MATURE IMAGES WARNING
Xia Lei left the Shentu Residence in the afternoon. Shentu Ren had wanted him to stay for dinner but Xia Lei declined. He had promised Annina that he would have dinner with her. However, he did not speak of it because of Annina’s special circumstances.
The black BMW M6 went further and further till Shentu Ren finally looked away. He looked at Shentu Tian-Yin next to him and said casually, “What was his reaction?”
Shentu Tian-Yin looked back at him. “What are you trying to say, Father? What reaction?”
Shentu Ren laughed. “My daughter is the world’s most outstanding person - was he not moved? The reaction I’m talking about is whether he confessed to you or anything like that, of course.”
Shentu Tian-Yin shook her head. “No.”
Shentu Ren wrinkled his brows. “What is this punk thinking?”
“That’s what I’d like to know.” Shentu Tian-Yin sighed. “He’s difficult to grasp.”
“How about taking the initiative, Daughter?”
“No. He should be the one doing it,” said Shentu Tian-Yin, “I’ve said that the man I like should be the one courting me, not me courting him. Stop worrying about this, Father. Him and I are people who place importance on our careers. We should give each other our own time and space.”
“Forget it. I should just worry about my own body. Xia Lei is skilled - my body feels more relaxed after he did some acupuncture on me. Oh, right, when is he coming again?”
“I don’t know, but he said he will come visit you often.” Shentu Tian-Yin pushed Shentu Ren to the door.
Shentu Ren chuckled. “Visiting me is just an excuse to see you, isn’t it? You two… You two obviously have feelings for each other but you’re not talking about it.”
Shentu Tian-Yin looked abashed. “Father, I won’t push you anymore if you keep talking about it. I’ll let you roll yourself back.”
Shentu Ren smiled wryly. “Okay, okay, I won’t say any more. Is that okay now?”
Father and daughter entered the main doors and the gates closed.
The old flat was the picture of warmth and festivity under the sky of night. Xia Lei had worked hard for three hours to produce a tabletop full of delicious dishes. There were not just Chinese dishes and Xia Xue’s favourite sweet-sour pork - he had taken care to include dishes which would suit Annina’s taste buds as well and made several German dishes like a salad, beef roulade and pork knuckle.
The three of them finished two bottles of red wine and the one with the lowest alcohol tolerance was, of course, Xia Xue. She threw in the towel after two glasses of red wine and went back to her room to sleep. Xia Lei and Annina opened another bottle and talked about production lines for sniper rifles as they drank.
Through their conversation, Xia Lei discovered that it was a mistake to describe Annina with the ‘elite engineer’ title. She was a weapons and ammunition expert, through and through. She was familiar with everything ranging from the P299 handgun produced by SIG to the world’s most advanced Leopard 2.
The more he talked with Annina, the more he understood why Long Bing had pushed to get Annina to work for Bureau 101 behind the scenes. A weapons and ammunition expert like her was a rare talent in any developing area of China and highly sought after.
“Um, Annina, did Long Bing or anyone here ask you to join our military production plants?” asked Xia Lei probingly.
“Yeah. Long Bing, nn, and an old man named Shi. They asked me to join something called China Industrial Group but I didn’t agree. I told them clearly that I’m not going anywhere if it’s not your Thunder Horse Manufacturing,” said Annina.
Xia Lei had a bit of an understanding of the situation then and he smiled as he said, “That’s good. I’ll try to find a way to get you over and we can work together.”
Annina poured more wine into Xia Lei’s glass as she said, “Do you remember? In the woods near my home, when you taught me to fire that gun?”
Xia Lei clinked glasses with her. “I remember. We took down those sons of bitches together.”
“Heh heh…” Annina giggled, “So you curse too. I’d always thought that you were a very shy and gentle man.”
“Don’t forget that I’m a spy. I know how to act. I’m not a shy, gentle man - I’m fierce.” Xia Lei became more chatty after downing alcohol. Men always have the habit of bragging - it was just normally not so obvious on Xia Lei. The bragging came out after he’d had one too many.
“You’re awesome, I know. But I know you weren’t pretending.” Annina grinned as she said, “After such a long time in China, I’ve thought over our interactions and I know that the person I met was the real you, not an act. I also know that you were a temporary spy, not a real one. Am I right?”
Xia Lei was a little embarrassed at having his bragging words proven wrong. “It’s all in the past. Let’s not talk about it.”
“No, I won’t forget that time for the rest of my life. You were like an angel, suddenly appearing in my life.” Annina looked at Xia Lei, her beautiful face flushed red. She was at her alcohol limits.
Warm lights, meaningful eyes and blushing cheeks - the beauty and sexiness of this female German machinist was just there waiting quietly for him. She was like an engrossing book which one would want to hold and read for a whole night.
Xia Lei looked away from her gaze. “Let’s drink one last glass. We should rest afterwards.”
“For our reunion.” Annina raised her glass.
“For our reunion.” Xia Lei clinked glasses with her and downed the red wine in his glass.
Annina got up and went to Xia Lei’s room. Xia Lei put the dishes away, then went to his father’s room.
Xia Lei lay in bed after washing up and quietly pondered over how he could get Long Bing to agree to let Annina go back to him. He also thought about how he should ask to receive sponsorship for the building of a production line for sniper rifles.
Negotiations needed skill, especially since this involved hundreds of millions and Annina, who had to keep her identity secret. He had to think of how he could broach the subject and consider Long Bing and Shi Bo-Ren’s various reactions.
After that was out of his head, the face of the mysterious young man surfaced in his head again…
Knock knock. A soft knock came from the door and Annina’s voice said, “Lei, are you asleep?”
What did she want, knocking on his door in the middle of the night?
Xia Lei grew unexplainably nervous. His left eye twitched and he saw Annina standing behind the door.
“Lei, are you asleep?” asked Annina again.
Xia Lei was going to keep quiet and give her the impression that he’d already gone to bed but he saw a book of plans in her hand. He wavered, then said, “I’m awake. Come in.”
The door was not locked and it opened with a light push.
Annina entered the room and closed the door. Xia Lei looked at her blankly, a strange feeling in his heart. What did she close the door for?
Xia Lei made to get out of bed but Annina said, “It’s chilly at night. Stay in bed.”
“Did you want to discuss your plans with me?” asked Xia Lei tentatively.
Annina took off her slippers and climbed onto the bed. She put the book of plans before Xia Lei matter-of-factly. “Of course. I’ve finished one part and I’d like to discuss it with you.”
Discuss the plans? Xia Lei was doubtful but he still opened the book.
Annina’s plans were very professional but Xia Lei was in no mood to concentrate on reading.
Annina suddenly drew close…
The night sky beyond the window was as clear as if it had been washed, and the moon, the only thing in the sky, hid behind a cloud, too shy to look directly at the harmonious combination of East and West.Previous Chapter Next Chapter