“Ah.” Ling Miao’s words weren’t threatening in the least, but Su Yuyang’s heart still clenched. When Ling Miao walked past, Su Yuyang took the chance to catch him: “I didn’t do it on purpose. I got dizzy because I didn’t eat breakfast.”
Su Yuyang’s explanation left Ling Miao feeling no suspicion, and even some sympathy, instead.
Ling Miao sat down. He opened up the thermos and snapped at Su Yuyang, “Breakfast. Eat quickly. I’ll go back first.”
“Go back?” Su Yuyang frowned. Ling Miao explained: “I left in too much of a hurry and didn’t bring my phone or laptop.”
Su Yuyang eyed Ling Miao like he was judging the truth of Ling Miao’s words.
Ling Miao didn’t discern what Su Yuyang was thinking. Su Yuyang was staring at him and not eating, so Ling Miao hauled Su Yuyang to the sofa, worried for Su Yuyang’s health. “Eat quickly. I woke up really early to make it for you. If you don’t clean your plate, tomorrow you can just drink glucose.”
Leaving behind this threat, Ling Miao rushed out of Su Yuyang’s house.
Su Yuyang tipped the food in the thermos into a bowl.
“Congee?” Su Yuyang was surprised.
Fragrant, soft, and thick congee, fragments of freshly chopped green scallion layered on top alongside little bits of meat, pink peeking through the rice. Inhaling the aroma of the congee, Su Yuyang felt his mouth water uncontrollably.
Su Yuyang raised the bowl and took a big gulp of congee. An indescribable taste spread through his mouth, and alongside the taste of the preserved vegetables Ling Miao had prepared to accompany the congee, it made Su Yuyang feel like he was walking on air. He finished his breakfast very quickly, not leaving even a grain of rice behind. Su Yuyang looked at the empty thermos and very much wanted to call Ling Miao and tell him to cook another pot. Ling Miao’s house wasn’t far from Su Yuyang’s, and Su Yuyang calculated the time—Ling Miao should’ve arrived by now. So he went to call Ling Miao.
The call went through and Su Yuyang heard an unknown man’s voice.
“Ling Miao’s gone to work and didn’t bring his cell. What’s up?” The man spoke very quickly, like he couldn’t be bothered to speak with Su Yuyang. It left Su Yuyang feeling uncertain.
“If there’s nothing, I’m hanging up. I need to go to work,” the man said restlessly.
Su Yuyang said apologetically, “No…”
Before Su Yuyang could finish, the man hung up. Hearing the dial tone, Su Yuyang almost wanted to cry.
On a different note, why would Ling Miao’s phone be in some guy’s hands? Was he Ling Miao’s boyfriend?
Su Yuyang suddenly remembered again that Ling Miao had said that he did not like men.
“Ling Miao doesn’t like men.” Su Yuyang murmured these words over and over, feeling a bit disappointed.
Ling Miao went and returned within half an hour. When Ling Miao opened the iron grille door, out of breath, Su Yuyang was sitting on the sofa in a daze.
“Hey, Su Yuyang?” Ling Miao crossed the room in two long strides, terribly afraid Su Yuyang had fainted.
Su Yuyang heard something and turned his head. Seeing Su Yuyang was okay, Ling Miao put down his things: “Glad you’re alright. You were completely still. I thought something had happened to you.”
Ling Miao collapsed on the sofa and tipped his head back against the back of the sofa. His open lips trembled slightly, and as he spoke his chest heaved: “Su Yuyang, how did I land a boss like you?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
“What’s wrong with you? You’re a bastard!” Ling Miao slammed the sofa arm, hard. “Did you finish the congee?”
“See for yourself.” With those words, Su Yuyang got up and left to his study. Before he closed the door he said softly, “The congee was good. Continue tomorrow.”
“Since the congee is good, can I have a pay raise?” Ling Miao joked.
Su Yuyang didn’t reply, and Ling Miao cursed softly and went back to work.
Su Yuyang had emphasized before that his bedroom and study were off-limits to Ling Miao. Aside from these two rooms, Su Yuyang’s house did not have other rooms worth exploring, so Ling Miao curled up on the sofa to write.
After several days of settling in, Ling Miao had managed to submerse himself into the role of “Shu Yang’s personal assistant”. Being Su Yuyang’s personal assistant wasn’t as exhausting as Ling Miao had first imagined. Every day, aside from taking care of Su Yuyang’s three meals, he helped Su Yuyang edit drafts, schedule chapters, and moderate the comments sections of Su Yuyang’s novels. The work was quite simple, and Ling Miao only needed to stay at Su Yuyang’s house for the duration of his work hours. All this was no problem.
However, there was one thing Ling Miao could not understand in the least—he and Su Yuyang could not coexist peacefully, at all. Every day they would quarrel for a few minutes over something trivial.
“Hey, Su Yuyang, did you use my laptop?” Ling Miao looked at the draft that had become an empty white sheet, and roaring flames were about to burn his heart to ashes. The moment he thought of the fruits of his two days’ effort disappearing, he could only think: “Su Yuyang, you bastard, you messed with my laptop again!”
Three days ago, Su Yuyang had used Ling Miao’s laptop and caused Ling Miao to lose an unsaved draft. Today, Ling Miao’s draft had, again, disappeared without any rhyme or reason. Of course Su Yuyang would be the prime suspect.
Su Yuyang didn’t explain himself and displayed no guilt at all. He said indignantly, “I told you, after you upload the drafts I give you to edit, delete them all. Why didn’t you delete yesterday’s drafts?”
“I forgot,” Ling Miao said casually.
“Oh, then I also forgot whether I deleted the wrong document.”
“Su Yuyang!” Ling Miao bit down on his lower lip, but the fire that flowed from his eyes seemed to slide right off Su Yuyang.
“Since you have time to quarrel with me, why don’t you find software to recover your draft?” Su Yuyang reminded Ling Miao, then went back into the study.