Thursday, December 17, 2020


Back at the hotel, Hua Ze Lei was surprised to have 24 missed calls from his father. He calls him back.

"Pa, what's wrong? Why so many calls? I was just checking out the sights."

"Hua Ze Lei! I sent you over there to do business prospecting. Have you been slacking off? I need you to be more responsible and focus on your job."

"Yes, Pa. I understand."

"Lei, business right now is a little slow. I am worried because I built this business for you - for your future family. I don't want to see you begging in the streets. I don't even want to think that you do not like doing this work. Don't be like your friend Dao Ming Si who turned his back on his family's fortune."

"Who knows he might be living his dream life now? You know Pa, sometimes having money doesn't guarantee happiness."

"Listen to me Lei. Find yourself a nice woman and marry her. I need you to give me a grandchild. Who will inherit this fortune in the future if you do not have a wife and child?"

She is married now, Papa. The woman I love is now my best friend's wife. 

Lei pours himself a glass of whiskey and gulps it down like water. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

"Xiao Tang! Uncle Lei is here!" Lei knocks on the door of Dao Ming Si's home.

Xiao Tang opens the door and hugs Hua Ze Lei.

"Uncle Lei! I was waiting for you for an hour already. Come here and see my toy trains. You ready to play?"

"Sure! Where is your Papa and Mama?"

"Mama is in the kitchen. Papa is in the backyard getting some vegetables that Mama will cook for our lunch."

Xiao Tang and Hua Ze Lei enjoyed their play time together. Xiao Tang then asked, "How did you become Papa and Mama's friend? When we were living in our farm, Papa's only friend was Sha Gege. This is the first time I knew my parents had other friends." 

"Your Papa and Mama were my friends at Yingde University in Taipei. Your Papa was a popular guy on campus."

"Haha. How can Papa be popular? Does being a farmer make you popular?" Xiao Tang asked.

"Your Papa used to be r..."

"Hua Ze Lei!" San Cai shouted.

Lei was startled with San Cai's sudden loud voice. He knew Ah-Si and San Cai have not told their son anything about the life they had back in Taiwan.

"Your Papa used to be 'revolutionary.' He had the weirdest fashion sense."

San Cai gave a sigh of relief.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

The lunch that San Cai prepared was delicious. 

"My compliments to the chef!" Lei raised his glass

"Lei, don't flatter her too much. She's going to expect me to do that every time from now on." Dao Ming Si said smiling.

"Mama, Papa is teasing you again. Don't mind him. You always make good food." Xiao Tang said in defense of his mother.

"I know." San Cai said.

"You know I am just teasing you, sweetie." Dao Ming Si stands up gives San Cai a gentle kiss on the lips.

Lei felt a tug at his heart. It is not right to feel this way. 

They were having dessert when Lei announced that he was going back to Japan in two days. Dao Ming Si asked if he could stay a little longer so that they could spend a few more days together. Hua Ze Lei explained that his father wanted him back with positive results on his business trip. 

Dao Ming Si's phone starts ringing. "Excuse me, I have to take this call." 

"Hello? Sha Ge! How are things going?"

"Ah-Xing! Some 10 men in suits were in the vineyard today. They were asking who owns the place. I said that I am the owner then they started asking for documents of ownership. They do not look local, Ah-Xing. They look Chinese. It must be your mother's henchmen. They must be looking for you. I was able to threaten them with calling the police. They left in a hurry. Ah-Xing, I am worried for you."

Dao Ming Si dropped his phone in disbelief. His face showed fear.

"Dao Ming Si! What's wrong?" San Cai sensed that there is trouble.

"She is moving. She is looking for us. Her men are here." Dao Ming Si said.

"Your mother? Where? How did she know?" San Cai's face went pale.

"Ah-Si, I understand your anxiety over this news. Although I think that maybe 6 years has changed her, I still understand your fear and distrust. But if you really do not want to see your mother, if you fear she will do harm to you and your family, I can take you guys with me to Japan. She will not think of looking for you there." Lei said.

Dao Ming Si was quiet for a moment. He was trying to think of the best solution to keep his family safe.

"Lei, we have been friends since childhood. I would really need your help right now. Your offer of taking us with you to Japan seems to be a good idea, but I know my mother would be contacting you or your father asking about me. She has businesses in Japan too, and I know you know that."

"How can I help you then?" Lei asked.

"If you could use your influence and get us some passports under a different name, I think going back to Taiwan would be better. I can't fly in using my name. My mother will definitely find out about that. A passport with any random Chinese name for me, San Cai and Xiao Tang. We will go back to Taiwan. My mother will not look for me there. She would assume that we will be moving cross border in Europe. Taiwan would be the last place for her to search for me."

"I will try my best. It may take a couple of days, but trust me, I will do what I can. I will go back to the hotel now and start getting things moving. Xiao Tang, Uncle Lei needs to leave now. You be a good boy and take care of your Mama."

"I will, Uncle Lei. Please be back tomorrow if you can."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Later that night, San Cai could not help but cry. She was trying her best to stay strong, but the mere thought of Dao Ming Si's mother and her men are in Spain looking for them gave every fiber of her body an indescribable fear. 

Dao Ming Si took his wife in arms and gave her a tight, reassuring embrace. "Sweetheart, we will be fine. We have been through worst times, remember? Lei will not let me down, you know that. Don't cry anymore, please?"

Dao Ming Si holds San Cai's face, her delicate features still the same as when they were in Yingde. He tilts her face up until their eyes met.

"I love you." Dao Ming Si says and gives San Cai as soft kiss. So gentle, so delicate. He moves away a bit and wipes her tears. 

"San Cai..." he whispers. He starts kissing her again, more passionately this time. San Cai felt like she was going to melt in his arms. She responded to his kisses with equal passion. 

"Dao Ming Si... I love you..." San Cai embraced her husband as he lay her down on the bed. She slid her hand under his shirt and felt his muscular chest, his firm, toned abdomen. Dao Ming Si lay on top of her and they made love. It was an intensely passionate act of love, as if the quell all fear of the uncertain future and the journey they were about to take. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Meanwhile, back in his hotel room, Hua Ze Lei calls his father.

"Pa? I need to stay here a few more days. Let me just finish up on some business dealings and I promise I will bring back good news."

"Alright, my son. But please do not disappoint me. I know you are doing your best, but keep in mind that there are many competitors in the market. We have stay ahead."

"Understood, Pa. Oh, do you have the phone number of your friend who works in the Consular Affairs office? I believe his name is Lin Shen Xin?"

"I do, but why would you need his phone number, Hua Ze Lei? Are you in some kind of trouble there?"

"No, Pa. I met a few friends here and they are Taiwanese nationals. Their passports were stolen. They want to know how they could have it replaced."

"Oh. You almost gave me a heart attack. Wait, let me get that number for you."

"Thanks, Pa."

"Here it is - Lin Shen Xin, 0928-557-138. If you contact him, tell him I said hello."

"Great! Thank you Pa. I will be back there next week."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Yu Tian approached Dao Ming Feng with the news. "Madam, the vineyard does not belong to Young Master Dao Ming Si. I have sent some men over there to check out the property but they reported to me that only a middle aged man lives there and that he does not know a person named Dao Ming Si." 

"Yu Tian, how can that be? The last report you obtained for me was that Ah Si owns that place. He must have suspected he was being followed so he left. Where can we find him now?"

"I will keep on looking, Madam. Please do not worry. Let me call your nurse to take you to your bedroom. Please get some rest now."

"Find my son, Yu Tian. Please."

"Yes, Madam, I will."

As Dao Ming Feng slept, her subconscious mind replays the incident that happened 4 years ago.

Dao Ming Feng has just finished the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a five-star hotel in Keelung. Another future gem to the Dao Ming hotel chain. She was on her way back to Taipei when a tractor trailer lost control along the Sun Yat Sen Freeway and rammed full speed onto Dao Ming Feng's limousine, causing it to flip several times until it fell into a small ravine. 

Ambulance and police sirens were blaring. Dao Ming Feng was trapped inside her overturned limousine, unconscious and barely breathing. Her driver is dead. Dao Ming Feng was taken to National Taiwan University Hospital and is revived and treated for her injuries. 

The accident has caused damage to her spinal cord, causing permanent paralysis from the waist down. The doctors inform her that she will never be able to walk again and will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.

Dao Ming Feng woke up screaming and crying. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

6:00 a.m. 

Dao Ming Si wakes up to his phone ringing. He gets up and walks away so as not to disturb his wife who was still sound asleep.

"Hello?"

"Ah-Si. Its me, Lei. I will be able to secure passports for you. I have spoke with my father's friend and he will do this favor for me. Here's the plan. The passports will be sent to my address in Japan. You will leave Xabia using your current passports and fly to Japan first. I am going to arrange for a place for you to stay in Nagoya while waiting for your passports to arrive. Once you have your new passports, I will help you book a flight back to Taiwan. I think it would be better to land in Kaohsiung airport rather than Taoyuan International. I will notify Ximen to meet you there if that would be okay with you."

"Sounds like a good plan, Lei. Thank you so much. I owe you one."

"What are brothers for? By the way Ah-Si, where do you plan to stay in Taiwan when you return?"

"Hsinchu. I want to stay in Hsinchu City. I want a good education for Xiao Tang and the best schools are in Hsinchu. And I am sure there will be lots of job opportunities there for me and San Cai."

"Okay, Ah-Si. I am going to make some calls again. You have to get ready to move out anytime. Don't worry about the plane fare to Nagoya. It's on me. I am also going to make sure that the place you'll be staying in will be close to my place so if you need any assistance, I can get to you the soonest."

"Thank you again, Lei."

"Can I call Ximen today to let him know? It would be wise to start including him in the plan."

"Yes, please."

"Alright. I will call you again soon. Will let you know how things are going. Be careful Ah-Si. Bye."

"Bye."

San Cai wakes up and says, "Was that Hua Ze Lei you were speaking with on the phone? What did he say? Can he help?"

"Yes. He already has a plan and it is pretty good. He said we should get ready to move out anytime. I will let you know about it after you make me breakfast. I am so hungry!" Dao Ming Si kissed his wife and smiled.

"Oh, you are ALWAYS hungry!" San Cai gets out of bed and heads out towards the kitchen.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Five days later, Dao Ming Si, San Cai and Xiao Tong are at Alicante Airport, waiting to board the plane that will take them to Japan. Lei left the day before and will be waiting for them to arrive at Nagoya.

"I hope and pray that this plan will work out well for us, sweetheart. I do not like to keep running and hiding. It is not good for Xiao Tang."

"I will pray harder. God will keep us safe."

Just as they were entering the gate, Dao Ming Si noticed 5 men in dark suits roaming the lobby of the airport. They seemed to be looking for someone. My mother's henchmen!

"Hurry up, San Cai. We need to board the plane. NOW!" Dao Ming Si lifts Xiao Tang and the couple safely entered the tube and finally got inside the plane. 

Within a few minutes, the plane taxied into the runway and took off. 

Their 20 hour journey has begun. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

© Eileen L. Layno 12/17/2020

Part 1 - Click here
Part 2 - Click here
Part 3 - Click here
Part 4 - Click here
Part 5 - Click here (The Finale)


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