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Chapter 22 - This I Promise You

Quin tried to get more information regarding her husband’s status from the two FBI agents but they would not reveal anything to her.  As she rode in the car with them, she questioned why they were in an old family van instead of one of those slick black SUV.  The two agents chuckled and one of them told her that the SUV only happened in the movies.  Megan sat by her but kept quiet.

They reached the NYPD headquarters in less than 10 minutes because they had their flashing siren on and were able to take certain shortcuts.  Quin wasn’t aware when they had arrived at the destination because the building was called One Police Plaza.  But when she was brought into the building’s lobby, she remembered this was the FBI Headquarter where Fei and his team were supposed to be today.
When they were brought to a room, Megan asked to borrow Quin’s cell phone as she had forgotten hers.  Then she told one of the agents she had to call in to let her work know of her whereabouts.  So Megan left Quin in the interview room with the two agents.
Meanwhile, the 203rd Session of the FBI NA Training Class was coming to the end of their New York tour.  Soon after his team was dismissed, Fei was at the lobby when he received a call from Quin’s cell phone.  Thinking she was calling to let him know of her whereabouts, he answered by addressing his wife in Cantonese.  “Lo Poh?”
“I’m not your Lo Poh!”  Kevin’s voice came on.  “But we just got news that your wife is being held ransom by some men.  They sent us her cell phone!”    
“What!”  Fei panicked and shouted into the phone.  “Where?!”
“We are in Hall #3 on the 9th Floor!  Hurry and get here!”  The line was cut off.
Panicked filled his entire body and his heart rate shot up to 180 beats per second immediately.  He ordered his brain to think fast, navigated his eyes to focus and search for the elevators as he moved his legs like a 100 meter sprinter going for the gold medal in the Summer Olympic Games.
Instead of waiting for the elevators which were all held up on the 10th floor or above, he found a door on the side and dashed through it as if it was the finish line in the race.  However, it was the entrance to the fire escape stairs.  He wasted no time to climb up the nine flights of stairs.
Coming into the corridor of the 9th floor, he did a quick glance to find which direction Hall #3 was.  When his eyes registered the arrow to the right, he sprinted down that direction like an athlete whose heart was about to burst due to the overwhelming fear and panic of ever losing the trophy he had worked so hard for. 
The moment he swung open the doors to Hall #3, his entire body froze as he was met with a roaring round of cheers and applause.  He was in a state of shock and confusion, and he didn’t quite know how to react at that instance.  Instead of calming himself, his fear and panic took the best of him as he grabbed Kevin by the chest and tumbled him to the ground.
“Where’s my wife?!”  His eyes bore anguish and desperateness that was consuming him.  “Why do you have her phone?”
A few members of his team rushed over to pull Fei away from the immobile Kevin.  Suddenly the room grew quiet and Fei heard Quin’s voice coming through the speakers in the hall. Kevin got back on his feet and placed a hand on Fei’s shoulder.  “Relax!  You did really well.  We didn’t expect you to get here so quickly!”  He pointed to the front of the big hall where the one-sided mirror interview room was. “Quin is over there!”
The sea of officers parted like The Red Sea as Fei walked to the front where he could see his wife pacing back and forth in the interview room.  He knew Quin had no idea there were more than 150 pairs of eyes watching her every move, listening to her self-comforting conversation that was transmitted through the sound proof room.  “Fei, you’ll be alright!  I know you’ll be okay!  You said the fortune-teller predicted you will live up to at least 80!”  
From where he was standing, Fei could see how worried Quin was.  He knew she was doing her best to hold her composure.  He recognized the two men in the room with Quin, they were two of the agents who participated in the Role-Play this morning.  Now he sort of understood why they came up to shake his hands and chit-chatted with him this morning.  When Megan entered the room from the door on the back wall, Fei noticed how her hands were shaking when she handed the phone back to Quin.  After that, Megan went and sat down quietly at the opposite end of the table and held her head down, completely avoiding eye contact with Quin.  That was when Fei knew something fishy was going on with Megan and the rest of the officers and agents in the Hall.  
When Quin sat down, Megan asked in a whisper.  “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine.  I just don’t understand why they can’t tell me what kind of emergency Fei is in!”  Quin let out a breath of frustration while looking straight at the agent holding a cell phone.
Megan leaned closer to Quin and whispered softly.  “What if they are holding us for ransom?” 
Quin gave her a puzzled look and thought about the possibility.  “If they are, Fei will figure out a way to rescue us!  Don’t worry!”  Quin assured Megan.  “But I don’t think so.  If they want to hold us for ransom, they wouldn’t bring us to an FBI building.”  Quin turned to look at the agent with the phone again.  “Unless you fabricated this entire building?”
He shook his head and was relieved when his cell phone rang.  Quin rose from her seat hoping to hear news of her husband.  Megan did the same and Fei heard someone among the crowd called out ‘Action!’
Inside the interview room, the agent with the phone ended his call with one word. “Yes, Sir!”  Okay, two words.  Then he nodded towards his partner and acknowledged Megan with a grin.
“Mrs. Tsui, we got updates.”  The agent started.  “Now we need you to identify your husband.”
“What?!” Quin was so stunned the agent and Megan had no problem pushing her back down into her chair.  “Identify?!” 
The next thing Quin knew, a piece of black cloth covered her eyes and both her wrists were cuffed to the arm rests of the chair.  Fei charged towards the entrance of the room but was held back by the other officers.
Confused and fearful, Quin called out for her friend.  “What are you guys doing?  Megan!  What’s happening?  Are you okay, Megan?”
“I’m fine.  Don’t worry, Quin!”  Megan placed both hands on Quin’s shoulders.  The one-way mirrored became transparent and Megan saw Fei being seated behind a table with a few other men.  However, he was the only one being held down in his seat by several of the officers.  “Fei is okay.  I see him!  He’s not hurt!”
Quin turned frantic and began flinging her head to loosen the blindfold.  Megan saw how Fei was trying to free himself from being held back in his chair, so she thought she had better calm Quin down right away.  “Fei can see you too!  But if you don’t calm down, he is about to punch someone just to save you!”
Quin was still blind-folded and her arms were still restrained, but she managed to calm herself down to make sense of what was happening.
“That’s right, Mrs Tsui!”  The agent with the phone said.  “As wife of an FBI agent, it is very important to recognize your husband’s voice under all circumstances.  There will be several men claiming to be your husband, so we need you to identify the real Flygon!”
When the microphone was given to the first candidate, the agent asked Quin if she was ready. 
Still unable to comprehend all that was being told to her, she asked.  “Ready for what?  Where is my husband?  I want to see my husband!”
There was a sea of chuckle from outside the room but Quin only heard the ones from the agents and Megan.  “You tell us which of these men is your husband and we will bring him to you!  So listen carefully because you don’t want us to bring you the wrong man!”  The agent pressed the intercom button and gave the okay gesture to the person in charge from the other side of the window. 
“Dearest Lo Poh, I promise to love you until the time you find a cow barking, a fish walking and a donkey flying.  You know this will never happen but this is my poetic way to tell you I will love you forever!”
When the applause and laughter was about to be heard, the agent pressed the intercom button off.  Even Fei couldn’t stifle his own amusement upon hearing one of his teammate’s funny confessions of love for his wife.  By now Quin figured this was a hoax for some sort of entertainment; she just didn’t know why they picked her.  Though she couldn’t see anyone, she caught a bit of the applause and cheers before the mic was turned off.  She was certain there were others present.  She also believed Fei had to be safe and sound.  After hearing the first confession of love, she also laughed and shook her head.  Even though the voice was digitized, she knew there was no way Fei would ever say that.  Fei breathed a relief to see Quin shaking her head to say this was not her husband.
The second candidate pulled out his card and started speaking into the mic like he was reciting poetry.  “My dearest Lo Poh, without you the fire place feels cold; the roses have no fragrance and the scenery no beauty.  But when you are by my side, I find beauty everywhere.  That is why I will love you forever!”
Everyone responded with an ‘Awwww’ but Fei held his breath because Quin’s smile had disappeared.  He could tell she was challenged but he let go of his breath as soon as Quin started to shake her head.
“Does that mean you don’t know?”  The other agent asked.
“No, that’s not my husband!”  Quin said with so much confidence that her hands jerked on the cuffs that were hold her to the chair.
“Are you sure now?  Do you want to hear the declaration again?”  The agent asked.
“I’m absolutely sure.  My husband has a different rhythm of speech.  Next please!”  Quin commanded.  It brought on laughter.
Just before it was Fei’s turn, his team leader handed him a piece of index card and gave him a pat on the shoulder.  “Just play along.  But if you tell her straight out you are Flygon, I might have to reconsider giving you that pass for team work!”
He glanced over the card and knew this spelt embarrassment for him.  He didn’t think Quin would be able to identify him.  When the live mic was given to him, he cleared his throat a couple of times and then started reading the words on the card.
“My dearest Lo Poh, from this day forth, I promise to never break your heart.”  He looked up and saw Quin tilting her head to one side.  Then he cleared his throat again and continued.  “I promise to give you my heart till the day my life is through.  I promise to give you all my hard earned money.”  Fei lifted his eyes off the card and saw Quin smiling in an amused way.  “I will never leave you for another woman!”  Then he added something extra with a smirk.  “Even if you get really fat!”
Suddenly, Quin’s stifling chuckles were heard across the hall which made others started to laugh, even Fei himself.  Seeing his wife smile, he added.  “This I promise you!”
Quin knew this had to be Fei.  In fact, she sensed it was him when he first cleared his throat before speaking into the mic.  The second time he cleared his throat, she was pretty sure this was her husband.  And when he added that extra detail regarding being fat, she was certain it was Fei.  “I believe this one is my husband!” 
Suddenly applause filled the hall as well as the interview room because the mic was still live.  Fei turned to his teammates.  “She’s already guessed correctly.  I don’t have to continue, right?”
“Fei?!”  Quin called out his name immediately though his voice was still digitized.  As soon as the agents uncuffed her, she pulled off the blindfold and was shocked to see the crowd in front of her eventhough they were separated by the window.  She spotted Fei who was already making his way towards the door of the interview room to get to her.
The applause grew louder as Fei barged into the room just in time for Quin to run into her husband’s open arms.  It was one of those touching scenes that made those watching go all mushy inside with misty teary eyes as the couple embraced each other.
Megan left the room with the two agents to give the couple some moments of privacy.  When she stepped outside, she caught a glimpse of a man watching the couple with great interest.  Megan noticed he was tall, just a few cm shorter than Fei.  And the man was dressed in a stylish suit, standing in the middle of the corridor, blocking her way to the Ladies Washroom.  She approached with the benefit of a doubt that he would step aside for her to walk past, but he turned and gave her a smile she couldn’t tear her eyes away from.
“That was quite something, eh!”  He said to her.  “Who are the couple?”
“They are my friend, Quin, and her husband, Tsui Fei.”  Megan was wondering if she was actually talking to this good-looking man, or was she just babbling nonsensible to him.  “They just got married in July and had a very short honeymoon!  His classmates are surprising them with a second honeymoon!”
“So you’re a staff here?”
“Oh no!  They called me last night to play along with the surprise.”  Megan smiled.  “Not an easy task to play dumb.  I couldn’t even look her in the eyes!”
“I see!  Looks like you did a good job!  They seemed surprised!”  The man gave her a grin and then looked towards the couple who were being congratulated by agents and officers at the front of the hall.  “You said he is Tsui Fei and Quin is his wife?”  Megan nodded and his phone rang.  He gave her a smile and excused himself to pick up the call.  “Hey….”
She stepped aside to avoid bumping into him and continued walking towards the washroom.  To her surprise, he followed behind her while talking into his phone.  What Megan didn’t know was that if Fei and Quin had caught a glimpse of the man she was talking to, they would have thought he was a prisoner at large.  Because the man who was walking behind her had the exact splitting cookie-cutter image of Cheng Dong Shing.  He looked very much like the man who abducted Chin Chin a few years ago, the fugitive who was finally caught and imprisoned in Hong Kong last year.  And if Fei had heard what the man said, he would be on alert that Cheng Dong Shing was going for another kill.


“You must have forgotten that I don’t drink before a big case!”  He laughed into the phone.  “And believe me, today's case is definitely going to be a very big one!”
Ending Song - This I Promise You by NSYNC