The Long Chase for the President’s Spouse – Chapter 78: Life on the Road (5)
Quality Check: Tezuka
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 78: Life on the Road (5)
Zhang Heng and Gu Zhun were still on the way to the provincial border. Zhang Heng turned to ask if Gu Zhun was hungry but he shook his head in reply. On the radio, soothing ballad after soothing ballad was played. Zhang Heng tapped his fingers on the steering wheel in agitation as he asked, “Are you feeling nervous?”
The air in the car was inexplicably oppressive. Although Gu Zhun had gotten over his misgivings about his father, there were more difficulties ahead. Meeting his mother meant that Gu Zhun would not only be confronting her about the harm she caused, but he would also be forcing her to relive the memory of being hurt by his father. As a mother, she should not have abandoned her children after the divorce. Even if she had not been able to provide care for them directly, she should have offered financial support at the very least. This was especially true since her second marriage into a wealthy family ought to have given her the means to help her children along. The extent of harm she had caused to her children was immeasurable. But equally immeasurable was the harm inflicted upon her by her husband’s single-minded decision to divorce her. It would not be easy to resolve these traumas…
As Zhang Heng pondered over the difficulties they would face when they finally met Gu Zhun’s mother, two people in a major city far away reached for their phones and punched in his number at the same time. Inevitably, neither call got through, and Zhang Heng continued his musings without interruption.
On the other end, Wen YiHong realized their mistake and snatched away Ye RuiXi’s phone before calling Zhang Heng again on his own device. When the call finally got through, Ye RuiXi grabbed Wen YiHong’s phone and asked urgently, “Hello, Zhang Heng? Who exactly are you in love with?”
“Gu Zhun, of course.” Zhang Heng was mystified. Was it not obvious that he loved Gu Zhun? Did Ye RuiXi not know this already?
Realizing how misdirected his question was, Ye RuiXi reorganized his thoughts quickly before asking again, “… Isn’t Wen YiHong in love with you?”
Zhang Heng braked suddenly at the question. After calming himself down, he finally replied, “Who told you that?”
“Are you talking to Ye RuiXi? Has he confessed to you?” Gu Zhun asked. Zhang Heng nodded awkwardly to indicate that he was indeed speaking to Ye RuiXi, though the caller ID belonged to Wen YiHong.
“What in the world do both of you want from me?” Zhang Heng asked impatiently, somewhat disconcerted by their unusual behavior today. He was well aware of the deep misunderstanding between the two of them, but even so, there was something odd about the way they were behaving right now.
On the other end of the line, Ye RuiXi ignored Zhang Heng and turned towards Wen YiHong. “Are you in love with Zhang Heng?” he asked.
“I am not. He is just a friend.”
… But why are you so anxious to know how I feel about Zhang Heng? What is the point of all these mindless fights you have been picking with Zhang Heng ever since we started hanging out together as a trio?
“Why are you so interested in finding out who I love?” Wen YiHong asked.
Ye RuiXi lowered his head, but his reddened ears gave him away. All attempts to conceal his shyness were futile. As Wen YiHong continued to close in on him, his racing heart sped up even more. They were so close to each other that he could feel Wen YiHong’s breath on his skin…
“You’re too… too close! I… I…”
“Mm?” Wen YiHong watched smilingly as Ye RuiXi became increasingly flustered.
In reality, Wen YiHong had known about Ye RuiXi’s feelings for him for a long time. This was the real reason why he never stopped Ye RuiXi from challenging Zhang Heng. It was also the reason why he was always subtly teasing Ye RuiXi with suggestive overtures, though Ye RuiXi was simply too dense to see past his own consuming obsession with Wen YiHong to notice what Wen YiHong had been doing.
Ye RuiXi stood silently with Wen YiHong’s phone in his hand. He seemed to have forgotten that Zhang Heng was still waiting on the other end of the line. Suspecting that something big was about to happen on Ye RuiXi’s end, Zhang Heng pulled over at a petrol station and put the call on speaker so that he and Gu Zhun could listen in on Ye RuiXi and Wen YiHong together. By now, Gu Zhun had realized that Ye RuiXi was not in love with Zhang Heng at all. His hostility was not motivated by rivalry, but frustration over how Gu Zhun hindered his pursuit of Wen YiHong by affecting his competition with Zhang Heng.
“I… I…” Ye RuiXi stammered. As Zhang Heng and Gu Zhun waited with bated breath for the drama to unfold, Wen YiHong watched Ye RuiXi silently and waited for him to continue. But Ye RuiXi remained silent. As the silence dragged out, Wen YiHong decided to take matters into his own hands. Given Ye RuiXi’s inability to confess his feelings after all these years, he had no choice but to take the lead now.
“You are in love with me, aren’t you? Can I kiss you now? Tell me how you feel about me after the kiss, okay?” As Wen YiHong leaned forward, Ye RuiXi could not help but squeeze his eyes shut immediately. He was sure that he would lose his mind if he kept his eyes open. He could already imagine how his heart would speed up as Wen YiHong filled up his line of vision, how his body would weaken uncontrollably…
But moments passed without any physical contact between their lips. Ye RuiXi opened an eye to see if Wen YiHong had changed his mind. Perhaps, Wen YiHong was not interested in kissing him at all… However, he was mistaken.
Wen YiHong took his phone out of Ye RuiXi’s hand. “Show’s over. I’ll have to start charging you if you eavesdrop any further on this conversation. I’m sure you have personal matters of your own to tend to, don’t you?” He hung up resolutely, leaving Zhang Heng and Gu Zhun with a sense of unsatisfying emptiness on the other end.
Now that there was no more drama to keep them entertained, Gu Zhun assumed that they would simply turn in for the night. But he suddenly caught Zhang Heng’s eyes and saw the blatant desire in their depths… “What do you want…?” he asked as he backed away slowly towards the window, putting whatever little distance he could between them.
Meanwhile, things were going much more smoothly on the other end. After hanging up on Zhang Heng and Gu Zhun, Wen YiHong finally kissed Ye RuiXi on the lips.
Aine: Posting for Pkitty and Kotoni’s behalf. Sorry for the late chapters for TLCPS. This week has been exhausting for everyone.