Lily's lips turned up into a smile as she sat down. To think that Zhuo Jingren could still think of having a date just after a round of drama. Lily wanted to roll her eyes at this man's antics. But if she was honest about her feelings, she was actually happy that they were finally going on a date like any normal couple.
After Zhuo Jingren made sure that Lily was well-seated, he happily took the seat across from her and picked up the menu. He even looked elegant looking at the menu.
After spending more and more time with this man, Lily realized that whatever she read about him from the news or magazines were really skewed. The media only portrayed Zhuo Jingren as a cold and aloof man that even his name alone could intimidate others. Perhaps the man intentionally appeared cold to the outside world so that people would fear him.
But towards Lily, Zhuo Jingren had always been warm and compassionate. Lily blushed at the thought that perhaps he was only like this to her. She had seen how cold he was towards Qin Mo and Tang Lingyun earlier.
Lily continued to observe Zhuo Jingren as he ordered for the two of them. Renren had grown up to be quite a looker, his features were sharp and refined, very good-looking. With his good looks and a natural talent in acting as she had witnessed earlier, she was sure that if he changed his career to acting, he would be successful.
"Why are you staring at me like that?" Zhuo Jingren asked Lily. His brow was raised and his lips lifted into a smirk.
"I was just thinking about how handsome you are. No wonder I thought that you were an escort when I first met you," she said bluntly as she took a sip of the champagne that Zhuo Jingren gave her. "You were good in bed too," she added, a little surprise at her bluntness. She immediately lowered her head in embarrassment and chastised herself for thinking about that night again and even bringing it up. This was unbecoming of her.
Lily only lifted her head when she heard Zhuo Jingren's deep chuckles. She quickly composed herself before looking him in the eye. She shouldn't have to be embarrassed talking about sex. She was a 27 year old grown woman! She convinced herself that a casual talk about sex between two grown persons was nothing to be embarassed about.
"I can't blame you for thinking that way," Zhuo Jingren said while staring at Lily. "It was my first time, I was just trying to impress you." He chuckled once again as his gaze darkened. "Of course, this doesn't mean that I wouldn't try to impress you the second time," he said casually. He threw a smirk at Lily who quickly lowered her head again. So much for her earlier convictions!
Why does it seemed that she was the one who was embarrassed talking about this topic? Lily decided not to dwell on this topic any longer. "So do you have any other plans after this dinner? This is our first date after all," she said.
"Let's go dancing, that's if you want to?"
"Where?" she asked.
"There is a ballroom two floors down. There should be a benefit ball today as well. The owner of this restaurant owns the ballroom and he would organise a benefit ball every now and then. The patrons of the restaurant are encouraged to join the ball."
"Did you set this all up?" she asked. 'A ball after dinner? Isn't that too coincidental?'
"Hmmm…" He just nodded and smiled, his eyes hopeful that she would agree.
"You are wearing a suit, whereas I'm just wearing a simple sundress," she stated.
"I have a dress ready for you. I just have to call Daohu to bring it over after we are done with our meal," he answered. Since Zhuo Jingren was the one who planned tonight's date, and it seemed as if the preparations were made in advance, Lily wasn't surprised that he had also prepared an outfit for her.
After another ten minutes, their order finally arrived. The first to arrive were appetizers - truffle mushroom soup. For their mains, Zhuo Jingren had codfish marinated with saikyo miso served with vegetables while Lily had pan seared tuna with avocado. Lily was impressed with the way they made the tuna. The sauce that was lightly drizzled over the tuna had a salty, sweet and sour taste. It was a burst of flavours in her mouth. The tuna was juicy and most importantly, it wasn't overcooked. The entire dish was delicious and just perfect for her taste.
The couple enjoyed their food over some wine and for the rest of their time at the restaurant, they were engaged in conversations, laughing from time to time. When it came to desserts, they shared a slice of cheesecake and a cup of raspberry ice cream. Even though the tables in the restaurant were generously spaced apart, the happy couple still managed to capture the attention of some people in the restaurant who couldn't help but to throw them a few glances. They were an extremely good-looking couple and very pleasant to the eyes.
After finishing their meal, the couple were going to head down to the ballroom downstairs. Of course, Lily needed to change first. With Zhuo Jingren in tow, Lily walked towards the restroom of the restaurant full of smiles. She hasn't attended any events for months now and it pleased her to be attending a ball with Zhuo Jingren. She was also looking forward to dancing with him.
Lily was grinning inwardly when she thought about what the dance they shared with each other years ago... Ehem! She was not thinking about naughty things, alright. This was just her reminiscing the past.
Lily's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of broken glass. She immediately furrowed her brows when she noticed that a woman seemed to have trip and the contents from her glass had found its way over to her sundress. "I am so sorry. Are you okay?" the woman looked at Lily from head to toe. "I just got too excited when I saw an acquaintance, I didn't mean to splash wine on you."
Lily examined her dress that was now ruined. There was a big patch of red at her stomach area against the light purple color of the dress. Lily then lifted her head to look at the woman in front of her. She was slightly taller than her. Her long black hair was curled nicely and she had on some light make-up. She wore a simple black dress which accentuated her curves. Overall, she gave off a sophisticated look.
"Are you okay?" Zhuo Jingren asked in concern as he placed his hand on Lily's waist.
"I am fine," she said before turning her head to the woman. "No worries. I am not harmed. Be careful next time."
However, to Lily's surprise, the woman did not pay her any heed but had turned her attention towards Zhuo Jingren instead. "I did not expect to see you here, Mr. Zhuo. I trust that you have been well?"
In response, Zhuo Jingren stared at the woman, his brows furrowed. "I don't think we have met before."
The woman was quick to cover her mouth and let out a laugh. "We just had a private meeting last week and you have already forgotten me. As expected of a busy man like you. I am Mu Qingling. My family is rather influenitial in Scarlet City. I hope you will remember my name this time." She gave Zhuo Jingren a confident smile.