Saturday - After the shareholders meeting.
"I had a hunch that Liam would have contacted the shareholders prior to this meeting to convince them to nominate him to be the managing director and oversee the newly elected board of internal directors," Lily said, addressing the two shareholders whom she had recognized earlier as the ones she had met at the charity ball. "And I am glad that you two made the right decision by voting against him."
"Miss Lily, the scandal that you 'unintentionally' showed us paved the way for Mr. Beau's success. Your brilliance is indeed unparalleled," the shareholder with the last name Chen said with a big smile on his face. When the shareholders saw Liam Arison's scandal on the internet, they started to have doubts about his capabilities to lead and manage A.R Mall and Boutique. While some shareholders still gave Liam Arison the benefit of the doubt and voted for him, Mr. Beau had won by receiving the most number of votes. Mr. Beau was officially appointed as Managing Director of A.R Mall and Boutique at the end of the meeting.
Moreover, these two shareholders had the sensibility not to go against Lily. If they did, they would have offended Zhuo Jingren. They wouldn't have lasted all these years in the businessworld if they couldn't even tell what was right for them.
"Hmmm…" Lily nodded and smiled at the two shareholders. "I hope that you two would not tell anyone about my marriage with Zhuo Jingren. Though it is not our intention to keep our marriage hidden, my husband and I value our privacy very much. I also don't want to be in the spotlight right now."
"Of course… Of course…" The two nodded and watched as Lily raised a glass of champagne, tilting it towards them in a toast.
"To a good partnership." She smiled. The two also raised their glasses towards Lily in response. Though they had not discussed anything important about A.R Mall and Boutique during this time, it was obvious that Lily wanted them to be on her side and report to her about the activities of other shareholders. Not that they have anything to say against that.
In fact, both of them were fairly happy that Lily Facci-Qin was keen on forming a partnership with them. After all, they wouldn't want to make an enemy out of Lily, who was not only a strong opponent in the business world, but someone with a formidable husband backing her.
Lily took a sip of the champagne, her smile was brilliant and beautiful. With Liam in Europe trying to take care of his own scandal, Xuan Hui would not have anyone to ally himself with here. Her smile became even brighter at the thought of that despicable man. Slowly but surely, she would be collecting the debts from everyone who owed her in the past.
For now, her focus would be on the people in the present. The Arisons needed a lesson, one they could never forget in their lifetime.
Lily shifted in her seat as she watched the two shareholders leave with a big smile on their faces. In a male dominated business world, the best way to gain their trust was to make them believe that they matter; boost their ego and make them think that you need them.
"Yang Mi," she said softly while twirling the champagne in the glass. She watched as the liquid twirl inside the glass and smiled when it sparkled under the lights of the board room.
"It's time. Release Sofia Arison's scandal. Make them panic. Expect a call from both Sofia and Liam's father soon. Schedule a meeting with Liam's half brother. It's time for me to end this game," she said in a sinister tone.
Liam and Xuan Hui might be scheming something else in the meantime but too bad for them as Lily was not intending to sit and wait for them to take action. She would rather attack first, hit them where it hurts the most and achieve victory before the war could even start.
Sofia Arison paced around worriedly inside her room. Her hands were clenched into fists and droplets of sweat had formed on her forehead. She bit her lower lip and looked at the time. It was 3 am but everyone in the Arison family was awake. She hastily walked towards her bed and picked up the phone to call her son again.
What did she expect? Liam must still be on a plane right now, on his way back home. She let out a sigh before closing her eyes. Her husband's words echoed inside her mind again.
'If Liam can't fix this then he will have to say goodbye to his CEO position in Arison Holdings.'
"No…. No… this cannot happen," she said while gritting her teeth. She then dialed another number. "Did you manage to find out who released those photographs?" she asked the person on the other line.
"What do you mean? Aren't you the best hacker in this country? Find out who… NO! I want it in an hour. Not Possible? No! I want it in an hour or I… I… Hello… Hello?" Sofia stared in disbelief at her phone. 'How dare he hung up on me?' She dialed the number once again but was met with a busy dial tone this time.
"AHHHHHH!" Sofia let out a scream of frustration before she threw the phone on her bed. Who could have released those photos of Liam's indiscreet behavior online? What was their motive? This situation had caused her so much stress that she developed a headache. As Sofia was massaging her temples, a small beep sounded from her phone.
She quickly picked it up and her eyes widened when she saw the message. Her face paled as she involuntarily took a step back. Her body trembled until her phone slipped from her grip. "Who…" she stuttered. Someone had sent her images of her and her personal driver being intimate in the car.
"Sofia! Open the door!" Sofia trembled even more, fearing the worst. Those images were also sent to her husband. She feared the confrontation that was about to happen.
The door was kicked open by George Arison.
"You!" A resounding slap echoed inside the room. "Sl*t" George Arison stared at Sofia who had fallen on the floor by the impact. Sofia stared back at him while clutching her reddened and swollen cheek. Her face was wet with tears and her hands were trembling.
"George…please...That wasn't me! The photos aren't real! That wasn't me…" Sofia managed to plea in between her sobs. "I never betrayed you! That wasn't me!"