The Garden

Qiao Rui is in his office , he spreads the blueprints across a table, he is very proud of the design, it will enable the hospital to include an alternative treatment wing where there is a holistic approach to treating patients that combines Modern Medicine with Traditional Chinese Medicine. He has a small clinic on the East side of Pushong City which uses traditional methods, acupuncture, herbal medicine, Dr. Woo oversees it for him.

    Unfortunately, he will need the Board’s approval to finance the construction of the Wing. That means getting the majority vote away from his stepmother and Xiaotong. Since his father has been ill they have manipulated him and taken over control of the Qiao Corporation.

     Rui pushes up his glasses as he examines the blueprint.“Chiyu, do you see this section of the Wing, didn’t I specify a number of the rooms should be large enough to accommodate family members to be able to stay with the patient overnight.” 

 Bai Chiyu leans next to him her bright red fingernail touching the blueprint. Her soft hair brushing against his cheek, “Yes, you said fifteen and I only see eleven.” She smiles at him as she looks up. Most men would fall for her seductive behavior but Qiao Rui doesn’t pay any attention to her alluring body almost in his lap.

     “I’m going to look over the blueprints carefully to see what other mistakes they have made, this isn’t a hard one to rectify, when I finish you will need to go to their Downtown Office and show them the revised blueprint, noting the changes I made in red ink.”

     Bai Chiyu admires Qiao Rui’s meticulous attitude about everything he won’t settle for anything less than perfection. She stares at his profile as he leans over the papers, he is cold and indifferent to her but she has been attracted to him since the first day she started working for him a year ago.

     “After you drop these off at the Architect’s I need you to go by my home, my cook is preparing my dinner. Bring it to the same room as last night 2009.” he never looks up from marking the blueprint as he is telling her this. If he did he would see her beautiful face contorted in anger. Who is this little bitch getting his special attention.

    “Dr. Qiao I will be right back I need to get the case file you requested earlier in Medical Records.”

     She decides she needs to more about this girl in room 2009.

     LiMei is getting restless,Gu Chang should be out of school right now, where is he? She can’t even contact him her phone is dead. Staying here is too boring even if she gets to see that handsome doctor, she feels trapped .

     There is a knock at the door, it is Gu Chang. He comes in on his crutches with a duffel bag with her things in it. “Sorry LiMei I had to wait for grandpa to get home to bring me. He is going to visit his old friend then be back for me, so we can hang out for awhile.”

   “How’s your knee, Chang?

    “It hurts but the knee brace helps. The coach is really pissed off at me, I had to listen to him bitch me out for a half hour at school today, but I should be fine by the time of the playoffs. How about you?”

    “Just bored I want to go home, I guess they will release me in the morning .”

     “That’s cool.”

     “Hey Chang let’s go to the gardens, I need some fresh air. Are you good to do that? Let me change into my clothes.”

     “Sure I will look at your mangas while you change.’

     From the bathroom LiMei calls out, “Chang plug in the charger.”

     He plugs it in then gets the mangas out of the bag, “Shit LiMei, what a bunch of garbaaaage, how can you read this ?”

     “Shut up Chang! Haha..” She comes out dressed in her leggings, “I asked you to bring them not read them.” She playfully ruffles his hair, “Let go.”

     Chang grabs a handful of the candy in the bag as he is walking past it.

     “Hey save me some! haha..” She likes to munch on chocolate  when she is reading.

     They leave the room, she tells them at the nurse’s station they are going to the garden.

     As they enter the elevator a beautiful woman in a maroon pantsuit is getting off, they don’t pay any attention to her. She walks past the nurses station to room 2009, ready to put on a fake smile and find out about this girl. When she enters the room no one is there it seems, “Hello?” She walks over by the bathroom, is she in there? No.

     She looks around the room, some mangas,’Prince of The Host Club’ what trash! a phone on the nightstand , she peeks in a bag on the floor, pink cotton pajamas. How old is this girl, she must be a relative of Dr. Qiao’s, satisfied she leaves smiling she goes down to the Medical Records for the case file.

    The garden is beautiful, it has an ancient style design , a Lotus pond, a Koi pond, a gazebo to sit in to admire the flowers. Not very many people are out, one nurse is pushing an old man in a wheelchair, a young couple is standing by the Koi pond. He is wearing a robe and pushing a drip stand.

     “This is really pretty.”

     “It is hard to believe these are hospital grounds”, Chang has only been to the Public Hospital once to visit his uncle who was having surgery. It was all concrete outside a couple trees, a few benches.

     “I know, right? The whole atmosphere is relaxing.”

     They sit there for awhile talking, Du Chang’s grandfather walks up, “LiMei how do you feel?”

     “Good. Sit down.”

     “I will for a minute then we need to get back I have a delivery at the store at 6:00. I went to your room they said you were in the garden. This reminds me of the gardens in the village by Lion Breath Mountain, beautiful design. It used to be the home of a Mountain Warlord, when he disappeared, the government eventually confiscated the land turning it into public gardens,”

     LiMei thought it looked familiar, he is right. She isn’t going to mention it, she was there once when she was with the Black Sky Organization. Kuang Bo was injured and the town not far from there had the closest doctor. That was shortly after her father sold her to Kuang Fu, five years ago, she had almost forgotten. She had never seen a bleeding man before and she fainted, she doesn’t remember much after that.

     “That’s interesting.”

     “Well, LiMei call Du Chang tomorrow when you are released we will come pick you up.” Grandpa Du gets up to leave.

     “I can take the bus Grandpa, don’t bother coming , it’s far.”

      “LiMei,I will be angry if you don’t call me for a ride.”

     “Okay Grandpa, thanks, and thanks for bringing Chang with my things!

     She watches them as they leave, such nice people, she is happy she rented that upstairs room from them. LiMei’s body feels tight she decides since no one is around she will practice her Tai Chi, when she gets home tomorrow she will need to get back into her regime adding martial arts training.

     LiMei stretches then begins her practice, as she moves she can feel the flow of her inner qi through her meridians. Her slender arms moving like a whip, her lithe body graceful as she practices. LiMei is almost in a trance not noticing someone’s intense stare as she moves only concentrating her thoughts on her inner energy.

     Qiao Rui stands watching her not wanting to disturb the beauty of her practice. He had gone to her room to examine her and the nurse said she was in the garden. He steps away and calls Bai Chiyu, it goes to voicemail “Bring my dinner to the gazebo in the garden, thank you Chiyu.” He sits on a bench crossing his long legs, watching LiMei fascinated by her movements and concentration, she is in her own world. Her eyes are open but she is focused not paying attention to the world around her…very beautiful.

     When she finishes she lets out a sigh, it was a good session. She decides she should go back to her room the handsome doctor said he would be back for her checkup. Before she goes but a few steps she hears a voice from the side, “Miss Feng you practice Tai Chi also?”

     Huh? Is that the doctor sitting in the gazebo how long has he been here.

     “The nurse said you went to the garden for fresh air, I didn’t think you would be here practicing.”

     “Doctor!” His presence startled her, she feels sweaty she had planned on showering before her exam. 

     “Come over and sit in the gazebo with me I’m on a dinner break.”

      LiMei hesitates am I  stinky? What should I say? “I really should go back to my room.”

      He flashes a charming smile,“Why, it is stuffy and boring I’m sure, come here and sit.”

     “I practice Tai Chi also, have you been studying it long?”

    “A couple years.” Her moves were perfectly executed, where did she learn? He couldn’t take his eyes off her while she was moving her body in such fluid motion.

     “Who did you study with.”

     “Oh, I just watched You Tube and read books. “{ Lie..Lie..}

     He finds that hard to believe but he is not going to press her right now.

     Bai Chiyu comes walking up with dinner. Now they are eating in the gazebo! The lights that are hung from the gazebo will come on soon, it will almost be romantic, why is it that little girl again!

     “Thank you Chiyu. You can leave work now I’m not going back to my office this evening I have to meet Lau An at Morning Glory later.”

     LiMei’s green eyes widen that is the beautiful Cafe owner, is she his girlfriend? No he said he doesn’t have a girlfriend and that woman was hysterical over the beast that day. How does he know her? Does he know the beast. Shit!

     He lifts the lid of the container,“Ah, the cook made some Western food tonight. Do you like Western Cuisine?”

     LiMei has lost her appetite  as she fidgets on the seat at the table,my dream man knows those people I need to avoid.

     “I do but I’m not very hungry.

     Qiao Rui sees her face has paled. “Are you feeling alright you suddenly got very pale. Miss Feng you should eat, I will examine you after dinner.” He places some Shrimp Fettucini on her plate, and some Lemon Chicken.

    LiMei just stares at her plate, not the beast..he isn’t friends with the beast..no..no.. Rich people stick together. Should I just ask?

     Looking at her slender frame he thinks she is too thin, in a pampering tone he says, “You need to eat, if you don’t like it I can order something else, do you want Chinese food.”

     Hearing the concern in his voice she realizes she is being very rude, she smiles,“Oh I’m sorry my head was just hurting for a minute.”

   He quickly stands up moving to her side of the table he sits next to her, he didn’t bring his doctor bag, he feels her forehead with his hand. It isn’t hot, could there be a bigger problem, should I run more tests? His gentle touch sends a warmth through LiMei she decides she won’t let anything stand in her way, this man is just too good. She is probably overreacting that he knows that Chen beast.

     “Doctor Qiao I’m fine, it was just I was thinking about some problems I have.”

     He looks into her deep green eyes, she does look worried.”Anything I can help you with?” Even though he just met her he is very attracted to her, he wants to protect her, for her to smile at him,when she does her eyes are in a crescent moon shape, so beautiful.

    “No, let’s eat everything looks delicious. She picks up a fork to taste the Shrimp, “Oh yummy.”

     Qiao Rui stays sitting next to LiMei, he places some vegetables onto her plate. Watching her eat, he feels comfortable being with her, he wonders what she is thinking.

     “Miss Feng, you have an interest in Acupuncture I was wondering if you would like to meet my teacher Dr. Woo. I have a small Clinic where he will be on Saturday.”

     LiMei is fascinated with the use of silver needles, she has learned many techniques for both healing and killing. The technique he used earlier which made her body have a strange reaction she had never experienced before.

   She gazes at him intensely and her eyes light up, “I would really be honored to meet him!” She can’t contain the excitement in her voice. Meet someone like Dr. Woo and spend time with my crush. Her fingers tighten around her fork, that would be amazing!

    Qiao Rui loves the way her eyes sparkle when she is excited, darken becoming deep green when she is thinking of something serious. This girl freely expresses what she thinks, not disguising her feelings. “Is one o’clock a good time for you? You should be discharged at 9 A.M. I can pick you up .”

     He takes out his cell, “Give me your number and address. I will call first.”

     LiMei gives him her contact information forgetting two minutes ago she wanted to distance herself from him.

     The sun is setting, the lights come on in the gazebo, she is wearing a tshirt and leggings he thinks she looks very cute as she leans back like a satisfied kitten after she ate, patting her stomach.

     “Miss Feng…”  LiMei interrupts, “Please call me LiMei, I’m not used to being called Miss Feng”, she laughs, “It sounds so serious when someone calls me that.”

     “We should return to your room I will exam you, change your bandage, your wound should be almost healed by the time we go to the clinic tomorrow.”

    “Should we clean up the dishes?”

     Qiao Rui laughs, “No, someone will be out to clean up.”

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