"Just say, you have never made it in large quantities and are afraid of spoiling the dish. Look at you boasting and hiding the fact." Lu Chao scoffed and looked at his father in disgust.
De Xi looked at Lu Bai in amusement, whereas Lu Bai chuckled dryly before glaring at his son for exposing him so ruthlessly.
De Xi was so amused that unknowingly a soft chuckle escaped her mouth.
She then gathered all the ingredients together on the kitchen counter and started making the Cocoa Pie in large quantities, all the while a small smile playing on her lips.
On the other hand, the father-son duo was stunned when they heard the soft chuckle and warm smile displayed on De Xi's face, unlike the usual calm and cold face she maintained in front of Lu Bai.
"Just like good old times." Lu Chao said softly, which only Lu Bai could hear, as De Xi was quite far from them she did not hear her dear son mumble.
De Xi was done making the dessert in another hour's time, Lu Chao volunteered to personally deliver the dessert to his sister and cousins, whereas Head Butler Melan was given the task of delivering the dessert to the elders.
De Xi brewed two cups of hot chocolate and took them to the Olive & Oak Garden behind the mansion.
She crossed the river and walked for a few minutes before she found Lu Bai, sitting under the biggest Oak tree, on the soft grass, cross-legged with a MacBook on his lap.
He was busy reading something and occasionally let his fingers elegantly run across the keyboard to type something or make corrections.
De Xi walked towards him soundlessly and sat down after removing her stilettos at the side. She did not fold her legs, instead crossed them one over the other and sat leisurely as she stretched her fingers forward to stretch them and relieve the sore feeling.
All the while Lu Bai looked towards De Xi warmly, with a patient expression. He slowly shut his MacBook and gave all his attention to his beautiful wife, sitting beside him.
"Here you hot chocolate." De Xi handed one of the two mugs to Lu Bai, whereas she sipped from the mug in her hand.
"Thank you." Lu Bai said warmly as he took a sip and was slightly stunned when the bitter taste hit his taste buds, followed by a soothing sensation.
"You still remember I like my hot chocolate bitter?" Lu Bai asked in shock and surprise.
"My memory is still good." De Xi answered nonchalantly as if it was no big deal.
"I thought after such a big gap you would have forgotten about my habits and likes, as you have many people here." Lu Bai said in a delighted tone.
"As I said, my memory is still good, I even remember my staff's preferences, remembering yours is no big deal." De Xi said in a slightly annoyed and irritated tone.
All throughout this conversation, not even once, did De Xi glance at Lu Bai. Her gaze was trained in front of her, on the only hybrid plant of Dahlia and Red Tulip.
"Do you remember that plant?" De Xi asked calmly, her eyes still focused on the same plant.
Lu Bai looked in the direction, where De Xi was looking and was shell-shocked when he saw which plant De Xi was talking about.
"The plant I gifted to you on our first anniversary after Little Treasure was born." Lu Bai said in a daze.
He would forget anything but this plant. This was the symbol of his first attempt to start a family just the way he always wanted to.
After an endless internal struggle and thinking about the outcomes in his head over and over, imagining the worst outcomes, he finally found the courage when he saw his firstborn's face for the first time.
"You still remember?" De Xi asked in slight amusement, though she was sure of the answer.
"How can I forget this plant. It is not every day a plant tests your courage..." Lu Bai said with a small laugh.
"I wish I left it behind instead of bringing it with me." De Xi said calmly as she sipped her hot chocolate.
"Why?" Lu Bai asked as he gripped his cup tightly, his heart tense and tight.
De Xi chuckled softly as she turned to look into his deep black orbs, for the first time tearing her eyes away from the plant.
"So that you would have seen the plant and regained some of your courage. It really amuses me how much of a coward you are when it comes to love." De Xi spat out coldly.
"I really failed to understand you after all these years. Whenever I think I have figured you out, you throw a new curveball at me." Lu Bai said in self-mockery.
"If you can figure me out so easily, won't I be the same as those other women out there? Where is the fun then?" De Xi said haughtily, her eyes full of pride.
"Indeed" Lu Bai laughed deeply, his eyes full of amusement but acceptance.
"I have a question bugging me for since long, may I ask?" Lu Bai asked calmly as he looked towards the plant together with De Xi.
"That is?" De Xi asked looking towards him calmly with a slightly gentle look.
"Why did you orchestrate such a grand play? Creating a perfect scene of me cheating on you, then the misunderstanding?" Lu Bai asked his voice turning colder with every word.
De Xi was silent, her eyes full of indifference.
"You wanted to leave, you could have just left." Lu Bai continued, his voice laced with hurt and heartbreak as he reminisced the past.
"My exit was easier this way, no questions asked." De Xi said calmly, with a face full of indifference and aloofness.
"Indeed, the whole country was talking about cheating husband and his mistress caught red-handed by the pitiful heiress." Lu Bai said mockingly, eyes full of hurt and disbelief.