155. Wedding Date
JingYuan gazed deep into YiHan’s eyes. He leaned down and kissed him on the forehead. Then, with the most serious tone he had ever used in his whole life, he said, “I do.”
YiHan smiled as he leaned in to land a gentle peck on JingYuan’s fingers. “Ceremony complete,” he said. “From today onwards, you are mine, for real. You can’t run even if you want to.”
JingYuan maintained eye contact as he said, “My home is wherever you are. Where can I go? Get up. Doesn’t your back hurt?”
The smile on YiHan’s face widened into a beaming, blinding grin, revealing his two dimples. Then, he stood up, a hand supporting his back which felt like it was being snapped in half. He trembled as he shuffled back into bed. He wrapped his arms around JingYuan’s waist once more as he buried his face in the other man’s abdomen.
“JingYuan, did you know?” YiHan let out a muffled chuckle. “I was so nervous just now. Aah, now that I think of it, isn’t our proposal way too simple? We have no flowers, no rings. I’m even in my sleepwear while you’re on an IV drip! How are we going to leave behind a perfect memory? This should be considered a dark moment in our past.”
JingYuan said nothing. All he did was pull YiHan up higher by the arms until the younger man was sprawled all over JingYuan’s chest. Confused, YiHan tentatively shifted to put his ear right against JingYuan’s chest. Oh, this man. His heart was thumping hard. It was thumping to the same rhythm his was beating out. YiHan laughed as he leaned up to place his chest against JingYuan’s. The two hearts thumped and raced and slowed until, gradually, they began to beat in unison.
Perhaps joyful events had health benefits, mentally and physically. Soon after that day, JingYuan’s body recovered. Just a few more days of medication and JingYuan’s fever was all gone. He was also back at full energy levels. Having gone through a few days of IV drip, JingYuan merely looked like a thinner version of his usual self now. There was not a sign of sickness on him at all. YiHan was in a good mood too. He’d frequently cook vegetable congee for JingYuan. Because of the frequent practice, he’d gotten much better at cooking. The congee also looked much more appetising than it did when YiHan first tried his hand at cooking.
The wedding was now formally in progress. YiHan’s parents were in fervent support of the wedding and JingYuan thought the faster the wedding was held, the better. Still, winter in the city was freezing. YiHan had a habit of never holding any major events in the winter. JingYuan understood that habit though so, after a family meeting with the rest of the Bai family, they finally decided on having the wedding in summer next year. They’d host an engagement party first. It would be held in a month and act as their public announcement.
The President of Mu Group and the youngest son of the Bai family will be joining hands in marriage. The news of their marriages exploded among the citizens of the city. Many people sighed and gossiped. The youngest son of the Bai family might hold no power in the Bai Group but he owned a lot of the Bai Group stocks. The two involved were both men. There was no such thing as a bridal price or dowry. The Bai and Mu families were close in the first place. Now, they’re joined in marriage. It’d be too polite and estranging to say they’re entering an equal partnership. It was more apt to say they’ve merged. Based on how lovestruck Mu JingYuan acted when it came to the Little Master of the Bai family, he had likely long since thought of the Bai family as his own. He was even more engrossed with the affairs of the Bai family than the family members were. Wait, no. They were getting married. He would truly be a Bai family member then. While the Bai and Mu families are considered separate families, they can be treated as a single entity. That meant, from now on, they’d be the largest and most powerful family of the city.
Frankly, not many people in the know were surprised by the news. Everyone knew the two families were close. This was just another addition to their bond. It didn’t change much. Anyone who’s anyone in the city would know the Little Master Bai was the apple of Mu JingYuan’s eye. Even when held in his palms, he’d be afraid of scaring the younger man. If Bai YiHan was a candy, Mu JingYuan would be afraid of melting the other man by merely closing his mouth around him. If someone dared to lay a single finger on the Little Master Bai? The first to go berserk might not be Bai YiHan’s parents but Mu JingYuan. The two might have known each other since they were children but nothing tied them together. At most, one might call them childhood besties. Mu JingYuan’s protective tendencies were really just him marking his territory. Many people in the city understood that but with the two men’s social ranks, no one dared to speak of it unless the two publicised it. It was no surprise that the two men would be announcing their engagement.
Meanwhile, with the Chen family, Madam Chen had already started inviting Ma Bai out on social outings like shopping or going to a spa together. They act so much like sisters who’d grown up together. Madam Chen would keep directing the conversation to XueQing’s relationship with TianYang. She wanted to know just what the Bai family thought of marriage. With an idiotic, lovestruck fool for a son, this mother had gone all out. XueQing intended to wait for a while longer. Their father had just retired while it had only been a short while since Bai Yan had formally taken over the reins of the company. She hoped to stay in the Bai Group for a while longer and help her brother achieve full control over the Bai Group.
The Chen family’s response was of understanding. TianYang was a brain-dead fan of XueQing. While he dreamed of getting married as soon as possible, he had stated his unconditional support of XueQing’s decision.
As for Yan, the man would often be found staying the night at Jiang Hua’s place. The Bai family were all overjoyed at him finally being in a relationship. The only thing Yan’s family had yet to do was celebrate publicly with fireworks. In regards to his stayovers at Hua’s home, they were all in full support. If the man ever slept in his own home for more than a day or two, someone in his family would start worrying. They’d ask him if Hua had finally gotten rid of his bad taste in men, if Hua had dumped Yan. The man was rendered speechless each time. Every day, it felt like his family was eagerly hoping to “marry him off” to Hua right away. They’d always push him to sleep at the other man’s home. Then, every few days, the Bai family would invite Hua over for dinner. Each time that Hua stepped into the Bai family home, Yan would find himself wondering if he was the one who’d been picked up from the trash while Hua was the true son they’d found after losing him in an incident. Yan would be sitting beside Hua but his family would just shower Hua with love while not even bothering to glance at Yan. It made the feeling of being ignored worse.
During one afternoon, YiHan was sitting in a cafe with Fang Yi. While stirring the coffee in his cup, YiHan asked the man, “So you two are still at a stalemate? It’s been so long. Why drag it out? It’s not good for anyone.”
The policeman pursed his lips and replied, “I don’t want this to happen either but he just wouldn’t leave. I’ve tried chasing him out several times but he’d insist on lounging around in my home. What can I do?”
YiHan let go of his teaspoon and sighed, “Ah-Yi, it’s just an identity. Is there a need to be so angry? He truly treats you well. You should be able to see that.”
The other man frowned. “YiHan, you know who he is. He’s…the head of the Hidden Dragon! I’m just a mere cop. Let’s put aside belonging to different sides of society for now. Even if we can work on the same side of the law, we have nothing in common. We can’t be friends!”
“Why do you have nothing in common? Weren’t you two good friends before you found out who he is?” YiHan asked.
The man’s frown deepened. “As you’ve said, I didn’t know back then. But now that I know it, it’s already a kindness that I didn’t arrest him on the spot.”
YiHan shrugged. “See? It’s because he knew this is how you’d react that he didn’t dare come clean.”
The policeman rubbed at his forehead. “I’m a cop, YiHan. While I’m nobody, being a cop has always been a childhood dream of mine. I can’t give up on it.”
“No one’s asking you to give up on your job,” YiHan said. “He didn’t say that, right?”
“He didn’t say it but think about it. How can a policeman be friends with a triad boss? I really don’t get it. Why would the head of the Hidden Dragon throw away his dignity and persist on staying in my home? Why can I chase him out?”
YiHan sighed. “Ah-Yi, you are a straightforward, passionate, bold and observant man. There’s nothing wrong with you but you’re just too uptight, too concerned about the details. Does it matter who he is? I think what’s more important is his personality. Yes, to the Hidden Dragon gang, he’s the head, Qin Feng. But when he’s in your home, he’s Qin An, just a bored street thug who jokes around all day long. Ah-Yi, you need to understand. This world is not split into black and white. There’s a reason the Hidden Dragon exists. I think the true trump card our society has is the Hidden Dragon gang that’s being helmed by Qin Feng. We should thank him. In this world, it can’t just be the police who can right injustices. Qin Feng’s not a bad man. You should give him a chance to explain himself. Also, there’s no way that I’d believe you don’t miss your past friendship with him at all.”
Fang Yi scrubbed at his face and leaned back against his chair. No words were spoken.
YiHan glanced at him before continuing, “When I first met him, when I first knew who he truly was, I was actually afraid for you. I worried. After all, Qin Feng is no kind gentleman. Standing next to him, you looked like the little white rabbit engulfed in the fierce beast’s embrace. Hey, don’t get angry. It’s just a simile. But that’s what I truly thought. However, JingYuan told me Qin Feng held no ill will to you.
“That man knows right from wrong. He’s also grateful and knows to pay back his debts. His ‘evil’ nature is evident on his face. He’s not like those false gentlemen in high society. He won’t look good-natured while hiding his evil within. Then, through you, I got to know him a little better. JingYuan and I have been keeping an eye on him this whole time. Our conclusion is he’s very safe when it comes to you. While he used a fake identity, his heart and personality were true. In that case, what’s there to fight about?”
Fang Yi bit his lip and said, “I know you won’t harm me. I also know he has absolutely no bad intentions when it comes to me but I just can’t get over it. Oh, right. I haven’t congratulated you. Your relationship with Mr Mu has finally borne fruit.”
“Thank you,” YiHan couldn’t help but smile as he said that. “I didn’t think we’d get married so soon but he’s in a rush. I’d be spending the rest of my life with him regardless of marriage, so it didn’t matter to me when we do it.”
“The wedding date is next year?” Fang Yi asked with a smile of his own.
“When do you plan on getting registered?” asked the man.
“JingYuan’s thinking of next month. We’ll get it done after the engagement party,” replied YiHan.
Fang Yi let out a laugh as he said, “Mr Mu sure is in a hurry. I think he can’t wait a single minute longer. He must wish you two could get registered right now.”
YiHan paused in contemplation before replying, “I’m actually quite eager for it too. Ah-Yi, before, I thought a marriage certificate is just a piece of paper. It has no use. The law’s powers in regards to marriage are limited. So many people who have gotten married and divorced. Now, I’m longing to witness that piece of paper be filled with both of our names. I feel like I’ve been possessed or something. I didn’t feel it when we first set the wedding date, but now that it’s confirmed, time feels so slow. A day feels like a year. How I wish the wedding would be tomorrow and avoid any hesitation altogether.”
Ah-Yi: Ah = prefix added to make a name into an affectionate/friendly nickname. It has been left in for Fang Yi as some readers have commented that merely using “Yi” can get confusing, especially with YiHan’s name thrown into the paragraph.