Mutual Interests

   Nikolai fills his glass again as he swirls around the crystal clear vodka he responds, “I am going to leave my father’s organization. But, before I do, I need to exact my revenge on the people who have betrayed me. I realize setting aside our differing ideologies and enlisting your help is my first step to reach that goal”

   “Go on.” 

   “I have a source who informed me you can corrupt the flash drive without leaving a trace. I remember your computer skills are no less than mine so I made the decision to help you succeed. Is my information correct?”

  “Tell me more.”

   Nikolai continues knowing he has the upper hand. His informant also told him Sun Peizhi finally has a weakness, Li Tian’s secretary Song Sara. The abstinent monk actually spent the night with her in a luxury apartment owned by Zheng Tielin. “Anton will be arriving within the hour with the flash drive. I will give you use of my computer room for you to change the virus’ configuration. I will then proceed as arranged with Diego Bellini to bring the flash drive to the reception to be auctioned. My only stipulation is you need to find a way that only the Rushnikov organization purchases the flash drive at the auction. If you fail to do that..well..there would be dire consequences for you.”

  Sun Peizhi has a complicated expression on his face, this sounds too easy, and he is engaged to Martina Rushnikov why would he fuck her father in the ass like that? Once they transfer the money from the banks they will be exposed and busted within a week. He walks over to the bar, “Do you have any beer?”

   “In the kitchen refrigerator.” He calls Dimitri, “Bring a beer for my guest.” He asks Sun Peizhi, “Are you hungry? I have a delightful new cook who made Chinese food earlier.”

  Sun Peizhi didn’t eat much breakfast so he responds, “I could eat.”

  Nikolai is about to tell Dimitri to heat up the food when LiMei slowly walks down the stairs. She took a warm bath and laid down on the bed but tossed and turned thinking about Rui. When Nikolai sees LiMei he tells her to come to the living room. “My guest is hungry, fix him food. Is there some snake soup?”

  LiMei glances over at the tall handsome Chinese man leaning on the bar facing her direction drinking a bottle of beer. Who is he?  She is in a daze staring at Sun Peizhi, he doesn’t look like a gangster. He is wearing a low key designer suit and his aura although dangerous doesn’t seem threatening. He looks more like a Young Master type.

  Nikolai clicks his fingers in front of her face, he doesn’t like the way LiMei is ogling Sun Peizhi. “Stop staring at my guest and go get the meal ready.”

  LiMei is still half asleep and too tired to retort, she walks out of the living room towards the kitchen. Maybe I could find a way to leave with the Chinese guy..damn I can’t.  She storms into the kitchen, so many opportunities to escape and I can’t do a damn thing because he has his people watching Rui

   She looks in the refrigerator and takes out the remaining snake soup then puts it on the stove to heat. I should make some fresh noodles and mix with the leftover shrimp that will be good, I’m hungry again.

   In the living room Sun Peizhi witnesses the fleeting affectionate look on Nikolai’s face while looking at LiMei, “You have a Chinese cook? As I recall you never liked Chinese food.” The girl certainly is beautiful, her green eyes are mesmerizing….a very unusual looking beauty.

  Nikolai looks towards the kitchen as he licks his thin lips suggestively,I am developing a taste for a little spicy Chinese.”

  “…” Sun Peizhi drinks his beer thinking about cooperating with Nikolai. “Continue with what you were saying, I want to know the reason behind you wanting the Rushnikovs to be destroyed. It will bring a shitstorm down on their organization when they are discovered. Although the old man and his two sons might weasel out of being prosecuted by pinning it on another branch, they won’t easily be able to recover.”

     Nikolai lazily crosses his legs as he responds,“I have my reasons. But you can be assured I want you to succeed in your plan. When I was informed of your change of plan from merely stealing the flash drive to corrupting it I was impressed by your foresight. You always were a man who could see the big picture.”

  Sun Peizhi laughs, “Nikolai Naralov is complimenting me? Too bad Tielin isn’t here to witness this rare occurrence.”

  LiMei walks into the living room interrupting their conversation. “I set the dishes on the dining room table.”

   Nikolai and Sun Peizhi take their drinks and head to the table. Sun Peizhi can smell the aroma of the snake soup, is Naralov’s cook from the Washnu mountains? This type of soup is popular in the mountain villages there. He watches LiMei’s back as she returns to the kitchen then sits down at the table. He tastes the soup and nods his head, very delicious, the python meat is sliced thinly and very tender. The vegetables compliment the meat and the broth is flavorful. He can feel sweat beads forming on his forehead as he drinks the broth. “Your cook is from the Washnu Mountains?”

   Nikolai stares at Sun Peizhi with a surprised look, “You can tell from the snake soup where she is from?”

   “This python soup is a delicacy many people go to the Washnu mountain village to eat. It has a very high concentration of medicinal properties that are sought after by martial artists. When you drink the soup you have a surge in qi and your blood flows through your meridians strengthening them.”

  Nikolai glances back at the kitchen, “Eat.I will be right back and we can talk more about tonight.”

   When Nikolai enters the kitchen LiMei is sitting at the table having some spicy shrimp and noodles. She is happy  she gave Dimitri the shopping list which included noodles and rice. She looks up as she slurps the noodles. Noticing Nikolai staring at her she puffs her cheeks out, what is he doing in the kitchen, I want to eat in peace then try to take a nap again.

   He sits down next to LiMei while watching her eat, “Where is my soup?”

   LiMei shrugs her shoulders at him, “You didn’t say you wanted some.”


  LiMei reluctantly pushes out her chair then walks over to the stove filling a bowl for him. She begins walking to the dining room and he stops her with a mischevous gleam in his dark eyes. “I will eat with you, I still can’t lift my arm.”

  She knows her acupuncture should still be effective in relieving his pain. I don’t want to feed this idiot again! And my noodles will get soggy! “Isn’t it rude to leave your guest eating alone in the dining room?”

  “You are right, carry the soup to the table.”

   LiMei picks up the soup and glances at her bowl of noodles. My god this guy is a pain in my butt! Once she places the bowl down she starts to walk away and Nikolai pulls her back, “My arm.”

  She is getting used to his demanding temperament and reminds herself she will only need to suffer for two days. She pulls the chair close to him and feeds him a spoonful. He playfully holds her hand with the spoon pushing it away, “Too hot.”

  LiMei’s face turns bright red as she takes a sidelong look at Sun Peizhi, this is embarrassing! I’m not his girlfriend! She rolls her eyes then blows on the next spoonful and feeds him.

   Sun Peizhi is thoroughly enjoying the meal. He hasn’t snake soup or these dishes since he visited his friend Han Chao in the mountain village where he attended school.  Suddenly curious about LiMei he decides to ask since it was a small village if she is from there. Speaking Chinese he says,“Miss, are you from the Washnu Mountains?”

   LiMei’s face lights up when he asks, giving her beautiful face an ethereal beauty, both Nikolai and Sun Peizhi are momentarily stunned by her beautiful smile. Her green eyes sparkle and curve into a crescent moon shape and her smile shows her cute dimples when she gazes at Sun Peizhi. Nikolai hasn’t seen her happy appearance since he met her and his Adam’s apple rolls looking at LiMei’s genuinely pleased expression. Fuck she looks like a beautiful little fairy.

  She sets down the spoon forgetting about Nikolai then answers in Chinese, “Yes, how did you know?”

  Sun Peizhi answers, “Your snake soup. I ate a similar soup made with python snakemeat when I visited my friend Han Chao.”

   LiMei’s smile gets wider unable to hide her excitement at the mention of Han Chao.“You know Han Chao? He was a couple years ahead of me in school.”

  “Our families are close, I grew up with him.”

  LiMei laughs, her eyes sparkling, “Small world! I saw him at the Leng Enterprise banquet in Pushong last week. His acting career is really taking off, he is an amazing singer too.”

   Sun Peizhi can see Nikolai getting irritated by the mention of Han Chao and the girl ignoring him so he changes the subject back to her cooking, “Your soup is delicious and I enjoyed the spicy shrimp and noodles.”

  LiMei blushes, “Thank you, I learned from my grandmother. I’m glad you liked it, the snake soup was missing some medicinal herbs I would gather in the mountains, but the python meat was exceptionally tender.”

   Nikolai understands Chinese but isn’t fluent so feels left out of the conversation. He doesn’t like the way LiMei is smiling at Sun Peizhi and happily ignoring his presence. He slams the palm of his hand on the table then growls at LiMei “Leave.”

   LiMei jumps from the sudden noise and Sun Peizhi just looks at Nikolai with a surprised expression thinking his outburst is strange. LiMei doesn’t respond to his childish tantrum obediently leaving the table.

When she goes back into the kitchen she paces around with her fists clenched as she curses Nikolai not realizing both Nikolai and Sun Peizhi practice martial arts and can hear her ranting, “ What a stupit..stupid tyrant! “Make food.. Feed Me. Errrr….It’s too hot..LEAVE! What the hell is his problem! Ohhhhh myyyyy Godddd! I would like to stab him with my silver needles so he becomes a mute!  The sound of a metal object hitting the wall can be heard then LiMei screeching, “DAMMIT!  A MUTE!”

   Sun Peizhi thinks Nikolai will get angry listening to her tirade but Nikolai starts laughing when he hears LiMei. When Sun Peizhi sees Nikolai’s amused expression he is shocked the normally proud and brutal man isn’t storming into the kitchen to punish the little girl. Obviously, she is not just the cook, I wonder what is going on between the two of them? 

   Nikolai sees the confusion on Sun Peizhi’s face; he has seen the same look on Anton and Dimitri’s face when he doesn’t kill LiMei for her insolence. “Why is she still alive? My little cook makes me laugh.hahaha.” He stands up, “Let’s finish in the living room.”

   The two men go into the living room to finish their discussion. Nikolai and Sun Peizhi come to an agreement which satisfies both of their requirements for cooperation. Now, they are only waiting for Anton to return so Sun Peizhi can reconfigure the virus.

    In the kitchen, LIMei picks up the large pot off the kitchen floor feeling better after venting her anger. She looks at her soggy noodles then rubs her stomach, Wuhuu…whuhuu..I really wanted to finish that bowl of noodles..  She grabs some fruit out of the refrigerator to bring to her room. This is really going to test my patience to stay here for two days. I don’t know why he bothers me more than the stupid tyrant Leng Shuai or even that idiot Chen Jianyu. He is so damn unpredictable!

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