“Don’t move… I told you not to move! It can’t go in if you move about.”
“You’re making me bleed. How can I just stay still?”
Tang Yuyan was holding a surgical needle and stitching up Xia Lei’s wound for him in the room. Xia Lei was naked from the waist up. He was muscular; his body was hard, tough and nicely proportioned. The wound which needed stitching was on his waist and the cut which was several centimetres long looked like it had been made by glass.
His wound wasn’t actually serious but Tang Yuyan had insisted on treating it for him.
Xia Lei drew a breath of pain as the needle went through his flesh. Blood oozed from his wound and trickled down from his waist to his underwear. He felt heat gather on his bottom; it was a strange feeling.
Tang Yuyan took a piece of gauze and shoved it in Xia Lei’s waistband. Her fingers and the gauze touched Xia Lei’s buttock.
“What… what are you doing?” Xia Lei looked back at Tang Yuyan and was strangely nervous.
Tang Yuyan rolled her eyes at Xia Lei. “Wiping your blood away, of course. You think I was molesting your butt? I don’t want to touch your smelly butt even if you present it to me as a gift.”
Xia Lei was speechless.
He’d been taken advantage of and then insulted - Xia Lei had no words.
“Still remember the time in Afghanistan when I stitched up your butt?”
“Ma’am, can you please not bring that up again?”
“Haha…” Tang Yuyan laughed rather happily; she seemed to like to tease Xia Lei for some reason. However, she remembered the situation then and her face turned mysteriously red.
The treatment was done in a few minutes.
“Want me to wipe the blood on your butt?” Tang Yuyan had a wicked smile on her face.
Xia Lei stood up hurriedly. “No, no. I can do it on my own, thanks. You should go back to sleep.”
Tang Yuyan shrugged. “Sure. I’m in the room next to yours. Call me if there’s anything.”
Xia Lei removed the bloodstained trousers after Tang Yuyan left, then went into the bathroom to take a shower. He wasn’t worried about his wound getting inflamed since it was a small one anyway.
As he lay on the bed and was about to sleep, he received a call from China.
It was Annina. “Lukas, it’s me. Have you arrived in Moscow?”
“Yeah, I’m in Moscow. Why aren’t you asleep yet?” said Xia Lei.
“I couldn’t sleep,” said Annina. “I was waiting for you to call and I got worried when I didn’t hear from you, so here I am calling you.”
Xia Lei then recalled that he had promised Annina that he would call her to say all was well in Moscow; he had forgotten this promise. He couldn’t be blamed, however. Ling Han and Tang Yuyan were constantly by his side and he couldn’t find a good time to call. Then the gunfight had happened in the hotel.
“I’m fine, no need to worry.” Xia Lei added apologetically, “I’m sorry I made you worry.”
Annina laughed. “Why apologise?” After a pause, she said, “Oh, right, I called to tell you something too.”
“What is it?” Xia Lei had a bad feeling about this.
“That Officer Tian came again after you left. He brought men to take away those 20 XL2500 sniper rifles and he had the documents too so I couldn’t stop him. The people he’d brought were not all soldiers either - some were wearing casual clothing. Those people went into our workshop saying it was an inspection but I suspect that they are Hanwu Weapons’ engineers, or elite machinists.”
Xia Lei wrinkled his brows. “Qin Xiang didn’t stop them?”
“He couldn’t.” Annina said angrily, “The produced the documents from the Equipment Department and had inspection documents too. We had no reason to stop them. I followed those people around and watched them inspect our production lines, but what they focused more on were the lathes we had modified, and some specialised equipment. Oh, and someone asked to see our design plans but I said there were none.”
“Bullies!” Xia Lei clenched his fist.
“But don’t worry, they could only see the outside of our lathes and not the circuitry inside. They can’t get our artificial intelligence systems and our electrical wiring either,” said Annina, “Good thing you had been prepared, otherwise we would have been in trouble.”
Xia Lei had only been gone for one day and the enemy had made their move, and so openly and boldly too! Barbarians!
“Right, and those Hanwu Weapons people even talked to our engineers and senior machinists, trying to recruit them right in front of me and Qin Xiang.”
“How did our people react?”
“Two of the engineers seemed interested but didn’t say anything concrete.” Annina was worried. “How are we going to take care of this, Lukas? Do we increase their salaries to persuade them to stay?”
Xia Lei thought for a bit. “No. If Hanwu Weapons wants to poach our people then they’re surely going to offer very high salaries. We can’t fight with them on the money front. If those employees want to leave, then let them.”
Xia Lei cut her off. “Annina, we’re already paying them the highest salaries in the trade. This is a trap that Hanwu Weapons is laying for us. Think about it - if Hanwu Weapons tries to take one person away and we offer more money, then what happens to our funds for company expansion? If they want to poach, then let them. We’ll just hire others.”
“Okay, that makes sense. I feel better about it now.” Annina gave a laugh. “It looks like we’ll be able to collect some penalty fees too, heh heh.”
The little bit they could get from penalty fees was not worth thinking about as a profit, and Xia Lei had never thought of profiting in this way. He was being forced into this situation and it was frustrating how helpless he was.
They chatted for a while more and Xia Lei hung up. He quickly went to sleep after relaxing his mind and body, especially after the fight he had had.
He dreamt. Dreamt of Princess Yongmei in the jade coffin. She was naked and breathtakingly beautiful, be it her face or her body. He reached to touch her and her eyes opened suddenly.
He was not afraid this time. He looked at her quietly.
Princess Yongmei smiled. She grabbed his hand, then climbed out of the coffin. She did not speak. She kissed his lips, took his clothes off, then proceeded to have passionate, lusty relations with him in the ancient burial site…
It was difficult to describe this strange dream in words.
A ray of sunshine came from outside the window. A bird was chirping on a branch somewhere, its chirps crisp and sweet.
Xia Lei bolted upright in bed, sweating. His head was swirling with erotic images and it had felt so real to him; the feeling lingered.
He threw the covers off, looked at the fresh underwear he had changed into last night and smiled wryly. Time to change again.
Knock knock knocking came from the door.
“Lei, are you up?” came Tang Yuyan’s voice.
“Not yet. What is it?” Xia Lei took a fresh pair of underwear from his suitcase.
The door was suddenly pushed open.
“Ah!” Tang Yuyan abruptly covered her eyes.
Xia Lei hurriedly put his fresh underwear over his crotch area. He turned red and said in angry embarrassment, “What the hell?!”
“I, I came to call you to have breakfast.” Tang Yuyan’s face was red too.
“Haven’t you seen enough?”
“Huh? Who wants to see that…? I’ll wait for you outside.” Tang Yuyan scrambled out and shut the door.
Xia Lei was so depressed he could die and he grumbled to himself, “Did my relationship with her get so intimate that she’s at the level where she can watch me change my underwear? Pervert!”
Xia Lei walked out the door a few minutes later. Tang Yuyan was waiting for him in the doorway. Her delicate face was flushed red, as if she’d had something to drink or had some sort of stimulation.
“Um, let’s go.” Xia Lei was embarrassed too and didn’t want to talk about the awkward incident.
“Yeah. Let’s go to the dining area.” Tang Yuyan let out a breath of relief but her face was as red as before.
There were many people in the dining area. Xia Lei spotted Ling Han, sitting by himself at a table and enjoying the breakfast provided by the embassy in silence. He spotted Ye Kun too, and his posse of Hanwu Weapons employees. Those people were looking at him too with cold eyes.
Hu Hao was not in the dining area; he had to watch over the guns.
Xia Lei got two portions of breakfast and sat at an empty table with Tang Yuyan. They started to eat. The breakfast was sumptuous but he did not have much appetite.
“Don’t worry, this is our embassy,” said Tang Yuyan softly, “That bastard Ye Kun wouldn’t dare to do anything here.”
Xia Lei just nodded and said nothing. He wasn’t thinking about how he was going to deal with Ye Kun but how he was going to shake Ling Han and Tang Yuyan off his tail so that he could meet his father.
Xia Changhe was in Moscow too. This was the best chance for them to meet and he was not going to miss it.
It was not going to be difficult for him to give two of his XL2500 sniper rifles to his father in his original plan but this Ling Han had turned up unexpectedly. Ling Han was a tough character to figure out and alert too. He’d sensed that this matter was no simple one in the interactions he’d had with Ling Han these past two days and he would be discovered by Ling Han if he was not careful.
Xia Lei glanced subconsciously at Ling Han and Ling Han was coincidentally looking at him too; their eyes met.
Ling Han gave Xia Lei a nod.
Xia Lei gave him a smile in response, thinking, ‘I’ll draw his suspicions for sure if I give two XL2500s to Yelena or my father. The Hanwu Weapons people are trying to cause trouble for me now so if Ye Kun finds out who I gave guns too he is definitely going to make a big fuss and report it. Forget it. What’s most important now is to meet Dad. I’ll think of some solution for the guns later.’
Tang Yuyan suddenly gave Xia Lei a light kick under the table. “Did you forget the promise you made with me?”
“What promise?” Xia Lei looked at her, confused.
Tang Yuyan wrinkled her pretty nose. “You forget already? You promised to go out sightseeing with me yesterday in the hotel.”
“Oh, that. No problem. But you have to let Ling Han know. We can go out right now if he agrees to it,” said Xia Lei.
“Okay, wait for me. I’ll go let Ling Han know.” Tany Yuyan was excited and didn’t even want to eat her breakfast anymore. She stood and walked towards Ling Han.
Tang Yuyan spoke eagerly to Ling Han but he shook his head in a straightforward ‘no’. “I’d have approved the request if last night’s incident had not happened. I can’t let you two go out now. Stay in the embassy. I won’t have any way to account to the higher-ups if something happens to you and Xia Lei.”
It was like a pail of cold water had been dumped on her head. Tang Yuyan’s head drooped.
Xia Lei had expected this result. It was troublesome for him too - if he couldn’t go out with Tang Yuyan, then he had to think of another way to leave the embassy himself.Previous Chapter Next Chapter