For The Rest Of Our Life – Extra 2

You are the eternal queen of my soul

Seven years after getting married, Lin Xian gave birth to the love child of her and Xiao Wanqing — a beautiful little girl. Before they really decided to have a child, the two occasionally joked in bed about what their child’s last name should be, each arguing that it should follow their own last name, as they were the ones who got married. However, when the child was actually born, Lin Xian wanted the child to take Xiao Wanqing’s last name, but Xiao Wanqing refused. Lin Xian went through all the hardships to give birth to this child, so why should Xiao Wanqing take credit without doing anything. She didn’t want Lin Xian to be wronged like this. She persuaded Lin Xian that it didn’t matter what the last name was, as the child was Xiao Wanqing’s treasure. Lin Xian couldn’t resist her, and in the end compromised by naming the child “Lin Yuxiao”, one is the homophone of Xiao in Xiao Wanqing; second is the meaning of “Yuxiao”, hoping that her daughter can be carefree and happy in life. The whole family adored this hard-won child like crazy, and Xiao Wanqing naturally cherished her. Although she was not too spoiled, anyone could see how doting she was on her daughter.

When Xiaoyuxiao was just born, she was all wrinkled and ugly that even Lin Xian, her own mother, couldn’t help but be disgusted. But unexpectedly, the child changed every day, and after some time, the little girl blossomed, becoming gradually more lively, delicate, and loveable, always smiling and very endearing. Even Shi Man, the tough female CEO who claimed to have no feelings for human infants, was captivated. Occasionally, when Shi Man and Xiao Wanqing had video conferences for work, after finishing, Shi Man would always ask: “Where is Xiaoxiao? Let me see if our Xiaoxiao misses Auntie.”

Lin Xian could tell that she didn’t really dislike the child, and would sometimes joke with her: “If you like her so much, why don’t you and Sister Zhijin have your own child?”

Shi Man always had excuses to avoid it, often shamelessly saying she was too young, not ready to be a mother, and occasionally would even bring up Wen Tong for support: “Wouldn’t it be too cruel to make Auntie Wen become a grandmother so early?”

Lin Xian and Xiao Wanqing looked at each other and couldn’t help but remember the struggle Wen Tong had the first time she was called “Auntie” by Lin Xian at the gym, and then the scene when she was called “Grandma”, which made them burst into laughter uncontrollably.

However, Xiao Wanqing still impartially stated, “Wen Tong probably wouldn’t mind. When she came to give Xiaoxiao a full moon gift, she mentioned that you and Zhijin are too busy. If you have a child in the future, you probably won’t have time to take care of them. It just so happens that in two years, when she and President Shi retire, they’ll have something to do.”

Shi Man chuckled and said earnestly, “I’ll think about it. I’d better change before my daughter calls her grandma.”

Lin Xian and Xiao Wanqing were taken aback, thinking about the scene of Wen Tong being called “Mom” by Shi Man, they couldn’t help but giggle once again.

Shi Man had actually considered having a child, but in recent years, both Zhijin and her work had been too busy. She didn’t have the energy for it temporarily. Zhijin’s career was thriving, with no time for any gaps. Even if she could find the time to get pregnant, Zhijin couldn’t spare the time to be with her during childbirth. She had passed the age of being willful and didn’t want to trouble Zhijin or make her sacrifice for this. So, while she envied Lin Xian and Xiao Wanqing deep down, she never mentioned this to Xia Zhijin.

In the Chouze Branch office, Wen Tong, who had been on a business trip for nearly half a month, couldn’t help but sneeze, feeling a bit warm in her ears.

“Did Shi Jinglan curse at me again?” She rubbed her nose, muttering in her mind, but unknowingly, a smile crept up at the corner of her mouth.

On September 20th, a weekend, Xiaoyuxiao turned one year old, and Lin Xian and Xiao Wanqing held a small first birthday celebration at home for her. Apart from Xia Zhijin who had to arrive late due to her schedule, the Zhou and Lin families, along with Wen Tong, Shi Jinglan, and Shi Man, all arrived in the evening. Xia Zhijin’s sister, Xia Zhiqi, happened to return from a business trip and was invited to dinner by Xia Zhijin and Shi Man, so she was brought along by Shi Man.

Before the dinner began, following the traditional customs of the older generation in Anjiang, there was a playful yet serious ceremony of Zhuazhou.

(If you're not reading on, it means this has been stolen)

(LP: The custom “Zhuazhou” in China is held on a child’s first birthday, where various objects representing different careers are placed in front of the baby, and the item they pick is believed to predict their future profession. This ceremony is celebrated with family and friends, marking an important milestone in the child’s life.)

The elders entertained the child, while Xiao Wanqing and Lin Xian, with the help of everyone, spread a red cloth on the living room carpet and placed various items such as notebooks, pens, computers, tape measures, and stethoscopes on it. Finally, they took the child from the hands of the elderly and placed Xiaoyuxiao in front of the red cloth.

Everyone gathered around Xiaoyuxiao, their eyes fixed on her.

Xiaoyuxiao had never experienced this kind of scene before. Despite her usual fearlessness and boldness, she was a bit confused sitting cross-legged on the carpet at the moment. She blinked her big round eyes, looking bewildered at her mothers and aunts, not knowing what to do.

Xia Zhiqi was meeting her for the first time and was melted by her adorable appearance. She gathered her skirt, squatted beside the red cloth, pointing at the items on the red cloth and gently teasing her in a soft voice, “Xiaoxiao, look here, what does Xiaoxiao want?”

Xiaoyuxiao seemed a bit shy, not moving, turning to look at Xiao Wanqing and Lin Xian for help.

Lin Xian smiled and teased her daughter, “Why are you looking at me? Huh? Why are you looking at me?”

Xiaoyuxiao could only speak a little, seemingly understanding but not quite, but she could tell that her mother didn’t seem willing to help her. She pouted her little mouth, looking a bit aggrieved.

Her pitiful yet adorable appearance made everyone want to play and soothe her at the same time.

Xiao Wanqing’s eyes were also filled with a smile. She crouched down, caressed her daughter’s soft hair, and comforted her, “Xiaoxiao, don’t be afraid, mommy is here. Look at the little toy car in front, the red pouch, do you want it?”

Xiaoyuxiao felt reassured by the gentle touch, and her little mouth curved up again. She turned her head to look at the things on the red cloth and nodded softly.

Xiao Wanqing continued to coax her, “Which one do you want? Go over and bring it to mommy, okay?”

Xiaoyuxiao hesitated, looking back at Xiao Wanqing, then at Lin Xian.

(If you're not reading on, it means this has been stolen)

Though still not very discerning, she could somewhat tell that in their usual interactions, Lin Xian was stricter with her than Xiao Wanqing. The two seemed to have a tacit understanding of one being the good cop and the other the bad cop, so Xiaoyuxiao was a bit more afraid of Lin Xian than Xiao Wanqing.

Lin Xian nodded at her as well, and only then did Xiaoyuxiao completely relax, joyfully crawling towards the red cloth.

With all eyes on her, she reached out her hand, and then… she pulled the red cloth, appearing like she wanted everything.

Everyone was stunned for a moment, then burst into laughter.

Lin Xian quickly picked her up, teaching her, “Xiaoxiao, you can’t do that, you can only choose one thing.”

Xiaoyuxiao blinked her eyes, not sure if she understood or not.

Lin Xian, helpless, put her down, released her hand, and waited with anticipation.

Unexpectedly, Xiaoyuxiao used both hands and feet to crawl onto the red cloth, opened her arms wide, and swept across the red cloth, once again appearing like she wanted everything.

Everyone was amazed, all amused by this little mischief-maker, with Shi Man laughing so much that tears were coming out.

She teased Lin Xian, “Lin Xiaoxian, this is unbelievable, she inherited your genes, your daughter is even more domineering than you.”

Lin Xian was also amused by her daughter, about to retort with a hand on her forehead, but saw Xiaoyuxiao giving up everything on the red cloth. Suddenly, like a little puppy, she crawled to Xia Zhiqi’s side beside the red cloth, reached out, and clung to Xia Zhiqi’s arm.

The air seemed to freeze for a moment.

Zhou Qin’s low murmuring voice pierced the silence, “Ah, can this be inherited too?” She looked as if the world was falling apart.

Shi Man was shocked and exclaimed repeatedly, “Ah, this can’t happen, absolutely not, Zhijin will start questioning life.”

(If you're not reading on, it means this has been stolen)

Xia Zhiqi, puzzled, looked at Xiaoyuxiao, then at Zhou Qin, Shi Man, Lin Xian, Xiao Wanqing, with a confused expression on her face.

Lin Xian, Xiao Wanqing, Wen Tong, and Shi Jinglan finally realized what was happening and laughed until their faces were sore.

What are these people thinking?

Xiao Wanqing wiped away the tears of laughter and hugged Xiaoyuxiao close, pointing to the shiny silver bracelet on Xia Zhiqi’s wrist to prove her innocence, “Xiaoxiao, do you want this?”

Xiaoyuxiao nodded vigorously.

Ah… This…

Zhou Qin and Shi Man felt relieved and then remembered what they had just said, bursting into laughter, unable to hold back.

Later that night, after the banquet dispersed and after putting their daughter to sleep, Lin Xian and Xiao Wanqing, as usual, chatted about the day’s events before bedtime. When they brought up this incident, Lin Xian jokingly asked Xiao Wanqing, “If Xiaoxiao grows up and really falls in love with someone so much older than her, would you object?”

Xiao Wanqing turned her head to look at their daughter sleeping soundly in the small bed. “As long as she has truly thought it through, I won’t object.”

“She has her own life. Whatever person she likes, dislikes, or whether she chooses to marry in the future, I will respect her choices. I just hope she can be happy and know that she should never be afraid. No matter what happens, whenever she feels like crying, she will always have her mother’s shoulder to lean on.”

A warm glow enveloped her as gentleness shone in her eyes. Lin Xian gazed at her, admiration and infatuation in her eyes as they were years ago.

“What about you?” Xiao Wanqing suddenly asked.

Lin Xian came to her senses, her eyes lighting up, and said naturally, “Of course, I will always stand on the same side as you.”

Xiao Wanqing, dissatisfied, teasingly said, “Why are you so indecisive?”

(If you're not reading on, it means this has been stolen)

Lin Xian, not relenting, playfully approached her, embraced her, kissed her, seemingly aggrieved, innocent, and affectionate, “What can I do about it?”

“Who made you my eternal queen of the soul…”

The last syllable disappeared into Xiao Wanqing’s tender lips.

In the cozy nest of Shi Man and Xia Zhijin, after a sweaty workout, Xia Zhijin touched Shi Man’s sweaty forehead and unexpectedly said, “Manman, let’s go public after the New Year. In two years, let’s have a child.”

Shi Man was stunned, staring blankly for several seconds before asking, “It’s not April Fool’s Day today, is it?”

Xia Zhijin chuckled, a bit apologetic, and said softly, “No, today is September 20th.”

“From now on, this will be the anniversary of when I proposed to you.” She sat up, somehow producing a simple ring from somewhere, and sincerely and gently apologized, “I’m sorry for making you wait for me for so long.”

“I love you.”

“Will you marry me?”

Shi Man was still in shock, and a mist of moisture slowly gathered in her beautiful peach blossom eyes. The corners of her lips couldn’t help but curve upwards, though she tried to maintain a sense of modesty, saying, “Come on, you’re being too hasty. Not very romantic at all.”

“I… will consider it.”

Xia Zhijin’s eyes were filled with a bright smile, seeing through Shi Man’s insincere words. She leaned in to peck the reluctant lips, playing along with her coyness, kissing softly and pleading, “Promise me,” then kissing again, coaxing with, “Promise me.”

The tenderness was so warm and gentle, it melted hearts.

Shi Man couldn’t resist any longer. When Xia Zhijin leaned in for another kiss, she finally lifted her hand to circle her neck, lifted her upper body, and deeply kissed her back.

“You big fool, you big villain!”

“I promise you,” she murmured with a smile between their lips.

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