During the years of marriage, Cen Ning was always very busy.
One day, after finishing work at IZ, she received a call from Yi Xi.
“Where are you?”
“At the company, just about to head home.”
Yi Xi said, “Don’t go home. It’s Lin Min’s birthday today, and we’re celebrating here. Why don’t you come over too?”
Lin Min was a good friend of Yi Xi’s. Cen Ning had shared a few meals with her while tagging along with Yi Xi, so they had become somewhat familiar. Since it was still early to go home, Cen Ning considered for a moment and then asked, “Where is it?”
Cen Ning hesitated and said, “A bar, huh…”
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“They went downstairs to dance. A band that Xixi likes just started performing.”
Cen Ning nodded, “Ah… alright, then let them have fun. It’s fine.”
Luo Ke chuckled. “I think I’ll bring them up, anyway.”
After Yi Xi and the group came back, they were still playful and rowdy. When Yi Xi noticed Cen Ning sitting properly on the couch, she quickly pounced over, saying, “Oh my goodness, I’m so tired. Dancing got me dizzy.”
Cen Ning’s gaze shifted past her to the guy sitting beside Lin Min. “This person… looks familiar.”
Yi Xi followed her gaze, “Him? He’s Lin Min’s friend, Zhao Yicheng.”
Cen Ning gasped. “I remember now. Is he that singing competition contestant?”
Yi Xi: “Exactly.”
Yi Xi and her group of friends were no strangers to celebrities and singers, so knowing a few famous people wasn’t a big deal. However, watching the somewhat famous singer acting flirtatiously and ingratiatingly toward Lin Min left her feeling a bit disappointed.
Yi Xi lifted a glass of wine from the coffee table and took a sip, then whispered near Cen Ning’s ear, “This guy used some tricks involving Lin Min to secure a spot among the top ranks, so he’s quite obedient to her.”
Cen Ning: “Does Lin Min… like him?”
Yi Xi shook her head.
Cen Ning: “Then why is she helping him so much?”
Yi Xi sighed. “She’s intentionally trying to provoke someone. She says it’s… taking a step back to move forward, using pressure and temptation. Anyway, she’s trying to provoke a reaction from her crush.”
Cen Ning: “Oh…”
“I don’t get her tactics, but oh well, let her do her thing. Here, take this glass. It’s fruit wine, not too strong.”
Cen Ning quite enjoyed going out to have fun with Yi Xi and her friends. She felt that being around Yi Xi’s group was a great way to unwind, and even just having a drink and chatting could unexpectedly lift one’s spirits.
During the meal, Cen Ning got up to use the restroom. As she emerged from the women’s restroom, she had to pass by the sinks in the men’s restroom area. While walking past, she noticed a familiar figure hunched over and vomiting. She paused for a moment, watching the person struggling, and quietly left a packet of tissues by the sink.
The person glanced up, saw the tissues, and then shifted his gaze toward her face.
Cen Ning: “… Are you okay?”
The person nodded his head and expressed thanks.
“You seem to have had a bit too much to drink. Why push yourself like this?”
The person pulled out a tissue to wipe his mouth, and when he raised his head, Cen Ning recognized the handsome face that was well-known to the public — Zhao Yicheng.
“Being in this state while going out is normal sometimes. Besides, if Lin Min hasn’t called it quits, can I do so?”
Cen Ning furrowed her brows. “Lin Min isn’t that kind of person.”
Zhao Yicheng smiled, “What kind of person she is doesn’t matter to me. We each get what we need, and when we’re acting, we have to play our parts convincingly, right?”
Cen Ning let out a small sigh, not wanting to get involved further, “Alright, I was just speaking casually. By the way, if you’re feeling unwell, just let Luo Ke know. He’s the guy with glasses, and he has some hangover remedies.”
Zhao Yicheng pressed his lips together, “…Are you close to them?”
Cen Ning, who had intended to leave, paused for a moment. “What?”
Zhao Yicheng continued, “You don’t seem like someone who frequents nightclubs.”
Cen Ning felt a bit embarrassed, but she didn’t directly address that. She simply said, “Yi Xi is a good friend of mine.”
“Oh, but you don’t come here often, do you?” Zhao Yicheng remarked. “You look a bit reserved.”
Cen Ning: “…………”
What kind of weird assessment is that?
Seeing Zhao Yicheng’s half-smile, she felt awkward and said, “If there’s nothing else, I’ll head back. Goodbye.”
“Why say goodbye? Let’s go together,” Zhao Yicheng followed her. “We’re not going to different places.”
Back at the table, Yi Xi was still chatting with the group. When she saw Cen Ning approaching, she quickly cleared a space next to her, saying, “Ningning, tell them. She doesn’t believe that Xu Nanru listens to me at home. You can vouch for it.”
Cen Ning: “Xu Nanru… listens to you?”
Lin Min: “Look at Cen Ning’s puzzled expression. You’re lying.”
Yi Xi: “Come on, I’m not lying. He’s completely under my charm, okay?”
Lin Min: “What kind of charm do you have? Come on, tell us.”
Yi Xi: “Why should I tell you? Why do you want to know so much about the little quirks between married couples?”
Lin Min rolled her eyes. “Oh, go on with your boasting. It’s like you’re the only married one in the whole world. ‘Little quirks between married couples’—”
Yi Xi draped her arm around Cen Ning’s shoulder and grinned triumphantly, “Well, that’s right. It’s a little quirk that only us married ladies understand. You wouldn’t get it.”
Across the table, Zhao Yicheng paused and glanced at Cen Ning with some surprise.
Lin Min: “Now that you mention it, I’m a bit curious, Ningning! What’s your significant other like when he’s with you?”
Yi Xi: “Why are you prying into her personal life?”
Lin Min leaned in even closer to the two of them, lowering her voice. “I’m just curious. It’s Yan Xingzhi. I’m really curious about what he’s like at home or, you know… hehe.”
When a group of girls gathers together to gossip, Lin Min always manages to say something shocking. Yi Xi is completely used to her manner, but for Cen Ning, it’s her first time experiencing this. So, when Lin Min made that suggestive “hehe” sound, Cen Ning’s face turned red.
“W-what… what do you mean?”
Lin Min: “Tsk, I’m just asking, in ordinary situations, who takes the initiative, you or him?”
Cen Ning suddenly felt relieved that the bar had dim lighting, because she felt that her cheeks’ temperature was very high. “Well…”
“Do we even need to ask?” Yi Xi laughed. “Our Ningning is like a little rabbit, and when faced with a wolf-like Yan Xingzhi, it’s pretty obvious who’s more active.”
Lin Min: “Yes, yes. Cen Ning is nothing like you. Who’s like you, way too enthusiastically passionate?”
Cen Ning cleared her throat and quickly picked up a glass from the coffee table to take a sip.
It was getting late and Yi Xi drank a bit too much, so she called Xu Nanru to come pick her up. It didn’t take long for Xu Nanru to arrive in his car. However, he had assumed it was just Yi Xi and Lin Min celebrating a birthday, so he was surprised to find Cen Ning with them as well.
Xu Nanru said, “I’ll call Xingzhi.”
Yi Xi hooked her arm around Cen Ning’s shoulder and said, “No need, we’ll take her home.”
“He’s nearby,” Xu Nanru said, then glanced at Yi Xi. “Didn’t I tell you not to mess around?”
Cen Ning quickly spoke up, “It’s fine, I came on my own for Lin Min’s birthday, and I didn’t drink much. Don’t worry.”
Xu Nanru was quite courteous to Cen Ning and nodded. “I’ll still have him come over.”
The three of them waited at the entrance for a while. Suddenly, a person rushed out of the bar, calling Cen Ning.
Cen Ning turned around to see the celebrity singer, Zhao Yicheng.
“You forgot your power bank,” he said.
Cen Ning: “Oh… thank you.”
Zhao Yicheng chuckled. “No need. By the way, you mentioned that you have a friend who’s my fan?”
“Yeah, she voted for you a lot during your competition.”
“In that case, I’ll have a concert coming up in a while. I can give you both tickets.”
“Really?” Cen Ning thought that Xiao You would be really happy about this…
“Of course.” Zhao Yicheng looked intently at Cen Ning. “Or, how about you add me on WeChat? It’ll be easier to stay in touch.”
Cen Ning: “Sure—”
“Cen Ning.” Yan Xingzhi arrived at the bar’s entrance at that moment. He glanced at the group, then his gaze settled on Zhao Yicheng.
Yi Xi had her arm around Cen Ning’s shoulder originally, and seeing Yan Xingzhi’s reaction and his gaze on Zhao Yicheng, she felt something was off. So, she quietly shifted away from Cen Ning and into Xu Nanru’s embrace.
“Well, now that he is here, we can rest assured. Ningning, we’ll head out first,” Yi Xi said, hiccuping after her words. She grabbed Xu Nanru’s clothes and began to walk toward their car.
Xu Nanru and Yan Xingzhi nodded in agreement and then left with Yi Xi.
Outside the bar, only the three of them remained. Zhao Yicheng looked at the approaching man and felt a sudden unease.
“May I ask who this is…?”
Cen Ning hadn’t spoken yet, but Yan Xingzhi answered, “Her husband.”
Zhao Yicheng hesitated briefly but quickly responded, “So, you’re Mr. Yan, as mentioned by Miss Lin.”
Yan Xingzhi stepped forward and pulled Cen Ning closer, smiling lightly, “I don’t know who you are…”
Zhao Yicheng: “I’m just a singer. Uh, I was asking for Cen Ning’s WeChat earlier… Please don’t misunderstand. I just thought it would be easier to give her the concert tickets later.”
Yan Xingzhi’s expression remained unchanged. “You overreacted.”
In the end, Zhao Yicheng didn’t ask for Cen Ning’s WeChat again. He took advantage of a phone call opportunity to bid her a quick farewell and hurriedly returned to the bar. Yan Xingzhi, on the other hand, led Cen Ning back to the car.
During the drive back home, Yan Xingzhi didn’t say much.
“Chaoyu is at the Yan house, should we—”
“Leave her for now. Tonight, we’ll go to our own home.”
“Okay.” Cen Ning stole a glance at him. “Are you… upset?”
Yan Xingzhi: “No.”
Although Yan Xingzhi’s expression remained the same, Cen Ning could sense a subtle change in his mood. She thought to herself that he must be upset because she hadn’t informed him and just come to the bar to drink.
As expected, after returning home, Yan Xingzhi headed straight to his study without saying a word. Cen Ning stood in the living room for a while, unsure of what to do. After all, she knew she was in the wrong – her tolerance for alcohol wasn’t great, and she had promised him that she would inform him before attending any drinking events.
Cen Ning stole a glance at the study and then sat down in the living room to message Yi Xi.
NSFW scenes ahead. Don’t read ahead if you’re not comfortable!
Yi Xi quickly replied: [He’s upset, right? Just comfort him, it’s a simple matter.]
Cen Ning: [How do I comfort him…]
Yi Xi sent a suggestive emoji and added: [Take a shower, put on your sexiest pyjamas, show vulnerability, act cute, and offer yourself a hug!]
Cen Ning: [?]
Yi Xi: [If it doesn’t work, I’ll have the same last name as you tomorrow.]
In the study, Yan Xingzhi stared at the text on his computer screen, slowly moving his mouse. The room outside was quiet and still. He glanced towards the door, feeling stifled.
To be honest, he hadn’t been truly angry earlier. While he had advised Cen Ning not to fool around with Yi Xi, he knew that Yi Xi had a sense of propriety and wouldn’t lead Cen Ning into trouble.
But today… seeing that man ask for her WeChat and the way they chatted and laughed together, did bother him somewhat. So, he wanted to give her the cold shoulder to make her realize her mistake, to see if she’d be so casual about adding guys on WeChat in the future.
However, looking at it now, it seems this person had no clue about his intentions.
After her shower, Cen Ning changed into a new camisole nightdress that she had recently purchased. She slowly approached the study door, cautiously peeking in.
Inside the study, Yan Xingzhi was seated at his desk, looking quite serious.
Cen Ning silently encouraged herself and began, “Xingzhi Gege, are you… not going to bed?”
After getting married, Cen Ning rarely used this term of address, as she thought it sounded too cutesy. But he didn’t mind, and occasionally even coaxed her into using it. So, when he heard her call him this way, he felt a bit dazed. However, he was determined to make her realize her mistake, so he lifted his gaze to look at her and deliberately responded coldly, “You should go to bed first.”
Cen Ning wasn’t going to be easily brushed off. She bit her lip, moved closer to the doorway, and whispered by his side, “But it’s not early, and I can’t sleep alone. Keep me company.”
Yan Xingzhi fell silent for a moment. “You know it’s not early? How much did you drink at the bar?”
“Just a little, and it was all fruit wine. I didn’t feel much from it,” Cen Ning held onto his arm, looking pitiful, “Really, I’m not lying to you.”
Yan Xingzhi let out an “okay”, and his attempt to keep up a cold facade wavered. “What were you doing?”
“It was Lin Min’s birthday. I hadn’t planned to go, but since it’s her birthday, it wouldn’t be right not to.”
“Are you close to that person?” Yan Xingzhi asked.
“Lin Min? Well, she—”
“I mean the man at the bar’s entrance.”
“Ah…” Cen Ning looked at Yan Xingzhi’s expression and began to understand. Could it be that he’s upset about this??
Yan Xingzhi frowned. “Why did you stop talking?”
Cen Ning blinked rapidly and hurriedly explained, “I’m not close to him at all! I met him for the first time today. Later, I casually mentioned that Xiao You is his fan. He probably wanted to give me and Xiao You tickets because of Lin Min’s sake.”
Yan Xingzhi snorted, “He’s quite enthusiastic.”
Cen Ning leaned against him, rubbing against his side. “We’re all friends of Lin Min, just giving face to each other.” (TLN: giving face means showing respect)
Cen Ning observed him with lowered eyes, noticing that he seemed less angry now. She pretended to yawn sleepily and then, in one smooth motion, swung her leg over and sat on his lap.
Before Yan Xingzhi could say anything, she wrapped her arms around his neck and nestled against his shoulder, saying, “Mmm… I’m so tired.”
Cen Ning was wearing a camisole nightdress, and in this position, the hem of the dress had been lifted to the middle of her thighs, barely covering the tops of her legs.
This was an overt seduction, but when it came to someone as innocent-looking as Cen Ning, it would be interpreted as unintentional seduction. She was doing it on purpose, but no one would think she was deliberate.
Yan Xingzhi’s gaze fell onto the fair legs in front of him. The delicate fragrance and softness of her body easily ignited the ember of desire within him. He placed his hand on her waist, his voice a bit husky. “Aren’t you going to sleep in the bedroom?”
Cen Ning lifted her head from his shoulder, looking somewhat pitifully at him. “I don’t want to sleep alone. I want to stay with you…”
With her soft words and just the right amount of coquettishness, how could Yan Xingzhi resist any longer? He clenched his teeth, suddenly stood up, and pressed her against the desk. “Then don’t go back.”
Later on, her delicate nightdress was wrinkled and dishevelled, and her most intimate panties seemed to have disappeared into thin air.
Cen Ning lay on the desk, her expression blurred, her clothing barely covering her. He had left her gasping and moaning from his teasing. As for him, he towered over her, his clothes mostly tidy, yet his demeanour far from composed.
Gradually, his forceful advances overwhelmed Cen Ning, almost like a release of pent-up tension. She could only cry out and plead for him to slow down.
“Do you realize your mistake now?”
Cen Ning’s trembling legs were pinned beneath him. “I-I explained…”
“I explained about Zhao Yicheng… Ah!”
Yan Xingzhi’s voice was low and stern. “Be more cautious in the future. Don’t casually give your number to other men.”
Cen Ning was panting anxiously, “Okay, okay… please hurry…”
“Xingzhi Gege, mmm… I meant to hurry and finish…”
The next morning, Cen Ning’s legs felt weak.
She lay on the bed, feeling exhausted. She picked up her phone to check the time—it was already 11 in the morning.
Besides that, there were two unread messages.
Cen Ning opened the messages.
Yan Xingzhi: [I have something to attend to outside. After you wake up, remember to go to the kitchen and heat some food to eat.]
Cen Ning snorted and ignored him, then opened another message.
Yi Xi: [How’s it going? Is your husband still angry? If he’s still upset, be sure to let me know. I won’t go to the Yan house recently if that’s the case, haha.]
Cen Ning smiled to herself and replied: [Don’t worry, he’s not angry.]
Yi Xi: [Oh! Not angry, huh? Did he lose his temper because of your sweet talk?!]
Cen Ning: [Thanks to Miss Yi’s advice.]
Yi Xi: [You’re welcome, you’re welcome.]
Cen Ning locked her screen and snuggled back into her blankets. If she had known that being so cunning yesterday would lead to him being so fierce, she might as well not have tried to coax him at all!