CH 19

= ”ltr ”>Zhou Zui picked up his phone and opened the chat interface with Xiao Ke.
The keyboard popped up, but he still could not type anything.
He hesitated for a long time and put it down.
The phone was thrown to the side and he picked up a paintbrush.

–Forget it.
There were some people who should always live in the light.

The next day would be Christmas.
It was not that Xiao Ke didn’t want to go to the parlor, but he was very busy during the month of December due to final exams for his two classes, grading papers and passing grades after the exams, so he had some messy things to do at school.
However, he would be free after this period of busyness so every day when he worked, he was quite energetic.

Being busy wasn’t the only reason he wasn’t going into the parlor.
Xiao Ke also had some other reasons since he had pursued a lot of people in the past, he knew when to let the line go slack and when to pull it tighter.
Someone who always stuck around was annoying so they should let them loose once in a while for them to breathe.. 

For Christmas, he must go to Zhou Zui, and also prepare a gift in advance.
He ordered a belt for Zhou Zui which was handmade by an old leather craftsman and was very expensive and hard to get a reservation for.
Xiao Ke also shyly borrowed his relationship with Old Xiao and went through the backdoor to have it rushed out in advance so he was just waiting for Christmas.
Christmas was important, not only because of the holiday, but also because it was Zhou Zui’s birthday.

Almost two months ago, Lu Xiaobei said that Zhou Zui had two more months until he was thirty-six.
Xiao Ke remembered it in his heart and asked Xiao Lin about it later.
She said her boss’ birthday was very easy to remember since it was Christmas day.

From the last time he met that person of the shop from that day until now, Xiao Ke did not contact Zhou Zui and only looked at Zhou Zui’s circle of friends once a day.
The new pictures were still posted which were very abstract but cool.
Xiao Ke could not resist and clicked a like.

After waiting for so many days and loosening up enough, it was time to tighten it up.

He originally wanted to send a birthday wish in the early hours of the previous day, but thought better of it and did not send it as he felt better about not giving hints directly to the past.
However, Xiao Ke didn’t expect him to jump on the bandwagon.
Zhou Zui wasn’t there at all when he went over in the afternoon.

Xiao Lin was excited to see him come in and greeted him, “It’s been a long time since you’ve been here, Brother Xiao.”

“Well, I’ve been a little busy lately, with all the school stuff.” Xiao Ke smiled at her, and gave her a box containing a cake which was the Christmas version from the bakery next to his school.

“Oh my God, it’s for me?” The girl could not refuse the beautiful dessert, her already high favorability rating for Xiao Ke which was now hardened by two more ranks.

“Who else? You’re the only little girl here.” Xiao Ke smiled, “Is Zhou Zui here?”

“Ah, the boss is not here,” Xiao Lin looked at her watch.
“It’s been an hour, he seems to have gone out to dinner with friends.”

Xiao Ke blinked, not knowing what to say for a while.

“Crap, my Brother Xiao is here?” Lu Xiaobei heard the sound, and scurried out from inside while bumping into Xiao Ke.
“Beibei missed you to death.”

“You’re too dramatic.” Xiao Ke’s face was a bit disgusted as he handed him the two large boxes of crayfish he was carrying which were specially bought for him.
” Microwave these late to warm them up and eat them together.
They’re probably cold.
Your big brother is still out at night?”

“You are my real brother.” Lu Xiaobei took the crawfish, ran into another tattoo room to heat them up, and then came out again.
He then said to Xiao Ke, “He probably won’t come back.
He went out with Fang Xi and the others to drink, I don’t know when he will be back.”

Xiao Ke smiled helplessly and nodded before he said, “Okay then, I’ll go.
Merry Christmas, I’ll come back tomorrow.”

Lu Xiaobei was about to pull his arm which was probably to stop him, but he thought about it before he retracted and said, “Then you go.
See you tomorrow.”

After only being in the parlor for ten minutes, Xiao Ke left again.

While walking, he lamented that he had been too ambitious and had not expected Zhou Zui to be away from the store so he should have known better than to not say something in advance last night which led to his gift not being delivered.
Professor Xiao hadn’t been pursuing people for too long and was still not very skilled. 

The Christmas atmosphere had been getting stronger and stronger these years, and the streets were full of flowers and greenery which were especially lively.
Xiao Ke drove back slowly.
It snowed last night and there were piles of snow on the side of the road, and many stores had built snowmen of all kinds and placed them in front of their doors.
Xiao Ke received a text message from an unfamiliar number which he glanced at when the red light was on, and it didn’t say much, just a “Merry Christmas.”

Xiao Ke locked the screen and did not reply.
As soon as the phone was put aside, it rang, and Xiao Ke looked at it to see “Zhou” on the screen.

Xiao Ke had to admit that his heart was very active at that moment as if he had jumped up into the air and flipped before landing back, and he had even turned upside down a few times.
Xiao Ke picked up his cell phone and answered.
Xiao Ke said with a comforting smile in his voice, “Merry Christmas, Mr.
Happy birthday.”

Zhou Zui said “thank you.” When his voice came out of the receiver, Xiao Ke sighed in his heart.
It had been quite a long time since he had called, and when he heard his voice, he realized that he really missed it.

Zhou Zui said “thank you” and then paused for a moment before slowly opening his mouth and asking in a low voice, “Professor Xiao, are you coming to dinner? It’s all the people you’ve met.”

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