Chapter 43 - Chapter 43

“Then...” Gu Fei also took a piece of beef jerky and put it in his mouth, leaning on the other side of the sofa and slowly chewing it.

Jiang Cheng stared at the beef jerky in his hand, as if he saw a pit in front of him that he had dug out with his own hands. He didn't need to guess what Gu Fei was going to ask, it was a normal reaction anyone would have.

“What about you?” Gu Fei asked.  

Jiang Cheng sighed in his heart.

He didn't want to lie, but he was reluctant to talk about this. He didn't even know how to explain it without making himself look like a womanizer.

After asking, Gu Fei slowly drank his wine without asking again.

This considerate attitude made Jiang Cheng a little annoyed. It was as if he really had something shameful that he couldn't talk about.

"Before..." He hesitated for a moment, "I had a, uh, girlfriend... I can't really call her a girlfriend, from my class..."

"A girl?" Gu Fei turned to look at him in surprise.

"Yeah," Jiang Cheng lit another cigarette. The charcoal in the room was burning vigorously now, sending warm waves of air over and over, warming the alcohol in his body to a comfortable level, making him suddenly feel like saying something was okay. "My deskmate."

"Oh," Gu Fei was still looking at him, "I thought you...couldn't accept girls."

"Can't say for sure," Jiang Cheng leaned back against the sofa backrest, "For me, I’ve never had a boyfriend either, so I don't know what it feels like. I'm just..."  

Jiang Cheng cleared his throat and looked at the ceiling that was rotating very slowly in front of his eyes: "I've always been attracted to guys... but when she chased me, I didn't feel like there was anything wrong with it. I was annoyed by her not because she was a girl, but because she was annoying."

"You find everyone annoying," Gu Fei smiled, "I felt like you could start a fight with someone anytime, anywhere when we first met."

"I have a bad temper, I usually try to restrain it as much as I can. If I can't restrain it, then fuck it, whoever cares," Jiang Cheng smiled too, "But I wasn't annoyed by her just because know, some girls, when they try to get your attention, if you give them an inch they’ll take a mile."

"I don't understand," Gu Fei laughed at his rambling for a while, "I've always been unwilling to get close to girls."

"It shows," Jiang Cheng tilted his head, "You were afraid of Yi Jing sitting in your car today, right? All that escaping, aren't you afraid she’ll find out and it'll get awkward?"

"It’s still better than giving her a chance to confess and then rejecting her, right?" Gu Fei said.  

"True," Jiang Cheng gave him a thumbs up, "Nice guy."

Gu Fei pushed aside the hand that was waving a cigarette and almost poked his own face: "What about you and your girl...friend, have you broken up?"

"Yeah, before I came here," Jiang Cheng said, "Actually we were only together for a few days. I don't think she had any reluctance. She messaged me twice and then she ignored me. She probably went to find someone new. High school relationships that cross grades are already considered long distance. They don’t last.”

"Want some mint candy?" Gu Fei asked. "It's in that pocket."

"Oh," Jiang Cheng tried the other side and took out two pieces. He unwrapped one and put it in his mouth. The cool taste opened up a foggy passage along his throat and nose, but disappeared quickly. "Actually, what you said about not wanting to get close to girls is not accurate. Isn't Ding Zhuxin quite close to you?"

"Yeah, she's an exception," Gu Fei took a bag of peanuts, picked one out and slowly peeled it. "Her family used to live upstairs from me. I often went to her house to play. When my dad beat me, I ran to her house to hide."

Jiang Cheng sighed softly.  

"Her house was... my safe haven when I was little," Gu Fei threw the peanut into his mouth. "I was always afraid of my dad. When he yelled, I couldn't sleep all night, and when I did sleep, it was full of nightmares."

"How many years older is she than you?" Jiang Cheng asked.  

"Five years old," Gu Fei said. "Actually she wasn't much older back then, but she was good at comforting people and had a lot of ideas. So I felt like she was my shelter."

"The boss of bosses," Jiang Cheng marveled.  

Gu Fei smiled, "When I was little I also had a bad temper, didn't have many friends, so I could only chat with her. In the past, whenever something happened, my first thought was to discuss it with her."

"I see," Jiang Cheng was a little surprised. It seemed that Gu Fei was not as calm by nature as he appeared. "She does... give people quite an impressive feeling."

Gu Fei didn’t speak.  

"Now..." Jiang Cheng looked at him, recalling the message Ding Zhuxin had sent him that day.

"We don't have much contact now," Gu Fei said. "Relationships between people will always change. No relationship stays the same for a lifetime."  

Jiang Cheng could guess the meaning behind Gu Fei's words based on Ding Zhuxin's attitude. After drinking, the thinking of a top student was agile, and he also spoke without considering too much.

"She likes you, right?" he asked.

Gu Fei raised his eyebrows, "Was it too obvious or are you too sensitive?"

"My IQ is at least 100 Wang Xus higher than yours," Jiang Cheng pointed to his own head.  

"A whole head full of Wang Xus," Gu Fei laughed and took another peanut, "Not very suitable, is it? His head is full of nothing but Yi Jing..."

"Fuck off!" Jiang Cheng swiftly pointed his finger that was just pointing at his own head at Gu Fei.

Gu Fei just laughed without speaking. Jiang Cheng sighed, drank some alcohol, and laughed with him.  

"Hey," Jiang Cheng rubbed his forehead, "She knows about you, right?"

"Yeah, confessed, rejected, came out, did it all at once." Gu Fei said.  

"Fucking ruthless." Jiang Cheng looked at him.

"That's why I said, it's better to keep your distance from the start than to reject later." Gu Fei said.  

"...Yeah," Jiang Cheng closed his eyes for a moment, "Just thinking about it feels tiring."

"What's tiring about it, didn't you have a girlfriend?" Gu Fei said.

"No, not the same," Jiang Cheng shook his head, and the moment he shook his head, the room spun. He quickly stopped, "I don't dislike girls. I quite like looking at pretty ones, but I don't have...urges, you know, no inappropriate thoughts about pretty girls, which is very inappropriate."

Gu Fei laughed so hard he spilled his alcohol, "Do you have those inappropriate thoughts about handsome guys?"

"Yeah," Jiang Cheng felt the alcohol had loosened him up now and his words were unconstrained too. Riding on the tipsy feeling, the up and down emotions of the whole night broke free recklessly, like he wanted to vent it all out. "Don't you?"

Gu Fei coughed twice without answering.  

"You want to say no?" Jiang Cheng narrowed his eyes at him, "That would be dishonest."

Gu Fei took a sip of alcohol. He had originally wanted to calm down, but the alcohol made him even more emotionally unconstrained. That's why alcohol is good for relieving thousands of worries and taking off thousands of clothes.

Jiang Cheng could hold his liquor well, and was still sober even after drinking this much. But he had turned into someone else.

"Come on, bro," Jiang Cheng leaned sideways with one leg bent on the sofa, arm resting on the back.  

That phrase again. Gu Fei sighed, "Yeah, I do."

"That's more like it," Jiang Cheng smiled, probably feeling dizzy now. He leaned his head on his arm, "Very normal thing."

"Yeah." Gu Fei nodded.

It was quite a normal thing. If Jiang Cheng knew he had been "normal" in front of him several times, he didn't know what his expression would be.

“Me,” Jiang Cheng laughed for a bit then stopped, voice lowering. “I might really have had too much tonight.”

“Not like it's every night,” Gu Fei slid down against the seatback. “Occasionally is nothing. I...”

Before he finished, Jiang Cheng’s somewhat chilled fingertip touched below his earlobe and he froze, his first reaction wasn't shock but a thought that after drinking all night Jiang Cheng’s fingers were actually cool.  

The small icy point slid slowly from his ear to his neck, then hooked along his collarbone before he jerked his head to look at Jiang Cheng.

“Had those thoughts for me before too, right?” Jiang Cheng asked again, head tilted.

At this moment, Gu Fei had an urge to go to the bathroom and splash a basin of cold water on Jiang Cheng's face. Jiang Cheng, who had always avoided this topic, suddenly said such words... it must be the alcohol.  

Gu Fei glanced at the liquor bottles on the table. 56 degrees, they had a whole case of 12 bottles just for the party, Li Yan wouldn't buy fake ones just to save money...

Jiang Cheng flicked his finger on his face, "I'm asking you a question."

"No," Gu Fei answered.  

He admitted that Jiang Cheng's actions and words were like injecting alcohol directly into his veins. The impulse right now could pierce through steel plates... But his habitual restraint made him put in one last effort.

"Fuck," Jiang Cheng said softly, "Are you a wuss or just fucked up?"

Gu Fei was at a loss for words for once.

"That time during the photoshoot," Jiang Cheng suddenly leaned on the back of the sofa and stood up, one leg on the sofa, looking down at him, "You didn't get hard looking at the sofa, did you?"

Fuck! Me!

Gu Fei felt like two thunderous booms went off in his head.  

He never imagined Jiang Cheng would notice such details, let alone say it so bluntly.

This was too out of character for Jiang Cheng.

"My eyes are good," Jiang Cheng flicked his nose again, "I don't wear glasses."

Gu Fei was surprised, but couldn't help laughing, "My prescription is very light."

"Don't change the subject," Jiang Cheng stared at him. Although his gaze was noticeably unsteady, the aggressiveness was obvious. "Was it the sofa or me?"

"You," Gu Fei answered.  

Jiang Cheng didn't speak, just tilted his head and spat out the mint.  

Gu Fei wanted to say you're pretty awesome to keep a mint in your mouth for so long. But he didn't get to say it.

Jiang Cheng suddenly leaned down and kissed him on the mouth.

Gu Fei had no kissing experience. Judging by Jiang Cheng's reflex to hit anyone who touched him with a karate chop, he probably didn't have such experience either.

But for things like this...

When Jiang Cheng's minty tongue squeezed through his teeth, Gu Fei grabbed his collar and pulled him down.  

Jiang Cheng's hand slipped from the backrest and he hugged Gu Fei, grabbing his clothes and reaching inside to pinch his waist fiercely.

At that moment, Jiang Cheng felt like his brain had disappeared. There was no feeling, no thought, even a thought like damn this feels so fucking good vanished into thin air.  

It was as if all the organs in his body had become void, without sensation. His whole body only had his lips and tongue left, and the evil origin below. As if detached from consciousness and control, they exerted all potential on their own.

Gu Fei's response was intense. Several times Jiang Cheng was floating in the warm waves of his brain and wanted to bite down hard, as if only through such confrontation could he release all the cravings that were gathering more and more, getting hotter and more unbearable.

When his hearing occasionally came back, he could hear panting, his own and Gu Fei's, indistinguishable.

When his sense of touch came back occasionally, he could feel Gu Fei's firm smooth skin in his palm, and the electric shocks brought by Gu Fei's hands roaming his body.

The two fell onto the sofa. Jiang Cheng reached into Gu Fei's pants, and Gu Fei ripped open his buttons. Only then did all the organs in his body come back to life.  

The intense, never before experienced tremor that went from his lower abdomen through his heart drowned him in an instant.

The fire in the stove was vigorous, with visible leaping flames.

Jiang Cheng sat on the floor leaning against the sofa.  

His head was still dizzy, his whole body felt tired and weak, from the alcohol and also the extreme excitement if his body was emptied.

He didn't know when he had sat down on the floor. When he regained awareness, he was already sitting here. Gu Fei leaned against the sofa. Both were silent.

He could feel the coolness seeping up from the floor on his butt, but he didn't want to move. Staring at the paper balls and glass cup Gu Fei had thrown on the floor, and the unfinished spilled alcohol that hadn't dried yet.

After a while, Gu Fei threw a small cushion next to him, "The floor's cold."

It took him a good while before he reached out to grab the cushion and sat on it properly.

"Want a cigarette?" Gu Fei asked again.

"Post-sex cigarette, huh?" Jiang Cheng glanced at him.  

Gu Fei just smiled without answering, and handed the cigarette box over. He took one and lit it, continuing to space out.

"If you don't want to go back, you can sleep here," Gu Fei said, "This sofa can fold out into a bed."

"What time is it?" Jiang Cheng asked.

Gu Fei felt around for a while but couldn't find his phone, "I don't know where my phone is."

Jiang Cheng looked around. He couldn't see his phone either.  

Their phones were both thrown on the sofa earlier. Now they were both gone... His face heated up all of a sudden. Jerking off once could lead to such earth-shattering, world-changing events. He felt like the legs of this sofa were broken. Maybe today would be the day this sofa loses all its legs...

How did the legs on this sofa break before?

All kinds of inappropriate images flashed through Jiang Cheng's mind.


Gu Fei found both their phones under the crumpled fabric on the sofa.

Jiang Cheng took it and glanced at the screen. Not even 12 o'clock yet.

It was neither too early or too late now. He didn't want to move anymore, but spending the night here also seemed a bit long.

Gu Fei didn't seem conflicted. He sat by the stove and took some sweet potatoes out of a cardboard box next to it, throwing them into the embers.

"You're hungry?" Jiang Cheng asked.

"Yeah," Gu Fei used a poker to turn the sweet potatoes in the fire, burying them in the coal ash, "Want some?"

"Can these cook?" Jiang Cheng was a little worried.

"City folks don't know, huh," Gu Fei said. "We country folks eat sweet potatoes with charcoal."

"Fuck off," Jiang Cheng laughed.

After the passion, his body felt emptied so he was a little cold. Jiang Cheng kicked a small stool next to the stove, planning to sit and warm himself by the fire.

When his peripheral vision swept the paper balls on the ground, he suddenly felt extremely awkward. He kept feeling like someone could walk in anytime and immediately tell what had happened here just from the paper.

He swiftly went over, indiscriminately gathering all the paper balls. Not having a trash can in sight, holding this stuff in his hands didn't feel good. So he threw the paper into the brick stove.

The paper balls immediately turned into balls of golden flames, billowing black smoke.

"What the fuck?" Gu Fei was stunned. "What did you throw in there?"

"The paper just now..." Jiang Cheng said.

"The used ones?" Gu Fei looked at him.

"Yea," Jiang Cheng looked back at him, "No shit I wouldn't throw unused ones in there."

"There's food under there. Throwing that stuff in..." Gu Fei sighed. "Whatever, they're burnt up now anyway."

"I'll be damned," Jiang Cheng was rendered speechless by him, "Didn't know you were so particular usually."

"I'm not particular. I'm just casually commenting," Gu Fei said. "I'm too lazy to clean up that paper."

Jiang Cheng didn't even want to talk anymore. He sat next to him, staring at the flames spacing out.

The alcohol hadn't worn off yet, but a dizzy sensation was slowly spreading, turning into weakness. Sitting here he even felt a little tired. He pushed against the floor with his feet and slid the stool back, stretching his legs and leaning against the wall.

There was no awkwardness now, just some subtle bewilderment he couldn't put into words.

They sat in silence until the sweet potatoes were cooked, neither speaking but not because of embarrassment.

Gu Fei put a paper plate under one and handed a sweet potato to him.

The outside was covered with a hard, sticky shell. When peeled back, a sweet aroma filled the nose.  

"Smells pretty good," he said.

"Yeah," Gu Fei took one for himself as well, "When I was little, I liked to hide in some secluded spot, dig a hole, build a fire, and roast sweet potatoes like this to eat."

"You must have been very lonely as a child," said Jiang Cheng.

"Yes," Gu Fei nodded, "After having Er Miao, I wasn't lonely anymore, just annoyed."

Jiang Cheng smiled.

After eating the sweet potatoes, a warm feeling filled their stomachs. Jiang Cheng started feeling drowsy, his eyes drooping.  

"Go ahead and sleep, there's a blanket here, Li Yan brought it over, doesn't look like it's been used," Gu Fei added more coal to the stove and got up, pulling a bag out from the broken cabinet, "I...I'll head back in a bit."

"...Going back now?" Jiang Cheng was puzzled.  

Gu Fei glanced at him, then glanced in the bag: "There's only one blanket."

"...Oh," Jiang Cheng responded.

After spacing out for a bit, he really couldn't fight off the drowsiness anymore. He got up and pulled the sofa flat, lying down with a feeling of comfort. He pulled the blanket over himself.  

Gu Fei remained seated nearby without moving. Jiang Cheng's eyes were drooping as well, and he was too lazy to ask further. He simply closed his eyes.  

Just as he was about to fall asleep, the sofa shifted lightly as Gu Fei sat down next to him.  

"You're not going back?" Jiang Cheng opened his eyes.

"You're not asleep yet?" Gu Fei turned his head.

"No," said Jiang Cheng.

"I don't want to move either," Gu Fei put a cushion under his head and laid down, "Squeeze a bit?"

"Okay." Jiang Cheng shifted some of the blanket over to him.

Though he had been drowsy earlier, now that Gu Fei was lying down next to him, he found that he couldn't fall asleep at all. His eyes were tired but he was wide awake.

Looks like insomnia was setting in.

"Still awake?" Gu Fei asked beside him.

"Yeah," Jiang Cheng replied, "Can't fall asleep."

"Fussy sleeper?" Gu Fei asked.

"No," Jiang Cheng sighed, "Where's your phone?"

"What's up?" Gu Fei turned his head.

"Let me help you get past those last few levels of Candy Crush," Jiang Cheng said. "I can usually fall asleep after playing a few rounds of mindless games like that when I'm bored."

"Fuck," Gu Fei laughed and handed his phone over.

Though Jiang Cheng called it a stupid game, the later levels were actually quite difficult too. Gu Fei had done well to get this far already.

Jiang Cheng himself wasn't confident he could breeze through the levels either. Luck still played a big role.

In his current state, having drank and gone a bit crazy tonight, his luck had probably run out. This Candy Crush had turned into Annoying Crush.

Gu Fei had accumulated over 20 hearts. Jiang Cheng used up half just to finally clear the first level.

"Ah," he let out a soft sigh, "Bad luck today. Took so long just to pass one level."

Gu Fei didn't respond.

Jiang Cheng glanced over and saw that Gu Fei had tilted his head and fallen asleep.

"Damn," Jiang Cheng felt a flash of irritation and tossed the phone aside, pulling the blanket up as he laid down. Go past your own damn level.

The light in the room remained on. Though it wasn't very bright, he could see Gu Fei's face clearly.

He glared at Gu Fei's profile, watching it double, then blur, before the surroundings slowly darkened.


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