The Complete Guide to the Use and Care of a Personal Assistant
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter One Hundred and Twenty-five
“Dumb cat,” Su Yuyang said intimately. “I already fell for you before Tang Xuan showed up. Whether he appeared had no effect on my love for you.”
“Tang Xuan knew you before I did,” Ling Miao whined.
“So what if he knew me first?” Su Yuyang asked. “Even though I was with him before, I didn’t have feelings for him. Not at the time, and even less now. Maybe you’ll think me heartless for saying it, but that’s the truth. My first boyfriend, or Tang Xuan, or Feng Ji, or that guy I’ve forgotten the name of—I didn’t love any of them. At most, I liked them.”
“Then why did you date them?” Ling Miao asked.
Su Yuyang frowned, as if trying to remember why he had agreed to date them. After a while, he said, “I liked them. When they confessed, it seemed logical to agree.
“But as we spent more time together, they couldn’t feel love from me, so they wanted to break up.
“That’s probably how it went.
“But you… I won’t let go.”
“Su Yuyang, Tang Xuan…”
“Don’t talk about him any more, all right?” Su Yuyang begged Ling Miao. “I know there’s no way you can pretend that Tang Xuan never appeared, but please, don’t think about him, and don’t talk about him. And don’t say that my love is too heavy for you and that you can’t bear it.
“If you’re uneasy, let’s go to Tang Xuan’s grave and see.”
The word ‘alright’ was on the tip of Ling Miao’s tongue when he suddenly shook his head: “I don’t dare to see him. If not for what I said, Tang Xuan probably wouldn’t have killed himself. Now, he…”
“Xiao Miao, you’re not feeling guilt. You’re afraid.” Su Yuyang thought back to An Yan’s analysis. “What Tang Xuan said to you was leading. It was a subliminal message that led you to feel guilt. Tang Xuan didn’t want us to be happy, so before he died he twisted the knife, and you fell into his trap.” Su Yuyang slowly led Ling Miao out of the guilt he thought he felt toward Tang Xuan. Thoughtfulness flashed across Ling Miao’s face, and the change in his gaze made Su Yuyang’s heart lift.
Ling Miao’s mind was occupied completely by Tang Xuan: Tang Xuan’s actions, his words, his expression.
Tang Xuan’s poisoned words broke through Ling Miao’s recollection and exploded, leaving Ling Miao’s ears ringing.
Su Yuyang stared at Ling Miao’s face, which was momentarily pained, then joyful, then still. He clenched his fist so hard that the veins stood out on the back of his hands, testament to his worry.
Several minutes later, Ling Miao panted slightly as a mocking smile appeared on his face: “Su Yuyang, I’ve been so silly.”
Su Yuyang stared at Ling Miao in surprise. Ling Miao’s eyes were bright, a faint smile on his lips. Su Yuyang hugged him tightly and tamped down on his joy as he said, “Ling Miao, you’re back. You’re finally back.”
“Su Yuyang, tell me, why was I so silly?” Ling Miao said self-effacingly as he looked at Su Yuyang. “Why did I fall into Tang Xuan’s trap so easily? Why did I feel guilt over someone trying to ruin our happiness? Why did I…”
Su Yuyang placed his hand on Ling Miao’s lips, preventing Ling Miao from continuing to reproach himself. He consoled, “I’m around, so you can keep being dumb.”
“But I don’t want to do anything that makes you worry,” Ling Miao said in dissatisfaction. “I’m a grown man. Why must you protect me like a child?”
Seeing the childish expression on Ling Miao’s face, Su Yuyang was delighted. He smiled. “I didn’t treat you like a child and I don’t think you bring worry. I just wanted you to know that I’ll be behind you forever. You can do what you like, but of course I’ll watch over you from the side so you don’t go down the wrong path.”
“I love you.” Ling Miao stood on tiptoe and kissed Su Yuyang.
Su Yuyang reciprocated and deepened the kiss.
“Mm, don’t,” Ling Miao let out a soft whine. Su Yuyang nibbled on Ling Miao’s ear and said, “Why did you leave a note and go?”
“I wanted to go somewhere to have peace.” Knowing Su Yuyang was settling the score, Ling Miao was fairly compliant and let Su Yuyang bite and touch him.
Su Yuyang bit down on Ling Miao’s earlobe like it was punishment and cursed in a low voice, “Dumb cat. Luckily I found you, or you’d ‘have peace’ until the cows came home.”
Warm hands reached for Ling Miao’s waist and he let out a giggle. He pressed down on Su Yuyang’s hands and said, “Don’t touch my waist, it tickles.”
Su Yuyang slyly said, “Mm.”
“Ha ha! Su Yuyang, you bastard!” Ling Miao cursed as he laughed, but only laughter was left in the end.
“Su Yuyang, you’re really a bastard.”
Su Yuyang tickled Ling Miao, who laughed until he was boneless. At the end he yelled at Su Yuyang, who saw that he really was angry and stopped.
Now Su Yuyang was lying down holding Ling Miao. Neither of them spoke, just listened to each other breathing, happiness and contentment written over both their faces.
But life is full of ups and downs, and just as one thinks the matter is over, new frustrations come one after the other.
“Ling Miao, Ling Miao!” Shouts intermingled with banging at the door, shocking Su Yuyang so much that a bead of sweat rolled down his face. Ling Miao seemed very calm; he’d long gotten used to it.
“Your stepmother?” Su Yuyang asked.
Ling Miao replied, “Mm.”
“Your relationship with her is quite bad.” Su Yuyang stated it with certainty.
“She was my dad’s colleague before, and she married into the family not long after my mom died.” Ling Miao hadn’t said much but Su Yuyang got a lot of information from the one sentence.
Hu Yueyuan was still banging on the door, her words getting uglier and uglier.
“Ling Miao, you’re shut up in there with a man and letting out all those shameful noises. Someone might hear and call you sick!” Hu Yueyuan raised her voice as if wanting the entire building to know what Ling Miao and Su Yuyang were doing together. “Ling Miao, you’re fooling around with a man! Your dad’ll be angered to death! Your mom will crawl out of her coffin and curse you for being unfilial!”
Su Yuyang felt Ling Miao go rigid at Hu Yueyuan’s mention of his mother.