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His arm tightened a little, bringing the two of them even closer.
This was going too fast! Jia He shut her eyes for a moment, then opened them again. “Um, well…”
They were too close. His breaths, one after the other, caressed her cheek. So hot. From her face, to her palms, to her body… Jia He felt that even his hand on her waist was searing.
What should she say? What should she say? Who could tell her what she should say?
“Do you want to keep sleeping?” He brought his face very near, practically touching the tip of her nose when he spoke.
This was a very delicate sentence…But good thing “sleep” was finally the main topic. Forcing her voice as much as possible to appear composed, Jia He tried hard to change the subject. “Are you still sleepy?”
“I’m awake already.” His words were concise.
“Then… no more sleeping?” She tentatively asked for his approval.
He seemed to have no objections to this. “What would you like to do tonight?”
The question had been tossed back to her.
Her entire brain was swarming with words that were not at all pure or innocent. Why was it that no matter which direction their topic wound, it was still so suggestive and open to a certain interpretation? If it wasn’t “sleeping,” it was…
Luckily, her mobile phone suddenly began merrily chirping away. The custom ringtone she used for her mom had saved her life. She moved her arm, hoping to take advantage of this opportunity to get up. However, Yi Wenze had already casually picked up her phone from the coffee table and handed it to her, thus successfully shattering her plan to flee from there. Jia He could only give an awkward smile, and then telling him, “My mom,” she immediately answered the call and said hello.
“Where are you? What time are you coming back?”
Jia He arbitrarily replied, “I’m not coming back tonight.” But after the words came out, she realized there was something wrong with them and straightaway added, “Wait, no. I mean, I’ll be coming back a little later tonight.”
“Why didn’t you say something? I’ve cooked all the food already.” Her mom complained, “What’s up with this time’s director? Sure, for weekdays we can let it be, but even on weekends he wants you to go for meetings.”
Jia He made a sound of “mm,” feeling guilty. “It’s my fault. I got here two days late.”
“Go tell that whatever director of yours that you have something going on at home today.” Her mom’s voice suddenly dropped. “Gu Yu’s here.”
Jia He’s heart gave a thud. “What’s he doing there?”
Her mom seemed to be extremely excited. “He said he came to see me and your dad. Just see how good that boy is. Back then you dumped him, but he never held any grudges. From the looks of things, he’s still got you in his heart. Your old mom deliberately kept him for dinner. I’m buying time for you. You need to hurry back—”
Jia He was speechless. The retribution for lying was now catching up to her.
Back when she broke up with him, she had been afraid her mom would be heartbroken for her, so she had merely said that the problem lay with her, that she had suddenly found that the feelings had faded, or something like that. Her mom had hounded and berated her for several months. At the time, she had actually felt that she had been quite wise; in any case, it was better than her mom learning that her precious baby girl had been dumped, and then having heartache for months. But now she realized that, truly, a person must not lie.
The crucial problem was, at such close proximity, it was unquestionable that Yi Wenze had heard everything clearly.
He was extremely close to her, so close she did not even dare say anything else.
Not until she heard her mom on the other end of the line call out, “Jia He,” did she finally woefully answer, “We’ll talk—” But she only managed to say these two words. The remaining “when I get home” did not even have a chance to come out before her lips were covered in a kiss that caught her completely off guard. Hooking his arm around her waist, Yi Wenze rolled over and pinned her beneath him. Sometimes lightly, sometimes harder, he brought his lips to hers, brushing over them inch by inch. His motions were not rushed, but they were very focused and intent on what they were doing…
Inside the phone, her mom called “Hello?” a couple of times and then muttered about why there was suddenly no reception.
Over on this side, there was already no sound whatsoever from Jia He. The room was too dark; she practically could not see anything. She could only sense that they were both sunken deeply into the sofa. From her heart to her body, she was wholly in his control, and naturally there was no opening for her to even say anything. She did not know when the call was hung up, cluing in only when the glow of her mobile phone’s screen extinguished, completely swallowing the last bit of light.
Her breathing was ragged, and her mind was completely occupied with contemplating how she should explain this to him. Was he angry? It was only when the heat of his palm glided over the skin at her waist that her head cleared slightly. Squirming, she pushed him up from her and panted a couple of times. “So, um, about this thing with Gu Yu, I’m requesting a chance to explain.”
He lowered his head to gaze at her. That angle, that look in his eyes… Oh, God, it’d be better if she just passed out in a coma.
This isn’t a film set. This isn’t an idol drama. Idol, why are you showing such professional dedication? …
“Back then, I didn’t tell my mom the truth.” Jia He gasped in another light breath, but her brain still felt a little oxygen deprived. “I was worried my mom would be sad. Some guy so readily picked on the daughter she had babied and treated like a treasure for so long … So I told her that I was the one who didn’t want him. My mom has since felt that I did wrong to him.”
This was so humiliating. She had been dumped but had still had to go stick a feather in her cap.
Yi Wenze chuckled. “But wasn’t that the truth?”
Jia He’s words were choked off in her throat with his question. After carefully recollecting for a moment, she protested under her breath, “Actually, I really was the one who said first that we should break up.”
But the nature of it was totally different.
“And so,” Yi Wenze said, his smile deepening, “what does this have to do with what we’re doing right now?”
Silence. She fell into embarrassed silence.
Okay, fine, even if I was being sneaky and found an excuse to interrupt you, Idol, there’s still no need for you to so straight-out expose me, you know? …
The sofa once again sank in slightly. Out of reflex, Jia He shut her eyes, but then she discovered that he had already sat up. Her heart dropping, she immediately, hugging the comforter against herself, clambered up from the sofa. “What are you getting up for?”
He shouldn’t be mad, right? This whole matter has crossed the line a bit. Gu Yu, that guy, does he not have anything better to do? Why in the world did he have to go to my house? Now he’s made my idol misunderstand me…
“Didn’t you say no more sleeping?” He glanced at his watch.
Jia He was glum for a moment. It seemed she had indeed said that.
Turning, Yi Wenze took a glance at her. “Or could it be you want to continue?”
“Of course not.” The denial jumped from her mouth. But once the words were out, she regretted them. Fearful that he would assume she did not want to because she had heard mention of Gu Yu, she hurriedly explained, “Actually, it’s not that I don’t want to…”
Yi Wenze’s eyes were on her, and he motioned to her to continue what she was saying.
Jia He wanted to cry. No matter what she said, it would still sound wrong. How was she supposed to continue?
In the end, he let her off the hook first, asking with a smile, “Are you hungry?”
As if she had been given the greatest of pardons, Jia He quickly bobbed her head. “Starving. I’m about to starve to death.”
Standing, he handed her coat to her. “Mai Jie is in Tianjin. We’ll drive over there tonight.”
“That rushed?” Jia He looked at him, startled. He had just arrived in Beijing and now he was heading to Tianjin?
Yi Wenze straightened himself up, walked over to the wardrobe, and began selecting clothing. Pulling out a casual top, he answered, “I suddenly really want to have Tianjin’s snack foods.”
“Beijing actually sells Tianjin snacks, too…”
Halfway through what she was saying, Jia He was suddenly hit with a not-so-good thought. Could it be that her idol was purposely taking her away from here? She snuck a look at Yi Wenze. But when she saw him removing his suit jacket, his motions natural and at ease, she almost blacked out for a moment and she leapt up from the sofa. “I’m going to go have some water.” With that, she did not wait for his response and, slipping on her flats, bolted out of the room.
When she reached the coffee station, her heart was still thumping hard.
The light of the water dispenser was flashing in the darkness. She groped around for a long time until she found the light switch and turned on the wall lights.
Outside in the corridor, someone seemed to be talking. It was a very loud voice, commenting on the actors and actresses who had come for the screen tests today and also talking about the upcoming new film project. As Jia He grabbed a glass and dispensed some water, she realized the very serious error she had made: He had only been changing his jacket… Why did she run? Why in the world did she run, aaah?!
She was completely in a state of chaos. Here she was, twenty-six, twenty-seven years old but still acting like an innocent little girl newly dating someone.
Did she humiliate herself? Or did she humiliate herself? Yes, she humiliated herself…
Before long, Yi Wenze was changed and groomed. When the two arrived downstairs, Wu Zhilun was leaning against the windowsill, talking on the phone. Seeing them heading outside, he called to Yi Wenze. “Where are you going, eh? If you’re going to eat, bring me along.”
Yi Wenze lifted his eyes to look at him. “We’re going to Tianjin.”
Wu Zhilun nearly dropped his mobile phone. “Wasn’t it tomorrow that you were heading there? It’s the year 2011 already; you guys are still playing elopement?”
Making a “shut-your-mouth” gesture at him, Yi Wenze opened the car door and sat into the vehicle first.
Jia He also got into the car. Just as she was about to pull the door shut, Wu Zhilun cried to them again, “Wait ten minutes for me!”
While Jia He hesitated, Yi Wenze was already motioning to her to shut the door, and then, without a second thought, he started the car and drove off.
This was the season of blooming willow trees and drifting white catkins. Jia He had only just opened her window before her head was covered with white fluff that had blown in. Closing the window again in chagrin, she dawdlingly pulled out her mobile phone, thinking to give her mom a call. However, realizing that she did not actually know what specifically their itinerary and plans were, she could only turn her eyes first to Yi Wenze. “When… approximately will we be coming back?”
“When do you want to?”
“You have no plans?” Jia He gaped at him.
“Just a little event. It’ll take about half a day. For now there are no plans for the rest of the time.”
“Don’t you have work to do in Beijing?” Jia He kept on guiding his thinking.
Today is Saturday, tomorrow is Sunday. On Monday, I have to keep going with my meetings…
“I more or less took care of most of it today. I can take a couple of days off.”
Jia He was speechless. This really did seem like they were eloping, bringing nothing along, having no plans.
Oh, wait, that wasn’t right either. He just said that he could rest for a couple of days. This plainly was premediated and planned.
After quite some time, she was still not yet willing to give up and carried on asking, “Well, you at least have to have some sort of actual business purpose for going to Tianjin to see Mai Jie, right?”
At least give her some timing or a schedule. Her mom’s wait for this hard-to-come-by chance for her to come to Beijing on business had finally come to fruition, but now she was playing a game of “disappear off the face of this earth” without providing any explanation whatsoever. When she was back, she was indubitably going to be flayed alive and have her tendons yanked out. What’s more… her mom had her heart set on Gu Yu, so with Jia He not in Beijing, the old lady just might possibly do something.
“It’s the promotional event for my movie.”
An “Ah?” slipped from Jia He. “Then what am I going there for?”
Yi Wenze’s one hand was on the steering wheel while his other hand reached over and helped her pick off a piece of willow fluff from her bangs. “Eventually I’m going to be very busy, so if we can be together, I will as much as possible try to bring you along.”
Because he was wearing a brimmed cap, faint shadows were cast on the upper half of his face, emphasizing the brooding intensity of those eyes of his.
Jia He had originally wanted to say that she had not brought a change of clothing, but then she saw the smile he gave her, saw him waiting for her reaction, saw him discover with satisfaction that she had no objections and then turn back to continue driving. The entire process flowed smoothly, so smoothly that she had not even been able to squeeze out a word from herself.
Stress. The stress was just too much. “Even heroes cannot resist the charms of a beauty,” never mind she was just a little screenwriter.
Things were already like this; how was she going to get through all the future days? Oh man, how was she going to get through them? …
In the end, when their car had driven beyond the Third Ring Road, she resigned herself to this fate and took out her mobile phone, deciding that she would tell her mom she had a last-minute business trip, then also find an excuse to ask for this time off from Director Liu. While she wrestled over what reason she could use for this time-off request, she at last noticed that this route was very familiar. No matter how she examined it, it still looked like they were heading in the direction of her home. After carefully scrutinizing for a long time, she finally asked in a small voice, “Aren’t we going to Tianjin?”
Yi Wenze made a very placid “mm” in answer before saying, “We’ll go to your home first to grab a few changes of clothes.”
Go… to… my…. home?!
Jia He immediately received a jolt. “No, there’s no need. I have my credit card with me. If worst comes to worst, I’ll just buy some stuff when we get to Tianjin. I’m not that picky. I’m really, really easygoing.”
He smiled. “It’s no problem. It happens to be on the way.”
Clutching her mobile phone, Jia He began seeing stars.
One was to the southeast, the other in the northwest. Was it really on the way? Really, was it on the way? …
 Poplar and willow trees were planted in Beijing beginning in the 1960s and continuing onwards for a few decades to increase the greenery in the city. Over the years, millions were planted. However, in the spring, mature willows will bloom and release what appear to be white fluff, their catkins. As more of the female willows reach maturity, the mass of catkins floating in the air has become a phenomenon in Beijing’s springs, when the white fluff seems to invade the city.
 This idiom is generally referring to a man, that no matter how great he is, how remarkable his abilities and achievements, he is still unable to escape being entrapped by love or unable to resist the charms of a beautiful woman. However, here the “beauty” is referring to Yi Wenze’s incredible good looks and Jia He, not even a hero, just a little screenwriter, most certainly cannot resist him.
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