Face to face, they were so close that they could feel each other's breaths.
 
Yang Chen stoically demanded, “Mo Qianni, look at me. If you really feel nothing towards me anymore, there’s no need for you to avoid my gaze.”
 
Mo Qianni bit her lip as she tried her best to turn around, only to no avail.
 
She ultimately shook her head as she mumbled, “Yang Chen… I’m begging you. Let it go. I don’t deserve you doing this for me. I’m just a nobody from the outskirts. I have no position nor do I have any notable background. All that matters to me now is to repay the old CEO for his kind deeds towards me.
 
“All that had happened between us, let’s just assume it’s a one-time mistake of mine. We shouldn’t even have interacted at all in the first place. The more time I spend with you, the worse I feel. I feel like I’m betraying the hands that brought me out of the trenches. I can’t even meet Ruoxi face to face anymore. The gap between us is just too big. You’re the high and mighty Yang Chen, while I'm nothing more than an ordinary woman. Can’t you see that we are not meant for each other?”
 
Yang Chen sneered, “Mo Qianni, I didn’t know you valued true love this little. Ordinary? You fell in love with the staff that started out as a mutton skewer boy. Does that even count as a man with unfathomable background? You’re just making up excuses as you go.”
 
Mo Qianni instantly turned back, broke free from Yang Chen’s grasps, stood up straight and lifted her head. As her eyes started getting teary, she glared at Yang Chen. “Love? Do you even know what it is?
 
“Yeah, to some people love is truly important. To them, nothing else matters. And then there are others that had to sacrifice family, their worklife, and even their dignity in the name of love. Even when they knew it wasn’t right, they stubbornly pushed through anyway. Do you think that it’s the right thing to do?
 
“Everything in life is so simple for you isn’t it? If you thought a heartless love amateur is more attractive than a woman with real emotions, I would certainly reject you.”
 
The air suddenly became bone-chillingly cold, particularly for Yang Chen.
 
Her words stabbed him deep into his heart.
 
Yang Chen painfully stared at that pale, fatigue ridden face of hers. Her pupils were strands of blood. He understood that she never had proper rest since that incident.
 
Yang Chen forced a smile. “I never once thought of sacrificing everything to keep you by my side. But why aren’t you even giving me the chance to solve our issue?”
 
“A chance?” Mo Qianni disdainfully laughed. “How am I supposed to give you a chance? You know that day when we stargazed together on the balcony, when I went back in my mom was there holding a bottle of sleep pills. She threatened to kill herself infront of me if I refused to end the relationship…”
 
Yang Chen expressions turned sour, unable to believe that a seemingly harmless incident that night would bring about such dire consequences towards her.
 
“I was single-handedly brought up by my mother. And because of me, she has spent most of her life in a tiny little village, alone to brave the odds. She was even picked on by that man Zhang Fugui. She’s my only kin in the world. How can I abandon my mom for what you call 'love’?” Mo Qianni was bawling in tears.
 
Yang Chen was glued to his position, unable to yelp a word. It took a while for him to muster his courage as he responded, “You can call me cold-blooded, heartless, or whatever you like. But I will convince your mother. I just want you to promise me, that you wouldn’t give up on us.
 
“There are only two types of women in my life. Ones that are there to casually play with, and the others that deserve true emotions.
 
“If you did all that just to experiment if I’ll have a change of heart when things occur, then you should give up now. I have experienced so much, and yet I’m still here. What more can I prove for you?”
 
Mo Qianni continued sobbing. Her teary eyes stared at Yang Chen, looking completely hopeless.
 
Yang Chen held on to her shoulders tight as he proclaimed, “I can accept that you’re making a fuss about this, or that you wanted to push me away. But if you’re someone that’s not willing to even take the option of redeeming this love, then what’s the point of me coming over for you every day?
 
“So please, don’t give up on us. Trust me, will you?”
 
In the quiet office room, all that was heard was the sounds of exhaled breaths.
 
His fiery gaze left her helpless.
 
After what felt like ages, Mo Qianni turned her head away and smiled. “You didn’t change one bit. Whether if it was the first time you barged into my office for a debate, or now. You've never ever given me a chance to make my move, even when I just want to retreat.”
 
Glimpses of happiness flashed through Yang Chen’s pupils. “I would never stop you from making your move, but if you were to retreat, I’ll make sure it would lead right back into my arms.”
 
Mo Qianni cracked a smile. “All you ever do is crack jokes. Why don’t you take interest in making my mom agree to this instead? Otherwise don’t even think about it.”
 
Yang Chen reached out as he wiped the tears of her cheeks, before he replied, “Alright let’s put that aside for now. It’s almost noon now. Let’s go out for lunch. Look at how thin you have become. It doesn’t feel as satisfying when I touch you now.”
 
Mo Qianni pouted as she pinched Yang Chen by the belly. “Always goofing around, how would you ever get my mom to agree with anything you say?”
 
Yang Chen burst into laughter as they exited the building hand in hand.
 
A temporary cure for Mo Qianni’s woes was a huge relief for Yang Chen. As for convincing Ma Guifang, Yang Chen as usual could only hope to improvise when the time comes.
 
They took the elevator to the parking basement, before he drove Mo Qianni’s car straight towards the central business district.
 
To cater towards her liking, Yang Chen took time to carefully choose an eatery specialising in Szechuan cuisine. After all, she wasn’t usually allowed many options for spicy food when eating at the canteen.
 
He chose a large table, and ordered an array of Szechuan specialties that Mo Qianni favored.
 
Mo Qianni observed as their table was gradually occupied more and more by the foods they had ordered. She awkwardly mentioned, “I'm not a pig, so how can I even finish all of these? I understand your intention, but this is a waste of food.”
 
Yang Chen let out a grin. “Well I’m here too aren’t I? Just pick what you want to eat. I’ll clean up the rest and make sure none of it goes to waste.”
 
Mo Qianni picked up a clump of fish meat floss, and brought it right before Yang Chen’s mouth. “Ahh… open up!”
 
Yang Chen aggressively chumped down on the food while biting onto the chopsticks in the process!
 
Mo Qianni was terrified at what he had done. “Why are you biting on the chopsticks? Loosen up!”
 
Yang Chen mumbled his reply while chewing, “Little Qianqian’s chopsticks taste good too.”
 
“Pfft…” Mo Qianni couldn't help but laugh so hard that she started to tear up. She knew he was trying his best to make her feel better.
 
After their romantic lunch date, Yang Chen paid the bill and they walked out of the eatery hand in hand. As they both had nothing much in hand for the rest of the day, they decided to go for a stroll nearby.
 
After she was finally allowed to spill out the words stuck in her heart all this while, she was visibly more lively. She held onto Yang Chen’s hand as they walked hand in hand on the street, a rare occasion between just the two of them.
 
As they walked past an arcade store, Yang Chen abruptly stopped his footsteps, before he headed inside for a quick glance.
 
Mo Qianni was curious as she peeked into the arcade. It was loaded with all sorts of games: first person shooters, bikes, and plane simulations, but they were nothing uncommon. She never understood what had drawn him into this particular arcade.
 
Yang Chen turned towards her and said, “Little Qianqian, let’s go here. I saw something really fun.”
 
Mo Qianni was visibly uninterested, but nonetheless nodded in agreement. After all, a relationship was about compromise.
 
Yang Chen went ahead to exchange some tokens, but surprisingly skipped over the popular arcade machines, and went straight towards a ‘whack the mole rat’ arcade game!
 
This old fashioned game required hardly any skills as it has only just one step: hit the exposed mole rat. Most people play it just for venting stress piled up from within.
 
“Hubby… you want to play this?” Mo Qianni was confused.
 
“Not me.” Yang Chen took the inflated hammer and stuffed it into Mo Qianni’s hand. “You.”
 
“Me?” Mo Qianni took a good look at the hammer, and then at the exposed mole rat, as she embarrassedly questioned, “Why would you want me to hit that?”
 
Yang Chen assumed she was unfamiliar with the game, so he went behind and held her by the hand, before he started hitting the emerged ‘mole rats’, while explaining, “See that's how you do it. It's super easy.”
 
“Hubby, I'm asking you again. Why are we hitting mole rats out of the blue? We're not children anymore.”
 
Yang Chen hesitated for a moment before he replied with a bitter smile, “I understand that you’ve gone through a lot of pain the past days because of me. I also realized that I’m not always here for you. So I thought it was a good idea for you to vent your stress out. If I can I would rather you slap me as hard and as much as you want, but I know you’d definitely turn down the offer. So I took you here instead. Just take those mole rats as me, and hit them as hard as you can until you are done.”
 
Mo Qianni stared at the man in front of her, as words got stuck in her throat, despite how much she wanted to say them.
 
Yang Chen witnessed the inaction from Mo Qianni, gave his head a light scratch, before he grabbed the inflated hammer from her hands as he taunted, “Alright, if you can’t do it then I’ll beat the crap out of this rascal!”
 
Yang Chen upon ending his sentence instantaneously smashed down towards the mole rats. It was a relatively easy game for Yang Chen as he consistently scored bullseye with every hit. All he needed to do was to be wary of not breaking the machine in the process.
 
Mo Qianni stood by a corner as she observed Yang Chen diligently wrecking mole rats, giving out a long sigh.
 
In that instant Yang Chen who was all this while completely focused on hitting artificial mole rats felt a pair of arms hugging his waist tight. It was a sudden embrace by Mo Qianni.
 
“Are you alright?” Yang Chen turned behind, only to witness Mo Qianni staring at it with puppy eyes. “I don’t think this game is made for me, you want to switch?”
 
Mo Qianni shook her head as she pleaded, “Stop hitting it alright? I forgive that evil brat, I truly do. I feel a lot better now. I hurts me to see you continuously beating up the man I love more than myself.”
 
Yang Chen cracked a sinister smile. “Really? Then give me a kiss,” he said as he pointed at his mouth.
 
“Here?” Mo Qianni suspiciously looked around. The arcade was expectedly filled with quite a number of people.
 
“It seems like you still hate me,” Yang Chen mentioned in a disappointing tone.
 
Mo Qianni rolled her eyes, before she gave a coy smile, tiptoed as she went straight for a kiss.
 
The white noise from the back had instantaneously relegated to the backdrop as the couple engaged in an affectionate kiss.