Sunset Boulevard - Chap 13
Chen Boqiao pulled out from Zhang Jue and took off the condom.
Zhang Jue looked exhausted, his legs unable to close from the sex. Chen Boqiao got a tissue to help Zhang Jue clean up. He was stopped after a few wipes, Zhang Jue raised his hand and placed it on top of the back of Chen Boqiao’s hand, and pushed it almost imperceptibly.
“Don’t bother.” He muttered.
There was some subtle warmth remaining in Zhang Jue’s palm. His fingers were long, but he didn’t seem to be able to exert much strength. After trying several times, he finally grabbed Chen Boqiao’s hand, pulled it aside, and closed his leg with great effort. He pulled the quilt over himself, covering his body and face.
Chen Boqiao did not push further. He threw the tissue away, walked back, nudged the lump in the quilt gently, and asked, “Can you go to the bathroom by yourself then?”
Zhang Jue uttered a few syllables that Chen Boqiao couldn’t make out in the quilt and then became quiet.
Chen Boqiao lightly touched the quilt again but did not pull it off. Zhang Jue did not respond. Chen Boqiao went to the bathroom to take a shower and change. Then he sat on the bed again, slowly pulling the quilt off a little, so that Zhang Jue’s face was uncovered.
Zhang Jue was sleeping like a log, looking very tired.
Chen Boqiao recalled for a moment and thought that he probably didn’t let Zhang Jue do anything in the previous activity, so he could not understand why Zhang Jue fell asleep so quickly.
He thought Zhang Jue would cry for a little longer.
Chen Boqiao pulled down the quilt a little more, revealing Zhang Jue’s upper body. He clasped Zhang Jue’s wrist in his hand, pulling Zhang Jue’s arm up a bit to inspect the wound made by the pencil last night.
One edge of the bandaid was rubbed off in the chaos, peeling on Zhang Jue’s skin, and Chen Boqiao tore it off. The wound was somewhat inflamed despite the disinfection, and the edges were a little red and swollen. Chen Boqiao touched it lightly. Maybe Zhang Jue felt it in his dream, he moved his right hand over and wanted to scratch the wound, but Chen Boqiao deftly intercepted it.
Zhang Jue made a few attempts to get close to the wound, but to no avail. He frowned unhappily.
Chen Boqiao thought Zhang Jue’s expression was very interesting, and smoothened Zhang Jue’s eyebrows with his thumb. and whispered Zhang Jue, “Your temper starts showing after you fall asleep, huh?”
Suddenly, Chen Boqiao saw something light up under the pillow. He raised the pillow a bit, and found that it was Zhang Jue’s phone. Ai Jiaxi was calling Zhang Jue. Chen Boqiao did not answer. After a few more seconds, Ai Jiaxi hung up the phone and the screen showed four missed calls.
The phone most likely had been under the pillow by the time Chen Boqiao came in for the second time. Maybe Ai Jiaxi also called in when he was having sex with Zhang Jue and the screen was on. It was just that they didn’t have time to pay attention to other things then and let the call go unanswered.
Chen Boqiao put the phone on the bedside table, and the surface of the phone touched the wooden board, making a very light sound. When he looked at Zhang Jue again, Zhang Jue’s eyes had already opened.
He looked at Chen Boqiao wearily, as if he didn’t even know where he was.
Zhang Jue and Chen Boqiao looked at each other, and Zhang Jue blinked very slowly, then closed his eyes for two seconds, then opened them, closed them, and opened them again. It was like he was using his own stupid and superstitious little trick to determine whether Chen Boqiao really existed.
“Zhang Jue.” Chen Boqiao called him.
Zhang Jue opened his lips and let out a silly “Ah.”
“Is there something wrong with your eyes?” Chen Boqiao asked knowingly, teasing him.
Zhang Jue stopped blinking immediately. He seemed to be more awake. After a while, he replied to Chen Boqiao.
“No.” He sat up, his black hair was a mess, some sticking up, some lying on his shoulders.
White sheets were piled between Zhang Jue’s legs and on his abdomen. Zhang Jue placed his hand on the bedsheet, and then raised it up to smoothen his hair. He asked Chen Boqiao, ” Did I sleep for a long time?”
“Not really,” Chen Boqiao told him, “about half an hour.”
Upon closer inspection, Chen Boqiao noticed a small wound on Zhang Jue’s lower lip, so he moved a little closer to Zhang Jue and asked, “How did you hurt your lips?”
“Huh?” Zhang Jue seems to be not fully awake yet, he zoned out for a moment, and said to himself, “Did I bite myself?”
Chen Boqiao had not only failed to ‘keep a distance’ from Zhang Jue as he had planned last night, but also jokingly said, “It’d have to be either you or me.”
Zhang Jue being surprised or dazed because of Chen Boqiao always made Chen Boqiao amused, so Chen Boqiao did not regret it.
Chen Boqiao also felt that before he returned to the Asian League, he should be better to Zhang Jue according to Zhang Jue’s definition of “being good to him”.
If he treated Zhang Jue better, maybe the next time Zhang Jue had a heat and Chen Boqiao slept with him again, he wouldn’t have to bury himself in the quilt and cry so pitifully.
After a minute, Zhang Jue said vaguely, “It’s probably not you.”
He touched his lips with his finger, moving from the left to the right little by little, and finally found the small wound in the middle of the lower lip, somewhere to the right. Zhang Jue pressed it gingerly and frowned.
“Is it bad?” Zhang Jue asked Chen Boqiao, pursing his lips again and licking it, perhaps because he wanted to feel the size of the wound. He missed the wound.
Chen Boqiao watched him try, and then told him, “More to the right.”
Under Chen Boqiao’s direction, Zhang Jue reached the small wound.
The wound was not too big, it was more like a crack than a bite.
But no matter what the injury was, it had nothing to do with Chen Boqiao. Chen Boqiao knew very well that he was not that rough.
After sitting up for a while, Zhang Jue felt more sober and said that he wanted to take a shower.
Chen Boqiao asked him, “Can you manage alone?”
Zhang Jue nodded, and slowly moved off the bed. With his back to Chen Boqiao, he walked to the bathroom unsteadily, and his pace was a little fast, which made Chen Boqiao uneasy.
Sure enough, there was a loud noise in the bathroom before long.
Chen Boqiao stepped forward quickly, opened the bathroom door, and saw that Zhang Jue was kneeling on the ground, palms pressing down on the sink trying to stand up. Chen Boqiao took a step forward, leaned over, and held Zhang Jue up. Zhang Jue was naked against Chen Boqiao, with his head low, looking depressed.
The amenities of the love hotel were simple. There was no bathtub, and even if there was one, they dare not use it due to hygiene issues. Zhang Jue stood firm, thanked Chen Boqiao, grabbed the handrail of the shower room, and walked in.
Chen Boqiao opened the shower for Zhang Jue. Zhang Jue thanked him again and reiterated that he could wash up by himself, so Chen Boqiao went out.
Zhang Jue bathed very slowly. Chen Boqiao turned on the TV, skipped over many adult channels, and finally found a news station that no one would broadcast in a love hotel.
The channel happened to be broadcasting a current affairs analysis program. The host was discussing the relations between the Asian league and the TIS with experts. Chen Boqiao watched it for a while, then Pei Shu called him.
Pei Shu said that he would arrive at TIS the next morning. They had forged evidence that Chen Boqiao had entered the neighboring country, hence the target of the President’s search party had changed. Pei Shu happened to have new investments in the TIS, which gave him a good excuse to be here without arousing suspicion. Pei Shu told Chen Boqiao of some new developments in the Asian League. Chen Boqiao pondered for a moment and told him, “Bring me a medicine when you come tomorrow.”
Pei Shu paused, and asked Chen Boqiao suspiciously, “What medication? Are you sick?”
The bathroom door opened, and Zhang Jue walked out slowly with a bath towel wrapped around his waist.
He didn’t wipe his hair properly, so it was dripping water down his chest. He looked tired as he walked to the bed and sat down, staring at the pillow hesitantly, as if he was considering whether he should go back to sleep.
Chen Boqiao asked Pei Shu to wait on the phone. He went to the bathroom, took a large towel to put on Zhang Jue’s head, and whispered to Zhang Jue, “Dry your hair before going to sleep.”
Zhang Jue looked unhappy, but did not want to go against Chen Boqiao’s wishes. Half of his chin peeked out from behind the towel as he wiped at his hair with little effort.
“Zhang Jue,” Chen Boqiao put his phone aside and asked again, “Pei Shu is coming to Bangkok the day after tomorrow. What’s the name of the medicine I broke? I’ll get him to find it.”
Zhang Jue pulled the towel back a bit so that the towel no longer covered his face. He looked at Chen Boqiao, and said, “It’s quite hard to find, I don’t know if you can find any in the Asian League.”
Then he said the name of a medicine. After repeating it to Pei Shu, Chen Boqiao hung up the phone.
Remembering that Zhang Jue’s knees gave out on the bathroom floor just now, Chen Boqiao wanted to see if Zhang Jue had gotten injured. He faced Zhang Jue, half-kneeled, and lifted a corner of the bath towel wrapped around Zhang Jue’s waist.
Zhang Jue’s knees were slightly bruised, and there was also an inconspicuous bruise on the shin. Chen Boqiao couldn’t imagine what it was at first, but after looking at it, he realized that it might have been because he did not control his strength in their activity just now and grabbed Zhang Jue too hard.
“Don’t look.” Zhang Jue covered his knees with his hands. The towel on his head fell off, and his hair was wet against his face.
Zhang Jue looked troubled, and it reminded Chen Boqiao of the way Zhang Jue was crying on the bed.
Chen Boqiao pulled the bath towel down to cover the bruise on Zhang Jue’s leg. After thinking about it, he smiled at Zhang Jue and said, “You might not believe it, but that was my first time with anyone.”
Seeing Zhang Jue’s astonishment, Chen Boqiao added, “The army is full of alphas and there was no chance to contact the outside world. My stepmother had introduced some people to me, but none of them had developed into a relationship. It’s just awkward to have sex with someone a family elder introduced to you without the intention of getting married. But the main reason was that I’m not interested in this business myself.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes,” Chen Boqiao placed the towel on Zhang Jue’s head again and wiped his hair for him, “So don’t cry anymore. I’ll get Pei Shu to find the medicine, and I’ll open the prototype capsule for you.”
Strictly speaking, he did plan to open the capsule for him after everything was resolved, so he was not lying to Zhang Jue.
“Oh.” Zhang Jue smiled and quickly stopped.
Chen Boqiao found that Zhang Jue always laughed very briefly. In fact, he thought that Zhang Jue was a little cute when he laughed, but it was just that even when Zhang Jue was laughing, he did not look happy.
“Chen Boqiao,” Zhang Jue lowered his head to dry his hair for a while, but he suddenly lifted his head, looking at Chen Boqiao, and asked, “Why didn’t you…”
Chen Boqiao knew what Zhang Jue wanted to ask, so he filled in for Zhang Jue, “Didn’t develop a relationship with those people?”
Zhang Jue’s hand paused and nodded lightly.
Chen Boqiao did not want to deceive Zhang Jue, nor did he want to give Zhang Jue too much hope. After all, the greater the hope, the greater the disappointment. He knew that it would only be more painful once it ended. Chen Boqiao confirmed this to Zhang Jue again.
“Do you really want to hear the truth?”
Zhang Jue nodded again.
Chen Boqiao said, “It’s because I want to be with someone I like.”