Let’s Go Back

 Leng Shuai takes out his phone looking at the picture of Feng LiMei, why did he take her picture, he never uses the camera. As a matter of fact this is the only picture of a woman he has on his cell. He doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry thinking of the scene at the store. He takes a bite of his noodles, where is she anyway? She left to speak to Hong Cui and hasn’t returned. Hong Cui is speaking to a man a few tables over, he motions to her to come to his table.

     “Mr. Leng is your dinner satisfactory? I prepared the pork dumplings especially for you they are a house specialty.”

     “Quite delicious do you know where Feng LiMei is?”

     “Your fiancee told me she was going to wait in your room for you.” Hong Cui thought she said he knew, he seems surprised.

    He smiles when he hears this.. my fiancee? What game is she playing now. “Thank you, which room is ours?”

     “The third room down the hallway on the right.

     He needs to see what that scheming little girl is up to, he finishes his meal. He knocks on the door no one answers, he tries the door it is open. He enters glancing around she isn’t in the bedroom, the bathroom door is open, it looks as though she took a shower. Where did she go?

    Leng Shuai isn’t sure himself why he is curious but he wants to know where she went. He goes back into the dining room, “Miss Hong did my fiancee mention she was going out? Maybe to look at the gardens?”

     “No, I brought her the hiking clothes she requested and the map, she said she was going to rest.”

     Nothing was in the room, did she decide to leave tonight to hike the mountain, is she crazy! He tightens his fist why the fuck is he worried about her, she is a little nuisance!  Unfortunately he feels a little guilty, and she could get killed trying to maneuver through the forests with no guide doesn’t she realize how treacherous hiking at night can be? He spent many summers on Shingu Island when he was growing up this mountain in particular is extremely dangerous. 

     Now it is Autumn the nights are cold and many wild animals are foraging for food at night. Little idiot! What demanding boss does she have that she would go to such extremes to make a meeting.

    “Thank you Miss Hong, if I could bother you I’m afraid she decided to leave tonight so I will need to find her. Can I purchase a map, some water and food? I will be leaving immediately, here is my card. He pulls out a black card she looks at it Leng Shuai -Leng Enterprises. He is from the Leng Family in Hirachi City? 

     She needs to get in his good graces and her credit machine isn’t working anyway, she can’t ask him for cash. “Mr. Leng no worries, my machine is down from the storm a couple days ago, you can remit payment at another time.” She leans into him pushing his hand with the card.

     He has his gear with him because he didn’t want to have to go back to the plane. He takes a quick shower and puts on his pants. There is a knock at the door he hasn’t put his shirt on yet. He answers it, Hong Cui gasps his bare chest still has a few drops of water on it sliding down his abs, his body is perfect, his muscles are defined, his pants aren’t buckled, she wants to jump on him. She needs to find a way to get closer to him, this is the man she wants. 

     “ Mr.Leng I have the map, but if you would like I can be your guide. I grew up on this mountain and know every bit of the trails leading down it.”

    “No need, I will send a cash payment when I return to Hirachi City. He takes the map and bag of food and water. Can you inform your father I will return to get Ba Hu’s plane.”

     So he will need to return to get the plane, right. She relaxes she will have another chance to see him. Right now she should pretend to be concerned about that woman. She holds onto his arm, “You should hurry it is very dangerous for your fiancee to have left at this time of night” his fiancee must have a death wish. 

     She only volunteered to go so they could be alone together otherwise she would never attempt to go down the mountain at night.

     LiMei has no idea Leng Shuai is worried about her she has begun her descent down the mountain. Right now she is just using the moonlight for light. She purchased a hiker’s headgear with a bright light attached to maneuver down the path if needed. In addition she has a good flashlight, but using them can sometimes make night vision harder. This section according to the map is the easiest part of the journey so she should try to make good time now.

     Leng Shuai studies the map, he should be able to catch up to her before she is at the midway point that is where the mountain is the most dangerous. He puts on his backpack and starts out after her, Hong Cui envies Feng LiMei thinking she is lucky to have such a handsome and devoted man. She needs to find a way to steal him from her no matter what it takes.

     When he gets to the mountain path he can see she is at least headed the right direction there are imprints of her shoes in the mud. He wonders why he decided to follow after her but he feels somewhat responsible. If he hadn’t been in a bad mood at the airport in Hirachi City he could have told her he wasn’t going to Shingu City, then she could have taken a ferry over to the island.

     But seriously who would have thought she would stow away on Ba Hu’s plane. She looked like a spoiled girl and her temper was too annoying. Yes he could have told her he would fly her back in the morning but by that time she had irritated him too much.  

     He considers the situation deciding he will catch up to her and tell her he will fly her back down to Shingu City in the morning. Why would she risk her life for a stupid meeting.

     LiMei is making good time as she follows the trail, the boots have good tread and she hasn’t slipped once. Really it isn’t as bad as they made it sound. This is a decent trail and she hasn’t heard any disturbing animal noises. She takes a sip of water, what a beautiful night, there are so many bright stars and it is almost a full moon, she sits down for a minute on a rock to rest. 

   She is looking forward to seeing the waterfall in the moonlight, she will have some wine and dumplings there. LiMei stretches and continues down the mountain.

     Leng Shuai thinks he should have caught up to her by now. He can tell she is still on the path from the fresh broken branches and the crushed leaves but he can’t see her up ahead. How fast is she moving.

After about an hour of trekking down the mountain the path curves to the left, this is where it will be tricky, she puts on her headgear turning on the light. She carefully moves slower it is rocky and she can hear the sound of water up ahead. 

     LiMei trips over a log stumbling forward she clutches onto a tree to steady herself. Her hand lands on top of something slimy, oh my, she carefully takes the knife out of her belt quickly stabbing the snake as it whirls its head with its sharp fangs bared to strike at her.

     LiMei is sweating as she pulls the knife out, her heart is pounding she was too casual because the trail to this point has been easy to navigate.  Wiping her forehead with the sleeve of her jacket, she breathes a heavy sigh, she forgot danger can be anywhere in the mountains. 

     Picking up the snake that she killed she places it in a plastic bag she brought to gather any herbs she might see along the way. It is a Striped Grishan snake she can roast it when she is by the waterfall. Her heart is still pounding thinking how careless she was a few moments ago. Up ahead she can see the waterfall, in the moonlight the water is sparkling as it rushes down into the pool below.

     LiMei finds an open space, tossing down dried branches she found as she was coming down the mountain she builds a pyramid with them then lights it. She takes a sturdy branch, making a skewer she puts it through the whole snake. 

     There is a nice size rock she sits on it watching the red and orange flames dancing, this is great! So what if she misses the meeting, it has been a long time since she enjoyed looking at the stars in such a beautiful setting. She hears branches breaking she grabs the knife, it sounds like boots not an animal, who would be here in the middle of the night. On alert she hides behind the rock as a man comes towards the fire, she peeks out then jumps up from behind the rock, with her hands on her hips she yells, “Leng Shuai what the hell are you doing here?”

     Her sudden appearance from behind the rock startles him but he catches himself, “I heard the waterfall is beautiful at night I wanted to come see it, what are you doing here?” His tone is nonchalant disguising his true intentions.

    “…” Was he worried about her? No he wouldn’t care. If he did he would have offered to fly her to Shingu City. “You startled me!”

     “I thought you were leaving in the morning, why did you start down the mountain at night?” His casual tone makes it seem like a coincidence they met here.

     “I need to get to the meeting or I might lose my job if you must know.” LiMei walks over to the fire turning the snake. Leng Shuai looks at her in the firelight her face is quite beautiful, he looks away. he doesn’t need any complications and this girl is troublesome to say the least.

     He walks towards the fire, “Did you kill that snake?”

    LiMei looks at him with a bewildered look, obviously she killed the snake in a sarcastic tone she replies, “You aren’t very bright, is there anyone else here?” She gets a dumpling out of her bag and shoves it in her mouth, oh even cold it is delicious, it has a savory pork filling.

     Leng Shuai is kicking himself for worrying about her she is an annoying little spoiled brat. He ignores her and sits on the ground by the fire rubbing his hands together. 

     The heat from the fire feels good the night air is getting very cold, her jacket doesn’t look warm enough they should go back soon Even though she is being impudent he will tell her he will fly her back in the morning, it is his fault she ended up here.

     “Feng LiMei.”

     “Yeah” Her voice is garbled she has half a dumpling in her mouth.

     “I changed my mind I will fly you to Shingu City in the morning.”

     “No need to put yourself out for me,I already have a plan and I’m enjoying the hike down the mountain.” She turns the snake, if she had some herbs that would be good. Maybe she should pour a little wine on it, no that would be a waste.

     Is she serious! “You know after you are at the base of the mountain it is another ten km to the river then you need to go to the town who knows if they have a car available to drive you to Shingu City.”

     She gets the wine out of her back pack. Leng Shuai sees it, she brought wine… doesn’t she realize the next part of the descent is very dangerous.

   “Feng LiMei in that case you shouldn’t drink wine, the rest of the trek is very dangerous.”

    “Who are you all of a sudden, what is with the concerned attitude.” She bought a knife that has a corkscrew on it where is it she is rummaging through her backpack. “Why don’t you sit back and enjoy the waterfall you said that is why you came down here. Dammit where is that little knife.” She takes the flashlight shining it into the backpack. “Yes!”She pulls it out and begins to take the cork out of the bottle.

      “All I ask is that you are quiet, I want to enjoy the waterfall and the beautiful night in peace. I will share the wine, do you have a cup in your backpack? I only have one.”

     Leng Shuai wants to put her over his knee and spank her. He is not going to beg her to go back with him but as a man he can’t leave her here to go on by herself. She may have some skills but it is dangerous by the cliffs. Fuck! Why did he run into this bothersome girl anyway! “I’m good.”

     “Suit yourself.” She pours herself some wine, “Ahh..” She pulls out another dumpling and eats it. He watches her, the jacket is too big and the pants are baggy, some hair is falling out of the ribbon she has a carefree look to her that is somehow captivating. He shakes his head what is he thinking.

      He takes a water bottle out of his backpack sipping it he is getting hungry, the snake cooking smells good.

     LiMei has some more wine, she spreads a blanket on the ground she bought. The snake is finished cooking she finds some large leaves then places the snake on them. Leng Shuai can’t take his eyes off her as she skillfully takes the knife removing the head, skin and the insides. She takes one of the leaves and places some meat on it, “Here it doesn’t have any spices on it but the meat of this snake is very tender and tasty.” 

     She takes one for herself and bites into it, “Hot..hot..!”she waves her hands around then gulps down some wine. “Oh so good!”

    “Here I will take some wine.” If he doesn’t drink some she will be drunk, he hands her a cup. Her cheeks are flushed from the wine and her eyes are sparkling, no wonder she disguises herself for work, she is beautiful. Who is the old pervert she works for anyway.

     Leng Shuai drinks the wine and has a bite of the snake meat she is right it is very delicious. “Very good.”

     “Yeah I told you so, did you bring any food I am still hungry?” She ate the dumplings and the snake meat she should share with him.

     “I don’t know what Hong Cui gave me let me look.”

     LiMei drinks some more wine, picking at the snake meat. His black eyelashes are very long as he leans over looking in his backpack. He is quite handsome when he isn’t being mean. His arms are muscular and he has a broad chest, his face is outstanding, very manly looking.

     Leng Shuai can feel her eyes on him for some reason he wants to tease her, he arches his sword like eyebrows,“Am I handsome?”

    LiMei wants to scream these arrogant men she was just looking at him! “Yes you are but I don’t like men with bad personalities.”

     He starts to laugh, this little girl is very straightforward. “I have some meat buns. ”

    “Oh good give me one.”

     Leng Shuai hands her one and she takes a bite, “That old grandma is a very good cook!”

“ Didn’t Hong Cui make them?” She told him she made the dinner especially for him.

    “No, the old lady in the kitchen, the cook. I got dumplings from her when I left.”

    Hong Cui made a point to tell him she made the dumplings, women are such good liars.

    LiMei finishes her wine shaking the bottle wishing she had brought two bottles. Lazily she lays back on the blanket after finishing the meat bun with a satisfied look on her face, “So full.”

    “Miss Feng you should go back to the village with me, I told you I will fly you to Shingu City in the morning.”

     “ Leng Shuai..go away…I’m enjoying this, no stupid tyrant, this beautiful waterfall is taking my mind off Rui. I don’t care anymore about the meeting.” LiMei leans onto her arm waving her hand towards Leng Shuai, “I don’t need the job..I don’t need men.. leave… this is my spot.” She swings her arm to lay claim to the surrounding area. 

     Her body swaying from the wine she lays back down looking up at the star filled sky deciding she is in no hurry to rush to the hotel. I still have money on my card she touches the necklace around her neck I could sell this for a few thousand yuan, maybe I will hike the mountain for a few days.

     He thinks she appears vulnerable, her eyes are half open, her long black hair has come undone and is falling onto her face as she waves him away the jacket slides back exposing her small snow white hand. Her voice is low and seductive from the wine as she slowly speaks claiming this is her spot. Very different from the feisty girl who barged into the hanger wanting a ride to Shingu City.

      Earlier she was desperate to get to Shingu City but after drinking the wine she is willing to throw away her job and who is this man Rui? Sitting on the ground staring at her now she has a melancholy look on her face, her face seems to express every emotion she is feeling. He actually wants to comfort her for some inexplicable reason.

    “Miss Feng you shouldn’t make rash decisions when you are drinking.”

     Suddenly LiMei with an unsteady motion sits up giving him a fierce look,“You don’t know about my problems with these powerful men you are just a small time pilot with good looks. Yeah a girl might fall for you because you are handsome but how complicated could your life be. Oh right the girl on the plane is probably your girlfriend or is she your wife?” LiMei is leaning into him pointing her finger in his face.

“…”

     “My boss if he saw my eyes he would try to trap me so I wear a disguise then I get to hear all day how plain I am. He makes remarks about my clothes, my glasses. He constantly bullies me.” She is bobbing forward trying to focus on Len Shuai while waving her hand in the air.

    Her eyes? Leng Shuai is more curious, who is her pervert boss anyway, does he have a strange fetish about girls with green eyes?

     He has the urge to find out who this Rui also, he must be her boyfriend. “Who is Rui?”

     “Huh?” Why did he mention Rui? LiMei bursts into tears the pain finally coming out from knowing Rui was using her. she has held it in all day but now she can’t stop the tears. Covering her face,  her petite body is shaking as she sobs, tears running down her face. Leng Shuai can hear her barely whispering, “Rui..”

     Shocked by her sudden outburst he is at a loss, he has never comforted anyone in his life. His heart feels suddenly in pain watching the brave girl he saw earlier falling apart like this. What the hell happened between her and this Rui? Fuck! Her tears don’t seem to be stopping she is trembling he reaches over wrapping his muscular arm around her shoulders. What should he say? Before he can think she is resting on his chest, looking up at him with misty eyes her face wet with her tears, “Why did I have to meet him?”

     He doesn’t know who this Rui guy is but he would like to punch him in the face for hurting her, now he has to deal with this situation and is feeling extremely uncomfortable. He gently pats her on the head then brushes her hair out of her face, “It will be alright..I’m here.”

     Shit, he only came to take her back to the village not for melodrama. 

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