The moon rises above the heart.
At midnight, Xue Liang helped Yan Chong down from the car, stepping carefully through the courtyard, and heading towards the villa. Yan Chong was drunk, but still insisted he wasn't, pushing away his hands, saying "Don't help me, I'm not drunk."
Xue Liang sighed, "Still saying you're not drunk...alright, prove you're not drunk by walking two steps. I'm letting go."
He did as he said and released Yan Chong.
Yan Chong swayed three times, barely managing to stand. His eyes were blurry and he looked up at the bright moon in the sky, then looked down again. He then turned around and staggered a few steps, one of them landing on Xue Liang's foot.
Xue Liang caught Yan Chong as he fell onto his shoulder, laughing and wincing at the same time. "You really have good aim," he said, his features twisted in pain. "You must have been waiting to catch me, huh? Stop 'walking properly' and go back to sleep."
Yan Chong murmured a faint "Mm," probably too drunk to open his eyes. He clung to Xue Liang's neck, refusing to let go until Xue Liang carried him back inside the house.
Today, Xue Liang had said his line and made President Song speechless, though he had felt great at the time, he still had to rely on Yan Chong to help him clean up afterwards. But everyone present could tell how Yan Chong was looking after this kid, so it was hard to resist teasing him, as if the fox's tail had been caught.
Despite his strong alcohol tolerance, even President Yan couldn't resist the effects of a prolonged drinking session. Xue Liang regretted it bitterly. Finally, when Yan Chong was thoroughly drunk, the two of them were able to excuse themselves from the table and retire to their lodgings for some rest.
"Come, take it easy..." Xue Liang let Yan Chong sit on the bed's side, and squatted down to untie his shoes. Yan Chong opened his drunken eyes, staring at the curls on top of Xue Liang's head. Suddenly, he said nothing, curling up his legs and turning away, burying his face in the quilt.
"Hm?" Xue Liang was bewildered, and pulled him back, "What's wrong? Are you uncomfortable? Unwell?"
Yan Chong's disheveled hair was scattered across his forehead. He was probably feeling unwell from drinking too much, his eyebrows wrinkling, eyes reddening. It added a sense of fragility to his usually strong and handsome demeanor, making it even more heartbreaking.
Before Xue Liang could process his sudden heart-racing, he was faced with the stimulating scene of his object of affection, drunk and lying on the bed. It was like being hit directly by a pink shell, and he was nervous to the point that he didn't know where to put his hands.
"Boss?" Xue Liang said, almost stumbling on his words. He gently pushed Yan Chong's shoulder, "Erm...don't get cold without the quilt, take off your clothes and sleep."
Yan Chong seemed to be in a deep sleep, not replying.
Xue Liang awkwardly reached out to his chest and undid two buttons, unable to take it anymore. He hurriedly said, "I'm going to get some water," and ran away with his tail between his legs.
At the sound of the doorbell, Yan Chong opened his eyes and was still dazed. He slowly raised his hand and touched his heart.
His chest was pounding with a beating like that of a butterfly trying to escape from its prison, fluttering its wings in a storm known to no one.
In the open kitchen on the first floor, Xue Liang was boiling water. Glancing out of the sidelight window, he happened to see someone outside the courtyard, looking straight at the window with light coming from it.
Xue Liang was startled. Fortunately, there was a small light hung on the iron gate at the door. He held his heart and felt his way to the window, squinting closely to see the person's face in the dim light - it was none other than Han Bowen.
He seemed to be living in a TV show. Xue Liang really didn't understand why he was so persistent in hating him, as if he was about to take his life with a red rope at any moment.
He thought for a moment and took a kitchen knife from the cabinet, putting it in his pocket and walking out of the villa.
Han Bowen didn't expect him to come out. He was about to run away when Xue Liang walked down the steps quickly and shouted from afar: "Stop! Why are you running?"
Xue Liang had trained in stage performance and shouted with a deep breath and a loud, clear voice that was penetrating. Han Bowen was so scared that he didn't dare to move. Xue Liang scowled, walked closer, opened the small iron gate and said, "It's so late, what's going on?"
Han Bowen now knew he was not to be provoked. He just couldn't help but come to have a look, but he didn't expect to be discovered by Xue Liang.
"I..." He stammered for a long time without saying a word. Xue Liang saw it, so he just said straightforwardly, "Ok, I also want to ask you..."
"We weren't familiar before? When did I offend you, why do you hate me so much?"
Han Bowen looked at him in surprise and said coldly, "Don't pretend, have you forgotten even your own surname after acting as the white lotus?"
Xue Liang ignored his personal attack and said, "Oh, it seems there is a story I don't know. Can you tell me more in detail?"
"What is there to say? That you snatched my chance and it should have been me standing beside President Yan? That because of your interception, I can only..." Han Bowen said through gritted teeth, "Xue Liang, you just asked if you offended me, I want to ask too, did I offend you? Why did you have to compete with me?"
Xue Liang made him confused. He still felt something was wrong: "What do you mean by 'it should have been you standing beside President Yan'?"
"Alright, I'll make it clear," Han Bowen sneered. "President Yan wanted to have someone to take care of him. It was supposed to be me, but you jumped in and snatched someone else's gold master. What else can I say? Don't pretend to be naive."
Xue Liang: "???"
"Hold on, I feel like there's something wrong with this misunderstanding," Xue Liang said. "I'm not sure what agreement you have with President Yan. But I'm not being taken care of by him... I'm his assistant, an intern, and I signed a labor contract."
Han Bowen was unmoved: "A CEO of his stature would take on a summer intern as a special assistant? Wake up, don't fool yourself. If you dare to admit it openly, I'd still consider you having some guts."
The immense information contained in these few sentences completely confused Xue Liang. After a moment of chaotic thought, he finally grabbed the most crucial one: "You were introduced there. Who was the one that connected you on Yan Chong's side?"
"A certain Assistant Cui," Han Bowen said, "We agreed to the interview at Shengze Hotel on June 4th, but then I was told that someone else was hired."
Xue Liang was suddenly enlightened, like falling into an ice cave.
He couldn't see his own expression, but he could sense the neurotic look in Han Bowen's eyes. He held on to the last bit of hope and forced himself to ask, "Do you remember... the hotel room number?"
Han Bowen took out his phone and flipped through his memo: "Shengze Hotel, 7601."
Xue Liang took out his phone, tremblingly flipping through his WeChat records, and found the interview address his senior had sent him two months ago: "Shengze A Building, 7601."
He had... gone to the wrong place.
After two months, with his whole body drenched in cold sweat, Xue Liang finally realized the fatal mistake he had made.
Han Bowen glanced at his chat records, his mouth twitching: "Shengze Hotel 7601 is a guest room, A Building 7601 is their hotel apartment... Are you fucking stupid?!"