The four of them had just sat down when Gu Zhou's cell phone rang.
"Sorry, I need to take this." Gu Zhou turned sideways and answered the phone.
"Yes, I just arrived and am about to have dinner. You want to come over?" While speaking, he glanced at the other three.
"Is it your friend? Invite him over, we can hang out together!" Lina exclaimed.
Sheng Jiaoyang nodded. She didn't mind an extra person.
The person on the other end of the line heard Lina and exclaimed in surprise, "Tsk, tsk, Fourth Brother, you came all the way here to ask a beautiful woman out for dinner. This won’t do, I need to come and have a look."
"If you want to come over, then just come. There’s no need to talk nonsense." Gu Zhou smiled. Before hanging up, he shared the restaurant’s address.
"Since your friend is coming, let's order later," Sheng Jiaoyang said.
"It's fine, you can order first. He's not picky about food."
After pausing for a second, Gu Zhou added, "You know him too."
"He’s someone I know?" Sheng Jiaoyang raised an eyebrow.
"Ye Fan." Gu Zhou smiled faintly.
Oh, it's him. Sheng Jiaoyang immediately understood.
When Ye Fan arrived, he saw that the four sitting at the round table were seemingly divided into two factions. One group was very intimate, whispering to each other. Although the other group was also chatting, they were behaving normally. When his gaze landed on Xu Jiaojiao, who was chatting with Gu Zhou, his expression lit up with a playful smile.
"Hello!" he greeted while walking over.
"You’re here, have a seat." Gu Zhou looked up at him.
Ye Fan glanced at his seat. As soon as he sat down next to Sheng Jiaoyang, he flashed a smile and said, "Jiaojiao, we meet again. It turns out that you’re the one who called our fourth brother over for dinner!"
"Mr Gu didn't come here just to eat," Lina said.
"Oh? Fourth Brother, what else do you have planned?" Ye Fan looked at Gu Zhou.
The ad wasn’t some kind of secret, so Gu Zhou honestly answered, "Ms Lina is shooting a TV commercial for her new perfume, so I've come to lend a hand."
How kind of him. Ye Fan was a little surprised. His gaze wandered as he pondered. He suddenly remembered that there were rumours going around about Lina and Xu Jiaojiao’s relationship. Now that he saw Lina being intimate with a man, he understood that the rumours were false. However, for that kind of gossip to spread, the two must be very close friends. Looks like the person Gu Zhou wants to help isn’t Lina, but Xu Jiaojiao.
"Excuse me, you can start serving the dishes now." Lina picked up the pager from the table.
After dinner, it was still early, so Ye Fan suggested that they go somewhere else. Since Sheng Jiaoyang was still under age, they couldn’t go to a bar and instead went to a high-end clubhouse. All kinds of entertainment and leisure activities were available, so it was the perfect place to enjoy the nightlife.
"Can you sing?" Ye Fan asked.
"No, I can’t," Sheng Jiaoyang answered.
A cunning smile appeared on Ye Fan’s face. "That’s exactly what I wanted to hear! Let's play billiards. If you lose, you must sing a song."
There were a lot of entertainment facilities in the private room, including a billiards table, karaoke equipment, and game consoles. There was also a deck of cards on the table. Ye Fan chose to play billiards.
"I've never played billiards before." Sheng Jiaoyang stared at the coloured balls on the table.
"You don’t know how to play? Then, let my fourth brother teach you. I can yield to you three times."
"I have to sing if I lose, but what if you lose? Since you’re a singer, it’s not fair for you to sing as punishment." Sheng Jiaoyang looked at Ye Fan.
"I won't lose!"
"Who knows? Jiaojiao is a quick learner," Lina said.
Ye Fan sneered with a look of disapproval. "Alright then, if I lose, I’ll do whatever you tell me to do. However, you can't go overboard with your request."
Sheng Jiaoyang smiled and said, "I won’t make things difficult for you. You just have to take a photo and post it on Weibo."
"Don’t tell me that you want me to take a nude photo?" Ye Fan asked with a startled expression.
"You won't lose anyway, so what are you afraid of?" Sheng Jiaoyang replied.
Ye Fan took a step back. "You really want me to take a nude photo? You’re not playing dumb to take advantage of me, are you?"
Lina smiled and said, "Don't worry, I'm certain that Jiaojiao has never played billiards before."
Ye Fan's suspicious gaze wandered between the two, and only after he was assured that they weren’t lying did he put his mind at ease.
"I already told you that I won’t make things difficult for you, even if you lose. You only need to take a photo with a perfume bottle,” Sheng Jiaoyang explained.
Ye Fan crossed his arms across his chest and remarked with a smile, "Oh, so you actually wanted me to advertise for you. Xu Jiaojiao, do you know how much my appearance fee is? If you lose one round, you’ll sing a song, but if I lose, I need to do a free advertisement for you. Your math is amazing, how smart of you!"
The corner of Sheng Jiaoyang’s lips slightly raised. "Didn’t you say that you wouldn't lose? What, it turns out that you’re all talk and no action?"
That’s right! She’s provoking him. After all, provoking someone with a disdainful look has been proven to work over a long period.
Ye Fan knew that she was using reverse psychology on him, yet he couldn’t help himself and took the bait anyway. "It’s just a photo! Who’s afraid of who?"
Ye Fan turned to Gu Zhou and added, "Fourth Brother, you must teach her well. Don't go easy on me or they’ll say that I won in an unfair manner."
Sheng Jiaoyang then said, "To make it fair, how about the best of three?"
"Okay!" Ye Fan responded. "Fourth Brother, go ahead and teach her first."
Sheng Jiaoyang raised her chin and continued, "No, I want you to teach me. How would I know if he’s as good as you?"
Ye Fan was momentarily stunned. He then laughed and gloated, "Fourth Brother, you’ve been neglected."
"Since it’s Jiaojiao’s request, teach her well. However, don’t do it half-heartedly to gain an unfair advantage,” Gu Zhou said with a faint smile.
With that one statement, Ye Fan had no choice but to teach Sheng Jiaoyang earnestly.
"Mr Gu, why don’t we go over there and play cards?" Lina suggested.
Gu Zhou nodded and walked to the rest area with Lina and George.
Sheng Jiaoyang took off her coat and hung it on the hanger. She rubbed her fingers and grabbed a cue off the wall before turning to look at Ye Fan. "How am I supposed to play this?"
"I’ll explain the essential moves and the rules first."
Sheng Jiaoyang stood beside him with the cue in hand and watched him explain while playing. As she watched the cue ball striking the coloured balls into the holes, she felt a sense of novelty.
"Alright, you try it now." Ye Fan let her practice with the remaining ball.
Sheng Jiaoyang bent down and moved the cue according to Ye Fan’s demonstration.
"Lower your waist a bit more, and your line of sight must be parallel to the cue." Ye Fan reached out and patted her waist.
Sheng Jiaoyang lowered her waist and looked down. Her line of sight followed the cue towards the cue ball and the coloured ball. It was her first time playing billiards, since the cue, the ball, and the drop pocket weren’t in a straight line, Sheng Jiaoyang couldn’t make accurate calculations and hesitated.
"Don't hesitate, just calculate the angle and hit the ball."
It was just practice, so after hearing Ye Fan's words, Sheng Jiaoyang no longer hesitated and pushed the cue forwards to hit the cue ball. The cue ball hit the edge of the table and changed direction. However, it didn't hit the coloured ball because the angle was wrong.
Sheng Jiaoyang exhaled with a helpless look on her face. This was more difficult than she’d expected.
"You're looking at the wrong angle." Ye Fan put down the cue in his hand. Placing his hands around hers, he then leaned down to control the movement of her hands.
From the rest area, Lina saw Ye Fan leaning over the billiards table while holding Sheng Jiaoyang.
She would look over from time to time, so upon seeing this sight, her eyes instantly lit up. She quickly took out her cell phone and secretly took a few photos.
"What are you doing?" Gu Zhou looked towards the billiards table before peering at Lina's slightly excited expression, somewhat puzzled.
"I’m keeping this as proof," Lina replied without the slightest hesitation.
Gu Zhou slightly frowned. "Aren't you Jiaojiao's best friend? She even asked me to help you and didn’t hesitate to give up her own salary as compensation."
"Yes, we are best friends. What’s wrong? Why are you asking this all of a sudden?" Lina stared at Gu Zhou with an innocent look on her face.
Gu Zhou glanced at the cell phone in her hand and asked, "Ye Fan’s just teaching and Jiaojiao is learning, so that’s normal. It’s not very nice of you to take such misleading photos."
"Oh, this?" Lina then disapprovingly added, "Don’t worry, I won't do anything with these photos. Jiaojiao won't argue with me over this."
Gu Zhou still felt that this wasn’t proper, but he was in no position to say anything. He just kept his thoughts to himself and decided to secretly warn Jiaojiao later.
Meanwhile, Sheng Jiaoyang was being taught to play billiards by hand, and had no other thoughts except for amazement. On the contrary, Ye Fan, who was teaching her, almost couldn’t take it anymore. The sweet and fruity fragrance emanating from her body assaulted his nose. There was also a hint of fresh and refined orchid. It was very faint, but it tickled his heart like a feather. The smell lingered in his nostrils, and he felt as if the whole world was permeated with this sweet scent.
When she finally understood the rules and essentials, Ye Fan breathed a sigh of relief and hurriedly stepped back. However, the moment he did, a feeling of disappointment stirred in his heart.
"Game on, it’s best of three. As agreed, you’ll yield to me three times in the beginning." Sheng Jiaoyang sat on the edge of the billiards table and raised an eyebrow at Ye Fan.
"Ahem, okay! After you." Ye Fan's expression was a bit unnatural at first, but he quickly adjusted his mood.
As soon as the game started, the other three abandoned their card game and walked over to watch them play.
"Come on, Jiaojiao, you can defeat him!" Lina cheered for Sheng Jiaoyang. After all, if Sheng Jiaoyang won, they’d get a free advertisement. Ye Fan was very popular and had millions of fans. If he took a photo with their perfume bottle, it would definitely attract a lot of attention.
It was Sheng Jiaoyang’s first time playing billiards. Although she’d just mastered the techniques, it was inevitable that she’d play in a constrained manner, and a small error would result in missing the ball. Even though Ye Fan gave way three times, Sheng Jiaoyang still lost.
She also lost the second game, but her score improved.
"Haha, you lost!" Ye Fan breathed a sigh of relief and urged her to sing.
"Do you really want me to sing?" Sheng Jiaoyang looked at Ye Fan with a peculiar look in her eyes.
"Sing! Singing is such an easy task, I should have made you dance instead. Come! Here's the mic, which song do you want to sing? I'll help you find it." Ye Fan picked up the microphone and stuffed it in her hand.
"I'll find it myself." Sheng Jiaoyang went ahead and chose a simple song titled ‘Sweet As Honey’.
"I can't believe that you like this kind of song." Ye Fan learned something new about her again.
Sheng Jiaoyang ignored him and looked at the screen. When the prelude was over, she started singing.
"Sweet as honey…"
Ye Fan: …
Gu Zhou: …
Lina couldn't help herself and laughed so hard that her stomach started hurting.
The tone-deaf Sheng Jiaoyang sang…those tunes…cough, there were no tunes!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Yuna | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace