None of the two parties separated by a door could sleep.
The one outside the door waited anxiously, while the one inside lay on the bed and quietly looked at the moon hanging high in the night sky outside the window.
When the sky brightened, Chu Yichen said, “Let him in.”
As soon as Du Chuan invited Chu Yunhan in, he rushed into the room. Seeing the man sitting on the sofa, he once again became cautious and asked carefully, “You…have you rested?” He himself hadn’t slept a wink last night. His eyes were red and swollen from crying, like a pitiful rabbit.
Du Chuan and Bai Xiao both retreated, leaving only the two of them in the room.
The man glanced at him and said, “Have a seat.”
He sat on the nearby sofa. His gaze stopped on Chu Yichen and, thinking of the scene from last night, he could almost see the terrible scars underneath his pajamas. His heart sank, and the rims of his eyes reddened again. Seeing the other party’s gloomy face, he came back to his senses, hurriedly lowered his head to adjust his expression, and said, “There seems to be something in my eyes…”
Chu Yichen was silent for a while, before saying, “I didn’t let you see these injuries simply because I didn’t think it was necessary. I know what kind of person you are and I knew what kind of situation I might face. I neglected my responsibility as the Patriarch to save you. It was my own decision to do so, and I am the one who should bear the consequences. It has nothing to do with you.” He paused, before proceeding, “I forced you to submit, because I couldn’t control myself when I saw the traces Sheng Wu had left on your body. That’s my one-sided obsession with you. I tried to turn you into my private property, using my identity as the Patriarch, and almost forced you to commit suicide. I will try to make up for these mistakes in the future. If you want to, we can continue our game, pretending to be strangers. If you get tired of it, we can end the contract and I can introduce you to other doms.”
Chu Yunhan never expected that the other party would say such a thing, he was completely dumbfounded. “It … has nothing to do with me?” he repeated mumbling with a bitter and dejected expression. “If it weren’t for me, you would’ve never done this, if it weren’t for me…”
“So?” Chu Yichen interrupted him abruptly, looked at him indifferently, and asked, “Besides feeling guilty, what else are you going to do for me? What can you do for me? You can’t give me what I want, and the only thing I don’t want is your pity.” He then added one more sentence, the soft whisper dispersing like smoke.
But Chu Yunhan heard it. What the man said was, “I’d rather you hate me than pity me.” He froze in place, speechless.
Long heavy silence filled the room. As if a deep gap had formed between them, they stood on two opposite sides, facing each other, yet unable to draw closer.
“Leave, you should go to work.” There was indescribable fatigue in the man’s voice. He stood up and walked to the desk.
Their eye contact was interrupted and Chu Yunhan suddenly felt an inexplicable panic deep in his heart. His mind was empty, as if he had been pushed into the Yangtze River by that man, constantly rolling and falling, about to be crushed to death, body torn and bones shattered. And now this person seemed to move farther and farther away from him, about to disappear.
He got up abruptly and rushed forward, tightly hugging him from behind with both arms. He didn’t know why, but at this moment, he really wanted to do so. Only by doing this could he expel the panic and unease and hold onto the person in front of him. This thought was so strong that he trembled slightly, while clinging tightly to the person in his arms.
Chu Yichen, who was suddenly embraced, froze, and the documents he was holding scattered across the table.
His hands were trembling, his heart was throbbing, and his body was tense and out of control. Chu Yunhan lowered his eyelashes, pressed his forehead against the back of Chu Yichen’s neck, and said in a whimpering voice, “I will give you… everything… don’t push me away…”
The eyes of the man who had always been cold turned slightly red at this moment, the knuckles of his hands pressed on the table were protruding and his fingertips were white. He tried his best to control his voice and asked, “Do you know what you are saying?”
“I do.” Chu Yunhan’s voice was trembling, “It’s not pity, just regret…I regret doing this kind of thing, I regret being so stupid. I didn’t know anything, I regret that you have suffered so many injuries… When I saw those scars I…” He lowered his head and couldn’t speak anymore. The feeling of distress surged up once again as if it was about to tear him apart. Tears soaked Chu Yichen’s back, forming small warm stains. Choking with sobs, Chu Yunhan said, “I thought about it all night last night. I owe you so much that I can never pay you back. If you want, I will give you my heart and my life, in this lifetime… for the rest of this lifetime… we can just go on like this. If you don’t want…I want to be with you…”
His heart, his life, his lifetime. This was what he wanted to give him.
Chu Yichen was stunned. He stood rooted in place, even his breathing seemed to have ceased.
He didn’t dare move, like a child who suddenly got a new toy and, looking at what he had been wishing for, was so surprised that he was afraid to touch it; like a tree that had been lonely for too long, so when a bird flew down on a branch to perch, it dared not shake its branches and leaves, for fear of scaring away the visitor who was taking a nap; or like indulging in a long-awaited dream, careful and cautious, afraid to startle the person who he hadn’t dreamed of for a long time.
It was enough for him. Hearing such words in this life, even if it was a dream, he had no regrets.
The man’s eyes turned moist, and he tried to hold back the tears.
Chu Yunhan, who had not received a response for a long time, was overcome by a feeling of loss and sorrow. These words used up almost all of his courage, so he didn’t even have the guts to ask for an answer. The hand around Chu Yichen’s waist slowly loosened, and dejected he retreated half a step. Feeling that the other party turned around to face him, he didn’t dare lift his head, and said hurriedly, “Am I… making you embarrassed again? I won’t trouble you anymore…” He wanted to pretend to smile indifferently, but he really couldn’t. His expression was sad, he was at a loss what to do, and the phrase “I’m going out first” had hardly left his lips, when suddenly his waist was pulled into a firm embrace, and his chin was lifted.
His lips were enveloped in soft warmth, very light and gentle, like a dragonfly flying above the water surface, or a snowflake touching the wings of a bird.
It took Chu Yunhan a long time to realize it was a kiss. He stood rooted in place stunned and slowly closed his reddened eyes.
The reply was an extremely tender kiss, soothing like a courteous gentleman, patiently wandering around, waiting for a dance. The more passionate the emotion, the more restrained the action. Chu Yichen was cautious as if he was dealing with a precious piece of porcelain that had been passed down for thousands of years.
Gradually, the air around them heated up, their breathing grew heavy, their heartbeats accelerated, and their thoughts scattered. As if they were drunk, every inch of their bodies was hot, and they couldn’t help but want to get closer to each other. The phrase “skin-to-skin” popped up in Chu Yunhan’s head. It turned out that skin-to-skin contact could convey emotions. In this kiss, he seemed to feel the forbearance, sadness, and unspeakable love and hatred inside the heart of the cold and lonely man before him. Chu Yunhan gently raised his hand to embrace the other person, then raised his face, and pressed against the man’s hot lips.
The other patty’s movements halted for a moment, and then, his scorching mouth pressed down firmly and roughly held his lips. The hot wet tongue pried open his jaw and kept occupying his lips and tongue, as if he wanted to suck away all the air from his lungs. Chu Yichen was like a fierce beast, fiercely deepening the kiss, as if to swallow him and melt him into his bones and blood.
Chu Yunhan closed his eyes tightly, raised his neck and let the other party plunder to his heart’s content. His head was buzzing with chaos, his whole body seemed to be burning, so hot it was about to burst in flames.
For the first time he clearly saw Chu Yichen’s heart.
After trampling on his rusty heart in every way possible and cutting it open layer by layer, he finally understood it.
It turned out it had him in there.
That person hid it so deep, deep enough to see the bones, and he was so stupid that he let him down over and over again.
At this moment, he also saw his own heart clearly for the very first time.
In his heart, a shadow started taking shape at some point, slowly occupying larger and larger space, growing clearer and clearer, and turning into a constant concern.
I owe you a heart, so I will repay you with this heart. Only when you have me in your heart and I have you in mine can it be considered fair and complete.
The fact that they were brothers, their mistakes, their entanglement, the past, none of it mattered.
Even if I end up in hell for this forbidden love, I hope I can be with you.
The tears in the corners of his eyes rolled down his cheeks. Chu Yunhan tightened his arms around the man, as if trying to melt into one with the other party in the hot flames.
Let us start over again.
No longer as the ignorant boys, alienated brothers, rivals tormenting each other, or the awkward and silent master and slave.
I want to be with you, let you rule my life, and stay with you all the way to the end.
Hold on to my love and never again wander around by yourself.
I will collect every bit of your love in the palms of my hands and never again let you drift around homeless and miserable.
Chu Yichen, let us start over again.