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96 I Hate You

    The next morning, Yera woke up early. She smiled because she felt rested from her peaceful sleep despite the thunderstorm last night.

    She stretched her arms and yawned. Her eyes were still closed as she sat up from the bed.

    "You should just sleep in my room for the rest of the days. I promise I'll behave, and we'll just cuddle." She heard Xander spoke in an amused tone, so she quickly opened her eyes.

    Xander looked so roguishly and devastatingly handsome with his bare chest as he wiped his wet hair. His lower body was only covered with a towel. Obviously, he had just finished taking a shower.

    Yera's eyebrow raised, but she chose not to say a word. She rose from the bed to quickly run back to her room.

    "You don't need to rush, Darling. No one would have noticed that you sneaked out to sleep in my room since we are the only ones on this floor. The others are like five floors below," Xander said, grinning. Oh, how he had missed to tease his lovely wife like this. It had been days since he last saw her various expressions because lately, Yera had always maintained her blank and expressionless face.

    "You're such a manipulative person. Are you aware of that?" Yera snarled at him sarcastically.

    "Yes, I'm aware of it. But are you aware that I'm a lovable person too? Can we please stop this nonsense already, Darling? I mean, is it my fault that my little buddy would only salute to you and you alone? Is it my fault that I fell in love with you? Is it wrong to fall for you?" Xander reasoned in a serious voice.

    Yera's face turned a deep red from embarrassment because of the way Xander had shamelessly, and bluntly mentioned his pathetic little buddy saluting to her. Should she feel honored? Should she take that as a compliment?

    "I hate you!" Yera shouted and threw the nearest thing she could grab at him.

    Xander caught it and grinned as he countered, "No, you don't!"

    Then he added, "Do you know that there is a very thin line between love and hatred? For trying to manipulate you, you can hate me all you want. But trust me, that thin line between hatred and love will disappear. Because to have you, I am going to ERASE it."

    Yera walked past him with a glare that made Xander glad that look couldn't actually kill. But her angry stare had managed to send chilliness down his spine.

    Yera dashed out of his room toward her own room and slumped onto the floor as soon as she closed the door. Then she laughed maniacally, like a crazy person, because deep in her heart, she knew that Xander was right. She did not hate him. However, she still could not accept the fact that he had manipulated her from the start.

    She, too, wondered how long she would be able to keep this act that stemmed from her ego. She looked at the clock. There was still an hour left for her to get ready, so she quickly took a shower and changed into casual clothes and went down for their group activities.

    Yang Hospital had hired an organizer that would arrange everything for their team-building program. The host had introduced himself as Sun.

    After breakfast, everyone was requested to gather together and form a circle. "Alright, for our first activity, we will do a group storytelling session. Everyone will be split into groups, and each person will switch turn to stand in the middle of the circle and share their experiences on the work floor based on the keywords that I will give you. This will improve your team bonding as you'll be able to learn some things about each other and relive old memories. So, get ready, everyone."

    Sun posted some sticky notes containing words such as 'First Day,' 'Work Travel,' 'Partnership,' 'Side Project,' and more. Each participant could choose from these keywords to kickstart the storytelling session.

    Xander was among the twenty participants for group three, together with Yera. He would sneak a quick glance at Yera every now and then, and his eyes never left her when it was her turn to share her experience.

    Yera picked 'Partnership' as a keyword and simply narrated how she would not hesitate to kick incapable personnel out of the operating room. Everyone gave each other meaningful glances except for Xander, who burst out laughing as he commented, "Should I fire those incapable employees?"

    Yera shot him an icy glare and answered, "No, Dr. CEO, I think you should fire me."

    All the employees gulped from the apparent tension between the two. Sun smiled and said, "Alright, before anyone here would get fired, let's hear our next participant."

    It was Rizie's turn and narrated how her first day was.

    Finally, it was Xander's turn, and he chose to tell his experience about his work travel.

    "Woooooaaah!" Everyone reacted when Xander told them that he had confessed his love to a woman during one of his work travels.

    "Did you get an answer?" One of the doctors asked out of curiosity.

    Xander shook his head and answered, "No, but to be honest, I no longer expect an answer. I'll be satisfied if she would just stay with me by my side."

    "Wooooahhh, such a lucky woman," Sun commented, and the others agreed.

    Rui felt like he could puke anytime soon due to his friend's shamelessness. How could Xander even think to slip his wooing strategy sneakily into this kind of group activity? But Rui also had to give Xander's credit for his bravery. Fine, he admitted, his friend's shameless was out of this world, and he saluted him for that.

    Rui's eyes landed on Dr. Yao, and his brows arched when he noticed how irritated the woman looked upon hearing that Xander had confessed to someone else.

    It was Dion's turn, and he started his story by saying, "I'm a weird person, but working at the hospital has really helped me a lot. I still struggle sometimes, but Dr. Song helped me out every single time. She is a competent doctor whom I respect the most."

    Rui frowned from disappointment. How come Dion did not mention him at all? He almost took Dion in, under his roof. But as crumpled as Rui's face was, it could not be compared with how creased Xander's face looked at that time.

    Rizie carefully observed each and everyone's behavior, and she could not help but come up with yet again, another theory. Then she came to realize that being a detective was probably the line of work that would suit her best.

    "Okay, everyone, the storytelling session is over. I hope you can understand each other better now that everyone had shared some of their stories. We will have a thirty minutes break before we gather outside for our next activity," Sun explained as soon as the storytelling session was over.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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