Divorce. Xia Lei’s heart had been in pain when he made that decision, a heartrending pain.
Looking at Shentu Tianyin’s crying face, he remembered the beautiful times he had with her. He had an impulse to take those words back, to hold her in his arms and apologise, but he swallowed the words back when they came to his mouth.
For men, if they had the ability to attain something, they had to be able to let go of it.
He couldn’t control Shentu Tianyin. Her ambitions would only increase and Vientiane Group would expand faster and faster with him as her protective umbrella. This was just like driving. A speeding car would need to go around curves and skirt corners, and people would crash and burn if they did not slow down. They would both be better off if he left her.
Besides, her love was too special, and he couldn't accept it.
He could be loved by her now, but if he became a normal person one day, would she still love him? He didn't dare think of that day.
"Why? Why?!" Shentu Tianyin shrieked at Xia Lei.
Xia Lei was quiet for a moment before he said, "Tianyin, I can bet that you knew this day would come the day you moved those assets to my company. You even prepared the divorce agreement beforehand. Can’t you admit it?"
"You… you saw it?" Shentu Tianyin was bewildered.
"No, I guessed." Xia Lei laughed bitterly. "Tianyin, you are a very bright woman. You moved those assets so you'd ultimately need a document I signed. Even if you moved those assets under my company’s name, an investigation into you would still be inevitable without a document I signed. To make me sign my name, you would have to prepare two measures. The first would be the documents for those assets, and the second would be my power of attorney. You needed to prove that I asked you to buy those assets. The third would be a divorce agreement, your last resort. If the higher-ups didn't retract their investigation into you, this divorce agreement would come into play. You would then prove that we have no connection to each other. Am I right?"
Shentu Tianyin bit her lip and lowered her head, not daring to look Xia Lei in the eyes.
"Since you've already prepared everything and planned out every step, why didn't you just finish everything in one go? Did you want me to taste this pain slowly? We're still getting a divorce in the end."
"What if it didn’t get to that point?” Shentu Tianyin looked up at Xia Lei, her eyes filled with tears.
"If we didn't divorce, our assets would be shared despite the separate assets agreement. According to the law, we share assets as husband and wife. Do you think you would be able to stay out of it because you transferred those assets under my name?"
Shentu Tianyin was silent.
"Tianyin, you have brought too big of a calamity upon us. Being the scapegoat for you is difficult for me. I will have to face Bureau 101, the higher-ups and the investigations of the special task force. As for you, you must stay out of it, otherwise I'll become your scapegoat for nothing. Go get it out. Give me what you've prepared. We'll finish this in one go,” said Xia Lei.
"Hahaha…" Shentu Tianyin laughed all of a sudden, but her tears kept flowing.
She was an exceptionally smart woman but when had Xia Lei not been highly intelligent as well?
She could orchestrate everything, but Xia Lei could see through everything.
She knew what she wanted, and Xia Lei had learned how to let go.
All good things must come to an end. Now that things had come to this, what else was there that they couldn't let go of?
"Tianyin." Xia Lei's voice had lost strength. "Go, go and get it so that I can sign it. We can have a drink when we're done."
Shentu Tianyin wiped the tears from the corners of her eyes, stood, and walked towards the safe in the corner of the room. She opened the safe and took out three document envelopes. She brought them over, and put them in front of Xia Lei.
Xia Lei opened the three document envelopes. It was just as he had guessed. One was a document to transfer assets, one was his power of attorney, and the last was a divorce agreement.
Shentu Tianyin had signed all of these three documents, but the date wasn't today but a day from a month earlier. Only the divorce agreement had today's date on it. The signatures on the three documents, showed that she really had arranged everything, and prepared everything in advance.
Xia Lei looked through the three documents, then took up a pen to sign on the lines, one by one.
But right when he was about to sign the divorce agreement, Shentu Tianyin suddenly grabbed his wrist, stopping him from signing it.
Their eyes met, and they looked at each other with emotion-charged gazes for a long, long time.
The candlelight flickered, emitting soft sounds. It was the only sound in the room.
Xia Lei broke the unbearable silence in the end. "Let go, Tianyin. I wouldn't do this if I had a choice. But we must do this. You'll be safe only if I leave you. You won't lose Vientiane Group if I leave you."
Xia Lei, or Vientiane Group? Shentu Tianyin let go. She seemed to have made her decision in that instant. She had chosen the latter.
Xia Lei picked up the pen and signed his name on the divorce agreement.
The slashing of pen on paper represented the end of their marriage.
It also represented a new beginning.
"All right, just leave the rest to me. I will make sure nothing happens to you. However, you have to listen to this bit of advice from me. A person's success isn't based on how big you make your company or how much money you make. Look at us now. Do you think we have the marital happiness of those couples who buy breakfast from stalls by the road? I don’t think so. Sometimes you have to set your sights lower, and grow your business gradually, step by step. Don't ever do something like this again…"
Shentu Tianyin suddenly burst into tears and threw herself into his embrace before he was done talking. "I've let you down… Whuuuh…"
"Don't say that. I'm your husband. I have a duty to protect you. Actually, I've also wronged you." Xia Lei wanted to talk about the affairs he had with Jiang Ruyi and Long Bing, but he quickly stamped the thought down when it came to him. They were divorced, so these secrets should stay secrets. He didn't want to give her any bad memories.
Shentu Tianyin didn’t ask how Xia Lei had wronged her. Perhaps she knew, perhaps she didn't, but she did not say it. She would always remember Xia Lei’s good points. She did not forget how Xia Lei had helped her deal with Shentu Yi and his family, or how he had helped heal her father. She would never forget Xia Lei for helping her take the blame for this huge crime of embezzlement.
She would never be able to repay the kindness, and love that Xia Lei had given her so how could she mind how Xia Lei had wronged her in the past?
"Lei, will you marry me again?" Shentu Tianyin suddenly said.
Xia Lei froze. His heart was full of sorrow. He was in no frame of mind to think about this question.
"Tell me. Will you?" Shentu Tianyin clutched at Xia Lei's clothes, as if afraid that he would suddenly run off.
Xia Lei was silent for a bit before he said, "I don't know. I really don't know. I only know that I probably won't marry another woman easily. Or maybe I won't marry at all for the rest of my life."
Shentu Tianyin's lips moved, as if she wanted to say something, but no words came out. She was the one who had ended her marriage with Xia Lei, and she had also chosen Vientiane Group over Xia Lei. How could she hope that he would promise to marry her again?
"All right, go to bed early. You'll have to deal with the special task force tomorrow. I'll go back as well. I'll give Boss Shi a call, and I'll be your champion fall guy from tonight on," said Xia Lei self-deprecatingly.
Xia Lei wanted to get up but Shentu Tianyin pressed her entire body onto him, pressing him back onto the sofa.
"Tell me, do you still love me?"
Xia Lei nodded.
"Will you call me?"
Xia Lei nodded again.
"Will you come home with me to see Father?"
Xia Lei hesitated for a moment before nodding.
"You say that you won't marry again as long as you live. Then, let me tell you that I won't marry anyone else for as long as I live too. I love you, and you're the only one in my heart."
"Tianyin, don't be like this…"
"Let me call you Hubby one last time, my Hubby."
Tears appeared in Xia Lei's eyes again. He nodded and gave a soft grunt of assent.
“Have all of me for one last time. If I'm lucky, I will get pregnant with your child. In the future, even if you don't want me, I'll have your child with me. I will make his last name Xia and I will tell him stories of his father. I will tell him that his father is a hero…"
Shentu Tianyin was all tangled up with him right away. Her hands pulled impatiently at his belt and his zipper. The clothes on her body fell away one by one, some removed by Xia Lei, and some shed by her. She exposed all of her goodies to him, baring all, letting him admire them, possess them. She was his, and she belonged to him, just him. There was only one man in the world who could conquer her, and enjoy her and that man was Xia Lei.
It was a passionate fusion. In that moment, her worries, his worries, and all their worries seemed to fly away. Only happiness was left in the world, a happiness they could lose themselves in...
Xia Lei couldn't hold himself back anymore. He kissed Shentu Tianyin's lips fiercely.
After a long, long time, Xia Lei crawled up from the carpet. He picked his clothes up in silence and began dressing himself.
Shentu Tianyin watched him silently. Her tears fell again but she didn't say anything this time; she just watched him.
Xia Lei put on his clothes and walked quietly to the door. He stopped. He turned around to look at Shentu Tianyin. “We’re still friends. If you need any help, you can call me any time. And, Father… I mean, Uncle. Please pass my apologies on to him."
Shentu Tianyin nodded.
Xia Lei opened the door and walked out.
The door to the room closed softly, becoming a barrier between the two of them.
Shentu Tianyin could not hold in her sorrowful cries anymore after Xia Lei left.
She had won the battle but lost her love, lost her marriage.
But she did not regret it.Previous Chapter Next Chapter