“Ding Dong–”

 The two of them paused when the evil doorbell sounded.

Their lips pressed together with their breaths intermingling, but the carefully crafted atmosphere disappeared. 

Ye An opened her eyes and leaned back, but the redness on her face didn’t fade.

She let go of the hem of his shirt and whispered, “It’s probably Aunt Zhou; let me go check.”

Xie Shuo loosened his hold.

Ye An got off of him and tidied up her clothes before walking to the door and opening it.

Aunt Zhou was outside the door as expected. She saw the blush on Ye An’s face and paused, saying, “Madam, your father is here.”

Ye An froze.

Ye Yuan Nian?

Why was he here? Did he lose all his money and come to beg for help? Or did he come for dinner?

“Let him wait in the living room; we’ll be there in a moment.”

Even though she didn’t want to see him, she had to give him that courtesy. After Ye An spoke with Aunt Zhou, she turned around to talk to Xie Shuo.

“My dad is here. Do you want to go down and meet him?”

Xie Shuo looked up.

Ye An said, “If you don’t want to go downstairs, I can just tell him that you aren’t feeling well and are resting.”

In the end, Ye Yuan Nian was still his father-in-law, so there was no reason not to meet him. Besides, they had been married for so long and hadn’t even visited her family. Xie Shuo gathered that she misunderstood and remembered when he avoided seeing her when she first came to talk to him about their marriage. He got up and said, “I’ll go.”

Ye An reached out to support him, and they walked out slowly.

The two walked downstairs and into the quiet living room. The only sounds came from Aunt Zhou placed the cups of tea on the coffee table. 

The moment she saw another familiar figure next to Ye Yuan Nian, Ye An froze in shock.

Why was her mom here?

Who told her mother the news? Why hasn’t anyone told her about it?

Ye An’s mind raced, and it felt as if she was imagining things.

Hearing the footsteps, Xia Jin turned her head. Her gaze fell on Ye An’s figure before landing on the young man she was holding.

His face was cold, and his gaze was dull. He needed other people’s guidance to walk, so he was indeed blind.

Xia Jin’s chest burned with anger, and her face was ashen. She turned away.

Xie Shuo couldn’t see, so he naturally didn’t know what was happening. He only wondered why Ye An had suddenly stopped, and her grip on his arm suddenly grew stronger. She seemed nervous.

“What’s going on?” he whispered.

Ye An released his arm and looked at him, not knowing what to say. Her heart pounded.

Although she knew that this day would come sooner or later, she was caught off guard by how suddenly it came.

The wind blew heavily outside, hinting at the heavy rain falling soon.

“An An, you guys are finally here,” Ye Yuan Nian spoke embarrassedly to absolve the rigid tension.

Whether she was proactive or reactive, this situation was inevitable.

Seeing Xia Jin’s upset expression, Ye An calmed down and tugged gently at Xie Shuo’s sleeve, whispering, “My mother is here too.” Afraid of him misunderstanding, she added, “Biological mom.”

Xie Shuo was stunned for a moment and then realized that she was talking about Ye Yuan Nian’s ex-wife.

When the two families were talking about marriage, the Ye family, including Ye An herself, had hardly mentioned this person. They didn’t even send a wedding invitation to her, so Xie Shuo only knew of her existence and nothing else. Even he and Xie Baiyan thought that she had already remarried and didn’t interact with the rest of the Ye family.

Ye An guided Xie Shuo to the sofa and said nervously, “Mom, why are you here?”

Xia Jin’s expression became uglier and uglier. If there weren’t others around, she might have even started yelling.

She sneered. “So you still remember that you have a mother?”

Ye An began to feel guilty again, and her fingers curled, almost tearing her clothes.

Although Xie Shuo couldn’t see her, he could sense her anxiety and felt that something was wrong. She seemed… to have deliberately hidden her marriage from Xia Jin.

Ye Yuan Nian was willing to marry his daughter off for wealth and fortune, but she might have not.

“When did you arrive? Have you eaten yet?” Ye An smiled stiffly, trying to divert their attention and ease the tension.

Unfortunately, Xia Jin was already angry and didn’t let her go. She said coldly, “You married someone without telling me, and you’re asking what I want to eat tonight? You might as well wish for my death!”

As soon as she spoke those words, the atmosphere became even tenser. Ye An stopped her, saying, “Mom!”

Xia Jin: “Don’t call me that!”

Her voice was sharp, and her chest heaved violently with anger.

Ye An was very familiar with her temper and knew that this matter couldn’t be easily solved. Xie Shuo was present, and it wasn’t certain that he wouldn’t hear more harsh words.

Ye An turned and whispered to Xie Shuo, “Can you go upstairs for now? I’ll explain later.”

Xie Shuo paused for a moment before politely excusing himself and going upstairs. At this point, his presence would only make the situation worse.

After Xie Shuo left, the living room went silent for a while.

“When was it?” Xia Jin calmed down a bit and asked.

Ye An replied, “Early April.”

   It was already September, so it had been almost half a year… Xia Jin said coldly, “You both were pretty hasty.”

She pointed at Ye Yuan Nian. “Did he force you to do it?”

Before Ye An could reply, Xia Jin had already turned around and started yelling at him. “Are you stupid? Is marriage such a superficial matter to the point where you don’t even try to check what kind of person he was before marrying her off?”

Ye An observed the gray-haired Ye Yuan Nian from the side and suddenly felt a moment of pity. To be honest, she was the one actually using Ye Yuan Nian and not the other way around, but only she knew that.

“When are you planning on getting a divorce?” Xia Jin stopped yelling because doing so was pointless, so she calmed down a bit and asked.

Without letting Ye An reply, Ye Yuan Nian’s expression changed. “The two families are connected. This isn’t a game; how can you simply say that and expect for that to happen?”

Xia Jin interrupted him directly, “Be quiet!”

Ye Yuan Nian: “…”

Ye An’s head suddenly began to hurt, and she said tiredly, “Stop fighting; this is the Xie residence.”

Although Xie Shuo had gone upstairs, there were still servants around. The situation had escalated quite a bit, and it was difficult to say if Xie Baiyan would hear about it.

She turned to Ye Yuan Nian. “You go back first; I’ll talk to her.”

Ye Yuan Nian looked at the mother-daughter pair and knew that she still thought of him as an outsider. If he stayed, he would only be yelled at more, so he didn’t persist. He said, “You guys take your time, then. If anything happens, give Daddy a call.”

After Ye Yuan Nian left, Ye An looked at Xia Jin. “There are people around; let’s talk in the room.”

Although Xia Jin was angry, she knew that it would reflect poorly on their part if outsiders were to see, so she followed Ye An upstairs.

Normally, Xie Shuo would be in the study if not in the bedroom, so Ye An brought Xia Jin to a guest room and sat down on a small sofa to the side.

The room was silent, and Xia Jin calmed down a bit on the way up. Even though her tone was cold, her next words were much more level, “ An An, tell me the truth. Did Ye Yuan Nian force you to do anything?”

Ye An shook her head. “No.”

Xia Jin was still suspicious. “Then why won’t you get a divorce? It’s because of the money from last time, isn’t it?”