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(The delusion of happiness)

Having spoken, he hung up immediately, not wanting to listen further to her irritating words!   

 Sam was standing at his side, ready to prepare for the the rest of the day's meetings and social engagements. 

Wisely he had kept silent. He could not fathom the strange, seemingly dysfunctional relationship which Mr. Jacob and Miss Emily were immersed in.    

'Is this where the fun lies?'    

The mute audience to the telephonic exchange sat cringing in the boardroom, unsure what to say and terrified to object. No one even dared breathe, much less remind Jacob of all the meetings that were scheduled for today. Instead they all meekly glared at the floor, like sheep waiting for slaughter.   

 Feeling like he was suffocating, Jacob unceremoniously loosened his tie. He coldly regarded the waiting staff and said, "The meeting is concluded."  

Like people receiving amnesty they jumped to their feet and hurried from the room. Sam followed in Jacob's slipstream as he left the room by a side entrance, "Sir, the schedule for today..."   

 "What do you think?" Casting him a negligent knife-laced look over one shoulder, Jacob kept walking.    

Sam immediately understood and shut up.    

After they left, the senior employees gathered in the common area, and gossip flew like a loosed flock of birds in the office.    

"Who called Mr. Jacob just now? Who can make him so angry, yet he kept his temper?"   

 "Probably someone in his family?"  

"Was it Vice President Jennifer?" "No!"    "Who told you it was Vice President Jennifer?" "It must be the daughter from the Lu family. It is said that she bore Mr. Jacob a daughter! If she can make Mr. Jacob leave all his work to accompany her, then she must matter greatly to Mr. Jacob."   

 "Then what about Vice President Jennifer? It is said that she is pregnant and Mr. Jacob has allowed her to work in the company. Will they get married..."   

 "It's hard to say whether Mr. Jacob is even the father. Rest assured. Mr. Jacob is not such an honorable man that he'd be willing to raise another man's child!"    "What are you all talking about?" A sarcastic female voice interrupted everyone's whispering. "Where's Mr. Jacob? Where has he gone?"   

 Jennifer harshly questioned everyone present, behaving like a jealous wife.  

Those who had been talking behind her back had some initial qualms. These vanished at the sight of her jealous and arrogant gesturing though.   

 "Mr. Jacob? He canceled all work scheduled for today and has left. He probably went on a date. It's really enviable." A female senior manager said, flashing a smile to aggravate Jennifer.  

  They had been confident in their own abilities to take the company to the top and satisfy the shareholders. Jennifer had intruded in their kingdom. Her presence, as a young and inexperienced woman, was a cause of great dissatisfaction to the company employees.    

She had so much power in her hands but no ability, and it was worrying that she was not even from the Gu family. It seemed that she was only here because of the vacancy left by Jack's death.    

She even regarded herself as the boss, the 'Vice President'. A position which she hadn't earned, and people were laughing their heads off at her!  

Jennifer did not miss the disdain in their eyes. She clenched her fists tightly until her nails clawed into the flesh of her hands, oblivious to the pain.   

 She had chosen to arrive late for the meeting today, to make a powerful entrance and deal a blow to their arrogant heads. Unfortunately, she had been unaware of Jacob's early departure, and she was now left with egg on the face.    

Who could make Jacob leave immediately?    

Surely, no-one except for Emily!  

That woman was like a shadow hanging over all her ambitions! If she couldn't have Jacob, then no-one would. Should she crash and burn, then she would take him with her!    

In the car, Emily studied her phone's call records with some ecstasy. She constantly recalled what he had said in her mind.  

He said he had time! Did it mean that he would come? Was that possible?   

 A happy smile unconsciously crept onto her graceful face. This was like a soothing balm to the cuts which had lacerated her heart. Slowly, her pain became alleviated by his kind words.    

She was surprised and grateful that he would leave all his work to join her in such trivial and childish activities. 

Although his coming was probably only for his daughter's sake, and had nothing to do with her, she still felt happy.    

She was thankful, if even for the illusion of happiness.   

 It looked as if they were still a happy family.    

Such delusions comforted her, and like a drowning man who had received a reprieve, she could sustain herself a while longer.  

Putting her phone away, she was suddenly jolted by a loud bang, and her body was hurled forward. Due to the fastened seatbelt she didn't hit the front seat, but her heart still beat wildly at the jarring impact.    

Shocked and somewhat confused her face grew worried as she asked, "What happened?"    

"I'm sorry, Miss Emily. The car in front of us stopped suddenly. The cars have rear-ended..." The driver's voice was filled with guilt and trepidation. "Miss Emily, are you okay? Are you hurt?"    

Despite it seeming that Mr. Jacob and Miss Emily were not on the best of terms, he could still feel that she was special to his boss. He could tell that Jacob was still concerned for her wellbeing.    

When Emily was unconscious, Jacob had been more nervous than he had ever seen him before.  

  If Emily got hurt because of him, he knew that Jacob would punish him severely!  

"I'm not hurt." She shook her head and asked, "Are you okay?"   

 "You're not hurt? That's good." The driver breathed a sigh of relief and said, "I'm not hurt either. But we'll have to wait for the police to come take statements, since it's an accident. Are you in a hurry, Miss Emily?"    

Raising a wrist to glance at her elegant watch, she could not help but slightly wrinkle up her fine eyebrows. She was going to be late! "Yes. I am in a hurry, but I'll take a taxi. You stay here and deal with the traffic accident."   

 The driver hesitated for a moment, then nodded. "Okay. Please give me a call when you get to the kindergarten. I need to be sure that you're fine."   

 "Okay." Taking her bag, she looked about for a taxi, but as she stepped to the curb, a black Bentley drew up alongside her.  

The driver's window slowly descended, revealing an attractive man. He spoke impetuously as his eyes roved over her sleek physique, "Hi, young lady. Are you looking for a taxi?"    

She stared stupefied at the driver, "Magee, what are you doing here?"    

With practiced nonchalance, he shrugged and said, "I am really just passing by this time. Where are you going? Why don't I give you a ride?"  

  Although Magee once helped her find Jacob, it was really hard to define whether or not he was a good man. He could shift from a gentle man to a ruthless one within a second. She felt that accepting his offered help was against her scruples, so she politely declined, "No. Thank you. I'll take a taxi." 

   "Taking taxis hasn't been very safe lately." Magee smiled playfully, but with a serious tone, he said, "Kidnapping, robbery, rape and murder... Don't you even watch the news? With a pretty lady such as you, the risk goes up."  

Her eyebrows drew up a little at his words. Originally, she hadn't felt that there was anything to fear in taking a taxi, but now that he mentioned the safety concerns, she became slightly worried.   

 He added, "We are friends. At least I won't hurt you, right? Besides, I would not be foolish enough to seek Jacob's wrath."    

"Thank you."    


He was somewhat slow in realizing that he had convinced her, but seeing her step to the car door, his smile spread to embrace his charismatic eyes. He turned his eyes to the road and said, "You're welcome. So where to then?"   

 Seating herself on the backseat and fastening the seatbelt, she gave him the address.  

    Emily nodded and said, "Yes."    

Magee didn't ask any further questions, but starting the soft purring of the Bentley, he drove off.    

They made some small talk on the way, but Emily showed very little interest. Instead she kept an eye on the time, worrying that she would be late.    

Inexplicably, Magee did not like her distant attitude towards him. But he did not show it. Instead he asked casually, "Did you have a quarrel with Jacob?"  

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