With burning face, Ning Yiwei jumped up without saying a word, attempting to snatch Liang Chong’s phone while he was unprepared. However, he couldn’t succeed in deleting the video from Liang Chong’s phone.
Liang Chong calmly placed his phone aside, easily blocking Ning Yiwei’s pounce. “It’s no big deal.” He even accused Ning Yiwei of “invading personal privacy” and “breaking the law.”
After trying for a while, Ning Yiwei stopped and reassured himself, “I gave up. I couldn’t match your physical strength.”
Liang Chong sensed the hidden meaning in Ning Yiwei’s words, pinching his face to compel an explanation of what he meant.
Such situations had occurred numerous times before, so Ning Yiwei had already learned to play along with Liang Chong’s games. He sighed and expressed concern for Liang Chong in an indirect way, “Auntie told you to get some rest. How long has it been since you last slept?”
He approached Liang Chong again, lifting his hand to touch Liang Chong’s skin under his eyes with his fingertips. “The dark circles under your eyes are a deep gray color, indicating that you need—”
Liang Chong grabbed his hand, politely interrupting him, “Stop.”
Ning Yiwei didn’t sit back down and continued to closely observe Liang Chong, asking him again, “How long has it been since you last slept?”
Liang Chong thought for a moment, releasing Ning Yiwei’s hand and uncertainly replying, “I haven’t slept much lately.”
“This won’t do!” Ning Yiwei exclaimed in shock, “Go and sleep right away.”
Ning Yiwei stood up and pulled Liang Chong’s arm to lift him up, guiding him towards the direction of the stairs.
Liang Chong, being tall and robust, walked slowly, causing Ning Yiwei to exert a lot of effort to drag him a few steps every now and then.
When they reached the railing of the stairs, Liang Chong finally took a step forward on his own. He raised his hand to trap Ning Yiwei between himself and the railing. “If I go to sleep, then what will you do?”
Being held close to his chest by Liang Chong, Ning Yiwei hesitantly said, “I… revise my thesis, maybe?”
Liang Chong paused for a moment, wordlessly gazing into Ning Yiwei’s eyes for two seconds.
Sensing that it might be the wrong answer, Ning Yiwei hesitantly asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Forget it.” Liang Chong reached out and pressed his hand against Ning Yiwei’s back, applying some force to lift him up.
Ning Yiwei was caught off guard and found himself dangling in the air. Terrified, he lay still, not daring to move, until Liang Chong climbed halfway up the stairs and reached the landing. Only then did Ning Yiwei muster the courage to struggle slightly and say, “Please put me down quickly!”
Liang Chong ignored him and gave his bottom a pat. “Don’t move recklessly,” he said.
They ascended another half floor, passed through a corridor, and entered what seemed to be Liang Chong’s room. The gray carpet in front of Ning Yiwei’s eyes swayed, and finally, they came to a stop.
Liang Chong tossed Ning Yiwei onto the soft bed. Ning Yiwei fell heavily from mid-air, his back smacking against the mattress, feeling dizzy and disoriented.
“What are you doing?” Ning Yiwei propped himself up on his elbow, looking at Liang Chong, who was wearing a shirt not far away. “Are you trying to kill me?”
Liang Chong seemed to relax completely. He unbuttoned two buttons of his collar, loosened his tie, walked to the bedside, and used a remote control to close the motorized curtains in the room.
Suddenly, everything went dark for Ning Yiwei, and he felt the mattress beside him sink as someone else lay down. Then, a very warm and large hand rested on his waist, pulling him into an embrace. The owner of the hand lightly kissed his cheek and said softly, “Take off your clothes and sleep with me for a while.”
The room was dim. Ning Yiwei was only wearing a T-shirt and underwear. He lay in the bed, curled up under the blanket, but couldn’t find any sleepiness.
Liang Chong was lying next to him. Although their bodies didn’t have much contact, Ning Yiwei was so distracted that he almost forgot how he planned to write his thesis abstract. Meanwhile, Liang Chong remained silent, leading Ning Yiwei to think that he had fallen asleep. Casually turning to the side, Ning Yiwei accidentally kissed Liang Chong’s slightly stubbled chin.
“What’s gotten into you today? So forward,” Liang Chong’s voice was soft, yet very alert.
Ning Yiwei hadn’t expected Liang Chong to be awake. After a moment of silence, he slowly said, “You’re not asleep.”
After speaking, Ning Yiwei moved uncertainly, pulling Liang Chong’s waist into an embrace. Their lower bodies pressed together, but Ning Yiwei felt uncomfortable with the friction, so he raised one leg and entwined it with Liang Chong’s leg, wrapping around him like an octopus. “I thought you were very tired,” he said.
Based on Ning Yiwei’s memory, they had never experienced sleeping together in the same bed before. This was the first time. It felt fresh but not strange. It made Ning Yiwei feel fulfilled and settled.
Previously, he had no trouble sleeping alone, but now that they were sleeping together, Ning Yiwei believed it was better. It was similar to the heliocentric theory—humans were doing fine before its emergence, but when compared vertically, everyone knew that the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe, and the contemporary understanding was better.
With these thoughts in mind, Ning Yiwei tightened his leg grip.
“Ning Yiwei,” Liang Chong sounded somewhat helpless, “do you still want to let me sleep?”
“No,” Ning Yiwei admitted. He wrapped his arms around Liang Chong’s neck and leaned in to kiss him.
Starting with a kiss on Liang Chong’s cheek, Ning Yiwei gradually moved downward, finding Liang Chong’s lips. Mimicking Liang Chong, he parted his lips and sucked and tasted.
The darkness amplified the suppressed breaths, making each of Ning Yiwei’s movements clearer. ʜᴇ ʀᴇᴀᴄʜᴇᴅ ᴅᴏᴡɴ, ꜱʟɪᴘᴘɪɴɢ ʜɪꜱ ʜᴀɴᴅ ɪɴᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇᴅɢᴇ ᴏꜰ ʟɪᴀɴɢ ᴄʜᴏɴɢ’ꜱ ᴜɴᴅᴇʀᴡᴇᴀʀ, ɢʀɪᴘᴘɪɴɢ ᴛɪɢʜᴛʟʏ, ᴀɴᴅ ꜱʟᴏᴡʟʏ ᴍᴏᴠɪɴɢ ᴜᴘ ᴀɴᴅ ᴅᴏᴡɴ, ꜰʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴀꜱᴇ ᴛᴏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛɪᴘ.
ᴛʜᴇ ᴏʙᴊᴇᴄᴛ ɪɴ ʜɪꜱ ʜᴀɴᴅ ꜱᴇᴇᴍᴇᴅ ᴛᴏ ᴘᴏꜱꜱᴇꜱꜱ ᴀ ʟɪꜰᴇ ᴏꜰ ɪᴛꜱ ᴏᴡɴ, ꜱᴄᴏʀᴄʜɪɴɢ ʜᴏᴛ, ᴀɴᴅ ɪᴛ ᴡᴀꜱ ɪɴᴛɪᴍɪᴅᴀᴛɪɴɢʟʏ ʟᴀʀɢᴇ. ᴊᴜꜱᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ᴛʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ ᴏꜰ ɪᴛ ꜱᴛʀᴇᴛᴄʜɪɴɢ ᴀɴᴅ ᴇɴᴛᴇʀɪɴɢ ᴍᴀᴅᴇ ɴɪɴɢ ʏɪᴡᴇɪ’ꜱ ʟᴇɢꜱ ɢᴏ ᴡᴇᴀᴋ.
Liang Chong didn’t say anything. He simply pressed on Ning Yiwei’s waist, gently caressing, as if silently approving and encouraging.
Ning Yiwei increased the speed of his hand, and Liang Chong suddenly bit his lower lip, pulling away slightly. He grabbed Ning Yiwei’s wrist, preventing any further movement, and said in a low voice, “Alright, that’s enough. Where did you learn all this?”
His voice was somewhat hoarse, reminding Ning Yiwei of when they were outside the cake shop, and Liang Chong covered his own eyes to avoid seeing other couples kissing, acting as if it were unsuitable for children. Yet here they were, thinking about these unsuitable things themselves.
Ning Yiwei appeared skilled on the surface, and his heart was beating fast. He used his ᴛʜᴜᴍʙ ᴛᴏ ʀᴜʙ ᴀɢᴀɪɴꜱᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ꜱʟɪɢʜᴛʟʏ ᴍᴏɪꜱᴛ ᴛɪᴘ of Liang Chong’s. “You said you wanted to do everything.”
Liang Chong hesitated, releasing Ning Yiwei and turning on the bedside lamp, probably to let both sides calm down.
The light was soft, not overly bright. The sudden brightness made Ning Yiwei close his eyes. It took him a few seconds to slowly open them.
Liang Chong himself hadn’t calmed down. He propped himself up with his hand next to Ning Yiwei’s elbow, watching him. He then tugged at the hem of Ning Yiwei’s T-shirt, lifting it up. Ning Yiwei obediently cooperated with Liang Chong, taking off the last remaining piece of clothing.
Ning Yiwei adjusted to the light from the bedside lamp. He looked into Liang Chong’s eyes and gradually, he saw Liang Chong’s hesitation, a level of caution he had never seen before, so obvious and careful.
Such caution and reluctance, nearly uncharacteristic nervousness, made Ning Yiwei suspect that all the dominance, autocracy, irrationality, and unpredictability in the past were merely Liang Chong’s protective shield, a suit of armor to hide his secrets from Ning Yiwei.
Liang Chong called Ning Yiwei his “Little Slave,” ordering him around as if he didn’t consider Ning Yiwei important.
Because by doing so, Ning Yiwei, being slow-witted, wouldn’t realize his own affection.
Liang Chong must really, really like me, Ning Yiwei thought. So Ning Yiwei called his name, “Liang Chong.”
Ning Yiwei held Liang Chong’s hand and placed it on himself, telling Liang Chong, “You can do whatever you want, don’t hold back.”
Liang Chong glanced at Ning Yiwei for a moment, then lowered his head to lick and nibble Ning Yiwei’s lips. He pressed Ning Yiwei’s hand above his head and spread his legs apart.
ɴɪɴɢ ʏɪᴡᴇɪ ᴋɪꜱꜱᴇᴅ ʜɪᴍ ʙᴀᴄᴋ. ʟɪᴀɴɢ ᴄʜᴏɴɢ ᴍᴏᴠᴇᴅ ꜰʀᴏᴍ ʜɪꜱ ʟɪᴘꜱ ᴛᴏ ʜɪꜱ ɴᴇᴄᴋ, ᴋɴᴇᴀᴅɪɴɢ ᴀɴᴅ ᴘɪɴᴄʜɪɴɢ ʜɪꜱ ᴄʜᴇꜱᴛ, ᴄᴀᴜꜱɪɴɢ ᴀ ᴍɪx ᴏꜰ ᴘᴀɪɴ ᴀɴᴅ ᴘʟᴇᴀꜱᴜʀᴇ. ɴɪɴɢ ʏɪᴡᴇɪ ᴏʙᴇᴅɪᴇɴᴛʟʏ ᴛᴜʀɴᴇᴅ ᴏᴠᴇʀ, ʀᴀɪꜱɪɴɢ ʜɪꜱ ʟᴇɢꜱ, ᴀʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ʟɪᴀɴɢ ᴄʜᴏɴɢ ᴛᴏ ᴇɴᴛᴇʀ ꜰɪᴇʀᴄᴇʟʏ ʙᴇᴛᴡᴇᴇɴ ʜɪꜱ ʟᴇɢꜱ. ʜᴇ ᴀʟꜱᴏ ᴄɪʀᴄʟᴇᴅ ᴛʜᴇ ᴀʀᴇᴀ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ɴᴇᴇᴅᴇᴅ ᴄᴏᴍꜰᴏʀᴛ, ʟᴏꜱᴛ ɪɴ ᴛʜᴇ ꜱᴡɪʀʟ ᴏꜰ ᴇᴍᴏᴛɪᴏɴꜱ, ʀᴇʟᴇᴀꜱɪɴɢ ɪɴ ʟɪᴀɴɢ ᴄʜᴏɴɢ’ꜱ ʜᴀɴᴅꜱ.
ᴀꜰᴛᴇʀᴡᴀʀᴅꜱ, ʟɪᴀɴɢ ᴄʜᴏɴɢ ᴄᴀʀʀɪᴇᴅ ɴɪɴɢ ʏɪᴡᴇɪ ᴛᴏ ᴛᴀᴋᴇ ᴀ ʙᴀᴛʜ, ɢʟᴀɴᴄᴇᴅ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʀᴇᴅᴅᴇɴᴇᴅ ᴀʀᴇᴀ ʙᴇᴛᴡᴇᴇɴ ʜɪꜱ ʟᴇɢꜱ ꜰʀᴏᴍ ᴛʜᴇɪʀ ᴀᴄᴛɪᴠɪᴛɪᴇꜱ, ᴅʀɪᴇᴅ ʜɪᴍ ᴏꜰꜰ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴄᴀʀʀɪᴇᴅ ʜɪᴍ ʙᴀᴄᴋ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇᴅ. Ning Yiwei snuggled up to Liang Chong, feeling sleepiness wash over him. In a half-awake state, he suddenly heard Liang Chong ask him, “Weiwei, have you ever thought about your birth parents?”
Ning Yiwei reluctantly thought for a moment, answering drowsily, “My parents’ adoption process was legal.”
Unable to hear Liang Chong’s response, Ning Yiwei yawned. “I haven’t thought about it. No need to think about it.” After saying those two sentences, Ning Yiwei became more alert and asked, “Why are you asking this?”
“Saw something in the news today, it reminded me, just asking casually,” Liang Chong offered an explanation to Ning Yiwei and then asked, “If your birth parents came looking for you, what would you think?”
Ning Yiwei kept his eyes open and thought for a while before saying, “Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Liang Chong responded with a “Hmm,” and Ning Yiwei added, “But I don’t think they will come looking for me. I was abandoned when I was just ten days old. I’ve researched statistics related to abandoned infants, and the chances of birth parents coming forward in cases like mine are very low.”
“…Why did you research this?” Liang Chong asked.
“Don’t find it strange,” Ning Yiwei spoke truthfully, “I consider my adoptive parents as my biological parents and identify myself as Ning Yiwei. However, every abandoned child who knows their own story will inevitably be interested in such information. It’s normal. When I say I don’t think about it, I mean I don’t entertain dreams of my birth parents being wealthy or scientists and coming back to recognize me. But I can’t help but look at the data.”
He didn’t care about the reasons behind his abandonment or the current situation of those two individuals. He harbored no hatred or love for the ones who abandoned him. He wished to maintain a stable family situation, just like the ordinary and unremarkable days he had experienced growing up—a life that could be a bit challenging at times, but filled with love between each other.
Ning Yiwei had his parents, Liang Chong, Zhou Zirui, and other friends and mentors, which was enough for him.
“Our family is fine as it is now,” Ning Yiwei said softly.
Liang Chong held Ning Yiwei a little tighter, planting a firm kiss on his forehead, and said, “I understand. Sleep now.”
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