“Did you forget that we had to kiss each other when we’d first met? Chris, I’m disappointed.” Tang Feng directed the conversation to a safe topic. To him, it was better to have a clear distinction between his private and public life. Even if he saw Gino as a friend, they weren’t close enough to be discussing deep topics such as life and love.
At Tang Feng’s prompting, a look of realization hit Gino. His eyes brightened and anticipation appeared on his face. “Ah, this is bad. I’m not ready to film this scene yet. When don’t we attempt it now and try to get a feel for it. This way, we’ll be able to pass easily when it comes to the actual take.”
“I don’t feel that way.” Tang Feng rejected Gino’s proposal. “The director said that we need to carry a sense of unfamiliarity and nervousness when we act out this scene. We need to be young and inexperienced, like an unripe green apple. If we practice, then we would be a red apple instead of a green one.”
“Come, come, Tang.” Gino wasn’t willing to give up.
“No, I refuse.” Tang Feng shook his head. He wasn’t opposed to becoming closer to Gino, but anything outside of work was unnecessary. It was enough for him to be able to act with Gino in films. In their private lives, they could only be friends. He didn’t want any of the troubles that came along with joking around intimately.
It was too commonplace for acting to turn into reality in the entertainment world. During the period of filming, the male and female lead of a movie could end up rolling around in the same bed despite having stable partners at home. It wasn’t anything new in Hollywood. But when an actor placed too much importance on his private life, it could easily affect the rest of his acting career.
Gino was powerless in the face of Tang Feng’s stubbornness. He finally raised his hands in defeat.
“You Chinese men are too old-fashioned!” Gino was a little indignant at his loss. “And here I thought I could get a kiss from you after making a meal for you. Tang Feng, you’re hurting my heart.”
“I’m not being old-fashioned. This is simply my personal value. All right, let’s end it here today. You can get lost now and go act cute with your girlfriend.”
“Is this jealousy I hear?” Gino’s response made Tang Feng speechless.
He glared at Gino. “You’re too in love with yourself.”
While they were arguing, someone opened the door to the apartment. When they looked up, they saw a handsome but cold man standing by the door. Seeing Tang Feng and Gino arguing together on the couch, the man blinked. He asked, “Tang Feng, a guest?”
“I’m going over the script with Gino.” Tang Feng frowned as Lu Tian Chen closed the door and walked inside. “Where did you go today?”
“I had something to take care of this morning. I didn’t mention it as I didn’t want to disturb you. Did you not notice the note that I’d left beside your bed?” Lu Tian Chen completely ignored Gino’s presence. He was only focused on Tang Feng.
“Oh, I didn’t see it.” Gino had woken him up this morning. Then he’d gone back to sleep and woke up to the smell of food. He didn’t look at the bedside table at all.
“Seems like I need to tape it to the bathroom mirror next time.” Lu Tian Chen smiled somewhat gently. He walked over to Tang Feng and hugged him. In a rare move, he joked, “Did you miss me?”
“Yup, I miss having you here to take care of the food bill.” Tang Feng smiled and hugged Lu Tian Chen back.
Lu Tian Chen replied, “That’s not a problem.” He then glanced at Gino, who was sitting with a complicated expression. Speaking like a master of the house, he asked, “Mr. Gino, you haven’t had dinner yet, right? Would you like to eat with us?”
Lu Tian Chen’s words made two points clear to Gino.
One: “Us” clearly referred to Lu Tian Chen and Tang Feng.
Two: “Would you like to eat with us” was clearly a polite way of telling him to leave. Otherwise, Lu Tian Chen would have phrased it as “come eat with us.”
“No, that’s all right. I have a date tonight,” Gino refused tactfully. He said goodbye to Tang Feng and Lu Tian Chen and left afterwards. During the whole process, Tang Feng didn’t raise a single word to keep Gino.
After Gino left, Lu Tian Chen walked to the stairs. While climbing up, he said, “It seems like he’s interested in you.”
Tang Feng chuckled and cleaned up the pile of papers that was on the table. He picked up the script and walked upstairs as well. “When an actor immerses himself too much in a script, they can become confused about their feelings. This is why when an actor cheats in a relationship, it’s usually with their co-actor.”
Cheating was common when people took their roles too far. Not only did they pull the characters from the script into their own lives, they would fall in love with the person they loved in the script.
Falling in love with someone else was quite easy. Sometimes, all it took was a second.
“Have you been drawn in by him yet?” Lu Tian Chen’s voice drifted out from behind a half-closed door.
“Not at the moment. Wait a second…” Tang Feng walked in after Lu Tian Chen. He watched as the man took off his shirt, exposing his toned upper body. When the president started reaching for his pants, Tang Feng raised his voice, “This is my bedroom. President Lu, yours is next door.”
Lu Tian Chen took off his pants and opened the closet. He pulled out a set of clothes that didn’t belong to Tang Feng.
“Right now, it’s also my bedroom.” Turning his back on Tang Feng, Lu Tian Chen started changing into the clean set of clothes.
“Why are your clothes inside my closet?’
“Because I put them there. That’s why they are in your closet.” Lu Tian Chen pulled on his pants and turned around while buttoning up his shirt. A slight smile appeared on his face. “I’ll be sleeping in your room quite often this month. It’s too bothersome to walk back and forth. That’s why I’ve decided to just bring my clothes here.”
“Why? Are you afraid of the dark?” Tang Feng couldn’t resist a snarky comment. He furrowed his brows in irritation. Please, couldn’t he at least have a private room to himself? He wasn’t used to sharing a bed with someone else, not to mention Lu Tian Chen at that. This was too strange. He found it difficult to accept the change in arrangement.
“Don’t forget the agreement that we have.” Lu Tian Chen smoothed out his shirt and put on his belt. He then picked up a random grey jacket and put it on. “Go get changed. We’re eating out.”
“I don’t remember the agreement saying that I have to sleep in the same room as you.” Tang Feng felt a headache coming on. Exactly what was going on with Lu Tian Chen?
He didn’t mind sharing a bed with someone occasionally. But it was another matter altogether when it came to sharing a bed for a long period of time.
“Would you like to sleep with Charles in the same room then?”
“Why do I have to sleep with him in the same room?”
“He’s a man who acts on his whims. Tang Feng, if you aren’t interested in him, then try not to get close to him. Charles may appear fickle on the outside, but once he sets his mind on something, he won’t rest until he has it in his hands,” Lu Tian Chen said seriously.
Tang Feng nodded in response. He knew Lu Tian Chen was right about Charles. Despite knowing that, he had ended up sleeping with Charles again when he felt down in the dumps last time. All right, he would do his best to prevent that from happening again. How “lucky” was he to have met Charles and Lu Tian Chen in this life. Not to mention, there was still an Albert lurking around the corner somewhere.
“It’s still early right now. Why don’t you drive me to the bookstore first? I’m going to buy a few books before dinner.” Tang Feng decided to throw everything Lu Tian Chen had mentioned to the back of his mind. At the moment, his work was more important.
Tang Feng and Lu Tian Chen ate dinner at a nearby restaurant. Before that, he had bought a few books on Christianity. Although he had looked over similar materials when he first read through the script, brushing up on the religious background while filming would help him get in character.
The apartment they were living at was close to the filming location. There were restaurants nearby and also a park. After staying inside all day, Tang Feng wanted to go for a walk inside the park. Lu Tian Chen agreed without any arguments.
Tang Feng walked by himself on the sidewalk. Lu Tian Chen had gone to find a parking space, and wouldn’t be back for a few minutes. As it was close to night, there was scarcely anyone inside the park. The street lights off to the sides of the path illuminated the park with a warm light. Shining through the cracks between the blanket of leaves above, the light made erratic marks on the ground. The cool breeze blowing through the park was chilly, but refreshing to the skin. Occasionally, Tang Feng could also hear the strums of a guitar nearby.
Quickly, Tang Feng’s attention was caught by the sound of sobs and sniffling.
The quiet off and on sniffling sounded like something a kitten would make. Tang Feng paused in his steps and looked in the direction of the sniffling. It was coming from a thicket of trees nearby. Listening closely, Tang Feng could discern that it was a child making those sounds. What was a child doing alone in the park at a time like this?
He walked over to the thicket and parted the branches blocking his way. He saw a three or four-year-old girl sitting on the ground wiping at her eyes. Her pale cheeks were streaked with tears. Similarly, her dark eyes were swimming in tears as well. At first glance, she was simply adorable.
She had probably wandered astray from her parents.