Chapter 257 - His Palm Turned Clammy

He lit the candles and arranged the roses on the table.

Sheng Jiaoyang sat on one end, holding a wine glass and toasting it to Shen Zhining. “Zhining, happy birthday.”

On the other end, Shen Zhining also held up a wine glass.

He stared at her. She was wearing a black evening dress he had bought for her with a jacket draped over her shoulders. Her black hair was pulled into a bun, revealing her pearl earrings. Complete with delicately applied makeup, she appeared very classy.

Compared to the immature and young appearance she had when he met her for the first time as 'Xu Jiaojiao', she now appeared to have fully bloomed.

The previous Jiaoyang was like a flower that blossomed at the cost of its own lifespan. As beautiful as it was, those in the know wouldn’t bring it back to grow because such beauty was too capricious; at any time, it could turn to ash.

But now, although her shell wasn’t as stunning, her beauty didn’t diminish at all. Rather, her arrogance had calmed into a steady stream of life and confidence.

She was rapturing, breathtaking, and made others want to claim her as their own.

“Although celebrating your birthday elsewhere is great, nothing compares to the warmth at home. Besides, I’m sure you would definitely want to be alone with me on your birthday.” Lit by the candlelight, Sheng Jiaoyang smiled and gazed at Shen Zhining warmly.

Her smile was beautiful and always filled with confidence. No matter when or where, her natural charm was always apparent.

“Originally I wanted to cook, but my cooking skills… are not that great. I was afraid you’d force yourself to eat it to make me happy and then I’d have to send you to the hospital later.” Sheng Jiaoyang mumbled while looking at the food on the table.

“As long as you’re here, I don’t need you to do anything.” Shen Zhining toasted.

“I have a present for you, I’ll show you after dinner.”

Shen Zhining’s lips curved. He wasn’t in a hurry at all. The night has just begun.

The two ate slowly. When they set down their tableware, they looked at each other in mutual understanding.

Sheng Jiaoyang got up and clutched her jacket around her shoulders. She walked to Shen Zhining with a smile. “Your gift is in your study, I’m sure you’ll like it.”

Shen Zhining reached out and held her hand. Together, they walked to the study.

In his study was an easel, covered with a grey dust cover. Shen Zhining didn’t seem surprised, clearly having already anticipated she would send a painting.

“Zhining, please accept your gift.” Sheng Jiaoyang gave Shen Zhining a light push and gestured at the present.

Shen Zhining glanced at her and walked to the easel to remove the cloth. When he saw the painting, he was startled.

“This is me?”

“This is what you used to look like in my eyes.”

“A demon king?” Shen Zhining thought of the nickname she had accidentally leaked earlier.

“Now, I think of you as an angel that brings happiness.”

Shen Zhining turned and looked at her.

Sheng Jiaoyang returned his gaze. “To me, painting is more important than shopping, playing the piano, acting, and being a celebrity. I want to move my easel into your study so that I can paint while you’re working.”

She paused for a moment before continuing, “I once thought that I would only draw one person my entire lifetime. Now, I would like to ask you if you would be willing to be my model, the only man in my portraits for the rest of my life.”

Shen Zhining lowered his eyes in an effort to hide his turbulent emotions as he asked deeply, “Then would you love me?”

Sheng Jiaoyang was startled for a moment. She had not expected this question. Taking a deep breath, she emphasised, “Yes.”

An inferno seemed to burn in Shen Zhining’s eyes, the heat in his stare almost melted her.

He stepped forward.

“You still haven’t answered me.” Sheng Jiaoyang raised her hand in a stop sign.

“Do you still need me to answer? Of course, I’m willing.” Shen Zhining wrapped his arms around her waist.

He gazed at her, “What about my surprise?”

“That wasn’t enough of a surprise?” Sheng Jiaoyang looked at him innocently, “I even just declared my love for you!”

Not enough. His eyes clearly reflected his thoughts.

Sheng Jiaoyang licked her lips, secretly a bit nervous. She removed his arms around her waist before turning to walk away. “Then follow me.”

Shen Zhining raised a brow and pulled at his necktie before following her.

They walked into his bedroom.

His bedroom had always been minimalistic. With a glance, he noticed a few things missing. Shen Zhining’s eyes shined.

Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t turn and face Shen Zhining. She noticed the curtains were open and as if to hide her own nervousness, she muttered, “I’ll go close the curtains.” She had only taken a few steps when she was suddenly embraced from behind.

“Did you forget the curtains can be voice-controlled?” His voice murmured by her ear with traces of laughter. With his order, the curtains slowly closed.

Sheng Jiaoyang blushed. She actually forgot about this.

Suddenly, her ear was being sucked on by a warm mouth.

“What about my nice surprise?” His voice sounded ambiguous, tickling her ear like a feather.

A tingling feeling spread from her neck to the base of her spine, up to her head and even on her scalp.

She gently shook off his hand and turned around, ignoring her fallen jacket. “Close your eyes first.”

“You can’t open your eyes until I say so,” she emphasized.

Shen Zhining glanced at her with interest and closed his eyes, wanting to know what she was planning.

Sheng Jiaoyang crouched down and took something out of her coat jacket. After quickly wrapping it around her body before lying on the bed, she called, “Alright, you may open your eyes now.”

When Shen Zhining opened his eyes, it really was a pleasant surprise for him.

In front of him, the rather bashful Sheng Jiaoyang was bound by a ribbon complete with a bow by her hands, lying on the bed helplessly.

“Do you like your present?”

Shen Zhining’s throat bobbed, “I didn’t expect…”

“Didn’t expect what?” Sheng Jiaoyang was curious.

“You would listen to your fans’ ideas.”

Sheng Jiaoyang’s eyes widened, “You’re following my Weibo?”

Shen Zhining didn’t admit or deny it.

In fact, he had been really busy lately. Because he shifted his workload to finish sooner, he didn’t have time to follow her news. But even though he didn’t, others did.

Everybody in the company knew she was their future lady boss and naturally followed her news.

Therefore, it didn’t take long for her tweet on Weibo to spread like wildfire in the company all the way up to him.

He was just patrolling during his break when he heard the furious discussion by the company doors.

Normally, if he heard such lively discussions that sounded more like he was downtown than at work, he definitely would’ve scolded them. But this time was different, they were spiritedly discussing his beloved.

Most importantly, they were talking about what gift she should send him.

“Hahaha, I saw that there were a lot of comments under Xu Jiaojiao’s tweet recommending her to gift herself!”

“I think it’s a good idea, what’s a better present than yourself?”

“They’ve definitely already done it before, so what’s so special about sending yourself again?”

“Even if they’ve already rolled in the sheets, if the girlfriend dresses up like a present on his birthday, I think it would still be a pleasant surprise.”

“Hehe, and if you add some lin~ger~ie, it’ll definitely be a surprise!”

Even though they were gossiping so furiously, Shen Zhining actually didn’t scold them for not working. Instead, he just listened at the corner for a while before returning to his office.

It was only through his staff chat that he found out she had asked everyone about their input on the best present to give. Indeed, she cared very much about his birthday.

Shen Zhining slowly walked to the bed, towering over her. He noticed the nervousness flickering in her large eyes and the slight blush on her face. His eyes swept over her bare, smooth shoulders and nervously twitching bound hands.

His voice was hoarse as he replied, “What a pleasant surprise.”

At this point, if he still didn’t act, then he really would be worse than a beast.

She lifted her arms and presented the bowknot around her wrists to him.

While he was untying the knot, Sheng Jiaoyang followed the ribbon’s twisting and rolled in the direction of the knot’s opening.

When the knot was finally untied, she was belly down on the bed.

In Shen Zhining’s eyes, the contrast against her slender back on the black bed sheets made her appear even more delicate. Her shoulder blades were beautiful, appearing like wings as it grew concave in the middle before being hidden by her skirt.

The scene was extremely alluring.

Without waiting for Sheng Jiaoyang to turn around, the bed dipped and the air around her grew warm. His lips marked her fair and delicate back.

His hands also weren’t idle, one used to support him as the other slid on her waist, making its way up.

Everywhere he touched, it seemed to ignite a fire and gave her skin a tingling sensation.

Sheng Jiaoyang buried her face in the sheets, the tips of her ears were already red.

“Are you ready?” He bit her nape softly, murmuring in her ear.

With her head buried in the sheets like an ostrich, she didn’t respond immediately, but her twitching fingers revealed her true mood.

Just when he thought she wouldn’t respond, she answered in a muffled voice.

“I’m ready.”

Shen Zhining’s eyes lit up and the temperature of his palm rose.

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Yuna's Thoughts

TL: Kiki | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace