They looked into each other's eyes for half a minute, repeating the words that they had never dared to say aloud in their hearts.
They were three simple words, I love you. It was he most straightforward confession, but it was so touching and deep.
There was still filming the next afternoon, hence at 11.40 pm, everyone started leaving.
Qiao Anhao had sat in Lu Jinnian's car to the interview, so when everything ended, he told her "Wait for me, I'll drive you" and went to settle the bill.
Several others had drank too much. Qiao Anhao helped to send some of them into cabs and made sure to see them off before turning back to the main hall of Resplendent.
Lu Jinnian was standing under a lamp in front of the counter, signing his name.
Qiao Anhao didn't walk up to disrupt him, just stood far away, observing him. His actions were swift and decisive. He pa.s.sed the counter staff his card , and when she had pa.s.sed the card back to him, she said something in agitation. Lu Jinnian nodded faintly, and before she pa.s.sed a book over, he took the pen once more, bending to sign his name.
After getting his signature, the counter staff used her phone to secretly snap a photo of him. He seemed to have sensed it but didn't expose her, just placed down the pen and took his card back. Turning around, he instantly saw Qiao Anhao standing by the door and took large strides towards her.
Lu Jinnian's car was parked at the entrance of Resplendent. He pulled out his car keys and unlocked it, opening the door for Qiao Anhao. He shut it after making sure she had entered and was seated. He entered the driver seat and glanced at the clock, it was currently 11.55 pm.
He started the car, casually turning his steering wheel. Once he exited Resplendent, he didn't speed up but instead stopped his car by the side of the road.
Qiao Anhao frowned, turning her head in confusion. "What's wrong?"
Lu Jinnian remained silent, staring at his phone screen, and silence settled in the car. He stared at his phone from 11.59 pm to 00.00 am before suddenly retrieving a paper bag from underneath his seat. Pa.s.sing it over to her, he said in a gentle voice, "Happy Birthday."
Qiao Anhao looked at the paper bag in front of her, her brain not able to process what had happened. She sat in a daze, looking extremely adorable.
Lu Jinnian felt tenderness wash over him as he looked at her. In an even gentler voice, he spoke once again. "This should be the first time I wished you Happy Birthday."
Qiao Anhao blinked, suddenly remembering that it was her birthday.
Every year during her birthday she would hold a party, but due to the busy filming schedule, she wasn't able to find any time. Besides, she and Xu Jiamu were a married couple to the public, so Lu Jinnian would be required to act as him if she were to hold a party, causing a lot of trouble. When Xu family and Qiao family had called to ask her about it, she dismissed them instantly, stating that she was too busy filming.
Today, when she woke up, she could still remember that the next day was her birthday, but as the day got busier, that information was completely forgotten.