Chapter 220: The nostalgia of teasing chicks
The industry gathering was to be held at a banquet hall on the hotel’s second floor.
The two of them went upstairs. Even as they were almost already at the entrance, able to hear the noise within, Li Wan’er suddenly pulled Xu Tingsheng into a pitch-black adjacent room, this being a smaller banquet hall that was currently not in use.
Li Wan’er leaned against the wall with a hand pressed against her chest, panting loudly.
Amidst this pitch darkness, Xu Tingsheng rested both his arms against the wall, trapping Li Wan’er in between them.
“You panting? Feeling nervous?” Xu Tingsheng seemed to have rediscovered the feeling of teasing chicks from those years back as he leaned in towards her ear, amusedly asking softly.
Such a scene appeared between a 20-year-old boy and a 31-year-old woman, the boy arrogant and the woman nervous. It was just so disharmonious as if their roles had been reversed.
The Xu Tingsheng in Li Wan’er’s company was different from how he usually was.
When Xu Tingsheng was with Xiang Ning, Wu Yuewei, Apple or even the competent Lu Zhixin, he actually always thought of them as an Uncle would younger girls.
Therefore, he was used to spoiling them, letting them do as they liked and taking care of them as he treated them in the gentlest, kindest manner. Such a Xu Tingsheng acted warmly. Even if he played around once in a while, it would still be the mischievous teasing of an Uncle towards a younger girl.
A good example would be what occured in the Taekwondo practice room with Xiang Ning.
If he really were to try making a move on one of them for real, he would instead feel awkward.
This was why he always seemed to be the more passive party in his relationships with the girls.
However, it felt different when he was interacting with Li Wan’er.
In Xu Tingsheng’s eyes, Li Wan’er was of the same age as him. To be precise, she was a beautiful but silly woman of the same age, the especially stimulating kind. The two of them stood on equal ground, neither being obligated to simply allow the other to do as they liked.
As such, Xu Tingsheng was less restrained in his interactions with Li Wan’er. He spoke harshly and played around, daring to act like a hoodlum, daring to provoke her, bully her and ill-treat her, just because it was interesting, and also because he felt like doing it.
Because of that, he would yell at her, saying, “Li Wan’er, you old woman, have you no shame?” While liking her, he would act the exact opposite of it.
How did most boys in their youth treat those somewhat obedient, silly, more endearing girls? They would surely tease them, bully them, whilst also hitting on them in the meantime.
Of course, if the girl really felt bullied and burst into tears, the boy would surely descend into a state of self-rebuke as he would then guiltily start coaxing her, trying to make her smile again.
It was in this way that Xu Tingsheng’s heart too might sometimes involuntarily twinge in guilt from his interactions with Li Wan’er as he coaxed her a little and gave her a bit of a hand.
Such a Xu Tingsheng was truly like how he had formerly been at the age of twenty. He couldn’t actually be called a bad guy per se, just that he was a bit callous and a bit of an asshole as well.
The twenty-year-old Xu Tingsheng was actually very popular with the girls, because girls of this era actually still bought into approaches like this, such as in <A Moment of Romance> where Jacklyn Wu would still fall for Andy Lau.
With her back pressed against the wall, Li Wan’er forcefully pushed Xu Tingsheng away on the chest with both hands, leaving one of them propped against it as a distance of one arm’s length was maintained.
“Do you think this will work? Will they fall for it? I’m really feeling a bit nervous; this is a first for me,” Li Wan’er said earnestly.
“Li Wan’er, you even dared to casually marry a man without loving him at all, and you’re still afraid of this?” Xu Tingsheng said jokingly, “Relax. Whoever bullies you later, I’ll beat ‘em up. Hey, I’m really awesome at fighting, you believe me?”
Li Wan’er exclaimed, “Huh? Don’t mess around! These people aren’t those hoodlum types who like playing gangster like you. You can’t handle things that way here. Leave it to me, I’ll be fine after I take a moment to calm down.”
Xu Tingsheng pointed at himself. “Do I look like a hoodlum type who likes playing gangster to you?”
Li Wan’er nodded, “Yes, you do. You speak like it, fierce and terribly and without manners. You act like it, domineering and full of yourself, always bullying others. It’s only wearing that suit that you don’t. You originally resembled Andy Lau in <A Moment of Romance>. Foul-mouthed, not nice at all, just that you have a bit of a good heart.”
Xu Tingsheng grinned roguishly, “Don’t you like that?”
He leaned forward overbearingly, pressuring down on her.
Li Wan’er made a startled noise, trying to push him away with all her might as she pleaded in a hushed tone, “Don’t you bully me! I’m, I’m eleven years older than you.”
“I know,” Xu Tingsheng pondered for a moment before mimicking Tony Leung’s tone from <Chungking Express>, “But I wasn’t asking you this. I was asking you-do you like me?”
This was something Li Wan’er had never experienced before. She might have fantasised about it before, having dreamed of this after having watched <A Moment of Romance> back in her youth. It was a tale of an obedient young lady from a wealthy family falling in love with a poor, lowlife hoodlum, just like how Jacklyn Wu had fallen for Andy Lau.
Yet, in reality, due to her social circle and the environment in which she had grown up, Li Wan’er hadn’t even had the chance to truly be in a relationship before.
Her father only had her, a single daughter. Wanting to ensure the continued flourishing of his business, he had found some guy whom he thought somewhat highly of to marry into their family and take on their surname, sacrificing her feelings and her marriage in the process.
In the end, she had hidden for six whole years after fulfilling her duty, the disastrous consequences of which were evidently visible now.
The six years she spent in Italy had been mundane and peaceful, with her days spent in the classrooms or the tailoring workshop. In her spare time, she had roamed the cobbled streets and her campus.
As a result, her mentality had actually stayed stagnant, not progressing and developing at all.
She had missed the years when she should have been in love with some wild, uncultured boy. Then, at 31 years of age when she was at her weakest, such a boy was now asking her this.
He had bullied her, helped her, and now he was asking whether she liked him.
Many people had recently tried to win her over, making use of this opportunity to perform well in front of her. Yet, there was no one who had acted like this. No one was aware that such a simple method could actually instead ‘lock down’ on her heart.
This feeling just felt so real to her.
Li Wan’er’s heart thumped furiously. It was as if in this pitch black room, amidst the calm before the storm, the 31-year-old her was finally going to find the love that 18-year-old her had missed out on.
Of course, this was just a feeling. In reality, Li Wan’er still had to struggle to accept it.
“We’ve just known each other for three days,” The 31-year-old Li Wan’er said earnestly.
“Yeah, but actually, one day was enough for me to fall in love with you. What I’m regretting now is actually having wasted two days, allowing you to toil alone for two days,” The 20-year old Xu Tingsheng said.
Li Wan’er pleaded, “Can you not talk like this? You’re being too much! I’m eleven years older than you.”
“You already said that just now, and I want to tell you now that if you are thinking to reject me because of this, it’s useless,” Xu Tingsheng shook his head slowly but firmly after saying this.
Li Wan’er clenched her teeth, “I owe people a lot money, perhaps even more than I can pay back in my entire lifetime.”
Xu Tingsheng was taken aback by this, but since Li Wan’er looked pretty into it, he decided to continue playing along as he told her in a sincere tone, “Let me take you away from here. You don’t eat much, right? I can support you, feed you.”
Those hoodlums spoke their honeyed, beguiling confessions of love in precisely this manner.
The 31-year-old Li Wan’er felt completely disoriented as she said with great difficulty, “I...I…”
Yet, the 32-year-old Xu Tingsheng had had enough of this game. Uncle had finally snagged a beauty of a similar age, comfortably reliving the fond memories and feelings of teasing chicks back in the day.
Patting Li Wan’er’s shoulder, the 20-year-old Xu Tingsheng chuckled, “Let’s go, old woman! How is it that you actually still have the leisure to think about this at such a crucial moment?!”
Li Wan’er slowly raised her head, feeling dazed, “So it was actually like this! I actually replied so earnestly to everything he said. This utter asshole! Just why must he always bully me like that?!”
At this, Li Wan’er felt like tearing at her hair in frustration.
The 31-year-old Li Wan’er felt extremely flustered and distressed. She grabbed the hand that Xu Tingsheng offered to her, pulling up his sleeve and chomping down ruthlessly on his arm. Then, she knew that she had to calm down immediately to face whatever would soon be thrown at her.
As for this insouciant hoodlum, she really couldn’t expect to count on him at all.
Li Wan’er began doubting her earlier decision. How in the world had she muddledly ended up finding such an unreliable hoodlum with the stakes as high as this, and the risk so very great?
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