Chapter 1153 - Not Long Enough
The common street beyond the gates of the properties along the little residential area was under the strict protection of China’s top bodyguards. Any suspicious figures would be blocked and not granted entrance into the area. If they were deemed as a threat, they would be subdued on the spot. Hence, Xia Lei found no one to pay extra attention to his surroundings. Otherwise, he would’ve noticed Tang Bochuan’s presence long before the man had gotten into their vicinity.
Tang Bochuan’s unannounced arrival was surprising to Xia Lei and humiliating for Tang Yuyan.
Xia Lei discreetly deposited the alloy pendant into his pockets and offered the man a smile. “Bochuan, are you here to pick Yuyan up?”
Tang Bochuan replied with a grin. “Yeah. She’s my boss now. Oh right, both of you were...?”
Xia Lei merely shrugged his shoulders and said nothing else. His matter with Tang Yuyan had nothing to do with the Tang family. Thus, he felt like he did not owe them an explanation.
Tang Yuyan finally recovered from her shock. “Brother, what’s the matter? Couldn’t you have called?”
Tang Bochuan replied, “We just received news from the immigration department. A few dangerous figures had just entered our borders one hour ago.”
“Dangerous figures? From where?”
Tang Bochuan scoffed lightly, “Where else? They came from America, of course.”
Xia Lei furrowed his brows slightly, suddenly thinking about Kestin and Lockheed Martin’s Dragon Slayer Project.
Tang Yuyan answered, “Alright, got it. You head back first, I’ll follow soon.”
Tang Bochuan continued, “By the way, grandpa is in Jingdu now. He’d like for you to come home for dinner.” Before Tang Yuyan could say another word, the man averted his gaze onto Xia Lei. He invited, “Xia Lei, would you like to join us?”
“Me?” Xia Lei quickly shook his head. “I’ll pass, I still have matters to take care of.”
A hint of displeasure flashed through Tang Bochuan’s expression, but it disappeared in a flash. The smile on his face had never once faltered. “Oh, Xia Lei. You’re already kissing my sister on the streets. You’ve robbed my grandpa of his precious granddaughter. The least you can do is to pay the old man a visit.”
Now that he was once again romantically involved with Tang Yuyan, Xia Lei should pay them an obligatory visit. However, as soon as he recalled what Tang Yunhai, Tang Tianlong and Zhang Yumei had done in the past, the mental discomfort came rolling back in waves. Xia Lei did not wish to see them ever again. He looked at Tang Yuyan this time. He would go if Tnag Yuyan said so.
Tang Yuyan was conflicted. The woman was in a dilemma.
“Yuyan, you should say something,” urged Tang Bochuan.
She gnawed her lower lip and abruptly scooted closer to Xia Lei’s body. Ignoring her brother’s existence, she pecked his cheek and murmured into his ear. “I know you don’t wish to go but... I’d like you to come with me. When I have to face my grandpa and parents, I... With you by my side, I’ll feel braver.”
Xia Lei could understand her current feelings. She was raised in such an environment that Tang Yunhai, Tang Tianlong and Zhang Yumei had solidified their identities as undefiable figures in her life. The Tang clan’s prominent and historical status too was another load to her burden. Not only did she need great determination and courage to fight against these but she would also require his help.
He’d gladly do anything as long as she asked.
Xia Lei nodded. “Alright, I’ll come with you.”
Tang Yuyan was moved, the surge of emotions prompting her to land another peck onto his cheek. “Thank you.”
Xia Lei murmured back. “We’re a family now, there’s no need to be so courteous.”
Those words were like molten sugar. Tang Yuyan’s heart felt like it had melted away and poured into a pool of love. She did not bother to regard the passersby and even her brother. The only thing she had her eyes on now was Xia Lei. Hastily, she lunged forward and captured Xia Lei’s lips in another searing kiss. With her response and current mood, the woman would’ve bedded Xia Lei right away if she wasn’t on the streets.
Tang Bochuan quickly averted his gaze away, not because the imagery of her sister kissing Xia Lei was too stimulating for the soul. Instead, their ‘newly-established’ relationship did not quite sit well for Tang Bochuan’s comfort.
For one, the Tang family was a huge family with hundreds of years of history. If Xia Lei was about to marry Tang Yuyan like other men without the existence of Liang Siyao, Long Bing, Fan Fan and Jiang Ruyi, he and his family would be beyond pleased. However, Xia Lei was a man with four wives and four children. The fact that he could be disgustingly intimate with his sister in the middle of the road in broad fucking daylight felt like a punch to the Tang family’s dignity. How could Tang Bochuan possibly feel ease about that? If Tang Yuyan had her arms coiled around some other man, Tang Bochuan would’ve had the guts to rush forward and beat the shit out of him.
They remained entangled for a full two minutes before Tang Yuyan was finally willing to release Xia Lei. Her dainty features were dusted with a faint layer of pink and her eyes were so soft that it could melt the toughest of men.
Xia Lei smiled. “You should go back to work. I’ll go prepare myself and then call you later.”
She nodded. “Okay. I’ll visit again tomorrow to help babysit the kids.”
Xia Lei offered her one last gentle smile.
Following that, Tang Yuyan climbed into her car and drove away slowly. At least half of her attention was given to the rear mirror. As the car pulled away more distance from Xia Lei, the growing emptiness in her heart grew stronger.
A woman in a new relationship was like a milk taffy in the mouth. Clingy.
Tang Bochuan, on the other hand, did not drive away immediately. He got out of the car and came to Xia Lei. Nonchalantly, he asked, “So what are you planning to do?”
Though Xia Lei was fully aware of what he meant, he replied, “What do you mean?”
Tang Bochuan furrowed his brows, visibly frustrated at his mannerism. “We’re all men. There’s no need to pretend.”
“Bochuan, I really don’t know what you’re talking about,” said Xia Lei.
The other man shrugged his shoulders. “Since you want me to be frank, I’ll be frank. You’re lucky your name’s Xia Lei. I’m talking about your relationship with my sister. If I had not happened to come across you two, you certainly would’ve continued to keep it under wraps. You’ve progressed to this point and as a man, how are you planning to offer her solace?”
Xia Lei was silent for a beat. “Well, I’m going over to your house for dinner tonight. We’ll talk more about it later.”
“Very well, I’m just asking. I’ll be looking forward to your presence tonight.” Tang Bochuan’s eyes fell onto Xia Lei’s pocket. With a smile, he asked, “When I came, I noticed that you were holding a necklace. Was that for my sister?”
Xia Lei was caught aback. “No. It’s mine. The clasp had broken off so I had to take it off.”
“Oh, I see. Guess I’ll see you later. Bye.” Tang Bochuan turned around and returned to his vehicle. Soon, the man drove away.
Xia Lei brought the necklace out and palmed it tightly, seemingly occupied with thoughts.
Returning to the residential area, many had emerged out of their houses to greet Xia Lei with a friendly smile. Their admiration for him was unmistakable. While his private affairs were admittedly chaotic and questionable, his contributions towards the nation were worthy of every Chinese’s respect.
Xia Lei returned their kindness as all good neighbours would do. While many had known his name, he had no idea what theirs were.
Along the way home, Xia Lei was greeted like a returning hero. But as soon as he was home, his entrance was welcomed with a sharp twist to his ear, courtesy of Liang Siyao.
“I saw you kissing Tang Yuyan on the streets through the front yard. Make your choice. The washing board or the keyboard?” Liang Siyao was livid.
Fan Fan, Long Bing and Jiang Ruyi, however, were laughing at his predicament. Tang Yuyan’s recent behaviour and self-sacrificing maid-like tendencies did not go unnoticed. Her changes and her blatant attempts to appease them was well noted too. Most importantly, they could not ignore her sacrifices that made it possible for their children to be birthed every time they looked at the babies’ faces. There were so many reasons from the past and the present thrown into a melting pot that allowed the mental obstacle plaguing them to be slowly removed by Tang Yuyan. They were all now accepting of her.
There was another factor behind their acceptance too. If one was added to create two, it would certainly be more difficult. But if it was one more added to a mix of four women, then it was not all that difficult. Four women were already sharing the same husband. What would a fifth do? After all, no matter how hard they fought, they would all still share the same husband. A bed that could fit five could certainly fit a sixth person.
Despite that, a cheating man should still be punished.
“Come on!” Liang Siyao’s other palm slapped Xia Lei’s ass hard. “The washing board or the keyboard?”
Liang Jiayu too clambered over on the ground and fisted Liang Siyao’s stocking with his chubby hands. He opened and closed his palm over it as he gurgled, “Baba... Baba...”
Xia Lei quickly seized the opportunity. “Look. Even my son is here to help me. Are you not going to spare his father?”
As soon as Liang Siyao loosened her grip on Xia Lei, Liang Jiayu too let go of her stockings. The little fella was full with smiles, obviously pleased with the outcome. Liang Siyao glared at her son. “Jiayu! If you continued to spoil your father like this, you’ll have more mothers in no time!”
Seemingly aware of what that entitled, Liang Jiayu flailed his arms and hit Xia Lei’s calf.
Xia Lei chuckled at the display. The man bent over and gathered his son in his arms. “Jiayu, don’t worry. Papa won’t be bringing a sixth mother home. I promise.”
While it seemed to be directed to the baby, it was actually a declaration to all the women of his household.
“You better remember this. Make this the last one, okay?” It was only then that a smile reappeared on Liang Siyao’s lips.
To that, Xia Lei nodded. “There won’t be next time. I swear this will be the last.” Then he offered them a wry smile. “If it wasn’t for her, all of us would be separated by death. This is what our family owes her and I’ll be the payment.”
“Lucky you. Any man would be pleased to pay a debt like this.” Fan Fan rolled her eyes at Xia Lei.
The man lightly smacked the back of her hand, the crisp sound immediately earning a new eye-roll from Fan Fan.
Xia Fan clumsily clambered over to her father and tapped her Barbie doll against his leg. It felt almost as if she wasn’t pleased with her father’s ‘act of violence’.
Fan Fan cooed and picked Xia Fan up. “Aiyo, mama’s little princess. You’re the only one who loves me the most. If your father bullies me again, will you come to my aid?”
Xia Fan giggled happily, her laughter as light as silver bells.
Liang Siyao wrapped her arms around Xia Lei’s elbow. “But I’m worried about one particular person.”
Fan Fan, Long Bing and Jiang Ruyi’s eyes were once again plastered on Xia Lei. The uniform tensed expression gave Xia Lei a good idea of what their topic of discussion was when he was walking Tang Yuyan out. Perhaps, they had even achieved a mutual decision too.
“Who?” Xia Lei attempted to probe.
“Shentu Tianyin.” Liang Siyao went on, “There’s no place for her in this home. You’ve made your promise and I urge you to stick to it.”
Xia Lei smiled reassuringly. “That won’t happen, I can promise you that.”
He and Shentu Tianyin were over. She might live on in his memories but she would not be by his side.
A smile finally blossomed across Liang Siyao’s face. She quickly lunged forward and pecked his lips. “You’re such a good boy. Here’s a reward.”
Fan Fan, Long Bing and Jiang Ruyi came over and offered the same prize.
Xia Lei extended his arms in an attempt to hug all four of his wives. Sadly, his arms just weren’t long enough.
“Sigh. After a while, you won’t be able to hug us all,” whined Jiang Ruyi out of the blue.
Without warning, Xia Fan smacked her palms against her father’s eyes as soon as she noticed his palm had overlapped her mother’s palm.
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