Sending Her Home
Su Shen looked at Xie Yan, who was in the driver’s seat, and dazed for a bit. The sound of the surrounding rain was too loud. She glanced at her skirt that had been splashed by the rain, couldn’t care about anything else and got into the passenger seat.
Once she got in, she closed her dripping wet umbrella and placed it away while thanking the driver, “Sorry to trouble you again.”
He looked over and noticed that her slender arms were daubed in rain with the color of her skirt darkened by half. Xie Yan handed her the Kleenex in the car, “It’s on the way.”
“Thank you.” She took the Kleenex and wiped the rain from her arms.
As the car slowly drove, Su Shen wiped the rain on her body while looking at the man driving beside her, “Where’s Zhao Tong?”
How could Zhao Tong be willing to let Xie Yan drive back to the hotel alone?
“He has something to do.” Xie Yan’s gaze slightly shifted and noticed that her skirt was a little short and could inadvertently expose her fair thighs. Taking advantage of the red light in front of him, he suddenly reached for the black jacket from the back seat and handed it to her, “It’s cold in the car.”
Su Shen knew that her skirt was short but didn’t expect him to be that attentive. She didn’t decline and took that large jacket and placed it on her legs.
The atmosphere in the car instantly became awkward. Su Shen never liked being alone with Xie Yan as it always felt awkward. She looked at the red light in front flashing and jumping to the yellow light with the windshield wiper wiping back and forth the rain.
“Are you going back tomorrow?” He suddenly sounded.
As the car started to move again, Su Shen blinked and softly said, “I’m leaving after I go back to the hotel and pick up my luggage. My apartment is here, just that it’s a little far away.”
Xie Yan suddenly looked over slightly and saw her impeccable side profile: “This late?”
“Fortunately, there’s no traffic jams right now so it should take me around an hour and a half to get back.” Su Shen looked to the side and found that he was looking at her. She then quickly turned back and lightly coughed, “I said that I will treat you to dinner every time but I never had the chance to. Are you going to take a break after this film?”
Her voice was soft and very courteous. Xie Yan slowly turned the steering wheel and occasionally looked at her from the corner of his eye, “I accepted an action oriented project and have to learn Muay Thai.”
After that, he suddenly said, “I will always have the time.”
The heavy rain outside was not stopping at all. The cars on the road were fewer than usual too. Su Shen didn’t know how to respond to him. If she treated him to dinner at a restaurant, the other party would probably not even fancy her one meal. If she invited him to dinner at home, then that would be even more awkward. The relationship between them hadn’t reached that stage for her to invite him over for dinner either.
“I also have to do martial arts training too. Let me know whenever you have time.” Su Shen smiled and tilted her head slightly, “What do you like to eat?”
She owed so many favors and it really would be inexcusable for her to push it off further.
Xie Yan: “Everything’s fine.”
Although he said that, from what Su Shen had observed, Xie Yan’s quite picky with what he ate. He also doesn’t eat meat and barely ate the barbeque last time. He must be normally very disciplined then.
She still asked, “Do you not like meat?”
The man driving pursed his lips and paused before saying, “I didn’t like it before but it’s acceptable now.”
Su Shen thought it was quite weird and couldn’t help saying, “Actually, each and every ingredient can produce different kinds of flavor. But the purest is the original flavor.”
This was what the top chef in Peking who taught her cooking told her.
“Really?” He continued to steer the steering wheel, his expression remained unchanged.
He probably didn’t know how to cook so it was useless telling him this. Su Shen fixed her gaze on the rainy road ahead with a trace of sleepiness on her lustrous face, “I’ll let you have a taste of my cooking when I have time.”
It was another polite remark. Xie Yan glanced from the corner of his eye and found that she had closed her eyes with her curled feathery eyelashes trembling a bit. A strand of wet hair near her ear was adhered to her face. Her bare face was natural and exquisite, her petite figure serenely radiating beautifulness. It was hard to imagine that she could have that kind of burst in today’s scene.
Su Shen was really sleepy. She had spent a lot of effort for today’s scene. As the saying goes, it was easy to get into character but hard to disengage from it. For this role, she had put in a lot of work and effort into it.
But when the car stopped, she could still feel it. When she opened her eyes, the neon lights at the entrance of the hotel were still as dazzling. She unfastened her seatbelt while looking at Xie Yan, “Thank you, I’ll go out first to see if there’s any paparazzi.”
Their tails were haunting. If they got photographed, she didn’t want to spend all her money on buying them back.
As he saw her swiftly unfasten her seatbelt, Xie Yan didn’t move, “Go up and get your luggage, I’ll send you back.”
Su Shen paused and then looked up into that pair of pitch-black pupils, she couldn’t help but be slightly stunned, “It’s okay, I can take a taxi back. It’s very easy to call for a ride here. You also still have to film tomorrow and my apartment is so far away too, how can I trouble you?”
As she said, she opened the door ready to get off but when she saw the damp jacket on her legs, she suddenly picked it up again, “I’ll return this after I wash it.”
“How can I know the way to your apartment if you don’t let me drive you back?” He jokingly said.
Su Shen paused and soon after, a laugh followed. In the end, she didn’t refuse and just said that she would be back soon.
The more friends, the more roads there would be. Since the other party was so courteous, then why should she be pretentious.
Fortunately, there weren’t too many cars at the entrance of the hotel and Su Shen didn’t notice any trace of the paparazzi either. After entering her room, she changed out of her wet clothes and then went downstairs to check out with the luggage that she had already packed beforehand.
The rain was still falling heavily outside. From the rearview mirror, Xie Yan saw a petite silhouette holding an umbrella in one hand and carrying a suitcase in the other walking toward the trunk of the car.
Perhaps it was because of the rain on her hand making it too slippery but Su Shen couldn’t open the trunk. A tall figure appeared beside her and he smoothly opened it up. He picked up the suitcase with one hand and placed it inside.
Su Shen immediately raised the umbrella up over his head seeing as he came out without one, “Why did you come out?”
If this was seen, she wouldn’t be able to afford it.
Amidst the rain, her voice wasn’t quite distinct. After closing the trunk, Xie Yan suddenly grabbed her arm and pulled her behind his back. Su Shen stood behind him unsteadily.
There was a taxi passing by, stimulating the puddles to splash on both sides of the road. Xie Yan got splashed quite a bit whereas Su Shen behind him felt nothing.
She was still holding up the umbrella and said apologetically, “You can go back to your room, I can just take a taxi back.”
Xie Yan turned around and took the umbrella in her hand: “Let’s go.”
There was no way out and Su Shen got into the car once again. She felt a little guilty when she saw the rain stains on him. Actually, she had some doubts. Xie Yan’s attitude toward her seemed to be more than just out of courtesy.
As the car moved, Xie Yan asked her for her address and after Su Shen replied, the car fell into silence again.
The traffic jams in this city during the day were despairing but at this time, there were only a handful of vehicles on the highway with the dim streetlights hazily lighting the road.
There were two districts between her condo and the filming site. That condo was given to her by her sister, otherwise with her earnings, she would only be able to afford a condo in the suburbs in this expensive land price city.
Xie Yan wasn’t much of a talkative person and neither was Su Shen. As the car stopped in front of the entrance of the complex, the rain had lessened.
“Thank you for the trouble today. Do you want to come up and have a cup of tea?” She politely asked while unfastening her seatbelt.
Xie Yan glanced at her and insipidly said, “It’s okay, it isn’t that far.”
Su Shen breathed a sigh of relief as she heard that. She was actually afraid that Xie Yan would agree.
After she got out of the car, Xie Yan also followed in doing so and lifted her suitcase out of the trunk.
There wasn’t anyone walking outside in the gated community right now. Su Shen still looked around and thanked him while carrying her suitcase, “Thank you, I’ll let Xiao Zhou return the jacket after I wash it.”
The evening breeze was slightly cold. The drizzling rain fell on them as their eyes met. He softly “En” but when he saw the suitcase in her hand, he slightly frowned, “Do you need me to send you up?”
“No, it’s fine. There’s an elevator inside.” Su Shen was afraid that he would see her off. She dragged the suitcase toward the complex while holding an umbrella and suddenly looked back. Su Shen saw Xie Yan still standing there and couldn’t help but said loudly, “Be careful on the road.”
After that, she turned back and walked straight ahead. As he saw that petite figure gradually disappearing from sight, Xie Yan only then smiled. When he recovered his senses, his body was covered with tiny raindrops. After he got into the car, he accidentally found a file bag on the car seat.
When she got home, Su Shen immediately took a shower. When she came out fresh and clean, it was already 1 AM. She then blow dried her hair and sorted out the contents in her suitcase.
When she got into bed, she noticed that Xie Yan had sent her a message.
Xie Yan: You left a file bag in the car.
When she saw that, Su Shen suddenly remembered that she didn’t put the script that Liu jie gave her today away into her suitcase. It seemed like she had forgotten to bring it up when she went back to the hotel.
Su Shen: I’ll ask Xiao Zhou to go and pick it up the day after tomorrow as well as return your jacket in passing.
After a while, he then replied.
Xie Yan: Ok.
In fact, Su Shen was also very baffled. People who had worked with Xie Yan knew that he was not much of an ardent person and was even somewhat aloof. Despite Wang Cheng calling Xie Yan ge left and right, he actually didn’t even have Xie Yan’s WeChat. But he was really overly enthusiastic today to even send her back in the middle of the night. It was too far fetched to say it’s because of just a meal.
Su Shen didn’t think too deeply about it. What if he was just a tsundere*?
tsundere – a term that depicts a person who is initially cold before gradually showing a warmer, friendlier side over time
After scrolling through Weibo, she noticed that her follower count had increased by a lot. Su Shen then posted a sticker onto her Weibo. Although there were a lot of anti-fans, she was already used to it especially after the matter with Xie Yan with her exposure rate increasing a lot. In the past few days, her followers had increased by almost a million. Anti-fans weren’t scary, the fearful part was when anti-fans wouldn’t even bother to hate on you. That’s the most frightsome thing in the entertainment industry.
The next day, she slept until noon and made something to eat. She then hand washed Xie Yan’s jacket and swept through the entire condo.
At 5 PM, Liu jie came and picked her up to go to the dinner with the investors and producers for Green Blood Sword.
“Dress well. What’re you afraid of? Your sister is going to go later too. You should at least leave a good impression on the investors and producers.” Liu jie looked with dissatisfaction when she picked out a yellow dress.
Su Shen placed that dress back and swept through her closet. She took out a blue dress, “This one?”
She had never worn any V-necks nor clothes that showed her chest and she didn’t want to wear those either.
“Okay, this one then.” Liu jie looked at her watch and insipidly said while leaning against the door, “The producers have already divulged their opinion. Your popularity is still not high enough so you would have to form a cp with Jiang Yin to raise the hype. Jiang Yin’s manager has already contacted me and said that they will cooperate with the drama’s promotions. So no matter what the production team does in the future, you have to cooperate and can’t come forth to clarify.”
Su Shen didn’t say anything. After changing her clothes in the bathroom, she then sat in front of the vanity to draw on her eyebrows, “As long as it’s not too excessive.”
She put on some light makeup and threw her hair into a bun. After all, the heroine for this drama was a sweet, naive young girl. If she were to dress too mature, it would give an impression of being too different from the role.
The dinner was at a five-star hotel downtown. When they arrived, it was almost seven. Su Shen had received a message from her sister and was planning to wait for her at the entrance.
After five or six minutes, Su Ruan appeared at the entrance of the hotel. Her navy maxi dress made her appear especially tall. The contrast of her brown blowout against her skin made it appear even fairer. Her entire body exuded the charisma of a strong independent woman. There was no sign on her which showed that she was a mum to a four year old boy.
“Liu jie.” Su Ruan smiled as she approached and shook hands with Liu jie. Then, she turned her gaze to Su Shen, “It must’ve been hard for you to procure so many opportunities for her with just her aptitude.”
Knowing that she was talking about her terrible acting, Su Shen arched an eyebrow and laughed vainly. Liu jie, however, courteously laughed as she walked in front, “If it wasn’t for you, this drama wouldn’t have been able to be procured.”
“That’s certainly not the case. That small investment of mine wouldn’t have been able to play the decisive role. It’s thanks to your negotiations in the middle, else Su Shen wouldn’t have been so lucky.” Su Ruan walked in front with her clutch in hand. The two of them courteously chatted.
Su Shen followed behind and didn’t cut in. At this time, there were quite a bit of people in the lobby. She wasn’t afraid of getting her photos taken however. Those who went in and out of this kind of place were all wealthy people and wouldn’t even spare a glance at those A-listers even more so at her, an 18th-tier actress.
The waiter led the way and soon, they passed through a corridor and arrived at a private room. As soon as the door opened, one could see that it was already full of people inside. Su Ruan immediately went in and greeted everyone.
The director and the producer were there, with the rest being brand representatives. They were either bald or had a beer belly, either way they all looked very churning. Yet, Su Ruan still managed to skillfully and easily exchange pleasantries with them.
Su Shen noticed that Jiang Yin was also there. He was sitting next to the director in athleisure attire slouching over while playing on his phone. There were also some other artists, most likely the ones who had passed the audition and for the most part were all newcomers, seemingly a bit more reserved. That Zhu Qinqin was also surprisingly inside. She wore a red v-neck dress which exposed the splendor of her spring. The 40 or 50 year old man next to her incessantly stared at her but she still went along and made a toast to him.
She saw Su Shen enter with Su Ruan and a trace of jealousy immediately flashed in her eyes. She clenched her hands but she still smiled and chatted with the middle-aged man beside her.
“Go and sit down.” Liu jie gave her a push.
After Su Ruan sat down, there were only two seats left. Su Shen could only sit down next to Jiang Yin and wasn’t sure whether she should greet him or not.
“President Su, is this your sister? Sure enough, if the elder sister was already so beautiful then the younger sister wouldn’t be any less. For CEO Zhuang to have a wife like President Su, it must’ve been the karma he had accumulated from his past life!” A middle-aged man in a suit and leather shoes with a beer belly immediately burst into laughter.
As his words fell, Su Ruan courteously smiled and raised her glass to that man, “President Zhang’s words are exactly what I like to hear. I’ll toast you with this glass first then!”
For those in business, no matter how bad their drinking capacity was, they wouldn’t be too off. Su Shen watched as her sister smiled and mutually lauded with those people. But from her words, it was all about asking the other party to take more care of her in the future.
Su Shen felt very warm. It turned out that in this world there were still actions that were done without any demands in return.
“Remember to stay to sign the contract later, don’t leave so quickly.” Liu jie leaned her head over and whispered.
Su Shen nodded, expressing that she knows. Fortunately, her sister was here and those people didn’t have her drink. Otherwise for these types of dinners, drinking was a small matter, it was more common for people to act similar to what was happening to Zhu Qinqin—getting groped.
“You don’t look much like your sister.”
Su Shen was taken aback and turned to look at Jiang Yin. The phone in his hand was still lit but his gaze, however, landed on her. A smile was plastered on his bright and sunny face, yet that was already enough for those female fans to go crazy.
Su Shen took a sip of the juice on the table and insipidly smiled at him, “You mean my sister is better looking than me?”
He didn’t expect that she would make jokes seeing as she was so quiet. Their eyes met and Jiang Yin suddenly laughed, his voice clear, “You’re prettier than your sister.”