Published at 4th of July 2019 02:38:06 PM
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Chapter 39

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Su Li didn't know why Li Rong was avoiding her like the plague for the last few days . He wouldn't recieve her calls, wouldn't reply back to her texts and the day she took the initiative to visit his workplace, he turned her away saying he was busy with work . This had never happened before and she was puzzled by his behaviour . Normally, he would try to stick himself with her at every given opportunity . At first, she hadn't paid it much mind but now it had been close to a month since the party and things were still the same .

She had been informed by Zixi that Yu Yan and Li Rong seemed to be meeting up frequently since the evening of the party . Now, she knew Li Rong wasn't someone who would chase skirts or ditch someone to shove a knife in their back . She really couldn't fathom why he was avoiding her but meeting Yu Yan . Moreover, it wasn't as if he was trying to be sneaky about it . Most people in their social circle knew that the Second Young Master of the Li family was accompanying the spurious daughter of the Yu family . Su Li also could feel people's eyes watching her to see her reaction but she didn't understand how to react?

At the end of the day, they were friends, no doubt best friends . Nevertheless, friends so she didn't have the right to question him about the company he was keeping these days . Moreover, every person had a right to make friends with whoever took their fancy, she couldn't just ask him to stop seeing Yu Yan . From what she knew of him from their talks and all the time spent together, she could see that it was all deliberate but to what end? What was he hoping to achieve? Their company's were already working on two projects together and another one was in the final stages of talks of cooperation so, it couldn't be that he was planning to rob them off as that would be disastrous to his company and reputation as well . She sighed to herself . She really didn't want to spend her time thinking about a person who was ignoring her but he was her best friend, a person she liked spending time with . She really couldn't help herself when her mind ran on the same tracks of trying to find reasons for his bizzare behaviour .

Just as she was about to clock off the company, Zixi entered her office .

"Miss, do you want to go back to the residence or do you have any other plans?"

She really didn't want to go back to the Yu residence and then keep on thinking about the same things all over again, but she didn't have any prior arrangements to meet anyone either . Dithering for a bit she replied, "Book a table at The Crystal Court . I want to go and have dinner there . Book it for two . Today accompany me for a meal . "

He replied in the affirmative and they left to have a taste of the good food at The Crystal Court .

Reaching the place they were shown to their table . It was a bit off the centre . Not too conspicuous but not even at the fringes of the space . She thought it was a good spot to have a relaxing meal . If someone known saw her and was close to her, they could come and make some polite talk but if she wanted to ignore the other person, she could simply say she didn't notice since not many people would choose to sit by this side .

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She asked Zixi to place the order for both of them . She was too tired physically and mentally to bother with formalities tonight .

Yu Yan was ecstatic . For the past few weeks Li Rong had gone out with her to numerous places and she knew they were on the road to being friends and more later on . But that would have to wait for the time being . She didn't want to scare him off with her eagerness and her advances . Therefore, she had decided to take it slow . Today she had booked a table at The Crystal Court for dinner . It was a place frequented by most of the elites and she wanted everyone to see her with the so called 'best friend' of her sister and what better way than to go to a place where Yu Yue and Li Rong used to go once or twice a week without fail .

As soon as she entered the spacious restuarant, she could see people watching the both of them from the corner of their eyes . She tried to wind her arm across Li Rong's but to no avail . Though he didn't pull away from her but he looked at her with a gaze that clearly told her not to cross her boundaries . She slowly withdrew her hand from the crook of his arm . Just as they were about to pass by an aisle she saw something wonderful . Yu Yue was sitting with Zixi at a table not too far from where she was standing . She really hadn't known they would be here but it all worked in her favour so, she turned towards Li Rong and said, "What a coincidence . Yueyue is here as well . Let's go and eat with her . "

When Li Rong heard Yu Yan's words his instinctive reaction was to look towards the direction she was tilting her chin towards . It had been so long since he had a proper talk with Yueyue but he curbed his thoughts . Just as he was about to decline, he saw princess sitting there with that damnable Zixi and talking as if everything was fine and dandy in her world . As if the fact that her best friend hadn't talked to her in so long didn't affect her in the slightest . He saw Zixi saying something to her and she laughed a full throat laugh as if she had heard the best joke in the world . Even though it had been he himself who hadn't responded to her overtures, seeing her being so happy and unaffected lit a fire in his heart . Without a word, he took Yu Yan's hand, placed it in his arms and walked towards the two people .

"Hello, princess, Zixi . " He gave a faint smile to her but all he could manage towards Zixi was a polite nod .

Su Li turned towards them and when she saw him and her sister standing together, she didn't have a single ripple in her eyes . This really disappointed him . "Hello, Brother Li . Hello, Yanyan . " Yu Yan just inclined her head which could be taken as a greeting .

"It looks like the three of us me, princess and Zixi are fated . No matter what we do or wherever we go, we bump into each other . " Li Rong knew his voice had an acerbic tone to it but he couldn't help himself .

"Oh! Here, last time you forgot your cigarette lighter with me . " Su Li took it out of her purse and returned it to its owner .

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"Small things . Don't pay mind " Even though he said that he was somewhat happy to know that she had kept it with her all this time .

Yu Yan couldn't stand Li Rong paying all his attention to Yu Yue so she spoke, "Let's eat together . Li Rong, sit . "

Li Rong turned his eyes towards Zixi and saw that he wasn't comfortable having dinner with Yueyue while he and Yu Yan were present .

"What's the matter? Are we not welcomed?"

Zixi gave an appropriate reply but it really left him without a chance to counter - attack . "How is that possible? Just now you said us three were fated . Since fate has us meeting by accident then let's just eat together . "

When the waitress came to take their orders Li Rong ordered a bottle of The Crystal Court's house wine .

Yu Yan wanted to needle her sister so she started the first volley, "We had just gone to play tennis . Not only is Li Rong a business genius, he's awesome at court too . "

Then she turned towards Zixi, "You two should join us on the court next time so we can play a mixed doubles . "

"Going out together, playing together and now eating together . Second Young Master Li and you seemed to be joined at the hips . " Zixi gave a terse reply . He couldn't bring himself to even call the interloper Miss as that would imply he thought of her as apart of the Yu family .

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Even though Zixi was happy that the other guy was distancing himself from Yueyue but his heart also hurt as he watched his girl worried and anxious about it . He knew she had tried to contact Li Rong many times but to no avail and she was turned down everytime . This hurt her and she was also puzzled by the abrupt change . Even he himself couldn't understand what the Second Young Master of the Li family was playing at . So he said those words to probe him out somewhat .

"What is it? Xun Zixi seems to be very interested in my personal matters " Li Rong wasn't someone who could be easily trapped by the other person's words .

"How could that be? You saved Miss Yu two years ago so I am just thankful to you for that . Therefore, I am just concerned for you . But for some people, it's better to stay away from them . " By saying these words, Zixi wanted to remind all the people present about who had known Li Rong the longest, no matter the present circumstances . He saw that idiotic girl's face pale at his words . Good for her . Let him see if she dares try to fly over Yueyue's head, he'll clip off her wings .

The in house wine was brought to their table by the waitress . "Please, enjoy . "

"Zixi for our concern towards the same person, let's have a toast . " Li Rong replied to show that he hadn't forgotten anything and that everything he was doing was for princess's sake .

Before Zixi could pick up his wine glass to pour a drink Su Li spoke . "No, no drinking wine right now . Zixi has to drive me back so he can't drink and you shouldn't either Brother Li . "

Listening as her first words were for Zixi, Li Rong felt a painful lurch in his heart and he stubbornly wanted to refute her . Without paying attention to anyone, he filled two wine glasses upto two - thirds full and gave one of them to Zixi . "Come, let's drink . "

Zixi saw that Yueyue was worried about him so he told her, "Don't worry . It's nothing . "

Both the males finished their glasses in one large gulp .

"For our chance encounter this evening, let's have another toast . " Li Rong again topped the glasses and swallowed it all down without a pause .

Su Li asked Zixi to drink slowly . She knew if he guzzles it down like Li Rong, he'll have a terrible headache the next morning . After all, she never saw him drinking to such an extent ever and was worried about his amount of alcohol intake .

"Zixi, for being able to accompany princess daily let's toast again . She is such a good girl . " Li Rong could feel the effects of the wine but he didn't want to stop .

Just as he was about to have Zixi drink a forth toast, he saw Yueyue picking up a glass of water to drink and she somehow choked on it . Instantly, Zixi put his wine glass down and turned towards her . "What's wrong? Are you okay? Sip the water slowly . Let me help you wipe the water" He could see the care and attention in each of Zixi's words and actions .

Li Rong knew that he was called a business genius . Many people praised him for his smarts but at the moment he felt like the world's biggest fool . How was it that he could never recognise the signs of Zixi loving princess? Otherwise, who would be so meticulous in their care towards their superior? He had seen such displays many times over the last two years whenever they had a lunch or dinner together or even generally when Yueyue did something silly . Silly but cute and like an idiot he had never tried to probe or think the deeper meaning behind Zixi's actions . All the more, he had never tried to ascertain Yueyue's extent of care towards the other guy .

For example, just now, she hadn't really choked on water . She had done it intentionally to stop Zixi from drinking further . Thinking back on things, she would always treat Zixi as someone fragile, as if she couldn't see him in any sort of trouble on her account . He had just thought it to be her care as a superior toward her immediate subordinates but now every action of theirs seemed to carry another meaning . He didn't even know if his thoughts were going in the right direction or not . He just wanted her to care for him the same way . He wanted her to stop him from drinking but she was busy trying to stop Zixi from it . He could see the smile in her eyes over the fact that her ploy had worked . She seemed quite happy with herself for being able to stop Zixi from drinking any further toasts .

"Li Rong, Drink slowly . " Yu Yan said worriedly . She saw as Li Ring kept on drinking glass after glass of wine as if it was plain water and was worried that later on he would embarrass himself .

Li Rong heard the other girl's words but they didn't bring him any semblance of peace or satisfaction . He gave himself a sardonic smile and tried to quench the thirst in his heart with what was available to him .

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