The Farmhouse

    After the black Maybach crosses into France the weather worsens, lightning flashes across the sky and torrential rain floods the highway. Cheng tightens his hand on the steering wheel and curses because he is forced to slow down due to low visibility. He swerves around fallen branches that  litter the highway. “Boss, we might need to pull over until the storm dies down.”

  “No. keep driving.” Rui is aware that with Gunnar Hedwig’s resources it is only a matter of time before his men find them. He gazes down at LiMei on his lap sleeping peacefully while nestled in his embrace. LiMei, I will protect you.  He gently kisses her half parted pink lips then caresses her cheek. He glances out the window at the raging storm, “How much further to the farmhouse?”

  “It depends on the road conditions and the weather, at this speed an hour I think.”

  “Hmm.” Rui touches LiMei’s hair and wraps a long strand around his finger then looks out the window watching the trees sway with the strong wind. There is a loud boom from the thunder and LiMei clutches onto Rui’s shirt mumbling, “Don’t leave me here… I will do it.. please..I’m scared.” Her eyes are closed tight and she has a light film of sweat on her forehead. She must be having a nightmare, He holds LiMei tighter and in a low soothing tone he comforts her, “I’m here Baby I won’t ever leave you.” Rui kisses between her furrowed eyebrow, tears are leaking from the corner of her eyes dripping down her cheeks. He affectionately wipes her tears with his finger and his voice is gentle “Wake up you are having a nightmare.”

   LiMei hears Rui’s voice but is too entrenched in her dream. She is in the Black Sky Compound’s training grounds huddled under a tree with Kuang Fu, his muscular body towering over her petite drenched body. He looks like a demon as lightning flashes behind him illuminating his face as he torments her, “Too late.”

  She gazes up at him with a terrified expression, “Give me another chance…I can do it…really I can!” Kuang Fu kicks her in the stomach with his steel toed boot, “Qin Daiyu you useless little bitch! I paid good money for are nothing but a sniveling little c**t.” 

  In the nightmare LiMei’s thin body shakes from the freezing cold and she feels dizzy from not eating for two days. She shivers as she clenches her fists trying her best to hold back her tears and be brave. It has been eight months since her father sold her to the Black Sky Organization and the second day she has been lost in the forest. Her training mission is to locate a cabin and assassinate the man inside then bring back a gold and jade necklace from around his neck. 

  LiMei begins to quiver, moving her small body deeper into Rui’s embrace, her words barely audible, “I can…don’t..don’t kill me.”

  Rui doesn’t want to startle LiMei awake because he is worried about her mental condition. But when she begins shivering and mumbling incoherently he lifts her chin, “LiMei Baby, you are having a nightmare..wake up Baby, don’t be afraid.” He kisses her eyelids and then smoothes the wrinkle between her eyebrows., “Wake up.”

   LiMei’s eyes are still closed, tears are hanging off her long eyelashes as she hugs Rui, “You found me..” The temperature inside the car is warm but she is trembling. LiMei burrows herself into Rui’s warm chest, “I’m so cold Bo.” She hears Kuang Bo say as he kisses her forehead, “Don’t worry Daiyu I took care of him. Fu won’t know you weren’t the one to make the kill.” He hands her the bloody necklace and wraps her palm around it staining her hand with the man’s blood. “Go back following the stream.”

  Rui’s eyes darken when he hears her say Bo but he remains calm, “ need to wake up.”

  LiMei hears Rui’s voice but can’t seem to wake up,  She looks around at the dense forest and her drenched body dressed in camouflage..Where am I? Why am I wearing these strange it Army training? Who is this handsome man holding me? There is blood on the necklace and his jacket..but I feel safe in his embrace. 

  Rui can see she is too deep in sleep to wake up, What the hell! She obviously is having a nightmare about her time in the Black Sky Organization.  Rui doesn’t want to explain the situation to his two bodyguards so he tells Morgan to raise the glass partition to separate the front and backseat for privacy.   He reaches into his medicine bag on the floor and takes out a thin silver needle telling himself he has no choice..what I am doing is for LiMei’s own good.. He pierces her neck slowly manipulating the needle, “You are Feng LiMei you are not Qin Daiyu. You have never heard of the Black Sky Organization and you don’t know Kuang Bo.” His heart races not sure if what he is doing is because of jealousy or merely to soothe LiMei and awaken her from the nightmare. Am I a fucking bastard for doing this?  Well, there is no medicine for regrets, I made the decision to block her memories when we were in the cabin and now I have no choice. “You will wake up feeling refreshed on the count of” He swiftly removes the silver needle. After the needle is removed LiMei slowly opens her eyes and yawns, then teases him, “Rui,your chest is too long was I asleep?”

  He tenderly brushes her hair behind her ear, “For awhile.”

  LiMei looks out the window, “ is really storming!” She is surprised that she slept so well usually she can’t sleep during a thunderstorm. She has been afraid of thunder and lightning since she was a child. Affectionately holding Rui’s waist she playfully rests her chin on his chest gazing into his dark eyes, “With you as a pillow I didn’t have any bad dreams. I’m a little afraid of storms..haha.”

“…” Rui kisses her forehead, “ Are you hungry? We should be at my friend’s farmhouse soon.”

 “It is weird I am really hungry.” She shivers as she snuggles into his arms, “A little cold too.” 

  He presses the button lowering the partition between the seats and tells Morgan, “Turn up the heat.”

 When they arrive at the farmhouse a sturdy looking man comes out the front door holding an umbrella. He limps over to the car then opens the door, “Dr. Qiao!” He opens the other umbrella, “Hurry into the house.”

  Rui picks up LiMei and takes the umbrella from the man’s hand, “Thank you Dietrich.”

 Morgan and Cheng follow them into the small white farmhouse and a short thin middle aged woman comes over with some towels. She stares at LiMei in Rui’s arms with a strange look on her haggard face. The woman’s voice sounds irritated which contrasts from the man’s excited tone when he greeted Rui. Handing the towels to Morgan she grumbles in English with a thick German accent,  “Here dry yourself off I will make some tea. Dinner will be ready soon. Wait in the living room.” She points to a simply decorated large room to the right  then pulls her husband around the corner into their bedroom.

  “Why did you let them come here?”

  “Marta honey,I owe the doctor.”

  She puts her hands on her bony hips,“Owe my ass! He did what he was paid to do..” She sneers,”Nothing more.”

  “I wouldn’t have a leg if he didn’t operate. He didn’t ask for much, a couple untraceable phones and a face mask for the woman.”

  “Who is the little bitch? I never heard of him having a woman the entire time he was in the Underworld. I don’t like it! I don’t like it one bit! You promised me we would live here in peace, now I think trouble will come. I can feel it in my bones.” 

   He tenderly smoothes her gray hair that is standing up from anger, “You are overreacting.” He isn’t going to mention that Qiao Rui gave him a chance to say no informing him that Chronus is after his woman. Dietrich is a very proud man. A debt owed should be paid..regardless of the risk.

  She takes a cigarette and lights it then curses in German while glaring at him After smoking for a minute she sneers,“Husband, you are a fool! If he needs a face mask right there shows someone is after them.” She leans her head back then hands him the lit cigarette. “I don’t know why I married such a foolish man!”

  “My wife, didn’t you want to buy the house next door for your sister? I am not doing charity work, he is paying me a million dollars.” He didn’t want to accept the money that Qiao Rui insisted on paying him but he knew his wife can only be persuaded by money.

  She takes the cigarette back and her beady eyes light up “A million dollars?”

  “Yes. Dr. Qiao said he would transfer the money when he reaches Paris.”

   Marta softens knowing they will get a huge payment.“Well, you should get started on it then..the sooner the mask is finished the quicker they can leave.”

  The husband and wife walk out to the living room. Marta has dollar signs in her eyes as she smiles at Rui, “I will be back with the tea.”

  LiMei stands up and sweetly says in German, “Can I help you?”

   Marta curtly replies, “Nein.”

 “Please? I enjoy cooking and listening to the men would be boring.”

 She finishes the cigarette considering her offer to help.Looking at LiMei’s innocent and pure face Marta is curious about the situation, maybe this stupid girl can tell me. “in Ordnung.”

  Meanwhile in the living room Dietrich hands Rui the phones then with a heavy German accent explains, “I will need to make a mold of the girl’s face. It should take about two hours for the entire process to be completed.”

  Rui nods his head reluctant to use his silver needles again but how would he explain the need for a face mask to LiMei. He plans on holding onto the face mask until they arrive at his chateau then find some way to explain the situation to LiMei. If I can take care of Gunnar first then I might not need to even explain. Rui rubs his temples, damn The Black Sky and Xinghi for using LiMei! “She isn’t aware that we are in danger so I will need to put her to sleep for you to make the mold.”

   ??? Dietrich touches his beard then looks towards the kitchen to make sure his wife doesn’t overhear them. “Dr. Qiao, I don’t want to be presumptuous but you mentioned Chronus…Gunnar Hedwig isn’t a simple villain, shouldn’t you let the little girl know?”

 “It is complicated. It is best if you don’t know anything. For now I don’t want her to be frightened. The mask..well I’m hoping it will be unnecessary. I want it as a precautionary measure.”

  LiMei walks into the living room carrying a tray with four cups of tea.  “I am going to help with dinner.” She turns to leave and Rui stops her pulling LiMei onto his lap then in a doting tone he says, “Baby, have some tea, you said you were cold. Afterwards you can help Marta.”

  “Well, I will go get another cup of tea then for Cheng. Rui has his hand on her thigh preventing her from getting off his lap he immediately responds, “No need. He doesn’t drink tea.”

  Rui waits for LiMei to finish her tea reluctant to use his silver needle on her again so soon. Hugging LiMei’s soft body and feeling her heart beating next to his he makes a decision. He kisses her small earlobe then whispers in her ear, “LiMei baby, do you trust me?”

LiMei has a beautiful smile as she puts her small palm on his cheek while gazing deeply into his seemingly bottomless eyes, “Of course I trust you… I love you.”




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