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Published at 14th of January 2016 12:27:02 PM

Chapter 40

Huo Xiao Lu's story began when she was eleven years old .  


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It was love at first sight .   She liked Su Bei the first moment she laid her eyes on him .

 

His parents are also ex-workers from the textile factories .   But unlike her, he has lots of friends .   He seems to be living a happy and contented life .

 

She has nothing .   She does not like going home .   Some nights, she can hear squeaky beds, heavy breathing and moaning sounds .   Each time, a different man walks out of her mother’s bedroom in the morning .

 

In 2003, her father abandoned the family .   He went off to Dong Guan with another woman .   But rather than feeling sad, Huo Xiao Lu felt relieved .   She was fed up with the constant fighting between her parents .

 

However, the peaceful times didn’t last long .  

 

Two years after her father left, her mother was made redundant .  

 

A middle aged woman with no formal education or specialised skill .   She turned to prostitution to support herself and her daughter .

 

Her mother did her best to solicit in areas away from Huo Xiao Lu’s school and where her friends live .   Her classmate assumed her mother was working as a labourer out of town .   But every time Huo Xiao Lu takes the money to pay for school fees, she feels dirty and disgusted .  

 

She didn’t always hate Ruan Ming Huai .   But she decided to ‘befriend’ her after Ruan started the rumours about Su Bei being an homosexual .

 

No one can defame her prince .   She decided to become Ruan’s friend first, then she will find an opportunity to avenge her .

 

The murder was an impulsive decision .

 

That evening, Ruan Ming Huai received a call from Su Bei .   Ruan asked Huo Xiao Lu to leave first .   The arrogant and joyous smile on Ruan’s face infuriated her .  

 

• Su Bei was falling for this shallow and bossy girl?

She tried to persuade Ruan Ming Huai not to meet up with him: “Didn’t you say you are over him?  Why do you still want to go?”

 

But Ruan knew her secret .   She said scornfully: “Do you think I don’t know how you feel towards Su Bei? Shame on you for trying to steal your good friend’s boyfriend . ” 

 

Huo Xiao Lu secretly followed Ruan Ming Huai up the hill .  

 Su Bei hadn’t arrived yet .   So she appeared and apologised to Ruan Ming Huai .   She assured Ruan she will stay away from Su Bei…

 

When she saw the blood gushing out of Ruan Ming Huai’s wound, and her body convulsing, a great joy swept over her .  

 

It was a thrilling experience .  

 

 

 

A few hours later, she found Su Bei on top of an empty watch tower .  

 

This is the place he usually hangs out when he is not happy .   Sitting by himself, looking far into the horizon .   She found out about this place years ago .   She used to stand quietly at the corner, just looking at him… 

 

That night, she approached Su Bei: “What’s the matter?  Is something bothering you?”

 

Su Bei’s face was very pale .   He looked like he was still in shock .   “Ah… nothing…  Xiao Huo, I have to leave town tonight .   I might not see you again .   You take care . ”


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This was a bolt from the blue for Huo Xiao Lu .   She thought for a moment, then said to him: “Do you have enough money?  I have some saving at home I can lend to you .   Come with me . ”

 

Su Bei had no idea this innocent and quiet looking girl had other motives .  

 

His original plan was to rob Ruan Ming Huai .   He knew she had the money from the class .  

Anyway, his grades weren’t good and he won’t stand a chance in getting into the university .   He would take the money and travel to Dong Guanto find his parents .   But then, he thought more about it .   Ruan Ming Huai’s parents are rich . And she has a crush on him .   Perhaps she would help him pay off his gambling debts .  

 

So he was late to their meeting .   But when he got there, he found her dead .   He saw that the backpack was still there, and the money too .   Without thinking, he grabbed the pack and ran off .   It wasn’t until he was half way down the hill he realised that taking the money would make him a murder suspect .    

 

He panicked .   He found an old air raid shelter . So he buried the backpack under a pile of old leaves .   Then he left .

 

He was contemplating his next step when Huo Xiao Lu appeared .  

 

————-

 

Huo Xiao Lu put a sleeping pill into the glass of water she gave Su Bei .   When he was unconscious, she tied him up .   Her mother is often away for weeks at a time .   She knew her mom was not due back for at least a week .  

 

But even if mom did come home, she would be able to handle it .  

 

—————

 

There are more police cars arriving at the scene .  

 

An officer is looking after the two teenage criminals in the lounge .   Bo Jinyan and another officer are searching the house for other evidence .

 

Jian Yao stands at the entrance .   She takes a look at Huo Xiao Lu .   Huo has no expression on her face .  

 

Footsteps coming from the stairs .  

 

A middle aged woman with heavy make up, a black dress and black stockings appears .  

 

“What’s the matter?  Who are you?” She raises her voice: “Where’s Xiao Lu? Xiao Lu?”  

She tries to enter the house but is blocked by Jian Yao: “Sorry, I am with the police .   We cannot let you in at the moment . ”

 

The woman sees Huo Xiao Lu handcuffed, standing inside the lounge .   There is disbelief on her face .  

 

“Xiao Lu…you… Why are you arresting my daughter…?”   

 

“I killed someone, Ma . ” Huo Xiao Lu tells her mom in a calm voice, as if she is talking about someone else .  

 

The woman is shocked .

 

“We need to go to the Police Station together… . ” Jian Yao puts her hand on the woman’s shoulder .  

 

To everyone’s surprise .   Instead of running toward her daughter, the woman is heading towards the stairs .   She is trying to run away?!


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But perhaps she is  too nervous, she misjudged her footing and was about to trip down the stairs .   Jian Yao quickly grabs her by her shoulder to help her regain her balance .  

 

Jian Yao quickly stands in front of her on the top of the staircase .  

 

“Get out of my way . ” The woman tries to push Jian Yao aside .  

 

Jian Yao is standing on the edge of the step .   Because of the push, she loses her balance and falls down the stairs .  

 

“Jian Yao!”  Bo Jinyan rushes out of the unit .  

 

Jian Yao is falling with her face facing the top of the stairs . She can see Bo Jinyan in mid-air .    

 

The next thing she knows, her mouth ‘kisses’ the ground .   She is rolling down the stairs .   Fortunately the flight is not long .

 

Her whole body is aching .   Her head hurts from hitting the wall .   As she struggles to get up, she sees Bo Jinyan swatting beside her .   He wraps one arm around her shoulder and one around her waist .   She rests in his warm and familiar embrace .  

 

“Are you ok?”  He looks displeased .  

 

“I’m fine . ” Jian Yao tries to stand up by pushing off with her hand on his shoulder .   A sharp pain is coming from her left ankle .   She falls back into his arms .   Bo Jinyan tightens his arm .   Her face is pressing onto his chest .   They are so close that she can hear the pounding of his heart .  

 

Bo Jinyan looks even more annoyed now .   He looks down at Jian Yao .

 

Two officers heard the noise and came out to check if Jian Yao is fine .  

 

Bo Jinyan takes a cold look at Huo Xiao Lu’s mother .   He turns to the officers: “It’s fine .   You can continue with searching the house . ”

 

Jian Yao pulls Bo Jinyan’s sleeve: “I want to say something to her . ” 

 

Bo Jinyan stands up, with her in his arms, he turns so that Jian Yao can see Huo’s mom .

 

“She is your daughter .   You can’t just run away like that .   Even though she has killed someone, you cannot give up on her . ” 

 

The woman’s face changed .   She drops to the ground, looking sad and in despair .  

 

“Are you done?” Jian Yao hears Bo Jinyan’s voice .

 

“Uhh… yes . ” She says softly .  

 

He carries her down the stairs and walks toward the car .  

 

More police cars arrive at the scene .   Behind them, two officers are escorting Su Bei and Huo Xiao Lu downstairs .   Huo’s mother follows behind .   She is weeping as she walks 

 

Jian Yao secretly hopes that time will be still, and she could remain in his arms forever .  

 

But…

 


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 Jian Yao looks at Bo Jinyan .   His face looks annoyed . Very annoyed .   She wonders what made him so angry .

 

“Maybe you should let me down . ” says Jian Yao . “Other people are walking this way . ”  

 

Bo Jinyan looks at her: “So, what does me carrying you have to do with other people? ”

Jian Yao: “… . ”

 

The officer in charge has arrived .   He sees Bo Jinyan carrying Jian Yao: “Is Xiao -Jian alright?”

 

She is just about to reply when Bo Jinyan speaks on her behalf: “She is ok .   It’s not serious . ”

 

Bo Jinyan looks at the people around him .   He adjusts the position of his arms slightly so that Jian Yao is more comfortable .   Then he starts: 

 

“Huo Xiao Lu is the murderer .   We found evidence…”  

 

He explained what’s happened to the officer . They listen intently to what Professor Bo has to say .

 

And at that time, Jian Yao was lying in his arms .   She blushes .

 

• He is doing his briefing in front of everyone while holding someone in his arms .  

 

After he finishes, he says to the officer in charge: “We will leave it .   You can take over from here . ”

 

The officer in charge is surprised .   Bo Jinyan is like a new gem the department has discovered .   Now that he has seen how good Bo Jinyan is, he wants all the help he can get .  

 

“Can you stay behind to guide the rest of the search?  I can send a couple of officers to accompany Xiao Jian to the hospital… .   Xiao Chen, Xiao Zhou .   Please go with Xiao Jian . ”

 

When Jian Yao heard Xiao Chen’s name, something tells her it’s not a good idea .  

 

As expected .   Bo Jinyan gives Xiao Chen an icy glance .   Xiao Chen looks a little embarrassed too .   He stays quiet .  

 

“Gee . . you really know how to choose…”Bo Jinyan says sarcastically to the officer in charge .  

The officer in charge is perplexed at his comment .   Jian Yao elbows Bo Jinyan lightly in his chest .

 

Bo Jinyan looks down at her .   Then he tells the officer in charge: “My work here is done .   Later, I will follow up with the criminal analysis .   Goodbye . ”

 

————-

 

He gently put Jian Yao down in the passenger seat .   Jian Yao thought he’s going to close the door and walk to the driver’s seat .   But he did not .

 

He switches on the light inside the car: “Turn around and let me take a look . ”

 

Jian Yao leans over slightly: “I’m alright .   Only a few scratches . ”

 

He didn’t answer .

 

His shirt is stained with the dirt that was on her face .   He holds up her face with his hand and examines it under the light .

 

He is still grumpy… .

 

His cool fingertips gently touching a swell on her forehead .   She puts her fingers over the part he just touched .   Oh, there is a reasonably sized bump .      

 

“Oh great!” He said “You almost split your head . ”

 

Jian Yao: “… it was an accident . ”

 

He looks into her eyes: “Is it painful?”

 

It’s actually not that bad, but Jian Yao answers softly: “Mmm… quite painful . ” She lifts her eyes to look at him .

 

His answer is brisk: “Just endure it . ” 

 

But then, he adds: “I will put some ice on it when we get home . ”

 

“… . ok . ”

 

He looks at her feet: “Take off your shoe . ”

 

He holds her left foot with his hand .   As his fingertips touch her sole, it feels cold and ticklish .   Her face is blushing again .

 

But he doesn’t seem to notice her shyness .   He examines the foot and says: “A little swollen, but nothing major . A lot less spectacular compared to the horn on your head . ”

 

Jian Yao gives him a glance of disapproval .  

 

What a day .   She sighs: “Would the knock make me more stupid…”

 

Bo Jinyan has gone back to the driver’s seat and started the car .   He starts to get out of the complex: “Don’t worry, my IQ is 180, doesn’t matter if you lose a bit of your IQ .   You have me . ” 

 

That’s sweet…in a strange sort of way .

 

She complains: “Is that meant to be words of comfort?”

 

Bo Jinyan gives her a smile .   They are back on the main road .   Home is not far away now .

 

—————

 

Bo Jinyan stops at a red traffic light .  

 

He turns to look at Jian Yao .   She looks so lovely in her sleep .

 

 

After a long stare, he takes his eyes off her and continues driving .  



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