Though dinner was lavish, Xia Wennan didn’t feel at ease while eating.

Ming Qin had a cheerful and talkative personality.
He and his younger boyfriend, Yin Zejing, appeared very close, and they didn’t shy away from showing their affection in front of the younger generation.

Ignoring the fact that he was Ming Qin’s boyfriend, Yin Zejing embodied the image of a sunny university student.
He had a big appetite and a wide range of interests, and was fully capable of contributing to the many topics they discussed at the dinner table—though many of his opinions betrayed his youth and inexperience.
Whenever this happened, Ming Qin would smile and place a hand on his shoulder, or gently knock their glasses together.

Ming Siyan was apparently a lightweight, his face streaked with red after only half a glass of wine.
He covered his face with the back of his hand.

Lu Huaiye shifted closer to him and whispered, “If you can’t drink, I’ll drink for you.”

Ming Siyan pressed his forehead against Lu Huaiye’s cheek and shook his head.
“I’m fine.”

Xia Wennan shifted his sight away from Ming Siyan and Lu Huaiye, his gaze settling on the still-full glass of wine before him.

Once the meal had been served, Ming Qin had told Yin Zejing to open a bottle of wine.

Xia Wennan’s immediate reaction was to say: “We’ll be heading home later, I don’t think it’s wise to drink.”

When he heard this, Ming Luchuan had said, “I’m the one driving.”

“Why are you going home?” Ming Qin said in surprise.
“Just stay the night.”

Xia Wennan froze.
”Won’t that be inappropriate?”

“Why would it be? Luchuan’s room has always been available for the two of you.
We keep it nice and tidy too, you can stay here any time.” After that, Ming Qin had taken the bottle of wine from Yin Zejing’s hands and personally poured a glass for Ming Luchuan and Xia Wennan.

Xia Wennan’s subconscious was still that of a university student; he could drink, but he didn’t particularly enjoy it, especially with a table full of strangers.
He couldn’t stop worrying about getting drunk and causing trouble, so he tried to refuse one more time, “I don’t think I should drink.”

“Do you still feel unwell, Wennan?” asked Ming Siyan.

“Yeah,” said Xia Wennan.

Ming Qin immediately turned to him.
“You’re feeling unwell? Let me ring up the doctor and have him look at you, I’m on very good terms with my personal physician.”

Xia Wennan hurriedly said, “It’s all right, it’s really not that serious!”

Yin Zejing, who was on his feet to pour the wine, suddenly looked up and laughed, saying, “Wennan wants to avoid drinking again.
When this happened before, you insisted on driving home alone and got into a car accident.”

When he heard this, Xia Wennan was stunned.

Ming Qin looked as if he’d just remembered something.
“That’s right, I certainly don’t agree with you driving home tonight.
Do you know how terrified we all were when we got the phone call about your accident that night? Luchuan stood up and ran out without a word.”

Xia Wennan slowly returned to his senses.
“I got into a car accident after having dinner here?”

“Yes, you didn’t want to drink either back then,” said Ming Qin.
“You insisted on driving back on your own after dinner and crashed your car on the way.”

“Oh,” Xia Wennan replied dazedly.

Ming Luchuan, who’d been mute the entire time, finally raised his voice.
“Don’t drink if you don’t want to,” he said to Xia Wennan.

His tone was too harsh.
“I’ll drink a little,” said Xia Wennan, attempting to ease the mood a little.

Ming Qin smiled.
“Go ahead.”

And thus now, while there was a glass of wine in front of Xia Wennan, nobody urged him to drink, and the wine had been practically untouched.

Xia Wennan leaned into Ming Luchuan’s side and murmured, “Help me out a little.”

Ming Luchuan shot him a cold glance.
He didn’t do anything at first, but then he suddenly reached for Xia Wennan’s cup and poured the contents into his own.

“You can refuse if you don’t want to drink,” said Ming Luchuan.

Xia Wennan said, “They’re your family… I don’t want to make things awkward.”

Ming Luchuan said nothing.

“Did I really crash my car after having dinner at your house?” Xia Wennan whispered again.

“…Didn’t you know?”

Xia Wennan was a little suspicious.
“Why didn’t you leave with me?”

Ming Luchuan didn’t answer.

Xia Wennan had always felt that there was something fishy going on, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.
His memories of the last few years were a blank slate, and he hadn’t been able to—and still couldn’t—make heads or tails of why he’d made the choices he had during that time.

Slightly distressed, Xia Wennan reached out for his wine glass and brought it to his lips, only to put it back down when he realised it was empty.

Aunt Zhang fed Ming Sichen with a spoon.
He felt full earlier than the others.
He sat in his wheelchair and played with chopsticks.
Shortly afterwards, Aunt Zhang wheeled him back to his room so that he could rest.

It had long been dark outside by the time everyone else finished eating.

Ming Qin summoned their family driver to send Lu Huaiye home.
Ming Siyan accompanied him outside.

Ming Qin had drunk a significant amount of alcohol tonight, and the rims of his eyes were flushed red.
He stood at the head of the stairs, a coat draped over his shoulder, and said, “Wennan, you guys rest well.”

Xia Wennan nodded.

Ming Qin swayed on his feet, gripping the handrails as he made his way upstairs.
Yin Zejing trailed behind him, climbing the steps with his head down and eyes on his phone.

As they turned a corner, Ming Qin staggered, and Yin Zejing immediately stretched out a hand to support Ming Qin’s back.
The two men smiled at each other then proceeded up the stairs.

Right as they were about to leave Xia Wennan’s line of sight, Xia Wennan glimpsed Yin Zejing ducking his head and casting a glance their way, a smile flashing across his face mere seconds before he vanished round the stairs.

Xia Wennan lowered his voice and said to Ming Luchuan, “I don’t really like your dad’s boyfriend.”

Ming Luchuan, however, didn’t respond.

Xia Wennan turned to him and found that his head was lowered.
He was looking at his phone, apparently texting.
As if sensing Xia Wennan’s gaze, Ming Luchuan locked his screen and looked up, saying, “What did you say?”

“I don’t like your dad’s boyfriend,” Xia Wennan repeated.

“That’s normal.
I don’t like him either,” Ming Luchuan replied indifferently.

“Is there anyone you don’t dislike?” said Xia Wennan.

Ming Luchuan looked at him wordlessly.

Xia Wennan said, “Look at that ugly face you’re making.”

Ming Luchuan took off.

After a bout of contemplation, Xia Wennan rushed after him and grabbed his wrist.
“I’ve been thinking—shouldn’t we go home?”

Ming Luchuan halted and looked at him over his shoulder.

“There’s only one bed in your room, right?” said Xia Wennan.

Ming Luchuan narrowed his eyes.
“What do you think I’m going to do to you?”

“Who knows?” Xia Wennan mumbled.
His thoughts flittered back to the red mole that allegedly dotted his ass.

Ming Luchuan sneered.

Right then, they heard footsteps going down the stairs.
Xia Wennan turned around to see Ming Siyan approaching.

Ming Siyan took two steps before stopping once he spotted Xia Wennan.
“Not in bed yet?” he asked with a smile.

“I was thinking of going home,” said Xia Wennan.

“Why?” Ming Siyan took two more steps down until he was in front of Xia Wennan.
“Or… how about you sleep with me tonight?”

Xia Wennan’s eyes widened in surprise.
At a loss, he replied, “Won’t that be inappropriate?”

Ming Siyan laughed and pulled at his hand.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a chance to talk.”

Before Xia Wennan had time to react, Ming Luchuan had his other hand in his grasp.

Ming Luchuan dragged him up the stairs in large strides.
“We’re going to bed.”

When Xia Wennan tripped on a stair, Ming Luchuan steadied him with a tight grip on his arm, and he had no choice but to follow Ming Luchuan to the second floor.

Ming Siyan appeared somewhat regretful.
“Rest well then, you two.” He waved at Xia Wennan.

Xia Wennan staggered after Ming Luchuan, barely managing to wave back.
“Good night.”

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