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Read an excerpt:
Nikita saw her opportunity. “Now, I’m going to take you to the passenger side. If you yell, speak, or make ugly faces or anything, I will cut you. Do you understand?”
Liwei was shaking, but nodded his head rapidly.
Once he was in the car, Nikita still had the nasty, tactical knife in an icepick grip pointed toward his chest. “One bad move and you’re dead. Do you understand?”
“Keys!” she shouted.
Liwei reached into his coat pocket and gave her the switchblade key device. She started the C300 and proceeded out the garage and onto the busy streets of Shenzhen city.
With the hum of the 241-horsepower turbocharged engine accelerating up Beihuan Avenue, Nikita told Liwei that she had no intention of harming him if he cooperated. She explained that all she wanted was what was rightfully hers—the $33 million for the bearer bonds. He told her that they were worthless, but she countered his claims with the information she had received from “some higher ups” in Washington. He shook his head and mumbled things like, “this is all a mistake” or “we need deeper understanding” and other ambiguous statements.
At the Fuxiwong Budget Hotel, Nikita led Liwei through the lobby. There were numerous dingdong xiaojie, or what is referred to in English as “hotel girls.” These prostitutes rent themselves rooms in hotels and seek potential clients among male guests. If a “John” shows interest, the girl simply comes to his room and knocks on the door or presses the doorbell, hence the name “ding dong” girls.
As usual, no one was at reception. Leading him up the stairway and down the hall to her room at the end, Nikita kept her head down and play-acted her role as the baopo. Opening the door, she sat him down on the ground near the window.
“Strip!” she insisted while standing strong and holding the knife in a most menacing manner.
Liwei looked confused, muttered something and shook his head.
“You heard me. Shirt—off! Trousers—down!”
He slowly picked up on the highly-accented and strange words that Nikita used in her attempt at speaking the local dialect. He smiled and became cheeky. “You want to have good time?”
“In your dreams,” replied Nikita, yet the words she mistakenly used were, “In your nightmares.”
Liwei had a chagrined expression. With a quick nod of his head, he stood up. Carefully keeping eye contact with Nikita he slowly unbuttoned his shirt, then stopped.
She pointed to his legs. “Trousers!”
He nodded in acquiescence, and with some hesitation began unbuttoning his pants. Standing there with just his briefs on and his trousers down around his ankles, he appeared despondent.
Nikita walked over to him and pointed down at his pants. “Toss them to me.” Again, in her version, the words came out. “Throw them away.” Liwei looked confused, so she gestured clearly what to do with them. He understood and tossed them to her. Nikita rummaged through them, picking out his cellphone, wallet, and a few coins that were in his pocket. Checking the shirt, she found nothing but his gold business card case, which she threw on the bed. Finally, she patted him down around his ankles to check for a shank or any other weapon.
Grabbing the handcuffs out of her travel bag, she attached one end to his right wrist and the other to the dull-yellow-painted iron radiator attached to the wall. “Sit here. I’m getting something to eat. Do you like cha siu bao?”
He nodded with his head down. Looking up, he said, “If you unlatch me, I will text my assistant, Mr. Xi Luo, to bring the money. I won’t go anywhere. Honest. Anything you want. Please. Let me go.”
With a hands-on-her-hips power gesture, she shook her head and laughed. “Fat chance, Liwei.”
About the Author: John grew up in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor's degree in economics, and has worked in numerous corporate finance and project management positions in the consumer electronics and IT industries. In 1990, he took an extended backpacking trip of the South Pacific before attending graduate school. He met his future wife in New Zealand, and they were married in 1991. They settled in Laguna Niguel, California. In 2003, John and his family (now with two kids in tow) relocated to Christchurch, New Zealand.
John's interest in writing began when he was a student at UC Davis and worked as a feature writer for the California Aggie newspaper. Possessing the desire to write again and with a goal on his bucket list to eventually try his hand at thriller novels, he took the plunge and began writing his first novel, The Fiduciary Delusion, in 2014.
John's interests also include science, existential philosophy, health, and both Western and Eastern holistic medicine. John also plays guitar, piano, sings, and writes music. In addition, a self-confessed “gym rat,” John can be regularly found lifting weights, trudging up hills, sea kayaking, and getting out and about enjoying the beautiful wild outdoors.
Amazon Author Page:Amazon Author Page
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