Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Shen Jize went to the sofa, Lu Rong sat and tilted his head to look at him. Under such an intense and passionate gaze, Shen Jize felt a stirring in his heart, as if a freshly pulled stalk was gently scratching that spot.
He resisted the urge to take the person into his arms, and only put his hand to the white forehead, wanting to flick it.
The hand was only halfway up when Lu Rong straightened his upper body and brought his face up. He rubbed his fingers a few times, and thoughtfully displayed a slightly shy smile.
Shen Jize breathed a sigh of relief and stopped flicking his forehead, only to silently withdraw his hand and say, “Come on, let’s take you to lunch.”
“Okay.” Lu Rong put his feet down on the ground, then he put on his shoes. Shen Jize turned his head to look to the side. The hand that Lu Rong had rubbed were on the side of his pants, the fingers slightly curled.
Lu Rong took the wet towel that was on his eyes to the bathroom, washed it under the faucet, and hung it on the towel rack on the side.
When he came out, Shen Jize had already folded the blanket on the sofa, and was naturally carrying his old backpack in his left hand, looking down at the phone in his right hand, standing at the door with his back towards him.
Lu Rong looked at the tall back, and suddenly a strong sense of unreality came over him.
In the morning he was still anxiously thinking about how to approach his brother, but the result was that before noon, he was carrying his backpack, waiting for him to go to lunch.
Lu Rong slowly walked to the center of the room and called out softly, “Brother.”
Shen Jize was wearing a headset, notifying Xiao Chu to postpone the afternoon trip, and didn’t notice the movement behind him nor did he hear the call ‘brother’.
Just after he finished the call and took off his headset, he heard Lu Rong calling out to him, “Brother!”
Shen Jize turned around and said, “Yes, I’m here.”
When he turned around and saw Lu Rong, he was slightly stunned. He was standing in the middle of the room, not looking too good, staring at him nervously, his hands clutching his pants leg.
“What’s wrong?” Shen Jize asked, cupping his headphones, “Not feeling well?”
“I just called you…” Lu Rong glanced at his headset, obviously relieved, “No discomfort, I was just calling you.”
Shen Jize seemed to have an epiphany and said, “I didn’t hear you just now, I didn’t mean to ignore you.”
“I know.” Lu Rong hurriedly went forward to take Shen Jize’s hand and found that both of his hands were occupied, so he held his right wrist and secretly squeezed it twice, like he was making sure of something.
This kind of worrying look fell on Shen Jize’s eyes, and he couldn’t help but feel sour and soft in his heart. The phone was put into his jacket pocket, and he naturally wanted to take Lu Rong’s hand, but after a pause, he withdrew it, pushed the door and walked out.
Lu Rong hurried to follow.
The door had just closed when the door across the room opened. Xiao Chu seemed to have been waiting at the door, his eyes peeked at Lu Rong, and his mouth asked, “Brother An, how about changing the time of the afternoon?”
“Let’s change it.” Xiao Chu’s eyes fell on the old backpack he was carrying in his hand, recognizing that it was Lu Rong’s stuff, and his pupils dilated slightly.
Was this the brother An, who never even had held things for others? Only after Shen Jize had taken two steps did he go after him and ask, “So who’s the bodyguard…”
“We’ll talk about it later.” Shen Jize replied.
“Xiao Chu, you can do something for me this afternoon.” Shen Jize pointed to Lu Rong beside him, “Go to the cafe where he works and give him the job.”
Lu Rong let out a cry and stopped in his tracks, “Brother.”
Shen Jize looked at him, “What’s wrong?”
Shen Jize raised an eyebrow.
“I’d better go and resign later.” Lu Rong said.
Since Shen Jize asked him to resign, he consciously didn’t want to object and rightly thought he should resign. Besides, he had no intention of staying at that cafe for long, but his boss and colleagues had treated him well, so it was better to resign in person.
“Sure, I’ll go with you after lunch.” Shen Jize pressed the elevator button and led him into the elevator, leaving Xiao Chu behind who was still frozen in place.
When they arrived at the underground garage, Shen Jize pressed the car key in his hand and a black SUV flashed its lights. He said, “Get in.”
Lu Rong jogged to the car, reached for the backseat door, and quickly got in. When he sat down, he noticed that Shen Jize wasn’t driving, but looking at him through the rearview mirror.
“What? What’s wrong?” Lu Rong asked.
Shen Jize said, “Sit up front.”
“Oh.” Lu Rong got out of the car and hurriedly got into the passenger side from outside. He held his backpack in his arms and put his hands in his lap as he waited for Shen Jize to drive.
Shen Jize suddenly took his backpack away and threw it in the back seat, then leaned over and pulled the seat belt for him to put on. Lu Rong stared at the handsome side of Shen Jize’s face in front of him, and suddenly, by magic, he went up and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
The kiss was like a swallow’s wing sweeping across the lake, but Shen Jize, as if he had been nudged, froze for a few seconds. Then continued to fasten the seat belt, face calm as he sat straight and drove out of the garage.
Lu Rong’s heart jumped, but pretended as if nothing happened as he stared out of the car window, a bit shy and secretly happy.
They soon arrived at the address Lu Rong said, and because the car couldn’t enter the snack street, Shen Jize could only park the car on the side of the road.
Lu Rong said he only had one piece of luggage and didn’t need any help. Shen Jize didn’t have his hat and sunglasses on and it wasn’t appropriate to go out, so he stayed in the car and waited for him. He leaned his head against the back of the seat, closed his eyes and listened to the sound of the traffic outside, thinking about the kiss Lu Rong gave him earlier, and thinking that he couldn’t go on like this.
To Lu Rong, those intimate actions didn’t need to be avoided, but he needed to not indulge him, needed to be more severe, so that he didn’t get an inch. But at the same time, there was a hope in his heart that maybe Lu Rong had the same feelings for him… And also those kinds of feelings? After all, he was so old and he was like when he was a child, kissing on the cheek was just a way to express closeness, right?
Shen Jize’s heart was a mess, he exhaled deeply and covered his face with his hands. Soon, the car window beside him was knocked, he turned his head and saw Lu Rong’s big smiling face, and the huge woven bag beside him.
Shen Jize got out of the car, put the bag in the trunk, and flew back to the driver’s seat as passersby began to look and gawk at him.
“Didn’t I say there was only a little luggage? It turned out to be so heavy, and I wasn’t allowed to help.” Shen Jize said.
Lu Rong scratched his face and said, “It’s not that heavy, I’m used to carrying it around by myself.” He rolled his eyes and put his right hand in front of Shen Jize, saying, “It’s so heavy, my hands are sore.”
He thought Shen Jize would take his hand and rub it and squeeze it like he did when he was a child, but Shen Jize only took one look at the white, clean hand and then looked away and said, “There are no marks, so how can I tell if it’s sore?”
Lu Rong had to take his hand back resentfully and sat down with his backpack.
“Seat belt.” Shen Jize didn’t help him fasten it this time, only instructed. Shen Jize pretended not to see the loss on his face as he started the car and drove off towards his new home.
The car was parked in the underground garage of a building, and Shen Jize went to the trunk to pick up the woven bag and said to Lu Rong, “Come on, this is my new house, it’s just been renovated.”
Lu Rong took two steps forward and reached out to take his bag. He had just touched it when Shen Jize grabbed the bag from his shoulder, and Lu Rong’s hands were suddenly empty.
They went into an elevator instead of a staircase, and Shen Jize waited until he was beside him to stop and opened the door, then they went through the entrance.
Shen Jize put the heavy woven bag on the floor, took out a new pair of slippers from the shoe cabinet, watched Lu Rong change and said, “This is a little big for you to wear, so we will buy a suitable pair later.”
“I want to buy the same one as yours.” Lu Rong stared at the pair of blue slippers on Shen Jize’s feet. He looked up and smiled at him, and the two dimples on his cheeks came up again, embedded in his white face.
“Let’s go to the supermarket and see if they have the same ones.” Shen Jize averted his eyes, his voice trying to sound cold, yet soft in a way he couldn’t control, sounding a bit odd. He touched the woven bag again, “What’s in it?”
Lu Rong said, “Bacon and sausages from my hometown.”
“Bacon and sausage?” Shen Jize was a little surprised.
Lu Rong straightened up and said, “My grandfather thought I would live with a friend and asked me to give these to him.”
“A friend? Which friend of yours? I didn’t know you had a friend you could live with in the capital?” Shen Jize’s voice suddenly got louder.
Lu Rong said, “It’s one of my seniors, also from the town high school. He works in the capital and said I could stay with him for a while, but he’s not in the capital, so I was staying at the store.”
Shen Jize’s face sank, “Just a senior… do you know him? Do you know how he is? You’ve never seen him in all these years, yet you can live with him?”
“He goes back home every holiday, and we know each other very well, otherwise I wouldn’t plan to stay with him.” Lu Rong argued in a small voice.
“Well acquainted? How well acquainted? You should know that many people in society nowadays are harboring evil intentions, but nothing can be seen on the outside. You have only met once in a while, and it’s obvious that he must not be a bad person?” Shen Jize, like a dutiful parent, angrily counted Lu Rong, having forgotten that they hadn’t met for years.
“These bacon are Grandpa’s heart, don’t give them to him either. If you want to meet with him, I’ll accompany you then, and I’ll buy him another gift.”
Lu Rong could only let out an ‘oh’.
Shen Jize saw that his attitude seemed a bit perfunctory, and then he added his tone, “Make sure that I accompany you to the meeting, understand?”
Shen Jize stared at him for a moment, as if judging the truth of his answer, Lu Rong looked at him with wet eyes, looking very good and obedient. Satisfied, Shen Jize asked, “Should I find a beam to hang my bacon on, or put it in the freezer?”
“No need to hang it, put it in the freezer.” Lu Rong didn’t notice that he called it ‘my bacon’.
Shen Jize lifted the bag of bacon and walked to the kitchen, his forearms bulging slightly as he used his strength; his muscles were beautifully defined. He opened the hidden door to the kitchen, revealing an empty pantry and the huge freezer on the wall. After putting the bacon in the freezer, he checked it again before exiting and closing the door.
Lu Rong walked into the living room and looked around. The house was surprisingly large, the living room alone was as big as his entire home. The decoration was very simple, black and gray, but he could see that the design was thought out.
Outside the floor-to-ceiling windows on the whole side was the lawn, and further away there was a lake, sparkling with waves.
Shen Jize came out of the kitchen, and stood beside Lu Rong as he quietly said, “This is a large flat, and there’s a rooftop on top, with a flower room. You can also keep dogs. But if you’re used to living in an exclusive small courtyard and don’t like living in a building, then I can still go buy a villa.”
Lu Rong said, “Brother, your house is already very good, I like it.”
Shen Jize glanced at him and said, “It’s not bad, but it should be more comfortable than your senior’s house.”
Lu Rong was about to say something when he suddenly reacted and asked in a sweet tone, “Do you want me to live here instead of living with my senior?” He went to Shen Jize’s side and put his arm around him, saying, “I definitely want to live with you, you are my closest brother.”
Shen Jize was both pleased by this statement and let the phrase closest brother lead to a vague bitterness in his mouth. He took his arm out without moving and asked, “How is Grandpa’s health?”
“Very tough, he has an even better health than me. He doesn’t even catch a cold.”
Shen Jize nodded, “That’s good. When you bring Grandpa to stay for a while, show him around.”
Lu Rong’s eyes narrowed with a smile and he nodded heavily, “When I find a new job.”
“A new job? Don’t you have a new job?”
“Huh?” Lu Rong was confused.
“My personal bodyguard.”
Lu Rong was dumbfounded, “I… I just… just… I’m really your bodyguard now?”
Shen Jize looked at him with interest, but his face was solemn, “Yes, congratulations, Mr. Lu, after layers of selection, you have been awarded this bodyguard position. From today onwards, you are my personal bodyguard, and you will be my 24-hour personal protection.”
Lu Rong was stunned and stood in place with a stunned look on his face, his mouth slightly open.
Shen Jize couldn’t resist the urge to pinch his nose, his fingers moved, but finally resisted, turned to the kitchen, then took out some oranges from the refrigerator to squeeze juice. Staring at the churning juicer, he said over the buzzing sound, “Don’t worry, your pay is good and your job is easy.”
Lu Rong’s mind was racing.
If he didn’t turn into a deer, he was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to do a good job and that it would affect Shen Jize, but the offer of being with his brother 24 hours a day was too tempting.
If he signed up now to learn martial arts or something, would it be too late?
Shen Jize took a sip from his glass of juice and looked at Lu Rong from above the rim of the glass, watching him stand there with a torn face, his expression happy and sad at first, very impressive.
He admired Lu Rong’s struggling look, saw his face gradually determined, and also clenched his fist, as if he had finally made some kind of decision, then put away his smile and made a serious face.
Lu Rong turned his head, and like a promise, he affirmed, “Don’t worry, I will be your bodyguard, and will protect you well.”
Shen Jize also nodded, “Okay, I look forward to your work performance.” He walked over and handed him another glass of juice in his hand, “Go sit down on the couch and drink some juice.”
Lu Rong took the juice but didn’t drink it, and went to put it on the coffee table in front of the sofa and sat down, sitting in the same standard posture as the men in black that he saw in the morning. He asked with a serious face, “Brother, what bad thing happened to you that you hired a bodyguard?”
Shen Jize saw that he had already entered the role of bodyguard in a short time and coughed lightly, put down the juice and sat down opposite him, saying, “It’s not a big deal, I just received a few mysterious gifts.”
“Mysterious gifts?” Lu Rong’s mind dinged, remembering his own stool deer.
“Someone threatened me by giving me a package with some bloody contraptions inside.” Shen Jize also didn’t want to go into too much detail with him either, it was better if Lu Rong didn’t know about those things.
Lu Rong’s heart fluttered and his eyebrows knitted together. He solemnly affirmed, “I will try to catch that person.”
Shen Jize waved his hand, “No, your job is not to catch people, you’re responsible for supervision and guard the staff when they open those delivered gifts. If there’s anything wrong, promptly call the police and hand it over to them.”
Lu Rong gave a short ‘ah’, then asked with some confusion, “So that means that I’m responsible for opening the delivery boxes?”
Shen Jize said, “Of course it’s not just the delivered boxes, there are some other things, too. Let me show you another example.”
He stood up and walked to the window, Lu Rong hurried to follow.
Outside the window was a grove of trees, and farther out was a wide lawn that stretched to the sky in soft green.
Shen Jize pointed to the lawn and said, “It’s a golf course, so how do you know no one’s going to pretend to play and climb up the outside of the building? Right? After all, I have fame and money now.”
Lu Rong was impressed, “True.”
“That’s why I need a bodyguard.” Shen Jize tilted his chin at him, “A bodyguard who can usually guard the staff opening gifts and help me guard my home during those horrible nights when the moon is dark and windy.” Then added, “Of course there’s no need to be afraid to be my bodyguard. There’s no danger and I will protect him.”
“Brother’s great.” Lu Rong said heartily.
Shen Jize’s dark eyes gazed at him soberly, “I’ve been in military training three times, and I was in the Boy Scouts.”
“Wow!” Lu Rong exclaimed.