Cheng Liyue didn’t know what had overcome her that she did not shake off his grip. The feeling of wanting to square up to him had fled her. But there were some doubts lingering in her head. Was he really on her side?
After having been ushered into the passenger seat by Gong Yexiao, Cheng Liyue was still somewhat befuddled. Gong Yexiao got in the driver’s seat and saw that she had not fastened her seat belt. He then leaned towards her.
This startled her into backing up against the window. She looked at him warily. “What are you trying to do?”
Looking at her startled expression, Gong Yexiao muttered in discontent, “Even if I wanted to fool around in here, there isn’t enough room for me to display my prowess.” Reaching over to her seat belt, he proceeded to strap her in.
When Cheng Liyue saw that he had only wanted to fasten on her seat belt for her, she was at a loss for words, having clearly mistaken his intentions.
As it was close to midday, Gong Yexiao suggested, “Let’s have our lunch first. Once we’re done, I’ll drop you off at work. We’ll pick our son up together later.”
Heat suffused her face for no apparent reason. His arrangements and the way he used the words ‘our son’ so naturally made it seemed as though they were a pair of husband and wife.
Cheng Liyue did not give him a reply. She was somewhat reluctant to have lunch with him. Regardless of this, Gong Yexiao drove them to a restaurant he frequented.
In the private dining room
Gong Yexiao ordered a great many dishes. Cheng Liyue found things awkward and remained quiet. She felt that there was nothing to say to this man.
“Do you not wish to say anything to me?” Gong Yexiao asked as he leisurely opened a bottle of red wine.
Cheng Liyue stared out the window. “There’s nothing much to say.”
“Anything is fine. Ask me anything you’re curious about.” Eyes narrowed, Gong Yexiao knew that there were plenty of things she wanted to ask him.
Cheng Liyue was stunned. She swiftly turned to look at him. “What are the intentions of your family regarding Xiao Ze? Do all of you share the same thought of wanting to snatch him back?”
“So far he has only met my grandfather. My parents are still abroad.” Gong Yexiao replied.
“Then what does your grandfather want?” Cheng Liyue asked curiously.
“He wants Xiao Ze to be raised in the Gong family.” Gong Yexiao answered truthfully.
She experienced a sudden tightness in her chest. Her eyes lit up with anger. “I will never agree to it.”
Gong Yexiao looked at her calmly and murmured, “Calm down. If my family really wanted to snatch Xiao Ze away from you, do you think they would take your opinion into consideration? They have plenty of ways to force your hand.”
“Over my dead body.” Her eyes reddened.
“If you were to die, Xiao Ze would be motherless. Can you bear to leave him?”
She felt a lump in her throat. His words brought on tears.
His calm gaze remained on her. “So if you want to have custody of the child, just do as I say. That way the child will not be separated from you.”
Cheng Liyue looked at him. The fact that he was part of the Gong family did not escape her. He had even said to her that he would take her son away from her. But at present, even if she could not see through his deep, impenetrable eyes, she believed these words spoken by him. Holding back her tears, she gazed at him with misty eyes. “Then what should I do?”
Gong Yexiao returned her gaze with a serene look and said, “Live with me for a year, together with our son.”
“What happens after a year?” Cheng Liyue asked hoarsely.
A fleeting feeling of disappointment ran through him. Did she have zero expectations towards that period of time?
His eyelids briefly shuttered before he replied, “If we’re not married within a year, I’ll give up custody of Xiao Ze.”
“Marriage?” Cheng Liyue looked at him, dumbstruck.
Gong Yexiao inched closer to her. A pair of charming eyes were fixated on her. “Do you not want to give Xiao Ze a complete family?”
Cheng Liyue was in a daze. This man was asking too much of her. Her mind was not able to process this. Drawing in a deep breath, she said, “Do you really mean what you said?”
“If you do not believe my words, go ahead and record them as proof.” Gong Yexiao offered.
Cheng Liyue actually held up her phone. His brows furrowed. This woman had that little faith in him?
“Alright. I’m recording it. Go on.” Cheng Liyue could not really trust him. He was the first in line from the Gong family who wanted to snatch her son away from her.
Face overcast, he took the cell phone from her and went on record, “I, Gong Yexiao, promised Cheng Liyue that if we’re not married by the end of one year, I will relinquish all rights to custody of our child, Cheng Yuze.”
Cheng Liyue took her cell phone and made sure that it had been properly recorded. Seeming to have felt that this might have been a little excessive, she put away her phone and looked to the man sitting across her, giving him a smile. “Thank you.”
Gong Yexiao thought that he was surely insane to have actually defied his grandfather, all for the sake of this woman, and was even distrusted by her to such an extent.
The food was served and the atmosphere in the room fell into silence. Cheng Liyue stole a few glances at the man opposite her. She wanted to know why he wanted to help her? Why was he so willing to give up custody of their son after a year?
The answer to this was only known to Gong Yexiao.
Because within the span of a year, he wanted to obtain not only his son but also this woman.
However, it wasn’t easy to get her to fall for him. So, within a year, he would bring out his charms in full force to enamor her.
He did not believe she would remain unmoved.
It was not possible for a woman to be unaffected by a man who was good to her.
So, during this one year, he would shower her with his affections.
Cheng Liyue was absorbed in tasting the dishes and was completely unaware of the plan that the man had in store for her, or the honeytrap that would be lying in wait for her.
After the meal, Gong Yexiao dropped her off at work. Cheng Liyue glanced at him before he drove away.
Once she was in her office, the first thing she did was to upload the audio onto her computer and saved it in her cloud storage.
She then put on her headphones and listened to it carefully.
Only one thought emerged as she listened to it, the man sure had a rich, magnetic voice.
After listening to it several times, she stopped. If she listened to it any longer, she would surely be enthralled by his voice. Bending her head, she busied herself with work.
In a conference room in the Lu Group, Lu Junxuan rapped the table with a grim face. He shouted angrily at the senior executives present, “Who was it that leaked the information? Why are our clients whom we almost had in the bag being stolen by the Gong Corporation?”
“President Lu, we’re not sure either. The Gong Corporation has never been interested in the shipping industry. We can’t figure out the reason why they are now stealing our clients from us.”