Adolescent love is a blaze of sunshine, full of unrestrained passion. It was the happiest eight months of Fu Ge’s eighteen-year-old life; it was also the last year he could pick up the brush and the source of all his inspiration.
The first time Fu Ge saw Qi Han was one evening in the middle of summer.
The setting sun shone on the brick-red running track, and the evening breeze blew the plain white hawthorn flowers off the branches. Fu Ge quickly walked across the basketball court with his easel on his back, his bare knees under his shorts covered with a thin layer of sweat.
His blood sugar dropped in the summer heat.
After a day and night in the stuffy studio, without eating or drinking anything, he felt dizzy when he went out. He didn’t even notice that he had wandered into the basketball court until a basketball coincidentally grazed his forehead.
The accident happened so quickly that Fu Ge had no way of avoiding the ball and was about to fall, when his wrist was suddenly grabbed by someone and he ended up falling into a hot embrace.
The moment he raised his eyes, he saw a young man in a drenched jersey. It was Qi Han.
“Classmate, are you okay?”
Sweat dripped from the young man’s chin, his whole body seemed to be on fire, but his palms were unexpectedly pleasantly warm, making Fu Ge’s heart tingle when he felt them touching his forehead.
“Your eyes look very bright, why are you walking in a daze? It’s not heatstroke, is it? Oh my god, it’s really heatstroke.”
Fu Ge was dumbfounded, unable to speak, watching the young man turn and make a resting gesture towards the players, “Ten minute break!”
The seventeen-year-old Alpha had broad shoulders, a tall nose and muscular arms. His assertive face zoomed in repeatedly in Fu Ge’s field of vision, and then Fu Ge’s body suddenly floated in the air as he was picked up.
“The infirmary is not open on the day off, so let’s make do.”
He carried Fu Ge all the way to the pool, wetted his forehead with cold water, and then washed his hands carefully.
“Can you eat chocolate?”
As soon as the words were said, a piece of chocolate was held to his mouth. Qi Han opened the wrapping paper and fed him, “Eat it.”
Fu Ge was stunned, blushing all over his body as if he had an allergy, “Thank you, thank you, I’ll just eat it by myself.”
“You have paint on your hands.” Qi Han avoided his hand.
“…Okay.” He curled his fingers in embarrassment and ate from Qi Han’s hand.
The summer temperature was so high that the chocolate melted into a thin layer stuck to the wrapper, and Fu Ge could only suck on it as he ate, almost as if he was sucking on Qi Han’s fingers through the paper.
“Eat properly.” Qi Han said, pretending to be calm.
“Huh?” Fu Ge blinked in confusion, and obediently said, “Properly, okay.”
By the time he ate the last piece, the chocolate had melted into a sauce and was dripping from the wrapping paper. Fu Ge quickly stretched out his tongue to lick it for fear of getting Qi Han’s hands dirty. The result was that the last drop slid onto Qi Han’s fingers, and the tip of Fu Ge’s tongue licked Qi Han’s knuckles at the same time.
As if electrocuted, the fingers suddenly retracted, and the wrapping paper fell to the ground.
The two of them looked at each other in a panic, one shy and the other ashamed, their hearts in turmoil.
Qi Han scratched his head and fled.
Fu Ge hid by the wall, watching him rush to the field in a hurry and then accurately throw the first ball into the opponent’s basket.
At the end of the break, a cluster of hawthorn flowers fell all over the pool.
This was the first time Fu Ge felt that ten minutes were so short, as short as the beginning of love at first sight.
There is no artist who isn’t in love with his or her muse, and if there is, it is only that he or she has not yet met one.
From that day on, all the young men in Fu Ge’s paintings took on a shape, and all the inspiration that spurted forth had a source.
He didn’t know how to confess his love, so he could only use his brush to hide it.
It happened that the art teacher launched the challenge of painting the sunset for a hundred days, and Fu Ge had a legitimate reason to come to the basketball court every day.
It was just that others painted the sunset, and he painted a teenager who was more dazzling than the sunset.
The hawthorn trees bloomed, bore fruit, and the leaves fell. The sunset tide rose and receded, dyeing the sky red.
For the whole year from the second year to the third, for 365 days, Fu Ge painted Qi Han in spring, summer, autumn and winter, and his courage finally filled his whole heart. When Fu Ge took a thick stack of picture albums to find Qi Han to confess, from behind the stairs he heard Qi Han say: I hate Beta.
Fu Ge stood frozen on the spot for a while, lost in thought.
The albums were never delivered and his first secret love died quietly.
He no longer went to the basketball court to paint, and the challenge of painting the sunset failed as a result. The inexhaustible source of inspiration completely dried up overnight, but he didn’t expect that a month later, Qi Han would suddenly apply to become a model in their art class.
On the first day of sketching, Fu Ge made a lot of mistakes.
First, he cut the paper with a utility knife, then stabbed it with the tip of his pencil, and finally not only knocked over the paint, but also accidentally got it into his mouth. He had to run to the bathroom with his head lowered, and when he came back, he plunged into the model’s arms.
The classmates laughed loudly, and Fu Ge blushed. Before leaving, Qi Han seemed to pinch his earlobe casually, showing him the paint he had wiped off, with a little doting in his smile, “Why are you making a mess while painting, like a cat?”
So Fu Ge’s heart that had finally calmed down made waves again.
But in the end, he remembered his gender and suppressed those thoughts he shouldn’t have had. He thought that the two would not have more intersections, but he didn’t expect that on the day of the high school graduation ceremony, Qi Han would suddenly go into rut.
Fu Ge jumped into the building through the window. His rebellious behaviour startled teachers and classmates but he couldn’t care less. He ran desperately, ran as fast as he could, rushing to the studio on the third floor as quickly as possible.
When he reached the door, he didn’t even think about what he had come for, what his qualifications and position were, but he soon had no time to think about it.
For as soon as the door opened, he saw Qi Han sitting at his desk, rubbing himself.
It was a scene that Fu Ge had not experienced for the previous eighteen years. It was obviously someone else doing the bad thing, but he hid behind the door like a thief.
The Alpha in the studio let out a hoarse gasp, and Fu Ge squatted by the door hugging his knees, his head buried lower and lower.
A wall away from him his beloved was trying to relieve himself from the rut fever; Fu Ge almost rushed in, but he didn’t dare.
He was afraid that it was just a coincidence, and he was afraid that he had the wrong idea.
After an Alpha entered the rut period, he would be manic, confused and overwhelmed by desire. Fu Ge wanted to wait for Qi Han to finish before pretending to have just arrived, deliver the inhibitor and leave.
Who knew that Qi Han not only didn’t have any intention of calming down after one time, but even did something more excessive.
He found Fu Ge’s school uniform and put it on the desk, buried his whole face in it, and then leaned his head against the back of the chair…
He closed his eyes and shrugged, and there was a sob-like trembling sound escaping his throat, muffled words and whimpering as he gritted his teeth, crying and telling his grievances.
“Fu Ge, you cheater! I modelled for you for four months in vain, and you don’t even remember my name! X, who is X, ah? My name is Qi Han…”
Fu Ge, hiding outside the door, was already so embarrassed that he was about to explode. He buried his head deep in his knees and replied in a whisper: “It’s not that I don’t know your name, but I dare not write it.”
He was used to writing his model’s name before drawing, but if he put those two words on the paper, he wouldn’t be able to do anything for the whole class.
But the more Qi Han said, the more aggrieved he became, crying until he choked, “Obviously it was you who first provoked me, it was you who licked my finger… It was you who came to draw me every day… But I prepared for so long before I dared to come and confess my love to you, and you suddenly didn’t want me…”
Fu Ge also pursed his lips, aggrieved, “Obviously you said you hated Beta, and I have been preparing for a long time to confess… So many paintings…”
Qi Han was still crying inside, “You don’t want me anymore… You heartless man… I stood naked in front of you and you didn’t even look at me… You don’t even know my name…”
He sobbed and slumped on the table, his whole body wilting in distress, “Xiao Ge, I’m so uncomfortable… Come and hug me… Touch me…”
He regretted it as soon as the words left his mouth, “No, don’t come… if you come, I won’t be able to resist pinning you down on the table until you cry…”
“I want to smear pheromones all over your body, I want… I want to put temporary marks on your painting hands and fill you with my name from the inside out, and see if you still dare to call me X…”
That was the moment Fu Ge walked in.
He locked the door behind him and stood behind Qi Han, and it took a hundred thousand points of courage to tremblingly say those words—
“Whether I call you X or not, you can do all those things.”
Qi Han was scared out of his wits.
He didn’t even have time to raise his pants, apologised loudly and bolted.
Biting his lip, Fu Ge grabbed him, “Do you want to run again?”
Qi Han was sobbing. “I did such an asshole thing to you, are you still willing to care about me, you obviously… obviously you don’t even know my name…”
Fu Ge walked directly to his locker and opened the door rudely. The contents of the locker poured out, and hundreds of paintings covered the floor. Without exception, the protagonist was Qi Han.
“I didn’t dare to write your name…”
He clenched his fists, tense to the point of trembling, “But I have repeated it thousands of times in my heart.”
Qi Han suddenly became violent, crying out and pushing Fu Ge to the floor covered with paintings, with his arms and legs in disarray.
“You like me too?”
Qi Han nibbled on his lips, kissed his side of the neck and pressed his hand to his beating heart.
“Haven’t I made it obvious enough?”
“Fools! What two big idiots!”
Cursing in a low voice, he made Fu Ge turn his head and bit the back of his neck. Even if Beta had no glands, the pheromones still rushed into Fu Ge’s blood swiftly.
Pain, pleasure, satisfaction of being invaded… Fu Ge’s body was flooded with pheromones, a soft gasp stuck in his throat.
Qi Han picked up a drawing, lifted up Fu Ge’s clothes and put it on his chest, “What were you thinking when you painted me?”
“What were you thinking when you were jerking off, that’s what I was thinking when I painted you— ugh!”
Before he finished speaking, he was held up. Qi Han’s eyes were blood-red; he hugged him and pressed him hard to the table, “Xiao Ge… I’ve loved you all my life…”
On the first day after graduating from high school, when countless couples broke up…
Fu Ge and Qi Han got together.
They didn’t tell anyone, but quietly planned a graduation trip for just the two of them, going to Litang for horse racing, going to the Potala Palace to worship, touching the two pouches on the goat’s neck on the grassland, and sharing a piece of stinky, hard bread by the river.
Love ignited Fu Ge’s romantic soul. During that time, his inspiration was simply bursting. During the three-month summer vacation, dozens of paintings were drawn, and one of them was the design of the men’s diamond ring that also won the award in a prestigious jewellery competition.
Then, everything collapsed.
He remembered proposing to Qi Han with that diamond ring, taking him home to meet his parents and arranging a grand wedding ceremony in which he was going to give Qi Han all his love, passionate and ever-lasting.
They were the youngest couple in the church, and at the same time, the most absurd couple.
Because on the day of the ceremony, Qi Han led the police into the church and took away his parents, destroying the century-old foundation of the Fu family.
Out of the two newlyweds wearing the white suits at the beginning, one became the messenger of justice and the other became the son of a criminal.
Before Fu Ge could even react, he was locked in the basement with his mouth blocked, and then he was tortured and imprisoned for fourteen days.
Qi Han burned all his paintings in front of him, throwing them into the brazier one after another. Fu Ge couldn’t see his face clearly in the rising ashes, he could only hear the other party sneer: “You didn’t really think I liked you, did you?”
He taunted, “Fu Ge, you and your love are worth nothing in my heart.”
The wedding ring was taken off and thrown to the floor, the frenzied Qi Han trampling his dignity underfoot. Fu Ge, chained to the bed, watched his muse destroy everything he believed in.
They had known each other for two years, eight months and fourteen days. Only in the last fourteen days it was the real Qi Han. The rest was a scam created by Qi Han to achieve his goal.
Since then, Fu Ge had never been able to pick up a brush, nor had he been able to remember the young man who made him fall in love at first sight by the pool filled with hawthorn flowers.
“Xiao Ge? Xiao Ge!”
When he struggled to wake up from his dream, familiar shouts echoed in his ears, eager and flustered.
Fu Ge’s eyes snapped open. The fingers clenching his arm pierced into his flesh, and then he realised he had mistaken the man for someone else again.
“Is it you, sir?”
Qi Han breathed a sigh of relief and took him into his arms, “I came out to pour water and saw you waving your hands and screaming all the time. Having nightmares?””
“Yes, I dreamed of him again.”
Qi Han’s arms stiffened and he let him go, walked to the table to pour water, and asked casually, “Do you remember what he looks like?”
“Not yet.” Fu Ge said, panting. “But I saw a pair of diamond rings.”
The glass of water knocked on the table with a clink and fell down.
Qi Han tore off the necklace he was wearing around his neck and stuffed it into his pocket, with two men’s plain rings hanging from it.
“What style were the rings?” He poured a glass of water again and handed it to Fu Ge.
“It seems to be… a plain ring with a row of very bright small diamonds. I designed it. I liked it very much before.”
Qi Han looked at him and raised his hand to wipe the cold sweat on his neck. His palm slid all the way into Fu Ge’s pyjamas, touching the old scar that ran from the side of his neck to his clavicle.
“You liked it before, and then you didn’t like it later?”
Fu Ge said: “Well, later, I only thought that the cutting surface of the diamond was very sharp, and it could be used to kill someone if a lot of force was applied.”
Qi Han’s hand trembled, “Who did you want to kill?”
Fu Ge’s eyes were dull.
Qi Han asked again: “Him?”
Fu Ge remained silent.
Qi Han finally asked, “Did you do it?”
This time Fu Ge spoke, “No.”
His empty eyes were exceptionally bright in the dark night, “I couldn’t do it, I could only kill myself.”
In order to break free from the handcuffs, he broke his little finger, then picked up the ring with his bloody hand and cut his neck without hesitation.
Qi Han still remembered blood splashing red over his neck as Fu Ge lay in his arms, dying, saying with hatred: “I will never forgive you.”