In truth, that night was not at all an appropriate time, but for some unknown reason, Xia Wennan and Ming Luchuan indulged in their pleasures even more so in the confines of the second floor bedroom.

Xia Wennan kept his lips tightly clamped through it all, afraid of being exposed if he got too loud, and he made nothing but muffled noises.

The bedroom was sufficiently warm—the wide expanse of Ming Luchuan’s back was exposed to the air, and his corded muscles were covered in a thin sheen of sweat, glistening under the lights.

Xia Wennan’s mind drifted off for a split second.
With his gaze fixed on the ceiling, he inwardly wondered where he was and why he would let this alpha toss him around so much—wasn’t he a university student? He still wanted to settle down with a sweet and lovely beta woman, start his own little family full of warmth, bring his grandfather over, and live a simple but happy life.

Who could have predicted his present? A big family, a large house that appeared warm and impenetrable when, in reality, there were chaotic winds at every turn and chill seeping out of its cracks.

Keenly sensing Xia Wennan’s absent-mindedness, Ming Luchuan indignantly tossed him around harder.

Xia Wennan, greeted with pain, could only sink his short fingernails into Ming Luchuan’s skin, an act that was most likely futile.
Ming Luchuan only tightened his embrace around Xia Wennan, causing his forehead and chest to perspire and completely dispel the last vestiges of chill in his bones.

The two lay motionless in bed after they climaxed.
While Xia Wennan was still trembling from the aftershocks, Ming Luchuan asked him, dissatisfied, “What are you thinking about?”

Xia Wennan wasn’t thinking about anything at first, but when he heard Ming Luchuan’s question, a person came to mind and he blurted out, “Lu Wenxing.”

Ming Luchuan abruptly sat up, his face clouding over as he looked at Xia Wennan.
“Do you want to die?!”

“Whoa!” Xia Wennan sighed with feeling, “Those are strong words—you must really hate the guy!”

Ming Luchuan rolled over, climbed out of bed, put on his slippers, and went to the bathroom to take a shower.

Xia Wennan followed him into the bathroom soon after.
He nestled into Ming Luchuan’s side, squeezing in under shower and letting the hot water pour over his head.

Ming Luchuan moved as if to slam into him; he didn’t use any actual force, but he saw Xia Wennan sway on his feet.
He reached out to steady him and draw him into the circle of his arms, where they would shower together.

Xia Wennan lifted his head.
As the hot water cascaded down his face, he subconsciously opened his mouth to speak, but the water poured in and forced him to promptly lower his head, choking and coughing up the water.

“What is wrong with you?” said Ming Luchuan, even though he was patting Xia Wennan’s back at the same time.

Xia Wennan turned around to face Ming Luchuan and hugged his waist.

Ming Luchuan glanced down at him and slowly wrapped his arms around Xia Wennan’s back, asking, “What’s the matter?”

Xia Wennan didn’t have the courage to speak.
He thought about Lu Wenxing, which in turn made him think about Ming Luchuan, and about how he would do everything he could to fill the void left by a lack of affection in Ming Luchuan’s childhood.
He would painstakingly shower Ming Luchuan with all his tenderness, hoping for an end result wherein Ming Luchuan would love him more, and love only him.

He sometimes felt that his proposing to Ming Luchuan back then was actually an act of him swooping in at a point of weakness—to be able to get to where they were now, he considered himself extremely fortunate.

The next morning, when Xia Wennan got out of bed and went downstairs for breakfast, he ran into Ming Qin.
When they returned late the previous night, the man was already in bed, but right now in front of them, Xia Wennan found that Ming Qin appeared somewhat haggard, as if he’d had difficulty sleeping.

“Are you going to the hospital today?” Ming Luchuan asked Ming Qin.

Ming Qin hesitated for a pause before saying, “I’ll go later.”

Xia Wennan ate his egg custard breakfast while casting furtive sidelong glances at Ming Qin.
Upon seeing Ming Qin’s rather pale complexion and his downcast gaze as he spoke, he inwardly guessed that Ming Qin was reluctant to see the hospitalised and bedridden Ming Sichen.

Xia Wennan suddenly remembered the first time he met Ming Qin, when there had been a slight naivete to his attitude that didn’t fit his age and his youth-like high-spiritedness.
Now, however, there was a weariness to his gaze.

“Dad,” Ming Luchuan set his spoon down, turning to Ming Qin.
“Do you remember what Sichen’s car accident was like?”

Ming Qin was stunned.

“Sichen’s car accident overseas,” said Ming Luchuan.
“Do you still remember how Sichen was when you first rushed over?”

Ming Qin’s brow creased.
“His injuries were really severe back then.
They had just finished operating on him when I got there, and he was in the ICU, so I could only see him through a window.
They issued a critical condition notice a few times.”

“And Ming Siyan?” asked Ming Luchuan.

“Siyan was also hurt, but he stayed in a regular room.
His injuries weren’t too serious, so I was more concerned about Sichen.”

“You heard all about the both of them from the doctor, right?”

Ming Qin said, “The attending physician spoke to me in English, but the other nurses only spoke the local language.
I had to rely on Siyan’s friend to translate for me.”

“Siyan’s friend?”

“A local.”

Ming Luchuan nodded and asked no further questions.

Ming Qin, on the other hand, couldn’t resist asking, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” said Ming Luchuan, “I was just wondering about Sichen’s injuries.”

Ming Qin said, “Sichen had a very deep wound that ran from the back of his head all the way to his nape.
It had already been sewn up when I arrived, but the scar was quite horrifying.”

Xia Wennan suddenly asked, “Where was Siyan injured?”

“His leg,” Ming Qin recalled.
“He had trouble moving around and had to stay in bed for a good few days.”

Xia Wennan and Ming Luchuan exchanged a glance but didn’t say anything else.

Instead of going to the hospital after breakfast, Ming Qin went to the company with Ming Luchuan and Xia Wennan, and later followed Xia Wennan to his lab.

The lab employees visibly tensed up upon Ming Qin’s arrival, and the working environment took on a serious tone.

Xia Wennan didn’t have time to pay him any attention, so he said, “Dad, why don’t you go take a walk? I have work to do.”

“Don’t worry about me,” said Ming Qin.

Xia Wennan glanced at him and wordlessly returned to his lab.

Ming Qin walked around the lab, dressed in his work attire.
He didn’t strike up a conversation with the other employees, as if he didn’t want them to notice his presence, but at the same time, he would occasionally interfere with what the staff were working on, as if he wanted to blend in.

Ming Qin thus became a nuisance, but no one dared to speak out and ask him to leave.

When Xia Wennan eventually couldn’t take it any longer, he said, “Dad, why don’t you hang out somewhere else?”

Ming Qin made a face.
He slowly walked over to Xia Wennan’s side and watched him for a moment with his hands behind his back.

Xia Wennan ignored him.

“Am I bothering you?” Ming Qin inquired softly.

Thoughts elsewhere, Xia Wennan casually responded, “Pretty much.”

Ming Qin’s expression darkened.

Ming Qin sat at the same table as Xia Wennan and his laboratory colleagues for lunch.
Everyone kept their mouths shut quietly, solely focused on eating their lunches.

Meanwhile, everyone else in the company cafeteria was whispering among themselves, with Ming Qin as the topic of their discussions.

His laboratory colleagues quickly finished off their meals and left, leaving only Xia Wennan at the table with Ming Qin, who was deliberately taking his time to finish his food.

Xia Wennan couldn’t take it anymore.
“Dad, hurry up a little,” he pressed.

Ming Qin glanced at him mutely.

“Say… wouldn’t it be better if you found someone to date?” said Xia Wennan.

“Who would I date?” Ming Qin asked icily.

“There are so many young alphas, and you’re wealthy—there’ll always be someone out there who wants to date you,” Xia Wennan casually rattled off.

Ming Qin was somewhat taken aback by his words, and his chopsticks lightly brushed against his meal tray as he asked Xia Wennan, “So all the alphas I’ve ever dated only dated me for my money?”

Xia Wennan found his question puzzling.
“Aren’t you looking for those who’re only in it for the money? Or, do you want to date someone who truly loves you? You’re getting on in years—are you going to find a young alpha to properly date and divide your family assets with? Are you willing to part with it?”

Ming Qin put his chopsticks down.
“I’m done eating.”

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