Hong Ling is eagerly swigging a can of Tiger Beer, while Nick Teo is guzzling a Coke. “Need a glass?” Someone asks. “No need!” He gasps in between gulps. “We cannot take it already!”

Nick Teo, 29, and Hong Ling, 24, are thirsty thirst traps, and it’s all our fault. Two weeks ago, we told the photogenic pair that we wanted to shoot them for 8 DAYS’ first-ever digital cover story, and we wanted to do it with them in swimsuits. This news sent the couple of three years, who finally went public with their relationship last October, into a tizzy of working out and dieting. For the past three days, they’ve been eating only boiled chicken breast meat and salmon, and since last night, they’ve consumed nothing. Not even water. It’s now approximately 3pm and we’ve just wrapped the shoot, which explains why the couple are hitting with a vengeance the mini-bar of the luxe two-bedroom villa in the Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa, where we’ve been getting hawt pics of the hawt duo in various lush locations.

Looking at their lithe, toned, fat-free, water-free bods in these pics, you’d agree their two-week long sacrifice was worth it, right? And if you’re wondering why there isn’t more, well, boobs and skin — here’s why. The days of mindlessly showing as much flesh as legally possible are done. It’s 2019, and we like to be classy. Along with serving up sexy, we also want to dish up style, personality and chemistry. Although to be honest, we wouldn’t have minded a little more sexy-daring-cute, but the couple (and their managers) have asked for no swim trunks (for Nick, which is fine) and no bikinis (for Hong Ling, which is not that fine for those hoping for more than a glimpse of her famed assets).  She’s “currently going for the sporty babe look” and would be “more comfortable with not showing cleavage” was the request. Yes, we can hear all you chee ko peks sighing in abject disappointment — deal with it. We had to.

How about we give you this instead — during the shoot, Nick, flaunting tight pecs and five-and-a-half pack abs, gazes lovingly at his girlfriend, touching her bare skin ever so lightly, while she shimmers and shines, a lovely young thing whose body seems too thin for her buxomly chest, which is barely being contained in a modest bikini top. Their chemistry is evident to all, even if they can’t see it themselves, a comfortable and familiar yet sexy energy, a thirst bubbling beneath the surface.

Okay… maybe we’ll never cut it as romance novel writers, but we can assure you — the thirst is real. Literally. And the hunger, too. After one shot, Hong Ling gets up off the ground, then looks a bit faint. “Are you okay?” we ask. “I think not enough food,” laughs Nick. “You don’t have to tell them!” scolds Hong Ling, embarrassed. Are they cute or are they cute?

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