Delicate Touch

Chapter 8

Mu Jing was checking the yacht's engine room when Alex blew in, panic cascading off of him in waves. "They found the girls and the others are busted! We need to go!"

"What do you mean-"

"I mean we're finished!" Alex shrieked. "It's all over the news! They found the girls!"

"What about my brother?"

"What about him?"

She grabbed him by the shirt. "Is he all right?"

"How the hell should I know? We need to move! Now!"

Mu Jing fumed for a few seconds longer, then let go of Alex and walked out. He followed.

Chang was already at the car, looking around in fear, almost hopping up and down. They climbed in, Chang behind the wheel, and drove away.


They sent Chang in to rent the room. Since the family they had taken hostage had seen his face the least, they figured his description wouldn't be in the news. Chang told the landlord he was having marital problems and just needed a place to stay by himself until he got things sorted out. The landlord understood and offered a six-month lease.

Mu Jing, whose description would almost certainly have been given to the media by now, snuck into the room. Alex ditched the car on the other side of the island and rode the bus back. Chang bought groceries. By 9 PM they were holed up, safe and free for the moment, glumly watching the news.

Hung, Sue, Lynn, and Yen watched the same news broadcast in Lynn's hospital room.

"All six abducted girls are safe tonight, thanks to a dramatic and daring rescue by the police," the newswoman said. "At his press conference, Chief Lu Cheng Jiang praised officer Kong Yat-hung for tracking down the kidnappers. Officer Kong Yat-hung fought with three of the kidnappers around two this afternoon, and during the fight, she managed to slip her own cell phone into the jacket pocket of one of the kidnappers without them knowing. Police then traced the phone's GPS to the kidnappers' hideout, which they raided about four. Some of the kidnappers were killed in the shootout, including the gang's leader, Zhu Bo Shi. No police were killed, but two policemen were injured, one of them critically. Several members of the kidnapping gang were not present at the time of the raid, and are still at large."

Mu Jing stared at the television for a long time, her face expressionless. Alex and Chang left her alone.


Sue muted the television and said to Hung, "Nice work!"

Hung smiled. "You, too! Your help was crucial."

"I was glad to do it."

"And I'm glad you did it, too," Lynn said. "It feels good to know that World Panorama is being used the way Papa wanted it." She smiled wistfully. "It feels good to save lives."

Hung smiled at her, and Sue nodded.

"I'm just glad it all worked out," Hung said. "And really, Siu-ma deserves a lot of the credit. He's the one who pursued a lead I had dismissed. That boy is going places, I can feel it."

A nurse entered with a clipboard, a cup of water, and some pills. Lynn sat up, preparing to take her evening medicine.

"Any word on when Lynn will be discharged?" Yen asked.

"The doctor said he'd like her to stay one more night, just to be sure," the nurse replied.

"The doctor said he'd be in to see me after dinner, but he hasn't," Lynn said. "Where is he?"

"Busy. You know all those girls the police rescued tonight? A lot of the kidnappers were shot, and they're upstairs being treated. Every available doctor was called up, and the police are all over the place, making sure they behave. Making sure the kidnappers behave, that is, not the doctors. Anyway, it's a real circus up there. So he's all tied up doing that."

Lynn looked at Hung. "Oh, so it's your fault my doctor's busy."

Hung grinned.

The nurse turned to Hung. "How is it your fault?"

"I'm a policewoman, and I took part in that raid. I'm afraid some of those wounds they're treating came from me."

"Ah, well," the nurse said. "I'm glad you're okay, and I'm so glad you rescued those poor girls."

"She's not just a policewoman, she's my girlfriend!" Sue exclaimed with pride.

"Oh, that's nice," the nurse said. "Where did you two meet?"

"In a record store," Sue said smoothly.

Hung had to bite her lip to keep from laughing.

"Do you know when the doctor will be able to see me?" Lynn asked.

"No idea," the nurse said. "It's just so crazy up there. Did you know one of the kidnappers actually got crushed by a car? How does that even happen?"

Hung casually put a hand to her face and bit her lip even harder.

"So it might not even be tonight," the nurse continued. "It's such a madhouse. It's just like that day two weeks ago. We had eleven people come in at the same time. Each one was a security guard who had been shot once in the leg. Can you believe it? Eleven leg gunshot wounds at once!"

"The world is very strange," Lynn said, and swallowed her pills.

Chapter 7 Chapter 9

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