Drunk In Love (Years of Intoxication) - Chap 43
That day, Zhuang Jieyu finally managed to find a gap in his schedule and came running to find He Gu.
He recently portrayed a very lovable character on a TV series and had become quite popular overnight. In the blink of an eye, it became hard for him to go out without being recognised instantly.
The moment he stepped in, Zhuang Jieyu pulled off his hat and sunglasses, then shivered and complained, “Oh my god, it’s so cold!”
He Gu held back his laughter as he said, “The weather’s so cold outside. Why are you wearing such a thin windbreaker?”
“Style, it’s style. Don’t you get it?” Zhuang Jieyu fiddled with his hair in front of the mirror, then turned to He Gu and said with a smile, “He-shushu, did you miss me?”
“I can always see you on the TV.”
“True that,” said Zhuang Jieyu proudly with his hands on his hips. “Laozi’s finally famous, and I’ve made a lot of money lately.”
“Congrats. Come sit, do you want tea or coffee?”
He Gu made a cup of coffee and handed it to Zhuang Jieyu so he could warm his hands.
Zhuang Jieyu smiled as he looked at He Gu, “You’re looking a lot better. Though you’re still a little thin, at least you look more energetic now.”
“En. The job I had before was too tiring. Maybe quitting was a blessing in disguise. Now that I’m not working, I can actually sleep eight hours a day.”
“That’s good.” Zhuang Jieyu said with a grin, “It’s great that you quit that tiresome job and left that bastard, now you can start a new chapter in your life.”
He Gu froze at his words. He could only smile but kept his lips shut.
“He-shushu.” Zhuang Jieyu dragged his toes suggestively up and down He Gu’s calf, licked his lips, and said teasingly, “Since you’ve said goodbye to that Song bastard, do you want to consider me instead?”
He Gu reached out and rubbed Zhuang Jieyu’s head playfully. “You naughty kiddo.”
“Don’t tease me. I have much more experience than you.” Zhuang Jieyu waved his hand around dissatisfiedly. “My skills are very good, you sure you don’t want to give it a go?”
“Liar, you haven’t even tried being a ‘1’ before. You must be curious about it. I mean, even I’ve topped before. Come on, isn’t it a waste to call yourself a man without ever trying to use this thing here?”
He Gu said nothing. Deep down, he was very curious indeed. Just like Zhuang Jieyu said, it was a waste to have it and not use it once in a while. But he wasn’t Song Juhan, and He Gu didn’t want to have this kind of relationship with Zhuang Jieyu.
Walking around him, Zhuang Jieyu stopped in front of He Gu and said ambiguously, “Let me tell you this- I’m totally clean. Has that Song bastard been telling you bad things about me? Please, I have very strict principles for who I sleep with – they must be handsome. I won’t just sleep with anyone to get a role. They must be handsome and beneficial to sleep with me. Amazing, right?”
He Gu crossed his arms and looked at him. “How you choose to live your life is your business, you don’t have to explain anything to me.”
“En. That’s what I thought as well,” said Zhuang Jieyu nonchalantly. “It doesn’t matter what others think. As long as I’m happy, that’s all that matters. So, He-shushu…” Zhuang Jieyu wrapped his arms around He Gu’s neck and laughed loudly, “Do it with me. The more you tell me no, the more I want a taste. You’re teasing me just by standing in front of me.”
He Gu removed his arms. “You’re the one that came looking for me.”
“But I wanted to see you.”
“Stop messing around.”
Zhuang Jieyu gave He Gu a once-over before pouting his lips, “Hmph, if it weren’t for your recent situation, I would’ve forced you down already. Just wait, sooner or later, I’ll have you to myself.”
He Gu couldn’t hold back a chuckle.
“What’re you laughing at?” Zhuang Jieyu seemed embarrassed and humiliated at the same time.
“Have you eaten yet? Should I call for room service?” He Gu asked.
“Sure, sure, sure.”
He Gu made a quick call, when he turned around he saw Zhuang Jieyu laughing happily at something on his phone. “What’re you watching that’s making you laugh so much?”
“Hahahaha.” Zhuang Jieyu giggled cheerfully. “My friend just saw some gossip, the luxury brand that Song Juhan used to endorse wants to terminate their contract with him. They even sued him for damaging the brand image and claimed compensation of five million yuan.”
He Gu thought about how furious and frustrated Song Juhan must be at this moment.
“There’s more. All of Song Juhan’s previous adverts have been removed, his endorsements stopped, and his contracted concert and public appearances cancelled. He’s about to face a handful of lawsuits. No matter how well-off his family are, it’ll still be painful to endure.” Zhuang Jieyu raised his chin and “hmph”-ed triumphantly before he added snidely, “He deserved it.”
He Gu couldn’t tell how he was feeling at the moment. All he knew was that thank goodness the Song family were rich. Otherwise, just on damage compensations, they would be turned upside down and inside out.
“But Song Juhan really was unlucky this time. It’s true he didn’t smoke anything – I mean, that voice of his is worth millions. Don’t mention that illegal stuff, even just alcohol – you must have so much face to get him to have a single glass of wine. The entire Song Media was ruined by Han Sheng.” Zhuang Jieyu pursed his lips. “Still, I think they deserve it. That old punk Song He is a sinister and cunning man. He’s famous in the entertainment circle for being a wolf, after all. In order to take the heat off his own son, he hired spammers* to crush you without hesitation. That’s so cruel!”
*网络水军 – lit. Internet navy. A term used to refer to employed online writers who publish specific information for specific content. They are usually active on social media platforms such as Weibo, pretending to be ordinary netizens to influence public opinion.
He Gu stiffened, “What did you say?”
“You didn’t know, eh? People in the circle can tell at a glance. You just need to hire spammers to post a half-true, half-false article, then a bunch of nobodies will go crazy and build momentum. There’s always stupid believers out there, right? Eventually, it’s not clear what’s real and what’s fake. In the end, people started to sympathise with Song Juhan, thinking that he was dragged into this situation by you – a homosexual who pursued him endlessly. All of that was Song He’s doing.”
Although he had long guessed this, it was still hard to hear it from somebody else. He Gu felt a chill run down his spine. Throughout this entire fiasco, He Gu had been completely innocent. But Song He had still managed to distort the truth like that. If He Gu had really taken the fall for Song Juhan back then, what would have happened to him now? Would he still be able to sit here and enjoy a cup of coffee with his friends?
Song He really was a hateful and cunning person.
He Gu fell silent for a moment, then said in a low voice, “Does Song Juhan know about this?”
Zhuang Jieyu glanced at He Gu, then pursed his lips. “How could he not know? Didn’t I already say – people in the industry are familiar with this. Song He isn’t the first person to do this, nor is it his first time doing this, either.”
He Gu froze for a second, then chuckled lightly. No wonder Song Juhan had been so attentive and diligent lately; he must be feeling guilty towards He Gu. For someone like Song Juhan, this was not a big deal, since He Gu was just a nobody who got scolded by a few netizens for a short while and subsequently lost his ‘low-paying’ job that barely made any money anyways.
Zhuang Jieyu poked He Gu’s waist. “Don’t feel bad. Besides, you won’t have anything to do with him anymore; just treat it as being bitten by a dog. Right now, you’ve got money and time, so take some time off and refresh yourself properly.”
“En, I thought so too.” He Gu smiled and added, “Don’t worry, I no longer care anymore.” Even after hearing everything Zhuang Jieyu said, He Gu surprisingly didn’t feel upset or angry. In fact, he wasn’t even taken aback by the news.
How much disappointment must he have accumulated throughout the years to not be affected by this? To be able to stay completely and truly calm in light of everything.
When Song Juhan came over that night, He Gu didn’t mention anything. He simply kept to himself and said even fewer words than usual.
Song Juhan’s mood was already quite bad. Upon seeing He Gu act distant and withdrawn, his mood worsened. “What’s wrong with you today?”
“Nothing’s wrong. Maybe I’m just tired from reading.”
“How can reading make you tired?” Song Juhan finished his food and went to the bathroom to wash his hands. As soon as he lowered his head, he noticed an empty Coke can in the bin. With a deep frown, he shouted, “He Gu!”
He Gu walked over and asked, “What’s wrong?”
Song Juhan gestured to the bin with his chin, “You never drink soft drinks. Whose is that?”
Without hesitation, He Gu answered honestly, “Zhuang Jieyu came over this afternoon.”
Song Juhan widened his eyes. “You’re still in contact with him?!”
“Me and him, we’re just friends. Why can’t I be in contact with him?” He Gu paused, then added without flinching, “You can’t interfere with my normal friends.”
“Normal friends? Do you have any idea how messy that bastard Zhuang Jieyu’s relationships are?!”
“That’s his private life. It has nothing to do with me.” He Gu didn’t bother looking back as he turned and left. Walking into the bedroom, he sat down on his bed and picked up his book.
Song Juhan rushed in after him, squinted his eyes, and glared at He Gu. “You’re triggering me on purpose, aren’t you?”
“I’m not that childish,” He Gu answered calmly. “I hope you’ll learn to respect others. We’re both adults here. We have our own limitations and values. I will not interfere with your work and social life. Likewise, you shouldn’t interfere with mine.”
“What great values are you trying to teach me?!” Song Juhan shouted angrily. “There’s already a ton of people trying to educate me all day long. Do you have to fucking educate me, too?”
“I’m not trying to educate you. I’m just informing you of my attitude.”
“Your attitude? Are we not dating right now? Shouldn’t your attitude be to avoid arousing suspicion?”
He Gu was stunned as he lifted his head to look at the other man. To hear the word ‘dating’ come out of Song Juhan’s mouth was truly a wonder. He Gu couldn’t help feeling a little moved by it.
Song Juhan glared fiercely at He Gu, looking very unconvinced.
Out of nowhere, He Gu’s heart softened – probably because he was still reeling from hearing the word ‘dating’ from Song Juhan. He thought for a moment then said, “Okay, I’ll avoid doing anything suspicious.”
Finally Song Juhan calmed down his irritable mood as he let out a deep sigh. A second later, he swung his legs around and lay down on the bed, resting his head on He Gu’s lap. “Right now, every day is annoying. Don’t be angry with me as well, okay?” he muttered.
Looking at Song Juhan’s aggrieved expression, He Gu wanted to laugh, but couldn’t bring himself to laugh out loud. How could someone use a seemingly innocent expression to accomplish such cruel actions?
“My head hurts, come massage it for me.” Song Juhan grabbed He Gu’s hand and placed it on his own.
He Gu put the book down and started to rub Song Juhan’s temples.
“Your massages are the best. But you haven’t given me a massage in over half a year.”
He Gu did some calculations in his head. The conflict between them had indeed started around half a year ago; coincidentally it was exactly when Feng Zheng returned to China. But He Gu didn’t think Feng Zheng was the cause of their conflict; he was simply the fuse that detonated the explosives accumulated over the years.
Song Juhan seemed to have thought of the exact same thing as he closed his eyes and said gloomily, “If it wasn’t for Feng Zheng, we would still be the same as before.”
“Same as before?” He Gu’s hands paused for a moment. “Did you really enjoy how we were before?”
Song Juhan instantly realised he had said the wrong thing as he grabbed He Gu’s retreating hand. He held on tightly and looked up at He Gu, “I didn’t mean it like that. But compared to now, you used to treat me way better back then. Right now, you barely talk to me anymore.”
He Gu didn’t know what to say as he observed the other man quietly.
In all honesty, there weren’t many topics in common between the two, since their social circle and family background were too different. That’s why every time Song Juhan came to see him, it would only be for sex. At least back then He Gu tried desperately to find something to talk about, but now he couldn’t be bothered anymore. He was lazy – too lazy to put himself in that situation again, just to please Song Juhan.
He Gu knew he would love this person for the rest of his life, but he didn’t need to be with him anymore. Especially after enjoying Song Juhan’s warmth and gentleness, he no longer had any regrets left.
The renovation for He Gu’s apartment finally finished. Once the smell of paint aired out a little, he would move back immediately.
On the day of the move, He Gu left first thing in the morning and worked tirelessly until well into the night. He spent a good amount of that time sorting and packing all of Song Juhan’s stuff. Once he finished, He Gu sent Xiao Song a message, telling him to come take it away when he had a moment to spare.
After everything was put away, He Gu took a quick shower, finished two big boxes of takeaway, and collapsed onto his bed, unable to move again.
It seemed like ages since he’d had so much food. His appetite had been quite poor lately, so it was great that he finally felt like eating again – even if it was triggered by extreme exhaustion.
Before he fell asleep, He Gu had a habit of checking the news. The headline image on the entertainment section looked awfully familiar as He Gu stared at the image for two seconds – “After the Infamous Drug Case, Song Juhan Reveals Himself for the First Time in a Late Night Date with Actress A.”
He Gu clicked the link as the image enlarged, showing Song Juhan wearing a baseball cap as he walked next to a tall and slim woman.
According to the article, that woman was an up-and-coming actress favoured by Song Media. She was Song Juhan’s junior, and due to her beautiful looks and remarkable acting skills; the speed of her growing popularity was like a rocket shooting off to space. It was even rumoured her next role would be to co-star with Yan Mingxiu. From the looks of it, her future was limitless.
The article also briefly mentioned Song Juhan’s previously rumoured homosexuality.
He Gu chuckled mockingly as he threw the phone aside.
Even though his body was utterly exhausted, He Gu still suffered from insomnia that night.
Early the next morning, Xiao Song – who was supposed to come pick up Song Juhan’s things – was replaced by Song Juhan himself.
The moment He Gu opened the door, he froze. “Why did you come here so early?”
Song Juhan’s face was dark, “Why did you tell Xiao Song to take all my things back?”
“My place is too small, it can’t fit everything. Besides, you probably won’t want to come here,” said He Gu.
“There’s a huge house for you to live in, but you adamantly refused, insisting to live here. What’s wrong with you?” Song Juhan forced his way in and looked around, taking everything in. With a frown, he commented bluntly, “You’re right, I don’t want to come here.”
“The size of the apartment isn’t important. As long as it has four walls and a roof, that’s enough for me.” He Gu had long gotten used to Song Juhan’s rude way of talking. It no longer affected him as he turned and walked into the bathroom to brush his teeth.
When he finished, He Gu walked out to see Song Juhan sitting on his newly-bought sofa as he played on his phone aimlessly. “Have you eaten yet?” he asked.
“No, I want to have your mushroom congee.”
“I don’t have mushrooms.”
“Then any other congee.”
“Okay.” He Gu turned and walked into the kitchen.
Not long after, Song Juhan came in as well, leaning against the wall and watching He Gu’s back as he worked away. He Gu’s slender waist wrapped in an apron and those long, thin legs looked especially appealing. In contrast, the conservative grey woollen sweater added a touch of restraint, making Song Juhan’s eyes narrow with a hint of desire.
He Gu didn’t realise what was going on as he continued to chop the vegetables.
Song Juhan reached forward and pulled He Gu into an embrace from behind, then whispered suggestively in his ear, “I want to take your pants off right now.”
Frozen in place, He Gu thought about the news article from last night and felt a sense of unease. He pushed Song Juhan away.
Song Juhan was clearly annoyed. “That’s right, did you see the news yesterday?” he asked casually.
“I saw it.”
“You saw it?” Song Juhan leaned to one side and repeated, “You saw the news?”
“Your date with that actress.”
Song Juhan laughed out loud, “You jealous?”
He Gu glanced at him, but didn’t say anything. Instead he lowered his head and continued chopping the vegetables.
Song Juhan stared at He Gu for two seconds before he demanded, “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“What’s what supposed to mean?”
“What reaction should I have?”
“Didn’t you not want me to sleep with others?”
He Gu finally put the knife down and turned to look Song Juhan straight in the eye. “Well, did you sleep with her?”
“Of course not. That’s all fake news. There’s been rumours of my homosexuality in the media lately. It’s bad for my public image.”
“En.” He Gu lowered his head again and continued to chop vegetables. If Song Juhan didn’t want to admit it, there was no point for He Gu to insist. It would be pointless to even try.
It was like Song Juhan had been lit on fire, his tone suddenly exploded as he shouted, “What does ‘en’ even mean? Is that all you’ve got to say? Even after I came all this way to explain to you, you don’t give a shit at all, do you?!”
He Gu didn’t bother to look at him. “But you didn’t sleep with her, right?”
“I promised you, so of course I’ll keep my word. But you, how could you still react completely emotionlessly like a dead man after encountering something like this? Even if I really did sleep with her, you probably still wouldn’t care, would you?” Song Juhan’s eyes were a little red. He wasn’t sure why He Gu had become like this. In fact, he wasn’t sure why he – Song Juhan – had become like this.
In the past, He Gu always turned a blind eye to his affairs, and he even felt pleased by it. He was young and rich, so why couldn’t he play around? Besides, He Gu would always be there waiting for him anyways. Every time he reached out, he could easily pull the obedient He Gu into his arms.
But now, He Gu was like a completely different person. He seemed less and less concerned about him, and no matter what he did, or how much he changed his flirting and romantic gestures, it was like he was talking to a wall*.
*对牛弹琴 – lit. to play the lute to a cow, (idiom) fig. to preach to deaf ears, or to offer a treat to an unappreciative audience.
Song Juhan really did want to start fresh with He Gu. After everything He Gu had done for him, Song Juhan felt moved and cherished to the point he started to think – he could never part with this person. Never in his life had Song Juhan treated anyone so kindly, gently, and humbly. But He Gu’s consistently stoic reception to his efforts was like pouring bucket after bucket of ice cold water over his head.
How did this happen?
Once again, He Gu put the knife down, but this time he didn’t just place it down gently. Instead he threw it down; the sharp end of the knife stabbed straight into the chopping board as the knife vibrated from the excessive force. He looked up at Song Juhan and said, “You said you didn’t, so I believe you. Why are you still angry over this?”*
*Hillary: OH EM GEE! Finally! FINALLY, He Gu’s got attitude!
Go get ‘em babe!
“You…” Song Juhan was so enraged he was speechless.
“I know you guys in the entertainment industry like to spread fake news all the time, so most of the news can’t be trusted. That’s why I chose to trust your words. What’s wrong with that?”
“There’s also plenty of news that’s true. Were you not worried at all?!” By the end of his sentence Song Juhan sounded like he was roaring.
“Really?” said He Gu in a mocking tone. “I guess so. There was indeed some truth in that article, such as the fact that you were hassled by a homosexual guy like me for many years – that part was true.”
Song Juhan was dumbfounded as he stared at He Gu. His arrogance from a moment ago vanished almost instantly.
He Gu chuckled humourlessly, “What? Did you think I wouldn’t find out?”
Song Juhan’s eyes darted around anxiously, avoiding looking at the other man as he defended quickly, “That was an idea brought forward by the company’s PR department. They wanted to distract and divert public opinion.”
“En. I understand,” said He Gu calmly.
“My dad was so infuriated that his heart condition worsened. I didn’t dare to go against him.” Song Juhan dropped his head and said in a low voice, “Once the hype dies down, no one will remember who you are anyways. And that job of yours was nothing much, if you need money, I’ll give you some.”
He Gu clenched his fists tightly.
Very interesting. It was exactly as he imagined.
Song Juhan rubbed He Gu’s hair gently, then pulled him into his embrace. “Everything’s in the past now, so don’t be angry anymore. Haven’t we been getting along really well recently? Just don’t bother looking for another job and let me take care of you, okay?”
“Don’t worry.” He Gu stated, looking blankly ahead. “It’s not like I can find another job, anyways.”
He Gu never imagined that one day, he would be the one wanting to end this relationship first. But staying next to Song Juhan was making him experience nothing but pain and unbearable discomfort.