Chapter 4: The Assault
I hung up and rushed to the surveillance room not caring that I was thoroughly soaked. As I stepped into the room, suddenly the door shut bang behind me, I was locked inside.
I turned around, and saw Lin in the dim lights, well-dressed, leaning on the door, with a cigarette in his mouth. Behind him were five or six security guys.
The dim light cast a shadow of his long eyelashes on his handsome face. The disdain held in his phoenix eyes made him look somewhat insidious.
He squinted his eyes, compressed his lips as if he’s confused, and said idly, “So unexciting.” Then he came closer, and took a handkerchief out of the pocket of his shirt, shaking it out, to wipe off the dripping water off my forehand gently.
Pressing the handkerchief, he leaned towards me, speaking quietly in my ear, his warm breath blowing on my face. “Why aren’t you smarter? This is Brother Dong’s territory, which is also my territory…”
While talking, he slowly folded the wet handkerchief and handed it gracefully to the guard behind. Suddenly, he turned around and whacked my face and raised his voice, “Why didn’t you be a bit more aware? Huh?”
My face was slapped from side to side; my entire left cheek was burning in pain.
He wiped his hand as if it had touched something dirty.
Then I remembered, that bucket of water falling from above was indeed not very clean.
No wonder he was wiping my face just now. He just didn’t want his hand to get dirty.
Ha, when people are drunk they care about things that they usually wouldn’t care.
He brushed his hand through his hair and signaled the security guys with his eyes. They rushed towards me and pinned me to the floor.
Lin didn’t raise a hand himself, just stared at me coldly with the cigarette in his mouth.
Punches and kicks fell on my body. I couldn’t fight with so many people, all I could do was to protect my head with my hands.
He was leaning on the door, smoking out of sheer boredom. The room filled with the muffle of fists and boots hitting on human flesh.
“I thought of you as a friend, and yet you ask people to threaten me?”
I looked up at him panting, and he smiled, “Who are you staring at? Hmm? Seeing me now and trying to pretend to be a good man to cover for your perverted thoughts?” He blows out a stream of smoke slowly, and sighed, “What gave you the idea that I would just let you do as you please?”
Waves of pain devoured my body. Without knowing how long it had been, I suddenly felt a dark shadow loom above me; then someone squatted right next to me. His warm breath blew on my face carrying the scent of the minty cigarette smoke.
I struggled to open my eyes that were covered in blood and sweat. A handsome face suddenly appeared in front of me, his eyelashes almost swept the tip of my nose.
He wiped the blood off my face gently, as softly as a kiss on a lover’s cheek.
A small, seductive and hoarse voice softly spoke to me, like a feather falling onto my ear, “If you have the guts, you can threaten me again. I will wait for you.”
He wiped his bloody fingers on my bare chest while speaking to me.
His hair on the side fell to his forehead, covering his beautiful eyes.
I smiled bitterly. Honestly, I was too proud to use my connections just to fight with him over such a feud.
Finally, I got thrown into the garbage bin behind the hotel, profoundly wounded. I fumbled for my phone in the darkness, dialing a number with my bloody fingers.
*** *** ***
When I finally got on the car, the person next to me sighed quietly. “Told you to call me if anything happened…..why didn’t you listen?”
I wiped clean the corner of my mouth with the moistened paper towel he passed to me. It got covered in infected blood immediately. I sighed, “You are so busy nowadays. I don’t want to trouble you with such trivial things.”
He gradually blew out a stream of smoke, “We are brothers. There is no such thing as trouble.”
The flashing neon lights outside the window cast gorgeous colors on his face, and I could see a curved knife scar under the fluttering colors. For a moment, I was in a trance, vaguely remembering the times when we brothers on the streets were living like wanderers…
He lowered his head, and suddenly chuckled bitterly. “I’ve always thought since you’ve reformed into a legitimate businessman, you look down on this old friend. Not until you started to do business with Han Dong did I realize that you truly didn’t want to cause trouble for me.”
I was shocked. Looked at him again carefully, I found his once vigorous proud face had traces of vicissitudes on it, which made me feel guilty. I murmured, “How…I’ve always thought of you as my brother. Haven’t we been celebrating holidays and spring festivals together?”
He sighed and started to treat my wounds with the aid kit in the car. “Does it hurt?”
I shook my head. “This? These wounds are nothing. No injured ankles, no broken bones, just some scratches. That Lin guy only knows these simple tricks.”
He sighed, “The goods held by Han Dong…let me help you get them….”
I hesitated. “I have already made a deal with them…”
He explained, “Han Dong…this guy is pretty harsh. If you want to deal with him, and he invites you to a meal today, he is asking you to pay the bills. Tomorrow if he asks you to go fishing with him, he will ask you to give him the trucks to carry tons of fishes and pay for the fishing cost too. That’s not counting the gifts and tributes for holidays and family events. He is such a huge pain in the ass to deal with, and he’s not even useful a majority of the time. Forget about him; it’s my business now.”
The car arrived at the destination while we were talking.
“Just sleep here today.” He said.
The car had barely stopped when the lackeys guarding the house opened the door for him. Not a little ostentation at all. They bowed almost to their knees. “Master Chu.”
It took me a second to realize they were greeting Chu, which filled me with all sorts of feelings. Chu Yuan Jiang, this man, my brother with whom I grew up sharing everything; we had been through such hardship together, and finally we were here, enjoying all this worship and respect……nowadays who could recognize us as the nobodies from the streets?
He got off first, then bent down and gave me a hand. I mockingly scolded him, “I am not an old man yet.”
He gave me a soft smile, with those eyes that had seen everything.
A lackey came and reported to him, “Master Chu, Miss Yue is still waiting for you in the house….”
Chu Yuan Jiang paused for a moment and said, “Escort her out. I don’t have time today.”
I realized all of a sudden. “Bro, that’s so dope! Is she the pop star that is performing in our city?”
He gave me a glance. “You want to?”
I said, “I have never slept with a celebrity.”
He frowned. “You head is covered in bandages right now. Are you sure you want to scare her?”
I gave up lamely. “sh*t, I forgot.”
At night, he took care of me until I went to bed. Right after I lay down, he crawled into my bed. “Move inward a bit more.”
I made more room for him, and laughed, “Yuan Jiang, it’s been a long time since we last slept on the same bed.”
*** *** ***
The night wind and the beatings had woken me up completely.
Chu Yuan Jiang reached out to switch off the bed lamp and pulled up the comforter. “Good night.”
However, in the darkness, even with the sound of the smooth and relaxed breathing by my side, another figure started to wander in my mind.
Now that I was finally sober, I gradually came to understand the whole thing. So this man Lin had been fooling me from beginning to end.
Making friends, what bullsh*t.
He first seduced me when I was most hostile towards him and made me feel different for him. Then he used beautiful words to make me lose myself and finally struck the blow.
What “Aren’t we friends now? Don’t ever think about smashing my car again.”
What “I am just trying out some new flesh. I have never met someone like you.”
What “Keep in touch since we are friends now.”
What “I am begging you…”
What “I am waiting for you…”
I couldn’t help but gasp. Looking back, he didn’t kneel down and sucked my dick for free at the beginning. It was to pave the way for the future trials.
First, he took down my guard. Then he humiliated me repeatedly. Even that wasn’t enough. He had to make it bloody in the farewell.
I lifted my body to fumble for cigarettes on the bedside table, and my moving woke Chu Yuan Jiang up. He asked half-awake half-asleep in a hoarse voice, “What are you doing?”
“I remember you put a box of cigarettes here?”
He flicked the light switch, sat up and passed me the cigarettes.
I grinned, “I thought you were asleep…”
He glanced at me and said, “You tossed and turned so much, how could I have fallen asleep? Are your wounds still hurting? Let me check.”
“Nah no way. They aren’t hurting at all. I just feel upset, and want to talk.”
He sighed and pulled the comforter back onto my body. I passed the cigarettes back to him, and he took one as well.
“Zippo?” He looked at me with sleepy eyes.
I touched his cigarette with my lit one, and he lowered his eyes and inhaled. A tiny flame fizzled between us.
“What’s troubling you? It’s so late….” He took a puff and asked me softly.
I rested my back on the soft pillow, then took a long exhale, “I am wondering how and when I offended him that he bothered to spend so much effort to screw me over like this.”
Chu Yuan Jiang took out a piece of paper from the drawer as an ashtray gently tapped the ashes on it, and hand the paper to me. “What’s that? Just let me get someone to educate him tomorrow, and it will be finished.”
That reminded me. “Did you say anything to Lin?”
“Ahh…I told him to watch out. That motherfúcker has a filthy mouth, badmouthing about you here and there.” Chu Yuan Jiang glanced at me and kept smoking.
“How did you tell him?”
“Just found someone to ‘remind’ him a little bit.”
“So that’s why…today he accused me of ordering people to threaten him, and said I only pretended to be generous in front of him to cover for my perverted thoughts…I was so confused.”
Chu Yuan Jiang frowned and stared at me. “What do you mean? Are you blaming me for helping you?”
I shook my head. “No, you did nothing wrong. The blame is on me for having feelings for him.”
Chu Yuan Jiang baffled, “What feelings?”
“The same feelings that you have for that actress…”
“You want him to star in your film?”
I gave him a slanted look. “How can you be so insensitive?”
“It’s you that’s talking nonsense. He’s a man…”
“You don’t understand. You’ve never done it with a man.” I stopped for a second, suddenly recalling Lin’s taste, “He gave me head once. It felt great.”
“fúck, and he still beat you up like that?”
“Just because of that. Otherwise, how could I have tolerated him?”
That day I chatted with Chu Yuanjiang late into the night and finished an entire pack of cigarettes together.
Many years later when I recall everything, I often lament at my ignorance and insensitivity at that time. Had I knew earlier the sincerity and hypocrisy hidden behind his moodiness, maybe he and I would not have ended up like that.