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Jin Qingyan had tightened security around An Xiaoning, despite knowing that she was already well equipped with self-defense skills. He would order for a car full of bodyguards to escort her around wherever she went.

As much as An Xiaoning felt like he was being over the top, he insisted on doing so.

An Xiaoning would allow the bodyguards to wait for her in the police station whenever she was dealing with cases.

However, An Xiaoning began to think that it was not too bad of an idea to have such tight security around her, since it might very well be the reason why Xi Bolai had been staying away from her.

Three months went by in peace.

Within those three months, Jin Qingyan would spend all of his time after work together with An Xiaoning, thus compelling Mei Yangyang to move back to her own home after the filming process of the movie had ended.

Even until mid-October, Jin Qingyan had never once slept in An Xiaoning’s bed.

He often racked his brains to come up with ways to do so, but to no avail.

At last, he concluded that the reason he always failed to execute his plan was simply because he had been too compliant and giving in too much to her.

Considering the fact that she had been nourishing her health with daily doses of herbal soups for the past few months, Jin Qingyan decided to take action within the next few days before her period arrives, lest he’d have to wait another week.

After giving it some thought, Jin Qingyan decided that tonight would be the perfect opportunity.

In order to make it seem like she was the one who initiated it instead, Jin Qingyan went the extra mile and instructed Fan Shixin to bring him some philter.

He then stealthily added a small dose of it to her porridge while making dinner.

The effects began to show in no time.

An Xiaoning continuously complained about feeling warm while sitting at the dining table.

Pretending not to know what was happening, Jin Qingyan continued to enjoy his meal slowly.

He then proceeded to do the dishes after dinner.

All of a sudden, An Xiaoning entered and hugged him from behind, flushed red as a tomato. “Qingyan, I’m feeling a little unwell.”

He wiped his hands dry after washing the dishes. “Are you running a fever?” he asked, placing one hand on her forehead.

“I don’t know.”

An Xiaoning stuck her hand beneath his wool sweater to caress his abs, which were cold to the touch.

She felt a bit of a relief.

“Qingyan…”

Although he was overwhelmed with euphoria, he continued to feign ignorance and said calmly, “What’s the matter?”

“I kinda feel like… doing it.”

“Doing what?”

“You know what.” She loosened her grip and stood in front of him. “Haven’t you been wanting to do it?”

Pretending to be all prim and proper, he answered, “No, I haven’t had the audacity to think about it, knowing that you’ve been nursing your health lately.”

Grabbing her by the hand and pulling her out of the kitchen, he said, “It’s getting late, I’d better get going. Hurry, take a shower and go to bed.”

An Xiaoning pounced on him and wrapped her legs around his waist to support herself. “Let’s sleep together tonight,” she suggested.

“An Xiaoning, you can’t behave like this. You’ve yet to fully recover,” Jin Qingyan refuted in a bid to let her have a taste of her own medicine, thinking of how she often rejected his advances.

“I’m alright, it’s already been months.”

“You really want it?”

“Hey lad, drop the act,” said An Xiaoning, who had long seen through his facade.

“Okay, let’s go right away. I missed you so much!” he exclaimed, chuckling.

Although he was beyond excited and eager, he did not forget to lock the bedroom door.

“Shouldn’t we shower first?”

“Let’s shower together.”

Raising her chin, An Xiaoning teased, “You are to help me scrub my back, got it?”

“It’s my pleasure to serve you, my lady.”

“Good, here’s your reward,” said An Xiaoning before giving him a kiss and gazing at him with ripples in her heart.

Being the bright and alert person she was, An Xiaoning was well aware that he had spiked her food.

“Jin Qingyan.”

“Yes?”

“I think it’s a piece of cake for you to kill me,” An Xiaoning said with a smile.

“Why do you say so?”

“Because I wouldn’t be able to tell that you’ve spiked my food with a drug that has no taste or smell. In fact, I’ll even compliment you for your superb culinary skills.”

“…”

Jin Qingyan dropped his pretense as soon as he realized that she had already found out. “I know, you’re intelligent,” he said while kissing her neck gently.

——

Mo Li was already more than four months pregnant by now, yet Ye Xiaotian had still not mentioned anything about marrying her.

However, she did not reveal her thoughts to him, since the fetus had yet to reach the five-month mark they had agreed upon initially.

After remaining silent for a long time, Ye Xiaotian decided to tell her himself.

After dinner, he leaned against the couch and gazed at Mo Li. Staring at her baby bump, which was already showing, Ye Xiaotian said, “I didn’t manage to convince my mother to allow me to marry you. However, I’d like to keep this child. I’m sorry, but you have to sacrifice a little and keep waiting on. Mo Li, my mother is in a poor state of health, I’ll feel guilty for the rest of my life if she really kills herself because of this.”

Mo Li kept her eyes fixed on the television and did not answer him immediately. Little did he know that his words meant that Mo Li had to wait ’til the day his mother dies before she could be given a proper status.

What was this?

The child would become illegitimate as soon as he was born.

“Got it,” she answered coldly before preparing to go upstairs.

Ye Xiaotian hurriedly stopped her, “Sit down.”

“I’d like to go to bed.”

“Mo Li, my mother will give in once she sees the baby when he’s born.”

Mo Li let out a wry smile as tears welled up in her eyes while she made her way upstairs slowly.

She then locked herself inside the bathroom.

Standing by the basin, Mo Li stared at her reflection in the mirror and placed her hand on her baby bump. The child had already begun kicking her in the womb.

She could feel that he was an active baby.

Over time, she had begun looking forward to the birth of the child. Yet, everything would be coming to an end soon.

Did he think she would not mean what she said?

She had planned to do exactly what she said she would.

She did not wish for tongues to wag and brand her and her family for being shameless and insisting on giving birth to the child. She did not want to hear anyone say that Ye Xiaotian would not give her a proper status even after she had already given birth.

He was put in a spot, but so was she.

Why did he get her pregnant if he was not confident that he could marry her?

Mo Li turned on the tap and rinsed her face before exiting.

Ye Xiaotian had already gone upstairs. “I didn’t tell you those for you to let your imagination run wild,” Ye Xiaotian said worriedly.

“I’m not overthinking or letting my imagination run wild.”

“Are you thinking of aborting the child?” he questioned, staring at her in the eye.

“Will you let me go if I abort the child?”

“No.”

“I just needed to know your answer,” Mo Li answered coldly as she removed her slippers and laid down on the bed.

Ye Xiaotian began to sense that something was amiss and unusual about her.

He laid down beside her and said, “Mo Li… I promise you’ll be the only woman I have in the future. I’ll only bear children with you, alright?”

Cupping her face with her hands, Mo Li retorted, “Why must you force me to have children?”

“Because then you’d be willing to settle down.”

“Do you love me?”

Ye Xiaotian was at a loss for words upon hearing her question. He had never pondered about whether he loved her or not. He had always just wanted to keep her by his side and be together with her. In conclusion, he had merely gotten used to having her around. Love… was something that had never crossed his mind before.