Chapter 92: The Attack on A-Tie
The next morning, Jiang Zhengkai awoke to find A-Jiao still sleeping lazily in his arms. Due to his profession, Jiang Zhengkai had always slept at odd hours when he was younger. This had resulted in him having the habit of not waking up early in the mornings. Usually, it was A-Jiao who woke up first and dragged him out of bed.
Jiang Zhengkai looked at her and felt slightly worried. He reached out towards her forehead. “Honey, are you ill?” He placed his palm on her forehead to gauge her body temperature, but it wasn’t hot to the touch, so she probably didn’t have a fever.
“I’m not getting out of bed!” A-Jiao muttered as she turned and buried her head in Jiang Zhengkai’s chest. “Honey, you have to believe me! I never brought a client back here!”
“Oh!” said Jiang Zhengkai, as a happy smile appeared on his face. So that was why she was upset. Last night, by the time Jiang Zhengkai had returned to the bedroom from the storage room, A-Jiao was already laying down in bed with her back to him. Since she appeared to be asleep, he didn’t want to wake her and ask her what was going on. Rather, he sat in bed and looked over the documents Zheng Yueshan had provided him before falling asleep himself.
“It’s true! I swear!” A-Jiao’s head was still buried in Jiang Zhengkai’s chest, and her voice was full of nervousness and unease. Perhaps in her mind, there was some distinction between having sex with a man and spending the night with him.
“Dont’ worry! I only care about your future, not your past,” said Jiang Zhengkai as he lifted her face out from his chest. He saw the glistening of tears lining A-Jiao’s eyelids. “Hehe, are you crying because of this? This isn’t how you used to behave.”
“Hmph! How do you know what I used to be like?” retorted A-Jiao as she blinked her eyes and looked at Jiang Zhengkai’s smiling face. Right now, what A-Jiao needed the most wasn’t consoling or comforting, but an understanding smile from the man she loved, which is exactly what she received.
“Hehe! Do you remember how fierce you were when we first met? ‘Do you want some free services? My house is right around the corner,’” joked Jiang Zhengkai as he did his best impersonation of A-Jiao.
“Why you!” Hearing Jiang Zhengkai’s teasing, A-Jiao sat up on the bed. “Hmph! You just said you don’t care about my past, but then you turn right around and make fun of it!”
“Alright, alright, I’ll stop! Honey, could you make breakfast? I’m starving!” Jiang Zhengkai also sat up in the bed. He placed his head on A-Jiao’s shoulder and gently landed a kiss on her cheek. Men and women were different, or more accurately speaking, some men were different from other men. For one type of men, even if he knew about his woman’s past, as long as she was willing to say goodbye with that part of her life, then he would not spend any time dwelling on what had transpired in her life before they met. Jiang Zhengkai was that type of man. Deep down inside, he had accepted A-Jiao completely, her present and even her past. He didn’t want those things in the past, things he couldn’t change, to interfere with his newfound happiness. Of course, given his chosen profession, he nevertheless had to constantly face A-Jiao’s past life.
“Hmph! You go starve to death then!” But despite having said that, she happily got out of bed, put on her slippers, and went into the kitchen. “Could you make the bed while I cook, Honey?”
* * *
In another apartment, A-Meng was just starting to wake up as well, but Cui Jing was still passed out on the bed. Just like Jiang Zhengkai, A-Meng also placed his hand on Cui Jing’s forehead to gauge her body temperature. However, unlike A-Jiao, Cui Jing actually had a fever. Her forehead was quite hot to the touch.
In light of the circumstances, A-Meng didn’t bother to hesitate. Just like last night, he placed Cui Jing on his shoulder and ran out of his apartment building towards the nearest hospital.
* * *
“Honey, are you busy this afternoon?” A-Jiao asked with great expectation as Jiang Zhengkai parked his car outside the preschool’s front entrance. As she climbed out of the car, she said, “I don’t have any afternoon classes. You want to go out and play?”
“Sure!” He said. “But I’ll have to check with Commissioner Yao to see if he’ll fire me first.”
“You’re so annoying!” A-Jiao of course knew what Jiang Zhengkai meant. He simply went on a roundabout way of saying that he had to work to do in the afternoon and that the only way for him to skip out on work and spend time with A-Jiao was for Yao Tianyu to relieve him of duty first.
“Alright, just don’t regret your decision!” A-Jiao waved at him. “I’m off to work now. Bye, Honey!” She happily ran into the preschool.
Jiang Zhengkai sat in the car and waited until A-Jiao had disappeared completely into the preschool before driving off. On the road, his mind was already calculating just how many more secrets A-Xiu and the women around her were hiding.
“Ah, you’re here, Inspector Jiang!” As soon as Jiang Zhengkai walked into the office, Lu Xiaoqiang stood up from his chair. “Sergeant Zhang just called. A-Tie’s been attacked; he was seriously injured. He’s in the hospital right now.”
“What?” Jiang Zhengkai was dumbstruck. “A-Tie was attacked?”
“Yes! Sergeant Zhang said over the phone that his attackers were quite brutal. They probably wanted to beat A-Tie to death, except they made too much of a ruckus, which drew the attention of the neighbors.”
“Come on! We’ll talk more on the way there!” Before Jiang Zhengkai could even step foot into his own office, he immediately turned around and began walking back out into the sub-bureau’s parking lot. As always, Lu Xiaoqiang was right behind him. On the drive over to the hospital, he gave Jiang Zhengkai a summary of what had happened to A-Tie.
Apparently, a group of men had barged their way into A-Tie’s home near the alley early this morning and beaten him mercilessly. A-Tie had suffered a stab wound to the chest, but luckily for him, the knife barely missed his heart. As he’d tried to resist, he’d inadvertently bumped into his kitchen cabinet. The crash of the kitchen cabinet and its dishes was what had alerted the neighbors, who immediately called the police. Thus, A-Tie’s life was spared. As for the attackers’ identities and the reason behind the attack, such things would have to wait until A-Tie regained consciousness.
“Jiang, you’re here!” said Zhang Nan. He was standing guard outside A-Tie’s hospital room. When he saw Jiang Zhengkai and Lu Xiaoqiang hurriedly making their way over, he immediately walked over and told them, “He’s out of danger, but he’s still unconscious.”
“Really?” asked Jiang Zhengkai. He glanced at the hospital room and saw that A-Tie was hooked up to all sorts of drugs and machines. “Do you have any lead on the attackers?”
“No,” Zhang Nan shook his head. “A-Tie lived by himself, so no one knew what his attackers looked like. However, according to his neighbors, there were around three to five people, and they arrived by car.”
“Did any of the neighbors hear them say anything?” Jiang Zhengkai further asked.
“They heard the men talking, but they weren’t able to make out what it was they were saying,” Zhang Nan said. “I’ve been busy all morning trying to keep A-Tie alive, so I left the task of evidence gathering to the other officers from the station. I’m afraid I’m not too familiar with the situation either.”
Jiang Zhengkai nodded. “Alright. Are there officers assigned to watch over him?”
“Yes!” Zhang Nan answered. “Guo Wei and another officer are in charge of his safety. They went to fill out some hospital paperwork.”
“Okay, that’s good. Tell them to make sure nothing happens to A-Tie under their watch!” Jiang Zhengkai turned to Lu Xiaoqiang. “Xiaoqiang, give Liu Na a call and have her check to see who’s available today. Tell her to send two officers here to assist if at all possible.”
“Yes, Inspector Jiang,” Lu Xiaoqiang promptly replied. Jiang Zhengkai had a suspicion that A-Tie’s assault had something to do with the alley’s serial murders.
“Zhang, you stay and continue to oversee operations here. You can go when Guo Wei and them come back,” said Jiang Zhengkai. He looked back at Lu Xiaoqiang and saw that he had already called Liu Na. “Come on! Let’s go and check out the crime scene!” Jiang Zhengkai then took Lu Xiaoqiang and headed over to the hospital’s parking lot.
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