The night wind caressed cheeks and the city nightscape twinkled blurrily, mysteriously. It was unknown how many people had got lost, or smiled or cried in this concrete jungle. Xia Lei had grown up in this city but he still felt like a stranger and a distance between the city and himself.
Long Bing looked out into the distance on the balcony but she seemed to be thinking of other things. “You know what? When we confirmed that there was a spy from America close to you, the first person I suspected was her.”
“Who?” Xia Lei couldn’t help asking further.
“You know who I’m talking about. Liang Si-Yao,” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei froze, then chuckled. “Are you kidding me? How can she be a spy from America? She’s my girlfriend. She won’t do anything to harm me.”
Long Bing spoke evenly, “You helped Shentu Tian-Yin solve her problem - this I know. Her grandfather and Second Uncle wanted to kill her, and they’re blood-related too. If a blood-related grandfather can harm his granddaughter, then why can’t Liang Si-Yao harm you? Humans are the most complicated creatures on Earth and there is nothing that man will not do.”
Xia Lei shook his head. “Don’t say any more. I don’t believe that it’s her.”
“I understand how you feel and fortunately, after days of investigations, we have already eliminated her as a suspect. I wouldn’t have talked to you about this otherwise,” said Long Bing.
Xia Lei let out a long breath of relief. “So do you have a new suspect?”
“No. We followed those two German agents and tapped their phones but we have nothing. The danger is not over. Be careful.”
“I will. You too.”
The corners of Long Bing’s mouth twitched; this seemed to be a smile. “One last thing. You got Liang Si-Yao to hand Annina a note. You want to help her. Are you sure?”
Xia Lei looked at Long Bing in surprise. “How did you know I passed a note to her? And how did you know the contents of that note?”
Long Bing spoke evenly, “I installed cameras in the female washroom.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
“Tell me, do you really intend to help her?”
Xia Lei was quiet for a bit. “Yes. I really do. She is innocent. She wouldn’t be in this mess if it weren’t for me.”
“And how are you going to help her?” Long Bing looked at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei smiled thinly, “If those German agents fail their mission they will definitely take Annina back to Germany with them. She’ll likely be locked up for life. There are too many complications in this matter and I can’t think of any good solution yet.”
Long Bing gestured for Xia Lei to come closer.
Xia Lei saw what she wanted and went quickly to her side.
Long Bing put her lips to Xia Lei’s ear and said in a low voice, “When Annina contacts you…”
Xia Lei couldn’t help the smile on his face when he heard what she said. “I have to give it to you. Why didn’t I think of such a good idea?”
“Your brain is full of Liang Si-Yao, so what else can you think of? Go back. She’ll probably get jealous again if you spend too much time with me.”
Xia Lei smiled wryly. “She’s actually quite open-minded and not as jealous as you say.”
Long Bing just waved him off and went to the stairwell. She looked back when she was in the stairwell and said, “Hurry up with the thing I asked you to do.”
“Give me two more days. I’ll definitely hand it to you in two days,” said Xia Lei.
Long Bing came and went as she pleased; her style had not changed.
Xia Lei was still mulling over what Long Bing had said when he went down. ‘Humans are the most complicated creatures on Earth and there is nothing that man will not do’. This sentence made him think of Liang Si-Yao, then of his father.
‘If that man was my father, did he not meet me because of some secret difficulty? If he does, then what sort of difficulty is it to make him abandon my sister and I?’ Xia Lei was awash with memories and bitterness.
His own father was like this - what about others?
If Long Bing did not rule Liang Si-Yao out and she was indeed the mysterious spy from America, would she also hurt him because of some difficulty and leave him?
This question flashed in Xia Lei’s mind but he refused to think more of it.
Xia Lei had just reached the doorway when the door opened. Liang Si-Yao poked her head out, a playful smile on her face.
“I saw her leave. Didn’t dare to greet her, though,” said Liang Si-Yao.
Xia Lei put aside his roiling thoughts and said with a smile, “She’s not a tigress. Why so afraid of her?”
Liang Si-Yao pulled him through the door and hugged him around the waist. “Have you forgotten? She fired a gun during our company’s construction and killed three people. She didn’t even bat an eye. Who’s not afraid of someone like that?”
Xia Lei spanked her perky buttocks. “Aren’t you a female martial arts practitioner? Is this the limit of your bravery?”
Liang Si-Yao stretched out a leg to shut the door and leaned lazily in Xia Lei’s embrace. “I was very brave but I’ve become more timid after being with you. You have to protect me. Protect me for my whole life.”
Her soft, sweet words stirred a beast in Xia Lei and his heart warmed; his loins warmed. He bent, picked Liang Si-Yao up and carried her as he walked to her room.
Liang Zheng-Chun was staying overnight in the martial school that night so the flat was their little kingdom. They could do whatever they wanted.
The path to the door was hot with kisses, and pieces of clothing dropped to the floor.
“What did you write in the note to Annina?” Liang Si-Yao blocked herself off at Xia Lei’s most crucial time of need.
Xia Lei smiled wryly. “I told her to contact me when she isn’t being monitored so that I can help her. That’s it. What did you think I wrote?”
“I’m just asking because I’m worried about you,” said Liang Si-Yao coquettishly, “ You need help?”
“No need. Long Bing will help me settle it.” Xia Lei was anxious. Why did she have so many questions right now?
Liang Si-Yao giggled. She opened her hand to reveal a Durex condom and said playfully, “Do you want to put it on yourself, or do you need help?”
“How about not putting it on?”
“No. We’re not married yet - what if I get pregnant?” Liang Si-Yao’s face turned red with shame at those words.
“Then you put it on for me.” Xia Lei pouted like a child.
“You lazy bum…” Liang Si-Yao bit Xia Lei’s ear. “You can put it on a little later.”
Xia Lei smiled, and eagerly pressed forward…
After a bout of passion, the fervor faded and they were left blissfully satisfied with an indescribable calm; It was a very comfortable feeling.
“I’ll go throw it away. Wait there - don’t peek, you lazy little pig.” Liang Si-Yao got up from beside Xia Lei.
“You always take care of that. I’ll do it this time. I should be the one doing it,” said Xia Lei gently.
“You’re tired. Rest. I’ll go - you be good. No protesting.” Liang Si-Yao left their warm nest and put on her slippers, the dirty thing pinched in her fingers as she walked to the bathroom.
Xia Lei watched her graceful back and was full of bliss. ‘She’s the best. When Xue comes back in a few days I’ll discuss with her and find a chance to propose. Xue would love a sister-in-law like this, right?’
In the bathroom, Liang Si-Yao put the used condom in a plastic container, then put the container in her makeup box.
She stared dumbly at the makeup box for half a beat before she turned and left the bathroom.
Xia Lei had flipped the sheets open. “Come in, don’t get cold,” he said in concern.
Liang Si-Yao burrowed into the sheets and put her hands tightly around Xia Lei. “Darling, do you think we’ll have a boy or a girl in the future?”
Xia Lei thought for a bit. “A son is good, a daughter is good. How about we have one boy and one girl?”
“You want two?”
“Yep. Son and daughter - complete family. Don’t you want that?”
“I do, but it will hurt. Hurting once is not enough? Twice? You’re not the one getting pregnant, of course you’d want two.” Liang Si-Yao pouted.
“It’ll work if you get boy-girl twins in one go, won’t it?”
“Easy for you to say. What are the chances that we’d have a twins, and a boy and a girl at that. How about you show me how it’s done?”
Xia Lei flipped over and squashed Liang Si-Yao beneath him. “I’ll show you right now,” he said with a laugh.
“You want more? You’re insatiable.” Liang Si-Yao turned red.
Xia Lei pulled the covers over themselves…
Early the next morning, Xia Lei received a call from Annina. It was a local mobile number; a stranger's number.
“I borrowed this phone. I don’t have much time. They say I have no more value as a tool and want to send me to America for investigation. They’ll send me to the airport in an hour. I’m now in the hotel that you’ve come to before. Help me, Lukas.” Annina’s voice was anxious.
“Relax, I’ll be right there. Do whatever I say. Trust me, you’ll be fine,” assured Xia Lei.
“I trust you. I’ll wait for you.” Annina hung up.
Xia Lei got himself ready and walked to the door. “Si-Yao, Annina called. I’m going over.”
Liang Si-Yao came out of the kitchen. “Have breakfast before you go.”
Xia Lei had no time for it. “I’m not eating, there’s no time. I’ll contact Long Bing on the way. You don’t have to worry when she’s on the job.”
“How can I not worry?” Liang Si-Yao rolled her eyes at him. “You be careful.”
Xia Lei nodded and stepped quickly out the door.
Liang Si-Yao removed the apron and went to her room. She blanked out for a bit in her room before going to the bathroom. The makeup box sat quietly below the sink on a glass shelf. She took it out and opened it. White puffs of cold air came from the makeup box. The dirty little thing which Xia Lei had used had turned into a small lump of ice. Images of their passionate time together surfaced in Liang Si-Yao’s head as she looked at it and a faint smile appeared in the corners of her mouth…Previous Chapter Next Chapter