Week 24.1 – UXM

Previously: Metalord defied Chinese authorities to help Digger escape, while Twain had discovered there was more to Yi Fan than met the eye. And now…

Scaling the wall to get back into the compound wasn’t easy, but Twain had cleared bigger hurdles before. Not long after he was back inside, Yi Fan entered the shed. “What made you come back?” she asked.

“Come back?” Twain asked. “But you said not to leave.”

“I know what I said,” Yi Fan replied. “Just because the servants are old, do not assume they are blind. Or stupid. You left, but came right back. Why?”

Twain shrugged. “I decided you were more interesting than I thought. Did I really tell you I loved you?”

Yi Fan’s eyes narrowed. “Yes.”

“How did that happen exactly?” Twain asked. “Where was it?”

“In the hills, near…” She shook her head. “I ran across you, and when you saw me, you embraced me and kissed me and said you loved me.”

“And how much time did we spend together?”

“A few minutes,” she said. “Then you said you had something you needed to do, and you left.”

“A few minutes?” Twain asked. “You’re risking your life to help me because of one kiss?”

“It was a good kiss.” She blushed and turned away. One hand lifted toward her scar. “No one has ever…”

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]“You’re risking your life to help me because of one kiss?” “It was a good kiss.”[/blockquote]“You’ve never been kissed before? Because of the scar?”

She nodded. “People are afraid of it. There’s a curse.”

“Oh my God, it’s like going back to the Stone Age,” Twain muttered. “So you’re helping me because you’re hoping I’ll feel for you the way the other me did.”

“Yes,” she said. “I can keep you safe, and maybe, while we wait for the search to cool off, we can discover what’s supposed to happen together.”

“Okay,” Twain said. “I’d like that. Then let’s start over. What do you want to do first?”

“Sleep,” she said, turning toward the door. “I’ll come see you tonorrow, and then we can talk.”

Twain smiled and nodded until the door closed behind her. Then he turned out the lamp and went to the window.He stood in the shadow, out of the light coming in through the window and studied the trees and grounds for long minutes. Then he did the same from the other side. And after ten minutes, he saw it: a slight movement just to the side of a tree trunk. He focused just to the side of the area, and after another long wait, finally could make out the contour of a head and shoulder: the watcher Yi Fan had posted.

Now that Twain had the watcher made, he could devise a plan to get past him unseen.

But not tonight. Tonight, he would stay in the trap, so that maybe Yi Fan would think he believed her nonsense story about helping him because of a kiss.


Yi Fan brushed her long hair in front of a mirror, trying not to stare at the way the light glittered in her white streak. With any luck, Twain wouldn’t realize her true reason for helping him until it was too late.

What is Yi Fan’s secret agenda? Join us tomorrow for out next episode!

To read from the beginning, click here

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