TN: bonus chapter!💕
“I heard that you will be going to Hong Kong for training every weekend?”
Li Xiaoheng ladled out a bowl of the stewed chicken soup with wolfberry that had just been stewed and handed it to Tao Mu, saying warmly, “Don’t work too hard. I don’t want to see you in a few months, and all the meat on your bones that I managed to raise have ended up disappearing.”
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“I can’t help it either. I’m so busy with work, and I have to take care of my studies as well. The crew will start filming in a few months. I haven’t made a Hong Kong film before, so I should do some research and gain experience first. I can only run back and forth between the two places, barely maintaining my life like this.” Tao Mu said while drinking the soup: “Besides, I don’t intend to suffer. I just have a high metabolism, easily able to lose weight no matter what I do. Don’t frown. You don’t know how many girls envy my physique. If I want to be fat, I will be fat, if I want to be thin, I will be thin. For actors, it’s like a golden finger. Yet you actually dislike it.”
“I don’t dislike it.” Li Xiaoheng gave Tao Mu another bowl of soup and pushed it over, saying with a smile, “I just don’t want you to let down all the soup that you drink into your stomach, and the fat that you managed to pack on painstakingly through bite after bite of food.”
What do you mean? I’ve grown fat on my own ability, but I’m still not allowed to lose it?
Tao Mu drank the soup one mouthful at a time. After drinking two bowls of chicken soup, he felt warm all over his body. Especially his stomach which felt very comfortable.
“By the way. Don’t always come over and cook soup for me in the future. You work very hard too. Just rest at home in your spare time. It’s such a cold day and the road is so slippery. What if you fall and break your old bones. I can’t afford the medical bills.”
“Then sell yourself to me to pay off your debts.” Li Xiaoheng always had something to say.
“Also, my work is indeed really hard. Especially after my partner has become addicted to acting and can’t extricate himself, pushing everything to me. Now, an unmarried bachelor like me just wants to get off work on time and go home every day to see a hearty dinner waiting for me. Song Ji is too far from home, so I have to come and find my partner to cook dinner with. Don’t look at us white-collar workers, it seems that we have a lot of face outside, but in fact, we have to join in cooking meals with a partner to barely make it.”
Li Xiaoheng was a quick learner, and also spoke nonsense in a serious manner, running his mouth fto amuse Tao Mu. He added: “And I am worried that if I often come to mooch food, my partner will be unhappy. So I have to cook and make some soup every day, which can be regarded as repaying your kindness in providing the meal. It can only last for a long time if things are mutual. “Li Xiaoheng said with a smile: “Otherwise I’m afraid that I’m always coming to trouble you, and that you won’t cook for me if you think I’m annoying.”
“Then let me cook and you wash the dishes.” Anyway, this person couldn’t be driven away, but only got stickier and held on tighter, Tao Mu couldn’t do anything about it. He simply gave up and compromised: “I really don’t like soup. I used to only eat soup when I eat noodles at school. And drinking soup at night makes it easier to gain weight. As an actor, especially one with heavy idol baggage, I must manage my figure well.”
Li Xiaoheng instantly chuckled and said, “Then I have to learn more about how to make noodles. So I can cook you noodles later.” (TN: in Chinese, ‘cook you noodles’ is a slang innuendo for giving head)
Tao Mu turned his head to look at Li Xiaoheng, who looked completely normal. Feeling Tao Mu’s scrutiny, Li Xiaoheng raised his eyebrows and asked, “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing!” It was not clear whether Li Xiaoheng’s words were intentional or unintentional. However, Tao Mu felt that Li Xiaoheng shouldn’t have such a glib exasperation inducing tongue.
Noticing that Tao Mu was a little gloomy, Li Xiaoheng asked casually, “What did you think of, why are you suddenly unhappy?”
“Me?” Tao Mu was slightly stunned, and suddenly found that whenever he was in front of Li Xiaoheng, it was as if his emotions were always fluctuating.
Seeing Tao Mu’s thoughtful silence, Li Xiaoheng suddenly said, “Even if you still refuse to accept my pursuit, we are still good friends, right?”
Tao Mu paused for a while before coming back to his senses. Hesitantly, he replied, “…..En!”
“Then that’s fine. Even if we’re not lovers, we’re friends. When friends get along in private, of course they would choose the most relaxed attitude. What do you have to worry about?” Li Xiaoheng laughed and joked: “Afraid that I will turn from fan to anti?”
“Well, no.” It was not that Tao Mu was too confident in his own charm. He was just very confident in Li Xiaoheng’s IQ and shrewdness. He felt that a bigwig like Li Xiaoheng would never waste time doing such inane things.
Tao Mu smiled and said, “You’ve used the terminology of the fan circle quite proficiently recently. You also know that fans can turn into antis.”
Li Xiaoheng was silent for a moment, then suddenly asked with a smile: “If I said I wore a sock puppet to join your fan club would you believe it?”
Tao Mu: “…..”
Tao Mu: “!!!”
Tao Mu suddenly reacted: “…..Hah?”
“You, you actually wore a sock puppet to join my fan club?” Tao Mu was shocked and stammered: “You wouldn’t be that idle, would you?”
“You seem to be very shocked.” Li Xiaoheng picked up the empty bowl that Tao Mu had placed on the coffee table, took it into the kitchen, washed it, and put it in the cupboard: “Why?”
“You are actually asking me why?” Tao Mu was so shocked that he followed Li Xiaoheng into the kitchen: “Why didn’t I know that you actually like star chasing?”
“I’m not chasing stars.” Li Xiaoheng stated the facts very calmly: “I’m just chasing you.”
He was caught off guard by Mr. Li’s old-fashioned and cheesy words of love. Tao Mu was about to collapse: “But you can’t join my fan club! It’s too awkward.”
“Why are you embarrassed, shouldn’t you be happy?” After washing his hands, Li Xiaoheng walked up to Tao Mu and joked with a smile, “You have a fan who is a domineering CEO. One who has good looks and can earn money to support the family. When you are busy I can also help you with the work, and I am willing to accompany you to cook and wash dishes when you are free. I am willing to follow you for a lifetime. No matter what you do, you have a die-hard fan in me who will support and praise you no matter what. If you want, I can even do the extreme that a fan is willing to do for their idol.”
Tao Mu stared blankly at Li Xiaoheng, thinking that he might have drank too much chicken soup, and his mind was working much slower than usual, and asked dumbly, “…..What extreme?”
“Warming your bed!” Li Xiaoheng suddenly laughed, his warm eyes seemed like two spring pools, their radiant lustre extremely gentle: “You have many fans who imagine that you are their boyfriend. Calling themselves your girlfriend fans. Then I’m your boyfriend fan, okay?”
Tao Mu: “…..”
Probably because the lighting was too soft, or because the heating was particularly good this winter, Tao Mu suddenly felt a little warm in his heart.
“You’re a domineering CEO dealing in tens of millions of dollars a minute, don’t be so boring, okay!” Tao Mu shook his head helplessly, took a step back subconsciously, and crossed his arms: “There is fruit in the refrigerator. Wash whatever you like.”
“Then let’s eat grapefruit.” Li Xiaoheng said with a smile: “Didn’t you say you wanted to eat grapefruit a few days ago. When I drove downstairs, I happened to have found fresh grapefruit in the fruit shop.”
“I don’t want to eat it now. Save it for the juice tomorrow morning.” Tao Mu frowned slightly: “Cut two oranges.”
“Don’t be afraid of it being too troublesome. I’ll peel it for you.” Li Xiaoheng saw at a glance a certain someone’s thoughts of being lazy again, and said with a smile, “I find that you’ve been a little lazy lately. You don’t like peeling shrimp, nor do you like peeling grapefruit. If you truly can’t resist your craving, you just go to the restaurant to order fried shrimp, or cut some watermelon and oranges, and just barely get by. You really won’t think about finding a boyfriend? The kind who is willing to peel shrimp as well as grapefruit?”
“Who said that I don’t like peeling fruit?” Tao Mu raised his eyebrows, and firmly refused to admit that he was being lazy: “When I eat oranges and bananas, I always peel them myself. If you don’t believe me, I will peel one for you to see.”
“Peel one?” Li Xiaoheng, who was opening the refrigerator door to pick out fruits, heard the words, and suddenly hooked up the corner of his mouth. As he opened the refrigerator, he tilted his head to look at Tao Mu, and asked maliciously, “How will you peel?”
“Just use your hand——” Tao Mu just said a few words, and suddenly realized what Li Xiaoheng was talking about. He was suddenly speechless: “You have become more and more glib lately.”
“Because I want to make you happy.” Li Xiaoheng said with a warm smile and a softer tone.
He pointed to himself: “I am good-looking and can make money to support the family. If there is something I will help you with it and make you happy whenever I can. So won’t you consider accepting a boyfriend who is even more obedient than an AI robot?”
“…..I’m only nineteen years old, so I won’t think about puppy love for the time being.” Tao Mu refused without hesitation, “Also, you are a domineering CEO dealing in tens of millions of dollars a minute, and you are also the heir of a big group. You will definitely consider getting married in the future. You will be twenty-six after the new year. Your family didn’t arrange a blind date for you?”
“They know my sexuality.” Li Xiaoheng pondered for a moment and said. He came out with his family the year he graduated high school. The reason why Xiaoheng Capital was established in his freshman year of college was because Li Xiaoheng never thought about inheriting Fengxing Group after he came out of the closet. He didn’t want to be threatened by his parents and elders with his heir position, and he didn’t want his life to be arranged by the family for a lifetime. Therefore, he would rather give up his heir qualification of Fengxing Group and start his own business. In fact, if he hadn’t met Tao Mu, Li Xiaoheng would have even thought about staying on Wall Street after graduation and never going back to China.
After all, with the background and status of the Li family, the scandal of the eldest son of the family actually coming out of the closet, although it was concealed from the public. But well-informed people would still know. Li Xiaoheng didn’t want to feel aggrieved, and didn’t want to embarrass his parents and elders, so he could only minimize the number of times he returned to China.
However, because he was busy starting his own business during his college days and didn’t have the time and energy to have any relationships, the Li family seemed to begin entertaining unrealistic hopes about his sexuality once again. Mrs. Li even tricked Li Xiaoheng back into the country for blind dates when she had nothing to do. Taking into account the feelings of his parents, Li Xiaoheng just brushed it off at first. Later, he became impatient. Although he didn’t quibble about it with his parents, towards the elders of the Li family who were pushing this matter behind the scenes, Li Xiaoheng taught them all a lesson, not letting escape a single one. After a few times, these people knew to respect Li Xiaoheng’s decision and privacy, and no longer tried to interfere in Li Xiaoheng’s private life.
Of course, this was mainly because Xiaoheng Capital, founded by Li Xiaoheng, performed too well during the financial crisis. Several short-selling on the international market swept in tens of billions of dollars. Li Xiaoheng, who had always focused on the international capital market before, was not constrained by his family. In fact, it was Fengxing Group that relied more on Xiaoheng Capital’s investment ability.
Thus, Li Xiaoheng’s words within the family naturally gained more weight.
“If this is what you are concerned about, then you can be rest assured. I am very serious about wanting to have a relationship with you.” Li Xiaoheng paused and added, “Dating with the goal of marriage in mind.”
Under the warm light, Li Xiaoheng’s eyes looked more tender and gentle. He looked at Tao Mu and asked patiently, “So do you want to think about it again and accept my pursuit?”
“Then have you ever thought about breaking up after dating?”
Tao Mu had asked this question more than once. Li Xiaoheng also changed from his initial act of delayering vows to a final response after deliberation: “Any project has the possibility of collapsing midway through. The same for cooperation. The same for marriage. I don’t dare to guarantee about what it will be like in decades. But we can find a way to insure our relationship.”
In the end, Li Xiaoheng still used his most accustomed business model to find a way to solve Tao Mu’s concerns: “We can gather the best economic lawyers and insurance practitioners in the world. Have them focus on our current situation and our concerns, and issue an insurance policy. To ensure that our economic property will not be damaged when we break up. We can also sign a model similar to the industry competition clause to ensure that we can break up peacefully. After separation, we will not retaliate against each other for malicious competition. Terms can be formulated a bit harsher to limit our breakup as much as possible. Or in other words, limit the impulse we might have after the breakup.
Think about defeat even before thinking about winning. Although Li Xiaoheng didn’t know why Tao Mu was so emotionally pessimistic. But Li Xiaoheng had never been a person who just sat back and waited when he encountered difficulties, or was a person who left it up to fate. He would not back down because of Tao Mu’s repeated refusal, nor would he think that Tao Mu’s worries were unfounded. As he said before, any cooperation had the possibility of collapsing midway, and the same was true for love and marriage. Since Tao Mu had concerns, in order to open the door to Tao Mu’s heart, Li Xiaoheng was willing to try any possibility. He was willing to show Tao Mu his greatest sincerity. How he managed to win over his business partners in the first place was how he treated Tao Mu now.
Li Xiaoheng believed that so long as he showed his sincerity, Tao Mu would definitely feel it.
Sure enough, after Li Xiaoheng proposed a solution so carefully, Tao Mu also hesitated.
“…..Then I’ll think about it.” Tao Mu hesitated for a moment, then said slowly. Probably because of his lack of self-confidence, his tone was particularly soft. If it wasn’t for Li Xiaoheng’s constant attention to Tao Mu’s every move, it could hardly have been heard.
One had to admit that Li Xiaoheng was the most watched capital boss in later years for a reason. His ability to win over his business partners was indeed very high. So much so that Tao Mu began to think that if he could find a way to solve the crisis after the breakup, it would be a pleasant experience to have a relationship with someone like Li Xiaoheng who was reliable in work, and interesting in private.
Although he was fully prepared, he never imagined that Tao Mu would immediately agree to his pursuit. Even CEO Li, who was ready for a protracted war, looked at Tao Mu with a little surprise. He originally thought that Tao Mu would continue to reject him.
Having put Tao Mu in his heart for the cherished pursuit, Li Xiaoheng almost forgot, in fact, Tao Mu was also a decisive person in essence. He did not lack in executive abilities any more than he did.
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He stared at Tao Mu for a long time, and then the corner of Li Xiaoheng’s lips suddenly drew up in an extremely gentle arc, as if he was afraid of awakening Tao Mu, and smiled softly: “Okay.”
Think slowly, don’t rush. I will be patient. Until you let go of your unease, or when you put your uneasiness down and walk towards me.
I will prove it to you. No matter how much insurance we do for this relationship. Those retreat routes will be useless in the end.
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