Published at 27th of December 2018 05:37:45 PM
Chapter 25

October 29, 20XX (Monday)

Galleria d'arte- Milan

"This is my agent, Elias Micheal . " The said man bowed theatrically at the two women in front of him .

Mei Li promptly introduce Ru Shi, the woman that was clinging on the painters left arm even when the actress was taller than her . "This is an acquaintance-" "Friend, Li Ru Shi . " The actress interrupted while letting go of Mei Li's arm and offering her right hand to shake hands with Elias .

The American-Italian, 6 foot 3 inches man blinked startled with surprise . Mei Li had never brought friends or anyone before the gallery opens . He knew how secretive she was about her identity, he was the one she contacted with her paintings after all .

Mei Li sat down on the empty table with scattered sketches of her painting's placement were planned, ignoring how Ru Shi followed after her like a puppy with curious eyes glancing at every piece of paper on the table .

Elias, knowing his artist's sometimes aloof attitude, quickly explained the needed things . Ru Shi only listened in rapt attention as Mei Li changed some aspects of the interior design, the flow of visitors, and the order of her paintings .

An hour had passed when Ru Shi grew bored of listening and decided to bother her husband so she left after bidding Mei Li and Elias goodbye, which was received by a quick nod from Mei Li who was still staring seriously at a certain piece of paper that had the price list of her paintings .

After another hour passed, Mei Li left Elias to manage the workers that had arrived . She opened a wide door that was hidden from the busy gallery filled with people . Her eyes instantly zoomed to the large wooden easel with a blank 36 X 48 canvass while her hands twitched with anticipation . She ignored the large window that had the most romantic view of the sun kissing the horizon making the tall mountains' silhouette cover into darkness the bright lights of the city that seemed to sparkle like stars .

Landing on Milan yesterday, the first thing she did was call Elias to arrange her a room near the gallery for her to spend her time painting so she could lose herself away from the pain her recent heartbreak has brought her .

Quickly picking up the brush, she sat on a tall chair then piped brown and white color from the small tube and then entered a state where nothing else matters but her hand moving, her eyes started to space out into a larger state looking at small details, her mind thinking nothing but the picture that was at the tip of her brush, and her lips slowly turned up into a small subtle smile . This is Wu Mei Li without anything to tie her down in her raw unfiltered self .

Colours were mixed into her palette, shades of browns that made skin, shades of blacks that made hair, shades of reds that made lips, shades of blues that made a person's shirt . Only when she stepped back to look at the finished piece after hours of continuous work did she notice the picture on her painting . No, not just a picture, but a person's image . She blinked repeatedly almost as if she could not believe the finished piece .

Unconsciously, She took her phone and dialled a person's number for a call . Upon hearing the dial tone stop, she shifted nervously .

"What?!" His voice was harsh and annoyance seeped through the phone's audio like a raging tsunami into Mei Li's ears .

"…Hey," Her voice, in comparison, was meek and shy . She had not expected him to answer rigidly to her sudden call .

Meanwhile, in Beijing, Yang, who was seated at the centre of the long conference table as he waited for his employees to arrive, jumped straight into his feet, standing in surprise when he heard the female voice . He had answered the phone without looking at the caller's ID name since he was not expecting anyone to call him on his business hours especially at this hour when he was doing overtime . Everyone knew not to bother with him when he was his company .

"Mei Li?" He briefly took his phone away from his ears to read the caller's name .

Scrambling to sit straight, he asked with a deep voice that seemed to be unused, "Did you need something?"

"No…" There was a pause and Yang's fake smile turned serious . He could just imagine the way the female caller shift nervously .

Why did she call him, anyway? Her eyes peek at the painting in front of her .

"I was . . I was just…" "What are you doing?" Yang interrupted her, sparing her from all her embarrassing thought in trying to find an excuse .

"…Painting . "

"Aren't you preparing for your gallery?"

"Already done… I just wanted to paint . "

"So how is-" "CEO Zhao?" an employee knocked at the door interrupted Yang's question .

Yang immediately answered raising his voice a little, "Enter . "

Watching the employees enter the room, Yang listened to Mei Li's voice on the other side of the line, "I'm sorry . Are you doing something important?"

Yang signalled the employee to sit before signalling them to wait for a minute with his pointer finger positioning into a number one sign . He turned his rotating chair so his employee could only see the back of the chair and said, "I'm starting a brief meeting before we end for the night . I'll call you later okay?"

"No, You have to rest . I was just…" ' . . . thinking of you . ' the last three words would not leave her mouth especially when she realized what she was going to say halfway .

"Please just wait for an hour, alright?" Yang's soft voice made all his employee glance towards each other in confusion . They had never heard their CEO's voice this calm and gentle . His voice always had a way of making them scared and send a shiver to their spine .

"…Alright . " Mei Li hung up making Yang turn to his employees with the same smile that usually made his employees scared . His employees thought they were probably just imagining his soft voice before .

At the same time, Mei Li pocketed her cellphone in her jean's back pocket . She stood up in a daze, she had just initiated a call to the man who she didn't personally know unless you count the stories she had heard from his family and friends .

She had just done something embarrassing, damn it! Her hands slap into her face, covering the red cheeks that flared like a forest fire . She peeked from the gap of her fingers and glared at the painting in front of her- a portrait of Yang she remembered to closely resemble the serious face he made on their first meeting at the cafe .

Mei Li left the room hurrying to the hotel, ignoring the frantic call of her agent . She was not excited for the call, she just wanted nobody to see her embarrass . Yes, not excited at all .

Elias' eyebrow rose up and he thought with a mental snort, 'That's the first time I saw her grin like an idiot . '

Only after Elias discovered the wonderfully made portrait of a man did he thought again, 'I see… so she isn't just grinning like an idiot but an idiot in love . '