Assistant Architect by Xi He Qing Ling
Chapter 67: Intimate
After some time, they stopped at a service area along the highway for a bathroom break and food. Although Gu Yu asked: “Do you want to go in and eat or stay in the car?”, he did not wait for Zhang Siyi to answer. Instead, he fastened his seat belt then quickly followed up with: “Well, you’d better stay in the car. I’ll buy some food.” When he got out of the car, the cold wind blew and the stark contrast to the heated interior was unexpected.
Gu Yu’s sudden declaration surprised Zhang Siyi. He just assumed he would’ve had to go with him to buy his own food, but as it so happened, Zhang Siyi didn’t have to get out which was all the better for him. He didn’t want to move as the wet feeling between his legs was still there.
Gu Yu’s concern over the outside temperature was unanticipated. Even though he isn’t as delicate as a girl and can stand a little cold weather, the thoughtfulness Gu Yu showed him made Zhang Siyi feel like he was being cared for. He felt a little better.
Two minutes later Gu Yu called him on the phone and asked which foods he would like: “There are sausages, sesame cakes, dumplings… what do you want to eat?”
Since Jiacheng local specialty are dumplings, Zhang Siyi thought the best choice would probably be the meat dumpling: “I’ll have a meat dumpling.”
Gu Yu replied on the phone: “There are many different ones: egg, plum, dried…… which kind do you want?”
Zhang Siyi: “Egg yolk, meat dumplings!””
Gu Yu: “Ok. It will be a few minutes. I need to go wait in line.”
After hanging up the phone, Zhang Siyi had been watching the multitude of people exit the service area. When Gu Yu appeared, he unconsciously stared at him and followed his figure. Even though he is so far away among the crowd and can’t see his face, he can spot Gu Yu figure easily. The figure walking with the flow of all the people is brighter and more distinct than anyone else. His increasing pounding in his chest has reminded him of last night’s game and Gu Yu’s question about heart-warming moments.
To be moved this much with just a vague sense of Gu Yu figure in the distance, he doesn’t understand what kind of feeling he is holding onto Gu Yu. It’s neither about Gu Yu professional demeanor, work ethics and charm nor is this about youthful idol-worship. In the past, he could have used excuses to explain or delude himself, but no longer. He didn’t want to think about it anymore.
His reluctance to think about it in more detail is perhaps because he has lived his life as a straight man for twenty years and liking the same sex is a subversive view, so he doesn’t want to face the facts.
The door opened and Gu Yu came inside with a chill. With a long sigh of relief, he sat in the car. With care he peeled away the wrapper and handed the dumpling to Zhang Siyi. Gu Yu wasn’t in a hurry. As he turned to Zhang Siyi to give him his dumpling, Zhang Siyi immediately withdrew his sight. “Hey, you want the egg yolk meat, right?” He also reached to the side into another bag and took out a cup of hot soy milk. He leaned over and gave them to Zhang Siyi. “Eat while it’s still hot.”
Holding the hot food, his hands warmed up. Gu Yu’s intimate words and actions caused a warm feeling deep within Zhang Siyi to grow, but when he thought of the game last night, with the evidence between his legs, being repeatedly teased and bullied by Gu Yu, his heart took a dive…. Ah-ah! Really annoying!
The rest of the drive was uneventful. They made good time and arrived at the outskirts of the city of Ningcheng before 11 o’clock. Zhang Siyi mother was waiting at the park-and-ride. When she saw her son, she was delighted and got out of her car with gifts. She took the gift box to Gu Yu. “Mr. Gu, thank you for bringing Sisi back. Driving the car for so long must be really hard!”
With some embarrassment, Gu Yu waved his hand in refusal: “Mrs. Zhang, you are too kind. It’s on the way so it’s not a problem. Without him, I would have to drive alone.”
Zhang Siyi’s Mother nudged Gu Yu with the packages and insisted: “Don’t be so polite. I will agree to nothing less than your acceptance. Here, this is for you.” While Gu Yu smiled and received the packages reluctantly, he glanced over at the car from which she came: “Today is so cold. Next time, I will drive him directly to your house. You won’t have to come pick him up again.”
Zhang Siyi: “…” Next time?
Mrs. Zhang chuckled and said: “But it’s already so far. How can you bring him to the house? In addition, it’s already lunch time and I think your family is probably waiting for you. My short trip from home is not more than fifteen minutes, so you don’t have to worry about me. Because of the holidays, everyone is so busy. This is a special time to spend with your own family, but next time you must personally come to my house and visit and have a meal.
Nodding, Gu Yu smiled and said: “Yes I will.” With such a reasonable, generous, and enthusiastic mother, it was difficult to refuse.
After chatting for a little while, Zhang Siyi’s Mother noticed her son standing to the side, carrying a bag in silence. She eyed him: “You silly boy! Standing there doing nothing…… Say something!”
“Ah” Zhang Siyi reacted suddenly to his mother’s words. Red faced he said: “Thank you for today. You are welcome to visit my house anytime.”
Gu Yu looked at him with a smile and said, “Well, I wish you a happy new year in advance.”
Zhang Siyi: “…… You too.”
When Zhang Siyi arrived back home, he quickly ran upstairs.
“Hey! What are you doing in a hurry? Let’s put away the things first and have lunch!” Zhang Siyi’s Mother yelled up the stairs.
Zhang Siyi: “I, I, I’ll take a quick fifteen minutes shower first! I’ll be quick.”
Zhang Siyi’s Father was warming his hands holding a hot cup of tea. He was about to get up and call the housekeeper to start the meal, but he heard them yelling so he sat back down with a frown: “What happened? Did he get carsick? Why is he taking a shower now?”
Mother Zhang rubbed her hands together for warmth: “No. Sisi looked fine. We took longer because I had a short talk with Gu Yu. He dropped Sisi off in a Lexus. He said Gu Yu bought the car with his own money! He is so young but can afford a car like that. He is really good!”
Zhang father lowered his eyes and turned the newspaper away from his face and said: “Making money is not a good measure of whether someone is good or not. The key is a persons’ intelligence and stability. Since he can be as rash as you are, he is definitely your son, but I know with guidance and patience he will become well-grounded.
Mother Zhang smiled: “If I am so hot tempered, then weren’t you rash for marrying me? As soon as we look at our good fortune in life, we are free from worry and can look forward to our next life.”
Zhang Siyi’s Father coughed once and went back to reading his newspaper. Even though he didn’t say anything, his expression was full of pride.
Even though Zhang Siyi showered in record time, the nerves that had been tense all day relaxed. He dried himself off and got dressed. Picking up the dirty cloths, he looked at the garment that caused so much shame and felt irritated. He was trying to deal with it when he heard his Mother shouting: “Sisi! Are you ready? The food is getting cold!” Blushing, Zhang Siyi hurriedly shoved the soiled underwear under his pillow then went downstairs.
Since it was early enough in the day, the meal for lunch was relatively simple. When his Father asked him about work, Zhang Siyi finally had something to brag about. He told him about the various tasks and project related work he has completed. He especially went into detail about the C-City project, however they ended up in a debate.
Zhang Siyi’s Father was quite dissatisfied with Chief’s style of city planning. He feels that there is nothing to be proud of by the decisions made by the candidates to over-development the area. Since it is the first independent project Zhang Siyi has done since joining the company, it means a lot to him. Not only is it his first project, but Zhang Siyi’s result was also due to the competition with his peer. In private, they debated about the situation in C-City, but he is only an architect and not a politician. He can only make the best design under the existing conditions and can’t interfere with the political and upper decision-making. His Father’s disdain made Zhang Siyi feel very depressed. Internally he thought: “Can’t he just affirm my efforts and achievements?”
After the meal, his father asked him to watch the political news with him. Even though Zhang Siyi didn’t want to, he couldn’t refuse his Father’s request. However, because he was angry with his father, he didn’t have anything positive to say and they ended up bickering more. Since Zhang Siyi so rarely argued with his Father, he stared at him in wonder. Originally, his Father wanted to establish a connection with Zhang Siyi, but his fatherly image crumbled: “You’re stupid. You think politics are so simple!” With that, the conversation abruptly ended. It’s no use talking to a wall.
Not caring how his father felt, Zhang Siyi snorted and left the living room. His freedom was won, and he went upstairs to his bedroom happily, eager to check-up on his friends and colleagues on social media. They are all at home and there is an endless supply of news to read from the various chat groups he is in.
Lu Qiao posted pictures of his hometown and Bi Lele took photos of herself at a shopping center with her girlfriends. Zhu Hongzhen’s hometown was in the north so there were pictures of the snow fortress he built as well as photos of him outside wrapped up in snow. Zhang Siyi made sure to send positive comments to his colleagues. He also checked up on his other friends. They were exchanging information about their year-end awards, wages, and the current industry situation.
Su Yuan: “Oh, my God! We only received a half-month’s salary for the end-of-the-year bonus! So little! I want to change job!”
Ren Meng: “In my small company, you don’t get anything!”
Jiang Hai: “We also made less this year. I heard from a senior that in the past his year-end bonus was equal to a year worth of salary! When will the industry’s low tide pass? Otherwise there won’t be enough money to marry a wife!” Because of his steady relationship with Tian Jiang, she was also in the chat group.
Tian Jiang sent a laughing expression into the chat: “It’s simple! You come to our house. Son-in-law.”
Jiang Hai: “…”
When seeing their cute banter, Zhang Siyi is reminded of Fu Xinhui’s situation at home with his own brother-in-law. Seeing no messages from Fu Xinhui in the chat group, he started to feel a little worried and sent him a private message. “Hey! Are you at home? How’s it going? How’s Cheer-Up?” After a long time, Zhang Siyi received a voice message from Fu Xinhui. The background was very noisy: “Not so good. I can’t chat now. I will call you later to elaborate.”