Chapter 12: Waking Up
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Lu Shang was observed in the intensive care unit for the whole night. The next morning, he was transferred to a private room. Li Sui sat beside the bed, he just stared at Lu Shang, not daring to move.
Lu Shang was lying on the bed quietly, electrodes were stuck on his body, he was hooked to a ventilator. Lu Shang looked so frail, as if he would crumble with just one gentle touch. Li Sui reached his hand out to Lu Shang. His hands were cold to the touch and Li Sui couldn’t feel a shred of warmth from it. His chest’s movements were also very small. Li Sui was terrified. What if it just suddenly stopped moving? Li Sui would lean forward to check every so often.
Now that all the sharpness and shine were stripped away, Li Sui noticed how Lu Shang was a lot thinner than the average person. Usually, Lu Shang would be wrapped in a thick layer of clothes in winter, so Li Sui didn’t realize it. Now, wearing a loose hospital gown, his skinniness was as obvious as day; Lu Shang’s whole body looked thinner than usual. The neck was so frail and tiny that it looked as if one hand could envelope half of it. Li Sui could see Lu Shang’s neck shifting slightly along with his chest. Li Sui shifted his gaze to Lu Shang’s wrist, because of the surgery, Lu Shang’s white skin looked a little more sickly than usual, the blue veins were prominent as well.
The EKG machine next to the bed showed rhythmic lines. Li Sui enveloped Lu Shang’s hand, trying to warm it. But no matter how much he tried, the warmth just couldn’t persist. Li Sui called out to Lu Shang lightly, but the person lying on the bed had no reaction to his voice, Lu Shang’s eyes were still shut tightly. Li Sui laid his head on the side of the bed, the smell of familiar shampoo flowed into Li Sui’s nose, the smell was able to calm him down a little.
A constant temperature of 22 degree Celsius was kept inside the room. It was fine when the sun was out, but at night, it could get freezing cold. The nurses were kind and brought Li Sui a blanket, reminding him to have something to eat.
Li Sui didn’t have an appetite, he just ate a bit of the bread, forcing it down with congee. Around that time, old Dr. Leung visited, he checked Lu Shang’s temperature and added two new bottles of medicine.
“When will he wake up?” Li Sui asked.
“Should be anytime now. Aren’t you going to get some rest?”
Li Sui shook his head in objection. Old Dr. Leung examined Li Sui’s arm, seeing that his wounds had healed a lot already, he let Li Sui be. The room was quiet to begin with and, when night came, only the sounds of nurses chatting could be heard. Li Sui leaned on the bed, listening to the vague chatter. He couldn’t resist the drowsiness and fell asleep.
He wasn’t sure what time it was, but Li Sui felt someone brushing his hair in his dreams. Li Sui opened his eyes immediately. Raising his head, he met a pair of quiet eyes. Eyes like still water.
“You’re awake?” Li Sui sat up promptly, he was so nervous that his voice was a little rusty. “Does it still hurt?”
Lu Shang’s face was extremely pale, hearing the voice, he closed his eyelids lightly and shook his head feebly. Lu Shang couldn’t move much; he also couldn’t speak with the breathing tube still in his trachea.
The doctor on duty was called, removing the tube, the doctor made sure everything was normal. That was when Li Sui finally felt a bit relieved. It was dark outside. Li Sui moved the bed up according to the doctor’s advice, he also got an extra pillow from the wardrobe. Gently, Li Sui lifted Lu Shang’s head and placed the pillow behind him, he then pulled the blanket up. Lu Shang didn’t move an inch when Li Sui did all those actions, he was completely at the mercy of Li Sui. The two of them looked directly at each other. Face-to-face, Li Sui only needed to lean forward a little and they’d be kissing. If Li Sui kissed Lu Shang now, with how weak Lu Shang was, he wouldn’t be able to retaliate at all… Li Sui was shocked by his own crazy idea and he immediately looked away from Lu Shang.
When the sky began to brighten up, the doctor removed the electrodes on Lu Shang. Li Sui got some cotton swabs from the nurse, dipping it in warm water, he moistened Lu Shang’s slightly cracked lips. Lu Shang couldn’t stay conscious for a long time; his consciousness was sometimes hazy. Feeling the moisture on his lips, Lu Shang’s lips twitched slightly. Li Sui continued moving the swab gently and, for some reason, his thoughts were uncontrollably attracted to what he was seeing.
Slowly, without even realizing it, the distance between them shortened. Lu Shang’s pale white face was right in front of Li Sui, so close that Li Sui could feel the warmth of Lu Shang’s breath. It was as if Li Sui was hypnotized, he couldn’t move his eyes away from the slowly fluttering, thin lips.
One little kiss? Just one peck, he won’t even notice it, right?
Li Sui closed in on Lu Shang, he pecked Lu Shang’s lips ever so gently. Quickly he drew away from Lu Shang, so fast that he didn’t even get the chance to savor the sensation of touching those lips.
It was but a simple action, yet, to Li Sui, it was as if he had stolen a world treasure. He was engulfed by satisfaction, it washed away the tiny shreds of guilt in his heart. Apart from sweetness, he felt a latent sense of nervousness, his heart pounding non-stop, both of his ears red. Lu Shang’s eyelashes trembled slightly, Li Sui snapped back, his body froze, but he promptly regained his composure and left the room.
Li Sui got a jar of cold water; he drank three whole glasses to calm himself down. It was as if a mixed tape was playing in Li Sui’s mind, the image of Lu Shang flashed by, then what Dr. Leung said was replayed, followed by his inappropriate actions just now. His reasons and impulses were battling each other, just like a bee who had fallen into a closed bottle, bumping around randomly to get out.
“Li Sui? What are you doing here?”
Li Sui had yet to finish tidying up his thoughts, but hearing the voice, he turned around. Meng XinYou was standing at the door, looking at him curiously.
Li Sui stood up immediately, he raised the cup in his hand, “I’m just drinking some water.”
“What about Lu Shang, how is he?”
Li Sui put the cup down, “He is sleeping, I’ll bring you to him.”
The two of them walked in the hospital corridors, Meng XinYou continued staring at Li Sui. The subject of observation felt anxious, he felt as if his secrets were being seen through, so he turned to Meng XinYou and asked, “Umm… Is there something on my face?”
Meng XinYou smiled, “You have breadcrumbs on your face.”
Li Sui was a little shocked, he awkwardly touched the corner of his mouth. As expected, there were breadcrumbs.
The second Meng XinYou neared the bed, she pat the side of Lu Shang’s face a few times, “Wakey, wakey, stop sleeping already.”
Li Sui was startled by Meng XinYou, he couldn’t stop himself from grabbing Meng XinYou’s arm, “His surgery just ended.”
“It’s fine, it won’t kill him.” Meng XinYou said nonchalantly while waving her hand.
Li Sui wanted to say something but glancing at the person lying on the bed, he swallowed the words back.
Lu Shang was awake.
“My father asked me to come visit you.” Meng XinYou sat down on the bedside chair. She picked up an apple and started peeling it with a knife, “Can you hear what I am saying now?”
Lu Shang seemed a little tired, he lowered his eyelids slightly.
“I’m going to discuss some matters with him, do you mind leaving us alone for a bit?” Meng XinYou smiled at Li Sui.
Li Sui was conflicted. He looked at Lu Shang. Their eyes met, Lu Shang’s eyes were calm, so Li Sui obediently left the room.
Meng XinYou waited for the door to close, then she shrugged, Do you see that? He’s cautious of me.”
Lu Shang didn’t speak, but his eyes were judging.
“Don’t look at me like that, I’m just playing with him, I come in peace.” Meng XinYou kept her head down, peeling the apple in her hand. She cut out a piece of the fruit and put it into her own mouth, “So you have found someone to deal with the problem with Chan Zhuang?”
Meng XinYou stopped Lu Shang just when he was about to speak.
“Don’t speak, you don’t need to tell me why. I know you have thought it through already, I’m only here to confirm that, I’ll leave after confirming.”
Lu Shang stared at her and nodded his head.
“Okay then… Eh. Don’t move, there’s something on your chin.” Meng XinYou used her fingertip to brush it off, after confirming it as breadcrumbs, she laughed, “Were you pretending to sleep?”
A hint of laughter showed in Lu Shang’s eyes.
Meng XinYou said teasingly, “Say, I heard from Uncle Yuen, he stayed in the hospital the whole time you were in surgery.”
Lu Shang’s gaze shifted to the door.
Meng XinYou sighed, “Lu Shang, Lu Lao Ban. Are you still capable of doing what you set out to in the beginning?”
Lu Shang closed his eyes, wearing an expression that screamed, ‘I refuse to discuss this.’
“Fine, fine. You’re the patient here, I won’t mention that anymore. Happy?” Meng XinYou continued peeling the apple, “If you are going to protect him, no matter what the reasons are, we will respect you. However, it’s fine if you are just playing, don’t get hooked, the consequences are too big.”
Hearing that, Lu Shang closed his eyes, not opening them for a while.
The sky had just brightened, the food stalls under the hospital had opened already. Li Sui ate some random food to fill his stomach. He was going to bring some porridge to Lu Shang, but looking at the huge number of cars, he hesitated, worrying about food hygiene.
When he got back to the room, Meng XinYou had left, leaving behind a bunch of apple skin on the bedside table. The doctor came in to take Lu Shang’s blood, Li Sui immediately went up to hold the medical cotton for him.
“You can have some liquid food, but if you feel extremely uncomfortable, there is no need to force yourself.” After telling Lu Shang, the doctor turned around to talk to Li Sui, “If he has any signs of a fever, notify me immediately.”
After the doctor left, Li Sui helped Lu Shang pull the blanket up, hoping Lu Shang could be more comfortable lying down, “Do you want to sleep a bit more?”
Lu Shang looked at him then he shook his head.
For some reason, Li Sui felt guilty again. He turned his head to the side, hoping Lu Shang wouldn’t see it on his face.
“You ate only this in the past two days?” Lu Shang’s gaze went to the unfinished bread, it wasn’t even the fresh ones, but the packaged ones from convenience stores.
“I ate other things too.” Li Sui’s eyes were big, his eye bags were very obvious after the past few days of insomnia.
Lu Shang stared at him, suddenly he reached his hand out and squeezed Li Sui’s hand lightly, “It must have been hard.”
Li Sui held onto Lu Shang’s hand, the IV drip needle was still inserted in the back of Lu Shang’s hand, the skin around the needle was slightly blue. “Your disease, will it heal?”
Lu Shang didn’t reply to his question straightforwardly, “Death is inevitable for everyone.”
Li Sui’s eyes were watery, “But, Dr. Leung is so good at treating illnesses, even he can’t do anything?”
Lu Shang comforted him with a soft voice, “He isn’t omnipotent either.”
Seeing that Li Sui was at the brink of tears, Lu Shang said after consideration, “Don’t be sad, I’ve been like this since the day I was born. Sometimes it gets a little serious, but, look, I’m fine now right?”
Li Sui wasn’t convinced by Lu Shang’s words, he begged, “Please teach me. Teach me about the things related to your company, the business with brother Zuo. I want to help you.” Lu Shang was surprised, he continued listening to Li Sui. “Didn’t you say I’m like a turtle? When you can’t move anymore, I can support you from behind.”
Lu Shang’s hand tightened, then he let go again. If this sentence was spoken by someone else, Lu Shang would think that person was just sucking up to him. However, as the words came from Li Sui’s mouth, it felt different. This child had nothing, there was nothing to gain from his actions either. When he said he wanted to help, he really meant it. Li Sui had given his pure, loyal heart in Lu Shang, trusting him completely.
As if knowing Lu Shang didn’t want to reply, the nurse came in, interrupting them, “Do your legs feel sore?”
Naturally, she was asking Lu Shang. Li Sui lifted up the corner of the blanket slightly, he couldn’t help but gasp. As the legs’ blood circulation were hindered by the lack of movements, Lu Shang’s legs were swollen, cold to the touch.
Luckily, the nurse was experienced. She looked at the patient information board tied on the back of the bed, knowing that Lu Shang had laid there for two days already, it was clear to her that Lu Shang’s legs must be in bad condition. She actively pulled her own sleeves up and put on a pair of gloves, she walked up to the bed and began massaging Lu Shang’s legs.
Lu Shang naturally frowned; he didn’t say anything. With how things were now, he didn’t have any strength to retaliate. If it was Leung ZiRui, he could still complain a bit when he couldn’t accept the treatment. But now facing a young lady, he didn’t feel right stopping her, especially knowing this was good for him.
“Allow me.” Li Sui had been observing the nurse’s movements, he remembered the method and was quite adamant in trying himself.
The nurse didn’t object either, perhaps she felt uncomfortable being stared at, so she left the room willingly to get the medicine.
Li Sui was a lot taller than the nurse, leaning forward would be too hard, so he decided on kneeling instead. Li Sui was afraid he’d hurt Lu Shang, so he held his strength back, massaging Lu Shang with feather light strength. After a few moments, Lu Shang surrendered, his shoulder trembled slightly.
Li Sui raised his head to look at Lu Shang, the later used his pale lips to force a smile and said, “It tickles.”
As Lu Shang spoke, the protrusion at his throat rolled up and down. Due to his frail state, his soft skin seemed to be even softer than usual. Li Sui couldn’t help but find the Lu Shang now…erotic.