Losing Jian Yao is something Bo Jinyan will never be able to accept.
The surroundings are quiet. There’s blood flowing along the arm, down to the fingertips, then onto the ground.
Jian Yao’s face touches the cold concrete floor. She is not moving. There’s a burning pain coming from her back and her waist. It feels like her body doesn’t belong to her anymore…
But her vision is still blurred. Lights, bed, metal bars, every thing around her are turning into monsters. There are lots of voices speaking at the same time. Her head is so painful it feels like it’s going to explode.
“Yao Yao, remember daddy’s words. Live with integrity. Do not do anything that goes against your conscience.”
“Hey sister. Why are you so nice to the weirdo…”
“Jian Yao, I’ve never seen him care so much about a girl before.”
“Don’t you want to kiss me?”
“If you kiss me every five minutes, I will do anything with you. No matter how boring it is to me.”
“Now, do you feel it’s real?”
Tears stream down her cheeks, down past her cracked lips. Everything tastes salty and bitter. She can’t recognise any other tastes anymore. Sweetness? That’s a thing of the past.
“Tak… Tak… Tak..” Some footsteps comes close. Jian Yao instinctively curls up like a little vulnerable animal in the corner.
“Why aren’t you running anymore?” Xie Han’s voice appears from behind. “This is no fun at all. You were still hopping like a rabbit two days ago.”
Jian Yao lowers her head. She looks at her hands, which are full of wounds and dried blood. They used to be so soft and smooth. She covers her head with her hands and wait for the whipping that is about to start.
Perhaps he’s amused by her slow and futile actions, he laughs.
“Swoosh..” The cracking sound of the whip seems cuts through the air. The familiar burning pain lands harshly on her waist.
Jian Yao feels like she is going to pass out. All her internal organs feels like they are bunched up together.
This endless pain. When is it going to end? What can she do to bring it to an end?
“Ok.” A pair of hands carries her and put her gently on the bed.
“Do you want to end this?” He asks softly, as if he can read her mind.
Jian Yao doesn’t answer him. Her eyes can’t seem to focus. She opens and closes her palm repetitively. This is the only way she can tell herself she is still in control of her own mind. That she is not controlled by him. And she cannot give up.
“Write it down.” He says it like a sweet temptation: “Just write down how you feel. If it’s not for Bo Jinyan, you will be a happy, ordinary lady. Living a life of a normal person, without having to endure all these pain and suffering.”
Xie Han puts a pen into her hand. “Write it down.” He gently coaxes her: “Tell him you will leave him. Then it will be all over. No more pain. You will get a new life. I will let you go.”
Jian Yao looks at the piece of paper before her. Everything is still a blur. She is in a drowsy state. She can see Xie Han’s handsome face smiling at her.
- Just writing one letter… leave Bo Jinyan… this man will let me go?
- Just one letter?
The tip of the pen touches the surface of the paper. She writes down his name -
Her hands and joints are painful from the whipping. She is crying silently. She pauses.
“Why have you stopped?” He asks gently, but his tone sounds a little cold.
Jian Yao lets go of the pen. It falls down onto the bed sheet and the ink from the pen leaks to stain the linen. She lowers her head and wraps her arms and rests it on her arms. Her heart hurts too much to continue.
- No. No matter how much physical pain I am experiencing. I can’t write that letter. He is lying to me.
She knows that the moment the letter is written, he will kill her. Because it’s not just a letter. It’s her suicide note. A suicide note to destroy the love between her and Bo Jinyan - That’s his intent all along. He knows how to deliver the biggest blow to Bo Jinyan. And that’s more just killing her.
Endure. She has to endure.
She needs to stay alive until they meet again.
Xie Han senses her determination.
A cold hand taps her shoulder. He rubs a part of her skin that is still nicely ‘preserved’, free from any injury.
“Hadn’t I done enough?” He asks softly: “Did I give you the illusion that you can disobey me?”
He spoke with a calm but cold tone. Jian Yao’s heart starts to pound.
He is angry.
She can’t avoid provoking him after all.
“Hor hor …” He laughs. It’s a terrifying laugh. His fingers that are rubbing her skin increases in strength so Jian Yao’s starting to experience pain.
“Let change our strategy.” He says: “It’s time to give Simon a present.”
His hand glides over her shoulders, neck and onto her back.
He rips the fabric at the back of her top. He takes a look at the skin on her back.
“It looks beautiful.” He gives a sigh. “Not even a red mark. Just like I promised you.”
Jian Yao starts to shiver. Tears flows down her face uncontrollably.
Fu Ziyu woke up 48 hours after the operation. It took him one more day before he could start talking.
He is still in the intensive care unit. The doctors are very strict with number of visitors allowed in the ward at one time and the length of visit. After spending some time with his family, a nurse comes to Fu Ziyu . Anam wants to see him.
Although he is quite weak, he agrees to see Anam, because he knows it’s something to do with Bo Jinyan.
Bo Jinyan has not appeared once since he woke up. Fu Ziyu knows he is focusing on finding a way to save Jian Yao. That is the absolute priority at the moment.
When he thinks about Jian Yao, his heart aches.
So, why is Anam there to see him?
It’s late afternoon. Fu Ziyu lies in bed. He is still very weak and his face looks pale. He smiles at Anam.
It’s only been a few days. Anam is usually very tidy and doesn’t have much expression on his face. But today, Fu Ziyu can see the stubble on his chin. And the young man looks worried.
“He’s locked himself inside the hotel room for three days.” Anam says: “Nobody is allowed in. He is not taking any phone calls. Nobody knows what he is doing.”
A few sentences. Then the ward is quiet again. Neither of them speaks.
After a long pause, Fu Ziyu asks: “Do… we… have … any news… on… Jian Yao?”
Anam looks heavy hearted: “No.”
The US is a big place. It’s not easy to locate a missing woman. Especially when she is abducted by a highly intelligent and organised criminal.
All the profiling and analysing on Xie Han has been done prior to Jian Yao’s disappearance. There is nothing much Bo Jinyan can add to the FBI investigations. It’s now the job of the officers to try and track down Xie Han.
“Even a genius in criminal psychology can’t save his own girlfriend.” This is what one of the FBI agents said to Anam: “I think Simon needs time to accept this … truth.”
Anam is concerned for Bo Jinyan. He has come to see Fu Ziyu because he might be the only person that can help Bo Jinyan get out of that hotel room.
“He… will never accept it.” says Fu Ziyu .
Anam looks at Fu Ziyu . He’s not sure what Fu Ziyu is referring to. He notices that Fu Ziyu looks sad.
He knows his best friend. That straight forward and proud man - to lose Jian Yao… is something that Bo Jinyan will never accept.
Now he is back to his own world. What’s in his mind? If Jian Yao is dead, what will become of him?
Fu Ziyu thinks for a while: “I’ll….give… him a… call.”
Anam nods. He takes his mobile phone for him, then he dials the number and puts the phone to Fu Ziyu ’s ear.
The phone rings… Anam frowns. It’s been a while but no one is answering. But Fu Ziyu looks confident.
“Click.” It’s connected.
“Jinyan?” Fu Ziyu asks with a coarse voice.
There’s silence on the other end for a while, the a voice speaks: “Ziyu,”
Anam sees a shocked expression on Fu Ziyu ’s face. Fu Ziyu looks up to Anam and says: “Anam… can you please…. leave…for a while?”
Anam nods. He puts the phone on Fu Ziyu ’s hand and walks to the door. When he is outside, he turns around to close the door. He glances at Fu Ziyu .
Fu Ziyu is still lying down on the bed, with one hand holding the phone. On the pale and handsome face, a tear glides down his face.
This doctor is Bo Jinyan’s only friend. The day when he was shot, when his life was in danger, he muttered: “Jian Yao….not able to protect… Jian Yao…”. He didn’t cry when he was injured and in pain. He didn’t shed a tear when the anaesthetic starts to wear off. But when he spoke to his good friend, he cried.
Anam closes the door and waits outside quietly. He doesn't know the real reason why Fu Ziyu cried. It’s not only until the case was over did he did find out why he cried that day.
Marriott hotel Suite.
Bo Jinyan is changed into his black suit. He stands in front of the glass window. The golden glow from the sunset shines on his face. He is holding the mobile phone to his eyes. He looks out of the window into the city that underneath him. There is no expression on his face. Only an icy gaze.
When Jian Yao is awake again, she is lying with her back to the ceiling on a metal frame. She has her clothes on, but her back feels exposed. Her limbs are firmly locked in chains. She can’t move her body.
She looks around. The lighting is soft and dim. She is not in her cage anymore. She feels like a fish on a chopping board that is about to be scaled and gutted.
She bites her cracked dried lower lips. A tingling feeling comes to her.
Her brain feels heavy. But she is feeling more alert. Perhaps he’s stopped the medication. Is that because he is ready to move to the next phrase - skinning?
Jian Yao’s trying to control herself not to sob. But Xie Han realises she is awake. He whistles as he walks toward her.
“Finally, you are awake.” He says. She hears a crisp sound of metals touching. She can guess what’s in his hand. His scalpel and other tools for skinning.
His cold fingertips touches her bare back. He glides over the smooth skin.
“I am about to start.” He whispers in her ear: “But I’ve arranged for some accompaniments. I am sure it will help us to be happier and more excited.”
Jian Yao’s hand holds tightly to the metal frame. She starts to shiver.
What she doesn’t expect is that the ‘accompaniment’ he mentioned is news on Bo Jinyan.
He switches on the the LED screen in front of her.
It’s the news. The presenter is reporting: “Famous criminal psychologist Professor Bo Jinyan’s girl friend Jian Yao has been missing for four days. She’s kidnapped by the Flower Cannibal No.1. Police assures the public that they are doing the best they can to track down suspect Xie Han. And as we can see from behind us… Professor Bo has locked himself in the hotel room for four days. He has been refusing all communication with the outside world…”
Jian Yao’s tears stream down her face.
Her reaction pleases Xie Han. He smiles and walks to her and says in a delighted voice: “The more intelligent a person is, the prouder he will be. When they face adversity, they will completely collapse.”
He turns to her: “You are very important to him. I can’t imagine how much fun there will be when he receives a piece of your skin. The guilt and pain will overwhelm him. He will not be able to forgive himself.”
Xie Han puts one hand on the back of her neck, to stop her shivering. With the scalpel in his other hand, he slowly lowers it onto her back. Jian Yao can feel the cold sharp blade touching her skin….
Jinyan… save me.
Jinyan, save me!
“Breaking news!” The news presenter’s voice cuts through the silence. It interrupts Jian Yao’s thoughts and Xie Han’s actions. They turn to look at the screen. There’s images of grass and police offices running taken with a hand held camera.
The presenter speaks: “… We’ve just got the latest information on Flower Cannibal No.2 Tommy. He’s broken out of jail 18 hours ago. FBI and the police refuse to comment on the issue. But we are told a large number of officers are deployed to find him….”
The image shifts back to the presenter in the studio: “… According to inside information, Tommy has written the word ‘revenge’ with blood on the floor of his cell. Who is he referring to? Is he after Professor Bo Jinyan? Will the two Flower Cannibals reunite? …”
Jian Yao is dumbfounded. Xie Han throws his tools onto a table. “Oh… Shit!” He swears. A strange smile appears on his face. Then he walks off into the darkness, leaving Jian Yao where she is.
Jian Yao looks around her. Everything is back to its stillness. Deep in her heart, a small glimmer of hope mixes with desperation and hopelessness.
Is that him?
Is that part of his plan?
Or did Tommy really break out of prison? Then he will have one more problem to deal with. They will never meet again…
She keeps watching. There’s no more news about Bo Jinyan. She lowers her head and let those big tears flow down her face.