Finally! After a disappointing Lunar New Year, they get to relax, right? Or do they? Well, at least for a day…😉
Chapter 20.1 – Blessings in the Simple Things (1)
Due to the two projects Gu Pingsheng was currently working on, their couple’s vacation unexpectedly turned into a group trip consisting of more than a dozen people. Gu Pingsheng’s secretary was sighing incessantly over how the little boss had foresight by selecting an island where a visa was not required of them. Otherwise, with these last few days running into the Lunar New Year, they would not have had enough time to obtain a visa …
Listening to this, Tong Yan secretly peeked over at Mr. Gu, whose expression was one of openness and ease. She believed unquestionably that it was not that he had had foresight, but that he happened to have been unlucky and had a nasty trick played on him by the big boss.
The flight was a night one, but it was still as lively as a market.
When Gu Pingsheng went to use the washroom, the woman sitting on Tong Yan’s left side was so bothered by the noise that she ripped the sleep mask off her eyes. “The thing you’re afraid of most when taking a plane is that a tour group is on the same flight as you … especially late night flights.”
Her words were spoken to Tong Yan. Tong Yan gave a polite smile, still adjusting to the effects high-altitude flying had on the eardrums.
The few times she had taken an airplane had all been after she and Gu Pingsheng had started their relationship and had been limited to the short flight between Beijing and Shanghai. Consequently, she had no true experience to share on the topic regarding encountering tour groups or similar.
These colleagues of Gu Pingsheng’s were essentially all people who were outstanding and amongst the finest, and as they conversed in front and behind, all manners of subjects came up. There were work discussions as well as casual conversations, and most of the topics were new and interesting to listen to while a small portion consisted of ones that she did not even understand what she was hearing.
While he was returning to his seat, he happened to be stopped by the outstretched arm of a person two rows forward, and an unexpected dialogue on work topics began.
This was actually the first time she had seen him talking about work with someone else.
With one hand leaning against the seat, he would occasionally fall into contemplation, but the greater part of the time, he would be engaged in discussion, returning each point brought up by the other person with one of his own. Her seat had been adjusted into a leaning-back position, and she could comfortably watch and admire him. You know, people sometimes truly could very easily be made proud. In this particular moment, Tong Yan finally understood the feeling of “owning” a coveted, luxury good.
Her gaze glided from his face to his arm, which was resting on the seat, and ultimately fell on that unassuming, but ever-present ring. All of a sudden, she remembered that afternoon.
That moment when he had held the ring in his hand, waiting for her to slip it on him.
Their room had been reserved very early on and was on a separate floor from everyone else.
The majority of people who came to this island were here for a honeymoon vacation. The design and décor of the hotel room exuded romance, and the furniture was all comprised of wicker. When she pushed open the door and stepped inside, a breeze happened to blow in from the balcony. The pale blue curtains were lightly billowing upwards, then drifting back down.
After finishing a several-hours-long flight, this sort of room was indeed the most suitable place to settle into.
This was her first time out of country, and to say that she was not excited was not possible. Gu Pingsheng went to take a shower, and all the while, she leaned against the balcony railing, gazing out at the ocean in the distance.
She was not aware of how much time had passed, but he eventually walked out. She turned around to look at him. “Do you need to go out this afternoon? If you have things to do, feel free to go. It’s such a beautiful room. Even if you locked me up in the room to just sleep for five days, I would have no objections.”
He had offhandedly slipped on a pair of beach shorts and was still shirtless. It was broad daylight. Luckily this was a private balcony that they were on.
Tong Yan remembered how, on the plane, a few girls who had given him a high score had all the while said he was yingjun.
The word, “yingjun” [英俊 handsome, exceptionally talented, as well as elegant bearing and demeanor] was so tacky, and very few people nowadays used it in describing a man. The criteria encompassed in it were simply too high. In addition to having outstanding looks, the man needed to exude poise and an elegant demeanor and also needed to have exceptional intelligence and talent. But as she seriously mulled it over, he truly was entirely worthy of that word.
“There is nothing important for today. I have already warned them that they have to at least leave me one full day today.” He told her, “There still has to be a limit to being a workaholic. At the very least, the first day of a honeymoon vacation should be left to the wife.”
“Honeymoon vacation?” she repeated and after thinking about it, grinned. “This is indeed a very unique honeymoon vacation.”
Not long ago, his secretary had secretly pointed at the luggage of two paralegals and remarked that the contents inside consisted completely of materials and information that they had printed out. She had only taken a single glimpse, and then instantly, her mind called up images of the thick stack of printed English data and information found in every class of International Commercial Arbitration during her third year of university. Absolutely gave her the shivers.
“Back when I was in your class, every time I had to flip through those three hundred A4 sheets of information, I’d get a headache.” With her back leaning against the railing, she could not help accusing, “Do you know how painful it is to have to read material written in English? And especially when you have to write out the case analyses in English. Simply a nightmare.”
“Your marks weren’t low.”
“That’s because it was your class. Sometimes having a pretty teacher can actually improve education quality.”
He laughed, “Even though the idea of that is a little weird, if it can achieve the desired results, then it’s still pretty good.”
“I’ll tell you a secret.” She said, “In the stuff that I packed back with me from school, there is a calendar. It’s from that semester. Every date prior to December 24 was crossed off with a pen.”
December 24. Christmas Eve.
Naturally, he remembered the significance of that very special day. He simply did not know why it was connected somehow to a calendar.
“From the first day I saw you again, I started counting down the days — counting down to when you would leave the school.” She continued reminiscing over the memories of that period. “Every time I went to your class, I felt especially stressed. It seemed as if you were the only person who knew all those deepest secrets of mine. That was why, to me, you were like a ticking time bomb.”
“What about later on?”
“Later on …” Tong Yan sighed, “Later on, I fell for you, and that made me even more scared. Mr. Gu, first off, you were, to me, my teacher. Next, the halo that seems to glow about you is too dazzling. That feeling of liking you but knowing for certain that I would never have you was very dismaying.”
“So every day, you hoped that I would leave?”
“Before December 24, yes.” She held his hand that had the ring on it. “But afterwards, I didn’t.”
Here, in an unfamiliar, foreign country, listening to the one he loved most tell him all those secret feelings of the very beginning. Those near and far memories were even more so able to touch the heart than a pure confession of love.
With his hand, he touched her forehead lightly, and tender mirth could be found in eyes. “You’ve perspired quite a bit. Do you want to take a shower?”
“Sure. I’ll be out soon. After I’m done, we can head out to the beach and take in some sun.” She finished saying this but then deliberately added, “This is my first time out of the country and also my first time seeing the ocean.”
From her luggage, she pulled out her most revealing strapless dress and a very wide sun hat, and tossing them onto the bed approvingly, she stepped into the bathroom. As he had just finished using it, inside, the surrounding glass was all covered in a layer of white condensation, and there was the scent of shower gel as well.
Twisting on the shower faucet, she removed her outer short-sleeve layer while, at the same time, adjusting the water temperature. With her arm movements, the strap on her shoulder slid off from it. Behind her, a hand reached out and settled on her shoulder, gently stroking its narrow roundness.
She heard his voice, intermingled with the sound of water and somewhat indistinct. “It’s really easy to get a sunburn if you go out at this hour. We can wait until some time around five o’clock before we go to the beach.” After stating this, he brought his face down and began feathering kisses on her shoulder.
She turned and wrapped her arms around his waist. His skin was genuinely so nice, so smooth and soft.
“We just took a five-hour plane ride. You’re not tired?” But while she asked this, she was already compelled to move with his step-by-step forward movement, retreating herself backwards until she was beneath the spray of water. The water temperature, which she had not yet finished adjusting, was slightly chilling.
“Not too tired.”
The water drenched her dress, and it clung to her body, highlighting her every curve and contour.
His beach shorts were also already sodden.
He took her wrist and felt her pulse.
“Your heart is beating very fast.” His voice was low and was one that a person could not resist.
She felt as if her arms were limp, but still, she very responsibly and dutifully used her left hand to feel for the shower’s metal faucet handle. “It’s really cold. Let me adjust the water temperature first,” she told him in an indistinct voice as she fiddled with the lever, uncertain whether he had gotten a clear view of her words.
During their dialogue, Gu Pingsheng’s hand had already slid down the contours of her body and removed that dress that had been moistly hugging her legs. Her hand had not yet left the metal handle before her entire body was already completely lifted up into his embrace.
On both sides, they were enclosed by glass, and she could not find any place to bear some of her weight. She could only cling tightly with her arms around his neck. The warm jets of water that were coming down from above and his movements that were thrusting up from below were both repeatedly colliding against her body, dissolving away her awareness.
Until, in the end, he finally lifted his head and looked at her.
She very quickly dropped her own head and brought her lips to him. Under the steady stream of water, the two of them relentlessly kissed one another. She even had the illusion that his kisses were suffocating her, that she was drowning away …
1 of 1 Prologue
59 of 66 Main story segments
0 of 3 Epilogue segments