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(A light bulb moment)

Charles rang the buzzer then heard Leila's voice calling out, "Coming!"

He did not tell Leila beforehand that he would be coming to visit. So when Leila opened the door and saw Charles in her doorstep, she was surprised.

"I thought you were the electrician who is coming to change a broken light bulb. What brings you here?"

While confused as to why he came, Leila could hardly contain her excitement. His arrival was certainly a pleasant surprise because she never expected Charles to visit her at home.

"Change your broken light bulb?" a slightly confused Charles inquired.

Frowning, he added, "You have a broken light bulb?"

Leila sighed, "Yes, the bathroom light gave out a few days ago. I have been calling the building manager to send someone over to fix it but so far, no one has come." Leila pouted in frustration. Charles quickly volunteered.

"I can change it for you," he offered. "Oh, no. I can't ask you to do that," she replied.

"I will wait for the repairman that the building manager will send over. It is too much hassle for you."

Charles assured her, "Look, it's no big deal."

He scanned Leila's home from the doorway and confirmed that she lived alone. Charles was aware how inconvenient a dark bathroom could be for a lady. And it was this concern that prompted him to volunteer fixing the problem.

Before she could refuse again, he took off his suit jacket, draped it on the sofa, and asked for directions to the bathroom. "Can you show me where it is?"

Leila saw how determined Charles was to help so she gave up refusing his offer.

The truth was she was thrilled that he volunteered to help out with a domestic problem. It would allow her a chance to ask him to stay longer. Leila led him to the bathroom then handed him a stool to stand on.

"Please be care, Mr. Lu," she said.

Charles gave her a confident smile.

"Don't worry," he assured Leila. Changing a light bulb was a piece of cake. As he climbed the stool, he requested, "Please hold the stool steady."

Leila nodded and did as he asked.

Pleased with the situation, she imagined they were a real couple, doing normal things that couples did. She would take care of domestic chores while Charles would handle repairs. Leila thought, 'If only I can freeze this moment!'

It took Charles less than three minutes to complete the task. After replacing the broken light bulb, he declared, "Done! Please try switching it on."

Light flooded the bathroom the moment Leila flipped the switch. She cried out in glee, "It's working now. Thank you very much!"

Leila could not contain her ecstatic feeling over something so simple.

As Charles stepped down from the stool, he told Leila, "Next time you need help for minor repairs, don't hesitate to call me."

She blushed at the offer and said, "But it's not proper."

She lowered her head, hoping to conceal her blushing. "If Autumn finds out about this, she will not like it. She may even misunderstand our relationship." Leila thought she was playing coy, but Charles was oblivious and thought there was nothing wrong helping a female employee with small repairs.

But he quickly realized what Leila was saying and changed his tune. "Well then, David can come and help you next time. I know how inconvenient it can be for a woman to live alone."

Leila's face fell. "I'll be fine," she quickly said. The two became silent, then let the awkwardness pass. Just then, Leila heard a knock on her door. And Charles went back to the bathroom. The faces of her co-workers greeted her when she opened the door and she was completely surprised.

"What are you guys doing here?" she cried out. She felt even more disappointed.

Hiding her annoyance over the unannounced visit, she muttered, "I rarely get to have time alone with Charles. Now, everyone is here to disturb us."

One of her co-workers spoke up, "Hey, what's wrong? Are we not welcome here?"

She looked at the eager and concerned faces, still unable to speak.

Leila heard one of them say, "When we heard you were injured, we came as soon as we can. We just wanted to know how you are doing now."

Another co-worker inquired, "What happened to your face?"

Carol managed to scratch Leila's face leaving her with two extensive injuries. The doctor said she would have permanent scars even after they healed.

However, Leila felt her injuries were a small price to pay for a huge contract she bagged. If necessary, she was willing to do anything to help Charles with the business.

Leila schooled herself to be polite. "I'm fine," she told her visitors. "Please come in and have a seat." The invitation was issued with a forced smile. When everyone was seated, she inquired, "Have you all eaten?" Hospitality won over annoyance. "I can cook for you, if you have not had dinner." Still, it was a struggle to be polite. She was thinking, 'If they didn't arrive to disturb my moment with Charles, something really exciting might have happened.'

But David was quick to show concern and prevented Leila from walking to the kitchen.

"No, no! We came because we're concerned about you. How can we ask someone injured to cook dinner for us? Besides, we won't be staying long. We just want to know how you are then we'll leave," David said.

David was surprised to spot Charles' suit jacket draped on the sofa. He was not expecting his boss to visit Leila at home.

"Ah, Leila…" he began as their friend went to get water for her guests.

"Is Mr. Lu here? Where is he?"

Just then Charles declared, "I'm here!"

He emerged from the hallway. Charles had just finishing washing his hands inside the bathroom. He had heard the group arrive but was in no hurry to make his presence known.

Leila plastered a broad grin on her face then declared, "Mr. Lu, I really appreciate what you've done."

However, she refrained from telling the others that Charles had only changed a broken light bulb in her bathroom. Leila was hoping her co-workers would think she was having an affair with Charles.

The vagueness of her words would fuel more speculation at work. Then she threw in, "If you hadn't come here, I would have felt depressed and helpless."

"It's no big deal, really," Charles replied. "Don't mention it."

As he talked, Charles picked up his suit jacket and put it on. To Leila's guests, he said, "Since you're all here anyway, why not stay longer to keep Leila company? I need to handle some business and will go ahead."

Leila needed to think quickly. "Wait Mr. Lu…"

When he stopped and turned to her, she made a gracious suggestion.

"Since you and my co-workers are already here, why don't you all stay and I cook for all of you. I'm a good cook, you know," She was disappointed that Charles only stayed for a while.

But Charles shook his head to refuse the offer. "I'm sorry, but I have something that I need to take care of."

Then showing concern for Leila's health, he added, "Besides, you're injured and not feeling well. Why not just rest and forget cooking?"

"Are you sure you don't want to stay for dinner?" Leila pushed.

In her mind she was thinking, 'If Charles has dinner with me, he would likely be surprised to discover I am a very good cook.' But her attempts to get him to stay were again refused. Charles explained, "I learned your co-workers were coming to visit you today. That's why I came, too.

And since I've seen how you are, I will now leave. Autumn is waiting for me at home."

Leila angrily thought, 'Autumn… it's always Autumn! That disgusting woman!'

David quickly stood up and said, "Mr. Lu, can I leave with you?"

He added, "Would you mind giving me a ride? I will get off somewhere along the way."

"Okay. Let's go then."

Charles agreed but his expression was unreadable.

Charles and David's departure depressed Leila, and she was no longer in the mood to cook. She and her co-workers then decided to have dinner out.

David struggled with discomfort as he got into Charles' car. He was taken aback when Charles declared, "Go ahead. Say whatever it is on your mind. I noticed you've been struggling the whole day.

Rather than to let it worry the hell out of you, it would be better to just to say it." David cleared his throat. "You know I have something to say?"

It was scary to learn Charles could read him clearly even when he tried to hide his true thoughts. 'How can my boss know about my intentions?' he mused.

"Of course, I do," Charles laughed.

"While still in the office, you were about to say something. A while ago, you lied to me and asked me for a ride. So, I'm thinking you have something to tell me, right? And please say it before I get home."

David took a deep breath. "Mr. Lu, I mean no offense. But…

Is there anything going on between you and Leila?"

There, he'd said it. He was quite nervous, but was more curious than afraid.

Charles froze at the question. Getting over the shock, he thought the question was funny. He answered with a smile, "I am her boss, she is my secretary. What other relations would there be between us?"



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