Qi Xiuyuan gave the vice principal a call to request a leave of absence and then went off to purchase breakfast (actually, it was better off saying lunch) along with some hospital necessities. With those things in hand, he made his way back to Han Jia’s room.
Although Han Jia was temporarily out of danger, he was still unconscious and Xiao Li at his bedside seemingly lost in thoughts.
He quietly walked over and placed the things on the table to the side. Looking at him, he couldn’t help but struggle with his words. “You guys… have a really good relationship…”
A faint smile appeared on Xiao Li’s face, but nothing came out.
An inexplicable sense of loss draped Qi Xiuyuan’s heart. He gave Han Jia a quick glance but couldn’t say anything either, instead, he took out the T-shirt that he had purchased and passed it to Xiao Li. Xiao Li went to the bathroom and tore off the blood-soaked clothes. He rolled it up and shove it deep into the trash can, using a wet towel to wipe the remaining blood on his body. Afterward, he changed into the white T-shirt that Qi Xiuyuan had given him.
When he came out, Qi Xiuyuan was already sitting at the table waiting for him to eat breakfast. Once he saw Xiao Li’s empty hand, he asked: “Where’re your clothes?”
“I threw it away.”
Qi Xiuyuan glanced over and then suddenly smiled. “The wholesale T-shirts that you bought before, you didn’t throw them all away like this, did you?”
He saw a change in Xiao Li’s eyes as if some sort of sadness had rushed into him as he reluctantly nodded and sat down to eat.
Qi Xiuyuan realized that he had said something wrong and vaguely knew what it was. He watched Xiao Li ate his bowl of congee in silent while he ate his own bland food and thought of how to speak. He hesitated for a while, but then suddenly heard Xiao Li speak. “Yeah.”
He looked at Xiao Li, however, that action was not returned. Xiao Li merely lowered his head and stared at the bowl of congee as though he didn’t just say something.
When Qi Xiuyuan was about to ask what happened Xiao Li said with a blank expression: “Those shirts were thrown away because they were stained with blood – sometimes my blood but mostly someone else’s. Qi Xiuyuan, I have told you many times that this is the kind of person that I am. I am far more dreadful and hateful than you can ever imagine. If you don’t want to die, you…” he looked up at him, eyes cold and fierce, “It is best if you stay further away from me.”
However, Qi Xiuyuan did not look at him, instead, he turned toward the unconscious Han Jia before turning back to look at Xiao Li’s scars – the cuts exposed at the collar and the bloodstain on his arm were not completely wiped. “I don’t like that you’re in the underworld but I’m not afraid of those things.” He paused, then with determination said: “I have also told you this many times.”
That was right, he had said. He appeared at the back alley of the Arc de Triomphe, he appeared at the abandoned school when Xiao Yang was kidnapped, then after the escape, he had even reappeared a second time in front of Da Gui and now he appeared at a hospital hundreds of miles away from where he worked, assisting him in taking care of someone that was hit by a bullet.
This man was warm, kind, courageous and passionate. He possessed the upright qualities that he had always secretly admired – his creditable work and everything else.
However, he used that incredible dedication and courage to pursue him instead.
These things made Xiao Li felt more shaken and confused.
“What exactly do you like about me?” Xiao Li honestly could not understand. He had asked the same question before but had yet to receive an answer. “Even my younger brother hates me—”
His voice disappeared into Qi Xiuyuan’s mouth.
Qi Xiuyuan had one hand pushed against the small table and the other hand pressed on Xiao Li’s shoulder, and as he leaned in to kiss him, he knocked over the soy sauce on the table.
Xiao Li froze.
He could have easily push Qi Xiuyuan away and punch him with his fist but Qi Xiuyuan’s fingers gently yet nervously caressed his shoulder. Qi Xiuyuan’s kiss was soft and tender – it was as if he was not a violent gang member but rather a fragile treasure that needed to be handled with love and care. His lips softly sealed his and then lightly pressed with a bit more pressure.
A trembling feeling emerged and spread from the spot that Qi Xiuyuan had touched. Xiao Li felt something warm, soft and wet lick his lower lip, and seemingly encouraged by his sense of defeat, a tongue nimbly attempted to pry his mouth open to explore the warmth inside. With this kind of hot sensation startling him, Xiao Li couldn’t help but draw back. Qi Xiuyuan sensed his attempt to escape and firmly dug into his shoulder with his fingers.
Then he opened his eyes.
Jin Ting was one of Xiao Li’s territory. He always thought that he had seen all kinds of eyes: malice, greed, eagerness, desire…within Qi Xiuyuan’s eyes were the familiar hint of desire and longing but there was something more that he was unable to discern. In simple terms, it was as though he was adoring him, loving him.
This idea made him even more uneasy.
He reached out to push Qi Xiuyuan.
Qi Xiuyuan seemed to be competing with him as he exerted more strength in his hand, and when he was unable to reach his lips for more kisses, he started to carelessly kiss his forehead and cheeks, afraid Xiao Li would use force to knock him down.
While they were tugging at each other, the door was pushed open.
“What are you doing?”
Li Shiqing and his bodyguard appeared at the door with an unsightly expression. He narrowed his eyes and glared at Qi Xiuyuan with a rather murderous aura.
“Who is he?”
When his eyes swept past his face, Qi Xiuyuan felt that this person’s deadly gaze was attempting to cut him.