What followed was Shentu Tian-Yin and Xia Lei’s ‘showtime’. Shentu Tian-Yin held onto Xia Lei’s arm, her smile never dimming. She brought him to crowded places to show off their intimacy. Xia Lei played along and when they passed a flower bed, he stopped to pick a golden chrysanthemum and inserted it into her hair.
“You’re beautiful,” exclaimed Xia Lei in heartfelt admiration.
Shentu Tian-Yin’s beauty was out of this world and his praise was sincere; he had zero intention to butter up to her.
“Really?” A smile bloomed on Shentu Tian-Yin’s face and the dimples that showed seemed to hold the most intoxicating wine - they could even inebriate one who was sober.
Xia Lei smiled. He felt no need for further praise since it was redundant.
Shentu Tian-Yin took out her mobile phone next and handed it to a mid-level management employee of the power plant and said to him, “Take a picture of us.”
“Yes, Chairman.” The employee was more than happy to have a chance to get on Shentu Tian-Yin’s good side. He took the phone and took pictures of them.
Shentu Tian-Yin nestled in Xia Lei’s embrace as he wrapped his arms loosely around her waist. This was a standard lovers’ pose, full of love.
Shentu Tian-Feng stood to one side, his eyes ablaze with anger. “That slut! She’s destroyed the pride of the Shentu clan! How could she not care about her image? She represents the Shentu clan! How dare she hug and hold that punk in public; she looks like she can’t wait to jump into bed with him! Fucking slut!”
“Looks like she really is going to marry that punk soon.” Shentu Yi looked troubled and worried.
“What are we going to do? That punk came out of nowhere to ruin our plans. If we don’t do anything he’ll marry that bitch and have a child with her. If Tian-Yin wills the business to her child then we will get nothing even if she dies - that punk will have it all!” said Shentu Tian-Feng.
“Quiet down,” said Shentu Yi nervously, “Some things can only be said at home, not outside.”
Shentu Tian-Feng snorted. “Dad, indecisiveness leads to disaster; you’re too cautious. Sometimes you have to just take action.”
“What do you want to do?”
“I’ll invite that punk to our place since he’s our future brother-in-law. He should meet Grandfather, Grandmother and the elders, shouldn’t he? We don’t have to do anything - those people will think of ways to be rid of him.” Shentu Tian-Feng sneered, “When that time comes, he’ll drown in their spit.”
Shentu Yi thought for a bit. “That’s a good idea. Go ahead, I’ll get your mother to prepare it.”
Shentu Tian-Feng walked off towards the lovey-dovey duo.
Shentu Tian-Yin and Xia Lei had taken over ten photographs and done all the couple poses.
“Your phone, Chairman. Here.” The employee brought it before Shentu Tian-Yin respectfully with both hands.
“Nn, you may go back to work now,” said Shentu Tian-Yin. Her gaze went to the approaching Shentu Tian-Feng and she licked her lips with her tongue.
That was the signal to kiss her.
Xia Lei knew this signal and he had also spotted the approaching Shentu Tian-Feng when she did the signal. He knew full well her intention but he still hesitated. Holding hands and hugging her were nothing much but a kiss - that was something else. Must he really kiss her on the mouth?
Shentu Tian-Yin licked her lips again.
‘I don’t care anymore - I’ll kiss her!’ Xia Lei reached out and put his arms around Shentu Tian-Yin’s slim waist to pull her closer into his embrace. He bent his head and planted a kiss on her.
Their lips were glued together instantly like the north and south poles of a magnet. Their lips were drawn to each other, leaving no gaps.
It was an act but Shentu Tian-Yin made a small squeak. She had a fairly strong reaction in that instant.
This was her first kiss. This was also Xia Lei’s first kiss.
Shentu Tian-Yin had thought that it would be a simple affair but when Xia Lei actually kissed her lips, the miracle of chemical reactions shook her to the core and made ripples on her cold heart.
Xia Lei also had a strong reaction to the kiss. He had dreamed of kissing her but those were just dreams.
Shentu Tian-Feng had walked up to them but they were still engrossed in their sweet kiss. It was as if there were just the two of them in the whole world and Shentu Tian-Feng did not exist to them. Hatred flashed in Shentu Tian-Feng’s eyes but he put a smile on his face and coughed. “Ahem.”
Shentu Tian-Yin and Xia Lei pulled away from each other.
Shentu Tian-Yin’s face was red and she looked sheepish as she said, “What is it, Big Brother Tian-Feng?”
“You two sure are lovey-dovey,” said Shentu Tian-Feng probingly, “But I haven’t heard you talk about this before. You should have said something to us about such a big matter. This is too sudden.”
“I had my considerations. I’m not an easy woman; the man I bring home must be a man I would marry. I won’t bring him home if we were not compatible. I’ve been with Lei for half a year. I love him and he loves me. Our temperaments match too. I’ve decided that I’ll marry him and that’s why I’ve made it public. I didn’t tell you because I was waiting for an appropriate time to bring Lei home to announce our relationship and our wedding date,” said Shentu Tian-Yin.
Shentu Tian-Feng smiled but the smile did not reach his eyes. “I see. You’re the same as always - always thinking out it on your own no matter what you do. I was about to invite Xia Lei to our home; looks like we have similar trains of thought. Why don’t we have it tomorrow? Bring Xia Lei home tomorrow. I think our family will quite like Xia Lei.”
“Is that so? All right, tomorrow,” said Shentu Tian-Yin evenly.
Shentu Tian-Feng laughed. “It’s settled, then.” He looked at Xia Lei with a friendly expression. “You’ll have to present yourself well tomorrow, Xia Lei. Our elders are quite picky. Tian-Yin is their precious treasure and no ordinary man can take her away.”
Xia Lei laughed. “Don’t worry, Big Brother Tian-Feng. I’ll do well.”
At that moment, Shentu Yi suddenly called from a distance. “Tian-Yin, please come over here for a bit. Mr Konrad would like to talk to you about the undersea cables.”
Shentu Tian-Yin wrinkled her brows. “Must I go over personally for such a small matter?”
“Tian-Yin, Big Brother is not scolding you… Love is important but you cannot forget about work. That Mr Konrad was actually hired by me from Germany. He is the world’s best wind power expert. Take pity on my efforts and go talk to Mr Konrad,” said Shentu Tian-Feng.
“All right, I’ll go take a look.” Shentu Tian-Yin suddenly drew close and kissed Xia Lei on the cheek, then walked towards Shentu Yi and Konrad.
Xia Lei was starting to believe in this display of love.
Shentu Tian-Feng glared at Xia Lei and a mocking smile appeared in the corners of his lips. “I heard that you started a company, Xia Lei. What was it called? Thunder Horse Manufacturing, yes?”
Xia Lei nodded. “Yes, it’s called Thunder Horse Manufacturing.”
“Do you think it’s on the same level as Vientaine Group?” Shentu Tian-Feng’s tone carried contempt.
His meaning was clear - How could he be a match for Shentu Tian-Yin?
Xia Lei pretended not to know what he meant and laughed as he said, “Of course it’s not the same level, but it’s a company I built myself. I’m quite satisfied. Many people don’t have their own companies.”
His words had a hidden meaning too. ‘I built my company on my own and it’s mine even though it’s small. Vientaine Group is huge but is it yours?’
The two men were sharply opposed to each other with neither willing to give an inch though there was a tacit mutual understanding of each other’s positions.
“Heh heh, well said. You’re no simple man. Come, let’s go take a look.” Shentu Tian-Feng laughed casually.
“Okay, Big Brother Tian-Feng.” Xia Lei used an intimate form of address.
At that moment, Xia Lei’s mobile phone rang.
It was Liang Si-Yao.
“Excuse me, Big Brother Tian-Feng, I have to take this call.” Xia Lei walked off to one side with his phone.
Shentu Tian-Feng did not want to speak more with Xia Lei and went off on his own.
Xia Lei unlocked his phone. “Senior Disciple.”
“It’s past time to clock-in. Why aren’t you at work?” Liang Si-Yao’s voice was interrogative, “Who were you with last night? Are you still in bed?”
Xia Lei smiled wryly. “Stop joking, Senior Disciple. I’ve run into something so I can’t come to the office today. There isn’t much to do anyway - you help me cover for a bit.”
“What did you run into?” asked Liang Si-Yao in concern.
“It’s not convenient to talk about it over the phone. I’ll tell you when I’m back,” said Xia Lei.
“I’ll wait for you at home. Come back early. Oh, remember to buy some groceries; the refrigerator’s empty.”
“Okay, I’ll make something delicious for you and Master tonight,” said Xia Lei.
“Nothing. Nothing at all. I’ll wait for you. Come back early.” Liang Si-Yao hung up.
Xia Lei could not help the smile that spread on his face. He would feel a mysterious excitement when he was with Shentu Tian-Yin but he was relaxed and happy with Liang Si-Yao, like right now. One concerned phone-call had made him all happy.
‘She seemed like she was going to say something to me… Why didn’t she say it? It’s probably because she wanted me to help her buy some womanly product and got too embarrassed to ask. Really, I can help her buy it even if it’s… sanitary napkins’ thought Xia Lei to himself. He had bought that sort of thing before for Jiang Ru-Yi so he could be counted as an experienced man and didn’t feel like it was anything too embarrassing.
He then thought of Jiang Ru-Yi. Was that vivacious woman on some field doing the goose-step right now?
Xia Lei walked towards Shentu Tian-Yin and pushed these thoughts to the back of his mind. He was feeling good now. Xia Lei felt like he’d do rather well if he acted with old hands like Liang Chao-Wei and Chen Dao-Ming.Previous Chapter Next Chapter