Dong Zhi wasn’t actually sure if the rumour was related to Lu Lingxi, but several key points in the rumour matched up with Lu Lingxi. The gardening shop, the son named Lingxi, and most crucially, Yan Yue’s appearance reminded Dong Zhi of the car that was rumoured to have hit the man. He hesitantly told Lu Lingxi about it, the middle-aged man who suddenly tried to commit suicide in the middle of a downtown, the wife who was separated from him because of gambling, the son who worked in the gardening shop. The man was finally taken to the hospital by the young owner of the car that hit him, and the car that hit him was a Jaguar. If one point could be a coincidence, Dong Zhi didn’t think it was a coincidence when so many points matched up.
After Dong Zhi finished speaking, Lu Lingxi was stunned. After listening to it, he felt that there seemed to be something wrong. The middle-aged man in the rumour was too much like Lu Yishui. The owner of the car was suspected to be Yan Yue. But if it was Yan Yue, why didn’t he say anything just now? When linking it to Lu Yishui’s sudden promise of divorce yesterday, Lu Lingxi’s heart was a little unsettled and he thought of giving Wang Shuxiu a call to ask.
“Brother Dong, thank you, I’ll go back first.”
Lu Lingxi hurriedly said goodbye. As soon as he left, Dahei, who had been lazily lying there, immediately stood up and followed him closely.
Lu Lingxi returned to Tiny Garden and held the phone hesitantly wondering how to talk to Wang Shuxiu. He didn’t believe that Lu Yishui tried to commit suicide. If Lu Yishui was truly regretful, he wouldn’t have tried to make Wang Shuxiu sell the house to cover his debts before he would divorce her. But Brother Dong’s description was too much like Lu Yishui, especially taking into account the car owner’s question about being “Lingxi’s father”. Who else in the neighbourhood worked in a gardening shop and was called Lingxi?
He was hesitating when Wang Shuxiu’s phone call came.
“The old bastard didn’t come looking for you, did he?” Wang Shuxiu asked aggressively.
Even though this was not the first time he had heard this, Lu Lingxi still had to take a few seconds to digest the words “old bastard”. “No, what’s wrong?”
“The old bastard got the money from somewhere to pay off all the gambling debts he owed.” Wang Shuxiu had just heard this news from Brother Feng and the first thing she suspected was that Lu Yishui had gone behind her back to find Lu Lingxi to mortgage the house.
Lu Lingxi instantly thought of the rumour and asked softly, “Is it a lot of money?”
Since Lu Yishui had not gone to Lu Lingxi, Wang Shuxiu did not care anymore and casually said, “Four hundred thousand, I think. Even if he gets rich, it has nothing to do with us, we don’t care about his money. I wondered why that bastard was so quick to divorce me yesterday. So he was afraid that we might covet his money since he got rich.”
Wang Shuxiu simply hung up the phone after she finished speaking, but Lu Lingxi felt even more uneasy with this news. If the man Brother Dong described was really Lu Yishui, and the owner of the car was really Yan Yue, then it would be self-evident where the money for paying off Lu Yishui’s gambling debts came from. This possibility made Lu Lingxi unable to sit still. He quickly found Yan Yue’s number in his phone and called it.
When the phone rang, Yan Yue was not far from Tiny Garden, waiting for Lu Lingxi to leave work. He had never thought that after living for 27 years he would one day realise that he had the potential to turn into a pervert. For almost a week, he wandered around the street every day, sneaking up to look at the teenager. He waited for Lu Lingxi to leave work, then stealthily followed behind him, escorting him home.
He couldn’t help but want to see the young man, and he couldn’t help but want to appear by the young man’s side. He would even be jealous of the stupid dog who followed the boy every day, imagining that one day he could take the place of that stupid dog.
The sound of the phone made Yan Yue a little annoyed. Who would call him at this hour? He casually picked up the phone and was about to hang up, but froze for a moment when he saw the name of the caller. After the initial disbelief, unspeakable excitement and joy swept across the body.
“Hello.” Yan Yue was afraid that the teenager would hear something strange, so he suppressed his emotions, pretending to sound cold.
“Hello, Mr. Yan, this is Lu Lingxi.” The teenager’s voice came out of the phone, soft and polite.
The voice on the other side paused for a few seconds before saying tentatively, “Is it convenient for you to speak now? I want to ask you something.”
Yan Yue almost blurted out “convenient” but reacted quickly. “There’s something going on right now, how about this, are you in the shop? I’ll come and see you when I’m done.”
“Yeah, I’m here. Sorry for troubling you,” the young man said politely.
Yan Yue shouted “No trouble” in his heart, but still said lightly, “It’s okay.”
As he hung up the phone, Yan Yue quickly figured out what the young man wanted to ask him. It must have been about Lu Yishui. In fact, he didn’t want to hide this matter from Lu Lingxi. After all, everyone loved to gossip, and it was only a matter of time before something big like making trouble and committing suicide would reach the boy’s ears. As for the money he gave to Lu Yishui, given Lu Yishui’s nature, he would definitely not tell the truth; and in a few days he would have no chance to talk even if he wanted to.
Yan Yue drove around the neighbourhood for half an hour before pretending that he had just arrived and appearing in front of Lu Lingxi.
Before Yan Yue came, Lu Lingxi had been thinking about this matter. Although he didn’t have much social experience, he could always figure out something when he thought about it carefully. He was now basically sure that the man was Lu Yishui, and that Lu Yishui must have deliberately bumped into Yan Yue’s car. He even must have known beforehand that Yan Yue and him knew each other, so he deliberately mentioned his name.
Lu Lingxi thought of Yan Yue and felt a little guilty. Perhaps because of his preconceptions, he had a very good impression of Yan Yue. From the way Yan Yue saved Dahei on the rainy night, he could see that Yan Yue had a very good heart. Lu Yishui had played a bitter card of committing suicide in front of Yan Yue, so it made sense that Yan Yue would lend him the money. Perhaps the money was nothing to Yan Yue, but Lu Lingxi couldn’t pretend he didn’t know anything. After all, Lu Yishui had approached Yan Yue using his name.
Thinking of this, he gave the spring orchid he had saved in the morning a somewhat heartbreaking glance. Lu Yishui had cheated Yan Yue out of 400,000 yuan, and this spring orchid would probably sell for 300,000 yuan in the future, so if he wanted to compensate Yan Yue for his loss, he would still be short of 100,000 yuan.
Lu Lingxi bit his lips, unconsciously stroking Dahei’s head, and whispered, “It seems, Dahei, your chicken legs are going to be gone.”
Dahei’s ears pricked up and he looked warily at the spring orchid on the table in front of him.
What Yan Yue saw when he came in was the sight of the man and the dog staring at an orchid on the table. Of course Lu Lingxi was in a daze, while Dahei was watching vigilantly.
Seeing Yan Yue come in, Lu Lingxi returned to his senses in embarrassment.
“Mr. Yan, you’re here.”
Yan Yue took a few steps in Lu Lingxi’s direction, stopping at a position where he would not provoke the teenager’s disgust but still be the closest to him, and nodded in a seemingly casual manner.
Lu Lingxi curved his eyes in a smile, greeted Yan Yue and invited him to sit down, and went to pour him a glass of water.
Yan Yue’s eyes followed his movements, and when the boy looked over, he immediately turned his head and pretended to be admiring the potted flowers placed in the corner. This was the first time Yan Yue had ever been inside Tiny Garden. Perhaps it was because of the boy’s presence that he unexpectedly found these flowers and plants quite interesting to look at. Especially the pot of flowers in front of him was blooming weirdly, like a bunch of mushrooms huddled together.
Lu Lingxi put the water in front of Yan Yue and instead of beating around the bush said directly, “Yesterday… did Dad trouble you?”
The young man’s directness was beyond Yan Yue’s expectations. After a slight pause he nodded.
Lu Lingxi looked at Yan Yue seriously and said, “Did he blackmail you?” Without waiting for Yan Yue’s answer, Lu Lingxi already said embarrassingly, “I heard my mother say that my father paid off his gambling debt today, a total of 400,000 yuan. He blackmailed you for this money, right?”
Saying that, Lu Lingxi felt a little embarrassed and looked at Yan Yue anxiously, “I will pay back this money to you. But I don’t have so much money now, so can I give you an IOU first?” To prevent Yan Yue from not believing him, Lu Lingxi carefully showed the spring orchid on the table to him, “Grandpa Su said that this spring orchid can be sold for 300,000 yuan when it is raised well. Please give me some time to wait for the spring orchid to grow up. I will pay you back when I sell it.”
As soon as Lu Lingxi touched the spring orchid, Dahei immediately straightened his body and his eyes followed from Lu Lingxi to Yan Yue.
Yan Yue didn’t care about the stupid dog’s reaction. In fact, he didn’t even listen to what the boy said to him at all. He looked at the boy’s serious, anxious face and his gaze uncontrollably fell on the boy’s lips. Lu Lingxi’s lips were very nicely shaped and the colour was a healthy pink. A certain crazy thought popped into his head and Yan Yue couldn’t help but think: I wonder what it would be like to kiss these lips.
“I know this is a bit too much, but I really don’t have any money right now, can you wait?” Lu Lingxi explained embarrassedly.
Yan Yue interrupted him, “No need to pay it back.”
Lu Lingxi: “……”
Yan Yue forced himself to look away from Lu Lingxi’s face and said in a deep voice, “I was the one who hit your father, that money is compensation for him.”
“It’s really not necessary,” Yan Yue repeated.
Lu Lingxi bit his lip without saying anything but just took out a piece of white paper and carefully wrote down an IOU for 400,000 yuan, then signed and handed it to Yan Yue.
Yan Yue was not going to take it, but when he met the young man’s insistent eyes, he was helplessly defeated. He thought to himself that it was just a piece of paper, and as long as he didn’t mention paying back the money, this IOU would be a scrap of paper. The young man’s handwriting was elegant and Yan Yue and Lu Lingxi’s names were juxtaposed at the bottom, so Yan Yue couldn’t bear to throw it away.
The moment he took the IOU, Yan Yue couldn’t tell if he had touched the boy’s fingers on purpose or unintentionally. Lu Lingxi’s fingers were very beautiful, white and long, with pink, neatly trimmed nails, just like the most perfect craftsmanship. Yan Yue only felt that the boy’s fingers were slightly cool, and the touch felt like fine jade, moist and creamy. He watched the young man let go of his hand, a little reluctant in his heart.
It was not until Yan Yue accepted the IOU that Lu Lingxi let out a sigh of relief. He repeatedly and earnestly assured, “I will definitely pay you back.”
Yan Yue nodded noncommittally. He realised that as long as he didn’t say anything, Lu Lingxi would take the initiative to talk to him. He liked watching the young man focus on him and talk to him, and his eyes unconsciously fell on Lu Lingxi’s lips again.
Lu Lingxi didn’t know these thoughts of Yan Yue. In his eyes, although Yan Yue looked a bit cold, in fact his heart was very good. Lu Yishui’s incident proved this point even more. He stroked Dahei’s head and thought to himself: Yan Yue is really a good person.