Those who lived in the light would never understand how much those who lived in darkness thirsted for the light. Lu Chenzhou, who had wandered a desolate wasteland devoid of emotions by himself for his entire life, had finally found an oasis of emotions in someone, and his intense desire to possess her made Cheng Xi unconsciously take a step back.
He had hidden it and restrained himself before, but now, he revealed all of his pent-up feelings for her.
Cheng Xi pulled Lu Chenzhou’s hand tightly. “Nothing can last forever in this world. But while love can’t withstand betrayal, it should allow for independence, disappearance, and separation. Lu Chenzhou, if I ever do leave you, the reason won’t be related to anyone or anything else. I’m just used to planning for the worst, and it’s something that might never end up happening.”
His voice was very calm, but Cheng Xi felt an unfathomable sadness in it.
Despair and helplessness.
She had never seen Lu Chenzhou express these emotions. It made her heart clench, and she was just about to say something when Lu Chenzhou suddenly grabbed her with both hands, driving all of her thoughts away.
He hugged her tightly, but not at his full strength. Cheng Xi had just relaxed into his body when Lu Chenzhou pushed her away, onto the sofa. Then, he bit her lips until a bloody iron taste filled her mouth. Only then did he let go of her, climb up on top of her, and looked at her coldly as he said, “That’s why I chased away anyone who could sway your heart!”
Cheng Xi gasped, heaving for air, as she somewhat arduously said, “They can’t sway me. Lu Chenzhou, when I started this relationship with you, I had already fallen out of love with Lin Fan. Just like you, I won’t forgive a betrayal.”
But what if that so-called betrayal was all someone else’s ploy? Lu Chenzhou didn’t speak these words, and instead merely lowered his head and wordlessly kissed her again.
Throughout this entire ordeal, Lu Chenzhou’s heart was insatiably vexed. He inadvertently thought back to Shen Wei’s wedding, where his gaze had first landed on Cheng Xi, who had been sitting close by him, by accident, but she had never looked back at him.
Her attention had been focused towards a singular object, a young man, gentle and refined. It had only taken Lu Chenzhou a single glance to determine that he and she were the same type of person.
They were the same type of person.
The type of person he yearned to be: warm, sunny, honest and calm.
He had never ever felt so strongly towards someone before. His desire was irrepressible, and when he saw the two of them walking together, it childishly drove him to have his assistant buy him condoms. Then, he ran up to her with them to try to get her attention.
He had orchestrated his own rejection, but he couldn’t convince himself to ignore her. He didn’t know why he was drawn to this woman called Cheng Xi so much, but he undeniably was.
Lu Chenzhou wasn’t able to shove this feeling aside, and its constant presence left him feeling particularly uncomfortable. He had patiently stood by her side, patiently wooed her like a regular man, and patiently loved her. However, he knew himself, and he knew that his patience wasn’t unlimited. As Cheng Xi’s circle of friends continued to expand, and as her attention became more and more divided among the people around her, his temper burned shorter and shorter. He knew that he would never be able to control her: she was like a proud eagle flying freely in the sky. While she might lower her head, glance at him from time to time, and maybe even stop for a moment, one day, just like everyone else, she’d fly away.
Without a doubt.
When Lu Chenzhou’s thoughts reached this point, he felt his heart explode into flames, as an irresistible urge washed over him. He had to do something…… something dark, something almost bestial.
If Lu Chenzhou had had the presence of mind to describe exactly what he was feeling to Cheng Xi, she would have told him that this was a mental issue brought about by an acute sense of insecurity. However, he didn’t say anything. The hands around her neck tightened, he kissed her, and as he looked at her writhing beneath him, a twisted sense of euphoria filled his heart.
Cheng Xi didn’t know what was going through Lu Chenzhou’s head. She had initially intended on placating him, and so she had kissed him back. However, then, the hands around her neck had suddenly tightened, plunging her into a suffocating breathlessness. Blood rushed into her head, and she felt like she was drowning. She kicked, scratched, and even tried to bite him…… But he had long since plugged her mouth with his own. Then, as she ran out of oxygen, her struggles slowly ceased. Her mind started to go fuzzy, and she began seeing double.
Then, her phone suddenly rang, breaking the atmosphere. The incessant ringing cleared her mind a little, and Cheng Xi used the rest of her energy to call out, “Lu…… Zhou……”
And he slowly unclasped his hands.
As the sweet, fresh air rushed into her lungs, Cheng Xi quickly rushed out from underneath him, leaned over by the sofa, and started coughing violently.
“Lu Chenzhou……” She called out his name, tears about to fall from her face due to the choking. However, she didn’t have any words to say—she really hadn’t expected him to do something like that. For a moment, she really thought that she was about to die!
Lu Chenzhou didn’t respond. He merely stared at his hands with a dazed expression before walking off with a gloomy face.
When Cheng Xi heard the door open, she looked up, but it was already too late. She simply lay there, her body weary and aching, as she continued hacking up her lungs.
Her phone rang again. Cheng Xi struggled but managed to pick up this time: it was a call from Cheng Yang. “Mom said that Lu Chenzhou reported you to the hospital, right? My god, is he crazy? What right does he have to do that?”
Cheng Xi sighed soundlessly, hung up without answering, and then called Lu Chenzhou. However, she could hear his ringtone coming from the bedroom.
Cheng Xi apathetically let her phone fall out of her hands as she closed her eyes and lay on the sofa, overcome with emotion.
She stayed up the entire night, waiting for Lu Chenzhou to come back; however, he never did. Actually, no one saw him for the next few days. When Cheng Xi finally regained her breath and state of mind, she called his office number, planning on using the excuse of returning his wallet and phone to talk to him. But the reply she got was, “Director Lu’s out on a business trip.”
“I still have his ID.”
“Then, I don’t know where he is.”
“Is there any way I can contact him?”
The person who had picked up was his assistant. Though outwardly polite, a coldness and aloofness permeated his bones, much like Lu Chenzhou himself.
The next day, Cheng Xi’s parents came over, looking for their daughter. When they saw the faint bruising on her neck, her mother turned severe and judgemental. “Did the two of you have a fight? I think that you should break up with him. You clearly don’t have complementary viewpoints, and I didn’t raise and have you study so much to just marry a rich man and live as his pet.”
Yes, her mother was a devout feminist. She wanted her daughter to get married, but she didn’t want her to give up everything for her new family—she herself had ignored her two children in order to make money during her adult years.
Cheng Xi suddenly felt quite relieved that Lu Chenzhou wasn’t here right now, but she replied in an equally serious tone to her parents. “I’ll handle this myself. Please, trust me.”
“Do you need us to do anything regarding the report?”
Cheng Xi’s parents looked at her with an uneasy look of worry for quite a while. When the two of them got back home and found out what Cheng Xi had been reported for, they discussed it between each other for half a day before transferring all of their money to Cheng Xi’s account, and they even forced Cheng Yang to give her a bit as well. Then, Cheng Xi’s mother texted Cheng Xi: If the hospital insists that you’re together with Lu Chenzhou for money, then wave this card in front of your department head’s face! Our family doesn’t lack money at all!
Cheng Xi rarely ever saw her mother act this domineeringly, but she didn’t have time to deal with her right now.
When she received the text, she was already in the middle of chasing down Lu Chenming. Cheng Xi had found his tutor, and persuaded him to drag Lu Chenming into his office and leave him there.
As soon as Lu Chenming saw Cheng Xi, he tried to hide. Cheng Xi asked him somewhat gloomily, “Are you still afraid of me?”
Lu Chenming shook his head, and when he realized that he wouldn’t be able to escape this time, he blushed and stammered out, “I- I- I…… I don’t like you anymore. I like your brother!”
Cheng Xi was speechless. “……”