Chapter 3 – The Maniac Duo

Qiao Qiao came back to Orchids Agency to find Wallace, Cyndi, and Chen Yi still sitting around at their desks. Chen Yi didn’t bother to look up from the files he was reading.

“Are you done with those files yet?” Qiao Qiao asked. “It seems like you haven’t moved at all since I’ve been gone.”

“I’m just being thorough, okay?” Chen Yi snapped. “Unlike someone who finds the time to go on dates during working hours.”

“Hey! I was trying to bring in some clients, okay?”

Cyndi smiled. “So is this gentleman a client then?”

Chen Yi snapped his head up to see. “Another date?”

Qiao Qiao gave him a look.

“Quit it, you two,” Wallace interfered. “You’re scaring our client.” He turned to the guy at that time. “How can we help you today?”

“I’m just here to…”

Qiao Qiao gestured toward the guy. “This is Ehlo Huang Yu Rong. He’s Jacky’s friend. Jacky said he could…”

“Jacky?” Chen Yi jumped in.

“The guy who was here earlier,” Qiao Qiao clarified.

Chen Yi went back to the files–yet–again.

“So, you got it or should I?” Wallace said, gesturing toward Ehlo.

“Maybe…” Qiao Qiao hesitated.

“Want me to?” Cyndi volunteered. “Since he doesn’t look comfortable standing next to you like that.”

“You would think to ask him first,” Chen Yi remarked sarcastically.

Qiao Qiao ignored Chen Yi temporarily and turned to Ehlo. “Well?”

“Uh…I’ll go with…” Ehlo mumbled, gesturing toward Cyndi.

“All right then.”

Cyndi smiled. “Give me a minute.”

Qiao Qiao went back to her desk as Ehlo was waiting for Cyndi.

Chen Yi cleared his throat. “Looks like someone isn’t as popular as they think.”

“Hey!” Qiao Qiao reacted, her face wrinkled.

“What’s with you two today?” Wallace asked, looking from one to the other.

“I was somehow recruited in to join this madness…so…” Chen Yi said.

“We were just kidding earlier. You don’t have to join us, you know.”

Chen Yi put the files back into the folder and got up to stretch. He glanced at his watch casually. “Are we still up for tonight’s date or you have a date with Jacky?”

“Very funny,” Qiao Qiao snapped back. “Of course we’re going out to celebrate tonight.” She stopped to retrieve her cell phone at that time. “I wonder what Yan’s doing right now. “

“Waitressing?” Chen Yi offered.

“Yeah right.”

Cyndi was finally done with typing her report. She gestured toward the conference room as she was making her way to Ehlo. They waited until Ehlo and Cyndi were inside the conference room before speaking up again.

“So, tell me,” Wallace began.

Chen Yi and Qiao Qiao looked up at him.

“What are you two up to? Putting up some kind of show? You both were so cheerful and were getting along just fine earlier.”

“I don’t know,” Chen Yi said, shrugging his shoulders. “Maybe the change in weather?”

“Aside from it being hotter, I don’t see the difference. We have AC in here, you know.”

“I think he needs some ice cold drink before he could calm down,” Qiao Qiao suggested, her voice full of mockery.

It was now Chen Yi’s turn to react. “Hey!”

Qiao Qiao smiled. “Just kidding.”

Qiao Qiao’s phone beeped at that time. She checked it and tapped on the keypad for a bit before snapping the phone shut again.
“Who?” Chen Yi asked, curious.

“Yan. She said she’ll meet us here later.”

“That means I don’t have to make the trip then.”

“I guess so. Lazy!”

Chen Yi gave her a look before getting up again. “I’m out of here.”

“Had enough?” Wallace asked.

“First day, remember? I think I got it all. I’ll be back tomorrow though.”

“What about…” Qiao Qiao asked, gesturing her hands for effect.

“I’ll come back in time to meet you girls.”

“All right. Take care then.”

Chen Yi nodded and headed outside.

Wallace turned to Qiao Qiao after Chen Yi left.

“Qiao, tell me,” Wallace began in the same tone he did before.

“What?” Qiao Qiao asked, giving him her full attention.

“Is there something going on between you two?”

“What?! No way. We’re just friends.”

“He was acting like a jealous boyfriend the whole time, you know.”

“You mean Jacky and I look that good together?”

“That’s not the point.”

“He prefers Yan over me. Do you think he likes me? Yeah right.”

“Are you trying to get his attention then?”

“Again, yeah right!”

“Qiao, come on. Stop acting like some kid. You know what I mean.”

“I mean it. Let’s get back to work, okay?”

Wallace sighed out, not knowing what else to say.

“Look. I’ll tell you when I have a boyfriend, okay?”

“Sure.”

They went back to work after that. The only problem was Wallace was having trouble concentrating now.

*****

Jacky rushed through the hallway as fast as his feet would carry him. He dropped Ehlo off about fifteen minutes earlier. He was about to head home when he received the call. As he was turning left toward Studio 5, he saw Sonia walking toward him with a pile of papers in her hands.

“Rough day?” Jacky asked casually.

“As always,” Sonia replied coolly.

“Miss Sui, we’re DJs. Be enthusiastic.”

“I don’t see you wearing a cheerful face either.”

Jacky brought his hand to his heart. “Ouch! You know where to stab.”

Sonia smiled. “My pleasure.”

They finally passed each other and parted ways.

Jacky smiled to himself. Miss Sui always managed to strike back. She was the only one in the station to stand up to him. The rest–either talking behind his back or were busy trying to suck up to him.

Jacky passed through another door before arriving at Studio 5. He spotted the producer nearby. “Producer Lin, what’s going on here?

“We need to cut your program back tonight,” Producer Lin answered. “I just recruited this new DJ. We’re going to launch his debut program tonight instead of tomorrow morning like anticipated.”

And you called me in here just for that? Jacky asked in his mind. But his composure was still stable as he delivered his next words to Producer Lin. “I’m fine with it. At least I have some break.”

Producer Lin–not clueless as he seemed, could detect Jacky’s state of mind–at least slightly. “Of course I called you in to help guide the new DJ through. He might not be familiar with our place and other procedures.”

“Sure then.”

“All right. You should go get something to eat and come back at 7.”

“Okay then.”

Jacky turned to leave, pondering to himself who the new DJ was. Sonia passed by him again as he was exiting the building. Her expression changed from challenging to curious as she saw how he was so deep in thoughts.

“Hey, Young Master Chu!” Sonia called.

Jacky was finally aware of Sonia’s presence. “Very funny, Miss Sui.”

“What do you want me to call you then?”

“My name, of course.”

“What’s wrong with you? Did the boss decided to…” She paused to fake a gasp before continuing. “…pull the plug on you?”

“In your dreams, Miss Sui. He needs me here to keep you in line.”

Sonia waved the folder she was holding toward him. “Excuse me?”

Jacky smiled. “You’re excused.”

Before Sonia could deliver a counter-strike, they saw a guy walking into the building. They both moved out of the way to leave room for the guy. They looked after the guy’s disappearing back a bit more then turned back to each other.

“I wonder if that’s the new guy,” Jacky pondered aloud.

“You mean your replacement?” Sonia asked back.

“Maybe it’s yours.”

“The way I see it, you have a better chance of leaving than I am.”

With that, Sonia went back inside as Jacky stood there, smiling to himself again. She just had to have the last word, Jacky thought.

*****

Wallace yawned twice before standing up to stretch. This dreadful day was finally coming to an end. Cyndi looked toward Wallace, wondering why he was so distracted today. Qiao Qiao had gone outside to take another break and to wait for Yan Yan also.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Cyndi asked. “You seem a bit unfocused since after lunch.”

“Is that an understatement?” Wallace asked back.

Cyndi smiled. “Well, I have to start somewhere, right?”

Wallace smiled also. “True.”

“So…what’s wrong?”

“Don’t tell me you’re starting to feel some concern for me.”

Cyndi waved her pen at him. “You’re starting to sound like…”

“What?”

Cyndi wrinkled her face. “Forget it.”

“Girls.”

“What?”

“Always like to say half and leave half hanging.”

“Hmm…”

Orchids came out of her office at that time as Wallace was going back to his stretching routine.

“Looks like someone’s all ready to go,” Orchids teased.

“See?” Cyndi said, turning to Wallace again. “Even Orchids notices that you’re eager to leave.”

“At least I’m honest!” Wallace exclaimed defensively.

“It has been quite an interesting day,” Orchids said.

“I’ll bet.”

“You two want to take off early? I’ll close up.”

Wallace’s eyes were glinting with anxiousness.

Cyndi got up. “Hurry up and go already. You’re driving me insane with your anxiousness.”

Wallace grabbed his briefcase and headed toward the door. “Bye, Orchids!”

Cyndi looked after him, wearing a disbelief expression.

“Probably too much excitement for him,” Orchids said. “Cyn, you want to go also?”

Cyndi shook her head. “It’s all right.”

Both girls began to clean up the area for closing. Qiao Qiao came back with Yan Yan ten minutes later.

“Hey, Yan Yan,” Orchids greeted her.

“Orchids! Is it true that…” Yan Yan stopped because she still could not believe it either.

“Like I would lie to you,” Qiao Qiao said.

“It’s unbelievable all right. I mean Mr. Chen Yi is always avoiding this place like a plague and now he’s willing to work here? There’s got to be something going on.”

“We made him a deal that we would save the best potential candidates for him,” Cyndi joked.

“Really?” Yan Yan asked, her eyes brightened.

“She’s putting you on,” Qiao Qiao said. “Of course not.”

Cyndi smiled. “It’s against the rule.”

Chen Yi came back at that time. He saw the girls chatting together happily in the center of the room, so he marched right over to them. They could see that he was in better moods than before. Actually, to be more accurate, he was returning to his usual cheerful self.

“What are you all talking about now? Me?” Chen Yi asked casually with a tint of arrogance.

“How did you know?” Yan Yan asked back, surprised.

“I sneezed several times. So I decided to come back here and see.”

“So now you’re some psychic?” Qiao Qiao teased.

“So what were you talking about? How charming I am or…”

“You wish, Chen Yi.”

“Hey, how would I know? You girls might be…”

“Shut up!” Qiao Qiao and Yan Yan exclaimed at the same time.

As he was talking, he was helping Qiao Qiao putting away the training files back to its original spot. When they were done, he looked toward Orchids.

“You three can go ahead,” Orchids said. “Cyndi’s here.”

“I always know you’re the greatest!” Chen YI said, turning back to the other two. “Let’s go, girls!”

Qiao Qiao wrinkled her face. “Someone’s eager.”

“You’re talking to Chen Yi and we’re going to dinner here,” Yan Yan reminded her.
“Of course he’s eager. Desperate even.”

Qiao Qiao and Yan Yan tried to catch up to Chen Yi as he was practically racing out the door.

Orchids and Cyndi looked after them, smiling. They returned to closing up the place and getting ready to leave. As Orchids was activating the alarm, her cell phone rang. She finished up with punching in the codes and heading out the door before retrieving her cell phone from her handbag.

“Bye, Orchids!” Cyndi yelled out.

Orchids gave Cyndi a bright smile and a wave before Cyndi disappeared from view to find her car.

“Hello?” Orchids said into the phone.

“Are you off yet?” A guy’s voice asked.

“Of course. I just closed. Where are you at now?”

“Meet me at the boutique near your house.”

“What’s all the secrets here?” Orchids asked in a teasing tone.

“It’s a surprise. Can’t tell you.”

“All right then, Mr. Mysterious.”

“Call me when you’re there, okay?”

“All right.”

“Bye then.”

Orchids put her cell phone back into her handbag before using her keys to open the car. As she was about to get in the car, she spotted a light blue dress lying on the backseat. Alarmed, she looked at the car again to make sure it was hers. Silly, she scolded herself. Of course it was her car or why else would the door opened when she inserted the key? She got into the car, closed and locked the door before retrieving her cell phone again.

“Come on, pick up,” She mumbled into the phone.

Someone finally picked up after she heard another series of music coming across the way.

“Hello?” A girl’s voice answered. “Orchids? What’s wrong?”

“You know anything about a light blue dress?”

“Oh! Sorry! I forgot to tell you that it’s mine.”

“Yours?”

“Yes. Someone got it for me as a gratitude gift.”

“Qiao, stop going around in circles.”

“Uh…” Qiao Qiao hesitated before continuing. “I agreed to go to a certain party with someone so he bought me the dress.”

“What? Who?”

At about the same time Orchids was asking Qiao Qiao those questions, she could hear a screeching sound on the other side. It sounded like brakes being applied quite abruptly on the pavement.

“What’s going on with your side?” Orchids asked, alarmed.

“Nothing. Chen Yi, are you trying to kill us?!”

“You’re going to some party with that guy?!” Chen Yi bellowed.

“Who?” Orchids asked from the other side of the line, still confused. “Qiao!”

“Hold on, Orchids. I’m putting you on speaking so I can tell you all the story at the same time.”

“Okay.”

Orchids could hear some beeping sounds before Qiao Qiao came back on again.

“I’m helping Jacky still,” Qiao Qiao declared bravely after clearing her throat.

“The dress was the deal?” Orchids asked.

“No. It was only a small skit in the shop earlier. But somehow we were talking about that party and um…I suddenly decided to go for fun, so…”

“You just met that guy today!” Chen Yi jumped in.

“Will you calm down?” Qiao Qiao yelled back.

“How can I when I know you could possibly be going with some perverted guy who’s luring you into his lair?”

“If you’re so good with describing the scene, why don’t you go and be a novelist?”

“Qiao! Chen Yi! Will you both stop it?” Orchids yelled above their voices.

“She’s the one who’s going to throw herself into some lion’s den here,” Chen Yi snapped.

“Must you be so extreme?” Qiao Qiao asked. “You forgot that I can defend myself.”

“Oh yeah? What if they spike your drinks?”

“Want to come along and see then?”

“Guys, come on,” Yan Yan interfered. “Stop it.”

“Qiao, are you sure this is a good idea?” Orchids asked when the atmosphere returned to its quiet state again.

“Are you letting Chen Yi’s words getting to you too?” Qiao Qiao asked back.

“That’s not the point. I promised Uncle and Auntie to take good care of you. I can’t risk it.”

“Don’t worry. I can take care of myself.”

“I know you can, but what kind of event is this and where is it at?”

“Uh…not sure yet. But he’ll call me tonight to fill me in on the details.”

“You’re not sure and you agreed to go with him?” Chen Yi asked in disbelief. “How can you be so…”

Qiao Qiao looked at him. “You dare to say the next word?”

“Dumb!”

“You’re a…”

“Qiao!” Orchids interfered.

“Can you guys stop?” Yan Yan begged.

Orchids could sense the tension building up. She regretted in asking Qiao Qiao about the dress earlier. She shouldn’t have poke into it too much. She should wait until they were home to ask for more details.

“Qiao, call me back when he calls you, okay?” Orchids said finally.

“Okay,” Qiao Qiao agreed.

“And Chen Yi…” Orchids continued.

“Yes?” Chen Yi said casually.

“Don’t be so hard on Qiao. I’m sorry for aggravating you both.”

“I’m not mad at her. I’m just concerned.”

Orchids smiled although they couldn’t see her. “Good then, but whatever it is, you have to stay calm. Okay?”

“All right. I apologize too.”

He said that into the phone, but he looked at Qiao Qiao as he was saying those last few words. Qiao Qiao nodded, getting it.

“All right then,” Orchids said, more assured. “I need to go also so talk to you all later. Have fun, all right?”

“Bye, Orchids!” Qiao Qiao, Chen Yi, and Yan Yan blurted out at the same time.

Orchids hung up after that. She sighed out, knowing things were all right now. Chen Yi could be over-reacting sometimes, but she was glad it was out of concern. She put her cell phone back into its original place and started her car. As she pulled out, she could hear her cell phone ringing again. She drove straight to the location without picking it up, knowing too well Mr. Impatient was waiting.

*****

Qiao Qiao put her cell phone into her handbag as she was sitting back down in the backseat.

“So…are we still going to celebrate then?” Yan Yan asked, looking from Chen Yi to Qiao Qiao.

“You bet we are,” Chen Yi said, starting the engine again. “I’m hungry.”

Qiao Qiao reached toward Chen Yi and grabbed him by the shoulders at that time. “No wonder! You’re grumpy!”

Chen Yi wrinkled his face. “Quit it! Do you want us to crash?” He glanced in the rearview mirror quickly. “Do you have your seatbelt on yet?”

Qiao Qiao withdrew her hands from Chen Yi’s shoulders and held the seatbelt strap up for him to see that it was securely wrapped around her. Chen Yi finally pulled out into the streets again. Yan Yan remembered that she hadn’t put on her seatbelt yet. She turned to face front and grabbed the seatbelt strap on her right, securing it before Chen Yi picked up more speed. She felt that it had been a big mistake for agreeing to sit in front with Chen Yi earlier.

*****

Jacky walked past the entrance of the radio station again, sighing. He wondered if the guy whom he and Sonia bumped into earlier was actually the new DJ. He heard a snickering sound behind him as he was heading back to Studio 5. Two guesses it was Sonia. He turned to see her standing about a foot from him, holding a folder in her hand. Amazing, he thought. Only one folder.

“So…Miss Sui, sticking around to see the show?” Jacky asked casually, walking toward her.

“How could I possibly miss it? It might be a breakthrough and/or turning point for our radio station.”

“Like someone being replaced?”

“Exactly.”

“Want to bet?”

“Sorry, I don’t gamble.”

“Oh, come on now. What’s the harm?”

“What if I lose?”
“A date with me then.”

Sonia wrinkled her face. “That’s why I don’t gamble.”

“Have some faith in yourself,” Jacky said, smiling. Then he realized something. “Oooohhh…I get it. You don’t want me to leave!”

“Clever trap, but I’m not falling for it.”

Sonia walked past him toward Studio 5. Jacky caught up to her and walked side-by-side with her.

“So…” He said in his casual tone again.

Sonia took a quick look at him. “What?”

“Any plans this weekend?”

“We have that party to go to.”

“Only on Saturday. What about Sunday?”

“Typing up a report.”

“Come on, don’t you have any other activities?”

“Like avoiding you?”

“Nice.”

They finally arrived at Studio 5. They could see Producer Lin talking to a guy–the same guy who they encountered that afternoon.

“Producer Lin,” Jacky called out, announcing their arrival.

Producer Lin turned to see Jacky and Sonia standing side-by-side at the doorway. He smiled at them. “Come on in. Just in time too.” He gestured for the three to follow him. They stepped into the recording room together. He signaled for Jacky to close the door before speaking up. “I see that even Sonia’s interested in tonight’s event.”

“She’s waiting,” Jacky said.

Producer Lin turned to look at Sonia and then back to Jacky.

“No, sir,” Jacky clarified. “Not for me.”

Sonia gave Jacky a look.

“Or maybe she is,” Jacky said with a mischievous smile.

They could see the other guy smiling.

“All right,” Producer Lin said as if to call their attention back to the situation at hand. “Since you’re both here, you both can guide him…” He paused to gesture to the guy. “…through the show for tonight.”

“Sounds good then,” Jacky agreed.

Producer Lin turned to the guy after that. “Sam, this is Jacky and Sonia. “They’ll be helping you tonight since I have a meeting to attend later. I’m just here to set things up. We’ll meet again tomorrow to discuss the results, plus your upcoming shows and schedule. Okay?”

Sam nodded.

Producer Lin turned to Jacky and Sonia. “I’ll leave it to you two then.”

Jacky opened the door for Producer Lin and then closed it again. He extended his hand to Sam. “Welcome to the station, Sam.”

Sam shook Jacky’s hand and then turned to Sonia.

Jacky smiled.  “I forgot. You should have shaken her hand first since she doesn’t want to catch my virus.”

Sonia gave Jacky yet another look.

Sam smiled. “It’s all right.”

He used his other hand to shake Sonia’s hand before turning back to Jacky.

“Clever,” Jacky complimented. “I know we’ll get along just fine.”

Sonia leaned toward Jacky at that time and whispered, “I told you he’s replacing you. He has your touch but only nicer and friendlier.”

Jacky put a hand around Sonia’s shoulders and spoke in a very soft voice. “I know you’re worried for me, dear. I’ll try to keep my job so we can be together.”

“Are you two a couple?” Sam asked, a bit surprised. “‘Cause you look like one. “

“No way!” Sonia exclaimed.

“Not yet!” Jacky exclaimed at the same time as Sonia.

Sonia shoved Jacky aside as she was replying to Sam’s question. Jacky turned sideways at the same time, causing their heads to bump together. They cried out in pain and retreated to their own corner of the room. Sam rushed forward to see how they were.

“You guys all right?” Sam asked.

Jacky rubbed his head. “No. Twice in a day. No wait, three times.”

“Try it out yourself, it might be fun,” Sonia said at the same time as Jacky.

Sam knew Sonia was in pain right now, so he didn’t blame her for dripping with sarcasm. He turned to Jacky, wrinkling his face. “Twice in a day? What’s that all about?”

Jacky brought his left hand down to check if there was any blood on it. He turned to Sam after knowing he didn’t have a dent on the left side of his head. “Three times actually.”

“What happened?”

“I bumped into this one girl today while running away from another girl. We bumped our heads together like twice. The first time, it was an accident. The second time, it was because we were trying to get up at the same time.” He paused to turn and look at Sonia. “And now she wants to finish me off.”

“Like I’m not hurting myself,” Sonia returned, still pressing down on her head with her right hand.

“You never know. Pain is a good way to preserve memory.”

Sonia switched the folder she’s holding to her right hand and walked toward Jacky, raising the folder up to eye level. “Why don’t I hit you with this? It’ll make you remember better not to mess with me next time!”

Although she just finished, but she had already started to hit him about the time she said the first sentence. Jacky had already started running once he saw her waving the folder in front of him. Sam looked at them both in disbelief.

“Guys, we’re starting soon!” Sam interfered, looking at his watch.

Jacky and Sonia hadn’t stopped yet. Jacky didn’t dare to stop since he knew Sonia was very capable of using the weapon in her hand.

“Guys! If you want to play around, wait until you get home.”

Jacky and Sonia stopped in their tracks at the same time.

“What?!” Jacky and Sonia shouted at the same time. “You’re telling us what to do?”

They both ran toward Sam and tried to attack him–Jacky with his fist and Sonia with her folder. Sam used his hands to shield his face and dodged out of the way.

“And who said I’m living with him?” Sonia continued in her questioning tone.

Jacky grabbed her right hand with his left. “He didn’t say it. You did!”

“Guys, I’m sorry, okay?” Sam said, his face showing apparent fear. “Let’s get started before it’s too late.”

Jacky, seeing Sam’s worried face, turned to Sonia. Sonia nodded before turning to Sam again.

“All right, let’s quit,” Sonia declared. “We already tested him. He’s good.”

“Okay, let’s get this show going then,” Jacky continued.

“What?!” Sam exclaimed. “You both were just putting a show on in front of me? And I didn’t know?”

“Sure we were,” Jacky said casually–like always. “Who do you think we are? Bunch of psycho-maniacs?”

Sonia hit Jacky on the shoulder with her folder. “Stop scaring him.” She then turned to Sam with a smile. “Yes, we were just kidding. Don’t worry.”

“All right,” Sam said, not wanting to dwell any longer. “Let’s go then.”

Sam turned to open the door, not wanting another set of dramas to unfold again.

“And Sam…” Sonia said, waiting for Sam to turn around and face her before continuing. “Welcome to the team.” She put on her sweet smile and extended her hand out to him.

Sam removed his hand from the doorknob and shook Sonia’s hand. Jacky walked toward them and placed his hand over theirs.

“To success and teamwork?” Jacky suggested.

Both Sam and Sonia smiled at him. They withdrew their hands at the same time and headed outside to get ready.

Jacky smiled at Sonia as they were walking side-by-side again. “Well, Miss Sui…we make a pretty good team, huh?”

“We’ll see,” Sonia said crisply.

With that, she walked toward the control room and directed the crew to start the show. Jacky smiled to himself, remembering back to the scene that happened several hours back when he was getting into his car and making his way out of the parking lot.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

Before he knew it, he saw a shadow darting in front of his car. He braked in time and saw Sonia blocking his way. Brave girl, he thought. What in the world was she trying to do here? He could see her walking toward his side, so he rolled down the window.

“How can I help you this time, Miss Sui?” He asked with a smile.

“My car broke down,” Sonia said. “Can I get a ride?”

Jacky looked around. “I can see that you’re very popular with the other co-workers.”

“I don’t trust them enough.”

“And you trust my reckless driving?” Jacky asked, shocked.

“Come on now.”

“Don’t bring up the past. We only have some minor battles and two wars between us.”

Sonia put her hands on her hips.

“All right. Get in. I don’t have all day.”

Sonia finally smiled and circled around to the passenger side. As soon as she got in, Jacky continued on his way out of the parking lot. She buckled her seatbelt quickly before turning to Jacky.

“Hey,” Sonia said in a softer tone than before.

Jacky glanced her way briefly before turning back to watch the road. “What? I don’t like that look.”

Sonia smiled. “You’re not the victim this time.”

“You mean I’m that fortunate? Since when was I granted the pardon?”

“Since the boss hired a new DJ, okay?”

“Okay, so he’s the new victim.”

“You could say that.”

“What do you have up your sleeves then?”

“A test.”

Jacky raised an eyebrow. “A test?”

Sonia smiled. “Yes.”

“What’s the level of evil on this one?”

“Uh…5?”

“Our scale or the general public’s scale?”

“Okay, 7 then.”

“That extreme?”

“If he can take it, he’s crazy like us. If he can’t, then we have nothing to worry about.”

“You’re that competitive?”

“I have to ensure that my spot’s secured.”

Jacky laughed. “Unbelievable. Miss Sui worrying about her position being taken away? I told you so!”

“Stop talking nonsense. Are you in or are you out?”

“Okay, I’m in. But what game are we playing then?”

“Crank our craziness up a few notches.”

“Come again.”

Sonia didn’t say anything. Instead, she leaned in to him and started whispering.

“Stop it. You’re tickling me. Hold on.”

He parked and put on the brake before turning to Sonia. Sonia leaned in and started to whisper her plan. She’s too paranoid, he thought. No one was in his car but them. And who would eavesdrop like this? They were out in traffic here. After she was done, Jacky smiled.

“Crazy all right,” He admitted.

“So, what do you say?”

Jacky noticed that she hadn’t sat back in her seat yet. “Hmm…your hair smells nice.”

Sonia slapped his shoulder and pushed him away from her as she was edging back into her seat.

“Pervert!”

“Hey, you’re the one leaning into me here.”

“Quit staring! Drive!”

Jacky didn’t deliver anymore of his smart-aleck lines, but pulled out again as he was instructed. He smiled secretly to himself as he was watching the street again. She’s so easily rattled, he thought.

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

As Jacky was reminiscing, he heard his name being called. He snapped out of his thoughts and looked toward the voice. Who else?

“We don’t have all day, Young Master Chu! Hurry!”

Jacky unfroze himself from the spot he was standing and followed Sonia back to the recording room. Sam was already in there, putting his headphone on.

Sonia signaled to the crew in the adjacent room through the glass window with her right hand. She then turned back to the crew in the recording room.

“Time for action, everyone!” Sonia called out enthusiastically.

Jacky smiled a secret smile of his own again. Yup, that was Sonia all right.

© Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

Re-posted: Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

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