Sitting side by side on the bed, Xi Men turned his head to look at Xiao You fiddling with her phone.
“What are you doing?” he asked her and then slowly leans over with his phone in his hand.
Xiao You lifted her head up and looked at Xi Men who is leaning over to her side. “Oh, transferring photos to the shared folder,”
“Ah, right… I haven’t done it as well,” he said, immediately sits straight up and then focused on his phone, swiping left and right on the screen.
“What have you been doing before this?” Xiao You asked. “I saw you using the phone, so I thought you are transferring the photos, and that actually reminds me to do it…”
“I was checking some work mails…” he said.
Xiao You leaned over and eventually landed on his shoulder, “Working mails on a holiday?”
He smiled as he turned his head to the left slightly – to her direction, “I am a CEO, I have no choice,”
“So… a lot of work to do?” she asked.
“Just a few emails to reply,” Xi Men said. “I am pretty sure Secretary Xu is handling a lot of work while I was away…”
“Is Secretary Xu your secretary?”
“Yeah,” Xi Men said.
“Is Secretary Xu pretty?” she asked.
“Pre… pretty?” he asked, totally surprised by that question.
“Yeah. Is she?” she lifted her head up and looked at him.
He also turned and looked at her face.
‘Ah, she doesn’t know… that is why,’
“Hmmm… if I say yes, you’ll be jealous?” he asked.
She glared at him. “Not up to me though. There are so many ladies that will be around you, should I be jealous with all of them then?”
“So… is Secretary Xu pretty?” she asked again.
Xi Men couldn’t help it but laughed after he couldn’t take it anymore.
“What’s with the laugh? She doesn’t deserve that kind of reaction regardless what you think about her face,” she glared at Xi Men.
“Umm… Secretary Xu is a guy,”
She is surprised. “Guy?! Your secretary is a guy?!”
He laughed. “Yes,”
She gaped. “My gosh! I thought… I mean, I have never thought your secretary is a guy!”
“Why? Is ‘secretary’ a job that is only reserved to female?”
“Well… umm… usually, secretary is a female…”
“Usually, you said. My secretary is not,” Xi Men smiled.
“Oh,” she replied. “Umm… how did it happen?”
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Having a guy as your secretary?” she asked. “How did it start?”
He smiled as he recalled. “On my first day to work at Xi Men Corporation, I was asked to pick a secretary out of the few ladies. You can say, they are anticipating and hope that I will pick them. I remembered I said that I won’t be able to work if I picked a pretty secretary. Secretary Xu was doing his work in his cubicle at the back of these ladies, and I sort of just… ask him if he is interested. He was a general admin staff at that time. He wasn’t trained to do a secretary’s job but he took up my offer as a form of promotion and to learn,”
“He didn’t interview for the job. He wasn’t even one of the candidates for me to be selected as my secretary. I just randomly picked him,” Xi Men said.
She smiled briefly.
“I didn’t make the wrong choice. Secretary Xu is a great guy and he does his job well. He has been following me ever since I started working in Xi Men Corporation,” Xi Men smiled. “He is my one and only secretary after all these years,”
“That sounds good,”
“Well, to answer your question… he isn’t pretty,” he said, and then bursts into laughter.
She threw a gentle punch on his arm as he keeps on laughing.
“But he is okay though,” Xi Men winked.
“You mean he looked okay?” she asked.
He frowned at that weird question, “Yeah…” he answered.
“Oh? So… is he married?” she asked, looking at Xi Men as though she is showing interest in Secretary Xu.
He glared at her. “HEY,”
She laughed at his deadpanned look. She then hugs his arm and rests her head on his shoulder again.
A small smile formed on his face, as he then continued selecting the photos to be uploaded to their shared folder.
“Xi Men, when did you actually plan the cruise’s dinner?” Xiao You asked.
“This morning,” he replied.
“When did you do it? How come I wasn’t aware with it?”
“I made a call to the reception when you are in the bathroom, asking her to make the reservation for me and let me know tonight when we returned to the hotel after exploring Paris,”
“Call?” she asked.
“Yeah,” he said. “You asked me who I was talking to this morning,”
“AH! That time?”
“Yes,” he smiled. “It is a surprise. I have only decided to tell you after the dinner reservation have been confirmed,”
“Oh,” she smiled briefly.
“It should be nice,” Xi Men said. “We will get superb panoramic view of Paris along the Seine River,”
“I can already imagine that,” she smiled. “But…” her smile fades, “Why the sudden?”
“What do you mean sudden?”
“Why do you make a reservation for a dinner on the cruise all of a sudden?” she asked.
“Well, you said you want to see night views of Paris,” he said. “I think the best views will be from Seine River. And since we’ve already taken the hourly boat ride the other day, I have a feeling that you will not want to take it again just for the night view. So, dinner on the cruise will serve its purpose. Number 1; dinner on cruise is considered one of the must-dos in Paris, of course, let’s not talk about the costs since it is definitely more pricey than eating somewhere else in Paris. Number 2; we get dinner AND the awesome views at the same time. So, why not?”
She smiled. “You are a really good businessman,”
He laughed. “I am not selling business to you,”
“Your description is enough to sell the idea to me,” she smiled.
“Thanks for the compliment,” he bared his teeth at her, to which makes her laughed.
“Have you taken the dinner cruise before? How was the food?” she asked once her laughter fades.
“No, I haven’t. This will be my first time,” he said, placing his smartphone at the side table. “So we will know how it tastes tomorrow,”
She lifted her head up and looked at him, “First time?”
“Yes, I am going to have the dinner on the cruise for the first time with you,” he smiled, turning his head to look at her.
“With me?” she asked.
“Yes, and for you,” he remained smiling. “Just for you. Because I know you will love it,”
She slowly smiled. “Thank you…”
He frowned slightly at her facial expression, “You are not going to cry, are you?”
She smiled gratefully and shook. “No,” she shook again, “No, I am just… happy,”
He extends his hand forward and caressed her cheek with a smile on his face, “That is all I want to know,”
She remained smiling, and inadvertently lowered her head down slowly.
He gently lifted her head back up and looked at her.
He leaned over for a brief kiss on her lips.
She smiled right after he pulled back.
“Can I ask you one thing?” she asked.
“Sure,” he replied. “What is it?”
“What do you think about ladies taking initiatives?” she asked.
“Initiative?” he frowned.
She gazes at him.
“Huh?” he looked at her.
She smiled, and she pulled him to her and kissed him.
He responded to her kiss, but soon enough, he pulled back and looked at her. “Is this the ‘initiative’ you are talking about?” he said, with a small smile on his face.
“Yes,” she said, leaning over and kissed him again.
He soon pulled back again, “Sweetie, you know it won’t be good if we engaged in a kiss for too long,” he hinted, the small smile remains.
“I know,” she smirked and heads forward to kiss him.
There is a smile on his face when she took the initiative, he gently holds her shoulder and pushed her away from the kiss and asked when he looked at her face to face, “So you really want it, huh?”
“You don’t?” she asked as she climbed over and sits on his lap.
“You should never ask me that,” he wrapped his hands around her back and gently pulled her to him, kissing her on her lips again.
There is something extremely satisfying when it comes to sleeping with Xiao You.
He had never felt such contentment before.
He loves it.
And from her facial expression, he is pretty sure she loves it too.
The rhythm of her breathing follows his movement.
She grips his hand as she reaches her climax, and he loves her reactions.
And strangely, she turns shy in front of him right after that.
Xi Men smiled at that thought.
“Hey,” she said.
His smile vanished from his face. Xi Men couldn’t turn his head, but his eyes could stray to her direction as she had poked her finger onto his cheek.
“You are grinning. What makes you grin like that?” Xiao You asked.
He slowly turned his head over to face her, as she also slowly retracts her finger from poking his face. “I am thinking about you,” he admitted with a smile on his face.
“About me?” she asked. “Wait, you said you are thinking ‘about’ me… not ‘of’ me…”
“So what are you thinking about, huh?” she asked.
He looked at her and smiled, “Your face when you… umm… just now,”
Her face immediately went red.
He laughed, leaned over and kissed her on her cheek. “I am just teasing you,”
She immediately lied down on the bed and closed her eyes. “Goodnight!”
He remained laughing and now at her sulkiness.
He then leaned over to her and kissed her cheek. “Goodnight, sweetie,”
He saw her pout, before she smiled slightly.
Switching off the lights, he joined her lying down on the bed.
He then stares at the ceiling in darkness.
No longer thinking about Xiao You, he thinks about himself now.
About this trip.
Although today is not as tiring as other days, but the tiredness that started since day 2 hasn’t exactly go away. He still feels tired.
The sunburn on his face is not as bad as it is anymore with Xiao You’s aloe gel that he had applied diligently every day.
The blisters will still be there until he stopped walking as hectically as this.
But it is just few more days to go.
He just needs to put up with the tiredness a bit more.
A few days left.
3 days left in Paris, precisely.
Xiao You suddenly turned over, and placed her hand on his chest. “Goodnight, Xi Men,” she said.
Xi Men smiled. “Goodnight, Xiao You,” grabbing her hand and pull it up from his chest & kissed it briefly.
‘Day 5 is over. Day 5… is over,’ he thought to himself.
Day 6 of 8 days in Paris.
“Where are we now?” Xi Men asked.
“This area is called Montmartre,” Xiao You said.
“What is the name of the place we want to go again?”
“Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. It is a Roman Catholic church, and it is a popular landmark,” she said. “We saw it from Arc de Triomphe,”
“We saw it from Arc de Triomphe? Hmmm…” he tried to remember, and then paused when he saw what is in front of them. “Ah? Going uphill?” Xi Men asked, pointing at the slight slope.
“Yes, just a bit,” Xiao You said, immediately hooking her hand into his arm and walked closely to him.
“Hmmm. Is that the one we are going?” he pointed at a monument located at the summit.
“Yes,” she smiled, and then her head turned to look at the souvenirs shops along the way.
“Alright then,” he replied.
He looked at other tourists also walking up the slope to go to the summit.
He turned his head and looked at Xiao You, realizing she is looking into the shops; which makes him does the same, at the same time trying to figure out what she is looking at.
“Do you want to buy something?” Xi Men asked.
Xiao You turned to look at him. “I was just thinking of buying some souvenirs from Paris,”
“For yourself or for your friends?” Xi Men asked.
“For myself,” she said.
“That’s a weird question. Why do you ask who I want to give it to?”
“Because if it is for you, I’ll buy it. But if you want to buy for your friends, I am not going to pay for it,” he said. “Not because I am stingy, but because I don’t know your friends and wouldn’t splurge for them. I’ll only buy for you,”
She laughed. “It is okay, Xi Men. I am fine if I were to buy it myself FOR myself,” she said.
“Go into the shop and pick what you want,” Xi Men said.
“I insist,” he stopped walking. “Just go in and pick,”
“I mean not now. I want to go to Sacré-Cœur first,” she said, pushing him to walk again. “We will come down this path later, I can buy at that time,”
“Oh…” he took a few steps up the slope again as she pushed him, “But you must go inside and buy something later, alright?”
She glared at him for a while. “If I like it then I’ll buy,” she said.
“I saw the scarf… so… I might get it,” she smiled.
“Scarf?” he asked, turning his head around to scan for it.
“Wow, you took a lot of photos,” Xiao You said, circling her hand around his waist as he looked at the photos he had just taken in the smartphone.
“Yeah. I can’t believe the exterior of Sacré-Cœur is so nice,” he said, putting his hand around her shoulder. “Can’t exactly see it from the souvenir street. It is nice to see it from here,”
“Yes indeed,” she smiled.
“Let’s take photo of us,” he said, lifting his phone up.
“Sure,” she said, positioning herself to make sure she ‘fits’ into the frame.
After moving his phone slightly, “Ready,” he said. “One, two…”
“You are good with selfie already,” she said, referring to the way he took photo of both of them.
“Of course. I’ve been taking photos of us for days!”
She laughed and then he sees the result of the picture he had just taken and Xiao You joined in to see.
She is leaning, really, really closely to him.
Anyone seeing the photo will know that they are close, and would even thought that they are a couple.
“Nice,” Xi Men smiled.
“Yeah, I like it too,” she smiled and looked at him.
Xi Men leaned over for a kiss on her cheek, and they shared a lovely smile together.
Xi Men stood next to Xiao You looking at her browsing the rack of scarves.
He had no idea what she is looking out for, or what design she wants.
All he could do is to stand there and watch… and will do his part to pay when she has selected what she wants.
“Do you think this looks nice?” Xiao You asked, showing him a pink scarf with embroidery of Paris’ Eiffel Tower in red and the word ‘Paris’ at the end of the scarf.
“Yes, it is. The embroidery makes it special,”
“Hmmm…” she turned and looked at the display rack again. “What about this one?” she took out a turquoise scarf with the same red Eiffel Tower embroidery.
“It is nice as well,”
“What about a maroon red one?” she also took out another scarf out with yellow Eiffel Tower.
He rolled his eyes. “Yes…”
“Ah, light purple!” she said, taking it out from the rack. “What about this one?” she showed him the scarf with black Eiffel Tower embroidery.
“Xiao You, all of them look the same to me. It is the same design; only with different colors,” Xi Men said. “And all of them are equally nice,”
She takes a deep breath as she looked at all the scarves in her hand now, “Yes, they look nice… that is why… I don’t know which one to pick,”
“If you can’t decide, then just get them all,” he said.
“Ah? All?” she asked.
“Yeah. Since you can’t decide,” he said. “And then you can wear whichever scarf that matches your clothes of the day,” he adds. “I think that is a brilliant idea. I am impressed with myself,”
She looked at him and then rolled her eyes as he laughed.
Xi Men then extends his hands out and grabbed all four scarves from her hands. “I’ll go and pay,”
“Ah! But I think only one is…”
“I’ll just get them all for you. You don’t have to stand there and pick what color you should get,” he said, walking to the counter in the shop to make his payment.
“Hey, wait for a while,”
“I don’t care. I’m buying,” he said.
“I mean stop right there first. I want to look around the stuffs here. I may get key chains or fridge magnets,” she said. “And you can pay for all of them together, later,”
He stopped walking and turned around, heading to her, “Alright, I accept that suggestion,”
Xi Men looked at the photo he had just taken of him and Xiao You together with Moulin Rouge, the cabaret house, at the back.
“Nice,” Xiao You excitedly said after seeing the photo.
She then turned around and looked at the building with its signature red windmill on its roof.
Xi Men lifted his head to look at her, and then also diverted his gaze to the building.
“I’ve been seeing this in photos all the time, so I am happy I get it see it in front of me,” she smiled.
He smiled, “Well, apart of seeing the building in front of you, you can watch the shows inside Moulin Rouge if you want to… but you gotta inform me earlier to buy the tickets,” Xi Men said.
“Nah, I am here to see the building, not the show,” she smiled.
He smirked. She is indeed the type that is willing to travel just to see the place for a few minutes.
“Alright then. So, where are we going later?” Xi Men asked.
“Lunch, and then… we’ll walk along Seine River,” she said. “Okay?”
“What about shopping?” Xi Men asked.
“Hmmm… can be done after our stroll at Seine River,” she said.
He smiled. “Okay,” he said. “And dinner at 8.30pm,”
“I know, we have plenty of time,”