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364 Smell Like A Baby

 " I'm not able to wear it," Gu Nianzhi muttered to herself as she tried to close her bra. After struggling with it for a few more minutes, she couldn't take it anymore and finally gave up. Looking up, she saw Huo Shaoheng sitting on the two-seater sofa by the wall. He had one arm draped on the sofa and he looked on with interest while wrestled with her bra. Gu Nianzhi tried to appear nonchalant and turned around to take a sports bra from her closet before walking to the bathroom to change. Her legs had actually turned to jelly and she slammed the door shut as soon as she entered the bathroom. Leaning her back against it, she panted heavily and rubbed her head as she walked to the sink. She looked at her reflection in the large mirror and saw the color of plum blossoms bloom on her cheeks. Eyes so watery they seemed to shimmer, her lips were also red and swollen from kissing. Her heart thudded and she hurriedly bent down to turn on the tap and splash cold water on her face. Afterwards, she applied some skin creams and a light layer of foundation to conceal the rosy flush from within her skin. When she walked out of the bathroom, she saw that the bed was already made. Because the mattress had been replaced earlier, Huo Shaoheng had taken everything off Gu Nianzhi's bed but she hadn't had a chance to remake the bed before the pair had started rolling around on it. Gu Nianzhi stifled a laugh and looked at the bed Huo Shaoheng made for her-the sheets were neatly tucked but the key point was the comforter folded into a standard tofu block shape. "Huo Shao, you're amazing. Not many people can fold a 'tofu block' like you can." Gu Nianzhi picked up her bucket bag. "Don't you have business today?"

Huo Shaoheng stood up to straighten his clothes and answered stoically, "The meeting was in the morning so it's done now. I don't have anything else to take care of today."

Gu Nianzhi took his arm and grinned up at him. "Then, we should go for food! I'm hungry."

"Earlier you'd said you had starved too much. I thought you didn't want to eat anymore." Huo Shaoheng pinched her cheek. "Well, let's go, I'll take you someplace nice then we'll get you new underwear."

Gu Nianzhi smiled as she followed Huo Shaoheng out of the room. As soon as they walked out, the door to the other room also opened and Miao Yun Xiao stood there looking at Gu Nianzhi and Huo Shaoheng with suspicion. Her gaze shifted to Gu Nianzhi's wrist draped on Huo Shaoheng's arm-the watch she wore looked somewhat familiar. Gu Nianzhi's smile faded as she nodded politely to Miao Yunxiao before nudging Huo Shaoheng out the door.

Huo Shaoheng also looked at Miao Yunxiao but remained quiet as he took Gu Nianzhi out. Miao Yunxiao stared at their backs for a while and then slowly went back to her room.

...

Huo Shaoheng took Gu Nianzhi to Scion Plaza for lunch and the lingerie shopping. Lunch was at Jiuloufengyue Restaurant, where they gone to on the day after Christmas. Huo Shaoheng's childhood friend, Xue Jingjiang owned this place. Huo Shaoheng called him as they were on the way.

Xue Jingjiang was at home hosting some important guests from Barbados, but immediately told his guests to make themselves at home and said he'd be back soon when he received Huo Shaoheng's call. Driving quickly to the restaurant, he asked the head chef, "Do we still have 'Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Soup'? Like the one we prepared for Lunar New Year? I know that you keep some until the fifteenth of the first month of the lunar calendar, yes?"

"Yes we do. We typically prepare 15 servings of Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Soup daily from the Lunar New Year until the fifteenth and are finished when they are sold out." The restaurant manager was eager to please Xue Jingjiang. "However, we always reserve two or three servings a day in case of sudden situations."

"Yes, great work. Remember to send the best one to that private room today. I'll be personally checking in later; the guest is my good friend, so you have to serve him attentively." Xue Jingjiang also reminded the staff to prepare the private room in advance.

By the time Huo Shaoheng arrived, the table was laden with dishes of food and in the middle of it all was a small antique claypot with 'Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Soup' simmering inside. "Huo Shao is here, and Little Sister Nianzhi as well, right? You've gotten prettier since I last saw you only a few days ago!" Xue Jingjiang greeted them warmly and pulled out chairs for Huo Shaoheng and Gu Nianzhi.

Gu Nianzhi replied, "Thank you Bother Xue; you're too polite."

"We're just here for lunch! We're embarrassed by all this fanfare." Huo Shaoheng gave a half smile and sat beside Gu Nianzhi.

"You're the ones being too polite here." Xue Jingjiang picked up a bottle of red wine and served a bit to Huo Shaoheng before asking Gu Nianzhi, "Little Sister Nianzhi still wants milk right?" He remembered that Huo Shaoheng had ordered warm milk for her last time.

Gu Nianzhi did indeed want some warm milk. She had gone without food for too long that day and needed something to drink first. "Yes, some warmed milk would be nice." She smiled gratefully at Xue Jingjiang.

Xue Jingjiang ordered a waiter to send warm milk to her and said to Huo Shaoheng, "I had guests at home today, but even the king would have to wait since Huo Shao said he's coming over for lunch. I left them at home so I could host you first."

"You're being too kind; are we friends or not?" Huo Shaoheng pat Xue Jingjiang and smiled. "It's fine, you can go home first. We won't be eating too long because we have some shopping to do after lunch."

"Ok, then I'll be going now. There's been some progress with that thing I talked to you about last time. Let's discuss it again when you're free." Xue Jingjiang replied with great enthusiasm.

Huo Shaoheng knew that Xue Jingjiang was doing business with the Gu Group from Barbados and had run into some trouble. He was relieved to hear that it had been resolved. "Ok, you can call Little Ze when you have time and he'll arrange a meeting."

"Sounds good!" Xue Jingjiang gave him an unauthentic military salute and laughed. As soon as he left, the private room grew quiet.

Gu Nianzhi giggled softly. "What a noisy person; he's loud enough to make up for a crowd."

"Xuezi has always been like that. He likes liveliness." Huo Shaoheng ladled some Buddha Jumps Over the Wall Soup for her. The warm milk arrived soon after and Gu Nianzhi downed half the glass in one breath. She drank hastily, leaving white foam above her top lip.

Huo Shaoheng was serving rice to her and turned around to see her like this. His chest tightened at her cute face and he set down the bowl and hugged her. Lowering his face to kiss her, he licked the milk foam clean off her lips. "You smell so clean, like a baby..." Huo Shaoheng murmured before kissing her on the cheek again.

Gu Nianzhi flushed. "You're saying I smell like a baby? Fine, I won't let you kiss me anymore."

"You won't let me kiss you? What should I do then?" Huo Shaoheng gave a contemplative look and smoothed her hair.

"What do you want to do?" Gu Nianzhi suddenly grew nervous. If Huo Shaoheng said she wouldn't allow him to kiss her, would he go find someone else to kiss? She didn't want to restrain herself or allow him to kiss others either.

However, Huo Shaoheng inched closer anyway and gave her his cheek, "I don't mind that you smell like a baby. I'll still let you kiss me."