The next morning, the two families took a boat trip to the lake and fished. The natural scenery of Qiandao Lake is beautiful and magnificent but Li Shuo is not in the mood to appreciate it. His eyes stared at the fish float in a daze. It has been happening for several days. The lawyer has not made any substantial progress. He is really afraid that he will be trapped here. And he is not willing to ask his dad for help.
A hand was placed on his shoulder. He was startled and looked up. It was his father: “Dad, did you catch any fish?”
“I just caught a big fish weighing four catties. I told you not to underestimate me. What do you think?”
Li Shuo smiled: “I’m still waiting for my big fish.”
Mr. Li sat on the stool next to him: “Little Shuo, you are not in the right state these days. You are always in a state of dissatisfaction, holding a phone all day long. Is there something wrong with the office?”
“Oh. There are some problems but it’s no big deal. I’ll call them to deal with it.”
“I don’t think it’s a minor problem this time. You are not a character that will be nervous when you encounter something. Your mother has long discovered that you are not right. I want to take you out to play and relax. It turns out that you are still not very good. Let me tell you… “Mr. Li said helplessly:” In fact, I didn’t want to come. You are too much like me. I never want to bring any troubles back to my family. I also believe in my son ‘s ability . But if it’s not for your mother…”
Li Shuo felt his heart warm. He felt that he was the luckiest person. He has such a perfect family. His parents had good personalities. They respected and loved each other. This is the marriage he longed for. So even if he is gay, he wanted to find someone who is as gentle, kind, and indisputable as his mother. For example, like Li Chengxiu.
He looked at his father with a smile: “Dad, thank you. You can rest assured. I can solve this matter. No matter if there’s a case or if there is a problem, it’s no big deal. I’ll solve them.”
“That’s good.” Mr. Li patted his son’s back. “Actually, I’m no really worried about you. Even if you fall down, I know you can certainly get up. Even if you can’t get up, I’ll leave the family business to you. Isn’t it enough for your decent life? “
Li Shuo laughed: “Dad, you told me the same thing when I was a kid. That I must grow up to be a real man.”
“You didn’t listen to me.” Mr. Li said proudly. “The best thing in my life is not that I start my business from scratch. It’s that I have a good wife and a good son.”
“Dad, thank you.” Li Shuo sighed silently in his heart. Whether it is due to filial piety or self-esteem, he does not want his parents to worry about him.
He remembers when he graduated from university, he rebelled a lot. He gave up the LSE master degree. He wanted to go to Africa to teach for a year. His parents were very against this. Their main concern was his safety. He has always been very energetic. He was too idealistic when he was young. As a standard of a child from wealthy family, the cuddling affection of oriental family culture and the self-reliance of western family culture make him very contradictory. He also felt that his parents’ shades made him feel complacent among his peers.
He wanted to do “extra meaningful things.” So he thought of charity that doesn’t need to spend his parents’ money. He persuaded his parents. He followed the volunteer team to Ethiopia. He regretted it on the first day there. He has never experienced such a critically poor environment in his life. He has never experienced such a desperate backwardness, especially the suffering of local children. His heart was extremely depressed. He vomited and experienced diarrhea during his first meal. He then had a fever for three days.
He felt like an idiot. He gave up his excellent life and came to that ghost place instead of going to top schools. That was the consequence of not listening to his parents. But every time he talked to his parents on the phone, he didn’t dare say anything bitter. At first he felt embarrassed. But later, he just couldn’t bear to let his parents care so much about it.
He ended up staying there for 15 months. From the initial regrets and negatives to admitting himself to such life and adapting, to also trying his best to do something for the local children. These psychological changes accompanied his rapid growth. Compared to what he has learned and realized in the past two decades or so, thanks to the 15 months of experience, he cured all his hypocrisy and rebellion.
It made him understand a lot of truths. It also made him exceptionally tough and brave. So he never asks his parents for help, and never let them worry. Not only because of filial piety, but also because of self-esteem, and also because he had felt it all. Mr. Li chatted with him for a while. He then went fishing at his own spot. Li Shuo looked at the calm lake. He also wanted to be open about things in his heart. He doesn’t believe that Shao Qun can trap him here for a lifetime.
As Mr. Li had just left him, Zhao Jinxin came to where he is and whispered: “Baby, what big fish are you waiting for?”
Li Shuo chuckled: “Anyway, it’s not like I’m waiting for you.”
“How come you’re not interested at all…” Zhao Jinxin pouted. He lowered his voice even lower. Mysteriously said: “I have a friend. He specializes in developing sex toys. He invented a mermaid suit. Do you want to see me wear it? “
Li Shuo squinted his eyes at him: “What can you get from dirty talking?”
Zhao Jinxin said with a smile: “Get the thrill of molesting you.”
Li Shuo shook his head helplessly: “Don’t talk. It will scare my fish.”
“Forget it. Your mind is not on the fish at all. Why are you so stubborn? You don’t allow me to help you. You don’t even allow your own dad to help you. This is no longer a matter of dignity. This is called stupidity.”
Li Shuo calmly said: “I am 34 years old, a man of a standing age. When in trouble, I have to embarrass my father who has heart problems. This is not me being stupid.”
“What about me? Is it so difficult to receive my help?”
Li Shuo looked at the lake silently. As he said, he didn’t want to owe Zhao Jinxin kindness. Now Zhao Jinxin is pestering him in every way. He really wants to accept help but it’s a lot easier to refuse. Zhao Jinxin sighed in disappointment. He looked at the lake for a while.
Suddenly he held half of his cheek with his hand. He leaned his head and looked at Li Shuo and flirtatiously said: “But Uncle Li is so handsome. I like you more.” Li Shuo doesn’t know whether to cry or laugh. “Let’s go to the bar tonight.” Zhao Jinxin said expectantly.
“There is no time tonight. When my lawyer wakes up, we will have a long meeting.”
“What about tomorrow?”
“Let’s talk tomorrow.”
“Your answer is too vague. We will stay here for a total of four or five days. You promised me. Are you keeping it?”
Li Shuo had no choice: “Then tomorrow night.”
Zhao Jinxin smiled with satisfaction. They cooked the fish they caught on the boat. They didn’t put anything other than salt. They made grilled fish, fish soup, and sashimi. They were fresh and tender no matter how they were eaten. They have the purest and delicious ingredients. The two family members were very happy. They talked and laughed. It made Li Shuo a little uncomfortable.
They returned to shore in the afternoon. They were all tired so they all went to rest one after another. Li Shuo plunged into his room. He called domestically to find a connection. In the past few days, he almost searched all the friends he could find. The initial purpose of Shao Qun was judged. Most of Shao Qun did not intend to actually get him to get in prison. It costs a lot of money to do that.
The effect that Shao Qun wants to achieve is to prevent himself from returning to China. This goal has been achieved temporarily. But he is not a weak. He will surely make Shao Qun regret this. Before dinner. Zhao Jinxin came to Li Shuo to get medicine.
Li Shuo didn’t want to be alone with him. He moved the medicine box to the living room. In the face of the elders and the housekeeper, he rubbed the medicine and applied heat. Zhao Jinxin could only be honest. There’s some glimpse of grieve in his eyes that he can’t get things his way.
Zhao Rongtian looked at them for a while and said with satisfaction: “I think you two got along well. After returning home, you should do a good job for the northern trade. Extend the friendship of our generation. We Chinese people, heritage is most important. “
Li Shuo laughed: “You are right. I will help Jinxin with all my heart.”
Zhao Jinxin said very honestly: “Don’t worry, dad. I will definitely do a good job with my elder brother.” Zhao Jinxin deliberately emphasized a certain word.
Li Shuo was so angry that he wanted to kick him. How could this kid be so cheeky in front of his elders? Zhao Rongtian left with satisfaction. Zhao Jinxin raised his eyebrows at Li Shuo: “Look, dear. You really understand me.”
Li Shuo narrowed his eyes. He squeezed Zhao Jinxin’s fingers with a pinch. “Ah!” Zhao Jinxin cried out in pain.
“Sorry, sorry. I’ll tap again.” Li Shuo turned his back to the elders with a look of ‘you deserve it’.
Zhao Jinxin whispered grievously: “Uncle Li didn’t feel sorry for me at all.” Li Shuo gave him a blank look. Zhao Jinxin suddenly smirked.
Li Shuo hadn’t the time to react yet when his legs were entangled unconsciously by Zhao Jinxin’s legs. He glared at Zhao Jinxin and quietly looked back at the elders who were chatting on the sofa. The two of them were sitting face to face next to an original wooden table. The underside of the table was hollowed out. As long as someone looked over here, they could see the “trouble” under the table. Li Shuo wanted to withdraw his leg but he didn’t dare to make big moves so the result was of no avail.
Of course he whispered, “Let me go!”
Zhao Jinxin said with a smile: “You squeeze my hand. I squeeze your leg. Reciprocity. Isn’t it fair?”
“Fart.” Li Shuo twisted anxiously. He was quite nervous. What if he was seen by two parents. How can he explain? He’s such an adult. How can he face such shame?
Zhao Jinxin whispered: “Don’t move. Be careful not to fall off the chair. Stop moving. I have strong legs.”
Li Shuo threatened: “If you don’t let go, I won’t go drinking with you.”
Zhao Jinxin blinked his eyes. Obviously he was the first to feel troubled. He also had a stupid look like he was bullied. He loosened his legs. Li Shuo really wanted to applaud his temper and self-cultivation for the fact that he was teased by a boy who was ten years younger than himself.
The table was set early. The day went down. Li Shuo was tired of his brain and body so he went to bed early. In the middle of the night. He vaguely heard Jinxin’s voice in his grogginess. It was only a dream. He turned over and fell asleep again.
The next morning, he got up to take a shower. He took out his mobile phone to see if there was any new mail but he found that the mobile phone was dead. He plugged it into a charge. He then went downstairs to eat. After the meal, Zhao Jinxin haunted him again for them to walk the dogs together.
Li Shuo always likes dogs. But he is a man with an excessive sense of responsibility. The frequent business trips will prevent him from taking good care of pets. He can’t balance that life. Both Ann and Bee are extremely energetic sled dogs. They have a lot of strength. They dragged each dog with a leash in one hand. Most of the time it was like they were the ones being dragged.
They walked around the resort area for a while. Li Shuo felt tired from the walk like he had ran five kilometers. In contrast, Zhao Jinxin was still jumping up and down with the two dogs. He was not tired at all. Li Shuo suddenly envied his youth. Zhao Jinxin took Ann and ran out for 100 meters. He turned back and beckoned to Li Shuo. “Hurry up.”
That vibrant look seemed to gather all the vitality of this beautiful morning. Li Shuo suddenly thought that walking the dog with the person he likes is one of his fantasies about a stable life. Zhao Jinxin is the first person to realize this fantasy. He immediately prevented his thinking from following this fantasy.
Zhao Jinxin is still shouting: “Go, baby, you’re too slow.” At this moment, the housekeeper happened to be riding a bicycle and he stopped at the corner. He supported the ground with one foot and looked at Zhao Jinxin in a daze. He then turns to look at Li Shuo again. Li Shuo insulted Zhao Jinxin secretly in his heart. Zhao Jinxin smiled: “My name is Bee.”
The housekeeper just responded: “I went to the supermarket to buy something.” Then he walked away with the small bicycle.
As soon as he left, Zhao Jinxin laughed. Li Shuo ran over: “What are you calling me?”
“I said that my name is Bee.” Zhao Jinxin blinked. “You think I called you ‘baby’? You’re shameless.”
Li Shuo stooped and picked Bee up like a white bear. He then threw it on Zhao Jinxin: “Bite him!” Zhao Jinxin subconsciously caught Bee.
Ann thought they were playing games. It jumped towards Zhao Jinxin. But it couldn’t reach Bee so it can only grab Zhao Jinxin. It wanted to be complacent and almost pulled his sweatpants off.
Li Shuo laughed at the side. Zhao Jinxin also smiled. He puts Bee on the ground and reaches out to pinch Li Shuo on the face: “I haven’t seen you laugh like this for a few days.”
Li Shuo was startled. He didn’t know how to react for a while. Since the accident, he never laughed sincerely. But it was just at that moment, he really had forgotten to worry about his troubles these days and laughed happily.
For him now, it’s like a bit of sweetness in bitterness. It has no taste. Li Shuo rubbed his hair. “Hey,” he said. “It seems I have to thank you.”
Zhao Jinxin’s eyes are full of tenderness: “I want to thank you for letting me see your smile.”
Li Shuo’s breathing was stagnant. His heart felt like it was punched but it didn’t hurt. Nor is it numb. It made him froze for a moment.
So much so that when Zhao Jinxin’s face moved closer and closer, he failed to respond in time. Instead, he was bound by those deep, beautiful eyes. The soft, warm lips gently touched Li Shuo’s lips. He received a shallow kiss but it seems that a huge current was instantly generated in him.
Li Shuo’s eyes widened and he pushed Zhao Jinxin away. Zhao Jinxin stepped back a few steps. He almost fell. He later stood firm. There was no anger, no disappointment, or the usual cynicism portrayed on his face. He just looked deeply at Li Shuo. He put his fingertips on his warm lips and then he put his fingers in his mouth, his eyes were brutal and aggressive. But he was also sultry to the extreme.
Li Shuo blinked slightly. Although his heart turned over the river, his expression was not leaking. He took Bee’s rope: “Go back.”
“Li Shuo!” Zhao Jinxin shouted from behind. “Give up Li Chengxiu.”
Li Shuo did not pause. He did not look back. He walked straight away.
Back to the villa. Li Shuo shut himself back into the room. He let out a long breath. Let’s take Zhao Jinxin as a test. Look at yourself in this matter. Is he a master of his emotions or is he still a slave… He calmed down for a while. He remembered his cell phone. The cell phone was fully charged. He picked it up. He even had a text message from Li Chengxiu. His heart suddenly jumped a few times. He wonders if he was afraid of seeing rejection. Or … some sort of guilty conscience.
He texted: “Brother Li. I’m sorry. I can’t go to the United States with you anymore. I’m about thirty. I have to start again in a strange country. I don’t have the courage. Thank you for taking care of me for so long. I can say thank you. You are kind to me. I remember everything. I have caused you a lot of trouble. I hope you can forgive me. I plan to leave Shenzhen. After I leave, Shao Qun will not embarrass you. It’s also hard for me to do this. But it’s the best for everyone. I disappoint you. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. Please don’t worry about me. I have a relative doing business in the field. I will go to him. I can’t say goodbye to you in person. I hope you are well. I hope you can forgive me. ”
*Translator’s Note: Jinxin called out 宝贝 = baobei (baby) but pretended to say ‘my name is Bee’ in front of the housekeeper to cover up that he had called Li Shuo ‘baby’.