The man’s breath fell on her face, cold as the winter snow.
Ye An was completely stunned and only somewhat recovered her senses when lips kissed her eyelids.
His lips were cold, causing even his kisses to be chilly. One fell on her eyes, and another fell on her brows.
Ye An: …Can you kiss me yet!
As if he could read her thoughts, his fingers moved from her chin to part her red lips.
A cold kiss swept across the tip of her nose before landing precisely on her lips.
Xie Shuo didn’t give her any time to adjust before pressing his lips against hers.
Ye An was so stunned by the kiss that she kept her eyes open to see his long eyelashes and sharp features. The physical feeling of his lips against hers was an unfamiliar one, and she went to take some air.
With a fuzzy mind, she subconsciously lifted her chin, and her eyelashes fluttered.
The summer weather was sunny, and even though the curtains were closed, a sliver of light flickered through the gaps.
Suddenly, there was a pain in her neck. The man’s lips had moved unknowingly to the side of her neck, and her slender hand had let go of her jaw and moved elsewhere.
The material of the long skirt was light, soft, and the layers were crumpled without mercy.
Ye An was stunned by the prick of pain and felt that something was off. She subconsciously pulled away.
His actions didn’t seem like they were an effort to scare her–and even less of an effort to joke around.
But she didn’t tease him too much today, did she? Wasn’t she just telling him a joke? He was usually indifferent to these things anyway, so why was his reaction so extreme today?
Ye An was pinned to the sofa with thoughts racing through her mind. She didn’t know whether to resist or submit.
Through her confusion, she felt a slender yet strong hand reaching down her torso that seemed to be searching for the zipper to her dress, but it seemed to be unable to do so.
Ye An was somewhat uneasy by the suddenness of the situation and grabbed his arm, her fingertips turning white due to force.
She made an attempt to push him away to talk to him about taking it slow, so she could give herself time to mentally prepare. However, her slender wrist was captured and clasped to the edge of the sofa in the next moment.
She wanted to raise her legs, but they were pinned down tightly, preventing her from moving.
Before she could finish saying “Calm down,” she suddenly heard the sound of ripping cloth.
Ye An’s shoulders went cold, and her eyes suddenly widened.
This was my new dress! I’ve only worn it once!
Ye An looked up to face the man’s cold and indifferent face. His high nose and thin lips held no trace of emotion, and his deep eyes exuded strong hostility.
…He was simply venting his emotions.
Ye An’s heart froze. The sliver of emotion that came from his kiss dissipated instantly and was replaced by a chilling sense of humiliation.
She came back to her senses, and raised both her hands to push against him, and began kicking her legs.
“What are you doing? Let go of me! This is marital sexual assault…”
Her slender hands scratched and hit him recklessly, but they didn’t do much. Compared to him, her strength was pitiful.
She shouted as forcefully as she could, and the man’s actions finally paused.
Taking advantage of his hesitance, she reached out to grab a pillow that had fallen to the ground and hit it on his head.
Xie Shuo loosened his hold, and Ye An pushed him away in one movement and fell to the ground in embarrassment.
Dismissing the pain, she quickly got up and stumbled away, knocking into the desk on the side.
When she hit the desk, the white porcelain teacup that sat at the corner of the table fell to the ground with a crisp sound.
The broken pieces of porcelain shattered on her bare feet, and the tea soaked her soles.
“Are you crazy?”
Ye An held onto the table tightly. Her hair was scattered, her breathing was unstable, and her chest undulated violently.
The strap of her dress had been torn and hung miserably on her body. She had no other option than to hold the strap up herself.
Xie Shuo seemed to have sobered up when he heard the sound of the teacup shattering. He sat down on the sofa. He propped his forehead up with his hands and no longer made any large movements.
In contrast to Ye An’s disheveled appearance, Xie Shuo’s clothes were still neat–only a button on the collar of his shirt having been loosened from the situation. He looked cold as if the madman from just seconds earlier was not him.
Ye An looked at him as she suddenly recalled the things he knew and the things he didn’t remember… her eyes slowly turned red.
Her nose began to run, and the corners of her eyes were damp from tears that she forcibly held back.
“I understand that you’re not feeling well, but why do you have to lash out at me? It wasn’t me that harmed you to this state! After I married you, at any point did I deserve for you to treat me like this? What do you take me for?”
Her voice choked at the end of her words.
Xie Shuo looked down and remained silent.
Ye An couldn’t say much more and didn’t want to see him anymore, so she wiped her tears and walked around the shattered porcelain on the ground to leave the room.
As soon as she stepped out of the study, she saw Aunt Zhou standing not far away.
She had obviously heard the commotion coming from inside and had a worried expression on her face.
Ye An paused and felt only embarrassment facing her. She avoided her gaze and quickly entered the bedroom.
The lights in the closet turned on automatically. She closed her eyes for a moment and calmed down before choosing a comfortable and homey dress to wear. After changing, she wasn’t in the mood to do anything else, so she sat at the edge of the bed in a daze.
Outside the French windows, the day was bright and the vegetation lush. Even the faint sounds of the cicadas could be heard, contrasting the stillness of the room.
After a while, Ye An went to the bathroom to wash her face and brush her hair.
The clear mirror reflected a sorry figure with swollen red lips. It looked as if she had been taken advantage of in a vague and indescribable setting.
Ye An put one hand against the sink surface and observed herself in the mirror. She stretched out her index finger to touch her lips, which were still in pain.
She frowned and moved closer. After tilting her neck and pulling the collar away, she found hickeys on her neck and collarbone. There was a dull ache in her chest.
If I had seen this earlier, I should have hit him harder and kicked him again!
After cleaning herself up, Ye An became angrier and angrier. She intended to play some games to vent her emotions, but even after looking around upstairs for a while, she couldn’t find her phone.
She stopped by the bed and suddenly remembered that the phone was in her bag, and she left the bag in the living room downstairs after returning home.
Her mind really was muddled by anger!
Ye An put on a new pair of slippers and went downstairs to get her bag from the living room.
Aunt Zhou seemed to be waiting for her. Seeing Ye An come down, Aunt Zhou picked up her bag and quickly stepped forward to ask, “Where is Madam going?”
Ye An looked up to catch a glimpse of the nervous look on Aunt Zhou’s face and could immediately tell what she was thinking. Aunt Zhou was afraid of her going back to her maiden family to complain.
Ye An couldn’t help but smile and felt that Aunt Zhou was worrying too much.
Although she was technically the Eldest Miss of the Ye Family, she had not been raised by them, nor was she close to them. In other words, she had no maiden family to rely on and nowhere to go, even if she did quarrel with Xie Shuo. No matter how wronged she felt, she could only suffer by herself.
Perhaps this was a reason why Xie Baiyan chose her as his daughter-in-law.
“Is anything the matter?” Ye An asked softly.
Seeing her speaking more, Aunt Zhou smiled and hurriedly replied, “I just made some papaya, snow fungus, and lotus seed soup. My niece picked the lotus seeds herself from our hometown. Would Madam like to try some?”
At Grandfather Xie’s event, there were too many people there, and Ye An had to maintain her elegant image. Ye An didn’t eat very much, so she was very hungry and put down her bag, saying, “Okay.”
Aunt Zhou breathed a sigh of relief when she heard her response and hurried to the kitchen to bring out a bowl of lotus seed soup and put it on the dining table.
The sweet fragrance from the lotus seeds in the white porcelain bowl looked incredibly appetizing.
Ye An sat down at the dining table. Pinching the spoon with her fair fingers, she began to slowly eat.
Aunt Zhou watched by the side, and after hesitating for a long time, she suddenly said, “Madam, I have served the Xie Family for over ten years. I have watched the Eldest Young Master grow up…”
Hearing this, Ye An looked up.
Aunt Zhou looked at her and said, “In fact, he wasn’t like this before, but so many things have happened in the past two years. He lost his vision…”
Ye An stared blankly at her as if recalling something. After a while, she lowered her gaze and stared at the lotus seeds in the bowl.
She whispered, “I know.”
If she didn’t understand, why would she have made the lonely decision to commit for the rest of her life?
“Whatever happens, please don’t take it to heart, Madam.”
Aunt Zhou said this much and stopped, afraid that Ye An didn’t want to listen. She asked softly, “How does the lotus seed soup taste? Is it too hot?”
Ye An shook her head and smiled. “No, it’s delicious.”
It was warm, fragrant, and sweet but not overbearingly so. Her mood was better, and she was less angry than before.
Soon, the bowl was empty. Ye An put down the spoon, and Aunt Zhou smiled, asking, “Would you like some more?”
Ye An’s appetite was aroused, so she nodded eagerly.
Aunt Zhou brought her another bowl, and she inadvertently glanced at the entrance of the dining room.
Aunt Zhou guessed her thoughts and scowled, saying, “Don’t listen to him. He’s a grown man; what lotus soup would he drink? This soup is made for you and you alone; eat however much you want.”
Even though Ye An knew that she said this to comfort her, Ye An still smiled.
Seeing her smiling face, Aunt Zhou was relieved. She sat down and said, “If there’s anything that Madam wants to eat, tell me. I’ll make it for you.”
Ye An thought about it. “Aunt Zhou, do you know how to make cakes?”
Aunt Zhou: “Is Madam’s birthday coming up?”
Ye An shook her head. “No, I just suddenly wanted to eat cake.”
Aunt Zhou replied, “I don’t know how to bake very well, but my daughter does. I’ll learn from her soon.”
“Aunt Zhou has a daughter?”
“I have one. She is older than Madam and married. Her child is already two years old.”
After eating two bowls of lotus soup and chatting with Aunt Zhou, Ye An was much more relaxed, and the anger in her chest had almost completely disappeared.
When the sun went down at around six o’clock, she went back upstairs and opened the door to the study.
Xie Shuo still sat in the same position and virtually the same posture. Outside the windows, the setting sun filled the sky. He sat alone quietly, his figure showing a trace of loneliness.
Ye An stood at the door for a few seconds before walking slowly over and stopping in front of him.
There was finally some movement in this still scene. He raised his eyes and turned towards her.
Ye An sat down and said slowly, “I know you don’t like me, and you have never thought of me as your wife. But no matter how you phrase it, we have both agreed to this marriage. Even if you are unwilling or unable to put up with it, at least treat me with basic respect.”
She paused and saw his eyelashes move, and there seemed to be a trace of emotion on his face.
“We’ve been married for so long, yet I don’t think I’ve done you wrong at any point. I have done everything that I should have done. You don’t like me; I haven’t demanded anything more or blamed you. You explained this to me well before we married, so you have no wrong in this. It was me…”
She didn’t finish speaking and turned her face away to look out the window as if she were adjusting her emotions.
“To speak frankly, you married me to have someone take care of you. Let’s make a deal. If your eyes are healed one day, and you can see, let’s get divorced and have nothing to do with each other.”
In the distance, the rose-tinted clouds spread across the horizon. The setting sun reflected on the glass windows, creating a splendid backdrop.
Xie Shuo put his hand on his leg, and his fingers curled up. His eyes faced her, but the expression on his face was unreadable.
After a while, he finally spoke. His voice was faint and not as low as in the past.
He asked, “What if I can’t get better?”
Ye An looked back at him. An absent-minded look appeared in her crystal clear eyes as if she had returned to a memory from long ago.
The evening breeze passed through the curtains, and she whispered,
“Then we will continue our marriage.”
Author’s Note: The wife pursuit plan has been arranged(*￣︶￣)