Surprise Resignation of Female Substitute Secretary

Chapter 56

Su Tao was stunned for a few seconds before understanding his implication. She asked incredulously, "Are you still angry?"

"I was, but I'm not anymore," Xie Jin said slowly, gentleness filling his eyes in stark contrast to his previous gloominess. "I didn't respect your thoughts either, always pushing for us to get married next month. I was wrong too."

Beside them, Jin Chuiwen shuddered, goosebumps breaking out all over his body. Desperate to escape the nauseatingly sweet atmosphere of love, he was also relieved that the cold had finally left and spring had come to the company.

After appearing on Chui Meng's variety show on Beicheng TV, Xue Xinzi became an overnight sensation thanks to an original folk song she performed.

Dubbed "the quietest voice" by the celebrity mentors on the show, she broke out of the pack and became the poster child for talented actresses.

When the show ended, although Xue Xinzi came in third place, she was the most popular of the top three contestants. Interview requests flooded in.

Both on and off camera, Xue Xinzi maintained a quiet, somewhat clueless charm that further endeared her to fans. She wasn't great at socializing and only ever gave minimal responses in interviews, never using two words when one would suffice.

But today, when a reporter asked who she was most grateful to on her journey so far, the usually taciturn Xue Xinzi looked directly into the camera for the first time and opened up.

"I want to thank my agent, Yang Qing, and Su Tao. Thank you Yang Qing for not only doing your job but also taking care of my daily life. And Su Tao, I'm truly grateful for all your support and freedom. Thank you for believing in my abilities. I know I haven't earned you much money, but you've never made me take on extra commercial performances or put pressure on me. On the contrary, whenever I was in low spirits, you gently consoled me and told me not to be impetuous and to calm down so I could create good work."

For the first time, Xue Xinzi shed tears on camera about something other than singing.

#XueXinziCries quickly topped the hot search trends, touching passersby and fans alike with the sincerity of emotions from this usually quiet girl.

Meanwhile, praise for Su Tao, the woman behind Xue Xinzi's success, abounded.

A conscientious, discerning, and thoughtful agent like her was the only one in the materialistic industry who had never been scolded by artists' fans. She was truly the conscience of the business.

Gu Yiyan even led the charge by posting: My sister is indeed a very wise and empathetic boss. Grateful to have you @SuTao

Gu Yiyan's drama from last year was finally airing and was both a critical and popular success at its peak popularity.

When he posted on Weibo, Su Tao's hot search topic climbed even higher.

Her other artists, including rookie Tong Mingxuan and stay-at-home mom Zhu Hang, also re-shared Gu Yiyan's post, all writing: Grateful to have you @SuTao

Even wildly popular starlet Jiang Wan boldly posted: Wish I could have you @SuTao

It looked like she had already negotiated termination of her previous contract and was about to sign with Su Tao.

And this year's breakout newbie Jiang Qi, whose fans were geometrically increasing, also posted something similar to everyone else's but added an extra line:

Jiang Qi: Grateful to have you @SuTao, my agent forever.

Was this an indirect statement that he would never change agents?

The speed of Jiang Qi's popularity growth was frightening. Many in the industry who saw his potential were eager to poach him.

Su Tao's charm was just too strong!

And the topic #Happiness Index of Su Tao's Artists# steadily climbed as well.

Su Tao was moved to tears by Xue Xinzi and her artists' gratitude and affirmation.

But she felt helpless about constantly trending and was somewhat averse to the attention. She wasn't the type who liked being in the spotlight in the first place. Because of the huge buzz this time, she was even asked to do an exclusive interview.

Her achievements as an agent were just too high-profile.

Only after Zhang Qi Guang's persuasion did she agree to the interview, wanting to promote her artists.

The interviewer had done extensive research and asked many pertinent questions about her career before finally turning the conversation towards her relationship with Xie Jin.

Interviewer: "Do you and Mr. Xie have any wedding plans yet? The whole country is clamoring for you to get married."

Su Tao's expression froze almost imperceptibly. She had finally gotten Xie Jin to stop asking about it, yet couldn't escape the question even in an interview.

Keeping her facial expressions under control, Su Tao smiled and said, "It's under consideration."

The interviewer abruptly changed tacks, and the screen showed Su Tao's colleagues and artists congratulating her.

Caught off guard, Su Tao was only concerned that they not create another hot search topic for Jiang Qi. She was really tired of this.

From Zhang Qi Guang, Liang Ke, Le Xuan, Yang Qing and more colleagues, blessings for her wedding poured forth. Then it was the artists' turn with their exhortations and congratulations, practically an army of aunties and sisters clamoring for her to marry.

Finally it was Jiang Qi's turn, and Su Tao's heart leapt into her throat.

Head lowered, Jiang Qi slowly raised his eyes, looked earnestly into the camera, and said in his clear, mellow voice, "I wish you happiness."

Then he smiled serenely.

Su Tao froze for a few seconds before slowly exhaling in relief, the tension leaving her body.

After the interview ended, Su Tao left the studio. As soon as she stepped outside, she saw a familiar Maybach and walked over to knock on the car door. It rolled down to reveal Xie Jin's breathtakingly handsome face, finally allowing the last of the tension from the interview to drain away completely.

Getting in the car, she sank back into the seat, feeling pleasantly relaxed as the vehicle glided smoothly along. Drowsiness pulled at her eyelids, and she was on the verge of dozing off.

In her groggy state, she noticed the car slowing down significantly. He must be afraid of driving too fast and jostling her.

Su Tao's mouth curved up involuntarily. She was quite susceptible to his solicitous care.

But the pull of sleep was interrupted by the chime of a WeChat message on her phone. Reluctant though she was, she had to check it in case it was important work that she couldn't miss.

[Li Yajie: Qin Xuexi miscarried and Jiang Nian got her thrown in jail on charges of financial crimes.]

Su Tao stared at the screen, now fully awake.

[Su Tao: Thanks for letting me know, sister.]

Li Yajie knew about their falling out and specifically informed her about Qin Xuexi's miserable state.

It seemed Xie Jin really hadn't helped her after all.

Su Tao didn't have much emotional reaction. She had already completely let go of the matter regarding Qin Xuexi.

Xie Jin, driving slowly, asked, "Can't sleep anymore? More work?"

Su Tao put her phone away and smiled faintly. "No more work today."

The corners of Xie Jin's lips turned up, his voice pleased. "Then you can keep me company properly? Let's eat dinner out tonight - anything you want is fine, even the street food stalls, or we can see a movie or go shopping, or anything you want, really. As long as we're together."

He was willing to do anything as long as it was with her.

"Sounds good," Su Tao readily agreed.

But less than five minutes later, Su Tao's phone alarm rang, reminding her that today was Monday and she had a video conference meeting tonight.

Su Tao looked at Xie Jin hesitantly, really reluctant to spoil his good mood. She was silent for a while before slowly saying, "How about tomorrow? I forgot I have a video conference tonight."

Predictably, Xie Jin's expression fell immediately, looking at her reproachfully with disappointment and dissatisfaction written all over his face. "But you already agreed."

Su Tao reached out and rubbed his cheeks, her voice gently sweet. "I'll make it up to you tomorrow, okay?"

That "okay" rendered Xie Jin helpless to resist. Unhappy as he was, he could only nod obediently.

He drove to a nearby supermarket and bought two fresh, seasoned ribeye steaks.

The corner of Su Tao's eye twitched. She didn't know why he was so fixated on pan-frying steak. She gently suggested, "Why not just get takeout from a western restaurant?"

Even takeout was better than what he cooked himself.

"Is takeout made by me? You don't like eating what I make with my own hands?" Xie Jin turned his head and looked at her sideways.

He seemed to be reminding her: I'm still unhappy, you know. Upset me more and you'll have to coax me!

When Su Tao's eyes met his for an instant, she quickly waved her hands and made an expression that she didn't want to cause trouble. She gave him a big thumbs up, "Your pan-fried steak is the most delicious. I just love what you make with your own hands."

Xie Jin's mouth finally curled up again. He confidently said, "I've learned how to pan fry steak now. Low heat and slow pan frying, I get it."

After speaking, he leaned in and kissed her on the cheek, then moved all the shopping bags into one hand to free up the other to hold her hand.

In the twilight, one tall and one slender shadow walked towards the parking lot facing the setting sun and evening glow.

Xie Jin really did learn to pan fry steak. Although it was still a little burnt, at least it was cooked through. Su Tao was already very content.

Because they had to wait for Yang Qing, who was coming late due to accompanying Xue Xinzi to participate in an event, Su Tao deliberately postponed the meeting by an hour.

Xie Jin was watching foreign classic films in the living room, while Su Tao, upholding the principle of not disturbing each other, went to the study.

As soon as Yang Qing got off the plane, she got in the car and started a video conference.

After Su Tao finished arranging work, she specially praised Yang Qing at the end of the meeting for becoming more and more mature recently, with significantly improved work abilities.

"Qingqing, if one assistant is not enough to handle Xinzi's daily life over there, you can arrange for her to have another one. Take your work focus away from her personal life. I'm planning to have you also manage Tong Mingxuan."

Yang Qing was shocked and stammered as she asked, "I'm managing two artists? Can I do that, Boss?"

Only veteran agents could manage two artists. She had only been in the industry for a year!

Su Tao said, "What can't you do? I was in this position after working for a year. Don't you believe in yourself, or my judgement?"

"You're different. How could I compare with you?" Yang Qing was flattered but also had a bit of self-deprecating lack of confidence.

Su Tao was about to encourage her some more when she suddenly noticed something off with everyone's expressions on the video screen.

She looked at her own little video screen and saw Xie Jin leisurely leaning against the door frame behind her in a bathrobe, lazily looking at her.

Xie Jin's hair was still damp, evidently having just gotten out of the shower. Seeing that she had noticed him, he simply walked right over.

The chair in the study was a wide single armchair sofa. Xie Jin squeezed in and sat on the armrest, draping his arm over her shoulders and pulling her in, nodding to Su Tao's colleagues on the video as a greeting.

There were almost all female colleagues on the video. Screams erupted and Su Tao was so shocked she took off her headphones.

She turned her head to look at Xie Jin and questioned, "What are you doing? I'm in a meeting."

Unrushed, Xie Jin tucked her hair behind her ear and admired her face. His deep, magnetic voice was gentle, "You carry on with your meeting. I'll just sit here and not disturb you."

Su Tao: "..."

How could he possibly not be disturbing? The girls on the video were all looking at him. Who could still listen to what she was saying?

Su Tao grabbed his hand resting on her shoulder and pushed it outward, saying softly, "Go wait for me in the next room. I'll be done with my meeting soon. Be good~"

Xie Jin finally understood why she didn't refute him in the past when he told her to "be good."

It turned out that when you deeply love someone and are very afraid of losing her, you really have no resistance against that word.

You just want to obediently listen to her and willingly let her tame you.

He also recalled that after she misunderstood him and Qin Xuexi, she stopped listening to him.

At that time, she must have already had the idea of leaving him, yet he foolishly thought she was just being rebellious.

Xie Jin stood outside the door, reminiscing about their past interactions, feeling regretful one moment and emotional the next, wanting to cry yet also to laugh.

When Su Tao hurriedly finished her meeting and came out, she saw Xie Jin leaning against the wall with his head lowered, laughing. She was about to ask what he was laughing about when she saw a plump teardrop fall to the ground.

Su Tao immediately went up to him, cupped his lowered face in both hands, and stared into his dark, moist eyes as she gently asked, "Why are you crying? Are you upset that I made you wait for me?"

Xie Jin shook his head, gazing intently at her eyes that were brighter than any lamp, and said, "I was just thinking about what would happen to me if I could never find you again."

"What would happen?"

"If I truly confirmed that I could never find you again, I might go back to the place we first met and do what I wanted to do that day."

Su Tao's brows furrowed tightly and her heart tightened painfully, the ache spreading through her whole heart.

So the hurt she caused by leaving was even more than she had imagined.

What he showed was only one ten thousandth of it.

Su Tao tiptoed and cradled his face, lightly touching his lips with her petal-like lips, trying to relieve the sadness he was immersed in.

Her slender waist was encircled by warm big hands and forcefully lifted up. She straddled his waist as her mouth was firmly sealed by his, sweet peach flavor spreading through their soft lips and teeth.

This familiar sugary taste was what he often used to coax her with before. How was he eating it himself now?

He still habitually carried candy on him to comfort himself?

Her lower lip was suddenly bitten and then came an increasingly fiery kiss, as if punishing her for not concentrating.

Su Tao felt his body temperature gradually rising as he carried her to the bedroom.

He sat on the edge of the bed and freed up both hands, clasping her neck, gently pinching her earlobes, his tongue flicking about, provoking each of her sensitive nerves.

Her fair small hands clasped his neck, breathing raggedly, feeling her clothes gradually shed from her body. The coolness in front was filled up by his heat and they grew hotter together.

"Little... peach," he couldn't bear to part from her an inch and could only speak indistinctly and haltingly, "Marry... me... okay? Forever... don't... leave me..."

Her response was mixed with irrepressible passion: "Mmm~"

The dim room was awash with bright moonlight. The scorching temperature continued rising, the scene increasingly suggestive.