Eyes gazed at the rigidness marring the wide set of his shoulders as we moved along the stairs; my thoughts running rampant at Sang Qi’s sneer as a response to my preposterous offer. I found it quite amusing to an extent, really, seeing how he overthought the circumstances when I knew that I would have never pushed through in committing such an abomination. I admit that he was a handsome and rich man, but such shallow facts were not enough to make me forget my main objective. I was not an easily smitten girl, after all.
Nevertheless, I did nothing to clear up the misunderstanding despite his insulting perception of me. It was indeed beneficial on my part if he merely assumed that I lusted after him. It was better to play the role of a desperate woman after his glory in order to help conceal my true goal.
As I mused, his fast and steady strides had already led us to our destination in no time. He chose to reside in the guest room next door, so I blocked the entrance and beamed innocently at him before he came in, “You know, it's me who should’ve actually said the words you threw at me earlier.”
He paused, halting his steps upon hearing the teasing tone of my voice, “Just take a look at the door you broke in your haste. Shouldn’t it be me who’s worried? I surely hope you won’t come into my room when you find yourself wanting to go to the toilet at night.”
He shrugged off the blatant mockery I exhibited and did not even spare me a single glance as he headed past me.
I appraised his receding form with subtle curiosity hiding in my stare. My line of sight had been carefully trained onto his sleeves for a while now, lingering especially on the one that was unrolled. A single cufflink was sown on it, and as suspected, it appeared to be similar to the one I possessed.
Backing away, my feet swiftly walked me back to my room to look for the cufflink I kept and tried hard to recall the one Sang Qi was wearing. I closed my eyes tightly in concentration to compare the details of both objects.
After a moment, I sighed and gave up. It was still a hard action to do even with my photographic memory. I could not hope to ascertain its parallel features unless I had them both on the palms of my hands.
I was unable to sleep properly that night; my thirst for knowledge driving me to be fully alert as I lay awake on my bed. At some point, I managed to catch a glimpse of Ms. Yao wandering outside the manor restlessly. She was pacing anxiously, yet her worries were apparently not enough to dare knock on the door in her search for her beloved.
She was probably afraid that Sang Qi would dump her if she annoyed him too much. Perhaps, it was good that she was not all that stupid, so eventually, she just left after seeing that she would not get anywhere with her musings.
Any drowsiness I felt was chased away after witnessing the short spectacle, and soon, I still lay vigilant by the time the clock had struck past midnight. I sat up and pondered on what I could do when a dangerous idea hit me. Smiling ominously, I began considering sneaking into Sang Qi’s room to satiate my unquenchable thirst for answers. He would surely be resting by now, anyway.
I got up and tiptoed towards his lodgings. He had left the door unlocked, but even if he had closed it, it would not have mattered because I had all the rooms' keys.
I collected it all during my first day here, and even though I had not planned to use them then, I still felt like they would have been useful someday.
Thankfully, my instincts proved to be correct. With these in my ownership, I could easily get into the room of my main suspect.
I stealthily snuck into his chambers with the expertise of a veteran who had been accustomed to this kind of operation for countless of years. I had been trained to cooperate with the police for numerous investigations, and it had been a skill of great value to slip into the suspect's place unannounced to search for clues regarding their cases. My past experiences spurred the daring and fearless side of me, thus permitting me the guts of steel to push further forward on my mission.
Scanning the room, my attention promptly latched on the silhouette of Sang Qi's clothes hanging on the clothes rack.
A smirk made its way to my lips at my sharp senses. It seems that my distinguishable habit of specifically memorizing where all the furniture was every time I moved to a new house aided me in finding the desired items immediately. The faint moonlight that seeped through the curtains softly highlighted the garments, and the little illumination had been adequate in letting me pinpoint where I needed to proceed next.
I approached cautiously, muting my steps as I advanced. When I reached the garbs, I ran a hand through the shirt's smooth and high-end fabric.
My fingers descended in its search when it brushed a stiff object. Fumbling with every bump on its hard surface, it became evident that I had successfully found the cufflink.
I anxiously fiddled with the other sleeve, and found out that the material did not contain any buttons.
My heart throbbed hard at the discovery of the missing piece. With hands almost trembling in apprehension, I picked at the threads to loosen the cufflink.
Bright light suddenly engulfed the whole space, blinding me momentarily with its abruptness after having adjusted to the darkness. I winced, squinting my eyes to fend off the unwelcomed change of environment.
In my disoriented state, I covered my view with a hand to block the harsh brilliance of the room. I turned around in preparation to leave in a rush when I ended up slamming against a person’s solid chest. Of course, I did not have to see who it belonged to.
Sang Qi was bare in his upper body. His muscles were well-built; a result that can only be acquired from consistent trainings in gyms frequently every week.
I worried my lip at the intimidating sight before raising my head to show a sheepish smile, “What a coincidence, huh?”
He remained silent, his gloomy expression giving away his fury, “I’ve assumed that you’ll be sneaking into my bed, but now, I must say that I didn't expect you’d just come here to play with my shirt.”
“I have a special fetish,” I drawled slowly, trying my best to appear seductive as I winked at him. I took the distraction as a chance to escape but he rashly held me by the collar to immobilize me.
“What were you doing with my shirt at this time of the night?”
Furrowing my brows in contemplation, I assessed him closely.
Regardless of the likelihood that he was playing dumb or if he was really oblivious, he would have surely slipped out a sign that he recognized me, if the father of my child was him.
But, if the former was true and he was truly pretending that he did not know me, then today was not the time I would expose him either.
I faintly smiled at his scrunched up expression and responded, “I'm short on money, and wealthy people are not the kind of visitors who comes often to my house. I just wanted to take some easy cash.”
“I can report this to the police,” he remarked.
“This is my residence,” I refuted, explaining all the drawbacks he may face if he stayed true to his threat, “If you head to the station to report, they’ll surely ask why you were staying in my home and it won't be good for you. If Ms. Yao were to hear of this, the world will absolutely be consumed with chaos.”
He stared at me calmly, the intensity behind his watchful gaze inciting nervousness to flow through my veins. I rarely panicked when facing a man head on but it seemed that Sang Qi was the rare exception, seeing as his glare was subtle yet it instilled dread to permeate in my mind.
He relaxed his grip over my arm and let go of me, snatching the shirt from my hand while he did. As he moved away, his domineering, cold voice commanded, “Get lost.”
Newfound submissiveness obeyed his order, prompting me to run away from his presence in an instant.
I sprinted back to my chambers and sat cross-legged on the mattress. I exhaled a deep breath, coaxing myself to calm the erratic beating of my heart.
Turning on the white desk lamp on the cabinet next to my bed, I slowly opened the hand gripping the stolen, beautiful and exquisite cufflink.
When he had taken away the shirt from my hand a moment ago, I securely held onto the item to pull it out.
I took the original one I owned from underneath my pillow and compared the two under the dim light.
The cufflinks shined under the glare, emphasizing its intricate details.
Under clear and final examination, shock rapidly registered inside my head upon taking in the uniqueness of its patterns. Both colors and design were similar, and even the number of small diamonds embedded in them were of the same amount. The buttons had the nine jewels engraved on them.
These cufflinks undoubtedly came in as a pair, and the other had been unfortunately lost and forgotten in the presidential suite I had stayed in during that cursed night.
I clenched my fists in response to my baffling revelation; Ho Cong had unquestionably sent me to Sang Qi's bed. However, I still could not comprehend the whole picture. A person of prominent status like Sang Qi would have not needed to use such unethical means to be able to be pleased by a woman.
As long as he asked for it, a myriad of women would willingly rush to him like hungry ducks pecking at the first food they had landed upon after a long famine. It was not necessary at all to use filthy, underhanded tactics to get what he wanted.
Moreover, it was hard to believe that he even had an ounce of desire for me with the way he scornfully studied my form earlier.
Even if I confess the long-recognized truth that I was extremely beautiful, it was extremely doubtful that a man of his caliber would find me sufficiently attractive to be worth of his treasured time.
I slumped down in resignation. I had already gotten a piece of evidence, but this affair did not sound the least bit logical to me.
Sighing, I hid the cufflinks in a place where no one could find them before crawling up to my bed to sleep.
Even though I mulled over the events for a whole night, I still did not understand. It was not like I could just go over and ask him, ‘Are you the guy who slept with me that day?’
It would be exceedingly tough to get him to come clean anyway, since even if he did recognize me, his unwillingness to own up to what he had done showed his hesitance over taking responsibility of the issue.
I would probably not find anything useful out of him even if I raised a question about it.
Already aware that this would be a hopeless cause if I chose to wait it out, I started planning to strategically invade the enemies' base
It was only when the early signs of dawn broke through that I had fallen asleep; only managing to take a few hours of break before waking up in the morning with two dark circles around my sunken eyes as a consquence of my poor time management.
I went to the dining room downstairs to have a meal, and saw that Sang Qi was already sitting there eating his breakfast.
I sat opposite of him and took out a piece of bread in passing before stuffing it in my mouth, “Mister Sang, good morning!”
My eyes briefly flickered to his rolled up sleeves; a quite sensible measure since they both lacked cufflinks to hold the hem together. If he had not done it that way, he would not be properly wearing the otherwise pristine shirt.
He merely ignored my polite greeting and continued on drinking his porridge, unbothered by my intrusion.
Deep inside, I cursed slightly, almost jealous of the fact that the sight of him eating seemed somehow charming.
I sat down and hurriedly begun devouring the feast before me. I severely lacked sleep, but my appetite had thankfully not diminished. By the time he drank a single bowl of porridge, I already drunk and ate two bowls along with a sandwich and a plate of ham.
I patiently waited as he finished eating and followed him closely as he prepared to leave the estate.
His car was stationed in front of the gate where Ho’s car was also placed.
Ho straightened in attention upon seeing my arrival. He stood rigidly and bowed his head in respect to me, awaiting my orders dutifully.
Sang Qi cocked a disbelieving brow at the display of reverence, “I'm really curious about you. You’re a reporter who had lost her job, yet you have a mansion and a luxurious car in your possession.”
I stared at him in hopes of latching on to any small cracks he might have on his fa?ade, but much to my disappointment, his acting was brilliant. I could not find any clues that may pinpoint his pretense.
Opting not to answer his query, I stooped over and went inside the car before giving Ho a demand to follow Sang Qi as he led the way out. I remained silent all throughout the ride when I witnessed a vehicle tailing us on the rear-view mirror just as we passed an intersection. Narrowing my eyes in observance, I could see that it was driven by Miss Yao.
I tensed. She must have gone back tonight, right? She could not have supervised us for that long.