Out the window, bunches of Chinese roses were in bloom in the back garden of The Golden Lounge.
The window was open, so the evening breeze carried a faint scent of flowers in.
He Jichen started at the yellow roses without blinking for a long time until his eyes felt sore. Then he fluttered his eyelashes softly and withdrew his gaze. He shot a glance towards the restroom then turned and walked away.
After just two steps, He Jichen stopped. He wanted to turn back, but in the end, he didn't. A moment later, he raised his feet again.
He Jichen didn't head back to the private room but took the elevator down to the first floor of The Golden Lounge.
As he emerged from the elevator, the lobby manager of The Golden Lounge saw him and made his way over to him. "Mr. He, you're leaving?"
He Jichen glanced at the lobby manager but didn't reply. He walked out the front entrance with a sullen look on his face.
The lobby manager followed He Jichen with a polite and respectful smile. "Mr. He, you're leaving after Mr. Chen dropped you off? Will Mr. Chen pick you up or shall I arrange for someone to drive you?"
Stepping out from the revolving doors of The Golden Lounge, He Jichen was met with the cold evening breeze which scattered the dullness in his heart. He pulled out a cigarette from his pocket, but just as he was about to light it up, the lobby manager already reached over to him with his own lighter in hand.
He Jichen glanced at it and drew in closer with the cigarette between his lips. He held it in his lips for a while then blew out a cloud of smoke. After the smoke completely dissipated, He Jichen then replied, "Get Chen Bai to drive me back."
"I'll call Mr. Chen now," replied the manager in the lobby.
He Jichen nodded and silently brought the cigarette to the corner of his lips.
After the lobby manager hung up the phone, he reported, "Mr. Chen said he's nearby. He'll be arriving in ten minutes or so."
With the cigarette in He Jichen's mouth, he mumbled "Mhm."
"Mr. He, do you want to come inside and sit for a while first? I'll get you a cup of tea or maybe coffee?"
After a long time passed, He Jichen finally waved his hands. "No thanks."
After a pause, he glanced over at the lobby manager standing at the entrance beside him then added, "Go do your work."
"Alright, Mr. He. If there's anything you need, call me at any time."
He Jichen didn't reply.
After the lobby manager headed back to the main hall of The Golden Lounge, He Jichen stood at the main doors for a while then walked over to the sidewalk.
He found a random lamppost, leaned against it and reached for another cigarette.
Just as this cigarette burned till the tip, Chen Bai arrived.
He Jichen didn't wait for Chen Bai to help him open the door but pulled it open himself and stepped in.
After driving about a hundred meters down the empty road, He Jichen said, "Have you received the contract she mailed back?"
Chen Bai was stunned for a moment before he realized that the "she" He Jichen was referring to was Ji Yi, and the contract was the one signing Ji Yi over to Huan Ying Entertainment. Then he hurriedly replied, "I received it before I left the office in the evening."
The car fell silent again.
Chen Bai drove some distance ahead. When he reached a red light, he glanced back at He Jichen through the rearview mirror. He hesitated for a moment and asked, "Mr. He, would you like to read the contract over one more time?"