A few days later, Jiang Yimang asked for a leave to come to S City again. Yi Hui learned that she was coming by train when she was already halfway there.
When he met her at the train station, he couldn’t help but nag, saying that his mother had him here to take care if, so Jiang Yimang, a senior in high school, should concentrate on her studies and not always run around.
Jiang Yimang blocked him with a single sentence: “I miss you, and…I worry about you being here alone.”
After learning that Yi Hui was entangled with Zhou Jinheng again, Jiang Yimang felt heartbroken for her brother. She made three phone calls a day to confirm his safety. She searched the Internet for fighting and self-defence videos and sent them to him, so that he could practice diligently.
Jiang Yimang had a good reason for this: “You also know that he shot action movies to start with. Sure thing you can’t beat him but learn these things at least to win a little time. It’s also exercise, hitting two birds with one stone.”
Yi Hui was so humiliated by “it’s a sure thing you can’t beat him” that he unbuttoned his clothes in front of the mirror to get some self-confidence. Seeing that he couldn’t find any sign of abdominal muscles, he was discouraged and obediently clicked on the video to learn.
He hid in his room to practice and once hit the wall with too wide a motion, which made Zhou Jinheng from next door knock on the door.
When he entered the room and saw the video that was still playing, Zhou Jinheng didn’t laugh. He only raised his hand and made a gesture, saying, “This above is not correct, the action of a neck lock needs to be fast enough, defense and attack should also be coherent, arm tight, not soft.”
Even if Yi Hui didn’t say who this was for, Zhou Jinheng probably knew it.
This made Yi Hui a little panicked, and he didn’t dare to accept guidance with peace of mind. However, Zhou Jinheng became determined and took the time to teach him a few tricks every night, which made Yi Hui speechless and so embarrassed that he couldn’t memorize anything.
When he arrived at the hospital just in time for lunch, the family sat down to eat together for the first time in a long time, chatted for a while about family life and then Jiang Xuemei began to talk about the same old things again: “A big hospital is really different, even the food is better than in the town hospital. The price is not expensive either… Speaking of which, thanks to this Mr. Zhou, Yihui also has work that can be done at home. Next time, if he comes again, he must wake me up. I want to thank him in person.”
Yi Hui almost bit his tongue. Jiang Yimang exchanged glances with him, and the siblings replied in a tacit understanding: “Yes, yes, sure, sure”. Neither mentioned that this Mr. Zhou was that Mr. Zhou.
After eating, Yi Hui cleaned up the dishes and Jiang Yimang fetched water. When she came back to settle Jiang Xuemei for a nap, Yi Hui sat on the edge of the bed drowsily flipping through his cell phone, stumbling on a set of photos of Zhou Jinheng wearing black. Instantly, he felt energized.
It was the set he saw him shoot in the studio that day. This kind of mid-length men’s wear would look unflattering on a figure that was slightly shorter or had a slightly inferior figure ratio. Zhou Jinheng looked like the suit was tailor-made. Coupled with the advantage of wide shoulders and long legs, the processed photos did not seem like there was any photoshopping involved, everything looked the same as what he saw at the scene.
The scar under his eye, covered with a little concealer, could not be seen. Most of the photos showed his profile. Under the direct light of strong lamps, Zhou Jinheng tilted his head and glanced lazily at the camera. With the first three buttons of his shirt unbuttoned, he exuded a unique decadence and arrogance of a man of his age.
The next one was taken with his back turned to the light, and his three-dimensional features casted shadows on his face. Only two spots of light were reflected in his deep ink-like eyes; his thin lips were slightly pursed and his expression was solemn and mysterious, like a wolf watching its prey in the dark.
Fans exploded because of this set of photos. In the comments, they praised him for being as good as ever, and there were a bunch of people who lay flat and shouted “Brother, Brother, come and f*ck me.” Yi Hui was ashamed to see it.
He put the phone upside down on the table and got down with the intention of taking a nap.
He thought he couldn’t sleep, but as soon as he closed his eyes, that face appeared in front of him again: a grin on his lips, his teeth gritted fiercely, looking at him intently, crying in pain… It was not acting; he was the only one who could see these looks.
Yi Hui held down his disobedient heart in his dream and woke up to find that the fabric on the left side of his chest had been wrinkled by his hand.
Jiang Yimang poured him a glass of water. Seeing that he was absent-minded, she hesitated again and again, then still asked, “Brother, you can’t forget him?”
Out of self-preservation, Yi Hui instinctively shook his head. Admitting that he couldn’t forget him was equivalent to throwing away all his previous efforts.
In silence, Jiang Yimang felt a heavy weight on her heart.
But worry still prevailed. She glanced at the photos on Yi Hui’s mobile phone screen and asked tentatively again: “Is it… do you like him again?”
At this moment, Zhou Jinheng had no idea what kind of turmoil had been set off on the Internet because of his magazine photos. He had already uninstalled Weibo. After ①Xiao Hui Xia blocked him, his official Weibo account was fully managed by his assistant Xiao Lin.
He had a bad temper and when he saw bad reviews, he couldn’t help but want to smash his mobile phone. He used to change his mobile phone frequently mostly because of this.
When chatting with Yi Hui in Dora-Hum-Hum’s disguise, he occasionally noticed his name in hot searches and was very annoyed. Now that Dora-Hum-Hum had been blacklisted, he completely lost the motivation to open Weibo.
And the mobile phone he was using now was a treasure, the only one in the world, and it could not be touched. Last week, it accidentally fell into the water while filming a variety show. Xiao Lin wanted to help him take it to repair. He refused. He drove to the most reliable shop and stared at the repairman the whole time. The repairman was so scared that he couldn’t hold the screwdriver, for fear that the sharp-eyed customer wearing a mask would smash his shop if he was unhappy.
The phone was repaired, but it was not as sensitive as before and the sound of the speaker became muffled. However, the photos and everything was there, including the wallpaper that Yi Hui secretly set for him more than a year ago while he was not paying attention. When he turned on his phone, he could still see the smiling face that belonged only to him. After unlocking it, there were the words “Waiting for you to come home.” Zhou Jinheng’s heart soared every time he saw it and he wanted to rush home immediately.
For example right now. In the face of Zhou Huarong’s brainwashing rhetoric, going in his left ear and out his right ear, holding the phone to edit a text message, the only thing he thought about was how to quietly find out what the little fool wanted to eat. Halfway through a word, he was forcibly pulled back by a sudden slap on the table.
Zhou Huarong scolded angrily: “Didn’t anyone tell you not to use your mobile phone when talking to your elders?”
Zhou Jinheng glanced up at him, then moved his gaze back to the phone screen: “No, my mother left early.”
With his authority as a father openly provoked, Zhou Huarong’s forehead was throbbing with blue veins. Thinking of the purpose of calling his son here, he took a deep breath, suppressed his anger and said in a deep voice: “I’m talking business with you. Stop holding onto the past. Let it go, it’s not good for you to act out like this in a fit.”
“I’m not acting out.” Zhou Jinheng said, “My mother did leave early, otherwise I wouldn’t be left unattended, raised like an animal and exchanged for a little bit of money.”
He spoke too directly, Zhou Huarong’s face didn’t look good and he defended himself: “I know you hate me for the past. But when you look back and think about it, the marriage contract with the Yi family was annulled before you reached the age of marriage. The people later were also all good children with clean families. Did your father harm you? Dad did it all for your own good.”
Zhou Jinheng was tired of listening to the pretentious “for your own good”. He put down his mobile phone, leaned back on the seat with his arms folded and said coldly: “No, not only do I not hate you for bringing me and Yi Hui together, I also want to thank you for letting me meet him.”
When Zhou Huarong heard it, his expression eased slightly: “Being able to understand father’s good intentions is good. Yi Hui, that kid, was good at everything, but he was not very smart. In fact, it is not impossible to treat him as a child and keep him in our family for the rest of his life. I heard that you recently got a boy who looks a lot like him to raise as a lover? You have grown up, it’s inevitable that you have these young thoughts. If you don’t want to get married, you don’t have to fight against me like this. When you take over the company and want to raise a few…”
“I haven’t finished yet.” Zhou Jinheng couldn’t listen, so he interrupted him unceremoniously, “I want to thank you for letting me meet Yi Hui. It doesn’t mean that I don’t hate you.”
Zhou Huarong paused, holding the teacup.
“I hate that you used my mother as a tool for profit and discarded her ruthlessly when her usefulness ran out. I hate that you were morally corrupt and messed around, which indirectly caused my mother’s depression and suicide. To this day, you still don’t think you are wrong.”
With that said, Zhou Jinheng stood up, propped his hands on the table, leaned forward and stared at Zhou Huarong with an absolutely oppressive posture.
“I hate you for being blindly arrogant, incompetent and irritable, and for spreading these bad habits to me…” As if to verify the truth of this statement, Zhou Jinheng’s eyes were full of ferocity, revealing the madness that was rooted in his bones more deeply than just genetics.
However, this destructive storm quickly died down. He sat back down and his eyelids drooped as he whispered, “Otherwise, I wouldn’t have let him lose his life and he wouldn’t have come to the point where he even refused to recognize his name.”
Zhou Huarong was shocked. In the past, he thought that the kid’s temperament was just the fearlessness of youth. Now seeing him recklessly go crazy frightened him, making him afraid he would do something like overturn a table in public and damage the face of the Zhou family.
“Didn’t you bully Yi Hui happily back then? Can you find someone else who can be coaxed and manipulated like he was?” Zhou Huarong put down the teacup. Eager to suppress Zhou Jinheng’s anger, he spoke in a heavier tone, “Who are you infatuated with now? Men living in the world, those who stick to the love of children will not achieve anything big.”
Zhou Jinheng didn’t feel angry again after listening to it, but there was no sign of softening either. He sneered, stood up and said, “I’ll leave the big matters to a heartless man like you. I’ll go first. Don’t call me, I’ll be busy in the future.”
Zhou Huarong didn’t expect that his provocation would not work. He got up, saying anxiously: “If you dare to walk out from here today, you will not get a dime from the Zhou family business. If you need to eat, drink, have fun and raise your little lover, do it at your own expense!”
Zhou Jinheng paused and turned around, but his face was not as nervous and frightened as Zhou Huarong thought.
He had long since ceased to be the teenager who had nothing and will no longer give in to threats and intimidation and be dropped on the gambling table as a bargaining chip.
Four years were enough for him to accumulate strength and enough for him to grow up.
Zhou Jinheng slowly said, “The only thing I am glad to grow up with is that I am emotionally like my mother, not like you.”
After saying that, he turned and continued to walk towards the door. In two steps, he turned back again. He shook his car key in front of Zhou Huarong’s expectant gaze and said, “I don’t care who inherits your cr*ppy company. I earn enough to support him for a few lifetimes.”
When the moon rose, after dinner, Yi Hui shared a piece of mooncake with his mother and sister.
Coming out of the inpatient building, he raised his head to see the full moon half hidden in the clouds and tasted the remaining sweetness in his mouth. He took out his mobile phone and sent Ye Qin a text message wishing him a happy Mid-Autumn Festival.
He could feel that his brother and sister-in-law had already guessed who he was, but he didn’t want to pierce the last layer of paper.
He also knew that this was a senseless struggle, but he hadn’t thought it through yet and he couldn’t pass the invisible and intangible barrier in front of him.
After going back to the address book, he saw Zhou Jinheng’s name. Yi Hui hesitated, clicked into the SMS interface and then exited, feeling that no matter what he sent, it would be inappropriate.
Zhou Jinheng had a pair of sharp eyes that noticed everything, so he could never keep secrets in front of Zhou Jinheng.
This used to be his greatest fear. He didn’t want to be seen through, didn’t want to be attracted. It was enough to take a tumble once; the one who falls again to the same place will be the real fool.
But today’s moon was so round and bright, it made him want to do something impulsively.
Unable to make a phone call or send a text message, Yi Hui walked anxiously on the road and suddenly thought of a good way. He clicked on Weibo and pulled Dora-Hum-Hum out of the blacklist.
Anyway, he wouldn’t send him any more messages. Yi Hui exhaled and felt relieved.
When he walked to the door, he looked up and saw the man standing under the streetlamp. His body that had just relaxed tensed again.
Yi Hui slowly walked over, stopped before the familiar figure, greeted him, just leaving a proper social distance between the two of them.
Zhou Jinheng was the first to speak: “Passing by, so I came to pick you up along the way.”
He didn’t move forward. As long as Yi Hui didn’t want to, he wouldn’t move. This was the promise he made and had to follow strictly.
Yi Hui did not deny the flawed “along the way” in his mouth, he just listened to it, just like when Zhou Jinheng said “I won’t enter your room without your permission”. He nodded and went to the parking lot side by side with Zhou Jinheng.
The autumn night was cool, and halfway through the walk, Zhou Jinheng finally handed over the paper bag he was carrying: “I saw it on my way and bought it casually. You might need it.”
There was a blue scarf in the paper bag.
Yi Hui hesitated for a moment, then stretched out his hand to pick it up, thinking that he would keep it for a while and then put it quietly somewhere when he got home, just like before.
He couldn’t take his things, and he couldn’t go back to the old path.
Who could have imagined that as soon as he took it, his nose felt itchy and he sneezed without warning.
Yi Hui was busy rummaging for paper towels in his backpack, not paying attention to what Zhou Jinheng was doing. When he finished blowing his nose, a soft fleece scarf was wrapped around his neck and most of his face.
Struggling to pull his nose out of the scarf, Yi Hui raised his eyes, unexpectedly focusing on Zhou Jinheng who was still fiddling with the scarf.
Zhou Jinheng was much taller than him. It was the angle he was used to. However, today was different. Zhou Jinheng deliberately bent over and lowered his head so that he could clearly see his entire face, his sharp-lined jaw, graceful lips, tall nose and gentle eyes that were mostly covered by thick eyelashes.
Zhou Jinheng’s appearance was domineering, coupled with his violent temper, impatience and acting resolutely and unceremoniously, it did not match the word gentle in any way. But now Yi Hui had confirmed it countless times; from his eyes to his movements, he could only use this word to describe him.
It seemed that he had hidden any of his features that might scare him and piled up this newly learned and unskilled tenderness little by little, all for him.
After tinkering with it for a long time, he finally tied the scarf in a beautiful bow.
When he saw Yi Hui’s small face wrapped in layers of wool, showing only two moist eyes, Zhou Jinheng’s long-term dull mood became clear, he felt that it was the most correct decision today to drive here directly after arguing with Zhou Huarong, the old b*stard.
He wanted to take Yi Hui’s hand, but when he was about to touch it, he suddenly remembered his promise and pulled back.
“Let’s go, let’s go home.”
Maybe he was too hasty to pull away, or maybe there was not enough moonlight tonight, but he didn’t notice that the hand he almost touched stretched towards him.
Until the car was driving smoothly on the road, Yi Hui’s heart was still beating loudly.
But this feeling was not unfamiliar, so there was nothing to be afraid of.
The only difficulty that needed to be overcome urgently now was that when he got home, he had to take off the scarf that still kept the traces of his body warmth.
He said that he would not accept anything from Zhou Jinheng. Even if he accidentally took it, he would pick it up again, then pack it up and throw it out.
Yi Hui raised his hand and touched the scarf, brushed his fingers over the thick, warm fluffness and lingered on the finely knitted threads.
Not yet at home and he already hated to part with it.