Eight years ago.
“Feifei, are you out of your mind?!” Yang Ruqin huffed as she watched her pregnant friend waddle up the staircase leading to the second floor of the library.
“If my brother sees you like this, he’ll have a heart attack!” Yang Ruqin exasperated as she rushed up the Mahoney oak staircase.
Standing in the corner of the second-floor library was a woman who could give birth any moment now. Yet, she handled herself with grace and idiotic stubbornness. She allowed people to do tasks for her, whether it was putting on her shoes or tying her laces, but getting a book? She could handle that task on her own.
“Relax, Qinqin,” Zhao Lifei mused as she raised her head from the large history book in her hands. “Everything will be fine. You panic so much, that it feels like you’re the one giving birth.”
“I’d be a lot more responsible!” Yang Ruqin angrily huffed. She crossed her arms and peered over her best friend’s elbow. In the meantime, she grabbed onto Zhao Lifei’s arms, in case the young woman needed any guidance.
“What are you reading? Is it a picture book? Ooh, I just love it when a book has more drawing than words!” Yang Ruqin squealed. Her excitement quickly died down when she saw there was only a single picture surrounded by bodies of text.
“Oh gosh, I’m getting dizzy looking at this educational stuff,” Yang Ruqin grumbled. It was half the truth. In reality, she was too lazy to read. On the other hand, she wanted her friend to be seated, and not standing.
Zhao Lifei shook her head in amusement. “I have to read these things to the baby. I heard they can come out smarter that way.”
“A history book is so boring!” Yang Ruqin huffed. “Come on, let’s sit. I’m tired of standing.”
Zhao Lifei’s lips curled into a fond smile. Sometimes she wondered if she was going to be taking care of her child’s godmother as well.
Zhao Lifei finally relented to her best friend’s whining. She was certain that her overbearing husband had employed Qinqin to be a bodyguard.
“Fine, fine,” Zhao Lifei said. She allowed herself to be gently tugged to the side where a plush couch awaited them.
Yang Ruqin couldn’t help but fret over her best friend. Every little movement seemed more dangerous than the next. Slowly, she eased her friend onto the couch. “You know, Feifei, that belly is so large, I’d think there were two babies inside!”
Zhao Lifei let out a laugh. “I didn’t ask the OB-GYN for any details about the gender. I also kicked Yang Feng out of the room. I only told her to mention the important health issues, and so far, there was none.”
“But that’s so dangerous. Are you sure OB-GYNs are allowed to do that?” Yang Ruqin asked as she settled into the couch. She leaned against Zhao Lifei and offered her support.
“I’m not sure, but she was a private doctor, so who knows?” Zhao Lifei shrugged. “If my baby is a girl, I hope she turns like this woman,” she said whilst pointing to the book.
Yang Ruqin squinted down at the page and read out a familiar name that every little girl knew of. “Li Xueyue the Wise,” she read out loud. “Wasn’t she uh…. some important woman in history?”
Zhao Lifei clapped her hands sarcastically. “Wow, Qinqin, for a student who viewed history class as nap time, I’m impressed you know this stuff!”
Yang Ruqin rubbed her nose and let out a small giggle. “Well, you know, Huo Qiudong likes smart woman, so I did a bit of research. This section of the book is called…”
“The Rise of Xueyue,” Zhao Lifei responded.
“Yes, my favorite!” Yang Ruqin exclaimed. “Her origin was so interesting, it’s the only documentary I finished watching before falling asleep.”
“Hmm, sounds a lot like deja vu,” Zhao Lifei muttered under her breath.
“Oh don’t act as if you’ve never slept in class, Feifei,” Yang Ruqin huffed. “Remember that one time you snored when the entire class was quietly reading their book? And you were the Class President at the time. What do you have to say for yourself?”
Zhao Lifei flushed at the memory. “What are you saying in front of your godchild? What if they turn out like their mother and godmother?!”
“I hope they come out resembling me,” Yang Ruqin said as she stuck her tongue out. “They’ll have the more superior Yang family gene. After all,” she flipped her hair, “I’m the best looking Yang!”
“Where?” Zhao Lifei said as she frantically glanced around the library. “Do you see an attractive Yang member that I don’t know of? Where, where?”
“Here!” Yang Ruqin whined as she grabbed onto her best friend’s shoulder. “You’re looking at the most beautiful Yang member right now!”
“How disappointing…” Zhao Lifei pouted. “I don’t see them.”
“You bully,” Yang Ruqin grumbled. “Just you wait. I’m going to tell your child all of the embarrassing stories of your past.”
“Hmph, then you better get your future children ready. You have more cringe-worthy stories than me.”
“No I don’t,” Yang Ruqin said.
“Oh, but you do.”
“No!” Yang Ruqin angrily bit out. She knew it was the truth, but refused to accept it.
“Yes—!” Zhao Lifei let out a gasp as she clutched her stomach.
“Oh my god, Feifei, what’s wrong? What is it? Is it the baby?” Yang Ruqin shrieked as she got to her feet.
“Feifei, did you pee yourself?!” Yang Ruqin gasped when she saw the puddle underneath her best friend.
Yang Ruqin gulped as panic settled into her system. “Oh gosh, it’s okay. Stay calm. I’ll uh, never tell anyone this happened! The CEO of Zhao Corporation most definitely did not pee herself in her late twenties. I swear I won’t tell—”
Zhao Lifei moaned in pain as she struggled to sit up properly. “M-my water… it broke!”
“O-oh,” Yang Ruqin blinked. “Ahaha…. I-I knew that.”
Yang Ruqin gulped. What was she supposed to do? “I’ll call Su Meixiu inside and we’ll get you to the hospital.”
“Yang Feng…” Zhao Lifei huffed out as she wiped away a cold sweat. “He’s in a meeting—”
“It doesn’t matter!” Yang Ruqin said as she quickly forced her best friend to remain seated. She rushed to the balcony of the second floor and breathed in deeply.
“ZHAO LIFEI IS GOING TO POP!” She screeched at the top of her lungs. The walls nearly shook at her thunderous voice, that sounded so similar to her older brother.
The doors to the library burst open, revealing Su Meixiu. “President Zhao’s water broke?” she asked whilst frantically grabbing her phone. Oh gosh, oh gosh, Yang Feng was going to kill them.
“The baby isn’t supposed to come for another three weeks!” Su Meixiu cried out as she quickly dialed the hospital.
“Hush, don’t say that now!” Yang Ruqin responded. “Feng-ge said we should’ve put her in the hospital before her water broke and we didn’t. Now that he’s right, he’s going to murder us all.”
“N-no wait…” Zhao Lifei breathed out as her vision became a bit hazy. She reached a hand out for Yang Ruqin. “Qinqin… d-don’t get Yang Feng…”
“It’s okay Feifei,” Yang Ruqin said as she rushed back to her best friend. “We’ll endure the lecture with you. Don’t worry. All you have to do is shove the baby in his face and he’ll melt. That way, he’ll forget about scolding you.”
Yang Ruqin grasped onto her best friend’s hands as Zhao Lifei let out moans of pain. “Is it the contractions?” she yelped. “Oh my god, Meixiu where are the doctors? We have to get her to the hospital now!”
Su Meixiu anxiously tapped her foot against the carpeted floors. At a time like this, someone had to remain calm. Seeing as the youngest Yang sibling couldn’t, she had to resume that responsibility.
“They’re coming as fast as they can, but this estate is so far out of the city,” Su Meixiu explained. She nibbled at her nails and worriedly glanced up at Zhao Lifei.
“Should we move Feifei downstairs?” Yang Ruqin asked. “So that transporting her would be easier?”
“No, we need to let the paramedics handle it,” Su Meixiu responded. “In the meantime, I’ll try to get a hold of President Yang’s secretary, Chen Gaonan. He will inform the President of the situation.”
“Okay, sounds like a good plan,” Yang Ruqin said. She turned to Zhao Lifei and wiped away the sweat off of her best friend’s forehead. Zhao Lifei’s skin had turned pale and she was struggling to keep her composure.
“It’s okay Feifei, you can squeeze my hand for relief—”
“The ambulance is here!” Su Meixiu shouted as she heard loud footsteps racing up the long staircase leading to the highest part of the building—the library.
“Oh thank goodness,” Yang Ruqin huffed as she helped Zhao Lifei into a comfortable seating position. She continued to dab and wipe the sweat off of her best friend’s face.
Yang Ruqin turned around in time to see the paramedics with their stretcher ready.
“W-what hospital are you taking her—” Yang Ruqin didn’t get to finish her sentence as she was lightly pushed aside. Su Meixiu had rushed up the steps with the paramedics.
“Wait, do we get to ride in the car?” Yang Ruqin asked as the paramedics loaded Zhao Lifei onto the stretcher. “My Feifei’s child isn’t due until three weeks from now! You have to treat her with care. Wait, why aren’t you telling me anything? If she okay, is she in a critical condition?!”
Yang Ruqin couldn’t help but freak out. She was growing more anxious and worried with each passing second.
“Shhh, it’s okay,” Su Meixiu reassured. “The paramedics have it all handled. Let’s get into the sports cars. It’ll be able to match the speed of the zooming ambulance.”
Yang Ruqin wanted to argue, but couldn’t. Su Meixiu was right. Questions could be answered later. First, they had to get Zhao Lifei to the hospital as soon as possible.
Yang Ruqin and Su Mexiu hurriedly followed the paramedics downstairs. “Did Chen Gaonan pick up?”
“Not yet, but I left him a message. If he cares about his life, he’ll do everything in his power to put a halt to the meeting,” Su Meixiu said with a grimace.
If President Yang found out that he missed the birth of his first child, all hell would let loose. No one would be safe from his wrath.
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