Chapter 38: Take the initiative (Part 2)
T/N: pa pa..papapapa...papapa..pum..pum..papap PUM!
“Yes, I’m still drawing them” Xiaonian said pushing around the carrot pieces on the cutting board with her forefinger.
Silence occupied the call for the next few seconds when neither had anything to say to each other. After a while, her adoptive father brought up the topic for which he originally called her.
“You know that Ah Yue is getting married in few days.”
“yeah. Yeah, I know” Xiaonian already expected what this call was about. The Shi family was not too happy about her presence in their lives and this was probably a call to tell her that she isn’t allowed to attend the wedding.
Just as her adoptive father started talking, Gong Ouyang came in from the outside and saw her on the call. He silently walked to the dining table, picked up his chopsticks and started eating whatever was served on the table.
He must have been starved to death in his previous life, that was why he was so attached to his food. That thought made her smile and the dark mood that started engulfing her with the call dissipated slowly.
She turned the burner to burn at low and left the kitchen, out into the balcony to continue her call. Whatever the relationship was between her and Gong Ouyang, she was sure, that it wasn’t one where they can intrude in each other’s personal lives.
Her adoptive father continued talking, “you must have seen the news and know by now how big of a deal this marriage is in our city. The media is paying close attention and we can’t have any negative reports about it. The is, after all, Ah Yue’s once in a life time wedding she always dreamed about.”
So, he was indeed worried about her presence in the wedding.
“Mm. I understand, I won’t attend the wedding.” Wasn’t it easier to tell this to him before he told her more about the importance of this wedding of Shi Yue and Mu Qian Chu?
She turned around leaning her back against the wooden rail. The doors that opened into the balcony were made of glass and she can see Gong Ouyang at the table policing off dish after dish. Every now and then, he peeked at the pot simmering on the stove.
“No. I want you to attend the ceremony” he said immediately contradicting her statement.
Xiaonian was surprised. Very much.
They wanted her to attend the wedding..
“A lot of families remember you from when you were young. And if you don’t attend, there will be talks. So, you are going to attend as the family. But I don’t want your behavior on display. You understand?” he said before she could think anymore about his willingness.
Xiaonian lifted a shaky hand to pull her hair behind her ear. Reality is often harsh.
“I understand. I’ll go” she said quietly. She wondered if her tone sounded any different.
This was the last time, she told herself.
“That’s good” and her adoptive ended the call without another word.
She stood outside the balcony staring into the distance, her mind was strangely calm. This wasn’t all that unexpected. It wasn’t, she told herself.
The kitchen timer rang startling her and she immediately ran into the kitchen to get the stew off the stove. She put on her thick mittens and carried the dish to the table.
Gong Ouyang already finished all the dishes to the last crumbs and his gaze steadily followed the dish in her hands intently without blinking.
Is he a pig? She really wanted to ask him.
“Your eyes seem to be saying that I’m a pig” Gong Ouyang looked sharply at her.
She was surprised, her eyes becoming big, but she immediately replied, “No.”
“You better not” Gong Ouyang moved his gaze away from her and began attacking the food.
Suddenly, he stopped eating.
“Shi Xiaonian, tell me the truth. What kind of drugs did you put in your dishes?” His eyes looked at her suspiciously, watching every detail on her face to catch her lying.
Xiaonian was taken aback at his ridiculous question. How would she get her hands on drugs? She wasn’t even allowed out of the house without personnel and it has been weeks since she took a step out of this house!
“How can that be? It’s just ordinary home cooking” she told him.
“Then why am I so addicted?” Gong Ouyang’s eyes became sharper. The chop sticks remained still and his suspicions grew.
He was never a glutton for food. Before her, all his meals were made by acclaimed chefs. But he never felt like this, like he had to savor every last crumb of it.
Xiaonian was stupefied.
He said he was addicted to her food.
But she’s eating it too, and she didn’t feel any different.
“Mr. Gong, I eat exactly what you eat. All the time” she said.
Gong Ouyang stared at her for few more seconds. So she did. He tapped his chopsticks against the bowl and decided to make Feng De pay more attention to what was being bought. If she was drugging him, he’ll catch her red handed. Hmph!
After that, he finally moved his chop sticks and resumed eating. Watching him continue, Xiaonian brought a bowl and pair of chopsticks from the cupboard and started eating. Gong Ouyang watched her now and then when she served herself food from the same bowls that he did and continued her meal.
She couldn’t help but feel slightly nervous under his constant scrutiny. She did not do anything wrong, she did not mix any drugs or anything weird in the food. It was as normal as it can be, but Gong Ouyang’s suspicions made her anxious. She really hoped he would ask the staff and soon find that the food was normal.