The light of dawn chased the darkness away, and the golden rays brought warmth.
Xia Lei had awakened before dawn but he still lay in bed feigning sleep. He was very sure that Beryl, who was next to him in bed, was also awake and pretending to be asleep.
One bed, two people pretending to be asleep. This was quite amusing.
‘The next step is for her to tell her father, Hattori Masao, that I have fallen for her, huh? She will tell him what she read in the message. Hattori Masao and Gu Kewen won’t find any Mr A at all because he doesn’t exist. But, they will be sure to wrack their brains over Plan X. This fictional plan will spur them into action. Hattori Masao is aiming for my technology and Gu Kewen is aiming for me… So, where are they planning to capture me at?’ Xia Lei pondered this question, wondering about Hattori Masao and Gu Kewen’s plans, and thinking up countermeasures.
“Are you awake, babe?” said Xia Lei gently into her ear.
Beryl froze reflexively. She clenched her jaw, afraid to make a sound.
“Are you awake, babe?” Xia Lei breathed a warm breath into her ear.
She could not pretend to sleep any longer. Beryl did not open her mouth to speak, but she made a small little “mm” in response.
“I’m in pain,” said Xia Lei.
“Huh?” Beryl paused. She thought it strange. “Why?”
Xia Lei sighed. “It was love at first sight for me. I actually used the deal between your father and myself last night to force you into… I’m a beast. I am full of shame now. I wish nothing more than to…”
“Than to… do what?” Beryl turned around to face Xia Lei. She was curious about why Xia Lei reacted this way, and she quite liked him saying all of these things.
There was only one type of woman who did not like to hear sweet words, and that’s a woman who has lost hearing in both ears.
“I want to slap myself.” Xia Lei really did reach out a hand to hit himself on his face. He did not use real strength to do it, but the smacking sound was real.
Beryl caught Xia Lei’s hand and said in fake concern, “Don’t be like this. I was a little angry yesterday, but after last night I’m not angry anymore. You are the sort of man I want.”
“Really.” Beryl looked at Xia Lei with earnest eyes, and it was like the word ‘truth’ was etched on her forehead.
“I love you,” said Xia Lei with feeling.
“Me too, I…” Beryl wanted to say that she loved him too, but the words wouldn’t come out. She was disgusted.
She could not say it. Xia Lei did not give her a chance to say it either. While she was hesitating and wondering if she should force herself to say “I love you”, Xia Lei’s lips closed on her lips and he reached his tongue into her mouth. She struggled for a bit, wanting to push this man away, but it was as if this man was the master of her body. She was not familiar with the pathway to pleasure herself, but in that move, she was…
The woman’s head was cleared of thoughts very soon.
It was like her body had fallen into a swamp, and she fell deeper the more she struggled.
Xia Lei walked Beryl to the underground carpark after they had breakfast. Beryl’s car was a supercar — a Bugatti Veyron Supersport. This car went for 2.6 million US dollars and was truly a top-line luxury car.
This supercar also made Xia Lei think. ‘With what Beryl is earning at Lockheed Martin, she definitely can’t afford this supercar. Her family must be abnormally wealthy for her to be driving a car like this. Hattori Masao is a captain of the Japanese land defence forces, and it is not a very highly-paid job either. Could her family in Japan be super wealthy?’
“Okay, I’ve got to get going.” Beryl opened the car door.
Xia Lei put his thoughts away and put gentle arms around her waist as he kissed her. “Drive safe. Send my greetings to your father.”
“Mm, I will.” Beryl put a sweet smile on her face. “Let’s have dinner together tonight. I’d like to make our relationship known to my father. He will be happy.”
“So soon?” Xia Lei looked surprised.
The corners of Beryl’s mouth turned down. “What, are you tired of me already? We Japanese are efficient and we don’t like to drag things out.”
“No, it’s not that. I just don’t know what gifts I should buy,” said Xia Lei.
“My father likes red wine. You can just buy two bottles of red wine,” said Beryl.
Xia Lei gave a laugh. “Okay then. Where shall we meet tonight?”
“Don’t go back to the hotel after the end of the exhibition in the afternoon. Come to the Lockheed Martin booth to look for me and we’ll go over together.”
“Do you have property in Paris?”
“Mm-hmm, it’s on the banks of the Seine. It’s very beautiful. You’ll like the place. Okay, I’ve got to go. See you later.” Beryl got in the car, started the engine, and drove off.
Xia Lei watched her leave and he took out his satellite phone to dial a number when she’d gotten some distance away.
The call connected. “It’s me,” said Xia Lei. “Help me look up Hattori Masao’s assets in Japan. Oh, and the property owned by either Beryl or Hattori Masao in Paris.”
“Got it.” It was Amanda’s voice.
Xia Lei hung up, then left the underground carpark. He’d just walked out of the carpark when he spotted Jacqueline Eva. She looked calm, but there was dissatisfaction in her eyes.
Xia Lei knew why she was unhappy. He walked towards her and said with a smile, “Morning, Eva. How goes your preparations?”
“I’m not in charge of that. Someone will prepare it. How about your preparations?” asked Jacqueline Eva.
“I’ve made a call back to China. My employees and engineers have already started work on it. The first shipment will arrive in France in a month,” said Xia Lei.
“That’s quicker than I’d expected.”
“Of course. I estimate that it won’t take more than three months to complete the entire process,” said Xia Lei. “So, you have to remind your people to prepare the things they should be giving to me. Also, don’t think of trying to fool us. I will not be the one to assess what you are giving to us. We have a professional team who will be receiving the goods, and they will verify if the technology you’re giving us is authentic.”
“Something like that won’t happen,” said Jacqueline Eva.
“Last night…” Jacqueline Eva changed the topic. “My men said that you brought a woman back. I checked the surveillance footage and saw that it was Beryl.”
“Mm, yes.” Xia Lei felt a little awkward. There was no need for him to explain anything to Jacqueline Eva, and he knew that their relationship was one of mutual benefit, where they were just using each other, but they were still people who had had sex with each other. There was no helping that bit of awkwardness when it came to feelings.
“She’s no simple woman. And her father is a captain of the self defence force too. You are a Chinese citizen too, so aren’t you afraid of attracting trouble by associating yourself with her?”
Xia Lei could hear that she was a little worried about him and Beryl dating. Whether it was her personal concern, or if it was because of his agreement with France, he was still a little touched by her show of concern.
“Thank you.” Xia Lei gave her a smile. “I know what I’m doing. No need to worry, I’m just playing around. I won’t get in any trouble.”
Jacqueline Eva smiled faintly. “That’s good. Just play around, and don’t take it seriously. Men fall for the wiles of women most easily. Also, if you want to fuck her, it’s best if you do it in this hotel. I can’t protect you if you’re not in this hotel.”
Xia Lei nodded. “I got it. Thanks.”
However, he could tell that Jacqueline Eva’s concern for him was out of concern for the deal he had with France, not out of that of a lover. Jacqueline Eva had approached him on orders in the beginning, and seduced him for the sake of his technologies, not for his person. Him bedding her was just to let the agreement progress more quickly and have some fun while he was at it. There was nothing more outside of that.
“I’ll give you a lift to the exhibition centre.” Jacqueline Eva seemed not to want to talk about Beryl anymore.
“Mm, then let’s get going.” Xia Lei agreed readily.
Jacqueline Eva dropped him off, and drove away.
‘Her job is done, so our relationship should be over,’ thought Xia Lei.
A clean break when things should end was best. Loose ends would just end in trouble.
Amanda called while he was walking towards the Thunder Horse Group’s exhibition booth.
“I got the info, Boss.”
Xia Lei was a little surprised. “So quickly? Tell me.”
“Hattori Masao’s family is no ordinary family. The Hattori family was very active during the Meiji Restoration, and they were the first family to adapt foreign science and technology too. The family grew rapidly in power during that time and amassed a huge sum of money. The family disappeared for a while during World War II, but they showed up again when the war was over and became an important force during the Japanese Revival period. The Hattori family went into the military, political and business sectors, and their influence is great. What I’ve found so far is that the Hattori family has a company in Japan called V Science Corp. It’s chaired by Hattori Masao’s wife, Ameris.”
“V Science Corp? What is their main business?”
“This company has no obvious activity in the market. Maybe I just didn’t manage to find anything, but my findings have turned up that this company has lent assistance to a lot of scientists and private laboratories. This company also has its own private laboratory, and they research artificial intelligence.”
Xia Lei’s heart thumped for some reason.
“And I found info on the Paris property belonging to the Hattori family. It’s a villa on the south bank of the Seine River, in District Seven. It’s not far from the Japanese embassy. Beryl is the owner of this property.”
“Keep looking into the Hattori family. Get our people to scout out that villa too, and get familiar with the lay of the land,” said Xia Lei.
“Roger.” Amanda hung up.
A faint smile appeared in the corners of Xia Lei’s mouth. That villa was probably where he was going tonight to meet his darling Mei tonight, wasn’t it?