Conflicted – Chapter 121

“What is Xi Men doing; not taking the knife?” Ah Si asked.

Lei suddenly snapped at the word ‘knife’, “Crap, he can’t be afraid of knives, right?” Lei asked.

Jing, Mei Zhuo, Xiao Qiao, Ah Si and San Chai looked at Lei, before they turned to look at the stage.

“Oh shit…” Mei Zhuo uttered. “This can’t be happening…”

**

“Xi Men,” Xiao You called.

Xi Men turned to look at Xiao You.

“Are you… alright?” Xiao You asked. “It… it is okay. It is over, Xi Men,” she adds. “It is in the past. You’ve lived thru it. We’ve lived thru it,” she looked at him. “And this will never hurt you anymore,” Xiao You said. “Trust me. We’ll do this together, Xi Men,”

Xi Men smiled. “I am not afraid of it. It just reminds me of that day,”

“Oh,” Xiao You is immediately relieved.

He extends his hand over and puts it on top of her hand that is holding the knife.

Xiao You’s smile grew.

With Xi Men’s hand on top of Xiao You’s hand, they cut the cake.

Xi Men and Xiao You smiled.

Everyone in the ballroom clapped, and they watched Xi Men and Xiao You feeding each other with a small piece of cake after that.

“Since our newlyweds are on the stage now, would you like to say something, maybe to thank your guests, Mr. Xi Men?” the emcee asked.

“Yes, I want to do that, thank you,” Xi Men said, looking at the emcee with a smile.

The emcee passes the microphone to Xi Men.

All the guests in the ballroom clapped.

Xiao You finally takes a look at the ballroom now from the elevated stage.

Everyone is here for their wedding.

She smiled, feeling so grateful.

Raising the microphone up, “Thank you everyone for coming,” Xi Men said, and then gazes over to the wedding cake that is being wheeled to the corner of the stage to be cut into pieces and then will be distributed to the guests.

The kids are particularly waiting for it.

Xi Men then straightened his head, and in seconds later, he turned to look at Xiao You standing on his right; her hand hooked in his’.

She smiled at him.

“I would like to begin with an apology,” Xi Men said, straightening his head to look at the guests.

Xiao You’s smile fades slightly.

Everyone in the ballroom looked at Xi Men.

“I am sure, some… no, many of you, came for my first wedding. And you must have felt odd or probably burdened, having to come to my wedding for the second time. I am really, really sorry for that,” Xi Men said. “But I am here to promise you, this will be my last wedding and you won’t receive another wedding invitation from me, ever again,”

Xiao You regained the smile on her face.

Some guests chuckled.

“For Xiao You is the woman that I want to have family together and to spend the rest of my life with,” Xi Men turned to look at Xiao You as he said that.

Xiao You smiled at Xi Men.

“We would like to thank each and every one of you for coming to our wedding today. Your attendance means so much to us. Both of us appreciate that,” Xi Men said.

Xiao You smiled to the guests, while her hand is still hooked into his arm.

Xi Men glances over to Xiao You and then his eyes returned to the guests, “I had been asked a couple of times at the pre-reception cocktail; I mean, just right outside there before the lunch reception just now, about how I met Xiao You,” Xi Men said. “Well, about how I met Xiao You… it is dated to way so long ago…”

Xiao You smiled at Xi Men.

“15 years ago,” Xi Men said.

Amazements are heard from the guests.

(*Author’s note/explanation: in the beginning of story, it has said billboard was 12 years ago; they met 1 year before billboard incident, and 2 years had passed in this story, making it 15 years in total)

“I met Xiao You 15 years ago, when I was studying in Ying De University. And no, she is not a student there, but she is Mrs. Dao Ming San Chai’s best friend,”

San Chai smiled.

“Xiao You…” Xi Men turned his head to look at Xiao You, “She is a cute, innocent girl when I met her. I still remember what she wears the first time I met her,”

Ooooohhhh, CRAP!

Xiao You raised her right hand up and covers her right cheek when she heard that, letting out a small laugh.

**

“First time he met her?” Lei asked. “When was that?”

San Chai frowned for a while, “Ah crap… no way…” she uttered. “He can’t mean that dress…”

“Dress?” Ah Si asked. “Ohhhhhhh? That dress?” he said, smirking soon.

“Ahhhh…” Mei Zhuo and Lei reacted, and then they smirked; they remember those dresses too!

Jing then looked at Lei, “Is it my birthday party?” she then gazes at San Chai.

San Chai can only smile awkwardly at Jing.

“How does that look?” Xiao Qiao asked.

“Don’t ask,” San Chai said.

“It looks like…” Mei Zhuo starts describing.

“Shut up, shut up,” San Chai pointed at Mei Zhuo. “You, shut up,”

Lei, Jing, Ah Si and Mei Zhuo laughed instead.

**

“I need a microphone too, so I can comment on that,” Xiao You suddenly said off-microphone, but loud enough for it to be transmitted softly on Xi Men’s microphone.

“SURE! COMING!” the emcee yelled off-stage upon hearing that.

Xi Men deliberately extends the microphone to Xiao You, “Say what you want to say about that,”

“Xi Men flirts with me on that very first time we met,” Xiao You said, holding onto the microphone.

Now Xi Men is the one laughing off-microphone but the microphone on Xiao You’s hand picks up the laughter that it got transmitted on the speaker.

The guests laughed too upon hearing Xiao You’s comment, and also Xi Men’s laughter.

**

“Hmmm, sounds like an interesting segment. This is a joint-speech event now,” Mei Zhuo said, crossing his hands on his chest now.

**

The emcee quickly runs onto the stage with a microphone in hand and then passed it to Xi Men.

“But that was it. He never does any of that to me anymore after that,” Xiao You said, and then lowers the microphone.

Xi Men raised the microphone in his hand up, “Because San Chai wants me to stay far from you,” he smirks, and then looked at San Chai.

From where she sits, San Chai eyed Xi Men on the stage.

Xi Men chuckled at that. “Well, Xiao You and I remained just friends after that,” he then said.

Xiao You smiled.

“One day,” Xi Men’s eyes strayed. “I stumbled onto her,” his mind traveled to that day where he saw her crying at the roadside, “She is upset and in tears,” he looked at her. “I found out about her relationship troubles,”

Xiao You could only smile briefly at that.

“Her confidence level is low at that time. She felt she wasn’t good enough,”

“And he taught me how to be brave and to be confident,” Xiao You adds. “He taught me to look at myself in a different light. And I had to say… that changed me,”

“Let’s not forget about the part I seek revenge to your broken heart after that,” Xi Men said, looking at her lovingly.

Xiao You laughed. “Yes, you go and seek him out and used your F4 status to win over him, I remember,”

Xi Men chuckled. “And things between Xiao You and I changed from then onwards…”

“Still friends, but I began developing feelings for him,”

“And I actually avoided her,”

“And then I leave for Canada,”

He smirked, “And I actually thought about her after that,”

“Miss me?” she suddenly asked Xi Men.

Xi Men looked at Xiao You, “Occasionally,”

She smiled.

He leaned over and kissed her temple.

**

“I have to agree with you. This is a really interesting segment,” Ah Si said, looking at the stage.

“Told ya,” Mei Zhuo said.

**

“Xiao You came back to Taipei one day to look for me,” Xi Men smiled. “And I avoided her even more; but at that very time… she solved a knot that had been residing in my heart for years; something that I had never thought will ever be solved,” he looked at Xiao You, recalling Xiao You sacrifices her sleep to look for the particular object that Xiao Gen wanted to show him; which is a billboard. “And she asked me to be brave to love. I end up falling for her without her knowing about it,”

Xiao You smiled.

“And then she left again,” he said, looking at Xiao You. “We did not kept in touch,”

Xiao You took a deep breath and nodded briefly.

“Until she comes back to Taipei more than 2 years ago, looking pretty and matured; completely different from the image of Xiao You that I know,”

Xiao You smiled briefly as she looked at Xi Men.

“We had already moved on from each other and led different lives… but that doesn’t mean we can’t be friends,” Xi Men smiled briefly.

Xiao You smiled.

“In 2 years, plenty of things had happened; including her pillar of strength crashed down, and I got divorced,” he looked at Xiao You.

Xiao You swallowed the lump in her throat.

Nobody knows what truly happened about that, other than F4 and wives…

“In summary… a lot of things had happened to Xiao You and also to me… that it finally brought us together,” Xi Men swallowed the lump in his throat. “But there is one worthy event that I should talk about,” he looked at Xiao You.

Xiao You looked at him, wondering what that is.

“Everyone here knew; Xi Men Corporation falls into a serious crisis less than 2 years ago. Xiao You has been the one right there… supporting me mentally and emotionally,”

Xiao You looked at him, and she smiled.

“Of course, asides from my brothers,” Xi Men turned his head to look at the F3 table and smiled.

Lei, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si raised their thumbs up at Xi Men for mentioning them.

“Xiao You keeps on encouraging me, though she said she can’t help me in any ways… she believed in me. She reassures that things will be alright; and that I can survive this, although I do not think I could. I… end up depending on her to get thru those dark days of my life,” Xi Men uttered. “And I believe most of you probably didn’t know… the shift in Xi Men Corporation’s focus to rescue the company out of crisis is an idea that I get from Xiao You’s words,” he looked at Xiao You.

Xiao You is startled that Xi Men had to mention this.

Mutters and whispers are heard in the ballroom.

**

Mr. Xi Men tilts his head in surprise, “Really?”

**

“You… you don’t have to talk about that, right?” Xiao You asked, looking at Xi Men (not on the microphone).

Xi Men only smiled at Xiao You, and on the microphone, he says, “A lot of people have condemned my drastic move back then, but this move has successfully gets Xi Men Corporation out of trouble and Xi Men Corporation is more successful today than ever; and I would like to credit the success to Xiao You,” he claps.

Everyone in the hall followed and applauded.

Xiao You is overwhelmed by that, but she also feels shy to be put into spotlight in that way.

“So… it doesn’t make sense if I don’t love her for that, right?” Xi Men smiled, looking at Xiao You.

Xiao You smiled at Xi Men.

“I go after Xiao You once my company is out of crisis. But she didn’t accept me,” Xi Men said. “And I have been pursuing her ever since, until she accepted me 6 months ago,”

Xiao You smiled at him.

“I don’t want anyone else. I just want to be with Xiao You,” Xi Men said, looking at Xiao You. “To me, she is the world. My world is nothing without her,”

Tears formed in Xiao You’s eyes upon hearing that.

“That is why I didn’t give up on Xiao You,” he said.

He lowered his microphone, and then faces her.

He said to her, “Because I love you for so damn long… even though I married Juliana, I still love you, I still love you so, so much…” his tears formed in his eyes as he says them.

Xiao You sniffed, and she smiled to control her emotions. “I know, Xi Men, I know…”

**

“Oi, why talk among yourself?” Mei Zhuo asked. “Use the microphone, bro. Use it! Can’t hear a thing!”

“Maybe that’s the point. They probably didn’t want anyone to hear what they are saying to each other,” Lei said.

**

Xiao You raised her microphone to her lips, “Xi Men…” she removed her hand from hooking onto his arm and gently wiped her eyes, before the tears fall onto her cheeks. “For as long as I know him… he’s been nice, and also had been bad…”

Xi Men chuckled as he wiped the pool of tears in his eyes, and everyone laughed.

He then casually reached for her microphone and gently pushed it down, so that what he is about to say won’t get transmitted to the speaker, “Darling, I know what that is. I am sorry. I am sorry about blocking you from leaving the country. And also many other stuffs, but mainly, this issue…”

Xiao You smiled as she looked at him, “I thought you didn’t know,”

“I do, and I know how unhappy you are about that,”

“Well, if we look at it from a different perspective; that you didn’t do it… we won’t be here today, right?”

Xi Men smiled. “So… I guess, you forgive me about that?”

“Hmmm… yeah, I guess,” Xiao You said.

Xi Men chuckled again at her ‘I guess’ respond.

Xiao You raised her microphone up again, “I mean, I am not perfect either. I have weaknesses too,” she then looked at Xi Men, “Xi Men is just another human. He is not a perfect person. But there is one thing about Xi Men that is perfect,”

He is taken aback by that.

That prompted Xi Men to lift the microphone to his lips, “There is something about me that’s perfect? Really? I have never heard you say anything about that to me,”

“Your facial feature. You are probably the most handsome man I have ever met in my life,”

Xi Men laughed at that and everyone else laughed along.

“I mean, other than Lei, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si as well,” Xiao You had to add quickly and looked at the table where the F3 and families are sitting at.

Lei, Jing, Mei Zhuo, Xiao Qiao, Ah Si and San Chai laughed at that.

Xiao You then turned to look at Xi Men again, “Well, I do not expect absolute perfection from you. And I love you still,” she smiled.

“I love you too,” Xi Men replied. “But you are perfect to me,”

Xiao You smiled, and then she straightened her head to look at the guests, “Xi Men has been helping me all along, in many unimaginable ways. I wouldn’t be who I am today without him,”

Xi Men smiled.

“Just like Xi Men had just said; he had gone after me for over a year despite I had rejected him time after time. I told him not to waste his time on me as I will not be with him, but he did not give up. He continued pursuing me; and very, very persistent, actually. He bought me flowers every two weeks; so when the existing bouquet had withered, a new one will come. He brought me to fancy meals. He celebrated my birthday and all special occasions with me; doing just like a boyfriend will. He asked me to be his partner to the corporate events that he had to attend; and when he is being asked by the media about me, he explained that said I am just his friend, as that is our status. Just friends. Close friends. Best friends maybe. But I know, deep in my heart, the way he treated me is definitely more than just a friend,” Xiao You said. “I know I have put him into a very difficult position,”

He holds her hand.

“As said, he is very persistent, right? After one year…” she said. “I accepted him,” Xiao You smiled.

He smiled.

“But as everyone knows… something happened to us more than 2 months ago,” Xiao You said.

Xi Men’s smile fades.

“It is highlighted all over the news, and there is a live news update as to what’s going on. And we have never publicly talked about it,” Xiao You said, looking at Xi Men.

The ballroom is eerily quiet now.

“We were involved in a planned accident and then kidnapped while unconscious,” Xiao You said, continued to look at Xi Men. “And at that time, I almost lost Xi Men,”

Xi Men looked at Xiao You.

“If you didn’t know it yet,” Xiao You straightened her head again. “Xi Men is seriously injured that night, and he… still tries his best to protect me while holding onto the unbearable pain in his body,” she slowly returned her gaze to Xi Men. “I know you are struggling that night, but you kept on because of me. Because you wanted to make sure I am safe and sound,” her tears formed again.

Xi Men raised his hand up and caressed her cheek. “What is the point of you mentioning that?” he asked, but had it transmitted thru Xiao You’s microphone.

“Because… the incident has showed me what I am to you, and how important I am to you; that when you can’t even save yourself, I am still your priority,” Xiao You said, still holding onto the microphone.

Xi Men clenched his teeth.

“I realized how much you meant to me, Xi Men,” Xiao You said. “And… I wanted to marry you even more,”

A small smile formed on his face, and he sniffs. “You are my lawfully wedded wife now,” he reached over and hugged her. “We’ll spend the rest of our lives together,”

Xiao You smiled as he embraced her on the stage.

Guests in the ballroom applauded.

“I love you, and I will always love you, Xiao You,” Xi Men said. “In fact, I love you so much that no words are great enough to describe that,”

Her smile widened. “I know. And I love you too, Xi Men,” Xiao You replied.

They hugged for a few more seconds before Xi Men pulled back from the hug, and on the microphone, he says, “I was on the bed rest for the last 2 months. Xiao You took care of me really well, thus I get to recover in time for this wedding,” he said, and then puts his hand around Xiao You’s shoulder. “Thank you very much for everyone’s concern; where I have been asked a lot just now at the pre-reception cocktail. I am probably 10% away from perfect health but I am doing great and on the right path to recovery. Since my fiancée nursed me to 90% great health, now that I have married her, I am sure my perfect wife will nurse me to 120% great health soon,” he said, rubbing Xiao You’s arm.

“Hey,” she glared at him.

He laughed and the guests laughed along too.

Xi Men then speaks on the microphone, “Xiao You and I have gone thru a lot together, both good and bad times, and I probably should add a ‘horrible time’ as well. We have encountered many conflicted and difficult moments but we managed to live thru them. And above all, our relationship as friends and lovers strengthened & deepened; which lead to our wedding today. Dear all guests…” Xi Men called, dropping his hand from her shoulder to wrap around her waist “After going thru all the life-changing events in our lives, I finally married this beautiful woman that is extremely precious to me today. And this marks the start of many beautiful memories that we will make as husband and wife. We are happy to have you here today, to be a part of our first memory,”

Xiao You smiled at Xi Men.

“Thank you once again,” Xi Men said, giving a small bow as a form of appreciation.

Xiao You immediately followed and bows too.

Everyone applauded.

**

“I didn’t know Xi Men and Xiao You had such a tumultuous and… well, meaningful relationship,” Mr. Xi Men said.

Xi Men’s mother smiled, “I don’t know either. But one thing I know is that I can totally trust our son’s words that this is going to be his last wedding,”

Mr. Xi Men smiled. “I trust that too,”

**

Xi Men and Xiao You get down the stage and head back to their seats.

As they both sat down,

“Xi Men, is Xiao You really the one that gives you the idea to shift Xi Men Corporation’s focus?” Mr. Xi Men asked.

“Yes, dad,” Xi Men smiled. “It is,”

Xiao You smiled.

“Ahhh… that’s interesting,” Xi Men’s father said. “Wow… I didn’t know my daughter-in-law is involved in saving my company… and it was her idea,”

Xi Men’s mother smirks upon hearing it.

Xiao You just smiled.

“Come to think of it…” Xi Men said with his eyes strayed.

“Hmmm?” Xiao You looked at Xi Men.

“All the guys you’ve met…” Xi Men uttered, and then he looked at Xiao You, “They…”

“Huh?”

“I mean… I am not sure what the correct word I should use for this but… vengeance?” Xi Men said.

She looked at him, “Why do you say so?”

“Zhong Ze… he seeks revenge by lying to Ah Si when Ah Si lost his memory; he took advantage of Ah Si,” Xi Men said, “And then…”

“Mark, seeking revenge by trying to kill you?” Xiao You continues for him.

Xi Men looked at Xiao You and smirks that she seems to get what he meant. “Yeah, the F4 gets the wrath of your ex-partners,” he said. “Hmmm… are there any other guys that I didn’t know about?” he asked. “Please tell me so that I can prepare,”

Xiao You chuckled. “No, honey, no one else,”

“Okay, cool,” Xi Men smiled.

“Now that you mentioned… you are right though,” Xiao You said, causing Xi Men to look at her, “It seems that the guys I have been with do not forgive easily…”

“And you know what that means?” Xi Men asked, taking the chopsticks up and picked up a piece of food from his plate.

“What?” she asked.

“Treat me well. Or else, I will be in the list too,” he said, and then stuffs the food into his mouth.

She laughed. “You are not that kind of person. And you won’t,” she then picked her food up with her chopsticks. “So I am not worried about that,”

He looked at her, “I won’t? Why do you sound so sure about that?”

“Because the thing is…” she looked at him, “Do you think you’ll be an ex to me?” she asked, and then stuffs the piece of chicken into her mouth.

He looked at her.

“Do you think you’ll ever let that happen after all that we’ve been thru?” she smiled.

He smirks, and then chuckles, “Shit, you are good,”

She gave him a ‘peace’ sign with her fingers as she munches her food.

He laughed upon seeing her adorable action.

“Dude,”

Xi Men turned his head to the back and looked at Mei Zhuo standing behind him, landing his (Mei Zhuo) hand on Xi Men’s shoulder. Lei and Ah Si approached them too.

“Yes, dude?” Xi Men responded.

“That’s a pretty heartfelt speech,” Mei Zhuo said. “Joint-speech, I mean,”

Xi Men smiled, “Thanks,”

“Thank you, Mei Zhuo,” Xiao You joins too.

“But are you sure that’s a speech for the guests? In some ways, it sounds like it is for each other; like to both of you,” Mei Zhuo pointed at Xi Men and Xiao You.

Lei and Ah Si nodded in agreement.

Xi Men and Xiao You exchanged gazes.

Xi Men then chuckled, “Well, maybe it did get a little personal… but it is fine, you guys can interpret it in any way you want; whether it is for guests or ‘a conversation that belongs to us’,”

Mei Zhuo rolled his eyes.

Xi Men then gazes at Xiao You who is also looking back at him, and both of them giggled lovingly.

Xi Men then leaned over to Xiao You, purportedly to kiss her.

“Stop,” Mei Zhuo grabbed Xi Men’s shoulder and that really stopped Xi Men from kissing Xiao You.

Xi Men and Xiao You turned their heads and looked at Mei Zhuo.

“You have a suite upstairs, right?” Mei Zhuo asked.

“Yes. Why? Do you want to use it? Wei Yi or Wei Juin needs to nap?” Xi Men asked.

“No. I don’t have a need for it. I mean, later…” Mei Zhuo said, “I don’t think you are going home tonight and will be staying at the suite. So, go and have fun with each other. Enjoy your repeated sensual and intimate sessions but let me advise you; don’t break things and don’t get injured. Not nice to hurt something or somewhere on this nice day, eh?”

Xi Men and Xiao You immediately glared at Mei Zhuo.

Lei and Ah Si laughed.

“F*ck you,” Xi Men uttered, and everyone laughed harder.

“Gosh, what is that for?” Lei asked, suppressing his laughter and looked at Mei Zhuo.

“Well, I know how much Xi Men loves Xiao You, and well, I don’t think I’ll ever have a chance to mess with him about that some other day,” Mei Zhuo smirks.

Lei and Ah Si happened to nod in agreement.

“Yeah, you are right about that,” Ah Si said.

“What?!” Xi Men glared at Lei and Ah Si, “I can’t believe you’ll support that!”

“Do you remember what you did to us when you regained consciousness from that incident? You f*ckng mess with us that you lost your memory!” Mei Zhuo said.

“Ah, right…” Xi Men replied.

“And this is the payback time,” Mei Zhuo said.

“Pfft,”

Lei and Ah Si laughed.

Mei Zhuo retracts his hand from Xi Men’s shoulder. “Now go kiss your bride,” he patted Xi Men’s shoulder; or more like slapping Xi Men’s shoulder to lean over to Xiao You.

“Urgh…” Xi Men moves his shoulder. “I am not going to listen to you. I am not going to kiss just because you asked me to,” he glared at Mei Zhuo.

“Oh?” Mei Zhuo, Lei and Ah Si reacted.

“I don’t take anyone’s instruction,” Xi Men stated.

“What if it is me?”

F4 turned to look at Xiao You.

Xiao You puckered her lips up at Xi Men.

Xi Men chuckled, “Except you,” he leaned over and kissed her.

Lei, Mei Zhuo and Ah Si exchanged smiles with each other.

“And that explains, Xi Men is under Xiao You’s control…” Lei said, folding his hands on his chest.

“Yes, I agree,” Mei Zhuo said.

“No doubts about that,” Ah Si chipped in.

=====

On a different note,

Mark fell into coma 8 hours after the phone call with Xiao You.

He died 3 days later, never regained his consciousness.

As requested by Xiao You, the warden did not inform Xi Men or Xiao You about Mark’s death.

As Mark is being termed as ‘CEO Xi Men’s kidnapper’, his death is reported in the newspapers.

And that is how Xi Men and Xiao You, along with everybody else, knew about his death.


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