Rene calls Rui and he reluctantly walks away from LiMei’s bed to answer the call. “Have you completed the preparations?”

    “Everything is in place for the mission but I need Hak Byung-Soo. I have arranged for him to be Anurak Saleum’s interpreter. I contacted Lin Morgan, he owes me a favor, he can come to Pushong City to replace Hak Byung-Soo for the three days.”

   Rui thinks for a moment, he is still very jealous and uncomfortable wondering about LiMei and Lin Morgan’s relationship. This might give me a chance to see if the bastard covets my woman ! “Fine.”

   Rene continues, “The Black Sky Organization has become more formidable since Kuang Bo took control from his brother. I know you have an arrangement with him but do you trust him implicitly?”

   Rui laughs as he steps out of the hospital room. “I don’t trust anyone completely but this will benefit both of us. I don’t foresee any problems with our cooperation. Old Man Rushnikov has been neutralized and his son hasn’t surfaced since the bombing of his yacht off of Greece. If he isn’t dead..well..he is smart enough to realize his mistake and not interfere with me.”

  “The man I planted in the Governor’s mansion was able to sneak into his study and get the itinerary for the day. If all goes well it should be in your hands by the middle of next week.”

  “Very good. Anything else?”

   “The woman… I..”

    Rui clenches the phone in his hand and a sharp and bone piercing coldness surrounds him recalling that woman’s duplicity. His voice is deep and unyielding as he interrupts, “No.” He hangs up and his eyes are as black as a bottomless abyss. I left the treacherous bitch with her life… that was my only concession.

     Rene lights a cigar and looks out the window at the frail barefoot woman picking up shells on the beach. She is wearing a loose pink floral dress and a large straw hat covering her once beautiful face. He exhales a puff of smoke and has an unfathomable expression thinking about the consequences of betraying Rui. The woman was once a sought after beauty, bright and lively now her once sparkling eyes are dull and lifeless. She spends her days walking on the beach or sitting staring at the ocean no longer asking when he will return. 

   He averts his gaze then crushes the half smoked cigar in the ashtray. Rene’s eyebrows are tightly knitted thinking about the pitiful woman’s fate. He calls over a maid, “Take her a glass of pineapple juice.”

    LiMei wakes up and slowly stretches out her arms then rubs her blurry eyes. She smacks her dry lips and mutters “So thirsty.”

    Rui smiles and grabs the water bottle on the nightstand. He sits on the edge of the bed, “How do you feel?”

    LiMei reaches for the water and he puts the bottle to her lips. After she swallows she yawns, “Tired.”

    He touches her wrist to feel her pulse, “Well…you gave too much blood. It will take awhile to regain your strength.”

    LiMei hugs Rui, “How is the woman and her baby?”

   She can’t see the murderous glint in his eyes as he kisses the top of her head, “Should be alright.”

   LIMei gazes up at him with a brilliant smile, “That is great!”

   He rubs her head thinking she is too trusting and naive. “LiMei, you shouldn’t have agreed so readily. You have been ill and not fully recovered.” No one is worthy of receiving your blood!

   She touches his chest and her voice is soft, “Rui, I know you love me and are worried but how could I live with myself if I refused. If just by giving blood I could save a mother and her baby…well…that is what I should do. I knew you were in the operating room trying your best to save them and I wanted to help.”

   Rui’s eyes are filled with love as he lifts her chin, “Baby, if anything happened to you I..”

   LiMei smiles, “Rui…my mother told me I am blessed to have a long life. She said I was very sick when I was a baby. Even though my grandmother was a genius doctor she was couldn’t get my fever to go down. I was burning with fever for three days. Feeling helpless, my mother went to the temple to pray to Buddha and light incense. An old monk told her that my life star is bright and after two days my fever would be gone…and it was!” I don’t want to tell him that Father Lam said the only way to have a happy life after being in the Black Sky was to be unselfish and do good deeds.

  The corner of Rui’s lip twitches listening to LiMei, he doesn’t believe in any god. He gazes at her innocent and pure expression. Let the little girl have her fantasy. I will protect her better in the future.

   Xinghi walks into the hospital room and over to the bed, “Miss Feng, this pill will help your blood flow and stabilize your qi.”

   Rui takes the round black pill from his hand and puts it in LiMei’s mouth then gives her some water. LiMei starts coughing, “Urghh..that tastes terrible!”

   Xinghi reaches into his pocket and hands her a piece of strawberry taffy, “This will help get rid of the bitter taste.”

   LiMei’s eyes bend into crescent shapes as she chews the sweet candy, “Thank you Dr. Huang, strawberry is my very favorite.” 

   He smiles, I many times at my Compound did I need to coax you to take the medicine after your treatments. You would only smile again after I gave you a piece of strawberry taffy.

   Rui watches LiMei happily savoring the candy and frowns seeing her sweetly smile at Xinghi. He wants to take her to his villa and have LiMei to himself. He walks over and picks up her coat and scarf. “I will leave the woman to you then Dr. Huang. I am going to take Feng LiMei to my villa to rest.”

   He puts the coat on LiMei then the scarf around her neck. Xinghi wants to have a hypnotherapy session with LiMei so he says, “Miss Feng should come back tomorrow then for her therapy.”

   Rui doesn’t agree, “I think she should rest tomorrow then continue her therapy.”

  “I could come by your villa tomorrow. I don’t think we should delay the therapy.”

  “I will contact you if I feel LiMei is up to it tomorrow.”

  Xinghi can tell by Rui’s tone he can’t change his mind so he agrees, “I will rely on your judgment.”

   Rui lifts LiMei into his arms and LiMei blushes, “Rui! I can walk!”

  He has a devilish grin, “Be obedient.” He carries her out of the room followed by the two bodyguards.

  Xinghi shakes his head watching them leave. Well..with Qiao Rui by her side Qin Daiyu will succeed in the mission. One more day won’t delay the operation it is set for next week. Three sessions should be sufficient.

   Once they are in the backseat of the Rolls Royce Phantom Rui asks, “Are you hungry? You need to replenish your body.”

   LiMei is snuggled comfortably in his lap and looks up at him with a suspicious expression. She wrinkles her forehead, “I am, but no more pig liver. I want to eat something delicious.”

   Rui laughs at her cute expression and kisses her pink lips then says, “Okay, no pig liver. Where do you want to go? It is the chef’s night off and Delun told me he is meeting Sheng Siyue.”

   “I can cook. Let’s stop at the Supermarket like we planned earlier.”

“You can cook for me another day, it is too late. Do you want to go to The Golden Crane?”

 LiMei’s eyes light up, “Their Spicy crawfish is delicious! Yes!” She hugs Rui then scrunches her nose, “Don’t you need a reservation and I’m not dressed properly.”

  “It is fine. The owner is my friend there won’t be a problem. We can eat in a private room.”

  “Well then great, I want to eat the braised pork with mushrooms and the grilled ginger scallion salmon.” LiMei is salivating thinking about eating delicious good. ” Oh..and crispy maple tofu!”

  Rui tightens his hand around her waist and teases, “My Baby is very hungry.” He kisses LiMei then nibbles on her ear and seductively whispers, “So am I.” He gently kisses LiMei and unbuttons her coat then puts his hand under her sweater.

   LiMei wraps her thin arms around his neck and inwardly sighs, Rui is so perfect…I want to enjoy this while I can. LiMei’s heart is racing as he deepens the kiss. When they are breathless Rui sucks and licks LiMei’s lips then lets her go. Rui caresses her tender cheek then lifts her chin, his voice is hoarse and filled with longing, “LiMei, marry me. Have my baby.”

   She is stunned and her green eyes are covered with a layer of mist, “Rui..I have some mental issues that should be resolved first.”

   “Are you saying as soon as they are, you will marry me?”

   LiMei gazes into his deep and beautiful eyes that only have her in them. Rui is so incredibly handsome…In a daze she hesitates then can’t contain her emotions, she confesses, “Rui, I love you with all my heart and only want to be with you.”

   Rui’s eyes are shining and he tightens his arms around LiMei.“So the answer is yes?”

    “Yes.” I don’t think I really can marry him… but…how can I hurt him by refusing. 

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