“I don’t agree!” Cao Yang rejected without hesitation.
Though it was worthy of praise that she had thought so far ahead… the life plan she had in mind was hard for him to compliment.
“Come and visit us every festival?” he said coldly. “Everyone in this family has treated you so well, yet they’re only worth a glance from you every festival?”
Xia Rou lowered her head. “Then… I’ll come every weekend…”
She was too obstinate to open her eyes! Translated by The Novelst
“Then what about the others? The Hu and Zhang families? Li Shao? Sun Yuqing? Zhao Peipei? They’re all your best friends, right? How do you plan to get along with them in the future?” he asked.
“That Wei Qi, no matter how far he goes in his career, how much can he advance? A senior white collar? A gold collar? Or maybe he’s so impressive that he can start his own business and earn a lot of money to become a wealthy businessman? Do you think he can enter the circle?”
“All your friends – their future husbands are all wealthy. If you marry Wei Qi, how do you plan on continuing to meet with them?”
As Cao Yang finished speaking, he looked at her expression with lowered eyes lowered, suddenly enlightened.
“Xiao Rou, you!” He was surprised before asking seriously, “You… is this your plan to break away from the circle?”
Xia Rou lowered her head and silently agreed.
Going back to where she belonged… This was what the big brother in her past had wished for her.
Two teardrops fell out as she blinked, breaking into bits as they hit the floor.
Xia Rou didn’t know but the way she looked right now was the same as she had looked in the past.
Even when she was being stubborn, she would never argue or cry. She would simply lower her head and shed quiet tears.
No matter if it was in the past or in this life, it made Cao Yang’s heart ache.
He pressed his lips together and looked at her.
In the end, he couldn’t bear it any longer. He lowered his head and kissed her forehead: “Silly girl, you silly girl!”
He sighed and held her in his arms, saying softly, “I know that you have always been unhappy inside. You cry every time you drink… I had already tried my best to take care of you. What else can I do to make you happier? Can you tell me?”
Xia Rou raised her head. “Big brother, Wei Qi he… he’s a really good person.”
He looked at her. “Do you like him so much? Can’t you just be with me? Do you not like me at all?”
Xia Rou couldn’t answer that.
Her voice was soft as though she was begging, “He’s really great… You’ll definitely like him too…”
Cao Yang sneered. “Like him? I just want him put to death. And you know why that is.”
After he finished speaking, his hand touched the back of her neck. But he saw her face reveal a hint of heartbreaking disappointment.
That kid wasn’t bad – his personality was good and he was positive and bright. His family background was simple and easy to get along with. He had dated twice before, so his past was simple and his personal life was clean.
It suited her very much, he said.
He tried his best to persuade her, hoping that she would choose Wei Qi over Liang Ziheng.
That was because he knew Liang Ziheng… was not the right person for her. He knew that the Liang Family had a complicated situation going on, so she was powerless to deal with both Liang Ziheng and Xia Hongjun.
He had seen through it all.
At that time, inside his heart… had he wanted to put Wei Qi to death even then?
If that was the case, then what would he have been feeling when he tried to persuade her to choose Wei Qi?
Xia Rou only felt that it was hard to breathe, a dull pain in her chest.
She captured Cao Yang’s hand that was touching the back of her neck.
“You… like to touch the back of my neck. Why is that?”
She remembered that man had also patted her head regularly, and his hand would go with the flow, sliding from her hair to the back of her neck. His hand would stay there for just a moment before it left.
The temperature of his warm palms was embedded into her heart.
Cao Yang heard her and lowered his head to kiss her eyes.
He said softly, “Because… you’re beautiful. I wanted to touch it before this…”
He kissed her cheeks and then her lips.
So that was how it was…
Xia Rou felt dizzy.
She closed her eyes.
“Xiao Rou, does it have to be Wei Qi?” Cao Yang released her lips to speak into her ear. “Tell me, do you not like me at all?”
Xia Rou opened her eyes, puzzled. “I… don’t know.”
The corner of Cao Yang’s mouth lifted into a smile.
“No rush,” he said. “I won’t force you.”
His deep voice was hypnotizing beside her ear. “I’ll give you time. Think it over slowly. But… don’t lock the door. Xiao Rou…”
Cao Yang rested his weight on his arm on the wall and locked Xia Rou in the limited space before him, lowering his head again to stare at her.
“I told you before that no one can treat you carelessly… that includes me.” He guaranteed her, “If you don’t like it, I won’t touch you.”
“…Don’t be afraid. Especially inside this house, don’t ever be afraid.”
He kissed the top of her head and hugged her softly in his arms. Carefully…
Before Xia Rou went to bed, she wanted to look at her phone before realizing it was off. She remembered that she had forgotten to charge it the night before.
She put it on the charger and turned it on. She opened her messaging app and saw a few messages from Wei Qi.
She shrunk herself into her sofa, hugging her legs and going blank for a while.
Her phone rang. It was Wei Qi.
“Rou Rou?” he asked. “You finally switched your phone on! Where are you?”
Hearing that she was at home, Wei Qi was relieved.
He asked her softly, “I went to look for you in the morning, but you left already. I called your phone, but you didn’t pick up.”
“Mn…” Xia Rou sniffed. “Wei Qi, I…” Translated by The Novelst
She remembered the way Cao Yang had sneered and told her, “I want him put to death,” and her heart sunk.
“I’ll return to school tomorrow at the same time,” she said, lowering her eyes. “Wei Qi… let’s speak when we meet…”
Usually there was heavy traffic on Monday mornings. Xia Rou didn’t want to wake up early, so she usually returned to school on Sunday after dinner.
Sometimes it was Xiao Yang who drove her, but most of the time it was Cao Yang.
This Sunday was no exception so she brought some clean clothes to sit in Cao Yang’s car.
He had said before he wouldn’t force her. If she was unwilling, he wouldn’t touch her.
What he meant by “touch” was not the ordinary touching between young couples, like holding hands and kissing. Xia Rou knew what he meant.
On the road, he said a few words. The pair looked peaceful.
But Xia Rou knew that everything had changed. Even the air between them was different.
She and this Cao Yang could never return to how it was before.
She had lost a big brother, and now another.
Proofread by: Hannah
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