Early the next morning, Ye An called Lu Chuan and agreed to give it a try.
The two met for an audition at two in the afternoon.
Ye An did her part as a free reader for Xie Shuo in the morning. After eating lunch, she hurried to the studio.
With last time’s experience, they finished smoothly this time, and the audition didn’t take too long.
After auditioning and receiving the demo, Ye An hurried home again and then rushed to the hospital with Xie Shuo to visit Xie Baiyan.
Xie Baiyan’s health was no longer unstable, but he no longer insisted on discharging from the hospital. It was unclear if he did this to force Xie Shuo to go out more and be more active.
That night, the two went home only after eating dinner.
After returning home, Ye An didn’t rush to shower and sleep. Instead, she took Xie Shuo to the piano room to sing.
“You don’t have to do anything; just sit here and listen.” Ye An took out a chair for him and helped him sit down before giving him a cup of warm milk that she had previously prepared.
These days, she had almost entirely dissolved Xie Shuo’s terrible temper. He sat on the chair blankly and let her do as she pleased.
In the room, a piano covered by a black cloth sat next to the window. It had obviously been left untouched for a while.
“Do you know how to play the piano?” Ye An curiously asked, taking off the piano cover and glancing at his slender fingers.
Xie Shuo lowered his gaze and didn’t reply.
It wouldn’t be surprising for Eldest Young Master Xie, a jack of all trades, to be able to play the piano.
Ye An didn’t pressure him and pressed a few keys before turning to ask, “Can I play?”
Xie Shuo, who just heard the piano sounds: …You’ve already played it; what’s the point of asking?
Seeing that he didn’t respond, Ye An took it as his tacit approval. She put the sheet music that Lu Chuan gave her on the stand and prepared to play.
Under the soft moonlight that formed a shadow cage, her fair and slender fingers danced across the piano keys.
Since Xie Shuo couldn’t see, he could only imagine the sight before him.
Because she was unfamiliar with the score and hadn’t played the piano for a long time, Ye An played intermittently and occasionally paused to make corrections.
The second time went smoother, and she played the melody while humming.
A soft voice entered his ears; Xie Shuo listened quietly and took a sip of milk.
As the night darkened, the shadows of the moon wavered. After practicing the song a few times, Ye An finished up, putting the cover back on the piano and walking over to Xie Shuo.
Xie Shuo had already drunk most of his milk, but instead of appearing tired, he still seemed quite alert. Ye An thought that he would have dozed off without paying any attention.
Ye An took the mug from him and put it away. She helped him up and asked as they walked out, “What did you think of the song?”
As usual, there was no reply.
Ye An was already used to it, so she asked again, “Guess what my favorite instrument is?”
After waiting a few seconds and receiving no reply from Xie Shuo, Ye An replied to her own question, “Erhu.”
Xie Shuo: “…”
Eldest Young Master Xie’s indifferent expression finally cracked. Ye An glanced at him and smiled crookedly, “I’m not kidding; an old grandpa downstairs used to play the erhu at his doorway every day, so I learned from him. If you don’t believe me, then I’ll play for you later. You’ll definitely like it.”
Xie Shuo resumed his facial paralysis and showed no interest in her erhu skills in the slightest.
Ye An: …Can’t you at least give me a smile?
Ye An was a little discouraged. She guided him to the bedroom before taking his clothes out and preparing for his shower.
In the dead of the night, only the sounds of water could be heard.
Ye An showered after him as usual, and it was almost eleven when she came out of the bathroom with her hair dried.
Xie Shuo wasn’t sitting on the sofa this time. Instead, he lay in bed and leaned against the headboard. His long eyelashes drooped, covering his impenetrable thoughts.
Ye An did her skincare routine before getting in bed. She looked at him and deliberately probed him by saying, “Were you staying up waiting for me?”
Xie Shuo looked up, his expression saying–who gave you that confidence?
Ye An didn’t care about his cold attitude and shifted closer to him. Just as she was about to tease him again, her gaze suddenly wandered to the front of his body.
He wore a black robe with an open neckline that revealed his sharp collarbone and fair skin. Under the lighting, he appeared both enticing yet transcendent.
Ye An suddenly recalled the ambiguous red mark on Xie Yuran’s collarbone from yesterday.
Even the tooth marks stayed, so the scene must have been intense.
Ye An’s face became hot. She glanced at Xie Shuo and couldn’t help but wonder: how could this grown man not have any adult needs?
Ye An stared at his collarbones, and intrusive thoughts began to invade her mind.
I wonder how it would look if I also did that to him.
As soon as that thought appeared, Ye An’s face turned even more red.
Her heart pounded, and her face was red, but she inadvertently leaned closer to him.
The distance between them gradually decreased little by little, and she could smell his clean scent from the shower.
Xie Shuo, who was leaning against the headboard, was also able to smell her familiar scent getting nearer.
Their surroundings were silent. He couldn’t see and didn’t know what she was doing, but his gut told him something was off.
He didn’t bother to ask, so he leaned forward to lie down and go to sleep.
However, he suddenly hit a forehead in the process.
Ye An was still hesitating but was brought out of her daze when her teeth and lips knocked against his collarbone.
The hit made her “hiss” in pain, and she fell into his arms, hugging him subconsciously.
Xie Shuo felt something hit his chest and someone hug him afterward. His face darkened immediately. “What are you doing?”
Ye An lay on his chest, her heart beating frantically and her mind blank. She looked up and answered self-righteously, “Nothing. You were the one who sat up without saying anything; you almost broke my nose.”
She said this while rubbing her nose in an aggrieved manner.
Xie Shuo knew that she loved making outlandish accusations and kept a cold face. He didn’t bother to respond and raised his hand to pull her away.
In this posture and the pajamas they wore, he could clearly feel the softness near him.
He lowered his hand in the darkness and touched a delicate warmth. There was no fabric covering this area except for a thin strap.
He moved his hand upwards, his slender fingers groping her shoulders.
He unconsciously moved the shoulder strap, and Ye An was taken aback. She looked down and said, “This time, it should be my turn asking about what you’re doing, right?”
Xie Shuo’s actions paused.
In the next second, he pushed her away without mercy.
Ye An: “…”
Sure enough, he was a man without feelings.
Ye An smiled sullenly and moved her shoulder straps back. She looked down to see a red mark along his neckline, the result of her teeth knocking against his skin just then.
Ye An brightened up upon seeing the red mark since, in the end, her goal was achieved.
Yet, before she could even celebrate, Xie Shuo interrupted, frowning, “Wear more clothes to sleep in the future.”
What did he just say?
Did he look down on her for wearing revealing clothes?
Ye An’s eyes widened in disbelief and thought she heard wrong.
I’m sleeping at home; what’s wrong with wearing less? Is it illegal?
Besides, you can’t see it anyway; why are you telling me what to wear!
Ye An was really about to get angry, and she blurted furiously, “No, I’ll sleep naked next time!”
Xie Shuo: “…”
Xie Shuo’s face darkened again, and his expression became difficult to describe.
He turned over and laid down with a cold expression. A few moments later, he said one sentence. “Try it then.”
The three words were clear and concise, but the threat was clear. From his tone, Ye An would die if she were to sleep naked.
Ye An choked on her own reply and no longer dared to say anything. She mouthed the words at his back: “Try it then; who’s afraid of who? Come bite me if you can!”
The words came out of her mouth, but her body shifted farther away and withdrew to the other side of the bed. She hugged the comforter tighter and turned off the light.
Outside the window, the moonlight rippled like water, and shadows of flowers swayed gently in the emptiness.
Sometimes I wish the author would give us a bit of insight into XS’s thoughts – it’s a bit difficult to discern what he’s thinking when he’s described as a literal iceblock.
Thanks for the chapter and stay safe!