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The Others Soul (novel form)
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Post The Others Soul (novel form)



    Note: Yak is Kay, so don't panic and think that this is a copy. Anyway I notice that a lot of readers like reading novel form instead of script, so I'm going to turn TOS into novel form. Hope you guy enjoy it more. And if you are impatient, you are more then welcome to visit my winglin page for the script from of this fanfic. The address is: The Others Soul (completed-script form) Or you have to be patient with me, while I turn it into novel form here. Anyway thanks for reading and please do support by leaving me comment. I'm a writer who love feedback <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    Foreword

    An ordinary girl whose has lived as a servant with the tough reality of hers life. But one unordinary day changed her fate forever; she was destined to be with him, a guy that she is clueless about. A guy with an empty soul that sees her as his pain and sorrow, a lost soul that also wanted to love but never dare to love, a fearful soul that distance himself cause he loved her too much to lose her again....

    She is trap in the hand of this empty icy soul that kept playing with her heart and making her suffer. He given her hope but quickly snatch it away....he teacher her to dream but never let her dream for long... She is in pain, in agony, and emptiness, while she slowly reveals the secret of his soul. Once the secret reveal, her soul melted into his forever and eternally his.....

    Time Period:
    I'm not very good with history and time frame so bear with me okay? The period of this story is around 1920, took place in China. Where the western style is beginning to introduce in the city but the rural area are still strictly traditional. In the rural area men are all in short hair and they wear traditional Chinese clothes that are two pieces with knot buttons down the front. Women hair is usually in two braids pony tail and they usually wear two pieces outfit with knot buttons on the right side. Kind of like the series "Plain Love", got the idea?

    As for the city, the majority are still wearing the same kind of style as the rural area but in better material and more colorful, as for the rich their clothing are a bit more fancy. They have adopted the western style of suits, dress-shirt, bow tie, etc. giving the man a sharper image and as for the lady western dress is introduced or Shanghai dresses. The hairstyle of the lady is much more fancy with curl hairdo that clipped up on both side, braided hair are consider out of fashion or low class. But the dress code depends on class and status.

    So the city is kind of like a bit of western mix up with a majority of traditional Chinese style. Sorry if I'm confusing you. Anyway that is the period for this story, and sorry if the time is wrong, someone can correct me okay?

    Cast:

    Annie Man, an eighteen years old girl with traditional value. She was raised and taught to obey and respect the words of a man. Even though her life was harsh and rough, she always carries a cheerful innocent smile and accepted her suffering life as reality. Like all girls at her age, she dream of her future with rainbow arching over a colorful flower fields full of life and hope. And in the middle of the field is a warmth smile of her crush waiting for her. But sadly to her, all of those will always be possible only in dream.

    Louis Koo, a twenty-six years old young gentleman with charm and cleverness that astonish many people. His heart been frozen for years, only leaving a cold chilling personality that suppressed the hidden side of him. This devilish side of him gave out a chilling emptiness that is filled with hatred and burning flame inside. While the hidden sides of him are full of warmth and passion, but this side of him seldom escape out. At least not until she came into his life and brings it all back, the pain, the memories, the sorrow regret that causes him to locked himself up with suffering for five long years. He is cold and heartless in front of her but behind the mask his heart is bleeding fearfully with every sight of her.


    VERY minor supporting role: In order, which they appear.
    Steven Ma
    Paul Chun= Paul Lam
    *Mrs. Lam=(the lady that play Paul wife in Golden Faith or the second madam in Colorful Life)
    Frankie Lam
    Stephen Au
    Kenix Kwok
    Ada Choi
    *Mr. Koo =(the guy that play Louis father in "At the Threshold of An Era II")
    Nicola Cheung
    *Mrs. Koo =(the lady that play Louis mother in "At the Threshold of An Era I")
    Raymond Lam= Raymond Koo
    Gilbert Lam= Gilbert Koo
    Bobby Au
    Joe Ma
    Marco Ngai
    Benny Chan= B-jai
    Julian Cheung
    Annie Man= Helen
    More role as the story develop...

    <font size="1">[ March 25, 2003: Message edited by: Yak ]</font>

  2. #2
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Chapter 1: Hero of My Heart

    Far away in a small rural village of China lies a peaceful rice farmland. A common girl dressed in her ordinary pink fabric side-buttons outfit is walking down a muddy trail beside a water buffalo. Her hair was braided plainly with no special uniqueness and on top of her hair she has a triangularly folded handkerchief to shade the top of her head a bit, leaving her braided ponytails on each side of her shoulder, just simply ordinary, but pure. Her name is plain too with just a simple sweet tone of Annie.

    The eighteen years old pleasant girl happily dragged her water buffalo toward the shallow lake for a sip of water. As usual she sat on the rock until the sun heat the top of her head telling her it's time to go back home and do her other duty. She is cheerful as usual, humming her village folk song. Her eyes were sparkling under the sun as she gazed dreamily toward the field of wild flower at the opposite end of the calm lake.

    As she ponders about her beloved boyfriend a sweet innocent smile sneaked up on her face from her heart. It's a usual routine that he come join her at this time to share a short moment together, while the water buffalo get a sip of water. Peacefully humming the soft melody, Annie waited for him to arrive. The welcoming sun slowly rotated with warm toasty ray shining on her, keeping her company.

    Suddenly she felt a soft touch on her head, so she titled her head up, a bring warm toasted smile glowed on her face with joy once she saw a ring of wild flowers crowned her head and the warm familiar face of her boyfriend smiling at her.

    Her boyfriend is a simple ordinary guy that is not extremely handsome but not bad either, Annie loved him the way he is cause of his gentle and caring heart. Even though he is just a commoner like her with simple mind and goal. But still she loves him with all of her heart, and has never think of trading him for anything else in the world.

    Annie shyly smiled at him with her blushed rosy cheek. “Thanks Steven,” her sweet and soft angelic like voice flowed with the gentle breezy. Her bright round eyes still admiring the ring of flower on top of her head.

    Just the small gesture of her smile made the twenty years old boy grinned joyfully at her with sincerity, “You look lovely with it, Annie.”

    Annie couldn't help her heart from fluttering every time Steven complimented her. To cover her shyness she started to have interest on the sandy dirt that has indulged the edge of her fabric shoe. A sweet smile creep up her face cheerfully with shyness making her looks even more naïve and innocent. “Thanks,” she whispers.

    The simple boyfriend of her has always been special and held the first position in her heart, cause he is her first love and only love of her life ever since she was five.

    This young girl’s life has been harsh and rough. Her parents and an elder brother had all passed away when she was five. Afterward she has to be dependent on her aunt and moved in with her aunt family. It was until then that she met the village boy Steven and their relationship slowly blossomed from being friend, to best friend, then to a brother sister relationship. The love between them hasn’t sparked until one event that changed Annie feeling toward her so call ‘Daai Gor Gor’ (big brother) forever.

    The horrifying incident occurred when she was eight. Annie was not careful enough and was barbarically pushed by the water buffalo down into the lake and almost got killed either by drowning or being stampede. Luckily the heroic ten years old Steven, who doesn’t know how to swim himself, immediately jumped into the lake to push the buffalo away and pulled her out to safety. He was almost killed himself, but ironically the buffalo helped pull both of them out when Steven tightly coiled his arm onto the rope of the buffalo while his other arm is securely around the unconscious Annie waist.

    With his brave heroic action, he has become her hero that she admired and unknowingly developed a crush on him ever since. The bubble of her crush on Steven hasn’t burst until recently. It was only two years ago that Annie found out Steven has the same affection toward her for many years already.
    Even though they has been officially dating for two years, their love is still very pure and simple, they hasn't kiss or even hold hand, all they have is a simply heart to heart commitment. Both of them are very traditional and shy about the subject of love, so they both kept their feeling inside, but both know how strongly they felt for each other. Or at least they thought so.

    Annie looked up at the sun that is directly above her and her heart sadden with a small pout cause it a sign that it time to go home. “What take you so long today? I thought you are not going to come at all,” she sadly said. Her heart wishes that they could stay longer, but they couldn’t. She must report to her uncle and continue on with her other duty.

    Steven know that it was time for her to return to her uncle field, so he walked over to the buffalo to help her drag it back on land. “Sorry Annie, I really try my best to come on time, but Leung (mother) needed me to deliver the washed clothes over to Mrs. Cheung,” his voice was a bit disappointed too for their moment alone to be so short. Annie walked by his side and they slowly walked back to the field side by side. “Will you forgive me? I'll be on time tomorrow,” he smiled sweetly toward Annie with his usual beady eyes beaming at her genuinely.

    The sweet girl by his side softly giggled as she nod to his question. He always looked adorable and sincere with his smile, especially those tiny eyes. “Of course,” she answered while playing with the tip of her braided ponytail as they walk. “Steven has you ever wonder how it's like to be in the city?”

    Glancing up at her curiously he asked, “Why?” He has never thought about leaving this village at all. He is raise here and everything he ever wanted is here too.

    Annie shrugged, “Just curious. Frankie is coming back tonight, I bet he have lot to talk about. I missed him. I bet he is having fun and forget all about me now.” She pouted childishly and continue, “I wonder exactly when he will be back tonight.”

    The pout of her lip quickly swept away with a sweetly grin, “You know what? I bet he would love to share all his experience with us, lets meet at our old spot tonight.” She kept grinning sweetly at him with wishful eyes. The sight of her cute smile made him chuckled as he nod. Annie voice became more excited after knowing that they will get a chance to see each other again tonight. “I'll get Frankie to come out, you better come meet us there,” she looked at him with her puppy eyes.

    The footstep of Steven stopped, cause they are getting close to Annie's uncle rice field. He handed the rope of the buffalo back to Annie. “Alright, I'll see you tonight than.” Annie nod and walked away toward the rice field with Steven waving behind her and she waved toward him too. “Bye!!” he yelled after her.

    “Bye! Don't forget tonight when the cricket start chirping okay?” she reminded him again. There is no such thing as clock in this part of the country, so they depend on the sun to tell time or other object such as the cricket.

    “I won't!” with that he excitedly hurried back to his field to finish up his work.
    Annie walked the buffalo heading toward the rice field. When she lifted her head and saw her uncle right ahead of her, she quickly startled and her eyes became fearful. Her heart beats with a bit of fear when she noticed the angry gaze of her uncle on her, she swallowed and continues walking toward him with her fearful heart beating faster, hoping he didn't see Steven, but how could he not? Her uncle gives her a disappointed look as he glared at Steven direction.

    “Annie was that Steven?” he asked while Annie sadly nod, she know where this is leading to. Her uncle sighed with his head shaking and his face was as dark as the wok. His voice was stern with disappointment, “I told you to stay away from him. Weren't you listening all along?”

    The poor child swallowed and her head was kept low, “I did.”

    “Then why were you with him?” his cold bitter voice disapprovingly questioned. His cold eyes were kept on the passive girl that has her head dropped toward the ground didn’t dare to look into her uncle eyes.

    In a weak voice, Annie carefully answered his suspicious question, “I just so happen to bump into him.” She felt horrible for lying but she don't know what else to say to her uncle.

    Her uncle Paul Lam glared at her then back toward the path where Steven had disappeared. “Lucky he knows not to enter my territory or else he will be sorry.” Annie gnawed on her lower lip and kept obediently silent. “You know better than this Annie. I don't want you seeing him unless he comes for you with the dowry. You heard me?”

    She nod hopelessly, “Yes uncle.”

    Her uncle eyes harden on the beautiful yellow flower ring on her head and with one forceful grip, he snatch it off her head, she looked at it with tears starting to fill her eyes and her lips slightly trembled, but she bit her lip and didn't dare to say a single word. It wasn't her place to speak up against her uncle, she knows the consequent for talking back really well, so she has learn to disciplined and obedient no matter how unfair the situation is.

    Calmly with his disapprove eyes, he ordered “Go back to your work now. Don't waste your time with that good-for-nothing dirt bag anymore, you are no longer a child. You are eighteen Annie. A girl at your age should know how to think. It's the time for you to find a good household and get married to have children and be an obedient wife. Not to horse around with low life like him and act like a foolish child yourself.” Paul heartlessly crushed the flower ring in front of her and throws it to the dirt trail. Annie soften eyes were glue to it wanting to cry, but she bit her lip tightly and kept herself strong. Her vision became blurred with tears that was locked up unable to release cause she fear her uncle could see them.

    Gloominess filled inside her quickly, but she hold it all in and force out a weak, “I know, Uncle Lam. I'll go back to work now.” Annie turn and walked away heading toward her uncle house with tears trickling slowly down her cheek and she quickly wipe it away before anyone notice. Her walk speeded up into a run to release her sadness that built up in her heart.

    Paul Lam is the leader of the small traditional village. He is not extremely wealthy but wealthy enough to have power and respect of all the villagers; his words are like order. His house is one of the biggest one out of the small village, but it stills just a very small ordinary house to the city people eyes. He never treated Annie like family; to him she is just his wife niece that kept depending on him ever since her parents die. To him Annie is a burden, but he is not willing to let Annie go easily too, unless she can find a good household that will give him high dowry for her hand in marriage.

    Annie got the smallest room of the house which is by the kitchen so she could do her work, she take care of every aspect of her uncle house, since her uncle didn't hire any maid. Paul is the greedy type that never thinks his wealth is enough, so he tried to save every penny he earned. Other than hiring worker for his rice field, he wouldn't spend a penny to hire servant for his house, especially since he know Annie can do all the work.
    ******

    <font size="1">[ March 25, 2003: Message edited by: Yak ]</font>

  3. #3
    Registered User Danielle Lin's Avatar
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    I read this at winglin at it was great! <IMG SRC="smilies/clap.gif" border="0"> i like seeing anne and louis together its interesting, please continue! <IMG SRC="smilies/thumbsup.gif" border="0">

  4. #4
    Moderator Em's Avatar
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    Not read the original so following this one - keep going please! Great work so far...

    <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

  5. #5
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Chapter 2: My Cousin Return

    The hard laboring day quickly settled down with the peaceful moon replacing the sun. Annie is setting the table for dinner in the small candle lighted living room. Her uncle is sited on a small wooden chair outside the door fanning himself cause it is a pretty hot and dry night. His usual cautious and calculating eyes are set at the muddy trail ahead waiting for his son to return.

    Inside the small house, Annie joyful sweet eyes glanced outside at the distanced path with a soft smile, she too is excited about her cousin return. But her happy expression quickly swept away by the rough coughing sound emitted by the small room to her left. The vision of the perfectly round eyes glimpsed over toward her aunt room with a concern little frown.

    She quickly headed into the dirty small kitchen that has a clay pot brewing over burning firewood. Steam is hissing out of the lid from the side causing a streak of thin white cloud with the black charcoal color background of the kitchen surrounding. Using a dirty old rag Annie opened the lid to check on the dark inky herbal medicine of her aunt. Her weak and restless aunt is constantly being bothered by illnesses that lasted for days and sometime even months. Therefore it was Annie job too to take good care of her aunt, whom seldom get out of bed, but Annie doesn't mind at all, cause her aunt love her really much.

    "The liquid level was about ready, it should be concentrated enough," Annie softly talked to herself. But she decided that it would be more effective if she allows it to brew a couple more minutes, meanwhile she could use the time to take the food out and get dinner ready. She cheerfully brings out a small bowl of dry cabbage soup, a plate of chicken, a plate of fish, and two other dishes of veggie. After she got the table set she went in the kitchen again to pour a bowl of the herbal medicine for her aunt.

    Holding to the bow with the tip of her fingers cause it is pretty hot, Annie carefully headed toward her aunt room, trying not to spill. She walks to sit on the edge of her aunt bed and place the bowl of medicine down on the chair. Her fingers automatically held onto her earlobes to cool down her fingers. In a sweet cheerful voice Annie informed, "Aunty it time for your medication and dinner."

    The frail aunt nods with her weak moan while Annie stands up to help her sit upright to drink the bowl of medicine. The weak aunt coughed, so Annie immediately rubbed her aunt back like a reflex helping her aunt sooth down the rough cough. Warmly, her aunt smiles at her and pull her down to sit next to her. She is so grateful to have a niece that is as caring and sweet as Annie is. "Annie has Frankie came back yet?" she asked worriedly.

    "Not yet," Annie said with a shook of her head a small little frown. The worry mother sighed making Annie immediately smiled reassuringly, "Aunty dinner is ready, lets go out for dinner. I bet cousin Frankie will be home very soon." Her aunt nod, so she helps her walk out and sit at the dinner table. "I'll go get uncle."

    Her aunt nodded with her cough, "Okay sweetheart."

    Annie mannerly walked out quietly toward her uncle. "Uncle is time for dinner," she told him with her soft voice almost like a maid reporting to her master.

    Paul looked up at her and nodded, "Go get your aunt out first, your cousin hasn't return yet, I want to wait for a while longer." The stubborn uncle suggested while his face gotten stern wondering what took his son so long to return.

    The pleased girl smiled sweetly, "Aunty is at the table already." Her eyes are sparked with a cheerful proud glimpse to be ahead of her uncle thought.

    Her uncle turn to look in and saw his wife was indeed at the table already. "Oh, okay than," he got up and started to walk in, "Annie, save some food for Frankie."

    "I know," Annie nodded obediently.

    "Where could that boy be? He should be home by now," wondered the worry mother.

    "Aunty, do you think something happen to cousin Frankie?" Annie pondered curiously with her concern heart. "He did said he would return by five, but it..."

    Paul sharply turn around and glare at her, Annie quickly shut her mouth and didn't dare to speak up. He snapped at her bitterly, "Annie, if you don't have anything good to say than don't say anything at all. I want you to spit and say it over now." His disappointed eyes are superstitiously kept motionlessly glaring at the poor girl.

    His wife coughed with her voice horsed as she shake her head at her husband action, Annie quickly run her hand on her aunt back to calm her down and trying to avoid her uncle eyes. "Annie you know better than that," her uncle continues with a cold flat tone.

    "Sorry..." Annie weakly apologize, her eyes dropped to the floor guiltily. She is emotionally suffering inside throughout the years, but it became so usual that it's part of her life now, and she no longer think it was wrong, in fact she starting to think that her uncle have a point behind his scolding. All she know is that she must respect him, cause he is the head of the household and a man.

    Mrs. Lam stares at her husband disappointedly, "Don't be so suppositious." She gently squeezed Annie hand reassuringly, "Annie why don't you go in and get the rice out hon?

    Annie nod silently and turn to head into the kitchen. She quickly brushed her sad mood away as usual and places a smile on her face before she walked out with a tray containing three bowls filled with rice. Her head is held down as usual cause of her low self-esteem. She stopped walking cause someone is in her way. Before she could look up a firm hand patted her shoulder.

    "Did you miss me?!" asked the excited and cheerful twenty-four years old cousin of her.

    The eighteen years old nods vigorously, "Of course!" She has the most joyful smile on her and the sadness from her uncle has all melted away.

    Frankie chuckled at his younger cousin with his hand rubbing the top of Annie head as usual. She has been kind of like his kid sister that he tends to spoil and overly protective of her. "Don't worry you got the biggest present!"

    His father sighed with a shake of his head, he don't see what so special about that dependent girl that captivated his son and wife heart. "Frankie sit down first and we could talk over dinner. Annie goes get a bowl of rice for Frankie." Annie cheerfully nodded to the order and rushes back into the kitchen to get Frankie a bowl of rice.

    The eyes of the handsome looking and talkative guy widen and yelled sarcastically, "Wow! What the occasion? We get fish and chicken on the same night?! Even salted eggs?!"

    Chucklingly, Annie returned with a bowl of rice. She cheerfully and proudly speaks, "It's for you, of course! The way you like it too." She sat down next to Frankie; it's always made her felt safe to have her cousin by her side. "I salted the duck eggs the day you left, it should be perfect to eat now, I was so worry that you couldn't make it home tonight."

    Frankie chuckled at his innocent and sweet caring cousin. "Annie, you really missed me huh?" he asked with a trace of brotherly teasing laughter. Annie pouted a bit and he grinned, "You don't have to polish my shoe, your present won't get any bigger."

    Joyfully, his mother slightly laughed at his remark and got the chicken drum to place in Frankie bowl. "How is your trip to the city, Frankie?" she asked with interest to hear her son story.

    Talking about the city, it made him felt a rush of excitement flushing his body, "It was fun! They have so much more upgraded things that are both strange and interesting!" He glances over to Annie and saw her curious eyes and alerted ear listening to him as she eats her rice with only veggie. Annie never dare to eat any of the meat, cause they are expensive and she know her uncle didn't want to share with her.

    Seeing her eating so plainly, Frankie remove the drum that his mother just gave him and place it in Annie bowl, Annie looked at him with a sweet smile. He shook his head at her disappointedly, "I swear you look so much more paler and skinnier than a week ago. Here, have some more fish too."

    "Thanks," Annie said with a smile that was cheerful until she saw her uncle uncomfortable stare and she quickly stopped Frankie from giving her more food. "You know I like veggie, Frankie. You could have the drum back. I'm okay. You're the one that gotten a tan and thought I look pale."

    The older cousin chuckled and looked at his darken arm, "I guess you are right. But you still can't just have rice and veggie for dinner. It's not healthy," he places the drum back on Annie bowl. With his eyes looked into hers warningly, "I want you to finish it up, you hear me?" Annie nod she know that her cousin cares for her, but she don't feel comfortable eating things that was not met for her. She didn't dare to look up, afraid to face her uncle.

    "Dei(father), Leung(mother) you guys wouldn't believe what some of those girls wear in the city! They are so revealing and....." he continue his tale about what the city looked like. He don't get a chance to go to the city much, only once a year to go buy seeds for the next seeding season. The city was indeed his favorite place, or else he wouldn't volunteer each year to head out buying seeds for the village.
    ******

    Thanks Danielle Lin and Em for commenting! I love comments <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

    <font size="1">[ March 26, 2003: Message edited by: Yak ]</font>

  6. #6
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Chapter 3: Softly Touch

    That night Steven got home and finished his dinner in a rush to head out to their old meeting place to wait for Annie and Frankie. He has knows Frankie and Annie almost his entire life, they basically grew up together. Paul didn't like Steven much, cause his parent always come over asking to borrow this and that. At first it was okay cause their parents use to be close friends, but ever since Steven father got hooked with gambling, his wealth slowly disappear and Paul notice that they won't be able to give him back what they borrow, so he became a bit annoyed by them. Especially since Paul view money as a big matter, he became more avoidance toward Steven family and slowly withdraws his closeness to them.

    Everything is still consider civil, until one day Steven parents came to beg Paul for money in order to repay their debt, Paul just ignored them. Steven father has no one to turn to or any other choice left, so he stolen a large sum of money from Paul to repay his debt. When Paul found out he was furious, he beats Steven father and even call the government to come arrest him, after that incident he swear to became enemies with the Ma and never let them step their foot into his territory. Of course he never liked Steven since he is a Ma, so he wanted his son and Annie to stay away from Steven. But of course both Annie and Frankie always find their own way to meet with Steven. Mr. Lam also know that Annie is dating Steven behind his back, he has told Steven that he wouldn't approve him to be with Annie unless he come up with the dowry to give him.

    Steven grinned excitedly as he saw Frankie and Annie approach. With a pat on his best friend back and give him a quick manly hug, Steven excitedly asked, “How is the city Frankie?”

    Once again, Frankie started on his story with Annie giggling at him cause he looked goofy when he was mentioning about the city people, especially about the girls. “Can you believe it? She kissed me, just like that!” he chuckled and rubbed his cheek with a dreamy glow in his eyes and a sweet sigh. “Well it was for a dollar, but it worth it!” he sheepishly corrected himself.

    Steven laughed at his friend goofy look, “Sound like you have fun. Maybe next time I can come along too! Those city girls sound friendly enough.” He looked over to Annie and saw her silent pout with her puppy eyes darted at him, and he couldn't help himself from chuckling at her cute face. “I'm just kidding, if I have a dollar, I'll save it up for you. But I do need to learn how to do business in the city right? It's a faster process of saving money.” A hundred dollar in dowry is not as easy to save as it sound.

    His girlfriend eyes rolled up as she stares at the sky. She tries to keep her voice calm and careless. “I didn't say anything, you can do what you like. It's not my position to tell you what to do anyway.”

    Steven chuckled slightly as he mumbled, “Technically it is your position; you are going to be my future wife...” Annie blushed and turned away trying to avoid Frankie eyes, she know Frankie always make fun of her and Steven.

    Frankie stare at Annie with teasing eyes as he elbowed Steven. “Hey she said you could go! I'm free tomorrow! We could go into one of those dancing club. Too bad I didn't have enough money this time or else I wouldn't be back so soon. They have all sort of girl in there, even one with red hair!”

    Annie kept silent with her eyes looked elsewhere not showing any emotion, but her face was an obvious pout and she felt a bit angry with her cousin trying to convince her sweet beloved Steven with club girls. ‘How dare he teach Steven to become a pervert like him?!’ her mind angrily asked.

    Frankie caught Annie harden eyes and he started to chuckle at her, he turn to look at Steven with a grin. “Man, I felt sorry for you. Look at her! She will certainly be the controlling type of woman with demand!” He laughed loudly with Annie hissing softly toward him. Frankie stopped his laugh as he looked at Steven and Annie suspiciously. “Have you two kissed?”

    Both Steven and Annie eyes darted at him disbelievingly to his sudden question, which made Frankie cracked with tears in his eyes. “I guess that is a NO! Oh come on if a city girl can run up to a stranger and kissed him, at least you can give each other a peck! How long have you guy date?!” Steven and Annie looked sheepish while Frankie shake his head with a sigh and disappointed eyes. “Let me remind you guys, it two years! Two long years! Even Kenix and I did it already and we only dated for a couple months.”

    Annie mouth dropped as she continues to stare at her cousin for sharing and talking about this matter. Steven pressed his lips together as he sneaked a peek over at Annie with his heart rate speeded up a bit with temptation. Annie softly growled toward her cousin under her breath, “You are such a pervert...”

    He returned her comment with his rolled eyes at her, “Oh grow up Annie, you are eighteen already!” Annie feeling a bit uncomfortable with the topic, she was taught the traditional way and marriage is where all of these stuffs should happen, even an innocent kiss. Her eyes caught Steven stare and she swiftly directed her pairs of eyes else where as her cheek quickly burned up like the burning flame of the fireplace in front of her. Frankie turn his head to look at the two nervous shy face sited next to him and he pressed his lips together to hold his laugh. “Have you guys at least hold hand?”

    Annie pouted a bit with her head dropped toward the floor and she didn't dare to look up, she felt embarrassed that her cousin was right. She kept herself looking busy by digging the sandy dirt with her foot twirling in it. Steven could sense Annie uncomfortable state and quickly give out a big breath and changed the subject, “It nice out here at night huh?” Steven was never the socialize person, so he don't really know how to start a new topic. Annie don't socialize much too, that's why she loved Steven, cause it felt comfortable to be with someone that understand silent is another kind of communication and understanding of each other and it could be quite relaxing.

    Frankie just hysterically laughed harder with his head shaking, “You two are just so pathetic and hopeless!” He grinned with a wicked idea, “Talking of Kenix, I missed her, no girl in the city can compare to my sweet lovable Kenix! I bet she is home right now!” He shoots up from the log he was sited on and Annie stares at him with her round eyes. “What? Don't tell me you want me to baby-sit you home.” He chuckled, “I'm going to check on my sweetheart, you two youngster can work on your next stage!” Frankie disappeared within second leaving the silent atmosphere of cricket chirping and the two beating heart with eyes that avoiding each other.

    Annie was silent, she felt strange like a weird sensation rushed up her body and she actually felt nervous being with Steven. The atmosphere seems intense by Frankie words and her heart can't stop racing, she bit her lower lip nervously as she waited for Steven to set the mood back to the simple pure relationship.

    In the other hand, Steven sense the strange feeling that made his pulse jump and he didn't want to back down on this chance of getting closer to Annie. Like Frankie say, he thinks it about time that they advance to the next stage too. He summoned all his courage to slowly scooted over toward Annie direction and Annie heart stopped with the corner of her eyes glued to his hand which is on the big long log that both of them are sited on. She swallowed and didn't dare to lift her head to look at Steven in the eyes. She just kept silent with her cheek red-hot. Her hand was on the log next to her side also and she has the feeling that he is reaching for it, it made her felt happiness inside and a bit gitty with butterfly in her stomach.

    Steven scooted to sat next to her and his hand was right next to hers, side by side, he glance at Annie and his heart skipped a beat, he quickly turn his gaze else where to calm his heart rate down. Annie felt her heart dropping and rising with his every move, her eyes quickly turned in the opposite direction of Steven to avoid contact. Steven slowly advanced his fingers to touch Annie hand tenderly, Annie grinned with her rosy cheek as she felt his ticklish fingers on the back of her hand, she felt nervous and unsteady, a very strange feeling that is hard for her to describe. Just simply joyful mixed with a whole bunch of nervousness! She constantly reminded herself to stay calm.

    Her boyfriend was glad that she didn't scoot her hand away so he advance farther and gently place his hand to cover Annie's hand and Annie felt his warm hand on top of her, a sweet smile lighted her face with her heart feeling the most happiest joys and she was a bit shaky. Annie is biting on her lower lip so that she is not showing her too obvious of a smile.

    Steven grinned once his hand covered her, he felt relief rushed through his satisfy heart as his grin became widen and his heart was pumping loudly and heat was evidence in his sweaty hand. It felt so right to have Annie hand under his, he slowly wrapped his fingers around hers hand and she curled her finger into his also and they finally interlocked their hands together with two big grins facing opposite direction also showing the most sparked pairs of eyes full of hopefulness, but they never dare to look at each other.

    Steven finally gives out a slight laughed at the awkward silent, “That was not too bad right?” Annie blushed even more and just turns her head away with a little shy nod agreeing with him. Steven cheerfully swings their interlocked hand and stand up to pulled her up. “Let take a little walk.”

    Annie finally gathers her nerve to speak up, “Yeah. That sounds really nice right now.” Her smile was pure and it brings out her beautiful glow under the moonlight. She swing their hand a bit too with a cheerful smile and looked up at Steven with her round eyes and her head slowly lean on the side of his arm. Her knight in shining armor finally held her hand, it just simply melted her heart. Steven was smiling from the heart as he walked her down the path. Annie sweetly whispered his name with her cherry cheek showing her happiness. “Steven,” she giggled softly.

    The happiest smiling Steven next to her couldn't help himself from chuckling at Annie sweet innocent. He replied in the same sweet lovely tone, "Annie." Annie grinned joyfully with little giggling sound to her name being called by her beloved hero. There were certainly new spark flying between their sweet innocent love, that they believe will last forever.

    A huge shadow suddenly popped out of nowhere and stands right in front of them. "THAT IS ALL?! NO KISSING?!! I let those mosquitoes drink my blood for nothing?!!" shouted the silly goofball cousin of her in disappointment.

    Annie was startle by him and her face was pale white as she stared at him blankly feeling embarrassment rushing up her face and she started to pout with a bit of anger evidence in her bulged round eyes. Frankie lowered his vision and saw her pout getting angrier and angrier and eyes that are getting more rounded and hard. From past experience he know that this is serious and the moment to run for his life.

    He sheepishly swallowed unnervingly, "Umm...I think Kenix is calling for me...bye!" He quickly takes off and ran away, Annie shake Steven hand off and chased after her nosy cousin. Steven was just chuckling as he watches Annie angry pout quickly turn into a cheerful mischievous giggle while she tries to capture Frankie. The purity of her smile really made his heart warm. He laughed at them and started to help Annie chase after Frankie.

    By the time Frankie made it to the old wooden bridge that crossed the river, Annie was able to catch up close enough to pull her childish cousin back for a lesson. "Let go of me! Go hug your hero!" he teased as he tries to loosen Annie grip by pushing her away. Steven was standing couple feet away panting tiredly with his body bowed down a bit.

    "Steven helps me control him!" Annie laughingly shouted toward Steven and forgotten all about her embarrassment. Her boyfriend nodded and heading up toward them, Frankie seeing that they are going to gain up on them, so he quickly tries to run away. Annie wouldn't let him go, so he ended dragging Annie along and trying to push her away from himself. Once Steven gotten close, Frankie immediately run the best he could toward the edge of the bridge, trying to get away from Steven.

    They laughed at each other while they foolishly act like how they use to be when they were children. "Surrender now Frankie!" Annie suggested as she firmly pulled on Frankie arm, Steven caught up and was trying to tackle Frankie down. To defend him self and get loose, Frankie swiftly swing his body around, his sudden force bumped into Annie and cause her to lose balance and slides down the edge of the bridge.

    Annie panicking trying to tightly grab hold of the dry grass on the steep hill, "Help!" Annie shouted along with her fearful scream while her two feet tries to step on the steep hill, but there is nothing for her to step on for balance. The other two notices what just happen, so they immediately gave their attention to Annie, rushing to pull her back up. Annie weight and tight grip on the grass causes it to get plucked out. Steven eyes horrifyingly bulged out, he leaped ahead with his body slam right onto the ground, but he was just in time to grab hold of Annie hand before she fall.

    "Hold on tight Annie," Steven urgently warns her. Annie nodded, her eyes looked down seeing that she is hanging about thirty feet above the river with rock below. Her finger started to slip away from Steven, Frankie tries to help Steven pull Annie up, but it was too late, Annie fingers slipped away and she rolled down the rocky hill. "Annie!" shouted Steven with concern horrifying eyes. Frankie was actually shocked pale to see what accident he just cause.

    They watch Annie tumble down as she screamed and her rolling stop with a hard hit onto a rock. "Oh shoot!" Frankie immediately but carefully slides himself down the hill along with Steven right by his side. Annie opened and closed her eyes seeing them coming to help her. She felt her head weighting like tons and a dull pain causes her to want to slip into unconsciousness. So she tiredly shuts her eyes while she could hear the background voice of Steven and Frankie slowly fade away. The last thing she heard was Frankie relieved voice, "She only have minor cut and she seem to be alert. Right Annie?"
    ******
    Please leave comments! =o)

    Ah one thing I need is that old readers to promise not to spoil the plot, okay? <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0"> It's wouldn't be fun or fair to new readers, hihihi <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Chapter 4: Mysterious Encounter

    As usual Annie got up before the sunrise so she could have more time to do her chores. But strangely, today she felt her entire body ached and her head felt like it got ran over by a water buffalo. Even though she is injured and felt restless, she still woke up this earlier cause she is too use to being awake at this time. She raises her fist to hammer her forehead a bit pondering what happen to her. Then she realizes and remembers that she got accidentally pushed off the hill.

    "Frankie, you are going to pay for this," she moaned a bit cause of the dull sore body. Annie dragged herself up and yawned with her arms stretching out. Her head was bandaged up with her head handkerchief, but other then the headache and some minor scrap she don't feel any other discomfort. So she decides to start her usual routine of choirs.

    Annie daily routine is so very predictable since she always does them in the same order. She always starts with mopping the floor first, since everyone else is asleep, which mean no one will walk on the wet floor. After that she would go wash all of the clothes and hang them out to dry in the backyard. Then she would go feed the pigs, cows, chicken, duck, and sheep.

    Rotating her sore neck, Annie walked into the kitchen with a pail to get the left over from last night to mix up with water and a bunch of potatoes peels, spoiled vegetable and other spoiled food. After she mixed it into a thick gluey paste of sop she carry it over to the pigpen.

    The sun is just rising so the muddy farmland trail is still really dimly lit by the minimal sunlight. She managed to walk over easily since she knows exactly where everything is. Cheerfully, she feed the pig while humming a sweet village song. As usual a sweet smile always carry on her face.

    A soft whispering sound caught her attention, so she quickly quiet down her humming to listen closely with her eyes scanning the dawn sky, but there is no one in sight. Her heart started to pound, fearing that it could be a thief coming to steal from her uncle farm. Both of her hands tightly clenched to the pail of pig sop as she walked closer to the sound of the whispering voice.

    A dark toned hand of a man was about to pat onto her shoulder as he asked in his deep strong masculine voice that seem expressionless, "Excuse me miss..."

    Annie was startled by the sudden stern voice behind her and the firm hand on her shoulder. With her panicking heart set on defending herself, she swiftly turns around and splashed the pail of pig sop on the guy right in the face. That guy was shock and his jaw drop open as the sop slowly dripped off his head and it all over him. He could smell the odor of spoil food and it made him wanted to gag. He tried to wipe it away from his face, but the more he wipes the more the gluey pig sop stick all over. He couldn't see Annie clearly cause the stuff was covering his eyes too.

    His voice elevated immediately with an angry growl, "WHAT THE HECK? IS THIS SOME KIND OF A JOKE?! HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO ME?!!"

    The nerve shaken Annie swallowed with her body trembled cause of his harsh roaring voice. She stepped back in fear with her soft eyes narrow at the guy trying to study him with uncertainty. All she sees was his weird outfit and a weird bracelet on his arm with a square charm showing two moveable needles. His face was all cover so, she couldn't tell who he is or how he looked like. In a soft shaky voice she bravely asked, "Who are you?"

    The guy heart dropped so fast when he hear Annie voice, it sound so familiar and warm. The long lost sensation filled his body with disbelief, it impossible. He quickly wiped the stuff covering his eyes away and darted at Annie, Annie stepped back further in fear once she saw his dark fierce eyes darted on her like it sending out sharp dagger.

    The beautiful vivid dark eyes of Annie show fear and confusion to this foreign man studying her. She trembled a bit when she saw his dark eyes still on her unmoved, even though she couldn't see his face clearly, she senses something unpleasant about this stranger that made her heart pound with an eerie fear. The guy slowly approach her, with fear Annie swallowed and scooted farther back, the guy rush up to her, she panicked and quickly turn wanting to run away, but he grabs hold of her shoulder firmly and shook her forcefully. Her heart was pounding with fear as her eyes widen on this stranger and her head is slightly shaking pleading him to let her go.

    The guy shouted with disbelief, "Helen!! It's you! It's really you!! But..." he shake his head, "but how could this be? Why are you here?!!" The well dress man with darken tone skin pulled Annie in and hugged her tightly. "Helen! It's you! It really is you! I missed you! I have been looking for you for five long years already!!" Annie swallowed with her entire body stiffly frozen not knowing what he is talking about. His voice suddenly turned from a caring and loving one to an angry disappointed one, "Where have you been?!!"

    The pour lost girl was terrify by this stranger that is hugging her so tightly, no one has embraced her like he is. "Let go of me! You are hurting me!" she told him as she pushed him away forcefully and slapped him across the cheek that is cover with gluey substance. "Pervert!" she shouted with a trace of tears in her pair of eyes. She quickly stepped back and started to run away.

    The guy swiftly grabs onto her arm and jerked her toward him causing Annie to slip on the muddy ground, but he pulled her up with his pair of strong arm and Annie fell leaning into his chest instead. Annie was horrify and trying to struggle with the firm hard arm hugging her tightly. "Let go of me now or I'll scream!" she warned, but the man just kept his stare at her and won't let go. His dark eyes seem so empty without a soul that it send a quiver down Annie spine.

    He shakes his head at her with sadden hurtful expression, "Why are you running away from me Helen? Why? Is me! Can't you recognize me?" his voice was sadden with disappointment glowed in his dark eyes.

    Annie swallowed with her eyes fearfully at the guy with the stinky odor, for a moment her eyes were lost into his, it show so much sadness and pain burning behind it. She could also sense anger from them too and it make her feel the chill, she slowly try to push his grip off. "I'm not Helen. I'm Annie, Annie Man. I think you got the wrong person, let me go please. I don't know you."

    He stubbornly shake his head and is definite that he is not wrong about her being Helen, "No, you are Helen...I would never forget how you look! How could I forget? Do you know I think of you and missed you everyday?" He sincerely asked with tears slowly drawn to his pair of drowning eyes. Another guy ran up to him breathlessly.

    "Yee Seeu" he was panting as he called the second son of his master.

    Annie was confuses to why there is so many foreigner today. Her eyes study them back and forth, but somehow she tend to be interested in the man that is still holding onto her tightly, "I told you already I'm not Helen. Who are you guys? You guys are trespassing! Let go of me now or I'll scream for help!"

    The broad shouldered servant eyes widen with his drained facial expression, it looked blank with shock. His eyes were kept on Annie unmoved and his voice was deep with a sense of fear but it was solid and stern. "Yee Seeu Lie?" a phase he hasn't uses for years. Is she really his Yee Seeu's wife? "...Yee Seeu Lie?..." his voice was a bit shaky with fearful widen eyes. Annie was puzzle to his look and she doesn't like the idea of this so call Yee Seeu still holding on to her body closely. It just not right!

    "Yes she is Helen!" shouted the excited young master as he turn and stare into Annie confused eyes. "Even Stephen recognize it you! Why are you lying to me?! Why are you denying?! Don't you missed me?!" His eyes were fiercely darted at Annie with disappointment.

    Stephen Au, the 30 years old butler nodded slowly with his stern motionless eyes kept on Annie, he is creeping Annie out with those cold stare. But Annie is also creeping him out too. His voice was slow and dreadful with a sense of emptiness, "But...but...it impossible..."

    They gazed at Annie up and down trying to analysis every detail of her. Annie quickly folded her arm over her chest worriedly. Trying to wiggle out of the Yee Seeu grip, Annie shrugged, but he was too strong for her. She angrily hissed and stomped her foot on the Yee Seeu foot and once he let go of her, she ran as quickly as she could, not daring to stop to catch her breath or to take a closer look at this two strangers.
    Seeing her disappearing bring back painful memories as he shake his head toward Annie direction, "She's not Helen, Helen will never run away from me...Helen will never run away!" He slowly dropped down to the dirt muddy road and held his head tightly with both his hands. "Helen will never run away!!!" His voice suddenly changes into a fierce angry controlling shout, "NEVER!!"

    Stephen eyes were at the road where Annie has just disappears. He nod and turn to look at his master second son after he heard the painful shout. Slowly he squatted down next to him and rubbed his back to calm him down. His voice was cold and empty as usual, "Calm down Yee Seeu, just calm down. It's not her. It's couldn't be her," he looked at his Yee Seeu with blank eyes that show a slight glimpse of warmth. "Take in a deep breath and let it out slowly." His Yee Seeu did as he said and panted with his eyes squints painfully and his lip paled white. Stephen stared at him with concern as he saw a twinkle of his tears slipped out the corner of his right eyes. He hasn't seen this side of his Yee Seeu for a long time, it's bring him a bit of anger and he turned to stare with his cold empty eyes toward the path Annie has ran away. His voice was steady but expressionless like always, "I'll get you back to the hotel first."
    ******
    Okay, I'm tire. Need to sleep now. Bye! Remember to comment if you are reading =o)

  8. #8
    Senior Member jeh's Avatar
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    Hi Yak, I been reading the script form of this fanfic but was too lazy to comment. I decide to post up a comment now. I got to say, your writing are really good <IMG SRC="smilies/thumbsup.gif" border="0"> I was just wondering, what chapter did you stop at at the script form? I just want to know so I know what chapter to start reading again in this novel form.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    jeh, thanks for dropping a comment, I thought no one was reading the script form that's why I delete it. Anyway, the fanfic is completed already in my winglin account. As for the script form that I posted here, I think I post to chapter 20, but I'm not sure. <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> Anyway hope to hear from you more <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0">
    ******

    Chapter 5: Lo Gong Jai Please?

    Weeks has passed since that unusual day with the two stranger scaring Annie half to death. After that incident, every morning when she goes feed the pig, her heart would pound and her eyes were keep wide open for them. But luckily they didn't came back to haunt her again. The incident is just bazaar and strange, she never saw anyone wear the clothing they were wearing. And the ways they act scare her even more.

    Slowly the image of those two strangers faded away as time passed and life for Annie is back to normal. Annie cheerfully sited at her usual spot by the lake waiting for Steven to come join her. She was extra happy and cheerful today cause she have a surprise for Steven. As she waited for Steven, she slowly opens the handkerchief that nicely wrapped a piece of dessert that she made early this morning. She quickly shoots up in excitement when she saw Steven approaching with a cheerful grin.

    Waving to him with excitement, Annie shouted out loud and clear, "Steven!" Steven speed up his pace and was in front of Annie within second, he was panting a bit as his joyful smile hung on his tired face. Annie held the pink handkerchief out with both of her hand under it. Right in the center of the handkerchief was a piece of colorful dessert. "It's for you." She grabs hold of Steven wrist as she sat down on the rock and dragged him to sit down next to her. "You haven't have breakfast right?"

    The pleased boy shakes his head, "Nope. It looks pretty." Steven admired the colorful dessert before he receives it from Annie. "Thanks Annie," he said with a chuckle at the colorful dessert, this kind of dessert are well know in the village for lover to make for each other showing their affection and hinting marriage. "Annie are you trying to hint something?" he turn and suspiciously beamed at Annie with his tiny round eyes as he grinned with his narrowed eyes at her teasingly.

    "No," answered the blushing shy girl.
    Steven laughed at her rosy cheek as he took a bite of the dessert and chewing it joyfully tasting every favor of the dessert. "Don't worry Annie, I will ask your uncle for your hand in marriage very soon. I think I have enough dowries for your uncle to agree on our marriage. You will be my perfect little wife very soon, just wait a bit longer," he promised with hopeful heart.

    Annie cheeks are uncontrollable cherry as a smile creped up her face sweetly. She slightly giggled with her head looked away shyly. In a shy soft voice she try to hide her giggle, "I told you already it's has no meaning. Frankie wanted to make it for Kenix and asked me to do it for him. There is one piece left over, so I...." she giggled and press her lip together tightly with shyness. Steven pouted slightly and his eyes darted at the dessert disappointedly. Annie quickly gave him a sweet puppy smile. "But you promise to keep your words and go see my uncle, so I'll wait," her eyes soften on him as she lean her head on his shoulder.

    Her boyfriend chuckled as he place the rest of the dessert into his mouth, "Look who wanted to get married off as soon as possible?"

    She pouted, then her lip slowly curved up, "Steven Ma are you teasing me?" Annie give him her angriest stare, which made Steven crack up in laughter, cause it looked more cute than angry. Annie hits Steven playfully for laughing at her, "Stop it! You are making fun of me!"

    Steven quickly holds her pair of swinging hands into his and shakes his head. "No, I'm not! It not my fault that you can't fake an angry look, you just looked too cute," he sweetly stated with his chuckle. "Don't worry you won't be stuck in between the kitchen stove; I'll marry you as soon as possible!" he laughed at Annie blushed face. Swinging their interlock hands he sweetly called out, "Lo Poul Jai (little wife), your Lo Gong Jai (little husband) shoulder is really tired." He let go of her hand and turn around to loosen his shoulder in front of Annie. "Come on do your job!" he playfully ordered.

    Annie grinned mischievously and started to hammer his shoulder gently, "How is this Steven dear?"

    The chauvinist boy nod with his eyes closed to relax and feel the comfortable hammering, "Not bad. Lo Poul Jai, you are really good at this, I must say."

    Narrowed her eyes on Steven left ear, Annie asked with an evil plan in mind, "Really?"

    Obliviously, Steven nodded and replied in a steady relaxed rhythm, "Ah huh."

    Annie fingers quickly pinched his left earlobe and twisted it a bit. Steven scream in pain as he jumped up, "How is this Steven dear? Am I good at it too?"

    "OW..Ow...ow..." he whined as he try to remove Annie hand. "Annie are you trying to widow yourself?!" Steven jokingly shouted.

    Dragged him by the ear, Annie pouted, "How dare you continue to soil my name! Who is your Lo Poul Jai?!" Steven turns around and looked at her with his pleading puppy eyes, Annie couldn't hold in her giggle. She let go of him. In a laughing tone Annie said, "And don't you dare to turn me into your own little maid. Hmp!" she turns and walked away. Steven charged over and tickled her side from behind. She hates to be tickle and try to push his hands away. "Stop it!!" she pleaded along with her laughter.

    Steven shook his head, "Not in a million years!" Annie turned around to give him her puppy pleading eyes with a slight pout, just like how he did it to her. Steven laughed at her naive thought, "That is not going to work on me! I'm the one who invented that!"
    Annie sticks out the tip of her tongue at him and he tickled her harder. She was laughing as she struggles to free herself.

    Laughingly Annie warned him, "I mean it! Stop tickling me now!" She is trying to push Steven away. "Okay, okay, okay...I give up!" she finally surrenders to his power.

    Her boyfriend chuckled at her and stopped, "You are such a softy!"

    She wrinkled the bridge of her nose at him. In a calm demanding tone, she whispered, "Let go of me mister."

    Steven rolled his eyes up, "You haven't say the magic words yet."

    "Please?" Annie said with her sweet confusion wondering if that the word he looking for.

    "Nope," Steven said with head shaking.
    Annie narrowed her eyes on him, "Alright what is it?"

    Steven grinned widely, "Lo Gong Jai pleeeeaaassseee...."

    She pouted at him and softly with her head dropped a bit. Shyly Annie whispered, "Lo Gong Jai please?"

    The boy laughed as he nod satisfyingly and let her goes, "Much better!" He held her hand and walked with her to get her buffalo. "Lo Poul Jai ah, I'm still hungry, next times give Frankie the left over piece and I get the rest."

    Annie giggled softly with a smile. She leaned on the side of Steven arm as they walk, "I'll make you those desserts everyday for the rest of your life, if you like. But you can't get tire of it." Steven grinned ear to ear as he nods to Annie sweet voice and wrapped his hand around Annie shoulder with his hopeful heart dancing with joyfulness. They walked toward her uncle farmland as usual.

    "Oh no!" Steven suddenly shouted and stopped walking.

    Looked at him concernedly Annie asked, "What's wrong?"

    "I forgot, I promise to help Mr. Kwan fix his boat," Steven sighed as he told her. "He is willing to give me half a dollar for it!"
    Annie frowned, "You not walking me home?"
    Steven gives her a frown too with his head shaking, "I need to earn money in order to earn a Lo Poul Jai right?"

    That line just made Annie giggled shyly, "I guess, I'll walk home myself then."

    Steven hand her the rope to the buffalo, "Bye! I'll see you tomorrow." He turns and started to run as fast as he could. "Just wait to be my Lo Poul Jai!! I'll come see your uncle very soon!" he yelled back to her.

    Annie waved behind him and yelled happily, "BYE!" Steven waved back as he run. Annie chuckled and watches until the image of him disappear. After he is out of sight, Annie heading home with a cheerful bright smiles as she skipping her way happily in joy with her water buffalo along her side.

    Frankie so happen to walk by with Kenix, and they chuckled at Annie silly skip. Frankie ran up to pat her firmly on the shoulder from behind. In a deep stern voice, trying to sound like his father, Fankie steadily said, "Young lady where were you the entire day!" He laughed at the jumping Annie, "What got into you today? Look like you just dig up gold." Annie pouted at him and throws the rope of the water buffalo over to him.

    She rolled her eyes at him and linked her arm into Kenix. In her sweet cheerful voice, "Kenix jie how have you been lately?"

    Her cousin wrapped his arm around Kenix, "Of course best ever, since I'm here right now! How could she be sad with me around?!"

    The twenty-three years old girl rolled her eyes at Frankie and pushed him away playfully, "Frankie grow up." Childishly she wrinkled the bridge of her nose at her boyfriend and turn to smile at Annie, "You look joyful today." She lowers her head to study Annie with a grin, "Let me guess you just seen Steven?" Annie just giggled joyfully from the heart, she still excited about Steven saying he will ask her uncle for her hand in marriage. Silly to say, but it was her childhood dream to married Steven every since she was eight. Annie kept her uplifted spirit with her never fading smile on as they continue to chat and walk toward home.
    ******

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Chapter 6: But That's Not My Dream...

    Once they reach the house, Annie dragged the water buffalo back to the farmland, while Frankie and Kenix stepped into the house. After Annie finally finished securing the water buffalo she joyfully walked toward the house. When she stepped into the front door she notice that her uncle is talking with two guests and it look serious. Both Frankie and Kenix face was pale as they looked at her with their sad eyes. A sense of fear shook Annie heart as she recognized one of the guest that just turn his head toward her was one of the stranger she saw couple weeks ago. His eyes were still and cold on her. She stands still in silent wondering why he is in here with the older guest talking to her uncle. Is she in trouble? Did she do something to them causing them to come here to report her? And exactly who are they? She doesn't even remember what she did to them. Confusing question waved in her head as she study the two guests.

    Paul is gesturing his hand to signal Annie to walk toward him. The two guests turn to give Annie their attention. The older guest face drained a bit, as his eyes were glue on Annie. In a friendly hospitality voice, Paul told Annie, "Annie, child quickly comes over to greet Mr. Koo."

    Annie was confuse to her uncle sudden change in his tone, he never sounded so nice to her before. She slowly approached the old guy that seems to be in his late fifty with silver short hair and aged eyes full of wisdom. Mannerly she walked over and stands in front of them. Her uncle patted her shoulder and smiled at the old wise man that is speculating Annie, "Mr. Koo, she is Annie Man." He turn to give Annie a warning stare, "Well, Annie greet our guest."

    In a soft voice, Annie weakly but politely greeted, "How do you do Mr. Koo?"

    Mr Koo grinned at her warmly with his head shaking in disbelief. "Very good my child," his eyes is full of warmth looking at Annie while he reaches his hand out to feel Annie face, but Annie stepped back nervously. He stopped his action and instead he asked, "Annie do you have any sibling?" Annie shakes her head as he study her from head to toes. 'She is not perfect but decent enough' he silently thought.

    Somehow his stare made Annie felt nervous and like she is being exam from head to toes looking for flaws. "Well, nice to meet you Annie, hope you will be happy with our family in the future," he said with a sincere smile before he stand up. "I better get going now. I'll see you next month, Annie."

    Annie was lost by his words; she has no idea what he is talking about. She just kept her curious and confused eyes on him. Mr. Koo looked at Paul, "So Mr. Lam is the dowry settled?" Annie heart dropped as her eyes widen at the old man. She was confused, are they talking about her? But she is the only girl of the family, it got to be about her. She felt weak and speechless as her eyes bulged out in fear with her heart sank. It can't be! She is meant to be with Steven, not this old guy!

    Her greedy uncle repeatedly nods as he shakes Mr. Koo hand. With a cheerful excited voice filled with happiness, "Oh yes, yes, no problem at all, it all settled."

    The relieved old man smile genuinely, "Great, the bride carriage will be here on the six of next month and I'll send someone to bring wedding accessories over next week. I better leave now, it getting late. Come on Stephen." He turns and started to walk with his butler followed behind silently.

    Paul nods and hunched his back a bit to show his respect as he followed. His voice was sickening with greed of profit, "I'll walk you out Mr. Koo."

    When Mr. Koo reaches the front door, he turns around to take one last glance at the pale Annie with his disbelieved grin. Stephen was staring at Annie too with his usual still eyes and silent mood. He somehow has a feeling that trouble will stir once again. Mr. Koo in a satisfied voice, "I'll see you next month Annie." With that he left. Paul return with a big satisfy grin on his face. It was his lucky day and nothing can change his greedy smiles.

    Annie felt tears flooded her eyes as she turns to her uncle with her watery vision. Wetting her lip, she wanted to ask but she doesn't have the nerve to question her uncle. Instead she silently pressed her lips together and felt her heart aching. But she can't just keep silent; this is about her future! She finally gathers her nerve to ask with a very soft voice that is barely audible, "Uncle what was he talking about?"

    The heartless uncle grinned happily at Annie. He couldn't believe that this young naive girl could make him rich. He patted Annie shoulder and his voice was the most excited ever, "Annie you have wheeled in yourself a big fish! Mr. Koo wanted you to become his daughter-in-law! Why didn't you tell me that you met young master Koo?" he sighed happily. "You are getting married to the city and into a very wealthy family, aren't you happy? I always know that you will be a special girl. See I told you that Steven is not up to your standard and this proved me right! You make me proud for making young master Koo fall for you!" He firmly patted the side of Annie arms, "You are a natural! Now you are going to be wealthy and we are wealthy too!"

    Both Frankie and Kenix face sank along with Annie, they know that Annie must be feeling horrible at this moment. Annie shakes her head in disbelief with tears rolling down her cheek and all of her cheerfulness of being Steven's Lo Poul Jai faded away. Her lip trembled and she felt like her heart has stopped. "I don't get it. I don't know any young master Koo," she confusedly stated. Shaking her head constantly, she pleaded, "I don't want to marry him. I don't even know him." Her eyes soften at her uncle into a pleading pair of round eyes begging for mercy, "Uncle please, I don't want to marry him. Steven is coming..."

    The careless man with his bag of dowry wrapped his arm around Annie shoulder, "Annie child, don't be a silly girl. You are eighteen now and officially an adult, it natural of you to get marry and have children of your own. Many girls don't know who their husband are until the night of their wedding, is very natural. Beside, this is your chance to live a better live. To live in the city, do you know how many girls here wanted this chance?" He smiled proudly at Annie, "But no matter how much they've dreamed for, it won't ever happen to them. You are the special one, you are the one that can make the dream come true!"

    Annie eyes are red and watery as her forehead frowned, "But I doesn't want to...that is not my dream..." she looked at her uncle with her soft eyes, "Steven is going to..."

    Her uncle cuts her off, "Now enough about Steven, I told you many time to not go near him. He does not deserve you. You deserve something much better than him. Like young master Koo, I bet he is a gentleman, not to mention a very rich gentleman, nothing like that worthless piece of mud that kept following you." He sighed at Annie tears, thinking that it nonsense of her to cry, "Child, hush up now. This is an opportunity for you." He grinned happily, "Beside the dowry been accepted already, there is no turning back now."

    The poor sad girl shakes her head as she grab onto her uncle sleeve, "Please uncle, return the dowry back to Mr. Koo. I beg you please. I don't want this marriage arrangement. I only wanted to be with Steven, he promised me to come with his dowry for me."

    Paul rolled his eyes as he pushed Annie hand away, "Annie this is settle already, how are you going to ask me to return the dowry back to Mr. Koo? Where is my credit going to be? Beside what can Steven give? He is probably lying to you. His family doesn't even have money to buy bread.

    Annie swallowed, "Uncle I love Steven, please uncle. He promised me to marry me. He worked really hard to save money for my dowry. He promise he'll be here to see you soon."

    Annoyed, her uncle voice changed to carry a bit of anger, "Don't be silly child, what can love buy you? But money is a different story. Do you want to married Steven and suffer with him? He can't even afford to have a full meal for himself. How is he going to support you? How is he going to support your future children? Do you want to labor with him daily and eat potatoes skin with thin porridge? Even our pigs eat betters than what he has to offer." He shakes his head at Annie redden eyes flooded with tears, "Wouldn't you rather live in a big house with several maids following you around and do everything for you? With money..."

    The stubborn niece of his wife swallowed as she steadily and bravely speak up before her uncle continue on, "I would rather be with Steven." A stubborn little pouts revealed on her face as a drop of cold tear rolled down her cheek slowly and made contact with the corner of her mouth. She taste the saltiness of her tears, it was bitter and painful.

    Her uncle sighed at her stubbornness angrily, he calmed himself down a bit with a grin, "Alright, if he can give me the same amount of dowry as Mr. Koo, I'll let you marry him."

    Frankie disbelievingly yelled, "Dei you know it impossible!" He couldn't stand being a disciplined son and kept quiet any longer. Annie looked at Frankie with fearful tears streaked down her face. And her nose reddened with sniffling. It hurt Frankie to see his cousin with a broken heart. "Dei you know Annie and Steven been dating for so long, how can you have the heart to break them apart?"

    Paul glared at his son, "Frankie, have some respect, I'm your Dei. Do you want the lighting to strike you? What I say is final, if Steven can provide the same dowry so I can return back to Mr. Koo, than I'll let you marry him."

    Annie in her shaky unnerving voice, "How much was the dowry?" Kenix walked up to her and stand by her worriedly.

    Her uncle still couldn't believe he has become a very rich man after today. "He has offered me two plots of farmland and a thousand dollar, " he stated happily and carelessly to what Annie think. There is just no way that he is willing to give this sum of money back. Annie jaw dropped with her head shaking hopelessly, there is no way Steven can find this much money, not even if he sold himself to be a slave or kill himself.

    The cruel uncle chuckled at Annie daunted expression, "Annie I told you already, you catch yourself a big fish, in fact it a whale! Annie you will live a life of a princess after you got married into the Koo, in fact a life of a queen if you give them a baby boy! I really see no reason to turn them down."

    Heart brokenly, Annie wipes her cold tears away and kneeled down in front of her uncle. Kenix held on to her arm, but Annie softly pushes it away. In her teary voice, "Uncle please, I really don't want to marry someone I don't know. I loved Steven and only Steven. Please uncle, don't make me marry that..." she paused trying to remember how to address the guy, "...young master Koo. I have no idea who he is, but even if I do, I'll still only choose Steven. You promise us before that when Steven can find a hundred dollar you will let us get married. You can't change your words now! How can you break your promise and rise the dowry?!" Her voice was never this firm and angry before, but she felt unfair and had enough with her uncle greediness.

    Rage boiled up into Paul eyes as he glared at Annie with burning flame, "How dare you use that tone on me?! Don't forget who raise you for all thirteen years! Of course I need to collect my repay from you!"

    Annie bit her lip and bitterly murmured toward him with her harden eyes darted at him, "An hundred is more than enough..." Her uncle firmly jerked her up by the arm and held her right in front of him. Annie pressed her lips together fearfully with tears cascading down her gloomy face. Frankie and Kenix couldn't do anything except for feeling sympathy for Annie. To be an obedient son, Frankie is not allows to contradict his father. Frankie is worry that his Dei will punish Annie if she carries on stubbornly. But what can he do? He is a son and must not talk back to his father.

    Paul bitterly reminded him, "I'm the one who take you in and give you life. I'm the one who feed you and clothes you while your parent did nothing but bring you into this world. If I wanted to, I could even kill you and no one could say a word about it. Do you want me to whip you again child?" he swallowed and release the sobbing Annie. "There only two paths left for you. One is to get Steven to bring the exact sum of Mr. Koo dowry. The other is to listen to me and mannerly wait to get married over to the Koo family."

    He coldly suggested, "If I were you, I would just wait for the carriage to come." Paul rudely chuckled sardonically, "That lousy Steven can't even bring me a hundred dollar dowry if I would accept it." He glanced at his hopeless niece one last time before he turn and walked into his room leaving the speechless Annie slowly dropped herself on the floor with her dull expression and slumped shoulder.

    Annie is shock and lost to what she could do, there is nothing she could do at all. Her eyes were blankly stares ahead without hope. Frankie sighed and slowly squatted down in front of Annie wiping her dried tears away.

    Softly, he whispered, "I'm sorry Annie, I couldn't do anything to help." Annie soft eyes slowly moved up to met his eyes and she quickly hugged him tightly and wailed on his shoulder sorrowfully. Kenix was in tears too when she saw Annie like this. Frankie don't know what else to do other than letting her continue to cry.
    ******
    <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/sigh.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/bawling.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/crying.gif" border="0">

  11. #11
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Chapter 7: Our Eloping Plan

    The next morning Annie woke up with puffy red eyes and black rim under them too. She hasn't slept much at all and her heart is basically crushed into millions of pieces. She couldn't take this anymore and finally decide to rush to Steven house. She got there before the sun even get a chance to come out. Seeing a figure in front of his house, Annie quickly ran to the person.

    "Ada have you seen Steven?" she urgently asked while peeking through the window of his house. "Is he home?" Annie asked with wishful eyes.

    Ada, who is Steven neighbor and friend, shake her head with her eyes glue to Annie messy condition. The twenty years old girl answered, "He just..."

    Before Ada can finish, Steven surprised voice called from behind, "Annie?" Annie swiftly turns to his voice and her eyes automatically watered up and her lip trembled as she ran up to him and hugged him tightly with her tears. Steven face puzzled to what happened to her, he run his hand up and down Annie back soothingly. "Shh..what is wrong Annie?"

    Quietly, Ada observed with curiosity and concern for Annie too, cause Annie looked like a mess with muddy clothes. Annie outfit got soiled, because she has fallen in a mud puddle before she reach Steven house. Hiccups and sniffling was heard as Annie tries to swallow her tears and calm herself down but she couldn't. The sight of Steven just made her felt so emotionally weak and vulnerable.

    Steven heart was pounding in worries and concern for his girlfriend. Rubbing her back, Steven try to question once again, "Annie tells me what happen. Did your uncle whip you again?" He try to release her hug to exam her but Annie shake her head vigorously as she kept her embrace tightly around him. She never wanted to let go fearing that she will never get a chance to be close to him again.

    In her teary fearful voice, Annie murmured, "Steven I don't want to marry out to the city..."

    Her boyfriend face was drained from blood at once, his eyes widen and mouth dropped open in shock. Did he just hear marry? To the city? He firmly removes Annie and stare straight into her teary eyes to confirm what he just heard. Annie soft puffy red eyes told him that it's true. Disbelieving he shouted, "What do you mean?!!"

    Annie sniffed and cried harder with her head dropped toward the dirt ground, "Uncle has accepted the dowry of Mr. Koo to get me married to his son..." She lean toward him again with her head against his chest for a comforting hugs. Steven arm wrapped around her loosely, his face was still in shock. Annie shakes her head on his chest, "I don't want to marry him, Steven... I don't want to leave you... I don't even know him... I'm scare..."

    Ada sighed softly to herself and she felt sympathy for the young couple. Steven slowly shake his head in disbelieve as he stare blankly ahead. Angrily he started to reason, "This can't be! He promised that I could marry you once I got the one hundred dollar saved!" He moved Annie away and pulled a bundle of something that is wrapped with a piece of paper. "I got the hundred dollar Annie..." his eyes were soften on Annie with tears lingered in them as he held the bundle up toward Annie. "I saved half of it from the last two years and I just borrow the other half from friends. I told you, I'll go talk to him soon. How could this happen?" he hissed angrily as a drop of tears fled from his eyes.

    "He promise! I'll go give him the dowry now! He will keep his promise and let us get married, come on Annie!!" He holds Annie hand tightly and yanked her to run with him heading toward her uncle house. Ada watches them ran away with her shaking head feeling sorry for them. Annie wanted to believe that her uncle will keep his promise too, but she knows it unlikely. She stopped her running in the middle of the path, and her interlock hand jerked Steven to stop and turn to look at her. She just looks into Steven eyes with her melted heart. Steven heart ached when he saw those pairs of hopelessly sad eyes.

    He slightly nudged Annie, "It going to be okay Annie, I'll reason with him. Come on." Steven couldn't even convince himself, he and Annie know her uncle too well, it will be a miracle if he listens. The only thing her uncle reason to is money.

    Annie shakes her head, in a soft hopeless voice, "It not okay Steven, it will never be okay again. He won't keep his promise and he won't reason with us. Uncle won't listen to anything except for money."

    Steven places the bundle of money in Annie hand, "But I got the money. So he will listen and keep his promise." Annie press her lips together with tears rolling down her sorrow face as her eyes glue to the money and wished so much that it could be that simple. Steven eyes narrowed softly on Annie stillness with both his hand on her shoulder gently with love, "Don't worry Annie, I won't let him pull us apart."

    "It's no use!" she pushed him away and turns to run as fast as she could with her broken heart. Steven ran after her and once he caught up he embraced her from behind tightly with warmth and pain fearing he will lose her. Annie throat was clotted up with tears, "It won't work Steven... Uncle wanted more then the hundred dollars..."

    He tighten his hug more with his head against Annie head, "Shhh..." Annie calmed down a bit and relaxed her tense body. "No matter what, I won't let him take you away from me." Annie slowly moved her eyes up to met his. "How much did he want? I can borrow money...anything as long as I could marry you."

    Hopelessly, Annie shakes her head and turn to face him. She looked at him silently for a moment and it hurt her so much to know that this would never work out. Her head dropped, in a soft empty murmur, "He wanted a thousand dollar and two plots of farmland..."

    The eyes of Steven bulged out in shock, "WHAT?!!" Annie begins to cry silently with sniffling as she nod. Steven heart stiffen, there is no way in the world for him to get that much money. His head kept shaking in disbelief as he tries to think of a way, "Where am I supposed to get that much money? That is more than five thousand dollars. How could he increase the dowry by that much?" he looked at Annie sadness and slowly he approach to hug her. "Is that how much they have offered him?" Annie nod silently and snuggle her head against his neck. Steven sighed, he doesn't know what to do. "I won't let him pull us apart," he tighten his embrace on Annie to make sure she is still in his arms.

    Annie softly with hopeless eyes, "How?" It was silent cause Steven doesn't know how and Annie knows it impossible too.

    Steven finally whispered, "We can run away from here," his eyes gazed as Annie eyes glowed with a bit more hope but also uncertainty. "But I'm poor, would you still want to follow me? I promise I'll treat you well. Would you elope with me?"

    The relieved girl nods repeatedly with her warm smile and sparkling eyes cause of the tears. "Yes. I never mind that you are poor. I love you Steven..." she sniffed and felt a warm sensation in her heart.

    He nodded as he snuggled his head slightly against her, "Me too Annie, me too." Steven released their hug and grab her hand holding it up to his lip and gently kissed it. "I will love you and protect you forever." Annie smile with touched warm tears as she slightly nod and the image of the Steven in front of her is the most handsomest and loving man in the whole wide world, her true knight. Steven chuckled at her slightly and wipes her tears away. "We better get going before your uncle notice you left." Annie nod and followed Steven running back toward his house.

    Ada confusedly asks after seeing them return so quickly, "Annie are you okay?" Annie bit her lower lip and just nod.

    Steven released Annie hand and quickly grabs Ada shoulder firmly, Ada looked into his eyes with her heart warmed a bit. "Ada can you do me a big favor?" he asked wishfully. Ada nod uncertainly. Steven hand his bundle of money to Ada, "Help me give this to my Leung."

    The usually quiet girl hand the money back to him, "Why don't you do it yourself?" She turns to look at Annie suspiciously, "What are you up to Steven?"

    Seriously, Steven grabs hold of Annie hand and interlock it tightly, "Ada, we have no choice, we want to get away from the village for a while. Can you give these moneys to my Leung and help me keep an eye on her, until I return?"

    Bewildered, Ada blurted out, "And when is that?!" Annie frowned and looked at Steven. Steven squeezed her hand to reassure her. Ada sighed at them, "Steven this is not going to be a good way out of this. How am I going to tell your Leung that you ran away and don't know when you will return? You know how much Mrs. Ma loved and depended on you, you are her only son and family now. She is old and sick all the time, she need you to be by her side at all time. How could you be so selfish to just run away and leave her? What happen if Mr. Lam came over demanding your Leung to hand Annie back? What is your Leung suppose to do?"

    Annie know Ada does have a point, "Steven..."

    Steven stopped her from continuing, "Don't worry Annie." He looked at Ada, "I'll be back to get my Leung once I settle down with Annie first." Steven seriously looked into Ada eyes, "Ada please, just helps me look after my Leung for a couple weeks. You know how much I loved Annie. I can't just let her uncle send her away to marry someone she don't even know." He looked at Ada sincerely, "Could you please help us?"

    Hesitatingly, Ada sighed with a nod, "I want you two to be happy too."

    "Thanks Ada!" he cheerfully shouted. Then he smiled joyfully at Annie and she was happy too.

    Ada shake her head at him warningly, "But you promise to be back for your Leung, don't make her worry for too long. I'll have her stay at my house, so Mr. Lam couldn't find her."

    Gratefully, Steven nod with a sincere grateful smile, "Thanks Ada. I won't forget about my Leung, I'm not that disrespectful. Annie and I better leave soon before her uncle catch up." He looked at her with gratefulness, "Thanks." Ada nodded and gestured her hand to signal them to go on. Steven held Annie hand tightly and ran with her heading toward the pier.
    ******

  12. #12
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Chapter 8: I Swear

    Steven and Annie reached the pier right when the sun has fully raises above the horizon. It was quite windy cause of the ocean current. They approach the narrow platform toward a small wooden boat. Steven asking the owner of the boat, "How much is it for two to cross the ocean to the other side?"

    "Fifty cents, son," answered the mid forty years old man with a fisherman straw hat. Steven pulled out a coin and hand it to him. "Hop on in," he instructed them. Steven jumped into the unsteady boat and helped Annie get on. They walked into the center of the boat with a cover and sat along with two other passengers. Annie tiredly rest her head on Steven shoulder as they wait for the boat to hurry up and paddle them away from this nightmare of theirs.

    "I'm sorry," Annie guiltily whisper, she knows that Steven has left a lot behind just cause of her.

    Steven turn his attention to her with a smile, "Nonsense, it not even your fault."

    "Will you regret this?" she softly asked.

    He shakes his head and wrapped his arm around her, "No." They sat in silent on the rocking boat with their anxious heart looking at the pier. "You look tired, why don't you rest for a while?"

    Annie nod and shut her eyes resting on Steven chest peacefully. Steven was restless too, but he kept his eyes open at the pier to make sure her uncle didn't come after them. He turned around and smiled warmly at Annie who slept peaceful on his shoulder. Her slow soft breathing sound was so gentle and soothing to Steven, he couldn't keep his eyes away from her.

    A forceful jump on the boat causes it to rock unsteadily Steven quickly gave his attention toward the front of the small boat, Annie jerked awake with her heart pounding. Their eyes widen at her uncle along with six of his rice field workers holding to long wooded rod. Steven swallowed his fear and spread his arms out to protect Annie who is behind him.

    "How dare you run away?!!" shouted the angry uncle.

    Steven stand up defending Annie as he protectively pushed Annie further behind him. "Mr. Lam, please don't make Annie marry to that guy. She didn't want to marry him," he tries to reason respectfully.

    Paul chuckled rudely, "So should I let her marry you instead?"

    Take in a puff of air to give himself courage, Steven darted at Paul fiercely, "Yes!"

    Paul laughed loudly along with his followers. "What got into your head son? She is not yours to think about! Help me get Annie over!" he ordered his worker.

    The six barbaric guys charged over, Steven kept scooting away with Annie behind him. "Don't come near us!" shouted Steven.

    Annie concernedly pleaded with fear, "Uncle please! I don't want to marry that Mr. Koo!" she hugged onto Steven tightly.

    "Hurry up with the process, I still have work to do!" the cruel and heartless man demanded. The workers of his, rush over and pulling onto Annie arm trying to break Steven and her hug. Steven wouldn't let go of Annie so they started to whack him with the thick wooden rod forcefully. Steven still wouldn't release his grip as they hit him with full force.

    Fearfully with concern of her boyfriend, Annie cry as she saw them only beating him. She tries to turn to block Steven from getting hit but Steven wouldn't let them hit her. "Please stop! Don't hit him!! STOP! Steven!" she begged.

    Steven stubbornly, "I won't let them take you...." A big blow hits his head and he dropped to the ground dizzily with blood streaming down from his forehead.

    Annie was horrified and quickly kneeled in front of him to wipe the blood away with her face paled, "Steven!! Steven, answer me!" Steven groggily blinked his eyes and grab hold of Annie hand tightly as blood flowed down his forehead. Two of the guys firmly grab Annie arm to pull her away. Annie and Steven interlocked their hand as tightly as possible. "Uncle please let me go! I only love Steven! Uncle!!"

    Her uncle careless to who she loves, he stepped out of the boat to wait. The other guys started to hit Steven again so he would let go of Annie hand. Annie yelled angrily with tears cascaded down her cheek. "Don't hurt him!!" she struggled trying to release herself from the two guys behind her. "Don't touch him! Let go of me!! Steven!" They ignored her and yanked her away forcefully, only the tip of her fingers was on Steven finger tip and with one hit of Steven arm their interlocked hand was broken apart and Annie was carried away swiftly.

    Steven screamed painfully with blood coming out of the corner of his mouth, "ANNIE!!!"

    "STEVEN!!" was all he could hear and the image of Annie has disappeared.

    The guys gave Steven a warning stare and left him on the boat. Steven quickly pulled himself up and punches the guys who are walking away. He quickly got off the boat and ran toward Annie, who is being carried away. The four guys caught up to Steven and beat him forcefully with their sticks.

    Annie was terrified as she saw the image of Steven suffering with bloody cut. She screamed and kicked trying to get on the ground. But it was hopeless the guy that carry her on his shoulder are way too strong for her. "Let go of me now or I'll kill myself and see who going to marry that Mr. Koo!!" her threat was directed to her uncle.

    Paul stopped and signal the guy who is carrying her to put her down. Annie swiftly wanted to rush over to Steven but her uncle jerked her back and slapped her across the cheek. Heat was burning her left cheek and it was redden right away. She places her hand over the stinging burn cheek as her eyes darted at her heartless uncle with anger flaming in them. "How dare you try to threaten me!" he ragingly gaze at Annie with hatred. He shouted at the four that is hitting Steven, "Harder and make sure he is dead before you stop!"

    Annie shakes her head with her tearful eyes. She wanted to go over and block Steven from them but the two guys in front of her spreads their hand out in front of her firmly holding her back. She quickly kneeled down in front of her uncle yanking on his shirt, "Please stop! Please make them stop!! You will kill him!! I beg you please stop!! Uncle please!! I'm sorry!! I'm sorry, just make them stop!!!" She turns back and forth from Steven to her uncle. She cried loudly as she jerked her uncle shirt pleadingly, her heart is aching terribly seeing Steven suffer cause of her. "Please...please..let him go!"

    Steven is bruised and bleeding everywhere. But he stubbornly shouted out loud with his weak body, "DON'T BEG HIM!!!"

    Heart achingly, Annie slumped to one side on the cement floor, as she cried not knowing what to do. She just wanted them to stop now and leave Steven alone. Paul pitilessly looked at Annie red teary face. "I'll only stop if you promise to never think of him again or see him again! And only if you would happily sit at home waiting for your marriage day to come, and I want you to show a cheerful smile that day to Mr. Koo and his family! You heard me?" Annie pressed her lips together as she stare at Steven with her bleeding heart. Her uncle see her didn't response to him so he was angrily shouted, "Harder!!"

    His niece quickly turns to him and yanked on his shirt, "NO!!! I promise, I promise!! Anything, just leave him alone!!! I'll do as you say!! I'll listen to you! Just please don't hurt him anymore! Steven..."

    Her boyfriend shakes his head and yelled disappointedly, "NO ANNIE!!"

    Paul nod pleased with Annie answer. With a satisfy smile at Steven he commanded his workers, "Okay stop! And bring him over!" Those guys dragged the half dead Steven over toward Annie. Annie wanted to touch Steven but she was kept away. Steven eyes open and close as he saw the blurry image of Annie in front of him. His hand reaching out toward Annie, but Annie was unable to grab it.

    "I want you to swear to the sky and in front of him that you will never see him or think of him ever again," her uncle cruelly forced her. Annie paused with her heart stopped, how could she swear those things? She looked at Steven bruise face and pale lips, it send sharps pain into her heart. Paul warningly, "His life is in your hand, Annie."

    Annie swallowed and whispered, "I'm sorry Steven..." she kneeled down on the cement platform and held three fingers up toward the sky, her eyes were glued on Steven with tears flooded her swollen eyes. Her voice was trembling and teary, "I, Annie Man..." Steven head kept shaking and Annie paused with tears slowly releasing as she swallowed them down and her heart hurt so terribly as she took in a deep breath to continue, "swear to the sky as my witness that I will never think of..." she bit her lip and saw Steven tears rolled out, "never think of...of..."

    "Hit him!" her uncle fiercely shouted.

    "NO!!" Annie shouted, she shakes her head and straighten herself to continue. This time she looked up toward the sky instead of Steven, cause she know she couldn't say it in front of him. "I, Annie Man, swear to the sky as my witness that I will never think of.... Steven Ma ever again. I'll never see.... him ever again. If I do so than punish me to a terrible death and let my soul be sent to," she swallowed and softens her voice, "hell." Annie body slumped down to sit on the platform as she sobbed. Steven shuts his eyes and was unconscious once he heard Annie finish her swears. Annie looked at Steven with sad round eyes, "I'm sorry....please forgive me." She wanted to touch his face but her uncle dragged her up.

    Paul bitterly reminded her, "Now child, you don't want to be send to hell, do you?" Annie eyes were darted at him with hatred while he just chuckled at her amusedly. "Lets go!" he dragged Annie behind him with the rest of his worker followed behind. Annie head were turn toward Steven as her uncle dragged her back home. The image of Steven lifeless body became faint and small as the last drop of sorrowful tears rolled off her eyes.
    ******
    =o(:::

  13. #13
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Chapter 9: Ring of Red Flower

    After Paul took Annie back to his house, he locked her up in her room with two guys guarding her bedroom door at all time. Annie was kept away from Steven like her swear and the day became dreadful and long for her. Second seem like hour, and hour seem like days. Slowly days passed to weeks and the special day came without notice. Annie heart was shattered and nothing has meaning anymore, her wedding was only her way to keep her words and to repay her uncle and aunt for raising her.

    Annie was up the entire night before her wedding day, she couldn't sleep at all, all she could do is toss and turn waiting for the dreadful time to pass. How could she sleep knowing that she will be marrying a guy that she has never met and the only thing she know about this guy is that he is eight years older than her and her last name after tomorrow would be Koo. The fact that she will never see Steven ever again, was unbearable. She sighed as she tossed on her bed and decided to get up. It was only three midnight, so the entire house was extra quiet. She walked to her bedroom door and opens it to step out. The two guys quickly awake and beams their sleepy eyes at her. Annie ignored them and slowly stepped out.

    “Seeu Jie, please stay in your room,” one of her uncle helper ordered her.

    Annie kept walking not even looking at them, her facial expression was blank and dull as she slowly walked out and saw the red decoration all over the house. She slowly head to the small living room seeing red double Hei sign in different size hanging on walls, doors, windows, tangerine, and even the table. Those Hei sign or meant to bring her happiness for her wedding, but somehow Annie couldn’t see her future life being happy.

    The main wall has the biggest double Hei sign hanged right in the center and a pair of dragon and phoenix cutout to the side. In front of that wedding symbol are a red table with a pair of red wedding candles and three teacups with three pair of chopsticks all ready for the ceremonies at nine in the morning, the lucky hour for her wedding. Behind those teacups was her parent nameplate. She sighed at the redness that supposes to be full of joy and cheerfulness, but somehow it looked depressing to her. She looked at the huge double Hei sign with her eyes searching the meaning of her wedding, could it really be joyful and happiness like this symbol promise?

    Her eyes slowly gaze down to her parent nameplate and tears automatically shed as she slowly kneeled down in front of them and bowed to them three times. The two guys sighed softly to themselves, they could sense Annie emotional mood. Annie kneeled straight with her eyes full of tears as she softly talks to her parents from her heart, “I'm sorry Dei, Leung. I don't want to disappoint you two, but I really couldn't do this. I couldn't betray Steven. Don't worry I won't cause aunty any problem either.” She swallowed and looked down on her pair of hands, “Please forgive me.” Annie pressed her lip together guiltily and stands back up. Her eyes caught the large symbol again, she gulped and shook her head before she turn and head back toward the right heading to the kitchen. The two guys followed behind with every step she took.

    Calmly, she got into the kitchen and started to make dessert. The two guys looked at her confusedly to her action, but they didn't dare to disturb her. Instead they sited at the kitchen door opening and fall back to sleep leaving Annie to do her cooking. Annie worked quickly but thoughtfully make the dessert that she promise Steven. She smiled weakly with tears in her eyes as she makes her dessert. Tears were dripping into the dessert as she tries to brush them away and concentrate on doing her last thing for Steven.

    After she it’s done she put them nicely into a bamboo container, then she turn to look at the two guys who are asleep soundly, she slowly walked to pull out a small hand knife and hold it with the knife up her sleeve to make sure they couldn't see it. She then took in a deep breath and took the container of dessert with her walking back into her room, the two guys were too tired to check her, they just followed her and go back to sleep outside of Annie room.

    Once she was in the room she pulled the small knife out and place it secretly into her red wedding grown compartment. It was still very early but she couldn't sleep, instead she sited silently looking at the copper mirror in front of her and slowly combed her long hair as she stares at herself blankly with empty soul. Annie silently waited for the special someone to come see her.

    Sharply at seven, a maid from the Koo family had arrives to help Annie dress up and fix her hair with the wedding headpiece. The maid is in a red servant outfit with her two ponytails and a bright cheerful smile. Annie is all in red within minute, but her face was stern and her smile was lost forever. She was like a wooden doll, letting the maid do what ever she wanted. Nothing matters to her, cause this is not a wedding she wanted.

    The young maid smiled satisfyingly as she combed Annie hair up into a nice hairdo that bundled her hair up like all married women should wear. Looking at the mirror admiring her work, she satisfyingly told her new mistress, “Seeu Jie your hair is so smooth and shiny. You have beautiful long hair, Seeu Jie.” Annie didn't response as she turns her head toward the doorway.

    The maid gently turned Annie head back to face the blurry copper mirror. She wonders confusedly to why Annie is so quiet, since Annie hasn’t said a single word to her at all. She looked at Annie reflection from the mirror and she sense Annie emptiness, the maid eyes narrowed quickly with worry, “Seeu Jie, you don't like how I do your hair?” Annie shook her head slowly and looked down with depressing eyes. The nineteen years old maid quickly kneeled down in front of her, “I'm sorry…I'm sorry! I'll fix it now! Please give me a second chance! Please, I'll do it better! I promise! Please don’t tell Lo Yeeh, I really needed this job.” she looked up at Annie with pleading eyes, hoping that Annie wouldn’t tell her master her displease.

    Annie looked at her confused to her action, she has never have a maid that help her before, not to mention one that kneel to her too? She shakes her head and helped her up. Her voice is empty and flat, “It's not your fault.” That poor nineteen years old was in tears fearing Annie wouldn't accept her work.

    She wiped her eyes, “You are not mad at me?”

    Annie slipped a weak smile toward the girl in front of her, but her lip didn't move a tit bit at all, still flat and glum, “No.”

    Confusedly, the maid questioned, “Why are you sad? Today is your wedding day. Please tell me if you want me to change in anyway, I have promise Lo Yeeh to do my best and not fail the Koo family status.”

    The beautiful quiet bride in red sighed and looked at the maid with her warm eyes, “I'm fine. What is your name? “

    Relieved the maid returns to help Annie put up her hair decoration in, “I'm Nicola Cheung. You can call me Nikki.”

    Her new mistress nodded, “You can call me Annie, I'm not use to people calling me Seeu Jie. I was never a Seeu Jie, I was always a servant girl just like you.” Annie looked into Nicola eyes with her stillness.

    Nicola shook her head, “No, that is not right. Lo Yeeh and Yee Seeu will not approve of it. I'm a servant and you will become my Yee Seeu wife, then I'll get to call you Yee Seeu Lie.”

    Annie sighed at that thought, Nicola looked at her curiously. “Nikki can you tell me a bit about your Yee Seeu?” Annie weakly ask with curiosity.

    The sweet mannered maid shrugged, “I’ve never met him yet.”

    Surprised, Annie turn to gaze at her, “What do you mean?”

    Nicola smiled sweetly, “I just got hired this week to be your maid from now on, I haven't seen Yee Seeu at all during these couple days. But he sound smart, cause he is the one who take care of Lo Yeeh business. Umm…as for the look, he should look decent since both Daai Seeu and Saam Seeu are really handsome.” Nicola giggled slightly as she blushed for complimenting her master eldest and youngest son in this way. Annie kept silent with a soft sigh, she felt nervous.

    The door to her room opened and Annie was so glad that the person she has been waiting for finally came. She gently holds Nicola hand, “Nikki can you give me a private moment with my friend?”

    Nicola nodded her usual cheerful smile, she do a little curtsy in front of Annie, “Of course, Seeu Jie.” she turn and stepped out.

    Annie immediately held Kenix hand and walked her to sit down on her bed. “Kenix jie can you do me one favor?” she sincerely requested.

    Kenix sighed with her hand touching Annie bundled up hair. She nodded sincerely, “What is it?”

    Carefully, Annie pulled the bamboo container from under her blanket and places it on Kenix lap. “Can you give this to Steven?” Kenix sighed at her request, she felt so sorry for Annie and Steven. “Please? It's my last wish,” Annie said with round eyes on Kenix.

    The older girl smiled warmly at Annie and hugged her, “Of course I'll Annie.” Annie was touched by Kenix sincerity and tears were in her eyes. Kenix was in tears too, this may be the last time she ever see Annie again. She sniffed her tears and wiped Annie tears away. “Lets not be silly now. Annie today is your big day, lets not cry. You don't want to be a puffy red eyes bride right?” she force out a chuckle at Annie and Annie dropped her head nodding slightly. “You look really beautiful today,” Kenix commented with her soft tone.

    “I'll miss you and cousin Frankie...” Annie softly said, her heart has missed them already.

    Kenix nod and lifted Annie chin up, “I'll miss you too, remember to take care of yourself and try not to get into trouble. I'm sure your husband will know how to take care of you and love you.” Annie silenced with a drop of tears rolled off her eyes. “Silly girl don't cry everything will be alright. He might be a very nice guy that will treasure you forever,” Kenix try to comfort the young bride.

    Annie swallowed her tears as she wipes those on her face away. “Might,” she stressed the word with a sigh. “I'm nervous Kenix jie.” Kenix nod and grab her hand squeezing it reassuringly. Annie lifted her face to look at her, “What if he is mean? And tonight....” she sighed with her nervous body feeling anxiety, “I...” she swallowed and kept silent instead.

    Her friend that has been like a sister gently patted her hand with hers. Kenix understandingly assured Annie, “Don't be nervous, everything will work out, okay?” Annie didn't give any reaction; the only response was from her eyes glistering with tears. Kenix sighed then quickly smiled at her as she pulled out a red wedding knot, which is use as a symbol of tying the newly wed hearts together, symbolizing trust and eternal happiness. “Annie,” she softly called out, Annie looked up, so she continue, “Frankie and me bought this for you. Hope you will be happy with your husband. Annie it might not be as bad as you imagine it.” She place it in Annie hand, Annie held it tightly with her sadden eyes on it.

    Kenix sighed at her with worry, “Annie, forget Steven, this is the only way for you to be happy. I'm sorry to say this, but Steven and you won't be able to be together again.” Annie sobbed with her fingers rubbing on the knot. “It betters for you to forget about him and move on with your life. If you going to keep remembering Steven, you will not be happy with your husband no matter how nice he is, you will only suffer yourself and him. It not fair for him,” Kenix stated.

    “What about me?!” Annie angrily blurted out, “It not fair of him to come and take me away!”

    Caringly, Kenix pulled Annie in for a hug, while Annie sobbed with her lip pressed together to muffle down the sound. Kenix gently brushed Annie back, “I'm sorry sweetheart.” She release Annie hug and wiped her tears, “Think about it Annie, give your husband a chance. I know it not fair, but that the only way to cope and be happy in the future. He might be even better than Steven.

    “Never...” Annie stubbornly mumbled. She took in a deep breath and sighed, “I have decided to forget about Steven after today, that why I wanted you to give him the dessert, is the last thing I'll ever do for him.” Her voice softened to barely audible volume, “But forgetting him would be hard.”

    Kenix frowned, “I know.” She forces out a smile trying to cheer the bride up, “Don't worry, I'll give it to Steven. Now let dry those eyes so you could look beautiful today.” Annie nodded, what else could she do?

    Nicola came back in to finish up with Annie hair and placed the wedding headpiece on her with column of little sparkling beads in front of Annie face. On top of that, Nicola places a red veil over Annie head. They waited a while until the lucky hour of nine came.

    Once it was at that time, a lady dressed in red came in to carry Annie out. She was the matchmaker that will take Annie over to the Koo household to be wed. Annie heard the sound of her villagers filled the small house of her uncle whispering to each other and the sound of loud noisy wedding music from horns, triangle, and flutes. Annie of course sees nothing but red under the veil, her hand nervously wrapped tightly around the lady neck as she grabs the knot Kenix gave her nervously in hand. Her uncle and aunt was burning the three large incense right when the time arrive. The matchmaker set her down in front of the red table that has her parent nameplate on it.

    The mid forty years old woman help Annie kneel down and hand her three small incenses. Her voice was loud and clear from her expertise in being a spokesman for decade, she told Annie, “Sun Seeu Lie (new mistress) please burns incenses for your parents, so they can celebrate with you and bring you joy and happiness.” Annie took the incenses and bowed three time in front of her parent nameplate before she hand it back to the matchmaker. The matchmaker helped Annie poke the three incenses into the small golden incenses holder. Then she returns to carry Annie out the door.

    Once they stepped out the long strain of red firecracker was lit, Annie immediately heard the loud popping sound along with children laughter and claps. She sighed softly and took in a breath trying to calm down her nervousness. The matchmaker slowly and carefully helped Annie into the bride carriage. Nicola followed along and they started to leave with Annie in the carriage and loud music following along. Annie eyes lowered to the small opening of her veil at the bottom, all she could see was her pair of hand twisting the red knot.

    The ride was bumpy and dreadfully nervous for her. She doesn't know how her future will be, all she know is that live will be so much different than how it use to be. Her hand slowly wrapped onto the knife handle behind her grown compartment, and she held it firmly. As strange as it may sound, somehow the knife comforted her, cause she know the worst that could happen is for her to take her own life. But that is just for her last measure.

    The carriage stopped so fast that Annie jerked forward. The matchmaker quickly opens the red carriage curtain to look at Annie. Annie moved her veil away to see what going on. “Sun Seeu Lie are you okay?” asked the middle age woman. “Oh cover up your face, is not lucky to remove the veil yourself,” she help Annie put her veil back on.

    “Why did we stop?” Annie curiously asked.

    “There is a little boy with a ring of flower in his hand standing in the way. Don't worry, we will take care of it,” the matchmaker reassured her. Annie quickly removed her veil again and got out of the carriage. “Oh Sun Seeu Lie, you not suppose to step out. Now go back in and cover your face! This is bad luck!” yelled the frantic woman.

    Annie ignored her and looking for the little boy. She walked up to him, the other people who are carrying her carriage and stuff looked at her confusedly. Nicola ran up to her and stands by her side. Annie squatted down and looked at the boy with the red flower ring in his hand.

    The eight years old boy held the flower ring out toward Annie, “Annie jie jie, Steven gor gor told me to give you this.”

    Annie took the flower and quickly stands up to look around the area for Steven. There was nothing but plain dry grass and hills. She couldn't see Steven anywhere. She bends back down to look at the boy, “Jon where is Steven gor gor?”

    Jon shrugged, “He left already, he just pay me a dollar to give you the flower ring. Oh…” he quickly pulled a red satin handkerchief out and hand it to Annie, “and this too, he said to wish you and your husband happiness until your hair grew white.”

    Quickly, Annie opens the red handkerchief and the same words that Jon just told her was sewed on the handkerchief with two lovebirds. Annie eyes redden quickly, how could he wish her happiness? Don't he love her? Her hands tightened on the handkerchief as she searches for him with her angry heart demanding for an explanation! Something told her that he is still around, but where? Why is he hurting her like this? What is the line on the handkerchief suppose to mean? Does he mean to forget about him and move on? Has he forgotten her already? She looked around the area with her watery eyes and her hand held on to the flower ring tightly too. Her heart is aching and sinking with that simple line that everyone can tell her, but definitely not Steven. It just break her heart to know that Steven telling her to love a man that he know she doesn't.

    Jon nudged Annie, “Annie jie jie, I need to return home now, so bye!” he turn and ran away happily with his one dollar. Nicola curiously looked at Annie eyes and she saw Annie tears rolled off her cheek coldly with her broken heart. Nicola was silent, she could figure out what is going on, she gently tapped Annie hand with a handkerchief. Annie took it and wiped her tears as more tears uncontrollably fallen.

    The matchmaker was disappointed with Annie but she put on a cheerful smile, it was her job to please people, “Oh just a little incident, Sun Seeu Lie lets get back in the carriage so we can get you to the Koo in time.” She helped Annie back into the carriage and covered Annie face once again with the red veil.

    Annie sniffed as more tears rolled out. She thought Steven have let go of her already, why else would he congratulate her and make her a red flower ring and this handkerchief? Annie eyes glue to the flower rings and softened as memories of Steven and her waved into her mind.

    While she was in the carriage, Steven was at the top of the dry hill looking at her carriage slowly moved away. He followed until he finally gave up and sat there thinking of Annie and his past too. Tears were evident in his face, he loved her so much that it hurt. He purposely gave that handkerchief to Annie, hoping that it will help her forget him soon. Cause he doesn't want Annie to suffer like he will be forever, knowing that the love he loves will never be his. He wanted Annie to move on and not look back to their sorrow ending. Both him and Annie was staring ahead with tears streaming down as they remembered each other happy moment and love.
    ~~~~~~
    HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE WITHOUT YOU ? (Michael Bolton)

    I could hardly believe it
    When I heard the news today
    I had to come and get it straight from you
    They said you were leavin'
    Someone swept your heart away
    From the look upon your face I see it's true
    So tell me all about it, tell me 'bout the plans you're makin'
    Then tell me one thing more before I go

    Tell me how am I supposed to live without you
    Now that I've been lovin' you so long
    How am I supposed to live without you
    How am I supposed to carry on
    When all that I've been livin' for is gone

    I didn't come here for cryin'
    Didn't come here to breakdown
    It's just a dream of mine is coming to an end
    An how can I blame you
    When I built my world around
    The hope that someday we'd be so much more than friends
    And I don't wanna know the price I'm gonna pay for dreaming
    When even now it's more than I can take

    Tell me how am I supposed to live without you
    Now that I've been lovin' you so long
    How am I supposed to live without you
    How am I supposed to carry on
    When all that I've been livin' for is gone
    And I don't wanna face the price I'm gonna pay for dreaming

    Now that your dream has come true
    Tell me how am I supposed to live without you
    Now that I've been lovin' you so long
    How am I supposed to live without you
    How am I supposed to carry on
    When all that I've been livin' for is gone
    ******
    Thought I'll share that song with you guys, I just love this song so much, have you guys heard it before? It's very touching huh? Anyway comments!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
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    Chapter 10: Absent Groom

    The entire Koo's family mansion was busy, from the family members down to the servants. Everyone was trying to get the wedding material ready and running smoothly. The house was filled with guests and family members trying to greet their guest and keep them company.

    Mrs. Koo, in her early fifty, walking around the house in a rush with her maid looking for her second son, the groom, but there is no sign of him for the entire day. She spotted her youngest son and quickly grabs his arm. His son turns and smiled at her joyfully. “Raymond have you seen your Yee Gor?!” the worried mother asked with impatient cause the bride carriage is about here, which mean her son must be here to kick the door! She starting to panic as the clock ticked closer and closer to the arrival time.

    Raymond the twenty years old saam Seeu of the Koo’s, shrugged as he scan through the thick crowd of people, “Nope, haven't found him yet?”

    His mother sighed angrily hissing her stress, “You boys are trying to stress me out! Where could that Louis be?! I just saw him came home this morning! His wife is coming pretty soon!”

    A handsome man with a sharp image approached, “Gilbert have you seen your brother Louis?!”

    Smoothly her eldest son wrapped his arm around her and whispered, “Shh...mother you don't want to cause attention right?” he grinned at her with his sharp charming eyes.

    Mrs. Koo frustratingly shaking her head, “Gilbert where could your brother be? He has to be here. Look at all the guests.” She try her best to use her low tone but this is just too stressful, how is she going to explain all of this if her son don't show up?

    The thirty years old Daai Seeu of the Koo’s family grinned evilly at Raymond, “Mother don't worry, Raymond is here.”

    His youngest brother eyes quickly dilated, “What is that suppose to mean?”

    Gilbert smiled with teasing eyes, “You aren't married right? So you could marry her if we still couldn't find Louis.”

    Raymond chuckled, “Not in a million years! Why don't you marry her? You are a free man too.”

    The older one expression seems to quickly serious with a stern voice and his eyes softened, “I will only love your Daai Sewl. (big sister-in-law)”

    The playful younger brother rolled his eyes, “Daai Sewl passed away for seven years already, it about time for you to get a new wife!”

    Gilbert darted his eyes on Raymond, warning him not to joke about it. Mrs. Koo sighed roughly at her two sons, “I'm trying to find your brother Louis here, can you two just help me get him here instead of joking about this?! This is serious!!”

    Brushing his mother back trying to calm her, Raymond comfortingly said, “Mother calm down, I'll go find Yee Gor for you right now.”

    Mrs. Koo pouted a bit, with her eyes darted frustratingly, she is one of those who care about faces a lot, “That's better.” She looked at Gilbert, “What about you?”

    “Got it, I'll go check outside and his house,” Gilbert said as he headed to Louis mansion. Mrs. Koo continues to look for her son around the Koo’s family mansion.

    Annie bride carriage finally arrived at the Koo huge front door and stopped. Annie has been in this carriage for over four whole hours and is really weary now. She tired of everything, this red grown, the heavy headpiece, the red veil, the carriage, the marriage, but most of all is Steven. She could never belief that he is so heartless. She sighed and took in a deep breath to accept her harsh life. What else could she do? She is getting married at this instance anyway, so what if Steven loves her or not, it wouldn't change the fact. She stubbornly told her broken heart while wiping her tears away.

    Maybe this is a better way for her to cope with her new life, Annie thought as she waited patiently with nervousness growing stronger along with her fear. She knows no matter how stubborn or mad she is at Steven, Steven will still always be a part of her, deep down in her heart cause they has shared so much together. But it will just have to stay deep down from now on, cause she must be fateful to her husband. She sniffed the rest of her tears in to remind herself to forget and move on.

    Annie let out a stressful anxious breath slowly with her heart starting to pound, she know she has arrived to her destiny. She wetted her lip and pressed it together nervously while listening to the surrounding. It was totally silent, Annie is curious to what going on and also to how the city looked like. She wanted to peek out, but she weren't supposes to remove the veil so she holds still and just wait with her speedy heart rate. She is really nervous, so she twisted and squeezed the handkerchief Steven gave her, while she waited for her husband to kick the door. Her mind kept warning her that this is it, this how her life will be from now on, with this stranger that she is clueless about. Of course she is scare and nervous!

    The matchmaker loudly announced in a cheerful loud voice, “Mr. and Mrs. Koo the bride carriage has arrived, please have Yee Seeu come kick the bride door!” She waited for the Koo family to step out, but it was silent and no one stepped out yet. She was confused and tried again louder, “Mr. and Mrs. Koo we have arrived with Sun Yee Seeu Lie, please have Yee Seeu come kick the door!!”

    Behind those door was Mr. and Mrs. Koo panicking not knowing what to do, cause they still hasn't locate the groom yet. The guests are starting to whisper as they wonder what is going on. Mrs. Koo panicking as she turn her head staring at her two sons and husband, “Oh no, oh no, oh no! Where are we going to get a groom?! Where is that Louis?!! This is not happening, please tell me this is not happening!” Gilbert firmly places his hand on his mother shoulder to calm her down. Mrs. Koo stares at him anxiously.

    The head of the family sighed at his wife frantic panic, with his head shaking and he turn to look at his guest, “We are very sorry, Louis is stuck in a business trip and couldn't come back in time.” The crowd whisper increased in disbelief and disappointment. “Don't worry, the wedding will go on, I'll have Raymond my youngest son take Louis place and help his brother do the ceremony.”

    “WHAT?!?!!” blurted the shocked young son. Gilbert slightly chuckled with his lip press together while Raymond shot an angry eye over toward his elder sibling. Raymond whispered to his father, “Dad, you got to be kidding me right?”

    Mr. Koo shook his head and patted his son, “This is very common, just go change into your brother's groom outfit and go kick the door for him.”

    Raymond shakes his head in protest, “I don't want to marry her! Why can't Daai Gor do so?”

    His mother gave him a warning stare, “Raymond hush! You are not marrying her, you are helping Louis do his ceremony. You are the younger one. Now hurry up and go change, your new Yee Sewl is waiting for you.”

    The grumpy unhappy brother mumbled as he stormed into his brother room to get change, “I can't believe this! Where is that Yee Gor?! It his wedding! How could he be so forgetful?! If he don't want her than don't ask to marry her!” Raymond sighed hopelessly as he throws the cap on and stormed back out.

    Annie was getting more and more unsettle as she sit in the still quietness for a long while. She finally decide to ask, “Daai Cum Jie (that what they call the matchmaker), what is happening?”

    The middle age woman in dark crimson open the carriage curtains a bit to look at Annie. “I don't know, just wait a while longer Sun Seeu Lie, Yee Seeu probably not ready yet,” she try to hide her impatient as she inform Annie. The matchmater closes the curtain back down and Annie sited back to wait. She sighed as she waits in the silent, what is happening? Is there something wrong? What take them so long? She wanted so bad to just return home and back to Steven. Why do she even have to be here? She kept asking herself while her hand is holding onto the flower ring and the red knot nervously along with the handkerchief.

    The Koo's family door finally open and wobbled out is a grumpy Raymond mumbling "Stupid Yee Gor," over and over as he approached Annie carriage hastily. He was dressed in a traditional Chinese groom out fit, with a red pant and black jacket with a huge red ribbon flower bow in front of his chest and a black round cap with golden leaf thingy sticking out like antler. He hated this outfit, cause he believe it make him look like a dork.

    The matchmaker was so happy to see them finally come out, for a moment she thought she have to return Annie back to her uncle. Cheerfully she greeted, “Yee Seeu you finally came out, come kick the carriage door, Sun Seeu Lie is waiting impatiently!” Annie pouted a bit, she wouldn't exactly put it that way, it’s more of an anxious agonizing waits.

    Raymond irritatingly rolled his eyes with an annoyed voice, “I'm not Yee Seeu, I'm doing this for my brother. He couldn't make it here on time.” Annie saddens as she heard what Raymond said and his tone was not too pleases either. How could her husband not be here on their wedding day to do the ceremony with her? She sighed and knows that her life has always been tough; it must be a cruse or something.

    Mr. Koo shake his head disappointedly at Raymond, “Raymond just kicks the door.”

    “Come on…umm..” the matchmaker don’t know how to address him.

    Childishly Raymond rolled his eyes again, “I'm the third son.”

    Cheerfully laughed, the matchmaker continues, “Alright Saam Seeu, please help Yee Seeu kick the carriage door.” Raymond bowed his head slightly in front of Annie red bride carriage and he kicked the side of the carriage solidly. “Good, Sun Seeu Lie can come out and enter Koo's household now.”

    Annie gulped nervously and waited for the matchmaker to carry her out. While the matchmaker carefully gotten the bride in red out, Raymond looked at his new Yee Sewl curiously. Meanwhile the strain of firecracker lit right behind him, which startled him causing him to trip, falling toward Annie, as a reflex his hand grab anything to steady himself and he got a hold of Annie veil and yanked it off revealing the surprised Annie. Raymond ended up fallen to the ground with Annie narrowed her eyes on him with confusion.

    The crowd gasped as they looked at the beautiful young bride. Mrs. Koo eyes widened with disappointment as she shake her head with a big sigh. Panicking, she shouted angrily, “Raymond gets off the ground!” She darted her still bulged eyes on Annie and the matchmaker, “Hurry up help her put the veil back on! This is not lucky!” She darted at Annie who looked at her with a bit of worry and gulped her fear, cause her new mother-in-law looked really harsh.

    The matchmaker eyes sharply searches the ground for the veil as she carried Annie. Raymond quickly got himself off the ground and dusted himself with his eyes glued to Annie, his eyes quickly softened on her while Annie looked at him without a smile, she is lost and confuse with the commotion that is occurring and the stares of so many strangers that is whispering about her. Raymond couldn't believe how pretty and young Annie is, he could tell she is even younger than him. Why is she marrying his brother? She is so much younger than his brother for sure. And she resembled Helen so much. But she looked much more younger than Helen for sure, and she give out a sense of pure and innocent unlike Helen. Now he knows why Louis mentioned her name to their father. Raymond couldn't help himself from staring at her and feeling a sense of sympathy for this young girl.

    Gilbert eyes were on the young bride too, he was feeling strange how she could look so much like Helen too. He does think Annie looked too young and too naive to know what she is getting herself into. He sighed softly while his eyes are glued to Annie with his sorry eyes. He has a feeling that Louis won't treat her well. It's so obvious that Louis married her cause of her look. Annie is getting a bit tense cause of all the uncomfortable stares and this new environment. She senses her body weakened and her eyes started to soften with concern.

    The matchmaker was panicking cause the process didn't run smoothly, “Oh where is that veil!” She saw Mrs. Koo disappointed and disapproval stare at her and know that she is not satisfied with this at all. She quickly put Annie down so she can look for Annie veil easier, Raymond held his hand out wanting to help balance Annie, but she didn't take his offer. She doesn't feel comfortable at all.

    Annie pointed to her veil, which is right under Raymond shoe. Her voice was soft and shy with a sense of fear, “He is stepping on it.” Raymond quickly looked at it and step out of the way to picks it up. Mrs. Koo rolled her eyes on her son and Annie, this is just not the way she was expecting.

    Raymond wanted to help her put the veil back up. Annie stepped back away from him. He smiled at her warmly with his sparkling eyes glued on her, “I'm sorry, I didn't mean to knock it off. I'll help you put it back on.” Annie shook her head, it not his position to do so. He finally understand and nod, “Oh yeah, sorry.” He hand it to the matchmaker to help Annie put it back on.

    Mrs. Koo sighed disapprovingly as she stare at Annie who is standing still for the matchmaker to help her put the veil back on. “Lets hurry up, the lucky hour is almost up already! It won't be lucky if we pass that time too!” she impatiently rushed them.


    The new innocent bride frowned a bit under her veil, she hear the tone of Mrs. Koo and know she is not please with her. Gilbert calmly, “Mother calm down. Don't worry, the fortune book say the next hour is a lucky hour too. Just relax, accident do happen.”

    Stressfully, Mrs. Koo shakes her head as she turns to walk in the house, “But it not suppose to happen on a wedding day. And the next hour is not as good as this one is, so let speed it up now.” She settled with her husband on the two chairs in the living room.

    The matchmaker put Annie down and Raymond hand Annie a tip of his red ribbon to hold on to. The matchmaker directed them to bow to the sky, then Mrs. and Mr. Koo, and then bowed to each other to finish off the wedding three bows. But of course Raymond is doing so in Louis name, cause he has a red ribbon around him with Louis name written on it.

    Then the matchmaker helped Annie kneel down to give tea. Mrs. Koo took Annie teas and took a short sip. She pulled out a red envelope and hand it to her. With a calm and much more cheerful voice, she happily welcomed Annie to the family, “Child now that you are a family member of the Koo, I'll be expecting you to follow our family rules and live up to our family name. Most of all, you must take good care of your husband and follow his order like all wife suppose to. And as a wife and daughter-in-law, I hope you will help add more male members to the Koo family.”

    Annie nodded silently with her lip pressed together. She couldn’t help but drown her eyes with tears take she try not to let go. Of course she is afraid, she still has no idea who is her husband, but she has a feeling he is careless about her. But she still needed to follow his request not only because he is a male but also because he is her husband. Like what Mrs. Koo say wife must follow their husband demand during this century.

    After the tea ceremony, Annie was then carried away heading to Louis room. The loud cheerful sound of laughter was slowly faded off as the matchmaker carried her away from the living room where the celebration was held. But the walk was awfully long, that it makes Annie wonder if the house was really that big. Annie whispered to the matchmaker, “Is the room that far away?”

    The woman laughed slightly, “Sun Seeu Lie yours and Yee Seeu room are actually not in the mansion that the ceremony was held.

    Confusedly, Annie listens to the quiet chirping of the cricket, “What do you mean?”

    “Yee Seeu has his own mansion behind his parent house, more near the mountain and wood, not very far, just about a block away.”

    This is really odd to Annie, “Why though? Isn't he supposes to live with his parent? He is a son. Shouldn't he take care of his parent?”

    The matchmaker shrugged, “Who know, rich people are strange, especially the Koo family.” She is feeling a bit sorry for Annie to marry a strange husband that didn't even attend his own wedding. She has heard lots of rumor about the Koo second son being a playboy that has an attitude problem and a very bad temper.

    Annie swallowed worriedly, “What do you mean by that?”

    The older woman slightly chuckled; she weren't supposes to badmouth her client, “Oh nothing dear.” Annie was silent as she waits for the matchmaker to reach her husband house. Something in her heart kept bothering her, it a strange unsettle feeling, maybe she is too nervous she thought. She kept reminding herself to give her new life a chance, since she is married and must kept her virtue of being a mannered wife. The matchmaker stopped in front of the huge wooden door being held open by the stiffly stand butler with his blank expression. She looked at the butler and gave him a smile but he didn't return one, his face was cold and still, like he had a misery life. “Good evening,” the matchmaker said, trying to make conversation.

    Stephen the butler slightly nod and gazed at the red bride covered up behind the matchmaker. He held the door open and signaled for the matchmaker to walk in. “Welcome Yee Seeu Lie,” his emotionless voice said. Annie nodded slightly to the deep empty voice, she could recognize the voice of the butler, since it always so cold and stern. “Come this way, I'll lead you to Yee Seeu room.” He speaks with stillness as he walked in the dim lighting of the house.

    Annie could tell that the house was really dim cause she couldn't see much light going through her red veil and it obviously quiet and chilly, so quiet that it was a bit creepy cause the squeaky footstep of Stephen and the matchmaker are audible and echoing throughout the empty huge house. The disciplined butler leads the matchmaker up to the second floor. Stephen open the door to the huge master bedroom that is decorated in red with the king size mattress bed with red bed-set and comforter too. The room was only lit by the two burning candle on the table, it light weren't turned on at all, so it give the room a gloomy lifeless red glow. The matchmaker put Annie down carefully on the mattress and Annie jerked a bit not knowing what she is sitting on. It was too soft to be a bed to her.

    Before she could say another word Stephen speaks up first, “Yee Seeu Lie, we will leave you here to wait for Yee Seeu, he should be home soon.” With that empty tone, he left with the matchmaker leaving Annie to sit on the edge of the bed nervously waiting for her husband to return. Their heavy solid footstep slowly fainted away; leaving the silent beat of hers own heart.

    The master bedroom of Louis is huge with an England style touch, it obviously luxurious, showing how much he knows about pleasure. Annie was sited on his king size bed that is now in red satin cause of the wedding. The pair of pillowcases has hand stitches of the lovebirds with the double Hei symbol in the middle; the comforter was bright red with lots of little double Hei pattern on it. And under each pillow was a red envelope holding a red string with a couple of lotus seeds, wishing the newly wed would have a child each year. On top of the bed was a pair of tangerines with double Hei signs on them, symbolizing a smooth path ahead of them. Along with it was a tray of candy bringing the newly wed sweetness for their marriage.

    In front of the open window was a red table with burning thick red wedding candles of the dragon and the phoenix. There are some dishes for the husband and wife to enjoy along with a tray of two wine cups and the wine for them to make their vow of eternal love. And a pair of coconuts is on the table too also with double Hei sign stick on it, another symbolization of having three generation together. Each item on the table symbolize something such as happiness, lovingly, forever, and most importantly offspring.

    Slowly moved her hand on the slick cool comforter, Annie tries to figure out what she is sitting on. Her bed at home is just a stiff wooden broad definitely not soft like this. Her fingers slide through the smooth comforter slowly feeling every detail, since she couldn't see anything but dark crimson. From under the veil she could see a little section of the bed. She sighed and returns to her upright position to wait patiently and nervously. The entire room and house was so quiet that she sworn she was the only living being in the house.

    Annie hands were holding to the flower ring Steven gave her. She is scare and nervous about tonight, and the flower ring is what give her comfort. Annie fingers gently felt the wilted mini red flower softly as tears begin to evidence; she missed Steven so much. She missed home, even though it weren't warm and loving but she is use to the way she lived. Drops of tears hit her hand and rolled down to the flower ring as she waited with fear and anxiety.

    Annie heart dropped at the sound of the solid door slamming shut loudly, it sounded like the main door and footstep is slowly approaching. Step by step of squeaky sound of the hard wood floor is heard as the person approaches up the stairs. Annie swallowed and her body begins to tremble a bit as she bit her lower lip and held the flower ring tighter. Her heart begins to pound loudly with a bit of fear to face her husband and her pair of eyes immediately drowned. Slowly the sound of the footstep stopped and total silent was heard, Annie know that he has arrived, she gulped down her fear and her hands turn into a tight fist with nervousness.
    ******

  15. #15
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Chapter 11: Our First Night

    Annie heart dropped at the sound of the solid door slamming shut loudly, it sounded like the main door and footstep is slowly approaching. Step by step of squeaky sound of the hard wood floor is heard as the person approaches up the stairs. Annie swallowed and her body begins to tremble a bit as she bit her lower lip and held the flower ring tighter. Her heart begins to pound loudly with a bit of fear to face her husband and her pair of eyes immediately drowned. Slowly the sound of the footstep stopped and total silent was heard, Annie know that he has arrived, she gulped down her fear and her hands turn into a tight fist with nervousness. A loud knock was heard echoing the empty room, causing her to jump a bit, she didn't expect him to knock.

    "Yee Seeu Lie can I enter?" the sweet voice of Nicola mannerly asked.

    The red bridal grown relaxed once Annie slump her shoulder and let out a big breaths slowly to deflate the nervous puff of air inside her. She felt like she didn't breath the entire time. She swallowed down her nervousness a bit before answering, "Come in Nikki." She quickly wipes her tears away before Nicola has a chance to walk in.

    The maid opened the door and headed to Annie with her cheer nature, "Yee Seeu Lie are you hungry?" The new bride was too nervous to think of food before, but after Nicola has reminded her, she does felt really hungry, since she didn't has anything since this morning. Annie nodded in silent. "Alright, I'll go get you a little something to eat."

    Annie quickly reached her hand out to hold Nicola before she left, "Has he returns yet?"

    "Who?" asked Nicola uncertain to whose Annie meant.

    A soft sigh is emitted into the empty room, "Young Mr. Koo," Annie frowningly said.

    Nicola narrowed her eyes on Annie, "Young Mr. Koo?" She thinks for a moment then finally realizes Annie is talking about her husband. "Do you mean Yee Seeu?" Annie nodded making Nicola slightly giggled, "Yee Seeu Lie, Yee Seeu name is Louis, just so you don't have to call him Mr. Koo."

    Annie didn't response she didn't like the idea of calling him Louis anyway. Nicola sighed softly, "No, I still haven't seen him around." Annie felt strange insides, part of her is feeling relief, while the other part a bit sadden by the fact that he don't even care about her. Nicola hand her a small bowl of noodle and a pair of chopstick. "Maybe it's easier for you to eat with the veil remove."

    Putting the flower ring down, Annie reach to remove her veil, but she stopped with sad eyes, "I'm not supposes to remove it. He is the one to do so." She frowned with her eyes darted at her wedding gown under the open section of the veil, wondering why he didn't return yet.

    "There is no one around. Beside Yee Seeu wouldn't notice; you could put it back on when you finish," Nicola suggested. Annie hesitatingly nod in agreement, Nicola help her pull the veil off. The farmland raised Annie was shock to see the huge room behind strains of sparkling beads in front of her face, her eyes widen with disbelief; the room is larger than her uncle entire house! But every single thing is so strange and weird, it's doesn't feel like home. She sighed softly and missed her village so much. Nicola nudged her, "Hurry up and eat up before Yee Seeu return."

    "Thanks," Annie said politely after receiving the bowl of noodle. She slowly eats the bowl of noodle as she studies the room she is in. And finally she gets to see what she is sitting on. It amazed her to see the enormous soft bed. "Nikki is this a bed?" she stare at it with uncertain soft eyes. Even the pillows look funny not like the block one she had at home.

    The cheerful maid nodded with a joyful smile, "Yup! I was amazed too when I get to come in here last night to decorate it. Stephen said this is a Western style bed; it came from England. Called a mattress." All Annie was thinking of is that the bed is big enough, maybe he could sleep far away from her.

    After Annie has eaten the small amount of noodle, she didn't have the appetite to eat more, her nervousness has dominated her stomach. Nicola help her put the veil back on and walked out of the room once again leaving poor Annie to herself to wait for her absent groom. Annie sat on the edge of the mattress silently waiting and waiting and waiting, but there is no sign of life other than herself for several hours until she heard the door downstairs slammed shut again, but this time it more harsh and forceful. The sound of the door slammed shut that rough hammered a chill into Annie's heart.

    The footstep she heard is more heavies and solid this time, she is sure that it's not Nicola this time. Her hands started to twist her wedding gown nervously, once again with fear and anxiety. Annie heard the throbbing sound of the harsh footstep; sounding like the person is not walking steadily. She is feeling fears slowly vibrating down her spine, as she waited with her pounding heart and trembling body with little shiver of fear. The footstep got closer and closer until it stopped and the sound of the doorknob turning squeakily was heard. Her heart dropped cause she is certain that it's him this time and she has nowhere to hide! She swallowed her fear as she felt her stomach lighten and feeling a bit unsteady, she was too nervous that she felt her own pulse beating underneath her skin. She tries to remind herself that it alright, it just her husband.

    The squeaky door swung open forcefully slammed to the wall, which cause Annie to startle in fear to why he sounded so tempestuous. She couldn't hear anything but his swallow breathing along with his heavy footstep dragging into the room, bring chilling air to Annie. Her hand tightened on her gown and grasping it nervously with her shaky hand that starting to sweat a bit. She wishes so badly that some how she could make him go away or somehow she could get out of this place herself. She really didn't like the idea of spending the night with him as husband and wife, she don't even know him! How is she going to get through the night with him?

    Another solid loud bang was heard that causes Annie eyes to water up with fearful tears, he doesn't sound friendly at all! Annie is fearfully silent and still, she didn't even dare to breathe, instead she gnawed her lower lip nervously listening to what her husband is doing. The more rough noises he made the more Annie imagine him being a barbaric beast that will probably beat her in the future. She felt her hand sweaty cause she was extremely nervous and scare of him, she continue to twist the gown making it all winkled up. And little sparkle of gold was on her hands now, because of the sparkle from the golden glitter thread on her gown came off with her violent rub.

    The bang that Annie heard was actually just the sound of Louis knocking a chair over. He was drunk and wobbly as he walked in and leaned on the wall causing a solid throb, which just make Annie scooted herself slowly away from the sound. Louis has just return from a nightclub, he know that it was his wedding today, but he doesn't want to marry her. He doesn't want to have anything do with her! He doesn't want her to be here. Therefore he chose to not be here, hoping that they will return her somehow.

    Louis slides down to sit on his carpet and loosened his tie and unbuttoned the collar of his white dress shirt. His breathing was a bit louder and harsh causing Annie to wonder what he is doing at this instance. He slowly lifted his eye and caught the image of his bride in this most beautiful traditional gown. But instead of being please, his eyes quickly harden with it dark hollowness darted at Annie.

    In a hasty deep voice, he questioned angrily, "Why are you still here?!" Annie body shook by his thunder like roar. Is he talking about her? What do he mean by why she still here? She is his wife! Annie pondered with her lost expression. She kept silent and gulped as she sat as still as a statue, didn't dare to speak up or even wiggle her finger.

    The unhappy groom hissed out a loud sigh, he pulled himself upright and wobbly approaching Annie. Annie sense him and she started to silently sob with fear, wishing so much he could just leave her alone, but of course that is impossible since he is the husband now. Louis stands in front of Annie and looked at her nervous hands tensely twisting the gown with tight knuckle. He backed away and looked at her with his empty but a spark of warmth is in his eyes. He shook his head and walked away to sit by the table of food.

    Annie relaxed a bit, but she is lost and confuse about his action. Why did he back away? But it doesn't matter, she wanted him to stay away anyway. Unnervingly, Annie wetted her lip and pressed them together while she listen to the sound of her surrounding. Louis poured the wine which were meant for him to drink with his new wife to symbolize being a lovely couple forever till they grew old, but he drank it all himself instead. Annie waited nervously with confusion, and she tensed up when she heard the sound of glass shattered. Louis has throw the empty wine bottle on the wall causing it to break into million of fragments. Annie was feeling scare of his behavior now, he doesn't seem kind and lovingly like Kenix promise.

    The dark disturbance guy turn to see the trembling wife, he sighed and know that this wouldn't work out. He felt anger and frustration toward her, but also a very strange feeling too. It was the feeling of long lost warmth. "Why are you here?!" he wanted to know why Annie married him, Annie was just confuse with him kept repeating this question. If he wanted her to leave she could really leave right away without hesitation. He angrily pounded his fist on the table and shouted with rage, "You left already! Why did you return?!" Annie has no idea what he is talking about, she just kept quiet and continue twisting the fabric to ease her unsettle pounding heart. He continued as he studies the red figure on his bed with the red veil, "You don't love me! Why are you even here?! Answer me!!"

    Annie bit her trembling lip and whispered out, "Stop it..." she was scare, why is he doing this to her? Why is he sending her fear? If he doesn't want her, why did he have to tear Steven and her apart? Annie felt sad and unfair for him to treat her like this. "Just stop it...." she pleaded in a whimper that is just barely audible.

    The sorrowful groom silenced and kept his eye on her motionlessly. He swallowed and speaks up with his icy cold tone, "Are you afraid of me?" Annie kept still, she is, but she didn't dare to admit it. He dragged himself up and walked over to Annie. Annie slowly scooted farther and farther toward the opposite side of the bed trying to keep a distance, tears were streaming down her pair of fragile round eyes.

    Once Louis stepped in front of her, he wobblingly kneeled down pulling her hand away from her gown. Annie was startle by his foreign hand she jerked back but he held it firmly squeezing it warmly. Annie swallowed her tears that chocking her. Annie tries to pull her own hand back not wanting him to touch her, but his grip was too strong for her to loosen. From inside the red veil Annie firmly pressed her lip close trying to not let her fearful tear leak.

    Louis firmly holds her hand and slowly opened her fist. The palm of the scared young bride has imprint of her own fingernails that was cause by her anxiety. Louis softly felt the indented crescent mark on her palm with his tender fingertips; his heart ached as he exam those deep marks. He took in a deep breath, his hand continue to hold her hand warmly. "Why did you leave?" he softly asked with deep emotional voice.

    Annie darted her eyes confusedly at the red veil ahead of her, while droplets of her tears fallen off her chin and hit Louis and her enclosed hands. Louis eyes focus on the warm liquid on his thumb. He felt pain and hurt from the sight of the liquid rolling down his hand, he sense her fear and it made him suffer to know she is this afraid. In his icy cold voice he asked with disappointment, "Why are you crying?" Annie shook her head, while pressing her lips tightly together not daring to cry.

    He removed one of his hands to forcefully whip the red veil off, revealing a pair of soft threatened eyes filled with cold tears tumbling down her cheeks behind strands of tiny sparkling beads. His heart softened and melted on those set of vulnerable eyes of his new fearful yet beautiful young bride. Annie eyes were round and still as it glues to her husband, this is the first time she see him clearly, but she couldn't recognize him. All she knows is that his feature are extremely handsome with the dark tone, but it was also cold and unfriendly signaling her to stay away.

    She tries to find the answer to why he has chosen her? Her heart pounded as she studies him and he is studying her too, some weird feeling of emptiness and loneliness was sense through his pair of dark eyes. He seems so cold and empty, like a soulless body.

    Louis slowly moved his shaky hand toward Annie face. Annie leaned back a bit edgily not wanting him to touch her but he persisted and his hand slowly inserted pass the beads and tenderly wiped the tears off Annie cheeks. Annie looked at him with her soft scared eyes, that couldn't help it self from leaking. His hand slowly splits the strands of beads in half and helps her tugged it away on each side of her headpiece revealing Annie beautiful face glowing along the flickering wedding candlelight.

    The new inexperienced bride bit her lower lip nervously and she quiver a bit with every touch of his soft fingertips that just barely made contact with the surface of her fearful soft face, her eyes slowly followed his hand, the vision of him was clarified without the beads in the way. Louis hand gently approach her smooth face and feel it slowly, Annie couldn't sense warmth from his hand, it was really icy and vacant like how he appear to be. She shuddered and pressed her lips tighter as she sniffed softly not wanting to let her tears roll out again. She fears that she will make him mad if he knows she is crying. But no matter how much she tries to calm down, she couldn't stop her tears or relax her body. Her body was tense and stiffened with fear of what will happen tonight.

    Louis withdraws his hand and looked at Annie who is sniffing a bit with her soft vulnerable eyes on him fearfully. Louis voice spoke up in a hollow stern tone, "Am I really that scary?"

    Annie swallowed and slowly shook her head; she didn't dare to tick him off. She could smell the alcoholic breath of his, and the strong sweetness odor on him, which are perfume from the nightclub, but she is too naive to know where the smell came from. Louis eyes darted at her and cause her to sit still motionlessly. "Why are you lying? I see fear all over your body."

    The poor girl swallowed again trying to hide her fear the best she could; she looked at him placidly not knowing what to do to please him so he won't make her feel this uncomfortable. His hand cupped her face and wiped her chilling tears away. "Don't cry," he whispered with his hollow voice that hides a touch of warmth. If one studies long enough, they will hear the lingering sorrow hidden deep down his heart. "You never cry. You are strong. Why are you so weak now?" he asked with memories of how she use to be.

    Annie eyes rounded with tears cascading out, she doesn't know what he kept talking about and it scare her. He doesn't seem to be talking to her. Louis hands swept her tears away again, "Don't cry, I don't like seeing you cry. Helen you never cry..."

    His bride eyes widen on him. 'Helen?' Annie remembered now, the guy that kept hugging her and calling her Helen by the pigpen. She swallowed and softly whispered with her teary voice not wanting to upset him, "I'm not Helen..."

    Louis looked at her stilly and his voice sterns, "Yes you are." His eyes shot a cold stare at Annie giving her a quiver down her spine. Annie shook her head again and he studied her eyes. "Do you really hate me this much?" he asked heartbrokenly.

    "Stop it! I told you I'm not Helen! I'm Annie!" she shouted tearfully, she felt threatened by him. "Just stop it please..." she begged.

    Her husband shuts his eyes tightly showing the tiny winkle in the corner of his eyes. He suddenly pound on his head slightly with the heel of his hands. Annie eyes glues on him confusedly to what happening to him. He finally opens his eyes and looked at Annie again, "I love you."

    Annie was shock to heard those three words, her face was drained, it prove that he still mistaken her as that Helen girl. Why else would he love her? They just met today! Louis stand up to sit on the bed next to her, she try to scoot away but he held her in place firmly and his hand slowly moved toward her cheek to turn her to face him. Annie looked at him with her edgy pounding heart, she really don't want to be here with him, she really wished Steven could be here to shelter her, but it impossible and he has given her up. The thought of that made her tears streamed down as she looked at Louis with her broken heart.

    Louis head slowly leaned closer toward her and she backed off. He looked at her with angry eyes making Annie swallowed guiltily at the sight and kept herself still as he approaches her again. His lip gently touches Annie and she felt her entire body shook with a tingling feeling, once she felt the cold lip on her. This is her first kiss but certainly not what she has imagine it to be like.

    The groom eyes looked into the bride beautiful round fearful one warmly. This is the first time Annie sees a small sparks of live in those eyes of his; they actually looked really captivating. He kissed her tenderly and Annie doesn't know what to do but tremble and hold still not daring to back off, fearing it will upset him. She kept telling herself it alright, he is her husband and he has the right to do so, but why is she so frightful?

    His hand slowly moved toward her back and his kiss became more passionate and blazing, Annie was uncomfortable with tears streaming down as her husband kissed her, she felt nothing but fears. Louis hand slowly moved to her gown buttons, and she felt his hand and desire stares. Her body quickly tensed as she forcefully pushed him away and scooted farther into the bed with Louis swiftly pinned her down onto the bed.

    With her soft shaky tearful voice, Annie pleaded while her eyes are stare straight into his dark one, "Please don't..." her eyes are full of tears and she was trembling with sniffling sound as she stare at Louis with her pleading eyes. She really couldn't do this, not even with the fact that he is her husband, she don't know him! And the image of Steven kept popping into her mind. Louis looked at her with his drained face, he saw her fear and those tears.

    How could she do this to him? She belongs to him, but those set of eyes causes him to back away and released her. Annie swallowed and scooted farther back. Her voice was trembling but relieved that he actually backed away, "I'm sorry...but..." Louis approached her with his eye stare into her, Annie swallowed. "Please don't... please leave me alone..."

    "You are my wife!!" he angrily shouted in disbelieve. "Why did you change so much Helen?!" Louis moved toward her faster wanting to force her. Annie panicked and quickly pulled out the hand knife she has hides. Her hand grabbing it so tightly that her knuckle turned white, she was rushing it toward herself. Louis swiftly and firmly grab hold of the knife to stop it, it cuts deep into his clenched palm but he wouldn't let go of it, he would never let her get hurt again!

    Annie face quickly drained with shock seeing him bleeding tremendously. She quickly let go of the knife and Louis throw it away on the carpet. His hand was still bleeding as he clenched it tightly into a fist. His eyes show no sign of pain cause of the cut, he was staring at Annie eyes with pain and hurtfulness for knowing that she rather kill herself than to be with him. Annie hand tremblingly trying to reach his to see how badly he was cut, she didn't meant to hurt him. Louis forcefully pushed her pair of hands away coldly. "I'm sorry..." Annie whispered guiltily with tears.

    He got off of the bed and stands up trying to steady himself. His hand was dripping crimson blood onto his cream carpet, staining it bright red. "You never loved me! I knew it! But why? I loved you so much!! We have been through so much! Why do you rather die than being with me?!! Am I really that horrible?! I have given you everything you wanted!! Isn't that enough?! You changed! Remember you use to miss me so much?!"

    Annie yelled with all of her courage, "STOP IT!!!" She darted at him with her soft round eyes, "I don't like you cause I'm not Helen!! I'm Annie, Annie Man!! Not your Helen! So please stop it!"

    Louis turn to look at her, his vision became groggy, "Annie Man?..." he dropped to the ground, Annie eyes widen with her heart dropped along with him. She nervously scooted herself toward the foot of the bed to look at him. He was drunk and lies on the floor mumbling with his bleeding hand. "Annie Man...no you are not...you're Annie Koo...is Koo..."

    Sadly, Annie swallowed the fact, he is right, she is Annie Koo and he is her husband. She sighed with her tried and trembling body as she wiped her tears away. Why did she get married to this guy? What have she ever did wrong to get punished to be with him? She is his wife now and he is her husband, nothing can change the fact, nothing. She sniffed and gathered herself to face him. She got off the bed to see how he is doing.

    Annie nudged her husband, in a weak uncertain voice, "Are you alright?"

    Louis moaned, "You're Annie Koo...my wife..."

    The new bride in red sighed heavily as she gathered him into her arm. And opened his palm to see the cut. Tears were lingering in her eyes when she saw the deep cut of his flesh, she don't know why she felt sorry for him and the cut in his hand actually made her heart ached deeply. She sniffed and gently felt his wound with her soft fingertips, she quickly grabs her veil that was on the floor and wrapped his hand up with her red veil and gently tied a knot. Louis entire body slumped on her wearily and she stared at his closed eyes.

    "Why do you even want me? Why are you marrying me, if you hated me this much? I don't want to be a replacement. You are so cruel to pull me away from Steven. Why are you so selfish?" Annie questioned the drunk man, she didn't expect him to reply, she just need to get these questions off her chest.

    "Cause I love you Annie..." his voice was warm and soft with sweetness murmuring along with his swallow breathing

    Annie was daunted and quickly dropped him to the floor right away to scoot away from him, he said Annie not Helen. He said he love Annie. But why? She only met him once! It'll be less creepy if he said Helen instead of her name. Annie just sat there next to him, listening to him moaning drunkenly. She is confuses and scare of him. His behavior is so strange and confusing that it sent creepy fear down her spine. But she is also curious about the Helen he kept mentioning about, he must love her a lot. But what happen to them? Why did she run away? Annie pondered and thought it probably because of his behavior. She wanted to run herself too!

    She waited until his mumbling stopped, to make sure he is deep into his sleep, before she dragged his heavy body up the bed and helped him took off his shoe and tie, like what a wife suppose to do. She covered him up with their bright red wedding comforter. Even though the bed was huge but Annie didn't feel right sleeping with him, she walked herself to sit on the chair by the table and took off her heavy headpiece.

    She was so glad that he is drunk and the night is rested as it is. She just doesn't know how she going to manage each night likes this. With her tired mind she sat on the chair with her arms folded on the table and head rested on her folded arm. Her eyes were on the bed where her husband is sleeping soundly. She kept an eye on him as she slowly fallen asleep into cycle of nightmare awaiting her.
    ******

  16. #16
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Chapter 12: New Life Style

    The next morning Louis woke up with a pounding headache. He squinted his eyes to the bright sunlight hitting his face. Letting out a painful moan cause of the headache, he rolled off bed wearily. He looked around his room, which is all red, he was trying to remember why it all red. He hasn't came home for so long, last night was actually his first night home for the past two weeks. Louis rubbed his temple as he walked floatingly toward the door. A metal sound was heard after he kicks something, he looked down to see a hand knife with blood, his eyes beamed at it confusedly. Then he saw his hand being wrapped. He hammered his forehead cause he couldn't remember what happen last night; he was too drunk.

    Picked up the knife, he continues to head out of his room, trying to remember what happened last night, all he remembered was that he is at the nightclub with girls surrounding him. Suddenly, he stopped and stared confusedly at the image of the sleeping Annie in front of him, she was still sleeping on the chair and table. "Who is she?" he silently pondered as he walked toward her and saw the red double Hei symbol on the wall, it finally hit him that it was their wedding yesterday. So she must be his new wife Annie. He looked at Annie silently with his eyes softened. Slowly, he walked over to her and sat on the chair opposite of her, just silently watches her sleep for a while. She looked peaceful and sweet, he thought with a slight warm smile curving upward.

    His mind quickly brushed that thought off and his face became stern with emptiness as he shook his head. "You are not Helen. You will never be Helen," with that he stand back up and head out of the room.

    Couple minutes later Nicola enter the room with a nicely folded dress in her pair of arms. She places it on the bed and opened all the binds to let the sun come in. She was wondering why Annie slept on the chair and table instead of the soft king size bed, and why she hasn't change out of her wedding grown. Narrowing her eyes on Annie, she let go of a confuse and suspicious, "Hmm..."

    Quickly she brush her nosy mind away and headed to gets a light blanket to cover Annie. The gentle touch of Nicola caused Annie to stir and quickly widened her eyes alarmingly at Nicola thinking that it was Louis, her heart pounded and relax once the image of Nicola was focused. Her maid smiled at her warmly with sweet sound of giggle, "Yee Seeu Lie. Good morning."

    Annie searching around the room for Louis as she reply, "Good morning Nikki. Where is he?"

    Nicola followed Annie eyes, "You meant Yee Seeu?" Annie nod, Nicola cheerfully reported, "Yee Seeu is downstairs having his breakfast. He told me to come in here to take care of you. I didn't mean to wake you up."

    Still in her red gown, Annie sleeplessly shook her head and looked out the window seeing the bright out door, she notice that there is no house around the area just a thin misty air, she would thought that the city is filled with houses. "No, is okay, I should get up at this time anyway. What time is it?" she curiously ask since there is no sun for her to tell time.

    Nicola looked toward the clock, "Nine."

    "NINE?!" Annie blurted out, obviously daunted that she slept in that much, she usually wake up at four or five in the morning, but last night Louis didn't came back till three, who could blame her for over sleeping?

    The servant girl giggled a bit at her overreacted mistress. "Yeah," she point to the clock, "See it say it nine."

    Annie looked at the direction she was pointing clueless to what that object got to do with her question. She thought that round thing was some kind of decoration, "What is that?"

    Looking at Annie curiously, Nicola answered, "That is a clock, Yee Seeu Lie."

    "Clock?" Annie curiously said the new term.

    Her maid nod with a friendly smile, "Yeah clock, where you tell time."

    Walking closer, Annie stares at the moving needle curiously, "Really?" Nicola chuckled which causes Annie to blush in embarrassment. She softly whispered, "Can you teach me how to tell time? I see there is not much sunlight around."

    Nicola nod happily, she like to be useful, "Of course! Yeah it's a bit misty here up by the mountain." She smiled at Annie, "Yee Seeu Lie lets get you wash up first, Yee Seeu told me to bring you the dress." Nicola pointed to the bed, "He has ordered a couple weeks ago, it brand new just for you." Annie was staring at Nicola who goes retrieve it and held it in front of her, it was one of those silk Shanghai dress, with casual style and faint flora design. "Isn't it pretty?"

    Her new mistress eyes glued to the dress uncertainly, "I'm suppose to wear that? Where are the sleeves?"

    Chuckling at Annie expression and traditional thinking, Nicola held out a long and wide see through silk scarf. "This is what you put on top after you wear the dress, it will cover up the arm a bit. Come on lets go wash up and change, Yee Seeu is waiting for you to eat breakfast and go over to Lo Yeeh and Tai Tai, to give them morning tea." Annie listened and followed Nicola into the private bathroom.

    Once again Annie eyes bulged at the bathroom fanciness and roominess, it bigger than her old room! Nicola fixed her a bubble bath and helped her bathe and wash up. Annie weren't comfortable being helped like this. Everything is so strange now, she though while wishing that she could just have her old simple life back.

    Meanwhile Louis returned to his room to change into a sharp looking set of dress shirt and slack. He look totally charming with his hair gelled to perfection. Annie stepped out of the bathroom in her beautiful lavender ShangHai dress that smoothly fitted over her body curvature. A thin layer of the white silk scarf gently wrapped around her hanging loosely on her arm. Her shiny black hair is curled and clipped up to each side. Louis eyes were glue on the beauty in front of him with his stern stunning smile that he didn't even notice he was displaying.

    His wife head were kept low with unsure eyes looking at her dress, so she didn't notice Louis in front of her, she turned back to look at Nicola uncertainly. Her voice was sweet and angelic like as she asked softly, "Nikki, I look awkward, are you sure this is okay?"

    "Yes," the deep masculine stern voice of Louis answered giving her confidents. Annie quickly turns to the voice and her eyes stare at him motionlessly. She saw his charming face and she was speechless with her heart speeded up a bit, she don't know why, but she sense his attractiveness. He sure looks stunning himself, Annie thought silently with her eyes glued to him, still trying to get a good image of her husband. The way he stared at her made her blushed a bit with discomfort, but a tiny sense of joy was hidden in it too. She was silent cause she really doesn't know how to react to him or address him, it just strange how close their names are tied together but yet she felt so distanced.

    Nicola stepped out from the bathroom and looked at the two statues in front of her, she was lost to what just happened to pause both of them. "Yee Seeu," she greeted mannerly. Louis nodded slightly with his eyes kept only on Annie. "I'll leave you two alone now," the understanding maid said. Annie eyes quickly snapped out and moved to Nicola wanting her to stay. Louis face darkens immediately when he caught that fearful look in Annie eyes, after she know Nicola will leave them alone.

    Louis cleared his throat and walked out. His voice was blunt and emotionless again, "Go have breakfast, we need to pay a visit to mom and dad."

    "Mom and dad?" Annie softly questioned the meaning of those words. She never heard these phrases before. Louis turned to her and she looked at the floor, for some reason his eyes made her felt small and weak.

    Her husband shake his head in disappointment, "Keep your head up at all time; you are not a servant. Remember you are my wife, Mrs. Koo. Live up to your name." He turn back and walked toward the dinning table with his straighten posture.

    Nicola slowed down to walk along Annie side. She whispered, "Mom mean Leung and Dad mean Dei."

    "Oh..." Annie face brightens up like she has been enlightened. She gracefully lifted her head up and followed behind her husband. She gave Nicola a sweet little smile, "Thanks Nikki." Nicola smiled cheerfully.

    Louis sat back down in his position digging his head back into the newspaper and black coffee. Annie was confused to where she supposes to sit, until Stephen pulled out a chair at the opposite end of Louis, which is about fifteen feet away. She took her seat on the dark shiny oak chair. "Thanks," she politely said while looked at the 'stiff as a broad' Stephen with uncertain eyes. "What is your name?"

    The butler face was stern and not a muscle moved, he calmly and mannerly. "Yee Seeu Lie, I'm Stephen," his voice was as empty as Louis is and the way his eyes kept ahead and never really met her. It's just strange to Annie, cause it's almost seems like he is avoiding her eyes.

    Annie eyes rounded to the coincident, "Steven?"

    Stephen nod with his eyes narrowed on her this time, they were soulless and cold. His voice was calm and firm, "Yes, Stephen, Stephen Au."

    "Oh," Annie nods to his answer, his cold voice just teaches her to keep silent. So she return her attention to a bowl of 'who know what' in front of her. She looked at Nicola begging for help. Nicola quickly walked up to her and stands next to her. She whispered as her eyes darted at the creamy thick substance in front of her, "What is this?"

    The serious husband folded his newspaper and reaches for his soupspoon to start. His eyes didn't make any contact with hers, not even a glance. "Don't worry, I won't try to poison you," he bluntly and rudely stated.

    Annie pouted with a soft sigh and started to test taste it out. She stopped after a couple sips it was not what she would call delicious. She started to stir the bowl of gluey soup pointlessly, not wanting to finish it. Louis eyes darted at her sternly, "Stephen gets her bowl of clam chowder and feed it to the dogs." Annie stares at him speechlessly, how rude can he be?! Louis didn't even pay attention to her, "Have Bobby bring a bowl of chicken soup out."

    "I'm fine," Annie softly murmured, she is displeases with his behavior. Louis ignores her, while Stephen took her bowl of clam chowder out as his master requested. Annie sighed softly to herself as she looked around the house waiting for her chicken soup that Louis has ordered for her.

    Her eyes wander around the dinning room and finally settled at the beautiful chandler above the dinning table. She was amaze by it sparkling crystal, a sweet pure smile shown on her face as she curiously stare at it. Louis caught a glimpse of her innocent beauty, which made him quickly looked away not wanting to see her sweet side. Wiped his mouth, Louis serious firm voice demanded, "Stephen what appointment do I have today?"

    Stephen standing likes a statue as usual, with his firm clear voice, "Yee Seeu, you have a common meeting at eleven and a business interview at two in the afternoon, then a dinner with Mr. Chu and Mr. Wong at seven tonight."

    Annie listens curiously but she never understands business anyway, her eyes were still dazzled by the sparkling stone. Louis looked at Annie curious face and he turn to look at Stephen with a small grin. Cleared his throat he directed his butler, "Help me cancel the interview and I won't attend the common meeting either."

    The butler and personal aid, Stephen was surprised. His Yee Seeu hardly ever cancels any appointment. Louis has always been a workaholic his entire life. Reluctantly, Stephen still nodded understandingly with obedient, "Alright. I'll do it now." He darted his eyes on Annie with a soft sigh to himself before he turn to start heading out.

    Louis signals him to come back, "I'll need to use the car at ten thirty."

    Stephen nod, "I'll tell Joe to be ready." He left to do his little task, while Nicola walked out with Annie chicken soup.

    Louis watches Annie with his still set of eyes waiting for her to try it. This time she is willing to finish it up. He sneaked a smile before he excused himself and walked to the living room. Annie was left to finish up her breakfast herself. She felt awfully awkward living a fancy life like this. She was actually thinking it such a waste to have this huge house with only Louis and her along with a couple servants. In her village, house like this could be a palace that live hundred of people. She just shook her head and think that wealthy people are simply too selfish to think of other.

    The cook, Bobby walked out heading toward Annie with a plate of eggs, bacon, and sausage with toast, a plate of muffin with jam, and a bowl of oatmeal. Sadly, Annie could only recognize the egg. The thirty-seven years old chef Bobby Au slightly bowed after he place the plate down. "Yee Seeu Lie would you like anything else?" he asked with respect.

    Annie eye widen on the food he just place down, she never ate this much for breakfast before, not even dinner! He's not expecting her to eat it all herself, is he? "Are you joining me for breakfast?" she naively asked. The chef, stares at her like she is some kind of a ghost. Annie blushed with embarrassment after seeing those expressions of Bobby. She gulped, "They are all for me?" Bobby nodded with his stern not pleased expression. Annie slumped her shoulder, feeling sick to see so much food, "You don't need to cook this much for me next time."

    Bobby stare at her strangely and finally couldn't help but spoke up, "You don't like the food?" His voice sounded a bit offended.

    Annie slightly shakes her head, "No, not that, I just can't eat this much and it such a waste. Maybe you can save the left over for tonight, I'll finish it up."

    The nineteen years old maid couldn't hold her soft giggle anymore. She nudged Annie, "Yee Seeu Lie this is how much Bobby is ordered to cook each morning. Just eat as much as you can and we'll feed the left over to the watchdogs." Annie forehead frowned to the waste of food.

    The excellent artistic chef just think that his new mistress is strange and don't know how to enjoy his food. He hand Annie a menu, Annie stare at it confusedly. She couldn't read! The most she could read is common words like numbers. "Yee Seeu Lie please picks out eight dishes that you wanted me to prepare for dinner."

    "EIGHT?!" Annie screamed in shock. Nicola chuckled at her mistress reaction. Annie sighed softly, "Nikki don't tell me this is a usual thing too." Nicola nodded and Annie shook her head in disbelief that the rich could be so wasteful. "Bobby right?" Annie asked unsurely.

    He nodded with a smile, "Yes Yee Seeu Lie, I'm Bobby Au."

    "Au? Are you related to Stephen?" she curiously asked.

    Bobby nods mannerly, "I'm his older brother."

    "Oh," Annie stressed her word. He signal Annie to give him the eight dishes. Annie sighed and felt full already to think about eating eight dishes for only two people. "Bobby I don't eat that much, is it possible to only cooks three?"

    Bobby eyes darted at her feeling a bit insulted, is his cooking really that bad?! Sternly he gets defensive, "Yee Seeu Lie, I have been cooking eight dishes every single day for years now."

    "Even when it just for him?!" the new mistress disbelievingly screamed again.

    The famous chef of the city swallowed his anger toward Annie down, "Yes. And many time it ended up in the trash when Yee Seeu don't come home for dinner, but this is how the kitchen has run for many years already."

    Annie murmured under her breath, "No wonder there are so many beggars and homeless people." Nicola pressed her lip together trying not to laugh at Annie pout and Bobby flaming eyes.

    Bobby sighed softly, "Yee Seeu Lie what do you feel like eating tonight?" he patiently asked again. All he needed was for her to picks eight dishes, why is it so hard?

    With a shake of her head, Annie closed the menu. She can't read a single word anyway. "Anything will be fine, I'm not a picky eater," she finally replies tiredly after noticing the waste of good food.

    Rolled his eyes, Bobby murmured, "Sure you are not." He know that she didn't like the clams chowder he made this morning and the look of her eyes at the food he just bring out, show that she is not too interested. Bobby tries to patient himself to speak in his calm voice, "Yee Seeu Lie, I don't really know what your taste is unless you tell me. I don't want Yee Seeu to get angry with me when you wouldn't eat dinner."

    She sense his tone and looked at him with her stern eyes, "I told you already." She sighed, "Just make some simple Chinese dishes. I like veggie more than meat."

    The grumpy chef took the menu and bowed slightly, "Thanks you, I'll be sure to use more vegetable for tonight dinner." He walked off with his frustrated footstep. Nicola giggled at the not pleased chef.

    Annie sighed and stare at the plate of food, "Did I say something wrong? What is wrong with him? I just wanted to be more conservative." She poking on the sausage and beacon, "What is this anyway? Why is it so stiff?"

    Nicola chuckled at her, "It's just western style sausage and pork." Annie tried it out with little bite, it tasted so salty to her. Nicola smiled at her mistress, who is even younger than her and so much more naive. "Yee Seeu Lie, please don't get mad at Bobby, he just love it when people enjoy his food, he really is a great cook. Well a bit tempered but nothing more."

    Annie smiled at her, "Of course I'm not mad. I just think it's a waste to throw so much food away. And eight dishes for dinner? I hope they are miniature dishes." Nicola laughed while Annie continues to try stuffing herself the most possible not wanting to waste food. But still the most she could finish is just the eggs and toast with her chicken soup.
    ******

  17. #17
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
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    Chapter 13: Personal Tyrant

    Louis walked back into the dinning room with his watch on and he is tapping on the face of his watch in front of Annie. Annie has no clue what he trying to tell her. She wiped her mouth and just looked at him silently with round tense eyes. The dark toned husband sighed, "Are you done?" Annie nod to his cold question. "Well, then follow me."

    Annie stands up and followed behind her husband. Louis rolled his eyes and stopped to wait for her to catch up. But Annie stopped too cause he stopped. He turns to stare at Annie confusedly. 'Why can't she be a little bit smarter than being this dense?' he rudely thought, at least he didn't speak his mind. He walked back and took her hand to hook it around his arm. Annie was confuses with his action and resisted but his grip were pretty firm. "Husband and wife, remember?" he reminded her. Annie narrowed her eye on him feeling lost to what this got to do with their marital status. "Just stop struggling and follow me. Walk with your back straight and head held up." He started to walk and Annie kept up her pace with her arm hooked Louis.

    They walked toward his parent house, it strange that the house is so distanced from each other and there is no other house around. In fact the house was up by the foot of the mountain, which is kind of foggy. Annie enjoyed the view of the beautiful landscape and fountain with flowerbed of blooming flower. She has never seen anything so pretty before. Her pace slowed down as she studies flowers curiously, Louis notice and he slowed a bit too. "You can enjoy them later, we need to see mom and dad first," he calmly told her. Annie nods with a small pout and followed him.

    After a few minutes of walk, they arrived and headed into a more traditional house, his parent is very traditional about their living and family rule. Louis greeted his parent who is sited on the two chairs in the living room, "Good morning father, mother." Annie looked at him confusedly, when did mom and dad turn into father and mother. Louis squeezed her hand a bit signaling her to greet his parent.

    Smiled at them weakly, Annie doesn't know what to call them. She stressfully sighed, "Lo Yee, Lai Lai." Louis looked at her strangely and she returns the same look back to him. Deep down she wanted to shout at him, telling him to stop bossing her around!

    He corrected her, "It's father and mother, my dear."

    Annie softly looked at her in-law, "I'm sorry."

    Mrs. Koo laughed pleasingly, "Don't be silly my child, it the same thing. In fact I missed the traditional way of calling father and mother-in-law.

    Louis father agreed too, "Yeah me too, don't worry about it Annie." Annie smiles warmly and nods. Mr. Koo darted his eyes on Louis ready to scold, "Louis where were you yesterday?"
    The other two brothers of the Koo's joined them. Raymond eyes were on Annie at all times with a charming smile, Annie looked pretty he thought to himself. Annie didn't notice his stare, she is more curious to her husband answer. Louis simply reply calmly to his father, "The usual."

    Mr. Koo sighed disappointedly, "How could you be so irresponsible? It's your wedding! How could you just leave Annie without a groom?!" Annie tensed up cause of his loud voice. Her small hand was clenching to Louis sleeve, Louis senses her tension and just gave her a warning eye signaling her to let go of his sleeve. Annie felt empty inside from his stare and slowly loosened her nervous grip with a soft disappointed pout. His two brothers notice it and looked at each other.

    Louis darted at Annie and back to his father. "You know why. I weren't the one that wanted this marriage anyway," he bitterly said with his usual heartless cold voice.

    His father angrily shouted at him, "You were the one telling me to arrange this marriage!" He coughed distressingly with his fierce eyes on Louis. Annie stared at him and back to Louis trying to pick up clue to what happening. Why does she have a feeling that she is not wanted here?

    "No I did not!" Louis argued back with a much harsher voice.

    Gilbert place his hand firmly on Louis shoulder, "Louis, watch your tone."

    The younger brother shrugged his hand off and softly murmured, "Sorry father. But I don't like to be accused either." His two brothers shook their head with a sad frown and a soft sigh. Annie was really confuse as she study everyone facial expression, is there something she don't know about?

    Mrs. Koo calms her husband down, "Albert you know how forgetful Louis is."

    A bit annoyed, Louis corrected, he try to keep his voice respectfully calm, "I'm not forgetful. Mother can you stop using that word on me?" Annie eyes narrowed on Louis, this is very odd to her. Do he really have memory problem? She silently studies her husband with curiosity.

    Her father-in-law swallowed his anger with his head shaking at his son, "I know he is forgetful but that can't always be an excuse! So what if he is forgetful, that give him no right to contradict his made up mind!"

    The second son sternly with stubbornness reminded them again, his voice was firm, "I'm not forgetful!"

    The eldest sibling darted at Louis. Louis darted back at him sternly. Giblert sighed with disappointment, but also understand his brother condition, "Louis calms down."

    Louis turned to look at Annie with a soft sigh. He could sense Annie concern and know that Annie must view him as a weirdo like how most people are. He sighed softly, he doesn't want his wife to think he is weird or disturbed like how his family believe. "I'm fine, just don't treat me that way," he told his family, but his eyes glance at Annie trying to figure out what she is thinking at the moment.

    Raymond sighed at his brother, "Yee Gor ah, everyone just care about you and Annie!"

    His second brother returns a frustrated stare at him with still motionless eyes, "I don't need anyone to care for me, especially you Raymond!! I'm capable of taking care of myself and my own wife." Annie stares at him and Raymond back and forth not daring to speak up, she is totally lost with her husband strange behavior.

    Mr. Koo angrily, "How you want us to treat you?! Have you ever concern about this family? Have you ever come over to visit without us having to drag you over?! Do this house have tick that bite you?!" He coughed, "And don't you yell at your younger brother like that! Forgetful or not!"

    The mother sighed, "Albert you know Louis, it not his fault that he is forgetful." Mr. Koo is breathing harshly with disappointment with his son, but he knows that Louis couldn't control it. He is more worry than angry at him. He knows Louis is the cleverest son, but why must there be this flaw? With a loud sigh, 'It all because of me,' he blamed on himself. He calmed down a bit as his eyes looked into Annie confused one, he let out a reassuring smile at his poor lost daughter-in-law.

    Mrs. Koo smiled Annie with relief that her husband has calmed down, "Annie, your new father here is a bit thirsty, why don't you give him a cup of tea to calm him down?" Annie nod, she don't want to listen to them argue anymore. "Mary could you bring out two cups of tea?" shouted the relief Mrs. Koo.

    The servant walked out with a tray containing two cups of teas. Louis kneeled down and helped Annie kneel down beside him in front of their parents. Annie hand a cup of tea to her father-in-law while Louis hand one to his mother. Mrs. Koo notices the deep new cut on his hand that is still wrapped with fresh white bandages. She turns and looked at Annie with accusing eyes, Louis saw his mother gaze at Annie.

    "Louis how did you get hurt?" asked the overly protective mother. Annie turned over and looked at Louis feeling guilty and pressed her lip together, Mrs. Koo was studying Annie reaction. She sense that it has to do with her and her heart ached seeing her son hurts.

    Louis smile warmly at Annie, "I cut myself last night trying to cut an apple for Annie." He grabs Annie hand and held it warmly causing Annie to stare at him with confusion, why his mood changes so much Annie thought. Louis turn to smiled at his mother, "I could of be a bit more careful. Don't worry it doesn't even hurt anymore." Actually he don't even remember what happened last night, but this answer will ease his mother.
    His father nodded satisfyingly, "Good, sound like you two getting along alright. Is that right Annie? You can tell me anytime he picks on you." He grinned at Annie, "How is last night? Could you sleep well?"

    Annie swallowed and nods silently with a soft lie, "Yeah."

    Her mother-in-law let out a sigh, she is not too please with Annie, "Annie you should be the one cutting apple instead of having your husband does it for you. Remember you are the wife. Wife is supposes to take care of husband, not the other way around." Annie nod silently, she sense Mrs. Koo not too fond of her already.

    Louis rolled his eyes at his mother, "It no big deal, mother. I was the one insisting on cutting her an apple, it not her fault." Annie kept her curious lost eyes on him, why is he defending her? Don't he hate her? "Anyway, can we be excused?" Louis asked impatiently.

    "What's the hurry?" asked the mother that just wanted to have more time with this son of her that hardly drop by, "You hardly ever come over for a visit anymore. Waiting for you to visit is harder than waiting for the sun to come out on the west side."

    Annie weren't sure why her husband is in a hurry too. But she sense that he don't really like to be in this house. Louis smiled with his usual tone, "I have places to go with her." Annie looked at him with her narrow eyes, why is he throwing the ball over to her?! Was his plan is to make his mother hated her more? Annie wondered, while she try to avoid Mrs. Koo eyes that is a bit jealous. Louis just ignored her and careless to how Annie felt.

    Mr. Koo hand them each a big red envelope, "Now Louis you be kind to your wife. And Annie hopes you can bring us some grandchildren soon." Annie nod quietly. "Alright go ahead and have fun," said the jolly old father that is a bit more understanding. Louis stands back up and helped Annie up, he guided her out of the house.

    Annie eyes met Raymond and he smiled at her, Louis caught it and his face hardened a bit at his younger brother. He walked faster and Annie tries to keep up, she has no clue to her husband sudden rush. Mrs. Koo yelling from behind, "Annie take better care of Louis don't let him get hurt again!"

    The disciplined daughter-in-law reply as she try to keep up with Louis, "I will." Gilbert just shakes his head along with Raymond, they obviously see Annie expression, she looked fearful and lost to them.

    Once Annie and Louis are out of the house Louis let go of her and walked freely himself. Annie sighed softly to herself while she stares at the back of her weird husband. She follows from behind with her head held low as usual. Louis suddenly turned and bumped into her. The husband sighed with disappointment while Annie rubbed her head. "I told you already to walk with your head held up at all time. What wrong with you? Is there gold on the floor for you to pick?" Annie lifted her hard eyes up to dart at him and he nodded with a grin, "That is better."

    Rolled her eyes with a soft sigh, Annie murmured in her mind, 'What a tyrant jerk!' Louis cleared his throat, "I want you to know what I'm expecting from you." Annie give him all her attention, it sounded like an order to her. "I don't want you to wander out of the house without me, so when I'm not home, I'll be expecting you to stay home at all time. Don't go over to my parent;" he paused to look at Annie, checking her to make sure that she got that. Annie eyes narrowed at him confusedly, why is he so strange? Not that she wanted to visit his parent, but what wrong with visiting his parent house? Louis looked at her seriously he has no intension to explain to her, "just stay home."

    "I also expect you to learn more about table manner and social manner from Stephen and Nikki." Annie hissed softly to herself with her eyes dart at him, is he suggesting she doesn't have manner? He is the one that needed to learn some manner! And stop with all of these demands!

    "And remember at all time that you are my wife now, so watch what you are doing and don't cause me any trouble," he looked straight into her dark angry eyes with his sharps one. "And one more things, never ever try to stick your nose into my business. What ever I do, who ever I see is none of your concern, just stay home and mind your own business."

    Unfairly, Annie felt more like a puppet than his wife. She just stare at him stilly with her eyes softened on him, he felt a bit weaken and quickly turned to head toward the car avoiding her eyes. "I think that's all for now, did you get all of that?" Annie ignored him, 'what a superego jerk,' she thought. She stomped her way heading pass him, he firmly held her hand and jerked her back a bit. "One more thing, always answer my question."

    His new irritated wife turn and darted at him disbelievingly to what a tyranny he could be. "Yes Mr. Koo," Annie tone is icy and full of rage.

    Louis let go of her and walked ahead, he replied with the same tone, "Is Louis for you. And don't forget to straighten your back and lift your head up." Joe Ma, his chauffeur opened the door to his car. "Get in," Louis voice ordered. Annie eyes looked at it uncertainly, she has no idea what this is at all, its' looks funny kind of like a dome. Louis turns to her, "I say get in."

    Annie sighed, "Yes Mr. Koo." Her voice is not as friendly and sweet as she usually is. Louis slipped an amused grin when his wife got into the car and weren't able to see him. Annie scooted all the way in for Louis to sit next to her.

    "I say Louis," his face and voice was stern once he gotten into the car. Annie ignored him and looked out the window of the car. "Joe takes us to the city center," Louis instructed.

    The farmland Annie glued her eyes to the window as rows of building are starting to appear, street were filled with people. This must be at the part of the city that Frankie visit, she thought to herself as she enjoys the view. The car slowly drive by with people staring at them and Annie was curious to why they were the only one riding on this black metal tin can while other are on feet or bike. But it doesn't matter, she is having fun riding on this shiny tin can of her husband, it amazed her how it could move in such a fast speed without any men power.

    She softly giggled sweetly as her eyes caught the children playing at the street with their toys and ran toward her with curious eyes. She waved to them with her glowing charm. Louis lowered his newspaper to look out at her eyes direction to see what she is giggling about. He lost interest at the subject and return to his paper.

    The car suddenly stopped causing Annie to jerk ahead too suddenly that she bumped her head on the window. Louis heard her soft moan and quickly darted at his driver with disappointment. "Joe can't you take more caution in your driving?!" scolded the hard to please Yee Seeu.

    Joe quickly apologize, he is too use to his Yee Seeu temper, "Sorry Yee Seeu, a kid just ran out into the street too suddenly, I..."

    "I don't want any excuses, just watch out and drive more carefully," his master flatly warned. Annie stares at Louis feeling sorry for Joe, how could her husband be so unreasonable? Louis eyes looked at Annie redden forehead for a while before he return to his newspaper again. Annie sighed and returns to the view out the window. The car slowly drove pass the common street and entered a street full of fancy store with show case window displaying what they sell. This part of the street is more tidy and no children playing around.

    The ride of the metal tin can finally ended. Louis got out of the car waiting for Annie. She got out too and turned her head around looking at everything curiously. Her husband held his arm out a bit signaling her to hook it. She looked at him puzzled, her displease husband sighed softly as he helps her hook her arm into his. Annie finally got the idea, she will remember it next time, she reminded herself. Her head dropped when she saw her husband gaze at her.

    Louis hopelessly sighed at her, "Back straight, chin up. Walk like a mistress instead of a maid." Annie pouted feeling like she is not up to his standard, it was actually quite trying to physically or emotionally cope with him. He stares at her, waiting for her to listen. Annie silently swallowed her displease of his rudeness before she tilted her head up to beam at him. "Good," he said with a tiny smirk. He guided her toward the sidewalk.

    They entered a fancy store with beautiful dresses display outside the showcase, Annie eye are enlarged as she study ever aspect of the store, it look so pretty and bright with glowing crystal bulb. The manager of the house cheerfully greeted, "Mr. Koo! How have you been lately? I see you are bringing your new partner for dresses? Is there a ball coming soon?" The stylish man smiled at Annie as he study Annie figure.

    Annie saw his stare on her body, she felt uncomfortably so once again she clenched on Louis arm. She was about to let go, remembering that her husband don't like that. But oddly Louis patted her hand softly with a grin at the manager. Louis cleared his throat, "She'll need a lot of dresses, so bring out all of your best collection for her to try."

    "Oh you came at the right time Mr. Koo, a set of new collection just arrived!" said the excited manager. He turns to his worker, "Michelle, Amy, and Anne please come here and help out. Miss..."

    Annie smiled at him with her beautiful sparkling bright eyes, "I'm Annie."

    "Miss Annie please have a sit..." the manager said with his returned smile to Annie.

    Louis sternly reminded and corrected Annie, "Is Mrs. Koo." Annie still hasn't get use to being known as Mrs. Koo. The manager was surprise that the young girl in front of him is actually Louis wife, she looked so plain, he would expect something more.

    The manager smiled and quickly corrected himself, "Oh please pardon me Mrs. Koo. Mrs. Koo would you please wait a moment? We will be back with dresses for you to try! Would you like anything to drink perhaps?" Annie looked at her husband not knowing what to say.

    "No, just bring her the dresses," Louis helped her answer.

    "Yes, yes, we'll go get the dresses right away!" the manager said as he disappeared into the back of the store. Annie nod and sat on the offered sit along with Louis sited by her side. Louis indulged himself into a magazine totally ignoring her. Leaving Annie with nothing to do but study her surrounding.

    The manager came back with dresses and has his three helpers help Annie try on each one and walked out to let Louis see it. Louis was amaze by Annie beauty, but like usual his face was stern and he would just slightly nod his head on the dress he think Annie should buy or shake his head with disapproval.

    Annie was uncomfortable at the beginning with the three strangers throwing dress after dress at her to change; she is exhausted and weary. Trying on multiple dresses, is a very hectic event and to have her husband shake his head each time is even more depressing. She sighed loudly when she is in the dressing room trying another set of dresses, but this time is different, when she walked out and saw her husband eyes on her stilly with a charming spark, something in her made her smile from the heart, it a strange warm feeling, that she couldn't explain.

    Even though Louis try not to show his emotion but his eyes has failed him by glued to her with impressed spark, she is absolutely stunning, his heart warned him but he quickly brushed away. He cleared his throat and nodded before he stick his head back into the business magazine he was reading, somehow his simple little nod send Annie a warm feeling and a small smile glow on her sweet face unknowingly.

    Very soon she was having fun playing dress up with the three helpers that sugarcoated each word they throw at Annie to please her. The manager sees Annie as dollar sign as he throw complement after complement at Annie every dress. After a short two hours period Annie walked out of the store with her stunning but stern looking husband by her side, her face hung a sweet smile as she looked at the streets of stores. The manager and his workers carried bags after bags of Annie news dresses, shoes, purse, and other accessories into the trunk of the car. Annie tries to give her opinion about not wasting too much money on those expensive dresses, but her husband has never take her words into his ears. To him, money is earned to be spends.
    ******

  18. #18
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    Chapter 14: Obedience

    While the manager and his helpers stuffed Annie purchases into the metal tin can, Louis walked Annie down the street heading toward an elegant restaurant. They stepped into the dimly lit restaurant and Annie slowly walked in by Louis side. A waitress stepped up to welcome them. She smiled at Louis with dreamy eyes flashing her eyelashes, Louis is known to be the cleverest and wealthiest man in town, not to mention his handsome charm. Many girls wanted so badly to have a date with him. Including this little waitress, who totally adored Louis.

    Louis is a VIP of the restaurant, so this waitress always makes sure she gets to serve him, "Good afternoon Mr. Koo." She glanced at Annie with her examining eyes. "Two?" she asked. She gives out a weak smile and think that Annie must be another one of Louis multiple partners that he brought in before. She was thinking that Annie couldn't be too big of a competition she assured herself. 'Look at her, she is so plain, Louis will probably chuck her within days,' she thought with a glowing smile, there is still hope.

    "Yeah, my usual table," Louis reminded.

    The waitress continues to study Annie carefully as she leads them with a bright smile, "This way Mr. Koo." Louis pulled out a chair for Annie to sit in and took the chair opposite of her. "Would you like any wine today Mr. Koo?"

    He nodded, "Yes, give me your best white wine."

    "Alright, and your usual steak?" she asked sweetly to impress him.

    Louis nodded, "Yeah, and a cheese baked Lobster for my wife." The waitress paused with shock as she stares at Annie with her bewildered eyes. 'Did he just say wife? Her?! That scrawny pale girl?!' she battled the fact in her mind. Her eyes stare at Annie inflamed with disbelieve. Annie felt uncomfortable and confused from the attention. Louis saw Annie tensed with her eyes staring down again, he turns and looked at the waitress in the eyes with his stern eyes disapproving her stare.

    The waitress was witty enough to quickly snap out when she caught his stare, "Alright, I'll be back with it." She left with a sad angry pout as she stomped away.

    "Never let people see your weakness," Louis told Annie, "Didn't I said to lift your chin up at all time?" Annie gracefully looked up at him with a small frown. He slightly nodded, "Keep it that way."

    "What's a lobster?" she asked softly with uncertainty.

    Her husband, who is raise in the city his entire life, narrow his eyes on her with disbelief that she could be so out of it, "You really need to come out of your shell more." He looked at her fabric shoes, cause Annie don't know how to wear high heel. "I want you to learn how to wear those high heels I just bought you. See how much your shoe is standing out?" he shake his head with disappointment, how could a female not know how to wear high heel?

    Annie sighed and spoke under her breath to herself, "Can he just stop staring at my shoes and leave me alone?"

    "No," he coldly response since he heard what she said loud and clear.

    "Fine," Annie swallowed her stress. After several minutes another waitress came by to drop off their food in order to check Annie out. Annie stare at the red thing in front of her with widen eyes, it looked like a huge insect to her with multiple legs and even long antennas. She gulped and didn't dare to touch it. The waitress saw her expression and let out a soft giggle, she bowed a bit and left the two alone.

    Louis rolled his eyes at her for being so rural minded. "Eat it," he demanded the poor girl in front of him with still eyes. "It's just a large shrimp," he added before he starts on his steak, while Annie poke the lobster not knowing how exactly she supposes to eat it. It's so hard. And at her village they don't even get to eat shrimp!

    Her husband sighed at her hopelessly, he pushed his plate aside to take Annie plate and started to help her remove the lobster meat out of it shells. Annie watches him carefully manipulated his fork and knife to pull the meat out, she is watching closely learning how to do so for future reference. The sight of him removing the shells so carefully made her sneaked a warm smile.

    A small group of waitress was staring at them and gossiping as they saw how Louis treating her, they are jealous of Annie for sure. 'How did she ever get to be Mrs. Koo?! She is so old fashion!' they all thought. Louis got all the shells remove before he put the plate of lobster meat with gluey cheese, back in front of Annie.

    Annie smiled at him, "Thanks." She stabbed a tiny piece to test it out, it tasted really strange to her, especially the gluey cheese, but she forced herself to swallow it down, feeling a bit nauseated afterward. But she didn't want to waste Louis thoughtfulness. Louis saw her facial expression. 'How could Annie be so different?' he thought. He sighed softly to himself and signaled a waitress over.

    "Yes Mr. Koo?" asked the waitress.

    "Can you do me a favor and go down the street to buy me a bowl of Won Ton noodle?" he hand her a twenty dollar bills, which is more than enough. "Keep the rest."

    "I'll go right now!" said the happy waitress.

    Annie looked at Louis, he is not as cold as he appeared, she thought with a small glowing hope. "You really don't have to. I'm fine with the lobster."

    Louis continue to eat, he didn't look at Annie. His voice was cold and plain, "I just don't want you to waste good food, I rather feed the dog that know how to enjoy it than to have you forcefully swallow each piece down, is such an insult to the chef." Annie face stern a bit as she sighed softly, she take back what she thought before, he is just plain rude and a big mean jerk! Louis looked up at her, "But I'm expecting you to upgrade yourself soon and learn how to admired good food."

    The stubborn wife answered plainly in the same tone he is but with a touch of pride, "Mr. Koo, you may be my husband but you certainly have no right to control what I like to eat or not. I don't see why I need to learn how to admire Western food, when I'm a Chinese. Maybe you are the one that need to learn how to admire your own cultural food." She looked at Louis sternly, she has no idea how she could gather so much courage to stand up for herself. Now she is feeling a bit shaky and tense as she watches her husband waiting for him to explode on her.

    But instead Louis slightly chuckled at her, which made Annie felt heat in her eyes but also a bit relief that he didn't gets ticked off. Louis continue to chuckle softly as he eat. "Cute," he complimented with a little smug. He glanced at her then back to his food, "And it's Louis for you. You say so yourself I'm your husband, you don't call your husband mister now, do you?"

    Annie rolled her eyes, "Fine, Koo than." Louis stares at her sternly with a not amused look. Annie kept silent she is not too amuse with him either, but she didn't dare to test his temper. The lunch was quiet and their face was stern the entire time. Annie is angry with him, especially since he kept controlling her every move, even her taste in food.

    Louis finally speaks up again to break the icy silent, "I have to go out for dinner tonight, I'm expecting you to stay home and you don't have to wait for me." Annie didn't answer, who say she going to wait for him anyway? He looked at her with harden eyes, "Did you hear me?" still there is no response, Annie is mad with him and stubbornly didn't answer him. The more he asked and demanded the more Annie felt like ignoring him stubbornly. Why must she answer? How could he keep treating her like a puppet? She maybe uneducated and simple minded, but she is a human being too!

    Her husband cleared his throat and leaned back on his chair with his hard round eyes on her testing his power. His voice was more firm and forceful demanding her to answer him and obey his order, "I say did you hear me?"

    Annie sense fear from his eyes and chilling tone, and she hate those feeling. She swallowed and stares at him with her soft but hard eyes wanted to water up. 'Why is he treating her like this? Why do he have to make her felt threatened?' she asked herself. She felt like crying, so she took in a puff of air and calmly whispered, "Excuse me." Annie swiftly pushed her chair back and stood up running out of the restaurant with tears rushing out of her eyes. He made her felt threatened and worthless.

    Louis was surprise by her action, but he is not too happy about it either. He quickly ran after her, the waitresses and costumers watches them ran out, they curiously gossiped silently with their eyes still glue to their direction. Annie sniffed and wiped her tears as she pointlessly ran down the sidewalk. She hate this guy, why do she have to marry him?! He is just a big fat jerk that likes to threaten her! She felt sorry for herself as she run with her sobbing, she missed home so much, she missed Steven so much, Steven never treat her this way! She missed her cousin and Kenix too, why can't things be like it was?!

    The tyrant husband stand behind Annie watching her continue to run down the sidewalk, he hissed out angrily and shouted after her with his demanding loud tone, "Annie Koo you stand still right there!" Annie ignored him and ran faster with her watery vision, Louis saw the waitress returning with the bowl of hot won ton soup right in Annie way, he could see that Annie is going to bump into her if she continue to run blindly, so he quickly ran after her and firmly held her arm and jerked her back into his arm, right when Annie just bumped into the waitress like he foreshadowed. The bowl of won ton was knocked into the air with soup splattering everywhere. Louis just hugged Annie tightly with his heart pounding and trying to shelter her protectively.

    The waitress eyes widen at the incident and quickly apologize, "I'm so sorry Mr. Koo! Mrs. Koo are you okay?" The waitress was concern about her own job, if Louis complains about her service; she will certainly get fired.

    Weakly in her teary voice, Annie ordered, "Let go of me Mr. Koo..." she lifted her eyes up to stare at him with her vulnerable redden eyes and trembling lips. She is hurt from his words, he made her felt so small and like a piece of trash.

    Louis released her and checking her from head to toes. His voice was full of anger that is mixed with worry, "HOW MANY TIME HAVE I TOLD YOU WALK WITH YOUR HEAD HELD UP!!" Annie darted at him with her hatred eyes and when he touch her hand she jerked it back quickly with her lip pressed to minimize the pain she felt. Louis demandingly, "Let me see your hand." Annie stubbornly stares at him. Louis in a harsher tone, "I say give me your hand!" He saw Annie not responding so he forcefully pulled it out.

    "Ow!" Annie face shows a painful expression as she pulled her hand away from his touch. She shut her eyes tightly as the burning sensation persisted.

    Her angry caring husband sighed and in a softer tone, he really wanted to see how badly she was burned, "Annie, let me see your hand." He held his hand out for Annie to put her on his. Annie pouted at him and slowly draws her left hand out to place on his. He examined her redden hand and softly touching it, and from Annie expression he know that she is burned by the soup. He held it close to his lips and blows air on her hand to cool it down a bit. In his hasty tone, "I told you to stand still, if you would of listen this wouldn't happen!"

    Annie gnawed her lip with a mumble, "It also wouldn't happen if you didn't threaten me." Louis darted at her with disappointment then he turn to stare at the waitress with fierce eyes.

    The waitress saw Louis eyes and shook her head with fear and concern, "I'm so sorry Mr. Koo, I really didn't mean to spill the bowl of soup. Honestly! Mrs. Koo, I'm so so sorry! Please forgive me!"

    Annie stare at her confusedly, why did she looked so scare? It not even her fault, do her husband really have that much power? Annie softly in a reassuring tones, "It's not your fault. I'm the one who bump into you, I'm the one who should say sorry."

    The poor fearful waitress shakes her head vigorously, "No, no it my fault, I should pay more attention. I'm sorry. Please forgive me." Annie stares at her husband who is still darted at the poor waitress.

    Louis eyes met Annie and her disbelief eyes, he cleared his throat with his eyes back on the waitress and released some of his anger before he speak up in a stern tone, "Well, don't just stand there, go get my wife some ointment for her burn."

    "Yes, yes of course Mr. Koo!" the waitress gratefully listened. "We have some in the restaurant, I'll go get it for Mrs. Koo right away!" She hurriedly ran off, leaving Annie and Louis in the middle of the sidewalk.

    The darken face of Louis stare at Annie with disapproval expression, "I don't ever want you to run off like this again! You hear me?!"

    Her eyes watered up as it stare at him stilly. She bitterly, "Yes Mr. Koo."

    His heart melted a bit seeing her tears, he felt sorry, he felt horrible and bad for making her cry, and his heart is weakening with every sight of Annie eyes, he quickly turned to look else where and bitterly with icy tone, "I don't ever want to see your tears again."

    His wife darted at him, how unreasonable can he get?! Not like she wanted him to see her cry anyway! "Than don't look at me!" she shouted fiercely, she has enough of his big man attitude and his unreasonable demand!

    Louis darted at her with anger, his tone was cold and empty filled with blazing flame, "You listen to me Annie, I'm your husband, you are to listen to my words and obey them. Unless you wanted me to divorce you." Annie sniffed with her lip pressed together, she don't want to be divorced, is not a honorable thing, in fact people will look down on her and think of her as a ****s, she don't want that at all. She can't soil her family name. Louis softened his tone. "Now dry your tears." Annie sniffed and looked away, she felt helpless and defenseless. Louis hand softly touched her chin and turned her to face him, and he wiped her tears off for her. Then he interlocked his hands into her and walked her back into the restaurant to finish the rest of the lunch in total silent.
    -----------

    That night Annie was left to eat alone, since Louis needed to go have business dinner with Mr. Chu and Mr. Wong. Annie stare at the eight delicious dishes in front of her feeling depressed to know the fact that most of it will end up in the trash. She tries to eat as much as she could, but how much could she hold? She told Bobby again to not cook so much tomorrow, but the cook just ignore her, cause his order was to cook this much.

    After dinner Annie went to her room to shower, and after shower she is left with nothing to do but gaze at the out side yard pointlessly and boringly. What else could she do? She remembered that time was so scarce when she live at her uncle, but now she have endless amount of time, at least that how she felt.

    Nicola came in to chat with her and kept her company until it was time for her to sleep. Louis hasn't return yet, so the house is still very empty and quiet. After Nicola left, Annie stare at the soft and comfy king size bed. She wanted to sleep on it, but she doesn't want to sleep with Louis, she didn't felt comfortable. Annie sighed and sits back at the table and chair to sleep like last night. Slowly she dosed off to dreamland.

    Hours passed before Louis return home. When he walked in and saw Annie sleeping on the chair instead of the bed, he was disappointed with her. He shakes his head in disapproval. Louis took off his vest and bow tie to loosen up himself and relax. Then he walked over to Annie and swooped her into his arms to bring her to their bed. He sneaked out a smile at Annie soundly breathing with her softly closed eyes. She looked so pure and angels like to him, but he forced himself to not give her positive thought.

    On the way over to the bed, Annie startled up and her eyes widen on Louis with shock and quickly pushed him forcefully away. Louis dropped her on the bed, she quickly gather herself and scooted far away from him. Annie dart at him fearfully seeing his shirt halfway buttoned, "What are you doing?"

    Her husband rolled his eyes at her with a disbelief chuckle at her question, "Don't forget you are married to me, so you are my wife. What can't I do?" Annie swallowed and just stares at him tensely, he is right, but still she tries to avoid it as long as she could. He shakes his head at her and tiredly shuffled off to the bathroom for a shower, ignoring her concern. Annie let out a big sigh of relief when he is away. She quickly got off the bed and walked back to the table to rest herself with her eyes darted at the bathroom. Slowly she dosed off to sleep again.

    When Louis walked out of the bathroom and saw her back to sleep on the chair and table, he sighed in disbelief with his chuckle at her silly stubbornness. He rolled his eyes up toward the ceiling for a while thinking that his new wife is disbelievingly strange and weird. He walked toward Annie again and swooped her up into his arms to carry her back to their bed once again. This time Annie was too drowsy to even wake up. He gently places her on their bed and covers her up cozily with their comforter. His eyes gazed on her soft beauty face glowing to the dim setting light of his room. He quickly shakes his head and snapped out of it as fast as he could.

    "No," he softly reminded himself. He let out a breath to relax his tired body, then he returns to his side of the bed to sleep. An hour later Annie startled up cause of her nightmare and she screamed with her hand tightly held onto her nightgown protectively. She studies the dark surrounding and notice that she was sleeping on the bed.

    She started to panic and wonder if he touched her. She turns and stares at the sleeping Louis and back at herself. She gnawed her lip unsurely while she tries to remember if anything occurred between him and her, she removed the comforter and stare at herself for a long time trying to figure out if anything has happened or not. With her long thought she finally belief that nothing happened. She let out a big relief breath and dragged her sleepy self off the bed heading back toward the table.

    Louis was awaked cause of her scream, but kept silent the entire time studying her. He didn't turn to Annie but he knows very well what she wanted to do. In his stern empty voice, "Don't forget you are my wife." Annie was startled by his voice, which echoed through the soundless huge room. She turn back to look at him, he weren't facing her at all. Louis cleared his throat, "Have you seen a wife sleeping on the chair instead of the bed? If you want to sleep you are going to sleep on the bed. If you decide to sit on the chair, you better make sure you don't fall asleep."

    Annie pouted at him, why can't she sleep where she felt comfortable? Louis snuggled himself more comfortably on his pillow, "And I'm the husband, if I want to do anything, you can't stop me." With that last comment he shut his eyes to sleep and ignored Annie. Annie pondered about the fact and he is right, if he really wanted to do it, she don't have the power to stop him anyway.

    She sighed softly and dragged herself back to the bed and lies down to sleep as far away from him as possible. She is basically clinging to the edge of the bed rather than sleeping comfortably on the huge bed. Louis smiled satisfyingly when he notices Annie given in and decided to sleep with him on the bed. He dozed off to sleep while Annie is a bit tense and couldn't sleep anymore. She rolled back and forth until her heart finally got use to the idea and let her sleep.
    ******
    Comment?
    *******

  19. #19
    Senior Member Yak's Avatar
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    sorry, submitted last chapter twice

    <font size="1">[ April 07, 2003: Message edited by: Yak ]</font>

  20. #20
    Senior Member jeh's Avatar
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    Hi, can you update your other stories, too when you have the time? All of your stories are very good <IMG SRC="smilies/thumbsup.gif" border="0"> I know it's too much to aks of you, but in the other stories, you left me in suspense so I really want to know what happen next

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