Holding the beeping mobile phone, Lu Ying felt his heart palpitating.
I don’t think he’s going to rush over here at night, right?
At half past nine, Lu Zaizai’s class ended. Lu Ying walked home with his bouncing son in tow. When they entered the community with the beautiful green lawns, there was no need to worry about cars. Lu Ying said: “Street dance classes are every Thursday and Sunday. I can take you there on Thursday evening, but can you go to the Sunday morning street dance class by yourself? It’s so close, you don’t have to cross the road and there’s no traffic. So easy, right?” He had to work in the morning tomorrow, on Sunday.
Lu Zaizai pondered for a while and nodded: “Don’t worry, Dad, I already know the way. It’s so close.”
“Very good. Can you sleep in your own little room tonight?” Lu Ying asked tentatively again. After all, with the new environment that had only been changed today, he was worried that his son who had slept with him since he was a baby would be afraid. Before moving in, Lu Ying personally took his son to decorate his little room with his favourite cartoons on the walls, and then set up a child’s desk. Even the four-piece Ultraman set on the bed was specially bought. A robot bookcase was added to the wall, with Zaizai’s favourite picture books and stories.
Everything was done to Zaizai’s liking, to encourage him to sleep independently.
Lu Zaizai frowned and mused, and it took a long time before he shook his fist to cheer himself up: “I won’t be afraid! I am already the big brother, and the big brother has to sleep by himself, otherwise the girls will laugh at me.”
Lu Ying smiled and encouraged him: “Yes, you are a very courageous big brother. And there are Ultraman and Transformers in your room, and Dad is also next door to you. What would you be afraid of? ”
Lu Zaizai asked in a small voice: “Are there really no monsters…”
“Huh, when the monster comes, I’ll beat him up!” Lu Zaizai swung his fists and kicked his feet valiantly.
“You’re so powerful, the monster wouldn’t dare come.”
The two of them went home to wash and go to sleep. Lu Ying coaxed Lu Zaizai to bed and told him a story. Lu Zaizai was obviously still nervous, but as the drowsiness hit, accompanied by his father’s familiar gentle voice, he finally went to sleep peacefully.
The sleepy Lu Ying got up quietly and left the child’s room cautiously.
Back in the big bedroom next door, Lu Ying rolled comfortably on the large bed. The four-piece set on this bed was also brand new, light grey, clean and stylish. Anyway, the apartment was dotted with such new bits and pieces, looking as comfortable as it could be.
Having moved into a new home, Lu Ying was in an extraordinarily good mood.
Before falling asleep, Lu Ying looked at his quiet mobile phone. It was almost eleven o’clock; he hesitated for a long time and finally simply curled under the blanket. He was always a good sleeper and slept particularly soundly.
With a soft beeping sound of the password, the door opened.
Qin Zhuopu walked into the apartment softly, switched on the dim wall lamp and changed his shoes. He put down his bag and coat and took a look around at will. Then he walked to the closed bedrooms and carefully opened the first door. The night light was on in the room. He saw the fat child sleeping soundly on the Ultraman bed, and his eyes couldn’t help but become exceptionally soft. After bending over to pull up the quilt for the child, Qin Zhuopu went to the next door.
As soon as he entered, Qin Zhuopu almost had a nosebleed.
The night light was also on in Lu Ying’s room. He slept very restlessly and was afraid of being hot. He was spread on the bed with his limbs stretched in all directions, his long bare legs pressing down the quilt very conspicuously.
This was not sleeping, this was killing people.
Qin Zhuopu held his breath, turned around quietly and quickly, and entered the bathroom of the master bedroom.
With the sound of water rushing, Lu Ying, who was asleep on the bed, opened his eyes, bewildered, and held up his head blankly to look at the bathroom. Then he yawned, got out of bed lazily, walked barefoot to the bathroom and peed.
The glass door opened, and the man who was taking a shower looked at him… Looking down, he smiled and said, “If I didn’t come, you’d have to hold it until tomorrow morning.”
Lu Ying pulled up his pants, looked at the man in the steamy vapour sleepily and muttered: “Who told you to come, waking me up from a good dream…”
“Zaizai wanted me to come, okay?” Zaizai had given him the address and password, could he not come?
“Then you can sleep in the child’s room with him.” Lu Ying grinned and turned around to go back inside.
Lying back on the bed, Lu Ying took a look at the time. Three o’clock at night…
One more toss and it would be dawn.
“Who said he wanted to call me dad?”
The bed beside him was sunken and a familiar smell enveloped him.
Lu Ying curled under the quilt and pretended not to hear.
Qin Zhuopu’s lips brushed over his ear as he whispered hoarsely, “If you don’t speak, I’ll spank you.”
Lu Ying showed his head, his face flushed. He replied in a soft, sticky voice: “You can only touch it, you can’t slap it…”
Qin Zhuopu turned him over to pull him into his arms: “You…” Whether he was a fairy or a demon, Qin Zhuopu didn’t want to resist the deathly trap, even if he drowned in the boundless temptation.
“…put it on!”
“I remember you didn’t like it before…”
“Put it on!”
“…good boy, it’s all up to you…”(1)
The moon was shining like water outside, the Chinese roses on the balcony bloomed quietly and the night was beautiful.
The night wind blew; pink petals drifted into the sea. The gale suddenly rose and the ups and downs were endless. The night reached its summit, and after the wind and waves calmed down, the sky was already bright.
At seven o’clock in the morning, the room was silent.
Qin Zhuopu opened his eyes and the first thing he saw was the sleeping face of the man in his arms. Right in front of him, the same sleeping face, the same snuggling, as if he had never left. As in the past, every morning when he woke up.
His arms couldn’t help tightening, and he firmly pressed the person in his arms to his chest. He really wanted to engrave Lu Ying into his body.
“…what time is it?” Lying on Qin Zhuopu’s chest, Lu Ying squinted and muttered in confusion.
“Seven o’clock, you can sleep a little more.”
“Oh…” Lu Ying replied in a low voice; then his body stiffened abruptly and he scrambled to his feet, “Too late! I have to take Zaizai to school and get to work after that!” In a panic, he jumped out of bed to grab his clothes.
Qin Zhuopu reminded him, “You’re confused, it’s Sunday and Zaizai doesn’t go to school. Your shift is at half past eight, there is time.”
“Ah… I forgot.” Lu Ying suddenly deflated and fell backwards heavily, with all his weight on Qin Zhuopu’s body.
“Don’t catch a cold.” Qin Zhuopu helplessly wrapped him in the quilt.
Lu Ying was content to stay in his arms and asked him, “What about you? Aren’t you going to rush back to the company?”
Qin Zhuopu lowered his head and kissed Lu Ying’s mouth hard: “I don’t want to go to the company anymore, I will stay with you every day from now on.”
“…want me to raise you?” Lu Ying rolled his eyes: “Dream on.”
“Why won’t you raise me? I work so hard.” Qin Zhuopu criticised him, “You are crossing the river and demolishing the bridge. Use it and throw it away, abandoning your husband and son.”
Lu Ying shook his head: “I can’t afford you, the young master, so I’ll throw you away not to abandon my son.”
“Don’t be so cruel, I am not yet old enough to discard. I’m young and strong, it’s a good year for you to swing the whip and ride the horse.” Qin Zhuopu teased.
“How can there be such a happy horse as you.” As Lu Ying said that, he lifted the quilt and got up. He would be late if he stayed longer.
Lu Ying fished out his shirt and put it on, his slender fingers carefully buttoning it. The scenery of his chest and lower abdomen was infinitely beautiful.
“What’s that?” Qin Zhuopu’s gaze fell on Lu Ying’s flat belly and a pink scar across it. It was very straight and must have been very smooth, otherwise he wouldn’t have felt nothing last night. It was strange to see it with his own eyes now at dawn. If it had been a surgical scar, it would have been more or less noticeable to the touch.
Qin Zhuopu got up and bent over to take a closer look, but Lu Ying was already dressed, turned around and went to the bathroom, “I’m going to the shop half an hour earlier. Are you really free today? Then you will take Zaizai to breakfast later, send him to the north entrance for the hobby class, and we will find a restaurant outside for lunch at noon. If you are busy, you can go directly, and Zaizai will come to the shop to find me.”
Lu Ying quickly brushed his teeth and washed his face. When he came out, his face was still a little moist. He took his mobile phone and hurriedly told Qin Zhuopu: “There are clothes you can wear in the wardrobe on the left. Find them yourself. I’m gone.”
Seeing Lu Ying dart out the door, Qin Zhuopu frowned helplessly and muttered in a low voice: “Appendix surgery? The location doesn’t look like it. Is it a burn…” How could a burn be so even, like a knife cut, and the kind of a knife cut that was close to perfection?
The phone rang; it was Grandpa calling.
“Good morning, Grandpa.” Qin Zhuopu opened the wardrobe to look for clothes.
The old man on the other end asked warmly, “You left your job to me, the old man, to take care of it and ran off to fall in love by yourself, how come you’re acting like a brat?” His tone was reproachful but there was an indulgent smile on his face. As soon as he woke up, the secretary told him that his grandson had gone on a date and asked him to come and sit in the office today to preside over and complete the supplementary contract with the foreign guests. As soon as the old man heard it, he was in high spirits.
“Grandpa, you’re old and strong. I just flew back from America and need a holiday.”
“You wanted a holiday and flew out of town overnight, so desperate! Why don’t you bring them home? I told you so during the New Year, but now half a year has passed and I still haven’t seen anyone. By the way, what is that kid Lu Ying doing now?”
Qin Zhuopu said, “He’s working in a bakery to learn craftsmanship and he’s almost ready to become a master.”
“Then you can bring him home and open a shop in Guanlan City and do whatever you want. It’s not good for a young couple to live apart for a long time.”
“Grandpa, Lu Ying has his own ideas and plans, I won’t force him.”
When his grandson said this, the old man didn’t nag, “Okay, you guys take care of yourselves, pay attention to your health, and later…”
“Uncle!” The door to the room slammed open and the fat boy ran in, full of surprise, “Uncle, it’s really you, I thought I was dreaming when I heard your voice!”
“Are you hungry, Zaizai? Be a good boy, go brush your teeth and wash your face, then Uncle will take you out for breakfast.”
Lu Zaizai nodded and then shook his head, “I don’t want to go out for breakfast. It’s very expensive and wasteful to eat breakfast outside. Because I have to eat several bowls. I want to eat fried rice and fried eggs at home, Uncle, do you know how to make fried rice? Dad makes it for me to eat at home every day.”
“Okay, Uncle will go to the kitchen and make the rice now.”
“Uncle is so nice! Thank you, Uncle.”
Qin Zhuopu went to the kitchen and only then remembered that the phone hadn’t been hung up: “Grandpa, I have to cook for the kid, I’ll talk to you later?”
The old man on the other end sighed, “En, you get busy.” After hanging up the phone, the old man was slightly lost in thought, sitting in the car. He could hear the child’s voice clearly on the phone just now. The child was only six years old and was already so sensible. He wondered when he would be able to meet him.
Lu Ying’s kitchen was stocked with food, and rice was cooked in advance.Qin Zhuopu knew Zaizai was a big eater, so he unceremoniously stir-fried a large pot of rice with green vegetables and ham, plus made five fried eggs. Qin Zhuopu ate one bowl and was full, the rest was polished by Lu Zaizai.
“Uncle’s cooking is also delicious.” Lu Zaizai was not stingy with his praise.
“Uncle will buy food at noon and come back to make more delicious food. Let’s go. Now I will send you to class.” It was rare to take a vacation and Qin Zhuopu wanted to accompany Lu Ying and the child all day long. There was nothing better than that. Who would want to go to work when thinking about how hot your lover was last night?
Lu Zaizai took his uncle’s hand and shuttled through the community, chattering non-stop. Qin Zhuopu asked him softly: “Zaizai, there is a scar on your dad’s belly. Tell Uncle, why did Dad get hurt?”
Hearing this, Lu Zaizai said immediately: “Dad is so powerful, he can send a thief flying with one punch, Dad will never get hurt! When I was very young, Dad once beat a thief to tears, and then the thief begged the police uncle to take him away.”
“Yes, Dad is very good.” Qin Zhuopu sweatdropped; asking the child about such things, what could the child say? The scar on Lu Ying’s abdomen was almost fused to his skin, so it had been many years since then, Lu Zaizai was probably still a baby.
Then he heard Lu Zaizai say: “Dad always had that little pink fish on his belly. Dad said that he had the little fish because of me. Hehe, Uncle, do you have one, too? Li Xiaoqiang said that his mother also had a little fish on her tummy, and Wang Yuhan also said that her mother had a little fish on her tummy… Many mothers have little fish on their bellies. I don’t have a mother, so my dad has one.”
At first glance, it sounded like the child’s innocent and ignorant babbling, but Qin Zhuopu’s heart was thudding, buzzing and echoing, and his whole body went cold.
“Uncle, what’s wrong with you?”
Qin Zhuopu stared at the child, “It’s okay. Come, Uncle will take you to class first.” He held the child’s hand tightly and took him to the dance studio.
This morning’s teachers were a man and a woman, and the female teacher kindly went up and took Lu Zaizai’s hand before consulting with Qin Zhuopu, slightly embarrassed, “You are Lu Zaizai’s dad, aren’t you? You look so much alike, both tall and long-legged. Your son has good conditions, he must be great at dancing. Mr. Lu, please wait outside for your child, or come back in an hour and a half to pick him up. If you have something to do temporarily and can’t come, you can call us in advance and tell us so that we’ll have a dedicated teacher to look after the child.”
Alike? Grandma also said they were alike.
Qin Zhuopu was in a daze.
Qin Zhuopu drew a breath, “Thank you, Teacher, I’m sorry to trouble you.”
Qin Zhuopu was sitting on a bench outside the dance studio, waiting, but his eyes were staring at the mobile phone screen, at all kinds of hideous pictures of caesarean section scars… they were not like Lu Ying’s at all.
He lowered his head and rubbed his temples, laughing at himself secretly. What’s wrong with him? For no good reason, because of a scar and a few innocent words from a child, he somehow started to doubt in earnest.
No, Lu Ying was not a woman.
If Lu Ying had been a woman, Qin Zhuopu would have suspected Zaizai’s origins as soon as he got the information. In less than nine months after the breakup, the baby was born, so it was most likely his child.
But Lu Ying was a real man. Qin Zhuopu confirmed it seven years ago, and last night clearly reconfirmed it inside and out.
Lu Ying was a man, a man…
Sunday morning was exactly when Lu Ying was the busiest, making bread and entertaining customers, otherwise Fei Qiqi simply wouldn’t be able to cope. Fortunately, the big boss, Brother Yang, didn’t slack off today and came to the shop early in the morning.
When Yu Yourong came in, he saw Lu Ying adding freshly baked bread to the empty window. His back was turned to the door and he was slightly bent at the waist, presenting a perfect line. Just his butt was a bit too perky, ruining the elegance and adding a bit of flirtatious aura.
Yu Yourong’s heart felt blocked. Ignoring the person he didn’t want to see, he introduced the place to his friend beside him, “Ray, you’ll be happy with this bakery.”
The tall, blond, blue-eyed man looked very excited as he surveyed the bakery, “You found it so far away, it must be good. Wow, I love this shop. Your Asian boys look so supple, especially that one. I want to draw him naked.”
“……” Yu Yourong rolled his eyes. His friend was referring to none other than Lu Ying.
Before he could say anything, this young admirer of flowers had already rushed to Lu Ying, “Hello, little handsome boy.”
Lu Ying looked blankly at the blonde foreigner who suddenly appeared in front of him, “May I ask what you need?” Unconsciously, he took a step back. He couldn’t stand the strong perfume of this foreigner, too suffocating.
The big blonde’s eyes were burning with excitement. He hurriedly approached and stared straight at Lu Ying, “Boy, I fell in love with you at first sight and want to date you!”
Lu Ying was calm as if nothing in this life could surprise him: “Sorry, I don’t want to go out with you.”
“Ray, this is not your country, beware of being accused of sexual harassment like this.” Yu Yourong stepped forward, as if to warn his friend.
Lu Ying stared at him, in an extremely bad mood.
“No, I just want to ask him to have dinner with me and visit my painting studio. Why do you turn me down?”
Yu Yourong shrugged: “Maybe you’re not charming enough unless you’re very rich.”
“How much do you want to keep me company?” The blond man hurriedly asked Lu Ying.
“Ray, don’t do that, this is not a place to do business.”
Lu Ying originally was about to leave but when he heard the words, he stopped and looked at Yu Yourong, “You came all the way here with the foreigner, I guess the price wasn’t cheap? Something like 438?”(2)
“You!” Furious, Yu Yourong raised his hand to slap Lu Ying’s face.
The tray in Lu Ying’s hand dropped regretfully as he stared at the man who suddenly appeared to block Yu Yourong. If Qin Zhuopu hadn’t jumped out, he would have slammed the tray on Yu Yourong’s face, and the guy would be lucky if he didn’t lose a mouthful of his dirty teeth.
“Yu Yourong, I have ways of getting you sent back to your country. Get out.” Qin Zhuopu glared at Yu Yourong with a look that could have killed.
Yu Yourong had never seen such a look from him before and was suddenly angry: “You don’t want to help me, you are making things difficult for me?”
Qin Zhuopu slapped his hand away, “You still want me to be polite to you? Do you have some kind of misunderstanding about me?” This dude grew up pampered and coddled, always thinking himself to be the centre of everything, self-righteous and full of selfish hedonism.
The shop owner, Yang Sigu, stepped forward at this moment, his face very unpleasant. “Mr. Yu, please take your friend and leave my shop. You are not welcome here from now on.”
“I’m a customer, why are you driving me away?”
Yang Sigu didn’t look happy and was not in the mood to discuss it. He waved his hand in disgust: “You are insulting me by insulting my shop staff. Lu Ying is not only a shop staff but also my brother. Your mouth is so dirty, don’t eat my bread. If you don’t leave now, don’t blame me for calling the police.”
All the men in the shop gathered around, forcing Yu Yourong to pull his foreign friend away quickly.
“Lu Ying, are you okay?” Qin Zhuopu hurriedly approached Lu Ying.
Lu Ying nodded, “If you had come a little later, he would have been the one in trouble. What a psycho, coming here to annoy me, heh, what kind of first love…” Lu Ying muttered.
Qin Zhuopu was about to say a few words in his defence when Fei Qiqi suddenly exclaimed, “Boss, what’s wrong with you”
“Brother Yang!” Lu Ying turned around to see Yang Sigu who was quietly collapsing. Quickly rushing over, Lu Ying caught him, “Brother Yang, Brother Yang, what happened?” He was extremely anxious, “Call an ambulance!”
“Oh oh, right!”
Yang Sigu opened his eyes weakly and told Lu Ying in distress, “Take me to Dr. Hu’s house, not to the hospital.”
“I’ll take you there.” Lu Ying picked up Yang Sigu easely.
“Lu Ying, don’t worry, I’ll drive you.” Qin Zhuopu asked the shop assistant to borrow the car keys and immediately took the two of them to Qiushan Street, where Dr. Hu’s clinic was located.
Inside the car, Yang Sigu kept breaking into a cold sweat.
Lu Ying was on the verge of tears, wondering why Brother Yang, who had always been so healthy, was suddenly sick. How could Brother Yang get sick? He was afraid that there was something big going on. For a moment he thought of Grandpa Lu who had suddenly weakened, and his eyes turned red.
When they reached the intersection of Qiushan Street, Qin Zhuopu stopped the car and Lu Ying ran into Dr. Hu’s clinic as fast as he could with Yang Sigu in his arms.
Ji Xiaofeng, who was sitting with his legs crossed, eating a snack, jumped up in shock: “What’s going on?”
Lu Ying whimpered, “Quickly check on Bother Yang!”
“Hurry to the back.” Elder Xu came out and ordered hastily, and Lu Ying immediately ran out of sight.
When Qin Zhuopu came in, the hall was deserted. He went straight to the backyard, only to find that there was something else there, a beautiful and elegant antique house. He searched for Lu Ying but couldn’t find him.
In the courtyard room behind a moon gate, Dr. Hu put down Yang Sigu’s hand and got up to get some medicine.
“What’s wrong with Brother Yang?”
The words were thunderous.
Grandpa: Zhuopu, hurry up and bring your wife and son home.
Mr. Qin: We are good as we are now.
Grandpa: What’s good about it?
Mr. Qin: I’m eating his food and drinking his drinks. Being raised by him feels especially good.
Mr. Qin: Why is Boss Yang treating you so nicely? Stay away from him.
Lu Ying: Nonsense, it’s impossible for us.
Mr. Qin: There is nothing impossible, huh.
Brother Yang: I’m coming here to eat.
Mr. Qin: How many months are you eating to get such a big belly?
Brother Yang: I’m about to give birth ^_^
Mr. Qin: ……
Brother Yang: Oops, why did you faint?
- A condom, apparently 🙂
- As soon as you see some weird number in Chinese, you can be sure it means something 🙂 I didn’t find any fixed meaning for 438, though, but it sounds homophonic to ‘sì sān bā’, which is ‘fucking stupid cow’ according to some forums or something like that.