Qiao Muzhe

    Exhausted, LiMei falls asleep while comfortably laying on Rui’s warm chest. He doesn’t immediately lay her down but lets her rest in his arms. He has a puzzled expression as he gazes at her tear stained face wondering why LiMei is suddenly so worried about him. She must have had a severe panic attack when she discovered I didn’t take Hak Byung-Soo and Gu with me. He gently touches her thick black eyelashes moist from her tears. There is something the little girl isn’t telling me.

   He strokes her hair while deep in thought then lays LiMei down. After he covers her with the heavy quilt he stands up. He picks up a water bottle from the night stand and walks to the window. It is no longer snowing so he takes out his phone from his trouser pocket and calls his pilot. “When can we be cleared for takeoff?”

   “The airport crew is clearing the runway now and the plane is ready to go. If you change the route we can bypass the storm but we will need to land in Hirachi City. We can continue from there after we refuel.”

   “Very well.” He takes a sip of water, “Call me when you get clearance.”

   “Will do.”

   Rui walks out of the bedroom and down the hallway to his study. He sits at the desk and turns on the monitor so he can see LiMei then opens a drawer. He lifts the bottom revealing a hidden compartment. Rui raises an eyebrow as he takes out a wooden box and sets it on his desk. I didn’t think I would be forced to go to that fucking Island again. Serenity Island…Hmmph! Very ironic.

   He is recalling the time he spent on the Island five years ago when his phone rings. He decides to ignore the call from Xinghi and opens the wooden box.

  Xinghi clenches his teeth and spits out, “Bastard!” You had the fucking balls not only to screw around with Qin Daiyu’s mind but then marry the clueless girl! How do you think she would feel if she knew what you did! Well, I won’t let you fuck up my plans!

   Kuang Fu is sitting on the couch with his long legs crossed. He crushes a cigarette in the ashtray then starts laughing, “I don’t think I have ever seen you this angry. I’m happy I was the one to bring you the news. You even look worse than my brother when he found out his little protege married that arrogant prick.”

   Xinghi glares at Kuang Fu with a cold and bone chilling look in his eyes, “All you had to do was appear in front of the little girl and it would have triggered her memories.”

    “Shit..you can’t blame me, I rushed to this shithole town as soon as you called. I followed them and I know the little bitch got a glimpse of me. I couldn’t get closer… I couldn’t afford to have Qiao Rui see me and he was by her side. Why didn’t you take the little bitch back to your Compound when you had a chance. You could have easily reprogrammed her, she would be the perfect killing machine.”

     He takes a gulp of whisky, “Although I owe you for helping me regain control of the Black Sky Organization using those Super Assassins you programmed, you had your own agenda and also get your cut of the profits.… and…well…I’m still not in a position to defy my brother. He made it clear if I harmed the girl he wouldn’t let me go. Business is thriving so why should I anger Bo.”

  “Useless!” Xinghi grabs his coat, “Stay here.” He calls his driver then storms out of the hotel room. Qiao Rui! I won’t let you ruin my plans! I need Qin Daiyu!

   LiMei tosses and turns in her sleep then wakes up in a cold sweat. She is in a daze as she frantically gets out of bed and rushes to the door of the bedroom to find Rui. When she opens the door she can hear Rui and a man arguing downstairs in the living room. LiMei holds onto the railing as her legs become unstable when she hears the man’s words. She gasps and her knuckles turn white as she grips the wooden railing at the top of the stairs. She mutters, “No..no.. he is lying. I’m not a substitute. Rui loves me.”

LiMei trips on the top stair and Rui looks up to see her about to fall. He pushes aside the middle aged man and bolts up the stairs. He catches LiMei before she topples down. She looks up at him with tears in her eyes unable to refute what the man said about her.I have no value..an ordinary girl with no family background…Rui shouldn’t have married me.

   He lifts LiMei up into his embrace and doesn’t know how much she heard. “Don’t listen to him.” He gently kisses her lips, “Baby, you know how much I love you.” Rui’s voice is deep and magnetic, “Only you..only you.”

  Rui turns to look at his father, Qiao Muzhe, standing at the bottom of the stairs. He narrows his ink black eyes that are full of killing intent and growls, “Leave!”

   Qiao Muzhe is stunned listening to his cold and indifferent son comfort the fragile looking young girl in his arms. He watches as Rui affectionately caresses LiMei’s cheek then curses them. He had painstakingly made arrangements for a marriage contract between Rui and the heiress of the Dong Group.Qiao Muzhe was blindsided when Chairman Dong angrily called him and reported that Rui was photographed leaving the Civil Affairs Bureau with an unidentified young woman.

  When he stands frozen in place Hak Byung -Soo approaches him, “Mr. Qiao, you should leave.”

  Qiao Muzhe angrily picks up a crystal ashtray on the coffee table and throws it against the wall to vent his frustration. He looks in the direction of the stairs and shakes his fist in the air. “You ungrateful bastard! I will have this marriage annulled by the end of the day.”

  Rui carries LiMei into the bedroom and puts her on the bed. LiMei has a complicated expression as he massages her swollen ankle.

   LiMei timidly says, “Rui.. maybe we were too hasty. I…I  don’t want to cause you problems with your family”

    Rui stares at LiMei’s beautiful face, his eyes full of obsession, “You are my wife now, don’t ever think about leaving me. I will never let you go.”

    Worried she might take what his father said to heart he continues, “LiMei, you and Delun are my only family. I married you because I love you. Whatever you overheard, forget it. My father has no control over what I do.”

   Rui’s phone rings and his pilot says they are cleared to depart in one hour. He smiles at LiMei, “The plane is ready. I packed the luggage earlier so you just need to get dressed.”

He walks over to the dresser and takes out a set of delicate lace underwear then walks to the closet. He chooses a comfortable looking pair of black athletic pants and a white cashmere sweater then walks back to the bed.

    LiMei knows Rui likes to dress her so she obediently holds up her arms as he gently lifts the nightgown over her head. He frowns as he runs his finger over the bite marks on her collarbone then puts on the clothes.

Rui has a pampering expression as he brushes her waist length hair. When he finishes he holds her hair in his hand as he kisses the back of her swan-like neck then ties her hair up into a ponytail.

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