Don’t Be a Kept Man
Chapter 26: Waking Up
Huo Yuan Guang thought that he hid himself pretty well, but he did not know that Huo Ming Cheng already knew about everything.
From the money he funneled away from the company funds, to buying stocks from the other board members, to buying off Zhang Zhi Qiang and his wife.
And now all Huo Ming Cheng needed to do was wait.
The longer he waits, the more frantic Huo Yuan Guang would become and the more evidence would be exposed.
Huo Ming Chen has been ordered to stay at the family home and had no way to meet up with Lu Qi.
The two of them could only video call in their rooms, which was still better than nothing, even if they can’t physically touch.
Lu Qi’s face was really easy on the camera.
Because his features were fairly symmetrical, no matter from which angle you look at him, you can’t find a problem.
Truly, a token to the legend of the 360 degree camera face.
He walked out of the bathroom with his hair still wet from taking a shower.
When he appeared on the screen, Huo Ming Chen could not deny that he was dazed by how handsome Lu Qi was.
He leaned back and happily enjoyed the view of Lu Qi’s face and body, his eyes carrying a possessiveness as if looking at something he owned,
“Your family genetics are not too shabby.
Do you take after your mother?”
“Lu Yuan is like my mom, I’m probably like my dad.”
His dad had already passed away before he even came out of the womb.
He has never seen him, and there was not even a single photograph of him at home.
Mama Lu had never hinted or told them any information about their father, and Lu Qi was too lazy to ask.
Huo Ming Chen jutted out his chin and came closer to the monitor,
“Did you think about me these past few days?”
Lu Qi dried his hair with a towel as he asked back,
“What do you think?”
Huo Ming Chen flicked him accurately on the forehead on the computer monitor, as if that would appease his anger, and in a bad temper said,
“I see that you will not be bored living the rest of your life by yourself! Would you die if you said something nice to make me happy?”
“You’re not an idiot.
Can’t you hear whether it’s good words or truthful words?”
Lu Qi leaned forward a little, his fingertip lightly stroking across the monitor, accurately near Huo Ming Chen’s lips.
This kind of action made someone weak in the knees, especially hearing his voice lowered and husky,
“I didn’t lie to you.
You should be happy instead.”
Those who he lied to never had a good ending.
Hadn’t this idiot across from him been lied to enough yet?
Hearing this, Huo Ming Chen stroked across his chin over and over, looking at him from the top to the bottom of the screen.
He finally blinked and switched to an entirely different topic,
“I want to kiss you.”
Lu Qi beckoned him with his fingers,
“Then you come over, and I’ll let you kiss me until you have had enough.”
Once everything is sorted out, I’ll be able to head back.”
Whatever Huo Ming Chen was planning in his heart, it was a secret.
Except, perhaps there was something other than Huo Yuan Guang, that old fox, inside his heart.
But whatever it was, Lu Qi could not see through it right now.
Huo Ming Chen faintly heard something downstairs, most likely someone just coming back.
He rose up from the bed and locked the door to his room.
Then he came back and casually said,
“Say, if you spend the rest of your life with me, what kind of feeling would that be?”
Lu Qi ripped open a bag of potato chips, and in front of the other’s expectant eyes, blurted out the words,
“Death would be better than living.”
Huo Ming Chen was actually not angry and repeated his question,
“Then what if, I’m saying what if, what if you lived the rest of your life with another man even wealthier than me, even handsomer than me?”
The rest of his life? That would mean he would roll around the bedsheets with someone else, and then kiss him, and kiss him, putting all the feelings and attention he had towards Huo Ming Chen onto that other person……
Lu Qi thought about it seriously and concluded that it was not too possible and was even a little revolted by the thought.
But he felt like if he said that, Huo Ming Chen would be too pleased and so shied away from the actual question,
“Let’s talk about this when you find that other person first.”
Huo Ming Chen’s body, it has experienced attention and care from the cumulation of two Lu Qi’s.
He would never be able to treat another person the way he treats Huo Ming Chen.
This feeling was very complicated, so complex to the point that even with all the words he knows, Lu Qi would never be able to explain it perfectly.
Hearing this, Huo Ming Chen smiled and bit his bottom lip.
He raised his eyebrows, looking quite conceited,
“I’m telling you, those who are wealthier than me are old wrinkly men, not as handsome as me.
Those who are more handsome, are not as rich as me.
Even if there is, they’d have to be gay,”
“That person does not exist at all.
Kill off those thoughts.
You can only be with me.”
These two were the perfect pair to ruin each other.
Honestly speaking, on some level of meaning, it could be taken that by being together, they have benefited society, by ruining only each other.
The room was heated, making it very warm.
Huo Ming Chen was only wearing a t-shirt, and he seemed to feel that it was too hot, as his buttons were mostly undone, showing off a large field of white: a white collarbone, a white chest.
Maybe it was because he had been working too hard lately, he was very thin and lean enough to be considered too skinny.
Lu Qi stared at the screen for a while and then concluded that the other was purposefully trying to seduce him.
He slowly blinked, and he didn’t speak as Huo Ming Chen lifted a leg, lazily resting his hand on his knee, bringing on a suggestive look to him, jutting out his chin,
“Oh hmm, want to kiss me?”
Like a peacock showing off,
“No I don’t.”
Even if he wanted to, he wouldn’t say it out loud.
In front of Huo Ming Chen, Lu Qi ordered take out, duck breast with soy sauce.
Successfully making that peacock break his posture and have him darkly say,
“Next time we see each other, I will make you unable to get out of bed for three days!”
“Oh, I’m so scared.”
Lu Qi waved his hands disinterestedly.
This kind of tasteless reaction was like a challenge.
Huo Ming Chen was angry but helpless as they were physically too far away from each other,
“It seems like I have never seen you angry or sad.
Have you been like this since you were born?”
“Do you want to see?” Lu Qi pulled out a napkin, eyes a bit red from the spiciness of the duck breast.
“I can cry for you right now.”
Huo Ming Chen mumbled,
“Who wants to see you cry?”
As he said this, he looked at the time.
He realized that it was quite late and remembered that Lu Qi has been doing all nighters lately, sleeping less and less.
He suddenly didn’t have the heart to keep talking to him and reluctantly said,
“It’s quite late.
You should go to bed soon.”
And then ordered,
“You must sleep before 2am.”
Lu Qi drank a cup of cold water.
One swallow down his throat, and his whole body felt instantly cooler, calming that tone of spiciness.
He nodded his head, voice quite warm, and his black eyes seemed to have gentled quite a bit,
“Alright, you go rest early too.”
Huo Ming Chen seemed to want to end their chat, but instead, he suddenly lurched forward to kiss him through the monitor and then pouting, looked at him silently.
His lips were slowly turning red.
The smile on Lu Qi’s face was so big that it made his eyes curve up.
As composed as he could be, Lu Qi said,
“Do you know how much bacteria are on the screens?”
Huo Ming Chen glared at him and his nose gave a loud snort.
Then he roughly wiped his mouth with his sleeve, as if that would get rid of the bacteria.
“Stop, you can’t wipe it off.”
Lu Qi looked like he was about to close the computer.
Huo Ming Chen’s eyes followed him as he stood up and disappeared off the camera, then Lu Qi appeared close up and suddenly kissed the screen once,
The kiss was very light and quick.
Huo Ming Chen could not even see his face clearly before Lu Qi immediately went offline.
Huo Ming Chen, like a fish out of water, cursed out, and then after a moment started to laugh,
Who knows who he is really referring to with that.
Perhaps due to the provocation caused by his son and daughter-in-law, Zhang-Shu was recovering faster than anticipated.
After a few days passed, he was able to forcefully speak a few words.
And so he was moved to a normal room at the hospital from the special care unit.
Huo Ming Cheng was an important individual, and his every move, every action and every word was most likely being surveilled by people in the shadows.
There were some things only Huo Ming Chen could do in his stead.
Signalling the nurse to leave the room with his eyes, Huo Ming Chen smiled as he pulled up a chair and noisily sat down by the bed,
“Zhang Shu, how are you?”
The person lying on the hospital bed seemed stupefied, his face very gaunt with his entire body covered in bandages.
To be honest, he was not having the time of his life.
Seeing that it was him, Zhang-Shu felt a brief flash of guilt inside his heart, and his hoarse throat stuttered out,
“Thank you……for Er-Shao’s1 concern…… It’s……I’m fine now……”
The hospital did not allow smoking, and so Huo Ming Chen was playing around with the cigarette sticks, pulling them apart like threads on a scarf.
Each piece fell slowly to the ground, and he pleasantly smiled while looking at Zhang-Shu,
“You’re fine, that’s good.
These past few days, your son and daughter-in-law have been saying that they want to bring you back home, to care for you.
Almost blew the hospital roof off from their noise.
It wasn’t recommended for you to be moved at all since you had just come out of the operation room……”
He seemed to recall something as he said that and lowered his head to look at his watch,
“Oh, they did say that they would come pick you up after seven days.
Coincidentally, I believe that should be today.”
Hearing this, Zhang-Shu opened and shut his mouth, as if he wanted to say something but could not get it out.
A pool of tears started gathering in his eyes, which slowly fell down his face, wetting the bandages near his eyes.
Huo Ming Chen could only pretend he did not see that.
Afterall, those who are pitiful must have something about them that is hateful.
It was only karma for Zhang-Shu to be lying here crying.
If anything had happened to Huo Ming Cheng, the one crying right now would have been Huo Ming Chen and their grandfather.
He asked coldly,
“My brother treats you pretty well, right?”
Zhang-Shu closed his eyes, but it was hard to hide his face that was full of shame and pain,
“Chairman…… treats me very well… has not forsaken me even when I got this old, and instead took care of me……”
Being with Huo Ming Cheng for so long, accepting their grace, and doing such a thing to betray them, it was worthy of death.
For a brief moment, there was a flash of ruthlessness in Huo Ming Chen’s eyes, before he closed them and casually, as if it was a normal conversation said,
“Zhang-Shu, you have been driving for more than ten years now, and you never really had a problem before.
How did a perfectly normal car drive suddenly lose control?”
Hearing this, Zhang-Shu’s breath quickened, and his hands lying by his side stiffened up.
They kept relaxing and then tightening up again.
A half day could pass and he still was not able to utter out a single word.
Huo Ming Chen raised his eyes, looking to pursue and force out an answer from him,
What happened that day?”
Zhang-Shu did not respond.
He only now realized that Huo Ming Chen must know something to be asking him like this.
The window was letting in warm and bright sun rays, but his heart was cold and dead as ash,
“I am sorry to the Chairman……”
He said this one sentence and then remained in silence.
Huo Ming Chen mockingly laughed and leaned back on the chair in a lazy posture as if he held all the cards in his hand,
“You think if you don’t say it, no one will know who is behind all this?”
He threw a recording onto the table, and it replayed a conversation that made Zhang-Shu’s heart, which he thought was already dead, feel even hollow than before,
“It was that bastard Chen Lian Dong who instructed me! He wanted me to grab my dad, and then…… and then he said don’t let him live that long.
If I completed the mission, he would give me a sum of money, would help me pay off my debts.
It really wasn’t my fault! Please, out of the goodness of your heart, please don’t turn me in! I’ll bow my head onto the ground for you!!”
And following that was Zhang Zhi Qiang’s crying and begging.
Zhang-Shu opened his mouth wide and his chest rose from the bed, yelling as loud and as hard as he could,
“That! That bastard–!”
Huo Ming Chen turned off the recording and calmly looked at him, with his eyes as cold as ice.
He said without any pity,
“Didn’t you know? Only dead people don’t speak.”
“Even if you didn’t die in the car accident, you would have died by his hands sooner or later.”
The clock on the wall was tick tocking away, following the sound of Huo Ming Chen’s heartfelt warning, as if it was a clock signalling his upcoming death,
“There’s only one hour left until your good son will be here to pick you up, to take you out of the hospital.”
*1 Er-Shao (二少) = literally second little/young which is a title usually to say for a second eldest son of a wealthy family (the -shao is also a way to address (like -Shu or -Ge) someone higher in position/regard, which can be used like Huo-Shao to call Huo Ming Chen).
Also possible to interpret it as second master son.
In this particular (and upcoming) scene/s, (Huo) Er-Shao is a also another means to call (in reverence/respect) for the second eldest son of the Huo family (Huo Ming Chen).
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