The weather was getting warmer day by day, to the point that none of the staff members in the office went to the company’s cafeteria to get food. Instead, most of them opted to ordering takeouts in advance.
Gu Xia was one of the few who went to the cafeteria to buy food—for no other reason but to spend time with Ji Zheng.
He originally intended to accompany Ji Zheng to the cafeteria today, but the instant he came out from the washroom, he was immediately struck by the pain of a headache. Thinking that he might be suffering from a bit of heatstroke, he sat down and rested his head on the table for a while.
He felt sick as he looked up the moment Ji Zheng called out to him. Giving Ji Zheng a wave, he said, “I don’t think I’ll be able to go with you. I’m sleepy so I’m going to rest my eyes for a little while.”
When Ji Zheng turned to leave, Gu Xia leaned back against the chair to continue resting for a bit longer. As the throbbing pain in his head started to subside, he sighed in relief, while at the same time, feeling more and more lost about how to woo Ji Zheng.
Even while feeling muddle-headed, he still could not forget about Ji Zheng because he genuinely did like him a lot. He adored his face, his body, and even his personality. But the problem was that Ji Zheng was too straight of a man, so Gu Xia felt that he could not reveal too much of his affection. It is often said that office romances did more harm than good… How he yearned to be in a relationship, but will the man ever give him the chance to do so?
The more he dwelled on it, the more awful his head felt. Gu Xia rested his head again on the table, his mind still filled to the brim with Ji Zheng’s face, obsessed beyond hope.
Gu Xia eventually fell asleep the more he thought about him. By the time he woke up, he was in a daze. Though the electric fan in the office was running, the weather was still quite clammy. Sweat had broken out at his forehead during his nap, even his temples were damp.
It took Gu Xia a while to realise that the voice belonged to Ji Zheng. Turning around, he was greeted by the sight of Ji Zheng sitting at his side, holding onto something in his hand.
Looking at the time, Gu Xia found that he had only slept for twenty minutes. “Why are you back so soon? Done with lunch already?”
Since he had just woken up, his voice sounded nasally.
Ji Zheng knew he should not think of anything else at that moment since Gu Xia still seemed to be feeling sick. But he just could not help himself from thinking that Gu Xia’s soft-spoken voice sounded a little adorable.
Feeling that he was a completely hopeless case for finding a man adorable, Ji Zheng raised his head to glance at Gu Xia who was resting his wrist at the edge of the table, his hand dangling at the side. His hands appeared beautiful, fair and lanky. What a sight it must be to behold, those gorgeous hands playing the piano. Even if Gu Xia did not play the piano with those hands, using them for “something else” would also be quite… pleasing.
Placing the bag he was holding on the table, Ji Zheng then took out the medicine and porridge found inside.
“Eat something before taking the meds.” Gu Xia was oblivious to Ji Zheng’s eyes still lingering on his hand.
“Thanks!” Staring at the box of medicine, he flipped it around to look at the box more closely. It was only after he was done examining it did he dare to pretend to casually look up at Ji Zheng. “Capsules?”
“Yeah.” Tearing his gaze away, Ji Zheng gave a nod and continued, “There was no liquid medicine available.”
The corner of Gu Xia’s mouth twitched in response as he said, “Fortunately there wasn’t. I hate taking that nasty stuff.”
Ji Zheng laughed, unconsciously raising his hand before putting it back down again in realisation. “Why are you still behaving like a kid?” He was really itching to stroke Gu Xia’s hair, but such an action would be deemed too intimate. He was afraid that Gu Xia would pull away in discomfiture.
Opening the container, Gu Xia picked up the spoon to have a small mouthful of the porridge. The porridge was hot on his tongue, and a little sweet. After running the sensitive tip of his tongue along the edge of the spoon, he asked a question to which he believed he already knew the answer too. “Have you eaten?” He was positive that Ji Zheng had already taken his lunch before coming back, but he was dying to find a topic to keep the conversation going so he settled with small talk.
What he did not expect was to hear Ji Zheng say, “Not yet.”
Holding the spoon in his mouth, Gu Xia was a little lost for words. Ji Zheng had not eaten. Had not eaten at all… did that mean he had gone out of his way to buy him some medicine?
The instant the words left Ji Zheng’s mouth, he was hit with a pang of regret. Earlier, he had seen Gu Xia looking sick, as if he had heatstroke, so he hurriedly went to the pharmacy. On his way back, he even went to order some porridge at the cafeteria. He was not afraid in the least that his feelings might get found out by Gu Xia, but judging from the direction of the conversation, Gu Xia may end up seriously urging him to go and get something to fill his tummy instead.
However, Gu Xia’s brain was still hazy. Placing the spoon back down in the porridge, he pushed the container towards Ji Zheng. “You have this then.”
Ji Zheng did not know whether to laugh or cry at Gu Xia’s unexpected response. He could not resist the urge to reach out and ruffle Gu Xia’s hair. “What are you going to eat if I take this?”
While still immersed in his own little world, Gu Xia replied, “I can just watch you.”
“You have it. Take the meds once you’re done. I’ll drop by the cafeteria later to get my lunch.”
Gu Xia could not stand the thought of Ji Zheng feeling hungry so he quickly said, “Why don’t you go now? The cafeteria might run out of food later.”
“No rush.There are far too many people around if I go now,” Ji Zheng reasoned.
Gu Xia, noticing that he was not able to persuade Ji Zheng no matter what he said, he scooped up a spoonful of porridge and brought it close to Ji Zheng’s mouth.
Ji Zheng pushed the spoon away and told Gu Xia to properly finish his food.
Ji Zheng was older than Gu Xia by three years. Both of them were not working within the same team, and since Ji Zheng was the lead for his own team, Gu Xia was used to hearing Ji Zheng reprimanding his own team members occasionally. Although he looked handsome when he scolded them with a taut look on his face, he also looked terrifying, so Gu Xia still obediently listened to his words.
He lowered his head to eat two more spoonfuls of the porridge before turning to gaze at Ji Zheng. “I feel bad if you keep looking at me like that.”
Ji Zheng flashed him a smile.
Gu Xia pushed the porridge container between them and said, “Why don’t we share this then?”
In the end, Ji Zheng responded by eating two spoonfuls of the porridge as Gu Xia watched on with a blank expression on his face.
An indirect kiss. It was unfortunate that it contained a word which Gu Xia greatly despised — the word ”indirect”.
As soon as Ji Zheng placed the porridge-laden spoon in his mouth, he intentionally flattened his tongue against the back of it. Licking the spoon carefully all over, he lapped up every last drop of porridge there was, relishing the pleasure of their indirect contact despite how trivial it seemed. There was no doubt he was absolutely besotted with Gu Xia.
They rested for a while after finishing the porridge. Gu Xia quickly took the medicine and then insisted on heading to the cafeteria together with Ji Zheng.
“Feeling better already? Better to just stay put and rest some more.” Ji Zheng pressed him back down onto his chair, refusing to let him tag along.
By the time Ji Zheng left, Gu Xia recalled the event that had transpired earlier, the corner of his lips curling upwards into a foolish grin as he unconsciously drummed the surface of the table with his fingers. He felt that he really ought to work harder. Ji Zheng was an amazing man, so there was no doubting the fact that he would have many admirers pursuing him. Gu Xia must really give it his all if he intended to be the lucky one to win Ji Zheng’s heart.
It was the end of a project, and the two teams were raving about wanting to go out to relax and have fun.
Ji Zheng was the first one to give in, which prompted Gu Xia’s own team lead to follow suit. With that, a large group of people started heading to the KTV with grandiose intent.
During the drinking session, someone asked what type of girl Ji Zheng was interested in. Huddled up in a corner, Gu Xia pretended to listen to someone singing when in actual fact, he had been straining his ears to listen in on Ji Zheng’s conversation.
Gu Xia seemed fully fixated on the KTV screen. Yet, Ji Zheng, upon hearing the question, shot a glance in his direction before he gave an answer. “The type of girl I like? Well, it doesn’t matter as long as I like her.”
Yet his colleagues jeered on, insisting that he gave a straight answer.
So Ji Zheng randomly said, “Large, round eyes with small assets.” He continued with his casual lie by saying, “Looking cute is a must.”
“I’m surprised to know that you’ve such a unique taste.”
With his mind now wandering, Ji Zheng replied with little thought, “Mmhmm. You can say that.”
“So you like someone who’s innocent and genuine?”
Gu Xia was still hiding in the corner, eavesdropping on the conversation. Oh? Innocent and genuine? Then he was probably an unlikely candidate since just yesterday, he had dreamt of Ji Zheng banging him hard.
He cocked his head to the side to eavesdrop for a while longer but the conversation had already progressed onto a different topic. His colleague who was done singing a deep love song had come off the stage, giving a slap on Gu Xia’s shoulder. “So what do you think of my vocals, eh? Aren’t they pleasant to your ears?”
Gu Xia was the youngest in the team so a majority of his colleagues enjoyed pushing their weight around when addressing him.
Unfortunately, Gu Xia was not paying much attention that whole time so he very half-heartedly responded, “Excellent.”
The guy chuckled, saying, “Then I’ll sing you another one.”
Meanwhile, Gu Xia was still worrying over the fact that Ji Zheng likes someone who was innocent and genuine. But he was nothing like that! What can he do in this case? Should he just pretend?
Still absorbed in his worries, he did not even realise that Ji Zheng had sat down beside him. When his colleague on the stage finally started singing again, he was snapped from his pensive thoughts with a jolt, instantly looking up at that guy. What the hell? His ears are bleeding.
It bothered Ji Zheng slightly to see Gu Xia gazing at the man singing on stage as well as when he was talking to him earlier. It took him a great deal of difficulty to avoid being forced to drink so that he could come and sit by Gu Xia’s side. So when he saw that Gu Xia was gazing at the man, seemingly lost in a trance, he felt even more bothered than before. He reached out his hand to give Gu Xia a pat on the shoulder in an attempt to shift his attention to him.
Gu Xia turned around. Upon seeing that the man he’d been dreaming about day and night was now sitting at his side, he was caught between feelings of exhilaration and nervousness. The first word that popped into his mind at that moment was “innocent”.
Perhaps he really was obsessed.
“What are you doing?” asked Ji Zheng.
“Listening,” replied Gu Xia.
Narrowing his eyes slightly, Ji Zheng happened to catch the obvious crack in his colleague’s voice up on stage. He leaned backwards against the sofa and asked, “Do you like it?”
Silently, Gu Xia moved closer to Ji Zheng’s ear, his hot, warm breath brushing against it. “Super horrible.”
Both of them simultaneously burst into laughter. In fact, Ji Zheng was very satisfied with Gu Xia’s answer but he still jokingly said, “Are you talking bad about someone behind their back?”
The smile on Gu Xia’s face froze as he felt that his pure and innocent persona had suddenly been exposed and he was at a loss on how to save it.
Fortunately, Ji Zheng chose to raise his voice at this moment. “Who’s choosing the songs?”
“Chief wants to sing too? Everyone, make way! Move Chief’s song to the very top!”
Ji Zheng chided them briefly before taking over the microphone. He then turned to Gu Xia and asked, “Interested to hear me sing?”
Afraid that his mask would deteriorate even further, Gu Xia chose to remain silent and only nodded in response.
Ji Zheng did not go on stage. Instead, he remained seated next to Gu Xia as he sang. He had a nice singing voice and he hit all the right notes. However, the slow song he chose was not exciting enough to keep people’s attention so after he sang a few verses, most of them instead opted for a game of poker and continued drinking.
Gu Xia listened to him sing as he remained seated next to him. When Ji Zheng finished the song, he praised, “You’re good.”
Ji Zheng replied with a non-committal sound before handing the microphone over to someone else. He then grabbed a handful of peanuts and started eating them one at a time.
Thinking that since he was already determined in capturing Ji Zheng’s heart, he must take action soon.
He stared absentmindedly at the peanuts in Ji Zheng’s hand. Upon seeing his reaction, Ji Zheng asked, “Want some?”
Feeling hot all of a sudden, Gu Xia moved forward, his teeth grazing against Ji Zheng’s finger as he curled his tongue around the offered peanut to take it into his mouth, swallowing it down in one bite.