Chapter 29: Losing Control
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Translations
After the internship, Li Sui began focusing completely on preparing for his exams. Li Sui was a quick learner, plus he had learned a lot from the intern period. Being able to combine field experiences and knowledge allowed Li Sui to improve exponentially.
Lu Shang was also serious in training him; he would specifically ask Uncle Yuen to give certain simple tasks to Li Sui, training his skills in the field. The tasks were all simple ones, they ranged from checking for typos to replying work emails. During the process, Li Sui would find that all the tasks only seemed easy, but in truth, had many tiny details that required attention. After he had finished writing the reply, the contents of the received email would still be in Li Sui’s mind. After repeated exposure, he’d find that he could begin using similar tones in his writing.
In the morning, the sky was dark, and it looked like it was going to snow soon.
“Have you finished correcting the cooperation agreement document I gave you last night?”
“Yes, I’ve changed it. I stamped it with your name and sent it to assistant Yang already.”
Lu Shang said a light “Hm,” then he continued, “I have to set a meeting to discuss next year’s budget.”
Li Sui followed him out of the room, “Uncle Yuen mentioned that already, so I’ve made a template according to last year’s budget. You can see if there are any problems when you have time.”
Lu Shang laughed, “You’re becoming more thorough in your job.”
Li Sui didn’t reply; his thoughts had already gone off the rails seeing Lu Shang’s smile.
“It’s eight already, don’t you have tutorial classes?” Lu Shang stood at the door looking back at Li Sui.
Li Sui replied, “I’m having an exam today.”
Lu Shang remembered, “Do you need me to bring you there?”
“No thanks. I will drive myself to the venue.” Li Sui picked up the car keys, placing them into his pocket. Before Li Sui left, he reminded Lu Shang in a worried tone, “It’s cold outside, and it might also rain today, so please don’t go out.”
Inside the house, Lu Shang replied vaguely. Li Sui wasn’t sure if he actually listened.
Before Li Sui got to the examination venue, snow began drifting down. Snowflakes fluttered as the wind picked up. Most of the examination attendees were graduates from local universities; amongst the people with a similar age to Li Sui, none had their own car. Li Sui instantly stole the limelight. Along with his naturally good looks, everyone thought he was one of those rich second-generation kids.
Li Sui had three exams today, two in the morning and one in the afternoon. As they were packed together, Li Sui didn’t go home for lunch, he just bought a boxed lunch near the examination venue.
Li Sui had been studying and preparing very hard, so he wasn’t too worried about the results. During the lunch break, he just sat on the side listening to some English recordings. Opposite of him, there were a few other examinees; they seemed to lack confidence, as they were still holding onto the textbooks. Seeing Li Sui passing by, the two females hid behind the books they were holding and began mumbling to each other.
T/N: On a side note, I think if Lu Shang were to record the English listening audios himself, Li Sui would be very motivated.
Li Sui didn’t look at them, he was staring at his mobile phone as one of the girls walked over. With a blushing face, she asked, “Hello handsome, may I have your number?”
Li Sui had never been approached by girls before, so in the heat of the moment he just stared at her. Li Sui’s gaze then went to the girl behind her, after grasping their intents, he gave a polite smile, “I’m sorry, but I have someone I like already.”
The girl froze a bit, then she just waved her hand and returned to her group.
Sounds of disappointment came from the group, Li Sui put his headphones back on, looking at the snow outside. Li Sui suddenly had a thought, and picking up his phone, he began writing a text to Lu Shang.
“Lu Lao Ban, someone asked me for my contact info, do you think I should?”
No reply came from the other end—Lu Shang was probably having a nap or something. Li Sui turned his phone off, then he calmed himself for the upcoming test.
Though Li Sui was confident in his preparation and results, he still felt relieved after all the exams were over. Li Sui wasn’t the only one, the atmosphere around him was obviously lighter than it was prior to the exams. When the doors were opened, all the examinees rushed out ecstatically.
Li Sui didn’t have to catch the bus, so he just stayed at the seat, waiting for the crowd to disperse. After the crowds were gone, Li Sui walked towards the parking lot leisurely.
It was still snowing outside; the chilly air filled his lungs the second Li Sui left the building. As he walked down the stairs, he saw a person standing by a leafless tree. The person was wearing a long black coat, he had a wool scarf loosely hung on his neck. Seeing Li Sui walking down the stairs, he immediately smiled.
Li Sui basically ran over to him, “Why are you here? I thought I said not to go out today?”
Lu Shang smiled, “I had nothing to do, so I came to pick you up.”
Li Sui sensed the coldness from Lu Shang’s hands, and that made Li Sui worried sick. He immediately led Lu Shang to the car, “How long have you been waiting? Did Uncle Yuen drive you here? It’s cold outside, you know…”
“I’m fine. I have just arrived.” Lu Shang continued, “You’re here, so I sent Uncle Yuen back.”
Li Sui opened the car door, only feeling reassured after Lu Shang had got on safely. After Lu Shang got on, he turned the air-conditioning to warm mode.
“How did the exam go?”
“It’s fine. Most of the questions were quite simple.” Li Sui kept rubbing his hand against Lu Shang’s, hoping to give him some more warmth, “Next time don’t go out when it’s snowing. Your health isn’t good, what if something happened to you?”
Lu Shang only smiled, “I heard someone asked for your contact info. Was it a male or female?”
Li Sui didn’t know if he should laugh or cry, he said, “Don’t tease me.”
After a bit, he added with a softer voice, “I don’t differentiate between their genders. In my book there are just two types of people—you and all the others.”
Lu Shang stared at Li Sui trying to ascertain what Li Sui was insinuating, then he started laughing as if he couldn’t hold it back, even his shoulders trembled.
“What are you laughing at?”
Lu Shang looked really happy, his mouth formed a smile as he said, “I never said you can’t make friends. Getting new friends is a good thing.”
Li Sui had to back down with how much Lu Shang was laughing, so he forcibly changed the topic, “From today onwards, I have no more lessons, so I can go help you out.”
“There’s no rush.” Lu Shang stopped laughing, after coughing a few times, he said, “Let’s head back.”
There were a lot of students, so many walked on the car roads with umbrellas. With so many people on the roads, their car was driving at a snail pace. Li Sui didn’t press the horn; he just drove slowly through the crowd.
Looking at the gleeful faces of the students outside, as if Lu Shang remembered something from the past, he said, “When I was studying in America, I always saw others’ parents picking their kids up from the exams. I’ve always hoped that my family could come too back then, but that was never once fulfilled.”
Li Sui seldom heard Lu Shang talk about the past, so he turned his head around to ask, “Were you living by yourself back then?”
“There were servants and doctors too.”
Li Sui thought, Lu Shang had to be still very young back then. Having to leave home alone at such a young age, with only servants to talk to, that must be how Lu Shang became so desolate.
As they were talking, Lu Shang’s phone rang, it was from Xiao Zhao.
“Director Lu, the document you wanted—can I deliver it to you tonight instead?”
Xiao Zhao sounded awkward and evasive, “I… I promised my girlfriend I’d go out on a date with her on the holiday.”
Lu Shang looked at the time and date on his phone, that was when he realized that today was Christmas Eve.
“It’s fine. You can deliver it tonight.”
“Thank you. Director Lu!”
Days passed by so fast; Lu Shang was never sensitive towards holidays, and neither was Li Sui. No wonder there were so many people on the streets today—a lot of shops were having sales.
“What’s wrong?” Li Sui asked after seeing Lu Shang in deep thoughts.
Lu Shang put his phone back, then he smiled and said, “Let’s go, I’m bringing you somewhere.”
That ‘somewhere’ was a restaurant atop a skyscraper, a revolving restaurant to be specific.
Li Sui didn’t expect Lu Shang to bring him somewhere so grand; instead, he would expect Lu Shang to bring him to a quiet, little restaurant.
“This restaurant has been here for over ten years.” Lu Shang added in lamb meat into the rock hotpot, “Try it, it tastes quite good.”
The hotpot had hot and sour soup in it, the soup was bubbling and giving out steam as it was heated. After the lamb meat had been cooked for a while, it was dipped into a mix of sesame sauce and soy sauce while still steaming hot. The sensation of all the lovely flavors mixed together was simply amazing.
Li Sui never had such tender lamb meat before, it was as if the meat melted in his mouth the second it touched his tongue. The sourness and spiciness were balanced well, bringing both flavors out perfectly. Even without chewing, the rich flavor of the meat and soup would seep out. The spiciness was especially strong; swallowing the meat and broth together was quite exciting.
“This is so much different from Aunt Lu’s cooking.” Li Sui continued, “They are really tasty.”
When Aunt Lu prepared their meals, her number one concern was the food’s impact on health, taste was a secondary concern, so her food was mostly bland and had less seasoning. Li Sui was never fed up with Aunt Lu’s cooking, but it did sometimes lack excitement.
The two of them added more and more meat as they ate; in no time, all the lamb meat was gone. Li Sui also realized that Lu Shang actually liked spicy food, only due to his own health condition, he had been limiting himself in the consumption of them.
Only lamb meat wasn’t enough, so they also ordered some tofu and mushrooms. Half-way through the meal, Lu Shang put his chopsticks down and began being inseparable from his glass of milk. Li Sui lifted his head from his food, and through the white steam, he noticed that the corners of Lu Shang’s eyes were a little red from all the spicy food. Li Sui found that funny and at the same time endearing.
Compared to the cold and quiet Lu Shang sitting in the office, Li Sui preferred the Lu Shang now. Lively, ordinary, having normal senses and interests.
“Director Yue called me today. You might have to attend a banquet at Mu Sheng this month.” Lu Shang said nonchalantly like it was nothing big.
Li Sui asked, “Mu Sheng? Isn’t that the SiMa family’s company?”
“I used the money you gave me for investments.” Lu Shang smiled, “Xiao Zhao will get the documents to you tonight.”
Li Sui was confused, obviously Lu Shang had to be joking. With that little bit of money he gave Lu Shang, stocks aside, he couldn’t even buy a table in Mu Sheng. Li Sui suddenly remembered the camp he went with SiMa JingRong half-a-year ago, and he suspected that the stocks must have been bought then. However, Lu Shang had never once mentioned it to Li Sui, so Li Sui had no idea that he was already Mu Sheng’s stockholder. Lu Shang’s actions were a little resemblant of how ancient people would use money to get a government official position for their sons; Lu Shang basically gave him half a company.
“Do you trust me that much? Aren’t you afraid that I’d run away?” Li Sui asked.
Lu Shang laughed softly, “You won’t.”
Li Sui felt something click in his heart. He still had things to ask, but Lu Shang’s short reply batted all that away.
“Mu Sheng is a good company. You should manage it well, be more wary of others and your own choices. Running a business is like playing with dominos, one wrong move and everything follows and falls apart. Don’t only focus on the profit at hand,” Lu Shang said. “Especially when you are facing choices that you could only make once, be rational and don’t let your emotions cloud your judgement.”
Li Sui however thought of something else from Lu Shang’s reminders, “Is that so?”
For some reason, Lu Shang went silent for a while as well, before he finally gave a light “hm” in reply.
After two rounds of snow, the day of the banquet came. There was no doubt that Mu Sheng was the SiMa family’s company, the scale of the banquet was on a whole new level, to sum it up in one word, the banquet was “extravagant”.
Li Sui wore a full dinner suit; he made an entrance together with Lu Shang. Technically, they had different roles—one was a stockholder, while the other was a business partner, so normally they wouldn’t be arranged to sit together. Someone must have paid attention to their relationship and arranged this intentionally.
Lu Shang had a cold recently, so he wasn’t in good spirits. After Lu Shang was seated, he didn’t budge at all. Whenever anyone made a toast to Lu Shang, Li Sui would drink the wine in Lu Shang’s stead.
SiMa JingRong was the same as before—he still had the expression of a playboy who had no respect for anyone. Even with the suit, SiMa JingRong didn’t look the least bit serious, though having a tidy attire showed his improvements. His younger brother had already become the family’s new backbone, following Yue PengFei around to greet everyone. Even so, there was no more dissatisfaction on SiMa JingRong’s face. Instead, SiMa JingRong looked quite gleeful, he enjoyed not having to do anything, as if he were a big landlord.
The banquet began with a few speeches, the directors’ speeches came first, then it was the shareholder’s turn. Li Sui sat in his seat, seeing the huge cameras and recorders directed at the stage, he couldn’t help but swallow a gulp of saliva anxiously.
His script was prepared beforehand, so Li Sui just had to walk onto the stage and recite it. However, looking at so many people and speaking on stage was still quite overwhelming, and it made Li Sui a little nervous. When the host invited him to the stage, Li Sui felt his heart tighten; he instinctively looked at Lu Shang.
A smile surfaced on Lu Shang’s pale face, “What are you looking at me for? You’re Mu Sheng’s shareholder, not me.”
Li Sui’s shoulders relaxed, he stood up and walked towards the stage.
Li Sui was tall and his legs were long, when he walked up the stage, he gave off an aura of assuredness. Looking at Li Sui’s figure from behind, Lu Shang started sighing how time passed by so fast. It had been years since they first met, and looking at Li Sui now, Lu Shang couldn’t pick out any glimpses of Li Sui’s past self. When Lu Shang first brought Li Sui home, no one would even think that he would turn out like this.
Not only was Li Sui a new face, he was also young, so many proposed toasts to Li Sui. Moreover, Li Sui drank a lot earlier in Lu Shang’s stead already, so even Li Sui felt a little light on his feet. This was the first time Li Sui had to attend a banquet in the capacity of a shareholder, but Lu Shang didn’t limit him in doing anything. Lu Shang just sat at the sides, looking at Li Sui trying his best to stay awake as he talked to the other guests.
“Lu Lao Ban, are you not going to stop him? If he continues, he will definitely get drunk.” SiMa JingRong sat down next to Lu Shang with a plate of peeled peanuts, eating as he asked Lu Shang.
“There will be many more banquets for him to attend in the future, he must get drunk once to understand the need to reject alcohol,” Lu Shang said without any rush.
SiMa JingRong was shocked by Lu Shang’s direct and brutal education method, but after some thought, he found it true.
“Though our family’s company is my little brother’s, all the money is given to me. So, if you guys are in need of money someday, you can always depend on me.” SiMa JingRong said with a dependable-like expression.
Lu Shang laughed on the inside; he raised his cup and touched SiMa JingRong’s glass lightly. In his heart, he also thought that this kid was born to be lucky, he was born to have a free and leisure life. Others didn’t even know where to begin getting jealous.
The banquet continued throughout the night. When it was finally over, Li Sui was basically unconscious, he flopped down on the table near the door. Lu Shang had no other choice but to go over and wake him up. Li Sui was just great, instead of flopping down dead, he woke up and clung to Lu Shang’s waist. Li Sui was also muttering something, but Lu Shang couldn’t make out what the incoherent sounds were.
Uncle Yuen’s car couldn’t drive straight in, so it was parked outside in the garden. Lu Shang tried pulling Li Sui up but failed, so he then squatted down, ruffling Li Sui’s head, “How about I carry you, is that okay?”
Li Sui reacted to the sentence and let go of Lu Shang’s waist, instead flopping down on Lu Shang’s back.
The snow had not yet melted; the two of their weights went against the layer of snow on the ground, making squishy sounds. Li Sui wasn’t light, to be honest; having to carry Li Sui’s weight on his back was a little difficult for Lu Shang. Even so, Lu Shang just bit his teeth and went through with it, ignoring the discomfort in his chest.
When they got back home, Aunt Lu rushed out, she asked, “How much did he drink to get like this? Do I need to call for the doctor?”
“He’s fine, I checked. Just make him some honey water.” Lu Shang placed Li Sui on the bed, then rubbed his own sore wrists a little.
“Okay, coming right up.”
Lu Shang wasn’t experienced in taking care of a drunk person. However, being a chronic patient himself, he did learn a lot about healthcare, so giving basic care wasn’t a challenge. Li Sui was quite peaceful even when drunk, that was proven when Lu Shang brought him to the bamboo dojo for the first time. Though Li Sui’s mind was clouded, if asked to do something, he’d really do it. Lu Shang wiped Li Sui’s face clean, then fed him the honey water. Lu Shang asked him to lie back on the bed, and Li Sui really did take his dirty clothes off and quietly lay down.
Lu Shang finished his own shower, after taking his medicines, he laid down on the bed beside Li Sui. Just after Lu Shang laid down, Li Sui turned on his sides and got up, staring at Lu Shang with vacant eyes.
“What are you doing?” Lu Shang found it a little amusing.
Li Sui didn’t reply, he leaned down to Lu Shang’s neck, sniffing like a hound would with its prey. Li Sui buried himself at Lu Shang’s neck, breathing out hot breathes, ready to make a move. Lu Shang put his hand on Li Sui’s forehead, pushing him back a little, Lu Shang squinted his eyes to check if Li Sui was conscious.
The lights in the bedroom were all turned off, so Lu Shang could barely even see Li Sui’s black eyes; he failed to see them brimming with lust.
The one who was pushed back seemed to be unsatisfied; he suddenly grabbed Lu Shang’s wrist, pushing it onto the bed, and he began licking Lu Shang’s neck. Hot breaths and the smell of alcohol surrounded them. Lu Shang panted slightly, but still didn’t push Li Sui away forcefully. After licking for a while, Li Sui’s movements slowed down, his eager kisses were replaced by paced, intermittent ones with an intent to tease.
The atmosphere in the room changed drastically, the air was filled with desire, brewing and inflating. Catalyzed by the warmth in the room, their brains became a chaotic mess.
Li Sui threw himself completely into sucking and licking Lu Shang’s skin, his tongue lithely slid across Lu Shang, moving up along the neck towards his pursed, delicate lips. Lu Shang frowned slightly; he tried pushing Li Sui back, but the drunk Li Sui was stronger than Lu Shang thought he’d be. Lu Shang couldn’t push him back, so he could only submissively let Li Sui kiss him, rampaging in his mouth. Though the kiss lacked technique, it was gentle and serious.
It was quiet in the house, leaving only the sounds of rustling fabrics and the two of them panting. The duration of the kiss was extremely long, as if Li Sui had been holding it back for centuries and was now making up for lost time. Li Sui went after his lips as if his life depended on it.
Their tongues and lips stirred, giving lewd wet sounds. At the beginning, Lu Shang did try to push Li Sui away, but as it progressed, he found his strength slipping away, his hands could just loosely hold onto Li Sui’s shoulders. Feeling that Lu Shang had given in, Li Sui went further ahead, prying open Lu Shang’s teeth. The two were swapping saliva above, and below, their bodies were rubbing against each other; they felt like they might just catch on fire like this. Noticing that Lu Shang’s breaths were becoming too irregular, Li Sui let the kiss go and instead, he turned to kissing the nape of Lu Shang’s neck.
Lu Shang continued panting. He shifted his body; trying to avoid Li Sui, he turned on his sides and curled up. Li Sui, however, wasn’t giving up—he stubbornly extended his hand to hug Lu Shang by the waist. As he reached over, his hands accidentally came into contact with something else, there was an obvious second of hesitation.
It was too dark in the room, so neither of them could see each other’s expression clearly, but it was as if time had stopped for two whole seconds. Lu Shang trembled, then began struggling to get away from Li Sui, trying to get off the bed.
“Don’t move.” Li Sui grabbed him back, suddenly talking with a slightly hoarse voice.
It was so quiet in the room that if a needle were to drop on the floor, they would still hear it loud and clear. They were panting a lot, as if both of them were holding something back. Li Sui froze for a bit, then his right hand explored into Lu Shang’s clothes, quickly reaching the important parts, “I’ll help you.”
Li Sui’s hot breaths ran across Lu Shang’s ear, making his body stiff. Lu Shang tried to break free again but was still held by Li Sui. With no other choice, he shut his eyes tight, throwing half of his face into the pillow as he frowned.
Li Sui leaned down to kiss Lu Shang’s eye, his hand reaching the tip of Lu Shang’s erection. He slowly caressed it, beginning to move his hands rhythmically.
Lust in the room was as thick as black ink stained on a piece of white paper; it was mixed with alcohol as it spread across the cozy room quickly. Everything quieted down, only a few muffled moans were audible.
The craziness was covered up by the darkness, and it ended as quickly as it began.
The two of them sweated a lot, it was as if both of them were just fished out of the sea. Li Sui’s breathes were heavy, he let go of the thing that had just spilled but didn’t let Lu Shang go. As if Li Sui had lost it, he pulled down Lu Shang’s clothes to bite his shoulder. His actions were aggressive, he was getting more and more out of hand.
“…… Li Sui.” Lu Shang finally said something, his voice was trembling, but it had an indisputable warning tone.
Li Sui stopped, as if he had just woken up from a dream. The haze over his eyes receded like the tide, his eyes turned somber. Li Sui let go of Lu Shang; his Adam’s apple bobbed, and with a hoarse voice, he said, “I…… I’m going to sleep in the living room.”
The bedroom door closed with a light sound. Lu Shang opened his eyes in the darkness, they were unfocused for a long time.
Wind picked up outside the house. The two of them were separated by a thin wall and neither of them got any sleep that night.