Fallen for me?
As far as Zhao Yu was concerned, the only person who couldn’t see her for the time being was Zhuang Yiqing, and Zhuang Yiqing, having been abroad recently will certainly not appear at that ball. So, she promised Xue Ziang she would accompany him.
Xue Ziang carefully prepared dresses, shoes and handbags for her in preparation for the party and even asked her in advance if she wanted to dance, so he could teach her.
Of course she would.
The past three years in the United States, in addition to accompanying Shang Lu in bed and work, her other job was to improve herself.
Etiquette, musical instruments, dancing, painting… everything that she could learn, she tried to learn as much as possible. Setting aside time for fitness and skin care, her life was almost empty.
Kuang Shiji focused on real estate and investment so the Xue family didn’t have much interaction with the Shang family. Naturally, Xue Ziang and Shang Lu’s friendship was even less deep – just mutual acquaintances.
On the contrary, Xue Ziang and Shang Lu’s second older brother, Shang Kun, were both well known in the same circles and had more contact with each other privately. They could be described as fairweather friends.
When Xue Ziang came in with Zhao Yu in his arms, Shang Kun brought over some wine to greet him, his eyes fixed on Zhao Yu without fear. With a frivolous tone, he said, “So, Xue Shao has another beauty, when will you bring her out to play? “
Xue Ziang stretched out his hand to hold Zhao Yu’s waist and motioned for her to lean against him. “Sorry, she’s taken.”
This act of possessiveness was too obvious and Shang Kun naturally understood, not dwelling on it further. Instead, he raised the wine glass in hand to Xue Ziang. “Then we will drink together another day. I happened upon a 2003 Richebourg and I have no one to share it with…”
“That is surely a lie. The Second Young Master of Shang is at the height of power. If you line up the people who want to drink wine with you, the line will form from Tibet to the East China Sea.”
Shang Kun lightly snorted. “Certain people are back. Bro, my life is not easy.”
The two exchanged a few more words and when Shang Kun walked some distance away, Xue Ziang lowered his voice. “Don’t listen to his nonsense, I never bring my women to play with them.”
Zhao Yu smiled. “Mr. Xue doesn’t need to explain anything to me.”
There was a sense of distance in her words. Xue Ziang glanced at her and knew that it was not the time to talk about it. Naturally, he could only change the topic. “The Shang family’s third son, Shang Lu, is back. The Zheng and Shang families are hoping to join each other in marriage. The eldest daughter of the Zheng family has been appointed to marry Shang Lu. Shang Lu was demoted to the United States three years ago, but now that he is back, I am afraid that Shang Kun’s life will not be easy.”
After explaining, he raised his chin to a group of people not far away from them. “Here, that is Shang Lu, the most unloved son of the Shang family, but it is said that in the business world, his ability far surpasses the other brothers.”
Looking in the direction he signaled towards, Zhao Yu saw Shang Lu who was smiling and greeting other people. He wore a low-key black suit and was still gentle and polite when talking.
Zhao Yu was about to withdraw her gaze, but Shang Lu tilted his head to the side as if he felt something and his gaze fell on her face.
While she looked calm, Shang Lu was visibly stunned. He then quickly adjusted his expression and walked towards them with a smile.
After greeting Xue Ziang, Shang Lu looked at Zhao Yu politely: “This is?”
“Zhao Yu, my…” After hesitating for a while, Xue Ziang nodded gently, “My female companion tonight.”
Smiling and nodding to each other, the two of them acted as though they didn’t know each other.
The dance party was held in the Shang family’s villa in Banshan, and the person of the hour was Shang Lu’s 20-year-old newly minted step mother.
This not-even-graduated university student was truly commendable. Leveraging the four month old fetus in her womb, she successfully married into the Shang family to become the fourth legal wife of Kuang Shiji’s Chairman Shang Liren.
During the three years with Shang Lu, Zhao Yu never asked him about his personal affairs, but some information about the Shang family was easily well known.
Shang Lu’s mother was Shang Liren’s second wife. Although she married into the Shang family without any trickery, she was just like a concubine in the ancient harem and the honeymoon period was too short.
When Shang Lu was born, he was raised by his mother, his father not even bothering to see him. This fact obvious from his name alone.
Of the four Shangs’, the boss Shang Chen, the second Shang Kun, and the fourth Shang Xun, were all beautiful jade, and only Shang Lu was barely just a weed.
The internal struggle of the Shang family lasted for more than ten years. Three years ago, Shang Lu was assigned to North America to manage a small investment company because it was schemed against so hard it was run to the ground.
Soon, the Shang family will be adding another son so this struggle was only going to be more intense.
After dancing with Xue Ziang for two songs, Zhao Yu followed him to the side to take a seat and as soon as he lifted his glass, someone came forward to say hello.
“This is the vice chairman of the board of directors of Yiyuan Group, President Ling.”
After hearing Xue Ziang’s introduction, Zhao Yu also smiled and nodded: “Mr. Ling.”
The man’s gaze stayed on her face for a few seconds, very meaningfully. Xue Ziang got upset, and he whispered when he walked away. “Married but his eyes still don’t know their place.”
Zhao Yu smiled and didn’t say anything. When she went to the bathroom, she bumped into the man in the corridor again.
The man’s face was very familiar. In fact, even if Xue Ziang didn’t introduce him, Zhao Yu knew his name was Ling Jianyuan.
She didn’t plan to say hello to him anymore, but Ling Jianyuan seemed to seek her out on purpose, smiling and standing in front of her. “Miss Tang.”
Zhao Yu laughed. “Mr. Ling remembered wrong, my last name is Zhao.”
Ling Jianyuan smiled deeper. “I believe my eyes, I didn’t remember wrong. I saw your photo on my brother’s phone five years ago. How times have changed. If Mr. Xue knew, three years ago, thanks to Miss Tang, the Ling and Zhuang families have been dragged down to this situation. I wonder if he will be grateful to you.”
Zhao Yu continued to maintain a calm smile. “Mr. Ling, are you trying to settle an old score with me?”
Ling Jianyuan smiled and shook his head. “Actually, I should thank you. My younger brother has never suffered any setbacks since he was a child. It is a good thing to have you help him grow up.”
After a pause, he added. “Don’t worry, I don’t like gossip. I won’t tell anyone about the past. Of course, I won’t tell my brother what happened today, but you probably don’t know yet. He is going to graduate and will be back soon.”
Zhao Yu knew. “President Ling can rest assured that I have my own life. I promise not to appear in front of him.”
Xue Ziang came, looking for Zhao Yu. From a distance, he saw her and Ling Jianyuan standing together as if they had just been talking and laughing. By the time he got to them, Ling Jianyuan had already left.
“He’s really an old pervert. He has a wife but he’s still staring at you.”
Hearing him mutter so aggressively, Zhao Yu smiled. “He just thinks I look like someone he knew from before. He came to confirm it, but his friend’s name is Tang, not me.”
“This is the most typical way for men to strike up a conversation.” Xue Ziang squeezed her face, looked at her rosy lips even redder with wine and couldn’t help lowering his head to kiss her.
After a taste, he confirmed that the mixture of her sweetness and wine was even more delicious than alone. He ignored the people all around them and continued to hold her head. Shallow and deep, light and heavy, he gave her one kiss after another, entangling her to him for a long time before reluctantly letting go.
“Tonight I’ll take care of you in bed.” Tucking her hair behind her ears, he warned her once more, “I’m going to the bathroom, wait for me here, don’t run around lest you get caught by a pervert again.”
Zhao Yu smiled and watched him leave. Only when she turned around that she realized Shang Lu had been standing not far away from her for who knows how long.
She continued to pretend not to know each other and turned her head away from looking at him, but he had already walked towards her, stood in front of her, stared at her kissed lips, and asked: “You’re really with Xue Ziang?”
“President Shang seems to have overstepped the boundaries.”
This word was once what he used to say to her when she accidentally listened in on his private affairs.
Rules. The rules between them, the rules that should be observed between the sponsor and the mistress, do not bind each other and do not interfere with each other.
Shang Lu was taken aback, but quickly recovered, looking at her calmly. “Xue Ziang is not a good person, you will suffer if you follow him.”
Zhao Yu laughed. “For people like me, how would it be different with anyone else? It is for money anyway.”
“If you just want money, I will give it to you.”
Zhao Yu looked at him amused. “Mr. Shang, are you reluctant to part with me? Or… have you fallen for me?”
Shang Lu’s gaze dulled, immediately after, his eyes turned cold. After pausing for two seconds, he said faintly, “Sorry, I drank too much tonight.”
Looking at the man’s retreating back, Zhao Yu’s lips rose ever so slightly with a hint of irony.
He had ambitions, she had hatred and their determination to move forward was stronger than anyone else.
They were cut from the same cloth but destined to walk different paths.