Monday, 9.45am. MyDance Dance Studio.
Barbie: …lunch later, alright?
Rainie: No problem. You don’t mind to let Vanness join us since he’s alone too?
Barbie: No problem. But I hope just as what I said, I hope he won’t land his eyes on me because I know you wish he would land his’ on Winnie.
Rainie laughed as she talks on the phone with Barbie and she walks into the room where Vanness is going to conduct the class with her.
Vanness is already in the room; had switched on the music and he is dancing solo facing the mirror: hopping up and down, hands all over here and there, legs moving left and right; bending down and kicking up, and movements were swiftly performed one after another. He is even singing with the song as he danced.
He IS really a professional. Rainie stared at him dancing. He then saw Rainie from the mirror’s reflection and he waved at her, as if that ‘wave’ is one of the dance movements. However, he is the professional, of course he can slip in something anytime and anywhere in between the dances without anyone noticed it or sensing the difference.
Rainie waved back at him. He smiled widely and continued his dance according to the beat of the music.
Barbie: Rainie? RAINIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rainie looked at her phone and then immediately placed it back to her ear.
Barbie: I said I’m hanging up. I need to read my staff’s article and proofread for him before I let him send in the article. He has to submit before 12pm and I need to leave office to your place by 11.30am.
Rainie: Oh, okay.
Barbie: You’ve entered the room, right? It’s very noisy there. I can barely hear you.
Rainie: Yes, I’ve entered the room.
Barbie: Then we’ll talk later, I’ll come and find you in MyDance?
Rainie: Sure. 12pm, right?
Barbie: Yeah. I’ll see you soon. Bye.
Rainie: Okay, bye.
Rainie hangs up the call. She smiled at Vanness.
“Good morning,” Vanness said cheerfully as he hopped to the CD player and stopped the music.
“Good morning,” Rainie replied, and she placed her stuffs down on the floor at the corner of the room.
“So…” Vanness said, rubbing his hands together, before he spreads open his hands wide to release his hand muscles, “We’ve been practicing on basic ballroom dancing last week and you were doing very well. But just so you know, my ‘mixed genre’ requires a lot of touching and body contacts, so before we proceed further I want you to…”
“Vanness, we’ve been talking about this a lot of times. I am really fine with this, really,” Rainie interrupted and patted Vanness.
“Look… I am born and raised in the States so I personally am very much exposed to the mindset of very open-minded and…”
“Vanness,” Rainie interrupts again. “I am totally fine with this. I don’t have to be raised in the States to be open-minded. And don’t forget, I am a model,” she smiled. “And thank you very much for seeking my permission and letting me know about this over and over again,” she rolled her eyes and then she smiled again, “I trust in you, and you danced professionally. If you touch me, that will be just art… just a part of the dance, and you mean nothing more,”
Vanness smiled, “Yes, you are right,”
“Why are you sounding so worried about this?” Rainie asked.
“I just want to let you know about the art of my type of dance… you see. Because in the past few days despite we were partnering, it didn’t involved that much of body contacts…” Vanness said.
“If you need to touch my boobs, go ahead,” Rainie said.
“I mean in the art of dance. You are a professional,” Rainie winked.
“Gosh, you scared me,” Vanness said. “I thought you were inviting me!” he laughed.
Rainie threw a slap on Vanness’ shoulder, “It’s too early for you to dream!”
Vanness laughed as he rubbed the spot Rainie slapped. “I won’t touch your boobs. There is no need to do that, even in the art of dancing. I am a choreographer; I can invent a dance anytime and skip that part!” he pointed at Rainie’s chest.
“Hey,” Rainie slapped away Vanness’ hand that is pointing at her. “You have a high reputation in dancing industry. Thinking of the only chance you might ruin that, Vanness!”
Vanness laughed again, “Yeah, you are right,” he said, “But rest assure, I…”
“No explanations required. You are a professional. And we’ve been dancing for 2 weeks, I know how you dance. I trust you,” Rainie smiled.
Vanness smiled, “Thanks,”
Rainie nodded. “So… can we start?”
“Of course,” Vanness smiled, and extends his hand out to her, waiting for her to place hers in his hand.
“Isn’t that a little too early? I need warming up first,” Rainie asked.
“Oh yeah, you haven’t warm up. Sure!” Vanness said and switched on the music.
Both Rainie and Vanness walked to the front of the mirror and they stretched here and there to warm their body up before the dance.
“I’ve talked to my friend about you agreeing to join the fashion show,” Rainie said suddenly.
Vanness stared at her image in the mirror. “Oh?”
“Yeah… and the show is on,” Rainie said. “It will be on the 19th two months from now,”
“Oh, I know,” Vanness said.
“You know?” Rainie asked.
“My buddy told me it’s pasted on the boards in his office,” Vanness said, stretching his arm.
“His office?” Rainie asked.
“Oh, Actors’ Studio. He is planning to be the host for the fashion show,” Vanness said.
“Host? Wow… you have a ‘host’ friend,” Rainie said.
“Yeah. We are from the same course in Ying De during our first year,” he smiled.
“Oh, I see…” Rainie said.
“If there’s a chance I’ll introduce him to you,” Vanness said.
“Okay, sure,” Rainie said.
“By the way… about the fashion show… what should I prepare?” Vanness asked.
“Not needed. You only need to be there,” Rainie smiled.
“No need? My hair… my make-up…”
“It will all be fixed for you,” she smiled. “Including your shoes and accessories, so you can go there wearing what you used to wear and you’ll model everything given to you,”
“So am I going to be modeling for multiple brands and clothes?”
“If I am not mistaken you will only model for ONE brand,” Rainie said. “My friend is also modeling for the one brand and she said they are lacking of male models so I guess you will be modeling for the brand only and also you will need to change your attire repeatedly after each walk,”
“Oh,” Vanness said.
“It is a well-known international brand that has the same reputation as Gucci, Prada, Escada, CK, Guess… and this brand covers all apparels, handbags, shoes, accessories…” Rainie said.
“Then I know it’s not going to be the few brands that you have just named,” Vanness smiled.
Rainie laughed as she stretches her legs. “I’ll introduce you to my friend soon, once she manage to fix her time slot to meet you,”
“You both will be colleagues that day, and modeling for the same brand. Oh, and she will be the better person to furnish you with the details about the brand. She is the expert, not me. I am not the ambassador for the brand,”
“Sounds like she is the ambassador,”
“Yes, she is. Pace Wu. For PWRB,”
Vanness turned and looked at Rainie. “You mean I will model for PWRB? With Pace Wu?”
“Yes. She is my best friend,” Rainie said, turned her waist as a mean of stretching her muscles. “And I know PWRB is a very big brand. So if I am wrong, you need Pace to explain that to you. I can be wrong, but she can’t since she sells the brand,”
“Wow… I am meeting Pace Wu,” Vanness smiled.
“You already met me, Rainie Yang,” Rainie said. “I am also a model, but you make it sounded like she is more popular than me… which I admit,” she laughed. “That way is better, so I am not recognized on street that easily compared to her,” she recalled Pace meeting a stranger on street helping her to relieved the stuck heel and at the same time he recognized her.
“What’s with your smiling face?” Vanness asked.
“Nah… nothing,” Rainie said. “Anyway… you’ll meet with more models for that event that day. Just beforehand you will meet two, personally from me,”
“Yes, both are my best friends. Pace and…” she smirked, thinking of Winnie’s conversation with her last week, “…and another model,” she hides the name.
“Okay,” Vanness smiled.
“She’ll be on the fashion show also,” Rainie said.
Vanness smiled. ‘Pace,’ he thought. ‘If I met her this time… we’ll see if I can really play a prank on Ken by stuffing him into a tiger that is tied in the toilet!’
“Look, if you can bump onto Pace Wu on street then I can bump onto tiger in the toilet,” the words Ken said to Vanness were echoed to his ears.
“On the street… but if this time is set up for a meeting by Rainie, is that count?” Vanness mumbled.
“What?” Rainie asked.
Vanness turned and looked at Rainie, “What?”
“You were talking to me?”
“No… no,” Vanness smiled. “Was just thinking of something,”
“Oh, okay,” Rainie smiled.
Vanness continued stretching, ‘Tiger… tiger…’
10.20am. Zhu Corporation.
Ken heard a knock on the door. He turned and glared at the door. He had posed a restriction to never let Pearl enter the building of Zhu Corporation.
“Who’s that?” Ken asked.
Ken recognized the voice of his father’s. “Come in,” he said, turning away to look at his computer. He heard his father opened the door and entered.
Ken froze. His father never calls him ‘Ken’ but ‘son’ or ‘Xiao Tian’. Plus, it’s a female voice! ‘Pearl?’ he thought. He immediately turned looking at his father… and Pearl standing next to his father.
Ken stared at both of them.
“Xiao Tian,” Mr. Zhu called.
“Why is she here?” Ken asked.
“Why you don’t allow her to enter?” Mr. Zhu asked.
“Ken…” Pearl said, walking to Ken.
Ken immediately stood up and hopped away to the back of his father, like playing hide-and-seek. “Don’t come near me,” he stared at Pearl.
Mr. Zhu turned and looked at Ken hiding behind him. “Son, get back to your place,”
“Ask her to remove from my place,” Ken said. “Stay away from me,”
“Oh my gosh, since when my son is like an 8 years old kid,” Mr. Zhu rolled his eyes. “Okay, you get back to your seat and Pearl, you come back here,”
Ken looked at Pearl, as Pearl walked to Mr. Zhu, and Ken immediately walked back to his seat.
“Xiao Tian, why do you set a stupid restriction not to allow Pearl enter?” Mr. Zhu asked, sitting down in front of Ken and Pearl sits next to Mr. Zhu. “I found Pearl at the ground floor so I brought her up…”
Mr. Zhu is the Director of Zhu Corporation. Of course he has the power to void Ken’s restriction and bring Pearl up to his room.
“Office means work. Nothing personal,” Ken said.
“I waited for you in your office everyday at 6pm…” Pearl said.
Ken smirked. For the past few days he went to office and left using the south entrance.
“And I did not found your car in the parking lot…” Pearl said again.
Ken remained with his smirk. Also, for the past few days, he did not drive to work. He asked Vanness to drop him off in his office and his car is parked at Vanness’ place. If he drove to work, his car will be parked at a building 2 blocks away. He knew Pearl will be at the north entrance or even at the parking lot, hoping to meet Ken since he posts the restriction to her.
“Anything?” Ken asked, clasping his palms together. “Dad?”
“Anyway, I have noticed you had approved TWD$ 5 millions for a fashion show. Why is that?” Mr. Zhu asked.
“It is one of the biggest events in Taipei. It is a good form for our company to support such events in Taipei to boost the tourism industry and also as a form of publicity for our company. It’ll do our reputation good,” Ken said. “Opportunities rarely come twice. Since we get some revenue this year why not we just sponsor some events that will help us in many ways?”
“Sounds like a good idea,” Mr. Zhu said.
“Dad, you can’t say no since I already approved the amount,” Ken smiled.
“Does that mean we are the biggest sponsor?” Pearl asked.
“Zhu Corporation. Not WE,” Ken corrected. “Our COMPANY name will be published in the organizers’ board and will be on the top of the list,” he said harshly.
“That’ll do our company a good branding,” Mr. Zhu smiled.
“Can I model in that show too?” Pearl asked.
“HELL, NO!” Ken snapped at her.
Mr. Zhu and Pearl turned and looked at Ken’s reaction.
“My company does sponsorship. Not sponsoring some kind of girls to do modeling!” Ken said.
“Why are you so harsh towards Pearl? If you don’t want her to model, just say so,” Mr. Zhu said.
“No, I don’t want Pearl to model, is my statement clear?” Ken asked, pointing at Pearl.
Pearl looked at Ken, and then at Mr. Zhu.
“But I want to…” Pearl said at Mr. Zhu.
“If Pearl wants…” Mr. Zhu said at Ken, but Ken interrupts.
“NO,” Ken said. “Fashion show is for models and professional models, not for anyone who just simply goes up and walks the runway strutting what they can’t do,”
Pearl tightened her fist but she stays calm.
“If anyone can simply go up and model then what the heck are the models employed for?” Ken asked. “And don’t you ever mention you want to model on this fashion show that I am sponsoring. If you have so much time just go and prepare for the wedding you wanted so badly,”
“Xiao Tian! Why are you reacting that way to your future wife?” Mr. Zhu asked.
Ken took a deep breath, angered with the word ‘future wife’ but what can he do? Pearl tried to hide her anger too because Ken is being very harsh to her. She wants to snap at him but she can’t due to Mr. Zhu’s presence.
“Please respect yourself and other people. Don’t you think you will get everything just because you wanted it. You are making me losing my temper now! Do not ever mention about this or even try to get involved!” Ken yelled at her.
“Son… okay, take it easy,” Mr. Zhu said. He then turned looking at Pearl, “Since Xiao Tian doesn’t like it… then don’t. Respect him,”
‘Great. I won’t see that face now on the fashion show that I am sponsoring,’ Ken thought to himself.
“Okay…” Pearl said, looking at Mr. Zhu. “Then maybe I can attend the fashion show just as guest…”
Ken immediately slammed his hand on the table creating a loud bang, sending shocks to Mr. Zhu and Pearl. Both of them looked at Ken. He stared fiercely at Pearl.
“Don’t you understand what I have just said?!” Ken yelled. “I said do not ever mention or even try to get involved in this!”
“Okay! Okay! If this means so much for you then I won’t even bother about that!” Pearl yelled.
“Xiao Tian, are you attending the fashion show?” Mr. Zhu asked.
“No idea, why?” Ken asked.
“If you are going you can bring Pearl along…”
“Don’t you understand my words, father?” Ken said, looking at Mr. Zhu.
It was a horrified glare Ken had thrown to his father. Even Mr. Zhu himself is terrified with Ken’s reaction and why he would be so mad all of a sudden.
“I guess I caught you in a bad mood… you have never been like this before, Xiao Tian,” Mr. Zhu stood up. “I have never seen you getting mad like this,” he walked towards the door.
“You go out as well,” Ken said at Pearl.
“Pearl,” Mr. Zhu called, interrupting Pearl. Pearl turned and looked at Mr. Zhu. “Xiao Tian wants you to leave, so leave… we’ll leave him alone. Come to my room, Pearl. We’ll talk about your wedding with Xiao Tian,”
“Sure, Mr. Zhu,” Pearl smiled as she stood up and walked to Mr. Zhu.
“You can start calling father in less than 2 months,” Mr. Zhu smiled.
‘That disgusts me,’ Ken thought to himself, looking at the computer.
“By the way, Ken,” Pearl said, before she closed the door.
Ken did not look at her as he continued typing in his computer.
“Our wedding will be on 20th,” Pearl smiled. “Like it or not, we’ll marry,” she closed the door.
Ken closed his eyes as he swallowed the hard fact. He tightened his fists, and he released his anger…
11am, Actors’ Studio.
Vic reads the line from the script at a seat he just took outside somebody’s room. Charles Lee. He is said to be the person to contact to whoever is interested to be a host for the fashion show, the biggest event in Taipei.
Jerry is inside the room talking to Charles Lee for the past 40 minutes already.
Vic crossed his right leg over his left leg on the seat as he reads the script. The filming of the drama he is involved is subject to start the next day. He had to be in the Actors’ Studio these few days as per normal working hours due to the familiarity of the set and his sponsored clothes for the drama as well as getting to know other actors in the drama.
Jerry has dragged Vic over to accompany him for this.
“Jerry is going to make it this time,” Vic suddenly mumbled. He stared at the script. “Sis, what is your relationship with…” he is reading it when suddenly he heard the loud unlock sound of the door. He lifted his head to look at Jerry standing at the opened door and shaking his hand with Charles.
“Thanks, Charles,” Jerry said.
“Thanks, Jerry, you are a very good, potential host,” Charles said. “I never know you were friends with Zhu Corporation’s future CEO,”
Jerry smiled, “Yeah… nothing much to say,”
“Alright, I’ll see you soon,” Charles said.
“Thanks,” Jerry said.
Charles closed the door, and Jerry walked and sits next to Vic.
“What was that all about?” Vic asked.
“Charles was weird. He asked me if I had any connection with Zhu Corporation the biggest sponsor of them, and I said I know Ken, and then he had been treating me terribly good and he said he saw us with Ken once in a restaurant or something which is why he asked…” Jerry said, scratching his head. “He said without Zhu Corporation, the show will not go on… so because I am Ken’s friend and he believed he should not ‘offend’ the biggest sponsor so… I get to be one of the 4 hosts!!!” Jerry jumped happily.
“Congratulations, Jerry!” Vic yelled.
“Thank you!” Jerry said. “My wish has come true, Vic! I get to be a top host now!”
“I know, I know! I’m so happy for you!!” Vic said.
“Come! Let’s call Ken and Vanness… tell them we’ll meet for lunch!” Jerry said, as both of them walked down the hallway.
“Lunch?! No way!” Vic said. “Dinner sounds more like it!”
“Hmm… alright! We’ll call them and tell them we’ll be having dinner together tonight!” Jerry said happily. “As usual, I’ll call Vanness, and you’ll call Ken!”
“Okay!” Vic took his phone out and even before he pressed any key… his cell phone rang.
Jerry glanced over and looked at Vic’s cell phone. Ken.
“That’s fast,” Jerry said. “He must have know we’re looking for him,”
Vic smiled. He pressed the ‘answer’ button of his phone and placed the phone to his ear.
Vic: Hey, Ken. Was about to call you…
Ken interrupted straight.
Ken: I blow up.
Vic stunned and silent for a while.
Ken: I lose my temper.
Vic: You lose your temper?
Jerry, who is pressing some keys on his cell phone, stopped and turned looking at Vic.
Ken: I’ve never been this mad in my life. I have never blow up and scold people like this.
Vic: Then how are you feeling? Are you alright?
Ken: Can we meet up for lunch?
Vic turned and looked at Jerry.
Jerry nodded. “I can get Vanness to join us for lunch,”
Vic nodded at him.
Vic: Okay. We’ll meet for lunch.
Ken: Ask Jerry to pick me up. We’ll head to MyDance Dance Studio’s nearby place for lunch.
Vic: Okay, Jerry will pick you…
Jerry looked at his watch. “In 30 minutes I’ll reach Ken’s office,”
Vic: See you in 30 minutes.
Ken hung up the call.
“You don’t have work later on, Jerry?” Vic asked.
“I do, it’s at 4pm. So I must come back by 3.30pm. What about you?” Jerry asked.
“I’m done with the set today. Luckily my appointment to meet with my clothes sponsors will be 4pm, same like you,” Vic said. “The disadvantage of no car…”
“It’s okay, dude. You have us, plus, we have appointments at the same time so it’s okay,” Jerry said, pressing his phone again. “I’ll contact Vanness,” he pressed the phone to his ear.
11.15am. MyDance Dance Studio.
Vanness and Rainie stood in front of each other, just 2 inches apart from each other. Rainie and Vanness looked deep into each other’s eyes.
Vanness’ right hand lifted Rainie’s left hand and he takes lead, holding it mid-air. His left hand gripped on Rainie’s waist. Rainie’s right hand is placed on Vanness’ shoulder gracefully.
Listening to the music beat thumping at the background, Vanness’ upper torso moved diagonally forward, pressing Rainie close to him as they swirled in two full circles before Vanness releases his hand from her waist and she turned with the support of his right hand gripping her left hand. And in one turn Rainie was back into tight embrace of Vanness, and now being able to feel his deep breathing next to her. She leaned on Vanness, applying her whole body’s pressure on him. Her right hand pressed on Vanness’ chest and Vanness gripped her hand. It was a fast move.
Vanness and Rainie both moved back and already apart, but still holding each other’s hands, they moved swiftly and their body movements were sleek to fit each other’s movement and accordance to the music beat, and Vanness gently pulled Rainie to his side, letting her leaned on him and caressed her cheek. He smirked and she smiled. She then lifted her left leg up strut her movements according to what Vanness had taught and she did not missed even a beat of the music, dancing like a professional.
They were about to continue to the next move when suddenly they heard Vanness’ cell phone that is placed at the corner of the room rang.
Vanness and Rainie threw a glare to the ringing phone at the corner.
“Who calls me at this time when I am teaching class?” Vanness asked.
“I guess urgent calls. Pick it up,” Rainie said, standing back on her feet.
Vanness releases her hands. “I had my mood builds up in the dance already,” he said as he walked to the phone.
“It was a nice choreographed dance, Vanness,” Rainie said, walking to her water bottle. “I’ll off the music for you,”
“Sure, thanks,” Vanness took the phone up and he looked at the caller. “Jerry? Why at this time?” he pressed the ‘answer’ button.
Jerry: In class?
Jerry: Lunch at 12?
Jerry: Ken blow up just now. He is asking us out for lunch. And stop giving me one word responses.
Vanness: But I have a class later I cannot leave too far…
Jerry: Ask Rainie to join us if you are afraid she is alone. We know you ate lunch with her everyday. Plus, we are heading for lunch near your dance studio.
Vanness: Oh, okay then.
Jerry: Alright. Will find you at your studio.
Vanness hung up his call. He turned and looked at Rainie wiping her sweats.
“You have a weird way of answering calls,” Rainie smirked. “Not meant to be rude, I didn’t intend to listen to your calls, just that it has been too obvious. One word answers,”
“No, I didn’t. I don’t like picking calls during classes. Interruptions. So I ask my friend to speak it fast and straight to the point,” Vanness said. “They know I don’t like calls when I am teaching,”
“So it’s urgent like I’ve said, right?” Rainie asked.
“Yes, they are asking me for lunch due to another best friend of mine seems to be having problem lately…” Vanness said.
“Oh,” Rainie said. “Good for you to be there for your friends. Just like my friends too,”
Vanness smiled. “Would you mind to let them join us for lunch? They’ll be 5 of us including you,”
“Oh? Actually my best friend is going to have lunch with me later and I was thinking to ask you to join us because I don’t want to leave you alone, but since your friends are going to have lunch with you I guess we’ll go for our owns. Besides, I bet your friend needs you, not some strangers like me sitting at the same table with you and expecting your friend to pour his or her heart out,” Rainie said. “It’ll be better to just stay within your friends if your friend is not happy,”
“Is a he,” Vanness said. “I also thought if they are coming over, I want to introduce you to them,”
“I don’t think it’s a perfect timing this time,”
“Yeah… me too,” Vanness said.
“Anyway, you can arrange another time for that,” Rainie smiled. “And you mean your host friend is coming too?”
“Actually I have 3 best friends and all 3 will be here for lunch with me. The host friend is one of them,” Vanness said.
“Oh, next time then. Your friend needs you more for now,”
“Sure. You have a nice heart, Rainie,”
“I don’t know… I cannot see my heart that is pumping in me…” Rainie looked down on her chest.
Vanness laughed. “We have the same chemistry, loves to joke at times,”
“I know that all the while,” Rainie smiled.
“So you will be eating with your model best friends later? And Pace?”
“Nah… they are busy. I also have 3 best friends. 2 of them are models, and the other is a fashion stylist writer. I’m eating with the writer,” Rainie said.
“Oh,” Vanness said.
“I’ll introduce her to you maybe some time,” Rainie smiled, again, her thought went back to the conversation they had the other night, with Barbie saying she hopes Vanness did not land his eyes on her. Rainie let out a small laugh.
“No problem,” Vanness said, and looked at her smiling weirdly, “Rainie?”
“Continue dancing?” he extends his hand out.
“Sure,” she placed her hand into his’ and they start the dance all over again.