Chapter 12 - He Cares About You
The streetlights intensified the beauty of the evening. The car stopped by the apartment stairs. But when Gu Jin pushed the door to leave, she found it locked.
“Mr. Mu,” Gu Jin cautiously said, looking to the man on her left. She found him staring straight ahead. “We’ve arrived at my place.”
“Yeah.” Mu Mingcheng kept his hands on the steering wheel, his eyes drifting as if thinking about something important.
“Your car door…” Gu Jin said clearly this time.
Mu Mingcheng turned his head and suddenly held out his hand. “Give me your phone.”
“Ah?” Gu Jin was confused.
“Give me your phone,” Mu Mingcheng repeated.
Gu Jin squeezed her purse and apprehensively watched him. “Mr. Mu, although we are boyfriend and girlfriend, we should still have our privacy, right?” If he could not guarantee that, she would rather bear the psychological burden.
“You think too much.” Mu Mingcheng suddenly looked at her with a kind smile. “If I wanted to breach your privacy, do you think using your phone is the only way?”
Although his words were reasonable, Gu Jin still hesitated.
“You know what I think,” Mu Mingcheng held the steering wheel with one hand, while his other hand held onto Gu Jin’s seat. His tone turned dangerous. “About contacting, I think you will be the one to take the initiative.”
Gu Jin felt his warm breath on her face. She seriously doubted his character. Was this really the hidden card1A hidden card or hidden dragon is a Chinese idiom referring to talented or extraordinary people who remain hidden and undiscovered. of the novel and the white moonlight2The term white moonlight originated from Zhang Ailing’s “Red Rose, White Rose” novel written in 1944. It usually refers to the person or thing in the heart that is beyond reach, always loved but cannot be touched. It can also refer to the intentions of the sweetheart or the unforgettable first love. – . (2020). Bai Yueguang. Baike Baidu. of the female protagonist? He must have taken the wrong medicine.3If a normal person is acting out of character or performing abnormally, the person is taking the wrong medicine. – GoEast Mandarin. (2019, January 10). What does “take the wrong medicine” mean in Chinese? YouTube.
She casually pulled out her phone, which had a pink, girlish exterior.
Mu Mingcheng took it and flipped it in his hand. He gave her an amused look as if questioning that she still uses pink things.
Gu Jin angrily glared. Her fumes of annoyance were almost visible. Could she not be a little princess?
A buzz sound appeared from the phone, and then Mu Mingcheng languidly handed back her phone. “That’s my phone number. Keep it and remember to contact me often.”
Gu Jin nodded absentmindedly. However, Mu Mingcheng was not satisfied with her attitude. He said in a threatening voice, “Don’t forget. Only if I am satisfied with your performance within these three months, will I give back your bracelet.”
“Yes, yes, you can be assured.” Gu Jin did not care to listen to him on this matter. She instead turned on the charm and flattery. “I am sure you will be satisfied.”
“Oh?” Mu Mingcheng chuckled. He pulled her soft, white hands into his palms as if to look at the world’s most beautiful work of art. The man then smiled and pulled her hand to his lips. He stared at Gu Jin’s face for a bit, and then pressed a soft kiss to it.
Gu Jin felt her as if her body had been tormented, and her cool palms started to sweat. She couldn’t help but say, “I haven’t washed my hands.”
Mu Mingcheng’s expression went slack for a moment. His mouth twitched, and he immediately dropped her hand. Before Gu Jin could gloatingly smile, the man suddenly tossed the black suit jacket, which she had used to cover herself up, onto her lap. Mu Mingcheng had already composed himself. “Since you dirtied this jacket, you should wash it.”
Gu Jin clutched the delicate fabric of the suit and resisted the urge to wipe her hands all over it. She gave him a smile and got out of the car.
She had not even finished taking one step when she heard the word.
Gu Jin froze in disbelief. Was she imagining things? She turned around and saw Mu Mingcheng’s head sticking out the window.
The man blew a kiss to her and affectionately said, “Baby, I’m not in a hurry to wear that jacket. So get a good rest before you go and wash it. Also, remember to call me later.”
Not waiting for her to react, he then drove off in a cloud of exhaust fumes. Gu Jin was stunned at his quick departure and wondered if he had dropped her off at the wrong place.
A security guard walked from around the corner of the apartment building and came up to her. He said with a sigh, “The world sure is changing. Public morals are declining every day.”
He shook his head as he walked by. “Well, beautiful young lady, you like pedaling two boats? But whether you romance one or two of them, those men in big cars are all the same. The world of rich people, tsk!”
“Brother, wait. Are you misjudging me?”
Gu Jin angrily climbed the stairs. Did Mu Mingcheng get sick and lose his mind? The big-tailed wolf was affectionate and sickeningly sappy yet refined. Her little heart couldn’t stand it.
Mu Mingcheng couldn’t have imagined that trying to break out of his comfort zone and affectionately calling to the woman would be so disgusting. His car drove away from the apartment complex and stopped by the side of the road. He lay on the steering wheel and covered his face in despair. There was no evil charm on his face but only exhaustion and embarrassment. He felt he had gone crazy for flirting with his “contract lover” like a little boy.
The point was that he hadn’t even hesitated a bit in doing so.
He had called her his “baby,” despite being a grown adult himself. In the end, Mu Mingcheng couldn’t help but feel a little shy.
Gu Jin opened her apartment door as she gathered the jacket in her arms. But when she saw the new clothes on the rack, she raised her eyebrows. Ever since sharing a dinner at Yuqing Pavilion, where Jing Hao had taken Cheng Xin along with him, Cheng Xin hadn’t returned to the apartment. The two cousins hadn’t contacted each other for several days, and Gu Jin rarely had any time off.
As a result, Gu Jin lived in this apartment alone. She thought the simplest plan would be to wait until the last month of junior year when there were almost no classes. After that, she would rent a house.
She would finally be away from that annoying couple, which would be perfect!
Unexpectedly, Cheng Xin had returned unhappily. Wearing a pair of powder slippers, she walked over from the balcony. With a complicated expression, she asked. “Gu Jin, who is that man?”
“As you can see, he’s my new boyfriend,” Gu Jin nonchalantly said, not blinking even once.
“Gu Jin, I’m sorry for ignoring you the past several days because of Jing Hao.” Cheng Xin was surprised by her straightforwardness, but the next moment her expression turned to guilt.
She came up to Gu Jin and earnestly pulled at her arm. “But you have Shao Chong.” She pointed at the jacket in her arms and said in a sad manner, “How can you…how can you be so unfaithful?”
Gu Jin’s eyes widened in surprise. Of all people, why would Cheng Xin speak so self-righteously about being “faithful”? It was ridiculous.
She lowered her eyes and suddenly smiled. “You didn’t know? I broke up with Shao Chong?”
“Broke up?” Cheng Xin repeated. “How did you break up? Did Shao Chong do something wrong to you? Well Shao Chong, how dare you bully my best cousin. Gu Jin, you wait. I’ll bring Jing Hao with me to go teach that guy a good lesson!”
“It’s not his fault,” Gu Jin explained. “I was the one who broke up with him.”
Just as Cheng Xin was about to make the phone call, she suddenly paused in disbelief. “How could…you were the one that…”
She knew Gu Jin’s temper and how much she liked Shao Chong. In the past, when her relationship with Jing Hao still wasn’t concrete, they would go out with a group of people. And every time Gu Jin would look at Shao Chong and quietly blush. Cheng Xin had never met a woman as reserved and as gentle as Gu Jin.
So after Cheng Xin rejected Shao Chong, she helped him get together with Gu Jin. She thought that Gu Jin and Shao Chong were two very kind people who would definitely have a happy life together. But now, Gu Jin was telling her that she had given up on Shao Chong. Cheng Xin could not understand.
“That’s because the person he likes is not me!” Gu Jin openly said. “Mom told me that I shouldn’t find a man who doesn’t like me so that my future won’t become a tragedy.”
Cheng Xin opened her mouth, but she could not find any words to say. She could not bring herself to admit that she was the person Shao Chong had liked all along. “Well, you can’t just find another man and be together right away,” she muttered after a long pause.
Gu Jin raised an eyebrow. “You don’t know who that man was?”
Cheng Xin hadn’t been able to see her cousin’s new boyfriend’s appearance from such a far distance. She frowned and curiously asked, “Should I know him? Who is he?”
“No one,” Gu Jin said with a smile. “I’m not feeling well. I’m going to take a bath first. You should go to sleep early. You have classes tomorrow.”
“Yeah.” Cheng Xin moved away.
But as her cousin was about to close the door, Cheng Xin could not help but say, “Gu Jin, I think you should reconsider Shao Chong. He has been asking me about you for the past few days.” She then pushed down the slight discomfort in her heart and said, “He cares about you.”
“Yeah, I know,” Gu Jin replied and closed the door.
Completely exhausted, she then took a hot bath. Later when she lay in bed with a hot-water bottle, she thought of the events that had happened that day and felt bewildered.
How could she agree to Mu Mingcheng’s ridiculous demands?
Was it too late to turn back?
It was definitely too late.
Her cell phone chimed with a message from Mu Mingcheng.
[Baby, go to bed early. You don’t have to call me today.]
The term of endearment alarmed Gu Jin, and she dropped her phone on the bed. She shuddered as goosebumps prickled on her skin. She thought for a moment, and then picked up her cellphone. The name on the contact list was changed to “Idiot Tyrant Mu.”