After a few days of rest at home, Jian Suiying’s company had accumulated many projects in his absence.
When he finally returned to work, he was up to his head in documents for several days in a row. Even so, he still remembered to invite Li Xuan out to eat.
As expected, Li Xuan was a very busy person. Jian Suiying had asked him for two days straight, but he was never free.
Not wanting to make himself appear overly eager, Jian Suiying no longer called and only thought of finding another opportunity – if time permitted it.
At first, he had thought that he wouldn’t be able to see Li Xuan before he left the city, so he didn’t expect to receive a call from Li Yu a couple of days later.
When he saw the caller ID, Jian Suiying could feel his heart jumping violently; that was the first time that Li Yu had given him a call.
“Hello? Li Yu ah?”
“Oh, what’s wrong?”
“I’m with my brother. He’s free tonight and wanted to ask if you have some time or not.”
“Of course, your brother is returning to Guangxi soon. No matter what business I have, I’ll put it aside and see him off.”
Li Yu, “Then, where should we meet tonight?”
“I’ll send you the address. Is seven o’clock okay?”
“Yes, see you at seven.”
At that time, Jian Suiying had just arrived home and he had even ordered takeout but quickly called back to cancel the order.
He took a shower and changed his clothes, however, feeling anxious about the traffic, he left fifty minutes early for a trip that would normally take only twenty minutes.
He did not expect the traffic road in Beijing for that day to be comparatively open, and as a result he arrived at the restaurant in less than twenty minutes instead.
He went into the reserved private room and casually flipped over the menu.
At approximately 6:40PM, his cell phone rang. It was Li Xuan.
“Hello, Li Xuan.”
“Suiying, are you there already?”
“I got here early. I thought the traffic was going to be bad today, but it wasn’t at all.”
“Ah? You’re there already.”
“Don’t worry, just take your time. It’s not even seven yet. I’ll just order something first.”
“… Suiying, I’m really sorry. A bunch of things just came up here and I can’t excuse myself.”
Hearing those words made Jian Suiying immediately upset.
When Li Xuan wasn’t able to come out the first two times he had asked, Jian Suiying completely understood his hectic schedule. But having set an appointment only for the other party to say that they weren’t coming would honestly upset anyone, not to mention, Jian Suiying was someone who had always been flattered by others. It was only because he was Li Xuan that he had to give him a bit of face.
Li Xuan regrettably apologized, “Suiying, something really did come up at the last minute and I can’t go. I’m really sorry about this.”
What else could Jian Sui Ying say? He simply stuck with the most courteous words, “It’s fine, it’s fine. Since you have important matters to attend to, go and work on them. Don’t delay your time or worry about me.”
“How about this? Suiying, I’ll go to your company tomorrow morning. Didn’t you have something to discuss? We can just talk about it at your office.”
Jian Suiying’s expression was less tense. “That’s fine as well. But I already ordered some food. How about I have the food packed and take it over to you since you’ll be busy and won’t have time to eat but only if it works for you.”
“There’s no need, there’s no need. That’s too much trouble for you.”
“It’s not a problem. It’s going to be a waste since I won’t be able to eat it all.”
“I’ll just get something to eat in the car to solve that. Okay, I’ll have Li Yu go and have dinner with you.”
Jian Suiying’s eyes lit up and he hurriedly said, “That’s good, it’s better than eating alone. Let him come.”
Although Li Xuan couldn’t go, he unexpectedly received a pleasant surprise of having some time alone with Li Yu. Jian Suiying happily closed the menu and told the waiter, “Make these dishes first.”
Seeing that he still had some time, Jian Suiying returned to his own car and combed his hair for a while.
Li Yu came right on time.
Jian Suiying sat in a room on the second floor with his eyes fixed on the first floor. As soon as seven o’clock hit, he saw an Audi park in front of the restaurant. Li Yu came out, wearing a loose gray T-shirt, and light-colored jeans.
Compared with Jian Suiying’s carefully selected brand-name clothes, what Li Yu wore was considered especially casual and unorganized as simple as if he was just eating a barbecue downstairs in his own house. However, even if he was dressed so casually and completely lacking in style, the natural way the clothes framed his figure and accentuated his charming face still made Jian Suiying find him so flawless, he could barely hold it in.
His eyes seemed to follow his every step as he entered the restaurant.
Jian Suiying fiddled with his hair for a second and then adjusted his posture, pretending to look at his cell phone.
When the waitress brought Li Yu inside, Jian Suiying lifted his head and smiled. “Xiao Lizi, you’re here.”
Li Yu nodded, “Jian-ge, my brother couldn’t make it because something came up. I want to apologize in his place.”
“Aiya, there’s no need to. Who hasn’t run into an emergency before, huh? Your Jian-ge wouldn’t want you to apologize, you know. Come, come, come, sit down. What do you want to drink?”
Li Yu tilted his head to the side and asked, “Jian-ge, Sui Lin didn’t come?”
That question made Jian Suiying slightly taken aback, thinking: What would he come here for?
A flicker of light flitted over Li Yu’s eyes as he gloomily lowered his head and sat down. “There’s no need, I’ll just have tea.”
“Do you want a bit of liquor?” Jian Suiying had long become accustomed to asking that since it happened often in his line of work. If he didn’t order a bottle when he ate with others, that would inadvertently make him feel as though something was lacking.
Just as before, Li Yu simply shook his head. “I don’t drink.”
Jian Suiying looked embarrassingly at the waitress, “Let’s order some cold dishes first.”
The waitress wanted to pour tea for Li Yu and then leave, but Jian Suiying waved his hand to stop her.
Once the waitress left, Jian Suiying personally poured Li Yu a cup of tea. “Here, have a drink. Your throat sounds dry today.”
Li Yu politely said, “Jian-ge, let me do it myself.”
Jian Suiying passed the menu to him. “I have already ordered a few dishes that they make very good here, but I don’t know whether they’ll be to your liking. Have a look and order something you like to eat.”
“It’s okay, I’m not picky with food.”
“Take a look, just in case. I didn’t order much. Just look at the snacks if you want.”
Li Yu smiled lightly, “Jian-ge, let’s keep it like that. Since there’s only two of us, we won’t be able to eat it all.” His gaze then shifted elsewhere.
When Jian Suiying noticed how absent-minded he looked, his brows furrowed together as he tapped his finger on the table. “Li Yu ah, what did you do at home for the past two days, were you sleeping?”
Li Yu turned his head over and smiled, “Yes, I didn’t go out.”
“Do you have any plans for summer vacation, like going out somewhere to play?”
“Speaking of that…” Li Yu finally turned his body towards him, “I heard Sui Lin said that he is going to intern at your company?”
“Yeah, my old man arranged it.” Jian Suiying did not feel good at all once the topic changed, however, he tried not to show it as much as possible.
Li Yu held his own chin with his hand and smiled faintly, “Jian-ge, can you also count me in?”
Jian Suiying stared blankly.
“I also want to go. I know that I don’t have any qualifications and have many things to learn. I’m also not sure how much trouble it would give you, but I’m a fast learner. Can you give me a chance?”
A wave of happiness raced into Jian Suiying’s mind. Li Yi coming was exactly what he was looking for since he could make use of the internship to increase his chances of being in contact with him. Shouldn’t he keep this possibility open?
However, Jian Suiying was a veteran in business and understood a very simple truth, that was, the harder it was to obtain the fruit, the sweeter it would be.
Jian-dashao quickly climbed up the tree from the trunk and pretended to be distressed. “Li Yu ah, with my personal relationship with you and your brother, that isn’t a big deal. You can even be a general manager if you want. But you’re only seventeen, eighteen years old, and it’s extremely busy in our company. Not only that, my requirements for the employees are very strict, even the ones that have worked with me for several years are unable to endure it sometimes. It’s not that I doubt your abilities, I’m mainly afraid that you won’t be able to bear the hardships and suffer instead.”
The expression in Li Yu’s eyes deepened, “Jian-ge, what you specialized in are big businesses, and there are only a few people in the young generation who are comparable to you. I discussed it with my parents last night and they also think that I will be able to learn a lot at your company. I am not afraid of any hardships or suffering, I’m only afraid that you would hold me in contempt.”
I’ve liked you for ages. Jian Suiying said to himself, but instead he hurriedly answered, “Why would I? Even Suilin said that you have a good brain. Since you put it that way, how can I not let you come” Okay, Jian-ge did not misread you. You will definitely be more capable than Jian-ge in the future.”
This was the most that Li Yu had spoken to him since they had known each other, and he had also praised Jian Suiying. Normally, there were plenty of people who loved to flatter Jian-shao, but none had ever made him happy with only a few words.
Li Yu expressed his thanks at once.
Jian Suiying, “Xiao Lizi ah, since you’re coming, Jian-ge will certainly treat you properly. But let’s come to an agreement first. In the company, you’re my employee and have to comply with all your superiors’ arrangements. At that time, don’t put on a younger master’s temperament ah.”
Li Yu laughed, “I wouldn’t dare to.”
Jian Suiying’s heart burst with joy. He remembered that he would be going on a business trip soon; he would take Li Yu with him. What a great opportunity.
A while later, most of the food was placed on the table. Jian-dashao was very cheerful. Even if Li Yu did not drink, he had ordered himself a can of beer to liven things up.
As they ate, Jian Suiying casually teased him: “Say, you and Xiao Linzi are actually very close to each other, always wanting to bring the other wherever you go.”
Li Yu’s hand paused then as if nothing happened, he nonchalantly said: “We’ve known each other for more than ten years.”
“When did you meet?”
“We met at some sort of party when we were about five or six years old.”
“Around that age, you would definitely get along and play together. That’s very nice. You two can look after each other in the future.”
At that time, Jian Suiying genuinely didn’t think too much about it. When he was around Lu Yu’s age, he had also been with his friends, spending all day out together.
In his opinion, a young man (in his adolescence) who was willing to stay with friends that would be helpful to him in the future, clearly had a more promising future than those chasing after young girls’ skirts.
Jian Suiying gave Li Yu a rough introduction about what his real estate investment company was doing. For example, which of their recent projects were relatively important and what kinds of things he would do when he was there.
Li Yu listened very seriously.
After they were done eating, Jian Suiying wanted to take Li Yu out. “One of my friends just opened a new bar, and I haven’t shown up to congratulate him yet, let’s go there for a look today.”
Thinking about it, Li Yu had no reason to refuse.
Jian Suiying was not in the least bit remorseful about bringing a minor to a red-light district.1 As long as a man wanted to do a bit of those kinds of things, how could they not go to those places?
On the road, he gave his friend a call to tell him that he was taking a friend over.
When they got out of the car, Jian Suiying’s friend was waiting for them at the entrance.
“Suiying, what the hell have you been busy with recently, huh? I haven’t seen you in days. When I opened up for business, you didn’t even come to cheer me on!” The person that welcomed them threw his cigarette butt in the trash bin, walked over with a smile, and patted Jian Suiying’s shoulder.
“I sprained my ankles for a few days and had to stay home to recover. I hurried here now just after, you know. This is nice, Xiao Tang. Your place has only been opened for a few days and the parking lot is nearly packed already.”
“Of course, it’s a good location.” Xiao Tang took the two inside and glanced over at Li Yu with an ambiguous look in his eyes.
Li Yu looked at him with a blank expression.
With just one glance at Xiao Tang, Jian Suiying knew immediately that he must have misunderstood, thus that Li Yu would get angry, he quickly said: “Come, let me introduce you. This is the second son of the Li family, Li Yu. Li Yu, this is the young master of the Tang family.”
Xiao Tang was astounded, “Which Li family? Li Xuan’s younger brother?”
“How many Li families are there? Of course, he’s Li Xuan’s brother.”
Xiao Tang nodded while Li Yu threw out an indifferent tone, ‘Hello.”
Xiao Tang was an unscrupulous character. The second he realized his own mistake, he immediately chuckled and reached out to shake his hand. “Aiya, Li Xuan’s younger brother. I’ve never seen you before and had always thought that his brother was still a kid. You’re already all grown up! Come, come, come, everyone here today are honorable guests.”
As the three walked in, Jian Suiying lifted his head for glance only to end up cursing to himself.
How come the bastard Xiao Tang didn’t tell him beforehand that this place was a gay bar?
He turned his head to glare at Xiao Tang. who failed to understand the reason behind his gaze and only looked back at him strangely.
When Li Yu looked ahead and saw that it was packed with men sticking closely with other men, he understood everything at once.
Jian Suiying also felt fairly embarrassed. He genuinely didn’t know either and by no means did he intentionally bring Li Yu here but now that he had brought him to such a place, he was afraid that he had inadvertently alerted the enemy.
Just as Li Yu looked at Jian Suiying with a gaze full of questions and scrutiny, Jian Suiying forced a laugh. “This, it’s my first time here. I really didn’t know that his place was a…”
Since it was noisy inside, Xiao Tang did not hear their conversation. He even pulled Jian Suiying’s arm and yelled in his ear. “Go! There are a few friends in that private room who you also know. Let’s go in and hang out together?”
Jian Suiying tore his hand off and shouted back in his ear. “Why the fuck didn’t you tell me that it’s a gay bar?!”
Xiao Tang looked at him flabbergasted, “You didn’t know, I thought you did.”
“I didn’t come when you opened for business. How the hell would I know? That’s enough, we’re not going in.”
Xiao Tang laughed out loud and patted his back, “What are you doing, being so modest.”
Jian Suiying smacked his waist and made a meaningful look in Li Yu’s direction and Xiao Tang understood immediately.
Jian Suiying moved close to Li Yu’s ear, “I really didn’t know that it was a gay bar. You must be scared, let’s not go in.”
Li Yu’s brows knitted as he wore a smile that was not quite a smile. “What’s there to be scared of? We’re already here, so let’s go in.”
Those words made Jian Suiying look at him in surprise.
He thought that someone like Li Yu, a good boy who had a Triple A2 quality and abstained from liquor and smoke, wouldn’t be able to accept this. That was why he had been afraid to let Li Yu know that he was gay. Although he would know sooner or later, he must first cultivate Li Yu’s feelings toward him so as to let him accept it step by step. It was certainly not interesting to scare him away at once.
Jian Suiying carefully asked, “Do you find it interesting?”
Li Yi nodded, “A bit.”
“Alright, let’s go in.”
Jian Suiying wanted to only stay with Li Yu for today, so he did not go into the private room and had Xiao Tang seat them at a booth in the corner.
Xiao Tang winked at Jian-Dashao when Li Yu wasn’t paying attention.
Jian Suiying laughed and scolded him, “What are you thinking, huh? I just wanted to bring a friend here to hang out. You’re not allowed to look just because he’s good-looking.”
Those words made Xiao Tang whisper into his ear, “Do you really not have that kind of interest in him?”
“Really, stop thinking foolishly. Just go do what you have to; there’s no need to take care of us. We’re only sitting for a while then leaving. Don’t tell the others that I came either.”
Obviously, Xiao Tang did not believe him as he walked away with a mischievous smile.
Li Yu sat at the corner of the sofa and quietly looked at the other people, holding a soda drink in his hand while the dim light above his head flickered.
Jian Suiying picked up his beer and tapped it against his cup then conveniently sat near him.
The loud volume in the bar made the two face each other when they talked. The distance between them was close enough that they were able to feel the others’ breath on their face.
When that bottle of beer entered his system, Jian Suiying became a bit bolder. He moved close to Li Yu’s ear, “What are you looking at? What do you think is interesting?”
Li Yu simply smiled lightly and shook his head without saying anything.
Jian Suiying, “Xiao Lizi ah. Whether you end up doing business or become a government official in the future, coming to these kinds of places are unavoidable. Actually, you’re not that young. Ge can bring you out again later, okay?”
Li Yu glanced at him with an unclear mood. “Jian-ge, do you often bring Suilin?”
“Him? What would I bring him here for? Boring.”
A hint of irony flashed by Li Yu’s eyes before he got up. “I’m going to the bathroom.”
Jian Suiying had drunk that beer until he felt giddy, so as Li Yu got up, he grabbed his hand, making said boy look at him in astonishment.
Li Yu’s extremely sober and slightly cold gaze made Jian Suiying clear-headed a bit. He looked at his own hand, and without pulling back or actually holding tightly, he only laughed. “That, I need to go too but I can’t stand.”
Li Yu slightly frowned and helped him up.
When Jian Suiying stood up, he seemingly heard, “You can only handle that bit of alcohol?”
He suspected that he must have misheard, so he looked over at Li Yu only to see that Li Yu was looking at him with narrowed eyes.
For Jian-dashao, that was certainly not his drinking capacity. He shamelessly said, “I can only handle that little bit of alcohol. You didn’t drink with me. When I drink alone, I get drunk easily. You should carry me to the bathroom.”
Li Yu laughed, “How is it my fault? If you have low alcohol tolerance, drink less.”
“My tolerance isn’t good?” Jian Suiying sneered and patted Li Yu’s cheek lightly, “When there’s a chance, I’ll let you experience first-hand what a high tolerance for liquor is like.”
Li Yu turned his face to the side, but Jian Suiying was still able to take a bit of advantage of him. Not wanting to lower himself to his level, he loosened his hand. “If you can stand firmly, you can go by yourself.”
Having said that, he turned around and walked toward the bathroom.
Jian Suiying followed behind.
When he came out of the bathroom, he immediately saw Li Yu’s back.
He thought that this kid was actually, waiting for him? Isn’t that just extremely flattering…
But he quickly discovered that something was not right; Li Yu had been stopped by a few people on his way out.
A thirty something years old potbellied man holding a bottle of beer in his hand with very flushed face and quite exquisite clothes who was probably well-groomed in the daytime was now smirking foolishly at Li Yu, just like a wretched wolf.
How could Jian Suiying not understand what had happened?
Li Yu’s physique was top-notch among the people here. Not to mention those lecherous wolves that had never seen the world before, even Jian-dashao himself who had slept with many beautiful men, drooled for half the day when he first met Li Yu.
Since Li Yu’s back was facing him, he couldn’t see his expression, so he hurriedly walked over to him.
Just then, he saw that fatty put his hand on Li Yu’s shoulder then leaned over, looking as though he wanted to say something to him.
Li Yu immediately tore his hand off of him.
The fatty’s eyes widened as he stared at him in disbelief before he tried to put his hand on Li Yu again.
But before he could touch him, Li Yu had already evaded.
The fatty looked angry as he slammed the bottle of beer in his hand on the ground and reached out to Li Yu yet again.
Jian Suiying rushed over with an enraged expression, thinking that if this dead fat man dared to touch his man3, it would be strange if he didn’t kill him.
However before he made it there, he saw that Li Yu had already lifted his hand and gripped that fatty’s wrist.
Jian Suiying was shocked and even that fatty froze.
Right after that, he saw Li Yu’s hand tremble lightly. The fatty’s hand was forcefully folded back with such strength that it was about to break.
Even though Jian Suiying could not hear the fatty screaming from where he was, he could see his expression and that was more than enough to let him know how painful it was.
Finally, the fatty slid down to kneel on the floor. He grabbed Li Yu’s hand and immediately cried out
The fatty’s friends then rushed up to save him.
Jian Suiying dashed out from behind Li Yu and kicked the person with glasses that had pounced over far away.
The people enjoying the lively music to the side spilled out and formed a circle, looking at them full of interest.
The commotion immediately caught the attention of the security guards and several of them rushed over.
Li Yu loosened his hand.
Jian Suiying grabbed his arm, “Xiao Lizi, are you okay?”
Li Yu’s gaze swept indifferently toward him, “I’m okay.”
In a short while, Xiao Tang also came over and directed the security guard to pick up that fatty. He lit up a cigarette, shoved it in Jian Suiying’s hand, and asked while laughing: “Suiying, how do you want to handle this?”
Jian Suiying looked at Li Yu instead, “How do you want to deal with these couple of bastards?”
Li Yu took out his phone for a look, “Jian-ge, it’s almost twelve. I want to go back.”
With such a mess, Jian Suiying wasn’t in the mood to have fun either, so he quickly nodded. “Okay, okay, I’ll take you back.” He looked at Xiao Tang, “Just throw them out.”
Xiao Tang waved his hand, “Do as Jian-shao said and throw them out.”
After that, Xiao Tang walked the two back to the parking lot and apologized to Li Yu with a smile. “Li xiao–gongzi,4 sorry for offending you today.”
Xiao Li nodded slightly, giving him some face. “It’s fine, you’ve been troubled.”
“One of these days, I want to invite you and your brother to a meal.”
Li Yu simply smiled, declining to comment.
Jian Suiying carefully observed his expression. He thought that his and Li Yu’s first date was a complete failure.
1 He took Li Yu to a bar, not an actual strip club or something in the ‘red-light district; but those kinds of places are considered red-light places, and if not, near the area. When JSY said, ‘As long as a man wanted to do a bit of those kinds of things, how can they not go to those places’, he was referring to the drinking, although it might sound as though he is alluding to something else.
2 三好 – three goods/Triple A refers to someone with good ethics, study and physical training
3 his man/person – he is saying the person that came with him/ the person that he is eyeing.
4 xiao gongzi – the young son of Li