I Will Meet You

   When Qiqi walks into her apartment Fat Cat awakens and extends his stubby legs exposing his soft belly. She was out late. He meows in greeting hoping she will give him a midnight snack.

   Distracted while thinking about Bo Yi Qin and the bracelet, Qiqi ignores the orange fat cat acting cute on the couch.  She hangs up her white cashmere coat then walks directly into her bedroom. Qiqi  flops down on the bed. I need to make more money. It is so sad I couldn’t afford the Red Lotus Bracelet.

  ??? Fat Cat is stunned, usually the clingy little woman runs over and embraces me.The silly girl tells me every detail of where she has been..who she saw. every minute detail.She can’t usually resist the belly rub. I even said hello and acted coquettish, stretching out my legs for a hug. What happened at the auction? Damn… I miss going to events! People fawning on me…looking at beautiful men…criticizing the dinner if I didn’t prepare the food. When am I going to return to being a World Class Chef!

  Qiqi’s phone rings and she takes it out of her small beaded purse. Fang Chao?

  “Hey what’s up?”

  “Qiqi what were you doing talking to that playboy Bo Yi Qin!”

  “How did you know? Were you at the auction?”

  “No. Wong Jimmy called me.”

  “That little brat! Did you have him spying on me?”

  “Although that would have been a good idea..no. He went with his girlfriend and he saw you. Answer me. He said he saw that evil bastard flirting with you!”

   “Bo Yi Qin wasn’t flirting with me. If anything I was flirting with him.”

   Fang Chao takes a cigarette out of his drawer and walks to the balcony. “Little girl. He is not a good thing!”

   “Cousin throw away the cigarette in your hand. I gave you delicious mints, suck on one.”

   “…” How does she know?

  Qiqi kicks off her shoes and fluffs her pillow. “I know because your voice cracks and you hmmph.. that means you are frustrated and when you are anxious you like to smoke.”

  He puts the unlit cigarette back in the pack. “Don’t change the subject why were you talking to that shameless man?”

   “Well, he was the person who bought the Red Lotus Bracelet. I was hoping we could work out a deal. Unfortunately, he didn’t bid on the bracelet for himself but his friend.”

   “Who is his friend?”

   “He wouldn’t say.”

   “Well, I went to school with Bo Yi Qin. Although I hate his guts, do you want me to talk to him?”

   “No. I told him to discuss with his friend if we could work something out.” Qiqi rolls her eyes, so clueless, if you two hate each other why would he do you a favor.

  “Did you ever call LiLi?”

  Fang Chao’s ears turn red and he coughs, “Kaaka..Ah..no..but she called me.”

  Qiqi rolls over and grabs a bottle of water from her nightstand. She takes off the top, “Really? Does she want to work with FCG on Legends of The Jianghu Two? Will she be cast in the movie?”

  “She invited me to dinner to discuss.”

  “Fang Chao, I think LiLi is interested in you.”

  “No. I think she is interested in the movie.”

  “But, didn’t you tell her she had the part if she wanted it, no audition necessary? Why would she invite you to dinner? She could have her agent negotiate the deal.”

   Fang Chao pops a mint into his mouth, “Hmm..I didn’t think about that.”

  Qiqi sips the water, “She called you personally also. Fang Chao, I think you have a chance!”

  “Once again you went off topic. Shen Qiqi! Do not..I said..do not meet with Bo Yi Qin!”

  “Listen, I am a little self aware, a man like Bo Yi Qin is not going to be interested in me. I saw him staring at Mindy Falconi’s boobs like a hungry wolf.”

   “True, Bo Yi Qin likes women with big breasts. I don’t think he would take a second look at your skinny body.”

  “FANG CHAO!” The playboy actually made fun of my flat chest..won’t tell Cousin Chao that bit of information.

 Fang Chao starts laughing,“Okay, I need to get off the phone. I was running a diagnostic program and it just finished.”

  “Well if I can negotiate a trade with Bo Yi Qin’s friend I will call you tomorrow if I need your help.”

  “Baby girl, seriously though, Bo Yi Qin is a wily character, don’t get sucked into anything. Yeah, call me.”

  Qiqi hangs up then stares at the phone, should I call the playboy now? No. I will wait until tomorrow. She yawns, “In the morning..too sleepy.” She hugs her favorite plushie ans falls asleep.

   The sun shines into Qiqi’s bedroom and she squints her eyes, I might need to get black out curtains. She looks at the clock, “Is it too early to call that man?”

   Bo Yi Qin is in the laboratory on the base. He puts on new protective gloves then his assistant hands him a vial filled with clear liquid. “This is what they found at the site. I ran a few tests but can’t identify three of the ingredients.”

  “Shit! Those terrorist bastards are getting more insidious!

  It is good General Wei was able to locate their underground facility. If this was added to the water at the upcoming Conference being held in Shanghai..well.. I don’t want to think.”

  Bo Yi Qin Takes the vial then places it into a special container between two pieces of foam then seals it. “We might need to send the sample to FutureTech.” He has an angry expression as he glances around the lab “This facility doesn’t have the necessary high tech equipment needed to thoroughly analyse the liquid properly.”

   Bo Yi Qin’s assistant agrees, “ Major Bo, it is really an insult to us. This is a government laboratory yet a private company like FutureTech’s research facility is better equipped.”

  “I can’t argue the fact but don’t let anyone hear you say that. It is an unwritten rule you can’t complain at this base. You are new so I will warn you. Also, don’t call me Major. I am a civilian now. I am only filling in until the Director in charge returns.” 

   Bo Yin Qin’s phone rings. He takes off the gloves and tosses them into a Biohazard container.  The phone stops ringing as he washes his hands. He takes the phone from his pocket and sees an unfamiliar number. Then he recieves a WeChat message. [Did you discuss with your friend?] He raises his eyebrow, the Little Fairy is eager.

   He walks over to the next room. Once he sits at his desk he has a devilish grin, I wonder how long after I don’t reply she will send another message. He doesn’t have to wait long when Qiqi sends [Sorry to disturb you but I would like to meet today.]

   He wants to let her stew but Sun Zhi made it clear he wants to find the Golden Dragon Statue. [I am only available at two o’clock. Meet at the 5470 Club .]

  [Grinning face emoji I will be there!]

 He looks at the phone, childish.

  Qiqi is very excited and she bounces out of bed to take a bath. YES! Whatever he wants to trade I will find it!

   Bo Yi Qin calls Sun Zhi who is in his gym at his villa lifting weights. Sun Zhi picks up a white towel then wipes the sweat dripping down his face. “Yeah.”

  “I am sending a vial of a clear liquid that is highly toxic to your facility on Gingko Rd. The intel Leng Shuai acquired leads us to believe the terrorists wanted to use it to poison the water at the Shanghai Conference.”

  “Fuck! It is fortunate Leng Shuai was able to infiltrate their organization. He isn’t comprimised is he?”

  “No. They think General Wei’s raid was due to information found at the bombing site up North. They captured two of the terrorists but before they could be interrogated they swallowed poison hidden in their mouth.”

  Sun Zhi sits on the weight bench and downs a bottle of water. “I will alert my men about the toxicity of the liquid in the vial and to take special care.”

  Bo Yi Qin chuckles, “Also the little Webtoon artist called me. I am meeting her at two.”

  “Remember not to mention my name.”

Leaving The Auction

     Sun Zerong and Sun Zhi take the elevator down to the lobby. Sun Zerong asks, “Zhi, do you want to go to the Club? I told Mo Yibo I would stop by after the auction. We are having the annual party at the Club, I need to discuss the arrangements.”

  “I will meet you there. I have something to do first.”

  Sun Zerong walks towards the exit, “Okay. Mo Yibo told me that Han Weisheng will be there”

  Bo Yi Qin is at the bar having a drink. Sun Zhi walks over then leans on the bar and orders a beer.  After the bartender puts the beer on the bar Bo Yi Qin turns to Sun Zhi, “Zhi, what is the deal with the bracelet? Did you buy for the Old Madam’s birthday?”

  “No. I bought the bracelet because Zerong wanted it.” He doesn’t want to go into details.

  Bo Yi Qin raises his eyebrow abd his lips curl up into a slight smile, “You aren’t usually petty.”

  Sun Zhi takes a gulp of beer, “Long story.”

  “So you heard the Little Fairy, what do you think?”

  “I think we should see how capable she is.”

  Bo Yi Qin almost spits out his beer, “Shen Qiqi talks big..but she is just a little girl. What could she possibly use to negotiate with you?”

  “I am interested to find out. The little girl isn’t as simple as she appears. Shen Qiqi broke into FutureTech.”

  Surprised Bo Yi Qin starts choking on his drink, the fiery whisky burns his throat. He sounds hoarse, “Kakka..What the fuck!”

  “Yeah, her cousin is Fang Chao. She wouldn’t admit to it but I am sure he is the person who hacked the system.”

  “What? The Little Fairy is an industrial spy?”

  “No. Shen Qiqi is a Webtoon artist.”

  Bo Yi Qin bursts out laughing,” Zhi, hahaha..you are killing me..hahaha..”

  Sun Zhi picks up some almonds from a dish and pops them into his mouth. After he swallows he nods his head in satisfaction, “Smoky flavor..tasty.” He finishes his beer and orders another one. “Gets better, her godfather is General Wei and when she was in my office I overheard she gave him a Tibetan Ice Lotus Root. .”

     “How would she have…and give it away..”He rubs his clean shaven chin, “So you think Shen Qiqi is not boasting when she says she can acquire difficult  items.”

  “I am not sure, but I am curious how capable she is.”

  “Are you going to take the little girl up on her offer?”

 “Well, I don’t want her to know I am the person who has the Red Lotus Bracelet. If she can obtain what I want it is best to remain in the shadows. You can deal with the little girl.”

  “Zhi, I am only back in Bashu City because my old man forced me. My brother caught a virus and can’t supervisethe military training at the High School. You know how my grandfather dotes on that woman who is the principal. He uses the opportunity to go visit the school. So he is forcing me to put on my old uniform and take over for Ling. I  snuck out tonight because I wanted the black jade prayer beads. I need to live at the base.”

  Sun Zhi smirks, “That is a lame excuse. You are a fucking civilian now, you can come and go as you want.”

  “Whatever. I guess it will be entertaining to see what the Little Fairy can do. Have you thought of what you want her to get?”

   “I want to find the Golden Dragon Statue that was stolen from The Black Lotus Club in Pushong City two months ago.”

   “The one that supposedly has a compartment where the jade amulet is hidden?”

   “Yeah. I have been searching since it was stolen. There have been absolutely no clues at all. If Shen Qiqi can find who has it, that is all I need from her. She can have the bracelet. I can return the golden statue to Xiaobo after I remove the amulet.

He will owe me a favor as far as the jade amulet goes…well, he doesn’t need to know it was inside.” He laughs, “That is if it actually was hidden there by the Old Master.” He orders another beer, “ I heard Xiaobo had to pay 150 million in compensation to the owner. He also lost face because that was the first time that his auction has been compromised.”

Bo Yi Qin puts his arm on Sun Zhi’s shoulder, “Smart thinking so If the Golden Dragon Statue is returned to him he should be willing to show his appreciation.”

   “The plan is to return the Golden Dragon Statue and have Xiaobo recommend FutureTech to his brother Kai to design their new facility.”

  “Good plan. But,do you think you are the only one who has been looking for that fucking statue? Every Organization in the Underworld has been frantically searching. No one in two months has come up with a clue. Whoever stole it hasn’t put it up for sale and the jade amulet hasn’t surfaced.” He furrows his forehead, “It is baffling.”

  “I have expended manpower and resources to find the whereabouts. If the little girl can find it, giving her the bracelet is nothing.” I got it for her in the first place..haha. “I’m going to the Black Dragon Club, do you want to go?”

  “No. I need to get back to the base. I was running an experiment with Old 7 and he should have the results. Also, I heard they are delivering a vial of unknown poison to be analyzed.

  “Call Shen Qiqi to meet you tomorrow.”

 “Do you actually think she can find the Golden Dragon Statue?”

 “I want to recruit Fang Chao. If she can locate it, I have no idea. I want her to feel comfortable around you and introduce you to Fang Chao.”

  “Isn’t he the CEO of FCG?”

  “Yeah but he is also an extremely talented hacker.”

  “Why don’t you contact him.”

  “He doesn’t like me.”

   “…” Fang Chao doesn’t like me either.

  “I’m going to the Club. Let me know how it goes.”

  Bo Yi Qin takes out a cigarette and walks to the exit, “This should be fun.”

 When Qiqi and Zheng Si are in the car he notices the petulant expression on her face. “Do you want me to talk to him?”

  “No. I need to get the bracelet myself.” She hugs his arm and rests her head on him, “But, thank you.”

   He pats her head, and his voice is tinged with indulgence.“If I know my little girl you will find a way to convince him.”

   Hearing his words Qiqi’s confidence rises. She smiles then sits up gazing at him with bright eyes, “You are right Brother Si! When have I, Shen Qiqi ever given up on what I want!”

   “That is my girl. Are you hungry? Do you want to stop to eat before I take you home?”

  Qiqi looks at her watch, “I need to get up early, I better go home.”

  Zheng Si has a pampering look in his dark eyes, “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you obtain the bracelet.”

  She hugs Zheng Si, “Brother Si you are the best! I love you… you always know how to cheer me up. I was feeling depressed but you gave me back my fighting spirit with just a few words. The girl who marries you will be very lucky!” I really should set Kang Xue and Nrother Si up. They would be a perfect match.

  He looks at Qiqi with warmth and tenderness, “Well, you are my little sister of course I need to encourage you.” I need to have a few words with Bo Yi Qin. Little Qiqi has her heart set on obtaining the bracelet. I know he is interested in building a research facility. I own a tract of land outside the city so maybe I can work out a deal.

  When they arrive at Qiqi’s apartment building he stretches his long legs out of the car. She stops him, “It is cold. Get back in the car. I am fine. You can watch me from here.” She puts her arms around his neck then kisses him on the cheek.Touching the brilliant butterfly necklace on her neck she sweetly says. “I love the necklace and the dress, so beautiful. Thank you for taking me to the auction. Although I didn’t get the bracelet I had a really good time.”

  Zheng Si’s  affectionate gaze lingers on Qiqi as she enters the building then he tells his driver “Drive to the Black Dragon Club.” 

Bo Yi Qin

   Sun Zhi sends a text to a man downstairs then eats a piece of orange from a fruit platter. The auction begins and Sun Zhi leans back in his chair. Sun Zerong notices he isn’t paying attention to the auctioneer, “Zhi, did you come for a particular piece of jade?”

  “No. Mother’s birthday is next week so since she likes jade I came.”

   Sun Zerong takes a sip of wine, “I saw  #52 is a delicate jade necklace from the Shang Dynasty. Auntie might like it.”

  Sun Zhi flips through the catalog, “You have a good eye but she has countless necklaces.” he scans the pictures, “I think I will bid on the jade and gold hairpin, #61”

  Sun Zerong nods his head as he looks at the photograph. “ Suits Auntie.”

  Halfway through the auction Qiqi is impatient, “Brother Si, when will they bring out the Red Lotus Bracelet?”

   “Looks like it is coming up next.”

  Qiqi’s  brown eyes sparkle, “Wish me luck. I must have the bracelet!”

  When the bidding begins Zheng Si leans down, “Don’t seem too anxious. Wait until there are a few bids and you can size up your competition. Are you sure you don’t want me to get it for you?” He thinks about the rare Ice Lotus Root she gifted to him. He lifts her chin and teases, “Then you are assured of winning.”

  “No. I told you the bracelet has a legend and I must get it by my own means.”

   Zheng Si chuckles and rubs her head, “Little girl ..so superstitious.”

   The bidding begins at two million. Qiqi sees the first person to raise their paddle is a middle aged man. Three million. Why does he want it? The woman next to him looks like his wife? Does he know the legend?  Qiqi furrows her delicate thin eyebrows together,A single man or woman should get the bracelet. She calms down and tightens her grip on the paddle in her hand. She can’t resist and raises her paddle four million.

   Zheng Si gives her a look, the little girl forgot what I said already. Haha..

   Upstairs  Sun Zerong electronically sends his bid, five million.

   Sun Zhi sees the smirk on his cousin’s face, he swallows a piece of apple and asks, “Are you really going to buy that bracelet for the little Webtoon artist?” He could see the look of anticipation on Qiqi’s face as she held up her paddle. For some reason he doesn’t want to see Sun Zerong get the bracelet  because he obviously has a contentious relationship with the little girl.

  “In a manner of speaking. I need to see her performance first.”

  Sun Zerong’s answer confirmed his suspicion. He texts his friend downstairs [Also bid on this bracelet. I want it.]

   Qiqi thinks the middle aged man might not be a threat but the person upstairs definitely has money to burn. She anxiously raises her paddle: Six million.

   Sun Zerong laughs at her worried expression, his mood is getting better watching Qiqi squirm in her seat. He presses the button: Eight million.

  Qiqi turns to Zheng Si, “Brother Si, do you know who is in the private room upstairs?”

  Zheng Si can see the concern written all over her face. He tells her the truth. “No. But whoever he is he has the ability to snatch the bracelet from you. Are you sure you don’t want me to get it for you?”

  Qiqi btes her lip, “Thanks but no.” 

  Suddenly the bid jumps to twelve million. Qiqi glances around and sees a handsome man holding a paddle up. He is wearing gold rimmed glasses and a suit from Henri Couture. She recognizes the style because Fang Chao wears that particular designer’s clothes. Dammit! Dammit! She mentally counts how much money she has, I have seventeen million with the five mom gave me.

  Sun Zerong’s face darkens, he didn’t plan on spending more than ten million. Oh well, his slender finger presses the button: Fourteen million.

   Qiqi’s face turns pale, they must be determined to get the bracelet. She straightens her back and reaches her hand holding the paddle up: Fifteen million.

   Several people stare at Qiqi wondering who she is. Sun Zerong isn’t surprised by her bid he thinks Zhen Si is her backer. 

   The handsome man lifts his paddle:Sixteen million. He wonders why Sun Zhi wants this bracelet, the appraisal value is only around two million. Well, I have no idea how his brain circuit works. He doesn’t have a womanor does he?

   Qiqi gazes at the handsome man with a pleading look as she lifts her paddle for the last time. She takes a deep breath: Seventeen million. The man momentarily hesitates, the beautiful little fairy really wants this bracelet why is Sun Zhi making it difficult.

    While he is hesitating, Sun Zerong’s face turns black as the bottom of a pot. He slams his hand on the arm rest of the chair. 

  Sun Zhi has a faint smile as he picksup a glass of water, “Not willing to spend any more?”

  Facing his cousin’s taunt he presses the button: Seventeen and a half million.”

  Qiqi dejected twirls the paddle in her hand, her voice is weak, “Guess it wasn’t meant to be.”

   Sun Zhi’s friend Bo Yi Qin bids: Eighteen million.”

  Sun Zerong gulps down his wine, I will find another way to get revenge on that little pest.

  The auctioneer doesn’t hear any more bids and hits the podium with the hammer, “Sold.”

  Qiqi’s eyes are covered in a layer of mist as she glances back at the handsome man who had the winning bid. She dramatically falls into Zheng Si’s arms. “I’m so sad.” She rests her head on his chest while muttering, “Sold..sold..”

  Zheng Si hugs Qiqi. He brushes her hair behind her ear and his voice is filled with warmth and tenderness.“Why didn’t you let me help you?”

   She pouts, “The legend says you must obtain the Red Lotus Bracelet without help from others.”

  “…” Silly girl

  The auction finishes and Zheng Si and Qiqi walk towards the exit. Qiqi notices the handsome man who obtained the bracelet lazily leaning in a doorway. He is texting someone. She lets go of Zheng Si’s hand and rushes over to him. Zheng Si wants to follow but is stopped by his brother Chu.

   Bo Yi Qin is startled by her sudden appearance, he had his head lowered while texting Sun Zhi. He has a mischievous gleam in his pitch black eyes as he pushes a button on his high tech phone. Bo Yi Qin tilts the phone in his hand so Sun Zhi can see and hear their conversation.

   Qiqi looks up at him with her eyes wide, “Sir, do you have your heart set on the bracelet? I desperately want it but I only have seventeen million to spend. Is there any way we could make a deal? I am very good at trading. If there is anything that you might want…I have confidence I can obtain it for you.”

  Bo Yi Qin looks at the little girl who barely comes to his chest, “Little Fairy, what could you have that my friend might want?”

  Qiqi sees hope in his words, “You…you didn’t get the bracelet for your girlfriend?”

 Bo Yi Qin lips curl up into a devilish grin adding to his handsomeness. Qiqi can sense his wild and unruly nature as he steps closer to tease Qiqi knowing Sun Zhi is watching.  “I don’t have a girlfriend… if you want to fill the position, I could put in a good word to my friend for you.”

 Qiqi blushes as she backs away from him.  “You are so incredibly handsome I’m sure plenty of girls chase you..Don’t be a hooligan!”

  Sun Zhi is smiling looking at the scene, Shen Qiqi is an interesting girl. Not too many girls can resist Bo Yi Qin’s charm. He only wanted to obstruct Sun Zerong from getting the bracelet, he looked like he had ill intentions. Now he is intrigued, Zheng Si dotes on the girl…her family are billionaires why did she stop bidding.

    Bo Yi Qin has a devilish smile thinking Sun Zhi must be interested in this little fairy. Why else would he get the bracelet she obviously really wants.  This girl is a delicate looking beauty with flawless features, in the pink Cheongsam she looks like a porcelain doll. But she is with Zheng Si.. Maybe Sun Zhi wants to lure the little fairy away.

  Deep in thought Bo Yi Qin doesn’t hear Qiqi. She yanks on his sleeve and raises her voice “Mister..Mister..I am talking to you!”

   “What?”

  “I said whatever your friend wants I can find and trade for the bracelet. If it is worth less than the money you paid I will make up the difference. If it is comparable in value we will call it even if it is over ten million above the price you paid, then you can compensate me for the difference minus five million. In other words it is a win-win situation for your friend.”

   Bo Yi Qin burst out laughing, “Little Miss Fairy, you came to me..now you are negotiating?”

  Qiqi puffs out her cheeks, “You could look at it that way or…” Qiqi’s dazzling brown eyes contain an unfathomable gleam, “ As an opportunity for your friend to acquire something he is otherwise unable to acquire. If your friend is a collector I’m sure there is room to negotiate.”

  Sun Zhi is staring intently at the screen, a flash of amusement crosses his cold face.The little girl is full of self confidence and determination. I wonder what she would look like if she knew I was going to give it to Zheng Si for her…haha

  He texts. Bo Yi Qin. [Get Shen Qiqi’s contact details and tell her you will discuss with your friend.]

   Bo Yi Qin glances at the top of the phone screen then tells Qiqi, “I will discuss with my friend. Give me your contact details.”

  Qiqi hesitates, what if he just throws away my information. “I should speak to your friend personally. I’m not sure you will convey my sincerity properly with your cavalier attitude. You give me his contact number.”

 Bo Yi Qin takes a cigarette out of a pack. He points it at Qiqi. “Little Fairy, if my friend wanted his identity known why would I be here representing him.”

  “…” That makes sense. “Give me your phone number then.”  

“Your boyfriend is walking over. Would that be a good idea?”

 Qiqi sees Zheng Si approaching from across the room. He went to get their coats after speaking with Zheng Chu. “We have an open relationship. He won’t care, he knows I like handsome men the most. Give me your number and I will give you mine.”

  ????? 

  “Hurry. He probably is ready to leave.”

 Bo Yi Qin winks at the screen,  “Little fairy, I like threesomes. Here is my number.”

  Qiqi’s face turns bright red as she hands him her card. “Handsome guy, I don’t mix business with pleasure. Let me know if we can work something out. I really want the Red Lotus Bracelet and as I said I am very good at satisfying my client’s requests.

 “..”

  She walks over to Zheng Si  and he raises his eyebrow scrutinizing Bo Yi Qin. “Isn’t he the man who won the Red Lotus Bracelet?”

  “Yes. I tried to make an offer but it was useless.. guess he bought it for someone else so he can’t make any decisions.” She doesn’t want to say anything else, Zheng Si doesn’t know about her and Fang Chao’s side business.

Jade Auction Part 3

    Qiqi and Zheng Si are talking while walking to the room where the auction will be held. Across the Ballroom an attractive woman in her early forties notices Qiqi. She stops talking to her husband mid sentence and grins.”Honey, I will be right back.” He watches as his wife hurries across the Ballroom.  She is slightly breathless from rushing to catch up with Qiqi.“Miss..Miss.”

   Qiqi turns around with a puzzled expression,“Are you talking to me?”

  “Yes.” The attractive slightly plump woman holds her chest to catch her breath. “Are you Shen Dandan’s daughter?”

  Qiqi looks  to see if  Sun Zerong is near, she doesn’t want Sun Zerong to know. “Yes.”

  The woman’s eyes light up, “I knew it! You are very beautiful, exactly like Dandan when she was young. My name is Lu Bingbing, I went to school with your mother.”

  Qiqi smiles, “Oh. Nice to meet you.”

  Lu Bingbing continues, “How is your mother? 

  “Very good. She will be coming back from abroad with my father next week.”

 “I will give you my card please have her call me.” She reaches into her purse, “Shen Qiqi,you attend A University don’t you?”

  “I do.” Lu Bingbing glances apprehensively at at Zheng Si’s cold expression and hesitates then says, “My son also is enrolled there. You might know him, Lu Mingyu. He is President of the Student Council. I know because he has mentioned you a few times. I think he likes you.

  “I am familiar. We are in the same Statistics class.”

 “Mr. Zheng, would you and Shen Qiqi like to join me and my husband in our private room on the second floor to view the auction?” 

  He looks at Qiqi and he can sense she feels uncomfortable, “Thank you Madam Lu  but Shen Qiqi wants to see the items at a close distance. She has never attended a Jade Auction.”

  “Very well, Shen Qiqi, do you mind if I take a photo with you? I feel like I am taken back to High School when I look at you.” She has a sad expression, “Your mother and I were inseparable, it is a shame as we got older we are too busy to maintain the same closeness we shared.”

  “Of course.”

  Lu Bingbing holds her i phone and looks at it with a puzzled expression then furrows her thin eyebrows, “Hmm..”

 Qiqi notices she is having trouble figuring out how to work the camera. “Mrs. Lu, Zheng Si can take the picture if you want.”

  Lu Bingbing sounds relieved. “That would be good. My son gave this new phone to me and I haven’t used the camera function.” She hands the phone to Zheng Si and Qiqi stands next to Lu Bingbing. He takes a couple then Qiqi takes the phone and shows Lu Bingbing how to take a selfie and snaps a picture with their heads together.”

  Lu Bingbing’s lips curl up in an arc looking at the pictures, “ She wipes a tear in her eye reminiscing about her school days. “Thank you.” 

  “Mrs. Lu could you send them to me and I will forward the photos to my mother, she will enjoy seeing them.”

  “I will ask Mingyu to do it for me when I get home.”

  Lu Bingbing’s husband walks up and takes her hand then greets Zheng Si and Qiqi.  He has a strange expression as he looks at Qiqi “Zheng Si, Miss Shen.” He gazes at his wife affectionately, “Honey, we should get to the auction.”

  After they walk away Qiqi says to Zheng Si, “Is her husband the CEO of LLB?”

“ Yes. Why?”

 “No reason, we should hurry too.”

  When they get to the auction Qiqi follows Zheng Si to the first row. “Wow! You got front row seats?”

  “The organizer is a friend of mine.”

  She hugs Zheng Si’s arm “This is awesome!”

  They look at the catalogue while they wait for the auction to begin.

  Qiqi points to a beautiful small Black Jade Buddha. “Zheng Si, is this the piece you want?” 

  “Yes.”

   “It is so beautiful.”

   “That piece once belonged to my mother, I have been searching for it for a long time.”

  Qiqi is listening to Zheng Si and doesn’t pay attention to the man who sits down on the seat next to her. She smells a light woodsy scent and inhales deeply, “Aahh.. smells so good.” Both Zheng Si and Sun Zhi stare at Qiqi as she mutters to herself. She flips through the catalog to find the bracelet she wants. She looks at Zheng Si with a worried expression. “ZHENG SI! WHERE IS THE BRACELET?!?”

   He pats her head, “The Red Lotus Bracelet was a late addition with three other jade items from the Han Dynasty that is why it isn’t in the catalog. Don’t worry.”

   Qiqi dramatically fans herself with her paddle. “Oh My! Wheww… That gave me a stir!”

  Sun Zhi raises an eyebrow and has a faint smile. The girl should be an actress..very animated. “Miss Shen, you are interested in the Red Lotus Bracelet?”

  Qiqi nervously keeps looking at the catalog and doesn’t turn her head. That voice..Sun Zhi? He is the man who smells so good?!?

  She grips the catalog and stabilizes her breathing. She tilts her head towards him and smiles, “CEO Sun, hello. Yes. I want the bracelet. Umm..What are you here to bid on?”

  “Nothing in particular.”

  Qiqi’s heart is racing and she can’t think of anything to say. “Oh.”

  Zheng Si isn’t happy Sun Zhi is sitting next to Qiqi. He says Qiqi, “Change seats for a moment, I want to speak to Sun Zhi.”

   “Okay.”Brother Si! Why! I was so close to him! 

   She switches seats and looks at the catalog with her ears perked up to listen to their conversation.

   Qiqi can’t hear what they are saying but after a few moments Sun Zhi gets up and leaves.

   She pouts, “Brother Si! Why did CEO Sun leave?”

  “He is going to watch the auction from a private room upstairs. He wanted to know if we would like to join him.”  Zheng Si looks at the second floor and his aura darkens.Sun Zhi told him his brother Chu is in a private room upstairs with. Wei Ning which means he is here for the Black Jade Statue. Bastard! I will kill you sooner or later!

  She pulls his arm, “Let’s go.”

 “ Qiqi I thought you wanted to see the auction up close so I declined his offer.”

  She glances upstairs and sighs, “Well, I do. When will the auction start?” 

  He looks at his watch, “Soon.”

  Upstairs a man has been watching Qiqi with a complicated expression on his handsome face. When his cousin comes into the room he hands him a glass of wine. The little girl was staring at the catalogue with an intense look.“What piece is Zheng Si interested in?”

  “He didn’t say.” 

  “What about Shen Qiqi?”

  “She wants the Red Lotus Bracelet.”

  Sun Zerong looks at the catalogue, “I don’t see that.”

  “It was a late addition.”

  “Zerong, are you interested in that little girl?”

  “The girl’s Webtoon has become very popular, there are negotiations to make it into a movie. I thought I might reward her effort for the company.” I want to snatch the bracelet then hold it over the stubborn little girls’ head.  

  Sun Zhi raises an eyebrow, Zerong, you aren’t that generous what are you you up to?

Downstairs Qiqi’s dark brown eyes sparkle as she clutches tightly onto the paddle in her hand as the auction begins.

She fidgets in her seat and holds Zheng Si’s hand. “Brother Si, I am so excited!”

Jade Auction Part 2

   Zheng Si and Qiqi find a table in the back and sit down. Qiqi is unaware Sun Zerong has been watching them as he downs his third glass of Scotch.When she turned around he almost spit out his drink because of the resemblance to Shen Qiqi. He refuses to believe the beautiful and noble girl with Zheng Si is that troublesome little Webtoon artist. Sun Zhi went outside to take a call and he is sitting at the bar itching to walk over and see if this little fairy is Shen Qiqi. If Zheng Si is her backer that would explain her ability to hire the  Long and Fan.Law Firm. But what would a powerful man like Zheng Si see in such an irksome little girl. Granted if that girl is Shen Qiqi she is incredibly beautiful but her personality is extremely irksome. 

   He waves his empty glass at the bartender, “One more.”  Sun Zhi walks up to the bar, “I will have a beer.” He languidly leans against the bar and looks at his cousin, “What is wrong with you?”

   Sun Zerong points over at Zheng Si and Qiqi. “See the girl with Zheng Si?”

  Sun Zhi takes a gulp of his beer then glances that direction, “Yeah. Why?”

  “I think she is a Webtoon artist at my company.”

 “You think? Well, I guess you wouldn’t remember a small employee.”

  Sun Zerong furrows his eyebrows and tightens his hand around the glass. “Oh..I would never forget this one! But when I saw her at the company she.. well… looked different.”

  “What do you mean? Shit. If you are curious just walk over and see, you are the CEO.” He drinks his beer, “Why are you hesitating?”

  “You are right. Walk over with me, you and Zheng Si are friends.”

  “What the hell!” Sun Zhi laughs, “ What are you shy..haha? Do you like that girl? She is incredibly beautiful but from here…well… It looks like she and Si are a couple. I have never seen him bring a woman to any event.”

  Sun Zerong quickly replies, “Hell no! I have my reasons.”

    Sun Zhi gulps down his beer,“Fine. Let’s go.”  It isn’t often I get to see Zerong flustered.

   They walk over to the table as Zheng Si is feeding Qiqi a prawn. She chokes when she sees her crush standing in front of the table with her nemesis.  “Kaka..ka..” Qiqi’s eyes are watering as she quickly takes a sip of water. Zheng Si pats her on the back, “Qiqi, are you okay?”

   She waves her hands in front of her face, “Ah..kaka..ahh..I’m fine. Spicy!”

   Sun Zhi has a puzzled expression as he stares intently at Qiqi. Isn’t she the High School girl who lost her laptop…broke into my office? Zheng Si is dating a High School girl? She works at Sun Publishing? This is getting more interesting.

  Zheng Si ignores the two men and dabs Qiqi’s mouth with a napkin, “Drink some more water.”

  Qiqi suddenly stands up, “I’m going to the ladies room. I will be right back.”

   “Do you know where it is? I will take you.”

  “I do. Stay. I won’t be long.” She gives Sun Zerong a look as she walks by him and in an almost inaudible voice whispers, “Outside.”

  After she leaves, Zheng Si tells Sun Zerong, “Go. Don’t make the little girl wait in the cold.” 

  Sun Zerong leaves and Sun Zhi sits down. “What was that about?”

  Zheng Si sips his wine, “Don’t know.” 

 “Is she in High School?”

 “No.”

 “…”

 “Shen Qiqi is a student at A University.”

  Sun Zhi watches Qiqi hurry away,“Two times I saw the little girl  she was wearing a High School uniform.”

  “Well, she goes to the High School to draw. Qiqi’s Aunt is the Principal she said she could but needed to blend in so as to not disturb the students.”

  Outside Qiqi is rubbing her arms and bouncing up and down trying to stay warm, “Where is the petty man?  It is freezing out here.”

  Sun Zerong comes out the door and a blast of wintry air  hits him in the face. He sees Qiqi shivering, Idiot! He takes long strides over to where she is standing., “It is too cold  out here, come this way.”

   Qiqi follows him through a door to an empty dining room. She wants to ask him about his relationship with Sun Zhi but hesitates. If I ask he will know I am interested and possibly sabotage me with his vengeful personality.

  Sun Zerong has been drinking heavily. He leans down, “ Did Zheng Si get you the lawyer to negotiate your contract?”

    Qiqi waves her hand, “Step back. How much did you drink? Wheww…Do you think I am incapable of handling my own affairs?”

  “Well little girl. Yes.” He pulls out his wallet, “You dropped this cheap card in my office.” Sun Zerong holds the card in front of her with a wry smile and taunts Qiqi.  “ Little girl you aren’t very capable.” He stares at her chest and teases, “When most women latch onto a golden thigh like Zheng Si they get a shiny Black Card with unlimited funds. Little idiot..how did you end up only getting a measly five million on this tacky blue card?”

   Qiqi puffs out her cheeks,“The five million on the card is yours, remember you fired me.”

  Sun Zerong touches his chin with his slender finger. “I don’t remember firing you. Do you have any proof of that? Did you fill out the exit paperwork?”

  “Ah..no. But you fired me.”

  He lies with a straight face. “I have no recollection of firing you. You came to my office to discuss the Expo. Isn’t that what you told my assistant? While you were there you dropped this piece of shit card.”

  Qiqi can’t fathom how he could be so shameless. “You are crazy! I quit then. I can quit and still keep my Webtoon!”

   Sun Zerong has a faint smile as he savors the annoyed expression on Qiqi’s face. Good…get angry! it is nothing compared to how furious I am with you for your insolent behavior! I will definitely teach you a lesson when you are under my thumb! “That is true you can quit… but then where will your good friend Kang Xue work? I will need to let her go since you are the only artist she handles. I can’t have an idle employee. When other companies find out she couldn’t handle one artist do you think she can find a job.”

  YOU! YOU ARE THREATENING ME!”

  “No, not at all.If you want to quit… quit.”

  He dangles the card in front of Qiqi and she snatches it from him. “You shameless Capitalist! Don’t think this is over. If you make any trouble for me or Kang Xue I will quit! Definitely quit! and start my own company!” I am just too lazy right now and I am afraid you and Sun Zhi are related. 

  Sun Zerong has a sly smile on his handsome face, “If you cooperate well, we can work amicably together. I won’t hold your  past insubordination against you.” I didn’t realize what a little moneymaker you are Shen Qiqi…how can I let you leave and take your Webtoon with you. Not to mention I have to pay you back ten fold for disrespecting me.

   “Pfft!” I need to get away from this man!, I seriously want to beat him to death! Qiqi turns around to face him as she walks towards the door, “Don’t tell Kang Xue.” I don’t want her to know I am staying so she can keep her job. 

  “I have no reason to tell Kang Xue about our little conversation.”

  Qiqi hurries back into the Ballroom, Zheng Si ordered Qiqi a cup of hot tea. “Qiqi drink this. You are shivering.” He touches her arms transferring his internal heat to her body.

  She shakes off her annoyance appreciating his thoughtful gesture. “Thank you Brother Si.” 

  Qiqi sips the hot tea, “Ahh…The temperature is just right.” She  nonchalantly asks, “Where did Sun Zhi go?”

  “He left to speak to someone before the auction.” Zheng Si knows what every expression on Qiqi’s face means, she is disappointed he isn’t still sitting here, “Qiqi, Sun Zhi…well he isn’t someone you should set your heart on.”

  Qiqi blinks her eyes a few times and gazes at him with a look of surprise, “Huh?”

  Zheng Si chuckles and pats her head, “Little girl your emotions are written all over your face. I am telling you because I don’t want you to get hurt. You are too sweet and naive for a cold and complicated man like Sun Zhi.

  “I don’t. I just wanted to say thank you again.”

  He doesn’t want to expose her feelings, “That is good. He has a woman he likes.”

 Qiqi looks up from the cup of tea and feels her heart sink, “Sun Zhi..he..he has a girlfriend?”

“Yes,” Actually he has never had a girlfriend. But..you need a simple man…maybe a boy you go to school with at University. You deserve to be pampered and a cold man like Sun Zhi ..no.. impossible.

  She has a look of determination in her sparkling brown eyes. “Brother Si,let’s walk over to the auction.” I really need the Red Lotus Lovers Bracelet! It will bring me the luck I need to capture Sun Zhi’s heart. He has to be mine!

The Jade Auction

  Qiqi opens the door and Zheng Si feels his heart momentarily stop. “Qiqi..you look..you look incredibly beautiful.”

   She smiles and spins around, “Any girl would look beautiful wearing this dress and necklace.”

   Qiqi holds out an exquisite carved wooden box. “Thank you so much.”

   Zheng Si’s dark eyes light up as he touches the box, “What is this?”

  “Well, just a small thank you. Honestly, I have never worn such a delicate dress. The embroidery is breathtaking and the necklace is incredibly beautiful.”

   He reaches out and hugs Qiqi, “How did I get such a sweet little sister like you!”

  “Haha..it was our fate to meet. I have always wanted an elder brother to spoil me hahaha.”

  Zheng Si opens the box and he almost drops it onto the floor. He stares with his eyes full of shock at the twisted pristine white root with thorns that resemble icicles. “Tibetan Snow Lotus Root! This is not a small gift!”

   “The root was given to me. I thought you could use it to break through to the next level of your cultivation.”

   “How did you know…”

   “When I felt your pulse the last time I saw you.”

   “You can read a person’s pulse?”

  “My Uncle taught me some TCM. He owns a small clinic outside of Bashu City.” Small but he is a genius doctor so he only treats the people he wants and he only takes ten patients a month. Uncle’s temper is so bad that I am one of his only assistants. He has been forcing me to learn Chinese medicine since I was eight.He likes calling me ‘Little Disciple’.

  “Is he the person who gave this rare Tibetan Snow Lotus Root to you?”

  “No. I can’t say who gave it to me. He is a very private man.”

  Zheng Si has a complex expression on his face. “I can’t accept this. You could sell it for millions.”

  “Brother Si. This is just the extra root. He gave me two.” Qiqi’s lips curl up in a mischievous smile then she uses his own words against him. “If you don’t want then I will toss it away.”

   He hugs her again tighter and kisses the top of her head. He sounds choked up as he rests his head on her shoulder and whispers in her ear, “Little Qiqi, thank you.” Zheng Si’s eyes have a layer of mist, no one besides his Grandmother has ever given him a gift. Every holiday his brother Chu was showered with presents while he was ignored. Once he entered the business world people would give him things but always wanted something in return.

  When he let’s go Qiqi can tell he is overwhelmed by emotion, he seldom shows his feelings. She knows his family has never treated him well. She holds his hand and looks up at him, “Brother Si, you are my dearest brother, of course I want to share good things with you. I hope you can move through the bottleneck and become stronger. You have worked so hard to come back after your accident, I truly admire you.”

   He calms himself and then helps her put on a white cashmere coat, as he buttons he looks down at Qiqi with a doting expression. “Qiqi, I also want to thank you for taking care of grandmother. She said you were very thoughtful when she was going to the hospital.”

   “I happened to see your grandmother when I returned from lunch with my cousin. I only helped her to the car, not much. How is she?”

   “She is staying overnight for tests. She told me she has been having some pain in her legs.”

   “I noticed she seemed weaker than the last time I saw her. It isn’t anything serious is it?”

  “We will have answers after the testing is completed. Qiqi can I ask where you got the pills you gave to my grandmother?” He was surprised when Fan Wenjie called him but now holding the box with the Tibetan White Lotus Root he understands she has some outstanding connections. The Shen family is one of the five famous families in Bashu City.

  “I’m sorry Brother Si, haha.. once again I can’t say… but I will guarantee the pills effectiveness. I got them from a reputable source. My Grandpa’s condition improved almost immediately, then after a week he was symptom free.” She traded priceless Calligraphy for the pills when her grandfather got ill. She had Fang Chao find the  Ghost Doctor on the Dark Web and asked what he wanted. When he said he wanted a particular piece of ancient Calligraphy she and Fang Chao searched  a month before they found a collector in Hong Kong who had it in his collection. The man was obstinate and after a week of frustrating negotiations she traded a rare golden Buddha her Uncle Yun had given her for her sixteenth birthday to him.

  Zheng Si opens the door and they walk to the elevator. Fan Wenjie called him and told him about the strange looking pills Qiqi gave to his grandmother. He knew she wouldn’t do anything to harm his grandmother but he was cautious. He thought she might have been duped by a quack doctor. When they were analyzed, the composition was found to be extremely complex, containing several rare medicinal herbs and the root of five hundred year old ginseng. After he was informed the health benefits could be extraordinary he told Fan Wenjie to give his grandmother a pill.  He received a call from the doctor when he arrived at the apartment building saying his grandmother’s circulatory system was vastly improved.

  “I want to reward him.”

  “No need. The man was paid extremely well. Really he is not easy to find anyway.” Qiqi laughs picturing the old Chinese man, he had to be eighty years old but was dressed like a Hip Hop star. He was wearing a Limited Edition pair of AJ’s and a Yankees baseball cap. “He is like one of those ancient Masters who roam the rivers and lakes.”

  “…”

  Once they get to the Harborview Hotel where the auction is being held, Qiqi reminds Zheng Si. “Brother Si, I brought my own money for the jade bracelet. Please don’t bid for me if I don’t have enough money. It will either be my fate to own it or not.” Luckily Mom unexpectedly gave me five million on my card. Maybe it is my fate to own the jade bracelet.

  Zheng Si shakes his head, “I could always loan you the money. I know you really want the white mutton jade bracelet. You could pay me back whenever.”

  “Brother Si, you are so good to me! But, the bracelet must come to me naturally for its luck to show..” I’m not going to tell him the legend about the Red Lotus bracelet he will laugh at me. Damn that Capitalist for taking my money! I would definitely be able to to get it with the additional five!

  “You are too superstitious Qiqi, we make our own luck.”

  “Haha… I think there are metaphysical forces at work sometimes.”

  He flicks her forehead as they walk into the hotel, “Silly girl! You really believe in spirits and the supernatural.”

    She touches her forehead,“Ahh..that hurt..hahaha…yes I do. Too many things can’t be explained.”

   They enter the Ballroom where the cocktail party before the auction is being held. Zheng Si takes off her white cashmere coat then hands it to a woman attendant along with his black Armani coat.

   Qiqi gazes admiringly at the silver gray Tang suit he is wearing. Her sparkling brown eyes bend into a crescent shape, “Brother Si! You look so handsome! You should wear light colors more often!”

   Two women walk past and gasp looking at Qiqi’s radiant smile gazing at Zheng Si. The one woman nudges her friend with her elbow, “Zheng Si brought a young woman? Who is she?”

   “I haven’t seen her before but she is wearing a K.I. Cheongsam and her necklace is worth millions.”

   Qiqi catches the attention of several men. Qiqi’s facial features are beautiful and delicate and her big clear eyes look pure and innocent. She looks like a fairy who came to the Immortal world wearing the form-fitting pink Cheongsam. The color accentuates her flawless snow white skin and her long black hair is curled over her slender shoulder. When Zheng Si notices the wolf-like stares aimed at Qiqi he wishes he had chosen a less alluring dress for her to wear tonight.

  Zheng Si grips her hand possessively, showing she is with him to deter any unwanted advances. He only thinks of Qiqi as his little sister but he doesn’t want her sullied by any of the unscrupulous men attending tonight. “Are you hungry?”

  “Umm..I only had noodles at lunch.”

  They walk over towards the buffet table and Zheng Si is stopped by a balding middle aged man. “Young Master Zheng, when did you return?”

  Zheng Si looks at the man with sharp cold eyes and has a terrifying smile, “You are blocking my way, kindly step aside.” He recognizes him as an ally of his brother Chu, the man owns a mid sized Real Estate company

  The man feels his legs go weak from Zheng Si’s powerful aura and he glances over at a handsome man who looks three points similar to Zheng Si. “I only wanted to say how beautiful your companion is tonight. May I know your name Miss.”

  “You are not qualified to know.” He tightens his grip on Qiqi’s hand as they walk away. Qiqi knows the room is full of snakes who want to sink their fangs into Zheng Si. She affectionately smiles at him exposing her cute dimples, “Look, they have your favorite, Seafood Pasta” She takes a plate and puts all his favorite dishes on it.  He has a pampering tone, “Little Qiqi do you think I am a pig.” She giggles,, “I thought we could share.”

   Zheng Si laughs heartily as she puts her hand on her stomach and says, “If I get my own plate I will eat too much…burst out of this dress and embarrass you!”

  Their laughter catches the eye of a handsome man by the bar. Qiqi’s slender back is facing him but he can clearly see Zheng Si looking at the woman with a gentle and tender expression. The man gulps down his glass of Scotch while watching them.He turns to the disinterested man next to him. “Who is the girl that is making that piece of wood laugh.” He sneers, “She must be special, Young Master Zheng actually looks human.”

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!

Qiqi Is Angry

   Qiqi feels conflicted as she leaves the Sun Building. She fixes her scarf, on one hand I don’t want to work for Sun Zerong but on the other hand I don’t want to let down my faithful fans. The latest arc is supposed to come out on Friday how can I  … I am so angry! Why is the CEO… HIM!  

   Fang Chao is smoking a cigarette and quickly throws it onto the ground when he sees Qiqi walking up.

“Fang Chao! I thought you quit smoking!”

  “I’m trying but I was nervous waiting for you. What did Sun Zerong want?”

  “I will tell you at lunch. Let’s go.”

   When they are in the car Qiqi takes out some mint candy. “When you want a cigarette suck on one of these instead. You know you will get wrinkles if you smoke and your skin will dry out. By the time you are thrity you will look like Grandpa Ling!”

  Fang Chao looks at his face in the rear view mirror, “Do you have any of those face masks Auntie sent from France? My mother’s face looked poreless after she used one.”

  “My mom sent some to Auntie?” Does she even consider me her daughter! How come I didn’t get any…even Xue’s mom got a package!

  Fang Chao sees Qiqi’s aggrieved expression, “Hahaha.. Your mom didn’t send you any? Hahaha!”

  The plum blossom branch is in her hand she left in his car. She lightly hits his arm with it, “Shut up! Don’t make my bad mood worse!” She looks at the blossoms that fell off, “See what you made me do! There are only a few blossoms left on the branch!”

   Fang Chao brushes the white blossoms off his sleeve “Why is my little baby cousin in a bad mood? Did that bastard do something to you?!?”

   Qiqi’s face turns black thinking about the confrontation with Sun Zerong,  Petty man! So what if he fired me…as long as I have my Webtoon I can publish it on another platform. 

  On the 35th floor Sun Zerong waits for Shi Tong to bring Qiqi’s contract to his office. He is fuming, he pours a glass of whiskey and gulps it down. Unable to get the image of Qiqi out of his mind as she confidently strode out of his office he throws the crystal glass and it smashes onto the wall. “How dare the impudent little girl!”

  Shi Tong is in the legal department talking to Lawyer Meng. He flips through Shen Qiqi’s contract. Fuck! “How did you let this happen?”

  “I didn’t negotiate the contract. We have a standard contract for all the artists, this is the only exception. Lawyer Gu was in charge at the time. Since the new division was recruiting artists we held a contest. Shen Qiqi won with her Webtoon, ‘Bai Needs Romance.’ Lawyer Gu saw the potential and when he showed Shen Qiqi the contract she turned it down. She said she wanted to keep the rights to her Webtoon if for any reason she left the company. Lawyer Gu said that was impossible. 

   Apparently Shen Qiqi’s lawyer suggested monetary compensation in exchange for her retaining the rights. Five million was more than Lawyer Gu thought the Webtoon would be worth so he agreed.” Lawyer Meng runs his fingers through his thinning brown hair. “Seriously, who knew it would take off,  between the serialization,the movie rights and merchandising..Sun Publishing will lose ten times that amount at the very least. Not to mention the backlash from the fans for Sun Publishing firing a popular Webtoon artist. The hype is huge for the latest arc.”

  Shi Tong purses his lips, “Are there any loopholes,for example because Shen Qiqi acted in an inappropriate manner which resulted in her being fired?”

  “The contract was negotiated for Shen Qiq by Long Siyu, it is completely in her favor and airtight.”

   “Long Siyu of Long and Fan Law Firm?”

   “The one and only.”

  “No fucking way! How could a little Webtoon artist afford their astronomical fees?”

  “Don’t know.”

  Shi Tong does not want to tell Sun Zerong about the ironclad contract so he tells Lawyer Meng he must come and explain the situation.

 “You need will take this to the CEO.”

  “It wasn’t me!  Come on Shi Tong! Don’t drag me into this mess! I’m under enough  stress.”  He points to his reciding hairline, “I am already losing my goddamn hair!” He tries to push the contract back to Shi Tong, “My wife is about to have a baby and my mother in law has been camping at our house! That idiot Gu will be back tomorrow, have him explain it! I don’t want the CEO to think I had anything to do with this disaster. We just received notification Sun Textiles is beginning production on a line of clothes for Happy Life Clothing with some stupid cat from the Webtoon. That deal alone is worth millions. If she leaves we not only lose the movie rights but the profits from related merchandise.”

  “Dammit! How could Lawyer Gu be so stupid!”

 “I don’t think anyone thought Webtoons would generate that much profit. We have always relied on print publishing and then ebooks. The popularity of Webtoons has increased in the last couple years. Now major studios make movies and series based on them. Night Sky Entertainment and Lin Entertainment have been actively trying to get the rights to that little chick’s Webtoon.  I am friend’s with Lee Ana in the Finance Department, she told me that deal could boost Sun Publishing’s profit up by 10% this quarter.  Off the record, why the hell did the CEO fire such a little moneymaker?”

  Shi Tong recalls the CEO following her out the door, Sun Zerong’s cold blooded eyes were red, combined with his dark aura made him appear like an Asura from Hell. He shivers, the CEO actually had a hold of the little girl’s arm! He never touches anyone!, I don’t think I have ever seen the CEO that angry. He rubs between his eyebrows then answers, “Don’t know.”

She might be a moneymaker but she is a bigger troublemaker!  “Fuck! Give me the damn contract. You better not be lying about your wife.”

  “I swear, she is eight months pregnant and the old bat has been here for a month!”

    Shi Tong grumbles as he walks to the elevator, if it weren’t for Qiu Yan making the CEO watch that little brat! Sun Xerong would never have paid attention to the little artist! 

Sun Zerong is staring at the blue card in his hand, she has five million dollars on this cheap card. I don’t believe it. She was bluffing so I would take back my words. I, Sun Zerong never change my mind about a decision I made! Never!

  Qiqi and Fang Chao arrive at the restaurant. Fang Chao parks the car and then opens the door for Qiqi, “You have been quiet the entire ride.”

  “I have been thinking.”

  He rubs her head as she gets out of the Bugatti Veyron, “Keep frowning like that and you will be the one with wrinkles. Should I ask Auntie to send you a few masks?” He starts laughing as Qiqi kicks him in the shin.

    Meanwhile at Sun Publishing Shi Tong is standing in front of Sun Zerong his legs feel weak from the suffocating atmosphere in the office. After he slams his hand on the desk he says, “How did a little chit like Shen Qiqi get Long Siyu to negotiate this airtight contract?”

  “I don’t know. According to Miss Shen’s resume she is a University student. She is from a middle class background and her parents work out of the country. No background whatsoever.”

  Sun Zerong taps his fingers on his desk. He looks up at Shi Tong and leans back in his chair then lets out a maniacal laugh scaring Shi Tong. “Very good. Very good Miss Shen!” You are the first person to force me to rethink my decision!  He has a strange expression on his handsome face as he tells Shi Tong, “Did she go sign the exit paperwork?”

  “I don’t think so.CEO, Miss Shen might not be aware of the procedure.”

  “Did she turn in her badge as she left?”

   “No.”

  “Well then. We will forget that I fired the woman. She came to my office and dropped her card. If she decides to quit we will inform her that Miss Kang will no longer be needed as an editor.” He twirls the jade ring on his finger. “Since Miss Shen is the only person in her charge.” He thinks about Qiqi drunkenly hugging Kang Xue last night at Ming’s, the pure affection in her eyes at the time. “I saw they have a deep friendship so Miss Shen won’t want to jeopardize her friend’s position at Sun Publishing.” He notices the shocked expression on Shi Tong’s face. “Do you have an opinion?”

 “No..no.”

  “Very good. I am leaving.” 

 “But, CEO I…”

 “It can be resolved tomorrow. The Webtoon is scheduled for release on Friday, correct?”

“Yes.”

“If the stubborn little artist calls say I am out of the office until tomorrow. If she mentions being fired…you weren’t informed of any change in her employment status.”

 Sun Zerong picks up the blue card from the desk and flips it between his slender fingers then with a sly smile continues, “ The card..well…she dropped it on the floor of my office.”

Confrontation

  Fang Chao pulls up to the Sun Building and locks the car door as Qiqi tries to open it. “”Little Qiqi, if CEO Sun bullies you, call me. I am going to wait here for you.” 

  “Cousin Chao, why would he bully me? I turned in my Webtoon and I gained thousands of followers thanks to the photos from dinner last night. I don’t know why he wants an in person meeting but maybe it has something to do with the Expo coming up. I think that is the only possible reason. I never show my face in pictures and I will need to sign autographs and interact with fans.”

  “Nonetheless I am waiting for you. We can get lunch before you go to the High School.”

  “Lunch? Okay, sounds good. I didn’t eat much breakfast. Let’s get spicy noodles.”

  He unlocks the door, “Call me if there is a problem.”

   Qiqi wrinkles her nose thenlaughs as she opens the door, “You worry too much!”

   When Qiqi goes into the lobby she lazily walks to the reception desk. A beautiful woman dressed in a dark blue and white uniform looks up from a computer, “May I help you?”

  “Yes. I have an appointment with CEO Sun. Shen Qiqi.”

   “…”

   Qiqi studies the woman’s surprised expression, she doesn’t believe me hahaha…

  The woman has a polite smile but a sarcastic tone when she says, “I need to call to confirm.”

 . Qiqi begins to sweat in the heavy coat she’s wearing so she takes it off and the scarf.Holding them in her hands Qiqi looks around the spacious lobby while the woman picks up the phone. The woman notices the High School uniform and smirks, the girl probably has seen our handsome CEO and has a crush on him. People with appointments with the CEO usually at met by his assistant and escorted up directly. 

  Shi Tong answers, “Office of the CEO.”

  “Secretary Shi, a girl is at the front desk and says she has an appointment with CEO Sun. Shen Qiqi.”

  “I will send Marie down to bring her up.” She might recognize me and that would spoil the CEO’s surprise.It’s good she got here quickly, the CEO has been pacing around his office like a caged cheetah. 

  He walks over to a middle aged woman in the break room who is standing at the counter pouring a cup of coffee. “Marie, go to the lobby and escort the CEO’s next appointment up to his office. Her name is Shen Qiqi.”

  Marie has a disgruntled look, I just made fresh coffee! Why can’t you go! “Secretary Shi I am on break.” She dumps several sugar cubes into the cup. She takes a sip then adds another sugar.

  Shi Tong points to the door.“Go.” No wonder the woman weighs 90 kilos!

   She reluctantly sets down her coffee and leaves the break room cursing Shi Tong, Damn sissy! I have worked here longer than you! How did you get promoted to being CEO’s assistant!

   Marie walks through the lobby breathing heavily, why did I have to walk all the way down here! Who is this Shen Qiqi? A new author the CEO is meeting personally?

   She doesn’t pay attention to Qiqi as she brushes past her to the reception desk. Marie greets her friend, “ Li Ning.” She scratches her stomach as she glances around the luxurious lobby, “Where is this Shen Qiqi!” She  bends down and rubs her foot that is cramped into a pair of ill fitting high heels, damn these heels are giving me blisters! I shouldn’t have bought them just because they were half price. “You know that stupid assistant of the CEO’s interrupted my break to come fetch the bitch.”

   Li Ning blinks a few times and nods her head towards Qiqi who is not far away. Marie has a stunned expression, “A High School girl? Is she a relative?”

  “No idea.”

  Marie walks over to Qiqi, “Miss Shen, I will take you to the CEO’s office.”

 Qiqi smiles and follows Marie to Sun Zerong’s exclusive elevator. Marie can’t contain her curiosity, “Are you a relative of CEO Sun’s?”

 “No. I am a Webtoon artist.”

  Marie isn’t interested in that division so she doesn’t respond. The elevator arrives at the 35th floor and they exit.  Marie wonders why Shi Tong isn’t at his desk, she isn’t allowed to disturb Sun Zerong, Shi Tong is in charge of his appointments. Where the hell did the little rat go. He wants me to get into trouble? Bastard!

  “Miss Shen have a seat. I will find the CEO’s assistant.”

  “Okay.” She watches the woman go down the hallway then looks at the heavy wooden door to the CEO’s office. Why didn’t she just knock?

   After ten minutes when the woman hasn’t returned Qiqi impatiently stands up. I am not going to waste my morning sitting here, she knocks on the door, “CEO Sun, I’m Shen Qiqi, you wanted me to come.”

  He is standing at the window and doesn’t turn around. “Come in.”

   Qiqi slowly walks into the office and smiles, as expected of the office of the CEO of a Publishing Company, the luxurious furnishings give off a cold but ‘I am an intellectual’ vibe. One wall has a huge bookshelf lined with First Edition. A black leather couch, imposing Rosewood desk and a spectacular floor to ceiling window with a view of the Harbor.

   She sees Sun Zerong is still staring out the window, maybe he didn’t hear me come into the room.  Qiqi raises her voice as she walks towards the desk,“CEO Sun.”

   He turns around and Qiqi squeezes the coat in her hand, CEO Sun..is the petty man who was with the cute little boy yesterday! That is why he wanted to see me! What does he plan on doing? Should I act like I don’t recognize him? I will wait to see what he says.

  Sun Zerong is very pleased when sees the stunned look on Qiqi’s face. He curls his thin lips in an arc, “Miss Shen, nothing to say?”

  She regains her composure and calmly replies, “You wanted to see me.”

  He doesn’t like her cool demeanor, he expected her to be flustered and apologetic. “Don’t you recognize me?”

  “Have we met?”

   Sun Zerong clenches his hand in his pant’s pocket.Obviously you recognized me! You looked shocked when you saw my face! “Twice. Yesterday and last night at Ming’s restaurant.”

  “Oh. Why did you call me to your office? I need to go to the High School.”

  Sun Zerong’s face turns crimson red from anger, “You aren’t a High School student. Why are you wearing a High School uniform?”

  “Because I like it. Why are you wearing a custom made suit by Henri Couture?”

  He takes two long strides and is towering in front of Qiqi. He grits his teeth, “I will give you one chance to apologize.”

   Qiqi laughs as she looks up and meets his intense gaze, “That is why I had to come here? HA! That will never happen. I’m leaving.”

  “I said apologize!”

” Never! Not in this life or the next would I bow down to an arrogant insufferable man like you.

“You are fired! Get out!”

   “Fine. I don’t want to work for a big loser like you!  She holds up her small fingers counting off his flaws. “Too busy on the phone to watch a precious dumpling. Too arrogant to say thank you to the person who saved him. Vengeful when you found out I was your employee.. Petty..Useless Man! Did you actually think I would grovel to stay at Sun Publishing? Never!”

  Sun Zerong has the urge to strangle Qiqi. She can feel his hot breath on her face as he reaches for her neck then retracts his hand. He has rolling flames in the bottom of his dark eyes. “You little… Get out of my office!”

  Qiqi has her hands on her hips and scoffs, “My pleasure. Yeah..and don’t think you get to keep my Webtoon and have another artist take over. ‘Bai Needs Romance’ is mine! If you publish my latest arc I will sue you for copyright infringement.” She is shaking with anger as she heads towards the door.

   Furious at her impudence Sun Zerong takes a step forward. He holds her thin shoulder and glares down at her, his eyes ablaze, “ Little girl, read your contract. The Webtoon remains the property of Sun Publishing. I will have the artist with the least talent…Fuck!… I will have the goddamn janitor take over your Webtoon immediately.”

    She swats his hand away and opens the door to his office, “You …you..Shameless Capitalist! Read the contract. My Uncle Siyu made sure to protect my interests. Oh right. There is a stipulation that if I part ways with Sun Publishing…” She takes her backpack off her shoulder then opens it. When she has her wallet in her hand she looks at the several credit cards she was saving for the auction tonight. She takes out a blue card and shoves it into his hand. There is the five million fee we agreed upon at the time. The password is 1..2..3..4..5.”

    He grabs her arm and Qiqi growls as she pulls on his hand, “Touch me again and I will sue you for sexual harassment!” She glares at him then storms down the hallway.

     Sun Zerong realizes he is out of control when he notices Shi Tong and Marie watching the scene. He furrows his eyebrow, “Shi Tong, call down to legal. I want to see Shen Qiqi’s contract NOW!”








LiLi Misunderstands

   Qiqi takes out the diamond necklace and runs her finger across the butterfly, really so beautiful. I am so lucky to have Brother Si. He would be a perfect husband. Xue! I should set him up with Xue. She is beautiful… smart… funny. Let him forget about his white moonlight from University.

  CEO Sun is sitting in his office. He frowns looking at his watch then picks up the phone and calls his assistant again. “Call Kang Xue, see where Shen Qiqi is.”

  “Yes Boss.”  This is the third time, she doesn’t answer her desk phone. Should I get her cell number from HR? 

  Kang Xue has just arrived at her desk and the phone is ringing. She throws her wet coat onto the chair in front of her desk then answers, “Kang Xue.”

  “Miss Kang this is Shi Tong, the CEO’s assistant. Miss Shen has not arrived. I know the CEO didn’t specify a particular time but he does have other appointments scheduled. Do you know when she will come to his office?”

  “Mr. Shi. Shen Qiqi should be there by eleven.” That gives Qiqi time to call. I am not going to say she isn’t coming at all.

  “I will inform the CEO.”

  Kang Xue sits at her desk and takes a deep breath then takes out her cell to call Qiqi. She keeps her voice low, “When are you going to call?”

   “I need the number.”

   Kang Xue looks at the caller ID on the work phone :The number is xxx xxx xxx. That is his assistant. He will put you through to the CEO. Call me after you speak with him.”

   Qiqi has finished getting dressed to go to the High School. She sees her broken laptop on her desk.Oh right, I need to buy a new laptop. I will just sketch today. There is no rush to start the next arc. After we go to the ski resort I will. Hmm.. I forgot to ask Brother Si. I can ask tonight.

    She sits in the chair looking out the window. Qiqi don’t worry…just call.  After she calms her mind she dials the number. Shi Tong doesn’t recognize the number but answers thinking it is Kang Xue , “Sun Publishing, office of the CEO.”

  “Um..hello this is Webtoon artist Shen Qiqi calling for CEO Sun. My editor said he requested a meeting.”

  “Miss Shen, the CEO wants an in-person meeting.” Your editor is well aware of the fact!

  “I’m unavailable for an in person meeting, whatever the CEO needs to say he can say over the phone.”

 “Miss Shen let me make this clear. The CEO expects you in his office this morning.”

  Qiqi takes a sip of water, “I told you I can’t. I’m busy.”

  Shi Tong breaks out into a sweat, I’m afraid Miss Shen if you don’t get here before noon… Should I say you and Kang Xue are fired… but I am not authorized..what should I do.

  “Hello? Are you still there?”

  “Yes. I advise you to come to the CEO’s office immediately .” Shi Tong abruptly hangs up then looks towards the door to Sun Zerong’s office.

   Qiqi stares at the phone, what the heck!That was rude hanging up on me. I guess I need to go into his office. I don’t care about myself but Kang Xue likes her job at Sun Publishing. She calls Kang Xue. “I am going  to see the CEO. I don’t know what his problem is but the assistant wouldn’t put him on the phone.”

  “Well come by my desk when you finish. Do you know where CEO Sun’s office is located?’’

  “No.”

   “It is in the next building on the top floor.”

  “Okay.”

  Qiqi fills up Fat Cat’s water then leaves, she stands in the luxurious lobby of her apartment building. It is too cold to take the bus. She is about to call a taxi when she sees Fang Chao come into the building. She walks up to him, “What are you doing here?”

  He smiles and pats her head, “Do I need a reason to come see my little cousin.”

  “No, but I am leaving.”

  She didn’t button her coat and he notices what she is wearing “I thought you were done impersonating a High School girl.”

  “I just need to sketch one boy. I almost finished. First, I need to go to the Sun Building because the CEO wants to see me. Give me a ride.”

  “Sun Zerong?”

  “Yeah.”

   “Why?”

   “I really don’t know why he wants to see a little Webtoon artist like me.”

  “Is Kang Xue going with you?”

  “No. It is weird because she is my editor but his assistant said to come alone.”

  ???? Why would Sun Zerong, that arrogant bastard want to see an insignificant Webtoon artist..and come alone?? What the hell!”

  “I will come with you.”

  “No. It’s fine. I told Xue I would go.”

  “But Qiqi.. I don’t like the idea of you meeting him alone.”

  She grabs his arm and drags him along, “Cousin Chao you sound like a clucking Mother Hen. Like the CEO of Sun Publishing would be interested in me. She opens her coat. “A High School student..haha..jail bait!”

  Fang chao rolls his eyes, “You are such an idiot! Your correct age is in your HR file you dummy!”

  Fang Chao and Qiqi make a beautiful picture as they step out the heavy glass door onto the sidewalk, a tall handsome man and a beautiful petite girl. He buttons Qiqi’s coat for her and ties her scarf then they start walking. Qiqi is laughing looking up at Fang Chao and he is affectionately holding her around her shoulders. At one point she wants a snow covered branch that has several frozen white plum blossoms. Fang Chao effortlessly lifts her up to grab the branch and a girl walking along beside them captures the moment with her phone.

   LiLi coincidentally is in the backseat of a black Land Rover across the street waiting for her agent to return to the car. She was bored and looking out the window when saw Fang Chao and Qiqi exit the apartment building. She was going to walk over and say hello, but didn’t when she saw Fang Chao put his arm around Qiqi. She watched as they laughed and he playfully lifted her up.

LiLi takes out Fang Chao’s business card from her wallet and runs her slender finger across it. Shen Qiqi really is a lucky girl. She watches as he opens the door of a Limited Edition sports car for Qiqi, then walks over to the driver’s side. 

  LiLi’s agent gets into the car, “What are you staring at across the street?”

  “Nothing. “

     Once they are inside his Bugatti Veyron, Qiqi buckles her seat belt and turns to Fang Chao. “I almost forgot. Last night did you get LiLi’s number?”

  “I gave her my card and said if she was interested in the role of Assassin Fairy she doesn’t need to audition.” It took all of his courage to take the card out and give it to LiLi. 

  “Well that is a good start. If you work together you can slowly get close.”

  Fang Chao ears turn red. “I think she would be the perfect Assassin Fairy that’s all. Don’t make it more than it is.”

  “Cousin you are bold in everything you do. You started your own company even though Uncle Shaogong was against it. You design awesome games..you are a crazy good hacker…a Diamond Bachelor. Why are you like a scared preschooler when it comes to love?”

    “Shut up.  Tsk..Look who is talking! Little idiot! You finally find a guy you are interested in and you get busted breaking into his company.”

   “FANG CHAO!” Qiqi puffs out her cheeks and pounds on his arm with her tiny fist, “WHOSE FAULT WAS THAT!”

    He starts laughing and swats her small hand, “Haha..Stop.. that tickles…Stop..hahaha..I’m driving.”

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