Lu Ning’s pupils constricted as she sucked in a breath of cold air. Yin Zhihan was one of the four seated at the main table.
He was here!
Yin Zhihan was wearing a navy blue sweater that opened into a V-neck. It complimented the pair of slim black pants he wore. Zhihan had styled his short brown hair in voluminous waves that framed his handsome features, enhancing his roguish charm under the warm light.
Beside him stood Ann.
“President Yin, your luck tonight is too good. You’re cleaning us out!. The masque is about to start soon. How about this? Let’s finish this with a bang. One game to play for keeps,” one of the men suggested with an easy smile.
“Yes, yes. Let’s do it that way. President Yin, bring all the chips. I’m sure President Yin is not short on money anyway. Haha…” echoed his fellow gamblers.
Yin Zhihan narrowed his eyes and turned to Ann, pinching her fair cheek. “Ann, why don’t you decide?” he said casually.
“My goodness! President Yin certainly trusts you a great deal. It looks like you’ve got quite a lot on your plate. Are you sure you can manage it all without your hands shaking?”
Ann blushed under the crowd’s teasing. She glanced at Yin Zhihan coquettishly, clinging to his side. “Zhihan, let’s go all-in.”
“Alright.” Yin Zhihan pushed all his chips up without any hesitation.
“President Yin truly is forthright! I like it!” One of his fellow gamblers gave him a thumbs up.
Lu Ning’s heart jumped into her mouth. How could he be so nonchalant? What if he lost?
A wave of anger rose in her chest. Zhihan had said that he would not return to the company for half a year. She thought that he had pressing business to attend to. Who knew he would be spending his time away from the company onboard a yacht gambling? To think he even brought Ann along with him!
She was beside herself with fury.
Although she was mad with him, there was not much she could do for the moment. The game had already begun. All she could do was pray for his success. The anxiety that gnawed at her heart caused her to break out in cold sweat. Lu Ning could not bear the thought of him losing.
Perhaps it was divine intervention, or at least the tides of fortune had answered her prayer, but nothing could defeat the sense of relief that washed over her when Zhihan flourished a winning hand. He had won.
The three men beat their chests and stomped their feet, whining, “President Yin, this is the last time we ever play with you. Your luck…”
Ai Lisi swept up all the chips on the table. Yin Zhihan stood up, wrapping his muscular arms around Ann’s supple waist and grinned. “I can’t help it. With someone like Ann in my arms, my luck is unstoppable.”
Ann’s face glowed red like an apple. She playfully punched Yin Zhihan’s firm chest with a dainty hand and said, “Hush now! Zhihan, you’re embarrassing me!”
Watching this scene unfold replaced Lu Ning’s relief with an intense, sour dislike for Ann. Had her self-control been any worse, she would have pounced at Ann there and then, pushing that minx away from Zhihan.
Here she was fretting for him, yet the only thing in his eyes was that flirtatious harpy flouting her beauty!
No. She had to remain calm. As much as her heart ached at the sight of Zhihan hugging Ann, she had no right step between them. She had no right to be jealous. It was ridiculous.
Yin Zhihan escorted Ann by the arm, walking in their direction. To avoid meeting the pair, Lu Ning beat a hasty retreat. She did not think she could remain civil the way her emotions were all over the place.
She… She couldn’t see him – not at the moment.
Without so much as a word of warning, Lu Ning turned around and left. Xiao Qiu, feeling something off about her friend, shouted, “Ah Ning! Ah Ning! Hold on. What’s wrong? Where are you going?”
Xiao Qiu’s shouts successfully attracted Yin Zhihan’s attention. His onyx eyes narrowed, locking on the figure of the person who was being addressed as ‘Ah Ning’.
The figure was that of a delicately beautiful woman.
Just as Lu Ning had taken two steps, she bumped into someone.
“Humph! Don’t you have eyes? How dare you walk into my boss? If anything happens to him, you’ll be in trouble!” The so-called boss’s subordinate berated threateningly.
Lu Ning looked up at the man she bumped into. He was a man in his fifties wearing a Changshan – a Chinese tunic worn by men. From a glance, one could tell that it was an exceptional tunic of refined make. His eyes, however, were lit with a sort of cunning sophistication that not even his muddy eyes could conceal.
He was a man of Jianghu.
Although Lu Ning thought the man was somewhat hateful for standing in her way, she recognised that she had been the one to bump into him. Since the fault laid with her, she did not hesitate to apologise. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bump into you. It was careless of me.”