On the fourth day since returning from the clinic, Xie Shuo had to travel out of the city for another business trip.
Ye An had planned to go with him, but due to an unexpected issue with a new movie project that the studio took on, she had to stay behind to handle the situation.
When Ye An was finally not busy and emerged from the recording studio, it was four days later.
During these few days, she and Xie Shuo had only briefly texted during their rare breaks. There was usually no communication between them.
Previously, when their feelings were not known, it didn’t seem like a big deal. However, now that they had been apart for just a few days, there was a sense of a long and distant separation.
When Ye An returned home at 4:00 p.m. she nestled on the sofa and sent a message to Xie Shuo.
Ye An: “I’m done with work and on vacation now!”
She added a cute emoji as well.
Xie Shuo was probably busy on his end as he took a while to respond, replying with a brief, “Rest well.”
Ye An: “How much longer until you come back?”
Xie Shuo: “Three days or so.”
Not even a “Miss me?” in his response; it seemed that he was indeed super busy, perfectly fitting his workaholic CEO persona.
Ye An couldn’t just keep bothering him, so she closed her phone and leaned back on the sofa.
In his absence, the house seemed noticeably quieter. Holding her phone, Ye An pondered for a moment before a sudden thought flashed through her mind.
She got up and quickly booked the earliest available flight before swiftly packing her bags and heading to the airport.
Xie Shuo’s business trip this time was in Haicheng. Her flight landed a little after 8 p.m.
Looking around at the vibrant city lights, Ye An, wearing a mask, hailed a taxi on the street.
She only knew the hotel where Xie Shuo was staying and not the specific room number. After getting into the taxi, she called Zhong Fu, asking him to meet her in the hotel lobby and instructing him not to inform Xie Shuo in advance.
When Zhong Fu received her call, he had just come out of Xie Shuo’s room. Upon hearing her instructions, he hurriedly took the elevator down and waited at the hotel lobby entrance in advance.
The lights reflected onto the glass walls, flickering. After about half an hour, Ye An appeared outside the hotel. She had an embroidered silk scarf around her neck, fluttering in the night breeze.
Zhong Fu quickly approached her, taking the carry-on from her hand, and greeted, “Madam.”
Ye An smiled. “Did he sleep yet?”
“Not yet,” Zhong Fu replied.
Ye An followed Zhong Fu to take the elevator upstairs. When they were near Xie Shuo’s room, she turned to ask, “Do you have the room key?”
Zhong Fu took out Xie Shuo’s room key from his pocket and handed it to her.
Taking the key, Ye An smiled and whispered, “Go rest. I’ll go in and find him myself.”
Zhong Fu nodded, “Alright.”
With the room key in hand, Ye An opened Xie Shuo’s room and entered the foyer, noticing that the lights were on. The sound of running water could be heard clearly from the direction of the bathroom.
It seemed he was taking a shower, and Ye An breathed a sigh of relief. She walked in confidently, hung her clothes in the closet from her carry-on, then took off her scarf before sitting on the sofa to wait for him.
Before long, the sound of water ceased, and the opening of a door echoed.
Ye An quickly got up from the sofa, discreetly hiding in the other side of the closet.
Footsteps approached, and a slender, lean figure appeared under the light. Xie Shuo, in a white robe, slowly stepped into the room, toweling his hair with strands of wet hair clinging to his forehead.
He happened to be facing away from Ye An. Quietly, she tiptoed behind him and playfully covered his eyes with her hands like a mischievous child.
The refreshing scent of shower gel wafted into her nose. She tiptoed closer, leaning toward his ear, and playfully blew a breath.
“Mister, would you like some service?”
She intentionally adjusted her voice to sound completely different from usual, as if dubbing a certain role.
Sensing someone approaching, Xie Shuo initially frowned. When the gentle hand covered his eyes and a familiar voice sounded beside his ear, his expression immediately softened and a smile appeared on his lips.
“What kind of service?” he asked.
Ye An kept one hand over his eyes, and the other slid down, wrapping around his waist. She pressed against him from behind, and her fingers mischievously wandered around his waist.
“What do you think?”
The next moment, her delicate wrist was caught in his grip.
Xie Shuo swiftly turned and pulled her to his front, encircling her waist before looking down at her. “Why did you come?”
Ye An looked up and smiled while raising an eyebrow, “For a surprise inspection!”
As she said, she pulled at the lapels of his robe and glared at him. “A strange woman comes into your room, offering services, and you actually dare to agree? You’ve become bold now, huh?”
Xie Shuo looked at her, his eyes deepening as the hand around her waist tightened.
“Strange women aren’t allowed, but wifey can.”
He said hoarsely before suddenly kissing her.
Ye An was forced to lift her chin, and between her lips, there was only his breath, stealing away every breath.
Gradually, she felt a bit unsteady as her slender, fair fingers gripped tightly on his robe, a faint redness appearing on her ears.
Under the lights, her vision was blurred, as if immersed in a dream, undulating.
After a while, the warmth on her lips gradually receded, moving down to her neck.
Ye An could finally breathe freely and pressed her hand against his chest, turning her face away and preventing him from continuing. “I just got off the plane and haven’t even taken a shower.”
Xie Shuo looked up from her neck, holding her waist, his fingertips gently stroking her lips as he asked, “Have you had dinner?”
Ye An grabbed his hand and replied, “I had a little on the plane.”
He loosened his grip slightly, leading her to sit next to him. “Are you hungry? I’ll have some food delivered up?”
Ye An shook her head. “No need, I’m gonna go take a shower.”
She got up and grabbed her pajamas before heading to the bathroom.
After taking a shower, Ye An found that Xie Shuo was no longer on the sofa but sitting at the desk as he typed swiftly away on his laptop.
Seeing her, he finished typing the last line and closed the laptop.
Ye An, wearing a chemise with her long, fair legs exposed, towel-dried her hair and handed the hairdryer to him wantonly, saying, “Help me dry my hair.”
Taking it, Xie Shuo got up and sat with her on the sofa. He combed through her scattered hair with one hand while holding the blowdryer in the other, with a faint fragrance filling the air.
It was already quite late. The curtains fluttered in the wind, revealing sporadic lights from the buildings across.
After drying her hair, Ye An felt a bit tired and lazily leaned against his chest, unwilling to move.
Leaning against the sofa, Xie Shuo let his hand rest behind her waist. The loose necklines of his robe exposed a glimpse of his chest and collarbones combined with his cold profile; he appeared exceptionally sexy.
Having not seen each other for a few days, Ye An couldn’t help but sneak a few more glances.
Catching her in the act, Xie Shuo lowered his head and teased, “Craving my body again?”
Ye An: “……”
What she said when she was drunk, why does he still remember it?
Ye An’s face flushed, feeling a bit annoyed. She decisively pulled open his collar, openly giving herself a good look.
So what if I’m craving your body?
Xie Shuo’s robe was wide open, revealing his lean and well-defined chest.
He chuckled before wrapping one arm around her waist and the other across her knee, lifting her onto his lap and leaning down to kiss her.
Ye An purposely leaned backward, refusing to let him his way. She pressed her hands against his shoulders and smiled smugly. “Who exactly is craving whose body?”
Xie Shuo didn’t answer, just lowered his head to kiss her.
The next moment, Ye An’s body lifted off the ground, and she instinctively wrapped her arms around his neck.
Xie Shuo carried her, taking large strides to the bed before placing her down and pressing against her.
In the midst of the night, Ye An was curled up under the covers, drifting into a deep sleep. Meanwhile, Xie Shuo leaned against the bedhead. Bathed in the dim, yellow light, he reached for a small velvet box.
The next day, Xie Shuo woke up early to discuss a partnership, leaving Ye An to rest in the hotel.
Feeling bored, Ye An dragged her aching body out of bed, changed into suitable attire, and joined him.
Having often assisted him in reading documents and accompanied him in negotiating deals before, Ye An had accumulated enough experience. Now, she could effortlessly handle such occasions, even understanding some of the contents they discussed.
After the meeting, Ye An linked arms with him and said jokingly, “You should consider giving me an extra salary for this.”
Xie Shuo chuckled and said while looking at her, “How about giving you some shares and bringing you into the company?”
Ye An was taken aback, afraid he might actually do it, and quickly said, “There’s no need for that; just a salary is fine.”
If Xie Baiyan and Grandfather Xie knew about this, they wouldn’t just think of it like that. Moreover, she hadn’t reached a point where could genuinely contribute anything to the company.
Three days later, Xie Shuo had finished with the things he needed to do on his business trip and spent a few more days with Ye An in Haicheng before returning.
As the spring chill passed, the weather was getting warmer and warmer day by day.
Just two days after returning, Ye An was invited to participate in an indoor variety show.
In addition to her and Xiang Quan, there were also other well-known voice actors from the industry attending the show, mainly to promote their studios.
It wasn’t the first time Ye An had participated in these kinds of variety shows, so she took the stage calmly with a smile. However, when she scanned the audience, she froze for a moment.
Seated in the front row was a familiar figure… She wasn’t sure when Xie Shuo had arrived, but there he was, watching her from the audience. His face was somewhat blurred in the lights, but there was a faint smile on his lips.
He was wearing a black shirt, his features cold and stern, exuding a charismatic aura that immediately attracted many eyes.
Ye An snapped back to reality, and guided by the host, took her seat. However, her gaze couldn’t help but be drawn to where he was sitting, occasionally wandering toward his direction.
After the lively opening, it was time for everyone’s voice acting performance.
On the elevated stage, bathed in dazzling lights, Ye An walked to the center, the lights instantly enveloping her. Under the lights, her features became more distinct, stunning, and captivating.
The fans in the audience cheered excitedly. Xie Shuo sat among the audience, quietly watching her. In his deep eyes, a faint glimmer seemed to resemble stars in the sky.
After the show ended, the audience began to disperse, and Xie Shuo went backstage with one hand in his pocket, waiting for her. In his suit, his long legs drew attention.
After exchanging greetings with the crew members, she eagerly ran over to him while holding the hem of her dress. Her eyes sparkled as her face expressed pure joy. “Why did you come? Didn’t you say there was a problem at the company?”
Before the show, she had called him, and he mentioned something had come up at the company, so he couldn’t come to pick her up tonight. Ye, he unexpectedly appeared in the audience.
Xie Shuo smiled and didn’t answer her, just taking her hand and leading her out under the gaze of numerous staff members.
That night, the comments under Ye An’s Weibo exploded.
Some fans had photographed Xie Shuo sitting in the audience and watching the show. They had posted them on Weibo. Despite the dim lighting and blurry images, it still stirred up some fervor on Weibo.
Even after leaving the recording studio, Ye An’s heart continued to beat erratically, her face slightly red from the night breeze.
After getting into the car, Xie Shuo turned to ask, “Let’s get dinner?”
Ye An smiled with a sparkle in her eyes. “Okay.”
Before the show, she had eaten something light, not fully satisfied. Now, she could have dinner with him.
Soon, the driver parked the car in front of a restaurant.
When getting out of the car at the entrance, Ye An couldn’t shake off the feeling that the surroundings seemed oddly familiar, as if she had been there before, but she couldn’t recall when.
Inside the restaurant, the soft lighting created a romantic atmosphere. Xie Shuo poured half a glass of red wine, and Ye An smiled, resting her chin on her hand. “What’s the occasion? Why such a grand setup all of a sudden?”
Xie Shuo looked up and smiled. “En, it’s a very important day.”
Why so mysterious…
Ye An, unsure of what he was up to, took a few sips of the wine, awaiting his next move.
After dinner, they left the restaurant, not in a hurry to return home, strolling along the street.
The night breeze was gentle, and a few cherry blossom trees planted along the road filled the air with a faint floral fragrance.
After walking for a while, Ye An finally realized why the surroundings felt so familiar… This seemed to be the road leading to her university.
Going further back in her memories… she recalled that it was here where he first encountered her. He had escorted her back to the university, marking this the place of their initial meeting.
However, it was raining that night while the moon was bright tonight—a rare sight.
The hazy light enveloped the shadows of the trees, and clusters of cherry blossoms adorned the branches, with occasional petals falling gently.
Six years had passed, and the surroundings had changed, but the general layout remained the same.
“Why did you suddenly think of coming here?” She asked, gently holding his hand.
Xie Shuo turned to look at her and smiled, “Finally remembered it?”
Ye An raised her chin with a smile. “I thought you had long forgotten.”
Xie Shuo remained silent, holding her fingers and looking ahead, his features shrouded in the night.
He couldn’t recall it before because he didn’t care, but after she brought it up, memories flooded in, gradually becoming clear. Even details like the dress she wore and the expression on her face when they first met came vividly back to him.
As they walked a bit further and turned onto another street, Ye An suddenly said, “Do you remember the last time when I took you out for shopping? That street is the same one you passed by when you escorted me back to campus.”
No wonder she asked if he had been there before; now, it made sense.
The scene from that year flashed through his mind once again.
Seeing him silent, as if contemplating something, Ye An tugged at his hand and asked, “What are you thinking about?”
Coming back from his thoughts, Xie Shuo turned to look at her and smiled. “I was thinking… why didn’t I ask for your name back then.”
If he had cared a bit more back then, perhaps they could have been together sooner.
If she hadn’t remembered throughout the years and taken the initiative to approach him, they might have missed each other.
Ye An was taken aback and realized what he meant before whispering, “What else could it be? You simply weren’t interested in me back then. Not leaving me on the road to fend for myself was already pretty good.”
Not everyone’s first meeting came with a love-at-first-sight plot. He grew up privileged and exposed to all kinds of girls. How could he be easily attracted to a reckless little girl who bumped into him?
Moreover, she was so disheveled at the time; her beauty was probably long gone, leaving only a pitiable appearance.
He helped her most likely out of sheer pity.
To be fair, if he had genuinely shown interest in her at that time, considering her extreme mindset back then, she might have seen him as some kind of sponsor, thinking he was taking advantage of her vulnerability.
With one hand in his pocket and toying with the velvet box in his hand, Xie Shuo gazed at her silently.
They strolled and chatted for about half an hour before finally returning home.
Once they returned home, Ye An was about to head to the bedroom when he pulled her to the music room.
The room had obviously been decorated in advance, filled with a sweet scent and adorned with a large bouquet of roses, their petals vibrant and alluring in the halo of light.
The cover on the piano had been removed, revealing a piano with a gleaming, new-like surface.
Ye An stared in astonishment at the scene before her.
Xie Shuo smiled, “Didn’t you want to listen to me play the piano?”
As he said that, he released her hand and walked to the piano before sitting down. His long, clean fingers gently pressed the keys, producing a soothing melody that flowed like moonlight.
The light enveloped him, outlining his handsome profile and making him appear both elegant and noble.
In an instant, it felt as if she had traveled back in time to the moment when she first met him. Ye An stood still, her gaze fixed on him, taking a long while to come back to her senses.
As the piece ended, Xie Shuo got up and pulled her to sit in front of the piano. He reached into his pocket and took out an exquisite velvet box.
Opening the box revealed an exquisite diamond ring, sparkling and dazzling.
Recently, he had thought about various ways to propose, repeatedly envisioned and rejected them, and in the end, he chose something simple like this.
He knelt on one knee, looking up at her. His eyes were as deep as the sea, reflecting only her figure.
Ye An was stunned, her fingers curled up on her lap, and the corners of her eyes couldn’t help but turn red.
There were some things she didn’t actively seek because she had long been accustomed to it, but she hadn’t expected that he had remembered all along.
She looked away, holding back her tears. After a while, she pretended to be dissatisfied and joked, “You also realized that you still owed me a proposal…”
Xie Shuo smiled and took her hand before sliding the diamond ring onto her ring finger, pushing it up slowly.
Her fair, slender finger completed the diamond ring perfectly.
He propped himself up with one hand by her side, standing up slowly as his fingertip brushed over the corner of her eye. He lowered his head to kiss her forehead, his voice unusually loving.
“I love you.”
I love you, not because of a fleeting attraction nor not out of pity.
Simply because I love you.