After Zhou Xiang had a shower and went to bed, he cast a glance at the clock on the wall. It was already four o'clock.
He felt really tired but he couldn't fall asleep. His mind was tense the entire time. His head couldn't get rid of the events that had happened between him and Yan Mingxiu over the past ten hours.
Zhou Xiang was deeply worried for himself. No matter how attractive Yan Mingxiu was, he still shouldn't be plunging in like a greenhorn who was in love for the first time. Analysing it rationally, although Zhou Xiang had always dreamed of having a stable relationship, Yan Mingxiu was evidently not a person who could settle down with him. Yan Mingxiu was too dazzling and too young. Zhou Xiang didn't feel that he'll be able to keep a watch over him.
He shouldn't be so serious about Yan Mingxiu. It was too dangerous.
Zhou Xiang closed his eyes, forcing himself to fall asleep.
Just as he started feeling sleepy, the doorbell suddenly rang. Zhou Xiang jumped with a start. He opened his eyes. It was almost five o'clock, who would be ringing the doorbell at this hour?
Don't tell me it's...
Zhou Xiang jumped out of bed, glanced into the peephole, and then opened the door. Standing at the entrance was Yan Mingxiu, reeking of alcohol.
Yan Mingxiu usually always looked arrogant and indifferent. This was the first time Zhou Xiang had ever seen him so intoxicated.
Yan Mingxiu glanced at him, and suddenly threw himself at him, mumbling, "F**k, What am I to you..."
Zhou Xiang couldn't hear clearly. "What? You what?"
Yan Mingxiu was tall and heavy, and almost crushed Zhou Xiang to the ground. With great effort, Zhou Xiang moved Yan Mingxiu to the bedroom. Fortunately, his apartment was small, and he didn't need to go that far.
Yan Mingxiu was still mumbling words that Zhou Xiang couldn't understand. Zhou Xiang turned on the light, and stared at the slightly pathetic looking Yan Mingxiu, and felt extremely helpless.
He helped Yan Mingxiu take off his clothes and shoes, and used a hot towel to wipe off the sweat on his face. Afterwards, he poured him a cup of water, and made him drink hangover medicine.
Yan Mingxiu opened his eyes, and blankly stared at him, or perhaps he was looking at another person through him.
"Mingxiu? Are you awake or not? Do you feel uncomfortable anywhere? Weren't you going to pick up your friend? How did you end up drunk as well? Then how did your friend get back? How did you get over here? Shit, don't tell me were drunk-driving, the police are watching out so tightly these days. You actually dared to? Don’t you know how dangerous that is?"
Yan Mingxiu's eyes slowly recovered focus. He said hoarsely, "Oh, it's you."
Now it was Zhou Xiang's turn to stare blankly at him. He then said helplessly, "You really have drunk too much."
Yan Mingxiu covered his eyes with the back hand. The light was too harsh.
He did everything he could to treat Wang Yudong well. He had never been so good to anyone in his entire life. Why did that person have to be his future brother-in-law? He drove in the middle of night to pick him up at a nightclub, but he clamoured and yelled for someone to find his wife. In the end, his sister went to pick him up, and they supported each other back home.
Who did Wang Yudong think he was? He had no authority or power. If Wang Yudong wasn't his future brother-in-law, Yan Mingxiu would have already used his own methods to obtain him. However, there were some things in this world that even he, Yan Mingxiu couldn't obtain.
No matter how well he treated him, it was all a waste of time.
Yan Mingxiu flipped over. The sheet's cheap laundry powder smell entered his nose. His mind felt very foggy for a split second.
What was he doing here? There were so many things he could be doing, so why was he wasting his time on a man who nothing but a back view that resembled Wang Yudong's. What on earth was he doing?
An ice-cold hand covered his forehead. It was like a cool breeze, alleviating his irritation and gloominess. Zhou Xiang's magnetic voice sounded by his ear, "I've turned off the light, have a good sleep." That voice was filled with mellowness, making him feel oddly at ease.
Yan Mingxiu opened his eyes. The light really had been turned off and Zhou Xiang was lying in the bed next to him. Yan Mingxiu couldn't help but turn around, hug Zhou Xiang's waist and bury his head into Zhou Xiang's chest.
Although Yan Mingxiu didn't say anything, Zhou Xiang could sense his downcast mood. He gently stroked Yan Mingxiu's back, and laughed gently, "Be good, go to sleep, when you wake up, you won't feel bad anymore."
For the first time these two people fell asleep on the same bed without doing anything.
Yan Mingxiu never expected that Zhou Xiang's embrace would be so warm, that his hands would be so gentle and soft, and that his voice could be so pleasant to listen to. This man seemed to have a lot of qualities that were worth unearthing.
His hug made Yan Mingxiu feel at ease.
He finally relaxed and closed his eyes.
Yan Mingxiu was woken up by a fragrant smell. He was so hungry his stomach was grumbling. Although his eyelids felt swollen and heavy, he still struggled to a sitting position.
He was at Zhou Xiang's house, in a room he was very familiar with. When he walked out, he saw that Zhou Xiang was busy in the kitchen with an apron on.
Yan Mingxiu leaned against the wall and watched him for a long time. His heart was slowly won over by this scene. He had no choice but to admit that he really liked how it felt being together with Zhou Xiang. How to put it? He felt really comfortable and at home.
Zhou Xiang was mature, had his own job and would not pester him. Zhou Xiang was big-hearted. Even when he said unpleasant things, Zhou Xiang didn't mind at all, and always had a smile on his face, so Yan Mingxiu couldn't lose his temper at Zhou Xiang no matter bad his mood was. Furthermore, making love with him felt seriously good. Zhou Xiang was a partner with almost no shortcomings that he could find. Having someone like Zhou Xiang by his side seemed to be precisely what he needed.
The most important thing was, when he was with Zhou Xiang, even if he was only tricking himself, he could also relieve his obsession towards Wang Yudong a little bit.
Yan Mingxiu walked over and knocked on the glass wall.
Zhou Xiang turned his head around, and flashed him a bright smile. "You're awake, you’re really early."
"The food is almost ready."
Yan Mingxiu sat at the dining table, his chin propped on his hands, his head tilted, watching Zhou Xiang's busy figure. Even when he was at his own home, he had never felt such a strong family atmosphere. Could it be that their kitchen and living room are too far away from each other?
Or is it because the person cooking isn't the right person?
Zhou Xiang carried over the sumptuous breakfast.
Yan Mingxiu glanced at it. "Why'd you make so much?"
"Look at the time, eat breakfast and lunch together. Yesterday you drank too much and looked really unwell. You need to eat more today to make up for it." Zhou Xiang placed the sushi which he hadn’t finished eating at the restaurant yesterday and had brought back home onto the table. "These are still fresh, it's a real shame you didn't get to finish eating it."
Yan Mingxiu remembered how he cast Zhou Xiang aside and left yesterday and he felt a bit strange inside. "I’m sorry, I didn't go back yesterday, you didn't wait for me for too long, right?"
"Don't worry about it, I left as soon as I finished eating." Zhou Xiang replied nonchalantly. "The porridge is a bit hot, blow first."
Yan Mingxiu didn’t move and instead looked at him and said, "Give me a set of your house keys."
Zhou Xiang blankly stared at him.
Yan Mingxiu raised his eyebrow. "You said it yesterday, you wouldn't have forgotten, have you?"
Zhou Xiang's face flushed with excitement. "You, you're really... You're really going to move in?
"Mn." Yan Mingxiu nodded, and seeing the unconcealable joy on Zhou Xiang's face, for some reason his heart also felt nice and warm inside. "Except when I have to go back home once in a while."
Zhou Xiang felt that these past two weeks had been too insane. He invited a one-night stand whom he had only known for two weeks to live with him, and the other party agreed as well.
His rationality told him that this wasn't right. How much did he know about him? What if they couldn’t get along? But he godamnit wanted to hug and kiss Yan Mingxiu right now. He felt very excited. It had been so many years. This house was finally going have a second resident, and it was also someone who he was infatuated with.
Zhou Xiang happily reached over the dining table, and gave him a fierce kiss. "You are warmly welcome here, darling."
Yan Mingxiu captured his chin, and said in a low voice, "First, you need to promise me two things."
"One, when we're living together, you are not allowed to be involved with another man. Two, must not interfere with each other’s lives."
Zhou Xiang patted his cheek, and smiled, "Deal."
Admitting someone into his house wasn't as hard as Zhou Xiang had imagined. Perhaps it was because Yan Mingxiu had never deliberately concealed his own flaws so Zhou Xiang had already experienced and adjusted to Yan Mingxiu's personality. Thus it could be said that they were getting along.
Yan Mingxiu brought over some daily necessities and a computer. Zhou Xiang heard that he was starting a business so he tidied up the guest room and placed a business desk in there for him. This guest room used to be his bedroom when he was little, and was perfect as a study.
On night of the first day Yan Mingxiu moved in, to celebrate, Zhou Xiang opened a bottle of Lafite he had kept for a long time. This wine was something a producer gifted to him in the past. All this time, he hadn’t been able to bring himself to drink it, but today was a very significant day for him, because he was bringing another person into his life, into this old apartment. No matter how far they could go in the end, in the least, this person will accompany him for a period of time in his life, so he would at least not be lonely.
They wildly made love that night, using the most naked and direct way to express their unconcealable hunger for the other person.
Their cohabitation officially began.
They could both be considered self-employed. The jobs Zhou Xiang did spanned over several months. Normally when he had nothing to do, he would go out with friends to drink and watch soccer, but because of Yan Mingxiu, he went home noticeably more often. Yan Mingxiu on the other hand, was currently observing a project and frequently had to go out. However, almost every time he came home, Zhou Xiang would have prepared food for him in the fridge, ensuring that no matter when he came home, he would always have food to eat.
Their co-habitation was very harmonious from the very beginning. They didn't show interest in each other's work or social life. Even now Zhou Xiang didn't know what Yan Mingxiu was doing and also never asked. He only knew that the Yan Mingxiu had a high standard of living. Zhou Xiang was very satisfied with their current relationship.
Today, he got a call. He was taken aback when he saw the name displayed on the screen. He hadn’t expected that Lan Xirong would still contact him after more than a year had passed.
With complicated feelings, he answered the call. A really nice-sounding male voice sounded from the other end, but its tone was clearly a bit uncomfortable. "Xiang'ge, I've come back."
Zhou Xiang laughed, "Oh, you're still using this number. Long time no see."
"Mhm, I never changed my number..."
The two fell into an awkward silence.
Zhou Xiang said as a form of courtesy, "I heard news about you on TV. Your movie was a big success. When it’s shown in theatres, I'll definitely go to cheer you on. Xiang'ge will invite you out to eat next time."
Although it was very obvious to anyone listening how perfunctory these words were, Lan Xirong was unwilling to follow along and hang up the phone. Instead, after a moment of silence, he said, "Xiang'ge, do you have time today? Let’s meet."
"Unfortunately, I’m busy today, some other day, okay? You just came back so you must be really tired, go have a good rest."
"Xiang'ge." Lan Xirong hastily said, "Are you mad at me?"
"What're you saying? Don't overthink things. I really am busy today. You're a famous celebrity now, you can't just casually invite people out to meet as you please. I'm also doing this for your own good."
Lan Xirong took a deep breath. "Xiang'ge, I want to see you. I want to see you right now."
Zhou Xiang froze, and then said helplessly, "Xirong, I feel that it'll only be awkward if we see each other. Why is there any need for us to meet? I'm gay, you're not. It's that simple. No one's wronged anyone. You've become a star, Xiang'ge congratulates you, let's leave it at that."
"Xiang'ge." Before Zhou Xiang could hang up the phone, Lan Xirong rushed to say in a low voice, "I want to apologise to you. I was thoughtless in the past."
Zhou Xiang "Mn"ed, and then said politely, "I don't blame you. I'm still busy on my side, I'm hanging up now." After he finished speaking, he hung up the phone without any hesitation.
Zhou Xiang threw his phone onto the sofa and let out a long sigh.
Lan Xirong was currently their company's biggest cash cow. When he first entered the entertainment industry, he and Zhou Xiang had a really good relationship. At that time, Zhou Xiang was his senior, and because Zhou Xiang had a good impression of clean and pure boys with talent like Lan Xirong, he helped Lan Xirong out a few times. Zhou Xiang was homosexual. When he saw an outstanding boy, it was hard for him to avoid having other ideas. However, he had never once entertained the notion of forcing someone or using the little power he had to coerce another person. He only wanted to help Lan Xirong, and also openly expressed to Lan Xirong that he liked him. However, Lan Xirong misunderstood, and from then on, even acted as if Zhou Xiang's help was a deep insult to him, making Zhou Xiang feel extremely awkward.
Lan Xirong’s beahviour was very immature, but Zhou Xiang never blamed him. However, their relationship gradually drifted apart.
Afterwards, Lan Xirong obtained the chance to participate in a Hollywood blockbuster. He had a bright future ahead of him, and he and Zhou Xiang broke off contact. Zhou Xiang had already long forgotten about him.
Zhou Xiang never expected that Lan Xirong would contact him again. However, Zhou Xiang's heart was very tranquil. From today's phone call, he could clearly sense that Lan Xirong had matured a lot and this made him feel really gratified. However, in light of their unhappy past, Zhou Xiang didn’t want to come in contact with him again as much as possible.
Unfortunately, they were from the same company. Not bumping into each other was easier said than done.
The next day after he hung on the phone on Lan Xirong, he got a call from Cai Wei telling him that the company was holding a celebratory dinner for Lan Xirong, and his attendance was compulsory.
Yan Mingxiu was next to him at that time. Zhou Xiang refused without the slightest hesitation. "Wei'ge, I have a family matter to attend to."
Cai Wei countered, "What family matter could you possibly have?"
Zhou Xiang looked at Yan Mingxiu’s peerlessly handsome face and laughed, "I have an appointment with my beauty."
"Cancel it." Cai Wei said bluntly, "Xirong specially stressed to me that you must come. He said that he was ignorant in the past, you helped him so much, he wouldn't be where he is today without you, he wants to apologise to you, and also thank you."
"Heyo, he's over-exaggerating. A little, little stuntman like me really didn't help him much. If you needed to calculate who contributed to his rise to fame, I certainly wouldn't be counted in the equation. Wei'ge, I'm begging you, I won't hide things from you, you already know that things are really awkward between us, I'm not going, ok? Be good, you guys play by yourselves."
"Not ok. The boss is also coming tonight. You already know how highly the boss regards him now. If you don’t go, wouldn’t that mean that you’re not giving the boss face?"
Zhou Xiang felt utterly helpless. "Fine, fine, fine, I get it, argh.”
After he hung up the phone, Yan Mingxiu glanced at him. "What's up? Who are you meeting? Why don't you want to go?"
"An old junior of mine who's famous now. There was some unpleasantness between us in the past, I really don't want to go." Resigned to his fate, Zhou Xiang went to change his clothes. "They pay my salary so, haah. Heat up the leftovers from lunch for your dinner, I'm not coming back in the evening."
Yan Mingxiu looked at Zhou Xiang and knitted his brows. He felt a bit uncomfortable. "If you don't want to go then don't go, what's so good about your job anyway, if you resign, I'll feed you."
Zhou Xiang laughed as he touched Yan Mingxiu’s face. "Darling, I really love hearing those words." However, he would never take those words seriously. He gave Yan Mingxiu a kiss, grabbed his wallet, phone and keys and left the house.