The tips of his fingers pulled through her hair, letting the hot air blow through it.
Sheng Jiaoyang felt so comfortable she almost fell asleep.
“Zhining, you’re even better at this than a hairdresser.” Sheng Jiaoyang couldn’t help but praise. A hairdresser’s methods wouldn’t be nearly as gentle as this, and on top of that the hairdresser wouldn’t care if the hot air hurt their scalps.
“So you’re saying that I can go be a professional hair-dryer of a hair salon?”
Sheng Jiaoyang snickered, “I didn’t say such a thing.”
“Especially since Boss Shen has so many businesses under his name, where would he find the ease and time to be a hairdresser,” she continued.
Shen Zhining bent down, moved close to her ear and murmured, “I can become your special hairdresser, only doling out my services to you.”
When he spoke, his warm breath brushed past her ears and Sheng Jiaoyang’s heart trembled. She felt as if there was a numbness coming from her ears to every other part of her body.
She turned around to look at him. “Zhining, you’ve changed so much, you wouldn’t have said such words if it were in the past.”
“Do you like how I am now, or before?” Shen Zhining asked.
Of course how you are now. But Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t have the courage to admit it so she averted her eyes and replied, “I like both.”
Shen Zhining smiled and then touched her nose, “Has anyone ever told you, your eyes wander when you lie?”
Sheng Jiaoyang was stunned. “Is that true?”
“So I can tell whenever you’re lying to me.” Shen Zhining’s eyes were fiery with a you-can’t-escape-from-me kind of attitude.
“Are good intentioned lies even considered lies?” Sheng Jiaoyang blinked.
“No matter how well intentioned, it’s still a lie. I prefer the truth more.”
“But a lot of true things aren’t so pleasant to hear, it’ll make you unhappy.”
Shen Zhining looked at her with a strange smile and waited for her reply.
Sheng Jiaoyang nearly answered before suddenly realising what he was doing. He had dug a hole for her and was just waiting for her to jump right in. She raised her brow and said, “Trying to catch me with your hook huh? Humph! I’m not telling you.”
Her self-satisfied expression made him want to fiercely punish her. Shen Zhining’s gaze flashed for a moment, yet when he took a look at the surroundings, he stamped the fiery desires within his heart.
“Alright, your hair is dry, now go to sleep.” He lightly patted her shoulder.
Sheng Jiaoyang moved over to the bed, and was just about to take off her bathrobe when she suddenly paused. She slowly turned her head around and saw that Shen Zhining was still standing there watching her. “You… are you not going to take a shower?”
Shen Zhining laughed and then turned around and walked into the bathroom.
Sheng Jiaoyang let out a breath of relief, removed the bathrobe and then slid into the covers, only leaving her head uncovered.
She closed her eyes to the sound of the water inside the bathroom. However, her head was filled with fantasies and she only fell asleep when she was no longer able to hold back her exhaustion.
When Shen Zhining came out, he stepped on something. He lowered his head and saw that it was the bathrobe that Sheng Jiaoyang had worn when she exited the bathroom. He picked it up and put it back in the bathroom. Then, he walked to the bedside and quietly observed her for a while.
Only her small face was exposed. When he was still unaware of her true identity, the little things she did as Xu Jiaojiao seemed to have Jiaoyang’s shadow behind it. He wasn’t entirely sure whether this had contributed to him gradually falling in love with her or not. All he knew was that he hadn’t lost her, he hadn’t missed the chance to be with her.
After studying her for a while, he lifted a corner of the blanket and slipped in. Then, he wrapped his hand around her waist.
“Are you done showering?” She was somewhat awakened by his movements, however her voice was still thick with drowsiness.
“Mhmm, sleep.” He lightly kissed her forehead. Sheng Jiaoyang was just too tired, her eyelids didn’t open and she fell back asleep.
Using the warm, yellow light of the lamp at the head of the bed, Shen Zhining admired her at a close distance. He could clearly count each and every hair on her eyebrows.
Xu Jiaojiao’s facial features were very exquisite, it was very different from Sheng Jiaoyang’s. Yet, her sly and crafty expression and her smile, and her every little action were exactly the same. So when he found out that they were one and the same person, he didn’t feel any doubt at all.
Now, she was lying so close to him, and he could even smell the light after-shower smell wafting off of her. His lips curled up, without him even realizing.
He was a bit older than her, so he still remembered all those events that happened during their youth; even if she may have forgotten.
He still remembered the time when he was just like a porcupine. He treated as if he had put on a spiked helmet, and he would spike those who dared to touch him. Eventually, all of his friends couldn’t deal with him anymore and they all stayed far away. He was trapped under the shadow of his parents everyday, and it seemed like he was further and further unable to extricate himself from that place.
His grandfather brought him outside to play, and he caused a huge amount of trouble. At the time, whoever that mocked him for having no parents would be beaten up to the point where they were half dead. Eventually, he didn’t even have the desire to beat people up anymore. His world was completely dark and nothing could catch his interest.
After a while, his grandfather brought him to see his own friend, Grandfather Yang. And it was there that he met her.
She was small, and she was wearing a floral skirt and had a laurel of flowers upon her head. Along with a beautiful crystal hair clip, her most beautiful and eye-catching parts were her face, sweet smile and cute dimples.
“Jiaojiao, this is Big Brother Zhining.” Aunty Yang had been evaluating the little boy with a warm gaze.
She blinked and then repeated, “Big Brother Zhining?”
He had only been looking onward coldly, yet in his mind he had concocted up a thousand different ways to make her cry. Her arms and legs were so skinny, he disdainfully thought. Since she was that delicate and pampered, all he needed to do was to lightly push her down and she would start bawling.
“Go, bring him out to play. Remember, Jiaojiao, you’re the host. You have to take care of him.” Aunty Yang’s warm voice reminded her.
She straightened her back and puffed out her chest, walked to him and tried to grab onto his hand, but had her arm thrown away by him.
She was so small that the force of his arm caused her to fall over.
“Zhining! Jiaojiao is your junior, don’t act like that.” His grandfather reprimanded him.
“Grandfather Shen shouldn’t be so fierce~ Brother Zhining, let’s go play!” She raised her head to take a look at him, her eyes which seemed to be able to discern between good and bad were flashing brightly, causing people who saw those eyes to be unable to refuse.
He looked at her with a flat face before turning around and walking out by himself.
“Brother Zhining, wait for me~” She was just like a little tail following closely behind him. Her adorable voice followed behind him like that for two years.
He had completely given up when his grandfather left him at her house. He felt as if even his family had given up on him. And during that time, the little follower was just like a buzzing housefly, he really wanted to swat it to death.
He pushed her onto the ground countless times, yet she held in her tears and her mouth formed into a squiggly line. But for some reason, she didn’t leave. She would tug on the corner of his clothes in a pitiful manner and call out in her adorable voice, “Brother Zhining~”
Aunty Yang was even more warm and caring than his deceased mother, never once blaming him for bullying the little girl. One time, he eavesdropped on a conversation between Jiaoyang and Aunty Yang.
“Mommy, Brother Zhining doesn’t like me at all.” Even through the wall he could imagine the wronged expression on her face as she spoke.
“Then do you like him?” Aunty Yang’s voice was just like warm water.
“I like him! He’s so handsome.”
“Jiaojiao, it isn’t that he doesn’t like you. It’s just that he had some wounds on his heart. You just have to wait until they heal for him to like you back. Are you willing to help him heal those wounds in his heart?”
“I’m willing!” Her bird-like voice drilled its way through the crack in the door.
That night, she sneakily climbed into his bed and attempted to lift his shirt. However, she was caught by him, since he had been pretending to sleep.
“What are you doing?” He pinched her hand and asked her coldly.
Her eyes were not filled with any guilt, “Mommy said that you have a wound on your heart so I wanted to take a look and see what the wound looked like.”
“…” His face was still expressionless.
He had only felt that she was both petite and stupid. If he wasn’t giving Aunty Yang some face, he wouldn’t have stayed in the house with her for as long as he had.
Aunty Yang was the most warm and caring person he had ever met, even more considerate of him than his own mother had been. He had thought about how happy he would be if he was Aunty Yang’s son. So when he saw how much Jiaoyang’s parents pampered and loved her, he was very envious.
As a result, he purposely broke into her room and broke all of her favorite toys, wanting to make her life miserable.
But day by day, no matter how badly she was bullied by him, she never changed. She always stayed by his side and shared everything that made her happy with him.
He was still always dark and gloomy, and after entering school, he had wronged countless people who he had met. However, because it was Aunty Yang who sent him to school, he couldn’t be so fierce and beat people up like he used to. He didn’t want to see the disappointment on Aunty Yang’s face.
So when several students had blocked his path and wanted to teach him a lesson, he had been silently ready to bear it all. Yet, she stood in front of him and blocked them, even chiding and berating them, as she tried to prevent them from bullying him.
He couldn’t believe the normally weak, delicate, and pampered girl could have this kind of side to her.
Yet no matter how full of justice she was, she couldn’t change the fact that she was small and petite. As long as they randomly shoved, she would fall down. Obviously she was in great pain from falling, but she never cried out in pain. Instead, she would get back up and continue blocking in front of him.
He really didn’t know where she got her courage from. The broken skin on her hand seemed exceedingly to his eyes, his heart seemed to swell and the feelings grew extremely complicated. From that point on, he decided.
No one was allowed to bully her, only he was allowed to bully her.
One had to mention that when Jiaoyang was young, she was a happy-go-lucky person. However, she was also a stupid one that would go open a dye shop when given a bit of color.
Sometimes, she would do some stupid things that would make him speechless. For example, she kept insisting on taking off his shirt to take a look at the ‘wound’ on his heart to see if it had healed or not. Whenever he was in a good mood, he would tease her and say, “It’s not healed yet, it still hurts.”
Then, she would become nervous and her little eyes would concentrate on his heart and with a face full of heartache. She would say, “Brother Zhining, then let me help you blow on it, then it won’t hurt anymore.”
Even his trademark poker face couldn’t hold back his smile, but his expression quickly returned to one of aloofness.
This little idiot! She’s so gullible, what if she gets kidnapped by bad people one day?Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Kiki | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace