Lu Chenzhou’s face remained expressionless, but Cheng Xi saw goosebumps rapidly climb up his neck.
Cheng Xi laughed. In the bathroom, she had seen the many bruises on her body, including an especially large one on her thigh. For a couple minutes, she had really thought that she had experienced a wild night with Lu Chenzhou. But seeing his reaction now, she could silently breathe a sigh of relief.
Given his germophobic nature that wouldn’t allow anyone to even touch him, how could he let a stranger like her climb into his bed?
She didn’t want to expose him. Although she didn’t know what his intentions were, it was clear that he didn’t want to have a regular doctor-patient relationship with her and needed such a veneer to cover up their relationship. Cheng Xi would reluctantly accommodate his whims, as long as she didn’t suffer any losses from doing so.
But some retaliation was surely necessary. Just as Lu Chenzhou was reaching the limits of his endurance, Cheng Xi let him off the hook. She turned around to pick up her handbag from the floor, took out her wallet, and asked, without raising her head, “How much money do I owe you?”
Cheng Xi turned around and laughed. With her one-sided dimple half-showing, her visage was unexpectedly beautiful. “Thanks for your ‘patronage’ last night. What I mean is, including the taxi fee and lodgings, how much do I owe you?”
Lu Chenzhou finally understood. “You’re treating me like a prostitute?”
“I didn’t say that.” Of course, whatever he thought was up to him.
Cheng Xi took out all the cash from her wallet that she had just withdrawn yesterday and left it on the table, 2,000 yuan in total. “If this isn’t enough, you can call me.” She lowered her head, wrote her phone number down on the message pad on the table, and summarily turned around to leave.
“Hey!” the man called after her. He kicked off the blankets, revealing a fair and slender chest, coupled with faintly showing abs.
Cheng Xi stopped, her gaze landing by the bedsheets next to his feet.
“Don’t you think that this is rather cold of you?” he spoke in a robotic tone. Even as he looked at her, it was as if he were reciting lines from a script. “At the very least, we were a couple for a single night.”
Cheng Xi almost wanted to laugh, as a way of letting him know that he shouldn’t try to pick up girls if he didn’t have the skill for it, as doing so made his actions seemed ludicrous. Sighing, she said, “Mr. Lu, perhaps you’ve forgotten that I’m a doctor.”
He paused. “What do you mean?”
“Meaning, I can examine my body to understand what I’ve experienced.”
This was nonsense; if she were to base her judgment solely on how her body felt and the state of her bruises, she was hardly able to make such an analysis. However, she didn’t want to reveal that her judgment was solely based on her psychiatrist’s instinct.
Lu Chenzhou, however, didn’t seem to have thought of this, and was now glaring at her somewhat unrepentantly.
Cheng Xi was worried that he would rashly grab her and actually force her into bed with him, but luckily he made no further abnormal movements.
After leaving the room, Cheng Xi let out a deep breath that she had been holding onto for a while. She walked calmly out of the hotel, and after she exited, she found an isolated corner where she could bang her head against the wall in private.
Why on earth was her alcohol tolerance so poor?!
And what in the world was that fellow trying to do, pretending that they had had a one-night stand after she got drunk? She couldn’t accept such a clichd plotline that sounded like it came straight out of some vulgar novel!
After spending a significant amount of time shoring up her mental state, she finally calmed down enough to take her phone out of her handbag. She had a few missed calls, some from her parents, some from her elder brother, and some from her teacher, Cai Yi.
Cheng Xi called each of them in turn to assure her family members that she was alright before finally calling Cai Yi, who asked, “Didn’t you go home last night?”
“No, something came up, so I didn’t go back home. Were you looking for me for some reason last night, Professor?”
“It’s nothing. It’s just that your parents called me after they couldn’t reach you. Right, what did you think of Lu Chenzhou?”
Was she actually trying to play matchmaker? Cheng Xi couldn’t believe that Cai Yi would have time for such an inane thing. “Emotional detachment—that Mr. Lu has a physiological inability to feel emotions, right?”
“Yes, an accurate diagnosis.” Cai Yi smiled with praise.
Cheng Xi was momentarily stunned. “He’s really suffering from that?” She had made that diagnosis up. Recently, she had looked at some medical case studies of patients who had an inability to feel emotions; during her interactions with Lu Chenzhou, she had noticed that he seemed to exhibit some of those symptoms and had proposed it on a whim as an outlandish hypothesis.
“Yes, really. But his situation is a bit special. With regards to how, you’ll just have to find out after you interact more with him. I won’t tell you now so as not to impair your professional judgment.”
Cheng Xi remained silent, and her teacher continued, “His entire family didn’t realize that this was an illness until now, mainly because Lu Chenzhou still doesn’t have a partner even though he’s already thirty. His grandparents found me, and hoped that I could find a solution to their problems. Cheng Xi, Donglai is a major partner and sponsor of my laboratory, and Lu Chenzhou is like a dear child to me. Since we’re so familiar with each other, I’m unable to have a proper doctor-patient relationship with him. Thus, I’m hoping that you can help me in this regard.”