Tea Leaves and Red Silk


Match Twenty-Seven: Downfall:

January fifth, 2014.

10:00 a.m.

Ju knocked on the Zhong House door. Yao squeezed her hand as she took a deep breath.

"Are you sure Ivan is right about this?" she asked. Her lover held the folder under his arm.

"Yes," Yao insisted. "I went over the information myself last night." Ju squeezed his hand back.

"And this will help Qian, Szu, and the rest of the clan?" she asked.

"I am positive a hundred and ten percent," he said. Ju smiled despite still being uneasy. Her mood changed when the door opened. Zhong poked his head outside.

"What do you want?" he hissed.

"I am the leader of the Liao clan," Ju said as polite as she could. "I am here to talk about the matter with your son." At first, the older man strained to get a better look at the slender woman standing before him.

"Liao?" he asked.

"That's right," Ju said.

"Khai's daughter?"

"Yes, sir." She and Yao waited for a negative respond or no real reaction at all. To their shock, Zhong broke into a huge grin and opened the door.

"Welcome!" he said. "I have been expecting you!" Ju gave him a puzzled look. She had come prepared to fight a potentially long war with one of her father's close allies. This warm 180 threw her back.

"Well, what are you standing out there for?" Zhong asked. "Come inside!" Ju turned to an equally stunned Yao. The best thing they could do was be on their guard as they walked into the big Zhong House.

-Three Days Earlier-

Ju slumped back at her desk. Her uncle's appearance made the situation even worse. It took her, Yao, Hen-to, Fei, and Man to convince the police that Qian didn't order an assault on Junjie. As of right now, she had two problems to clear up.

Ju lifted her head when she heard a knock on her door.

"Yeah?" she asked.

"Is this a bad time?" she heard Bik on the other side of the door. Ju sighed.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Could I get you anything?" the nurse asked.

"No. Can I just be alone for a while?"


Ju didn't move as she heard footsteps walking away from the office door. She leaned back in her chair and looked at the ceiling. Junjie was a spoiled brat who was begrudgingly protected by his father. Still, she had a small advantage to her situation. Zhong and Khai were good friends since they were in high school. Just maybe… She could reach through and clear up this mess. Maybe even get a small piece of justice for Szu. Ju felt herself slip back into her hole.

What do I say to him, though?


Yao and Ju sat across from Zhong and his family. The head of the clan held his teacup.

"Have you come here to explain why Man's son beat up my son?" he asked. Ju moved her hands into her lap.

"It has come to my attention that your sister has raped one of the girls in my clan," she said. Zhong's wife gritted her teeth.

"Liar!" she screamed. "My son would never do that! You have no proof! She probably seduced him and is now screaming rape!" Ju gave her a dirty look as she resisted the urge to scream at her. Zhong waved off his wife.

"May I ask why you would bring such an allegation to me?" he asked.

"Trying to have Sun's son arrested would only expose your son's criminal behavior," Ju reasoned with him as calmly as she could. "All I ask is that you make this easier for us all and turn your son in for rape." Junjie rolled his eyes and his mother clenched her fists.

"How dare you?!" she screamed. "We ought to sue you for slander and harassment! That little whore is a liar!"

"Shut up, dear!" her husband snapped. He turned his attention back to Yao and Ju. "And why exactly should I turn in my own son?"

"You might want to change your mind after you read this," Yao said as he handed the man the folder. Zhong raised an eyebrow.

"What is this?" he asked.

"Read it," Yao said. The clan leader ripped open the top and reached inside. The pair across the glass coffee table waited as he began reading the test results.

-Last Night-

Yao was about to go to bed when his cell phone rang.

"Hello?" he asked.

"Yao, I'm so glad I caught you," a familiar Russian voice said. Usually, Yao would tremble in panic when he heard him calling him. Tonight was different, however.

"Tell me you have some good news," the Chinese man said. "Do we have anything that we could use to convince Zhong to send his son to prison?"

"You are going to love this, da," Ivan said on the other line. Yao could tell by his tone that the Russian man was smiling.

"Go on," he said.

"Well, I had Toris to do a little snooping around the health clinics and police databases in China and he came across something you are going to love."

"What is it?"

"You haven't forgotten your end of the bargain, da?"

Yao pressed his hand to his forehead. "No, I haven't."

"Good, I will deliver the information to you in the morning. Good night." Ivan hung up before Yao had the chance to ask again. He puffed up his cheeks as he stared at his phone. Unless it was in the bedroom, he hated teasing.


Zhong's hands trembled as he lowered the DNA test results. He whipped his head around to his wife and Junjie.

"What is the meaning of this?" he asked with a tone so cold. His wife gave him a doe-eyed look.

"What are you talking about?" she asked.

"Junjie is not my son!" he shouted. The heir's jaw dropped as his mother panicked.

"Honey, wait! Let me explain," she said.

"Who is the father?"


"Who is the father?!"

His wife lowered her head. "Cheng."

Zhong's nostrils flared. "Cheng? You slept with my rival?"

"It was only a one-night stand. You were in prison and I was lonely. Cheng was being so nice to me while you were away." She desperately grabbed his arm. "But that's all in the past, right? You won't send our son to jail because of one lying little skank, will you? Don't you love your son?"

Zhong shoved her away, red-headed face. "I want you gone!"

His wife broke down into whimpering. "Please don't do this!"

"Dad!" Junjie shouted.

"You are not my son!" Zhong shouted. He turned back to Yao and Ju. "Do as you like with him!" He stood up and stormed out of the living room. Junjie turned to them with a panicked look in his eyes.

"I'll pay you!" he cried. "How much do you want?" Ju choked back her laughter.

"With what money?" she asked. Junjie drew his big mouth closed as his mother broke down sobbing.

"You can't fix this with money," Ju said. "You hurt somebody dear to me. Szu is like a little sister to me. You have two options now, either turn yourself into the police or we will do it for you." Junjie glared with his nostrils flared.

"Fuck you," he muttered under his breath.

"Fine," she said. "I gave you a chance." The young woman pulled out her cell phone and made the call. Before the morning was over, Junjie was taken away in handcuffs by the police. In the days to follow, his victims came forward gave their statements.

Junjie's ex who turned him in could finally move. Still, Ju had to deal with her uncle and that missing money from the clan.

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