“He will come… for me.”
A sentence said without emotions. But in Jian Yao ears, the words are like the sound of war drums hitting her heart.
She turns around and looks at him. In the dim light, she can faintly see him. His handsome face looks calm and collected.
Jian Yao remembers the scars that lie on his back. What sort of experience and pain does he carry with him?
And when he first returned to China, Jian Xuan said he was so skinny he looked like a walking skeleton.
Were any of these things related to the Flower Cannibal?
Fu Ziyu mentioned it was the last case he worked on before returning to China. He caught the notorious criminal, who is now serving a life sentence in the United States.
But during the process, did he put himself in danger?
This smart, naive and arrogant man that is next to her…. Did he suffer unmentionable cruelty and abuse?
“Teach him a lesson." Jian Yao says softly.
This man came in the name of the Flower Cannibal. He must be either a follower or an accomplice of the hideous monster.
Bo Jinyan is looking through his binoculars. He stares out of the window, moving his lips: “You don’t have to remind me.” He answers haughtily.
Jian Yao asks: “He arrived at Sun Yong’s house before us. If he turns up today…. how does he find out what you are up to and where you will be?”
Bo Jinyan puts down the binoculars. He says with a cold smile: ”That’s obvious. He stalks me.”
Jian Yao suspects that might be the case. Nevertheless, it is still creepy to hear it.
He continues: “Both the FBI and Chinese police have sent their men to surveil me. Yet, they failed to notice his presence. He must be very good at lurking in the shadows.”
Jian Yao stays silent for a moment, then asks: "? So ...... Was our office bugged?”
Bo Jinyan: “Yes, it was. The listening devices were underneath our chairs.”
Jian Yao is astounded.
When did Bo Jinyan know about this? So he used it to his advantage to set up this trap? But he pretended he didn’t know anything about it.
“Why didn’t you tell me earlier?" She whispers softly.
Bo Jinyan glances at her: “Tell you? Would you be able to act ‘normally’?”
"Of course. And I would have been more prepared."
“I am here. What other preparations do you need?”
Darkness still covers the sky. The damp paths leading to the residences are quiet. Besides Bo Jinyan and Jian Yao, there are two other policemen in the monitoring vehicle. There are also numerous officers hiding in the area. The streets are empty, except for two cleaners who are sweeping the streets in the early morning hours. Everything seems normal.
Jian Yao feels heavy headed and dizzy. Her nose starts to run, and her throat is dry.
A cold. Probably from being cold and wet in the rain earlier.
Well, at least she is prepared. She takes out some flu medication. She also has a small box of tissues. She blows her nose.
Bo Jinyan turns to look at her briefly and then returns to his monitoring.
Jian Yao is very tired. She taps on his shoulders :”I am going to take a snooze. Call me if anything happens.”
Their car is one of the maintenance vehicles of the Orange Hill resort. So it’s not conspicuous when parked on the side of the road. The back of the car is quite roomy, but there are no in-built seats. The chairs Bo Jinyan and Jian Yao are sitting on are added temporarily.
It’s 4am. No signs of the man they are after.
After a while, Bo Jinyan feels some weight on his shoulders. He turns his head and finds Jian Yao leaning towards him. Her head rests on his shoulder. Her eyelids closed against the dim lights inside the car, and her breathing deep and relaxed.
Bo Jinyan frowns. He adjusts her sleeping position so she is leaning on the back of chair instead. But it only takes a few minutes for her to flop on his shoulders again.
This is not Jian Yao’s fault. The flu medication contains antihistamine which helps the taker to sleep more soundly. It is uncomfortable to sleep on the chair, especially when it’s not padded. Bo Jinyan’s shoulder is like a comfortable ‘pillow’ in comparison. Women, even in their sleep, have an instinct for choosing the better alternative.
Bo Jinyan looks down at her. Her hair is touching the side of his face. It’s soft and rather comfortable. But as she breathes, he can feel her warm breath on his neck. It’s ticklish.
A few minutes later -
Bo Jinyan rubs his hands together and does a quick stretch. He sits back on his chair, picks up the binoculars and stares out of the window.
The young office looks at him and asks hesitantly: “Professor Bo. Assistant Jian is sleeping on the floor! Are you sure that’s ok?”
Bo Jinyan takes a glance at Jian Yao.
He found a strip of thin blanket. So he spread on the floor and moved Jian Yao to lay flat on top of it.
“Yes, it’s alright.” He replies, “I’m sure she doesn’t mind a bit of dirt on the floor.”
Another half an hour has passed. There is still no sign of ‘him’.
Bo Jinyan puts down the binoculars. His rubs his eyebrows with his finger as he looks down. He stops what he is doing.
Jian Yao has rolled over, curled up into a ball, like a cat. Her long black hair spreads out on the think blanket. She is cuddling up next to him. She must be feeling cold.
He frowns again. Because she rolled to the side, her face is outside of the thin blanket. Her lips are so close to the floor it looks like she is about to kiss the dirt.
Jian Yao wakes up after a short nap. When she was half asleep, she could feels someone tickling her face and nose with a feather.
She opens her eyes and takes a look around.
She is lying on the chairs. Two chairs put together side by side. When did she lie down? And where’s Bo Jinyan?
He is sitting on the floor.
He’s back is slightly hunched, knees bent, in a cross legged position. One hand is holding the binoculars, still staring out of the window. The other hand is resting causally on the knee.
What a gentleman. Jian Yao is pleased, that he can be so thoughtful.
Jian Yao looks at his handsome face. Just as she is about to speak, she sees his hand that was resting on the knee reaches out towards her.
- What does he want to do?
His hand is getting closer. It stops in front of her face. Then he picks up a few strands of her long hair that is resting on the chair, and starts to circle them around his fingers.
And when the hair is strapped around his fingers, he lets go of the hair by flicking his finger.
Long hair falls from the sky, some strands brushes over her cheeks. No wonder she felt someone was tickling her.
Before long, he does it again…..
He seems to like playing with her hair. He does it for a while, then his hand will rest on his knee, then he comes back for her hair again… as he’s looking out of the window with the binoculars in his other hand.
Jian Yao can’t believe it.
Playing with her hair? How childish can he be? He is Detective, for goodness sakes!
She sits up and use her fingers to brush the hair that’s messed up by him. Bo Jinyan hears movement behind him and turns around.
“You’re awake.” He says briefly and continues to monitor what’s going on outside.
Jian Yao is about to pick up her binoculars when she hears the policeman in front says: “Someone is here.”
There’s a man riding a bicycle, coming closer towards them. He is wearing a red uniform, with a shop logo in the front of the shirt. It’s a 24 -hour restaurant.
Food delivery? But none of the residences are occupied. Besides, who would order takeaway at this time of the day?
Everyone, including the police officers in the other monitoring vehicles get ready for action.
When the man reaches an intersection. He stops. He gets off his bike and starts walking uphill with some delivery box in his hand.
"Professor Bo, leave it to us, we will approach him now." says one of the officers from another vehicle via a Walkie-talkie.
"Wait." Bo Jinyan says, “Just keep observing for now."
The police officer on the other end hesitates for a moment. He orders his men to be on standby.
The man walks toward one of the residences. It’s the one Pei Zi stayed in.
He stops in front of the door. He takes a few containers out from the delivery box and leaves them in front of the entrance. Then he took a quick look through the window and walks off.
Jian Yao feels her heartbeat accelerating.
"Action?" Officer on the other end checks again.
Bo Jinyan gives a mocking laugh: “No. It’s not him."
Everyone is surprised by his remark. He continues: “This is not right. It’s the wrong residence.”
Everyone is even more confused.
She thinks to herself :”Why is this the wrong house? Last time, he left a note in Sun Yong’s house, This time, he’s leaving a note in Pei Ze’s residence. On both occasions, he appeared at the killer’s house. That’s routine. It’s a trait of a psychopath.”
Bo Jinyan explains: "No, he should appear in the victim’s residence. For psychopath, the moment of death is of the most significance.”
- So he should be leaving a note at Wang Wan Wei’s house.
The delivery man has walked down the hill. The Police officer anxiously asks: “Professor Bo, this person is suspicious. Should we not arrest him first?”
"No, let him go." Bo Jinyan says, “He is sent by the man to test us.”
As the delivery man disappears from their sight. Everyone quietly waits.
This is like a silent chess game between ‘Him’ and Bo Jinyan. One wrong move, and it’s all over.
As minutes and seconds continue to drift away, the policemen are getting more and more anxious. They don’t fully trust Bo Jinyan’s analysis. Have they missed their opportunity? They are not sure.
The dark sky is slowly getting brighter. A thin fog covers the ground. Visibility is still low.
Another man comes on the scene.
One of the cleaner. They saw him working further away earlier.
He is sweeping the leaves on the road. He slowly makes his way closer to the residence.
Jian Yao looks through the binoculars- A small man. He seems quite sluggish and his pace is slow. He is wearing a hat which blocks most of his face. There’s grey stubbles around his chin, and his skin is wrinkly. He should be at least fifty years old. His clothes are old, and so are his shoes.
With one hand holding the broom and a dustpan on the other, he is sweeping leaves and garbage. When he sees an empty bottle, he picks it up and throws it into the rubbish bin. His actions seem natural, like a task that he does all the time.
Everyone stares at him.
He slowly approaches the slope next to the residences.
He continues to sweep and clear rubbish in the area.
Everyone has the same query. - Is he going to Wang Wan Wei’s residence?
He didn’t. He left.
He takes the broom and walks back to the main road.
“Another false alarm.” says a policeman.
“Soon, first light will appear.” Another policeman says.
Jian Yao notices Bo Jinyan’s binoculars are still following the cleaner. He’s getting further and further away from them.
… Something is not right
"The cleaner. Something tells me he’s not just a cleaner......" she murmurs.
Just as she finished murmuring, she feels warmth covering her back. She lifts her head. Bo Jinyan has put his arm against the glass. He is standing right behind her and looking through the same glass panel to the outside. His chest touching her back.
“What's wrong?" He leans in and whispers.
She is literally in his arms. She can feel his breath brushing past her ears. Both his pose and the itchiness from the breath is making her very uneasy. But she knows Bo Jinyan is not aware of how physically close they are. He is so focused on the case he will not be thinking about anything else. So she turns around and says to him: “Look at his…”
The moment she puts down her binoculars is the same moment he puts down his binoculars and leans down to hear her answer.
Their faces are only inches apart from each other to start with. A moment of overlap. She feels her lips grazes pass a patch of soft skin, then it lands somewhere on his face that is slightly damp.
As she realises what has happened, her cheeks starts to burn. He seems a little stunned too. They are back to their original distance before their lips touched. Just inches apart. Quietly looking at each other.
“What’s wrong?" Bo Jinyan breaks the silence by repeating his earlier statement, as if nothing has happened.
"Uh ......" Jian Yao immediately replies, "Low income cleaners. I see them all the time. They usually keep the empty bottles so they can sell them later. But he threw them away….” She decides to pretend as if nothing has happened too.
Bo Jinyan grew up abroad, he’s not familiar with Chinese cleaners’ usual practice. Immediately, he picks up the walkie talkie: “Action!”
The officer on the other end hesitates: “Professor Bo, are you sure? He didn’t even get close to the residences….?"
Another police interrupts him: “Professor Bo, look at the walls of the residences!”
Everyone looks up to the walls.
A chilling message has appeared on the wall.
The English words with meandering handwriting in blood red is projected onto the wall.
“I miss U so much, buddy”
Then they hear a loud bang. There’s an explosion on the grass area the cleaner went past.
“The projector used to show us the phrase.” says Bo Jinyan
Jian Yao looks around and see a silhouette of a man disappearing into the bushes.
All the police offices come out of their hiding. They are running in all directions and covering all the grounds. They are determined to find the cleaner.
Two policemen are about to leave when Bo Jinyan asks one of them to stay behind: “You stay here. I’ll go.”
Jian Yao is surprised - Did he not say arresting is the responsibility of the police? That he is only responsible for the intellectual stuff?
Jian Yao’s is very worried. The policeman senses her anxiety and comforts her :”We have informed the Resort Securities. No cars or person will be allowed to enter or leave the Resort tonight. He can’t get away….”
Jian Yao heart settles. No matter how cunning the man is, Bo Jinyan will be able to seek him out.
They will win the game after all.
However, the resort is very big. It’s easier said than done to track down a person.
Dozens of police have dispersed, and Bo Jinyan has joined them to find this cleaner. There’s not enough policemen to cover all the areas, so the perimeters of the Resort is left in the hands of the Resort securities.
Half an hour later. The sky has brighten up into a pale blue as the sun starts to rise.
Bo Jinyan is standing outside a small forest. He walks through the trees. After a few metres, he finds a red uniform at his feet. He walks a little faster, taking short and light steps.
After a while, he sees a pair of pants, a broom and a pair of shoes.
He sees a dwelling in front of him. It’s the villa Yin Ziqi’s is staying for the night.
This is no coincidence. The man deliberately came through this way.
He immediately takes out his mobile phone: “ Tell the Resort Securities not to let any car out of the resort. Not even Yin Ziqi’s car.”
Immediately, the other side replies: “Professor Bo, a few minutes ago, Chairman Yin’s car left from the west gate. The guards didn’t stop it….”
Bo Jinyan swears loudly.
The others are confused: "Professor ...... What are you talking about?"
Bo Jinyan did not answer them. He puts his phone away and walks towards the trees.
Yin Ziqi is wearing a skirt, with a shawl over her shoulders. Her eyes are shut and her face is pale. She is lying unconscious on the ground.
Yin Ziqi is supposed to be staying in the Luxury Suite. A number of bodyguards were with her. It should have been fool proof. Perhaps she left the suite for some reason, and was attacked by the man. He stole her car keys and drove away in her car.
Bo Jinyan checks her pulse to make sure she is alright.
He exhales a long sigh. Then he bends over and carries her in his arms.