Word count: 3746
Sleeping in your arms
Did she really like this man?
“Ke Song, do you know if you have fallen in love with me?”
His voice was always steady, so when the sentence was finished, Lin Ke Song expression was still stuck.
“Although I have said many times that I don’t care about the success or failure of you in the competition, I don’t want you to become another me. But I want you to think in your heart, ‘if it was Jiang Qian Fan’, what would he do?”
Lin Ke Song’s heart trembled.
She tried to push Jiang Qian Fan off and leave his arms, but didn’t expect him to hug her harder.
“When I’m not around you, you will feel uncomfortable. You will think in your heart, I’m looking at you and accompanying by your side.”
Lin Ke Song’s eyebrows wrinkled up, in the end, what had Jiang Qian Fan found? Even the things she deliberately neglected, he saw it clearly.
“If I said to you very seriously that I need you very much and that I want you to be with me, ask yourself if you would resolutely stay by my side. Is it because of sympathy, respect, or because you simply cannot do without me? What do you wish me to say from the bottom of your heart?”
His voice was calm and always lacking in fluctuation, yet there was a kind of enlightenment and warmth.
Those which she had deliberately flattened, and had strived to evade, were uncovered by him and Lin Ke Song’s throat choked.
She subconsciously clenched her fist and grasped Jiang Qian fan’s clothes.
“In fact, when I attended tonight’s banquet, I had heard that Song Yi Ran intended to marry Chu Ting, so I brought you there to hear it personally, not because I wanted you to be let down because of him.”
Yes, Jiang Qian Fan had his own pride, even though he said he would not easily allow other men to give her happiness.
“I just want you to know that even if one day you lose Song Yi Ran, and are unable to place your own longing on him, you are not as heartbroken as what you think deep inside. But if the person you were to lose was me? Would you be unable to keep in your tears in front of all those other people? Would you still have the energy to leave that place?”
Lin Ke Song’s eyes were wide as she stared hard at the other.
Her heart swelled, there was too much she wanted to say, yet it was stuck in her throat.
It was as she had lost the ability to speak, limp and languid.
But her realisation at this moment far exceeded that time ten years prior.
Jiang Qian Fan slowly released her from his embrace and she suddenly felt empty at the loss. It was as if all the cold had come, and she urgently needed his warmth. His fingers threaded through her hair, gently combing it.
“Ke Song, I used to say that your tomato and scrambled eggs is delicious, and promised you that as long as you made delicious food, I would answer your one condition. Are you sure that you have nothing you want me to do for you, or have no questions you want to ask?”
“I have. I always have.” Lin Ke Song squeezed out her voice forcefully from her throat, afraid that in fear of being too cowardly, she would miss the rare desire and courage which had been evoked.
She had once had to restrain herself at the banquet because she wanted to keep Song Yi Ran calm.
Yet at this moment, her forceful silence was because she was full of expectations.
She was like a moth who was drawn to light, and Jiang Qian Fan was the most beautiful and warm flame in the world.
“Then say it now.”
The rain outside the phone booth was like mere water, and the light of the lightning stuck Jiang Qian Fan’s face.
His eyes were even more profound.
“Do you love me? Jiang Qian Fan, I mean, do you understand the difference between like and love?”
She waited for his answer.
It was like being in a vacant church, waiting for the moment the bell was hit.
“Of course I understand the difference between like and love. The question is, Ke Song, do you understand the difference between looking forward to seeing a person and falling in love with someone?” Jiang Qian Fan’s voice was light, and seemed to be submerged by the rain. She had to listen very carefully in order to distinguish it.
“If the me right now doesn’t count as loving you, then I don’t know how else I can show that I love you. I care about your footsteps and your voice. When you come near me, I look forward to smelling your taste. What you ate, where you went, what kind of scent has been left on your body. The reason you lie, the song you hum in the shower, the voice you use to speak to Song Yi Ran as you squat under the tree, and your breath as I purposely approach you. I’ve never tried to understand someone so carefully. If you can, please also feel for me seriously…”
Lin Ke Song suddenly understood that on that first day at Montgomery’s birthday party, Jiang Qian fan came to her side not because of Mrs Smith’s orange blossom, but because he always remembered her taste.
Jiang Qian Fan cared about her thousands more times than she had thought in her imagination.
There was a force driving her, as if her entire body’s bones were being re-opened and she was growing once again.
She raised her face and kissed Jiang Qian fan on the lips.
It was a feeling of surprise like falling from a cliff, and obviously having been prepared for a collision with the ground.
She knew that that it was not because she had been moved by the other, but because she had accumulated her feelings in her heart again and again and it had become her strength.
Jiang Qian Fan leaned back against the glass.
This time she seriously felt him, and he suddenly rose in temperature.
His shoulders tightened, and in his amazement, he kissed her back in the same intensity.
It turned out that Jiang Qian Fan was not a big ice-block.
Just a little spark could start a prairie fire.
He held onto the back of her head in fear that she would leave him and her spine couldn’t hold against his strength so his other hand steadied her back.
They didn’t know how much time had passed, when a black car parked outside the phone booth.
Miller came to the door holding an umbrella.
Lin Ke Song that her brain did not seem to belong to her, she only knew that when Jiang Qian fan opened the glass door of the phone booth, she shivered.
He took off his half-wet suit jacket and draped it over her, then holding Miller’s umbrella, sent them into the car.
The car started up, and the windows were hazy from the rain. Lin Ke Song leaned back in Jiang Qian Fan’s arms, her eyes closed as she felt him embracing her tightly.
He wanted to hold her tighter, but he had a fear that she would dislike him for keeping her restrained. His fingers rubbed over her ears again and again and then said to Miller, “the temperature is a little high again.”
He brought her back to the villa.
The rain didn’t know when to stop.
The moon revealed a glimmer of itself through the crevices of the clouds.
As she walked out the door and say Mayer and Nina waiting outside, she had a feeling as if it had been a lifetime ago.
“The hot water is ready, sir.”
Jiang Qian fan grasped her hand and took her to his own room, opening the bathroom door.
This was the first time Lin Ke Song had come to his bathroom. It was very bright, clean and tidy just like Jiang Qian Fan.
“Take a good shower then sleep.”
It was only now that Lin Ke Song was reminded that she had the competition tomorrow.
And here was Jiang Qian fan’s bathroom, she was in his bathroom…Lin Ke Song had a sort of distressed feeling.
“I…I should just use my own bathroom!”
“What nonsense are you thinking?” Jiang Qian Fan’s lips rose, a hint of a smile that he only let her see.
“I didn’t think anything…”
“If you really want it, I can give it to you.” Jiang Qian Fan bowed his head slightly.
His pair of eyes reflected the light and they were very charming, Lin Ke Song could only subconsciously take a half step back.
“You don’t have to give it now.” Lin Ke Song replied, this guy obviously had to twist her meaning.
Was this really Jiang Qian Fan?
“Then I’ll wait for you outside.”
Jiang Qian Fan left the bathroom, leaving the space for Lin Ke Song.
She took off her damp outer coat and got into the bath. As the warm water wrapped around her, she suddenly though of herself in Jiang Qian Fan’s arms at the telephone booth.
She remembered clearly every word he had said to her.
Mixed with the taste of rain and the cold air, his voice seemed to vaporise all the mist.
Everything was like a dream, it was as if just poking it would break it.
When a knock came at the door, Lin Ke Song’s heart suddenly responded to the beat.
“Why is there no sound?” Jiang Qian Fan’s voice came through the door.
Had he always been paying attention to her?
“Didn’t you like to hum? Hum then.”
Lin Ke Song was embarrassed.
“It’s not that I don’t want to, I’m afraid of making too much noise…”
“If you don’t say anything, I won’t know where you are.”
It was obviously a very simple sentence, yet it made her eyes heat up.
She hummed an old English song, ‘You’. She couldn’t remember the English lyrics so she just hummed a random tune.
She knew Jiang Qian Fan was listening, which made her mood unexpectedly good.
When she left the bathroom, she noticed Jiang Qian Fan by the door.
His arms were crossed and his long legs overlapping, and there was not a hint of impatience on his face.
His wet shirt was slightly clinging to him, so his shoulders full of vigour and the contours of his waist were exposed to her slightly, and she subconsciously turned her head.
He gently said something.
The sound of water came through, but Lin Ke Song didn’t know where to go.
“Dry your hair and wait for me.”
His tone was calm, except the bathroom door was closed and Lin Ke song felt an urge to escape.
What did ‘dry your hair and wait for me’ mean?
This could easily produce fanciful thoughts, alright?
Jiang Qian Fan said she was ‘thinking nonsense’ and so he wouldn’t do anything to her.
But he obviously wanted her to ‘think nonsense’!
Lin Ke Song did not wonder took long, and Jiang Qian Fan came out form the bathroom. She sat on the sofa, holding her breath as she watched Jiang Qian Fan’s slender figure walk past her side.
He was wearing regular leisure clothes worn at home. Sitting down on the bed, he patted the quilt.
“Where did you go again? Still not coming to sleep? Tomorrow I still have to send you to the Leidewensen hotel.”
Lin Ke Song stood up, this was not the first time she had slept by Jiang Qian fan’s side. Only last time, she was asleep with a tablet and this time she was awake.
Jiang Qian Fan stretched out his hand, seeming to be searching for Lin Ke Song in the air.
“I want to hug you.”
His voice always had a cold temperament and was without the slightest tenderness, as if to state his feelings.
Yet, she had an impulse to rush into his arms. She clutched his finger and was taken into his arms.
He kissed her forehead, “Sleep.”
Everything seemed to be melting. Jiang Qian Fan’s steady heartbeat was at Lin Ke Song’s ear and her nose was haunted by his fresh, gentle scent.
Her world seemed to be wrapped by him, and her mind settled comfortably.
Song Yi Ran’s birthday banquet had also drawn to a close at that moment.
Guests left one after the other.
Song Yi Fan’s face was full f smiles, and Chu Ting and her uncle continued to laugh.
“Yi Ran, I think Chu Ting should also apply to your school. Then you can both be together!”
“Since you like Chu ting so much, then you should marry her,” he said, opening his mouth.
“What nonsense are you speaking about? Wasn’t everything fine just then?” Song Yi Fan frowned at Song Yi Ran.
“Eldest brother, you want the trust fund father has left me, I don’t have any qualms about that. The same with the Song family, you never thought of giving me a place in the board of directors. But it doesn’t matter, I don’t have any interest towards everything regarding the Song family. You trust fourth uncle more than your own brother, that doesn’t matter. At least you give me good food to eat and drink and don’t let me go hungry for a day. You have everything, yet you still want to use my marriage for your own gains?” Song Yi Ran’s hand was in his pocket and his manner was lazy, yet in his eyes were a kind of piercing strength.
Stunned, Song Yi Fan gritted his teeth, “What are you talking about?”
“What I’m saying, how can you be unclear? If you want to use my marriage as potential gain, that doesn’t matter either. But you even have to use someone who has no connections to the Song family. Just what extent does your shamelessness stretch to?”
The piece of paper which Song Yi Ran had been clutching in his hand the entire time was thrown out, and just landed at the tip of Song Yi Fan’s shoe.
Song Yi Fan walked forwards, and forcefully held his brother’s shoulders, “Since you feel that it’s important, then it’s not unrelated. If you don’t want to involve people who are unrelated to the song family, then the best way is to do what you should. Otherwise, the first thing I will do when I acquire Lin Ke Song’s uncle’s business is to cut off the staff!”
Song Yi Ran snorted an moved away from his brother’s hand. “Oh, I’ll wait and see if can really buy it. I hope that when you fail, your most trusted fourth uncle will be able to give you advice.”
Finished, Song Yi ran turned and left in an unconcerned manner.
“Yi Ran!” Chu Ting quickly followed him.
When they came to the elevator one after the other, Song Yi Ran deliberately turned his face and looked at the expectant Chu Ting. He shook his head and said, “Don’t follow me, Chu Ting. I did not directly refuse this ridiculous engagement at the banquet tonight only to leave you some face.”
“You don’t like me, that doesn’t matter.” Chu ting shrugged her shoulders, her eyes showing helplessness, “Anyway, my uncle will arrange for me to marry other people I don’t like or even know, so I would rather marry the person I like.”
“But to me, it does matter. You used my phone and send a text message to my favourite person. Then you manipulated her to come here, listen to my engagement announcement to you, is this your demonstration of revenge?”
“This is my way of making you wake up. You like Ke Song, I already knew that ages ago. You can enjoy everything, you can arrogantly spend every cent your eldest brother has given you, and you can accept every girl who comes close to you. But there’s one thing, you dislike other people disturbing the time you give to Lin Ke Song. But no matter how much you like her, it’s no use! You can’t resist against your brother! Yo can’t resist against the pressure of the Song family!”
Song Yi Ran deliberately leaned and stared at Chu Ting’s eyes with a cool stare, “As long as I want to, then there will come a day when I can do whatever I want.”
Song Yi Ran lifted a hand and waved over a staff member from outside the banquet hall as they delivered to him the birthday cake Lin Ke Song had made.
The elevator door opened at this moment, and Song Yi Ran strode inside.
When he came to the hotel door, he watched the heavy rain outside then tightened the collar of his trench coat and got into the car.
He arrived under the windowsill of Lin Ke Song and looked up to see the draped curtains which withheld any light.
Song Yi Ran glanced at his watch. At this time, Lin Ke Song had probably already fell asleep.
He removed his cell phone from his pocket, but there wasn’t a single text message or phone call from her. He dialled her phone, only to hear the prompt saying it had already been shut down.
Lin Ke Song didn’t use voicemails, so Lin Ke Song could only leave a message in her WeChat.
“Where are you? Are you at home? Are you asleep? I have something I need to say to you!”
Although he knew that she would not give him an answer, Song Yi Ran still waited subconsciously.
Lin Xiao Xue who had been playing games and was feeling sleepy prepared to pull the curtains and turn off the lights when she saw the figure standing under the streetlight outside their doorstep.
She put out her head to try and distinguish the figure carefully, then grabbed an umbrella in surprise and rushed downstairs.
“Song Yi Ran? Why are you here?” Lin Xiao Xue then placed the umbrella over the top of Song Yi Ran’s head. His hair was entirely wet and his very person looked a bit awkward.
In her eyes, Song Yi Ran had always been a handsome man with an elegant demeanour, as if any problems could be solved by him. He always looked radiant, so how come he revealed such expressions?
“Did Ke Song arrive home yet?” Song Yi Ran’s voice sounded out, as if he already knew the answer.
“No, but she called my father to say that she wouldn’t be coming back tonight. Tomorrow, she will go straight to the competition.” Although Lin Xiao Xue felt that she shouldn’t ask, she couldn’t help but do so, “What happened?”
“Nothing, did she say where she would be staying?”
“No, would you like to come in…”
Lin Xiao Xue had not yet finished when Song Yi Ran turned and got back into his car, driving away quickly.
Along the way, Song Yi Ran continually dialled Lin Ke song’s phone, but received a systematic response each time.
His car drove to the front of Jiang Qian Fan’s villa, where it was already dark.
The windshield wipers moved in front of him, but Song Yi Ran looked indifferently at the iron door which had roses clinging to it. After a long time, he left a message in Lin Ke Song’s WeChat.
“Are you with Jiang Qian Fan?”
Still no reply.
Song Yi Ran leaned back against the seat and shrugged his shoulders, laughing silently.
He turned his face and looked at the cake box next to him then lowered his body until he was lying on the steering wheel.
His phone in his pocket rang, but Song Yi Ran did not accept it.
But the caller didn’t understand his meaning and after a few minutes of continuous vibration, Song Yi Ran finally accepted the call.
Kevin’s cheerful voice came through, “Hey, did you get so high at your birthday banquet that you forgot about me? Even a phone call from an old friend and you won’t accept it?”
“what’s the matter?” Song Yi Ran replied coldly.
“Oh —— I just heard the a piece of news. Your brother listened to your uncle’s advice and mortgaged Ruiheng Hotel to a bank then borrowed money and invested in New York’s Audrey Hotel, but Audrey Hotel’s public reputation in New York has never been able to be established properly, causing others to not think highly of the hotel.”
Song Yi Ran frowned, “Is he crazy? Ruiheng Hotel represents Song family’s history and position in this industry, why would he take Ruiheng Hotel and mortgage it?”
“To seek quick success? In order to enter New York’s market, there wasn’t enough preparation done or enough local contacts to establish connections. There weren’t even any stable collaborations, so they decided to mortgage Ruiheng Hotel. Do they really think land in New York is that expensive?” Kevin replied with a faint smile, “It’s a pity we don’t have enough money right now, or we could take a bit of this ‘Audrey Hotel’.”
“Why would we want Audrey Hotel? The hotel is doomed to be difficult to bring up, it can only be bought by other hotel big shots. Song Yi Fan must want to sell of Audrey Hotel in order to retrieve Ruiheng Hotel. What we’ll do is lower Audrey Hotel’s price, so when their capital is not enough, they’ll transfer a portion of Ruiheng Hotel’s stocks and we will buy it.”
“Hey…I told you such good news, so why is your voice so down?”
“Because you told me too late.”
Song Yi Ran cut the call then started the engine and the car left.
The next day, the weather was surprisingly sunny.
Sunlight rose above the roses, climbing over the petals before falling to the ground.
Lin Ke Song felt that someone was gently stroking the back of her head, as if they wanted to wake her up but were reluctant to.
She frowned and opened her eyes, subconsciously raising her head only to be faced with the elegant lines of Jiang Qian Fan’s lips.
His lips used to always be pursed, warning away strangers.
At the moment, they showed a gentle demeanour.