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“You should’ve given her a tight slap across her face just now. But, did you really carry a torch for her for years?”

In the past, Long Tianze would’ve denied it straightaway. However, he did not evade her question and instead answered, “It’s all history now.”

“You must be really devoted and loyal to be able to like someone for so many years.”

All of a sudden, he looked down and planted a kiss on her lips, causing her to retreat backwards in shock as her heart began to flutter and palpitate vigorously.

His kiss was forceful yet gentle. He found her lingering scent to be completely irresistible and simply could not stop smooching her.

Mei Yangyang began to feel a little breathless.

Long Tianze seemed to have noticed that she was running out of breath and began kissing her slowly and gently.

The elevator ascended and descended repeatedly as onlookers refused to board the elevator, upon sight of their public display of affection.

“My hormones are raging for you.”

“English, please.”

“I want you.”

Mei Yangyang began to blush as red as a tomato and quickly refuted, “I don’t think the time is right yet.”

“When would it be right?” he asked.

“When we’ve truly fallen in love with each other and become a couple. Only then will it be appropriate,” she answered, hanging her head low in utter shyness.

“How long more will I have to wait then?”

“Didn’t you say you’d like to woo me? You don’t even have the courage and determination to resist your urges. Hmph!” she scoffed in annoyance and pushed him away.

Long Tianze was amused at the sight of her getting upset. “Mei Yangyang, just you wait and see. I’ll definitely make you mine,” he said confidently.

“Sure, I’ll be waiting.”

The somber mood vanished instantly as they happily returned to their room.

“You’ve definitely fallen for him. Otherwise, why would you allow him to kiss you?” said An Xiaoning, sprawled across the bed.

“I guess so. Sis, how do you tell if someone loves you or not?” Mei Yangyang asked, sitting on the bed and hugging a pillow tightly.

“Well, I think you should be able to feel it if someone really loves you, unless he’s really good at hiding his feelings. There are also other ways to tell, or if he tells you straight that he does. But of course, it won’t be special if he’s the type to casually tell you that he loves you all the time. Aren’t there plenty of heartwarming stories about love from the past? I still believe that true love exists in this world, the kind that’s strong enough to make someone give up their life for the person they love and risk everything they have just to be with them. However, I’ve yet to experience such noble love,” An Xiaoning answered.

Nodding in agreement, Mei Yangyang said, “In my opinion, a loyal man is indeed hard to come by in today’s society. Humans have become too superficial and lustrous.”

“Sis-in-law was too callous with her words, how could she say that about Long Tianze? Just avoid talking to her when you see her in the future. Got it?” An Xiaoning instructed.

“Got it,” Mei Yangyang answered with a nod.

“I’m going to bed. See you tomorrow morning,” said An Xiaoning as she got down from the bed.

“Alright. Goodnight, Sis.”

“Goodnight.”

As soon as An Xiaoning exited the room, she caught a glimpse of Jin Qingyan’s figure, which quickly vanished at the instant that the elevator doors closed.

She took a look at the time and realized that it was already rather late into the night. Where is he going? she wondered.

She swiftly boarded the other elevator and went straight to the first storey.

However, Jin Qingyan was nowhere in sight. Thus, she whipped her phone out to give him a call. “Where are you?”

“I went out to get something.”

“Come back quick.” After ending the call, An Xiaoning went back to the room. Not long after, Jin Qingyan returned.

“What did you get?”

“This. I was in such a hurry that I forgot to bring some out,” he answered, retrieving a small foil packet from his pocket.

“It’s the same brand we have at home, why don’t you just get the entire box?” An Xiaoning asked, staring at the three condoms he had thrown onto the bed.

“You can get just one too, as long as you’re willing to pay for the entire box.”

“You have too much money,” said An Xiaoning as she grabbed her robe and entered the washroom.

Jin Qingyan then took a shower while she was drying her hair.

Sitting cross-legged on the bed, An Xiaoning picked up the condoms on the bed to have a look. To her surprise, the production dates stated on the packaging were exactly the same as the ones they had at home.

She remembered it clearly because she had previously scrutinized the packaging of the ones at home.

What a coincidence. Or was it?

A whirlpool of questions flooded her mind as she stared at the condoms in her hand.

——

The first thing An Xiaoning did when they returned home from the ski resort was to check the condoms in the drawer of their room. She counted the number of condoms in the box, which she had previously opened, only to realize that there were three missing ones. She then checked the production date on the packaging and found that it was exactly the same.

At this juncture, it struck her that Jin Qingyan had probably used buying condoms as an excuse to leave the hotel that night. He must have gone out to do something else.

But then again, there was not much that could possibly be done in such a short period of time.

Why did he have to hide it from me? she wondered.

However, she did not pry further since he did not wish to tell her about it.

“Boss, that fellow is calling you again!” her ringtone rang abruptly, startling her. She took a look at the caller display and realized that it was an unfamiliar number.

“Hello.”

“Ms. An, it’s Bai Ranran speaking. May I see you?”

“Sure,” An Xiaoning agreed, although she was not sure why Bai Ranran had asked to meet her.

Having arrived at the cafe they agreed to meet at, An Xiaoning walked towards the entrance. As soon as she stepped foot into the cafe, she was greeted with melodious music, which added a finishing touch to the tranquil ambiance of the cafe.

Bai Ranran had arrived before her. Upon sight of An Xiaoning, she quickly stood up to greet her.

“Hi, Ms. An,” she greeted, reaching out for a handshake.

“Hello,” An Xiaoning returned the gesture and took a seat after shaking her hand.

“I didn’t get a chance to speak to you privately during the evening of Lunar New Year’s Eve. I got your number from Beicheng. I’m very sorry to have asked to meet you out of the blue. I heard that you were great at fortune-telling, Ms. An. Thus, I’d like to request that you help read mine. Is that alright?” Bai Ranran asked shyly, her face blushing red from embarrassment.

“I know you’re not short of money at all, but I can’t let you help me for free. Ms. An, please tell my fortune just once,” Bai Ranran requested as she placed a cheque for one million dollars on the table.

Being the money-grubber she is, An Xiaoning accepted the cheque and cut straight to the chase, “What would you like to know about?”

“Every aspect concerning my life.”

“When is your date of birth? And where is the exact location you were born in?” An Xiaoning asked.

“I was born on 4/12/XX at 10:08 PM. The location was the courtyard of my home.”

“I got it,” said An Xiaoning, already having an answer in her head.

Bai Ranran looked at her nervously with clenched fists as she waited for the verdict.

“Ms. Bai, since I’ve already accepted your money, I don’t wish to hide the truth from you, but promise me you won’t get worked up after hearing what I have to say next. I won’t accept the money if you lose control of your emotions. Please prepare yourself mentally,” An Xiaoning said with a look of pity in her eyes.

“Go ahead and say it, I promise I won’t get worked up. I may be a little nervous, but I’ve already prepared myself for the worst before coming to see you,” Bai Ranran answered as her stomach twisted into a knot.