“Why the formalities?” said Xia Lei with a smile. “I was just saying it casually back then. There really isn’t a need to be so formal.”
“Come with me.” Jacqueline Eva seemed not to want to waste any more words and she went straight towards her room.
“What for?” Xia Lei knew, but he asked anyway.
Jacqueline Eva looked back at him and smiled. She stretched out a slender hand to him and beckoned.
This gesture was more convincing than words.
Xia Lei got up and followed her to the door of her room.
Jacqueline Eva entered her room and opened the box containing the perfume. There were six bottles of perfume in it, and the cover of one of the bottles was open. Thick perfume wafted from it.
“Incompetent. He can’t even do a simple thing right.” Jacqueline Eva frowned and grumbled about the man who had delivered the perfume.
Xia Lei stood in the doorway, just looking but not going in. He breathed as shallowly as possible.
“It’s fine, though. The perfume makes one feel comfortable, wouldn’t you say so, Mr Xia?” Jacqueline Eva stared straight at Xia Lei. Her smile was mesmerising. Under the light, she looked even sharper, more in-focus — full breasts, slender waist, and peachy buttocks. The curves of her body could make one’s nose bleed. Add the dim, mysterious atmosphere of the place magnified the clout of her beauty.
If it had been any other man, he would have thrown himself at her long ago, but Xia Lei still stood in the doorway, not moving.
He knew it was a trap, so he would be a fool if he still jumped in.
Jacqueline Eva lifted a shoulder. “Do you plan to keep standing in the doorway?”
Xia Lei nodded. “I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to stop myself if I go in.”
“From what I’d want to do to you.”
Jacqueline Eva giggled. “You can do whatever you want. Why hold back?”
Xia Lei still didn’t move. He resisted the temptress.
Jacqueline Eva felt like taking her high heel off and bashing Xia Lei on the head with it. Her lips moved as if to say something but she chose to do something else in the end. She reached out a hand to touch her forehead and said weakly, “Oh, my head. I’m so dizzy. I must’ve had too much to drink.” Her legs seemed to lose strength and she grew unsteady on her feet. She fell gently onto the bed.
She had one leg on the bed and one on the floor. Her legs were spread, exposing that area between her legs to the eye. The air of seduction was as thick as could be.
Xia Lei still did not move.
Jacqueline Eva peeked at Xia Lei out of the corner of her eye. His reaction depressed her but she still maintained that position for two minutes. She couldn’t stand it anymore after two minutes, and rolled to sit up on the bed in one movement. “Must you make me come to you and pull you over?”
“Your perfume has a drug in it that induces hypnosis, and I don’t mean the type that sends people to sleep. And you also have a camera and a listening device in that makeup case by your bedside. I am not an actor who performs for those sort of films, so I’ll have to pass,” said Xia Lei flatly.
“You… know about all of it?” The charming look on Jacqueline Eva’s face disappeared immediately, and the desire in her eyes dimmed. Her gaze grew sharp.
“It’s the same trap. I’ve skipped past it twice, so you can’t expect me to fall for it on the third try, right?”
Jacqueline Eva stared blankly. She had indeed used Marie’s Desire on Xia Lei twice. The first time she’d used it was when she had sent him to the Louvre, and the second time was the night when Xia Lei had been kidnapped. This was the third time now, but Xia Lei was not falling for it on the third try. How was she going to continue with the plan?
“You can keep acting, but I’ll just stand here and watch,” said Xia Lei.
Jacqueline Eva was speechless.
“Or you could put those things away. We can have a proper talk,” said Xia Lei.
Jacqueline Eva shrugged awkwardly, then climbed off the bed and put away her spy equipment. She couldn’t figure out how Xia Lei knew about all of her preparations, but she knew that he wouldn’t tell her even if she asked.
A few minutes later, Xia Lei walked into Jacqueline Eva’s room and the first thing he did was to open the windows to let fresh air in. He then sat on the sofa.
Jacqueline Eva sat opposite him. “All right, let’s have a proper talk. I’ll be frank. You are asking for too much, and we are unable to fulfil your request. The aircraft carrier is an ultimate weapon so we will definitely not hand its technology over to you. You have to understand too that we will face serious consequences should America find out.”
“I understand,” said Xia Lei. “So I am willing to take a step back. I will exchange the technology of the Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe, XL2500 sniper rifle and Gust assault rifle for your avionics and stealth technology for the Eurofighter Typhoon.”
“We can’t do that. One’s light weapons’ technology and the other is technology of a fighter jet. The stealth technology for the Eurofighter Typhoon, in particular. Only the Americans are better than us when it comes to stealth technology, and no other country can beat up. In other words, you’re using light weapons’ technology to try to exchange for the technology of the second-best stealth technology in the world. How is this reasonable?”
“I think it is. The XL2500 is the world’s best sniper rifle, and the Gust assault rifle too. It isn’t just planes which are used in battles, right? People are still the main focus. I know that France is entangled in the war in Africa and cannot leave. You guys want to win the war, but are unwilling to die. Use my light weapons. The soldiers of France are all great snipers. You can win the battle without even having to interact with the enemy. I am exchanging the world’s best light weapons’ technology for your aircraft carrier technology and stealth technology. Do you still think that this is a loss for you?”
“Mr Xia, it’s not like what you say. It’s…”
Xia Lei cut her off. “Miss Eva. Please get someone with authority to speak with me. I know what role you’re playing in this. There will be no result even if I talk with you from dusk to dawn.”
“Are you underestimating me, Mr Xia?” A look of discontent crossed Jacqueline Eva’s face.
Xia Lei did not care about her feelings. In truth, the shrewdness and craftiness of the French repulsed him. He had used these same technologies of his to get the Eurofighter Typhoon engine technology in exchange, as well as submarine technology. The Germans were obviously more generous in this regard and knew the value of the Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe as well as the production lines of the XL2500 and Gust. The French, on the other hand, obviously wanted his technology but were afraid of offending the Americans, and were also trying to lower the price at the same time. They even tried to use a woman to get to their stupid goal. He’d had enough of this.
Jacqueline Eva was unaware of Xia Lei’s thoughts, and she said, “Mr Xia, don’t you understand? The relationship Germany has with America is not like the relationship France has with America. When have you ever seen Germany fighting on behalf of America?”
Xia Lei spoke flatly. “I am not interested in politics. I am only interested in business. It’s best if you get someone with authority to make decisions here.”
“I AM the person with authority,” said Jacqueline Eva.
“You?” Xia Lei was surprised but he didn’t show it. ‘Did I get her identity wrong? Isn’t she the ace of the French National Security Agency? Does she have another identity in the ranks of the government? How’s that possible?’
“You still don’t understand what I meant.”
“What did you mean, then?”
“Considering the relationship France has with America, it is impossible for us to have official governmental contact with you. We wouldn’t have invited you to France like this otherwise. I have already been granted the authority to handle all interactions with you, and I am the only point of contact with you, not any other government official.”
Aha. So this was the situation.
Xia Lei gave a laugh. “Great, then. I’ve already made my requirements clear. Let’s do the exchange if you want, but there is no need to talk more if you don’t want to make the exchange.”
“They have set a bottom line for me, and I cannot cross that line.”
“They’re willing to bring out the technology for the Eurocopter Tiger. What else will they add to the deal?”
“Civil tech, like environmental tech and batteries.”
“Hehe, my, how generous. Good night.” Xia Lei got up to leave.
“Wait.” Jacqueline Eva grabbed Xia Lei’s hand. “Please don’t go, Mr Xia.”
“I sense no sincerity from your side at all. What is there to talk about?” said Xia Lei.
“It’s not that we are not sincere, it’s that what you ask for does not balance out.”
Xia Lei scoffed. “You were the ones who invited me here first. It isn’t as if I HAVE to talk with you guys about this. There will be others who will make the exchange even if you don’t do it. Your Eurofighter technology and stealth technology are not the leading technologies in the world, but my technologies are. There is a saying in China — ‘Now or never.’ If France is not making the exchange, then I will make the exchange with other countries. I won’t even bother to talk to you if you try to contact me again.”
Rare items cost more — this was one of the truths in the business world. This was also a truth in the arms world. France’s Eurofighter Typhoon was not the world’s best, but Thunder Horse Group’s technologies were the best in the world. The levels of technologies were not the same for both parties, but the world-leading technologies made up for what they lacked. What was more important was that there were other countries willing to make an exchange even if France was not!
Jacqueline Eva nibbled at her cherry-red lip. “We’ll make the exchange, but we want the second generation Thunder Dragon intelligent lathe. We also want the Hellhound One-soldier Cannon technology.”
This was equivalent to them taking all of Thunder Horse Group’s best technologies.
The French sure were greedy.
Xia Lei was so angry he laughed. “You sure know how to bargain. Even the Jews cannot compare to the French on this.”
“Mr Xia, the issue of ethnicity is not part of this exchange. I feel an exchange like this is fair.”
“I would be willing to negotiate with the Germans again, and not with you,” said Xia Lei.
“Negotiate with the Germans again? You’ve already built the production lines and lathe for them — what card do you hold in your hand now? Don’t be too greedy, Mr Xia.” Jacqueline Eva put on an expression as if she’d one-upped Xia Lei.
It was true. Thunder Horse Group’s existing technologies were practically all in the hands of the Germans, and he had very few cards to play now. It was obviously going to be tough to get any high-level technology again from the Germans. From this reminder, however, it was apparent that the French had done their research for this exchange. Jacqueline Eva would not have been so confident otherwise.
“How about this.” Xia Lei spoke after some silence. “We won’t talk about the second generation lathe, but I am willing to exchange the Hellhound technology with you.”
“And if we insist on the lathe technology?”
“Then add the nautical electronic system of the Charles de Gaulle carrier.”
“You actually want to exchange lathe technology for ship technology? You really are…” Jacqueline Eva was at a loss for words. She could not understand this Chinese man before her. He was asking for so much, and so blatantly too.
“I don’t HAVE to make the exchange with you guys either. This is my last offer. Accept, and we shall discuss how we will do the exchange. Refuse the offer, and our discussion ends here,” said Xia Lei.
“I have to talk with the higher-ups.”
“Give them a call, then. You have the whole night to discuss. I’ll see you in the morning.” Xia Lei pulled his hand out of Jacqueline Eva’s grasp and left her room.
Jacqueline Eva thought that he would look back, but all she saw was Xia Lei’s back, and the door as it shut behind him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter