Throughout their lives, people have to continuously make choices and each choice they make would bring about completely different results.
What kind of choices would these three men make?
The darkness of night invaded the city, bringing with it dark clouds that floated across the inky sky. Like a painter’s brush, the chilly wind blew through the clouds and smeared them all over the skies. It was a misty night yet the city was brightly lit by numerous lights.
A black car slowly pulled up to the door of S City’s most luxurious hotel. A youth dressed in white glanced at the man sitting beside him whose appearance was hidden by the shadows. The youth spoke up reluctantly, “I’m going up.”
“Okay.” The man’s voice couldn’t be called apathetic, but it wasn’t caring either.
Ge Chen reached out and forcefully squeezed the man’s hand. “Tian Chen, don’t forget what you have promised me.”
“I know,” Lu Tian Chen replied simply.
Ge Chen opened the car door and was escorted to the hotel’s entrance by a bodyguard. Lu Tian Chen rolled down his window and stuck his head out to look at the high-rise building in front of him. What a coincidence! Tang Feng was currently filming in this exact Hanging Gardens Hotel.
A hint of a smile appeared on Lu Tian Chen’s face. He leaned back in his seat and pulled out a cigarette, lit it, and slowly took a drag. When he had finished around half of the cigarette, he flicked it out of the window, opened the door, and got out of the car, crushing the half-burnt cigarette underfoot.
“When Ge Chen comes out you can take him home. If he asks where I went, just tell him I had something important to do.” After leaving an order for the bodyguard, Lu Tian Chen walked into the hotel.
He took the elevator up to the highest floor. When he approached the door that led out onto the terrace, he noticed a few staff members crowding around it. Thinking that he was a normal hotel guest, the staff members informed Lu Tian Chen that the terrace was closed off for filming and would only be open for normal use after midnight. Lu Tian Chen turned around and made a call on his phone. A minute later, he was allowed onto the terrace without any further obstruction.
Meanwhile, the filming of the first episode of Dream Lover was still going on. It was the most important segment of the episode. From a nearby flowerbed, Charles plucked nine roses. After he handed out the roses, the person who didn’t receive one would unfortunately have to leave the show.
Lu Tian Chen was slightly surprised when he saw Charles standing on the terrace. He knew what kind of show Dream Lover was. He also knew that the producer of the show, Kai, had an amiable relationship with Charles. But he did not believe that Charles would do Kai the favor of joining the show just because of their friendship. Everything Charles did had a purpose; he definitely had a goal for participating.
Did Charles join Dream Lover because he wanted to play around? Or was it for something else? Lu Tian Chen’s eyes moved over the crowd. His eyes narrowed when they settled on Tang Feng, who was sitting quietly at the dining table.
Inside a studio some floors below, Kai put down his phone.
Beside him, Wang Nan asked curiously, “Kai, who called you? What kind of a person was it to have you personally call the staff members above?”
“The president of Tian Chen Entertainment, Lu Tian Chen.” Kai glanced at his phone screen. He narrowed his eyes and smiled. “From what I know, it’s very rare for this big company president to ask after his employees and inquire about their work progress. It’s even rarer for him to personally visit them at work. But this is the Hanging Gardens Hotel. Perhaps President Lu had just finished a business meeting here and decided to make a visit along the way.”
“From the tone of your voice, you probably don’t think that’s the case.” Wang Nan laughed and pulled on Kai’s sleeve. She pointed at the monitors in front of them and said, “President Lu is probably here to visit Tang Feng. Judging from the things that have been happening lately, we all know the Tian Chen Group is starting to promote Tang Feng. I don’t know if this Prince Charming will let Tang Feng stay until the last episode though.”
On the screen, they saw that Charles was just starting to hand out the roses. Deliberately seeking to raise the tension and mystery, Charles took a walk around the dining table first. After pausing a bit, he gave the first rose to the adorable young man who had been sitting nearest to him. A blush quickly rose up on the young man’s face. He lowered his head and mumbled shyly, “Th-thank you!”
“You’re welcome. You are very adorable. I enjoyed chatting with you over dinner.” Charles chuckled.
Wang Nan wasn’t surprised at Charles’ choice. She said, “Going along with the seating arrangements, the next one to receive a rose should be Feng Xiu Jie, right?”
Would it be Feng Xiu Jie? Just when everyone thought that Charles would give the second rose to Feng Xiu Jie, who had been sitting closest to him like the adorable young man, Charles walked to the end of the table. The celebrity who received the second rose was so moved that he burst into tears. He had never imagined that he would receive a rose.
Kai clapped at the scene on the screen and said, “That was definitely an unexpected choice. It’ll have a very nice effect on the show.”
“It was definitely a choice out of the left field.” Wang Nan laughed.
But soon her laughter disappeared. One, two, and three, the fresh and fragrant roses were quickly handed out one after another. Charles had already handed out eight roses. Only one rose remained in his hand. The number of people remaining, however, was two.
One of them was Feng Xiu Jie, whose body and expression had both become rigid. The other was Tang Feng, who appeared unperturbed by the results. Although some might think it was merely an act, Tang Feng was unperturbed on the inside as well.
Kai’s lips turned up in a smile. As usual, Charles never played by the rules. He had always possessed a strange sense of humor. It was only the first episode of the show, yet he had already tossed out such a curve ball.
If Charles chose Feng Xiu Jie, then they would lose Tang Feng, which would be a pity as there were a lot of news and discussion about Tang Feng lately. However, if Charles chose Tang Feng then they would lose Feng Xiu Jie. They had expended a great amount of effort inviting Feng Xiu Jie on the show. Moreover, they had assured Feng Xiu Jie’s manager at the very start that there would be a great chance that Feng Xiu Jie would stay until the end. If reality turned out differently, then they would have some annoyances to deal with later on.
“Wang Nan, who do you think Charles will choose? Think of it from the audience’s perspective.” Kai linked his hands in front of his chest and looked at Charles on the screen. That elegant and humorous man was holding the last rose in his hand. He first stood behind Feng Xiu Jie’s chair. Just when everyone assumed that he would deliver the rose into Feng Xiu Jie’s hands, Charles walked towards Tang Feng. He was deliberately teasing the crowd.
Wang Nan answered frankly, “I think he will choose Feng Xiu Jie. After all, Feng Xiu Jie is rather handsome and quite popular. Plus he comes from a good family background.”
To put it plainly, Feng Xiu Jie was just more popular than Tang Feng. Even if Tang Feng’s name was turning up often in the news recently, they were just news articles. A few articles about him didn’t translate into popularity. Ultimately, it all came down to the works he had to show. If he had nothing to support him, then popularity would mean nothing.
In the end, Wang Nan had guessed incorrectly. All the staff members who were present at the scene were shocked at Charles’ choice.
Charles stood behind Tang Feng. He bent down and brought his mouth close to Tang Feng’s ear. In a low and seductive voice made especially pleasant by the night, he whispered, “Darling, did you miss me?” Charles had taken care to control the volume of his voice; only the two of them had heard his question.
The people who surrounded them were all curious to know what Charles had said, as a sudden smile appeared on Tang Feng’s expressionless face. They were itching to know the answer.
Charles put a hand on Tang Feng’s shoulder and placed the last rose on the clean plate in front of the young actor. His obvious intimate behavior was the polar opposite of how indifferently he had treated Tang Feng at the beginning of filming.
No one had suspected that the person who had had the highest possibility of lasting till the end, Feng Xiu Jie, would be eliminated in the very first round. The people who had circulated rumors on the web would probably cry if they knew. The production team could already imagine the discussions that would occur after the first episode was broadcasted. Feng Xiu Jie’s expression turned somewhat ugly. He abruptly stood up and left the terrace. His manager and a few staff members quickly followed him. As Kai had expected, Feng Xiu Jie’s agency would be having a long talk with the production team.
At that moment, however, no one paid any attention to Feng Xiu Jie’s sudden departure. Everyone was focused on Charles and Tang Feng’s each and every move. Charles was being especially attentive to Tang Feng and displayed extra care towards him by offering him his hand. Tang Feng picked up the rose on his plate and actually accepted the offered hand.
“I’m curious. Feng Xiu Jie is a good man. Why didn’t you choose him?” What Tang Feng had actually wanted to say was that besides him, the man who was most eligible to stay was Feng Xiu Jie. In the end, Charles had decided to keep all the others and drove away the most qualified person.
Pulling on Tang Feng’s hand, Charles stepped down from the platform where the dining table was situated and walked between the flowerbeds. While plucking off a rose, he said quietly, “Oh my dear Tang, you obviously know my love for you is like none other. In my eyes, everyone else is like annoying weeds crowding beneath a fragrant rose. The more of them there are, the duller they become. Instead of letting them stay rooted in the ground, all I want to do is remove them from my sight. Of course, the biggest weed should be removed first. Otherwise it would compete for nourishment with my beloved rose.”
Charles’ words obviously contained some hidden meaning which in turn made Tang Feng narrow his eyes and ask, “Charles, don’t tell me you joined the show because of me?”
“Then I’m very happy to tell you that I joined the show exactly because of you. You are well suited to my tastes. Plus you’re outstanding, beautiful, and charming. I won’t allow a man who’s not as wonderful as me to pluck a thorny rose like you.” Charles’ words sounded very strange to Tang Feng. Did he mean that it would be alright if it were someone better than him? Or did he mean that there weren’t any men on this earth who were better than him? How narcissistic!
“Alright, Mr. . What exactly are you planning on doing now?” Tang Feng originally thought that his relationship with Charles had ended with the end of their one month deal. Who knew Charles would pull something like this and entangle their lives once again. Tang Feng didn’t know whether he should be worried or happy. Whatever, he would worry about the future when it comes up. Right now, he still had to finish filming the show.
“Here, a bouquet of roses for you.” After picking enough roses for a bouquet, Charles took off his tie and used it to bind them together. His adept movements soon created a bouquet of fiery red roses. Smiling, he handed the bouquet to Tang Feng. “This is my choice.”
Proofreaders: Poisonwords, VRVain, KN