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He turned pale as sheet; he raged with anger.

“Who was that man?!” he barked, glaring daggers at her.

“Didn’t you manage to catch a glimpse of his face?”

“Would I have to ask you if I did? We just got married today and your lover is already looking for you?” hollered Jin Qingyan with much hostility.

“Don’t spout nonsense, he’s not my lover.”

“Then who is he? Why did he kiss you? Spill it!” he eagerly urged her for a reply.

With a grunt, An Xiaoning turned around and walked towards the courtyard. There was no way she was going to tell him it was Gu Beicheng. That would make him hit the roof.

Jin Qingyan made his way up the stairs after driving in.

An Xiaoning had gotten ready to shower. However, the enraged Jin Qingyan refused to let her go before he had gotten an answer from her.

“Tell me.”

“There’s nothing to tell you about,” said An Xiaoning fearlessly. “You don’t have the right to ask me about it because you just spent the night with another woman,” she continued.

“I’m asking for the last time. Who is that man? How are you related to him?” said Jin Qingyan coldly.

“There’s nothing between us.”

“You think I’d believe you?” he questioned, pinning her onto the bed.

Not wanting to argue with him any further, An Xiaoning sat up on her own and cooed in a cutesy manner while looking up at him, “I already told you the truth. But what am I supposed to do if you don’t believe me?”

“No playing cute! Then why did he kiss you? I saw it all from afar,” he asked sternly.

“No, you didn’t. He was just leaning in to speak to me.” Seeing that he still refused to believe her, she got on her knees and gazed up at him. With pouty lips, she said, “If you still don’t believe me, you can try smelling if there’s another man’s scent on me.”

“Who is he then?”

“I’m going to shower,” she said, putting one leg out onto the floor. Before she knew it, he grabbed her other leg tightly and dragged her back onto the bed.

“Did I say you could go?” he asked, gritting his teeth in anger.

“Jin Qingyan, you’d better know your limits and not go overboard. You’re the one who doesn’t know your place, running off to take care of Chi Rui’er in the middle of the night. Yet you’re still playing the victim? How atrocious!” retorted An Xiaoning, her smile beginning to fade.

“I’m going overboard? Do you think you can lie to me easily? How dare you make me a cuckold right at our doorstep? Just you wait and see how I”ll punish you!” roared Jin Qingyan.

“You’ve completely wronged me!” cried An Xiaoning as he picked her up and carried her into the bathroom, as if she were an object.

“Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth a hundred times.”

Oh gosh!

Was he out of his twisted mind?

“I’m not going to.”

“You’re not? Then I shall do it for you,” he said, squeezing some toothpaste onto her toothbrush.

He seemed so angry, he might just brush her teeth until her gums bled. Worried, she said, “No, I’ll do it myself.”

She brushed her teeth over and over again, until he was satisfied.

“I think my gums are swollen.”

“Swollen just from brushing a few times? You’re too fragile,” he jabbed as he began to unbutton his shirt.

“Was that just a few? That was more than just a few! My gums are getting ruptured,” snapped An Xiaoning.

“You wouldn’t tell me his name, regardless of how many times I’ve asked. Seems like he means a lot to you.”

“He means nothing to me,” said An Xiaoning as she lay down.

“There’s a security camera at the doorstep. I’ll just check the footage tomorrow morning.”

“It’s your call,” said An Xiaoning nonchalantly.

She was sure that he was just trying to scare her. Out of the multiple times she had passed by the front door, she had not noticed any security camera, or anything of the sort.

Having calmed down, Jin Qingyan turned towards An Xiaoning, who had her eyes closed, and said, “If I ever find out that you cheated on me, you shall face dire consequences.”

“You won’t have it any better either, if I find out that you cheated on me too!”

Pressing his lips together, Jin Qingyan continued, “It’s just a matter of time before I find out who that man is.”

A momentary silence filled the air.

Just as she was about to fall asleep, An Xiaoning suddenly felt a hand sliding down her side beneath the sheets. Smacking his hand as hard as she could, she hissed, “Get that hand away from me. I’m not in a great mood this evening, will you just let me sleep in peace?”

He had no choice but to do as instructed. An Xiaoning then went back to sleep, her back facing him.

——

According to customs, she should only be allowed to return to her parents’ home three days after the wedding. However, An Xiaoning went to the home of the Gu Family early in the morning the day after because she had to settle the procedure of changing her household registry and being added as to the Gu Family genealogy.

The old Mr. Gu began to take charge once all the members of the Gu Family had gathered at the ancestral hall.

An Xiaoning followed the instructions given and went ahead with the worship and bowing ceremony. By the end of the ritual, An Xiaoning had successfully been added to the Gu Family genealogy.

An Xiaoning did not even have to settle the changing of household registry herself. The procedure was quickly completed, in less than an hour.

Following the customary ceremonies, she then served some tea to her newly-acknowledged Godparents and God-grandfather.

As noon approached, everyone gathered to have a reunion lunch.

The old Mr. Gu was grinning from ear to ear, excitement written all over his face, as he spoke calmly.

They were enjoying their meal when the helpers outside announced the arrival of Jin Qingyan.

“You’re here, my grandson-in-law. Come in quickly, please,” welcomed the old Mr. Gu, who was still smiling, as he enthusiastically instructed for the helpers to bring him in.

Clad in a black suit and black coat, Jin Qingyan took his time to enter while handing the helper the gifts he had brought along. He then sat on a chair brought over by the helper, facing An Xiaoning.

“Have I interrupted anything by visiting at this hour?” he asked.

“Of course not, the timing is perfect. I was just asking Xiaoning why you were absent this morning. She said that you had something urgent to attend to at the office. We’ve just started eating. Do make yourself comfortable, at home,” assured the old Mr. Gu, gesturing with his hands.

“Thank you, Grandpa.” Upon hearing the way he addressed the old Mr. Gu, An Xiaoning shot him a glance before quietly continuing to savour her meal.

All of a sudden, An Xiaoning felt a leg from opposite, tightly hooking onto hers. Having gotten a shock, she almost dropped her chopsticks.

Looking up to see who it was, she noticed that he was chatting merrily with the members of the Gu Family, all prim and proper. She felt a sudden urge to call him a hypocrite.

To the relief of An Xiaoning, the meal finally ended. She had felt as if she were stepping on eggshells the entire time.

“You did that on purpose, didn’t you?”

“Not on purpose, but intentionally,” jested Jin Qingyan.

“What was that for?”

“It was rather fun, especially when you had to suppress your anger and remain silent. How interesting,” sneered Jin Qingyan. Gazing at his alluring, slanted eyes, sharp and straight nose bridge, and rosy lips, it was truly a tough feat for An Xiaoning, staying mad at such a perfect face.

“Why did you come here, all of a sudden?” asked An Xiaoning.

“This will be your maternal home from now on. As your husband, it would be rude not to come down to pay a visit,” said Jin Qingyan as he reached out to hold her hand. Years after, An Xiaoning would still clearly remember that simple gesture of his. She would still remember the way he reached his hand out to her gracefully, full of vigour and excitement, on that perfect afternoon.

——

Author’s note: = ̄ω̄= Please ‘save,’ ‘recommend,’ ‘like,’ ‘comment,’ and give me a 5-star rating! Thank you to those who show me your love and support through actions. Love you guys! The story’s only going to get more exciting!