After filming wrapped up, the crew went to the nearby barbecue restaurant for a celebratory dinner. Naturally, the director and the main crew, as well as the two main leads, sat at the same table. Director Li Wei was full of appreciation for Tang Feng, asking him a series of questions related to his future plans, with Tang Feng also sincerely interacting with the other.
Tang Feng wished to progress into Hollywood so he needed to familiarize himself with the film making process even more. While the mainland’s prospects weren’t bad, movies there underwent stricter regulations than in the States. Moviegoers weren’t the problem; the fault lie on film studios and a few production investors.
Tang Feng felt that although he had been reborn, he remained an insignificant third-rate actor. Even if he could use Director Li Wei’s movie to jump to the second tier, ultimately, he was the main lead for a homosexual movie and even participated in a hyped-up homosexual romantic program before. Who knew if he would be subjected to harsher restrictions as a result?
Hollywood was much more open-minded. As long as you had the charisma, acting skills, and you don’t commit too heinous a crime, you would forever have the opportunity to make it big there.
While there’s opportunity, however, the competition was also much fiercer. If one were to overtake the competition and snatch the lead role, they would turn into a superstar. Tang Feng understood all the unspoken rules of the game better than anyone else—humans were always good at analyzing their own business—and could do it even better.
Once he had established his status and fame, the factors that would have caused him to be censored in the past would all evaporate like smoke. This was an irrefutable fact.
So, what if you could act? Those without persuasive skills would not have willing supporters, which meant the scripts they could choose from are limited.
Everyone wanted to act in a good movie, but the question is whether you would even have choices to select from.
“I feel that your thinking is very good. Honestly speaking though, if you were planning an immediate return to China after you finish recording my film, I would have stopped you. Returning to China is a safe choice but as an actor, you must know that in this industry, you can never spend your days in safety. A good actor must always expand his repertoire. Only then will you increase your opportunities, expand your connections, and see more of the world.” Li Wei rested his hand on his leg and nodded his head vigorously while expressing his opinion.
“Hollywood is currently filled with exemplary people. I’m not the first, nor will I be the second. Similarly, there are promising people appearing here. Fiennes’ existence is what all these outstanding actors should aim towards. Hollywood doesn’t lack foreign actors.” Director Li Wei stated as he stopped to take a sip of wine.
Unfortunately, Fiennes had already passed on.
He continued, “It’s common knowledge that there are many English actors here. These past few years, Australians have also started coming to Hollywood. For instance, Chris Hemsworth who played Thor in ‘The Avengers’ recently appeared in another new movie, ‘Snow White and The Huntsman’ with another lead actress Charlize Theron who was born in South Africa.”
“Following the globalization and spreading collaboration of movies, Hollywood will employ more and more foreign actors. China will become the world’s second largest powerhouse before long, second only to America.” Li Wei patted Tang Feng’s shoulder, admitting the other still has a long way to go, saying, “You will have a very good chance, Tang Feng. You’re a great actor, and I believe you will gain the recognition you deserve.”
Tang Feng smiled and replied, “Thank you, Director. I will work hard.”
Tang Feng chatted with other members of the crew, many of whom were from his home country. They each have their own jobs and missions yet at the same time, they harbored dreams of being in the movie industry. Everyone maintained communication with each other, making it convenient for them to keep in touch and help each other in the future.
When in a foreign land, the actors and movie crew from the same country would always helped each other out, all with the common goal of developing further, but this is limited solely to when one is starting out. In the end, one could only rely on one’s own strength if they wish to stand on the international stage.
When Tang Feng went to the washroom, he saw Gino in the yard so he walked over to him.
“How are you and Lilith?” Tang Feng asked Gino.
“That’s my own business.” Gino replied while glancing back at Tang Feng, Gino coldly turned back around, ignoring the guy behind him.
Ever since they came back from Los Angeles, Gino’s attitude towards Tang Feng seemed colder and he was unsure how he had offended the former.
“Are you mad at me?” Tang Feng asked.
Gino silently stood with his back facing him. Tang Feng didn’t feel anxious. He patiently waited for the other’s reply. He knew Gino. This kind of person would be unable to resist; all young people were like that.
Sure enough, not even three minutes later, Gino was speaking already.
“Why must you sell yourself short like that?!” Gino yelled.
“I’m selling myself short?” Tang Feng replied dubiously. Tang Feng could not recall when he belittled himself.
Gino turned violently to face Tang Feng, eyes angry, lecturing in a reproachful tone, “Did you not? Why on earth did you sleep with Charles and that Lu Tian Chen? Is it just to film movies and get famous?”
The slander was unwarranted, but Tang Feng didn’t get angry. He just laughingly shook his head. “If you’re implying that I had relations with them to become famous and get film roles, then does that mean that if I get together with a non-famous, non-wealthy individual, it will definitely be true love? Gino, be a little more mature. We’re all adults here. We have the right to choose freely and I didn’t sleep with anyone just to gain fame.”
Gino still looked mad about what happened in Los Angeles but this was Tang Feng’s private matter and he didn’t like other people lecturing him about it or telling him what kind of morals he should have. He doesn’t bother about other people’s relationships, and wished other people wouldn’t constrain him. He’s a grown man; he knew what he was doing.
Just because he had relations with Charles or Lu Tian Chen did not mean he was an easy-going person.
In both his previous life as the introspective Fiennes, and in this life as Tang Feng who lived as he liked, other people’s opinions hadn’t mattered to him. His life was his own. He had enough first-hand life experience. He knew what he should and shouldn’t do. He was not inclined to suppress himself just to please others.
This was the real Fiennes, and also, the real Tang Feng.
“It shouldn’t be like this.” Gino shook his head in frustration, as though the Tang Feng he imagined shouldn’t behave like this.
“Then, what do you think I should be like?” Tang Feng asked.
Gino looked at the man in front of him, helplessly sighing, “I don’t know.”
“Did you think I’m some kind of saint? That I won’t get mad, won’t get furious? Keeping myself pure does not mean I must forbid myself. Yet, at the same time, you feel that I need to be protected? No, Gino, that isn’t me.” Tang Feng said and came forward to pat Gino on the shoulder, “I’m a guy like you; I have the basic nature of all guys, it’s just, I have better control of myself.”
“Then you shouldn’t have slept with Lu Tian Chen!” Gino spoke a little loudly. Fortunately, they were in a more isolated area, otherwise, Tang Feng would have punched Gino. No one would have liked other people announcing their private matters to the world.
“Gino.” Tang Feng reprimanded Gina in a calm voice.
Gino suddenly gripped Tang Feng’s shoulder, his chest heaving agitatedly as his eyes stared straight at the other, “I …… I don’t like you behaving like that. I don’t like it at all.”
Gino continued “If Charles and Lu Tian Chen can do it, then does that mean I…..”
Tang Feng did not let Gino finish. He reached out to clamp the other’s mouth shut, firmly saying, “No!”
“Why not? Why can’t I?” Gino removed Tang Feng’s hand and took advantage of their position to kiss the other. The two of them were pressed together as Gino recklessly kissed Tang Feng. Tang Feng used one hand to hold the other’s shoulder, while using the other to punch Gino in the abdomen.
The drunk man immediately retreated a couple of steps back before squatting on the floor. Tang Feng didn’t have the heart to scold Gino, when the other looked like a wounded puppy hugging his stomach as he squatted on the floor, emitting pained whimpers.
“Gino,” Tang Feng called.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I know I shouldn’t have done that. I also know you’re not Fiennes, but I still felt upset when I saw you with Lu Tian Chen…… I don’t know what happened to me.” Gino replied while lightly shaking his head.
Tang Feng walked over and bent over to pat Gino on the shoulder, “Alright, don’t behave like a child throwing a tantrum on the floor. The next time you mess with me or say such unpleasant things again, I might just beat you up for real.”
“You already beat me up.” Gino bitterly laughed. After getting punched, he was more or less sobered up now.
“Then you know I’m not someone to mess with.” Tang Feng held his hands at his side and smiled, “Don’t treat me like Fiennes, Gino. You should walk out from Fiennes’ shadow and decide if you really loved him that much. If you loved him, then why did you never realize it for 7 years and only knew when he died?”
“I….” Gino’s voice drifted off.
“Go back and think it through.” replied Tang Feng.
If a person really loved someone to death, if he wanted to love, he would have already done so.
Why bother waiting and never realizing their own feelings?
This was also an issue Tang Feng only started contemplating after his rebirth. Maybe what Gino loved was merely an imperfect ending, believing the dead person as someone perfect.
Proofreaders: Charlotte, Jinny
The place where one slept the day before would still be the same place one would wake up the next day.
The next morning, Tang Feng was rudely awakened by the frantic ringing of the doorbell; the cursed sound was like a broken mantra without pause. He scrunched his brows and nudged the sleeping man hugging him.
“Go and open the door…” he muttered drowsily. Having drunk too much last night and having ‘exercised’ right after, Tang Feng tiredly rolled over in the sheets and continued to enjoy his beauty sleep. He looked like a white spring roll, with only a tuft of his glossy black hair and a pair of clean, pale feet peeking out at the two ends.
Lu Tian Chen quickly got up. He picked up the bathrobe that Tang Feng wore the night before and put it on as he walked towards the door. The loose and wide white robe was unable to cover the bite marks on his chest courtesy of Tang Feng.
Perhaps right from the start, he had no intentions of covering it up at all.
“Morning,” Lu Tian Chen greeted as he opened the door. Standing outside was not only Charles but also Gino.
This could explain why Charles had been ringing the doorbell incessantly. The two men must have gone to Lu Tian Chen’s room, saw that he was nowhere to be found, then immediately thought of Tang Feng. Lu Tian Chen had unplugged the room’s phone cord early last night but seeing the two frenzied looking men before him, he thought he really should have disconnected the doorbell as well.
No matter the case, bees will always be drawn to nectar. The people that should come will always come in the end.
“You were here? I knew I would find you here.” Charles stood by the door, looking at Lu Tian Chen smilingly. Only those familiar with the man would know that his smile did not reach his eyes. As the so-called “smiling faced tiger”, the wider the smile on his face, the angrier the man was.
“Here or there, is there any difference?” Lu Tian Chen turned his head, peering into the dim bedroom. Like a gentleman, he stepped outside to close the bedroom door, afraid their voices might disturb the other man inside the room.
This scene was a bit familiar. Not too long ago, Charles stood inside the room whereas Lu Tian Chen stood on the outside. This time, however, their roles were reversed; Charles was the one knocking on the door while Lu Tian Chen was the one answering it.
The only similarity was that the one in the room, sleeping on the bed, had always been a man named Tang Feng.
Truly as sensational as a drama, this sort of situation left one feeling rather helpless in its wake. That’s right, the same person had these two men wrapped around his little finger, yet in the midst of the crossfire, still remained safe and sound, pleasantly sleeping. Such a scene unfolding in the past would have been unbelievable, but now it was clearly happening right before everyone’s eyes.
The truth was proven once again: people abandoning their reasons and morals for allurement’s sake was as commonplace as ever.
“There really isn’t much of a difference.” Charles’s upper facial muscles were stiff as his fake smile grew wider.
“The flight’s been delayed till this afternoon. We can meet again for lunch afterwards, or perhaps even later.” Lu Tian Chen smiled faintly in return. The two old friends’ eyes flashed with fire as they regarded each other silently. There were some things that, without being said, could be made clear to the other.
Through years of learning and cooperation, a tacit understanding developed between them. And right at that moment, their comprehension of one another had attained matchless unity.
Can you give him up?
My answer is no.
What about you?
Naturally, my answer will be no as well.
If that was the case, there was only one conclusion left. Between the two of them, only one could accompany the other man.
Oh, and additionally: This competition would only have two competitors. Should a third participant, like a certain Michael Gino, show up, they would put their differences aside for the time being to deal with the common enemy.
You see, this was the true power of a collusion between experienced friends-turned-enemies in action.
Just when Lu Tian Chen was about to turn around to return to the room, the third wheel, Michael Gino, stepped forward with a cold expression on his face, “Wait!”
“Do you need something else?” Lu Tian Chen asked politely, stopping in his tracks.
Being a well-mannered and educated person, no matter how unsettled his heart was, Gino would never blow up at another polite individual. He took a deep breath in order to calm himself down. However, no matter how much he tried to slow his breathing, he just couldn’t seem to compose himself properly.
From the beginning, he had always felt that Tang Feng had some sort of a relationship with Fiennes and that Lu Tian Chen was simply Tang Feng’s superior and boss. However, after seeing how Lu Tian Chen obviously came out of Tang Feng’s room, it would be a joke to say that the two men merely chatted away the entire night.
What’s more, the marks on Lu Tian Chen’s body were startlingly obvious. Even if he wanted to pretend to be blind, he could not ignore them at all.
“Where’s Tang Feng?”
“He’s inside, still sleeping.”
“What did you do to him?!” Gino could not believe Tang Feng would willingly be with Lu Tian Chen of his own accord.
“Make love?” Such words coming from a normally respectable and serious man felt utterly repulsive to him. Even Charles who stood beside him could not help but let out an amused snicker.
“You… you forced yourself upon him?!”
It was clear as day as what Lu Tian Chen and Tang Feng had been up to last night, but no one could have been prepared for the subsequent sharp and direct words that came out of Lu Tian Chen’s mouth.
Lu Tian Chen shot Gino a contemptuous look, saying, “I, Lu Tian Chen, never have and never will force myself upon another person. And even if that was the case, Tang Feng is not a man I can simply force myself upon. He is not that weak.”
Before Gino could say anything else, Lu Tian Chen promptly inserted, “Even though Tang Feng maybe of eastern descent, he is not like the usual easterners who are overly conservative and obstinate. Making love is a very normal thing. He is a full-grown adult who has his own right of interests and freedom of choice. As for your concerns, I really appreciate your care for him as a friend.
“And quit with the doorbell already.” These last words were directed towards Charles, to which the latter clicked his tongue in response and turned around, walking away with large steps.
Without sparing Gino another glance, Lu Tian Chen pushed the door open and went back inside the room.
Having met with people he did not want to see while sweeping his own tomb on his birthday left Tang Feng on a relatively sour note. Fortunately, he was able to enjoy the rest of the day eating and drinking his fill, had Lu Tian Chen specially put on a firework show for him, and participated in some steamy ‘exercises’. The man who slept well and woke up naturally was, of course, in a chipper mood.
Lu Tian Chen wasn’t as talkative the next day, yet he didn’t retain the joy to himself like a fool. At least now, the man always had a slight smile in his eyes whenever he looked at Tang Feng.
As for Charles, Tang Feng found the bastard unexpectedly silent for once, never nagging at him or even showing any trace of anger. This left him feeling quite good. Perhaps Charles’ interest in him was finally waning. Hurry up, quickly find another lover to play with already.
One more thing Tang Feng found surprising was that another person also seemed to change. On the way back, Gino didn’t talk much. At most, he stared out the window or played with his phone.
Tang Feng had no intentions of explaining anything, so perhaps this was for the best.
They set off for Los Angeles high spiritedly, however, upon return to their temporary homes, they were quiet.
Until now, Tang Feng’s secret remained unknown to all. Perhaps it was better to wait until another opportunity to say it presents itself again. If not, he wouldn’t mind keeping this secret to himself for a lifetime.
MOVIE: SATAN’S ALLEY
ACT NO.: 37
LOCATION: OUTSIDE THE CHURCH, ON THE HILL
DAYTIME, OUTDOOR SHOOT
The morning’s freezing sea breeze was like a knife submerged in ice water, scraping indelible marks across his body. The monk Tang carried on with his monologue. His actions were truly an embarrassment and a blasphemy to God, but at the same time, it gave him a sense of happiness.
It was as if he was caught in a place between heaven and hell. His faith in God was being tested by the temptations of the Devil in the depths of his heart, agonizing him every passing day.
Tang kneeled upon the highest hill by the sea, hands clasped tightly around a golden rosary in prayer. He hoped that God could forgive him for his sins, and at the same time, he silently prayed for another blessing.
[I will be leaving. When I return, Tang, I hope you can give me your answer.]
Those words Chris spoke to him by the sea still echoed in his ears. The day Chris was due to leave arrived. Though the young and handsome monk did not bid him goodbye, he still saw the look Chris had in his eyes, even if it only lasted two seconds.
What could not be said aloud was silently recited in his heart: I will wait for you, and I will return to your side.
No matter if it takes a day, two days, one year, two years, or even ten years…
Tang closed his eyes. His hands tightened around the prayer beads as the cool ocean breeze continued to mess with his short black hair. Against the backdrop of the vast mountain, his figure appeared rather small and insignificant.
In this vast and boundless world, they were nothing more than just a group of mortals, powerless and weak against the might of fate.
Even though the script did not require character dialogue for this scene, nor was it called for by the director, Tang Feng had other ideas.
The moment his eyes closed shut, he opened his mouth and let out a hoarse cry. It was a sound full of repression and was unpleasant to the ears. It was a startling contrast to the beauty of nature around him, leaving the audience with a profound sense of despair.
This was Tang making his stand against fate. This was him finally releasing the agony and conflicts deep within his heart in a single cry.
“Cut! Good take! Tang Feng, that last scene really was not bad.” The director stood at the side, giving a thumbs up of approval at Tang Feng. Even Li Wei hadn’t thought that Tang Feng would give him many surprises in the following shoots. He had shown quick situational comprehension skills, possessed a conscientious attitude towards work, was a good listener to instructions, and was always willing to happily discuss the emotions of the characters in the scenes with the director. Occasionally, Tang Feng would even help with the editing and changing of his lines to suit certain scenes better.
If he had not known that Tang Feng never acted in movies before, he really would have thought of him as a veteran actor rich in experience.
Proofreaders: Jinny, Charlotte
As a healthy male, it’s normal to have a physical reaction to the advances of someone they find attractive. If a man has no reaction in this situation then it’s abnormal and he should be taken to see a doctor for a check-up.
It was obvious that it was Lu Tian Chen’s first time servicing someone in such a way, his movements were stiff, teeth occasionally grazing. Within those few minutes, there were many times that Tang Feng felt like throwing a fist at the man on his knees due to the pain.
The thing about smart people is that they aren’t born as geniuses. Rather, no matter whatever unfamiliar obstacles they face, they always tenaciously try to tackle it, quickly learning and mastering the rules. This point of view can also apply to lovemaking.
Lu Tian Chen, having experimented a little, was slowly getting the gist of it. He was like an adventurous knight, bravely trying out all kinds of angles and strength. Each time he heard Tang Feng’s sudden cry or gasp, as if being a soldier roused by his queen, he would continue exerting himself, attacking with full fervor.
This was not Tang Feng’s first time receiving such a service. Charles had done this for him before, although that bastard liked looking at him with a teasing eye, enjoying the moment when he lost all sense of control.
In his last life, he also experienced such encounters. It was just that they had never been as intense as this before.
The heat from the mouth wrapped tightly around him was so intense it made Tang Feng arch his neck back and involuntarily grasp at the damp hair of the man between his legs with both hands.The body of a young man was indeed full of vitality and health, but at the same time, it was also easy for it to be taken advantage of by fire and bullying. Just a few months of abstinence was already enough to make this young body a bit too sensitive.
Passion continued to rise wantonly in the Los Angeles night. When Tang Feng glanced over at the window, his vision was flooded by a series of bursting fireworks, wave after wave. Within his mind and body, fireworks were bursting as well, setting his whole being ablaze.
“Ahhh…” letting out a soft cry, Tang Feng’s body was released like a fully drawn bow, shooting out long arrows into the firework filled sky. A buzzing sound lingered in his ears.
Lu Tian Chen let out a breath, propping up his body to look at the flushed face of the man beneath him.
“You haven’t been releasing yourself lately?” A seemingly normal question to ask any other guy was asked.
“What do you think…” Tang Feng felt somewhat tired and closed his eyes. Having experienced its peak, his body was slowly calming down from its high. His chest heaved up and down; a sheet of sweat covered his body. A droplet of perspiration flowed downwards from his forehead, leaving behind a faint water line along his cheek, making it look as if he had been crying.
He was feeling tired and lazy. Truly, he was no different from any other normal guy.
Lu Tian Chen lowered his head to kiss Tang Feng on his forehead, tracing the water mark down to meet his lips.
“I am regretting it.” Lu Tian Chen said.
“Regretting what?” he slowly reopened his eyes. Tang Feng was feeling a bit hot so he started to pull at his bathrobe to loosen it. His legs were still poised in the same position as earlier, it’s not that he did not want to withdraw them back, but because Lu Tian Chen’s body was still set in between them, with the latter having no intention of getting up soon.
Fingers rubbing through the man’s hair, Lu Tian Chen quietly observed Tang Feng in that moment. The man who had just climaxed alone earlier was now exuding an air of indolent sensuality. This was a side of Tang Feng normally not shown to him, just thinking that this part of him had long before been seen by Charles for days to a month’s end made Lu Tian Chen really want to do something about it.
“I’m regretting not getting in bed with you earlier.”
Tang Feng sucked in a breath and started to laugh. Hand clutching his forehead, he chuckled, “So, you intend on sleeping with me now?”
A hand suddenly shot downwards, touching a place that should not be touched. With the slight force of a prod, Tang Feng’s body trembled and he nearly yelped. He glared right at Lu Tian Chen.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” Very quickly, Tang Feng felt a foreign object, separated by the thin fabric of a western suit, rubbing against his thigh.
It was hard and hot.
“Getting into bed with you.” Lu Tian Chen immediately lowered his head again to seal Tang Feng’s lips. At the same time, Tang Feng could hear the clinking of a belt as it fell to the ground. This was quickly followed by the sound of his pants zipper being pulled down.
The blood thirst of the soldier could clearly be felt as he brandished his large sword, poised ready at the door in preparation to break his way in.
“Still want to continue?” Lu Tian Chen paused, hovering teasingly near Tang Feng’s entrance.
“How do you expect me to refuse at this moment? If you want to do it, just do it already, stop being so fussy.” Tang Feng reached out to pull at Lu Tian Chen’s shirt buttons, roughly tearing off the other’s shirt. After all he couldn’t possibly be the only one naked.
The two men were like ferocious wild beasts battling it out at midnight. Lu Tian Chen had long abandoned his usual cool and calmness, only his inflamed passion, speed and strength was needed at a time like this. All rational reasoning should be blown up together with the fireworks in the night sky, burnt until nothing is left in its wake.
In the darkness of the light, a man cried out. It was soon followed by the heavy breathing of two individuals as they merged, together with reverberating moans and the sound of sweaty bodies fiercely colliding into one another with fervent movement.
The major difference between Lu Tian Chen and Charles was that unlike a wild bear with no sense of control in bed, Lu Tian Chen knew when to stop, otherwise they would never have been able to get up in the morning to catch their flight back.
“What’s the time now?” Tang Feng laid dazedly on the bed, pillow supporting his head, with silk bed sheets covering up his lower half. Love marks covered most of his back and chest, shallow enough that they would fade away within the span of a few days so as to not affect his upcoming filming schedule.
The body of a youngster was the best indeed.
Tang Feng sighed for what felt like the thousand and first time.
“Twenty-three minutes past 2 AM.” A freshly showered Lu Tian Chen stepped out with a towel round his waist, half leaning his body over to gently caress Tang Feng’s waist and back. He lowered his head down to kiss the other man’s nape and ear.
The firework show outside the window had long ended, but glow of the Los Angeles nightscape was still as splendid as ever. The two however did not pay it much heed, having drawn the curtains up long before. The room was dimly lit up by the faint moonlight seeping in, casting their shadows to the corners of the wall such that they looked as if they were hugging each other in peace.
Tang Feng looked at the man at his side while slowly blinking his eyes.
“Lu Tian Chen, aren’t you forgetting something?” Tang Feng asked.
“I’ve kissed you, savored you in bed and bathed with you, even helping to give you a massage. So what am I forgetting… is it that we should be resting now?” Lu Tian Chen replied, giving the man another kiss by the corner of his eye and then sliding down his body to lie face to face with Tang Feng. The feeling of looking at one another eye to eye in bed gave Tang Feng a sense of comfort.
“That’s not it.” Tang Feng shot him down.
“That’s not it? Well… let me think again.”
Lu Tian Chen shut his eyes, pretending to be deep in thought. From time to time, he would let out sighs and typical guessing sounds made by people who are trying to come up with answers.
“Have you remembered yet?” Tang Feng reached a hand out to poke Lu Tian Chen on his nose. Finding the action entertaining, he went on to give the other a pinch on the cheek, before gently rubbing Lu Tian Chen’s forehead with his palm, helping him to comb the mess out of his hair.
Once again, the mannerisms of a gentle and mature man reappeared.
Lu Tian Chen opened his eyes and answered, “The relationship between you and Fiennes.”
“Congratulations, you’re right.” Tang Feng raised the corner of his lips. “So, do you still want to know my answer to that or my secrets?”
“If you’re willing to, you can tell me. If not, then you don’t have to.”
“You’re really putting me on the spot. Should I be praising you for your intelligence or for your cunning?” Tang Feng shifted closer towards Lu Tian Chen, planting a light kiss on his lips. When it came to feelings, there were no distinctions between who would push or be pulled, to assert or acquiesce. He will not wait for Lu Tian Chen to come soothe and kiss him, but rather be the one taking the initiative to kiss whenever he felt like doing so.
Instead of staying on the defense, he preferred going on the offense.
“In that case, for the time being don’t tell me about it.” Lu Tian Chen embraced the other man’s waist, replying in a husky voice.
“Why not? I thought you were curious about it?” Tang Feng smiled lightly, extending the tip of his tongue out to lick Lu Tian Chen’s earlobe. In response, he felt the man’s grasp around his waist tighten by a few degrees.
“This is your secret, if you don’t wish to tell me I won’t force you to. Of course, if you do want to, I would be more than happy to hear you out.” Lu Tian Chen replied gently. He now knew why the previously promiscuous Charles was now obsessed with this man. Tang Feng’s performance in bed was a complete contrast to what he had expected; he didn’t show much embarrassment or restraint, but instead openly embraced the pleasures and warmth of his partner.
This would naturally make both feel good. After all, very few people enjoy doing all the work, it always leaves an overbearing taste in one’s mouth, a taste that surely no one could be a fan of.
Tang Feng nodded in agreement, he would tell him when he was ready to.
In regards to his and Lu Tian Chen’s current relationship, Tang Feng could only wish, come the next morning, that this fellow would not make him take responsibility for it.
As much as he may enjoy the warmth of another, Tang Feng regrettably still had no intention of settling down any time soon.
Proofreaders: Rose, Lyrick
“The fireworks are beautiful. Thank you.”
When Tang Feng opened the door, Lu Tian Chen was right outside. He stepped aside to let the other man in. Lu Tian Chen closed the door behind him and locked it under Tang Feng’s gaze.
“As long as you like it.” The simple reply carried more impact than the sweetest compliments especially since it came from Lu Tian Chen, a man known to be logical and blunt.
Charles could shower any random stranger with the most flattering praises. However, with each repetition, the praises lost their meaning. Who knew whether Charles really meant what he said?
Lu Tian Chen was a man of few words but when he did speak, it was in a straightforward manner that expressed his thoughts clearly. More often than not, people were more willing to believe and rely on these kinds of people.
Tang Feng couldn’t help but admit that a simple “As long as you like it” made his heart skip despite his years of experience.
“Why did you suddenly decide to set off fireworks? And at 11:11 at that?” Tang Feng turned around and walked toward the bar. He looked back at Lu Tian Chen, who was taking off his jacket and loosening his tie. “Do you want something to drink? Alcohol or coffee?”
Tang Feng brought out two glasses and filled them half-way with ice. He then poured each of them a glass of whisky. He admitted he was indulging, but he rather enjoyed having the chance to indulge occasionally.
“It’s because today’s a special day.” Lu Tian Chen said while unbuttoning the top three buttons of his shirt, revealing a hint of a toned chest. Lu Tian Chen had a rather well-built physique for an Asian man.
If not for his cold expression and his sharp personality, Lu Tian Chen would definitely be more popular. However, Lu Tian Chen’s personality meant that he had high standards for his other half. Having only a beautiful exterior wasn’t enough to satisfy someone like Lu Tian Chen.
If the other party wasn’t someone especially outstanding or someone of strong mind, it would be difficult for them to stand beside Lu Tian Chen and not feel pressured.
Tang Feng glanced over Lu Tian Chen before walking over. He handed a glass of whisky to the president who deliberately brushed his hand against the actor’s as he accepted it.
Sitting opposite from Lu Tian Chen, Tang Feng asked “What’s special about today?”
Tang Feng tilted his head and glanced at the fireworks outside the window. The spectacular display must have cost a fortune.
When he glanced back, he noticed Lu Tian Chen staring at him. It was an earnest gaze. Despite the dazzling fireworks behind him and the glittering night scene of Los Angeles below, it seemed as if Lu Tian Chen only had eyes for him.
At that moment, Tang Feng relived his past life when he had heart disease. He could feel pressure on his chest and a throbbing pain deep in his ribcage. It wasn’t the unpleasant kind of pain though.
Not wanting Lu Tian Chen to notice something was off, Tang Feng raised his glass and took a big drink. He’d already had a few glasses earlier. He could feel his head becoming hazy and his cheeks heating up. He was definitely on the brink of becoming drunk.
“I’ve been thinking over why it seems you’ve become a completely different person after losing your memories. At first, I truly believed it was because you wanted a fresh start. However, a broken vase can’t become an antique even if it returns to the furnace. Similarly, an ignorant, willful, and childish person can’t suddenly become mature, calm, and indifferent.” While speaking, Lu Tian Chen’s eyes did not leave Tang Feng’s.
No wonder Lu Tian Chen was a businessman. He was definitely a force to be reckoned with at the conference table.
Even Tang Feng felt a bit pressured from such an intense gaze. If he looked away or if his expression wavered, Lu Tian Chen would know something was off.
Fortunately, Tang Feng had no plans to evade the question. He’d never planned on leading a false life from the start.
“You’ve said that a lot. But you haven’t answered my question yet. Why is today special? Is it because it’s the first time I’ve gone out with three different men? Or is it because it’s Fiennes’ birthday?” Tang Feng took a drink and smiled.
“11:11. Don’t you understand what that means?” Lu Tian Chen replied mysteriously.
The actor shook his head. He truly didn’t know what 11:11 meant.
“Single,” Lu Tian Chen supplied.
“Huh?” Tang Feng stared at him blankly.
“November 11th is Single’s Day. The reason I set off the fireworks at 11:11 is to celebrate the last day of you being single.” Lu Tian Chen’s reply perplexed Tang Feng even more.
He was single. That was right. When did he stop being single?
Tang Feng confusingly stared at the other. Contrary to his normal calm, the doubtful look he had on his face made him look rather adorable.
Staring at that pair of bright and confused eyes, Lu Tian Chen was struck with how beautiful they were. He didn’t know whether it was because Tang Feng’s eyes were beautiful to begin with or if he had started thinking Tang Feng was beautiful no matter what after falling in love with the actor.
It didn’t matter in the end. As long as he liked what he was seeing.
“I don’t understand what you mean. You’re acting really strange today, Lu Tian Chen.” Tang Feng set his glass down and furrowed his brows.
The second he finished speaking, Lu Tian Chen leaned forward and kissed him on the lips, a simple and fleeting brush. Then, as if nothing just happened, Lu Tian Chen sat back down in his spot.
“I think the reason you called me over is because you have something to say to me,” Lu Tian Chen said.
“You kissed me.” Tang Feng was caught off guard by the sudden change in topic. If Lu Tian Chen was doing it to get his attention, then he was a little too successful.
Who in the world would be capable of discussing secrets with someone who’d just kissed you out of nowhere?
“Yes, I did,” Lu Tian Chen said.
“Are you not even going to explain? You just kissed me!” The more Tang Feng learned about Lu Tian Chen, the stranger and more interesting the latter became. It seems Lu Tian Chen wasn’t as old-fashioned and boring as he initially appeared.
“I’m not used to sleeping alone.” The topic drifted away once again. Tang Feng was simply incapable of following Lu Tian Chen’s train of thought.
“Then why do I remember you sleeping by yourself all the time before? My god, I’m losing my mind.”
Tang Feng didn’t know if it was due to the constant change in topics or the alcohol, but he could feel himself losing his hold on his logic and calm. They sprouted wings and were flapping to fly away, all the while waving and saying goodbye to him.
He rested his hands on his forehead and shook his head. “Enough, Lu Tian Chen. Tell me what you want. I feel like my head is going to explode.”
“Your head won’t explode.”
They’d landed on another strange topic.
“I was making a comparison!” Tang Feng glared at the other. Lu Tian Chen didn’t reply, he simply stared back at the actor.
“No matter how much you stare at me, I won’t turn into a flower.” Unable to stand Lu Tian Chen’s gaze anymore, Tang Feng stood up to cover the other’s eyes. To his surprise, Lu Tian Chen wound an arm around his waist the second he got out of his seat.
By the time he had his hands on Lu Tian Chen’s eyes, the latter had already pulled him into a hug, bringing both of them down onto the couch.
Lu Tian Chen was a businessman, but, as he had already mentioned before, he was also a man.
From the minute he’d confessed to Tang Feng, Lu Tian Chen had already switched from being a businessman to simply being a man.
He leaned forward to kiss the actor again. This time, it wasn’t a simple brush against the lips. There weren’t any fancy techniques to his kiss, but the force of his kiss was enough to make Tang Feng feel as if he were being invaded. It was a kiss that spoke of Lu Tian Chen all over.
By the time his brain had caught up to the situation, it took Tang Feng ten seconds to finally realize that he was being kissed by another man.
No. It was more accurate to say that they were kissing because Tang Feng was also responding.
Perhaps he had been holding himself back for too long, or perhaps his logic had flown out the window, or perhaps it was even because he wanted to let himself go and truly indulge tonight, but Tang Feng gave in and accepted Lu Tian Chen’s kiss.
The president’s mouth was fresh and minty; he had probably brushed his teeth before coming over.
When Lu Tian Chen pulled his bathrobe open and moved down to kiss his collarbone and shoulder, Tang Feng understood.
Everything had been planned beforehand. Lu Tian Chen probably started planning how they were going to spend the night together while they were still tomb sweeping.
November 11th was Single’s Day and today was supposedly the day he stopped being single. But just because they slept together didn’t mean that he had stopped being single.
Lu Tian Chen noticed that Tang Feng was lost in thought. Out of mischief, he reached down between Tang Feng’s legs. The sudden touch jolted the actor out of his thoughts and made him kick out at Lu Tian Chen.
“First time. My mistake.”
Tang Feng rolled his eyes and glared at the other. Soon, his expression changed to one of surprise as he watched Lu Tian Chen move down and open his mouth.
It was truly a crazy night.
Proofreaders: Jinny, Lyrick
“Doctor Harvey, are you here today to see Fiennes?”
Gino unexpectedly ran into an acquaintance who had arrived carrying a bunch of white roses. At age 40, the corners of his eyes had already started showing small crow’s feet. Nevertheless, he looked handsome and refined, and his clean and fair hands revealed a life of privilege. His manner of speech and bearing also indicated his good upbringing.
“Yes, thank you for coming today to celebrate his birthday.” Harvey smiled politely, and went forward to put down the white roses, his expression turned rather dry.
Gino step forward to ask: “Doctor Harvey, what’s wrong?”
“Those red roses…”
“Oh, those three bunches of red roses are from my friend. He said today was Fiennes’ birthday, and that a person like Fiennes should be given red roses.” Thinking that the other thought that red roses were too shocking, Gino hurriedly started explaining. His usual impression of Tang Feng was that he was a rather conservative person. He never would have expected that the man’s way of thinking would be so unusual as to bring red roses to tomb sweeping.
Doctor Harvey let out an “Oh”, the shock in his eyes gradually dissipating, only leaving behind a slight layer of regret and melancholy.
“Your friend is quite the intuitive person. While he was alive, Fiennes’ favorite flowers were roses.” Harvey smiled bitterly, “Please give your friend my thanks, Gino.”
“Of course, that’s not a problem. He’s standing right there… huh? They were right here.” Gino pointed at where Tang Feng had just been, but the shade under the tree had long since been abandoned. Tang Feng, Charles, and the rest had already left some time ago.
“They probably returned to the car.” Gino apologetically told Harvey, not feeling like anything was wrong. “I’ll introduce you to him next time, he’s my costar. We’re currently working on a film together. He’s quite an exceptional man.”
“Sure.” Harvey smiled.
Gino and Harvey said a few more words to each other before saying their goodbyes. After Gino left, Harvey remained standing in front of Fiennes’ grave, his gaze not leaving the three bunches of red roses.
It had to be a coincidence, right?
Gino found Tang Feng and the others in a small coffee shop nearby. After visiting Fiennes’ grave today, his mood had improved a lot. In the past, he had never had the courage to visit Fiennes’ grave. When he did actually go visit, he suddenly felt lighter and more clear-sighted.
While they ordered coffee and some desserts, Tang Feng silently ordered a piece of his favorite chocolate lava cake. There were a bit too many calories in it, but since today was his birthday he decided he had an excuse to indulge himself a little.
On the outside, it looked no different from a regular slice of cake, but when your fork pierces the outer shell you’ll discover its soft, sweet and fiery heart. Eating it will make you feel elated and worry-free.
The only bad part was…
“Who was that man just now, Gino? You seemed to know him well. Oh, I know, he likes mature men, am I right?” Charles tried to start a quarrel with Gino, wearing an expression that said “I know what it is”. From Tang Feng’s perspective, Charles seemed bored senseless and was looking for something to do.
Gino coldly snorted, and took a sip of his coffee. Ignoring Charles’ provocation, he directly told Tang Feng, “That man is Harvey. He was Fiennes’ attending doctor while he was still alive. I only knew him after Fiennes’ had passed, but he’s a respectable and upstanding person, with a stable career and income, and a beautiful family. Actually, Fiennes’ funeral was all taken care of by him.”
Tang Feng continued to eat his chocolate lava cake and drink his coffee. He was thinking of where he could go later to pig out. Of course, he wouldn’t be the one to pick up the bill.
He appeared calm, but in the end he ended up eating two whole cakes.
Everyone had dinner together that evening and later visited a tea house. Afterwards, the four grown men headed together to the hotel Lu Tian Chen had booked. Lu Tian Chen had booked four rooms, without any complaints from Charles. Tang Feng wanted to be alone that night, and very bluntly kicked the others out so that he could have the room to himself.
Facing the splendid lights of the Los Angeles night, Tang Feng soaked alone in his bath tub in front of the full length glass windows. Lighting up the incense and playing some relaxing jazz music, he slowly closed his eyes and leaned back until he was entirely submerged in the bathwater.
The water gradually cooled off. He felt his hands and feet start to cool and soon after it was as if icy water had seeped into his heart, his chest becoming tight. He still remembered the feeling of his death, as if he had fallen into ice water. Falling deeper and deeper, the pressure pushed down on his heart. It was the kind of pain that almost tore him to shreds.
His breathing grew urgent as his hands and feet grew cold. Immediately, he became flustered, tense, and muddle-headed, his body covered with a layer of cold sweat.
Maybe it had only been one minute, or perhaps it was a long time, but eventually he lost consciousness from the intense pain in his heart.
No, it was more accurate to say that he had died.
“Ah!” shouted Tang Feng as he suddenly snapped out of it and sat up in the bathtub. He gulped down large breaths of air after being suffocated for so long, chest pounding violently.
There was a dull ache in his chest. He reminded himself that he would never again experience the same heart wrenching and lung splitting pain.
Leaving the bathroom, he put on a white cotton bathrobe. After Tang Feng walked back into the bedroom, he opened his phone and saw it contained a text from Lu Tian Chen. Seeing the text he smiled, that guy was staying in the room right next door and yet he still sent a text. Tang Feng had no idea what was going on in Lu Tian Chen’s mind.
After hesitating for a bit, he still chose to open the text and look over the contents.
“At 11:11 PM, stand by the French windows” Tang Feng looked at the time; it was 11:03 PM, just eight minutes away.
He first poured himself a glass of wine, then pulled a chair up in front of the French windows and sat down. There was still two minutes until the time Lu Tian Chen mentioned.
What did that guy do? It couldn’t be that he had arranged to set off fireworks for him, right?
Taking a couple gulps of wine, Tang Feng’s cell phone rang while he was still in thought. The display showed that it was Lu Tian Chen. Tang Feng smiled while picking up the call.
After Lu Tian Chen’s confession, he had started sending Tang Feng small gifts like fresh flowers and exquisite desserts. He also sent him honeyed texts every day. When they met each morning, Lu Tian Chen would show him a rare and tender smile, in addition to an especially refreshing “Good morning.” It was a very traditional and romantic gesture. Perhaps it wasn’t too exciting, but at least it wouldn’t annoy anyone.
“I’m reminding you to pay attention outside, in case you missed my text.”
“What are you planning?” Tang Feng responded.
“It’s time. 10, 9, 8, 7…” Lu Tian Chen started to count down from the other side of the call.
When he got to one, Tang Feng looked outside the window. It was as he expected, countless dazzling fireworks blossomed in the horizon. Red, white, blue… fireworks of every color dyed the dark blue skies a different hue.
Tang Feng had witnessed this scene in movies countless times already, but this was his first time on the receiving end of such a particular gift.
It was one thing to see it in a movie, it was another to personally witness it in one’s lifetime.
Tang had to confess, this time he really was happy and touched.
When a person is strong and mature, others will often forget that they too are also made of flesh and bone. People who are strong on the outside will still feel pain and hurt, but they may not be used to showing it. People are accustomed to pitying and helping those who call out in pain, forgetting about those who have gotten used to bearing its weight.
In this world, there is no one who will reject your love and concern for them. They will only care for whether your feelings were heartfelt or insincere.
The sound of the fireworks seemed right beside Tang Feng’s ears. He looked up at the splendid sky and started to smile. This birthday was not so bad.
“Do you like it?” asked Lu Tian Chen.
“Mm… Very, very old-school, but it’s not bad.” Tang Feng replied, holding back his laughter and nodding, his hand half supporting his head.
The other side was silent for a bit and just when Tang Feng thought that Lu Tian Chen was going to hang up, the man said, “Open the door.”
“It’s too late.” Tang Feng replied.
“Today is Fiennes’ birthday.” Lu Tia Chen stated.
“So what?” Tang Feng didn’t know why Lu Tian Chen would bring that up. He slightly tensed up, was he discovered? But even if he was, it didn’t matter since he didn’t mind telling others about it, as long as they could accept it.
“Why don’t you tell me about the relationship between you and Fiennes?”
Since the day he had brought up Fiennes, Tang Feng knew that this day would come, sooner or later. After all, after his rebirth, he lived his life by his own terms, without any resemblance to the former Tang Feng. However, he hadn’t anticipated that Lu Tian Chen would connect him so quickly to Fiennes. The man’s sharp senses couldn’t be underestimated.
“Come to my room.” After saying that, Tang Feng hung up the phone. He sucked in a breath of air while he looked outside at the fireworks that were still blossoming. He didn’t know if he would reveal his secret tonight.
Proofreaders: Rose, Lyrick