Bitter 355

President Wu’s daughter was tall for a girl, but nowhere near the driver’s height, and was up on her toes to make the slap connect. The connection was good.

The slap was loud enough to fill the whole airfield. The driver didn’t react other than to let his head roll to the side.

“Six months I’ve been waiting,” she said. “Six months, and I finally find you here, in the middle of nowhere. Six months.” She raised her hand again.

The driver didn’t even flinch.

She lowered her hand. “If you ever speak to me again, I’ll have your tongue cut out and served as an appetiser.”

It was an odd demand, to punish someone for not speaking to you by insisting they never speak to you again, but it made a weird kind of sense. The driver didn’t say anything, which was probably wise.

Britta wasn’t sure what was going on, but clearly the two of them had history. She looked over at Mum and Dr Reedy, both of whom were glaring at the driver, like he had done something awful. Did they know something she didn’t? Here was a situation where those glasses would have come in useful. They would probably be able to tell you exactly who to blame.

Even without scientific data, Britta couldn’t help but feel the slap had been deserved. She had occasionally seen girls at school act like that with a boy. It usually involved cheating. She had never heard anyone threaten cannibalism, though.

Not getting in touch seemed a lesser crime. Although, a gap of six months between texts was probably a heavy hint that at least one party in the relationship wasn’t that committed.

Of course, Britta didn’t know the specifics of this particular dispute, but the way the driver was not responding in any way, shape or form, told Britta that whoever was at fault here, he was definitely the person who was going to get the blame.

The President’s daughter turned, her long hair swishing in a way Britta’s hair never did, and walked towards Britta. It was a scary sight, and Britta was tempted to back away. She held her ground and hoped she wasn’t getting slapped, too.

“Please call me Lin,” she said to Mum. “You can trust your daughter’s well being to me. I will be happy to answer any questions you have on the way.” Then she looked at Britta, her eyes still incandescent with rage. “I look forward to working with you, Britta.”

She was seething, barely able to contain her anger. That much was obvious.

“Likewise,” said Britta.

Lin stalked towards the car. The driver slid the door open for her, his face not betraying his emotions, assuming he had any. She stopped for a moment, as though opening doors for her might be considered an act of provocation, but then entered the car without looking at him.

Mum and Dr Reedy gave him cold looks as they followed her in. Britta looked at Dad.

He put his hand on her shoulder, and then leaned over to kiss the top of her head.

“Thanks, sweetheart. That was very nice of you.”

She wasn’t sure what he meant. She hadn’t done anything. “What was?”

“Making him give me a new cradle. I wasn’t expecting that.”

He was too excited about his return to New World to worry too much about the viciously aggressive Chinese girl.

“What do you think that was about?” said Britta, pointing towards the car.

He shook his head. “Not our business.”

He was right, of course, but it was hard not to be curious. It could just be the classic love story between the billionaire’s daughter and the lowly driver who didn’t consider himself good enough for her, but as the glasses had shown her, he wasn’t just a regular driver.

“Not our business,” Dad said again, which Britta felt was unnecessary. It wasn’t like she was the type to go snooping into other people’s love lives.

“I know, Dad.”

“Pretty weird night, huh? That President Wu was a bit scary. Heh, thought he was going to kidnap you in and fly you away on his jet plane for a moment.” She gave him a sharp look. “No, no. Not really. They would never do something like that. I think he’s a decent man. A father. We, you know, we connected. He didn’t really look like a George to me, but they often take anglicised names for dealing with Westerners, don’t they? His real name’s probably unpronounceable.”

He was rambling, the adrenaline of the situation finally wearing off. She wondered if that was one of the things the glasses would have shown her.

“Do you think I made the right choice?” she asked him.

“I think so,” said Dad, walking her back to the car. “We’ll see.”

Britta climbed into the car. Lin was sitting stiffly between Mum and Dr Reedy. They were like her bodyguards, ready to take down anyone who posed a threat. Britta sat opposite, not really knowing what to say.

Dad put his head in, and they turned to glare at him. He backed out quickly.

“Any chance I could ride up front with you?” he asked the driver. The door slid shut.

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