Xu Po and the others quickly ran to where the ball had landed. “Damn! It’s right on the line!”
Baldy crowed sycophantically, “Zhou’s a beast, isn’t he? You’ve lost, so pay up quickly!”
Yes, they had bet on the games, wagering a decent amount for every match. Xu Po had lost quite a bit today.
But Xu Po was unwilling to give up. “Get Zhou get off the court! Call your girlfriend over, and then we’ll see how good you actually are!”
“Alright, I will! Do you think that I’m afraid of you?” Baldy waved at Tian Rou, beckoning her over. “Girl, come over! We’ll team up, beat them black and blue until they’re crying, and then have fun spending their money!”
And so, Tian Rou ran onto the court, and Lu Chenzhou off of it.
Cheng Xi was still on the phone with Lin Fan, and she asked back, “When?”
“She’d prefer today, and right now if you could.” His tone was somewhat apologetic. “I’m sorry. I tried my best to pacify her, but she really insists on seeing you.”
When Lu Chenzhou walked over, Cheng Xi had just gotten the address from Lin Fan and hung up.
She held her phone in her hand as she handed a bottle of water to Lu Chenzhou. “Are you tired?”
He shook his head in a relaxed manner as he took the proffered bottle, tilted his head back, and drained it all in one smooth motion. Some of the water leaked out and ran down his jaw and onto his upper chest. His shirt was wetted, and the now see-through material revealed the rippling muscles underneath.
Cheng Xi unconsciously gulped, not out of appreciation, but rather anxiety. She suddenly recalled the raw strength that he had shown on that morning when he had punched the bed by the side of her face.
When Lu Chenzhou finished the water, both of his hands fell onto his knees as he lowered his head slightly and focused on breathing. Cheng Xi took the empty bottle from his hands and said, “You should relax a little when you play again next time. If you win by too much, I’m afraid that I won’t be able to find anyone to play with.
Perhaps it was because they had been exercising quite often lately, but Lu Chenzhou seemed to have warmed up considerably. Although he was still cold and calm, anyone familiar with him knew that this was about as amiable and approachable as he could get.
When he heard Cheng Xi softly chiding him, he even started joking around. “Are we slowly fattening up our livestock?”
Cheng Xi smiled. “You see through things too easily.”
Lu Chenzhou also started smiling in response. It was a very faint smile, but one that Cheng Xi was very fond of.
The two of them continued to chat as they watched the match play out.
Cheng Xi curiously asked, “Who do you think will win?”
Lu Chenzhou glanced at the game, and then replied without hesitation, “Xu Po.”
“I think that Tian Rou and Baldy will.” Cheng Xi was in high spirits. “Shall we make a bet?”
Lu Chenzhou’s expression was that of a deity’s distaste at the foolish antics of a mortal.
Cheng Xi blinked expectantly. “Well, shall we? How about the stakes be that the loser has to do one thing for the winner?” Lu Chenzhou still didn’t seem very enthusiastic, so she upped the ante. “If I lose, then I’ll give you my body for the rest of my life. How about that?”
He turned around, his tone still somewhat disdainful. “What can you do?”
“Cook, do laundry, and make the bed.”
“I don’t need a housekeeper.”
She leaned in closer, and sensually whispered into his ear, “But I can also warm up your bed.”
Her hot breath tickled and caressed his ears.
Lu Chenzhou’s face was expressionless, but his hands had long since clenched together tightly. “Don’t try to seduce me. If you don’t want me to do something to you right here and now, then you’d better move further away.”
Cheng Xi moved away obediently. “Then, do we have a bet?”
After receiving a confirmation, Cheng Xi stood up, stretched her body slightly, threw a splendid smile at Lu Chenzhou, and then walked over to the four people still on the court. “How about I substitute for Tian Rou?” She looked at Xu Po, her eyes gleaming. “If we lose, then I’ll reimburse you for the money that you’ve lost today.”
“And if I lose?”
“Double the bet?”
Swayed by her charms, Xu Po waved his hand. “You’ve got a deal.”
Tian Rou couldn’t have been happier to be kicked off the court; she was completely out of breath, ok? Actually, she had run off even before Xu Po had agreed, and once he’d agreed, she happily clapped Cheng Xi’s shoulder. “I’m counting on you!”
Cheng Xi grabbed her racket, turned around, and asked Lu Chenzhou, who was still sitting on the benches by the side of the court, “Is this alright, Mr. Lu?”
The tennis court was very well lit, so much so that Cheng Xi’s figure was dazzling in the bright light. Lu Chenzhou subconsciously leaned back as he nodded.
With everything set in place, Cheng Xi ran onto the tennis court happily. Her technique was about as good as Tian Rou’s, but she was far more fit and had higher endurance. Additionally, she had just finished resting, so the tide turned in their favor as soon as she started playing.
In the end, they won 7-5 victory; it was…… somewhat arduous, but it was a victory nonetheless.
Tian Rou was very happy to have picked up a win out of nowhere. After the match ended, she ran up to them, cheering, picked up Baldy, and then spun around in circles with him in tow. She never hesitated to praise her man, and as expected, she loudly exclaimed, “My Baldy’s amazing!”
The two of them hugged each other like hyperactive children, and Xu Po and his girlfriend were struck slightly dumb by the sight. They merely stood to the side of the court, supporting themselves with their rackets, as they didn’t even have the energy to ridicule them.
Meanwhile, Cheng Xi was so tired that she didn’t want to move a single muscle. She sat on the floor, and when Lu Chenzhou slowly ambled over, she stretched out her hands towards him, coyly complaining, “I’m tired.”
Lu Chenzhou picked her up.
The others made a loud clamor, and Tian Rou even started shaking Baldy as she demanded, “I want to be carried. Carry me, carry me!”
Baldy shouted, “Scram!” in response. Although he didn’t have the stamina for a bridal carry, he did hoist Tian Rou onto his shoulders and run around in circles.
Tian Roy’s shrill laughter filled the court.
Cheng Xi felt like Tian Rou’s exuberance had also infected her, and Lu Chenzhou even more so. He was barely able to contain the amorous feelings swelling up from deep within his heart; he rubbed his head against Cheng Xi’s face as he asked, “What did you want me to do?”
Cheng Xi’s face was smiling, but her heart was filled with hesitation. If she could, then she really didn’t want to spoil the current mood.
Xu Po, who had lost miserably, didn’t want to look at the other two couples blatantly flirting in public, so he ran over to the benches to pick up everyone’s bags.
Cheng Xi’s bag was amongst them. When Xu Po felt it vibrating in his hands, Xu Po loudly yelled out, “Dr. Cheng, your phone’s ringing,” completely unaware of Cheng Xi’s conflicted feelings.
Cheng Xi then jumped down from Lu Chenzhou’s grasp, picked up her bag, and found that she had quite a few missed calls.
All from Lin Fan.
Cheng Xi sighed lamentably.
That match marked the end for their tennis session, so everyone went to shower and change their clothes. When Cheng Xi came out, she saw Xu Po handing Baldy money. The latter was smiling so brightly that the glare seemed to blind her eyes. “Let’s go and have some fun!”
Baldy and Tian Rou started making plans, chattering away happily, but Cheng Xi pulled Lu Chenzhou aside. “You guys should go first. We have something we need to do, and we’ll head over once we’re done, alright?”
Tian Rou had originally been quite happy, but when she heard Cheng Xi’s excuse, she glared at her. “What could you possibly be doing this late? Cheng Xi, you’re not a loyal friend!”
But Baldy easily saw the rare look of arousal on Lu Chenzhou’s face, so he shielded his eyes as he said, “I really can’t bear to look at the two of you anymore! Do the two of you have to be this way? You’re already an old couple, but are you guys still unable to hold yourselves back?”
Cheng Xi looked at him superciliously; Lu Chenzhou didn’t even deign to reply, and he just dragged Cheng Xi into his car.
Baldy yelled out from behind, “Brother, do you still have enough condoms?”
It was clear that everyone had heard about Baldy’s “gracious” gift to Lu Chenzhou, as they all started yelling furiously soon after his inflammatory words.
Cheng Xi uncontrollably blushed, and she nudged Lu Chenzhou as she said, “It’s a waste to keep those things lying around. Why don’t we send them back to the fellow over there?”
Lu Chenzhou glanced at her, using his gaze to convey how childish he found her suggestion. He completely ignored it, and once they had left the tennis courts, he asked, “What’s the matter?” His tone implied that if she didn’t reply, his offer would expire and he wouldn’t ask again.
Cheng Xi’s smile faded as the delight in her heart became weaker and weaker. She rested her hand on the lowered car window. Tonight was a typical May night; the night breeze was so gentle that it felt like a lover’s caress. By comparison, the gaze of the man beside her had never been as tender.
She really wanted to delay this issue and deal with it tomorrow, but her phone rang yet again. It was on silent mode, but the vibrations seemed to ring out deafeningly in the quiet interior of the car: a loud, intermittent buzzing reminder.
A scene of a helpless Chen Jiaman relapsing flashed by her eyes. She was only sixteen years old. Cheng Xi immediately said, “Stop by the side of the road, and I’ll tell you then.”
Lu Chenzhou was very obedient, and he smoothly stopped the car once he found a suitable spot.
Cheng Xi turned to look straight at him, and he at her. His expression was as calm as ever, but his gaze and lips were noticeably softer than usual.
She could see the expectation in his eyes, and a faint happiness. However, as her hesitation continued, his emotions slowly faded away into nothingness.
And he once again returned to that cold and calm Lu Chenzhou.
“Is it a difficult request?”
“No,” Cheng Xi said slowly, “As long as you trust me, it’ll be very easy.”
He seemed to have picked up on something, because his gaze now turned icy.
Her phone started vibrating yet again, and a cold laugh emerged from his lips. “Whose call is it?”
“Lin Fan,” she heard herself say. Once that admission came out, the rest of the words seemed to spill out from her mouth easily. “Chen Jiaman’s been experiencing some abnormal moods, and she wants to see me. Lu Chenzhou, I don’t want to secretly see her without letting you know, because I don’t want you to misunderstand. So, the one thing I’d like from you is for you to accompany me and see her. Is that alright?”
Lu Chenzhou didn’t respond.