Huo Zhou couldn’t wait to open the classroom door as soon as Qin Li announced the class was over. Qiao Guang Yu, who was sitting at the piano, saw him. His whole body seemed to light up, but he remained somewhat reserved in place. Only the bright expression in his eyes betrayed his happiness. His tone was also gentle. “… You came.”
Huo Zhou nodded to Qin Li, who picked up the music score and left. He then went to Qiao Guang Yu, bowed his head, and almost kissed him.
Qiao Guang Yu closed his eyes at the right time and slightly opened his mouth. Only the fluttering of his eyelashes betrayed his nervousness.
Huo Zhou’s eyes darkened. Then he straightened up, smiled, and touched his head. “How was your progress today?”
… Haven’t you seen my progress? Qiao Guang Yu muttered to himself and wondered whether boss Huo became more abstinent because he heard about the white moonlight’s return. In the past, he would kiss him when he was in a good mood, but now he even seemed to dislike him. He didn’t kiss him, fortunately. Since he had eaten a lot of shrimp dumplings in the morning, he was afraid that Huo Zhou would notice the smell of shrimp in his mouth!
But he said with an innocent and childish look on his face, “It’s ok. I’ve learned the second and third subsections. Teacher Qin said that I can master this piece of music as soon as next week.”
Huo Zhou seemed quite satisfied with his well-behaved behavior and nodded. “You can play it for me then.”
“Yeah.” Qiao Guang Yu blinked and then laughed. “Who else can I play it for if not for you? You are my only listener.”
Huo Zhou also laughed and held his hand while leading him out of the piano shop. Quan Quan was waiting next to the car for them. He opened the door for them with no expression on his face. He never looked at Qiao Guang Yu during this time.
Quan Quan was driving, and Qiao Guang Yu and Huo Zhou were sitting in the back seat. Huo Zhou held Qiao Guang Yu’s hand and put it on his lap. He patted the back of his hand and stroked it. “Go to Black Rose.”
“Yes, Mr. Huo.” Quan Quan drove to the French restaurant he had booked early in the morning.
When he heard the name of the restaurant, Qiao Guang Yu’s eyes twitched. He would never get used to this name, no matter how many times he heard it. In the past, students in the college dorms would make vulgar jokes, and some liked to compare people’s private parts to roses. And well, the black rose… the adulterer sees adultery.
He had also mentioned these vulgar jokes to Quan Quan, but even if Quan Quan knew, he could easily utter such ambiguous words without changing his face. Qiao Guang Yu glanced at Huo Zhou again, cough. The boss would definitely not understand these laypeople’s cheap thoughts.
Huo Zhou didn’t look like a 30-year-old guy. He often wore fashionable suits and never liked pure black. Sometimes it was indigo, or navy blue, and sometimes dark grey. All his suit designs were unique.
He was not only well-dressed and well-fed, but he was also good-looking and had a successful career. If it weren’t for him to be purely gay, the people who wanted to be his mother-in-law could line up from the East Gate to the West Bridge.
Even so, there was no lack of men and women attracted to him like a moth to a flame. Quan Guang Yu had his share of jealous stares as well.
Secretary Quan drove steadily. When he said, “We’re here, please get off the car,” Qiao Guang Yu didn’t react. In the end, Huo Zhou pulled him directly out of the car. Huo Zhou never let go of his hand. How obsessed he was with these hands that could play the piano like the white moonlight!
Huo Zhou led Qiao Guang Yu to a booth by the window, and Quan Quan left wisely. He would come back when the two were almost done eating.
A formally dressed waiter came over and asked for their order.
“Any recommendations?” Huo Zhou casually flipped through the menu.
“Today, we recommend French baked lobster…” said the waiter.
Qiao Guang Yu swallowed secretly, thinking that the lobster was good and it was full of meat!
However, he could only make a regretful expression while dripping blood into his heart. “I’m sorry, I’m allergic to seafood.”
Brother Quan told him not to wait for the boss to remember. He always had to remind him of the white moonlight’s character and habits. This was the professionalism of a stand-in.
The waiter immediately understood and recommended a few more dishes. Among them, French snails could not be eaten elegantly, so knowing the white moonlight’s temperament, he couldn’t order it. Don’t even mention scallops and mussels. In the end, they could only order steak and duck breast. French cuisine was exquisite, but the portions were quite small. For Qiao Guang Yu, the tiny meat portion was not enough to get food stuck between his teeth.
But he could only smile and say, “These are enough. Let’s get another bottle of wine.”
Then, he restrained himself from taking more than a few sips of red wine with light alcohol content during the entire meal.
Qiao Guang Yu was not allergic to seafood, but he was allergic to alcohol. Unlike other people who had a rash, he had a low-grade fever. Basically, he would have a fever for a week every time he drank alcohol. It didn’t look serious, but the doctor warned him that burning up for a long time would damage his internal organs and his immune system.
So, every time he was with Huo Zhou, he would carry a small bottle of medicine containing pills made of Chinese herbs such as sophora flavescens, chrysanthemum, plum blossoms, magnolia vines, orange peel, mulberry, etc. After drinking, he would take two pills, effectively getting rid of the alcohol in his body.
This prescription was also something that Quan Quan found for him.
But Huo Zhou didn’t know this. Qiao Guang Yu wanted to avoid being seen by Huo Zhou while taking medicine, so he found an excuse to go to the bathroom.
Restrooms in high-end restaurants had no queues, but Qiao Guang Yu hid in the cubicle to take medicine, just to be on the safe side.
When he came out, someone else was in the bathroom as well. A pale young man with outstanding features was standing in front of the sink, seemingly hesitant. For some reason, Qiao Guang Yu felt that he had seen this man before.
With his sharp eyes, he noticed some red wine stains on the man’s jacket.
Oh, I see, he thought. The person wanted to wash off the red wine stains. He should have been halfway through his meal and couldn’t leave yet. He didn’t want to leave a wrong impression during socializing but hesitated because he was worried his sleeves would not get clean or dry after washing.
He was wearing a white suit, and the marks on the sleeves were noticeable.
“Cough, do you need help?” Qiao Guang Yu walked to him.
The young man seemed surprised. He pointed to the stain on his sleeve. “This, can you do it?”
“Yes,” Qiao Guang Yu snapped his fingers and smiled triumphantly. He skillfully found a disposable toothbrush from the bottom cabinet of the sink, tore open the packaging, and shook out a small toothpaste. “Have you never learned life tips? Toothpaste is much better than washing powder.”
He held out his hand to the young man, and the other party handed over his jacket.
Qiao Guang Yu squeezed the toothpaste onto the red wine stain, gently brushed it with a toothbrush soaked in water, and said without looking back: “Grab me some tissues.”
The young man gave him some tissues and observed him wash off the pink foam little by little. After going back and forth several times, the red wine stains on the sleeves were invisible.
“Cover it with a plastic bag and dry it quickly.” Qiao Guang Yu flipped over an unused garbage bag, poked a hole in it, put the white jacket in, placed it in the dryer, and the strong wind started blowing into the bag. “Try it.”
The young man leaned in curiously and, following Qiao Guang Yu’s movements, tied the mouth of the plastic bag around the dryer, wondering, “Is this really useful?”
Two minutes later, the young man touched the completely dry sleeves and couldn’t help widen his beautiful eyes.
“Hey, I didn’t lie to you, right?” Qiao Guang Yu patted him on the shoulder and said in an old-fashioned way, “These are essential tips for the workplace. Learn more, brother!”
“…” It was probably the first time he met someone like Qiao Guang Yu. The corners of the young man’s mouth twitched, and not knowing what to say, he eventually spoke with reserve, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. It’s not so easy for everyone.” Qiao Guang Yu waved his hand and left.
Out of the bathroom, Qiao Guang Yu adopted a noble and cold expression once again and went back to the booth to “socialize” with boss Huo.
After an uneventful meal, Qiao Guang Yu had forgotten the bathroom episode, but when he walked out of the restaurant with Huo Zhou, he noticed the young man in the white suit from before.
Huo Zhou couldn’t walk anymore.
While staring straight at the young man, Huo Zhou’s lips trembled, and he choked a little. “Xiao Yu.”
“Boss Huo?” Qiao Guang Yu was puzzled, and his eyes darted suspiciously from Huo Zhou to the young man again. In fact, it was not his fault. “Yu” and “Yu” were written differently but were pronounced the same, so he thought Huo Zhou was calling him.
Quan Quan came out of nowhere and broke the weird silence between the three people. Quan Quan seemed to have neither Huo Zhou’s timidity nor Wu Yu’s mixed feelings. He just said a modest but respectful greeting and then stood beside Qiao Guang Yu, who was confused.
Qiao Guang Yu suddenly opened his eyes – Wu Yu! It was Wu Yu! The cinnabar mole on the tip of his heart, the white moonlight!
He had finally seen the famous white moonlight!
Qiao Guang Yu was about to turn on the secretly observing mode when Quan Quan suddenly pulled him from behind. So he quickly employed his acting skills of “suddenly realizing, then feeling dejected” that he had practiced so many times in front of the mirror, and then smiled reluctantly, “Mr. Huo, you guys talk, I have something to do, so I’ll go first…”
Before he finished the word “go,” Huo Zhou had already grabbed Qiao Guang Yu’s wrist. “I almost forgot. I have to go back to the company in the afternoon.”
Huo Zhou looked right at Wu Yu, with complex emotions flashing in his eyes. “You rarely return to China, so we should find a time to get together.”
Wu Yu nodded stiffly and threw a complicated glance at Qiao Guang Yu, who was standing next to Huo Zhou. “… Ok, you know my contact information. It hasn’t changed over the years.”
Huo Zhou gave a hmm and pulled Qiao Guang Yu toward his car with significant force. He opened the car door, put Qiao Guang Yu in, and then sat in the car as well.
Quan Quan said goodbye to Wu Yu using a formal speech and respectfully handed over Huo Zhou’s business card.
As soon as he got into the car, Huo Zhou let go of Qiao Guang Yu’s hand.
His breathing was chaotic, and he lost his former composure. The car had already been on the road for a while, but he had forgotten to tell Quan Quan where to go. His eyes were a little lost. He was still thinking about the scene of seeing Wu Yu just then.
Qiao Guang Yu was happy not to have to deal with Huo Zhou, but he didn’t lose the duty of a professional stand-in. He silently shrank in the car’s corner and squeezed two drops of crocodile tears, which made his eyes red.
When Huo Zhou calmed down, he looked around and saw Qiao Guang Yu staring at his knees blankly with red eyes, a pale face, and his body filled with lingering loss.
Huo Zhou’s breathing became slightly stagnant, and his heart seemed to hurt for no apparent reason.
The author has something to say:
Qiao Guang Yu: … I might have overreacted a little.
Quan Quan: Ha ha
Ha. ha. ha….. boss noticed