Chapter 2


The dishes on the table were steaming hot. Eyeing the food, Lin Xi extended a hand to grab the chick wings. A chopstick came down on the back of his hand and he quickly drew it back, turning to see Duan Shen’s frown, “Go wash your hands.”

“Oh.” His slippers pattering against the floor, Lin Xi headed towards the kitchen. He stood next to the sink and rolled his sleeves up messily, then put his open palms under the faucet. The water flowed down his fingers as his sleeves slipped down his arms.

Lifting his arms, Lin Xi was about to turn off the faucet when he felt someone approach from behind. He was about to whip around in surprise, but the warmth of breath was on the side of his face.

Duan Shen’s slender hands passed under his arms to grab his wrists. Without any false movements, he pulled Lin Xi’s sleeves up, then held his hands under the water.

His breath was enough to turn half of Lin Xi’s face bright red and left him unable to concentrate on his hands. “They’re already clean!” he shouted hurriedly.

The other man didn’t seem to hear his words at all. Slowly he backed away and went to grab the soap dispenser. His voice allowed no argument. “Hands over here.”

Lin Xi: “…”

As he put his hands underneath the dispenser, he rolled his eyes and muttered, “Thanks, Dad.”

A frown came over Duan Shen’s face. “What did you say?”

“Thanks, Shen.” Lin Xi said without missing a beat. Putting his soapy hands under the water, he rinsed them off and immediately headed outside impatiently.

Within a few steps Duan Shen had called him to a stop. “Hands.”

Lin Xi raised his hands with a confused look. “What? I already washed them!”

“Wipe them dry before leaving,” Duan Shen said, pursing his lips with displeasure. He took the towel off its hook and wiped them dry carefully before nodding in approval, “All right, go back out.”

Drawing his hands back, Lin Xi walked out without looking back. By the time he got to the table the wings were still perfectly arranged in the middle of all the vegetables. He blinked, extending his hand unconsciously to grab one. But as his hand hoovered there midair, he seemed to remember something, and he let it drop.

At full alert, he glanced back. Duan Shen was still in the kitchen. Putting his right hand in his left, Lin Xi looked at the front and back of his hands over and over again. His face suddenly flushed hot.

It was only when the other man’s footsteps rang out again did Lin Xi cough, pulling his chair out and sitting back at the table. Duan Shen walked by him from the side and picked up the wings, putting them next to him.

Lin Xi stared from the other side of the table in shock; standing up, he reached out to take one.

Duan Shen’s eyebrows shot up, his expression intimidating but just short of anger.

Lin Xi hesitated, his eyes on the wings. His Adam’s apple shifted as he raised his chin indignantly, “I’ve washed my hands. Why don’t I get to eat?”

“No meat before you finish writing your apology,” Duan Shen said, glancing at him with a look of indifference, “Sit down.”

Still shocked, Lin Xi sat down. The next moment, he slammed his hand into the table and shot up again, burning with rage. “What the hell do you mean–”

“Sit down.” Duan Shen frowned slightly, his aura more intimidating than ever. Lifting his hand, he put the sliced carrots and bok choy into Lin Xi’s bowl. “Eat this.”

The corners of Lin Xi’s mouth twitched. When he looked up again, Duan Shen had his phone out and was leaving his maid a message, “Lin Xi hasn’t been very good lately. Before he finishes his apology, don’t cook anything with meat for him.”

Lin Xi: “…”

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