Devil’s WarmthChapters List
Chapter 58: Inside the Closet
With Pei Chuan's promise, Bei Yao was very happy.
Everyone wanted to see what universities looked like before enrollment, and she, too, wanted to see B University.
Bei Yao thought for a while. "You rarely return home, so come in and take a look at the neighborhood. It has changed a lot this year."
Pei Chuan followed her in.
"The old seesaw over there has been torn down. There’s a park not far from here and the children love to play there."
"The plum tree was blown down by the wind before, but it was replanted, and blossomed especially beautifully last winter."
He listened earnestly. Looking at her smiling eyes, his heart could not help but be overjoyed.
Bei Yao thought for a while, then stood on tiptoe and whispered in his ear, "Would you like to come to my house?"
Pei Chuan froze.
He said, "Don't make trouble, go home."
Bei Yao insisted, “Pei Chuan, even Chen Yingqi has visited my house, but never once did you come and visit for so many years. Aren’t you curious or regretful?”
He couldn’t help but think about that summer day. The young girl had been in front of the window filled with vigorous ivy flowers. She hadn’t lost her baby fat and was in the middle of aerobic dance exercise, revealing her slim waist.
Pei Chuan pursed his lips.
How could he… not be curious about her room. Moreover, how could he not regret never visiting even once?
Her almond eyes were shining. “My mom is out to pick up my brother. Just come and visit. By the way, the present I was going to give you is still in my room; the air plant is still alive. There’s also your scarf and gloves, I keep on forgetting to return them to you.”
With a very hospitable manner.
And a perfect reason.
He obviously should have left. She could choose to not comply with his two conditions, but he had to.
However, there was a voice in his heart. Just go, there might not be another opportunity in your life to see the place where she grew up.
He silently followed her upstairs.
Bei Yao took out the key and unlocked the door. As she had said, both of her parents weren’t home. They had about 20 minutes. There were two goldfish swimming freely in the living room, one red and one black.
He looked away from the two goldfish and scanned the house.
The layout of the Beis’ apartment was very similar to his previous one. After all, it was in the same neighborhood. However, this home was obviously much cozier.
The house was more than ten years old, and from its roof beams, one could see traces of old age. It was true that Bei Yao's family wasn’t very well off. If the owner was changed to a sensitive person, they might feel inferior and uncomfortable when showing people such a house. Yet Bei Yao wasn’t. She was happy and content to the bone.
Bei Yao asked, "Do you want to come and take a look at my room? It’s a bit messy and my mom said it's like a kitten’s nest. It's definitely not as clean as your room."
He lowered his eyes and followed her.
Pei Chuan told himself to just have a look and then leave.
Bei Yao pushed the door open.
The sunlight tilted down and leaped into the room through the window. The rosebuds swayed with the wind.
Her "kitten’s nest" was a small bed with pink linens and a bear doll on top.
Beige curtains with tassels, a small desk for doing homework, and an old closet.
There was a fruit plate and a photo of a smiling seven-year-old girl on the table.
It was Bei Yao. The girl was smiling, showing her missing front teeth. Her chubby little face was silly and cute. He couldn't help but reveal a soft gaze.
There was an army-green drawing book on the floor.
Bei Yao said, "Do you want to see the painting I drew?"
Her apricot eyes were glittering. He pursed his lips and reminded himself it was time to go. If Auntie Zhao came back…
But again, he truly couldn't bear to be separated from her, so he nodded his head.
Bei Yao said, "I'm not a professional, so you’re not allowed to laugh."
She opened the drawing book. Inside was a watercolor painting of the blooming plum tree outside the neighborhood.
The page turned, showing the cat of Chen Yingqi’s family running around. The next painting was the bridge in B City with a bright moon in the sky.
He looked at it seriously which made Bei Yao embarrassed. She was about to say something when a voice suddenly came from the front door. “Yaoyao? Yaoyao!”
Zhao Zhilan was back at this time!
Bei Yao was stunned, and she unconsciously glanced at Pei Chuan in panic.
Actually… it wasn’t a big deal for Pei Chuan to come to her house as an ex-neighbour’s Gege, but he… was in her room.
Just so you know, even Chen Yingqi wouldn’t dare do this.
Pei Chuan's dark eyes looked back at her.
She was really afraid her mother would beat him to death! Bei Yao looked at him with panic and threw the drawing book to the ground. She looked around then opened the closet, so anxious she was about to cry. “Hide well, hide well.”
Pei Chuan: “...”
He watched her panicked appearance and thought she was a little funny.
The closet was quite large, and the bottom half was empty. He hid under her anxious gaze. Pei Chuan’s legs weren’t bent well, but he kept still, trying to stop her from noticing the peculiarity.
Bei Yao’s hands were shaking from nervousness.
When Auntie Zhao called for her, she almost panicked to death.
Besides, her school bag was still outside, so she couldn’t pretend to not be at home.
Pei Chuan stretched out his long arm and pulled her inside the closet before Zhao Zhilan opened the door of her room. He couldn’t let her be afraid alone.
Zhao Zhilan came in through the bedroom door.
She looked at the empty room and the drawing book on the floor. The paintings were scattered around. Zhao Zhilan sighed. “Neither of them spares me worry, I don’t even know where she ran off to.”
She began to pick up the drawing papers.
In the old closet, Bei Yao nestled in Pei Chuan's arms.
The door of the closet was held by his hand. She was still afraid, closing her eyes for fear that Zhao Zhilan would find an abnormality.
After some time, Bei Yao had the courage to open her eyes and was met with a pair of dark-colored ones.
Only the rays of the September sunset illuminated the closet. She turned her head and peeked through the gap to look at Zhao Zhilan who had just climbed up the stairs and was now sitting in front of her table catching her breath.
The room was quiet and she turned her head again to look at Pei Chuan.
The teenager's legs were bent and she was kneeling in between.
The atmosphere in the closet was bad, his hot breath gently caressing her neck, and Bei Yao's face was slowly turning red.
It was itchy, what a strange feeling.
She whimpered and tried to push his head away. The teenager was silent for a moment before following her movement, pressing not too close to her.
He looked down, his left hand holding the closet door firmly as his knuckles turned white.
Pei Chuan tried not to look at Bei Yao who was kneeling.
After so many years, it was the first time someone had leaned over his prosthetic legs so closely. He held back the tremble and tightened his lips. He was actually… afraid she would notice his weird posture and… the cold temperature of the prosthetics.
It was dim, and Bei Yao raised her eyes to look at him.
The world had suddenly become so small. She had a very strange feeling as if she was being locked inside his heart.
Inside a not-so-bright heart.
His world was dark and cramped. The young man’s cold and stern expression was reflected in her pupils.
It was the first time she was in a world so small, but there was only him inside.
Pei Chuan was really good-looking.
Her heart beat faster, remembering that night when she searched the internet, hoping someone would answer her… How did it feel to like someone?
Now she knew. Bei Yao stretched out her slender fingers, gently stroking the cheeks of his handsome face.
Pei Chuan lowered his eyes and looked at her.
The young girl’s almond eyes were clear and gentle. She didn’t care about his weird leg posture, and also didn’t touch his prosthetics. Her slightly cold fingertips only touched his brow.
One stroke after another, drawing his outline gently.
This was her first time liking someone in this life.
He had sharp sword-like eyebrows, dark cold eyes, angular facial contours, and pale thin lips.
His temperament felt somewhat cool.
The cool fingertips ran across his eyebrows and eyes and finally landed on his thin lips.
The September sunset was warm, and her eyes were adorned with stars.
As if never bothered by his disabilities, only his goodness could be seen in her eyes. In fact, he wasn’t that good. Even in terms of looks, he wasn’t the most handsome. At least he wasn’t like her, that people would be stunned with just a look.
But seeing himself in her bright eyes, Pei Chuan had the illusion that he was a complete and healthy man.
Her fingertips were slightly cold, and Pei Chuan’s heartbeat was out of control. His right hand held her small hand. It turned out, being with her would always make him forget to consider his disabilities, leaving only a helpless heart.
Yaoyao, don’t make trouble.
Zhao Zhilan rested for a while before leaving the room. She had come back early to get her ID and hadn't picked up Xiao Bei Jun from school. Zhao Zhilan closed the door and quickly took her ID before hurrying out to pick her son up.
When Zhao Zhilan came back in the evening, she felt at ease seeing her daughter working energetically on her homework. When Bei Yao remembered that she and Pei Chuan had fled in panic to hide inside the closet, the tips of her ears flushed scarlet red. She was now upset that she couldn’t dig a hole to hide in.
Zhao Zhilan remembered the two things she had just heard and felt uneasy. One thing was Zhao Xiu's insistence to pair up Fang Minjun and Huo Dinglin. It was too early to explain this to a seventeen-year-old girl.
Zhao Zhilan didn’t want her Yaoyao to pay too much attention to adolescent feelings at this age.
While the other one was, she had met Officer Pei and his team on her way to getting off work.
Zhao Zhilan had exchanged a few words and Pei Haobin had asked about Pei Chuan's situation. Zhao Zhilan had thought to herself that this was very ridiculous. He had to learn the news of his own son from an outsider's mouth. She didn’t know whether to pity Pei Chuan or be angry at Pei Haobin's lack of attention.
But as an outsider, Zhao Zhilan found it difficult to tear open his face. Then another thing Pei Haobin had mentioned had made Zhao Zhilan’s mood more complicated…
Cao Li was pregnant.
An almost forty-year-old woman, pregnant with Pei Haobin's child. When Pei Haobin had talked about it, his face hadn’t shown much joy but confusion.
It was clear that this child was out of his expectations.
Even as an outsider, Zhao Zhilan was about to explode.
Who in the neighborhood didn’t know about Pei Haobin's "battle of fame" that year? He had protected many innocent families, Pei Chuan had been kidnapped, and the kidnappers had cut off his calves.
At that time, the incident had been so big that it had been reported in the newspapers.
Everyone had felt that the child was pitiful and innocent, yet no one would pay attention to the follow-up.
Pei Haobin had gotten countless gratitude from the families and the badge of honor. Pei Chuan, who had broken legs, got countless "pity" comments.
The "pitiful" child grew up on his own and became a strong teenager. His father remarried and a new child was about to be born.
When that child was born, it would have a sound body and a complete family. It would even share Pei Chuan's property.
Zhao Zhilan, who had still been taking into account the feelings between neighbors, had sucked in a breath when she’d heard these words. "How many months?"
Pei Haobin had said dejectedly, "Three months." His mouth had mumbled, "It's me… sorry Xiao Chuan."
At that exact moment, Zhao Zhilan had been so infuriated that she’d held Bei Jun and gone home, regardless of his expression.
Zhao Zhilan watched Bei Yao, who was seriously doing her homework. She frowned for a while and didn't tell Bei Yao about this. She’d also had a very hard time in her heart for a while. Even though Pei Haobin wasn’t a qualified father, she was Bei Yao's mother and had the responsibility to think about her daughter. Pei Chuan's family was too complicated and his body was…
She didn't want Bei Yao to have anything to do with him.
The one who was happy about Cao Li’s pregnancy beside herself was Bai Yutong.
Bai Yutong was wishing for the stars and the moon. She hoped her mother would give Uncle Pei a little boy.
The birth of this child meant that she and her mother's positions would also be secure, and that stepbrother could never come back to the family. Because someone had already taken his place.
A healthy brother was more pleasing than a gloomy teenager, right?
Cao Li warned her, “Put away your excitement. Pei Haobin still has guilt towards Pei Chuan in his heart. If you want your mother to safely deliver a brother for you, you’d better be well-behaved."
After all, Cao Li clearly understood in her heart how the child had come to be.
The Pei family’s glory had been exchanged with Pei Chuan’s pair of legs. Although Pei Haobin had mixed feelings towards him, he had no intention to have another child. Cao Li had stabbed a hole in a condom to have the baby.
The feelings between her and Pei Haobin were quite good. But she was also afraid Pei Haobin would scold her because of this.
In any case, the wood has been turned into a boat*. Taking into consideration the flesh in her belly, Pei Haobin’s face turned white but didn’t say anything.
*t/n: What’s done cannot be undone.
That night, Pei Haobin told her, “Cao Li, we are both very clear about this matter. I… have let down Wenjuan and Xiao Chuan, you also know that incident back then, Xiao Chuan’s legs… I originally intended to give all the properties to him. He has grown up, this is the only thing I can compensate him with.”
Cao Li’s heart fell with a thud, but her face remained virtuous and smiling.
Pei Haobin added, "Now I am more than forty. By the time this child grows up, I will be in my sixties. He is my own flesh and blood, and I can care about you and the child. But Pei Chuan's situation… I hope you can let it go. I will leave enough money for the child's education, the rest will go to Pei Chuan."
Cao Li was angry inside.
But she kept her emotions underneath. Was there any use talking about all this now?
Wait until the child was born. At that time, Pei Haobin would change his mind. The matter of pregnancy was originally her selfishness, so this time she must go along with him and say yes.
Anyway, that indifferent cripple was destined to have nothing.
Her child must be healthy and have a perfect family.
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