Chapter 163 - Days With a Child

“We did everything that should be done and even have a son now. How could we still not be together?"

Grandfather Yang’s expression changed.

“You two?”

Sheng Jiaoyang hastily spoke up, “Grandfather, don’t listen to his rubbish! We didn’t do anything!”

Shen Zhining just smiled.

Seeing how confident he was, even Grandfather Yang, who’d always trusted his granddaughter, began to feel a bit skeptical.

“Alright, you can leave.” Sheng Jiaoyang turned to glance at Shen Zhining.

“You’re not seeing me out?”

“Why would I see you out?”

Shen Zhining didn’t move and just stared at her. His attitude seemed like if she didn’t see him out, he really wouldn’t leave.

Sheng Jiaoyang was helpless and could only agree to walk him to the door.

“Grandfather Yang, I’ll leave first. Rest early,” Shen Zhining said to Grandfather Yang before nodding to An Jing and leaving.

Grandfather Yang watched the two leave and sighed. When he wanted them together, they stubbornly insisted on walking their own roads. When he didn’t want them together, they were together.

On the other side, Sheng Jiaoyang had walked Shen Zhining to the door. “You should hurry back.”

Shen Zhining reached out and pulled her forward, trapping her against the door as he stared at her, his voice low as he said, “You want me to leave so badly?”

“I-it’s late!”

His lips curved slightly. “Oh? So, you were actually concerned for me. Then, why don’t you have me stay?”

Why would I have you stay?! Sheng Jiaoyang stared at him, her eyes wide.

“If you keep looking at me like that, I’ll want to kiss you.”

Sheng Jiaoyang blinked and scolded him, “Stop lingering! Hurry up and leave!”

“Won’t you give me a kiss good night?”

His deep voice was like a feather, tickling her heart.

“Leave, leave!” Sheng Jiaoyang pushed him out before rushing back into the house like she was running away from something.

Shen Zhining laughed softly before closing the door and leaving.

When Sheng Jiaoyang returned to the living room, she received Grandfather Yang’s inspecting stare. He saw her red face and asked, “Jiaojiao, tell me the truth. How far have you and Zhining gone?”

“W-we’ve just kissed once!” Sheng Jiaoyang replied, her eyes shifting around.

Grandfather Yang told An Jing to bring a cup of water as an excuse to make him leave. After he’d left, he took Sheng Jiaoyang’s hand and rolled himself in front of her with a sigh. “I know feelings like love can’t be controlled, so I won’t force you to do anything. I just want to advise you, as somebody older, that no matter who you’re with, you can’t give them everything too early. This isn’t about being conservative or not, it’s a matter of knowing what to do if disagreements occur.”

Sheng Jiaoyang nodded and held Grandfather Yang’s hand. “Grandfather, don’t worry. I’m very selfish. If I don’t feel like the other party is worth being together for a lifetime, I won’t invest myself into the relationship without reservations.”

“I’m not a conservative person, but in this constantly changing world, nobody can anticipate the future. Holding back a little is always best.”

“Mhmm, I know, Grandfather.”

Grandfather Yang clasped her hand. “It’s getting late, so go to sleep. Tomorrow, I’ll talk to you about Xiao An.”

“Then, Grandfather, sleep soon.”

Sheng Jiaoyang returned to her room and found Xiao An curled up in a corner of the bed. She gently called out, “Xiao An?”

Xiao An raised his head upon hearing her familiar voice. When he saw her, he rushed over and hugged her tightly.

“Were you afraid? Don’t be afraid, this is my room and this place will be your home too.” Sheng Jiaoyang hugged him back and gently patted his back comfortingly.

Xiao An’s body relaxed in her arms.

“Since you’re awake, shall we go wash up?” Sheng Jiaoyang gently pushed Xiao An away and looked into his eyes.

Xiao An nodded imperceptibly.

They ran into yet another problem at bathtime. Xiao An didn’t want to let Sheng Jiaoyang wash him.

“Oooh, our Xiao An’s shy!” Sheng Jiaoyang gently blew at Xiao An’s nose. “Alright, I’ll ask an uncle to come wash you.”

Sheng Jiaoyang called An Jing over.

After reading for a while, Sheng Jiaoyang saw An Jing carrying Xiao An, who’d changed into a onesie, out of the bathroom.

“Our Xiao An’s so cute!” Sheng Jiaoyang pinched Xiao An’s cheek.

Xiao An’s eyes moved as his face flushed pink.

Sheng Jiaoyang grinned and let Xiao An bury himself in her embrace before thanking An Jing. “Thank you. Oh, hey, both your names have the ‘An’ character in it!”

An Jing saw Xiao An buried in her embrace and replied, “You don’t have to thank me. Sleep early.”

“Xiao An, come say good night to Uncle An Jing.” Sheng Jiaoyang sat on the bed and rubbed Xiao An’s head.

Xiao An stared at An Jing and didn’t speak.

An Jing nodded at them before turning to leave.

“Uncle An Jing, good night!” Xiao An suddenly called in a trembling voice.

An Jing’s footsteps paused for a moment before he left.

Sheng Jiaoyang planted a big kiss on Xiao An’s face, praising him, “Xiao An’s so sweet!”

“Xiao An, sleep first. I’m going to go wash up.” Sheng Jiaoyang got up.

“What about dad?”

At first, Sheng Jiaoyang thought Xiao An was asking about his dead father before realising that he was actually referring to Shen Zhining.

“Oh, he went home,” Sheng Jiaoyang said.

Xiao An looked at her in confusion. “Mum and Dad don’t live together?”

“We’re just dating, not married, so we don’t live together,” after saying that, Sheng Jiaoyang realised that she’d just admitted they were dating and was surprised. When did she already start thinking of Shen Zhining and herself as a couple?

Xiao An didn’t ask any more as Sheng Jiaoyang made a sleeping gesture at him before turning to go to the bathroom.

When she returned, Xiao An still wasn’t asleep. He was staring at the ceiling until he heard her come out and looked at her.

His action caused Sheng Jiaoyang’s heart to melt as she patted some toner and moisturiser on before lying on the bed, reaching out to hug Xiao An. “Come on, let’s sleep.”

Upon hearing her tender words, Xiao An closed his eyes.

It was the first time Sheng Jiaoyang had ever taken care of a child. She diligently took care of Xiao An, completely unaware that her entire day with Shen Zhining and Xiao An at the zoo had been caught on camera.

Multiple media companies published the news that night with attention-grabbing headlines.

[Xu Jiaojiao looked very intimate on a date with a father and son at the zoo.]

[Is Xu Jiaojiao preparing to be a mistress or a stepmother?]

(17 year old supermodel meddling in a married couple’s relationship. Are all ethics and morals lost?]

Every time something happened, hate was always the first thing to come up. It was like they were hired to do it, filling the internet with rumours and pushing her up onto the popular search list.

On her Weibo, which was managed by Xu Ping, netizens were leaving comments under her posts, asking about who the father and son were, and if she was really stepping into other people’s relationships. There were even people asking if the child was hers.

The internet was once again abuzz, but the protagonist of the gossip was just sitting at home with her child.

Xiao An seemed to be very small, but he was actually five years old, soon to be six. At this age, children already knew a lot and he could tell that Sheng Jiaoyang was sincere to him, so he would always stay by her side.

After Sheng Jiaoyang and Grandfather Yang were done talking about Xiao An, Shen Zhining came to visit with Felix and Lilith.

“This is Xiao An,” Shen Zhining introduced him to Felix and Lilith.

Xiao An looked at the two approaching foreigners and hastily ran behind Sheng Jiaoyang, only to be pulled out again by Sheng Jiaoyang.

“Xiao An, don’t be afraid. This is Grandpa Felix, and that’s Grandma Lilith. They’re both very good people.” Sheng Jiaoyang happily led Xiao An forward.

“Hello, I heard your name is Xiao An. You really are cute! You can just call me Lilith. I think we should be friends, you calling me Grandma makes me feel too old,” Lilith stooped down with a big smile, speaking in her awkward Mandarin.

Smiles were always best to lower another’s defences, and Xiao An was no longer so nervous.

“Look at what I brought you, Xiao An. This is a toy that kids overseas like to play with a lot, would Xiao An like to play it with me?” Lilith brought out a toy from behind her back and waved it with a wolf-like smile.

Xiao An’s eyes were curious as he looked at the toy and turned to look at Sheng Jiaoyang, using his gaze to ask if he could play or not.

Sheng Jiaoyang rubbed his head and pushed him in Lilith’s direction, “Why don’t you go and play? I have to go out today, so Xiao An should have fun with Lilith.”

The toy really did tempt Xiao An, and despite his nervousness, he slowly walked towards Lilith with Sheng Jiaoyang’s encouragement.

At the side, Shen Zhining was talking with Grandfather Yang about going to the Lin Family’s birthday feast with Jiaojiao.

Grandfather Yang fixed his eyes on Shen Zhining for a while before finally saying, “I hope you’ll continue to the end.”

“Of course.” Shen Zhining smiled slightly.

Shen Zhining drove Sheng Jiaoyang to the Lin Family’s birthday feast when it was about to start. She was formally dressed and her makeup was applied impeccably.

In the car, Shen Zhining inspected Sheng Jiaoyang.

“What?” Sheng Jiaoyang was very sensitive to his gaze.

“You’re very pretty today.”

Sheng Jiaoyang blinked. The current Shen Zhining was very different from the Shen Zhining she’d known in the past. Before, when she’d been trying everything to curry favour with him, he’d treated his words like gold, nevermind calling her pretty.

“Did you sleep well last night?” Shen Zhining asked.

“I’m not used to sleeping with a child, but Xiao An’s very obedient and didn’t make a fuss, so I slept quite well.”

Thinking of the clever Xiao An, Sheng Jiaoyang felt a smile forming on her face. Having a child at home really was different.

Shen Zhining saw how gentle she looked and suddenly hooked his hand around her neck, his lips meeting hers.

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Yuna's Thoughts

TL: Kiki | Editor: Purpledragon | TLC: Grace