ZhouXiang received a text message from YanMingXiu in the evening informing him that he had to leave for a business trip at the last minute. It was quite urgent and he was already on a plane ready to take off. He would call him tomorrow and tell him to go to bed first.
ZhouXiang stared at the phone's screen for a long time, then automatically slid his fingers over the keys to respond with one word, 'okay.'
Then he turned off his phone.
After ZhouXiang took a shower, it was already 11pm when he laid on the bed. The home is dark. Besides him, there is no one else breathing deeply. It was too quiet. All the ideal conditions for sleeping are there but he couldn’t sleep at all.
It seems that ever since he had awakened in his body till now, it had been more than eight months but there was not a day that goes by when he could just fall asleep without thinking or worrying about something. He thought to himself, although he had earned a few years being reborn again, he had so many worries that on the contrary, would have shortened his life.
He really wanted to cast all these troubling matters aside, to not think and be bothered by it anymore. But he knew that this dark cloud had been floating above his head. Whether or not he cast it away, he will have to face it sooner or later.
Finally, ZhouXiang can’t lay down anymore so he got up from the bed and sat in the living room without turning on the lights. He started to smoke in succession. In the beginning, he was more awake the more he smoked. But later on, he became more and more dazed. Finally, he fell asleep on the sofa.
The next morning, he was awakened by sound of the phone ringing. He didn’t react at first and then suddenly awakened to realize that it was the sound of the home's phone. Since he had moved back home, this phone had never rang. He had completely forgotten that it even existed.
He climbed to the other side of the sofa and picked up the phone, “Hello?”
"ZhouXiang?" CaiWei's voice came from the other line with a hint of excitement.
“Wei Ge? Why didn’t you call my cell phone?”
"Your cell phone is turned off."
"Ohh." ZhouXiang only now remembered.
“I haven’t called this number in a long time. I was guessing the number and surprisingly I still remembered.”
ZhouXiang is a little moved, “You use to dial it all the time.”
"Not true, hey, now is not the time to talk about this. Tell you some gossip news, guaranteed to make you thrilled."
“I accompanied President Wang to dinner with some guests last night and heard that WangYuDong and his dad seemed to be in some trouble. Some people said that they were doing illegal fundraising. The people who got cheated exposed this. And now, it's said that there is judicial involvement with evidence being collected as we speak."
ZhouXiang immediately woke up, “Illegal fundraising? Isn’t his old man very wealthy?” WangYuDong’s old man has at least two listed companies as well as shares in large energy companies overseas. And even WangYuDong’s himself, his own business has always been doing well. Why would they need to raise funds illegally?"
“The wealthier, the greater the risk. When we make mistakes in our jobs, the most we lose is our wages. When they run into problems with their businesses, they could easily lose tens to hundreds of millions. The international climate is not good in the last two years. They must have been affected. Oh, hey, I think back luck will befall on this surname Wang this time. The few people who had dinner with President Wang yesterday wouldn't talk indiscriminately if they're not sure.”
ZhouXiang doesn’t know how to describe his current mood, more or less like watching a good show.
WangYuDong's public's reputation is not bad in the circle but he does flaunt a bit. Especially after becoming the ideal son-in-law of the Yan family, his social status of course would naturally rise as a result. So there are many people who are jealous of him. At this time, people who want to watch good show are definitely everywhere. Only ZhouXiang would be gloating over WangYuDong's misfortune while feeling a bit worried. Because he faintly felt that this matter involved YanMingXiu. WangYuDong had asked YanMingXiu for help some time ago, most likely due to some hardship with his business. That wasn't too long ago and now with the breakout story of the illegal fundraising, this is kind of dubious no matter what he thinks.
What role does YanMingXiu play in this? Could it be that WangYuDong was forced to take desperate measures resorting to illegal fundraising because YanMingXiu refused to lend him money? This is not quite right. Despite the fact that he had never been involved with matters relating to business, to really have to raise funds, one can't possible say that they need money today and someone would be giving it the next day. Moreover, according to what CaiWei said, the people who have been cheated only seemed to have reacted recently. Then this had probably started a long time ago. With WangYuDong and his dad's prestigious reputations in Beijing, no one would even presume that they would be involved in illegal fundraising. It is reckoned that these investors have long felt that they are making investments rather than being 'conned'.
Such big matter that even gossip is out; YanMingXiu should have known it already but didn't even mention a word….
ZhouXiang also asked CaiWei some of the specifics but CaiWei didn’t know much. He just called to share this news with him. After all, CaiWei also didn't particularly liked WangYuDong because of ZhouXiang's matters.
After hanging up the phone, ZhouXiang realized that it was only 8am.
He turned on his cell phone and realized that YanMingXiu had sent him two text messages, asking if he had gotten up and whether or not he had breakfast.
ZhouXiang returned with a text, “When are you coming back?”
YanMingXiu quickly replied, “Tomorrow evening.”
ZhouXiang had just received his text when YanMingXiu’s phone call came. After ZhouXiang connected, the voice from the other line softly smiled, “Xiang Ge, do you miss me?”
ZhouXiang resisted the conflicting emotions from hearing his voice at the moment and asked in a low voice, “What are you doing?”
“In a meeting. I snuck out for a while. I miss you,” YanMingXiu seems to be in a good mood as he gently laughed, “I bought you a lot of delicious food.”
ZhouXiang said expressionlessly, “I have something to ask you. We'll talk when you return.”
"What is it?"
"Concentrate on work first. It's not convenient to say on the phone."
YanMingXiu's breathing became unsteady, “Xiang Ge, what is it? Your tone doesn't sound right.”
ZhouXiang is silent for a moment, “We'll talk when you get back.”
ZhouXiang hung up the phone.
He took a deep breath with his brain buzzing. His entire person lay on the sofa, not wanting to move at all. He remained like that for ten full minutes before his heart steadied from the chilliness all over his body. He stood up and got dressed, planning on going to the hospital.
He wanted to bring ChenYing home today. ChenYing had called him every day, telling him that she doesn't want to stay in the hospital anymore. She wanted to come home. All her examinations should have been completed. Aunty Wang had also returned from her hometown. It is time to take her home.
In the past two days, he had been using YangMingXiu’s car, but when he habitually grabbed the car keys, he didn't know why, he remembered the words YanFei said,"When it's time to settle down in the future, you can help MingXiu to take care of some matters in and out of the home. Don't be too flamboyant with your identity," sounding as if he is a girl.
Men are usually not bothered by such trifles, using each other things, at times they won't even bother with asking. Moreover, he and YanMingXiu are a couple. But after hearing YanFei's words, and thinking that he still owed YanMingXiu so much money, it just made him very uncomfortable.
He dropped the car keys and decided that he would go buy a used car immediately, one that is in line with his status, that he can drive feeling at ease.
He hailed a taxi to the hospital and took ChenYing home. After settling down, he went to the racecourse and continued with his training. He had intended to go back home to have dinner with ChenYing at night. But after his training was over, YanMingXiu's call came. ZhouXiang beat his sore leg lightly with his fist as he connected the phone, “Hello?”
“Xiang Ge, where are you?”
“At the racecourse.”
“Didn't you say…. forget it, I'm coming back now.”
“I'll come pick you up. I see that you didn't drive.”
“No need, just wait for me." ZhouXiang gloomily hung up.
After he got home, YanMingXiu had prepared a table of food. Upon entering the door, ZhouXiang saw YanMingXiu peeking out of the kitchen wearing an apron; the sky-blue apron obviously with oil stains all over, not looking a bit out of sorts. One can only say that anyone looking like YanMingXiu would look good even wearing a gunny sack..
ZhouXiang didn’t have much time to appreciate this handsome man because YanMingXiu don't necessarily belong to him. When he thought of this, he wasn't in any mood.
YanMingXiu smiled at him, “Tired? Seeing you look like you've trained all afternoon. Go take a shower and come out to eat.”
“Don't need to.” ZhouXiang, who usually loves to be neat and tidy, but at this time, he didn't even bother hanging up his jacket. He just threw it on the back of the sofa.
The smile on YanMingXiu’s face stiffened, noticing an unusual atmosphere in the air. He felt a burst of nervous tension because he's guilty.
ZhouXiang took out a cigarette from his coat's pocket. While lighting it, he asked, “I just want to ask you. When are you planning on telling me that you need to get married? Are you going to personally give me an invitation?”
YanMingXiu’s expression changed instantly, “Who told you that?”
"Your dad came to look for me. Why are you so surprised? You really think you can hide this? YanMingXiu, I just don’t understand. Even if I'm that stupid, do you think I can happily watch you get married, that I can watch you holding your wife in one hand and your child in the other, bringing honor to your ancestors? Am I your fucking underground lover?!” ZhouXiang pointed at his nose, furious, “Don’t think that your surname Yan is all that great, who the hell are you treating as a dumb fuck?!”
“Xiang Ge, calm down. Let me explain, ok?"
ZhouXiang took a smoke vigorously; the pungent heat burned his throat making it itchy, "What do you want to explain? You want to persuade me to accept-”
"No!" YanMingXiu quickly interjected, "This is just temporary measures, I'm just…"
“You're just lying to your dad? Leading your dad on? Let you marry and play for a while, deceive him for a while and then divorce?” ZhouXiang’s voice is a bit piercing, “I really want to know, what plans do you have in mind that will satisfy both sides!"
YanMingXiu's expression paled, “Xiang Ge, I don’t want to marry anyone.”
“You can't even change his mind on the things that you didn't promise him… not to mention you promised him now.” ZhouXiang said hoarsely, “Do you really think that your dad is an idiot? YanMingXiu, is this the good days that you had envisioned for us? Is this what you said by going back to the past? In fact, take a look, nothing has changed. What you're actually thinking in your heart, I can guess. If you really had no intentions to get married, you would have told me right at the beginning. But you didn’t tell me. You kept hiding this because you are guilty. What is it that you really want… ask yourself? You wanted to solve this problem without me knowing about it? You want …you really thought of getting married?" ZhouXiang lift his head and looked at him quietly.
His eyes seemed to be two deep pools. YanMingXiu felt that he can't evade under that expression. He had thought of many ways. He really had thought about (marriage)… YanMingXiu guiltily bowed his head.
ZhouXiang was actually still expecting YanMingXiu to have a better reason to refute. At least, this fact, he didn't want to know. However, YanMingXiu still have not spoken, which in essence is agreeing tacitly.
At this moment, ZhouXiang really wanted to cry. He felt an overwhelming exhaustion that he had never felt before.
There are a many homosexuals in the world, for all kinds of pressures and reasons would chose to marry a person of the opposite sex whom they absolutely had no interest in to evade public scrutiny. Although ZhouXiang didn't agree to these things, he is helpless to it. But it doesn't mean that he could accept it. He absolutely can't accept YanMingXiu marrying a woman, yet also wants to maintain this relationship with him.
No fucking way.
ZhouXiang could no longer feel heartache. If these rash thoughts materialized, his heart would have long been like a strainer and probably got another scar.
He pointed to the door, “Leave, I really don’t want to see you right now.”
YanMingXiu took off the apron and said resolutely, “Xiang Ge, I admit that I really thought about this approach. I'm under too much pressure. I have to find a way to balance this. But the reason I didn't tell you is certainly not because I wanted to make this decision secretly. I just don't want you to worry. My ultimate choice is definitely not to marry anyone but to be able to get my dad to compromise. Xiang Ge, trust me…”
“I don’t trust you, fuck off.” ZhouXiang sat down on the sofa, so tired he didn't even want to move his fingers, "Being with you is too exhausting; really, tell me what I'm hoping for?”
YanMingXiu’s face is white like paper. His voice shaking, “Xiang Ge, you can’t kick me out. At this critical moment, you can’t give up on me.”
“Which critical moment? YanMingXiu, tell me how should I believe you? Should I fucking lie to myself for you until the day that I get your wedding invitation?!" ZhouXiang said tiredly, “Just leave, really, go, I really can't fucking stand it anymore.”
YanMingXiu took a step back and didn’t move any more. He was as stiff as a stone standing in place, feeling his heart bleeding.
End of the chapter
Next chapter: Chapter 113 – ZhouXiang Makes His Stance Clear To YanFei (a turning point…).