Edited by Asa
The icy cold lake water cocooned him. His body was so cold that he could no longer feel anything. His entire face submerged under the surface, his chest feeling as though it had been stuffed with countless sponges, expanding, leaving no spaces for air. He felt as though he would suffocate the next second.
At this moment, his hand was dragged into someone’s embrace, and he heard a sobbing female’s voice. “Shixiong, why did you have to abandon me? Why?”
“Cut! Cut! Yao Lili, do you have brains? Can you at least pretend to cry a little more realistically?”
The director’s shout of rage rang out, and it meant that it was finally time to take a break.
Yun Jinshu stuck his head out of the water. Having held his breath for so long, his brain was in severe need of oxygen. He could not stand steadily, and when the large group of crew members saw his ashen face, and they all came over worriedly afraid that something would happen to the superstar. Xiaoshi, his assistant, shot through the crowd, hurriedly wrapping him with a big towel, wiping away the drops of water from his face, looking distressed.
“Yun-ge, are you alright? Your complexion looks pretty bad. If you’re not well, we’ll just let the stunt double replace you.”
Pulling the towel around him, Yun Jinshu shook his head. Clear water droplets slid down his fair face, and his black eyes looked even more electric with the dampness. He smiled at the crowd, but his voice was a little hoarse, “I’m fine, I just need a little rest.”
He waved his hand at them, gesturing at them to leave, and only the huffy Xiaoshi remained.
Pursing his lips, he glanced at the female lead who had been criticised by the director to the point of weeping. Xiaoshi could not help but grumble, “Yun-ge, your temper is really good, and you’re too dedicated to your work. For a person like Yao Lili, who doesn’t have any acting skills and slept her way here, you even accompanied her when she NG-ed eleven times, and yet she still has to face to cry there!”
Yun Jinshu’s face changed, and he looked at him calmly. “Xiaoshi, you’ve gone overboard. Everyone started as a newcomer, and we shouldn’t be hard on them. I respect anyone who is able to survive in this industry, no matter their methods.”
Xiaoshi seemed to want to continue, but the phone next to them suddenly vibrated. Seeing the number on the screen, he immediately shut his mouth and obediently ran a distance away.
Yun Jinshu looked at the screen, and answered the call with a smile.
“Superstar, how’s the filming? Let’s have dinner together tonight.”
A low and gentle voice came through the phone. Even though he did not see him, Yun Jinshu could still imagine the gentle look on the person’s face.
He sighed, rubbing his wet hair and smiled. “I’m afraid the filming won’t be done before the sky turns dark. Han-laoban1 will have to look for someone else.”
A low laugh was heard, and the voice became husky, speaking as though he was whispering to Yun Jinshu on a bed. “That won’t work, if I look for someone else, how would I get to see this beautiful scenery?”
Yun Jinshu was astonished. Clutching his phone, his eyes swept across his surroundings. Han Jiang was standing nearby, smiling and waving at him, and he could not stop his lips from curving up.
Han Jiang was dressed in a white shirt, and his dark grey waistcoat made him look even more dignified. Together with the suit of the same colour in his hand, he looked just like a young master leaving a banquet. The gentle and tender smile on his face was even more enchanting, and dazzled the crowd.
“Han-laoban’s ability for sweet talk has really improved a lot recently. Who has he been practising with?”
Han Jiang smiled, but did not reply. He put down his phone and walked over, grabbing Yun Jinshu’s hand. “I haven’t seen you in 2 weeks, and you’ve now gained a glib tongue.”
Everyone understood what went on in the entertainment circle, and seeing the two people holding hands, everyone had a tacit understanding. They all looked away and busied themselves. A big boss with an impressive background, and an influential superstar, who would dare to pass any judgement in front of them?
Yun Jinshu raised his brow in resignation, smiling faintly. “There are so many people here. Isn’t Han-laoban afraid that this would affect your little lover, and make them unhappy?”
Han Jiang burst out laughing, and the lines of his handsome face softened. “I don’t have any little lovers, but there’s one who likes to play little tricks. Let’s go, superstar. You should take a break. Today’s filming isn’t that urgent.”
Without giving Yun Jinshu time to react, Han Jiang pulled him along without looking back, heading out of the filming location. He seemed to be uncaring about whether the director and producer would be anxious once they knew that the male lead had secretly sneaked off.
Yun Jinshu was a little worried, but did not say it out loud. A person like Han Jiang, with his status, always meant what he said. The director probably even had to give him face and work with him, which meant that he was the only one thinking too much about this situation.
Thinking about this, he turned and waved at Xiaoshi, allowing Han Jiang to pull him into the black Bentley waiting at the door.
In the car, Han Jiang put his arm around Yun Jinshu’s waist very naturally. Reaching up with his other hand, he caressed his wet hair, and spoke with a low voice, “Are you tired? Do you want to go home and rest, or do you want dinner first?”
“Let’s go for dinner first.” Yun Jinshu looked down and smiled lightly. Although he was exhausted, he did not want to dampen Han Jiang’s mood.
Han Jiang nodded, pulling him into his arms and carefully helped him tidy his messy fringe. “Sure, then just lean against me and nap for a bit. Wait for me to wake you up, alright?”
His voice was always very gentle, and his attitude extremely caring and considerate. It would make a person feel the warmth in his heart, and it never felt feigned. Yun Jinshu was only his hired lover, but he was so thoughtful and meticulous that Yun Jinshu could not help but fall for him.
Maybe it was this exact reason that made him press on, sinking into this hole like a moth flying towards a flame?
Yun Jinshu curled his lip, a little self-mocking. He leaned onto Han Jiang’s shoulder, and closed his eyes, at ease.
Having soaked an entire day in the icy lake, and with countless NG repeats, he really was dead tired, and it only took him a short while to fall asleep. Even what Han Jiang said was no longer distinct.
Some time later, the car suddenly stopped. The broad and warm chest next to his body shifted away, and before leaving, he even covered him with a flannel blanket. “Jinshu, I suddenly remembered that I’ve left an important document in the office. Wait for me here, I’ll be back soon.”
Yu Jinshu was drowsy, and could not determine if this was reality or a dream. Nodding his head like a machine, he then curled up underneath the blanket.
That man only gave a slight doting laugh, closing the door and left.
A moment later, the car door opened. Someone came in and sat next to him. Out of habit, Yun Jinshu leaned towards him, and without opening his eyes, he fell asleep again.
The car jolted along the journey, and finally stopped. Slightly awake, Yun Jinshu opened his eyes groggily, when a man in a suit suddenly held a handkerchief to his mouth.
Yun Jinshu realised something was wrong, and tried to see the person in front of him clearly. However, that person pushed him fiercely against the seat, and his hands were tied behind him.
“Mmm… Mmm…” His eyes widened, wanting to call for help. However, in his nose was an astringent smell, his vision wavered, and he fell unconscious.
During his last moments of consciousness, there was only one thought in his mind. Fortunately this was not happening to Han Jiang…
Yun Jinshu was awakened by a bucket of cold water. He forced his eyes open, only to realise how desperate a situation he was in.
His limbs had been tied securely to a huge granite slab, his body aching and weak. Having soaked in cold water the entire day, goosebumps spread across his skin.
He inhaled a few deep breaths, sweeping his eyes around the room. Almost using up all his strength, he asked, “What are your motives for kidnapping me?”
In front of him stood a group of men in black. The leader, wearing sunglasses, was sitting nearby. Seeing that he had woken up, he slowly made his way over, and placed his foot on Yun Jinshu’s stomach.
“Goddamnit! Superstar, you’re finally awake! I spent so much effort and didn’t catch the legal wife, but caught this extra instead! Fuck, how unlucky!”
Yun Jinshu gave a muffled snort, his mind buzzing non-stop. What extra, what legal wife? He completely did not understand what the guy was saying.
That man in black did not give him any time to think about it. He grabbed at his collar, giving him two tight slaps. “I don’t believe that having kept you by his side and telling everyone that you’re his lover, you’re not worth a single thing to Han Jiang!”
Yun Jinshu spat out his blood, his face swollen. His brain was still spinning, but he had a feeling of impending doom.
“You… wanted to catch Han Jiang?”
That man gripped his hair, yanking him up. “That fellow is very sly. Even if I catch and kill him with a gunshot, I’ll never be able to let go of my hate. So, I don’t plan on catching him, but instead, I’ll slowly torture you to death, and let him be overwhelmed with grief to the point that he wished he was dead!”
That man yanked Yun Jinshu’s hair and dragged him along the ground, face down, for over ten metres. The glass shards on the floor all scraped across his flesh, and every inch of his exposed skin was dripping with blood. His handsome face was now a mess of flesh and blood.
Yun Jinshu moaned in pain. The man then gave a few impatient, harsh kicks at his stomach with his leather shoes.
The sharp pain travelled to all his limbs, and blood trickled from his lips. His mind blanked out, but in his heart, he sighed in relief.
If Han Jiang had not gotten off the car, the one suffering this treatment might have been him. Thinking about that gentle man with a face full of blood, Yun Jinshu’s heart clenched tightly, as though someone had gotten hold of it in their grasp.
The phone rang for a long time. That man continuously caressed Yun Jinshu’s chest salaciously until the call was answered, and Han Jiang’s voice could be heard as the phone was on the loudspeaker mode.
“Han Jiang, your lover is now in my hands. If you’re smart, you’ll go to the political bureau and act accordingly as I had told you before! If not, I’ll just kill him now. You don’t want your darling to die on the streets, right?”
“Heh, I thought you were intelligent, but turns out you’re actually really gullible.”
After a long pause, Han Jiang’s low laughter could be heard. There was even some scorn in his voice. “If not for me giving you a chance, do you think you’d have had an easy time kidnapping Yun Jinshu from my car? Let me tell you the truth. I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. He’s only a shield to protect my lover. I can’t believe you actually fell for those lies.”
The veins on the man’s face bulged, and he kicked Yun Jinshu a few times in his lower body. After hearing the moans of pain that were forced out of him, he gnashed his teeth and roared at his phone, “You don’t have to act anymore! Let me tell you, I won’t fall for your trick! You even dared to bring this whore who rose up to stardom with his face to your commissar father, and you now have the guts to pretend you don’t care? Hah, if you played me, I’ll play with this little star till he dies!”
“You think I’ll allow something like letting you guys get an advantage over me?” A burst of laughter rang from the phone. “I hope you’ll face an overwhelming defeat during the election happening the day after tomorrow. As for Yun Jinshu… Heh, I’ll leave him to you. I’ve spent so much effort and money to make him famous, now it’s time for him to be a little useful.”
Yun Jinshu’s mind buzzed, and scenes from their past played continuously in his head like a movie. That gentle sincerity, that care and concern, those pledges and promises… They were all fake?
He suddenly seemed to regain his strength, clutching the end of that man’s trousers and stared at the phone. There was a million of things he wanted to say, but finally only exhaled, “Han Jiang…”
There was only dead silence. A click, and a ear-piercing beep was heard.
“Motherfucker! Han Jiang, since you’re this heartless, then don’t blame me for doing this!” In a fit of anger, the man threw his phone at the ground. The screen shattered, and he raised his foot and gave Yun Jinshu a few good hard kicks.
He instructed his subordinates behind me, “Throw this trash into the car!”
Yun Jinshu was bleeding all over his body. His consciousness was gradually fading away, and he felt like his chest was being carved by an icy sharp blade.. He was in so much pain that he could not even shout.
Han Jiang… Han Jiang! Tell me, why?!
He wanted to yell this question out, but his brain resisted.Two men lifted him up, his world spun, and his vision blurred. He could feel that he had once again been tossed into Han Jiang’s black Bentley, and that the door had been locked. The cruel and vicious man looked at him from outside the window. He pressed on the remote control in his hand, and the car started moving.
It was an endless and suffocating distance. Yun Jinshu, his hands tied up, lay on the black leather seats. Although he could not see what was going on outside, but he could feel that the car was going down a slope at an insane speed, and next, the entire car jolted —
Splash! The car had driven into the sea!
The freezing seawater soon flooded the car. The car did not stop sinking, and the huge rock tied to his body was like the claws of a demon, dragging him into the depths of the sea. A choking sensation rushed over him, and the salty, bitter taste of sea water, similar to tears, poured down his throat.
“Jinshu, look. My element is fire, and yours is water. We’re born to be a couple.”
Han Jiang’s voice drifted from somewhere, and Yun Jinshu laughed. Yes, his element was truly water. However, they were not born to be a couple, but were completely as incompatible as water and fire.
His consciousness faded away, and his pair of struggling hands finally stopped moving, drowning in the dark and sunless depths of the sea…