Cheng Xi was somewhat speechless. Before she could even decide whether or not she was going to pick up the phone, Shen Wei had already answered it for her.
Lu Chenzhou’s cool voice could immediately be heard from the phone. “Where are you?”
Shen Wei answered for Cheng Xi. “Right outside Donglai.”
Lu Chenzhou stilled for a moment. “Give her the phone.”
Shen Wei clicked her tongue in annoyance before turning away, uninterested.
Cheng Xi turned off the speakerphone setting, and answered with a “Hello?”
Lu Chenzhou directly said, “I’m free today.”
Cheng Xi wanted to smile, but her heart was still heavy from the recent events. She sighed. “We’re going to get some grilled fish. Do you want to join us?”
“Anything’s fine with me.”
And so, the two of them sat there, waiting for Lu Chenzhou. Shen Wei had already called up the others on her phone. Because today wasn’t a weekend, not many people were able to make it. Tian Rou was self-employed, however, so she came over right away.
Shen Wei didn’t give up despite the setbacks, and managed to wrangle up a few other people. It seemed as if it would be a lively gathering.
In the end, they were actually able to get a whole table of people. When Rou saw that Lu Chenzhou was also present, she nudged Cheng Xi teasingly. “If you drag so many lightbulbs along behind you, aren’t you afraid that he’ll get angry?”
Cheng Xi sarcastically replied, “Are you going to leave if I’m afraid?”
“I will when I’m full.”
Cheng Xi nudged her back, and Tian Rou dodged away with a smile, and then went to bother Shen Wei. “What’s the matter today? You called me up so enthusiastically.”
Shen Wei cryptically answered, “I can’t tell you yet.”
Tian Rou stretched her hand out and rubbed Shen Wei’s stomach caringly. “It’s not that you have twins, is it?”
Shen Wei shook her head. Cheng Xi saw that Shen Wei’s expression seemed perfectly comfortable, and she consoled herself with the fact that Shen Wei seemed to have finally gotten over Fu Mingyi now.
Her attention was still all focused on Shen Wei, so she naturally neglected Lu Chenzhou. However, he had a pretty strong presence, and even if he just sat there without speaking, no one would disregard him.
It was because he was too handsome, all right?
According to Tian Rou’s words, “He’d be able to get an extra bowl of rice just based on his looks.” Besides his looks, there was another reason behind Lu Chenzhou’s strong presence. It wasn’t his conversing ability; rather, it was his ability to grill these small river fish that were about the size of a hand. Compared to the others who were either horribly disfiguring their fish or just eating the ones prepared by the restaurant, only he was grilling them until they were perfectly golden-brown on both sides, the mouthwatering aroma spreading everywhere.
He didn’t eat the fish himself, and instead handed them over to Cheng Xi when he was done. Cheng Xi gave the first one that she received to Shen Wei, and she only kept the second one.
Tian Rou cheekily stretched out her hand from the side. “Your fish’s getting cold. If you don’t want to eat it, I will.”
Cheng Xi was currently conversing with Shen Wei, and didn’t think too much about Tian Rou’s words. She handed the fish over to the outstretched hand in front of her. But then, while she was talking with Shen Wei, the hand that was holding her face up felt a sudden sting of pain. When Cheng Xi turned around, she saw that Lu Chenzhou was prodding it with a bamboo skewer meant for grilling fish.
Cheng Xi was speechless. Did he have to be so childish?
She silently lowered her hand, grabbed that skewer, and then grasped his hand. She could feel Lu Chenzhou’s fingers stiffen slightly as they fell into her palm, and then they very quickly relaxed, obediently allowing her to hold them.
Lu Chenzhou stopped grilling fish, sat by her side, propped up his jaw with his other hand, and started just looking at her. He looked until Cheng Xi felt like his gaze was about to burn a hole into that side of her face. Without any other choice, she turned around and asked, “Do you want to have some fish?”
His tone was cool. “Alright.”
Only then did Cheng Xi let go of his hand to help him grill some fish. Her technique wasn’t as good as his, but her posture was beautiful. She moved neither too slow nor too fast, and her fingers holding the skewer were long and white, very pleasing to look at.
In the end, she burned one side of the fish, and as she embarrassingly picked off the charred side with a red face, she asked, “Do you still want it?”
Lu Chenzhou nodded, so she delicately removed the intact meat, and in passing, also removed all of the bones. As she diligently worked on the fish, from Lu Chenzhou’s angle, he was looking at her drooping eyelashes, refined nose, and tightly pursed red lips. The temperature in the grilled fish store was quite high, so she had long since removed her jacket, leaving on only a knitted dark blue crew neck that showed off a glimpse of her collarbone. Despite the fact that she hadn’t put on any makeup or was wearing any accessories, she still looked elegant and sexy.
Arranged around her in a circle were her friends, talking and conversing without a care. Framed in the lively atmosphere, she was as pretty as a spring flower in full bloom, exuding a quiet joy that came from her vibrant blossoming. Lu Chenzhou used to hate this sort of environment, but in this moment, he suddenly felt that it wasn’t too bad: staying by her side, socializing with friends along with her, going home together. Throughout it all, his heart felt warm and fuzzy.
Cheng Xi didn’t realize that Lu Chenzhou’s heart had softened, and she placed the fish on his plate. “Alright, try it. It should be ready.” He didn’t react, so she raised her head quizzically. “What’s the matter?”
He still didn’t answer, only lowering his head and using his chopsticks to silently eat the fish.
“Is it alright?” she asked as she leaned over, bringing her faint fragrance towards him.
Lu Chenzhou picked up some of the fish and held it in front of her mouth. Cheng Xi hesitated a little, but still ate it as her face blushed faintly.
Their intimate behavior didn’t go unnoticed by the people next to them. Cheng Xi’s classmates, unable to ignore it further, finally clapped the table raucously and said, “Hey, hey, hey! We’re all still here!”
Tian Rou even rolled up her sleeves. “I can’t believe that I have to watch the two of you go at it all the time. I can’t live like this! Drink, drink, drink! Cheng Xi, if you don’t drink three glasses of wine from me, then I’m going to break off our friendship!”
Lu Chenzhou had to drive, so he was able to avoid drinking, but Cheng Xi was forced to down the three cups. Then they made up excuses to make her drink two more cups, and by the time they were done with the meal, she was tipsy and stumbling around.
Shen Wei was brought away by her brother, and the others left clear-headed. Thus, the dazed Cheng Xi was left to be brought home by Lu Chenzhou.
Once they reached her building, Lu Chenzhou dragged her out of his car. She leaned on his shoulder, trying hard to recognize him and even called out to him. “Lu Chenzhou.” Her mouth was filled with the scent of alcohol and grilled fish, but he actually didn’t mind, lowering his head to kiss her gently on the lips. “Can you walk?”
She nodded, particularly obedient.
Lu Chenzhou couldn’t help but smile at her cute reactions. He patiently looked at her for quite a while before half-carrying and half-hugging her up the stairs. Once they were inside her apartment, however, he couldn’t resist anymore, and started kissing her frantically and continuously. He kissed her with a bit too much strength, to the point where Cheng Xi felt uncomfortable. She pushed his head to one side, but Lu Chenzhou roughly shoved his hand inside her clothes and kneaded her breast, feeling the silkiness and warmth of skin and the pulse of her heartbeat.
The coolness of his fingers counteracted the alcoholic heat suffusing her body. She lazily leaned against him, passively allowing him to do whatever he wanted. However, her consciousness was still there, and she slowly reprimanded, “Lu Chenzhou, we can’t do this.”
He didn’t say anything, only burying his head further in and kissing her. They traveled down her neck, his hands still constantly rubbing against her. When his hands started unbuttoning her pants, she had no choice but to stop him. “Lu Chenzhou.”
Her voice was soft and cottony.
Lu Chenzhou glanced at her, kissed her mouth, and as he did so, he said, “As you once said, suppressing my sexual desire is harmful for me.” He lifted her up. “Dr. Cheng, let’s lift the ban.”
Cheng Xi couldn’t even think of a reply. “……”