huang zitao

vine

i feel like tao could be a model

vine

Tao walking into comeback rehearsals like

Paradoxical Harmony

Table of Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Chapter 23. Epilogue

Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.

Red emerged before you like a sea washed ashore.  Already, you were in defense mode.  She struck once, twice, thrice as you continuously dodged by spinning your body against the barbed wire enclosure.  Chunk.  Chunk.  Chunk.  Swush.  The blade scraped the side of your abdomen, drawing beads of crimson but nothing too critical.  Though, your mind drummed with mental torment and trepidation at the thought that if you had just taken an extra second to contemplate, the dagger would have pierced through your stomach.

Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.

Air kept ridding from your lungs as beads of sweat collected on your temples.  The woman, armed with the weapon that sliced up the flesh of seven innocent women, clicked her shoes forward.  Slowly.  Painfully slowly that each step dragged and the friction between the sole of her heel and the rice filled floor materialized into an eerie drawn out shriek.

Breathe.  Breathe.  Breathe.

“I was going to let you die peacefully but you’re just too noisy…” she denoted in her native tongue and advanced toward you with the knife positioned at her hip to build momentum for the attack.

Dilated pupils scanned the room for a shield or weapon.  As her sandals yielded against wood, you curled your slender fingers around the shaft of the katana, held up in the hands of the death god.  Metal scratched along porcelain; flakes of saturated paint blew into dust.

Chunk.  The sword danced in swirls as you attempted to use the bursts of light from the polished base to distract your opponent.  But any attempts proved futile and an underestimate of the martial artist.  Unfazed, she pounced forward, gliding her metal against your own as you grinded your sword forward in a defensive stance.  Gritting her teeth until her cheekbones protruded out, she pushed against your weapon, sending your feet racing backward to avoid the terror of blade against flesh.  The side of your cotton t-shirt soaked with blood from the scrape before.

Thump.  Thump.  Thump.

“Why did you kill all those innocent woman?!” you strained your throat and asked.

Innocent?” she laughed, “They were all indecent whores who preyed on another’s man.”  The whites of her eyes ousted the darkness two to one; her glare, so menacing, could easily drain the blood from her opponent’s veins.

“Just because they had a relationship with your husband, they deserved to die so inhumanly?!” you shouted in disbelief as you pushed against her knife.

“I gifted them honor for their shame!  They should all thank me!  I even ridded the illegitimate children of the pain of living a life in disgrace!” she spurted and leaned her entire weight against your sword.  

So…the woman were all pregnant…and the disembowelment was to…

With a sharp grunt, you jotted your right leg forward to sweep at her unbalanced left side.  She stumbled, allowing you a split second opportunity to free yourself from the posture and dash for the door.  But the weight of your own pregnant stomach, aching back, and strained calves deterred your full potential by a half.  

A lightning flash from behind and on instincts you arched your back and pounded your katana against its shorter rival.  With your knees locked in place to balance the encumbrance of her attack, it exposed your stomach vulnerably to the other martial artist.  She lifted her elbow, raised her brow, and roundhouse slogged down to your.  But your quick mind stumped her when you once again swept at her uneven posture.  Immediately, you pushed forward and scampered over to the exit once again.

“Not bad.  Not bad,” she complimented as she chased after you.

Light replaced darkness as soon as the door swung open.  Dust particles turned to smoke.  Your sword craved a surface trail along the marbled floors of the three-story mansion.  Feet stumbled down the stairs as your heart paced faster and faster at the impeding inevitable encounter.  You didn’t even have to look back to know that the woman was just a few steps behind.

“Argh,” you grimaced and grabbed your stomach when the muscles began to squeeze itself due to your over activity.

By the time you reached to the very last step, your calves blazed in fire.  You gripped on the railings for support.  It doesn’t surprise you one bit that the older female had been walking mockingly slow.

Run.  Run.  Run.  Run for you life.  Make it a little more interesting for me.  Unlike the other useless vases, you at least make it entertaining…” she chilled as she reached you but your fingers drenched in your own blood and your thighs began to throb.

Aww, giving up so fast?” she frowned, grabbed a fistful of your hair, and tossed you against the sofa.  The blade dauntingly traced along the skin of your abdomen as you weakly tried to swat her away with your last ounce of energy.

“You want to learn a secret before you die?” she grinned and condescendingly patted your pale cheeks.  “I arranged your kidnap,” she laughed, “That man wanted men to escort you to him and you know…” she frowned and grabbed at your throat, “I thought you were his new mistress…” she laughed, “My mistake.  But because of you, he beat me for four days…four days.”

Cringing, you wiggled from her grip, “If you’re so strong why didn’t you just fight back?!”

“Why?…Silly…because If I fought back then I can’t get my hands on his mountain of gold,” she laughed dramatically to herself, “Now that he will be going to jail, I can finally have what I deserved for years.  But you!  YOU keep challenging me.  And today, I will make sure that never happens again!”

She pressed the tanto knife against your stomach but having regained some energy, you easily flung your leg forward and sent her staggering back again.  Without wasting a second, you willed your legs and dashed to the large ornate doors.  Fingers twisted knobs, arms pushed forward and the doors swung open.  In a haste, you held your stomach and jumped down the front steps, letting feet meet with random stone.  On the final step, your heel blundered and your body lumbered ahead faster than your mind could make out.  Your breathing ceased.    

Just as your body plummeted headfirst, a familiar shadow lengthened in front of you.  Its owner leapt forward, his masculine arms bounded against your waist and a hand supported the back of your neck.  Your body fell limp against his.

“TianYu!  TianYu!” he shook you and panicked as soon as he witnessed the stream of blood along your right flank.

“ZiTao…” you weakly called and instructed, “She’s inside.  Go.  Go stop her so you can prove your father’s innocence…”

But he tightly held onto you with a phone on his ear.

“Ambulance.  I need an ambulance, RIGHT NOW!” he hollered into the phone.

“ZiTao…don’t let her get away…” you tugged on his sleeve.

“Shh…it’s okay.  The ambulance is coming,” he soothed and stroked your head.

“I’m fine.  It’s just a scrape.  If she runs away–”

“Yuen TianYu!” he shouted, causing you to flinch in his embrace.  Drilling his pupils through yours, he spoke, “There is nothing – absolutely nothing in this world more important to me than you and the baby.  DO you hear me?!” the veins on his face tightened, “How dare you go investigating by yourself like that!  Wait, you just wait until we get home!  I’m going to lecture you for five days in front of Snow White and Candy,” tears streamed down his face as he nudged your body closer to his so he could warm you up.

With crystals glistening in your eyes, you sweetly smiled, and stroked his wet cheeks with your thumb.

“Criminals can run away a hundred times and we can just keep working harder to chase them down but there’s only one Yuen TianYu in this universe, do you understand?!” he choked on his tears as you continued to grin goofily up at him.  No longer panting and sweating from the early terror, your muscles slowly relaxed in your husband’s cozy embrace.

“That is why I can never tell you anything, you crazy woman!  You always push yourself so hard and worry me like that!” he continued to tenderly scold even as YiXing, Baekhyun, Jongdae, and the rest of the team arrived and infiltrated the mansion.  “And our son, our poor son.  Zaizai, did Mommy scare you?!” he rubbed your stomach, “Mommy must have scared you.  My poor baby…”

When he bent down to kiss the baby bump, you sneakily inclined forward to steal the kiss.  Frozen in place, Tao’s blinked as you threw your arms around his neck and chafed your lips against his.  Like ice, your touch thawed his fire.  His arms repositioned around your waist as he tilted his head and kissed your passionately back.

Sirens sounded and red and blue lights rotated, lighting the path and announcing the ambulance’s arrival.  Paramedics scurried out, lifted you onto a cot, and ramped you up into the vehicle.

“How far are you on your pregnancy?” the EMT questioned as she felt around to probe for any broken bones.  Another applied anesthetics around your five-inch scrape and stitched you up.    

“20 weeks,” your husband, who held onto your hand securely, answered before you got the chance.

“Okay, doesn’t seem like you broke anything but we’ll do some scans at the hospital, just to be safe, especially since you’re pregnant,” the lady informed and you nodded.

She and the other technicians muffled back a giggle when Tao continued to sass you with his lecture.  On the other hand, you quietly nodded and rested your head against his shoulder, all the way to the hospital.

“Thank God the baby is okay.  Thank God you didn’t reinjure your leg.  Thank God you didn’t break anything.  Are you feeling okay?  Not dizzy?  Thirsty?  Cold?  Ahh, you’re so pale.  I’ll get the doctor,” Tao continued to nag even after the check ups and scans showed up clean.  You grabbed for his hand and tugged him back.

“I’ll fine, Laogong.  I’m just kinda tired,” you yawned.

“Okay, sleep.  Go to sleep,” he instructed as his hand supported your back and lowered you down to a sleeping position.  Nodding, you obediently lied down and brought his hand up to your lip.  He stroked your hair and mumbled another, “Thank God.”

“Go to sleep with me too,” you suggested when you observed the bags under his eyes.  You scooted over but he shook his head.  Frowning, you tugged on his sleeve and patted the bed again.  When he still refused to catch some sleep, you began to elbow yourself back into a seated position to accompany him.

“Okay, okay,” he surrendered and climbed on.  You snuggled right in and closed your eyes.  “Go to sleep.  Don’t worry about anything, okay?” he coaxed and kissed your forehead.

“You too,” you whispered back.  His warm breath washed over your face like a hypnotic potion.

When you woke up again, he was still fast asleep beside you.  Your moist lips curled into a gentle smile as you gave his dry ones a tender loving peck.  Your fingers tussled through his hair.  From the bed stand, you spotted his phone light up and begin to buzz.  Anticipating the ring, you quickly swiped the phone so that it wouldn’t wake the sleeping panda up.  He hadn’t had quality sleep for days after all.

“Hello?” you whispered.

“Alex?” YiXing’s voice sounded from the other end, “Is Tao with you?”

“Yeah, but he’s asleep.  What is it?” you intoned with your hand covering your mouth to minimize the noise.  Still, Tao stirred in his sleep.

“She got away.  Madam Yeung wants to regroup and form another plan,” he delivered the bad news but then added, “We did collect the evidence you discovered that weren’t present the last time we searched Huang ZiChoi’s mansion.”

“Um…” you mentally debated whether or not to wake Tao up but when you turned around his eyes were already opened and staring at your direction quizzically.

“Who is it?” his morning voice crooked.

With a sigh, you handed him the phone and honestly answered, “YiXing.  They want to regroup.”

“Hello?” Tao forcefully blinked himself awake and spoke into the phone.  Static dotted noises travelled to your ears.  Your husband’s face paled, notifying you that YiXing had delivered to him the unfortunate news of his stepmother’s escape.  With his head tilted so his ear and shoulder secured his device, he tossed his leather jacket on and slipped on his shoes.

“Babe, I gotta go,” he leaned in and pecked your lips.

“Okay, be careful,” you fixed his collar and kissed him back.

“You too.  Don’t try to get discharged from the hospital, okay?  I’ll come pick you up after work,” your husband pressed his lip onto the center of your forehead and patted your stomach before exiting the hospital room.  His quick avalanche footsteps faded down the hall.    

With a sigh, you sunk back onto your mattress.  Your finger grazed along the cross-crossed stitches running down the side of your abdomen.

“Mommy scared you, didn’t she?” you crooned as you stroked your tummy, “I was being super irresponsible and impulsive, wasn’t I?”

The baby kicked and you sighed again.

But no matter how much you tried to distract yourself by watching television, reading magazines, playing games on your phone, or even talking to your son, you couldn’t get your mind off of those jars and jars of fetuses – those unborn children who, honestly were created out of lust rather than love, but nevertheless should have been given a chance.  You hated that you also sympathized the devilish woman, who must have took a wrong turn during a session of self-pity and hatred of society’s standards and her own husband’s infidelity.  But it didn’t, absolutely didn’t justify her actions.

And what about Emily?  That poor girl who lost her mother and now still resided in an orphanage to forever label herself as ‘unwanted’.

Emily…” your facial muscles twitched.      

“I gifted them honor for their shame!  They should all thank me!  I even ridded the illegitimate children of the pain of living a life in shame!”  

Thump.  Thump.  Thump.

The television was turned off to allow your mind to focus and analyze.  Your eyes widened and your heart particularly burst out of your chest.  You craned your body forward, grabbed your phone, and speed dialed your husband.

“Hello, TianYu?!” Tao’s sharp and alert voice answered, “Is something wrong?”

“I think your stepmother is going to hurt Emily!” you filled him in on your analysis.

“Emily?”

“Yes.  Your stepmother specifically said to me that she would rid the illegitimate children of the pain of living in shame,” you explained, “Now that she’s being chased by cops, she’s going to try to fulfill her last crime!  So send someone to check on Emily.”

“Okay.  Will do,” he agreed but then backtracked and softly inveigled, “Babe, be good and get some rest, okay?”

The image of those sunken brows of worry flashed through your mind.  Slowly, your tensed body slumped back against the bed sheets.

“Okay.  Be careful, okay?” you replied.

“Mhmm.  I love you,” he smooched the speaker.

“Love you too,” you answered and returned the kiss before hanging up.

Knees met against chest as you coped with your qualms in a familiar fetal position.

“ZaiZai, do you think Emily will be okay?” you sighed, “She is your aunt after all.

Click.

Automatically, your head snapped up and you reached for the scalpel that a nurse had left behind during an earlier checkup.  In slow motion, the door squeaked open.  Black Air Jordans appeared through the slit.  You gripped the blade between your index finger and thumb while your other arm naturally fell protective over your stomach.

“Hey,” the tall six-footer male, with shades and a flu mask, greeted and waved at you with bunny ears.

“Oh My God,” you groaned and dropped the scalpel back onto its tray.  It tottered around causing your ears to ring from the sharp noise of metal against metal.  “You scared me to death,” you glared at him with a palm against your chest.

“Did I?  Didn’t know Madam Yuen was so easily frightened.  She used to chase down the triad and fist fight them with her bare hands,” he chuckled and took a seat down on the plastic seat next to the bed.

“Yeah, well, before I used to think I was so small and insignificant in this world,” you looked up at the ceiling, “That if I could die protecting another then that would be glorious and honorable,” you sighed and patted your stomach, “Now, I think differently because I realize that I matter to someone,” you shyly smiled, “That if something happened to me that fool would cry and nag me for days.”

When you turned around, you caught the young undercover officer lost in daze, gazing at you.    

“Plus, gotta protect myself to protect my son,” you finished.

Still, he doesn’t remove his eyes from you, which was honestly really awkward considering the fact that he had sunglasses on so his eyes looked dim and soulless.

“Uh…why are you here anyway?” you questioned and cringed, “You’re not here to ask me to be your messenger pigeon, right?  I’m still not cleared to be discharged…”

“Oh.  No.  No,” he immediately denounced and you sighed in relief.  “Just wanted to make sure you were okay,” he genuinely replied and you threw him a gracious smile.  Darting his pupils elsewhere, the young man cleared his throat and spoke, “Didn’t I tell you to not go investigating by yourself?”

You rolled your head back and slumped your shoulders against your pillow.

“Oh gosh.  Another one.  You sound like my husband,” you complained, though deep down you were immensely grateful for all the nagging.

“Well, if I was Huang Sir, I’d have to ground you at home since you never keep your words,” he crossed his arms and sat back against his chair.

“What are you talking about, Wu YiFan?” you frowned and inadvertently guilt-tripped, “You’re the one who got a pregnant woman involved in this case.”

The glint vanished from his eyes and he lowered his head.

“Bu-but it’s okay.  I’m fine now,” you clapped your hands and grinned widely to lift up his fallen spirits.

“Th-that’s good,” he coughed, “Um, here.  I bought you some congee.”  Wu YiFan stood up and slid over a takeaway container.  Licking your lips and rubbing your tummy, you scooted over and took the spoon from his hands.  He chuckled and excused himself to the restroom to clean up a bit of the contents, which had spilled over during its transportation to you.

The soft cottony rice porridge tickled your tongue and melted down your throat.  Little specks of century eggs sparkled throughout the soup making each spoonful deliciously sweet.  Your son rolled around in your tummy in celebration.

“ZaiZai, you like congee?” you baby-talked and rubbed your grumbling belly.

Click.

“Whao, you pee fast–”

The spoon fell from your hands and sunk into the bowl of soup.  A tanto knife coruscated less than ten feet from you.  Its wielder, dressed in all black, dauntingly stood by the door murmuring inaudible words in Japanese about revenge and honor.  Kneeling on the mattress, you craned over to grab the scalpel again but she kicked a doorstopper from the ground.  It swung and hit your hand.  You yelped as purplish blue instantly stained your milky skin.

“Huang Tai, it’s time to take your medicine!” a nurse knocked the door and walked in.  Her eyes travelled from you to the criminal and then you again.  Just as her lips parted to scream for help, the older female hooked an arm around her neck and slapped her palm over her mouth.

“Scream and I will slice your throat,” she threatened.

“NO!” you shouted and held your hands out to try and calm the raged woman, “She has nothing to do with this.  Release her.”

“Release her and risk my own freedom?!  You think I’m stupid?!  The moment I LET HER GO, WILL SHE NOT call the cops on me?!” she gritted her teeth and dug the blade into her cheek.  Blood gushed out and the girl’s cries muffled in the suffocating death lock.

“No!  No, please stop.  What do you even get from harming her!?” you reprimanded.

Click.

The murderer whipped her head around and dragged the girl further into the room so that they were now just two feet from you.  You sucked in your breath when the undercover cop stiffened in place with his hand still around the doorknob.  Widening your eyes, you held your gaze and then gestured to him of the dangerous situation.

“Move and I will kill both of them,” she threatened and dug the tanto closer into the girl’s flesh.  She cried in agony.  Wu YiFan clenched his fist but dare not move a single step.  But the brief moment of distraction was enough for you to sneak your fingers around the scalpel again.

“1, 2…” you mouthed to Wu YiFan.    

On the count of three, you lunged forward and impeded the blade into the shoulder of the martial artist.  She yelped in pain, spun around, and lunged at you.  Wu YiFan sprinted forward and pushed a rolling cart toward her to momentarily block her attack.  He loomed his own body protectively over yours in case she attempted to charge at you again.  The nurse dashed forward but failed to escape when the older woman readjusted her hold.  Realizing her disadvantage, the woman retreated out the door, dragging the nurse with her.

With hands filled with blood, you panted and belched forward.

“Are you okay?!” Wu YiFan held the balls of your shoulders and asked.

“Yes.  Yes, I’m fine.  Go!  Go sa-save that girl!” you directed.  Nodding, he sprinted out to track down the two women.

Outside, screams and ruckus ignited as a visible trail of blood betrayed the merciless avenger’s escape route.  Standing up on your shaking legs, you immediately dialed for your husband.

“She’s here,” you wheezed as soon as the line connected.

“WHAT?!” Tao panicked, “ARE YOU OKAY!?”

“Yes!  Yes, but she dragged a nurse off somewhere.  Wu YiFan followed her out but we need backup, ZiTao,” you informed.

“Okay.  Babe, stay right where you are!  Do not follow her, do you hear me?” his voice shook, “Three minutes.  I will be there in three minutes.”

The phone sat in the pool of blood in the center of your palms.  Shaking for yet another near encounter, you tossed you legs over the bed and limped over to the restroom, adjourned to the corner of the room.  Blood mixed with water and rushed down the drain as you rubbed away the remnants of the red on your skin.  Running your wet hands through your hair, you trudged back out.  You don’t know why but something told you to look out the window.

There they were.  Wu YiFan, your stepmother-in-law, and the nurse stationed on the rooftop of the neighboring hospital building.  The two women had stepped onto the very edge of the building while the male undercover held his arms out in resignation, begging the woman to retreat.  Gasping in shock, your legs brisk off with life of its own.

“TianYu!” Tao bumped right into you as you headed out the door.

“They’re at the rooftop!” you pointed to the window.

“Rooftop at second building,” Tao spoke into a receiver.

“Roger!” Baekhyun’s voice sounded from the other end.

“Babe, stay here,” he patted your cheek and ordered.

“No.  ZiTao, I can’t just sit back and watch this time!” you reasoned, “The only other female on the team is Madam Yeung and we all know she can’t soothed people for sh!t.  And this criminal hates men.  The more of you that show up and provoke her, she’s going to go berserk and kill the girl!”

“Then that will be that.  But I am not letting my pregnant wife risk her life and our baby’s life again!” he yelled.

Your toes plundered back in shock at his words.

“ZiTao!  You are a police!  Police fight for justice!  But now you’re cowering away.  This isn’t the Huang ZiTao I know,” you stated.

“Justice at the price of my wife and child’s life is unacceptable!” he argued back.

“But nothing will happen to me if you’re there, right?” you calmly tossed the hot potato back to him.  “Look, the whole team is here.  She can’t possibly hurt me,” you reasoned and squeezed Tao’s hand, “But that girl.  She’s someone’s daughter, someone’s lover, may even be someone’s mother.  She is completely innocent and got involved simply for my sake…”

Tao clenched his fist and looked up at the ceiling with the flesh of his lips squeezed in between the cracks of his teeth.  You stroked the back of his hand with your thumb and stayed quiet and patient as he rolled his large hands into a ball and sighed.

“Stay behind me and no matter what do not come in contact with anyone but me, okay?” he bargained and you nodded.

“Let’s go,” you tugged.

Your hair blew like waves lost at sea as wind swirled and whistled.  With the high elevation, the pressure against your stomach increased and for split moments you thought you were drifting.  But you held your ground and squeezed Tao’s hand.  As you had expected, each advancement and addition of a male’s presence brought distaste to the criminal.  Step by step, she inched her way closer to the very edge of the platform.  Bloodstained tears rushed down the hostage’s pale face.  

“Ah Yi,” you called, “Come down and let’s calmly talk.”

You raised your hand and waved for her to join you on the lower steps.  But she returned your offer with eyes drenched with pure distrust and hate.

“All those woman deserved their fate!  I just did what law could not punish!” the criminal shouted back.  Like whistles in the dead of night, the sweetness of her voice juxtaposed her unstable demeanor and chilled you down to the bone.  

“You say murdering people is justifiable simply because you were a victim of infidelity?” you replied and stepped forward.  Immediately, Tao squeezed your palms to break your advancement.

“You must not be serious.  I am not a fan of revenge but even I know enough that when you take revenge you take it out on the person who caused you the pain!” you continued.  With a hand behind your back, you secretly waved to motion for someone from the team to quietly advance forward while you distracted her with your argument.

“Why are you even taking any of this out on the women?  Society already pegs us against each other and romanticizes catfights, for God’s sake.  Men already give us enough sh!t, why would you give your own gender that treatment as well?!” you bellowed out into the windy atmosphere, “You’re contradicting everything you’ve said that day at the flower meadow!”

“Are you justifying for shameless woman who prey on another’s husband?!” she threw her head back and mockingly laughed.

“No, but they did not deserve–”

“SAY THAT WHEN YOU ARE IN MY SHOES!” the older female snapped back, “When your husband sleeps with other women and treat you like trash then we can talk!”

“I’m afraid that day will never arrive.  You are correct, I am lucky and got myself a loyal and caring husband; I will never understand the pain you have been through so let’s say that the women deserved the consequences.  But what about her?” you pointed to the sobbing nurse, “She has nothing to do with this!”

From your left, you spotted Baekhyun and Wu YiFan crouching down at the corner and sneaking their way over to the target.      

“Well,” the murderer traced the tip of her blade tauntingly over the hostage’s face and grinned, “What an unlucky fellow she is…” she bitterly laughed, “Guess you’re going to Hell with the old hag!”

Her foot lifted off the platform.

“NO!” you screamed.

Tao fingers unbounded from yours as he leapt forward.  Baekhyun and Wu YiFan followed closely behind.  Nails claw at fabric.  One hand grasped on his stepmother’s limb, the other latched onto the vulnerable nurse dangling dangerously with just three fingers stopping her from falling twenty stories down.

Strained groans released from your husband’s lips.  Veins turned purple on his biceps.  Immediately, Baekhyun bent over to get a better hold of the nurse.  

“ZiTao!” you shouted and rushed forward.

“No!” he grunted, “So-Someone hold TianYu back!”

Officers from the incoming team B automatically formed a barricade to stop you from aiding your husband’s struggle.  Hysterically pushing against them, you tiptoed to try to get a glimpse of your husband.  His entire upper body suspended off the building; his hipbone pressed against concrete and gradually slipped as well.  Had Tao not possess his lengthy legs, there was no doubt, he would have fallen already.  Behind him, the undercover officer clawed at his belt to stall his plummet forward.

“ZiTao-ah!” you cried as you pressed your hand over your heart.  Shooting the human barrier a hard glare, you ordered, “Help them!  What are you doing standing here?!”

But with another heaving grunt, the three men hoisted the weeping nurse up and over the ledge and back to safety.  Medical professionals immediately rushed forward to her aid.

“Ah Yi-ah!” your husband willed her to hold on but even in a life and death situation, the woman stubbornly raised her blade and held it up to flesh.  Instantly, Baekhyun regained his composure and rushed forward to twist her wrist.

Thump.  Thump.  Thump.

Your head spun and you had to hold onto a rail to keep yourself upright.

“Arghhhh,” Tao screamed as he summoned all his strength, pulled the woman up, and tossed her over the platform.  All four of them toppled into a messy heap.  Groans and whimpers dispersed into thin air, alerting your undivided attention. You peered over to catch the flash of metal handcuffs around the criminal’s wrists before Tao collapsed against the cement, huffing and puffing in exhaustion.

“Laogong!” you pushed through the barricade and ran toward him.

Your voice, like an enchanted elixir, reawaken the soul within Tao’s torn body.  He carefully propelled himself up with his elbows.  With your heart still racing, you got down onto your knees and flung your arms around his neck.  His naturally slipped around your waist, though from the hold, you could already tell that he was injured.  

“Laogong-ah~” you half-sobbed as you pressed his body against yours.

“I’m fine, shh,” he patted your back as you felt around his limbs to target the bruises and scrapes.

Carefully, with one arm around his waist and his more sculpted ones over your shoulder, you helped the both of you back up to your feet.  Though he limped forward, you could tell that the wide grin across his face was genuine from the crystals in his cat-like orbs.  Leaning forward, you gifted him a soft kiss on the tip of his nose and whispered, “Thank God, you’re okay.”

“I’m okay, but…” he pouted and blushed, “Ahh…” he grabbed at his crotch.

Blinking, you felt around and finally spotted that his briefs were pulled all the way up to his waist, thus suffocating his ahem.  Must have happened when they were struggling and Wu YiFan desperately tried to grab onto anything to prevent his fall.  Muffling a giggle for Tao’s ego’s sake, you got behind him, stuck a finger around his waistband, pulled, and stuffed his under garments back down.

Heh,” Tao kittishly mused.  Your lips grew flat and you playfully spanked him.

“I’ll give you a massage at home,” you promised.

“Where?” he wiggled his brows.

“Where you are sore,” you calmly answered, crossed your arms, and jabbed him in the waist.  Chuckling amusingly, Tao threw his arm over your shoulder once again and nuzzled his nose against your neck.

“It was nice working with you,” a husky voice noted.

The two of you lovebirds turned around to see Wu YiFan standing in front of Tao with his hand stretched out.  Nodding, Tao shook it.  However, instead of letting go, their grips tightened over time so that each of their arms flamed in a pinkish hue.  Chiseled smirks mirrored one another.  You scratched your neck and nervously laughed.

Wu YiFan chuckled and released the hold.

“Treat Madam Yuen well or I might just steal her from you,” the taller man winked.  You raised your brow.

“Oh, don’t worry.  I will,” Tao promised, instinctively broadened his chest, and clasped his hand tightly through yours.

Two fingers struck out into peace signs as Wu YiFan waved and turned to leave.

“Wu YiFan, don’t you dare leave just like that,” the female sergeant, who had just arrived at the scene moments earlier, stood with crossed arms.

“Guess, you’ll have to deal with her once and for all,” you laughed and patted his shoulder while he planted his face into his palms.

~~~~~~~~

“Aiyah…shhh…shhh, Honey,” you coaxed as you lifted the baby boy from his stroller and rocked him back and forth.  His father bent over and massaged the tiny rolls on his limbs.

“Waa waa waa,” the five-month-old baby continued to cry.

“Babe is Zaizai hungry?” Tao suggested while waving a rattle up to the flailing creature.

“I just fed him before work!” you enlightened and placed your hand against your son’s little bum.  “Oh…” you mouthed and stood up, ready to change his nappy.

“Yuen!  Huang!  In my office, RIGHT NOW!” the lieutenant barked and slammed the door.

Uh oh…Your husband and you exchanged knowing glances.  “You go,” Tao mouthed and tried to pry the baby out of your arms but you grinded your gums and held him close against your chest.

“Nuh uh, he said both of us…” you hissed in a low whisper.        

“But I’ll change Zaizai’s nappy and come back,” he stretched out his arms and unfolded your arms, “You go in first.”

But you pulled the baby back into your chest, “Oh no, you don’t, Huang ZiTao.  Running away from responsibilities again!”

“No, I took responsibility already,” he stuck his tongue out, smirked, and stroked a strand of hair out of your face.

You parted your lips to counter but the lieutenant’s door clicked open.

“I said NOW unless the two of you want pink slips!” the older officer bellowed.

Gasping, both of you scurried in.  With the distressed baby against your shoulder, you patted his small back and nervously laughed.  Beside you, your husband nonchalantly chewed on his gum and saluted his superior, whose forehead wrinkles has multiplied by twenty within the last two years.  Closing his eyes, he stuffed his face into the palms of his hands, shook his head, and dramatically sighed.

In a subtle move, you nudged Tao on his abdomen for him to talk but he simply shrugged.  You clicked your jaws together and shot him a death glare.

“SOMEONE EXPLAIN!” those familiar words ignited, causing you to flinch.  The baby in your arms began to wail and immediately the lieutenant’s tough guise fell.

“Shh…shh…” you softly soothed and you cradled your son.

“Some…one…explain…” the older male repeated, this time significantly softer, “…to me who thought bringing your son to work was an intelligent idea?”

Using the crying baby as your ticket out excuse, you shrewdly kicked your husband’s foot and tossed the ball back to him.  With his hands stuffed in his pockets, Tao looked away and whistled, pretending as though he hadn’t felt your kick.  You grunted but as you do, a warm sensation slid down your baby’s thighs and dropped onto the superior’s desk with a “glob”.  The smell of rotten eggs and onion blessed the room.  You froze in place and gulped as your son giggled happily at having finally relieved himself.  Beside you, Tao stifled back the urge to burst into laughter.

“YUEN!”

“Ye-yes?” you instantly handed the baby over to his father, grabbed five tissues, and scooped up your son’s moist piece of gold.

Throwing his head back in disbelief, the lieutenant choked and covered his eyes as though he was on the verge of tears.

“H-His nanny quit abruptly this morning.  So ZiTao and I had no choice but to bring him over.  It’ll just be today…” you promised but then backtracked, “…or tomorrow…too…but we will find a nanny quickly!”

The man groaned, “And neither of you thought it’d be smarter to take the day off?!”

“Ye-yeah…you see…I was going to but then ZiTao volunteered and I didn’t want him to take the day off but he didn’t want me to take the day off…and then as we were arguing, we already arrived at the office.  Haha…” you scratched your head.

As the officer opened his mouth to further reprimand the two of you, the baby boy began to sob again.

Sighing in defeat, the irritated lieutenant waved you two away, “Report…in fifteen minutes.”

“Yes, Sir!” the two of you said in unison and immediately turned around to barrel out.

AND!” he halted you dead in your tracks, “Pick up the rattle on the floor and tell the janitor to Febreeze my office.

“Yes, Sir!” you volunteered and bent over.  But the handsome, tall male got to it first.

As soon as you were out, the human cheetah sprinted to the restroom to help change his son’s diaper, thus leaving you to stare at the blank computer screen once again.  Nails tapped at keys as you murmured under your breath.

“Two years later and some things still don’t change…” you grumbled.

But a small smile spread across your lips at the adorable photo booth printout, on your desk, of Emily grinning happily with her new family.  She had been adopted by a super sweet couple in America, who owned three pomskies and a cat.  You laughed at the image of the little girl chasing after the animals in her front lawn.  Tao’s stepmother was sentenced to life imprisonment but pardoned to an asylum for treatment, where else, his father was still sitting behind bars for domestic battery to his wife.    

With another sigh of contentment, you continued to type up your report.  You knew Tao was purposely taking longer to avoid the punishment but even that brought a grin onto your face.  For, you realized that you helped fill in his flaws as he did yours.

Tap.  Tap.  Tap.

A low whistle and a baby’s giggles sung melodies into your ears.  With a flush of rose, you spun around to catch the attractive, tanned skinned, young father skipping his way in with his son in his arms and a takeaway carton dangling from his wrist.

“Wonton noodle soup?” he grinned cheesily.

Mirroring his expression, you shook your head and instead pushed the keyboard over to his desk.  With a chortle, he plopped down into your seat and typed away.  Seated in his father’s lap, the little boy kicked his baby legs around and gleefully babbled as he mimicked Tao’s rhythm by tapping on the wooden desk.  You scooted your chair closer and ruffled the furs of hair on the baby’s round head before resting yours on Tao’s shoulder.

“How long do you think my new Bubinga will survive?” you pouted.

“It’s already scratched,” he calmly noted as he continued to type black onto white, “I saw it this morning.”

WHAT?!” you gasped, “I’m going to have to lock that chubby cat up!”

“Oh, it was Candy,” he laughed and pretended to wipe a tear from his eyes, “My baby all grown up and destroying things…”

Rolling your eyes, your head effortlessly fell back against his shoulder.  You guessed, sometimes, your babies’ artworks were worth way more than any expensive luxury wood.  As your handsome husband peered at you with those radiate, one-of-a-kind eyes of his, you slyly pursed your lips and pressed it against his…melting yin into his yang like two pieces to a whole.  His kitten smile grazed against yours like fluttery butterflies along moist skin.      

a/n: YAY!!!!! <3 CUTE, SILLY, PLUS ACTION-FILLED FINALE.  HEH.  They would bring their son to work with them OTL.  

Thank you everyone who has been following this silly series!!  Hope you guys enjoyed it!!!!!!!  Snow White and Candy says they want to play with you :D.  Keke.  

Like, Comment, Follow, Spam my inbox, and vote this series/pairing up if you liked this series!  More STORIES Peace out bunnies!  Until next time >3<