At midnight, Little Yao walked out of the bedroom quietly. Seeing dim, yellow light from the kitchen, he walked towards it out of curiosity and saw a small pot on the stove. Fang Jin was reading documents next to the pot.
Fang Jin left up his head, “What?”
He wore a gray wool sweater that revealed his deep collarbones. He had a slender figure and was dressed casually. Little Yao stared at him for a couple of seconds and then spoke, “Um… I’m here to drink some water. Are you cooking something?”
Fang Jin continued reading the documents, “I’m making a hangover soup.”
Little Yao was surprised. Opening the lid of the pot, he saw the white broth, fish’s head, bamboo shoots, shiitake mushrooms, tofu…
Little Yao came here to serve a master. Before arriving, he had cleaned himself and hadn’t dared to eat anything. He was so hungry at the moment that he asked, “Can I eat a little?”
Fang Jin became speechless but later said “…Then you have to wait for me to add some vinegar.”
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Wydt Kkd prsjl zktbvzu, “Zlp.”
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“…” Little Yao dragged a chair and sat next to him. With a bowl in his hand, Little Yao murmured, “You…”
He wanted to ask ‘do you like Elder Young Master Gu’ and then thought this question was awkward, so changed that question to, “Older Young Master Gu… is he incapable in bed?”
Fang Jin coughed, “Huh?”
“—He didn’t touch me!” Little Yao dropped his voice and whispered, “After taking a shower, he fell asleep. He didn’t even touch a finger of mine! Aye, maybe he’s incapable in bed?”
Fang Jin got stiff, with an awkward and silly look on his face. After a while, he sighed, “Don’t think too much. He’s just my boss, and I’m just his mere assistant. I don’t know whether he’s capable or not. But he only likes women, so you don’t need to worry.”
“What?” Little Yao became upset, “So why did he call for me to come?”
“You were given by the Second Young Master. If he refused to receive you, it would be like a slap on the Second Young Master’s face.”
“Then…then… what should I do tomorrow morning?”
“He may ask me to take you back.” Fang Jin comforted him, “He will probably find an excuse to send you back, but don’t worry. All the people know he only likes women, they won’t blame you.”
Little Yao was shocked and forgot to gossip about Fang Jin.
“But… but, Mr. He and the other people want me to hug the Gu family’s big thighs.* I’m screwed! If I had known he’s straight, I wouldn’t have been here in the first place. I would rather sleep with the Second Young Master! Aye, Mr. He, they’ll surely get mad at me……”
*to curry favor with someone powerful.
Little Yao was sincerely in regret and didn’t realize that his words would make people look down at him. Fang Jin shook his head, smiled, and looked back at the documents again. He inwardly said, ‘This kid is so silly.’
“Ah, actually, I couldn’t help it. All the other people in our circle are the same.” Little Yao realized the improprieties in his last passage. He explained, “Compared with others, I am already good. Some people are worse… … Aye, you don’t understand. A person like you would not understand how cruel our entertainment circle is.”
He looked at Fang Jin’s exquisite pen and documents, and thought, ‘Even though he isn’t Elder Young Master Gu’s boy toy, he still lives a good life.’
While thinking, he heard Fang Jin whisper, “I know.”
Fang Jin closed the documents, lifted up his head, and said, “I have some unfinished documents that need to be done. You can drink more soup if you want, but help me add more water into the pot after you finish.”
His facial expression was still calm, but Little Yao saw a hint of avoidance in his behavior.
Fang Jin walked out of the kitchen and went to another bedroom.
In the morning, Gu Yuan saw a bowl of soup on the table.
Every time when he was drunk, Fang Jin would cook a hangover soup for him the next morning. Sometimes, it was fish tofu soup, and sometimes, it was bamboo shorts duck soup. At first, Gu Yuan thought it was weird; but got used to it after a while, since, he thought, it was normal for an assistant to please the boss.
“Take him to Mr. He today.” While drinking the soup, Gu Yuan said to Fang Jin.
Fang Jin knew Guan Yuan wanted to send Little Yao back. He replied, “Yes, I’ll go later.”
Gu Yuan suddenly recalled something, “Wait—come with me later.”
Fang Jin didn’t ask.
Fang Jin knew Gu Yuan didn’t like his subordinates asking too many questions. As the eldest son, without a mother’s protection, Gu Yuan had learned how to hide his emotions and only show an ice-cold, indifferent face.
After breakfast, Gu Yuan called the driver and took Fang Jin to Macau downtown.
The driver stopped the car in front of an alley. Fang Jin got out of the car and saw “Rong’s Scholarly Goods” written on a blackboard that hung on a three-storey tall gray building.
Gu Yuan walked into the store directly. A shop clerk greeted him, “Elder Young Master Gu!”
“Next week is my father’s birthday. Since he likes calligraphy, I want to give him a set of the scholar’s four jewels. I had already decided about the brush, ink, and paper, but I’m not sure about the inkstone. So, I want your help, since I heard you were my father’s assistant for a while.” Gu Yuan nodded to the clerk, “Tell your boss to bring out the four inkstones I requested.”
The clerks were serving the tea. After hearing what Gu Yuan said, they hurriedly talked to the boss. Fang Jin was surprised, “The scholar’s four jewels?”
It was hard to find a pleasing gift for Gu Zongming who was powerful and wealthy. Last year, Gu Yang gave him a beauty queen who was gorgous but stupid. Gu Zongming ignored her after less than a month. Moreover, the pure-blood horse given by Gu Yuan had stayed in the stable for a long time, gaining 20 kilograms.
Fang Jin felt helpless. Before he had a chance to say something, the store owner brought a glass box with four inkstones in it. Each inkstone was smooth and exquisite, the highest-grade possible .
“Mr. Gu, they are all here. These two are Laokeng inkstones, we found them in Guang Dong. The other two inkstones are She inkstones. The left one is called Rainy Venus, and the right one is Jade Sun. All of them are of excellent quality.”
Fang Jin was shocked by looking at the prices.
“What do you think?” Gu Yuan asked.
Fang Jin answered with hesitation, “Mr. Gu doesn’t like the scholar’s four jewels. How about you choose something else?”
Fang Jin’s reply was unexpected to Gu Yuan. Actually, Gu Yuan had already decided to choose the Laokeng inkstone, but just in case, he asked for Fang Jin’s advice. Unexpectedly this person rejected all the choices.
“What do you mean? Don’t you know he wrote a pair of couplets and hung them in the study room? He even asked Gu Yuan and me to find some Tangxin paper… How would he suddenly dislike these things?”
Fang Jin couldn’t tell the truth. He thought, ‘You don’t know that pair of couplets wasn’t written by him, the paper isn’t for him either. This expensive inkstone is useless to him…’
Nevertheless, he didn’t want to make anyone suspicious and only could say, “I don’t know. Maybe I haven’t worked for him for long enough, so I don’t know anything.”
Gu Yuan pointed at the Laokeng inkstone and told the store owner, “Wrap it for me.”
—Actually, if Gu Yuan wanted to be a good boss, he could resolve the awkward situation immediately. But he always showed a cold face to Fang Jin, as a way to say ‘don’t think that just because you were sent by my father, I will obey you. If I am in a good mood, I will give you a good face,but if I am not, I will let you lose face.’*
Gu Yuan followed the clerk to wrap the scholar’s four jewels. The store owner smiled obediently behind them. Fang Jin didn’t move, but stood there looking at his back.
Gu Yuan looked like his father, Gu Zongming, but he also inherited some features from his mother. His facial features were three-dimensional, with a brooding brow bone and a high nose bridge. His side profile resembled a marble statue…
Fang Jin looked at him for a while and then shook his head.
‘I can’t…’, he thought.
While all the people were busy at the moment, Fang Jin looked around randomly. There were many antiques and precious objects set out, such as antique jade objects, walnuts, paintings…
He found a jade bracelet in a peculiar shape. After taking it up, he saw it was made of two rings. The engraved patterns were extremely delicate. He put these two rings together and saw four words— “Two people, same heart.”
The clerk behind him said, “You have a good taste. These rings were of good quality. Two men can wear them to represent their brotherhood. Lovers can wear them to represent their hearts to each other.”
Fang Jin’s heart felt like it was stung by a soft needle, it felt itchy but painful.
The clerk smiled and showed him a number with his fingers, “Sorry, our shop doesn’t accept bargains.”
Fang Jin laughed and said, “You know how to ask for a price. If you ask for more, I can no longer afford it.”
He opened his purse. A VIP black card lay inside, but he ignored it and took a normal bank card.
After watching the clerks wrap the gift, Gu Yuan walked back and saw Fang Jin smiling in an armchair.
His smile wasn’t obvious, but rather slight and entranced, as if suddenly indulging in something happy. But the joy emanating from the bottom of his heart was so infectious, that people couldn’t help but relax, and the smile even produced a feeling of tender affection.
Gu Yuan became stunned.
—What happened to this person? One minute ago, he almost cried. Now, he is so happy.
But he looks pleasant when he is happy. Look closely, he’s more good-looking than yesterday’s eighteen-tier actor …
“You’re back?” Fang Jing looked at him and stood up suddenly. “Sorry, are we leaving now?”
His gentle smile disappeared; his facial expression had changed back to the cautious and submissive status.
Gu Yuan felt unhappy but didn’t know why. He replied lightly, “Yeah, we’re leaving. What are you doing here?”
While leaving the store, Fang Jin smiled, “I bought a ring.”
Gu Yuan frowned, “—What for?”
The wind was blowing the trees. Sunshine was shining on the road. The driver who stood in the distance opened the car door for Gu Yuan. Still, on this 10-meter road, they were together.
“Bought it for fun.” Fang Jin smiled. “When you get married, I’ll give it to you as a gift.”
It was just a casual conversation; but after listening to what Fang Jin said, Gu Yuan felt an inexplicable itch in his heart as if a gentle feather was tickling it.
“— Ok.” He simply replied and got on the Bentley without looking back.
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