Chapter 252 - Short-lived Illusion

"Is it wrong for me to refuse?"

"I'll go acquire the company for you."

Sheng Jiaoyang turned around and stared at Shen Zhining in amazement. His light reaction on the matter made it seem like he was cracking a casual joke. However, she knew his temper well; he was serious.

He would really acquire RICHAD if she so desired.

Although she didn’t have a definite understanding of his financial resources, the acquisition of RICHAD wasn’t empty talk. It would certainly take a lot of effort and cost a lot of money, but she felt that the loss outweighed the gain.

"Forget the acquisition. I already have a plan, but I may need to utilize your connection in Europe."

"Just let me know if you need anything."

"I'm sure I won't be courteous when the time comes." Sheng Jiaoyang smiled.

Shen Zhining raised his hand and stroked the corner of her lips with his thumb. He looked at her haggard face and asked, "Are you feeling better now?"

He looked down at her belly and he gently added in a low voice, "Does it still hurt?"

Sheng Jiaoyang inexplicably blushed at his words. The way he questioned her…made her overthink things.

Ever since that night, his smell would distract her at times. She didn't know if it was some kind of disease, but even if it was, she wasn’t planning to cure it.

"Mhmm, I’m feeling much better. Tomorrow I can go to work in great spirits again."

Her smiling face was very cute and as sweet as a delicious dessert. Shen Zhining’s heart couldn’t help but waver. He closed in on her face and was about to go in for a kiss when someone knocked and spoiled the moment.

"Mommy, it's time to eat." Xiao An called out.

Sheng Jiaoyang secretly smiled when she saw Shen Zhining’s body stiffen. She then put on a serious expression and said, "Zhining, let's go down to have dinner."

After dinner, Shen Zhining wanted to be alone with Sheng Jiaoyang, but he was "driven" back to his villa next door. She said that she wanted to go to bed early in order to wake up in good spirits to attend the movie’s wrap party tomorrow.

In reality, Sheng Jiaoyang didn’t go to bed early but locked herself in the studio.

Faced with a blank drawing board, she didn’t know what to draw.

She wanted to draw a painting meticulously and give it to Shen Zhining as a birthday present.

Although there was nothing new about giving paintings as presents, it was the only gift she could think of.

She stood there in a daze for a while, and only went to the resting area to sit after her legs started to feel sore. She picked up her cell phone and browsed the Internet for a moment. Then, an idea suddenly popped up in her mind and she thought of pooling the wisdom of the masses.

She logged on to the Weibo account that Xu Ping had been managing on her behalf, and posted: My boyfriend's birthday is coming up, what’s the best present to gift him?

It was a well-known fact that she had a boyfriend, so she wasn’t afraid of losing fans after this post. Besides, fans who left her because of something like this were not worth her attention at all, not to mention that she was used to losing fans. Last time, she lost many fans due to the pregnancy incident, but she didn’t care in the slightest.

Now, her number of fans increased by leaps and bounds. As soon as she posted that question, there were already a lot of likes and comments below the post, and the number kept increasing by the minute.

[This must be Er Jiao herself!]

[Hahaha, I can't help but laugh at the thought of Jiaojiao being so calm in the face of slander and criticism while hiding behind the screen scratching her head in contemplation about what birthday present to give to Shen Oppa~][1]

[Seeing how much Jiaojiao cares about her boyfriend, I’m suddenly feeling a bit jelly. Why did Jiaojiao find a boyfriend so soon?]

[The best gift, huh? If you gift yourself to him, that’s definitely the best gift he could ever get.]

[On that day, Er Jiao can wear her boyfriend’s shirt and lie on the bed with her long legs…I can't, I have to wipe my saliva first.]

[Oh Lord, why is my mind full of images of Zhen Xin wearing a shoulder strap nightgown seducing her boyfriend?]

[Zhen Xin, you are the most flirtatious missus out there, how can you still ask such a question?]

Sheng Jiaoyang's expression was hard to describe as she read those various comments about packing herself up as a birthday present.

My fans are so open-minded…

When Sheng Jiaoyang fell asleep, her mind was still full of scenes devised by her fans on how to give herself as a gift to Shen Zhining.

A dark room lit up when someone called out ‘Jiaojiao’ in a tentative manner.

She was dressed in a white shirt that was long enough to cover her thighs while laying sideways on a king sized bed with black fitted sheets. Her long legs were slightly bent, her shirt buttoned only to the second, and her collar partially opened to reveal her beautiful collarbone. She tilted her lower jaw to illustrate a graceful swan neck and her half-closed eyes were partly hooked, bearing an indistinct temptation.

Her pink lips slightly parted as she softly murmured, "I'm here."

Step by step, the man who came in stared straight at her as he advanced towards her.

"Where's the birthday present you said you were going to give me?" A stifling impulse could be made out in his muddled hoarse voice.

She smiled gently, and as he walked to the bedside, she hooked her legs around his waist and tugged forward, causing his heavy body to land on hers.

The fire was lit, and once it got started, there was no stopping it.

In the end, the impetuous entanglement transformed into a gushing river that burst out of a dense valley.

At that moment, Sheng Jiaoyang suddenly sobered up and she opened her eyes.

What came into sight was the ceiling of her bedroom, and there was no one else on her bed. The lingering feeling in her heart reminded her of what had happened.

She raised her hand to cover her face and murmured under her breath, “OMG, I actually dreamed that kind of dream!”

It's all those dirty-minded fans’ fault! By leaving comments like that, who wouldn’t overthink things?

It just so happened that she’s having her period, that feeling must be a normal reaction to her period flowing about, it’s definitely not that other thing.

Yes, it's just a normal reaction from her period!

Sheng Jiaoyang removed her hands and put on her glasses before hurriedly getting out of bed and rushing to the bathroom.

When she saw Shen Zhining at breakfast, she evaded looking him in the eyes.

After breakfast, Shen Zhining asked Sheng Jiaoyang to see him out as he had to go to work.

When they arrived at the car, Shen Zhining ignored Man Jun waiting on one side with the car door open and pulled Sheng Jiaoyang into the car.

"You're not taking me to your company, are you?" Sheng Jiaoyang was a little puzzled.

Shen Zhining placed his arms around her waist and maintained the intimate posture as he whispered in her ear, "Are you hiding something from me?"

Sheng Jiaoyang shrank her neck, feeling a little ticklish. "No, what can I hide from you?"

"Really?" Shen Zhining questioned, his voice laced with doubt.

"Yup!" Sheng Jiaoyang answered confidently.

"Then, why were you avoiding my gaze earlier?"

"I…ahem!" Sheng Jiaoyang’s words ended abruptly, and she almost choked on her own saliva.

Shen Zhining patted her back while asking, "Just tell me, what is it?"

Sheng Jiaoyang’s face flushed tomato red, even the tip of her ears had turned red. She didn’t know if it was due to her cough or her guilty heart.

"I’m really not hiding anything from you." Even if she were beaten to death, she wouldn't say that she had a wet dream with him last night.

"You even told me your biggest secret. What else can't you tell me?"

"It’s not the same."

"How can I know if it's not the same if you don't tell me?"

"Go to work first. I'll tell you when you get back from work." Sheng Jiaoyang pushed him.

"I don't necessarily have to go to the company." Shen Zhining remained indifferent. He was determined to know this new little secret of hers.

Sheng Jiaoyang knew that he wouldn't let it go if he didn't get an answer, so she gulped and shifted her eyes away from his burning gaze, and said in a muffled voice, "I dreamt about you last night."

Shen Zhining was stumped for words. He then smiled and asked, "How is this something you can't say to me?"

"Alright, you already heard the answer, so quickly go to work." Sheng Jiaoyang awkwardly pushed him away and got off the car. She ran back to the villa like she was fleeing in defeat.

Shen Zhining remained in the car as he watched her trot back to the villa, feeling a little amused at the sight. She’s becoming shyer every day.

She just dreamt about him, so why was she so flustered…?

Shen Zhining's eyes suddenly lit up. He held his hand against his forehead and lowered his head. The smile plastered on his face was brighter than ever.

Man Jun, who was sitting in the driver's seat, saw Shen Zhining’s reflection in the rearview mirror. His boss had on a pondering look on his face, but his keen eyes didn’t miss out on the smile tugged at the former’s lips.

He was suddenly a little curious. He didn't know what the boss had heard in the morning to look this happy.

However, his duties restricted him, and no matter how curious he was, he could only hold it in and guess on his own.

Meanwhile, Sheng Jiaoyang faced everyone’s gaze the moment she stepped into the living room. She coughed and quickly adjusted her mood.

"Looking at your complexion, you look alright today," Grandfather Yang stated.

Indeed, Sheng Jiaoyang had a ruddy complexion and looked very spirited. She was healthy and glowing again.

Sheng Jiaoyang heard the sarcasm in her grandfather's tone and said, "I'm going to the studio." She then walked up the stairs, but after taking two steps, she paused and turned around, adding, "An Jing, I want to ask you something. Can I have a word with you?"

An Jing cast her an inquisitive glance before following her upstairs.

When they arrived in the studio, Sheng Jiaoyang asked, "If it's your birthday, what would you want others to give you?"

An Jing revealed an understanding expression.

"You can consider the suggestions of your fans." An Jing calmly proposed.

Suggestions from her fans… Sheng Jiaoyang cast a peculiar glance at An Jing and asked him incredulously, "You’re following me on Weibo?" And, he went so far as to suggest her to consider the suggestions of her dirty-minded fans!

"Is it that unfathomable I follow you?"

Hearing his rhetorical question, Sheng Jiaoyang felt that she had made a fuss about nothing. She had really made a fuss of nothing. An Jing was considered as part of her family, so it was very normal for him to pay attention to her.

But, as for what he said… He actually agreed with the suggestion of her fans, which was to give herself as a present. Sure enough, the world is much the same everywhere, and no matter how proper a man is, their inherent quality is the same!

"Alright, thanks. You can leave now." Sheng Jiaoyang immediately drove him out.

An Jing walked away and halted his steps after opening the door. "You can't escape from it." He could clearly see that under Shen Zhining’s calm front and his self-restraint, he was actually very restless and couldn’t wait to swallow the food at the tip of his tongue, not leaving behind any residues.

He then gently closed the door behind him.

1. Oppa is a Korean word for ‘Brother’, it’s an affectionate way for females to address males older than themselves.

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xYuna's Thoughts

TL: Yuna | Editor: Grace | TLC: Grace