Xu Luoyang nodded his head repeatedly, “That’s it!” Excited, his left hand rested on the keys and naturally played a few notes out. Before the end of the notes, he noticed that Qi Chang’an’s right hand was also on the keys, and his well-defined fingers were slightly pressed and naturally embedded in Xu Luoyang’s rhythm without any sense of incongruity.
Without saying a word, the two of them tacitly played the little piece Xu Luoyang had written down together. As the last notes dissipated, Xu Luoyang’s fingers were next to Qi Chang’an’s, and he couldn’t help but smile at his partner.
After the Chrysanthemum Festival, it started to cool down.
A week ago, they had just returned to Qinli Town when they received word from director Zhang that they would start work on October 23rd and the final version of the script had been sent to them. Compared with the previous version, this final change wasn’t too much.
When Xu Luoyang returned from the police station, his concentration was a bit off, and when they ordered food for dinner, he didn’t order any meat, which was unusual.
Qi Chang’an helped him to ladle out a small bowl of soup for it to cool down then asked with a look of concern in his eyes, “Luoyang, are you not feeling well?”
It took two seconds for Xu Luoyang to respond. He propped his hand on his chin and shook his head, “I’m not sick, I just don’t feel like eating meat.” After that he sighed, like a flower that had fallen.
He continued to be in this state even after they returned home. When Qi Chang’an came out from the shower, he saw Xu Luoyang lying on the sofa in the living room with a potted cactus he had brought over from B City in his arms in a daze, not knowing what he was thinking with the cactus almost poking him in the face, frightening Qi Chang’an.
Seeing Qi Chang’an approaching, Xu Luoyang sat up with the cactus still in his arms, “Chang’an, can I…”, he stammered then said, “Forget it, I want to be strong and brave, let’s practice our lines!”
Finding that Xu Luoyang didn’t want to talk about it, Qi Chang’an didn’t ask any more questions, so he took out the script and started to work on the scene in earnest.
After 1am Xu Luoyang stared resentfully at the chandelier on the ceiling and picked up his phone for the seventh time, this time finally sending a message, “Chang’an, are you asleep?”
He told himself in his mind that if Qi Chang’an was asleep and didn’t reply, then he would give up, but if he wasn’t–
Within ten seconds, Qi Chang’an’s message came back “I’m still awake, why?”
Now Xu Luoyang didn’t struggle anymore, he sat on the bed with his legs crossed, and with a bitter face, he typed out, “Please save me! Can I stay in your bedroom tonight? I’m scared to sleep alone!”
And then he explained why “Didn’t I tell Brother Xiang today that I wouldn’t go to the police station from tomorrow onwards? As a result, he seized the last chance to show me the ropes. What kind of murder cases are there? Hanging, sealing the body with red wax, etc. Everything was fully illustrated and described in detail, and I still can’t get over it. I can’t even close my eyes. Chang’an Ge, please take me in!”
After clicking send, Xu Luoyang added, “I’ll bring my own pillow and bedding, and I’ll bunk down next to you! No snoring, no sleepwalking, no teeth grinding, no kicking, and I can talk to you before bedtime and tuck you in at midnight!”
This time, it took a while before he received a reply from Qi Chang’an, “Okay, come over here.”
Xu Luoyang was so excited that he almost jumped up in bed!
Three minutes later, he slipped on his slippers and carried his blanket to the next room, where there was only a wall lamp on and the light was a bit dim.
He closed the door behind him and saw Qi Chang’an leaning on the bed, looking towards him in the not-so-bright light. His hair was slightly dishevelled, the black pajamas he had on made his skin extremely white, and the gold-embroidered sleeves covered the backs of his hands, revealing only his long fingers, which were as beautiful as a painting.
Xu Luoyang made his temporary nest in a couple of minutes and lay down with his pillow. The floor was a little hard, but it was easy to bear. Most importantly, because he knew that Qi Chang’an was a demon, as he closed his eyes, all the pictures of the stupid corpses disappeared from his mind with only the image of Qi Chang’an in his pajamas playing on a loop.
Sure enough, the power of the great demon was really powerful!
Xu Luoyang, set up his sleeping position consciously called out, “Chang’an Ge” before saying good night in earnest.
“Good night.” Qi Chang’an’s voice was tinged with laughter, and then the light dimmed.
The room was quiet and Xu Luoyang felt safe listening to the sound of another person’s breathing in the darkness. He was about to close his eyes and go to sleep when he suddenly heard Qi Chang’an’s voice.
“Hmm?” Xu Luoyang answered, then he heard Qi Chang’an say, “Do you want to… come up and sleep together?”
Xu Luoyang did want to sleep together but was still a bit hesitant, “But don’t you not like to be too close to people?” If he went to squeeze in with Qi Chang’an, he would not be able to sleep well all night, right?
“You’re different.” Qi Chang’an’s voice was a little soft.
In the script, Qin Chao and Xu Zhan had eaten and lived together since they were kids, and later on, when Qin Chao returned to the town, he stayed at Xu Zhan’s house for a few days and slept in the same bed.
So Xu Luoyang told himself, ‘just think of it as practice!’
“I’m coming up, then.” The wall lamp was turned on again and Xu Luoyang stood up with his pillow in his arms while on the not-so-spacious bed, Qi Chang’an had moved in to make half the bed available.
“Really sleeping together?”
He quickly placed his pillow side by side with Qi Chang’an’s, as if he was worried that Qi Chang’an might regret it. Xu Luoyang quickly put his own blanket on top of it, and then deftly got under the blanket and turned off the light to lie down in one go.
He felt that he had been enveloped by the power of a great demon, and that no demon or evil would be able to attack him. Xu Luoyang said “good night” and fell asleep soon after.
Qi Chang’an listened to the sound of Xu Luoyang’s breathing in the darkness and felt as if the breath had turned into silk threads and woven into a fine net with a scorching warmth that covered his heart completely without leaving a single gap.
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