He picked up the pendant and compared it to his chest, fumbled with it and put it around his neck, lowered his head and clutched it in his hand.
It was so pretty! Unfortunately, such pretty things could not be his forever, and the odds were that it would be taken away when he returned to the lab.
Back in his room, he looked at the pendant in the mirror for a long time, then walked sleepily to the study, stood on the chair and drew out the first book on the top shelf, held it in his hands and opened it. Finally, all his thoughts and attention were immersed in the text. He breathed a sigh of relief and sat down on the chair and read the book intently.
Sure enough, the rich man hadn’t appeared for more than half a month. Today, Ou Shaowen just got his ID card, household registration and bank card. It took him a while to figure out the purpose of these things, and he put them in a box like a treasure.
The box was found by him in the room, probably a packaging box for some luxury item, and the design was very beautiful. This box contained the leaves that he pressed into specimens and the two remote-controlled racing cars. Now there were a few more documents. He planned to secretly bury this box somewhere before returning to the laboratory. In the future, if he had the opportunity to meet a gentle and kind rich man like Ou Renjin again, he could dig it out and look at it again.
“Ding!” It was the sound of a text message.
He closed the box in his hands with a snap and quickly fished out his phone and unlocked it.
“I’ll take you out for dinner tonight, wait for me at home.”
His mood was not bad before, but from this moment on, his whole being became happy, as if there was a little ballerina dancing on tiptoe in his heart. Ou Shaowen went downstairs briskly, sat on the sofa and waited quietly.
He lowered his head and practised in a low voice what he would say later. These days, except for reading books, strolling around the garden and occasionally trying to browse information on the internet, he spends almost all of his free time on it. It was not that he couldn’t speak. When he was studying those basic courses, he had learned to speak. At that time, he could communicate with others fluently, and even mastered basic English and French. It was just that in the long days that followed, after those people relegated the meaning of his existence to a successful “petri dish”, no one had the intention of communicating with him.
Talking again was not as difficult as he thought it would be, he just wanted to be a little better to satisfy Ou Renjin.
“Collecting beautiful young men is like collecting vases. Ou Renjin has never given his heart.” Ou Renjin clicked on the entertainment article on his phone screen. The large font was accompanied by a photo of a slender young man crouching on the street hugging his knees. The whole article was another clichéd indictment of his flirtatiousness and heartlessness.
This boy, Qi Shuyang, had just moved out of the villa last month. He was the youngest of all of Ou Renjin’s “adoptees”. He just turned eighteen, and had the naivety of a spoiled child. Such people were never pleasing to Ou Renjin, but he had shown the greatest consideration and patience ever with Qi Shuyang. He spent the most time with him, took him out the most often, gave him the most resources, held his hand the most times, and treated him with the most tenderness.
Qi Shuyang lived in the villa for the whole nine months, again the longest time.
Perhaps it was because Ou Renjin was so patient this time that the game went on for so long, so long that all the media audience began to wonder if Qi Shuyang was going to be the one to make Ou Renjin, the prodigal son, settle down. It went on for so long that even the boy himself began to indulge in the illusion, sinking a little deeper into the sea of fake honey every day.
That look of confidence that he was already loved was so funny. He would be coquettish with Ou Renjin, would forget that their beginning only stemmed from a contract, would make more and more excessive demands, would complain over and over again about why Ou Renjin only kissed and hugged him and wouldn’t take the final step. He confidently asked Ou Renjin to give up his heavy workload for him, sure that he was more important than any other things Ou Renjin had.
Then at this point, he suddenly found out…
In fact, he was the least important.
The expression Qi Shuyang showed back then was the one that Ou Renjin still remembered vividly to this day. It was as if the whole world shattered before your eyes, making you doubt everything, unable to believe the truth, painful, crazy, refusing to accept, self-deluded, finding countless justifications for the people who hurt you.
It took half a month from the time Ou Renjin broke up with him to the time he moved out of the villa. During that half a month, Ou Renjin took time to look at the surveillance footage almost every day, watching Qi Shuyang go crazy in his room, watching him mechanically dial his phone, watching him cry bitterly, watching him curse, watching all the process of pulling himself together, like watching a wonderful grand drama.
In the interview, Qi Shuyang choked and said: “When he likes you, he can tolerate all your capriciousness and irrationality. But when he is tired of you, even if you lose all your dignity in front of him, you can’t get him to soften his heart or change his mind even a little bit. He will let you know in no uncertain terms that all your sweet memories are like a joke to him, and that he treats you like a toy.
“And what about me, my happiness and my pain, my youth and my sincerity, what about them?
“Please don’t say the word “nurturing” in front of me; I used to think that I wouldn’t come to that dead end that everyone predicted. And although I still got this result, at least when we were together, we loved each other.”
Behold, what a poor child, his heart was trampled on and no amount of money or good resources could ever make up for it. The most ridiculous thing was that Qi Shuyang still honestly thought he had been loved until today.
Ou Renjin laughed almost pleasantly.
Although he was already tired of these rancid cold meals that had been re-heated countless times, it wasn’t the first time it had happened, so why did it still make the news today? He clicked on the comments and accepted everyone’s judgement with interest.
“It’s been a long time since Ou Renjin started his desperate path of stamp collecting. Qi Shuyang does look pitiful now, but when he was with someone like Ou Renjin in the first place, he should have been mentally prepared for it, right?”
“Finally broke up, other fresh young men who are eyeing the scene can get on.”
“With Ou Renjin, you can ask for resources and material things, you just can’t ask for feelings.”
“It’s too sad to be sincere to a person like Ou Renjin. And it’s too sad for people like me who genuinely felt that this little white rabbit might have captured that big bad wolf, Ou Renjin.”
“Fuck, Ou Renjin is such a scumbag. Someone playing with others in this life will be played by others sooner or later.”
Ou Renjin gave a soft “tsk” and cocked the corner of his mouth indifferently. He wondered how Qi Shuyang would feel when he saw these comments. Would he understand how ridiculous it was to dissect your heart in front of everyone’s eyes? Onlookers would only watch the show; who cares about your sadness and happiness?
In contrast, Xiao Heihu who had been obediently reading books in the villa for half a month was cuter and more pleasant to the eye.
With this in mind, Ou Renjin texted the young man to invite him to eat together, and immediately received a reply.
“Okay, I’ll wait for you.”
Look, how good.
Ou Renjin casually picked up a box of chocolates from someone in the office, to be Xiao Heihu’s reward for being so well behaved.
When he arrived at the villa, as soon as he entered, Ou Shaowen, who was sitting on the sofa, immediately looked up at him. Ou Renjin smiled and walked over to sit down beside him. “I heard that you got your ID card today?”
Ou Shaowen paused; the words on his lips were disrupted by this question, so he could only give a “hmm” first.
Fearing that Ou Renjin would say something else, he grabbed his hand and called out to him, “Ou Renjin.”
His tone was firm and calm, with a little hoarseness of someone who had not spoken for a long time, like fine gravel rubbing against Ou Renjin’s ears.
Ou Renjin froze visibly.
“Thank you for the name you gave me. I like it very much. You said you wanted to hear my voice. Now that you hear it, what else do you want me to do?” He finished his speech word for word, suspiciously like reading a script.
“You…” The young man’s voice still seemed to echo in his ears, and Ou Renjin organised his words, “So you can really speak?”
Ou Shaowen nodded.
“Then before, why didn’t you talk to anyone?” If that counted as flattery, then Ou Renjin had to admit that he was indeed flattered.
“They didn’t tell me that they wanted to hear me talk.”
“Fine.” Ou Renjin reluctantly accepted this explanation. He was silent for a moment and smiled softly, “You just asked me what else I wanted to see you do. Will you do everything I want you to do?”
“If I could do it.” He replied firmly, his expression serious and solemn.
Ou Renjin’s smile widened, “You don’t need to do anything for now. Just clean up and go out for dinner with me.”
He took Ou Shaowen upstairs and selected the clothes for him in the wardrobe for today’s outing. Ou Shaowen was at his mercy the whole time, not objecting to any of his words, like a BJD doll (ball-jointed doll) that could be held in his hands.
He wrapped his arms around Ou Shaowen’s waist and bit by bit tucked the hem of his white shirt into his trousers, then put a long, light grey jumper over it. Ou Shaowen’s slim waist was hidden in the loose clothes, his limbs were slender, the lines clean and clear, full of a gentle allure that belonged to a very young man.
Sitting in the car, Ou Renjin fastened his seatbelt for him and put the box of chocolates on his lap. “It’s for you, I don’t know if it’s good or not, so you can cushion your stomach first.”
“A gift?” Ou Shaowen confirmed.
“Yes, a gift.”
Ou Shaowen then became happy. He unwrapped the box carefully as if it was the most sophisticated instrument, stared at the beautiful and neat chocolates for a while with some hesitation, picked one up and handed it to Ou Renjin’s mouth first.
“Just eat it.” Ou Renjin started the car.
Ou Shaowen’s fingers paused in front of his lips, persisting.
Ou Renjin had never been one to refuse his young lover’s flirtatious request, so he lowered his head and tenderly took Ou Shaowen’s fingers into his mouth.