Chapter 324: The Man in the Porsche
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
The program ended in the midst of the celebrations.
Xia Ling obtained the key and was crowned the winner of the week, with Luo Luo’s team in second, and Xia Yu’s team in the last place.
After ending work, Xia Ling turned and found Xia Yu and Zheng Chenhao looking upset. She could not tell if it was because of losing the game or from their conflict earlier.
She was not going to get involved in their unhappiness.
Xia Ling pushed them out of her mind and went off to look for Luo Luo. “Shall we go home together?” They were still living together and had come to participate in the same program. Yesterday, Luo Luo took a ride in Xia Ling’s Porsche to the film location.
Unexpectedly, Luo Luo shook her head at Xia Ling’s invitation. “Murong said he’s going to bring me to an aquarium, and then head back to the city for dinner and to see the night view. Xiao Ling, do you want to come along?”
Xia Ling was momentarily stunned. Did they really hit it off? Were they going to bring their on-screen romance off-screen as well? “You guys…” Xia Ling could not think of anything suitable to say.
Bai Murong walked over. “Luo Luo, let’s go.” He glanced over at Xia Ling and assured her. “Don’t worry, don’t worry, I’m not going to eat Luo Luo up. After visiting the aquarium, I’ll send her safely home, ok?”
Xia Ling felt protective of Luo Luo and was about to say something. However, she thought about it and realized she was in no place to prevent Luo Luo from going on a date. Yet, what if the innocent Luo Luo got bullied by the playboy Bai Murong?
Pulling Luo Luo aside, Xia Ling warned her. “Bai Murong is a playboy and changes girlfriends faster than he changes clothes. Did you bring your pepper spray? I have some in the car, let me give you a bottle.”
Bai Murong overheard her. “Hey… don’t speak badly of me behind my back.”
Luo Luo burst into laughter. “Don’t worry, Xiao Ling… Murong is like a big brother to me! I don’t care how many girlfriends he has!”
Xia Ling was reassured after hearing that.
Bai Murong also laughed, as he took Luo Luo with him and bade Xia Ling goodbye.
Xia Ling watched as they left, before realizing that Rong Ping had walked over.
“Do you want me to send you back to the city?” Rong Ping was dressed in a plain-colored jacket, looking well-preened and gentlemanly off-camera, as a friendly senior in the industry. “Your place is on the way to mine.”
Xia Ling was taken aback. Why was Rong Ping offering to send her back?
In actual fact, Rong Ping felt that she was the right choice after seeing her performance in the program. Their compatibility would not lower his status, but instead would likely make them the most well-liked pair in the program, though they had strong competition from Bai Murong and Luo Luo. Bai Murong and Luo Luo’s chemistry was great, and he hoped to improve his chemistry with Xia Ling through spending more time with her. This would be beneficial to them for next week’s filming.
Xia Ling hesitated, trying to decide if she should accept his invitation.
Lin Yunan walked over and said, “Xiao Ling, why are you still here? Collect your things! We need to get back to the city for a meeting tonight.”
With that, Xia Ling’s decision was made for her.
“Sorry, Brother Rong.” She said. “Thank you for the kind offer, but I have something to attend to.”
Rong Ping heard Lin Yunan’s words and secretly cursed him for spoiling the moment. Yet, he had no choice but to bid Xia Ling goodbye.
Xia Ling turned to look at Lin Yunan. “What meeting?” She did not recall hearing about a meeting. That couldn’t be right… it was going to be pretty late by the time they got back to the city. Was Lin Yunan not going to let her rest?
Lin Yunan replied, “There isn’t any meeting.”
“Huh?” Xia Ling was confused. Why did he lie to Rong Ping then?
“Hurry up, stop wasting time. Get into your car! My job is done once you’re in the car. Really… why do I have to double as a nanny? I’m just a manager!” Lin Yunan grumbled as he pushed her into the Porsche and slammed the door shut.
“Hey…” Xia Ling hadn’t had time to react and could only call out to him from inside the car.
Lin Yunan was already a distance away.
“What was that? Such a psycho…” Xia Ling sighed and mumbled. She turned around and almost jumped out of her skin. “Oh my… Li Lei, are you out to scare me to death! Why are you sitting there so quietly without making a sound at all?! I almost had a heart attack!”
Li Lei was sitting lazily on the clean and soft, cream-colored backseat of the car with a big, warm smile on his face.
“Are you that easily frightened?” Li Lei leaned closer to her. “Okay, okay, I should have gotten Lin Yunan to tell you beforehand.”
Tell her what beforehand? That he was in the car? So Lin Yunan knew that he was waiting for her here, and hence prevented her from leaving with Rong Ping?
Xia Ling mumbled. “Since when did you have such a good relationship with Lin Yunan?”
“That’s simple.” Li Lei understood what she was thinking immediately, having interacted with her so often. “I just said that if he didn’t help me, I was going to come to find you myself. He was so afraid that that would happen and was close to killing me. Hahaha…”
“You dare laugh.” Xia Ling was speechless. Why did he have such a convoluted sense of humor?
She sat back comfortably by Li Lei’s side and instructed the driver to go back to the city. The driver was newly-hired, though he was recommended to her by Sister Mai Na and was used to chauffeuring artistes around. He was well aware of what he should or should not say, and though he was shocked to see Li Lei and Xia Ling together, his expression did not reveal this. He was trustworthy.
Li Lei reached over to pull Xia Ling into his embrace.
“Hey!” Xia Ling glared at him as she struggled to get away.
“I missed you.” He snuggled against her like a huge pet, refusing to let go.
Xia Ling was initially rather upset, but hearing him say that he missed her made her heart melt a little. This morning, he had driven over to the film location to bring her lunch, though he did not even get a glimpse of her. For a Big Boss like him to have to make sure to hide for her was really quite pitiful. “You didn’t wait for me since the morning, did you?”
“I didn’t really wait.” Li Lei’s voice was muffled against her neck as he buried himself in her, taking in her wondrous smell. “I needed to settle some business and was conducting several teleconferences in the car.”
What… so he hadn’t even left the car?
He was having meetings in this small, enclosed space?
Xia Ling felt her heart clench as she allowed herself to be hugged by him, not struggling anymore.
“Don’t do that next time…” She said gently. “… Aren’t you a silly one?”
“I’m silly.” He admitted readily, with a tinge of laughter in his voice. “Silly enough to run over here to watch you… afraid that you wouldn’t have anything nice to eat… afraid that you would get bullied… afraid you…”
“What is it?”
“Afraid you would run off with someone else…” The last words were said in almost a whisper, and they dissipated slowly in the quiet of the car.
Xia Ling felt her heart flutter.
Was he always this insecure? Was this why he would always insist on following her everywhere she went, without a care about his own inconveniences?
“I’m not going to run off with anyone else…” She assured him as she patted him lightly on the arm as if she were consoling a child.