Reluctantly Willing - chapter 61
“You’re Guo Guo, right?”
Guo Guo looked at the woman cautiously and nodded. Uncle An told him not to talk to strangers. They were all bad people.
This person had pulled him over. He wanted to run away, but the person was too strong. He couldn’t escape at all.
Xiu Yijian took a small cake from the table and placed it before Guo Guo. “For you.”
Guo Guo shook his head.
Sensing the distance between them, Xiu Yijian maintained her smile and good temper. “What, do you think I’m a bad person?”
Guo Guo still shook his head. It was rumored that Gu Jun’s son was an idiot, but after seeing him with her own eyes, she realized things were different. This kid was just like other kids. In fact, he was more cautious.
“Whatever. If you want it, get it yourself.”
Hearing this, Guo Guo reached for the platter of fruits before him. He took a piece of watermelon and put it in his mouth.
Cold wind blew outside but the house was as warm as spring. Even the watermelons were put on ice. Guo Guo chewed and then spat the watermelon out. It was too cold!
At home, An Xiaoyan took care of Guo Guo. Baby teeth couldn’t take the cold. It was okay before, but Guo Guo had started growing new teeth. An Xiaoyan never let him eat cold things. It was his first time today and he couldn’t help but spit it out.
Xiu Yijian quickly wiped his mouth with a tissue. The people beside her saw this and started whispering.
“That’s the girl Old Mr. Gu introduced to Gu Jun, right? She seems like she’ll be a good wife.”
“So what? She’ll just be a stepmother. Who knows if the kid will like her?”
“No, that’s not right. This kid has never had a mother. If she marries into the family, who else will the kid be close to? In my opinion, she’s hit jackpot.”
A group of gossipy women discussed this. When Gu Jun heard the murmurs in the crowd, he immediately left the person with his glass raised and went to check it out.
“Daddy, cold!” Guo Guo said, pointing at his mouth.
“Come, Daddy will blow it for you.” Gu Jun blew at Guo Guo’s small mouth to warm it up.
Watching from the side, Xiu Yijian was confused. Didn’t they all say Gu Jun didn’t like his son? It didn’t look like it at all! He loved his son!
When Guo Guo’s mouth wasn’t cold anymore, Gu Jun led him upstairs. While leaving, he glanced at Xiu Yijian. She couldn’t have forced the child to eat, but she didn’t even stop him. This pissed Gu Jun off. If An Xiaoyan was here, it wouldn’t have happened.
Gu Jun froze. He always thought of An Xiaoyan at random moments.
“Guo Guo, let’s call Uncle An.”
“Okay,” Guo Guo said happily. He hadn’t seen Uncle An in two days.
With this excuse, Gu Jun could finally call An Xiaoyan without shame. He dug out his phone and called without hesitation. The beeps made Gu Jun anxious. Finally, the long-anticipated voice streamed out.
“Mr. Gu…what’s wrong?”
“Uncle An!” Guo Guo yelled from the side.
“Ah, Guo Guo is here too.”
“Guo Guo ate a piece of watermelon that was too cold. What should I do?”
“Oh…it’s not that bad. Just give him hot water and don’t eat anything cold again.”
Silence followed. An Xiaoyan didn’t hang up.
When Guo Guo didn’t hear any more sounds, he leaned on Gu Jun’s arm and exclaimed, “Hello? Where’d he go?”
Those words assured Gu Jun greatly. He feared that An Xiaoyan wouldn’t be by his side one day. He would be so lonely.
“Mr. Gu, is there anything else?”
“How are you at home?”
“I’ll hang up then.”
The call ended, but Gu Jun was still immersed in it. Hugging Guo Guo, he said, “Let’s go home the day after tomorrow. Then we can see Uncle An.”
On the other end of the call, An Xiaoyan couldn’t recover for quite a while. He couldn’t believe it when he heard the ringtone and saw the caller ID. Today was the last day of the year. He didn’t know why Gu Jun called. Was he going to mock An Xiaoyan or insult him like before?
After accepting the call, he was stunned. Gu Jun wasn’t cold like before. Guo Guo’s addition to the call made it seem like a regular conversation.
They weren’t from the same world. Thinking of this, An Xiaoyan forgot about the phone call.
After the banquet started, everyone sat around the long table in order. Old Mr. Gu sat at the very front. Gu Jun and Gu Jing were on either side of him. Guo Guo sat in a highchair beside Gu Jun. After that was Gao Shan and Xiu Yijian.
Seeing Xiu Yijian there, Gu Jun ignored her. He would treat her like a regular person. Before, he’d thought that this woman was different from the others. Now, there seemed to be no difference.
First, Old Mr. Gu spoke. “Today is the last dinner of the year. It’s also my last year in this position. Next year, there will be a new heir. No matter who it is, I hope he will further develop the Gu name! Now, let me wish everyone a happy new year!”
The people all clapped. Old Mr. Gu sat down and the servants started serving the food.
Since it was a family dinner, they had to reinforce their image. All the dishes were made with attention to detail. There obviously were things like abalone and bird’s nest. The families who weren’t very well off wouldn’t have the chance to eat this usually. If they brought their kids today, their kids were very lucky.
Usually, Guo Guo ate the healthy meals that An Xiaoyan prepared. They weren’t made with precious ingredients, but they paid attention to health and nutrients. Guo Guo suddenly didn’t want to eat all this fish and meat. He turned around and hugged Gu Jun’s arm, staring at him imploringly.
Gu Jun was happy seeing the chubby face. How come he never realized how nice it was for kids to act spoiled?
He waved at the servant behind him and ordered the kitchen to cook a bowl of thin chicken soup. Then Gu Jun chose some lighter vegetable dishes for Guo Guo.
After a few rounds of drinking, people were mostly done eating. Old Mr. Gu started talking again.
“My nephew, Gu Jing, is engaged with Gao Shan of the Gao family. We will soon choose a good day for the wedding. I hope you all will attend.”
Since he said this, there was no reason to not go. Everyone said that they would definitely attend.
“I’m sure everyone knows about the scandal from earlier. My disappointing son was misled and tricked by a man. Thankfully, he is back on the right path now and has met Ms. Xiu. It’s their fate.”
In his seat, Gu Jun sipped from his wine glass. He realized this was Old Mr. Gu’s motive. He publicly announced his thing with Xiu Yijian so he had no other choice.
“Everyone has made some mistakes when they were young. This nephew of mine is so much better than the other families’. We’re so proud and happy. How many pieces of news are actually true?”
The speaker was the second uncle that had talked to Gu Jun earlier. He really knew how to go with the flow. The others all made similar comments. They quickly moved on from the fact that Gu Jun had a male sugar baby.
“I’m not going to marry you,” Gu Jun whispered to Xiu Yijian. He added, “You won’t have the chance even if you want to be the stepmother.”
In Gu Jun’s arms, Guo Guo asked curiously, “What’s a stepmother?”
“The porridge before you,” Gu Jun explained. “Drink it up. If it gets cold, you could get sick.”
Guo Guo knew what getting sick meant, so he quickly started eating the porridge with his spoon.
“Mr. Gu, this isn’t for us to decide. If you like someone, we can live our own lives after the marriage and find some time to get divorced.”
Gu Jun didn’t respond. Could he really give up everything in exchange for An Xiaoyan? Could he give up his wealth and status?
He wasn’t sure.
The last event was getting the red packets. It was Guo Guo’s first time here and he’d kowtowed to Old Mr. Gu obediently three times, so he got a thick packet. The others gave him a lot too. After a round, he could barely hold onto them all. This made the other kids jealous.
Guo Guo had no concept of money. He only knew he could buy ice cream with it, but Uncle An said he couldn’t eat cold things anymore. He would just save it up to ride the horsey.
“Daddy, ride horsey later!” Guo Guo gave the red packets all to Gu Jun. Seeing all the red packets and the fact that the kid wasn’t greedy, Gu Jun’s affection for Guo Guo grew some more.
They did what they had to do and the other families left. Gu Jun picked Guo Guo up and was about to sleep. He’d prepared a gift for An Xiaoyan at home. He didn’t give it personally, but the thought was there.
An Xiaoyan stared at the red packet from the old security guard in confusion. What was this? He had nothing to do with the guard. Why was he getting a red packet? He was old already too.
“You’re a junior and you must be lonely here by yourself. It’s New Years. You should celebrate. It’s not much, but just keep it. Put it under your pillow for the tradition.”
The old man was persuasive and in the end, An Xiaoyan accepted it. He didn’t have anything to give in return. He could only thank the man and profusely wish him a happy new year.
When the man left, An Xiaoyan opened the red packet and counted the bills. It was 2000 in total. It was the biggest red packet he’d ever received in his life.
The old man gazed at the light in the mansion from afar. Mr. Gu had put a lot of thought into this to have him give An Xiaoyan the red packet.
An Xiaoyan got into bed early. There were fireworks in the distance, but it seemed to have nothing to do with him. It was just a regular day.
He put the old guard’s red packet under his pillow. When he was a kid, he would carefully save the red packets from the adults every year. He wouldn’t dare to spend it until days after the New Year. He saved it like a treasure.
It was nine o’clock. There were three hours before the New Year. He was 26 years old. The prime of his life was about to pass. All that remained was ash.
Lying in bed, he was about fall asleep when his phone rang on the table. It was an unknown number. He couldn’t imagine who would call him at this time. Dong Zi? Probably not.