Delicate Touch

Chapter 4

"I moved all the computer equipment into our apartment," Sue said. "I set most of it up around five this morning. I never knew how much I would miss it! I missed it more than food!"

"It's interesting how you call it your apartment," Lynn said. "It's Hung's apartment. It sounds to me like you're just a guest there."

Sue waved this away. "She'll get used to it. We need to find you and Yen a nice house nearby. I don't want to let you too far out of my sight. Somebody's got to take care of you!"

Lynn rolled her eyes.

The door opened. Lynn looked up and found herself locking eyes with Kong Yat-hung.

"May I come in?" Hung asked. She carried a vase of flowers.

Lynn smiled and nodded. Sue rose to greet Hung, who set the flowers on the bedside table.

"Those are lovely!" Lynn said. "Thank you."

"Hung, this is Lynn's fiance, Yen," Sue said. "Yen, this is the officer who didn't arrest us."

They shook hands. "Pleasure to meet you," Hung said.

"Pleasure," Yen said.

"I'm glad to see you're going to live," Hung said to Lynn, smiling.

She and Lynn looked at each other, and each woman felt strange.

"This is much different than the first time we met," Lynn said.

"Thankfully so," Hung said.

They were silent for a moment, so Sue spoke up.

"Actually, that's more true than you know!" she said. "Because the first time you two met, it actually wasn't in the parking garage last week."

They looked at Sue with a little surprise, Hung raising an eyebrow. Sue smiled gleefully, barely able to contain herself.

"Oh?" Hung asked. "And when did we meet before?"

Sue began reciting facts. "Chen Ai Lin, born October 28, 1976, at 3:37 AM in Li Hai hospital, placed in crib number two at 3:58 AM. Kong Yat-hung, born October 28, 1976, at 4:19 AM in Li Hai hospital, placed in crib number three at 4:45 AM." Sue grinned and bounced on her toes. "You were cribmates!"

They all smiled, and Hung and Lynn looked at each other.

"I thought I recognized you," Hung said.

Lynn laughed.

Sue made eye contact with Yen and jerked her head toward the door. "Yen and I are gonna go get some coffee."

They left the cribmates alone. Hung sat in the chair.

"Sue told me what happened," Lynn said. "Thank you. Thank you for not arresting us. But more importantly, thank you for keeping her safe. That means more to me than I can ever say."

Hung smiled. "Like I told her...the Computer Angel has died and will commit no more crimes."

"Even so, we did commit crimes. I did, really. Sue just helped."

"You know, as a police officer, I get to deal with humanity's garbage. I meet scum every day. Murderers, rapists, drug dealers, wife-beaters." Hung shook her head. "It can get old. Personally, just between you and me, I like being challenged by someone who's my equal, and in that respect, I really enjoyed going up against you.

"But it wasn't just that. You and Sue were different. You were still criminals, but investigating you was like finding a beautiful meadow in the middle of the city dump. Sue told me how the two of you never accepted a job unless you investigated the target yourselves and determined that he truly was a nasty person, responsible for others' misery. You went out of your way not to kill security guards. You played old love songs for your enemies while carrying out a hit. From the very beginning, I knew you were going to turn out to be someone unique.

"And you did. You and Sue both. You're not criminals, you're young women whose parents were murdered, and that led you to make a wrong turn." Hung shook her head. "You're not jail material. You're good people. And I like you."

Lynn was smiling. "I think it's Sue you like."

Hung blushed. "Yes, well...I like you both. Really."

"And may I ask what your intentions are towards my younger sister?"

Hung laughed. "You know, you have to let her go some time!"

"I have let her go. I did that the night you and I fought. Did she tell you we had an argument that night?"


"We did. I had actually canceled that contract because I wanted to get married. I wanted both of us to quit and live a normal life. It was Sue who secretly tried to carry out that hit without me, because she wanted out of my shadow and out of my control. I didn't realize until it was almost too late that I had to let her take her own path, and if we had just talked about that, maybe none of this would have happened."

"I know you'll always feel protective of Sue. As well you should."

"She's everything to me," Lynn whispered.

Hung said softly, "The night we took on Chow Nunn and all of his hired should have seen her. She was magnificent. And she did it all for you."

Lynn smiled. "I know. And yes, I have let her go. She's a big girl and doesn't need me to look after her. But she still means the world to me, so out of curiosity...what are your intentions towards my younger sister?"

Hung smiled. "Nothing dishonorable."

"She hero-worships you, you know."

Hung nodded. "A little bit, yes. But time will cure her of that. And when the day comes that she regards me as a person rather than someone to idolize, she may realize that she doesn't really love me. I don't know. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, I...really enjoy being with her. I'll even go so far as to say that I think I'm falling in love with her."

Lynn smiled.

Hung leaned forward and took her hand. "And I can tell you one thing for sure. As long as it is within my power, I will never let anyone harm her."

Tears sprang to Lynn's eyes. "Thank you."

Without even thinking about it, they hugged.

After a few seconds they let go. Lynn wiped her eyes. There was comfortable silence between them for a few moments.

"There's something you should know about Sue," Lynn said.

"What's that?"

"She video tapes just about everything she ever does. She's in love with her camera."

"Does she ever go back to watch any of these videos?"

"Not that I'm aware of."

"Then why does she do it?"

"I've always been too afraid to ask. It doesn't bother me, because I grew up with it. But if the thought of being filmed while you eat dinner or watch TV disturbs you, I suggest you sort that out with her ASAP."

Hung sighed. "Well, first it was the cigarettes, and now this."

"What about cigarettes?"

"I smoke, and Sue isn't happy about that."

Lynn grinned. "Sounds like you two are going to have lots of fun."

Hung gave her a mock-weary look. "Yeah. Right. So how long are they going to keep you here?"

"They don't know. They tell me I have stitches that will come apart if I stretch or move too quickly. They don't even want me to get out of bed unless I have to."

"Any permanent damage?"


"That's good."

After a brief pause, Lynn said, "Sue tells me you're investigating the missing girls."

Sue and Yen returned with a tray full of coffees.

"I am," Hung said.

"Any luck?" Lynn asked.

Hung shook her head, and gratefully accepted a coffee from Sue. "What I said about going up against someone who will give me a challenge...that doesn't apply to people who kidnap teenage girls. That's not enjoyable at all, challenge or no challenge. But these abductions...I just don't know. My gut tells me it's a gang, not a single person, because the crimes are too perfect for one person to pull off consistently. They don't make mistakes. They strike perfectly, every time. Each girl is alone, there are no witnesses, and no video. They've taken six girls in eight days. The girls have nothing in common among all of them. They come from all different walks of life and economic backgrounds. They just vanish, and we have nothing to go on!"

"Could World Panorama help?" Lynn asked.

Sue shook her head. "Without a location to hack into, what can we do? We can't just look through millions of cameras randomly."

Hung sighed. "It's a real bitch. And personally, my biggest fear is that the police are under so much pressure to do something that we'll crack, and arrest the wrong person or make rash decisions just to get people off our backs." She took a sip of her coffee. "That's when police work becomes the worst – when we're supposed to deliver something to a schedule rather than investigating reality."

"If there's anything we can do to help, please let us know," Lynn said.

"Thanks, I will. But right now I can't think of anything."

Hung's phone rang. "It's Siu-ma," she said, and answered it. She listened for a moment, then said sharply, "I'm on my way."

She set her cup down. "You can have my coffee. Siu-ma has a lead on the missing girls. I've got to go."

"Go get 'em!" Sue said, and gave her a quick kiss.

Hung nodded to Yen and Lynn, and said, "I'll come visit tomorrow, if that's all right."

"Visit any time," Lynn said, and Hung could tell she meant it.

Hung nodded and left.

Chapter 3 Chapter 5

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