Cactus in Distress Chapter 13

Chapter 13

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Sun Yutan leaned against the wall with her arms folded, waiting for Chen Rui’s approach.

“Girlfriend?” She nodded her chin in Huang Shuyu’s direction.

Chen Rui turned around and smiled, raising an eyebrow at her. “What do you hope for?”

“Of course, I hope you’ll win the heart of a beautiful woman.” Before she could finish her sentence, Sun Yutan was pulled into a narrow path between two wooden houses.

As they walked along the path and pushed aside a half-height fence, they came to a wooden house that faced the mountain with no one else around. Sun Yutan asked casually, “So, are you here to rob me of money or rob me of love?”

“What do you think?” Chen Rui raised his head slightly, unbuttoning a button at her neckline.

Sun Yutan stood up straight, nervously looking around. “This doesn’t seem right…”

Chen Rui lifted her chin and ran his thumb over the corner of her eye. “What’s wrong? The wilderness is the perfect place for doing business. But, Sun Yutan, if I’m going to win the heart of a beautiful woman, which beautiful woman do you want me to win?”

“Of course, it’s your dearest little assistant.”

Chen Rui said, “Then why did you sleep with me?”

“I don’t know.”

Chen Rui pecked her lips and said, “Well, now you know. Don’t push me away.”

“Is that so?”

“No.” Chen Rui kissed her. “If you don’t admit it, then I don’t have a girlfriend.”

Actually, Sun Yutan wasn’t asking seriously. She knew that they were just flirting. However, after Chen Rui denied it, his words struck her heart like an arrow. As she was being kissed by him, she thought to herself that Chen Rui was really good at sweet-talking.

Tang Nuo finally remembered where he had seen that profile before.

On that particular night, he had driven Chen Rui home from a gathering. There were not many people in attendance, mostly senior students who had already secured their post-graduation plans. Tang Nuo had been invited along by chance.

They had all gathered at a restaurant near the school gate, reminiscing about their time together and feeling a tinge of nostalgia as their paths were soon to diverge. Tang Nuo had refrained from drinking alcohol, but Chen Rui, who sat next to him, kept pouring drinks into his mouth. He knew that this senior was usually a man of few words, but on this evening he seemed particularly silent and unhappy.

He drove the senior’s car to send him home. Chen Rui sat quietly in the passenger seat, as if he wasn’t very drunk.

After the car came to a stop, Chen Rui didn’t move. Tang Nuo leaned closer to take a look and realized that his eyes were closed. He called out tentatively, but there was no response, so he had to help him unbuckle his seat belt. Chen Rui’s tightly clenched phone dropped to the ground. Tang Nuo picked it up and saw that the screen was lit up with a side profile of a girl.

Without looking further, he locked the screen and put the phone back in Chen Rui’s pocket.

After the intimate interlude, Sun Yutan refused to go out with Chen Rui. “I’m still in uniform. I can’t ruin our club’s reputation.”

Chen Rui played with her button and pretended to undo it. “Take it off.”

Chen Rui appeared unusually idle and somewhat clingy today, a noticeable deviation from his usual composed demeanor. While he was kneading her one hand, Sun Yutan’s other hand unconsciously grazed over the taut muscles that lay beneath his clothes.

“Stop touching.”


Chen Rui gestured for her to look down.

Sun Yutan quickly let go and coughed dryly, saying, “You’re too easy to provoke…”

“Won’t you react when I touch you like that?”

Sun Yutan pushed him. “You should leave now.”

After Chen Rui left, Sun Yutan leaned against the cement countertop and stared blankly for a while. She thought that her way of getting along with Chen Rui was too mature, either going to bed or engaging in almost amorous play, as if they had nothing to talk about, but had a great enthusiasm for each other’s bodies.

Alas, the blush and heartbeat of youth seemed like it was just yesterday. How could it have become so direct and passionate after just a few years? Of course, Sun Yutan had to admit that she was doing this out of love, although she didn’t want to do this and that with him when she loved him.

She liked his previous aloofness and nonchalance, as well as his current serious desire for intimacy. Whether they were separated or entwined, both made her heart race.

Did Chen Rui like her or not?

This was a question that Sun Yutan had never thought about or even assumed.

Before the National Day holiday, Sun Yutan bought a plane ticket back to Shaocheng.

In the second year after she went to study at Tangwai, her parents returned the store to Chen Kaisheng.    

They were still not used to a busy and stressful life, and with Grandpa and Granda getting older and in need of care, the couple returned to Shaocheng and opened a modest supermarket.

Along with the shop, the house that was transferred to Sun Ping’s name for school enrollment was also returned. However, Chen Kaisheng refused to take it back, stating that the house was a gift from him as an elder to Sun Yutan, so that she would have a place to stay when she returned to Haicheng in the future.

Of course, despite her outwardly obedient demeanor, everyone knew that this girl had a mind of her own. It was entirely possible that she might not return to the city after her graduation, especially given the numerous college applications she had submitted.

Sun Ping felt even more guilty, but he couldn’t convince Chen Kaisheng, who was determined. He had to listen to his wife’s advice and transfer a large sum of money to Chen Kaisheng’s account, treating it as a purchase. Chen Kaisheng was about to transfer the house back, but was stopped by Zeng Xinyun. Zeng Xinyun didn’t care about this level of push and pull, and scolded her husband. The matter was settled.

The “Ping’an Supermarket” of the Sun family was located at the intersection not far from her home.

Sun Yutan put her small luggage at the door and stepped inside with light steps. She looked at the counter with a tilted body. “Surprise!”

The person in front of the counter looked up, but it was the face of a strange young boy.

Sun Yutan was so embarrassed that she immediately stopped laughing, but the boy laughed and pointed behind her.

Su Nan came out from behind the shelf. “Xiao Tan, why are you back!”

“Just visiting for a few days.” Sun Yutan held her mother’s arm. “Where is Dad?”

“He went to help your Grandma deliver something. Have you eaten?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Then I’ll go buy groceries.”

“Okay, I’ll go with you.”

Su Nan took off her scarf and gloves, “Xiao Hai,” she called to the boy sitting behind the counter, “can you watch the store by yourself for a bit?”

“Sure,” Xiao Hai agreed readily, “don’t worry, Auntie Nan.”

Sun Yutan was about to drag the suitcase at the door, but Su Nan directly carried it into the store and put it against the wall. “Let your dad get it later.”

“Okay!” Sun Yutan sticked to her mother and said, “I want to eat Panlong, I really want to eat Panlong, stir-fried Panlong.”

Su Nan lightly hit her hand and scolded, “Why didn’t you tell me earlier that you’ll visit home? We might not be able to find any at the market now, don’t cry if you can’t eat it.”

“I won’t cry,” Sun Yutan laughed, “If we can’t buy any, I’ll have Dad catch one for me in the field.”

Su Nan stopped in her tracks. “You’re right, I’ll give your dad a call, they must be selling some in the village.”

“Never mind, I was just kidding. Let’s go for a walk first, I’ll see what I want to eat. I’ll be starving when Dad comes back.”

“Then let’s buy something to eat first. How can you go hungry?” Su Nan pinched her waist and was very worried. “I think you have lost weight again.”

“No, I haven’t. If you don’t believe me, I’ll weigh myself and show you when we get back.”

Sun Yutan carried a bowl of mixed rice cake, followed Su Nan step by step, forked the food and greeted uncles and aunties along the way. She had been walking on this street with her mother since she was a child. Although it had been renovated several times, the people were still the same familiar faces.

In the end, Su Nan didn’t spend much money, but they ended up with a pile of stuff. They also managed to buy a moderately sized yellow eel as they had hoped.

Sun Yutan had her hands full and proudly remarked, “I didn’t realize my social standing was so high.”

Su Nan replied, “Just wait, someone will come knocking on your door soon enough.”

“For what?”

“To introduce you to a potential partner. Do you know how many times I’ve used the excuse of you not coming back? Now that everyone has seen you, they’ll start introducing their nephews, grandsons, and friends’ sons to you. They’ll all be singing their praises. It’s my fault for being careless and bringing you here.”

“Mom, your standards are too high, and you’re so hostile to the boys.”

“If your standards weren’t so high, why haven’t you found a partner in so many years?”

“I… I just haven’t had any chance to meet the right guy.”

“Don’t lie to your mom. You’ve been all over the world in the past few years, I refuse to believe there weren’t any good ones, there must have been more than the fish in the sea.”

“You’re exaggerating. Even if you add up all the guys in the world, they won’t be more than the fish in the sea. And I meant ‘suitable’ guys. Most of them are in relationships, what do I have to do with that?”

“See, how can excellent guys stay single.”

“Mom, that’s a personal attack.”

“You’re different, you choose to be single. Others just can’t find a partner.”

“Okay.” Sun Yutan nodded in agreement. “Mom, you have great logic.”

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