12 I'm a stranger

… She cut herself…

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"Ughh," she exclaimed, throwing the knife on the counter. Withdrawing from it, she ran her uninjured arm through her hair.

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Lu Xiang was quick and by her side in no time.

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She glared at him and said:

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"Look what you've done."

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"I'm so sorry," he said.

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"Here let me have a look."

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Tang An gave out a sigh and said:

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"No, it's fine."

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She went to the sink and ran her injured hand under the tap, "I'm already used to things like this."

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When the blood had stopped flowing out, she turned around and walked towards Lu Xiang.

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"Uhm," she gestured with her hand to make him step aside. She got the kitchen stairs, climbed on it, and opened it to retrieve the first aid kit.

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This wasn't the first time she had injured herself like this, it happened quite frequently.

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When she was younger and got injured, she would run to her mum or dad crying, but would always receive the same response from both:

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"Sorry."

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They never offered to treat the wound or apply simple first aid. But whenever Tang Jiang got injured, even the slightest scratch would throw them both into frenzy.

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After a while, she had given up on them and would just run the injury under the tap; leaving it untreated to heal on its own.

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Then one day, a health care organization came to her school and taught them simple first aid in case of an emergency. And ever since then, she stopped telling her parents when she was injured, but would just treat herself.

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Lu Xiang offered to help her clean her wound. This was the first time anyone had offered to help her.

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At first, she had wanted to decline, but before she could, he had already taken hold of her hand, made her seat on a chair, and bent down to administer he wound dabbing in softly with some alcohol.

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She winced slightly, although he was being careful, it still stung a bit.

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"I'm sorry," he said, apologizing for the pain.

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"It's okay," she replied.

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"Thank you," she continued.

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He looked up and smiled at her, then bent over again and continued tending to her.

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She lowered as she watched his auburn colored hair move over her hand, treating her wound tenderly, a feeling of warmth crept into her heart, and her features relaxed a bit.

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'Was this how it felt to be treated by someone?' she wondered, it had been so long since anyone had shown such care to her. The thought of it made her features relax some more.

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"I'm sorry," she said.

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He raised his head up to face her, and looked straight into her eyes. She looked into his and noticed that they were unusually amber colored, and the light coming from above her made it glisten, giving it a shine.

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His eyes were strange, because at the inner most part of it, it shone blue, as deep as the sea, yet as light as the sky, but gradually faded to amber, and at the rims, it had the darkest shade, almost gold, making it look like a gem.

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The light danced around it, making it appear enchanted. She couldn't help but be fascinated by it as she explored its depth.

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"Uhm?" Lu Xiang said, cutting into her sub consciousness, waking her from her daze.

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She shook her head to clear her thoughts, blinked ferociously and threw her gaze from his eyes, heat building in her cheeks in the process.

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She didn't know she had been staring at him for a long time. It was a habit of hers that some people told her she possessed. Staring at people without even realizing that she was.

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She cleared her throat and smiled, saying, "Sorry about earlier," she paused.

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Then looked at him again, but this time not daring to look into his eyes, she quickly diverted hers down to admire the floor.

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"I'm sorry for being rude," she looked up into the light and ran her uninjured arm through her hair again.

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She gave a depressing sigh and continued; a sad smile pestered on her face, "today has been quite an awful day."

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She laughed sadistically and repeated her statement, "quite an awful day."

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Then looking at him, but not into his eyes, she said, "I'm not usually rude, I just got so pissed with all of today's drama, and –I- vented it out on you, so, sorry about that."

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She covered her mouth slightly in a whisper and said, "I've been told I have transfer of aggression."

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Lu Xiang who had been observing her absurd display said in a low tone, "It's alright, we all have bad days."

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She gave a weak smile.

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"Besides," he continued, "I'm sorry for being a pest; I was just trying to cheer you up."

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Her smile broadened a bit and she said, "Well thanks for trying, not many people in this house do."

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The statement brought a frown to her face, which made Lu Xiang feel upset and pity for he. He hadn't even been here for up to five hours, but he could already tell that hers was not an easy life.

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Such a shame, for someone so young, she had really been through a lot.

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Then, all of a sudden, her face brightened up and she said in a bubbly tone:

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"Where are my manners? My name is Tang An."

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And gesturing towards the kitchen she added, "Welcome to my kitchen, we have a variety of things from water to drinks, to snacks and other commodities, so what can I offer you?"

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Lu Xiang was taken aback by how swiftly she cheered up, and in a tone to match hers he said, "Well my fine madam."

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She giggled.

"My name is Lu Xiang, and thank you for welcoming me into your kitchen."

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She smiled.

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"I would like some water."

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"Is that all my dear sir?" she asked.

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"Oh yes, just water."

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She curtsied and said, "One bottle of water coming up."

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She turned around and marched towards the refrigerator, opened its door, and retrieved a bottle of water.

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Lu Xiang smiled in amusement as he watched her. How could someone have such a sudden change in emotions?

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Then she handed the water to him, which he uncorked and poured into a glass cup that she had given him.

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When he was done, she washed the cup, dried it with a towel and returned it to where it belonged.

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Then she returned to the counter, cleaned up the bloodstained vegetables and tossed them into the bin. She washed the chopping board and knife thoroughly, then went to the store to get a fresh set of vegetables.

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Lu Xiang who was standing by a corner, hands crossed over his chest, walked up to her and said, "What can I help you with?"

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Tang An turned around to find that Lu Xiang was standing directly behind her, which was rather too close for comfort, she scurried away from him and said:

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"Uhm, you can leave and let me work?"

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Lu Xiang creased his brows in confusion and asked, "But I thought we were passed that."

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"Well-uhm-yes-but I still need to focus and I can't have some stranger running around my kitchen."

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Lu Xiang looked skeptically at her, snatched the chopping board from her hand, and said in a playful voice; "Don't talk nonsense, besides I'm not a stranger."

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"Says who?" she asked, raising a perfectly curved brow upwards.

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"Says me," he replied, "You already know my name, so we are already acquainted."

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She snatched the chopping board back and said, "Now who's talking nonsense?"

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He was quick and stronger than she was, so it was easy to retrieve the board from her.

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"Look," he placed the board firmly in front of him.

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"You can't be chopping our food with that injury; I don't want to be eating some stranger's blood."

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She laughed a hearty laugh and said; "Okay, so now I'm a stranger."

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She crossed her hand over her chest and stepped back to give him some space.

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Then she continued: "You want to help – right?"

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He nodded,

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"Fine, you can chop those veggies," she gestured to the vegetables on the counter.

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'This is going to be extremely funny,' she thought to herself.

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Seeing that her brother Tang Jiang couldn't cook a single thing, she assumed that Lu Xiang would be similar, and would make a complete fool of himself.

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As she watched, she learnt that she had actually been right, and she couldn't help bursting out loud in laughter as she said in between laughs,

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"…hahaha, what – are you – doing?"

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Tears ran down her eyes, she clutched her stomach and grasped for breath as she laughed her heart out. It was extremely hilarious.

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Lu Xiang stood dumbfounded and at a loss, as he seemed slightly hurt by her outburst.

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On seeing Lu Xiang's expression, Tang An could only laugh harder.

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When she was done, she drew in a deep breath and said, a hint of amusement in her voice and a wide smile plastered on her face; "Here, let me show you. "

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She demonstrated the appropriate way of doing it. And to her surprise, he got it perfectly, then said; "Hmm, you're a good student, now chop away dear child.

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Then she turned around to do other things, but didn't see Lu Xiang's secret smile to himself.

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He had purposely messed up just to make her laugh and cheer her up. He already suspected that she thought that she'd do nonsense which he did.

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And besides, he anticipated her teasing him then showing him how to do it the right way, which he also wanted.

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He was a great chef, not particularly professional level, but good enough to make a fantastic meal. Living in a British military boarding school for eight years and never returning home for any holiday, he had to stay with his art teacher on school grounds, which was where he picked up his culinary skills.

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Tang Jin felt like she should check in Tang An to see if she was truly cooking, she descended from the elevator and as she walked towards the kitchen, she could hear laughing sounds which sounded like it belonged to Tang An. Then she heard her say.

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".... now I'm a stranger. "

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She neared the kitchen and stood at the door and as she observed the activities going on within, a grim expression was sprawled across her face.

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AUTHOR'S NOTE

Hi guys, hope you enjoyed the chapter, what did you think about Tang An and Lu Xiang, does it make your heart explode?

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Thanks for your positive response in the previous chapter, it's nice to know that you're finding my book interesting.

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Thanks again for being so loyal. Don't forget to support us by reviewing, commenting or leaving a comment.

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XOXOXO

Author