Ning Yiwei made an excuse, saying there was an urgent matter at school. Despite Lu Jiaqin’s persuasion, he hurriedly put on his shoes and dashed out of the community.
He stood on the roadside, trying to hail a taxi. When he looked down, he noticed that he was wearing two different shoes, like yin and yang. To make matters worse, he realized he had forgotten everything except his phone and wallet. It was at that moment he truly understood what chaos meant.
Coincidentally, a taxi turned the corner. Ning Yiwei waved his hand, got into the car, and then remembered he didn’t know Liang Chong’s current whereabouts. He had to ask the driver to proceed while planning to call Liang Chong later.
The driver drove slowly, frequently checking the rearview mirror, waiting for Ning Yiwei to provide the address. Unfortunately, Liang Chong’s phone line was busy. After attempting to call for five minutes, the call finally connected.
Hearing Liang Chong answer the phone, Ning Yiwei immediately asked, “Where are you?”
“Home,” Liang Chong responded, with the sound of someone else talking in the background. He informed Ning Yiwei, “I’m in the middle of a video conference.”
Ning Yiwei made a “Hmm” sound and asked Liang Chong, “So, can I come over?”
Liang Chong said to the people in the meeting, “Continue,” and then told Ning Yiwei, “Come on, I’m almost done.”
Ning Yiwei gave the driver the address, and the driver turned his head and drove towards Liang Chong’s house.
After getting out of the car, Ning Yiwei sluggishly walked into the elevator. Half a minute later, the elevator doors opened.
Liang Chong’s ground floor was quiet. Ning Yiwei changed his shoes and walked through the entrance. He saw an empty living room and went upstairs. Turning a corner, he finally heard some sounds coming from the study.
The study door was slightly ajar, and Ning Yiwei looked through the crack. He saw Liang Chong standing with his back to the door, talking on the phone.
Liang Chong casually rested his right hand on the edge of the study desk, which was made of red wood and metal. There were no other sounds in the room, indicating that the video conference had probably ended.
Shortly after, Liang Chong hung up the phone but didn’t turn around. Ning Yiwei gently pushed the door open and tiptoed over. From behind, he hugged Liang Chong.
This was the correct step to take, as Ning Yiwei had thought in the car.
Ning Yiwei was much shorter and thinner than Liang Chong. His face pressed against Liang Chong’s shoulder, and his hand wrapped around Liang Chong’s waist. Due to nervousness, Ning Yiwei’s fingers accidentally touched a decoration on the desk, and the back of his hand bumped into a globe.
“Ning Yiwei?” Liang Chong didn’t move at all.
“Hmm.” Ning Yiwei was also impressed by his own thick-skinned behavior. He could clearly feel Liang Chong, whom he was clinging to, becoming stiff, but he still didn’t want to let go.
It felt as if by embracing Liang Chong at this moment, Liang Chong would belong to him.
Liang Chong held Ning Yiwei’s hand, grasping his palm and pulling it away slightly. He turned around, lowered his head, and looked at Ning Yiwei.
Ning Yiwei also gathered the courage to raise his head and let his gaze travel along Liang Chong’s prominent Adam’s apple, up to his chin, nose bridge, and eyes. When their eyes met, Ning Yiwei suddenly noticed that Liang Chong’s expression was very unpleasant.
It wasn’t the kind of unpleasantness that came from being secretly embraced by Ning Yiwei, but rather the kind that arose from an important and unfortunate incident.
“What happened?” Ning Yiwei immediately quieted down and asked Liang Chong.
Liang Chong released Ning Yiwei’s hand, paused for a moment, and whispered to him, “The nursing home called. They said my father’s condition worsened. It’s really bad.”
His tone of speech remained calm, but Ning Yiwei could see his anxiety at a glance. Ning Yiwei reached out to pull Liang Chong again and asked, “Are you going there now? Auntie was at my place just now. Did you inform her?”
“She knows,” Liang Chong said calmly. “I’m heading to the airport now. We’re going together.”
Liang Chong led Ning Yiwei downstairs, one step ahead. Ning Yiwei watched Liang Chong’s back and suddenly grabbed his arm, impulsively saying, “I’ll go with you.”
“No need.” Liang Chong turned his head upon hearing the voice and glanced at Ning Yiwei. He subtly tugged at the corner of his mouth and said, “Focus on your studies. I’ll come back once his condition stabilizes.”
Liang Chong’s phone rang. The driver had sent a text message saying that he was waiting downstairs.
Ning Yiwei accompanied Liang Chong into the elevator, watching the numbers descend. He then said, “Let me take you to the airport.”
He initially thought Liang Chong would reject him again, but when the elevator reached the ground floor and stopped, Liang Chong said, “Okay.”
On the way to the airport, Liang Chong answered several phone calls. From his tone, Ning Yiwei could tell that he was postponing some important plans and appointments.
Ning Yiwei sat there, using his peripheral vision to gaze at Liang Chong’s profile. Liang Chong sat upright, speaking with poise, as if nothing had happened. All of Ning Yiwei’s impulsive thoughts before coming to Liang Chong’s house were delayed, leaving only worry and concern for Liang Chong.
He still remembered that early morning at the hospital years ago, with Liang Chong holding him in his arms.
Liang Chong couldn’t afford to show any weakness or vulnerability. He had to remain calm at all times, impervious to anything and anyone.
But no one is born invincible against all adversities.
After Liang Chong ended another call, Ning Yiwei slowly reached out to hold Liang Chong’s hand. Liang Chong glanced at him but didn’t react.
“Don’t be afraid,” Ning Yiwei couldn’t help but move closer to embrace him, half leaning against Liang Chong’s chest. He tried his best to comfort Liang Chong, “Uncle will definitely be fine.”
The familiar scent belonging to Liang Chong pressed against Ning Yiwei’s cheek, making him hesitant to breathe heavily. He lifted his head, and his lips brushed against Liang Chong’s chin.
Liang Chong tensed up again, gripping Ning Yiwei’s shoulder blades. He somewhat brashly pushed Ning Yiwei away, lowering his head to carefully examine Ning Yiwei’s face.
His gaze was somewhat cold yet carried an inexplicable heat that Ning Yiwei couldn’t comprehend. Ning Yiwei shrank back, wanting to say something but watched as Liang Chong raised his arm and nonchalantly pulled down the partition between the driver’s seat and the backseat. Perhaps using considerable strength, the partition closed swiftly, emitting a crisp sound.
Then, Liang Chong leaned in, neither too light nor too forceful, pushing Ning Yiwei against the backrest and decisively pressing his lips, accurately capturing Ning Yiwei’s own.
Liang Chong’s kiss was restrained, initially not intense. It only grew audacious as Ning Yiwei neither resisted nor opposed, allowing Liang Chong to take liberties.
His intensity seemed like a long-restrained desire, a tiny square inch of space already filled to the brim with unquenchable yearning. It quickly overflowed with overwhelming weight and fear, squeezing out a fraction of the rising greed.
Greed incited Liang Chong, compelling him to hold down Ning Yiwei and engage in the most primitive of dirty acts, ones he both desired and felt ashamed of.
Liang Chong’s lips felt cooler than when they had accidentally brushed against each other before. His warm and rapid breath wafted across Ning Yiwei’s cheek. He pried open Ning Yiwei’s clenched teeth, their teeth gently colliding. Ning Yiwei tasted the mingling flavors of mint and cigarette from Liang Chong’s mouth.
Amidst the chaos, Ning Yiwei felt as if Liang Chong wanted to etch this kiss into eternity, swallowing up Ning Yiwei’s lips, tongue, and innocence. It felt as if Liang Chong wanted to suck out Ning Yiwei’s very soul. He held Ning Yiwei tightly, as if afraid Ning Yiwei would be frightened and jump out of the car, simultaneously pursuing Ning Yiwei’s tongue with both fierceness and tenderness, biting Ning Yiwei’s lower lip, causing it to ache.
But the kiss did not last long.
After tasting the metallic taste of blood between their lips, Liang Chong released Ning Yiwei.
Liang Chong gazed at Ning Yiwei, whose eyes shimmered with moisture from the kiss. He paused for a moment, using his thumb to wipe the tiny, bleeding cut on Ning Yiwei’s lower lip caused by his bite. Liang Chong closed his eyes and apologized to Ning Yiwei, “I’m sorry.”
Ning Yiwei looked at Liang Chong, pressing against Liang Chong’s knee, wanting to lean closer and kiss Liang Chong again. He wanted to say it was no big deal, but the car came to a stop.
The driver didn’t say anything, and neither did Liang Chong.
Liang Chong pulled out a tissue and carefully wiped Ning Yiwei’s lip, not meeting Ning Yiwei’s gaze.
“I’m leaving,” Liang Chong said.
He didn’t say “Wait for me to come back” or ask Ning Yiwei to stay put. He opened the car door and walked out, telling the driver who was waiting outside to take Ning Yiwei home. Then, without looking back, he walked into the terminal building.
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