The night in Pingcheng was beautiful, with heavy snowflakes falling. Looking out through the French windows, it seemed as though the distant sea was sprinkled with tiny stars.
Inside the room, it was quiet, and one could almost hear the gentle sound of waves lapping against the shore.
Cheng Chu was nestled under the covers, with only her head poking out.
"Are you asleep?" she asked in a muffled voice.
The young man lay flat on the sofa, his head tilted back, and his eyes as black as the night sky, seemingly lost in the twinkling stars.
"No," he replied. He couldn't sleep.
"Then let's chat," Cheng Chu turned over and faced the sofa.
A distant moon hung in the sky, and the faint moonlight shone in, casting a hazy shadow on the sofa. Cheng Chu felt calm and peaceful as she looked at the shadow.
"Sure," Gu Miao thought for a moment and asked, "What do you want to talk about?"
In the dark of night, Cheng Chu blinked and suddenly said, "Can you tell me a horror story?"
The room fell silent, with only the faint hum of the air conditioning. The young boy thought for a moment and said, "I heard one when I was little, about a piano."
Cheng Chu curled her toes in excitement and urged, "Tell me, tell me!"
His voice lowered and drifted through the night, adding a mysterious air. "Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved to play the piano..."
Cheng Chu couldn't help but hold her breath.
"One day, her family moved into a new house, and in the living room was a piano. Every night, the little girl could hear the distant sound of the piano."
Cheng Chu nervously swallowed her saliva.
"One night, she finally gathered the courage to go downstairs and saw a pair of hands floating over the piano, playing slowly and gently."
Cheng Chu widened his eyes and asked, "And then what happened?"
"After that, I forgot," he said.
Is that it?
Cheng Chu silently rolled her eyes. But thinking of her original intention, she pretended to be scared and lowered her voice, "How scary."
The girl's voice was soft and delicate, accompanied by the vast and quiet sea in the distance, inexplicably evoking a sense of pity.
The boy looked at the figure curled up in bed and suddenly felt guilty.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have told you," he paused and said in a deep voice.
"But I asked you to tell me," the girl turned over.
The room was silent, and the warmth from the heater made people feel cozy inside.
The sound of the blanket rubbing against the bed filled the room. The girl's voice was soft and low, "I'm a little scared. Can you come and keep me company?"
Gu Miao's Adam's apple bobbed up and down rapidly.
Moonlight streamed in through the window, and he shifted uncomfortably, only able to see the girl's long hair spread out on the snow-white pillow like ink spilled on paper.
"Hmm?" His voice trembled, feeling as though the girl's voice had turned into a pair of invisible hands that tightly grasped his heart with every call.
"Every time I close my eyes, I see those scenes." The girl sniffled softly.
Gu Miao raised his eyebrows and, as if resigned to his fate, closed his eyes, hiding the struggle in his eyes. He lifted the blanket and walked towards the bed.
The carpet on the floor muffled his footsteps, and he stood hesitantly by the bed. A faint moonlight shone into the girl's eyes. She stretched her white arms out from under the covers and gently pulled him towards her.
The young man suddenly fell onto the bed. He propped himself up with his hands on either side, trapping the girl in his embrace.
"I'm sorry," his eyes, as lonely as the night, flickered. His hands trembled as he struggled to get up.
But the girl wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down gently.
Their lips met, their breaths intertwined.
The hot and humid air almost suffocated Gu Miao. He knew he should get up, but the wonderful sensation of her lips shattered his last bit of rationality.
The muscles on his strong arms struggled to move, but in the end, he silently closed his eyes and responded to the kiss that seemed to melt him.
The quiet room was occasionally filled with sounds that made their faces flush and their hearts race. The blanket separating the two bodies had been removed at some point, and their hot bodies were tightly pressed together.
The girl's nimble tongue had somehow slipped in, causing Gu Miao to lose half his life in a moment of ecstasy. The fire that had been ignited within him was now melting into a puddle of water, subdued by his newly risen rationality.
With his eyes half-closed, a look of intoxication appeared on his normally cool and collected face. His hands unconsciously floated up to the girl's soft and tender cheeks, tracing down her neck and slowly moving downwards.
Suddenly, the phone on the bedside table vibrated.
His hands froze at his collarbone, and his lost rationality returned in an instant.
"I'm sorry," he stammered, getting up in a panic.
Outside the window, the stars twinkled as Cheng Chu lay on the bed, her beautiful face flushed with a hint of red. Between her breaths, a few strands of messy hair floated quietly on the pillow. The young man's eyes grew hot, and the fire in his heart surged beneath him.
He clenched his fists tightly, wishing he could slap himself.
The damp, hot air lingered in the air as Gu Miao stiffly reached out to help the girl cover herself with the blanket, then picked up her phone from the bedside table and handed it to her.
"I, I need to go to the bathroom." His stutter, which hadn't appeared in a long time, seemed to have happened countless times this night.
Cheng Chu was wrapped in a thick cotton blanket and heard a distant "click."
The room fell into silence, with only the faint sound of water.
She lifted the blanket and sat on the edge of the bed, opening her phone.
She wanted to see who the person without any sense was!
But when the WeChat screen popped up, the anger hidden in her heart was instantly extinguished by fear.
"Are you resting? Send me a picture of the hotel tomorrow." It was a message from Fu Rong. Looking at the time, it was already past eleven o'clock. She decided to put down her phone and pretend to sleep.
The night sea view was exceptionally beautiful, with sparkling stars scattered across the vast sea. She stared at it for a while, and the flush on her cheeks gradually faded away.
The sound of water in the bathroom was constant. She pursed her lips, hesitating whether to get up and walk towards the bathroom.
"Miao Ge?" She pressed the door handle, but the door wasn't closed tightly and slid open all at once.
The young man had his back to her, revealing his solid back and narrow waist, with sparkling water droplets slowly sliding down.
He suddenly turned off the water, his ears turning bright red. "How did you get in here?"
But Cheng Chu didn't answer. Her mind was in a daze, with the image of his sexy six-pack abs and the indescribable...replaying over and over again.
She walked over, and the empty bathroom echoed with each step.
"Cold showers aren't good for the body." The girl's crisp voice echoed in the bathroom, causing the boy's heart to tremble.
He felt as though his vocal cords were being strangled, dry and painful, unable to produce a sound.
The girl's footsteps sounded like they were stepping on his almost exploding heart.
"Do you want me to help you?" Her warm hands attached to his arm, slowly moving down with the flowing water droplets.
"Uh...yes." He groaned, feeling as though his life was being held by the girl's gentle hands.
His thundering heartbeat almost filled his eardrums, and the overwhelming pleasure rose like flames from his tailbone, instantly bringing back his rationality that was previously cooled down by the cold water.
"Chuchu...stop." He protested in a low, hoarse voice, but it sounded more like an invitation.
The girl's hand moved. He stopped breathing and almost lost his life.
Suddenly, the young man remembered a dream he had when he was young, in the midst of an overwhelming pleasure.
Once upon a time, his humble heart, which was as lowly as dust, defiled the goddess who was high above in the night when no one knew.
But now, the dream had become a reality.
He completely lost his sanity, forgot everything, and just closed his eyes in obsession. Blue veins bulged on his pale neck, and a drunken look remained on his cold face.
After an unknown amount of time, he groaned and felt like he had ascended to heaven in that moment.
But the next second, he lowered his gaze and saw the blushing girl in front of him, instantly sobering up.
"I'm sorry, Chuchu," he felt empty inside and wished he could die to apologize.
How could he, how could he defile her like this?
With red eyes, he dragged the girl to the edge of the pool and repeatedly washed her slightly reddened hands.
His hoarse voice echoed in the bathroom, "I'm sorry, Chuchu."
The girl didn't struggle as he held her hand, pleading for forgiveness.
"Why do you need to apologize?" she asked softly, looking at the redness in the boy's eyes.
"I..." The hand soap foamed up, making his soft hands fragrant and smooth. Suddenly, he remembered how those hands had held him, causing him to lose his heartbeat and his mind.
"I shouldn't have..." He closed his eyes, unable to look at her hands anymore. His throat rolled as he said, "I shouldn't have let you do this."
He also shouldn't have defiled her like this.
The girl turned on the faucet, and the water washed away the dirt and sin from the boy's hands, as if washing away his impurities.
"But Miao Ge," she looked up, her peach blossom eyes shining with hesitation, "we're a couple, so there shouldn't be anything wrong with it, right?"
The surroundings were quiet, the water tap not fully closed, dripping a few drops of water.
She bit her lip and lowered her head, her voice muffled, "Miao Ge, you're such an old-fashioned person."
Gu Miao's face turned red all of a sudden.
"I, I, I..."
"Okay," the girl blinked, "Old-fashioned Miao Ge, let's go to bed."
She took off the towel and wiped her hands, covering up the slight shyness in her heart, and opened the door with a forced calmness.
"Hurry up and clean up and lie down on the bed."
She took a few steps and stopped, her delicate eyebrows furrowed, pretending to be fierce, "No sleeping on the sofa, I'm afraid of the cold, I want to sleep while hugging you."
The young man stood frozen in place, unsure of where to put his hands after her words.
"Did you hear me?" she turned around and asked calmly.
The distant lights shone through the floor-to-ceiling windows and into the room. His heart still trembling, Gu Miao nodded blankly.
The night was beautiful, and when he emerged from the bathroom, the girl was still sitting on the bed.
Her peach blossom eyes shimmered in the light. Gu Miao didn't know what came over him, but his feet carried him towards her.
The girl's soft body leaned against him, and she whispered, "Goodnight, old-fashioned."
"Goodnight," he replied.
After what felt like an eternity, her breathing had become steady and long, but Gu Miao still couldn't fall asleep.
As he gazed out at the shimmering sea in the distance, the self-loathing that had lingered in his heart dissipated, thanks to the girl's words.
The author has something to say:
Gu Miao: Am I really that old-fashioned?
Translations during sleepless nights. I can sleep when I'm dead! ...Please let me sleep. Happy readers keep me awake, and lots of love and a huge thank you for supporting my hobby!
Give me feedback at moc.ebircssutol@ypeels.