Before going to sleep, Lu Ye had been thinking about what to say to Qi Yanbai.
However, when he woke up, he found that Qi Yanbai had already left at some point.
He seemed to have slept through the entire night, and now it was bright outside.
The clear sunlight after the rain shone through the curtains, leaving a fine line on the bedspread.
The room was filled with the sweet aroma of breakfast.
There was still half a glass of water on the bedside table, and when Lu Ye reached out to touch it, he found that the cup still had a slight warmth, as if it had been placed there not long ago.
Under the water glass was a light beige note.
Lu Ye sat up in bed and picked up the note, only to realize that it was a message from Qi Yanbai.
“We have a morning meeting at the training center today.
I’ll go there first and be back in an hour.”
Perhaps out of habit from dealing with children, Teacher Qi didn’t sign the note, but drew a delicate little emoticon instead.
The crude little figure was smiling with its eyes squinted, holding a speech bubble that read “Wait for me,” looking especially cute.
Lu Ye had slept well and his fever had subsided.
Now, looking at the note, he felt in a very good mood.
He couldn’t help but chuckle and playfully stuck it back on the railing beside his bed before reaching for his phone and calling Qi Yanbai.
Qi Yanbai was probably not at the training center yet, as he answered the phone quickly, accompanied by the sound of the wind on the other side, and his tone sounded a bit hurried.
“Are you awake?” Qi Yanbai asked in a gentle voice.
“How are you feeling? Are you still feverish? Maybe you should rest a bit longer?”
“Don’t worry,” Lu Ye said as he got out of bed, barefoot and heading towards the bathroom.
He smiled and continued, “I’m fine now.
The fever has gone down, and I’m planning to go to work in a bit.”
“Are you really okay?” Qi Yanbai seemed a bit concerned and couldn’t help but ask, “Your fever reached 38 degrees last night.”
“I’m really fine,” Lu Ye felt that this conversation made Qi Teacher sound like a gentle and caring wife.
He couldn’t help but chuckle and teased, “Or maybe I should come over to the training center later and check on you before going to work?”
“Well, let’s not do that.
It’s unusually cold outside today,” Qi Yanbai replied with a slight smile, and he didn’t bring up the idea of Lu Ye resting at home again.
Instead, he asked, “By the way, what did you want to tell me last night? You fell asleep so quickly that I couldn’t hear clearly.”
It was nothing, Lu Ye thought.
He just wanted to ask if Qi Yanbai wanted to be with him.
However, he was a bit traditional when it came to the beginning of a relationship and didn’t want to say it over the cold phone.
So he just smiled and kept it a secret.
“It’s nothing,” Lu Ye said.
“Let’s talk about it when I get off work tonight.”
Qi Yanbai didn’t know that the answer he wanted was just a step away.
Hearing Lu Ye’s response, he thought it was another safety issue and didn’t pay much attention.
He simply agreed and changed the subject naturally.
“By the way, there’s breakfast in the kitchen.
Eat before you go to work,” Qi Yanbai said.
“It’s quite cold outside today, so make sure to dress warmly when you go out.”
“Okay,” Lu Ye said.
“I’ll do that.”
With more than an hour left before it was time to go to work, Lu Ye hung up the phone, took a refreshing hot shower, and then turned into the kitchen.
In the steamer, he found the breakfast that Qi Yanbai had prepared for him.
He hadn’t enjoyed such treatment in years—having someone who constantly cared for him and prepared hot meals for him in the morning.
The transparent lid of the steamer was covered with a layer of steam, and the white congee with dried shrimp was cooked to perfection, soft and flavorful.
Lu Ye’s throat rolled, and he suddenly felt hungry.
He sat at the dining table and slowly finished the breakfast Qi Yanbai had left for him.
Afterward, he cleaned up the dishes and, before leaving, ordered a bouquet of flowers for delivery in the evening using his phone.
Perhaps due to his success in the love department, Lu Ye was in a great mood from the moment he woke up until he arrived at work.
He walked into the office, punched in, and greeted his colleagues with a cheerful attitude.
The office was filled with the aroma of soy milk and fried dough sticks.
Yao Xing, who was behind her desk, looked up when she heard Lu Ye’s voice.
She greeted him while munching on a steamed bun, saying, “Lu Ye, have you eaten? Want to share some with us?”
“No, I’ve already had breakfast at home,” Lu Ye replied with a smile.
He added, “You see, I eat well at home these days.”
He looked like a man on top of the world, and even a deaf person could sense the subtle hint of his pride in his tone.
His colleagues chimed in one after another, and Yao Xing, together with another colleague, teased, ” Yao Xing, you’re in the wrong here.
Lu Ye is already taken, and he can’t hang out with us single folks anymore.”
Qi Yanbai had been searching for Lu Ye all over the place yesterday, and even the sub-bureau knew about it.
Yao Xing made an “oh” sound and looked at Lu Ye with a knowing glance.
Her eyes sparkled with gossip.
“Lu Ye and Teacher Qi are together already?” Yao Xing asked.
“It’s about time,” the colleague added with a smirk.
“Haven’t you heard that heroes have a tough time in the land of love?”
The two of them played off each other, not giving Lu Ye a chance to interject.
Lu Ye playfully kicked the chair of his colleague, telling him to go away.
“Fine, fine, I’m leaving,” the colleague said with a mischievous grin.
“I hope we can bask in the glory of Lu Ye’s romantic success in days to come without ant chaos.”
The security team had just finished dealing with a few troublesome cases last week, and now there were only follow-up tasks like interrogations and detentions.
Perhaps the colleague’s words had some sort of jinx, but on Monday morning, the entire morning was surprisingly calm, with no incidents occurring.
After lunch, Lu Ye took a short break and leaned back in his chair.
He absentmindedly tapped the mechanical alarm clock that Qi Yanbai had given him.
He was thinking about whether to call Qi Yanbai and chat for a while when he suddenly heard a loud and raucous noise coming from downstairs.
The sub-bureau did not handle emergency calls on weekdays, but there were always people coming to the sub-bureau to report various incidents.
The noise and commotion were nothing out of the ordinary.
Lu Ye listened for a moment, and it seemed that there were quite a few people downstairs, with voices of both men and women mingling together, and sharp shouts and curses that almost seemed to pierce through the ceiling.
“How big is this grudge?” the colleague, who had put down the newspaper covering his face, looked irritated at being awakened from his nap.
He muttered, “It’s almost New Year’s, can’t they give us a break?”
As he spoke, the on-duty police seemed to have already restored order.
The shouts and arguments gradually subsided and disappeared.
A few minutes later, a police officer who had helped restore the order, knocked on the office door, and entered.
“It was a fight between two groups, likely a dispute between lovers,” the police officer reported.
“The man beat up the woman’s brother, and he was just sent to the hospital with two broken ribs.
The woman called the police and wants to charge the man with intentional injury.”
“Hmm,” Yao Xing was surprised.
“Such a big grudge? What was it over?”
“It seems like the man was caught red-handed by the woman with someone else,” the police officer said.
“And photos were taken, so he got embarrassed and angry, which led to the fight.”
Yao Xing: “…”
This kind of absurd and dramatic situation seemed to happen every now and then at the sub-bureau, and Lu Ye had long since become used to it.
He didn’t pay much attention and continued to read the case file in his hand.
However, he suddenly heard someone calling his name in a somewhat strange tone.
Lu Ye was slightly stunned and looked up to see who it was.
As soon as his gaze met the person’s, he furrowed his brows slightly, and his expression turned cold.
The world could be so small and absurd, Lu Ye thought.
Even when he was dealing with a police case, he ran into his ex-boyfriend, who was like trash in a garbage can.
“Sun Lin?” Lu Ye glanced at him from head to toe and said, “So it’s you.”
He flipped through the case file in his hand, chuckled meaningfully, and said, “It’s been a few years, and you’re still the same—lying to another girl and even cheating on her behind her back?”
“You work here?” Sun Lin, having been exposed, had a momentary look of discomfort on his face, but he quickly appeared relieved and approached Lu Ye.
He lowered his voice and said, “Hey, I wish I had known you were here.
Can you help me out? That crazy woman outside is insisting that I started the fight, even though her brother attacked me first.
I was just defending myself.”
He tried to hand a cigarette to Lu Ye and took advantage of the motion to get closer to him, talking in a low voice.
“I’ll tell you, Lu Ye, I’m in this situation because of you.”
“Me?” Lu Ye snorted and asked, “What does it have to do with me?”
“You know it in your heart,” Sun Lin’s expression suddenly turned fierce.
He seemed to have finally shed the friendly facade and revealed a bit of venom.
He lowered his voice and threatened, “If it weren’t for you meddling in my marriage back then, I wouldn’t have lost my job and my whole life wouldn’t have come crumbling down after that.
I wouldn’t have had to find this shrew outside.
Let me tell you, if you don’t help me resolve this matter today, I’ll make sure to expose all your dirty laundry.”
Lu Ye raised an eyebrow and looked at him curiously.
“What dirty laundry?”
“You know it yourself.
Being gay is not well-received,” Sun Lin threatened.
“You public servants care about your reputation.
Don’t make me shout it out in public.”
People tend to judge others based on their own standards, and Lu Ye didn’t care whether or not Sun Lin revealed his sexual orientation.
Hearing his threats, Lu Ye responded with a hint of urgency in his voice, “I don’t know what makes you think I can help you out.
But let me tell you, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
If you have any information related to the case, you can talk to the police officers who will question you later.”
“Can’t you cut me some slack since we know each other?” Sun Lin persisted, and this time he revealed a sinister expression.
“Back then, you ruined my marriage, and now I’m going to ruin your life in return.
If you don’t help me today, you’d better be prepared for me to expose all your secrets.”
“Fine, let’s see how that goes.” Lu Ye shook his shoulder free from Sun Lin’s grip and walked away without looking back.
Sun Lin was left fuming in the room.
Lu Ye didn’t take Sun Lin’s threats seriously.
After sending a quick message to his colleague, he put his phone away and went about his work.
Handling the necessary paperwork for the detainee took up a significant portion of his afternoon.
By the time he left the detention center, the sky had already darkened.
As he drove back, Lu Ye had almost forgotten about Sun Lin’s threats.
He was focused on getting back to the office to see if there were any updates on the case.
However, his thoughts were interrupted by a phone call from a colleague.
“When are you coming back?” his colleague asked straight to the point.
“Teacher Qi is here, and he got into a confrontation with that rascal.”
Lu Ye’s heart tightened.
He didn’t want anything to happen to Qi Yanbai, especially not because of his own problems.
“How did that happen?” Lu Ye asked urgently.
“Teacher Qi came to pick you up after work, but the situation with that scoundrel hadn’t been resolved yet,” his colleague explained.
“He happened to overhear the scoundrel badmouthing you in the mediation room, claiming that you were biased toward the other party.
Teacher Qi got upset and insisted on talking to him.
I tried to stop him, but I couldn’t.”
Lu Ye: “…”
Lu Ye knew that Qi Yanbai had always been gentle.
He never even argued with difficult parents, even if they blamed him for things beyond his control.
Lu Ye couldn’t help but worry that Qi Yanbai might be at a disadvantage in this situation.
“If you can’t stop him, then quickly get him out of there,” Lu Ye urged.
“I’ll be back soon.”
“Well, you better hurry,” his colleague said helplessly.
“Teacher Qi seems to treat you like a delicate cabbage.
I’ve never seen him so anxious.”
Lu Ye didn’t pay attention to his colleague’s words.
Instead, he quickly turned the car around, taking a shortcut that would avoid traffic.
He didn’t have time for distractions.
Qi Yanbai’s well-being was his priority right now.
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