Four Seasons Hotel
In a presidential suite of a prestigious hotel owned by the Cho Corporation, Daniel Cho had been trying to coax Samantha Kim to calm down for the past five minutes.
"Come! I swear I won't hurt you." Samantha yelled, glaring at the striking man in front of her.
Daniel used a pillow to hide his face while he ran around their suite. "Will you chill, honey?"
"Chill? Are you for real, Mr. Cho? Get back in here, you—" She gritted her teeth as she continued to slap the CEO of Cho Corporation on the back furiously like a madman.
"I'm sorry, okay? It was an accide—AAAH!" He shrieked while trying to get away from the crazy unicorn. Unfortunately, his escape failed when she caught his hair. For a second, he was worried that he would lose his luscious hair.
"Accident my ass! If you weren't such a horny bastard, this wouldn't have happened!" She pinned him down on the bed, her eyes blazing red.
For most people, Daniel Cho was a respected businessman.
But in this room...
Who would have known that this gorgeous man, a woman's dream lover, was a pitiful husband?
How in the world did it come to this? It all started several months ago...
La Maison Restaurant
Wearing a white V-neck shirt, tattered jeans, and white air force shoes, Samantha sat by the window table while she listened to her best friend Hannah's nagging. The latter had been persuading her to throw a party for her birthday. Hannah thought that her best friend was way too dull not to celebrate it.
"C'mon, S! Why don't you enjoy your 25th birthday and meet some new people? It will do you good!" Hannah beamed at her best friend.
"Why does it matter if I have a party or not? We can just... eat out, you know? Why go through all the hassle?" Samantha shrugged as she casually watched the traffic outside the window.
"Don't be so indifferent! You're still young. You should have fun! And besides, I met some new friends and one of them is pretty hot. I can hook you up! What do you think?"
Samantha turned her head, seeing Hannah smell the aroma of her tea before taking a sip. "Does he have abs?" She raised an eyebrow and chuckled, taking her mug of warm cocoa from the table and nursed it in her hands.
"Duh! He even has big feet!"
Samantha almost spat her drink out when she heard the comment. No matter how much she knew about her best friend, she still never ceased to surprise her.
Hannah continued nonchalantly, "You know what they say, 'A man who has big feet has big meat—"
"Oh my gosh!" Samantha guffawed and threw a crumpled tissue at her, "You're shameless, Han!"
"What? I'm just sayin'!" The two of them laughed a bit more.
"Anyway, you already know that I'm dating Andrew. Why would I need to meet new guys?"
Hannah rolled her eyes and snorted. "Oh, please. That playboy! For all I know, he's in some skank's bed right now. Why don't you just dump him already?"
"You really don't like him huh?" Samantha chuckled.
"Ugh! What's there to like? Okay, he's hot... sure. But he's an asshole, okay? Sure, he also has a nice ass... but still!" She crossed her arms in front of her chest as Samantha laughed at her remarks. "What's more... He's been trying to get in your pants but you're not giving it to him. He acts all innocent in front of you but the moment you turn your back, he plays around with some other woman. I mean... What's the point of being together then?"
Samantha propped her elbow on the table and lazily supported her chin with her hand. "Well, he's been nice to me. He hasn't treated me badly. Besides, it's not like I'm not using him for connections too. It's a win-win situation."
Andrew courted her for a year and Samantha reluctantly agreed to be his girlfriend. Furthermore, the closest intimacy he got from her was second base and she never planned for them to go beyond that.
Hannah made a face, unconvinced with her reasoning. "Really? That's it?"
"As long as I don't catch him or he doesn't do it in front of me, I can still handle it." Samantha smiled.
Hannah let out a sigh. "I really don't get you. It's not like you love him. And again, he's an ass... I really don't see the point."
Ignoring further comments, Samantha checked her phone. "Enough of that already. Don't you have a date?"
Hannah's eyes grew wide. "Oh, crap! I'm late!" She frantically stood up, fixed her clothes, and posed—flaunting her blue bodycon dress. She had always been fashionable ever since they were young. "How do I look?"
"Like a supermodel!" Samantha smiled. "Is this a new guy?"
"Uh-huh. He's the one I met two days ago at the concert. He's only here for a month."
"What is it this time?"
Hannah's a free spirit; she liked dating guys for fun. She always found different qualities that piqued her interest in every guy she meets. Sometimes it's the scent, his built, the way he dresses or his hobbies. "His accent." She winked. "Oh bloody hell, he's from England. Do you know how sexy he sounds?"
Samantha chortled, amused by Hannah's poor English accent. "Okay, you win! Go, have fun!"
"Thanks. Bye, S!" Hannah kissed Samantha's cheek and left.
Samantha watched her best friend leave the restaurant and get inside of her Red Audi S5 Cabriolet. They had known each other since they were in their diapers. Their moms were high school classmates and good friends hence why the two grew up together.
Samantha Kim, on the other hand, liked to be low-profile. The Kim family owned a multibillion-dollar company: Kimsun Electronics. But despite being hella rich, their family didn't like showing off unnecessarily.
In middle school, she discovered that a lot of her so-called "friends" were very superficial. They were only nice to her because of her family's wealth. She had to transfer schools later and Hannah, of course, transferred with her.
She avoided being the center of attention; she didn't wear flashy clothes and she kept to herself most of the time. Although she tried not to attract attention, her beauty always stood out so she had suitors while growing up. With long, wavy dark brown hair, sweet smile, and pretty dark brown eyes, she was a looker.
Her trance was interrupted by a text message and she sighed when she read it.
[Alexander: Sam, need your signature. Are you dropping by the office?]
[Alexander: Or... I can come to you. Where are you?]
She stared at the texts as she thought of her response. 'It's 4:50 p.m. Employees are going to leave work soon. It should be okay,' she thought.
[Samantha: That's okay. I'm on my way.]
She then called her assistant who answered on the first ring.
"Chen, I'm on my way there."
"Understood. I'll wait for you in the underground parking."
"Oh, no... I didn't bring my car. So I'm coming in through the front entrance. Clear out the lobby for me, please," Samantha instructed as she got up and headed out of the restaurant.
Meanwhile, a black Maybach stopped in front of La Maison restaurant.
"President, we're here," Assistant Ahn announced.
Daniel Cho, CEO of Cho Corporation—owning several businesses across the state and properties off-shore—an impressive bachelor who's popular with the ladies in Mayne City, Esmea. He sat in the backseat with his eyes closed. His perfectly combed black hair made him look remarkably neat and orderly.
"Mm." He slowly opened his eyes. He had been busy all week closing a project and he hadn't rested properly yet his fierce black eyes didn't lessen his character.
Clad in a navy blue suit, he got off the car and strode towards the restaurant with Assistant Ahn walking in front of him and opening the door for him. At 6'2", his height made him tower over most people around him.
His phone rang and he picked up the call while stepping inside the restaurant, "Yes, I've just arrived—Oh, I'm sorry." He was too busy answering the call that he had bumped into Samantha who was on her way out. When he turned to face her, he caught a whiff of a peachy perfume that tickled his nose and caught his attention.
Realizing that the woman's phone had been dropped, he swiftly bent and picked it up. He checked if the screen was broken—luckily it was unscratched.
"My apologies. Here." He handed Samantha's phone back to her.
"It's okay. Thanks," said the sweet-smelling Bella, showing her gentle smile at him while making a small bow.
He watched as she exited the restaurant, hailed a taxi and left. He was too intrigued—it was as if he had seen her before but just couldn't figure out where or when.
"Boss?" Assistant Ahn called Daniel's attention, snapping him out of his trance. Breathing in deeply, he then headed towards the restaurant's VIP room. "Let's go."
Daniel Cho's meeting only lasted for an hour and he was now ready to leave.
"President Cho, it is such a pleasure to be able to collaborate with you in this project," Mr. Su remarked, extending his hand out for a shake.
With a polite smile, Daniel received the handshake. "The pleasure is all mine, Mr. Su."
"Our project has gone smoothly! I must treat you to dinner."
With an apologetic look, Daniel didn't want to refuse because it was considered rude. "Thanks for the gesture, but I'm afraid that I will have to decline. I have a family dinner that I can't miss."
Although Mr. Su felt slightly dismayed about having his invitation turned down, he understood since it was for family. "Oh, very well then. I'll treat you next time."
"Looking forward to it." Daniel nodded.
As soon as they left the restaurant, Assistant Ahn whispered, "Boss, your mother has been calling."
Receiving the phone from his assistant, Daniel immediately answered the phone call. "Yes, mother?"
"Honey, where are you? You didn't forget about tonight's dinner, did you?" asked Mrs. Cho.
"Of course not. I'm on my way."
"Of course, I'm alone."
"Dan, why don't you bring a date? You're already twenty-eight. I haven't met any of your lady friends yet."
"I'm alright, mother."
"You're not gay, are you? There are rumors—Ah, it's fine even if you are, actually I don't care. But your grandfather has been asking me questions about you."
"I know, I know! Now get over here quickly. Everyone's waiting for you."
"I'll see you soon. Bye."
As soon as Daniel hung up, another phone call came in. It was a director of a branch in another city.
"President, there has been an issue with the contractor here that needs your immediate attention. Instead of flying here next week, is it possible for you to come here sooner?" The director probed.
Daniel pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling a headache coming. "Okay, I'll be there tomorrow." He ended the call after giving a confirmation.
"Ahn, prepare the jet for tomorrow and push all my appointments until we get back."
Though it was a pain in the ass to adjust the schedule, Ahn could only comply. "Yes, boss."
Samantha's taxi stopped in front of a tall building that had a trident logo with the word "Trident" written in bold. Before getting out of the vehicle, she put on her wayfarer sunglasses and mask, covering most of her face.
She strode towards the entrance of the building, entered the empty lobby, and walked briskly towards the private elevator.
Samantha was Trident's lady boss, but her identity as the CEO was a secret. Only her family, business partner, and best friend knew about it. She didn't want to be in the limelight so she never revealed her face to her employees. Thus, whenever she visited the office, she always used the private elevator that was connected to her office. Since she entered from the main entrance today, the lobby looked like a ghost town with only her assistant waiting for her by the elevator.
Assistant Chen had worked for Samantha ever since the company started. She always thought that Samantha was a little peculiar for not wanting to be recognized. She couldn't understand why an attractive and brilliant woman like her boss didn't want fame.
Samantha and her assistant rode the private elevator that leads directly to her office. The ride was quick and when the doors opened, Samantha saw Alexander sipping coffee while sitting on the sofa. He tilted his head towards Samantha and smiled as he got up, "You're here."
She smiled back at him, and then told her assistant to clock out. When Assistant Chen left, Samantha slumped on the sofa opposite of him.
"Are you hungry?" Alexander asked as he watched her take off her sunglasses and face mask.
"Not really, I met up with Hannah at a restaurant before I came here."
He studied her expression and chuckled. "You look bored."
Samantha raised an amused brow. "Do I?"
He shrugged and casually asked, "Still dating that jerk?"1
"Yeah. Why is everybody hating on Andrew?" Samantha laughed, shaking her head.
"He might be nice to you now, but Sam… just be careful."
Samantha had always known that Alexander liked her although he never confessed. He had been pretty obvious about it. He was a nice guy, but she didn't have any romantic feelings for him and he didn't pursue her either. What they had was only a platonic friendship; she appreciated and respected him for that.
"Don't worry. I can take care of myself." She got up and walked towards the floor-to-ceiling glass window. Lowering her gaze at the street below, she watched the cars on the road and the people on the sidewalk who were hastily walking and going about their daily routines. She stared at the scene and wondered how different her life was from theirs. Yet she was envious of them.
Three years ago, Samantha started Trident with her brother's good friend, Alexander. She was a computer genius and Alexander was a business management graduate. At first, he urged her to build a software program and they sold it to a business owner. From then on, they started their business from the ground up; Samantha being the CEO and Alexander, the COO.
She had everything an ordinary person could ever want. Money, a house, cars, and a flourishing company. Nevertheless even with all these superficial things, she still felt unhappy. She didn't really have the drive or passion to do anything. It was as if she was living her life on autopilot.
Disrupting her train of thought, Samantha's phone rang. She looked at the caller I.D. and chuckled before answering, "Hello, gramps."
"You child! If I didn't call you, I wouldn't hear from you!" Grandfather Kim lovingly chided.
"I miss you too, grandpa." She smiled as she imagined her old, adorable grandpa who was grumpy at times.
The old man snorted over the phone. "Come with me tomorrow. Let's go fishing."
This is my first all English novel and is currently being edited /revised slowly. The countries and cities were initially named using letters, and now I'm slowly changing them to real-world/fictional (country/city) names, connecting my novels together.
Please bear with me.
This is a completed novel.
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Also, check out my other novel:
Femme Fatale: The King's Deadly Temptress
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