"What do you mean?" Xuan Hui said.
"Well, what if she lied? What if she was here the whole time but under a different name?" Qin Fei said. "This must be the reason why she was so confident when she said that she will wait for you to contact her company."
"Because, she must have changed her name and is not using the name 'Qin Jinghua' anymore," she added. Xuan Hui narrowed his eyes in contemplation. Qin Fei had a point. Qin Jinghua could be using a different name now.
"You are a genius," he said before kissing his wife on the cheek. "By the way, why are you here? I thought you have filming for a TV broadcast? Aren't you tired? You are already seven months pregnant, you really should stop working and just stay at home to relax."
"My work is the only thing that keeps me relax," Qin Fei said. "I am here because I want you to buy me a new outfit for Fashion Week. The one that you bought me last month makes me look so fat," she pouted. "Also, I want you to be with me during the event. You know how I wanted to start my own design company soon. I want to keep an eye out for talented people in the industry. So…" she made a deliberate pause.
"So?" Xuan Hui asked, amused at his wife's words.
"I want a VIP ticket. I want a seat at the front row," she requested.
"Fei Fei… you know that they only gave the front row seats to editors and other famous people in the fashion industry. Fashion Week is next week. I'm sure they have already given out all the invitations and tickets for the front row." Seeing that his wife was pouting, Xuan Hui immediately pacified her. "Don't worry, I will try and get us seats on the second row."
"Of course, all for my precious wife," he said sweetly before kissing Qin Fei on the forehead.
"Alright, tell me everything about it!" Li Shanshan narrowed her eyes at Lily Qin who was busily working on her laptop. "And I mean everything!"
"I agreed to have him woo me. But that does not mean that I have agreed to be in a relationship with him," Lily answered, without looking up from her laptop.
"And why not? That man is an Adonis incarnate! He is rich and handsome and is pampering you like a wife already."
"I slept with him."
"Ha? Like that fast? How was it? Is it big? Did you-"
"Ah Shan… stop." Lily held up her hand while sending her a glare. "I meant I slept with the man seven years ago." Li Shanshan widened her eyes in surprise and before she could say anything, Lily continued. "We can't be together. Sometimes, just seeing him would bring back painful memories."
"What?! So he was the father of your unborn child? Does he know about the child? About what happened after the accident?" Li Shanshan rose from her seat and approached Lily. "Did you tell him?"
"And why do I need to tell him?" Lily asked. "It was a one night stand. A mistake. There is nothing else. Since he wants to pursue me now, then why not take advantage of this and make use his connections to help me establish a footing in this country?"
"You… you are planning to use him?" Li Shanshan stared in disbelief. "You are planning to use him and then leave him aren't you?"
"He asked for it," Lily answered nonchalantly. "He should know what kind of woman I am. At the end of the day, I will prioritize my business and of course, my money."
"Ah Li you-." Li Shanshan swallowed all the words that she wanted to say. Her friend's attitude was not a surprise to her. Sometimes, she would find it unbelievable that her sweet and gentle friend had grown up to be a cruel and ruthless woman. Of course, Li Shanshan knew that this was just Lily's way of protecting herself. "Ah Li, I find this attitude of yours is unfair to the man. I think he deserves to know ah."
"What for?" Lily said her gaze steady as she stared at her friend. "To have him say that it's okay? To have him comfort me? What about the fact that there is a possibility of me not being able to conceive again? Ah Shan, I can't have a family. A man like him wants a wife and children. I can't guarantee that I can give him that."
"He will eventually leave once he finds out that I cannot give him what he wants." Lily said before turning her eyes back to her laptop, her face blank, devoid of any emotions.
Li Shanshan let out a sigh. "What makes you think that he only wants to have children when he said he wanted to be with you?"
"He said he wants to marry me and every husband would want to have a child," Lily stuck to her view.
"Then tell him," Li Shanshan said. "Tell him the truth while it's still early. If you have already made up your mind then tell him now before he gets too invested in wooing you." Seeing no reaction from Lily, Li Shanshan continued, "Ah Li, the man already lost his child. Now you are planning to use him before leaving him. Ask yourself, does he deserve this?"
Li Shanshan's words made Lily froze. She lifted her chin and looked at her friend's serious expression. Li Shanshan's words resonated with her.
"The man is doing his best to woo you. Did you notice the expression on his face while he was cooking food for you? Did you ask Yang Mi what happened after you fainted yesterday? The man likes you! It's clear that he doesn't have any ill-intentions towards you. You can't just treat him like this."
"How do you know that his intentions are good?" It was not as if Li Shanshan was well-acquainted with Zhuo Jingren to be certain of his intentions.
"It's either that or he is just good… and I mean extremely good at acting," Li Shanshan answered. "He is a prominent businessman. Why should he lower himself in front of other people just to impress you?"
"Ah Shan, all men are the same. He wants me now but he will change his mind when he sees me at my worst." Lily shrugged. Maybe it was wrong for her to generalize all men but she had just been too hurt in the past. In Lily's mind, men are selfish creatures who only think about themselves and what would make them look good. "He says he wants me now but that's only because I did not drop my panties the moment he said he likes me."
Of course, Li Shanshan would never blame Lily for thinking this way. From her grandfather, to her father to Xuan Hui, they had all had disappointed Lily and made her experience pain and tears. Even in the business world, Lily had met many selfish men who would stop at nothing until they got what they wanted.
"Don't worry Ah Shan, I will be gentle towards him. I will try not to hurt him... too much," Lily said as she continued working on her laptop.
Though she felt a little guilty towards Zhuo Jingren, she would not let that guilt cloud her judgement.
Lily Facci-Qin was not just any woman. As a person who had been through a lot, she was determined to protect herself no matter what. She became ruthless and selfish and would always prioritize her own welfare above everyone else.