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265 Making Exceptions

 He was overcome with indescribable emotion. Sentimental tenderness, love, lust, affection-they rolled over him in tangled waves.

Huo Shaoheng could not stand it anymore. With a sudden forceful tug, he whirled Gu Nianzhi about to face him.

He slid a hand into the thick, luxurious hair behind her head, and the other around her slender waist. He pushed her up against the wall behind her, and pinned her against it.

Gu Nianzhi could not move. She looked up and saw his thick, perfectly shaped eyebrows and his dark, inky eyes close in on her.

She could feel his breath upon her. Her arms automatically reached out and hugged Huo Shaoheng around his sturdy waist. She lifted her chin to look at him, and before she knew it Huo Shaoheng's lips were already pressing against hers.

Gu Nianzhi felt an electrifying current course through her veins. Her fingers trembled; she was numb all over.

Soft, indistinct moans escaped from her throat.

The wall behind her was hard, but it was nothing compared to the unyielding strength of Huo Shaoheng's body.

He was not holding himself back. He wished he could keep her captive in the palm of his hand, and never let her go.

Gu Nianzhi enjoyed being subjugated in this manner. She had always felt like a dandelion seed floating in the air, weightless and rootless. Huo Shaoheng was her only emotional harbor; she needed him to control her, subjugate her, in order to feel secure.

Her heart hammered wildly against her chest.

The temperature in the bedroom seemed to have shot up by several degrees. The both of them were beginning to feel a little too warm for their clothes.

Gu Nianzhi was still wearing the down jacket she had put on before stepping out onto the balcony. She had barely finished whispering "it's warm in here" before Huo Shaoheng tore the jacket off of her and tossed it to the floor.

Gu Nianzhi pressed her lithe, supple body against Huo Shaoheng. He was tempered steel, but she would melt him into a molten puddle.

Their kisses were so intense they could feel themselves burning up.

Huo Shaoheng wanted more. He held her up and kissed her hungrily over and over again.

Gu Nianzhi's heart trembled at the power rippling through Huo Shaoheng's body. She wriggled against him, savoring the feel of his muscles against her.

Huo Shaoheng was a disciplined man with superhuman self-control. Even so, he felt himself going over the edge.

Gu Nianzhi's wriggling and squirming was too much for him. Huo Shaoheng felt like a balloon about to burst; he quickly held her in place as he panted into her ear: "Don't move... I need you to be still for a moment..."

Gu Nianzhi did not dare move. She kept herself as stiff and rigid as a board. After what felt like an eternity, Huo Shaoheng finally let out a long sigh and put her down.

Gu Nianzhi looked up at Huo Shaoheng, her face bright red. She quietly asked him a question.

Huo Shaoheng replied with a simple "Yeah," before folding her back into his arms. "Sorry, I must have scared you just now."

Gu Nianzhi: "..."

She was so annoyed she felt like dashing her head against the wall. She had wasted an excellent opportunity to seduce him!

If she had been just a little braver, if she had not freaked out like a silly girl, she would probably be having her way with Huo Shao by now...

But it had been her first time. How was she supposed to react?

She wished she hadn't freaked out...

Gu Nianzhi mentally kicked herself.

Huo Shaoheng, on the other hand, felt that Gu Nianzhi was too young for them to take the next step. She had fallen victim to an aphrodisiac once, but she had been entirely out of it then. She had no memory of their night together, and her body, too, seemed to have forgotten all about it.

He looked at Gu Nianzhi without saying anything. A slow smile crept across his lips as he reached out to gently stroke her hair. He said in a low voice: "...Thank you."

Gu Nianzhi hastily shook her head. "You don't have to thank me! That's honestly what I feel. You have to believe me!"

"In that case, I'm glad to hear it." Huo Shaoheng's lips curved into a smile. "But I was just informing you of the usual protocol-I never said I would be following it this time. You can wipe that sad, pitiful look off your face now..."

Gu Nianzhi glowered at him. So he had been teasing her!

She had poured her heart out to him-all for nothing!

Gu Nianzhi pressed her lips together, annoyed, and jabbed a finger into Huo Shaoheng's chest. "What are you going to do, then? If you don't intend to stand idly by and let everyone think you were in a romantic relationship with her, how are you going to deal with all the problems you mentioned?"

"The situation right now is too complicated. I don't intend to play by the book," Huo Shaoheng answered calmly.

He had taken a completely different approach to the situation, one so audacious no one else would have dared try it. He wasn't going to pretend to be Dou Qingyan's lover, or reveal the truth behind the photos: he was going to publicly refute the authenticity of the photos.

"You're going to publicly refute the authenticity of the photos? You mean, you're going to tell everyone the photos were Photoshopped?" Gu Nianzhi considered this. "Will anyone actually believe that?"

"They'll probably believe me at first, but not for long. They'll start to wonder, after some time." Huo Shaoheng leaned back into the sofa. His posture was casual and relaxed; he did not seem at all concerned about what was happening. "But that's okay. It's a risk I'm willing to take."


"First of all, it's been seven years since my mission with Dou Qingyan. Many things have changed since-the other personnel involved in the mission have already moved on to other roles, among other things. It's highly unlikely that anyone would be able to discover anything from the photos. Just to be safe, however, I've ordered the Special Ops personnel in the two affected countries to return to the Empire at once. If all goes well, they should be reporting for duty at the headquarters by this time tomorrow."

Huo Shaoheng was not the type to be reckless. On the contrary, he was extremely careful and prudent; he did not go into battle unless he was certain of winning.

"Really? If you've done that, I think it's safe for me to assume that you've put up a firewall blocking all access to the external internet? The internet will be on complete lockdown, until your men return to the country tomorrow. Is that right?" It had taken Gu Nianzhi less than a second to think of this.

She had grown up with the internet at her fingertips. She knew how effective the internet was when it came to disseminating information.

The fastest way for the photos to spread was through the internet.

Huo Shaoheng had put a lockdown on the country's internet in the nick of time; this meant that the photos would remain inside the country for now.

"Clever girl." Huo Shaoheng tapped her playfully on the forehead. "You guessed it. I've instructed Little Ze to initiate the Great Wall lockdown program. He'll also be looking out for any IPs trying to get around the firewall with a VPN."

He needed 24 hours-24 hours, and the matter would be settled.

Time was on their side; he knew the foreign intelligence agencies would need at least 48 hours to get their hands on the photos and analyze them.

This was the main reason why he had decided not to take the easy way out and pretend Dou Qingyan had been his lover, not when there was another option. Besides, he was a principled man, and he would not bow to pressure.

General Ji had done something similar seven years ago. Dou Qingyan's father had just become the Prime Minister then, and had tried to get Huo Shaoheng out of the military and into his clutches, for the sake of his daughter. General Ji had boldly shot down the Prime Minister's attempts back then, and Huo Shaoheng would do the same now.

Gu Nianzhi looked at Huo Shaoheng. She was feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. She said softly, "...Are you doing this for me?"

He had been making exceptions for her. He had bent the rules just for her on several occasions now. That meant she was special to him, right?

She did not wait for his reply; her face was already glowing with pride and joy.

Huo Shaoheng lowered his eyes to look at her, before casually looking away. He said impassively, "You're overthinking it. I'm just trying to find the mastermind behind all this." He stood up. "It's late. You should go to bed."

Gu Nianzhi pouted. She said to his back: "I'm going to my university tomorrow. Will you arrange for someone to drive me there?"

She had to be driven there in a car; there were no bus routes between the Special Operations Forces HQ and B University, and walking there was completely out of the question.

"You're going to your university?" Huo Shaoheng turned to look at her, a frown on his face. "Your classes haven't started yet. Why on earth are you going to your university?"

"Professor He told me to report to my university ahead of schedule," Gu Nianzhi answered honestly. "I should have done it by now, really."

"Professor He?" Huo Shaoheng waved his hand dismissively. "You don't have to go. I've taken Professor He to the military base to assist in our investigation of the leaked photos."