Surprise!

   Li Tian angrily quickens his pace as he enters Harborview Hotel. The more he thinks about Song Sara living with his pesky cousins he wants to throw the two annoying brats to Africa. Let them work in the Tunisian office. He storms past Han Weisheng’s secretary’s desk while still dressed as a delivery man. She tries to stop him, “Hey! You can’t go into the CEO’s office!”

   He ignores the woman as he pushes open the heavy wooden door. He rips off the knit hat and throws the thick black glasses onto the floor. 

   The Hotel Kitchen Manager is discussing the arrangements for the banquet. When he sees Li Tian wearing the Harborview Hotel’s uniform, the man points at Li Tian as he sputters, “You..you can’t barge into the CEO’s office. Are you crazy? Do you want to keep your job?”

  Han Weisheng motions for the man to leave and the man nervously looks at him in disbelief, “CEO Han, shouldn’t I call security?” That delivery man looks furious and I can feel an icy chill down my back.

  “Go. Follow the menu according to what the wedding planner gave you.”

  The man turns his head as he opens the door to leave and sees the delivery man pouring a drink. What the hell?

   Han Weisheng smirks, “Did it not go well with your little runaway woman?”

  Li Tian gulps down the fiery whisky. “You should have seen those brats! Hanging around my woman like goddamn flies.”

   Han Weisheng’s phone rings and he picks up. “Speak.”

  Marie in Human Resources received a call from the kitchen and the man said they don’t have a delivery man surnamed Lu. “CEO Han, ah..the delivery driver in your office earlier… well there is a problem. Dong Si said we don’t have a delivery driver named Lu. A Miss Song called from the Li residence and wants Mr. Lu to return for his tip and well..a coat he left there.” She tells him about the conversation between Song Sara and Dong Si.

  “I will take care of it.”

  “But..”

   He hangs up then leans back in his chair with his hands behind his head. He curves his lips into a sarcastic smile  “Mr. Lu, you forgot your tip and coat at Shaoting’s villa. The little cook was worried about you and called. She told Dong Si the Supervisor in charge in the kitchen that in this weather she was afraid you would need your coat.”

 Han Weisheng takes a cigarette out of the pack on his desk and fiddles with it in his hand. “According to him, she is quite worried about you catching a cold.”

He chuckles, “ Every female in this hotel who came in contact with the ‘ugly delivery man’ was repulsed. You wouldn’t believe the vicious gossip about your frightening face and the chill surrounding you. Haha..the little cook wasn’t put off by your god awful looks but worried ‘the big ugly man’in other’s mouths might catch a cold.” He starts laughing at the strange expression on his friend’s face, “Tian, you shouldn’t play with such a sweet and innocent girl.”

  Li Tian pours another glass of whisky, “I’m not fucking playing! She is my woman and that’s my baby in her belly. Song Sara is mine!”

  Han Weisheng lights the cigarette, “What do you plan on doing?”

  Li Tian walks to the floor to ceiling window and stares out at the cityscape. “I am going to let her see another side of me through the ‘ Bashu City Affordable Housing Project’. I will show her that I am a caring person and not as cold and heartless as she thinks.”

  “…” Han Weisheng stands up and grabs his coat, “Let’s go to the Club. I need to hear more about the new and improved Li Tian. Wait. Don’t you have a meeting with Old Man Guo?”

  “I took care of the situation. I sent Kang Mingshun to pick up the paperwork for the lawyers.” He unzips the overalls and underneath he is wearing a black silk shirt and black trousers.

 “How did you control the old fox?”

 He fixes the black diamond cufflinks as he answers, “I threatened him with prison. He didn’t seem to like the idea of spending his remaining years behind bars.”

  “I’m sure you did it in a very ‘caring’ manner..haha..” He opens the door, “Tian, I am going to warn you since you are not very familiar with the Guo family, their roots run very deep in Bashu City. They have politicians in their pocket and control other influential and powerful families, merging together through marriage contracts. So they are all tied to the same boat.

    You might have derailed the Old Man’s revenge plan but there is still Guo Mohan. He won’t take this setback sitting down. I’m sure the prick intended to use the Old Man’s grievances against your family to ruin the Li Group’s new airport then pick it up at a low price.

Guo Mohan probably put the bug in his grandfather’s ear in the first place to use the airspace as leverage to avenge old debts.” 

   They walk out of the office towards the elevator and Han Weisheng’s secretary has a confused expression on her pretty face. I only went to the breakroom to get a cup of coffee when did this extraordinarily good looking man arrive? Where is that ugly deliveryman? Did he leave while I was gone?”

   When they are in the elevator Li Tian says, “I have dirt on that bastard too. I didn’t reveal the damning evidence because it wasn’t the time.Eventually, I will bring down the entire Guo family for threatening my Grandfather.”

   “I will help in whatever way I can. Frankly, I’m tired of their underhanded tactics. I am fairly certain they were behind the death of the City Prosecutor last year. He was a good and honest man, he left behind a wife and two daughters. The men they hired did a good job of burying the evidence so the case has been left unsolved.”

  Li Tian has a surprised look on his face, “Not enough evidence? You would think being the City Prosecutor the men under him would diligently try to solve his murder.”

  Han Weisheng laughs, “I’m fairly sure his right hand man colluded with the Guo family. Since I returned to the city a couple months ago I have been investigating on my own. I went to school with his wife. She called me and begged me to find justice for her dead husband. Of course before they had him killed they planted evidence he was corrupt and accepted sexual favors. She was devastated and moved with her daughters to live with her aunt in Catang City to avoid the backlash.”

  The door to the elevator opens and Li Tian knits his eyebrows together, “Why are you here?”

  Long Jinxi smiles and pulls over Jiang Wenli, “We are here to shoot an advertisement. What a surprise! I didn’t expect to see you here.”

   The veins in his head pop looking at the two women , “Forget you saw me.”

He brushes past them and Long Jinxi swivels around on her heels. She smiles brightly, “Wait. Now that I have seen you..well..we should have dinner together.”

  “No.” He continues to walk towards the door and she chases after him. “Li Tian, how would it look if you ignore your fiancee. There are photographers over there.”

  “So. Unless you want me to make a statement that our marriage contract is null and void. I suggest you stay out of my sight.”

  Long Jinxi puffs out her cheeks then smiles when she sees her mother approaching. Zhao Lanfen brushes the snow off of her black mink coat then sneers, “Boy, you better put on a good show or your Grandfather will find out about your little mistress. No… better yet…the press, My Jinxi is very good at crying on cue. Do you want that little slut Song Sara vilified for destroying the Nation’s Sweetheart’s upcoming marriage.”

  Han Weisheng holds Li Tian’s arm as he reaches towards Zhao Lanfen’s neck. “Dinner sounds good. We are going to the Black Dragon Club. Ladies, looking forward to seeing you.”

  He drags Li Tian away and Long Jinxi holds her mother’s arm, “Mommy, you are the best! Now all I have to do is follow the plan. If he sleeps with me, Grandfather Li will set the date of the marriage.”

  Zhao Lanfen fixes the collar of her daughter’s white mink coat, “Honey, just remember what I said. If this doesn’t work you will need to..”

  “Don’t say it Mom! I will succeed and that stupid man will believe this baby is his and that rotten scumbag will have served his purpose.”

   Jiang Wenli is watching from the sidelines and inwardly laughs at the irony. She was stunned when Long Jinxi asked her where she could get a strong aphrodisiac. It is fitting that with your status, you drug and sleep with Li Tian and  become his wife. When  I drugged that lowly bitch, Song Sara and she slept with Li Tian all she got was the title of mistress.

  Jiang Wenli pulls her suitcase next to Long Jinxi and acts surprised, “That man is Li Tian, your fiance? I have never seen a picture of him.” I did see the man in person when he was carrying that fucking bitch up the stairs the night I drugged her drink.

 Long Jinxi knows her only chance of marrying Li Tian is trapping him. Any other man would be ecstatic to be engaged to me but not that cold and arrogant bastard! She sighs, “Yes.”

 Jiang Wenli whispers in her ear, “You won’t be at a loss sleeping with such an incredibly handsome man. But I need to warn you that the drug is very potent. You should only take a sip so it appears you were drugged also.”

 She nods, “I will.” I can’t! I don’t want the baby to be harmed!  Long Jinxi’s eyes sparkle thinking of the possibilities, Although I hate the thought of being pregnant, passing the bun off as Li Tian’s I will get all the wealth and best resources I could buy the Best New Actress Award! Then I will unfortunately have an accident and lose the baby. It will be the very best most touching performance of my career

In The Kitchen

 Li Tian leans against the truck watching Sara through the window and calls Yang James. “I will take care of the situation.”

  “Boss..you..you found Song Sara?”

  “En.”

  Watching the little girl through the large window as she neatly folds the empty bags he wants to rush inside and take her into his arms. He has the urge to confess that he is the man who she slept with in the Black Jade Club that night…he is the father of her baby. 

  Oblivious to the fact he is standing on the snowy driveway in the freezing cold he takes out a cigarette to calm his raw nerves. After he finishes the cigarette he takes the last two boxes from the refrigerated truck.

   Sara sees him come in the door and as he places the boxes on the counter by the refrigerator she asks, “Is that the Kobe beef and lobsters?”

  Li Tian nods and she says, “You were out there so long you must be cold.” She feels guilty he gave her his coat. “  I brewed a pot of tea, before you leave, do you want  a cup? Are you hungry?”

  He wants to say yes, but if he removes the mask she will recognize him and the game will be over. I can’t give in to my impulse to stay. There will be more chances to be with the little kitten.

  “I need to get back to work.”

   “You worked hard.” She looks at his employee badge and smiles at him. “Mr. Lu, this isn’t much but I hope you accept my sincerity.” She extends her slender arm then takes his hand and puts a few bills on his large palm.

    He gazes at her small delicate hand touching his hand, “Thank you Miss.” 

   Li Shaoting comes into the kitchen and glances at Li Tian.”The groceries are delivered? Good.”

  Sara says, “Brother Wu, Mildred mentioned your cousin is very picky about his food. Could you give me his number and I can discuss the menu with him for tonight. To be honest I have never prepared Kobe beef or lobster.”

   Li Tian clutches his hand in his pocket holding the money Sara gave him that still has her warmth on it. Brother Wu! Are they that close? And the old bat said I am picky! 

  Li Shaoting takes a bottle of orange juice from the refrigerator. “I will call.” No need for you to be subjected to his overbearing attitude.

  “Okay. After you find out, I will search for a delicious recipe. I feel terrible about the cake last night. I thought the Strawberry Cream Cake would be more festive since your parents arrived.”

  “Don’t worry about it. My father and mother really enjoyed the cake. My cousin…don’t concern yourself too much about him. He is leaving tomorrow.”

   Li Tian knits his eyebriws together as he listens to the conversation. Who the fuck said I am leaving? I’m moving into your goddamn villa you little shit!

   Li Feng walks into the kitchen wearing a tracksuit, “Is there any of the cake left?”

   Sara responds, “Yes. There is one piece, do you want?”

   Li Feng plops down in a chair by the granite topped island, “Yeah. I just got back from playing racquetball with Han Chao. I’m starving.”

   Sara takes a bottle of Scream Sports Water out of the refrigerator and hands it to him. ”You should hydrate.”

  “Thanks Sister.”

   “If you are hungry I can make lunch. You shouldn’t just eat sweets.”

        Li Tian’s face behind the face mask darkens and the corner of his mouth twitches watching the three of them. He uses his internal energy to suppress the overwhelming urge to explode and kick the two brothers out of the kitchen. Brother Wu? Sister? What the fuck! Song Sara is my woman! How dare you!

       Li Feng feels Li Tian’s piercing ice cold gaze and turns around. He sees the tall ugly delivery man and gives his brother a look thinking the man is waiting for a tip.

     Li Shaoting realizes the delivery man hasn’t left. He takes out his wallet and pulls out a wad of money. “Here you go.”

   Li Tian wants to break the outstretched hand but sees Sara out of the corner of his eye. She is putting the last piece of cake on a plate for Li Feng. He takes the money from his cousin then walks over, “Thank you Miss.” He picks up the piece of cake, places it on a napkin then strides past Li Feng towards the back door. Both brothers are stunned by the deliveryman’s insolent behavior, Li Feng’s mouth is agape seeing his cake walk out the door.

    Once Li Tian reaches the truck he tosses the money Li Shaoting gave him on the ground. He gets into the truck and carefully sets the squished cake on the passenger seat. He takes out the money Sara gave him and smiles then puts it back in his pocket. My little kitten is so cute. The way she shyly smiled as she gave me the tiny bit of money… so sweet.

   Sara sees the two brothers are angry at the delivery man’s rude behavior and defends him. “Well, I did ask him first if he wanted the cake. Sorry. He said no but must have changed his mind. Li Feng, I can bake you another cake.”

   She looks towards the door and realizes the deliveryman forgot his coat. She picks up the coat and runs out the door but the truck is gone. She frowns when she notices the money scattered on the ground. Mr. Lu must have dropped his tip from Tang Wu.

   Walking back in the door she is holding the money and the coat. “The deliveryman forgot his coat and dropped the money you gave him. Can we send over to him at the Harborview?”

  Li Feng is irritated about the Strawberry Cream Cake, “When he realizes he lost the money he will be back.” Fuck him! Who gave the ugly motherf****r the guts to steal my cake!

  Sara looks at Li Shaoting with a concerned expression “Maybe you should call Mr. Han. If there is another delivery in this area Mr. Lu can stop by the villa.”

  Li Shaoting sees his brother pouting about the cake and laughs, “I can do that.”

  “Thank you Brother Wu. The deliveryman probably lives paycheck to paycheck and needs the money. The coat doesn’t look cheap, because he does deliveries in the cold he must have spent a week’s pay to buy it.” Little does Sara know Li Tian’s designer coat cost more than a deliveryman would make in five years.

  Li Feng growls, “Sister you are too kind.” He gulps down the water, “He obviously saw I wanted the cake and grabbed it. I got the impression that he is an angry spiteful man…and petty.”

  Sara thinks, who is the one being angry and petty..haha. “Li Feng, Mr. Lu was very helpful and polite. I think you are reading too much into it. Haha.. I promise I will bake a cake especially for you.”

  Li Tian is driving down the highway and gazes at the piece of cake on the passenger seat. He smirks thinking about the infuriated look on Li Feng’s face as he walked by him while holding the last of the cake. Hmmph…soon I will also steal Song Sara away from you two brats.


Grocery Delivery

    Han Weisheng bursts out laughing when he sees Li Tian, “Are you serious?”

    Li Tian is wearing a hotel uniform that is a little short on his 190cm body and a knit cap. He is practically unrecognizable with a pair of black glasses with thick lens and a mask covering half his handsome face.

   “Very.” I want to see the little girl up close…smell her intoxicating fragrance and look at her beautiful face. I have been going crazy not knowing where she is… wondering if she is with that bastard Cadieux or another man…I want to hear her sweet voice and see her dazzling smile. 

  “You look ridiculous. Hahaha…More like a robber than a delivery man.”

   “I need an employee badge.”

   “What? Aren’t you taking this a bit far? Or did you want to come to work for me? Hahaha..”

    “Just fucking get someone in here to take my picture and make the damn badge.”

    Han Weisheng calls the HR department then pours a glass of whisky and hands it to Li Tian.

   Li Tian puts the glass down, “I can’t drink. I don’t want to smell like alcohol.”

   Shaking his head Han Weisheng says, “Why don’t you just get a human mask?”

   “Hmmm…good idea but no time today. Get on it and I will pick up tomorrow.” Then I could get a job at Shaoting’s villa…maybe a driver? No someone who works in the villa...gardener…no it is Winter no need..

   “…”

    The woman from Human Resources knocks on the door.

    “Enter.”

     She has a stunned expression looking at the unattractive delivery driver standing next to the CEO. Jeez..those outdated unsightly glasses... he must be blind without them.

   “I need an employee badge for..what is your name?”

   “Lu..ah.. Lu Zixin.”

    She looks at Han Weisheng, “CEO Han, Mr. Lu  should come to HR and fill out the paperwork first.”

   “No need. He is temporary. I need him to make a special delivery.”

   “Well, then he doesn’t need a badge.”

   Li Tian’s temper is about to flare. Who is this ugly noisy woman! Your boss told you to do something so woman, fucking do it!

  Han Weisheng has a faint smile, “Miss Gufason, make the badge.”

  “Oh. Yes Sir. Sorry.” She takes the cover off the camera and in a pleasant voice says, “Mr. Lu, remove the face mask and look at the camera… smile.”

   Li Tian growls, “Take with mask.”

   “But..” She looks at Han Weisheng and he nods.

   Han Weisheng is having difficulty not laughing, the expression on the woman’s face while gawking at Li Tian is priceless…confused… frightened…obviously repulsed by his appearance. He has never seen her mask crack before, she usually maintains a professional appearance and at the very most will act coquettish occasionally hoping to catch his eye.

   Once she takes the photo she nervously says, “I will send Marie up with the badge.” She feels like loosening her collar from the suffocating feeling in her chest. Why did the CEO hire such a creepy man?

   After she leaves Li Tian quips, “Noisy! That is why I only hire men. You tell them to do something… they don’t ask questions.” 

   Han Weisheng lights a cigarette.“Well, in the hospitality business, your absurd business model definitely wouldn’t work. haha.” I think in your company it’s more likely the men don’t want to be punished severely for questioning your orders.

   Marie wondered why Miss Gufasan threw the badge at her and told her to deliver it to CEO Han. Normally she would welcome any chance to see the handsome man. When she enters the CEO’s office she can see why, the delivery man with the CEO is scary.

  She bows, “CEO Han, I have the badge you requested.”

  ‘Put it on the table.”

  “Yes Sir.”

   She glances at Li Tian and trips on her high heels running for the door. Once outside the door she leans on the wall, Oh My God..when the delivery man looked at me with his ink black eyes narrowed dangerously behind those horrible glasses I got goosebumps.

  “Tian, go before you scare any more of my female employees. The delivery truck is loaded and ready to go.”

  “Get me a human mask. I want to be handsome… but not as good looking as I am..”

 After he leaves Han Weisheng fiddles with the cigarette in his hand and flicks an ash in the crystal ashtray on his desk. What a fucking crazy bastard. He has totally lost his mind over Song Sara. Leng Shuai told me he hired Clear Sky to design a baby’s room and the woman wants nothing to do with him.

  Li Tian gets into the delivery truck then pulls out onto the road. I can’t believe my men couldn’t find the little girl and she was right under my nose!

   Sara is talking to Mildred in the kitchen about the menu for dinner. “Sorry to trouble you before you leave on your vacation. Mr. Tang informed me the food delivery will be here this afternoon. He said his cousin ordered Kobe Beef and Lobster. I have never prepared either so I will need your guidance.”

  Mildred gazes at the young girl and wants to warn her about the Young Master’s cousin. If he ordered the food specifically it must be prepared well. Luckily, I leave today for my vacation to visit my sister in the countryside. If I had to deal with that intimidating man again I am afraid I might lose my job. The man’s dark aura was very terrifyingso different from the Young Master’s gentle demeanor. That reminds her about the cake.

   “Miss Song…umm..The Young Master’s cousin is very picky. He was upset that the cake was Strawberry Cream and not the one he asked for. So maybe to please him you should ask what he wants for dinner.” You are such a sweet and mild mannered girl he might scare the living daylights out of you. I was petrified by his abnormal reaction.

  “That is a very good idea! I could look on the internet for recipes then after I speak to him.”

  Sara takes a package from the refrigerator and a thermos from the counter.“Mr. Tang said you travel by bus to your sister’s home. I made you some special medicinal tea to help you relax on the trip and some snacks.”

  Mildred is very moved by Sara’s thoughtful gesture. She smiles and holds Sara’s hand in hers, “Thank you Miss Song. You didn’t have to do that.”

  “You have been a big help to me.”

   “Well Miss Song, you are a pleasure to work with and it’s no bother at all.”

   “Have a safe trip and thank you for your suggestion.”

   The doorbell at the back of the kitchen rings and Mildred says, “The delivery must be here. I can stay and help you put the groceries away.”

    “No. I can do it. You don’t want to miss your bus.”

   “Well let me get the door, its tricky.”

   “Okay. I will make space in the refrigerator”

   Li Tian can feel his heart racing knowing in a moment Sara will answer the door.

   The door seems to be stuck and when it finally opens his face darkens,  What the hell! The fucking old woman from last night.

   Mildred shivers from the icy wind, she pulls his arm, “Son, don’t just stand there! Hurry inside, it is freezing!”

    He raises an eyebrow and his forehead is full of black lines glaring at the woman’s hand on his arm. He is about to throw it off when Sara appears. She smiles as she wipes her hands on a kitchen towel.

   Li Tian stands there in a daze staring at Sara’s exquisite and delicate face. The beautiful woman he has only been able to see in his dreams.

    Sara looks at his blank expression, “Brrr..come in you must be cold!  The door is troublesome. I hope we didn’t leave you standing out here too long. ”

   He absentmindedly replies in a barely audible low voice. ”Not long.”

   Li Tian follows the two women into the kitchen and Mildred picks up the package and thermos. “Thank you again Miss Song. I will enjoy the snacks and tea.”

   “Have a safe journey.”

   Sara sees Li Tian still holding a large box. “Oh my goodness. That must be heavy. Put it on the counter.”

   Li Tian doesn’t like the fact Sara prepared snacks and tea for that old woman. She should be resting and taking care of his baby. He sets the box down and Sara grabs a sharp knife to open it. He quickly takes the knife from her hand, “Let me.”

    She gazes up at him, her blue eyes are sparkling, “Okay thank you. I will be sure to give you a good tip.” 

   “…” Is the little girl this nice to everyone?  Hmmph…except me..

   He walks out to get more food then carries two bags into the kitchen. He sets them on the counter and his phone rings. He ignores the call from Yang James.

    Sara glances over at him when the phone rings again, “You can go ahead and answer your phone.”

  “Not necessary.” He turns off the phone.  I told him I would be busy…why the fuck is he calling?

   Sara walks over and takes the vegetables out of the bag then puts them in the refrigerator. The other bag is the chicken. She feels a scorching hot gaze on her back but when she turns around the delivery driver is not in the kitchen. 

   Li Tian knows it must be urgent so he returns Yang James’ call. He is on the phone with him discussing the situation with Old Man Guo when  Sara runs over to the truck. She is shivering, “Oh.. I was afraid you were leaving and forget the Kobe Beef and Lobsters.”

    He quickly hangs up and takes off his coat, wrapping it around Sara’s thin body he says, “Miss, it is too cold for you to be outside. I had to take a call from work. I will be right in with the other groceries.”

    Sara tries to take the coat off, “You need your coat.”

   . “Go inside.” It is good he is wearing the mask which muffles the sound of his domineering voice or she would recognize it. .

  “Well hurry in, I will make you tea.” 

   When she is in the kitchen she takes off the large warm coat. She holds the coat to her nose because the scent seems very similar to the fragrance on Li Tian’s body. Draping it across a chair she chides herself for having an overactive imagination. She rubs her slightly swollen belly. Baby, am I crazy thinking about that annoying man?  How could a delivery driver afford a designer fragrance? I must be thinking about him because Mildred said Tang Wu’s cousin is picky. She chuckles, no one is pickier than that arrogant man.

  Li Tian leans against the truck watching Sara through the window and calls Yang James. “I will take care of the situation.”

   Yang James distinctly heard Sara’s voice in the background when Li Tian called him back. “Boss..you..you found Song Sara?”

  “En.”

CEO Li… Delivery Man

 Li Tian watches Lu Ying Yue’s slender figure walk towards the counter then return with a piece of chocolate cake for Shizi.

  The teenager’s eyes light up, “Thanks Lu Ying Yue!”

 “Well you worked hard.”

  Li Tian asks “You work here?.”

  “No. I was early so I helped her put away a delivery order. Miss Lu and her son used to live in the same apartment building. My brother Little Yi is friends with her son Lu Jun Jie.”

  Li Tian has a pensive look wondering why Lu Si never mentioned he had a son. Maybe the kid isn’t his? No such a delicate and timid woman doesn’t seem the type to have wild man outside.

  He drinks the coffee, “I don’t have much time, what did you find?”

  Shizi adjusts his breath, why is this man’s aura so damn suffocating! “First I need to ask you a couple personal questions.”

  “No. We have a deal it doesn’t involve exchanging personal information. If you want me to uphold my end of the bargain tell me where I can find Song Sara.”

  Shizi angrily slams down his fork and suddenly blurts out, “Well CEO LI… you left out some important details! I need to know why you want to find the woman! As much as I want the apartment not to be torn down and free rent I can’t..” He clenches his hand and bangs it on the table. “Be a party to..to..to a revenge killing!”

  Li Tian narrows his eyes dangerously and Shizi can’t breathe. “What the hell are you talking about! Did someone else approach you and fill your head with nonsense?” Could that bastard Cadieux have contacted this kid? Told him a load of bullshit?

   Shizi’s body is covered with cold sweat from Li Tian’s murderous aura. Strands of his ink black hair hanging down are stuck to his forehead. He tenses his muscles and has a determined look in his eyes. I made his decision to protect the woman if Li Tian has bad intentions…I can’t let his terrifying aura frighten me. We are in a crowded cafe what can he do to me? Unfortunately his trembling voice reveals his fear as he stammers, “No…no…I came across some disturbing information. Unless…unless you can give me a good reason why you want to find the woman…well…the deal is off!”

  Li Tian looks like a crazed madman as he reaches across the table grabbing Shizi’s neck with his large hand. 

  Lu Ying Yue comes running over from another table still holding a plate of food, “CEO LI! Let go of the boy! What are you doing?”

  Li Tian suddenly lets go of Shizi then bellows, “EVERYONE GET OUT NOW!” 

  The people that are gawking at Li Tian and Shizi can feel an intense pressure coming from the demonic man. They quickly get up from their seats and bump into each other while dashing to the exit.

  Lu Ying Yue is in a panic because it took a long time to establish a regular lunch crowd. She sets the plate on a nearby table and quickly bows towards the people dashing out the door. “I’m so sorry…please come back another day…I will treat you to a meal!”

   An older woman wearing a stylish designer pants suit stops. She owns the clothing store down the block and comes often for lunch takes a moment to whisper, “Lu Ying Yue, do you want me to call the police? A man shouldn’t treat his son like that!”

  “…” Lu Ying Yue quickly shakes her head, “No..no.. I know them…I will if it escalates.”

  The woman glares at Li Tian and looks at Shizi with sympathy as she leaves the cafe. Tsk! Obviously wealthy yet no manners whatsoever! Disciplining a youngster in public! Shameless!

  Lu Ying Yue nervously puts up a closed sign on the door then walks back to the table. The icy atmosphere makes her shiver as the two are in a deadlock, silently staring at each other. She anxiously twists her pink apron as she softly says, “CEO LI, please control yourself. Fan Ji is just a boy…”

 “Go busy yourself in the back. We have something to discuss.”

  Shizi nods at Lu Ying Yue to follow Li Tian’s instructions.

 Once she leaves Li Tian casually leans back in his chair, “You know you aren’t leaving here until I get answers.”

  “What can you do to me? You are just trying to scare me..it won’t work..I didn’t get my nickname Shizi for nothing.”

  “Kid, I don’t know whether to laugh at your naivete or applaud your guts.”

  “I’m not going to lie… I’m fucking aware I am not your opponent but I won’t say a word until you make it clear why you want to find the woman..I know she is pregnant and the baby isn’t yours.”

   The temperature in the cafe has dropped to below zero. Li Tian’s eyes reflect his ruthless nature and obsessive madness. He barely can control the impulse to strangle Shizi. He leans across the table locking his red eyes on Shizi’s eyes that are flickering with fear. “Repeat that last part! I fucking dare you!”

  “Those aren’t my words but Song Sara’s texts to her friend Han Bi. I was able to get into her phone and discovered that fact.” He holds up his phone with a screen shot of the conversation.

   Li Tian stares at the phone then comes back to his senses. The little girl is almost three months pregnant so she got pregnant at the Club the night she was drugged. She thinks the baby is from a  wild man’s seed and doesn’t know that it was me that night. FUCK! That is another obstacle…she will hate me more for that.

  Shizi notices the change in Li Tian’s expression and wonders what he is thinking. He no longer is exuding killing intent..but seems worried? What the hell is going on? He just read she clearly said the baby isn’t his but he isn’t lashing out anymore.

  “Don’t forget you signed a confidentiality agreement and the penalty is enormous. Erase that screenshot. I will tell you the baby is mine..definitely mine.” I can’t reveal the specifics so this should suffice. “Someone tampered with the results leading Song Sara to believe I am not the father.”

   Shizi can tell he isn’t lying, but..”Okay so the baby is yours..I will accept that you probably have enemies that might do that. Even if that is the case,the tone of the texts showed she doesn’t want you to find her.”

   “We had misunderstandings before she left Catang City. I want to clear them up. You seem worried I will harm Song Sara. I only want to see she and the baby are safe. I won’t disrupt her life. A pregnant woman shouldn’t be placed in a stressful situation. I hope you can see from my viewpoint, I am the baby’s father I care about both the mother and child.”

  The knot in Shizi’s stomach is loosened and he takes a bite of  chocolate cake while thinking. “Fine. I believe you. I can only hope you are being sincere. My information is reliable but I don’t have the specifics of her location. I think though with what I tell you that you have the ability to locate Song Sara. I could but it would take me another day.”

  Li Tian’s heart starts racing, “What do you have?”

  He shows him the picture of Tang Wu and the posts. Before he can say another word Li Tian tosses out a Platinum card, “Compensate Miss Lu for loss of business. The rest is yours.”

  Li Tian rushes out of the cafe and James quickly crushes a cigarette out on the ground. He opens the back door and when Li Tian gets into the car, “Drive to Shaoting’s villa.”

  He takes out a bottle of mineral water and unscrews the top FUCK ME! The little disobedient kitten has been right under my nose! TANG WU! SONG SARA IS THAT BRAT SHAOTING’s COOK! I knew I recognized the cakes in the photo!”

  While they drive along the highway he recalls the fortune teller saying she was with a man seven points similar to himself. I didn’t believe the old woman..does that mean the rest of what she told me will come true..Song Sara will be in an accident? I need to bring the little girl to my side so I can protect her and the baby.

   He calls Han Weisheng, “Fan Ji…the kid…he actually found Song Sara.”

   Han Weishing sets down the documents in his hand, “You saw the little girl?”

   “Well..no… but I am on my way now. You aren’t going to fucking believe this fucked up shit..she is my cousin Shaoting’s goddamn cook.”

  “Didn’t you go to dinner there last night?”

  “I did but the cook wasn’t her.”

   “Does Shaoting know you are looking for Song Sara and is hiding her from you.”

   “I don’t think he knows, he said I should stay there last night because of the snowstorm. That would be stupid even for him if he knew my relationship with Song Sara.”

  Han Weisheng pushes up his rimless glasses, “Tian. I know you want to rush over and grab the girl away but you need to stop and think. It isn’t like you to be so rash. She is hiding from you. If you suddenly pop up she will be frightened then run away again. Now that you know where she is and is safe you should..wel..think of a plan.”

  Li Tian drinks the water, “Hmm..you have a point. But I need to confirm Song Sara is working for Shoating.”

   He has an idea.“I need you to call Shaoting. Say the hotel’s kitchen received the Kobe beef and lobsters I wanted, you will send to his villa this afternoon.”

  “Tian, that shipment was very difficult to secure. How about an order of vegetables and chicken?’

  “That too. I will pay triple the cost. Have the truck ready and a delivery uniform in my size. I will be there in an hour.”

Spring Mist Cafe

   Li Tian gets dressed then picks up his phone to call Yang James. He sees the missed call and text from Shizi. The kid actually found information on the disobedient little kitten? He didn’t say he found Song Sara…is he trying to stall for more time? Curious he texts [What information?]

   Shizi is unwrapping a piece of toffee on his way to the nurse’s office. Worried about Li Tian’s intentions towards Song Sara, he plans on meeting Li Tian when he returns the call.  He pops the toffee in his mouth when the phone in his pocket vibrates.

   Shizi responds: [Relevant. Can we meet?]

  Li Tian texts:[Don’t be cryptic. What did you find?]

  Shizi swallows the toffee, what should I say? I think you might want to harm or kidnap the woman? I’m not down with that..I can’t have a pregnant woman’s bad fate on my head…

  He tightens his hand on the phone then answers: [I want to meet in person.]

  Li Tian sits on the edge of the bed, the two chairs in the room are broken.[It better be good. Are you at school? I will pick you up in forty five minutes.]

  No..no..that’s not good..what if someone sees me getting into his car? We should meet far away from school. [Meet me at Spring Mist Cafe on Harbor Blvd. I can be there in an hour.]

  [Don’t be late, I have a meeting scheduled at three.]

  [I won’t.]

  Shizi squeezes his face into a painful expression as he enters the infirmary. The nurse looks up from a folder, “Student, what is wrong?”

  “I think the fish I ate last night was bad. I have stomach cramps and diarrhea.”

   “Sit and let me examine you. The stomach flu has been going around also but I need to make sure it isn’t a bout of appendicitis.”

  While Shizi is acting his heart out so the nurse will send him home, Li Tian is talking to Yang James. “I saw the information you sent me last night. Proceed with the purchase.”

   “The crew has completed the demolition of the warehouses on Baying St. Do you want me to start making preparations for them to go to Bashu City?”

   Li Tian walks downstairs and into the dining room. “No. We won’t be tearing down the building. I plan on renovating the existing building and converting it to affordable housing.”

   Yang James takes a moment to stabilize his emotions. He taps a gold pen on his desk and clenches his jaw then calmly asks, “Why would you do that? It is a money losing proposition.” When did you become so fucking civic minded!

  “We will be partnering with Han Construction and it can be counted as a charitable donation. Li Group won’t lose much but will gain recognition from the project. It will highlight our willingness to address the current trend to destroy Middle Class neighborhoods to accommodate the rich.”

  Yang James’s voice is tinged with sarcasm “If you were aiming to build a reputation as a civil minded company wouldn’t a project in Catang City be more suitable?” You fucking crazy bastard. I know something else is going on here. You have never cared about public opinion!

  “Well, I have my reasons. I will be in Bashu City for a while so I can oversee the project.”

  Yang James is seething, I should have stayed in Bashu City. Boss isn’t thinking straight. He is sleep deprived and obsessed with that slut! “I thought you were wrapping it up today with Old Man Guo and returning. Alexandre is in town and wants to discuss a rather lucrative deal.”

  “Tell him to fuck off.”

  “You should hear him out.”

  “Since when do you question my orders? Send me an update on the opening of the Mega Mall and the progress that bastard Cadieux has made on the competing Mall.” He hangs up, Fucking Alexandre, I don’t trust that prick since the last shipment got hijacked. 

  Yang James calls a man who works for him. The man is eating a bowl of noodles at his mother’s restaurant. Xu Donghai  frowns when he sees the caller and puts down his chopsticks. Dammit! I haven’t eaten Mom’s Spicy Pork Noodles since I got back from Hong King! “Yeah?”

  “I need you to go to Bashu City and find out why Li Tian purchased a shitty apartment building. See if it is related to a woman named Song Sara.”

    “I just got back. Now I need to go to that fucking town? I hate Bashu City.” Xu Donghai stares at his bowl of noodles getting cold and soggy, The fucking whore lives here and every time I go to that city I have the urge to seek her out and commit murder.

  “I will pay double. Leave now and report back as soon as you find out.”

  “Double? Okay, I will leave immediately.”

  Xu Donghai ’s mother sees him stand up, “Where are you rushing off to? You haven’t eaten half your noodles.”

  He walks over and kisses his mother’s cheek. “Emergency. I will eat two bowls when I return.”

   The little girl she is holding takes the strawberry lollipop out of her mouth. She coquettishly blinks her round eyes, “Little Uncle, don’t I get a kiss too?”

    He rubs the little girl’s head then gives her a peck on the cheek, “Be good for your Grandma.”

    After he leaves the little girl points at his back with the lollipop, “Grandma, why is Little Uncle walking like an old man?”

   “…”

   The woman has a worried expression, Xu Donghai is limping and looks haggard. She has no idea what he does for a living.  Depressed because he found out his wife was cheating on him when he was on a mission after he got out of the military he divorced the woman. He moved into his mother’s house and listlessly laid on the couch. He didn’t work for a few months then suddenly took a job with a wealthy looking young man.

    She saw Yang James pick her son up at their house. When she asked who he was Xu Donghai answered, “My employer”, then didn’t respond to further questioning.

     Yang James is staring at the phone, he is pissed, a highly valuable asset like Xu Donghai is reduced to being a driver to spy on Li Tian. He has no choice because Li Tian doesn’t know him and won’t be suspicious. If the Boss knew I was monitoring him…even if it is with good intentions he won’t let me go, I know that. But… I have no choice because of that pregnant bitch! He is losing his edge. I could tell by Alexandre’s tone and the mother*****r   had the balls to insinuate Li Tian’s hold on the Organization was tenuous. I can’t let all our work go down the drain because of that little twat! I won’t! How the fuck did a simple woman like Song Sara mess with the Boss’ head? 

    While Yang James is stewing about the situation, Li Tian finishes breakfast and calls for the driver.  Passing by Mu Fu in the hallway, the old man stops him. The old housekeeper has been with the Sun family for over thirty years and has never been so angry. After dealing with the guard who Li Tian knocked out last night and the maid’s account of the mess he made in the room he is livid.

   “CEO Li, the Young Master asked that you restrain yourself for the rest of your visit. I have instructed all the guards to allow you to enter without seeking permission. I have compensated the injured guard and he won’t pursue the matter. The guest room will be cleaned and the furnishings replaced by this afternoon.”

   “En.”

    Mu Fu has the urge to kick Li Tian in the butt as he nonchalantly strides towards the front door. I have met countless arrogant Young Masters before but that man #$@%!!!

     Li Tian walks outside and James opens the back door of the Rolls Royce Phantom. “Drive to the Spring Mist Cafe on Harbor Dr.”

    Inside the Spring Mist Cafe Shizi is helping the owner, Lu Ying Yue, with a delivery. “Miss Lu, don’t try to lift that I will get it.”

   “Thank you Fan Ji. You have grown taller since the last time I saw you.”

  He reaches to the top shelf and puts a sack of flour there. “Haha..maybe. How is your new apartment?”

  “Good.  It is close to JunJie’s kindergarten.”

  “ I wondered where was…Little Yi  misses playing with him. Since you moved he only has the little girl in 706 as a playmate and she is always crying about something.”

   Lu Ying Yue smiles, “I remember her..she was a little spoiled. If you can stay for a bit, my friend Ruan YaoYao is picking him up from school.”

  The bell out front rings and she says, “ I really appreciate your help.When you finish I will treat you to a piece of chocolate cake I made this morning.”

  “Sounds great! There is only one more box.”

  Li Tian walks into the small cafe as Lu Ying Yue comes out from the kitchen. When their eyes meet Lu Ying Yue’s heart skips a beat. Li Tian has a surprised expression, “It has been a long time.”

   She nervously takes off her apron, “ Five years.”My wedding…you were with your dreadful  fiancee Long An.

    “You work here?”

   “Well, it is my cafe. I opened it after the divorce.”

   “You and Si got divorced?”

   “Hmm. Come sit, what would you like to drink? Do you still like Blue Mountain black?”

    “You remember?”

  “How could I forget..haha..anything else and you wouldn’t drink even a sip.”

  Li Tian sits at a small wooden table by the window and gazes out at the Harbor. He thinks about meeting Lu Ying Yue at a piano competition when he was attending University in England. Lu Si was head over heels in love and took him to watch her perform. She was shining under the lights as she played a difficult piece and he kept saying, “I am going to marry that girl.”  Now they are divorced? I thought she quit performing to stay at home. He never mentioned they divorced. 

   Shizi comes out of the back room, he gulps down his saliva when he sees Li Tian by the window. He tells himself not to be intimidated and find out the truth, “CEO Li.”

“I said don’t be late.”

   Shizi scratches his head, “I..”

   Lu Ying Yue sets the cup of black coffeeon the table and points back and forth at them, “You two know each other?”

   Shizi says, “I told you I was meeting someone.”

   “Oh.” I thought it would be one of your school friends not Lu Si’s friend.

Film Emperor Tang Wu Is Trending

   Li Tian wakes up in the morning stark naked and with a splitting headache.

    Last night he trudged through the heavy snow to Sun Zhi’s villa after angrily leaving his cousin’s home.Once he got to the gate the guard asked for his ID. He checked in his pocket and realized he left his cousin’s abruptly without getting his bag out of the Rolls Royce Phantom that was under three feet of snow. 

When they stepped into the guard room no one answered at the villa and the guard wasn’t going to let him enter. Frustrated, Li Tian stripped the gun from the man’s hand and used the butt of the gun to knock him out.

   Afterwards he was drinking heavily while sitting on the enclosed deck looking out at the night sky.  Sulking while thinking about how any other woman would be begging him for his attention yet the little kitten ran as fast as she could to hide from him.

He was staring at the sonogram and becoming increasingly agitated. My baby.. Mine and Song Sara’s..I have rights as a father! She can’t unilaterally make decisions…Dammit! How dare the little thing steal away with my child! The last thing he remembers is stumbling to the bed. 

   He sits up on the bed and sees the room is destroyed, the lamps are broken and the table is upturned. There is a smashed bottle of whisky on the stained white carpet. Black and white shreds of paper are scattered in the midst of the mess.He squints his eyes staring at the floor..what is that.. “FUCK!”

Realizing what the papers are he quickly gets off the bed and picks up the torn pieces with shaky hands. No.. He runs his fingers through his hair. I tore it up..the only … FUCK!

   Li Tian walks naked to the table and spreads out all the ripped shreds of paper.. He rubs his red eyes then meticulously puts the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle; regretting he got so drunk he lost his mind. A piece is missing and he frantically looks on the floor. He finds the small piece by the bed and sighs.

   There is a knock at the door and a soft woman’s voice says, “CEO Li? Are you awake? I made you hangover soup.”

  Li Tian’s throat is dry and his voice sounds hoarse, “Get me tape, clear tape.”

    Deng Chun opens the door a crack.Staring at Li Tian’s perfect body and his majestic dragon swollen and standing upright in a dense black forest her eyes are full of lust. She gasps then covers her mouth to prevent any further sounds escaping. Soooo BIG!

   She silently closes the door and takes a moment to compose herself. “Yes, CEO Li”. Ahh..my God I want him to fuck me so bad. He is incredibly handsome and his c*ck is huge! She can feel her honey drenching the lace thong she is wearing under her uniform’s conservative black a-line skirt. Last night she wanted to seduce Li Tian when she saw him stumbling to his room. The black silk shirt he was wearing was unbuttoned exposing his beautiful strong chest and eight pack. 

   Excited by the prospect of rolling in bed with such a perfect man she changed into a red lace teddy. Unfortunately, when she returned and opened the door the room was in shambles. Li Tian’s dark aura made her unable to stand and want to vomit blood. He wasin a rage, tearing something up and cursing loudly. She was frightened by the intense bone chilling  feeling engulfing her body so she returned to her room.

  She touches between her thighs and bites her bottom lip, “I will get the tape.. but.. I brought Hangover Soup, may I come in.”

   “I don’t want soup. Get the tape. Leave it on the table.”

   He walks into the bathroom and turns on the shower. Looking down at his throbbing erection he slams his hand on the tiled wall.Song Sara where the hell are you! He steps under the shower head and lets the cold water spray on his face.

Wrapping his large hand around his c*ck he thinks about Sara’s petite snow white body flushed red from the heat of passion.The little girl tangled with him and her beautiful face filled with lust.

Groaning while he rubs his thick shaft, he imagines Sara’s small mouth licking his scorching hot c*ck and her soft hands stroking him. He growls,”Sara Baby…Ahh..Sara.”

   Deng Chun is hiding behind the bathroom door drooling while watching Li Tian in the mirror. She only had to go into the study next door to get the tape and rushed back knowing he was going to shower.

The thirsty woman plays with her drenched pussy as she fantasizes he is calling her name. When she sees him release she leans against the door. I have to have that man! I have been so bored since the Old Madam sent me to report on her grandson, Sun Zhi.

   Li Tian washes his taut body as she continues to watch, when he turns off the water she quickly goes into the bedroom. She stops and looks at the pieces of paper neatly arranged to complete the picture. A sonogram..his baby?

Deng Chun nervously hurries out the door forgetting to leave the tape. CEO Li was in a rage last night because of the woman carrying his baby? Who is she? Not Long Jinxi his fiancee or Long An his former fiancee, there would be a wedding announcement. They must not know about the baby.. His mistress..Sara..Sara who? Maybe I could blackmail him into sleeping with me.

    Sara wakes up feeling refreshed. She went to sleep shortly after eating last night. She had a peaceful night sleep unaware a picture taken at the hospital by a fan of Tang Wu’s is trending on the internet… her world could come crashing down at any minute. Stretching her arms she gently touches her stomach that is  slightly protruding. “Baby, you are one day older.”

    Meanwhile in the heart of Bashu City Shizi has no choice but to go into the school when his father drops him off at the school gate. Two of his friends come up to his side, Shorty is bouncing a basketball “Shizi! The big game is today. Are you ready?”

   “Yeah..yeah.” Shit I forgot. Dammit I need to figure out a way to at least use the computer in the library. He walks up the stairs into the hallway by his first period class. A group of girls are outside the door squealing while looking at their phones. “Emperor Tang is so kind! I love him even more now!”

   “Oh my God. Look at his profile! So perfect!’

   “My hubby is so cool!”

    “Look at the way he is supporting her arm when she stumbled.”

    “I was pissed at first I thought the little fairy was his girlfriend until I read the post.Ahhh.. my baby Tang Wu is the best!”

     Shen Lin kisses her phone, “Remember when that 18th line star he was working with got sick after filming a water scene in “The Concubine Runs Away’? I heard my darling hubby paid all her doctor bills. He is an angel! A beautiful angel!”

   Shizi scoffs when he hears his childhood friend Shen Lin stimulating the other girls with her nonsense. Hubby..Angel?  my ass.. “It was probably a publicity stunt. Isn’t Tang Wu playing a doctor from a poor village in his next film?”

    She Lin stomps her small foot and pulls him over, “FAN JI! This picture was taken by a fan! A fan! Not the paparazzi or from his company’s publicity team. Look! Look! The picture isn’t even that good…grainy..not a good angle. They would have taken a much better shot.

The fangirl overheard him talking to the nurse. He didn’t even mention his name. She heard the woman and him talking about what she was going to make for dinner. The woman is his cook! His cook! He took her to the hospital for a checkup.”

She angrily waves her phone, “ Stupid! Fan Ji.. You…you are an Idiot! If it was for publicity don’t you think Tang Wu would have been more showy!”

   Just to annoy Shen Lin he grabs the phone the little girl is waving in his face to point out the suspicious aspects..You are the idiot little fool! Pfft! It has publicity stunt written all over it. 

   She jumps up to get her precious phone, “FAN JI! I NEED TO GET INTO CLASS! GIVE ME MY PHONE!”

  He holds her thin arm easily restraining the little girl. “Little Mouse,. I just want to see the picture. I will give the phone right back.”

   Shizi wants to scream, I found the little ghost! I found the little ghost! He hands the little girl back the phone and hugs her into his arms twirling her around. The other girls are jealous but she knocks his chest, “Pervert! Let me down!”

   He affectionately rubs her head, “I owe you one Little Mouse.”

   She kicks him in the shin, “I told you not to call me that!”

   The crowd of students rushes in the classroom right before the bell rings. Shizi walks up to the teacher trying to act calm. He holds his stomach, “Mr. Liu I need to go use the bathroom. Maybe go to the nurse, I have a bad case of diarrhea. “

   Mr. Liu looks over his glasses and sounds annoyed, “If you are sick why didn’t you stay at home?”

 He holds his stomach and bends over a little while moaning. “It came on suddenly.”

  Mr. Liu waves his arm, “Go before you poop your pants.”

  Shizi runs out the door and goes into a stall in the boy’s restroom. He takes out his phone and his hand trembles as he dials Li Tian’s number. “Answer..answer.”

  He texts [ Call me.Have information about Song Sara]

   He leans on the wall and starts thinking. Wait. I didn’t actually find the woman but with this information Mr. Li should be able to locate Song Sara..does that still count? Yes. It should. Find Tang Wu..find Song Sara. In the picture it was definitely Bashu City Heights Hospital..definitely Song Sara..and well Little Mouse, his obsessive little follower, knows everything about Tang Wu so if she says that was him..that was him. 

   Shizi has a bout of conscience, what if he wants to hurt the woman. Mr. Li doesn’t seem like the type of man who would be forgiving if a woman put a green hat on him. Fuck. Dammit! What should I do? Ask him? Ask him why he didn’t mention she is pregnant?

  Li Tian has a towel wrapped around his waist as he dries his hair. He drinks a bottle of water and presses a button on the intercom, “Send someone to clean the guest room. I will have the furnishings replaced.”  He looks at the sonogram. “Also I need tapet.”

   Mr. Mu looks at his wife, “What’s wrong?”

   “The Young Master’s friend, you know the man he said he worked for in Catang City needs the room cleaned. But..he also said he would replace the furnishings.” She finds Li Tian to be terrifying and avoids contact with him. “Fu, when is the Young Master returning?”

  “Should  be back in two days.”

    She notices Deng Chun. “Take tape to the Young Master’s guest.”




Shizi’s Father Is In A Good Mood

   The next morning Shizi puts on his blue and white striped tie and brushes the cat hair from his gray uniform jacket. He lightly kicks away a fat white cat rubbing his legs. “Fluffy! How many times have I told you not to sleep in my clothes!”

   After he combs his hair he walks out into the small neat kitchen. Grabbiing a scallion pancake that his mother just put on the plate he takes a big bite. Shizi’s eyes water and he cries, “Hot! Hot! My tongue!”

   Fan Rou turns around from the stove and gently scolds , “Baby, I just took them off the skillet. Sit, it isn’t good to eat standing up.”

  He picks up a glass of soy milk from the kitchen table.  “I can’t Mom, I will be late for school.”

  Shizi’s father comes down the hallway dressed in a stylish navy blue suit. “Listen to your mother. Sit and eat properly. I can drop you off at school, I have a meeting in the City Center.”

  Shizi’s mother adjusts his father’s tie, “ Zhang Honey, you look so handsome this morning.” She runs her finger down the suit coat’s lapels. ”This suit fits you perfectly.” Fan Rou is very good at bargain shopping and found this Armani suit at a consignment shop. Although it is from last year’s collection most people wouldn’t know.

   Fan Zhang is in a good mood. Out of the blue he got a call this morning from Han Construction that they are recruiting salesman for the Building Materials division. He applied to them several months ago when his present job was becoming unreasonable about quotas. 

 He doesn’t want to tell his wife until he gets the job but it is hard not to be excited. 

   The woman from the Human Resources Department  said they were very satisfied with his resume and his impressive sales record. She continued by saying the company is optimistic about his potential which surprised him. She scheduled an interview for this morning, potentially if the interview went well he could begin work next week.  

    He affectionately touches her cheek then kisses her forehead. “My RouRou is not only very beautiful but has an amazing knack for finding good deals.”

   She blushes, “There are alot of shops around work. On my lunch break I like to browse. If you are going that direction could you drop Little Yi at your sister’s house?”

  “I can.”

   Little Yi comes running out of the bathroom in only his Spiderman underwear holding a pair of tan pants, “Mom, I don’t want to wear these today! I want to wear the jeans with suspenders.”

   Fan Rou laughs and hugs him into her arms. She ruffles his fluffy hair, “How can you be so picky at such a young age.”

  “I’m going to be an actor Mom. I need to always look my best. The tan pants make my butt look big.”

  She can’t help but laugh at her precocious son. “Where do you get these ideas?”

  “Auntie says I am the cutest little boy she has ever seen. I am cuter than the brat on “Destined To Love You” . I should be on television.”

   Fan Rou looks at her husband and raises a delicate thin eyebrow,“You and your sister are like night and day. She lets him watches those dramas all day and fills Yi’s head with nonsense.”

  The little boy puffs out his cheeks like a small hedgehog. “Mom. It isn’t nonsense. I am very cute. You always tell me I am too.” He holds up three chubby fingers. “The  Aunties down the street always pinch my cheeks and say I am the cutest. The lady that sat next to us on the bus..”

   “Enough.”She shakes her head then pinches his soft cheek. “ We get it our Little Yi is the very cutest. Well let’s get you changed, your father will give you a ride today.”

  Fan Zhang picks up a steaming cup of coffee and leans on the kitchen counter deep in thought. He heard from his friend that the pay at Han Construction is the best in the industry. They offer benefits and provide a harmonious working environment. They limit the amount of territory a salesman covers and are a family oriented company.

   He blows on the coffee.Could I really get a job there? I only have a High School Education,. I applied as a fluke one night when I got home really pissed off at the inhumane treatment from my new Boss. I had to travel to several different cities and he only approved the reimbursement for 70% of my lodging costs saying I was overly extravagant and one meal a day… I should have packed food. What a fucking joke! I stayed in the cheapest motels available one was overridden with cockroaches another rat trap the toilet didn’t work. 

   Fan Rou walks back into the kitchen and chuckles at her husband and son who both seem lost in their thoughts. Most people think Ji looks like me but when he has a serious expression he looks exactly like my handsome Zhang.

   Fan Rou takes the cup of coffee from Fan Zhang’s hand and sets it on the counter. She impulsively wraps her arms around him and presses her head on his chest. She loves the slight woodsy fragrance on his body from the soap he uses.  She inhales deeply and her voice is soft. “Husband, I am so happy you are home. I missed you.” She gazes up at him her eyes filled with deep love. “ Will you be home for awhile.”

  He smiles at her tender and loving expression as he lowers his head and kisses her tempting lips. “Maybe. I will find out today.”

  He brushes some loose hairs behind her ear, “RouRou, get Little Yi.”

then tells Shizi. “Time to go. “

  Shizi gulps down the glass of milk and says, “Dad, if it is inconvenient I can take the bus.” If Dad drops me off at school how am I going to ditch? I planned on using a voice modulator simulating a woman’s voice and say I am sick today. Bam..no questions. I never take sick days. The school attendance office doesn’t know mom’s voice.

  “Not a problem. “ Walks toward the hallway leading to the two bedrooms, “Rou, is Yi dressed?”

  The little boy comes strutting down the hallway like a small peacock. “Mom, don’t I look handsome?”

   “Very.” She bends down and kisses his cheek then puts on his coat and hat. When she wraps the red and white scarf around his neck she has a serious expression. “Today don’t just watch television with your Auntie. You will be starting kindergarten soon and you need to practice your handwriting. I put an exercise book in your backpack.”

   “Mom, we don’t just watch dramas. Auntie is teaching me how to be an actor.”

  Fan Zhang pulls him by the collar. “Do as your mother said.”

   “But Dad! I need to memorize my lines!” He starts to say she is taking him to an audition but remembers Auntie SuSu said to zip his lip..it is a secret.

   Fan Zhang tells his wife. “I will remind Sis when I drop him off.”

  She hands him the colorful backpack, “Drive safe. I heard the trucks when I got up clearing the snow but the roads still could be dangerous.”

   Fan Rou helps him with his overcoat,”I have to work a couple hours later tonight the management ran a leasing special so it will be busy in the office. I put dinner in the refrigerator and you just have to heat the food.”

    He tenderly kisses her lips, my wife you are so beautiful… how did I get so lucky. I really don’t deserve you. But maybe if I get this job you can quit your manager job and concentrate on your painting.  “I only have this appointment this morning. I can pick you up. Call me when you are almost finished.”

    “I don’t mind taking the bus.”

     He playfully slaps her bottom, “Don’t be disobedient. I said call me.”

    She smiles brightly, “Well then I will trouble you.”

    Fan Ji has a complicated expression seeing his taciturn father being unusually affectionate with his mother., Dad is acting strange. I wonder what is going on with him? Shit! I can’t worry about that..time is slipping away. I need to find the woman.

   When they pull up to his Aunt’s house his father says, “I’m going inside for a minute I will be right out. He looks at his watch, “You won’t be late.’

   Shizi unbuckles Little Yi from the car seat, “See you after school little man.”

    Fan Zhang opens the car door and picks up Little Yi. He carries him to the front door of his sister’s house. 

   When she answers he frowns at her sloppy appearance, his little sister’s short black curly hair is matted like a bird’s nest and she has mascara smudged under her big brown eyes. She is wearing green dragon pajamas and chewing an apple, “Zhangy Zhang! It’s been so long! Come in!”

   Once inside he hands his sister a tissue from the table,  “Wipe your eyes. Shouldn’t you take your makeup off when you go to sleep? Nevermind… I can’t stay long but…” Yi is pulling on the pajama’s dragon tail. The corner of Fan Zhang’s mouth is twitching, “Yi, go play in the other room. I need to talk to your Aunt.”

  She has the balled up tissue in her hand and throws it towards a waste basket. She misses and doesn’t walk to pick it up. “Brother,  Zhangy..why do you look so serious? Are you constipated..no…” She has a mischiveous grin on her cute face, “That is your natural expression. How did you capture that sweet beautiful wife of yours anyway? I could use it when writing my next script.”

     He ignores her sarcasm as he  looks around the cluttered room. Books are stacked randomly on the floor and the tables are covered with African statues and masks.“SuSu, I have serious doubts about your sanity right now.” 

   She laughs, “ ZhangZhang, you are such a clean freak! Jinni is coming tomorrow to clean. I am working on a new project.” She picks up an African mask and puts it up to her small round face. “ I am using these for inspiration. I am writing a psychological mystery and the protagonist is a French Art Collector who specializes in African Art.”

  He affectionately ruffles her hair then grimaces ,When was the last time you washed your hair? ” “SuSu, now I know you lost it. You are a screenwriter for..haha..idol dramas.”

   SuSu swats his arm, “So! Unlike you my stuffy boring brother, I am an adventurous person. I am trying something new. I met this man at an Art Gallery and I am modeling the male lead after him. I’m meeting him tomorrow to discuss.”

  “In other words you fell in love at first sight with a handsome foreign Art Collector. I’m assuming he is good looking… You are using the pretense of picking his brain to get close to him because…  what Little SuSu, the aspiring mystery writer, haha.. really wants is to fu..”

   She turns crimson red and covers his mouth when she sees Little Yi. “Honey, I got you some yogurt drinks you like. Go get one out of the refrigerator.”

   He shakes his head. “Anyway, RouRou wants Little Yi to practice his handwriting. The exercise book is in his backpack.”

  “Okay. I can do that.” 

  “Don’t fill his head with nonsense.”

  She giggles and her pretty brown eyes sparkle, “I never tell my favorite little nephew nonsense!”

  Little Yi comes running out of the kitchen in one hand is a small pink bottle of yogurt in the other is an African mask. He holds the colorful mask to his face, “Auntie you can’t always be the Chief.  Today, I will be the Kobungi Chief…you can be the Medicine Doctor.”

  “…”

Li Tian Arrives

   Li Feng’s stomach is growling and he looks at his watch. Screwing up his face and puffing out his cheeks he whines,“Dad, do we need to wait for Cousin Tian? I’m starving.”

   Li Liang hugs Wei Minnie’s thin waist and with a pampering tone asks, “Are you hungry?”

   “Honey, we should wait.” She doesn’t want to anger her volatile nephew and ruin the harmonious atmosphere. That boy’s temper could  frighten Shaoting’s cute little girl.

  “Mom!”

  “Feng’er you know that man’s personality. He will scare TingTing’s little sweetheart to death with his cold aura. She looks fragile as a delicate porcelain doll. Your brother finally has a girlfriend. Do you want her to see how terrifying our family’s Tian can be? ”

  Resigning himself to the fact his empty stomach will need to wait to be filled with delicious food, he starts to play a game on his phone.“You’re right about Cousin Tian. After school I was with a group of my friends working out at his gym on Yuying St. I didn’t expect him to be there at that time of day and he scared the shit out of my friends. You know Lu Ming?”

   Wei Minnie taps her slender white finger on Li Liang’s thigh. “Hmm..Lu Ming.. The ruggedly handsome boy who always wears basketball jerseys and likes to flex his muscles? No that is Han Weishing’s nephew Han Shi Oh.. I know! That feminine looking kid…the tall willowy one with the flawless jade like skin and naturally red full lips?  TingTing got a modeling job with Henri Armand? He is so adorable.”

   Li Liang pinches her waist and his voice is tinged with jealousy, “MinMin, I didn’t realize you pay such close attention to Feng’s friends.” I will have to forbid Feng bringing those stinky bastards to the house.

    She squirms in his lap and has an innocent expression on her beautiful face. “I don’t. I mean Weisheng is your friend so of course I pay attention to his nephew. And…and… I just saw an ad Lu Ming did for Henri Armand in Beautiful Lifestyles Magazine and I remembered the frail looking kid.” She mentally fans herself…that was close.. Liang is still so jealous…but he looks so sexy when his eyes are like a bottomless abyss filled with only me. I will need to show him later that he is the only man I need.

     Li Feng puts down his phone. “Back to my story.”  Mom enough with the fangirl description. Dad is getting mad. Married for so long and he still acts like a jealous idiot when you tease him. 

    “Yeah, that guy.” He shivers, “And Mom, don’t say feminine looking…” Li Feng thinks about the stares they get when they are together..like we are a fucking couple. “Anyway, Ming has a weak heart and when Cousin Tian approached…get this..he hadn’t said a word and Ming fainted. Boom..straight to the floor. Cousin Tian stepped over poor Ming…like..like he was a piece of wood.”

   “My goodness! That boy should get some therapy. I don’t know where he gets that heartless dark aura. Your Uncle Hong is stern but has a calm rational personality and your Auntie, well..I don’t know a more gentle and kind woman.”

   Li Tian sneezes as he presses the passcode to the door then enters the villa.

   Li Feng and his mother have guilty expressions when they see Li Tian.

   Li Liang chuckles when he feels his wife stiffen in his embrace and her heart beating erratically. He playfully nibbles on Wei Minnie’s ear then teases, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here.”

   She swats his chest, “Not afraid.”

   He lifts her chin and looks into her beautiful amber eyes, “MinMin,you have never been a good liar.”

    She snuggles into his embrace and in a barely audible voice she mutters, “Now I know why Little Ming fainted.”

  Li Liang laughs and kisses her half parted lips, my little wife is still so damn cute. I can’t wait to get this dinner over with and take her to the bedroom

  He is not intimidated by his nephew’s imposing aura. “Now that Tian has arrived let’s eat.” He stands up and carries Wei Minnie to the dining room.

   Li Tian is slightly drunk and sneers as he watches the loving couple. “Uncle, what a surprise. I thought you were unable to come to Bashu City. You and Auntie look very… free.”

  “Nephew, don’t be petty. You lost. I won.”

  Li Tian sits down across from Li Feng. “Where is Shaoting?” I have questions about the cook.

  Li Liang answers, “He had to take a call from his agent. Feng, go tell your brother dinner is being served.”

   Li Feng happily leaves the dining room and runs up the stairs..

  Mildred walks out of the kitchen carrying a platter of the Spicy Chicken Wings and in her other hand the Ginger and Scallion Noodles.

  Li Tian sees the plump older woman and narrows his eyes, “You are the cook?”

 Mildred looks around for Li Shaoting. He specifically told her not to reveal Song Sara. She has a apprehensive expression, the man’s piercing gaze …so terrifying…should I lie…oh mama…what should I do?

  Li Tian is impatient. “Answer. Not a hard question. Are you the cook?”

  Mildred nervously twists her hands in her apron. I am the cook..  But not the cook who prepared these dishes.

  “Bring me the cake.” 

  Wei Minnie and Li Jiang stare at him wondering why he is bullying the poor woman. Li Liang lifts his sword like eyebrow, “I thought you don’t like cake.”

  “I don’t”

  “…”

  The Li brothers walk into the dining room, with his powerful father here to counter his cousin’s aura Li Shaoting doesn’t feel as intimidated. He sits down next to his mother and Li Liang points to the chair across the table. Hmmph! So much for feeling Dad will protect me.

  Mildred returns with a piece of Strawberry Cream Cake and places it in front of Li Tian. He growls, “What’s this?”

   She blinks her eyes, “Cake.”

   “I can see it is fucking cake but not the fucking cake I wanted.”

  ???

  He glares at Li Feng, “Did I not make myself clear last night. I wanted the goddamn cake in the photo.”

  Li Feng has a helpless expression as he pleads with his eyes for someone to save him.

  Li Liang  calmy responds, “Cake is cake. Don’t bully the poor woman or Feng’er.”

  Standing up, Li Shaoting says “Mildred, come with me to the kitchen.”

 Once inside the kitchen he apologizes, “Sorry Mildred. My cousin is very prickly. Did Song Sara make another cake? You can be off, I will take care of the rest of dinner.”

  “Young Master! I can’t let you serve the food! It isn’t right!”

  “Mildred, you do a great job. I just think it would be best if you retired for the night.” I don’t need this old lady having a heart attack. There is a raging snowstorm and the roads aren’t cleared.

  “I didn’t see another cake, only the one on the counter.”

  “Okay. Do as I say. You are off work for the night.”

   She bows respectfully, “Yes, Young Master Li.”

   After Mildred leaves he looks around the kitchen. I thought I told Song Sara to prepare the same menu but whatever. Why does the stupid tyrant want that particular cake? The man doesn’t like sweets!

  Li Shaoting walks back into the dining room and sits down. Li Tian glares at him, “Well?”

  “Cousin, my cook misunderstood and thought that cake was too plain for a guest. She made the Strawberry Cream Cake instead.”

   Li Tian has an icy look in his pitch black eyes, “Fire the woman. She blatantly disregarded your instructions.” I know that the cake in the photo was similar to the one I ate when I was in Zhou Mo’s office, made by Song Sara. It’s far fetched but I thought Song Sara might be working in a bakery…or had some relation with the brat’s cook. I might have a lead to the disobedient kitten.

  Li Liang puts down his chopsticks, “Enough. I don’t know what your problem is Tian, but Shaoting doesn’t need your advice on how to handle his servants” He sticks his fork in the creamy cake covered with strawberries then puts it in his mouth. “This cake is light and delicious.”

  Li Tian angrily storms out of the dining room and grabs his black cashmere coat. Kicking off the slippers on his feet he grabs his black leather shoes from the rack.  

  Li Liang watches him leave, “Where does he think he is going? The snowstorm has made the roads impassable.”

   Li Shaoting looks towards the door. “Cousin Tian’s friend lives in the community.” Perfect! Now I don’t have to deal with that mental case and my parents.

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











Internet Cafe Part 2

   Shizi sighs heavily realizing his skills might not be enough to locate Song Sara. It is as though the wind is gone from his sails as he stops typing. He rubs his temples, he hasn’t felt this stymied since he first began hacking computers when he was in Middle School. He has been trying every trick he knows to bring up any relevant footage at the hospital during the time frame Li Tian gave him. Nothing..nothing..no trace at all… 

  He meticulously studies the information that Li Tian gave him. Song Sara came on a train from Catang City. I checked every camera at the Bashu Station on the date he gave me..not a glimpse of the woman…

  Looking at the clock he begins to sweat. I have been here almost an hour and a half and have come up with nada..zilch… not one clue to the little ghost’s whereabouts. I would almost think she didn’t really exist and Mr. Li is crazy if he didn’t have her picture as his goddamn wallpaper.

  Tomorrow maybe I could ditch school and go to the hospital and investigate. The little ghost is a real stunner…people would remember seeing her…maybe whoever she was with could be traced. Of course if I got caught that would destroy the glimmer of respect I saw in Dad’s eyes earlier. FUCK!

  He slams his hand down. I WILL FIND SONG SARA!

  Shizi has an idea. He texts Li Tian [Boss Li  does Miss Song have any friends she might have contacted?]

  Li Tian is on his way to Sun Zhi’s villa planning on going to dinner at his cousin Shaoting’s home. He sees the text and has a faint smile Boss Li..this kid  [Han Bi in Catang City my men have been monitoring. No results.]

   Shizi asks the question that has been bothering him since he was at the convenience store.[Did you clean up Oak St.?]

   [No.] But I did have Han Weisheng send some of his men. You don’t need to know that.

   [Curious.]  Shizi squints his eyes..if not you who would bother?

  [Get back to work. You have 16 hours.]

   Shizi types  [Yeah. One more thing. Is there a particular enemy of yours that..]  He shakes his head and erases the text. Mr. Li might get angry… but it would help to know who has the fucking ability to hide her existence…the security at a hospital is very sophisticated and I couldn’t detect any hint the footage had been tampered with. The hallways on the 7th floor merely looked deserted…the lobby appeared closed during the time. I tried using forensic analysis to detect any abnormalities.

  Shizi texts [Aware.]

   Li Tian unscrews the top of a bottle of mineral water, interesting kid…but can he actually find the disobedient kitten?

   Shizi stretches his arms and decides to hack into Han Bi’s phone. It doesn’t take long until he is able to locate her recent texts. He chuckles as he reads through them, what a little nut. Fashionista..gamer… she has a beef with a woman named Jiang Wenli… pissed at her brother Chao because he didn’t get her tickets for Lili’s World Tour… works for Fang Group pissed at her Boss for hiring his fiancee…He starts laughing..what a little firecracker..all those damn emojis!! He jots down the names of the people she has texted. 

   He screws up his handsome face in a frown. But no texts to or from Song Sara. Dammit! Another fucking dead end. He is ready to give up when he notices in between Han Bi’s rambling to her brother about her fangirling there are a few lines of text and his eyes light up. No name…he puts his hands in the air shouting,”EUREKA! FUCKING SHIT! THE LITTLE GHOST!”

   Everyone in the internet cafe stares at him and he laughs, “Haha..I just broke through to the fifth level.”

   Shizi’s friends nod and get back to playing games. 

  Mimi brings him a bottle of  juice, “What game?” She just wants a reason to talk to him. He immediately reaches behind and stretches his finger to close the window. “Legends of The Jianghu Two.”

    She scrunches up her cute nose, “When did that come out I thought it wouldn’t be released until next month.”

   He blurted that out because he was playing it at home on his phone before he came. Shizi forgot it hasn’t been released. Last week he hacked into FCG and downloaded the prototype.

   “I was too excited just now..anyway thanks for the juice.”

   “We got a case of this brand by mistake so Uncle Pei is going to take it home. He won’t miss one bottle.”

    She hands him a packaged rice ball. “It is only expired for a day. I had one for a snack when I came in..it still tastes good.”

   “…” He takes the squished package and Mimi blushes when she sees the flattened ball, she was so nervous she was squeezing it in her hands. “Wait!” She grabs the rice ball back, “There are two more… I… I will get you another one.”

  He is in a great mood from having a lead, albeit small. Shizi smiles dazzling Mimi, “That one is okay.”

  “If you like it I can bring you another.”

   “I had a big dinner. One is good.”

   Mimi sees her Uncle staring at her from across the room and scurries back to the counter. Shizi waits for her to leave and gets back to Bi’s texts. He writes the phone number on the pad. He reads the tests from the unknown number because he was too excited to digest the contents at first. PREGNANT!  Han Bi is very angry..pfft..she really loves Caps…Mr. Li didn’t mention that important fact.. He breaks out into a cold sweat and his mind is in chaos… He mutters, ” Not Li Tian’s…Not Li Tian’s…NOT LI TIAN”S!?!?! FUCK ME! Who is fucking Mr. Cadieux? The baby’s father?”

   Suddenly the computer shuts down and Shizi runs up to the counter. He fumbles in his pocket for his wallet. “Mimiii! Quick I need another half hour.”

    Mimi’s eyes dart nervously around the room, Uncle Pei is eating an ice cream and might not notice but..I have to pay off my iPhone. I can’t get in trouble. “Ahh…we can’t do half…I’m sorry.”

    He looks in his wallet, he doesn’t have enough money for an hour. Shizi has a sheepish grin, “Nevermind…that’s cool.”

    Mimi’s resolve melts… what kind of adorable expression is that?!? She doesn’t want this eye candy to leave and her uncle is engrossed in slurping the ice cream so she says, “Go, I will give you courtesy time and say the computer glitched. It’s new Uncle Pei won’t know.”

   “Mimi, I can pay the next time I come in. I don’t want you to get in trouble.”

   She pushes him, “Fiddle with the cords like you lost connection.”

   ??? He looks at his watch and if he can finish in twenty minutes he will be home on time. “Thanks Mimi. I owe you one.”

   Mimi thinks this is her golden opportunity. “Well Shizi…maybe you could help me with my math homework when you are done.”

   He readily agrees, “Sure. But I can’t tonight. Give me your WeChat and I will contact you when I can.”

    Mimi can hardly contain her excitement and picks up her iPhone. Once he puts it in his phone he rushes back to the computer.

    He scans the texts again and quickly scribbles a few notes. Deciding he might need help he messages his friend, an expert hacker, on the computer.

  DarkZero: I need your help.

CallMeDaddy: The great DarkOne.. no sorry…DarkZero..is asking for help? It will cost you.

DarkZero: I have Legends of Jianghu Two.

CallMeDaddy: No fuckin way. The security walls are fuckin airtight at FCG.

 DarkZero: Trade for info.

 CallMeDaddy; What do you need?

 DarkZero: Leo Cadieux..who is he? Is he in Bashu City with a woman named Song Sara?

 CallMeDaddy: Sorry Bro… I’m not touchin this one.

 DarkZero: With your skills no one will know.

 CallMeDaddy: Legit on surface: Billionaire heir to Cadieux France, Art Dealer, CEO of a Production Company, Real Estate Developer. Underneath: Pyschopath. Sociopath. Lunatic. Arms Dealer. Assassin. 

 Shizi ‘s fingers are trembling as he types, Dark Zero: What the fuck!

  CallMeDaddy: Advice: Get out now. You are over your head.

  DarkZero: Can’t. Too much at stake. I want to find the woman. 

  CallMeDaddy: Don’t be stupid.

   DarkZero: I will get back to you.

    CallMeDaddy: Bro… listen to your Daddy…Little boy you think you know your shit but men like Leo Cadieux aren’t to be fucked with if you want to keep your little life.

    Shizi puts his head in his hands and wants to cry…Li Tian desperately wants to find the beautiful fairy-like woman… willing to buy a fucking apartment building… a beautiful woman who might possibly be carrying a psychopath’s baby. Revenge? The man has Song Sara’s smiling face as his goddamn wallpaper.

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