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Season 7

Episode 7

(A Call from stranger)

It was the time for the big announcement and the entire crew was anxious about it. Holley knew what bothered her staff the most. She smiled as she addressed the staff and said, "As you know, we have decided to provide you a better platform and better working conditions. Besides, since our company will do business with each big film corporation, if anyone wants to make career change, we can offer a hand."

Holley's words assured everyone except for Sheryl. She could sense something wrong but she couldn't tell exactly what it was.

Holley waited for a while watching the reaction of the staff. Then she smiled and continued, "I'm an easy going woman. I'm more of a friend to you than your superior or your boss. I will protect you no matter what. You can be assured that you can come to me for anything whenever you want. I will always be easy to speak with. But there's only one thing I'd like to remind you..."

Suddenly the smile disappeared into a grave expression on her face as she sneered and continued, "I hope that the one who is cultivated by me will be well behaved. If she doesn't, I will definitely make her regret for her entire life. Don't blame me for that."

As Holley spoke, she cast a subtle glance at Sheryl as if the words she said were intentionally aimed at Sheryl. Sheryl stood there with her head lowered as if even she could very well understand that Holley's speech was directed towards her. From the corner of her eyes she could see Holley glancing upon her which made her quiver. She had this weird uncanny feeling which stopped her from feeling secured unlike her other colleagues.

Some brown-noser immediately declared her determination. "Miss Ye, please be assured. We will be well behaved."

Holley laughed as her face changed once again into a satisfied and benevolent look. "That's all I want to say. All in all, I wish we could get along with each other in the following days."

After Holley took her seat, George stood up and smiled as he addressed the staff, "I think it is clear by now that this department will be under full charge of Miss Ye. I hope everyone will be get along with each other."

After the brief meeting ended, everyone surrounded Holley, licking her shoes. Sheryl stood at one corner as her mind remained preoccupied with her Shirley's ill health. She had no interest in taking part in such activities.

She stood there for a while and planned to leave secretly. But just then, Holley squeezed out from the group who surrounded her and walked to Sheryl. With a beaming face, she said, "Sheryl, we're going to have a bar party this evening. It's my treat. How about joining us tonight?"

"Well, I'm afraid you have to count me out." Sheryl declined the invitation politely. Holley's face changed instantly into a resentful expression which made Sheryl quivering. She removed her eyes from Holley's face and looked towards her sleeves to avoid eye contact. She didn't even like those social activities.

"Come on. Don't be such a spoil sport. We will be friends. It's good to hang out and communicate with each other. Don't stay at home all day long. Come out and have some fun with your colleagues. It will only help you to develop a better working relationship with them." Holley smiled and tried to convince Sheryl. "If you continue being alone, I'm afraid you will fall ill very soon."

"Please don't force me to come." Sheryl rejected Holley's suggestion with a smile trying to maintain her politeness. Even if Shirley wasn't ill, Sheryl wouldn't have taken part in such activities.

"Come on in. Join us, please?" Holley came closer as she pulled Sheryl's hands and spoke to her in an intimate voice. Holley's intimate voice made Sheryl sick. It made her feel like a fish out of water.

She pulled her hands off pleading, "Miss Ye, I really can't go. I..." But before Sheryl finished their conversation, she was cut through by another voice.

"Miss Ye, she gave her answer already. We don't have to show warm feelings to meet her cold rebuke." Both Holley and Sheryl turned around to see where the voice came from. The statement came from one of the models named Kiki.

Kiki disliked Sheryl since the time she met her. She could not comprehend the reason behind Sheryl being the highest paid model of them all. Sheryl was neither the prettiest, nor the tallest and certainly not the most professional model. Since Sheryl was not the best in any aspect, how came she was so much favored by George and Holley? Kiki felt it unjustified and unfair!

"Sheryl is different from us. She doesn't like such activities. She didn't join us the last two times. This time she won't go, either," Kiki spoke curving her lips into an ironic smile.

Her voice was so loud that even George turned around and gave a disapproving glance at Sheryl. "Sheryl, you are one of us now. All of you are working in one company. I don't care what happened between you earlier, but from now on, you will have to get along with each other. And for that you have to take part in such team-building activities," George said in a cold voice.

"Mr. Han, I..." Sheryl was bewildered and tried to explain but was interrupted by Holley. "Sheryl, please join us. You didn't participate any before and it's time for you to show up."

"No, I can't. I..." Sheryl tried to say that she had to pick up her daughter but George didn't give her any opportunity to finish. He glanced at her once and said, "Okay then. It's a deal. Tell me the number and I'll make a reservation."

Holley held Sheryl's hands with a beaming face and said, "Don't be so upset. Cheer up. believe me, you will have a good time with us tonight."

"Miss Ye." Sue, who was standing at a distance witnessing the entire episode for so long, could not remain silent at the face of her friend being embarrassed in front of everyone. She came up and explained for Sheryl, "To Sheryl's defense, it's not because she doesn't like to join such activities. The truth is she can't because of some particular reason." Sue came forward and held Sheryl's hand as she spoke to Holley.

"Which is?" Holley paused for a while, staring at Sue, waiting for her to give an explanation.

"Miss Ye may not be aware that Shirley, Sheryl's daughter, is sick and has been in the hospital for two days. Sheryl has to look after her in the hospital. Today she asked someone else to do the job, so she could take some time off for this meeting. And now that the meeting is over, she needs to rush back for her child."

"Is it true?" Holley turned towards Sheryl and asked for a confirmation with a puzzled look.

Sheryl nodded her head and remained silent. Holley frowned and said, "Why didn't you tell me the truth? I wouldn't have forced you to join us if I knew it earlier."

Holley let out a sigh and continued. "Take good care of your daughter. Forget about the bar party tonight. We'll do it together some other time in the future."

"But..." Sheryl hesitated for a moment thinking about George's ultimatum that everyone would have to go. Holley marked the perplexed look on her face and smiled in a reassuring manner.

"Don't worry. I'll take care of it." Holley seemed to have guessed Sheryl's cause of concern. She then smiled and said to Sheryl, "The most important thing for you now is to take good care of your daughter. Go ahead."

"Okay then. I'm leaving now." Sheryl heaved a sigh of relief. However, she knew that even though she had dodged a bullet this time, she would definitely not be so lucky next time.

When Holley looked at Sheryl's back as she walked towards the door, a weird smile came on her face.

It was still too early for the party. Everyone dispersed to go home and get dressed up. Holley planned to take some rest at home with George. Just as she sat on the car and motioned the chauffer to drive her home, she received a phone call.

Though the call was not from a saved number, staring at the number for a while made her go completely pale on her face and her eye balls literally popped out. A chill ran down her spine and she sat erect in her car seat staring at the number as her phone kept ringing.




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