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Chapter 12 - If Ever You're in my Arms Again

Fei’s consciousness returned to him in the emergency room of the hospital.  He felt physically weak but tried to open his eyes.  It took him nearly half a minute to get hold of his orientation.  Looking up at the ceiling, he couldn’t figure out where he was.  He closed his eyes and tried synchronizing his brain to figure out what had happened.  Blank! Blank! Blank!
Slowly, he moved his head from one side of the bed to the other side and then back to the center.  Staring at the ceiling once again, he figured out the environment looked very much like a hospital.  Confusion set in, and he asked himself why he was in a hospital.  Then thoughts of oxygen came to him and so he tried taking in a breath through his nostril.  Relief set in until he realized he wasn’t wearing a mask.  No oxygen!  That couldn’t be good, he thought to himself.  With a rush of panic, he moved his arms and tried to sit himself up.  That was when he realized someone was resting at the foot of his bed.
Kwan startled awake from Fei’s movement and stood up as if she was caught slacking off on her job.  But when she saw Fei’s puzzling eyes looking back at her, she relaxed, cleared her throat and managed to compose her appearance again.
Suddenly, images of seeing Kwan at a traffic junction flashed across Fei’s memory.  Then he remembered making that particular move in jumping the traffic to run after her.  After that, it was all mumble jumbo and nothing was making sense in his recollection.
When Fei’s eyes were still fixated on her with confusion, Kwan thought perhaps he couldn’t recognize her in her white coat.  Though she knew she should be nice to him in his current condition, she just couldn’t help herself.  “Do I look like a ghost?” 
Once again, Kwan found Fei irresistible when he continued to stare at her for a few moments longer.
“Am I dreaming or am I in Heaven?”  Fei finally spoke up when he couldn’t understand why Kwan was in his presence.  When he caught the twinkle in her eyes, his heart rate began to increase.  His heart was throbbing hard when she started to slowly lean in towards him.  He wasn’t sure what to expect from her but definitely not a hard tug on his left earlobe causing him to exclaim out loud.  “Ouch!”
“Now you know you’re not dreaming!”  Kwan chuckled at his lame, childish, yet adorable pretense.  “And you’re certainly not in Heaven!”
In a matter of seconds, Fei regained his memory of being bumped by moving vehicles.  He kept his eyes on Kwan to buy himself some time to remember the entire incident that led him to the hospital.  He remembered seeing Kwan just before his last memory went blank.  So Fei continued with his play-acting and gave Kwan a pout as he rubbed his earlobe.  “I’m still a patient, how can a doctor treat a patient like this?”
But deep down, Fei was really, really, happy that Kwan was here with him.  In fact, he was over the moon.  However, he was doing everything he could not to reveal his joy.  But nothing could escape Kwan when it came to Fei’s emotions, she was amused to see him having trouble putting on a grouchy face for the first time in his life.  Knowing his brain was still in tack and certain he was back to his normal self, Kwan decided to play along to see how far he would take the game before surrendering to the smile hidden in his eyes.  And playing to win was her goal, so she folded her arms across her bosom as he continued to whine about his ear.  At the precise moment when their eyes met again, she asked him.  “Then would you like your doctor to kiss it better instead?”
While making his best effort to keep his smile from surfacing, Fei saw the grin in Kwan’s eyes.  He knew that meant their game was on.  He braved it up and aimed straight for the grand prize.  So he pointed to his lips.  “That would be a start!”
With a smirk, Kwan took on the challenge and started walking to the other side of the bed.  Both of them had their eyes on each other, careful not to make a single blink.  When Kwan reached the head of the bed, she leaned forward just to make Fei think she was giving in to his request.  She even reached her right arm out towards his neck, just enough to press the button located above the headboard.  “I’ll call your doctor in and tell him your request.”
Realizing he’d been tricked, Fei immediately grabbed Kwan’s left arm.  His action caught Kwan by surprise, causing her head to land on his shoulder.  Adrenaline overtook Fei and he lifted his other hand up to her neck.  Instantly, he settled his mouth on hers.  Her lips were soft and tender.  His were desperate and hungry, awakening Kwan’s deepest hidden desire for Fei all over again.
Like sweet surrender, Kwan opened up to his kiss.  She could feel his wanting desire for her once again.  It only took a few seconds into the kiss to realize that her guarded emotions for him over the last year were becoming undone.  As their kiss deepened, she had to admit to herself the wanting for him never went away no matter how she had tried to shield herself from being with him in the past.
Suddenly the curtains drew open and a Chinese man in a white coat cleared his throat, he stepped forward as he watched Kwan pulled away from Fei.  Then a nurse entered, she was holding a tray of medical supplies.  The nurse smiled and appeared much more smitten than the couple who was just caught in the act. 
“Looks like our patient got the best medication in the house.  We may have found the prescription that cures all!”  Said the Caucasian man who gave Kwan a wink and a cheeky smirk.  When he walked and stood next to the Chinese doctor, Fei thought he looked very familiar.
Fei watched as Kwan backed herself into the nearest corner.  He felt embarrassed and could tell Kwan was feeling the same way; instantly, he couldn’t stop his smitten smile from surfacing. 
“Mr. Tsui, you gave this young lady here quite a scare this morning!”  The Caucasian man spoke again, this time he addressed Kwan with a nod of his head.  “Am I right, Quin?”
Fei recognized the voice right away.  When Kwan smiled and nodded respectfully at the man, he felt shamefully petty to have thought she was involved in a relationship with this man who looked to be a doctor.  Fei felt foolish for wasting his energy and effort all this time when he was trying to shake off the images of Kwan being in bed with another man since the phone call at Chi Shan’s home. 
“Mr. Tsui, I’m Dr. Lam, the attending doctor when you were brought into the emergency.”  The Chinese doctor introduced himself.  Then he pointed to the Caucasian man whom Fei had figured was also a doctor by his white coat.  “Dr. Millard was at the accident site and took care of you.  That’s why you were able to recover so quickly.”
Dr. Millard noticed a look of concern from Fei’s expression and thought it was best to spare him from misery.  “Don’t worry!  I was not the one who gave you mouth to mouth!”  With a cheeky smile, he referenced Kwan with a nod of his head.  “She was the one who brought you back to life!”
At first, Fei wasn’t sure if he should take the jovial doctor seriously; especially when the doctor grinned at Kwan with another wink.  But when laughter broke out in the room, Fei locked a quick glance with Kwan and noticed her rosy cheeks.  He knew the doctor was telling the truth. 
Going along with the ambience of the room, Fei smiled and thanked Dr. Millard sincerely.  “I’m really, really happy to know it wasn’t your mouth on mine!”
Hence, Dr. Millard spoke up.  “Oh!  I recognize your voice!  You were the one who called when the line got disconnected!”  He looked at Kwan.  “He was the guy who called you that morning, wasn’t he?”
Kwan had always sensed it was Fei, she just didn’t know why he had never called her back when Chin Chin said he would.  Fei somehow sensed what Kwan was thinking and gave her a look of guilt.  Now Kwan got her answer and her cheeks turned to a hot pink shade.  She focused her eyes on his and that was when Fei’s dimpled smile appeared.
Dr. Millard caught the exchange of glances and laughed heartily.  “Oh Boy!  I hope I didn’t cause any trouble that morning!  I can imagine how that must have sounded; a strange man waking up your girlfriend in the morning!”
Fei felt completely transparent and wished there was a hole for him to bury his head into.  However, he was glad that Kwan was referenced as his girlfriend.  And when Kwan didn’t correct the doctor, he was thrilled.  But knowing Kwan the way he did, he knew she wouldn’t put herself in a position to deny their relationship; especially not after the kiss they just shared before they were untimely interrupted.  But neither would she admit it, and Fei knew there was still work for him to do in that matter.
“If I were you, Mr. Tsui, I’d keep an eye on this one!”  Dr. Millard continued.  “She’s quite a catch on campus!”
Fei nodded to Dr. Millard to acknowledge he understood his words of wisdom.  And when Fei turned to glance at Kwan, she deliberately avoided eye contact with him.  Fei had no doubt other men would be interested in her, he was just grateful Kwan still had feelings for him.  He watched as Kwan walked to join the two doctors in discussing his medical file.  Quietly he thought about the ring he had just placed into his safety deposit box this morning.  He smiled to himself when his heart and mind started to conceive of ways to get Kwan back for good.
By early afternoon, after going through multiple tests ordered by Dr. Millard and Dr. Lam, Fei insisted he was fine.  He was trying his best to convince the two doctors that he did not need to be hospitalized for further observation.  But only when Kwan finally agreed to stay by his side for the next 48 hours, the doctors felt confident to discharge him from their emergency care.  However, due to the fact that Kwan had a pre-arranged appointment that afternoon, Fei wouldn’t be able to leave the hospital until her return in the evening.  Being certain he wouldn’t know what to do with himself for the extra 2 hours if he had to remain at the Emergency, he convinced Kwan to let Chi Shan assist with the discharge procedures and that they would meet up after her appointment. 
Chi Shan was totally surprised to learn of Fei’s accident.  He wasted no time in getting to the hospital upon receiving Fei’s call just at the end of a court hearing.  Chi Shan entered the waiting area for Outpatients and found Fei sitting alone.  Chi Shan was only told by Fei that he was struck down by a vehicle.  When he asked for further details, Fei had refused to tell him more.  As Chi Shan approached, he was comforted in seeing the serenity on Fei’s face.  In fact, Chi Shan thought Fei looked to be in a dreamy state.  Fei was not even aware of Chi Shan’s arrival. 
“So what were you doing rushing out to a busy street?” Chi Shan thought Fei looked too happy for someone who was just hit by a car.  He teased Fei when he stepped in front of him, awakening him from his trance.  “Don’t tell me you were trying to catch a thief!” 
Fei was glad to see his friend and the expression on Chi Shan’s face brought out a chuckle.  After promising Kwan that he would not to tell Chi Shan of her surprise return to Hong Kong, Fei tried to come up with an answer that would not sway too far from the truth.  “I guess you can say that, I was running after the thief who stole my heart!”
The statement silenced Chi Shan.  He was not expecting that and was trying to solve the puzzle of whom Fei was referring to.  When they exited the Emergency, Chi Shan caught the dancing in Fei’s eyes.  The last time he had seen Fei’s eyes looking like that was when he and Kwan were still dating.  Not possible!  Chi Shan thought.  Kwan is still in the United States. 
Chi Shan could not conceive who could have had such a powerful spell over Fei to even have stolen his heart of steel.  Then Chi Shan started to shake his head in disbelief.  “You told me things with Chin Chin were over?  I thought she and Nathaniel were dating now.”
“Did I say the thief was Chin Chin?”  He asked rhetorically while standing next to Chi Shan’s car.  He loved every minute of keeping his friend and boss in the dark.  “And yes, she is with Nathaniel!”
As they both got into the car to get ready for the ride, Chi Shan continued with his questioning.  “Okay, if it’s not Chin Chin, who else could have stolen your cold metal heart?”  He was also curious if Fei was making this up.  “Why isn’t the thief here with you now?”
“She has an appointment!”  Fei said carefully and gave his friend a quick smile when Chi Shan looked his way before turning the ignition to start the car engine.
Chi Shan took the next moment to consider Fei’s words, he put his car in Drive mode.  He kept silent, expecting Fei to continue.  When he didn’t, Chi Shan was rather choked that Fei was able to give his heart to someone new in such a short time.  “Are you for real?”
This time, Fei turned to look at Chi Shan.  “About the thief?”  Fei shot him a dramatic reaction.  “You think I would risk my life just to be hit by a car?”
Shaking his head, Chi Shan wasn’t sure if he wanted to voice his disappointment or that it was good for Fei to be moving on in life.  The former won and he let it out.  “It’s just hard to believe!  You just ended things with Chin Chin and Kwan’s only been gone a few months!”
“Six months, 12 days to be exact!”  Fei wanted to tell Chi Shan the truth for it was difficult for him to contain all this good news to himself.  But he was a man in keeping his promises.  “But who is counting, right?”
Chi Shan gave Fei a double take.  “And you found a new girlfriend already?” 
Fei was disappointed and thought to send Chi Shan a grudging look for thinking so low of him, but he decided that would be pointless.  Besides, he knew Chi Shan wouldn’t see it as he was too focus on his driving in the rush hour traffic.  That was when his cell phone rang and he looked at the call display. “Ah…..the thief is calling me!”
As he answered the call, Fei was well aware that Chi Shan was listening for her name.   “Hi….!”  Then he purposely held his phone to his left ear so Chi Shan couldn’t hear her voice.  “I’m good! … Done with your appointment? …..yup……uh-huh…..Chi Shan took care of it.”
“She knows me?”  Chi Shan mumbled to himself and wished he could hear the person’s voice.  “Do I know her?”
“Okay, I’ll ask him…” Fei turned to his driver.  “The thief asked if you would like to join us for dinner.”  After further listening to his phone, Fei corrected himself.  “Sorry, the thief said your presence is required at dinner tonight!”
Chi Shan took his eyes off the road for a split second to see what Fei was up to.  He looked at the road again and then did another double take.  When he couldn’t give an answer, Fei sent him a smirk and spoke into the phone on his behalf.  “Yes, he’ll be there!”
Fei ended the call and told Chi Shan to head towards the hotel.  When questioned about why the hotel, Fei had a slip of tongue and told Chi Shan this hotel was where home would be for the next 2 days.  When questioned further, he managed to save himself by telling Chi Shan that they were having dinner at a restaurant in that same hotel.  Fei considered that was a lucky save.  To ensure he would not leak the surprise of Kwan’s return, Fei told Chi Shan he needed to close his eyes for the rest of the drive. 
When Fei and Chi Shan reached the restaurant, they were greeted by Kwan and her family, Chin Chin, Nathaniel, Korean, Gigi and Ah Man.  Chi Shan had suspected the thief was Kwan all along, but he didn’t want to bring his own hopes up in case it wasn’t.  When the opportunity came for Chi Shan to get back at Fei, he turned to Kwan during dinner.
“So you were the thief Fei told me he had risked his life for today!”  Chi Shan emphasized on the object pronoun. “I hope you are giving him another chance.  If I remember correctly, this would be the second time he risked his life for you, am I right?” 
When Kwan but gave him a smitten smile, Korean reminded her.  “The first time was when you were held with a knife to your throat when the two of you were trapped on that fabricated island!”
“That’s right!”  Chi Shan patted Fei’s shoulders.  “And this time, it was not out of police duty!”
“That’s so romantic!”  Chin Chin said like she was in the land of the fairytales.  “If Fei didn’t rush out into the traffic, we wouldn’t even know Kwan was back in Hong Kong!”
While everyone around the table continued on with Chin Chin’s comment, Fei turned to Kwan who was seated to his right.  Kwan sensed his eyes on her, but she was trying hard to curb her feelings for him.  However, memories of the kiss they shared that morning and the time spent together at the hospital when she accompanied him to all the tests were not helping her in this matter at all.  Though she had known of Fei and Chin Chin’s relationship status from his emails, she had reservation that he was totally over her. 
Chi Shan initiated a toast for Kwan’s surprise return and the subject of conversation returned to the thief whom Fei risked his life for twice.  When they toasted Fei’s speedy recovery, he quickly put a cap on the conversation.  “Time to order!  I haven’t eaten a good meal this entire day!  Hospital food doesn’t agree with me!”  Fei picked up the few menus from the center of the table and handed them out to the people around the table.  “My treat tonight!  So order up!”
As others opened up the menus to discuss what to order, Fei turned to Kwan.  She turned around and smiled at him as he took in her new appearance.  He saw a tint of pink appearing behind her fair cheeks and remembered her rosy blush from the morning.  Thinking no one was paying attention to them, he gently brushed the back of his fingers around her ear and whispered to her softly.  “I like your hair cut, it suits you well.”
Kwan felt the heat rising to her face.  She quickly turned to look away from Fei but only to find that everyone around the table were secretly looking at them behind their menus.  Korean and Chi San were mimicking Fei’s actions with their own girlfriend.  When Kwan turned back to look at Fei, he gave her a smitten dimple smile as well.  She immediately stood up and excused herself to the lady’s room for fear that her entire face would soon turn red any seconds now.  But Fei chuckled and told everyone that her cheeks had develop a habit of turning rosy pink since her return from the United States.
Ending Song = If Ever You're in My Arms Again by Peabo Bryson