Proofreaders: ayszhang, Red, Gwen, Mion, & LSL
Love Late Vol. 2
Gradually, I made some new friends again in S. City. Everybody shared the same rotten taste. We were men of debauchery and quickly became close without a worry about lacking something to kill the time. But I was still fond of the past.
From time to time, I’d think of Lin Jing.
I thought about him so much that one morning when I was sleeping on the sofa, I saw Lin Jing’s evil grin in my dream.
What kinda dream is this?! Why is he grinning like that? So ugly.
I was about to turn over and drive away that face when the entire face suddenly magnified before my eyes and shouted, “Surprise!”
Abruptly, I woke up with a start. Shit, this face is actually real.
I immediately squeezed his cheeks hard and pulled them. “How come you’re here?”
“Hehehehehe…” This guy was laughing like a maniac.
“We’re here to shoot an ad. Don’t you remember? It was originally set for next week. Now that work has been shifted ahead of time, we’ve come earlier to see you. Aren’t you happy?”
I woke up only after I had thought about it.
Lu Feng and the Zhuo family had been as incompatible as fire and water. In recent years, they finally shook hands in cooperation. Eternal friends didn’t exist in the business world, much less eternal enemies. Besides, Zhuo Wen Yang was Cheng Yi Chen’s son.
The joint venture between the two families in S. City’s real estate investment was already steadily steering onto the right track. The shareholders were all young, handsome men who had the class and the look. This time they were going to use their own people to shoot a photo ad. It was both convincing and lethal.
I looked at my watch. “You’ll be starting work, right? Then hurry up and get the job done. I’ll sleep some more, and I’ll take you out tonight when you’re done.”
Lin Jing grabbed my collar and dragged me off the sofa, shrieking, “This is my first ad shoot ever! Don’t tell me you have no intention of coming to support me?!”
“Oh dear, I’m old. I don’t have as much vigor as you young people. I’ll pick you up when your shooting’s over. Be good.”
“You’ll be such a party-pooper if you don’t come. Where’s your conscience, huh? Where is it?” Lin Jing asked as he felt all over my chest. I waved him off. “Get off, get off. It’s not like I have any milk for you to drink!”
“Oh, give me a break.”
“I can’t believe I still considered you an important friend, wanting to share everything with you, wishing that you’d be present at every important event of my life…”
I knew he was talking shit, but my heart melted from listening to him. This guy, if he so wished, could be very likable.
“Okay, alright. I’ll take you there. But I won’t watch the shooting. That way you won’t get nervous. I’ll wait for you outside.”
I took Lin Jing out to eat, fed him until he was full, and taught him the Method of Belly-hiding. I then took him to the ad company. Zhuo Wen Yang and Ke Luo were already trying on their outfits. Lin Jing was late. As soon as he arrived, he was rushed to change.
I stood outside of the workroom and chatted with the staff members, entertaining myself like a fish back in water.
After a moment, I heard Lin Jing shout out, “Lee, Lee, come in quick and bathe in the glory that is me.”
“It’ll be a pity if you don’t look! You won’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity…” That guy simply started hollering.
Helpless, I had no choice but to stick my head in.
Ke Luo was just turning his head toward the doorway to look. It was too late to evade him. Our eyes locked, and at that moment it was as if I was—bang-bang—shot twice in the chest, the feeling of my heart exploding.
It had been a while, yet he hadn’t changed at all with eyes so bright.
Looking face to face for those few seconds, Ke Luo smiled his radiant smile, flashing his fine, white teeth. “Lee.”
I also smiled and gave him a simple greeting. I then walked to Lin Jing, seeing him proud like a small peacock showing off its feathers, and raised my hands to fix his collar.
Ke Luo continued to smile, watching us for a moment, then lowered his head and adjusted his own clothes as well.
After Lin Jing was done gloating, he looked Ke Luo up and down and said, “Ah, I still think Ke Luo is better-looking than me.”
I pinched his cheeks and doted on him, “No way.”
“He’s very handsome, look.”
I turned my head to look as Ke Luo, who was holding the hem of his shirt, looked toward me as well.
My eyes swept over him. I turned back around and gossiped with Lin Jing in a low voice, “He’s alright. He lacks a bit in class. There’s no help for it.”
“Eh? La-lack in class? Didn’t you admire him before?”
“Pretty young men have a shelf life.” I shook my head. “He’s long since expired.”
Lin Jing was shocked. “Damn! It’s only been how long?! He can’t have expired that fast. I still want to at least be a handsome guy for ten—twenty more years!”
“It’s different with you. Even in your thirties and forties, you won’t look old. Some people look old when they’re young, looking like they’re thirty at twenty. Not youthful for long.”
“But men don’t have to be youthful. Mature men are handsome too.”
“When it comes to mature men, it would have to be Zhou Wen Yang. Among young people, he’s most reliable when handling matters. He’s also pretty.”
The corner of Lin Jing’s mouth twitched. “Don’t tell me you’ve taken a liking to him. Let me tell you: don’t mess with him if you don’t want trouble. He’s straight and his temper is bad. In fact, I think Ke Luo is way better than him. He’s handsome and caring…”
I lewdly smiled. “Straight men are more enticing. I like them very much. Besides, I think Ke Luo is plain. He’s not clever, he drags when he handles matters, and what’s more, he has no skills to be said. When it comes down to it, he’s just a box of pizza.”
Lin Jing straightened his face at once and lowered his voice, slightly aiming to refute me, “Don’t you talk nonsense! Ke Luo isn’t that type of man. He’s very cautious. Not the slightest bit easy to pick up!”
“What a good friend, but I’m not referring to that,” I said, laughing, “What I mean is he’s nice and neat on the outside, looking delicious and sweet-smelling. But when you really eat him, you’ll know he’s just something that fills your stomach. The more you eat, the less interested you are.”
Lin Jing wasn’t all too happy and wanted to say more, but the photographer rushed him, so our quiet gossip ended there.
Ke Luo didn’t seem to have heard us. He just had his head lowered as he dealt with that rebellious button. I could see his long, motionless eyelashes.
When he lifted his head and saw me with his usual raven-black, young beast-like eyes, he still politely smiled.
I walked to the side to sit down and watch them start working.
I’m so immature. As if doing this would make me look victorious. Even though he didn’t love me, he at least had the courtesy to respect me as an elder. I, on the other hand, who insulted him and bad-mouthed him because I couldn’t get him, was shameless.
I just had no idea why I felt a bit sad while being shameless.
When the three men stood together, whatever sadness I had flew off. I almost spurted out blood. Before my nasal blood vessels ruptured, I hastily pinched my nose.
They were clearly fully dressed, buttoned up to their chins, not even the skin on their necks was exposed. Unfortunately, I had no idea why my head was filled with GV[] titles like “The Enticement of Three Male Beauties” and “Two Gays and One Straight Man.”
What is this?! Three beautiful men there—each with their own distinct style—messing with the perverted minds of us lonely old men.
Seeing Ke Luo with his neatly-buttoned shirt and the way he pressed his lips, I felt my blood pressure gradually rise up. I just about fainted.
Sure enough, I was hungry and thirsty for far too long. The more covered up they were, the more attractive they seemed.
In my mind, I cursed myself as a vulgar, perverted, obscene middle-aged man, yet my line of sight seemed to be strongly stuck there. I couldn’t pull away.
The shooting came to an end. It was the half-time break, and the staff members brought refreshments for everyone. Ke Luo unbuttoned his collar a little. Probably sensing my staring eyes, he wavered a little and looked down at himself.
I looked at the slightly prominent bone of his eyebrow from the side. He was very handsome, but was still a kid who lacked self-confidence.
He suddenly turned toward me, pulling the hem of his shirt. “Is anything wrong with it?”
“Oh, not at all. It’s very good.” I immediately put up an act of casually sweeping my eyes over him, then shifted my gaze to Zhuo Wen Yang.
Why do I feel a bit dizzy? The room is so damn stuffy and hot.
I touched two wet trails under my nose.
I actually spurted blood from my nose in front of so many watching eyes. I had no time to tend to everyone’s dumbstruck gaze. Zhuo Wen Yang’s face slightly reddened with a frown and he hurriedly took out his handkerchief to block it.
I was helped by Ke Luo into my seat. Lifting my head up with my nose to the sky, I didn’t forget to explain, “It’s because the weather is too hot! The weather!”
Ke Luo said, “I know,” as he let my head rest on the back of the chair. He then asked, “Would you like some water?”
I felt his ice-cold fingers and, for a moment, I didn’t dare to look at his lowered, inquiring face. I could only give a vague reply and close my eyes.
I stared at the ceiling for a while and gradually the blood stopped flowing. I dropped my neck which was sore from facing upward. Everyone watched me with an expression of wanting to laugh. Furthermore, Lin Jing was disappointed as he had the three bold words “GOOD FOR NOTHING” written on his face. I felt a myriad of remorse inside, yet all I could do was act as if nothing had happened. I started to eat and drink with grace.
The refreshments tasted pretty good. Only Ke Luo didn’t eat. He sat on one side and continued to fiddle with his clothes, as if he was at war with those buttons today.
The rather young and talented cameraman slightly stood up, then took two refreshments and a cup of water and walked over. My ears pricked up at once. With the intuition from being the same kind, just by simply watching him look at Ke Luo with those eyes, I sensed that we had similar interests.
“You worked hard. It seems like we’ll shoot until late into the night. Want to go get something to eat tonight?”
Ke Luo nodded and smiled as he said, “Yeah, everyone’s worked hard. It’ll be my treat.”
“I meant just the two of us.”
This time even Ke Luo understood. After a brief silence, my alert ears heard Ke Luo’s quiet but firm voice, “I’m sorry, but I already have someone I like.”
Damn it, he just kills with one move. How many had died needlessly by those words?
The cameraman sure enough walked off, not the least bit reluctant. I looked over Ke Luo from one side, secretly finding fault.
He was pretty, but didn’t care to dress up. The conditions were good, yet, in the arena of love, his methods were actually incredibly poor. He didn’t know how to give a sweet speech and honeyed words. He was inconsiderate.
As soon as someone who’s interested walked up to him, he would say, “I have someone I like. I won’t have a change of heart.” He fully inherited his old man’s stubbornness.
In fact, so long as he was willing to say something a bit more pleasant to hear, with his charm, no matter how many boats he steps on[], there will always be someone who’s willing to take the bait. But he didn’t even know how to deceive people at all.
Only an idiot or a Romeo would continue to run after him. Serves him right that he’s going to be alone all his life.
I looked at him with his head slightly tilted. Lin Jing was still making a ruckus with the staff members. Zhuo Wen Yang stood nearby with an indifferent look.
In fact, the trio among the dazzling lights didn’t seem to have a perfect childhood and teenage years. However Lin Jing had been surrounded by numerous admirers since he was small, Zhuo Wen Yang probably didn’t fall short of receiving affections either, and Ke Luo, the youngest, lacked everything.
Comparing myself to him, there wasn’t an excessive sense of inferiority. Young people had their own advantage, and I had my experience. He wasn’t perfect, and he also had so many faults.
When Ke Luo lifted his head and met my eyes, he slightly hesitated a moment, then smiled at me.
Uh-huh, he has oh-so many faults. It’s just that I seemed to like all those faults of his.
 GV is an acronym for gay video.
 This refers to the Chinese saying ‘To have one’s feet in two boats.’ It can refer to a person who is already going out with someone but is seeing someone else at the same time. It’s similar to the English saying, ‘To have a foot in both camps.’