Chapter seven

A few hours ago, Lin Xi had watched the ambulance carry Zhang Ye away with an indifferent look on his face. Now it was only when he was sitting in Duan Shen’s car that he came back to himself. He wasn’t willing to apologize to Zhang Ye, he thought with a sour face, turning to glance at Duan Shen next to him. The other man leaned back into his seat, his eyes closed.

Lin Xi pursed his lips and looked down at Duan Shen’s long fingers splayed on his knees. Stealthily, he opened his palm and compared it to Duan Shen’s, but realized that his were shorter. When he tried to draw his hand back without a sound, his fingertips accidentally brushed against Duan Shen’s hand.

Duan Shen’s closed eyes furrowed into a frown, and he pressed down Lin Xi’s fidgety hand. “Lin Xi, don’t mess around.”

Although Lin Xi’s body stiffened, the fingers on his other hand quietly curled together.

The surgeon discharged Zhang Ye after a few stitches on his forehead. CEO Zhang and his wife waited anxiously at his bedside. When they heard knocking, they turned and faced Duan Shen with faces full of confusion. It was only when they saw Lin Xi behind him that their expressions turned hostile.

Noting the change in their attitudes, Lin Xi chuckled to himself and made an indifferent face.

Pulling Lin Xi to his side, Duan Shen casually put an arm around his shoulder. “Xi Xi, apologize.”

Lin Xi raised his head to look at Duan Shen, the carefree look on his face completely gone.

Duan Shen’s voice dropped. “Xi Xi.”

Lin Xi slowly affirmed before looking down and saying in a flat tone, “I’m sorry.”

Mrs. Zhang’s face was taut, unwilling to take the apology, “Mr. Duan, it wasn’t someone from your family who hurt our son, but someone from the Lin family. No need to trouble yourself to come by and force him to apologize.”

Turning slightly, Duan Shen arranged the collar of Lin Xi’s outfit before turning back again, his arm still around Lin Xi, “Lin Xi’s brother is currently out of the country, so he is under my care. I hope that you are willing to forgive me. I will take care of your son’s medical bills.”

Mrs. Zhang’s eyes were sharp, but she didn’t say anything. They couldn’t afford to wrestle with the Duans, but she didn’t want to let Lin Xi’s actions blow over. She turned to look at her husband.

Duan Shen could read their thoughts. The hand around Lin Xi’s shoulder slid off, only to wrap around Lin Xi’s hand. “I believe that Mr. and Mrs. Zhang have yet to understand who incited the incident: your son, or Xi Xi.”

It didn’t matter who started things. Mrs. Zhang’s eyes landed on their entwined hands, and she felt her heart stir. The couple tried to find a way out. “I’m sure it was our son who started it. We apologize for troubling Mr. Duan to come all this way.”

Still holding hands, Duan Shen and Lin Xi walked out of the hospital ward. “Nervous?” asked Duan Shen, his fingertips brushing against Lin Xi’s palm.

Without a word, Lin Xi pressed his slightly moist palms against his clothes and wiped off the sweat.

“If you have enough sense to be nervous, don’t get into fights next time.” Duan Shen pressed the elevator button, turning to eye the boy behind him. “Do you hear me? Lin Xi.”

Disappointment flashed through Lin Xi’s eyes as he responded irritably, “Got it.”


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