Surprise Resignation of Female Substitute Secretary

Chapter 53

Su Tao explained, but didn’t get a response from Xie Jin. Instead, a video call came through directly.

Seeing Zhong Siwei sitting opposite her, Su Tao felt this was getting more muddled the more she explained. But she still answered the video call.

Xie Jin’s huge face filled the entire screen as he held it right up to his face. His first question in a heavy tone was, “Who are you eating with?”

Hearing this, Zhong Siwei across the table didn’t order any more food. He leaned over to look clearly at the handsome yet cold face on the screen, regretting that he had come. He awkwardly waved a greeting, then hurried back to his seat to order on his own.

“Who. Is. He?” Xie Jin enunciated each word, feeling like his head was sprouting green grass.

“He’s my classmate Zhong Siwei. Your car ran out of gas today, and I couldn’t find a gas station. Luckily I met Zhong Siwei and he gave me a ride to the filming location. So I’m treating him to a meal as thanks,” Su Tao felt her explanation was perfectly reasonable, but Xie Jin’s expression didn’t lighten at all. He just gently sighed and said softly, “Eat up. Send me the address and I’ll come get you.”

Seeing Su Tao hang up the video call, Zhong Siwei immediately asked, “The man on the video just now - that was Xie Jin?”

Su Tao raised her eyes to look at him and nodded.

Zhong Siwei: “You two are really together?”

Su Tao picked up her coffee and took a sip, then nodded again. “I guess you don’t follow entertainment news huh.”

Zhong Siwei seemed somewhat emotional, with a tinge of regret in his tone. “I really don’t usually follow it, but because of you, I paid special attention. I saw the news that you two were together. But I thought you just said that to dispel the scandalous rumors about you and that male celebrity, not that it was true.”

Su Tao nearly spit out her coffee.

His reasoning abilities were quite strong.

Zhong Siwei didn’t seem to notice Su Tao’s reaction. He remained immersed in his own world. “When we were in school, I felt you were very gentle and tranquil. I didn’t expect you to become so capable and principled now - like a totally different person from before. Do you remember when I went to your university to find you? At that time I really regretted it, but my pride was too strong. When I saw you, you just calmly greeted me, didn’t even glance at me again, and we missed each other like that. They all say my girlfriend now resembles you back then. If I had been more mature at that time, wouldn’t we be different now?”

The more Su Tao listened to his words, the darker her expression became. Her tone was still gentle but detached. “Firstly, there was no ‘missed opportunity’ between us. I never liked you at all. That love letter wasn’t written by me, how many times do I need to say it? Secondly, you already have a girlfriend, saying this kind of thing, don’t you feel disgusted with yourself? Thirdly, do you even know what liking someone and loving someone means?”

Zhong Siwei didn’t expect Su Tao to retort him so sharply. He was momentarily stunned.

Su Tao didn’t give him any leeway at all. Her tone was no longer gentle, only indifferent coldness remained. “Loving someone means that when you feel like the world is grey, only that person has color. Could you make unlimited compromises for me, be obedient to me no matter how coldly I treat you? Could you willingly bear huge losses just to help me investigate a bit of information? Could you abandon your company and take four or five hour flights every day just to have dinner with me?”

Zhong Siwei was already red-faced from embarrassment. He protested, “What you’re describing is too idealistic. No man could do that!”

The corners of Su Tao’s eyes tilted up alluringly as she smiled. “Sorry, someone has done it.”

“Also, your feelings are as cheap as you are.”

After viciously adding that last line, Su Tao got up and went to the front to pay the bill before breezily walking out of the restaurant.

Su Tao waited at the milk tea shop next door for Xie Jin to come pick her up.

She got into the car with the milk tea she had bought for him. The tranquil smile on her face dissolved Xie Jin’s taut expression. The anger from the drive here was extinguished by her smile. He could only helplessly take the milk tea and ask, “You didn’t eat yet?”

“No I didn’t. I scolded him and left.” Su Tao still had her little face raised as she smiled at Xie Jin.

He had never been smiled at like this by Su Tao before. It made his heart ticklish.

Xie Jin’s Adam's apple bobbed as he lightly coughed to hide his emotions. Feigning casual conversation, he asked, “Why? Didn’t he help you?”

“Bad character. He has a girlfriend but said he likes me...” As Su Tao stared at Xie Jin’s expression, she slowly said, “I told him I have a boyfriend now.”

Xie Jin’s heart was already overgrowing with grass from her gaze. He pondered suspiciously over Su Tao’s abnormal behavior.

As the car steadily moved forward, he absentmindedly praised, “Mm, well done. This kind of scum should be...”

“Do you understand what I mean?” Su Tao suddenly interrupted his vilification. Clearly, the crux of her words was not to get him to join her in scolding that scumbag.

Xie Jin glanced at Su Tao. Her clear eyes shimmered, flashing into his eyes. So he swiftly looked ahead again, afraid he would inadvertently fall into her eyes and be unable to get out, rendering him unable to drive.

“I understand.” Xie Jin reasoned based on common sense, “You're using me as a shield. After using me a few times, you can just directly deposit the fees into my account.”

Su Tao snorted with laughter. Xie Jin was really not daring to fantasize at all now after being hit by her. His sudden silliness was rather cute.

Su Tao: “Then I won’t be giving you money anymore.”

Xie Jin: “Why? You don't need a shield anymore?”

Su Tao: “Too expensive. Can’t afford it.”

Xie Jin violently yanked the steering wheel and slammed the brakes. The car stopped at the roadside.

He gripped the steering wheel tightly, brows furrowed.

It seemed like they had nearly reconciled, he thought they only lacked the final step. He assumed they would be fine again. So why did she suddenly want to break up with him?

Yet she had been perfectly fine this morning. Why did meeting a scumbag make her suddenly not want him anymore?

“Why don’t you need it anymore?” Xie Jin rapidly self-reflected. Even his voice sounded hoarse. “Is it because I interfered with you too much? I came to pick you up today not to forbid you from eating with others, just because I was worried you wouldn’t have transport back.”

Su Tao found his flustered state somewhat funny yet cute. She put a straw into the milk tea and brought it to his mouth. “Don’t panic. Wet your throat first.”

Xie Jin obediently sipped the milk tea. The taste wasn’t too sweet, thick and creamy, pretty good.

Xie Jin snatched back the milk tea. How could he be so carefree when his wife was about to leave him, even having the mood to drink milk tea!

“Little Taozi, if you’re dissatisfied with my service in any way, please tell me. If you think paying per use is expensive, I can give you an annual package price.”

Su Tao chuckled. Xie Jin was now so afraid of being hit by her again he didn’t dare fantasize at all. His sudden silliness was rather adorable.

Su Tao: “A lifetime is too long. I can’t commit to that.”

Xie Jin seemed to respond without thinking, “If you commit for a lifetime, I can give you a discount...”

He stopped mid-sentence, suddenly understanding something.

He blanked out for a while, ebony pupils reflecting Su Tao’s porcelain white face. He hesitantly opened his mouth, “A, a lifetime?”

Su Tao’s distinct black and white pupils also reflected Xie Jin’s face. Her sincere words were wrapped in joking: “Mm, a lifetime. But I don’t have money. Can I choose the previous option you gave, changing the fake into real?”

The sunlight coming in through the car window gilded his hair golden. Bathed in the warm light, his sharp edges seemed to soften, but his expression was still stunned shock.

“Sure, of course.”

Seeing his silly blankness, unprecedentedly cute, Su Tao couldn’t resist squeezing his thin cheeks. She smiled charmingly, “Drive on.”

Xie Jin obediently started the car again. After ploddingly crawling a few meters, he stopped again.

He turned to look straight at her, long lashes fluttering up and down with his eyelids. Confused, he asked, “We’re reconciled now, right?”

Su Tao also blinked her clear eyes. “What else could it be?”

Xie Jin: “Too sudden. I’m not prepared yet.”

He thought they would suddenly reconcile at some major turning point, some life-or-death moment. Little Taozi would abruptly forgive him then, accept him.

Or maybe, he has already infiltrated every little detail of her life, spoiling her until she can't live without him, so that they can be together again.

Su Tao's expression froze.

So she was rejected?

"Oh, then let's talk when you're ready."

"No, I didn't mean it that way. I just feel it's unreal." Xie Jin wanted to slap himself. What was he saying?!

Su Tao suddenly leaned in and planted a kiss on his lips. Her doe eyes looked at him up close, and her slightly flushed eyelids exuded a delicate and innocent charm, as if she wasn't the one who had just taken the initiative to kiss him.

"Does it feel real now?"

Seeing Xie Jin still looking dazed, Su Tao pursed her lips, feeling a little embarrassed as she straightened up. The next moment, her neck was gripped by his warm, big hand, and light kisses landed on her lips.

His kisses were very light, and he looked at her after each one, wanting to take in her flushed face and distracted look, keeping them in his eyes and heart.

Finally, the fleeting kisses could not contain the intense emotions, transforming into a fiery, lingering kiss. He nibbled on her lips, slowly sensing each other's temperature, confessing emotions that had been suppressed.

Su Tao still had things to do, so the two agreed to have dinner at home later, and went about their business separately.

When Xie Jin returned to the company, his steps were a little unsteady. He felt like he was walking on cotton, and could not walk steadily. He could only rely on his accumulated prestige to pretend everything was normal until he reached his office.

Jin Chuiven noticed something was off with the boss. After closing the office door, he felt heavy-hearted. He had never seen the boss in such a daze before.

Although he felt it was unlikely, he still worriedly thought, could the company be going bankrupt?

"Boss, what's happened?" Jin Chuiven asked softly.

Xie Jin's distracted gaze finally focused. Seeing Jin Chuiven standing in front of him, he rolled up his sleeves, exposing his arms, and reached out to Jin Chuiven. "Pinch me."

Jin Chuiven was so frightened that he retreated two steps. "Boss, what on earth happened to you? Everything can be resolved, we can't hurt ourselves!"

"Do it quickly!"

Xie Jin had resumed his irritable tone. Jin Chuiven strangely felt more at ease. After wiping the sweat from his palms, he asked again before reaching out, "Really pinch you?"

Xie Jin looked up at him, the gloom and impatience in his eyes made Jin Chuiven pinch the fair arm without hesitation. Then he retreated again and again, afraid that the boss would beat him up.

Xie Jin frowned slightly in pain, then laughed lightly.

Jin Chuiven was confused.

What stimulus did the boss receive? Has he gone mad?

"Notify everyone that for all employees at headquarters, this quarter's bonus will be increased by 50%. Allocate more funds to each department for team building activities. Let's schedule it for this weekend. Everyone has been working hard with overtime recently."

Jin Chuiven: "!!!"

The boss must have been possessed. This wasn't his ruthless, cold-blooded boss!

"Also, there's something else I'm considering. Tell me, should we move the headquarters to Jiangcheng, or should we acquire Jingyang and move them to Beicheng?"

When Jin Chuiven heard this, he suddenly understood what was going on. He cautiously asked, "Boss, have you and Su Tao...made up?"

Xie Jin suddenly pressed his lips together, bowed his head slightly, smiled downwards, shy and sweet, shocking Jin Chuiven so much he almost sat on the floor.

What kind of smile did the boss just show?

A gentle smile from a tough guy?

Although he was beautiful, after getting used to his gloomy face all the time, such an expression out of the blue was too much for him to handle!

"Then you should discuss it with Su Tao. You should decide for yourself. Just in case..."

Jin Chuiven didn't know if he should say it so bluntly, but he knew the boss couldn't make decisions for Su Tao. In case he made decisions for her again and upset her, what then?

Also, the idea of moving the company on a whim, he didn't dare give suggestions. So he took his leave.

In the afternoon, when Xie Jin passed by the pantry, he suddenly heard a faint "Wife, don't be angry."

Immediately interested, he stood outside the door and listened to the whole phone conversation.

The one who came out was the unfortunate head of the information department again.

When the head of information department saw the boss standing at the door, his expression immediately became stern. He stood at attention and greeted the boss, wanting to escape quickly.

"Wait," Xie Jin called him unhurriedly. Standing in front of him, he pointed to the phone in his hand and asked, "Had a fight with your wife?"

The head of information department didn't know if the boss would think he had an unhappy family, affecting his performance. He quickly waved his hand, "No, my family is very harmonious."

"I heard it all. You're quite good at coaxing your wife. Let's discuss skills another day."

After all, he was a married man now too. Xie Jin had a smug look.

"Why did you two fight?" Xie Jin took on the posture of a technical exchange, with such a formal expression that a symposium could be held.

Head of information department: "..."

He didn't want to discuss these family matters!

Boss, you're the CEO of a listed company, a Fortune 500 company, an industry leader!

Why do you want to discuss fights with your wife in such a prestigious company!

Although the head of information department complained inwardly, he still honestly answered, "Just because when I went out with her and took pictures of her, I took very ugly ones, so she got angry."

Xie Jin immediately thought of that meme, snapped his fingers, and asked empathetically, "Don't they all dislike having unflattering pictures taken of them?"

Head of information department: "Uh... yes."

Xie Jin: "But I didn't fight about it with my wife. Why is that?"

Head of information department: "Maybe because, you haven't been together long? My wife and I have been married for 10 years, so we have more little conflicts like this."

Xie Jin said enviously and admiringly, "10 years already. You still maintain your relationship quite well. If you fight like this every day, can it really last?"

Head of information department: "Boss, couples fight, that's inevitable. The more you fight, the better the relationship. What really falls apart is the lack of communication. Think about it, if she's too lazy to even fight with you, it means she has completely no feelings for you."

These words gave Xie Jin great enlightenment. He finally understood.

Initially, he and Little Taozi lacked proper communication. She was sensible, obedient, and never threw tantrums or acted out.

The one time she questioned him, he gave a simple, crude response without explaining.

So in the end, she became disheartened and unwilling to ask anymore, disappearing directly, leaving him devastated.

Today, when Little Taozi said they could be together, he felt it was sudden because he lacked a sense of security.

Because he was afraid she would disappear again over some issue without timely communication.

If it happened again, he would really die.

With a smile on his lips, Xie Jin sent messages all the way back to his office. He called in Jin Chuiven, "I have something very important. Postpone the meeting for three hours... Actually, wait for my notice. We may not have the meeting today."

Jin Chuiven saw the boss' eager look. The moment the call connected, the corner of his mouth involuntarily rose, his voice gentle and mellow. "Little Taozi..."

Jin Chuiven: "..."

Seeing the boss' worthless appearance, he knew who the call was for.

Jin Chuiven didn't want to watch the dog food show, and was about to go out to announce the postponed meeting. But before he reached the door, he heard the boss' voice gradually become low.

"I was wrong about the meme thing... Huh? You're not angry? Why? ...I didn't delete them all... Delete when you get home? ...What if I don't let you delete? ...Oh, oh, alright... See you tonight then."

Xie Jin's disappointment reached its peak as he hung up the phone.

"Jin Chuiven," Xie Jin lowered his eyes, his gaze lingering on the call log on the phone. He asked puzzledly, "Didn't you say, if the wife is angry, she's hard to coax? I reserved three hours, but it only took thirty seconds."

Jin Chuiven: "..."

So you postponed the meeting for three hours to coax your wife!

Xie Jin asked extremely uneasily, "She can't have gotten too lazy to argue with me already right? We just got back together!"

With apprehension, Xie Jin went back home, imagining all the way that Little Taozi regretted making up with him, waiting at home to break up with him, or that when he got home, she simply wouldn't be there, only leaving a letter before disappearing again.

It was better when they were not on good terms. He was wholeheartedly determined to get her, full of confidence, feeling every day like he could have her tomorrow.

Looking back now, he was always afraid of losing her accidentally.

It is said that when you get something, you won't know how to cherish it.

Why did he get so afraid of losing her?

When he walked into the house nervously and anxiously, the smell of boiled fish came.

The fishy smell was mixed in the strong smell of stir-fried chili peppers, which made Xie Jin cough badly.

While coughing, he walked quickly to the kitchen. In the mist of white smoke, that charming figure tugged at his heartstrings.

The stone that was stuck in his throat finally fell back to the bottom of his heart.

Su Tao coughed while poking her head out to see Xie Jin clearly. She opened the ventilator and windows before the smoke dissipated a little.

"Cough cough cough, I was furious just now... What's wrong with you? Choked?"

Seeing the tears in Xie Jin's eyes, Su Tao wanted to reach out and wipe them off for him, but remembered her hands were stained with chili crumbs, so she turned to find him a tissue.

However, Xie Jin hugged her tightly in his arms, holding her as if she was a treasure.

After dinner, when Su Tao was about to go to wash the bowls and chopsticks, she was pulled back to the seat by Xie Jin.

He said solemnly, "Little Taozi, I heard that between couples, the more they quarrel, the better their feelings will be. What we lack is communication. If you had been more willful at first, I could have coaxed you more and explained seriously to you, instead of accumulating frustration to the point of despair and leaving. Wouldn't we have avoided separating for over a year due to misunderstanding? So we have to quarrel more in the future to improve our relationship."

Su Tao: "..."

She couldn't tell what was wrong, but it sounded somewhat reasonable.

It was just that the final conclusion was a bit confusing.

Xie Jin: "So let's have a quarrel first."

Su Tao: "...How to quarrel? Argue about what?"

Xie Jin: "Scold and criticize me harshly wherever you think I did wrong. Slap me if necessary."

Su Tao: "...I don't think you did anything wrong."

After pondering for a while, Xie Jin slapped his thigh, thinking of something: "I plan to move Tianjin Group's headquarters to Jiangcheng, or buy Jingyang Entertainment and move it to Beicheng. Which plan do you prefer?"

He could support her opposite opinion, so there would be a contradiction, right? Xie Jin was satisfied with his wisdom.

Su Tao sat up straight, puzzled and asked, "Why move the company?"

"Yes! That's the right emotion," Xie Jin slapped the table, his eyes were burning. It seemed that he saw hope. "Keep questioning like this."

Su Tao took a deep breath as he said, then let out all the air, deflated. "I'm not questioning. I just want to say, there is no need to move the company. I can commute between the two places. I just need to go back for meetings occasionally. And we can compromise with each other. You don't have to stay in the company all the time either."

Somehow, the quarrel didn't happen at all. Xie Jin felt a little disappointed.

After thinking hard for a long time, he concluded, "Little Taozi, don't compromise on everything. You have to be more willful. You can't commute between two places. You have to ask me to do that."

Su Tao blinked and suddenly realized. She nodded, "I see what you mean. You're afraid that I always sacrifice myself and get exhausted at some point, then I will leave you, right?"

Xie Jin rubbed her hair: "Little Taozi is so smart."

Although Su Tao felt his worry was unnecessary, she would speak up now if she didn't like something, and wouldn't repress herself anymore. But to avoid his wild thoughts, she cooperated and said, "Okay, I ask you not to move the company, you can only commute between two places."

Xie Jin took a deep breath and thought carefully about Su Tao's requirement. He blurted out in the end: "Okay..."

Now it was Xie Jin's turn to be dumbfounded.

He just wanted to agree unconditionally to Little Taozi's requirement!

Still no quarrel happened.

Su Tao spread her hands helplessly.

She stood up with a gentle smile and walked up to him. She lightly kissed his cheek, her slightly flushed eye corners provocatively raised. The clear doe eyes were full of charm. Her fair little hand held his warm big hand and led him upstairs.

Her voice as clear as a spring creek was tempting: "There are many ways to communicate feelings, not necessarily through quarrels."

Xie Jin swallowed hard, his mind running wild as his legs already felt weak and numb. He could only repeat mechanically, "Yes, we can communicate more deeply."

Xie Jin's face was flushed, breathing heavily. His head tilted back, sweat beads rolled from his temples over his cheeks and finally down to his Adam's apple, dripping onto his chest.

The taut lines on his back trembled and relaxed completely with a roar. He let go of the handles of the butterfly machine.

Xie Jin got up from the machine, shook his sweaty hair, and panted as he looked resentfully at Su Tao who was jogging on the treadmill. He questioned, "Didn't you say you wanted to communicate feelings? Why drag me to the gym?"

Su Tao increased her speed. Her breathing was still steady: "Working out together is communicating feelings too. It helps detoxify you too."

Xie Jin pouted with a sullen face. After catching his breath, he walked towards her step by step and carried her horizontally.

Her slender body struggled unsuccessfully in his strong arms. Her doe eyes widened, "I'm not done with my workout yet."

Xie Jin's lips curled up seductively, smiling charmingly. His hoarse voice vibrated her eardrums, "I'll take you to do other exercises."

All the way, Xie Jin carried her downstairs to the bedroom on the second floor. He hooked his foot and slammed the door shut.

[The End]