He Yufeng and Yin Zejing left in the former’s car.
It soon turned a corner at an intersection and vanished from Xia Wennan’s sight.
The instant there was no one left on the street save for himself, Xia Wennan felt abruptly colder, so he intended to cross the street quickly and return to the Duans’ dinner party.
The hilly residential area had narrow streets, all being two-way single lane roads.
Xia Wennan was just stepping off the sidewalk and onto the road when he suddenly spotted a car turning a corner and heading his way.
The car had left their headlights off, and by the illumination of the streetlights, Xia Wennan could only make out an outline of a black, slightly shabby car.
Confident that the driver could see him under the lights, Xia Wennan hastened his pace, eager to get to the other side of the road.
Who would’ve guessed that, not only did the car not slow down, it sped up instead.
Heart in his throat, Xia Wennan bolted to the other side.
The second he walked onto the footpath, the car that was virtually on his heels drove straight by him—Xia Wennan could even feel the car’s side-view mirror grazing the back of his shirt.
He came to a halt and peered apprehensively at the car that hadn’t slowed down for even a second, but the car had no intention of stopping even then as it sped away from his field of view.
He couldn’t convince himself that he was just being paranoid and that someone didn’t actually want to run him over.
Xia Wennan inhaled deeply.
The cold air streamed into his nasal cavity and down into his lungs, gradually cooling his head.
Duan Wenlong’s birthday dinner was well underway.
The lights and space heaters in the garden dispelled the chill in Xia Wennan’s body.
He came to a halt, looked around, and noticed that, while the alpha pianist continued to play the piano, Ming Qin was no longer by his side.
The alpha pianist was playing a gentle tune fit for a waltz, and the guests had partnered up, slow-dancing to the music.
Xia Wennan caught sight of Duan Ning dancing with an alpha who was most likely one of the Duan family’s guests in the middle of the dance floor.
As it was a bad time for Xia Wennan to interrupt, he could only stand on the outskirts while keeping an eye on them.
“What are you staring at?” A familiar voice sounded from behind him.
When Xia Wennan turned around, he saw Ming Luchuan.
Standing ramrod straight, Ming Luchuan’s gaze was also trained on the dance floor.
“You’ve been staring at Duan Ning for a minute now,” he told Xia Wennan.
“Is that accurate?” Xia Wennan made to fish out his phone to check the time.
Ming Luchuan held out his hand.
“Want to dance?”
Xia Wennan lifted his own hand and slapped Ming Luchuan’s palm, saying, “I can’t dance, bro.”
Ming Luchuan’s face slightly fell.
He splayed his palm wide and gradually curled his hand into a fist.
This round of dancing came to an end.
The alpha with Duan Ning appeared to want to continue, but Xia Wennan swiftly cut in just as he was going to ask Duan Ning for one more dance.
“I think it’s my turn now, no?” Xia Wennan told the alpha with a smile.
“I’d also like to ask Duan Ning to dance.”
The alpha didn’t know Xia Wennan, but when he saw that a beta had appeared out of nowhere and was competing with him for the same omega, he immediately displayed a laid-back smile, and replied, “How about we let Duan Ning himself decide?”
“Fine by me!” said Xia Wennan.
He then held out his hand towards Duan Ning.
Duan Ning, who had kept silent until now, smiled and took hold of Xia Wennan’s hand, telling the alpha, “Then, I choose him.”
The alpha’s smile went slack as he looked at Duan Ning in astonishment.
Xia Wennan, whose patience was already wearing thin, drew Duan Ning over to his side—and off the dance floor.
“Are we not dancing?” Duan Ning was puzzled.
Ming Luchuan was standing there and heard Duan Ning’s question.
“No,” he said.
“You’re imagining things.”
Duan Ning glanced up at him before turning to ask Xia Wennan.
“What’s the matter?”
Xia Wennan asked him, “Are there CCTVs at your gate? Could you let me have a look at the footage?”
Duan Ning gave him a tentative nod, confusion written all over his face.
The three of them went to check the surveillance footage of the entrance to the Duan residence.
There were three cameras installed outside the gates.
One faced the gates directly, while the other two were angled to the left and right, capturing the nearest hundred metres of the neighbourhood.
To the left of the gate, there was a sharp bend.
From where Xia Wennan and Yin Zejing had been talking across the street, the car wasn’t quite visible, but the CCTV captured the car that had been lying in wait some distance away from the street corner.
According to the CCTV footage, the black car entered the frame while Xia Wennan and Yin Zejing were talking and came to a halt in front of the street corner.
Xia Wennan and Yin Zejing hadn’t spotted anything at the time due to low lighting and the fact that the car’s headlights hadn’t been turned on.
Moments later, He Yufeng drove Yin Zejing away in his car.
When Xia Wennan moved to cross the road, the black car abruptly accelerated as it drove towards him, missing him by a hair’s breadth before driving off without a care after passing the Duan house gates.
Xia Wennan and Ming Luchuan watched the CCTV footage in silence.
Duan Ning was the only one who was taken aback.
“What’s going on?” he asked, rewinding the video and watching it again.
The car was unmistakably aiming for Xia Wennan.
Ming Luchuan reached out and held Xia Wennan by the shoulders, pulling him close till his shoulder pressed against his chest.
Xia Wennan could instantly feel the warmth radiating from Ming Luchuan’s body, as well as his somewhat erratic heartbeat.
Ming Luchuan seemed terrified.
Fumbling for Xia Wennan’s hand, his palm curled around it in a vice-like, almost painful grip.
Xia Wennan was the one patting Ming Luchuan’s arm in an attempt to comfort him.
“It’s okay, I’m okay.”
Duan Ning’s expression was grave.
He said, “Should we call the police? Someone attempted to run Wennan over, right?”
“Not now,” said Ming Luchuan.
“It’s Uncle Duan’s birthday tonight, we shouldn’t rain on his parade.
Send me the footage.
I’ll go to the police tomorrow.”
Duan Ning was frowning as he nodded reluctantly.
He then asked Xia Wennan, “Wennan, what’s going on?”
Xia Wennan shook his head.
“I’m not sure either.”
In truth, he was a little shell-shocked—if he’d been one step slower, it was highly likely that he would’ve been run over by the car, or if the car hadn’t driven off immediately after failing and backed up onto the footpath to hit him instead, he probably wouldn’t have been able to run away either.
“It’s all right,” Ming Luchuan’s voice was steady.
His palm was dry and firm as his slender fingers wrapped around Xia Wennan’s hand.
“Don’t leave my side tonight.”
Xia Wennan’s initial apprehension abruptly dissipated as he shuffled on his feet to jostle Ming Luchuan.
“How about tomorrow?” he asked with a smile.
Ming Luchuan bent his head down to look at him and said solemnly, “Follow me around too.”
“Want to tie me up to your body?” ask Xia Wennan.
“If you’re willing,” Ming Luchuan answered.
“I’ll think about it,” Xia Wennan whispered.
Duan Ning’s forehead creased as he listened to them.
“Will you two give it a rest?”
“All right.” Ming Luchuan pulled Xia Wennan’s hand until it was behind him and laced their fingers together, their bodies naturally slotting against the other.
He said to Duan Ning, “When you’re free, come take our wedding photos.”
Duan Ning turned to him.
“You didn’t take any during your wedding?”
“He was still hung up on his white moonlight at the time and married me reluctantly,” Xia Wennan interjected.
“There were no such things as wedding photos or a wedding reception.”
Ming Luchuan tightened his grip on Xia Wennan’s hand, motioning for him to shut his mouth.
Xia Wennan endured the pain and managed to finish his lengthy sentence.
Duan Ning giggled at Xia Wennan’s words, and said, “Give me a break! If he had been even half as devoted to his white moonlight as he is to you now, that white moonlight wouldn’t have stayed a white moonlight.”
“There aren’t any white moonlights,” Ming Luchuan said icily.
“You’re both imagining things.”
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