Lin Mian followed Que Qingyan through the door and into the living room.
He placed her things on the sofa, then turned back to ask, "What would you like to drink?"
Lin Mian picked a corner of the sofa and sat down, she half-turned her head to look at him, and asked softly, "...coffee?"
The corner of her eyes was crimson as if she had been crying, Que Qingyan cast his eyes down and looked at her, "It's too late for coffee."
"Then not coffee, anything is fine," Lin Mian went along with whatever he said, and added quickly. "I'm sorry to trouble you."
Taking advantage of the time Que Qingyan took to go to the kitchen, Lin Mian looked around and finally knew why she could never see him when she squatted downstairs.
Although they lived in the same apartment, the styling was completely different from hers. The cold room was simple, there were no plants and the furniture looked as new as if it had just been purchased. In front of the floor-to-ceiling windows of the inner hall, instead of a dining table, there was just a desk.
There was a light on on the desk and the screen of the laptop was shining bright. The data and documents were neatly lined up, some car keys and other personal belongings were placed in a conspicuous position.
Obviously there was a study in the inner rooms, but Que Qingyan chose to work in the living room, looking like he could retrieve his things and leave at any time.
Lin Mian thought for a while, either he was very busy or he didn't go back to the apartment often.
He didn’t go back to the apartment often…...
Lin Mian's mind filled up countless possibilities.
Que Qingyan, who didn’t go home, was Professor Que during the day, Master Que at night, with hazy drunken entertainment, with gatherings of old men and young girls, with the marriage of celebrities, marriage...
Thinking of his refusal in the afternoon, Lin Mian grabbed a corner of the fluffy sofa cover and suddenly suffered a heart attack.
"There is no one in the study." Halfway through her heart attack, a glass was placed on the coffee table. Que Qingyan leaned over slightly and handed her a pair of indoor slippers. "I’ll be in the living room. You can call me if you need anything."
He inadvertently approached, with a light and pleasant smell on his body. Lin Mian's heart shook, looking at the man close at hand, she moved closer to the side of the sofa, and whispered, "Professor Que."
Que Qingyan got up and looked at her after hearing the words.
"If I say..." Lin Mian stared at the buttons of his smoky gray shirt, hesitated for a moment, and asked:
"If I said, I had some other thoughts about you, what would happen to you?"
It was a straight shot.
No concealment at all, so frank that people couldn’t help but answer.
He had already clearly rejected her in the afternoon, and now...
"..." Que Qingyan's voice sounded, "Xu Tong."
Lin Mian swept her gaze from his buttons to his face, "Hm?"
Que Qingyan squeezed his forehead, furrowed his long eyebrows, and slightly pursed his thin lips. With this look, if it wasn’t for Lin Mian watching his every move nervously, she would almost think he had sighed just now.
He asked her, "Before you said these things, did you think for a moment that you might be kicked out?"
Lin Mian was even more nervous, "Will, will I?"
Que Qingyan didn't say any more, he narrowed his eyes and looked across her porcelain-white flushed face. He motioned to the glass on the coffee table, his voice was low and steady, "Drink first."
Lin Mian cleverly said, "Yes," and picked up the still warm cup.
The sweetness of the honey water was just right, warming her lips and teeth all the way to her stomach.
She drank the honey water in one breath, then looked at Que Qingyan, and waited for his verdict.
Unexpectedly, the man turned and walked away, sat down at the desk in front of the floor-to-ceiling window, and started reading the materials on the desk.
...he ignored her.
Lin Mian hoped in vain. Aggrieved, she trundled into the study holding her computer and tablet.
The interior of the study room was similar to Que Qingyan's office. The black wall shelves were full of textbooks. The cool night breeze struck Lin Mian's face through the curtains, and the restlessness in her heart cooled down.
Lin Mian didn't have the habit of invading people’s privacy and didn't look around much, she looked down and leaned on her drawing on the desk.
After drawing for half an hour, her computer’s QQ message box displayed a prompt, and Bai Jiayi’s message appeared: 【Mianbao, I can’t get through to your cell phone, are you still awake?】
Lin Mian stopped drawing: 【I'm awake.】
Bai Jiayi:【I’ve been temporarily imprisoned by my dad. I can't come back. I’ll have the driver come to pick up my suitcase tonight.】
Bai Jiayi held a thousand curses in her heart, and explained: 【I wanted a divorce and we had a fight.】
She could imagine a big show in her concise words. Lin Mian glanced at the closed study door, unable to determine the sound insulation effectiveness of it, she could only type to comfort Miss Bai who was on the verge of running away. Remembering something she sent a sentence.
Lin Mian: 【Have the driver come tomorrow morning, I might not make it home tonight.】
Bai Jiayi:【That’s fine, are you busy?】
Lin Mian touched her chin with her tablet pen and looked down: 【I accidentally locked myself out of my apartment and didn't have my phone. Now I'm...at Que Qingyan’s.】
After a full minute, a wave of messages flooded in.
Lin Mian's fingertips paused on the keyboard for two seconds, thinking of how to reply, when the other person asked excitedly:
Bai Jiayi: 【Did you sleep with him? ! ! ! 】
After typing and explaining, Lin Mian looked at the half-drawn manuscript in Photoshop with her head on her hand.
Thinking back to the money she’d saved in her bank account, it was still a long way from her goal.
She lay down on the table slowly, thinking without fear of death, how much it would cost to raise Que Qingyan?
Even before the decline of the Lin family, the Que family's position was always one level higher. Furthermore, even without the family advantage, Que Qingyan himself was a whole other class of his own.
The fact was that he wasn’t short of money at all.
Lin Mian selectively ignored this fact, bit her pen optimistically, and brainwashed herself.
Sooner or later she could save enough money, and then...
Que Qingyan was in the living room separated by a door. Mu Mian, who had renewed her motivation for life, was extremely diligent, and quickly recovered from the depression of rejection, her drawing speed increasing.
The colour drawings were almost finished, Lin Mian looked at the time, it was already one o'clock in the morning.
It was late.
She flexed her sore fingers, and stood up, thinking of going out into the living room to take a quiet look at someone, when the light above her head went out in an instant.
Lin Mian: "..." Could the apartment's power supply be any worse tonight?
The huge study was quickly plunged into darkness, the curtains were gently blown by the wind, and the laptop screen was faintly glowing with the hero and heroine’s sweet smiles looking...
Very, very terrifying.
The layout was different from her own room, and Lin Mian couldn't get used to it for a while, using the computer light, she fumbled about and walked slowly around the edge of the table.
After a few seconds of silence in the deep darkness, Lin Mian said, "Pro, Professor Que?"
No one answered.
"..." With her memory, she moved to the entrance of the study, and dropped the honorific, shaking and whispering his full name, "Que Qingyan?"
Still no response.
Lin Mian stopped speaking and suddenly realised something.
He hadn't responded to her at all so far, did that mean he couldn’t hear her?
If he couldn't hear it, could she shout anything?
Lin Mian, who was still in the dark, was distracted and found something more worthwhile than being afraid.
"Que Qingyan? Que—Qing—Yan—"
Lin Mian's throbbing heartbeat gradually calmed down, and the panic she had felt seemed to have never existed.
She spoke the name of the person she liked as she pleased. Each syllable ending slightly raised, and she moved to the door while calling it. "Que Qingyan" was spoken over and over again and changed a thousand times, almost hummed as a melody.
There was a sound from behind her, and a light came in the door. Lin Mian felt her right hand was grasped, as a man's warm fingers clasped her wrist and pulled her backwards.
If he didn't grab her, she would’ve smacked her head into a wall in the dark.
"Don't shout." Que Qingyan let go of her hand, and with a voice full of helplessness, "What's the matter?"
Lin Mian hadn't adjusted to the light of the flashlight, half covering her eyes, she said, "Professor Que, the power went out."
Que Qingyan handed her a flashlight, and Lin Mian blinked and squeezed the flashlight a little bit. It still carried the residual warmth from his hand.
She hung her head halfway, trying to explain herself, "I called you just now, but you didn't respond, I thought you weren’t here..."
He was about to check the switch, but stopped when he heard her words, and asked, "What did you call me just now?"
"..." Lin Mian looked up at him, her hand shook and she turned off the flashlight.
The curtains were completely blown open, the moonlight soaked into the study, and the man turned and looked at her.
Que Qingyan wore a smoky gray shirt, tall and straight, and his body was haloed by the moonlight, causing him to lose his usual sense of distance. Lin Mian watched him for a long while, very well-behaved, and replied very honestly, "...Professor Que."
Taking advantage of the dim light of the night, Que Qingyan glanced up and raised his lips slightly, as if he were smiling, "Respect your elders."
He heard her calling his name.
"..." Lin Mian's heartbeat was fierce, and it took a long time to find her voice, and she retorted in a low voice, "I’m not that young."
She was twenty-five years old this year, rounded to thirty she was one year older than him.
How is she young?
Tonight, the power supply of the whole apartment was unstable, and the electric switches of the residents tripped one after another, and the circuit breakers failed.
Lin Mian waited in the study, and it didn't take long after Que Qingyan left before the room was lit again.
Some of the residents who stayed up all night called in an electrician to repair the circuit and while they were there, to unlock the door to Lin Mian’s apartment.
Lin Mian was still wearing her pajamas, slowly walking around to her two possessions, and taking a glance at Que Qingyan from time to time, and then at another glance.
She couldn't find a reason to stay...
She was reluctant to give up, and had an aggrieved and unwilling expression on her face, she heard the man open his mouth and ask, "This is for the local newspaper you were talking about?"
The ending sound was so heavy that Lin Mian looked at her computer screen confused.
Her Photoshop file hadn't been closed yet, and the end of the draft was on the screen. In the picture, the male protagonist in a white shirt was holding a love letter in one hand, and the other hand was wrapped around the waist of the gentle and lovely female protagonist as he gently kissed the corner of her lips.
The words in the dialog box read: Little fool, that's because you’re the sweetest little cherry I have ever tasted.
The drawing was exquisite and beautiful, the scene was dreamy and pure, and the words were intriguing.
Lin Mian looked up at Que Qingyan and felt that in addition to ‘sleeping in class’, she had also been labeled with ‘participates in the Anime Club’.
"..." Her face was so hot that she could cook shrimp, "Que, Professor Que, I'm leaving, good night!"
When Lin Mian returned to her apartment with her face, ears, and neck warm, it was almost two o'clock in the morning.
She checked the drawings again, packed it into an email, and sent them to her editor. Just as she was about to turn off the computer, she paused for a moment and opened a new Word document.
After thinking for about 15 seconds she titled the document: On the strategic success rate of capturing the young man’s heart of Professor Que
After thinking about it, Lin Mian changed the ‘young man’ to ‘older man’. She felt that something wasn’t right after typing it, and deleted it again.
He wasn’t yet 30 years old, and she wasn’t old either...
Thinking for thirty seconds, it changed to ‘beautiful’.
On the strategic success rate of capturing the beautiful heart of Professor Que
Lin Mian saved the blank document and went to sleep satisfied.