The Rooftop Patio

   Sara and Wong Duan reach the rooftop then exit the elevator. Sara shivers as a burst of blustery cold wind hits her delicate face. “So cold!” She walks past two men in uniforms working on the railing then turns around and smiles, “Why don’t you two take a break and come in for a cup of hot tea.”

   One of the men holding a screwdriver responds, “Thanks Miss, but we need to finish.”

    Sara blows on her hands, “Well, when you are done, come by the restaurant to warm up.”

    The man smiles and thanks Sara then takes several large strides over to the other worker. “I don’t like this.”  They were instructed to loosen the bolts on the railing. He watches Sara as she walks away.“Why would someone target that young woman?” 

    “Who knows. The Boss said he got paid a shitload of cash.”

    He taps the screwdriver in his hand.“They want her dead? One slight bit of pressure on this railing and it will collapse.”

    “Since when did you grow a conscience? Hurry up, I am fucking freezing my balls off.. After we are done with the railing I am going to dump the bucket of water, it will quickly become ice in this goddamn weather. The Boss said it needs to look like an accident.” The yellow haired gangster continues, “The woman slips…tries to hold the railing then..” He looks down at the street below and sneers, “Yeah..they want her very dead.”

    Sara enters the restaurant and walks up to Wang Xiaoming, “The sign above the door looks great!”

    He momentarily gimaces when he notices Wong Duan behind Sara then regains his usual gentle appearance. “I am still not comfortable without putting your name on it. I had them leave room if you change your mind.”

    Sara takes off her coat and scarf, “I won’t. I told you my reasons. So you think we can open next week?”

   “Yes. I received the menus today.” He walks to the bar where a stack of menus are, “Take a look.”

    “Perfect!” She glances around the dining room and sighs, “Wang Xiaoming, I feel like I need to pinch myself so I know I’m not dreaming. The restaurant is absolutely beautiful…elegant and beyond what I could have imagined. You and Miss Milano did an amazing job!”

   Wong Duan’s lips curl in a malicious smile thinking about Mia Milano.The phone in his pocket vibrates and he takes it out as he walks towards the floor to ceiling windows. He looks at his text messages then lazily walks back to Sara. “Miss Song, I have an appointment. Call Fu Chian when you are ready to leave.”

  Sara looks up from the menu in her hand, “Okay, thanks for driving me here. Oh…Mr. Wong wait a moment. I wanted to ask about Starfire.”

“She has a cold and didn’t want to infect you. She should be back to work in a few days.”

“I will call her later then to see if she needs anything.”


  After he leaves Sara and Wang Xiaoming enter the kitchen. He smiles watching Sara’s satisfied expression as she runs her hand across the Italian marble counter. “I wanted to ask you if there was anyone you wanted to invite to the opening?”

   Sara reaches and takes a tin of tea from a stainless steel shelf, “I would like to invite my grandmother, Han Bi of course and her brother, Han Chang, Tzu Yibo…and Leo Cadieux, Wong Duan and Fu Chian. I want to invite my benefactor, but Han Chang won’t disclose his identity.  She fills the teapot with water.“I can’t think of anyone else. Oh yes. Sun Zhi… he encouraged me to pursue my dream.”

   Wang Xiaoming has a complicated expression, that is not many people and she didn’t include Li Tian or Zhou Jason. “No one else?”

  “Well, I told you I am not close to my family and I don’t have many friends. Those are the only people I want to share my happiness…” Sara laughs exposing her cute dimples,” and your delicious food.” 

   He shows her the list of the people he is inviting, “Do you mind if I include Zhou Jason?”

   Sara’s heart is in a knot but she sweetly replies, “Of course not!” He will bring Zheng Lan but I can handle it.  She looks at the list and points to a name, “I met Patrick at Mr. Navarre’s. It will be nice to see him again. Could we include Mr. Navarre?”


   Sara’s eyes are sparkling, “I am so excited!”

   He sets down the list and his dark brown eyes are shining reflecting his good mood. “This has also been my dream and I am happy we are partners.”

   Sara affectionately puts her small soft hand on his, “Wang Xiaoming, Thank you. I have never been happier than I am right now. I have always wanted to be able to work for myself doing what I love..baking. I feel like a whole new world is opening up for me. Being your partner is beyond anything I could have imagined. I admire your talent and vision.”

   He feels the warmth of her hand and is moved by her sincerity. “Well…it won’t be easy…there is a lot of work involved running a successful restaurant …but I think we will make a good team.”

    Sara pours a cup of tea for him, “I didn’t notice the names of any food critics.”

   “Well, once we officially open they will come. The first night is what is called a ‘soft’ opening. It is a ‘trial run’ The purpose is to test the food, staff’s performance and generally to make sure everything runs smootly. If there are any problems they can be corrected before opening to the general public.”

  “I see. That makes sense.”

  She grabs two paper cups and puts a protective sleeve on each one. Sara pours the tea into the cups, “There are two workers outside, I am going to bring them tea then we can continue.”

   Sara carries the cups of steaming hot tea to the dining room then sets them on a table. She puts on her coat then picks them up.

   Wang Xiaoming comes out of the kitchen, “I can take the tea.” 

   “It’s fine. I already have my coat on, I will be right back.”

    He holds the door for Sara and she exits the restaurant.  Looking around she scrunches her nose, the workers must have finished.

    She is walking around the patio to see if they are working elsewhere when Long Jinxi walks out of the elevator. She has an evil smile when she spots Sara. I thought I would have to lure the slut out of the restaurant. She glances over at the patch of ice by the railing then approaches Sara with a demure expression. “Miss Song, could I speak to you?”

   Sara recognizes her as Long An’s sister, “Miss Long, I am busy.”

   “It will only take a few minutes.”  She  pulls up the collar of her tan cashmere coat, “Let’s step over there out of the wind.”

   Sara decides if she is anything like Long An she won’t let her go until she says her piece. She reluctantly follows Long Jinxi, “What is it?”

  “I want you to stay away from Li Tian.”

  Sara knew this was what she was going to say and the corner of her mouth twitches, “I have no interest in CEO Li. I told your sister that many times.”

  Long Jinxi mockingly curls her lips into a sneer, “If that is true, why did you spend the night in Li Tian’s hospital room?” She furtively glances at the ice patch behind Sara calculating how to make it look like an accident. I can’t directly push the bitch there are cameras out here. Hmm..If I move forward she will naturally step back.

  “Miss Long, I don’t need to explain myself to you. If you have any questions, ask CEO Li. I need to get back to the restaurant.”

   Long Jinxi approaches Sara and takes a cup of tea from her hand. She has a faint smile as Sara opens her mouth and speechlessly stares at her shameless behavior.

  Long Jinxi taunts Sara, “You don’t mind do you?” She has her back to the security camera and slyly opens the lid. Long Jinxi wants to stimulate Sara so in a low and threatening tone she spits out, “Slut! Seducing my sister’s fiance while she is lying in the hospital!” then lifts her arm as though she is going to throw the tea on Sara.

   Sara instinctively moves back and slips on the ice patch, the other cup of tea flies out her hand as she falls backwards. As Sara’s back hits the metal railing, a tall figure flashes towards Sara and grabs her small hand while the railing breaks apart. She is suspended in mid air as he anxiously tries to pull her forward. Unable to steady himself on the slippery surface he falls onto the patio while still grasping Sara’s arm as her body hangs off the building. He desperately grips tighter and uses his other hand to grab onto the bottom piece of the railing embedded in the concrete. He has a frightened expression as he gazes into her wide eyes filled with tears. He clenches his teeth as he feels her body swaying, “Hold on! I won’t let you go!”

   Long Jinxi is shocked by his sudden appearance and breaks out into a cold sweat. Oh my God! Where the hell did he come from? Realizing the situation is now out of her control, she doesn’t want to be implicated and looks around while frantically screaming “HELP! HELP! SOMEONE HELP!” 


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