If someone had told Guan Xi a little over a month ago that she would find herself in a situation where she couldn't return home or that she would be homeless, she would have scolded them and refused to believe it.
But now, here she was, aimlessly driving around, genuinely reluctant to return home.
After wandering around for an hour, she decided to visit the bar she frequented. She asked the bartender to make her a drink.
"It's been a long time since you came here," the bartender recognized her, not only because she often came with a group of people for expensive consumption but also because of her unforgettable beauty.
Guan Xi rested her chin on her hand, "Seems like it."
"Why did you come alone today? Where are your friends?"
Guan Xi gazed at the wine cabinet in a daze. Friends? She could call her friends, like Zhong Lingfan or Lan Ningyi, and they would definitely come to accompany her.
But even a proud person like Guan Xi couldn't explain why she felt so lonely at this moment.
"I'm not in a good mood today, I want to drink alone," Guan Xi tapped the table with her fingers and raised an eyebrow, "What about it? Is that not okay?"
The bartender was almost thrown off balance by her piercing gaze but managed to smile and say, "Of course, it's okay. But be careful, don't drink too much."
Two minutes later, Guan Xi received the drink pushed over by the bartender.
She drank it quickly, emptying the glass in just a few sips, "Another one."
The bartender raised an eyebrow, "This drink has a high alcohol content."
Impatiently, Guan Xi replied, "I know, just bring me another one."
He said this, but she continued to drink quickly.
At first, she didn't feel much, but the alcohol's effects gradually began to take hold.
Guan Xi leaned her head on her hand, feeling dizzy, "Anoth- another one, please."
Seeing that she was already drunk, the bartender didn't mix another drink and said, "Guan Xi, why don't you let your friend come to pick you up?"
Guan Xi swayed and wobbled her fingers. She was on the verge of falling over.
The bartender, worried that she might get into trouble, quickly picked up her phone that was on the table.
"Come on, unlock it," he held up her phone in front of her.
Guan Xi looked at the phone and slowly smiled as she gestured with her hand, forming the peace sign, "Remember to use the beauty filter—"
Her phone unlocked successfully with the facial recognition.
The bartender clicked on her contacts and couldn't help but smile, "You look gorgeous even with without the beauty filter. Hey, who should I call to pick you up? Your dad... Can I contact your family?"
"You dare!" Guan Xi's face changed instantly, "If you dare make that call, I'll smash your place."
"Alright, alright, then who should I call? I'll make the call for you."
She didn't want to leave at all, and upon hearing his words, she remained silent.
Since she didn't respond, the bartender scrolled through her recent calls. Out of the top three contacts, only one had a note.
Jiang Er Gou*.
The term is derived from the idea that if there is a "top dog" or someone who is very competent and skilled, then there might be a "second dog" who is less capable or lacks intelligence in comparison.
Such notes were common among close friends, so the bartender dialed the number without hesitation.
While waiting, Guan Xi began to urge the bartender to mix another drink, but he didn't dare to give her more, so he pretended to be busy.
"Beautiful lady, want a drink? Or should I treat you to one?" About ten minutes later, a man sitting nearby noticed Guan Xi. He had been watching her for a long time, and since she was alone, he couldn't help but approach.
Guan Xi glanced at the man when she heard his voice. He was a stranger and looked a bit sleazy. She waved her hand dismissively, "No, thanks."
The man moved closer, "Come on, let me buy you a drink."
Guan Xi shifted backward, repulsed by the excessive cologne the man had sprayed on himself, "Who are you?"
"A new friend, let's get to know each other."
Guan Xi was already irritated and had no patience for him, "I don't want to know you. Stay away from me."
"You have quite the temper," the man sneered, "A place like a bar is where people come to make friends, right?"
He emphasized the word friends, probably implying a different kind of relationship.
Guan Xi gave him an odd smile while examining him from head to toe, "Well, even if I want to make friends, it has to be with someone worth my while. What are you?"
The man was taken aback, and he couldn't maintain his composure anymore, "What did you mean by that?!"
He wanted to reach for her wrist, but before he could touch her, a hand pushed him away.
Startled, he looked at the person who had suddenly appeared by their side. The newcomer had a slightly cold expression and stared at him blankly.
The man furrowed his brows and was about to ask the newcomer to back off when he heard Guan Xi shout, "Er Gou! Er Gou, you're just in time! Bite him!"
The bar was dimly lit. Guan Xi grabbed Jiang Sui Zhou's sleeve, pointing her finger at the man who had been bothering her.
The bartender cleared his throat and politely said, "You must be Mr. Jiang, not, um, Er... I called you earlier."
Jiang Suizhou pulled Guan Xi off her chair and nodded toward the bartender, "Thank you."
"It's no problem."
Jiang Suizhou led Guan Xi out.
The man, who had been bothering Guan Xi, was left puzzled for a moment before he shouted, "Hey, you—"
The man felt infuriated, but Jiang Suizhou didn't even glance back at him. It seemed he was confident that the man wouldn't dare to challenge him. So, fueled by alcohol, the man decided to charge forward.
"Excuse me, sir!" The bartender leaned over to hold his sleeve.
The man turned back with an angry expression, "What now?"
The bartender cautiously advised, "Don't be impulsive, that's Guan Xi."
"What? Guan Xi?"
The bartender explained, "I'm just kindly reminding you not to mess with her. Her friends, too, are not ordinary people. They are not to be trifled with. If you insist on provoking trouble, the bar won't take responsibility for the consequences..."
Guan Xi was still able to stand, but as Jiang Suizhou led her out of the bar, she felt uncomfortable and squatted down by a flowerbed, "I never said I wanted to go home. Where are you taking me?"
Jiang Suizhou happened to be nearby because he was with some clients tonight when he received the call from the bar. Guan Xi was known for enjoying food, drinks, and entertainment, and going to a bar wasn't something new. He was just surprised that she was alone tonight.
"Just you?" Jiang Suizhou stood in front of her and asked.
Guan Xi propped her head up and replied, "Just me... Can't I drink alone? Can't I go to a bar alone? I haven't had enough. I want to go back..."
"You've had too much; it's not safe for you to be alone."
"Oh, so you want to drink with me?"
Jiang Suizhou said, "No, I have other things to do."
"In that case, you can leave," Guan Xi lowered her head. She was dizzy from the alcohol and muttered, "I don't need anyone to take care of me..."
Jiang Suizhou didn't respond, he just said, "I'll call someone to pick you up. Should I call your dad?"
"No!" Guan Xi suddenly looked up, tugging at the hem of his shirt. "Don't make the call!"
Jiang Suizhou didn't have the time and patience to deal with a drunk person; he just wanted to hand Guan Xi over to her father and make sure she was safe. Then he could go back to his own business. However, when he looked down, he noticed that Guan Xi's eyes were filled with tears, ready to fall at any moment.
Jiang Suizhou was startled and stopped his fingers from dialing the number.
"Why are you crying? Are you feeling unwell?" Jiang Suizhou crouched down in front of her, frowning as he examined her.
Guan Xi shook her head, "No."
"Don't want to go home?"
"Then, what do you want to do?"
"I want to go back to drink."
Jiang Suizhou coldly refused, "That's not possible."
Guan Xi still held onto his clothes, her voice filled with frustration, "If it's not possible, then it's not possible. In that case, you can take me to your place. Is that okay?"
Jiang Suizhou, looking at her teary eyes, was unexpectedly softened. He hadn't seen her like this before and found it a bit unfamiliar.
"I have several clients waiting for me," he patiently explained.
"Are your clients more important than your girlfriend?" Guan Xi sniffled and glared at him. "I'll just stop you from buying things for me in the future to save you some money. Can't you take a break from working at this hour?"
En. Guan Xi was still herself, unapologetically being obstinate and blocking the path.
Jiang Suizhou smiled and said, "Alright, stop shouting."
He turned his back to her and said, "Get on."
Guan Xi looked at his back and, without any hesitation, directly climbed onto him.
Jiang Suizhou stood up and carried her to where he had parked his car.
"Did you have an argument with your dad?" he asked on the way.
"Then who did you argue with?"
Tears welled up in Guan Xi's eyes as she said, "Do I have to argue with someone?!"
Jiang Suizhou fell silent, then asked, "Then what happened?"
Guan Xi lay on his shoulder, leaning on him to avoid him seeing her and let her tears flow freely.
"I have nothing to say to you," the drunken voice replied.
Jiang Suizhou stopped walking and turned to look at her. The person behind him was crying, her sobs and tears soaking his shoulder, "Guan Xi, calm down."
"Waaaah... Ahhhh..." Soft sobs suddenly turned into loud cries.
Jiang Suizhou took a deep breath and quickly picked up the pace toward the car.
"Why don't you ask me why I'm crying? Waaaah, Ahhhh."
"You can say if you want to."
Guan Xi smacked his arm hard, "Can't you at least ask?"
Jiang Suizhou cooperatively asked, "Alright, why are you crying?"
But there was no answer from behind.
Jiang Suizhou thought that she had drunk too much and would no longer say anything. However, just as they entered the parking lot and he reached out to open the car door, he heard her voice, low and incredibly pitiful, "Jiang Suizhou, I'm scared..."
The next day, when Guan Xi woke up, she was frightened by her own appearance.
She looked in the mirror at her smeared eye makeup, disheveled hair, and the smell of alcohol on herself. She had to muster all her strength to keep from screaming.
So, this was the ghostly appearance she had when Jiang Suizhou had sent her home last night?
Oh no, not only that, she had cried and acted like a fool.
Her expression stiffened further as she felt her beautiful and charming image shattering.
She wondered if Jiang Er Gou had secretly consulted the almanac and looked for an auspicious day for a breakup overnight?!
No, she had even given him twenty-eight gifts a few days ago; he couldn't be that heartless.
Guan Xi quickly took a shower and applied a meticulously beautiful no-makeup makeup look. She left her room and entered the living room.
At this moment, Jiang Suizhou was having breakfast in the dining area.
"Good morning," Guan Xi sat down across from him, pretending like nothing happened. She picked up her fork and started eating breakfast.
"Good morning. Your hangover is gone," Jiang Suizhou commented.
Guan Xi hesitated briefly and then replied, "Of course."
"I didn't do anything yesterday. I just had too much to drink, you know that alcohol messes with people's minds. I'm not like that normally!"
Jiang Suizhou's lips curled slightly, "Yes, I've never seen you cry so loudly before."
"So, what did you mean by what you said yesterday?"
Guan Xi looked at him, "What did I say?"
Jiang Suizhou glanced at her. She had said she was scared but didn't elaborate.
Jiang Suizhou remembered her expression at that moment, and in his eyes, that wasn't the typical Guan Xi expression.
"I was probably talking nonsense under the influence of the alcohol. I don't remember," Guan Xi said. Even though she didn't remember, she felt embarrassed, thinking that she might have said something embarrassing.
Jiang Suizhou nodded and added, "Your dad called yesterday, and I answered."
Guan Xi asked, "What did he say?"
"He didn't say much, just asked where you were. I told him you were at my place, and he was relieved."
The two of them continued to eat breakfast.
Guan Xi still had the previous night's embarrassment on her mind. While eating, her foxy eyes were glued to Jiang Suizhou, thinking if he was silently mocking her for her behavior last night.
Guan Xi had a pair of captivating fox eyes, and her flirtatious glances were enough to enchant anyone.
Jiang Suizhou couldn't concentrate on his meal while she was staring at him. Eventually, he put down his knife and fork and said, "I have a morning meeting at the company. I don't have time. Please stop that look in your eyes."
Guan Xi exclaimed "Huh?" in surprise. She didn't understand. After a few seconds, she finally realized that her friend was teasing her with suggestive remarks.
She laughed and decided to go along with the script in his head, "Really~ Not even ten minutes, President Jiang?"
Jiang Suizhou wiped his hands with a napkin and said, "Is ten minutes enough?"
Guan Xi thought about it and replied, "President Jiang is right. How could President Jiang possibly be satisfied with only ten minutes? With your commanding presence and reputation, you must be like a tiger in bed—"
"You're insane; get yourself checked," Jiang Suizhou interrupted her and gave her a stern look before getting up and leaving the dining table.
Guan Xi watched him leave and burst into laughter.
Jiang Suizhou couldn't be bothered to respond to her nonsense. He picked up his things and prepared to leave.
After laughing for a while and calming down, Guan Xi glanced toward the living room.
Jiang Suizhou had already left the house.
She picked at her toast on the plate, feeling both sad and relieved:
Sad because she had gotten drunk last night and wanted to escape.
Relieved because Jiang Suizhou's house provided her with a refuge to escape to.