Xia Wennan was shell-shocked for a good while.

After voicing his question, Lin Shuqiu fell silent, picking up his cup and quietly drinking his tea.

Sleeping pills.
A car accident.
Ming Luchuan… Xia Wennan’s mind was a jumbled mess.
He recalled how, on the night of the accident, the last meal he’d had was at the Ming’s.

Had someone slipped him sleeping pills, or had he taken them himself?

“Would you like to report this to the police?”

When Lin Shuqiu uttered this sentence earlier, Xia Wennan had taken his phone out on reflex.
His eyes bore upon his phone screen as his finger slowly slid across it.
He meant to call the police at first, but for some reason, he opened his contacts and was greeted by a capital “M” at the very top.

All of a sudden, his phone rang, the screen displaying an incoming call from “M”.

Xia Wennan answered the call and heard the sound of his own voice going, “Hello?”

“Where are you?” Ming Luchuan asked him in his usual detached tone.

Xia Wennan seemingly snapped out of his trance.
He cast a glance at Lin Shuqiu, who sat across from him, but the man was not looking at him at all, his head bowed and his gaze fixed on his phone as he sipped his drink.
“I told you, I’m having dinner with my classmate,” he said to Ming Luchuan with no noticeable difference in his tone. 

“I know, I’m asking where you’re eating.”

“What do you want?”

“I’m picking you up.”

Xia Wennan hesitated for two seconds before giving Ming Luchuan the restaurant’s address. 

Ming Luchuan directly hung up without uttering another word.

When Xia Wennan turned back to Lin Shuqiu, Lin Shuqiu had already put away his phone.
He was sitting upright and looking at him. 

“Could you detect the dosage of the sleeping pill in my blood?” Xia Wennan rested his arms atop the table, slightly leaning forward as he asked in a small voice. 

Lin Shuqiu shook his head.
“They didn’t test for it at the time.” He quickly added, “The blood’s already contaminated by now.” Which meant that there was no way to retest it. 

Xia Wennan frowned as he contemplated that.
“Maybe I took the sleeping pills at noon—might there be some residual effects in the evening?“

“We can’t rule that out,” answered Lin Shuqiu. 

Xia Wennan didn’t continue, his gaze fixed on the dish before him.
A while passed before he said, vexxed, “Even if I did report this, wouldn’t it be difficult to gather the evidence?”

A troubled expression graced Lin Shuqiu’s face.
“Right… It’s been quite a while since then.”

When police test for drug and alcohol content in the blood, the samples are sealed before being submitted for testing; otherwise, they can easily become contaminated before being tested.
Of course, lab results may not necessarily be able to serve as evidence, and without a definite concentration, it would be even more difficult to indicate any issues at hand.

Xia Wennan was mute for a moment before saying to Lin Shuqiu, “Thank you, I think there might’ve been a mistake.”

Lin Shuqiu nodded, seemingly understanding what he meant.
Holding the cup in his hand, he said, “I think so too.”

“Either way, thank you,” said Xia Wennan.

Lin Shuqiu laughed.
“Don’t stand on ceremony, we’re old classmates after all.
Plus, strictly speaking, you’re my patient.
I have a duty to immediately inform you of anything concerning your health.”

Xia Wennan herded the topic away from the matter of those sleeping pills.

Lin Shuqiu’s job at the hospital was extremely demanding.
He frequently worked night shifts and had no time to date.

“Aren’t there any pretty young nurses?” Xia Wennan asked.

Lin Shuqiu laughed.
“And where are all these so-called pretty single nurses?”

“I saw one at the nurse’s station, she was really pretty,” Xia Wennan casually babbled.
“The one who delivered my meds.” 

“Which one?”

Xia Wennan lowered his head and tried to jog his memory.
“I think she was an omega? She was the only omega nurse there, if I recall correctly.”

When Lin Shuqiu failed to respond, he lifted his head and looked to him, only to realise that Lin Shuqiu was looking over Xia Wennan’s shoulder, a look of surprise on his face.
He then heard Lin Shuqiu call out, “Mr.

Xia Wennan spun around to see Ming Luchuan standing behind him. 

“How’d you get here so quickly?” Through his shock, Xia Wennan tried his hardest to keep his composure.

“I was in the area,” said Ming Luchuan.
He directly sat down next to Xia Wennan and greeted Lin Shuqiu, “Hello, Dr.

Lin Shuqiu promptly replied, “Hello.”

Ming Luchuan sat there squarely.
He looked at Lin Shuqiu and asked, somewhat austerely, “Which pretty omega nurse were you referring to?”

Lin Shuqiu was taken aback by his question.
He subconsciously looked to Xia Wennan and casually prattled, “Ah, yeah, Wennan was just joking with me.
Which female omega would be interested in me anyway?”

Ming Luchuan’s expression eased up some.
Lin is so amazing, why would anyone not be interested in you?”

Lin Shuqiu laughed, and they exchanged a few more pleasantries before he consciously said, “It’s getting late, I should head back.”

Before Xia Wennan could get a word in, Ming Luchuan asked, “Have you finished eating?”

Lin Shuqiu bobbed his head.
I have to get to work early tomorrow, so I should go home and get some sleep.”

Ming Luchuan thus lifted a hand to summon the waiter and pay the bill.

They then bid Lin Shuqiu farewell at the entrance of the restaurant.
Once Lin Shuqiu had left, Xia Wennan followed Ming Luchuan to his car, which was parked at the curb.

After they got in, Xia Wennan purposefully scuffled his butt closer to the door.

Ming Luchuan’s hands were gripping the steering wheel.
He was in no rush to start the car.
“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I don’t want to get any alcohol smell on you,” Xia Wennan explained.

Ming Luchuan angled his jaw and studied him for a while before crooking a finger at Xia Wennan.
“Come here.”

“What for?” Xia Wennan hesitantly shifted a little closer to the man.

Ming Luchuan drew Xia Wennan in by the neck, buried his face in his hair, and sniffed it before pushing him away, saying, “Doesn’t smell anymore.” He then started the car and slowly pulled out from his parking spot.

Xia Wennan plucked at his mussed up hair and couldn’t stop himself from uttering, “Lunatic.”

At some point, it had started drizzling outside.
Raindrops pelted the window pane, making pitter-patter sounds incessantly.

Inside the car, the air conditioning had been switched on.
The air was dry and a little chilly.
Xia Wennan raised a hand and wiped at the condensation on the window, and suddenly asked, “Does your family like me?

Ming Luchuan didn’t immediately answer and instead responded with his own question, “What’s the matter?

“Nothing, I just suddenly felt like asking.” Xia Wennan let his head fall against the window.
It was as if his heart had been pricked by a thorn in the form of the sleeping pill.
It festered there, unable to be removed. 

The faces of the Ming family members flashed across his mind one by one, ending with Ming Luchuan’s.

I proposed to you, right?” he asked.

Ming Luchuan hummed, his meaning unclear. 

“Why did you say yes? Are you secretly in love with me?”

Ming Luchuan said nothing. 

Xia Wennan turned to look at Ming Luchuan.
He looked at him for a long time, so long that Ming Luchuan’s brows slightly furrowed.
“What are you staring at?” he asked, rather impatiently. 

“I’m staring at you.
Why?” Xia Wennan said in a provoking tone.

Ming Luchuan faced the road icily.

Xia Wennan couldn’t help but laugh.
At the very least, Ming Luchuan could be trusted.

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