When he came home that night, Xu Ai Wen had not yet returned.
Ji Liao warmed his food and had a casual meal. After he was done, he looked at the time: it was eight.
He did an hour of homework, then sat on the sofa to watch television. When he threw away a piece of tissue paper, he realised that the trash bin was full and got up to clear it. Carrying the bag of trash, he went downstairs to throw it away.
By this time, the sky was already very dark. The corridor was quiet except for the sound of his footsteps.
Walking out of the residential building, Ji Liao threw the trash into the trash can. When he was about to walk away, the glaring lights of a car approached from a distance and stopped in front of his building.
An impeccably-dressed man emerged from the car. He walked around the car and opened the door for the woman in the front passenger seat like a gentleman. Ji Liao saw his mother, Xu Ai Wen, stepping out of the luxurious car.
The two of them stood and talked for a while before the man drove away.
He suddenly remembered that not too long ago, Xu Ai Wen had asked him if it was okay for her to find him a stepfather.
Was this the man she had found to be his future stepfather?
Ji Liao dropped his head and left, feeling that the guy could not even compare to a strand of Ji Qing Wen’s hair.
Walking out of the neighbourhood, he felt the night’s temperature had declined sharply. He was only wearing a thin sweater and the cold wind made him shiver.
Touching his pocket, Ji Liao wanted to take out his phone and call He Cheng Ming, but he realised that he didn’t bring his phone down and was slightly upset.
Blindly walking one round, he decided to go back.
Xu Ai Wen saw him coming back and asked in a concerned voice, “Tang Tang, were you throwing out the trash?” She had noticed that the bag of the trash bin in the living room had been changed.
Ji Liao replied with a hum, his expression as usual, then silently went into his room.
He closed the door, and as soon as he saw the phone on his bed light up, he went over to pick it up. It was a message from He Cheng Ming: Want to watch a movie tomorrow? Miss you baby.
Tomorrow was Saturday.
Ji Liao replied to him: Okay.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
A rare straightforward reply.
He Cheng Ming was overwhelmed: What type of movie would you like to watch? I’ll book the tickets.
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“Djys?” Lf Jtfcu Zlcu’r nblmf rbecvfv qifjrjcais regqglrfv. Lf cfnfg fzqfmafv Al Oljb ab mjii tlw.
Lfjglcu ktja tf kjr yflcu mjiifv, wjvf Al Oljb j ilaaif fwyjggjrrfv, jcv tf qjerfv obg j wbwfca yfobgf mtjculcu atf reypfma. “Qtja jgf sbe vblcu?”
He Cheng Ming laughed as he answered him. “Thinking of you.”
Ji Liao flushed, not knowing what to say. The long stretch of silence made it slightly awkward.
“Did something happen?” He Cheng Ming seemed to sense something and inquired.
Ji Liao said in a bored tone, “Nothing much.” Finally, he blurted out, “I kind of feel like seeing you.”
It was quiet for a long time – so long that Ji Liao thought that the other boy had hung up. He tapped on his phone screen to check if the line was still connected.
“He Cheng Ming?” He called out tentatively.
After a while, some noise transmitted and he said, “I’m leaving now. Wait for me.”
“Ah?” Ji Liao was shocked. What did he mean? Was he coming over to look for him?!
“I was just saying it. Don’t actually come over!” He said hurriedly.
Looking at the time, it was almost ten!
He Cheng Ming had just left the house when a taxi passed by and was flagged down by him. He gave the driver Ji Liao’s address, then sat down.
“It’s too late.” He Cheng Ming said with a smile on his face.
From the rearview mirror, the driver saw that the boy was on the phone. His appearance was strict but he smiled very tenderly, from which the driver guessed that there was an 80% chance that he was going on a date with his girlfriend. So, he thoughtfully stepped on the accelerator and drove a bit quicker.
He Cheng Ming lifted his head and glanced at the driver, then reported to Ji Liao, “I’ll arrive in about twenty minutes.”
When the driver heard, he promised loudly, “I only need fifteen minutes!”
He Cheng Ming laughed and asked Ji Liao over the phone, “Did you hear that?”
Ji Liao couldn’t care less what time he arrived at as he carelessly draped a coat over himself and rushed downstairs.
He walked to the bus stop; the surroundings were very dark, so he chose to stand in a conspicuous spot under a street lamp and waited for He Cheng Ming, feeling chilled to the bone.
From afar, He Cheng Ming spotted Ji Liao. The tall, thin figure was bathed in orange-yellow light and looked rather lonely, and it made He Cheng Ming feel like encircling him fiercely with his arms, then telling him that he would always be by his side.
He told the driver to stop at the side, then once he paid and got off and headed towards Ji Liao in quick strides.
He Cheng Ming stood in front of him, his mouth breathing out faint puffs of white air.
Ji Liao looked up, and at that moment, he was very emotionally affected.
“Struck dumb?” He Cheng Ming bent down and looked at him.
It was the first awakening of love for Ji Liao. Since it was his first time dating, how could he withstand an attack like this where He Cheng Ming would appear when he called? He was deeply moved, so he just said softly, “You’re the dumb one.”
He Cheng Ming laughed and opened his arms towards Ji Liao. “Well, is there a reward?”
Ji Liao took two steps forward, but before his arms could enclose He Cheng Ming’s body, a rush of warmth surrounded him.
He hugged his waist.
Satisfied, He Cheng Ming rubbed the back of Ji Liao’s head.
“How are things at home?” He Cheng Ming didn’t forget to ask about the situation at hand.
When they had left school, Ji Liao was still fine. Since it had only been a few hours, it could only mean that something had happened at home which had made him unhappy.
“My mother found me a stepfather.” Ji Liao felt the other boy’s powerful heartbeat and continued in a muffled voice, “But I don’t wish for my mother to remarry.”
This was a very private matter, but being inclined to tell him showed that he had grown to trust him.
He Cheng Ming tightened his arms and tried to ease his anxiety, “Your father isn’t around and auntie is a woman. She needs to take care of you as well as her own parents and your father’s parents. That is a lot of pressure.”
He was reminding Ji Liao that if Xu Ai Wen remained single, it would be very hard on her.
Ji Liao felt that something was off and his mind scrambled to find it. He questioned, “How do you know that my father isn’t around anymore?”
He had only said, “My mother found me a stepfather,” which could also imply that the situation was the result of a divorce. How did He Cheng Ming determine that Ji Qing Wen wasn’t around anymore?
He felt an obvious start from the other boy, and Ji Liao walked out of his embrace.
“I know about your father. I found out when I was asking around about you.” He Cheng Ming explained.
Ji Liao felt that this was believable, and returned an “Oh” before starting a slow walk.
He Cheng Ming heaved a sigh of relief and followed. Because he was feeling guilty, he didn’t dare to hold Ji Liao’s hand.
The two of them walked for a long time and didn’t have anything to talk about, but neither wanted to separate from the other.
It became darker. Ji Liao felt that it was finally time to go back, so He Cheng Ming returned him to his building. He had behaved like a gentleman tonight, but Ji Liao really wanted to kiss him. He hesitated and didn’t leave, instead, he stared blankly at him.
“Ji Liao, I’ve told you before. Don’t show that kind of expression in front of me.” He Cheng Ming’s voice was hoarse and he was seduced to the point of losing his soul.
Ji Liao continued to stare at him, thinking, you better be quick!
After waiting for a while, only to realise that He Cheng Ming was still restraining himself, Ji Liao simply walked up and stood on his tiptoes, attempting to kiss him.
But…why was he so tall?! He still couldn’t reach his lips after standing on his tiptoes…
Ji Liao’s face flushed bright red and he stood awkwardly in place; his eyes wandered wildly, not daring to look at him.
“You’re killing me.”
He Cheng Ming bent his head and bit Ji Liao’s mouth. Ji Liao was unexpectedly spontaneous. Their lips and teeth met and were unwilling to separate.
He was too passionate tonight and was slightly unable to resist. Feeling himself rising gradually, He Cheng Ming had no choice but to release Ji Liao and allow himself to calm down.
Ji Liao also sensed his situation, and to avoid being eaten up cleanly, he fled.