208. Let’s Do It Together
Room by room, Xu YouRan thoroughly toured the mansion. Yan Yan followed behind him, whispering into his ear about each room’s intended purpose. When Yan saw YouRan eventually walking towards the study room Yan had set up for YouRan, Yan gently bit down on his lips. He looked exactly like a kid who was waiting for his teacher to announce his test results.
YouRan pushed the door open. What he saw stunned him. For a few moments, he stood there by the doorway before entering the study room. This place might be called a study room but it looked like a miniature library. It was brightly lit with three walls occupied by tall bookcases that were mostly filled to the brim with books. One of those huge shelves was left empty so that he could slowly add his favourite books to the collection. There was a ladder leaning against one of the bookcases which could be slid around and used to reach the books high up.
A desk stood in the middle of the room. It was very big, one of the extremely long kinds of desks. A computer was placed on one end of the table. Beside the computer was a photo of the couple. The other end of the desk was empty. YouRan could use that end to write and draw. He could decorate the desk with trinkets he liked. The chair Yan chose had a tall back and wheels. It looked so very soft and comfortable. There was a small table placed against the wall with the windows. A tea set, similar to the set YouRan had in his home, sat on top of the table. Two chairs were placed by the table. The table-and-chairs set gave off a sense of relaxed leisure. Not far off from the table was a bean bag chair that looked very much out of place. The colour of the chair was plain and muted. It was also very soft, a place that YouRan could curl up in and read.
YouRan walked over to the bean bag chair and ran a hand over it.
“This chair doesn’t fit in with the aesthetics of this room but it’s very useful,” Yan softly said. “When you’re tired, you can lay down on it and read or take a nap. There’s a secret compartment behind it that holds a throw blanket. I’ve tested it out. It’s extremely comfortable.”
YouRan chuckled. “Other people use secret compartments to store important items. Why do you use it to store a throw blanket instead?”
“It’s also an important item,” Yan solemnly replied. “It can stop you from catching a cold. Of course, I’d be watching over you. If you fall asleep, I’ll pull it over you. Don’t worry.”
YouRan turned to gently embrace Yan. “Yan, being with you has been the luckiest thing that has ever happened to me,” he whispered. “I have no regrets.”
Yan hugged YouRan back, arms tight around the other man. “Me too, YouRan. I love you. We’re married now.”
“Yes,” YouRan said, resting his cheek against Yan’s chest. “We’re married and I have a home once more.”
The new year rolled around. The Bai family home was bustling with life this year. The old Mr Bai had been invited to stay for the celebrations. Bai YiHan and Mu JingYuan both returned to the Bai family home for celebrations. Jiang Hua had no family. Naturally, the man followed Bai Yan home for the festivities. Worried that Aunt Yang might be stressed out from cooking for so many, Ma assigned to her a few helpers for the night. As the clock struck twelve and well-wishes were given to the elder generation, the Bai family happily dug into their dinner. The old Mr Bai was the first to head to bed as his body couldn’t handle staying awake any longer. The younger generation stayed up all night. Some spent the time watching television while others chatted away.
By the time dawn broke, YiHan had been up all night having fun. With a smile still on his face, he fell asleep where he sat. When JingYuan noticed the man leaning against his shoulder had gone quiet, he raised a hand in a request for silence. He then leaned down to carefully lift up his lover and carried YiHan up the stairs to their bedroom. Hua walked ahead of JingYuan and opened up YiHan’s bedroom door for the couple. JingYuan nodded to Hua with a smile as he walked through the doorway. Hua smiled back before softly closing the door behind him as he left.
JingYuan tenderly laid his lover out on the bed. His hands were light as he helped YiHan out of his clothes and tucked the younger man in. JingYuan then changed into his sleepwear as well. He briskly cleaned himself up before joining YiHan in bed. Even though YiHan was deep in his dreams, the young man sensed JingYuan’s presence and instinctively rolled into the older man’s embrace. YiHan’s hands and legs wrapped themselves around JingYuan.
“Happy New Year, my little one,” JingYuan whispered, smiling as he kissed YiHan on the forehead.
Around noon on the first day of the new year, the Bai family members had just woken up when Chen TianYang arrived at their home. The man greeted the elders of the family before turning to look at XueQing with gleaming eyes. Confused by the man’s gaze, XueQing was about to speak when a loud bang was heard. Chen TianYang had dropped to one knee before her. Even YiHan who was standing near them couldn’t help but worry about how much that had hurt. However, TianYang acted as if he had felt nothing. His eyes were bright as he pulled out an exquisite ring box from his pockets. He held it up to XueQing with two hands.
“XueQing, I love you,” said TianYang. His voice was usually clear and firm but it was trembling with nervousness today. “I hope you can give me a chance to protect you and take care of you for the rest of my life, to stay by your side forever as your lawfully wedded partner. Will you marry me?”
Never could XueQing have imagined that the man would be proposing to her out of the blue on the first day of a new year. She was completely unprepared. The marriage proposal she had envisioned looked nothing like this. Even if she couldn’t have a bouquet of flowers and romantic candlelight, she should at least be dressed up nicely. She shouldn’t be in clothes that she’d wear at home, clothes she had yet to find the time to change out of. Her hair hadn’t even been styled to perfection. The only thing that brought her some relief was her habit of putting on some light makeup whenever she left her room. She still looked okay. At least she wasn’t an utter mess. Otherwise, the once-in-a-lifetime marriage proposal might have been part of her dark and unspoken past.
When TianYang saw that XueQing was taken aback, he was even more nervous. He held the box in his hand out to XueQing once more.
“Will you, XueQing?” he anxiously asked.
XueQing snapped out of her thoughts then. She took the box and opened it to reveal a pair of diamond rings in matching styles. She carefully handed the ring meant for a lady to TianYang.
“Help me put it on,” she softly said, holding out her left hand.
TianYang’s eyes went red as he joyfully agreed. He gently held XueQing’s fair and slender finger. With quivering hands, he delicately slid the ring onto her ring finger. Looking down at the hand wearing the ring he had selected himself, TianYang’s hands lifted the finger to his lips for a soft and reverent kiss.
XueQing turned her hand to hold TianYang’s hand and pulled him up. She took the remaining ring out of the box and slid it onto his finger.
“I do,” she said.
With a loud cheer, TianYang lifted XueQing up into his arms and spun her round and round, laughing the entire time.
XueQing had never thought it possible for the Young Master Chen to do something so childish. It surprised her. She remained stunned, even by the time her feet touched the ground once more.
On the second day of the new year, XueQing visited the Chen family home. Once the fifteenth day had passed, the couple’s parents formally met up to discuss the wedding. TianYang had been in a great mood the entire time. He felt so happy that it felt like he could float even as his feet remained walking on the ground. He smiled at everyone he saw.
Once the new year celebrations had died down, the Bai family made a joyous announcement once more. Bai XueQing and Chen TianYang were formally engaged. The couple’s engagement party would be held together with Bai Yan and Jiang Hua’s. Then, after a few rounds of discussion between the families, they decided to hold all three weddings together in one go. They were already having a wedding and the timings all matched up. Why not have them be held at the same time? YiHan gleefully rushed over to ask Yan and YouRan if they wanted to join in as well. The couple gladly said yes. However, for some strange reason, YouRan felt rather down to YiHan. That shouldn’t happen. These two men were currently in their honeymoon period. Why would YouRan be so glum?
YiHan asked Yan about it but the other man merely smiled in response. Why did that smile seem so savage though? Still, it was clear from Yan’s response that everything was going well between the couple. Nothing was wrong. YiHan decided to stop worrying and left.
YouRan frowned as he massaged his waist. While he had gone over the line at first, YouRan had let Yan have his way many times now. That should be over now. Today should be his turn to be on top, right? At that thought, YouRan’s eyes turned to look at Yan’s crotch. His gaze subconsciously burned with lust.
Yan had noticed the other man’s expression. He let out a slight smile. He didn’t think that misunderstanding could’ve turned into something so useful. This was such a pleasant surprise. His injury back then was very much worth it. YouRan, my little fool, there’s no such thing as letting someone else have this. Tonight, let’s continue with what our talents have dictated.
The road to topping his top was long. YouRan was still scouting the path ahead. Who knew when he’d actually succeed?
On the way back home, YiHan bumped into Qi MingYang again. Well, it was “again” because, since Yan’s engagement party, he had already bumped into the other man by “coincidence” way too many times. It made him suspect the encounters were all Qi MingYang’s doing. YiHan had to mention it to JingYuan now.
Qi MingYang was smiling wide. He rolled down his window and looked at YiHan while the two men were waiting for the red light to turn green.
“What a coincidence, Little Master Bai,” he said to YiHan. “Since we’re so lucky to see each other, why don’t we get a drink together?”
“Ah, it’s you, Mr Qi,” YiHan said, smiling back. “We’ve bumped into each other so many times that it’s nothing rare now. My apologies. JingYuan is still waiting for me. Another day perhaps.”
“Bumping into each other multiple times means we are fated to meet,” Qi MingYang said, still smiling. “Since you’re busy today, when should we go for a drink instead?”
YiHan: I refuse to believe that you can’t tell I was only being polite when I said that…
“I’m afraid I won’t be free anytime soon,” YiHan said. “As you know, my brother and sister’s engagement party is happening soon. I have a lot to do. The Qi Group is a big company but you wouldn’t have much free time either, right?”
“Work hasn’t been busy lately,” MingYang said. “I can be there whenever you say so. However, the engagement party of Mr Bai and Miss Bai is certainly a major joyous occasion. I haven’t congratulated you for it yet.”
“Thank you,” said YiHan.
“You don’t have to be so polite with me,” MingYang warmly said. “What happy news for the Bai family. I’m happy for you too. If there’s anything you need my help with, just say the word.”
“Thank you for your offer,” YiHan said. “If we need help, I’ll definitely ask you for some.”
The traffic light turned green. “See you, Mr Qi,” said YiHan, looking back at the road. His car then flew past as YiHan stepped on the gas pedal.
MingYang watched as the back of YiHan’s car grew further and further away. He chuckled and chuckled until he was interrupted by a constant stream of honks from behind him. Only then did he move his car forward.
When YiHan walked through the Mu Group office, everyone who saw him respectfully greeted him. YiHan nodded to all who greeted him and rode JingYuan’s private lift up to the top floor.
“Little Master, you’re back,” said Chen Hong with a smile as he noticed YiHan walking into the office.
New Year’s Eve Dinner: Some readers might be confused as to why the reunion dinner (technically supper here) only started at midnight. In some regions, specifically in areas where the local tradition insists the meal consist of dumplings (aka some of the northern regions of China like SiChuan), the New Year’s Eve Dinner must only start after midnight. However, due to certain New Year’s TV programmes, some people might not realize it’s a local tradition instead of a national (China) tradition.