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260 The Correct Way to Feed Grapes

 "Huo Shao, come back here! They're bullying me and I'm scared!" Gu Nianzhi grabbed front of Huo Shaoheng's shirt, burying her head in his chest as she sobbed. However, there were no actual tears at all. A fire raged in her heart, so hot that it dried up any tears she had.

Huo Shaoheng stopped in his tracks and embraced her protectively as he looked calmly ahead.

A few guards who were rushing over abruptly skid to a stop and saluted at Huo Shaoheng before pointing at Gu Nianzhi, who was crying against his chest. One of the officers stuttered "T-this... Miss Gu took our Miss Dou's phone. Mr. Huo, please have Miss Gu return the phone."

Dou Qingyan finally caught up to them, panting heavily. The group of guards blocking her way parted, and she saw Huo Shaoheng standing still at the rear entrance, his strapping figure outlined in the hazy golden light streaming through from the window. Dou Qingyan sniffled and choked on her tears as she rushed over in an attempt to drag Gu Nianzhi out of his embrace. She whimpered, "Shaoheng, I beg you! Please ask Miss Gu to give my phone back to me! Please! Give my phone back!"

Huo Shaoheng still held Gu Nianzhi and shifted his weight so that Dou Qingyan couldn't touch her. She fell forward from the momentum and nearly tumbled down the steps, but two guards managed to hold her back in time. "Shaoheng! How can you be so unfair?!" Dou Qingyan trembled with anger as she pointed to Gu Nianzhi, who was still pretending to cry in his arms, "She's taken my phone! I demand that she return it to me, now!"

The increasing commotion at the rear entrance was now audible from the living room, so everyone peered curiously in its direction. Zhao Liangze and Yin Shixiong ran over and flanked the door to block the line of sight of the curious guests in the living room.

Huo Shaoheng looked down at Gu Nianzhi and asked calmly, "You took Dou Qingyan's phone?"

Gu Nianzhi frowned while nodding and quickly said, "Yes, she showed it to me first. When I looked at it, I found that there were things in there-videos, pictures, snapshots-that shouldn't be there. It could mean the leaking of confidential and high profile information and extremely classified material, so I thought I should show it to you. That's why I've refused to give it back to her." She fumbled for Dou Qingyan's phone out and cried, "Look for yourself!"

Gu Nianzhi had been waiting for this moment. Dou Qingyan's phone was locked with a fingerprint, so Gu Nianzhi had spent quite a bit of her efforts swiping at the screen to keep it unlocked the whole time. The phone screen now visible to him, Huo Shaoheng saw the intimate photo of him and Dou Qingyan in bed..

"Dou Qingyan! How did you get these photos?!" Huo Shaoheng questioned her angrily; although his voice was still low, the deep growl in his voice made Gu Nianzhi's heart quiver in her chest. His voice echoed in her ears and she could feel his body stiffening in his mounting displeasure.

Huo Shaoheng thought Gu Ninazhi might be frightened, so he hastily pat her back in comfort and bent down to gently whisper in her ear, "Those were prop photos we took during a mission. I'll explain when we get back."

He is actually going to personally explain it to me?! Gu Nianzhi mind reeled: she had never received such treatment from Huo Shaoheng, so her heart skipped a few beats equal parts flustered and excited.

Huo Shaoheng stood behind Gu Nianzhi, his hands resting gently on her shoulders. He gave Dou Qingyan a severe look. "Under these circumstances, we certainly can't return your phone to you."

"What's going on?" He Zhichu strolled over, easily dispelling the barricade of the guards and servants from the Prime Minister's official residence. He walked around Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze to stand beside Dou Qingyan. Behind him was the Prime Minister's youngest daughter, Dou Aiyan, so the servants and guards didn't even bother stopping her; even Yin Shixiong and Zhao Liangze were conscious of her presence and didn't touch He Zhichu. However, even if Dou Aiwayn hadn't been there, these people would have been unable to stop He Zhichu in the he first place: he was far superior in status than he appeared.

Dou Qingyan's heart leapt to her throat when she saw He Zhichu arrive; surprisingly, the embarrassed woman didn't even tell on Gu Nianzhi. Instead she mumbled, "It's nothing, I was just joking around with Miss Gu." She gave a knowing look to Huo Shaoheng, "Shaoheng, I'll leave my phone with you for now. We'll talk about it once the banquet is over."

Shooting her a cool glance, Huo Shaoheng threw her phone to Zhao Liangze. "Unlock this and make a backup copy. We will determine if there is any illegal material once the investigation concludes."

Zhao Liangze saluted Huo Shaoheng and immediately took it to Huo Shaoheng's mobile base. The interior was fully equipped with Zhao Liangze's tools and so, with a few slight modifications, it could also double as a temporary tactical command center. All the necessary equipment was arranged within, although it appeared like an ordinary car from the outside.

He Zhichu smiled. He knew exactly what was going on but he kept quiet and keenly focused on Huo Shaoheng's arm on Gu Nianzhi's shoulder. Huo Shaoheng said to Dou Qingyan, "I still have something to do today, and can't delay any longer. We will be going now."

Dou Haoyan overheard this and quickly came over to speak with Huo Shaoheng. "Major General Huo, the banquet is only halfway done! Why must you leave now?"

Huo Shaoheng noticed that Gu Nianzhi seemed to be feeling rather disheartened and knew that the reason had to be those photos; his decision to leave reflected his unspoken concern. They couldn't stay any longer. "There's no way around it. I still have some business to tend to and I took time off to be here. I'm sorry, but we'll be leaving now. Thank you for hosting us Mr. Dou; we'll get together again in the future." Huo Shaoheng nodded and took Gu Nianzhi to exit.

"Shaoheng! My phone!" Dou Qingyan was about to stamp her feet in protest. Huo Shaoheng pretended he didn't hear her as he walked Gu Nianzhi to his car.

Dou Aiyan curiously nudged her sister and asked, "Elder sister, why did you give your phone to Major General Huo?"

"Oh, something happened is all." Dou Qingyan felt anxious and absentmindedly stood at the rear entrance for a while. After some time, she was called back from her thoughts Wen Shouyi came over to her. "Hurry up and eat something! Your brother is going to introduce you to the guests later." Dou Qingyan had been away from the Huaxia Empire for six years, so the upper circle of society had already forgotten her. Now that she was finally willing to come back, the Dou's wanted to take the chance to reintroduce her to the Huaxia elites to signal her return and also find a husband for her. Since Dou Qingyan has been permitted to come back, she thought she had already let go of what happened all those years ago. However, she had realized once more that Huo Shaoheng was the only one in her heart as soon as she had seen him. "Ok, let's go inside then." Dou Qingyan followed Wen Shouyi to the living room. She stood in the corner and scanned around the brightly lit room. Among all the people milling about, she couldn't find the one she wanted to see the most. Dou Qingyan was deeply depressed and sat at the bar, drinking away in misery. Wen Shouyi stayed by her and tried to quietly console her with a smile.

Huo Shaoheng and Zhao Liangze had both left, leaving Yin Shixiong behind on purpose. Yin Shixiong also knew he couldn't leave right away, so he returned to the living room to pick out some plates of food. Just as he was about to sit down to eat, Jin Wanyi walked over, her face clearly displaying her shock. "Who on earth are you to Huo Shaoheng?"

"I'm not anyone. I know of him, but he doesn't know me." Yin Shizong smiled as he feigned ignorance.

...

Huo Shaoheng's car sped through the streets of the Imperial capital. Zhao Liangze sat in the front and was unlocking and backing up Dou Qingyan's phone in silence. When he saw the photos, he couldn't help exhaling sharply.

Gu Nianzhi stopped trying to force a smile as soon as she got inside the car. Her face was stony and she sat far away from Huo Shaoheng, leaning against the window in the back seat. She propped her head against the glass and stared blankly at the night sky.

Huo Shaoheng was also quiet and mused about what had just happened until they exited the car and returned to their rooms back at his official residence at the Special Ops base. He directly went to Gu Nianzhi's room and knocked on the door.

Gu Nianzhi was in a bad mood and had no intention of speaking with Huo Shaoheng, yet she knew the door wasn't enough to stop him from coming in. Getting up unwillingly, she went to open the door.

"What's the matter? You're pouting so much." Huo Shaoheng reached a finger out to tap at her lips.

Gu Nianzhi brushed his hand away and said angrily, "Speak properly, Huo Shao. Why are you touching me? I'm not your comrade and I'm not interested in play acting as your seductress."

"You're really angry?" Huo Shaoheng raised his brows."Did you have dinner? Maybe you're feeling a little peckish."

Gu Nianzhi twisted her head away from his hand. "I lost my appetite from being so mad-why would I eat their food?" Biting her lip as she recalled the photos and how intimate Huo Shaoheng and Dou Qingyan were in them, Gu Nianzhi's jealousy came back, rearing its ugly head. "I didn't think that you had been capable of such intimacy, so much so that you would feed another woman grapes. You've never once indulged me in such ways!"

"'Feed another woman grapes?'" Huo Shaoehng was amazed. " What are you talking about grapes for?" He hadn't seen such photos before, but had only seen the photo of them in bed together. From what Gu Nianzhi was saying, there must be more, he conjectured.

Gu Nianzhi called Zhao Liangze angrily and asked, "Brother Ze, can you please send a few photos to me?"

Zhao Liangze declined. "Nope, not without Mr. Huo's orders."

"Huo Shao gave the order, he's right here with me." Gu Nianzhi passed the phone to Huo Shaoheng, her doe like eyes shimmering with her envious tears and full lips trembling.

Huo Shaoheng sighed and took the phone. "I heard there's one of me feeding grapes? Send it over."

Zhao Liangze was in the middle of making copies of the photos, so he was able to quickly find the one Huo Shaoheng requested and sent it over with a chuckle.

Huo Shaoheng looked at it and couldn't help smiling. "What's there to be so angry about?"

"How can I not be angry? You've never fed me like that!" Gu Nianzhi stamped her feet, then ran back into the bedroom to pull out a bunch of grapes from the mini fridge. She said to Huo Shaoheng, "Now I want you to feed me too!" I have to bleach that image from out of my brain!

Huo Shaoheng smiled as he took the grapes and plucked off a large and red one. Gu Nianzhi hastily opened her mouth, but he suddenly put it into his own mouth instead of feeding her. Gu Nianzhi was furious and was about to smack Huo Shaoheng in frustration, when his other hand circled around the back of her neck to cradle her head. Gu Nianzhi could only widen her eyes at Huo Shaoheng and watch his face move closer and closer. He finally lowered his head to kiss her lips, and the slightly icy grape moved from Huo Shaoheng's mouth to Gu Nianzhi's. The tip of his tongue passed the grape through Gu Nianzhi's lips, then he pressed against them-his hot breath lingering on her as he said in a low voice, "That's the way I feed grapes to my girlfriend."