Jian Yao sits down on the sofa. She decides to take a nap.
It doesn’t take long for her to stand up again. She is wearing a thin jacket and her hands and feet are getting cold.
I might catch a flu. She thought to herself.
She makes her way to the room where Bo Jinyan is in. At the end of the corridor, she gets another surprise.
A narrow streak of light shines through the gap at the bottom of the door. There is emergency lighting equipment!
Jian Yao stand there, stunned for a moment. She knocks on the door.
The door opens. Fluorescent tubes in the ceiling shines brightly. She finds it hard to adjust to the brightness after being in the darkness for so long.
Then she sees a man, blocking most of the light as he stand in front of the doorway.
Jian Yao blinks. She is curious what else is inside the room. But Bo Jinyan quickly stands in front of her to block her view.
“What’s up?’ says the man wearing a huge white surgical mask. All Jian Yao can see is his eyes.
“I am cold, I need to borrow some clothes.” says Jian Yao
After a few moments of silence, he replies :” I don’t like other people wearing my clothes.”
Jian Yao is dumbfounded.
Then he steps back and closes the door.
Darkness surrounds her once again.
While he was closing the door, she noticed Bo Jinyan was wearing surgical gloves. She also saw some round containers sitting on the shelves inside the room. She is not sure what’s in them, but they had something in them.
Jian Yao goes back to the lounge. She sits down for a few minutes, and then she stands up once again. This time, heading toward the kitchen.
She lights up the gas stove top. Jian Yao places her hands close to the yellowish green flame to warm herself up. She looks up and sees a cupboard. The bottle of wine she gifted to Bo Jinyan is sitting on one of the shelves. Without hesitation, she opens the bottle and takes a few sips.
Now that she feels a little warmer, she realises that she is also quite hungry. She begins searching for food in the kitchen.
Empty. There’s nothing in the cabinets. Not even a piece of fruit or biscuit. She looks inside the freezer. Again, it’s empty. She turns to the fridge next. Bingo!
Fish. Lots of fish. Neatly stacked inside the refrigerator. She chooses the biggest one and puts it on the chopping board.
Using the light from her mobile phone, she makes herself a plate of poached fish fillet pieces. It is still pretty dark in the kitchen, but it’s enough for her to prepare the food.
Satisfied with what she has cooked, she places the plate on the dining table and heads back to the kitchen to clean up before she enjoys her meal.
After she is done, she returns to the dining room, only to find the table empty.
A tall white shadow stands on the other side of the table. A pair of hands is holding the plate of food.
“Thump” Bo Jinyan puts the plate back on the table.
“Unpalatable!” He says in his deep voice.
“The fish is boiled for too long. And you added too much salt.”
Jian Yao feels as if a bomb has exploded within her. She walks over to him, takes the plate and brings it back to the other side of the table. “Did I say you can eat it?”
Then she sits down, picks up the chopsticks, and eats in silence.
Bo Jinyan gives no reply. He just stands there, like a quiet white tree. The wind is howling outside. But inside the house, it’s a sharp contrast. Everything seems so still and quiet. The flickering flames from the gas stove are the only movement.
Suddenly, he walks over to her. She keeps her head facing down towards the table and pretends he is not there. In the corner of her eyes, she sees him leaving a man’s jacket on the back of one of the dining chairs. His fingers are slender but plump, not skeletal as Jian Xuan has described.
Jian Yao is a little stunned. But she chooses not to comment.
Then he turns around, and walks into the kitchen.
He rolls up his sleeves. After washing his hands under the faucet, he stands before the chopping board and starts filleting more fish pieces.
He places the pieces of fish on the plate neatly, then one by one he puts them into the pot, and scoops them out quickly, like an experienced chef.
Soon he holds up another plate of poached fish, put it on the table pushes it in front of her.
"This is what poached fish should be like."
Jian Yao looks up at him.
All that work just to prove he can do a better job?
He is standing very close to her. Close enough for Jian Yao to see his face. He is not wearing a mask anymore. But he is wearing a pair of chunky complicated looking glasses with bits of red beam showing on the sides. They are so big that most of his face is covered.
Night vision goggles?
His house has no hand held torches because he wears night vision goggles?
Even with the goggles on, Jian Yao can tell that he has attractive facial features. A slender and straight nose, thin lips and a nice jaw line, Well proportioned and …smooth, not like ‘crumpled concave’ as Jian Xuan described.
Jian Yao protests in silence and refuse to try his fish. She continues to finish what is on her plate.
Without saying another word, Bo Jinyan heads back up the stairs and once again, his tall white shadow disappears in the darkness.
Jian Yao is alone again.
She picks up the jacket. This looks familiar. Ah, it belongs to Fu Ziyu. It was hanging on a cloth rack on the day of their interview. Half way through their conversation, he stood up, walked over to the jacket to retrieve his mobile phone.
She suddenly remembers what Fu Ziyu said. Bo Jinyan is an eccentric guy with no friends.
So, Bo Jinyan is socially challenged and lack interpersonal communication skills.
That thought makes Jian Yao feels a little better. Unable to contain her curiosity any longer, she picks up the chopsticks. She chooses the smallest piece of fish fillet she can find from his plate and puts it in her mouth. Then she moves the remaining pieces of fish around the plate to make it look as if she has not touched the plate at all.
Sigh! She has to admit, it tastes much better than hers.
Jian Yao is awaked by loud banging sounds. She sits up from the sofa, and finds two windows moving with the strong wind. The banging sounds are caused by the windows hitting the frame.
The sky is still dark. The rain seems to have eased a little but the whistling sound of the wind is like a roaring beast.
- If the windows keep banging on the frames, the glass will shatter.
Immediately, she gets up and walks over. When she is in front of the window, she notices Bo Jinyan is also making his way down toward her, obvious concerned after hearing the banging sounds. His face is still mostly dark. He is still wearing those night vision googles.
Jian Yao is too busy to talk to him now. She manages to grab the handle of one of the windows and quickly secure it back to the locked position. As she reaches out for the second window, a gush of wind rips through. A streak of white lightning blinds her eyes. The window is coming towards her with great force.
Jian Yao reflexively turns to escape, while lifting her hands to block her face. She feels a hand clenching her right wrist. She is pulled away from the window. Meanwhile behind her, there’s a loud ‘bang’, followed by a large area of broken glass shattered all over the floor ......
What a close call.
She turns around to face Bo Jinyan. Because they are standing so close to each other, she can smell his scent, masculine and unfamiliar to her. His hand still holding her wrist.
"Thank you." She tries to loosen his grip. The next second, he bends down, lean her back into his arms and carries her.
Jian Yao is shocked: "What are you doing?"
Bo Jinyan looks at her: "I do not think you can bypass all broken glass on the ground without night vision googles."
He walks toward the sofa.
With close proximity to his chest, his faint masculine scent is even more apparent. She feels safe in the arms of this tall and slender man.
Jian Yao feels a little awkward. She’s never been in such close contact with a man before. But there is nothing she can do. She can only hold on to him for now.
"Thank you.” Jian Yao says.
After putting her down on the sofa, he heads to the kitchen. Within a minute,he is back.
"I believe you have come to a conclusion.” He says.
- Huh? Oh, the fish. She thought she concealed the evidence very well. How does he know?
With a honest and calm answer, she says "I admit, your fish is more delicious than mine, but can you not speak in such a condescending manner?”
Bo Jinyan ignores her criticism. Softly, he says to her: "Good night" Jian Yao is sure there’s a smile on his face when he said that. A smile of victory.
He disappears up the stairs again..
Jian Yao wakes up. The storm has passed.
She takes a breathe of the clear cold morning air. Everything that happened last night is like a dream.
She folds Fu Ziyu’s jacket and leaves it on the sofa, takes out a broom, cleans the broken glass in the living room and goes home.
There’s not a lot of people on the street in this time of the day. She heads over to her step-father’s house but he has gone to work. She sends a text to her mom to say she is okay. A few security guards walk past her.
Jian Yao overhears their conversation. They sound anxious and angry.
"It must be him, that Frankenstein."
"Yes, it must be him that has abducted the children."
“We have to do something."
Jian Yao remembers what Lee mentioned previously about the kidnapping cases. The security guards hop in a car and drive off.
Jian Yao knows this is something to do with those cases. She feels it’s important to tell Lee about the security guards. She tries to call him but no one picks up the phone.
Maybe he is somewhere with poor phone signal reception. He did mention he is working in the countryside for a few days. She decides to try again later.
At home. She tells Jian Xuan about the security guards. Jian Xuan tells her that one of the sons of the guards has been missing for a day.
“They have reported it to the police." Jian Xuan said, “But the police won’t do a filing unless he is missing for more than 48 hours."
Jian Yao nods. She tries to call Lee again but she still can’t get through. Feeling very tired, she takes a nap.
Jian Yao wakes up around noon. Scattered clouds, bright sunshine. It’s a nice day outside.
Jian Yao eats a late breakfast and gets ready to leave the house.
”Are you heading back to the villa? Didn’t you just come back from there?"
Jian Xuan asked.
Jian Yao replied: “Just a little work left to complete. I should finish everything today." She pauses and adds, "Yesterday, I saw Bo Jinyan."
"Really? "Is it a scary encounter?” Asks Jian Xuan
Jian Yao don’t know what to say. She gives a sigh. Soon, the work she is doing for Bo Jinyan will come to an end. Bo Jinyan and her will never meet again.
Life will return to normal. The holidays will be over. She will return to B city, where she will work as an intern for a company. She will find a boyfriend, get married and have kids.
But unknown to her now, her life is about to take a turn. This very afternoon, in the villa. Something unexpected will happen. Her life will change dramatically, leading her down a path that is so different from her current dreams and aspirations.