone away.”

  “Uncle it will take one minute.” [Babysitting? At the hotel?]

  [Yeah. I think barbeque would be too spicy for the little dumpling. He is only three.]

  [We could eat in the cafe. They have sets for kids.]

  [Okay we are going to the playroom then the pool. Can you take lunch at 2:30]

 Han Shi glances up at Han Weisheng, I am supposed to clean the offices on this floor but..[Sure.]

 [See you at the cafe 2:30]

 Han Shi is smiling and Han Weisheng comments, “Looking at your grade in Statistics I don’t see what you have to smile about.”

  He is about to respond when Lu Si bursts into the office without knocking. “Weisheng..” He gives Han Shi a look, “I need to speak to you privately.”

  Han Shi sees this is his chance to escape, he jumps up from the chair, “I will talk to you later Uncle.” He rushes out the door. YES! 

  Lu Si sits down, “I want to watch the security camera in the Children’s Playroom.”

 “What?”

 “Well, Ying Yue dropped my son off at the hotel with a babysitter. She is taking him to the playroom.”

  “Si you still love Ying Yue why don’t you get back together then you don’t have to spy on your own kid.”

  “You know how stubborn that woman is!”

  “…” You are the most hard headed man I know!

  “When you had the paternity test done I think that was when she totally gave up on you.”

  Lu Si has black lines on his forehead, “I didn’t have the paternity test done, it was my mother.”

 “Why don’t you tell Ying Yue you want her to come back. Move out of your family’s mansion and keep your lives separate.”

  “Now is not the time.”

 “Well until you choose Ying Yue and your son over your toxic family I don’t think she wil come back to you.” 

 “Ying Yue is playing the piano again.”

  Han Weisheng lifts his eyebrow, “Well good for her! That shows she is coming out of her depression. Honestly your mother..well..she is your mother I won’t say anything.”

  “I will get Ying Yue back.”

Wang Hao..Hooligan!

   Emmi turns to walk back inside and Han Chao stops her as she opens the door. “Wait. I need to talk to you.”

   “Mr. Kang, I need to get back to work.”

  “No. I will talk to my brother. I need you to sing for me.”

  “Huh? Don’t joke.” She says in a low voice, “I will be honest tonight is my first night and I need to do a good job for CEO Han.”

  “I will tell him to get another server.”

  “…” 

  “I am serious! You have the perfect voice to do a duet with me. I will be right back. Wait here.” He rushes past her into the private room leaving Emmi and Sun Zhi on the balcony.

  She doesn’t know what to do. If I make Kang Jin angry won’t that upset CEO Han? Well I will wait here for him to return.

  Sun Zhi sees the different emotions flash across her face and he grins, “Miss Chen, don’t worry CEO Han can never refuse his little brother.”

 “Kang Jin is CEO Han’s brother?”

  “Yes. His name is Han Chao.”

  She leans on the railing looking out at the lights mumbling, “Well, I thought today couldn’t get any stranger.”

  Sun Zhi sips the red wine then says, “I heard you sing at the Club. You have a beautiful voice.”

 “Oh thanks, but I don’t want to be a singer. I only sang that night for the prize money.”

 “Most girls would be excited to hear that Kang Jin wants to sing with them.”

 “Well, I am flattered for sure but..” 

 Han Chao comes through the door. “Weisheng got another server.”

  “Mr. Kang! This is my job!”

  “I will pay you the same as you would make as a server for you to sing with me. Add me on WeChat.”

 “Are you crazy?”

 “Maybe but I couldn’t get your voice out of my head. One song. I’m sure you know it. The theme song from ‘Rebirth Of The Red Phoenix.’” Give me your phone.”

   She takes her phone out her pocket,“You will pay me a night’s pay for one song? CEO Han agreed?”

  “Of course he agreed.” 

  “Mrs. Huang won’t be angry with me?”

  “Who is Mrs. Huang?”

  “The woman in charge of Ming’s.”

  “If my brother says it is fine, she won’t object.”

  “ Okay one song. But I need a drink of water first.I hate to ask but could you go get me a bottle of water.” I don’t want to go back in that room. This is weird!

   “I will be right back.”

   Sun Zhi hasn’t moved, this is more interesting than expected! He finishes his glass of wine and lights a cigarette. I wonder what Sihao would think about her singing with Chao. He rushed down to the stage and grabbed her off the stage.

   Han Chao brings a glass of water and after Emmi drinks she clears her throat, “Ready.”

  They begin to sing and their melodious voices drift over to the other balconies enthralling the people listening. Han Chao feels like he hasn’t been this excited singing since his debut. Emmi’s lilting voice perfectly blends with his bringing the song he wrote to life. He can feel the swords clashing and the hero’s love of the woman in his arms. He looks at Emmi, her eyes are closed and her eyelashes are fluttering. He can see a teardrop falling from the corner of her eye. This is it! This is the sound I wanted when I wrote the song. An emotional young girl’s voice entwined with mine. Perfect harmony!

  Sun Zhi puts out his cigarette and leans back in the chair. He watches them singing together, They are definitely well matched. A handsome young man and a beautiful girl. Their voices compliment each other. He gazes at Emmi,with her beauty and incredible voice Chen Emmi could easily become red.

  When they finish the song the sound of applause can be heard from the adjoining balconies. Emmi is startled when Han Chao hugs her into his embrace. “I knew it! You are perfect!” He tenderly wipes the tears on her cheek with his finger. 

  Emmi pushes him away, “Kang Jin!”

  Zhen Sihao comes through the sliding door, he pushes Han Chao away from Emmi, “What are you doing!”

  “Sorry! Sorry! I got too excited!”

  Emmi glares at Zhen Sihao shooting daggers at him with her eyes. She ignores him and turns to Han Chao.“Okay I sang with you, I’m leaving.”

   “ But I want to talk to you about a collaboration.”

  “No. I am too busy.”

  Zhen Sihao stops her and she frowns Yikes!How much did he have to drink! She can smell the heavy scent of alcohol on him. “Wang Hao, what are you doing?”

  “I should ask you what are you doing?” He could hear them singing when he entered the private room then rushed outside.

  “None of your business.”

  He pushes her up against the wall and she kicks him, “Wang Hao! Hooligan!Let me go! My shift is over and I am leaving.”

  Zhen Sihao leans down, his eyes are glassy and he sounds drunk, “You said your shift is over at eleven.”

  “Well, CEO Han said I could leave early.”

  “Good. Then you have time to give me my massage.” He takes her hand and pulls her into the private room. She helplessly struggles to loosen his tight grip on his hand as he drags her towards the door.She grits her teeth and in a low voice she says, “Let go of my hand.You are embarrassing me. I work here.” Emmi’s face turns red as her anger boils up, “Who do you think you are!”

  He doesn’t answer but when they are by the door of the restaurant she says, “I need my purse! It is my locker.”

  “I will wait here. Go get it and tell the manager you quit.”

 “Yeah..okay.”  I’m not quitting! She looks at his furious expression. But I better agree with him or he might make a scene.Is it because I blocked him earlier?He is acting really strange…more domineering than usual… it must be because he is drunk.

  Emmi hurries into the kitchen looking for Mrs. Huang. She is over by the grill supervising a chef. “Mrs. Huang?”

  Mrs. Huang has a strange expression, CEO Han personally came to the kitchen and said his brother requested Chen Emmi get off early tonight. He complimented her service and said to send his regular server to take their dinner order. This situation has never happened since I have been in the restaurant business. Who is this little girl! I don’t have time for this drama, a table just ordered ten grilled salmon dinners!  She instructs the chef to add more spice then tells Emmi “CEO Han informed me he was happy with your service. See you tomorrow night.” 

   Relieved Mrs. Huang doesn’t want to discuss the situation she quickly bows,“Thank you Mrs. Huang. See you then.” Emmi goes to the lockers and gets her purse. A pretty woman intentionally bumps into her causing Emmi drops her purse. The woman snickers as she walks away muttering, “Little slut…getting off early to warm the CEO’s friend’s bed.” She saw Zhen Sihao pulling her across the room when she was serving a table. She is jealous because she has seen Zhen Sihao with Han Weisheng before and wanted to seduce him but was treated like air.

  Emmi picks up the scattered contents of her purse , wow..no different than those girls earlier today, causing trouble for no good reason. I am in no mood to deal with Wang Hao. I am leaving out the back entrance.

  Zhen Sihao is leaning against the wall waiting for Emmi when she doesn’t come out from the kitchen his face turns black. He angrily strides into the kitchen attracting the attention of several servers. A young woman’s eyes sparkle as she sets down her tray them approaches him, “Sir, can I help you?”

  He has a low and intimidating tone, “Chen Emmi. Where is she?”

  “The new girl? She left.”

   “I didn’t see her leave.”

    She points to the back of the kitchen, “Employee entrance.”

      He storms through the kitchen to the back door, Little bunnygirl you aren’t going to escape that easily! I have to settle accounts with you for blocking me earlier today.

   Emmi decides to take the stairs at the end of the hallway in case Zhen Sihao looks for her.As she grabs the handle a large hand grips hers and she feels Zhen sihao’s warm breath on her ear, “Nice try.”

   Emmi turns around, “Wang Hao! Don’t you need to seduce a client or something! Why are you bothering me!”

   “Who gave you the guts to block me?”

    “I will unblock you. Now can I go?”

   “Since you got off work early you have time for my massage. I twisted my back earlier.”

  “Hmmph..I can imagine..you really put in a lot of hard work to land a client.”

   “…”

  “I am not going back to the dorm tonight so I can’t go to your apartment.”

  “Then at your Art Studio.”

   Emmi has a complicated expression picturing her trashed Art Studio. Thinking about it reminds her why she blocked him. “I am not staying there tonight.”

  Zhen Sihao holds her by her shoulders and stares into her eyes with an intense pressure emitting from his body. “Not the dorm..not the Art Studio..where then?”

 “None of your business. I am not obligated to give you a massage. I told you earlier I wouldn’t be able to tonight.”

  Zhen Sihao impulsively picks her up and carries her to the elevator. She struggles hitting his chest with her fists. “What are you doing! You are drunk! Put me down!”

  “Shut up.”He takes her directly to the suite he keeps at the hotel. Once inside the luxurious suite he let’s her go and she falls to the floor. “You can stay here tonight.”

   ???????????? 




Ride To Work

  When Emmi arrives at the Mansion she goes around to the back door to enter through the kitchen. Grandma Kang sees her sneaking into the kitchen. “Miss Emmi, your Uncle has been looking for you. He is in the study.”

   “Forget you saw me!” She hurries back out the door and grabs her bicycle to go to the Art Studio.  While she is pedaling away from the Mansion she curses him. I really needed to get my shoes for work. But, I don’t have time to listen to Uncle lecture me right now. He must be extremely angry about Zhen Sihao moving the boundary line for the land development. 

  She opens the door to the Art Studio then gasps looking at everything overturned in the room. What the heck! Emmi wants to cry when she sees her sketches torn up and scattered around the room. The cushions from the daybed are ripped open, the table is overturned and one of the legs is broken. 

  Emmi picks up the seeing mannequin and the ripped dress that was almost finished for her design class. Who would do this? Why? Wait the door is intact and there is no sign of forced entry. Did Uncle do this? Looking for the deed? Or Cousin Chloe in retaliation for going out with Jiang Weiming? I can’t go to the dorm after work because it will be closed. I planned on coming back here but does someone have the key to my Art Studio? Emmi shivers, I will have the locks changed tomorrow and security windows installed. I am not going to let them scare me! I will stay at a hotel tonight and clean this up tomorrow. 

  Emmi walks into the bathroom and looks in the mirror. She wrinkles her forehead, What a day! My face looks terrible! She opens the medicine cabinet and takes out a jar of the healing cream then applies a thin layer on  her cheek. I hope it works before I go to Dr. Liu’s house. She walks to the back of the medicinal herb garden with a woven straw basket. Emmi carefully digs around the roots of the Glowing Glymin plant. After she has three in the basket she walks to the middle and picks the small red berries off the Hipaflora. I will make lipstick for YaoYao out of these berries. She picks the  delicate purple flowers then inhales their fragrance, oh smells so good! When she is finished she takes the basket into the Art Studio and packs a bag with her work clothes. I will check into the hotel before work. She sits on the edge of the wooden daybed and makes an online reservation at the hotel.  Wang Hao paid me extra money. I won’t think about the cost. I can get off work then go directly to my room.

  She calls Butler Han, I’m ready, can you pick me up now?”

  “Miss Emmi, there is a problem. Mrs. Chen told me I need to go pick up Miss Chloe.”

 “What about her driver?” 

  Butler Han hesitates, “Miss Emmi, I’m sorry but I will be Miss Chloe’s driver until further notice.”

 “I understand Butler Han. Don’t worry about me. I will get a ride to work.”

   How am I getting a ride! No taxi will come to my Art Studio and if I go up to the house who knows if they will let me leave. Emmi’s face turns red from anger, just wait! I will make lots of money with Jiang Weiming and I won’t be bullied by  you people! Who can I call?

  Emmi takes out her phone, I will promise Wang Hao to give him a massage after work. When he answers she says”Wang Hao, um..are you busy?”

  Zhen Sihao wonders why she doesn’t have her usual tone of voice. He is at the birthday party. He sets down his glass of wine and walks away from the group of people standing by him. “What’s wrong?”

  “Well Butler Han can’t give me a ride to work and well..”

  “You want me to give you a ride?”

  “Um..yes. I will definitely give you a massage after work if you can do me this favor.”

  He glances around, he hasn’t seen the person he wanted to meet  at this party. “Not convenient. I will..”

  Emmi hears a woman’s laughter in the background. Oh he is fooling around with a woman. She angrily responds,“I see. Don’t keep your date waiting.” Emmi impulsively hangs up the phone, yeah… why did I think he would do me a favor..

   He stares incredulously at the phone. The little thing fucking hung up on me! He hesitates then calls Emmi back. His face turns black and he grits his teeth when the call doesn’t go through. She fucking blocked me! Are you fucking kidding me! Who does she think she is! I wanted to tell her that I have been drinking and can’t drive, I would send a driver.Sun Zhi can feel the temperature around Zhen Sihao drop to below freezing, “Who was on the phone?”

  “No one important.” He puts the phone in his pocket. “Have you seen Jack Carsten?”

 “He was by the bridge over the pond talking to a blonde woman I didn’t recognize.”

  Zhen Sihao takes a glass of wine off the tray of a server walking by and gulps it down. “I am going to find him.” He lights a cigarette trying to calm down. Bunnygirl, I will clean you up later!

  Emmi sneezes as she puts her bag into the basket on the front of her bicycle. I can ride down the mountain and get a taxi in town. Why did I think he would help me out. Hmmph! I am terminating our agreement! No way will I give that ungrateful man a massage ever again! I will return the extra money to him too! Oh right I just blocked him. No matter, I will take out the cash then return it to him. 

  Once she is down the mountain she parks her bike by a small convenience store on the edge of town. She pants as she enters the store, soo thirsty. She takes a bottle of water from the cooler then gulps it down while she is waiting to pay behind a short fat man. Suddenly she hears a familiar voice, “Chen Emmi!”

  She looks up and smiles “Han Shi! Hello.”

  “I saw you ride up on your bike. Do you live around here?”

  “No. I can’t get a taxi where I live so I rode my bike down the mountain to get one. I need to work at Ming’s Restaurant tonight.”

  He hands her a tissue, “I am on my way to the hotel. I can give you a ride.”

   She wipes the sweat from her forehead. “Really? That would be great. Oh no wait. I need to drop some medicinal herbs at someone’s house on my way. I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you.”

  “No problem. I am not in a rush. It is my day off but I was going to the hotel to pick up my check.”

 “Then I will trouble you.”

  Emmi pays for the water and follows him out to a bright yellow Lambohgini.”This is your car?”

  “Not mine. It belongs to a friend. He went abroad for a few months, he said it needs to be driven occasionally or it will have problems.”

  She smiles, “Lucky you!”

  He blushes, it is actually my car I finally got back from my Uncle. But I know you don’t like rich guys so I am lying. “Yeah. The seat belt is tricky.” He reaches over and pulls the strap. “Tell me the address and I will put it in the GPS.”

  8901 W. River Run Road.”

  “Dr. Liu’s house?”

 “You know Dr. Liu?”

  “Well Auntie Mei is a good friend of my mother’s. They went to high school together in Bashu City.”

  “Small world!’

  “Yeah. I haven’t seen them in a long time. I’m glad I ran into you.”

 “Me too. I wasn’t sure I would be able to deliver the medicinal herbs on the way. You never know how long a taxi will take to come.”

“True. If we work the same shifts I can always give you a ride.” 

 “Thanks! I am a little nervous.Tonight is my first night at work.”

 “You will do fine! Did you study the menu?”

  “Did.”

  He turns down a steep road lined with Cherry Blossom trees, “I remember when I was a kid coming to Uncle Liu’s house. This road is where I learned to ride a bike. Do you know Liu Ling?”

  Emmi’s heart starts pounding at the mention of his name, “Umm..yes.”

  “He taught me.” He points to the right, “See that tree at the end I ran into it. I flew over the handle bars into the trunk. I split my head open. He carried me all the way to his house on his back. Blood was streaming down my face all over his back. Brother Ling was such a soft hearted guy. I wanted to go down the hill and he tried to stop me but I wouldn’t listen..hahaha..he was so worried.” He lifts his bangs covering his forehead, “Ten stitches.

 “Oh my God! How can you laugh about it! So scary!”

  “It’s okay.” He pulls into a long driveway. He reaches over Emmi. “To undo the buckle you need to push this button.”

  “Thanks. She takes out the neatly wrapped medicinal herbs as he opens the door for her. They walk up to the door and Emmi knocks. Dr. Liu answers the door, he has a shocked expression on his face,”Little Shi ! I don’t know if I can call you little anymore how tall are you 190cm!”

  “Hey Uncle Liu. Almost, 185cm.”

  Dr. Liu motions to them, “Come in..come in what a surprise. How do you know Chen Emmi?”

  “We are classmates at University.”

  “I see. Mei come out to the living room, guess who Chen Emmi brought!”

  Liu Mei comes out of the kitchen followed by Liu Ling. She hurries over and hugs Han Shi. “Look at you! So grown up!” She gets a tear in her eye, “It has been too long! Are your parents still living in England?”

  “Yes. They will come back in the summer for Grandma’s death anniversary.”

  “Well, sit down. Do you want some tea or juice?”

  “No thank you.” He notices Liu Ling, “Long time no see.”

  He looks at Han Shi, “Been awhile.”

  Emmi has an infatuated gaze staring at Liu Ling but quickly looks away when he turns her direction, “Dad said you brought Hipaflora and Glowing Glymin Root?”

  She looks at the side table, “Auntie can I open the package here?”

  Liu Mei laughs, “Does it stink as bad as the last herbs you brought?”

  Dr. Liu waves his hand, he is excited to see the medicinal herbs.“Don’t listen to her. Let’s take a look.”

  Emmi smiles brightly exposing her perfect white teeth and cute dimples, “No, haha..actually the Hipaflora smells quite fragrant. She holds the flower branch up for Liu Mei to smell. “What do you think?”

  Mrs. Liu holds onto the branch, “It has a really good scent, hard to describe. The purple flowers are beautiful too.”

  “I brought a couple extra branches especially for you Auntie. Do you have a vase? The scent will fill the room and has a very relaxing aroma.”

  Dr. Liu looks at Emmi, “That is wasting good medicinal plants. Hipaflora is most potent when fresh.” 

  “I think Hipaflora is very beautiful. Medicinal plants should be appreciated for their beauty too Dr. Liu. After the flowers fall off you can dry them. After you grind them add a little Berjia powder and it will increase the potency.”

  Liu Ling has a look of admiration on his face, “That is interesting.”

  Emmi continues, “Well I think this gives the Hipaflora a dual purpose. The flowers dispel any impurities in the air. Now that it is getting colder the house can become stuffy. You will notice the air quality in the room improves having these flowers in a vase. Then when they fall off, well they can be used for their original purpose as a natural blood thinner.”

  Han Shi scratches his chin as he listens intently to what she is saying. “Chen Emmi, You are majoring in Fashion Design. How do you know so much about medicinal herbs and plants?”

  “My grandfather taught me. It is a hobby.”

  Dr. Liu can’t resist encouraging Emmi to.pursue a medical career. ” Emmi you should switch majors. With your talent..”

Liu Ling interrupts him, Dad didn’t we just discuss this! “You should follow your own path Chen Emmi. Do what makes you happy.”

  Emmi’s green eyes shine gazing at him, “Thank you Brother Ling!”


Bullied

   Once her phone has a little charge she dials Dr. Liu. When he answers she says, “Dr. Liu I was wondering if you are in your clinic this afternoon? I am harvesting the Hipaflora and Glowing Glymin root you wanted.”

   Dr. Liu is finishing up with his last patient for the day. He looks at his son Ling who is helping in the clinic, they plan on having lunch at home after he closes the Clinic.  “Chen Emmi, I won’t be in the clinic, I will be at the house. Will it be convenient for you to bring the medicinal herbs there?”

  “No problem.”

  “Very well. What time can I expect you?”

  “Would three o’clock be convenient? I can drop them off on my way to work.”

 “That would be fine.”

 “See you then.” Emmi hangs up and lays on the pillow staring at the ceiling, Brother Ling…Brother Ling you can’t fall in love with anyone but me…

 After Dr. Liu hangs up he walks over to his son Ling, “Chen Emmi is bringing some medicinal herbs this afternoon to the house. You will be surprised what a beautiful girl she has become.”

  Liu Ling smiles thinking about Emmi, “Actually Dad, I saw Chen Emmi at the University. She attended a lecture of mine. You are right, she is really beautiful.”

  “Oh yes.. she said she was going to attend your lecture. Little Emmi is an exceptional talent, it is too bad she doesn’t want to pursue a career in medicine.” He walks over and picks up a jar of healing cream. “Not only can she grow rare medicinal herbs but she has developed some medicinal ointments and creams that are quite effective.Let me show you, this cream she made I used on a patient who had multiple third degree burns on her arm.” He opens a file with pictures of the woman’s injuries. The skin is red and blistered on her forearm down to her wrist. “I used the medicnal ointment during her treatment and look at the results.” He shows the latest pictures. “I documented the results because I wanted to persuade Little Emmi to study TCM.”

  Liu Ling has an incredulous expression looking at the pictures. “Chen Emmi mentioned to me she would like to market her healing creams but I was hesitant. I was afraid she would be embarrassed.You know the company I am a consultant at currently is considered the epitome of the industry. They have rigorous testing procedures. I was worried she would be discouraged if her formula didn’t meet their standards. I am surprised at the efficacy of her healing cream. That is amazing!”

  “Old Chen taught her well. I used his medicinal creams when he was alive but they weren’t as effective as the ones Little Emmi has developed. Even the herbs she is bringing to me today are difficult to grow. I usually order them from a specialty company in Hong Kong.”

  “What medicinal herbs is she bringing?

  “Glowing Glymin Root and Hipaflora. Also,she only charges me half the price that Dong Medicinal Herb. Company charges.

 “…”

 “I can see by the expression on your face you are surprised. She is a genius girl I’m telling you. If she studied I think her potential is unlimited.”

 “I think you are right but when I asked her about switching majors she said no. She said she wants to be a Fashion Designer.”

  “Maybe you could encourage her to switch.”

  “Dad, although I can see her potential, she has chosen what she wants to do. She seems really happy. You know once she is recognized as a promising young talent in Chinese Medicine she would be swamped with offers and pressure. I know from my own experience and she is..well..naive and innocent. Do you want her to change?”

  “I never thought of it that way. You are right. Okay, I am going to get my coat and we can leave.”

  Liu Ling picks up the jar of Emmi’s healing cream then shakes his head and places it in the cabinet. I know how Peng Cheng’s company works, Chen Emmi would never receive the credit or compensation that she deserves for formulating this healing cream. They would steal her formula by tweaking the ingredients slightly then claim the healing cream to be  their exclusive product. Pay y a minimum fee then make millions… I really hate working for that scumbag Peng Cen but I have no choice. Now he has forced me to be engaged to his daughter Peng Min. I need to find a way to extricate myself from those bastards!

  He walks out of the examining room and follows his father out the door.

  At the dorm Emmi changes into a pair of skinny jeans and a dark green sweater. She takes the phone off the charger then calls Butler Han, “Could you pick me up at the dorm?”

  “Of course. I will leave now.”

 “Thanks.”

  Emmi brushes her hair, I am so tired.  She takes two pills from the drawer in the bathroom. I have a headache but I don’t feel as bad as I thought I would. It was really thoughtful of Wang Hao to give me breakfast and ginger tea. Oh that is right he said he paid me. 

  She looks at her phone and her eyes widen, He paid me 25,000 yuan! He only owed me 13,500 and minus the clothes it should be 11,500.WOW! He paid me over double! It must be a mistake! She looks at the time, he should be awake. She sends him a WeChat, [ Awake?]

  Han Weisheng just left and Zhen Sihao is taking his shorts off when he hears his phone. His lips curl up in an arc, [Why didn’t you wake me up when you left?]

 [You were snoring.]

[I don’t snore!]

[Do. sleeping bear emoji]

Zhen Sihao laughs, [Something?]

[Yes. You made a mistake and overpaid. Minus the price of the clothes it should be 11,500]

[I don’t make mistakes.]

[“…”]

[I told you I got a big bonus. If my face wasn’t healed I couldn’t have met with the client.]

[The woman last night?]

He can’t resist teasing Emmi, [Jealous?]

Emmi scrunches her nose, Wang Hao is so narcissistic! She chuckles, [Yes. Of your bonus.]

Zhen Sihao laughs aloud, the little girl only has money on her mind. [I worked hard.]

Emmi can’t resist [ I bet you did.The Auntie was devouring you with her eyes.]

[ Well, most women do.]

[Narcissist]

[I just know my own worth.]

[Whatever. I can’t come over to give you a massage.]

[So I give you a bonus and you shirk your duty.]

[I am working tonight. I don’t get off until eleven.]

Zhen Sihao frowns remembering she works at Ming’s Restaurant. [I will pick you up.]

[Wang Hao! I will be tired.]

[Then don’t go to work.]

Emmi throws her phone into her purse, he is too much!

Zhen Sihao stares at the phone waiting for her response. When she doesn’t reply he calls Han Weisheng. “Let’s meet at Ming’s tonight at seven. Request Chen Emmi as our server.”

 ??? Isn’t that the little songbird? She works at Ming’s? “Okay.”

   Zhen Sihao hangs up the places the phone on the counter. He has a satisfied smile as he turns on the water in the shower. You can’t escape… I need a massage tonight. It feels so fucking good to have the tension in my body relieved. I don’t think I have ever felt this relaxed. He steps into the shower, he notices he is getting hard while thinking about Emmi. He turns the water to cold and lets it spray down his body to quell the heat rising in his body. Just a normal reaction her small soft hands did feel fucking good on my body.

  Emmi runs down the stairs of the dorm to wait for Butler Han outside. She fixes the red scarf around her neck and zips up the leather jacket. This jacket is really cool! I should check out YRan Boutique. Maybe they have some clothes on sale. While she is distracted a girl runs up to her on the left, “BITCH!” Before she can react the girl slaps her face, “Who do you think you are!”

  Emmi pushes her away as she attempts to slap her face again. The pretty girl falls on the ground looking pitiful as several girls come out of the dorm. They help the girl stand and glare at Emmi, “Why did you push Fang Momo?”

   Emmi is holding her red and swollen cheek,  “Better question. I don’t know you! Why did you slap me!”

   The girl standing next to Fang Momo looks at her wondering what was going on between them. Fang Momo motions for her to bend down then whispers somthing in her ear. The tall girl snarls, “ Chen Emmi you have guts! Jiang Weiming is your cousin’s boyfriend and you dare seduce him!”

   Butler Han pulls up and Emmi ignores the group of girls and gets into the backseat. Cousin Chloe! I should have known who instigated that slap! Jiang FeiFei probably called Cousin Chloe as soon as she found out I had a meeting with her brother. Idiots!

  The girls watch as the black Bentley pulls out of the dormitory parking lot. A girl comes out from behind a tree holding her phone. Fang Momo looks at the phone displaying a picture of Emmi pushing her down onto the ground. There is also a picture of her looking pitiful on the ground. When she fell she tore her skirt and messed up her hair to make it look worse that it was. She calls Chen Chloe, “I got the picture.”

  Chen Chloe sips her milk tea while sitting at a popular cafe not far from the University. “Have your friend post it anonymously on the forum.”

  Fang Momo enacted this play to ingratiate herself with Chen Chloe. If she agrees to come to her party so will all the other popular girls. “Will you come to my birthday party next Saturday then?”

  “Of course.”

   The girl clutches her phone and turns to her friend. “Post the pictures right away. Make it appear like you just happened to pass by and witnessed Chen Emmi bullying me.”

   Emmi rubs her cheek that is still stinging from the sidden slap. Butler Han saw the group of girls surrounding Emmi when he pulled up in front of the dorm. Worried when he looks in the rear view mirror he asks, “Miss Emmi, should I take you to the hospital.”

   “No. I will put ointment on when I get to the Art Studio. I need to pick some medicinal herbs and take them to Dr. Liu on the way to Ming’s Restaurant.”

“Can you work with your face swollen? Maybe you should take the night off.”

“I can’t miss my first night of work. I will be fine.”

Cousin Chloe and her dirty tricks! I can’t wait to save enough money to move out of the Mansion! I try my best to avoid any conflicts with her but I am not going to be bullied into giving up my partnership with Jiang Weiming!

Nooo.. He Can’t Be Engaged!

   Emmi leaves Zhen Sihao’s apartment and walks down the hallway to the elevator. Once inside she takes out her phone from her purse to call Butler Han. Hmm…no battery… I will charge it at the dorm then call him. She gets into the elevator and it stops on the eighth floor. Three women step inside and she moves to the rear to give them space. Standing in the back she can hear their conversion discussing a handsome new tenant. She frowns listening to one woman’s description, they are talking about Brother Ling. 

  The prettiest woman among the three says, “He is so handsome, I love a gentle looking man wearing gold rimmed glasses. Haha..so sexy! He helped me carry my groceries yesterday and I  asked him to dinner. Unfortunately, he said it wouldn’t be appropriate because he is engaged.”

  Emmi’s face turns pale, Brother Ling is engaged? To who? No.. he can’t be it must be a mistake. I can’t ask him..I will take some medicinal herbs to Dr. Liu and find out. When the door opens at the first floor Emmi is lost in thought and doesn’t exit immediately. A middle aged man enters the elevator, “Miss, are you getting off?”

  “Oh yeah..thank you.”  Distraught at the possibility Liu Ling is engaged she hurries out of the building. Not paying attention to where she is going she runs into a tall muscular man, the bag she is carrying drops to the ground.

  She looks up at him and apologizes, “Sorry!” 

  Han Weisheng bends down and picks up the bag then hands it to Emmi. He smiles,”It’s fine but be careful.” He watches her slender back as she rushes down the street, isn’t she Sihao’s little songbird? He has a slight smile, did she spend the night at his apartment? The dress that fell out of the bag was what she was wearing when I saw her at Ming’s last night. He goes into the building, haha…I can’t wait to hear what Sihao has to say..haha

Emmi feels as though she can’t breathe,Brother Ling can’t be engaged! Who could it be? The haughty woman in his office the other day?

   Han Weisheng knocks on Zhen Sihao’s door and he doesn’t answer. Hmm..he said come over. He dials his number. No answer.. he calls again.. Zhen Sihao rolls over in the bed and grabs the phone. He sounds groggy, “Yeah..”

  “Still sleeping? I’m at your door.”

  Zhen Sihao rubs his eyes then sits up on the bed, “Okay. Be right there.” What time is it? After putting on his shirt he smiles looking at the clock on the bedside table. Shit! I fall asleep every time the little bunnygirl gives me a massage. He stretches his arms out, I’m so fucking relaxed!

  He walks out of the bedroom to the living room and answers the door. Han Weisheng coughs when he sees him, his hair is messy and his eyes are half open. “Too much night time exercise?”

  Zhen Sihao yawns, “What the fuck are you talking about?”

  “I saw your little songbird nervously rushing out downstairs. Eating tender grass…I never thought..” Before he can finish Zhen Sihao interrupts him, “Fuck off! Not what you think.” He lazily walks into the kitchen and takes a bottle of water from the refrigerator.

  Han Weisheng  follows him to the kitchen and takes the bottle of water from his hand. Zhen Sihao reaches and grabs another water. “Did you get the information I need?”

  “Yes. Don’t change the subject.” He takes a sip of water then laughs, “Didn’t the little songbord spend the night here?”

  “No.”

  “Liar. She dropped her bag and I saw the crumpled dress that she was wearing last night.”

  “Weisheng, mind your own business. You really are bored since you left the Intelligence Bureau. If you must know she is my masseuse. She came to give me a massage.”

  “A masseuse?” He wants to tease Zhen Sihao, he holds his back, “I have been tense myself lately, give me her business card.”

  Zhen Sihao doesn’t realize himself a flash of extreme possessiveness is reflected in his dark eyes. He narrows his eyes as he responds, “She is booked.” By me…she can’t have any other clients! For some reason the thought of her massaging another man and singing to him is extremely irritating.

  Han Weisheng notices his friend’s possessive reaction. I wonder what is going on with Sihao? Does he really like a little girl? He can have any woman he wants...what is so special about the little songbird? “My time is flexible, I can work around her schedule.”

  Zhen Sihao sits on the couch and crosses his legs, “To be honest if she didn’t owe me money I wouldn’t get a massage from her.” Weisheng hates noisy women. “The girl talks non stop nonsense. Complaining constantly.”

  ???  Haha...If that were true no matter how much money she owed him, Sihao wouldn’t put up with that..haha..he is really selling it. This confirms my suspicion he is definitely interested in the little songbird.

   Han Weisheng sits in the chair across from him and puts the water bottle on the coffee table. “In that case I will continue to use the hotel’s masseuse.”

  Relieved his friend won’t pester him for Emmi’s contact number Zhen Sihao mentions the Birthday party, “Are you attending the party this afternoon?”

  “I have to go to represent my family. My parents are still in Italy and then insisted that I attend.”

 “You don’t seem happy about it.”

 “Going to parties like this is one of the reasons I didn’t want to come home after I left the Agency. I don’t mind managing the hotel but socializing with boring women gives me a headache.”

  “I heard you had a blind date. How did it go?”

  Han Weisheng picks up the water bottle, “How do you think it went? I almost fell asleep when she kept droning on about her trip to the Paris Fashion Show. Who the hell cares about her one of a kind Chanel bag!”

  Zhen Sihao bursts out laughing picturing him nodding off in front of Lau Bingbing . “You better get used to it, or find someone you like who your parents will accept.”

  “I have no desire to get married. Tingfeng gave them a grandson they should be content for now, but no..still harping to me to find a suitable wife. They don’t bother Chao or Little Bi. They  let him enter the entertainment circle and turn a blind eye to Bi’s pursuit of Fan Yunxin who is engaged.”

  “Little Bi likes Fan Yunxin?”

  “Unfortunately yes. I went to lunch with her the other day and all she could talk about was him. I tried to point out the fact he is engaged and she got mad at me. She even asked me to help her pursue him.”

  “Haha..do you regret resigning from the Agency?”

  “No. I told you I had too many conflicts with the new Director. My last mission was severely compromised, almost costing me and my men our lives. I couldn’t prove it but I think the Director manipulated the situation behind the scenes hoping to eliminate me. I don’t mind risking my life on a mission but I don’t want my men to be collateral damage because of internal disputes within the Agency. Also, my parents were pressuring me to join the company so it seemed like a good time to leave.”

  “It isn’t like you to walk away, are you planning on exposing the Director?”

  “I guess you know me too well. I am using my resources to gather information privately to expose the corruption within the Agency. I plan on letting the asshole think because I resigned he won’t be held accountable.”

  “If there is anything I can do to help let me know.”

  “Thanks Sihao. Now about what you asked. I have found the man who attempted to murder you, he was hiding in Catang City. He killed his accomplices right after you went off the cliff but underestimated your father.. Apparently, your father sent someone to silence him.  The man used his contacts to acquire a new identity but before he could leave the country he was discovered. My men were able to create the illusion your father’s hired killer succeeded by staging the murder scene. We now have the assassin in our grasp and your father believes he is dead. How do you want us to proceed?”

  “Very good. I want a videotaped confession naming my father and a transaction record of the transferred money.” He has a faint smile, “And the money of course..haha..Once you have that, allow the man to escape. What happens to him afterwards is contingent upon his own ability.”

  Han Weisheng stands up, “I have another appointment this morning. I will see you at the party.”

   “Okay.”

    Emmi arrives at her dorm room and hurries to open the door. She immediately puts her phone on the charger then plops onto the bed. Pounding her small fists on the pillow she is filled with turbulent emotions, Wuuhuuu.. Nooo..It can’t be true..Brother Ling can’t be engaged! He has to be mine!

Too Expensive!

    Emmi puts down her chopsticks and takes a sip of tea. Ginger tea? Did Wang Hao order this tea especially for me? She gazes over at him, why is he being so nice to me? She gulps, the old man doesn’t like me does he? Ha..ha..

   He notices her complicated expression, “What’s wrong?”

  “Nothing..nothing.”

  “I ordered you some clothes. After you change I can give you a ride to your Uncle’s house. I am going to Bashu City.”

  “No need..no need.”

  “ Do you have any self awareness? Look at yourself.I can’t have you leave my apartment dressed like that. If someone sees your disheveled appearance they might get the wrong impression. Don’t worry.. when I used WeChat to pay you I already deducted the price of the clothes.”

  “You paid me?”

  Why does she always miss the point haha.. “This morning. My bonus was substantial so I used it to pay you.”

  Emmi blows on the steaming cup of tea then looks at the bags on the couch. She notices the store logo, YR emblazoned in gold on the magenta colored bag, “Wang Hao, I didn’t authorize you to buy me clothes. YRan Boutique is very expensive! Definitely out of my price range!”

  “Well, I am not familiar with clothing stores here but one of my clients mentioned this store.”

  “ What client? The woman you were having dinner with last night at Ming’s Restaurant?”

   He laughs picturing Han Qing shopping at Yang Ran’s store. Top designers beg her to wear their clothes because she is the editor of Beautiful Lifestyles Magazine. Zhen Sihao sarcastically replies, “Did the woman with me at Ming’s look like someone who would buy off the rack clothes?”

  Emmi rolls her eyes, “Whatever. I told you that you could wait to pay me but thank you.” She finishes the cup of ginger tea then stands up. “I don’t need a ride, Butler Han will pick me up at the dorm.” She reaches to take the bags from the couch. “I feel much better after eating breakfast. I can give you a massage before I leave.”

  “Okay. Are you sure you don’t want a ride?”

  “Positive. If my Uncle saw a man driving me home I would have to explain. Speaking of my Uncle, what did you find out about my Art Studio and the land development by the Zhen Group.”

   He decides not to keep Emmi in suspense.“I convinced Zhen Sihao it would be in the best interest of his company to build further down the lakefront. If you decided to take your Uncle to court it could significantly delay breaking ground on his project. Also public opinion could turn against his company if it is brought to light you were coerced into giving your Uncle the deed to your Art Studio and property.”

   When Emmi hears the news she is overwhelmed with excitement, she jumps into Zhen Sihao’s arms. “REALLY! OH MY GOD!” She embraces him, wrapping her slender arms around his strong waist, “Thank you Wang Hao! Thank you so much!” Emmi’s green eyes are misty as she looks up at him, “I’m so happy!”

   Startled by her affectionate hug, Zhen Sihao’s heart starts beating fast with her soft body pressed against his chest. He quickly takes her arms off from around him. “Well, you saved my life it is the least I can do.”

   Emmi wipes the tears from her eyes, “I didn’t think that old fox Zhen Sihao would care about public opinion. I assumed he would gladly help Uncle Yihong squash me like an ant in court.”

   “…”

  “I am going to give you a really good deep massage after I change!” She runs down the hallway to the bedroom.

  Zhen Sihao watches her back, why does she have such a bad impression of me? Old fox? I guess it isn’t time to tell the little bunnygirl that I am Zhen Sihao.

  Emmi takes a shower then looks at the tags on the short black skirt with suspenders and the crisp white linen shirt. She carefully removes the tag off a black leather jacket, her eyes widen as she gulps down her saliva, OUCH! So much money! Oh my! Well… I’m not going to think about the cost. Wang Hao did me a huge favor..I don’t have to worry about losing my Art Studio! Yeah!  Jiang Weiming agreed to partner with me too so … She spins around looking in the mirror, so pretty!

 Zhen Sihao finishes an email then walks back to the bedroom.The door is open so he walks into the room. When he sees Emmi’s outfit he narrows his eyes, What the hell! What was Yang Ran thinking! His eyes are riveted on her petite body. The little girl looks innocent yet extremely seductive…I should have looked in the bags before I gave her the clothes. 

  Emmi is tying up her long black hair revealing her snow white thin waist as she stretches her arms. She smiles exposing her cute dimples,“Wang Hao, although I hate to spend so much money on clothes I really like this outfit. The leather jacket is really cool too. I can wear it when Jiang Weiming and I have our next meeting.”Emmi doesn’t notice the black lines on his forehead and the flash of dark desire in his eyes. She puts the jade hairpin in her hair “Go put on shorts so we can get started.”

   He takes a pair of basketball shorts from a drawer then goes into the bathroom to change. He splashes cold water on his face, What are you thinking! She is a little girl! When he comes back out Emmi has a chair pulled up to the bed. “Take off your shirt.”

   He obediently takes off his shirt, Emmi lightly runs her finger down his injury on his waist. He grabs her hand, “What are you doing!” The feeling of her warm soft finger sliding down his waist sent a strange sensation through his body.

   “I was checking your injury. It feels good. Okay, lay on your back and I will begin the massage.”

  “En.” I need to think about that bitch Daphne Drake. That will quell any reaction I have to Chen Emmi touching my body. I will close my eyes and not look at the little girl and concentrate on how much I loathe that scheming woman.

  Emmi rubs the lightly scented medicinal oil in her hand to warm it then begins to massage his legs. Zhen Sihao concentrates his thoughts on the report Yang Jing emailed him this morning.He grimaces thinking about Daphne Dtake’s underhanded methods.

  Emmi notices his facial expression doesn’t look good, “Wang Hao am I pressing too hard on your thigh?”

  He gazes up at Emmi leaning over him, the top button of her shirt is undone and he can see her white lace bra. Dammit! “It is fine don’t talk.” He closes his eyes again and pictures the scenario in his conference room on Monday. First, I will throw the report in the bitch’s face then I will give her an ultimatum. She will of course give a counter proposal and argue about the key concessions.When I derail her argument using the information from my verified source, I can’t wait to see the look on her face. Exclusive contract in your dreams!

   ??? Now Wang Hao has a strange smile on his face. “I’m done with your legs turn over.”

  He turns over and Emmi begins kneading his shoulders, “You are really tight. Try to relax.”

  Emmi starts to softly sing as she works her way down his back giving him a deep massage. Comfortabe with his head on the pillow she slept on last night he inhales the lingering fragrance. The relaxing scent combined with her soft hands loosening his muscles makes him unable to concentrate. He tries to concentrate on raking Daphne Drake over the coals but slowly drifts off to sleep listening to Emmi singing.

  When he starts lightly snoring Emmi chuckles, he can’t seem to stay awake when I give him a massage. Well, he must be tired working two jobs so soon after his injuries healed. She continues to sing a sad ballad while she rubs more medicinal oil on her hands and then continues to massage his muscles. He is hugging the pillow and she stares at his profile. Wang Hao really is incredibly handsome no wonder that woman last night was all over him. I guess there is nothing wrong with a man using the beauty card to attract a client. It’s just I can’t picture him coaxing a woman with his domineering and cold personality. She blushes gazing at his half naked body then shakes her head, naughty Emmi..really naughty what you are picturing..haha. 

   Zhen Sihao is still sleeping soundly when she finishes the massage so she goes to the bathroom to wash her hands. She puts the massage oil in the drawer then walks into the bedroom. Should I wake him up? He said he needs to go to Bashu City. He looks like he is sleeping peacefully, I don’t want to disturb him. Since It is Saturday he probably doesn’t need to work… I will set his alarm for an hour. I think that would be fine.

  After she sets the alarm on the clock she takes a quilt from the cupboard. Covering him she hears him mumbling, “Daphne.” Curious she leans down to hear what he is saying but his words are barely audible, she can’t understand what he is saying. Emmi has a mischievous smile, in his ear she whispers, “Who is Daphne?” Zhen Sihao wrinkles his forehead, “Cheap woman.. needs to pay me..” She puts her hand over her mouth to muffle her laughter. “She won’t pay you for your services?” He raises his eyebrow but his eyes are closed, “Wants exclusive commitment.” Haha.. He would probably be angry if he knew I was teasing him, haha.. She can’t stop giggling as she puts her rumpled dress from last night in the bag from YRan Boutique. Emmi picks up the black leather biker jacket then leaves the bedroom and chuckles as she walks down the hallway, Wang Hao really is a gigolo!

   Emmi takes a bottle of mineral water from the refrigerator and walks into the living room. She stops while admiring the beautiful Calligraphy hanging on the wall. That would make an awesome background for my performance. I wonder if Wang Hao would let me do my first livestream from his living room. 

Emmi Wakes Up

   Zhen Sihao wakes up in the morning then stares at Emmi who is nestled into his chest. He has a devilish grin on his face as he takes a strand of her messy black hair and inhales her sweet scent. The little bunnygirl would be furious if she knew that we slept in the same bed. But, I had no choice, the couch would have been very uncomfortable. Last night to ensure she didn’t wake up he hit her acupoint so she would sleep through the night. He takes his arm from around her slender waist and gets out of bed stretching his long legs. He slept comfortably holding Emmi in his arms and feels refreshed without a trace of remorse. Maybe it is the light fragrance that her body emits… jasmine with a hint of medicinal herbs. Well,whatever the reason I had a good night’s rest.

    Emmi is still sound asleep with a peaceful expression on her face deep into a dream of becoming rich partnering with Jiang Weiming. He has the urge to poke her dimple, so cute.. After he touches her cheek he has a faint smile on his handsome face, the little miser is probably dreaming about money..haha

    He goes into the bathroom to take a shower.After he gets dressed in a dark gray sweater and black athletic pants he calls Yan Jing from his study. “Have Peach Blossom Boutique send over an outfit appropriate for a female college student to my apartment. No designer name, off the rack mid priced, include underwear. He glances at the report on his desk, “Keep the tags on.” Haha I want to see the expression on her face when I tell her will need to deduct the cost from what I owe.

   ???

  “Also, I will be back in my office Monday. Set up a meeting with Daphne Drake.”

  Yan Jing straightens some documents on his desk, “Yesterday I met with Chen Yihong, you should have seen his reaction when I told him the stipulations. It is good his son Ji was there to calm him down, the greedy old fart  might have had a heart attack in my office. Did you want me to contact Chen Emmi?”

  “No. Monday will be good.”

 “Anything else?”

 “No. Not for now.”

  He calls The Golden Palace Restaurant, “This is Zhen Sihao, send Chicken Ginger Congee, Tomato Egg Noodles and three other light dishes for two to 7800 N. 65th St. number 1908. Also ginger tea.”

  Zhen Sihao walks out to the kitchen to make tea. He opens the cupboard and takes out the can of Da Hong Pao. I wonder what it is about Chen Emmi. After the massage I fell asleep without realizing it and last night I slept through the night without any insomnia. Maybe her scent? When I was in her shitty little Art Studio I also had a good night’s sleep even on the   short bed.

  His phone rings when he sees who’s calling he is surprised, “What are you doing up so early on a Saturday?’

  “I knew you would forget. It is my mother’s birthday today, I called to remind you the party starts at two at Uncle Liquin’s.”

  “I don’t know if I can make it.”

  “You have to come to deflect some of the attention from me and Bo’er. She has been driving us crazy with blind dates. I like to point out the fact you aren’t married either.”

  “…”

  “The party starts at four o’clock.Didn’t you want to talk to my cousin? She will be there.”

  “Well in that case I can stop by.”

   The morning sunlight pours into the room and Emmi slowly opens her bloodshot eyes. While holding her head she grimaces in pain, oww..the wine last night was strong. She squints looking around the strange room, where am I? The last thing I remember is Jiang Weiming opening the door of the dorm for me. She furrows her brow trying to remember Hmmm.. I am wearing the dress I had on last night. Emmi recognizes the bedroom then in disbelief clutches the covers, What the heck! This is Wang Hao’s bedroom!” The realization makes her heart pound as she pulls the covers over her head cowering under the quilt. “Wuuhuu..” Oh My God! Oh My God! I didn’t..He didn’t..with the old man?!?!? He is handsome but he is Wang Hao! My unlucky star! Wang Hao! 

  Zhen Sihao is walking past the room when he hears Emmi and his lips form an arc picturing her bewildered expression. He knocks on the door, “Chen Emmi are you awake?”

  Emmi doesn’t know whether to respond or not. I don’t remember coming to his apartment, why would I come here? Oh my.. did I come to give him his massage while I was drunk? Well, I am wearing  my clothes anyway..haha what am I thinking.. Beads of sweat form on her head, I should just face the situation. No! I need time to think..yes..I need to think..

  When she doesn’t answer he continues walking to the kitchen.Haha..the frightened little bunny needs to come out eventually. 

   Emmi raises the quilt when Zhen Siaho doesn’t come into the room. She slowly gets out of bed and opens a water bottle on the nightstand then smacks her lips, Eww..what a nasty taste in my mouth. Gulping down the water too fast to moisten  her dry throat she starts coughing and pounds her chest. I need to get back to the dorm and shower to go to my Art Studio. She glances at the bed, the side I was laying on is messy but the other side doesn’t look like he…she shivers at the thought of sleeping in the same bed with Zhen Sihao.  I need to stop making myself crazy and ask him.

  She goes into the bathroom and washes her face looking at her neck, nothing.. haha.. I watch too many dog blood dramas haha.. The heroine wakes up covered in love bites.. She uses some toothpaste on her finger to wipe across her teeth then rinses her mouth, a little better.. In the bedroom she looks in the bed to find her jade hairpin then pulls her hair up into a bun. Ahh.. whatever it is just Wang Hao, we spent a week together in my small Art Studio without a problem.

  Emmi casually walks out to the living room noticing a pillow and folded blanket on the couch  and breathes a sigh of relief. Zhen Sihao comes out of the kitchen, “You look terrible.”

   “…” Thanks for pointing that out! Emmi blushes and puffs out her cheeks, “Sorry to have troubled you. I am going back to the dorm.” She walks towards the door and Zhen Sihao steps in front of her to block her way.. He looks down at Emmi’s flushed face and wants to laugh but he restrains himself. Sounding serious he holds his back, “Well, I will need a massage before you go. My back was twisted and my legs are numb from being cramped while sleepng on that uncomfortable couch.”

  “Wang Hao! I..I am not feeling well.”

  There is a knock at the door. Zhen Sihao turns and answers, “Set the meal on the table.”

  Emmi smells the tantalizing aroma as the delivery man walks by and her stomach grumbles. “I need to go, I will come back later.”

  “Don’t you want to eat first?”

  “Huh?”

  “Although you passed out before even starting my massage last night, you did insist on coming over to fulfill your obligation. I was ordering breakfast anyway and simply added a couple dishes.”

   Emmi looks at him suspiciously. Why is he being so nice? 

  Zhen Sihao walks over to the table, “Up to you.”

  Unable to resist the fragrant aroma, Emmi sits down at the table across from Zhen Sihao. The delivery man serves the appetizing dishes. Emmi has a complicated expression, where did he order the food? I have never seen a takeout driver do anything but take the money and run out the door.  She smiles at the man then has a spoonful of the steaming soup “Oh..this is delicious! What restaurant is this takeout from?”

   “The Golden Palace.” 

    Emmi coughs almost spitting out the soup in her mouth, the Golden Palace? It is so expensive! She lifts her eyebrow at Zhen Sihao, “Wang Hao, you shouldn’t throw your money away ordering takeout from such an expensive restaurant. There are several good restaurants by the campus.”

The delivery man gives her a strange look then looks at Zhen Sihao, Wang Hao? Isn’t this one of the restaurant’s owners? CEO Zhen?

 Zhen Sihao motions to the delivery person, “You can go.”

 “Yes Sir.” He knows not to get involved so he quickly packs up the insulation containers and leaves.

  Salivating from the aroma of the delicious looking food Emmi reluctantly says, “Well, let me pay for half. But next time, order from Meng’s.”

  “I will deduct it from what I owe you then half will be 500 yuan with the tip.

  Emmi stares at him with her green eyes wide open, “That’s outrageous!”

  There is a knock at the door and when Zhen Sihao answers, a pretty woman is standing there with two hangers and a bag, “The clothes you ordered.” She tries to look inside the apartment. When her brother Jing called her Boutique to have clothes delivered she wondered who the ‘college girl’ could be CEO Zhen ordered cheap clothes for at her Boutique. Although her cheapest is still high end she thought it was funny Jing said to leave the tags on the garments. 

  Zhen Sihao winks at the woman and smiles, “Thank you.” He attempts to shut the door but Yang Ran wedges her high heel to prevent the door from closing. “Do you mind giving me a glass of water?”

  He blocks Emmi’s view with his body leaning down whispering, “Yes I do. Since when does the Boss lady deliver clothes.”

  She has a mischievous smile, “I wasn’t busy.”

  “…”  He pushes her out of the door, Nosy!

  ??? I wanted to see the girl!

  .

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