The familiarity of the embrace was warm and reassuring. All the way, the journey was unhindered. It was as if Lu Ying had never left. It was really as if he had just gone away for a while, and when he returned there was still someone waiting at home with the light on.
After eight years, he had finally returned to this place, bringing the child of the two of them with him, into a home full of happy memories. From then on, they were truly a family of three, never to be separated again.
Lu Ying couldn’t help but rub against Qin Zhuopu’s shoulder, raised his head slightly and looked at Qin Zhuopu’s handsome, gentle appearance, and said with a wink, “I’m sorry, Zaizai is a big eater, I can’t feed him. Zaizai’s primary school homework is too difficult, I can’t do it. I’ll give you guardianship from now on! Can you let me go to your construction site to move bricks? Zaizai, call Dad!”
“…you, ah!” Qin Zhuopu’s eyebrows twitched; he gave Lu Ying’s waist a fierce pinch and once again took him into his arms, wishing he could never let go. How wonderful the warmth of Lu Ying’s body was! He really looked forward to this moment. The house had not changed at all, the password had never been changed, the access control of the community had always preserved Lu Ying’s appearance, and every bit of the place, including him who had lived alone for eight years, had always been waiting for the return of another owner.
At last, he had waited for the love of his life. There was also the gift given to them by Heaven. From now on, a family of three, three meals a day… The greatest happiness in life was nothing more than this.
Qin Zhuopu was immersed in a shuddering sense of happiness when he heard Lu Ying’s voice filled with a brilliant smile, “I mean it, from now on, Zaizai and I are stuck with you and will never leave again. Eat, drink, sleep and sleep and sleep at your place! Ahem. Zaizai, say ‘Dad’!”
Lu Zaizai pushed the two away, aggrieved, “Dad, Dad, Dad, two bad dads! Forgetting me completely, shame on you! Am I still your favourite baby or not, huh? I’m so hungry and tired, I’m dying of anger!” He glared at the two men who didn’t take him seriously at all. Dad said that he would have two fathers from now on and that both of them would love him very much. It wasn’t like that at all!
Lu Ying laughed awkwardly and pushed Qin Zhuopu away as he stroked his son’s little head, “I haven’t forgotten about you, of course you’re my favourite little baby.”
Qin Zhuopu laughed and bent down to pick up Lu Zaizai and give his chubby cheeks a smooch, “Sorry, I did accidentally leave you out just now. Uncle has prepared a lot of good food, come, I will take you to eat.”
“Hmph, that’s more like it. If it’s really good, I’ll forgive you.” Lu Zaizai burst into laughter, looking at the table full of good food and swallowing his saliva. Then he remembered something, looked at Qin Zhuopu and said, “Not Uncle, but Dad! Are you happy that I will call you Dad?”
“!!!” Qin Zhuopu closed his eyes deeply, his smile almost spilling out from inside. He gave Lu Zaizai a fierce hug and exhaled, “Happy, Dad is happy!” The double happiness came suddenly, and Qin Zhuopu almost lost control.
A hand pressed on his shoulder, and it was Lu Ying who was giving him strength. Qin Zhuopu picked up the child and whispered sincerely in Lu Ying’s ear, “Thank you, Lu Ying.”
“Fool…” Lu Ying smiled at him, “Zaizai is originally your son, do you believe it?”
Qin Zhuopu nodded, “I already knew that a long time ago.”
“……???” Lu Ying was dumbfounded. He had heard wrong, right?
But Qin Zhuopu didn’t wait for him to ask more questions and was busy urging the two of them, “You must be hungry, go and eat. I’ll talk to you after you’ve had enough to eat and drink. We’ll have plenty of time later.”
“I want to eat first!” Lu Zaizai climbed onto the chair and couldn’t wait to start enjoying the food.
Lu Ying’s nose twitched, smelling the rich aroma of food in the room, and his stomach rumbled with hunger. He didn’t have enough food on the train today. After getting off the train, he was busy on the road again. It was indeed the most important thing to eat at this moment.
The table was full of sumptuous dishes, most of which he and Zaizai particularly loved, hot and obviously prepared in advance. Lu Ying was both touched and depressed. He thought he could give Qin Zhuopu a super surprise, but he didn’t expect that he would be sitting at home waiting for him to come to his door o(╥﹏╥)o
“This is delicious, did you make all this, Dad?” Lu Zaizai couldn’t stop nodding as he ate, looking at Qin Zhuopu with starry eyes in adoration.
Qin Zhuopu was all smiles: “Most of these were taught to me by the housekeeper auntie. In the future, if you want to eat anything, Dad can make it for you whenever he has time.”
At the dinner table, Qin Zhuopu was very busy, serving dishes to his son one moment and to Lu Ying the next. One little baby, one big baby, no one could be left behind.
“Heh, it seems you knew we would arrive today. So you’re not surprised at all? I’ve been so secretive for so long.” Lu Ying ate the shrimp indignantly. Had he known, he might as well have asked Qin Zhuopu to go directly to the station to pick them up. In order to create a surprise, he deliberately held back from calling and came all the way here.
Qin Zhuopu coughed lightly and shook his head, “No, no. I’m surprised, really.”
“Who would believe it, it must have been Jin Dachu who told you.”
Qin Zhuopu smiled, “Don’t accuse him wrongly.” Lu Ying didn’t know that he personally went to the airport to pick up Boss Yang and Grandpa Lu’s family when they arrived in Guanlan City. How could he not wonder if Lu Ying would be coming or not? Boss Yang said that Lu Ying would definitely come to him, and he was looking forward to it, but he still had doubts. These days of waiting were like years.
“Forget it, I won’t bother with you.” Lu Ying smiled and fed a piece of beef to Qin Zhuopu who swallowed it without hesitation.
Lu Ying smiled, “From now on, we can eat together every day, that’s good.”
“I’ve waited a long time for this day.” Qin Zhuopu smiled and sighed.
Under the table, their hands were clasped, and the air was full of joy.
Everything had long been prepared for Lu Ying and his son coming. Although Qin Zhuopu didn’t want to change the furnishings of his home, he changed the original large room on the second floor into a child’s room. The room was full of cartoon-shaped furniture. The wide room had a connected study room. One wall was filled with books, and the other wall had two cool transformers of equal height, as well as a glass toy showroom with a wide range of cartoon models in it.
Lu Zaizai fell in love with the new room at a glance and jumped in with a cheer, rolling on the soft floor and laughing: “Great! It’s great! I love it here! I love you, I love you, I love you the most,” he said as he darted in and out of the room, without the slightest anxiety and discomfort of coming to a strange environment.
His son was happy, and so was Qin Zhuopu, “That’s good that you like it. The lower level is all your playground too, do you want to go and have a look?”
“Let’s go, of course!”
Lu Ying helplessly followed behind the two of them, quite a bit afraid that Zaizai would be spoiled by this big-spending father.
The entire basement level was more than two hundred square metres. Now it was like a bright and spacious indoor amusement park full of fun for children, with all kinds of cartoon elements harmoniously coexisting in the same room. Lu Zaizai was smiling from ear to ear.
Shortly afterwards, the two dads accompanied their child and blissfully played in the amusement park, making the family of three happy.
“I’ve already arranged the school for Zaizai, don’t worry about it.” Late at night, the two of them shared a bed, enjoying a quiet and beautiful moment after their passion.
“I don’t worry about it.” Lu Ying smiled and sighed, “If it weren’t for Zaizai’s education, I wouldn’t have bothered to leave my hometown to come to you.”
“Hypocrite. Who was it that cried and begged me to take you in earlier today?”
“You’re the one who’s daydreaming.”
“That’s right!” Lu Ying rolled over and got up, “I almost forgot to ask you. Tell me the truth, you bastard, you knew Zaizai was your own son? No way!”
Qin Zhuopu didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh, “I’m so smart, it would be strange if I didn’t know all along. That scar on your stomach, you think I wouldn’t care?”
“You…” Lu Ying was stunned, covering his belly and stammering, “You knew about it so early?” He didn’t expect Qin Zhuopu to get suspicious over a small scar, while he had been kept in the dark himself.
Qin Zhuopu nodded, “Once I got suspicious, I needed to find the truth. A few hairs could give me the answer, and whether it was yes or no, I had to carry it in my heart. As a result, I could barely believe that you, in fact, gave birth to my child… At that time, I was not only stunned, but also in deep self-loathing.”
Suddenly, Lu Ying remembered the abnormal Qin Zhuopu that night. He thought that the other party was nostalgic for his dead father but Qin Zhuopu, who shed tears silently, was actually full of excitement and guilt in his heart.
“I never had the chance to tell you. Lu Ying, I’m sorry.” Qin Zhuopu hugged Lu Ying and murmured deeply, “Thank you.”
Lu Ying was unable to speak for a while, and only after a long time did he say sullenly, “There is nothing to be sorry for. I was willing.” Everything follows the will of the heart. He and this man had gone from getting to know each other in the beginning to being hand in hand today.
When they woke up the next day, the two couldn’t help but look at each other and smile, kiss, get up, brush their teeth together, and make breakfast together. After the meal, Qin Zhuopu went to work. Lu Ying and Zaizai, who was on vacation, stayed at home. After a while, Housekeeper Lin brought three aunties to do daily cleaning. Qin Zhuopu lived alone and didn’t eat at home during the day. Usually, the aunties came over every day to clean, but they didn’t stay at home at night. Housekeeper Lin received a notice from Mr. Qin and hurriedly came over today to meet the other owner of the house.
“Mr. Lu, it’s good that you’re here, Mr. Qin was looking forward to your return every day. Now the house is lively. If you have any orders, just let me know. I will be in charge of all kinds of chores over here.”
Housekeeper Lin stood respectfully in front of Lu Ying and looked at Lu Zaizai blankly. Anyway, no matter what the outside world said, as an employee of the Qin family, Housekeeper Lin knew how to mind his own business and would never discuss his employer’s personal matters.
Lu Ying smiled: “Nothing for now. I’ve just eaten and I’m going to take the kid for a walk around the community, is that okay?”
“Of course, I’ll accompany Mr. Lu.”
“No, we’ll be back after a walk.”
Leading Lu Zaizai around the community slowly, Lu Ying had a constant smile on his face. The surroundings were still basically the same as he remembered. Even the beautiful flower shop at the entrance of the neighbourhood was still open for business; he had worked at the flower shop for a while back then. The flowers and plants made him feel close to home.
It was good to be back.
When Lu Ying returned home, he found the house bustling with activity.
Elder Qin and Mrs. Qin were both here!
“Lu Ying! Zaizai! You guys are finally back!” The moment Elder Qin saw the two who had returned, he immediately stood up from the sofa in excitement, his eyes burning like flames. His urgency touched Lu Ying’s heart. He had always been quite fond of Elder Qin.
“Great-grandpa!” Lu Zaizai shouted loudly, “Are you here to see me?”
“Yes, yes! Great-grandpa came over just to see you, Great-grandpa misses you every day.” The old man’s hands trembled as he tried to touch Lu Zaizai’s head.
Lu Ying, who was watching, knew in his heart that the old man probably already knew that Zaizai was his great-grandson. Thinking of this, Lu Ying couldn’t help but glance at Mrs. Qin. No matter what, Zaizai would be happy now and in the future. Other than that, he could care less.
“Grandpa.” Lu Ying stepped forward and greeted the old man.
“Lu Ying, good boy! It’s been hard on you all these years. It’s my family that wronged you, good boy… Grandpa can’t tell you how happy he is to see you, to see you and Zhuopu getting back together.” The old man was overwhelmed with feelings and was quite emotional. “Don’t worry, if Zhuopu is not good to you, I will never cover him up. In the future, no one in the Qin family will treat you badly. If you have any grievances, just look for Grandpa. Grandpa will take care of everything for you!”
Lu Ying smiled, “Grandpa is very serious, there is no problem with me. Don’t worry, Grandpa, since I’m back, I’ll live a good life with Zhuopu. Your health is the most important thing, don’t worry too much.”
“Yes, yes, it is most practical to live a good life. You are really a good and down-to-earth boy, Grandpa is never wrong looking at people.” The old man sighed. Even though Lu Ying had nothing, he had a sincere heart. It was rare to find such a person. It was a blessing for his grandson, Zhuopu, to find such a person as his lifelong companion, and a blessing for the Qin family as well. Even though he was so old he could be gone any moment, he was no longer afraid to leave his grandson and the Qin family any longer.
“Grandpa, let’s eat together at noon. I’ll ask if Zhuopu has time to come back for a meal.”
“Good, today, our family is finally reunited!”
Mrs. Qin stood by and tried not to interrupt, looking on, always feeling that something was wrong. She had always known that the old man was fond of Lu Ying and his son. But… the way he was acting, it looked a bit strange. He was just too excited.
“Zaizai, play with Great-grandpa for a while, Dad will make something delicious.”
“Sure. Do you like Transformers, Great-grandpa? Look, my Transformer can turn into four modes!” Lu Zaizai held up the transformer toy and happily showed it off to the old man.
The old man smiled and nodded straight away, even though he knew nothing about Transformers.
“This toy is fun, Zaizai is so smart.”
“Hehe, that’s for sure…”
Mrs. Qin stayed by the side, watching the old man and the little guy behaving like two urchins. The more she looked, the more in a daze she was. The old man, when had he ever been so indulgent to a child? He took off his shoes and sat on the floor cushion with Lu Zaizai, as they sparred with Transformers. He seemed to have completely forgotten that he was an old man in his eighties, who needed help to walk.
Now, together with Lu Zaizai, the old man was laughing like a child.
At noon Qin Zhuopu hurried back for dinner, and the family was reunited in a harmonious atmosphere.
After lunch, the old man, who was used to taking a nap, showed his tiredness, and Mrs. Qin took the initiative to say goodbye and send him back to the old mansion to rest.
“I’m going back to the office too, Mom, I’ll go with you.”
“Take care on the road.” Lu Ying waved to everyone.
Closing the door, Qin Zhuopu put the old man and his mother in the car and turned around after giving the driver a couple of instructions.
“Zhuopu!” Mrs. Qin called out to her son.
Qin Zhuopu turned around: “What?”
Mrs. Qin wanted to say something but shook her head.
“Nothing, take Lu Ying and Zaizai to the old man’s place when you have time.”
The car started and turned the corner to go far away.
Mrs. Qin sighed silently; just now she had an urge to ask her son, but she didn’t know how to ask.
“I know what you want to ask.”
The old man suddenly spoke.
Mrs. Qin raised her eyes to look at him, and the old man’s faint voice was like thunder, blasting Mrs. Qin into pieces.
“Zaizai is Zhuopu’s own son.”
Zaizai: Say, who is your favourite baby?
Lu Ying: Of course it’s you.
Mr. Qin: Of course it’s you.
Lu Ying: Say it again, who is your favourite baby?
Mr. Qin: You’re my favourite big baby!
Reporter: What does Mr. Qin call you in private?
Lu Ying: Lu Ying, Little Piggy Lu and…
Reporter: What else?
Lu Ying: Big baby!
Reporter: ……(I never thought Qin Zhuopu would have such a taste)