Chapter 399: A Blaze Of Passion (1)
Shen Jingbin, her roommates, and the two tagalong boyfriends went out for a farewell meal. After a few rounds of alcohol, tears flowed freely amongst the women. Even Shen Jingbin was no exception, and her eyes were dyed red.
Unlike their senior high and middle school days, university students came from all over the country and all walks of life. Because of how varied they were, many people had conflicting personalities or lifestyles and often ended up coming to blows due to it. There were even murderers that appeared on the news after stabbing or poisoning other people just because of one wrong word. Also, didn’t murders happen in universities every now and then too? After taking all this into consideration, finding roommates that you could get along with was extremely important.
Thankfully, be it lifestyles or personalities, Shen Jingbin’s group got along swimmingly. The four of them were like sisters, and they always included each other in everything they did. They never talked behind each others’ backs or tried to undermine anyone else in their group. Although Shen Jingbin was almost non-existent for the latter half of her university life, it didn’t affect their relations with one another in the slightest.
Four years of close ties were now coming to an end. When that happened, they’d each go their separate ways. There’s no way way they wouldn’t feel some sadness at the thought of that.
Huajuan wept in Xuya’s bosom, while Xiaohe and Jiangmeng quietly wiped away their tears. On the other hand, Shen Jingbin felt her chest tighten at the sight before her when her hand suddenly felt warm. Zhao Chengning had gently taken her hand into his underneath the table as he gave her a comforting look.
“All good things must come to an end. But, you shouldn’t be too distraught by this. With how easy it is to get around nowadays, all you need to do is hop on a plane or a train and you’re on your way,” said Xuya, as he lovingly wiped the tears off Huajuan’s face.
To his surprise, Huajuan glared at him. “Do you think everyone’s as rich as you? Not everyone can just spend money when they feel like it. What, you think a plane or train ticket is free? What if I’m working? Do you think I can just drop everything and go on a trip whenever I feel like it?”
Xuya was utterly cowed by her rebuttal. He pulled out a piece of tissue, handed it to her, and pitifully said, “Yes, yes, yes. I was in the wrong… Please don’t cry, big sister.”
Jiangmeng chimed in next. “Truth be told, we’re considered lucky. All of us will be working in either A or B City, and they’re not too far apart. The main sticking point is finding a time to meet up. I’m worried that we’ll start drifting apart since we won’t have the time to see one another. Making friends with you guys is the happiest thing that’s happened to me here. I don’t want to lose our friendship to the ravages of time, but…”
But, it can’t be helped.
Due to his young age and immature thinking, Xuya couldn’t quite understand the problem at hand. “Don’t you just need to talk more often?”
Xiaohe sighed. “It’s not that simple.”
Everyone suddenly fell silent, leaving a confused Xuya to wonder what the issue was. He wanted to find out more, but he was afraid he’d touch on another one of his girlfriend’s sore spots. In the end, he decided to remain tactfully silent.
Shen Jingbin gazed at her three friends. She understood why Jiangmeng was worried, but there wasn’t anything that could be done about it. Suddenly overcome with a feeling of melancholy, she picked up the cup of alcohol in front of her and downed it.
Time truly was the greatest enemy of friendships.
All of them were feeling rather down when it was time to leave. Xiao and Jiangmeng had gotten themselves drunk. Not wanting them to return to the dormitory by themselves, Xuya and Zhao Chengning decided to get the two girls a separate room at the hotel they were staying in. Following that, Xuya escorted Huajuan, who’d drunk herself into a stupor, back home.
Based on how blurry Shen Jingbin’s vision was, it looked like she was quite drunk as well. Worried about leaving her all alone in the villa, Zhao Chengning decided to take her back to his room in the hotel.
In spite of having the air-con on, the hot weather made them feel all sticky and sweaty after their meal. After taking care of everyone’s accommodations, Zhao Chengning went to the bathroom and grabbed a hot towel before wiping down Shen Jingbin’s face. Every movement was gentle and delicate, like he was taking care of a rare treasure.
The smell of alcohol and their hotpot meal stuck to Shen Jingbin. Both odours blending together left her feeling very uncomfortable and she quietly whined about wanting to take a bath.
Zhao Chengning felt that a better idea would be to just help wipe her down. He didn’t feel that it was safe to let her take a bath on her own with how drunk she was.
A certain drunkard was very difficult to placate. Her usual cold and aloof demeanor was now completely gone, and in its place was a child kicking up a fuss about wanting to take a bath. Unable to deter her, Zhao Chengning had no choice but to give in to Shen Jingbin and get the water running for her. Thankfully, the hotel’s bathrooms came equipped with a bathtub. Otherwise, there was no way he’d allow her to take a bath on her own.
By the time Zhao Chengning had heated up the bath water and stepped out of the bathroom, he found Shen Jingbin fast asleep on the bed. He walked over to her and brushed away the strands of hair covering her face. “Still awake and up for a bath? I’ve gotten the water ready for you,” he said in a whisper.
He knew how she was like. If she was kicking up a fuss about wanting to take a bath, it meant that she really wanted to bathe. If she didn’t get what she wanted, she’d probably have a bone to pick with him the next day when she woke up.
Shen Jingbin, who was dead to the world, suddenly sat up when she heard Zhao Chengning’s whispered words. She stared groggily at him for a moment before she groped her way off the bed and headed for the bathroom.
Zhao Chengning felt a bittersweet sensation as he watched her stagger towards the bathroom. He rubbed at the headache that was forming on the sides of his head and muttered, “What a handful.”
Afraid that she might trip along the way, he hurriedly made his way behind her and got ready to support her should the need arise.
Although she was drunk and her steps were unstable, Shen Jingbin managed to slip into the piping hot bathtub with her half-open eyes. Since Shen Jingbin looked like she could handle herself, Zhao Chengning was just about to step out when he noticed her slowly sliding further and further into the tub, to the point where she was almost completely submerged.
He rushed up to her, helped her up, and brushed away the stray strands of hair sticking to her face. “Little Jing, be a good girl and take off your clothes when I’m gone. Call for me once you’re done washing up and you’re dressed, alright?” he said helplessly.
Shen Jingbin grunted in acknowledgement with her eyes still closed.
Zhao Chengning glanced uneasily at her. Afraid that he wouldn’t be able to bring himself to leave if he stayed any longer, he hurriedly left the bathroom and shut the door. Zhao Chengning’s mind was in a tizzy and his breaths came in ragged gasps. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted two bottles of mineral water sitting atop the table. Without a second thought, he grabbed one of the bottles and drank a mouthful of water.
The cool water made its way down into his belly, quenching some of the fire that was stirring within him.
“She’s drunk, I can’t make a move on her. I can’t!” he silently told himself.