Are You Pregnant?

    Bi looks at the delicious dessert and starts drooling. She picks up a fork and takes a big bite, “Brother knows my tastes, this creamy twelve layer chocolate cake is heavenly.”

   Sara reaches across and wipes the chocolate from Bi’s mouth, “You look like a little kid..haha.”

   “Taste it Sara, the cake has a fluffy texture and the cream is sweet but not too heavy.”

   “I will, but first I need to go to the ladies room.”

   Sara walks out of the private room and hesitates looking down at the chaotic scene below. She takes a deep breath and walks down the marble steps. She weaves her way through the crowd before she reaches the hallway, a strong hand grabs her arm. Frightened she looks up then breathes a sigh of relief, “Yibo, when did you get back?”

   “Yesterday. It is Feng Yu’s birthday so we came out to play.” He glances around, “Who did you come with tonight?” He laughs looking at her simple clothes, “Did you come from school?” Sara is wearing a loose dark blue sweater dress paired with flat gray short boots. Sara’s long black hair is pulled up casually in a high ponytail with a white jade hairpin. She isn’t wearing makeup and only has lipgloss on her lips. 

“Yibo! I was tired and didn’t feel like getting dressed up. Bi and I met her brother and his friend for dinner.”

   “Han Chao?”

   “No her elder brother Han Chang.”

   “Where are they?”

   “Well, Han Chang and his friend left. Bi is in the room eating dessert. I need to go to the ladies room.”

  “I will wait outside the restroom then go upstairs with you.” Great!I want to see Bi. I missed her while I was abroad.

  “Okay.”

  He walks over and patiently lingers outside the restroom. When she comes out he grabs her hand as they walk through the noisy crowd. “Sara, you look thinner than the last time I saw you.”

  “Well,I was sick but I am feeling better now.”

  “I can get you nutritional supplements from my hospital.”

  “No need. I went to the doctor and a nutritionist, they gave me a lot of supplements, medicinal tea.”

  They are walking up the stairs when Li Tian and Lee Fan come out of the private room.  Masaud and the other two men left inside are now drunk and indulging in the women. His men are waiting for his signal to take them for interrogation down the back staircase to the storeroom.

   Sara is telling Yibo the names of the nutritional supplements as they walk. Li Tian is smoking a cigarette leaning on the railing. He was watching them downstairs and his fist is clenched in his pocket as they reach the top of the stairs. I warned the little girl earlier. Does she not understand Chinese! When they get to the top of the stairs Sara feels the suffocating atmosphere and meets Li Tian’s intense gaze that could burn a hole in a person. What is he angry about? He is with Lee Fan.

   Yibo greets them; his family does business with the Li Group and he is familiar with Lee Fan because they run in the same circle. “Li Tian, Miss Lee. This my fiancee Song Sara.”

   Sara let’s go of Yibo’s hand, and blushes. She nervously says, “CEO Li, Miss Fan.” She pulls Yibo to leave. Li Tian’s aura is pitch black looking at Yibo’s hand hoding Sara’s. He is frustrated because has to take care of the situation in the room so he can’t tear Sara away from Yibo.

Sara yanks Tzu Yibo into the private room where Bi is finishing the piece of chocolate cake.

  When they leave Lee Fan smiles, “Tzu Yibo’s fiancee is so cute! She looks like a delicate porcelain doll!” She takes out a cigarette, “Light it for me please”  He hands her the lighter and she frowns. After lighting the cigarette she leans her head back and exhales. “I wonder how far along she is, no wonder that playboy is marrying the girl.”

   He turns and his expression is as black as the bottom of a pot. “What did you say!”

  She takes a puff of the cigarette then casually replies, “I said I wonder how far along the little girl is in her pregnancy.”

  He reflexively grabs her by her neck and she coughs, “CEO Li!”

  Li Tian comes to his senses and let’s her go. Song Sara was checked in Paris. “Don’t slander the girl.”

  “ Well, they were discussing nutritional supplements. My cousin is pregnant and was prescribed the same ones. I just assumed since… What is her name..Song Su.. is wearing a loose casual dress, it made sense. Whatever… who cares. ”

  Li Tian’s heart is in a knot staring at the private room Sara entered. I care! No…there must be another explanation. Her stomach is flat and the doctor did the tests. “Go back to the room. I have something to do.”

  “But CEO Li I am afraid, that man was getting out of control.”

   “Don’t worry Kang Mingshun and Tang Qiang are there. I won’t be long, then you can leave.”

   He knocks on the private room where Sara, Bi and Yibo are eating dessert. Yibo puts down his glass of wine then answers the door, “Something?”

   “I need to speak to Song Sara.”

    Sara is eating the chocolate cake and she looks up. What does he want?

   “Come in.”

   “It is about work. Miss Song could you step outside.”

   She knows he will persist and is happy about the restaurant, soon I won’t have to deal with him. He is with Lee Fan so he won’t drag me away. She puts down her fork and stands up, “Okay.”

   He has a surprised expression she would acquiesce so easily. She walks over to him and he smiles, she has chocolate cake on the corner of her mouth. He takes out his handkerchief and wipes her mouth, “Messy.” He wanted to kiss her lips but he doesn’t want her to run back into the room.

   He backs her into the wall and cages her with his arms.

She gazes at him with an anxious expression, “What is it?”

 He leans down then lifts her chin with his slender finger. Looking deeply into her eyes, he asks the question on his mind. “Song Sara, are you pregnant?”

  She has a startled expression, “That is what you wanted?” She giggles, “Don’t be ridiculous! The doctor in Paris checked me before they took x rays.” Sara pushes him, “CEO Li, shouldn’t you get back to your date? I want to finish eating my cake.”

   “Lee Fan said the nutritional supplements you and Tzu Yibo were discussing are for pregnancy.”

  “Miss Lee has a rich imagination. I have stomach issues and anemia, I’m sure pregnant women have the same problems. If you don’t believe me you can check with my doctor , Dr. Ling.”

   He isn’t sure if he is relieved or disappointed but looking at Sara’s sincere and innocent expression she should be telling the truth. “That is good. It wouldn’t be smart to try and trap me by having my child.”

  Sara rolls her eyes, but she has a strange stabbing pain in her heart, “Li Tian you certainly are delusional. The last thing I want is to be tied to you! I think you and Lee Fan make a beautiful couple. Oh..and you also have the beautiful Long An as a fiancee. Additionally, there are countless women who chase you.” For some reason she feels very upset about his callous words, her beautiful blue eyes have a layer of mist. She flutters her curled black eyelashes,“ I have no desire to be your Concubine so please leave me out of your harem.”

   Putting his hand behind her neck he pulls Sara to him and passionately kisses her face, “No. I won’t.” He tenderly puts a loose strand of hair behind her ear and inhales her intoxicating sweet fragrance, “I warned you. Don’t think about escaping or other men. No matter how many women I have, it is none of your business.” He kisses her neck leaving a few love bites for Tzu Yibo to see. “You, Song Sara, are mine until I am tired of you.” He let’s her go and leaves. 

Sara leans up against the wall and lightly touches her stomach.Trap you…If I was pregnant with your baby I would run far away from you. I would never let you know.

  

Return To The Club

  

  Sara finishes her bath and wraps a towel around her thin body then applies ointment to the love marks he left. I always heard he was cold and aloof… What a joke!! He is an insatiable demon!

   When she is dressed in a comfortable pink turtleneck sweater and gray leggings she walks out to the living room. Bi is sitting cross legged on the couch talking on the phone. “Yeah, we will be there.”

   She hangs up and Sara grabs an apple from a bowl on the coffee table, “Where are you going tonight?”

  “Not me..we.. you are coming with me to the Black Jade Club.”

  Sara’s face pales recalling the last time she went there. “I am exhausted and I hurt my hand at work. I don’t want to go. Ask Jinxi or Yibo.”

  “You need to go. My brother Chang will be there and I have a surprise for you.”

   Sara chews a piece of the sweet apple, “Bi, I really don’t want to go. Can you just tell me?”

   “NO! We need to celebrate.”

   “Okay, but does it need to be The Black Jade Club? How about going to dinner at The Golden Pear Restaurant? My treat.”

  “Hmm… Chang said The Black Jade Club because he has a meeting first close to the Club. He booked a private room… I don’t think we can change.”

  “A private room? I guess that would be alright.” I don’t want to be on the main floor, I will be reminded of that terrible night. It seems like that was the beginning of my unlucky streak when I lost my virginity to that unknown man.

  “Finish your apple then get ready. If you need to borrow a dress look in my closet.”

  “Can I wear what I have on, I’m serious I am absolutely beat and my feet hurt. I can’t wear heels.”

  “…” There is a dress code! “You need to wear a dress or they won’t let you enter the Club, but I guess you could wear flat shoes.”

  “Okay. I have a dress I can wear.” I will wear the navy blue sweater dress I bought in Bashu City at the Chloe Boutique.

 Li Tian enters his loft apartment at the Black Jade Club, the last time he was there was the night with Sara. He has a slight smile thinking about being in bed together. He chuckles, I thought she was a prostitute…now I wish she was… it would be less troublesome.

He takes off the tie then his suit and steps into the shower. While the hot water sprays on his toned body he pictures Sara naked underneath him in the backseat and has a reaction. Looking down at his erection he frowns, everytime I picture her seductive body I can’t control it. He moans as he rubs his huge erection, he releases then bangs his hand on the tiled wall, “Damn the little woman!” Why won’t Song Sara come to my bed willingly! I know she enjoys having sex with me…I even thought in Milan she was falling in love with me. 

   He dries himself after the shower and tosses the towel into a hamper. He walks naked to the closet to choose a suit for tonight. Lee Fan is his companion for dinner with three men from the Red Viper Syndicate. He arranged several women for the men but heard Masaud likes Lee Fan so he invited her to join him as his date. This way the man will be distracted meeting his goddess. She has accompanied Li Tian many times before so she knows what to do and what not to do. Li Tian in appreciation has helped her career skyrocket in the last two years.

  Li Tian puts on a dark blue suit from Henri Couture and a matching dark blue silk shirt. He decides not to wear a tie and leaves the top two buttons undone. He looks at his Limited Edition Rolex watch and walks out of his apartment to go to his office. 

  Han Bi and Sara are at the entrance of the Black Jade Club. Several women are mocking what Sara is wearing, “Look at her she looks like she is going to class. She didn’t even wear high heels.”

  Bi glares at them, “Shut up! Not everyone is looking to hook up!”

  Sara pulls her away, “Ignore them Bi. I don’t care what they say, don’t let it bother you.”

  Han Chang lazily strides over with another man. He buttons Bi’s coat,he has a doting tone “ Xiao Bi, why are you standing here in the cold? You should have told them you are with me.”

  “Brother, we just got here. I wasn’t sure which entrance.”

  The women who were making rude comments stare at the two outstanding looking men. The one woman pulls her friend’s arm, “Isn’t that the Young Master of the Han Family, Han Chang?”

   “Dammit! I think you are right! His family is worth billions! Why are they with those two plainly dressed women?”

   “I heard Han Chang call the taller bitch Sister.”

   The woman wearing a black fur coat winks at her friend.“When they go in we need to find out which room they are in, I brought the stuff.”

   Han Chang introduces Liam Hensley to Bi and Sara, “He and I went to University together in England.”

  Liam Hensley smiles and speaks perfect Chinese with a slight English accent. He extends his large hand, “Miss Han, your brother has told me much about you. I am happy to finally meet you. Miss Song, it is my pleasure.”

 When they enter the Club Sara gulps as the memories of that night come back. The music is loud and the dance floor is crowded. Han Chang and Liam Hensley walk through the crowd to the stairs leading to the second floor. Bi and Sara follow them.

Sara stands frozen at the bottom of the stairs when she hears Li Tian’s distinct voice. She instinctively looks up to see a beautiful tall woman with long curly red hair holding his arm entering a private room. Sara thinks they are well matched, a devastatingly handsome man and a gorgeous woman.

Sara recognizes the stunning woman, she is a popular first tier actress named Lee Fan. Sara notices her seductive appearance. Lee Fan has large breasts and is wearing a sexy low cut black lace dress. The dress is short revealing her long and slender legs.

Sara blinks a few times, not sure how she feels seeing a sexy woman hanging on Li Tian. She sighs he looks elegant wearing a dark blue suit that fits his body perfectly. The custom made suit accentuates his broad shoulders and the pants hug his long muscular legs. She laughs to herself this stylish Young Master look is a far car from the unruly hooligan earlier. She shakes her head, Well…I should be happy..why do I feel a little… a little..

  Bi notices Sara isn’t following, “Sara why are you in a daze? Hurry.”

  “Oh..sorry. I thought I saw someone I know.” She smiles as she goes up the stairs to the private room. Happy…I’m happy…maybe now he will stop bothering me.  Once inside she relaxes, Liam Hensley helps her take off her coat and she sits on the couch.

  Next door Li Tian introduces Lee Fan to the Head of the Red Viper Syndicate. Masaud can’t hide the obsessive desire in his eyes gazing at Lee Fan’s curvaceous body. He doesn’t speak Chinese and his English is weak so he brought an interpreter. He speaks in Arabic and the thin man next to him translates into Chinese,“Miss Lee, it is my honor to finally meet you. I admire your work.” 

   She smiles politely and doesn’t remove her jadelike hand from Li Tian’s arm. She surprises them by answering in Arabic. “I also am honored to meet you Mr. Masaud.” She knows to play her role well. Li Tian had her learn Arabic because several of his customers speak the language. It impresses the men and makes them feel more comfortable.

   Masaud’s brown eyes are shining, “Miss Lee your Arabic is flawless!”

  “My family lived in Morocco, Meknes to be exact when I was young my father was transferred there by his company.”

   He excitedly slaps his thigh “Meknes? What a coincidence, I am from Meknes!”

   She pours wine for the men, “Let’s drink to our fated meeting!”

  Li Tian is very satisfied with Lee Fan’s ability when he sees Masaud letting down his guard.

He brought these men here to find out who paid for their betrayal then dispose of them. They were the men who colluded to steal his shipment of arms in Bashu City.

     Three beautiful women dressed in delicate Cheongsams sit next to the dangerous looking men on the leather couches. The room starts to get loud as the men drink and play with the women.

    Next door Sara and Bi are laughing while listening to Liam Hensley tell stories about Han Cheng in University. Han Cheng is a good sport and only stops him when he begins to reveal his romantic history. “Stop! I am giving you face since you just met my sister and Song Sara. One more word and I will ruin your image!”

   Han Bi complains, “I want to hear more! You don’t know how close lipped my brother is! This is the first time I have heard he has a human side.”

  Han Chang flicks her forehead, “If you repeat any of this…no more presents when I go on business trips.”

  Bi pretends she is zipping her mouth and everyone laughs. Sara is having fun. Liam Hensley pours Sara a glass of wine and she waves her hand, “I have been a little sick, I can’t drink, I’m sorry.”

   Han Chang thinks she does look pale, “Do you want juice or tea?” He calls the waiter over to the table.

  “Tea would be nice, thank you.”

  They order dinner and the atmosphere is very harmonious. After they eat Bi says, “Tell Sara..”

  Sara has a puzzled expression as she looks at Bi, “Tell me what?”

  Han Chang takes out the paperwork, “Sara, my company has decided to invest in a restaurant for you. Look and see what you think. If you see anything you would like to change, tell me we can adjust the terms. We have contacted Wang Xiaoming and he has agreed to be your partner. You would handle the desserts and he would be in charge of the food. I know you wanted to have a Bakery Cafe of your own but that would be very stressful. Wang Xiaoming is familiar with the restaurant business and you can be free to bake… which is what you enjoy.

  Sara’s eyes widen, “Are you serious?”

  Han Chang smiles, “I am always serious when it comes to business.”

  Sara looks over the documents, “This is too much..the rooftop of the Waterfront Tower…I can’t, the investment is too daunting. Wang Xiaming is a world renowned chef why would he partner with me?”

  “He was looking for a restaurant in Catang City. He happened to also be considering the rooftop location. It is fate. I told him our Investment firm is representing you and he said he is familiar with you. He proposed sharing the location then after some consideration felt a partnership with you would benefit you both. 

  Bi grabs her hand, “Sara, this is a golden opportunity! If my brother didn’t think you would make money he wouldn’t invest.”

 Sara is choked up, she wipes her eyes, “I am very grateful but I can’t accept.”

  Bi hugs Sara, “Of course you can! Don’t be silly, this is what you have always wanted”

  Han Chang says, “Sara, your cakes have become very popular, you are also a pastry chef. Also, I will be honest the main investor behind this asked to remain anonymous but he is very impressed with your talent. He thinks you deserve to have a chance to fulfill your dream. Don’t let his effort be wasted.”

  Liam is a lawyer, if you have any questions you can ask him before you sign.”

  “Han Chang, I trust you! I just can’t believe this, the terms are very generous.”

  Bi encourages Sara, “Sign. You will be your own boss.” 

  Sara bites her lip, this is incredible! It would be nice to only have to bake and not worry about the business aspect. I can quit Zhou Group and then I don’t need to deal with Li Tian! Sara’s eyes are sparkling,she takes the pen from Han Chang.“Okay. Thank you Han Chang!”

  After she signs Han Chang looks at his watch, “I need to drive Liam to the airport. I ordered a dessert for you two girls and I took care of the check. So enjoy.”

  Bi stands up and hugs Chang, “Brother you are so awesome!”

  He pats her head and grins, “I know. Haha..Sara, now that you have signed, I will arrange a time for you to meet with Wang Xiaoming at the unfinished restaurant. You two can put your heads together as to the interior design.”

   Sara stands and bows deeply, “Thank you Han Chang for your hard work! I won’t disappoint my benefactor, please give him my thanks. I will also prepare a gift for him to show my appreciation.”

  “He will like that.”

No…Don’t

   Li Tian leans against the black Rolls Royce Phantom smoking a cigarette, the smoke curls up in a thin stream then disappears into the darkness. He watches the scene in front of him with a look of insanity in his deep dark eyes. She dare kiss another man! Does she want to die?

  After his meeting with Masaud he immediately returned to the Zhou Group to take Sara home. He saw Sara smiling at Zhou Jason as she got into his car and as he followed he witnessed their intimate behavior. It is taking all of his self control not to go over and beat the shit out of Zhou Jason and grab Sara by the throat for betraying him. He reins in his rage before it erupts. I need to cooperate on the Mega Mall Project with Zhou Jason and Song Sara is the only woman I want to fuck.

  After Sara and Bi go inside the apartment building he calls Sara. She is entering her apartment when she sees the caller is Li Tian. Sara hesitates and doesn’t answer. Last person I want to talk to right now.. She takes off her coat and puts on a pair of pink furry slippers. The phone rings again and Han Bi glances over, “You aren’t going to answer?”

  Sara tells Bi it is a spam call and walks into her bedroom. Li Tian tightens his grip on the phone, the little girl is quite brave to ignore me.

   He messages Sara. [ Outside now or Zhou Jason meets with an accident.]

   Sara panics and lifts the flowered curtains on her small bedroom window. She subconsciously bites her fingernail while clutching the curtain. A tall man in a black long coat is smoking a cigarette leaning against a car. Li Tian...Sara doesn’t bother to put on a coat and runs out the door in her slippers. He is crazy!

    Sara slips and almost falls as she crosses the icy street. She looks up at him with a worried expression. “Li Tian what do you want! You leave Zhou Jason alone!”

  He frowns, it is snowing and she is so stupid… running outside in the snow without a coat. Hmmph! That worried I would hurt the pretty bastard? Angered further by her concern for Zhou Jason Li Tian opens the car door. He grabs her thin arm and mercilessly throws Sara inside. One fluffy pink slipper falls off as she is sprawled across the backseat. He gets in and slams the door shut. Sara is shivering and her heart is pounding. She glares at him as she sits up, “You are crazy Li Tian! Crazy!”

   Li Tian pulls her into his embrace, he stares at her with his eyes full of lust and possessiveness. “Maybe I am crazy, but it is your fault! You are my woman Song Sara! How dare you kiss another man!” He bullies Sara sucking and biting her lips to erase any trace of Zhou Jason. Sara struggles but she is no match for him as he pries her lips open and kisses her deeply, savoring the sweet taste. He is breathing heavily as his hand reaches between her thighs, “You are only mine.”

  Sara is livid as she tries to grab his hand from under her skirt, “I didn’t kiss Zhou Jason! He was opening the door for me! Mmm…even if I did kiss him…ahhh.. stop! You don’t own me.”

   He buries his head in her neck and growls in her ear, “You are my exclusive property until I tire of you. It is best you understand that.” He sucks on her snow white neck as his finger slips into her wet underwear. He has a devilish grin as he holds his finger covered with her honey in front of her face then licks it. Li Tian’s voice is low and provocative. “Your tight little pussy is so sensitive, lewd juices are flowing out with my slightest touch. Stop fighting it… little slut you want me…your body is begging me to fuck you.” He nibbles on her ear causing Sara to quiver. She can’t hold back kittenish moans as Sara’s body involuntarily arches towards him.

  Sara pushes on his chest upset her body is responding to his touch. Breathless, her voice is soft, “You..you..uhh..ahh..let me go!”

  He is aroused by her seductive voice, “Do I need to remind you of your promise?” He inserts his finger into her flower hole and begins to vigorously thrust it in and out. He adds two more fingers and continues making Sara squirm. He smiles gazing at her flushed face and eyes hazy with desire.

  Sara knows he is getting stimulated as her body responds. She does her best to resist the urge to moan from the pleasurable sensations running through her body. She clutches her skirt until her knuckles are white then angrily blurts out, “LI TIAN! Whatever I promised I was not myself. You lied to lure me out of the private room saying you had the antidote. Then forced me to drink wine! Are you even a man!”

    He pinches her chin and forces her to look at him, “I will show you if I am a man or not!” Li Tian has lost his mind and he pushes Sara down, his eyes are red and he is filled with rage. How dare the little demoness! He is breathing heavily as rips off Sara’s clothes revealing her beautiful body. Like a madman he quickly unbuckles his belt takes it off then unzips his pants. He plunges into her tight tunnel and roars like an untamed beast as he plunders Sara’s delicate body.

Sara regrets her impulsive words as he turns into an insatiable wolf covering her body with his marks. Sara refuses to cooperate and bites her lips until they are bleeding. Her resistance is like fuel on the fire as he licks the blood her red and swollen lips. Li Tian’s mouth is on her ear “Little vixen…don’t hold back…you know you want to scream my name as I give it to you.” He takes her soft breast into his mouth and furiously sucks on her pink bud. Sara tries to push him away but he grabs her hands and uses his belt to tie to her hands. The pain from her injured hand makes tears form in Sara’s eyes but she hold them back. He is insane!

    After he fiercely ravages Sara without a hint of gentleness his anger hasn’t dissipated. He groans and releases deep inside of Sara then sucks on her bloody lips. He looks up and wants to strangle Sara when he catches a glimpse of a defiant glimmer in her blue eyes. He zips up his pants and unties her hands. He throws his coat to Sara, “GET OUT!”

   Sara has no energy to retort, she puts on his coat and opens the door to quickly flee. He stretches his legs out of the back seat to walk to the driver’s seat. He furrows his eyebrows staring at Sara’s pitiful appearance, her petite body wrapped in his oversized coat as she weakly stumbles across the street.

He has the urge to rush over and carry Sara because it appears she will collapse at any moment. The little idiot isn’t even wearing shoes. No… Goddammit! It was her fault… Song Sara pushed me into an abyss with her concern for Zhou Jason and insulting my manhood. If I don’t punish the little woman she will become more bold. I need her body..that’s all..the little demoness is the only woman who can satisfy me.

    He reassures himself he doesn’t have any emotional attachment to Sara as he drives away. He looks at his watch, “I need to meet those bastards at the Club in an hour. I can shower and change at my loft apartment there.”

  Sara peeks in the door to see where Bi is, when she doesn’t see her she hurries into her room. She didn’t bother to put on her slippers as she got out of Li Tian’s car and her feet are red and frozen from walking on the icy street. She rubs her feet then turns on the hot water faucet on the bathtub. How did I ever provoke that terrible demon in the first place! Why can’t he leave me alone!

  She lays in the bath with her bandaged arm hanging out and plays with the bath bubbles. She blows some bubbles from her palm. Li Tian is a psycho! There must be so many women surrounding him why does he always have to torture me! I thought when we were in Milan he might have some feelings for me but it is obvious I am just a venting tool for him. She lets out a self deprecating laugh. I even thought I was developing some feelings for him until he left Milan when I was kidnapped. I really don’t understand…Li Tian is rich…handsome…and a Golden Bachelor…he shouldn’t be lacking in women. She looks at the red marks on her wrists from being tied with his belt, pervert!

   She finishes her bath and wraps a towel around herself then applies ointment to the love marks he left all over her body. The rumors say CEO Li is cold and aloof… abstinent… What a joke!! He is a lustful…insatiable demon!

   

   

  

  

  

   

   “

Beautiful Memories

   Sara wakes up and blinks her eyes a few times, Where am I? She sits up on the bed and flinches as she moves her leg. Zhou Jason walks into the resting room carrying a cup of tea, “How do you feel?”

   She touches her cheek, “Better. How long was I asleep?”

  “A couple hours. After you drink the medicinal tea I will drive you home.”

   She sees his worried expression. “Jas..I mean CEO Zhou, I can take a taxi.” 

 He wrinkles his forehead. “Are we so distant now you need to call me CEO Zhou when no one is around?” He holds the teacup to her lips. “Drink” 

  Sara flutters her eyelashes shyly responding, “Thank you.” She reaches to take the cup and he moves it away.

   Looking at Sara with a pampering gaze he lightly holds her injured hand. “Let me.” He planned on going to the hospital but he received a call.He returned to the office to retrieve some documents when he witnessed Zheng Lan slapping Sara.

   Sara blushes, I can’t believe I am lying on his bed. Did he carry me in here? Sara’s heart is racing “Jason, I should go home.”.

  “Finish the medicinal tea, it has healing properties, then I will drive you home.” It is the least I can do after Zheng Lan hurt you.

  She knows he feels guilty. “Jason, Zheng Lan…well.. She doesn’t like the fact we work together. I tried to explain that we only have a working relationship but..” Should I tell him?

  He tries to control his anger thinking about Zheng Lan so he doesn’t scare Sara. Rage is boiling up inside of him thinking he couldn’t protect Sara. “I will make sure nothing like that ever happens again.” I will forbid the bitch from coming to the company in the future!

   Zheng Lan meets Jiang Wenli at the Golden Pear Restaurant. The moment she sits down she takes her friend’s hand, sulking that Zhou Jason obviously still cares about Song Sara. She whines,“Wenli, what should I do? I hate Song Sara! I wish I could kill that bitch!”

  “Calm down and have a glass of wine. Tell me what happened between you two.”

  The server brings a glass of red wine and Zheng Lan takes a gulp.”I am so angry!” She tells Jiang Wenli about the scene in Zhou Jason’s office. “Do you believe he didn’t even spare me a look! He rushed to that bitch and scolded me! I am his fiancee! Why? Tears form.in her eyes. “Wenli why doesn’t he love me!”

  Jiang Wenli orders another bottle of wine then comments, “ Wenli don’t cry…she bewitched him! That is such bullshit! How does the slut do it? She is engaged to Tzu Yibo.. slept with Li Tian and Zhou Jason still treats her like his white moonlight!”

  Zheng Wenli dabs her eyes with a tissue then looks at Jaing Wenli with a surprised expression, “Song Sara slept with Li Tian?!?!”

  “I don’t know if they had an affair but I can tell you she slept with him two months ago.”

  Zheng Lan’s eyes light up and she has a malicious smile. “How do you know that?” If it is true maybe I could use that information against Song Sara. Blackmail her to quit the Zhou Group.

   The server refills Jiang Wenli’s glass, “Miss Jiang, are you ready to order?”

  “Come back.”

   After he leaves she furtively glances around and motions for Zheng Lan to come closer. “I was at the Black Jade Club with Tang Yan. I was angry because Tzu Yibo was there with Song Sara so I paid the bartender to drug Song Sara with a potent aphrodisiac.”

  “WHAT! YOU DRU…”

    She grabs Zheng Lan’s hand.“SHHHHH!..Lower your voice.” Jiang Wenli looks around again, “Anyway, I was going to arrange for two ugly horrible men to take care of the bitch but she seduced Li Tian. I saw him carrying her up the floor with private rooms.”

   “How do you know they slept together?”

   “The next day Song Sara was photographed wearing a man’s coat outside of the Club early in the morning. The bitch’s hair was messy and she was walking unsteadily. The photos were posted on Weibo but then quickly taken down.”

      Zheng Lan finishes the glass of wine and pours another. “That doesn’t prove she had sex with Li Tian.”

    “Well, Long An told me Song Sara pesters Li Tian all the time. She won’t leave him alone.He even took the slut to Milan with him and she stayed in his villa. Long An said she caught her coming out of Li Tian’s room wearing his shirt. When she confronted the little bitch she pushed her down the stairs.”

    Zheng Lan taps her fingernails on the table. “Do you think there is a way to get the photos from the man who took the pictures outside of the Black Jade Club?” I would love to show Jason what a despicable whore Song Sara is, she is not worthy of his fucking undying love! Only I deserve him!

    Zheng Lan curls up her red lips, ” I will pay whatever it takes to destroy Song Sara.” What can’t you get if you have money!

“I can contact my friend who works for Celebrity Media.”

   “Do it.”

  “I will talk to him and tell you how much it will cost. It has been two months…could be difficult.”

  “Why didn’t you tell me then?”

  “You were vacationing with your family at the time, then I forgot.  “Let’s order.I’m starving.”

  Zhou Jason opens the door of a silver Porsche for Sara. Once they are inside the car he leans over and buckles her seat belt. Sara’s ears turn red as she inhales his familiar scent. He still uses the same shower gel. Sara sighs as she watches the snow falling. It seems so long ago we would go for long rides to the countryside or the mountains. How did it turn out like this? I really thought we would be together forever.

   He sees her faraway look, “What are you thinking about?”

 Sara smiles, “I was thinking how pretty the snow covered trees and shops look. When it snows I always remember the first time we met.”

   Zhou Jason laughs then pats Sara on the head, “Well…how could I forget. I saw this little pink puffy ball rolling down the snow covered hill right towards me. He shakes his head,”You landed right at my feet and looked up with wide eyes, then brushed the snow off your red face and smiled. “Senior, thank you!”  My heart stopped as I gazed at your  innocent and pure face. Your long black eyelashes had a bit of snow on them and your crystal blue eyes were sparkling. You looked so adorable. I wanted to kiss your red lips and hug you into my arms. I still want you Sara. I want you so much it hurts, but I am trapped and unable to tell you how much I still love you.

    Sara’s face turns red. “It was Han Bi’s fault…she pushed me and I lost my balance!” I was staring at you and —- and not paying attention as she teased me.

    “I should thank Han Bi when I see her.”

  Sara smiles exposing her dimples and Zhou Jason feels his heart pound in his chest. He clutches the steering wheel. “I was serious earlier, if you and Han Bi need a place to stay, the villa is empty.”

   “I appreciate the offer but it would only cause problems for you and me. Zheng Lan would definitely misunderstand. I am sure we can find a place to live. I think Han Bi’s brother has investment properties in town, maybe he has a rental.”

   They arrive at Sara’s apartment building and Jason turns to Sara, “ Sara, if you ever need anything you can call me.” He holds her hand hos eyes behind the lens of his glasses filled with undisguised affection., “I think of you as a close friend.”

     Sara holds back her tears as her heart tightens. She gathers her inner strength, “Jason, I will be honest with you. I will always treasure the memories I have of our time together. It took me a long time to accept the fact you will be marrying Zheng Lan. I like working at Zhou Group and I hope we can maintain a purely boss-subordinate relationship. Otherwise, I will need to turn in my resignation.” 

“I understand.”

He gets out of the car then helps Sara out of the low sports car. Walking her to her apartment he resists the urge to hug Sara. When they reach the building he extends his arm around her petite body to pull the door knob. Zhou Jason looks down at Sara as she enters.”I want you to know I also hold those memories in my heart. I will never forget the happiness you brought to my life. I respect your decision and will maintain a boss – employee relationship.” He brushes her loose strand of hair behind her ear, his voice is low and magnetic, “But, I meant what I said if you ever need me, I will always be there for you Sara”

Han Bi comes walking up and stares at the two of them. Sara is blushing and Zhou Jason is leaning down very close to Sara’s face. Bi breaks the mood when she intrudes on the moment, “Zhou Jason?”

Sara snaps out of her daze and nervously smiles, “CEO Zhou, thank you for the ride. Drive safe.” She pulls Bi into the apartment building then leans up against the wall her heart beating wildly. I thought Jason was going to kiss me…I wanted him to.kiss me…Song Sara you are crazy!


Zhou Jason’s Office

   Sara comes back from lunch and is relieved to find out that Li Tian went back to his company. Her happiness is short-lived when Zhou Jason’s fiancee comes prancing into the office in her 10 cm heels. Zheng Lan takes off her oversized Fendi sunglasses and looks around, “Where is Zhou Jason?”

   “CEO Zhou went to visit his father in the hospital. He won’t be back today.” Great! I thought I could relax and do my work this afternoon in peace! What does she want?

   Zheng Lan laughs, “It is really funny to hear you call Jason so formally.” She has a condescending tone, “Poor thing, it must be hard for you to work with your ex boyfriend.”

   Sara opens her drawer to take out a stapler. “Not hard at all. I rather enjoy working for CEO Zhou. He is a very considerate boss.”

   Zheng Lan sits on the luxurious leather couch and crosses her long legs. She throws off her white fox fur coat. “It is just the two of us, you can be honest. You must feel heartache everyday.”

  “ Miss Zheng, since the CEO won’t be returning today shouldn’t you leave?” Why are you taking off that ostentatious coat! GO! I don’t need your fake concern…after all you are the one that caused us to break up with your deceitful tactics. 

    “Actually, Jason told me at breakfast that he wouldn’t be in the office this afternoon. I came to see you.”

  “Why? We have nothing to talk about. You should go. I have work to do.”

  Zheng Lan twists the large diamond ring on her finger. “I will get to the point. I want you to quit.”

  “ Zheng Lan, did you eat the wrong medicine today? This is a good job. Why would I quit.”

  Zheng Lan scowls, “I will give you two million dollars.”

  “Do you have any idea how insulting that is to Zhou Jason? You are basically admitting you don’t trust him.”

   Zheng Lan’s face turns crimson red. She shakes her manicured finger at Sara as she raises her voice screeching, “Song Sara! I trust him! I don’t trust you! Why would you work for the man who broke up with you!”

    Sara purses her lips then takes a deep breath. “I don’t need to explain to you but if you will leave and let me finish my work I will.”

    Sara takes off her glasses and puts them on her desk. She looks at Zheng Lan directly in the eye without blinking. “I have worked for Zhou Group for over a year because when I graduated this was the only company that would hire me. You know.. the unwanted daughter of the Song Family..haha.

Anyway, I worked hard and Zhou Mo decided to move me into the position of Executive Secretary when there was a vacancy. No one could predict Zhou Mo would have a heart attack and Zhou Jason would need to fill in as CEO. End of story. Rest assured we have a purely boss-subordinate relationship. I don’t carry a torch for Zhou Jason. Now, will you go? I have work to do.” Sara staples a spreadsheet to a document.

   Zheng Lan remains seated and flips her hair, “Get me a cup of tea. I’m parched.”

   “…”. You are crazy if you think I will serve you tea!

  Zheng Lan puffs out her cheeks, “Should I tell Jason you were rude to me when I came to the office? I am his future wife, shouldn’t an insignificant secretary show me some respect.”

    “Miss Zheng, this paperwork is extremely important.” She has a wry smile, ” As the CEO’s future wife you should know how much effort CEO Zhou puts into the Mega Mall Project. This paperwork needs to be filed with the City by the end of the day.” I am showing you respect by not slapping you and pulling those extensions off your head…you two faced…

  “Song Sara.I am telling you to quit or you will regret it! I find it bothersome that I need to see your face when I come to my husband’s office. It brings back bad memories.” She waves a checkbook, “ What will it cost?”

  Sara rolls her eyes, Husband? You aren’t married yet.. What bad memories…you having to go behind my back to steal my boyfriend. Use your family’s connection to the Zhou family to secure a marriage contract.  “I know you think money can buy whatever you want Miss Zheng, but I am not for sale. I think Zhou Jason would be unhappy to know you came to intentionally disturb my work. I will ask you one more time. Leave.” 

    Sara stands up to walk to the cabinet to get more paper and Zheng Lan lunges at Sara slapping her face,“You Bitch! Always acting so high and mighty!” She raises her hand again and Sara pushes Zheng Lan, she falls backwards onto the couch. Sara is fed up with being bullied, “You dare slap me again Zheng Lan, I will tell Zhou Jason about what you did!”

   Zhou Jason comes into the office, “What is going on?”

   He hurries over to Sara and looks at her face with a gentle expression, “Does it hurt?” He angrily turns to Zheng Lan, “Get out! I will deal with you later!”

    Zheng Lan is afraid Sara will tell him about her scheming while in University. She hesitates. Zhou Jason’s eyes are blazing behind his gold rimmed glasses as he growls, “NOT GOING?”

    Zheng Lan anxiously grabs her white fox fur coat. “Hmmph..” She narrows her eyes and glares at Sara with a warning look. Zheng Lan knows Zhou Jason seldom gets angry but when he does he can be scary.

   After she leaves, Jason’s heart tightens. He wipes Sara’s tears with his finger, his voice is filled with tenderness, “Sit on the couch. I will get you some ice.”

    Sara doesn’t stop him; she feels exhausted. She begins sobbing and her thin body is shaking.  Li Tian the beast…the hateful woman spilling the coffee on purpose… now Zheng Lan. I really want to run away…escape..

   Zhou Jason comes back with a cold compress and sits on the edge of the couch. Sara has fallen asleep and crystal tears are trickling down her cheek.  He brushes her hair back and gently dries her tears then places the cold compress on her cheek. Sara..I’m sorry.

He is filled with regret as he tenderly touches her hair. Rubbing the crease between her eyebrows he thinks about how in love they were in University. Sara’s bright smile as she would run up and hug him. It was the happiest time of my life. I wish we could have made our dream come true. Whispering as he affectionately stares at her fragile appearance, “Sweet Sara..I will always love you.” He bends down and lightly kisses her lips then carries Sara to his resting room. He lays Sara on the bed and covers her with a blanket and sits on the bed watching her sleep. You are so beautiful. 

   He caresses her cheek then can’t resist kissing her lips again. When his phone rings he is brought back to reality. He stands up and answers as he walks back towards his office. When closes the door he looks back at Sara and clenches his fists. Goddam that fucking bitch Zheng Lan. She is getting what she wants… How dare the shrew come to my office and bully Sara.

   Stomping across the Underground parking lot of the Zhou building, Zheng Lan calls her close friend, “Wenli, am I wrong to want Song Sara out of Zhou Jason’s life? He is going to be my husband and the slut works in his office!. She sniffles, “Why does he always take her side!”

  “LanLan slow down. What are you talking about.”

  “Zhou Jason kicked me out of his office! All because of that bitch.”

   Jiang Wenli picks up a menu, “Meet me at the Golden Pear Restaurant.You shouldn’t let that little bitch bother you. Don’t cry, you will ruin your makeup. You won..you are the woman marrying Zhou Jason.”

   Zheng Lan wipes her nose as she gets into her Red Lamborghini, ” You are right. I won..not Song Sara.” She starts the car and the tires screech as she pulls out of the garage. “I will be right over. I want to show you a brochure from a resort in the Maldives.”

   “Okay. I will wait to order.”

Shanghai Part 1

   Leo arrives at a private Shanghai airport and is met as he exits the plane by his Chinese assistant, Wong Duan, a sickly looking thin man in his early thirties. Wong Duan takes Leo’s computer bag from him, “I have made the arrangements according to Alain Guerren’s instructions.”

Wong Duan was trained by Leo and is one of the only people with the ability to detect Leo’s Shadow Guard behind him. He acknowledges X with a slight nod and continues, “My Lord, in accordance with your plan they believe at the banquet they will be rewarded for the successful establishment of the new Underground Casino.”

  “Very Good. Well…the loyal men will be able to keep their lives… that should be reward enough. The treacherous snakes on the other hand…” Leo’s different colored eyes have flames rolling in their depths. “ Will regret slithering out of their comfortable nests that are lined with my money.”

   “Are you hungry? I can have the chef prepare lunch.”

  “I am going to the Art Gallery. I will dine with Pipa Leonard afterwards. Go back to the villa and rest, you look haggard. Is the new medicine working?”

   ‘Yes, extremely well, thank you Lord. I am not as lethargic and have been training again.The doctor said my bone marrow is beginning to produce red blood cells so soon I can discontinue the artificial stimulation. My strength has come back considerably so tonight..”

   Leo interrupts him, “Absolutely not! Duan you need to fully recover.” He pulls up his assistant’s collar, “Look at you, pale as a ghost and those dark circles under your beautiful Phoenix eyes. Tsk..tsk.. I can barely look at you. I am not going to use you to accomplish a short term goal. I want you to be by my side into the future. I will take care of the theiving scum personally with X.”

  “But..”

  Leo waves his arm. “Do as I say. Go and rest. I will need you to greet the guests and make them feel at ease. Use one of those herbal face masks Fu Li brought back from South Korea after his plastic surgery. You know the one endorsed by that KPop star..his skin glows. Have the chef make some Ox Bone Soup for your lunch and Bird Nest’s Soup. Too ugly!”

  Wong Duan’s lips curl up in a slight smile, “You are in a good mood.” He knows Leo is a cold man but he takes good care of his people.

 “I am. I found my sister and she is perfect, and tonight..I will toast you with the blood of my enemies.”

  “Your sister? You did the test, Song Sara is your sister?”

   “Yes. Enough wasted time, go. I will have Fu Li drive me to the Gallery.

   When Leo is in the black Maybach he calls Sara. The phone rings several times, he is about to hang up when Sara  answers, she fumbles with the phone, “Owww.”

   “Sara is something wrong?”

  “No…no.. I just couldn’t hold the phone well.”

  “What?”

  “Well I had a little accident at work, I spilled coffee on my hand. It’s okay. You are in Shanghai?”

  “Yes, I arrived a short time ago. Do you need to go to the doctor? I will have Fu Chian take you to see Dr. Ling. Or I could have Dr. Ling come to you.”

  “You deserve the title of Brother! You don’t need to worry though. The company nurse treated my injury, it is really not a big deal.”

  “Well, if you have any discomfort call Dr. Ling she can come to your apartment.”

  “Wuuhuu… my apartment!”

  “What happened?” She couldn’t have got the demolition notice yet.

  “I can’t lay all of my problems on you..haha..I sound like such a whiny baby!”

  “No you don’t! Not at all! I want to help you in any way that I can.I told you I think of you as my sister. Tell me.”

  Sara takes a bite of a meat bun, “Well some development company bought the building I live in and they are going to demolish it.”

  “How do you know ? You got a notice?”

  “No. My boss Zhou Jason told me. Well, actually he was telling CEO Li when I came into his office, then I asked.” She takes a sip of the milk tea she bought at Bubbletea across the street from the Zhou Group. “I could be homeless in two weeks.”

  “You can live in my mansion. I have plenty of room. Your roommate can also live there. I am seldom there and the guest rooms are on a separate floor.”

   “I can’t impose on you. CEO Zhou said he has a vacant villa. I am considering renting it from him. I need to talk to Han Bi first. She is going to be shocked when I tell her the news.”

   Leo doesn’t want to sound too pushy, “Well, just keep my villa in mind as an option.” I need to find a way to stop her from moving into Zhou Jason’s villa.

  “Thanks Leo.” She chews the last bite of the pork bun, “We can talk when you get back. I will know more then, they need to serve us with a Notice of Demolition.”

  “Okay. Well if your hand bothers you call Dr. Ling. You have her personal number right?”

  “Yes. You gave it to me.”

  “I have arrived where my meeting is being held, I will speak to you later.

  “Okay.Stay warm and eat well.” Sara hangs up, my hand is throbbing. I might need Dr. Ling to look at it after work.

   Leo makes a call, “Find out how Song Sara burned her hand.”  He arrives at a palacial traditional Chinese building. The stone driveway is lined with plum blossom trees. A stunning woman wearing a red cheongsam is standing at the jade green lacquered double doors. She has short ink black hair and delicate features. The young woman smiles brightly when she sees Leo stretch his long legs out of the backseat of the black Maybach. Finally! She is excited to meet Leo. After seeing his photograph she has been longing to meet him. Leo Cadieux is better looking than in the photos… so tall and handsome he looks like a celebrity.

He talks to Fu Li then walks up to the Art Gallery.

The beautiful woman smiles then bows. She has an infatuated gaze staring at his flawless face, “Mr. Cadieux, I am Starfire. I welcome you on behalf of Mr. Han. He is waiting for you in the Gallery. I will escort you.”

They walk silently through a spacious courtyard and past a koi pond. Leo admires the decorations and landscape design. Very authentic restoration.

She opens the double glass doors. An elderly man with a long white hair is standing tall with his hands folded behind his back staring at a painting. He doesn’t turn around and says, “You captured the desolation perfectly.”

“Do you have what I want.”

The old man continues to gaze at the painting. “Have. But…I am not willing.”

“You might not fear death old man but if you die today…so does your entire family. Are you willing now?”

The old man turns around when he is hears Leo’s threat. His eyes are red and his aura is pure black. “Bastard! You wouldn’t dare! I am your Master.” He lifts his withered hand, several men dressed in black rush out and surround Leo.

Leo calmly replies, “I dare. I am offering you this one chance in deference to the fact I once called you Master.” Suddenly there is a flash of light as a gust of wind swirls around the men surrounding Leo. Suddenly all the muscular men dressed in black drop lifelessly to the floor with their necks slit. Blood flows down the tiles like a small river to the old man’s feet.

Furious because of Leo’s disrespectful behavior the old man flies across the corpses. His white sleeves flutter as he strikes Leo using his internal energy with his outstretched palm. Leo backs up and is momentarily breathless from the hit.Leo spins then kicks the old man in the chest. The old man spits out blood as his internal organs are damaged. The woman in red is battling X using the forbidden moves of the Blood Dragon Clan. X is holding back because Leo hasn’t given him the signal to kill Starfire.

Leo and the old man exchange almost identical moves until Leo is able to deflect a fierce kick and lunge forward grabbing the old man by his thin neck. Leo places his Jade Dagger on the old man’s throat and sneers, “Too slow. I thought you might be a challenge.”

“Let Starfire go. She is my adopted granddaughter. I will give you what you came to get.”

“Well..now I want the little beauty too.” He nods to X not to kill the woman. She might be a good bodyguard for Sara.

“No. You can’t have Starfire.”

“Remember Old Man there is no medicine for regrets in this life. Kill.”

The Old Man’s eyes widen, “NO. WAIT!”

Leo motions to X, who knows if Leo wanted the woman dead he would give the signal not say Kill.

“You need to give your word to leave my family alone. Starfire will sign a blood oath swearing her allegiance.”

Leo laughs and presses the blade on his neck, “Haha… Old Han are you in a position to negotiate? Still as arrogant as ever… Fine…but if she betrays me… be aware your entire family dies…tell the woman to bring it to me.”

Where Is Sara?

   After Li Tian leaves the break room Sara buttons her rumpled white silk blouse and tucks it into her black pencil skirt. Cursing Li Tian she smooths her hair and quickly takes a wet napkin to wipe her lips.

Hurrying over to the door she opens it and offers an explanation to the two secretaries standing there. “When  Secretary Peng left she must have accidentally locked the door.” Sara walks back to the counter to pour the coffee without waiting for a response from the two women.

   The two secretaries are new to Zhou Headquarters. The older woman was transferred when Secretary Liu left on maternity leave and the younger woman was recently hired. They believe Sara because that sounds like a plausible explanation. The two secretaries continue their conversation ignoring Sara.

The younger woman’s eyes light up. “Secretary Fong, did you see the tall man walking into CEO Zhou’s office earlier? He is incredibly handsome. Do you know who he is? Which department?”

  The older woman makes a cup of tea. She picks up a packet of honey and says, “You aren’t from Bashu City are you?”

  The Tang Lou responds, “No. I am from Hirachi City. I moved here recently.”

 The older woman opens the refrigerator and takes out two oranges, “Don’t get any ideas. He is the CEO of the Li Group, Li Tian.”

 ‘CEO? No wonder he is wearing a custom made Armani suit and his watch is worth millions.”

  The older woman hands her an orange. “How do you know that?”

Previously I was the Executive Secretary for the CEO of Leng Enterprises until he took leave for some reason. Armani was one of CEO Leng’s go to designers and he had an extensive watch collection. Unfortunately, when he stepped down the company compensated me and let me go.” She looks at her long red fingernails. I don’t want to peel an orange, I just got my nails done yesterday. “My grandmother lives here so I decided to move to Bashu City.” I wanted to hook up with CEO Leng but never got the chance. I am definitely going to snag either CEO Zhou or that handsome man.  She watches Sara put the two coffees on a tray and has an idea. The CEO is the only person who drinks Blue Mountain coffee.

  Sara walks past the two women carrying the the tray. The younger woman stops playing with the orange in her hand. “ Are you Secretary Song?”

  Sara stops, “Yes.”

  “You are the Executive Secretary to CEO Zhou right?” The coffee must be for CEO Zhou and CEO Li.

 “Yes.”

  She stands up and her full lips curl up into a smile, “Let me get the door for you.”

  “Thank you.”

  Tang Luo has a malicious glint in her eyes as she opens the door and knocks the tray in Sara’s hand. The tray tips and hot coffee spills onto Sara as it falls onto the floor. Tang Luo quickly apologizes, “I am so sorry! The door was stuck! Let me help you!”

  Sara winces in pain, “Ahh..owww..”

  Tang Luo bends down to pick up the broken cups, “I am so sorry!”

    The older woman rushes over and looks at Sara’s scalded hand, “Secretary Song, you need to go to the nurse’s office right away before this blisters. I will come with you.” The older woman glares at Tang Luo. She has seen this type of scheming woman many times in her career. Shameless! But I can’t get involved. I have survived for this long because I turned a blind eye. Once you get involved you could be the next target. For God’s sakes the women on the CEO’s floor are like concubines vying for the Emperor’s attention!

  “Thank you. I can go by myself.” Sara isn’t dumb she knows the young woman’s purpose. The pretty young woman is seductively dressed in a tight dress that hugs her curvaceous body. She was licking her Botoxed lips at the mention of that arrogant man’s name. Tears form in Sara’s eyes from the stinging pain. Ohh..hurts so bad! If she would have just asked me to take the coffee to that terrible man I would have readily agreed! She didn’t need to resort to injuring me.So hateful!

    Secretary Fong puts ice in a bag and places it on Sara’s hand. She has a concerned expression. “Are you sure you don’t want me to go with you?”

  “I’m sure. Could you take two coffees to the CEO’s office?”

  “Of course.”

   Sara leaves, I will bet a month’s wages the little schemer delivers the coffee not Secretary Fong. Let her serve him! Serve him well! If he takes a liking to Tang Luo all better for me. Maybe the horny devil will leave me alone!

   Secretary Fong brews another pot of coffee. Tang Luo puts down the orange in her hand, “Secretary Fong, you look tired. Enjoy your break. I will take the coffee.”

  “Fine.” Secretary Fong sits back down and stares at her cup of tea. “Secretary Tang..”

“Yes?”

“Well, nevermind.” The wicked woman can find out for herself she didn’t hurt an ‘ordinary’ employee. Anyone can see CEO Zhou treats Song Sara preferentially and rumors have been circulating she and Li Tian were involved in Milan.

  Li Tian is in Zhou Jason’s office wondering where Song Sara is with the coffee. He keeps looking towards the door.

Zhou Jason has finished the video call with his father. “Li Tian has the matter been resolved at the site?”

  “Yes. Although we were unable to find out who was behind the incident we have taken measures to prevent any further problems.” I’m almost positive the man was Leo Cadieux but I have no proof. Whoever the arsonist was, he came and left like a ghost.

   The door opens and Tang Luo walks in with the coffees. She smiles sweetly at both men and says, “CEO Zhou do you want the coffee at the table or the desk?”

   “Put it on the table.” He doesn’t look up and continues reviewing a report, “The foundation is set and the next step..” he notices Li Tian’s distracted look,. He sounds irritated, “Are you listening?”

  LI Tian stands up and walks over to the young woman placing the coffee on the table. “Where is Song Sara.”

   Sensing he is annoyed Song Sara isn’t the person delivering the coffees Tang Lou hesitates. Is there something going on between CEO Li and Song Sara. If I say she was injured and he finds out I caused it I could be in big trouble. I should have found out more information before I acted impulsively. 

   “Well? I asked you a question.”

   Tang Lou’s legs feel weak from his suffocating aura. “Secretary Song asked me to bring the coffee.” I won’t tell the truth that she was hurt and I won’t lie. If it comes back to me it was an accident..an accident.

  Li Tian’s face darkens and the atmosphere drops several degrees in temperature. He narrows his dangerously dark eyes. Very good Song Sara… You think you can avoid me!

  Tang Lou watches Li Tian’s terrifying expression as he leaves, is he going to look for Song Sara? Dammit! I acted too rashly! If I hadn’t spent my entire compensation…

  After Li Tian storms out of the office. Zhou Jason tosses down the report. What the hell! He looks at the unfamiliar woman standing there frozen in place, “You can go.”

  Li Tian goes down the hallway to the break room. When he opens the door the room is deserted inside. Where is the little girl hiding? She wouldn’t leave work without informing Zhou Jason. He takes out his phone to call Sara. It rings and rings..no answer.

  He walks back to Zhou Jason’s office. When he enters he asks, “Where is Song Sara?”

   Zhou Jason is very concerned about the Mega Mall Project after speaking with his father. He isn’t paying attention to Li Tian’s strange attitude towards Sara because he is unhappy with the progress of the Mega Mall Project. He is concentrating on the report on his desk. Zhou Group is depending on the profit this huge project will generate. Now he found out another Mall is going to be constructed.

“Maybe in the copying room. There were some reports that needed to be sent to all the Department Heads. I need you to look at this blueprint. We can’t have any delays on the construction. I want the project completed in four months at the longest.”

  Li Tian lazily strides over to look at the blueprints on the desk. “What the fuck! This isn’t what we discussed.”

  “I tried to contact you. The changes needed to be made to accomodate the Amusement Park.”

  “I thought that idea was scrapped.”

  “Well, how else is the Mega Mall going to compete with the proposed Mall near the heart of the city. The demolition is set to begin in the Old Benghu District in a week.”

   Sara is coming into the office when she hears Zhou Jason. “CEO Zhou did you say the Old Benghu District?”

  “Yes. Why?”

   “That is where I live. I haven’t received any notice that the building will be demolished.”

   “A developer bought the entire two block area to build a Mall as far as I know.”

   Li Tian isn’t interested at the moment. He sees a white bandage on Sara’s forearm and one on her slender calf. He stands up and walks over to Sara. He furrows his eyebrows and gently holds her hand that is red and swollen, “What happened to you.” 

   She takes her hand away, “Nothing. CEO Zhou, is it true they are demolishing the area?”

  Li Tian glares at Sara and holds her shoulders, “Tell me what happened.”

  “I burnt my hand with hot coffee. CEO Li, please let me go.”

   He has a sarcastic tone as he takes his hands off her shoulders. “Don’t get the wrong idea Miss Song. I am only concerned because I need you to accompany me to a meeting and take notes. Yang James is still in Pushong City. You are the most familiar with the project..” Now is not the time to let Zhou Jason know of my interest in you. 

   Sara approaches Zhou Jason’s desk. He is equally concerned about Sara’s injury but needs to act professionally in front of Li Tian. But, Sara can see the concern in his eyes when he says, “Secretary Song. Your injury doesn’t look good. If you need to take the day off we can work without you today.”

   Sara has a gentle expression gazing at Zhou Jason, her tone is soft, “Thank you CEO Zhou. I can work. Luckily, when the door hit the tray it only knocked one cup over onto me. The nurse applied burn ointment.”

  Li Tian thinks about the woman who brought the coffee. Why wouldn’t the woman mention Song Sara went to the nurse when I asked. Did she have something to do with her injury? 

  Sara continues, “ CEO Zhou, I haven’t heard anything about the demolition. Don’t they need to inform the residents?”

  “Apparently someone was able to push it through the Zoning Commission. Most likely you will receive the notice in the next couple days.”

  “How long do they give you to relocate in this situation?”

  “I can’t say for sure but maybe two weeks.”

  Sara frowns and mutters to herself, “How can Bi and I find a place so quickly.”

  Zhou Jason hears her mumbling. “Miss Song if it is a problem I have an empty villa. You and Han Bi can live there.”

  Li Tian watches their interaction and sneers, “CEO Zhou aren’t you getting married soon? Would it be appropriate for you to let two single woman live in a villa you own? What would your fiancee think?

  “Miss Song is a valued employee of Zhou Group and the villa is under the company’s name. Due to the special circumstance she will be in need of an immediate place to live. This would prevent disrupting her work schedule with the tedious process of looking for an apartment.”

  Sara ignores the fierce look in Li Tian’s eyes and sweetly smiles, “Thank you CEO Zhou, I will keep your generous offer in mind.”

Li Tian is ready to explode watching Sara smile at Zhou Jason with undisguised affection in her sparkling blue eyes. Little Seductress…you really know how to touch my inverse scale! Li Tian wants to grab Sara and drag her to bed to let her know that she belongs to him…only him ! You are my fucking woman Song Sara! Do you think I would let my woman live in another man’s villa ! Dream on !







Sara Goes To Work

    When Sara and Leo reach the Zhou Group Headquarters Leo fixes Sara’s scarf, “Sara, don’t forget to take the nutritional supplements that Dr. Ling prescribed. Also, remember the list of foods the nutritionist recommends to eat to fortify yourself and the list of what foods to avoid.”

   Sara eyes bend into crescents listening to his concerned tone. She impulsively holds his hand, “Leo, if I had a brother I would want him to be just like you! Don’t worry about me. I will follow their instructions. How long will you be gone? When you get back I will make you a scrumptious meal.”

   Leo has never felt the warmth of having a family. Remy Cadieux only cares about the contributions he can make to the company, his stepmother and sister Lois are selfish women who only care about themselves. He squeezes her small hand and has a rare genuine smile on his handsome face, “Call me brother then, three days in Shanghai at the most. I look forward to eating the food you prepare.”

  “Brother Leo..that sounds good. I will.”

  Leo has never had the urge to hug someone but he would like to wrap his arms around Sara. He restrains himself and says, “Well Little Sister, don’t work too hard. Rest if you are tired. Do you need me to speak to Zhou Jason?”

  “No..no..”

  “Call me if you need anything.”

  The driver opens the door for Sara, he has a strange expression on his rugged face. I have never seen the Boss smile at anyone…and call me ‘Brother’?

  Sara gazes tenderly at Leo before she exits the car, “Brother, you also rest early and don’t work too hard.”

  “…” The driver’s lips curl up and he wants to laugh, the Boss is going on a killing spree when he gets to Shanghai..he doesn’t consider that work it is a pleasure to punish his enemies.

  Leo watches Sara leave, I am your brother Song Sara…I can’t wait to be able to tell you. After I take care of those bastards in Shanghai I will go visit the old hag and find out what I need to know about our mother and Remy.

   He makes a call to his assistant,  Alain Guerren, “Is everything ready for when I arrive in Shanghai?”

  “Yes, the RSVP’s have been received from all the people except, Lan Lianke.”

  “It won’t be a party if he doesn’t come. Make sure he and his wife are there.”

 After he hangs up he calls Kuang Bo, “Have you done what I requested?”

 Kuang Bo’s second identity is the world famous fashion designer Henri Armand. He is presently in a meeting with his chief designer’s team for the woman’s division, Chloe Design.

He abruptly ends the meeting. “Leave.” They gather their sketches and Chloe hesitates, “But Henri we need..” Kuang Bo interrupts, “I said leave.” After everyone walks out the door he responds to Leo,“At midnight all their bank accounts will be frozen.”

 “Very good. Once I get what I want I will give you your share.”

 “Leo, I finally have a lead on the jade amulet. It was hidden by the Old Master inside the Golden Dragon Statue that was stolen from the underground auction at the Black Lotus Club.”

  Leo opens his laptop, “Has anyone tried to sell the golden statue on the black market?”

  “It has been almost two months and no. Do you think someone discovered the jade amulet that was hidden inside?”

  “How would I know? I think if it was found by one of the Heads of the Underworld Organizations there would have been some movement.

  What happened to that bastard Leng Shuai? He fell off the face of the earth not long afterwards.”

  “Although he had the winning bid I don’t think he has it. My source said he is doing some undercover work for the government.”

  “What the fuck?”

  “Yeah, something to do with several murders linked to illegal mining. A few high profile government officials have been implicated but you know how that goes.  A corrupt politician is as slippery as an eel.”

  “What is his interest that he would get involved in the investigation?”

  “Apparently two of his good friends from when he was active in Chinese Intelligence were murdered.”

 “Interesting. Once I am in Shanghai I will contact you again.”

  “Be careful of that little prick, Pretty Boy. I don’t know who is behind him but that gay fuck has been getting bolder in the last three months. Complaining about their cut… he even increased the protection fees without approval and skimmed the extra cash.

   Leo laughs, “Then Pretty Boy should be the first to go.. I hate whiny little bitches the most.”

   Sara takes off her coat and scarf and hangs it in the Secretary’s break room then makes a cup of soothing Chamomile tea. While she is stirring some honey into the steaming tea another secretary comes into the break room. Secretary Peng was extremely jealous when she heard that Sara was accompanying Li Tian to Milan. She reaches for the coffee pot,“Song Sara you are back. What was it like working with CEO Li?”

  Blowing on her tea she says, “Okay.” Unbearable..horrible..terrifying…

  Unsatisfied with Sara’s short answer Peng Chunhua continues, “I would think it was better than okay. He is one of the most handsome and sought after Golden Bachelors in Catang City. You were so lucky to be chosen by him.”

  Sara rolls her eyes, Lucky? Ha! More like extremely unlucky! “Well, if CEO Li  needs an assistant again since you are interested, I hope you can accompany him. I won’t hinder your pursuit. I will even give you my blessing.”

   Peng Chunhua suddenly has a big smile on her face, “CEO Li, can I get you a cup of coffee? Tea?”

   Startled when she sees Li Tian leaning in the doorway, Sara’s heart starts beating rapidly. An angry expression flashes across his face then he smiles. He walks over to Sara, she can smell his unique scent as he gets close. She tries to back up but he leans down, his warm breath on her neck, in a low and seductive voice voice he teases, “Miss Song, you  know my taste best. I want you…to serve me.”

  Sara clenches her small fists at her side.You..you..troublemaker! First thing you try to stir up trouble! Look at the way Peng Chunhua is giving me the death stare! She will spread this all over the company!

  Peng Chunhua sits at the counter drinking coffee watching Sara and Li Tian. She wants to say something to get his attention but his eyes are riveted on Song Sara.Peng Chunhua glares at Sara, Slut! She did seduce Li Tian!

  Hiding her agitation Sara has a polite smile and in a calm voice replies, “CEO Li please go to CEO Zhou’s office. I will bring your coffee to you.”

  “I will wait. Zhou Jason had to take a call and I was bored.”

   The Director’s secretary comes into the break room and sees the weird scene. The atmosphere is heavy as CEO Li has an intense gaze devouring Song Sara like a hungry wolf with his dark eyes. Peng Chunhua’s eyes are narrowed into slits staring at Song Sara like she wants to kill. Song Sara is trying to avoid both of their piercing gazes and looks like a caged rabbit while brewing coffee.

The Director’s Secretary comes out of her daze, “Secretary Peng, the Director wants you to make copies of the reports I placed on your desk. One for each of the departments, then deliver them to the Department Heads.”

  When Peng Chunhua doesn’t move the woman sounds impatient, “Now.”

  After the two secretaries leave Li Tian comes behind Sara and wraps his arms around her tiny waist. He leans into her ear, “Don’t even think about sending another woman to be my assistant. You are the only one I want by my side.” He kisses her ear and Sara shivers as she tries to wiggle out of his strong embrace. She is very angry, “CEO Li, please respect yourself!”

  He lets go and she thinks he is going to leave as he walks to the door of the break room. Thank god he has some sense!

 He locks the door and pulls down the blinds on a large window that faces a dining area. Sara holds onto the counter, “LI TIAN!”

  Approaching Sara he has a devilish grin, “Baby, did you forget your promise already.” He grabs Sara into his arms and kisses her deeply. Prying her lips open he domineeringly entangles their tongues until they are breathless.

  She pushes his chest and her breathing is heavy, “Wha..what are you talking about..what promise? Please stop.. this is where I work..”

  He nibbles on her ear, “You promised that you would do whatever I want if I helped you last night.”

   Sara looks confused, she doesn’t remember last night, “Help me? What do you mean… help me?”

   Li Tian puts his hand under her blouse and she grabs his hand, “You are crazy! Stop!”

  He didn’t intend to tease Sara when he came to the break room. But when he heard her tell the ugly woman that she should be his assistant he wanted to punish Sara. He plays with a loose strand of her silky black hair then puts it to his nose, ” You smell so delicious…I want to eat you right now.” He licks and sucks on her neck, “So sweet.”

He puts her hand on his crotch and she struggles trying to take it off. “CEO Li!”

  There is a knock at the door and muffled voices can be heard. Sara uses all of her strength and pushes him, “Please go through the dining area and leave or I swear.. I swear I will never speak to you again!” 

   Li Tian gazes at her annoyed expression, Sara’s face is flushed from his kisses and she is puffing out her cheeks. The little girl is so fucking cute! Seeing her pouty pink lips makes me want to bully the little thing even more.He bites her lip and kisses Sara then lets her go. Licking the blood from his lip Li Tian has a wicked smile, “Secretary Song, bring my coffee to Zhou Jason’s office. We can discuss your promise further later.” In my bed..

 

Money on Card

   Fang Chao drops Qiqi at her apartment after lunch. Despondent over the situation with her Webtoon she wasn’t in the mood to go to the High School.

   “Qiqu ,if you change your mind and want to tell me what happened with that bastard, call me.”

   “I will. I’m going to rest before the auction and try to get into a better mood. Drive safe.”

   Qiqi drags herself into the apartment building depressed because she needs to tell Kang Xue what happened. She is surprised that she hasn’t called. The elevator door opens and she sees Grandma Zheng, “Grandma, where are you going?”

  “Shen Qiqi, I haven’t seen you in awhile. How are you?”

  “I’m good. Brother Si is taking me to the Jade Auction tonight.” She wrinkles her forehead, but I don’t know if I can buy the beautiful jade bracelet now. She silently curses Sun Zerong, damn Capitalist! My five million..gone!

   The old lady holds Qiqi’s hands, “Si told me he is taking you. He mentioned you want a white mutton jade bracelet. I have quite a few jade bracelets and necklaces, come by my apartment you can pick a few.”

  “Grandma, you are too kind. Save them for Brother Si’s future wife. I want this particular bracelet because of the legend attached to it.” Qiqi fixes the old lady’s wool scarf. “It is freezing today. Where are you going? Do you want me to accompany you?  It is still snowing and the sidewalks are very slippery from the ice.”

  “My grandson sent a car for me. I have a doctor’s appointment at the hospital.” 

  Qiqi has a worried expression, “Is there something?”

  “No, don’t worry it is only a routine checkup.” She laughs, “You know that kid worries about me too much.”

   “He loves you Grandma. It is good to have regular checkups when you get older. She knows that she had a heart attack last year. I almost forgot I have some nutritional pills that are good for blood circulation and the heart. I got some for my Grandpa and you. She reaches into her backpack and takes out a small porcelain bottle. Take one a day and you will open up your meridians that tend to get a little clogged as you age. Grandpa swears by them.”

  Grandma Zheng pushes them back. “I can’t take them. What if your Grandfather needs more.”

  “I got these for you. He has plenty. Also, I have an Uncle who runs a TCM clinic. You should make an appointment with him, he studied acupuncture under a famous Master. I don’t trust those big hospitals.”

  A muscular man dressed in black comes into the lobby, “Mrs. Zheng, I am Zheng Si’s driver.”

  Qiqi takes the old woman’s arm, “I will walk out with you. It is slippery.”

   Qiqi helps Grandma Zheng to the car and the driver opens the door of the black Bentley. Qiqi makes sure the old woman is securely buckled in the seatbelt. “If you are unsure about the pills show the doctor first.”

  “Thank you Little Qiqi, don’t forget to come by my apartment.”

   Qiqi giggles and has a pleading look in her sparkling brown eyes,“Umm..Will you make braised pork ribs?”

   “Haha, you and my grandson both love that dish.”

  Qiqi smiles and puts a blanket that is on the backseat over the old lady’s legs. “Because it is so delicious! Take care Grandma Zheng.” 

   She closes the door then walks to the driver’s window. “Hi.” She smiles brightly, “ Make sure you hold Mrs. Zheng steadily when she gets out of the car. Have them bring a wheelchair so she doesn’t need to walk and put the blanket over her legs. I noticed her pulse is a little erratic and she was wheezing as she was walking. Please mention that to the doctor. Thank you for your hard work.”

  She doesn’t notice the handsome taciturn young man in the passenger seat who is looking at a laptop. Qiqi waves goodbye to Mrs. Zheng as she gingerly steps back onto the sidewalk. She rubs her ankle then walks towards the apartment building.

  The man in the passenger seat narrows his amber eyes as he watches Qiqi limp back into the building. He looks over at the driver, “Who is that woman?”

  “I don’t know Sir, maybe a neighbor.”

  What kind of pills did the young girl give the Old Madam? I need to check before the  old woman takes any of them.

  When Qiqi enters her apartment after she removes her coat she picks up Fat Cat who is lazily lounging on the couch. He barely opens one eye then closes it again. She teases as she pets his warm fuzzy head, “Am I disturbing you?” then puts him back on the couch and goes to fill the bathtub. Maybe I will feel better after a nice soak. She takes a pouch from the drawer and dumps medicinal herbs into the bathwater then sprinkles the fresh plum blossoms.

  Qiqi sinks down into the warm bath water and closes her eyes. The Petty Man wouldn’t fire Xue would he?

   Zheng Yingxuan in a VIP room at the hospital waiting for the doctor. Zheng Si’s assistant asks, “Old Madam, may I check the pills the girl gave you.”

  “ Fan Wenjie, why do you look suspicious? Shen Qiqi  has no ill intentions. She is like my granddaughter.”

 “ Old Madam,CEO Zheng entrusted you to me this afternoon. It is merely precautionary, nothing more.”

  “Very well.” She takes the green porcelain bottle from her purse. “You will find they are only nutritional supplements for the elderly.”

 He takes the bottle and opens it, a blue pill in the shape of a bird falls out. He raises an eyebrow holding the unusual looking pill in his hand then makes a call.

  Not long after he hangs up a man comes into the room and he hands him the pill bottle, “ I want the analysis as soon as possible.”

  Zheng Yingxuan puts down the magazine in her hand when the doctor comes into the room.

 “How are you feeling Mrs. Zheng?”

  She removes her reading glasses,“The same as always…old.”

  The doctor laughs, “ Mrs. Zheng,you are still a very beautiful woman.” He takes out his stethoscope. “I am going to take your vitals then a nurse will be in to wheel you down the hallway for a few tests.”

   He finishes and the nurse comes in to take Zheng Yinxuan for tests. After they leave he closes her chart and walks over to Fan Wenjie. “Long time no see. How long has it been?”

   “A year.”

   “WeiWei will be very happy to hear you returned.”

  “Don’t mention it. I won’t be in Bashu City for long.”

   Dr. Lin lifts his rimless glasses and rubs the bridge of his nose, “Then make it clear to WeWei. How long do you expect her to wait for you?”

  “I told WeiWei before I left that I had no intention of complying with the old bastard’s order.” He has a faint smile, “Isn’t that what you have always wanted?”

   “Wenjie, I only want WeiWei to be happy. She cries everytime your name comes up in a conversation. She has been waiting for you to come back.”

  “Brother, you think I don’t know?”

  Dr. Lin pushes him, “Bastard! You need to stop blaming WeiWei. It wasn’t her fault! She wasn’t the one who drugged you!”

   Fan Wenjie smirks, “Don’t let yourself be blinded by your obsessive love for that woman. She doesn’t deserve it. WeiWei is not the gentle innocent girl we grew up with in the Courtyard. How long will the tests take?”

  “You don’t know the anguish and depression she suffered after you left. You weren’t the only victim.”

“Isn’t she always the helpless victim?” What a joke.. he has no idea I wasn’t only drugged I was poisoned…and still have not solved it completely. Although I will never let you people know. If Zheng Si didn’t save me that night I would have been a hollowed out corpse.

“You would rather be Zheng Si’s assistant than go to the company?”

   “I’m quite satisfied with my job.”

  “Mother’s birthday party is on Saturday. Since you are back the least you could do is come, she was very hurt when you left without saying goodbye.”

 “ Lin An is your mother not mine so …no. Don’t you have rounds to make or something?”

 Dr. Lin’s knuckles turn white as he tightly grips the chart in his hand “Wenjie, you are still the same selfish bastard you always were. I won’t mention I saw you.” He leaves and uncharacteristically slams his fist into the wall., it would  have been best if he had stayed away.

  Fan Wenjie sits on the couch and opens his laptop to continue working on the report about Zheng Chu . Idiot! He has no idea the two women he holds most dear are both scheming snakes.  Women…particularly beautiful women are not to be trusted. I wonder what that little beauty wants who was being overly attentive to the Old Madam? To get close to Zheng Si?

   Qiqi  finishes her bath then looks in the mirror and lets out a big sigh touching the dark circles under her eyes. I wish I had one of those  amazing masks from France, I look so tired. She takes out a mask from a drawer that she got online from South Korea. After she applies it on her face she lays down on the bed. Should I call Xue or wait until she calls me? Wait..

   She closes her eyes and the phone rings, must be Xue..well I need to tell her what happened. She reaches for her phone and sees the caller is ‘Mom’ “Hey Mom, I was just thinking of you earlier.”

  “Haha, I know your Cousin Chao called me.”

  “What?”

  “That boy…he has spoiled you since you were little! How much free time does he have! Isn’t he the CEO of some game company? Anyway, he called to complain because his precious baby cousin didn’t get any of the face masks I got when your Dad and I were in France.”

  “I didn’t say anything.”

  “Don’t lie! He said you were crying, saying that I don’t love you. Qiqi baby, the only reason I didn’t send you any is because you are allergic to glycolic acid. That is one of the main ingredients, if you put it on your face you would blow up like a pufferfish. I put extra money on your card, buy whatever you want. Angelique is a good French brand, you can order online, it is all natural., or you could ask your Uncle Kai to make you one also.”

   Qiqi bolts up in bed,  She kicks her legs in the air and makes kissing sounds into the phone. She then excitedly says, “Mom, I know you love me the best!” 

   “Sweetie, your dad and I will be home next week. I need to meet personally with the new CEO of Night Sky Entertainment about a cooperation.”

   “Oh great! I miss you so much!”

  “Why don’t you consider transferring to Oxford? You enjoyed England when you came to visit.”

  “I can’t. I like my classes and of course I have my job with Uncle Lu. I can’t let him down.”  I also just found my dream guy! How could I pursue him from so far away!

Shadow Guard

   Leo has a complicated expression as he stares at his arm... insolent bastard! I almost reached the 9th level…does he think I would die by my own hand. Stupid. Leo closes his eyes…but how can I drive him away…he is devoted to me…his skills are definitely extraordinary.

Leo saved this mysterious man who silently guards him. When he was in High School his father sent him to Africa during the summer to work at their family diamond mine instead of to a Cadieux owned Bank. Remy Cadieux said he wanted him to learn to be a man but Leo always believed he wanted him to die there. A few times he almost got his wish if it wasn’t for X.

One day he was riding in a Jeep to the mine complaining to himself about the unbearable heat as sweat poured down his chest.  When he slowed down at a treacherous curve by a cliff overlooking the river a man crawled out onto the road. He was bloodied and looked half dead. Leo impulsively slammed on the brakes before he hit him. He then stopped the Jeep not out of compassion, but because he admired the heavily injured man covered in blood for posessing the tenacity not to just give up and die under the scorching sun.  

   Leo hopped down from the Jeep and saw the man was holding a baby wrapped in a dirty shirt. Leo was surprised the baby looked up at him without crying. Even at a sixteen his aura would make a grown man feel suffocated.

He felt the baby and the man had a strong desire to live just like he did. He dragged the man into the Jeep and when the man said in a hoarse voice, “Save my princess. I will give you my life.” Leo thought that sounded preposterous because the man appeared as though his chance of survival was less than zero. It was the baby girl for some reason that made him act out of character. His princess hahaha..well he has fatherly love anyway. I will save the baby girl.

It looked like the man had been shot and dug out the bullets himself. His wounds were festering and he obviously had an infection, he was burning up with a fever. Leo’s lips curled up into a strange smile, “Sure buddy. Where is the nearest hospital?”

    Coughing up blood, the man grabbed onto Leo’s arm with his bony fingers. Leo was surprised at his strength. He could barely spit out, “No hospital.” Coughing heavily “Kaka..ka..” as he wiped the fresh blood on his cracked lips with his tattered shirt, “10km. My Uncle.” The only family he had left was his old Uncle.

    Leo looked at the filthy hand with a disgusted expression. He growled, “Remove your hand or I will toss you and the kid out.”

  The man immediately took his hand away. He told Leo in a resolute voice “Save us. You won’t regret it.” The man clutched the baby tighter to his chest as the Jeep bounced along the dirt road.

   Leo raised his eyebrow thinking the man overestimated his ability to even survive let alone be of use to him. But, Leo decided he was late to work anyway so he agreed. They didn’t talk as the Jeep headed to his Uncle’s house. The man meditated and leaned back on the seat. According to what he learned later the man could have healed himself but all his medicinal supplies were destroyed in the fire when his pursuers destroyed the village.

   Leo was unaware at the time that if the man had a little more consciousness he would have killed Leo and stolen the Jeep without blinking an eye. But the man was worried about the baby if he passed out while driving.

Unfortunately, the man who betrayed him was his ally and was aware of his home. The traitor sent ruthless killers to the small fishing village. The man’s young wife and grandmother were brutally murdered before he arrived at the village.

The mercenaries searching for him didn’t leave a single person alive…or so they believed. The man’s wife hid their baby daughter in a basket behind the well when she heard the armed men approaching.

  He is thinking about the past and the silent guard when the phone rings. He answers and listens to his assistant then replies, “I will personally handle the situation when I arrive in Shanghai.” Hmm..well it should only take a couple days. This is good I won’t be in Catang City when Sara receives the demolition notice. She won’t connect me to it.

   Sara changes her clothes at her apartment then hesitates before she calls Fu Chian. The poor guy needs the work and it is nice not to take a crowded bus. I wonder how his wife is doing?While she is waiting for Fu Chian to arrive Leo calls, she feels guilty about last night but didn’t want to involve him.

   Leo is in the back of a black Rolls Royce Phantom looking at his laptop. “Sara, I have some business to take care of in Shanghai. I won’t be back for a couple days. I will take you to work on my way to the airport.”

  “Well, I just called Fu Chian.”

  “I had my driver alert him, but feel free to use him anytime.”

   Sara bites her bottom lip, “Well, okay, I want to talk to you anyway.” I should apologize and tell him the truth.

  Leo takes a gulp of mineral water, my little sister has a conscience, she probably feels guilty about deceiving me. He has a pleased expression, “I am almost to your apartment building.”

    Sara  looks out the window at the snow falling then puts on her warmest coat and grabs a knitted blue scarf.

She is hurrying down the stairs when her foot slides on a wet step. Sara slips and closes her eyes anticipating rolling down the last few steps. As she is about to fall a strong arm reaches out and steadies her body. She looks up and is startled, “Han Chang?”

   “Hello Song Sara, it has been a while.”

   Sara blushes because of all of Bi’s brothers he makes her the most nervous. She thanks him then complains, “ Maintenance really needs to wipe the stairs in this weather. Ahh…  Han Chang, Bi isn’t here, she left for work.”

  He looks at his watch and sounds annoyed, “I told Bi I would stop by before she went into the Fang Group.”

  “Well, she had to go in a little early today.” Sara doesn’t feel like she should discuss Bi’s problems with her older brother.

  He has a doting tone, “Typical of the little dummy, she didn’t call me to let me know.”

  Sara laughs, he only smiles when something is related to Bi. “She said you were coming to Catang City. I think Bi thought it was next Monday.”

   “Are you heading out for work?” He has the paperwork in his briefcase for the restaurant but Bi said to wait to discuss the investment with Sara.

  “I am.”

 They walk down the remaining stairs together without talking. Sara always feels intimidated by Bi’s elder brother so she doesn’t attempt to make conversation.

   Leo is standing on the sidewalk smoking a cigarette waiting for Sara. Han Chang sees the young man by the Rolls Royce Phantom and gazes at Sara with a puzzled expression as she walks towards Leo. Sara can tell he is curious so she explains, “Mr. Cadieux is a friend of mine, he is giving me a ride to work on the way to the airport.”

  “You are friends with Leo Cadieux?”

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