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Season 2

Episode 91

(Hoada masihiro)

"What's going on?" Autumn asked, "How could you be back to work so soon? I thought I told you to get some rest."

"I am ok." Isla forced a pale smile and replied, "Staying home would only make me feel worse. I feel much better here keeping my mind off things."

Autumn felt sorry for Isla. "Isla, you are..."

She wanted to tell her about Aron's plan. It might make Isla feel better. But Autumn changed her mind and decided to keep quiet.

Isla reacted with a gentle smile, "Autumn, I feel ok. The tasks here have piled up during my absence and I have to handle them one by one. Do you have anything else to talk to me about?"

"Nothing more. You can work on them as you wish." Autumn replied. After Isla left, Autumn kept herself busy with her own work that had also started to pile up on her desk.

Close to the end of the day, Ryan Zhou knocked on the office door: "Ye..... I mean... Manager Ye, someone here is looking for you."

"Who is it?" Autumn grumbled. Who would want to speak to her near closing time?

"It is me." Autumn immediately knew who the visitor was, judging from the poor Chinese he uttered. "Mr.Hoada, what a surprise to see you here!" She exclaimed.

Hoada Masahiro was one of Autumn's former clients. Although their business did not materialize, they still had high regard and respect for each other. He lived in Japan most of the time, so there had been no frequent communication between them. It indeed surprised Autumn to see him today.

"Miss Ye, we meet again after a long time." Hoada Masahiro said with beaming smile. He is a Japanese businessman with an average height and beautiful features.

"Please be seated." Autumn expressed her pleasure as she poured a cup of tea for her guest. "Mr. Hoada, what is the main purpose of your return to China?"

"I am on business here. I wanted to take the chance to meet you when I learned that you work nearby." Hoada Masahiro looked Autumn up and down. "May I invite you to dinner?"

"I am afraid not...." Autumn would have accepted his invitation, had she not just dealt with a mountain of tasks.

Hoada Masahiro switched to a wiser course after sensing Autumn's hesitancy. "I will be here in China for no more than two days. I intended to discuss something to make up for our discontinued business... Since you seem short of time, we don't have to do it now."

"Well....." Autumn decided to accept Hoada Masahiro's invitation after careful consideration. Cloud Advertising Company hadn't been performing well due to that scandal she was involved in, thwarting cooperation from big companies. Hoada Masahiro's participation could redeem her company from this slump.

"Please wait a moment. I need to make a phone call." Autumn called her husband to tell him that she would be home a bit late. Charles asked where the dinner would be and hung up.

Autumn felt much at ease after assuring her husband. She said to Hoada with a smile. "Now I will call to get a reservation at a restaurant."

"Oh, no, it is against social practice...."

Hoada Masahiro interrupted Autumn, "Though I come from another country, it's my honor to arrange the dinner. For a lady like you to treat me out would be unacceptable."

Autumn finally acceded to Hoada Masahiro's suggestion. She got off work a little earlier than usual for the dinner.

Isla was at the exit and pulled Autumn aside. She asked, "Autumn, are you sure about going out to dinner with this Japanese?"

"Yes I am, what is wrong?" Autumn added, "He is my former client. If we can bring him in, our company can get the relief that it badly needs."

"But.... I suspect he has an inappropriate motive, judging from his glances at you." Isla had encountered something similar in the past.

"That's nonsense! He is married."

Autumn was unable to contain her laughter, "Isla, my dear friend, you are imagining things. Anyway, I have to go. You can get off work early if there is nothing else urgent on your desk."

Autumn, then left with Hoada Masahiro.

Hoada Masahiro chose a Japanese restaurant. "Miss Ye, do you mind that I choose this Japanese restaurant tonight?"

"Definitely not....." Autumn replied. Autumn had a strong dislike for Japanese food but for the sake of the possible cooperation, she could not decline.

Hoada Masahiro looked fairly young in his forties, thanks to his balanced lifestyle. He ordered a table of dishes to his liking without the slightest consideration for Autumn's preferences.

"Chinese cuisine is profound and deep, however I have the greatest difficulty in eating any dish of that nature. I hope it's ok for you."

"Definitely! As you please." Autumn was thinking of the possible cooperation. "Mr. Hoada, can we talk about the matter you brought forth...."

"There is enough time for that! Let's enjoy dinner first...." Hoada Masahiro made no mention of the business and poured Autumn some wine. "During my long stay here in China, I found the plum wine in this restaurant to be the most authentic. You must try it."

"I have to decline." Autumn replied in a low voice, "Mr. Hoada, I am sorry for my incapacity to drink."

"This wine is not as strong as you think." Hoada Masahiro was very insistent. It dawned on Autumn that Isla's warning might have some truth in it.

"Miss Ye, please drink a bit to save my face." Hoada Masahiro became uneasy at the sight of Autumn's unwillingness.

Autumn was willing to dine with him with confidence, largely because Hoada Masahiro was already married, not to mention that he was polite the last time. But now...

Autumn was in a dilemma when a familiar voice rang from behind Autumn: "My sister-in-law, how pleasant to see you here!"

"Eric, is that you?" Autumn rose up, unable to contain her relief at the presence of Eric, who has come to save her from this awkward situation.

"What a coincidence! The last time Charles and I visited Z City, we spent the night at your house. We should have tidied up before we left but we were in a hurry. We are awfully sorry!"


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