Chapter 2 – The Contract (1)
Edited by Asa
The suffocating feeling continued, as icy cold seawater rushed into his throat. His body was racked with uncontrollable shudders…
Yun Jinshu opened his eyes.
Lights shone brightly above him. Under the crystal lights on the ceiling, he could not help but close his eyes against the piercing glare, and someone next to him suddenly helped him up.
“Jinshu, are you ok?”
The uncomfortable, greasy tone made him confused. His mind was blank, and he grabbed at the wall, balancing his feet before seeing the person in front of him clearly.
“Li Tianhua? Why… are you here?”
Yun Jinshu was in a muddled state, and he was unaware of his voice had reached a piercing falsetto. The fear of seeing this person for the first time gave him no time to think about his own situation. Despite the fact that so many years had passed, each time he saw him, he would still think about those bad memories.
Li Tianhua’s tiny and narrow eyes glinted, looking even more insincere. “Jinshu, is your body feeling uncomfortable? I got a shock just now when you fainted suddenly.”
“No, I’m fine, I’m… well.” Yun Jinshu avoided the hand that was holding his shoulder without leaving any doubts. His mind was foggy, but he felt that this situation was extremely familiar.
He had clearly just been tied up and tossed into the sea, how did he appear here in the blink of an eye? Could it be that it was just a dream? Then, after so many years, why did Li Tianhua, this man he loathed, still had the guts to turn up in front of him?
Li Tianhua noticed his resistance, but gave a concerned smile, and even reached out to lift his chin up. He looked at him, clicking his tongue a few times and speaking as though out of consideration, “Although Director Zhao is a little old, and he has some weird preferences in bed, he does have the ability to give you the role of the second male lead in the new drama. There’s not many opportunities like this, why do you have to make it harder on yourself? Would you rather be chased out of the production and starve for three days, than to just bow your head?”
When Yun Jinshu heard this he swiftly looked up, a pair of glassy black eyes widening slightly, his pupils shrinking.
This was the second time he had heard the same exact words. If his memory did not fail him, the last time he heard this was five years ago.
At that time, he had just joined the entertainment industry, and was so foolish as though his mind was a blank sheet of paper. Whatever people said, he would believe it; as his manager, Li Tianhua had used the excuse of discussing a new drama and deceived him into Director Zhao’s bed. An entire bottle of lubricant was forced into him, and he was nearly raped. If not for him struggling desperately, he might have just lost his life in that room.
The next day, after escaping from the hotel, expectedly he was kicked out of the production team. The company also froze him with the excuse that he was unwilling to cooperate, breaking their contract. All the money in his bank account had been used to pay his father’s debts. Without any money and having no other choice, he was forced to undergo the company’s intensive training, and consequently fainted in the training room.
After he woke up in the hospital, Li Tianhua told him that as long as he would act in one advertisement for the company, then he could end his contract and return to his ordinary life. With such an easy way out of the ten year bond with his company, even if Yun Jinshu knew that it was a scam, he was willing to take this risk. So, dragging his ill body he followed Li Tianhua to this grand and splendid hotel.
His memories and the miracle in front of him melded together. Even the clothes on both their bodies had not changed a bit. This knowledge made Yun Jinshu be at a loss. If his memories were correct, and time had not reversed, the only thing that could explain this situation was that he was reborn.
This was really… too funny! After so many twists and turns, he had returned to the starting point again.
Yun Jinshu closed his eyes, taking in a deep breath. His eyelashes fluttered in anxiety and when he opened his eyes again, all of his emotions had been wiped clean.
Walking along the corridor, he stared at the luxuriously carved wooden door in front of him, and his feelings were unexpectedly, strangely calm.
Five years ago, he was foolish, and that was why he believed Li Tianhua again. Following him here, he had thought that it was a meeting regarding the advertisement, but in reality, he was sold yet again. This time, the buyer was no one but Han Jiang, the person who changed his fate.
Behind the door, he was probably slowly sipping from a cup of zhuyeqing tea, and the suit he was wearing would definitely not have a single wrinkle. It would be neat and tidy, without any loss in elegance, and his face carried a faint smile. When the door opened, he would use that pair of seemingly gentle looking eyes and look at him.
His heart wrenched in pain. Yun Jinshu could not help but laugh wryly in his head, he probably was that cheap.
He had clearly loved this man for five whole years, so much so that he gave up his life for him at the end, and yet his feelings were still entangled with him.
“Jinshu, you have to change this silent nature of yours, you’re even getting distracted while talking to me. When you go in, remember to smile. Your face is so comely, don’t let it be marked down.”
Seeing how Yun Jinshu was silent and had a cloudy look on his face, Li Tianhua was really afraid that this dead look of his would affect the person inside.
“…” Yun Jinshu raised his brow, looking at him, and did not say a word.
Li Tianhua’s expression worsened, his voice lowering, “Yun Jinshu, don’t tell me you’re still thinking of running away? Don’t forget about your ten year contract with the company and the debts your father owes.”
At the moment when he realised the truth, Yun Jinshu did think of running away. Before everything was set in stone, if he had not met Han Jiang, if he had not fallen into the warm and gentle trap he laid for him; if he had not gotten into that black Bentley that robbed him of his life, things would not be what they were now.
Now, only Li Tianhua was by his side. It would be extremely easy for him to escape. As long as he left this damn place, he would not meet Han Jiang again, and his new life might be more fortunate than before.
But… Yun Jinshu, are you willing to let this go?
A ten year bond, the millions his father owed, his little brother’s school fees, Han Jiang’s insincerity, and the person he had been shielding, that secret lover that Han Jiang would protect even if it meant sacrificing him…
They were all like the ice cold seawater pouring into his throat that night, choking him. How could he be willing to let this go?!
A murkiness flashed across his eyes, finally dissolving into calm, black waters, and no one could see any waves in them.
He turned and nodded at Li Tianhua, pretending to not know anything. “I understand what you’re saying. Lead the way, which room is it?”
Li Tianhua exhaled, nodding his head in satisfaction. Bringing Yun Jinshu along, he finally stopped in front of the carved wooden door. As the door opened, Yun Jinshu thought that he would be nervous. But unlike before, he was not nervous this time.
The hotel room was just as lavishly decorated as before, the rose-patterned wallpaper bloomed with colours under the crystal lights. As expected, Han Jiang revealed a faint smile upon seeing him.
A cup of tea was on the table, together with a few snacks. Along with the refined looking grey suit, it was a sight to behold.
Hah, unexpectedly, it took me a life cycle to see him again.
However, this man had not changed a bit. He was still gentle and handsome as ever, only that this time, unlike his last life, Yun Jinshu had not been blessed by that smile that was like heat brought to him in the freezing cold.
“Boss Han, I’ve brought the person for you already. This is Yun Jinshu whom you’ve mentioned before.” Li Tianhua smiled fawningly, tugging on Yun Jinshu’s clothes like a toady. “Come, Jinshu, let me introduce you, this is…”
“Assistant Li, it wouldn’t be interesting to lay everything out in the open.”
Han Jiang waved his hand, interrupting Li Tianhua. Raising his chin, he gave the assistants at the door a look. “I know that Assistant Li must be very busy with work. Please take your leave today, I’ll discuss the contract with Jinshu myself.”