Bashu City

   Emmi looks at the card Huang Peng gave her with the phone number of his cousin’s Western Style Restaurant in Bashu City. She smiles thinking about having a weekend job and the money she could make as a server. I will make an hourly wage and tips! She decides not to wait, what if he hires someone else?. Huang Ming’s wife answers the phone and Emmi introduces herself. Mrs.Huang wipes her hands on her apron, “Let me get my husband.”

  She walks over to a short bald man that could be Huang Peng’s twin.”Honey, Peng told this girl to call you about the weekend server position.”

  He takes the phone from his wife, “Peng told you to call?”

  “Yes. I was in Mr. Huang’s shop and he mentioned you might need a weekend server. I have to be honest, I have no experience but am a hard worker and willing to learn.”

   “Do you speak fluent English?”

   “Yes.”

   “Are you familiar with French Cuisine and fine dining?”

   “I have some knowledge.”

   “Can you come in now for an interview? If you are suitable I won’t need to conduct interviews this afternoon.”

   “I need to drop off something by Crystal Lake and then I can.” Darn it! She bites her lower lip, I did promise Wang Hao I would bring the laptop to the cabin this morning. She looks at her casual clothes, I should wear a dress to the interview too. 

  Huang Ming glances at the clock on the kitchen wall, “If you can be here before noon. Once we open I won’t have time.”

 “I can definitely be there by then! Thank you Mr. Huang!”

   He hangs up and walks over to where his wife is talking to the chef, “It is unlike Peng to care about the restaurant. I should call him and find out more about the girl.”

   “Maybe she is one of Jiao’s friends who needs part time work. If your cousin wanted to talk to you he would have called. “QiQi start making the creme brule for tonight.”

   “En.”

   Emmi looks out the window, as long as I can get the notes from Ah Kum, I will be okay missing class this afternoon. I can’t let this opportunity slip away that fell into my lap. A weekend job! Yeah!

Oh…I forgot to ask Butler Han if he can take me. I could take the bus home if he is busy, but I definitely need a ride there to arrive by 11:30. “I should have asked you first, do you have time to take me to Bashu City for an interview?”

   “Your aunt’s driver has the day off so I need to take her for a dress fitting at four o’clock but she didn’t mention anything else.”

   “Perfect!” I can take the bus back to town after the interview and get a taxi from there.Actually while I am in Bashu City I should go to the Zhen Group and see if I can talk to that old fart Zhen Sihao about the Lakefront Property.

   When they arrive at the Chen Mansion Emmi runs up to her room and hurriedly picks out a black dress with small white polka dots for the interview. Then she grabs a pair of black 6cm slingback heels. When she exits her room she hurries down the stairs and out the back not wanting anyone to know she isn’t at school.This dress will work for both the interview and going to the Zhen Group. I’m excited! As long as I don’t get in trouble for missing class without permission I’m good! 

   Butler Han drives her to the edge of the woods and she rushes towards the cabin. She is fumbling in her purse for the keys when the door opens.”What took you so long?” 

    She shoves the laptop into Zhen Sihao’s hands, “Here. You have it now.”

    Brushing past him she looks at her watch then goes into the bathroom to change. After she kicks off her tennis shoes she takes off her jeans and blouse leaving them in a heap on the floor. Emmi slips the dress over her head then zips the zipper up her back. Looking in the mirror she brushes on a light coat of makeup them applies some pink lip gloss. When she finishes her makeup she brushes her waist length hair and sweeps some hair up using a barrette. Satisfied with her appearance she puts on her black heels and walks out of the bathroom.

   Zhen Sihao stops Emmi before she reaches the door.“Where are you going?”

  “Huh? I have a part time job interview, I need to hurry.”

   “When will you be back? My face itches and my bandage on my leg needs to be changed.”

   Emmi gets closer to examine his face, the plaster has fallen off in several places. When she stands in front of him he inhales her distinct floral fragrance and as she touches his cheek with her soft finger he pushes her back, “You don’t need to stand so close.” He has a strange sensation running through his body and his face feels hot.

   She steps back not noticing his strange behavior. “I will make you some medicine that will relieve the itching but don’t scratch. I told you the medicinal plaster will fall off as your injuries heal.Your leg I will check when I get back and change the bandage. you should be fine. She touches his forehead, “You don’t have a fever so the wound isn’t infected.”

 He takes her hand off his forehead. I just told her to step back now… Really doesn’t listen! 

   Emmi ignores his reaction, he is probably one of those really handsome guys who doesn’t like women touching him. She gives him a strange look, Maybe he is gay? She shakes her head, Whatever… none of my business. “I will mix the medicine now, I need to hurry so you can heat it up yourself. Three minutes on high in the microwave, stir when you take it out.” Emmi takes out the herbs from the small cabinet by the microwave and places them in a blue speckled ceramic bowl with some water. She points to a quilted potholder. “Use the potholder when you remove  the bowl. It will be very hot. Let it cool for two minutes.” She looks up from the bowl, he is opening up the laptop on the counter. “Hey are you listening!”

  “You don’t think I can listen and open the wrapping on my laptop at the same time?”

  Emmi glares at him, her green eyes flashing a murderous light as she mutters under her breath, “Sooo annoying!” She puts the bowl in the microwave and sets it for three minutes. “I’m leaving. Don’t call me unless it is an emergency. I will be very busy.”

  “You never answered me. What time will you be back?”

   “I will be back..I’m not sure..” Annoyed at his ability to piss her off when he opens his mouth she puts her hands on the counter facing him she stares directly into his dark eyes, “When I get back.”

  He has a faint smile no one has the nerve to make such direct eye contact with me, she looks like a kitten who had its tail stepped on, “Make sure it is by dinner and bring more food than last night. I will text you what I want to eat.”

  “Errr! Don’t forget to let the medicine cool off. I don’t want to come home to you whining it was too hot and burnt your tongue!” Emmi picks up her purse and wants to hit him with it but restrains herself. “I will text you when I have time later. I have important business and don’t need any interruptions!”

   After she slams the door of the cabin Zhen Sihao bursts out laughing, What important business could that little girl have hahaha. Well..a interview for a  part time job..hahaha..Shit! He wipes a tear from his eye. She is hilarious!

  While walking to the car Emmi tries to calm down she shakes her hands. He enjoys annoying you..don’t let him bother you..think about the part time job..relax.. A few more days..just a few more days.. 8000 yuan

 When they arrive in Bashu City Emmi watches the lively crowd on the sidewalks. Such a busy city, “ Butler Han,how much longer until we get to the restaurant?”

 “ About ten minutes, it is located in the City Center in the new hotel the Han Family built.”

  “Oh, that is a really good location. They must do a lot of business.” Now Emmi feels worried she thought it would be a small family restaurant. Her palms begin to sweat, “Butler Han, I’m not sure I should go to the interview.”

  “Why not? Don’t be nervous. You said Huang Peng told you that you didn’t need experience. Have confidence in yourself Miss.” The Young Miss looks gorgeous in that dress, they would be lucky to have such a beautiful girl work in their restaurant.

  She twists the hem of her dress thinking the worst case scenario is they don’t hire me. I have nothing to lose. “Thanks Butler Han. You always encourage me. I really appreciate that.”

  “Well, you know Grandma Kang and I are always here for you Miss Emmi. Your mother’s kindness to us will never be forgotten in this lifetime.The Young Madam would want you to be happy and confident.”

  “You are right! Okay, I will take the bus home when I am finished.” Emmi steps out of the car anxiously clutching her small black purse. She waves goodbye then walks towards the beautiful new hotel.

   Once inside she asks a pretty young woman at the front desk, “Where is Ming’s Restaurant located?”

   “It is on the top floor.”

   “Thank you.”

    Emmi nervously walks down through the luxurious lobby to the elevator. The top floor! Aren’t the most expensive restaurants located on the top floor of a hotel? How can an inexperienced server work there? She gets into the elevator and there are two elegantly dressed men and two beautiful women already inside. They must have come from the Underground garage. Unused to being in the city she keeps her head lowered but feels one of the woman’s eyes on her. Why is she staring at me? I will ignore the woman, maybe they will get off soon.

  Suddenly the woman says, “Miss, who designed your dress?”

   Emmi looks around, she must be talking to me. “Ahh..my dress? Well no one you would be familiar with.”

   The woman has a strange look on her face. I am the editor of Beautiful Lifestyles! There isn’t a designer I don’t know. She sounds irritated, “Tell me the designer’s name.”

   The door opens and Emmi exits quickly flustered by the woman’s domineering aura. 

   Inside the elevator Director Yan laughs, “Qing’er, I think you scared the little girl. She got off on the 16th floor and I heard her at the desk ask which floor Ming’s restaurant is on..hahaha..”

  “Shut up! The dress she is wearing is unique. I thought the use of silk with layered chiffon was interesting and the way the dress had an exposed zipper on the back was well..eye catching.”

  Director Yan checks his phone as he remarks, “A beautiful girl with her figure would probably look good in anything she wore.”

  The ruggedly handsome man standing next to him chimes in, “Whoa…the little thing is a little young for an old man like you don’t you think?”

   “ Han Weisheng! Whose an old man? You are an old man! I haven’t even turned twenty nine.”

   The elevator opens and the three of them get out on the top floor, “Weisheng, I thought you would stay in the military, why did you decide to take over running this hotel.”

“It was time, most of my friends have left the division for one reason or another and my family has been bugging me to get married.”

   “Fuck! You are getting married?”

  “ HELL NO! Don’t spread any rumors… I know how you like to gossip.”

  The three of them enter the luxurious restaurant and Huang Ming comes out of the kitchen to greet them. He bows, “I am very honored to be featured in your magazine Miss Han.”

   “Well I am featuring the nightlife of Bashu City in the next edition and your restaurant has quickly become very popular.” She walks towards the window then turns to her cousin Han Weisheng, “You made a great decision putting the hotel in this location, the view from the floor to ceiling windows is incredible.”

  “At night it is even more spectacular with the city lights and view of the water.”

   She agrees,“I’m sure. I will definitely have the photographer take some pictures at night.”

   While they are discussing the photo shoot Emmi comes in the door of the restaurant. Should I wait for someone to come out or should I go to the kitchen?  She notices the woman from the elevator and gulps, I think she was probably insulted when I ignored her and rushed out of the elevator. Wuhuu..why is she here? It would have been embarrassing to say I made the dress. I think she would have been more insulted she thought it was made by a designer. Emmi makes a snap decision. I will sneak around this direction, the kitchen should be in the back. I will wait for Mr. Huang there and hope those people don’t go into the kitchen for some reason. 

Plane To Paris

    Li Tian clenches his hand at his side into a fist then orders Mathilde, “Tell that bastard if he wants to continue partnering with me he better bring Song Sara to my suite NOW!”

   Mathilde nervously responds, “But… CEO..Navarre…he is catching a plane to Paris, I am not with him.”

   “PARIS? Then where the hell is Song Sara? Nevermind, I am fucking calling him myself.” Useless woman! He dials Navarre’s number, no answer..FUCK!

   Furious he can’t locate Sara, Li Tian’s chest heaves up and down as he storms into the suite. You think you are leaving with my woman?!  He calls the Milan Airport’s Security office believing that would be the fastest way to find their whereabouts.

   The Security Chief has just completed the paperwork about the Midnight Lover Necklace and is presently dealing with  two American men suspected of smuggling drugs through security. He motions to one of the guards who is closest to his desk to answer the phone.

  Li Tian loosens his collar as he paces around the suite waiting for someone to pick up the phone, when the guard answers he angrily spits out, “How dare you let Song Sara leave your office without contacting me!”

  The guard helplessly glances over at the Security Chief, “Sir, I don’t know who you are referring to, let me put the Chief on the phone.”

  The guard walks over to the Security Chief, “The caller needs to speak to you about someone named Song Sara.”

   “Watch these men, the police will be here shortly.”

   The Security Chief picks up the phone, “Can I help you.”

   “Yes you can fucking help me. This is CEO Li of the Li group, owner of LTJ Milan. Where is my Sapphire and Diamond Necklace and the woman who stole it.”

   “Stole it? Your manager from LTJ confirmed the woman, Song Sara had permission and I gave your manager the necklace.” He looks at the document still on his desk, “I have a signed statement.”

   Out of patience Li Tian has no intention of explaining anything. “If that woman is not in your office when I get to the airport, you won’t have a job tomorrow.”

   The Security Chief veins bulge on his neck as he grips the phone,  fucking unreasonable asshole. He restrains his anger and calmly replies, “I have no way to locate them.”

   “I have reason to believe they are taking a flight to Paris. Prevent them from leaving Milan. I want you to get them off the plane.”

   “So you want the woman charged with theft?’

   Li Tian hesitates for a moment, the little thing would get really angry if she was arrested even if I said afterwards it was a misunderstanding.

   When Li Tian doesn’t answer the Security Chief becomes more annoyed while looking at the two smugglers , “Well?”

   “I want Song Sara held in your Security office, no police involvement. I will discipline her myself.”

   The Security Chief wishes he had taken his vacation this week instead of scheduling the days off for next week. This asshole, the two American smugglers, dammit! I can’t mess around with an influential man like the CEO of Li Group. “I will do my best but I can’t guarantee I can prevent them from departing if they are already on a plane to Paris.”

  “I’m heading over to the airport now. I will expect you will have the woman waiting for me in your office.” Li Tian hangs up then notices Tang Qiang come out of the bathroom. When he sees him Li Tian is reminded of Long An. Avoiding grandfather’s calls will only anger the old man, I need to solve this problem.“Qiang, why didn’t you send the pictures of Long An to my phone?”

  Tang Qiang scratches his chin, “Boss about those pic..” Before he continues Li Tian’s phone rings he quickly answers, “Speak.”

   The Security Chief has sweat beads on his forehead, “CEO Li there is a problem. The man named Julien Navarre and the woman, Song Sara, are on a plane that left for Paris eight minutes ago.”

  “Have them turn the plane around.”

  “That is impossible!”

  “Nothing is impossible if I want it done.”

  “ To take such drastic action…unless it is an emergency it can’t be done. A more practical solution would be to contact the Paris airport and have them detained when they arrive, then sent back for prosecution.”

  Li Tian considers what he is saying, it would be better to not create a huge scene. That would work, having her detained there until I arrive.

  “Make the call. I will leave for Paris immediately.”

   The Security Chief has a throbbing headache, he reaches in his drawer and grabs some medicine. Taking a gulp of water he swallows then wearily says “Marla, I am going for a smoke, if the police arrive to take these men come get me.”

   “Sure Chief.”

    On the plane to Paris, Sara and Navarre are seated next to each other in First Class. Sara leans back in her comfortable seat, Paris… I haven’t been there since I went with Liza on school break. Sara can barely keep her eyes open, “Mr. Navarre, I am very tired, I am going to try and sleep if you don’t mind.”

   “Of course. I want you to look fresh tomorrow. But, before you go to sleep I am curious, how did the Midnight Lover Necklace become broken?”

   “You need to ask CEO Li that question, I really don’t think it is my place to say.”

    He is very aware of Li Tian’s temperament so he doesn’t press Sara for details,“Very well. Go to sleep.”

   Navarre removes the Midnight Lover necklace from a velvet case, he touches the jagged gold holding the pieces while examining it carefully. The necklace appears to have been broken during a struggle. He has a serious expression while he stares at Sara sleeping, as though it was ripped from her neck, did she and Tian get into a lover’s quarrel and he tore it from her neck? He is tempted to take a peek at her neck but she has the sweater tightly pinned. Why would she have her sweater so tightly wrapped around her neck if not to hide something. He can’t resist; he has his finger on the edge of her light blue sweater. Sara feels itchy from his touch and squirms in her seat, finally resting her head on Navarre’s shoulder.

 A man recognizes him then stops as Navarre is about to straighten Sara back onto her seat  “Navarre.”

   Navarre quickly puts the broken necklace in his palm into his pocket. His expression doesn’t reveal his true feelings as he politely answers,  “Phillipe.” But as an unpleasant memory surfaces he has a mischievous gleam in his eye as he looks around. I can’t believe you have the balls to approach me after the shit you pulled on me last year. “Where is your lovely wife? 

    Phillipe’s hand in his pocket clenches into a fist but he maintains a cordial tone,“Still spending my money in Milan, I have to go back to Paris for business.” You actually thought she would leave me? What Chantel loves most is money. He glances at Sara who is curled up leaning on Navarre’s arm, “Who is this?”

   Navarre responds, “My new assistant.”

  The man’s lips curl up, Sara now has her hand resting on Navarre’s chest, “What happened to Michelle?”

  “She still works for me.  I heard a rumor this year your son is entering a piece in the Competition?” Or should I say that you bought him a spot.

   Phillipe laughs as he adjusts his black diamond cufflink, “On a whim. Since the boy is still studying at Valunette I was against his entering this year but you know Albert he is spoiled by Chantel and strong willed.”

   “I look forward to seeing his design.” I wonder what the piece of crap will look like. 

   “I haven’t seen his latest creation, Albert is very secretive, but I did see your Midnight Lover Necklace in Milan Vogue before it was pulled off the shelves. This year’s Competition should be quite exciting. I look forward to seeing all the young talented graduates and surprises.”

    Navarre restrains himself from reacting to the veiled insult.  Because of his humble beginnings he is self taught. The designers that compete are usually formally educated and typically won’t share their design before the Competition.  “Everyone entered is extremely talented so the designs should be quite innovative and beautiful.”

   “Call Albert. He was talking about you the other day.” He was wondering what women would say if they knew the elegant Navarre grew up a poor bastard in the slums of Marseille. If you didn’t have the backing of that pr**k Li Tian I would love to expose you.

   “I will.” Only if hell freezes over.

   Phillipe has a sneer on his face when he returns to his seat. His friend next to him sips his glass of wine then raises an eyebrow, “The man had an affair with your wife. How can you speak in such a civil manner to him.”

   Phillipe doesn’t answer him and finishes his glass of wine as the plane gets ready for its descent.

   The plane lands in Paris and Navarre nudges Sara to wake her up, “Miss Song? Miss Song? We have arrived.”

    Disoriented from being suddenly awakened Sara rubs her eyes, “Whaaat?”

   He smiles looking at her messy hair and unfocused expression, “We are landing.” He puts on a baseball cap and pulls it down. “Here put this hat on, you never know if here will be photographers.”

  “Oh..okay.”

   “We will go directly to my apartment, I have a guest room, or if you aren’t comfortable with that arrangement I can get you a hotel suite. I need to begin repairing the necklace as soon as possible.”

    “Your apartment would be fine. To be honest I am exhausted and just want to get some sleep. If you don’t mind I lost my phone could we stop so I can purchase one.”

   “I can have my assistant purchase a phone and bring it to the apartment.”

   “You can deduct the cost from my pay, thank you.”

   “…”

   When they exit the plane a pretty young woman rushes through the crowd over to Navarre. When she notices Sara walking alongside him her expression changes, speaking French she impulsively asks, “Who is this?”

   Navarre introduces Sara, “This is the model I have chosen for the Competition, Song Sara. She doesn’t speak French so please speak English.”

   He turns to Sara, “This is my assistant, Michelle Dupont. She will arrange clothes for you and anything you need.”

   Sara smiles, “I appreciate your help.”

  Michelle has a complicated expression looking at Sara’s disheveled appearance and with the cap pulled down it is hard to see her face. “My pleasure.” Where did Mr. Navarre find this woman? I thought he would use Margot as his model for the extra exposure. She is a world famous super model and they are a couple.

   The three of them walk past Phillipe, Navarre ignores him and Michelle nods towards him while smiling. Phillipe’s friend smirks watching Navarre leave then comments, “I wonder where he found that shabby woman, she looks like a homeless refugee.” Phillipe laughs while admiring Michelle’s alluring appearance, “Not his usual taste.”

  When they arrive curb outside of the airport Michelle waves to a man leaning on a black Rolls Royce while smoking a cigarette. The driver gets into the car then pulls over. As he places Navarre’s bags in the trunk, Michelle opens the door and Navarre and Sara get into the backseat.

  Once seated in the front Michelle turns around, “Where should Alan take Miss Song? The Four Seasons?”

 Navarre was looking at his phone, he looks up, “No. She will be staying with me at the Cloisters.”

 Michelle speaks in French so Sara won’t understand, “But Mr. Navarre won’t Margot misunderstand if you have this woman stay with you. She has been calling me all day about your arrival time. I think she has a romantic dinner planned for the two of you. She inquired as to your favorite foods.”

   Glaring at Michelle, he has a harsh tone, “Since when did you become so friendly with Margot? You are my assistant not a matchmaker. In the future refrain from giving my personal information to any woman.”

   Michelles’s face turns bright red, “I..I..thought you would be happy.”

  “Don’t interfere in my personal matters again. I don’t want to have to hire a new assistant.”

  It is obvious from the sound of their voices they are having a tense conversation so Sara tries to minimize her presence. Leaning on the window she watches beautiful scenery as the car moves through the city. Paris… so beautiful… unable to stay awake she slowly closes her eyes drifting off to sleep.

   





Navarre

    Li Tian’s mind is in chaos wondering where Song Sara went after she left the Inn. Tang Qiang said she isn’t at the Presidential Suite and Giorgio said she didn’t return to the Lattoria Hotel. Where could she have gone? Is she with that bastard Sun Zhi she likes?

     Weaving through the heavy morning traffic as he enters Milan he impatiently calls Yang James. “Did you get the information I asked for concerning Sun Zhi?”

   “The information I have accumulated so far is very sketchy. He seems to keep an extremely low profile and there are no recent pictures of him at all. A couple blurry side views taken in New York about six months ago. The Sun family is extremely protective of his privacy according to the investigator I hired. Presently from the information I gathered he has been in the United States for the past year.”

  Li Tian raises an eyebrow, so she hasn’t had recent contact with him. “How reliable are the sources?”

  “ I could investigate further, but isn’t one of your bodyguards surnamed Sun? Could he be related?”

   “No. Zheng Tielen recommended him, he knew him from his stint in Chinese Intelligence.”

    “Ex Chinese Intelligence? Why not ask him if any of his contacts can dig up more information. The guy is like a fucking ghost.”

   “That is an excellent idea but right now my focus is on locating Song Sara.”

    Yang James taps his pen on his desk,“The secretary you borrowed from Zhou Jason? She is missing?”

   “Check the Milan Airport and see if she booked a ticket to Catang City or anywhere for that matter.”

   “I will. While you are on the phone your grandfather called me earlier, he was furious. He wanted to know your schedule and when you are returning to Catang.I had no choice but to give him your itinerary.”

  “What do you mean no choice? Who do you fucking work for..me or that old fart!”

  “He said if I didn’t tell him he would immediately halt the Waterfront Development project.”

   Li Tian tightens his hands on the steering wheel. “Well let’s see whose side he takes when I send him the photos!”

    Yang James motions to the stylishly dressed woman entering his office to leave.  “What photos?”

   Li Tian’s phone beeps, he has another call, “I will call you back.”

  He touches his Bluetooth, “Did she come back?”

  Tang Qiang replies, “No, but..”

“I don’t care about anything else. Send the photos you took of you and Long An in bed to my phone.”  

After Tang Qiang hangs up he dejectedly touches his wine soaked phone. Sun Peizhi is smart maybe he can retrieve the photos when he returns.

    Navarre leaves his hotel suite and has an idea. I will call Mathilde, she is the manager of LTJ Milan.

Mathilde is putting on her new Chanel berry red lipstick to meet her friends for lunch when her phone rings. When she sees the caller her heart skips a beat. She sweetly says, “This is a surprise, I thought you were leaving for Paris.”

   “There is a problem and I can’t get a hold of Li Tian. I need you to bring your identification as manager of LTJ Milan to the airport so I can pick up the Midnight Lover Necklace. They are holding my necklace in the security office.”

   “You were stopped by security?”

   “No. I am leaving the hotel now. Li Tian’s assistant had the necklace in her possession and they detained her before she left the country. My driver can pick you up, where do you live.”

   “Why isn’t she with the CEO? The timid mouse I met at the jewelry store stole the Midnight Lover Necklace?

    Navarre’s deep voice sounds agitated, “I don’t know the details. All I know is I need to claim the necklace and catch my plane.”

    Mathilde’s eyes light up, “Of course I will go with you.” She excitedly gives him the address then quickly hangs up. I need to change this dress won’t do!  She  hurriedly picks out a tight fitting designer dress from her closet. After she zips up the back of the red dress she looks in the mirror then smiles satisfied with her alluring appearance. Red definitely is my color..  I didn’t think I would get to see him again before he left Milan.  She sprays the expensive perfume she  recently bought then touches up her makeup. Once she leaves her apartment she calls her friend, “I can’t come to lunch, something imprtant came up.”

  “Are you serious! I went to a great deal of trouble to invite my father’s friend Lorenzo’s young fiancee. I thought you wanted to convince the woman to have her wedding rings designed by LTJ Milan so you would get a huge commission. She won’t like the fact you arranged a meeting then didn’t show up. ”

  She coaxes her friend,  “ Stephie,we can reschedule, make up an excuse, I had a family emergency or my car broke down. You are a good liar..haha..come on… I can’t pass up the opportunity to spend time with Navarre. He is so incredibly sexy and talented.”

“You owe me a dinner then, or a discount next time I come into LTJ. Sweetie, don’t throw yourself at him, have some restraint. Her friend Stephanie believes Mathilde should try a different approach, she has spent over a year trying to seduce him with no results. “I’m telling you Navarre reminds me of my older brother and you have met my sister in law Veronica. Playboys like them always fall for a more innocent shy girl like Veronica. You know how many women surrounded Stefano trying to climb into his bed until she came along.”

“True Stefano and Navarre have similar domineering personalities, but Navarre is an artist, he has a different aesthetic.”

Stephanie plays with the straw in her Mimosa,”If you say so.”

Mathilde confidently sways her hips catching the attention of two men as she walks through the lobby of her exclusive apartment building. Men love my body and my outgoing personality. I really don’t get what Stefano sees in that insipid woman Veronica.

Should I meet him on the sidewalk he sounded in a hurry. 

  Stephanie continues,” Wait. I thought he ignored you every time he came to Milan.. what is going on.”

   “Well, he usually is really busy when he comes to LTJ. Right now he is picking me up to do him a favor. I can spend some time with him and..” She sees a Rolls Royce Phantom pulling up, “He is here. I will tell you about it later.”

“Have fun. I will try to smooth things over at lunch.”

Meanwhile, in the security office Sara has her head resting on her hand waiting for Navarre to arrive. She looks at the clock on the wall. She hesitates then asks the annoyed looking man sitting behind the desk, “Excuse me. If you detain me and I miss my flight will I get a refund for my ticket?”

   The Security Chief looks at the multi  million dollar necklace on his desk then at Sara, “You would need to discuss that with the airline.”

  Worried because she doesn’t have much time before the flight should start boarding, Sara responds, “Didn’t the designer say he is on his way to pick up the necklace? He didn’t say I stole it did he? I think you should let me go so I don’t miss my flight. I can’t afford another plane ticket.”

  “He only said he would come to the airport to pick up the necklace.He didn’t say anything else.”

  “Can you call him back and ask him if he knows me? He is aware the Sapphire and Diamond necklace was loaned to me to wear.”

   “I need to see proof from him he is the rightful owner and receive his permission in person to release you. Young lady, this is not a small matter since it concerns the Li Group.”

   Sara takes a deep breath, her head is throbbing and she is starving. Considering the situation maybe I tell them to call CEO Li. He can explain the circumstances and I can get my flight home. It is not as though I need to speak to him personally or see him. Why didn’t I immediately return it to him! He knows why it is broken! Well, I can’t change any of the stupid decisions I made lately..not waiting for Sun Peizhi inside the cafe…forcing myself on the CEO..Sara blushes, I have to stop thinking about that!

  I just want to go home! Sara gathers up her courage,“Excuse me.”

   The Security Chief is on his computer then looks over at Sara with a disgruntled expression.“Miss,what is it now. I am busy. The designer should arrive soon to clear up the matter.”

  “I want to make my flight. Call CEO Li, I am his personal assistant. He can clarify the matter with you. “ I give up I am weak and tired. She points to the business card still sitting on his desk.“Call his private number on the black business card.” 

   The man’s vein bulge out on his forehead and he can’t restrain his indignation. He raises his voice, “If that is the case, why the hell didn’t you say you are his assistant that at the beginning!”

   “I didn’t want to bother him.”

   ??? 

   The manly looking woman who first brought Sara to the office is talking to another guard then turns around, What an idiot! Why didn’t the stupid woman say that instead of beating around the bush and taking up the Chief’s time. The woman’s round face turns red and she clenches her meaty fists at her side as she stomps over to where Sara is sitting. She admires the Security Chief and thinks this could reflect poorly on him if the CEO of Li Group allowed Sara to take the necklace. It takes all her willpower not to slap Sara. 

  The Chief can see how angry the red faced guard is and says, “ Marla,you can go back to your post. I can take it from here.” I don’t need that obstinate woman making more problems for me.

  Marla wants to vent for him “But Chief!”

   “I said go.”

  Sara understands she should have told them to begin with so she explains, “I was hesitant to tell you because the CEO is a very busy man. I assumed his manager at LTJ could remedy the situation quickly. I apologize for wasting your time.”

  The Security Chief ignores Sara’s apology and dials the number on the black business card. Before Li Tian answers Navarre and Mathilde come through the door of the office.

   Sara recognizes them and with a look of relief on her face she motions to the Security Chief to hang up wanting to avoid involving Li Tian now that they have arrived. She tells him in a low voice, “Hang up. That LTJ’s manager.”

   The Security Chief hangs up after two rings, he didn’t want to deal with Li Tian. “You came about the necklace?”

   Navarre barely glances at Sara but she can feel the LTJ’s manager’s eyes burning a hole through her.

   The Security Chief calmly holds out his hand to Navarre, “Let me see your identification.” He wants to clear this up as soon as possible.

  Navarre hands his passport to him, “LTJ’s  manager, Mathilde Strauss, can verify I am the designer of this necklace and LTj’s design partner. He wants to cry looking at his precious necklace broken laying on the desk. He glares at Sara who hasn’t looked at him once. Damn careless woman! But… that beautiful face and slender neck…she would be the perfect model for the Competition. He shakes his head, what am I thinking.

  Mathilde approaches the desk when she does she notices the necklace is broken. Two of the rare diamonds are missing, she accusingly looks at the Security Chief, “What happened to the Midnight Lover Necklace!”

   Sara gulps feeling the tension in the room, for a store manager her aura right now is very dark and menacing. Blame your Boss and the people who tried to kill him. Stop looking at me.

  The Security Chief holds out his hand, “Your identification.”

  Mathilde hands him her ID and her badge from LTJ Milan that has her picture on the front.

  He thinks about it for a moment, they obviously recognize the necklace and the woman. The haughty woman’s badge has her picture on it and she has a business card stating she is the manager. He rubs his head, Fuck it that is good enough for me.

    Opening the drawer he takes out a document he prepared when Navarre said he was coming to pick up the necklace. He crosses out designer and writes Manager then initials it.”First. I need you to sign a statement that the necklace belongs to LTJ Milan and I am releasing it to you, Mathilde Strauss the manager of the store.”

   After Mathilde signs the statement he hands the necklace to her bypassing Navarre’s outstretched hand. Mathilde hands the necklace to Navarre and he carefully places it into a velvet case he brought with him.

 The Security Chief looks over at Sara,“What about the woman?”

  Navarre takes Sara’s hand and pulls her up out of the seat. “She is coming with me.”

  “…” Sara nervously looks back at the Security Chief as Navarre drags her along, “I need my purse and passport!’ Once we are outside of this stuffy room I will explain what happened to him. I should have just enough time to make my plane if I run to the gate.

  Navarre stops and waits for the security Chief to hand her the purse, then impatiently opens the office door. Mathilde follows behind them wondering what he is going to do to Sara. The entire trip to the airport he treated me like air and never said a word. He must be extremely angry. Well, he should teach her a lesson for ruining his beautiful necklace. 

 He turns to Mathilde, “You can go.”

 “What? Wait! Should I call the police to have her arrested.”

  Sara stares at Mathilde with a frightened expression, “I didn’t steal the Midnight Lover Necklace, you know CEO Li told me to wear it to the Bellini Reception.”

  Mathilde noticed Navarre’s eyes soften gazing at Sara’s flawless face in the office She suddenly feels upset she didn’t listen to her friend. Is Stephanie right? Do men really prefer this type of innocent looking woman, no makeup.. frumpy clothes. No..and this little slut isn’t innocent she is kept by CEO Li then stole the necklace. Irritated that Navarre has been ignoring her and staring at Sara she questions Sara, “Did he tell you to take the Midnight Lover Necklace back to China? Why aren’t you going on the CEO’s plane?”

  Sara stammers, ‘The CEO well..he..he.. had more business in Milan and my work is finished.”

  This gives Navarre an idea he has a devilish grin on his handsome face. Tian’s phone is off; she can’t call him to help her or the little assistant would have already. I will threaten her with the police so she comes with me to Paris and models my necklace. He stops Mathilde from proceeding with her questions, “I will take care of this matter, didn’t you say you were to meet an important client for lunch?”

    Mathilde’s face pales, I only said that so you would know I thought helping you was more important! “Well, I have time. I think as the manager of LTJ I should notify the authorities.”

   He scowls, “I don’t want you to interfere. I want to handle this personally. You can leave.”

   Technically Navarre is also her boss because of his partnership with Li Tian so Mathilde reluctantly smiles, “If you need any further assistance call me.”

  “En.”

  Once she leaves Sara wants to clarify the situation. “Mr. Navarre I need to catch a plane. I’m sorry your exquisite necklace was broken but you will need to ask CEO Li the details. The CEO is well aware of the necklace’s condition. Unfortunately, due to personal circumstances I was unable to return the necklace to him before I came to the airport. I planned on sending it to his office in Catang City once I arrived.”

  Navarre listens then calmly informs Sara, “Unless you want me to call the police and have you arrested you need to accompany me to Paris.”

  Sara is exhausted and not sure she heard him correctly, “What did you say?’

 “I said you are coming with me or going to jail.”

  Sara’s eyes widen when he threatens her with his unreasonable demand, “I’m not going with you anywhere!” She decides she will be on the plane soon anyway “Call the CEO right now! He will explain!”

  Navarre decides to change his approach, the little assistant looks determined to catch her plane.  I don’t want to cause any unnecessary attention in the airport. There might be paparazzi hanging around.“I tried calling CEO Li on the way to the airport, his phone was turned off. I will pay you 50,000 euros. Since my necklace is broken I don’t have time to find a model. I will need to repair it before the Competition which will be held in two days. The necklace is missing two unique Diamonds so I will need to find comparable replacements which will be time consuming. Three days.”

   Sara thinks about his proposition, she is supposed to be in Milan for three more days anyway and that is a lot of money towards her bakery cafe. Zhou Jason isn’t expecting me back until then..hmmm.. “You will buy my ticket to Paris and my return ticket to Catang City?’

  “Of course.”

  “Can you reimburse me for my non refundable ticket I have right now.”

  “Not a problem.”

  “Okay.”

   While walking through the airport to the exit Mathilde realizes his driver brought her to the airport and left. She will need to take a taxi back to her apartment. She sulks thinking about his indifferent and cold attitude. I was doing him a favor, he could at least have had his driver wait for me The more she thinks about it the more she feels she should cover her own ass. The Midnight Lover Necklace is broken, I signed for it and let Song Sara go. I should at the very least alert CEO Li to the situation. She takes out her phone to call Li Tian.

   He is in the elevator of the hotel when his phone rings, why is the manager of LTJ. Milan calling me?  She knows not to call me for unimportant matters. “Speak.”

  “CEO Li..umm.. this is Mathilde Strauss. I thought I should let you know..ahh..  we retrieved the Midnight Lover Necklace from your assistant and it is broken.”

   Li Tian was pushing the button for his floor, “SONG SARA IS WITH YOU?”

   “Well no..she is with Navarre..so is the necklace.”

   “Where? Where are they?”  No! No! She can’t be with that playboy! What if she has a glass of wine!

  “The airport. Security called when she tried to leave the country and they discovered the necklace.”

  “WHY THE HELL DIDN’T THEY CALL ME!”

  He sounds furious and Mathilde feels sweat forming on her forehead, “I..I don’t know. Navarre called me.”

Li Tians aura turns black and his eyes redden with jealous rage Very good..little demoness…  first you ran away from the Inn..then you didn’t want to call me so you had Security call Navarre. How did you have his number? The bastard gave it to you at LTJ?  HA! You think you can run from me little girl? Seduce another man? You don’t have the ability to get away from me in this life! Song Sara you are my.. Li Tian’s woman!! Only mine! 

      Mathilde can feel his suffocating aura through the phone and her knees suddenly become weak. I can hear him breathing.. “CEO Li ? Hello?”

Who Am I?

   Li Tian‘s eyes fall on Sara’s face, no wonder I am bewitched by this little beauty. Her small oval face is flawless; delicate facial features, limpid and incredibly deep blue eyes, long black eyelashes like butterfly wings and tempting pouty pink lips. So beautiful like a fragile porcelain doll…He possessively touches her cheek, little fairy your beauty can only be mine. He narrows his eyes thinking about her and Sun Zhi. Consumed by rage thinking about Sun Zhi touching Sara, he holds Sara’s wet naked body to his chest; little thing you can not have any other man in your heart… I will remove all traces of that bastard!  He no longer can restrain his overwhelming desire, wanting to crush her into his bones, his eyes redden as he ruthlessly begins kissing her tempting lips. I was your first man and I will make damn sure I am your only man!

   Sara’s body is burning up and smelling his masculine fragrance as he embraces her in his strong arms fuels her passion, she doesn’t resist his domineering kiss.  She willingly lets his vengeful tongue drive straight into her small mouth and seductively rubs her soft white breasts on his warm bare chest. On fire she encircles his neck with her delicate arms, and lets the wave of pleasure begin to quench her thirst. Li Tian senses her rising passion and deftly moves his lips down her neck sucking and licking as he leaves his mark. Addicted to the sweet taste of her tofu like skin his breathing becomes heavy. Panting he decides to take Sara to the bed to fully enjoy her delicious body. When he stops kissing her Sara scrunches up her face and pouts, “Don’t stop..” She presses her eager lips onto his biting and licking, then puts her small tongue into his mouth sweetly entangling it with his. Li Tian’s eyes light up at Sara’s cute appearance as she greedily kisses his lips. He impulsively picks her up out of the bath grabbing a towel to wrap around her lithe body as he carries Sara to the bed. Looking down at the beautiful girl in his arms he smiles , “Not stopping.”

   He gently dries Sara’s petite body then pushes her down whispering in her ear with a low hoarse voice, “Never stopping.” She smiles up at him, her crystal blue eyes sparkling with undisguised lust. His heart skips a beat gazing at her beautiful face flushed red, her messy ink black hair hanging down on her delicate shoulders. He lifts her chin, staring into her deep blue eyes, he has a threatening tone, “Who am I?’

  Sara blinks a few times, “My..my lover.”

  Not satisfied with her answer, he moves his face closer, his dark eyes look like a bottomless abyss sucking Sara into their depths. Sara’s mind is conflicted, she knows who he is but part of her can’t believe it or say his name out loud. It would make this crazy night seem too real. Avoiding his question Sara suddenly kisses him not wanting to face the fact he is Li Tian. 

  Li Tian pushes her away, “Say my name or I’m leaving.” He has no intention of leaving but wants Sara to recognize him. He knows she desperately needs a man right now.

  Sara bites her lower lip and looks at him, her eyes misty and her voice barely audible as she shyly stammers “Li..Li Tian.” 

  “Louder..”

  “Li Tian.”

    He playfully touches her nose then teases, “You are not allowed to forget this time.” 

    Sara can’t comprehend what he means by ‘this time’ but she sees he is satisfied with her answer when he has a faint smile on his otherwise cold face.

     His kisses become more gentle as his hand roams over her hot body until he reaches her sensitive area down below. While he sucks on her breasts his thumb rubs her bud teasing her until she moans and her body quivers.  His heart is pounding and his breathing becomes heavier listening to the soft lewd noises Sara is making. Spreading her petals he puts his long slender finger inside her body thrusting in and out. His skillful movements cause her sweet honey to flow onto his finger. Teasing Sara he takes his finger out, seductively licking it with the tip of his tongue, “ Sweet.”

   Sara was enjoying the feeling of being stimulated by his finger. Unable to accept him teasing her she begs him as her restless body writhes on the bed. She knits her eyebrows and touches his arm, “Itchy.. So itchy..pleaseee..”

   He can’t resist, he leans down spraying his hot breath on her face, their noses almost touching, his voice is raspy and sounds extremely sexy, “Tell me what you want.”

   She holds his large warm hand and places it on her wetness down below, “More..deeper..”

  Li Tian has a devilish grin gazing at her innocent face sinfully dyed red with lust exciting him further…such a naughty little girl.

  He lets her guide his hand as he kisses her neck working his way to her jadelike breasts leaving a trail of red marks on her tender white skin. Sucking her breast he feels her body shivering from excitement. This incites the beast in him and he twirls his tongue around and bites her erect pinkness until it becomes red and swollen. Finally tasting her body again Li Tian is unable to control himself, he licks and sucks on her tender peak while kneading her other breast causing her cries to become louder. He moves down kissing her body then licking her stomach with the tip of his tongue. Sara can barely breathe from the drug intensifying her pleasure and his undeniable skill. She softly moans, “Ahhh..feels sooo good..”

  Once he reaches her lower abdomen he spreads her creamy white legs then kisses her while caressing her soft thighs. While licking her sensitive bud, before his tongue even enters Sara’s body, nectar drips down between her legs. Tasting the sweetness flowing out he continues to kiss her and she shivers from her body’s intense reaction… So sensitive..

   Sara has her hands on his silky ink black hair and her slim hips are eagerly arching towards him. Her body is on fire and she feels like she is floating in the clouds as his tongue deftly moves in and out. He sucks and nibbles on her petals sending a wave of ecstasy through her body.

   When she is dripping wet and writhing on the bed he stops then straddles her petite body, his throat is dry and his voice hoarse demanding, “Touch me.”

   Sara has lost all her inhibitions at this point and puts her small hand on his swollen hardness. Li Tian puts his hand on hers moving her soft hand up and down as he groans, “Do you want?”

    She nods her head and in a kittenish voice replies,”Want..Really want..” Sara  wants to be filled up by him and can’t wait any longer. The effects of the drug are causing her body to twitch, she needs to have him satisfy her before the pain worsens.

   He moves his hardness into her slowly feeling her clamping around him. So fucking tight..He stares at her perfect white breasts and wickedly smiles, her once pink buds are red and swollen from his bullying. As he buries himself inside of Sara he gets swept up in rapture from the tightness hugging his hardness as he thrusts. “Nngh.. Unngh..” Sweat runs down his body as he pounds harder and faster. As his pace quickens he collides with Sara’s sensitive spot making her cry out from the intense pleasure. Everytime he hears Sara’s sweet moans and feels her body moving in sync with him he quickens his movements, making her body shudder uncontrollably. She digs her fingers into his back as her trembling body is ravaged by him.

   Once her honey begins to drip over his hardness the indescribable sensation makes Li Tian almost lose his mind. Sara’s pure yin is extremely strong and the yang in his body reacts, sending him into another realm the deeper he plunges inside her tight body. The effect of her pure yin overwhelms his ability to reason and he completely loses control, “Ahh.. Nngh..Unnn..NNgh” Craving the ultimate pleasure only her body gives him he continues to indulge himself. Lifting her slender white legs up, his blood is boiling as moves his muscular waist pumping in and out using deep then shallow thrusts. The bumping of his huge hardness inside her tight tunnel leaves Sara breathless, gasping for air Sara can barely breathe, “Too Big..Too deep..I am going to dieeee.” The Moroccan aphrodisiac coursing through her blood won’t let her push him away. She moves her hips involuntarily letting him go deeper until she feels her insides will tear from his penetration. Her heart is racing and her body is on fire as she clings onto him begging him..”Too fast..slower..Ahhh.”

   Li Tian’s eyes are dark and blazing with unrestrained passion. Consumed with desire and lost in his lust he growls “Baby..you are so sweet..can’t stop.” He continues to torment Sara, her long black hair messy and damp stuck on her cheeks and sweat droplets drip down her delicate peaks as they tremble from Li Tian’s violent thrusts. Sara bites her lip releasing her pure yin as she reaches the heavens moaning, “Ahhhh..Mmnnn..Unnn.” When her sweet nectar drips over his hardness and he absorbs the pure yin Li Tian explodes deep inside of Sara. His breathing ragged and his heart pounding he growls, “NNNGH..Unnn..Baby you feel sooo good.”

   Exhausted from the intense tangling of their bodies together Sara closes her eyes but the insidious drug still torments her weak body not allowing her any respite. She helplessly pulls on Li Tian’s arm as he lays next to her naked body, desperately wanting to soothe her body that is still needy. Snuggling next to him to relieve her lingering pain she wraps her thiextrms around his strong waist. Feeling her rubbing her head on his chest he has a smile filled with affection and tenderness. He stares at Sara as she clings onto his body, is this still the effect from the drug or.. He doesn’t care; he holds her soft body and buries his head in her neck, inhaling her unique fragrance. I feel calm when I am with Sara in bed after we make love. Could it be what Dr. Deng said, her pure yin..well, she willingly had sex with me, albeit was because of the aphrodisiac. I have a sense of extreme satisfaction and the rage inside of me has lessened.

He gently holds Sara as she sleeps, he runs his finger across her cheek whispering, “You said you wouldn’t forget this time.” He kisses her lips and pulls the quilt up to cover her body. I need to get rid of my engagement with Long An and have Song Sara. She is the only woman I want to marry, well..not marry.. but have by my side. My family would never accept her as a marriage partner she has no value.

   He carefully removes Sara’s arm from his waist then gets off the bed. He reaches into his jacket taking out a cigarette. Looking at their crumpled clothes on the floor he calls Tang Qiang who is sound asleep. The phone rings a few times before he answers, “Boss.”

  “I need you to bring me a suit and clothes for Song Sara. Bring them to the Camellia Inn at eight o’clock.”

  Tang Qiang scratches his head, “Boss…ah Miss Long was drunk.She came over to the Presidential Suite and threw a tantrum. I tried to call you but you didn’t answer.”

  Li Tian lights his cigarette and responds, “Don’t care.”

  “Well Boss. She said she is telling your grandfather about you and Miss Song. You left her alone at the Bellini Reception. I told her she is only your secretary, but she trashed all Miss Song’s clothes when I went to get her a coffee to sober her up.”

  “All her clothes?”

  “She dumped out Miss Song’s luggage then ripped the clothes and spilt wine all over the place. Now she is passed out on the bed.”

  “Why didn’t you drag her back to the Lattario?”

  “Well that is why I called you. I didn’t think I should make any decisions.” Tang Qiang pictures Long An as she was staggering around the suite cursing Song Sara. Twenty minutes of her stumbling around ranting and raving acting like a shrew. Believe me I wanted to stop her but she kept threatening me with your grandfather. No one escapes from that old man when he is angry.

   Fuck! “You moron, you could tell Sun Peizhi my confidential plans but couldn’t make a decision about a drunk bitch ripping up shit! Useless! Double your punishment when we get back to Catang City.”

  “…” She is your fiancee…

  “In the morning before you come stop by Chloe Designs I will call Chloe and have her prepare clothes for Song Sara. Take pictures of Long An passed out and the mess she made.”

  “Okay.’

   “Wait…I have a better idea, you say she is passed out in the bed. Take off your shirt and get into the bed with her under the covers. Take provocative photos of the two of you in the bed… make it look like you slept with her.”

  Tang Qiang’s face turns red, “Boss..I can’t do that!”

  “No punishment when we return to the city.”

  “Will do.”

  Li Tian smirks, You want to threaten me Long An? You picked the wrong person. He crushes the cigarette in the ashtray then lazily walks into the bathroom to take a shower.

  Sara feels like ants are crawling all over her body and she sits up scratching her arms. I need to take a bath! She walks to the bathroom and sees Li Tian naked getting into the shower, the sight of his perfect muscular body arouses her desire again. Their eyes meet and she locks gazes with his deep eyes, she can’t resist the urge to move closer to him. He pulls her into his arms teasing, “You want to try shower sex, little demoness?”

  She hugs him and tears form in her eyes, “Feel so terrible, like ants crawling all over my skin..”

  Although he wants Sara he suddenly feels sorry for her situation when he sees the glaringred scratch marks on her snow white arms. He affectionately smoothes her tangled hair, “I will find an antidote for you. But, for now you need to accept only my body can help you.”

  She gazes up at him with a pitiful expression, her dark blue eyes covered in a layer of mist. “Hmmm..” Sara helplessly clings onto his naked body wrapping her arms around his strong waist while leaning her head on his chest.







   .  

No Antidote

  Restless and hot Sara opens her limpid eyes slightly and reaches up to Li Tian, “Please… water..”

   He is in a daze from Sara unexpectedly fainting after consuming the strong wine, he quickly responds, “Water..yess..I will get water.” Flustered looking at her flushed delicate oval face and red lips he takes her arms from around his neck then hurries over to the table. Pouring a glass of water, he glances over at the bed. Sara is wrestling with the oversized sweater and it is stuck on her head exposing her black bra and her thin snow white waist.What the hell..is this the little thing’s reaction when she drinks alcohol? What if the little seductress was with someone else? His eyes burn with jealousy imagining the scene.

   When he reaches the bed he pulls the light blue cashmere sweater back down untangling the small pearl buttons caught in her long black hair, “Be good. Drink.”

  He lifts the glass of water to her lips and she puts her warm soft hands on top of his hands holding the glass. She greedily gulps down the water, droplets linger on her red lips as she finishes. Li Tian wants to kiss her alluring glistening lips but restrains himself. If I do I won’t be able to control my desires. 

  Sara sighs pulling on her sweater , “Too hot..” She lifts the bottom of the fuzzy sweater again. Li Tian decides to help her remove the sweater. She will still be wearing a bra, it will be fine. Once he has the sweater in his hand he smoothes her messy hair and lays Sara back down with her head on the pillow. Tossing the sweater on a nearby chair he coaxes,“Go to sleep.”

  She has a blank expression as she puts her hand on his chest. Her voice sounds soft and sweet, “No sleep. Hug.”

  Li Tian uses all his willpower to ignore the seductive woman on the bed and stands up, “You need to sleep.” He leans over the bed touching her nose with his finger he warns,“Don’t drink in the future.”

  Sara has some awareness left and mutters, “Drug..drug..”  She realizes her body feels like it did the first night in Milan when she was drugged at the Medici Club.. “Help me..” Sara knows he is Li Tian and thinks he will leave, she desperately clutches onto him, “Don’t go.”

 Li Tian gazes at her flushed body and dilated pupils. Drug? Noah wouldn’t drug my woman he knows I definitely would kill him. Could it be the aphrodisiac from the restaurant? But that was taken care of by me. Who drugged her? The Innkeeper? No that is ridiculous what would he gain?

  Tears start forming in her beautiful blue eyes, Sara uses all her mental capacity to stammer, “Club. Why still..”

  He is confused looking at her pitiful appearance. What aphrodisiac stays in the system then suddenly begins working again. That is fucking insidious! Sara’s face has turned crimson red and her body is beginning to involuntarily twitch.

  He relents holding Sara and using his fingers to brush her damp hair behind her ear. He affectionately caresses her cheek, “Try to bear with it.” His heart tightens when he sees her pained expression and the redness covering her body. “I am going to run a cold bath that should help you. I will call a doctor.”

 He lays her down again and tries to comfort Sara, “It will be alright… I’m here.’

  Sara gazes at him trying to get control of her lustful desire. I can’t give in to the drug..I can’t. This is terrible! She digs her nails into her palms trying to get her mind off wanting to touch Li Tian.

  When he is in the bathroom filling the bathtub he takes out his phone calling Dr. Zhang. The doctor moves his wife who is wrapped around him like an octopus. He reaches for the phone on the nightstand, “Speak. Have you recovered?”

  “Yeah, but I have a question for you.”

  “Unless it is urgent, call me back in the morning.”

 “Urgent. My woman was given an aphrodisiac but it was a couple days ago, now she is having a similar what should I call it..an attack.”

  Dr. Zhang laughs, “Boy, your father has been lamenting your mother wants to hold a fat little grandson . Satisfy Long An and move the wedding date up.”

   “…” Li Tian turns off the water for the bath,”Not Long An. So don’t go gossiping to the old fart!”

 “You dare to call some slut your woman when you are engaged! Shameless!”

  “Listen old man, none of your business. This situation is serious though and I am worried, so cut the crap and listen.”

  Dr. Zhang’s wife wakes up when he raises his voice, he quietly tells her, “Go back to sleep.” He gets out of bed and walks to his study. He has never heard of Li Tian caring for anyone and is surprised to hear concern in his voice. “I’m listening.”

  “The only conclusion I can draw is that the aphrodisiac had a residual effect. Just now she had an untainted glass of wine then she showed obvious symptoms.”

  The bathroom door opens and Li Tian turns around to see Sara standing there in her underwear. Dammit!

  Dr. Zhang can hear a soft voice in the background, “Hot..so hot..”

  Sara stands on her tiptoes hanging on Li Tian, “Kiss me.”  Li Tian doesn’t respond to the provocation and loosens her hold. He tells Dr. Zhang, “Don’t hang up,” then sets the phone by the sink.

  Li Tian’s voice sounds pampering,  “Be a good girl, get into the bath.”

   She kisses him then seductively starts to unbutton his shirt. Her eyes are covered in a lustful haze and her voice is filled with temptation, “Yes, let’s bathe together.” Sara’s slender hands touch his belt buckle and zipper trying to undo it.  Sweat forms on his forehead feeling her hand on his manhood that is beginning to swell. Dammit! He furrows his brows as he quickly holds onto her hand to stop her as she unzips his pants. Sara pouts looking up at him with an aggrieved expression, “Don’t you want me anymore?”

   “…”  I want to kiss every part of your body and fuck you until you scream my name but… I made up my mind I am not going to take advantage of the situation again. Li Tian has been feeling guilty about the last time she was drugged. He silently lifts her up and places her in the bath tub of cold water. When her hot body abruptly comes into contact with the cold water she exclaims, “ Ahhh! Cold..So cold!”

  Li Tian feels like he is coaxing a disobedient child. He has a faint smile as he watches Sara hugging her naked body, “I am on the phone with the doctor, don’t be naughty!”

  His dark eyes are mesmerized staring at the water droplets dripping down her chest into her cleavage and her hard pinkness pressed against the wet black lace bra.  He turns around from the alluring sight, his heart is racing as he picks up the phone.

   Turning his back on Sara in the bath so not to be distracted, his voice is hoarse, “Do you know of this particular aphrodisiac and a cure?”

  Dr. Zhang is still recovering from overhearing Sara and Li Tian. Since when did the demon boy become attentive to a woman? Did the sun rise in the West?

 Li Tian impatiently continues, “Old man, are you there?”

  Dr. Zhang coughs then clears his dry throat, “Yes, I’m here but I haven’t heard of such a situation. Call my friend Dr. Lu, he has treated quite a few Young Masters. He might know.”

  Li Tian can see Sara with her hands on the edge of the tub preparing to climb out of the bath, “Stay.”

 “Come in.” She raises her creamy white arms out of the water beckoning him to join her in the bath.

  “In a minute. Don’t get out!” He resumes the phone call. “Give me his number.”

  Dr. Zhang tells him the number then says, “Brat why don’t you cure this woman yourself? You couldn’t be..” The brat isn’t impotent is he? Poor Old Man Li..no fat cute buns in the future.

  “Mind your own business and don’t gossip when you are in Catang City. I have no qualms about killing an old man who has a foot in the grave as it is.”

  Dr. Zhang’s face lights up, the Demon boy really cares about this woman. Dr. Zhang’s brown eyes crinkle knowing Dr. Lu will hate being awakened. “Tell him I said not to overcharge for the consultation”

 “…” Pfft! As if money is a problem for me. Sara gets out of the bath dripping with water as he calls Dr. Lu. His Adam’s apple rolls up and down as she pounces into his arms pressing her supple wet body onto him. She can’t resist his sexy lips and reaches up to kiss him. “I need you. Wash me.” She kisses his lips tasting the familiar flavor trying to put her small tongue into his mouth. It is taking all his willpower as she pulls him towards the bath, recalling their passionate night together.

  He pushes her away, “Song Sara! Behave! or I won’t be responsible for my actions! Get back in the bath!”

  He doesn’t realize Dr. Lu had already answered the phone, he hears an angry voice, “SUN ZHI!”

   Li Tian wonders why he screamed “Sun Zhi.”

  “Dr. Lu, this is Li Tian, I got your number from Dr. Zhang.”

  Dr. Lu turns on his bedside lamp then rubs his beard, “Sorry, I was irritated no one was on the line then in the background I heard the name Song Sara. Jumped to conclusions.”

   ??? Li Tian, “ Sun Zhi knows Song Sara?” He has heard of Sun Zhi but never met him. He doesn’t participate in the Sun Group or appear in public. He is a very elusive man.

  “Well, I can’t discuss a patient. Why are you calling.”

  “Dr. Zhang said you are familiar with aphrodisiacs and I need to know if there is one that has lingering effects that resurface when the person drinks wine. My girlfriend was drugged previously now after having s glass of wine she relapsed.”

  Dr. Zhang runs his fingers through his messy hair. “I did hear there is an aphrodisiac made in Morocco that is extremely strong. Has an ingredient that causes it to be resistent to antidotes.” He recalls Song Sara being drugged, is that who he is talking about? Young Master Sun did say they were only friends.  She is Li Tian’s woman?

He is conflicted whether he should get involved or not. He hesitates then thinks about Song Sara, what a pitiful girl, treated poorly by her family and now suffering from being drugged. “Since I treated Song Sara previously and I heard you call her name, I will tell you most likely she has ingested this Morrocan  aphrodisiac.” Sun Zhi mentioned he and Sara were at the devil Bellini’s club and he has ties with that bastard Malouf. Dr. Zhang gathers information as he treats the gossipy Young Masters. “I treated her when she was initially drugged at the insistence of her friend Young Master Sun. I gave her an antidote which should have cleared the drug from her system. I can only tell you there is no antidote as far as I know for this aphrodisiac produced in Morroco. The only way for her symptoms to be relieved at this point is through sexual release.”

   Li Tian’s mind is in turmoil glancing at Sara in the bath, “No antidote?”

  “Not to my knowledge. The aphrodisiac must remain dormant until it comes into contact with alcohol in the person’s bloodstream.That is my guess anyway.”

  Li Tian sees Sara slipping down into the water with her eyes closed, he quickly ends the conversation, “Send the bill to my office.” 

  Rushing over to the bathtub he gently lifts Sara’s head, staring at her beautiful face tinged with a seductive red color,  you were with Sun Zhi? He saw you like this…did you kiss him… beg him to touch you? His eyes blaze with jealous rage as he strips off his clothes then enters the bath. Overcome with possessiveness and desire he puts Sara  on his lap then lifts her chin giving her a tyrannical kiss. When she is breathless he looks into her smokey blue eyes. His voice is low and full of unspoken accusations, “Who is Sun Zhi to you?”

   Sara thinks he is talking about Sun Peizhi and her lips curl up in a blinding smile exposing her cute dimples,  “Ahh.. Zhi.. so handsome…”

   When Li Tian sees her look of pure admiration and her breathtaking smile he goes insane. He puts his hand on her slender neck and the expression on his handsome face becomes ice cold and terrifying. His black eyes look like a bottomless abyss filled with anger that Sara could so easily smile and say another man was handsome to his face. He presses tighter. One squeeze and I won’t be tormented by this woman anymore. Sara gasps for air then he comes to his senses loosening his grip. Hmmph! Dare to think you can get away from me! You don’t have the ability! He runs his fingers through her hair on the back of her head pulling her delicate small face towards him. Bullying Sara by sucking and biting her smooth white neck as he rubs her breasts, he growls, “You belong to me.. you are my fucking woman!”

   Sara moans in pleasure as he tears off her bra then moves his lips down savoring the taste of her sweet skin , you will only have me in my eyes..no other man! Sun Zhi you dare come close to my woman again you are a fucking dead man!

The Inn

This extra chapter is sponsored by my awesome friend Elena❤…Thank you soo much for your support on ko-fi!

   A short distace away from the parking lot of the Inn, Sun Peizhi has his finger on the trigger of his gun ready to take out Adrien should he make a move to harm Sara.  He watches the exchange of information for Sara from his vantage point keeping his eyes glued on Sara and the man. After the exchange his body stiffens when he sees Li Tian intimately embracing Sara. Bastard! You don’t deserve her love. 

  He puts his gun away when he sees the men drive out of the parking lot then comes out from behind the tree he was behind. Fuck it! I am going to quit right now and take Sara away. His handsome face has a look of determination as he quickens his pace towards them.

  When Sara sees Sun Peizhi her eyes light up, she wiggles out of Li Tian’s arms. Her excited expression doesn’t go unnoticed by Li Tian. He can’t hide his hostility as Sun Peizhi comes closer sensing Sara has an interest in him. He has a possessive stance blocking Sara away from Sun Peizhi, “Go back to the hotel and wait for instructions.”

  Sun Peizhi is about to quit and tell Li Tian to fuck off when his phone starts ringing he uses specifically for his mission. Goddammit!  Why would Freddie be calling me right now. He has no choice but to answer Li Tian, “If I am no longer needed here I will go.” He looks at Sara out of the corner of his eye trying to see if she is okay.

  Sara wants to grab him, No! Don’t go! Take me with you! She musters up her courage, “Wait! I will go with you.” She steps forward, “My hotel is on your way.”

  “…” What hotel? Li Tian furrows his brow then suddenly blurts out, “You can’t. I need him to take care of some confidential business on his way back to the hotel. I will drive you.”

  Sun Peizhi wants to take Sara with him but Freddie wouldn’t call for no reason and this mission is extremely important. He grits his teeth holding back the urge to snatch her into his arms.”Miss Song, I think it would be best if you stayed with the CEO. You should rest after your ordeal.” I promise you as soon as I finish my mission.. 

  Li Tian just wants to get rid of Sun Peizhi but doesn’t have anything for him to do. He has a serious expression, “I will text you the details.”

  “En.”

  Sara has no choice but to stay with Li Tian. She gazes at Sun Peizhi longingly as she watches his back move further away.  Wuuuhuuu I want to go with you!

   Li Tian’s eyes darken reflecting his displeasure at her obvious desire to get away from him. What is wrong with this woman! Trying to avoid my touch and run away! Does she know how many women want to climb into my bed! Well, she has been through a terrifying ordeal, I will forgive her. “Sara, Sun Peizhi has a point you should rest. We can stay at this Inn then go back to the hotel in the morning.”

  Sara doesn’t like the idea..not one bit. “No. I’m fine. We can go back now. I booked a room so you can drop me off on the way to your hotel.” I want to sleep then catch my plane back to Catang and stay as far away from you as possible. Oh shit! I didn’t book a room because Sun Peizhi on the phone said I could stay at his friend’s apartment again. Sara shakes her head, I am so tired I can’t think straight!

   “ I’m too tired to drive it would be dangerous.We will stay here.” He takes her hand and starts walking to the front door of the Inn.

   ??? Did you not hear a word I said! Why are you holding my hand! Sara tries to remove her hand but Li Tian tightens his grip. 

   When they enter the Inn, a wrinkled old man is asleep with his head on the front desk. When he hears the door chimes he opens his eyes. Rubbing them with his bony fingers he says, “It is extra to get a room this late.” The old Innkeeper likes to charge people for interrupting his sleep.

  Li Tian smirks, “Two of your best rooms.”

  The old man scratches his white beard. More assholes here for the Fashion Week unable to get a room in the city.  “All our rooms are good.” He puts on some smudged glasses then looks at the reservation book in front of him. “Right now we only have one available.” Looking over his glasses he notices Sara, haha.. the man brings a beautiful girl to a small Inn he must not want his wife to know. She is quite beautiful even in those shapeless clothes she is wearing.

  “If that is all you have available we will take the one room.”  Li Tian has a mischievous gleam in his eyes thinking about sharing the bed with Sara.

   Sara can barely keep her eyes open but when she hears what the Innkeeper says she suddenly comes alive, “NO! We need two rooms!”

    Li Tian ignores her protest and takes out his black card, “I will take it. Is the kitchen open?”

   “For an extra charge. Limited menu.” I will wake up the old lady to make them something.

  “Send your house favorites to the room and a bottle of red wine.” He heard Sara’s stomach growling when they were in the parking lot.

  Sara glares at him, am I invisible? Did you not hear me! I am not sleeping in the same room with you!

  He can feel Sara’s burning gaze, he thinks she looks like an angry little cat right now..so cute. He coaxes her, “Don’t worry I will sleep on the couch.”

  Sara sighs looking at his amused expression, that arrogant man will do what he wants anyway. I just want to go to sleep. 

   When they get to the room Li Tian opens the door. He is pleasantly surprised there is a large comfortable looking bed and no couch. Sara on the other hand scrunches up her nose muttering, “No couch.”

  “I will sleep on the floor. When they bring the food I will ask for some extra bedding.”

   “Okay.”

  Li Tian’s phone rings and when he answers the call Sara walks out to the balcony for some fresh air.

   I can’t wait to get back to Catang and my ordinary life. That thought reminds her of the broken Midnight Lover Necklace. Oh my God I have to tell him about it. I guess I won’t mention the necklace unless he does. I will send it by courier back to him when I am home.

There is a chill in the night air but Sara finds it refreshing. She sits on a chair looking up at the sky. What a crazy few days! Hugging the extra large sweater to her slender body Sara can’t keep her eyes open, exhausted she falls asleep. 

   After he finishes his phone call with Tang Qiang, Li Tian walks out to see Sara curled up in a ball on the chair. The oversized fuzzy sweater makes her look like a small animal, all you can see is her messy black hair. Little idiot! You will catch a cold sleeping out here! He gently picks Sara’s up then carries her to the bed, when he lays her down there is a knock at the door. The Innkeeper’s wife, a short old woman wearing a red flannel robe, stands at the door holding a tray of food and a bottle of wine, “We don’t have a chef at this time of night so I made some pasta.” 

   “…” 

    She slowly waddles into the room placing the food on a small wooden table. She smiles at him and in a pleasant voice says, “Signore, if you need anything else call downstairs for my husband.”  I am going back to sleep! That money grubbing old man of mine! Making me cook this time of night!

   He glances at the steaming plates of food, “This should do.” 

  When Li Tian hands her some money she quickly stuffs the cash into the pocket of her robe, haha..I won’t tell the old miser about this tip! “Grazie! Grazie”

  After the old woman leaves Li Tian walks over to the bed wondering if he should wake Sara up to eat something. While he is deciding if he should wake her up Sara gets a whiff of the pasta and licks her pink lips in her sleep. Her small mouth opens and closes as though she is eating then she mumbles, “Umm.. more..so good.”

   Li Tian has a smile that reaches his eyes gazing at the adorable expression on her face, she must be really hungry. He nudges her and his low voice has a doting tone, “Sara, the food is here do you want to eat?”

  Sara slowly opens her hazy blue eyes, fluttering her long black eyelashes as she looks around, “Hmmm.. food?”  

  Li Tian laughs and can’t resist smoothing her tangled hair, “Yes, food.”

  Sara sits up then her eyes widen looking at Li Tian with a confused expression. What is CEO Li doing in my apartment?  She glances around, the Inn! 

  She follows the direction of the aroma and sees the food placed on the table. “I am hungry.”

  They walk to the small table then sit down. Li Tian opens the wine and pours two glasses passing one over to Sara. She frowns, noticing there is no water on the table.

  Li Tian notices her expression so asks, “Did you need something else?”

  “I wanted some water, but it’s fine I can drink the wine.”

  “I will call the desk to send water.I don’t notice a mini fridge.”

  “Thank you.” Sara picks up her glass of wine and has a sip. “This fruit wine is very delicious.”

  Li Tian has a drink and then purses his lips, too sweet. “A little sweet.” When I order the water I will order a bottle of Cabernet. This wine is unpalatable.

   Sara tastes her pasta, “The food tastes delicious.”

   Li Tian gets up from the table and walks to the phone. Dialing the front desk he requests the wine and the water then adds, “I will need extra bedding.”

   Sara hears the conversation and smiles, at least he is being a gentleman. She drinks more of the fruit wine, then has a bite of tortelloni, very authentic, this Inn is much better than I expected. 

  When he returns to the table Sara’s mood has improved, “CEO Li you should try the tortelloni, really delicious.”

  He picks up his fork and tries the creamy pasta, he nods, “Very good.”

   Feeling relaxed Sara smiles brightly at Li Tian then holds up her empty glass, “I really like this wine, so light and fruity. Could I have more?”

   He is thirsty but doesn’t want to drink the fruit wine, he pours a glass for Sara and glances towards the door. Where is the old woman! There is a knock at the door and the old Innkeeper stands there holding the wine and a pitcher of water. “We don’t have any Cabernet but this wine is from my friend’s vineyard..not sweet. No bottled water until our delivery on Tuesday.” Disgruntled he needs to make two trips when he places the water down he snarls, “I will be back with the bedding.”

  “En.”

    Li Tian misses the full service at the hotel, what a dump! Was that old fart giving me attitude!  He walks over to the table Sara is still eating the pasta, the little thing must have been starving! She is so thin to begin with…I will make those bastards pay for kidnapping her… but I need to wait. He wants to explode thinking about what she must have had to endure and that he can’t immediately seek revenge. Li Tian never apologizes to anyone but he feels he needs to compensate Sara. I shouldn’t have brought Song Sara to Milan knowing I could run into trouble because of the arms shipment.

   Sara  happily drinks the wine and eats  the delicious handmade tortellini, not paying attention to Li Tian. She has her head down eating when Li Tian says, “ I will compensate you for what happened.”  Sara raises her head when he speaks, his serious expression surprises her. Uncomfortable because she has no idea how to respond she gulps down her wine. Is that the arrogant tyrant’s way of apologizing? What should I say..no need? But I am angry at him. She reaches and grabs the bottle of wine in front of her and pours it into her glass. When the wine goes down her throat she gasps and her eyes water. Sara starts coughing, ‘the wine..” He was distracted and was unable to say that wasn’t the fruit wine before she drank it.

   She puts her palms down on the table as the burning sensation doesn’t subside, “Waterrrr..waterrr.” Her blue eyes have a layer of mist and she is gasping.

   Li Tian quickly pours water then jumps up coming to her side of the table holding the glass he says, “Drink.”

   Sara’s beautiful blue eyes are hazy and her face turns crimson red. She feels dizzy. “I.. I..think I am going to fai…” Her slim body falls into his arms, What the fuck! She was fine a minute ago!

  Worried he hugs her over to the bed, was the wine too strong? He touches Sara’s cheek, she is very hot. He rushes into the bathroom to get a wet cloth, fucking shit! Should I call a doctor?

   There is a knock at the door, the old Innkeeper impatiently stands at the door holding the bedding. Li Tian opens the door grabbing the old man by the collar scaring the shit out of him, “What was in the wine!”

   “Wine? Nothing!”

  Infuriated Li Tian doesn’t let go of the old Innkeeper who is clutching the bedding in his hands, “Why did she faint after she drank a glass.”

  “You gave it to the girl? Too strong for a tiny woman.”

  Li Tian realizes he had a glass of the wine and felt fine. He lets the old man go.

  Shaking the old man says, “Extra charge for bedding.”

  Li Tian responds, “Get out.” He returns to the bed thinking she is drunk from the wine. Dammit!

  Sara feels her body on fire as the residual effects from the Morrocan aphrodisiac in her body reacts with the strong wine. Sweat trickles down her flawless face and she licks her lips muttering, “So thirsty..water..”

 



Marisa’s Villa Part 2

   Li Tian’s veins are bulging on his neck considering how to kill Noah. “Listen you perverted fuck…”

 “Hey..hey calm down.”  Noah laughs at how furious Li Tian’s voice sounds, the cold bastard  seldom displays his emotions. “Judging by the fragile body of the little thing she couldn’t handle my sex games. I might have my …let’s say eccentricities, but I never force a woman. I wanted to see if what I heard was true…so she really is your girlfriend.”

   Li Tian responds, “Does she look like my fucking type? She is a secretary lent to me by the Zhou  Group. If anything happens to Song Sara,  Zhou Jason will retaliate. She not only works for the Zhou Group,they are good friends from their University days.” He cringes as he says this but he doesn’t want Noah to know Song Sara holds a great amount of importance to him. “I have a very lucrative MegaMall Project in the works with them.”

   “Hmm..”

  “Listen Noah, you know very well why I hijacked that arms shipment. I planned on negotiating with Amir but had no idea that bitch Olga would use her son Rashid to influence him. You were deceived by Malouf, he wasn’t forthcoming; he had a hidden partner in this venture.You and I have had a copacetic relationship in the past, I don’t want this to affect future business. But, you need to understand my bottom line, I need to be compensated for the Berlin incident with Alexandre.” He rubs his shoulder where the silver needle pierced his skin. Also, ther is no way in hell I am going to let that fat bitch Karin go.

  Noah doesn’t want Li Tian dead or to ruin their future dealings; he only wants the shipment returned. His client’s private army needs the weapons to protect his company’s interests in a war torn country in Africa.  He believes the powerful man at this point is unaware he no longer has the three trucks carrying the arms.

There isn’t much time. If the man knew Li Tian was in possession of the trucks carrying the top of the line weaponry he paid me millions to deliver… well,  I  would be fucked. Noah has been keeping the information secret and with a loose screw like Karin in the picture he has been extremely concerned and on edge. Should the information  get back to the CEO of Exdon Corporation, I wouldn’t need to worry only about losing money. On the outside the man appears well mannered and harmless,no one knows underneath his mild exterior his true tyrannical disposition. He keeps his identity secret as the insidious mastermind behind  the Chronus Consortium. Gunnar Hedwig wields an incredible amount of power and influence.

   Noah maintains his calm demeanor,  “We can discuss further at Marisa’s villa. I think we can have a peaceful exchange.”

  “Send me the address. I will leave immediately.”

“Come by yourself.”

” That sounds so cliche but I planned on it. If anything should happen to me Yang James knows what to do.”

   Noah hangs up as his assistant Johan bursts in the front door of the villa anxious to tell him about what’s happening at the Bellini reception ,”Boss, it is good you didn’t get involved with the Rushnikovs to replace the arms.”

   Noah had considered delivering a replacement shipment then working on getting the hijacked arms back. He realized after the money was wired to him, Gunnar Hedwig, the CEO of Exdon is more ruthless than he appears on the surface.  Noah isn’t very familiar with Nikolai Naralov and only knows he is Viktor’s son. He has heard he is a lunatic so he is curious,“Why?”

    Johan hurries across the short entranceway, out of breath he wheezes as he continues, “Nikolai Naralov..” His voice trails off as he falls to the ground when a bullet lodges in his brain. Shocked looking at his right hand man dead in front of him, Noah whips his head around to the direction the bullet was fired. One of his guards holds a gun with a silencer aimed at him, three  men have their weapons drawn, the other guards are on the ground not moving.

    Interesting. Noah sits back on the couch without saying anything. I thought staying at Marisa’s villa would buy me some time. Well, I’m glad I have a back up plan. “So, will your boss be arriving soon.”

   The man doesn’t answer but texts a message to his boss, Gunnar Hedwig. When he finishes he responds, “Should be.”

   Noah nonchalantly points to a silver cigarette case on the glass coffee table, “Do you mind if I have a smoke?”

  The man nods while keeping his gun aimed at Noah’s head.

   Noah has a complicated expression as he glances at Johan on the floor next to the coffee table, his blonde hair dyed red from the blood streaming out of the bullet hole. He is lying on the pristine white carpet that is slowly being drenched in his crimson colored blood. Johan’s handsome face is frozen in death with his startling blue eyes wide open.Noah has a momentary flash of regret for not anticipating his men might be infiltrated. Johan has been with him for several years and was an extremely loyal man. He lights his cigarette then puts the silver case back on the table.

Noah inwardly curses, Goddammit! Hedwig found out. Obviously the guards are part of Hedwig’s Chronus Consortium. He angrily grinds his cigarette butt in the ashtray, I was so close to rectifying the situation… you fucking bastard. 

   Upstairs Marissa wakes up thirsty and rolls over to the side of the bed grabbing a half bottle of water. She gulps the water down then looks in the drawer for some medicine for her pounding headache. Urgh…I have no more water to take the pills.  She lazily gets up putting on her white silk robe she smiles, I wonder if Noah has returned? Then she  remembers Sara and her beautiful face has an ugly expression, the whore! Is he fucking the bitch!! Marisa runs out of her door, she hears Noah’s voice coming from the living room so she hurries down the stairs. When she gets to the bottom of the marble steps she sees the horrifying sight of Johan’s bloody head on her new imported Cloud White Ushminal carpet. Her shrill voice echoes through the room,EEEEEKKK! WAHHHH!.. MY NEW CARPET!”

  “..”  Hedwig’s guards look Marisa’s direction, the guard closest to her grabs her by her tangled blonde hair then throws her on the ground next to Johan. “Shut up!” He knows Marisa is Noah’s woman and can’t indiscriminately kill her although after the last few days of listening to her whining he would like to rip her tongue out. “Sit on the couch.”

  Marissa is on the bloody carpet eye to eye with Johan, she shivers as she crawls away from him then stands up. The guard roughly shoves her onto the couch, she lands next to Noah.  Coming to her senses she is terrified staring at the men holding guns.  Huddling next to Noah she whimpers, “Noah..what is going on.” 

   Noah pushes her off of him, “You stink. Get off me.”

   “But..but..” Noah interrupts her and growls, “Disgusting.” He might have tried to comfort her but one look at her smeared makeup and the smell of alcohol on her body makes him want to vomit. “I said get off. I won’t repeat myself.” Marisa obeys him and moves away.

He takes a drag off his cigarette pondering the difficult situation.Which man will arrive first. If Li Tian arrives first I can salvage the situation if it is Gunnar..it won’t be as easy. Fuck!

Adrien hears Marisa scream while he is waiting outside the guest room door for Sara to get dressed.  He silently moves down the hallway then observes the situation from around the corner at the top of the stairs. Damn! I told Johan to screen those new guys better. I didn’t like the vibe I got from them in Berlin.  Fuck! What should I do? Who are they working for anyway… Li Tian… the client? First, I need to make sure the girl doesn’t come out. They weren’t here when I arrived with the girl, they came in with Noah. Most likely they aren’t aware we are upstairs or they would have sent someone up to secure the area. I need to go to the guest room to ensure the girl remains quiet and then make decision as to what the best course of action would be to rescue Noah. He walks back down to the guest room without knocking he opens the door slightly glancing around the empty room.

 Sara is soaking in a warm bath. I am so tired and these bruises hurt! Why did CEO Zhou make me come to Milan with Li Tian! She carefully washes her bruised arm but just touching the tender skin hurts,”Oww.” The man is my unlucky star. Every time I am around him I end up in a miserable state! This time I will be lucky if that terrifying man downstairs doesn’t kill me for the fun of it. From his  bloody and dark aura he must have killed countless people with no remorse. How does CEO Li have a connection to him? She washes her hair as she sighs, I want to go home.

    Once inside of the guest room Adrien locks the door then sits on the couch, he calls François, “Don’t come to the front door. Some rogue guards have Noah at gunpoint downstairs and Johan is dead. The other guards are unconscious.”

   François bangs his hand on the steering wheel of his silver Lamborghini, “What a fucking mess! Who is behind this!”

  “I don’t know, I doubt it is Li Tian or they would have immediately searched for the girl. Do you have any ideas? They aren’t aware I am upstairs in the guest room with the hostage.”

   “Let me think.” François breaks out into a cold sweat; the man behind this must be the client. The car swerves as François becomes distracted thinking about what he should do. He barely misses a truck in the other lane as he regains control of the sportscar. Goddammit Noah doesn’t pay me enough to deal with all this shit! He must have a contingency plan, I told him it was risky partnering with that jackal Malouf! “Okay, you say you are upstairs with the woman?”

   “Yeah. why?”

   “I’m calling Li Tian. I will change the meeting place for the exchange to that small Inn on Cyprus Road. Once I have the location of the trucks…” Hmmm….shit.. I can’t call Noah obviously and he has the contact information for the client. How can I find out?

     When François doesn’t continue, Adrien impatiently questions him. “Then what?”

    Sara suddenly comes out of the bathroom wrapped in a bath towel. Adrien jumps up from the couch and covers her mouth with his large hand before she can scream. His voice is low as he whispers in her ear. “Shhhh..don’t scream or talk. If you do I will snap your pretty neck.”

    Startled, Sara clutches the blue bath towel tightly around her slender body. She shivers, from the murderous aura surrounding him right now he would do it. Looking up at Adrien she nods in agreement then with her blue eyes wide in fear she nervously points to the clothes on the chair.

“…” Adrien’s face turns red, he was too preoccupied to notice Sara is standing there only covered by a short towel.



Wait For Me

    Sun Peizhi sees it is Sara calling he breathes a sigh of relief, “Sara where are you?”

    Sara can hear the worry and concern in his voice, “I am at a small cafe called Little Vito’s .”

    “Wait for me. I should arrive in five minutes.”

   “Okay, but I should let you know I am no longer working for CEO Li.” Sara gives the woman her credit card to pay the bill at the front desk then proceeds to the door while talking with him. “And..I won’t go back to the hotel.”

   “You can stay at my friend’s apartment. I don’t care if you quit, we are friends, you shouldn’t be out at this time of night by yourself. Stay inside the cafe, I will be there shortly.”

   Sara is already standing on the sidewalk outside the cafe, she peeks behind her and the cashier is locking the door. “Okay.” Well, I can’t go back inside, I will be fine waiting here for Sun Peizhi. The area around the cafe seems deserted but at least it is well lit. Staying at his friend’s apartment will save me some money not having to pay for a hotel tonight. I will need to find a way to repay Sun Peizhi for all he has done for me. She chuckles, it is too bad he has a girlfriend or I could offer to pay him with my body haha..

   Sara’s arms have goosebumps, shivering she wraps her slender arms around herself, it feels much colder than before I went into the cafe.  Looking down the empty street it dawns on her the cold faced guard must have sent Sun Peizhi to pick her up..or did Li Tian? Did he wake up and wonder what happened to me? He was gentle in the gazebo and protective of me when the man attacked us pushing me behind him. I will ask Sun Peizhi. Sara’s heart tightens and she has a strange feeling thinking about Li Tian. I’m just concerned..that’s it. I don’t actually care about him do I? She shakes her head and laughs..that’s ridiculous…

   The Bentley Sun Peizhi is driving gets stuck behind a large delivery truck with a flat tire blocking the narrow road. The veins bulge on his forehead watching as a muscular man wearing jeans and a leather jacket bends down looking at the tire. Impatient to find Sara he sticks his head out of the window yelling in Italian, “Move the fucking truck over!”

   The delivery man angrily shakes his fist towards Sun Peizhi then points to the tire and the back of his overloaded truck. He stares with bloodshot eyes at Sun Peizhi then responds in a booming voice,  “If I try and all my vegetables fall out will you fucking pay me for my loss asshole! My brother is on his way, shut the fuck up or I will shut you up!” He throws off his leather jacket then rolls up his sleeves exposing his tattooed muscular arms to intimidate Sun Peizhi. I have been driving all day to deliver this produce and fresh fish to the Postino Hotel I am not in the mood for some rich foreigner to fuck with me! 

   Sun Peizhi would like to get out and beat the shit out of the man to vent his anger that has built up over Sara being left alone on the street, but he doesn’t have time. Fuck it there aren’t any pedestrians, he turns the wheel sharply then backs the car up. Positioning the car with two tires on the road and two on the sidewalk he attempts to get around the truck. He barely squeezes by scraping the side of the Bentley on the truck. Once he maneuvers around he speeds up, one more street and I will be at the cafe. He smiles as he looks in his rear view mirror, the delivery driver is stomping around the dented side of the truck waving his arms and cursing.

   When he arrives at the cafe he sees the shades on windows pulled down and a closed sign on the door, The interior is dark with only a small light still on inside of the cafe. What the hell! He puts the car in park then jumps out dashing over to look in the small window in the door. He presses his face to the window unable to see anyone. He turns around walking down the sidewalk while surveying the area to see if Sara is standing somewhere. I told her to stay in the cafe to wait foe me! Even if they were closing she should have asked for them to stay open for a few more minutes! Goddammit! Where is she?

   Sara blinks her eyes trying to understand what just happened. She can’t move her body but can tell there is a tall man dressed in a black suit sitting next to her in the backseat of a small car. He must be the man who stuck me with a needle when he grabbed me from behind outside the restaurant. She is unable to move or speak, these must be the same people who attacked CEO Li. Oh my god! Why would they abduct me..wuwuu. Sara closes her eyes to try and calm down. They must think I am important to Li Tian, but I’m not..wuwuuu..I’m just a little secretary..not even his secretary..

   Meanwhile at the Bellini reception on the patio, Karin’s face is flushed red and she is breathing heavily. She pulls on François Baranne’s suit coat seductively rubbing her breasts onto his chest. “I need you..what will it cost? Name your price.”

   François is is a devilishly good looking man especially when he smiles. Drooling looking at him Karin is mesmerized by his flawless face and brilliant smile, “François, someone drugged me I don’t know how..please, what do you want? You are the only man here I trust.” 

  His voice is low and sounds seductive as he whispers with a slight French accent, “Take your fake breasts off me. And if you don’t remove your hand I will break every bone in it.” François is disgusted by Karin and only is talking to her to find out about the location of the arms shipment. He was sent by Madame Olga’s German partner Noah to find out where the arm shipment is hidden Li Tian hijacked.

   His hot breath spraying on her exposed neck is sending an electric current down her body. She touches her  breasts, “I have never had any complaints.”

   He smirks,  “Get one of your bodyguards. The one coming from the garden towards you looks quite virile. I’m sure his stamina is good.”

  Karin looks in the direction he is looking and sees one of the men she sent to subdue Li Tian. He has a worried look on his face as he approaches. Karin tries to control the drug inside of her, if she doesn’t get that arms shipment back she will be in big trouble with her mother, Madam Olga. “François don’t go anywhere.” She hurries over looking around for the other men she sent, she raises her eyebrow, “Why is it just you?”

   “Li Tian’s bodyguards arrived and we were unable to grab him.”

   Karin doesn’t hesitate and slaps his face twice, “ “Incompetent!”

    François watches from the side then walks away, What a stupid cow. It is almost unbelievable her mother is the shrewd and calculating Madam Olga. Such a shame that an ambitious and smart woman like Olga Hamid gave birth to such wastes. Out of her three children only Rashid has any brains at all. Although he is a perverted asshole he can at least be regarded as competent working for Amir as his right hand man. Why she let this idiot daughter handle the situation is beyond my comprehension. Not only did the fucking slut let Li Tian get away she is salivating like a bitch in heat from being drugged carelessly with an aphrodisiac. Fucking shit! He looks for a server carrying a tray of drinks.This could have been such an easy mission without her interference!

He takes a glass of wine and continues to watch Karin and her guard, apparently Madame Olga doesn’t trust Noah, but sending her brainless daughter? Absolutely ridiculous decision! Before he could negotiate with Li Tian he was thwarted by Karin, his man witnessed the entire debacle between Wu Jin and her assassins then reported back. Luckily, the woman who was with Li Tian was spotted heading towards the mansion, his man was able to brush against her leaving a tracer on her dress. François decided to kidnap Song Sara to use as leverage to find the location of the arms.

   After he walks away he makes a phone call. “Did you get the woman?” 

   “Oui.”

   “Take her to Noah, he arrived an hour ago from Berlin, he is at Marisa’s villa.”

   The man raises his eyebrow glancing at Sara, Marisa?.. His emotionless face changes when he hears her name..Noah’s woman is a jealous vain bitch, He looks at Sara, she  won’t like seeing this woman’s naturally beautiful face. I hope Li Tian agrees to the exchange quickly. Adrien is a mercenary but usually only works transporting arms, this is the first time he has kidnapped a woman and feels uncomfortable thinking of Marisa torturing Sara. But, I was partially responsible for the loss of the trucks so I am lucky Noah didn’t kill me on the spot.

   He instructs the man driving the car, “When you get on the highway take the second exit, the villa is located at the end of the wooded area.”

   Sara understands some French but the man next to her is speaking too fast. Why did a Frenchman abduct me? The men in the garden fighting with Li Tian’s guard were Russian.

   At the Lattorio Hotel Li Tian slowly opens his eyes, he rubs the back of his head and feels a lump. Shit! Right…the little woman was dragging me and I knocked into a rock with my head. He has a slight smile as he recalls Sara gently pulling the flowers from his hair while talking nonsense. He looks around the room. Where is the little idiot? He calls out, “Wu Jin get in here.

   Wu Jin just returned from getting stitches and is sitting on the couch in the living room with Tang Qiang. He keeps his voice low, “No word from Peizhi about the girl?”

    Tang Qiang shakes his head, “No.”

    Wu Jin gulps down his saliva as he hesitantly walks into the bedroom, “Boss.”

    “Tell Song Sara I am awake to come in.”

    Wu Jin scratches his head, “Not here.”

   Li Tian stands up to go to the bathroom, still a little weak he holds onto the table to steady himself. Reaching for a water bottle his voice is hoarse, “What the fuck do you mean not here! Didn’t she come back with me?” He vaguely recalls hearing Wu Jin talking to Sara before he fell unconscious.”What, she wanted to go to the Grand Palace? Okay, I will take a shower then take me there.” 

  “Well no. She wanted to get out of the car so I let her off by the Postino’s Hotel.”

   Li Tian’s eyes narrow and killing intent fills the air, “You just let her out of the car!” He hurls the water bottle at Wu Jin hitting him in the chest water spraying all over his clothes.

   Wu Jin didn’t dare dodge and stands frozen in place his shirt drenched. “I was only concerned about you Boss. She insisted.” What I am saying is true I am simply leaving out some details.

   Li Tian doesn’t think that makes sense, Song Sara was obviously very concerned about me. She risked her life to save me. Why wouldn’t she stay with me? 

Awkward

   After Li Tian drags Sara through the lively crowd he impulsively stops in an empty hallway. He turns to Long An who has been struggling to remain by his side, because he wants to be alone with Sara he orders her in a demanding tone, “Get me a glass of wine.”

    Sara expects Long An to refuse but unexpectedly she sweetly replies, “Red or white?”

   Li Tian’s face has an annoyed expression because she didn’t immediately leave. “Red.”

   Long An gives Sara a cold piercing look as she walks away but then affectionately smiles towards Li Tian. Yes. I will gladly get you a glass of wine. I will even get one for your little mistress. Haha..one for you to drink with the drug in it and one to spill on the little slut to get rid of her so I can lure you to a bedroom.

    Sara can tell Li Tian is angry but she isn’t sure why. She looks at her hand he is still gripping tightly and wonders if she should say something. His threatening attitude with the man from outside appeared abnormal. Does he have an enmity with him?  

    Shortening the distance between them Li Tian backs Sara into the wall behind her and has a very intense gaze as he questions her, “Did he touch you anywhere?” His eyes have flames in their depths thinking another man had his hands on Sara. When she doesn’t answer right away his tone becomes more intimidating, and he roughly lifts her chin so she needs to look into his eyes that are silently accusing her of misbehavior, “I will ask you one more time. Did he put his hands on you?”

   Nervous because of the dangerous aura surrounding him she quickly denies any contact with the man She shakes her head afraid of the anger she can sense from his aggressive posture and tone of voice. “No..no..I was lost and he showed me the way into the mansion.”

   His hands are on the wall caging Sara between them, his eyes flash with burning fire, “Where is your bodyguard? Why were you with that bastard?”

   She blinks a few times trying to calm her nerves, staring at Li Tian’s intense gaze Sara feels her legs getting weak from the domineering aura surrounding him. I don’t want to get Sun Peizhi in trouble..wuwuu he looks so angry!  She gulps down her saliva then stutters , “I…I..asked him to find you. I told him I would wait on the patio. I didn’t want to walk around in these heels through the crowd I could see through the window gathered inside. She looks down at her feet, “These heels are much higher than I normally wear. I got a little distracted when I saw the beautiful gardens so I wandered towards them, I didn’t realize as I was absentmindedly looking at the beautiful flowers that I got lost.”

   Li Tian looks down at her delicate ankles then notices the dirt on her heels, she is telling the truth…but with all these wolves gathered here tonight the little idiot was asking for trouble. He watches her sexy red lips opening and closing as she explains and has the urge to kiss Sara. He leans into her alluring body, tempted as he inhales her distinct fragrance he doesn’t let her escape pressing her into the wall.  Sara’s bright blue eyes widen as he seems unusually close, she can feel his hot breath on her face. What is going on? Has he been drinking? Reflexively she puts her hands on his shoulders to push him away, “CEO Li, what are you doing?” He comes back to his senses and quickly responds, “ Stupid girl! I want to demonstrate how easy it would be for a man to overpower you. You should be more aware.” 

   He has a faint smile as he backs away from Sara realizing his impulsiveness might frighten Sara. She shakes her head, that was weird. The ambiguous  atmosphere is dispersed when Long An walks up holding two glasses of red wine. After she hands the drugged wine to Li Tian she plans to trip then  douse Sara with the wine. But, Sara sees a server holding a tray of juices and politely says, “Excuse me I want to get a glass of juice before we meet Mr. Difiorno.”

  Long An is left holding the glass of wine so she reluctantly takes a sip while watching Sara walk through the crowd.Ignoring the fact Li Tian can’t take his eyes off Sara, Long An coaxes him, “Try your wine, it is really delicious.”

   He lifts the glass to his lips but doesn’t drink the wine, he hands the glass back to Long An, “Hold this.” Li Tian rushes over to where Sara is standing when he witnesses a man about to brush up against Sara’s bare back while she takes a glass of orange juice from the server. Stepping between her and the unimpressive man, he puts his hand on her thin  waist moving her away before the man’s hand can touch Sara. When she has a quizzical look on her face  he casually says, “Too crowded, he was about to knock into you.” Sara sees the middle aged man who Li Tian is referring to and grimaces, she noticed him with a lecherous look on his face as she was walking over to get the juice. She takes a sip of the orange juice, “Thank you CEO Li. “ She shudders thinking of the pervert’s fat greasy hand touching her skin, “That man does seem a little creepy. “

    Li Tian’ eyes darken as he looks over the crowd, the pig like man who is unaware he has crossed a devil’s bottom line, is still staring at Sara lasciviously while talking to a group of men.  Li Tian sees the man’s eyes glued to Sara’s body and wants to kill him You old pervert! Dare to try and touch my woman!  He restrains himself  from lunging at the man’s throat then motions to an intimidating muscular man standing over to the side. Without any warning Li Tian’s bodyguard suddenly grabs the man who was leering at Sara putting his arm behind his back pushing him out of the room. 

    Ignoring the scene to the left of them he has a charming smile as he tells Sara, “ I am going to dock your pay the next time you call me CEO Li.”

    Sara laughs, “I can’t get used to calling you Tian, I’m sorry.”

    “Well practice or you won’t have a paycheck when we get back to Catang City.”

    She doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry, he sounds serious. “Then Tian it is.. I will definitely have to remember.”

    The corner of Li Tian’s lips start twitching as he notices several men admiring Sara’s stunning appearance. He has an idea and grabs her hand, “Did you say you were looking at the gardens? I heard they are beautiful, can you show me?”

   Her orange juice splashes out of her glass onto the floor from the jerky movement when he takes her hand. Sara looks around hoping no one saw her spill her drink.  “Don’t you need to meet Mr. Difiorno?”

   “The business matter can wait. I saw him with Henri Armand and they seemed deep in a discussion. I don’t want to interrupt them. “

   “Okay, but I don’t quite remember the way.” Dammit! I never went to the garden I was covering for Sun Peizhi. Speaking of which I haven’t seen him around. She surveys the crowd to see if she can locate him.

   Li Tian continues to wind through the crowd, “Let’s go, we can wander around. It is a beautiful night.”

    Long An sees the two of them walking through the spacious room in the opposite direction. Where is the slut taking him? She hurries over with the drugged glass of wine, “Tian, your wine.”

    “What?” Shit! I almost forgot about this stupid woman. He takes the wine from Long An, “An, I need to have a business meeting with Rafael Difiorno. I saw your friend Ning over by the bar. why don’t you talk to her and I will find you when I am done.”

   She looks over and sees her friend waving in her direction. I would like to find out what is going on with Song Sara and Tzu Yibo’s engagement and Ning is friend’s with his sister. “Alright but don’t be too long.” If you are, I will find you. Wenli says the drug takes about an hour to work anyway. Let him think I am being amiable.

   Li Tian and Sara exit through the French doors onto the outdoor patio. Lights are strung across into the massive oak trees surrounding the tables giving the area a very romantic atmosphere. Many people are mingling while they  smoke cigarettes and the sound of music floats through the air. Sara can’t help but feel strange as Li Tian maneuvers through the area disregarding the people who are trying to strike up a conversation with him. 

    He stops briefly at the edge of the patio setting down his wine glass to light a cigarette. While he flicks open his lighter a beautiful tall blonde approaches them then holds up an unlit cigarette between her slender fingers. Sara can’t help but notice how beautiful her long manicured nails are,painted a brilliant red color  with small sparkling diamonds . The woman has a slight Russian accent when she says, “Light.”  Li Tian has an irritated expression as he lights her cigarette. The statuesque blond woman takes a puff looking down at Sara waiting by his side  “Tian darling, who is this?”

   The veins on his forehead bulge and his voice sounds annoyed, “None of your business.” He pulls Sara to leave and the  woman steps in front of him, Sara scrunches up her eyebrows as she watches the woman’s bold move. She is wearing a low cut red dress and her ample breasts are plastered to Li Tian’s chest. She has a strong presence and is apparently unafraid of CEO Li’s dangerous aura he is exuding right now. Is she a lover? The woman  provocatively pulls on his gray silk tie then whispers something in his ear. His eyes narrow as he roughly flings her hand from his tie without saying anything. He tosses his cigarette down, crushing it with his foot, then turns to the woman, his voice tinged with rage he responds, “Nyet.” 

    The woman looks amused as she throws her head back then starts laughing. She takes a puff on her cigarette then raises the cigarette signalling a  sinister looking man in the corner of the patio.  After he hurries into the garden she picks up Li Tian’s wine glass gulping down the wine her eyes riveted on Sara’s back. We will see…

   Sara can tell Li Tian is fuming over whatever the woman told him but chooses to ignore his sudden bad mood.  She looks up at the sparkling stars above and the full moon.It is much better being outside on such a beautiful night than in the crowded mansion. I can ignore his bad mood and enjoy the scenery.  

    Once they leave the patio area there is a blue stone path leading to the gardens. The silence between them is broken when Li Tian points to  the walkway ahead veering  two directions. He gazes down at Sara,“Which way were the flowers you were admiring?” I am not going to let that Russian bitch ruin my mood with her threat. Motherf*****g assholes, the nerve trying to intimidate me. 

   Sara could kick herself for lying earlier about wandering into the garden she is at a loss for which direction to go. She taps her slender finger on her chin trying to choose a direction, “I really forget.” She looks up at him then nervously giggles, “I have no sense of direction.”

   He thinks she looks adorable with the confused expression on her face. “This way looks good.”  Choosing to go to the right, the walkway winds through a beautiful sea of blue yellow and pink flowers  Sara gasps, the gardens are lit up and the colorful flowers are all blooming. Combined with the glow from the moonlight  the  scene is spectacular, she breathes in the sweet fragrance and exclaims as she twirls around excitedly,“So beautiful!”

   Li Tian’s lips curl up in a smile, under the moonlight Sara looks like a goddess, the sparkling crystals on her dark blue dress and the Midnight Lover necklace are glimmering as she wantonly spins around. The hem of her dress is swirling exposing her creamy white slender legs and her long black hair has come loose and is cascading down her bare back.  Mesmerized by the bewitching sight he wishes he could take her into his arms and kiss her as he watches Sara playfully spin around. 

   When Sara realizes her impetuous action, she stops and looks at Li Tian with a complicated expression. “Ha..ha..I got carried away. It is just so unbelievably gorgeous.”

   He smiles, restraining himself from making an impulsive move. “I think that is the first time I have seen you smile.” He steps closer to her casually brushing her hair behind her ear. “I see a gazebo by a pond to the right. Do you want to admire the flowers before we meet Rafael?”

   Sara feels a strange familiar sensation and her body quivers as his fingers lightly run across her neck. A little dazed by his affectionate gesture she looks up at him with wide eyes, her eyelashes fluttering, “It is up to you.” Trying to adjust to the way Li Tian is behaving tonight she writes it off to what Bi said after she had dinner with him at the Japanese restaurant. When Li Tian isn’t working he isn’t as cold and aloof as people say. I guess it is true people have different sides to their personality.

   “We have time.” He starts walking to the gazebo and Sara walks alongside of him sneaking a glance at his perfect profile.  He certainly is a strange man,his aura really fluctuates more so than anyone I have encountered before. Sometimes his Yang is suffocating and I feel drained from the darkness surrounding him, but right now I feel very relaxed . He seemed concerned about me being taken advantage of by that Bellini fellow and blocked the pervert from touching me. When I get back to Catang City I should visit Grandma, maybe I could help him find a balance. He really seems to go from one extreme to the other.

   Li Tian has no idea of the complicated thoughts Sara is having about him right now. He is trying his hardest to be a gentleman and make her feel comfortable so he can make some headway in his plan to seduce Sara. He still doesn’t quite understand how she can be oblivious to what happened between them.

   When they arrive at the gazebo they sit on the cushioned bench looking out at the garden and the moonlight hitting the water.  Li Tian sees she is shivering, “Cold?”

   “Just a little.”

   He takes off his suit coat, putting it around her shoulders as Sara tries to refuse, “No..no..I’m not that cold.”

   “Just wear it.” He thinks she looks cute wrapped in his coat. Damn this is so fucking hard to resist touching her. How am I going to get her to fall in love with me? I want to press her underneath me… how long will it take for her to fall in love with me? 

   Sara shyly looks up at him, this is too weird. I want to go back. “Maybe we should go back.”

    A waiter is walking around with a tray of drinks for the people admiring the Bellini’s famous gardens. He sees Li Tian and Sara sitting in the gazebo and walks over,he doesn’t speak but sets down two glasses of wine. He nods to them and walks away The atmosphere in the gazebo is very awkward so they don’t pay attention to the odd behavior of the waiter.

    Li Tian drinks some wine and reluctantly says, “After this glass of wine we can return.” I’m not making any progress here. Dammit! She obviously has no memory of being intimate with me, how can I jar her memory.

   Sara takes a couple sips of her glass of wine trying to relax. As she does the scent of Li Tian on his jacket wafts into her nose stirring a strange feeling and her heart skips a beat. She glances at Li Tian who seems lost in thought staring at the sky. Why am I having this reaction to being here with him and having his coat on me. She quickly sets her wine glass down that is still almost full, I feel unsettled..maybe it is the wine, I probably shouldn’t drink after being drugged. “I am getting cold, do you mind if we go back now?”

   Frustrated because Sara is so close to him and he can’t touch her he stands up then he gulps down the last bit of his wine. “Let’s go.”

   Sara feels he is irritated by his abrupt tone but really doesn’t want to be alone with him for some reason. Sara holds onto his suit coat around her shoulders as she struggles to keep up with Li Tian while he takes long strides down towards the mansion.

   As they turn a corner in a secluded section of the garden headed for the blue stone walkway the waiter who brought their wine steps out of the shadow. Speaking what sounds like Russian his voice low, he says something to Li Tian as he waves a knife towards him. Li Tian quickly puts Sara behind him in one smooth move then says, “RUN!” 

   Sara remains frozen to the spot watching Li Tian dodge the knife and kick towards the man’s chest. The man takes the hit to the chest but smiles as a needle flies out of his sleeve hitting Li Tian in the shoulder piercing through his black silk shirt. Li Tian’s movements become sluggish and he is using all his internal energy to fight. Fucking shit! The needle had poison on it! He regrets telling his shadow guard to leave them alone in the garden. His vision getting blurry he sees Sara still standing there out of the corner of his eye, why isn’t the dummy leaving, his words slurred with great difficulty he spits out, “Go!” He circulates his qi and sends a palm strike to the man’s neck. The man dodges and as he does he is close to Sara. Li Tian staggers forward clenching his teeth using the little strength he has left with a weak voice   “Don’t touch her! Tell… can have…” without finishing the sentence he falls to the ground unable to move. 

    Frightened as the man with the knife approaches, knowing he is going to kill her because she is a witness, Sara stumbles backwards. Falling to the ground as he hovers over her she can smell his breath and she wants to vomit. When she turns her head away and tries to move back she feels a rock close to her right hand. He has a sinister laugh, then in a thick accent he speaks English, “Your man is paralyzed from the black viper poison but he can still hear. We can’t kill him until he gives us what we want. But..I can make him wish he was dead as he watches me f**k his woman with my big c**k. Listening to you beg me for more will make his blood boil.” He has a grin on his face revealing his two gold front teeth. “Honey, I make you moan and scream my name before I kill you.”

    Li Tian tries desperately to move but is unable to even lift a finger. The rage inside of him is unbearable as he listens to the man’s lewd words inciting him. He can see Sara shaking with her head lowered as the man leans over her slender body. She is shrinking inside of his suit coat like a frightened rabbit. That motherf*****g bitch!  Sending this sick fuck! He recognizes the man now as one of the prison guards from the Bosnian prison.

    Sara sees her chance as he turns his attention away from her to goad Li Tian. She decisively picks up the rock clutching it tightly in her hand. When he reaches down with the knife towards her neck tearing off the suit coat covering her body she swings the rock at his head hitting him in the temple. Stunned from the blow he falls back with blood dripping down his head. Still conscious he reaches his bony hand out towards Sara, his eyes have a crazed look as he growls, “BITCH!”

Sara and Diego

   Li Tian and Long An are in the backseat of a silver Rolls Royce on their way to the Bellini Reception. He is ignoring her and looking at his phone wondering if he should call Song Sara. Sun Peizhi informed him when he was on the way to pick her up at the Golden Palace so they should be arriving at the reception soon. Long An is upset he isn’t paying attention to her and at the hotel was dismissive in front of Leng Shuai. She pouts and impulsively knocks his phone away. Pissed off as the phone drops onto the floor he turns to her, “Long An are you crazy! Don’t provoke me or I will have the driver take you back to the hotel!”

  Confident the only person who can control him is his grandfather and he dotes on her she pushes her luck.“No you won’t. Grandpa Li must have made it clear to you what you would lose if my mother knew you disrespected me.”

  He really hates that she manipulates his grandfather, puts his hand on her neck choking her, “Really? You don’t think I could make your family completely disappear if I want!”

   Her eyes are watering as he grips her neck tighter, she struggles attempting to take his hands away but he laughs at her weak effort, then lets go. Frightened by his violent action she begins coughing as she holds her throbbing neck. He leans back then sneers,“Don’t test me Long An you are the one that would suffer. If my Grandfather wasn’t recovering from being sick  I would have refused to take you but I didn’t want to upset him.You are only my temporary fiancee until he completely recovers.”

   Long An’s hands are trembling as she takes a water bottle from the side by the door, after she takes a couple sips her voice still hoarse she says, “Li Tian! You are going to be my husband! You can’t go against your Grandfather’s wishes! ”

   He has a sinister laugh as he bends down to pick up his phone off the floor.“Why would you want a husband who can’t stand the sight of you. It would be best if you broke off the engagement.” 

   Long An grips tightly onto her purse with the aphrodisiac inside, she quietly says under her breath, “You will marry me.” Once your Grandfather sees the pictures of us in bed he will make you marry me right away. After you take this drug you will look at me…all of me!

   She composes herself thinking of her plan. She has an insincere smile as she gazes out the window then devices a scheme so he will do as she wants, “I will think about breaking off the engagement if you give me face while we are at this reception. There are alot of photographers and if you treat me well tonight and act like we have  a loving relationship I will discuss it with my parents when we return to Catang City.”

  Li Tian isn’t really listening thinking about Song Sara but when he hears the part she will break off the engagement he says, “What did you say?”

  “I said if you put on a show and make me look good tonight i will talk to my parents.”

   “Long An you know better than to fuck with me.”

  “I’m serious. I am the heiress of the Long Group, I can find a suitable partner. But.. I am tired of your mistreatment. I want to show the world a harmonious relationship so when the engagement is broken I won’t suffer from rumors and insults.” She turns to him smiling, “I think that is a fair arrangement. One night of you showing me affection and respect… then your freedom.”

   Li Tian studies her facial expression and she appears to be telling the truth. Maybe threatening her scared her into reconsidering the marriage.

   “If you go back on your word there is no good ending.”

   Long An holds her neck, “I think I know your personality after all these years.”

   “Agreed.” 

   They arrive at the Bellini reception and before they exit the car Long An remembers Song Sara will be here and she furrows her forehead, “Tian, that means you ignore Song Sara and only pay attention to me.”

   “She is my interpreter, of course she will accompany me.”

   Long An can’t contain her jealousy, “Then forget it.”

   Li Tian’s veins bulge out on his neck, I really want to strangle this little bitch! I have been looking forward to spending time with Sara. He takes Long An’s hand and exits the car then puts his arm around her shoulder whispering, “We have a deal, don’t think about going back on it.”

    All the photographers swarm around them and Long An looks up at Li Tian with a radiant smile as they snap pictures while yelling questions. “CEO Li when is the wedding?” “Miss Long you model for  Dolce and Gabbana why are you wearing a gown by Chloe Design? Long An grits her teeth as she lowers her head, because this arrogant bastard made me, since he is friends with Henri Armand. Then acts like she didn’t hear the question. “Why is this the first time you have accompanied CEO Li to an event?”

   Long An holds onto his arm and Li Tian maintains a smile on his face without answering any of the questions hurled at them as they make their way through to the entrance of the lit up mansion. Long An leans into Li Tian giving the illusion he is holding her as they get closer to the door. Seeing Li Tian won’t comment they know from past events he has a cold and aloof personality and won’t engage with them. They feel just getting some pictures of him and his fiancee should be profitable.The photographers eagerly move on to the next group of luxury cars pulling up. 

   As the celebrities and business elites make their way into the mansion Li Tian looks over the crowd for Song Sara but can’t see her anywhere. Sun Peizhi doesn’t want to be recognized as a member of the prestigious Sun family so he has his head down avoiding the photographers as he inconspicuously walks along the side of the crowd with Song Sara. He thinks since he hasn’t been in the public eye for quite a few years most likely no one would recognize him but tonight is not the night to take a chance. 

    Sara doesn’t think the route he is taking is unusual, after all he is a bodyguard and she is just Li Tian’s secretary. But as she winds through the side area with him her high heel gets caught on something on the stone path and she trips. “Ahhh..” She closes her eyes anticipating she is going to land head first in the bushes when a hand reaches out grabbing around her thin waist into a strong embrace with one hand. Sara opens one eye to peek and sees a tall handsome man with slicked back brown hair who is wearing a silver gray suit smiling down at her. Sun Peizhi was about to catch her but before he did Diego Bellini took her into his arms. So he backed into the shadows not wanting Diego Bellini to recognize him. 

   Sara blushes as he steadies her body to she regains her balance. He languidly takes a puff on the cigarette that is in his other hand. Speaking Chinese he says, “Lost?”

   Sara glances around for Sun Peizhi but doesn’t see him anywhere. Where did he go? Maybe he needs to keep a low profile. She has an innocent expression as she shyly smiles at Diego responding. “Uh..uh..yes, I guess I am.”

   He stares at Sara recognizing her as the beautiful young girl he wanted to play with in his private room at the Medici Club. She disappeared with Sun Zhi two nights ago after he beat up the men trying to bring the girl to the room. “Are you crashing my party?” He sees the Midnight Lover necklace and lightly touches it grazing his finger across her neck teasing Sara, she must be a very wealthy man’s escort at the reception. He wonders who brought this delicious looking girl.

His touch makes Sara very uncomfortable but she is afraid of offending him while accompanying Li Tian. He looks very arrogant and not someone she should anger. Sara steps away from him then starts nervously laughing while waving her slender hand, “No..no..of course not! I am CEO Li ’s interpreter. He has a knowing smile, Li Tian, you crafty fox, I know you speak fluent Italian and all the people here tonight speak English also. “I think I saw him and his fiancee arrive a few moments ago. I can take you to him.”

   Sara glances around and still can’t see Sun Peizhi, she bites her bottom lip while thinking if she should follow this man. Although he doesn’t seem like a gentleman there are too many people around for him to do anything to me. A few people are smoking and talking at outside tables not far away. “Alright I will trouble you then” 

   After they walk away Sun Peizhi steps out of the shadow with a serious expression.  Goddammit Sara! Are you a little bunny that follows any man? Can’t you tell he had ulterior motives! Diego Bellin isn’t to be trusted, but I can’t jeopardize my mission by letting him see me yet. He stealthy follows them ready to protect Sara if needed until he sees them enter through a side door into the midst of a crowd of people. Okay they are inside. Well, that actually saves me having to find Li Tian. According to the blueprints around the back there should be a trellis I can climb onto the second floor.

   Diego crushes his cigarette in an ashtray then walks into the room through the French doors with Sara. Diego’s current bedwarmer, the new rising star Sophie is standing talking to another woman anxiously waiting for him to return from outside. When she sees him flirting with Sara she shakes her head, Damn playboy! He can’t take two steps without attracting another woman who wants to climb into his bed!. Who is she? Sophie wants to frown but she has facial paralysis from her latest Botox injection. I don’t recognize her but he has that predatory smile on his handsome face. The bastard is such an insatiable pervert!

   Sara can feel the burning gaze from a woman wearing a hot pink minidress holding a glass of wine standing by the door. She feels uncomfortable because the woman has a very intense jealous aura. Her eyes seems to be intently focused on me and the man who I met outside. Sara doesn’t want to aggravate the situation. ”Excuse me Sir, I can find CEO Li by myself” She motions with her head over towards Sophie. Can’t you see she is burning up with jealousy! Don’t drag me into your drama! Diego’s full lips curl up in a smile, this woman is so cute. “Oh don’t worry she is just an actress in my Entertainment company. Don’t mind her she always has that look on her face.” He lowers his voice, “Bad plastic surgery.”

    Before they can take two steps Li Tian and Long An are in front of them. Long An has her small hands clenched in fists at her side scowling at Sara. Hussy, as soon as he saw you he came bolting over here. Li Tian can’t take his eyes off Sara; she looks incredibly beautiful in this dark blue dress with the sparkling Sapphire and Diamond necklace. The makeup Francisco applied enhances her delicate features. I shouldn’t have sent him to dress Sara, she will attract every fucking man here with her innocent yet seductive appearance. The little demoness ! I didn’t notice the dress was backless when Long An sent me the photo to approve the dress! Goddammit! I want to take her to bed and rip that fucking dress off of her so I can press her beautiful soft body under me. Ignoring his promise to Long An he says in a low and threatening tone, “Diego, I will take my interpreter now I need to discuss some business with Rafael Difiorno.”

    Diego looks down at Sara with a lustful look in his eyes Li Tian can’t help but notice.“We were just getting acquainted.” He holds Sara’s small hand in his large palm intentionally provoking Li Tian. When Li Tian sees Diego’s hand on Sara’s delicate snow white wrist he growls,”Sara let’s go.”

   Sara’s eyes widen feeling Li Tian’s aura blacken and become extremely dangerous. She immediately tries to wiggle her hand loose but Diego has it held tightly preventing her from escaping. “I think you will be fine. Rafael speaks fluent English.” This is fun to see the normally composed Li Tian acting jealous. Diego can barely restrain himself from laughing, with his fiancee right next to him glaring at his mistress. Haha..

   Li Tian’s face turns black but his voice sounds extremely calm which any one who knows him can tell a storm is raging inside of him… someone is going to die. “I will put it this way, drop her hand right now or we will have a serious problem.”

    Everyone surrounding them can feel the oppressive and suffocating aura around Li Tian. Long An furtively looks around several people are beginning to stare at Li Tian and Diego Bellini. Long An quietly tells him, “Tian,..don’t make a scene.”

Between clenched teeth he warns Long An, “Shut up.”

    Diego Bellini just wanted to see how serious Li Tian was about Sara, he has a mischievous gleam in his eyes as he looks at the little beauty standing next to him, seriously an interpreter? Really who would believe that ? She is wearing a multimillion dollar one of a kind necklace. Who are you kidding…. Diego dramatically drops Sara’s hand and smiles while still locking eyes with Li Tian. He hands Sara a gold business card emblazoned only with Bellini Entertainment. “If you would like to be a model or actress call me. This is my private line.”

   Li Tian possessively takes Sara by her hand dragging her away from Diego, she stumbles in her heels as she tries to keep up with him. “CEO Li..CEO Li..could you slow down, I’m not used to these heels.” He turns around and sees she is still holding onto Diego’s business card and angrily grabs it out of her hand. Long An’s face is bright red as she hurries to stay by his side. Humiliated by that scene her eyes have a deep evil glint, That’s it! I am drugging you Li Tian with the first glass of wine you drink and finding a bedroom! I am not going to let this little slut bewitch you any longer! See how you will get out our marriage then you asshole!




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