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223 Anything for You

 Gu Nianzhi leaned contentedly against Huo Shaoheng's chest. She savored the feel of his warm, sturdy palm as it caressed her back. She sighed, closed her eyes, and felt the pain that had been coursing through her veins slowly leave her.

She could not even begin to describe the pain from having her bone marrow harvested. There was a saying in Chinese describing a "pain that could be felt in the bone marrow." She now knew that whoever coined the phrase hadn't been exaggerating in the slightest.

Huo Shaoheng lowered his eyes and watched Gu Nianzhi snuggle against him in her loose surgical gown. Her slender, delicate neck was as white and smooth as porcelain.

"...Where does it hurt? Do you want me to get Chen Lie to give you a painkiller?" Huo Shaoheng's voice was low and seductive. Gu Nianzhi could feel it resonate within her.

Gu Nianzhi closed her eyes and relaxed into Huo Shaoheng's arms. After a moment, she smiled and said, "Comfort me, and I'll feel a lot better." She lifted her face to look into Huo Shaoheng's eyes, before adding: "Kiss me, and all the pain will be gone."

Huo Shaoheng saw the familiar twinkle return to her eyes as a rosy blush crept across her cheeks. The color had returned to her face; she no longer looked as pitiful as she had been a moment ago, but his heart continued to ache for her. He kissed her on the forehead and whispered, "Are you sure it doesn't hurt?"

He was feeling a mixture of guilt and anxiety. At the same time, he was also deeply moved by Gu Nianzhi's courage and sacrifice, and he wished he could have spared her the pain.

Gu Nianzhi saw Huo Shaoheng's apologetic look, and understood what was going through his mind.

She did not want Huo Shaoheng to feel indebted to her. She had donated her bone marrow to cure Song Jinning because she wanted to, nothing more.

Gu Nianzhi giggled. She said with a mischievous grin, "I fooled you, didn't I?"

Huo Shaoheng: "..."

"I was seducing you! You fell for my trick-I was just pretending to be in pain to get you to agree to my demands," said Gu Nianzhi slyly. Her body was stiff with pain, but she tried her best to act natural.

"It doesn't hurt? Really?" Huo Shaoheng asked doubtfully. He circled his arms around Gu Nianzhi's slender waist.

"Nope, not at all." Gu Nianzhi shook her head. "Well, other people may find it painful, but not me. You should know by now that Gu Nianzhi is no ordinary person. I'm so awesome I frighten myself sometimes."

The corners of Huo Shaoheng's mouth curved upwards. He slowly moved his hand upwards, from her waist to her exposed neck.

He gave a slight jolt in surprise.

His hand came away wet. Her back and neck were drenched in sweat...

Why was there so much sweat?

Huo Shaoheng's palm rubbed against the back of Gu Nianzhi's neck, before dipping inside her surgical gown.

Gu Nianzhi's eyes flew open, but it was too late. Huo Shaoheng's palm was already pressed against her bare back.

Her back was drenched in sweat because she was in pain. It wasn't just her back; her entire body was wet. If Huo Shaoheng hadn't known better, he would have thought she had just climbed out of a bathtub.

Huo Shaoheng's smile disappeared. His brow furrowed, and his eyes flashed with anger. He looked at Gu Nianzhi as he swept a broad arc across her wet bare back with his hand. He sneered, "...It doesn't hurt, you say? Why are you sweating all over if you're not in pain?"

She was in so much pain her surgical gown was already soaked through with sweat. How dare she lie to him and tell him it didn't hurt?

Gu Nianzhi could not stand it anymore. She gave a low whine, and clutched the front of Huo Shaoheng's clothes as she bit her lower lip.

The pain was overwhelming. Her vision threatened to fade, and she shuddered with every breath.

"If you're in pain, tell me. Don't hold it in." There was a hint of barely restrained anger in Huo Shaoheng's low voice.

He was furious because Gu Nianzhi had tried to pretend she was completely fine.

He pressed his lips together, and undid the knot behind Gu Nianzhi's surgical gown. He lifted her arms and pulled the gown off of her.

She wasn't wearing anything underneath...

Huo Shaoheng's face colored.

He hastily grabbed the blanket and pulled it over Gu Nianzhi, before getting up from the bed. He said in a stern voice, "Don't move. I'll get you some water so you can wipe the sweat off your body."

Huo Shaoheng knew it would be impossible for Gu Nianzhi to sleep when her entire body was slick and uncomfortable with sweat.

She would fall sick if she continued to lie in her own sweat under the blanket.

Gu Nianzhi's heart hammered against her chest.

She was now too mortified to think about her aching body.

She had not been able to summon the strength to stop Huo Shaoheng before he removed her surgical gown.

Huo Shaoheng had immediately wrapped her in the blanket, but Gu Nianzhi could not help wondering whether he had seen her naked body. Did he like what he saw? Or was he completely unaffected by her figure?

She was now too distracted to dwell on her pain. The color returned to her delicate cheeks as she continued to wonder about Huo Shaoheng's reaction, or lack of it.

Huo Shaoheng was not as calm as Gu Nianzhi assumed him to be. He had thought she would have at least her underwear on-how was he supposed to know she was completely naked underneath the surgical gown?

He walked into the bathroom with an unhappy expression on his face. He looked around for a pail or tub he could fill with water, but couldn't find any. He grabbed a face towel, soaked it in hot water, and wrung it out before returning to the bedroom with it. He patted the blanket over Gu Nianzhi. "Here's a wet towel. Can you wipe your body on your own?"

Gu Nianzhi nodded. She gritted her teeth and said, "...Yeah."

Huo Shaoheng looked at her silently as he waited for her to reach out from under the blanket and take the towel.

Gu Nianzhi tried and tried, but could not lift her arms.

Pain and exhaustion went hand-in-hand.

She was exhausted from having her bone marrow harvested several times that day. She could not lift a single finger.

Her body was special, but even her extraordinary constitution could only get her so far. Most other people would have fainted from the pain by now.

"Okay, you obviously can't. Stop pretending." Huo Shaoheng sat down on the edge of the bed and tugged at the blanket. "Turn over."

But Gu Nianzhi could not move, at all. She looked at Huo Shaoheng, her eyes shimmering with frustration.

Her large, misty eyes looked at him, helpless and pleading.

Huo Shaoheng's heart sank further.

She must be in a lot of pain if she can't even turn over...

Huo Shaoheng wished he had been the one to donate his bone marrow instead...

He got up, returned to the bathroom, and swapped the face towel for a large bath towel.

He sat on the bed, lifted the blanket, and scooped Gu Nianzhi out. He shut his eyes and quickly wrapped her in the bath towel, rubbing her all over with it to dry her sweat.

The bath towel was 100% cotton. It was extremely absorbent.

Gu Nianzhi was soon clean and dry. She sat in Huo Shaoheng's arms, wrapped in the bath towel, her head bowed in abject embarrassment.

Huo Shaoheng saw the dejected look on her face, and knew he had been too hard on her. He cleared his throat, smiled, and said teasingly, "...Didn't you say you were going to seduce me? Why are you being so shy now?"

Gu Nianzhi: "..."

Was he asking her to seduce him now?

Gu Nianzhi panicked, and suddenly found the strength to move.

Although she was still aching all over, the pain was a lot more bearable now. Her muscles were no longer stiff.

She put her hands on the ends of her bath towel, and looked up at Huo Shaoheng slyly. "Well, since you asked, Huo Shao, allow me to continue seducing you..." With that, she slowly released her grip, and the two ends of the towel began to slide apart.

Huo Shaoheng saw what she was doing, and nonchalantly stopped her. He pulled the towel back in place. "Don't bother. You won't be able to seduce me in your current condition. Let's wait till you're better."

Gu Nianzhi flushed. Her face was now redder than the sky during a sunset. Even her neck had turned beet red.

This is so embarrassing...

Gu Nianzhi was frustrated with herself. Why was she so bad at seduction?

Gu Nianzhi felt the pain migrate from her body to her head. Thinking about this was giving her a splitting headache...

She said feebly, "...I'm tired. I want to sleep."

Huo Shaoheng pulled the blanket over and wrapped her in it, before pulling her towel out from under the blanket. "Sleep. I'll go ask Chen Lie about your meds."

Gu Nianzhi murmured a soft "okay" in reply. She closed her eyes, and was immediately asleep.

She was exhausted. All she wanted was a good sleep.

The human body was programmed to fall asleep when it needed to heal from injuries.

That night, Huo Shaoheng stayed with Gu Nianzhi in her bedroom.

Chen Lie and Ye Zitan, on the other hand, spent the night inside Operating Room B, anxiously analyzing Song Jinning's test results.

They had learned from the results that Song Jinning's body had begun to change dramatically, six hours after the bone marrow transplant.

Chen Lie watched as the red flashing numbers on the monitor continued to climb. His eyes blazed with excitement.

The self-healing mechanism was out of this world!

He had half-expected it, but the actual speed and potency exceeded his expectations by leaps and bounds.

That was when Chen Lie finally understood why Gu Nianzhi had not been affected by the biological weapon H3aB7, and had instead successfully created antibodies in response to it.