"What's the matter, Sister Na?" A tender voice came out of nowhere and interrupted their conversation. Tang Yue walked over with her hand holding on to a white evening gown.
Seeing that it was Tang Yue, Zhou Na soften her tone. "It's fine. The new girl's just being disobedient. If all the rookies are like you, all of us agents would probably die of happiness!"
"Haha!" Tang Yue gave a bland smile. "Miss Mei looks like she's only sixteen years old, so it's quite understandable that she still lacks the sensibility and maturity to behave. You have to go easy on her, Sister Na." Tang Yue turned to look at Ah Sha. "Miss Mei, it would be best if you listen to your agent. I'm sure Sister Na won't lead you astray."
Tang Yue's eyes looked innocent and pure and her voice was warm and tender; those qualities would make people believe just about anything she said.
Too bad, Ah Sha had long since known this woman inside out during the two years they had spent together as students of Caesar Academy.
"Since I'm insensible and immature like Miss Tang said, then I guess I'll care even less now," Ah Sha said with a shrug. "Immature, is it? Then I'll act like an immature brat till the end!" Grabbing the dress that she had picked earlier, Ah Sha turned around and stormed back into the fitting room.
Zhou Na was so furious that she felt the sudden urge to walk over and slap Ah Sha. The corners of Tang Yue's lips tugged upwards and she gave Zhou Na a consoling smile. "Forget it, Sister Na. At least you've tried your best. I'm going, then!" Tang Yue nodded and followed her own agent out.
Zhou Na stared after Tang Yue's leaving form. The more Zhou Na thought about it, the angrier she felt. Why the f*ck should she be a.s.signed to a good-for-nothing little minx?
Ah Sha had already tried the dress on and was now putting the dress away. When she was done, she took the bag containing her dress and walked out. "I'm done. Where are we going to do my hair?"
"Why didn't you wear the dress straight away?" Zhou Na asked, pausing slightly. "If you end up being an embarra.s.sment during the dinner party, how the h.e.l.l am I ever going to answer to the company?"
"If I embarra.s.s the company, then that's my sole responsibility," Ah Sha said calmly. "Besides, isn't that a good thing for you? Since you would then have an excuse to get a.s.signed to another rookie!"
"Impudent girl," Zhou Na said with a snort. Then, she turned around and walked away.
A zephyr blew across the night sky above the city, marking the summer's end. Tonight, Stars Entertainment's first ever dinner party would be held on the top floor of the city's commercial center. A lot of famous directors and celebrities were invited. People had long since begun spreading rumors that Stars Entertainment was looking to recruit talents through the dinner party.
That was why this dinner party was teeming with celebrities who were not doing well in their current talent agencies and whose popularities were going downhill. Of course, several hot shot celebrities were present as well; catching Stars Entertainment's eye would lead them straight to international fame. To contemporary stars and celebrities who were only popular within China, this was an opportunity of a lifetime to make their international debut.
Ah Sha hid in one corner alone, enjoying her food. Even so, a lot of people had already noticed her. It was not typical of a young girl at her age to pick a short, pink, princess dress. With that kind of style, it would be very easy to give people the wrong idea that perhaps the girl was from some other type of entertainment centers.
On Ah Sha, however, the effect of the princess dress was absolutely stunning. Her hair was drawn to the back of her head in a chignon and was secured with a crystal hair clip that was shaped like a puppy. She was like a princess straight out of a fairy tale.
Then again, the look in her eyes gave her a sultry air, which made her look like some kind of femme fatale. The first thought of any man who laid eyes on her was, "I can't wait to remove those pink angel wings and see what it is that makes her so bewitching."
Even Zhou Na herself had been rendered speechless for a long time when she saw Ah Sha's appearance. Zhou Na did not even try to nag Ah Sha again after that.
A voice interrupted Ah Sha's private feast. "Miss Mei!" Ah Sha raised her head and saw the potbellied Mr. Yuan approaching her.
Ah Sha set down her plate and took a step back. "h.e.l.lo, Manager Yuan!" Ah Sha greeted politely.
Yuan Tao watched her enthusiastically. "d.a.m.n, this chick sure is captivating," he thought. He had planned to make his move when she came to the interview that day. But sadly, he knew that she was too pretty and might not even spare him a second glance. That was why he had targeted Tian Yiyi first. After that, he had asked Tian Yiyi to drop a few hints to Mei Jing so that the latter would come to him if she wanted a role in the movie. Who knew Tian Yiyi would screw up even something as simple as that.
But Tian Yiyi was still considered pretty, and he was not done playing with her yet. Otherwise, he never would have signed her on.
"Why are you hiding out here, Miss Mei?" Yuan Tao said as he took a step closer to her. "I mean, this is such a rare opportunity! You should go mingle and get to know a few movie directors. Who knows you might be able to land yourself a role!"
Ah Sha was still thinking of a way to handle this douchebag when she saw Zhou Na hurrying over.
"Mei Jing, come with me," Zhou Na said. That was when Zhou Na noticed Yuan Tao's presence. A wave of anger rose inside Zhou Na when she thought about how Yuan Tao had taken advantage of her and yet did not even a.s.sign her to be Tang Yue's agent.
"Manager Yuan, do you have any business here?" Zhou Na asked with an unkind look on her face.
"Oh, none! None!" Yuan Tao said with a smile. "Just giving the rookie some advice, was all. Hey, Mei Jing, you should go with Zhou Na. Remember to perform well!"
Ah Sha gave a fake smile and nodded.
Zhou Na led Mei Jing to a group of people who were having a conversation. Ah Sha noticed that Tang Yue was there too.
"President Song, this is our Mei Jing. Take a look at her!"
The man appraised Mei Jing. "Pretty. Very pretty indeed. But she's one of your rookies, right?"
"Miss Mei stands a chance to join me as part of the cast in Stars Entertainment's blockbuster movie this year," Tang Yue said with her usual sophisticated and warm smile. "Why don't you think about it, President Song?"
President Song smiled. "Xin Enterprises is looking for an endorser to promote their underground hot springs. You have a reputation as the Commercial Queen, Miss Tang. I highly recommend you try it out. As for you, Miss Mei, I'm very sorry. I do hope we have an opportunity to work together in the future."
Ah Sha blinked several times. Underground hot springs? She remembered hearing Young Master Shen mention it occasionally last year. Xin Enterprises' previous endorser had gotten married and had migrated. Back then, Xin Qing's plan was to let Ah Sha be the new endorser once she returned to the country after her graduation.
"Boss Song, if there is no chance of being an endorser, any commercial is okay. You know as well how tough things can get for rookies!" Zhou Na was still trying to fight for a chance for Mei Jing. No matter how much she disliked Mei Jing, right now, she was still her agent. They were both in the same boat.
"How about this, then?" Tang Yue said. "I'm doing a commercial recently and it needs a few girls as walk-ons. There isn't much screen time, though. Mei Jing, do you want to try it out?"
The cold voice of a man sounded before Ah Sha could even come up with a response.
"Actresses of Stars Entertainment will not stoop to such level," said the voice.
Everyone froze in their spot. Then, Boss Song quickly lowered his head. "Boss Wan!"
"Boss Song, surely you must know who it is that has the final say regarding Xin Enterprises' choice of endorser?"
"I... Well, it was just a pa.s.sing comment," said President Song, wiping the cold sweat off his brows. Even if n.o.body here knew the background of the young man standing before him right now, he was aware of it.
The owner and boss of Stars Entertainment, Wan Qingsi. He was the future son-in-law of President Ying himself. The guy used to be called Wan Laoda, though somehow he had changed his name.
Wan Qingsi ignored President Song and turned to Zhou Na instead. "Are you her agent?"
"Yes, I am, boss," Zhou Na answered carefully.
"She hasn't even been a.s.signed yet, who gave you the permission to take commercial roles on her behalf?" Wan Qingsi said, his cold gaze sweeping across everyone in the group. Then, his eyes paused briefly on Tang Yue. "And such third-rate commercial, no less."
A tremor a.s.saulted Tang Yue's heart. For the life of her, she could not understand why this man would be saying such things. He seemed angry.
"Ah, looks like we've blundered." Tang Yue gave a small smile. "My apologies, Mei Jing!"
Ah Sha had stayed silent the whole time. She had long since noticed Xunxun's eyes on her. "Sh*t, don't tell me my cover's blown already?" She thought. "Nah. That's impossible. My mother-in-law's gadgets are super reliable."
"It's okay," Ah Sha said, deciding to ignore the man standing beside her for the time being. She looked at Tang Yue and said, "I know you're just looking out for me!"
Ah Sha sneaked away from the side door as soon as the dinner party ended. This party did not benefit Ah Sha at all, unless she counted the men's subtle offers to become her sugar daddy as a form of benefit.
Then again, Ah Sha was the only one who thought that way...
Xunxun returned to his own apartment, the same one that he had bought years ago. The entire floor had been cleared out to form an open plan apartment. At first, he had intended to stay at Ying's residence after he returned to China. But then he had been chased out of the house when Ying Qingcang brought Xin Qing back home.
"When are you going to stop living off your mother-in-law?" That had been Ying Qingcang's excuse to kick him out.
Not that Xunxun minded being kicked out. Now, as he studied the interior design of the apartment, which was mostly pink in color, warmth slowly seeped into his cold eyes. Ah Sha would move in the moment she returned at the end of this year. "Speaking of..." A frown formed in Xunxun's brows. That Mei Jing from the dinner party tonight resembled Ah Sha so much; in terms of her figure, and the way she moved, she was exactly like Ah Sha.
Other than that face…
Glancing out the window to look at the city lights, Xunxun smirked. There was no way in h.e.l.l he would fail to recognize the love of his life.
He pressed the ring on his finger. Boss Wan's head appeared in the air.
The father and son stared at each other for a long time before Boss Wan broke the silence. "You've already recognized her, haven't you?"
"Will you not recognize your own wife?" Xunxun said coldly. "What did you and mother do behind my back!"
"Any wish of our daughter-in-law is our command," Boss Wan said without even a hint of remorse.
"Aunt Qing knew as well?"
"Both your mother-in-law and father-in-law knew."
Xunxun nodded. "That will be all. I'm hanging up."
"Ah Sha didn't want you to know. Just let her do what she wants. Don't ruin her fun," Boss Wan hurled back those words before ending the communication.
Poor Ah Sha still had no idea that her game was up. She had taken a bath when she got home and was now lying in bed, waiting for Xunxun's routine phone call to check up on her. She picked up her phone the moment it rang.
A tender, warm voice was the first thing she heard through the phone. "Ah Sha, are you asleep yet?"
"I'm already in bed. I'll go to sleep once we finish our call!" Ah Sha patted the blanket to show him that she was telling the truth.
On the other end of the line, Xunxun laughed. "Ah Sha," he said, "I miss you. Hurry up and graduate so you can come back."
"I miss you too!" Ah Sha said. Well, at least this part was not a lie. But anything after that...
"I'll be back at the end of this year. You must give me a movie role by then. I want to be the female lead!"
The first part of her statement had caused Xunxun's heart to flutter. But the second part made him laugh in incredulity.
"This girl is still pretending!"
"Fine. There'll most definitely be a leading role waiting for you when you return!"
When Ah Sha arrived at the company the next day, Zhou Na told her something with a look of disbelief on her face: the company had decided to let Ah Sha star as the second female lead in the movie.
"Isn't Tian Yiyi supposed to be the second lead?" Ah Sha looked puzzled as well. The first thought was that her cover was blown and that Xunxun had recognized her. Then she dismissed the idea after giving it more thought. From what she knew of Xunxun's personality, he would have called her out the moment he had found out.
Zhou Na waved off Ah Sha's question. "I'm pretty sure that's just based on her own words! Humph. Anyway, just ignore her. She'll most likely be cast as the third, or fourth lead." Zhou Na handed the script to Ah Sha. "Go through it carefully. We'll enter the movie set in half a month."
Ah Sha enjoyed the process of film-making; for half a month, she stayed at home obediently to memorize her lines. On the day they were supposed to appear on set, the car that the company had sent to pick her up arrived at her place on time. When she arrived, she saw that Tang Yue was there with her make-up already done.
Beside Tang Yue, however, was the expressionless Wan Qingsi.