Fever

   Zhen Sihao is taking Emmi’s jacket off when she opens her eyes, they are glassy and unfocused. She reaches up and puts her arms around his neck, “Wag Hao, am I pretty?”

  Zhen Sihao’s Adam’s Apple rolls while tenderly gazing at her beautiful face flushed red from the wine. “Very pretty.”

  She intensely peers into his dark unfathomable eyes, “Do I have a beautiful voice?”

  “Yes. Let me take your jacket off.”

  She holds out her arms and he slides off the jacket. Emmi sighs, “That is why they hate me.”

  Emmi leans on him, “Wang Hao.”

  “Hmm..”

  She suddenly tugs on his shirt, “Kiss me.”

   “…”

  When he doesn’t respond she pouts and tears form in her eyes. She has an aggrieved expression and appears very fragile. “No one has given me a kiss goodnight since my Grandfather died.”

  He comes to his senses, the little girl is drunk, she feels wronged and alone. He kisses her on the forehead, “Now be good and go to sleep.”

  Emmi lays her head on the pillow then looks up at him, her misty eyes sparkling  as she sweetly smiles, “Thank you Wang Hao.” then closes her eyes.

  He covers her with the quilt. What am I going to do with you Chen Emmi? Do you know how tempted I was when you said ‘Kiss me’?

   Zhen Sihao sits on the edge of the bed and watches Emmi sleep. I should go. Or I might do something I regret. He walks outside  to the patio and extinguishes the fire. He picks up the glass of wine on the table and finishes it then makes a phone call, “Pick me up, I have been drinking. When you are at the bottom of the access road by the new development, call me.”

   While picking up the empty dishes off the small wooden table he thinks about her confession. Those bastards in the Chen family are going to pay for hurting Chen Emmi. I thought Chen Yihong was just greedy to take the deed for her studio. I had no idea she had been abused by them for a long time.  He carries the bowls and plates to the kitchen, then takes off his jacket and rolls up his sleeves to wash them.

    When he finishes he walks back to the small bed and sits down. He brushes the loose hair off Emmi’s face and furrows his eyebrows, she is burning up with a fever! 

   I can’t have a doctor come here and this place is too drafty! Should I take her to the hospital?He takes out his phone, “ Ming, I need you to meet me at 7800 N. 65th St. Apartment 1908. My friend is burning up with a fever.”

  “Why don’t you take him to the hospital?”

  “Don’t ask questions, just meet me there. I should be there in a half hour.”

  Zhen Sihao nervously calls his driver, “Where are you now?”

  “I should be there in five minutes.”

  “Park facing the forest and leave the brights on.”

  Zhen Sihao hangs up then wraps Emmi in the quilt. He turns off the lights and hurries out the door. He carries her through the forest only lit up by the moonlight. Dammit! I need them to make a pathway to the access road. He sees the lights from the car and moves steadily towards them. When he gets to the black Bentley the driver opens the back door for him.

 “Drive to my apartment by the University.”

   He holds Emmi in his lap, I should have brought a wet cloth to wipe her face. He takes out his handkerchief and opens a bottle of water then pours it onto the handkerchief. He gently runs it over her face. When they are on the highway he says, “Drive faster.”

  The driver looks in the rear view mirror. He wonders who the girl is that could make the cold and indifferent CEO Zhen worried.

   When they arrive at his apartment Hou Ming is waiting by the guard station and he follows to the Underground garage.

  Hou Ming is stunned when Zhen Sihao gets out of the backseat carrying a girl in his arms. “This is the friend? Who is she?”

  Zhen Sihao steadily walks towards the elevator,  “Chen Emmi.”

  “The girl who saved you and treated your injuries?”

  “Yes. Push the button for the 19th floor.”

   “Why didn’t you send her to the hospital.”

“I was afraid someone would recognize me.”

 Hou Ming chuckles, “That’s right she thinks you are a salesman named Wang Hao.”

 Zhen Sihao glances down at Emmi then growls,“Shut up.”

 They arrive at the apartment and Zhen Sihao puts in the code. The door opens and he takes Emmi to his bed. “She was fine then suddenly had a fever.”

  “I will examine her then give her an infusion.”

  “Sihao, you don’t look very good yourself.”

  “Well, I was bit by a Frost Flower Demon Snake earlier. I just feel a little weak.”

  “What the fuck! They are extremely poisonous.”

   “Chen Emmi sucked out the poison then gave me an antidote.”

   “She did what? That might be why she has a fever. That was very dangerous of her to do that! Most likely some of the poison went down her throat. Who is this girl? The antidote is very rare because the Frost Flowers are fucking rare! 

   Zhen Sihao has a worried expression, “She has the fever because she sucked out the poison?”

   “I can’t say for sure but most likely yes.”

   “Can you do something?”

   “I can try. We can only hope if she was smart she realized the situation and took the antidote also.”

   “I don’t know… she is pretty frugal. She might not have wanted to waste the antidote.”

    “…” Hou Ming takes out a bottle of Chinese medicine from his bag to reduce the fever. “I will treat the fever and watch for signs of poisoning. Probably not life threatening but she will be sick for a couple days.”

   Zhen Sihao sits on the bed next to Emmi and holds her hand. Little fool…

   Hou Ming puts an IV needle in her other hand, “It will take a little while for the infusion to start working.” He lifts Emmi’s eyelids and holds a small flashlight to examine her eyes, “Her pupils are dilated and reacting to the light. That is a good sign.”

  “So she isn’t in a coma?”

  “No. She should wake up when the fever subsides.”

   Zhen Sihao is relieved and walks into the bathroom to get a wet cloth. He returns and starts gently wiping off her face to his friend’s surprise.

   Curious, Hou Ming asks, “Sihao, what is your relationship with this girl?”

  “Friends. I owe Chen Emmi my life. If she hadn’t rescued me and treated my injuries my father would have succeeded in killing me.”

   “I have been your friend since Middle School and I think it is more than that.”

   “Nothing more. What interest would I have in a little girl?”

   “I hope that is true. I heard about your upcoming engagement to Fang Hua. If the girl is your benefactor you wouldn’t want to get her involved. I know you oppose this marriage and it will get very messy.”

   “Do you think my father can control me?”

   “No. But my mother told me your Grandfather is back, he is the one who proposed this marriage contract to the Fang family.”

   ‘We will see. I have my own company and he has no say in what I do.”

   “You know how much importance the older generation puts on being filial. It could affect your business if you go against your Grandfather.”

   Zhen Sihao finishes wiping off Emmi’s face. “No one decides my marriage but me.” He stands up then leaves the room. Huo Ming follows him to the living room, “Sihao,you know that isn’t the way it works. Marriages are about business connections and cooperation. I will be honest I didn’t want to marry Peng Nuo. I was infatuated with a young nurse in my department, but look at us now. We are very happy.”

  “Why are you telling me all this?”

  “Because whether you admit it or not you have feelings for the girl in the bedroom. I saw the way you looked at Chen Emmi. You better get any thoughts you have about her out of your mind…it is impossible.”

  Zhen Sihao pours two glasses of wine and hands one to Huo Ming. “Nuo must have you watching television dramas. Chen Emmi saved me…yes..I feel grateful but that is the extent of my feelings.Nothing more.”

  “I don’t know if you are trying to convince me or yourself. But let me put it another way: if you do care about the little girl don’t get her involved in your dangerous and messy life. I heard Daphne Drake tried to kill you.”

  “News travels fast.”

  “You forgot my sister is friends with your cousin Fan Mi. She told her about the traumatizing incident at D’Amico’s.”

   “You certainly like your gossip. Do not tell anyone about Chen Emmi!”

   “Of course I won’t. If your father knew she saved you… that girl would be as good as dead.” Huo Ming’s phone rings, “Yes Honey, I will be home in about an hour.”

  Zhen Sihao laughs, “Yes Honey?..haha..’

  “Laugh all you want but one day you will be in the same boat as I am. I am going to wait until the infusion bag is empty, check on her fever then leave if her condition has improved.”

Emmi Breaks Down

  “Go into the kitchen and bring me the red chili seasoning, it is on the counter.”

  Zhen Sihao is lost in thought and doesn’t respond so Emmi repeats herself, “Wang Hao! Go get the chili and bring the rice. I don’t want the fish to burn or I would go get it.” 

  He has a slight smile as he goes into the Art Studio, the little bunny girl looks very cute when she is giving me orders…haha. 

  While he is gone she flips the savory fish over with the spatula,  smells so good… the fish is going to be delicious.

  Zhen Sihao sets the bowl of rice on the table then walks over to Emmi with the bottle of chili powder. She sprinkles the red powder on one of the fish.

  “Why did you only put the spice on one fish?”

  She matter of factly answers, “You can’t eat spicy food after being poisoned by the Demon Snake venom. Almost done, hand me a plate.”

   Emmi places a skewer of grilled vegetables and a piece of fish on the plate. “I’m going to eat on the patio. You should go inside.” 

  He raises his eyebrow, “Chen Emmi, could you stop telling me what to do? I will eat out here.”  

   She wrinkles her eyebrows together as she fixes a plate for herself.  “Wang Hao, you are the worst patient ever!” She sits at a small wooden table by a space heater. “Suit yourself but if you catch a cold, don’t expect any sympathy from me.”

   He bursts out laughing, “Girl, I don’t think you ever showed me any sympathy.”

   She points her chopstick at him, “Wang Hao, I resent that. I dragged you, a strange man, when you were lying on top of my precious medicinal herbs with great effort into my studio. I then spent several days carefully treating your injuries.” 

   “That is true, but I don’t recall you showing me any tender care.”

     Pfft! So ungrateful! She ignores him and takes a bite of fish then says, “I want some wine.”  She walks into the studio. No compassion! I didn’t even mention how expensive and rare the antidote for the Flower Demon Snake is! I should charge him! 

    Emmi returns with the bottle of wine and one glass.

    “…”

     She has a mischievous grin when she sees his irritated expression, “Wang Hao, you can’t drink wine.” Emmi pours the wine then tauntingly swirls the wine around in the glass.

      Zhen Sihao reaches across the small table and grabs the glass.“Can.”  He drinks the wine, finishing the glass in one smooth motion. Then his eyes light up and he looks at the bottle, “What winery makes this wine?”

    Emmi puffs out her cheeks, “YOU! YOU! I have never met a man more shameless than you!”

   He likes to see Emmi’s angry expression, “I am not shameless, just thirsty, you put too much salt on the fish.”

   She shakes her head, “Like I said, shameless, I didn’t put any salt on the fish at all.” She takes a bite of the flaky fish and after she swallows she sighs, “Perfect.” 

   “I will pay you for the wine and antidote, are you happy now.”

   “Do you think all I care about is money? You were paralysed an hour ago, do you think it is a good idea to drink wine?”

   Zhen Sihao chuckles, “You want me to believe that you are showing concern for me now? I think you are angry with me and don’t want to share the wine.”

   Emmi’s face is flushed with anger, “Wang Hao, call your driver.”

   “You are so childish. Why not admit it.”

   She slams down her chopsticks. “You are right, I am angry with you, but that doesn’t make me childish.” Emmi’s green eyes are blazing and she has an aggrieved expression. “ I think I have treated you with kindness. I could have called the police or sent you to a hospital and washed my hands of you. But you asked me not to and I felt sorry for your situation.”

Emmi’s eyes have a layer of mist forming and she is trembling.“ Do you think I wasn’t worried every minute that a strange man would be discovered in my Art Studio? I am already treated unfairly by my Uncle and my Cousin Chloe takes every opportunity to slander me at school. If you were discovered..well… How could I explain it?  No matter how I explained, they wouldn’t believe me. They use every chance they get to trample on me.” Tears are beginning to roll down her cheeks, “My reputation would be completely ruined. I am trying my best to work hard to get away from my family and be independent but I don’t have the resources right now.”

    Listening to Emmi pour out her heart he feels his chest tighten as she reveals her vulnerable side to him. He wants to crush the Chen family for hurting Emmi. He wants to tell her he is Zhen Sihao and he can give her whatever she wants. But all he can do is say, “I’m sorry. I was wrong” Words he has never said to anyone before.

   Emmi can’t help but notice him staring at her with a pitying look. “Wang Hao, stop looking at me like that!” She straightens her back and proudly declares, “You don’t need to feel sorry for me. I will rise to the top and be a famous fashion designer one day!”

   After wiping her tears with the sleeve of her coat her lips curl up in a slight arc, “Let’s drink some wine.” She pours him another glass and then lifts the bottle and drinks from it. “Haha..well now you know how pathetic my life is.”

   Zhen Sihao’s bottomless dark eyes are filled with turbulent emotions as he watches Emmi tilt the bottle and let the wine pour into her small mouth. Little girl you don’t  need to suffer any more grievances..you have me now… I will clean up the people that dare to hurt you.

  He lifts his glass, “ Chen Emmi, I believe you can do whatever you set your mind on.”

   Emmi looks up at Zhen Sihao with watery eyes embarrassed that she bared her soul to him. She fills his bowl with rice  to ease the awkward atmosphere. “Eat before the food gets cold.”

   Zhen Sihao gazes adoringly at Emmi’s breathtakingly beautiful face, in the moonlight her innocent eyes are misty and flicker like stars and his heart skips a beat. Restraining the temptation to hug Emmi into his embrace and kiss her dense black eyelashes glistening with teardrops he quickly shifts his eyes away.

   He chokes back what he wants to say and picks up a piece of fish with his chopsticks, “Chen Emmi, I looked at your sketches, I meant what I said, I think you are very talented.”

  She sets down the bottle of wine and laughs. Emmi’s eyes bend into crescents and she smiles, “Wang Hao, you don’t need to turn on the charm because I showed you my heart.  I do appreciate you interceding with Zhen Sihao for me. I love this cabin and gardens.” She drinks some more wine, “If you like this Peach Blossom wine I can give you a bottle to take with you. My grandfather and I made it before he passed away.”

   “I was going to tell you that anyway. If you want an internship at YRan I can show your designs to Zhen Sihao.”

    Nervously gulping down the wine she then blurts out, “ ZHEN SIHAO! NO! I mean… I am going to be busy. I’m not ready.”  Emmi’s face pales remembering the Chen banquet when she enthusiastically approached Zhen Sihao for a summer internship. She naively thought this would be a chance to shine. When she approached him he insulted her in front of a group of people. 

    ‘Zhen Sihao’ sneered as he knocked away the portfolio in her outstreched hand. He then mercilessly ridiculed Emmi in front of a group of people which included her cousin Chloe and her friends. They were laughing loudly which caught Chen Yihong’s attention. He stormed  over and roughly dragged Emmi out the door.

Once outside the banquet hall he slapped Emmi’s face several times berating her for being a useless burden. She can still picture his sweaty red face contorted in anger because she lost his face in front of the head of Zhen Group. While she was home recovering Chen Chloe posted what happened at the banquet on the school forum. She shudders recalling the humiliation when she returned to school.

Emmi stands up to get another bottle of wine then feels dizzy from a combination of drinking and the disturbing memory.

   Zhen Sihao immediately reacts, pulling Emmi into his arms before she falls. He lifts her limp body and hurriedly carries her into the studio then lays her on the small bed. Is she drunk? 








I Do What I Want

    Emmi lazily walks to the snow covered patio listening to Jiang Weiming, “That is great!”

   When Jiang Weiming got home his mother and father were watching television. He brewed the special calming tea then gave it to his parents. Shortly after his mother drank the Frost Flower Tea she yawned and commented how sleepy she was. “It was so amazing! My mother could barely keep her eyes open and fell asleep resting on my father’s shoulder.”

   Emmi walks back inside the studio to get a fishing pole, “Did you put the sachet by your mother’s bed?”

  “I did.”

   “She should be able to sleep well and have pleasant dreams.”

  “I don’t know how to repay you Chen Emmi, my mother has suffered for a long time.”

  Emmi takes out the fishing pole from the cupboard, “I told you, we are friends and partners.” She glances over at Wang Hao lying on the bed. “Can you schedule an appointment to see the medicinal plant farm tomorrow until after two o’clock? I need to work on my design project in the morning.”

  “Of course. I have a Finance class I shouldn’t miss at ten so that is perfect. Did you want me to pick you up at your dormitory or your Art Studio?”

  “If you could pick me up at the Art Studio that would be good. I rather not have anyone see us together.” She doesn’t notice the irritated look from the man who is unable to speak while helplessly lying on the bed. Emmi walks towards the door, “I have a friend who said he would set up our website as soon as we are ready.”

  Jiang Weiming enters the kitchen and opens the refrigerator, “What is his name?”

  “Fang Chao. Do you know him? Emmi leaves the studio. “He helped me when I started live streaming and my online store.”

  “Know. He and my brother are friends.” I am surprised Fang Chao would do that for Chen Emmi. He is the CEO of FCG and very busy. “How do you know him?”

  “I met him at a gaming competition I went to with Ruan YaoYao and her brother. They are friends so he introduced me. Fang Chao liked my embroidered jacket and wanted me to make one for his cousin so we did a trade.”

   Emmi walks through the snow to a small channel. The water isn’t frozen because of the small natural hot spring not far away. The Ordovician carbonate rocks underneath the surface keep the water warm year round. She looks at the tempting hot spring not far away and sighs, not tonight I need to get back and feed that annoying man. 

   She sits on a boulder and puts her special bait on the hook. It doesn’t take long before she catches a fat fish,  she tosses the line into the water again.One more should do it. She looks up at the stars in the sky and sighs,Mom, I am very happy tonight. I think with Jiang Weiming as my partner, if I work hard I will be able to realize my dreams. I was able to save Grandfather’s cabin from being sold by Uncle and they are building an access road so I can come and go as I want.”

   After she catches another decently sized fish she puts it into the bucket she brought and walks back to the patio.

Inside the studio Wang Hao used his internal energy to overcome the lingering effects of the poison. He slowly stands up and walks to the kitchen, I am so fucking thirsty. The little fool was talking to the pretty boy and didn’t even notice I was trying to get her attention by blinking my eyes. He gulps down a glass of water then peers out the large window. Emmi is lighting a fire, he smiles at her serious expression while poking the wood.

  He is leaning on the counter when Emmi comes in the door with the fish. When she sees him standing she is surprised “I’m going to barbeque some fish for dinner.” She sets the bucket with the fish on the counter then washes her hands in the sink.  “How do you feel?” 

  “Weak, but not bad.”

   She touches his forehead with the back of her hand, “You still have a slight fever. I will get some medicine. Let me see your hand.” 

   Wang Hao holds out his hand and as she unwraps the gauze she remarks, “The medicine I used is very expensive…but effective.” She lightly runs her slender finger over his palm, “The area around the bite is still red but the swelling has gone down. “Does it hurt?”

    When he doesn’t answer she notices his strange expression. “Wang Hao?  Are you in pain?”

   He can feel his body heating up and his heart beating rapidly as she brushes her finger across his palm. Emmi is standing very close to him and he can smell the light jasmine fragrance coming from her body. Zhen Sihao quickly takes his hand away, “No pain.”

  “Well, I am going to change your bandage then make dinner. I am starving.”

  He takes a deep breath when she turns to go get the medicine chest. Ever since I saw her body I can barely control my desire. I want to touch Chen Emmi. I want to kiss those tempting lips and.. Fuck! 

   Emmi walks over to Zhen Sihao, “Sit.”

   He obediently sits down at her work table and she disinfects his hand then applies more medicine. He notices Emmi frowning as she sprinkles the expensive white powder on his hand. The little miser wants to ask me to pay. I can see it in her eyes. He chuckles, “Chen Emmi, I will pay you for the medicine so you don’t have to look so gloomy.”

   She wraps his hand in white gauze, “Wang Hao, don’t worry about it. You did ask CEO Zhen to give me permission to use the access road and I really appreciate it. At first, yes.. I was angry you stuck your hand in the flowers like an idiot but there was no way you would know about the snakes.”

   “I’m glad you realize that.” I will ignore you calling me an idiot. “I heard you on the phone, you are buying a farm?”

    Emmi’s eyes sparkle, “YES! That is why I am in such a good mood. If it works out I can distance myself from my Uncle and not depend on him at all!” 

  He furrows his eyebrows, “Does he treat you badly?”

   She closes the medicine box and her voice reveals a hint of loneliness, “I don’t want to talk about my family.” Emmi takes the medicine box and puts it away in a cupboard then washes her hands in the bathroom.

   He picks up one of her sketches on the worktable, the little girl is very talented. Why does she want to grow medicinal herbs? I need to squash her plan to partner with Jiang Weiming. I will offer her an internship with a clothing company under the Zhen Group…rather Yang Jing will.

   Emmi goes into the small kitchen area and cleans the fish. “Wang Hao, you should lay down until dinner is ready.”

    He stands up, “I feel fine. I am going to check on the fire.” He grabs his coat and walks out the door then lights a cigarette. He takes out his phone and calls Yang Jing. “I want you to offer Chen Emmi a paid internship at Daphne Designs.”

  Yang Jing sets down the glass of wine in his hand, “There is going to be quite a bit of turmoil in that company because you got rid of Daphne Drake. Are you sure you want the little girl caught up in the inevitable drama?”

  “I hadn’t thought about that. What about your sister, her company YRan might be a good fit.”

  “I could ask Ran… of course you know she will wonder why you want to help a University student. She already asked me about your relationship with Chen Emmi when she brought the clothes to your apartment.”

  Zhen Sihao pinches the cigarette between his fingers, “Forget it. I will think about another solution. I want you to check out the best medicinal plant farm in the area and send me the information. Change my reservation to Friday.”

  “Wait. You can’t do that. You are expected tomorrow.”

  “I can do whatever I want.” He hears Emmi coming out the door and hangs up the phone.

   “…”

  Emmi is carrying a tray with a teapot and two cups. “Have some Frost Flower Tea, when I checked your pulse your qi was fluctuating and your heart rate was abnormally high. This tea has a calming effect.”

  Zhen Sihao sits at the table and Emmi puts the cup in front of him, “Call your driver to pick you up in an hour.”

  He sips the tea then calmly says “I will need to stay here tonight in case there are any complications.” She is always trying to get rid of me!

  “No. I need to get a good night’s sleep, I have a busy day tomorrow. You said that you are fine.”

  “Fine now… but what if I have a fever later? Plus, my muscles ache and I need a massage.”

  Emmi places the seasoned fish on the barbeque, “Be reasonable. I will give you a massage after we eat, then you need to call your driver.”

  He has a scorching gaze fixed on Emmi illuminated by the firelight, you are so beautiful… I can’t let another man have you. I want you to be mine.

The Gazebo Part 2

   Jiang Weiming reluctantly finishes his tea and walks over to Emmi, “I guess they need to work on the road so I won’t be able to stay. Maybe we could have a barbeque another day.”

   “Of course since the road is there you are welcome anytime. Let me get the sachet and tea for your mother.”

   They walk back to the Art Studio and Emmi gets the tin of tea, “Don’t tell your mother this tea has a medicinal effect. You tasted it so you know it is alright to drink. The sachet, tell your mother it is a gift from a friend of yours at the University and the medicinal herbal bath…well just tell her it smells good hahaha.”

  He takes the items from Emmi, “Thank you. I think the tea is very calming and tastes delicious. I will call you tomorrow about visiting the medicinal farm we decided to purchase. I think we should inspect it together before we make the final decision.” Deciding to invest with Chen Emmi was the best idea I have ever had. I can spend time with her and we can get closer as we work together. When my villa is completed I will live not far from her Art Studio. I can suggest we use one of the floors for the our office.

  “I agree. I am finished with classes at two. If you are available we could go then. But I will walk you out. The forest can be confusing.”

  “I would say no but I am not an outdoors person so I might get lost.” He inwardly admonishes himself for turning into a liar. He has had to endure Wilderness training every summer since he was ten because his Grandfather insisted he and his brother Chang learn martial arts and survival skills.

  They walk out the door and down the lit pathway through the garden. When they come to the end Emmi remarks, “This Gingko tree you can see I carved my name here.” She laughs, “We turn here and then go past these bushes, be careful of the thorns.” She points to the right. “You can see the road from here.”

   “Then you can go back.”

   “No, I will take you there, it is a nice walk. I love the forest.”

   When they arrive at his car Zhen Sihao can see them from the window of the construction office. What is in the little bastard’s hands? Is that a sachet? He remembers at the birthday party at the Ruan Estate seeing the one she made for Ting’s aunt. Why did she give him one? She never offered to make one for me! He is getting impatient watching them laughing and talking. Brat open the goddam car door and leave!

   Zhen Sihao is about to impulsively walk out of the office when Jiang Weiming gets into the Bugatti and drives away. He watches Emmi waving at the car with a big smile on her face. Does the little girl like that pretty boy? She has spent the entire day with him.

   Zhen Sihao has an idea. He waits until Emmi walks into the forest and silently follows.When she stops at a large tree runs her finger across the bark hee sneaks up behind Emmi. She is deep in thought as he grabs her from behind. Emmi reaches for her silver needle from her bun and realizes it isn’t there. She turns to kick him and he quickly dodges her leg. He leans down and teases Emmi waving a silver needle, “Looking for this?”

    She stomps her feet and angrily growls, “WANG HAO! What are you doing creeping around the woods like a serial killer!! You scared me half to death!”

   “I was at the construction office checking on the progress for Zhen Sihao and I saw you and wanted to say hello.”

  “Well..well why didn’t you just say hello like a normal person!”

   “I didn’t want to interrupt your little date with the pretty boy.”

  Emmi can smell his unique masculine scent feel his warm breath on her face.Emmi’s heart is beating erratically as she pushes him away.“Wang Hao, could you not be so obnoxious at all times. Not everyone is like you! We are friends.”

Zhen Sihao likes Emmi’s cute expression, her green eyes are a little watery and she is visibly shaken. Emmi’s vulnerable appearance makes him want to bully her more.”You were so brave at the restaurant now you are quivering like a frightened little rabbit.”

  Emmi’s face is red from embarrassment, “You said hello. You can go now.” Emmi starts walking hurriedly towards the Art Studio. Shameless Devil!

He stretches his long legs to walk by her side.“Since you saw the road I thought you might want to thank me.”

  “Huh?”

  “I know you have difficulties with the Chen family so I suggested to Zhen Sihao it would be more convenient to have a private side road.”

   “You did?”

  “Yes. I also said a friend of mine has an Art Studio next to his property.”

  He graciously said if the person is my friend of course they could use the private road.”

  Emmi has a serious expression because the road will make her life much easier. “Then I thank you Wang Hao. I was going to fish and barbeque but Jiang Weiming had to leave. Oh that’s right, you need to leave also… won’t your car be in the way? They are leveling the road.”

  Zhen Sihao has thick skin and ignores her attempt to get rid of him. “I have a driver. He will come back for me. Dinner sounds good, but how can you catch fish in this weather?”

   Emmi has a bright smile, “It is a secret.”

   He hasn’t seen the back garden before and marvels at the beauty. He is jealous that she shared this ethereal place with Jiang Weiming. The teapot and cups on the table are an eyesore. “Bring me tea. I want to sit in the gazebo.”

   Emmi shakes her head, Wang Hao for a moment  I was thinking you are a considerate fellow. But leopards don’t change their spots. Well, he did me a great favor by securing my Art Studio and now giving me convenient access to my property.

  “Okay.” She picks up the empty teapot and cups.

  “I want whatever tea you made for Jiang Weiming.”

  Emmi shoots him a look from the side and holds her temper. Why is it even though he did me a favor I feel like I am taking a loss?

   Zhen Sihao walks around the garden admiring the strange flowers and lush medicinal plants. He reaches down to touch a blooming red flower when a small red and black snake bites his hand. He winces in pain and screams,“FUCK!” first he experiences a stinging sensation then numbness in his hand. Emmi comes rushing out when she hears him loudly cursing. She sees him standing by the Red Demon Snake Flowers and looking at his bleeding and swollen hand.

 “WANG HAO!” She holds his hand then sucks the venom from his palm.

   He looks down at her fluffy hair hanging down as she seriously sucks on his palm then spits out black blood. Once she thinks she has gotten as much poison out as she can she looks up at him with black blood on the corner of her mouth, “Come inside.”

  When they are in the Art Studio she pushes him onto the daybed, “Keep your hand above your head.”

   Emmi rushes into the bathroom and washes out her mouth muttering, “So gross!” She takes out a porcelain bottle and pours it into her mouth then swishes the green liquid around. Then she  rinses out her mouth with a special mouthwash. Wheww..at least the mouthwash has a mint flavor; the antidote is so bitter!

   Zhen Sihao feels a little dizzy as he sits on the daybed waiting for her to come out. He tries to talk but no sounds comes out of his mouth. 

   Emmi looks in the cupboard. Once she finds the right medicine she dashes over to the daybed. Zhen Sihao is unconscious. She holds up his head, “Didn’t I say not to lie down!” She tries to open his mouth but can’t. She rolls her eyes and puts the antidote in her mouth then pinches his chin to open his mouth, she presses her lips on his and the bitter liquid goes down his throat. He is semi conscious, Fuck! That tastes like shit! So goddam bitter. But having her lips on mine isn’t bad.  Emmi finally finishes and lays his head down. She takes the disinfectant and uses a swab to clean the bite marks. She sprinkles white powder on the wound then wraps his hand with white gauze she mumbles, “What kind of idiot touches a Red Demon Flower after dark. That is when the Demon Snake feeds on the flower’s essence.”

   He is listening to her mumble and wishes he had the strength to wring her thin neck. He is still experiencing a burning pain in his entire body. Who grows such an evil flower that attracts a little demon snake!

   Emmi takes his shoes off, he will need to stay overnight in case he gets a fever. She lifts him up to take off his suit coat, “Did you put on weight?” You really are such a nuisance! I was so happy! Now I need to take care of you again. She loosens his tie and unbuttons this top two buttons so he is comfortable then covers him with a blanket.

   “…” Zhen Sihao can only bear with it; he can’t speak and his body is paralyzed from the venom. He would be terrified of his condition if he didn’t have full confidence in Emmi’s abilities.

   Emmi turns off the teapot that is whistling and makes a cup of tea. She sits at her work table and her stomach is growling. Wang Hao should be fine if I go to the river to catch a few fish.

   As she walks to the door her phone rings. Partner? Why is Jiang Weiming calling? She answers, “Hello.”

The Gazebo

    Jiang Weiming and Emmi arrive at the exit on the highway by the Riverfront Landing property and Emmi has a stunned expression, “They were able to build this road in a couple weeks? That is amazing.”

   “The main road isn’t completed at the other end of the Development yet. I heard one of the construction workers say Zhen Sihao personally requested this road to be built.” He points out the window, “That is his villa under construction.”

  Emmi looks in the direction he is pointing, WHAT! Why would that old fart move here. The mansion he has at the top of the mountain is magnificent.

   Jiang Weiming is watching the narrow road and can’t see Emmi’s frightened expression. “Yes. I guess he is an avid fisherman.”

  “Oh.” I guess that makes sense.

  Jiang Weiming reaches the end of the road. He parks and they get out of the car not noticing the black Rolls Royce Phantom to the left. Emmi’s art studio is about 500 meters away through the forest.

  “You should have a walkway made from your Art Studio to this road. If you want I could have it done for you.”

  “I have troubled you enough. I don’t mind walking through the forest. It isn’t far from my studio.” Maybe Zhen Sihao isn’t aware someone else will use his road, it might be for his private use.

  They walk through the forest and when they reach Emmi’s property Jiang Weiming stops while staring at the fairytale-like garden with the wooden gazebo in the middle.  Along the stone paths are concrete pillars slightly taller than him with globes resting on top. He points his trembling finger towards the slightly glowing orbs. Are those globes…Night Pearls?

  “My grandfather brought the Night Pearls back from an expedition in the Eastern mountains. They are really cool when it gets dark, you will see. They will light up the entire garden.”

  He has a puzzled look, does she not know they are rare artifacts? He looks around,they are far away from the Chen mansion and until the construction of the Riverfront Development it was an isolated spot.  I guess that is why no one has noticed them. Otherwise, someone might steal them.Well, who would come at night to this forest.

  “Your garden is bigger than I anticipated.”

   “Originally grandfather only grew medicinal herbs and plants but because I liked planting flowers he expanded the garden. Gradually over the years it has become a bit large.”

   Jiang Weiming doesn’t know anything about medicinal herbs and plants. He merely thinks the garden has a magical feel and the fragrance is very appealing. When they walk down one path full of  beautiful white and blue flowers he comments, “How can these flowers survive in winter?”

  “They are called Frost Flowers, grandfather discovered them in a cave in the Himalayas, actually they bloom in winter and wither when the weather warms up.” She picks a flower, “Smell, this flower, its leaves are used to make the calming tea I spoke of for your mother. I will brew you a pot when we get to the Art Studio.”

   He sniffs the flower and feels a wave of euphoria. “Chen Emmi, this flower is amazing.”

   Emmi feels comfortable talking to Jiang Weiming after he freely spoke of his mother’s condition. “Grandfather worried about my mother. She was prone to depression and would cry inexplicably. He had an Old Master when he was young who spoke of these caves so he went on an expedition and came back with these flowers. Those flowers are over a hundred years old. They are a little hard to care for because they need different nutrients than normal flowers. Once a year a monk from the temple by the caves sends a package.”

  Jiang Weiming is fascinated listening to Emmi and doesn’t realize they have arrived at her Art Studio. Emmi opens the door and turns on the lights, “I hope you don’t mind how small it is. Have a seat. I need to use the bathroom.”

  He glances around the neat room, on one side is a kitchen then a workspace. He notices a small daybed and a wooden table. There is a large embroidered screen of an ancient style landscape by the wooden table. Although the room is small the window is large giving it an airy feeling. The colors are vibrant and everything is well organized. He grins, just like Chen Emmi.

  Emmi comes out of the bathroom and walks to the kitchen. “I will brew some tea. Let me put the flower in water, it will give off a light fragrance.”

  He hands the flower to Emmi and watches as she places it in a small dish. It floats on the surface and the water turns blue. He lazily leans on the table looking at Emmi’s designs. “Chen Emmi, you are very talented.”

   “Well, I am learning a lot in my classes. I try to use that knowledge to improve my designs.”

   Emmi grabs a large tin of tea from the cupboard. She pours some tea leaves into a  metal tin for Jiang Weiming to take to his mother. While the water boils she walks over to a drawer and takes out an embroidered sachet. “Jiang Weiming here is a sachet for your mother.”

  He looks at the exquisitely embroidered pouch, “Chen Emmi, did you embroider this.”

  “Yeah, I hope your mother likes it. I just finished one for a friend of mine and this one I used the leftover silk.”

  “I can’t take this. It is too..too beautiful. It must have taken you a long time.”

  “I like to embroider, I find it relaxing, moving the needle in and out helps me find my inspiration. Smell it. What do you think?” 

   He puts the sachet to his nose and the tension in his muscles instantly lessens. What do I think? I think I want to keep it for myself. “My mother will definitely benefit from the relaxing effect. Well, let me pay you for your hard work.”

   Emmi pouts and teases, “Jiang Weiming don’t insult me! You are my friend and benefactor. This is the very least I can do.”

   The tea is ready, “Do you want to drink the in the gazebo?”

  “Won’t it be too cold?”

  “No. The gazebo has heating elements to keep it warm. I especially like sitting there and watching the sun go down.”

  “Alright.”

  Emmi puts it on a rosewood tray and Jiang Weiming opens the door. They walk to the gazebo and sit on a padded bench by a unique agarwood table.

  She sighs, I do owe Wang Hao for convincing CEO Zhen to protect my property. Wang Hao is a bit of a scoundrel but he has helped me a few times. 

   Zhen Sihao is leaving the construction office when he spots the Silver Bugatti. He turns to the foreman who is walking him out. “Whose car is that?”

  The man scratches his head, “I think the vehicle belongs to Young Master Jiang. I have spoken to him several times about the construction progress on Lot #34 that he purchased.”

  “He purchased property here? Why wasn’t I informed?”

  The man can detect a hint of annoyance in Zhen Sihao’s voice. He takes off his yellow hard hat and scratches his head, “Ah. I don’t handle the sales. That would be your Director Yang or his assistant Miss Gu.”

   “Where is Young Master Jiang now? Did someone take him to his property?”

   “I don’t think so. Everyone but me is gone for the day. I was locking up when I got the call you were coming.”

   Zhen Sihao’s suspicions are confirmed. He has a raging storm within his dark eyes The little bastard is at Chen Emmi’s Art Studio! I saw the little girl drinking wine..what are they doing? The image Emmi drunk in his apartment surfaces in his mind. Emmi’s half naked body and her face flushed in a seductive color of red. He turns to the foreman. “Call Jiang Weiming and tell him he needs to move his car. The workers need to level the bottom of the road. I will wait in the office and don’t mention that I am here.”

  “Will do.” What is with the CEO? Does he have enmity with Young Master Jiang. The boy seems quite amiable. 

  The Night Pearls light the area and Jiang Weiming is in awe of how beautiful and surreal the garden looks. He sips the tea and feels like he is floating while staring in a daze at Emmi who is in the garden bending over a sea of flowers. This is like a scene from a fucking fantasy drama. I feel like I have been transported to ancient times watching the celestial beauty in front of my eyes. Emmi’s long black hair is cascading down her back and when she tilts her head he can see her delicate snow white clavicle. He is captivated by her delicate beauty. When his phone rings he is brought back to reality. Jiang Weiming gulps down his saliva and his voice sounds raspy “Yes.”

  “Mr. Jiang. I didn’t see you, are you at Lot #34? I need you to come back tomorrow. The truck will be arriving soon to level the road.”

  He is disappointed but he didn’t check in with the office as he should have when they arrived. “Mr. Tang, I apologize I was with a friend who leaves next to the development. I will move the car as soon as possible.”

  The foreman raises an eyebrow, who lives next to the development?



Leaving D’Amico’s Part 2

Fan Mi wakes up when they arrive at the Harborview Hotel. Zhen Sihao says, “Are you sure you don’t want to go to the hospital?”

  “No. If someone saw me it would cause a problem and I am better. It was so scary. Why did that crazy woman have a gun and why did she suddenly collapse?”

  “It is better if you don’t know the reason she was angry with me. She was subdued by one of the guards.” He has a faint smile thinking about Emmi. I should reward her this is the second time she rescued me. Although I was about to disarm Daphne Drake when she shot the silver needle at her neck. “I will walk you up, call Dr. Meng if you have a panic attack”

  “I can go by myself. It sucks that I never know when I am being photographed. Now they will only see me exiting a luxury car and have no idea who you are.”

  Zhen Sihao laughs as he flicks her forehead “Little Mi, you don’t have to worry about my reputation.”

  She has regained her spirits and pinches Zhen Sihao, “Maybe I am worried about mine! Haha..no on will dare date me if they think the powerful and dangerous CEO Li is my backer!”

  He rubs her head, “You should expect to hear from Daphne Drake in a few days. Refuse any other offers and if you encounter any backlash from missing the shoot today call Yang Jing.”

  Fan Mi hugs Zhen Sihao, “You are the best! I envy the woman who finally captures your heart.”

  Zhen Sihao chuckles, “Go. Remember to call Dr. Meng if you experience any aftereffects.”

  She fixes her mask and sunglasses and pulls up the collar of her white Chanel coat. Zhen Sihao’s bodyguards in the SUV quickly get out and surround Fan Mi escorting her into the hotel.

  Zhen Sihao tells his driver, “Take me the Riverfront Landing Development.” He wants to check the progress on the road and his villa. He calls Yang Jing, “Daphne Drake can not be allowed to return to England in the next week. She threatened me with a gun at D’Amico’s restaurant and frightened Little Mi.”

 “I knew she was blindsided and shocked at being removed as CEO but I didn’t think she was insane.”

  “Well, she should have had her legal department be more conscientious before she signed. Blaming me for her own incompetence and thinking I would be coerced into giving her back her position shows her lack of ability. I am flying to London in the morning. Actually her little stunt worked in my favor. She would have been smarter to whine and lie to her father. Old man Drake could slow down the process of Zhen Group taking over immediately. Tied us up in court but now I will get the company in order and set up a meeting with him. Unfortunately for Miss Drake her father values profits over his daughter.”

  “True.”

 “Also Fan Mi will be the new face of Daphne Drake Sportswear. I am going to surprise the little girl with a perfume with her name. Contact David Tarrela, I want him to create an essence that embodies Little Mi’s vibrant and youthful personality. The perfume will be called Mi!”

   “I will.”

  “Has my father caused any waves?”

  “No. He has been surprisingly quiet. I heard he sent Wang Boquin to the office in Mozambique.”

  Zhen Sihao laughs, “Serves the little weasel right for underestimating me.”

  “My sources say he was dumbfounded that you survived the accident. Then after we posted you went to the island he sent men to investigate. When he determined the man wasn’t you he searched everywhere as to where you were recovering after the accident.

Wang Boquin was like a hamster spinning in a wheel. Your father was furious after you screwed him and the stock for Zhou Group fell. I saw him at a banquet last week and he looked like he had aged ten years.”

  “He is lucky I didn’t destroy the Zhou Group. The time will come but for now I have to say I find enjoyment in watching the greedy old fart squirm.”

  They arrive at the construction site, “I am at the Riverfront Landing construction site.Do me a favor personally check on Fan Mi later.”

  “Don’t you remember last time I saw the little girl? I will send Secretary Gu.”

 “Jing, Little Mi has grown up. I’m sure she no longer has a crush on you. I want you to go. She isn’t familiar with your secretary.”

  “Very well. You are probably right. She is a big star now.”

  Zhen Sihao steps out of the black Rolls Royce Phantom. A middle aged man wearing a yellow hard hat rushes over. “CEO Zhen I didn’t expect you to come.” He waves at a man backing up a dumptruck to stop before Zhen Sihao is sprayed with mud. “Come to the office.”

  Emmi and Jiang Weiming leave the restaurant and he offers to give her a ride to the dormitory.

 “I am going to call Butler Wu and see if he is free to pick me up. I am going to my Art Studio.”

 “I can take you.”

 “Jiang Weiming, I don’t want to inconvenience you.”

 “I am interested in seeing your medicinal garden. If you wouldn’t mind.” He doesn’t want to part with Emmi.

  Emmi scrunches up her nose. “Jiang Weiming, umm..I need to go through the gate of Chen mansion to go to my Art Studio. If they saw your car and Cousin Chloe found out…”

  Jiang Weiming flexes his hand in his trouser’s pocket, that damn stupid woman again! Then he remembers checking out the Riverfront Landing Development which is next to Chen’s property. “Isn’t there a road by the new development? It should take you to your Art Studio without having to enter through the Chen’s gate.”

  Emmi hasn’t been to the Art Studio since Butler Wu was unable to take her to school. She has been living in the dormitory then she stayed at the Harborview Hotel. Emmi’s eyes light up, if it is true she could come and go to the Art Studio easily. “Really? A road in the back.”

  “Yeah. I was at the Riverfront Landing to see a piece of land for a villa my parents are interested in buying.” Actually it is for me as an investment property.

  “In that case I will trouble you then.”

  They walk out to the parking lot and Jiang Weiming open’s the door of a silver Bugatti.

  “Jiang Weiming did you get a new car?”

  “I borrowed this car from my brother while mine is being repaired.”

  “Oh.”

  When she is in the passenger seat she stares at the seat buckle. Jiang Weiming has a slight smile as he leans over to buckle it. “It is a little confusing.” He inhales her intoxicating fragrance and feels her soft black hair brush against his cheek. Taking a deep breath he suppresses the urge to kiss Emmi’s tempting pink  lips. If I do Chen Emmi will immediately distance herself from me and drop our partnership. I need to take my time. But it is so fucking hard to resist her alluring appearance. 

  Emmi doesn’t think anything about his closeness because she is unaware of his amorous thoughts. “This is good. I can show you the medicinal plants I want to transplant to the farm we buy.”

  He pushes a button and the engine hums as he turns into the alley. “I never realized how interesting TCM is. My grandfather swears by it’s effectiveness but my mother was raised abroad so she disdains Chinese medicine. I wish she would reconsider, she has been suffering from migraine headaches and insomnia. She takes several different medications.”

  “I never thought taking synthetically made pills was a good idea. They have so many side effects and can be addicting. If you want I can send a sachet with you filled with relaxing herbs, also a tin of calming tea. Last month I created an herbal bath powder that will nourish her skin and soothe her mind.” 

  “Thank you Chen Emmi, but I doubt my mother will try them.”

  “Well maybe you could subtly introduce them to your mother. Let her smell the sachet for instance. I will let you try when we get to my Studio. You can see for yourself. No bath though hahaha..”

  Jiang Weiming’s face turns red and he tightens his hands on the wheel. “Okay.”

  “If you aren’t in a rush after we check out the garden we could go fishing then barbeque. I could teach you a little about TCM since you are entering the business”

  “I would enjoy that.” 

Leaving D’Amico’s Restaurant

  Emmi and Jiang Weiming are talking and her phone rings. She sees the caller is Wang Hao and ignores it. Jiang Weiming tells Emmi, “If you need to take the call it’s fine.”

    She smiles at Jiang Weiming, “I will send a message.She glances up at Zhen Sihao is languidly leaning on the wooden railing. He waves his phone and she glares at him. “I will send a message.Pfft! Wang Hao you are the worst boyfriend ever! [Shouldn’t you check on Fan Mi?]

  He has a slight smile as he looks at his phone, [I have something that belongs to you.]

  [I don’t know what you mean.]

  [ Were you worried about me?]

  [Pfft! I am Fan Mi’s fangirl. I was worried about Fan Mi!..she deserves better than a playboy like you!]

  He glances down at Emmi’s angry expression. Playboy? haha..should I tell her Fan Mi is my little cousin? No….I think she is jealous..so cute![You are right I will break up with her right now.]

 Emmi shakes her head and bites her lip.[Not right now! She just had a terrible shock! That would be too cruel!]

  Zhen Sihao wants to laugh.Chen Emmi can’t hide her emotions at all..haha..they are clearly written on her cute little face. [Come up here] He would go down to the table but Jiang Weiming would recognize him as Zhen Sihao.

   [No. absolutely not!]

   [Then I will break up with Fan Mi now.]

   [I will come up.] He is terrible! Shameless! A Big Devil!

  She looks up from her phone and Jang Weiming is reading a financial report. “Jiang Weiming, I will be right back.” Emmi doesn’t want to lie or explain.

  He thinks she is going to make a phone call. “Okay. Don’t be too long the food should be here soon.”

  “I won’t.”

  Emmi leaves the table then rushes up the stairs. She pulls Zhen Sihao back so if Jiang Weiming looks up he can’t see them. “Wang Hao! How can you be so heartless! Fan Mi must be in a state of shock after being attacked by your crazy ex girlfriend!”

  “Didn’t you advise me to break up with her?”

 “I did. But..but..go in there and comfort your girlfriend then break up with her when she calms down. I don’t know… like tomorrow!

  An older man comes up the stairs and Zhen Sihao points to the door, “She is in there.”

  He sees the puzzled look on her face and says, “I sent for a doctor.”

  “Well at least you are somewhat responsible. You should go be with Fan Mi.”

Zhen Sihao looks at her furrowed eyebrows, “You are very worried about my girlfriend. Not at all that I might have been shot?”

   “Hmmph…Wang Hao you should have let the crazy woman down gently. In the restroom she called you a bastard and said you tricked her.”

   “…”

    Emmi turns to walk away and she stumbles at the top of the stairs. Zhen Sihao pulls her into his strong arms. She is flustered being held tightly in his warm embrace. Emmi can smell his masculine scent, which reminds her of when they kissed. She gazes up at him with an exasperated expression. “Wang Hao! What are you doing?”

    The little girl looks like an angry little kitten that got its tail stepped on. He has a mischievous smile and points to the stairs, “Would you have rather I let you fall down the stairs?”

   Zhen Sihao gazes at her flushed cheeks and her half parted lips. He can feel her heart beating rapidly and her chest moving up and down through the thin t shirt she is wearing. Zhen Sihao’s body is heating up and his eyes darken with desire as Emii closes her eyes in anticipation. He suddenly let’s go of Emmi. She is startled, she thought he was going to kiss her. He teases in a seductive low tone, “What were you thinking? I was going to kiss you?”

   Emmi’s face turns bright red and she stomps her foot. “Wang Hao! You are too much! I am going to forget I ever met you!”

    She rushes down the steps cursing under her breath.“Wang Hao..shameless..shameless..”

    Zhen Sihao’s heart is beating rapidly as he watches her petite figure running away. The black skirt is short and Emmi’s straight legs are snow white. The back of her slender neck is exposed as her high ponytail swings back and forth. He gulps down his saliva, I was going to kiss Chen Emmi’s tempting lips…the little girl has some sort of strange hold on me. It’s good I am going to England for a week.  Annoyed by his turbulent emotions.  Zhen Sihao takes out another cigarette waiting for Emmi to return to her table. Maybe I shouldn’t have teased the little girl.

   After Emmi goes to the bathroom to compose herself, she returns to the table as the server is placing the dishes on the table. “Oh looks delicious.”

   She sits down and Jiang Weiming notices her face is flushed. “Everything okay?”

  “Yes.” She takes out her phone to take a picture of the dishes then fills up Jiang Weiming’s glass and hers also. “Weiming let’s toast to our future success.”

    While they clink their glasses together, Zhen Sihao sees Emmi’s dazzling smile, his face darkens and his eyes ripple with a hint of jealousy.

The little bunny girl certainly can bewitch a man with that captivating smile, Young Master Jiang can’t take his eyes off her beautiful face. He controls the sudden impulse to carry Emmi back to his apartment and kiss her until she can’t breathe. 

    Zhen Sihao only comes out of his daze when the ember from the cigarette burns his finger. Fuck! He flicks the cigarette butt into the ashtray then angrily walks into the private room.

   After Emmi and Jiang Weiming eat Emmi can’t wait any longer, “What is the surprise?”

  Jiang Weiming moves his chair next to Emmi then takes out three folders. “I have narrowed the search for a medicinal farm to these three.” He points to a photograph of a small quaint building and a field of medicinal plants, ” I consulted my brother and he thinks this one would be the best investment. If you agree I have spoken to the owner and we can go tomorrow to see the farm. If you are satisfied we can then purchase it immediately. There are ten employees and the owner said they would be willing to work for us.”

  Emmi studies the information and looks up at Jiang Weiming, her eyes are sparkling “Weiming this farm looks perfect. It isn’t too large but isn’t too small..just right!” Emmi’s body is very close to him, as she tilts her head several wisps of silky black hair are hanging down. He can smell the light fragrance of jasmine and his Adam’s apple rolls gazing into her beautiful green eyes. He clears his throat, “Do..do you have time tomorrow?”

   “I don’t have any classes but have to go to my art studio for awhile in the morning.There are five empty acres?”

  “I thought you would like that aspect of the farm. You mentioned you would like to transplant some plants and plant some different medicinal herbs.”

  Emmi hasa serious expression, “The price though..it is the most expensive of the three.”

  “It is still within the budget I prepared.” He shows her some financial information and the estimated monthly cost.

   “Have you heard from the Doctor in Pushong City with the lab? If I could sell my formula I could add more to my investment capital.”

   “Chang said Dr. Qiao is back from abroad. That was the second part of my surprise. He is willing to test your scar cream.”

   “Oh wow! That is great!” She clutches his hand unexpectedly that is resting on the table.

     He has a rush of heat run through his body. “Do you want to drive to Pushong City and meet Dr. Qiao?”

   Emmi swirls the wine around in the glass and scrunches her forehead. “I would like to go but I am too busy right now. Could I send him the sample?”

   “ You could do that. I  thought you might want to meet him. He is really a genius.”

   “I would feel honored to meet him but I need to finish my design and dress for Chloe. You know the Winter Ball is next Saturday.”

  He has a complicated expression but he can’t give his opinion. She said she has her reasons. “Are you going?”

  “Yes. Although it bothers my Uncle and Auntie the host is Tong Aotian. He is my godfather. Haha.. they wouldn’t let me attend otherwise. I actually want to go because Henri Armand will be attending. I really admire him.”

  “I am also attending with my family.” I wish you could be my date! Damn that Chen Chloe. How can I suppress that little bitch!

  “Great.”

  Zhen Sihao and Fan Mi are leaving. He sees Emmi and Jiang Weiming close together looking at some documents. He grimaces when he sees her holding his hand.

   After they walk out the door Fan Mi’s assistant rushes out of a nanny van. She sounds very annoyed and screeches at “Fan Mi, you need to get to your shoot!”

   Zhen Sihao approaches Fan Mi’s agent, “Miss Ding is it? You work for Fan Mi, show respect.”

   The round faced woman blanches when she realizes who the handsome man is next to Fan Mi She wrings her hands and stammers, “CEO..CEO Zhen, I..I..if she delays shooting the advertisement Fan Mi needs to pay the advertiser.”

  “So I will pay. Miss Fan needs to relax because she is overworked. Cancel her engagements for the next week.”

  Frustrated, Fan Mi’s assistant tries to reason eith Zhen Sihao. “CEO Zhen if I cancel her advertisements she will lose face and no one will hire Fan Mi.”

  “Why does she need to worry about those low end companies. I am making her the face of Daphne Drake. Enough said. Fan Mi is coming with me, you can leave.”

   Ding Hua stands there with her mouth open watching them walk away. Fan Mi was silent the whole time and was following the Big Boss…when did she hug that Golden thigh and I didn’t know?

   Fan Mi follows him to a black Maybach and his driver opens the door. Once inside she leans on Zhen Sihao. She is still groggy from the sedative the doctor gave to her in the private room, her voice is weak, “Thank you Cousin.”



Daphne Drake

    Jiang Weiming notices Emmi is distracted and her eyes keep darting upstairs. He looks upstairs but only sees the back of a man and a woman walking into a private room. I wonder who they are. Chen Emmi seems very interested. “Chen Emmi, do you know them?”

   Emmi blushes after being caught by Jiang Weiming. “I think the woman is  Fan Mi. I am a big fan. “Pfft… Wang Hao, you certainly have skills. First the sophisticated woman at the hotel, now a hot young actress..Playboy! 

   “Oh. I thought she was filming ‘ Quest For The Golden Phoenix’ in the Washnu Mountains”

  “It must have wrapped. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie when it comes out. I love fantasy movies set in Ancient China.”

   “I also enjoy that genre. Maybe we could go to see it together when it comes out.”

   “Sounds good. No..wait..I think Cousin Chloe would misinterpret that.”

  Jaing Weiming can barely control his anger at the mention of Chen Chloe. That annoying bitch is my biggest stumbling block in getting close to Chen Emmi!  But, don’t scare Chen Emmi, be a gentlemen. He has a serious expression but a soft tone, “Chen Emmi, I am going to make it clear to Chen Chloe. I am not interested. In the least! Not to mention you are my business partner now, I like to think we are friends also.

I can’t let her obsessive fascination with me interfere with my life. I need to convince you I have nothing to do with that lunatic! I know Chen Emmi isn’t interested in me yet so I need to reassure her I only want to be friends.I hope you understand this isn’t just about you, if I talk to any girl she throws a tantrum. It has gotten out of hand. I should have made it more clear to her but I didn’t want to be mean.”

  “Well I know you are a gentleman and it must be difficult.” Emmi laughs, “I have seen all the girls that buzz around you..haha…Cousin Chloe must eat vinegar every day… hahaha.I am happy we are business partners and friends but I can’t afford to antagonize my cousin for a few reasons. I don’t want to discuss my personal problems but I hope you understand.”

  “Chen Emmi, I want you to understand I have never liked your cousin or encouraged those girls. “

  “Jiang Weiming, you are handsome and outstanding, of course you are going to attract bees and butterflies. It must be difficult to tactfully handle all your admirers.”

  Jiang Weiming’s eyes have a twinkling light listening to Emmi, “Well since you are the School Goddess how do you turn down all the guys who confess to you?”

  Emmi’s eyes have a mischievous gleam, “I say I have a boyfriend.”

  Jiang Weiming’s face loses color and his fists clench under the table. “You..you have a boyfriend?”

  Emmi giggles, “Jiang Weiming when would I have time to find a boyfriend haha..I lie! I say he is studying abroad and I only have eyes for him.”

  He relaxes and lets out a relieved sigh, “I should try that!”

  Emmi sips her water, “It works and it doesn’t hurt their self esteem.”

  “That’s true if I liked a girl and she told me that I would give up.”

  The server comes over to the table. “Did you want to order?”

  Emmi looks at Jiang Weiming, “Should we eat then discuss?”

  “Sounds good. What would you like to eat?”

 “Surprise me. I will have whatever you are having.”

 “Any taboos?”

 “None. I can eat anything!” Emmi stands up. “I am going to the ladies room.”

   Jiang Weiming is slightly dazed while staring at Emmi. She is so easy to talk to and unpretentious. It is as though she has no clue how unbelievably beautiful she is. He stands up, “Do you want me to go with you?” noticing she has an eyelash on her cheek he says, “Stand still you have something..”. He stands closer to Emmi and his slender finger brushes across her cheek. “Got it.”

  This is witnessed by Zhen Sihao who is smoking upstairs. He subconsciously tightens his fingers on the cigarette. He came out of the private room to  escape from his chattering cousin before the food was served. Looks like Young Master Jiang  and Chen Emmi are quite close.

   Emmi walks through the restaurant to the hallway leading to the restroom. She walks in and sees a tall blonde woman wearing a short jacket and electric blue dress from Chanel’s latest collection. Emmi likes the style so momentarily stands there examining the design. I like the way the woman paired this mini dress with  high boots, I wish I was tall.  She walks into a stall and is speechless when she hears the woman cursing a man.

The woman looks furious as she fixes her hair. Daphne Drake is looking in the mirror and her heavily made up face is contorted in anger. Speaking English she begins to rant,“Damn that insufferable man! BASTARD! He tricked me! He got what he wanted then dumped me. Fucking prick! I will kill him!” She applies red lipstick then presses her lips together, “See if I let him get away with fucking me in the ass!”

  “…” Emmi waits to come out of the stall but waits listening to see if the woman left. Seems she did. Emmi walks to the sink and washes her hands thinking about the woman. My God the woman is so sexy and beautiful what man would do that! Well..men..who can trust them. She really was using some words!

  Emmi walks out of the restroom and sees the woman is talking to  LuLu D’Amico.  She can’t help but notice LuLu is shaking and seems like she wants to cry. What is the angry woman saying to make LuLu so upset? Well none of my business. She sees an older man who seems to be the manager, “Excuse me. I don’t mean to be nosy but I think the hostess has encountered an angry customer… Maybe you should help?”

  Nico D’ Amico hurries over to rescue his niece and Emmi walks back to the table.

 Jiang Weiming says, “I ordered the Seafood Linguini with White Wine Sauce and their signature Antipasto.Does that sound alright?”

 “Yummy sounds delicious.” She picks up the glass of white wine and takes a sip. “This wine is light. I was worried it might be too strong.”

  “I ordered Pinot Grigio to go with the meal since we are having seafood. It doesn’t have a high alcohol content.”

  “Well it is delicious.”

  Emmi sees the angry woman storming through the restaurant and heading up the stairs. She can’t help but watch, is the man she was talking about here? She looks crazy. 

  Zhen Sihao is smoking his second cigarette when Daphne Drake comes flying towards him. He sneers, who told her I was eating here? He has a devilish smile on his handsome face looking at her furious expression. He left the meeting before Yang Jing gave Daphne Drake the very bad news. Zhen Sihao wanted her to rise to the clouds then be thrown back to earth for her deception. Daphne Drake being the narcissist that she is, thought he had fallen for her scheme and didn’t read the fine print on the last page. 

   She had a smug expression on her face and said, “Happy Cooperation” as he left the meeting.

After he left Yang Jing had been instructed to point out the stipulation of taking over the company was that she no longer was the CEO of Daphne Drake. He thought it was pleasantly ironic to retain the name of the company and the stupid woman because of her despicable methods was stripped of all power to make decisions.

  Daphne Drake lunges at him screaming, “You lying bastard!”

   Emmi is the only person in the back of the restaurant. Jiang Weiming got a phone call from his brother about an urgent matter so he excused himself to go take the call. When Daphne Drake screams. Emmi’s eyes widen because Wang Hao is languidly leaning on the railing smiling still smoking his cigarette, apparently unworried. Daphne Drake is about to slap him and in a flash he grabs her hand. Daphne Drake begins crying and pounding on his chest, “You can’t throw me out!”

   “Can and did.”

   Fan Mi comes out when she hears the commotion, “Cousin…What.”

  Daphne Drake turns around and grabs Fan Mi by the hair she pulls a small gun from her jacket pocket. She holds it to Fan Mi’s head. Looking at Zhen Sihao with a crazed look in her eye she orders,“Give it back to me!”

   Fan Mi is terrified. She is crying and her eyes are filled with fear while looking at Zhen Sihao.

   Zhen Sihao remains calm,“You shoot my cousin, not even your Daddy can save you.”

   Emmi can see the woman is unstable; she could shoot either one. He shouldn’t provoke the lunatic! Fan Mi! Emmi impulsively takes a silver needle out of her hair she keeps for protection. Her grandfather taught her how to use this inconspicuous method. If I can hit her acupoint she will collapse. If I don’t they aren’t in any worse of a situation.

She throws the needle at Daphne Drake and when it strikes her neck she let’s go of Fan Mi and falls to the floor unconscious.

  “…” Zhen Sihao rushes over to Fan Mi who is quivering, he strokes her hair and brushes it behind her ear, “Are you okay.” He hugs her, “Little Mi, I need to deal with the woman. Be a good girl and go into the room and lie down.”

   Two muscular men in black suits race up the stairs. Zhen Sihao has a disgusted expression “Take the woman.”

  The one bodyguard sees the silver needle in Daphne Drake’s neck. He takes it out, “Boss, your silver needle..” He is impressed. The needle pierced the woman’s accupoint neatly.

  Zhen Sihao assumed one of the bodyguards acted when they saw he was in danger. He raises an eyebrow.“It isn’t yours?”

 The bodyguard shakes his head and looks at the other guard who also shakes his head no. Zhen Sihao’s lips curl up into a smile as he wipes off the needle with a tissue then puts in a handkerchief. “What are you waiting for? Go.”

   The two men are staring at Zhen Sihao’s strange expression as they pick up the woman and go down the back stairs.

  Jiang Weiming comes back to the table, “Sorry. It was important.”

   “No problem. The server came by and said our food will take a few more minutes.” Emmi has a sip of wine, Big Devil, you owe me! I saved your new little girlfriend from your crazy old girlfriend. You are lucky I am a fangirl..I couldn’t let anything happen to my favorite actress. Although I hope after this scare Fan Mi has the sense to dump you! Shameless Devil!

  

Provocation

   After Emmi’s class she walks down the street to D’Amico’s, the little Italian Restaurant. When she went to the dorm before class she changed into a short black suspender skirt and a cute t-shirt with a pink bunny on the front. She is wearing a pair of black boots and a retro black leather bomber jacket.

While she is walking down the alley she grabs a falling leaf and smiles. I wonder if Jiang Weiming has arrived. She enters the restaurant and looks around then asks the hostess for a table for two. “Could i have a quiet spot?”

   The hostess looks at the beautiful student and thinks she is meeting her boyfriend. “Yes. We have a booth by the back garden. Your black knit hat is so cute. Do you mind if I ask where you bought it?”

  Emmi smiles, dazzling the hostess and a man waiting to pay. “Thank you. I knitted it. You can find this hat in my online store, Emmi Knits. ..I’m Emmi by the way haha..use code BRR4578 for a 30% discount.”

  The girl says “I am LuLu D’Amico. BRR4578..4578.. Wow! Thanks!”

   As they walk to the back of the restaurant Emmi thinks the girl is cute and says,“Sure! If you want to learn to knit I have a tutorial. You can learn and make your own and with the holidays coming it is great for a gift.” Emmi’s eyes bend into a crescent shape as she teases, “A scarf for your boyfriend maybe?The link is on my site.”

  The girl looks at her with wide eyes and an infatuated look, “That is so cool. I will check it out!”

   She gives Emmi a menu after she sits down at the table. “What is the name of the person meeting you?”

  Emmi takes off her retro black leather bomber jacket. “Jiang Weiming. If he doesn’t give his name he is a tall guy..” 

  The pretty girl blushes and interrupts, “Jiang Weiming! The Student Council President? I know what he looks like! He is so handsome! Is he your boyfriend?”

  Emmi waves her hand, “No. A friend.”

  “I will make sure to bring him back as soon as he comes!” She walks away and turns back around, I’m glad The President isn’t her boyfriend but they would match well together. She is sweet and beautiful… he is gentle and handsome.

  The girl’s enthusiasm makes Emmi smile, “Thanks!”

  Emmi looks at the menu, all the food is delicious. What should I order? She picks up her water glass that has a slice of lemon floating on top then takes a sip.

   The young hostess takes her phone out of her purse to look up Emmi’s online store. She is leaning on the hostess stand scrolling when a middle aged man comes over and frowns, “LuLu how many times have I told you no phone at work?” Zhen Sihao and Fan Mi walk in the door when the girl says, “Uncle Nico I’m sorry!” She points her finger towards Emmi, “But do you see that beautiful girl in the back?”

  Lulu’s uncle and Fan Mi both look to the back of the restaurant. Lulu continues excitedly pointing at Emmi, “I love her hat and she gave me a discount code for her online store. I am afraid the hat will be sold out. It is so cute!”

  Fan Mi nods her head and agrees, “Very cute! I like her outfit too!”

  Lulu’s eyes light up and she eagerly shows Fan Mi the website, “She designed her outfit! Emmi is amazing!” 

  Zhen Sihao is looking at an email on his phone and is ignoring them but when he hears the name Emmi he looks up. “Let me see.”

  The hostess looks at the cold handsome man and nervously shows him. Fan Mi asks, “Is this online store under the umbrella of Zhen E Commerce? The designs are really imaginative.”

   Zhen Sihao raises an eyebrow and doesn’t answer her question.

   Nico D’Amico sees Zhen Sihao’s annoyed expression and quickly takes two menus, “Sorry CEO Zhen, my little niece gets excited.” He glares at LuLu and she shrinks back behind the hostess stand. He quickly walks towards the stairs to the private rooms on the second floor.

   After they leave LuLu has a complicated expression, she is wearing a mask and sunglasses but that woman..is she the actress Fan Mi? Uncle called the cold handsome guy CEO Zhen..hmm..

  She is still in a daze when Jiang Weiming comes into the restaurant. He is a little late and is worried about Emmi waiting, he doesn’t see her in the restaurant. “I am meeting a girl. Chen Emmi.”

  “Oh..yes she is waiting for you. I will take you to the table.” She sneaks peeks at him as they walk through the restaurant. My God I am so close to him what cologne is that it smells so good. He is so handsome!“ When they arrive at the table she regains her composure, “She must have gone to the restroom but this is her table.” I feel Uncle is giving me a death glare from somewhere.

  LuLu blushes when he smiles and says, “Thank you.”

  She scurries away from the table, her cheeks are burning. I am so happy I picked up this shift!

 Zhen Sihao  and Fan Mi are in the private room. It is comfortably decorated and there is a small couch. He is sitting on the couch with his legs crossed looking at his phone. Fan Mi sits next to him and pouts, “Sihao, why have you been ignoring me?”

  “Mi, I wasn’t ignoring you. I was out of the country and then busy when I returned.”

  He stands up and walks over to the table as a server enters the room. “Would you like something to drink?”

  “A bottle of Chateau Laffitte 90 .”

  Fan Mi looks at the empty space next to her, “Cousin I turned down a variety show to spend time with you.”

  “If you wanted to do it you would have, don’t put that on me. There must have been another reason.”

  She laughs, “Why do you see through me so easily?”

   Zhen Sihao flicks her forehead as he sarcastically remarks.“Probably because you are not that good of an actress.”

   She throws a pillow at him, “I am a very good actress. You are just too clever.”

  “You are now resorting to flattery so you must want something from me.”

  “I want to be the face of ZLD. I need the exposure if I am going to compete with Geena. She snatches every role from me because she is sought after by advertisers. Ever since she became the spokesperson for Simone! Cosmetics her career is soaring. That little bitch is redder than red!”

  The server brings the wine and pours two glasses. “Did you want to order?”

  “Mi?”

  “After we talk.”

  He motions for the server to leave. “I don’t think you are suitable. The brand is geared to a sophisticated woman and well you are more the cute National Sweetheart type.”

  Fan Mi stomps over to the table and takes a gulp of wine, That is why I want it! I want to change my image!”

  Downstairs Emmi is stewing. She was watching the door for Jiang Weiming when Zhen Sihao entered with Fan Mi. She went to the ladies room to splash her face with water to calm down. Errrr…that man! I can’t believe I just saw him with another woman! Playboy! Pervert! Shameless Devil! I need to ignore him. I have an important meeting with Jiang Weiming! Emmi! Get the Devil’s smiling face out of your mind! 

  Emmi looks in the mirror and purses her lips, You can forget the kiss! You can! The Big Devil has too many women that is why his kiss felt so good! Practice makes perfect!

   She walks back to the table and Zhen Sihao is having a cigarette watching her from upstairs. He smiles as he exhales a puff of smoke,hmm.. The little girl designed that outfit? He thinks about Emmi’s online store.  Talented… but her inexperience shows in her pricing, the high quality materials and  her effort are not cost effective. If she was nurtured in a couple years she could become a top designer. Maybe Zhen Group could offer her an internship. He changes his mind when he sees her sit with Jiang Weiming. Little vixen…first Liu Ling now Jiang Weiming.. But she was mumbling something about her first kiss when she left my bedroom… Fuck.. I don’t need the distraction. I need to get the little girl out of my head. 

   He continues to watch as Emmi takes out some papers showing Jiang Weiming. She has a serious expression pointing to a..what is that? A farm? He is fascinated staring at Emmi explaining something. Damn..I wish I could hear what they are discussing. He walks towards the end of the hallway and leans over the railing.

   Emmi feels someone’s eyes on her and she looks up and meets his eyes. WANG HAO! She glares at him and when Jiang Weiming isn’t looking she points her slender finger at Zhen Sihao then draws the finger across her neck in a slashing motion. He can’t help but laugh looking at her angry expression. Emmi’s cheeks are puffed out and she is crinkling her eyebrows together. Childish! He winks and blows her a kiss. Emmi face turns crimson red. She looks like she is going to explode in anger, then when Jiang Weiming gazes up from the photograph Emmi ignores Zhen Sihao. She smiles brightly at Jiang Weiming showing her dimples and nods. Zhen Sihao chuckles, the little girl can change faces in the blink of an eye

   Fan Mi comes out of the private room and walks down the hallway to him. She takes the cigarette from his hand, “Cousin you smoke too much.” She takes a puff of the cigarette then puts it out in an ashtray on a small table. “The food is served.”

  He takes another look at Emmi to make sure she is looking at him. He has a faint smile as he  puts his arm around Fan Mi and walks back to the private room.


CEO Zhen Is Back

  Emmi’s turbulent heart is beating erratically as she dashes out of the building. Her beautiful green eyes are watery and her cheeks are flushed, unable to believe what just happened. She wipes her mouth with her sleeves several times. Big Devil! He stole my first kiss! Distracted thinking of the chaotic scene on the bed she isn’t paying attention and runs into a man’s strong back as he exits a small cafe. She holds her nose, “Owww.”

  The man turns around when she bangs into him. “Chen Emmi?” He holds her trembling shoulders, “Are you alright?”

  She looks up at his handsome face with an aggrieved expression. She begins to cry and hugs him. “Wuuhuu..Brother Ling..no..no..I’m not alright.”

   He pats her back to comfort her, “Tell Brother, who bullied you?”

   “Wuuhhuuu…Wuuhuuu..”

   Liu Ling has a helpless smile as he strokes her messy hair, “Brother is here.”

   Emmi snuggles into Liu Ling’s chest and continues to cry.

  Zhen Sihao had quickly put on clothes and chased after Emmi.

   When he steps out onto the sidewalk he witnesses this scene. He clenches his fists at his side,  at the angle where he is standing it appears Emmi is intimately hugging Liu Ling and he is bending down to kiss her.

Zhen Sihao is a flustered mess, his heart tightens thinking about another man kissing Emmi and touching her soft thin body. When he thought he was dreaming he was extremely aroused and was filled with desire wanting to possess Emmi’s body. He was stunned when he realized he wasn’t dreaming. She really was pressed underneath him and he was taking advantage.

     Zhen Sihao’s  dark eyes have a murderous glint and his aura darkens. CHEN EMMI!  Damn little woman! What was I worried about? She is fine. Pfft!  She ran directly into another man’s arms. He stands there frozen in place watching Liu Ling pat her fluffy head and he doesn’t budge until they walk down the sidewalk. Once they cross the street to the University campus he comes to his senses He curls his lip and sneers, it seems she wasn’t as upset as I thought. 

   He storms back into the apartment building. Once inside his apartment he picks up an expensive porcelain sculpture from a shelf and throws it against the wall.  His anger doesn’t subside and he brushes everything off the counter by the kitchen. Zhen Sihao doesn’t know which makes him more angry, that he lost control and felt guilty or that he saw her in the arms of Liu Ling.

   Emmi calms down as she walks with Liu Ling. He doesn’t pry into the reason she is upset so Emmi relaxes. 

   When they get to campus Emmi says goodbye  to him. She sweetly smiles, “Brother Ling, thank you. I will see you tomorrow when JIang Weiming and I come to your office.”

  “Okay.” 

  He walks towards his office wondering what happened to Emmi. The little girl is usually so cheerful. I don’t think I have ever seen her look vulnerable. She obviously didn’t want to say. I hope she can confide in someone, it isn’t good she has to shoulder everything by herself.

  Emmi feels much better after crying. She decides to go to her dorm room and freshen up before class. When she reaches the dormitory she stops in her tracks, Cousin Chloe and Jiang FeiFei? What do they want? I am not in the mood. She ducks behind a corner and waits for them to leave. Once they are gone she enters the dormitory and takes the stairs to her room on the third floor.

  Ruan YaoYao is coming out of their room, “Emmi, you just missed your stupid cousin and that wench Jiang FeiFei. Chen Chloe was breathing fire, I would avoid them.”

  “Thanks YaoYao. I saw them when I was walking up. I hope she didn’t bother you.”

   “She was in the hallway and I didn’t open the door. But, she was slandering you screaming that you seduced Jiang Weiming. “

   Emmi rolls her eyes, “She is so delusional. I have no interest in Jiang Weiming other than as a partner in a business venture. Cousin Chloe should wake up to the fact he just doesn’t like her, it has nothing to do with me. Are you on your way to class?”

  “No. I am going to the music room. Lu Ying Yue gave me some pointers and I am going to practice.”

  “That is awesome! Did I tell you I am going on Saturday to teach Little Jie to swim. So you and Ying Yue can spend time together.”

  YaoYao hugs Emmi, “Thanks. I can’t tell you how much Ying Yue’s mentoring has helped. I feel much more confident.”

  Emmi pats YaoYao’s head, “You are so talented I know you will win the Competition! It is fun for me too, he is such a little cutie!” 

   YaoYao lets go of Emmi, “I need to go. I reserved the room at eleven o’clock.”

   “See you later.” Emmi goes into the room and lays on her bed. She closes her eyes and touches her lips while picturing Zhen Sihao kissing her passionately. Emmi shakes her feet in the air. Shameless!

   Zhen Sihao arrives at his office and his secretaries stand in a line and bow. The head secretary, Sung Didi greets him with a big smile, “Welcome back CEO Zhen.”

  He walks past without acknowledging the secretaries and they stare at each other. A pretty young woman tugs on Secretary Sungs’ sleeve, “The CEO is colder than ever. I would have thought after his vacation with his girlfriend he would be in a good mood.”

  She glances at the closed door, “Brrr..he looked very angry. I felt like I couldn’t breathe for a moment.”

” Well, get back to work. When he is angry it is best to keep your head buried in paperwork.”

  Zhen Sihao sits at his desk and looks around his office. It has been awhile. Leaning back on his leather office chair with his hands behind his head he is thinking about the last month. An image of Emmi taking care of him in her art studio pops into his mind. He picks up the ringing phone, the caller is the head of construction on the Riverfront Development. “The road construction is almost completed. All that is left is to pave the road. The separate private access road goes from Crystal Highway to the back of the property between your villa and the small Art Studio. The construction on your villa has also been progressing; it should be finished by the end of next month.”

 Zhen Sihao taps his pen on the desk.  “Very good. Contact me when the road is finished.” He had this plan to reward Emmi for taking care of him after the accident. He has the urge to cancel the road construction but it will also be more convenient for him to have private access to his Waterfront Villa. Chen Emmi I want to see you bow and thank me. When the access road is completed you won’t have to deal with Chen Yihong. You can come and go to your Art Studio without having to enter through the mansion gate.

  Yang Jing walks into the office, “Sihao, do you want to get lunch before the meeting?”

  “ After the meeting. Have your secretary make a reservation for a private room at D’Amico’s, Fan Mi likes that restaurant. Right now I want to go over the report one more time before we meet with that bitch Daphne Drake.”

  Yang Jing has a complex expression, “Fan Mi is in town?”

  “She called me yesterday.”

  “I’m surprised. I thought she was filming.”

  “Guess they finished.”

  Yang Jing calls his secretary.After he hangs up he adjusts his glasses on the bridge of his nose. “Are you going to tell her you plan on inspecting the factory?”

  “Why.. so the conniving bitch can alert her people? No, I am going unannounced.”

  “She has no idea she is walking into a trap. I have to hand it to you Sihao you are a devious man.”

  “If the woman wasn’t so confident of her charms she would have prepared better. I hate scheming women who think every man will be bewitched by beauty.”

  Yang Jing laughs, “If she had done her homework she would know that you are a cold and heartless bastard. I don’t think there is a woman born who can find her way into that frozen heart of yours.”

  Zhen Sihao thinks about Chen Emmi ‘s beautiful innocent face and soft alluring body under him on his bed and his face gets hot. He whips the pen in his hand at Yang Jing. “Shut up or you can oversee the mining project in Tanzania.”


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