Tang Feng remembered someone walking up to his table at the coffee shop. He had thought Chen Ming Xu had returned from the restroom and was marveling at his speed when he looked up to see Su Qi Cheng. The man had beamed at him before covering the lower part of his face with a paper towel. The towel had been dipped in some sort of chemical and smelled downright awful. Tang Feng remembered feeling disgusted by the smell before losing consciousness and all his strength.
And when he woke, he was here.
“President Su, there’s no need to go through all this trouble if you wanted to meet with me. A simple phone call would’ve been enough.” Tang Feng felt a bit weak and leaned against the stack of pillows behind him. The drug that Su Qi Cheng had used to knock him out still hadn’t fully left his system. Besides having a headache, he also felt an uncomfortable weight on his chest. This had been totally out of his expectations. Did this count as an abduction or a kidnapping?
“You don’t have to worry. I won’t harm you. If I did, Lu Tian Chen and Charles would never let me off alive.” Su Qi Cheng smiled faintly. Despite his words, he didn’t seem the least bit worried about the repercussions of his actions and the possibility of Lu Tian Chen and Charles coming for revenge later. Rather, he appeared relaxed and pleased with himself. He stood up and placed the glass in his hands on a nearby table.
Taking advantage of the moment, Tang Feng glanced around and took in his surroundings. The curtains hadn’t been completely pulled shut. Judging from the light that shot through the crack, it was the afternoon. He shouldn’t have been unconscious for too long. That meant the place he was at now was close to the city.
“Did you bring me here because of Ge Chen?” Tang Feng pulled his eyes away from the curtains silently. He snuck glances at the furniture inside the room; everything appeared normal. There was a closet, a table, and a TV. However, there weren’t any picture frames around the room. The table was also too clean and the bed sheets were freshly laundered.
This had to be a place Su Qi Cheng rarely frequented. Tang Feng wasn’t even sure if it belonged to Su Qi Cheng.
Holding a copy of the newspaper in his hand, Su Qi Cheng walked over to sit on the upholstered chair beside the bed. He crossed his legs and spread open the newspaper. “I heard you’ll be going to America to film for a movie next month. Congratulations.”
“Thank you.” Tang Feng supported his head with one hand and raked his hair with the other. “Did President Su bring me here to have a chat?”
“Am I not allowed to? Despite having come across each other often, we haven’t had the chance to sit down and have a conversation together.”
“We had a conversation together back at the riding fields.” Tang Feng deliberately dragged the conversation back to a topic related to Ge Chen. He could only think of one reason that Su Qi Cheng would kidnap him: Ge Chen.
As expected, Su Qi Cheng glanced at him from behind the newspaper. With a gentle smile on his face, he said, “Ge Chen is only part of the reason why I brought you here.”
Su Qi Cheng lowered his head to look at the newspaper again. One of the glaring headlines on the paper described the “love triangle” between Lu Tian Chen, Charles, and Tang Feng. He looked at the picture accompanying the article and stated, “I find it hard to believe that Lu Tian Chen would suddenly treat you so well. Before, you were only an irritating puppy in his eyes.”
Tang Feng didn’t like that comparison. Although he liked adorable puppies himself, he didn’t think Su Qi Cheng was praising him.
“What changed you, Tang Feng? Can you tell me?” Su Qi Cheng’s expression and tone of voice were both sincere, so sincere that Tang Feng wanted to laugh.
“President Su, it’s a waste that you aren’t an actor.”
Lead Actor: Su Qi Cheng
Producer: Su Qi Cheng
Director: Su Qi Cheng
Audience: Tang Feng
“Thank you. You still haven’t answered my question.”
“People are always changing. The world, the creatures that live in it, they are always changing and evolving. To come to a standstill would mean rotting away to a pathetic death. That is why I’ve decided to change. President Su, if you had taken a stroll outside the gates of Hell, then you would understand what I mean.” But since you haven’t, I can make up all sorts of nonsense.
“You do make a point.” Su Qi Cheng set down the newspaper and moved to sit on the bed. He stared at Tang Feng with piercing, dissecting eyes, but the actor faced his stare straight on without even a hint of fear.
Tang Feng knew Lu Tian Chen and Charles were looking for him. Therefore, it didn’t matter what Su Qi Cheng was thinking about. All Tang Feng had to do was buy himself some time.
“Because of you, he abandoned Ge Chen. Just like that, he didn’t want Ge Chen anymore,” Su Qi Cheng said simply.
“Maybe it’s because they were never together to begin with?”
Su Qi Cheng narrowed his eyes at Tang Feng’s response. Then suddenly, he reached out and gripped the other’s chin, forcing Tang Feng to look up.
“Lu Tian Chen has given me quite a number of presents during our acquaintance together. I think it’s time for me to repay him with a present of my own, since he obviously cares about you so much.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Tang Feng smiled drily.
Stopping the conversation in its tracks wasn’t a good choice for him. However, if he chatted on for too long, it would make Su Qi Cheng suspicious. His acting skills were being tested. What kind of role should he take on?
A pinch of sadness and a dollop of helplessness, with a light dash of a victim who had been kept in the dark. Afternoon tea was served.
“There’s something I’ve never understood. Su Qi Cheng, can you tell me the answer?” Tang Feng changed the way he referred to the man in front of him. “President Su” simply created too much distance between the two of them. Using a personal name that had accompanied the other for many years would be much easier to move Su Qi Cheng. The difference might be small, but it was better than none.
“What do you want to know?”
“As you’ve probably guessed, I don’t remember much of the past. After waking up, I’ve tried to understand my past and learned a bit about the things concerning Ge Chen and Lu Tian Chen.” Tang Feng deliberately paused there and lifted his eyes to look at Su Qi Cheng. He was becoming more clearheaded as the effects of the drug wore off. He knew the most charming part about him was his eyes: a pair of bright and mesmerizing eyes that was especially suited to wearing a confused and lost expression.
“From what I know, Lu Tian Chen supposedly likes Ge Chen, but Ge Chen belongs to you. As a successful and intelligent man, you can’t possibly be in the dark about their relationship. What made you keep your silence for so long?” It was something Tang Feng had been asking himself since long ago.
Su Qi Cheng chuckled coldly, his eyes still locked tightly onto Tang Feng’s, unwilling to budge even an inch.
“Sometimes, it’s not a good idea to look too deeply into things. However, I can tell you that I haven’t kept my silence at all.”
“Is that why you kidnapped me?” Tang Feng sighed, appearing rather helpless. “If you wanted to take revenge on Lu Tian Chen for snatching someone away from you, then you shouldn’t have kidnapped me. If Lu Tian Chen truly cares about me, then why did he leave me at Charles’ beck and call for an entire month? You should know about this.”
“Why wouldn’t he have done that? He even sent Ge Chen to stay by my side. Lu Tian Chen is an exceedingly logical man. And as an intelligent businessman, he understands how to grab hold of the best opportunities. Right now, you are his biggest opportunity. He cares about your future.” When Su Qi Cheng uttered the last word, a strange feeling came over Tang Feng.
“From your words, it seems as if you want to ruin my future. Are you planning on disfiguring me?” Tang Feng knitted his brows in a frown. Lingering traces of the drug were still circulating inside his system. He appeared both weak and delicate. When paired with the distressed expression on his face, it made people want to pull him into a comforting hug.
His acting skills had always been impressive. Luckily, his charm wasn’t bad either.
Su Qi Cheng watched Tang Feng’s face attentively. He smiled and shook his head, seeming like a model gentleman. However, ruthless beasts often lurked behind the elegant demeanor of a gentleman.
“No,” Su Qi Cheng said while shaking his head. “You are a handsome man, beautiful like a painting. I don’t enjoy destroying works of art.”
“But destroying works of perfection brings you an unprecedented thrill. Am I right?” Under the covers, Tang Feng worked at slowly clenching and unclenching his hands. Getting his strength back earlier than Su Qi Cheng was expecting would be a welcome advantage.
A dangerous light flashed across Su Qi Cheng’s eyes. “Lu Tian Chen sure has discerning eyes. How exactly did he unearth someone like you? You are too smart for your own good.”
“I’ve studied a bit of psychology.” However, personal experience was definitely more useful than theories gleaned from books. It wasn’t Tang Feng’s first time coming across people like Su Qi Cheng.
“It seems you’ve learned a lot.”
“He told me that as well.” Tang Feng scratched at the sheets with a fingernail, and asked, “I’m an outsider in this situation. Why do I have to be dragged into the competitive drama between bigshots like you? I simply want to act. That is all.”
“Your words are very touching. But unfortunately, you’re already here. It won’t make a difference whether I release you now or later. Lu Tian Chen and I can never return to the collaborative partnership we’ve had before. Since that’s the case, I at least want to take what I desire while I have the chance.”
Su Qi Cheng smiled and called out, “Bring them in.”
The door leading to the room opened. A few men dressed in black carried numerous cameras inside and placed them to the left and right of the bed.
“I won’t hurt you. I only need a recording that will make Lu Tian Chen uneasy.”
For a celebrity, a compromising recording was like a ticking bomb waiting to go off at any moment. You never knew when it would be leaked and what it would do to your career.
It was a crude and vulgar tactic. And unfortunately, one that was used all too often.
Proofreaders: NyxEclipse, Lyrick