The group was obviously a bunch of ruffians and thugs who had gotten their start fighting and collecting protection money. So why would they all be dressing like white-collar workers? Han Yanyan didn't believe for a moment that they had that sort of taste in clothing.
Within this group of people, Yao Chen was the red flower, and all others green leaves1Idiom for everyone else being the foil to a main character.. They wore clothing ill-suited to their own temperaments merely to be in tune with him. This was Yao Chen's taste in clothing, Yao Chen's inner thoughts and outer pursuit.
Yao Chen was thirty-three years old this year, about to turn thirty-four, in the midst of the transformation from youth to middle age. He had passed the stage of cutting his way from one end of the street to the other with a watermelon knife, of fighting over territory; the era when blood flowed in and fire flowed out. Now he had wealth and assets, and he had begun to pursue identity and social status.
If Han Yanyan wasn't mistaken in her assessment, Yao Chen actually preferred to be called "Mr. Yao", not "Boss Yao". The latter phrase reeked of gangster, and that reek was exactly what he was trying to whitewash through the wearing of branded suits.
Ever so slightly, Han Yanyan got a vague sense of what Yao Chen was like.
A man who had had enough of earning dirty money, who was ready to wash his hands clean.
Han Yanyan's waitressing job was in the evening, divided into evening and night shifts. Today she was on night shift, and got off in the wee hours of the morning. When she changed her clothes and took the staff elevator to the first floor, she ran into Yao Chen, Sanhu, and a few others in their group exiting the customer elevator with women in their arms. As one, the doormen on the first floor bowed in unison to them. "Goodbye, Mr. Yao."
Han Yanyan didn't step forward. She stood flat against the wall, and when the group of men walked past, all up to no good at first glance, she quietly followed them out.
Outside the door waited not only Yao Chen's luxury cars, but a number of henchmen who were unqualified to follow him into the private rooms and could only hang around outside waiting.
When she spotted one of the young men, Han Yanyan's mouth turned up in a smile.
The young man was named Xiao Yang, and he had just joined the criminal police force this year. Last time, both he and 'policewoman Han Yanyan' had been undercover. This time around, Han Yanyan had turned into a young college student, but Xiao Yang was still undercover. He was Jiang Ye's eyes and ears on Yao Chen.
Was it so easy to wash one's hands clean? If everyone could do terrible things and then whitewash themselves once they had earned enough money, then what was the law for?
As the group noisily boarded their vehicles, she slipped out along the wall and jogged away. She had no other option but to take a taxi home, and if she wanted to catch a taxi, she had to get out of the parking lot and wait outside at the side of the road.
She had already checked - there was no such thing as Uber in this world. Leo was so behind the times!
Yao Chen let the woman he was with get on the limo first. As he held the door for her and was about to step in, his eyes glanced across a gentle, graceful figure slipping behind the crowd and running to the parking lot gate.
At work, long-haired waitresses had to have their hair put up behind their heads. Now that she was off-duty her wavy long hair was draped over her shoulders, swinging lightly back and forth as she ran.
As the cars slowly left the yard, through the windows tinted heavily with black film and the smoke of his cigarette Yao Chen watched the girl waving for a taxi by the roadside. In the cold of the late autumn night, she had donned a thin jacket. Her straight, slender legs were wrapped in jeans.
Her clothes were cheap, worth far less than the women in the car next to him. But it was good to be young. No matter how shoddy the make of the clothes on her body, they couldn't cover up her youth.
Yao Chen felt like he might really be getting old.
Opposite him sat Sanhu, already entangled with a woman. He lived a loose and dissolute life, spending money, drinking wine and sleeping around.
Yao Chen was once just like him, but he had now grown past this stage. One's thinking changed once one had a certain amount of wealth. He shook out another cigarette, looked at Sanhu, and smiled mockingly.
When he turned around again, the girl standing by the roadside was now far away. Taxis didn't come by often in the wee hours of the morning. Yao Chen could still see her slender figure standing there alone.
He exhaled the smoke from his lungs, pushed away the woman cuddling up to him, and made a call.
Overhearing, Sanhu struggled from his woman's breast and asked, "Was it for that chick? The one who read me a lecture?"
"Mn," Yao Chen grunted casually.
"Brother," Sanhu laughed, "You're quite attentive."
Yao Chen laughed back with a sneer, then took no further notice of him.
Han Yanyan stood there for a long time without seeing a taxi. She was just thinking about whether she should walk further down the road when a car suddenly stopped in front of her.
The window rolled down to expose Xiao Yang's face. She tensed slightly.
Xiao Yang craned his neck out and asked, "It's Han Yanyan, isn't it? Hey. I'm Xiao Yang, do you recognize me? I'm one of Mr. Yao's people. Mr. Yao asked me to take you home."