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Luo Tang lived alone. The furnishings in the house were simple and elegant. The house had everything in it, but it felt empty and thin, just like the owner, with a sense of indifference and alienation. He presumably didn't live here often, or just moved in, as everything in the house looked brand new.
The design of the house aside. The air-conditioning was on and as soon as Wei Ruxia walked in, she felt the screaming pores all over her body were soothed by the cool air.
Luo Tang invited Wei Ruxia to come in then went to answer a phone call. He took off his suit jacket, flexed his handsome hands slightly, unbuttoned his tie, and walked to his office in the blink of an eye.
He was engaged in the IT industry and there were seven or eight computers in his office. He turned on one of them, unbuttoned his cuffs, and spoke to the other person at the end of the phone, “Talk.”
His posture obviously regarded Wei Ruxia as a transparent person.
She naturally didn't care. The sunlight from the tall windows behind her shone on her smooth legs and was a little hot. Wei Ruxia walked inside and sat on a high stool in front of the bar a little away from Luo Tang.
This villa only had two floors, but it occupied a large area. The second floor was a duplex. On the first floor there was a large living room with a crystal chandelier, a fireplace with some paintings, a well-decorated dining room kitchen, a wine cabinet and bar where she was currently sitting, and the office where Luo Tang was now.
The bar was facing the large floor to ceiling windows and outside was a balcony and a swimming pool. You could see the sea in the distance behind the swimming pool and in the evening, the sea and the sky, sparkling on the surface of the water, made people feel refreshed and relaxed.
Luo Tang stood behind the computer desk, holding his phone in one hand and calmly arranging something, while holding the mouse in his other hand. He didn't sit down, his waist was slightly bent, and his white shirt outlined his pliable and tight waistline, which looked very powerful.
He had always been in good shape. Now he’d grown up, his youthfulness had faded, and he gave off a more mature masculine aura, enough to make anyone of the opposite sex be fascinated by him.
There was an inexplicable heat on her face. Wei Ruxia was afraid that her thoughts would go off in a certain direction so as her throat moved slightly, she withdrew her gaze.
Luo Tang finished processing the data in his hand and raised his eyes to look towards the bar. The woman was sitting with her arms folded and her slender legs folded together. She raised her head slightly, observing the wine in the wine cabinet, and raised her chin to reveal a beautiful and smooth jaw line. Like an image cast by a projector, she didn’t seem real.
"What's wrong with the director this time?" Luo Tang turned his gaze back and asked. As expected, the woman by the wine cabinet turned her head slightly.
His assistant Don was on the other end and said, "There’s nothing wrong with the director but she’s also directing for ‘Assassin’."
Luo Tang's expression remained unchanged, he clicked on the mouse twice, his eyes narrowing, "If she doesn't have time, do you have any other directors arranged?"
"Okay." Luo Tang interrupted Don and said calmly, "Someone was recommended to me at a banquet a few days ago. I'll ask her about her schedule."
Without waiting for Don to speak, Luo Tang hung up the phone and looked up at the ‘director who was recommended to him at a banquet a few days ago’. The director was also watching him.
Wei Ruxia didn't want to listen to his phone call, but the room was empty, and there was even an echo, she had nowhere to hide. Moreover, Luo Tang didn’t avoid her at all.
She met Luo Tang's gaze, smiled, and asked, "Want to talk?"
Getting up from the computer desk, Luo Tang pulled out a chair and sat down, nodding at her and said, "Yes."
Cen Nianbai said that LO was a big company. If their advertising was outsourced, the remuneration would be much greater than from his company. Now Luo Tang was a client, Wei Ruxia stepped off the high stool and sat in the seat in front of him.
Wei Ruxia started working as a photographer after graduation and switched to directing a few years ago. Although she didn't have the money to set up a studio, she had certain margins she needed to meet. However, Luo Tang was a big boss and she wanted to hear what his intentions were.
"The remuneration can be set according to industry standards, or according to your standards." Boss Luo was very generous.
Wei Ruxia smiled and said, "Then it is set according to my standard, can it be set higher?"
"When the film comes out, we can reassess whether it’s worth your price." Luo Tang said, "You’ll have use of our company's publicity team."
This would at least guarantee that she wasn’t working alone, and her working hours would also be shortened. It would be a quick job and the pay was good. Maybe she could even meet up with him between shooting. It was indeed a good job.
Wei Ruxia sat casually, obviously very satisfied with what he said. He leaned forward slightly, suppressing the heat that was about to burst from his chest, his elbows were on the table, and the man's thin lips opened slightly.
"Our game will go on sale in September, I hope you’ll be able to start working on it next month."
When Wei Ruxia, who was supposed to accept, smiled, her eyes became apologetic, "I’ll finish shooting the YI Group advertisement this month, and I want to go back to the UK..."
Luo Tang's gaze solidified when she finished the first half of her words. Her face was reflected in his dark eyes, like a lake hit by a cold current, gradually freezing.
He maintained his grace as he leaned back slightly, looking at her, with a sneer in his throat.
"Then why are you wasting your time with me here?"
The driver's phone rang at that moment, alleviating Wei Ruxia's embarrassment. If she knew she wouldn’t be able to meet their company's requirements for time, but she still wanted to hear the offer it seemed that she had other intentions.
"Sorry." Wei Ruxia had nothing to say. After apologizing, she answered the call from the taxi driver and got up and went out.
The woman's back was thin and decisive, just as she was eight years ago. Luo Tang watched her drift away, until she became a shadow projected on the wall again, something he couldn't catch at all.
"Sorry, miss, I just took the wrong road. The roads in the new district are so difficult to navigate." The driver who came to pick up Wei Ruxia apologized cheerfully.
After Wei Ruxia entered that car, the air-conditioning in the car wrapped around her, but the fire in her chest was still burning. She couldn't hide her embarrassment and she didn't chat with the driver, but just said faintly, "It's okay."
Then she leaned back on her seat, looked at the sea on the edge of the coastal road, and thought of Luo Tang's last words.
She probably still liked Luo Tang, even now he was eight years older, she still liked him. He was still himself, no matter how he changed.
But what could she do even if she liked him? She had only just mustered enough courage after her father’s rehabilitation to return to Ancheng briefly, thinking that she could check up on him from a distance. But if she wanted to stay in the country, she would have to wait for her father's rehabilitation to end successfully... but would it be successful?
People who were chronically ill wouldn’t only be physically destroyed, but their spirits would also be corroded. The determination to recover that they had at the beginning, after the long road to recovery, disappears and some would take extreme measures.
She didn't want to experience the terrifying events of four years ago again.
Wei Ruxia took out her mobile phone and called Alan.
It was the morning in the United Kingdom when Wei Ruxia called and Alan seemed to have just got up to practice his monologues. He was very happy when he received Wei Ruxia's call and greeted her in bad Chinese.
Alan’s voice after he had just finished his vocal training, was very loud. Through the earpiece, Wei Ruxia seemed to be able to see the little dew on the green plants on the balcony of the British home.
Vigorous, youthful and invincible, the same was true of Luo Tang.
"Yeah." Wei Ruxia responded with a smile, and praised, "Your Chinese has made good progress."
Alan was very happy to hear that, and continued to speak in Chinese, "I’ll accompany my teacher to the hospital today. Last time the doctor praised teacher for being positive and optimistic, and he’s recovering well."
The British were more open than the Chinese. For example, Alan was quick to tell her that the doctor praised her father. However, when she was in the video call with her father yesterday, he didn't tell her anything about it.
As long as her father's rehabilitation was on the right track, Wei Ruxia could rest assured. She thanked Alan. Alan smiled and shook his head and said that it was nothing. Before hanging up the phone, he didn’t forget to show his ‘open’ nature again.
"Jiejie, come back soon, my roses are about to bloom. I want to give you the first one."
After hanging up the call with Alan, Wei Ruxia settled down. She stared at the screen of the mobile phone but wouldn’t call her father rashly. When she arrived at the hotel, Wei Ruxia entered her room, sat on the sofa by the window, and dialed her father's number.
Wei Zishan's life was very regulated and he got up earlier than Alan. When Wei Ruxia heard the kind voice of her father, the strings in her heart slowly tightened.
"Dad, what are you up to?" She smiled, chatting as usual.
Wei Zishan was still correcting students’ scripts. Although the students’ scripts weren’t well-regulated, they had unique plots and sometimes when Wei Zishan was in a good mood, he would read a paragraph or two to Wei Ruxia.
Today he was in a very good mood. Wei Ruxia listened to him reading, with the corners of her lips raised, she opened the curtain next to her, and said to her father, "Very spiritual."
Wei Zishan laughed, agreed, and said, "Yes, if you want to refine yourself, you can just write a script."
"The plot of this commercial I'm shooting right now is also pretty good," Wei Ruxia said.
Wei Zishan smiled and said, "I heard you say that before, but the commercial style is too heavy and it’s not the same as a play. By the way, you should be back in twenty days, right?"
Although he didn't say it, he still thought about her return in his heart.
Wei Ruxia bit her lower lip and responded lightly, "Yeah."
Wei Zishan heard something was wrong in his daughter's tone. He closed the script and asked in a gentle tone, "What's the matter? Do you want to come back later?"
Wei Zishan was very sensitive to other’s emotions, and he could always detect what she was feeling. Wei Ruxia had some regrets. After meeting Luo Tang today, she was a little faint hearted.
"No." Wei Ruxia said, "I’ll be back on time. I don't want to leave you for too long."
"You don’t want to leave me for too long, or are you afraid to leave me for too long?" Wei Zishan was right to the point.
Wei Ruxia was speechless, but she didn't seem to hear any fluctuations when she listened to Wei Zishan's tone. She smiled and admitted, "Both."
On the other end of the phone, Wei Zishan sighed lightly, and asked Wei Ruxia, "Do you want to keep looking after me like this?"
Wei Ruxia didn't answer. Wei Zishan's tone slowed down and he chuckled, "Do whatever you want. Dad believes that whatever you do is for the good of us both."
Her father knew her better than she thought.
Wei Ruxia had called her father because she wanted to pick up the advertisement contract from Luo Tang's company. She admitted that she was selfish, thinking that when she was shooting the commercial she could also look at Luo Tang some more. But she wasn’t doing it purely for this, the generous pay was also an important point that attracted her.
She wanted to call her to test him to see if she could leave him for longer, but she hadn't even laid the net before her father took her apart.
Wei Ruxia picked up her old mobile phone with her WeChat account and was about to ask Hu Yinyin and Luo Tang’s contact information. She wanted to ask Luo Tang if she could postpone for half a month while she finished filming YI's commercials. If it didn't work, then she wouldn’t take the job.
As soon as she clicked on WeChat, the top contact ‘Tangtang’ sent a message.
The heart that Wei Ruxia had just fished out of the water was dunked under again. She didn't need to click on it to see what the message from Luo Tang was.
【Tangtang: I remember you, you‘re the first girl I ever liked.】
Luo Tang was still sitting on the office chair at his desk. He was holding his phone and staring deeply at the screen. On the screen, there was an unsent message.
【Also the only one I like.】
He pressed the delete key, deleting the unsent words, and typed a new message and sent it.
【Tangtang: Shoot the commercial next month, I’ll pay for it. I want to see you again.】
The author has something to say:
Tangtang: I’m not awkward, also my wife isn’t awkward.
I want to mention a pet-peev of mine, since it occured in this chapter. I'm not blaming translators, it's 100% Google's fault, but I really need everyone to know this one fact:
A 'French window' is a window that opens in a manner much like a door. It is not necessarily door height it simply hinges from the side....like a door. IT IS NOT a 'floor-to-ceiling' height window, in might be, but not necessarily.
Now you might be wondering why I'm talking to you about French windows. The windows in Luo Tang's villa are described as 落地窗 (Luò Dì Chuāng) which for whatever reason, Google translates to 'French windows', even though the Chinese just means floor-to-ceiling windows.
For a house like Luo Tang's which is only two floors and has a patio outside, they may very well be windows that function as doors. But I have read so many fucking novels with their over-bearing CEOs looking out from their 60+ story skyscrapers at the plebiens below from their "FRENCH WINDOWS". IF YOU'RE 60+ STORIES IN THE AIR AND YOUR OFFICE, WHICH LIKELY HAS NO BALCONY BECAUSE THE WIND IS FUCKED THAT HIGH UP, YOU PROBABLY DON'T WANT WINDOWS THAT OPEN LIKE DOORS!
ahem, sorry, I have a lot of feelings about French windows.