With more than forty people seated around seven or eight tables, the group almost filled up the entire space on the second floor of the restaurant.
During the period of filming, in order to keep their weight in check, artists could not eat much. Especially now that it was night time, eating meant gaining weight. Thus, during filming, opportunities like this to eat barbecue was absolutely rare. After all, how could one gain weight when you only ate meat once in a while?
Each table held 100 skewers of lamb, 100 skewers of beef, 100 skewers of squid, 100 skewers of chicken wings, a large pot of crayfish, and a large basin of sheep scorpion . The aroma was very fragrant and the boss’s wife, with sweat pouring down like raindrops, swept back and forth to deliver the meal, while the boss, shirtless also carried in boxes of beer.
The atmosphere was unprecedentedly harmonious. Everyone clinked plates and glasses while chatting and roaring at one another for fun. After eating a few mouthfuls of food, they clamored to drink and toast one another.
In this atmosphere, even Huo Xie was pulled off his high horse and had started to drink. Only Duan Xiubo and Yuan Bing were able to sit at the main table peacefully and tranquilly, relying only on a cold smile to keep people from being presumptuous.
As a director, Huo Xie needed to bolster the enthusiasm of the crew. So, though he usually had a bad temper when working, he would not display it in private. What’s more, he liked the feeling of a myriad of stars surrounding the moon.
He moved his fat body and grabbed ten skewers of lamb from one table while eating five chicken wings at another table. Soon everyone was determined to block him from getting to their tables and kept him away from their plates by proposing a toast directly.
Huo Xie was unconvinced: “What’s wrong with giving me a bunch of them!? I just want to taste!”
A pot of sheep scorpion was finished clean by him. Someone from the table of camera crew members angrily found an employee to make them another serving while raising his middle finger at Huo Xie: Your high blood pressure! Aren’t you trying to lose weight?”
Huo Xie pretended to vomit: “our friendship as comrades-in-arms has been lost over a basin of mutton. Your heart has changed!”
Luo Ding didn’t like drinking much, especially beer. The bitter bubbles simply tormented his mouth. Even in the hottest summer, he had never appreciated the beauty in an ice-cold beer that everyone praised. The same was true for red wine. He had come from a poor background. Thus, his understanding of art was slowly learned after he got his start. Things like appreciating the fragrance of red wine had never been with him. Compared with such things, Baijiu was more pleasing to him, though it was spicy in the throat, it had a mellow aftertaste, and in his life a fragrant wine was never lonely.
But for today’s drinking session, since he was obviously not aiming at getting himself drunk it was naturally impossible to put such strong liquor on the table. Observing his fellow colleagues who were playing around and looking for people to accompany them, Luo Ding moved his chair silently toward the corner, hoping to not be so unlucky as to be picked on.
However, other than the three people seated in the main seats, he was the fourth most important person in the crew. No matter where he hid, he couldn’t escape the people who came for him.
This body did not drink much, and while he busy filming Luo Ding had no time to practice drinking in private. After being caught by others and forced to drink a few glasses, his face turned red. His eyes were flushed and watery because of drunkenness. There was an uncomfortable frown on his face and as such many of the people who had wanted to provoke him into drinking more became soft-hearted.
Luo Ding was very popular. He had close relationships with many people in the crew that were not just superficial. Although they were not like close friends who would step up to clear the obstacles for him in a time of distress, many of them would still be willing to raise up their hands to help as much as they can.
As he had been intentionally or unintentionally cornered by this group of people, Luo Ding shook his head and turned towards the window to let the breeze blow through his hair.
The summer heat had not yet passed, and the smell of the wind was stuffy and warm. In the night, the lights from the film and television city stretched out alongside the river. Several film sets in the distance were probably shooting night scenes and were equally lively.
Luo Ding’s drunkenness swelled more and more. He was very uncomfortable. He clutched his belly and lay on the edge of the window wanting to vomit.
Suddenly, his ears felt cold, and he raised his head excitedly.
Duan Xiubo held a bottle of still frosted mineral water in his hands and leaned down to look at him gently.
“… Thank you.” He accepted the mineral water and found that the bottle cap had been twisted open. Luo Ding was more and more moved by Duan Xiubo’s attentiveness. As the cold and tasteless liquid entered his belly, the feeling of nausea eased significantly.
Duan Xiubo asked him, “Did you drink on an empty stomach? Last time at Uncle Gongliang’s banquet, you were at the point of death after two glasses. You haven’t had any alcohol before?”
Luo Ding smiled: “I didn’t have the chance to drink much before.”
Duan Xiubo thought about it. With Luo Ding’s previous level of popularity, he was probably scorned by others at dinner parties. It was inevitable that he will currently be unaccustomed to drinking.
Pulling a stool, he sat down next to Luo Ding, touched the other’s head and said, “I grew up abroad where alcohol was strictly controlled. I didn’t touch alcohol before I was sixteen. Later, after I grew up and the restrictions were lifted I was suddenly surrounded by smoking, drinking, tattooing, and marijuana. I thought at that time that the adult world was really rotten. “
Luo Ding laughed.
Duan Xiubo looked at him softly. The flurry of emotions in his eyes could almost drown a person but they receded as soon as Luo Ding looked up.
He thought of the two words Luo Ding had said to him at the Martial Arts club the other day.
“I’m not a child.”
“I’m a man.”
Feeling protective of Luo Ding, Duan Xiubo went on to say: “In the future, two hours before bedtime every day, you can practice building your alcohol tolerance by yourself when you are at home using white wine. For the first time, try drinking just a glass. If you are not drunk, just have another until you are drunk. On the second day, add half a glass or a one glass to the amount you drank the first day. This is how I practiced and now I can tolerate at least two pounds.
Luo Ding’s previous alcohol tolerance was built by dining out. After many episodes of ugly drunkenness, he was finally victorious. Duan Xiubo’s method was not half bad, no one would see the ugliness behind closed doors. Luo Ding nodded with a smile, and replied sincerely: “Thank you.”
Then he saw that Duan Xiubo’s smile had become more cheerful.
The atmosphere was still. At this moment, two people faced one other, their expressions gentle as though carved in a mold yet the falsehood disguised under their gentleness had long since faded away.
But there were some people who were impervious to an obvious situation…
His back was shoved abruptly, and Luo Ding staggered for a moment and fell in the direction of Duan Xiubo’s arms. Startled, Duan Xiubo opened his arms to receive him. Fortunately, Luo Ding’s reacted quickly and braced himself with his hand and eventually did not fall into Duan Xiubo’s arms.
“Luo Ding! Come on! Have a drink!” Luo Ding turned his head towards the voice. His face was flushed as he grabbed the bottle Yan Haoxiang was swinging close to his head. “Give me some face! Cheers! One bottle!”
“Brother Yan …” Luo Ding put aside the frown he had shown when dealing with everyone else earlier and said to Yan Haoxiang. “I’m almost drunk, this bottle can’t be poured down.”
Yan Haoxiang was a good drinker. Though he was not drunk even after drinking so much, his brain, after being stimulated by alcohol, was excited. It was hard to find any trace of his original demeanor. Luo Ding’s refusal was difficult for him to comprehend. Social gatherings were for drinking!
“Aren’t you going to give me face !?” Yan Haoxiang’s eyes widened and pushed the bottle closer, “Drink! Since we are brothers you have to drink!”
Who the fuck is brothers with you!
Luo Ding really wanted to spit on his face, but although he was drunk, his reason was still there, and he could only explain that he had a low tolerance for alcohol as sincerely as possible.
However, Yan Haoxiang felt a little shameless. In fact, Yan Haoxiang had not been willing to talk to Luo Ding when he was in the crew before. He was an experienced actor with some fame. Compared with small artists, such as Luo Ding, who were mostly known on the Internet, he was at a higher-end. But later, he saw Luo Ding’s popularity in the crew getting better and better. Even the two starring actors were taken in by him. As more and more personal information was revealed during the filming process, Luo ding’s prospects appeared better and better. Yan Haoxiang couldn’t sit still and began to exert his privileges as a senior over Luo Ding.
The warm and respectful attitude shown to him by Luo Ding who was popular in the crew also encouraged his vanity, so the more people present, the more willing he was to show off his good relationship with Luo Ding.
Yan Haoxiang was not a perceptive person. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have stayed in the entertainment industry for so long and still remained as a supporting actor despite his experience. This lack of perceptiveness caused Luo Ding, who was always considerate, a headache. Yan Haoxiang did not understand veiled rejection, yet it was clear that should Luo Ding refuse directly the other party will get angry, make trouble and everyone will be unhappy. It was useless to play a lute before swine. Luo Ding stared at Yan Haoxiang for a while, frowned and reached out to pick up the bottle. He would just drink it.
Unexpectedly, a hand suddenly stretched out to take away the long-necked beer bottle.
Duan Xiubo grabbed the bottle by the neck and clinked the bottom of the bottle against the one held in Yan Haoxiang’s other hand. He then he placed it against his mouth and finished the entire bottle of beer clean.
He shook the mouth of the bottle and when no liquid dripped out. Duan Xiubo smiled, tilted his head and stared at the other side: “Luo Ding is not feeling well. I’ll drink for him. Is that all right?”
The surrounding crowd who were originally prepared to persuade Yan Haoxiang to not be so aggressive were stunned for a moment. Duan Xiubo was drinking for Luoding? How much face was this?
At normal times these two did not appear to have such a close relationship. Besides this kind of action was usually something that a subordinate would do for their boss, yet Duan Xiubo carried it out without any pressure?
Yan Haoxiang was stunned. He stepped back and glanced around. Noticing the suppressed crowd, he could see that something was wrong. Even though he was stupid, he knew that he must have committed an error.
Confronting Duan Xiubo directly was something he had never considered. He laughed twice, nodded and babbled a few times about not daring to accept the honor. Embarrassed and panicked he turned and hid in the crowd.
Luo Ding was also a little surprised. He watched as Duan Xiubo placed the empty bottle on the window sill. He was filled with some complicated and inexplicable emotions in his heart. Duan Xiubo had actually helped him avoid drinking the wine?
He had also enjoyed this treatment in his previous life, but at that time he had already achieved fame, and was surrounded by “friends” who wanted to please him for benefits. But now, as a third-tier celebrity with no fame, no status, and no resources, why was Duan Xiubo so considerate of him?
After drinking alcohol, people tended to be delicate and to overthink. Luo Ding’s head was filled with these messy thoughts. Apart from looking up at Duan Xiubo for a while, he didn’t know what else to do.
“What’s wrong?” Duan Xiubo didn’t feel that he had done anything exceptional. As a celebrity it was not good to get drunk in public. Since Luo Ding couldn’t drink as much as he could, he had drunk in his stead. As long as he was willing to do it, this was not a big deal. As for what others thought? He didn’t care.
The problem with blocking wine for others was that once you start it can’t be stopped. The other actors in the room who had not dared to toast to him before when he was not drinking, now came up, one by one, and tried to get familiar.
After Duan Xiubo was filled with six or seven bottles, his stomach became uncomfortable, so he covered his forehead and pretended to be drunk to get rid of them. As soon as he returned to Luo Ding’s side, Duan Xiubo saw that Luo Ding was sitting on a chair with his body propped up and watching him with dazed eyes.
Luo Ding’s facial features were very delicate. He had long and large eyes with thick eyelashes. His pupils were larger than that of most ordinary people and when you looked into them his eyes always appeared energetic. This was a detail Luo Ding couldn’t get rid of. But after drinking alcohol, perhaps because his brain was a bit disorderly, Luo Ding expression was not as well composed as usual. His long eyelashes blinked and blinked, and thin pink lips were opened to reveal his two front teeth. His facial expression was blank, and he looked utterly stupid and cute.
Duan Xiubo’s heart was completely messed up by him, and only goodness knew how much perseverance it took to resist the urge to touch the other person’s face. He and Luo Ding looked at each other for a while. But after about ten minutes, Luo Ding still maintained this same expression, and Duan Xiubo understood that something wrong.
“Luo Ding?” Duan Xiubo leaned over and said carefully while observing Luo Ding’s movements.
After about a minute or so, Luo Ding’s delicate nose wrinkled, and his mouth opened a little uncertainly: “… Huh?”
“…” Duan Xiubo pouted helplessly and stood up. Luo Ding was drunk.
He hurried back to the crowd and dragged out Huo Xie who had been pulled into playing a rock paper scissor game. The punishment for losing was to have his hair braided into pigtails. Duan Xiubo asked him loudly, “Where is Wu Fangyuan?”
Not to mention how funny Huo Xie looked with pigtails, his eyes were bright because of his raised fighting spirit and his hands were still constantly throwing out scissors and stones: “Who?! Who? Who is Wu Fangyuan?”
Duan Xiubo rolled his eyes and said into his ear: “Luo Ding is drunk! Let Wu Fangyuan take him home to rest!”
Huo Xie finally understood, and shook his head: “What time is it now? Wu Fangyuan? How can he still be here? He was sent home in the afternoon. Luo Ding will stay the night. Isn’t he in the same hotel as you? “
The logistics manager who had been playing rock paper scissors in the opposite direction heard the response and said: “Luo Ding? I checked him out of his room at noon. Wasn’t his character killed today? Earlier, the group of new cast members arrived at the film and television city and said there weren’t enough rooms. So, when the hotel manager had asked me if there were any check outs, I gave Luo Ding’s room back after asking him.”
Huo Xie made a mistake and pulled out “rock” ending the game there. The girls who had pulled out paper rushed to him to braid his hair into pig tails.
“So, that …”
“Ah, why are you so troublesome? Everyone can just squeeze together as much as they can!”
Just as the fun had started someone couldn’t help but interrupt them with conversation. Huo Xie eyes brightened as he looked at the table. He grabbed a bunch of roasted chicken wings and put them in Duan Xiubo’s hand. Here you are. My babies. I have entrusted them to you. Go on, go. I am still busy here.”
Duan Xiubo returned unsuccessfully, holding a skewer of grilled chicken wings. His frown was very deep, but his heart was slightly excited.
But this excitement did not bode well for him or Luo Ding.
“Yuan jie,” he went to find Yuan Bing, “Can Luo Ding stay in your house tonight?”
Yuan Bing stared at him with a look as if he was crazy: “Are you drunk?”
“… a little.” Duan Xiubo also felt a bit silly. He covered his head with his hand and continued looking around for his next target. As soon as he turned around, he saw Yan Haoxiang approach Luo Ding.
He felt uneasy, as if his child was about to be abducted. The look in Duan Xiubo’s eyes suddenly sharpened, and he walked back quickly. As expected he heard Yan Haoxiang tempting Luo Ding: “I have an empty bed in my hotel …”
Luo Ding stared at Yan Haoxiang blankly as though puzzled. He was heartbreakingly cute.
With the corner of his mouth twitching, Duan Xiubo stared at the would-be kidnapper. Did he have to keep this guy in his hands tonight? He stepped forward, grabbed Luo Ding’s arm and stood him up. Then he wrapped one arm around Luo Ding’s neck and held his waist with his other hand in the standard posture for carrying a drunk man.: “Xiao Yan, there’s no need for you to be so busy. The rooms on my side are slightly larger. Everyone is tired tonight, and you can’t take care of him. Director Huo has said it would be good for him to sleep in my room.”
Yan Haoxiang blinked, his back felt inexplicably cold. He took a few steps back, smiled and nodded to Duan Xiubo: “Ok, you have worked hard. If you need anything, I am in room 6330 on the third floor. I can give you a hand.”
Duan Xiubo watched him leave and looked back at Luo Ding’s quiet and bewildered gaze. He felt as though someone had knocked his skull with a hammer.
On the way back, he did not dare to have too much physical contact with Luo Ding, so he merely supported the other. After Luo Ding stepped out, he had lowered his head so Duan Xiubo could not see his expression. Fortunately, though his steps were slow he did not stagger and thus did not need too much help.
It was just that … when the palm of Duan Xiubo’s hand had held on to Luo Ding’s waist, the fact that the latter’s ribs could be felt through the fabric of his clothing was really distressing. Luo Ding was abnormally light such that one arm was sufficient to support him. Such a thin body was not the normal weight of a man of this size.
It was only at this time, Duan Xiubo could see past his calm and conscientious behavior and see his age. Luo Ding was only twenty-three years old and worked alone at this age when many students were still studying. This young man was six or seven years younger than Duan Xiubo but was so mature he did not seem like a young man at all.
For Duan Xiubo to be able to achieve what he has today, he knew what he had gone through in his childhood and adolescence. Luo Ding may have an experience that was no less painful than his. This recognition made Duan Xiubo’s heart tremble slightly in pain.
Duan Xiubo’s room was on the sixth floor of the hotel. This was the largest hotel in the film and television city and his room was on the highest floor. Luo Ding’s previous room had been on the third floor of this building. Duan Xiubo never visited him. He had normally avoided this kind of ambiguous contact. But today, obviously, it is impossible to avoid it.
The rooms on the sixth floor were definitely different from those on the third floor. The size alone was more than twice as a large and its décor was similar to that of hotel rooms outside the film and television city.
Duan Xiubo sat on the bed while holding Luo Ding, who was cleverly sitting upright. After quieting down, Luo Ding raised his head again, and looked at Duan Xiubo with big eyes and a blank face.
Duan Xiubo licked his lips, clenched his fist and took two steps back. He stared at Luo Ding, looked around and ran to the entrance to turn on all the lights in the hotel room, including those in the toilet.
Standing at least five steps away from Luo Ding, he asked loudly, “Would you like to drink some water?”
Luo Ding stared at him for a minute and shook his head. His mouth opened slightly with the movement and his white incisors emerged from the gap.
Why so cute! !! !! !! !!
Duan Xiubo’s heart throbbed. He clenched his fists, reminded himself to exercise restraint, and then stepped back: “Are you sleepy? Are you sleepy or not? Would you like to sleep?” Worried that Luo Ding could not understand, he still put his hands together on the side of his face in a sleeping gesture.
Luo Ding stared at him, then slowly, very slowly, smiled.
His long and large eyes were crinkled, and his glittering gaze reflected the bright lights of the room and felt as if stars from the milky way galaxy had fallen. His pink lips were open because his smile was so wide. He showed a lot of teeth as well as his soft tongue which lay against the inner side of his lower teeth.
Luo Ding didn’t even laugh but just sat there and grinned foolishly all by himself.
Duan Xiubo blankly retracted his hand from the side of his face, while staring at the drunk who was sitting there seemingly laughing at him. He hesitated for a few seconds, and finally gave in.
In any case, sooner or later one must die so let’s die early.
He unbuttoned the collar of his shirt and sighed, “I’ll get you bath water.”
Luo Ding waited until Duan Xiubo had entered the bathroom, and the sound of the water from the tap sounded before nodding his head with a earnestly serious expression.
Duan Xiubo stared at the white bath, filled with worry. He must have been possessed to carry this big baby back here. What to do when he takes a bath in a while? Anyway, it was impossible for him not to take a shower. Sleeping drunk while fully clothed was absolutely unacceptable. Would it be enough for Luo Ding to sleep just one night? But could Luo Ding take care of himself? If he could not, would he have to help him wash up? But what if his hand touches something that shouldn’t be touched. Fuck .. fuck…fuck. Don’t think about it.
After at least 20 minutes in the bathroom, Duan Xiubo did a good job rebuilding his psychological defenses and returned to the room. His gaze he swept towards the bed, but Luo Ding was no longer there.
Luo Ding had opened the curtains and was sitting at the bay window, holding his knees up against the wall and smoking.
He had opened the window a little and tilted his head to look at the sky. one hand was resting on his knees to support his face while the other was holding the cigarette against the open window frame.
For a while Duan Xiubo didn’t dare to speak. Currently this Luo Ding gave him a completely different feeling from the one he usually got along with.
While he had a somewhat dazed expression similar to that of earlier, Luo Ding’s eyes were vacant, and his lips were pursed. After staring at the sky for a long time, he retracted his hand from the window frame and took a puff at the cigarette he was holding.
His smoking posture was very beautiful and carried a sense of the vicissitudes of a scholarly youth. When the white smoke rose from his mouth to surround him, the melancholy of this young man was so deep that for a moment Duan Xiubo thought that Luo Ding’s weak physique could not possibly support such strong negative emotions.
After noticing Duan Xuibo, Luo Ding didn’t move and just continued his actions from when Duan Xiubo had first seen him.
Duan Xiubo sighed. Tonight, he had sighed more than ever before. Only Luo Ding could make him feel so helpless.
He approached Luo Ding and asked with some concern: “Luo Xiaoding, what’s wrong with you?”
Luo Ding retracted his hands and stared at Duan Xiubo as if he had been scalded. He didn’t seem to understand why there was another person in the room. His eyes were dull and uncertain. After a while he slowly recovered…. to his previous state of dazed stupidity “… oh.”
What do you mean … oh?!
Duan Xiubo was completely defeated. He had to reach out to take away the cigarette from Luo Ding’s hand and coax him: “Smoking will cause your teeth to turn yellow and you’d have a body odor. Don’t smoke. Be obedient. Get up. I’ll take you to take the bath.”
Pushing Luo Ding into the bathroom, he asked uncertainly: “Can you undress yourself?”
Luo Ding listened and looked down. He first took out a pack of cigarettes from the trouser pocket and threw it to the ground, then took out the lighter from the other trouser pocket, and then began to touch the pocket of his clothes. After throwing everything away, including his wallet, he started trying to get rid of his t-shirt.
Duan Xiubo stood three steps away silently watching the young man who was dazedly about to put his knees in his t-shirt, and who did not understand why he was struggling. He sighed. He did not know how many times he had conceded defeat tonight. He rolled up his sleeves and said: “I’ll do it.”
Luo Ding also wanted to help him, but Duan Xiubo stopped him.
Duan Xiubo didn’t do anything further when Luo Ding was left with his underwear. He grabbed Luo Ding’s arm from a safe distance and led him into the bathtub. He wrapped his hand in a towel to wipe down Luo Ding’s body.
Luo Ding sat cross-legged in the bathtub and looked up at him. He smiled when Duan Xiubo scrubbed a ticklish spot but the rest of the time he was expressionless.
The atmosphere was frozen for a while. But of course, any embarrassment was only felt by Duan Xiubo. Duan Xiubo stared at the white skin of the youth under his palms. It was clear that Luo Ding probably didn’t get much sun exposure. His skin was really pale as if it had never seen the sun. However, his figure was slightly better than Duan Xiubo had imagined. Though he was really thin, and his ribs were clearly visible, his waist and arms were obviously covered with a thin layer of muscles. So, although he was still weak, he appeared much healthier than when he was wearing clothes.
The quiet and calm attitude of the young man made this section of interactions that Duan Xiubo had initially dreaded pass by more harmoniously than expected. Duan Xiubo also slowly lowered his guard. He sat at the edge of the bathtub and helped Luo Ding wash his hair while holding the shower head in his hand. Both of them were a little unskilled in cleaning up the white foam on Luo Ding’s hair. Duan Xiubo was surprised to realize that this seemed to be the first time he had cared for a person so thoughtfully.
“Don’t play with the bubbles.” He pressed on Luo Ding’s hand which was spreading out the foam in his hair. The look in Duan Xuibo’s eyes was soft enough to melt him away.
Luo Ding was a little panicked when his face was covered with a large towel. Duan Xiubo quickly wrapped him up with a bath towel and helped him out of the bathtub and onto the ground. He was finally relieved. Luo Ding who stood barefoot on the tile, curled up his toes, and whispered, “Cold.”
“It’ll be fine in a while.” Duan Xiubo wiped Luo Ding’s body dry, then took a bathrobe and helped him put it on. Finally, he took off Luo Ding’s last layer of underpants, and sighed, “OK, go out I’ll blow dry your hair! “
Luo Ding frowned, reached out and pulled off the bathrobe. Probably the hotel’s bathrobe was not of good quality and was uncomfortable to wear. Duan Xiubo opened the door, and when he turned back, he saw a naked guy standing in place. Duan Xiubo’s lower abdomen tightened suddenly, and he turned his head turned hurriedly. His voice was even indignant: “What’s wrong?”
Luo Ding, who didn’t seem to understand Duan Xiubo’s pain at all, responded frankly after half a beat, “It’s not comfortable.”
Duan Xiubo had no choice but to find his own shirt in his suitcase and come back to cover Luo Ding up. The length of the shirt barely covered the base of his thigh and the overly wide shoulders drooped down, but the white clothes highlighted his delicate skin, and his smooth, long straight legs. The corners of Duan Xiubo mouth and eyes start to twitch like crazy. More than when he was not wearing clothes this look was even more … even more …
Looking at the young man, who now finally satisfied with his new pajamas, obediently sitting on the bed and waiting for him to blow dry his hair. Duan Xiubo spent three seconds thinking whether it was too late to find someone to exchange rooms with him. Finally, he moved his eyes away from the other’s thighs and landed on the black hair dryer.
As Luo Ding’s soft hair passed between his fingers, Duan Xiubo’s fiery thoughts gradually faded with each touch of the other’s soft dense hair. Tenderness replaced ambiguity and gradually filled the room. Duan Xiubo’s blow dry technique was very gentle, and he did not use too much force. Occasionally, he also gently massaged the scalp with his fingertips. The pressure on his scalp was appropriate. Coupled with his drunkenness, Luo Ding was soon drowsy.
Duan Xiubo turned off the blow dryer. When he saw that the young man’s dazed eyes were opened to only half the size from before, he immediately laughed.
Although there was only one bed in the hotel, it was very large. He stuffed a pillow in the middle of the bed, and then placed Luo Ding under the quilt on the right. He and patted Luo Ding’s head and said compassionately: “Sleep.”
Duan Xiubo, who had never had a normal relationship with his family, had finally experienced a family atmosphere through Luo Ding. Like a thirsty traveler holding a pot of clear water, he rationally told himself that this pot of liquid was likely to cause him fatal harm, but emotionally, he could not resist such a powerful temptation.
After drinking wine his reason may have been impaired and he was not sure if he could control his own thoughts thus Duan Xiubo had rarely touched Luo Ding’s skin with his bare hands tonight. He had even tried to keep his distance when talking.
However, at this time, just this brief period of intimacy with the person in front of him while blow-drying his hair had filled his heart with such strong contentment and joy that it had almost occupied his entire chest.
It feels like … it’s like poison.
Duan Xiubo stood up, turned off the lights for Luo Ding and watched him close his eyes to sleep in the dark before returning to the bathroom to bathe himself. While showering, he glanced down at the part of his body which had slightly raised its head, frowned deeply, and ignored it …. Not touching it.
Duan Xiubo washed Luo Ding’s underclothes and hung them over the air vents and then gently walked to the other side of the bed and lay down quietly. Before falling asleep he lay down on the pillow resting in the middle of the bed and looked at Luo Ding as if spellbound.
Stretching his arms to tidy the quilt that had fallen down for the other party, he sighed slightly.
That’s it. It’s best to not bother him.
Luo Ding has been sent to torment Duan Xiubo. No other explanation. Rest well Xiubo you’ve worked hard. Cackles.
 Sheep Scorpion. I thought this was a crazy translation. I looked it up it exists!!
A recipe for the interested: https://misschinesefood.com/braised-sheep-scorpion/
 众星捧月 [zhòng xīng pěng yuè]; meaning all the famous stars drawing a circle of admirers around him or her; or All the stars bend towards the moon; or Many people cluster around the one whom they respect.
 Baijiu is a clear liquid usually distilled from fermented sorghum, although other grains may be used; some southeastern Chinese styles may employ rice or glutinous rice, while other Chinese varieties may use wheat, barley, millet. It is essentially the national drink of china
 Drink Etiquette in China- “The default toast in China is ganbei (sounds like: “gon bay”) which literally means “dry cup.” And unlike in the West, you’ll be expected to empty your cup after each toast given, or at least give it your best effort. If everyone else at the table is drinking, you’ll most likely be put under tremendous pressure to participate — particularly in business settings. Unless you’re a monk or pregnant, you’ll be expected to give a concerted effort to match glass for glass with your hosts.”
“If you choose not to decline, you’ll need to make your intentions to abstain clear from the beginning. The choice in many scenarios is pretty much all in or nothing at all. Drinking sporadically — skipping a toast here and there — or drinking just a little is usually socially unacceptable.“
Read more about drink etiquette here https://www.tripsavvy.com/how-to-say-cheers-in-chinese-1458379
“Also, toasts are somewhat of a power move in China. The person giving the toast is seen to have the power and the person accepting the toast is somewhat acknowledging that power. Therefore, the most senior host at a banquet will usually offer the first toast.”
“Additionally, a custom followed in Chinese business circles is that higher-level company authorities who don’t wish to get wasted but don’t want to offend their host, will attend the dinner and bring along a drinking rep ( a subordinate) to do all the drinking for them” (that’s what duan xuibo did here) See: https://www.chinaeducationaltours.com/guide/article-ganbei-chinese-drinking-culture.htm