Oh my, how could Jia He even type a single word with that scene before her eyes? I think I would have fainted. LOL
Chapter 11.1 — Uncontainable Arousing of the Heart (1)
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His film premiere event was at seven-thirty in the evening. Jia He had thought Yi Wenze would be going out for a work-related dinner, but contrary to her expectations, at five-thirty he still looked as if he was not heading out yet. Although she was surfing online, she still constantly snuck peeks at him, until he ended up spotting her little actions. Finally, clearing her throat, she said, “If you don’t go out now, you won’t make it to dinner.”
He glanced at the time. “Hungry?”
Am I a pig? Why are you always asking me whether I’m hungry? …
As she brought her head back down and carried on looking at her computer, she all of a sudden discovered that there were a lot of typos in her Word document. Oh no. She needed to start over yet again. Sure enough, when she was sitting beside him, her work efficiency was pathetic. Her face puckered in an exasperated frown. Taking another look at her, Yi Wenze smiled and told her that A-Qing had already ordered dinner and it would be delivered soon. Rather puzzled, Jia He asked, why was he not going out for the work dinner? He was surprised. “You have plans?”
Of course not. She had come here to Tianjin completely unexpectedly; what plans could she have?
“You don’t need to go for dinner with them?”
“No.” Standing, Yi Wenze took out some clean clothing from the closet. “I’ll have dinner with you and then go over there.”
And then, very openly and unperturbedly, he stepped into the bathroom.
Very distinct sounds of running water were heard before Jia He dazedly pulled her gaze back. Lowering her head once more, she began correcting typos. There were the click-clacks of the keyboard and the rushing sounds of water, and gradually they all amalgamated together. Her eyes glued to the screen, she made several rounds of corrections, but still the character outline remained littered with typos. Her heart seemed to drip blood. This efficiency was basically at the level of a primary school student. In one day, she had not even been able to get three hundred words out…
It was not that her mind was filled with adult, x-rated play; this hotel honestly had too much ambiance. The bathroom’s walls were floor-to-ceiling glass. Even though Yi Wenze had drawn the shower curtain closed, that shadow sashaying around inside genuinely was a great test on a person’s willpower! She shook her head. Ah, just let it be. She would just make the best use of this—she would write a passionate love scene.
There was still a love scene in her computer over which she had had writer’s block for three days. There was no better time than now to write it, right?
Biting down on her lip, she shot a glance at the bathroom. Then, she swiftly started working.
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Δ Outside the hotel; scenery shot.
Δ Inside the room. M, ill at ease, is reading a magazine.
Δ S quickly removes his jacket and takes out a shirt from the closet. He walks to the door of the bathroom, stops, and, with his hand on the door, looks at M.
S: (smiles) How about you shower first?
M: (nervous) I’m waiting for a phone call. You go ahead and shower first.
Δ S, smiling and not saying anything, walks into the bathroom.
Δ The sound of water is faint in the beginning and slowly gets louder. S’s silhouette is vaguely discernible behind the shower curtain.
Thump, thump, thump. Someone was knocking on the door.
Jia He nearly flipped off the bed. Hastily tossing her laptop onto the bed, she tore to the door, took a deep breath, and asked, “Who is it?”
“Screenwriter, it’s me.” It was A-Qing’s cheerful voice.
Jia He opened the door. “Hurry and come on in.”
A-Qing, holding a large paper bag, in high, animated spirits, took one step in, but then the next moment her face turned bright red and she leapt back two steps in retreat. “I just randomly bought this. Not sure if you like it or not.” Saying that, she flung out her arms and stuffed the bag over to Jia He. “Eat it quick. It’s still warm.”
Jia He wordlessly took the bag, a despairing feeling in her that even if she had a hundred mouths, she would not be able to explain this misunderstanding.
Because of her own principles, it was not as if she could tell Yi Wenze’s assistant, “Nothing happened. Don’t read too much into this,” right? Awkwardly, she said thank you and was about to resign herself to this fate and shut the door when, behind her, someone instructed, “Have the car wait downstairs at seven o’clock.”
A-Qing responded first with an “Oh, okay” but then hurriedly added, “It’s still early, still early.” And then with that, she was gone, dashing off so quickly it was like she was a wisp of smoke.
To step out now—he sure had… good timing.
As Jia He woodenly turned around, he was already taking the bag from her arms. Water dripped from the ends of the hair of this person in front of her, and he had not gotten to fastening all the buttons of his shirt, so it lay half open—he looked utterly like he was shooting a bathroom commercial… And now with such an appearance, he, holding a paper bag, a very light smile touching his lips, was asking her, “Do you want to take a shower?”
On one side was the bathroom, tendrils of white steam emanating from it; on the other was a floor-length mirror, which infinitely magnified the space, and also his smile.
Jia He felt only that every drop of blood in her body was boiling and in next to no time would cook her through and through.
Tongue-tied for a long time, she finally managed to squeeze out some brief words. “Eat first. It’ll be a problem if you don’t have enough time to get there.”
Flying by in front of her eyes was the love scene she had just written. Vivid pictures were popping out, frame by frame, from her mind. Instantly, her face burned in a fierce shade of crimson, and even the tips of her fingers were beginning to grow hot. Jia He quickly snapped her gaze away. “Do you want some water to drink?” After tossing out these words, she headed straight to the bar counter, squatted down, and opened the minibar, waiting for his reply.
Say something, say something. This is just too awkward.
She slid her fingers unthinkingly over all the cans and plastic bottles. So cold. Still, though, this was unable to suppress the embarrassment of a moment ago. From the corner of her eye, she watched as he strolled over, bent at the waist, and propped one hand on the bar counter while the other reached into the minibar to grab some purified water. Such a posture was just right to enclose her against his chest. The water on his hair skimmed against the top of her ear. Instantly she stiffened.
Fortunately, he simply took out two bottles of water.
“Help me choose a set of clothes,” he requested. “It’s to wear tonight.”
Hearing these words, Jia He was a little dumbfounded. “I don’t really know how to choose men’s clothing. I don’t really have good taste.”
Yi Wenze straightened, then grabbed two drinking glasses. “It’s no problem. My clothes are all very simple colours, and at public events I just wear a dress shirt and suit. It will be really easy to choose.”
Jia He gave an “oh” and watched as he began pouring the water and motioning to her to go to the closet to make her selection. Thus, she could only drag her feet over there to do this task that she was totally unversed in, like a duck being forced to climb up and sit on a perch. Actually, Yi Wenze’s style of dress and taste in clothing were absolutely excellent, and over these years, simply from following his news stories and seeing candid shots of him, she was already thoroughly familiar with them. But to actually have her choose for him… She still felt apprehensive.
However, after opening the closet and seeing that row of black, white, and gray, she immediately calmed down.
With these types of colour combinations, she could not go wrong no matter what she picked.
“I remember, at Tune of Yong’an’s press conference, you were wearing this one?” she asked, holding up a garment.
It was impressed too deeply on her mind. This was what he had worn the very first time she saw him. In the future, she definitely needed to store it away carefully.
The couch was beside the window. By now the sky had already dimmed, and looking out at it from where she stood, it seemed like a clean stage curtain stippled near and far with glowing lights. A very small bottle of water was in his palm. As he offhandedly twisted open its cap, he gave a very light “mm.”
The tinkling of pouring water became very clear. She turned back to the closet, flipping through his button-up shirts one at a time.
There in fact were not many, but she still looked over them for a long time. “How about you wear a more casual button-up shirt? I like it when you wear white.”
“You actually look even nicer when you’re dressed in more casual outfits, but for this type of event, we’ll forget that.” She pulled out two shirts. “Which one is better?” There were merely subtle differences in the styles, but still she remained undecided.
Yi Wenze took a drink of water. “Which one do you like?”
Jia He waffled back and forth for a while before raising the one in her right hand. “This one.”
“Then we’ll go with that one.”
After receiving this initial nod of endorsement, she became increasingly at ease and began discussing each item with him. However, she eventually discovered that regardless of what she said, he would always nod his head and say sure. In the end, even she felt a little sheepish. “Are you intentionally just going along with whatever I say?”
He smiled. “For this kind of thing, you be the one to decide; it’ll be fine.”
His tone was very placid, the look in his eyes gentle. And it was in such a way that he had said to her, “You be the one to decide.”
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She walked back over to him at last, but she still seemed worried. “Do you need accessories or anything?”
Only now did Yi Wenze begin one by one pulling out the takeout boxes of food. “We don’t need to be so particular. It’s just a film premiere.” Jia He wanted to ask more questions, but he was already handing a pair of chopsticks to her. “There will be plenty of opportunities in the future. Let’s eat first.”
With an “oh,” Jia He reached over to take the chopsticks, but capitalizing on her motions, he captured her hand in his and pulled her over to sit on his lap. “That day, you were wearing this blouse that you’re wearing now, and on top you wore a pink down coat. You were very pretty.”
A very ordinary comment. How come, though, anything that came from him was always so stirring and sentimental-sounding?
Her gaze flitting around haphazardly, Jia He compelled herself to not look at his opened collar. But very unfortunately, the frame upon frame of pictures instantly jumped into her mind again. This was practically a live rehearsal of it. Next time, she could not write that type of thing again, and she especially was not going to use him as the source and inspiration… Her last shreds of levelheadedness were crying to her, Calm down, calm down! There’s no time. At last, she wiggled out of his embrace. “Your leg just healed up. Sitting like this will cause issues.”
And then she stuffed some iced water to him.
Calm down, calm down. Everyone needs to calm down.
Yi Wenze was taking a vehicle that had been pre-arranged for him, so Jia He simply drove his car and arrived at the cinema herself. As this was the film’s premiere, the parking spots in the nearby vicinity had all been snatched up already. She circled around for a long time before finally finding a place in a residential area to park. Then she sadly had to walk for another ten minutes before she was at the cinema.
Everywhere there were people, and all around there was discussion, excited discussion.
As her eyes took in all these people, her heart suddenly began pounding as well. Such a good response, so many fans—it was impossible for her to not feel pride. She swung the car keys, her lips all the while forming an upward curve. After surveying around with her eyes, in the end she chose a corner on the second level from which she had a wide field of view.
She had just settled herself in and stood still when someone at the door squealed, “Yi Wenze!” Quickly, she poked her head over for a look, but out of nowhere a pat landed on her shoulder.
“Jia He?” The person behind her was a little uncertain.
Jia He turned her head. It was a very handsome face, one that seemed very familiar. She hunted briefly through her memory before finally remembering. “Zhou Jun?” Someone who had played a small supporting role in her previous drama serial. She truly would not have expected to see him here.
Zhou Jun pulled off his sunglasses. “It really is you. I thought I was mistaken. Such a coincidence?”
“Yeah, such a coincidence.” Jia He gave a perfunctory response. By now, excited commotion had broken out downstairs. She hurriedly whipped her head back to get a look. Yi Wenze had already entered the main entrance hall, a smile on his face the entire way as he strode over to the elevator lobby. The woman beside him wore a cocktail dress and was smiling sweetly. While Jia He was trying to recall the name of this leading actress, Zhou Jun quietly spoke up again beside her. “You came here to accept a new script project?”
Jia He shook her head and smiled, “No, I’m here to hang out with a friend.”
“Boyfriend?” His question certainly was direct.
Jia He was taken aback. Seriously, do we know each other really well? Why are you asking about absolutely anything?
However, out of courtesy, she still answered, “Mm-hmm.” Seeing that Zhou Jun had intentions to continue inquiring, she hastened to speak up first. “It’s starting now. I need to go in.”
Zhou Jun looked at her in delight. “You’re here to watch City of Darkness, too?” When Jia He nodded, he pulled out his ticket. “Me too. Someone gave me a ticket. I just came to have a look; maybe I would run into some old friends.”
Jia He merely gave an “oh.” He continued, “Let’s have a look at your ticket. We can see if we’re together.”
This guy… sure was a natural socializer.
Jia He fished out her ticket and handed it to him. Right after he took it from her, he gave an admiring sigh. “Wow, nice ticket. These sorts of seats are all for people on the production side, right?”
With the ticket still in his hand, he gave a few more sighing words of wonder. Jia He listened to all of this in great awkwardness. Given that she had such a ticket, she could not very well say that she was not well-acquainted with the people from the production team. Therefore, she had no choice but to find A-Qing and ask for one more ticket. Her original intention was merely to deal with him and then let him go on his way. She had not expected that, after hearing it was Jia He who made the request, A-Qing would straightaway treat this as a task of utmost importance and insist on getting a ticket directly beside Jia He.
When the two took their seats, Zhou Jun was still prattling away in a low voice, deliberately being amusing and witty with everything he said.
Jia He felt somewhat discomfited. All of a sudden, she remembered the rumors that had gone around about this person. She actually was never really able to remember actors’ or actresses’ names. The reason she could remember this little-known actor was that his girlfriend happened to be one of the several screenwriters of her previous drama project. At the time, she had heard people secretly criticize that his favourite thing to say on the filming site was, “My girlfriend is the screenwriter. If she wants to give more screen time to someone, she will; if she wants someone to die, she’ll kill that person off…”
As she thought of this, she was disconcerted.
It wouldn’t be that…
It shouldn’t be, right? …
There were the routine introductions, speeches about feelings and reflections, and interactions with the speakers. And then, when Yi Wenze stepped onto the stage, the atmosphere completely kicked into high gear. The emcee was vivacious, but no matter what questions were asked, Yi Wenze would merely respond with a few words spoken in a mild tone, touching just enough on the matters, his answers ample but not overly so. In the past, every time Jia He watched his news interviews, she would feel that her idol was very urbane and sophisticated. Now, though, as she listened to him, she found this very amusing…
Even when the lights had dimmed at the end, there were still people shouting his name.
Beside her, Zhou Jun was still jabbering on and on, trying to make conversation. Truly unable to take it anymore, Jia He hissed a “Shhh!” at him. “It’s starting now. Let’s watch the movie first.”
Before the sound of her voice had even faded away, someone sat down in the empty seat next to her. It was Yi Wenze.
Giving Jia He’s hand a light squeeze, he was just about to speak, but Zhou Jun immediately poked his head over and cried in surprise, “Teacher Yi?”
Don’t you love how Yi Wenze requested (insisted) that Jia He choose his outfit for him? Building up a habit starts with the small things. Yi Wenze understands Jia He’s personality and how she tends to defer to people (for things that she doesn’t feel she needs to have a hard stance on), much less with him, her idol of many years before becoming her boyfriend. So, he is helping her find her voice. He is helping her by showing her he wants to know her opinion, even on the little things. And he is helping her to see he will defer to her, too. He started with something small, an easy decision, and look how at first she was hesitant, then began discussing things with him, then just outright chose it. 🙂
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