13 The coffee girl?

A Gatekeeper and The Celestial Sovereign

POLICE BUREAU TIAN'ANMEN

Frank Wang's hands shook as he looked at his computer screen that was filled with static.

"Are you okay Frank?" asked a female officer. Her name was Lin Yang, they'd graduated from the police academy in the same year and her desk was next to Frank's.

From her perspective Frank had jumped up and shrieked, and now his face was pale and he seemed to be shivering. Other officers in the unit were looking in his direction with strange expressions on their faces.

Lin Yang stood up and grabbed Frank's arm whilst she loudly said, "Gosh Frank this is why you shouldn't be overworking yourself, you should get more sleep. I only meant to show you that as a joke, you didn't have to scream so loudly about it!"

As she said this she saw the other officers expressions go back to normal, soon they went back to their boring assignments. Chief Wei from across the room yelled, "You two get back to work!"

"Yes sir!" Lin Yang yelled as she pulled Frank Wang into a bow with her.

The moment Chief Wei looked away she shook Frank. "Earth to Frank! Hello! What has gotten into you?" she whispered.

Even though she said this Frank didn't seem to hear her and instead leapt back into his seat as he began to rewind some footage.

She peered over his shoulder curiously.

Frank began to rewind the footage so that he could clarify what he'd just seen but to his horror as he rewinded it there was only static on the timeline. All the footage he'd seen earlier seemed to have disappeared.

"How can this be possible?" he muttered to himself as he reloaded the link to the security box. When the footage appeared on his screen again it was showing the front of Mao Lu's apartment but minus the creepy people waiting outside.

Confused Frank Wang moved his cursor up and down the timeline but there was no sign of those people. Even when he got to the scene of Zhao Detong and Fei Bing Bing leaving, the footage just showed the empty front of the building. No matter how much he scrolled through it there was no strange people gathering outside of Mao Lu's place.

Frank Wang felt a chill run across him."I know what I saw! Mao Lu must be in some kind of trouble" he thought.

He stood up and grabbed his keys. "I have to run a quick errand, Please cover for me Lin Yang."

"Huh!" was all Lin Yang could respond with by the time Frank Wang had walked straight out of the crime control unit.

________________________________

ZHAO DETONG'S HOME - XICHENG

Zhao Detong softly crawled into bed and gently put his arms around Fei Bing Bing.

"Was that Frank, what did he say?" Bing Bing asked

"You were awake, I thought you were sleeping."

"I woke up when you got that phone call. So was it Frank?"

"Yeah it was." Zhao Detong sat up, "He was calling me an idiot for wasting his time, apparently Mao Lu got home and never left his apartment. So when we came over he must have just been ignoring us."


"That's not like Mao Lu though."

"Maybe he was sick and switched off his phone to rest and we really were just over reacting." Zhao Detong sighed. "I know why we overreacted. I mean Lu is just so strong, and he just never lets you see his weak side even though I'm sure he has one. He always refuses to rely on us. You know I haven't seen him cry since that time I apologised to him after the bankruptcy. Even at his Mother's funeral he didn't shed a single tear while we were there. He just bottles everything inside and doesn't say a thing. And it's just so annoying and stubborn. I see Mao Lu as family, we both do, and I just wish he'd see us that way too. I just wish he'd complain to us the way we do to him, I wish he'd share his struggles with us."

Fei Bing Bing sat up and put her head on Zhao Detong's shoulder. "I feel the same, but I also understand Mao Lu you know. He's always been really stubborn like that. Even when we were little.

I remember this one time when we went shopping together when we're little and my Mum bought this really cute Alice doll for me and Lu got a car from his Mum. And I could tell the entire time that Lu was drooling over my doll and really wanted it, but he just bit his lip and didn't say anything because he didn't want to cause a fuss at the store or give his Mum a hard time.

Mao Lu is just really caring and sensitive about others. That's why he suppresses his own feelings. I also think he does it because he's too scared to embrace his feelings...Maybe that's the reason why he hasn't confessed to us that he's gay yet."

Zhao Detong sighed deeply. "I wonder. Maybe it's just because he doesn't trust us. I mean we, who have been with him his entire life, only found out through gossip."

Zhao Detong still remembered one month ago when he'd gone to Roaring Tiger to tell to Mao Lu about how he'd gotten Bing Bing's Father's blessing, and was planning to propose.

He'd been a bit overzealous and ended up coming earlier then when Mao Lu should have started. At that time he heard two female bar staff gossiping.

"I really like Fang Kai, and I heard he's single, do you think I should go for it?"

"Ew, what! Fang Kai is so gross, remove the hair and piercings and he's got no appeal. The one you should like is Mao Lu, he's just so dreamy. I wish he would give me a second look."

"Omg do you seriously like Mao Lu?"

"Yh, what do you have a problem with that?"

"No! it's just… don't you know, Mao Lu's not interested in that kind of stuff. He doesn't swing that way."

"What do you mean?"

"He's gay."

"What…are you for real?"

"I'm not joking, my brother's gay and he knows this guy at his University[1] called Kato who was looking for guys to hook his friend up with. And well my brother ended up going on a blind date with Mao Lu, my brother was really into him too. But sadly Mao Lu said he didn't have time for a relationship since he's so busy and broke."

"Are you serious?"

"Yep and haven't you ever noticed that Mao Lu is always pretty distant with female customers but when it comes to the males he's super attentive."

"Omg you're right…how did I not notice?"

The girls had continued to gossip but Zhao Detong had froze in shock. That's why he ended up not telling Mao Lu about his proposal plan.

Even then he didn't quite believe it and didn't mention anything to Fei Bing Bing until after the proposal.

When they went to dinner with Mao Lu and they probed and probed about his love life, and gave him all sorts of opportunities he still didn't say a word to them.

Zhao Detong didn't have a problem with homosexuality, in fact he fully supported Mao Lu in whatever road he took. Learning that Mao Lu was gay also explained to Detong a lot of things about Mao Lu that he'd always overlooked.

It hurt him though because Mao Lu didn't trust him enough to tell him such a thing.

"Does he think I'll hate him or call him disgusting or something? Of course I'd never do that!" Zhao Detong yelled.

"Same!" Fei Bing Bing yelled.

"It makes me so freaking angry!"

"Same!" Fei Bing Bing chanted.

"When we see him tomorrow I'm going to give him a piece of my mind."

"Same!"

_____________________________

BASEMENT CAR PARK TIAN'ANMEN POLICE BUREAU

Frank Wang ran to his car and pressed his keys to unlock it.

He wondered if he should call Zhao Detong but he lived only 9 minutes away in Xicheng. It would be faster if he drove there and picked him up and they travelled all the way to Daxing together.

As Frank jumped into his A class Mercedes Benz that he'd gotten as his graduation present[2], he felt a cold hand settle on his throat.

His eyes widened when he saw the pretty Qi Zhou from the coffee place in his car.

"Wha-"

"Shhhhhh" she put a finger on his mouth. "So you're the one that was watching. Why?" she interrogated.

Frank's heart raced and his mind raced even faster. "Did she just say watching? That means she's working with those people that were outside Mao Lu's place."

Frank wanted to question her but instead he realised his mouth was already moving on its own. He could hear his own voice telling her why he was looking at the security footage. "How is this possible?" he wondered in horror.

"Oh so you're friends with the new Gatekeeper, how interesting. Well it seems you're of no threat." Her cold hand grabbed his jaw and pulled his face closer to hers.

"Forget what you saw. The security footage was completely ordinary. Mao Lu is fine and stayed in his flat the entire day. There's no reason to be worried."

Frank felt an intoxicating hypnotic edge to each of her words. He felt himself slowly sinking and his eyes felt heavier and heavier...

Heavier….

…..

When he next blinked he was slowly walking into the crime control unit.

"Huh. When did I get out of my seat? Was I going to do something?" He looked around himself in confusion. As he sat down Lin Yang was looking at him strangely.

"You weren't gone long. I thought your errand was a big thing the way you ran off like that." she said.

Frank Wang slanted his head to the side. "An errand, was that what I was doing?"

Lin Yang looked at him strangely and smacked the back of his head. "Yes you went on an errand, geez are you losing your head or something. Gosh, get it together will you."

Frank just nodded blankly at her. He tried to focus on his work but he still felt like he was in a daze.

In the parking area Qi Zhou walked towards the exit. She was still dressed in her coffee store uniform. She was speaking to someone on the phone.

"M'lady I found the one you sensed spying through that camera. Don't worry I got rid of all the evidence. The Mortal watching it was of no relevance or threat it was easily dealt with.

Next time M'lady you must tell the others to beware of modern technology, these things can be rather tricky."

On the other end of the phone a sultry voice said, "Don't worry Zhou-er, our faction is behind the government and even if something was released none of those mortals would believe it. You worry too much."

Zhou sighed, "I guess I do worry too much M'lady. I would be able to stop worrying if you let me come back to the Coven instead of working at that damn coffee store."

A thick almost sexual laughter came from the phone. "Zhou-er you're working at that store so you can improve your social skills and as punishment for the mistake you made. You will be working there until the end of the year there is no escaping it, do you understand?"

"Yes M'lady."

"Good...oh his door has finally opened. I must hang up on you I need to be one of the first to meet the New Gatekeeper. I'll talk to you later Zhou-er."

"Bye M'lady."

Qi Zhou grumbled to herself, "Damn I still have to work there."

[1] Again when I say university I mean college. It is just less confusing for me to write it that way.

[2] If you haven't noticed yet all of Mao Lu's friends come from wealthy backgrounds since he knows them all from his old posh snobby High School. (Again I'm using High school because if I said sixth form or college (as well in in the UK-I think everyone would get confused.)