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(The Boss - Employee relationship)

More drama was needed, Roger thought.

So he stood up, bowed deep and said, "While I had to admit to a romantic relationship with Miss Bai, I will make it clear it was in the past. I am now appealing to the public to please respect her privacy, especially her married life even if we, as artists, are susceptible to gossip. While publicity is good for my TV shows and help people recognize me as an actor, I would appreciate not hearing baseless comments about my private life."

But the press wanted to know more. "Did you know that Miss Bai and her husband Edward Lu are getting a divorce and he wants to divorce her?" a reported inquired.

Ever the actor, Roger pretended to be stunned by the news. "But why? I've long ended my relationship with Miss Bai so it can't be the reason for their parting," he said.

Roger sought out a camera, looked directly into it and said, "Edward, I know we have never met. But I want to sincerely apologize for any trouble I may have caused your marriage. And while Miss Bai and I have parted a long time ago, I will not blame you for whatever actions you may take regarding the matter."

His admission was well accepted and gained him more recognition that was very good for his TV shows. And the media began to shift their attention from gossiping about Roger's private life to his acting career.

Rachel, however, was furious over Roger's claims made during the press conference. She hurled everything within reach and shattered every breakable item in sight. The nurse who came in was appalled at the mess and expressed her displeasure. "Miss Bai, this is a hospital. You have no right to behave that way!"

But the patient was raving mad and screamed, "Out of my sight!"

She pointed at the nurse and menacingly said, "Get out of here!"

But the nurse would not be cowed. "This is our hospital, a public facility, and not your house or private room. We will not tolerate smashing hospital property!"

Unfortunately, the nurse was well aware of the scandal Rachel was involved in and looked at the woman contemptuously. "Whatever issues you have does not justify your behavior."

But Rachel was unstoppable. "How dare you speak to me that way!"

She sneered and assumed a more superior attitude. "What gives you the right to disrespect me?"

With Roger's announcement and Edward's decision to divorce her, all Rachel wanted to do was hide in the hospital to avoid facing the media and the public.

The nurse said testily, "I treat every patient with sincerity and respect.

But in your case, Miss Bai… you had better arrange to be discharged as you have obviously recovered."

Rachel snapped at her, "I am not leaving!"

She was now crying but still hostile. "I can afford another day's hospitalization," Rachel sobbed.

The nurse looked at her with disdain and said, "This is not a hotel where you can stay as long as you want.

Our hospital serves patients in urgent need. Those who have recovered need to be discharged, regardless of whether they can afford to pay or not," she stressed.

Rachel saw that the nurse was unmoved by her appeal and remained adamant about her being discharged.

Roger's arrogance during his press conference made things more complicated for Rachel. She decided there was only one way to stay in the hospital, however difficult the decision was.

She announced, "I want to undergo induced abortion. Is that justification enough to stay?"

With Roger denying any romantic relationship, keeping the baby didn't seem worth it.

Regarding that the nurse was startled by the announcement, she showed no sign of it.

Instead she asked routinely, "Are you sure you want to do that?"

Rachel sighed a little but was resolute about her decision. "I have thought this through. I am left with no choice but to end this pregnancy," said she.

In her mind, she knew no one would claim the baby and it would only be subjected to torment if born into the world.

"And when do you want to undergo the operation?" the nurse asked.

"As soon as possible!" Rachel quickly replied.

Loneliness is said to be categorized into ten grades.

Going through an operation without any support is perhaps among the most unbearable, and Rachel knew this was her plight.

What would become of her, undergoing an abortion with no family caring for her?

Meanwhile, Leila was extremely pleased to be working with Charles again at Shining Company. She brought in a document for his signature. But after signing the papers, he tossed it back to Leila and ordered, "Close the door when you leave."

Leila composed herself despite his rude behavior.

"Mr. Lu… " she began, coming closer to Charles. "I need to talk to you about something."

Charles looked up, with a look of disdain and indifference, and asked, "What do you want?"

Leila could sense Charles' impatience, so she quickly defended herself.

"I learned about the rumor of an office romance between us when I came back to work and I am worried. I've tried my best to downplay it and you have to know I had nothing to do with spreading it. Please believe me that I would never betray you," she pleaded.

Leila went on, "Although I made an official and timely statement to refute this baseless claim, our colleagues continue to gossip about it. Mr. Lu, I hope you will not stay away from me on the basis of this preposterous rumor."

She hoped her plea was convincing enough for Charles.

And he replied with utmost composure. "You have so many suspicions, and that's not healthy," said Charles. "What you would say is a normal relationship between a boss and an employee? And why do you think I would alienate you?"

Charles was only too grateful to David for warning him about Leila. Otherwise, he might have fallen for her ploy. Right now, his impulse was to fire Leila.

But he was aware there was nothing to justify such a decision.

"Mr. Lu, I think you misunderstood what I was saying," said Leila.

She tried to explain, "I consider it an honor to work with you, and I am satisfied with the work I do. I simply ask for some time to put an end to this endless gossip."

Charles slapped his hand on the desk. "Okay, enough of defending yourself."

His aversion to Leila apparent, Charles remarked, "Whether it's rumor or fact, we'll just let it pass. Time will prove it wrong or right. Actually, it does not bother me at all. I hope you will continue with your excellent work for the company and just forget all that talk."

Slightly embarrassed, Leila replied, "Thank you, Mr. Lu. I understand what I have to do."

As she turned to leave, Leila felt burning hatred for Autumn. All her efforts to seduce and get close to Charles were for nothing. She now realized the man was even more indifferent to her than before.





*Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of feather's blog or any employee of this blog.*