IN LOVE WITH A SOLDIER
(Will he be mad with you)
"Baby, " Jackson called softly.
"Yes?" asked Cherry, slowly opening her eyes.
"Did you really lay with our genius son?" Jackson questioned Cherry as he gazed down at her.
Cherry didn't know whether to cry or laugh. How could he ask such a childish question?
"Let's just go to sleep, okay?" Cherry murmured as she closed her eyes again.
"You belong to me, and no one will take you away, " Jackson growled possessively as he pinned Cherry under him.
The bedroom brimmed with an atmosphere of sweet love.
The next morning, Cherry was up very early. She woke Jackson up and then went to get Joe up. They washed up together and went downstairs.
As they sat at the dining room and had their breakfast, Cherry felt like her body had been bruised and crushed. Jackson had been so energetic the night before, and she had gotten almost no sleep.
"Mommy, are you alright? You don't look well." Joe was concerned when he saw how tired his mother looked.
"Are you sick?" asked Jackson, worried about Cherry too.
Cherry gave Jackson a stern yet embarrassed look, before she went back to eating her breakfast quietly..
Joe saw the look between his parents and realized what happened. He immediately dropped his gaze and ate his breakfast, but he couldn't help beaming.
Jackson looked from Cherry to Joe, and shrugged.
After breakfast, Bill took Joe to school. Cherry stood on the porch and watched the car leaving before she went back into the house.
"He'll be fine, don't worry."
Jackson told Cherry reassuring as he put his arm around her shoulder.
"I can't help worrying." said Cherry.
Jackson looked into her eyes as he told her slowly, "Rest assured that I'll protect you and our son."
Cherry nodded. She wanted to say something but did not know how.
Jackson continued, "I'm going to the barracks and probably won't be back today."
"When exactly will you be home then?" Cherry was feeling unwilling to tear herself from him, and knew she was going to miss him if she wasn't able to see him for a few days.
Jackson had to follow the military rules like every other soldier, and told her, "I'm not sure. I'll let you know as soon as possible."
"I see." Cherry nodded, understanding the difficulties of being a soldier.
Cherry drove to work, running into Caroline as she entered the JS building.
Caroline greeted cheerily, "Good morning, Cherry."
"Morning, " Cherry said back. Caroline hastily added, "Miss Selina has been expecting you."
"Okay, got it, " Cherry nodded. Cherry took the elevator to Selina's office on the top floor.
"Selina, " Cherry called out, standing in the open doorway of the office.
"Cherry, come in. I've got some news for you, " Selina responded in a bit of hurry.
Cherry walked to Selina's desk and sat opposite her, "What's up? Is anything wrong?"
"Have a look at this Notification of Personnel Changes." Selina requested as she handed Cherry a document.
Cherry took and read through it, then, she looked up at Selina inquiring, "Is it definite that he'll be the new associate director?"
Selina nodded yes adding, "This was the result of the board meeting. He'll take over the department, and your future job will be to accompany me for activities and meeting. You'll need to spend more time outside on duty. Are you okay with that?"
"Yes, of course." Cherry responded immediately. When she was a salesperson, she visited her clients often, so attending business activities and meetings with Selina would be no problem.
"Good." said Selina. "Going forward, you will be accompanying me to meet with representatives of other companies."
"Okay." Cherry nodded.
Selina hesitated before adding seriously, "Actually, I have something important to tell you."
"Go ahead, " said Cherry.
Selina handed Cherry another document and said grimly, "This is a newly established company in the city. It has a Hong Kong company backing it, and has drawn a large investment." Her tone was animated, as though she were in a company general meeting.
Cherry noticed the name on the papers, "The ZM group?"
"Yes, the ZM group, their chairman is Mond Xu, " replied Selina calmly.
Cherry skimmed the papers before looking up at Selina, "This document doesn't contain much useful information."
"Exactly, " said Selina. She had searched, but this was the only information on the ZM group she could dig up. She couldn't find any other valuable information, even on the company's chairman Mond Xu. Not online, or from her business contacts.
Cherry nodded while looking over the document, and finally she said, "This is useless. It's just basic information and doesn't make any difference."
"But that's all I could find." Selina had been racking her brains, trying to find a way to dig up more useful information.
"Selina, does the ZM group have anything to do with us." Cherry asked curiously when she noticed Selina seemed to be struggling.
"Why would they have to have something to do with us?"
Selina hesitated, she wasn't sure whether or not to tell Cherry the truth, but she finally decided to be frank with her. After all, Cherry meant the same to her as Jackson in her heart.
"Cherry, I doubt the ZM group is as simple as it appears." Selina paused, "I never heard of Mond Xu before now. Think about it. How can a business man settle in a city without being part of its business circle or acquainting himself with the market? Yet, I've never heard of him."
Selina's words made sense. Cherry gave her opinion as she thought it over, "Perhaps, Mond Xu learned about our city in a way we don't know about."
"I talked to some of my business contacts and none of them heard of this Mond Xu. JS's role in the city's business circle is to know these things and each of my business contacts have their influence. If they didn't know Mond Xu, then it means he is new to our business circle." Selina analyzed the whole matter in her head as she went over the facts.
Cherry agreed with Selina's assessments. There must be something behind this company. They were both lost in thought and the office was quiet.
Suddenly Cherry broke the silence. "Selina, is it possible to start with Mond Xu?"
Selina kept staring off into space, not looking at Cherry as she said, "I have no clue about the man."
Cherry questioned, "Does he live in the city? Where does he live? Can we get his phone number? Or, information about any of his acquaintance?"
Selina shook her head frowning, "No, there's nothing at all."
"That's impossible!" Cherry could not believe it. How could a man live in the city and leave no trace?
"He won't be mysterious for long if he wants people to know him, " said Selina. A look of doubt was in her eyes as she huffed out the words.
"Then, how did you get the document?" Cherry wondered out loud.
"A friend gave it to me, and said that the ZM group was established three days ago. Since then, there have been a large number of business trades, and it has become more powerful than the Anshi group already." Selina explained.
"You mean Stephen's company?" cried Cherry. The Anshi group had some influence in the city. They were well established, having run some local bars and entertainment clubs for a long time. If ZM could surpass Anshi that quickly, then it would be able to become as influential as JS one day, and JS would lose its superiority.
Selina nodded, "Stephen's company is not small. So, for a newly-built company vigorous enough to surpass it shows the great potential that the company has."
"Selina, have you checked the Hong Kong company backing it?"
Cherry thought this might be where they could make some sort of break through.
However, Selina shook her head again, "No, I haven't, but I don't think it'll make any difference. Even if we could get information, it would be superficial information about them, or maybe ZM uses it as a cover."
Cherry did not argue. Selina's suspicion made sense. It was common practice for small companies to perform under cover of larger companies.
A long moment later, Cherry looked at Selina and asked, "What if I ask Stephen if he knows anything about the ZM group?"
'That may be viable.' thought Selina, 'Stephen has big connections in the city, with many upper society people in his entertainment clubs regularly.
He probably knows something.' Selina was about to say yes, but she then thought of how possessive Jackson was of Cherry and how angry he would be that Cherry went to see Stephen.