Published at 27th of December 2018 05:36:30 PM
Chapter 76

November 28, 20XX (Wednesday)

Zhao Manor

The Zhao Family members gathered around the large table on their thick comfortable clothes at the Manor's backyard that had been made with family barbeque in mind . The Zhao Patriarchs settled their wives comfortably before turning on the large heater that was prepared on the side .

Everyone was busy talking and Yue, in particular, had the largest smile on her face . It was not easy for all the Zhao Family to gather without her meddling adoptive 'cousin' and it was rarest for then to stay at home to eat comfortably while talking about matters that they cannot speak out loud when in a restaurant in fear that it would be heard by wrong ears .

She glanced at Mei Li's way in gratefulness . Yue knew how hard it was to organize parties like this with her family; she needed to shift into their schedules, arrange it for them to have more time, send them invitations, select proper food for each of them since they have controlled diet, and at the same time working for her older brother .

Yue realized that one of the greatest gifts that God had given her was Wu Mei Li . The Zhao Heiress watched as Mei Li busied herself on the grill just about four large strides from where they were seated . Her best friend had not only gathered her family members and changed their schedule for two nights to accommodate Yue's birthday, but she had also prepared all the food that was going to be served with utmost detail using her knowledge gained as a nutritionist . The fact that she will be cooking it for them made Yue more grateful .

Mother Zhao patted Yue's hands to gain her attention and said after she had turned her head to her, "Should I ask Mother Bai to help her?" Mother Zhao gestured her head to Mei Li while her eyes remained settled with Yue's .

"No need," Yang stood up so abruptly that it caused everyone to stop what they were doing and stare at the youngest CEO .

Yang put his left hand to his mother's right shoulders and said, "I'll help her . " before hastily walking towards the outside grill where the beautiful woman was cooking alone food fit for nine people to eat .

All eyes followed Yang as their conversation stopped and their curiosity getting the bigger part of everyone . Because they were not far from the grill, they could hear Mei Li and Yang's conversation without hindrance .

Unaware of his family's keen observations, Yang took one of the plates from Mei Li's hands, making sure that his warm ones would touch her cold ones . He frowned when he felt how cold her hands had become before asking, "Can I help?"

Mei Li put her now empty hands to her hips, tilted her waist to the right and stared with suspicion, "Why are you so helpful today?"

Mei Li remember that the CEO had followed her to the messy traditional marketplace, had helped her prepare for a little bit, and now he was helping her cook . Did he want something from her?

Yang stared back with a monotonous expression of disbelief . The fact that she still does not realize his ulterior motive proved Yang that he needed to be direct with her . He really likes how layered she was; Mei Li could be observant at his interest on her yet still so suspicious as to the reason why . She could be angry yet be grateful at the same time . She was a woman with many emotions and that made Yang's heart warm at the thoughts of her .

" . . . because it may be the only way that the person I like would spend time with me . "

His reply was expected by everyone that heard but the content of his words was unexpected . Mother Zhao had covered her surprised gasp at her son's romantic words . She had never heard him this verbal of his feelings!

Wu Mei Li's face colored and ugly red, making Yang's smile wider . In her embarrassed state with her mind not working fully, Mei Li helpless returned to grilling the kebabs and treating Yang like air .

Yang grew more confident when Mei Li had pushed a plate of kebabs his way, "See . . . " Yang continued as he faced the grill and purposely touching his right side with Mei Li's left, "The person I liked wouldn't even dare speak to me . "

The Kebab stick on Mei Li's hand dropped clumsily on the grill wire . Sometimes this man's mouth needed to be taped shut . Too bad she had not bought duct tape when they went out . She decided to ignore him again and resumed cooking as if the man on her left side causing warmth on her belly did not exist .

Yang hummed the song that always reminded her of his sudden confession . The humming of Elvis Presley's Can't help falling in love had overtaken everyone's attention .

Yue's mouth curled in a sneer . She was eating dog food even on her birthday, dammit! She wanted to separate the two but fear the reaction of both her parents and grandparents .

"Shut up . . . " Mei Li bumped Yang's side with her own petite form because her hands were still full with kebab sticks to be cooked .

Yang playfully took revenge by doing the same albeit a little softer than hers but the humming of the song had not stopped .

It had been a few moments of continuous work that they were done with one plate of kebab sticks . Mei Li gave the plate to Yang with a demand, "Set this to Yue's side . "

Yang helplessly nodded and did what she had commanded . Arriving on his sister's side, he saw Yue's hands spread on her table with a teasing smile on his way .

"I'll cut that off if you won't make room!" Yang said causing his family to shake their heads . This was the Yang that they were familiar with not that foolish romantic human spouting pink words .

"Mei Li!" Yue hollered to her favorite human .

When she saw Mei Li looked up to her, she continued, "Big brother threatened to cut my arms!"

Yang's eyebrow twitched in his annoyance . This tattletale needs to be punished even if it was her birthday! Why isn't she helping her brother?

"Just put the plate down," Mei Li sighed as she answered . Cooking the food was not exhausting, dealing with two bickering stubborn siblings was .

Yang glared at Yue and put the plate where her hands could not occupy and strode to Mei Li as the painter had called him again to set another plate on the table .

The Zhao Family watched with smirks as Mei Li had commanded, demanded, ordered, instructed Yang to set plates upon plates of food on the table . Yang had placed it without complaints too .

They could not believe that the man who they could not control was willing to be the painter's slave .

Yang stopped delivering the plates when the only left to do was cook two steaks that were meant for him and Mei Li as their part of the table were the only ones empty .

Yang watched the steak beings grilled . He saw three dark lines marring the cooked steak when she flipped it for the raw side to be cooked . Yang took the two empty plates with both hands, nearing it to Mei Li's easy reach and waited for Mei Li to place the cooked food .

"Rare, medium, or well done?" Mei Li asked him glancing up to meet his eyes .

He wondered if the warm and cozy feeling in his heart was caused by his imagination of a housewife Mei Li or the happy smile Mei Li had beamed at him .

" . . . Rare, please . " His voice came deeper that it was usually while his eyes burned with raw desire .

Yang marveled as his eyes traced the lines of her side profile; from the space of her smalle forehead to the flattering of her eyelashes, then to the curving of her nose, next to the indents of her lips, and ended to her slim neck .

He briefly wondered if it was easy to leave his mark on that ivory neck of hers . He dared not to glance down at the large mounds on her chest, fearing the possibility of having a hard-on in front of his family .

Her eyes suddenly glance at him .

He meets her eyes without hesitation .

She smiled at him before placing two steaks in one plate . Her small hands took the empty plate from his hands and put the bowl of sauce on it before placing it back to his waiting hands . She then took two other empty plates before she spoke, "Thank you for this day . "

Yang looked up to meet her eyes .

Wu Mei Li bit her lips as he waited for his reply .

"It was my pleasure to help . . . "

Her nervousness disappeared as the same large smile was once again beamed at him .

Yang would have touched his nose feeling the helplessness he felt if not for the plates on his hands .

She is indeed his only and constant temptation .

He followed after her like a slave seeking approval from his master .

Oh, how low he had become in pursuit of her love .