Chapter 81: Changes
T/N: Hey everyone! The aliens didn't kidnap me. I was just away for some work. It was unexpected and hence the no notice. Also, I specially want to thank the readers who shared their experiences with anxiety. Knowing that I am not the only one was more calming than I expected.
As soon as the door shut behind her, Gong Ouyang’s deep voice rang out in the room. He still stood out there, on the balcony, and did not turn around.
Did she imagine him being lonely? He sounds just like he always does. Shaking her head to clear her thoughts she took small steps towards him. The huge french windows that led to the balcony were open and she walked through them and stood beside him, looking at the wide expanse of the valley before her.
The sun hadn’t quite set yet, so she was still able to make out the shapes of the tress and the curves of the mountains in the valley.
The two people stayed silent, both watching the valley slowly submerge in complete darkness. Xiaonian felt that there was some kind of poetic beauty to this situation. She closed her eyes and savored the moment of peace and tranquility she so rarely felt anywhere.
A knock the door made her immediately open her eyes and turn around.
A group of kitchen staff pulled in a trolley covered in dishes and started efficiently arranging dishes and the silver ware on the small dining table by the french windows. As Xiaonian watched them, she saw more than ten different complicated English dishes were placed on the table and a maid lit a cute candle in the middle of the table and switched off the lights before leaving the room, shutting the door after her.
As soon as the lights were switched off, the candle became even more brighter in the dark room, casting a relaxing and romantic vibe in the room.
Xiaonian consciously pulled down the skirt and glanced at Gong Ouyang. But he still hasn’t moved from his place since the beginning.
Unsure of what to do, Xiaonian stayed where she was and continued looking out. This was one of the habits she developed when she was with him. Not asking questions. Not knowing what mood he might be in, she found it easier to avoid asking questions and do what was asked of her. And in the past few months, she saw the change already. There were less temper tantrums, less violent outbursts, and less pain.
Absentmindedly, she rubbed the diamond ring on her left hand as if soothing the pain.
“Let’s go have dinner,” Gong Ouyang spoke suddenly as he turned to look at her for the first time since she came into the room. Though he said that he did not move from his spot. Instead, he stood leaning back against the railing and scanned Xiaonian from top to bottom.
His eyes lingered heavily when they landed on the shirt collar hinting at her cleavage, and then at her long legs under her skirt. Her smooth skin shone golden under the candle light and his eyes flashed dark as his gaze lingered on her slender legs.
But he had more important things to do today, so sorting her out will have to wait. Curbing the impatience at having to wait, he slowly leaned forward to hold her delicate wrist and walked to the candle lit table with her.
The candle light swayed with the gentle breeze and the dancing lights in Xiaonian’s eyes made her look more alluring, as if she wasn’t a mortal woman.
Lazily taking his eyes away from her, he picked up a wine bottle on the table and opened it.
“This wine,” he told her, “it’s 186 years old.” He lightly sniffed the cork for a hint of the smell of wine with relish and poured the red wine into their glasses. “It has been in the cellar waiting for a good time to celebrate.”
Xiaonian looked at him in confusion. His mood today seemed rather strange.
He ignored her, and then he looked at her as if he wanted to eat her without leaving anything behind, and now he was being a gentleman talking about wine. She was not able to understand and without her knowing, a small seed of anxiety took root in her heart.
She kept silent and took the glass when he handed it to her.
She never had an opportunity to taste anything fancy like this and she did not know how she was supposed to drink this. Was there some etiquette she has to follow? The only wine she drank was at her company’s events and then everyone just guzzled it down without smelling it or anything.
She looked up to see Gong Ouyang taking a small sip looking outside the windows , so she gingerly picked up her glass and took a sip.
Her eyebrows came together in a small frown. What was so special about the 186 year old wine? Didn’t this taste exactly like the one she drank at the company event’s? How was this any different?
She took another sip to see if she can tell any difference.
Sighing inside her heart, she gave up on trying to find something special about it and simply drank it.
Gong Ouyang once again seemed preoccupied as he stared out the window and drank the wine without touching anything.
Xiaonian looked at the sumptuous food before them. She was used to eating on time and this was way past her dinner time and she was quite hungry. But Gong Ouyang seemed uninterested in eating anything.
She looked at him again and wondered if she should ask him what he wanted to eat, but he seemed to be in a strange mood today and kept looking outside as if thinking about something.
She just hoped that it was nothing that cause her trouble.
She prevaricated for some time and decided to first serve him some foods and them serve herself some.
She leaned over to place a pice of grilled meat in his plate but because the table was so packed, she misjudged the distance between cutlery and accidentally cut herself on a steak knife.
She did not make any sound at the nick, but the knife fell on the dish clattering and making Gong Ouyang turn his head back to the table again.
He immediately saw the cut on her finger and his eyes contracted. He immediately stood up and went inside to find a small first aid box in a cabinet and came back pulling his chair beside Xiaonian.
“How can you be so careless? Don’t you even know how to use knives properly?” he berated her as he pulled her hand toward him and applied a band aid.
He looked at the band aid looking ugly on Xiaonian’s fair fingers and frowned in discontent. It felt as if a beautiful scenery got ruined.
“Next time, don’t handle those knives,” he told her as he pulled hand towards him and examined her hand closely to see she hasn’t hurt herself somewhere else.
Xiaonian was once again taken aback by his mood change. He clearly was pensive and now he was treating her hand so delicately as if it was some kind of treasure.
“Such beautiful hands shouldn’t be hurt so carelessly,” he spoke slowly as he smoothed a finger over the bandage gently. “I need to train you properly to take care of yourself better.”
Xiaonian’s previous apprehension vanished into air as she heard his remarks.
What was she, ah?