394 Two years
"I have checked the auspicious dates for them," he said.
"Thank you, Master. The earliest date is better for us, especially for meeting the in-laws and the engagement," Dowager Long said, barely able to hide her eagerness.
Master Li waited until Dowager Long focussed on him. He smiled and handed her three pieces of paper. There was a date each written on it.
"Thank you, Master," the Dowager said gratefully. She looked at each date with a smile until the one for the wedding. The smile disappeared almost immediately.
"So long?" her heart whimpered but she did not dare to voice it out.
"Does Donor Long have anything that bothering your mind?" he asked with a smile.
The dowager looked at him, biting her lower lip. She could not argue with the date because it was the most suitable day for her grandson to marry dear Catherine. She could only swallow her unhappiness.
"Thank you much, Master," she said finally, keeping the papers into her handbag. She excused herself and hurriedly went to her car. The driver helped to open the door for her, holding himself from asking when he saw how serious the dowager looked right now. Was the meeting with Master Li did not end well?
"Home," she told him shortly.
He quickly changed the gear and drove the car away, heading back to the mansion. He counted each minute passing by, hoping that the cars would be lessened as they drew closer to their destination. He could not increase the speed at all. He glanced at her through the rear mirror and gulped seeing the dark expression on her face. Uh Oh...
What to do now?
The Dowager took out the papers and arranged them neatly on her laps. Then, she looked at each other. She smiled at the dates for visiting the parents and engagement but unhappily lose her smile when she saw the date for the wedding.
In two more years?
Then, she had to wait more than two years for her cute great-grandbabies?
She did not give much hope for Mika and Jason's children because she knew Jason's family would be more excited for the first child. She would ooh and ahh when the time came, and even cuddle once or two but ultimately, especially if the child a boy, Jason's parents would want to have more time with him.
She was too lazy to insist on conquering the child's time. Let the in-laws showered him with love. She would wait patiently for her great-grandchild from Jeremy and Catherine.
But more than two years?
She lifted up her head and sighed. If she had the time for that. She had been missing her late husband too much lately and she was hoping she could meet him in the afterlife. But it seemed like she had to stay strong to meet her great-grandchildren so she could report to her late husband once she crossed over.
Ryn blinked her eyes a few times. Was this a dream? Her heart pounded so hard and she clutched it with both hands.
"Will you marry me, Ryn?" he asked again. His heart was pounding so hard. Why wouldn't she say yes yet?
She closed her eyes and rubbed the skin between her brows. This was not a dream.
"Love?" he was getting more nervous when he saw her action. Why wouldn't she give him any answer? Just anything. Don't keep quiet like this.
She put down her hand and looked at him. "Why don't you get up?"
His face turned pale. Does this mean...?
"It's too early for us to move into the next step. Come on, J, I need to return to the office. Mei Li is waiting for me," she explained.
"But... I really want to marry you," he choked out. Why couldn't she say yes? He did not mind having to wait for long for their wedding day as long as he could bind her to him as his fiancee. Was it that hard?
"Are you going to send me or do I need to call a cab?" she refused to follow the topic and asked him a question.
His shoulders dropped as he sighed. It seemed like his proposal failed miserably. Maybe he was being too rushing in proposing. He should prepare better, he coaxed himself silently.
She crossed her arms and walked to the exit. She did not wait to see whether he followed her or still sat on the floor on his knee. She tried to erase the memory of him proposing, just remembering the delicious food.
Why would Jeremy ruin their perfect lunch with that stupid proposing idea? Has he gone insane from drinking too much vinegar?
Jeremy did follow her. His shoulders still dropped and he lost the smile. How could he not be sad when his love refused to marry him?
Even when they got into the car, none of them spoke. Ryn took out her phone and dialed Mei Li's number. She needed to inform her manager that she was on the way.
Jeremy, on the other hand, was still thinking about his failed proposal. Although he was driving the car to the agency, his mind was full of what went wrong with his proposal just now. Was it because he did not prepare a bouquet of flowers? Or because it was lunch? Should he propose during dinner? Candlelit dinner with a romantic violin playing in the background?
Would it be too common?
He sighed. He thought Ryn did not care about this whole thing as long as he proposed. She would gladly say yes and they would begin their life as an engaged couple. He let go of his right hand from the steering wheel and touched the velvet box in his pocket.
"I have listed the betrothal gifts," Mrs. Long said proudly as she showed the A4 paper to her mother-in-law once the Dowager arrived home.
"Let me see," the Dowager put on her reading glasses and read the list silently.
Mrs. Long watched nervously. Would her mother-in-law approve of her list?
The Dowager finally put down the list. She reached for the cup of hot tea and drank it slowly.
"We have two days to prepare," she said after she drank the whole cup in three graceful gulps.
"Two... two days?" Mrs. Long choked out. She reached for the list and gulped. Maybe... maybe she was being too adventurous when she started to write the list. Would they have enough time to prepare everything?
"You don't have to prepare everything. Bring another set of gifts for the parents. The betrothal gifts can be sent during the engagement day. Just bring the list so the in-laws can check," the Dowager decided.
Mrs. Long sighed in relief. She was glad that her mother-in-law did not insist on preparing everything, especially the jewelry she had her mind in. She needed time to get them anyway. Two days was not enough.
"This evening you will follow me to choose ginseng and bird nest for the in-laws. Also, go check what hippy eats. I don't want them to think we are not respecting them," the Dowager hit the floor with her cane. Why was the couple still insisted on being a hippy? Does being vegetarian must be a hippy? She then stood up and walked to the stairs, "When will the elevator get repaired?"
"The men will come later. I have insisted for them to give us a discount," Mrs. Long said quickly.
"You should. How could a newly installed elevator not working after a week?" the Dowager again thumped her cane angrily. They just installed the elevator to make it easier for the family to move around the mansion but it ended up went broke just a week after. Of course, she would be very-very-very angry. They spent a lot to install it.
"Remember to be here at 4. Inform the store we are coming," the Dowager said before she climbed up the stairs.
Mrs. Long took a sip of her hot tea before signaled the maid to clear the table. She then waved her hand for the butler to follow her as she went to the elevator. She grumbled under her breath as she looked at it.
"Call them again and confirm the time they're coming. Make sure this thing works perfectly by tomorrow," she told the butler.
Mrs. Long gave the broken elevator a last look before she went to her bedroom for a short nap. She needed to gather her strength for the 'shopping' this evening. Her mother-in-law would spend hours choosing before she made up her mind.
The butler quickly did what was ordered while checking the maids did not fall on their job. He also went to the kitchen to discuss with the Cook.
"I heard that Old Madam went to get the auspicious dates for Young Master," the Cook said hurriedly as she nodded at the result the maid found for her on the internet. She decided to make croissants from scratch for the tea. Although the maids told her it was complicated to make, she believed with a recipe, she could do it.
"We will have our meeting today after they go out," the butler told her. He signaled one of the maids to inform the others.
"Ah... I guess we have a lot of things to do," the Cook rubbed her hands full with anticipation.