Tea Leaves and Gold Pins

Summer Dress, Business Lunch, and Questions

Author's Notes: We're back to Ju again. I figured we would have something light for this chapter to a breather and to skip some time to speed things up.

Match Seventeen: Summer Dress, Business Lunch, and Questions:


Summer's here. This is going to be a busy season for me. Today, I have a business lunch with my main investor, another company that wants to enter in a partnership with me, and Wang Yao. Yes, that was right on the last part. Wang Yao is coming to have lunch with me. Hen-to and Fei have told me repeatedly that he is an important business partner to the Liao clan.

"Your father and Wang-qianbei are good friends through their exchanges," Hen-to said outside of my room.

"Is that right?" I asked.

"Oh yes," he said. "They are really good friends." I held up a light green summer dress to my chest in the mirror. I shrugged to myself. Good enough, I thought. I got dressed and fixed my hair. I slid open my bedroom door. Hen-to looked up at me.

"Ta-da!" I cheered. "How do I look?" He gave me a funny look. I blinked at him.

"What is it?" I asked. Her blinked at me once.

"You're wearing that?" he asked. I looked down at my dress.

"Yeah," I said. He kind of frowned at me. My face dimmed at his expression.

"What's wrong with it?" I asked. He only shook his head at me.

"Nothing," he said. I frowned at him by this point.

"Should I change clothes?" I asked. Hen-to quickly shook his head.

"No, no!" he said. "It's fine. It's fine." I raised an eyebrow at him.

"You sure about that?" I asked.

"Yes!" he insisted. "Now let's go! Fei is already waiting for us in the truck!"

"Okay, okay," I said. "I'm ready. Lead the way." We walked out of the house to go to lunch.

The meeting place was at a seafood bistro. My investor picked out this place. According to my notes, he just loves this place. I only ate here once when I was little. The food is decent, but they try to feed you too much. Father ended up taking my dinner back home to eat later. Fei, Hen-to, and I pulled up in the parking lot. I looked out the window. Heh, looks the same as it did in 2002.

"I called them and let him know that we were here," Fei said. I nodded at him.

"Got ya!" I said. I opened the door and stepped out. We found the men waiting outside at table near the city view. My investor flagged us over.

"Good afternoon," I greeted him with a bow.

"Hello there Ju-furen!" my investor and the others said. I glanced over and noticed Yao looking back at me. I automatically put on my poker face.

"Shall we take a seat?" I asked.

"Yes ma'am," they all said.

"Thank you," I replied. We all took a seat at the table. I took a look at everyone here. Fei, Hen-to and I sat across from my investor, the company leader, and Yao. I pressed the palms of my hands together.

"Shall we get started?" I asked. Naturally, I didn't wait for an answer. "Good, good. I am told that you…"

"Ba-qianbei," the company owner said.

"Ba-qianbei wish to invest in the Liao clan while Wang-qianbei here still wants the bid. Am I correct?"

"Yes furen," both men replied.

"And in the end, Eng-qianbei," I said as I noticed to my investor. "Will see to it with the paperwork. Correct?"

"Yes, it is," Eng-qianbei replied.

"And the object of this meeting is to convince me who is the better deal," I summed.

"Yes," my advisors replied. I sat back with my arms folded across my chest. This is like two wealthy bachelors competing to court my clan. This should be fun to watch.

"Well then," I said. "Show me your business plans." Yao and Ba-qianbei handed over their portfolios. My advisors and I skimmed each one briefly. They both have rather rational points at first glance. I could pick out the one I want right away, but that's just too easy. Gotta make them work for it some. That's how it goes, right? I placed both plans in my green and black bag. I pressed my palms together again.

"You both have very sound proposals for my clan," I addressed them. "You look like you both took the time to plot out each detail to the curve." I turned to my advisers.

"Remind me why we can't have both plans again," I said, sounding all lady-like."

"Our budget can only allow us to have only one plan to partner up with," Hen-to laid in plan terms. I nodded at his answer.

"I see," I replied. I turned to the two bidders. Ah, got their attention now! Yao and Ba-qianbei kept their eyes locked on me, waiting to hear more. I sat back, smirking to myself.

"Well now," I said. "I will happily look over the plans and get back to in three weeks." Both men blinked at me.

"Three weeks?!" Yao asked. I held up my hand at him.

"May I remind you that I have my exams coming up," I said. "I have to have time to study for them so I don't repeat junior year. Is that reasonable?" Yao drew back in his chair.

"Fine," he said. I shifted in my chair to get comfortable.

"So glad that you understand," I replied. "Oh yeah one more thing." The men glanced over at me, curious.

"Asking me on whether or not I have made a decision before the given date or repeated questioning will result in an automatic rejection," I stated. "So, let me be so I can study. I highly doubt that neither one of you want to be the reason that I fail any of my exams. Am I clear?" Both men looked so small now as they shook their heads at me. I broke into a huge smile.

"Good!" I said. I stuck up my hand in the air. "Waiter!" I called. "I think we're ready to order now!" The two men reluctantly pick up their menus as well. I smirked to myself under my happy poker face.

I think I'm going to like this position.

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