Simon could be the person that is behind all this.
“Hi Jack. I have a gift for you.”
Xie Han is sitting on the sofa. He is reading the “Was.h.i.+ngton Economic Times”. In the cla.s.sified section, he finds a message. he is overjoyed. He quickly walks down the stairs to the cellar where Jian Yao is.
This is a villa in the countryside of a small town. The house was used as a warehouse during the civil wars. Now it’s his little playground.
He hurries downstairs and finds Jian Yao still tied up in the same position where he left her.
“Oh…” He sighs. He puts the newspaper in his hand on the sofa. He releases the locks on her limbs and carry her in his arms.
She coils up into a ball. Her face is as white as a sheet of paper, and her hands and feet are cold. She tries hard not to move at all. She is not sure if she can take any more threats and intimidation. She might collapse.
Xie Han is very gentle. He puts her down on a big comfortable sofa. Then he takes off his suit jacket and places it over her body. He sits down besides her and wraps his hand around her shoulder. He leans over and gives her a kiss on her cheek.
His actions frightens her. She stiffens her body even more. But he doesn't seem to notice her rigidness. He picks up the newspaper and says to her: “Good news and bad news. What do you want to hear first?”
Jian Yao tries hard to control the shake in her voice. She answers softly in a coa.r.s.e voice: “…bad news.”
He smiles and shows her the cla.s.sified page: “Our little Tommy is back.”
Jian Yao looks at the part of the paper he is pointing at. Her heart sinks. This must be the usual way of how they communicate to each other. It’s obviously a secret between the two of them. Others have no way of knowing or imitating it.
Jinyan… you have enemies in front and behind you at the same time?
What are you going to do?
Xie Han knows what is going through her mind. He says with a smile: “Don’t be discouraged. I have not shared the good news yet.” He throws the newspaper onto the coffee table. Then he leans back onto the sofa again. Jian Yao doesn't dare to move, not even a tiny bit. She waits for him to speak.
“The good news is…” he says slowly: “Simon might be behind all this.”
Jian Yao is startled by his comment. Xie Han continues: “ Tommy cannot defeat Simon. Perhaps he thinks he’s escaped, but Simon is watching his every move. That’s possible too.”
He picks up her hand. He examines and admires his own handy work for a while. Then he says: “Relax. Do you know what I am going to do next?”
Jian Yao keeps quiet.
He laughs: “I am not going to reply. No matter what happens to Tommy, they won’t get a word out of me. Simon takes a risky step, but his efforts will be futile. What a waste.”
After ‘sharing’ the news with her, he sits at the sofa to watch a bit more television. Then, like a gentleman, he says good night to Jian Yao and leaves.
Jian Yao hears the noise of a closing door from a distance. She is still sitting on the sofa. He must be really happy. He forgot to lock her back in the cage.
But it doesn’t make much difference.
Jian Yao picks up a box of tissues from the coffee table. She walks over to the sink and starts to rinse the dried blood off her wounds. A round of pain comes over her. She is used to it. She looks into the mirror. She sees a woman that is pale and thin. Is that her?
Just like Xie Han, she wonders what’s Bo Jinyan’s next move. She knows that he has successfully aroused his curiosity. At least for now - Xie Han’s attention is on Tommy. He seems to have lost interest in torturing and skinning her.
But Jinyan, what are you going to do next? How long can you keep his attention?
Xie Han sits at his desk. He is searching the internet on all the lastest news on Tommy. Then he leans back and looks at the fields outside the window.
His goal is to win Bo Jinyan over. Someone that is as superior and proud as him. The only person in the world that is worthy to be his partner. They have had a few rounds of contests. Sometimes he wins, sometimes Bo Jinyan wins. He is more sure than ever that he made the right decision. Bo Jinyan is his own match.
To get Bo Jinyan, the first thing he has to do is to crush him. Lead him to the lowest point of his life. Wait until he is most vulnerable… then he can capture him.
He is very confident Bo Jinyan will eventually submit to him. Because they are very similar people. People with the same nature. Oh… angels and demons, it’s a fine line between the two. Once the demon in Bo Jinyan’s heart is awakened, they will be together, forever.
As for Jian Yao…. she is disrupting his plans. The more he thinks about it, the ‘present’ of a piece of her skin will not be enough. He needs a bigger blow. Bo Jinyan needs to receive the suicide note. A note that contains all her regrets, pains and sufferings. This is the weapon Xie Han needs to send him to h.e.l.l.
However, this woman’s tenacity is more than he had expected. It’s almost one week. Even under the influence of drugs, she refuses to write a suicide note. He is losing interest in torturing her. And he knows in his heart. Even if he peels off her skin, she will not lift the pen. This quality reminds him of Bo Jinyan, and Li Xunran. Stubborn and headstrong. He admires this. It makes him a little reluctant to kill her…
But anyway… something else intrigues him now.
He looks at the newspaper cla.s.sified ad again. His eyes lands on the word ‘present’.
He knows exactly what Tommy means by ‘present’ - Tommy is jealous of Bo Jinyan. He wants to kill Bo Jinyan and give it to Xie Han as a present.
Tommy wors.h.i.+ps and loves his mentor. He cannot tolerate his position being replaced by Bo Jinyan. If he gets rid of Bo Jinyan, then he will still be Xie Han’s only partner.
Xie Han laughs out loud.
Tommy… Tommy… you are no match for Bo Jinyan. You are doomed.
However, it’s an interesting twist to the game. How exciting.
He can rest for a while and watch the two of them fight each other.
Two days later. Early morning.
Xie Han is sitting at the dining table, having breakfast. He is holding today’s “Was.h.i.+ngton Economic Times”.
After breakfast, he turns to the cla.s.sified section. As he expected, Tommy has contacted him again.
“My dear. I am still your only friend.” Xie Han works backwards. This message is printed more than 8 hours ago. That means at the time, Tommy is still free - or least he considers himself to be.
Xie Han smiles. He puts aside the paper. There’s a pile of newspaper on the desk. Everyday, Tommy sends him a message.
Oh….Simon, Tommy, without any reply from me… are you both disappointed?
He sits back on the sofa. He switches on the TV and watches the news.
Economic summit meeting, presidential voting trends, a hurricane that is sweeping through Louisiana…. This world is so dull and boring. He turns on the surveillance camera images. In his underground playground, Jian Yao is quiet as a cat, curled up in the sofa.
Xie Han smiles. As he picks up a gla.s.s of red wine, the voice of the news presenter on television catches his attention: “We have the latest news on the flower cannibal case….”
“Breaking news: The flower cannibal has sent the TV station a secret parcel.”
What is this all about?
What happened next took him completely by surprise.
Xie Han puts down his gla.s.s. He fixes his eyes on the screen. The news presenter looks more serious than usual. She says with a clear voice: “We received a parcel from Tommy, the flower cannibal no.2 ten minutes ago. It’s dispatched from the Pelican Bay prison. This is a USB stick with a video footage. Please be warned. What you are about to see is disturbing and brings great shame to the whole of the United States, FBI, and the US and Chinese police.”
She pauses for a while, then she continues: “This footage is from two years ago. The person in the video is the consultant for the Chinese police, an ex-a.n.a.lyst for the FBI, the famous Maryland University Professor - Bo Jinyan. Simon.”