Drunk In Love (Years of Intoxication) - Chap 57
Early next morning, He Gu asked a hotel staff member to borrow a set of clothes, then left five hundred yuan so the staff member could buy Zhou Heyi a new set of clothes as well. Still enduring the pain in his body, He Gu left in a rush.
He didn’t care whether Zhou Heyi would remember the events of last night once he woke up. At this moment, he couldn’t even bear to face the man in question.
When he got home, Sun Qing and Susu were still asleep. He Gu tiptoed back to his room and got under the duvet.
The pain he felt in his body didn’t matter in comparison, since his heart felt like it was still frying in a pan of sizzling oil.
He was not wrong at all—Song Juhan was still the same Song Juhan. All his recent affection, tenderness, and flattery were all pretence. He was a wolf, after all. A wolf trying to pass as a herbivore. But how long could he possibly hide his true nature for? In the end, he was still a wolf, and one day, all his camouflage would come crumbling down.
For a moment, he’d actually hesitated and thought Song Juhan might’ve really changed his nature.
But in the end, this was how Song Juhan was—a selfish, cold, and overbearing bastard. Last night’s incident might’ve actually been a good thing for He Gu, at least now he could completely remove all remaining illusions for the man, and not be swayed by his decision.
Even his love for Song Juhan, which he’d thought would never fade, was now smashed and shattered to pieces.
He once thought the only way for him to be content was to have Song Juhan, but he never imagined that one day the truth would be completely reversed. It was as if the first thirty years of his life was nothing but a giant sarcastic joke.
He’d spent the best seven years of his youth on a man like this.
He Gu fell into a deep slumber, and didn’t get up until the next afternoon when his phone woke him abruptly. Drowsily, he reached around to find his phone, and saw the caller ID: Zhou Heyi.
Without a second thought, he declined the call.
But the phone stubbornly continued to ring, so He Gu simply blocked Zhou Heyi’s number. He really didn’t want to deal with Zhou Heyi right now. In fact, he was so tired he didn’t want to do anything at all.
After a while, He Gu finally climbed out of bed and stumbled out to the living room. Looking around, he saw a note along with some leftover food on the coffee table. The note explained that Sun Qing had decided to take Susu out to go sketching early that morning, seeing as He Gu was still asleep, they assumed he was too tired and didn’t wake him.
He Gu let out a sigh, then had a few tasteless mouthfuls of the food that had already cooled down.
A moment later, his phone started to ring again, but this time it was Feng Zheng desperately trying to invite him out for a meal. Without even bothering to respond, He Gu threw his phone aside, put his chopsticks down, and collapsed onto the sofa. Before long, he fell asleep again.
Before dark, He Gu woke up and took a quick shower. By the time Sun Qing and Susu came home, he’d almost returned to his normal demeanour, as if nothing had happened last night. Still Sun Qing noticed the deep look of fatigue in his eyes and became suspicious, but He Gu brushed it off casually.
Just as he was about to fall asleep he received a WeChat message from Zhuang Jieyu—it was a photo. The background showed the streets of Beijing at night. Although the photo was very dark and blurry, anyone who knew him would’ve instantly recognised him. The photo was of him hugging Zhou Heyi, but it didn’t seem as if he was holding up a drunk man, instead it looked very intimate and ambiguous.
Zhuang Jieyu’s voice message came almost immediately after the photo: Who is that, who is that, who is that?!
He Gu’s hand shook slightly, as he instantly made an international call directly to Zhuang Jieyu, and asked, “Why do you have this photo?”
“Ou Taining sent it to a group chat with all the major players in the industry. I guess someone must’ve forwarded it on after that. He said…” Zhuang Jieyu hesitated momentarily, then added, “Ou Taining’s a bitch.”
“What did he say?” asked He Gu coldly.
“He said… Song Juhan has been cuckolded.”
“Fuck,” He Gu burst out.
Zhuang Jieyu froze. “Shushu, you’re such a man when you swear. This little one can’t take it.”
He Gu breathed in deeply, “Go rest. I’m hanging up.”
“Don’t, it’s still so early over here,” complained Zhuang Jieyu unhappily. “Who were you holding, and where did this foxy little thing come from?”
“Hmph. I don’t believe you,” said Zhuang Jieyu disappointedly. “I feel like a lot has happened since I’ve been away.”
He Gu wanted to tell him that a lot had indeed happened. But in the end, he didn’t say anything.
Zhuang Jieyu said, “Ou Taining, that bastard. If he’d only gone for Song Juhan then that’s fine, but he actually dared to drag you into this. I’m guessing that was taken in front of his bar, right? I recognised it instantly. Ou Taining sure has guts, relying on the fact that he has a little family backing, and that Song Juhan is at his lowest point of his career. He’s actually trying to fight Song Juhan on that endorsement deal to make a comeback. Did he really think Song Juhan was someone he could easily provoke? Whatever, the last I heard, he was completely destroyed today.”
“It was great. I heard a group of people with iron rods barged in and said ‘Don’t hurt anyone’ then proceeded to smash his bar to bits. Do you feel better after hearing that?”
“Yes.” He Gu really wanted to know if Ou Taining could still put on that knowing smile after today.
“But it’s because they still have some old grudges between them. I think Song Juhan slept with his lover in the past. On the surface, he laughs it off, but deep down he’s probably waiting for his moment of revenge. Hmph, they’re both as bad as each other.”
Just hearing Song Juhan’s name was enough to make He Gu feel uncomfortable all over. “En, don’t worry, I’m fine. I’ve even been on national headlines, so this little photo won’t do much to me. Jieyu, thank you for your concern.” He knew Zhuang Jieyu got up early that morning just to contact him because he was worried about him.
“You don’t have to thank me. By the way, I’ll be back next month. You must’ve missed me right?”
“En.” He Gu let out a forced chuckle and said, “A little bit.”
“Gosh, you’re really bad at expressing yourself, aren’t you? But that’s fine, since I like that part about you as well. Anyways, you better be prepared to throw me a welcoming back party soon!”
After he hung up, He Gu did a quick internet search for “Black Gate”, and sure enough, it had been destroyed spectacularly. Although the media hadn’t reported about it yet, the incident was already trending crazily within the LGBTQ community. Rumours were that Ou Taining had offended some organised crime syndicate.
He Gu looked at the photos of the scene and saw that the bar had indeed been completely and thoroughly smashed. He felt a little relieved, but didn’t feel any better inside.
After all, he was the one who knew best about just how dangerous it was to ‘mess with’ someone like Song Juhan.
After that day, Song Juhan seemed to have disappeared from He Gu’s life altogether; not only did he not show up out of the blue, but he even stopped his daily messages and calls. Still, He Gu would occasionally see him on various advertising campaigns or billboards. It only took a few days for He Gu to go from his initial resentment to complete numbness.
Feng Zheng came looking for him once and He Gu, feeling tired of constantly rejecting the man, finally agreed to go for a meal together. But Feng Zheng was very disappointed when he saw just how preoccupied He Gu was. In the end, the two parted on bad terms.
Before long, Sun Qing officially started her chemotherapy with He Gu accompanying her to the hospital every time. But for some reason, she seemed rather distracted—constantly on her phone, taking calls for up to two hours, and even going out regularly to meet people.
He Gu tried persuading her a few times, but she still refused to listen. Feeling a little frustrated, he said, “It’s such a critical time for you right now, can’t you just put your work aside? If necessary, I can help you and run errands for you. But, why won’t you tell me anything?”
Sun Qing let out a sigh, “It’s to do with the company, so you can’t really help me. The difference between construction engineering and capital finance is too far.”
He Gu frowned. “No matter how important it is, it shouldn’t be more important than your health.”
Sun Qing shook her head. “I know my limits. Besides, it’s not like I’m delaying my treatment.”
He Gu felt both distressed and helpless as he looked at Sun Qing wearing a pale blue hospital gown, with a beanie on her head, and her pale features. He also had a stubborn temper himself, so he understood just how strong-willed his mother could be. After all, he took after his mother in that respect; as long as it was something he had decided on, no one could convince him otherwise.
Just like that, two months passed by. He Gu got used to regularly running between his home and the hospital, as well as looking after his mother and sister. He finally started to feel needed again.
That day as he got home, He Gu received a message from Zhou Heyi again, asking to see him, even if it was just through video call. After sitting there contemplating about the situation for a long while, He Gu ultimately felt it wasn’t right to keep ignoring someone. But at the same time, he really didn’t want to speak to Zhou Heyi. He was afraid of the questions Zhou Heyi would ask him, and he didn’t have enough time to think of how to respond to them. So he sent a Wechat message instead: Let’s just talk like this.
Zhou Heyi immediately replied: Are you okay? Was it Song Juhan that showed up that day? What did he do to you?
He Gu: I don’t want to talk about what happened that day, and I’m sorry you got hurt again.
Zhou Heyi: I’m the one that should’ve apologised. I had too much to drink and caused trouble for you. I’m sorry.
He Gu sighed: Heyi, you didn’t do anything wrong. But I’m not in the best condition right now—my mom is sick and she needs me to look after her, so it’s not the best time for me to see you. Can you give me some time? I’m really sorry, I know you came to China especially to see me but I couldn’t spend much time with you.
After a moment, a reply came through: I’m sorry, but I like you.
He Gu didn’t know how to respond to that as his heart trembled slightly.
Zhou Heyi didn’t say anything more, either.
He Gu felt a little sad as he recalled Zhou Heyi’s animated features. If, just if, he was given a year or two to completely remove the poison named ‘Song Juhan’ from his system, and Zhou Heyi was still willing to accept him by then. Perhaps he might consider starting a proper relationship with him. But right now, he couldn’t, nor did he want to disappoint this passionate and gentle young man.
After bringing food to Sun Qing at the hospital, He Gu decided to pick up Susu from her painting class. But since it was still quite early, he had time to go sit and read at a cafe nearby.
On the way, his phone rang twice. Glancing at the screen, he saw that it was an email; the notification flashed quickly as two words caught his attention: Qinqing Enterprise.
Qinqing Enterprise? Wasn’t that the name of his mother’s company?
He Gu hesitantly swiped the notification to unlock his phone. The title read: Qinqing Enterprise Assets Investigation.
He Gu’s heart clenched nervously as he quickly pulled over on the side of the road. He checked the email sender—it wasn’t his mom. If it wasn’t his mother, who would send him something like this? He opened the email in a hurry.
The content of the investigation was very long, with more than a dozen pages listing Qinqing’s recent loans owing over four hundred million yuan to the banks, and many properties under the company name that were being seized under investigation. In addition, the Shanghai government had recently passed a new environmental protection policy requiring industrial zones to be relocated, and Qinqing’s tire factory happened to be on that list. What’s more, the report hinted that Qinqing had fabricated its accounts for the last financial year to deceive its shareholders.
The more he read on, the more He Gu felt apprehensive and fearful as his hands started to tremble.
Since Qinqing Enterprise was just a small capital venture, any form of an investigation was enough to make its stock price plummet. Although there wasn’t concrete evidence of the falsified accounts, the analysis was detailed enough to indicate that the investigation was very thorough. As soon as these investigations were made public, the regulatory authorities would inevitably open an inquiry for Qinqing. At that point, it would be unclear what dirt could be uncovered.
He Gu closed the document, and returned to the email. Scrolling up, he noticed that the sender was an unknown email address, and that there was nothing else on the email apart from the attached investigation report. But even without any indication, He Gu already guessed who it was from.
Only Song Juhan had the ability and reach to conduct a thorough investigation in such a short time, and get his hands on such private information. As one of the largest capital investment companies in the country, Song Media had connections everywhere—from civil affairs, to private businesses. It would’ve been a piece of cake for them to conduct an investigation on a small company like Qinqing Enterprise.
And only Song Juhan would’ve had such a motive. He Gu suddenly recalled Song Juhan’s threat from that night…
In just half a month, apart from the actual account ledgers, Song Juhan had basically gotten a hold of everything regarding Qinqing Enterprise.
He Gu threw his phone away, then slapped the steering wheel violently as the horn sounded loudly along with his low and angry roar.
He finally understood why Sun Qing was so busy and preoccupied every day. It wasn’t even about whether the accounts were fabricated or not, but faced with how much they owed the banks, along with the major relocation of their factory, there must’ve been countless problems waiting for Sun Qing every day. On top of everything, she was fighting cancer, and also with her husband and family. Whether it was internal or external troubles, her problems were piling up one after another.
But she chose to carry the burden alone, and didn’t say anything.
He Gu felt so bad, he couldn’t breathe properly.
After a long time, He Gu finally picked up his phone and called that once familiar number. The one that he had already deleted, and yet could never forget as if it was engraved in his brain for all of eternity.
The call connected almost instantly as Song Juhan’s voice came through the phone. It wasn’t his usual lazy and sultry voice, but rather low and sombre as he said, “So, you’ve read it.”
He Gu gritted his teeth, “What do you want?”
“Come to my house. Now,” said Song Juhan, then swiftly hung up.
He Gu started the engine and stomped violently on the gas pedal as he drove towards the place where he thought he would never set foot again in his lifetime.
When he arrived at Song Juhan’s house, He Gu stood at the entrance for a while, mustering up all the courage in his body, before he rang the doorbell.
The door opened and Song Juhan stood on the other side, looking dejected, depressed, and completely drained. He had clearly lost weight—perhaps even a whole dress size—and was no longer the prideful and fearless man he once was.
He Gu couldn’t hold back the anger in his heart as he glared at the other man fiercely.
“Come in,” muttered Song Juhan lifelessly.
Clenching his fists, He Gu stepped inside.
From the moment the door opened, Song Juhan’s eyes never left He Gu. He had a look of wild and animalistic desire that gave pause to He Gu.
He Gu stood in the middle of the living room, refusing to take another step forward. “Say it, what do you want?”
Song Juhan walked over to the bar and asked, “Do you want anything to drink? If I remember correctly, you only like tea or water.”
He Gu walked to the bar, then stared coldly at the other man as he gritted out each word individually, “What. Do. You. Want?”
Song Juhan paused, lifted his head and looked directly at him, then said, “I want you.”
“Song Juhan!” He Gu raised his voice as his expression twisted unpleasantly. “You bastard. What do I possibly owe you in this life that you can’t just let me go?!”
A hint of pain flashed in Song Juhan’s eyes as he said, “I just… can’t.”
“Those documents, did you think I would just believe you?”
“If you didn’t believe me, you wouldn’t have come. If you want to know whether it’s true or not, then just go ask your mother,” said Song Juhan woodenly. “I can either destroy the Qinqing Enterprise, or I can save it. It’s all up to you.”
He Gu grabbed the other man by the collar. “Have you gone mad?”
Song Juhan pursed his lips, then revealed an emotionless smile. “Probably, but you’re the one that drove me mad.”
“What’s the point in you doing all this? I’ll hate you, I’ll look down on you for the rest of my life!”
Song Juhan wrapped his larger hand around He Gu’s, then leaned forward towards He Gu’s face. His dark pupils like bottomless pits as he said, “At least then, you’ll always belong to me only.”