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   Chapter 13 Common Interests

Pull You Closer Into Me By Gu Xiwei Characters: 11333

Updated: 2020-03-26 08:42


Her parents probably had a talk with Soren during the excursion—while they were having lunch, Elsa noticed how Soren paid special attention to their meal. There weren't too many meat dishes on the table, and he ordered several vegetable dishes and placed them in front of her.

In return for his kindness, she instructed herself to remember his favorite foods and drinks.

Their little interactions delighted Elsa's parents.

They went to the military museum after the lunch. Johnson had been a fan of the military since he was young. He used to visit the museum in his teens. This time, when he visited the museum again, he was very excited as all the things on display were what he was truly interested.

In particular, he liked guns and firearms, and he knew them very well. Thus, he and Soren had a lot of common topics to talk about.

Johnson had been feeling a twinge in his legs, but he was more than happy to suffer through it to be able to spend some time with his new son-in-law. Elsa knew that her father's enthusiasm was due in part to his love for his topic and partly because Soren accompanied them around the city.

In his excitement, he walked too fast and soon ended up staggering on his feet. Soren immediately grabbed his arm to help him up and said in a concerned voice, "Dad, let's take a rest for a while and drink some water."

Blanche shook her head. "This old man, really! So shameless in front of his son-in-law! It's a good thing that Soren is a professional."

Johnson cackled, scratching the back of his head. "Yes, I am an amateur, but I can still have a look around and tell you what I know about the items, so that Soren can correct me if I say something wrong."

Elsa felt apologetic toward Soren because of this trip. They only went to places where her parents wanted to go, and they made decisions on their own.

"I'm sorry," she said sincerely as she and Soren stepped away to buy some water for the parents.

"Sorry for what?" Soren asked quizzically.

Elsa hastily fished out some money from her purse and paid for the drinks. She handed Soren a bottle of cold coffee. She took note of how he was carrying a bottle of the beverage at noon. She said anxiously, "You must be so busy. You really don't have to accompany us. I'm also familiar with Linchuan City, so I can tour them around."

"Don't worry about it. It's my duty to take care of your parents." Soren slightly lifted the coffee bottle. "Thanks for this."

Elsa trailed behind him, so Soren shortened his stride so that his pace could match hers. "My father had been a petty officer for several years, and he still think highly of people who are petty officers. He's quite sentimental about these things. He has always said that if he had the chance, he really wanted to stay in the company and never come back."

"Why did he come back?" Soren asked casually.

"Because of the social change." Elsa looked toward the distance to where her parents were sitting under the tree shade. Her voice was full of love as she spoke about her father. "Dad and mom met each other when enrollments to colleges first resumed. At that time, they were both single youngsters who have exceeded the lawful marriage age. My mother became a teacher after graduation, while Dad was assigned to work in a steel plant. I remember that when my dad's legs were better, he used to get up early for a morning run. He used to take me with him. It's been a long time since I had last run, come to think of it."

Soren laughed. "Let's run together sometime, then."

Elsa nodded, remembering the events of last night. "How did you know I liked aquariums? Aren't you afraid that you might get it wrong?"

If he had guessed wrong, she had to make up a lot of things to make it plausible.

"The other day at the hotel, I saw you playing with the fish in the fish tank." A bright smile had crossed her features when she passed by the aquarium yesterday, but she was confused at the moment. He had guessed that she hadn't been to the aquarium for a long time. Soren unscrewed the cap of a water bottle and handed it to Elsa. He realized that he would naturally pay attention to anything concerning Elsa.

"Really?" Embarrassed, she accepted the offered water bottle and took a sip. When she put down the drink, Soren reached for the bottle and took a sip of his own.

Elsa choked around the mouthful of liquid. Soren patted her on the shoulder and said, "Slow down, no one is competing with you."

Feeling slightly off-kilter, she turned and walked ahead of him.

Everyone was tired after exploring the military museum for the whole afternoon, but Blanche insisted on going home and cooking for everyone. People their age always felt that everything they cooked should be healthy. When they got home, they bought a lot of ingredients and cooked dinner at home.

The dinner was very simple. They had some homemade side dishes on the table. Elsa was a vegetarian, so her parents knew what she usually ate, but there was a dish of sweet and sour pork and chicken drumsticks with chilies in deference to Soren's taste.

Soren enjoyed the delicious home-cooked dishes so much that he ate three full bowls of rice. Blanche was delighted by his appetite.

After dinner, the men sat in the living room to watch a popular anti-Japanese TV series. Meanwhile, Elsa helped her mother peel fruit.

The atmosphere after dinner was warm and cozy.

His dreams when he was younger did not come true, so Johnson loved watching war dramas. He empathized with the characters with every episode and discussed them with Soren. Elsa peeled the apple, slowly and carefully

sliding the knife around the fruit so that the skin fell away in one long strip. It had been a while since she felt this kind of calm.

"Ouch!" Suddenly distracted, Elsa lost control of the knife, and the blade nicked her finger. Blood immediately started welling up.

"What happened?" Distressed at her injury, Blanche rushed over to her side and asked Johnson to look for the first aid kit. They were in Soren's house. Even Elsa was not familiar with the layout of this place, and Johnson was even less so. He looked all over, but he still couldn't find the medicine box.

"Dad, Mom, I'm fine," Elsa quickly said to reassure her worried parents, clamping her other hand over the injured finger.

Soren, who was then standing the closest to her, took her hand and said, "Come on—the first aid kit is in my room."

He led her toward his own room. Johnson, who heard that the kit was in his son-in-law's room, moved to follow Elsa and Soren into his room, but Blanche tapped him on the shoulder. "Dear, your concern is unnecessary. Just go back and watch your TV drama."

A deep frown of concern marred Soren's face as they entered the room.

"It's okay—" In Elsa's opinion, their reaction was too much for such a small injury. However, before she could finish her sentence, Soren caught her finger.

"Ah!" She gave a small scream as she felt Soren's tongue lave at the wound, and her right hand clenched at her side. Heat shot through her, making her tense up.

Hearing the sound, Johnson looked at the bedroom door and asked in a concerned tone, "The wound is pretty deep, and Sasa's scared of pain. Should I check up on her?"

"Just watch TV!" Blanche exclaimed in exasperation. Really, her husband could be a little oblivious sometimes.

Elsa snapped out of her trance and tried to pull her finger away. Soren sucked the blood off her finger and then finally let go of her hand before he turned around to get the iodine tincture from the first aid kit.

"This will hurt a bit... but the wound will heal soon once it's disinfected." Soren took her by the hand and led her to the bed.

"I'm not afraid of pain," she said with false bravado, biting her nails.

When Soren dabbed a piece of cotton soaked in iodine over the wound, she was so scared that she couldn't even look at her finger. She had always looked strong, but she was just a scared little girl inside.

"Okay." He patted her burning cheek.

"That's it?" It didn't hurt as much as she expected. She looked away, and the next thing she knew, the wound was cleaned with iodine and covered with Band-Aid.

Soren laughed as he packed up the medical kit. "Now what?" he asked.

Elsa lowered her eyes to look at her silver shoes. "It's too late tonight. Why don't we go to your place tomorrow to pick up some of your clothes?" Soren suggested

"Okay," Elsa agreed.

"Would you like me to wake you up early tomorrow to go for a run?"

Elsa smiled. "Please."

She really should change out of the clothes she was wearing.

That night, Elsa used another bathroom to take a shower, but she still chose to sleep on the camp bed.

Elsa had always had problems sleeping. She was the sort of person who slept soundly when she was busy—once she was free from the hustle and bustle of work, her sleep suffered. Moreover, her dormitory had no soundproofing, so she could hear all kinds of sounds at night. Oddly enough, she was able to catch a good night's sleep despite rooming with a strange man in his house and not being swamped with work.

The next morning, she was woken up by the slight sting of a broad palm tapping her cheek.

She stifled her yawn with a palm over her mouth. Once her mind had finally registered Soren's presence, she asked drowsily, "What's wrong?"

"Do you still want to run?" Her bleary eyes finally focused on Soren. He had changed into his exercise clothes and washed his face.

"Oh." She remembered the promise she made the night before. She used to run with her father when she was a child. Now that she was a grown-up, she had gotten used to sleeping in. She scratched her scalp and said, "Okay."

Soren brought her another set of his clothes and said, "I'll wait for you outside."

Elsa nodded and got dressed.

Unexpectedly, Blanche and Johnson had gotten up even earlier than them. They met up as Elsa's parents were coming in from shopping in the food market.

They noticed that Elsa's face was flushed pink, but Blanche just smiled and said nothing. She beckoned Soren over to have some chicken soup. Then, she pushed a bowl filled with porridge toward Elsa.

After breakfast, Soren took Elsa's hand and led her out of the house. They walked side by side.

Once out of her parents' sight, she pulled her hand out of Soren's clasp and asked lightly, "Where are we going? Where do you usually run? Or do you want to run toward my dorm?"

Soren shook his head. "I'm too full. I can't run." He touched his belly for emphasis. Actually, he didn't think Elsa's clothes were suitable for running. Since the age of fourteen, he had been running every day. Now, since meeting Elsa, he had skipped the habit twice. With a smile, he asked, "How about going for a walk to pick up your clothes?"

Elsa agreed to his proposal. After all, it would be difficult for her to run under the circumstances. It was embarrassing, but she would rather not go for a run. She regretted her spur-of-the-moment decision last night to join his morning exercise. Now, she could just take it easy.

Soren's home was a bit far from Elsa's dormitory. He didn't feel like driving, but it would take them a long time to get there on foot.

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