Epilogue 10: Xin Li & Xie Yuran
It was rush hour, and people surged like a tide, bustling.
Xin Li paused for a moment before continuing to move forward.
Xie Yuran walked over and grabbed her wrist.
Xin Li hesitated, then turned around before asking calmly, “Why are you here? I’ve already made myself clear last time.”
Xie Yuran looked at her. “You made yourself clear, but I haven’t.”
“What do you want to say?”
Xin Li tried to pull away, but he held onto her wrist even tighter.
Xie Yuran said, “The incident that night was a misunderstanding.”
Unable to free herself, Xin Li let him do as he pleased before looking up at him. “En, and then?”
Xie Yuran: “…….”
Xin Li couldn’t understand him. In the past, he was indifferent to her pursuit. Now that she finally decided to let him go, he refused to move on.
Could it be that he developed feelings after sleeping together?
If she had known this, she wouldn’t have wasted so much effort chasing him. She would have just tackled him directly.
Seeing her indifferent expression, Xie Yuran felt a bit of a headache. “I did have some feelings for her, but it’s all in the past. When she came to me for help that day, I didn’t agree. With everything that happened with Zhang Junfeng, there’s no possibility of anything between her and me.”
Hearing the last two sentences, Xin Li’s anger flared up. “So, as a second choice, you turned back to me?”
Xie Yuran didn’t expect her to interpret it this way, frowning. “That’s not what I meant.”
Xin Li clearly didn’t believe him.
Looking at him, she said, “I know you want to take responsibility for that night, but I’ve already said that you don’t need to. We’re both adults; there’s no need to force ourselves to be together over such a matter.”
Just as her words fell, a voice suddenly sounded from nearby, “Xiao Li.”
Xin Li turned around, and she was taken aback upon seeing Zhou Zeyan standing not far away.
Why is he here too?
Xie Yuran’s expression changed slightly, and his hand that was holding Xin Li’s wrist tightened suddenly.
Zhou Zeyan’s gaze fell on the two of them, but he didn’t walk over.
The atmosphere instantly became awkward, and Xin Li suddenly felt like she had one foot in two boats*, with a feeling of overturning unexpectedly.
After a few silent seconds, she turned to Xie Yuran and said, “You’ve explained what needs to be explained. If there’s nothing else, I’ll leave first.”
She forcefully pulled away from him and walked quickly to Zhou Zeyan, asking, “Why are you here?”
Zhou Zeyan replied, “I had some business nearby, so I thought I’d drop by.”
He glanced at Xie Yuran and asked, “Did I disturb you?”
Xin Li shook her head, smiling a bit unnaturally. “No.”
Zhou Zeyan understood and then asked, “Want to grab dinner together?”
Xin Li hesitated for a moment, sensing the gaze behind her before agreeing, “Sure.”
She followed Zhou Zeyan into his car. Before they left, she turned back and saw Xie Yuran standing still in place, staring straight at them all glum.
The setting sun behind him painted a touch of loneliness, like a scene of desolation.
Soon, the car drove away, and Xin Li’s gaze remained fixed outside the window, staring at the bustling city landscape, not retracting.
A nameless, bitter feeling surged in her heart, and she couldn’t shake it off.
Zhou Zeyan suddenly asked, “The guy just now, was he your ex-boyfriend?”
Xin Li snapped back to reality and smiled. “No.”
They had never even been together, so how could he be considered an ex-boyfriend?
Zhou Zeyan seemed to understand what was going on and didn’t press for more details.
Xin Li looked out the window again, feeling a bit disoriented.
Despite her strong reluctance to admit it and her efforts to conceal it, she couldn’t deceive herself.
She still liked Xie Yuran; she hadn’t gotten over him.
Due to this little incident, Xin Li’s mood remained unsettled for several days. She was even too lazy to go to her studio and decided to invite her girlfriends to go out.
Not long after, it was Xin Li’s grandfather’s birthday, and the Xin family hosted a banquet at a hotel.
Although the initial arranged marriage didn’t happen, the relationship between the Xin family and Grandfather Xie remained. Since Grandfather Xie wasn’t feeling well, Xie Shuo and Xie Yuran represented him to offer his well wishes.
Thus, during the banquet, Xin Li encountered Xie Yuran once again.
When he appeared, Xin Li was holding a glass of wine, chatting and laughing with Zhou Zeyan. When she looked up, she met his gaze and was slightly stunned.
The clamorous and bustling atmosphere in the hall seemed to fade away in an instant, and the voice beside her became indistinct.
Xie Yuran didn’t come up to her, stopping a few steps away and looking at her.
After a few seconds of eye contact, Xin Li came back to her senses and moved her gaze away before continuing to talk with Zhou Zeyan.
Seeing her smiling, Xie Yuran felt it was a sore sight for his eyes. He didn’t walk away and kept his gaze on her.
Feeling uneasy, Xin Li chatted with Zhou Zeyan for a while before excusing herself and going to the nearby lounge area, holding her glass of wine.
As she walked over to the lounge area, she noticed Ye An sitting alone on the sofa, and Xie Shuo was nowhere to be seen.
After the last time, the two had become acquainted. Recently, she had heard that she and Xie Shuo were having talks of divorce. Curious, Xin Li sat down and engaged in some gossip.
Before long, Xie Shuo came over and embraced the slightly drunk Ye An before leaving, leaving Xin Li alone there.
Amidst the lively crowd, she seemed so separate and away from it.
Xin Li downed the contents of her glass and sat alone for a while in a daze. Feeling a slight headache, she decided to go upstairs and find a room to rest.
As she stood up and took a step, she noticed Xie Yuran standing not far away, watching her. It wasn’t clear for how long he had been standing there.
Through the layers of shadows cast by the lights, his handsome features appear somewhat blurred, and his expression mysterious.
Xin Li paused in her steps and glanced at him before turning around and walking through the crowd, heading upstairs.
The hallway was carpeted, muffling the sound of footsteps. Yet, Xin Li felt his presence behind her.
Without looking back, she staggered to a room and inserted the keycard.
As she entered the room, she went to close the door when a slender hand suddenly blocked it.
Looking up, Xin Li saw Xie Yuran’s face. Before she could react, he forcefully entered the room.
Simultaneously, he closed the door with a firm push.
He seemed to have drunk quite a lot; the scent of alcohol hit her as he neared, and his gaze seemed a bit off.
Forced to take a step back, Xin Li asked, “What are you doing?”
Xie Yuran stared deeply into her eyes as he grasped her shoulder and pressed her against the wall of the door. He lowered his head and asked, “Are you with Zhou Zeyan?”
His scorching breath puffed onto her forehead as if it could invade her breath at any moment. Xin Li felt inexplicably nervous and grabbed his arm before pushing him away. “We don’t have any relationship; why do you care who I’m with?”
“We don’t have any relationship?”
Xie Yuran’s breath intensified, pressing her even tighter against the wall, and his gaze became even more fervent.
“Do you really think there’s any?”
Her back against the wall, Xin Li met his gaze. “Then tell me, what’s our relationship?”
Xie Yuran gazed into her eyes before smiling. “Are you denying that we slept together?”
Xin Li: “…….”
Xin Li blushed unexpectedly at his sudden comment. She instinctively retorted, “Who’s denying that we slept together?”
Xie Yuran added, “You.”
Xin Li choked for a moment, pushing him with force. “That was your choice; I didn’t force you or tie you up!”
She pushed him a few times, finally breaking free from his restraint and steadying herself against the wall.
Xie Yuran loosened his grip, not pressing any further, and just stared at her silently. The way he was looking at her resembled that of someone looking at a woman who played with his feelings and then abandoned him.
Under his scrutiny, Xin Li couldn’t help but feel a bit guilty. “Unless you wanted me to take responsibility?”
Xie Yuran counter-asked, “What if I do?”
Xin Li: “……”
Xin Li was speechless. Her hands curled into fists, remaining silent for a moment before the emotions she had been holding back for a longtime finally erupted. “Xie Yuran, if you don’t like me, what’s the point of all this?
Xie Yuran stared at her and said, “Who said I don’t like you?
Xin Li was taken aback.
Xie Yuran approached her step by step, casting a shadow that enveloped her.
He stopped in front of her, gazing into her eyes and saying, “If I didn’t like you, I wouldn’t have come here tonight.”
Xin Li met his deep gaze, and her heart skipped a beat. The long-lost palpitations instantly awakened.
Pressed against the wall behind her, she instinctively held her breath as if she could hear the frantic beating of her heart.
Is he… drunk?
Xie Yuran held her shoulders, and where his fingers touched, warmth spread.
“Xiao Li, can you stop avoiding me?” he whispered.
His sudden confession left Xin Li’s hands hanging at her sides, unsure of what to do.
She felt that she couldn’t succumb so quickly. Trying to steady her mind, she raised her chin and deliberately brought up past issues, “Didn’t you say we weren’t suitable?”