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  1. #1
    Senior Member patricia n's Avatar
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    Default Short Stories

    I'm a girl, so you can't blame me for writing about love so freely.

    This one stars Raymond Lam, Tavia Yeung, and Ron Ng

    FOR HER

    Saturday night and he was sitting in the dimly lit room, smoking a cigarette while staring at the wall, lost in his thoughts. His cell phone rang mercilessly and he had ignored all incoming calls while pondering what possessed him to introduce his two best friends. The more he thought about it, the more frustrated he became. His phone rang once more, and again he ignored the incoming call. He was honest with himself. He dared not to turn off the phone just in case she would call.

    He laughed at his own pathetic situation. Why would she call him? She was out with Ron tonight. He almost turned off his cell phone as he wanted to be left alone with his thoughts, but he resisted the temptation. He would never forgive himself if she did call him. Even if it was just to talk about what a wonderful evening she had with Ron. Even if there was no chance that she would call him.

    He slammed his cigarette bud against the tray. He needed more than smoking to alleviate the pain. How many evenings had he already wasted because he couldn’t let go of his mistake?

    FLASHBACK

    He saw her anxiously stir her coffee through the window. She had called him and asked him to meet her because she had something important to share with him. She had asked him if he was free to meet up with her and he lied to her. He told her he had no plans. He cancelled all of his appointments because he wanted to see her. He would abandon everything at her whim, and she didn’t know it.

    He continued to stare at her while she was oblivious to his observation. Her mannerisms, her nature, her entire being and aura could never be paralleled. When he saw a man bump into her and spill his steaming hot coffee on her, he became worried and rushed in.

    “Tavia, are you alright?”

    She was too occupied cleaning herself to notice his presence until she heard his voice. She immediately looked up in his direction and smiled enthusiastically at him, “Hi Ray-Ray.”

    He smiled when he heard her say his name. They easily engaged in a conversation but he knew something was wrong; she was easily distracted and answered his questions with irrelevant statements. He had to reach across the table and rest his hands on hers, “Tavia, can you tell me why you asked to see me so urgently?”

    She looked at him and broke down. “Ray-Ray, my father…has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has less than three months to live. I…I want to so badly make his final days as comfortable as possible, but I’m so tired. For the past few months, I’ve balanced three jobs to pay for his medical bills but I’m worn out. I can’t do this anymore.”

    Ray tightened his hold on her hands, “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? Is that why you haven’t been returning my phone calls?”

    “I didn’t want to burden you. You’ve already done so much for me. I keep on telling myself that I’ll be a better friend to you and bother you less, but here I am, asking you to help me find a solution to my problem.”

    “I never thought of you as a burden, Tavia.”

    “Ray-Ray, I don’t know what my choices are. The doctor mentioned that surgery would improve his quality of life, but I cannot afford it. I don’t think that I can take a fourth job.”

    Ray withdrew his hands, “Tavia, do you trust me enough to let me take care of the bill? You should spend your time with your dad instead. I’ll be back in a second.”

    “No, please let me handle my own problems. I only wanted words of encouragement from you. You’ve always made me feel at peace and more confident.”

    He patted her hands and walked to a corner to call his other best friend, “Ron, I need a favor from you.”

    Ron was the heir to a business empire and had more money than he could spend. He asked Ron to come to the coffee shop to drop off the check, for Ray wanted to be there to comfort Tavia.

    END OF FLASHBACK

    Ray was too concerned about Tavia to worry about Ron developing interest in her. He did not expect Ron to relentlessly pursue Tavia.

    He sighed at his own mistake. The phone rang and he jerked. He recognized the tune. She finally called. He lunged and picked up the phone.

    “Hello?” He heard her sobbing at the other end of the line. “Tavia?”

    “Ray-Ray, it’s over between me and Ron.”

    “Tavia, where are you?”

    He drove to meet up with her at the bar. However, she refused to speak about the relationship. She said, “I’ll let you know when I’m ready.”

    He respected her decision and never brought up the topic. For the next several months, things almost returned to normal. She gradually became the Tavia he knew before she discovered her father’s illness.

    They took their usual stroll through Central Park with the snow flakes gently falling from the sky. Tavia tagged Ray from nowhere and declared, “You’re it! Catch me if you can.”

    She ran as fast as she could while the stunned Ray registered what just took place. He smirked in her direction and yelled, “Remember who has longer legs here!”

    He gave chase and almost knocked down an old lady. He apologized to her profusely while Tavia giggled at the scene.

    Ray looked in her direction and pretended to put on a mad expression, “Wei! What are you giggling at? This is all your fault young lady.”

    She looked at him with eyes wide open, “Me? You’re the one who almost ran over that poor woman.” She pointed her fingers accusingly. “How dare you frame the innocent.”

    “You’re right, I apologize.” He finally caught up to her and pulled her beanie over her eyes. “Now you’re it!”

    “Arg! Stupid Ray. You will pay dearly.” Tavia chased after him and tripped and fell.

    Ray quickly spun around when he heard a crash and saw her struggle to get up. He ran to her and carried her to the closest bench. After sitting her down, he examined her leg and asked, “Where does it hurt, Tavia?”

    He repeated his question and concern overwhelmed him when he did not receive an answer from her. He looked up and saw her staring at him. “Tavia?”

    She looked away in embarrassment when she realized that he saw her staring. After making sure that she was okay, the two sat on the bench in awkward silence.

    “Ray, do you know why Ron and I broke up?”

    “Ron has not talked to me about it.”

    “He cheated on me.” When she saw his fist clenched, she immediately added, “But it was my fault because I also cheated on him. Do you know why I gave him a chance? He reminded me of you.”

    Her last statement gave Ray hope and he wondered if she had felt the same way about him.

    “I know that I’m making a fool of myself but since I’m leaving soon, I…I wanted to be honest with you.”

    He abruptly asked, “What? Where are you going? Why?”

    “I’m moving to California. I have relatives out there. And…” She cast her eyes toward the ground. With disappointment, she added, “There’s no reason for me to stay.”

    ‘What about me? Have you even considered how your move will affect me?’ he wanted to scream out. Instead, he questioned, “What do you mean?”

    She looked at him with such longing, but he couldn’t recognize it. He didn’t believe that he would be lucky enough to have her return his feelings. She replied, “If you would please let me finish my story, I’ll explain everything. Ron reminded me of you. He was very caring towards others and was so kind-hearted. He did so much for my late father to make his last days as painless as possible even though he and I were mere acquaintances. After my father passed away, Ron kept me company and helped me survive the hardest moments of my life. The truth is, I’ve liked you for a while. For the same reasons that attracted me to Ron. But I didn’t think that I had a chance because you’re so wonderfully special. I didn’t want to wait for you anymore, so I gave Ron a chance. Even though he treated me well, I couldn’t bring myself to love him. I knew that I had not gotten over you because I always had to fight the urge to call you. Ron knew this, but he never mistreated me. When he confronted me, I couldn’t lie to him. That night, he got drunk and unintentionally slept with a random girl he met at the bar. I was hurt but I felt worse knowing how much I had wronged him. So I called you. I was embarrassed to share the truth with you at first, but as I said, I have nothing to lose because I’ll be leaving soon.”

    After telling her story, Tavia was ashamed and needed to hide. She attempted to get off the bench, but Ray pulled her back, “Tavia, my dear, sweet Tavia. If you only knew the misery I suffered whenever I pictured you with Ron instead of me.” He brought his hands up to cup her face, “If you only understood the fire you stir in me with one simple smile on your angelic face.” He leaned his head closer to hers as he whispered, “If you only knew the depth of my love for you then you would have no doubt that I have been waiting for this moment for eternity.” And he gently laid his lips against hers as she responded passionately to his declaration.

    When they broke free from the kiss, Ray simply said, “You have me here.”

    She leaned her head against his shoulder as their hands intertwined, “You’re right. You’re all the reason I need to stay.”

    Ray grabbed onto her shoulders and hopefully asked, “You will not regret this?”

    Tavia broke into a smile as she shook her head, “I will never regret this.”

    He pulled her into an embrace and whispered, “I love you.”

    THE END
    Last edited by patricia n; 11-21-04 at 01:38 AM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Eliar Swiftfire's Avatar
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    Hehe. Funny stuff... though I ain't sure whether it was intentional or not. But you know me, being such a sadistic dude and stuff.

    By the way, thanks for the review.
    Swifty, Writing
    Film and book reviews, short films, videos from a Malaysian filmmaker based in Tokyo

  3. #3
    Senior Member patricia n's Avatar
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    Default As of Now (first half)

    As of Now

    Mei Ling as Sara Wong
    Kiu Wai as Art Huang

    All other characters as themselves

    Although not the most beautiful of women, Sara Wong possessed a charm that stirred the heart of many men. She was neither shy nor talkative, tall nor short, smart nor unintelligent. Yet interestingly enough, besides for being mediocre in every possible way, she still stood out. Unfortunately, her charm, though sufficient to bring attention to herself, was inadequate to lure men to approach her.

    On the other hand, Bernice Liu, a female colleague, could bedazzle any man with one seductive smile. Ironically, the one man who she had already fallen for since childhood was oblivious to her sexual appeal. This gentleman was also happily dating her best friend, Tavia Yeung.

    These three women did not realize that fate had already decided to intervene and change their lives…for better or for worse, only these women could say.

    It was really only suppose to be another ordinary day at work. Sara busily calculated the daily inventory while Bernice casually showed some legs to get her male colleagues to do her work.

    Suddenly, the door opened. Bernice quickly looked up for she knew he always arrived at work exactly at 9am.

    Roger Kwok stepped into the main office and casually greeted his employees before he stepped into his room. Bernice sighed when she saw his door slam. He was the only reason she bothered to apply for such a boring job because she knew it was the only way she could see him everyday for nine hours a day.

    Minutes later, a beautiful woman entered the office and all eyes rested on her. She confidently made her way into Roger’s office. Seconds later, Roger and the woman stepped out and Roger introduced her to the team as the new discipliner, Noel Leung.

    Everyone gasped for no one had ever heard of a team discipliner. It was quite humiliating and everyone was uncertain in which ways he/she needed to be disciplined.

    Two weeks had passed, yet no one could figure out what it was Noel really did as a discipliner. Nevertheless, the employees liked her enough to befriend her. Finally, Noel revealed the much needed improvement in the team’s efficiency at multitasking. She ventured to argue the importance of concentrating during work hours. After a while, she realized that she could not single handedly change the team as quickly as Roger wished; hence, she brought in her partner, Art Huang.

    Art Huang could not easily be read. He was a calculating man, very precise and unrelenting in his ways. Even though his personality was lacking in many ways, his exceedingly good looks helped him go a long way in life. His smile was twice as deadly as Bernice’s, but his eyes were his most fatal weapons.

    Sara was afraid of his eyes, especially when he scrutinized her and demeaned her with those eyes.

    Art treated Sara no differently from the other employees and criticized her as he would the others. He rarely complimented any of the employees and spent the same amount of time trying to improve each person even if the employees had varying degrees of efficiency.

    Unfortunately, Sara was not one to take criticisms lightly. She cringed whenever he approached her section of the office and attempted several times to avoid an encounter with him. However, Art kept a list and being a professional discipliner, he was a very disciplined man. He kept track of the employees and the amount of time he spent with each individual and the progression of their improvement. She could not easily escape him and she failed miserably at making excuses to evade him.

    The office door opened and in stepped a very pretty young lady. Everyone immediately recognized Tavia and greeted her enthusiastically, not because she was a friendly and likeable person but because she was the boss’s girlfriend. If the boss was happy then their task would be lighter. Tavia spotted her best friend and quickly walked over to her.

    Ever since the discipliners began to enforce the changes, Bernice began to busy herself with work instead of having her male colleagues do it for her. She sighed as she realized that she never had to work so hard at this boring job. A quick tap on her shoulder made her look back, and a smile formed on her face as she recognized her best friend, Tavia.

    Bernice dropped her pen and stood up to hug Tavia, “Hey, are you here for me?”

    Tavia giggled and tossed Bernice’s perfectly made hair, “What do you think?”

    Straightening her hair, Bernice pouted, “I already know you’re here for Roger. Just go and abandon this best friend who has been slaving away in this office.”

    “Miss Popular actually has to work? Roger told me that you’re the laziest employee,” lowering her voice, Tavia added, “I heard the discipliners advised him to fire a few employees because after they are done here, you guys will be so productive that Roger could afford to fire five employees.”

    Bernice widened her eyes after hearing the news. If Roger fired her then she would not be able see him so frequently, and at the moment, she vowed to be the best employee in the company.

    By the end of the week, even Art had to admit that Bernice made rapid progressions. Art looked at his list and realized it was time for his session with Sara. He walked towards her desk and saw her on the phone and waited next to her desk until she finished the call with a client. When she was done, she began to dial another set of numbers.

    Art firmly grabbed the phone from Sara and exclaimed, “You can do this later. It is time for me to re-evaluate your performance this week.”

    Sara merely looked at his face for she feared the scrutiny she came to recognize in his eyes. She could only look at the phone for his hand was still on top of her hand. She struggled slightly with it until Art let go.

    “Look at me! Miss Wong, how have you improved since our last session?”

    She glared at him and answered, “I am now faster and more accurate than before at summarizing the inventory.”

    It was always the same answer from her: brief but accurate. He could not complain because she had improved. Unaware of it himself, he walked away with a smile.

    Noel saw him from across the room and frantically waved him over to ask, “What are you so happy about?”

    His eyebrows knitted when he replied, “I do not know what you are talking about.”

    “This is the first time I’ve seen you smile since we started working here.”

    “I do not recall smiling.”

    “But I saw it, Art.”

    He walked away but Noel followed and teased him, “You seem to be pleased by your encounter with Sara.”
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  4. #4
    Member tinhnoey87's Avatar
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    Default For Her

    That was so great. i love it. hihii, wow, they confessed their love at last. lol.
    F e m m e F a t a l e [Ruby Wallace YanKuan Sammul Peter Julian Alec Mike Jiro LuYi]
    http://www.winglin.net/fanfic/femme_fatale/
    A modern story of femme fatale, tangled in a web of lies and deceit.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Eliar Swiftfire's Avatar
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    Er. Is that the end of the second story?
    Swifty, Writing
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  6. #6
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliar Swiftfire
    Er. Is that the end of the second story?

    It says (first half) in the title area. So that is not the end yet.
    I just love how you Captivate My Mind

    Self reminder - Update blog more often and continue editing/writing for TOV fanfic.

  7. #7
    Senior Member patricia n's Avatar
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    Default As of Now (second half part A)

    yup, very lame of me to separate the second half into two different parts...mainly because i didn't fully finish the second half and became too impatient to update and also because i plan to have a crazy alternate ending that has nothing to do with the story so to justify this ending, i will have a normal ending...and all this will be in the second half part B (with normal versus alternate ending).

    Eliar Swiftfire-thanks for reading, dude, but seriously you don't have to. i left you a comment in your webpage because i seriously thought you earned it with your wit and exceptional creativity; however, please don't feel obligated to read these cheesy fics because it'll just embarass me. not to offend my other readers as i know that the majority are female and are also interested in reading about romance. but you my friend are different because i have a feeling that you prefer wit....and none of my stories have anything to do with wit...

    tinhnoey87-i'm glad you enjoyed "for her" i was thinking about doing a second installment titled "for him" but i need to finish my other fics first.

    As of Now
    Mei Ling as Sara Wong
    Miu Kiu Wai as Art Huang

    Bernice quickly typed a report for the company; she frowned as she read what she had written thus far and tore it up. Her desk phone rang and she picked it up.

    "Bernice speaking. How can I help you?"

    "Bernie!"

    She squeled as she recognized her older brother's voice, "Ray! How are you?"

    "Are you free?"

    She quickly glanced in the direction of Roger's office and hesitated, "I've been a bit more busy than usual." And she lowered her voice as she whispered, "Tavia told me that Roger is planning to fire five employees."

    At the moment, Art Huang walked by her desk and Bernice quickly whispered over the phone, "Can't talk now. Gotta go!" She hung up the phone and looked up as she smiled at Art.

    With a stern expression on his face, Art commanded, "Miss Liu, I need to have a word with you."

    Bernice panicked, "Mr. Huang, I can explain. That was my older brother on the phone, and I promise I rarely make personal phone calls at work. This will never happen again."

    Art scribbled a note on his clipboard, "I didn't realize that you made personal calls at work. Thanks for letting me know."

    Bernice slapped her forehead when she realized that Art wrote a negative comment about her.

    He then flashed her a deadly smile as he offered, "However, I will not tell Mr. Kwok about this if you can help me out."

    Bernice gulped and nodded her head in agreement, eyes wide open.

    Art lowered his head to eye level and spoke very lowly, "I want you to tell me all of Sara's weaknesses."

    Taking a quick glance in Sara's direction, Bernice could only wonder why Art specifically requested more information about Sara. She liked Sara but not enough to lose the only job that would allow her to grow closer to Roger; hence, she listed every weakness she knew about Sara.

    After Bernice finished, Art sighed inwardly. He was disappointed that Bernice and all of her co-workers knew so little about Sara.

    Art checked through the file again What kind of a discipliner was he? Sara progressed steadily without his aid at all. He needed to find her weaknesses. Noel looked from behind and saw Art searching through Sara's file.

    She let out a small giggle, "Art, there's no denying that you are intrigued by Sara."

    Art turned around abruptly and hastily replied, "Do not make false comments."

    "Seriously Art, I have not seen you invest so much into one employee ever. You have always been fair and given every one the same amount of attention." Noel glanced in Sara's direction before continuing, "She is an attractive woman. I can assure you that you two are meant for each other."

    "You are a discipliner, not a fortune teller."

    Noel brushed his comment aside, "There is no shame in liking someone, Art. It's about time you allow someone in your life."

    The door opened during lunchtime and in walked a handsome young gentleman who strolled towards Bernice's desk.

    Bernice felt the shadow looming over her, and she looked up to see her brother. She jumped up and frantically hugged him, "Ray, when did you return from Canada?"

    Raymond detangled himself from his sister and was about to answer her until he glanced up to look at the young lady who just stepped out of Roger's office.

    Bernice frowned when she saw her brother's eyes glued on Tavia. She wondered, "You haven't gotten over her yet?" Seeing him shake his head, she tried to console him, "It has been years since you two broke up."

    Ray looked at his sister and reasoned, "She sacrificed a lot for me and I took her for granted."

    Bernice patted his back, "You've changed for the better Ray. I am sure that she would give you another chance if she wasn't seeing Roger."

    "When did she start dating Roger? How come you never told me?"

    "It doesn't really matter because sooner or later, Roger will be mine."

    "She's your best-friend, Bernice."

    "But I've always thought that Bernice and Roger would make a better couple than Tavia and Roger." Both siblings turned to see Noel speaking to them. She smiled sweetly as she said, "I am also a matchmaker."

    Little did anyone know that Noel was an angel sent from heaven to correct some mistakes she made with their fate. She had less than one month from that point on to pair up the proper couples.

    Bernice quickly pulled Noel to the side as she tried to hush her, “Please don’t tell Tavia; I don’t want her to be mad at me.”

    Ray smirked, “Bernice, what kind of a best friend are you?”

    “The kind that cares about her brother’s happiness, of course,” she replied cheekily.

    Noel brushed Bernice’s hand off of her, “Don’t worry Bernice. I have it all worked out. Just give me a month and the both of you will be happy with your respective partner.” Noel nodded her head trying to reassure them when she saw their look of wonder.

    Meanwhile, Tavia tried to sneak out of the office when she recognized Raymond from across the room. She tried to calm her palpitating heart while clutching onto herself. ‘That’s strange. Why am I still feeling this way about him after so many years? Stop feeling this way, Tavia! He doesn’t deserve you.’ Feeling guilty, Tavia ran back into Roger’s office.

    Roger looked up in surprise when he saw her slam his door close. “Hi…” Before he had the chance to finish his sentence, she already forced her lips onto his.

    “What was that for?” he asked, still somewhat dazed but happy by her action.

    Tavia tried to hide her disappointment and smiled, “For being such a great boyfriend. I have to go now.” And she quickly bolted. Even after dating him for the past few months, she could not feel the same passion with him as she did with that bastard of an ex-boyfriend, Raymond Liu (Raymond Lam).

    Walking up to Sara’s desk, Art was about to open his mouth when Sara beat him to it. “Mr. Huang, as you can see, I’ve steadily progressed. As a matter of fact, I’m second to no one in this office when it comes to efficiency.”

    Art nodded and agreed, “You’re right.”

    Expecting him to leave, she continued with her work. However, she finally looked up as she noticed his lingering presence. “And what can I do for you, Mr. Huang?”

    He glared at her, trying to intimidate her by looking as though he was judging her. After being under his scrutiny for several weeks, Sara finally realized that Art was as harmless as anyone else. Sure, he was an attractive man and unfeeling at times, but in the end, he was all talk. Hence, she did not flinch a bit and returned the stare. Realizing that she would not yield to him, Art finally cleared his throat and insisted, “Call me Art.”

    Sara raised an eyebrow, anticipating what he had to say next.

    Art had to admit that she was quite a challenging young lady. No one had ever resisted his power of intimidation, yet here she was. An average employee, average in every single way possible yet he was immensely attracted to her.

    The phone rang and Sara ordered, “Well, if there isn’t anything else you’d like to tell me then I need to remind you that I have to get back to work.”

    Slamming his hand against hers to prevent her from picking up the phone, he astonished himself and her when he blurted, “Care to have dinner with me tonight?”

    “Excuse me?” Never in her life would she imagine him to say that, thus she thought she misheard him.

    In an attempt to cover himself, he explained, “Perhaps you can share with me how Noel and I have been able to improve your productivity at work so that we can better accelerate your colleagues’ efficiency at work.”

    Unsure to believe his cover, Sara looked at him skeptically.

    He persisted, “The company will pay for dinner. And I’ll make sure Roger knows that you are essential to his company.”

    “Alright then. I’ll meet you after work.”

    After Art left, Noel approached Sara, “Miss Wong, how are you today?”

    Sara welcomed Noel with a warm smile, “Hello Noel.” Leaning forward, she asked, “Are you coming to dinner tonight with Mr. Huang and myself? I heard you wanted to find another method to better discipline my colleagues.”

    Noel delightfully giggled to herself and understood Art’s intention. Art had never ever met with an employee outside of work; consequently, Noel correctly guessed Art’s ulterior motive. She replied, “I’m quite busy myself with Roger and Bernice tonight. Where are you going? We might just see you there.”

    “I don’t know. Mr. Huang didn’t give me the details.”

    Noel lowered her head and asked, “So what do you think of Art?” Seeing the confused look on Sara’s face, Noel clarified, “Come on Sara. You can’t deny that Art is a very attractive man. He’s unattached and really successful. He can be an arrogant jerk at times, but he does have another side to him. As a matter of fact, many women desire him.”

    Shaking her head, Sara stubbornly insisted, “We’re only colleagues, Noel. And dinner tonight is strictly business.”

    “If you insist.” Noel winked at Sara and walked away.

    After work, Art once again approached Sara’s desk, and the two left for dinner. Sara did not expect to enjoy her time with Art, but she couldn’t deny that he was an entirely different person outside of work. He was much more relaxed and…funny. He quickly got down to business but he was efficient. He got all of the information he needed from her in less than twenty minutes, and with her help, the two found a new curriculum to apply to the other employees. If she did not carpool with him to the restaurant, she would never believe that he was the same Art Huang she knew from work.

    As for Art, he sensed her developing interest. He wasn’t sure what he felt for her yet despite knowing that asking her out to dinner was out of the ordinary for him. He had dated women who were much more beautiful than her. Although cute and beautiful, she was at most average, but he couldn’t place what it was about her he was attracted to. He only knew that he entertained that thought of getting to know her better.

    Across town, Roger entered the café ten minutes late and quickly apologized to Noel and Bernice, “I’m sorry, but traffic was quite bad.”

    Bernice simply smiled at him; she was too giddy to say much until Noel kneed her to remind her to bring out the folder.

    Noel stated, “Roger, Bernice showed me some new ideas she had for the company to increase its profits and make the other employees more efficient.” Just then Noel’s cell rang and she excused herself temporarily. When she returned, she looked mildly distressed, “My husband just got into an accident. I’m sorry you two, but I need to leave. I am sure you can do this without me.” She quickly excused herself, leaving Bernice alone with Roger.

    Taking the folder, Roger opened it to look over her ideas, “This is great Bernice. Why didn’t I think of this?”

    She quickly covered a few ideas thoroughly and impressed Roger immensely. He exclaimed, “I didn’t know a beauty like you was capable of this.”

    Bernice blushed at his comment.

    After a while, he also excused himself, “I promised Tavia that I would take her to the movies tonight. I would cancel but she seemed somewhat depressed when I last talked to her over the phone.”

    Grabbing the folder from Roger, Bernice suggested, “Maybe we can continue this discussion next time?”

    “Sure. Let’s do it tomorrow.”

    After Roger left, Bernice let out a squeal and tipped the waiter well as she thought, “It’s just a matter of time before he’s mine.”

    The doorbell rang. Tavia opened the door and saw Roger. She flung her arms around him, “Roger, I am so sorry.”

    “Why?”

    “I thought that it could work out between us, but I was wrong.” Pulling herself away from him, she told him, “I don’t think I can pretend to be in love with you anymore.”
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  8. #8
    Senior Member patricia n's Avatar
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    Default The Unexpected

    Sorry, i haven't finished as of now (writer's block); however, i have given you a completed short fic.

    The Unexpected

    Tavia as Lee Ching Ching/ Man Ching Tong


    From across the cliff, a young man could be seen blowing a leaf to create a haunting, sad melody. He allowed the wind to blow the leaf away as his eyes followed it. Then he closed his eyes and sighed. Images of her flashed across his eyes. Although it had been seven years since he last saw her, her face constantly lingered in his mind. Even though she was only twelve and he was only fourteen at that time, he had vowed that he would marry her when they were grown up. But fate was cruel and separated them forever. On the same day that he realized he loved her and wished to marry her, he accidentally killed her. He only wanted to tease her and chase her around the cliff; unfortunately, the ground rumbled to welcome the earthquake which threw her off the cliff. Tears streamed down his face as he saw himself struggling to run towards her to save her. Her last words were “Lam Fung.”

    He immediately opened his eyes and screamed, “Yeung Yi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    He had returned to this cliff every year on her death anniversary.

    Sounds of footsteps interrupted his peace. He turned around and saw his maid, Li Qian.

    “What are you doing here? I told you to leave me alone!” He hated her. If it weren’t for his parents, he would have fired her years ago. Yeung Yi was also his maid, but she was much kinder than Li Qian.

    “Young master…I…”

    When she stepped closer, Lam Fung noticed the blade of a sword placed against Li Qian’s neck. He quickly flicked a rock towards the sword to push it away, but the person handling the blade was quicker than he expected. Even before the rock made contact with the sword, the blade cut Li Qian’s neck and killed her.

    Lam Fung looked at the masked intruder. Without uttering another word, Fung attacked him. After forty strokes, both were exhausted, but neither one gave up. The intruder picked up Li Qian’s body and threatened, “If you step closer, I will destroy this body.” It was a feminine voice.

    Fung paused momentarily then smirked, “Do what you want to the body. I don’t care.” While speaking, he flung a needle in the intruder’s direction and hit her.

    The intruder quickly placed a hand on her shoulder and laughed out loud, “I cannot believe Hero Lam would resort to this tactic.” Before the intruder could attempt to escape, she had already fainted.

    “Others call me a hero, but I never considered myself one.”

    Before Fung could approach the intruder, she had already been saved by another masked person.

    She woke up in an abandoned temple. The last thing she remembered was mocking Lam Fung for his cowardly ways. She attempted to move but felt an immense pain in her left shoulder.

    “Don’t move. The poison will only travel farther into your system.”

    She turned to the direction of the voice and saw a masked person maintaining the fire.

    “Who are you?” she demanded.

    “Is that any way to greet your savior?” The person took off his mask.

    She recognized him as the man who hired her to kill Lam Fung. He was none other than Lam Fung’s half-brother, Lam Tin Lok.

    “You?”

    Tin Lok simply smiled. “What do I get for saving you?”

    “I will kill Lam Fung without charge. A life for a life.”

    A slight laughter resonated throughout the temple. “I don’t know if you are capable of killing him after the event today. And to think that you are the notorious assassin No Heart Swordswoman Lee Ching Ching.”

    She kept quiet, for she also doubted herself.

    He walked over to her and bargained, “I only want to see what you look like.” Without waiting for her consent, he pulled down her mask. She was indeed beautiful, but that was not the first thought that crossed his mind. “You look familiar, but it can’t be. She’s dead.”

    Ching Ching raised one eyebrow.

    Tin Lok laughed some more. “Heaven is truly on my side.” Smiling handsomely at her, “And yours too.”

    ////////////////////////////

    Ever since Yeung Yi’s death, Lam Fung had felt numb. He was angry at himself for chasing her that day and never forgave himself for it. At eighteen years old, he had discovered alcohol, and for the past three years, his nightly routine included drinking himself to sleep. Tonight, he carried a calabash of wine and greedily downed it. As he crossed the Lotus Brothel, a young lady with heavy make up flirted with him and urged him to enter. He feebly resisted but was soon pushed into the brothel. He was too drunk to make out what the ladies surrounding him were saying. However, one thing was certain. The lady standing on the stage. He stared at her and happily exclaimed, “Yeung Yi.” He took a step closer to her and passed out.

    Inside the brothel, the strumming of the zither echoed throughout the room melodically as the player captivated the audience with her radiating beauty. After she finished her final piece, she took a bow and dismissed herself.

    She stepped into her room and saw a colleague caring for the gentleman who passed out earlier. “How is he?”

    “He’s been muttering the same name although he’s completely unconscious.”

    “Thanks. You can leave now.”

    After the colleague left, the beautiful young lady carefully looked after him.

    While twisting and turning, Lam Fung called out, “Yeung Yi.” He reached out and grabbed the lady’s hand and opened his eyes. He saw her face and smiled, “You’ve returned to me.”

    The lady tried to retrieve her hand from his strong grasp but eventually gave up, “I think you’ve mistaken, Sir. My name is Man Ching Tong. I am the musician at the Lotus brothel.”

    Lam Fung slowly got off from his bed and registered his environment. He looked at the lady in front of him. She was exactly what Lam Fung had always imagined Yeung Yi to look like when she fully blossomed. He let go of his grip. “I’m sorry, Miss.” He quickly added in a darker tone, “Yeung Yi would never wear such revealing and provocative clothes.”

    Ching Tong blushed deeply. “It was not my choice to work here.”

    “I don’t need to know anything about you.” He gathered his belongings and prepared to leave.

    She persisted. “Madam Wong found me one day by the river. I woke up without any memory of my life and she employed me ever since.”

    “What did you just say?”

    She repeated herself, and Lam Fung urgently asked her, “How old were you?”

    “I don’t know anything about my past or my name or my age. But this happened seven years ago in the outskirts of Cherry Blossom Hill.”

    “Yeung Yi, you’re really Yeung Yi.” Lam Fung happily picked her up and swung her around. However, he immediately placed her down when he saw her fear and confusion. He bashfully apologized. “If you have the time, I would like to help you recover your memory or at least tell you about your past.”

    ///////////////////////////

    A pigeon landed outside the window. Tin Lok reached for it and obtained the note which read, “It has begun.” He smiled. It was only a matter of time before the entire Lam inheritance would be his.

    ///////////////////////////

    After several months, Lam Fung could see that Man Ching Tong slowly began to accept her past. But Fung was too afraid to reveal his feelings although she could easily recognize the love he had for his childhood friend. During one of her days off work, Fung took Ching Tong out to the forest.

    Once they were alone in the forest, he commanded, “Climb on my back and hold tight.”

    She hesitated but quickly did as told. “Why?”

    Once he felt her safe and secure on his back, he somersaulted up to the tree and swung from branch to branch. He felt Ching Tong’s arms tighten around him, but he continued until they reached the other side of the forest. It reminded him of the old days with her. Yeung Yi never knew martial arts and always trusted Fung completely to carry her to heights that she could not reach and depths she feared falling into. Unaware of it himself, he smiled the entire time he carried Ching Tong.

    Ching Tong also smiled and closed her eyes. She opened them when Fung helped her down, and she gasped. The other side of the forest contained a beautiful cliff.

    “Do you remember how we always played on the cliff?” Fung turned to Ching Tong, hoping that she would have some recollection.

    She sadly shook her head but wondered, “What was our relationship like? Why are you so nice to me?”

    Unable to directly answer her question at the moment, Fung took out a jade pendent from his pouch and placed it in Ching Tong’s hand.

    Ching Tong’s eyes widened.

    “I stole this from you once. I later realized that I just wanted something of yours to keep by my side at all times.”

    Ching Tong’s eyes glistened, “And you’ve kept it with you all these years?”

    He took her hands and answered, “Yes, because you have always been the one person I love.”

    “We were so young, and you still remained faithful to Yeung Yi…uh…to me all these years?” It was hard for her to accept. But she did not attempt to withdraw her hands.

    “Yeung Yi, quit your job. You don’t need to degrade yourself for a living. I can provide for you.” He pulled her into an embrace. “I’ve lost you once, and I will not allow us to be separated any more. Marry me. Please.”

    Touched by his words and actions, she said the first thought that crossed her mind. “Yes.” Her answer was so pure and genuine. She broke free from the embrace as she searched his eyes, “Promise me you’ll call me Ching Tong until I am ready to be called Yeung Yi?”

    It was more than he had hoped for, and he quickly agreed.

    ////////////////////////

    Another pigeon. Another note: “Target date: Wedding.” A happier Tin Lok.

    ////////////////////////

    The wedding was grand; afterall, the Lam family was the richest family in town. The bride’s carriage arrived in a timely manner, and the handsome groom eagerly lifted the curtain and happily walked the bride into the home to begin the ceremony. After kow-towing to the heaven, to the ancestors, and to Master Lam and all four of his wives, the bride was brought to the newlywed suite and patiently waited for her husband.

    Tin Lok joyously drank wine and staggered to Lam Fung, “Enjoy this night, little brother.” He snickered but Fung did not catch the threatening tone behind his voice.

    “Big brother, you’ve had a bit too much.” Fung helped him to a chair.

    “Little brother, your bride is waiting. You should go in there soon.”

    In due time, Fung had his share of drinks and relied on the guests to help him find the room. The guests pushed Fung into the room and wished him farewell. Ching Tong brought him to the bed and pulled the blanket over him. He was passed out.

    Suddenly, a masked person entered the room. She pulled down her mask. It was Lee Ching Ching. “Why haven’t you killed him?”

    Ching Tong pulled off her veil and looked down. “I can’t do it.”

    “Fool. He loves Yeung Yi, not you.”

    “Big Sister, please allow me one night with him.”

    Lee Ching Ching became agitated. “Then what? Do you want to have his child so you can tell the kid that you helped me kill his father?”

    Ching Tong kneeled down and pleaded. “Big Sister, I’ve never begged for anything from you before. Please remember all the favors that I have done for you in the past and spare him his life.”

    “I don’t have a sister like you. We are assassins. We cannot fail.” Ching Ching pushed Ching Tong out of the way and aimed for Lam Fung.

    Ching Tong interfered in time and the two sisters fought.

    Ching Ching was obviously upset and muttered, “You would dare strike against me for a man who loves another?”

    Ching Tong nodded weakly, “I’m sorry Big Sister.” And she quickened her attacks.

    Ching Tong was obviously the weaker fighter of the two and could not keep up with her sister. Lee Ching Ching knocked Ching Tong out of the way; Ching Ching held onto her sword and tried to push it into Lam Fung’s body. To both sisters’ surprise, Lam Fung moved in time. He opened his eyes and looked at Ching Tong with disappointment.

    Then he angrily asked, “Why did you lie to me?”

    Ching Tong protested softly, “I never lied to you. I kept telling you that I am not Yeung Yi.”

    Lee Ching Ching took any opportunity she had to attack Fung. “Ching Tong, remember our responsibilities as assassins. If you fail this mission, not only do you destroy yourself, you have also ruined me.”

    Ching Tong begged, “Big Sister.”

    “Shut up. If you can’t help me then stay out of this.”

    Ching Tong watched in despair as the two fought. No Heart Swordswoman Lee Ching Ching, the number one assassin, was on par with Lam Fung. Both women knew that Lam Fung didn’t have the heart to attack anyone who looked like Yeung Yi.

    Ching Ching quickly situated herself next to Ching Tong. “Sorry Ching Tong.” She rested her blade against Ching Tong’s neck. “Hero Lam. If you want her to live then drop your sword.”

    Without any hesitation, he dropped his sword. Ching Ching quickly somersaulted forward to plunge her sword into his chest, but Ching Tong used all of her strength to run to Lam Fung and pushed him back. Ching Tong accepted the stab for him and collapsed.

    Lee Ching Ching was as equally shocked as Lam Fung. She cried, “Little sister!”

    Outraged, Lam Fung quickly picked up his sword and attacked the stunned Ching Ching. Even though she looked exactly like Ching Tong and resembled Yeung Yi, he did not allow his heart to soften like he did before. With one stroke, he killed her.

    He ran back to Ching Tong and picked her up. “Ching Tong.” His eyes glistened as he saw the blood pouring out of her stomach.

    She gasped for air and whispered, “Fung, can I call you husband just one time?” Seeing him nod, she smiled as she said, “Husband.” Coughing out blood, she quickly explained, “Lee Ching Ching, Yeung Yi, and I are triplets. When you showed me the pendent, I knew…that you fell for my long lost sister. She was sold to your household while Ching Ching and I were sold to a monster. I’m sorry that I mislead you. I…really do love you. Forgive me.” Those were her final words. She died believing that it was a one sided love.

    Lam Fung held onto her tightly. He lost Yeung Yi once. Now he lost Ching Tong too. He knew that he did love Ching Tong despite the circumstances. His feelings for Yeung Yi were stronger than his feelings for Ching Tong; nevertheless, he did love Ching Tong. He could only whisper, “Wife.”

    Losing two women he loved and continuing to live was torture. His state was so pitiful that Tin Lok could not bring himself to hire another assassin to kill his brother, especially when Lam Fung expressed no interest in the inheritance.

    Lam Fung soon got into his old habits of drinking and wandering from town to town. And he believed that he could never love again. Lam Fung was forever known as the Wandering Drunken Hero Lam.
    Last edited by patricia n; 02-02-05 at 02:59 AM.
    if you have the time and enthusiasm, please join in on the new and fabulous wuxia rpg fic /rpg discussion. (<--- click here)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Eliar Swiftfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patricia n
    Eliar Swiftfire-thanks for reading, dude, but seriously you don't have to. i left you a comment in your webpage because i seriously thought you earned it with your wit and exceptional creativity; however, please don't feel obligated to read these cheesy fics because it'll just embarass me. not to offend my other readers as i know that the majority are female and are also interested in reading about romance. but you my friend are different because i have a feeling that you prefer wit....and none of my stories have anything to do with wit...
    Well, why not try write something different? Since when does romance have to be so serious and cheesy? Why can't they be more witty and refreshing?
    Swifty, Writing
    Film and book reviews, short films, videos from a Malaysian filmmaker based in Tokyo

  10. #10
    Senior Member patricia n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliar Swiftfire
    Well, why not try write something different? Since when does romance have to be so serious and cheesy? Why can't they be more witty and refreshing?
    after many years of humiliating and pathetic attempts, i've come to realize that wit is not an acquired trait...you can't just practice and be good at it...you must be endowed with the gift in order to use it properly. so it's probably better to avoid embarrassing myself with lousy public attempts, which no one will recognize as wit.

    on the other hand, i should be glad that people like you exist. why don't you write more witty stories? it seems to come naturally to you. so i'll take the cheesy domain, you can take the witty one!

    with that said, i have another cheesy romantic comedy to post.
    if you have the time and enthusiasm, please join in on the new and fabulous wuxia rpg fic /rpg discussion. (<--- click here)

  11. #11
    Senior Member patricia n's Avatar
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    Default Obsessed Fan - completed

    this is for any one who's a fanatic! you can probably identify with the lead.

    Obsessed Fan

    Staring dreamily at the poster of her favorite movie star, Tavia softly smiled to herself. Despite knowing so little about him, Tavia remained hopeful about their future. All of her friends laughed and mocked her when she declared that she was officially in love with Zhao Wenzhuo, and deep down inside, she knew that her obsession was silly. Afterall, he already had a two year old son and was seriously involved with an actress.

    Her door bell rang. She quickly glanced at the clock and sighed. It was another Monday morning, another week at work. She gathered her briefcase and blew a kiss at the poster. “I’ll be back, Wenzhuo.”

    Standing outside, Raymond checked his reflection against Tavia’s window. Dressed in an obviously expensive and high quality suit, he muttered to himself, “Perfect.” He wouldn’t want to look anything less than his best, especially for her.

    Tavia opened the door, and Raymond quickly took her briefcase for her and carried it to his car parked in front of her driveway. Ever since Raymond’s father hired Tavia, the two have carpooled together to go to work. Raymond would not have it any other way; afterall, he insisted that it cut down on the driving time when they used the carpool lane.

    While in the car, Tavia hesitantly asked, “Raymond, do you think your father will let me take one week off from work next month?”

    After safely merging into the carpool lane, Raymond responded, “I am not quite sure. I believe we have our annual corporate meeting next month to evaluate the employees. I don’t think it’ll look good on your part if you’re not there to contribute.”

    “Che! That meeting is only for the top employees and I am currently only a junior executive.”

    “True, but I still wouldn’t take the risk,” Raymond wisely warned. “Why do you need the week off next month?”

    “Promise you won’t laugh at me?” Seeing Raymond agree, Tavia continued, “I’ve finally decided to go to China to find Zhao Wenzhuo.”

    “What? Tavia, you can’t be serious.” Raymond pondered ways to convince Tavia to reconsider and almost missed their exit.

    “I am. Ray, I know it’s only a silly school girl crush, but…”

    “Hold on, Tav,” Raymond quickly maneuvered his way through the other lanes to make it to their exit in time. Once they safely got onto the off ramp, Raymond turned to Tavia, “As you were saying?”

    Tavia quickly checked her reflection in the passenger mirror. She knew they were close to work and wanted to make sure she looked perfectly groomed. She then turned to Raymond and continued, “Have you ever felt that your life is a bit mundane and you feel like doing something a bit spontaneous just to feel as though you’re living life?”

    Raymond brushed a few strands of Tavia’s hair out of her forehead and answered, “Well, of course. Everyone does, but other people tend to find more practical ways to satisfy that desire for adventure.”

    “Like what?” Tavia crossed her arms across her chest. “I wouldn’t exactly call parachuting practical or motorcycle racing safe either;” as she referred to his more recent adventures.

    “You’re right. But they don’t require you to take a week off work during an important time.” He got out of the car and ran to the other side to open her door as she gathered their briefcases. “Tavia, people in the office suspect that you only got the job because of connections. I know you’re a very competent employee, and it frustrates me that there are some people in the office who would think otherwise.”

    Tavia sighed.

    “Tavia, my dad hired you based on your work ethics and experience. You went through the strict interview process and impressed the big guys, but not everyone believes that you were hired fairly.”

    Tavia exaggerated her sigh. “Aye Raymond. You know I am good at what I do. The big guys all know that I am capable. Who else do I have to prove myself to?”

    Raymond grabbed his briefcase from her and smiled. “I just don’t like to hear others talk behind your back when you’ve worked so hard. And taking a week off next month will only confirm their suspicions.”

    Tavia haughtily stuck her chin up, “Hmph! If I don’t care, why should you?”

    Raymond tried to reason, “Tavia.”

    She immediately covered her ears childishly, “I don’t want to hear it Raymond.”

    He pulled down her hands and resigned. “All right. I’ll see what I can do.”

    She winked at him, “That always seem to work with you.”

    “Why do I bother?” He wondered. “I cannot believe that there is a professional side to you considering our past interactions.”

    She allowed him to carry her briefcase to the building while she brushed her skirt. “How do I look?”

    He murmured, “Fine, I guess.”

    She smiled at him. “You should consider yourself lucky. Not everyone gets to see my goofy side.”

    “Yeah, yeah. I’m really lucky.” He replied sarcastically. He became serious again. “Hey Tavia, maybe you should reconsider taking a week off another time. That’ll spare me some anxiety.”

    Tavia smacked the back of his head. “Alright.”

    Tavia thanked Raymond profusely for his advice. While Raymond’s dad remained confident in Tavia’s marketing knowledge and skills, very few of his senior executives soon allowed the lesser employees within the business to influence their attitude towards Tavia. However, their doubts toward her vanished during the annual corporate meeting. Tavia was called in to prove herself to the top executives, and she displayed a remarkable capacity to handle more than her typical workload and much potential to excel in the business. Had she gone to China, she would have lost a powerful group of supporters.

    While Raymond drove her to the airport, he frequently looked at Tavia until she finally asked, “What is it Ray?”

    He tapped his fingers against the steering wheel and turned to her when they hit a stop light, “So tell me what your plans are in China?”

    “To find Zhao Wenzhuo and take a picture with him,” she replied honestly.

    “You’re serious about this?” Seeing her nod, he resumed, “What is it about him that makes you so…you know…loony about him?”

    Tavia snorted, “I can’t believe you used the word loony to describe me. I can’t help it if I have a crush on him. I think it’s because of his role in the Magnificent Healers.”

    “So typical,” muttered Raymond.

    Tavia pushed him. “Care to elaborate, Raymond?”

    Raymond smirked. “All of you women are the same. You easily fall for actors because of the characters they portray.”

    Tavia challenged him, “Hey at least we go for the personality. Unlike you men who fall for boobs and legs. I can’t believe that it’s my last day in the U.S. and you’re picking a fight with me. Don’t speak to me Raymond.” Tavia placed her headphones over her ears and turned on her discman.

    Raymond glanced in her direction and noticed that she was looking out the window. When he could no longer endure her silent treatment, he pulled her headphones off. “I don’t fall for boobs and legs.”

    That earned a giggle from Tavia. “Sorry for yelling at you Raymond. It’s just that you asked me why I like Zhao Wenzhuo and then you accuse me of being typical after I gave you an honest reply.”

    Raymond punched her playfully, “Forgiven.”

    When he dropped her off at the gate, she was already surrounded by her other friends.

    When it was his turn to hug her farewell, he whispered, “Take many pictures of that hunk for me. And you let me know who’s better looking, him or me.”

    Tavia laughed, “Raymond, you’re too full of yourself. Bye!”

    Immediately after Tavia’s flight departed, Raymond drove to the nearest Asian video rental store and checked out the entire set of Magnificent Healers.

    He put in the first disk and muttered, “Let’s see what’s so great about Zhao Wenzhuo. I don’t believe that I can’t compare to him.”

    He forced himself to watch the entire set over the weekend although he hated watching tv series. “At least that Alyssa Chia is hot and Gao Yuan Yuan too,” he thought, “Even if they don’t really have boobs and legs.” He chuckled when he remembered Tavia’s phrase. Despite devoting the entire weekend to the series, he did not understand how Tavia could fall for Zhao Wenzhuo’s character, “I still don’t see it. He’s just an ordinary guy with long hair.”

    After one week passed by, Tavia returned from her trip, exhausted yet very excited. She achieved her goal and took several shots with Zhao Wenzhuo and shared them with her friends who showed up at the airport. She revealed that she thoroughly researched Zhao Wenzhuo’s schedule before traveling to China to ensure that she would have many opportunities to interact with him. Her effort paid off, for she was able to spend the entire week with the man of her dreams.

    Ray wrapped an arm around Tavia while carrying her suit case, “Oh Tavia, you are still obsessed as ever. You have not stopped talking about mister sissy pants since you’ve stepped off the plane. So what happened between you two?”

    Tavia sighed disappointedly. “Ray, I also met his girlfriend and it’s obvious to the whole world that they’re in love. I don’t stand a chance unless they break up. That’s so unfortunate because he is much hotter in person.”

    Raymond winced at her remark. After finishing the series, Raymond thought that he was better than Zhao Wenzhuo in every way except for one. And he planned to fix that. “Well, now that you’ve got that out of the system, are you ready to return to work?”

    “Must I?”

    Raymond smiled at her. He could empathize, for work was not something he looked forward to. “By the way Tavia, I’ve decided to add some spice in our lives and signed us up for a ballroom course.”

    Tavia stopped walking and yanked Raymond’s collar so she could see him at eye level. “What did you just do?”

    Raymond gulped and repeated himself.

    Tavia pushed Raymond back slightly, “Raymond! You know I don’t dance. Why would you waste my time and money by enrolling me in a dance class?”

    One of Tavia’s friends, Nancy, who trailed behind them came in between the two to stop Tavia from hitting Raymond. “I’m sure he has a reason. Why don’t you listen to him?”

    Tavia glared at Raymond while impatiently waiting for his answer. Even though she was known among her friends to be the most-level headed person, when it came to her childhood friend Raymond, she was the most hot-headed person in his life. Her eyes threw silent curses in his direction.

    Raymond readjusted his collar as he quickly snuck a peak at himself in the mirrors surrounding one wall of the airport. “Well, since you spoke about being spontaneous awhile back, I thought it would be fun for the both of us to try something we are not good at. And wouldn’t it be wonderful to surprise everyone at the company semi-formal this year when we win the dancing award? Besides, it’s only a weekly commitment.”

    “Well, I suppose you’re right. But I’m warning you, if I see no improvement in myself after one month then I will quit.” She then smiled at him and immediately linked her arm around his. “Now, where are we going to eat to celebrate my return?”

    Much to Raymond’s relief, Tavia not only showed progress in the dance classes, she actually looked forward to each lesson. By the end of the second month, Tavia had signed Raymond and herself up for two classes each week.

    When she informed Raymond during lunchtime, he spilled his drink in shock, “Why didn’t you ask me first, Tav?”

    Surprised that he actually minded, Tavia nervously tucked her hair behind one ear, “Well, I thought that since the dance lessons were your idea and you were having such a blast in class, I really didn’t see any reason not to. I mean, you did say it would be cool if we won the dancing award this year.”

    Although he heard her explanation, he was too distracted by his thoughts to reply. His eyes looked past her as he was thinking to himself.

    She did not anticipate his reaction and was getting mildly irritated by his silence, “Well?” She crossed her arms and added defensively, “You started it. Don’t forget that you originally signed me up for the classes without my consent.”

    Tavia turned to her food and ate in silence; however, the food did not taste as good compared to before the discussion. She placed her fork down and looked at Raymond once again, “Fine, I’ll go to the lessons alone,” she quietly added, “I just thought it would be more fun to have you around. We always have a good time together in class, but if you’re busy or you do not wish to go then it’s fine.”

    Having no desire to eat, Tavia stood up to collect her tray; however, Raymond grabbed her arm and pulled her down. “I’ll go with you.” He knew the next few months would be tough with the additional dance classes in his schedule; however, spending time with her was worth it.

    She smiled brightly, “You mean it?”

    He returned her smile, “Have I ever lied to you?”

    She shook her head. It only dawned on her that Raymond had never broken any of his promises to her, and that thought made her uncomfortable. She knew he was notorious among their group of friends for being a flake but not when it came to her. The food tasted better again, but her mind was suddenly filled with foreign thoughts. Had he really always been there for her?

    Suddenly, Raymond’s cell phone rang. He muttered an apology to Tavia before he picked it up, “Hello! Raymond from Asian Marketing Corporation speaking.” He pointed to the phone while mouthing, “Important client. Gotta leave.”

    As he walked out of the cafeteria, Tavia observed him. Ever since the two joined the dance class, they had spent more time together and she began to notice certain details about him that she never fully bothered with. She had certainly always known that he was a member of the opposite sex, but she only began to notice his appeal more recently, especially when many female members of the dance class approached him…repeatedly and shamelessly. She shook her head as she thought to herself, ‘Tavia, get those ideas out of your head. He’s Raymond for goodness sake. But I wonder what he’s like in bed?’ Tavia smacked her head. “Darn it. There goes your appetite.”

    The company’s semi-formal was fast approaching, and Tavia and Raymond had less than one month left to practice their dance routine. After many dance lessons, the two had shown tremendous improvement; although they could not be compared to professionals, they were at the very least entertaining to observe. The two shared chemistry and exuded an aura which attracted a strong audience, even the dancers in their class occasionally stopped practicing to observe them.

    The women in the class desired to dance with the suave and handsome Raymond. Even though Tavia had known for a while that many of the women had a crush on him, she did not understand why that knowledge had began to affect her more recently. As much as she enjoyed participating in the dance class, there were days when she found the environment slightly unpleasant.

    So what if the number of women always outnumbered the number of men? It was the nature of most dance classes. However, that should not give those women any right to frequently seek Raymond out to practice with. At least, that was what Tavia had been thinking much more frequently. She was not like that when they first joined the dance classes. And while Raymond danced with the other women out of courtesy, Tavia always chose to sit to the side instead of accepting requests from other men to join them. She felt confused. She could not explain why she felt more elated when dancing with Raymond, and it scared her to realize that she looked forward to the classes to spend more time with him. How could she feel this way? And why was she thinking more about what it was like to kiss him? She heard he was great in bed as well and she could only wonder how great. What frightened her most was that she found none of this disgusting like the way she used to.

    On the evening of their last dance class before the semi-formal, Tavia impatiently waited for Raymond to pick her up. He was late once again. She inhaled and exhaled deeply as she recalled the numerous times he had been late in the past month. When the door bell rang, she jumped up. Irritated, she forced the door open and yelled, “Raymond Lam, you better have a good explanation.”

    Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Raymond murmured, “I’m sorry, Tav.”

    Concerned, she asked, “What’s wrong? Are you sick?” She pulled him in and felt his forehead. “It doesn’t feel hot to me. Are you sweating? Eww.” She shook her hand in an exaggerated attempt to get rid of his sweat.

    “I’m okay. Are you ready to go?” He held the door for her and motioned for her to exit.

    Instead, she remained rooted and demanded, “You better tell me why you are late because I am extremely pissed.”

    Raymond was taken back, but he knew he was in the wrong. “Alright. I promise to tell you after class.”

    “No. Now.”

    “This is actually embarrassing for me, so can we leave it for later?”

    Tavia glared at him. “Fine, after dance class it is.”

    The women in the dance class expressed disappointment upon learning that evening would be Raymond’s last class with them. On the other hand, Tavia was secretly glad even though she knew it was wrong, just wrong in every way to feel that way.

    After class was over, Raymond insisted that they go to the rotating restaurant, Equinox, for dessert. “It’s a beautiful, clear night. And I had a long day. So if you want to know why I’ve been late, you better agree to come.”

    “You don’t really give me much choice. I have to come considering the fact that you’re my chauffeur this evening.” But in fact, Tavia smiled slightly for she could not be upset at Raymond. He made her look good on the dance floor, and lately, she was always in a good mood after dancing…with him.

    Equinox was on the twenty fourth floor of a hotel. Being so high made one feel closer to the sky, and Tavia almost forgot the reason she was there as she admired the view of the city and the stars which shone gloriously. While Tavia was engrossed in the scenery, Raymond ordered their desserts.

    “Tavia, do you care for a glass of wine?”

    “Wine? Ray, you hardly drink. Is this a deep and dark secret you’re about to reveal?” Nodding her head enthusiastically, “I love dirty secrets.” Suddenly aware of the waiter’s presence, Tavia looked up and pretended as though the conversation never took place and ordered, “Two glasses of number 42 please.”

    “Perfect choice for your desserts. Your order will be out shortly.”

    After the waiter left, Tavia immediately turned her attention to Ray. “This better be a very deep, dark, and dirty secret or else I will not forgive you for being late this past month.”

    Times like that moment made Ray wish he didn’t like such a difficult woman; however, he knew she only behaved like so to him. As a matter of fact, he could guarantee that he knew her best and he cared for her deeply because he also felt most comfortable around her.

    “Do you know what those women in our dance class say about me?”

    ‘That you’re suave? That you’re handsome? That you’re a lady-killer?’ But she would not give him the satisfaction of feeding his ego, hence she opted for, “They actually talk about you?”

    He ran his hand through his hair as he attempted to look at her seductively. “Don’t act as if you don’t know. I’m highly desired by them.”

    “Puh-lease, Ray. Which young guy isn’t wanted by women in their mid-forties?”

    The food and wine arrived. Tavia reached over to take her first sip of wine.

    Ray sat up straighter and said more seriously, “They say that I dance better than Zhao Wenzhuo.”

    Tavia giggled. “Ray, be serious. What’s going on? You’ve always been punctual for everything. Why the sudden change in your behavior?”

    Raymond also took a sip of wine. “Well, this dark and dirty secret of mine has to do with Zhao Wenzhuo.”

    Tavia looked at Raymond, eyes wide opened. “How so?”

    “Promise me you will not overreact and make a big deal out of this, alright?”

    “Oh, this is already good. I like secrets.”

    Raymond knitted his eyebrows, “I’m serious, Tavia.”

    Her smile lessened as she realized Ray planned to reveal something important and close to him. She reached her hands across the table and rested them on his, “Whatever it is, Ray, you know you can count on me. Haven’t I always been there for you as well?” She smiled sincerely.

    He gulped. That was another reason why he loved her. Despite her immature attitude towards him, he knew she cared for him, through good times and bad. “I know how much you worship Zhao Wenzhuo and I tried to determine why. I saw the Magnificent Healers and I concluded that the only difference between him and me is his martial arts ability. So I’ve been taking tae kwon do, and the classes are in the same evenings as the dance classes, which explains why I have been late. Do you understand what I’m getting at?”

    It was his turn to hold her hands as he revealed, “Forgive me Tavia, but I can no longer think of you as simply a friend. Somewhere along our friendship, I discovered that I have fallen for you.”

    She did not pull her hand back. Rather, she smiled widely. “You did all of that for me?” She looked at him in awe. Speechless, she could only smile.

    Raymond held his breath. He could not fully read her reaction, “Do you feel the same way?”

    She laughed, “You’re no Zhao Wenzhuo, but he’s no Raymond Lam either. Ray, I…I’d be the biggest fool if I didn’t feel the same way. Of course, of course I do.” Looking at the desserts, she hinted, “Let’s pay for our desserts and leave.”

    He understood her intention and was pleasantly surprised. He drove her home to his place; it amazed him how much self restraint he had because the more he looked at her, the more he wanted her. He had waited for so long and to have her initiate the physical aspect of their relationship made it all the more difficult to practice self restraint.

    They barely made it through his door when Tavia threw herself at him. He was indeed an excellent kisser. “You know Ray, I heard a lot of things about you.”

    He was quick too. In no time, he had her completely naked and carried her to his bed. “And I heard many naughty things about you. I guess it’s too late to turn back.”

    She pulled him down and whispered, “Do you want to turn back?” After seeing his devious smile, she turned off the lights.

    The company semi-formal was grand as usual. Raymond and Tavia arrived together, looking well put together, hand in hand, laughing merrily. They danced together, surprising most company members as the two never volunteered to participate in the dance competition. The crowd applauded and cheered for them. Unfortunately, they did not win, for the couple who won also secretly took dance lessons except for a longer period of time. Neither Raymond nor Tavia was devastated for the winning couple was Raymond’s parents, who wanted to celebrate their upcoming thirtieth wedding anniversary with a dance hence the dance lessons.

    At the end of the night, Raymond and Tavia happily drove home to Tavia’s place as they enjoyed another passionate night with each other. And Tavia could not recall what she ever saw in Zhao Wenzhuo.
    if you have the time and enthusiasm, please join in on the new and fabulous wuxia rpg fic /rpg discussion. (<--- click here)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Eliar Swiftfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patricia n
    after many years of humiliating and pathetic attempts, i've come to realize that wit is not an acquired trait...you can't just practice and be good at it...you must be endowed with the gift in order to use it properly. so it's probably better to avoid embarrassing myself with lousy public attempts, which no one will recognize as wit.

    on the other hand, i should be glad that people like you exist. why don't you write more witty stories? it seems to come naturally to you. so i'll take the cheesy domain, you can take the witty one!

    with that said, i have another cheesy romantic comedy to post.
    Er, no, what I meant to say is that, since you knew that cheesy's not exactly good, why did you bother continuing with it? Why not try something that's more, er, different, unique and subtle?

    And I still write, I just prefer posting my stuff on my own site (which will be revived with a new server and a new domain name next week ) than here.
    Swifty, Writing
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  13. #13
    Senior Member patricia n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eliar Swiftfire
    Er, no, what I meant to say is that, since you knew that cheesy's not exactly good, why did you bother continuing with it?

    oh, for the most obvious reason...i'm naturally a cheesy person. plus, when i need to vent i write. other people surf, ski, play ball. it's just too bad my stories are cheesy love stories. plus, i have a tendency to live vicariously through stories...

    you're right, i should aim to be unique, but unfortunately i am your every day average girl...not proud of it but definitely nothing to be ashamed of. and plus, my cheesy stories will only make yours look significantly better...
    if you have the time and enthusiasm, please join in on the new and fabulous wuxia rpg fic /rpg discussion. (<--- click here)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Eliar Swiftfire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patricia n
    oh, for the most obvious reason...i'm naturally a cheesy person. plus, when i need to vent i write. other people surf, ski, play ball. it's just too bad my stories are cheesy love stories. plus, i have a tendency to live vicariously through stories...

    you're right, i should aim to be unique, but unfortunately i am your every day average girl...not proud of it but definitely nothing to be ashamed of. and plus, my cheesy stories will only make yours look significantly better...
    Nah, actually, I really look forward to you reinventing yourself.

    Just look at Johnnie To, the guy spent most of the 80s and 90s shooting comedies (Chow Yun Fat or Stephen Chow comedies), but in the end, he reinvented himself, instead of doing the stuff he thinks audience will like, he went to do stuff like The Mission, A Hero Never Dies, Running Out of Time (most of the cool cop thrillers he does with Lau Ching Wan in the late 90s are generally considered as classics of the decade)

    Actually, I used to write sappy love stories too, 5-6 years ago, when I was, um... 15? Ultimate Script and Snow Kiss were soap operas. But I just thought that I should write something I FEEL like writing, instead of doing stuff to please my audience. Ohohoho. So in the end, my style changed completely, and I redid Ultimate Script (turned into more of a thriller with a subtle romance subplot than a sappy romantic mush) and Snow Kiss (became a postmodernist style story than a Maison Ikkoku style rip-off).
    Swifty, Writing
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    Quote Originally Posted by patricia n View Post
    this is for any one who's a fanatic! you can probably identify with the lead.

    Obsessed Fan

    Staring dreamily at the poster of her favorite movie star, Tavia softly smiled to herself. Despite knowing so little about him, Tavia remained hopeful about their future. All of her friends laughed and mocked her when she declared that she was officially in love with Zhao Wenzhuo, and deep down inside, she knew that her obsession was silly. Afterall, he already had a two year old son and was seriously involved with an actress.

    Her door bell rang. She quickly glanced at the clock and sighed. It was another Monday morning, another week at work. She gathered her briefcase and blew a kiss at the poster. “I’ll be back, Wenzhuo.”

    Standing outside, Raymond checked his reflection against Tavia’s window. Dressed in an obviously expensive and high quality suit, he muttered to himself, “Perfect.” He wouldn’t want to look anything less than his best, especially for her.

    Tavia opened the door, and Raymond quickly took her briefcase for her and carried it to his car parked in front of her driveway. Ever since Raymond’s father hired Tavia, the two have carpooled together to go to work. Raymond would not have it any other way; afterall, he insisted that it cut down on the driving time when they used the carpool lane.

    While in the car, Tavia hesitantly asked, “Raymond, do you think your father will let me take one week off from work next month?”

    After safely merging into the carpool lane, Raymond responded, “I am not quite sure. I believe we have our annual corporate meeting next month to evaluate the employees. I don’t think it’ll look good on your part if you’re not there to contribute.”

    “Che! That meeting is only for the top employees and I am currently only a junior executive.”

    “True, but I still wouldn’t take the risk,” Raymond wisely warned. “Why do you need the week off next month?”

    “Promise you won’t laugh at me?” Seeing Raymond agree, Tavia continued, “I’ve finally decided to go to China to find Zhao Wenzhuo.”

    “What? Tavia, you can’t be serious.” Raymond pondered ways to convince Tavia to reconsider and almost missed their exit.

    “I am. Ray, I know it’s only a silly school girl crush, but…”

    “Hold on, Tav,” Raymond quickly maneuvered his way through the other lanes to make it to their exit in time. Once they safely got onto the off ramp, Raymond turned to Tavia, “As you were saying?”

    Tavia quickly checked her reflection in the passenger mirror. She knew they were close to work and wanted to make sure she looked perfectly groomed. She then turned to Raymond and continued, “Have you ever felt that your life is a bit mundane and you feel like doing something a bit spontaneous just to feel as though you’re living life?”

    Raymond brushed a few strands of Tavia’s hair out of her forehead and answered, “Well, of course. Everyone does, but other people tend to find more practical ways to satisfy that desire for adventure.”

    “Like what?” Tavia crossed her arms across her chest. “I wouldn’t exactly call parachuting practical or motorcycle racing safe either;” as she referred to his more recent adventures.

    “You’re right. But they don’t require you to take a week off work during an important time.” He got out of the car and ran to the other side to open her door as she gathered their briefcases. “Tavia, people in the office suspect that you only got the job because of connections. I know you’re a very competent employee, and it frustrates me that there are some people in the office who would think otherwise.”

    Tavia sighed.

    “Tavia, my dad hired you based on your work ethics and experience. You went through the strict interview process and impressed the big guys, but not everyone believes that you were hired fairly.”

    Tavia exaggerated her sigh. “Aye Raymond. You know I am good at what I do. The big guys all know that I am capable. Who else do I have to prove myself to?”

    Raymond grabbed his briefcase from her and smiled. “I just don’t like to hear others talk behind your back when you’ve worked so hard. And taking a week off next month will only confirm their suspicions.”

    Tavia haughtily stuck her chin up, “Hmph! If I don’t care, why should you?”

    Raymond tried to reason, “Tavia.”

    She immediately covered her ears childishly, “I don’t want to hear it Raymond.”

    He pulled down her hands and resigned. “All right. I’ll see what I can do.”

    She winked at him, “That always seem to work with you.”

    “Why do I bother?” He wondered. “I cannot believe that there is a professional side to you considering our past interactions.”

    She allowed him to carry her briefcase to the building while she brushed her skirt. “How do I look?”

    He murmured, “Fine, I guess.”

    She smiled at him. “You should consider yourself lucky. Not everyone gets to see my goofy side.”

    “Yeah, yeah. I’m really lucky.” He replied sarcastically. He became serious again. “Hey Tavia, maybe you should reconsider taking a week off another time. That’ll spare me some anxiety.”

    Tavia smacked the back of his head. “Alright.”

    Tavia thanked Raymond profusely for his advice. While Raymond’s dad remained confident in Tavia’s marketing knowledge and skills, very few of his senior executives soon allowed the lesser employees within the business to influence their attitude towards Tavia. However, their doubts toward her vanished during the annual corporate meeting. Tavia was called in to prove herself to the top executives, and she displayed a remarkable capacity to handle more than her typical workload and much potential to excel in the business. Had she gone to China, she would have lost a powerful group of supporters.

    While Raymond drove her to the airport, he frequently looked at Tavia until she finally asked, “What is it Ray?”

    He tapped his fingers against the steering wheel and turned to her when they hit a stop light, “So tell me what your plans are in China?”

    “To find Zhao Wenzhuo and take a picture with him,” she replied honestly.

    “You’re serious about this?” Seeing her nod, he resumed, “What is it about him that makes you so…you know…loony about him?”

    Tavia snorted, “I can’t believe you used the word loony to describe me. I can’t help it if I have a crush on him. I think it’s because of his role in the Magnificent Healers.”

    “So typical,” muttered Raymond.

    Tavia pushed him. “Care to elaborate, Raymond?”

    Raymond smirked. “All of you women are the same. You easily fall for actors because of the characters they portray.”

    Tavia challenged him, “Hey at least we go for the personality. Unlike you men who fall for boobs and legs. I can’t believe that it’s my last day in the U.S. and you’re picking a fight with me. Don’t speak to me Raymond.” Tavia placed her headphones over her ears and turned on her discman.

    Raymond glanced in her direction and noticed that she was looking out the window. When he could no longer endure her silent treatment, he pulled her headphones off. “I don’t fall for boobs and legs.”

    That earned a giggle from Tavia. “Sorry for yelling at you Raymond. It’s just that you asked me why I like Zhao Wenzhuo and then you accuse me of being typical after I gave you an honest reply.”

    Raymond punched her playfully, “Forgiven.”

    When he dropped her off at the gate, she was already surrounded by her other friends.

    When it was his turn to hug her farewell, he whispered, “Take many pictures of that hunk for me. And you let me know who’s better looking, him or me.”

    Tavia laughed, “Raymond, you’re too full of yourself. Bye!”

    Immediately after Tavia’s flight departed, Raymond drove to the nearest Asian video rental store and checked out the entire set of Magnificent Healers.

    He put in the first disk and muttered, “Let’s see what’s so great about Zhao Wenzhuo. I don’t believe that I can’t compare to him.”

    He forced himself to watch the entire set over the weekend although he hated watching tv series. “At least that Alyssa Chia is hot and Gao Yuan Yuan too,” he thought, “Even if they don’t really have boobs and legs.” He chuckled when he remembered Tavia’s phrase. Despite devoting the entire weekend to the series, he did not understand how Tavia could fall for Zhao Wenzhuo’s character, “I still don’t see it. He’s just an ordinary guy with long hair.”

    After one week passed by, Tavia returned from her trip, exhausted yet very excited. She achieved her goal and took several shots with Zhao Wenzhuo and shared them with her friends who showed up at the airport. She revealed that she thoroughly researched Zhao Wenzhuo’s schedule before traveling to China to ensure that she would have many opportunities to interact with him. Her effort paid off, for she was able to spend the entire week with the man of her dreams.

    Ray wrapped an arm around Tavia while carrying her suit case, “Oh Tavia, you are still obsessed as ever. You have not stopped talking about mister sissy pants since you’ve stepped off the plane. So what happened between you two?”

    Tavia sighed disappointedly. “Ray, I also met his girlfriend and it’s obvious to the whole world that they’re in love. I don’t stand a chance unless they break up. That’s so unfortunate because he is much hotter in person.”

    Raymond winced at her remark. After finishing the series, Raymond thought that he was better than Zhao Wenzhuo in every way except for one. And he planned to fix that. “Well, now that you’ve got that out of the system, are you ready to return to work?”

    “Must I?”

    Raymond smiled at her. He could empathize, for work was not something he looked forward to. “By the way Tavia, I’ve decided to add some spice in our lives and signed us up for a ballroom course.”

    Tavia stopped walking and yanked Raymond’s collar so she could see him at eye level. “What did you just do?”

    Raymond gulped and repeated himself.

    Tavia pushed Raymond back slightly, “Raymond! You know I don’t dance. Why would you waste my time and money by enrolling me in a dance class?”

    One of Tavia’s friends, Nancy, who trailed behind them came in between the two to stop Tavia from hitting Raymond. “I’m sure he has a reason. Why don’t you listen to him?”

    Tavia glared at Raymond while impatiently waiting for his answer. Even though she was known among her friends to be the most-level headed person, when it came to her childhood friend Raymond, she was the most hot-headed person in his life. Her eyes threw silent curses in his direction.

    Raymond readjusted his collar as he quickly snuck a peak at himself in the mirrors surrounding one wall of the airport. “Well, since you spoke about being spontaneous awhile back, I thought it would be fun for the both of us to try something we are not good at. And wouldn’t it be wonderful to surprise everyone at the company semi-formal this year when we win the dancing award? Besides, it’s only a weekly commitment.”

    “Well, I suppose you’re right. But I’m warning you, if I see no improvement in myself after one month then I will quit.” She then smiled at him and immediately linked her arm around his. “Now, where are we going to eat to celebrate my return?”

    Much to Raymond’s relief, Tavia not only showed progress in the dance classes, she actually looked forward to each lesson. By the end of the second month, Tavia had signed Raymond and herself up for two classes each week.

    When she informed Raymond during lunchtime, he spilled his drink in shock, “Why didn’t you ask me first, Tav?”

    Surprised that he actually minded, Tavia nervously tucked her hair behind one ear, “Well, I thought that since the dance lessons were your idea and you were having such a blast in class, I really didn’t see any reason not to. I mean, you did say it would be cool if we won the dancing award this year.”

    Although he heard her explanation, he was too distracted by his thoughts to reply. His eyes looked past her as he was thinking to himself.

    She did not anticipate his reaction and was getting mildly irritated by his silence, “Well?” She crossed her arms and added defensively, “You started it. Don’t forget that you originally signed me up for the classes without my consent.”

    Tavia turned to her food and ate in silence; however, the food did not taste as good compared to before the discussion. She placed her fork down and looked at Raymond once again, “Fine, I’ll go to the lessons alone,” she quietly added, “I just thought it would be more fun to have you around. We always have a good time together in class, but if you’re busy or you do not wish to go then it’s fine.”

    Having no desire to eat, Tavia stood up to collect her tray; however, Raymond grabbed her arm and pulled her down. “I’ll go with you.” He knew the next few months would be tough with the additional dance classes in his schedule; however, spending time with her was worth it.

    She smiled brightly, “You mean it?”

    He returned her smile, “Have I ever lied to you?”

    She shook her head. It only dawned on her that Raymond had never broken any of his promises to her, and that thought made her uncomfortable. She knew he was notorious among their group of friends for being a flake but not when it came to her. The food tasted better again, but her mind was suddenly filled with foreign thoughts. Had he really always been there for her?

    Suddenly, Raymond’s cell phone rang. He muttered an apology to Tavia before he picked it up, “Hello! Raymond from Asian Marketing Corporation speaking.” He pointed to the phone while mouthing, “Important client. Gotta leave.”

    As he walked out of the cafeteria, Tavia observed him. Ever since the two joined the dance class, they had spent more time together and she began to notice certain details about him that she never fully bothered with. She had certainly always known that he was a member of the opposite sex, but she only began to notice his appeal more recently, especially when many female members of the dance class approached him…repeatedly and shamelessly. She shook her head as she thought to herself, ‘Tavia, get those ideas out of your head. He’s Raymond for goodness sake. But I wonder what he’s like in bed?’ Tavia smacked her head. “Darn it. There goes your appetite.”

    The company’s semi-formal was fast approaching, and Tavia and Raymond had less than one month left to practice their dance routine. After many dance lessons, the two had shown tremendous improvement; although they could not be compared to professionals, they were at the very least entertaining to observe. The two shared chemistry and exuded an aura which attracted a strong audience, even the dancers in their class occasionally stopped practicing to observe them.

    The women in the class desired to dance with the suave and handsome Raymond. Even though Tavia had known for a while that many of the women had a crush on him, she did not understand why that knowledge had began to affect her more recently. As much as she enjoyed participating in the dance class, there were days when she found the environment slightly unpleasant.

    So what if the number of women always outnumbered the number of men? It was the nature of most dance classes. However, that should not give those women any right to frequently seek Raymond out to practice with. At least, that was what Tavia had been thinking much more frequently. She was not like that when they first joined the dance classes. And while Raymond danced with the other women out of courtesy, Tavia always chose to sit to the side instead of accepting requests from other men to join them. She felt confused. She could not explain why she felt more elated when dancing with Raymond, and it scared her to realize that she looked forward to the classes to spend more time with him. How could she feel this way? And why was she thinking more about what it was like to kiss him? She heard he was great in bed as well and she could only wonder how great. What frightened her most was that she found none of this disgusting like the way she used to.

    On the evening of their last dance class before the semi-formal, Tavia impatiently waited for Raymond to pick her up. He was late once again. She inhaled and exhaled deeply as she recalled the numerous times he had been late in the past month. When the door bell rang, she jumped up. Irritated, she forced the door open and yelled, “Raymond Lam, you better have a good explanation.”

    Wiping the sweat off his forehead, Raymond murmured, “I’m sorry, Tav.”

    Concerned, she asked, “What’s wrong? Are you sick?” She pulled him in and felt his forehead. “It doesn’t feel hot to me. Are you sweating? Eww.” She shook her hand in an exaggerated attempt to get rid of his sweat.

    “I’m okay. Are you ready to go?” He held the door for her and motioned for her to exit.

    Instead, she remained rooted and demanded, “You better tell me why you are late because I am extremely pissed.”

    Raymond was taken back, but he knew he was in the wrong. “Alright. I promise to tell you after class.”

    “No. Now.”

    “This is actually embarrassing for me, so can we leave it for later?”

    Tavia glared at him. “Fine, after dance class it is.”

    The women in the dance class expressed disappointment upon learning that evening would be Raymond’s last class with them. On the other hand, Tavia was secretly glad even though she knew it was wrong, just wrong in every way to feel that way.

    After class was over, Raymond insisted that they go to the rotating restaurant, Equinox, for dessert. “It’s a beautiful, clear night. And I had a long day. So if you want to know why I’ve been late, you better agree to come.”

    “You don’t really give me much choice. I have to come considering the fact that you’re my chauffeur this evening.” But in fact, Tavia smiled slightly for she could not be upset at Raymond. He made her look good on the dance floor, and lately, she was always in a good mood after dancing…with him.

    Equinox was on the twenty fourth floor of a hotel. Being so high made one feel closer to the sky, and Tavia almost forgot the reason she was there as she admired the view of the city and the stars which shone gloriously. While Tavia was engrossed in the scenery, Raymond ordered their desserts.

    “Tavia, do you care for a glass of wine?”

    “Wine? Ray, you hardly drink. Is this a deep and dark secret you’re about to reveal?” Nodding her head enthusiastically, “I love dirty secrets.” Suddenly aware of the waiter’s presence, Tavia looked up and pretended as though the conversation never took place and ordered, “Two glasses of number 42 please.”

    “Perfect choice for your desserts. Your order will be out shortly.”

    After the waiter left, Tavia immediately turned her attention to Ray. “This better be a very deep, dark, and dirty secret or else I will not forgive you for being late this past month.”

    Times like that moment made Ray wish he didn’t like such a difficult woman; however, he knew she only behaved like so to him. As a matter of fact, he could guarantee that he knew her best and he cared for her deeply because he also felt most comfortable around her.

    “Do you know what those women in our dance class say about me?”

    ‘That you’re suave? That you’re handsome? That you’re a lady-killer?’ But she would not give him the satisfaction of feeding his ego, hence she opted for, “They actually talk about you?”

    He ran his hand through his hair as he attempted to look at her seductively. “Don’t act as if you don’t know. I’m highly desired by them.”

    “Puh-lease, Ray. Which young guy isn’t wanted by women in their mid-forties?”

    The food and wine arrived. Tavia reached over to take her first sip of wine.

    Ray sat up straighter and said more seriously, “They say that I dance better than Zhao Wenzhuo.”

    Tavia giggled. “Ray, be serious. What’s going on? You’ve always been punctual for everything. Why the sudden change in your behavior?”

    Raymond also took a sip of wine. “Well, this dark and dirty secret of mine has to do with Zhao Wenzhuo.”

    Tavia looked at Raymond, eyes wide opened. “How so?”

    “Promise me you will not overreact and make a big deal out of this, alright?”

    “Oh, this is already good. I like secrets.”

    Raymond knitted his eyebrows, “I’m serious, Tavia.”

    Her smile lessened as she realized Ray planned to reveal something important and close to him. She reached her hands across the table and rested them on his, “Whatever it is, Ray, you know you can count on me. Haven’t I always been there for you as well?” She smiled sincerely.

    He gulped. That was another reason why he loved her. Despite her immature attitude towards him, he knew she cared for him, through good times and bad. “I know how much you worship Zhao Wenzhuo and I tried to determine why. I saw the Magnificent Healers and I concluded that the only difference between him and me is his martial arts ability. So I’ve been taking tae kwon do, and the classes are in the same evenings as the dance classes, which explains why I have been late. Do you understand what I’m getting at?”

    It was his turn to hold her hands as he revealed, “Forgive me Tavia, but I can no longer think of you as simply a friend. Somewhere along our friendship, I discovered that I have fallen for you.”

    She did not pull her hand back. Rather, she smiled widely. “You did all of that for me?” She looked at him in awe. Speechless, she could only smile.

    Raymond held his breath. He could not fully read her reaction, “Do you feel the same way?”

    She laughed, “You’re no Zhao Wenzhuo, but he’s no Raymond Lam either. Ray, I…I’d be the biggest fool if I didn’t feel the same way. Of course, of course I do.” Looking at the desserts, she hinted, “Let’s pay for our desserts and leave.”

    He understood her intention and was pleasantly surprised. He drove her home to his place; it amazed him how much self restraint he had because the more he looked at her, the more he wanted her. He had waited for so long and to have her initiate the physical aspect of their relationship made it all the more difficult to practice self restraint.

    They barely made it through his door when Tavia threw herself at him. He was indeed an excellent kisser. “You know Ray, I heard a lot of things about you.”

    He was quick too. In no time, he had her completely naked and carried her to his bed. “And I heard many naughty things about you. I guess it’s too late to turn back.”

    She pulled him down and whispered, “Do you want to turn back?” After seeing his devious smile, she turned off the lights.

    The company semi-formal was grand as usual. Raymond and Tavia arrived together, looking well put together, hand in hand, laughing merrily. They danced together, surprising most company members as the two never volunteered to participate in the dance competition. The crowd applauded and cheered for them. Unfortunately, they did not win, for the couple who won also secretly took dance lessons except for a longer period of time. Neither Raymond nor Tavia was devastated for the winning couple was Raymond’s parents, who wanted to celebrate their upcoming thirtieth wedding anniversary with a dance hence the dance lessons.

    At the end of the night, Raymond and Tavia happily drove home to Tavia’s place as they enjoyed another passionate night with each other. And Tavia could not recall what she ever saw in Zhao Wenzhuo.


    omg patricia n..ive finally found ur unfinish story here im sooo happy..finally found out they are together awwwwww

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