He's a man who can get and is used to getting whatever he wants.
She's a woman with more than just breathtakingly beautiful good looks.
He wants her share of the company.
She just wants to have some fun.
In this battle of wits, cunning, pure viciousness and plain physical lust...who wins?
That's right...I'm here with another story. Again. But I got this idea one night and I couldn't get it out of my head. Think those clichéd stories where Syaoran or Sakura tries to seduce the other in order to win a bet...only with a little twist. I promise it'll be different than the others. I don't like conformity.
Like so many of my other stories, this one is just a whim also. I'm just testing it out and if I don't like it, I'll discontinue it. So read and review if you like it and I'll appreciate your feedback.
Hong Kong, China
The meeting was not going the way Li Syaoran wanted it to go. The idea that first popped into his head two months ago and had been so painstakingly nurtured until this day, revised, perfected, and checked for loop holes, was on the brink of obliteration. All thanks to the efforts of the one man who had been a thorn in his side from the first time he joined the company: Wang Xu Huan. In his late sixties with a full head of gray hair, an imperious bearing that suggested superiority, and brown eyes so cold that they could make hell freeze over, Wang Xu Huan had been the leader of Nang Hua Technologies' board of directors for twenty years. Domineering, inflexible, and arrogant, he resisted change with every fiber of his being. And change meant Li Syaoran, the twenty-six year old heir to Hong Kong's powerful Li Clan.
Li Syaoran was a tall, darkly handsome man who had a magnetic presence that drew both men and women to him. With messy chestnut-colored hair, penetrating amber eyes, and a body lean and hard-looking, he could have women swooning over him with one warm glance their way. But good looks weren't his only asset, for he was as bright and intelligent as he was attractive. Syaoran had went to the United States' most prestigious business schools, Harvard and Wharton, on pure whim, but he proved to be a quick study, brilliant and with a natural aptitude for the profession. When he returned to his hometown, he immediately landed a high-ranking executive job with one of the biggest international corporations headquartered in Hong Kong, Nang Hua Technologies.
Even though he was hired for the position, Syaoran knew just how close he came to not getting it. One characteristic that made Wang Xu Huan one of the most shrewdest businessmen was that he had a highly developed instinct, and his sixth sense told him that if he were to hire Li Syaoran, new ideas would be introduced. And Wang, born and raised in an era of traditional, old-world values, did not like liberality. He knew that if he gave the man the job, he would regret it later. But there was no one else more qualified than Li and Wang knew that if wanted to survive in Hong Kong, angering Li's mother, the powerful matriarch Li Yelan, would not be a wise move.
Syaoran knew he had mostly everything to his advantage, but a little sugar on top would make up for the undesirable parts. So he put on his most passive, compliant behavior and managed to convince Wang that he would do everything for the benefit of the company. The little-boy-needing-guidance act worked, and it wasn't until a few months into his job that Syaoran began doing things his way. So Wang, sprouting more gray hairs than ever before and sincerely regretting his decision, decided that making Syaoran's life hell would eventually drive him away.
And he was almost succeeding.
"Why the hell do you think this is gonna work, Li?" Wang snapped, his attention focused entirely on the younger man. "The stock has fallen 23 percentsince last year. That's a lot in a very short time." His purpose was to anger Syaoran and even though the man's face was completely devoid of emotion, Wang knew that his words were getting to him by the way his amber eyes flashed.
"It finished the year with a 61 percent gain in earnings and revenue climbed 15 percent." Syaoran replied evenly, trying to remain calm and suppress his urge to murder the man in front of him.
Breathe...in and out, in and out...
"Energy costs are rising. If we buy this company, we're going to join the group of dumb asses who are in deep shit thanks to those costs. Do I look like I belong to that club, Li? Do I look like a dumb ass to you?"
You proved yourself to be one when you bought my act.
"I'm not saying that, sir-"
"But you were implying that."
"Mr. Wang, this is completely irrelevant. The company has substantial cash on hand, which gives them the ability to buy back stock. They raised their dividend, which is a high 3.6 percent. It's a good, stable company and-"
"Stable?" Wang cut in as he let out a sarcastic laugh. "Stable? Jesus, Li, what the hell did those Americans teach you?" He pounded the table with his fist as his voice began to rise in loudness. "Lahiri Chemical is a shit company and as long as I hold the biggest share of the stock and I am the leader of this executive board, there is no way in hell I'm gonna let a punk kid like you with your fucked up ideas tell me how to run this damn company!"
There was a silence at the table as the rest of the board members averted their eyes and Wang and Syaoran glared at each other.
"If you need me, Mr. Wang," Syaoran said quietly after a few moments, "you can call my cell phone."
Putting his papers neatly into his briefcase, Syaoran left, every pair of eyes in the room watching him. As soon as the door closed and the executives were sure he was out of earshot, a dignified-looking woman in her fifties spoke up.
"You were too hard on him, Xu Huan," she said.
"The son of a bitch deserved it." Breathing heavily, Wang leaned back in his seat and lit a cigar. "God knows why I hired him."
"'Cause he has an impressive resume and you bought his pretty-boy act." Another man said matter-of-factly. "And even though I saw through it...you have to hand it to the kid. He's good."
"Shut up." Wang knew that his colleagues were speaking the truth, but he was far too arrogant to admit it.
I need to get rid of him. Fast.
The Four Seasons Place, one of four towers making up the International Finance Center complex, is Hong Kong's most prestigious--and expensive--address. With service from the staff and large glass windows that looked upon Victoria Harbour, Syaoran had immediately moved in after getting back from the States. The tranquility and beautiful views had never ceased to calm him after a stressful day and now, as he got back from the meeting that had gone wrong, Syaoran once again found himself in a meditative state. It's no use getting mad, he thought as he poured himself a glass of wine and sat down on the couch with it. His eyes were glazed over as he stared ahead, both his vision and mind unfocused. What to do, what to do...
The sudden ringing of the telephone abruptly brought Syaoran back to reality and reaching over, he picked up the receiver.
"Syaoran?" It was Hiiragizawa Eriol, Nang Hua Technologies' chief corporate lawyer and one of Syaoran's closest friends. "I'm downstairs. Care to join me for dinner?"
"Where's your girlfriend?"
"Tomoyo canceled on me tonight. Had some emergency, her atelier couldn't fix a client's dress so she has to go back and do it herself." He sighed. "So I need someone else to fill the two-person reservation."
"So I'm back-up? Thanks."
"No problem. I'm at Caprice."
"I'll be down in five."
Putting the phone back into its cradle, Syaoran went into his room and hung up his jacket and took off his tie. Grabbing his keys, he locked the door behind him and took the elevator downstairs.
When Syaoran arrived at the French restaurant Caprice, waiting for him was his dinner companion. With blue-black hair, a pale complexion, and sapphire-colored eyes framed by horn-rimmed glasses, Hiiragizawa Eriol exuded a confidence and class that was matched by no one except for Syaoran. He had started as a legal aid but quickly climbed the ladder to become Nang Hua Technologies' chief lawyer. He had been a friend of Syaoran's for a long time and upon seeing him, Eriol immediately knew something was wrong. When they were seated, Eriol pounced on him.
"Did the meeting go well?"
"It went like shit." And Syaoran proceeded to tell him about how his idea was rejected thanks to the efforts of Wang.
"And he said that as long as he holds the biggest share of the stock and is board leader, he's not going to let me tell him how to run his company." Syaoran finished.
Eriol sat back, drumming his long, slender fingers on the table. "What are you going to do?"
Syaoran sighed. "I really don't know. He has a good point. As long as he holds the majority of the company's stocks, I can't overtake the it unless I have more than him. I could try to buy out the other board members but of course, they're his family. I wouldn't get within a hundred feet of them before they report me to Wang and I get my ass fried. Even my family background wouldn't help me."
There was a silence before Eriol suddenly thought of something. "Have you ever thought about trying to buy out other stock shareholders?"
Syaoran looked at him, puzzled. "What are you trying to say?"
"I was looking at the stock ownership sheets the other day. Even though the majority of the stocks are held by the board members, there's one person outside of the company who single-handedly holds as much as them. If you get her share and add it to your own, you'll have more than Wang and can oust him from the company."
Syaoran sat up, his curiosity piqued. "Who outside the company can have as much as all the board members put together?"
Eriol smiled. "So you've never heard the story, huh?"
"Well, it's confidential. Only those at the very top know of it."
Syaoran's jaw tightened as he was reminded once again that while he held a position higher than most people, it still wasn't high enough. Thinking once more that he needed to do something to get what he wanted, he motioned for Eriol to continue.
"A couple of decades ago when Nang Hua Technologies was first built up, two men were in control of the company: Wang Lo Fan and Kinomoto Masao. Kinomoto had just married some woman named Ando Fumiko, and I guess he was so in love with her that he gave her half of his share of the company. Which means she held a quarter of all the shares."
Syaoran raised an eyebrow. "I guess he regretted it later, right?"
"Right. She cheated on him and there was a bitter divorce but in the end she walked away with the shares and some extra money on the side. When she died, all of this was bequeathed to her son with Kinomoto, Fujitaka. You can just imagine how those shares have doubled, tripled, even quadrupled over these past decades."
"Kinomoto died two years ago. His cancer was too advanced for even the world's best doctors to treat. But like his mother, he passed his shares down to his two children. One of them is married, with a wife, two kids, and some hotshot job as Japan's ambassador to the States. The other is single, your age, and a socialite jetting between Tokyo and Hong Kong."
Eriol's ice-blue eyes were watching Syaoran as he smiled conspiratorially and leaned forward. "You're a smart ass, Syaoran, I think you've already figured out what I'm getting at."
Syaoran let a smirk play on his lips as he fingered the stem of his wine glass. "Get the girl's share?"
"And how do you suppose I do that?"
"Turn on your charm, Syaoran. When you do, what woman can resist you?"
"Coming from you, Eriol, I don't know whether to be wary or flattered."
"Be grateful. I just mapped out a plan that even the smartest exec can't see through."
Syaoran shrugged. "I'm sure someone has done it before."
"But not here, not at Nang Hua. Wrap her around your little finger, Syaoran, and you will get what you want."
There was a long moment's pause as Syaoran went over the plan in his mind. It really was ingenious, something that would ensure his rise to the top of the company. But it was risky, and the risks were almost as bad as the rewards were good. Did he dare execute the plan?
"What's the daughter's name?"
Eriol smiled, a Cheshire-cat grin that almost made Syaoran's skin crawl in anticipation and suspicion.
So if you haven't already guessed it...the CCS characters in this fic are not all that angelic. A little more evil, greedy, and conspiratorial than usual.