Chapter 408: Just lying together again
Xu Tingsheng untied his black apron and carried out two little bowls of rice, one with each hand.
Little Xiang Ning moved the chopsticks that she had prepared for Xu Tingsheng, propping it against the plate opposite. She held her own pair of chopsticks, smiling as she looked at Xu Tingsheng and reached out to take a bowl of rice.
As he had not known earlier that Xiang Ning would be coming, Xu Tingsheng had not bought much groceries. There were just two simple dishes on the table, along with a bowl of azure vegetable soup. Besides those, there were only the bowls of jadelike rice which they had.
A simple life it might be, but this would actually make for a very blissful picture, if not for the one who should be feeling awkward and afraid chuckling out loud from time to time and the one who should be acting ruffian-ish generally having an awkward expression on his face.
After lunch, Little Xiang Ning was self-disciplined as she took her bag and went into the study.
After washing the dishes, Xu Tingsheng went in and said, “Take an afternoon nap before you start studying. It’s better to maintain the same routine as in school.”
Little Xiang Ning who was clearly sitting right beside the computer stood up and said without exhibiting any awkwardness whatsoever, “Right, but the room is so pretty and the bed is cute too. I sweated a lot when walking in the morning and I can’t bear to lie down on it like that...I, I think I should take a bath first.”
Xu Tingsheng’s mind buzzed. Each phrase evoked a mental image! After all, having witnessed all that personally in his previous life, he knew about the happiness potentially contained within.
One was not a man if this did not come to mind, yet even if this came to mind, one could not do ‘stuff men did’ nevertheless. Even as he was agonising over this, Xiang Ning had a despondent look on her face as she rummaged through her bag.
She looked up, saying, “Man, I forgot to bring my pyjamas.”
“Hm? What, what to do then?” Xu Tingsheng snapped out of it.
“I have shorts. I can wear these shorts to sleep,” Xiang Ning took out a pair of light yellow cotton shorts and showed it to Xu Tingsheng. Those were shorts which could technically be worn outside, but would probably just be worn at home considering their length and material.
“How about I wear some shirt of yours?” Little Xiang Ning continued.
With that, Xiang Ning began going through Xu Tingsheng’s wardrobe. Xu Tingsheng hadn’t brought many clothes over. He didn’t own that many clothes in the first place. Xiang Ning ultimately selected a white T-shirt which she draped over her arm as she looked at Xu Tingsheng.
After leading her to the bathroom where he taught her how to turn on the heater and laid out the towel, bathing cap, toothbrush, slippers, soap for women and whatnot that he had prepared for her beforehand, Xu Tingsheng exited the bathroom.
Afraid to hear the sound of running water, he returned to his own room and lay down to sleep.
After a while, the door of his bedroom was slowly pushed open.
“Xu Tingsheng!” Little Xiang Ning called.
She stood at the doorway in an oversized T-shirt with a neckline fallen down to her shoulders, exhibiting her long, slim neck even as it revealed her jadelike, intricate collarbones as well as part of her soft shoulders.
The white T-shirt was on the long side as it covered part of her thighs, virtually hiding her light yellow shorts completely.
“What the...this couldn’t be intentional, right?!” A frenzied Xu Tingsheng felt like pulling his hair out in frustration.
This scene was much too alluring, and just like in his previous life too. Miss Xiang had loved to wear Uncle’s big T-shirts like this, just that Xu Tingsheng had been able to pull her over for some ‘ravaging’ anytime he wanted then. Right now, however, he dared not even move.
“I’m going to sleep!” Xiang Ning told him without the slightest bit of self-awareness.
“Right, I’m sleeping too!” Xu Tingsheng said, trying his hardest to calm himself.
As the door was closed, Xu Tingsheng felt frenzied to the point of nearly biting his pillow.
The sound of the cupboard opening resounded from the living room along with the sound of glass clinking.
Xu Tingsheng got up and went out of his room to find Little Xiang Ning carrying a high glass that was filled to the brim with water as she walked towards her room.
On seeing him, she paused momentarily before saying defensively, “I’m drinking water...really! I won’t pour...I mean spill it on the bed. I’ll be careful.”
Reminded of his lingering memories from that night, Xu Tingsheng could not help but chuckle. Seeing this, a distressed Little Xiang Ning glared at him. Then, she glugged down the entire glass of water before him right there and then before forcefully setting it down on the table.
Next, she stomped back to her room in a huff, shutting the door forcefully.
“When did I say that you were going to pour it…” Xu Tingsheng mumbled to himself as he closed the door to his room and tried to sleep.
After tossing and turning about in bed for the greater part of an hour, Xu Tingsheng’s desire to sleep had gradually decreased instead. He was considering the problem of whether Little Xiang Ning coming over to stay once in a while was really a good, happy thing or just a form of torture.
When the door was opened once again, slight noise audibly resounding, Xu Tingsheng promptly and decisively closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep.
“Are you pretending to sleep? I could hear you tossing and turning all the way over,” Little Xiang Ning said.
“Oops…” Feeling rather embarrassed, Xu Tingsheng sat up, asking, “What is it? Is it that you’re not used to the bed, or is it uncomfortable? Whatever it is, I can change it…”
For some reason, Little Xiang Ning too looked deeply embarrassed and wronged as well, as if Xu Tingsheng was bullying her or something.
She sniffed, saying nothing as she entered the room and closed the door. Then, walking over to the side of the bed, she pulled aside the blanket, climbed onto the bed and wrapped herself up. There she lay on her side, facing away from Xu Tingsheng.
Xu Tingsheng turned the air-conditioning down a little lower. Feeling that he should not touch the blanket, he got an article of clothing and covered his midsection with it.
Some time passed in silence.
The young girl who was wrapped in the blanket mumbled distinctly as if talking to herself, “Lying together is fine. We did that in Xihu City, and wasn’t it fine? Acting all proper now, even wanting a young lady to come and say: Xu Tingsheng, I want to lie down together with you. Hug me as we sleep, just like that day! I like resting in your embrace. It’s been on my mind for just so long.”
After saying so, Little Xiang Ning flipped over, raising the blanket and covering Xu Tingsheng with it too. Then, slightly nervously, that slender body entered Xu Tingsheng’s embrace again.
Perhaps it was because the sense of security Xu Tingsheng provided Little Xiang Ning was just too strong, or perhaps she was too confident in him, too certain of their future together. Perhaps she had an insufficient ‘danger level’ estimate as she did not understand some things well enough...
Whatever the case, besides staying firm to her bottom line, this life’s Miss Xiang was much easier to ‘bully’ than the one from his previous life.
At the start of their relationship in his previous life, Uncle had only been able to do well with much shamelessness. The first time he held her waist-through her clothes!-just because his hand slid down slightly and he praised her, Xu Tingsheng got beaten. During their first kiss, there ended up being two bruises pinched out on his thigh and arm respectively...that had actually been taken by force.
The current Little Xiang Ning more closely resembled how they had been at the phase when they were already very familiar with each other. Once she had shed her vigilance and her outer clothes...Miss Xiang was actually a little ruffian-ish herself.
Whether it was deliberate or inadvertent, Miss Xiang did not like beating around the bush or trying to hide things.
This made sense, actually. In this life, it had technically been more than two years since they had first met and gotten to know each other. This was even longer than in his previous life. In terms of feelings and trust, the events that had occurred would have left Little Xiang Ning much, much more moved and able to be certain of their relationship that in the case of his previous life.
She wanted to rest in the embrace of a man who could give up anything for her, who, beyond all else, would never allow her to be hurt in the slightest. Really, just what was there to fear, to have reservations about?
Well, Xu Tingsheng was unable to bear it, though...
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