The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Ji Linxi was going to talk with Yan Li, so Ling Miao didn’t want to be a third wheel.
“You two talk. I’ll go.” Ling Miao waved and left the room, considerately shutting the door behind him.
He walked out of the apartment complex and directly toward Su Yuyang’s apartment.
He pulled open the door to the strong smell of tobacco, which promptly caused him to start choking and coughing.
The living room was dark. Ling Miao saw the faint silhouette of a person in the light streaming through the window from the streetlamps outside. A glowing red dot bobbed up and down. Ling Miao stood stunned in the doorway, staring at the red dot in surprise.
He had lived with Su Yuyang for several months now but had never once seen the man smoke. He had assumed that Su Yuyang didn’t smoke. But now, seeing the burning end of the cigarette draw a graceful curve through the air, he could tell Su Yuyang was a veteran smoker.
Su Yuyang heard the cough in the doorway and thought Yan Li had returned. He didn’t pay much attention and didn’t even glance in Ling Miao’s direction.
Gentle light showered down from the ceiling. It was too bright for Su Yuyang’s eyes, which had grown accustomed to the dark. Su Yuyang shielded his eyes with one hand and waited for his eyes to get used to the sudden brightness before moving his hand away.
Su Yuyang sat up and looked straight ahead. The first thing he saw was a pair of legs. Yan Li had been wearing a long skirt when she left, so Su Yuyang knew the person in front of him wasn’t her. The hand holding the cigarette trembled and scattered ash over the floor. Without any wind, the ashes just lay there quietly.
Ling Miao snatched the cigarette from Su Yuyang’s hands and stubbed it out in the ashtray, then sat down quietly at Su Yuyang’s side.
Su Yuyang suddenly let out a cold laugh. Ling Miao turned to look at Su Yuyang, his expression a mixture of surprise, incomprehension, and affection. Ling Miao hadn’t even been gone for several hours. How had Su Yuyang already become this haggard? And why were his eyes so red?
Had he cried?
The confusion in Ling Miao’s eyes grew deeper.
“Xiao Miao.” The moment Ling Miao opened his mouth to speak, Su Yuyang unceremoniously cut him off. Su Yuyang turned his head, staring at Ling Miao in a daze. Ling Miao hurriedly looked away, not wanting Su Yuyang to see his expression or read anything from it.
“Xiao Miao.” Su Yuyang called his name softly. Su Yuyang’s trembling fingers covered Ling Miao’s own.
Ling Miao’s hand was cool, and tenderness showed on Su Yuyang’s face. He took Ling Miao’s hand in both of his own, brought it to his mouth, and blew on it. Ling Miao’s fingers seemed to unfreeze and trembled slightly beneath Su Yuyang’s warm breath. As Ling Miao’s fingers moved within Su Yuyang’s hand, Su Yuyang’s heart grew happy. He caressed Ling Miao’s palm and laughed lightly, “Why are you so cold?”
Su Yuyang’s tone was affectionate, which made Ling Miao feel that Su Yuyang loved him. However, Ling Miao then felt that it was only an illusion. Su Yuyang continued exhaling. His initially lowered eyes now rose slightly and saw two red clouds float to Ling Miao’s cheeks. Su Yuyang became happier: Ling Miao wasn’t repulsed by him.
Could it be that, like Yan Li had said, the person Ling Miao liked really was him?
Su Yuyang’s smile grew wider. His gentle smile made Ling Miao flustered for some reason. Ling Miao shuddered and yanked his hand from between Su Yuyang’s as he said haltingly: “Why are you holding my hand? If you want claws, I’ll get them for you tomorrow. Do you want chicken feet, duck feet or goose feet?”
“Cat paws,”¹ Su Yuyang said with a faint smile.
Ling Miao’s eyes grew wide and he said in disbelief, “Su-ge, the supermarket doesn’t sell cat paws!”
“The paws of a dumb cat!” Su Yuyang said in a joking tone.
Distress flashed across Ling Miao”s eyes. He stood up and walked unsteadily toward the bathroom. Su Yuyang stood up and caught hold of Ling Miao, who tried to pull free. Su Yuyang tugged hard and Ling Miao fell into Su Yuyang’s arms.
Ling Miao’s head fell against a warm chest. He twisted his neck to look at Su Yuyang, but the back of his head met resistance from a trembling hand. Ling Miao’s head was pressed against Su Yuyang’s chest, so he couldn’t move. Ling Miao then tried moving his body, but a pressure arrived at his waist. A strong, firm hand was placed there, pressing his body to Su Yuyang’s. Ling Miao didn’t know why Su Yuyang was doing this, but he resisted from the bottom of his heart.
“Su Yuyang.” Ling Miao’s face was buried in Su Yuyang’s chest and his voice was muffled.
Su Yuyang said, “Mm.” His warm tone left Ling Miao with no way to answer.
“Su Yuyang…” Ling Miao tried again. Su Yuyang caressed Ling Miao’s back, his chin brushing Ling Miao’s hair. Hearing Ling Miao say his name, he kissed Ling Miao’s hair and said, “Xiao Miao, there’s something I can’t say to you directly, but I think you know what it is.”
Su Yuyang let go of Ling Miao’s head. Ling Miao, who now had his full range of movement back, looked up at Su Yuyang, who was smiling gently and looking back at him. He met Su Yuyang’s eyes which were full of passion.
“Su Yuyang…” Ling Miao was about to say something, but stopped himself. Su Yuyang didn’t reply, just watched Ling Miao in hopeful silence. Ling Miao took a deep breath. His thoughts had become a mess under Su Yuyang’s scrutiny. He knew what he wanted to say, but as the words reached his lips they became all jumbled. He couldn’t say it. He gave up trying.
“Hey, let me go,” Ling Miao said ill-temperedly.
Su Yuyang grinned, then let go of Ling Miao. On getting back his freedom, Ling Miao ran into Yan Li’s room. Su Yuyang wanted to cry as he considered Ling Miao’s choice. Fuck, why did you go to Yan Li’s room?
Ling Miao closed the door and locked it. After completing this series of actions, he leaned against the wall and breathed.
To be frank, when Su Yuyang had hugged him just now, he had thought his heart might come to a stop. As Ling Miao was hugged by the person he loved, and felt that person’s heartbeat, it seemed to influence the beating of Ling Miao’s own heart. But the moment Ling Miao had left Su Yuyang’s arms, he felt that his heart wasn’t listening to him any more. It seemed to resent Ling Miao for leaving the other heart, and jumped frantically like a little child whose toy had been taken away.
Su Yuyang, what exactly are you trying to say? Ling Miao’s back was to the wall. As his heartbeat returned to normal, he again tried to figure out Su Yuyang’s words.
If you don’t say it, how would I know? Ling Miao’s head seemed to be full of clay. He couldn’t think at all.
Ling Miao slid down the wall and sat on the floor. An interminable amount of time later, a knocking came at the door. The frantic knocking roused Ling Miao from his thoughts and he slowly got up and opened the door. Outside the door was Yan Li, her face darker than the bottom of a pot.
Ling Miao didn’t ask. Looking at Yan Li’s expression he could tell that her talks with Ji Linxi had fallen though. He left through the door and a loud sound came from behind. Su Yuyang stood in front of him with arms folded, worry written across his face, only, Ling Miao didn’t know who he was worried for.
Ling Miao glanced to either side. Aside from the bathroom, there wasn’t anywhere else he could go to hide.
As if guessing Ling Miao’s thoughts, Su Yuyang caught hold of Ling Miao who still hadn’t moved, and pulled him into his room. As Ling Miao struggled, Su Yuyang pulled harder. Ling Miao knew that his wrist would definitely be rubbed red.
“Haven’t figured it out?”
This was different from the violence of just now when he had had a tug of war with Su Yuyang. Now, Su Yuyang’s tone and expression were gentle, and they flowed over the back of Ling Miao’s hand like a clear stream. Ling Miao sat on the bed and looked up at Su Yuyang, whose smile reached his eyes. Ling Miao’s heart shuddered and he reflexively moved his body backwards.
“Xiao Miao, am I that scary?” Su Yuyang asked aggrievedly.
Ling Miao laughed softly and said dismissively, “You’re pretty scary now. Also, what exactly did you want to say to me?” Ling Miao had hit a mental block, and Su Yuyang hadn’t given him any hints. He really couldn’t figure out what Su Yuyang wanted to tell him.
Is he going to say he likes me? Fuck, I haven’t fully woken up, have I? Ling Miao answered his own question, then rejected the answer. Still, everything Su Yuyang did today had let Ling Miao feel the love Su Yuyang had for him.
“Su Yuyang, I…”
As the atmosphere continued to sink, a dissonant sound came—Ling Miao’s ringtone.
“Uh, sorry, I’ll take this call.” Ling Miao glanced at the screen, rolled off Su Yuyang’s bed and stood in the corner to take the call.
The call was from Ji Linxi.
“Has Yan Li gone back?”
“She’s back, but her expression… Linxi, what exactly did you do to her?” Ling Miao’s tone was berating. Ji Linxi sighed and said in frustration, “When you log into your microblog tomorrow, you’ll know. Fuck it.”
“What has Yan Li’s dark face got to do with my microblog?” Forgive Ling Miao’s currently slow brain—he couldn’t think very well at that moment.
“But she’s back home, that’s good.” Ji Linxi let out a breath. “Right, Ling Miao. Did you see Su Yuyang’s update today?”
Ji Linxi had changed the topic so quickly that Ling Miao’s brain hadn’t caught up. Ling Miao said in confusion, “I haven’t seen it. What’s the matter?”
“No wonder you’re so calm.” Ji Linxi’s sympathetic tone suddenly made Ling Miao’s head clear. Su Yuyang didn’t say anything, but he thinks I’ll see it. Did he really write what he wanted to say to me into the chapter?
Though Ling Miao didn’t know what Su Yuyang had said, the moment he thought of the person he liked telling him something in front of ten thousand people—maybe even a hundred thousand people—a flame rose in his heart.
“What did he say?” Ling Miao asked curiously.
Ji Linxi laughed slyly. “Go and see for yourself, then you’ll know.”
Ling Miao cursed Ji Linxi for being unreliable and Ji Linxi laughed, “Ling Miao, Ling Miao, remember to treat me to dinner!”
“Hey, you haven’t told me anything. Why should I buy you a meal?” Ling Miao glanced at Su Yuyang as he spoke, but his gaze hadn’t remained on Su Yuyang for even a second before he glanced away. If Yan Li’s expression was like the bottom of a pot, Su Yuyang’s was even darker than the bottom of a pot!
“Ling Miao, you’ll see something you’ve been waiting for.” As if in exchange for the meal, Ji Linxi gave Ling Miao a hint.
“Something I’ve been waiting for?”
Ling Miao wanted to ask further, but Ji Linxi hung up the phone. Ling Miao put his phone away, not understanding, and a shadow fell across him.
Something soft touched his lips and his eyes went wide. With difficulty, he raised his head to look at the person towering over him.
“Xiao Miao.” Su Yuyang’s voice echoed by Ling Miao’s ear like a curse. Ling Miao stood frozen as Su Yuyang kissed his lips, his face, and his ears.
“Xiao Miao, I love you.” Su Yuyang’s low voice reached Ling Miao’s ears and slid across his heart.