Chapter 182: Su Tang’s Photograph
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Li Lei kept quiet for a moment and then looked at Xia Ling. “Then let’s reveal our relationship. Be my official girlfriend.”
“No.” Xia Ling declined without so much as a thought.
“Why?” Li Lei’s tone became cold. “Who are you afraid will find out?”
Xia Ling did not expect him to react in such a way and was momentarily stunned. She spoke through trembling lips, “What do you mean by that?”
“What do you think I mean? Ye Xingling, I can tolerate anything that you do, but this does not mean I tolerate you cheating on me!”
“I… ” She wanted to deny it but swallowed her words as they were about to leave her lips. If he did not have the most basic level of trust in her, what good would it do to explain? In her past life, she had tried to explain herself to Pei Ziheng, vehemently denying having killed anyone, only to receive Pei Ziheng’s cruel torture. Cheating on him? This was a huge accusation. If Li Lei doubted her character like Pei Ziheng, what else was there to say? Xia Ling stood up, feeling utterly disappointed, and pushed open the door intending to leave.
Sister Mai Na stared with her mouth agape at their argument. She had initially thought that today would just be a simple meeting, but it turned out not to be so. What was going on? She could not understand but reactively pulled Xia Ling back. “Xiao Ling, calm down. Boss did not mean it that way… ”
Xia Ling shook herself free from Sister Mai Na’s grip and left.
Sister Mai Na was at a loss and turned to look at Li Lei. “Boss, aren’t you going to go after her?”
Li Lei sat in the dimly-lit room and did not speak.
Sister Mai Na anxiously said, “How could you say that to Xiao Ling?! Don’t you know her temper?! Did you catch her red-handed or something? Who else could she be with other than you?!”
“A few days ago, Su Tang gave me a photograph.” Li Lei responded in a low voice. “Xiao Ling went to meet Pei Ziheng behind my back.” There were too many things occurring at the same time, and he could not believe that they were all simple coincidences. She never cared about the gifts that he gave her, was never willing to use any of his money, and did not care if he was by her side or not. In bed, she would not succumb to his advances. In the elevator, she was carefully hugging onto Pei Ziheng. In the photograph that Su Tang had sent to him, she was sitting with Pei Ziheng in a romantic and quiet cafe, and Pei Ziheng was gently pouring a sugar packet into her cup.
There was no way he could turn a blind eye to all of this.
Sister Mai Na’s heart dropped a little. “Su Tang sent you a photograph?”
“There are bodyguards following Xiao Ling all the time. The bodyguards took a photo in secret and sent it to Su Tang.” Li Lei said. Su Tang was his personal assistant, and typically any information from the bodyguards would go through her first. Su Tang would filter out the most important bits before sending it to Li Lei.
“Do you know Su Tang likes you? Everyone can see that!” said Sister Mai Na discourteously. “Do you know how scary a girl’s jealousy can be?”
Li Lei knew that Su Tang had liked him secretly since a long time ago. However, he had never given her any chances all these years, and she had never let her emotions get in the way of her work before. Otherwise, he would not have allowed her to be by his side for so long. “Su Tang has followed me for more than ten years, she will not mix her personal feelings into her work.” Li Lei said. “And the photo has not been tampered with.”
“You trust Su Tang more than you trust Xiao Ling?!” Sister Mai Na exclaimed in exasperation.
Li Lei was quiet. Su Tang was a subordinate that had helped him through a lot for more than ten years. She was very loyal and was willing to die for him. On the contrary, Xiao Ling… Xiao Ling’s thoughts were a mystery, and he could never read her. She was like fireworks in the night sky, far away and unreachable, and you would never know when she would disappear.
“If you don’t trust her then just break up with her already!” Sister Mai Na scolded him like she was scolding a child. “Just break up and marry Su Tang instead!”
“I do want to marry someone I trust.” Li Lei gave a bitter smile. But whose fault was it that he was so hung up over Xia Ling?
“If you can’t bear to let go, then get your ass out of that chair and chase her back right now!” Sister Mai Na could not help but swear. “Stop moping around like a woman. What rubbish about cheating on you! Even if she hadn’t cheated on you, now that you kept harping on it, she might just make that a reality!”
Li Lei got up immediately as Sister Mai Na finished her sentence and ran out of the room to chase after Xia Ling.
Sister Mai Na looked at the door, which was banged open by Li Lei on his way out. What Skyart Entertainment? It should just be renamed Skyart Kindergarten. All these kids were such a handful!
On the other end, Xia Ling left the hairdressing studio and did not turn back.
Li Lei’s accusation was still ringing in her ears. Cheating on him?! Tears formed in her eyes as her current frustrations intertwined with those of the past. Was she just not worthy of being trusted? Was that why Li Lei kept pressing her about her relationship with Pei Ziheng, forcing her to dress in clothes that he had bought, and pinned such an accusation on her? All she wanted was a place that she could be free, a place where she could hide that secret in the depths of her heart, and a place where she was able to grab on to a bit of sunlight.
She had thought that Li Lei was that bit of sunlight for her.
But he had tried time and again to control her, and kept prying at that secret in her heart, tearing at her rotting wound. This made her terrified and uneasy.
She walked down the steps outside the main entrance one step at a time.
The cold wind of the deep winter was blowing.
Suddenly, a group of people appeared out of nowhere, “Quick, quick, come quickly! Ye Xingling is here! Ye Xingling has appeared!” A group of reporters with cameras of all shapes and sizes in their hands surrounded her, and they were jostling to push microphones in front of her. “Ye Xingling, we heard that you’re together with Boss Li of Skyart Entertainment. Is this true?”
“Ye Xingling, please explain what’s going on in the photograph that was released today!”
She was stunned by this sudden entourage. All the reporters were like hyenas waiting to pounce as they bombarded her with questions.
She was alone in the crowd and tried to block the reporters’ cameras. “Let me out! Just let me out of here!”
Why would the reporters let her go?
“Ye Xingling, why are you crying? Is it because you’re ashamed of having slept with Boss Li for fame?”
“Please tell us your thoughts on Li Lei and Pei Ziheng. Who do you belong to? Or are you two-timing?”
She bit her lips and did not speak, and the reporters shoved each other about as they tried to question her.
“Enough!” Suddenly, they heard a furious shout.
She fell into a familiar and sturdy embrace. “Ye Xingling is my woman. However, it is not what you think. She is my girlfriend, the kind that I will bring home to introduce to my family and to marry!”
It was Li Lei.
His body was like a sturdy mountain, sheltering her from the crowd of reporters in front of her.
The reporters got even more hyped up at hearing Li Lei’s words. When they saw the photograph earlier, they had simply run over here to see what they could get. Regardless of what Ye Xingling say or not, they would still construe it in a way to make the news more flavorful. They did not expect for Li Lei, the other protagonist, to appear, and to reveal such groundbreaking information!
“Is that true?!” The reporters asked enigmatically. “Boss Li, please tell us, why are you considering to marry someone like Ye Xingling, who has no status or background? Did Ye Xingling do anything to gain your attention? Ye Xingling, are you dating him for money? Are you trying to marry into a rich family?!” They did not care whether their words were hurtful or unpleasant to the ears. All of what the reporters were interested in was to get a good piece of headline news.