As they left the villa on Maple Road, Xu Luoyang took an album with him. On the way home, he was torn and hesitant, before finally standing in front of Qi Chang’an.
“Nao Nao?” Seeing Xu Luoyang hiding his hand behind his back and not daring to look into his eyes, Qi Chang’an smiled, “What’s wrong? Do you want to give me something?”
After taking two deep breaths, Xu Luoyang handed over the album in his hand, whispering to Qi Chang’an, “This is for you.”
Controlling his line of sight and watching Qi Chang’an, he said slowly, “In a few hours, I’ll be 26 years old. I spent my 25th year with you and in this album, there are pictures of me at every age, from my birth to 24 years old.”
Qi Chang’an sat up straight slowly, his expression becoming serious, the tenderness in his eyes like an overflowing spring, about to spill over. Not interrupting, he listened carefully.
“I’m giving you all of me— the me that I was, the me that I am and the me that I will be.” Done saying this, Xu Luoyang relaxed a bit and his smile became brighter, “Mr. Qi, will you accept it?”
“I will.” While taking the album with both hands, Qi Chang’an pulled Xu Luoyang into his arms, kissing him passionately on the lips, “Everytime, I always feel that I don’t love you enough.”
His eyes curving into a smile, Xu Luoyang was happy, “Then Mr. Qi, take your time and work hard. After all, we have a long time until we grow old!” After saying this, he added softly, “I’ll work hard too.”
Qi Chang’an’s birthday gift to Xu Luoyang was a bowl of longevity noodles he had made himself. Leading Xu Luoyang to the dining table, his eyes focused, he said, “I wish my Nao Nao good health, a long life, peace, prosperity and happiness every day.”
“Thank you, Chang’an!” Sitting down in the chair that had been pulled out for him, Xu Luoyang picked up his chopsticks then found that the noodles were surprisingly delicious. What amazed him even more was that there was really just one noodle in the entire bowl, and it was perfectly uniform in thickness!
When it came time to wash the dishes, Xu Luoyang hugged Qi Chang’an’s waist from behind, his tone soft, “Can you tell me how many times you practiced in order to make this bowl of noodles so delicious?”
When Qi Chang’an remained silent, Xu Luoyang sighed heavily, rested his forehead on Qi Chang’an’s shoulder and began to demonstrate his superb acting skills, “Ai, it’s so sad! It’s not even midnight yet and I’m not the birthday boy anymore? Can’t even this tiny wish be granted?”
Helpless, Qi Chang’an finally spoke after a few seconds, “I started practicing after the first time we filmed the reality show. I practiced twice a day.”
Xu Luoyang was shocked. Their first reality show recording was on the 11th of May, and it had been more than half a month since then. Imagining Qi Chang’an standing in the kitchen, kneading the dough earnestly and boiling the noodles when he wasn’t around, Xu Luoyang’s heart felt as if it had been stuffed with marshmallows. Even every breath of air tasted sweet.
Being cherished by someone like this was a feeling of happiness that couldn’t be described in words. He felt like he had fallen into a pit called ‘Qi Chang’an’ and that he had no choice but to sink deeper and deeper.
Afterwards, the two sat on the couch together to watch TV. When it was almost eight o’clock, Xu Luoyang found an excuse to go to the balcony to make a phone call.
While waiting for the call to connect, Xu Luoyang made a heart shape with one hand through the floor-to-ceiling window glass at Qi Chang’an who was sitting on the sofa. Just then, he heard a voice from the phone ask, “Luoyang?”
“Shan Shan.” Xu Luoyang turned sideways subconsciously so Qi Chang’an wouldn’t be able to see the movements of his lips. Coughing lightly, he was about to speak when he heard Ye Shan Shan ask, “What’s wrong? You have a cold?”
Xu Luoyang smiled, “I don’t have a cold, I have a serious question for you.”
Ye Shan Shan’s tone turned serious as well as he said anxiously, “Tell me!”
Feeling that they were all adults and so should face the issue of same sex relations directly, Xu Luoyang asked bluntly, “Your first time with your Gong Yue, did it hurt?”
After realizing what ‘your first time’ meant, Ye Shan Shan answered cheerfully, “It didn’t hurt at all; it was very comfortable, super comfortable! But my Ge thought I would be in pain, so he made a lot of preparations!” He thought for a moment then added, “But it might have been because of my physique. I looked it up later and apparently, the first time is generally painful, so you have to be well prepared.”
“I’ve also looked it up but there are all kinds of opinions.” Putting his hand in his pocket, Xu Luoyang was a bit annoyed— Ye Shan Shan’s physique wasn’t a good reference, and he had been foolish to ask! However he was quite nervous, so he chatted about random things for another ten minutes before hanging up.
Before ending the call, Ye Shan Shan said mysteriously, as if they were underground operatives, “I’ll give you your birthday gift myself the next time we meet! Also, I plan to be the first to post a Weibo message wishing you a happy birthday at midnight, so help me stall your Chang’an so I can have some time, okay?”
After ending the call, Xu Luoyang hit his head with his phone— he was finished. He was even more nervous now!
This nervousness lasted until it was time to go to bed. With his eyes closed tightly, Xu Luoyang sensed Qi Chang’an lifting a corner of the blanket and climbing into bed from the other side. He said hesitantly, “The light… is a bit glaring. Chang’an, can you turn off the light first?”
Complying, Qi Chang’an turned off the light.
The darkness limited their vision, but it also heightened their other senses, especially for Xu Luoyang, who was incredibly nervous and sensitive. Sensing Qi Chang’an’s warmth approaching him, his fingers trembled slightly as he kept telling himself not to be nervous.
However just as he was about to gather his courage and lean in for a kiss, he realized that Qi Chang’an was faster than him. A light kiss landed on his forehead, followed by Qi Chang’an’s deep and magnetic voice, “Happy birthday, my Nao Nao.”
The three hands of the clock pointed to ’12’, and the next second belonged to the 1st of June.
His momentum interrupted, half of the courage Xu Luoyang had gathered vanished immediately and when Qi Chang’an handed him a letter, the remaining half disappeared as well.
Turning on the bedside lamp, Xu Luoyang examined the envelope several times, his fingertips tracing the words ‘To my Nao Nao’ on the envelope. Looking at Qi Chang’an, he asked him, “When….. when did you write this? We’ve obviously been together the whole time!”
“When you were taking a shower.”
Triggered by the keyword ‘shower’, Xu Luoyang’s ears burned. He placed the letter on the bedside table, his voice lowering unconsciously, “I’ll…. I’ll read it tomorrow.”
He looked back at Qi Chang’an, “You…..” Pausing, he reached out to turn off the light again then continued, “Do you want to check to see if there have been any changes in me?” After saying this, he grabbed Qi Chang’an’s hand, slipped it under his clothes then placed it next to his opening slowly, his voice very soft, “You….. feel it.”
Qi Chang’an’s fingers paused for a beat before moving slightly and touching a moist, warm softness. He didn’t dare move anymore, his hand still next to the opening as he whispered, “Nao Nao….”
The two were so close that Xu Luoyang had already noticed that Qi Chang’an’s body temperature had risen rapidly, like a fire, ready to ignite with him. Being called so gently, his voice trembled, “Do you feel it?”
“I feel it.” As Qi Chang’an said this, one of his fingers pressed lightly next to the opening gently. Xu Luoyang curled up, and like a small animal, pressed closer to Qi Chang’an’s chest, biting his collar to suppress any sound.
He realized that he had completely underestimated the chain reaction this action would cause. After all, he was really about to explode now!
In the darkness, no one spoke, except for their scorching breaths. Twenty minutes later, Xu Luoyang felt a drop of sweat on his chin. Licking his dry lips, he let out a muffled moan, “Chang’an…..”
Qi Chang’an’s breath was hot, his lips pressed against Xu Luoyang’s as he spoke, “I can’t go in, you’ll get hurt. Nao Nao, let’s do it next time, okay?”
Xu Luoyang was already drenched in sweat. Raising his arm, be placed it around Qi Chang’an’s neck and listening to his breathing, whispered hoarsely, “Then let’s go to the bathroom.”
Almost an hour later, the two finally emerged from the bathroom. Xu Luoyang collapsed on the bed, not wanting to move, in a slightly mournful mood— it was probably the feeling that he had thought he would be able to drive a nuclear submarine, but was only able to move a handcart!
When Qi Chang’an lay down next to him, Xu Luoyang snuggled up to him, his hand clenched loosely into a fist and as if was holding a microphone, asked, “Mr. Qi, may I ask, what did you eat to grow this big?”
He had tried to relax himself beforehand, but even so, he hadn’t been able to successfully get on the nuclear submarine that he was! He was so angry that he was deformed!
Reaching out, Qi Chang’an pulled him into his arms, his hand slipping inside his robe to caress him on the back gently, his voice containing a smile, “It must be the essence of heaven and earth that I’ve cultivated.”
Feeling very defeated, Xu Luoyang began to reflect seriously, “Is it possible that our method was wrong?” He immediately denied his own doubt, “The method must be right; it’s mainly that the models don’t match!”
Tilting his head, he kissed Qi Chang’an’s chin and after kissing, asked, “Before this, have you ever thought of doing this?” Over the past hour or two, he felt that he and Qi Chang’an were like two volcanoes colliding, magma merging with magma— but before this, he had assumed that it was because Qi Chang’an’s condition wouldn’t allow it and so had been worried for a long time.
“I have. I’ve always wanted to, but I was more afraid of hurting you.”
Feeling a soft warmth in his heart, Xu Luoyang grinned, “Classmate Qi, don’t worry. Next time, we’ll research, learn and make progress together!”
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