Drunk In Love (Years of Intoxication) - Chap 51
That afternoon, the helicopter landed on the beach. It was the first time He Gu had seen another face since he’d been kidnapped to this island.
He was finally about to leave this place, but he didn’t seem to feel any relief whatsoever.
Until Song Juhan truly let go of him and moved on, He Gu wouldn’t really be free. No matter where he hid, Song Juhan would always find him eventually… and why should He Gu have to hide from him in the first place?
Once the helicopter took off, Song Juhan held onto He Gu’s hand and said, “You haven’t been in a helicopter before, right? You might get a little dizzy, don’t be scared.”
“I’m not scared,” said He Gu calmly.
Song Juhan didn’t let go of his hand. Instead, he held on with both hands and started playing with He Gu’s fingers.
He Gu tried and failed to pull his hand back a few times. In the end, he couldn’t take it anymore and said, “I need to use the toilet.”
Song Juhan chuckled. “Does it look like a toilet would fit in here?”
He Gu had only said that out of habit, and instantly felt a little embarrassed at being caught out.
Song Juhan grasped He Gu’s hand tightly and brought it to his lips before placing a light kiss on the back of it. The look in Song Juhan’s eyes as he stared at the other man was filled with such affection and longing that even he, himself, couldn’t begin to imagine it.
The helicopter dropped them off in Cannes so they could switch to a commercial flight.
As soon as they boarded the plane, He Gu realised that Song Juhan had reserved the entire first-class cabin. With just the thought of spending the next ten-odd hours alone with Song Juhan in this small, unavoidable, and confined space, He Gu immediately felt a headache coming.
Before long, the air hostess drew the curtain and left the two isolated in the small first-class cabin space.
Song Juhan leaned over with his torso halfway across the armrest between them and rested against He Gu’s shoulder.
He Gu ignored the other man as he lowered his head to read his book.
“What are you reading?” asked Song Juhan.
“Should I sing for you?”
“…” He Gu wanted to reject him, but the words stopped as they reached the tip of his tongue. He had a particular obsession with Song Juhan singing to him, as if it was a very precious thing that he must treasure forever. He was reluctant to push him away.
Perhaps it was because his first time happened as a result of Song Juhan singing to him that afternoon. What He Gu cared about wasn’t that it was his first time, but rather because it was the feeling he felt in that sweet moment—the feeling of being liked and being pursued. That particular memory was the most beautiful memory of his youth.
Song Juhan started to sing softly in his ear. Just like always, his voice gave off a lazy yet immensely magnetic sound, enchanting all those who heard it.
He Gu continued to read his book, but the sultry voice left him slightly distracted, as his thoughts were taken away by the song.
After the song ended, Song Juhan leaned in close and whispered gently in He Gu’s ear, “I want to sing for you everyday.”
He Gu kept his head down and didn’t say anything.
Song Juhan kissed him on the neck. “Why don’t I start over and pursue you again? This time I’m very serious. The things I didn’t give you in the past seven years, I’ll give them all to you now.”
He Gu said in a quiet voice, “If it’s because you can’t stand being rejected, I can help you out there.”
“It’s not that I can’t stand being rejected. It’s just that I can’t stand not having you by my side.” I can’t bear the fact that you no longer belong to me, or the fact that you have others in your eyes.
“Fine. We’ve repeated the same dialogue over eight times a day, aren’t you tired of this?” He Gu closed his book. “Song Juhan, I’ve said this many times already – I won’t go back. You should stop wasting your time on me. I don’t want to have to repeat myself again in the future. Just do whatever you want.”
Song Juhan clutched his hand tightly. “Okay, I’ll stop talking about it. I’ll show you instead.”
He Gu stayed silent.
Ignoring whether the other man was listening or not, Song Juhan started talking, “Recently, I’ve started to attend commercial performances again, although there’s still a lot of people commenting negatively about me. But it’s fine, I’m still famous. It’s just that after experiencing all this, I’ve realised I no longer care whether I’m famous or not. When I first entered the entertainment industry, I just thought since my voice was so good and my songwriting skills were awesome, I should really share it with the world. But now, I’ve already won all the awards and performed on all the stages I wanted. The things I wanted to do, I’ve already accomplished them all. From now on, I just want to write even better songs, but I don’t need to be popular to write songs, nor do I need everyone to like me.”
He Gu listened quietly. This was the first time Song Juhan had ever discussed his career with him, and it was quite the refreshing experience indeed.
Song Juhan lightly pinched He Gu’s fingers, playing with the plump flesh on his fingertips as he continued, “It’s not like everyone understands my songs, or even likes listening to them, and I’m not asking everyone to listen to them, either. To be honest, it’s been so long since I’ve felt that initial urge and passion to sing to someone. All my performances now are just about money and profits.” The more he said, the more Song Juhan fell into the memories of his past. “Do you still remember that afternoon when we first started seeing each other? At that time, I really wanted to sing for you. I’m sure you remember, since your memory is so good.”
He Gu pressed his lips together as he felt his heart tighten.
“You kept looking at me with those bright shiny eyes and listening as if you were intoxicated. After I finished, I asked for your opinion – most people would offer a few words of advice even if they were just pretending to know what to say, but you were too honest. Apart from saying it sounded good, you didn’t say anything else. Even then, it made me really happy.” Song Juhan leaned closer to He Gu’s ear and whispered, “Actually, I didn’t plan to take you to bed so soon. But that day, I just really, really wanted to make you mine…”
He Gu stood up abruptly. “I need to use the restroom.”
Song Juhan grabbed He Gu’s hand, tilted his head up and looked at him with bright eyes. “After all these years, the only person that’s made me have the urge to sing for someone is you.”
He Gu didn’t say anything, he simply pulled his hand away then turned to head in the direction of the toilet.
Once the toilet lock turned, He Gu let out a long sigh. He stared at his reflection in the mirror and saw the deep look reflecting in his own eyes.
Song Juhan’s flirting skills have been perfected since he was a teenager, and practiced on numerous individuals throughout the years. He Gu had to stay extra focused to not allow himself to easily fall into this trap again.
Perhaps this time, Song Juhan really did want to seriously start over with him – or at least, in this current moment he did. But He Gu could no longer bring himself to believe this person anymore.
The future was endless. He Gu couldn’t risk taking Song Juhan’s momentary feelings too seriously.
Since he could firmly love Song Juhan for seven years, he could also firmly walk away from Song Juhan’s life one step at a time. He just needed to bury this heart that only feels love for one person, and then he’d be able to live a carefree and easy life going forward. That would be enough for him, because He Gu would never allow himself to fall into that bottomless pit again.
After calming down his turbulent emotions, He Gu returned to the cabin.
Song Juhan’s eyes followed him until He Gu sat back down in his seat.
He Gu briefly glanced at the other man, then picked up his book and started reading again.
Song Juhan’s hand pressed down on He Gu’s opened book. “Is reading this book better than looking at me?”
“It’s fine.” He Gu pushed his hand away and added, “The flight is so long, I have to find something to do.”
“Then talk to me instead.”
“We… We don’t have anything to talk about.” Their family background, social circle, and careers were so different that there usually wasn’t much in common for them to talk about. He Gu’s personality was also rather quiet and boring. Adding on the fact that Song Juhan almost never came to see him because he had the urge to ‘talk’.
“Of course we do. We’ve been together for seven years, how can we not have anything to talk about?”
“Yes, we’ve been together for seven years. But every time you come looking for me, it’s just to have sex.” He Gu didn’t even lift his head as he continued, “What should we talk about? Bed skills?”
Song Juhan’s features twisted into a horrible expression as he said, “I come to you because I like being with you…” His voice got softer and softer as it trailed off at the end.
“En. I believe you.” Song Juhan really did like sleeping with him. At least in that department, they were very compatible.
“But that doesn’t mean we have nothing in common to talk about. I know everything about you.”
“Your family, your career, your social circle.”
He Gu chuckled. “Really? Then tell me, what was the reason for the toxic relationship between my parents? What was my job title in Nanchuang? What are the names of the people I regularly hang out with?”
Song Juhan was left speechless.
He Gu shook his head. “I’m the one that has the right to say ‘I know everything about you.’ But you, you’ve never had any interest in my matters, so of course you wouldn’t ask about me. And even if I did talk to you about myself, it’s not like you ever paid attention or bothered to remember what I said.”
There was a flash of anxiety in Song Juhan’s eyes. “I will remember. From now on, I will remember everything you say.”
“Why bother?” He Gu turned his head to look at him, “You’ve never been this person. Why are you forcing yourself to change and be nice to me now? And even forcing yourself to not sleep with other people? It must be really hard on you. Juhan, I’m telling you to stop doing this because I know how hard and painful it is to change yourself for someone else. If we both go our own way and be ourselves, we can both be happy.”
Song Juhan gritted his teeth. “Are you having trouble hearing what I’m saying? I said I want you. Everyone else is meaningless to me. So stop trying to reason with me and telling me to give up on you. I, Song Juhan, have never backed down from anything in my life.” He’d had enough of He Gu calmly and rationally analysing their relationship, as if his feelings could be quantified, measured, and manipulated. Song Juhan could no longer control the fact that he had completely changed himself because of He Gu. Even then, He Gu didn’t seem to feel regretful at all; in fact, he was urging him to stop and ‘get back on the right path’. What the hell does He Gu mean by that?
What does He Gu take him for?
He Gu shrugged and didn’t say anything else.
Song Juhan glared at He Gu for a long while. In the end, he lowered his head helplessly as his sunken eyes filled with sadness and disappointment.
His He Gu was so close to him, yet he couldn’t hold him to his heart’s content.
Song Juhan really missed the He Gu that used to smile at him, be nice to him, and look at him with a singular focus as if he was the only person in this world. He missed that He Gu – missed him so much, to the point that he was about to go mad.
How did he lose that version of He Gu?
When they arrived, it was still bright outside. Although He Gu had taken a nap on the plane, he still felt exhausted all over.
The moment they got off the plane, He Gu was immediately forced into Song Juhan’s car. Although He Gu insisted he wanted to go home, Song Juhan wouldn’t allow it. Fortunately for He Gu, Song Juhan seemed to have some urgent business to attend to and couldn’t care about him for the time being. “Fine, you can go home. But your phone needs to be on twenty-four hours a day, and don’t forget your passport is with me. So don’t even think about running away.”
“Song Juhan, I haven’t done anything illegal, so why would I run?” said He Gu coldly.
“That’s not what I meant.” Song Juhan turned his head and lightly kissed He Gu. “Do you have any idea how horrible I felt during the time you disappeared? I’m scared you’ll disappear without another word again. If you want to go somewhere, at least let me know so I can come find you when I want to.”
He Gu looked away.
Song Juhan’s eyes darkened as he pinched He Gu’s chin and forced the man to look at him, then lowered his head and greedily kissed those soft and tender lips.
He Gu viciously pushed him away. “Do you want to get bitten again?” he asked.
Song Juhan touched his lips that still held a touch of He Gu’s warmth from a moment ago. “I’ll come find you,” he said, then turned and left.
The driver sent He Gu straight home. Luckily He Gu had a habit of keeping his keys on him, so when Song Juhan kidnapped him he had his home keys. Otherwise he wouldn’t have had anything on him and wouldn’t even be able to enter his own home.
He Gu went upstairs, opened the door, and walked into the home that he had been away from for the last three months, feeling as if it were a lifetime ago.
Everything that had happened in the last three months had left him completely changed from the inside out. Although he couldn’t confidently say that he had completely walked out from Song Juhan’s shadow, since it had been a long and painful seven years – a path that had left behind a trail of bloody footprints. But at least he was able to face the situation now, and resist the temptations to turn him back to this bloody path.
Going forward, he should consider how he should live his future life.
He gave his mother a call to say he had returned home already, and that when the time came, he could travel together with Susu. His mother sounded very happy over the phone as she asked how his vacation had been.
All He Gu could say was good – very good.
After hanging up, He Gu gave Gu Qingpei a call.
He listened nervously as the call waited to connect. The moment the call connected, He Gu felt very nervous.
“He Gu, are you back?” Gu Qingpei’s voice sounded quite peaceful.
He Gu inwardly let out a sigh of relief. “Chief Gu, I’m back. How have you been lately?”
“Oh, I changed to my friend’s company. It’s not bad.” Gu Qingpei was clearly avoiding the heavy topic and dwelling on trivial matters.
He Gu knew Gu Qingpei’s situation wasn’t ideal at the moment. After all, those photos had been spread around the entire business circle. On top of that, he had offended Yuan Lijiang, so it must be impossible for him to continue working in Beijing. But Gu Qingpei wasn’t someone that was easily defeated either. Hearing that he was seemingly doing well, He Gu felt a sense of relief. “That’s great. So when are you free to meet up for a bit?”
Gu Qingpei paused, then said, “I’m free tonight. I actually wanted to talk to you, too.”
“Great, I’ll see you later.”
He Gu tidied up a little, then sent an email to the housekeeper in Paris instructing him to send his things back for him. After that, He Gu wrote another email to Zhou Heyi.
In his email, He Gu apologised to Zhou Heyi and thanked him for his company during his time in Europe. He purposely kept his words formal and polite in an attempt to put some distance in their relationship.
During this period, He Gu often thought back to that cheerful and energetic young man, as well as the warm and beautiful experiences they had together. Even if it was just a short romance, to He Gu it held a special meaning in his heart, as if the end of this short fling symbolizes his final farewell to his past. A farewell to the era called ‘Song Juhan’.
If he had never met Song Juhan, he might’ve really fallen for someone like Zhou Heyi and lived a happy and carefree life. But he had already used up all his love for this lifetime, and didn’t have any left to give to anyone else.
After cleaning up, He Gu drove to meet Gu Qingpei.
The two agreed to meet at the same Qingba they usually frequented. The moment He Gu stepped through the doors, he spotted Gu Qingpei in his usual seat in the back corner as if nothing had changed. The only exception was the darkened look in Gu Qingpei’s eyes, which in itself spoke volumes.
He Gu let out an inward sigh in his heart. He wasn’t sure when he’d be able to see the spirited and energetic Gu Qingpei again. He really admired, respected, and liked that version of Gu Qingpei.
“He Gu.” Gu Qingpei smiled as he waved at him.
“Chief Gu, it’s been too long.” He Gu sat down opposite the other man and said in a casual yet forced tone, “You look good.”
Gu Qingpei laughed. “Oh, well, it’s not like I’m out on the streets. As long as I can be open-minded about it, then everything will be fine.”
“Chief Gu really is something else.” He Gu really admired Gu Qingpei’s calm and steady demeanour.
“What about you? How was your vacation in Europe? You look visibly tanner.”
He Gu chuckled. “I visited a lot of different countries and tired myself out, so I came back.”
“When one leaves for too long, they’ll realise that being at home really is the best.”
“Definitely,” He Gu nodded in agreement. “You mentioned on the phone that you’ve gone to your friend’s company?”
“En, Qingda Real Estate*.”
*Hillary: For those of you that have also read Shui Da’s other novel from the same universe ‘Beloved Enemy’ (Gu Qingpei and Yuan Yang’s story) – this is a reference to that storyline…
“Oh? Wang Jin’s company.” Qingda Real Estate was quite well-known in the industry, He Gu had also dealt with them before. This was great news and he was very happy for Gu Qingpei. “That’s great, Chief Gu really is Chief Gu.”
Gu Qingpei revealed a small smile, “Actually, I wanted to start my own company, but the situation right now isn’t too good. Coincidentally Wang Jin had something that he needed my help with, so I just went with it. It’s alright, at least in this way I can wait it out and see.”
“Yeah, that sounds good.” He Gu raised his glass and said, “Cheers to you, Chief Gu.”
“Thank you.” Gu Qingpei also raised his glass. “I see that you also look quite refreshed. This glass is a toast to the both of us.”
“Cheers to the both of us.”
The two downed their drinks in one fell swoop.
He Gu noticed the tired look in Gu Qingpei’s eyes. “Chief Gu’s work must be quite busy right now, but you should watch out for your health, too.”
“Don’t worry. The fact that work is quite demanding at the moment is actually pushing me to work harder.”
He Gu paused. “So, you and… Yuan Yang? What happened?”
Gu Qingpei froze before a nonchalant smile curved his lips. “We broke up.”
He Gu nodded. “That’s good.”
“A young master born with a silver spoon would never understand the struggles of others.” Gu Qingpei shook his head and continued, “There are too many hurdles between us that we can’t get past. It’s better now that we broke up.”
“I know.” He Gu really did know better than anyone else.
“Breaking up is better…” said Gu Qingpei in a lowered voice. At this point, it wasn’t even clear who he was saying it to.
He Gu watched Gu Qingpei’s somewhat dazed expression and felt a slight discomfort in his heart.
In the blink of an eye, Gu Qingpei quickly returned to his usual demeanour as he lightly swirled his wine glass. “So, He Gu, what do you have planned going forward?”
“I haven’t thought that far yet. But I have decided that I want to leave Beijing.” Being here, He Gu felt like he wouldn’t be able to find a job that he would be happy about. He also didn’t want to be in a place that was too close to Song Juhan. Especially after he’s been abroad and explored the rest of the world, he realised that he could handle being in a new and strange environment. In that case, maybe it really was time for him to go out and explore the world out there.
“Leave?” Gu Qingpei stared at him. “Then, do you want to come to Singapore with me?”