Chapter 11 — Indulgence
Edited by Tin
At first, Zhou Hao took his time, slowly sliding the photo out from the compartment. His face was not twisted with jealousy, and when the two of them got out of the car, Zhou Hao was still gripping onto the photo of the two people.
“Return the photo to me.”
With eyes like a sharp, icy blade, Zhou Hao shot a glare at Jiang Yuqian. He walked to a streetlight, opening his hand to reveal the photo within. As his grip had been too tight just now, the edges of the photo were bent, and it was even stained with a little sweat.
“What an ugly smile.”
It was not clear if the muttered critique was directed at Cheng Zixu in the photo, or Jiang Yuqian in the photo.
“Return it to me.” Jiang Yuqian walked over to the streetlight as well, his eyes fixed on that unfurled palm.
Zhou Hao only needed to lift his head a little to see the anxious expression of the person next to him. That person was behaving as though the item in his hand was a priceless treasure. It was only an old, lousy photo, was there a need to behave like that?
Zhou Hao’s fist gradually tightened, and the photo in his palm gradually turned into a crumpled piece of paper, losing its smooth flatness forever.
Thud— With a casual toss, the crumpled ball fell into the trash bin by the side.
Jiang Yuqian shoved Zhou Hao with great strength. Zhou Hao stumbled backwards a few steps, nearly knocking into the nearby telegraph pole.
The anxious person then rolled his sleeves about, about to reach into that dirty, green trash bin to pick the photo up.
Just as he bent down, Zhou Hao rushed over and pushed him away, using the same amount of strength the other had used a moment ago.
“You don’t fucking find it dirty?!” Zhou Hao then walked over to the bin.
Around them were incandescent, neon sign boards, an endless flow of cars, as well as trendily dressed people walking by. Their shadows fell into Jiang Yuqian’s eyes, gradually shrinking into a dot.
Instead, what was gradually increasing in size in his eyes was that hunched over figure in front of him.
Very quickly, Zhou Hao picked up the photo that had been thrown away from the bin, and tossed it at Jiang Yuqian’s feet. He did not say a word, turning around and walking straight into their apartment complex.
It was not that he had to pick it up, but that man was so clean, so pure, that he could not bear to see him stained by filth…
Jiang Yuqian stooped over, picking up the photo and smoothing it out… Soon after, he entered the complex as well.
Upon opening the door to the apartment, the living room was silent, and only the rushing sound of water could be heard from the bathroom. Jiang Yuqian twisted the doorknob to the bathroom, going in.
A wave of humidity swelled over him. Jiang Yuqian felt as though he had stepped into a hazy, foggy world. His vision was not clear, and he could only vaguely make out a nude figure behind the glass. Water flowed down from the shoulders of that body, running as two streams only to merge at the cleft of the buttocks.
The nude scene was seductive. Jiang Yuqian could not help but feel his throat tighten, and a heat swiftly spread through his body.
He removed his clothes, stepping beyond the glass wall in bare feet. As the sound of the running water was too loud, Zhou Hao never heard the sounds of Jiang Yuqian opening the door and stripping his clothes.
Now, there was suddenly a person standing behind him. Furthermore, that object of that person was even prodding at his backside, and Zhou Hao truly received a shock.
Zhou Hao turned the water off. With heated eyes, he asked, “What are you doing?”
“Let’s try doing it in the bathroom today.” Jiang Yuqian’s voice had long turned hoarse, and his eyes were filled with an intoxicated lust.
In the short period of time, desire too had spread through Zhou Hao’s body. Along with the increasing touches and caresses on his body, his desire flamed up further.
The bathroom was too small, and the temperature too hot, and the conditions could not abate the heat within the youths. Dripping wet, the two people moved from the bathroom to the bedroom.
Zhou Hao’s fingers dug deeply into Jiang Yuqian’s back, causing the person sprawled on top of him to hiss in pain. However, they did not stop.
This bout of sex, where the participants tried their best to use up all their energy in it, caused Zhou Hao’s mind to blank out. Everything turned into vague, hazy shadows, and he just continuously dug his fingers into the man on top of him.
He wanted Jiang Yuqian to hurt. Only when he hurt, would that person know how much he, Zhou Hao, loved him.
In the components of this love, there were elements of helplessness, as well as a sense of torture and angst to it. In any case, it was a perverse, hopeless love.
After the deed, just like usual, Zhou Hao leaned against the headboard of the bed, lighting up a cigarette. Today, he did not verbally antagonise the man lying a metre away from him.
He tilted his head back, blowing smoke rings into the air. Rings and rings of smoke slowly drifted up towards the ceiling, dissipating.
The house was too quiet. Other than the buzzing of the air conditioning, as well as the barely detectable sounds of breathing, nothing else could be heard.
A long while later, Zhou Hao slowly said, “What day of the week is it today?”
Jiang Yuqian did not make a sound, because he completely had no grounds to argue. Everything had been fine, but it was him who had broken that invisible rule. The funniest thing about it was that this lousy rule had been made by him as well.
Zhou Hao sucked deeply at his cigarette, laughing. “Sorry? What’s that for?”
His laughter grew louder, then he picked up a pillow and threw it at him. “You really fucking treat me as a fuckbuddy!”
Jiang Yuqian had never actually contemplated their relationship before. Clinging and pulling, this had been going on for nearly three years. The label of lovers clearly could not apply to them. As for fuckbuddies, although he did put it across like that, his heart had actually never thought of them in that manner.
However, he would come over every weekend, satisfying his urges and dispelling them weekly. Although he deeply abhorred this man, his body had betrayed his will countless times, plastering himself to this man.
The night fell even quieter, so silent that it was rather strange. The two people occupied their own corner, each thinking about their issues.
“Jiang Yuqian, will you get married in the future?”
The chandelier above them shone with a bright, stark light. Many of the rays it emitted fell across Zhou Hao’s face, highlighting the pores of his face, as well as how his lips were pressed tightly together.
Why would he suddenly ask such a question? Even he himself did not know. In the depth of his consciousness, he was well aware of the fact that at the end of the day, Jiang Yuqian would never be with him.
As for whether this person would get married, and who he’d marry? Zhou Hao was not concerned over it either. He had only asked casually on a sudden impulse to do so.
“With a man? Or a woman?” Zhou Hao continued asking.
Jiang Yuqian did not respond. It was because of his non-response that Zhou Hao immediately managed to guess what he was thinking. Lowering his lids, he asked disdainfully, “With Cheng Zixu?”
Jiang Yuqian glanced at him, his dark eyes hiding a vague, unclear emotion.
Zhou Hao took another deep inhalation of his cigarette. “Don’t forget to invite me then, I’ll prepare a big red packet for the two of you.”
He then seemed to recall something, and started laughing. The sound of his laughter filled the air for quite some time, and his eyes even crinkled up. He had laughed too hard.
“It’s all your money anyway.”
Jiang Yuqian knew that this person was suffering, yet he was still putting on a mask. This was rare, but his heart actually started to ache a little for Zhou Hao.
However, in this moment, other than giving this man in pain a little worthless concern, there was nothing else he could do. His rationality reminded him that he ought to stay away from this nutcase.
What he could give was only that little bit of concern.
“How am I inferior to him? How am I fucking inferior to him?!” In the deep night, a lion roared tragically.
Jiang Yuqian was unable to provide an answer. Silently, he shifted himself towards Zhou Hao, then pulled that man’s head towards his chest. Like how a mother hugged her child, he held him tightly.
“Jiang Yuqian…” Buried in the Jiang fellow’s chest, Zhou Hao murmured, “In your life, you’ll never be able to be the bad guy. Your heart is just too soft. I’m so bad, you should just hit me whenever you see me. Jiang Yuqian, I… if only I was that sissy.”
Silent weeping occurred in the night. Jiang Yuqian felt the dampness on his chest, but he did tear away his shield, only tightening his arms around that person.
Zhou Hao gradually fell asleep. However, Jiang Yuqian was not the slightest bit sleepy at all. He rested his chin lightly on Zhou Hao’s head, indulging in his loss of control for the night.
He thought that in this life, he would never be able to forget this man. Whether it was his first time, as well as this man’s occasional tears and desolation, he would never forget them all. However, all these emotions of his could never compare to his will-o’-wisp.
In his dreams, Zhou Hao indulged in this rare moment of warmth, and he had a relaxed, pleasant dream—
He dreamt that Jiang Yuqian and he had become an old couple, supporting each other as they walked down a very, very long road…