Xin Lan exhaled and then turned to his lover. “You must think I’m troublesome for being like this.”
Hua Lin Yu looked at him and after a moment’s consideration, he shook his head. “I wouldn’t mind if you showed a better face in the day when we go around and meet people. But it’s not troublesome. In any case, I can understand why you’re being like this. It’s just that you have no reason.”
Xin Lan continued to look at him and then finally turned his hand, gently holding Hua Lin Yu’s. “I know that. If I think about it, I also know. But I can’t help my feelings. Maybe this is because back then, we didn’t get married. Everything happened so fast. When I thought that everything was perfect and wanted to go ahead, I was suddenly confronted with the fact that I was wrong. Nothing was alright.”
Hua Lin Yu’s expression fell and Xin Lan sighed again.
“I know that I shouldn’t bring it up. It is just that I’m afraid I can’t explain it without doing so. You see, I don’t know what it is but I have this feeling that we are at exactly that same place again. I want to ask you to take the next step, to make it official between us but I’m afraid that if I do speak up about it it will just end like the last time. And seeing you so close to other people probably just adds to that.” His expression was a little dull when he said so which wasn’t helped by the fact that half his face was hidden behind the mask.
Hua Lin Yu stared at him, not sure where to begin. He had also thought that they were at a place in their relationship where it would be possible to go forward with things. And he hadn’t told Xin Lan precisely because he didn’t want to disappoint him in case something did go wrong. Now, he wasn’t sure if maybe it wouldn’t have been better to tell him. At the very least, he would’ve had something to look forward to.
He wanted to speak up and make it clear but Xin Lan shook his head, leaning closer until their foreheads touched. “Don’t feel pressured to say anything. These are my own feelings. I probably shouldn’t burden you with them or even say them in the first place. It is just that looking at me like this you probably aren’t happy so want you to know what is going on. But still, I have to deal with that on my own. You do not need to take care of it for me. I just wanted you to know why.”
Hua Lin Yu nodded but inside, he couldn’t help but assert to himself once again that after they had left here, he would definitely go through with it. He wouldn’t leave Xin Lan hanging again.
A moment went by and Xin Lan finally pulled back and motioned at the bed. “It was a long day and tomorrow will be pretty much the same. You should lie down and rest.”
Hua Lin Yu nodded and did as he had been told but he couldn’t help but look at Xin Lan who was still sitting at the edge of the bed. “What about you?”
Xin Lan glanced at him and shook his head. “I’ll stay up for a while longer.” In any case, he wasn’t in the mood to sleep. He reached out and brushed over Hua Lin Yu’s leg beneath the blanket and then got up, breathing a kiss onto his forehead before he left the room and just stood outside.
Hua Lin Yu didn’t know what to do. He turned onto his side and pulled the blanket up but he couldn’t fall asleep. He knew that he was hurting Xin Lan but he had needed this time to make it clear to himself that he could be happy with him and that he shouldn’t think about what had happened with Bai Mu all the time. In any case, there was no hope there. Why wouldn’t he stay with him?
Yes, this was the right decision. He wasn’t making a mistake. He tried to convince himself but being alone in the dark and having just seen again how his previous actions had hurt Xin Lan, the guilty conscience was still there.
On the other hand, Xin Lan looked up at the sky and couldn’t help but worry himself.
At that time, Wu Ya was on his way back to the room that he had been given after talking with the people of the town. Seeing Xin Lan outside alone, he raised his brows and went over. “What’s the matter with you?”
Xin Lan turned to look at him, his gaze insipid. “I came out for some fresh air. Can’t I?”
Wu Ya raised a hand and rubbed his chin, looking at him deeply. “You sure can but your fiance is inside. I’ve seen people in less serious relationships that would stick to each other all day. How come you’re out here alone now at this time of the night?”
Xin Lan narrowed his eyes, not happy about being reminded of this matter. “As you just said yourself: He is my fiance, not my husband. Is it really that strange to keep a bit of distance?”
Wu Ya went over and tried to put an arm around Xin Lan’s shoulders but was evaded. He shrugged his own shoulders and then motioned over to the house next door with his head. “If you want to come in and drink, feel invited. In any case, I usually don’t get to see many people. It’s refreshing. I feel like having a drink would be nice.”
Xin Lan originally wanted to ignore him but in the end, he still followed along. In any case, it would be awkward to return to Hua Lin Yu’s side right now, and having a drink might at least be able to stop that hollow ache in his chest. He could sure use that right now.