Drunk In Love (Years of Intoxication) - Chap 10
They spent two days at the villa in Fragrant Hills.
One time, Song Juhan’s father, Song He, called to teach him a lesson, but at that time, Song Juhan was pressing He Gu in the open balcony and doing whatever he wanted.
Song Juhan quarreled lazily with his father. Soft music was playing in the house, but it was so quiet that the slightest noise could expose them. He Gu had no choice but to bite the pillow on the recliner, and only then could he endure not making a sound. Song Juhan seemed to find it interesting.
During the day, this man was always very serious, and it was only at this moment that he’d show a completely different side. That look belonged only to him, Song Juhan.
Song He paused. “What are you doing?”
Song Juhan looked at He Gu, who was being bullied by him, and he was in an extremely good mood. Chuckling, he said, “Listening to a song.”
“Were you listening to what I said? Don’t be indifferent to everything. Those reporters can turn out flowers so long as they catch a tiny bit of something.”
“I know, Dad. Compared to you, I think I’m quite a good boy.” Song Juhan’s narrowed eyes showed a hint of sarcasm. “The pictures of you and that little model from last month have all been passed to me.”
“Shut up, it’s not your turn to control me.”
Song Juhan laughed lightly, but the temperature in his eyes suddenly dropped.
Probably in recognition of He Gu’s “work injury,” Song Juhan was quite gentle to him in the past two days. Aside from him not stopping even when He Gu cried and begged for mercy, he was a completely impeccable lover.
When Song Juhan wanted to be nice to someone, he could literally drown them in affection and sweetness. Just a glance full of smiles and words of love poured into one’s ears were already like a cannonball wrapped in tonnes of honey, hitting people straight in the heart. He Gu had experienced it a bit before, back when Song Juhan and Feng Zheng were fighting over him. Song Juhan was so sweet that He Gu misunderstood and thought they were dating.
After many years, he could still remember the first time he caught Song Juhan “cheating.” Song Juhan was so amused that he couldn’t stop laughing, as if He Gu were the biggest joke in the world.
Fortunately, he had now grown up. When Song Juhan was good to him, he enjoyed it; when he was bad to him, he endured it. There were no more unnecessary thoughts.
Two days passed quickly, and the driver picked them up and took them back to the city. He Gu received a call on the way. The company was in an emergency, so he asked the driver to send him there first.
As a super state-owned enterprise with tens of thousands of employees around the world, the office building of Nanchuang Group’s headquarters was located in the most prosperous central business district. Though it wasn’t a rush hour at this time of the day, there were still a lot of people in the square.
When the driver parked the car in front of the company building, Song Juhan, who had been sleeping against He Gu, slowly opened his eyes and said sluggishly, “Are we there?”
“It’s my company.”
Song Juhan pouted. He hugged He Gu’s waist, and said coquettishly, “Don’t go to work. Being with me is much better.”
He Gu ruffled his hair. “I still have to go to work.”
“Not making much money but still getting so tired…” Song Juhan snorted. “Look at the news. There are people dying from overworking every day. If you go on like this, then sooner or later, your body will be done for.”
“I exercise every week, and I’m in good health.”
Song Juhan didn’t look too happy about it.
He Gu gently cupped his chin and brought his lips closer for a kiss. “I’m leaving.”
He Gu was also a bit reluctant to leave. He even wished to live in a world where there was only him and Song Juhan, but that was not possible.
He got out of the car, then felt that the license plate of the Cayenne behind him looked quite familiar. Sure enough, Gu Qingpei got off from it, shifted his figure, and nodded at him with a smile. “Mr. He? What a coincidence. What happened to your face?” He pointed at the band-aid on He Gu’s eyebrow.
“Chief Gu.” He Gu walked over, and a smell of alcohol came over him. “Scratched a little skin. It’s a small wound. Have you been drinking?”
Gu Qingpei’s face was flushed, and his eyes were slightly tipsy. He seemed to be in a very good mood. He grabbed He Gu by the shoulders and smiled, “There was a party at noon, and my friend brought two bottles of good wine.” He clicked his tongue twice, seemingly relishing the wine.
He Gu smiled and said, “Looks like Chief Gu always drinks well. Can you walk?”
“It’s okay.” Gu Qingpei said it was okay, but his feet seemed to be unstable.
Gu Qingpei’s driver poked his head out of the window. “Chief Gu, wait for me to park, and I’ll help you.”
He Gu said, “No need, I will help him.”
“Take the elevator inside. Don’t let the staff see.” Gu Qingpei was obviously not drunk, just a little dizzy.
But as soon as they walked through the door, a cold voice came from behind. “He Gu.”
When He Gu turned his head around, he saw that Song Juhan had not left yet, and he was now getting off the car! Although he was wearing big, black sunglasses, one glance at his impeccable build and three-dimensional features could make people see that he was not an ordinary person.
Gu Qingpei also looked back, and with half-narrowed eyes, he sized up Song Juhan. He thought this person looked a bit familiar…
“What’s wrong?” He Gu signaled at him with his eyes to tell him to hurry back in the car. There were not many people right now, but what if someone with a sharp eye recognized him?
Song Juhan rudely pointed at Gu Qingpei. “Who is he?”
“My superior.” He Gu kept his voice down and said, “You hurry and go now.”
Gu Qingpei said with a smile, “Mr. He, is he your friend?”
“En…” He Gu was so embarrassed. Nobody was stupid, not to mention that Gu Qingpei was as smart as a fox. Where was Song Juhan’s inexplicably hostile attitude like that of an ordinary friend?
When Song Juhan heard the word “superior,” he sized up Gu Qingpei from top to bottom for a while and really couldn’t believe it.
He Gu was different from him. When Song Juhan was a child, he only liked women. Later, he tried men for the novelty of it. He thought it was good, so he didn’t shy away from it. However, He Gu was purely bent. So when He Gu had such a handsome superior that was even familiar with him, how come he never knew of it?
He hated anyone who was close to He Gu. He was He Gu’s only man, so he instinctively felt that He Gu belonged to him alone. As he said, He Gu must always be “clean”—a clean, loyal, mature, non-troublesome, and calming person on the side of his pillow. Although He Gu wasn’t good with words and someone he couldn’t take out with him, it was enough for him to know that He Gu was good.
Gu Qingpei drank some wine, and his character, which had always been stable, was a bit jumpy at this time. He let go of He Gu, walked over as steadily as he could, and extended his hand toward Song Juhan. “Hello. My surname is Gu. How may I address you?”
Song Juhan neither extended his hand nor spoke. He certainly didn’t want people to know that he, Song Juhan, was here.
For a moment, the atmosphere dropped to a freezing point. He Gu felt smoke coming out of Song Juhan’s head. He pulled Gu Qingpei over and said in fear, “Chief Gu, I’m sorry for this. Let’s go back to the company first, and I’ll explain to you.”
Gu Qingpei withdrew his hand, and with a smile on his lips, he said, “Oh, you’re that star, right? That… that one who specializes in commercials?”
Song Juhan’s eyes under the sunglasses were extremely sharp, and his thin lips were slightly pursed up.
He Gu felt Song Juhan getting angry. He was now in an awkward dilemma, and he really wanted to disappear on the spot.
How could Gu Qingpei not fight back when Song Juhan had embarrassed him? A bit drunk, he said with a smirk, “I especially like your commercials. With all the singing and dancing, they’re so festive.”
Song Juhan smiled coldly. “I don’t shoot commercials. You, however, are drunk when the sun is so high. Your job is quite suspicious.”
“Juhan, stop talking!” He Gu said anxiously. “You go back first, okay? This is a company; there are people coming and going.”
Gu Qingpei put his hands in his pockets and calmly looked at Song Juhan.
Song Juhan still wanted to make trouble, but he realized that the people around them had already noticed them. His slender fingers moved the sunglasses down a bit, revealing a pair of sharp eyes bursting with a cold light. After fiercely glaring at Gu Qingpei, he turned around and got into the car.
—end of part 1—
After Song Juhan left, He Gu heaved a sigh of relief. Then he looked at Gu Qingpei’s face and dared not say a word.
Gu Qingpei gave a sideways glance at He Gu. With an eyebrow raised, he said, “I didn’t expect you to know Song Juhan.”
“We were schoolmates in high school.”
Gu Qingpei gave a long “oh,” and a playful smile rose on his lips. “You don’t look like ordinary high school schoolmates.”
He Gu showed an extremely uncomfortable expression. Holding back his embarrassment, he said, “Chief Gu, I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. Please let me apologize to you in his stead.”
Gu Qingpei patted his shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, it’s not your fault.”
He Gu felt both angry and embarrassed in his heart. He didn’t know what Song Juhan was thinking in making such a scene, Gu Qingpei had always treated him well, and He Gu also had great respect for him. Having now offended him, it was really a turn for the worse.
After such a scene, Gu Qingpei also sobered up quite a bit. The two then walked into the office side by side. Although Gu Qingpei appeared normal as always, He Gu could feel his heart beating erratically like a drum.
He Gu accompanied Gu Qingpei all the way to his office. Gu Qingpei would be leaving the company in two weeks, but ultimately, he was still He Gu’s superior.
Once they entered the office, He Gu poured a cup of tea and handed it to Gu Qingpei.
Gu Qingpei sat down on a chair, and with his slender fingers, began to loosen his tie and unbutton his collar, revealing a slither of his pointy collarbone. He took a sip of tea, seemingly thinking of something, and after a moment, suddenly smiled to himself.
He Gu looked at him unsurely.
Gu Qingpei seemed beside himself*, “He Gu, I really couldn’t tell. Indeed, with such good prospects, there have been numerous people trying to introduce potential partners to you since you entered this company, and yet you always declined. So this is the reason why.”
*乐不可支 – idiom meaning overwhelmed with joy, besides themselves
He Gu didn’t respond, which could be seen as silently admitting to it. He knew his outer appearance didn’t come across as a homosexual. He was neither fashionable nor feminine. Although these two qualities were not the standards for gays, most people who do not understand this would use these two criteria to distinguish between straight and gay men.
Gu Qingpei smiled. “Don’t worry, this is your private life. I am simply surprised by the events of today.”
He Gu smiled bitterly. “Chief Gu, I really do apologize…”
“Alright, alright, stop apologizing. I already said it’s not your fault. This Song Juhan has quite the temper though. If you insist there is nothing going on between you two, I won’t believe it.”
He Gu knew he couldn’t fool Gu Qingpei, so he answered honestly. “We only meet occasionally, um… we are not officially together.” The term ‘friends with benefits’ really couldn’t be used in front of his superior, so he could only allude to it metaphorically. He knew Gu Qingpei would be able to read between the lines.
“Hahaha, so that’s how it is.” Gu Qingpei’s shoulders were shaking from laughter, the alcohol seemingly exaggerate his emotions. “Interesting, very interesting indeed.”
He Gu seemed even more embarrassed.
“Alright, don’t be nervou. I already said I don’t blame you, and I am not so narrow-minded*, so get back to work.”
*小肚鸡肠 – literally translate as ‘small stomach, chicken intestines’, which is used as an idiom meaning a narrow-minded person
“Thank you Chief Gu.”
“Oh, by the way, I seem to remember you owe me dinner. I still want to have a good long chat with you.”
“Of course. I’ll let Chief Gu decide. Anytime is good for me.”
After leaving Gu Qingpei’s office, He Gu finally let out a sigh of relief. Fortunately, it was Gu Qingpei. If it happened to be some other straight-laced manager… On second thought, if it was another manager, Song Juhan wouldn’t have reacted so strongly. It was only because of Gu Qingpei’s handsome appearance that created such misunderstanding.
He Gu shook his head and returned to his own office.
He was currently overseeing three projects at the same time. Today, there was a problem with a case in a spa treatment center, and they were waiting for him to start the meeting.
After discussing for more than two hours, the meeting finally ended. The skies were already dark, and the office was nearly completely empty.
He Gu still had his car* parked at the KTV parking lot, so he took a taxi to pick up his car. On the way, he gave Song Juhan a call.
After a few rings, the call connected. He Gu asked cautiously, “Juhan?”
Song Juhan answered briskly, “En.”
“You’re not angry?”
“I am not so idle, how can I be angry all the time?”
So he is angry…
He Gu sighed, “Gu Qingpei is really just my manager. We are not that close. What you saw today was simply him drinking too much, so I helped support him. There’s nothing else.”
“How old is he?”
“Thirty-one, maybe two.”
“I remember you are also a mid-level manager, but he is your superior. Is he an executive?”
Song Juhan laughed mockingly. “How did he get to such a position? Is your* boss his dad? Or was it because of a woman? Is he gay? Are the people of Nanchuang all dead? As a Fortune 100 company, how could they allow a thirty-odd person to be an executive?”
*Song Juhan is using the plural form of “you” here, so he’s talking about both He Gu and Gu Qingpei.
He Gu couldn’t help but say, “It’s neither. He’s simply a very capable individual, but he is about to resign.”
“He’s only working until the end of the month.”
“Oh.” Song Juhan’s tone sounded a lot better. “Leaving is good.”
He Gu let out a sigh of relief in his heart.
After coaxing for a bit, the situation seemed to have passed*. The two spoke a while about inconsequential topics, and eventually hung up. It seemed the passion from the previous two days of amicably getting along was still there, and Song Juhan didn’t make things difficult for him. He Gu’s feelings of unease from this afternoon’s events eventually dissipated.
*这页算是翻过去了 – the page was turned over, meaning the situation has passed, similar to the saying turn over a new leaf.
He got into his car and was about to drive home when he received a call from Feng Zheng, asking him out to eat.
Seeing as he had already declined twice to his previous invitations, He Gu could not refuse again, and so he agreed.
The two decided to meet at a private winery.
Once he arrived, He Gu noted his name to the waiter, and waited to be led inside.
This was a Tuscan-style winery, with two rows of Sisal trees planted outside, but due to the limited space, the trees seemed a little crowded. However, the overall design of the winery was very pure and elegant. He Gu, as an engineer, often dealt with many designers, and from a glance, he could tell how much the design work was worth. Just based on the foreign elements of the construction and design, it was clearly an extravagant statement, like throwing money in the sea.
The waiter led He Gu to a room. At one glance, He Gu could see Feng Zheng who was chatting away to a group of people. Apart from Feng Zheng, there were about seven to eight others, both male and female, all seemingly extraordinary individuals.
“He Gu.” Feng Zheng stood up with a smile, and said to the others, “Let me introduce. This is my friend, He Gu, a senior engineer at Nanchuang. He Gu, these are my friends…” Feng Zheng continued to introduce every one of his friends; the backgrounds and careers of all these people were quite impressive. But there were simply too many people, and He Gu was beginning to feel a bit flustered.
After the introductions, Feng Zheng pulled him aside to the sofa, “You arrived quite quickly, any traffic?”
“Actually, there wasn’t any traffic today.” He Gu looked around, “This is quite nice.”
“Yes, my friend owns this winery. In fact, he’s the boss.” Just as he was explaining, a young man walked in. He had a tall figure with long legs, a quite handsome face, and a very calm temperament. With a cigarette dangling from his lips and his eyebrows lowered, he appeared to have no care for anything in the world. Feng Zheng waved him over, “Peng Fang, come here.”
“Coming, I just woke up.” Peng Fang touched his neck, and hissed, “Damn it, I think I have a stiff neck.”
“Where did you fool around last night to just wake up now?”
“I wasn’t fooling around. I flew to and back from LA in three days, helping my dad with some deal.” Peng Fang glanced at He Gu, then smiled and said, “Hi.”
“Nice to meet you, my name is He Gu,” said He Gu as he shook Peng Fang’s hand.
“I’m Peng Fang,” Replied Peng Fang as he sat down on the opposite sofa. After calling a waiter for a glass of ice water, Peng Fang lifted his chin at Feng Zheng and said, “What do you think about this winery?”
“Very good. I especially brought some friends over for a party today.”
“Thanks. It’s my treat today, since you helped promote this place.”
Peng Fang handed a cigarette to He Gu. After taking the cigarette He Gu said, “Does Chief Peng specialize in wineries?”
Peng Fang let out a chuckle. “Not really.” He glanced at Feng Zheng. “I haven’t seen him before.”
“My college classmate, not part of our circle.”
Peng Fang gave a simple “Oh.”
He Gu knew the circle that Feng Zheng was referring to. It was the one consisting of the richest and most prominent successors of Beijing’s upper class. He Gu understood that Feng Zheng must have brought him here to introduce some potentially useful friends to him. Although it was a nice gesture, He Gu felt very uncomfortable.
On the other hand, if it was someone as smooth as Gu Qingpei, he would definitely be more than qualified to handle the situation, and would easily become the focus of the party. As an outsider with no background, Gu Qingpei only used ten years to become an executive of a large monopolistic state-owned company. How could that be possible without great skill and ability?
Such a pity. No matter how much he envied him, He Gu could not become Gu Qingpei. The ability to hide his current embarrassment was already the result of years of practice.
Peng Fang suddenly remembered something. He smiled to himself and said, “Oh, Feng Zheng, do you know who is coming back?”
*The gong in Zhenfeng Dujiue (Beloved Enemy)
He Gu thought the name Yuan Yang sounded quite familiar, but he couldn’t remember where he heard it from.
Feng Zheng smiled, “Really? He’s finally willing to come back from the army?”
“Please, he was forced to return.” Peng Fang laughed out loud. “I’m planning to host a welcome dinner for him; you must come.”
“Of course, you must be so psyched.”
“Duh, he’s my best buddy.”
After the two chatted for a while, Peng Fang left to greet the others. Feng Zheng and He Gu finally had the chance to speak properly.
Feng Zheng smiled and said, “Let’s eat together later. Peng Fang managed to entice a chef from a French Michelin star restaurant. The seafood here is shipped over from Canada every other day, and it tastes especially good.
“Perfect, I didn’t eat lunch today.” He Gu smiled as he patted his stomach.
“Have you been busy lately?”
“Same as before. I think I’ll need to change careers in a few years. It’s just too tiring. I’m afraid my body can’t handle it.”
Feng Zheng nodded his head. “Of course, I’ll always support you. So what are you planning to do?”
“Not sure yet. I’ll wait and see.”
Feng Zheng tried to hide his smile, “If you treat me to dinner, I’ll invest in you.”
He Gu laughed, “Is it really that easy to get an investment?”
“Only for you.”
He Gu felt a little flustered under Feng Zheng’s eager gaze, so he changed the topic, “What about you, what have you been up to lately?”
“I’m planning to invest in SongShi Entertainment’s new film, so I’ve been busy evaluating everything.”
“Oh, I heard.”
Feng Zheng didn’t know whether to smile or not. “Did Song Juhan tell you that too?”
He Gu replied calmly, “Yes, their company’s films have always been box office hits.”
“En, Song He has raised a group of talented individuals. And with his great sixth sense, he always knows what the market is and what young people these days want.”
“So what about Chief Feng?”
“My dad, as far as his health is concerned, can probably still work for another 20 years, but he also agrees with me coming out to start gaining some experience first.”
The atmosphere was not bad as the two continued to chat, as if the conflict of the past few days didn’t happen at all. He Gu felt more relieved, thinking how great it would be if he could continue being friends with Feng Zheng.