Chapter 44: Sleepless Nights
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The rain continued till early in the morning, Lu Shang woke up slowly. Lu Shang found himself being held in someone’s arms, his back stuck closely to a warm chest, strong heartbeats transmitted into his body, it was reassuring.
Li Yu sensed that Lu Shang was awake, his arms loosened slightly, and he moved back a little.
With the warmth moving away, Lu Shang frowned. Lu Shang reflectively reached out his hand to pull Li Sui back. This subconscious movement startled both men a little.
The sky was barely bright, and the room was still dark. The two of them stared into each other’s eyes in silence for a long time. Li Sui didn’t know how much Lu Shang remembered about last night, but he submissively snuggled back under the blanket, hugging Lu Shang from behind, he said with a comforting voice, “Sleep, I won’t go anywhere.”
Hangover plus the effect of drugs mixed together made Lu Shang’s headache unbearable. Lu Shang leaned his head on Li Sui’s arm, he gasped slightly in pain. Li Sui’s heart ached, what he wouldn’t give to share the pain for Lu Shang. Li Sui leaned down to kiss Lu Shang’s head while carefully giving him a massage for relief.
At dawn, Lu Shang finally fell asleep again, his face was pale white. Lu Shang rarely showed insecurity, Li Sui definitely would not leave him at such a time. He called Uncle Yuen on some company matters, then directly turned the phone off, he then stayed in the ward peacefully with him.
The corridor outside the ward sounded busy all day, but fortunately, no one bothered them. Lu Shang slept until noon, then he gradually woke up. His eyes opened, and closed, he repeated the actions several times, then turn to look at the head above him.
Li Sui found that a little fun, he had never seen Lu Shang waking up from being drunk before, he was like a small animal, being alerted of everything, Li Sui couldn’t see the slightest hint of Lu Shang’s usual calmness.
“Are you awake? Does your head still hurt?” Li Sui asked while pressing on Lu Shang’s temples.
Lu Shang glanced around the room, “Why am I here?”
“You’ve drunk too much, and your heart’s not beating smoothly,” Li Sui reminded him, “Have you forgotten?”
Lu Shang gave a vague “Hmm,” then said, “Thirsty.”
Li Sui got out of the bed to pour him some water, he took the time to sneak a glimpse of Lu Shang. Seeing that Lu Shang was rubbing the bridge of his nose, Li Sui couldn’t help but ask, “Is it very bad?”
The room still had a trace of the undispersed smell of wine left, Li Sui waited for Lu Shang to finish drinking the water, then called the doctor for a checkup. Lu Shang was cooperative when the doctor asked him to extend his arms, he did, when the doctor asked him to undress, he also did. It was as if Lu Shang was anxiously avoiding trouble.
Li Sui found that both funny and worrying, but seeing Lu Shang feign amnesia so seriously, Li Sui felt like cooperating as well. Lu Shang was obviously afraid of being preached to again, Li Sui thought, since he couldn’t get angry with him anyways, it would be better to just let this thing slide.
After finishing the discharging procedures, Li Sui drove the car out. Li Sui waited for Lu Shang to get seated, then buckled Lu Shang’s seat belt as he said, “Dr. Leung said that next time you get into a situation like this, he will throw a gas canister at me. So, whenever you need to go to a business meeting, remember to bring me along, okay?”
Lu Shang said, “It’s all right, he can’t beat you.”
Li Sui brought Lu Shang’s hand into his own palm while the other hand controlled the steering wheel, “But if he beats me because of you, I won’t fight back. Then your boyfriend would get beaten harshly.”
Lu Shang was amused, “Like he dares.”
Li Sui saw that Lu Shang finally smiled and that calmed him down a little.
Soon, the day of the opening of the Golden Sands Shore theme park had arrived. Li Sui packed their luggage and flew to the island with Lu Shang. The hardware facilities there had finished construction about six months ago, but for safety reasons, they conducted a six-month operation trial, it was only opened for business after they had tested for the safety coefficients of the facilities.
On an opening day, the atmosphere was unusually explosive. The advertisement from a web novel and the park’s advanced and unique equipment were the two main selling points. It attracted horror topic lovers from many different places to the island, the surrounding hotel were all fully booked on the day. The manager responsible for the reception was all sweaty, he had to order a bunch of tents all of a sudden for renting so that the visitors could stay overnight on the beach.
In the evening, the project workers held a celebratory banquet at the hotel, and representatives from all departments involved were asked to attend to receive commendations. Li Sui was the one doing the prize-giving, he changed into a suit earlier in the day, his eyes were not as round as when he was younger, because of his height, Li Sui had to lower his eyes to look at people, that made him appear calm.
Time had sunk into the youth well, his aura was polished by time, his sharpness and strength was emphasized by the black suit.
Lu Shang did not attend the banquet, he came purely as a family member. Lu Shang only took up a seat on the second floor, he leaned on the chair quietly, watching Li Sui from above as he presented the awards to the employees. A smile was hung on Lu Shang’s face, pride overflowed in his expression.
Li Sui was completely accustomed to such occasions, self-confidence and personal charm showed perfectly in his temperament. During the gap of his speech, he even found the time to wink at Lu Shang.
The corner of Lu Shang’s mouth picked up, propping his head up at the chin, Lu Shang accepted it gladly.
After Li Sui’s speech, he and the host together invited the project partners on stage to take a photo in turn. Lu Shang reached for the teacup on the table, his body slowed down, suddenly feeling something in his heart, it was as if the blood in his veins were flowing backward.
“Lu Lao Ban, are you alright?” The waiter saw Lu Shang leaning forward all of a sudden, so he asked.
Lu Shang frowned and glanced downstairs, seeing that Li Sui had his back against him, he was talking to the other guests and did not notice. Lu Shang waved the waiter and said, “Help me down.”
The waiter panicked, he reached for the walkie-talkie on his waist, Lu Shang promptly said with difficulty, “Don’t call people.”
Li Sui finished taking pictures with a few partners, then he habitually looked up to the location where Lu Shang was sitting on the second floor only to find that it was empty, his heart sank. Someone happened to come for a toast, he touched his glass with the other then quickly drank it all down. Li Sui politely bowed and said, “Sorry, but I’m going out for a bit.”
He walked to the backstage and grabbed a passing waiter, “Where’s director Lu?”
“Umm, he said it was a bit noisy, so he went back to the room to rest.”
Li Sui was worried, he handed the waiter the empty glass he was holding and said, “I’ll go have a look at him.”
Li Sui walked into the room, the room was a sharp contrast to the noisiness outside, he found it odd, as he was not used to the sudden quietness.
Lu Shang was lying on the sofa with his eyes closed, next to him was a glass of water. Sensing someone was nearby, Lu Shang gently opened his eyes, revealing a light smile, “It’s over already?”
“No, not yet. Are you not feeling well?” Li Sui sat down beside him.
“It’s too noisy, and it makes my head hurt, that’s all,” Lu Shang said.
Li Sui noticed that his complexion was not quite right, he placed his hand on Lu Shang’s forehead. Though Lu Shang didn’t have a fever, his breaths were not stable, “What’s the matter, did you take today’s medicine.”
Lu Shang held Li Sui’s hand and pulled him closer, leaning his whole head up against Li Sui, and pretended to be depressed, “Low battery.”
Li Sui’s heart was tickled, he pushed Lu Shang’s hand back, held his chin up, and kissed him. Li Sui smiled as he asked, “Is it better now?”
“Hmn,” Lu Shang laughed, “Much better.”
A group of people was waiting outside, so Li Sui couldn’t leave for too long. After staying with each other for a while, Li Sui returned to the awarding ceremony. Only that this time, without a certain person looking at him, his mind was obviously no longer at the ceremony. Having finished several important events, he didn’t even attend the banquet afterward.
The hall outside was crisscrossed with lights, it was extremely lively. Despite that, Li Sui took off his blazer and put on an apron, he borrowed the hotel’s kitchen and made a pot of porridge and some easy to digest noodles. When he brought the food back to their room though, he found Lu Shang was already asleep.
Li Sui gently called out to him, but Lu Shang did not wake up, and he did not forcefully wake him up of course. After taking a bath, he hugged Lu Shang as he fell asleep.
At midnight, the sound of someone vomiting came from the bathroom. The movements awakened Li Sui, he got up to have a look. In the bathroom, Lu Shang was up against the edge of the water basin, his chest was throbbing. Li Sui immediately went to pat him on the back, he also poured him a cup of water to rinse his mouth.
“What’s going on? Are you not used to the climate here?” Li Sui had a serious look on his face as he said.
After Lu Shang finished vomiting, he took a sigh of relief. Lu Shang fell back onto Li Sui’s chest, he gently embraced Lu Shang, letting him lean entirely on his body. Li Sui let him rest at that position for a while, comforting him by patting his back, then he brought him back to bed.
After he got Lu Shang to fall asleep, Li Sui found that he was unable to sleep anymore. It was as if a drop of dark ink was added to a pond of clear water, the ink of anxiety gradually spread in his heart.
There wasn’t much more time, Li Sui caressed Lu Shang’s eyebrows gently.
TaoYuan Island had basically finished construction, Li Sui would love to bring Lu Shang there for a stroll after the things here were finished, but he noticed that Lu Shang’s physical condition was not well. As such, Li Sui did not mention it at all. Instead, after the theme park’s opening ceremony had ended, the two of them flew back home almost immediately.
Once they landed, Li Sui immediately contacted Leung ZiRui, wanting the doctor to do a full-body examination on Lu Shang. However, his calls could not get through, so he turned to ask the employees of the hospital, only to be told that Leung ZiRui went out of the country, and they didn’t know when he will be back.
“Did he say anything before he left?” Li Sui asked.
“No, Dr. Leung left in a hurry and didn’t give any details, but according to his usual habits, he won’t be gone for too long. Maybe you can wait for a few days and call us again?”
Li Sui hung the phone up, he turned to look at the sleeping Lu Shang leaning on his shoulder. Li Sui reached his hand out to poke his face and sighed.
Leung ZiRui was a reliable person; usually he won’t do something like leaving out of the blue without any warning, so presumably, he must have encountered an extremely urgent matter. Although Li Sui was anxious, there was nothing he could do except waiting patiently. Lu Shang’s illness was complex, so Li Sui could not just let someone else treat Lu Shang.
Soon, Li Sui didn’t even have the time to worry about that, the border trading project Lu Shang helped him set up was beginning. The news of Tong Yan and Mu Sheng co-founding a new mode of trade reached everyone in no time. The move crushed most of the inefficient logistics companies, coupled with the fact that they had the government’s support, their competitiveness could easily be seen. As soon as the news got out, even Liu XinTian couldn’t sit still.
“What magic did Lu Shang use? I can’t believe he actually accomplished it. Didn’t Secretary Yang say he wouldn’t approve it?”
T/N: I don’t know why, but my brain keeps thinking sexual appeal (shut up idiot’s brain).
“I heard that Sun Mao pulled some connections, I wonder what benefits Lu Shang gave him,” Fang Miao was annoyed, “What should we do now? Do you think we should put some obstacles in their project?”
Liu Xingtian shook his head, “Not now if we do that, it is equivalent to picking a fight with the government. It doesn’t benefit us.”
“Tonight, I’ll go visit the Meng family again,” said Liu XinTian, “I’m sure I can get that 20 percent of shares on my side.”
It was getting colder, the road would occasionally get frozen at night. It was the beginning of a new logistic model, the higher-ups were all young people, so everyone was full of energy. The entire project team was driven, and the work atmosphere was good. They were supported by the government, so there was no one in their way, so the project went smoothly.
After Li Sui finished his work, he noticed that it was already late at night. He hurriedly packed his things and was ready to leave, but when he opened the office door, he found that SiMa Yan was even more hard-working than he was. SiMa Yan brought a sleeping bag with him when he got tired, he would just lay down in it, he didn’t even return home.
Hearing the sound of the door, SiMa Yan woke up. He poked his head out from the sleeping bag, “It’s already this late, you’re still going back?”
Li Sui smiled gently as he closed the door, his face was overflowing with softness as he explained, “There’s someone home.”
SiMa Yan remembered and nodded, “I will look after things, you go back.”
Li Sui thanked him and went downstairs to his car.
When Li Sui got back home, Lu Shang was naturally asleep already. Li Sui was so busy these days, he didn’t have any time to accompany Lu Shang, so he could only treasure the little time he had before falling asleep himself, Li Sui hugged Lu Shang from behind before he fell asleep as well.
Lu Shang was in a deep sleep, he was frowning slightly. Li Sui hugged him for a while, then found that something was not quite right. Lu Shang’s breaths were too heavy as if it was very difficult for him to breathe. He hurriedly turned Lu Shang over to face him and saw his reddened face, his lips were also pursed together, he was clearly oxygen-deprived.
Li Sui was alarmed, he got out of bed to set the oxygen machine up, then unbuttoned the collar of Lu Shang’s clothes, placing the oxygen pipe at his nose. Even after finishing all of that, he was still not assured. Li Sui got a stool and sat by the bed to massage his wrist.
Around dawn, Lu Shang’s breath gradually smoothened, his eyebrows were finally relaxed. Li Sui was so tired that even his eyes were dry, but he didn’t feel sleepy, it was as if his heart was hung up high by a string.
Li Sui just watched over him quietly until the sky lighted up outside the house. Lu Shang felt someone watching him in his sleep, so he gradually opened his eyes. Lu Shang stretched out his hand from under the blanket to gently hold Li Sui’s hand, he said, “…come into sleep.”
Li Sui placed his hand on Lu Shang’s face, his voice was hoarse because of a lack of sleep, “I’m not sleepy.”
Lu Shang didn’t buy it, he pulled Li Sui towards the bed. Li Sui obediently climbed into the bed. The two of them laid in bed face to face, Lu Shang reached out his hand to touch the black pouches under Li Sui’s eyes, sadness flowed out of Lu Shang’s eyes, “You have eyebags…”
“I’m fine,” Li Sui brought Lu Shang’s hand back into the blanket. “What is going on? Do you remember having difficulty breathing last night?”
Lu Shang recalled for a moment, “I only remember having a nightmare, I was chased by monsters, I was running and was very tired.”
“When Dr. Leung comes back, should we stay in the hospital?” Li Sui was worried, his tone was almost begging when he asked. He then said, “I’ll accompany you.”
Lu Shang did not answer immediately, but he looked at the eyebags under Li Sui’s eyes and the mustache stubs on his chin. After a long time, he nodded.
Although Lu Shang agreed, Li Sui felt that he was still hesitant. Li Sui didn’t know why, but these days, he always found himself recalling what Leung ZiRui said: Lu Shang knew best of his own condition. When he thought about Lu Shang’s resistance to going to the hospital, Li Sui always felt anxious. It felt somewhat similar to a cancer patient resisting to face the examination results.
In order to prevent not noticing the signs of sickness and delaying treatment, Li Sui moved all his work back home. For the things that he could not move back home, he would save them up, then deal with them together in one go. However, that put a lot of burden on his business partner, SiMa Yan, Li Yong felt sorry for it. SiMa Yan did not complain though; instead, he patted Li Sui on the shoulder to show his support. On the grounds of insufficient manpower, SiMa Yan did kidnap his useless brother, SiMa JingRong to the company for several days, making him do some manual labor.
Lu Shang had no responsibilities now, so he was completely free. His days gone by with him collecting jades or shiny rocks, appreciating antique paintings and calligraphy scrolls or raising turtles and fishing. His lifestyle was basically the same as that of an elderly retiree.
The two of them were like on the opposite sides of a scale, their awake time almost never mesh. Li Sui was busy every day, running back and forth from the company and home, he also had to consider about Lu Shang’s well-being. Fortunately, he was young, so his energy could still keep up. Recently, a small problem happened at the harbor, so Li Sui had to add that to the places he needed to run back and forth to. Every day, Li Sui returned home exhausted, and he didn’t even want to talk, he could fall asleep the second he lay down.
Lu Shang sometimes slept during the day since he had nothing to do, so at night, he would not be able to fall asleep. He watched as Li Sui rushed in and out of the room, bargaining with someone through the phone. Lu Shang was too bored, and he couldn’t help but poke Li Sui on the face, trying to tease him. Li Sui gave him a profound look, then turned around and walked away while holding the phone, directly ignoring it.
Lu Shang was ignored for the first time, he did not know how to react. Lu Shang just laid back in the bed with his book, he idly flipped the pages. The effects of the medicine were stepping in, he gradually fell asleep, using the opened book as a pillow.
Lu Shang slept through half of the night and was awakened by the sound of rain outside. He could not see anything, even with his eyes opened. There were no lights, and everything was black, so he dared not move. Lu Shang slept a bit too much during the daytime, so without the help of drugs, it was hard for him to fall asleep again now that he was awake. There was a light breathing sound near his ear, it was stable and regular. Lu Shang couldn’t bear waking Li Sui up, so he quietly leaned on the bed headboard and listened to the rain.
As Lu Shang was immersed in his thoughts, suddenly hot breaths were coming from the back of his neck in the darkness, it was as if a wolf was sniffing behind him, it gave him goosebumps.
The slowly approaching person was deliberately not making any sound. Lu Shang stiffened, but he soon relaxed, allowing the familiar hands to pull his pajamas off from his shoulders, touching his chest and kissing the thinnest part of the skin on the nape of his neck.
With the lack of vision and sounds, the only sense he had was touch, which was put to the maximum. Lu Shang laid on his back in bed, his legs were lifted up, and his breathing was disordered with the thrusting.
It was apparent that the person on him was determined to punish him, he was neither making a sound nor touching him. Only the violent thrusting persisted, the person was like a hungry wolf that had been waiting for a long time.
Lu Shang wasn’t adapting to the movements, Li Sui had always been gentle and slow with him, he was not used to this side of Li Sui. Perhaps it was because of his blindness, he suddenly felt uncertain and reached his hand out to touch Li Sui’s face.
The hand that he reached out was not held back. Lu Shang’s body got stiff again, and he moved his waist back, trying to escape.
Li Sui was silent the whole time, but his eyes never left Lu Shang’s blurred eyes. He noticed that Lu Shang showed reluctance on his face, he froze and cursed himself in his heart; he might had gone overboard.
Quickly, he grabbed Lu Shang’s hand and bent over to hold the man in his arms. His movements turned gentle. Li Sui kissed Lu Shang on the cheek and said softly, “Don’t be afraid, it’s me.”
Lu Shang was panting hard, but after hearing Li Sui’s voice, he brought his head up and exchanged a kiss with Li Sui eagerly.
At the end of the kiss, Li Sui gasped and patted Lu Shang’s sweaty back, “Can you sleep now?”
The man in his arms did not respond, Li Sui withdrew a little, “Lu Shang?”
He turned Lu Shang’s head and saw that he had fallen asleep already.
Outside the house, the rain was falling gently. This kind of weather was best suited for sleeping at home while hugging the person you love. However, Li Sui was the least bit sleepy. He traced Lu Shang’s outline with his fingers, time after time, he was reluctant to let go.
They were very close, so closed that Li Sui could feel each other’s heartbeats. Li Sui listened, he couldn’t help putting his hand on his own heart. He closed his eyes, carefully feeling its rhythm. This thing was something that everyone had, but not everyone could appreciate its value. Li Sui wanted Lu Shang to live, it wasn’t just talking, he was willing to exchange his life for that.
As long as Lu Shang agreed to the operation…… Li Sui knew the surgery would be a great success because his heart’s love for the man in front of him even surpassed that towards its original owner.