Once Chi Xueyan woke up, the dim light in the bedroom softly flooded his field of view. There was a gentle blue shade like the haze of the early morning.
Trapped in a comfortable bed, he lazily closed his eyes for a while. This lasted until he was fully awake. Then he reached for the phone that he had left on his bedside table last night.
On the lock screen full of new messages, the time displayed was 10 o’clock in the morning.
Chi Xueyan was a bit surprised.
He thought it was still early in the morning. He hadn’t expected to sleep for so long.
He could only blame the fact that the bedroom curtains’ shading effect was too good.
…However, he didn’t think that he would remember to close the curtains before going to bed when he was so tired after taking a shower last night.
Chi Xueyan looked toward the tightly closed curtains on the side and then the roses placed on the table. The shirt he casually threw on the chair wasn’t messy at all but was neatly folded.
It was only be He Qiao.
He was also a very careful person even when there were no outsiders.
Chi Xueyan subconsciously looked to the right.
The other side of the bed was empty and the sheets were still flat. The temperature was slightly cool and it looked like no one had slept in it.
So he was the one who slept alone in the master bedroom all night.
The bed was really comfortable.
Chi Xueyan hoped that the bed of the other bedroom he chose was also comfortable.
Chi Xueyan got up to wash, changed clothes and walked out of the room.
The room was quiet and the sun shone on all the colorful colors in the house. The warm atmosphere permeated silently.
The door of the bedroom belonging to He Qiao had the door closed and there was no movement inside. The owner of the room still seemed to be asleep.
Chi Xueyan looked surprised before lightening his steps.
He had thought He Qiao would wake up earlier. After all, He Qiao had a good rest the night before the wedding and wasn’t as sleep-deprived as him.
What time did He Qiao go to sleep last night?
He walked into the kitchen, which was full of spices and common foods. It was like a home that had started a warm life.
Chi Xueyan planned to make something casually for himself.
At home, he always had an aunt who cooked. Her cooking skills were excellent and he was accustomed to not cooking very often. Therefore, he could only make simple things that didn’t taste good or bad.
Thinking of this, Chi Xueyan suddenly missed Aunt Ling’s cooking.
There were no cooks or cleaners hired for the new house for the time being. The elders had mentioned it but the two of them found excuses to refuse.
It was because it was inconvenient. If there were outsiders coming in all the time, they might accidentally expose their true relationship status when they forgot to cover up.
They couldn’t think about how to solve this problem for the time being.
In short, he could cook but he was too lazy to cook.
Chi Xueyan couldn’t help sighing.
Perhaps he should go home for dinner tonight.
The door of He Qiao’s room finally opened when the hour hand reached 11 o’clock.
At this time, Chi Xueyan was nestled on the sofa and reading a book. It was a freshly opened detective novel that had been moved from his home early.
The marriage house on their first day of arrival was already full of daily details, just as their mothers had imagined in advance.
He heard the movement from the door, looked up and couldn’t help laughing.
After He Qiao washed up, he changed into a short-sleeved shirt with a very homely style. This was the casual look that Chi Xueyan liked.
However, the person in front of him wasn’t the same as usual. It wasn’t the one who pretended to be gentle and innocent, nor was he the one who was calm and rational.
He Qiao stood at the door of his room and looked at the carefully decorated home. The rich daylight lit up his vision instantly and his handsome side profile was wrapped in the midsummer warm sun pouring in outside the window, making him look very warm.
He seemed to smell the faint aroma of food wafting in the air and instinctively looked in the direction of the kitchen. There was a soft clarity in his eyes.
It could be the dazed feeling from not getting enough sleep.
Chi Xueyan was inexplicably pleased by this scene and greeted him with a smile. “Good afternoon, were you unable to sleep last night?”
He Qiao’s mind returned. He looked sideways at the other person and replied slowly, “A little bit.”
Then he responded to the greeting. “Good afternoon.”
There was a slight hoarseness in his voice from just waking up.
Chi Xueyan didn’t know why but he wanted to laugh even more. His eyes curved as he smiled and the book was thrown aside.
Now he didn’t want to read the cold-style detective novel.
Chi Xueyan picked up the remote control to turn on the TV and found a random TV series to watch.
Today was Sunday. It was like this when he went home on the weekends in the past.
He did whatever he wanted, whatever came to mind.
“There are sandwiches in the kitchen. You can use it to fill your stomach first.”
Chi Xueyan shook the remote control in his hand, as if exchanging it for food with his lover he lived with. “Don’t watch the news, okay?”
As he was cooking for himself, he also prepared one for the sleeping He Qiao.
It was a type of friendly courtesy to roommates.
He Qiao saw the sloppy looking sandwich served on a beautiful plate. It was fluffy toast with ham and meat floss. It didn’t have the complicated omelet and tomato slices, but it still looked delicious.
He replied softly while walking toward the kitchen, “Okay.”
He wouldn’t watch the news today.
The large-screen TV in the living room was showing a lively scene. The screen was flickering and sound was flowing everywhere., The beautiful fireplace next to it became an elegant decoration in the summer.
Chi Xueyan was still sitting lazily on the sofa. His eyes were staring at the screen while he was restoring a fourth-order Rubik’s Cube in his hand. It wasn’t known if he was using the TV series as a background sound or playing with the Rubik’s Cube as a walnut.
He also casually chatted with He Qiao.
“Go out to eat later or order takeout?”
“Do you have a restaurant you want to go to?” He Qiao asked. “Or we can eat at home.”
In order to avoid the other person’s misunderstanding, he quickly added, “I can cook. The taste should be okay.”
The problem of three meals was suddenly solved. Chi Xueyan couldn’t help turning to look at him and said with an appreciative tone, “I’m a picky eater.”
He Qiao brought vegetables on his phone. As he waited for it to be delivered, he sat on the other end of the sofa and peeled the grapefruit.
There was a lot of fresh fruit in the kitchen. He chose the one with the most refreshing taste that was suitable for a pre-dinner fruit.
Chi Xueyan next to him was once again restoring the Rubik’s Cube in his hand. He was about to put it aside to do something else, when he seemed to be reminded of something by the Rubik’s Cube. He turned and asked He Qiao, “What is that Fang person’s name?”
He thought of Fang Shier again.
The delicate clock on the wall emitted a light beep as it moved from number 11 to 12. It was noon.
“What is the name of the man who fought with you?”
Due to the noisy TV series, He Qiao didn’t seem to hear it clearly as he concentrated on peeling grapefruit. He asked blankly, “What?”
“……” Chi Xueyan gave up on repeating the tongue twister and said in a casual tone, “Forget it, it doesn’t matter. Just assume that his name is Fang something.”
He Qiao withdrew his gaze from the clock and the movement of his hand remained unchanged. “Eat grapefruit?”
“Is it sour?”
“It isn’t sour. It is very sweet.”
Chi Xueyan put down the Rubik’s Cube and took it happily. “Thank you.”
The strands of grapefruit flesh really had a fresh and long-lasting sweetness.
The lunch served after that was also very delicious.
He wasn’t a picky eater but he always had a preference for the taste of food.
He Qiao’s dishes unexpectedly suited his taste.
The rest of the time was equally peaceful.
Chi Xueyan picked up the detective novel again and flipped to the end to see who the murderer was. Then he found the latest horror movie to watch, only to go out halfway through to help a friend.
He Qiao was new to the family business and had many reports to read. After feeling tired, he put down the work at hand and watched the horror movie with Chi Xueyan.
In the evening, they ate at a nearby restaurant with a good reputation. They walked side by side after dinner, took a break when they returned home and went into their respective rooms.
Under the same roof, the two people did their own thing and occasionally met each other.
It was a relaxing and harmonious day.
It was so relaxed that there was no trace of an ambiguous bond.
It was because the drama was over.
The next morning, the two of them left separately.
The dental clinic started work earlier while the media company started an hour later.
In the early morning when He Qiao walked out of his room, Chi Xueyan had just finished eating a sandwich and was changing shoes at the entrance.
The used tableware had been washed and put back on the bowl rack. Fresh water droplets dripped over the brightly colored porcelain plate. His lover said goodbye to him as usual. “Good morning, I will go first.”
Immediately, he simply turned and left.
On weekends, they had to be in the same room. On weekends, that forced necessity disappeared and their encounters with each other became scarce.
There was no need to inform each other about the arrangement of leisure time.
They had breakfast at different times, went to work and drove in different directions.
The roads were full of traffic, loud sounds and flashing traffic lights.
He Qiao in the back seat couldn’t see the dazzling red light ahead and he held a stack of documents in his hand.
In this rare stillness, his eyes passed over the dense text while his thoughts drifted.
Two dried floral sachets were placed in the car one after another.
The faint rose fragrance always lingered. So by the time the car drove into the underground parking lot of the office building, He Qiao hadn’t finished the first paragraph of the report in his hand.
He took the elevator upstairs alone and walked to the floor where Wanjia Media was located.
The company was about to move and the new office building opposite the clinic had started renovations.
Along the way, the employees continued to take the initiative to say hello to him. They smiled and congratulated him on his new marriage.
The young President He had little experience but his attitude was quite serious. He was very attentive to the company’s big and small affairs and would ask questions one by one.
He spent more energy on this not-too-large subsidiary compared to He Xiao, who was previously extremely busy.
Moreover, the new President He respected the former senior employees. He didn’t interfere in the affairs of the department that were already functioning normally and listened carefully to the opinions of his subordinates when making decisions. This made him a perfect boss.
Therefore, the management change wasn’t a bad thing in the eyes of employees.
They were originally worried that the new president who was parachuted into the company would be the type of rich second generation using the business as child’s play.
After all, the first decision he made after taking over Wanjia Media was to choose a new office location opposite his lover’s workplace. This scared everyone enough.
The secretary waiting at the door at the time greeted him. She took the folder from He Qiao’s hand and didn’t forget to bless the boss who just got married.
He Qiao answered gently and walked with her to his office.
The secretary had participated in the wedding and there was a hint of dreaminess in his voice. “President He, that was really the most romantic wedding I have ever seen. Your relationship with your husband must be very good. It is a pity that the wedding scene didn’t allow any reporting…”
This time, He Qiao didn’t respond.
They passed by a small meeting room and He Qiao glanced inside by chance, only to slow down.
There were two people chatting inside. One was a senior employee of the music department and the other wore thick glasses and was dressed in a very ordinary, even bleak, manner. He had a somewhat restrained demeanor.
He Qiao had seen him before.
It was the young man who was responsible for communicating with the foreign band throughout the wedding.
The conversation between the two of them was heard through the half-closed door.
The tone of the employee’s speech was quite peculiar and very slow. “…It will take a few days to give you an answer, but I am quite surprised that you came with a tape today.”
The other person had a very unique voice and his tone was full of the feeling of seeing an old friend. “I didn’t expect that I could take this step. Maybe I suddenly realized that life could be like this.
The voices of the conversation slowly drifted into the corridor.
The secretary noticed the gaze of her boss and said proactively, “This is a singer who came over with a demon today. He is talking to a teacher of the music department. They have collaborated before.”
No emotion could be heard in He Qiao’s voice. “What is his name?”
“Duan Ruo,” she showed a hint of regret as she replied. “I don’t know if you have heard his songs. It is a pity that a few years ago, he…”
Hearing this familiar name, He Qiao’s footsteps finally stopped completely. The sunlight cast shadows on the side of his angular face and his gaze became vague.
He knew this man and he knew what the secretary was going to say.
After Duan Ruo became a famous singer with infinite scenery, his past ups and downs naturally became widely circulated news.
Duan Ruo was the other protagonist in the story.
But he shouldn’t have been in this place at this time.
It shouldn’t be like this.
The Duan Ruo in He Qiao’s memory didn’t wear glasses. He treated people warmly and had a soft temperament. He held the microphone as if he had changed his personality, showing confidence. It was completely different from the ordinary cowardice at this moment.
So at the wedding that day, he only vaguely felt that this person was a bit familiar. He instinctively took a few more looks but didn’t recognize him.
The current Duan Ruo should still be caught in a complicated dispute with his former company. He lost the right to publish songs under his own name and was depressed for a long time. He could only do some other work related to music to make a living.
The story of a talented singer-songwriter who was gullible and a former partner whose methods were disgraceful wasn’t new.
Later, he finally cheered up. As he fought a lawsuit with the partner he once trusted and relied on, he took the risk to start singing again. After gaining a certain reputation, he cooperated with Wanjia Media on a commercial song. Due to this, he met He Xiao.
Duan Ruo was a talented singer-songwriter and a singer with a gifted voice, but he had been trapped in a quagmire of mistakes for a long time.
Now he had ignited the courage to break free from the quagmire in advance.
Wanjia Media also entered He Qiao’s hands.
It was a strange fate.
The secretary’s voice caught the attention of the people in the room. They saw He Qiao standing at the door and the employee of the music department and Duan Ruo got up at almost the same time.
The secretary was about to introduce the boss next to him, but Duan Ruo took the initiative to say to He Qiao, “I have seen you.”
His expression was slightly excited and his speech speed became faster. There was gratitude and happiness in it. “I want to thank you, even though you might not know me.
“I attended the wedding on Saturday on the band’s side.” He was a bit incoherent. “But it doesn’t matter… I just wanted to say that I was really lucky to witness the wedding.”
Duan Ruo actually had a lot to say about the many songs he had written but couldn’t sing in recent years and about the unruly and free figure he saw from afar in the crowd that allowed him to take a second look at life.
However, he held back in front of strangers and left only sincere thanks. “Sorry, I won’t waste your time. I wish you a happy marriage.”
The president looked as usual as he listened quietly. He gently lowered his head to accept the blessing and thanked him. Then He Qiao continued to walk to his office.
The still gloomy singer didn’t reveal the words hidden in his heart. However, He Qiao had guessed it the moment he associated the young man at the wedding with Duan Ruo.
It was because of Chi Xueyan.
The reversal of the path of life often required some opportunities.
He didn’t know what opportunity Duan Ruo encountered in the novel to take this time, but the opportunity that came early to him was He Qiao’s wedding with Chi Xueyan.
This exceeded He Qiao’s expectations.
He sat down at his large desk and started today’s work.
The secretary brought the demo. He Qiao was silent for a moment before letting her play it.
It was the song in his memories.
A moving melody and unique voice flowed in the quiet office.
It reminded him of the figure who later flourished on stage.
At this moment, He Qiao suddenly discovered that Duan Ruo, who became a famous singer in the future, actually had a bit of the shadow of Chi Xueyan on him.
There wasn’t the wedding in the novel to affect his face, but what he wanted to become had always been a person like Chi Xueyan, free and open, not afraid of the fate of others and daring to break free from the entangled shackles.
The difference was that Duan Ruo changed later while Chi Xueyan was born like this.
Did Lu Siyi notice this shadow?
It was ‘Chi Xueyan’ who forcefully pried open his feelings and changed the trajectory of his life. Even if there were twists and turns later that made him deeply hate the other person, but ‘Chi Xueyan’ left an indelible impact on his life after all.
Thinking of this, He Qiao lowered his eyes and gently put on the cap of the fountain pen.
He couldn’t be sure.
In any case, between him and Chi Xueyan, there were urgent problems that needed to be dealt with together.
After all, they were partners who kept the same secret and were destined to be on the same side forever.
He put the cold pen aside.
Outside the window of the office, the road was full of traffic. People on the street hurriedly waited to pass.
Time passed slowly and the red light finally turned into a green light.
More pedestrians gathered and could finally walk forward quickly. It was like a dense tide rushing toward the opposite bank without looking back.
During the lunch break, He Qiao made a phone call to Chi Xueyan.
The call soon connected.
“Are you free now?” He said, “Xiao Chi.”
“I have finished dealing with my colleagues and just sat down.” Chi Xueyan sounded very quiet over there. He should be alone in his office. “What’s wrong?”
“I met someone today. He is…”
He Qiao stopped in the middle of speaking. It was rare that he didn’t know how to describe it.
The trajectory of each character was no longer the same as the novel.
He suddenly didn’t want to use words like protagonist or love rival to describe Duan Ruo and he didn’t want to mention Lu Siyi.
In the short silence, Chi Xueyan on the other end of the phone seemed to have a tacit connection with him and took the initiative to say, “You met the other protagonist of the novel. My love rival, the person Lu Siyi likes?”
“……” He Qiao paused before answering, “Yes.”
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A kiss with the taste of sweet chestnuts ·3·