Translated by Ying of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Zhou Du had originally thought that as soon as Xia Yao moved in with him, his pleasurable life would start, but he had not expected an obstacle in the form of Xia YangYang. As soon as he moved into an unfamiliar home, YangYang’s shadowing of Xia Yao increased to one hundred percent. No matter the time or place, YangYang clung to Xia Yao like a koala, unrelentingly maintaining his hold on his parent.
Being a full-fledged adult, Zhou Du couldn’t necessarily vie for Xia Yao’s attention while his competitor was a young child. Being able to only look at the man while not being able to do anything made Zhou Du feel like the world had wronged him.
Xia Yao understood how Zhou Du was feeling. One night after he sent YangYang to sleep, he quietly crept to Zhou Du’s bedroom. However, before the two had even gotten to the stage of stripping, YangYang, carrying a teddy bear in his arms, came knocking on Zhou Du’s door with bleary eyes.
Zhou Du almost had a heart attack from the scare while Xia Yao hurriedly adjusted his clothes and walked out from his room.
The moment YangYang saw Xia Yao, he threw his small body into his father’s arms, saying, “Daddy, I need to go weewee.” Xia Yao took his son to the bathroom, then carried him back into his bedroom once again.
As though he were scared that Xia Yao would sneak away like last time, the whole time he slept, YangYang kept his arms firmly around Xia Yao’s neck to prevent his escape.
Zhou Du lay on his bed alone, looking up at the ceiling and sighing inwardly.
The days went by like this and soon a week had passed. Zhou Du had gotten used to sneaking in a kiss or two while Xia Yao was cooking in the kitchen and was beginning to be accustomed to being satisfied with just that.
However, this type of quiet living had not lasted for long. Zhou Du noticed that when Xia Yao had nothing to do, he would just stare into the distance while sitting on the sofa, so he asked curiously, “What is it?”
Xia Yao’s only answer was a shake of the head but Zhou Du didn’t let the question go, moving closer and asking again, “Is there anything you can’t tell me?”
Xia Yao stared at Zhou Du’s face, hovering so closely in front of him, sighing and saying helplessly, “YangYang’s mother wants to come back to China to see YangYang.”
Zhou Du froze for a moment before registering the new information. YangYang’s birth mother was coming. He looked at Xia Yao’s worried face and felt a twinge in his heart.
No matter how close Xia Yao was to YangYang, they still weren’t related by blood; if the boy’s birth parent was going to come knocking, saying that she wanted to see YangYang… What would happen after they see each other was something Xia Yao couldn’t control.
Zhou Du sat himself down next to Xia Yao and pulled him into his embrace, kissing his hair, saying, “Don’t let her see him. What right does she have? She was the one who said she didn’t want…” When he got to this part of his sentence, his voice suddenly lowered a few notches as he turned his head and glanced at YangYang playing with his woodblocks in the living room. Seeing that the boy hadn’t reacted, he continued to speak to Xia Yao after lowering his voice even more. “What right does she have to suddenly decide that she wants to see him? YangYang is our son, we won’t allow let her meet him.”
Xia Yao laughed, tilted his head and lowered his voice as Zhou Du had, “But she is YangYang’s mother.”
Zhou Du looked into Xia Yao’s eyes and couldn’t help leaning in for a kiss, “And you’re his father.”
Xia Yao let Zhou Du have free reign as they kissed, but just as they were about to go out of control, Xia Yao reached out a hand and pushed Zhou Du away.
“YangYang is right next to us.” His tone carried a hint of warning and Zhou Du could only dejectedly let go of Xia Yao and go to the bathroom by himself.
YangYang seemed to be very happy with the structure he had built with his blocks and called Xia Yao over to have a look. The moment Xia Yao was preparing to stand up and go over, his phone alerted him to a new message.
Xia Yao clicked to open it, and it was from the subject of their discussion from earlier, YangYang’s mother—
‘I’ve already arrived at B City. When there’s a chance, can we meet up?’
Xia Yao stared at the message for a while and as he expected, the woman added, ‘If possible, could you bring YangYang along?’
Xia Yao gripped his phone tightly. By now, YangYang had already stood up and ran up to his side. The child wrapped his arms around his father’s thigh, saying, “Daddy, come see the house I built.”
Xia Yao stared at the wooden blocks for quite some time before he suddenly squatted down and patted YangYang on the head, “YangYang, do you want to see mommy?”
YangYang froze shortly before reacting, clapping while he spoke. “I want to see mommy!”
Xia Yao felt bitter, but he kept his smile plastered on as he nodded to YangYang, saying, “Alright then, we’ll go see mommy.”
Before he lost his resolve, Xia Yao took out his phone and replied—
‘Yes, we can. You set the time and place.’
The reply came almost instantly—
‘Thank you so much, Xia Yao.’
YangYang’s mother set the time to the next weekend and set the meeting place to be at a café which was rather on the quiet side.
When Xia Yao took YangYang there, he found not only the child’s mother sitting there, but also a foreigner whom he didn’t recognize.
YangYang’s mother’s entire bearing had changed since the time Xia Yao had been studying abroad; now, it carried a certain womanly feeling. YangYang’s delicate face was completely a legacy of his mother’s.
As soon as YangYang’s mother—miss Sun—set eyes on YangYang, the rims of her eyes immediately reddened. But that expression only remained for a second, very soon, her carefully made up face carried a polite smile once again as she nodded at Xia Yao.
Xia Yao led YangYang and sat in front of the couple; the foreigner seemed to be unable to speak Chinese, so he said something to miss Sun in a foreign language. Xia Yao heard him ask, “This is your son?”
YangYang’s mother nodded before sending her eyes to Xia Yao’s face once again; her smile faltered as though she had thought of something sad and her fingers instinctively gripped the cup in her hands.
YangYang, who had been standing to the side, tilted his head curiously, as he looked at the woman in front of him before he turned his head and asked Xia Yao, “Daddy, is this mommy?”
The woman’s heart jumped and she immediately loosened her hold on the coffee cup, gently placed her two hands onto the table and softened her tone as she spoke to YangYang. “That’s right, YangYang, I’m your mother.”
YangYang stared at miss Sun’s face for a long time before shaking his head. “Not the same as the photos.”
A flash of awkwardness flashed onto miss Sun’s face; she maintained her gentle voice as she said, “That was when mommy was young, and now mommy is older, just like YangYang. Mommy almost couldn’t recognize you.”
In the end, she was still his birth mother; as she said this, it seemed to bring up painful memories as her voice turned slightly nasal.
Xia Yao had just opened his mouth with the intention of saying something but YangYang continued, “Then why didn’t mommy come to see YangYang at all?” His question was completely out of innocent curiosity, but the question left miss Sun speechless.
Xia Yao hurriedly replied to YangYang, “Mommy was very busy with work, did YangYang forget?”
Seeing that Xia Yao had spoken, YangYang instantly nodded his head obediently, saying, “That’s right. Daddy said that daddy isn’t busy with work so he can always be with YangYang.”
The foreigner couldn’t understand Chinese, so miss Sun turned her head and introduced Xia Yao to him; he stood up and said choppily, “Ni hao.”
Xia Yao shook his hand. Miss Sun looked at her own son, wanting to become closer with him so she stood up and asked YangYang, “Does YangYang want to eat ice cream? Eat cake?”
YangYang still found miss Sun to be a bit of a stranger, so he didn’t speak but continued to look at the person in front of him. Xia Yao patted his fluffy head. “Mommy is talking to YangYang.”
YangYang was touched by the word ‘mommy’ and finally gave a nod, saying a single word, “Yes.”
Miss Sun’s face immediately beamed with a big smile; she walked in front of YangYang, stretching out a hand for him and said, “Then how about Mommy goes and finds a delicious cake with YangYang?”
YangYang seemed to have accepted the fact that miss Sun was his mother, so he stretched out a hand to her. Xia Yao’s heart felt stabs of pain, but he didn’t move to stop miss Sun from taking YangYang away with her.
Xia Yao wasn’t a talkative person; once YangYang had left with miss Sun, he smiled at the foreigner sitting opposite him and lifted his coffee to his lips.
As soon as he had finished with work, Zhou Du travelled to the café Xia Yao had told him about as quickly as he could. As he walked in, he realized that YangYang’s mother wasn’t even there, instead, he only saw Xia Yao smiling while drinking coffee opposite a man who couldn’t possibly look any gayer.
Zhou Du immediately felt waves of sourness rising inside of him and he covered the distance between them with a few long strides. He intentionally made a show of affectionately kissing the corner of Xia Yao’s mouth in front of the foreigner, saying, “Sorry I came late.”
The foreigner was taken aback. Zhou Du lifted his eyebrows slightly and asked Xia Yao, “Who’s this?”
Xia Yao shuffled inwards a little to make room for Zhou Du, and after Zhou Du had sat down, he gave an explanation, “This is YangYang’s mother’s husband.” After that, he smoothly switched to English and said to the foreigner, “This is my boyfriend, Zhou Du.”
Zhou Du understood this and felt a sense of happiness and pride, but he quickly found that something wasn’t right—YangYang wasn’t by Xia Yao’s side.
Just as he was about to ask Xia Yao where YangYang had gone, miss Sun returned, YangYang in her arms and an ice cream in her hand.
Zhou Du saw that there was an ice cream in one of YangYang’s hands whilst the other was resting around the woman’s neck.
Zhou Du reached out his hands to YangYang and took him from miss Sun’s arms.
When miss Sun saw Zhou Du, she froze in confusion for a moment and was even more confused when YangYang happily leapt into Zhou Du’s arms whilst saying, “Daddy!” Then, she quickly recovered. She had known about Xia Yao’s sexuality since they had been studying overseas and knew that this must be Xia Yao’s boyfriend.
Miss Sun politely greeted Zhou Du, took out a tissue and dabbed at her mouth before she sat back down in her chair.
Xia Yao knew that the requested meeting from YangYang’s mother couldn’t possibly be as simple as wanting to see her son and as he’d expected; after a round of greetings, YangYang’s mother got to the point—
She wanted to take YangYang out of the country.
Xia Yao’s expression suddenly froze but Zhou Du beat him in terms of blurting out a reply. “We won’t allow it!”
Xia Yao opened his mouth as though he wanted to say something but decided against it and chose to remain silent.
Miss Sun was starting to show her dislike of Zhou Du; she kept her eyes on Xia Yao, trying to convince him with a soft voice. “Xia Yao, I’m not taking YangYang away forever. I just want to take him to live with me for a while; you know that I haven’t seen him in so many years, and my heart is really…”
“You…” As Zhou Du heard the woman say this, he immediately wanted to give his own furious retort but he was held back by Xia Yao.
Realizing that she wasn’t going to be able to get through on Xia Yao’s side, miss Sun turned and asked YangYang, “YangYang, do you want to go have fun with mommy? Mommy will buy you lots of yummy food and fun things. No matter what you want, mommy can buy it all for you.”
By this time, the ice cream in YangYang’s hand was just about finished; he looked at miss Sun’s face, thought for a moment and asked, “Then, I can eat another ice cream?”
Miss Sun seemed to pause for a moment before happily giving her reply, “Yep.”
Both Xia Yao and Zhou Du said simultaneously, “No.”
YangYang immediately pouted, miss Sun stood up, saying to YangYang, “No problem, mommy will buy it for you.”
Xia Yao’s usual gently patient expression suddenly changed to one of hurried concern, “If you let him eat so many ice creams at once, he’ll get a stomachache.”
Miss Sun didn’t expect Xia Yao to go against her. Her expression froze and the rims of her eyes turned red. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry…” She covered her face, apologizing continuously, then she explained with breathing uneven, “I’ve never had to look after children before. I was just too eager to improve YangYang’s relationship with me.”
Xia Yao also went into panic for a moment as he hadn’t expected that one sentence from him would make the person in front of him cry.
Miss Sun’s husband comforted her by rubbing her back slowly while YangYang had stood up in his chair and stretched across the table to hand a tissue to miss Sun. YangYang spoke consolingly to miss Sun, “Mommy, don’t cry. YangYang won’t eat ice cream anymore.”
Miss Sun raised her head with reddened eyes, looking at the tiny figure in front of her. A tear trickled down her face as she smiled.
After all, this was her son. He would eventually come back to her.