"I am not idle. I just make time in my day to be with you," he said as he approached her. "You are one lucky woman."
"Hmmm," she agreed. Zhuo Jingren was right. He always made time to be with her. Out of nowhere Lily said, "By the way, I remember Bei Tian saying that you have a lot of paintings of me. May I see them?" Lily quickly diverted his attention. What would she do if Zhuo Jingren insisted upon seeing her tablet? She would be caught in the act and it would ruin her surprise.
"Ah… downstairs," he answered before he extended his hand in invitation. "Come, let me take you to my secret lair."
In response, Lily give him her hand and they left the room together.
The room that Zhuo Jingren spoke of was not that big compared to the master bedroom but the number of canvasses stored there was just… insane. Canvasses were stacked up in every corner of the room, while some paintings were displayed on the walls as if this were a gallery. Of course, most of the images on display were paintings of Lily. There were even images of her as a child. Some paintings were obviously very old, while some were clearly drawn from his imagination as some of the features were not that accurate.
This must be because he did not know what she looked like after the last time they saw each other, Lily deduced. Her lips slowly curled upwards as she approached a painting of a child at the river's edge collecting stones. It was obviously a painting of her when she was a child. Lily lifted her hand intending to touch the painting but Zhuo Jingren was quick to stop her.
"You can't touch oil paintings," he reminded her .
"Oh, right," Lily nodded. Yeah, she had actually forgotten about this fact when she examined the painting that he had his men hang in her office. She was so engrossed in her own thoughts at the time that she failed to remember that a simple touch could ruin an oil painting. Lily let out a sigh.
"What's wrong?" he asked. "Don't you like it?"
"I love it. But… I forgot about the fact that no matter how small, a single touch could ruin a painting as beautiful as this."
"You touched the one in your office?" he instantly concluded. In response, Lily slowly nodded.
"I'm sorry," she whispered. The two were standing so close to each other that no matter how soft her voice was he could still hear her.
"Hey… don't worry about it." He then pointed at the stack of canvasses to their left, "Do you see those? Those are beautiful pieces. You can choose one and have it delivered to your office."
"Really?" Lily instantly beamed, her eyes seemed to sparkle as she looked at Zhuo Jingren.
"Two faced," Zhuo Jingren stated as he turned towards her, his eyes shining with mischief. "I put considerable time and energy into that painting, Mrs. Zhuo. It would only be fair of you to offer me something to compensate for the damaged painting."
Amusement flashed through Lily's eyes as she pursed her lips while staring at Zhuo Jingren. "Cunning," she stated.
"I have a very cunning wife. I have to adapt to be able to meet my wife's needs," he answered righteously. "Ow! What was that pinch for?"
"Guess what President Zhuo…" Lily rose up on her tiptoes and leaned towards Zhuo Jingren's ear, then she lowered her voice and said "Once you catch me… I will…"
She gave him a sly smile before bolting out of the room with Zhuo Jingren in hot pursuit.
In a small villa just outside of Seoul, Korea stood a beautiful woman wearing a sky blue dress as she stared at the stack of photos in her hands. Her eyes were gentle as she slowly stroked the photo. "My son…" she whispered as a single tear slowly trickled down her cheek. She immediately used a handkerchief to wipe the tear away before she gave a small and gentle smile. "They look good together, right?" she asked of the man sitting across from her.
"They are perfect," the man smiled, his eyes turning into crescents as he slowly took the woman's hands in his. "When are you going to see them?"
The woman did not answer him. Instead she looked at the man in the photo, her eyes pensive. It had been thirty years since her child was stolen from her. Thirty years of agony and pain. However, she still couldn't see him or else the Zhou Family will get wind of it. Those people will hunt her child. They would try to hurt him, and maybe they'd even try to kill him again.
"Lingling, your father has been monitoring the man ever since he discovered Jingren's existence. He has had men constantly following both Jingren and his wife. Last month, he even tried to invite Jingren to a gala in New York. If the Zhou Family…"
"They won't," Lingling said. "Moreover, my son has found a very powerful woman. I doubt that my father would act so soon. He is a calculating old man. He will make sure that he knows the full story behind their marriage before he introduces himself to his grandson," she explained. "My sources inform me that Lily Zhuo is planning to branch out to China."
"You think that…"
She nodded, "Exactly. At her current pace she will meet the Zhou family sooner rather than later."
"Why do you trust this Lily so much? She is not as harmless as her smile would lead you to believe and we both know this to be true."
"I don't trust her." Lingling slowly put down the photos and give the man a small smile before enlightening him when she said,. "I trust my son's judgement."
The man slowly shook his head as he filled Lingling's teacup. "Lily wants to know what happened seven years ago. Once she knows that our grandchild was deliberately killed I am not sure if she will be able to handle the truth." He might not be a mother but he had been around Lingling forlong enough to know that a mother's love is something special.
"My son can handle her. I am sure of that," she accepted the tea cup and took a little sip. When Zhuo Jingren began investigating what happened seven years ago, Lingling also started her own investigation, and with her husband's influence she was able to find out the truth. However, she could not do anything to warn the couple about this as she is afraid that this would alert the Zhou Family to Zhuo Jingren's existence. She slowly shook her head before she expelled a heavy sigh. "My concern is that Lily is close to discovering the truth. I am sure that debts will be paid soon."
"So when are you going to introduce yourself to them?"
Lingling stared at him for a few seconds. "I don't know. To be honest, I would like to do it right now or maybe even tomorrow but… I don't think I have the courage to let him know that I, his mother, was just watching him grow up from afar. I don't want my son to know that he had such a cowardly mother. Someone hiding in the shadows, unable to approach him."
"It was for his own safety," he reasoned. "He is smart enough to understand that."
"I made the wrong choice, Tian. I am in the wrong. And I don't think he will understand that," she said as she let out another sigh before looking at the beautiful garden outside of the window.
NOTE: ZHOU Family is different from the ZHUO of Zhuo Jingren.