Comrade: Almost a Cat-astrophic Love Story - Chapter 232
Xiao Nian, male, one of Dong Hai City's most reputed champion managers. Now the artiste under him has finally scored the Best Male Lead Award after losing out for three consecutive years.
That was a wish fulfilled for Xiao Nian, and he had one more thing off his mind.
After the Awards ceremony that night, Pei Zhen was whisked away by Fu Sichen, leaving the bachelor Xiao Nian without company and lonely. Having received a glare from the Big Boss, he hadn't dared to make any small talk or complain, he could only put on a big smile.
"Big Boss Fu, it's been a long day for you. Big Boss Fu, take care."
As Big Boss Fu and Pei Zhen drove away, he could finally let his enthusiasm go to rest.
It was a freezing December, especially at night. It was the sort of cold that seeped into one's bones.
"Brother, want to go for a drink?" Seeing as it were that Pei Zhen was so stunning tonight, Xiao Nian figured that there was no chance his artiste would make it to work the next day. He was hoping to find company for a drink to warm him up in this freezing weather. "I'll buy you."
"Oh." Wang Youquan stopped for a moment when he realized Xiao Nian was calling out to him. With an embarrassed smile, he said, "Sorry, I have an appointment tonight."
"What?" Was he yet another one who had secretly gotten hitched when he wasn't paying attention?
Now whenever Xiao Nian thought about the reassurance that he had given the Director previously, his face would burn.
Pei Zhen was the one with a boyfriend and he, Xiao Nian, was the unmarried man left on the shelf!
"No… nothing." Wang Youquan stammered, looking quite furtive. "Well… it's… I've got some work to finish…"
"Wang Youquan." Before Wang Youquan could finish what he was saying, a strong and clear voice came from behind. It sounded familiar.
Xiao Nian turned around and found himself looking straight at a woman.
The woman sported a tidy, short haircut and had an air of decisiveness about her. One look and it was obvious she was the boss. However, when she came face-to-face with Wang Youquan, her expression became unexpectedly bashful.
Xiao Nian knew her through the numerous mentions by Wang Youquan—she was his counterpart, Mrs. Flower.
Well, well, he didn't think that these two would eventually get involved with each other.
Xiao Nian almost did a wolf-whistle, while Wang Youquan had turned a bright red being subject to Xiao Nian's mocking looks. Still, Wang Youquan gave a sheepish laugh and walked towards Mrs. Flower.
Out of courtesy, Xiao Nian and Mrs. Flower bantered briefly, Mrs. Flower even politely extended an invitation to Xiao Nian. No matter what, Xiao Nian was an excellent social butterfly, and very tactfully, he declined her invitation.
Keeping his smile throughout, Xiao Nian saw the pair off. By the time they drove away, his face was fatigued from holding the smile. He gave his face a few quick pats and decided to give up on looking for company. He went to the convenience store to buy a couple of bottles, then went home all alone.
Pei Zhen had always been good to Xiao Nian and had never short-changed him pay-wise. At the very least, with that year's year-end bonus, he had enough money to buy a big house in Dong Hai City.
Currently living in a rented room, Xiao Nian was in the process of house-hunting.
The small district was quiet as it was past midnight, but as he neared his home, Xiao Nian heard a ruckus.
There was a van parked downstairs, and men in uniform going in and out of the building. On a closer look, he realized they were movers.
Moving? In the middle of the night?
Xiao Nian was astounded and silently prayed that the new neighbor wasn't going to be on the same floor as himself.
Man, they were noisy.
All he wanted to do was to take a shower, have a drink, and go to bed.
"Aye, please wait up." The workers rushed into the lift just as the lift door was about to shut. "Sorry, please excuse us."
Xiao Nian nodded and didn't make things difficult for them. After all, like himself, they were employees and just doing their job. As the lift made its way up, Xiao Nian realized that they hadn't pushed a lift button.
"Which floor are you going to?"
The workers peered through the stuff they were holding at the lift panel and smiled. "Oh, same as you. How coincidental."
Xiao Nian was stumped.
Damn it, he thought, the nightmare becomes reality.
But he wasn't a pushover. If his neighbor really went too far, he'd not be afraid to confront them!
As the lift arrived on their floor and the door opened setting off the chime, Xiao Nian stepped aside to let the workers out. Immediately, he heard a man's voice. "Is that all there is?"
"Yes, Mr. Ji."
"Thank you for your hard work."
Mr. Ji had a rather pleasant voice, and there was even a familiar ring to it. Out of curiosity, Xiao Nian turned to look at his new neighbor, but the big boxes that the workers were carrying obscured his view.
He only managed to catch a glimpse of the person's back.
The man was tall and slim and held himself upright. He looked around 185 centimeters. Dressed casually, he lifted a hand to push back a tuft of fine hair, exposing the watch on his wrist.
It was a Patek Philippe.
One could probably purchase an apartment in Dong Hai City for the price of that watch.
Well, a local rich man.
After he had recovered from the surprise, Xiao Nian couldn't help but wonder if the watch was an imitation.
It seemed like a joke that the rich bloke would choose to live in such a little district. Although the area wasn't too bad, Xiao Nian felt that it didn't seem to quite match up to this man's apparent status.
Not thinking very much more about it, Xiao Nian turned and walked towards his own apartment.
Xiao Nian lived alone.
The apartment was quite spacious and well-equipped. Unlike many men, Xiao Nian kept his space very clean and tidy.
Putting the bottles down on the coffee table, Xiao Nian proceeded to take a shower.
Initially, he thought that it would be a sleepless night, given the noise. Fortunately, the new neighbor was kind and mindful enough that by the time Xiao Nian was out from the shower, the noise from next door had ceased.
Xiao Nian was glad.
Sitting on the floor cross-legged and drying his hair, Xiao Nian opened a bottle of wine and checked his mobile phone. As expected, there was news from the Big Boss.
[Do not schedule any assignments for Pei Zhen these few days]
Without even a punctuation mark, it seemed that the message was typed out in a hurry.
Xiao Nian chuckled mischievously and sent off a "yes-sir" emoticon.
Having settled all work matters, Xiao Nian couldn't control his urge to log into the online game.
Given, Xiao Nian had a pair of good-looking hands, but they weren't all that great with the online game.
Subconsciously, Xiao Nian had found his online gaming partner, and there was no need for any courtesy banter. As usual, with just a few quick exchanges, they updated each other.
"My Daddy finally achieved his dream of becoming Best Actor!"
"Best Actor? You're not talking about Pei Zhen are you?" Xiao Nian's 'wife' immediately replied, "Hahaha, Hubby, don't tell me you're his manager?"
Xiao Nian raised an eyebrow. "You don't believe it?"
"Okay, I do, I do, I do." The wife posted a series of kisses, trying to convince Xiao Nian that she believed him, but somehow it sounded half-hearted.
Xiao Nian wasn't angry though. In fact, it was better that she had doubts.
The two went back and forth for a bit, controlling the characters in the game and putting their affections aside. After a while, the wife sent a message to say that she wanted a rest.
"Hubby, I just moved today, and I'm tired. Let's continue tomorrow. Muacks."
Xiao Nian was surprised. "Moved?"
"Yes, Hubby… aren't you working these few days?"
Wondering why she was asking such a question, Xiao Nian answered, "I'm probably resting for the next two or three days."
Unlike in the past, when she would send text messages, now the wife just sent through a voice message. Xiao Nian stared blankly for a moment, and then quickly clicked on the message.
"That's great. Then I can meet you online more often these few days."
What a gentle voice.
It was sweet and soothing.
More importantly, it was unmistakably female.
Immediately, Xiao Nian was happy… hahaha, she was really female, and not some gruff man!
Thinking back, Xiao Nian had been playing the online game with the person for more than half a year. The two practically chatted about everything under the sun, hence no matter what, Xiao Nian would have developed at least some affection for her.
Previously, Pei Zhen had warned him that the other party might be a man pretending to be a woman, and this had caused Xiao Nian to worry somewhat.
Despite the worry, Xiao Nian couldn't bring himself to investigate for no reason. And because of that, Xiao Nian had been in a conundrum, not daring to take the relationship any further.
But knowing that his gaming partner was indeed female, it was a different story altogether.
"Okay, okay, hurry up and go to bed then, goodnight."
Xiao Nian sent across a series of kisses and even bought a few sets of outfits to gift her after she had gone offline.
The system prompted that their gaming relationship index had surpassed 99% of all the gamers', and their relationship was as good as gold. Some of the other gamers rolled their eyes, feeling that the players with unconventional avatar names must be spies appointed by the gaming company.
And it was probably for the sake of motivating the gamers' urgency to top up their points.
After sending the gifts, Xiao Nian logged off too. Since he didn't have to work, he took the opportunity to sleep till Noon and was actually woken up by a pounding sound coming from his neighbor.
It was the sound of drumming.
And it was loud.
Xiao Nian impatiently pulled the blanket over his head but, of course, that did nothing to block off the noise.
The drumming didn't sound awful, but it was disturbing Xiao Nian's peace, and that annoyed him greatly.
After five minutes of that, Xiao Nian was still unable to fall asleep, and in addition, he was hungry.
Muttering profanities under his breath, Xiao Nian realized that he couldn't lie in bed anymore. He threw off his blanket and walked out, shuffling along in his bedroom slippers.
Initially, he had wanted to go knock on his neighbor's door, but remembering how tall the neighbor was and assessing that the guy was probably stronger than himself, he retreated two steps and decided to take a broomstick with him for self-defense.
"Open the door!"
Initially, Xiao Nian was civilized and knocked on the door like a gentleman. But when the knocking went unanswered, he lost patience and started banging on the door with his fist.
Finally, the drumming stopped, followed by the sound of footsteps. Then with a click, the door opened.
The man was dressed casually still and was taller than Xiao Nian had imagined. He looked at Xiao Nian with a half-smile.
He had a handsome face.
His features were distinct, and his almond-shaped eyes were long and deep-set.
"You…" On seeing the man, Xiao Nian was surprised and almost dropped his broomstick. "Why, it's you…"
"What a coincidence." The man looked down and saw that Xiao Nian was holding the broomstick. He couldn't help smiling. "Why are you carrying a broomstick? Are you offering to clean up my apartment?"
"Scram." The mention of the broom reminded Xiao Nian of his mission. He peered into the apartment, and sure enough, he spotted the drum frame.
"You are so free as to play on the drums first thing in the morning?"
"It's already Noon," The man ran a hand through his hair and replied to Xiao Nian, "Did I disturb you? I'm sorry. I didn't know you were still asleep at this time."
As he talked, the man reached out and touched Xiao Nian's hair as if it was the most natural thing in the world to do. Xiao Nian jumped at the touch and widened his eyes. Nervously, he took a step backward.
"What do you think you're doing?"
"It was out of place." The man said without changing his expression, and it was as if he didn't feel that he had crossed any boundary. "Your hair is very soft."
Xiao Nian was stumped.
Already having to deal with a gay couple in his life, Xiao Nian felt that this man too, was giving off gay vibes and it made him nervous. He chided the man for being insane.
The man continued to smile and didn't seem angry. Suddenly he asked, "Can you cook?"
"Yes…" Xiao Nian answered. Of course, he had to know how to cook, having to look after the lazy Pei Zhen. But what had that got to do with the man and why was he asking such a question?
"Fate has it that we meet again—and you've even seen my birdie." The man looked over Xiao Nian's shoulder towards the corridor. "You're staying next door? To celebrate this coincidence, can I have a meal at your place?"
Xiao Nian wanted him to scram.
What, seen his birdie? It wasn't as if he asked to see it!
That's right, he was the man Pei Zhen and Xiao Nian ran into at the little lane, when they were trying to get to Fu Sichen on their yellow rented bicycles.
While Xiao Nian didn't remember the man's name, he did remember he had the surname Ji.
Xiao Nian was annoyed. Although they were men and it was really nothing to see another man naked, the Li guy made it seem as though Xiao Nian owed him. It was this attitude that Xiao Nian found irritating.
"Are you still angry?" The man seemed to have an idea what Xiao Nian was angry over, and smiled again. "Alright, I was just kidding the last time. You can look, even if you want to watch me naked in the future, feel free."
"Who the hell wants to look." Xiao Nian was amazed at this man's audacity and was tempted to give him the middle finger. Not wishing to stay a second longer, Xiao Nian turned and started to walk back to his own apartment. "Damn it, what sort of ill-fate is this."
If only the new neighbor was his 'wife', it would've been perfect. But alas, it had to be such a dreadful man.
Giant pig's hoof!
"Hey." seeing that Xiao Nian was leaving, the man quickly followed, he even sounded a little grieved. "Are you not even going to try being friends, given that we're fated to run into each other? Besides, I even lent you and your manager my motorbike."
"Oh, thank you then." Xiao Nian already had his hand on the doorknob, and his reply was quite icy. "No need to be friends. Just remember not to disturb me, we can be good neighbors to each other.
"Okay, I apologize for the drumming." Seeing that Xiao Nian was about to shut the door after he got in, the man took a step forward and reached out with a hand to stop the door. "In that case let's start from being neighbors. Neighbor, will you cook for me, just as a gesture of hospitality and welcome?"
Xiao Nian was quite sure the man was a complete looney.
Not able to contain his annoyance any further, Xiao Nian stuck out his middle finger at the man, hoping that he'd get the hint and leave. However, the man then used brute force and squeezed himself past the entrance and into Xiao Nian's apartment.
"I haven't had anything to eat since last night; I didn't have breakfast this morning, and it's past Noon now."
He looked quite pitiful.
How could a grown man put on such a pitiful look, Xiao Nian failed to understand. It really didn't go with his good looks.
"Takeout." Xiao Nian ripped off the advertising flyer stuck on the back of his door, and shoved it at the man, mercilessly expressing his desire for the man to go away. "Move your precious fingers and call for takeout. They'll deliver it in under half an hour.
"No way. I want home-cooked food."
What the hell?
Xiao Nian found it unbelievable—it was only the second time he'd ever seen the man. Even when they returned the motorbike, it was the assistant who did it. How shameless could the man get, to dare ask for a meal?
"Just to re-introduce myself, my name is Ji Yuanqi." Obviously afraid of being asked to go, the handsome man removed his shoes and entered the apartment. "You can call me Yuanqi."
The name rang a familiar bell, but at that moment, Xiao Nian couldn't recall where he'd heard it.
In addition, Xiao Nian was irritated by how Ji Yuanqi was making himself at home. It would have been insanity to address Ji Yuanqi on such familiar terms to further encourage his behavior.
Ji Yuanqi was really quite shameless, and Xiao Nian wasn't able to shoo him away. Besides, the moment Xiao Nian shamed him, he'd put on a pitiful look. "Do a good deed every day, and just treat it as though you're rescuing a beautiful youth."
What utter rubbish!
Although the man was quite young, Xiao Nian was willing to bet his life that he was at least 23 or 24.
How would anyone over the age of 18 still qualify as a youth?!
"Just one meal." Ji Yuanqi wore branded clothes, and it didn't really look like he was out to fleece anyone. Anyway, Xiao Nian didn't feel that he had much to lose. "For the sake of the help you rendered Pei Zhen and me previously."
"Fine, fine." The moment Xiao Nian cut him some slack, the pitiful expression on Ji Yuanqi's face immediately disappeared, and he walked towards the kitchen as though it was his own home. "I'll be your assistant."
Although Xiao Nian's culinary skills were nothing to boast about, he was able to cook a few common dishes.
Very quickly, Xiao Nian whipped up a few dishes and a soup, and Ji Yuanqi ate till he was satisfied. He didn't stop praising Xiao Nian's culinary skills throughout. The Fairy Girl Xiao initially tried to remain aloof, but Ji Yuanqi had such a glib tongue that he couldn't resist all the flattery.
After the meal, Ji Yuanqi cleared the table automatically without needing Xiao Nian to lift a finger. Then, he made some freshly squeezed fruit juice for Xiao Nian, using ingredients available at home, pleasing Xiao Nian greatly.
"You're not working today?" The smart man that this Ji Yuanqi was, he had managed to turn around Xiao Nian's opinion of him within one meal. Then, he sat down and turned on the television, switching to Xiao Nian's favorite shows. "Congratulations, now you're the manager of the Best Actor."
Xiao Nian didn't notice anything strange. He drank the fruit juice and shut his eyes in contentment. "I'm just lucky."
"Says who? Obviously, it's because you're smart."
Ji Yuanqi had a glib tongue indeed and knew exactly what to say to flatter people. Xiao Nian waved his hand humbly and couldn't help but look pleased. His eyes were sparkling with delight.
Having lifted Xiao Nian onto a pedestal, when Ji Yuanqi next put on a pitiful expression, saying that he'd like to come over for a meal the next day too, Xiao Nian waved his hand generously.
"Come over for a meal then! I'm an excellent cook!"
Ji Yuanqi smiled and said, "Yes, for sure."
The grown man gave Xiao Nian a pleasing smile that was both pure and innocent.
Hence, the next day, it didn't even take till Noon. Just as daylight broke, there was an urgent knocking on Xiao Nian's door.
Xiao Nian, who had stayed up till 2 am reading, was livid to be woken up.
Stumbling along to open the door, he picked up an old Nokia phone on the way as a weapon to kill the person if he didn't have a good enough reason to be waking him at that hour!
"Big Brother Xiao." The voice on the other side of the door sounded exceptionally good. Xiao Nian could have sworn that it even sounded like a spoiled child who was trying to please. "Are you awake?"
Big Brother Xiao was feeling quite murderous.
His face was steely cold as he opened the door.
When Big Brother Xiao saw that it was the new neighbor, he immediately raised his Nokia phone in anger.
"Big Brother Xiao, it's dark outside." The new neighbor must have gotten addicted to acting coquettishly. He threw himself at Xiao Nian, crying, "Big Brother Xiao, I'm scared."
Xiao Nian was utterly speechless.
He felt that he had every reason to be furious, but the tone was just too familiar. Xiao Nian stunned for a moment, and the old Nokia phone froze high in the air.
"It's okay; don't be scared." Xiao Nian took a deep breath and felt as though he was talking to his 'wife' in the online game. Words of comfort came naturally. "Big Brother is here."
The shameless man in his embrace lowered his voice so that it was gentle and soothing. "Big Brother Xiao, can you accompany me to the market."
Xiao Nian was stumped.
It was 6 am on a Winter's morning. There was a chill in the air. The moment they got downstairs, the freezing wind woke Xiao Nian.
He must have gone crazy.
He was now on his way to buy groceries at the market rather than sleep.
Xiao Nian thought that he should really turn around to head home, but before he could say a word, Ji Yuanqi grabbed his wrist and pleaded, "Let's go, let's go."
One would think that it was a complete waste of handsome looks and impressive physique on a man who could look so pitiful!
The street was full of passersby, and old ladies out for their morning exercise were throwing sidelong glances at the two men. Unlike Pei Zhen, Xiao Nian didn't have the guts, and neither was he interested, to make headlines. He quickly shook off Ji Yuanqi's hand and lowered his head. He walked ahead briskly. "Just keep walking, and don't touch me."
Ji Yuanqi smiled, a sparkle lit his eyes briefly before it disappeared.
There was a supermarket at the entrance to the small district. Xiao Nian, being one who cooked, was naturally adept at grocery shopping.
However, as they walked along, Xiao Nian began to notice that Ji Yuanqi kept walking into him. It just didn't feel right, and very soon, Xiao Nian's expression turned chilly.
"What's wrong with you? Flat-footed?"
"I'm sorry." Ji Yuanqi apologized as though he was really flat-footed. "Big Brother Xiao, you are sharp indeed, one look and you can tell I'm flat-footed."
Seriously, Xiao Nian thought, as if being flat-footed is something to be proud of!
Xiao Nian picked up speed as he really didn't care to waste more time on the idiot. He quickly picked the needed vegetables and meat; all he wanted was to get home as soon as possible. However, Ji Yuanqi, who acted like a dreamy teenage girl, was still taking his own time selecting the groceries.
"I don't like parsley."
"Scallions are gross."
"Pork tastes horrible."
"Then what on earth would you like to eat?!" Xiao Nian lost his cool.
Ji Yuanqi turned red in the face, his hand still holding on to the edge of Xiao Nian's shirt. "I'll eat anything you cook."
Freaking hell, thought Xiao Nian.
Finally, they bought everything they needed. Ji Yuanqi was quick to insist on helping with the load and paying for the groceries. Xiao Nian was still annoyed and only snorted in a high-and-mighty way as he looked at Ji Yuanqi to make the payment.
The sun was up by the time they left the supermarket, but it was still cold. Xiao Nian sneezed.
"Hurry." Xiao Nian jumped on the spot twice. "Let's go home."
"Hang on." Ji Yuanqi pulled him back again by the collar, causing the cold air to enter, annoying Xiao Nian to the point that he was about to hit Ji Yuanqi. But suddenly he found a warm scarf encircled around his neck.
There was a subtle whiff of aftershave coming from it.
It smelled like Ji Yuanqi.
Xiao Nian wasn't quite sure how to react to that. His face turned red, and he quickly tried to remove the scarf. "I don't need this. Home is just a few steps away…"
"Just keep it on." Ji Yuanqi was carrying the groceries in one hand, and with the other hand, he took Xiao Nian's hand and shoved it into his pocket. "I'm not afraid of the cold."
Indeed, Ji Yuanqi's hand was warm.
And so was his pocket.
Xiao Nian froze for a moment, and with a quick swish withdrew his hand from Ji Yuanqi's pocket. "I… I'm not afraid of the cold either."
Was he being bias to assume that Ji Yuanqi was gay?
However, Ji Yuanqi himself did come across quite gay!
Fearing that Ji Yuanqi would make a further move on him, Xiao Nian stopped protesting about the scarf and shoved both hands deep into his own pockets. Then he hastened his steps towards home.
He was walking rather quickly.
Ji Yuanqi was a tall man, and although he had no problem catching up, he protested, "Big Brother Xiao."
Xiao Nian couldn't be bothered to respond.
"Big Brother Xiao."
Xiao Nian continued to stride ahead.
Eat me! Xiao Nian cursed under his breath.
Homosexuality was nothing strange in the modern world, the entertainment circle had, after all, produced a gay couple in recent times. While people lamented the degeneration of moral values, they also extended a sort of understanding.
The morning exercise crowd was increasing, and that included some young people. Initially, a few young girls were looking at the two men in an idiotic sort of way, the moment they heard Ji Yuanqi call out 'Hubby', they stopped in their tracks.
"You!" Xiao Nian was livid and turned around to glare at Ji Yuanqi. "You son of a b*****! Who permitted you to call me that!"
"You're single, and so am I." Ji Yuanqi smiled radiantly. "This is fate."
No matter what fate, there was no way he was going to end up with a man!
Xiao Nian chuckled and said, "I'm sorry, but I have a wife." His online wife was a gentle and agreeable lady, had a sweet voice and an alright personality.
"It's impossible," Ji Yuanqi said with disbelief, holding two big bags of groceries and trying to catch up, "You've seen my naked birdie, I do not believe that you will be so fickle in love."
"What the hell… you're a grown man. It's not like you'll lose a testicle just because someone has seen your naked birdie!"
"You've seen mine, but I've not seen yours. That's unfair."
Xiao Nian couldn't believe his ears!
Unfair?! Is this guy looney, to care about fairness in such things?!
Xiao Nian really didn't wish to continue the conversation with Ji Yuanqi. He was muttering all sorts of profanities under his breath, as though releasing an accumulation of twenty years' worth of anger.
But Ji Yuanqi wouldn't give up. Carrying a bag of groceries in each of his hands, he trotted behind Xiao Nian, persisting with his questions regarding his wife and related details.
"You say you have a wife? I don't believe you."
"Is your wife as good-looking as me, or as virtuous?
"Big Brother Xiao, what wife are you talking about… isn't it all your fantasy?"
"Shut up!" Xiao Nian punched the lift button angrily, he really felt like strangling Ji Yuanqi. "My wife is a natural beauty, and it's not for a commoner like you to compare yourself with her."
"Oh." Ji Yuanqi shrugged. "Since your wife is so great, why isn't she here accompanying you?"
Ji Yuanqi sounded like an intruder, a third party, seducing with his words like a snake, tongue slithering in anticipation: Look, I'm the only one who has your interest at heart, I'm the only one who is here for you.
Xiao Nian wanted to roll his eyes.
Granted, he thought him to be considerably good looking, but he didn't feel that Ji Yuanqi could be gay. Furthermore, it was only the second time they had met.
So how did that explain Ji Yuanqi's shameless and despicable behavior?
Suddenly, a new realization dawned on Xiao Nian as he remembered his own status. He glanced at Ji Yuanqi, sizing the man up, and lightly coughed. "Are you trying to get into the entertainment industry through me? It's not going to happen!"
Ji Yuanqi was taken aback by the new accusation—he wasn't. He hadn't even revealed his own identity!
Not that Xiao Nian cared.
Thinking that he'd finally uncovered the reason, Xiao Nian was immediately puffed up. He condescendingly looked at Ji Yuanqi. "Did you think that all you need is a good-looking face to make it in the entertainment industry? There's no lack of good-lookers in the entertainment circle; mind you."
Suddenly, Ji Yuanqi's eyes lit up. "By saying this, does it mean that you think I'm good-looking?"
What the dickens, thought Xiao Nian. That wasn't even the point!
"Don't you worry. Although I'm good looking, I'm absolutely loyal to my lover," Ji Yuanqi said sincerely, "All these years, I've had scores of suitors, but I've never given in."
"Oh," said Xiao Nian.
What had that got to do with him?
He was trying to show off his popularity.
Having shot Ji Yuanqi a dirty look, Xiao Nian tilted his head to look at the lift level indicator, waiting to dump Ji Yuanqi the moment the lift door opens. However, Ji Yuanqi was well-prepared, and the moment the tiny crack in the lift door appeared, he immediately squeezed himself into it.
"Hurry up and cook, hurry up and cook. I'm so hungry."
Xiao Nian was going to chide him for being a pig, but in the end, his heart softened when he saw Ji Yuanqi's pleading eyes. He turned and went into the kitchen.
Ji Yuanqi was a fussy and hard-to-please eater who didn't like this and that. He picked at things when they were shopping for groceries and continued to do so after Xiao Nianm had cooked.
He trotted over and frowned when he saw the parsley. Feeling grieved, he said, "I'm allergic to parsley."
"Oh," Xiao Nian's raised cutting knife came down on the chopping board, crushing the parsley, and then he threw the parsley into the wok.
"Awww…" Ji Yuanqi wailed and pouted, looking very pitiful. "I'll eat anything that Big Brother Xiao cooks, even if I'm allergic."
Xiao Nian wanted to chuckle.
But for some reason, seeing Ji Yuanqi's grieved expression, Xiao Nian eventually prepared another bowl of noodles that did not contain parsley.
"Thank you Big Brother Xiao." the handsome man took the bowl of noodles and smiled most radiantly. "I just knew it Big Brother Xiao, you're not only good-looking but also kind-hearted."
Bah! Thought Xiao Nian, who had yet received another round of flattery.
Ji Yuanqi, the free-loading scum, still didn't go home after breakfast. Xiao Nian wasn't an overly polite person and tried many times to shoo Ji Yuanqi away. However, the latter was just too shameless.
What could Xiao Nian do?
Besides, Ji Yuanqi had paid for the groceries so Xiao Nian couldn't really say that the man was a freeloader.
After the meal, Xiao Nian was tired. Seeing his huge living creature in his home that couldn't be shooed away, he felt like calling the police. "Get out and go home, I'm going to sleep."
"I'll look at you sleep," Ji Yuanqi said like a well-behaved child.
Xiao Nian wanted to shriek. "Are you nuts! Would you be able to sleep if I were looking at you?!"
"Of course." Xiao Nian intended to tell him to 'not do to others what he wouldn't want others to do to him'. Ji Yuanqi, however, felt like he received a green light; he leaped up happily, and on his own accord ran towards the bedroom. "Big Brother Xiao, will you watch over me as I sleep? I'm afraid to be alone."
Xiao Nian was flabbergasted.
He watched as Ji Yuanqi took off his shoes, then his clothes, all in a fluid sequence.
Then he got onto Xiao Nian's bed and under his blanket. Seeing that Xiao Nian was looking on in bewilderment, he waved at Xiao Nian. "Come on, come on."
Like an old hooker from the brothel, Li Yuanqi couldn't contain his coquettish aura.
Xiao Nian was so angry that he felt as though he could throw up his innards.
Usually being one who agitated others, Xiao Nian was finally the annoyed party having to face the nuisance—thanks to his new neighbor!
With his bed forcibly occupied, it would be a miracle if he could take a nap. He felt like leaving the house and shutting off the shameless Li Yuanqi. Out of sight, out of mind!
Xiao Nian wasn't worried that Ji Yuanqi would steal anything since there was nothing valuable in the room; his new neighbor was just a shameless man. Given that he wore a Patek Phillipe on his wrist, he was likely a spoiled brat from a rich family.
The rich Young Master probably had an argument with his family and moved out, and using his previous kind deed of lending them his motorbike as an excuse, he was shamelessly asking for free food and drinks.
Xiao Nian angrily made a mental note of everything, so that he could ask for compensation from the Young Master's family one day.
After making a mental note, Xiao Nian logged into the online game. Unexpectedly, his wife was also logged in. Xiao Nian's eyes sparkled and quickly made contact so that he could confide in her.
The wife was thoughtful and gentle as always. "Hubby, don't be angry. Maybe that handsome man likes you."
"No way! Your Hubby, I, am straight as a pencil. I only love you, my Wifey!"
The wife was silent.
She didn't reply immediately.
Suddenly, he was a little anxious. "Wifey?"
Come to think of it, the two had known each other for more than half a year. Xiao Nian had also heard her voice just the day before, and it stirred his heart.
"Wifey, is it convenient to do a video chat? I… I really have no other motives… er, if you don't want to, it's fine."
There was a brief silence. Xiao Nian's heart was pounding, wondering if he had offended her. And then the unexpected reply came, she said, "Shall we meet at Zhengda Plaza at 11 am tomorrow?"
Xiao Nian was stunned!
He was so happy that he almost jumped for joy!
He typed out a few kisses on the mobile and immediately replied, "Yes, yes!"
Xiao Nian was pleased as punch, so elated that he even prepared a sumptuous lunch. When Ji Yuanqi woke up to the spread, he did the usual round of praises. Then he changed the topic and asked, "What sort of women do you like?"
"As long as she is cute." Xiao Nian was fantasizing already. "If possible, it would be better if she had lustrous long, straight hair."
"Oh," said Ji Yuanqi.
"What about you?" Xiao Nian was now in a good mood and felt inclined to participate in polite banter. "What sort of woman do you like?"
"Me?" Ji Yuanqi rested his chin on one hand, his gaze fixated on Xiao Nian, although he looked sluggish. "I don't like women."
"I like men," he continued. "Especially men like yourself."
Xiao Nian was speechless.
He was stunned into silence yet again.
Xiao Nian was so unnerved that he asked Ji Yuanqi to leave before they'd even finished lunch.
Xiao Nian had initially taken the meeting with his online wife the following day in casual stride, but that had changed. Xiao Nian felt that if the other party was found to be suitable, he would date her. To him, it was an excuse to get out of the situation with Ji Yuanqi.
Xiao Nian was considerably good-looking, and it wasn't as if no one had ever been interested in him. But it was the first time he was so unnerved, and to think that the other party was so many times better looking than himself!
Recalling the look in Ji Yuanqi's eyes earlier on, Xiao Nian couldn't help but curse and swear silently. It couldn't be real, that rascal Ji Yuanqi was just making fun of him.
How could he like someone he had met only twice? Were all gays so easy?!
Xiao Nian wished his Daddy Pei was there for him to confide in, but needless to say, his Daddy Pei would be in the company of Fu Sichen.
He would surely be beaten to death if he even tried to send a 'love note' to Pei Zhen right then.
Xiao Nian ruffled his hair in frustration. Then his hand brushed against something, and he looked down—he still had Ji Yuanqi's scarf around his neck.
Xiao Nian immediately yanked it off and focused his thoughts on his meeting the next day. Once he had a girlfriend, it wouldn't matter if Ji Yuanqi was serious or playing a joke, he'd have to take a backseat!
Surprisingly, that very night, Ji Yuanqi didn't make an appearance. Xiao Nian heaved a sigh of relief. The next day, Xiao Nian woke up unusually early to tidy up and groom himself. He took out an expensive suit and put it on.
Twice as handsome!
Xiao Nian was most satisfied. However, on his way out, he ran into Ji Yuanqi. It was awkward, running into his 'gay' friend, especially when Ji Yuanqi teased him with a wolf-whistle.
For unknown reasons, Xiao Nian felt his pulse quicken. But outwardly, he snorted and went his own way.
The small district was not far from Zhengda Plaza, and since it was still early, Xiao Nian decided to walk. He sent a text message to his wife. "Wifey, I'm going over now."
At the same time, Ji Yuanqi, who was just upstairs, received a text message too. He looked at Xiao Nian's message and smiled. Then moving his fingers, he replied, "Okay, Hubby, I'll be there right away."
So he liked lustrous long and straight hair?
Ji Yuanqi had taken a wig from the top of the closet. He put it on.