Before the child returned to his senses, Zhao Youlin had already leaned over while avoiding her injured arm to scoop up the child from the floor.
The child got startled when he was abruptly carried. Panicking, he placed his hands around Zhao Youlin's neck and called out in bewilderment, "Mommy…"
Zhao Youlin tucked the child in her bed and reached out to touch his feet. Just as she had expected, his feet felt cold. She could not help but frown as she asked, "Why aren't you wearing thicker layers when you're out so late? What happens if you get a cold?"
The second she grabbed the child's hand, she realized that it was already the end of autumn. The temperature at night was much cooler than the day. The child had run out in very little clothing and must be frozen.
The child's eyes widened, and he looked at Zhao Youlin in a stupefied manner. At the same time, he felt very warm and comfortable as his cold feet were wrapped in a big, warm hand. "Mommy…"
"Hmm?" Although she was still not used to her new identity, Zhao Youlin treated this new son in her life with unprecedented patience.
"Mommy, you're not feeling well, so I came here to visit you. I hope you won't be angry with me."
The child's name was Mu Sichen. The old butler had given him the nickname, Joy. He hoped that the child would remain happy his entire life.
Zhao Youlin was taken aback. As she looked at the fear and expectancy in the child's eyes, her heart trembled. A warm feeling then surged through her heart. Even though Zhao Youlin knew well that the child was actually not concerned about her per se, she still could not stop herself from feeling moved.
Zhao Youlin reached out to touch the child's head and gently said, "I'm not angry with you. I'm just worried about you, Joy. The weather's cold, and you're dressed so thinly. You'll fall sick very easily, and if you fall sick, I'll be sad."
Joy's eyes widened when he heard this. "Are you worried about me, Mommy?" he asked in surprise.
"Mhm. If you fall sick, I'll worry about you. So, please wear thicker layers of clothes and don't fall sick, okay?"
"Okay." Joy nodded obediently.
Zhao Youlin smiled. She pulled the quilt to cover Joy, whom she held in her arms, and said, "Joy, don't go back to your place tonight. Sleep over here with me, okay?"
"Sleep here with you, Mommy?" Joy raised his head to look at Zhao Youlin as he asked sheepishly. There was, simultaneously, a hint of delight and uncertainty in his demeanor. His mother had never slept with him before.
When Zhao Youlin saw this, she could not help but extend her hand again and pinch Joy's nose. "Joy, you don't want to sleep with me, is it?" she teased.
"No, no, I want to sleep with you, Mommy!" The moment Joy heard his mother's words, he grew nervous. He wrapped his arms around Zhao Youlin's neck tightly, fearing that she might change her mind.
"Hmm. Good." Seeing the child clinging to her so cutely, she unwittingly lowered her head and gave the child a little peck on his round, chubby face.
Joy widened his eyes once again as if he had made up his mind about something. He wrapped his arms around Zhao Youlin's neck and lunged up to give her a kiss on the cheek. After that, he felt shy and quickly hid under the quilt. He closed his eyes to pretend that he had fallen asleep.
Zhao Youlin was stunned, and she reached out to touch her cheek. Her lips curled upward inevitably, but she remained silent.
Joy hid under the quilt for a long while. Once he realized that Zhao Youlin no longer said much, he could not help but open his eyes again. He raised his head to look at Zhao Youlin, only to find that she had already closed her eyes, seemingly in a deep slumber. He could not help but smile sweetly.
'Mommy's very gentle tonight. Not only did she not hit me, but she also hugged me, touched me, and even slept with me. I'm so happy. How nice would it be if she could be this gentle every day?'
As he thought about this, the child finally could not resist his sleepiness. He drifted off into a deep sleep with a sweet smile.
Little did he know that not long after he had fallen asleep, the person hugging him opened her eyes once again. She reached out to touch his hair, and as she gazed at the innocent-looking sleeping child in her arms, her eyes sparkled.
After quite some time, she seemingly came to a decision. Then, she stretched her arms out again to hug the child and fell into slumber with the child's faint milky scent in her nose.
The moonlight shone like water and cast itself into the room through the curtains that fluttered by the windowsill. It shone on the adult, as well as the child, and the harmonious scene was beyond words.