Tang Yi paced a room in the hotel waiting for the confirmation that the auction had started. Zhao Zi was at the table, monitoring the hotel cameras. Hao Ting sat on the bed, with Sheng Zhe and Zi Xuan occupying the dining table.
“It’s taking too long,” Tang Yi growled out.
“Maybe they have a longer briefing,” Zhao Zi assured Tang Yi. A static sound crackled over their speakers.
“It was a trap! Kuo Gang was waiting for us,” Jack’s voice boomed. Tang Yi felt his heart rate increase. Please, Shao Fei, be safe.
“They got Yi Jie,” Sheng Zhe stood up and ran to Zhao Zi.
“But Yu Hao has a recording that shows they need him alive,” Andy added. Tang Yi pressed the comms.
“What else?” Tang Yi asked. The comms turned quiet before Jack replied.
“They took Shao Fei too,”
Tang Yi zoned out after that, not noticing that Hao Ting had rushed over to catch him from falling flat onto the floor. Zi Xuan appeared in front of him, calling his name. But all Tang Yi could think of was Shao Fei.
“Officer Meng, you okay?” Shi Yi Jie asked once they cuffed him and Shao Fei inside a black van. Kuo Gang stopped the black sedan he had used to transfer Shao Fei from the hotel a few blocks away and forced Shao Fei into this black van where Desmond and Yi Jie were already waiting.
“So they were after you,” Shao Fei summed up. That’s why they didn’t cancel the auction, choosing instead to proceed. Shao Fei could see Kuo Gang answering a call from inside, but he couldn’t make out the words.
“Why did you take him?” the caller hissed. Kuo Gang raised an eyebrow. He could take whoever he wanted.
“I can do what the fuck I want,” Kuo Gang retaliated. The caller cursed.
“You were supposed to take Yu Xi Gu. If you had followed the plan, they wouldn’t be able to make a report to the police since it was an illegal operation,” the caller insisted. “Now we have to kidnap him, and that could cause trouble,”
“Oh don’t worry Captain. We don’t need Yu Xi Gu anymore. Actually, I have another candidate in mind,”
Edward Ma cut off the call. How dare Kuo Gang take Meng Shao Fei! Didn’t he know who the detective belonged to?
He has to push the production of Crystal soon.
“Get them to the safe house,” Kuo Gang instructed. “And don’t say unnecessary things,” he warned Desmond.
“Geeze, okay!” Desmond agreed, stepping into the van with a gun. The driver sped off, taking them along a small hill road.
“Why does every villain hideout have to be on a hill, surrounded by forests?” Shao Fei joked, turning to look at Yi Jie. They sat side by side, handcuffed to each other, followed by Desmond behind them, pointing a gun towards them both (sounds familiar?)
“I agree. Can’t they have a resort vibe hideout?” Desmond complained too.
“Tang Yi’s house is on the outskirts of Taipei, still surrounded by forests,” Shao Fei added. He eyed Yi Jie, who nodded subtly, then looked at the gun in Desmond’s hand. Yi Jie nodded again, showing that he understood.
“Tang Yi should move house. He’s damn rich!” Desmond stated, waving the gun around. Shao Fei waited for the gun to reach in the middle of the seat before bringing their joined hands down, to clamp Desmond’s. He was about to kick the gun away, and possibly cause a vehicle crash (again) when Shi Yi Jie used his free hand to twist the gun into his hand. Yi Jie then pointed the gun towards Desmond. Shao Fei was flabbergasted, not believing the smooth move Yi Jie just executed.
“Yi Jie...wow. I should get trained by Jack,” Shao Fei murmured.
“That you should. Now, stop the van,” Yi Jie cocked the gun, showing that he was serious. Desmond shouted to the driver to stop the van. Shao Fei opened the door and urged Yi Jie to get out with him.
“Where are you gonna go? This is all forest!” Desmond tried to persuade them. Shao Fei looked around, then smiled.
“It’s okay. I know this area,” both of them backed out and disappeared into the dense trees. Desmond waited for a minute before taking out his phone.
“Hei...Kuo baby...we have a problem,”
“Yi Jie! Activate our emergency cuffs,” Shao Fei instructed, leading Yi Jie up the hill.
“Where are you taking me? Do you really know this place?” Yi Jie huffed out, pocketing the gun after pressing his cufflinks. Shao Fei just looked back at him and then gave a thumbs up.
“I can’t believe it, but me and Tang Yi were in the same situation before. The only difference was I got sliced at my arm and had an infection-induced fever, but we escaped too, using the same method. And I think...we’re even in the same forest,” Shao Fei laughed out loud.
“Keep it together! They could be after us,” Yi Jie looked around for another presence, but the only sounds he could hear so far were his own breath and Shao Fei’s laughter.
“They will call for backup, sure. But I know where we can hide,” Shao Fei pointed uphill. “And Tang Yi is going to find us first. Hey, pick up some firewood,”
“The fuck. Did you and Tang Yi go for a scouts camping trip?”
Andy went to retrieve Yu Hao from the lobby to rendezvous with the rest of the team. Jack had gone ahead to brief the team about what happened. As soon as he got to the part about Shi Yi Jie and Yu Hao going after Desmond, his cufflink blinked and let out a beeping sound. Xi Gu’s cuff also did the same.
“It’s the SOS signal!” Zhao Zi exclaimed, beaming. He went to his laptop to turn on the GPS location for the cuffs. The rest of the team crowded his working space.
“What’s happening?” Andy and Yu Hao asked when they saw every one cornering Zhao Zi. They joined too, naturally.
“Shao Fei’s and Yi Jie’s cuff were activated. The signals are coming from here,” Zhao Zi pointed out to a forest area just outside of Taipei. Tang Yi took one look at it and laughed.
“I know where he’s heading. Jack, bring Yu Qi and Jun Wei with us. If we encounter Kuo Gang and his men, at least we have people who can legally carry guns,” Tang Yi instructed. He addressed Sheng Zhe and Zi Xuan without looking at them as he strapped a gun to his waist. “I need one of you in case they require first aid. I assume Sheng Zhe wants to volunteer?”
Tang Yi looked up to see Sheng Zhe already at the door, the first aid kit ready in hand.
“Hurry it up old man,” Sheng Zhe urged. Tang Yi thinks Sheng Zhe is starting to sound a little bit too much like Yi Jie by the day.
“So...tell me again how you guys ended up in this abandoned shack,” Yi Jie grunted as he piled the firewood into one neat stack. Shao Fei fumbled with his pants pocket, then gave a triumphant shout when he found the lighter. Yi Jie gave a questioning look. As far as he has known Meng Shao Fe, the detective doesn’t smoke.
“Oh, I don’t smoke. Tang Yi has one from his adopted father, and I thought it was cute if I had a similar one made. But Tang Yi doesn’t know so please don’t tell him,” Shao Fei grinned, lighting up their woodpile. They sat side by side as Shao Fei started telling him about the time he got kidnapped with Tang Yi. By the time he was finished, the fire started to die out, so Shao Fei used his hands to fan the flames back. Yi Jie was about to ask him if Shao Fei knew how to do the thumb hack thing so that he could get his hands free when he heard movements nearby. Yi Jie stomped on the firewood to put out the fire and tugged Shao Fei up.
“Someone’s here!” Shao Fei scattered the firewood and pulled Yi Jie into the room where he slept. He pressed himself close to the edge of a corner, out of view but even in the dark his white shirt could be seen. Yi Jie took an executive decision and covered him with his body since he was smart enough to wear black to the auction.
“If you say one word to Sheng Zhe I did this…,” Yi Jie whispered, half sweating if they were caught like this by Tang Yi. He took out the gun and cocked it.
“Hey, there’s a shack! Let’s check it out,” a voice that definitely doesn’t belong to someone they know shouted nearby. Yi Jie and Shao Fei closed their eyes, hoping that the perpetrators would just skim the outside without coming in. Yi Jie pressed closer to Shao Fei, praying that something miraculous happened. The men came inside and saw the scattered piles of wood.
“They were here. It looked like they put it out in a hurry,” one man commented.
“They might have left when they heard us coming,” his comrade replied. Then he noticed a room to his right. “Let’s just sweep in there then head out,” he instructed, then went to the room where Shao Fei and Yi Jie were. Both of them held their breath and prepared to fight if they were discovered.
Yi Jie and Shao Fei could see the tip of the man’s foot stepping into the room. Yi Jie brought up his hand with the gun, aiming for the head. As soon as he sees them, he'll blow his brains out.
Just as Yi Jie was about to shoot the man, a ringtone bleared to life. The man retreated and answered his phone.
“Wei? What?! Okay okay!” he hastily ended the call. “New instructions, come on,” he called out to his partner. They left in a hurry, leaving Yi Jie and Shao Fei to breathe a sigh of relief. Both slumped down to have a sit, but Yi Jie pulled Shao Fei down to lay on the floor. Shao Fei protested but then realized he was just as tired as Yi Jie, laying down on his back. Yi Jie turned on his stomach, as his right hand was cuffed to Shao Fei’s left, making them lay side by side, as to avoid laying on top of Shao Fei. He would have preferred to lay on his back, but since Shao Fei’s left was immediately cordoned by a wall, he had no choice but to pick this alternative. The gun was somewhere beside him.
“That was so close,” Yi Jie whispered. He laughed a bit, not believing that he was this close to getting caught. They waited a couple of minutes before Shao Fei shivered. He whined and told Yi Jie to start the fire again while reaching for his lighter.
“Shit, it’s in my back pocket. Yi Jie! You’re closer to it, put your hand in there,” Shao Fei instructed, lifting his right side so that Yi Jie could take the lighter. Yi Jie used his free hand to try and fish out of his right back pocket but turned out empty-handed.
“It’s in the other one,” Yi Jie answered. Shao Fei tried to reach for it, but his left hand was limited due to the handcuffs.
“I can’t reach it. Wait, let’s try this,” Shao Fei turned on his side, making Yi Jie do the same. Because he needed to reach into his back pocket, he sort of pulled Yi Jie closer to his body, making both of their hands reach towards his ass.
“If that guy came in now, he would think I’m grabbing your ass as we lay face to face smooching,” Yi Jie complained. He was close to Shao Fei’s face. Shao Fei grunted but his reach was still restrained by the cuffs. He pulled harder, accidentally falling back on his back, pulling Yi Jie with him to cover his body.
“The fuck? Meng Shao Fei!” Yi Jie scolded. He tried to pull his hand away, but both were pinned down by the combined weight of their bodies. Shao Fei chose to ignore him, instead focusing on trying to grab the lighter. Yi Jie braced his elbow to put some space between them, while Shao Fei lifted his hips to get the lighter out of his pocket while his free right hand pushed at Yi Jie’s chest in an attempt to make the man lift his weight a bit.
“Are you grabbing my Shao Fei’s ass as you lay face to face?” Tang Yi’s voice growled from the doorway. Both Yi Jie and Shao Fei froze and stared at the newcomers. Jack’s face was all grin, while Jun Wei and Yu Qi blushed and pointed to them both, mouths gaping. Sheng Zhe was gesturing a ‘really? Yi Jie’ look, one hand on a first aid kit.
Tang Yi glared at Yi Jie, the hand holding his gun twitching. He soaked the scene with an accusing stare, Shao Fei, trying to buck Yi Jie away, hips lifted and hand on the man’s chest. Yi Jie, bracing one hand beside Shao Fei, body on top of his boyfriend with his left hand grabbing Shao Fei’s ass.
“I’m going to bury you, Shi Yi Jie!” Tang Yi swore, cocking the gun and pointing it towards Yi Jie. Jack sprang into action, and held Tang Yi back, but was clearly enjoying the mayhem. Yu Qi and Jun Wei placed themselves in between the two, trying to persuade Tang Yi to put down his gun.
And Sheng Zhe calling out to Tang Yi to ‘do it, shoot him!’ was not helping to calm the situation at all.