15 Chapter 15

The moment Xia Xingcheng saw Yang Youming, his body reacted faster than his brain. He immediately pushed the girl in his arms away. Maybe once he calmed down later, he'd realize that this behaviour was very unprofessional, but at that time, there was only a short moment of blankness in his mind.

The girl who was pushed away was stupefied for a second, but before she could get angry, she noticed Yang Youming. She was surprised and excitedly cried out, "Yang Youming!"

Yang Youming did not know who she was nor did he have anything to say to her, but he was not unhappy either. He merely shot a glance at Xia Xingcheng before he turned around to leave.

Xia Xingcheng's feet suddenly moved, he was overcome with the urge to chase after and capture Yang Youming's arm, but he restrained himself when he realized that there was no reason for him to explain himself to Yang Youming.

He called for someone to send the girl off, and only when he was in his assistant's car on the way to the filming location was he finally able to calm down and think. He felt that his reaction towards Yang Youming just then was not at all his, but Fang Jianyuan's.

He was somewhat ill at ease, and in addition to the hangover that had not completely dissipated, there were other emotions in his heart that were repeatedly hard to calm down.

This mood of his has directly led to that day's strained filming process.

Xia Xingcheng sat behind the narrow grocery store counter, surrounded by high shelves that loomed over him. The air was irritably hot and stuffy, and sweat poured down his cheeks all the way to his pale neck and down his collar.

He was unable to sit quietly and tended to the counter, waiting for business to arrive at the door with Fang Jianyuan's typical serenity.

A moving van was parked in front of the grocery store, and two young workers jumped out of the van and neatly moved the store's goods in silence.

Xia Xingcheng glanced at them, got up and walked out, and stood at the door to watch them move things.

Boxes and boxes of beer and other beverages rapidly piled up at the front door.

In the next shot, a young worker handed Xia Xingcheng the invoice, yet Xia Xingcheng failed to receive it, the form passing through his hands and falling to the ground.

At this time, He Zheng did not say cut. Originally, it was possible for Xia Xingcheng to bend down and pick up the fallen piece of paper to continue on with the scene, but then he himself called for a stop.

He Zheng looked at him calmly and said nothing else.

Xia Xingchen stood in a corner and flipped through the script once more. He was in a trance. It was as if he was in two places at once–while his body was here, his spirit was still back in the hotel from earlier this morning. He strived to get into Fang Jianyuan's character, but what happened last night made him feel like he'd been split in two.

He reread the script for a while and then told He Zheng that he could continue.

He Zheng said, "Come, go on."

However, Xia Xingcheng failed to adjust his mood, and he also stumbled through the following takes.

He Zheng gradually showed his displeasure.

Yang Youming had been wordlessly watching beside him during this entire process without displaying a single emotion. While acting opposite Xia Xingcheng, even if the young actor did an NG (No Good Cut), Yang Youming never showed the slightest hint of impatience.

Afterwards, He Zheng permitted everybody to rest first before filming recommenced later on in the afternoon.

As a result, today's progress was bound to be delayed.

Xia Xingcheng did not have lunch, and he went up to Fang Jianyuan's bedroom to lay down with his eyes closed, wanting to get rid of the hideous mess of thoughts in his head.

Not long after, he heard the click of a lighter and immediately opened his eyes to the sight of Yang Youming standing at the head of the bed.

There was no one else around, everybody had gone out for lunch, and it seemed like they were the only two left on set. There were only the two of them in the room.

Xia Xingcheng abruptly sat up and said, "Ming ge? Why haven't you gone out to eat?"

Yang Youming sat down by the headboard and took a puff of the cigarette that hung from the corner of his mouth, then lifted it in front of Xia Xingcheng's mouth right after, asking, "Want a smoke?"

Xia Xingcheng was momentarily dumbfounded. Although he had smoked a couple of times before and wasn't unable to do it, taking a drag of Yang Youming's own cigarette would obviously be inappropriate.

Immediately after, Yang Youming took the cigarette back and held it between his lips, then raised his hand and pressed on Xia Xingcheng's nape.

Xia Xingcheng was at a loss. He turned his head and saw Yang Youming's side profile, his eyes narrowed and jaw slightly raised. The expression shown was clearly Yu Haiyang's.

It was then that Xia Xingcheng realized that Yang Youming was acting opposite him, yet it wasn't from any of the scenes that was going to be shot today, or even an existing scene from the script–it was a scene that would have existed between Fang Jianyuan and Yu Haiyang.

That hand on Xia Xingcheng's nape exerted some strength, as if Yang Youming was teasing a small animal.

In this improvised scene, Xia Xingcheng lowered his eyes and surrendered his body's reactions to instinct, yet they weren't Xia Xingcheng's own instincts, but Fang Jianyuan's.

He bowed his head and slightly hunched up his body.

Yang Youming lowered the cigarette from his mouth and asked, "You like girls?"

Xia Xingcheng suddenly looked up at him.

Yang Youming's eyes sharpened.

For a split second, Xia Xingcheng felt that his surroundings had merged together with the scene from that morning.

Yang Youming's voice was low and solemn. "You've been very naughty."

Xia Xingcheng couldn't differentiate between Yu Haiyang or Yang Youming, and couldn't figure out what to say himself. He opened his mouth, wanting to defend himself, but could only manage, "I–"

Yang Youming said, "I don't want there to be a next time."

Xia Xingcheng's lips were dry. He couldn't help licking at his lower lip and said obediently, "There won't be a next time."

Yang Youming gently stroked his nape, the movement becoming more tender, and his voice also became less cold. He rubbed at the short hairs on the back of Xia Xingcheng's neck and said, "That's a good boy."

With that, Yang Youming stood up and left.

Xia Xingcheng was left alone on the bed, growing increasingly distraught, and he gradually became unable to tell whether his restlessness belonged to Fang Jianyuan or himself.

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