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Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Chapter 13

Chapter 13

Before Ji Bie graduated, he had to return to China to handle the formalities for graduation. Duan Zhu couldn’t accompany him; even though he had some time off, he still needed to stay in Boston to deal with some matters at the company. So, in April, Ji Bie had to go back alone.

It had been a long time since the two had been apart for such a long time. In the two weeks leading up to Ji Bie’s departure, from the moment the plane tickets were booked, Duan Zhu’s mood deteriorated significantly. Ji Bie was subjected to his torment, and he even counted down the days until he could go back.

During Ji Bie’s time in China, he didn’t want to stay at Duan’s house, and Duan Zhu didn’t want him staying at someone else’s house either. So Ji Bie compromised and rented a short-term apartment. Duan Zhu and Ji Bie decided on the apartment together. Duan Zhu suggested installing some internet-connected cameras in the apartment, but Ji Bie immediately refused.

On the day Ji Bie left, Duan Zhu got up early to see him off. A few days earlier, Ji Bie couldn’t wait to leave, but now, seeing Duan Zhu quietly park the car and help him with his luggage, Ji Bie felt reluctant to leave again. Watching Duan Zhu push his suitcase ahead, Ji Bie took a step forward and walked beside Duan Zhu, holding his hand.

Duan Zhu turned his head slightly in surprise to look at Ji Bie.

Ji Bie calmed down for a second in his mind. In the past, when there were third parties present, he and Duan Zhu had always tacitly avoided physical contact. Suddenly holding hands seemed a bit too much, so Ji Bie thought Duan Zhu would pull his hand away.

Unexpectedly, Duan Zhu hesitated for a moment, then tightened his grip.

Feeling a bit embarrassed, Ji Bie still held Duan Zhu’s hand, and they walked together to the security checkpoint like elementary school kids on a field trip.

Just a few days after returning to China, Ji Bie was invited to dinner by members of the debate club.

He hadn’t seen his club friends for over a year, and they had a lively discussion from the past to the present. Zhu Yin sat next to Ji Bie, and when the conversation paused for a moment, Zhu Yin tugged at Ji Bie’s sleeve and asked him in a low voice, “Which university did you finally choose?”

Zhu Yin and Ji Bie had been in contact a lot, discussing everything from preparing application materials to choosing a school. At first, Ji Bie would tell him about every acceptance letter he received, but later, he didn’t mention it much.

Ji Bie mentioned the name of a university, and Zhu Yin frowned. He asked Ji Bie, “Why did you choose that one?”

“None of the other universities in Boston accepted me,” Ji Bie’s voice was a bit low, and he spoke a little faster, “This one offered a full scholarship, and I also wanted to stay in Boston.”

Zhu Yin looked at Ji Bie for a moment before saying, “Wasn’t the first university that accepted you also a full scholarship? Isn’t that one much better?”

He still remembered when Ji Bie received that acceptance letter and was very happy; he even called him.

“I want to go there for a year first and see if I can transfer,” Ji Bie’s tone was flat, and he didn’t show much emotion on his face. “The first one I applied to, I just randomly chose. I didn’t really want to go there.”

Zhu Yin couldn’t quite understand Ji Bie’s choice and had many doubts in his mind. However, he was also going to a university in Boston and asked Ji Bie if he wanted to rent a place together.

Ji Bie hesitated for a moment before saying he already had a roommate.

“Who is it?” Zhu Yin asked him. “Is it a friend you met there?”

Ji Bie thought that Zhu Yin would eventually meet him, so he didn’t hide it: “It’s Duan Zhu.”

Seeing Zhu Yin’s hesitant expression, Ji Bie didn’t want him to continue questioning, so he casually changed the subject and diverted the topic.

Ji Bie had originally planned to return to Boston in mid-June.

On June 10th, after completing his final task, he remembered the video calls with Duan Zhu in the past few days, where Duan Zhu always asked if he remembered the date he was coming home. Suddenly, Ji Bie felt a bit of longing for Duan Zhu, so he checked the flight tickets. To his surprise, he found that there was a flight with available seats that evening. Ji Bie quickly bought a ticket, hurriedly packed his things, and went to the airport.

Ji Bie hardly slept on the plane. When he landed, his phone suddenly received a bunch of notifications, including many emails from unfamiliar email addresses, all with attachments.

Ji Bie hesitated for a moment, then opened one of the emails. Inside were two photos of Duan Zhu having dinner with a girl.

Duan Zhu was dressed formally, and the girl was wearing a pretty dress and sparkling jewelry. At first glance, they looked like a good match. Ji Bie stared at the photos for a moment, then smiled.

He didn’t know why he was smiling, but he genuinely didn’t feel hurt, surprised, or heavy.

Ji Bie opened a few more emails, all containing photos of Duan Zhu with the same girl that day, eating dinner and politely opening the car door for her.

The last two emails showed Ji Bie and Duan Zhu, walking outside the house together, with their backs to the camera. It seemed to be taken in early spring at dusk. Ji Bie and Duan Zhu were a short distance apart, and their relationship couldn’t be determined from the photo. The composition of the photos was surprisingly good. The emails also contained many rude but unremarkable insults directed at Ji Bie, but he couldn’t be bothered to read them.

After some thought, he replied to that email address: “Do you have the original images for the last two emails?”

After waiting for a while without a reply, Ji Bie picked up his luggage and took a taxi home.

On the way home, Ji Bie couldn’t help but call Duan Zhu.

Duan Zhu’s phone rang for a while before he answered. Ji Bie asked him, “Where are you?”

“I’m outside,” Duan Zhu said, his voice lowered, as if he were in some social setting, with a bit of background noise.

Ji Bie paused, looking at the street scene outside the car, and asked Duan Zhu, “Are you coming home tonight?”

After a few seconds of silence on Duan Zhu’s end, as if whispering something to the person beside him, he answered Ji Bie, “It might be too late, so I’ll probably stay out.”

“Okay,” Ji Bie said, then asked Duan Zhu, “Is the young master not having someone accompany him tonight?”

Duan Zhu chuckled on the other end before saying to Ji Bie, “You’re not here.”

“What about tomorrow?” Ji Bie asked him. “Are you coming home tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow is not certain either,” Duan Zhu said as he walked to a quieter place. “What’s gotten into you today?”

“What do you mean, ‘what’s gotten into me’?” Ji Bie whispered. “I won’t tell you anymore. I’m hanging up.”

With that, he really hung up.

Duan Zhu was probably truly busy, as he didn’t return Ji Bie’s call or text him, cutting off communication like that.

Ji Bie arrived home and went through it from top to bottom to see if Duan Zhu had added any new items, but to his disappointment, there was nothing.

He had originally intended to sleep in the bedroom on the third floor with Duan Zhu, but the bed was too big. After lying there for a while feeling uncomfortable, he grabbed a pillow and went downstairs to sleep in the small guest room on the second floor.

Ji Bie, who hadn’t closed his eyes for a long time, had a long and good dream on the small bed. As the dream was ending, someone shook him awake. Ji Bie opened his eyes and saw Duan Zhu’s face, thinking he was still dreaming, he boldly reached out to slap Duan Zhu, but his wrist was caught by Duan Zhu before he could.

“Why are you sleeping here?” Duan Zhu asked him gently.

It took Ji Bie a moment to realize that this Duan Zhu was real. He looked at Duan Zhu for a moment, smiled at him, and said, “How did the young master come back? What time is it?”

With that, he grabbed Duan Zhu’s hand, looked at his watch, and found that it was already three o’clock in the morning.

“Why did you come back?” Ji Bie asked Duan Zhu happily.

Duan Zhu said, “I was afraid you’d come back, so I came to check on you.”

It had been over fifty days since Ji Bie had seen him, so he hugged Duan Zhu’s neck, buried his face in Duan Zhu’s shoulder, and finally had a true face-to-face feeling. He kissed Duan Zhu twice, then half knelt and said to Duan Zhu, “Big Young master, carry me upstairs.”

When Ji Bie made Duan Zhu too tired to move, Duan Zhu often carried him, but he had never been carried by him.

Carrying someone like this was quite a laborious task, not befitting of the identity of a young master, but that day Ji Bie couldn’t explain why he wanted Duan Zhu to carry him, so he whispered to Duan Zhu’s ear, “Carry me up, and I’ll *blow you.”

*yao(咬)- literally bite. Alternative form of 口交 (kǒujiāo, “oral sex; to perform oral sex on”)

Duan Zhu didn’t say anything, he just carried Ji Bie on his back. Ji Bie wrapped his legs around Duan Zhu’s waist, pressed his upper body tightly against Duan Zhu’s back, and hooked his feet. His ten toes were fair and round, and a hint of pink showed through the joints of his ankles.

Duan Zhu carried him upstairs and put him on the master bed. Ji Bie leaned forward to unfasten Duan Zhu’s belt, but his hand was held by Duan Zhu. Duan Zhu looked down at him, kissed Ji Bie’s forehead, and said, “Stop messing around. Go to sleep.”

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