Translated by Ying of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Mother Xia put a plate of sliced fruit in front of Zhou Du while Xia YangYang looked up at him with puppy dog eyes.
Mother Xia’s lips carried hints of a warm smile as she said, “Looks like Xia YangYang likes you quite a lot, sticking to you like that.”
Upon hearing this, Zhou Du turned around and looked at the child sitting in his lap; their two pairs of eyes met and Xia YangYang suddenly exclaimed ‘daddy’ as he looked at Zhou Du with a face of anticipation.
Zhou Du paled immediately and lifted his head to explain himself to Mother Xia, “When I went with him to get his vaccinations, I promised to buy him some toys; he’s probably still thinking about that.”
Mother Xia remembered clearly that he had said that he was on his way to meet a client and didn’t miss a beat as she took Xia YangYang away from Zhou Du’s arms with a smile. “If you don’t have anything on at lunch, you should stay for a meal.”
Zhou Du had a ‘sure’ hanging on the edge of his lips but swallowed it back down forcibly.
“Sorry, godmother, I’ve got some things going on at the company, I’ll have to leave now.” Once he had finished speaking, he stood up and prepared to take his leave. Xia YangYang latched himself onto Zhou Du’s thigh, unwilling to let him leave.
Xia Yao walked forwards, pulled his son off Zhou Du again and said for everyone to hear, “I’ll walk you out.”
Zhou Du frantically sent his gaze towards Xia Yao’s mother; seeing that her expression was neutral, he had quick a mental debate with the winner being the fact that he wanted to spend more time with the other.
The two made their way to the exit. Zhou Du looked at the blazing sun and reached his arm out to stop Xia Yao in his tracks. “The sun’s too strong outside, you go back up. I’ll go from here.”
Xia Yao shook his head. “It’s fine, I won’t be out for long.”
He stubbornly refused to budge from Zhou Du’s side, so the man had no choice but to take his companion with him to the parking lot. Although the lot was shaded, it felt as though they were in a pressure cooker; the air was suffocating and heavy with the weight of summer, and the stillness refused its inhabitants any sort of relief. Zhou Du put on the air conditioning in his car, but looked up to find Xia Yao standing outside the door, not seeming to have any intentions of leaving. So, he opened the car door, reaching out and pulling Xia Yao into the car by his arm.
Although the air conditioning in the car was set on max, Xia Yao could still smell Zhou Du’s familiar scent as clear as day. He pursed his lips and kept his eyes directed forwards, remaining silent.
Zhou Du had both of his hands on the steering wheel; he glanced at Xia Yao from the corner of his eyes and intentionally lifted the corners of his mouth, speaking intentionally teasingly, “If you keep acting so reluctant to let me go, I’ll think you want me to stay.”
He had originally thought that Xia Yao would be flustered and try to cover his embarrassment with an irritated retort. To his surprise, the man beside him turned around and fixed his eyes onto Zhou Du’s face and slowly nodded, saying, “I do actually want you to stay.”
Zhou Du’s breath hitched and he looked Xia Yao up and down carefully, confirming that the person in front of him wasn’t some demon in human form coming to bewitch him.
Xia Yao’s sentence seemed to have sent Zhou Du into a trance and even as Xia Yao reached out his long, thin fingers and took a hold of Zhou Du’s collar, the man still didn’t seem as though he had recovered his abilities of reaction.
It wasn’t until a warm breath grazed against his face and a pair of lips softly pressed against his own that Zhou Du’s rusty gears started moving again with a creak.
“Xia-Xia Yao?” he managed to stutter out.
Only then did Xia Yao’s cheeks bloom a bright red, “I’m heading back, have a safe drive.” After finishing his sentence, he turned and got ready to leave the car.
Zhou Du suddenly shot out an arm, keeping the other man’s waist in place.
“You want to leave as soon as you’ve had your share of teasing?” Zhou Du’s eyes were half-lidded and their corners tilted upwards, carrying no small amount of distinguished good looks.
The tips of Xia Yao’s ears heated up; he put on an unaffected tone and said, “What do you want to do?”
The two were facing each other and Zhou Du glided his slightly coarse fingers over Xia Yao’s lips. The other man’s soft petals dyed red not long after Zhou Du had started stroking them.
Zhou Du’s Adam’s apple bobbed up and down, he slowly leant towards Xia Yao, breathing hot air, “I plan on reciprocating you in kind.”
After he said this, he kissed the man in front of him. He didn’t plan on leaving it at that, though; after all, when one returns a present, they have to show their appreciation by making sure that the gift they give is grander.
The tip of his tongue pried Xia Yang’s mouth open easily. It had been years since Zhou Du had last French-kissed, so he could only base his action on scraps of memory and instinct. Their kiss was filled with passion and infatuation.
When they separated, their breathing was heavy and irregular. Xia Yao had his hands pressed against Zhou Du’s chest, his eyes glazed and foggy.
“I really need to go back.” He said softly, keeping his eyes on Zhou Du’s face.
Zhou Du kept one arm wrapped around Xia Yao’s waist, affectionately nudged his cheek and said in a raspy voice, “How about we go to my place tonight?”
Xia Yao could feel Zhou Du’s heavy breathing as his fingers slid down the other’s chest, and he whispered, “Alright.”
Mother Xia didn’t check to see why her son was taking so long to see someone off, she was busy playing with Xia YangYang and his wood blocks. Seeing Xia Yao walk in, she said to him, “I’m not cooking tonight, we’ll go out to eat with your Uncle Feng.”
Xia Yao frowned at the suggestion; if that was the case, he’d have to call off his and Zhou Du’s meeting because of his son.
Mother Xia didn’t change her expression as she continued, “It’s just a casual family dinner. If you have other things to do, you can go, since I’ll be taking YangYang.”
Xia Yao thought about it for a while before giving his assent, some things didn’t have to be spoken aloud to be heard and he knew that his mother understood everything already.
A little past three o’clock, Uncle Feng came and took Mother Xia and Xia YangYang away. Xia Yao read a little at home until the phone sitting next to him went off; he quickly read the message, his mouth curved into a smile and he picked up his phone and made a call.
Zhou Du, seeing the notification showing that Xia Yao was calling him, immediately seemed to radiate a faint glow of happiness as he thought of how he had been overthinking, not even daring to make a simple phone call.
“Zhou Du.” As Xia Yao’s voice passed through from the other side of the phone, Zhou Du’s heart felt as though a warm blanket had just enveloped it.
“Mhm. Are you at home?”
“Such a good boy. Where are YangYang and godmother?”
“Uncle Feng picked them up at about three; they probably won’t be back tonight until they’ve finished dinner.”
Hearing this, Zhou Du couldn’t but ask, “Then you’re at home by yourself?”
“Wait then, I’m coming over.” As soon as he said that, Zhou Du immediately hung up the call. Xia Yao laughed as he shook his head, picking up the book beside him. Curiously, even after a good few minutes had passed, he still hadn’t flipped a single page.
When the doorbell went off, Xia Yao felt suspicious; Zhou Du’s speed in getting here was a tad too quick.
His doubt was proven true when he ran excitedly to open the door only to find the last person he wanted to see standing in front of him—
Xia Yao frowned deeply while Zhao WenHua stretched out a leg and let himself into the house. Xia Yao pinched his lips together but still stepped to the side to let the man through.
The air conditioning clashed with the hot air rushing in from outside, but Xia Yao didn’t close the door; his intentions were clear. Zhao WenHua was not a welcome guest to the house.
“Where’s YangYang?” Zhou WenHua said. He seemed to see Xia Yao as naught but air as he raised his eyes and scanned the room.
Zhao WenHua frowned deeply, “It’s too hot outside, why would he go out?” As he spoke, he walked towards the sofa in the living room.
Xia Yao tried to contain himself but couldn’t help blurting out, “Do you have anything to do here?”
Zhou WenHua looked at him briefly, “What, can’t I come to visit even if I don’t have anything to do?”
“It is uncalled for.”
“Heh.” Zhao WenHua gave a cold ‘hng’. “I did not come for you. I came to see my grandson.”
Seeing that the other man wasn’t even treating him as a person, Xia Yao’s expression turned hostile. “There’s no grandson of yours here. There’s no one here who is a relative of yours. If you came here for some sort of family fun, I advise you to get out. I don’t want to have to force you to leave.”
“What sort of treatment is this?” Zhao WenHua’s eyebrows spoke of growing rage, but the man quickly pushed the emotion back down. “Our connection through blood isn’t something one sentence from you can cut. Besides, you are only settled comfortably in B City because of my support,” his eyes shone with rays of arrogance.
Xia Yao remained silent and returned to his room; picking up his book, he did not bother to pay any attention to the person outside.
Feeling that he was being ignored, Zhao WenHua began to feel irritated; he stood up and walked to Xia Yao’s door. “Where did your mother take Xia YangYang?”
Only then did Xia Yao give him a glance, “To his grandfather Feng’s.”
Zhao WenHua had already heard of the circumstances around Mother Xia and Mr. Feng. He didn’t want to care about who Xia Yao’s mother was together with, but he couldn’t bear the fact that the woman had taken his grandson to see that man.
“You call them back this instant,” Zhao WenHua growled.
Xia Yao finally lifted his head to look at Zhao WenHua gesticulating wildly in front of him. His mouth was carrying a hint of a smile. “YangYang is with his grandmother and grandfather, why would I call him back?”
Hearing this, Zhao WenHua could hear the inference that Xia Yao had already acknowledged this Feng person and his fury suddenly flared. “YangYang is my grandson, why would he call another man grandfather?!”
Xia Yao looked at the man standing in front of him. The authority that was once so prevalent was now gone and stray grey hairs were starting to make their appearance at the edges of his hairline. Xia Yao didn’t want to waste his words, so he lowered his head and continued reading the book in his hands.
Zhao WenHua’s fury was further triggered by Xia Yao’s offhanded treatment of him and he strode into the room, preparing to snatch the book away.
However, as soon as he had lifted his arm, someone caught it in mid-air.
“Who are you?” Zhou Du’s voice was as chilly as a winter’s breeze and his eyes glared at Zhao WenHua with no emotion in them whatsoever.
Zhao WenHua frowned for a moment; then, he heard Xia Yao call out, “Zhou Du.” Only then did he grasp the situation, and his face immediately lit up with a scarlet palette.
“You still dare to contact him?!” Zhao WenHua snapped at Xia Yao while pointing at Zhou Du’s nose.
Xia Yao changed his position to stand beside Zhou Du, saying gently, “Let go.”
After Zhou Du let the arm in his grip go. Zhao WenHua’s wrist was imprinted with the other’s finger traces.
“Fine. Fine. Fine,” Zhao WenHua said the word thrice, then he moved his eyes to Xia Yao. “Xia Yao, you sure know how to stab people in the back as soon as you’ve reaped the benefits. As soon as your mother isn’t looking, you go and fool around with this scum. I’d like to ask your mother if she knows just how you mess around with him.”
Hearing the man who looked quite a lot like Xia Yao say this, Zhou Du’s expression immediately went dark. “Mister, could you phrase your words more respectfully? What is ‘fooling around with this scum’ supposed to mean? I’m Xia Yao’s boyfriend, and who are you?”
Zhao WenHua looked ready to explode as he heard Zhou Du say the word ‘boyfriend’ so openly and without shame. Maybe because of his pending outburst, in the spur of the moment he couldn’t think of a single word to say in retort.
“This man is Mister Zhao,” Xia Yao explained, “he’s also the owner of this house.”
Zhou Du understood in an instant; he reached out and took Xia Yao’s hand in his own and pulled the other behind him, using his own body as a physical shield. “What is it? What business does Mister Zhao have here today? Perhaps you’ve come to collect rent?”
Seeing the two unscrupulously displaying affection in front of him, the anger in Zhao WenHua’s heart had burnt its way to his eyes; they almost seemed to glow red.
He slid out his phone and, like a child preparing to tattle, he threatened Xia Yao, “Do you think I won’t call your mother and tell her exactly who you’re with right now?”
Xia Yao smiled coldly, saying, “As you wish. However, I will be going out soon, so I have no choice but to request for you to leave, Mister Zhao.”
After saying that, he turned his head and looked at Zhou Du affectionately. “Give me a minute, and then let’s go to your place.”
Seeing Xia Yao’s actions of ‘debauchery’, Zhao WenHua almost fainted from anger.
“Very well,” he gave Zhou Du a glare and turned to leave, but as he arrived at the doorway, he tried once again to threaten Xia Yao, “If you aren’t afraid of your mother finding out about this, then feel free to stay in contact with him. I will definitely tell your mother about what happened today.”
Xia Yao shrugged nonchalantly before letting go of his hold on Zhou Du and walking into his room.
Zhou Du walked to Zhao WenHua’s side with no expression, closing the door with a bang.
Zhao WenHua stared at the door slammed right into his face, his nose almost moving out of its position from rage.