From: "Shelley Morrissey" (shelleymorrissey (a)

To: "Tess Chen" (tessachen (a)


I so, so, so, so, so, knew it!!!!

HE LIKES YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HE REALLY LIKES YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HE REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY LIKES YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


HE REALLY IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From: "Arron Lin" (arronlin (a)

To: "Cam Lin" (camdenlin (a)

Re: Tell me what happened between you and…

… Our dear Ms Chen of the Marketing Department when you sent her home alone?

Out with it, man.

I deserve to hear it from your very own lips—or in this case, read in from words typed by your very own fingers— for all the times you've mistrusted and hurt me.

Now here's a chance to right your wrongs.

Seize it, brother dear!

Carpe the damned opportunity!

Maybe I can find it in my magnanimous heart to forgive you after all…


Ps. And don't you dare to even try to deny it. I heard a very interesting rumour making its leisurely way through the Merchandising Department this very morning.

From: "Cam Lin" (camdenlin (a)

To: "Arron Lin" (arronlin (a)

Re: Nothing happened.

What makes you think anything happened?


From: "Arron Lin" (arronlin (a)

To: "Cam Lin" (camdenlin (a)

Re:Re: Nothing happened.

And my brain grows out from my arse.

Nothing, eh? Are you sure it's nothing? Because the two of you have been avoiding each other the whole day—which by the way, amazes me to no end that both of you manage to accomplish that feat while working on the same project. And don't even try to work up a denial, I saw you alternating between blushing (I can tell, your ears got red like they always do) and sneaking glances at her during the general meeting.

So! Is someone reversing his opinion about the appealing Ms Chen?

If so, you have to move fast, old man. And by fast, I mean fast. My sources have informed me that she has no less than three persistent suitors that are always hovering around her:

1. Ian of Computing.

2. Wei Jun of Accounting.

3. Liam of Merchandising.

Shall I dispatch a memo for the uh, termination of their employment contracts?

-From the Sexy, Nubile Young Hunk to the Grouchy, Sexually-Repressed Old Man.

From: "Cam Lin" (camdenlin (a)

To: "Arron Lin" (arronlin (a)

Re: Are you insane?

No, no sending of memos, no interference, no nothing!

No, Arron. Do you understand? N-O.

I'm not the least bit interested in Ms Chen, thank you very much.

I mean it, Arron. No meddling in my business.

Not again. That messy episode with Ari was bad enough; I don't want history to repeat itself.

I'm being very serious, Arron. Stay out of my business, do you hear?


Ps. Since when are you a member of the female variety?

From: "Arron Lin" arronlin (a)

To: "Cam Lin" camdenlin (a)

Re: What's gotten your panties into such a huge twist?

Okay, okay, no meddling, no interference, absolutely no nothing. I get it, there's no need to Y-E-L-L.


And did you have to bring up the Ari thing again? That's practically medieval history. I mean, I was young. You can't push the blame on me.

Plus I did it for your own good, yeah? I thought you were bored during your vacation. I thought having a girlfriend might solve that. I thought she was the perfect candidate because well, she was obviously smitten.

How was I to know that she's a psychopath? If you think about the minute probability…

And while we're on the matter of dragging up the past, just stop it with the Hong Kong thing, dude.

Come on, I know it was lame, but don't you agree the spreading rumours via emails thing is a very ingenious idea of mine?

-The Sexy Young 'Un.

Ps. Cam and Tessa Chen sitting on a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

Pps. Since the Human Resources girls were giggling about it and my apparent manly hotness when I exited the lift this morning. Besides, nubile means 'sexually mature and attractive' when I checked the dictionary. There wasn't a single bit about females. But who cares if it is used to describe women? Hot is hot.

From: "Cam Lin" (camdenlin (a)

To: "Arron Lin" (arronlin (a)

Re: It would have been funny…

If I wasn't the supposedly paedophilic, gonorrhoea-suffering Casanovaic subject of your chain mail, perhaps.

As it is, I do not find it amusing at all.

But to the subject at hand. There's nothing between Ms Chen and I.

So stop it.

And are those the actions of a twenty-year old adult? With the emphasis on the word 'adult'?


Ps. If you don't shut up about it, I'm going to be P-U-N-C-H-I-N-G you.

I didn't know my brother's actually been a hermaphrodite all these years.

From: "Arron Lin" (arronlin (a)

To: "Cam Lin" (camdenlin (a)

Re: What hermaphrodite? You're just jealous.

Grouchy old fart. You're no fun at all.

-The Manly Hotness with the 'Buns o' Steel'.


(www . livejournal . com / camlin)

(Password: XXXXXXXXXX)

Yesterday was a day full of surprises.

Arron and I had, of all coincidences, managed to pick the same basketball hall that Ms Chen and Mr Chen (Tessa and Theodore Chen –who told me while slapping a sweaty hand on my back, "Aw, c'mon, Boss! It's after working hours! Call me Ted!"— they're fraternal twins) from the company were at, and at the same time slot too.

Imagine my surprise when I turned around to pick up the ball from where it had been tossed out of boundaries by Arron and straightened to see the two of them.

Ms Chen's expression was unreadable, but Ted Chen's features are easier to read, apparently. He was too stunned for words.

It's hard to think of them as twins and not just merely siblings when she's so tiny and he's … well, larger.

She looks different from my impression of her from work, too. At work she seems, I don't know. Her attire is more …compact and more curve-hugging, making her seem more mature.

But standing there, in a red, too-large jersey saying "T. Chen, 01" with a black singlet beneath and matching shorts… She looked younger.

Fresher, more innocent, somehow.

And perversely, more alluring.

I can't believe I just wrote that.

Wait. This is private—can't believe I nearly forgot. So who cares? No one else is going to read it anyway.

She did look more… appealing.

Her face was free of the light make-up she usually wore, too.

I didn't know how long I stood there, staring at her and I suspect, making a fool out of myself.

But all I was aware of was Arron's voice filtering into my mind when he yelled, "Hey, Ms Chen- Tessa! Ted, my man! Want to play a game together? Let's have Cam and I against the two of you; how about that?"

Am not certain of what Ted Chen said, but she did reply with a neutral, "Fine, anything."

Didn't think my brain was functioning properly, so asked Arron for clarification. Besides, Arron was being presumptuous. What if they wanted to play by themselves?

But she said it was fine. I think Arron was laughing in the background (again), but I wasn't sure.

It was the first time she'd smiled at me… Not that it was a full-fledged grin, but a smile, nevertheless. At least a smile.

She looks prettier when she smiles.

And, I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed when she called me "Mr Lin". Instructed her to call me Cam once more, but I think she was feeling kind of embarrassed at meeting her employers out of work, so she just pretended to not understand my request.

But she smiled at me again, so it was okay.

So we played and Arron and I won, but I think she was feeling kind of incredulous because she solicited me for another game immediately.

Her eyes gleam whenever she's determined about something.

We played another game, one-on-one this time, but I was so distracted by the way she was biting her lips whenever she was thinking about ways to get past my defence that I slackened slightly on my offence.

She won.

And I don't know how and why, but Ted apparently challenged Arron to a game of one-on-one on his own too, and managed to break his ankle some way or another during the process.

I wasn't really paying attention.

I've never heard of someone breaking their ankle from sitting down on it.

Anyhow, I drove him (with his sister and Arron) to a nearby clinic. But she was falling asleep during the long wait, so I told her I'll drive her home first. Didn't think she really heard me, but she nodded anyway and gave me her address in a sleep-blurred voice.

Had to half-carry her to my car. She looked cute, all wrapped up in my coat. She felt really light too—too light, considering her age. She should eat more.

Oh, God. What am I talking about?

I'm digressing.

Apparently she lives with just her brother, from what I can deduce from her slurry answers when I tried to make small talk.

Gave up soon, because, well, she did look really adorable, with her head leaning against the door and lips parted slightly.

I turned into the drive of an upscale condominium and stopped at the foyer. Shook her gently in an attempt to wake her up, but she just batted my hand away and went, "Go way, Teddy! Five minutes."

She looked so sweet, curled up on the seat like a sleepy kitten.

Leant over her to unbuckle her seatbelt, and…

Well. I nearly kissed her in a moment of (lunatic) weakness. I guess my only defence is that she looked so appealing, with half of her face dappled with moonlight, and those short, thick lashes fanned against her cheeks.

Thank God she woke up. And stopped me in my tracks.

She nearly slapped me, though. Her hand was arcing towards my face when I grabbed it instinctively.

It's soft, with just a hint of calluses to differentiate her hands from all the freeloading socialites I've always known.

Had to cast around for an excuse and settled on a half-truth: That I was just leaning over her to unbuckle her seatbelt.

She was out of my car and into the lobby under two minutes.

I hope… I don't know what to say.

I think Arron is right.

I need to get myself a girlfriend.

Or at the very least, laid.


From: "Tess Chen" (tessachen (a)

To: "Shelley Morrissey" (shelleymorrissey (a)

Re: I'm guessing you have some good joints there.

You've gone around the bend at such a high speed that you've crashed into the front of your car into the bumper.

That's all I can say.

Here's some capital letters right back at you:


Excuse me, but I believe he thinks I'm a slut who uses her body to get her way, remember?


From: "Shelley Morrissey" (shelleymorrissey (a)

To: "Tess Chen" (tessachen (a)

Re: No, listen!!!!

Or rather, read what I have to say!!!

He likes you a lot. A WHOLE LOT! I think it can even lead to love!!!!!!!!

…He just doesn't know it yet!

I can so imagine you mentally rolling your eyes now, Tess, so- STOP IT!!!

No, really, believe me, it's true!!

Alan and I were like that too, remember? I thought he hated me and kept glaring at me, but he says he was just staring because he couldn't look away!!

And now Mr CEO can't look away from YOU! Oh my God, I'm so happy for you!!!!!!!!!

Imagine, if he proposes… OH MY GOD!

You'll be Mrs Camden Lin then!

You'll be a part of the LIN family!



You have to put me as the matron-of-honour for your wedding, okay???

-Your Soon-to-be-Ex Wife (Who doesn't care because you're marrying into one of the richest families in the United States!!!!!!!!!!!!)

From: "Tess Chen" (tessachen (a)

To: "Helene Foo" (helenefoo (a)

Re: Help.

Attchmt: No, listen!!!!

Shelley's gone bonkers. And no, I'm not exaggerating. It's a full-scale fit this time.

-Your Husband.

Ps. Are you in a better mood?

From: "Helene Foo" (helenefoo (a)

To: "Tess Chen" (tessachen (a)

Re: Is this the first day you've known Shelley?

Seeing how we're celebrating our six-year anniversary in three months, I'd say no.

So you should know that she's perpetually off her rocker.

Although that email you just forwarded to me seems to contain a more concentrated dose of madness than usual.

I think it's the enticement of the private spas located on every single one of the Lin estates around the world and the endless string of zeroes on their account books that broke the fragile control she has on her mind.

And since when was I in a bad mood? I'm always in a good mood.

-Your Wife #2.

Ps. Drinks at Paradise tonight? Just the three of us. DO NOT bring your brother.

From: "Tess Chen" (tessachen (a)

To: "Helene Foo" (helenefoo (a)

Re: Wow.

My dear Miss Foo, since when have you turned into such a comedian?

And drinks at Paradise tonight sounds good to me. Nine? I've to go do OT tonight…

The Bastard CEO—oh, sorry, Marketing Executive-Wannabe wants the folder on the new store layout on his desk by tonight.



And what's with the grudge you have against my brother, anyway?

He's nice, intelligent, witty, down-to-earth, tall, pleasant on the eyes and two years older than you. And he has a stable income—and the figures aren't an embarrassment to anyone.

Ie. He's a very eligible catch.

So why the hostility?

-Your (Curious) Husband.

From: "Helene Foo" (helenefoo (a)

To: "Tess Chen" (tessachen (a)

Cc: "Shelley Morrissey" shelleymorrissey (a)

Re: What hostility?

You're asking a lot of weird questions today, Tess Chen.

What hostility? I'm not hostile towards your brother. I've nothing but cordial feelings towards your brother.

I just want it to be a ladies' night! Is that too much to ask?

And stop trying to push your brother on me.

How many times do I have to tell you it won't work? We're too different.

I'm currently asexual and an amoeba at heart, and thus am not interested in men.

Knowing you, I'd have to clarify that being "being not interested" means the women as well.

Oh, and Shelley, drinks at Paradise tonight? Tess has already agreed. Is nine fine?

And I know you're excited at the thought of free spa massages and Jacuzzis (not to mention the in and outdoor swimming pools), but there's no need to push Tess onto the Heir.

I think we all know that these rich men's affections never last. To have a steady partner for a month will be a miracle for them.

And that's on the condition that there are affectionate feelings involved.

I've spa vouchers for two on me— my sister passed them to me because she hasn't the time to indulge in such luxuries these days, with her new baby.

Do you want them? You know how I hate being naked and kneaded like a batch of dough, so I'm definitely not using them.

-Helene. (And before you start yakking at me for using my standard, mature signature, and getting mad that I'm not using our code, here you go.)

Ps. Over and out, from Wife #2.

A/N: LONG A/N today.

Well! Chapter Six now, and people, if you like this/think it's tolerable/ thinks there's plenty of room for improvement, please, please, please REVIEW. I need criticism! I always feel vaguely uncomfortable when people just go "This is great! Update soon!" because I don't really know what you're thinking about it, and if there're parts I ought to improve. Hmm.

So yeah, please do REVIEW! (ConCrit will be welcomed, but just a word of warning- Flamers can flame, but I'll flame you back. (: )

And I want to say a big THANK YOU to awestruck4! Seriously, I love your comment, because you've given me the perfect way to explain OP.

So what awestruck4 said was this:

"this is a different approach to writing a story through e-mails...but I hope
you are not writing the entire story via e-mails. As a reader, I don't get
much of a story plot from this. I just think that e-mails don't show the
direct interaction between characters and the dialogue between characters well
enough like a normal story does."

This is my reply:

Well, actually it isn't all in emails. There are the voicemail messages, and the odd blog entry or two. There are going to be a few parts where technology comes in a play a big part in the whole plot, but well; let's save that for later.

Anyway. Okay, the above was in jest. Going into serious mode, now.

Well, that's the thing. I use the minimalistic format- or what you call 'writing the entire story via emails'- precisely for the reason. I don't want to show the direct interaction between my characters, because there aren't going to be much, and most of it is affected. Because this story of mine is titled Office Politics because a good part- or I should say the majority- of the plot is set out heavily in the office.

And- do you work? If you do, and in a typical company, I'm sure you'll realise that well, most colleagues don't go around wearing their hearts on their sleeves during working hours.

The first major reason why I'm structuring my format this way is- I'm focusing on the office part of their lives, and less on the private parts -COUGH not that private parts! Uh. You know what I mean. But the thing is, Cam and Tess know each other at face value from their workplace. Cam doesn't know anything about Tess other than that her name's Tessa, she's female, she's slightly younger than he is, she's hot -albeit unwillingly, but hey, we have to have a cliched part somewhere- she's good at basketball, she has a twin who works in the same company and that she doesn't like him very much. Tess doesn't know anything about Cam other than that he used to be hot in her eyes until he turned out to be a chauvinist, he keeps staring at her without any expression (Mr Darcy!!!!), he's rich, he's working in the same department as she is temporarily, and that she doesn't want anything to do with him other than what she has to do-for work.

So they're hardly going to go out on dates and stuff or just basically see each other after work. And Tapei is a big city, even when you'rejust talking about the City and not the County, so bumping into each other like they did at the basketball hall accidentally was one coincidence too many.

And I don't know about you, when I considered writing this in a narrative format a long time ago, I was immediately put off by the fact that about three quarters of the whole story occurs within a single building- it'll be boring if I keep going on and on about how their offices look like and the types of food stocked up in the office pantry.

And also- we won't see as much interaction between Tess and her friends (Read: Shelley and Helene) if it's in narrative because in actuality, Tess rarely sees them during work, except for perhaps, general staff meetings. But they usually don't meet because they're all in different departments and different floors.

So yep.

And now here's the second reason- I don't know if you've picked up on it, but all of the major characters in OP are well, to put it blunt, liars.

In little ways, of course, and mostly they just deny/push away things/ignore hints/pretend feelings don't exist. They're all Great Pretenders. Take Tess; she doesn't really say it, but her too vehement protests and hatred of anything that reeks of male chauvinism (Read: Cam)actually hint at her lack of self confidence and etc et etc. Let's not give away everything now. But, yep, I think you get the picture. So I had to have a private outlet- do you realise she's actually a very private person? Shelley and Helene have been friends with her for nearly six years, and yet she isn't quite honest with them. I was thinking about either a diary or journal when OP was in the early stages, but diaries and journals always seem to be discovered, don't they? So I had her have a blog, a private blog that nobody knows.

And Cam- Well, it's obvious that he loves denying; look at the current bout of self-denial he's in. Teddy and Helene; hello, the river in Egypt, anyone? Plus- yes, Helene's facade as a misdranist is exactly that. And Shelley- she's Team Leader (this information is going to come out later in the story) in the Merchandising dept; no, her '!!!!!!' and '?????' and general exuberance are not 100 percent real. As for why- I dunno, I'm still working on Helene. Heh. Hanami/Hanako/Hazel- Well, it's obvious that she has an identity crisis. Sojiro is... Uh. LOL! And Arron, he's the Man, man; look at how information about him doesn't seem to corroborate- he used to be sensitive, piano-playing and passionate. Now his mentality is inversely proportionated to his age (Read: His pranks, which are central to the plot, actually), and... Well, I won't say any more, except that he has a lot of hidden talents which he'll put to use.

And lastly, I choose this format because- hey! Comic relief! I don't really enjoy writing gloomy stories- or rather, I don't really like them, but I end up writing them sometimes anyway- so I had OP to give myself a laugh everynow and then. Reason enough? (:

Hope this helps! And I hope you'll continuing reading OP (if, after my explanation, it's to your taste) and giving me feedback!

To the others- Thank you for review! 17 reviews a chapter- it's slowly increasing now.

Thanks especially to Micky and emotionless-stares (You watch KSA?! That's the only Korean drama I can tolerate, because it's just so damn FUNNY! I love Kim-SunA ad how she seems to have a special affinity with my funny bone.) for reviewing all of the chapters at one go! (:

LethargicLove: I'm glad you love Ted and Shelley! And esp. Ted; I have a soft spot for him.

To the rest, thank you so much for reading and liking it enough to take a few minutes out to write me a review! I hope this one is okay- and here's a tip: Things are heating up soon. But not neccessarily in a good way.

Last thing: I WANT MY SARAH! Her hobbit arse has been missing from MSN and Y! Mail these days. -mopes-