140. All Guides Lie
Later that night while Bai FuRen cuddled up with his wife in their bed, Ma whispered, “FuRen, don’t you think JingYuan has fallen in love with HanHan? Look at how he looks at HanHan and how he acts around HanHan.”
“It might not be it,” FuRen hummed. “He could’ve really fallen in love with YiHan due to the act he’d put on, but the greater possibility is this is just the brotherly love he’d felt for YiHan since he was a child.”
“How nice would it be if he actually fell in love with HanHan?” Ma said. “The thought of having to tell YiHan it was all an act on JingYuan’s part for the sake of YiHan’s health makes my heart ache and panic.”
“Yes,” FuRen sighed. “Once one turns into a parent, one has a chance of becoming selfish. I secretly hope JingYuan truly falls in love with YiHan but I keep feeling guilty and sorry to ChuanYu and Ying. I feel so conflicted.”
The room was silent for a moment as Ma sunk into thought. Then, she glumly said, “Perhaps it’s human to be more willing to believe in what one wants to believe. Whenever I look at JingYuan these days, I keep thinking he truly does love HanHan.”
FuRen hugged her closer. “Don’t think too much about it. Of course, it’d be great if they could truly be together but if it’s impossible, there’s nothing we can do about it. JingYuan had already given too much for HanHan. We really can’t ask for more.”
Ma nodded and paused a second for thought before saying, “You’re right. I was too greedy. I wish the day HanHan needed to know the truth would come later and not sooner.”
FuRen gently kissed his wife on the forehead. “If he could know the truth, that meant he’s recovered. We should be happy for him.”
“True,” Ma sighed. “I’m scared he’ll hate us for cheating and lying to him.”
“He won’t. He’ll understand we did it all just for him.”
The next morning, Jiang Hua was greeted with a watch on his desk, new and still in its box. He was stunned.
Yan stood before him. He unhappily said, “Watches are meant to be worn, not stared at.”
“Mr Bai,” Hua dazedly said, “why did you give me a watch all of a sudden?”
“Your watch is too ugly,” Yan sternly replied. “It’s affecting the company’s image.”
Hua: …My watch is pretty. It’s not ugly at all, please.
However, Hua couldn’t say that out loud. He could only switch out his watch without saying another word. Huh. It suited him quite well.
“Thank you, Mr Bai,” Hua said with a smile.
Yan looked down at Hua’s hand. The black watch laid against a pale wrist. It looked good, so good that it made him want to hold that slender wrist in his hand. He twisted his fingers behind his back as he softly cleared his throat.
“Mn,” said Yan, “not bad. Keep wearing it.”
He then turned to enter his office but when he reached the doors, he turned back again and said, “You’re not allowed to take it off. It’s a company rule.”
Hua: …there’s no such rule in the office, okay? Alright, fine. You’re the boss. If you say it’s a rule, it’s a rule.
That wasn’t all. When the clocked ticked near noon, Yan walked over to Hua’s desk. He knocked on it and said, “Follow me out on a trip.”
Hua swiftly cleaned up his desk and stood up. “Yes, Mr Bai.”
He thought Yan was taking him out to meet with someone important or for an important job. Worst case scenario, it’d be a last-minute lunch meeting he didn’t know about. To his surprise, Yan took him straight to a grand restaurant. When they were seated, no one else appeared. Yan didn’t even seem like he was waiting for anyone. The man handed Hua the menu straight away!
“Mr Bai, shouldn’t we wait?” Hua questioned.
“Wait for what?” Yan questioned back.
“No one else is coming?”
“We’re having lunch. Why would anyone else be coming?”
“So…you brought me here just to have lunch, Mr Bai?”
“Everyone needs to eat. What’s weird about bringing you out to lunch?”
Hua: …Fine. You’re the boss. Whatever you say goes.
After lunch, Yan didn’t lead Hua straight back to the car. Instead, they walked along the street.
“Mr Bai, is there something we need to do?” Hua sighed. “Aren’t we heading back to the office?”
“Aren’t we heading back to the office now?”
They were heading towards the direction of the office but…
“Aren’t we driving?” Hua asked.
Yan looked at the other man with a gaze that screamed “why are you so unromantic?” while his lips said, “We’ll take a walk. It helps with digestion.” The holding hands while crossing the road segment the guides talked about weren’t romantic at all! Hua wouldn’t even walk beside Yan. How would he be able to accidentally bump against the other man’s hand and naturally link them? If Yan forcefully grabbed Hua’s hand, would the man think he was a pervert? Hua would beat him up and resign in fury, right?
Hua: Okay. You’re the boss. What you say goes. Speaking of which, while Mr Bai had been acting weird for the past two days, it was rare for them to be together alone. If the man reverted back to his normal behaviour, this kind of chance would never happen again. He must cherish it.
When they were crossing the road, Yan naturally walked over to the side with cars and raised a hand slightly to block Hua from the cars.
Well? Can you feel the strong “boyfriend energy” from me? You’re touched, right?
When the pair passed by a flower shop, Yan naturally took a lily and handed it to Hua.
“Mr Bai, this is…?”
“I gave it to you so hold it,” Yan said, face as blank as usual. “Don’t you think it looks pretty?”
“The flower is pretty but…” Hua was a man. Did Yan want him to walk through the streets with a flower in his hand?
“Why aren’t you taking it?” Yan was starting to get angry from embarrassment. “Do you want me to hold your flower?”
Hua: “…” Fine. You’re the boss. If you say it’s mine, it’s mine. It’s just a flower but I can feel my heart beating slightly faster in excitement. It’s not only girls who like flowers, okay?
The flower shop girls looked at them with deep and mysterious smiles.
For some reason, Hua’s face burned. As the two men turned and walked away, he faintly heard the girls whispering to each other, “Wow, they’re so cute! Did you see the couple? They’re wearing the same watch. The colour and model are exactly the same! They’re so in love!”
Hua looked at Yan’s sleeve cuff. As the man’s arm swayed, Hua could spot a little peek of the watch hiding beneath. It really did look exactly like the watch Yan had demanded Hua put on this morning. He remembered Yan wearing a silver-grey watch yesterday. His heart raced. He tried hard to tell himself not to overthink it. Yan might’ve been too lazy to select another model when purchasing the watches, so he bought two that were exactly the same. Yan just gave one of them to Hua on a whim.
Before Hua noticed this, he was fine. Now that he’d realised they were wearing the same watch, he could feel his wrist burning up. His eyes couldn’t help but dart over to look at Yan’s hands. The flower in his hands was slowly getting covered in sweat from his palms.
Two handsome men in business suits walking down the street would always be more eye-catching than the average joe, let alone when one of them had a flower in his hands! The rate of people turning around to look at them was 1000%. Still, Hua couldn’t be bothered to think about that. His mind was filled with all sorts of nonsensical thoughts. He thought about the weird way Yan had been acting over the past two days, the watch on his wrist, the flower in his hands. What did they all mean? Hua didn’t dare hope but why did Yan insist on giving him hope? Was he mistaken?
The duo walked back to the office in silence. Yan stormed into his office. He paced round and round in his office, his face twisted into a nasty look. Those methods the guides listed were useless! Give a present, ask him out to lunch, a date, protect him while crossing the road, give him a flower; he’d done all that! However, the man didn’t even say a word to him on the way back! It’d probably be useless to go watch a movie tonight! Those methods were all not as useful as pretending to be asleep. At least he could lure Hua in for a kiss then!
That afternoon, Hua knocked on Yan’s office doors. He knocked and knocked but there was no answer. His heart skipped in fear. He hurriedly barged into the office. There was no one in the room. Hua’s desk was right outside the office doors. There was no way he would’ve missed Yan leaving his office. Hua scanned the room once before pushing through to the break room.
Yan was laying on the bed in the same pose as he was in yesterday. However, unlike yesterday, he didn’t look bedraggled. His breathing was calm and even. The stern and astute face looked so innocent and peaceful. Perhaps the man felt it was hot. The blanket only came up to the stomach. Yan’s shirt was also unbuttoned slightly and pulled open. Hua not only could see the man’s collar bones, but he could also see a wide and sturdy chest. The edges of the man’s nipples peeked at Hua as the sleeping man’s chest rose.
Hua inhaled sharply and stumbled out of the room.
On the bed, Yan opened his eyes and sat up, frustrated. What was going on? Did pretending to be asleep only work once? Why wasn’t it working this time? He looked down at his chest and buttoned up his shirt. Then, he paused and unbuttoned it again. He pulled harder at his shirt to expose more of his chest. As expected, he heard Hua’s returning footsteps. Yan hurriedly laid back down and closed his eyes.
Hua calmed down his breathing, prepared himself for the sight he’d be greeted with before walking into Yan’s personal break room once more. Just like yesterday, the man knelt on the bed and stared down at Yan. He was close enough to smell a whiff of the fragrance of the man’s body wash. Did Yan take a shower before his nap? That would indeed be much more comfortable for him. Yan really had been exhausted lately. He’d slept in his office two days in a row. Hua gently touched Yan’s smooth cheeks. He couldn’t help but feel his heart ache at the thought. Before yesterday, this attached break room was just decoration. Yan never used it.
Should Hua wake him up? What if the man just fell asleep? Wouldn’t the man feel bad being woken up then? If Hua didn’t wake the man up, then the work… Forget it. He’ll postpone Yan’s work and let the man sleep a while longer.
Hua stood back up and looked at the air conditioning’s temperature. It wasn’t high. Why didn’t Yan have the blanket cover him up? Hua reached out and laid a hand against Yan’s face. The man felt normal. Only then did Hua let out a breath he didn’t realise he’d been holding in. He straightened up Yan’s clothes, tucked the man in with his blanket and tiptoed out the room.
Yan instantly threw the blanket away and punched hard at the bed. He sighed in frustration and helplessness. Why wouldn’t Hua kiss him? Yan looked much better today. He even took a shower! Did the man not like him anymore?
Hua hadn’t left the office then. When he heard sounds coming from the break room, he turned back to it and softly opened the door to be met with the sight of Yan having a little fit on the bed.
“Did I wake you up, Mr Bai?” Hua apologetically said upon noticing the man’s sour face.