The Parents Arrive

    Li Shaoting’s doorbell rings, expecting to see his cousin Tian, he is startled looking at the monitor, “Mom? Dad? What are you doing here?”

     Standing at the door Li Liang has his arm around Wei Minnie who is shivering hugging her chest. He sounds very annoyed, “Stop asking questions and open the goddamn door! It is freezing !”

   Li Shaoting quickly opens the door and they hurry into the warm foyer.

     Li Liang brushes the snow off Wei Minnie’s hair then helps her take off her light blue Chanel coat that is covered in snow. While he is taking his coat off Li Shaoting hands them slippers. “Mom, these might be big.”

     She furtively glances around looking for the girl. “It’s okay Honey, we should have called but we wanted to surprise you.”

    “ Dad, why didn’t you wait until tomorrow? The roads must have been dangerous on the way here with the snowstorm.”

    “Martin is an excellent driver, it wasn’t too treacherous until we approached your community. All the fucking money you pay for this place you would think they would clear the goddamn roads.”

   He hesitates, “You and Mom can stay here tonight. I will have the housekeeper prepare a room.”

   Li Feng comes out of the kitchen with a half eaten chicken wing in his hand and his mouth covered in sauce, “Bro..I don’t usually like the same meal two days in a row but these wings are…” He stops in his tracks. “MOM…DAD Wha… what are you doing here!”

  Wei Minnie pouts, “TingTing… Feng’er….I thought my boys would be happy to see us.”

  Li Shaoting hugs Wei Minnie, “Of course I’m happy. I missed you while I was filming. I am surprised, that’s all!” Feng told me you two were acting like a couple of teenagers excited to have the house to yourself? Why the sudden pop by?!?

   Wei Minnie smells a delicious aroma wafting from the kitchen, “It’s almost nine o’clock, you are eating dinner rather late aren’t you?”

  “Yeah. Cousin Tian had some work in the City. He should be back soon. I almost forgot the arrogant bastard is supposed to be staying here.

  Sara finishes making the spicy chicken wings and calls out from the kitchen. “Tang Wu…what time will your guest arrive?” 

   When he doesn’t answer she walks out wiping her hands on a blue and white striped towel. She sees the excited expression on the beautiful woman’s face and looks at Li Shaoting.

  He immediately introduces Sara, “Mom…Dad this is my new cook, Song Sara.”

  Li Liang raises an eyebrow and has a skeptical expression on his handsome face. Since when does a cook call the Master of the house by his name? And in such a sweet and intimate voice… not to mention she is quite young and beautiful. Is the new uniform a white sweater with a cute bear on front and tight blue jeans

  Sara quickly bows then politely says, “Mr. and Mrs. Tang. Dinner will be served soon. May I get you some herbal tea?”

  ?!?? Mr. and Mrs. Tang?

  Wei Minnie rushes to Sara’s side gazing at her up and down. Ohh…TingTing’s girl is so cute! She holds Sara’s hand, “Dear, I will help you.”

   Li Feng is holding a chicken bone watching his mother eagerly gobble Sara up with her eyes. He can see Sara feels uncomfortable and blinks several times while nodding at his brother to help.

  Li Shaoting has a coquettish voice as he pulls his mother’s other hand. “Mom, come sit in the living room with me. I haven’t seen you in so long. The cook will brew the tea.”

  Sara is speechless, wasn’t just his cousin coming to dinner?

  Wei Minnie reluctantly lets go of Sara’s hand and smiles at her handsome son. She teases, “Well your father and I will be in Bashu City for a few days.”

  Li Liang: We are going to the honeymoon suite and not coming out!

  Li Shaoting: I know Mom thinks Song Sara is my girlfriend.

  Li Feng: I hope Song Sara made enough chicken.

  The three of them sit in the living room and Wei Minnie whispers, “Shaoting, tell me the truth, is that adorable little girl your sweetheart?”

  Li Shaoting puts his arm around his mother’s shoulder and in her ear says, “No. But she thinks my surname is Tang and for various reasons I want to keep it that way. So I need you and Dad to play along.”

  Li Liang removes his son’s arm from her shoulder, “Shaoting, you are too old to act so clingy to your mother.” He pulls Wei Minnie over onto his lap and possessively kisses her red lips.

  She giggles, “Jiang!”

  Li Feng is languidly sitting in a black and white wingback chair with his legs stretched out on an ottoman watching them. He scoffs in a low voice, “Childish.”

   Sara smiles at the bickering family as she brings in a tray with a beautiful emerald porcelain teapot and four teacups. “I made ginger tea to warm your blood and boost your immune system after being out in the cold.”

   Wei Minnie takes a sip and her eyes light up, “Delicious! What is that hmmm…a hint of Verbena and Hibiscus? My dear, I haven’t had such a good cup of tea in ages!”

   Sara smiles, “Well, I will get back to the kitchen. Dinner is almost ready.”

   Wei Minnie lifts the cup to Li Liang’s lips, “Honey, taste the tea..it reminds me of the quaint little teahouse on Crystal Ice Mountain.”

   Li Feng almost spits out his tea, “Mom! That’s gross you drank from the cup.”

    Li Liang licks his lips then kisses Wei Minnie. “Tastes good.” He whispers something in his wife’s ear and she blushes then hits him on his chest with her small fist.

Disgusted by his parent’s intimate behavior, Li Feng rolls his eyes, “Why can’t you two act like normal parents…ignore each other…occasionally fight about money..” 

Li Liang kicks his foot out and knocks Li Feng’s legs off the ottoman. “Did you bring homework? Go do it before dinner.”

“DAD! I’m on vacaton!”

   Sara walks out to the living room, “Mr. Tang, is your cousin coming? Dinner is almost ready.”

   Li Shaoting frowns, with the arrival of these two I forgot about the artogant bastard.. “Should be. I will call.” 

   He walks over to a table and picks up his phone. He notices Sara looks tired, she has faint black circles under her beautiful eyes. “Miss Song,  Mildred can serve. You can be off.”

   Sara does feel tired and she only ate a bowl of chicken soup when they returned from the hospital. “Thank you Mr. Tang. It is all prepared in accordance with your requests.”

   He winks at Sara and walks through the dining room with her. When they are in the kitchen he says, “Sorry, I didn’t know my parents were coming. Thank you for playing along.”

  She chuckles, “Well… you did hire me as a cook.”

   “I know but you are my friend…I told you I think of you as my sister. I’m sorry to put you in this position. But, as you can see my mother has a very active imagination.”

  “I think your mother is really cute. She obviously loves you very much. It is fine. I am happy to play my part.”

  He laughs and his Peach Blossom eyes curve into a crescent shape, “I almost laughed when you completely changed your demeanor and called me Mr. Tang in a serious tone.”

    She teases, “I got the vibe that your father is very suspicious of me. He obviously thinks I am a little actress looking to hug your thigh. So please emphasize that I am just the cook. If your parents are staying here should I move to the servant’s quarters?”

  “No! There are plenty of bedrooms. Since they arrived my cousin might be staying also. If you should see him..well..avoid making contact. He doesn’t like strangers..and can be well..very fierce.” 

  “I plan on staying in my room, don’t worry. I am going to take my dinner upstairs and watch some television then go to sleep. Today has been a bit overwhelming.”

  “I’m sorry you had to make dinner. Tomorrow I will have Mildred cook. You should rest.”

  “I’m not a fragile doll haha..just today I don’t know if it was the examination and the excitement of seeing the sonogram but I feel very tired. I will be fine after a good night’s sleep.”

   “Okay.  Call on the intercom if you need anything.”

   She hugs him and her green eyes are watery, “Thank you Brother Wu.”

   He pats her on the head, “Rest and don’t worry about anything.”

    Sara nods and walks to the refrigerator and takes out a bottle of orange juice. She fixes a plate of food and uses the stairs at the back to leave.

   Li Shaoting frowns as he walks to the floor to ceiling window and takes out his phone. He has a glimmer of hope when he looks at the snow falling heavily covering the garden. Maybe that arrogant bastard won’t come due to the snowstorm











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