There was an old saying, “Fancy finding by sheer luck what one has searched for far and wide,” that could perfectly be applied to my current situation.
The young lady pointed to the dress in the shopping assistant’s hand while turning to ask Sang Qi, “How does it look? Is it good?”
Sang Qi raised his head to glance at the garment before he answered, clearly unbothered, “It’s good.”
Hearing his praise, the woman beamed?with pleasure, “I’ll try it on, then.”
At that, she proceeded to walk into the fitting room while the assistant trailed after her to hand her the outfit.
I scoffed. I did not need to mull over the supposed relationship between the two.
They seemed well acquainted with each other as they talked, and judging by how busy Sang Qi normally was, it certainly took a great deal of effort for him to spend his time accompanying a girl to the mall. He would have only done that if they had a close relationship.
Without a doubt, they were certainly lovers, or spouses.
But then, since news outlets had not received any information on Sang Qi being labeled as married man, I assume that they were a mere couple at the moment.
I disregarded all thoughts about his relations. I had little interest in their private life, after all. A stolen look at his cufflinks was all I wished for in order to prove my earlier deductions.
The disappearance of his companion led him to shift his phone in one hand, whereas the other?habitually clenched into a fist in front of his mouth and nose.
I took the chance to go closer and bent over to take a careful look at his cufflinks.
Sure enough, the cufflinks he was wearing now were customized. Although they were not the same to the previous one, they were still intricately designed. A sign that it surely had cost a fortune to make.
As I mused, I felt a burning gaze land on my face.
I snapped back to reality, and saw a pair of sharp, bemused eyes watching me.
It was Sang Qi, as expected. I could not blame him, really. With the close proximity I was in with him now, it would be stranger if he had not taken notice of me.
I straightened up and gave him a cheeky smile, “What a nice surprise, Mr. Sang?”
He regarded me with a blank, indifferent stare, but the changing gleam in his eyes indicated that he must have recognized me.
After a pause, he ignored me in favor of casting his eyes behind my squatted form.
The exclamation of the shop assistant’s nasally voice broke the sophisticated ambience of the store, jolting me in surprise, “Wow, Ms. Yao, you look so beautiful in this dress!”
Her shriek pierced my ears and prompted me to turn back to see what warranted such flagrant flattery.
In the tailored apparel, Ms. Yao approached daintily, a confident smile on her face while she?stood elegantly in front of us.
I blinked, holding back from spouting any unnecessary comments of distaste at the sight of her. To tell the truth, the dress was simple and elegant, and was seemingly made for people who oozed with purity and innocence.
Ms. Yao was curvy and sophisticated, and so the dress was disappointingly unbefitting for her.
A petty thought nagged in my mind, whispering that I would have looked better in it with my physique.
Sadly though, I did not have a rich partner to gift me with such extravagance. I would never be able to wear such a dress in my lifetime.
All the shopping assistants in the space gathered around Ms. Yao and showered her with endless compliments,
leaving me with another chance to converse with Mr. Sang.
I was not discouraged by his refusal to talk, so I happily chatted away in his stead, “Hi, Mr. Sang! Do you still remember me?”
As the vice president of a big company, Sang Qi must have met too many women who were trying to pick up on him. Like our prior appointment, he must have pegged me to be one of them. He did not even take the trouble to listen to me as I spoke.
I had pondered if it was because of the presence of his lover, but he did not look much at Ms. Yao, either. After his initial glimpse at her, he had drawn his eyes back to stare at the screen of his gadget again with fingers swiping in a flurry.
Sighing at his discourtesy, I removed the phone from his hand. He freezed, looking up at me in shock.
I gave him a guiltless smile before putting the item in my pocket.
I knew that no one would dare to offend him, but I had nothing to else to lose.
Besides, I doubt that he would do anything unforgivable to me in public. He was a well-known figure that captured every woman’s heart with his faultless characteristics and success. If he planned to take any action against me here, his reputation would shatter.
He pressed his pretty thin lips together as he assessed me and uttered two words, "Ms. Xia."
I beamed, my gut feelings proving to be correct seeing as he had remembered my name. Naturally, he should have. He was the one who made a complaint against me; it would have been disheartening if the official who made me lose my job had forgotten me in the span of three days.
“Nice seeing you again, Mr. Sang,” I held out my hand to him; a mockery of our first formal meeting.
Instead of shaking it, he looked at me and demanded, "Give me back my phone."
“Your complaint has cost me my job,” I cocked an eyebrow, appraising him with a cold smirk. Nowadays, big men like Sang Qi usually had countless of secrets stored in their cell phones.
With his phone in my hand, I could freely do anything to him.
He scoffed, leaning back on his seat casually, “So what, is this your revenge?”
“In that case, I would have brought a knife with me,” I retorted, sitting down beside him to ease the pain acquired from my long walks around the mall.
Surprised by my bold actions, he discretely leaned aside, reluctant to touch me.
His attitude did not upset me. I had no care for it. I was only here to negotiate. It would be a laughable child’s dream if I had even considered trying to fall in love with him.
“I’m jobless now because of you. If you give me a job, we’ll both be on equal standing,” I said, steadily. Deep inside though, I applauded myself for my quick thinking.
I had difficulty finding suitable excuses to approach him at first, but the moment I saw him, an idea came up. Thankfully, it had sounded reasonable enough.
He breathlessly laughed at my audacity, “Are you threatening me?”
"I think so," I took his phone out of my pocket, pulled open my collar and threw it in my shirt.
It landed square at my bosom. The metal was cold; a stark contrast to the warmth of my bare skin, causing goosebumps to travel along my arms at the contact.
Sang Qi was flabbergasted, at a loss for what to do. It was evident in his reaction that I was the first to display such shamelessness before his revered self.
“Well then, unless you turn me upside down, you’ll never have your phone back,” I smugly remarked. I was already trained to do sleazy tactics when I had to get my way by all means. It was with pride when I say that it had always worked.
Our editor used to say that pride was a luxury that someone like us couldn’t afford to have and that in order to do our job properly, we had to swallow our pride sometimes.
He was right, pride is only a hindrance when it comes to playing smart. I smirked in triumph as we gauged each other when I heard the clacking of heels on the marble tiles, approaching us in quick strides.
Ms. Yao was close.
As she drew near, the strong scent of perfume suffocated me.
My previous bravado crumbled to dust before Sang Qi when I sneezed continuously; an allergic reaction to the aroma Ms. Yao gushed with.
Ms. Yao glared at me with eyes wide open like saucers, “Who are you?!”
“I am,” I paused, sneezing one last time before I continued, “Mr. Sang’s special acquaintance.”
I was telling the truth, but Ms. Yao still blew up in anger.
She pointed at me accusingly and stomped in a tantrum, her face reddening as her fury rose and turned to Sang Qi, asking,
“Qi! You tell me, who she is!”
Her voice was sharp, like nails scraping a chalk board. I winced at her unbearable tone.
The woman was pretty, but she obviously had a low EQ.
Sang Qi’s face fell at her inquiry, his expression turning to stone.
Then, he looked at me and gave a curt reply, "Report to Dayu’s personnel department at eight tomorrow morning."
Pleased with his answer, I nodded in understanding. He was smart, and knew better than to waste more time.
Satisfied, I got up and left.
"Xia Zhi!" He called, stopping me in my tracks.
Indeed, it may as well be worth the complaint when an important person remembered your name.
I turned back and smile at him ominously, “I’ll give the phone back to you tomorrow. Just trust me; I promise I won’t lay my eyes on what I shouldn’t.”
He had no clue in dealing with outrageous acts like the one I had pulled, so he was left frozen once again at the sight of my receding figure.
The shopping mall was vast and consisted of numerous shops, so if he had chosen to follow after me, I would have lost him along the way with every confusing twists and turns I made.
I walked around before I stopped at a corner and pulled out the phone from my collar. The metal had already warmed to my temperature.
I turned it over, and found out by its brand that it was a high-end customized version that was worth more than two million. Its advanced technology even had an option for personal service, so the customers could book flights, hotels and other high-end services they may be seeking for through their phones.
I scowled; seriously, it was good to be rich. Everything was convenient with the right amount of money.
Although, the reason I took Sang Qi’s phone was not because I coveted the device. It was meant to be used as a leverage, so that he would not eat his words. Furthermore, I would be enraged if I had been asked to report to the Dayu Group to fill in an unfavorable lower position.
The phone was my handicap. Only when it was in my possession, would I be qualified to negotiate with him.
Additionally, I had to throw away my pride again and again to live properly in this world as a woman. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and I was never granted the leisure for relaxation.
After the exhausting events, I returned to the villa and threw the phone aside.
The phone rang all afternoon and all night, but as I had sworn, I did not take a single look at it.
Jin had queried once, saying, “Ms. Xia, is someone calling you?”
“They are not calling me,” I replied off-handedly, “And it’s not my phone. Poor people like me don't have the means to buy such an expensive thing.”
At that, I left the gadget downstairs and went to bed.
I slept soundly until midnight came; the sounds of conversation downstairs waking me up.
After all that happened to me recently, I had become a light sleeper, and the soft tones of voices from below was enough to alert me.
I came out of the room and leaned on the railing before looking down the hall. There was a lofty man wearing a coffee-colored windbreaker by the corridor. The light of the crystal lamps defined his body, forming a picturesque painting of the handsome male.
It was Sang Qi, and he was holding his phone.
I ran down the stairs, rolling and crawling on all fours before rushing to him to snatch the phone from his hand.