1021 JI YUN'S BIRTHDAY (VI)
THE dinner started with an appetizer, lobster bisque. A rich and creamy soup made from lobster stock, heavy cream, and a hint of sherry. It's garnished with chunks of succulent lobster meat and fresh chives. Then, the main course, filet mignon with red wine reduction. A perfectly cooked filet mignon steak, tender and flavorful, drizzled with a luxurious red wine reduction sauce.
The sides were roasted asparagus, which was roasted with olive oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and garlic mashed potato with a hint of roasted garlic. Both providing comfort and flavor to the whole meal course.
The food was delicious; the ambience was romantic, and there was even an in-house piano player playing soft music in the background. Everything was just perfect. Now, if only the dessert would be perfect as well, then this dinner would be a resounding success.
Soon enough, the waiter brought two plates of Mille-Feuille.
The Mille-Feuille displayed golden, delicate pastry layers, impeccably crisp and airy, crowned by a decorative chocolate heart that added a touch of intrigue and elegance to the dessert's presentation.
Luo Yan looked at the plate of dessert and hoped that his request was followed to the tee by whoever had made this. He didn't eat first but instead discreetly watched Shen Ji Yun.
Shen Ji Yun didn't notice Luo Yan's gaze and just proceeded to dig into the dessert.
As he savored each delicate layer of the meticulously crafted Mille-Feuille, a subtle glimmer of surprise danced across his blue eyes. It wasn't just the exquisite flavors that captured his attention, but the unexpected discovery hidden within.
Delicately lifting a piece of the pastry, his gaze fell upon a decorative chocolate heart nestled amongst the layers. Intrigued, he carefully examined it, only to find a heartfelt message etched in edible ink inside—'With You, Always'.
A soft smile graced his lips as the sweet sentiment warmed his heart, turning an already enchanting evening into an unforgettable moment of affection and delight.
He lifted his head and looked at Luo Yan. His eyes filled with undisguised love. "I love you."
Just seeing the smile on Shen Ji Yun's lips and that soft gaze, Luo Yan knew that this dinner was a huge success. "Me too."
And he happily ate his dessert.
After eating dinner, they walked out of the hotel restaurant.
Shen Ji Yun felt very happy. It's like he'd been on cloud nine since this day began. Everything just felt so surreal and magical. His birthday had always been a passing even for him, at least after his father died. That had been the case.
He didn't really like having a big celebration. His uncle also knew that, that's why they always just had a simple dinner on his birthday. This was the first time in a long while that he had a real celebration. Not only a celebration, but a surprise cake at midnight. And now, a romantic dinner.
He couldn't believe that he could be this happy. It almost seemed like it's not real. Was he really allowed to be this happy?
As they walked out of the hotel, he noticed that some of the women who were walking, probably with their significant other, were holding a bouquet. He almost stopped walking. Because he just realized something.
Today was also Valentine's Day.
And he didn't prepare anything for Luo Yan.
"Yan Yan, I'm sorry." - was the first thing that came out of his mind.
Luo Yan, who was hugging Shen Ji Yun's arm, was confused by this sudden apology. "Why are you apologizing?"
"Because I'm not being a good boyfriend," Shen Ji Yun said.
Luo Yan stopped walking and stood in front of the other. "Okay, what is this about?"
Shen Ji Yun gazed down, looking like a sad puppy. "It's Valentine's Day, and I didn't get you anything."
Luo Yan blinked and then laughed out loud. "Oh, Brother Ji Yun. How can you be so adorable?"
Shen Ji Yun raised his head. "You don't mind?"
"Of course, I don't." Luo Yan put his hand on Shen Ji Yun's cheek. "If the basis of being a good boyfriend is giving gifts on every known occassion out there, then there wouldn't be any good boyfriends left in the world."
"Today is your day, not Valentine's Day. Giving you a gift, rather than me receiving one, was more important."
Shen Ji Yun was silent for a moment, then said in a very determined voice, "I will definitely give you one next year."
A helpless smile crossed his lips. "Okay, next year." He hugged the other's arm. "For now, let's go to our next location."
Before they could continue on their way, a voice suddenly interrupted them from the side. As if someone passing by just had noticed them and called out.
"Shen Ji Yun?"
Both of them stopped and looked at the side. Standing there was a man of about 23 or 24. He was tall, handsome, and had that indifferent, cold aura perfectly on point. A woman was standing beside him, also very pretty.
For some reason, Luo Yan had a sense of déjà vu. Except that this one looked handsome and not like some cannon fodder like the one from before.
"Brother Ji Yun, please tell me this guy is not one of your cousins," Luo Yan whispered to Shen Ji Yun.
"He is, unfortunately," Shen Ji Yun whispered back. Before looking at the guy in front of them and acknowledging his existence. "Shen Lin."
The other furrowed his brows, as if not liking the way Shen Ji Yun addressed him. But he didn't say anything and just turned to Luo Yan. His eyes flickered for a bit, as if very surprised at Luo Yan's appearance. But that was only for a second. He removed his gaze and acted like Luo Yan totally didn't exist.
"Brother Lin, who are they?" the woman standing beside Shen Lin asked, her eyes full of curiosity.
"This is my cousin, Shen Ji Yun," Shen Lin said.
Since the other didn't know him, Luo Yan put it upon himself to make the introduction. "Hello, my name is Yan Yan. I'm Brother Ji Yun's lover."