Chapter 2: The Exclusive Carlos
After planting a kiss on Carlos' lips, Debbie immediately withdrew, fled the hallway and ran straight back to the room.
"Debbie!" Kasie shrieked as she shut the door. "You were awesome, girl!" she said proudly, slapping the celebrant on the back. Panting after her escape, Debbie heaved a sigh of relief.
Meanwhile, Carlos' face darkened after the surprise kiss. He stood rooted to the spot but saw the girl disappear inside Room 501. The man was about to ask his bodyguards to haul Debbie out of the room and throw her into the sea when his phone rang.
Annoyed over the interruption, he answered the call. After listening for a few seconds, he snapped, "Okay. I'll be right there." He pressed the button to end the call and then glanced at Room 501. He inhaled sharply to control his fury. There was an emergency in his company, which needed immediate attention.
"Count your lucky stars today, woman. You better pray I never see you again. You won't get away the next time you provoke me," Carlos muttered as he turned to leave.
Inside Room 501, Debbie rubbed her red cheeks and felt them burning in embarrassment. It was the most insane thing she had ever done in her life. Heart pounding, her mind was a jumble of thoughts. 'Oh my God! That was my first kiss, and I don't even know who he was!
Could that have been cheating on my husband?
Oh never mind! I've already signed the divorce agreement.
And it's okay even if Carlos isn't willing to sign it. Legally, a couple who's been separated for more than two years is deemed to be automatically divorced anyway.
I haven't seen him in the three years we've been married. So maybe legally, I'm no longer his wife. That means I was not cheating on him.
Besides, it was just a kiss...' Debbie forgot everyone around her.
Suddenly Kasie yelled, "My goodness!" All her classmates jumped at her outburst.
"What is wrong with you, Kasie? You scared me to death!" Kristina Lin, who was about to drink wine, spilled the liquid and was patting her chest to calm down.
Excitedly, Kasie stepped up to Debbie, who was still lost in thought, and shook her shoulders.
"Do you know who that man is?" she demanded. The object of Debbie's prank was a man every woman dreamed of. He was young, handsome, rich, and powerful, and he owned a large multinational group. People called him Mr. Huo as a sign of respect.
"So, who is he?" Debbie demanded while grabbing a glass of champagne and taking a big gulp.
"Carlos Huo!" Kasie yelled the name as she looked at the celebrant's face. The name was supposed to say everything about who the man was, so she wanted to be sure Debbie heard it right. The champagne sputtered out of the girl's mouth the moment Kasie said Carlos' name. Debbie began coughing violently, unaware that she had spat the liquid on her roommate's face. Instead of getting mad after being showered by champagne on the face, Kasie was stunned.
Even Jared was flabbergasted when he heard the name. "Mr. Huo? Tomboy, I think you're screwed," he said. Jared was the son of the general manager of a finance company in Y City, and Carlos' name struck his ears like a roar of thunder.
The familiar name also made Kristina Lin scream. "Debbie, you kissed Mr. Huo! Ohhh. Let me kiss you because it's like kissing him indirectly," she teased her friend.
Grabbing a handful of tissues, Debbie proceeded to clean her friend's face but was too shocked to apologize.
When Kristina Lin came forward, Debbie hurled the tissues towards the table and ran away as fast as she could.
Suddenly, she remembered something. "Kasie, did you call my name when I was in the hallway?" she asked. She shuddered at the thought. 'Damn it! What if he remembers my name?'
Spunky Kasie snatched more tissues to dry her face and answered in an angry voice, "Yes, I did. Is that what has you excited? Yes, it must've been thrilling to kiss Mr. Huo, but you were only overacting, right?" She cursed Debbie quietly, 'You brat!
Oh my God! My face! And my hair! There is champagne everywhere!' Patting Kasie's arm as much to console as to apologize, Debbie suddenly said, "You guys have fun. I need to leave now."
As soon as she said the words, the birthday celebrant left hurriedly. Everyone watched her receding figure with a stunned expression.
All her friends were thinking the same thing. What was she going to do, catch up with Mr. Huo? She was out of her mind! They all heard that many women had been after Carlos. And to get rid of these women, he would ask his men to peel off their clothes and toss them out on the street. He might do that to their friend, so they all had the same idea to stop Debbie from going to Carlos.
Many of her friends ran out of the room hoping to prevent Debbie from whatever she planned on doing.
But the girl was nowhere to be found.
As soon as Debbie stepped out of the bar, she hailed a taxi and instructed the driver to bring her to the villa where she was staying.
'I hope Carlos did not recognize me and won't come to the villa tonight. Otherwise, he may think I regretted asking for a divorce, and kissed him to get his attention.'
Leaning against the back of the seat, Debbie kept thinking about what happened.
After they got the marriage certificate three years ago, Carlos assigned Philip to take care of her food, clothing, and anything she needed.
But not once had she seen the man she married.
On the one hand, he was busy with work and spent most of his time overseas to take care of business. On the other hand, even when he was in Y City, Carlos stayed in another villa. They had different friends and acquaintances. As a result, they had never met each other, not even once, in those three years.
As for the marriage certificate, her father kept it with him when he was still alive. But just before his death, he had given it to Carlos in his fear that Debbie would divorce her husband.
So, it wasn't until now that Debbie knew what her Carlos looked like.
Sitting up, she suddenly remembered something and slapped her forehead. 'Oh, I remember seeing him once, ' the young woman thought. She had gone to his office to visit a couple of times. But every time, it was Carlos' assistant who received her, precluding any opportunity to get a glimpse of her husband. The last time she went to the company, Debbie didn't introduce herself, so guards prevented her from entering the building. At that time, Carlos had just come back from an overseas trip. And while standing outside, she saw her husband getting out of the car from a distance.
Unfortunately, she was too far to get a good look at him. And it was a long time ago. Even when she knew his name, she never found any photo of Carlos on the Internet. He kept a very low profile, never granting interviews with the media and not allowing anyone to post his picture online.
There was one time though when Carlos' picture was published. In that photo, it was said that he was holding the hand of an actress. But before Debbie could get a glimpse of the photo, it had been deleted.
Now, she finally saw her husband's face.
And she even got to kiss him! If he had signed the divorce papers, technically, he would be her ex-husband.
While Carlos was known not to lack women for company, he hated the female species who took the initiative to get close to him.
So that was one more reason for Debbie to be agitated. 'Oh my God! I am screwed. I truly hope he didn't recognize me, ' she kept praying silently.
When she arrived at the villa, she heaved a deep sigh of relief when she noted no light was on.
"Maybe he didn't hear Kasie call my name, and didn't even recognize me. Thank God for that!" she muttered.
Tapping her still blushing face, she threw herself on the living room couch and recalled everything that happened tonight. "If he recognized me, he would no doubt dislike me. But maybe, that's better. Then he'd sign the divorce agreement without hesitation," she mumbled.
Debbie was a junior student in Class 22 of Finance Department of School of Economics and Management in Y City University.
There were more than 50 enrolled in her class. Forty of them passed through the college entrance exam, while the rest went through the back door.
Y City University was among the Top 3 local Universities. Even Carlos graduated from this institution. There was a long line of people wanting to enroll in the university. Debbie was one of them and got in though the back door.
Marc Dou, an old professor, stood on the platform in front of his class. He pushed his glasses up his nose and took a deep breath while staring at his students, most of them were sleepy.
Suddenly, there was a loud bang! The professor threw a book on his desk. The sound brought many students back to their senses, and they quickly sat up.
But one of them, a girl in a white leisure coat, who sat in the last row, was still asleep on her desk.
Fuming with rage, Marc Dou roared, "Debbie Nian!" He might be old with grey, grizzly hair, but his voice was still booming. In the silence that ensured, you could hear a pin drop.
But neither the noise nor the silence made any difference to Debbie, who was still sound asleep. Everyone was staring at her as she remained in dreamland.