Published at 27th of December 2018 05:36:31 PM
Chapter 75

November 28, 20XX (Wednesday)

Zhao Manor

Zhao Yang stood in the side of the doorway, leaning on the wall while watching Mei Li and the people inside the kitchen moving to and from in preparation for the barbeque that Yue had demanded off of everyone .

Mei Li had looked attractive wearing an apron and Yang knew she'd be more attractive wearing nothing but an apron . Although she was busy washing wooden skewers, she had sent him a crooked smile in acknowledgment when he had entered .

The kitchen staff had stopped to stare at him entering the room and had grown nervous when his eyes scanned them . Only Mother Bai in Mei Li's left had greeted him in a nod, already used to him . Although she had a surprised look when the CEO did nothing but watch in the corner to see Mei Li work with making food and dividing task for the four other kitchen staff to do .

"Is there anything that I can help?" Yang interrupted when Mei Li had pulled her hair back into a high ponytail and looking at the task in front of her like she was determined to do it as fast as she could .

"Your hands will get dirty," Mei Li said while eyeing him if he was offering to do it honestly without ulterior motives .

"I can wash them afterward," Yang rolled his sleeves to meet his elbows before walking to close the distance between them .

" . . . Then can you prepare the kebabs with me?" Mei Li hesitated; she wasn't sure if the CEO could do these menial tasks of making kebabs with his hands that are used to deal with paperwork .

"Sure just tell me what to do," Yang immediately agreed with a grin .

Mei Li motioned with her left had the ingredients and getting a skewer with her right hand before explaining to the CEO how it was done, "Put the meat first then the onions next is the tomatoes and repeat two times, " she continued after finishing the kebab with two more layers, "sprinkle just a pinch of salt . "

Yang repeated her instruction under her watchful eyes . He had quickly memorized the steps . It was simple enough, his cum laude status was not just for show . Mei Li nodded at his slow but neat work making the CEO genuinely start smiling from ear to ear thereby causing Mei Li to blush but nonetheless smiling at him gently as thank you for his help .

"This is fun, almost therapeutic," Yang commented after his sixth kebabs . He could see why people liked cooking . It could easily be used as a meditative way of expressing yourself . Now he understood why his grandfather always likes to cook his own meal .

The Painter immediately agrees, "It'll be more fun when the people you love eat it and say that it's delicious . "

"Is that why you are nutritionist because you loved cooking?" Yang asked, naturally curious .

"I became a nutritionist because it was one of the offered course that had 100 percent scholarship grant . I had wanted to go to Culinary Arts . . . "

Yang had not expected that answer . Knowing the truth about who Mei Li's family is, he forgot that she was raised as an orphan girl who had nobody to depend on . His heart hurt for her so he casually suggested, "You can go now . "

Now he was with her . Now he can be her support . Now she could also afford it . Now he can sponsor her if she was too miser to spend her money .

Mei Li shake her head before replying, " . . . Too busy . "

It was silent from then on with the staff watching wide-eyed at their interaction . They could feel the pink atmosphere filling the room with Yang and Mei Li's sneaking glances towards each other . . . and the Mother Zhao had said her son was weak in wooing Mei Li when he was indeed, capable!

Mother Bai, in particular, was amused to note that Mei Li's neck had indeed turned red together with her ears as Yang shifted to his dominant right side, putting all his weight on the right feet thus lessening the space between them .

"He . He . Heyyyyy!" Yue appeared like a storm and interrupting their precious time together .

Yang stilled when he saw his little sister appear in between them and squeezing in the middle to block Yang from nearing to Mei Li's .

"Whatcha doin'?" Yue's hands circled Mei Li's waist, side hugging Mei Li the way a husband usually do . Yue sent Yang a mocking look making the CEO crazy jealous at her .

"Making Kebabs . " Mei Li answered while trying to make sure the wooden sticks would not reach Yue's wandering hands .

"Can I help?" Yue asked with a displeased tone and grinning secretly when her brother snorted at her childish tone .

"Sure . " "No . " Mei Li and Yang said in unison . Yang knew how much a disaster his little sister was in the kitchen, the same with his mother .

The two women turned both their heads Yang's hesitant disagreement, "I meant, it's her birthday . She should rest from any work . "

How could he tell Mei Li that his sister was a bad cook when he already knows that Mei Li probably knew about that fact and was just humoring Yue because today was her day .

Besides that fact, he didn't want Yue to interrupt their quality time together .

"He got a point," Mei Li agreed with him, thankfully .

Yue pouted and stomped her feet .

Yang raised his eyebrows at Yue with a mocking smile that could easily be interpreted as 'don't be a third wheel . '

Yue grew angry at Yang and did something that had Yang boiling with anger .

Yue took Mei Li's hands off of the skewers and said like a spoiled child, "Then help me pick out the dress I should wear! Mother Bai can finish the rest . "

Yue turned to Mother Bai before asking, "Right, Mother Bai?"

The head housekeeper looked like a dear in a headlight trapped between Yue's hopeful smile and Yang's forceful grin her way .

Mother Bai looked at Mei Li for help .

Feeling sorry for the housekeeper, Mei Li washed her hands while signaling Yang to do the same by grabbing his hands and putting it into the running water . With widened eyes, Yang felt his soul jump from the heat her small hands had touched .

She squeezed the liquid soap into his hands after motioning Yue to, "Wait a minute . "

Mei Li then dried Yang's hands with her apron before saying, "Go and help other people . Let's give Yue the best barbeque, alright?"

Yang nodded helplessly .

When the two women left the room, the staff was chuckling inwardly to themselves . The young CEO had begun to stare at his hands as if it had become gold .

Mother Bai noted to herself to be on Mei Li's good side . Never hurt to be nice to the future Lady Zhao .

Yang did not believe how tactile Mei Li had grown .

First, she had touched his arm and dragging him all over the market . Second, she had whispered in his ears . Third, she had washed his hands for him .

The day wasn't over too!

He promises to himself that he would help her cook the barbeque later so he could have more chances of her touch . Who cares about his sister being cockblocker number 2!

He had progress!

Small progress but still, PROGRESS!

'Baby steps, Zhao Yang!' he reminded himself again just for the heck of it all and the smile that grew in his lips was blinding .

His hands would never be washed again if possible .