Xi Men sat and waited in his BMW, parked at the outside of Rebecca’s apartment.
He lifted his hand up and looked at the time on his wristwatch.
He then exhaled a deep breath.
As Xi Men tied his tie knot in front of the mirror, he looked at Xiao You, via the mirror image, wearing her earrings.
He is standing behind the sitting Xiao You at her dresser.
He smiled as he looked at his beautiful wife.
“I am ready, are you?” Xiao You suddenly asked, looking at him, at his mirror image.
His smile fades and he looked at her, “You are ready?”
“Yeah, I am done,” Xiao You smiled.
She turned around and looked at Xi Men whose eyes are wide, “Tada!” she spreads her hands wide.
He then chuckled. “You are fast today,”
“I start earlier than normal,” she smiled, standing up.
“That explains. I am not done yet,” he returned his gaze to the mirror and continued tying his tie knot.
“Boo,” she walked away.
He laughed. “Won’t hurt you to wait for me,”
“I know,” she smiled. “You always wait for me,”
“Glad you know,” he smiled.
“And you never complain,” she said, sitting on the bed. “So, of course I won’t mind to wait for you, my handsome knight,”
He chuckled. “I think…”
“There is something you haven’t done yet,”
She tilts her head, and she heads to the dressing table, looking at her herself in the mirror.
Xi Men smirked as he straightened his tie.
“Make up is good, hair is okay, accessories are there… no, everything is done,” she said, turning her head and looked at him. “Are you fooling me?”
“I mean, maybe… your purse or clutch bag?” he turned to look at her.
Her eyes widened. “OH!” she the dashes to the cabinet where she had stored all her bags.
“Told ya,” he smiled as he puts on his watch now.
Xi Men smiled faintly at the recollection.
He gripped the steering wheel with both his hands and straightened his hands, pushing his back against the leather seat.
Xiao You is always good with time management.
If she is late, she has a very valid reason to be late.
Such as needing to attend to Emily.
Or students in the ballet studio hold up her time after class is over.
Or rather he should put it; if she is late, it is due to external factor.
He has no problems with her when it comes to adhering to time.
But even if she is late… he has no problems waiting for her.
He would be happy to wait for her.
Xi Men turned his head to look at the passenger seat, and looked at Rebecca waving at him outside of the car with a big smile on her face.
Xi Men unlocked the car and she opened the door.
“Hello,” Rebecca smiled as she sits down. “Sorry I am late,”
Xi Men looked at the time on his car’s dashboard. “Yeah, you are late,” he happened to blurt out.
The smile on Rebecca’s face fades slightly upon hearing that tone. “Umm… just 20 minutes…” she said.
He engaged the car in Drive mode and then he drives out of the parking bay.
“Have you been waiting for… umm, a long time?” she asked.
“30 minutes,” he said.
“Oh, okay,” she smiled again. “I thought guys are willing to wait…”
Maybe when he was still a playboy more than 10 years ago.
He spent a lot of time waiting for ladies during those days.
He had no complains even if he has to wait for an hour.
Until he is with Xiao You.
Xiao You’s great adherence to timing synchronizes with his concept of being the ‘early bird’ of F4.
So he has no problem when it comes to timing with Xiao You.
Now, he had even forgotten that he used to willingly wait for ladies.
He realized this is the better part of Xiao You… she respects his and everyone’s time.
“I don’t,” Xi Men answered.
“Oh…” Rebecca said.
“Couple of minutes is fine. More than that is not,” he adds.
Rebecca pressed her lips together, “I… I am sorry,”
“Already happened,” he said, looking straight as he drives.
It isn’t really an issue.
But somehow, he made it like one.
Raymond (on the phone): Are you here already?
Xiao You: Will be in 2 minutes!
Raymond: Alright. I’ll come out of this ballroom and wait for you.
Xiao You: Okay.
Xiao You lowered the phone down and hangs up the call.
“So, ma’am, what time should I come and get you?” Jin asked, engaging in a signal to indicate that he is about to turn to right (he is driving).
“I don’t know what time the event ends…” Xiao You said. “I’ll give you a call?”
“But I might be late,”
“It is okay, ma’am. I will wait for your call,” Jin smiled, halting the car in front of the hotel.
“Thank you, Jin,”
“You are welcome, ma’am. Enjoy your event,”
“Thank you,” Xiao You smiled as she opened the door and exits the car.
She closes the door and Jin leaves.
The place is busy today.
As soon as she enters the lobby, she saw Raymond standing there and he immediately waved happily at her.
“Raymond!” Xiao You waves back and then heads towards him.
“Hey, Xiao You. Wow, you look really, really pretty,” Raymond said, extending his hands out and hugged her.
“Thank you!” she smiled, wrapping her hands around him. “And you look good,”
“Thank you too,” he said, relieving from the hug.
“I thought we’ve agreed that you will be waiting for me outside of the ballroom. Why are you here at the lobby?”
“It is okay. I come out the moment you said 2 minutes so… 2 minutes can really bring my feet further than the ballroom’s entrance,” Raymond smiled.
Xiao You laughed. “I thought you are busy entertaining people since you are The Phantom,”
“I was. But I told them I need to be excused to come and get my partner for the night. They happily let me go,” he said
And she laughed.
“So, ready to go in?” Raymond lifted his hand up for her to hook her hand in.
“Sure,” Xiao You said, hooking her hand into his arm.
Both of them walked together and then entered the ballroom.
“A lot of people, huh,” Xiao You said, looking around the ballroom.
“Yeah. I didn’t know it is a big event,” Raymond said.
“Yes,” Raymond answered. “Until I came… and then I found out it is a major one,”
She looked at Raymond. “Actually what event is this?”
“Hmmm… This dinner is something like an appreciation dinner for us; the casts, as well as for the sponsor to let everyone know that they are… umm… involved by becoming the major sponsor for the musical. As you have already know, this dinner is organized by the musical’s sponsor,”
“Oh. It is an appreciation dinner? I thought it is an annual dinner of your sponsor and then invited you guys…” Xiao You said.
“Nope. Not an annual dinner. We are the main star for the night, which is the reason why the dinner is held,” Raymond said.
“Interesting,” Xiao You said. “So, it is like an after-party but a formal one…”
“Close,” Raymond said, pointing at her.
A waiter passes by and then stopped next to Raymond. “Drinks, sir, ma’am?”
Raymond and Xiao You both took up a glass of champagne.
“Thank you,” they said together.
The waiter bowed slightly, and then gazes at Xiao You for seeing her over here – with Raymond next to her, before he (the waiter) turned and walked away.
Xiao You looked at the waiter, but didn’t care much because this hotel is Ah Si’s hotel, thus it wouldn’t be a surprise for any employees here that could have recognized her.
As Xiao You lifted the glass of champagne up to her lips for a sip, she also raised her eyes up to look at some posters hanging in the ballroom.
“Why is this Rebecca so troublesome?” Xi Men mumbled to himself.
He stood at the lobby of this lavish place, having to wait for Rebecca who decided to go to the washroom the moment she entered the hotel because she wants to make sure she looks great for the event.
“Hey, Mr. Xi Men!”
Xi Men turned his head and the grumpy look on his face has to be changed to a cheerful one immediately. “Hello, Director Cheng,” he extends his hand for a handshake. “Mrs. Cheng,” he acknowledged the director’s wife too.
“Hello, Mr. Xi Men,” Mrs. Cheng replied.
“Why are you here and not in the ballroom?” Director Cheng asked.
“Oh, umm, I am waiting for… my partner,” Xi Men said. “She is in the washroom,”
“Oh, I see. Alright then. I’ll see you in the ballroom?” Director Cheng asked.
“Sure,” Xi Men smiled. “See you,”
Director Cheng nodded briefly and he turned.
Both he and his wife heads to the ballroom.
“He said he is waiting for his partner…” Mrs. Cheng said.
“Yes, which is… umm… I don’t know. We all know he has separated from his wife. That is why I cut the conversation short. It will be weird and awkward no matter how the conversation goes,” Director Cheng said.
“Yeah. I know. You did the right thing,” Mrs. Cheng said.
Xiao You admires all the posters hanging in the ballroom, as they are Phantom of the Opera posters.
Just like what Raymond has said, this event is for them.
She resumed scanning… and then her eyes fixed at the name of the major sponsor.
That name sounds familiar.
Wait. Is that a company?
“Onan?” Xiao You reads and her eyes widened.
Raymond looked at Xiao You, “Hmmm? What is it?”
“Your main sponsor is Onan Holdings?” Xiao You asked, turning her head to look at him.
“Yeah. You know the company?”
Xiao You’s mouth dropped. “Of course I know. Onan Holdings is also my husband’s business part-…”
Xiao You and Raymond turned their heads upon hearing the calling.
“Oh my gosh, Xiao You it really is you…” San Chai said, excited to see Xiao You.
It is not surprising to see them here as they attended Onan’s dinner each and every time.
“Ah, hi, San Chai…” Xiao You said, and then saw Ah Si next to San Chai. “Hi Ah Si…”
Ah Si’s eyes brightened a bit as well as he is surprised to see Xiao You there. “Hi… you… you came with Xi…”
*Statement interrupted by someone else.
Everyone turned to look at Jing who came and stood next to San Chai, and then joined by Lei.
“Xiao You?” Jing called.
Xiao You smiled and tilts her head. “Hello,”
“Hi Xiao You, I didn’t know you are coming,” Lei smiled.
“Umm…” Xiao You said.
“Oh you guys are here!” Xiao Qiao said.
“Hello…” Mei Zhuo waved. And then he saw Xiao You. “Oh, hello, Xiao You!”
“Hi…” she responded.
Mei Zhuo smiled. “I didn’t expect Xi Men will…”
“Your friends?” Raymond happened to interrupt.
And everyone finally notice his presence…
And also… they noticed her hand is hooked into his arm.
Wait… her partner is not Xi Men?
Xiao You swallowed the lump in her throat and she turned to look at Raymond. “Let me introduce,” she said. “Dao Ming Si, CEO of Dao Ming Corporation and this is her wife San Chai, Finance Director of the same company and she is also my best friend for more than 20 years. This is Hua Ze Lei, CEO of Hua Ze Corporation and this is Teng Tang Jing, his wife. Jing is a Human Rights Lawyer. And this is Ling Mei Zhuo, the CEO of Ling Corporation and wife, Ying Xiao Qiao. She is a famous cellist in the world,” and then she turned to look at her friends, “This is Raymond,”
Raymond smiled. “Hello,”
Everyone else nodded briefly at Raymond. “Hi,”
Raymond leaned over to Xiao You’s ear and whispered, “Do you seriously think I can remember all their names?”
Xiao You smiled as she whispered back. “I know you can’t, but these guys are the top guys in the country,”
Raymond briefly glances at them, and then continues to whisper, “In terms of? Looks?”
Xiao You looked at Raymond. “The F4,”
“F4? Oh, you mean… the one your husband…”
“Yes. F4 is top in everything. Power, looks, riches, fame, everything. Oh, forgot to add that they are my husband’s best friends,”
Raymond’s eyes brightened up upon hearing a particular word that gains his attention. “Did you just say power?”
“Yes, I did. They are very powerful in the country. Pretty much runs the economy too,”
“Wait, I know your husband is handsome and rich and a businessman but… your husband is also powerful in this country?” Raymond asked. “You never said that before…”
“Yes, he is,” Xiao You said. “Sorry I forgot to tell you about that,”
Raymond is partially dumbfounded upon the confirmation.
He knew about F4, as Xiao You told him before. But not the word ‘power’. He had no idea Xi Men is that powerful in the country.
But then, it does not bug him (Raymond). Whether Xi Men is powerful or not, it does not concern him or affect him in any ways.
“Oh,” that is all he could say.
Ah Si leaned nearer to Mei Zhuo who is standing next to him, “He is the guy from the magazine…”
“This is not… good…” Mei Zhuo murmured. “Did you see them whispering to each other and smiling?”
“I saw,” Ah Si replied.
Lei took a deep breath. “This is going to be bad…”
“Took me a while to locate you guys,”
Everyone turned their heads and looked to the source of the voice.
And that includes Xiao You and Raymond.
Xi Men has arrived, with Rebecca’s hand hooked in his arm.
He looked straight at Xiao You, surprised to see her there.
The next thing he recognizes… Raymond is standing next to her.
And also, he notices her hand is hooked in Raymond’s arm.
The facial expression on Xi Men’s face changed gradually. From looking absolutely normal to obviously upset.
“This is going to be bad… real bad…” Mei Zhuo murmured again.
Raymond has met Xi Men before, so he (Raymond) knew who he (Xi Men) is.
Xiao You swallowed the lump in her throat as her grip on Raymond’s hand tightened.
Raymond felt the tightened grip. He knew she must be unhappy, or uncomfortable.
“Hello, do you recognize me? We’ve met before,” Rebecca said, looking at Lei and Jing.
Xi Men gazes at Rebecca for breaking the silence.
Lei smiled, “Yes, I do,” he said.
“These are my friends,” Xi Men said. “Ah Si, San Chai, Mei Zhuo, Xiao Qiao,” he casually pointed.
Everyone understands his tone when he introduces his friends.
He is introducing for the sake of doing it. He would usually do a good introduction, not like this.
“Let me clear that for you. Dao Ming Si, CEO of Dao Ming Corporation, and his wife, San Chai,” Lei introduces on behalf of Xi Men. “This is Ling Mei Zhuo, CEO of Ling Corporation and wife, Ying Xiao Qiao,”
“Oh,” Rebecca said, instantly admiring all the handsome guys in the group. “I am Rebecca Ke,”
Mei Zhuo, Xiao Qiao, Ah Si and San Chai just smiled as a friendly gesture.
The moment Raymond saw Rebecca’s gaze has slowly moved from the F4 & wives to him (Raymond), “I am Raymond Leslie,” he introduces himself.
“Hello,” Rebecca smiled at the friendly Raymond.
And then her gaze went to Xiao You who is standing next to Raymond, or positioned in front of them.
“And you are…”
“Her name is Yang Xiao You,” Xi Men interrupts and also answers to Rebecca, at the same time he is glaring at Xiao You.
“Hello,” Rebecca smiled at Xiao You. “I am Rebecca, nice to meet you,”
Nice to meet you?!
Xiao You smiled back at Rebecca. “Nice to meet you too, Rebecca,” she said, smiling forcefully.
“Your name actually… rings a bell,” Rebecca said, looking at Xiao You.
“Because she is my wife,” Xi Men gritted his teeth and said.
Rebecca’s eyes widened as she looked at Xi Men.
Xi Men’s gaze remained sharply at Xiao You and Raymond.
And Xiao You looked straight at Xi Men as well.
Rebecca slowly switches her gaze back to Xiao You, and instantly knew she (Rebecca) had said and done the wrong thing at this moment.
If only she knew… she wouldn’t have said ‘nice to meet you’ to Xiao You.
It is not really that ‘nice’ for Xi Men.
Now she knows where she had seen or read that name.
It is all over the media when Xi Men and Xiao You’s separation has been made public.
Xi Men and Xiao You remained staring at each other.
This is an intense moment.
Or rather, it is intense because Xi Men and Xiao You met each other in the same event, but they are attending it with someone else.