For the sake of filming, forcing oneself into a high fever of 39.3 degrees Celsius, and later, in order to film the role of a drug addict, refusing to eat or take medicine. Although after fighting to the end, the scene was successfully completed. But for the so-called death of one’s own making, he would have to endure even if it was on his knees. So after returning to Beijing, towards the matter of Li Xiaoheng keeping a close watch that he took his medicine, even if Tao Mu was not happy, he had to endure it.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
“…..I think I’ve recovered.” After swallowing the last two small pills with warm water, Tao Mu repeatedly confirmed, “From tomorrow onwards, I won’t need to take any more pills, right?”
Before waiting for Li Xiaoheng’s reply, Tao Mu emphasized again: “I heard that taking too much cold medicine will affect the brain in bad ways. If I am no longer smart, I may make mistakes in project decision-making.”
Was it not a bit too childish to use this kind of thing as a threat?
Li Xiaoheng squinted at Tao Mu, a half-smile on his lips.
Probably also feeling that his behavior was inappropriate, Tao Mu’s face flushed and he tried to explain reasonably: “It’s not a good thing to take too much medicine. As the saying goes, medicine can also be poison.”
“Also, could you stop with the herbal soup? It’s too expensive and troublesome, I’m feeling quite ashamed here.”
“The doctor said that you almost turned a simple cold into pneumonia.” Li Xiaoheng said mildly: “I don’t want my partner to have this much disregard for his own body. Or, would you prefer that I tell Mr. Liu, Mr. Meng and Mr. Song?”
Afraid that his family would be worried, Tao Mu didn’t dare to tell his family that he was so ill at the time. Even if the entertainment tabloids spread rumors, Tao Mu only dared to tell everyone that he had a common cold, and that the gossip paparazzi deliberately wrote sensationalist titles as a gimmick——after all, they said before that Tao Mu was brought into a drug rehab center for taking drugs.
With the testimony of Gou Rixin and Li Xiaoheng, two honest and particularly reliable people, Liu Yao and the others did not have any doubts. They also felt that the gossip paparazzi really dared to say anything for the sake of sales.
But on the other side, Tao Mu, who was caught in the act by Li Xiaoheng, now had a difficult life. Being forced to take injections and medicines was nothing, but the most annoying thing was that Li Xiaoheng learned medicinal herbal soup recipes from somewhere, and now made a pot for him every day. Tao Mu, forced to drink it all everyday, was on the verge of throwing up. After a week, he could no longer stand it.
“Consider it my surrender. At most, I promise you that I will never pour cold water on my head and deliberately come down with a fever for filming again. As CEO Li’s most important partner, I will definitely protect this head of mine, strive for clear and logical thinking during the next ten years, and never delay you from earning money.”
Possibly all the most embarrassing moments in his life were seen by Li Xiaoheng——his whole body smelling unwashed, hair greasy, dizzy, hungry, limbs weak, and needing Li Xiaoheng’s help to stand in the shower, so Tao Mu felt that he already had not much to hide from the other. When facing Li Xiaoheng again, his whole person was much more relaxed and he could even throw in some jokes in between words.
Li Xiaoheng cherished such a lively Tao Mu very much. But some things must be made clear: “It’s not just pouring cold water on yourself, it’s about prohibiting all self-destruction.”
“Tao Mu, I know you like acting. But I hope you can cherish your own body. In other words, you can only act in more dramas and films if you are in a healthier state. Instead of ruining your health for a trivial role.” Li Xiaoheng put his hands on his knees which were crossed, and said calmly, “You are a businessman yourself. You should understand that input and output should at least be proportional to each other.”
“You mean, I should do my best when I’m playing the male lead, and just take it casually at other times?” Tao Mu raised his eyebrows and deliberately misinterpreted Li Xiaoheng’s words.
“I mean, even if you play the male lead, you can’t force your body like that. You have to understand sustainable development.” Li Xiaoheng patiently corrected: “When you deal in business, you know how to strategize and keep a card up your sleeve, but why do you drain the pond to get at the fish when you act?”
“Is it that exaggerated?” Tao Mu sat down on the other end of the sofa and picked up the apple on the coffee table. Just as he was about to bite down, it was snatched away by Li Xiaoheng.
Li Xiaoheng picked up the fruit knife, peeled the apple and cut it into pieces, before handing it to Tao Mu with a toothpick: “Do you need me to recite the test results of your body checkup?”
Obviously not needed. Tao Mu ate the apple slices. Then he suddenly realized that he was too close to Li Xiaoheng. Of course, this was also due to the small space of his apartment opposite Beijing Film. The small apartment was only 30 square meters, and there was only one sofa in the living room, so it seemed that the two men who were over 1.8 meters tall were too close.
“You always come to work here, don’t you feel crowded?” Tao Mu suggested subtly, “I think you can go back to your own apartment or office. We can communicate by phone if you have any questions.”
Li Xiaoheng sneered, stood up directly, and walked into the kitchen where he put on oven mitts, brought out the old pigeon soup simmering on the familiar stove, and scooped out a bowl. He then returned to the living room, and handed it to Tao Mu: “The medicine can be stopped. But the soup must continue to be drunk. In your words, I, a domineering CEO who deals in tens of millions every minute, has cooked soup for you personally. Don’t you feel moved?”
He did feel moved. But. The key was that drinking too much soup was too nourishing, and if he gained weight, he would have to go to the gym to lose weight.
Tao Mu took a sip of the soup with a conflicted expression——not to mention, the domineering CEO who dealt in tens of millions every minute had a really good talent for learning to cook.
“I also think that I am a God of Cookery who was delayed by my job as a domineering CEO. Even Mr. Song said that my talent was good.” In the process of getting along, Li Xiaoheng became more and more open. Every time he joked, Tao Mu would also feel amused.
——It was just that the habit of confessing out of the blue every once in awhile would also give Tao Mu a headache: “…..So, I’m already so good. I can make money to support the family and act as good eye-candy, able to handle in and out of the kitchen. You really aren’t going to consider dating me?”
Tao Mu almost choked on a mouthful of old pigeon soup. Hearing this, he looked at Li Xiaoheng helplessly: “I really don’t know what you like about me?”
“Maybe it’s because you don’t like me. If I say that, will you feel a little more relaxed?” Li Xiaoheng smiled and teased, his eyes looking at Tao Mu becoming more gentle and soft: “I said it before, I like you, so I am willing to pursue you. It’s my own business, you don’t have to feel burdened. I just hope you can enjoy the process.”
Tao Mu held the soup bowl in silence.
The warm-toned lighting shone down from overhead, reflecting off of Tao Mu’s long eyelashes and making them appear extra thick and delicate. Li Xiaoheng looked at Tao Mu’s trembling eyelashes, and smiled warmly: “If you are worried, that when one day you are moved by my pursuit, and you want to accept me, only to find that I am not interested. Then we can sign a contract——”
“How can a contract be signed on this kind of thing?” Tao Mu frowned and interrupted Li Xiaoheng: “Do you think it is a partnership to do business, that you can sign a contract?”
Even if it was a business partnership, there were quite a few partners who have survived the initial financing period only to finally turn against each other in the end. The human heart was unpredictable, how could it be bound by a paper contract? And for people like them, the so-called contract was just an expedient between two equals. When signing a contract, not only must they abide by the contract, but they must always be ready to tear up the contract as well.
Tao Mu had never been a person whose promises were worth a thousand gold. Everything he did was to maximize profit. If the benefit of betrayal was big enough, he could even tear up all the promises. What was even more ridiculous was that Li Xiaoheng was also such a person.
Two people who regarded their personal interests to be paramount, actually want to date and fall in love. Like two venomous snakes trying to stay warm together. Originally it was a cold blooded animal with venom dripping from its fangs. Was it necessary to always beware of the opponent’s fangs striking even when being intimate?
He had had enough of that in his last life when he had to be vigilant even against those close to him.
Tao Mu was pondering to himself, when he suddenly felt his cheeks get hot. It turned out that Li Xiaoheng’s finger was poking at the corner of his mouth.
“What are you thinking about for you to look so aggrieved that the corners of your mouth are drooping down?” Li Xiaoheng said with a warm smile, “I think you are like a little leopard.”
“Huh?” Tao Mu didn’t get Li Xiaoheng’s meaning, and was dumbfounded for a moment.
“I think you are a beautiful little leopard, with smooth fur and sharp claws. Do you know the hunting characteristics of leopards? They like to hide in the trees, waiting for the prey to pass under the tree, or sneaking close to the prey before attacking. And their stamina is very good, when there is no prey, it is not a problem for them to starve for a few days.”
Tao Mu looked at Li Xiaoheng with a bewildered expression, not knowing why he suddenly mentioned the leopard. Was it because he stayed at home the past few days and often watched the animal world channel to pass the time?
While thinking random thoughts, he saw Li Xiaoheng, who was sitting on the other side of the sofa, suddenly slide closer, and a pair of dark, shiny eyes stared at Tao Mu from up close. So close that Tao Mu could clearly see his own reflection in the other’s pupils.
“If you are a leopard, I would volunteer to be your prey. I hope you can be my companion for a long time. Become familiar with my temperament and life rules. If one day, you feel that I betrayed you, you can be like the hunting leopard, stand high on a tree and pounce down, using your sharp claws to rip out my throat. Or sneak up behind my back and attack me, directly biting down on my spine. I believe you are able to do it.”
The tall figure slowly shrouded him, and the strong intimidating scent of male pheromones made Tao Mu frown uncomfortably. He subconsciously clenched his fists and tensed his body. That was the male’s conditioned reflex to show dissatisfaction and rejection after another male intruded the safe distance, and even a subtle sign of aggression caused by lack of security.
The originally fierce phoenix eyes instantly widened, and a very strong deterrent force erupted in the blink of an eye, just like a satiated little leopard immediately entering a state of alert when it saw a natural enemy. The sharp claws and powerful aura that flared at that moment was simply beautiful and captivating.
The two lines of sight met in the air, and the atmosphere instantly became intense and anxious. Li Xiaoheng wanted Tao Mu to see his heart clearly, but Tao Mu looked back, not to be outdone. After a while, Li Xiaoheng took the initiative in showing weakness and looked away, stepping back slightly. He stared into Tao Mu’s eyes and said with a smile, “If two powerful hunters want to fall in love, one of them must surrender first. And I am willing to lie down first and show my belly for you to see.”
After Li Xiaoheng said these moving words, he began to act teasingly again. Leaning on the other end of the sofa, he stretched out his hand to hold the hem of his shirt and made an upward movement: “The six-pack abs I developed after working out in the gym for a long time, do you want to see it?”
Tao Mu instantly had an exasperated expression: “No need.”
He stood up and ordered the expulsion directly: “It’s getting late. Go back quickly.”
“Actually, I could stay.” Li Xiaoheng also stood up and laughingly teased: “If your sofa welcomes me.”
“You’re a domineering CEO who deals with tens of millions every minute. Sleeping on the sofa is really wronging you.” Tao Mu continued to banter, but his actions did not pause at all. He went straight to the entrance and opened the door, telling Li Xiaoheng in no uncertain terms that even the sofa did not welcome him in this apartment.
“I bought a 180-square-meter three-bedroom in the next building. My master bedroom, your guest bedroom and our study room. There is also a very large kitchen.” Li Xiaoheng put on a woolen coat, and took out keys from his briefcase: “You are welcome anytime. Of course, it would be even better if you are willing to accept the keys.”
Tao Mu was obviously unwilling. So Li Xiaoheng could only regretfully carry the spare key back to his lonely new home. When he got home, he remembered that he forgot to bring his laptop back and had to call Tao Mu: “…..I left my laptop at your place. Are you willing to bring it over to me? I still have to work at night.”
Tao Mu looked at the very innocent laptop on the coffee table with a speechless look, and couldn’t help but get the feeling that he wouldn’t hold up against Li Xiaoheng’s methods.
“Can’t you give up the idea of eating the grass next to the nest?” (TN: targeting close friends/acquaintances for love interests)
“I thought we had reached a consensus on this point.” Li Xiaoheng took Tao Mu’s favorite snacks and fruits out of the refrigerator, and said with a smile: “…..I’m referring to the fact that everyone is a carnivore here.”
“Speaking of which, I’ve always been curious. As a powerful predator, you actually hold yourself to the standards of rabbits.” Li Xiaoheng asked, pretending to be puzzled: “Is it because you have been craving rabbit meat recently?”
“Braised or stir-fried? If you really want to eat, I could learn from Mr. Song. How about stewing in a pot?”
Looking at the phone that was suddenly hung up, Li Xiaoheng chuckled.
Ten minutes later, the cold and lonely three-bedroom finally welcomed its first guest——or more appropriately, its other owner.
“Welcome.” Li Xiaoheng put a pair of rabbit style fur slippers for Tao Mu, invited him in, and took the laptop handed over: “Since the place was renovated, you are the first guest to step in.”
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
If one used a house as a metaphor for the heart, Tao Mu was also the first person to enter Li Xiaoheng’s heart over these many years.
However, Mr. Tao, who was very realistic, didn’t notice Mr. Li’s hidden meaning. Hearing these words, he subconsciously covered his nose: “Are you sure that the formaldehyde did not exceed the standard?”
Li Xiaoheng: “…..”
AN: Small Skit——
Li Gong: The old house is on fire (??-ω??)
Tao Mu (splashing a basin of water): What?
Li Gong: …..It’s nothing!
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