166 Chopstick Knitting
The two-meter-tall Christmas tree stood in the middle of the living room. It had taken plenty of effort to move it into the room when it arrived, but this thing that cost several hundred dollars would only be used once during Christmas. The Christmas dinner that had the roasted turkey as the main course covered the whole dining table. The heater in the house was on while the decorations and soft light added to the atmosphere. The room was filled with the smell of roasted food and the sweetness of cakes and pastries.
The baked bacon and eggplant quiche had a layer of cream cheese and egg on top. The top layer was cooked until golden brown. Once close, one could take a whiff of the bacon's saltiness and the eggplant's freshness. The turkey was golden and succulent. Its large body was filled with various stuffing, mushrooms, nuts, and vegetables. Just looking at it could make one's mouth water. The light brown gingerbread man cracked with a snap. The spiciness of the ginger was a perfect match with the sweetness of honey. The cookies were decorated with piped icing, and they looked so cute filling up the plate.
After Anthony cleaned the room, he also cleaned himself up. He took a bath and changed before exiting his room. By then, the sky had darkened. Han Chu nibbled on a cookie as he moved back to his laptop. He was looking through a page that was filled with words while Ye Shuang was happily unwrapping a present that was the size of one's palm. Anthony had not seen that before, so it was probably something that Han Chu had asked someone to prepare for his agent.
Han Chu's face was clean and handsome, his clothes new and net; Ye Shuang was pretty and elegant. Even though she only had on a casual outfit, it fitted perfectly under the soft light. Combined with the tableful of delicious meals and the delicious smell in the air…
Anthony was slightly taken aback. He originally just wanted to demand something for the sake of Christmas, but he did not expect to be given such a perfect Christmas Eve. As long as he did not leave the house, he could convince himself he was attending a family party in America.
"This looks perfect." Anthony walked over and sneaked a piece of gingerbread man into his lips to test it. Like Han Chu, he snapped the head off first. He licked his fingers clean and asked with surprise, "Xiao Shuang, have you lived in America before?"
"Nope, no money," Ye Shuang answered as she pulled out a car key from the unwrapped present box.
"Brother Han, is this for me‽"
Are you sure you didn't have a mix-up somewhere‽
Han Chu raised his head. "The car is still under my name, and I also have a key, but you can drive it in San Lin City. After all, I don't stay here often."
Just like the house, this was one of the things that Han Chu needed in places that he might stop at temporarily. Even if he did not give the key to Ye Shuang, he would have given it to Yao Zhixing or Anthony. After all, if he did not use the car, it might just rust.
"That's good enough." Ye Shuang smiled happily. Even though it was not her thing, the fact that she could use it freely was good enough.
"Where's my present?" Anthony puffed up his cheeks and asked with a cute smile, "Han, I'm sure you've prepared a present for me too, right?"
"…" Han Chu chewed on the cookie silently, pretending like he did not hear Anthony. What present‽ He did prepare a gift for the agent, but it was a pair of diamond earrings. However, he had planned to collect them from the store the next day… Therefore, just like that. The naughty kid had no present, and he would gift the diamond earring to a family member.
"Han, you're so biased!" The lack of present depressed Anthony. He looked as despondent as a golden retriever who had been abandoned by his owner. Out of pity, Ye Shuang quickly put the car key away and handed the dog the plate of gingerbread cookies to hide the fact that she was the biggest winner that night. "Here, your present."
Who wants a cheap present like this‽
Anthony grabbed one of the cookie and bit on it angrily. Han Chu pretended like he did not see anything and moved his laptop away to grab the knife to slice a piece of the turkey to put on his plate. Anthony grabbed the knife after Han Chu and carved a larger piece for himself. Not long after that, the surprisingly scrumptious Christmas dinner got everyone's attention. They spent the joyful Christmas eve, fighting for food.
Han Chu went to take a bath before lying down for the night. When he came out of the bedroom to pour himself a glass of water, he was surprised to find Ye Shuang still at his place. The table was cleared up, and only half of the turkey was left. Wrapped up in plastic wrap, Ye Shuang shoved it inside the fridge. The spaghetti and sides were finished, and Ye Shuang placed the plates in the sink for the maid to clean tomorrow.
She had baked two trays of gingerbread cookies. Han Chu's oven was big enough to handle one large turkey, so one could imagine how many cookies Ye Shuang had baked. Other than the ones the trio finished, the remaining cookies could fill up ten small packages, each package having around ten cookies. Ye Shuang kept half of them in the fridge as a snack for Han Chu and Anthony while she took the other half home to be given away as presents.
Anthony had already returned to his room—perhaps he was sleeping or on the internet with friends. In any case, he was preparing to rest. Han Chu thought that Ye Shuang had returned, but he walked out to find the girl sitting beside the window at the corner of the room. A blanket was covering her legs as she lowered her head to focus on her needlework.
Han Chu studied her for three minutes before he realized what she was doing. "…You're making a wool cap‽"
"Hmm." Ye Shuang did not raise her head. "Didn't Tony say he wants a Christmas present? It won't take much time so…"
There was a printed tutorial next to Ye Shuang. She had mastered it with a few glances. After all, the needlework was not that complicated. Normal people might get confused, but Ye Shuang's mind was from a different world.
Han Chu was speechless. These days, there were young girls who would a knit scarf, but a wool cap? That was quite rare. He examined closer and realized the knitting needles that she used were quite unique as well. They looked suspiciously like his kitchen's chopsticks. This is quite amazing. How did she manage to split the chopsticks and sand them down until they are so smooth?
Han Chu observed silently, and Ye Shuang added with embarrassment, "Brother Han, I'm so sorry. I got the material for this cap after undoing a scarf that a little girl gifted my little brother, so temporarily, I have nothing else to work with. I'll repay you the present tomorrow."
"…" Han Chu lit a candle for Little Brother Ye and the little girl. "It's okay, I don't mind these things."
He went into the kitchen to pour the glass of water. When he came back, Ye Shuang had finished the starting part of the cap. He thought about it and sat down. "How long will this take? If it's going to take too long, then leave it be. Tony is only asking for the present for fun."
"Probably will take another hour," Ye Shuang said before smiling, "It's obvious that Tony doesn't need money; getting a present is probably symbolic. Like how our parents will give children money on New Year, foreigners probably view Christmas presents the same way."
The temperature and warmth of the ginger sugar was still in the air. Han Chu took a sip of the warm water and turned to look out the window. He said offhandedly, "Tony can be quite unreasonable at times, and taking care of him will require plenty of energy. Thank you for everything you've done today. Other than you, I don't think anyone else would personally knit a cap for him."
"Hmm, foreigners probably don't like these kinds of handmade stuff." Ye Shuang nodded.
"Knitting sweater actually started in Europe; it came here after the war." Han Chu shook his head. "Tony comes from Northern Ireland, and many elders would knit sweaters for their juniors there. However, he was dropped at the orphanage when he was five, so he probably hasn't received such presents before."
The needle almost slipped. Ye Shuang raised her head with surprise, "He's an orphan‽"
She did not expect that at all. Are all orphans so impressive‽
"Actually, he should have a mother. After all, five years old is old enough to remember some stuff, but he didn't make any effort to find out."
Han Chu turned the cup in his hands slowly. "Therefore, the only holiday he can celebrate is Christmas, other than that… he can't even remember his birthday."
Ye Shuang thought about it and frowned. "But there's a birthday on his profile‽"
"…Didn't you notice that birthday is similar to mine‽" Han Chu grumbled darkly. Which friend was that shameless‽ After they got to know each other, other than stealing his parents, he also stole his birthday. He kept using that baby face to endear himself to the elders, Han Chu was almost an estranged son in his own home.
Ye Shuang coughed. How could she know‽ Han Chu's information would not be inside the database, so how would she find out about Han Chu's birthday.
It was a habit for Han Chu to accompany Anthony for Christmas. However, when they were in China, they would go out for dinner. If they were overseas, they would go to some friend's place. This kind of Christmas dinner that was entirely Anthony's, with gingerbread cookies, turkey, and even a handknitted Christmas present, it was probably the first real Christmas that Anthony had ever celebrated in his life.
Therefore, while Han Chu felt happy for his friend, he recognized one horrible truth.
This wicked brat's staying period at China would most likely get delayed again!