Epilogue 7: Xin Li & Xie Yuran

“Do you need a ride?”

Xin Li’s mind was in a mess, not quite understanding the meaning behind his actions.

Wasn’t he ignoring me?

But now, he’s offering to give me a ride?

Lost in thought for a couple of seconds, Xin Li subconsciously followed him into the car.

Once inside, the two sat side by side in the rear, maintaining silence. 

The neon lights in the city flashed by, and there was a subtle tension in the air inside the car.

“Have you been busy lately?”

As they approached the condominium where Xin Li lived, Xie Yuran finally spoke, breaking the silence.

Upon hearing this, Xin Li turned to look at him and replied, “Not really, not too busy.”

Hearing this, Xie Yuran’s gaze lingered on her face for a moment. It seemed like he wanted to ask something more but decided against it.

His demeanor tonight was somewhat unusual.

Xin Li propped her elbow on the window edge, staring at him momentarily before asking, “Why did you choose to give me a ride tonight?”

She had a bit much to drink, so her voice carried a hint of intoxication. The corners of her eyes exuded a hint of allure.

Meeting her inquisitive gaze, Xie Yuran said calmly, “It’s late, and you’re a girl. It’s not safe.”

“Is that so?”

Xin Li chuckled, not looking at him anymore, and turned to gaze at the night scenery outside the window.

Looking dazedly at her side profile bathed in soft light, a fleeting sense of something flickered in his eyes.

She seemed to have changed a lot after not seeing each other for a long time. In the past, she would never have reacted like this, nor would she have turned her head away from him.

In actuality, he had only blurted out offering her a ride because he saw the young man following her and subconsciously felt it was not proper. 

As for why he felt that way, he didn’t delve into it.

Not long after, the chauffeur stopped the car at Xin Li’s condominium. 

“Thank you for sending me back.”

Xin Li expressed her thanks and opened the car door to get out. Just as her foot touched the ground, she swayed a bit, stumbling for a moment.

Worried that she might twist her ankle again, Xie Yuran also got out of the car.

“Are you okay?”

He reached out to support her.

Xin Li steadied herself with his help, shaking her head.

Xie Yuran was still worried, so he helped her all the way into the elevator.

Glancing at him, Xin Li suddenly found it a bit perplexing. If he wasn’t interested in her, why was he so caring? He hadn’t responded to her flirting before. On the other hand, if he did have feelings for her, there were no clear indications.

Could it be that he enjoyed the attention of being pursued by me?

Or was he leading me on as a backup since he couldn’t have Zhang Muqing?

In the enclosed space, it was just the two of them. Neither of them said anything.

A faint scent of alcohol hung in the air, teasing their senses.

As the elevator stopped on Xin Li’s floor, the doors opened, and she stepped out, walking to the front of her condo. She looked down and entered the passcode to unlock her door.

Xie Yuran followed behind her, watching as she unlocked the door. When she finished, he withdrew his hand and said, “If there’s nothing else, I’ll take my leave.”

Xin Li had just opened the door when she heard his words, causing her to pause.

Suddenly, she turned around and leaned against the doorframe, smiling mischievously. “You don’t wanna come in and sit for a bit?”

The corridor was dimly lit, and her eyes sparkled as she looked at him. Xie Yuran gazed back at her, neither answering nor hurrying to leave.

Xin Li chuckled and glanced at him before suddenly leaning in and placing her hand on his shoulder, whispering into his ear, “Do you know that your behavior tonight can easily lead to misunderstandings?”

As she spoke, she turned to meet his gaze with a slightly intoxicated expression.

Xie Yuran lowered his eyes.

Many fragmented scenes flashed through his mind. Before he could react, Xin Li tiptoed and gave him a peck on the lips like a dragonfly touching the water.

Xie Yuran was momentarily taken aback.

Xin Li let go of him, and before entering her condo, she raised an eyebrow at him. There was a hint of triumph in the corners of her eyes and lips as if she had just done something extraordinary.

Soon after, the door closed tightly, leaving Xie Yuran alone outside.

Facing the closed door, Xie Yuran was in a daze for a moment before smirking and turning around to leave.

Inside the condo, Xin Li leaned against the door, belatedly realizing that her face felt a bit warm.

She kicked off her high heels and staggered into the living room before collapsing on the sofa.

Lying on her back, she thought about the scene just now, and the feelings that had been pent up for a long time inexplicably eased.

If only he had mentioned that there was someone in his heart earlier, she wouldn’t have wasted so much time and effort on him. Not taking advantage of the situation would have been a real loss.

Moreover, he delivered himself to the door today.


After that night, their relationship seemed to have reverted back to before. Occasionally, when Xin Li felt playful, she would send him a message to flirt with him.

So what if there was someone he liked?

As long as they aren’t together, I don’t believe I can’t win him over.

Xie Yuran’s attitude had improved somewhat compared to before. He no longer explicitly rejected her advances, but he also didn’t exhibit overly warm behavior.

A little over a month later, it was Xin Li’s birthday.

That night, Xin Li held a party with a group of close friends to celebrate.

She had confirmed with her friends three days in advance, and after much internal struggle, Xin Li decided not to invite Xie Yuran.

She had wanted to take this opportunity to invite him out, but she was afraid of being too conspicuous. If news reached her parents’ ears, it might complicate things.

In order to subtly remind Xie Yuran, she deliberately made a post on WeChat around noon, showcasing her birthday cake and the gifts she received.

However, there was no response from Xie Yuran even until late at night. He hadn’t even liked her post as if he were completely unaware of the occasion.

In the reserved private room, Xin Li had fun with her friends while constantly checking her phone. The more she checked, the more frustrated she felt.

Did he not see it, or he just didn’t care?

Around 10 p.m., Xin Li excused herself and went to the restroom to take a breather.

Coming out of the restroom and still not finding the message she hoped for on her phone, she was burning with anger. Unable to contain herself, she called Xie Yuran.

The phone rang for quite a while before he answered, sounding a bit weary. “Hello?”

Leaning against the sink, Xin Li said muffledly, “Hey, are you busy?”

The sound of the door opening echoed through the phone, and Xie Yuran asked, “Just got home; do you need something?”

Already in a bad mood, Xin Li became even more unhappy upon hearing his words. “Do I have to have something to call you?”

Detecting that she had been drinking, Xie Yuran chose not to argue with her.

Xin Li shifted to the side. While looking down at the floor, she said aggrievedly, “You didn’t see WeChat? It’s my birthday today.”

Xie Yuran paused and said, “My uncle is ill. I’ve been at the hospital all day.”

Hearing this reason, Xin Li felt a bit better and asked, “How is Uncle Xie? Is it serious?”

Xie Yuran replied, “It’s nothing serious.”

Feeling reassured, Xin Li continued, “I’ve invited some friends to celebrate. Do you want to join us for a bit?”

On the other end of the call, Xie Yuran entered the living room from the entrance and loosened his tie, looking weary. “It’s too late. Maybe next time.”

“Next time will be a whole year away.”

Xin Li pursed her lips and began to playfully pester him, emboldened by alcohol, “Then come pick me up.”

Deep down, she knew that making such a request, given their current relationship, was somewhat unreasonable. However, she couldn’t help herself; she wanted to test his limits.

“It’s my birthday today, and you won’t even fulfill this small wish of mine?”

There was about a two to three-second silence from Xie Yuran’s end, and then he signed in a resigned tone, “Where are you?”

Xin Li grinned happily and gave him the address.


About half an hour later, Xie Yuran arrived at the club that Xin Li mentioned.

After parking his car in the parking lot, he gave a call to Xin Li.

After answering the call, Xin Li said bye to her friends and picked up her purse before leaving.

Her friends, not ready to end the night, expressed their dissatisfaction, “It’s still early; why’s the birthday girl leaving already?”

Walking toward the door, Xin Li waved to them, “My mom asked me to come home. Have a great time; I’ve already settled the bill.”

Outside the club, the streetlights elongated their shadows.

Xie Yuran stood with one hand in his pocket, waiting by the bushes for a while until he finally saw her coming out.

In the late spring, early summer night, there was still a slight chill. She was wearing a knee-length skirt, her slender legs were fair.

“You’re here?”

Upon seeing him, she grinned drunkenly, reminiscent of the night they first met.

Momentarily stunned, Xie Yuran said to her, “Happy birthday.”

Taking a step forward, Xin Li pretended to be unsteady on her feet and fell into his arms.

Leaning against him, she grabbed his shirt around the waist and looked up, complaining, “Your birthday wish came too late. In a little over an hour, today will be over.”

The scent of alcohol mixed with a faint fragrance wafted through the air. Seeing that she was quite drunk, Xie Yuran wrapped his arm around her exposed shoulder and guided her into the car.

After closing the door, he walked around the front and got into the driver’s seat.

Leaning against the passenger seat, Xin Li looked a bit dazed, and she didn’t even fasten her seatbelt.

Xie Yuran’s hands were on the steering wheel, preparing to drive away. Seeing her like this, he could only lean over and help her fasten her seatbelt. 

With a handsome face so close, Xin Li blinked her long lashes, focusing on his lips. Suddenly, an impulse to steal a kiss surged within her. 

She couldn’t help but lean forward, but before she could make contact, Xie Yuran already sat back up.

Before returning to his original position, he glanced at her, seemingly seeing through her intentions.

Not embarrassed, Xin Li turned to the side and continued to stare at him.

As she looked, drowsiness overwhelmed her, and her eyelids gradually drooped. 

Xie Yuran gripped the steering wheel, looking straight ahead, occasionally glancing her way.

When she was asleep, she seemed more well-behaved than usual. The mischievous glint in her eyes was completely concealed. Her eyelashes neatly drooped as she breathed evenly. 


Upon reaching the condominium, Xin Li was still slightly tipsy, her gaze unfocused.

“We’re here.”

Xie Yuran opened the door, unfastened her seatbelt, and gently patted her shoulder to wake her up.

Xin Li opened her eyes and got out of the car in a daze.

As soon as she did, she slumped into his arms.

Holding her close, Xie Yuran realized she was quite drunk. He decided to escort her upstairs and walk her into her condo. 

Just as he reached back to close the door, his phone in his pocket suddenly rang.

Taking out his phone, he answered the call while holding onto her and walking inside.

Leaning against his shoulder, Xin Li listened to his conversation, which seemed to be related to the truth behind Xie Shuo’s car accident.

There had been increasing rumors lately claiming that Xie Shuo’s car accident was closely linked to Xie Yuran, alleging that he orchestrated it all to secure the successor position to the Xie family.

Guiding her to sit on the sofa, Xie Yuran hung up the phone. His expression was no longer relaxed like before, looking somewhat irritated. 

Xin Li asked muddleheadedly, “Are you investigating your brother’s accident?”

Xie Yuran looked at her and replied with a soft “En.”

Xin Li continued, “How’s the investigation going?”

Xie Yuran didn’t answer her. Instead, he went to find a cup before pouring some warm water and handing it to her.

When it came to the private matters of the Xie family, he was reluctant to share. Sensing this, Xin Li didn’t press further. Taking the cup of warm water, she took a few sips and started to regain some clarity.

Placing the cup down, she suddenly reached out to him, her eyes sparkling. “Where’s my birthday present?”

Xie Yuran was taken aback. He had just learned that today was her birthday, and there was no time to prepare a present.

Looking at her fair palm, he thought for a moment before taking out his phone and sending her a red envelope.

Xin Li: “…….”

“Who cares about your red envelope? There’s no sincerity at all!”

Xin Li was almost infuriated by him. She retracted her hand and leaned back on the sofa, tilting her head back. Her black skirt slid up a bit with her movement, revealing a snowy section above her knee. 

The light cascaded from above, landing on her face and illuminating the flush on her face. 

Looking at her, Xie Yuran suddenly felt a bit warm. He unbuttoned one button of his collar, revealing a bit of his collarbone.

Afraid she wouldn’t let it go, he said, “I’ll get you something in a couple of days.”

Staring at him unbuttoning his collar, Xin Li insisted, “A couple of days is too late. I want it now.”

Xie Yuran’s head began to throb. He didn’t know how he ended up so good-naturedly playing along with her antics.

Suddenly, Xin Li pounced forward, forcefully pushing him onto the sofa before nibbling his semi-exposed collarbone.

Caught off guard, Xie Yuran frowned, gripping her waist to try and get up.

However, Xin Li wouldn’t let him. Using both hands and feet, she held him down and tugged at his shirt before biting him again, this time with more force than before.

Soft strands of her hair brushed against their necks. Xie Yuran let her indulge in her antics for a while, but when she attempted to go further, he finally couldn’t endure it. He turned, sitting up and taking control, moving her to the side. 

“Xin Li!”

He scolded hoarsely, his words seemingly squeezed out of his throat with difficulty. 

Xin Li, her back against the sofa, looked up upon hearing his words. She met a pair of pitch-black eyes, something indistinct churning within them.

The man’s scorching breath puffed across her face, yet she showed no fear. She reached out and poked at the red mark on his collarbone, created by her bites. Her eyes flickered, and she smiled wantonly.

“This can be considered my birthday present.”

Xie Yuran’s expression darkened. Pressing against her, it seemed like he might kiss her in the next second.

The air in the room became still, and silence enveloped the surroundings. Only the breaths of the two intermingled, creating an atmosphere of lingering ambiguity. 

Xin Li looked at him and blinked, a hint of inexplicable anticipation in her eyes.

However, she waited and waited but didn’t see any further action from him.

Xie Yuran stared into her eyes, maintaining the position for a moment before releasing her and standing up.

Without looking at her again, he turned away slightly and said, “It’s getting late; rest well.”

After saying that, he left her condo without turning back.

The closing of the door echoed with a solid thud. Xin Li finally relaxed completely, leaning back on the sofa, her eyes sparkling as if they held a sky full of stars.

Recalling the scene just now, she couldn’t help but burst into laughter.


The next day, when Xin Li woke and recalled the events of last night, it all felt like a dream.

She got out of bed and reached for her phone before opening Xie Yuran’s WeChat.

The last message between them was the red envelope he sent. 

Xin Li didn’t accept the red envelope and sent him a message: “Morning…”

She added a cute emoji for good measure.

Xie Yuran was probably busy as he replied more than half an hour later, “Sober now?”

Seeing this message, Xin Li could almost imagine his expression at the moment. She couldn’t help smiling and replied, “Awake.”

Xie Yuran didn’t respond.

After pondering for a bit, Xin Li deliberately added, “Thank you for yesterday’s birthday present.”

Xie Yuran: “……”

The bite mark on his collarbone seemed to still ache faintly.

Xin Li was overjoyed. She felt like he might block her any second, so after sending that message, she stopped teasing him and put down her phone before cheerfully getting up to get changed, and heading to her studio for work.


After July, Xin Li became busy due to her clothing brand studio’s participation in an international fashion competition, so she didn’t have much time to think about Xie Yuran during this period.

This busyness continued until September.

During this time, her contact with Xie Yuran decreased significantly, only chatting occasionally when she had some free time.

At the end of September, after the competition concluded with the studio winning an award, they held a celebration party. 

Amidst the liveliness, Xin Li, feeling a bit exhausted from the festivities with her colleagues, sat alone in a corner and chatted with her girlfriends. 

Chatting away, one of her friends suddenly asked her, “By the way, do you still keep in touch with that Xie Yuran?”

Her friends weren’t aware that Xin Li was pursuing Xie Yuran again.

Before Xin Li could respond, her friend sent another message, “I heard that Zhang Muqing is about to return to the country. If you still have feelings for him, you better act fast, secure him first, and then figure things out.”

Seeing the two words “Zhang Muqing,” Xin Li’s good mood instantly diminished by half and even her desire to continue chatting disappeared.

For some people, the more unattainable something was, the more they cherish it. 

In Xie Yuran’s heart, Zhang Muqing was most likely an unattainable love.

In the past, Zhang Muqing had feelings for Xie Shuo, so he had no chance. Now that Xie Shuo was blind and Xie Yuran had taken his position, there was a possibility that Zhang Muqing might turn back and look at him. 

With the depth of his infatuation for Zhang Muqing, if she were to beckon with a finger one day, he must just rush over immediately. 

She wouldn’t even compare to a single gesture from Zhang Muqing despite all the effort she had invested in pursuing him for such a long time.

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