Dawn slowly spilled into the room, and figures of morning birds were printed on the gauze curtains.
Under the warm blanket, Feng Hua held Feng Yeran from behind and called softly to him, “Ye’er, Ye’er, wake up.”
Feng Yeran stirred, but immediately went back to sleep.
“Don’t lie in. Yesterday, you asked me to wake you up, remember?”
Feng Hua propped himself up and laughed silently as he looked at Feng Yeran’s messy hair and dazed expression. He couldn’t help holding Feng Yeran again. He opened his mouth, leaned towards his neck, licked it gently first, and, feeling that it tasted good, then bit it gently.
Feng Yeran struggled in a daze. “Stop it!”
As a result, when Feng Hua sucked, he immediately jumped up and covered his neck with a red face. “You brat…”
Feng Hua smiled innocently. “You’re awake!”
Feng Yeran froze. “How did we sleep together again?”
“I don’t know who it is. Lately, every night, he inexplicably insists on sleeping by himself, then always dazedly opens my door in the middle of the night, gets under my covers, and hugs me tightly. He always talks in his sleep and keeps calling my name…”
“It’s definitely not me! Only children do that!” Feng Yeran denied it.
Feng Hua raised his eyebrows. “Yeah, it’s not you. It’s a child named Feng Yeran!”
“I think you’re looking for a beating!”
With that, Feng Yeran picked up the pillow and smashed it on Feng Hua.
The pillow was soft. It was quite comfortable when it smashed on him.
Feng Hua smiled as he watched Feng Yeran flailing around, then wrapped the blanket around him and held him, who seemed smaller than usual wrapped in the blanket. His voice was soft, almost doting. “Ye’er, do you depend on me a little more than you think?”
“Perhaps, do you like me a little more than you think?”
Feng Yeran lowered his head in thought, his ears still scarlet.
After thinking for a long time, he looked up and gazed into Feng Hua’s eyes. He said, “I…”
However, just as he said the first word, he heard footsteps. Someone was coming.
The door was opened and Xiao Zhijie stood outside. “Yeran, we’ve arranged to—”
However, before he could finish, his whole body stiffened.
After breakfast, Feng Hua washed the dishes in the kitchen while Feng Yeran and Xiao Zhijie sat on the sofa watching the news.
Feng Yeran noticed that Xiao Zhijie wasn’t looking well. “Brother Xiao, you’re not feeling well?”
“Tell me honestly. Why’d you come to live with him again? Don’t you have your own apartment? If you’re afraid of being lonely, you can live with me!”
“He’s sick, Brother Xiao. I have to take care of him!”
“Of course I know he’s sick and it’s very serious. I suggested to you to use electric shock if it was really bad, but you said no.”
“Of course not! It’s too cruel!”
“You take him too seriously! He’s just an experiment!”
“What are you saying! He’s my child!”
Xiao Zhijie suddenly laughed, his voice mocking. “Child? I think he’s your lover, isn’t he?”
“What did you say?!”
“You sleep together?”
“…Just sleeping together.” Feng Yeran thought of Chen Xuan’s questioning again, and his head was a little dizzy.
“Just now, what were you doing in there?”
“Don’t lie to me. What’s going on with you here?!”
As soon as Xiao Zhijie finished speaking, he tore open the back collar of Feng Yeran’s sweater, and on his neck, there were obvious hickeys and slight teeth marks.
Feng Yeran suddenly thought of something and blushed. “Brother Xiao, don’t get the wrong idea. It’s just his prank—”
However, before he could finish, Xiao Zhijie slammed the door and left. He was the one who’d arranged with Feng Yeran to go to work together yesterday.
Feng Yeran said something to Feng Hua, then picked up his things and went after him.
Feng Hua stood by the window and watched Feng Yeran’s figure darting out, his eyes hidden in the shadows.
For Feng Yeran, Xiao Zhijie was a very important existence. They’d known each other since they were very young and had become close friends in high school. When Feng Yeran was at his lowest and saddest due to the matters of his mother and Chen Xuan, Xiao Zhijie was always there for him, and now, he was always helping him. He was very grateful to this friend and really didn’t want to lose the friendship between them.
Feng Yeran caught up with Xiao Zhijie and grabbed him. “Don’t run!”
Xiao Zhijie finally stopped.
He grabbed Feng Yeran back, pulled him into the alley, and pushed him hard against the wall. “I won’t run, so answer me. Haven’t you always been unable to accept men? Haven’t you always only liked Chen Xuan? Then why’d you accept him?! Don’t you know how scary he is? He’s not human at all! He’s a monster! He’s an incomplete product! He could break down at any moment! He’ll lose his value sooner or later!”
Feng Yeran clenched his fists and said seriously, “I know he’s scary, I know he’s not human, but he’s my most important child!”
“Child? Still saying he’s a child? How hard did he kiss to leave such obvious marks on you? Where else did he kiss you? Say it!!”
Feng Yeran was a little shocked. He held Xiao Zhijie’s trembling shoulders and frowned. “Calm down! Calm down! Brother Xiao, what’s the matter with you? I said it was just his prank… Okay, I admit, he likes me and he did kiss me, but I… I haven’t accepted him yet!”
“Why is even a monster okay? Why not me??”
“…Brother Xiao, I told you, I…”
“Shut up! You want to say you’re straight again? Let me ask you, when I hinted at you so many times in high school, did you ever notice it? You said again and again that you couldn’t accept the same sex. I chose to leave the country out of desperation… Why are you now suddenly!”
“I said I haven’t accepted him yet! And I didn’t know you… I’m sorry…”
“Then be with me!”
“…Brother Xiao, I’m sorry!”
Xiao Zhijie’s head drooped down. He let go of Feng Yeran, but his chest was still heaving violently.
A moment later, he whispered, “Let’s go, go to work.”
With that, he walked forward in silence.
While Feng Yeran was worrying about Xiao Zhijie, Xiao Zhijie remained friendly and humorous with him as if nothing had happened.
A week later, Feng Yeran had begun to suspect that Xiao’s outburst before was just a hallucination of his.
After work on March 28th, Xiao Zhijie invited Feng Yeran to the stadium to watch a game. He was quite sincere, saying that he’d thought it through and wouldn’t say strange things again, and that he intended to maintain the same relationship with Feng Yeran as before and become friends forever. Feng Yeran was very moved, and he gladly agreed.
The stadium wasn’t far from the research institute, only about an hour’s drive.
He sent a text message to Feng Hua: “Feng Hua, I’m going to watch a game and will be back late.”
Feng Hua: “Going to Xintiandi Stadium? Who are you going with?”
Feng Yeran didn’t reply to him again because he’d fallen asleep in the car after a few gulps of a drink.
When he woke up, he was dizzy and light-headed, very hungry and thirsty, and his stomach was uncomfortable and nauseous.
He propped himself up with some difficulty. Finding himself in total darkness, and groped around for a long time to turn on the lights. He was in a neat little apartment and had just been lying on a double bed. He immediately looked warily at his body. It was wearing light blue pyjamas, and, fortunately, there was nothing unusual about it. But, where on earth was this place?! What time was it? He’d clearly been with Xiao Zhijie today. What was going on?!
“Brother Xiao?? Where are you?”
He called out a few times and went to the floor-to-ceiling window.
It was a very tall building, and he could see the night view of almost the entire city. It probably had forty to fifty floors.
He looked everywhere for his phone, but couldn’t find it.
Suddenly, he heard the door lock open. A man came in and approached the bedroom.
The moment the door was opened, Feng Yeran was a little scared, but when he saw the familiar face, he was instantly relieved. Sure enough, it was Xiao Zhijie. Xiao Zhijie was carrying a bag of food, and his single earring was shining. He smiled gently. “Yeran, you’re awake?”
“Why are we here? I remember, weren’t we going to watch a game? I don’t have any impression at all. I just remember getting into your car… How strange… Could it be that we drank? I got drunk? So I had to get a room?”
“Have something to eat. You must be very hungry.”
“Yeah, I’m starving… What time is it?”
“It’s almost 1 o’clock.”
“Yeah. Here, this is a dish you like.”
Feng Yeran took a bite. “Brother Xiao, where’s my phone?”
Xiao Zhijie turned on the stereo and a piece of elegant classical music sounded. He crossed his legs as he watched Feng Yeran eat, and said gently, “You can’t use your phone for the time being. It’s okay. I’ll buy you another one when we go to America.”
Feng Yeran almost choked. “Are you kidding me? Give me my phone!”
Xiao Zhijie’s legs swayed. He watched his own legs. “I’m not kidding. Bear with it a little longer. I’ve booked a flight to America for the 30th at 7pm and it’s less than a day from now. I know you’ve been living a hard life here. You hardly have any relatives left, or friends. You’re around that worthless monster all day long, and you’ll be eaten by it one day without even knowing why. I’ll take you to America. Stay with me from now on. I’ll help you treat your illness. In two or three years, let’s get married… “
After that, Feng Yeran didn’t listen closely to what Xiao Zhijie said. Strangely enough, at that moment, he was very calm.
From what Xiao Zhijie had just said, he could infer that it was 1am on the 30th right now. And his going to the game with Xiao Zhijie was something that’d happened on the evening of the 28th. Since he got into Xiao Zhijie’s car, he had no impression at all, he had no memory of drinking, which meant that—
Feng Yeran quickly ran to the bathroom and dug his fingers into his throat. He vomited out everything he’d just eaten.
Xiao Zhijie watched the whole process, his face full of helplessness. “Why’d you vomit it out?! Those are for your own good. If you eat them, you won’t be in pain and can sleep comfortably. When you wake up again, you’ll be on the plane to America!”
After rinsing his mouth, Feng Yeran asked, “You really did add something to the food, didn’t you?”
“It’s a misunderstanding. I just wanted to improve your sleep quality and help calm you down… I don’t want to see you make a fuss over running out.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t mean anything. Yeran, haven’t you realised yet? I’m here to save you. I really can’t stand to see it anymore. You’re ruining yourself by being with that guy. You’ve gone blind. You can’t even tell who’s really good to you. I’m clearly the one who loves you most.”
Xiao Zhijie finally stopped watching his own feet. He walked towards Feng Yeran with a gloomy expression. “Yeran, you’re just stupid. In fact, you could’ve been happy with me, but who told you to reject me? Just like in high school, I was by your side, in so much pain, hinting so much so many times, and you couldn’t even see it. Even Chen Xuan laughed at me and said I wasn’t like myself. Yeah, I admire myself. I actually never touched you all that time.”
“What does this have to do with Chen Xuan?”
“Huh, shall I tell you?”
Xiao Zhijie continued to walk towards Feng Yeran, who had goosebumps all over. “Don’t come any closer.”
Xiao Zhijie smiled happily. “A long time ago, I made a deal with Chen Xuan. I helped Chen Xuan get Feng Boran, and, as for me, I wanted to get you.”
“What do you mean??”
“You really knew nothing about it. I spent a lot of effort helping Chen Xuan, and finally, you fell out with her. I was so happy. At that time, you were fighting everywhere and every day didn’t go home. You were covered with thorns, but you were so fragile. You always snuggled up to me and listened to me very much. I wondered every day when I’d make a move on you.”
“But you told me that you were straight and that you couldn’t accept homosexuality. I was so innocent and stupid at that time I actually gave up. I went abroad for years, went out with all sorts of people and experienced everything, but I still couldn’t forget you, so I came back. I continued to play the role of protector by your side, thinking every day, when will I be the only one in your world? Chen Xuan, that unfaithful thing, actually dared to come to you again, but I wasn’t worried. I knew she had a personal agenda and knew you’d give up on her sooner or later, so I quietly waited. Sure enough, your relationship got exposed and things got big. I didn’t expect everything to go so smoothly, and a little beyond that. Chen Xuan and Feng Boran actually died. But that was good. The person you’d been pining for was finally gone. But you kept circling around a boring experiment. I began to worry that this experiment would disrupt my plans, so I began to study it day and night. I even applied to become its psychiatrist. I found that it was very dangerous. It’d done something it must never do, and you’ve always been a conservative person, so you absolutely wouldn’t be able to bear the risk it brought, you’d definitely get more and more afraid of it, you’d gradually move further away from it… and in the end, you’d have no one by your side, except me. Only I’ve been protecting you, only I can take you to America for treatment. You only have me, can only rely on me!”
Feng Yeran felt as if he were listening to someone else’s story, that it was just a fantasy.
After a long pause, he asked with a pale face, “So, from beginning to end, it was all your and Chen Xuan’s plan? I loved her so much, but she used my love for her as a bargaining chip to make a deal with you? For so many years, I was just like a fool? You knew Chen Xuan had a personal agenda coming to me again, but you just stood by and didn’t say a word? You saw our affair getting exposed and things getting big, and you gloat? You watched them die, and you’re happy? My current situation is getting worse and worse, and that’s just what you want?”
Xiao Zhijie was stunned. “That’s not what I meant. I love you!”
“Love me?!” Feng Yeran laughed. “You just want to trample me under your foot, look at my pitiful appearance, and hear my voice begging you for help, don’t you? You want to find pleasure in that, for example, to use me as a foil to how powerful you are?”
“I’ve waited for you for so many years. Can’t you see how much I love you?!”
“It’s just because you didn’t get me.”
“So I’m going to get you!”
Feng Yeran sucked in a cool breath.
Xiao Zhijie strode towards him and suddenly pushed him onto the bed. As the big bed shook, Xiao Zhijie buried his head and licked hard on his neck.
The moment he felt the sticky touch and smelt Xiao Zhijie’s breath, Feng Yeran got goosebumps all over, and strong resistance churned through his cells. He almost vomited again!
“Stop it!” Feng Yeran struggled and kicked at Xiao Zhijie.
Xiao Zhijie didn’t expect Feng Yeran to still have some strength left. He took some pain, then immediately smiled darkly. “What, do you want me to tie you up?”
“Feng Hua will come for me!” Feng Yeran said with certainty.
“Him? How could that be.” Xiao Zhijie laughed. “Have you forgotten that he’s imprisoned? The only thing he can do is to keep texting and calling you, and keep begging those people to let him out… But who would let him out to come to you? Even if it’s release time, he can only go stroll around in a small park, eh? If he broke out, what’d be the result? Ah, he’d be anaesthetised into a hornet’s nest. If the situation isn’t good, he might really be electrocuted, then he won’t remember anyone and become an idiot monster, hahahaha! …What’s that expression? Are you thinking those people from the institute will come to your rescue? Who do you think cares that much about you? Well, just maybe there are one or two who think you still have a tiny bit of use at work, but how could they know where you are? Even you yourself don’t know where we are now, do you?”
“Where are we?!”
“…You’re so cute. Hahaha, you think I’d really tell you?”