“Hey, Director Shen, don’t send Red Bean back, okay? Instead, I’ll take him back with me when I leave and let him be with her Majesty.”
Shen Qingzhou was watching footage on the monitor. “If you’ll look after him, there’s no need to send him back,” he said.”
“Really? Great!” Yu Wan smiled. “I’ll definitely take good care of him and I won’t let him disturb your work.”
Shen Qingzhou paused, then turned to look at her. “I want to see him more often. When you're free, bring him here and sit with me.”
“Sure,” said Yu Wan, agreeing without even pausing to think.
Shen Qingzhou smiled faintly.
His smile drew Yu Wan’s attention. Was she imagining things, or was Shen Qingzhou smiling a lot more lately?
“Weiwan? Hey? Why is this dog so well-behaved when you’re around?” Xiang Zeran was off set and strolling about freely. When he saw Red Bean resting his head in Yu Wan’s lap, he couldn’t help but wonder.
Yu Wan rubbed Red Bean’s head “He’s a good boy.”
Xiang Xeran casually sat beside her. “Director Shen’s raised him really well. Right, where did you go last night? I couldn’t find you anywhere.”
“Ah…..I drank so much, I got a bit dizzy and went back to rest.”
“You’re too unfriendly! Didn’t we say we wouldn't stop until everyone was drunk? In the end, only Mengmeng and I stayed behind,” said Xiang Zeran. “Judging from last night, your alcohol tolerance is pretty good. How about we go out drinking some time?
Yu Wan froze, then for some reason, recalled that while Shen Qingzhou was drunk last night, he’d told her not to eat with him or get too close to him.
“.......” she subconsciously glanced at Shen Qingzhou. To her surprise, he was looking right back at her. His brown eyes were somewhat frosty.
She coughed, “drinking too much is so unpleasant. I’d be better off not drinking in the near future.”
Xiang Zeran thought it a pity and was just about to try and persuade her when Shen Qingzhou interjected icily, “filming has been tight lately. Does our male lead have that much free time?”
Xiang Ziren paused. “…..I don’t.”
“We’re filming. Get ready.”
“Oh, okay, Director…...”
They resumed filming. Xiang Zeran starred in an emotional scene.
Out of boredom, Yu Wan watched the monitor as well. In this scene, “Lu Li” was arguing with “Fu Xiaolei.” They fought and fought until finally, they expressed what was truly in their hearts.
This sort of scene wasn’t difficult for Xiang Zeran. He was a skilled actor and had worked in numerous romantic dramas.
Today, however, Director Shen was unusually strict.
“Cut! The emotions were off.”
“Cut, you need to lose your temper here.”
“Cut, make-up team, didn’t you notice that the female lead’s outfit isn’t on properly?”
“Cut, Xiang Zeran, the end is supposed to be a confession, not attempted murder.”
Finally, Yu Wan couldn’t take it anymore and muttered, “aren’t they doing a perfectly good job?”
Shen Qingzhou gave her a stern look. She instantly gave in. “Ah….. it seems they’re not doing so well after all, hahahaha.”
After seemingly countless takes, they finally finished the scene. Xiang Zeran let out a big sigh.
The next scene was a kiss.
“Lu Li” pressed “Fu Xiaolei” against the wall and kissed her wordlessly. Yu Wan blinked. It was hot and passionate and, for some reason, it felt rather familiar.
Oh! Last night! It was just last night… it seemed a certain someone had pressed her against a bookcase. Although it wasn’t as intense as the two actors’ kissing scene, his tentative yet sensual lips and tongue were somehow even more passionate!
Yu Wan snuck a sidelong glance at Shen Qingzhou. He watched indifferently, as if their kiss was nothing more than two colliding slabs of meat. Yu Wan’s gaze landed on his lips. They were a little thin and lacking in color, yet they were extremely enticing.
She felt a hint of regret. She’d been so dense last night! Why hadn't she seized the opportunity to have a good time?”
“What are you looking at?” She didn’t know when, but at some point Shen Qingzhou had turned around and noticed her staring dumbly at his lower jaw.
Yu Wan replied instinctively, “your lips.”
“Hm?” Shen Qingzhou started, then drew in closer. “Did you notice something?”
Yu Wan jumped in surprise and hurriedly looked past him. “Oh? They’re done kissing. It’s over!” she said, changing the subject, “What a shame! I missed the best part!”
As Yu Wan murmured regretfully to herself, a smile touched Shen Qingzhou’s eyes. The best part? Last night was the best part, alright?
When it was time for dinner, the crew started distributing boxed meals.
Yu Wan was just leading Red Bean around set for a walk when a worker called her back. ”Scriptwriter, the director wants you to take Red Bean to him.”
“Oh, okay.” Yu Wan indicated to Li Mengmeng that she’d go on her own. Li Mengmeng nodded. As she watched Yu Wan leave, she looked at Xiang Zeran and said, “hey, have you noticed that Director Shen treats Weiwan somewhat differently? Some of the crew are saying the two of them are having an illicit affair. Do you believe that?”
Xiang Zeran’s takes had been rejected all afternoon; nothing about him had been good enough. “They’re crazy” he said listlessly.
“No, I think there’s something strange about the two of them as well,” Li Mengmeng rubbed her jaw and murmured, “but I also think it’s not so easy to capture Director Shen’s heart. Not even Big sister Yeyu could manage it……”
Xiang Zeran was in no mood for gossip. Instead, he was focused on today’s filming. “Sigh. What was up with Director Shen today? I did what I always do. He doesn't usually go after me like this.”
Li Mengmeng said, “it’s probably because you offended him somehow?”
“How is that possible? How could I have offended him?”
“Tch......Give it some thought. Our Director Shen is a reasonable guy. He wouldn’t nitpick you without good reason.”
Xiang Zeran furrowed his brows. “Have I really been off lately? Oh, nevermind, I’ll get my act together tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Yu Wan led Red Bean to Shen Qingzhou’s breakroom. There were already two dinners placed on the table.
Shen Qingzhou separated his chopsticks and said to Yu Wan, “I won’t eat this tomorrow.”
Yu Wan, “Should we eat back at the hotel tomorrow or should I bring dinner here?”
“We’ll likely be filming well into the night tomorrow as well, so bring dinner here.”
“So, should I take Red Bean with me as I go back and forth?”
“Up to you.”
“Red Bean, did you hear that? You’re with me from now on now. First I’ll feed you at home, then I’ll come here and feed your owner,” laughed Yu Wan. “Director Shen, do you have any requests?”
“No need, everything you make is delicious,” said Shen Qingzhou flatly.
Yu Wan blinked. Was…. was he complimenting her?
Since the crew planned to film well into the night, Yu Wan brought Red Bean back to the hotel.
She turned on her computer and received a request for a video call from Jian Yunong. Yu Wan clicked “accept.”
As soon as Jian Yunong appeared on screen, Yu Wan noticed the black circles around her eyes. Her eyebrows twitched as she said disdainfully, “did someone hit you?”
“Hit me? I’ll hit you instead! I’ve been writing furiously. I’ve been buried in books for a whole month now! F*ck, I’m finally done with my exams!
“Tch tch, this is what happens to people who wait until the last minute.”
“Screw off! You have no idea how hard it is to be a graduate student.”
Yu Wan pursed her lips but didn’t argue. At that moment, Red Bean walked by. Jian Yunong stared at him blankly. “Hey, when we last spoke, didn’t you say you were going on a business trip to Beijing? You brought Her Majesty with you?”
“Her Majesty? I didn’t bring her.”
Jian Yunong paused. “Then….... what’s that behind you?”
Yu Wan looked around. “Oh, you're talking about Red Bean!”
“Red Bean? That’s Red Bean?! Yu Wan! Director Shen’s beloved pet? Why is he in your room? Why is he in Beijing with you? Jian Yunong pressed right up against the screen, as if she wanted to jump straight through it.
Yu Wan, “Director Shen is directing my show. He’s staying in this hotel too, so I’m helping him look after Red Bean.”
“What? Say that one more time!”
“What are you yelling about? Didn’t you say you were his fan? You’re a fan, but you don’t even know he’s the one directing my novel’s film adaptation?”
“I! I’ve been busy with exams, haven’t I? I’ve been avoiding the internet! Don’t you get it?” said Jian Yunong excitedly. “Yu Wan, are you two…. He’s letting you into his house, he’s letting you look after his dog, he’s directing your book, are you two….”
“Are we what?”
“I’m asking if there’ve been any further developments in your relationship!”
Yu Wan was silent. “What kind of ‘development’ do you want?”
“Ugh, come on! You know, has he held your hand or anything?”
“Hm….. does kissing me count?”
“Can you stop shouting…..”
“No way, is this for real? My cold, aloof god kissed you?” Jian Yunong felt as if her world were turning upside down.
“Of course it’s true! It’s just….. He was drunk. I don’t know what was going on, either.”
“Daaaaaamn, it’s over, I’m about to become best friend’s with Director Shen’s girlfriend. I’m moving up in the world! What do I do?!”
Then Jian Yunong’s smile faded. “Wait, she said seriously, “you said he was drunk?”
“Did he know it was you at the time?”
“I think he knew. That said, after he got drunk, he started acting a bit different from usual. Also…. When he woke up in the morning, he’d forgotten all about it.”
“Then did you remind him?”
Yu Wan stroked her chin. “Remind him? What happens if he thinks I made it all up? Wouldn’t I lose face? Besides, it’s just something he did while drunk, no need to take it too seriously, right?”
“Way I see it, he must like you. Otherwise, how could our lofty, transcendent Director Shen just drunkenly kiss someone?” said Jian Yunong with starry-eyed infatuation.
Yu Wan rolled her eyes. She truly couldn’t take much more of this.
At that moment, the doorbell rang.
“I’m going to get the door.”
Yu Wan got up and opened the door.
“Red Bean?” It was Shen Qingzhou, back from filming.
Yu Wan nodded. “He’s inside.”
“Is it a good time to come in?”
“Sure.” Yu Wan stepped aside and let him in.
Shen Qingzhou saw Red Bean playing with his toys on the carpet and walked towards him.
“Ah! Shen Qingzhou! Director Shen!”
A sudden, high-pitched scream exploded from the computer. Yu Wan felt a bead of cold sweat drip down her forehead. How could she have forgotten that the video was still on? Jian Yunong, that lunatic, was still on-screen!
Shen Qingzhou was obviously stunned. His gaze landed on the computer. There was a….. Panda woman on screen.
“She, she’s my dear friend. We were video chatting, just now. I forgot to tell you,” said Yu Wan. She glared at Jian Yunong as if telling her to behave herself. “Her name’s Jian Yunong.”
Shen Qingzhou stood and nodded at the computer. Since this was Yu Wan’s friend, his attitude was far milder than usual.
Jian Yunong also realized she’d been a bit overly enthusiastic just now. In an instant, she changed her tone completely and greeted him like a fair and virtuous maiden. “Hello, Director Shen. I’m Yu Wan’s best friend.”
“Hee hee, Director Shen, please take care of our Yu Wan. She loves eating snacks and taking naps. Please be lenient with her. Oh, but she’s an excellent cook. I imagine you've already experienced that for yourself, though.”
Yu Wan glowered darkly at her: What are you saying all that for? Have you gone crazy?
To her surprise, Shen Qingzhou didn’t get impatient. He even smiled a little. “That’s right,” he said.” I’ve already seen all that. I’ll go easy on her.”
“I’ll have to trouble you, then,” said Jian Yunong seriously, repressing her inner excitement.
Shen Qingzhou nodded slightly.
“I won’t disturb you two any longer, then. I’m going to hang up.”
“Bye,” said Shen Qingzhou.”
“See you later~!”
The screen went black.
Yu Wan was speechless.