Jian Yao leans on the wall that faces his bedroom door. She knocks gently on the wall.
It’s been three months.
He looks much the same. He is sitting on his bed, working. When he hears the knock, he looks up and sees Jian Yao. He puts down the stack of doc.u.ments in his hands and walks toward her.
Jian Yao is still wearing her ap.r.o.n and long rubber gloves. Her long hair casually tied back. There’s even a bit of stain on her cheeks.
Bo Jinyan walks up close to her. She can smell the laundry scent from his clean, white shirt.
His eyes sparkles. With a shallow and arrogant smile, he speaks with the deep voice she has not heard in months: “Liar.”
Jian Yao feels as if her heart has missed a beat. Her cheeks start to burn. But she calms herself down quickly.
– Remember, he held your hands just to let you lie down on the killing machine. There must be a ‘non-romantic’ reason for all his suggestive gestures.
So she asks: “What do you mean?”
Bo Jinyan answers proudly: “Obviously, you already treat this apartment like your home.”
He comes back to see her cleaning the house, even having her lunch here. So he a.s.sumes she has finally ‘come to her senses’ and decides to move in with him.
Just as she is about to explain the whole situation, he points to the table: “Present. It’s on the table.”
Jian Yao walks over to the table. Next the stack of doc.u.ments, there’s a small rectangular box. It’s blue in colour with a white ribbon around it.
She takes her gloves off and opens the box.
Jian Yao holds the box and walk out to the lounge. Bo Jinyan is sitting on the sofa drinking the flower tea.
She is quiet. So he speaks first: “ So, do you like it?”
Jian Yao answers truthfully: “Yes, it’s very nice.” She looks inside of the box: A platinum necklace with a heart-shaped pendant, trimmed with diamonds. It’s sparkling brightly under the lights.
“But ……” she did not get to finish her sentence, because Bo Jinyan suddenly takes out his mobile phone.
“Susan, she likes the gift. Goodbye.” He tells the person on the other side, then puts the phone aside.
Jian Yao asks: “Who did you call?”
Bo Jinyan stands up from the sofa: “FBI Behavioural a.n.a.lysis Unit a.s.sistant. She chose the present. She insists that I call her after you receive the present. She wants to know what your reactions will be.”
– So that’s how the present came about. He asked his a.s.sistant to buy a present on his behalf. That person must have misunderstood her relationship with him. Therefore the present is an expensive heart-shaped diamond necklace.
Jian Yao gives the necklace back to him: “Thank you, but it’s too expensive, and it’s not necessary.”
Bo Jinyan lifts his eye to look at her: “Just because the present is from me, you want me to be responsible for gift exchange too?”
Jian Yao: “……” That’s not what I mean!
Bo Jinyan stands up: “. If there is a problem with the present, contact Susan directly. Here’s her number. But do it later. We are meeting Fu Ziyu for dinner now.”
Fu Ziyu is waiting in the restaurant. He sees the two of them walk through the entrance. He gives a them little wave.
They walk over, Fu Ziyu puts out the cigarette that’s in his hand. He gives Bo Jinyan a hug.
“Welcome back.” Fu Ziyu says softly.
After the hug, Fu Ziyu goes back to his seat.
Bo Jinyan remains standing. He looks pensive. Suddenly, he takes a big step, his tall body approaching Jian Yao. Before she can react, he bows his head, stretches out his arms to wrap her tightly in his arms.
“Thump, thump ……” Jian Yao can hear her own racing heartbeat.
Compared to him, she is pet.i.te. She sees a big patch of white colour in front of her. It’s his shirt. A side of her face rests on his chest.
“What..?” Jian Yao asked softly.
He loosens his grip and says lightly: “I forgot to hug you earlier.”
Jian Yao: “…… Thank you.”
Jian Yao looks up and sees a funny expression on Fu Ziyu’s face.
She gives him a shrug. – Calm down. It’s Bo Jinyan. Don’t read into it.
Fu Ziyu is responsible for ordering the food. He orders a mix of meat and fish dishes. Bo Jinyan doesn’t seem to mind. Jian Yao takes note. Oh, so it’s ok to have dishes with red meat when she is dining with him in the future. Even though he won’t touch it, he doesn’t mind seeing them there.
She really wants to know what happened when Bo Jinyan was in US, But Jian Yao is not sure if she should ask. But she doesn’t need to, because Fu Ziyu brings up the topic: ”Have you found the guy?”
Bo Jinyan shakes his head.
Jian Yao is sipping the soup, quietly listening.
Fu Ziyu asks: “Will you be going to US to a.s.sist with the investigation, or stay in China to try and find him??”
He answers: “Unfortunately, I will not partic.i.p.ate in the investigation of this case.”
Fu Ziyu thinks for a second and says: “Because of your ident.i.ty?”
Jian Yao looks at Fu Ziyu. Puzzled. Fu Ziyu explains the situation to her.
Bo Jinyan a.s.sisted the FBI in the past because of his affiliations with Maryland University. Now that he is no longer a professor there, and the fact that he accepted the post of the consultant for the Ministry of Public Security in China, the FBI feels it is inappropriate to include him in their investigations because it’s a matter of national security.
Jian Yao looks at Bo Jinyan and frowns: “But this guy is coming after you. How can they cut you out of the investigation loop?”
Bo Jinyan looks at her: “Oh, they will not ‘cut me out of the loop’. The Chinese officials negotiated with the FBI on my behalf. After a month of discussion, the two countries have reached an agreement. I will a.s.sist in certain aspects of the operation… as the victim.”
Fu Ziyu asks: “Then, how are they going to approach this case?”
“The FBI will send a team over here. Their investigation will, of course, be done under the supervision of the authorities. If necessary, the Chinese police will a.s.sist. The Munic.i.p.al Public Security Bureau will be responsible for victim protection, i.e., protecting me. ”
Fu Ziyu asks another question: “Will your phone, e-mail, as well as resident be monitored?” ,
Bo Jinyan answers arrogantly: “Do you think I will agree to that?”
Jian Yao takes a look at him. It must be very frustrating. To be excluded in an operation when the criminal is obviously provoking him.
By the time they return to the apartment, it’s past 8pm.
It is a bright star-studded night. The cool breeze seems to blow away the stress and worries and relaxes those who are walking on the street.
Jian Yao and Bo Jinyan are standing outside his apartment. Jian Yao asks: “Do you want to see Chen Mo?”
Bo Jinyan nods, and add a dry joke: “I hope he is still alive.”
Jian Yao: “…… he is doing fine.”
Once they enter the house, they see Chen Mo clawing toward the entrance. Bo Jinyan walks over and puts him on his palm: “He’s put on weight.” ,
– Such a tiny difference. 2 grams. Can he actually feel it?
Bo Jinyan then turns around and looks at her: “Let’s go.”
Jian Yao wonders: “Where?”
Bo Jinyan raises an eyebrow: “Downstairs, to sleep. “Do you not intend to move in with me? Chen Mo can stay here. He seems to have adapted to this new environment very well. It’s the first time he’s gained weight in 10 years.”
– Ah. Liar… She remembers his words from this morning.
Jian Yao reaches her hands out towards him.
His wrist is grabbed. The itchy feeling… is here again.
Jian Yao starts walking, pulling him along. When she reaches the first door, she turns the k.n.o.b and opens the door. Then she walks behind him and push him outside, just like how he treated her three months ago.
Bo Jinyan quietly turns to look at her.
“Goodbye Bo Jinyan. No, I am not moving in with you.”
She smiles, and closes the door in front of his face.
She turns and walks to the sofa. But after a few steps, she turns back and looks through the peephole. Bo Jinyan is still standing outside. He seems to be pondering. After a while, without any expression on his face, he heads to the elevator. Soon the door opens and he walks in.
Jian Yao walks to the bed. She lies down, takes out the necklace form the box. She watches it sparkles in the light.
Three days after Bo Jinyan has returned from US, Jian Yao receives a transfer notice from her manager. She is being transferred to the Customer 3 division.
Customer 3 is one of the largest division within the Sales Department. They generate a lot more revenue than the small department she is currently working in. Jian Yao’s new role is the business a.s.sistant, which is responsible for odd jobs, administration and logistic, secretarial matters. Actually, even a college graduate will be qualified for the position. Jian Yao does not understand why she is transferred here.
Jian Yao asks her manager what is the reason for the transfer. The manager smiles apologetically: ” The previous a.s.sistant of Customer 3 division died from a sudden illness last month, and they are not able to find a replacement yet. Within all the new interns, your performance is the most outstanding. Therefore, head office has decided to transfer you to their team. They are an important division within the department. If you do well there, it will help your career progress.”
The automotive parts division goes for lunch together. It’s the farewell meal for Jian Yao.
The manager is not there, so everyone is more relaxed. Because Jian Yao is going to Customer 3 division, the topic of conversation naturally falls on the gossips and stories from that division.
A young girl starts: “Apparently, they are getting a new director. I went pa.s.s the Board office yesterday to collect some doc.u.ments, and I saw the chairman of the board personally sending him off.”
Everyone has heard rumours, but no one knows who this new director is. They begin to ask questions. Jian Yao is quietly listening. After all, the information might be useful for her new post.
The girl shakes her head: “How would I know… but -!” She laughs:. “the director looks very handsome. Tall and handsome.”
Everybody laughs. Someone says: “Maybe that’s the fiancé of the Chairman, not the director”
Jian Yao has only seen the photo of the Chairman in promotional materials. Yin Ziqi, daughter of the former chairman. She is 29 years old. Has a fiancé. A rich young man who is the heir to a large multi national corporation.
The girl thinks for a moment: “Mmm… Don’t think so. Chairman’s fiancé is supposed to be a smooth talking charmer. This new director looks kind of …vain.”
Someone adds quickly: “Don’t scare Jian Yao. That’s her future boss!”
After lunch, Jian Yao packs up and reports to her new division.
As she steps into the office, she can see the difference between a core and marginal division. It’s a much bigger office. Even the staff’s office desks are much bigger than those in her division. In her previous office, only the manager has a desk this size.
Most desks are empty, There’s two people in the whole office.
Jian Yao walks over: “h.e.l.lo, I am a.s.sistant Jian Yao, starting work in Customer 3 division today.”
One man and a lady turns around to look at her.
Her female colleague is in her late 20s, with wavy hair and big eyes. She dresses quite casually, in a bohemian style dress. There’s a black jacket hanging on back of her chair.
She nods to Jian Yao and introduces herself: “Hi. I am Dan Shen Wei, Sales Manager.” Then she turns to the young man next to her: “Pei Ze, take care of her.” Then she goes back to work.
Pei Ze looks a couple of years younger than Dan Shen Wei. He’s wearing a straight black suit. He has a baby face with a charming smile. He stands up to greet Jian Yao: “Hi, I am Pei Ze. I am also one of the Sales Manager. Don’t mind Dan Shen Wei… Takes time for her to warm up to new people…”
Shen Dan Wei gives him a friendly swears without looking up: “Fx.x.x you, Pei Ze.”
– They seem pleasant enough to work with. Jian Yao has a good first impression of her new colleagues.
Pei Ze continues: “The others have gone for a meeting, to meet our new director. The two of us are working on an urgent proposal so we stayed behind. You will meet the rest of the team soon.”
Jian Yao nods.
(something extra) – story behind the gift
Bo Jinyan is on the phone with Fu Ziyu. “She cleans your apartment every weekend. She is so nice. I want to move in with her too.”
After he puts down the phone, he remembers the fishing rod he gave her as a thank you present for the fish. He remembers Fu Ziyu words. Show appreciation.
Does it mean he should get her a gift this time too?
Even though he’s been excluded from the investigation, he still has some authority within the organisation.
He calls the department a.s.sistant: “Help me to buy a gift.”
Susan: “Well, who is it for?”
– This is interesting. Professor Bo has never bought any woman a gift.
Carefully, she asks: “Is it for a young girl?”
– Oh my G.o.d! A girlfriend? Susan takes the opportunity to ask further: “What stage of the relationship are the two of you in?”
Bo Jinyan raises his head. He thinks about it and replies: “She is my a.s.sistant. We will be living together very soon.”
Susan is stunned. This is incredible news. It’s a well known fact that Bo Jinyan is an ‘iceberg’. He’s never had a girl friend. There’s a rumour that he’s still a virgin at the age of 26. Well, he’s finally…
Susan says timidly: “But… such an important gift… you should choose it yourself.”
Bo Jinyan growls at her: “What makes you think I have time to waste on something so trivial? Just buy something. Anything. “