"I hope that we can celebrate the New Year together next year," Fu Lailin said.
"It should be this year," Grandfather Shen commented.
Sheng Jiaoyang felt happy just looking at the way the old couple spoke to each other. She actually quite envied the two of them. Since the beginning, they’d always had each other’s backs. The passion between the two hadn't diminished one bit as time passed nor had it weakened due to conflicts. Instead, the bond between them grew even deeper with everything they experienced.
"You guys should go enjoy your meal first, I won't disturb you anymore," Sheng Jiaoyang urged.
Fu Lailin smiled as she said, "Come and visit us when you have the time. Jiaojiao, you’re also a sketch artist, right? It would be great if you could help me think of some jewellery patterns."
"Alright, Grandmother Andy."
Afterwards, Sheng Jiaoyang turned to the camera and said, "Zhining, I’m going to end the video call."
From the moment the video call had started until she hung up, Sheng Jiaoyang hadn’t said many words to Shen Zhining. She didn’t even wish him a Happy New Year.
However, she used the Meitu Cam app and chose a cute filter with voice changing functionality to record a short video of herself and then sent it to Shen Zhining.
Meanwhile, Shen Zhining was in the middle of having his meal when he heard a beeping sound. He picked up his cell phone and unlocked it.
Grandfather Shen pouted at Shen Zhining, so Fu Lailin followed the direction he hinted at and saw Shen Zhining staring down at his cell phone. Seeing this, she smiled helplessly.
"Zhining, Happy New YearMeoww" A cute baby voice came from Shen Zhining’s cell phone, especially the last meow. It was so cute that it almost melted his heart.
Grandfather Shen and Fu Lailin looked at each other, and thought: Youngsters nowadays have a lot of tricks up their sleeves.
Shen Zhining looked up at his Grandfather and stood up before calmly saying, "I'm already full. I still have some things to tend to, so I'm going to the study."
What else do you have to tend to?! The corners of Grandfather Shen’s mouth twitched.
"Go ahead, I’ll tell the others not to bother you." Fu Lailin cast him an understanding look.
Shen Zhining then proceeded to the study with his cell phone in hand.
He wasn’t in a hurry to call back as he re-watched the short video.
"Zhining, Happy New YearMeoww" The same baby voice once again echoed in the study.
In the video, Sheng Jiaoyang had cat ears and a cat nose as she pouted and acted cute.
When Shen Zhining saw others acting cute, he found it very pretentious. But, witnessing Sheng Jiaoyang acting cute was a different story altogether.
Sheng Jiaoyang had never shown him this side of her. At most, she would call his name sweetly. Most of the time, she was a cunning little liar, always thinking of tricks to deceive him. Now that he suddenly saw her acting cute in a video, he could no longer suppress his joy as a smile graced his features.
He raised his hand to cover his mouth and muffled laughter escaped his lips.
Afterwards, he called Sheng Jiaoyang.
They could finally talk alone.
"You’ve finished your meal already?" Sheng Jiaoyang stared at him wide-eyed, revealing traces of astonishment and inquisiveness.
"Mhmm," Shen Zhining calmly answered.
After acknowledging her question with such a halfhearted response, he felt awkward and quickly added, "What have you done today?"
"Just eating, playing around, and eating again, nothing special. But, my new movie is about to start filming soon, so I’m going to be very busy then. How about you?"
"Just eating, replying to emails, and eating again," Shen Zhining replied in the same way she did.
As such, the two continued talking about their ordinary daily life, back and forth.
When it was time to hang up, they simply stared at each other, neither speaking.
"Uhmm, I’ll hang up first…"
"What's the ‘secret’ you want to tell me?"
The two said at the same time.
"I'll tell you the next time we meet."
Shen Zhining raised an eyebrow and asked, "Aren’t we ‘meeting’ each other right now?"
"It’s not the same. We’re separated by a screen."
"Actually, you’re telling me that you have a secret just to get back at me, right?"
Sheng Jiaoyang almost fainted at his question. She stared at Shen Zhining's face and didn’t refute his words since it was the New Year. "You can think whatever you like."
"I'm going to take a shower, so let’s catch up more next time."
"When is the next time?"
Sheng Jiaoyang, who was about to hang up, paused and answered, "Naturally, the sooner the better. However, I don't know when you’re busy and when you aren’t."
"We can talk any time."
A crafty glint flashed across Sheng Jiaoyang’s eyes as she joked, "What if I call you early in the morning and you're still asleep? That wouldn’t work out."
Shen Zhining smiled gently and replied, "You can give it a try."
"You’re the one who said this, so don't blame me for interrupting your rest later."
That night, Sheng Jiaoyang pondered over a way to prank Shen Zhining.
The next day, she calculated the time and sent Shen Zhining a message she’d carefully prepared, accompanied by a harassing phone call.
She was cooped up on the sofa with her cell phone in her hand.
Shortly after, Shen Zhining returned her call.
She beamed and asked excitedly, "Did the message and video give you a scare?"
"You naughty girl,” he answered with a slightly languid voice.
Sheng Jiaoyang hurriedly took the phone away from her ear because she felt her eardrums go numb.
"You said that I could call you any time."
"Behave, I understand your good intentions."
My ‘good intentions’? Sheng Jiaoyang blinked, feeling somewhat confused.
Apart from playing a prank and sending him a scary video, what other ‘good intentions’ could she have in mind?
She then heard him say, "I’ll take care of matters here as soon as possible."
At that instant, she finally understood what he meant by ‘good intentions’. It was referring to her urging him to come back as soon as possible.
"No, it’s okay. You can take your time!" she hurriedly stated.
"You’re saying one thing and hinting another."
"…" You’re thinking too much.
"If you really miss me that much, I can arrange a private plane to pick you up," Shen Zhining playfully added.
"Uhhh…I'm afraid that if I go, you won't be able to focus on your work. "
"My work is always endless. If you come over, I'll take you skiing in the Alps."
Sheng Jiaoyang's eyes lit up for a moment. That offer was really enticing.
"We can also go paragliding,” he continued to tempt her.
If Sheng Jiaoyang was a rabbit, her ears would be perked up by now.
"Do you have anything else planned for the coming days?"
"No." What else could she have planned during the New Year break?
"If that’s the case, then come over and we can go have fun together."
"Alright." In the end, Sheng Jiaoyang failed to withstand the temptation of those active sports.
As for Shen Zhining, he immediately arranged a private plane to pick her up.
When she landed at the airport, she immediately boarded a private car which drove her to Aureate Manor. By the time the car arrived at the manor, the sky was beginning to darken.
Soon after, the car door was opened from the outside.
Sheng Jiaoyang looked up and saw Shen Zhining, who was standing outside the car and dressed thinly. He must’ve heard the noises outside and rushed out of the manor.
He held out a hand to her.
The corners of her lips curled into a smile as she placed her hand on top of his and got out of the car.
"If Grandfather Shen finds out that you weren’t doing your job properly and took me out to play, would he cut me to pieces?" Because there wasn’t much difference in their heights, Sheng Jiaoyang could easily reach Shen Zhining’s ear when she tilted her head.
Shen Zhining clenched her hand and stared into her eyes as he asked in response, "What do you think?"
"To be on the safe side, you'd better not tell him."
"What are you two whispering about?" Speak of the devil, and he shall appear.
Grandfather Shen stood in the passageway nearby as he watched the two of them.
"Grandfather Shen," Sheng Jiaoyang immediately greeted.
Grandfather Shen nodded contentedly in response.
"Dinner is ready. Come in and join us," Fu Lailin's voice said from the side.
Grandfather Shen didn’t ask further as he slowly walked to the dining hall with his hands behind his back.
Sheng Jiaoyang took off her coat before following Shen Zhining to the dining hall, taking a seat on the chair he pulled out for her.
Fu Lailin looked at Sheng Jiaoyang and sincerely exclaimed, "I was so happy when I heard A’Ning say that you’re coming over!"
"I'm also very happy to see Grandmother Andy and Grandfather Shen again," Sheng Jiaoyang immediately replied.
Grandfather Shen shot a glance at her and thought: Little brown-noser!
"A’Ning, now that Jiaojiao is here, take Jiaojiao out to play for a few days," Fu Lailin instructed.
Shen Zhining nodded.
Sheng Jiaoyang glanced at Shen Zhining. He’d unexpectedly already told the two elders. Thinking back to the words she’d whispered in his ears at the entrance, she felt embarrassed.
"How’s Old Yang doing?" Grandfather Shen asked.
"Grandfather’s doing alright. He hasn't felt any pain lately and someone comes to check on his condition every day."
Grandfather Shen was relieved to hear this.
After dinner, Fu Lailin said, "Your room is still the same one you stayed in the last time. If you’re tired, go to bed early and rest."
"Thank you, Grandmother Andy."
"You don’t need to be so polite. If you need anything, just ask A’Ning." Fu Lailin was as understanding as ever.
Sheng Jiaoyang was then dragged away by Shen Zhining.
As soon as Shen Zhining entered the room, he closed the door with a backhand and pushed her against the door. He then cupped her face and kissed her.
Sheng Jiaoyang was momentarily at a loss, and it wasn’t until she tasted the faint taste of red wine that she realised what they were doing.
She suddenly felt that she was a lamb in a tiger's den, and she was the kind that entered the den voluntarily.
Soon, she had no time to think.
His body was seemingly wrapped in fire, making her feel hot all over.
Sheng Jiaoyang placed her hand on Shen Zhining’s shoulder and clutched his clothes, and like a fish on the brink of death after landing on a scorching sandy shore, she tried to make a final struggle. But, she was swept away by the tide of his passion.
What felt different from the past was that he was particularly passionate today.
His kiss wasn’t as rough as usual. It contained a fervent tenderness, luring her into its trap and letting her sink into it together voluntarily.
In many cases, one’s heart and desire complemented each other. When there are feelings, there’d naturally be physical desires, and physical closeness would promote the growth of feelings.
When two people were intimate and their breaths blended together, they could clearly see the appearance of each other in their hearts.
Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t know if it was because she’d drank red wine at dinner, but she felt a little drunk as she stared at Shen Zhining. Since her glasses were removed, her long eyelashes half-covered her eyes made her vision a little blurred and her appearance slightly tipsy.
She was probably really drunk. Otherwise, how could she possibly not calm her nerves and stop her heart from beating this fast…?
"Did you miss me?" he asked her with a deep, husky voice.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace