"Zhining, I didn't know you have such conservative taste." Sheng Jiaoyang teased in a low voice as she held onto Shen Zhining's arm and walked towards the garden where the party was held.
Shen Zhining had chosen a dress that was extremely conservative. It was similar to those pleated dresses worn by western princesses with a stand-up collar that hid half the neck, chiffon lantern sleeves and the skirt hem reaching the ankle. The design at the waistline was slightly more interesting - twisted like a flower.
Sheng Jiaoyang wasn't short. Coupled with the height of her heels and her well-proportioned figure, she was like a walking mannequin. Every outfit looked beautiful on her. This particular dress that needed its wearer to work the clothes looked eternal on Sheng Jiaoyang.
"It's an alfresco banquet tonight. It would be cold outside in the night. This would be just nice for you," Shen Zhining said without batting an eyelid.
Sheng Jiaoyang pouted. He clearly chose this because he didn't want me to expose any skin.
The couple was joining a private party tonight. Of course, Sheng Jiaoyang was mainly here to accompany Shen Zhining for the owner of the manor had invited him.
Before they could step into the garden, they could hear the violin sounds coming from within.
Going closer, they could see that the guests were gathered in twos or threes, chitchatting and lifting their cups. The waiters waded through the crowd with a tray of drinks in their hands.
Looking around, the couple was surrounded by foreign faces. Both of them were like alternate species from another world.
Actually, to be fair, Sheng Jiaoyang was the only alternate species since Shen Zhining had one-quarter German blood flowing within him.
However, this meant nothing to Sheng Jiaoyang as she had already been an anomaly for close to ten years. When she was overseas previously, she came into contact with foreigners the most.
"Shen, I finally see you bringing a lady partner," the host of the night welcomed Shen Zhining.
Sheng Jiaoyang inspected the party host in silence. He was a handsome man in his 30s with brown hair and blue eyes.
"Jarrett, she is my fiancée," Shen Zhining replied in English.
Sheng Jiaoyang turned to look at Shen Zhining. She didn't expect that he would introduce her in that manner.
Jarrett was surprised and scrutinized Sheng Jiaoyang before acknowledging with a smile, "Shen, so you are into this type."
"No," Shen Zhining turned to look at Sheng Jiaoyang, "I am only into her."
Sheng Jiaoyang suddenly felt that her face was a little hot.
Jarrett, who had been force-fed with cheesiness, could only exclaim in an exaggerated tone, "Oh gosh, Shen, if only you were like this while we were schooling, you wouldn't be single all along then."
"What's wrong with being single?" Shen Zhining gave Jarrett a side glance.
"What's wrong? Everyone is dating and there you are reading a book. You ignored the Gina sisters even when they strip off their clothes in front of you. They said that you can't."
This was really an explosive piece of information. Sheng Jiaoyang silently looked towards Shen Zhining.
Shen Zhining narrowed his eyes and ignored Jarrett. He looked at Sheng Jiaoyang and casually said six words, "Do you think so as well?"
Sheng Jiaoyang immediately shook her head. If she ever dared to concur, he would show her his prowess tonight.
"Are both of you schoolmates?" She hurriedly tried to divert the topic.
Jarrett had already beckoned the waiter over. He handed a wine glass to each of them and took one for himself. He raised his wine glass towards Sheng Jiaoyang and said in all seriousness, "Nice to meet you for the first time. I am Jarrett Ben Chilwestin, Shen's schoolmate and good friend."
Sheng Jiaoyang lifted her wine glass and replied, "I am Xu Jiaojiao."
It was probably the fact that Shen Zhining introduced her as his ‘fiancee’ which prompted Jarrett to introduce himself so formally. If she was merely the girlfriend, Jarrett wouldn't have paid her much attention. To him, a girlfriend was like clothes, you could change them at any time. But a wife was different; she would have a say in his assets.
As the three of them were drinking, someone walked towards them.
Sheng Jiaoyang happened to be facing that direction and noticed it immediately when the other party walked over.
"Daisy?" Sheng Jiaoyang was slightly startled.
The beautiful lady donned in a deep V long dress and sashaying over was Daisy! The woman who had pestered Shen Zhining in the past!
"You know Daisy?" Jarrett looked at Sheng Jiaoyang with surprise.
Sheng Jiaoyang didn't reply and only silently threw a glance at Shen Zhining.
"The two of you have yet to break up?" Daisy lifted her chin and looked down at Shen Zhining and Sheng Jiaoyang, arrogance written over her face.
In the face of such provocation, Sheng Jiaoyang had always retorted on the spot. With her arm linked with Shen Zhining's, she leaned herself against him and said, "We are doing fine!"
Seeing Sheng Jiaoyang's triumphant countenance, Daisy was reminded of some particularly bad memories and her face turned sour.
Shen Zhining took a glance at Daisy before he retracted his gaze and said to Jarrett, "I saw a few familiar faces. We shall go over first to say hello." He then walked towards another direction with Sheng Jiaoyang by his side.
When Jarrett turned towards Daisy, the latter was watching the couple walk away with a look of resentment. He raised an eyebrow and said cheekily, "Daisy, it seems like both of you have some unspeakable history. Well, do you want to confide in me? I am the best confidante around."
"Best confidante?" Daisy let out a chuckle. "If I tell you today, the whole upper-class society will know about it tomorrow."
"Come on, Daisy. Don't say it as though I have loose lips," Jarrett held out both hands by his side.
"Humph, you are."
Jarrett smiled and said, "Even if you don't say, I know. It all boils down to you trying to woo Shen but in the end, he chose someone else."
Daisy glared at him.
"It's nothing actually. You are not the only one. So many women fell in love with Shen before. Some of them even stripped themselves naked to seduce him but none of them had succeeded. That being said, Daisy, when did you start wooing Shen? Was he already together with his fiancee then?" Reaching the latter half of his statement, Jarrett had on a gossipy expression.
"Fiancee?" That particular word stuck out to Daisy.
"Yeah, Shen said it himself, ‘fiancee’. What an incredible title. I have always thought that Shen was interested in men and was even thinking that if I ever got tired of women, I should just get together with him. Hey, hey, hey! Daisy, don't go! I am not done yet…"
Meanwhile, Shen Zhining brought along Sheng Jiaoyang to greet a few familiar faces.
To those who knew Shen Zhining, they found it miraculous to see him bringing a lady partner to a party. This was his very first time!
And the way he introduced her — his fiancée, tsk tsk. Surely, it was true love!
"When will we be able to attend your wedding?" someone then asked.
"At least another two years to go. She has not reached the legal age to get married yet." Though Shen Zhining was stating the fact, there was a note of bitterness in his words.
Sheng Jiaoyang silently turned and looked away. She thought in her heart. Even if I reach the legal age of marriage, there is no need for me to get married so soon. What's so good about being married? What if we got into conflict then and break up? Then not only would I have to deal with assets division, I would be tagged with a divorcee label.
"Wow! She's so young!" It was true love indeed. This was reaffirmed in everyone's mind.
As the background music changed into a dynamic dance hit, a young man and woman held hands and shared a fiery passionate dance on the dance floor. Everyone stopped talking and started to appreciate the dance. Eventually, two other couples joined them on the dance floor.
"Daisy is such a real beauty." Sheng Jiaoyang's gaze had been following the two who kicked off the dance party and especially on Daisy. With a hot figure and surging charm, everyone had their eyes on her as she belted her moves.
"Far from you," he whispered into her ear.
He responded too swiftly and too casually. It was like asking him what they were eating today and he answered it directly without any hesitation.
Sheng Jiaoyang couldn't help but turn her head. Shen Zhining happened to be looking at her as well. In his eyes, she could see her own reflection. It was as though they could hold nothing else in them. His full attention on her was like sweet and fluffy cotton candy dipped in honey.
Their intense eye contact caused several others around them to turn their eyes away from the dance floor to look at them instead.
"Are both of you not going to dance?" Someone couldn't hold it in and voiced out, interrupting their gazes.
"We are not here to dance," Shen Zhining replied nonchalantly.
"…" The others were speechless.
Shen Zhining ignored the weird glances the others cast in his direction and said to Sheng Jiaoyang, "Your heels are too high today. You will hurt your feet if you dance. But if you really want to, take off your shoes and step on my feet. I will lead you."
"…" Sheng Jiaoyang was speechless.
Those around them had already moved away.
It’s better to not stay and watch the couple having a public display of affection. It’s too torturous!
They finally knew why Shen Zhining attended this party. It wasn't because he highly regarded Jarrett. Rather, he came here to announce that his spring has come. No, he came to say he had been claimed.
"Are they avoiding us?" Sheng Jiaoyang asked Shen Zhining when she suddenly realised there was no one around them.
"They are probably envious."
Envious? Sheng Jiaoyang was confused. Envious of what?
At this moment, the dance hit had ended and turned into a soothing melody.
Daisy, who had ended her hot dance routine, scanned her surroundings. As though it was a given, she accepted the burning and appreciative gazes of the men. But she became extremely pissed when she saw Sheng Jiaoyang and Shen Zhining acting as though they were living in a world of their own.
"Still can't let it go?" Daisy's partner suddenly asked.
Daisy shot a glance at the man. "This is none of your business!"
"It's none of my business indeed. But, I am always willing to lend a helping hand. Well, do you need my help?" the man smirked, his smile stained with evilness.
"Help? How can you help me?" Daisy put on a look of disbelief, "Can you make him abandon that woman and choose to be with me?"
The man rubbed his chin. "Forget about making him choose to be with you. You are not his type, or he would have chosen to be with you."
Daisy's expression froze and glared at him scornfully.
"But, I can help you with the former," the man grinned.
"What are you planning to do? He is not someone who will have a change of heart easily." Daisy wanted to walk away but her burning curiosity had her feet rooted to the ground.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
TL: Cosy | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace