In the end, Secretary Zhao sent Tang Yi and Weiwei back. Zhou Hao saw Gu Yanting when he checked the surveillance, so he consciously avoided going and asked the secretary to drive to deliver them. Secretary Zhao had become familiar with Tang Yi in the past two years. When he was on the road, he wanted to start talking a few times and stopped, but finally couldn’t help but say, “Mr. Zhou, he has been unhappy recently. I feel as if he is getting old.”
Tang Yi glanced up at him and smiled, “Mr. Zhou has just reached his prime, how can he be said to be old?”
“It’s true. At the meeting the other day, I saw that he has grey hair.” Secretary Zhao sighed, “Weiwei will cause you trouble in the future. Mr. Zhou has already instructed me to pay you a monthly fee for Weiwei’s daily expenses. He attaches great importance to this child. I don’t know if Mr. Zhou has mentioned it to you before. He has no plans to marry and have children. In the future, whether Weiwei wants to accept Mr. Zhou’s company or not, Mr. Zhou will support him and will only have this son.”
The people of the Zhou family were flirtatious, with no morals or shame to speak of, sowing seeds everywhere. Who knew that Zhou Hao, the most outstanding of his generation, would become a special existence, almost going against the Zhou family’s philosophy.
Tang Yi looked sideways at Weiwei, who was clutching the corner of his coat and not sleeping too soundly, and said lightly, “That’s rare.”
Secretary Zhao looked at Tang Yi with some regret. Tang Yi heard his subtext, which was nothing more than to show that Zhou Hao had no plans for a business marriage. Zhou Hao was now successful in his career and clean, and the only one he had a deep affection for was Tang Yi. Tang Yi’s separation from him undoubtedly made everyone who knew about it feel puzzled, and it was only natural to guess that it was because Tang Yi was afraid of being abandoned.
Tang Yi was not. If there was one thing he was uncomfortable with, it was the “matter of course” nature of the situation in the eyes of everyone. The difference between the two of them in terms of origin, experience and present-day status was too great. Zhou Hao didn’t appear to be condescending when he was with Tang Yi, but that didn’t stop the others from seeing it clearly. Those others were almost everyone except the parties concerned, even including Shen Fan.
Those people came to remind and caution him with different purposes and intentions, with gazes of envy, worry and pity, which made Tang Yi extraordinarily uncomfortable. Apart from the many philosophical inconsistencies between the two of them, these remarks from outsiders indeed affected him.
He knew it, and Zhou Hao knew it, and more importantly, they both had failed to come first in each other’s hearts. They were used to bargaining and it became easier to give up.
Tang Yi smiled and said nothing. When the car drove smoothly to the intersection of Jianghuai Road, he said to Secretary Zhao, “I have moved. Just turn left at the next intersection and go straight.”
Secretary Zhao nodded dutifully without asking more questions.
Instead, Tang Yi leaned back and said with a smile at the corner of his mouth, “My lover’s house. ”
Gu Yanting was in a particularly tangled mood when he received a call from an unfamiliar number again. The call was made by Tang Yi, who simply told Gu Yanting that he had gone to their original home and brought a child. He asked Gu Yanting to bring his mobile phone charger over, along with a few documents.
Gu Yanting’s mood throughout the day was complicated, jealous, worried, sad and distressed. All kinds of emotions piled up together, so that after he got up alive and kicking, he plotted how to sell pity and complain about Tang Yi’s behaviour of not coming back last night, using it to ask for some benefits. It didn’t take long for the plan to brew. After that, he used the mailbox name he asked for from Fat Sod and the password he asked for from Tang Yi to enter his mailbox that had been abandoned for several years.
Then, his whole body collapsed.
Gu Yanting was still struggling in his mind when he arrived home carrying a small bag, messily filled with the things Tang Yi wanted.
Tang Yi cleaned up the bed in the second bedroom, and took out a new set of bedding from a sealed bag, making it soft and fluffy before coaxing Weiwei to sleep. Weiwei was a little restrained from the moment he followed Tang Yi inside. His eyes were wide open as he stayed motionless wherever Tang Yi pointed, even falling asleep very fast.
Tang Yi felt sour when he saw him like this. He sat on the sofa, frowning and thinking about things. When he heard the sound of Gu Yanting opening the door, he looked up and was stunned.
Gu Yanting had something on his mind and came wearing only a woollen sweater. In addition to his hair being blown into a rooster’s comb, his cheeks were also flushed with two round red stains.
Tang Yi frowned and walked over without waiting for him to change his shoes. He covered Gu Yanting’s ears and rubbed them first; there was some reproach in his expression, “It’s so cold outside, why didn’t you wear a coat?”
Gu Yanting only pursed his mouth tightly and didn’t speak, as if he didn’t hear a word. Tang Yi also didn’t let go, rubbing his ears a few times before withdrawing his hands and rubbing Gu Yanting’s face. After a while Gu Yanting opened his mouth to say something, but finally lunged forward, hugged Tang Yi’s waist and didn’t move.
Tang Yi smiled and patted his back, “Is it a bitter ploy again?”
“No,” Gu Yanting inhaled, “I forgot to wear it.”
“’No’ breaks my heart, too,” Tang Yi sighed, “Accompany me to get some sleep. I have to go to work in the afternoon. I haven’t closed my eyes much since I watched the kid last night.”
“En,” Gu Yanting reacted a bit slowly and his tone was a little higher, “I’m freezing to death.”
“Then hurry up,” Tang Yi turned his face and stretched out his hand to tug Gu Yanting’s ear, rubbing it again, “The radiator in the bedroom is the hottest, and it will be fine in a while.”
It turned out that the fastest way to warm up was not by stomping your feet or by the radiator. Gu Yanting changed his shoes and hugged Tang Yi all the way to the bedroom, beginning to get hot all over. Tang Yi’s words undoubtedly dispelled his vague worries and concerns, so while digesting the subtext, he began to arch and twist with wicked intentions.
Tang Yi’s old back was about to break from the pressure, and Gu Yanting’s hair was brushing against his neck, itchy. Along the way, he had to lower his voice to warn Gu Yanting to be careful in case Weiwei opened the door in that room.
This level of warning was not powerful enough for Gu Yanting to stop, but he also knew that there was a child at home and this was not the time for the daytime lust, so after the two of them rolled on the bed, he wrapped his long arms and legs around Tang Yi, grabbed Tang Yi’s hand and stuffed it into his pants. His movements were too rapid; the back of Tang Yi’s hand was scratched by his unfastened belt and he couldn’t help but hiss. Gu Yanting’s movements stopped and he was about to lower his head to check when Tang Yi glared at him in displeasure and kicked him into the bed.
The two of them switched to talking under the covers half an hour later. Tang Yi took the quilt and then pulled Gu Yanting, who had his back turned towards him, over and gave him a little relief while smiling. Gu Yanting was quite tense at first, but within a couple of seconds he couldn’t resist pulling Tang Yi over and starting to kiss him, from his lips to the bridge of his nose to his eyelashes, and finally to his neck and shoulders…
Tang Yi was tired and sore in the end, and he didn’t have time to sleep after cleaning with saliva on his face, so he lay face to face with Gu Yanting and touched his cheek, “I should have let you know earlier last night to reassure you. I was negligent.”
“You were angry with me and made my stomach ache.”
“Real pain or phantom pain?” Tang Yi smiled, stretched out his hand to touch Gu Yanting’s stomach and rubbed it, “I’ll rub it for you.”
“…that’s the liver,” Gu Yanting sighed, grabbing his hand and squeezing it, “That kid is the one you used to know?”
Tang Yi and Weiwei had known each other for a long time. Tang Yi hadn’t brought him home but mentioned him several times. Gu Yanting thought Tang Yi liked children and small animals and didn’t care. Only this time did he discover that Tang Yi especially liked this child, and the dog blood thing was that the child was surnamed Zhou, his rival’s seed.
Tang Yi told him the whole story, knowing that anyone would find it difficult to deal with such a matter. Not to mention that Weiwei was Zhou Hao’s child, even if his parents were other people, it would not be a good idea to raise him here.
But it was hard for Tang Yi to sit back and do nothing, even if he was on his own. Many of Weiwei’s circumstances and expressions were like his when he was a child, and the situation he was in now made Tang Yi feel a bit emotional in his heart.
Tang Yi had been taken home for dinner several times by the old headmaster of the primary school. At the beginning, the old headmaster’s family was very enthusiastic, and there was the usual compassion and care in their eyes. Tang Yi tried his best to be polite and sensible at that time. After eating, he would even rush to scrub the pots and pans and wash the dishes, and then go to clean the pigsty.
Who knew that even so, everyone’s attitude changed after a few times, and there was obvious vigilance and caution in everyone’s eyes, and they would even be stingy to give him a smile when they saw him.
Tang Yi was a little puzzled at first, but then one day he went to the old headmaster’s house for lunch as usual and the two mottled red paint doors never opened again. He knocked on several times and no one answered. When he got anxious, he heard clear verbal abuse and the old man’s sighing. It turned out that at some point the old headmaster mentioned that he wanted to adopt Tang Yi as a godson and get an extra set of bowls and chopsticks at home in the future. This point undoubtedly received strong opposition from members of the family. The old headmaster’s wife and the big-bellied daughter-in-law howled loudly to dissuade him, and Tang Yi heard it clearly.
After that, he consciously stopped knocking on the door, only to feel guilty about the old headmaster.
After all, the old man had the idea of taking him in. Tang Yi could even then vaguely understand that it was a matter of love to help and a matter of duty not to help, and that if he had entered a family as an unrelated outsider, he would have caused the latter no less distress than he had suffered.
Tang Yi was in the first grade that year, two years older than Weiwei now.
Tang Yi didn’t want to hide it from Gu Yanting, nor did he want to force his own decision on him, making Gu Yanting conform to him as usual. So he whispered out the various disadvantages of this matter, and even mentioned Zhou Hao.
Gu Yanting looked at him, his expression fluctuating slightly when he heard Zhou Hao’s name, and then returning to calm. He waited for Tang Yi to finish speaking and was silent for a while, but then he reached out and wrapped his arm around Tang Yi’s back, patted him lightly and whispered, “Just raise him.”
He paused for a while, then hummed, “But if Zhou Hao wants to come to see the child in the future, I have to be present. He has to report in advance before he comes. Well, you can also send him a baby-watching coupon, a limited number for one year, once it’s used up, it’s gone. An appointment one week in advance is not possible for holidays, and the right of interpretation belongs to Uncle.”
Tang Yi was startled, and it took him a while to react, “Do you agree?”
“En, I agree.”
“Don’t we need to discuss it further?” Tang Yi hesitated for a moment, and couldn’t help but smile when thinking of the second half of his words, “Look at that baby-watching coupon, you can think of such a thing.”
“I just don’t want you to be sad. But it is also necessary to prevent others from having bad intentions.” Gu Yanting hooked Tang Yi’s leg under the quilt, pinned it with his own leg and suddenly asked, “Am I handsome or is he handsome?”
His mind was jumping so fast; in the blink of an eye, he put the matter of the child aside quite unconcernedly. Tang Yi looked at him seriously and found that at such a distance Gu Yanting’s slightly sunken black eyes reflected him alone. He hadn’t really thought about it, and had never even seriously compared Zhou Hao to Gu Yanting in his mind.
Tang Yi’s eyes curved and without thinking, he said, “You’re handsome. You’re the most handsome.”
When Tang Yi was leaving, he gave Gu Yanting a couple of instructions about Weiwei. Before that, Secretary Zhao had called and expressed that if Zhou Hao needed to see the child in the future, he would let Secretary Zhao pick him up in advance. This was beyond Tang Yi and Gu Yanting’s expectations. Zhou Hao seemed to pay more attention to how to keep their distance without embarrassing each other than they did, and even asked Secretary Zhao to answer the phone on his behalf.
Gu Yanting was completely relieved now, having a rare positive impression of Zhou Hao. After he let go of his worries, he couldn’t help but secretly open the door of the second bedroom several times to see the new member of the family. After Tang Yi went to the company, he received a text message from Gu Yanting “Buy some potato chips for the kid.”
Tang Yi didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, but his face was surprisingly gentle and the corners of his eyes seemed softer. This scene made the girl at the front desk want to scream; but she was obviously very professional and suppressed this impulse. After greeting Tang Yi, she whispered, “Mr. Tang, Manager Lin is waiting for you in the lounge.”
Tang Yi paused slightly, “Manager Lin?”
Lin Rui came over today with another colleague from the head office to go through the formalities. He was dressed up with extra care and the smell of his high-class perfume could be smelled for miles away. Tang Yi knew that many people in the circle didn’t like to wear perfume, except for essential business functions and other occasions, and they would even prefer to look like they didn’t know anything about perfume when others talked about it.
Lin Rui acted so high-profile; it likely meant that in addition to not being afraid of criticism from others, he was really confident to a certain extent.
Tang Yi didn’t give him time to show off. He came here in the afternoon entirely because the acquisition of the remaining shares was not going very smoothly. Although Shen Fan agreed, there was still a lot of resistance at the shareholders’ meeting. When the company encountered problems, those shareholders shrank their heads and even prepared to make the subsidiary cannon fodder, but now that it had survived the difficulties and Tang Yi was about to take over, they were holding on to it as if they were robbed of their treasure.
Lin Rui didn’t know yet that Tang Yi was going to acquire the company, and naturally he didn’t know that his information and files had been put on hold. Tang Yi was definitely not a man who would seek compromise. Since he was determined to go independently, he felt it was a waste of effort even to take a look at Lin Rui and naturally he didn’t bother to spend time tossing him around.
After waiting for Xiao Yang to serve tea, he nodded to the two of them in a businesslike manner, saying in passing that there were no suitable positions in the company for the time being and that they might have to contact headquarters again or see if there were any positions in other branches.
This was a rather euphemistic way of speaking, but not very pleasant. When Shen Fan stuffed them in, there was more or less an explicit intention to promote them, but once Tang Yi said it, it sounded like these two people were expelled by the head office and needed to find a shelter.
Lin Rui’s face froze for a moment, but then he smiled and changed the topic, saying, “Brother Tang and Yanting reconciled. The other day I persuaded him, and I hope you two will be good. In the future, I will also settle down in T City and I will definitely keep an eye on him for you.”
The face of the colleague who was travelling with him suddenly changed, and he glanced at Tang Yi and Lin Rui in surprise.
Lin Rui saw that Tang Yi had no expression on his face and his smile became brighter, his tone gentler, “I actually prefer the environment abroad, the air is good, and the people have quality. Of course, Shanghai is also a place to settle for, unlike T City, where it snows heavily every year. I only came back a few days ago and my leg suffered from injury. I may have to go to the hospital soon.”
Tang Yi let out an “oh”, and after signing a document smoothly, he sounded a little surprised, “Manager Lin’s leg is not working?”
“It’s not that it is not working, it’s that I’ve been injured.” Lin Rui said, “Although it’s not very serious, it occasionally hurts when encountering rainy weather. It hurts the bones and affects the movements. Oh, but it’s nothing big, Mr. Tang doesn’t have to worry.”
Tang Yi frowned and let out a chuckle after a while. Although he was strict with his subordinates, he was usually more gentle and polite. It was really the first time that he laughed so openly.
Lin Rui’s smile was a little stiff, but his colleague who was travelling with him was embarrassed and sweating. He couldn’t help but try to smooth the situation, turning to Lin Rui and saying, “Manager Lin is really a good comrade, disabled but with a strong will!”