Lost in Taipei: Chapter 8

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lost in taipei chapter 8 manic monday

Manic Monday

Amidst the bustling office atmosphere, Xing and Wen huddled near the kitchen, relishing in the post-party excitement. Their animated voices filled the air as they recounted the highlights of the industry soirée, poking fun at outrageous fashion misses and sharing juicy anecdotes about fellow attendees. Laughter echoed through the office as they indulged in playful gossip. 

Meanwhile, Ming was tight up in a flurry of sales meetings. With each presentation and client discussion, he formed meaningful business relationships and hoped to bring in more clients with lucrative contracts. 

In another corner of the office, Charlie was determined to tackle the tasks accumulated over the weekend. Seated at his desk, he dove into the virtual sea of emails, meticulously reviewing deadlines and organizing priorities for the week ahead. With focused determination, Charlie sought to catch up and ensure a productive start to the day, silently working towards his goals in the office’s energetic hum.

Charlie’s eyes remained fixated on his laptop screen as he assumed the figure before him was Xing. Engrossed in his work, he blurted out without looking up, “Xing, I don’t have time to gossip at the moment, sorry!” A soft chuckle filled the air, causing Charlie’s attention to finally shift from his screen. To his surprise, it was not Xing standing before him but Peng, the charismatic model he had met at the industry party. Charlie’s face flushed with embarrassment as he quickly realized his mistake. 

“Oh, Peng! I’m so sorry,” Charlie stammered, his cheeks tinged with red. “I thought you were Xing.”

Peng grinned and leaned casually against the table, meeting Charlie’s gaze. “No worries, Charlie. I can see you’re in the zone. I just wanted to drop by and say hi.” Charlie’s embarrassment gradually transformed into curiosity as he looked at Peng. “This is unexpected. What brings you here?” 

Peng shook his head playfully. “Well, you never gave me your phone number, so I thought I’d come here to get it directly from you. Plus, I enjoyed our conversation at the party and wanted to see you. Would you like to have lunch with me?” 

Charlie couldn’t help but gaze at Peng’s lighthearted persistence. “I appreciate the gesture, Peng. However, I really need to focus on these tasks right now. Maybe another time?”

Peng nodded and his smile unwavering, “Of course, Charlie. No pressure. Just wanted to make sure you’re doing alright. If you ever need a breather, remember I’m just a phone call away. Now give me your number.” 

Reluctantly, Charlie surrendered his phone number to Peng, sensing that Peng’s persistence would not waver until he got what he wanted.  

Peng accepted the number triumphantly and gave Charlie a playful wink. “I look forward to talking to you soon,” he said, heading out of the office. 

Xing and Wen, intrigued by the interaction between Charlie and Peng, approached him with curiosity.  

“Charlie, my friend, what just happened here?” Xing asked, a grin spreading across his face. “We saw Peng visited you. Care to share the juicy details?” 

Wen chimed in, her eyes twinkling with amusement. “Yes, Charlie, spill the tea! What’s going on between you and Peng?”

Charlie’s cheeks flushed with self-consciousness. He couldn’t help but chuckle at their eagerness. “Well, Peng was just being his persistent self. He wanted my phone number, and I gave in.” Xing’s eyebrows shot up in mock surprise. “Oh, so Peng finally got what he wanted!” Charlie shrugged and tried to refocus on his work, but Xing wasn’t about to let him off the hook that easily. Xing decided to fill Charlie in on Peng’s background story.

He explained that Peng had collaborated with a high-end local designer, who happened to be one of Ming’s clients. The designer recognized Peng’s commanding presence and striking looks, selecting him as the face of their latest fashion campaign. The designer and Ming were impressed by Peng’s modeling skills and professionalism. However, Xing revealed a lesser-known side of Peng’s reputation.

Behind the scenes, Peng was known for his flirty nature. While his work ethic remained unquestionable, his personal charisma often led to not-so-discreet romantic conquests and a trail of broken hearts. Eventually, the client had to terminate their contract with Peng due to his messy personal life to safeguard their brand’s wholesome image.

Finally taking a break from his back-to-back meetings, Ming approached the group with a hint of inquisitiveness in his eyes. He turned to Xing and asked, “What did I miss?” 

Xing couldn’t help but grin coyly, eager to share the latest gossip. “Oh, Ming, you missed quite a scene! Peng paid a surprise visit to Charlie asking for his phone number. It seems like our friend here has caught Peng’s attention.” 

Ming’s expression remained unreadable momentarily, a mixture of surprise and contemplation. He glanced at Charlie, observing the slight blush on his face, and a flicker of realization crossed his features. 

“So, Charlie, you gave Peng your phone number?” Ming asked, his voice calm but with a slightly hint of concern. 

Charlie nodded, feeling a mix of nerves and anticipation. “Yes, I did. Peng was quite persistent.” 

Ming’s eyes narrowed slightly, his gaze focused on Charlie and inquired, “Is Peng your dish?”  Charlie looked puzzled, trying to decipher Ming’s question. “My dish? What do you mean?”

Xing couldn’t resist adding his own playful commentary. “Oh, what Ming meant is Peng, someone you find attractive or interested in dating?” 

Charlie’s cheeks burned with a mix of mortification and unease. “I… don’t know,” he stammered, his voice filled with uncertainty. The intensity of everyone’s attention felt overwhelming as Charlie desperately searched for a lifeline. He turned to Ming, hoping to find guidance in his friend’s eyes, but Ming’s expression remained inexpressive.

Xing persisted, “Charlie, we’re just talking about types here, even if it’s just for some fun. Is Peng someone you find attractive?” 

Holding his thoughts and didn’t want to divulge too much about his personal life, Charlie replied, “Peng certainly has an impressive presence, and our conversation was quite friendly, but work is my top priority in Taipei. However,” he paused briefly before saying, “I’m open to embrace any moments that bring me joy.” 

While silently observing the exchange, Ming finally spoke up with a gentle smile. “Alright, everyone, you’ve had your fun with Charlie. But let’s remember we have work to do,” Ming said with a playful yet authoritative tone. 

A sense of relief washed over Charlie as Ming finally intervened. Charlie couldn’t help but offer a small, grateful smile to Ming and whispered a quiet “thank you.” 

Ming, intrigued by Charlie’s honest response, couldn’t help but feel a growing curiosity toward this visitor from New York City. 

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  1. Charles


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