Chapter 15: The Kiss
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The rain arrived rapidly and it left just as fast. When they arrived at the hotel, the rain had almost stopped completely, but the air was laced with the smell of soil and rainwater. Li Sui opened the hotel room door to find Lu Shang sleeping, the IV was still in the back of his hand.
Li Sui didn’t dare go straight to bed, he didn’t turn the lights on either. He tiptoed into the shower in darkness, washing away the sand and rainwater. Li Sui tried to be quiet, but despite his best efforts, Lu Shang still woke up.
“What did you buy?” Lu Shang beckoned Li Sui to his side. Li Sui climbed onto the bed; he was still a little wet from showering. Lying down beside Lu Shang, he pulled out a seashell.
Lu Shang held the shell in his hand, tracing its shape. He smiled as warm breaths escaped from his nose, “Did you dig it up yourself?”
“Hm.” Li Sui wrapped his hands around Lu Shang’s, “It’s for you.”
Lu Shang must have just taken a bath, the smell of medicine was gone, only leaving the scent that was unique to Lu Shang. Li Sui nudged himself closer to Lu Shang’s neck, trying his best to feign his innocence while greedily inhaling as much of Lu Shang’s scent as possible.
Lu Shang stroked Li Sui’s shoulder as he whispered softly, “Good night.”
Li Sui stopped his movements, his black pupils shimmered, awaiting in the darkness. He didn’t care for money, nor did he want power. If someone were to ask about his hobby, then it would most likely be looking at Lu Shang sleep. It became a daily routine after Li Sui realized his feelings towards Lu Shang. Lu Shang was never wary of Li Sui, so he was always completely relaxed during sleep. His head tilted slightly sideways, revealing a part of his long, ivory white neck. Li Sui imagined how nice it would be to sink his teeth into that soft flesh.
Discarding his fantasies, he pulled the blanket down, gently covering up Lu Shang’s exposed nape.
If not, he might get a cold.
As expected, the Golden Sands Shore project was progressing sluggishly. The department managers couldn’t reach a consensus, whenever they had a meeting, they would bite each other’s heads off. Lu Shang didn’t comment, sometimes he even skipped the conferences altogether. Liu XingMing was annoyed by all the in-fighting, but the managers represented a few of the corporate directors, so he couldn’t really stop them. Seeing that another week passed with nothing but meaningless bickering, Liu XingMing became worried.
Lu Shang continued playing with his phone, looking indifferent to the situation, “There’s no rush, let them bicker.”
“Yeah, but there is a cause to hurry. The rainy season is approaching, plus the bank has been asking for the instalment, and we need to send in the paperwork. If we don’t hurry, then I’m afraid we will have to wait till next year to begin construction. The government is changing heads recently, if they dish out some new policies, it might cost us more. Better now or never.”
Lu Shang skimmed the conference room and sighed, “I guess, if you insist. Tonight, accompany me to meet with a person.”
Li Sui entered with some food in hand, Lu Shang was changing his clothes in front of the mirror. After the surgery, his backbones became more evident than before, Li Sui couldn’t stop himself from peeking whilst feeling hurt for how skinny Lu Shang was. The subject of admiration caught Li Sui staring.
“What are you looking at?”
Li Sui averted his gaze, replying vaguely, “I brought you some food. Are you going out again?”
“I’m meeting someone on a cruise ship.” Lu Shang pulled out the drawer and picked out a tie, placing it near his chest to see if it matched. He was about to put it on, but he stopped as he came up with an idea. Turning around, Lu Shang invited Li Sui over.
Li Sui put the food aside and walked up to Lu Shang, helping him put on the tie.
“You are not bringing me along?” Li Sui pulled up the collar of Lu Shang’s shirt smoothly, circling his neck with the fabric and tying the knot. Li Sui remembered Lu Shang demonstrating how to put on a tie for him, now Li Sui could do it all by himself.
“That place doesn’t suit you.”
Lu Shang’s current attire was different from his usual black and white, he was wearing a wine-red colored shirt, it made his white skin look livelier. He looked less serious, making him look younger. It seemed like he was attending a banquet.
Hearing Li Sui’s question, a flirtatious expression surfaced on Lu Shang’s face. Placing his hand on Li Sui’s shoulder, he said while squinting his eyes, “Have you ever had any… sexual fantasies before?”
“What?” Li Sui opened his eyes wide from shock. It was just too sudden and Li Sui wasn’t ready for it.
Lu Shang looked at Li Sui’s flabbergasted expression and laughed a little, releasing his grip on Li Sui’s shoulder, “I’m just messing with you.”
Li Sui’s face was completely red, he watched as Lu Shang leaned down to pick out a pair of shoes and somehow, he realized what kind of a place Lu Shang was going to. Words spilled out before they were processed, “I’m an adult already, bring me along.”
Lu Shang turned around to look at Li Sui, seeing how flushed his face was, he shook his head, “It really doesn’t suit you. Stay at home.”
Li Sui was really in a bind now. Lu Shang misunderstood the reason for his blushing, he thought Li Sui was embarrassed. That wasn’t the case, he wasn’t embarrassed by Lu Shang’s teasing words. Instead, he was embarrassed by the indecent images that were elicited from the words “sexual fantasies.” The subject of his fantasies just happened to be in front of him, not to mention, wearing an alluring suit.
He felt his breath thicken just looking at Lu Shang moving around in front of him. His fingers clenched inwards.
Perhaps due to years of sexual suppression, he was hallucinating. In his mind, he always thought of Lu Shang as his possession. Just like the prey in the mouth of a wild wolf, even if he wasn’t eating it yet, no one could lay a finger on it. If anyone were to go near, the wolf would quite literally bite their heads off.
Exactly like how Li Sui found the notion of Lu Shang fondling with prostitutes absolutely revolting. An uncontrollable sense of possessiveness swelled in his heart.
He tried holding it in, but it didn’t stay put. He edged forward and tugged on Lu Shang’s clothes. Deliberately softening his tone, he said, “You haven’t completely healed yet, and you can’t have alcohol. Please bring me along.” The sentence sounded like he was pleading.
As expected, the gaze Lu Shang threw at him wavered. Li Sui slumped his head a bit, his pleads turned into muttering, “I have never seen a cruise ship before…”
Lu Shang looked at him and gave in, “… go change.”
Originally, Li Sui picked out a simple T-shirt, but Lu Shang pointed at a white shirt and a British sweater, “Wear that.”
Li Sui’s bangs hung in front of his forehead as opposed to being combed-back, he wore close-fitting pants. Wearing this slightly innocent outfit reminded Li Sui of the time when he first followed Lu Shang to a banquet. The two walked out of the front door, Lu Shang in front and Li Sui followed close behind. Together, they looked like a scene from a movie.
Liu XingMing looked at them in awe, “Should…should I go change too…”
Lu Shang glanced at his formal suit and said, “No, that’s fine.”
Their car dropped them off at a pier where they got on a small boat. After around an hour, they arrived on the cruise ship. Lu Shang walked at the front; the guards let him through promptly. But when Li Sui passed through, the guards were a little hesitant. Lu Shang turned back and held Li Sui’s hand, pulling him along. The guards naturally let them through.
It was as bright as day on the cruise ship, yellow lights glimmered. The silhouettes of long tables and crowds could be seen through the windows, judging from their cheers, Li Sui believed they were gambling. They walked on the deck, passing scores of beautiful women, most wore extremely revealing clothes. Two of the ladies they passed were daring enough to get near Lu Shang and Li Sui, caressing their faces, Li Sui frowned and tilted his head away.
Not long after they boarded the ship, Liu XingMing was nowhere to be found. Perhaps Lu Shang had other plans for him, but Li Sui didn’t care, he had more pressing matters to deal with. All the guards on deck were armed, Li Sui wasn’t a familiar face, so he attracted a lot of attention. Li Sui had never seen so many armed guards before, he was a little intimidated, so he rushed up to Lu Shang and held onto his arm tightly from behind. Lu Shang kept his gaze forward as the corner of his mouth curved upwards. He accepted Li Sui’s cry for help. Lu Shang seemed to be accustomed to this place, obviously this wasn’t his first time here. On the way, they met a few of Lu Shang’s acquittances, he even stopped to chat with some of them.
Li Sui’s mood gradually soured, so when a blond in a rabbit outfit attempted to ‘greet’ Lu Shang, Li Sui decided to glare at her with a pair of very unfriendly eyes.
“Is that Lu Lao Ban?” A familiar voice came from somewhere near the hatch door. The two of them turned around the same time to find a shocked Yan Ke (i).
T/N: (i) Yan Ke is the person who transferred 6% of Tong Yan’s shares to Lu Shang. The toy turtles were his daughter’s.
“Oh… Even Xiao Li is here.” Yan Ke looked at the two for a while, trying to imagine what led to this scenario in front of him; he failed miserable.
“Brother Yan.” Li Sui nodded his head politely.
“Wow, you’ve grown so much. Almost didn’t recognize you.” Yan Ke laughed, he turned to look at Lu Shang, “How rare, are you here to find someone?”
Lu Shang nodded, “Is Madam Anna here?”
“She’s inside, I’ll bring you to her.” Yan Ke just had some alcohol; his sleeves were unbuttoned. Li Sui noticed the two lipstick marks on his neck, they were of different coloration, obviously they had different owners. Li Sui didn’t comment, but he was definitely shocked as he remembered that Yan Ke was married, he even had a daughter.
“Oh, yeah, it might be a little… inside…” Yan Ke turned around suddenly, he said awkwardly, “Maybe you should stay here?”
Of course, that was directed at Li Sui. Lu Shang didn’t even give it any thought and pushed Yan Ke’s shoulder a bit, hurrying him, “It’s fine. Let’s go in.”
Almost immediately Li Sui understood what Yan Ke failed to say: indecent.
Inside was a thick smell of cigarettes, but even that wasn’t enough to conceal the smell of perfume. In the room was a long sofa, a man sat in the middle, beside him were two black haired females. Li Sui immediately closed his eyes after just one glance, they were completely naked.
Lu Shang didn’t look away, he walked straight past the sofa. Opening the curtains behind the sofa revealed a tea room. Comparatively, the tea room was a lot quieter than the room outside. The bamboo-made chairs were occupied by four to five men, in the middle was a woman wearing a kimono. They were having something like a tea ceremony, the green-eyed, blonde woman in the middle had a strong aura. Li Sui skimmed through everyone in the room and deduced that this woman was most likely who Lu Shang was here for.
“Lu.” The woman raised her head to see Lu Shang then she smiled at him.
Lu Shang returned her a smile, they greeted each other by hugging. Lu Shang said something in another language, Li Sui didn’t know what it meant.
The two of them began talking, Li Sui did learn a little English in recent days, but at this moment, he realized what he learned were completely useless. They were talking so quickly that Li Sui couldn’t catch a single word.
Yan Ke found a place to settle down, and in no time, some girls in rabbit outfits surrounded him, bringing wine. It seemed like Yan Ke would take anyone, his hands roamed around the girls’ exposed skin, he looked extremely satisfied. Li Sui was so embarrassed that he didn’t know where he should be looking.
While the two conversed, most of the men had left the room, the ones that stayed moved over to the sofa, fully enjoying the service of the ship. One of the men had a young boy on his lap, the boy was wearing a collar. His hand slid into the boy’s pants, making him tremble. Li Sui’s gaze unintentionally met the man’s, in the man’s eyes were a flash of lust. That got on Li Sui’s nerves, this person seemed to have mistaken him as a prostitute working on this ship.
Every bit of attention Lu Shang had was focused on Madam Anna, so he didn’t notice the tiny changes around him, that included Li Sui’s emotional state. Li Sui frowned and forced his discomfort down. With Lu Shang’s experiences and capabilities, there were seldom people that required his full attention. This showed how special this woman was, Li Sui understood that, he shouldn’t cause any trouble at times like this.
As Li Sui combed through his own thoughts and emotions, Lu Shang’s and the woman’s gazes landed on him. The woman smiled a little, Li Sui felt like she was joking about him. He saw Lu Shang shrugging his shoulders, then replied something while smiling. Li Sui didn’t say a word and sat through all of it loyally, almost like a knight.
After they finished chatting about Li Sui, Madam Anna sipped some tea and then left. Lu Shang’s expression looked normal; Li Sui couldn’t make out what he was feeling. Lu Shang simplify sat on the same spot lost in his own thoughts.
“Was it successful?” Li Sui couldn’t hold the question back.
Lu Shang stared at Li Sui for a while, he didn’t answer but shook his head.
All the prostitutes here had the freedom to roam around the ship on their own, so whether they could fish the clients laid solely on their skills and how proactive they were. All the clients on this ship had to abide by its rules, the rules were simple, everyone was here to have fun. Bringing a partner on board like how Lu Shang did was almost unheard of.
While Li Sui was processing Lu Shang’s reply, a woman wearing veils and lingerie walked over to Lu Shang. Leaning on Lu Shang’s shoulder, her fingers glided upwards along Lu Shang’s chest, “Lao Ban, do you want some alcohol?”
Lu Shang was holding a cup of tea, he frowned slightly. Li Sui seating beside him just felt his brain burning, he stood up without much thought. Grabbing the woman’s arm, Li Sui flung her away. Li Sui wasn’t thinking when he acted, neither did he control the strength of his actions. It made a crisp sound, rather than being flung away, it sounded more like she was slapped.
The sound attracted everyone’s attention, Li Sui didn’t really know what to do, all of that was basically instinct. From the audience’s perspective, it looked like they were fighting over a client, even Lu Shang raised his head to look at Li Sui. Considering how deep he was in already, Li Sui decided to see it through, he said, “Sorry, but he’s mine.”
The female prostitute was going to make a scene, but she looked at Li Sui and backed down. Li Sui didn’t look like one of the prostitutes on the ship, he looked more like a client. She was confused, not knowing how to deal with this, she left the room.
Li Sui fell to one knee beside Lu Shang, he said worriedly, “Are you okay? Did she do anything weird?”
“No.” Lu Shang put the teacup down, his eyes were smiling, “But what did you just say?”
Li Sui was caught off guard, he replied slightly flustered, “I wasn’t thinking straight, please don’t mind it.”
“I don’t mind, but I think the audience does.” Lu Shang leaned down slightly with a light smile.
The gazes around were still focused on them, everyone seemed to be expecting an exciting ending to a drama. Lu Shang pulled Li Sui in closer, he whispered into Li Sui’s ear, “Everyone’s looking at you, aren’t you going to give them a good show?”
The tips of Li Sui’s ears turned red; he wasn’t sure what he should do. “You are missing a kiss.” Lu Shang hinted wearing a bright smiling face.
Li Sui froze. All of a sudden, he felt the gazes heating up. He had a vague feeling that Lu Shang knew, he wanted to explore that possibility, but at the same time, he lacked the courage. The tea room was oddly quiet, Li Sui’s fingers curled inwards and loosened again repeatedly. The final shreds of hesitation didn’t stay for long as curiosity and lust overwhelmed him. Li Sui leaned a bit forward, nudging himself closer to Lu Shang and eventually pressing his lips on Lu Shang’s.
Li Sui pulled away in less than a second.
As if it was something forbidden, it was just a gentle, quick peck. Even so, Li Sui felt his heart jumping so fast that it was literally out of control.
But just as their lips separated, Lu Shang’s hand reached for his chin, he closed his eyes and pulled Li Sui in for another kiss. Li Sui’s eyes shot open, feeling a wave of heat seeping through his teeth. A slick, soft tongue entered his mouth, after a thorough exploration, it slowly backed out.
Lu Shang squinted his eyes, his expression was the same as before, blowing hot breaths on Li Sui’s ear, he said, “This is what you call a kiss.”
Li Sui didn’t understand the meaning of his tone, it seemed like he was hinting at something, but he couldn’t grasp it.
The audience cheered as Li Sui froze, his thoughts completely paralyzed.