I Was Pregnant After Divorce – Ch 22
“Lin Zhixia is not present, so we don’t have to talk to each other in such a roundabout way, right?”
Qin Zhe’s smile instantly faded, “When Xiao Ai was missing, he was taken away by your family, right?”
Luo Qin’s eyes swept towards Qin Zhe, his gaze as sharp as a knife.
“No need to look at me like that! Zhixia didn’t tell me,” Qin Zhe frowned, “I asked Keai about it and he told me that ‘grandpa’ took him away.”
“Luo Qin, you know that Zhixia worries the most that Xiao Ai will be taken away from him. Why do you keep torturing him about this again and again?”
“This is my own family affair.”
In response to this reply, Qin Zhe’s voice rose in agitation, “You and Zhixia are already divorced. Even if you take him to court for custody, there is no guarantee that you will win. So why don’t you just leave Zhixia alone and let him and Xiao Ai live a good life alone?”
Luo Qin was bored of this conversation.
He was tired of Qin Zhe’s meddling and tired of hearing this man say Lin Zhixia’s name so intimately, as if to show off how close they were. Luo Qin had no more patience for Qin Zhe’s accusations, his preaching tone and his implication that he stood next to Lin Zhixia as an ally while Luo Qin was their enemy.
But he was even more upset at the fact that in his absence these four years, Qin Zhe had become Lin Zhixia’s support in life.
“Don’t speak as if your intentions for Lin Zhixia are pure, as if you have no selfish thoughts about him.” Luo Qin sneered, “Your words sound good on the surface but hide your own desires. You don’t want me to appear in front of Lin Zhixia? It’s only because you fear with me around, you won’t have a chance to pursue him yourself! Professor Qin, how devious.”
Qin Zhe chuckled lightly, as if he had just heard a funny joke.
“Luo Qin, don’t tell me you think that Lin Zhixia is still in love with you. You know that Lin Zhixia doesn’t let you spend time around Keai because he’s hoping to marry you again, right?”
Since their reunion, Luo Qin was under no illusion that Lin Zhixia still had feelings for him. Lin Zhixia had even said as much to his face.
Luo Qin may be arrogant but he’s not stupid. But something was driving him to compete with Qin Zhe and not lose.
But Qin Zhe was single-minded in his quest to destroy Luo Qin’s pretensions and private delusions.
Luo Qin’s indifferent expression finally darkened, becoming ugly in anger. Qin Zhe was very happy to see his arrogance take a blow. He threw money on the table.
“This coffee is on me. This better be the last time I see you here.”
Luo Qin closed his notebook, visibly irritated and watched Qin Zhe walk straight across the street to the restaurant. Lin Zhixia saw him coming through the window and smiled, coming forward to greet him.
Luo Qin didn’t know what they were saying but Lin Zhixia looked very relaxed with Qin Zhe. He never looked like that around Luo Qin.
He saw Lin Zhixia’s foot suddenly slip as they walked and he began to fall. Luo Qin stood up abruptly from his seat before realizing that there was such a long distance between them. He would never make it in time but Qin Zhe was beside him and he immediately stepped forward to catch Lin Zhixia in his arms.
He saw Lin Zhixia patting Qin Zhe’s chest and smiling, looking embarrassed.
Luo Qin sat back down, suddenly feeling depressed. His heart felt like it was full of dry grass, the withered stalks poking and stabbing into his chest.
Lin Zhixia gently extracted himself from Qin Zhe and joked, “Are you really here to take me up on my offer of dinner as a ‘thank you’? It feels like a waste just eating here.”
He had mentioned taking out Qin Zhe to dinner but both of them had a busy schedule. It kept getting pushed back and eventually Qin Zhe suggested just coming to eat a meal at Lin Zhixia’s restaurant. So Qin Zhe decided to come for a meal tonight, on a weekday so that the restaurant would not be too busy.
“How could it be a waste? Zhixia, your cooking skills are on par with five star hotel chefs.” QIn Zhe laughed, “Moreover, I feel ashamed to be bothering you like this. I only inquired about you going back to college. I really didn’t do much.”
Lin Zhixia shook his head and said in a serious tone, “No, Brother Qin, if it weren’t for you, I would never have bought this little restaurant. You’ve helped me so much.”
Qin Zhe smiled and rubbed Lin Zhixia’s hair.
“Then I’ll sit down and wait for a good meal?”
Lin Zhixia crossed his arms, “I’ll have to cook up something good to back up your high praise!”
Lin Keai had come back, his sweet, milky voice floating to them before he ran into the room, holding a burger in his hand. He offered up the burger like a treasure, jumping on his short legs, trying to reach Lin Zhixia’s mouth. Lin Zhixia squatted down and let the little bean feed him.
“Dad, you eat some fast food, too!”
Lin Zhixia took a tiny bite and then handed the burger back to Lin Keai. Xiao Ai took a big bite, his mouth completely full.
“Is this what Xiao Xun’s grandma bought for you?” Lin Zhixia rubbed Xiao Ai’s head, “Did you say thank you to her?”
Lin Keai nodded his head vigorously.
“Okay, then tomorrow, bring one of the cupcakes I bought for you to Xiao Xun and his grandma.”
The little greedy cat waved his hands excitedly, “And the cheese sticks! Those are also for Xiao Xun!”
Lin Zhixia smiled, “Wow! You’re so generous.”
Lin Keai smiled, looking proud. Qin Zhe said from the side, “You’ve taught Keai really well.”
Lin Zhixia missed his comment and looked back at Qin Zhe, saying, “What?”
“I said Keai is very sensible and obedient at such a young age. You’ve taught him very well.”
Lin Zhixia’s eyes stung suddenly and he looked up at Qin Zhe, saying softly, “Brother Qin…thank you.”
“That’s the first time someone said that to me about Xiao Ai.”
Lin Zhixia reached out and wiped some sauce off of Lin Keai’s mouth. His voice was low,
“So much has happened lately and I found that I was doubting myself, my abilities. But hearing you say that…Brother Qin, I’m very happy.”
Qin Zhe looked distressed at his words.
Lin Zhixia patted Lin Keai on his bottom.
“Baby, can you play with Uncle Qin for a while? Dad is going to cook dinner. Is there anything you want to eat?”
The little guy was still chewing his bite of burger and he swallowed quickly and then burped.
“Okay, I’ll make pineapple meat.”
Lin Zhixia handed Xiao Ai to Qin Zhe and then walked into the kitchen.
Qin Zhe was not a picky eater so Lin Zhixia decided to make whatever he felt like. When he set the table, Qin Zhe was stunned by how many dishes he brought out.
“Wait, that’s enough for now,” Qin Zhe stopped Lin Zhixia from walking back into the kitchen to grab more food. “The table is too full as it is. How much did you make? It’ll take until midnight to eat it all!”
Lin Zhixia glanced at the clock and saw that it was already past eight. He knocked his knuckles against his head and said, “I didn’t realize it was so late already. Let’s hurry and eat.”
He was about to sit down when it looked like Qin Zhe suddenly remembered something. He suddenly said, “Wait, Zhixia, let’s switch seats.”
Lin Zhixia paused, “Oh, okay.”
Qin Zhe sat down and glanced out the window furtively. As expected, Luo Qin was still sitting in the coffee shop.
If someone casually glanced outside, they wouldn’t notice Luo Qin strategically sitting in the coffee shop window. But Qin Zhe knew where to look and could pick him out across the street.
“Brother Qin, do you want to drink alcohol?”
Qin Zhe returned his gaze to Lin Zhixia and said, “I don’t mind a little.”
“Then let me go get it for you.”
The meal ended after ten o’clock and Xiao Ai was very sleepy, yawning big and wide. Lin Zhixia had also drunk some wine and he was a lightweight when it came to alcohol.
Usually, he avoided drinking but recent events had put him into a very bad mood. He thought maybe some alcohol would help to relieve his sorrows but he barely had a few sips before he was tipsy. His face was flushed red and his eyes were glazed, looking confused.
“Zhixia, let me take you home.”
Lin Zhixia wasn’t too drunk so he shook his head. “It’s okay, I’m not drunk. Brother Qin, you should head out first. I’ll clean up and then leave.”
“Zhixia,” Qin Zhe paused and then whispered, “I have something to tell you.”
Lin Zhixia smiled and then looked at him, “What is it?”
“I’ve been thinking…it seems I have never officially confessed my feelings to you. It never seems to be the right time,” Qin Zhe said seriously, his eyes gazing at Lin Zhixia, “I’m in my early thirties and have only been in love twice in my life. Both times ended badly.”
“People tell me all the time that I am a gentle person to everyone but I don’t hold any one person in my heart. But with you…I want to take care of you. I want to cherish you. I want to face life with you and ease your burdens. Zhixia, be with me, please.”
Lin Zhixia had never expected Qin Zhe to say such a thing and the slight dizzy feeling from the alcohol disappeared at once.
Qin Zhe was Lin Zhixia’s first and only friend that he made when he struck out on his own in this city. He would always be grateful for what Qin Zhe had given him but it was only that; gratitude.
“Brother Qin, I’m sorry. I really don’t feel the same.”
Hearing that, Qin Zhe’s eyes dimmed.
“It’s okay. I really didn’t think you would. I just wanted to tell you these long overdue words that I kept secret in my heart.”
Lin Zhixia looked at him slightly apologetically. Qin Zhe was about to tell him that there was no need to feel bad about not returning his feelings when his eyes rose to look at the restaurant door over Lin Zhixia’s shoulder.
Lin Zhixia stood with his back to the door and had not noticed that there was a figure standing there, looking hesitant.
Seeing the figure, Qin Zhe changed the words he was about to say.
“Zhixia, I want to know…are you rejecting me because of Luo Qin?”
“Luo Qin?” Lin Zhixia frowned, confused, “What does this have to do with him?”