Welcome Readers...into my Dreams and Imagination.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hustle Into Love - Chapter Eight, Part Three

Hey all,

Just when I thought things were settling down a little...  Shall we see what kind of trouble Mace is in now?  Enjoy everyone!!!

Hustle Into Love


Mace slowly got to his feet and nodded for Meihui to shut the door.  “Sun.  I’m surprised to see you here.  What can I do for you?”
The older man stepped forward.  “I have come to speak to you about Chóngdé.”
Inwardly groaning, Mace shook his head.  “We’ve had this conversation once before.  Nothing’s changed.”
“This I know.”  Hui Sun switched to Cantonese.  “That is why I have come.”
“I don’t understand.”
Hui Sun motioned to the chair in front of the desk.  “May I?” 
Mace nodded warily and then sat as well.  “Why are you here?  It’s been almost a month.  You must know by now I’m not going to change my mind and let Chóngdé dance, even if Chantal allowed it, which I assure you she wouldn’t.”
“I told you what would happen if you did not follow my request.”
Thinking of the problems that had beset the casino after he and Chantal had gone toe to toe with Hui and his daughter, made Mace clench his jaw in remembered anger.  Missing shipments, staff quitting without notice, unexplained shortages in supplies…the list went on.  All due to the poisonous influence of the man sitting across from him.
But he’d handled it.  No one was going to try anything against Lì’s casino on Mace’s watch.  “I know what you told me, and I know what the results were.  But it didn’t work, did it?  The Golden Tiger is still doing just fine, and Chantal’s new dance act is pulling them in.”
Hui Sun inclined his head.  “This is so.  You have done well against great odds.  My reach is far, and I would not hesitate to ruin you for what you’ve done to my daughter.”
“Do what you will, Sun, but Chóngdé isn’t getting a second chance.  And no amount of threatening me will do you any good.  I made a promise to Lì and I intend to keep it.”
The older man looked politely curious.  “Just what promise did you make to your brother?”
Mace ground his teeth together.  It was the only way to keep his temper.  “I swore to him I’d keep the casino going.  Not only that, I’d help turn it into a moneymaker.  And with Chantal’s expertise, we’re doing just that.”
“Ahhh…Ms. Montgomery.  Do you think she was right in firing my daughter?”
In for a penny, in for a pound.  Another one of his grandmum’s famous sayings.  “I’m sorry, Hui, but yes.  She doesn’t have the talent, and unfortunately, she doesn’t have the right attitude either.  Chóngdé learned a hard lesson about the real world and her place in it.”
“And you think this is my fault.  As a father I have indulged my daughter too much.”
Where the hell was this going?  Mace stared at the other man in guarded confusion.  “I do.”
“You believe,” Hui Sun said with a sigh, “that my daughter is spoiled and arrogant.”
How could Mace answer that question?  This was getting more and more ridiculous.  What was Hui Sun playing at?  “You know your daughter better than I.”
The other man laughed.  “A very political answer.”
Mace smiled politely.  “Thank you.”
“I would have liked to have you for a son-in-law.”  Hui Sun cocked his dark head.  “I do not suppose you’ll change your mind?”
“I’m sorry.  No,” Mace said decisively.  “My interests are…elsewhere.”
Hui Sun’s eyes narrowed.  “I see.  The beautiful Chantal, I suppose.  My daughter was correct.”
“Leave Chantal out of this.”  Mace fought back the anger.  He knew it would only make him lose face.  “You want to take someone on, I’m here and ready.”
The older man lifted his hands in protest.  “No.  You do not understand.  I have not come here to threaten you, but to make amends.”
“Excuse me?”  Mace leaned back in his chair, astonishment streaking through him.  “You want to apologize?”
Smiling gently, Hui Sun shook his head.  “I will not apologize for trying to help my daughter.  She is family.”
“All right.  I think I understand that,” Mace said slowly, even though he was completely confused.  “Then what amends are you talking about?”
“You are a young man and honorable.  As I stood for my daughter, you stood for your brother.  I respect you for this.”
Mace’s eyebrow winged up in surprise.  “You respect me?”
“Yes.”  The other Asian’s eyes twinkled.  “You surprised me, D'Avranches.”
Shaking his head, Mace wondered when he’d stepped through the looking glass.  The most feared businessman in Macau was saying that somehow Mace had surprised him?  Earned his respect?
“Ahhh, now you are the one who is surprised,” Hui Sun chuckled.  “Is that not so?”
“I have to admit I am.”  Mace rose and strode over to the small wetbar in the corner.  “Tea?  Or something stronger?”
Hui Sun nodded.  “I would enjoy a good scotch.  I believe your brother has a bottle in the lower cabinet.”
Even more surprised, Mace pulled out a bottle of Aberfeldy 21.  “I didn’t know this was here.”
“It is Lì Yeung’s hidden stash.”  Hui Sun took the crystal glass Mace offered and sipped.  He sighed approvingly.  “So delicious.  A little smoky.  A hint of vanilla and licorice.  I thank you.”
Mace poured a generous splash for himself.  “How did you know about the bottle?  I didn’t think you and Lì were friends.”
“Perhaps not friends, but not enemies either.”  Hui Sun smiled.  “I have sat in this chair many times.”
Feeling his temper slip a notch, Mace took a deep breath.  “Then why try and destroy the casino.  If you and Lì are drinking buddies, that seems wrong somehow.”
Hui Sun frowned.  “Perhaps the translation is wrong.  Bud-dies?”
Mace suddenly realized he’d been so shocked, he’d slipped back into English.  He switched to Cantonese again.  “My apologies.  I was asking why you tried to hurt Lì if you are close enough to drink together.”
The older man sighed.  “I did not want to, but she was very upset.”
“Yes.  And as you know family—”
“Family comes first,” Mace growled in disgust.  “So now you’re here to say no hard feelings?  Let bygones be bygones?  You cost us a lot of money.  I had to bring people in from Hong Kong and England to help out since the locals were afraid to stay.  I had to have food shipped in on private carriers who weren’t intimidated by you.  Hell, I had to order things all the way from Europe because the suppliers wouldn’t do their job.”
“Yes.”  Hui Sun looked properly regretful.  “You did an excellent job of keeping the casino going even after I did all I could to make it fail.”
Mace just stared at him.  Sun actually sounded sorry.  “I don’t understand you at all.”
“D'Avranches, I am a businessman and a father.  Sometimes one responsibility collides with the other.  You will learn this someday when you are blessed with children of your own.  But as a businessman, I know when it is time to fight and when it is time to stop fighting.”  Hui Sun smiled beatifically.  “It is time to stop.”
“Because I stood up to you?”
The older man inclined his head.  “Because fighting you is costing me time and money.  And no matter how many tantrums my daughter throws, I can see I will not win this battle.  You will not date her and you will not allow her to dance.”
“No, I won’t.”  Mace shrugged.  This was the oddest conversation he’d ever had.  Most competitors wanted to slit your throat when you bested them, not sit and drink twenty-one year old scotch.  Another way Asians were different from the rest of the world.  They were so bloody polite.  “I’m not sure what to say.  I did what was right and I’d do it again.”
“And that is why,” Hui Sun agreed, “you have earned my respect.  You are an honorable man, and your brother would be proud of you.”
Unthinkingly, Mace rubbed at the tightness in his chest.  “Thanks.  I hope so.”
Hui Sun finished his drink and stood up.  “I will let it be known that The Golden Tiger is once more an honorable place to work.”
Might as well meet the old bastard half way.  For Lì’s sake if nothing else.  Mace offered his hand.  “Thank you.”
They shook then the older man turned towards the door.  “I will tell my daughter of my decision, but she will not be happy.  She is still very angry.  With Chantal Montgomery and with you.  She has a tendency to want her own way.  And Chóngdé—as you said—still has much to learn about the world.”
“Just tell her to stay away from both of us.  It would be better for everyone.”
Hui Sun nodded.  “Yes.  But my daughter is headstrong and in her anger she might do something foolish.  I will do my best, but I suggest you stay alert for any trouble.”
“I will.”
The other man pulled open the door then turned back to Mace.  His eyes were almost envious.  “Your Chantal…she is filled with a special huǒ, is she not?”
Grinning at the words, your Chantal, Mace nodded. “Yes.  She got a fire that burns hot, but she’s got a tender heart, too.”
“You are in love with her.”
Mace stiffened, but saw only envy and pleasure in the older man’s face.  Hui Sun might be a cold-eyed warlord, but it was obvious he had a heart.  “I am.”
“Then I wish you well, and may the Gods favor you and your lady.”
The door closed behind the other man, but Mace didn’t see it.  He, Chantal and The Golden Tiger had been granted a reprieve.  So why did it still feel like they were still standing under the Sword of Damocles?


Well...that was unexpected.  I thought Hui was going to be the bad guy in all this.  Maybe it will be smooth sailing for Mace and Chantal.  At least for a while.  Do  you think Hui's on the up and up?  Or should our lovers watch their backs?  Let me know in the comments below.

And, please forgive me for not letting you know this sooner.  Because I pre-posted ahead of time, I totally forgot to do the monthly comment drawing.  I'm very sorry.  But...here is the winner of January's contest.


Send a note to me accepting your free gift at womanofthewind1@yahoo.com with your snail mail addy so I can send you your prize.  Congrats and we'll see who wins again next month!!!

I'll be back on Thursday with another great installment.  And don't forget to check out all the awesome free reads, contests and fun going on over at my newest endeavor....Truly Madly Deeply Romance Authors!!!!  Free Reads of all kinds!   And I'm up first!!!!!

CJ England

Follow Your Dreams


Mannouchka said...

Dear Cj,

I really enjoy this free reading ,Hui Sun is not so bad but her daughter Chóngdé will maybe want revenche, hope Chantal will have to protect herself but I am sure Mace will do his best.
I like this last sentence:So why did it still feel like they were still standing under the Sword of Damocles.
Have a nice Tuesday Cj and I am waiting for next entry on Thusday.

CJ England said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Mannouchka! I posted it early, just to celebrate Valentine's Day!!!

mamasand2 said...

Another great installment, CJ. But I'm still holding my breath and wondering what will happen next.


SharonJM said...

I feel like we're at the point where if this was a movie, the audience would be screaming out, WATCH OUT, and don't be alone.

Ashley L said...

Okay, I wasn't expecting that to happen with Hui Sun, but at least he's smart enough to know when to stop. I doubt Chongde will back off though once daddy tells her he's done.

Congrats SharonJM!

Phylis said...

Nice twist CJ! But I believe in Hui Sun's word to watch out for Chongde. So they need to watch their backs and fronts. lol Will have to read Thursday's episode later. Will be coming back from Wichita late.

CJ England said...

Hey Sandie,

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it.

I'm not sure what's going to happen next. But I doubt the danger from the Sun family is over.

CJ England said...


LOL. That's a great way to put it. We are surely waiting for the second shoe to drop.

CJ England said...


From what we've seen of Chongde, she isn't one to listen well. It'll be interesting to see what happens next.

CJ England said...


Have a wonderful time in Wichita! And thanks for reading. I always like to hear your thoughts.


Carrie said...

Hi CJ,

Just got to read you next installment and I am surprised that Sun was there to make amends, but I do think that Chantal and Mace need to be onthe look out for his daughter. She seems to be the vengeful type especally when she doesn't get her way. Can you say spoiled.

CJ England said...


I agree. I think while Hui might have the smarts to let it go...Chongde is too spoiled to take the hint.

I guess we'll see. :-)