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Chapter One :Chapter 1

Jiang Lan stared at the clock on the wall, it was midnight, and the food on the table had cooled down again.

She carried the dishes into the kitchen and reheated them.

At 12:50, the door shifted slightly. She turned her head to see Lu Jingchi return home.

His suit jacket was draped over his arm, his handsome face carrying a hint of intoxication. He made his way toward Jiang Lan.

Jiang Lan rose to her feet and served him a bowl of hangover soup, only for him to knock it over as soon as she handed it to him.

Then, gripping her chin, he kissed her.

The scent of alcohol mixed with a woman's perfume assailed her senses. She tried to push him away, but instead, he lifted her in his arms and headed straight for the bedroom.

He threw her roughly onto the bed and bent over her without uttering a superfluous word.

Biting her lip, Jiang Lan silently bore it all, turning her gaze toward the potted plant in the corner of the room.

He offered no sentimentality, only demand.

The man pulled her face toward him. He looked at her with his deep-set eyes as his fingers lightly traced her cheek, asking, "Why won't you speak?"

Jiang Lan stared back at him, her eyes swimming with unshed tears, he knew she wouldn't speak.

She was mute.

But he would still persistently ask every time.

Sometimes, Jiang Lan couldn't tell if he was humiliating her, or if it was his way of expressing a strange kind of remorse.

She held onto the hand on her face, tilted her head slightly, and rubbed it against the man's palm, just like a kitten trying to please its owner.

This was the only way she could cooperate with him in matters like this.

The man's dark pupils deepened, as if a surging undertow was about to break out. He grabbed her hand back, pinned it over her head, and bent down to kiss her lips.

...

When Jiang Lan opened her eyes, it was already dawn outside. The bed was empty, but she could hear the sound of water from the bathroom.

She picked up the clothes on the floor and put them on. As she was putting on the last piece, her cell phone on the bedside table rang. It was from Lu Jingchi.

Jiang Lan glanced at the blurry figure through the bathroom door, then at the cell phone screen.

Xia Yan asked: Are you back?

Xia Yan: Why do you always do this, always going to see that mute to annoy and disgust me?

Jiang Lan's eyelashes trembled.

The bathroom door opened, and Lu Jingchi wrapped in a towel walked out.

He was still steaming from his shower, with his wet hair hanging down. The ends of his hair were dripping water, which fell on his chest and flowed down the lines of his abdominal muscles, merging into a line of water.

Jiang Lan redirected her gaze, bowed her head to fasten her clothing buttons.

Lu Jingchi came to the bed, picked up his own cell phone, then glanced at Jiang Lan who was busy dressing up.

"Did you see it?"

At the corner of Jiang Lan’s mouth, a faint smile emerged, as she shook her head.

The day they got married, he told her, "Always be obedient. Don't fall for me, let's continue as before. Big brother will take care of you for a lifetime."

He said not to love him.

Then what if she had seen it?

He would care, regardless if she was jealous, heartbroken, or sad.

The ones who are not cared for have no right to be angry.

On the contrary, her love and emotions would only burden him.

She was afraid that he might also step on her heart.

Jiang Lan was scared... scared that he would not want her anymore.

She gestured in sign language: I'm going to make breakfast.

Jiang Lan, with her aching body, got up and went out of the bedroom to the kitchen.

Lu Jingchi eyed her frail figure, glanced at his phone, and deleted the message from Xia Yan.

After preparing the breakfast, Jiang Lan set it on the table, scooping a bowl of porridge for Lu Jingchi and placing it at his spot.

After a while, Lu Jingchi, neatly dressed, came to the dining table.

The room was very quiet, Lu Jingchi used to say, being with her, talking was like talking to himself.

After a long time, Lu Jingchi barely spoke to her, so for a while, the only sound left on the table was that of bowls and spoons colliding.

"Come back to the Lu mansion with me later." Lu Jingchi suddenly said.

Jiang Lan paused in her movements, setting down her spoon on the edge of the bowl.

Jiang Lan replied, "Alright."

Lu Jingchi gave her a glance. Her face always had that consistent, gentle expression.

She was not noisy or heated, even if she faced great grievances, she could still greet people with a smile.

Lu Jingchi suddenly found the porridge in the bowl tasteless.

He threw the spoon back into the bowl, making a crisp collision sound. The sound wasn't loud, but it was very abrupt in the quiet dining room.