Lu Chenzhou stopped a few steps away from Cheng Xi and coolly nodded.
The colleague who had brought him over curiously asked, “Dr. Cheng, this is your friend, isn’t he?”
Cheng Xi smiled. “He is. Thank you.”
Then, she quickly walked over, raised her head to look at Lu Chenzhou, and asked, “What’re you doing here?”
Lu Chenzhou ignored her question, his forehead creased in displeasure. “I don’t like this place.” He looked left and right, a disdainful expression on his face.
Cheng Xi followed his gaze. Yes, the conditions of her living space. After all, it was a small rural ittle province, and the buildings here had eschewed aesthetics and greenery in favor of being big, tall, and spacious.
Cheng Xi suddenly remembered Lu Chenzhou’s strange, almost obsessive compulsion for symmetry, and she suddenly realized something. Ignoring everything else for the moment, she took out some gauze, wrapped it around his eyes like a mask, and earnestly asked, “Is this better?”
Lu Chenzhou stood still without moving, and only realized what she had done after he lost his vision. However, he didn’t refuse her “kind intentions.” Instead, he suddenly hugged her, kissed her fiercely, and then stepped back to say, “Yes, it’s much better now.”
Cheng Xi and the other two people were all slightly taken aback.
While this wasn’t the first time Ceng Xing had been ignored by Lu Chenzhou, he still felt as smothered as always.
But by his side was someone who didn’t know anything about Lu Chenzhou, and the other man eagerly asked as he watched Cheng Xu and Lu Chenzhou talk, “Dr. Ceng, is he Dr. Cheng’s boyfriend?”
Ceng Xing’s face turned ugly, and he declined to respond.
But when he didn’t, someone else did so on his behalf. His colleague’s voice wasn’t particularly quiet, and Lu Chenzhou had also heard the question. When he turned around, his aura wasn’t as intimidating as before; with his eyes blindfolded, he no longer had that piercing coolness that prevented anyone from getting close to him.
The three of them then clearly heard him clarify, “No, I’m her man.”
Ceng Xing couldn’t bear it any further and laughed coldly in Lu Chenzhou’s face. “What right do you have to call yourself her man? Isn’t it enough that you hurt her once? Are you going to do it again?”
But this sort of provocation was nothing to Lu Chenzhou anymore. He turned around and faced Cheng Xi. “Am I your man?”
Cheng Xi very much wanted to massage her forehead and relieve her oncoming headache, but she had noticed Ceng Xing’s serious feelings for her beneath his veneer of anger from his words. Without much hesitation, she affirmed Lu Chenzhou’s claim. “That’s right.”
Ceng Xing looked at her, all the anger fading away from his eyes to reveal pure disappointment.
Cheng Xi could only pretend that she hadn’t seen anything. Lu Chenzhou ignored him entirely as he suddenly grabbed her by the waist. “Where do you live? Let’s go in. I miss you.”
Honestly, if I give him an inch, he goes for a mile. She could only brace herself and then ask Ceng Xing, “Senior, do you need anything else? Oh, what did you want me to help you with just now?” Before tonight, she really had never suspected that Ceng Xing liked her. But from how the night had gone, Cheng Xi could tell that he had likely been planning on proposing to her with the house that he just bought. So, while Lu Chenzhou was still around, she might as well reject him outright; she didn’t believe that her prideful senior would do anything dramatic in his presence.
As Cheng Xi predicted, Ceng Xing only laughed coldly one last time before saying, “I was initially going to ask you if you wanted to help me check out my house, but now, I think that it’s unnecessary.” After he said this, he glanced at Lu Chenzhou as if he wanted to say something. But because there were other people around, he held his tongue, turned around, and simply went home.
The colleague who had brought Lu Chenzhou over noticed the awkward atmosphere, so after a brief, “Sorry to have bothered you,” he also left.
Cheng Xi glanced at Ceng Xing’s house with a complicated expression. She had truly been so mired in work lately that she hadn’t noticed that Ceng Xing was treating her differently compared to before—his sharp tongue had mellowed out quite a bit! At the same time, she was relieved that Lu Chenzhou had arrived when he did; otherwise, if her senior finished his words… Although she wasn’t afraid to reject him, and although she believed that Ceng Xing wasn’t someone who would shirk his responsibilities, it would be a source of awkward embarrassment for both of them.
She led Lu Chenzhou into her room. Cheng Xi was staying in an apartment with a living room and a single bedroom. After Chen Jiaman moved in with her, Cheng Xi had given up the bedroom and started sleeping on a collapsible bed in the living room. The house was relatively clean but simple and unadorned.
Luckily, Lu Chenzhou was still blindfolded—but then, he tugged the blindfold off without saying anything and then looked at Chen Jiaman, who was sitting in her bedroom, drawing.
His face sunk. “Why is she here?”
Cheng Xi was slightly taken aback. She carefully asked, “Where did you think she was going to stay?”
When faced against Cheng Xi’s clear and penetrating gaze, Lu Chenzhou couldn’t bring himself to say “the hospital.”
He didn’t like the hospital himself, so how could he justify forcing it on someone else?
The beginnings of a smile formed on Cheng Xi’s face, and she ran up to him and tugged at his fingertips. “Come, look at Jiaman draw.”
When Chen Jiaman drew, she was so focused that she became utterly oblivious to her surroundings. Even if Cheng Xi ran around the house doing chores, she wouldnapos;t notice anything.
Lu Chenzhou stood there and looked at the canvas. To him, it was simply filled with dark shadows, without any sense of cohesive artistry.
Cheng Xi continued to help Chen Jiaman by organizing her painting materials. In just a few minutes, the floor was splattered with paint. Lu Chenzhou didn’t enter the room the entire time, just standing by the door and quietly watching on.
As Cheng Xi tidied up, she softly asked him, “Why’re you here?”
Lu Chenzhou’s face was cold, and he didn’t deign to answer.
Cheng Xi raised her head and, in an embarrassed tone, admitted, “Well, you’ve got good timing. I was just starting to miss you a little.”
And with those few words, it was like she had wrapped Lu Chenzhou around her little finger. The cold atmosphere surrounding him instantly dissipated, and almost everything in front of him seemed to shine in a rose-colored light.
Everything except for one thing: Chen Jiaman.
When she finished drawing, she even needed Cheng Xi to wash her hands for her! And then brush her hair! And then she even slept on Cheng Xi’s bed, whereas Cheng Xi and he had to run back to the hospital and grab a folding bed for him to sleep in the living room with!
Lu Chenzhou even thought about renting a room for himself in the hotel, but in his eyes, the county’s hotels were all similarly dirty, dilapidated, and run-down!
So he had no choice but to sleep in the living room.
He couldn’t fit into the tiny folding bed at all. Even when he lay down, half of his legs hung over the bed. The miserable expression on his face prompted Cheng Xi to preemptively apologize. “I”m sorry. It’s too late today, but I’ll buy you a new bed tomorrow.”
She also started looking for other apartments to rent that night, because even if they had another bed, sleeping in this arrangement was very inconvenient.
Lu Chenzhou snorted. Rather than a mere bed, he was planning on buying a whole villa tomorrow!
Unaware of his extravagant thoughts, Cheng Xi felt even worse about the situation. Their beds were situated side by side, and she held his hand in hers. “I’m afraid of letting Jiaman sleep in the living room because she might run away in the middle of the night. And I really can’t do anything about her current state, so I can only trouble you for the moment.”
Her white hand was warm and soft, and Lu Chenzhou lowered his gaze. “You’re really treating her like your daughter?”
Cheng Xi smiled as she replied, “How could I do that? It’s just that she hasn’t been given much affection and is very distrustful of the entire world, which makes me want to pamper her a little. Lu Chenzhou, Jiaman’s a very obedient child. If you give her a chance, you’ll see that she’s really not troublesome at all.”
Lu Chenzhou’s voice turned as cold as ice as he said, “You want me to pamper her as well?”
“No, of course not!” After all, Chen Jiaman was already a sixteen-year-old girl, and Cheng Xi would be crazy to ask Lu Chenzhou to interact intimately with a girl he didn’t know! “I’m just hoping that you can be more accommodating towards her.”
Your intention to throw her out the door was a bit too overt, alright?
After Cheng Xi made her request, Lu Chenzhou fell silent for a moment before asking, “Then what about me?”
“I also haven’t been given much affection recently, and I want to make love to you. Won’t you pamper me too?”