After Yan Qiuzhi had finished speaking, she didn't look to see Chen Lunan's reaction but kept her head down, scrolling through her phone.
The online sentiment was turning in her favor, but she was curious about who had released the video and how it conveniently helped her cause.
With these thoughts in mind, Yan Qiuzhi sent a message to Shen Muqing.
Just as she sent the message, the car came to a stop.
When she turned to look, she saw a familiar yet somewhat unfamiliar entrance.
Yan Qiuzhi was momentarily bewildered, but then she realized that the place Chen Lunan had the driver take them was their marital home, their own villa.
The villa was located in the city but had a quiet atmosphere within the hustle and bustle.
While she wasn't sure about the specific purchasing conditions for this place, she knew that their marital home here was the largest and most unique among the very few villas in this villa complex.
Once her momentary surprise passed, the car had already driven into the courtyard. Yan Qiuzhi regained her composure and, after Chen Lunan got out of the car, she quickly followed him.
"What about my luggage? Has it been delivered?" she asked.
Chen Lunan responded with a simple En and walked directly into the house.
Inside the house, the first thing Yan Qiuzhi noticed was her small suitcase.
Following that was the sight of a clean and tidy living room, spacious and bright, with a subtle sense of luxury.
The entire house was designed according to her preferences, but after its completion, she found herself not particularly fond of living there.
Yan Qiuzhi looked around but paid no attention to Chen Lunan. Instead, she eagerly opened her suitcase and started taking things out to find a place for them.
Chen Lunan went into the kitchen to pour two glasses of water. When he returned to the living room, he saw her crouched on the floor, focusing intently on her belongings.
After entering the villa, Yan Qiuzhi had already tossed her coat aside. At this moment, she was wearing a long black skirt she had on when she went out. It accentuated her graceful figure, outlining perfect curves.
Chen Lunan's gaze traveled from top to bottom and then from bottom to top. Suddenly, he recalled the words that Cheng Zhan had said:
"You're becoming more and more beautiful, Yan Yan."
This statement hadn't concerned Chen Lunan much before, but at this moment, he felt that it was indeed true and factual.
After not seeing her for a while, his wife had become even more charming. Her face had lost some of its innocence and gained a touch of allure. Whether it was her appearance, demeanor, or figure, everything about her seemed increasingly captivating.
Chen Lunan's gaze lingered for a moment at the graceful curve of her nape before he casually looked away and took a sip of his cold water.
Yan Qiuzhi turned her head and saw her husband holding a glass of water, tilting his head back to drink. His long, slender fingers made for a particularly pleasing sight. When she glanced to the other side, she saw his Adam's apple bobbing as he swallowed.
Yan Qiuzhi subconsciously swallowed, but before she could turn her gaze away, Chen Lunan lowered his head and looked over.
Their eyes met, and Yan Qiuzhi's mind went blank for a couple of seconds, but she reacted quickly, "I also want to drink water."
Chen Lunan stared at her for a couple of seconds and then redirected his gaze.
Yan Qiuzhi followed his gaze and happened to see a glass of water identical to his. For a moment, she was at a loss for words.
Sensing Chen Lunan's mocking look, as if saying, Where were you looking? Yan Qiuzhi cleared her throat and argued, "You were blocking my view; I couldn't see it."
After saying that, she stood up to walk over for some water, completely ignoring the fact that her legs had gone numb from squatting for too long. She took a few steps, but her leg suddenly cramped and gave way, causing her to lose control and fall to the side.
Yan Qiuzhi reached out to grab the table to support herself, but coincidentally, she ended up holding onto Chen Lunan's clothes.
Chen Lunan was startled by her sudden actions and reacted slowly. When he did react, he had already become a human cushion for Yan Qiuzhi.
The sound of a person colliding with the floor was particularly jarring.
Yan Qiuzhi subconsciously closed her eyes, expecting pain from the impact. Surprisingly, there was no pain, but instead, she heard a muffled groan.
She was momentarily stunned, then suddenly opened her eyes to see Chen Lunan's handsome face up close.
Yan Qiuzhi stared at him dazedly, her whole body pressed against his, and forgot how to react.
Chen Lunan felt a twinge of pain in his back and furrowed his brows as he tried to get Yan Qiuzhi to stand up. However, when he lowered his eyes, he saw her bewildered expression. Her clear, watery eyes were filled with an indescribable emotion.
He gazed at her for a moment, and in his mind, he suddenly recalled the first time he had seen her. Back then, she wasn't as fierce as she was now. She was bright, charming, and more innocent.
It easily stirred a protective instinct in people.
A few seconds later, Yan Qiuzhi was flipped over by Chen Lunan.
She looked at the man who was about to kiss her and finally regained her senses.
She barely got the word out before Chen Lunan found his way into her lips, brushing past her teeth, tracing her tongue, and pressing against her lips with a teasing, deliberate kiss.
His scent carried the fragrance of alpine cedar, a blend of cold aloofness and a hint of ethereal charm. It was crisp and refreshing yet irresistibly alluring.
Yan Qiuzhi was left breathless by his kiss, and she tried to push him away. However, Chen Lunan lowered his head further, leaving her breathless as he moved his kiss to a deeper place.
She managed to catch her breath and chastised, "What are you doing?"
Chen Lunan didn't respond to her question and instead proved it through his actions.
Yan Qiuzhi, as if overwhelmed by his scent or some other chaotic reason, unexpectedly went along with him, kissing him back passionately.
However, in the end, they were unable to carry through with their intentions.
Yan Qiuzhi's phone rang.
Taking advantage of Chen Lunan's distraction, Yan Qiuzhi pushed him away and quickly got up. She took her phone and went into a nearby guest room, locking the door while she was at it.
Chen Lunan, hearing her locking the door, had a heavy and intimidating expression.
He reached out and pressed his fingertip on the spot where Yan Qiuzhi had bitten him, which still retained some warmth.
Yan Qiuzhi's face and body were burning hot. She controlled her rapid breathing and picked up the call.
Listening to her voice, Sister Meng frowned, "What's going on with your voice?"
Yan Qiuzhi turned to the mirror in the guest room and saw her own flushed face, with a hint of seduction in her eyes. Her eyes had taken on a hint of womanly allure as she subconsciously licked her lips, "There's nothing wrong, just a bit thirsty and couldn't find any water."
Although Sister Meng found it strange, she didn't press the issue further, "I haven't been able to determine who leaked the video online for now. I've contacted the blogger, but the blogger said it was sent anonymously."
Yan Qiuzhi frowned upon hearing this, "It should be someone present at the scene, right?"
Sister Meng replied, "That's a possibility."
Yan Qiuzhi continued, "The important thing is that I don't care about this endorsement. It's just a brand deal, and no matter how high-end or lucrative it is, it's not worth it. You never know when something might go wrong."
Hearing Yan Qiuzhi's dismissive words, Sister Meng became quite frustrated.
"When will you ever learn to compromise a bit?" she asked.
Yan Qiuzhi responded, "I have compromised. I've already had one drink, but they wanted me to have a second."
Under normal circumstances, Yan Qiuzhi would have a drink or two, considering it was a common courtesy during business meetings. However, she refused to drink more because her tolerance was low, and she became unpredictable when drunk. In normal situations, she would avoid making such mistakes.
Sister Meng couldn't refute her words since Yan Qiuzhi's good looks and talent made her a valuable artist. If it weren't for that, she would have given up on such a hard-to-manage celebrity.
She took a deep breath and suppressed her temper, "In any case, you've lost this endorsement, and you'll be mocked by Guan He again."
Yan Qiuzhi looked at her reflection in the mirror and pursed her lips with little enthusiasm, "Oh, I see."
She added, "If it's lost, it's lost. The bad should be let go to make room for the good."
Sister Meng sighed, "You're too optimistic."
In the entertainment industry, competition among female celebrities was fierce, especially for someone like Yan Qiuzhi. In the past, when there weren't so many negative news reports about her, she still had many opportunities for endorsements.
Yan Qiuzhi single-handedly changed the perception of investment product brands about sultry beauties. She made many people hesitate to make advances on her, including those who wanted to use unspoken rules, invite her for drinks, or take advantage of her.
Beauty was beauty, but being too daring had its consequences.
Of course, there were still some fearless individuals.
Yan Qiuzhi understood what Sister Meng meant. She fell silent for a moment and whispered, "I'm sorry."
Sister Meng sighed, "It's just a drink. You have to endure it."
Yan Qiuzhi replied, "Drinking isn't the problem; it's the creepy way that guy was looking at me. I couldn't stand it."
Sister Meng: "......."
After ending the call, Yan Qiuzhi hid in the guest room for a while. She washed her face in the bathroom to cool down and then cautiously opened the door and peeked outside.
The living room was empty.
Yan Qiuzhi frowned and glanced toward the kitchen; it was also empty.
After some thought, she carried her belongings and went upstairs. The door to the master bedroom was open.
She paused for a moment but decided to enter.
Inside, she could hear the sound of running water. Chen Lunan was taking a shower.
For some reason, the sound of water made Yan Qiuzhi feel hot in her ears. She touched her flushed ear and stepped into the walk-in closet. The sound of the shower continued as she didn't make her presence known.
The closet was just as impressive as when she left. It was spacious and luxurious. The room was filled with numerous bags, accessories, and clothing——a sight to behold.
After organizing her own things, Yan Qiuzhi sat cross-legged on the carpet and admired the space for a while.
She felt that if she ever left this place, she would probably miss this walk-in closet the most. It perfectly matched her imagination—spacious, well-lit, and extremely luxurious.
While Yan Qiuzhi was lost in thought, Chen Lunan entered the walk-in from the other end.
There wasn't a trace of guilt on his face, not even a hint of remorse for his previous intentions.
He walked past Yan Qiuzhi and headed to his own wardrobe.
Yan Qiuzhi simply sat there and observed, making no effort to avoid him.
Chen Lunan changed into a black shirt, looking considerably more composed and mysterious. After sensing Yan Qiuzhi's gaze, he slightly raised his chin and fastened the top button of the shirt. Then, he lowered his head to meet her eyes.
Yan Qiuzhi didn't feel embarrassed or awkward. She straightforwardly asked, "Do you still have work later?"
"Yes," Chen Lunan responded. "I have a meeting scheduled and then a dinner event in the evening."
He turned his head to look at Yan Qiuzhi, his deep voice resonating, "Do you want to come along?"
Yan Qiuzhi stared at him for a moment, then shook her head and declined, "No."
Chen Lunan didn't insist.
The two of them had always been tacit on such matters. If they wanted to go, they would; if not, it didn't matter.
After Chen Lunan left, Yan Qiuzhi couldn't find anything interesting to do, so she ended up bothering Shen Muqing.
Shen Muqing was currently scrolling through Weibo, using a secondary account to engage in online conflicts on behalf of Yan Qiuzhi.
"Did you return to the villa?" Shen Muqing asked, observing Yan Qiuzhi's background.
"Yeah," Yan Qiuzhi nodded, placing her phone to the side while she started removing her makeup. "I just washed my face; I forgot that I still had makeup on."
Shen Muqing was left speechless, "Then why did you wash your face?"
Yan Qiuzhi raised the hand holding the makeup remover, glanced at Shen Muqing, and said, "Guess."
Shen Muqing couldn't be bothered to guess. After thinking for a moment, she said in a hushed tone, "Your fans and Guan He's fans are arguing on the internet right now. Aren't you planning to respond in some way?"
"Respond to what?" Yan Qiuzhi asked. "The main issue is that Sister Meng won't let me post on Weibo."
Seeing Yan Qiuzhi like this, Shen Muqing got angry and said, "Are you really willing to let this endorsement go to Guan He?"
Hearing that, Yan Qiuzhi smiled and replied, "And what's the alternative?"
Shen Muqing suggested, "Talk to your father about it?"
Yan Qiuzhi remained silent.
Seeing her expression, Shen Muqing continued with another suggestion, "How about letting your husband step in? Let him claim all the endorsements from his company. Let's see what Guan He can do then."
Yan Qiuzhi burst into laughter and glanced at Shen Muqing, "You know, Chen Lunan's company has never used Asian celebrities as their spokespersons"
It wasn't discrimination or looking down on Asians; it was just that, all things considered, their temperament didn't quite match, and they hadn't found the right fit.
Shen Muqing understood and had to give up on the idea.
In the end, she couldn't help but grumble, "But seeing Guan He being so arrogant really annoys me."
Yan Qiuzhi comforted her, "Don't worry; I'll get an even better one."
Shen Muqing rolled her eyes at her.
After chatting with Shen Muqing about some gossip, Yan Qiuzhi removed her makeup, washed her face, and went to sleep.
She had been quite exhausted recently. When she woke up from her nap, it was already completely dark outside.
Yan Qiuzhi picked up her phone and checked her messages. Apart from the messages from Zhu Zhu and Shen Muqing, there were no other message notifications.
She rubbed her eyes and got out of bed.
Chen Lunan had just returned to the country and had numerous social appointments.
His manager screened a few of them for him to attend. Given the nature of the industry, attending such events was inevitable.
After finishing the evening banquet, Chen Lunan was driven back home by his assistant.
Wang Kang looked up at the well-lit room and exclaimed, "Lunan, do you have someone at home?"
Chen Lunan lifted his eyes and looked at the well-lit room under the night sky. His face, which rarely showed any visible emotions, now showed a hint of sentiment.
He nodded and turned towards Wang Kang, "You've worked hard. Go back safely."
Wang Kang smiled knowingly and said, "Sure, Lunan. I'll come to pick you up at 8 a.m. tomorrow."
Chen Lunan nodded and headed into the villa.
Yan Qiuzhi was in the kitchen, lost in thought. She couldn't cook, but the villa complex didn't allow food delivery inside. Even if they allowed it, the food delivery could only be left at the gate, which was too far for her to collect.
In the end, she had to venture into the kitchen to try and cook something.
Staring at the overcooked noodles in front of her, Yan Qiuzhi began to question her own intelligence.
She reached for her phone on the side, thinking of giving it another try. But just as she was about to, she heard a soft chuckle.
Yan Qiuzhi froze and quickly turned her head to see a man dressed in a black shirt. In the warm light, he seemed to exude a gentler aura.
Yan Qiuzhi stared at him for a few seconds, her eyes sparkling, "Husband."
Yan Qiuzhi blinked her big eyes and looked at him earnestly, her voice soft, "I'm hungry."
Chen Lunan looked at her earnest but somewhat silly expression and suddenly smiled.
Yan Qiuzhi was momentarily dazed by his smile but quickly refocused, "Can you make me a bowl of noodles?"
Chen Lunan hesitated briefly, his gaze resting on her face, "No."
Yan Qiuzhi couldn't believe what she was hearing, "Why not?"
Chen Lunan was known for holding grudges, so he rolled up his sleeves casually and replied, "Let the netizens make it for you."
"What?" Yan Qiuzhi was confused.
Chen Lunan turned and walked towards the living room. He said nonchalantly, "I'm just a decoration. I don't think I need to make noodles."
Yan Qiuzhi was left stunned, and it suddenly dawned on her that he might be referencing the words she had said earlier in the car.
She was left speechless, her mouth hanging open, unable to utter a word.
This man held grudges like no other. The saying an eye for an eye was a perfect description for him.
Yan Qiuzhi glared at his departing figure for a moment, feeling the urge to hit him.
She still held a knife in her hand and was about to make a show of it when Chen Lunan unexpectedly turned around.
The two of them abruptly locked eyes. Chen Lunan glanced at the knife in her hand and furrowed his brow, "Put the knife down."
Yan Qiuzhi, looking pitiful, gave a command, "You make me noodles."
Chen Lunan stared at her for a few seconds, perhaps sensing her genuine distress. He asked indifferently, "What kind of noodles?"
Yan Qiuzhi's eyes lit up, and she opened the fridge for Chen Lunan to see, "You can choose any; I'll eat whatever you make."
Chen Lunan sensed her flattery but didn't say anything further.
He might be indifferent and hold grudges, but he still made a delicious bowl of stir-fried noodles with rich flavor and aroma for Yan Qiuzhi.
After a satisfying meal, Yan Qiuzhi's mood improved considerably, and her attitude towards Chen Lunan softened a bit.
She took a stroll in the yard alone to digest her food and returned to their master bedroom after a couple of laps.
When she came back, Chen Lunan had just come out of the upstairs gym.
Since he was working out, Chen Lunan was dressed in a tank top. He had always maintained a good physique, looking slim with his clothes on but well-built when shirtless. His muscles weren't overly pronounced but evenly distributed.
As Yan Qiuzhi looked at him, a flash of something inappropriate crossed her mind.
With a loud boom, her face suddenly became hot.
Chen Lunan lowered his head and saw her blushing face.
Unconsciously, he swallowed hard and moved closer to her, his voice husky as he asked, "What are you thinking about?"
Yan Qiuzhi looked up at him, but before she could answer, Chen Lunan leaned over and kissed her passionately right there on the staircase.