Love/Hate – Chapter 11

Xiao You sat in the living room of the apartment she just bought.

No one knew where she stays.

No one knew she is in Taipei besides Lei and Jing.

She rests her head on the couch and stared blankly at the ceiling while listening to a song she favors. She has been in deep thinking for days. If it’s not for Jing’s words, she wouldn’t be back in Taipei. It just struck her that Taipei indeed is where she belongs at.

“Perhaps, now it is time for me to make grand entrance and officially announce that I am back in Taipei,” Xiao You said.

**********

Xiao You squatted down on her black 4-inches stilettos. She is wearing a yellow tee with a pair of blue hot pants. She then turned her head to her left bearing a serious face.

“Good, I like that!” the photographer said.

SNAP!

At every shot, Xiao You would move her head or her hands for different pose.

SNAP! SNAP!

“She is good,” Lei said, standing at one side looking at Xiao You’s photo shoot. He turned to look at the agent that recommends Xiao You. “Great job, Stanley,”

SNAP!

She would change her facial expression whenever she likes it for the pose.

It was then he saw her smirk and giving the seductively sexy eyes for the photo.

SNAP!

Lei stared at her. Suddenly he heard the studio turned silent. Total quietness. Even no more photo snapping sounds are heard. Lei quickly looked around to see all the crews and his staffs were looking and staring at Xiao You.

“Is there a problem?” Xiao You speaks.

“Is there a problem?” Lei immediately echoed to everyone on the set.

“Oh, nothing. Here, pretty, give me a smile,” the photographer said.

“No wonder Xi Men is smitten for the entire dinner. No wonder Mei Zhuo wants to know who she is,” Lei mumbled. “Geez… that look of her… crap,” he rubbed his head.

“Mr. Hua Ze, are you alright?” Stanley asked.

Lei immediately looked up and looked at Stanley, “I’m fine. I’m fine,”

“Mr. Hua Ze, a cup of water?” someone approached Lei with a full tray of cups of water.

“Sure, thanks,” Lei took a cup up.

“Have a break for 10 minutes!” the photographer said.

And then the crews all put down their stuffs and then walked. A lady crew quickly headed to Xiao You and pulled Xiao You up from her squatting position to standing up.

“Thank you,” Xiao You said.

And then she walks out from the white set, and someone passed her a cup of water to which she grabbed. And then she looked at Lei and while sipping the water, she walked to Lei.

“Hi Lei,” Xiao You said.

“Hi Xiao You,” Lei said.

“How’s your day,” Xiao You said blandly, doesn’t even sound like a question. She stood parallel; next to him but not looking at him – she looked straight to the set.

“So far so good,” Lei said.

“Why, you don’t trust me in photo shoot?” Xiao You asked, sipping the water.

“Huh? What do you mean?” Lei looked at her. “Why the sudden?”

“Why do you come here to see my photo shoot?” Xiao You asked.

Lei smirked. “It is my photo shoot too, right? It’s my company’s brand, of course I come over to have a look,”

Xiao You smiled. “Is that all?” she then looked at him. “That doesn’t sound like the only reason you are here,” she looked down by lowering her head a little bit, and then she looked up again – this time, the eyes only.

Lei looked at her, “You sure have a pair of very seductive eyes. Maybe that is why all the crews stopped doing what they are doing and looked at you,”

Xiao You smirked, lifted up her head straight and then looked at him properly. “So?”

“Do what you want to do but don’t make them stop doing what they are doing. I pay them too,” Lei said.

“Well, that is beyond what I can do. I can’t control them,” Xiao You smiled. “I am just doing my job, to pose and to be captured in photographs,”

“Unfortunately the photographers stop taking your photographs too,” Lei said.

“I can’t stop what he do, you know. As a model, I am doing what I need to do for the face cover that you need, Mr. Hua Ze. It is either you don’t trust my professionalism in bringing out the ‘feel’, or I don’t fit your criteria to be your poster model,” Xiao You said.

“That is not what I mean,” Lei said. “You do fit everything that I wanted in a model for my new clothing line. When you smile, you know how to do it with your eyes and all men die in your arms. I saw it myself,”

“Ok, so?”

“Nothing,”

“You sounded disagree with what I am doing as a professional model,” Xiao You.

“I am not disagreeing. I did not ask you to change your character or smile or how you want to pose. I am making my points through. In fact, I want you to be yourself, bring in your appeal, and I thank you very much for bringing in what you can offer into my business,”

“Thank you. And you are welcome,” Xiao You said. “I am not sure about your discontentment, Lei, why don’t you ask Jing to be the model?”

Lei looked at Xiao You. “Does it matter? Why do you mention of her suddenly?”

“Yes, she is a model too, right? Why not her? She is your girlfriend. I think she has the appeal that you want in a model after all and not me,” she rolled her eyes, “Obviously,”

Lei took a deep breath. “You want to know why?” Lei said. He put down his cup of water. “In professional wise, I need a model that can show her talent like what Jing can do and perhaps slightly different because everyone is unique. And possibly manage to give some fresh ideas for this brand. Yes, I know you can do it because like I said, I saw what you can do with my eyes. Personal wise. Yes, she is my girlfriend. So? That doesn’t mean I must engage her for modeling task each and everytime. That is a conflict of professional and personal, which you know so well that I know how to differentiate between these two. Jing has the appeal to me as a person, as a girlfriend and I have never judge her as a model,”

“You mean she did not live up to your expectation?” Xiao You asked and sipped her water.

“You don’t ask a CEO to pose for her own clothing line, do you?” Lei asked firmly.

Xiao You stopped sipping her cup of water. “Excuse me?”

“Am I sharing too much of my personal information with you, X.Y Yang?” Lei asked.

“Oh,” Xiao You said.

“As a friend, I am sharing this with you and only you. I am going to marry Jing someday. This clothing line will be one of the wedding gifts that I will give her. So she cannot be the model for her own company unless she insists she wants to. And that will be at the later stage and not now,” Lei said. He looked at Xiao You. “Listen,”

Xiao You looked at him.

“I have never disagreed with what you do on that set for my clothing line because I trust you as a person and as a friend. You have exposure to the cultures in London and Canada. With that, you will for sure bring in a different kind of impact. You are bringing in appeal that no one has ever done before, including causing everyone in the set here to get smitten by your attractiveness. I have never doubted your professionalism because I believe what you can give to my company is priceless. Don’t doubt me just because I didn’t pick my girlfriend to be the model for a brand that I am coming out with,” Lei said.

“Lei, common sense wise, every man in the world will see that their partner is the most beautiful and perfect person in the world and if you are coming out with a clothing line and you need a model, the first person you’ll pick is obviously your girlfriend who is also a model. Is it wrong for me to come up with such common sense?” Xiao You said.

Lei looked at her and did not speak.

“I have never questioned if you doubted my professionalism. I only questioned if you doubted what I brought in into the set, because if you don’t like what I do, you have the right to revoke my contract at anytime. And overall, I don’t have to doubt you because you are just the director of a company I am working for,” Xiao You said.

“What, I am not even a friend of yours?” Lei asked.

Xiao You kept quiet for a while. “The question of friendship does not lie in here. You have no right to ask that to me at this point of time, at this set and at this situation,”

“What do you mean?” Lei asked.

“At this point of time, I am working. I am a model engaged by you to pose for the cover for your clothing line,” Xiao You said. She emptied the cup of water. “I’m sorry, Mr. Hua Ze. Will you excuse me, I need to touch up my face with make up,” she turned without waiting for Lei’s reply and she walked off.

“Ah…” Lei wanted to speak but suddenly it feels like mental block at that time. No words can be uttered out. “Urgh…” he uttered in discontentment. He took a deep breath.

“Okay! Let’s get ready!” the photographer yelled.

Lei looked at the set and there are some black boxes designed as props and it is up to how Xiao You will pose with it.

Xiao You walked into the set. She sits down on the black box with her legs on another and started to pose differently with different facial expressions. Lei walked to the computer, located near the side of the set where her photos taken by the photographer are directly transferred to the computer, to see the outcome of the photos. Indeed, she is perfect. Then she started to laugh and smile with her head pulled to the back and the photographer took her photos.

Lei immediately looked at the photos upon seeing her last act. “Crap, she is wonderful,”

The photo shows the happiness in one person and the pose of her body and legs are all perfect.

“Mr. Hua Ze, she is. Looks like we will have a lot of discussions to make to see which photo will be picked for the cover,” the IT guy said.

“Looks set we’ve found a very good one for the clothing line, Mr. Hua Ze,” Stanley suddenly said.

“Yes, she is,” Lei said.

“I am very surprised that she is claimed as a newbie. She doesn’t look like one. She is photogenic. And she is easy to work with,” Stanley said.

“Easy to work with? Maybe not with me,” Lei mumbled. “She’s giving me a real hard time when it comes to talking…”

At the end of the shooting…

“Xiao You,” Lei called.

Xiao You looked at him, “Yes, what’s up?”

“Need a ride home?” Lei asked.

She smirked. “Then you will know where I stay,”

“Do you still need to be so secretive?”

“Do you still remember what I said to you back then about paparazzi?”

“What if given a situation that I am tagging Jing along as well?”

“And become the 3rd party?”

“What 3rd party?”

“Paparazzi will note that I am the 3rd party,” she smirked.

“3rd party?? But Jing and I are together with you around and you call that 3rd party?”

“Well, look. I am not interested to go out with another couple. I don’t want to be the person that hangs around and looked like I have nothing to do and disturb them,”

“Why do you have to be so negative about all of these?”

“I am giving you an option to have a good image or a bad image,” she smirked.

“Like, going out for dinner with friends is bad image?”

“You don’t know what paparazzi can write,”

“I am going to sue them if they write inappropriately,”

“Thanks, Lei. I am not interested, I’m heading off to somewhere,”

“I can give you a lift wherever you want to go,”

“No need, Lei. Thanks,”

“Oh well, don’t say I didn’t offer,”

“I know,” Xiao You said. “Oh, by the way,”

“Yeah? Are you changing your mind and you need a lift to…?”

“No,” she smiled. “I wanted to know if you are fine to set up the reunion you have discussed with me last week,”

Lei stunned. “Reunion?”


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