Drunk In Love (Years of Intoxication) - Chap 41
He Gu watched Song Juhan’s expression. He had a stubborn look on his face as if to say, “If you don’t agree with me, today will not end.” A wave of fatigue struck He Gu’s heart.
Suddenly everything clicked in place.
The one thing he’d always wanted was right at his fingertips – why bother refusing it? Why not give it a try and see if it really was as beautiful as he’d always imagined? Let’s see how long Song Juhan can keep up this pretence, and how long he could tolerate him.
He Gu thought to himself, Song Juhan probably wouldn’t last more than three months.
Song Juhan had never understood the concept of monogamy. Since birth, his family background meant that he was never taught or shown that type of loyalty. As he grew up, he was surrounded by endless attention, and probably scoffed at anyone who spoke to him about ‘loyalty’. Right now, his promise ‘not to mess around with others’ was most likely just a temporary agreement to satisfy the other party and get what he wanted.
In regards to what Song Juhan said about ‘seriously being together’, although it was very pleasing to hear, He Gu knew not to take it to heart. Because the moment he really believed that they were truly together, his possessiveness would completely swallow them both, and he would drag himself into a dead end.
He Gu stretched out his finger and lightly stroked Song Juhan’s chin as he said indifferently, “Okay.”
Song Juhan immediately smiled. He knew it, he knew there was no way He Gu could bear to let him go. He Gu had always been so calm and emotionless, it was actually quite amusing to see him kick up a fuss once in a while. Song Juhan liked to see different sides to He Gu. That’s why he particularly enjoyed teasing He Gu in bed, just so he could witness a different expression on the man.
“But… since you’ve promised me, you must keep your promise.” He Gu’s pitch-black pupils were like a bottomless lake as he continued, “If you sleep with anyone else, we will be completely and utterly over.”
Song Juhan arrogantly said, “As long as I’ve promised you, of course I’ll keep my word.” Very gently, he held the back of He Gu’s head and pressed him down as he merged their lips together.
He Gu blinked momentarily, feeling a sense of bitterness in their kiss.
This scene seemed oddly familiar to He Gu. Of course, it was exactly like this six years ago…
The only difference was that back then he used the excuse of ‘playing around’ to stay close to Song Juhan. This time, he was serious… He Gu was seriously planning to ‘play around’.
Since the first to go back on their words would definitely be Song Juhan. He Gu just needed to finish playing this last leg with him. After that, Song Juhan wouldn’t have any other reason to force him to stay. At least in this way, he could finally fulfil his long-time wish.
In the end, Song Juhan refused to leave. He forcefully held onto He Gu and slept through the night, then sneaked out first thing in the morning. Fortunately, that morning Sun Qing went back to Shanghai to deal with issues at her work. Otherwise, they would have definitely run into each other.
With the end of the New Year’s holiday, the news finally started to die down, and the fans and reporters gathered around the hotel disappeared as well.
Having stayed inside for almost three weeks, He Gu couldn’t stand it any longer. One day, he finally mustered up the courage and decided to go for a walk.
After He Gu put on a long coat and sunglasses, he ventured out. As he stepped into the elevator, he bumped into a few other hotel guests and couldn’t help but feel a growing sense of unease.
As he slowly walked along the street, He Gu realised not many people paid attention to him at all. After a while, he took his sunglasses off to admire the early spring scenery. This was one of the most beautiful times of the year in the capital, with the winter breeze fading away to allow signs of life to blossom. It would be a shame to hide indoors and miss out on witnessing these scenes.
Weaving through the crowded streets, He Gu didn’t feel the pointed looks he imagined would be directed his way. With the computer and television turned off, it was as if the whole world had quieted down. No one knew who he was, no one cared who he was, and no one bothered to pay extra attention to a topic that was old news.
He Gu couldn’t help laughing at himself – he really did get upset over nothing.
Spending the day by himself, He Gu went for a meal, then watched a film before finding a nice coffee shop to sit down and read for a while. Once he sat down, he gave his superior a call to discuss his plans to resign.
Later that afternoon, He Gu had a meal with his superior. With a calm and open-minded demeanour, He Gu wasted no time as he ended his seven-year-long career at Nanchuang.
Even though he had mentally prepared himself, He Gu still felt sad for some reason. Throughout his time at Nanchuang, he had shed blood, sweat, and tears for the company. But in the end, everything came to an abrupt end, just like that. How could he not be sad about it?
His superior said the company would pay him double his year-end bonus, plus three more months of salary. Maybe it was for the sake of his mother, or in affirmation of his years of hard work. Or perhaps they were simply thankful He Gu didn’t make a fuss and left on his own accord. Ultimately, Nanchuang did not treat him badly, given everything that happened.
He Gu let Chen Shan help him pack up everything in his office, prepare his official resignation, and hand over his work to his successor. At the moment, there was no way He Gu could face returning to work to see anyone.
Amongst the chaos of sorting out his resignation, He Gu suddenly remembered Gu Qingpei. Back when Gu Qingpei left Nanchuang, he had countless gatherings and dinners. For Gu Qingpei, it was an energetic and promising send off. On the other hand, He Gu didn’t even have the guts to go into the office, let alone say bye to his long-time colleagues. All he could do was leave with his tail tucked between his legs.
This was all ‘thanks to’ Song Juhan.
After processing his resignation, He Gu gave Gu Qingpei a call to see if they could meet up for a chat.
Gu Qingpei, who had been actively trying to poach him for the past while, seemed to be in a bad state himself. He said something had suddenly happened at the company and apologised to him repeatedly. Obviously everything was uncertain on his end and He Gu would not be able to work for him in the meantime.
He Gu was clearly worried. He asked what was wrong, but Gu Qingpei refused to say.
With Gu Qingpei’s character, if something could trouble him to this degree it must be something major. He Gu didn’t probe further, but instead felt a sense of relief inside. Although he had decided to go work for Gu Qingpei, he didn’t want to join immediately. With this, He Gu could take a break and re-evaluate his situation again later on.
He Gu contacted the redecorating company to officially start the renovation of his old family home. For a small apartment like that, the construction period was no more than two months. He Gu felt reassured to hand over the renovation to the project manager he had worked with many times before, then bought himself a ticket and went to Shanghai.
Once he got off the plane, He Gu turned on his phone. The moment the phone switched on, dozens of missed calls popped up on his notification centre – they were all from Song Juhan. He Gu quickly replied, “What’s wrong?”
Song Juhan’s phone call came immediately, “Where did you go? Why was your phone switched off?”
“I was on the plane. I’m in Shanghai to see my mom.”
Song Juhan seemed to let out a sigh of relief. “When are you coming back?” he asked.
“I’m not sure. Maybe two days.”
“My dad has finally stopped sending people to keep an eye on me, so come back soon.”
“How long does ‘okay’ mean?”
“I’m not sure.”
“I’m really not sure,” He Gu repeated.
Song Juhan hmph-ed loudly before he muttered, “Nevermind.” Then swiftly hung up the phone.
He Gu wasn’t surprised at all. What would be surprising was if Song Juhan actually changed his attitude overnight.
He Gu hailed a cab and went to the same hotel he stayed at last time. That night, he had dinner with his mother and Susu.
Although Susu was normally quite talkative and cheeky, she was acting oddly quiet and sensible today. Not once did she mention a single word about He Gu’s scandalous news from a while back, as if it never happened at all. Instead, she sat patiently in He Gu’s lap as she showed him videos of herself singing and dancing cheerfully, as well as photos of her ski trip in Switzerland.
It wasn’t until Sun Qing left the room to take a phone call that Susu asked in a quiet voice, “Gege, is Song Juhan really your boyfriend?”
He Gu rubbed her head affectionately as he answered, “No.”
Susu looked at him with big sparkling eyes, obviously not believing his answer. After all, he had lied about things relating to Song Juhan before, so it was understandable that his words held no credibility in this matter.
He Gu helplessly reiterated, “He really isn’t.” Using the term ‘boyfriend’ between him and Song Juhan was simply too comical to even consider.
“Then do you like him?” Susu asked directly. “I like him. He’s quite handsome.”
“En,” He Gu relented with a bitter smile. “But he doesn’t like me.”
Susu was stunned. After a moment she frowned and said angrily, “Then there must be something wrong with his eyes.”
He Gu couldn’t help but smile at her words.
“Gege, after you quit your job, will you come to Shanghai?”
“I’m still not sure yet.”
The thought of Gu Qingpei suddenly crossed He Gu’s mind as he hesitated for a second. If he really couldn’t go work for Gu Qingpei, does that mean he would have to come here? At least he would have family here…
He Gu shook his head. “I need to take some time off before I decide.”
In the evening, He Gu returned to the hotel. After washing up, he was just heading to bed when the doorbell rang.
Confused, He Gu called out, “Who is it?”
He Gu froze. That voice, it couldn’t be… He jumped out of bed and yanked open his room door.
With a wicked smile on his lips, Song Juhan stared at him.
“You, how did you…”
“It wasn’t easy to find out which hotel you were staying in.” Song Juhan reached forward and pulled He Gu into his arms. “Who told you to run so far away? What could I do but come after you?”
He Gu was afraid someone would see them, so he quickly backed into the room and shut the door. “How could you dare to take a plane right now? Are you not afraid people will recognise you?”
“That’s why I didn’t take a plane. I took the high speed rail, and now my back’s killing me,” Song Juhan complained, stretching out his slender torso. “I covered my face completely. If they can still recognise me, then they must have God’s eye.”
He Gu didn’t know what to say as he looked at Song Juhan’s travel-worn face. All things considered, the moment he saw Song Juhan, he did indeed feel quite pleasantly surprised.
“I’m gonna go take a shower first.” Song Juhan lowered his head and kissed him lightly, then added in a suggestive voice, “Wait for me.”
He Gu just stood there without reacting much. It wasn’t until Song Juhan walked into the bathroom that he finally let out a sigh of relief. He had originally planned to stay in Shanghai for ten days, or even up to two weeks. He wanted to see if he could get used to this new environment… but now it seemed he wouldn’t be able to stay for long, let alone a few days.
After taking a quick shower, Song Juhan jumped straight into bed. Without wasting another second, he pressed He Gu down and kissed him affectionately as he murmured, “Did you just shower as well? You smell really nice.”
“It’s like you specifically got ready, just for me.” Song Juhan chuckled lightly as he continued to tease He Gu.
He Gu also hadn’t done it in a long time. His body stirred restlessly with Song Juhan’s teasing caresses. At that moment, all he wanted was to thoroughly enjoy sex to the fullest.
That night, Song Juhan patiently teased and triggered He Gu’s desires over and over again. No one understood He Gu’s body as much as Song Juhan did, and no one could control the rise and fall of He Gu’s pleasure as much as Song Juhan could.
The two made love all night long. Like an extinguished flame that refused to burn out, they continued to reignite the flame again and again. He Gu sank deeper into the depth of this burning desire. In the end, it was as if he had lost himself completely…
When he woke up the next day, He Gu was so tired he could barely move. He hadn’t indulged himself like this in a very long time, and the aftermath was quite apparent.
Slowly, Song Juhan started to stir before reaching out to pull He Gu into a tight embrace and kiss him desperately. “Are you hungry?” he asked.
He Gu nodded lazily. His eyes were still so swollen from sleep that he couldn’t open them fully.
Song Juhan reached over to grab the handset on the bedside table and called for two room service breakfasts.
He Gu struggled, trying to get up, but as soon as he moved, the pain caused him to take a sharp inhale.
Song Juhan chuckled, “You must be tired… Have you been neglecting exercise? Your physical condition was better than this before.”
He Gu didn’t want to answer. He just wanted to shower.
“It’s fine, I already cleaned you down last night. Just lie there.” Song Juhan pulled He Gu back into his arms and stroked his smooth back. “We’re not going out today.”
“No,” He Gu opened his mouth to speak, but his voice came out hoarse. Thinking back to everything they did the night before, He Gu’s ears suddenly flushed bright red. “But my mom…”
“Aren’t you staying for a good few days? Just tell her you’re out to see friends today. Look at you now, how can you see your mom like this?”
He Gu gave up and bumped his head against the pillow a few times. To be honest, with the state he was in, he could barely walk let alone go meet anyone.
Watching the other man, Song Juhan started to massage He Gu’s temples. “Are you feeling nauseous? Let me massage you.”
He Gu instantly froze.
When had Song Juhan ever treated him so gently before? This was simply too awkward to bear.
“I was thinking…” Song Juhan said as he continued to massage He Gu’s head. “Those few days you spent in the detention centre, what were you thinking? When you agreed to take the fall for me, what were you thinking?”
He Gu remained silent.
“He Gu, do you think I treat you well?”
“Sure,” He Gu answered mechanically.
“Stop pretending, I know you’re still angry deep down. You’re always like this. You’d rather bottle up everything or even vomit blood before you say anything. If you don’t tell me, how am I supposed to know you’re feeling down? How am I supposed to know what you want?”
He Gu bit his trembling lips.
Song Juhan buried his face into He Gu’s neck, his voice came out so soft and lazy, to the point it seemed coquettish, “I’ve come across so many people throughout these years, but you’re the only one that’s genuine and sincere to me. You’re the only one that doesn’t want anything from me. This time, let’s be together properly. The things I didn’t give you before, I’ll make up for it all now. So your heart and your eyes, they can only be placed on me.”
He Gu wanted to explain himself, but he didn’t know what to say. After realising time and time again that their personality, values, and views were as different as heaven and earth. On top of the fact that Song Juhan seemed only interested in having sex with him, He Gu eventually gave up communicating with him altogether.
Now, even if he wanted to speak up and start communicating, He Gu simply didn’t know where to start.
Proper communication wasn’t something that could be developed overnight; just like a congested tunnel, it couldn’t be unblocked instantly. He Gu said very little and often overthought too much. It wasn’t purely a personality issue, but because back then, even if he did speak up, Song Juhan never bothered to listen.
Now… Whatever Song Juhan said, goes. Whether he was right or wrong was of no significance.
Their breakfasts were finally sent up by room service as Song Juhan helped He Gu sit up. With a smile, Song Juhan playfully pinched He Gu’s nose, “Baby, do you want me to feed you?”
“No need.” He Gu’s cheeks felt warm. When Song Juhan really wanted to be good to someone, he would shower them with so much attention and affection; his dazzling presence so overwhelming, it was hard to ignore.
Song Juhan placed the breakfast on the table, then walked over to the side of the bed. He leaned down, seemingly wanting to pick He Gu up and carry him to the table. But before Song Juhan could grab him, He Gu noticed what he was about to do, and instantly stood up. Unfortunately, He Gu’s legs were still weak from the night before, as his legs gave out beneath him and he slid to the floor.
Song Juhan reached out and supported He Gu’s waist with one arm, then chuckled teasingly, “This can’t be my fault.” Leaning into He Gu’s ear, he whispered, “It’s your fault for biting onto me and refusing to let go.”
He Gu coughed at Song Juhan’s words. He barely managed to stand firm before he pushed the other man away and walked to the table with careful steps.
The pain and soreness he felt was truly embarrassing.
Song Juhan seemed to be in a good mood. He even picked a few dishes and placed them in He Gu’s bowl*. Since He Gu was indeed quite famished, he lowered his head and started eating immediately.
*Chinese cuisine tends to consist of a few shared dishes accompanied by a bowl of rice each. It is common practice for parents to pick food and place them in their child’s bowls, likewise between lovers.
Halfway through the meal, Song Juhan’s phone started to ring. With a quick glance, Song Juhan frowned deeply before reluctantly answering the call, “Hello?”
He Gu couldn’t make out what was being said on the phone, but he could tell it was Song He’s voice.
“Do you plan to keep me chained up at home for good? What’s wrong with me coming out to take a breather?” Song Juhan’s tone was rather aggressive.
“What’s there to do at home? I have no work anyways. Right now, I’m freer than a dog.”
“So what if they recognise me? It’s not like they’ll eat me!” Song Juhan hung up, then swiftly turned his phone off before throwing it aside.
He Gu looked at him.
Song Juhan took a deep breath and said, “Let’s eat.”
He Gu thought for a moment and replied, “What happened?”
“What could happen? All the work has stopped so we’re paying a lot in damages.”
Song Juhan appeared indifferent, but the frustration of falling from his famed pedestal must be quite difficult to bear. Especially for someone like Song Juhan, who has had a smooth life since birth.
“Have you been blacklisted?”
Song Juhan pulled his hair irritably, “I guess so. The situation has caused quite a scene, after all. Besides, the government is trying to make an example of these cases recently, and we happened to fall right in their line of fire. Although my name isn’t on any red-titled documents*, Ah Sheng and the others are still my people. My parents want me to lay low and wait for the hype to pass, so for the next few months I won’t be participating in any public activities.”
*红头文件 – ‘Red-title document’ is not a legal term, but rather a commoner’s term referring to official Chinese Government published documents.
“Have Ah Sheng and the others been sentenced yet?”
“Soon. They’ll be locked away for at least half a year. By the time they’re out, they’ll basically be useless. The most they can do is work behind the scenes, but my dad doesn’t want to work with them anymore. I’ve warned him a few times before not to touch that stuff, but he wouldn’t listen to me. Now his ex-wife screwed him over, and even implicated so many others as well. Damn it!” Song Juhan clenched his fists; the more he said, the angrier he got.
He Gu didn’t know how to console Song Juhan in this situation, since he was also one of the victims. On the other hand, there’s no use in blaming Ah Sheng, as the law would punish him anyways.
Looking at He Gu, Song Juhan said in a quiet voice, “I shouldn’t have brought them over to your place.”
He Gu let out a long sigh, “I really don’t get it, why did you bring them over to mine in the first place?”
Song Juhan lowered his head as if he’d suddenly grown a guilty conscience. “Who told you to ignore me back then? I thought, if I brought all those people over, at least then you’d give me some face.”
He Gu didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
As if he’d suddenly remembered something, Song Juhan said, “That house, why didn’t you transfer the ownership?”
He Gu stayed silent for a while. “There’s no need.”
“What do you mean ‘there’s no need’?”
“I’m living there anyways.”
Song Juhan seemed unhappy. “No, you can’t live there anymore. I’ll give you one of the apartments in the city centre, it’ll just need a little decorating. When we get back…”
“There’s no need.” He Gu lifted his head and looked Song Juhan straight in the eye. “I already quit Nanchuang, and I’m planning to move back to my parents’ old apartment.”
Song Juhan frowned, “That place is practically ancient. It must be older than you.”
“I renovated it.”
“I think I’ve been there once. I went there looking for you, didn’t I? It was so small and shabby, in a dodgy* residential area. Why would you want to move back there? If you don’t like living in the city centre, I can buy you a villa in the suburbs.”
*鱼龙混杂 – (idiom) lit. fish and dragons mixed together; fig. Crooks mixed in with the honest folk.
“Juhan.” He Gu looked at him seriously. “The house, car, clothes, and watches – all these material things are insignificant to me. I really don’t feel comfortable receiving these things from you. I’ve always felt this way, but back then I was afraid you’d be unhappy, so I never mentioned it before.”
Song Juhan looked completely baffled by He Gu’s words. “He Gu, you’re nearly thirty years old. What’s the point in playing this game of ‘pure, innocent love’? You know these little things mean nothing to me. I, Song Juhan, have never treated my people badly before, so you shouldn’t take these matters too seriously, either.”
He Gu took a deep breath and said calmly, “I’m a man, too. Besides, I don’t need you to support me financially. It doesn’t matter whether you understand me or not. The point is, I won’t be living in your house anymore.”
“Why are you so stubborn?!”
Ignoring the other man, He Gu continued, “I’ll keep driving the car since it won’t be worth much with the depreciation. Even if I sell it, you certainly wouldn’t want the money back, so it’d be a waste to get rid of it.”
Song Juhan was annoyed. “Who the hell cares about a car. Why are you drawing such a clean line between us?!” On the surface, it seemed He Gu had reconciled with him, yet deep down Song Juhan felt there was a little something missing between them. No, it wasn’t just a little something, but rather a lot was missing. Compared to before, He Gu was even more uncommunicative and slow-speeched. Apart from the moments of passion in bed, He Gu wouldn’t even look him straight in the eye. Annoyingly, Song Juhan didn’t know what to do. Whenever he asked He Gu anything, the man would use his words, eyes, gestures, or other expressions to say, “It’s nothing.”
It’s nothing? What the fuck does he mean ‘it’s nothing’?!
What Song Juhan wanted wasn’t a He Gu like this. It was the He Gu from the past – the one that was obedient, considerate, and gentle with him. But the more he wanted that He Gu back, the more he seemed to slip away. He Gu was clearly right there and within reach, yet he still felt that He Gu was keeping his distance. It didn’t matter how many times they connected on a physical level. Bit by bit, Song Juhan could feel He Gu pulling away from him.
The feeling of powerlessness made Son Juhan very angry and frustrated.
He Gu lowered his head and took a sip of the soup. “It’s better to keep things clear between us.”
Song Juhan instantly dropped his chopsticks. Looking up, he narrowed his eyes, “What the hell do you mean by that? Are you really trying to draw a clean line between us?”
He Gu was silent for a moment before he said, “Didn’t you say you wanted to be together for real?”
“Then let’s start as equals.”
Song Juhan sneered, “What’s wrong with wanting you to live comfortably? How is that not equal? The way you think is so ridiculous sometimes.”
“I guess.” He Gu wasn’t even angry.
Once again, Song Juhan felt like he was punching cotton* with his fists – he didn’t need to put any power or effort in since the other party wasn’t even fighting back at all. The feeling was very suffocating. Song Juhan gritted his teeth and stared at He Gu. At that moment, he really wanted to bite someone.
*种拳头打在棉花上 – lit. fighting with cotton. This metaphor is used to describe the feeling of fighting against something/someone that doesn’t fight back.
“Let’s eat. The food’s getting cold,” said He Gu.
Song Juhan rolled his eyes, “I don’t wanna eat anymore.” Clearly annoyed, he got up and stalked to the sofa. Flopping down lazily, he started to play games on his phone.
He Gu watched Song Juhan’s grumpy figure from behind. After hesitating for a second, he walked over, stroked his back gently and said, “Come eat.”
Song Juhan lifted his head and stared at him – the look in his eyes was both of anger and feeling wronged at the same time. “I’m just doing it for your own good. How can you not know what’s good for you?”
“You know nothing. You’re just deliberately acting out against me.”
“I didn’t mean it like that. Come on, let’s eat.”
Song Juhan hesitated for a moment, then returned to the dinner table.
As he observed Song Juhan’s childish behaviour, He Gu couldn’t help as a light chuckle escaped his lips.
Noticing the other man’s amusement, Song Juhan said awkwardly, “What are you laughing at? Go on, feed me.”
He Gu picked up a piece of fried egg and brought it close to Song Juhan’s lips. Song Juhan opened his mouth wide and swallowed it down in one mouthful.
After feeding him a few mouthfuls, Song Juhan’s mood seemed to have improved.
Song Juhan’s personality was just like that – his temper was quick, vicious, and ruthless. But as fast as it came, it went away just as quickly.
He Gu always felt deep down Song Juhan was like a child that never grew up. He possessed a quality specific to children – a kind of innocent cruelty. Even if he hurts someone, Song Juhan doesn’t seem to realise, care, or even shy away from it.
The two of them stayed in Shanghai for five days. When He Gu went out to spend time with his mother and sister, Song Juhan would stay in the hotel room and frantically send him messages, urging him to come back quickly.
The stolen moments from those few days were really warm and sweet. For the first time, Song Juhan was really trying hard to express his gentle and romantic side. Only then did He Gu realise, apart from being incapable of giving his heart out, Song Juhan was very good at dating. Back when the two first met, with just a few sweet words, Song Juhan was able to keep He Gu up all night. After all these years, He Gu once again experienced the effortless and invincible charm of Song Juhan.
The only difference was that this time He Gu no longer felt light-headed. This time he was sober, and he would thoroughly enjoy Song Juhan’s attentions with a clear mind. He Gu was finally able to enjoy what he had longed for for so long – it was a very pleasant feeling indeed.
Even if he no longer wanted it desperately anymore.