Chapter 7: Wicked Lady
His ride from the penthouse to the head office of S&S Enterprise was a fast and quiet one. Driving through the mostly empty highways improved the sour mood that had been plaguing him since morning. The early chill and mostly grey sky didn’t do much for him, though.
Although he noticed some morning people passing by on the streets, it was still too early for shops and offices to open for the day. It was only him and a few of the morning shift guards when he walked in the office building. No one noticed as he slipped through the main area and took the elevator, the lone figure riding all the way up to the top floor, where all the main offices were located.
His face maintained a cold and uninterested expression as he silently made his way into his office. Being the only one on the floor, he took his time to slide off his black coat from his shoulders before carefully placing it on the coat rack kept at the corner of the room.
He then tugged off the navy blue scarf that was coiled around his neck and hooked it beside his coat. He also combed his messy, still wet hair, quickly with his fingers. Suffering another sleepless night, he was seriously starting to get irritated with problems that kept popping out of nowhere.
Someone tried to bypass the cybersecurity of the S&S Enterprise. He simply scoffed at such foolishness. They got some nerve to mess with the Park family. Also, Karissa’s family was now pressuring him to retract all the negative articles published against her. As if he will accept that whore as his wife.
If it wasn’t for his father’s insistence to accept the marriage arrangement from the Wang family, he would’ve never even bothered to give that woman a second glance. Now that he thinks about it, it was the same time as his engagement announcement to Karissa that there was a sudden change in Ririna’s temperament.
That whore has threatened his woman. It is a good thing that he is finally getting rid of her.
He growled in annoyance, his long fingers rubbing his temples as soon as he seated himself. Their business was now doing well, but the stress still kept on piling up on him. Looking over the list of business proposals, he wondered if he could take a relaxing vacation.
His father had been asking him to take a break and let him and his half-brother, Evan, to manage the company on his behalf. As if he could trust that good for nothing of a brother.
Spreading all the files and folders over his desk, he started sorting through each file. Sighing, he then returned to the tedious task of reading each and every one of them, and at the end, ended up throwing a massive stack of paper into the trash bin. Most of them were unsatisfying; some had even tried to trick him with underlying lies and false promises.
Still sorting through the mess, Eli grabbed a rather thin folder kept on the side. Curious, he flipped it open only to find it to be an update on Ririna Han. Where did Jonathan find this information? Did he intentionally mix up her file with his business proposals? He hadn’t even given him instructions to gather data on her. Going over details, he was pleasantly surprised to see that Ririna had managed to live a normal life after leaving his protection.
Becoming one of the youngest and most popular artists of this era, she has managed to create a name for herself. Each of her paintings would cost about a couple of millions easily, especially via auctions. There were also clippings of articles from newspapers and magazines giving excellent reviews on her works. It also started to get known that she is a Philanthropist, continuously supporting charities and local orphanages in the area as well.
This may stem from the fact that before joining his private army, Ririna herself had spent a year living in an orphanage. Glancing at her recent photo, he frowned at the changes in her appearance. Her long silky auburn hair was chopped up to shoulder length and dyed ink black. Such a shame, he really enjoyed running his fingers through her silky tresses.
She is quite beautiful. Her brown eyes seem to have lost her usual murderous glint and, in lieu, acquired a more innocence and gentle aura. Her new black hair is also a big contrast against her smooth alabaster skin. The injury that she got all those years ago was now noticeably healed leaving only a pinkish stain on her left shoulder and upper arm. Looks like she has spent a lot of money to treat those scars and injuries.
“Hmph,” Eli muttered to himself. Regardless of the changes, she has undergone, there’s still no denying that she is still his Ririna. The only thing that bothers him now is her lost memory. But she has finally made a move against the Zhou family that betrayed her and her mother. With the 18% shares that he has gathered from the loose stocks, he is confident that, one of these days, his Ririna will seek him out.
Reaching out to the photo of the said woman, his long fingers traced her beautiful face, looking into the eyes that seemed to be staring right back at him. The corner of his lips curved into a small smile.
Ririna crossed her legs as she listened to the man in front of her. Her white floral dress clinging perfectly on every curve of her body, her slender figure complementing her beautiful face. She turned her head to her right as Erica whispered something into her. She nodded in response and then turned her attention back to the other party.
Is this man trying to fool her? He’s been trying to sell his shares for twice the original price. Although she doesn’t have any detailed knowledge on business and trading matters, even for an ordinary woman like her, she knows it was a daylight robbery.
Too bad for this man, she thought, he wouldn’t be able to fool her. She came prepared knowing that it wouldn’t be easy to coax these businessmen to give up their shares in Han Zhou Entertainment. She could only assume that these fools are trying to take more money from her because of her current status in the art industry. Most of her clients are rich and powerful personalities that don’t mind spending a huge amount just to brag about their purchases later to their friends and colleagues.
“I’m afraid, Mr. Chen is asking too much for the little shares that he currently has.” She responded.
“It’s called business, Miss Han. You can’t possibly just take these shares for that unreasonable price that you are proposing.”
“Hmm… I wonder if Mr. Chen thinks it’s still unreasonable in exchange for this information.” Erica handed a white folder to her. After scanning the contents of the documents, she threw it on the desk in front of the man.
“What do you mean, Miss Han?”
“Take a look. I’m sure you know what it is all about.” She simply replies.
Checking the folder, the man found a detailed record of land titles, bank account transactions as well as hotel reservations. His smug face turns into a horrified one. How could this woman find out about his secrets? With these details, anyone could use these to ruin his reputation and business.
“So Mr. Chen. You know I’m not really a businesswoman. I’m just a lowly painter who wants to make it in the entertainment industry.” While she said this, she smiled like a Cheshire cat, full of mischievousness. “What do you think will happen if I leaked these to the media? Do you think your lovely wife will forgive you?”
Rage filled the eyes of the older man. He shouldn’t have made a deal with this woman. She was able to find out about his relationship with that B-rated actress of Han Zhou Entertainment. If this leaked to the press, the upper management of the company will surely find out that he meddled with the affairs and contracts of that actress. What’s more, his wife, who comes from an influential family, will surely divorce him.
In his rage, he stood up and leapt to the other side of the desk, aiming for her throat. Just when he thought he could make it, a pair of hands suddenly pulled him up by his collar and smashed his back on the wooden desk behind him. He groaned in pain and looked up, only to see the lady’s assistant hovering over him, her foot pressing on his chest to keep him down. A CW9 9mm handgun is in her hand, ready to shoot him.
“My, my, what a bold move! I didn’t realize that a businessman like you will dare to harm a mere painter like me!” Ririna said. Her left arm is wrapped underneath her chest while the other one rubbing her chin. She looked down at the man with a wicked smile. With her still sitting unfazed on her seat with crossed legs, she looked like a queen mocking a peasant by her feet.
“What about me, Mr. Chen? I’m just asking for that meager six percent shares of yours and you dare to trick me? And now you tried to attack me?”
Feeling cornered and threatened, the man was now filled with regret. If only he had accepted her proposed earlier and not provoked her, he wouldn’t be in this situation. He would now have to sell his shares without any question.
“What do you want?” He grits his teeth in dismay.
“I only want the shares you have, Mr. Chen. You see, I was actually considering to let you go unscathed but you even dared to threaten me.”
“You will pay for this!” Erica pulled him up again from the ground and shoved the deed of sale in front of him. Without any other options left, he unwillingly signed the documents, giving up all of his shares to the wicked woman.
“Now, now Mr. Chen. Do not try to threaten me once again or you will not be able to leave this place alive. I’m a very forgiving woman, but I cannot tell if my men will keep you alive.” Her voice was filled with mockery.
“As for the evidence, I also have the video footage of your affairs. If something ever happened to me or my family, it will be released to the public. If I’m going to hell, I’ll make sure to drag you down with me.”
This woman was so different from the meek, gentle lady he had met earlier. Those words were like last warning from the demoness telling him she is not someone to be messed with. He should have done his homework on her. This could have been prevented if only he knew who he was dealing with.
After he left the office building, Erica reached forward and passed the signed documents to Ririna.
“I’m so sorry for breaking your furniture. Rest assured, I’m going to replace it with something sturdy.” Erica said while Ririna just waved her apology away.
“Don’t worry about it. Are there any reports or issues that we need to settle now?”
Erica shook her head and called the housekeeping personnel to clean up the mess. She then took the newspaper and showed her the front page of the business section.
[Gamaliel Park eyeing the Entertainment Industry, joins Han Zhou Entertainment as one of the stock holders]
“I checked it earlier. It is confirmed that he bought 18% shares.”
“Hmm… Is there any other news within the Zhou family?” They have planted a spy within the Zhou Family residence to keep an eye on their next move.
Erica couldn’t help but laugh when she remembered what the spy had reported earlier that morning.
“Nothing much, but Cindy Zhou is extremely happy that she now has a chance to seduce Eli. She’s claiming she will be the next Mrs. Gamaliel Park, and soon.”
Ririna smirked back at her. Her so-called half-sister claiming Eli as hers? How foolish could she get?
“Let her be. Let’s see if she could seduce the devil.”
“Do you want me to send a spy to S&S Enterprise? I’m pretty sure Eli’s got some motive.”
Ririna shook her head and stood up from her seat. She dug her phone out from her handbag and checked the messages in her inbox.
“There’s no need for that. That man is like a dog. He could always tell when there’s a mouse lurking in his den.”
Sighing, Erica checked the schedule on her tablet and adjusted the next meeting for the day after.
“By the way, Ririna. Elder Han called earlier. He is requesting your presence tomorrow afternoon. Will you be free to attend?” she asked.
“Grandfather? What else did he say?” Erica shrugged her shoulders.
“No Idea. He just said you haven’t paid him a visit since you arrived a month ago.”
“Okay. Clear my schedule for tomorrow afternoon. I’ll pay him a visit. As for Eli..” she stopped and pondered, then turned and said “Request for a meeting. I can’t give him an opening to find something about Skyler.”