Chapter 24 – Breakfast
The two were separated by half a meter. Lu Qiang saw her in the sun for the first time. She had white skin and light eyebrows. Not a beautiful woman per se, but she had an extremely delicate appearance, a dainty disposition that made others instinctively want to embrace her and adore her.
The skies were clear and the sun was shining brightly. He felt as if she was born to live under the sun.
Lu Qiang replied, “I will at eight.”
Lu Yin nodded, not knowing what to say to him.
After a few seconds, Lu Qiang said, “You got up early.”
“I couldn’t sleep so I thought I should take a walk.”
“Where are you going now?”
Lu Yin pointed outside the gates, “I’m going to eat breakfast.”
Lu Qiang didn’t reply so she continued, “Then, I’ll get going. Goodbye.”
Lu Qiang watched her as she walked out of the compound. The sun shining on her clothes made them exceptionally bright. Part of her thigh was exposed under her skirt, her calf was smooth and well-proportioned. Her ankles were fair, just as thin as her wrist.
He moved his gaze up again and his eyes landed on the back of her knees, where the two small dimples were. His eyes sank, his throat felt dry and he became agitated. He subconsciously rubbed his thumb.
Women had uncanny instincts. Tan Wei was upset by this scene. She watched her leave and in those few seconds, she had already compared herself to her. When the figure disappeared, she turned her gaze to Lu Qiang. His eyes lingered in that direction.
Tan Wei walked over, “Hey!”
Lu Qiang said, “Do you want to eat breakfast?”
“Don’t I owe you a meal?”
Tan Wei was confused.
“Don’t even think of losing me with a simple breakfast.” She raised her eyebrows playfully in high spirits.
Lu Qiang said, “Then I’m leaving.”
There was a row of shops outside the compound. In the morning, they would pitch a stall and sell breakfast and pack up at ten o’clock. At lunch, they would turn to regular restaurants and at night, they would sell night snacks. Other than its questionable sanitation, life here was relatively convenient and it wasn’t too crowded.
Lu Yin slept late yesterday, but she woke up less than six o’clock. She was still actively trying to change her lifestyle, so she dressed in sportswear on a whim to go for a run. She wasn’t used to exercising and was gasping for air after a few minutes of running, almost fainting. So she slowed down, and decided it was better for her to fill her stomach first.
She entered a small stall without much thought and sat down to enjoy a bowl of soy milk and a fried dough stick. She tore the fried dough stick into the soy milk for the pieces to soak. Two bites in, she heard someone from above her.
“Is anyone sitting beside you?”
She raised her head. The man sat down without waiting for an answer. He raised his voice, “Boss, three fried dough sticks, a bowl of soy milk and two eggs.”
The boss made a sound of confirmation and told him to wait a bit.
The table was a big round table and there were people eating on the opposite side. The two of them sat side by side. It was originally quite spacious, but when he sat down, she felt it was a little cramped even if their shoulders weren’t touching.
Lu Yin was stunned for a moment, then smiled, “You’re here too?”
Lu Qiang split the disposable chopsticks, “I don’t know which restaurant’s delicious.”
“They all taste the same, honestly.”
Lu Yin scooped up a piece of fried dough stick with her small spoon. Lu Qiang looked over and asked, “You’re eating so little?”
She was an awkward person in the first place so she didn’t look up and just hummed softly.
His meal came quickly. She heard gurgling sounds next to her and in the blink of an eye, two fried dough sticks and half the bowl of soy milk had gone down his stomach. A few seconds later, the man next to her was suddenly silent. Lu Yin couldn’t help but look over and happened to clash her gaze with his that had been openly staring at her for who knew how long.
Lu Yin’s heart skipped a beat a few times. How peculiar.
She hurriedly lowered her head. She heard from beside her, “Is it delicious if you eat it like that?”
“… It’s softer.”
In a quick move of Lu Qiang’s hand, he cracked an egg on the table, revealing the translucent, smoothly curved top of the egg white. He gently held it in two fingers and squeezed. Lu Qiang smiled, raised his hand and slid it into the rim of her bowl. The white egg fell into the white soy milk.
Lu Yin looked up in surprise, and Lu Qiang said, “I’ve washed my hands.”
She had smelled it. The faint scent of soap on his body. But that was not the problem, the problem was the ambiguous intentions behind him peeling an egg for her.
Lu Qiang acted as if nothing happened and peeled off another one. He stuffed it into his mouth and followed her, soaking the remaining fried dough stick in soy milk.
Lu Yin was distracted and barely took two bites. She heard the person next to her say, “Indeed, it’s softer.”
The boss came to collect the bill after they were done eating. “Yours is 1.70, yours is 5.10.”
Lu Qiang said, “Combine it.”
The boss replied, “Then 6.80.”
Lu Yin didn’t want to owe favor to others, so she waved her hand quickly, “No, no, I can pay myself.”
Lu Qiang glanced at her, “I didn’t bring any money, you pay for me first.”
She silently paid the boss. Lu Qiang said, “I’ll treat you to a meal later.”
Lu Yin was quick to reply, “No need, it’s only a few dollars. Also, you helped me bring stuff up yesterday.”
Lu Qiang insisted, “That’s completely unrelated.”
Lu Yin looked away, deciding that he was being polite and didn’t want to waste her words anymore.
The restaurant was busy in the morning. The boss carried two bowls of soy milk and shouted, “Be careful when getting up, and watch your feet.” Lu Yin didn’t hear. She was about to stand up when Lu Qiang grabbed her. Her mind went blank. He covered the back of her head with his large palm and pressed forward.
The boss leaned over from behind.
Lu Qiang said in a deep voice, “Be careful.”
The boss walked away. He forgot to let his hand go. Lu Yin struggled, his hand slid down, down, to the back of her neck and she felt the faintest squeeze before he finally let go.
Lu Yin’s cheeks were flushed red with a hint of irritation. She didn’t look at him, “I’m going back.”
Lu Qiang smiled and stood up as well, “Let’s go together.”