[Congratulations to LSC for winning the bid for the first stage of the project and Facci Group for the second stage.]
Applause erupted inside the hall as the announcement was made. Businessmen swarmed Lily, Mr. Han and Mr. Lin to congratulate them. For these investors, LSC and Facci Group winning the bid was not surprising at all. Both companies were reputable and had already worked on many big infrastructure projects abroad which speak volumes about their capabilities.
After the announcement, Lily, Mr. Han and Yang Mi stayed behind for another briefing before proceeding to contract signing.
"President, Mr. Zhuo is waiting for you downstairs." Yang Mi lowered her voice, careful not to disturb Lily as she read the contract with Mr. Han.
"Hmmm…" Lily nodded. She glanced at her watch and noticed that it was already three in the afternoon. Lily continued to review the contract, paying close attention to the terms and conditions. After all, that's what she came here for.
However, unlike Lily, Lin Yu Yan was not involved in reviewing the contract and her mind was also somewhere else. She wasn't sure if Zhuo Jingren would appear later to get his wife but she had a hunch that he would come. So she waited at the coffee shop just across the street of the procurement building where Lily and her father were signing the contract.
After a few hours of waiting, Lin Yu Yan was about to give up when she heard the door of the coffee shop open, revealing Zhuo Jingren in casual clothing. She remembered how Zhuo Jingren always loved to put his hair in place, making him look more formal and put together. However, this time, the latter's hair was short and tousled, which made him look younger and easy-going. She continued to stare at the man, partly hopeful that he would notice her and partly checking him out.
Lin Yu Yan could not remember the last time that she saw Zhuo Jingren in person. Was it eight or nine years back? Maybe ten? Yeah… probably ten, she thought as she recalled the time when Zhuo Jingren told her that he already liked someone and there was no chance for them to be together. How cruel, she laughed inwardly.
What kind of man would so callously reject a woman who likes him? Apparently that was Zhuo Jingren, frank and direct. He didn't want to give any woman who liked him even a glimmer of hope.
She recalled how a lot of girls liked Zhuo Jingren in the orphanage too. After all, he was smart, good-looking and quiet. Girls would attempt to give him some chocolates or a gift, but he would outright refuse to accept it and tell them to stop doing it in the future every single time.
He was always direct and didn't like to lead people on. He was someone who knows what he wants and would not settle for something… fleeting.
Before Zhuo Jingren turned fifteen and left the orphanage with Bei Tian, Lin Yu Yan was the only person who could get close to him - or rather she was the only shameless one who wouldn't give up. And she was only able to get closer to him after Qin Jinghua disappeared.
Qin Jinghua. Just the thought of her name instantly made Lin Yu Yan's mouth sour. How could Zhuo Jingren know what love is at that age? How could he like someone like Qin Jinghua? Was it because she was rich? She shook her head at her own thoughts. Everyone knew how he liked Qin Jinghua. Everyone… except Qin Jinghua herself. The Qin Jinghua who foolishly liked Bei Tian then.
Lin Yu Yan could only shake her head as she stopped herself from thinking about the past. Yes, it was all in the past. Right now, Zhuo Jingren was already married to a capable woman. Lin Yu Yan pursed her lips. She should just find another man and stop hoping that he would even remember her. Maybe she could find someone who would make her happy, someone who will spoil her and love her as much as she loved him.
Lin Yu Yan let out a sigh as she watched Zhuo Jingren approach the counter to place an order. As she wasn't seated too far away, she could clearly see the bobbing of his Adam's apple and how his eyes shifted at the display. Then he scanned the whole area as if he was looking for a vacant seat. Lin Yu Yan froze when Zhuo Jingren looked her way but his gaze did not linger long enough for him to notice her. She gave another sad smile. He must have forgotten about her a long time ago.
After placing his order, Zhuo Jingren occupied the vacant table just next to the floor to ceiling windows which gave him a clear view of the entrance of the procurement building across the street. Then he checked his watch and eyed the counter while waiting for his name to be called - something that these types of coffee shops do.
Should she approach him? Lin Yu Yan furrowed her brows as she thought about it. She should introduce herself, right? Maybe say hi? She bit her lip and slowly gathered her courage to go for it. However, her thoughts were interrupted when Zhuo Jingren's name was called, prompting him to stand up and approach the counter to get his coffee.
Lin Yu Yan chuckled inwardly, the courage that she had gathered seemed to have dissipated the moment she heard Zhuo Jingren's name being called. She could only watch as the latter walk out of the coffee shop, a pool of tears gathered in her eyes. She quickly lowered her head and berated herself. She was so pathetic. She should just move on.
After Lily finished signing the contract, she promptly made her way out of the building while instructing Yang Mi and Mr. Han to return to the hotel with Daohu as their driver. Then she marched towards Zhuo Jingren who was leaning on his car.
"Hey," she greeted before she tiptoed and kissed his lips. "Did you have coffee?"
"Hmmm," he nodded as he snaked his hands around her waist and pulled her closer for another kiss. "I miss you."
"Ummm… we just had a video call this morning." Lily chuckled.
"Does this mean that you did not miss me? Not even a little?"
"President Zhuo should really stop making cringe-worthy statements." Lily rolled her eyes before pulling something out from her bag. "Happy monthsary?" She passed him a glass box with an intricately-designed cupcake inside. It was decorated with edible gold and handcrafted small little pearls in the frosting. It was very pretty and looked delicious. "Aren't you going to say something?" she lifted an eyebrow when she saw Zhuo Jingren in a daze as he stared at the cupcake.
"This was the first time that someone had given me a cupcake," he uttered as he shifted his loving gaze towards Lily.
"Aw… stop being emotional…" Lily beamed. "How about you give me a list of the things that you never experienced before so I could fulfill it for you? Hmmm?"
Zhuo Jingren let out an amused laughter before he pulled something out from his pocket. It was a simple velvet box. He opened it to reveal a simple round-shaped gold pendant, about the size of a small button. Small diamonds were neatly arranged around the edges of the pendant. "It's a locket with our picture inside. I want you to wear this every day," he said as he removed it from the box and wore it around Lily's neck.
"Does it look good on me?" Lily asked.
"Everything looks good on you," he uttered smoothly, making Lily giggle and slap his arms playfully.
"I was not expecting to see such a heartwarming scene," a loud deep voice interrupted the couple causing them to turn towards the source of the voice. It was none other than Mr. Dongfang, who was standing a few steps away from them. A group of businessmen who accompanied him were also smiling towards the couple. Most of them wore a happy expression on their faces but the glint in their eyes were too apparent for someone like Zhuo Jingren and Lily to miss.
While Zhuo Jingren never appeared in any news and articles before, his presence in the news had steadily increased after his marriage to Lily. Because of this, a lot of businessmen recognized him as the owner and CEO of Zhuo Capital.
Moreover, Lily and Zhuo Jingren were standing out in the open without a care of the world around them. And two powerful, good-looking individuals kissing and showing their affection in public was just too hard to miss.
Not that this was a problem. After all, it is normal for businessmen to aspire to grow their connections. And well… these two are like the epitome of influence that these businessmen dream to achieve.
The group approached Zhuo Jingren and Lily, greetings and laughter instantly followed as everyone tried their best to shower praises on the couple and offer congratulatory words.
Everyone was busy introducing themselves that they did not notice a woman staring at them from a few meters away. Stream of tears flowed from the woman's eyes. A sob escaped her as she chewed her lower lip to suppress her sobs.
Then she turned her back on the smiling couple, feeling very bitter in her heart. She took a step forward but her footstep felt heavy. Glancing at the paper bag in her hand, she sighed before she threw away the paper bag that contained a red velvet cupcake in the bin. Why did she even thought of giving him a cupcake? It was pointless after all.
Lin Yu Yan dragged her feet and took another step away from the couple. She wanted to leave…to get away as far as possible before she would collapse on the street crying because of a broken heart.