Movie: Satan’s Alley
Scene One: outdoor shoot, evening, beach outside the church, field clear
He didn’t expect Chris to be gone for three years once he left. Three years, not three days nor three months, but he left for a whole three years.
This morning, the monk was copying scriptures as per usual. It had already been four years since he came to this church by the beach. Similarly, it has already been four years since he last spoke.
He sat in the dim light with his head bent, quietly copying scriptures in the small room. Suddenly, there was a commotion outside the house.
“Chris! Chris came back!”
The pen fell from the monk’s grasp. He almost immediately left his chair and rushed out with the others. Standing within the crowd, he saw the golden-haired youth he had not seen for three years.
Chris had a face full of wild hair, his whole body full of tiredness and dust, showing that he rushed back.
They said Chris returned from studying in a distant place. They also said Chris would go to a church in the big city to work in the future and Chris would become a prestigious person in the future.
The monk was squeezed outside of the crowd, unable to touch Chris. He could not do anything but stand to the side and watch. At this time, the Chris who was surrounded by people glanced towards him. Their gazes meeting in the air felt like fire burning away the distance of the last three years. Everything seemed to return to that last moment at the beach; all the intimate touches, the kisses, and caresses became clear in an instant.
That night, after the monk blew out the candles in the church, he went to the beach alone. He walked very far, yet he could still see that conspicuous golden colour in the distance that shone even in the dark of the night. “I went to France, England, and faraway China.” The first sentence Chris said to the monk, he listed the places he went to these past three years.
Upon hearing the last location, the monk’s eyes widened.
“Are you asking why I went to China?” Chris stepped forward, his face had been shaven clean without a single sign of stubble. Three years have passed, and time only left the marks of maturity in this young man now.
“I went looking for your hometown, searching for any stories related to you. I followed the road you took that year, travelling from the east and walked it from the start. This way, our life paths would have intersected.”
The night ocean breeze always brought the cold sting of the deep ocean. The monk stared at the young man in front of him, his mind endlessly repeating every single word the other said. Every time he understood a word, his body warmed by a degree.
“I know your story.” Chris brought his arms around the monk, hugging him tightly, unwilling to let go.
The monk faced the slightly salty sea breeze, his thoughts travelling across the ocean back to four years ago. That time, the Old Priest was bedridden with illness so he went out to pray for him. When he was travelling, his pouch was stolen by a thief. He gave chase while shouting for help, but the passers-by only blankly stared at him, and gave the thief an escape route.
Only one young man helped him to apprehend the thief. That man was Li Feng, the young master of the city’s biggest family. That was how Tang met Li Feng.
Li Feng frequently came over to help him look after the Old Priest. As time went on, they gradually developed a more intimate relationship. But paper cannot hold fire (the truth cannot be hidden for long). During one of the times they stayed together, someone saw everything through the window.
Very quickly, the Li Family’s people dragged Li Feng away. He still remembered that young man shouting as he struggled against them, “Everything is my fault, it had nothing to do with Tang! I forced him!” Li Feng attempted to pin all the blame on himself.
How could that man say things like that?
I was willing; no one forced me. I love him, I love the man named Li Feng.
In that backwater place, they were supposed to be punished. Luckily, the Li Family had status and power, so no one dared to touch Li Feng, and the terminally ill Old Priest had requested for Tang to send his ashes back to his hometown.
Afterwards, the monk never saw Li Feng again. They told him Li Feng had settled down, married a woman, and became the proper heir of a distinguished family.
And so, Tang took the Old Priest’s remains and left that oppressive and backward society.
This was his secret; an untold secret that had been deeply hidden in his heart for four years.
“Tang, are you still unwilling to speak? Do you not want to know … Li Feng’s current situation?” The words Chris said were enticing.
After four years, the monk once again opened his mouth to speak. “Is…he alright?” The voice was hoarse due to years of not using it, but Chris had no problem understanding Tang’s words.
“You don’t hate him getting married to someone else?”
Tang shook his head vigorously. He doesn’t hate. In those circumstances, they were nothing more than two ants under the mercy of fate; powerless against everything. He will remember how well Li Feng treated him, remember how beautiful and fortunate the moments they had together were.
“I found him. He told me because his father was seriously ill at that time, he could only listen to his parents to settle down and produce an heir. He said, after he has a son, he will come out to find you. But I told him, you are currently happily together with me. Tang, do you hate me?” Chris asked.
“No.” The man shook his head vigorously again. Li Feng should stay at home, that was where he had his family and businesses.
Chris grabbed the monk’s hand, “Run away with me. Let’s leave this place!”
The ocean breeze blew softly, as though trying to blow them towards a faraway place.
Tang Feng didn’t tell Gino the things Harvey told him that day when he dropped by, as based on Gino’s personality, he would definitely kick up a huge argument with his family. Tang Feng knew Gino’s family. He was even acquainted with Gino’s older brother, that slightly inflexible and overly serious workaholic. Even though those two were brothers, their personalities were like night and day.
Additionally, Gino’s brother, Jack, cherished his younger brother deeply. This was a well-known fact.
So, there was a very high chance Jack instigated Harvey to come find him for a talk. It seems it was not a good thing to be so overprotective of his younger brother.
With regards to other people’s family affairs, Tang Feng has no say in them.
The film shooting was already more than halfway done. The rest of the scenes were basically following the life of Gino and Tang Feng together. The production company has also arranged to start scheduling media appearances to build up momentum for the movie.
The two main actors both agreed to do an interview with a TV station. Tang Feng was long accustomed to similar kinds of interviews and could always find suitable answers for the interviewer’s questions.
As an actor, other than acting well in films, one must also put in effort to promote the movie propaganda. During the interview, Tang Feng and Gino would occasionally say a few complimentary words to the other; most of them are honest words with few perfunctory words, and those straightforward words would occasionally reveal ambiguity, leading people to form their own fantasies.
The movie’s theme is related to homosexuality, which means this topic would be used to hype up promotions for the movie.
Tang Feng has long heard that it is popular to sell rot in the entertainment world nowadays.
Previously, most of the TV series starred a man and a woman. Now, it has become popular to star two male leads engaging in vague and ambiguous situations to abuse the audience, earning high ratings for the show and making both sides happy.
Starting from next week, the filming site will shift to Los Angeles. Tang Feng will have to follow the move. This time, because they will not stay in Los Angeles for long, they chose to stay in a hotel. The hotel’s accommodation fee is covered by the film producers. Extra service expenses incurred would have to be paid by the actors themselves.
The previous apartment in North Carolina was paid for by Charles, while the daily expenses were paid by Lu Tian Chen. Tang Feng didn’t want to keep using the money of these two people. This time, for the hotel’s miscellaneous fees, he said he wanted to pay for it himself.
“You are my employee. Your expenses during working hours should be reimbursed by the company.” Lu Tian Chen rested his legs on the hotel room sofa. The company is his. He is willing to cover Tang Feng’s expenses.
“I say baby, you see you have to work so hard to make a movie. Not only were you kissed but also pushed down, only to earn a measly 500,000 US dollars. And you still must give 20 percent to Lu Tian Chen, the director of your evil agency. As a result, your take home salary is only 100,000 USD. Dear, you just need to kiss me, I will give you this hotel right away!” Charles arrogantly boasted. He could throw away thousands to win over his beloved.
Tang Feng squinted at Charles, “That’s great! So, if I kiss you a few more times, you’ll give me a few hotels?”
“It looks like you’ve been spoilt rotten.” Charles would only go bankrupt. At that time, it would become the wealthy Tang Feng pushing down the poor Charles.
Tang Feng looked at Lu Tian Chen again: “I don’t think the contract I signed stated that all my expenses must be paid by the company, such as the hotel massage, gym, and room service.”
He doesn’t have much money right now, but he doesn’t need to save everything.
Charles and Lu Tian Chen couldn’t change his mind, so they went along with his opinion. Just that, not even two days later, Tang Feng realized a terrible thing. They would be in Los Angeles until they finished shooting the movie. There was still one month remaining, which means the three of them must stay at the hotel for a month.
In the first three days, even excluding the room fees paid by the film company, the hotel bills already accumulated up to the point where Tang Feng was on the verge of bankruptcy.
Charles requested for a suite, on the grounds that he didn’t like to crowd in the elevator with others, but waiting for the luxury suite with a private elevator meant that the extra room rate had to be paid by themselves.
Lu Tian Chen agreed, so they now have a suite with three bedrooms, equipped with bulletproof glass, their own private elevator, private spas, and beautiful private garden balconies.
Adding in other expenses, in not even a week, Tang Feng will be forced to go bankrupt and become a debtor.
Proofreaders: Charlotte Grey, Lyrick