When a doorbell came to his door, he knew the crew was already waiting. He smiled with a microphone clipped onto his long white shirt and readied to open the door.
“Welcome, Architectural Digest. My name is Lan Xichen and this is my husband and my house. Please, come in.”
Lan Xichen opened the door wide and let the crew in. The camera was still focused on him who had a big and bright smile on his face. The filming continued.
“So, please take off your shoes when you come in. Wanyin agrees on a policy of no shoes in the house and this is why our entrance opens up to a lower floor then a slightly elevated floor. Down there, it’s a place to take shoes off and not allow any dust or snow enter the house before coming up here to our home,” Lan Xichen explained before crouching down to grab something. “Please wear this if it’s the floor’s too cold. This is house shoes; we love wearing it during the winter especially.”
The long-haired man smiled before coming in further in and introducing the next place. The entrance was spacious and opened up to the bright kitchen and living spaces. There wasn’t much furniture in the entrance except for a small table with a white bowl on top of it and filled with keys and a garage opener. The model showed a big smile as he caught the cameraman filming their table and bowl.
“This house is different from any other houses we’ve visited, can you tell us a little bit about the house itself?” The interviewer asked, wandering about the house. Lan Xichen nodded happily at the question as they stood in the middle of the entrance hall.
“Wanyin and I bought this house five years ago. The previous owner who built this house was inspired by the simple design of older traditional houses. It’s not lavish but feels like an actual home.”
Lan Xichen moved, walking towards the kitchen and living space area. The dining table was long and made of wood. Anyone could see that it still maintained its shape and color well. It wasn’t anything grand but definitely felt warm and light up the place.
“This is our kitchen. Since Wanyin loves baking cookies, bread, and others, we’ve decided to make enough space thus the island in between the kitchen and dining table. While I mostly cook our meals,” Lan Xichen smiled as the camera did a close-up shot on the purple Kitchen Aid’s stand mixer and the white countertop and wood inspired kitchen.
“Are there any renovation done to this whole space at all?”
The model turned and closed the open fridge as he showed around the kitchen.
“There wasn’t much aside from adding the island in between the kitchen and the dining table. My younger brother, Lan Wangji helps designed our home. Since he knows our styles, he drew a sketch and helped us imagine what could be done with this space. We’re very thankful for his help,” Lan Xichen said with a smile on his face and into the camera.
They walked further down to the living room space where a big long grey couch faced the television on the wall with a fireplace underneath. The cozy couch was filled with some blankets and pillows, definitely looked comfortable enough to doze off for a nap.
“We use our dining table mostly for breakfast. For dinner, we usually eat on the sofa while watching Netflix. We both like to cuddle up in here. My adorable husband loves to lay down here, sometimes catching his precious nap time before off to filming or modeling session.”
The flutist smiled while looking at the spot and moving to the next place: a medium outdoor garden with wood floor surrounding the green space.
“This is our outdoor garden. We have herbs and strawberries growing. On the outside, we have fruits and more vegetable plants too. The indoor herb and flower on the kitchen are mint and chrysanthemums. Chrysanthemum is good for headaches and clears up the air too, definitely a good for my Wanyin.”
He winked, showing off a rare side of him that no one ever got to see except for his only beloved husband. Though, the model probably only showed off how much he actually loved his Jiang Wanyin to all the audiences. Maybe a little bit of possessiveness too.
“Would you mind telling us why the wooden floor around the garden? Have you ever used it?”
He hummed, a soft smile already decorated his face.
“Yes, we do. When the weather is warmer, we love sitting outside and reading a book or two. Wanyin mostly listens to a podcast or two before falling asleep, of course.”
Lan Xichen gestured at the space, pointing out their favorite spaces around the garden. They walked away from the garden as the model slid the door back, closing it and protecting the inside home from the winter wind outside. The camera pointed to the walls filled with arts and traditional paintings. It was obvious who did the painting around the house though some weren’t really.
“We’ve noticed your signature on these beautiful paintings, but what about the others?”
The question made the man looked away from checking his phone. With a small sorry muttered quietly on his mouth, the crew only smiled knowing the artist looked somewhat worried.
“Yes, we only have two of my paintings displayed in our house. And, we only have three of my husband’s younger brother beautiful watercolor paintings,” Lan Xichen gestured on the purple lotus painting with his red signature on the corner. The signature showed his name in Chinese characters.
“My husband loves this painting. I often find him staring at it when he’s laying or sitting down in general. Wanyin doesn’t say it but I know why he loves it.” The man’s lips turned up, revealing a small affectionate smile as he stared at his own painting. “This is actually my gift for my husband. A little view of his hometown and hopefully we’ll come and visit again soon.”
He walked a few steps to the other side of the big open glass windows and doors. Pointing at the watercolor painting on the wall. Both paintings weren’t gigantic in size in most artists’ houses, they were medium size. Just enough for people to appreciate it along with some framed pictures on the side of the television’s drawer.
“I imagine that this is your hometown, Mister Lan?” The interviewer asked as the cameraman moved, showing the mixed color of blue and white that surrounded the double floored buildings. Its surroundings were filled with white blooming flowers.
“Yes, that’s correct. Wei Wuxian, my younger brother’s husband and my husband's adopted brother gifted us this painting for my birthday. It is a nice reminder of where I grew up and we often come back to my hometown. I’ll show you something my husband gave me for my birthday. It’s in my office, on the left side of the entrance.”
Lan Xichen walked, stopping close to the staircase and all of a sudden, everything turned quiet. He was listening very carefully at every sound. When he didn’t hear anything that caught his attention, he put on a smile and gestured with his hand, showing where his office was.
“Is everything alright, Mister Lan?”
His eyebrows turned up quickly and back to the usual when he turned around to face them.
“ Ah , yes. Everything is alright. Let’s walk this way,” Lan Xichen reassured.
He slid the door open, revealing a ceramic flooring which was completely different from any other rooms in the house. A lot of white blank canvases were neatly arranged against the wall while all the drawers were organized with names attached on the outside to let the painter find what he needed easily.
The desk was neatly arranged into stacks of documents. However, one stack attracted the crew as on top of it sat a purple crystal flower as a paperweight. It caught everyone’s eyes as the light reflected it, bleeding the purple color on the desk. The model smiled before opening his mouth, saying:
“Wanyin and I weren’t big on celebrating birthdays, but it all changed when we are in a relationship. I start paying attention to his birthday and so does he. We love being together during these days,” Lan Xichen cleared his throat as if trying to make things clear. “I would like to apologize to everyone who thinks that we love parties. We rarely do actually unless invited. These days we prefer to be together with families and close friends.”
The interviewer nodded, looking at their notes before making eye contact with the collected model again.
“So, this purple lotus paperweight is a gift from your husband? That’s really cute actually,” the interviewer almost squeal.
He nodded, saying:
“Wanyin is so adorable. He didn’t tell me how he got it but it seems handmade.”
Lan Xichen only smiled and continued walking to show his bookshelves. Some of the books were in different languages and the model just quickly explained what they were. The fact that he could speak in many different languages weren’t a surprise to the public, but he often did annoy his husband by saying things in a different language. Making what he said a secret to his adorable and pouty lover.
“Let us go upstairs, shall we?”
His feet moved quickly, walking up the stairs before the camera crew joined in. The stairs were decorated with pictures during their wedding day and some anniversaries. The black and white photos were mingled and framed with some colored ones, making the climb up the stairs more enjoyable than it normally would be. When they got to the second floor, they were greeted with two opened bedrooms’ doors and one closed.
Lan Xichen smiled when the camera’s attention was directed at the slightly elevated green tatami floor. The door next to the tatami floor was opened too, telling everyone that it was empty.
“This is the only tatami floor in the house. This is the place that made Wanyin fell in love with the house. It’s cozy and comfortable for lounging around,” the model explained before closing his eyes. “My husband also loves catching his nap here after a shower. Totally like a cat who loves to nap all around the house.”
He giggles quietly, a smile forming wide on his face and shining warmly.
The cameraman nodded, moving his camera along the books on the shelves, the floor before showing the big window that showed the couple’s garden. When they were done, Lan Xichen did a quick walkthrough of the guest bedroom right next from the lounging space, which showcased another one of his brother-in-law’s waterfalls painting. Another scenery from the painter’s hometown.
When everything was shown including the second guest bedroom, all left was the master bedroom. Lan Xichen smiled as he told the crew to give him a minute to check on his husband. He did let the crew know that his husband was resting in their bedroom. So, he opened the bedroom door and closed it quietly.
The bedroom was dark, hiding the man completely underneath the thick white blanket with the window shades closed. Lan Xichen walked in, not making a sound as he walked and sat down by his beloved’s bedside then quietly called:
Lan Xichen whispered as he gently moved strands of hair that covered his husband’s cheeks. When he heard no answer from his sleepy husband, he lowered himself and placed his lips against the soft cheek. He smiled when the kiss earned him a low groan and a little twist.
“Mm…” came out from Jiang Wanyin’s mouth as he turned to see who was kissing him. So, when he opened his eyes and saw a familiar face close to his...Jiang Wanyin closed his eyes again, trying to escape back to the dream world.
Lan Xichen giggled and moved to kiss his husband again on the lips. The kiss wasn’t anything aggressive or heated, just a soft one like a morning kiss. And, it stirred the sleeping man up, making him open the violet gems again as tears rolled down. A big yawn escaped his mouth along with a loud sigh.
“How are you feeling, my love?” A kiss on the forehead. “Are you still tired?”
Jiang Wanyin opened his mouth but all that came out was a big yawn. So, he tried again and this time, Lan Xichen’s big and warm hand was touching his cheek, wiping the tears that rolled down.
“Headache. Nicknames, I don’t...” the muffled and hoarse voice trailed as he snuggled into the warm hand. A couple more yawns followed afterward, making Lan Xichen giggled at his adorable husband.
Lan Xichen smiled at the answer while looking over his shoulder to the bedside table. He should get Wanyin another bottle of water.
“Well, A.D. is here but you can keep resting. I just won’t show them our bedroom, will that be okay?” Lan Xichen asked quietly.
He knew how sensitive his husband could be when he was suffering from an intense headache like this. So, everything had to be quiet and in low light. Just like how their room was with a heavy and thick dark blue curtain and thicker walls to absorb all the noise.
Jiang Wanyin replied, covering himself under the cover while his other hand grabbed his husband’s wrist. Lan Xichen felt his lover’s lips pressing on his wrist and it made him blush. His heart was attacked with a sudden pang from the attack his lover gave him. This was his weakness. How his beloved attack him with a sudden load of cuteness at unexpected times especially during filming like this.
So, he went down. Kissing his sleepy lover on his forehead, cheek, and finally lips. He was going to ask what his beloved wanted for lunch but the sleepyhead was already dozing off. And, Lan Xichen didn’t have the heart to wake him up just for that. Guess, he’d just have to figure it out by himself which shouldn’t be too hard.
“Good night,” another kiss on the forehead. “I’ll see you when you wake up, A-Cheng.”
Lan Xichen smiled when all he got was a groggy hummed. He took his hand slowly from his beloved’s hold before walking away. With one last look, he opened the door and gently closed it. The smile didn’t fade away when he was out with the rest of the staff waiting for him to say something.
“I apologize but Wanyin is still resting. He hasn’t been feeling well lately. Let us see the small outdoor garden, shall we?” the kind husband said with a blinding smile on his face.
The crew gave him a nod before going down the stairs with the camera still rolling. Lan Xichen tapped the interview’s shoulder with a question in mind, asking:
“Will it be alright to show the garden? It’s snowing outside.”
The interviewer nodded her head, saying that it would be fine because they all had their winter coat. So, Lan Xichen didn’t feel as bad for asking them to film in such cold weather. He would probably make some cold teas or coffees for the crew before they wrapped up everything, and hopefully, Wanyin would be up then to greet everyone. Only if he would be okay with it.
They went down the stairs as the crew was getting ready with their thick coats and scarves. The prepared the camera as well; cleaning it up and covering it from the possible snowfall. The model wore his beige-colored winter long coat with a dark blue scarf around his neck. Once everything was done, Lan Xichen waited before he opened the front door to the front garden.
“The front garden is located by the entrance. We don’t have much space on the back, so we just grow a few flowers like lavender and marigolds,” Lan Xichen paused for a second, thinking of something before continuing. “But, winter isn’t the best time to grow them.”
He walked to the snow covered area and stepped into the plotted land. The cameraman was hesitant to follow his footsteps and only did so when Lan Xichen gave him a nod. The man walked slowly, maintaining his balance.
“Would you tell us what you grow in here and the reason, Mister Lan?”
Lan Xichen smiled, brushing up some snow covering vegetable’s tops. It was a cabbage, a big and green cabbage underneath the piles of snow, along with carrots and radishes.
“We have cabbage, carrots, and radishes growing in this place. It’s nothing much because we have limited space but it’s good to eat something that you grow, isn’t it?” Lan Xichen smiled at the cabbage before turning around to see the camera.
The man stood up from the ground and walked to where the trees were standing tall. The fruits were green and orange in color. Making it looked pretty under all the white snow.
“We also have pear and apricot trees. They should be ripping in a few days but we have some in storage for you to bring back.”
The crew smiled and the interviewer thanked the kind flutist. This was probably what made the public fell in love with him. The smile, the kindheartedness, and the handsome face.
They all moved toward the entrance door again. Since the garden wasn’t anything big like some other celebrities’ houses, it didn’t take long to explain or show around the house. A humble and homey house was what the couple were looking for, not an art gallery or a museum. This was a home that was inhabited by two married men. A house that other people could see themselves living in it.
“Please come inside again. I will prepare some teas and coffees if you like. Should I say my goodbyes now to the camera?”
“Yes, that would be perfect to cover this up.”
Lan Xichen nodded, still the smile didn’t fade out.
“Well, thank you so much for coming and visiting our house. I hope to see you again very soon. Goodbye.”
He waved as the camera slowly backed away and turned around. It was the end of their filming and finally, they could enter the house again away from the freezing cold.
“Shall we go in? Please let me know what you prefer to drink.”
They walked inside. Taking off their boots and shoes along with the coats. Lan Xichen did the same and instructed everyone to sit in the living room and dining tables. Some of them were busy taking care of the camera and checking the footage while others were helping him with their teas and coffees.
“Thank you so much for agreeing to this, Mister Lan. I’m very sorry that it was too sudden,” the interviewer said, who was also the manager in charge for the series.
“It’s fine. I’m glad that everything worked out in your favor, Miss Ashley,” Lan Xichen said while taking the cups from the cupboard. “I apologize for not showing our bedroom. I don’t want to disturb my husband’s rest.”
Ashley smiled, nodding her head as she looked at the model’s silver wedding ring.
“No, it’s alright. You give us content and that’s more than enough. I bet everyone is eager to know how’s your husband and yours house looks like!”
The kettle boiled and Lan Xichen filled it up with the hot water for the tea while Ashley prepared the coffee. Lan Xichen gave a small thank you to miss Ashley before placing the filled cups on the island and let everyone choose their own teas. The manager did the same with the coffee while calling everyone who was busy tidying up their equipment. Lan Xichen reminded them to bring some pears and apricots back too.
When everything was done and all the cups were by the sink, Lan Xichen showed them the door and they thanked him once again. However, it was then when a certain famous actor and successful model decided to show his face to everyone with his sleepy bedhead.
“A-Huan…” Jiang Wanyin called, going down the staircase slowly with a big yawn.
Lan Xichen immediately blushed the moment he looked at his husband’s appearance. Jiang Wanyin was wearing an oversized white long sleeve that looked like his and short pants. A really short pants that almost looked like a tight black boxer. He rushed to his husband’s side immediately and took off his black cardigan to cover his husband’s loosely covered shirt.
“Wanyin,” Lan Xichen called; his lips touched the husband’s forehead, kissing him tenderly while his hands wrapped around his shoulders. “You’ll catch a cold wearing such thin clothing.”
Jiang Wanyin looked at his husband’s golden eyes before leaning into the broad and warm chest. The violet eyes closed as he breathed in the calming lavender smell. Lan Xichen’s hands never left his husband and now he wondered what to say to the rest of the crew.
“Wanyin, do you want to sit on the couch? I’ll get lunch ready for us in a minute, alright?”
The husband didn’t move, only shook his head against the chest and wrapped himself around Lan Xichen’s waist like an octopus. But, that made him happy since his husband rarely allowed him to spoil him while all Lan Xichen wanted was to spoil his dear A-Cheng rotten with affection all day long. Thus, making this a rare treat for him...after he sent the crew on their way, of course.
With that, Lan Xichen turned around and smiled at the crew waiting in front of the door. He politely told them to have a safe trip and he couldn’t wait to see the video posted. It was very clear to them all that they needed to go back now. Especially after what the famous actor and model Jiang Wanyin did in front of their eyes.
“ Goodbye ,” was the last word the internationally famous actor Jiang Wanyin said to them before a strong arm closed the door tight and locked them.
Suddenly the crew felt the need to leave as soon as possible, or maybe it was just the cold wind blowing right to their faces?
Well...no one would know, definitely not the whole crew.