Translated by zellyfish of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Editors: kai and Kiramekineko
Zhang Jue thought he was hallucinating because it was too hot in the car.
The weather in Bangkok changed drastically. It was still rainy yesterday. Today it was cloudless, and the sun came blazing out very early. It rose from the eastern horizon to the center in the hours the two of them parked near the Erawan Buddha and heated the inside of the car.
The air-conditioning was hot, and the wind hadn’t cooled down yet. Zhang Jue’s eyes were fixed on Chen Boqiao, and Chen Boqiao was also watching him.
Chen Boqiao’s expression was calm and he asked Zhang Jue, “How about it?” letting Zhang Jue internalize the fact that the phrase “let’s try” was indeed real.
Zhang Jue thought for a while and thought “try” was a strange word. Chen Boqiao didn’t say what he wanted to try with Zhang Jue, as if he couldn’t pick a suitable word to place behind.
Try to fall in love, try to be together, try dating. These words sounded ridiculous when referring to Zhang Jue and Chen Boqiao, even to Zhang Jue. There were no two people more far apart from each other than the two of them.
It’d be an outrageous lie to say that he’s never dreamt of dating Chen Boqiao before, because that was what 17 years old Zhang Jue wished for fervently almost all the time. However, Zhang Jue, who had just passed his twenty-eighth birthday, would no longer fantasize about falling in love with Chen Boqiao before going to bed.
Zhang Jue did not want to think about Chen Boqiao that way, but he secretly thought that there would (and should) be no other person in the world who would know that Chen Boqiao has had sex with him before.
It was almost a stain on Chen Boqiao’s life. Chen Boqiao should have been kissing and making love to a better person, how could it be Zhang Jue?
Zhang Jue was not so stupid as to ask him “What do you want to try?” Instead, he asked Chen Boqiao, “Why?”
“Zhang Jue,” Chen Boqiao smiled, “what kind of question is that?” Chen Boqiao always spoke with ease, as if nothing was ever a problem in his eyes.
He stretched out his hand to place on Zhang Jue’s shoulder, lazily leaned closer, and replied casually, “Because your Love God amulet is working.”
The air conditioner finally cooled down the inside of the car a little, but Chen Boqiao was radiating heat.
The light and pleasant scent of Chen Boqiao’s pheromone, the warmth of Chen Boqiao’s hand on his shoulder, Chen Boqiao’s chin and lips as seen from his peripherals, all made him incredibly nervous. Zhang Jue did not dare to look up.
Chen Boqiao waited for a few seconds and asked Zhang Jue, “Have you found the address yet?” He held Zhang Jue tightly in one arm, raised his hand and covered the back of Zhang Jue’s hand in his palm, and clicked on the screen to select the location and start the navigation. Navigation prompted them to drive forward, but Zhang Jue was still unresponsive.
Chen Boqiao did not express any dissatisfaction. He took away the mobile phone clasped in Zhang Jue’s hand. Zhang Jue finally raised his eyes to look at him. They made eye contact for two seconds, then, maybe it was because Zhang Jue looked so dumbfounded, he couldn’t help but chuckle. He leaned over and pressed his lips to Zhang Jue’s and said, “I’ll drive.”
Chen Boqiao smelled refreshing, and the fake beard Zhang Jue helped him put on, rubbed on Zhang Jue’s face. His lips were burning, and since he spoke to Zhang Jue in such close proximity, his voice became muffled, his teeth bumped on Zhang Jue’s upper lip, and he quickly moved away. He got out of the car, walked around the front, and reappeared by the door on the driver’s side.
Zhang Jue and Chen Boqiao changed seats, and as they drove to the restaurant, Zhang Jue didn’t speak much.
Chen Boqiao parked them in the rundown carpark below the restaurant, but did not turn off the ignition. “Zhang Jue,” he called, and when Zhang Jue turned his head around to face him, he commented,”You don’t seem too happy.”
Zhang Jue did not reply, and Chen Boqiao added, “What’s the matter?”
He unfastened Zhang Jue’s seat belt, and got closer to Zhang Jue to look into his eyes.
Chen Boqiao’s good looks were the kind that could not be concealed by any disguise. Even if Zhang Jue tried to disguise him as another person, the bridge of his nose, the shape of his eye sockets, the colour of his pupils and his scent were all still Chen Boqiao.
Zhang Jue raised his hand, carefully ghosted his fingers over the skin above the fake beard, and leaned over to peck Chen Boqiao’s lips again.
Chen Boqiao didn’t dodge it this time. His beard was very rough and it scratched Zhang Jue’s chin. His lips were thin, and he was taken aback by Zhang Jue’s action. Then he opened his mouth and kissed Zhang Jue.
Zhang Jue’s eyes were shut and he licked Chen Boqiao’s upper jaw with his tongue, sucking on the tip of Chen Boqiao’s tongue, their lower lip pressed against each other. Perhaps because of Zhang Jue’s lack of experience, their teeth knocked together, but Chen Boqiao didn’t laugh at Zhang Jue. He pressed a hand on Zhang Jue’s back, stroked the back of Zhang Jue’s neck gently, and slid his fingers into Zhang Jue’s hair.
They kissed for a long time, and Chen Boqiao was the first to step back. He held Zhang Jue’s shoulder, and his voice was a little low. “Do you still want lunch?”
The car cabin was too small, and Chen Boqiao’s pheromone scent was stronger than Zhang Jue had ever smelled before.
Zhang Jue stared at him, leaned over again, and pressed his face to Chen Boqiao’s chest. Chen Boqiao didn’t ask again, he hugged him back and said nothing.
“Chen Boqiao,” Zhang Jue murmured.
Chen Boqiao’s “Yes?” reverberated in his chest and passed straight into Zhang Jue’s ears.
“How long do you want to try for?” Zhang Jue asked.
Chen Boqiao put his hand on Zhang Jue’s hair, stroked it gently, and asked, “How long do you think is good?”
“Any duration is good,” Zhang Jue said. “I’m just asking.”
Chen Boqiao held Zhang Jue for a while, and said, “Let’s talk about it later then.”
He didn’t give Zhang Jue the exact time, but Zhang Jue didn’t care. It’d be okay even if Chen Boqiao went back on his words right now and said they won’t “try” anything after all. Zhang Jue couldn’t care less.
Zhang Jue sat up, looked at Chen Boqiao, touched his hair, and felt that it was messy, so he asked Chen Boqiao sheepishly, “I don’t look good, do I?”
He took off the hair tie, gathered his hair with one hand, and tried to re-tie it. He asked Chen Boqiao, “Do you think I should get a haircut?”
Chen Boqiao helped him put a few locks of hair behind his ear.
“I can’t see anything if you keep your head down like this,” Chen Boqiao gently chided. He pinched Zhang Jue’s chin with his index finger and thumb and asked Zhang Jue to tilt his face up, carefully observing Zhang Jue’s features.
Zhang Jue did not dare to look into Chen Boqiao’s eyes, so his eyes wandered around while avoiding Chen Boqiao’s gaze.
“Don’t worry about it,” Chen Boqiao said. “It looks good.”
They got out of the car, walked into the dimly-lit lift lobby, and pressed the button to go up.
The elevator doors were reflective, and the two of them could see themselves clearly. Chen Boqiao was very tall and stood up straight, while Zhang Jue was too gangly and thin. He had no delicateness or petiteness to him and looked clumsy. People rarely like him at first glance, yet Chen Boqiao wanted to “try” with him.
The elevator door opened. As they walked in, Chen Boqiao glanced at him. “Zhang Jue, what are you so happy about now?”
Chen Boqiao looked calm and indifferent, but Zhang Jue still couldn’t help but smile at him. He knew that his expression was dull, and he said something stupid that matched his low EQ very well, “I feel like I’m dreaming.”
It was not like he didn’t know that Chen Boqiao would “try” and then leave afterward. This “relationship” was out of sympathy and pity, or simply an impulsive decision, or maybe both. No matter which it was, he wouldn’t be here with Zhang Jue for long.
But Zhang Jue felt like he was the infatuated sixteen-year-old who wanted to fall in love with Chen Boqiao again, and he had turned back to the younger Zhang Jue who dared to include Chen Boqiao in the scenarios he made up before going to bed.
Chen Boqiao’s expression remained unchanged. He looked at Zhang Jue, touched Zhang Jue’s cheek, and asked, “Really?”
Zhang Jue stared at Chen Boqiao and said, “Yeah.”
He did not know how to please people anyway. He could give Chen Boqiao everything he had, the best of him, and still be unable to impress Chen Boqiao. Because Chen Boqiao could receive these things every day.
Time, money, a willing body, and love. Zhang Jue had nothing special to give.
Zhang Jue once read a scientific journal and saw an article claiming that if the pheromone scent of the alpha was related to the ocean, their desire for love and libido would be much lower than regular alphas, and they would not be easily enticed by Omega pheromones.
Chen Boqiao was one of them. He was rarely consumed or controlled by desire and had a more ambitious goal to achieve.
Zhang Jue was politely rejected by Chen Boqiao back then, so he knew that although Chen Boqiao’s rejection was not harsh, it was very straightforward. Chen Boqiao was wearing a canoeing team training uniform. He was only the son of tycoon Chen Zhaoyan then, and had no scars on his body. Even his hairstyle looked expensive. Sitting on the wooden bench in the locker room, he looked perfect.
[He looked up at Zhang Jue, who was standing nervously before him, listened patiently to Zhang Jue’s confession, and then smiled softly.
With an expression that was a little helpless but did not look annoyed, he said, “Thank you, but I have no plan to date currently.”]
Chen Boqiao brought his attention back to reality.
They arrived at the restaurant, and Chen Boqiao nudged Zhang Jue’s back gently to guide him. It was neither too intimate nor too cold. They’d arrived late, and there was only one corner table left.
Zhang Jue followed Chen Boqiao, looking at Chen Boqiao’s hand, and after walking a few steps, he couldn’t help but reach out to touch Chen Boqiao’s hand, but he walked so fast that Zhang Jue could not reach it.
Zhang Jue’s hands were pale. Greenish-blue blood vessels crawled up along the back of them and even his nails looked bloodless. Chen Boqiao had a scar on the base of his thumb, and his complexion was much darker than Zhang Jue.
Chen Boqiao felt a brush on the back of his hand. His gait paused a little as he turned his head slightly to glance at Zhang Jue. There was a tiny smile in his eyes. He sighed, “Zhang Jue, we’re only a few steps away.” It was as if he was chiding Zhang Jue for asking too much.
Yet, he still held Zhang Jue’s hand like he wanted.