Sunset Boulevard - Chap 19
When Zhang Jue woke up and found that Chen Boqiao was not beside him, he was relieved because he didn’t know how to face Chen Boqiao. He sat up on the mattress and looked forward in a daze. Not long after sitting up, the door was opened.
Chen Boqiao stood at the door. He seemed surprised that Zhang Jue was already awake. He paused and turned on the light in the room.
Zhang Jue felt that the light was hurting his eyes so he closed them. Chen Boqiao saw that he was shielding his eyes, turned off the overhead light, and walked over to turn on the bedside lamp.
“Is this all right?” Chen Boqiao asked Zhang Jue.
Zhang Jue removed his hand and looked up at him.
“If you slept any longer, I would have to wake you up.” Chen Boqiao was dressed neatly and looked fresh, standing upright. He even shaved off the stubble that was burning Zhang Jue’s skin last night and was now looking at him with a gentle smile in his eyes.
He looked down at Zhang Jue and casually stretched out his hand to rest it on Zhang Jue’s shoulder, and asked, “Is it cold? I adjusted the air-conditioning to 20 degrees last night and forgot to increase it.”
Zhang Jue realized that he was naked.
He lowered his head, saw his slightly protruding ribs, and became very depressed for no reason. He wished that the dim bedside lamp was turned off too. It would be better if Chen Boqiao couldn’t see anything. There was nothing nice to see anyway.
He was still a little sleepy, so when he thought about turning off the lamp, his body went ahead and moved forward to switch it off, but Chen Boqiao reacted quickly and caught his wrist.
“You have to get used to it,” Chen Boqiao chided, and covered Zhang Jue’s eyes with his hands. “If the room is too dark, you’ll lie down and fall asleep again.”
Chen Boqiao’s hands were very warm, and the gentle light leaked through the gap between his fingers to Zhang Jue’s eyes, making it feel like the time between sunset and dusk when the air became cooler, but the wind on his face was still warm.
“Zhang Jue,” Chen Boqiao’s voice felt close. He said, “Your face is quite small.” He moved his palm slightly and said, “I can cover it with one hand.”
Zhang Jue stayed still for a while, then raised his hand and touched the back of Chen Boqiao’s hand, gently pulling it down. He told Chen Boqiao, “I’m okay now.”
After he finished speaking, he felt that his voice was too scratchy, so he closed his mouth again.
Chen Boqiao asked Zhang Jue to wait, got up, and went out. Not long after, Chen Boqiao brought back a glass of water in one hand and clean clothes in the other. He nudged open the door with his shoulder and walked in.
Zhang Jue raised his head slightly, watching Chen Boqiao put the cup aside and then taking the clothes to pull over his head, and immediately struggled and said, “I can do it myself.”
Chen Boqiao ignored him and helped him put his shirt on before handing over the cup.
Zhang Jue took a few sips and felt better, so he asked, “What time is it?”
“Three o’clock in the afternoon.” Chen Boqiao replied.
Seeing that Zhang Jue was having a hard time accepting the fact that he slept into the afternoon, Chen Boqiao pretended to comfort him, “That’s not a lot, only nine hours.”
Zhang Jue nodded reluctantly, picked up the mobile phone on the nightstand, and turned it on. He wanted to ask if Ai Jiaxi had safely arrived in the NIR.
“I used the instant food packet you put in the kitchen to make porridge, you can drink it once it’s not so hot,” Chen Boqiao continued.
Chen Boqiao didn’t mention anything about last night, and Zhang Jue secretly rejoiced. Because things along the line of “sex is just sex, don’t think too much” or “I want to be with someone I like” were things that Zhang never wanted to hear again. It was excruciating enough the last time he heard it.
Perhaps it was because no matter how much he convinced himself and no matter how he told himself not to fantasize anymore, as long as he saw Chen Boqiao and got near to him, all of his previous efforts would go down the drain. Zhang Jue would then become an irrational person who could not accept his rejection peacefully.
Zhang Jue thanked Chen Boqiao for the porridge in advance, and called Ai Jiaxi. Ai Jiaxi didn’t answer, so Zhang Jue left a message asking Ai Jiaxi to call back or text him.
Hanging up the call, a lot of messages popped up on Zhang Jue’s phone screen. He clicked on the notification, and they were all sent to him by Receptionist Wen at the pet hospital. Wen said that the surgery for the kitten was completed and that the kitten was very obedient and cooperative. It did not resist wearing the cone, nor did it struggle randomly.
He also sent many pictures of the kitten wearing the cone and asked Zhang Jue what the kitten’s name was.
Zhang Jue replied, “There’s no name.” Then he told Chen Boqiao, “The cat’s surgery is complete.”
He handed the phone to Chen Boqiao to see, and he repeated to Chen Boqiao verbatim what the vet had told him before: “If it recovers well after the operation, it will not be much different from a normal cat.” In fact, Zhang Jue was not sure whether Chen Boqiao cared about the cat or not, but it seemed that if the cat was healthy, he’d have done something for Chen Boqiao.
Chen Boqiao took the phone, and after a few seconds, the phone vibrated again. He took a look, raised his eyebrows slightly, and turned the screen to Zhang Jue to show him.
On the screen was Wen’s reply to Zhang Jue’s text: “Then, can I give it a name?” Attached was a selfie of Wen cuddling the kitten.
“Zhang Jue,” Chen Boqiao’s expression was a little strange, and his speech slowed down, “why didn’t you tell me that the receptionist looks so…”
Chen Boqiao said, suddenly stopped, and when Zhang Jue removed his eyes from the screen and looked at him, he continued, “Cute.”
Zhang Jue was stunned for a while. He then slowly nodded, and then looked away. He stared at the dark screen and admitted, “He is quite cute.”
He knew very well that he would never be praised by Chen Boqiao for his appearance in his lifetime. So when he heard Chen Boqiao compliment someone else, he was reluctant to admit it or get upset. At most, it was just a little depressing.
Zhang Jue felt as if he had given another wrong answer because Chen Boqiao looked at him like he was an idiot. But Zhang Jue was not too bothered by it. He thought for a while and asked Chen Boqiao, “Do you want to name the cat?”
Chen Boqiao was silent for a few seconds, then tried to smile, as he told Zhang Jue, “I thought the receptionist guy wanted to name it? Why are you still asking me?”
Zhang Jue neither understood Chen Boqiao’s strange facial expression, nor did he understand whether Chen Boqiao wanted to name it, so he truthfully said, “If you want to do it, I’ll tell him not to.”
Chen Boqiao looked at Zhang Jue for a moment and he suddenly chuckled, as he placed the phone in Zhang Jue’s hand and said, “I’ll name it, tell him not to.”
Zhang Jue opened the phone and typed on the screen, “The cat was picked up by someone else, and he wants to name it himself.”
He looked up again and asked Chen Boqiao, “What do you want to name it?”
Chen Boqiao shrugged, “I haven’t thought of one yet.”
Zhang Jue said okay, pressed send, and put the phone down, only to find that Chen Boqiao was still looking at him.
Chen Boqiao called him, “Zhang Jue.”
Zhang Jue looked at him and waited for him to speak. Chen Boqiao seemed to have a question that he wanted to ask, but for some reason, he didn’t ask it in the end. He just quietly said, “Don’t go around giving your personal contact information to pet hospital receptionists anymore.”
Zhang Jue nodded obediently, and Chen Boqiao said again, “If he sends a message to you, show it to me before replying.”
“Okay.” Zhang Jue said.
“Oh, by the way,” Chen Boqiao looked at Zhang Jue with a very professional appearance. “Pei Shu showed me a book before and it said that after Omegas have sex and no marking behaviors took place, their mood would be bad for a while. Is that true?”
Hearing that, Zhang Jue suddenly realized that he had indeed been in a bad mood since the moment he woke up. He said yes.
“Are you very upset?” Chen Boqiao asked, concerned.
“A little bit.” Zhang Jue replied.
Chen Boqiao nodded and told Zhang Jue, “The general advice is to comfort the Omega after sex.”
Zhang Jue had never read the book and was not quite sure what comforting meant, so he looked at Chen Boqiao, thinking that Chen Boqiao would explain further. But Chen Boqiao didn’t. He just got close to Zhang Jue.
Zhang Jue’s back pressed against the wall and he closed his eyes. The scent of pine on Chen Boqiao’s body gave Zhang Jue a sense of security, and his kisses did not feel dangerous. They were gentle and quick.
After an unknown period of time, Chen Boqiao moved away a little and asked, “Are you better now?”
Zhang Jue felt like he had never reacted to something so quickly in his life. He tried to lie, and said, “No.”
This was the first time he had lied to Chen Boqiao, and unsurprisingly Chen Boqiao saw right through him.
Chen Boqiao smiled and sat up, asking, “Do you know that you have no talent for acting at all?”
Zhang Jue felt that his ears were burning, but Chen Boqiao seemed to be in a good mood. All things considered though, he did not let Zhang Jue off because he was in a good mood.
Chen Boqiao stood up and instructed, “Put your clothes on and come out to have some porridge.”
Zhang Jue watched Chen Boqiao leave, lowered his head, and lightly touched his lips with his fingers and then pressed it again. After sitting there for half a minute, he inched off the bed.