Chapter 2 IN WHICH TODAY’S PUPPY MEETS AN OLD FRIEND
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“Da Liang, Li Duoyu sent me to tell you it’s time to eat.” Feng Fan, upon entering the balcony, immediately senses the strained mood as Liang Ren and Li Duoyu’s little agent stand on opposite sides in tensed and rigid atmosphere.
“This is Mr. Zhen, right?” Feng Fan walks up to them, squinting his eyes to get a better look. “I’ve heard so much about you.”
The omega’s sudden shift of attention to him baffles Zhen Xin. He mops his face to cover up his gaffe, and subconsciously casts a pleading look at Liang Ren, as if he’s an abandoned dog still hoping to be protected by its former master.
It’s a pity that Liang Ren misses his gaze. The alpha looks at the omega and speaks in a relaxed tone, “Then let’s go eat.”
Liang Ren has at last found a chance to avoid being in the same space as his ex. After all these years, how could he still not bear the crocodile tears of this liar?
However, Feng Fan has other intention. He walks closer to Zhen Xin for an introduction.
“Hello, Mr. Zhen, my name is Feng Fan. I’m their childhood friend.”
“Hello, Mr. Feng.” Zhen Xin can only bite the bullet. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“I’m curious. What’s so special about you?” Zhen Xin’s scalp tingles at the frank question. “Why would an alpha like you?”
“You… you misunderstood.”
“No, I didn’t.” Feng Fan has no idea how shocking his words are. He blinks his eyes, struggling to clear his vision but only feels that his eyes are dry. He grabs Liang Ren’s sleeve and says, “This is not a good time for talking. Let’s chat next time… Da Liang, take me inside.”
Feng Fan turns around and pushes the non-existent glasses. This is so annoying. He really is as blind as a bat today.
Liang Ren glances at Zhen Xin who is frozen in place with a pale face. He can’t help grumbling to the clueless Feng Fan, “I can’t really understand you. If you’re half-blind, just stop running around like this.”
That guy has finally managed to stop his tears. Hopefully, he won’t start crying again.
“What’s your problem with me? Hurry up I’m hungry!”
Zhen Xin quietly watches the two of them with pursed lips and red swollen eyes, managing to look like an unwanted third wheel in a romantic relationship.
What the heck. He has been single for several years.
Nevermind. He’s the biggest scoundrel anyway.
Liang Ren stops talking anymore.
Despite his best efforts, Li Duoyu is puzzled as to why everyone at his gathering is suddenly looking sad and upset. He can’t figure out why the mood has suddenly become somber.
Needless to say, Liang Ren has never looked like his normal self ever since he returned to China, and Young Master Feng Fan has never given himself a good face after their previous disagreement.
But why does Zhen Xin also look unhappy? Instead of his usual smiling face and sweet expressions, his countenance is now gray and lackluster. Those who don’t know that they’re all gathering for a meal might think that Li Duoyu is forcing him to do something against his will.
Li Duoyu encourages, “Eat some vegetables, and try these imported Australian shrimp. They are very fresh.”
“Okay, okay, I’ll do it myself.” Zhen Xin replies politely. “Please don’t trouble yourself.”
He is actually allergic to seafood, but the other party is so eager that he doesn’t have the heart to let him down on the spot.
Li Duoyu is still raving enthusiastically, “Come and have a taste. It’s really good. If you like it, you can take some back to eat later.”
Zhen Xin hesitantly stretches out his chopsticks, but before he could pick up any shrimp, Liang Ren’s chopsticks intercepts, grabbing a large shrimp, and puts it on Feng Fan’s plate.
“You like to eat shrimp. Eat it.”
“Since when…” Feng Fan pauses when he catches Li Duoyu’s glare, so he quickly praises instead, “It’s still you who knows me the best, unlike some worthless people who forget their friends when smitten with a new love.”
“Feng Fan, eat more and stuff your mouth.” Li Duoyu, a sheep in a tiger’s skin, can only turn his head and apologize to Zhen Xin. “Haha, eat something else.”
Zhen Xin breathes a sigh of relief, lowers his head and takes a sip from his teacup.
He sneaks a glance at Liang Ren, but the man still doesn’t look at him and only focuses on eating by himself.
What’s to be done? He really wants to be affectionate to him.
But he obviously hates him, how can he still expect him to be considerate?
I really, really love him.
At long last, the awkward dinner is almost over.
Zhen Xin silently tries to make himself blend with the wall while peeking at Liang Ren sitting opposite him.
He really misses this person. The three years did not dilute his longing, but only intensify his remorse and self-blame.
It has been six years since he and Liang Ren got to know each other.
They used to be the two closest people in the world, but in the end they split up in a terrible mess.
Liang Ren treated him sincerely, but in Zhen Xin’s eyes, their relationship was only a stolen opportunity from the very beginning.
He has never been the type of optimistic, bright and kind person that Liang Ren likes. He is not even an omega.
He will never have the chance to rely on the final mark to bind Liang Ren to him.
Paper, after all, cannot wrap a fire.
All along, Zhen Xin had been buying quasi-omega pheromones through some channels in the gang to disguise himself as an omega. As long as this kind of thing is sprayed on the nape, it can simulate the physiological state of omega pheromones.
Using this stuff is a cheap trick. Most of the time, it is purchased and used by many betas, especially those at the lowest rung, to increase their attractiveness in certain aspects.
Lies, once spoken, cannot be undone. The more considerate Liang Ren was to him, the more afraid Zhen Xin was of being exposed.
Zhen Xin was lucky enough to keep it secret from day to day, but eventually the plot was revealed in the end.
One day while he was trading with some gangsters, he was caught red-handed by Liang Ren.
He was holding the cigarette handed by a gangster in his mouth, but did not dare to light it because he was afraid that the smell would be noticed. With vulgar words, he began to negotiate. One praised his ability to hook a long-term meal ticket. He answered carelessly, without paying heed to his words.
Then a familiar voice called out his name, “Zhen Xin!”
“It’s over,” Zhen Xin thought in a daze.
He was finally discovered and could no longer pretend to be a good boy.
“Xiao Zhen, let me see you off.”
Zhen Xin snaps back to his senses, awakening from the abyss of the past, but he still feels heavy, so heavy that he couldn’t breathe.
“No need to be polite, Mr. Li.” Zhen Xin shies away while looking around, but Liang Ren’s figure is nowhere to be seen.
“You see, I asked you to go here today for nothing. It’s embarrassing. If you don’t let me walk you out, I’ll be so sorry.”
Li Duoyu’s eagerness weakens Zhen Xin’s will.
Zhen Xin stays silent all the way from the doorstep to the gate until Li Duoyu can’t bear it any longer.
“Actually, my house is good in every way such as landscape, floor space, and other else, right?”
A multimillion-dollar luxury house is naturally good in all aspects. Zhen Xin nods awkwardly. “Certainly.”
“Haha, I’m just looking for something to talk about.” Li Duoyu scratches his head with a smile, and then starts another topic, “You see, I’m not too young now and I still don’t have a partner. Before, Feng Fan, that stinky omega you met today, always laughed at me, saying that no one wants to date me because I talked too much nonsense.”
“Maybe it’s because you haven’t met the right person yet,” Zhen Xin answers in a low voice. “When you find someone who is right for you, they will accept you for who you are, including the aspects that may not be appreciated by others.”
He has no idea how gentle his expression looks like as he speaks these words. This is the look that can only be seen on a person who has truly been in love.
Li Duoyu is stunned.
“My childhood friend, Liang Ren,” Li Duoyu suddenly says. “Among the three of us, he is the only one who has been in a relationship. Back then, he keeps saying that being in love is good, and that his Little One is the best. I also made fun of him at that time. He told me that on the day they confirmed their relationship, his lover asked him—”
“Brother Ren, if I have a boyfriend in the future…”
“How can you only think of dating at your age?” Liang Ren said, but his tone was not harsh. “You barely got your college certificate, you think you can just float away?”
Yes, Liang Ren painstakingly spent a year and a half helping this stray puppy pass the self-study higher education examination. He just received his diploma recently. Today, Liang Ren took Zhen Xin out on his birthday to celebrate.
Prior to this, Liang Ren hired him as a housekeeper as an excuse to take him home. Zhen Xin finally had a place to live and he no longer had to study in the underground tunnel. Today, they happily cooked a meal together, then Liang Ren took his puppy to an amusement park he had never been to.
Zhen Xin had only seen the crazy roller coasters in flyers. Though he was scared witless, he was still happy. After a while, he dragged Liang Ren to shoot balloons. The unwiped tears hung on his long eyelashes like crystal frosting, so pleasantly sweet.
Zhen Xin’s energy soon worn out, so he staggered along and walked home leaning on Liang Ren.
For the rest of the world, today was just an ordinary working day. It was only nine o’clock, and there were already few pedestrians on the street.
“I’m eighteen, an adult!” Zhen Xin grumbled, unconvinced. He looked so pretty even when he was angry. “You said that today is to congratulate me, so you musn’t be mean.”
“Okay, you’re the boss today. You have the final say.” Liang Ren looked at him with a smile, his eyes full of indulgence. “What do you want to do when you find a partner in the future?”
“I want to……”
Zhen Xin lowered his eyes. His cheeks were slightly red, but he decisively stretched out his hand to catch Liang Ren’s.
His hand was obviously thinner and even his fingers were a lot shorter, but he still stubbornly clung to the alpha’s fingers.
“I want to hold him like this and never let go.”
Liang Ren was momentarily taken aback at first, then laughed, and finally agreed. He really held him all the way and never let go.
Li Duoyu reaches out to touch the corner of the agent’s clothes but Zhen Xin quickly retreats three steps back and apologizes.
“I’m just an ordinary beta. Except for this face, I have nothing to offer. I don’t deserve your kindness.”
Li Duoyu is shocked.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m really sorry,” Zhen Xin babbles in panic. “You will definitely find a more suitable match, so there’s no need to waste your time on me… I’ll refund your agency fee, and you can change to another agent or agency. I can help you transfer.”
“…We shouldn’t let this business interrupt our friendship.” Li Duoyu is so embarrassed. He still thinks that he is charming but he scared the little beauty like this. “It’s also fine if we can just be friends. Don’t worry, I won’t cancel the contract.”
Zhen Xin doesn’t want to listen anymore. After apologizing again and again, he runs away.
But he just passed by Li Duoyu when he crushes into another alpha.
Liang Ren, standing at an unseen corner, looks down at him with a puzzled face.
“Isn’t his confession exactly what you want? Why did you refuse? Are you playing hard to get?”
Zhen Xin’s heart trembles as if it had been twisted into a hemp rope.
“I really think that Mr. Li fell in love with the wrong person. I don’t want to…”
Liang Ren suddenly has an epiphany.
“You don’t want to lie to others now, have you turned over a new leaf?”
“I have.” Zhen Xin’s voice softens a great deal. When he looks up at Liang Ren, he feels ashamed again. He can only look at him helplessly. “…Brother Ren.”
Now, he is really a well-behaved little one.
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