Xu Luoyang was spraying flower lotion into his knees in an awkward position, his phone on speakerphone, sitting on the coffee table in front of him.
“Have you eaten dinner?”
Once he heard the word “dinner”, Xu Luoyang stopped spraying flower dew and crouched down next to the coffee table, staring at the phone screen, he put on 100% of his acting skills, “I ate, I bought the food downstairs.”
“What did you eat?”
After looking at the meal box that hadn’t been thrown away on the table, the pork head soaked in chili oil and the diced chicken with spicy sauce, Xu Luoyang smoothly named the dishes for his manager, “Braised vegetable heart, boiled cauliflower, tomatoes with white sugar, and half a bowl of white rice.”
“You’re very conscious,” Zheng Dong’s tone sounded satisfied, but then the conversation turned, “Take a picture for me to see?”
Xu Luoyang said that although the question was over the top, everything was still expected. Quickly, he pulled the photos out of the photo album and sent them to his agent.
A perfect pass!
“Don’t be proud, keep up the spirit of hardship and simplicity,” Zheng Dong recited, changing the subject, “Are you getting used to living here?”
“Yes, the crew found a very clean place freshly wallpapered, and I smelled disinfectant when I arrived. It’s just that there are a lot of mosquitoes, a lot of them.” As he said that, he sprayed two sprays of flower lotion on his calves, and the mosquito bites stopped itching instantly, it worked wonders! Xu Luoyang looked at the label on the bottle, preparing to buy some more bottles.
“Just put up with the mosquitoes, give me a list of what’s missing. I’ve got the whole of September and October free for you, so don’t worry about living here and listen to Director Zhang’s arrangements.”
“Brother Zheng is awesome!” Xu Luoyang laughed, relaxing against the back of the sofa, “But you’re not disliked by the company for being free for two months and pushing out several contracts, are you?”
“I’ve never expected much from you, just focus on getting the movie done, don’t worry about anything else, it’s just adding to the mess.”
“Yes, yes, yes.” The smile on his face widened, Xu Luoyang crossed his long legs, tossing the bottle of flower lotion in his hand, “So-” he made a short sound, but still didn’t ask.
Zheng Dong didn’t notice this detail, and when he answered, he continued: “I was contacted by Qi Chang’an, who said he would arrive tomorrow morning. You’re going to live together for two months to experience life, and when the film starts shooting, you’ll all be playing opposite each other. So you must get along well…”
The bottle of flower lotion that he threw up was not caught and landed on the floor with a “pop”. The next words Zheng Dong said, Xu Luoyang didn’t pay much attention to, his mind was full of the word “Qi Chang’an”, especially annoying.
“… Don’t eat spicy food and meat, if you gain weight and get acne, when you come back the make-up artist will chop you up in minutes. Don’t blame me for not lending a helping hand then.”
After hanging up the phone, Xu Luoyang felt conscious of his body because of Zheng Dong’s words, so he went to the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror, and only then did he come back and continue spraying flower lotion. It was probably because the mosquitoes in the house hadn’t had a chance to eat for a long time, so even though they didn’t have a grudge between them, last night they had given him a bunch of mosquito bites on his calves, which made him want to bite back.
He was so distracted that he sprayed too much flower lotion and it dripped onto the floor.
Qi Chang’an will arrive tomorrow morning.
Xu Luoyang was inexplicably a little nervous.
This nervousness lasted until the middle of the night. Xu Luoyang lay on the single bed and tossed and turned, he couldn’t sleep, he counted up to 13,000 sheep, and got up to do 20 sets of stretching, 80 push-ups. He sweated and only got more and more energetic.
He was so tired!
After taking a shower, he changed into a white t-shirt and black shorts and came out. He sat down on the sofa, rubbed his hair slowly, and turned on a movie.
Sigh, it was going to be a long night, he had to find something to do!
Only when the opening soundtrack started playing did he realize that he had clicked on [Snowstorm], Qi Changan’s first movie. Although he had seen it many times, it was fate that he clicked on it, so Xu Luoyang decided to watch it.
The movie was really good, and Xu Luoyang became more and more excited as he watched it, so much so that he didn’t even hear the door lock. At the best part of the film, Qi Chang’an’s punk, Ah Hui, turned around against the light and said the classic line to the camera – “The road is so dark, want to walk with me? I am the light.”
The look in “Ah Hui’s” eyes killed him. Xu Luoyang jumped onto the sofa because no one else was there, and threw out the towel in his hand used to wipe his hair, full of emotion he shouted, “Let’s go, I’ll go with you, if the road is too dark, I can get a torch!”
Unusually, he felt a cold wind blowing over him.
With his eyes still glued to the computer screen, Xu Luoyang subconsciously rubbed his bare arms, muttering under his breath, “Summer’s not even over yet, why is the wind gusting?” After a few seconds, he subconsciously looked at the door.
The door was open, and there was a man standing at the door.
Xu Luoyang’s first thought was, “What thief is out working so early?”
But after he adjusted to the light and finally got a good look at the person at the door, his eyes rounded up and he quickly looked at the computer screen and then at the person standing at the door…
Damn, they really looked the same!
The wind in the hallway was still blowing into the house, but Xu Luoyang couldn’t care less. He quickly hid the towel he was using to wipe his hair behind him, stood up from the sofa, and put on what he thought was the most standard smile, a face of true beauty.
After ten seconds or so, it was Qi Chang’an who spoke first, his voice a little hoarse, “Hello.” Because he was standing in the doorway, his voice had a reverb effect, which was particularly nice. But maybe it was because the lighting in the hallway was dark, which made his whole aura a bit intimidating.
“Good evening to you, too, haha…” Xu Luoyang was worried to death, damn it, damn it, not good at all! He must think I’m catatonic, right? I’m sure he does!
So, how do I save you, my image!
“Good evening.” Qi Chang’an had a little smile in his voice, “Can I turn on the light?”
Xu Luoyang then remembered that he had only left a wall lamp on to create the atmosphere for the movie. The heavens were helping him, this was an instant reason to get off the couch, “Wait, I’ll turn it on for you, the switch is a bit hard to find!”
And with that, he got off the couch, slipped on his flip-flops and went to turn on the light, only to take a couple of steps and probably because he used too much force, both straps of his flip-flops came out.
The two straps were pulled out.
Xu Luoyang was only able to hold his position and avoid falling on his face.
Standing in place, a dumbfounded Xu Luoyang was instantly lost in thought – can he go and ask the supermarket owner downstairs for compensation? They cost 25.80 a pair, but they broke after two days of wear, and they were so neatly broken!
Before he could figure out what to do, the ceiling chandelier came on. Qi Chang’an moved his hand away from the switch by the door, his eyes glanced at his feet, his eyes full of smiles, “Do you need my help?”
Xu Luoyang nodded seriously with a serious expression, “Yes.” He tried his best to ignore the other man’s expression of stifled laughter, but he still felt drunk with embarrassment, “Could you please… in the shoe cupboard, could you get a new pair of slippers out for me? Thank you.”
Qi Chang’an bent down and opened the shoe cupboard and found two pairs of new slippers side by side, one pair was grey cotton and linen, and the other was sky blue plastic. The sky-blue pair had two pink hearts embedded on it, with the words “Love Home Supermarket” written on it.
Xu Luoyang’s voice came again weakly, “It’s the blue pair, the grey pair is yours, do you think you can wear them?”
“Yes, they should fit.” Qi Chang’an took out both pairs, handed one pair to Xu Luoyang, and changed into the grey pair himself, which was the right size.
After changing into the slippers, Xu Luoyang, who had rearmed himself, did not feel embarrassed. He reached out and paused the movie, then turned to look at Qi Chang’an who had already entered. He extended his hand, and cleared his throat, “Nice to meet you, my name is Xu Luoyang, ‘Xu’ as in a gentle breeze and ‘Luoyang’ from Chang’an Luoyang.”
As soon as the words left his mouth, he realized what word he had formed, and was feeling bad, when he heard Qi Chang’an take over his words, the smile at the corner of his mouth obvious, “Nice to meet you too, my name is Qi Chang’an, ‘Qi’ as in distressed heart and ‘Chang’an’ from Chang’an Luoyang.”
His voice was still a bit hoarse. Xu Luoyang understood the reason, he had been working for more than 20 hours and was in the same state, he couldn’t speak much. He was also so tired that he couldn’t lift his eyelids.
They shook hands for a while, and Xu Luoyang plucked up the courage to look up, pretending to take a look at Qi Chang’an without realizing it – the circles under his eyes were really dark!
Xu Luoyang pondered, “It’s quite late, do you want to go and rest first? The bedroom, the crew has already prepared before. I live on the left, you are the one on the right, both are quite clean.”
Qi Chang’an leaned his small suitcase against the sofa, “Yes, but I’m probably too tired to sleep.”
“Hmm, I couldn’t sleep either, so I got up to watch a movie, to make me sleepy.” Xu Luoyang tried to make his tone and expression more natural as he kept giving mental hints – it wasn’t like his future roommate caught him watching an indescribable movie, there was nothing to be ashamed of!
After a few seconds of silence, he took a deep breath and decided to save the day, “Actually… I don’t usually act like this.”
After saying that, Xu Luoyang looked at Qi Chang’an with a straight face and unblinking eyes just about to shout out the words “You must believe me!”
“Mm.” Qi Chang’an’s hand was loosely clenched into a fist, shielding the corner of his mouth from the smile he couldn’t hold back.
Looking at Qi Chang’an inquiringly, Xu Luoyang wasn’t sure if the other party was laughing quietly, but he couldn’t ask outright, ‘Are you laughing at me, could you?’ But after a couple of seconds, his attention was drawn to Qi Chang’an’s hand.
The cuffs of his white shirt were folded neatly, making his wrists look very thin. The back of his hand was lightly bronzed because of its white skin. The knuckles were well-defined and the nails were rounded and smooth – like a carefully carved work of art.
It took Xu Luoyang a while to look back – It was… It was so beautiful!
Qi Chang’an thought he had been caught laughing and naturally changed the subject, “Can I use the bathroom? I got off the plane and took the bus straight here, I’m sweating.”
Xu Luoyang was so happy to have this part skipped that he quickly took Qi Chang’an to the bathroom.
When the water in the bathroom sounded, Xu Luoyang sat back on the sofa, looked at the ceiling, put the towel to wipe his hair over his face, and screamed in his heart – so did Qi Chang’an believe me or not? I’m not usually like this!
I also want face too…
After a few minutes, when he heard the door slam, Xu Luoyang quickly pulled the towel off his face and folded it into a square next to him.
“You’ve finished washing.”
“Yes, I’m done.” Qi Chang’an, wearing a white shirt, sat down on the sofa next to Xu Luoyang with moisture on his body and raised the bath towel in his hand, “Thank you, I only brought a few sets of clothes here, I didn’t take anything else.”
“I bought them myself and took two casually.” Xu Luoyang was a bit embarrassed, could he say that it was because of the supermarket downstairs, where you get a pair of slippers for every two hundred, and in order to make up the bill, he bought bath towels and slippers for Qi Chang’an as well?
Of course he couldn’t say that, but once again, Xu Luoyang diligently pushed the plastic plates with various fruits towards Qi Chang’an, “You can have some if you’re hungry, I remember when I came over, it took me three to four hours to get from the airport to Qinli Town. I was almost dizzy from sitting, and I was still very hungry.”
Qi Chang’an followed his words, “It’s quite far, I originally planned to come tomorrow, but my agent said that the news of my flight schedule had been obtained by the media, and it would be very troublesome. That’s why I changed it and flew overnight.” He paused, “I was afraid it would be too late to disturb your rest, so I didn’t tell you in advance. I didn’t think I’d disturb you in the end.”
Ignoring the latter part of the sentence, Xu Luoyang nodded his head to show that he understood. The news of Director Zhang’s new movie had not yet leaked out, and according to the initial agreement, he and Qi Chang’an would be the double male lead. They would stay in Qinli Town for two months to experience life, get familiar with the script and develop a tacit understanding, and then start shooting in November.
If the media found out, they would have to change the location.
After staring at the fruit plate for a while, Qi Chang’an reached for an apple and thanked him again.
“Don’t be so polite, I can’t eat all of them, it’s only right to work together to destroy the fruit.”
Qi Chang’an nodded, smiling at Xu Luoyang, his eyebrows widening.
This smile almost made Xu Luoyang cover his heart…
Xu Luoyang didn’t think he could remember what Ah Hui looked like in the movie anymore. In reality, Qi Chang’an’s skin was unhealthy white, and his lips were bloodless. His hair was still a bit wet, his bangs fell down to cover his forehead, and his eyes were “fake double eyelids”, yes double, but not too obvious. When he didn’t smile, it made him look stern and cold.
But when he smiled, he looked really great, making the ice melted and the earth come back to life.
Xu Luoyang looked dumbfounded for a few seconds, and felt the urge to share all the chicken meat in the spicy chicken with Qi Chang’an!
After Qi Chang’an closed the bedroom door, Xu Luoyang tidied up his laptop and prepared to go back to his room to sleep. His eyes swept across the table and he suddenly gave a start – the apple that Qi Chang’an took was still intact on the plastic plate.
Carrying his laptop, Xu Luoyang was relieved – he said it, how could Qi Chang’an be so easy-going and love eating apples!
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