Sara Calls Bi

    Li Feng arrives at Han Chao’s luxurious home as they are finishing dinner. Fan Mi asks him why he didn’t join them and he says that he ate with his brother. She laughs, “You should have waited and eaten with us. Han Chao poached his personal chef from a five star Michelin restaurant.”

   “Shaoting’s new cook is amazing. I didn’t lose by eating at his villa.” Shaoting said to not reveal that Song Sara is staying with him. He takes out his phone to prove his point, “Look at these mouthwatering dishes. The girl’s desserts were delicious too.”

   Li Tian isn’t satisfied after eating the boring meal and looks over Li Feng’s shoulder. When he sees the tray of cakes he has a familiar feeling as though he has seen the desserts somewhere. Li Feng raises an eyebrow, “Cousin…could you back up a little?” It is like someone turned up the air conditioning!

  “Give me your phone.”

  “What?”

  “I want to see the photos.”

  “Huh?”

   Li Tian grabs the phone from his hand and stares at the pictures then gives the phone back to Li Feng, “Who is the cook?”

  “She is a new hire. I don’t know her background.”

  “Is the woman from Catang City?”

  “No. She is a local.” 

   “Tell Shaoting that I will be dining with you tomorrow night. I want the woman to make the same dinner and desserts.”

   “…” 

  Li Tian walks away and Fan Mi pulls on Li Feng’s sleeve, “What was that about?”

 “How would I know? My cousin’s brain is something I will never be able to figure out. I know he doesn’t like sweets at all so why would he want the girl to prepare them?” Plus, Song Sara is Shaoting’s guest, not a goddamn cook!

  Fan Mi watches Li Tian sit down next to Han Chao’s brother and shivers, “Your cousin is so scary…you and your brother are nothing like him.”

   They walk towards the game room and Li Feng glances back at Li Tian, “Thank God.” Fuck! Why did I show Fan Mi those pictures! Now I fucking have to tell Shaoting the evil bastard wants to come eat dinner at the villa. Not only that, the unreasonable man wants the same meal we had tonight. What the hell! Very strange… He takes a bottle of beer from  a small refrigerator after they enter the game room. Song Sara might not want to cook…with Cousin Tian’s temper… He gulps down the beer as Han Chao approaches him, “Feng, why do you look like you just saw a ghost?”

   Li Feng tightens his grip on the bottle as he glares at his friend. “Chao, why is my cousin Tian here?”

  “ He came with Weisheng.”

  Li Feng flops down on the leather couch and picks up a controller. “He is really killing my vibe.”

  “It’s not like he is going to come to the game room…haha…”

  Li Tian walks in the door, sitting next to Li Feng he picks up the other controller, “Let’s play.”

   Beads of sweat form on Li Feng’s forehead from his cousin’s suffocating aura. He gives Han Chao an angry look, then through clenched teeth he spits out, “Cousin, you play Legends Of The Jianghu?”

  “I invested in Fang Chao’s company LCG… so naturally I played a little beforehand to see if it was worth the money.”

   Li Feng has an idea, what am I worried about? Pfft…I can beat the shit out of the arrogant tyrant in a game anyway.. “Well, let’s make a bet. If I win you don’t come to dinner tomorrow night.”

   Li Tian’s lips curl up into a faint smile, “If I win?”

   Li Feng is positive he can easily win, he is one of the top players. He chuckles and his boyish face exudes confidence, “You name it.”

   “Don’t regret betting with me then.”

   “I won’t.”

   Han Chao has a puzzled expression on his handsome face watching the two cousins. He walks over and stands next to his brother Weisheng, “Why did you two come to the game room?”

  “Tian wanted me to look at some pictures on Li Feng’s phone.”

   “Why would he challenge Feng? That kid lives to play that game, isn’t he afraid of being embarrassed?”

 “Tian has been under pressure lately… maybe playing a video game will relieve some of his stress.” He pats Han Chao on the shoulder, “It should be fun to watch. Grab me a beer.” 

  Across town at Li Shaoting’s villa Sara feels refreshed after walking through the gardens and down to the edge of the woods. When they enter the warm villa she takes off her coat and scarf, “Tang Wu would you like me to make some tea?”

  “No. I am going to have a beer and play some video games. Do you want to play?”

  “Well, I am not very good, my friend Han Bi tried to teach me but…I will just watch you.” 

  “I can help you. It will be fun. You can follow me on a quest.”

  “I don’t want to hold you back.” She laughs, “Really I am…well…terrible.” 

  He takes her hand, “I am not taking no for an answer.” They take the elevator to the third floor and Li Shaoting opens the door to the game room. Sara gasps when she sees the interior, “Han Bi would go crazy if she saw that pinball machine! She loves to play old machines.” Thinking about Bi, Sara has a gloomy expression. She has been putting off calling to explain the situation and her pregnancy.

  Li Shaoting notices her sudden change in expression and asks, “What’s wrong?”

 “Tang Wu, my friend Han Bi must be worried about me. I haven’t explained why I left Catang City so suddenly. I think I will go call her now.”

  “Okay. But, don’t worry too much about telling your friend. I’m sure she will be understanding.”

  “Yeah. Have fun playing your game.”

  “Come back when you get off the phone.”

  “I will.”

  Sara lowers her head and drags her feet heading down the stairs to the second floor. What a mess…first I was drugged and got pregnant by that beast then I got involved with a domineering tyrant  who believes the baby to be his… I had no choice but to run away and hide. Baby, I will do everything to protect you! Your mom will find a way to make a life for us in Bashu City..away from danger.

    Han Bi is in the backseat of a taxi coming back from dinner with her coworkers when her phone rings. She looks at the number and ignores the call. Sara realizes she is using a new phone and Bi doesn’t answer calls from unknown numbers. She texts [Bi, it’s me Sara. Pick up]

  Han Bi’s hands are trembling as she anxiously answers the phone, “Sara..Sweetie..where are you? I have been so worried..so has Mr. Cadieux.”

   Sara’s beautiful blue eyes are covered in a layer of mist hearing her friend’s worried voice. “Bi, I’m sorry I left so suddenly without telling you, but it was necessary.”

   “Where are you? When are you coming back?”

  “Bi…I can’t come back not for a long time.”

  Bi rubs her eyes as tears fall on her cheeks. She sniffles, “Sara…no..you have to come back…I miss you. Wang Xiaoming opened the restaurant but the pastry chef isn’t half as good as you. The restaurant is your dream. Why would you suddenly leave?”

  Sara picks up a bottle of water and takes a deep breath unable to say the words. She texts [Bi…I…I am pregnant.]

  Bi is infuriated [PREGNANT!?! THAT BASTARD LI TIAN]

  [Not Li Tian’s]

[How are you going to live ? Come back Mr. Cadieux can protect you]

[I can’t. Too stressful… have to think of my baby. Found job as cook in private home]

Giving herself a moment to compose herself she decides to call to spill whole story. “Bi, Li Tian believes the baby is his and wants me to have an abortion. He isn’t the type of man to mess with…I could try and say the baby isn’t his but he wouldn’t listen. He would probably still force me. Whether the baby is his…or not his…he won’t care…either way he views the baby as disposable. I really had no choice but to run away.”

    Bi is stunned and stutters, “Not Li Tian…Wha..what beast? You were raped? Why didn’t you tell me?”

   “I tried to forget about it and put it behind me…I did until I found out I am pregnant. You know the night we went to The Black Jade Club and met your colleagues…I was drugged by Jiang Wenli. So I guess it wasn’t rape…but I wasn’t in my right mind and the beastly man took advantage of me.”

   “I WILL KILL THAT DESPICABLE BITCH JIANG WENLI!”

   “Bi, calm down. What is done is done. Jiang Wenli has always hated me because she likes Yibo. I don’t want you to do anything stupid, your family and the Jiang family do business together and I don’t want to cause problems. Really, I have accepted the fact I am pregnant and am happy. I am looking forward to being a mother.”

  “Where are you? I will come take care of you.”

  Sara laughs, “Thanks, but I am alright. I am not far along in my pregnancy so I can work.” She lies so Bi won’t worry too much, “And I have my savings.”

  Bi starts crying, “Sara…come back to Catang City. My brother Weisheng is friends with Li Tian. He can talk some sense into the crazy bastard. Tell him the baby has nothing to do with him and to leave you alone.”

  Sara sighs, if it were only that easy..but I can’t tell Bi about the complicated relationship between Li Tian and me… “Bi, I think it is best if I stay where I am. I found a good job with a very nice employer who knows I am pregnant and is very accommodating. “I am a cook in a gorgeous private residence with room and board included. So you don’t need to worry.”

  “At least tell me where you are. I will come visit you. I need to see for myself you are fine.”

  “I am going to sound paranoid but Li Tian might be watching you. He knows you are my best friend. I wouldn’t put it past him to  have his men follow you.”

   “Mr. Cadieux is rich and powerful he can stop Li Tian.”

  “Bi, I know you are only thinking about my well being but for now I want to handle this on my own. I will keep in touch with you..we can video call too. Don’t worry about me. I have a great place to live and my employer is awesome. I am very comfortable here.”

  “I will respect your wishes Sara, but please if you need my help in any way you better tell me! I expect you to call me regularly! Promise me!”

  Sara smiles, “Of course I promise. I will call my very best friend and I will annoy you with all my complaints about morning sickness and weight gain…haha.”

They talk for a few more minutes then after Sara hangs up she feels much better. I should take this job seriously and plan some menus for the week. Sitting cross legged on the couch in the guest room she takes a pad from her backpack and taps the pen, what should I make tomorrow?

Across town in Han Chao’s game room everyone stares at Li Tian in amazement, what the fuck just happened? Li Tian shows a rare smile then laughs while tossing down the controller. He stands up and ruffles his flustered cousin’s hair, “Little Feng, you should never underestimate me. See you at dinner tomorrow night.”

“…”


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