(Leila threw up)
Chris blushed. Sam was handsome and evidently came from a well reputed and rich family. Indeed, Gary also thought Sam was an excellent candidate for a grandson-in-law. Most importantly, he appreciated his patience. He never complained whenever Gary wanted to talk or play chess with him.
"Oh, I just recalled that Charles needs to get his sutures removed tomorrow.
Grandpa, why don't we eat out, celebrate and make a day of it?" Autumn suggested.
"Great idea!" Chris chimed in gleefully.
While Autumn was chatting with Gary and Chris, Charles and Leila were in the middle of a business banquet to lower the price. The other company's boss was as cunning as a fox. The negotiation had stretched out over a long time, yet it was not going anywhere, so this time Charles had to take care of it himself.
Jed Fang, their business partner, kept urging and pushing Leila to drink more wine. Despite Charles' presence, he laid his hand on her leg and then casually tried to move his hands onto her thigh.
Leila looked at Charles with unpleasant looks. She was angry but she couldn't say anything. She was waiting for Charles to defend her honor.
She had drunk a lot. She used to entertain business partners of Cloud Advertising Company with Ryan.
Although her face turned red with wine, she seldom got drunk.
But today... seemed different.
Whenever someone urged her to drink she chugged her glass of wine. She was drunk a few moments into the dinner and was sitting there, ruefully gazing at Charles.
"Miss Zhang, here, let's drink some more," Mr. Fang said to Leila while casually wrapping his arms around her shoulder. All through this meal, he spent most of the time urging Leila to drink and barely mentioned anything about business. Charles was about to explode with all the pent-up anger.
"Mr. Fang, about the price-" Charles said, but Jed Fang interrupted him immediately and said, "Mr. Lu, we are all having a good time here tonight. Why do you have to be such a spoilsport? As long as you make me happy and satisfied during this meal, lowering the price will be assured. Come, drink with us. Cheers!"
Jed Fang was tipsy. He raised his glass and stood in front of Charles and said, "Mr. Lu, drink this and I assure you I will be your friend. I will do my best to accommodate whatever it is that you seek."
"I don't consume alcohol," Charles said abruptly in a cold tone.
"What do you mean?" Seeing Charles was merely a youth, Jed Fang sneered and said, "Are you looking down upon me and judging me harshly?"
"Don't be angry." Leila stood up and staggered to Charles. She said to Jed Fang, "Mr. Fang, don't get angry. I'll drink this glass of wine on behalf of Mr. Lu."
Leila was just about to grab the glass from Jed Fang but he ignored her.
Heavily under the influence of wine, he poked Charles in the chest repeatedly, saying, "Who the hell do you think you are? Let me tell you a little something, I'm here only out of my respect for Gary-"
Before Jed Fang could finish his remark, Charles grabbed his hand and pushed it aside and said, "And I'm here because I truly respect your father."
Jed Fang was from a wealthy family. He was nothing by himself and so he solely relied on the reputation of his shrewd and respected father.
Charles had given him a chance but he just blew it and left Charles with no other choice. "Tell your father that I tried. Now as we can't possibly reach an agreement after wasting this entire evening I have to find myself another supplier."
Upon hearing Charles say he was going to find another supplier, Jed was shocked to his very core. In a moment of sobriety he stared at Charles and said, "I dare you!"
"You will know very soon whether I dare or not." Charles took his coat off the hanger with knitted brows and was prepared to leave.
He looked at Leila, who was sitting on the floor, and said, "Get up. I'm driving you home now."
"Okay." Leila exhaled deeply. She had done everything tonight to make Charles drive her home. Now she got exactly what she wanted.
Jed cursed behind them. The words he uttered were so filthy that Leila felt uncomfortable just hearing them.
Charles strode away while pretending not to hear anything. Once they got in his car, Leila took the fall for everything that had happened at the table. "Mr. Lu, I'm sorry," she said.
"Are you drunk? What are you apologizing for?" Charles simply ended the cooperation with Jed because he was a scumbag. Besides, he had already found a new supplier. Today's talk and dinner was a formality for senior Mr. Fang's sake.
"It's all my fault. I'm inexperienced. If Linda were here instead of me, things would have gone smoothly. You lost this huge supplier because of me. I majorly screwed it up," Leila said apologetically.
"Enough. You don't have to take the blame." In an indifferent tone, Charles asked, "Where do you live?"
Leila tole him the address and briefly explained the directions. Charles didn't say a word after that. There was an air of awkwardness in the car. Leila was anxious to find a way to break the ice, because if it went on like this, Charles wouldn't even think of entering her apartment, let alone staying for tea.
Before Leila could figure out a way, the car had already stopped right in front of her building. Leila got out of the car and threw up at the roadside, or more precisely, gagged. She sneakily dug her fingers into her throat to reflex puke while Charles wasn't looking.
Charles wasn't soft-hearted exactly, but thinking that this was the first time she had been in such a situation, his heart melted. He took a bottle of water from the trunk and walked up to Leila. "Are you all right?" he asked with a concerned look.
At this very moment, Leila puked on his fancy suit. She finally saw Charles's worried face with knitted brows, only the concern was not for her.
"I'm so...so sorry, Mr. Lu. I didn't mean to puke on you." Looking at the large stains on his suit, Leila was on cloud nine. But she deceitfully hid her complacency behind a facade of sincere guilt. "Mr. Lu, I really didn't do it on purpose."
"Okay, just forget it. You can stop cleaning it now." Charles pushed her hand away. The stains just looked messier than before. "Go upstairs, safely. I'm heading home now."
Charles handed her the bottle of water.
When he turned back, Leila stopped him immediately and said, "Mr. Lu, since you are already here, why not accompany me upstairs for a hot cup of tea? Besides, when Mrs. Lu sees you like this, she will be worried. You don't want that. Do you?"
Leila acted all concerned about him. "I have my father's clothes in my apartment. They are not expensive but they are clean. I'm sure that is better than wearing this right now.
Or you can clean off the stains upstairs.
They look really disgusting." Charles thought Leila's words made sense. He hesitated and then nodded. "In this case, take the lead."
His suit smelt pungent. He was afraid he would throw up while driving with that lingering stench.
Leila was thrilled. She finally got her wish to lead Charles into her home. She had rented this small apartment near her workplace and kept it neat and cozy.