“Did they get back together? Or did Jin Qingyan force himself on her earlier?” Long Tianze asked in bewilderment.
“You’re so oblivious and insensitive. You could tell they did just from their expression,” Mei Yangyang chastised as she quickly walked outside.
“Aren’t you going to the office?” An Xiaoning asked Jin Qingyan.
“No, I’d like to spend the day with you.”
An Xiaoning expressed assent.
The two of them headed to Jin Qingyan’s rooftop where they laid on the couch to do some reading while basking in the warm and bright sun.
Jin Qingyan’s phone kept ringing continuously.
However, no one bothered to answer.
More willful than ever, they continued to enjoy their alone time together.
Soon after, Mrs. Jin showed up with her chauffeur to look for them.
Upon the sight of An Xiaoning, Mrs. Jin asked, “You two got back together?”
“May I have a word with you privately?”
“Sure,” An Xiaoning agreed.
The conversation then took place in the living room of An Xiaoning’s home while Jin Qingyan waited patiently in the backyard. He was filled with worry that his mother might end up saying some callous things that would make An Xiaoning leave him again.
An Xiaoning poured Mrs. Jin some tea before saying, “What would you like to say? Go ahead.”
“I’ve already heard that you can’t conceive anymore.”
Taken aback, An Xiaoning quickly corrected, “It’s not that I can’t get pregnant anymore, it’s just going to be more difficult with the poor state of health I’m in.”
“You don’t have to explain. To sum things up, you just won’t be able to give birth to a child. Qingyan is our only son, are you really going to continue being with him?” Mrs. Jin rebuked.
“I’ve been refusing to get back together with him because of this very reason. I know that this would become a major obstacle for us, but I guess I don’t have a choice. If I choose to give him up, I’ll only be allowing another woman to take my place and be with the man I love. Besides, no one would thank me for being selfless. In fact, I would be deemed as a fool for doing so, don’t you agree?”
Appearing rather upset after hearing her words, Mrs. Jin said sternly, “Xiaoning, I know we’ve let you down and we’re willing to compensate you in whichever way you’d like. But getting back together with Qingyan is out of the question.”
“Mrs. Jin, do you really think I’m short of money, or a house or a car? I don’t need the kind of monetary compensation you’re referring to. I would suggest that you speak to Qingyan about this. I won’t say another word if he chooses to give up. You don’t have to talk to me about the rest. If you continue to harrass me like this, I’ll marry Qingyan right away. We were once mother and daughter-in-law for a few months, after all. You should know very well that I mean what I say,” An Xiaoning retorted.
Mrs. Jin was at a loss for words. “Have you seen the news this morning?”
“Yes, I have. You’re going to tell me that Qingyan has slept with Lin Mingxi after you’ve set them up successfully, aren’t you? Perhaps you lack some common sense but, Mrs. Jin, intercourse cannot happen when one has lost his consciousness from being drugged. Moreover, what you’ve done is just going to make Qingyan refrain from going home for dinner in the future. In a nutshell, you’ve just suffered a double loss, Mrs. Jin. You’d better stop coming up with such tricks, lest you lose your son as well, on top of not getting to have a grandchild,” An Xiaoning said relentlessly.
Speechless, Mrs. Jin stood up to leave.
Seeing his mother, Jin Qingyan hurriedly asked, “Mother, what did you talk to Xiaoning about?”
Mrs. Jin glared at him and walked away without uttering a single word.
Jin Qingyan returned inside to see that An Xiaoning was sitting on the couch, deep in her thoughts.
“Yes?” She stood up and walked towards him to give him a hug.
“Did my mother say anything inappropriate?”
“She knows I can’t conceive easily and she wanted me to leave you,” An Xiaoning said calmly.
“Did you…” He took a deep breath and continued, “Did you agree?”
“Silly, would I hug you if I agreed? Let’s just let nature take its course,” An Xiaoning answered.
“Let’s go get married now.”
“I already said no. I haven’t made up my mind completely yet. It shall depend on your performance.”
“Xiaoning, am I not doing well enough?” Jin Qingyan asked in bewilderment, thinking that he had already done his best.
“You are, for now. But we don’t know how you’ll do in the future. Don’t think you can be lawless and sleep over here just because we’ve gotten back together. You are to return to your house as usual.”
Staring at the news on his phone screen, Gu Beicheng felt his heart sink, for he had never expected them to get back together.
It was not good news for him.
Gu Beicheng could not help but feel upset and uneasy. To make matters worse, she did not pick up his multiple calls.
Resisting the urge to go look for her, Gu Beicheng went home straight after work.
Mrs. Gu sat down beside him and said, “Son… just forget about Xiaoning. I don’t think she fancies you at all. Don’t be so stubborn and just continue being her brother, alright?”
“I know.” Gu Beicheng turned to look at his mother and said, “Mother, in which aspect am I worse than Jin Qingyan?”
“To me, you’re better than him in every aspect. Well, that’s because you’re my son. But your relationship with Xiaoning is different. One of the main reasons why things turned out this way is because you appeared later than him.”
Gu Beicheng did not answer and returned to his room instead.
He walked inside the room opposite his, which An Xiaoning stayed in for a few days previously.
Sitting by the bed, he turned to look at the bedhead where he spotted an envelope.
Gu Beicheng took the envelope and realized that it contained the letter he had written to her. It seemed she did not open it at all.
As he sprawled across the bed, a smile formed on his face and he began to recall the very first time he had laid his eyes upon her.
All of a sudden, his phone began to ring. He picked it up to see that it was a call from An Xiaoning.
“You called me so many times. What’s the matter?”
Gu Beicheng no longer felt like telling her the things he wanted to initially. Instead, he answered, “I read on the news that you’ve gotten back together with Jin Qingyan.”
She had confirmed the truth with just a single word.
“Um… well, congratulations then,” said Gu Beicheng, not managing to come up with anything else to say.
“Thank you. Beicheng, I’m sorry,” said An Xiaoning, who hesitated for a long while before deciding to call him back.
She had long wanted to apologize to him.
However, she had yet to do so.
“Why? There’s no need to apologize to your brother. I just hope he’ll treat you well in the future. You’ll always be a part of our family,” said Gu Beicheng, filled with misery.
“I still feel a little guilty towards you somehow. I’ll go home for dinner in a few days’ time. We’ll talk then.”
Gu Beicheng let out a sigh after hanging up the phone. Little did he expect to lose the battle even before he had the chance to shine. He won the previous time with Chi Rui’er, yet he had completely been defeated by Jin Qingyan this time.
He could not help but wish that An Xiaoning could swap places with Chi Rui’er instead, so that he could at least win her heart.
Heaven is fair, indeed.
He had initially thought that she would no longer get back together with Jin Qingyan once they got divorced, regardless of how much Jin Qingyan pestered her. To be frank, he simply could not bring himself to be as clingy as Jin Qingyan was. Besides, she was an extremely important person to the Gu family after all.
He stood up and tore up the unopened letter he had written to An Xiaoning into shreds before disposing of it in the rubbish bin.
Gu Beicheng quickly strode out of the room and headed downstairs to drive away from the Gu family mansion.
He put on a pair of shades to shield his eyes from the glaring sun and continued to drive at top speed, seemingly venting his frustration and sorrow.