Chapter 569: I Refuse
"It's none of your business!"
Richard gave Natasha a cold glare.
People near the table quietly walked away, pretending they didn't hear anything. It wasn't uncommon to find couples in open disagreements with each other during such occasions, and the number one rule was to never get involved.
"She said no, and no means no!" Natasha chided.
Richard's courteous appearance had given Natasha a good first impression. However, there was a despicable monster underneath the facade.
"Hehe. I took her to three parties before this one, and introduced her to four producers. Those connections are not for free," Richard said, snickering.
Li Xinru's face was turning paler by the second.
By the end, she was so ashamed of herself that she could barely look at Chen Fan in the eyes. Although what she did was an unwritten rule of the industry, it wasn't something that she would brag about.
Natasha glared at Li Xinru.
While Li Xinru was overwrought, Chen Fan finally broke his silence.
"You had her consent, but not anymore."
Li Xinru's disgraceful conduct didn't sit well with Chen Fan, but he also knew that Li Xinru had looked out for Xu Rongfei. She played a key role in Xu Rongfei's success.
Although Chen Fan had told Li Xinru to take care of Xu Rongfei, the fact that she had followed through on her promise had impressed him.
"Humph! What if I say no?"
He loathed Chen Fan.
Chen Fan's appearance was average and so was his background. However, Li Xinru had ditched him over this young brat twice. Not even the lure of becoming an international celebrity would win her over.
"Then you die."
Natasha made a dismissal gesture and said, "Did you hear that? Leave."
Richard's face turned so red that it looked purple.
The Timmons were a renowned family in Austria, also part of the royal lineage. Never had one of its members been insulted by an Asian man.
"What is going on?"
A white-haired old man parted from the crowd and approached them with a warm smile.
"Director Stern?" Li Xinru and the others' faces changed.
"Director Stern is one of the most famous directors in Europe. It was the dream of many starlets to lead one of his films."
"It's nothing, just a couple of uncivilized Asians." Richard then filled Director Stern in with twisted facts. He accused Li Xinru of being a whore who tried to manipulate him in order to get a role. According to him, even after he refused her a few times, she still wouldn't give up and had brought her friends to threaten him.
"Liar!" Li Xinru flung back at him hotly.
"Linda, I've heard of you. A few of my partners have brought you up. I wonder, are you trying to break into the European Market?"
"Yes, Director Stern." A hint of joy flashed across Li Xinru's face.
However, Director Stern pulled a taut face and said, "I am sorry Miss Linda. You're being banned all across Europe. We wouldn't use actresses with such questionable morals. Casting you would be a disaster for the box office."
Her eyes were wide open in disbelief.
She had worked consistently for months, trying to pry open the gate to the European Market. However, her dream was shattered even as she saw a shred of hope.
"Why would you do such a thing?" Natasha asked indignantly.
"Why? Because he said so. He is Director Stern, the most respected Director in Europe, and also the most trusted friend of the Timmons family," Richard said with a smirk.
Director Stern shrugged as a sign of acknowledgement.
Li Xinru and Natasha finally reckoned that the two were in this together.
Chen Fan shook his head as he observed quietly.
Such was the nature of Capitalism: only money talks.
"Linda, there are ways to avoid this. I am staying at the Shangri-La, room number 807, and am in need of some… room service, if you know what I mean. Do that, and I might tell Director Stern to reconsider his decision."
A sinister smile crept onto Richard's face.
Li Xinru shivered a little as her sense of dignity contradicted the temptation.
"And, you need to stay away from these bad influences. You are accompanying the heir of the Timmons family, so mind your decency," Richard cracked a smug smile and said.
He was convinced that Li Xinru would agree to his terms.
For celebrities, nothing would be worse than being censored. Richard knew that Li Xinru was forced to seek opportunities in the west because she had a bad fallout with her previous manager in China.
Director Stern was holding a wine cup with two fingers while he looked at the girl and gloated.
He had witnessed such a scene many times: a helpless girl forced to her knees, stripped of the last shred of dignity so that she would have a slight edge in her career.
"I refuse!" said Li Xinru after taking a deep breath, to everyone's surprise.
Richard's smile soured on his face.
Director Stern also narrowed his eyes and said, "Linda, do you know what you're missing out on? The Timmons family has a huge influence in the industry and he could make you the most popular Asian actress in Europe."
"I know that, but I just can't do it," Li Xinru gave Chen Fan a quick glance and said while gritting her teeth.
"Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!"
Richard Timmons spilled the wine around as his face turned severe. The heir of the Timmons family was getting more impatient and angrier.
"Get out of here!" Natasha said with a smile
"No, it's YOU who should get out," Richard said, curling his lips into a cold smile.
He turned around and said loudly, "Ladies and gentlemen, I can't help noticing that there are two CHINESE and Russian communists among us here."
Richard's announcement caught everyone's attention.
Li Xinru's face turned as pale as a piece of paper.
Chen Fan narrowed his eyes as he was getting impatient.