Yu Wan giggled as she scrolled through the comments. Abuse? Ridiculous– Did she really come off as someone that weak?
She wondered if Shen Qingzhou would retweet her post. A comment was the very least he could do, right? Yet, there was nothing from him even after she had finished showering. “He probably just haven’t had the chance to see it…” Yu Wan comforted herself.
Yu Wan didn’t have much to do the next day. She stayed at the hotel for the entire morning and afternoon before one of the crew supervisors suddenly gave her a call. She was told to visit the set; there were emergency changes that they needed to make during the film session at night.
Just as she stepped out the door, she received a text message: [Dinner, come at seven.]
Yu Wan looked at the time and replied: [They need me at the set… Something about script changes.]
[I told them to do that. There’s nothing wrong with the script.]
Yu Wan was shocked: [Wow, really? That’s just abusing your power. Do you really need an excuse for me to bring you food?]
No reply came, yet she could clearly see the stony expression that he always had in her mind.
Yu Wan turned around and made sure his door key was in her purse before heading to his room.
She arrived at the set at six-thirty and planned to have Shen Qingzhou’s assistant collect the food she had assorted neatly in tupperware. The set was as busy as a beehive. Yu Wan saw Shen Qingzhou dressed casually and sitting in front of a computer. It was the first time she saw him in action as a director; his undivided attention to his work was clear in his eyes. However, he wasn’t that much different from usual, if not a tad more serious.
Yu Wan then turned her view to the actors. They were suspended on various wires and fitted with gadgets from head to toe against a green screen. It took a long time for her to figure out which scene they were filming– the CGI team had never seemed more important than now.
“Cut,” Yu Wan heard Shen Qingzhou shout into a walkie-talkie. He called an actor’s name, who hurried over immediately.
The female actor’s name was Fang Lanlan, and her role was a policewoman. “Director, how did I do?” The actors had already done seven takes, and some of them were starting to look a bit irked.
Shen Qingzhou looked up. “What do you think?”
Fang Lanlan stood awkwardly.
He furrowed his brows. “Fang Lanlan, you‘re a policewoman, not a plastic doll. Officers aren’t coquettes. What were you doing?”
Fang Lanlan’s expression quickly dampened. “Director, I wasn’t actually trying to do that… And, police officers don’t have to be that serious, y’know.”
Any man would have balked at her beauty and pout. On the other hand, anyone who had worked with Shen Qingzhou before would know that such tactics would be rendered utterly useless against him.
Shen Qingzhou chuckled coldly. “It’s true that not all police are serious. However, seriousness is what this character needs. If you can’t create what I have in mind, I wouldn’t mind if you switch to a different role.”
Yu Wan clucked her tongue quietly. She’d heard countless times that Shen Qingzhou was strict with his work and that he never held back on his words… The rumors were all true. Although, she could understand him. The characters were brought to life under her pen; having the actors duplicate that same, exact essence was nothing more she could wish for.
“What are you still standing here for? Go practice for a bit before we do the next take, or else…” Before he could finish, Fang Lanlan immediately cried, “I can do it, Director. I’ll get it down, I promise.” This role wasn’t hard to come by. She couldn’t afford to lose it!
Shen Qingzhou nodded, and Fang Lanlan trotted away.
The direction she was headed towards met the corner Yu Wan was standing in. Shen Qingzhou’s gaze fell upon the bright tupperware in her hands.
Yu Wan smiled as she caught his eye and held out the box in her hands. Shen Qingzhou’s stare only lasted for a second before turning away. Nobody had noticed the glint of his thinnest smile, nor how his icy expression had softened.
Since he was still working, Yu Wan didn’t want to go bother him. She couldn’t see where his assistant was, either, so she sat down at the lounge.
It wasn’t before long before she walked back to watch the actors filming out of curiosity.
After about half an hour, his assistant finally came through a door. She immediately flagged him down, “Yang, Director Shen said that his dinner’s in the lounge and wants you to bring it to him. He’s too busy right now.”
Yang didn’t question it. “Sure, I’ll go pick it up right now.”
“I have to go see him anyways, so I’ll go with you.”
They both walked to the lounge. But when Yu Wan stepped through the door, she froze in shock. “You….”
The actor of the male protagonist, Xiang Zeran, was relaxed on the sofa. And the thing that was opened in front of him, the stuff he was chewing in his mouth, was the dinner that she had made! What on earth was this?!
Yang looked around. “Uh, where’s the director’s stuff?”
Yu Wan fought the urge to cry. “… Just, leave for now.”
“Huh? What about dinner?”
“When Director Shen’s done with his work, tell him to come over to where I’m staying. As for dinner… Just tell him to come find me.” Yang looked at her quizzically before walking out.
Xiang Zeran saw Yu Wan standing near the doorway. “Oh, it’s Weiwan.” He waved at her pleasantly.
Yu Wan slowly advanced towards him. Her stare fell upon the food that only had two-thirds left. “You’re real happy with that food, huh.”
Xiang Zeran paused before smiling. “Yeah, today’s food was really tasty. The hotel’s chefs are really skilled. Though, it tastes a bit different from yesterday. It was probably a different cook.”
“Weiwan, have you eaten yet? My assistant only bought one serving, but I can have him go get more.”
Yu Wan gritted her teeth. “Nope.”
Before Xiang Zeran could say anything, he suddenly saw his assistant walk in with an identical container. “Hey, Zeran. I got you some dinner. Eh? Why are you eating already?”
Yu Wan saw the container, too. Because she had requested the tupperware from the hotel, they must have given the same kind to Xiang Zeran’s assistant. So was this why he thought the food was brought by his assistant?
Xiang Zeran looked confused, too. He looked down to the container he was eating from. “Didn’t you get me this?”
“I just came back from the hotel…”
He sat, stunned. “Then, whose dinner am I eating?”
The assistant shook his head.
Yu Wan sighed. “Mine.”
“Oh, crap. Sorry, Weiwan, I didn’t know this was yours. The container was the exact same as the one I got yesterday, so I thought it was my assistant’s.” Xiang Zeran explained in embarrassment. “Here, you should eat the one my assistant got.”
Yu Wan shook her head. “You don’t have to. I’m not that hungry, anyways.”
The matter at hand wasn’t about her, it was Shen Qingzhou…. What if she gave the assistant’s dinner to him? It wasn’t like the hotel didn’t make good food.
“Don’t be shy, go ahead.” Xiang Zeran passed the tupperware across the table.
Yu Wan wanted to leave it for Shen Qingzhou to eat, so she accepted it.
But when Xiang Zeran saw that she didn’t even touch her chopsticks for minutes, he guessed that she didn’t like the food that the assistant brought. “Hey, how about this? I’m done for the day anyways, I don’t mind treating you out for dinner.”
Just as Yu Wan was about to shake her head, a familiar silhouette entered the lounge. She turned around to see Shen Qingzhou walk inside.
“Director Shen.” Yu Wan raised her hand to wave at him.
His brows furrowed at the sight of Yu Wan and Xiang Zeran, who seemed to be chatting cheerfully while lounging on the sofa.
Yu Wan had already stood up and started walking towards him. “Director, have you eaten yet? You’re done with your work, right? Oh, look. What a coincidence, we have an extra helping here. Please fill yourself up, you must be so tired.” She buttered up her polite talk.
Xiang Zeran chimed in, “Yeah, my assistant brought it. Come have some, Director.”
Shen Qingzhou paused at that thought. He stared at Yu Wan, as if he wanted her to explain what “my assistant brought it” meant.
Yu Wan cleared her throat and muttered to him, “Xiang Zeran ended up eating the one I brought.”
Once the last word had left her mouth, a strange, cold air emanated from him. She backed up a bit, “You look hungry, you should eat…”
“No.” Shen Qingzhou turned away to leave.
Yu Wan was left feeling frantic in the lounge. Behind her, Xiang Zeran tried to comfort her, “Weiwan, the director’s always been like this. It’s not uncommon for him to be cold. Don’t beat yourself up about it.”
She took her purse and started jogging out.
“Hey, are you going to dinner?”
“Nah, have a good night.”
Yu Wan caught up to Shen Qingzhou. “Are you really not hungry? It’s bad to not eat anything after working for so long.”
Shen Qingzhou suddenly stopped. His towering figure made her feel pressured. “Who said you can just give my dinner to other people?”
Yu Wan batted her eyes. “Please forgive me, oh kind sir. It ‘twas him who tooketh from me, I had nothing to do with it.”
He huffed and kept walking to his car.
Yu Wan kept at his heels, “Mr. Shen, I’m not kidding, I’m really innocent.”
“Say, do you really think I would just shove your dinner into someone else’s hands?”
Nope. Nada. He opened the door.
Yu Wan wasn’t about to give up. She skittered between Shen Qingzhou and his car in a flash, raising her head to look at him. “Fine. I’ll make it up by cooking another meal for you, alright?”
Shen Qingzhou’s eyes slanted towards hers. The night was pitch-black, and only the streetlights were able to reflect the shine in his eyes. Yu Wan held the stare-off. Her face shimmered as if from a dream.
When Yu Wan saw that he wasn’t going to reply, her eyes dropped downwards in disappointment. However, in the depths of Shen Qingzhou’s dark eyes, something almost… stirred. It was almost if he didn’t enjoy seeing her unhappy.
Yu Wan let out an “oh” and eased out of the path.
Shen Qingzhou sat in the driver’s seat and tilted his head to look at the motionless Yu Wan. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing.” Yu Wan took out her phone while mumbling, “I’ll call a cab home.”
“Huh?” She stared at him in confusion. Wasn’t he mad? How does his mood change so quickly?
In her gaze, Yu Wan suddenly saw Shen Qingzhou’s light smile. There was even a warmth in the corners of his eyes. “Didn’t you say you were going to go back and cook for me? Hop on, I’m hungry.”