Amidst the dim light of the night, it was drizzling finely. Ye An hadn’t fully processed the situation yet when Xie Shuo had already taken brisk strides forward, grabbed her arm, and pulled her into his embrace.
A familiar clean and crisp scent filled her nose as she collided with a sturdy chest. Blinking, she asked, “Why did you come?”
Xie Shuo said in a low voice, “To take you back home.”
After saying that, he looked at Jiang Yuhe meaningfully.
Ye An followed his gaze and introduced, “This is my senior from college, Jiang Yuhe.”
Jiang Yuhe met the man’s gaze and then glanced at the hand he had wrapped around Ye An’s shoulder. Understanding the situation, he smiled. “Hi.”
Looking at him, Xie Shuo said insipidly, “Hi.”
Afterward, he looked down at Ye An again, holding her even close before asking gently, “Are you cold?”
Ye An was momentarily taken back. She had never seen him show such concern in public before.
Not waiting for her to respond, Xie Shuo wrapped his arm around her and turned, heading toward where he had parked the car.
Under the dim streetlights and drizzle, he held the umbrella with one hand and his other arm around her shoulder, his slender fingers gripping firmly.
Ye An’s shoulder being held like this by him made her a little uncomfortable, so she couldn’t resist struggling a bit. However, with this, he held onto her even tighter and gave her a glance.
Ye An was puzzled, not understanding why he had a temper.
The wind accompanied by rain brushed against her cheeks, sending a chill down her spine. His embrace, however, was warm while his scent was clean and pleasant.
After getting into the car, Xie Shuo remained silent with a soured expression, exuding a cold demeanor.
Ye An glanced at him and suddenly realized something, causing her to want to laugh.
Remembering his previous cold attitude toward her, she intentionally asked, “If you’re so unhappy, why did you come to pick me up?”
Turning around, Xie Shuo answered her question with another, “You were dubbing with him?”
Ye An pretended to be clueless: “Which ‘him’ are you referring to? There are so many people I do voice acting with, I don’t know who you’re talking about.”
Xie Shuo’s expression became even more glum.
Ye An’s mood instantly brightened. The exhaustion of the day seemed to ease. She glanced at him before looking ahead, a slight smile forming.
The car’s interior was illuminated, casting a soft light. Ye An’s side profile glowed, and as Xie Shuo saw her smile, his expression gradually softened.
Her hands rested on her lap, her ten fingers fair and tender. He paused for a moment before reaching out to hold her hand, her fingertips cold.
Ye An was taken aback by his sudden grasp, as she looked up at him.
Xie Shuo, however, avoided her gaze and looked straight ahead, appearing calm and composed. He applied a slight pressure with his hand, now allowing her to pull away.
Ye An: …. He used to enjoy rubbing her hands when he couldn’t see, and now that he had regained his sight, this habit hadn’t changed.
The recording studio wasn’t far from the condo, and they arrived in just over 20 minutes.
Xie Shuo held the umbrella, sending Ye An to the entrance of the building. Light spilled out from inside, casting long, slender shadows on the ground.
“It’s so cold.”
The damp wind brushed against Ye An, making her shiver. “It’s so late; you should head home.”
Xie Shuo closed the umbrella but didn’t move. He simply gazed at her.
They stood face to face, incredibly close, close enough to hear each other’s breaths.
“Not going to invite me up for a cup of tea?” He asked, his hair by his forehead dampened by the rain, framing his dark and deep-set eyes. Dressed in a black suit, his white shirt collar was slightly open, revealing his fair collarbone.
The night rain was chilly. He looked down slightly and spoke with a deep, flirty voice, a far cry from his usual aloof and unapproachable demeanor.
Ye An felt her heart flutter as she met his gaze. She nervously averted her eyes, but in doing so, her gaze inadvertently brushed against his exposed collar.
… She couldn’t help but suspect that he was using his beauty to beguile her!
Her ears turned crimson. She neither agreed nor disagreed, just turned around and walked inside.
Xie Shuo smiled and followed after her.
They entered the elevator and went upstairs. Ye An opened the door and turned on the lights. After changing slippers at the entrance and tossing her purse onto the sofa, she went to make a cup of tea for him.
Xie Shuo took off his coat, sat down on the sofa, and wiped his hands with a Kleenex.
After brewing a cup of tea for him, Ye An placed it on the coffee table in front of him. The living room was well-lit, so when she bent over to set down the tea, she noticed a small wet spot on his shoulder from the rain.
“Your clothes are wet,” she reminded him.
Xie Shuo glanced at it but didn’t seem to mind much.
Ye An poured herself a cup of tea, too, then sat on the sofa with the cup in her hands. Both of them remained silent, and it felt quite awkward, with a hint of tension in the air.
When they used to be together all the time, it was easy and carefree. She could say anything she wanted without reservation. But now that they were separated, a slight awkwardness seemed to have crept in.
The rain outside the window was faintly audible. After sitting for a while, Ye An glanced at the time and reminded him, “It’s already past eleven. If you don’t leave soon, it’ll be too late.”
Putting down his teacup, Xie Shuo cleared his throat with his fist in front of his mouth, “My clothes are wet. I’ll borrow your shower here.”
Ye An wasn’t stupid, and she naturally understood the hidden implication behind his words. If she allowed him to take a shower here, the next step would likely be him trying to spend the night.
It was only our second day of separation. What’s the point of separating then if we were to live together again?
“It’s late, you should head back for now.”
She’s definitely not falling for it.
Xie Shou glanced at her and suddenly placed his hand on his temple, appearing to be in pain.
Back when he was blind, he often suffered from headaches. Seeing him like this, she quickly got up and asked, “What’s wrong? Is your head hurting again?”
Supporting his head, Xie Shuo replied, “A bit.”
Just when Ye An was about to say, “Let me give you a massage,” she stopped herself. The timing of the headache was too coincidental. Could he be pretending?
“Is it serious? Do you have any medicine in your car?”
She looked at him with suspicion.
Xie Shuo tugged at the corners of his lips before standing up and saying, “It’s nothing. Maybe I caught a chill. A bath will do the trick.”
With that, Ye An was almost certain that he was deliberately trying to play the sympathy card. She coldly rejected him, saying, “There are no spare clothes for you to change into here.”
Xie Shuo said nothing and went into the master bedroom before coming out with a men’s bathrobe and a clean set of clothes.
Ye An: “…….”
Ye An was dumbfounded, realizing this was his condo, so it wasn’t surprising that he had spare clothes here. She had only moved in for a day and still hadn’t had a chance to look through.
So, he had planned this from the beginning?
Afraid of her anger, Xie Shuo very conscientiously said, “I’ll go to the guest room.
After saying that, he turned around and went to the guest room.
Watching his tall figure disappear, Ye An felt a tightness in her chest, a sense of being manipulated.
If only she had known, she wouldn’t have agreed to stay here for convenience. Isn’t having one’s own place not better?
Grabbing a pillow from the sofa, she vented her frustration by tossing it around before storming into the master bedroom and slamming the door shut.
The sound of running water from the bathroom masked the sound of rain from outside. After showering, Ye An sat in her room in her PJs and began blow-drying her hair.
Just as she had finished blow-drying her hair, she heard a knock at the door. Ye An paused before going to open it.
There stood Xie Shuo in a robe, his hair still damp. “The hairdryer in my room is broken.”
Ye An eyed him suspiciously, wondering if he was trying to use this as an opportunity to enter her room. “Wait a sec, I’ll get it for you.”
After saying that, she locked the bedroom door before going to grab the hairdryer.
Xie Shuo took it and returned to his room without any further attempts.
Ye An endured her sleepiness and did her nightly skincare routine before finally climbing into bed to sleep.
Just as she lay down, a knock on the door sounded again. Ye An, feeling quite irked, got up drowsily, stumbled to the door, and opened it. “What’s the matter this time?”
Xie Shuo handed her the hairdryer. Ye An took it and yawned, grumbled quietly, “You could’ve just left it in your room…”
Xie Shuo had wanted to say something, but seeing how sleepy she looked with drooping eyelids, he couldn’t bring himself to keep her up. After saying, “good night,” he turned around and headed back to the guest bedroom.
Ye An leaned against the doorframe, and as she was closing the door, her movement paused for a moment. Looking at him, she suddenly seemed more awake. “Didn’t you say that you were just gonna take a shower? Why haven’t you left yet?”
Xie Shuo: “…….”
The man’s figure froze in place.
Heng! Ye An smirked, and without waiting for his response, she simply closed the door.
The rain continued to pitter-patter for most of the night.
The next day, the weather cleared up, and the bright spring sun filtered through the trees, casting a gentle light. Dewdrops glistened on the leaves, remnants of the previous night’s rain.
The voice recording session was scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Ye An woke up a bit late, and when she finished freshening up in the morning and walked out of her room, it was quiet outside.
Xie Shuo had already left. There was breakfast on the table with a note. She wasn’t sure if he had bought it himself or had it delivered.
Ye An was momentarily stunned before going over and sitting down, opening the breakfast box, and found it contained a hot serving of preserved egg and lean pork porridge.
After finishing breakfast, she headed out the door. Downstairs was a peach blossom tree in full bloom, resembling rosy clouds. Glancing at it, she couldn’t help smiling.
That evening, when Ye An finished work, Xie Shuo came to pick her up just like the night before.
This time, Ye An didn’t encounter Jiang Yuhe, and Xie Shuo wasn’t glum. The two of them even had a nice chat in the car.
When they arrived at the condo, Ye An stood still, looking at him.
She wanted to see what excuse he would come up with tonight.
Two seconds later, Xie Shuo said, “I left my watch upstairs last night.”
Ye An: …. It’s my loss.
Thus, Ye An once again tolerated his presence in the condo. After retrieving his watch, he didn’t hurry to leave. Instead, he sat down and had a cup of tea again.
It wasn’t raining tonight, and his clothes weren’t wet either. He didn’t have any excuse to stay, so he simply sat on the sofa, quietly drinking tea, not mentioning leaving at all.
Watching him like this, Ye An had an inexplicable urge to laugh.
The more he behaved like this, the less she wanted to fulfill his wish, so she issued an ultimatum, “You’re still not leaving?”
Xie Shuo glanced at her and slowly got up. He didn’t want to come off as too strong, so he said, “Go to bed early,” before turning to leave.
Ye An saw him off at the door. Remembering that this was his condo, she shouldn’t burn bridges, so she added, “Be careful on the road.”
As the door closed, the condo became quiet with only one silhouette left on the floor.
After a while, Ye An went over to the balcony and happened to just see his car driving away, its headlights cutting through the night, gradually fading into the distance.
Under the vast starry sky of the night, with the gentle spring breeze brushing over her brows, she leaned against the railing and gazed up, suddenly looking forward to tomorrow evening.
However, Xie Shuo unexpectedly failed to show up the next night.
After finishing work, Ye An waited outside the recording studio for a long while but didn’t see his figure. The night wind blew heavily, making her feel cold from head to toe.
Seeing that it was getting darker and darker, Ye An had no choice but to call a ride back to the condo. She was so angry that her heart hurt.
What happened to starting anew? His attitude had improved for only a few days, and now it was back to before!
Men and their empty promises! I knew I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up!
Back in the condo, Ye An angrily slammed the door and changed her clothes before hopping into the shower.
As the water flowed continuously from the showerhead and steam filled the room, she decided that if he came again tomorrow, she absolutely couldn’t be soft-hearted!
After showering, she remembered that her phone was still in the living room, so she went to grab it in her PJs.
However, she was almost startled when she entered the living room.
There was a figure sitting on the sofa, propping up their head with their head, silent and unmoving.
Recognizing that it was Xie Shuo, she relaxed and asked, “How did you get in?”
After asking, she felt stupid. This was his condo, so of course he had a key.
Xie Shuo looked up, his face slightly flushed, and his gaze seemed different from usual as if he had been drinking.
Walking over, Ye An indeed smelled a faint scent of alcohol. Remembering how she had waited for so long in the cold at first, she said coldly, “It’s so late. Why aren’t you going home? What are you doing here?”
Looking at her, Xie Shuo said softly, “Angry?”
Ye An turned around, not wanting to talk to him, but he grabbed her wrist.
She struggled to pull away but couldn’t.
Xie Shuo pulled her to sit beside him, his fingers following the delicate bones of her wrist to hold her hand.
The wind rustled the curtains, creating ripples. Ye An turned away, not looking at him, gazing out the window instead.
After a while, he still hadn’t spoken, so she said, “What do you want? If not, I’m going to bed.”
As for whether he wanted to stay over, it was up to him; after all, it was his place, and she couldn’t stop him.
Finally, Xie Shuo said softly, “There was an important dinner tonight. I couldn’t get away…”
He had been blind for almost two years, and now that he had just returned to the company, there were naturally many things for him to be busy with. These were things that Ye An could understand.
She pursed her lips, her anger fading a bit, and said, “So you couldn’t even call to let me know?”
It was like this every time. He would just disappear without saying a word, leaving her hanging.
Xie Shuo wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her closer as he rested his chin on her shoulder. “I’ll remember next time.”
A warm breath, tinged with the scent of alcohol, brushed against her neck. Frowning, Ye An raised her hand instinctively, trying to push him away.
Suddenly, she heard him say, “I have to go on a business trip.”
Ye An paused and said in an even tone, “Don’t you go on business trips often? It’s not like it’s the first time.”
Why was he making it sound like a life-and-death farewell?
Holding her in his arm, Xie Shuo tightened his grip on her hand and fell silent for a moment before saying, “I’ll probably be gone for about half a month. Can you wait for me to come back?”
He rarely spoke in such a manner, perhaps because people tended to reveal their true emotions more easily when they were drunk.
Ye An was stunned. Remembering her previous reproachful words about his indifference, her long lashes drooped, and she remained silent.
Not receiving a response after a while, Xie Shuo held her even tighter as if he wouldn’t let go until she agreed.
The soft light gently bathed the room, and the cool night breeze drifted in through the window, brushing against their hair.
Ye An couldn’t resist him being like this, so her heart softened, and after a while, she softly uttered a faint “en.”