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Jasmine tea : )

Liu Xuan glanced at the teacup sitting precariously at the edge of the sofa. He floated over, whisked it up, and set it back on its saucer on the table. The ceramic, however, was cool. That was odd. Jasmine was his favorite.
“Master Barrington? You haven’t touched your tea…” he looked up and the words evaporated. His Master was sitting in front of the TV, only illuminated by the dim spotlight above – aka, the movie lighting – and the glow of the large screen. He was chewing his thumbnail, a signal of ultimate stress. Master Barrington’s face was a stone mask, brow furrowed and jaw set. Liu Xuan looked at the television. His Master was watching some foreign news report about what appeared to be a flood in America.
“Sir?” Liu Xuan said gently.
At first, he didn’t think his Master heard him. Then, he said, “I grew up near there. Just down the road. Both my parents went to middle school and high school in Elkview. Well, my mom went to high school. I just… this isn’t the Kanawha County I recognize.”
Liu Xuan gathered his robe around him and sat down on the sofa next to his Master; he put a delicate hand on his knees. “Has your family been affected?”
“I can’t get a hold of them. My uncle posted that they were going to evacuate but….nothing since.” Master Barrington continued to chew on his nail.

“You should go.”
Barrington jerked his head toward his houseboy, who was more like a beloved pet than a servant. “Me? Go to West Virginia? In my super fancy suits? And say what – ‘I just got off a plane from Hong Kong for the tragedy porn’?”
Liu Xuan lifted an eyebrow. He knew his Master harbored a bit of a guilty complex over how he had managed to raise himself from a sickly child in a coal mining family to a chairman at a Chinese branch of an international bank. The job meant leaving his entire world behind. He’d wanted to leave, but sometimes felt too far away in more ways than one.
“You should go,” Liu Xuan repeated. “When there are disasters, they need money right? You can help. Plus you can be with your family. Put them in a good hotel. Help.”
Barrington’s face softened. “That would make me feel so much better. My dad wouldn’t normally take that kind of charity, but I think in this situation he would. I can help them get back on their feet.”
Liu Xuan smiled. “I’ll go book you a flight and pack your bag.”
“Thank you, honey.”
Liu Xuan bowed his head and got up, but Barrington grabbed his hand and made him pause. “Sir?”
Barrington kissed the back of it. “You are my reason and sanity sometimes. I don’t know how to live without you.”
Liu Xuan blushed and pulled his hand to his neck, demurely. “It has been nothing but a pleasure to serve you Sir.”

“The pleasure is mine. And I don’t know how long I’ll be gone,” Master Barrington warned. “You should go visit your parents in Naning too.”
Liu Xuan perked up. “I’d love that Sir.”
“Good.” Master Barrington smiled. “Then it’s settled. And when I get back, I’m going to make love to you for a week.”
Liu Xuan blushed again. “I’d love that too Sir.”
”Good. That’s also settled.” Barrington glanced at the television. “God, I can’t watch this anymore.” He changed the channel and picked up his tea cup. “Oh bleh, it’s cold!”

Captions are fictional. Hope none of my American readers have been affected the floods in West Virginia or the fires in California, for that matter.


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