That day, He Gu was busy working on site when he received a phone call from Xiao Song. The construction work was at the height of the project, and the background noise was deafening. After saying “hello” a few times, he still couldn’t properly hear what Xiao Song was saying.
Once Xiao Song hung up, a message came through right away: He Gu-ge, Han-ge’s mom is back and wants to have dinner with you.
He Gu looked at the message, his mind blank for a moment before quickly typing back a reply: Does Juhan know?
A message immediately came through again: He does.
He Gu hesitated for a while before replying: Address.
When Xiao Song sent over the message with the time and address, He Gu was surprised to see that the dinner was arranged for tonight. On top of that, the location was quite far away from the construction site. There was definitely no time for him to go home and change, so he could only ask for some wet wipes from a female colleague to quickly wipe off the dust on his pants and shoes, before jumping in his car and heading over.
Song Juhan’s parents have been separated for many years. Although it wasn’t exactly a secret within the entertainment circle, at least on the surface, they always maintained a relatively amicable relationship. They were always appearing in public occasions together and putting up a facade of mutual affection. It was probably due to Song Juhan’s mother’s international upbringing that she had such a bold and carefree personality, and was willing to accept an open marriage.
He Gu rushed to the restaurant but was still ten minutes late. He had always been very obsessed with being on time, so being even a little late made him very uncomfortable.
Running towards the private room, He Gu stood in front of the doors, feeling a sudden sense of nervousness.
He and Song Juhan hadn’t seen each other in over a month. During that period, He Gu had been drowning himself in work. Only then could he distract and stop himself from constantly thinking about the man. Perhaps it was because he had been mentally preparing himself for so long, that even if it was difficult to bear, he was still able to resist the urge to go look for Song Juhan. Whether it was back then or now, he had always used this self-oppressive-like restraint to control himself. Yet, no matter how powerful this restraint was, at the end of the day, it was only a restraint to his physical actions, and not the emotions of his heart.
He took a deep breath, and knocked on the door. Beyond the door, a gentle and sultry feminine voice could be heard. “Come in.”
He Gu pushed open the door. The spacious and luxurious interior of an Oriental-styled suite filled his eyes. In the middle of the room was an opulent rosewood table with a carved dragon design, and on top of it were a selection of intricate and delicate starters accompanied by a tea set.
Behind the table sat two people. One was Song Juhan, and the other was a glamorous mixed-race beauty, an international supermodel, and Song Juhan’s mother.
“Hey, He Gu.” Vanessa1 Vanessa – her name hasn’t been changed and is actually in English in the raws. As a mixed-race international supermodel growing up abroad, she probably goes by her English name. got up and walked over. She was wearing a simple teal blue dress, and her tall and elegant figure swayed gently with each of her steps. Stopping in front of him, she enthusiastically wrapped him into a familiar hug. “It’s been so long since I’ve last seen you.”
A strong smell of perfume forced its way into He Gu’s nose. Even with someone like He Gu, who had absolutely no interest in women, couldn’t resist the effortless charm of this beauty. This kind of radiant beauty transcends gender limitations. Not to mention her immaculate upbringing, warm personality, and overall intelligence. Simply put, she was the textbook description of a perfect being.
He Gu lightly hugged her back. “Vanessa, it has been too long.”
Song Juhan sat in his seat without moving, his expression clearly in a bad mood. “Why did you come here dressed like that?”
In a rush to get there in time, He Gu did not have the chance to check himself in the mirror. But he could likely guess the tragic state of his appearance. After working a tireless day on site, he was probably covered from head to toe in dust and dirt. Moreover, he always chose to wear his old clothes when working on a construction site, so his current outfit was quite tattered and casual.
Vanessa scolded, “Juhan, watch your manners.”
Song Juhan snorted disdainfully.
Vanessa held onto He Gu’s arm and guided him to the dinner table. “Come, please sit down.”
He Gu apologized. “I’m so sorry. I only got Xiao Song’s message this afternoon, and I was already working on site. Sorry for turning up late, and not bringing anything too.”
Vanessa waved her head in dismissal, then smiled and said, “Don’t worry about these small things. I just arrived, and I’m still a bit jet-lagged, but I really wanted to have some authentic Chinese food. And then I remembered I hadn’t seen you in a while.”
“I saw the news recently. You just joined an all-stars golf show.”
“Yes, we toured six countries. I’m so tired.” Vanessa used her delicate fingers to pick up a single salt and pepper peanut, bringing it in front of her eyes, and squinted at it before muttering, “6 calories.” Then she swiftly popped it in her mouth.
“Mom, don’t worry and just eat. I’ll go to the gym with you tomorrow.”
“Sounds good. Tomorrow, we’ll see who can plank for longer, and if you lose…” Vanessa lightly pinched Song Juhan’s nose and continued, “you have to go apologize to your father.”
Song Juhan hmph-ed. “He never apologizes when he’s wrong.”
“But you are not him. You are mommy’s good boy, en?”
Song Juhan rolled his eyes. “Fine. But only if you really win me.”
Vanessa revealed an enchanting smile. “Of course I’ll win.”
He Gu stared intently at Song Juhan, observing this unfamiliar man in front of his eyes. Only in front of his mother did Song Juhan reveal a completely different and almost innocent side of himself. He’d become childish yet caring, shameless yet pampering. This version of Song Juhan was so likeable and desirable.
Suddenly, Vanessa turned to face He Gu. Like a deer caught in the headlights, He Gu immediately pulled his eyes away from Song Juhan, and let out an embarrassing giggle. He Gu felt his cheeks begin to burn.
“He Gu, you’ve gotten skinnier than the last time I saw you. Is work very busy lately?”
“Yes, it gets quite busy towards the end of the year.”
“I know work can get busy, but you should still watch your health. You are still young, and you have twenty to thirty years to grow your career. However, your own health is a lifetime pursuit.”
He Gu smiled back and nodded. “I will.”
Vanessa then turned her attention to Song Juhan. “Go tell the waiters to serve the dishes.”
Song Juhan glanced at He Gu, his expression cold as always, then stood up to call a waiter.
Vanessa rested her chin on her hand, and looked at He Gu with a knowing smile. “Are you guys still getting along well? I heard from Xiao Song that you two are fighting.”
He Gu always wondered whether Vanessa truly knew about the relationship between him and her son. Perhaps she had always known. After all, the gossip news surrounding her son’s numerous relationships had always been all over the media. But she also may not really know, for she seemed to think of him as Song Juhan’s boyfriend.
He Gu didn’t want to expose their relationship, so he simply said, “We just had a little disagreement. It’s fine.”
“So Xiao Song was right. When Song Juhan fights with you, he will stir up trouble. He really is a son that makes one worry.”
He Gu thought to himself, Song Juhan had always been loved by everyone around him. To this day, there weren’t many people or things that didn’t go his way. No matter who annoyed him in the first place, if he was angry, he would naturally find somewhere to vent his anger. Thinking about that, He Gu smiled and said nothing.
Vanessa patted his hand and said sincerely, “He Gu, I really like you. I really hope that you two can get along together. I don’t care whether he likes girls or boys, as long as he is happy.”
He Gu smiled. “You really are an open and accepting mother.”
The two looked at each other and smiled.
As soon as Song Juhan returned, the waiters began serving the dishes one after another. Vanessa only had one or two bites of each dish; her self control was truly admirable.
The dinner passed by quickly as they chatted and enjoyed the delicious cuisine together. Although, throughout the entire meal, apart from the one sentence when He Gu arrived, Song Juhan did not speak another word to him. Nor did He Gu bother trying to speak to the other man.
After dinner, Vanessa said to Song Juhan, “I’ve told the driver to come pick me up. But you should take He Gu’s car back.”
Vanessa gently patted his cheek. “My darling should just listen to what I say.”
Song Juhan turned his face away impatiently.
After Vanessa left, He Gu also stood up and hesitantly said, “Do you need me to send you back?”
Song Juhan glared at him. “Who needs you.”
He Gu was silent for a moment. “I’ll send you back.”
Song Juhan stubbornly let out a hmph, then stood up.
Without another word, the two walked to the parking area in complete silence.
Arriving next to the car, He Gu hesitated for a moment before opening the back seat door for Song Juhan to get in. Annoyed by his gesture, Song Juhan slammed the door shut and stalked over to the front passenger seat, and angrily sat down.
He Gu let out a sigh and got in as well.
The entire journey was made in utter silence.
He Gu used all his concentration to focus on the road in front of him instead of thinking about the man seated next to him.
In the silence of the car, He Gu could hear Song Juhan’s breathing growing heavier and heavier, each breath deeper than the next until he finally seemed unable to hold it in any longer. “Do you not even have one f*cking word to say to me?”
He Gu really didn’t know what to say to him. After deliberating for a moment, he said, “I heard from Xiao Song that you had a fight with the photographer.”
“Yes, that son of a bitch picked a fight first.”
“Chief Song seems really mad about this.”
“Xiao Song is worried he’ll get fired for this.”
“That’s good. He’s about to get married, so he’s quite stressed right now.”
Song Juhan glanced at him from the corner of his eyes. “When did you start to worry about Xiao Song so much?”
“He called me to complain.”
“If it’s about work, why didn’t he just contact me? What’s the point in calling you about it?”
“How can he dare call you to complain about this.”
Song Juhan said unhappily, “You have nothing else to say to me?”
He Gu paused for a moment before replying, “Right now, no.”
“He Gu! You f*cking…” Song Juhan was so angry, he nearly punched the car window. “What about Feng Zheng? Have you seen him lately?”
“Then what about in the future, will you meet up with him later on?”
“Why do you care so much about him? If I really wanted to get together with him, I wouldn’t have waited until now.”
“The past is the past, now is now.”
“Yes. That’s what I think as well. And right now, we are just friends.”
Song Juhan turned his head and glared at He Gu2In the raws, it says Song Juhan glared at Song Juhan, but I think that’s just a mistake…. “What if I say you are not allowed to meet him ever again?”
He Gu helplessly said, “Juhan, that makes no sense.”
“I don’t f*cking care if it makes sense or not!” said Song Juhan in a stern voice. “I hate him. You’re not allowed to see him or have any further contact with him.”
He Gu slowly steered towards the side of the road, stopped the car, and switched off the engine. He then turned his body around to face Song Juhan, and with a heart turbulent like a knife poised to attack, but with an expression as cold as ice, he said, “Juhan, I don’t see any reason why I should do this. It’s too naive.”
Song Juhan roughly grabbed his collar, and said in a cold voice, “You really do still have feelings for him. In all these years, I have never seen you with many friends. Why are you so attached to this one friend?”
“It’s exactly because I don’t have many friends in the first place. That’s why I have to treasure the ones I do have.” He Gu held onto Song Juhan’s wrists and lowered his voice. “I’ve already said this before. Nothing will ever happen between me and him. I have never lied to you before. You can trust me.”
Song Juhan’s face flickered between a green and white tinge. “I don’t believe in Feng Zheng.”
“Feng Zheng already has his own life.”
“Then why is he still so eager and attentive to you?”
“He isn’t being eager or attentive with me. He just came back from abroad, and was probably thinking about an old friend. Otherwise, he would have already found ways to reach out to me in all those years he was away.”
After hearing that, Song Juhan seemed to relax a little, but his attitude was still as domineering as before. “I don’t care. I just don’t want you to see him again. Me and him, you can only choose one.”