Fever subsiding, Zi Feng awakens in his tent feeling strangely calm and relaxed. He hasn't had a night of sleep this good since his father died and he had to take on his leadership position. The last thing he remembered was going to bed shivering and cold but somehow now he had his arms around a deliciously warm and soft pillow. He snuggled closer to the warmth but his pillow started moving away.
Eyebrows furrowing, he forced open his eyes only to find Ya Nuo half naked sneaking out. Latching onto his source of warmth and peace, he holds onto her hand to prevent her from leaving.
"What are you doing here?" Zi Feng asks.
Turning red, Ya Nuo sputters out "I heard you coughing and tossing around so I came to check up on you. I was going to leave you but then you were burning up and I couldn't leave you like that. I even put my own blanket on you but you still didn't respond. I wasn't sure if I should call an ambulance but we are up in the mountains, they probably wouldn't get here till tomorrow anyway so..." Ya Nuo paused, not sure how to get to the part where she took off her hoodie, jumped in, and offered her own body heat. "that is what happened" She just ended up finishing lamely.
Chuckling at Ya Nuo's rambling and red face, Zi Feng decides to let Ya Nuo get away with this one "Well thanks, I feel a lot better now, it's too cramped in here, let's sit outside"
Sitting by the camp fire, Ya Nuo calmed down enough to start thinking again. She should clarify what happened again or else he might mistaken her for an insane pervert.
"I saw you were coughing and shivering, I just wanted to help you feel warmer." She said.
"I know" Zi Feng said knowingly. "You know, when I'm with you, I feel relaxed and calm" He looked at her with a surprisingly gentle gaze.
Ya Nuo felt her face start to warm up; "uh" she responded. Her heart started to act up again. This time the beating as louder than ever. Worried he would be able to hear, she started to inched away until he started coughing again.
Immediately running over to him, she pats his chest, "Are you ok?" she asks.
Finally getting her close to him, he stops coughing and holds her hand that was patting his chest while catching her gaze. Wordlessly, he looks into her eyes like he's searching for something. Ya Nuo tries to look away, but his gaze is too intense and for some reason, she finds that she doesn't really want to break away.
Suddenly, in the background, Guang Chao cries "Zi Han Xiao Jie, no, please don't," Brought back to reality, Ya Nuoslips her hand out of his and quickly says, "It's late, we should get to bed, have a good night" and runs off.
If she turned around, she would have seen Zi Feng looking at her with a decisive gaze. He found what he was looking for and his mind was made up.
The next morning, Ya Nuo was tired. She spent the entire night wide awake. Her heart refused to settle down and she ended up tossing and turning until the sun rose. In the morning, she inconspicuously maintained a 10 foot distance away from Zi Feng, even offering to take down Zi Han's tent while getting molested the entire time. She felt his stare like the hot solar ray on her back, but she refused to look back at him, she would definitely be absorbed into his gaze again if she did.
Unfortunately, Lady Luck was not on her side. Guang Chao took Zi Han home and Qing Yang took Na Na home. She didn't have a car and could only have Zi Feng drive her home. She would have taken a car with Zi Han, but after she groped her crotch, Ya Nuo decided to take the lesser of the two evils.
Their ride home was quiet. Zi Feng mulled over how he should proceed with his plan while Ya Nuo sat in silence, not wanting to bring up what happened yesterday.
When they got to her place, Ya Nuo thanked Zi Feng and was about to wish him a safe trip home but Zi Feng was even quicker. He excused himself inside the house with a "That was a long drive, can I get some water at your house"
The drive was only half an hour and he had plenty of water in his backpack, Ya Nuo thought, what was he up to?
Ever the gracious host, Ya Nuo fixes him tea while he wanders around her house. Eyeing a singular countdown calendar, he walks toward it.
Thinking quickly, Ya Nuo says "That's when my sister is coming home, on my birthday"
"I didn't know you had a sister" Seeing Ya Nuo with the tea, Zi Feng corners Ya Nuo who was distracted by the calendar and doesn't realize he's too close until she's backed against a wall with no where to run.
"There's a lot you don't know about me" Ya Nuo responds, looking for a way out.
"I would like to learn more about you" Zi Feng says getting even closer, taking a sip of the water.
Ya Nuo gulped. "There's really not that much to know, and we are both guys, don't you think you're too close"
"I know you are a man, but I don't mind, I still like you"
Ya Nuo stopped looking for a way out and stared at him, shocked.
"It doesn't matter if you are male or female, I like you for who you are. You don't have to make you decision now, but you are very important to me" Zi Feng said and he left before she could say a word.
"Do you really like Ya Nuo that much?" Zi Han asked. She had been very happy as it's been a while since they've had a sibling date. Ever since their father disappeared, Zi Feng had been too busy managing their people and companies. Dinner was wonderful and they had been walking through the park they used to play at when they were kids when Zi Feng told her his feelings for Ya Nuo.
"Yes, I like him" Zi Feng said seriously.
If it was anyone else, Zi Han would have fought tooth and nail, but this was her brother. The one who gave everything to her. Never in all these years had he asked her for anything. And she knew her brother, if he asked. then it wasn't as much want as a need anymore. He needed Ya Nuo and there was no one else that could take Ya Nuo's place.
On the flip side, Zi Han was slightly happy that her brother finally found someone. He had dated in the past but they were either gold diggers or girls who ran off when they saw a glimpse of their triad life. Ya Nuo was a guy but as long as her brother was happy, she was happy.
"Then," she said with finality, her decision made, "I'm willing to wish you guys happiness"
On the other side, Ya Nuo is a bundle of confusion. Her heart had finally calmed down but for some reason she could not get a certain person's face out of her mind. In all of her 25 years of life, this has never happened before. After a few beers with Xiao Jing, she couldn't help but talk about it.
"This never happened before but I seem to have.... a strange feeling toward one my guy friends" Ya Nuo said. "
"You like him?" Xiao Jing says.
"Yes" Ya Nuo says nodding, eyes widening in realization. She liked him.
Gasping in shock, Xiao Jing decided to tease her, "It's Guang Chao, isn't it?"
"It's not Guang Chao. it's Du Zi..." She paused, that was not supposed to come out.
"Feng!!!" Xiao Jing finished excitedly for her, she already knew but it was so much more fun when Ya Nuo said it herself. "It's about time, deep down, you are still a girl you know. You just needed a real man like Du Zi Feng with so much manly pheromones it practically oozing out of him, to awaken that dormant female heart of yours"
"It doesn't matter, I can't be with him anyway." Ya Nuo says.
"What do you mean? Just confess, tell him you like him." Xiao Jing says.
Leaving out that Zi Feng already did, Ya Nuo keeps quiet and wonders if she can really have a future with Zi Feng or will it ruin their friendship when he finds out her whole being has been a lie.
The next day, Zi Feng and Ya Nuo get to work and after an awkward "good morning", they wait in silence for the elevator. Zi Feng said he would give Ya Nuo space and time but in the mean time, Ya Nuo didn't know how to face him.
They get into the elevator but everyone rushes in behind them. Zi Feng gets pushed but before he can break his fall, he falls onto Ya Nuo and mistakenly kisses her cheek. Eyes going wide, Ya Nuo freezes, not knowing what to do. Zi Feng is shocked too. Loving the way Ya Nuo was in his arms, he didn't want to move, but he agreed to give Ya Nuo space.
Zi Feng starts to move away but Ya Nuo has made her decision. This man loved her for herself, even when he thought she was a guy, he went ahead and told her his feelings. Reaching out, she calmly yet surely holds his hand.