All of the nurses admire Rui as he enters the operating room wearing his surgical gown ready to begin the operation. They all collectively sigh at his handsome appearance. One nurse standing by the door quietly says to her friend, “Dr. Qiao is so young and handsome.”
Her friend responds, “He looks even taller and more distinguished in person than in the pictures I have seen of him.”
They giggle together,”He is single too.”
The head nurse gives them a stern look and they quickly stop talking.
Rui introduces himself and Dr. Woo then seriously addresses the possible threat of attack during the surgery. He ends his short introduction by saying, “ I am counting on you all to concentrate on the surgery, as a team we are responsible for the patient and cannot allow any distractions to affect the surgery.”
The surgical team responds in unison, “Yes Dr. Qiao.”
Xinghi has taken a preoperative sedative but is still awake. Rui’s lips curl up as he stands next to the operating table, “I will be expecting the rare medicinal herb you promised so stay with me. ”
Xinghi smiles faintly, I knew I made the right choice with Qiao Rui no one has his confidence and skill, he will be able to remove it. He slowly closes his eyes as the anesthesia begins to take effect.Once he is unconscious Rui begins the surgery.
Rui opens Xinghi’s chest making a 25.5 cm cut separating the breastbone,exposing his heart and aorta. He inserts tubes into the heart, his heart is stopped as the heart- lung bypass machine is being used to maintain the blood and oxygen circulating.
A pretty nurse stands by a stainless steel table with various medical instruments waiting for Rui’s instruction.
“Scalpel.” Dammit! The damage is worse than I expected. There are three blockages and a foreign object approximately .05 mm in size embedded underneath the aorta.
Still operating without making eye contact Rui questions Dr. Woo “Xixin do you see what I see. What is embedded near his heart and why didn’t it show up in the reports. Did he mention it to you in your examination?” He continues the grafting process, this blood covered hands moving the scalpel with precision as he creates detours around the blocked arteries.
“Scissors”…Suddenly there are sounds of loud gunshots and fighting in the hallway outside the operating room. Startled the frightened young nurse flinches almost dropping the sterilized instrument, Rui snaps her out of her trance, ”Nurse pay fucking attention!”
Her hands are shaking as she hands him the Surgical Scissors, realizing her mistake she apologetically responds,”Yes doctor.”
Rui speeds up his pace, “Xixin, I am going to complete the procedure then examine the foreign object for removal.”
Woo Xixin wonders himself why this didn’t show up on the x rays or MRI. “En.”
Rui continues, “Clamp.”
A pretty nurse dabs his forehead as he accurately begins grafting a blood vessel. He glances up as the lights begin to flicker, then looks at Xinghi, Fuck! Not allowing the situation to control his movements he exhibits a great deal of skill under pressure as he works on the first blockage.
Whispering to Xixin next to him, “His security team better be ready to switch over to the generator.”
He takes a moment to calm down the surgical team while still operating on Xinghi, “Have confidence in the security force. Concentrate on your job.”
Suddenly the entire room goes black then within three seconds the lights turn on again, “Check the machine for the blood circulation, make adjustments if needed. How is his oxygen level?”
“No fluctuation. Readings are normal.”
“Suction.” Rui’e eyes narrow, “Over to the right.”
At the hotel LiMei and the two body guards walk through the hotel looking at the hotel brochure. She lifts her head gazing up at Cheng, “What do you guys think, does Cambodian food sound good or do you want to go to the Western Style Restaurant.”
“…” They both stare down at LiMei, why is she asking us?
LiMei stops walking waiting for an answer,“I don’t care, I am starving, I can eat anything.”
She decides to ask Cheng, “Cheng, which would you like to eat?”
“Miss, we can’t eat with you.”
“Why not? It would be weird if you stood there watching me eat.”
“CEO Qiao wouldn’t want us to eat with you.”
“Rui wouldn’t care, hurry and decide, or we are going to the Reathrey Sekong Restaurant.”
Neither of the bodyguards answer her so LiMei says, “Cambodian food it is, let’s see according to the brochure it is located down this hallway.”
She starts lazily walking down a long hallway with a marble floor, when they reach the restaurant she is stopped by a feminine looking man at the entrance. Sneering as he sees her athletic wear he waves his bony hand, “Sorry no casual wear allowed.”
LiMei watches as some men and women enter wearing suits and elegant dresses. I never considered I am underdressed. “Can I get takeout?”
The man dismisses her with a curt answer, “No.”
Morgan doesn’t like LiMei but she is his boss’ woman, he can’t allow her to be disrespected, he steps up to the door with an intimidating air, “You have private rooms don’t you?”
“Well yes, but..” he looks over at LiMei, “Not anyone can afford them.”
Before Morgan can say anything else LiMei pulls on his sleeve, “I don’t want to eat here. Let’s go to the Crystal Plum Restaurant.”
The man at the door says, “They also have a dress code. Can you step to the side?” He rolls his eyes, “You are blocking the door.”
Morgan decides to show him he shouldn’t treat people rudely, “ Miss, should I call CEO Qiao and tell him we were unable to get a table?”
LiMei plays along, “Yes and be sure and mention, excuse me what is your name?” She looks at his name tag, “Oh Roger. That Roger was very rude to me.”
LiMei laughs showing her two dimples on her beautiful face as she pulls on Morgan’s sleeve with her small hand when they walk away, “ Ha..ha..did you see the sour look on his face when you said that..Morgan you are alright!”
Morgan’s lips curl up in a faint smile as he takes her hand off his sleeve.Looking down at the petite girl who barely comes to his chest he thinks The CEO’s girlfriend actually is kind of cute.
LiMei gazes up at him with her big blue eyes,“But I am really hungry, I know Rui said I can’t leave the hotel but I want to go to a restaurant we passed on the way here. I promise I won’t try to slip away. It is too late to go visit my friend anyway.”
Morgan thinks so she is admitting she tried to run away earlier. “When I got the coffee earlier I saw they have a casual cafe you can eat there.”
“Come on, I really want delicious Cambodian food now that I smelled the aroma coming from that restaurant. I swear I will listen to you.”
Cheng chimes in, “What could happen Morgan? Let her go eat where she wants.”
Morgan looks at LiMei and Cheng, “Miss Feng, I have your word you will listen to me and not cause any trouble.”
“I promise, pinky swear”, She holds up her little finger and grabs his large hand. He shakes her hand off, “Stop it…are you a child?”
LiMei ignores his last comment, “ Get us a taxi I will look up the address.”
Outside the hotel Logan’s men are waiting to grab LiMei, Huang Chen looks at his watch. “Almost six, when you checked the situation earlier, you said there are two bodyguards?”
“Yeah, I recognize the one his name is Morgan, former Chinese Intelligence. I think he will be difficult to take out, the other guy looks young and I don’t recognize him.”
“Should we get more men?”
“No, I got some ether, if we can knock them out that would be the best way to abduct the little slut.”
“It’s six.” Huang Chen crushes his cigarette in the ashtray and opens the car door. As he does the other gangster says, “What the fuck, I see them coming out the front door… they are getting into a goddam taxi! I thought Logan’s source said they wouldn’t be leaving the hotel. Get back in the fucking car!”
LiMei tells the taxi driver the address, when they arrive at the small restaurant, Morgan and Cheng look at each other, this is where she wants to eat it… is a fucking dump. Next to it is a convenience store, Morgan has been craving a cigarette since LiMei ruined his last one earlier, “I need a pack of smokes. Wait here.”
Huang Chen and his buddy arrive as Morgan comes out of the store. They are in a black SUV across the street from the little restaurant. “Fuck it call the men, we can ambush the taxi they take when they leave the restaurant and grab the girl. I wanted to be more lowkey but we can’t take a chance of screwing this up.Logan offered a shitload of money for the bitch.”
LiMei and the two bodyguards walk into the restaurant and an elderly man approaches them. After he picks up three menus next to an old cash register he takes them to a table in the back of the restaurant. LiMei looks around at the different dishes customers are eating as they pass by. When they get to their table she asks the old man speaking in Khmer, “What is that dish?” She points to a man eating. The old man says, “Nom Banh Chok”
“Thank you.” She takes the menus from him handing them to Morgan and Cheng. “Do you guys like spicy food?”
Cheng answers, “I do, but Morgan doesn’t eat spicy food.”
Morgan glares at Cheng, “I like it.”
“But last time we had that spicy beef noodle dish in Shenshuan you were in the bathroom all night.”
Morgan’s face turns black, “Shut the fuck up.”
LiMei laughs, “Well I know what you mean if I eat it late at night my stomach can’t handle it. I have had stomach issues before ha..ha..” She studies the menu,” So you might like it not too spicy… but flavorful.”
A woman comes over to the table, “Ready?”
LiMei looks at Morgan and Cheng, “I am, are you guys?”
When they don’t answer she says, “I will order different dishes we can all try. She points to the menu then orders several dishes then adds,“Three glasses of Sombai.”
Cheng hasn’t been to Cambodia before, “What is Sombai?”
“It is delicious Cambodian rice wine.”
Morgan orders LiMei, “Cancel it, we can’t drink on duty.”
“I’m not cancelling it, I will just drink them then, It isn’t strong.” LiMei looks around the restaurant, “Smells good in here.I bet the food is delicious.”
Morgan sips his water trying not to lose his temper he calmly tells LiMei, “Miss Feng, you shouldn’t drink.”
“Why not? I’m on vacation in a beautiful country, why shouldn’t I enjoy myself.”
“Because..because..” He has trouble thinking of a reason, except that the Boss wouldn’t want her out drinking.”I don’t think CEO Qiao would approve.”
LiMei can’t help but tease him he looks so serious and he called her a child earlier,“ Stop acting like a grouchy old man. Unless you tell Rui he won’t know.”
Old man! I’m fucking a year younger than Qiao Rui who you are dating! Dammit! We should have eaten at the hotel. Unable to deal with trying to control LiMei he wants to smoke,“Cheng, I am stepping outside to have a smoke.” I miss those snobbish women who ignored our presence. I can’t reason with this stubborn little girl.
When he leaves the woman arrives with the drinks LiMei puts one in front of Cheng, “Just have one while he is gone.”
“No, I don’t drink while I am working.”
“Okay then.” LiMei picks up the glass and gulps down the rice wine, her eyes water,and her voice is a little hoarse, “Really tasty.”
Cheng can’t help but smile at LiMei thinking she looks adorable her blue eyes have a little mist from drinking down the wine. “I don’t think you should drink anymore.”
Her cheeks are flushed from drinking the wine in two gulps “I can’t waste it and you and the iceberg won’t drink.”
He chuckles when she calls Morgan ‘iceberg’, “Morgan has a cold personality but he is a good guy.” Shit she does look a little drunk.
LiMei picks up the other glass of rice wine, “He seems okay but too serious. Like he suffers from facial paralysis.”
Outside Morgan leans up against the wall smoking his cigarette, what a strange girl. She doesn’t seem like she would be the CEO’s type. When he finishes his cigarette he steps on it then goes back into the restaurant. LiMei and Cheng are laughing at the table. Cheng is telling LiMei about the first time he worked with Morgan, the woman they were guarding was the fat wife of a middle aged tycoon and she had a crush on Morgan. LiMei has tears running down her cheeks from laughing when he describes the woman’s shameless antics falling onto Morgan and his disgusted reaction. “Cheng you are so funny!” LiMei wipes her tears from her cheek with her napkin the dabs her eyes.
Morgan pulls out his chair to sit down, “What is so funny?”
LiMei waves her hand , “Nothing..nothing.” She looks over at Cheng then bursts out laughing again picturing Morgan with the woman’s large breasts pressed onto his face.
The food arrives and the waitress plasses the dishes in the center of the table. LiMei’s eyes light up, “Oh looks good.”
She picks up her chopsticks and puts some Fish Amok on Morgan’s plate, “This is not spicy.” Then puts some Spicy Shrimp and Cab with Chilis on Cheng’s plate, “I have had this before, I think you will like it if you like spicy seafood.”
Morgan watches her as she intimately places the food on their plates,“Miss Feng, please… it isn’t appropriate for you to serve us.”
LiMei feels he is dampening her mood, food should be happily enjoyed together. She puts down her chopsticks with a mischevous gleam in her blue eyes she says, “Morgan, I am basically your boss right? So I can do whatever I want to do. Now eat the food while it is hot.”
“…” Cheng doesn’t want to say anything he can see by Morgan’s face he is pissed off. He puts his head down and concentrates on being invisible while he eats his dinner.
LiMei drinks the third glass of rice wine and when the woman comes by to see if they need anything LiMei asks her for a bottle of beer.
She sees the disdainful expression on Morgan’s face,“Don’t say anything, my mouth is on fire.”
“Then drink water.”
“The water tastes terrible or I would.”
Morgan frowns,This girl really is a pain in the ass, she better not get drunk.
The three of them eat silently until the silence is broken by LiMei burping after she drinks two sips of the beer. She laughs, “Sorry, beer always makes me burp.” She finishes her plate of food then sits back in her chair patting her stomach,”So full! Did you guys like the dinner?”
Cheng wipes his mouth with his napkin, “I liked it.”
Morgan has to admit the food was delicious, “ Good.”
“Okay, I’ll pay the bill. Do you guys want to get an ice cream? I saw a shop a block down from here.”
When the server comes back LiMei hands her personal credit card to the woman, Morgan stops LiMei when he sees it is a regular credit card not Qiao Rui’s black card. “I got it.”
“No, it was my idea I will pay.” She pushes his hand away. “Take mine.”
“No. Here.” He shoves his business credit card into the server’s hand. That credit card she has is a low end card. Why doesn’t she use Qiao Rui’s? He told me she has his black card to buy anything she wants.
“Well thank you Morgan. I will buy the ice cream then.”
“I think we should go back to the hotel.”
“Why? Rui won’t be back to the hotel until eleven o’clock. It would be boring to sit around the room waiting. I want to walk off my dinner anyway, so let’s walk down by the river.” LiMei can feel the effects of the wine and wants to enjoy the evening.
“I said we could go to dinner but I didn’t agree to walking around, that would be too dangerous.”
They start walking towards the entrance of the restaurant, LiMei responds flippantly , “Don’t be ridiculous, are you saying the two of you can’t protect me?”
Fucking shit! I want to wipe that smug look off of her little face, “That isn’t the point, CEO Qiao doesn’t want you walking around the city.”
“If you think about it you already disobeyed his orders by letting me come to this restaurant. I don’t think he would be happy if he knows. I will make a deal, it will be our secret if you let me walk around, it is a beautiful night and I would be bored in the hotel room.”
Morgan grits his teeth answering, ”An hour that’s it.” Damn unruly girl, I should have stuck to what the CEO told me to do. Now I am at the little brat’s mercy if I don’t want the Boss to go off on me with his crazy temper.
LiMei points down the crowded street,“I want to go that direction towards the river, I read they have street entertainers over there. I want to see the guy who swallows fire.”
Cheng and Morgan follow her closely as she weaves through the crowd. LiMei turns around grabbing Cheng’s arm, “Walk with me.”
Huang Chen watches them, “What the fuck… where are they doing now? Get out of the car let’s follow them on foot. “
“What about the fucking guys that are meeting us.”
“It looks like the chick and the bodyguards are walking down towards the river. Have the men meet us over there, it might be easier to snatch her there anyway.We can throw her into Big Ji’s car. ” They hurry and blend in with the crowd walking down to the river walkway.
LiMei is enjoying the lively street scene, “You guys have to admit this is better than sitting in the room.”
Morgan lights a cigarette as he takes a drag, a drunken man stumbles bumping into LiMei. Morgan quickly grabs her slender waist pulling her into his chest as he fiercely kicks the man away. As the disheveled man falls down cursing, LiMei is embraced by Morgan, his hand tightly around her bare stomach as she is pressed into his chest. He has a scent of tobacco and mint on his body that reminds her of Kuang Bo. Feeling the warm rough palm on her skin she unconsciously whispers, “Bo…”
Cheng watches the scene shocked that Morgan would hold a woman to him, normally he keeps his distance from female clients. “Miss Feng are you alright?’
Morgan regains his composure letting go of LiMei wondering who ‘Bo’ could be. Is she putting a green hat on the CEO? She said the man’s name in a low seductive voice. Is that who she was sneaking out to meet? Maybe she still plans on slipping away. “We are going back. That is exactly why I said this is a bad idea. This street is too crowded.”
LiMei glares at Morgan while straightening her jacket, “You overreacted, he was just a drunk. We can cross the street in half a block and walk through the park to the River Walkway.” They continue to cross the street into a grassy area before the walkway.
Morgan is pissed he had a reaction from touching her soft skin, he tosses down his cigarette then stomps on it, that’s fucking the final straw! He uncharacteristically grabs her hand, “We are fucking going back now!” I know this little hussy wants to slip away to meet that bastard named ‘Bo’. Yeah, she has been playing us so she could run away.
LiMei struggles to get her small hand out of his tight grasp.“Let go of my hand!”
Morgan wants to throw her over his shoulder and carry her back to get a taxi. “Cheng, call a fucking taxi now!”
Cheng gets out his phone, Damn I have never seen Morgan lose his cool.
Morgan begins dragging LiMei towards the street. “Tell the taxi we are on the corner of Monivong and River Parkway.”
LiMei is slightly drunk and upset at the way Morgan is treating her like a disobedient child. She sees Cheng looking at his phone and Morgan is looking forward as he drags her along. I want to see the flame eater! LiMei angrily screams at him,“I’m giving you one chance to let go of my hand Morgan! Or you will regret it!”
He laughs without stopping his forward motion or turning to look at LiMei, “Do you think you can get away from me while I am holding your hand? Dream on little girl.” No way am I letting you meet your little white face lover.
LiMei reaches into her hair by her ponytail pulling out a silver needle, you asked for it you big moron! Stabbing into Morgan’s hand that is holding hers, his hand goes completely numb and his entire arm goes limp. Releasing her hand involuntarily he quickly swivels around trying to grab her with his other hand, barely catching the bottom edge of her jacket, LiMei quickly unzips it so he only has the jacket in his hand as he lunges to grab onto her. Once freed from the jacket LiMei sprints across the grass into the crowd as Morgan and Cheng chase after her.
“ Motherfu***er!” Morgan pushes through the crowd knocking down several people in his way. He yells, “Cheng go to the left.” Ignoring the strange sensation creeping through his body he sees a woman similar in size to LiMei wearing a sleeveless white t shirt and black pants hurrying to cross the street. He smirks as he turns the woman around by her shoulder using his left hand, ”Got you!” The woman has a shocked look on her face staring at Morgan with his hand on her shoulder. She screams , “Pervert! Pervert!” while trying to grab pepper spray from her purse.
Morgan mutters, “Sorry.” moving away from the woman he scans the crowd, “Where the fuck did that little chick disappear to!” He hurries back down the sidewalk with his right arm hanging limp at his side.
LiMei out of breath bends over with her hands resting on her knees in an alleyway, “Ha..ha..ha..serves the iceberg right” She stands up wiping the sweat from her forehead with the bottom of her white t shirt. Let Morgan worry about losing me for a while, I will watch the flame eaters then go back to the hotel before Rui gets back. I told him he would regret not letting go of my hand.