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Outside the Hao Mansion, Mrs Chen apologised to Na Liu Ting Du.

‘Mr Na, I’m sorry,’ Mrs Chen said. ‘Young master said he’s not going to let his maid see you.’

‘A maid is a human being,’ Na Liu Ting Du said. ‘Gun Gun should have free time. When does Gun Gun finish work? I can wait to see her.’

‘Gun Gun is young master’s maid,’ Mrs Chen said. ‘If she doesn’t have young master’s permission, she can’t leave his side.’

Na Liu Ting Du saw Yuan Gun Gun’s caller ID on his phone, and he walked back to his car.



‘Gun Gun,’ Na Liu Ting Du said.

‘Big brother Du…’ Yuan Gun Gun said.

‘Why are you crying?’ Na Liu Ting Du asked.

‘I miss big brother Du, daddy, mummy, Xiao Bi, Xiao Ban, Xiao Yuan, Xiao Gun… I miss home…’ Yuan Gun Gun said.

‘Gun Gun, come out here and I’ll take you home,’ Na Liu Ting Du said.

‘I can’t,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘Young master will hit me.’

‘Did he dare hit you?’ Na Liu Ting Du asked.

‘No,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘But he won’t let me see big brother Du.’

‘Gun Gun, if he hits you, you can tell me and I’ll take you home,’ Na Liu Ting Du said.

‘Big brother Du will you come save me?’ Yuan Gun Gun asked.

‘Of course I’ll come save my Gun Gun,’ Na Liu Ting Du said.

‘I really miss big brother Du,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘Are daddy and mummy healthy? How are my small friends? Big brother Du have you helped take care of them for me?’

‘Yes,’ Na Liu Ting Du said. ‘Dad and Mum are healthy. Everyone is waiting for you to come home.’

‘Big brother Du, now I know how much everyone at home loves me,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.

‘Gun Gun, you’ll be starting a new term soon,’ Na Liu Ting Du said. ‘I’ll drive you to school and take you home on the weekdays.’

‘Big brother Du, I don’t know if young master will let me go to school,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.

‘Don’t worry,’ Na Liu Ting Du said. ‘I’ll ask dad to talk to him.’

‘Big brother Due, does mummy still get headaches?’ Yuan Gun Gun asked. ‘Big brother, is Xiao Bi sleeping? What about Xiao Yuan’s constipation…’

Na Liu Ting Du and Yuan Gun Gun talked to each other like they weren’t separated by walls.

‘Big brother Du, aunty Chen is calling me,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘I have to go.’

‘Um, be good,’ Na Liu Ting Du said.

‘Tomorrow I’ll call big brother Du,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘Bye.’

Na Liu Ting Du sat in his red sports car for a long time staring at his phone. He vowed he would make Hao Yan Che suffer if Hao Yan Che did anything to hurt Yuan Gun Gun.

Upstairs, Hao Yan Che watched the red sports car drive off, he broke the glass in his hand and blood dripped onto the floor.

At eight thirty in the morning, Yuan Gun Gun walked into Hao Yan Che’s bedroom.

‘Young master, wake up,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.

Hao Yan Che opened his eyes. He looked at Yuan Gun Gun’s face, but she kept her head down and didn’t look at him.

Hao Yan Che walked to the bathroom to brush and wash. But Yuan Gun Gun didn’t follow him like usual. She stayed behind to make his bed and tidy his bedroom.

Yuan Gun Gun finished her duties in Hao Yan Che’s bedroom, and she walked toward the door. But Hao Yan Che came out of the bathroom, and grabbed her arm.

‘Are you angry?’ Hao Yan Che asked.

‘I wouldn’t dare be angry,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.

‘Good,’ Hao Yan Che said.

Hao Yan Che let go of Yuan Gun Gun’s arm, and he walked outside before her.

Yuan Gun Gun rubbed her sore arm, cursed Hao Yan Che softly and followed him to the dining room.

Yuan Gun Gun cooked breakfast for Hao Yan Che like usual except she didn’t smile at him.

‘Did I say I wanted to eat congee?’ Hao Yan Che asked.

Yuan Gun Gun carried the bowl of congee into the kitchen, and she came back to the dining room with an English breakfast of bacon, sausage and eggs.

Hao Yan Che ate the English breakfast, but he was angry Yuan Gun Gun didn’t pay attention to him. She walked back to the kitchen and returned with a plate of pastries. He knocked the plate of pastries onto the floor, and walked to the study room.

Yuan Gun Gun knelt on the floor, and she felt sad to see food wasted.

‘Yuan Gun Gun, stand up!’ Hao Yan Che said.

Yuan Gun Gun looked up, she was startled to see Hao Yan Che was standing in front of her. He put her bleeding hand in his mouth.

‘What are you doing sitting here?’ Hao Yan Che asked. ‘Are you a dummy?’

Hao Yan Che carried Yuan Gun Gun into the bedroom.

The servants whispered to each other about what they witnessed. They speculated Hao Yan Che and Yuan Gun Gun were secret lovers.

In the bedroom, Hao Yan Che washed Yuan Gun Gun’s hands in the bathroom.

‘Put me down,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.

Hao Yan Che carried Yuan Gun Gun to the bed. She stood to leave.

‘Sit down!’ Hao Yan Che said.

Yuan Gun Gun sat back on the bed, and Hao Yan Che went to get the first aid kit.

‘Give me your hand,’ Hao Yan Che said.

Yuan Gun Gun shook her head, and kept her hands behind her back.

‘Give me your hand!’ Hao Yan Che said.

Yuan Gun Gun gave Hao Yan Che her injured hand. He disinfected the cut on her hand, and bandaged her hand.

Yuan Gun Gun’s hand hurt. She was scared of pain, and quietly cried.

Hao Yan Che put the first aid kit away. He held Yuan Gun Gun’s chin and wiped her tears.

‘Where did you put your brain?’ Hao Yan Che asked. ‘Is it rotting somewhere outside? What were you doing picking up broken glass? If you pick up broken glass again, I’ll make you eat it.’

Yuan Gun Gun silently looked at her bandaged hand.

‘Did you hear me?’ Hao Yan Che asked.

‘I… I heard you,’ Yuan Gun Gun said.

‘You’re all meat and no brain,’ Hao Yan Che said.

Yuan Gun Gun bit her lips.

‘Am I wrong?’ Hao Yan Che asked.

Yuan Gun Gun turned her head to the side to avoid seeing Hao Yan Che’s face.

‘Talk!’ Hao Yan Che said.

‘I don’t want to talk to you,’ Yuan Gun Gun said softly.

‘Say it again,’ Hao Yan Che said.

‘I don’t want to talk to someone who bullies me,’ Yuan Gun Gun said. ‘You didn’t even let me see my family. Do you know how much I miss my family? How much I want to go home?’

Yuan Gun Gun covered her face and cried.

‘Why do you bully me?’ Yuan Gun Gun asked.

Hao Yan Che didn’t know what to say.

‘Why?’ Yuan Gun Gun asked. ‘Why do you treat me this way when I’ve only been good to you? If you hate me, and don’t want to see me then you can ask aunty Chen to let me work somewhere you can’t see. I don’t want to be your maid.’

End of Chapters Thirty to Thirty-One


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