Chapter 41 – Astray Actor (13)

When Zhou Ji arrived at the company with the documents, it was noon. The receptionist, who had already been notified, gave him a temporary access pass and told him the location of the office.

It was lunchtime, so he rode the elevator with employees who had just returned from lunch. He was well-covered, and his height was imposing, so the others in the elevator didn’t dare to look at him too much.

However, curiosity often overcomes fear. Someone, recalling the gossip they had heard that morning, couldn’t resist sneaking a couple of glances at him.

Both of them were wearing masks and hats, and were tall. The only difference was that the person in the rumors was wearing a white hoodie, but this time it was a black one. They weren’t sure if he was the same person from the rumors, but it was certainly possible.

As the elevator ascended and stopped on a certain floor, the person quietly standing with a folder in hand stepped out.

This was the floor where President Chen’s office was located.

Quick-witted individuals immediately lowered their heads and began exchanging information on their phones.

Passing through the office area, Zhou Ji headed straight for the innermost office.

Brother Chen had mentioned over the phone that he didn’t need to knock when entering the office; he should just push the door open.

So he did just that. The door opened to a bright office.

There was more than one person inside. The first person he saw upon entering was sitting behind the desk, while another person was bent over, standing nearby.

They were very close to each other.

The person sitting behind the desk was slightly turned, likely showing something on the computer screen to the person behind him. He was talking, and the person behind him was responding. But while responding, the eyes behind the glasses briefly glanced away from the screen.

Zhou Ji was familiar with that look.

Before being with Brother Chen, he knew the feeling of knowing the other person had others besides himself and that they didn’t belong to him. He saw the same look in his own eyes in the mirror.

He stepped forward, his foot landing with a sound that was neither too light nor too heavy. The person behind the desk turned to look at him.

Placing the insulated lunchbox he was carrying on a nearby table, he took off his mask and said, “Brother Chen, I’ve brought the documents.”

Chen Luosong responded, then turned to the person beside him and said, “Let’s proceed with these arrangements for now; we’ll discuss the next steps later.”

This indicated the end of their work discussion. Bai Mingwei responded with an “Okay” and straightened up.

With work concluded, there was no reason for him to stay. He gathered the few papers on the desk, nodded slightly to the person standing by the sofa, and prepared to leave the office.

He knew this was Zhou Ji, an actor Chen Luosong had taken under his wing a few years ago. Although they had never met face-to-face, he was aware of the other’s existence and appearance due to his public persona.

Being able to stay by President Chen’s side for several years and enter his office showed that this person indeed had capabilities, but Bai Mingwei had no desire for further interaction.

As he was about to leave, the other person stepped forward.

Lifting the brim of his hat slightly, Zhou Ji extended his hand and smiled, saying, “You must be Special Assistant Bai.”

In this situation, Bai Mingwei could only reciprocate the handshake and said, “Hello.”

As their hands met, Zhou Ji’s smile remained unchanged as he said, “Hello, I’m Zhou Ji, Brother Chen’s boyfriend.”

“I’ve always heard that Special Assistant Bai is exceptionally capable, and it seems that’s true.”

The expression of the person opposite him finally changed slightly, with the pupils behind the glasses constricting abruptly.

Bai Mingwei turned to look at the person by the desk. That person was engaged in something else but had also noticed the interaction and did not refute Zhou Ji’s statement.

Without any denial, it must be true.

After the brief handshake ended, Bai Mingwei left the office. Despite receiving a compliment, he did not appear particularly pleased; if anything, the curve of his mouth was even more restrained than usual.

Watching the door close again, Zhou Ji placed the folder aside, sat on the sofa, and opened the insulated lunchbox he had brought.

Having some time off these past two days and knowing that the person beside him hadn’t eaten lunch, he had prepared and brought it over.

Chen Luosong showed appreciation for Zhou Ji by eating more than half of the lunch he brought.

The rest was happily finished by Chef Zhou, who proclaimed it as avoiding food waste.

After eating, Chef Zhou asked, “Brother Chen, are you finishing work this afternoon?”

Chen Luosong slowly sipped his water and replied, “I have an event tonight, so I’ll be back late.”

Zhou Ji looked over and casually asked, “Is Special Assistant Bai going too?”

“He doesn’t need to go this time,” said Chen Luosong, putting down his water glass. He stood up and playfully ruffled Zhou Ji’s hair, saying, “Go home and rest early.”

Zhou Ji smiled and said, “I’ll come to pick you up tonight.”

After speaking, he packed up the lunchbox and put his hat and mask back on.

When he left the office again, he had the feeling that there were more people in the office area than when he had arrived, though it might have just been his imagination.

It wasn’t a mere illusion; there were indeed more people. Having received word of the news, employees hurried back to be on the front line of gossip.

They arrived in time to see someone, but not clearly enough to identify him completely—just enough to recognize he was a handsome guy.

The tousled hair under the hat brim obscured most of his face, but many felt a strange familiarity. A group of people silently watched him leave.

The moment the elevator doors closed, the office area buzzed with excitement.

Work was exhausting, but gossip was delightful. Employees ended their day with the satisfaction of a good scoop, and those on the same floor were the ultimate winners.

*

Chen Luosong’s workday truly ended in the evening. Zhou Ji, stepping in as the driver, arrived punctually to pick him up.

At night, there was no need for full disguises. Zhou Ji wore only a hat. As soon as Chen Luosong got in the car, Zhou Ji smelled alcohol and said, “Brother Chen, did you drink a lot again today?”

Chen Luosong smiled slightly and said, “Not too much.”

Such gatherings inevitably involved drinking. Other than drinking when necessary, he rarely touched alcohol and never got drunk.

Although he drank little, it still made him feel warm. After getting in the car, he opened the window and loosened his tie slightly. The breeze from the window helped cool him down somewhat.

At a traffic light, with only a few seconds of red remaining, Zhou Ji glanced sideways at the person next to him, noting the half-closed eyes and the clear shadow cast by his eyelashes.

The car drove along familiar roads and finally stopped in the courtyard.

As they got out, the phone in the coat pocket draped over his arm rang. Chen Luosong took out his phone and glanced at it.

It was a call from Special Assistant Bai. He had frequently received calls from him after work, mostly regarding work matters. He tapped his phone and answered the call.

“……”

Unlike usual, this time there was no sound from the other end after the call connected. There was no greeting, nor any mention of the reason for the call.

It couldn’t have been a problem with the phone, as he could faintly hear music from the other end.

He didn’t hang up immediately and tried calling the other person’s name.

Sensing something, Driver Zhou, who had just gotten out of the car, instantly turned his head to look over, his body leaning in without hesitation.

Noticing the figure approaching quickly, Chen Luosong held the phone in one hand and unlocked the door with the other. As the door opened, a voice finally came through the phone.

“President… Chen.”

It was a familiar voice, but the person clearly wasn’t in the right state. He asked, “Have you been drinking?”

The person on the other end of the call said a few broken sentences, roughly explaining that he was out drinking with friends and hadn’t had much to drink.

This state clearly indicated he had drunk too much.

Special Assistant Bai was usually very composed, so it was rare for him to get this drunk.

“…President Chen, are you really with him?”

As the voice on the phone spoke, something strange happened at his side. Looking down, he saw a large hand skillfully intertwining with his fingers, and a head with somewhat stiff hair nestled against his neck, causing his skin to itch.

He reached out and patted the head nestled against his neck. Though he didn’t know why this topic had come up, Chen Luosong slightly turned his head and still responded, “Yes.”

“Really.”

The voice on the other end of the line was intermittent, accompanied by the sound of a glass being set down and refilled, then speech resumed, “So, President Chen likes that kind of person.”

“Really… completely different from me.”

It seemed the person was completely drunk. Not understanding the purpose of this call, Chen Luosong did not engage with the comments and instead simply said, “You’re drunk. Go home and rest.”

As the phone screen dimmed, he felt a sharp pain on his shoulder.

“Hiss.”

He had been bitten again, and in the same familiar spot.

Some people, whether drunk or sober, always bite in the same place. Patting the person standing behind him, Chen Luosong asked, “What’s wrong?”

The person behind him moved to bite another spot and muttered, “Brother Chen can only be mine.”

Chen Luosong couldn’t find words to respond, feeling even the air being taken from him.

The phone was taken from his hand and placed on a nearby cabinet, and the coat that had been draped over his arm slid off quietly to the floor.

He was led back to the room on the second floor and sank into the soft bed.

Something heavy was on him, and someone was unbuttoning his shirt.

Raising his hand to grasp the one undoing his buttons, Chen Luosong looked up to see a pair of deep, dark eyes.

Unlike usual, these eyes were filled with indescribable emotions and a hint of unease.

These emotions, usually well-hidden behind a constant smile, were now exposed directly and completely.

“……”

Chen Luosong’s grip on the wrist slowly loosened. He closed his half-open eyes and said, “Be gentle. Don’t bite randomly; it hurts.”

The hands paused for a moment, then the pace of unbuttoning quickened.

The already loosened tie was completely pulled off. Zhou Ji slowly brought the tie to Chen Luosong’s mouth and whispered, “Brother Chen, if it hurts, bite this.”

The man lying on the bed couldn’t help but frown slightly as he bit onto the tie.

In the quiet room, only the sounds of breathing and the rustling of the sheets could be heard.

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