He was always attracted to beauty; women or men. The entertainment world had no shortage of them. No wonder his eyes strayed to his quiet co-star, Zhu Yilong. A man shouldn't be called beautiful, yet this man does with a cold elegance and fair skin. He should've turned away.
The low voice and awkwardly quiet personality almost brought down the atmosphere, yet Bai Yu was utterly seduced. Flawless white skin, pink lips, and hesitant smile aroused dark thoughts, and he couldn't help but wonder how the man would act in the throes of ecstasy. Ironically, it was Zhu Yilong himself who gave him an opportunity.
The man sat beside him, awkwardly holding their script. "How do you want to approach Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan's relationship?" Staring straight at him with deer-like eyes. He felt like a wolf facing his prey, his scheming self almost smirked in joy. The silence was deliberately prolonged when he leaned closer into those cocoa eyes.
"The script already altered all the BL stuff. Any angle is fine for me," said Bai Yu, smirking sexily, voice lowered down. It was clear blatant seducement. Zhu Yilong blinked, puzzled. Without his usual hat and large jacket, those cocoa eyes looked larger than it was. It was almost insulting that all his effort went over the man's head. Thus, the method had to be changed. A predator always knew how to trap his prey.
"I heard that you use method acting…," said Bai Yu, baiting. For the passive Zhu Yilong, slow fishing might be suitable. "How would that be for Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan?" he started. His co-star blinked several times, perturbed.
"If you asked me that…," murmured Zhu Yilong hesitantly. "Then Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan would be in love, not just a friendship…" Bai Yu smirked in triumph, slowly leaning closer and closer towards the man. His right hand lingered on to Zhu Yilong's knee.
"Then Gege…." The word Gege had never been more seductive. "Be prepared to fall in love with me…," whispered Bai Yu.
At first, there was a rumor that Zhu Yilong was a cold, arrogant, and conceited actor, but within the first week of shooting, they all knew it wasn't the truth. Yes, the man was quiet, cultured, and elegant, giving them a rich family son vibe, but he was so shy and awkward. Zhu Yilong's method acting style needed him to feel his character Shen Wei, even off-screen, but the real personality was adorable. Of course, Bai Yu was the first one to realized and deemed it necessary to teased the older man to death. Hence the barraged of monkey memes and annoying chats.
The first time Zhu Yilong laughed too loud from Bai Yu's silly jokes, the crew stared in amazement. Realizing this, a burst of pink blooms into his cheek, and the man instinctively hid into his script. Nonetheless, the annoying Bai Yu wasn't deterred until the man snapped.
"Go away!" blurted Zhu Yilong. But the smiles and the eye rolls told them he didn't mind. It didn't take long until the whole crew teased him as Bai Yu did.
"Long Ge! That looks so good…" whined Bai Yu as he burst into the set. Zhu Yilong was eating noodles like he usually did in the morning. His black hair hasn't been styled, the bangs fell straight into his forehead, making the man looks younger than he was with Shen Wei's hairstyle.
"Have you eaten yet?" asked the gentle Zhu Yilong. Like a sloth, Bai Yu dropped himself into his co-star's shoulder, plastering himself onto the muscled back. He whined pitifully, "Not yet…. Feed me…."
Zhu Yilong gently shook the naughty man away. He noticed Bai Yu had severe stomach problem, but he rarely ate in time. The stubbled man usually slumped on his shoulder, whining about his stomachache every single day. He reached across the table. "Here…." A steaming bowl of thin noodle soup was placed in front of Bai Yu. He had enough of Bai Yu's unstoppable whining.
"For me?" asked Bai Yu, strangely touched. He finally sat properly beside his co-star. He did tell the man that he had this problem before, but he never expected this seemingly cold man to remember. Even brought him food like this. Men usually weren't this attentive.
Suddenly remembering Zhao Yunlan's line, he posed. "Long Ge, you're so nice. How can I let you go?" drawled Bai Yu seductively. It was very sudden and apparent, but Zhi Yilong was either very dense or very innocent as the man stared at him, chopstick hanging on the air in confusion.
"Are we practicing line now?" murmured Zhu Yilong. If Bai Yu hadn't seen the wide-eyed, confused look on the man's face, he would think the man was playing with him, but the constant mistook of his flirting as him being playful were real.
"Long Ge, you're no fun! You should smirk as Shen Wei does…," said Bai Yu, pouting hard.
"Aaah…," said Zhu Yilong. Nodding in realization while Bai Yu sulked silently. Why is it so hard giving signals to this man? He couldn't understand how a person could eat noodles elegantly, yet this man in front of him managed to do that while being a clueless, adorable dork at the same time. His fair, flawless skin shone even without makeup. In those perfectly fitted three-piece suits that Shen Wei often wear, the man was unfairly beautiful, gentle, and polite, cluelessly making female staffs swoon.
The world was cruel in a way that he understood the reason this man wasn't very popular was his shy, introverted personality. In the industry where people acted cheery and fake, it was mistaken as cold and arrogant. Zhu Yilong was very naïve for this industry as he certainly didn't understand the existence of unwritten rules. Despite his excellent education, he had no large backing, thus made it harder to get good scripts. In the dirty and competitive entertainment industry, fun and cheerful entertainer became popular easier even if they weren't as talented.
Some people also used various ways to get closer to the top. Sleeping their way to the top their management presidents or finding producer's backing for roles in top productions. Someone as pretty as Zhu Yilong must've got some unwritten rules offers like this. Either the man was ignorant, or someone protected him too well. He was very open-minded, one of the staff was gay, and he didn't mind working with him, unlike the homophobic conservative people. But Bai Yu's gentle approach was not working. His usual methods weren't viable, true to his personality; Zhu Yilong couldn't drink at all because he was allergic to alcohol. As the shoot went further, Bai Yu realized he should go all out for this man.
Trust was an idea that sheltered, naive people still believe. It had no place in an industry riddled with masks and lies. Watching the disoriented face of Zhu Yilong, he couldn't help but wonder whether it was him who swam too well on these seas of deceit, or the man was too gullible. It was so easy, too easy.
There on the bed lies his temptation, barely conscious, fragile, and defenseless. It will be too easy to ruin this man's career with some well-staged pictures, but a man as kind as Zhu Yilong didn't deserve that. They said the purest form of innocence tempted the devil's lusts, and it's true. Bai Yu never thought of himself as a nice guy, but this was a new low even for himself. However, as if he was a wolf wanting to devour the lamb, a predator could never resist his prey.
It was almost orgasmic the way his thin fingers graze those fair skin, aching with lust. He wondered, "You're not a virgin, are you?" Slowly unbuttoning Zhu Yilong's white shirt, the flawless fair skin greeted him. He snorted in irony as the exclusive Zhu Yilong laid on his own bed, at his mercy. The skin bloomed with a red blush as the older man moan lying on the bed, drugs raising his temperature while half-lidded cocoa eyes unintentionally burned with lust.
Bai Yu refused to feel guilt, eyes glancing at the hidden object placed on Zhu Yilong's desk. It was just a short play. This man was already 30 years old. It was impossible for a man this attractive to be a virgin. No one could be a pure saint, especially in the entertainment industry.
"Long Ge…," Bai Yu whispered. Still clothed, he sat on the older man's leg. Those beautiful eyes were too clouded; it was almost pitiful the way Zhu Yilong laid helpless. He knew he should've stopped, but he was too aroused, especially when his prey was stronger than him. The lightly muscled legs trembled when his fingers were sliding inside the man's pants, touching feverishly.
"Ah…." The moan coming from Zhu Yilong's mouth caught Bai Yu's eyes. Those white finger was grasping onto the white bedsheets in aching fever. He leaned down closer, captivated. "Why are you so beautiful?" He whispered, one hand cupping Zhu Yilong's head, hovering above those pink lips. For now, he would taste this delicate feast with pleasure. As if waiting for him, his prey opened those lips, and he dived in.
It was rewarding, kissing, and ravaging that mouth as if he was starving. Up close, Zhu Yilong lashes fluttering lightly as he brought him closer. It was a sweet sinful taste and the older man rewarded him with tantalizing low moan and whimper. He moved along, kissing down to the neck, hands undressing as he went down further.
It was a common affair for co-stars sleeping with each other. Relationship was a rare privilege for actors or actresses. There's no way to sleep with outsiders without public judgement. For him, both genders were fair game as long as they're beautiful. And this man was incredibly responsive and too tempting for him not to take this chance. Who knows after this maybe this can be a common occurrence. Bai Yu smirked. He certainly wouldn't complain.
It wasn't the usual annoying sunlight that woke him up today; it was blinding headaches and his aching body that alarmed him. It must be those herbal drinks that screwed his memories. Fans often sent him gifts, however small his supporters were, they're very kind. However, it wasn't the first time he drank the herbal drinks, and it never went like this. Something must be added to it. Strangely, the pain seemed to be concentrated on his lower back as he was gradually aware of his lack of clothing. The sheets that stuck on his sweaty skin seemed very familiar, but the blanket almost didn't cover his body.
Groaning in pain, he turned his head and froze. The face on his bedside was very familiar, but his co-worker was also in a similar state as he was. Naked.
What the hell happened last night?!
It was clear. The state of his own body, the red marks on his chest, and the scratches on Bai Yu's skin told him the truth. Whatever inside the drinks that set his body on fire, it led to sex. It wasn't like he never had sex before but certainly never with a man or a co-star. The last time he had a serious relationship was a few years ago.
Fifteen minutes after panicking inside, he finally tried to sit. Slowly and painfully as his sore backside, mad the blinding headache worse. He couldn't fathom how this happened. He had drunk some of the strangest remedies, yet this kind of thing never happened. Since he was allergic to alcohol, his teenager's phase went without any drunken mistakes.
This sleeping with his male co-star is a new high of mistake. Even if Bai Yu was always a touchy-incorrigible flirt, the marks on Bai Yu's back certainly didn't make him innocent either. Hands shaking, he grabbed the almost fallen blankets tighter.
What should he do? His mother would certainly kill him if she knew he slept with a man.
"Eh?" a familiar drawl woke him from his musing. Bai Yu's eyes were wandering around for a while until the owner suddenly sat up in a panic. "Long Ge!" bolted the younger man, but suddenly he bowed down in pain.
Zhu Yilong groaned in pain as the loud voice made his headache worse. "Don't shout…." The younger man seemed to be in better condition than he was. In ten minutes, Bai Yu jump of the bed, searching for his clothes while he was burying his face into the blanket, drowning in embarrassment. The scratch marks on Bai Yu's back brought the worst red blush onto his ears.
The silence was so awkward. Bai Yu coughed, "Um… I-I don't remember anything…." The man finally found his pants from the floor. The older actor stayed silent, determined to sink into the bed.
"Are you okay, Long Ge?" asked Bai Yu awkwardly. The man was a mess, hair tousled in every direction, and he accidentally wore his t-shirt backward.
"Can't move…" mumbled Zhu Yilong painfully. Bai Yu gulped visibly as he seemed to realize why his co-star couldn't move.
"Um… That...herbal drink... We… we must be drugged…," said the man quietly. He sat back slowly on the bed. Eyes wandering on the man's bite marked filled skin and red ears.
"I… we…," started Bai Yu, stopping midway. "Headache?" he asked gently. The older man nodded painfully, careful of making it worsen. "Me too… Do you have an aspirin?" Zhu Yilong nodded, glancing towards the cabinet, Bai Yu quickly moved. After giving them both aspirin, Bai Yu sat quietly, seemingly not feeling well himself yet he tenderly brought damp cloth for Zhu Yilong to compress as the man was running a slight fever.
"Thank you…," mumbled Zhu Yilong quietly. The man was obviously feeling very awkward and embarrassed.
"I'm sorry I shouldn't let you drink too much…," said Bai Yu guiltily. His co-star nodded faintly. This was not Bai Yu's own fault. It took two to tango; both of them were so drunk, and this kind of thing could happen. Bai Yu must be feeling a lousy hangover as well, but the man kindly took care of him.
"Don't let this make us awkward again, Long Ge…. Let's just forget about it. Friends could sleep with each other," declared the younger one.
"Alright…," Zhu Yilong agreed helplessly. What else could he do about this?
Bai Yu realized when his co-star woke up that he miscalculated on the amount he needed to drug the man, also on the fact that his co-star never seemed to sleep with a man before even if he was very responsive. There must be some tear in the entrance area, making the man feverish like this. In a way, he did feel a little bit guilty but seeing how the man looked very cute and vulnerable wrapped naked in a huge white blanket; he felt very aroused.
There were several reactions that people usually do in this situation; blaming others, smirking in amusement or running away, but this 30 years old man preferred to hide behind his blanket like a three years old child. If not for the fact that the man was still naked and the air smells like sex, he would find this unbelievably funny. Here he was, doing things that he never did, helping out his bed partner like this.
It wasn't until on the way home that he let himself smirk in glory. The older man was stronger than him, but he managed to ravage him into a moaning mess last night. Bite marks would be hard to heal as his skin was so fair, Zhu Yilong was lucky that they had two days off. Bai Yu glanced at the pinhole camera on the dashboard that he had placed on his co-star desk last night. It was very delicious, and he could watch it again privately. It wasn't like he recorded it for blackmail or something; his own face was shown clearly on the video. He just like beautiful things. He did this several times with another co-star; male or female, filmed it secretly to watch it again.
Zhu Yilong was a very exquisite creature, though. This victory was very exhilarating as he felt so giddy as if he found a treasured, unspoiled wine and tasted it first. Driving his car, Bai Yu smirked in amusement.
Those pink, swollen lips; he wouldn't mind another taste.
It was supposed to be a one-night play, but he found himself watching the video again and again, longing for another taste. Zhu Yilong didn't seem to be unaffected either. The man was always flustered and awkward; to be fair, Bai Yu did tease him relentlessly. It was cute the way the older man told him to stop or to go away, yet smiling in amusement. Sometimes, Bai Yu found the older man secretly staring, conflicted, and perplexed. Especially after he deliberately touched him or after letting himself caught watching those pink lips. Drawing the prey for slaughter.
Tomorrow they would be shooting on a rural mountain area, so today the whole crew stayed on a nearby hotel. Bai Yu deliberately choose a corner room facing each other for Zhu Yilong. It wasn't until 9 pm did he knock on his co-star room, pizza in hand.
"Long Ge…," called Bai Yu. He knocked twice until his Zhu Yilong opened the door, hair still dripping, fresh from the shower. "Pizza?" said Bai Yu, proceeding to push through into the older man's room as he wished. He sat on the bed, shamelessly flipping through the television channel while Zhu Yilong tenderly sat beside him, silently rubbing his hair with a white towel. That was another opening for him. "Eh, Long Ge, why did you rub it so hard? Here, let me do it." Without waiting for an answer, Bai You took the towel.
They were facing so close to each other. Bai Yu dried Zhu Yilong's hair gently, ignoring the bewildered look on those large brown eyes. The older man stayed silent, looking down awkwardly until finally, Bai Yu stared back at him. "I…," started Bai Yu. "I remembered something…" Zhu Yilong gulped silently; a red blush went through his ears prettily as the man moved his gaze downward.
"Me too…," he whispered. It was such an arousing sight. His long lashes trembled under the damp bangs, cheek burst in pink. Tenderly, Bai Yu was diving closer, slightly touching those pink lips with his own, kissing him slowly. Cocoa eyes framed in long lashes went wide in surprise, but the man didn't push him away. A few seconds went by until Bai Yu stepped back awkwardly, grinning.
"Umm… Pizza?" he asked again. Zhu Yilong dazedly nodded, speechless in shock. However, when Bai Yu casually turned around, he caught a glimpse of the older man dazedly touching his lips. A smirk went through his mouth.
Patience was an excellent virtue, after all.
Tenderness fitted Zhu Yilong too well. On the other hand, Bai Yu was passionate. They both might be Aries, but it was easy to forget that with Zhu Yilong. The man was simply too naïve that it was too easy catching the man off guard continuously. For an actor, the man was seriously unguarded and naïve. His introvert personality made it easier for people to let him sat by himself, reading through the scripts for a hundred times when the man had no scenes. Even his manager let him rest on his van alone.
It must be hard for the older man, shooting in the rural area contain many Shen Wei and Ye Zun scene, Zhu Yilong had to constantly wake up early for costume and hair set up. Now and then, Bai Yu couldn't help stealing a few kisses, and the man was adorably scatterbrained every single time. He especially loved how the man looked adorably young with his long black hair as young Shen Wei.
On the last day they had on the small hotel room, Bai Yu deliberately followed his co-star as the man walked alone into his hotel room. As the man opened his door, Bai You jumped right in, letting the door closed behind as he kissed the man thoroughly. The quiet man pounded Bai Yu's chest gently until he stopped.
"You're teasing me again…," said Zhu Yilong annoyed.
Bai Yu smirked in amusement. "You look so good with long hair, Long Ge. I can't hold it…," said Bai Yu seductively. The foxy man slid his hand through that beautiful neck, one hand skillfully unbuttoning the man's blue shirt. Zhu Yilong's Adam apple moved shakily.
"We might be too drugged that night, Long Ge. I might be too rough on you, but I remembered you enjoyed it," whispered Bai Yu. One hand sliding to Zhu Yilong's lower back, caressing the man's curved bottom.
Zhu Yilong shuddered silently. He did remember a few things that happened that night. Only flashes, but enough to know that he wasn't the unwilling participant either. He might be able to excuse that to the drugs which certainly contains aphrodisiac. However, he had never considered himself gay, he had a few serious relationships with girls before, but it was very different doing this while his mind was muddled and doing it sober.
"Long Ge…," called Bai Yu. The finger moved toward his chest, teasingly playing with his nipple, which strangely felt sensitive, while Bai Yu's leg went between his own, moving slowly.
"Ah…," a moan accidentally escaped through his mouth as pleasure ran through his body. Bai Yu kissed his neck, nibbling, licking his sensitive ears. He never knew when his hand circled Bai Yu's neck as his body slowly melted.
"Should we move onto the bed?" whispered Bai Yu right on his ears. Shivers spread through Zhu Yilong as he nodded in silent surrender.
Sex with a man was certainly different from a woman, Zhu Yilong wondered. With Bai Yu, everything went fast and passionate; it was too easy falling into the heat and too hard to stop. He never went like this before, and it hard for him to understand himself. Their personality was so different, but Bai Yu's easy-going ones complement his introversion easily. It didn't take long for them to become close friends, outside on the shoot also inside the bedroom. The other man played around the scenes a lot but managed to bring him along, answering questions when he couldn't, and protecting him from female staff admirers.
It wasn't hard for him to feel touched with the cheerful man attentiveness towards him, hence why he always made sure the silly man had his breakfast. He never realized when he started to bring guitar just to accompany Bai Yu's random singing. Gradually the first thing he asked on set was Bai Yu so that he could sit next to him.
They slept several times in his apartment. This time was wearing protections, something that they both missed in their first drunken one. It was scary the way how his own awkward, stubborn and boring self became more open and willing to compromise with the younger man. They weren't just having sex when Bai Yu came over, they played, annoying each other, bantered and arguing about food more than he ever had with another person besides his best friend, Peng Guanying.
The only difference was, he never realized how in every argument, he always ended up letting Bai Yu won.
A sneaky touch on his bottom brought Zhu Yilong half awaked from his sleep. The annoying man was ceaselessly touching him, sniggering as a moan finally escaped.
"Long Ge... I have a photoshoot today, I'll be late to the shoot…," said Bai Yu as he kissed the older man's shoulder teasingly. His hand moved down, slithering under the blanket, slowly fingering.
"Let me do it again…" whispered Bai Yu. Zhu Yilong groaned in mixed feelings, he was very sleepy, yet he found himself yielding to the younger man again, although not without complains.
It wasn't until 10 am did he finally woke up and went to shoot another scene. There were several Shen Wei's solo shoots in the university today, as always Zhu Yilong did his own then monitored them behind the camera. Without Bai Yu keeping them in place, female staff flocked towards him, giving him coffee and jacket.
"Long Ge, are you single?" asked a young girl, one of the staff. Zhu Yilong stammered. He never intended to answer those personal questions. Another staff nudged the girl painfully. "Don't bother, Long Ge!" she scolded.
Zhu Yilong smiled blankly. Times like this made him missed Bai Yu. Thankfully the staff stayed back a little bit, gossiping. He tried to focus on the monitor, but the whispers drew him back.
"Long Ge is single. There were several rumors with actresses, but it was just to promote the dramas..."
"What about Bai Yu?"
"I've heard he called someone Darling on the phone…."
"He already has a girlfriend. They lived together for three years now…."
Zhu Yilong froze, thunderstruck.
Suddenly the world fell quiet on his ears. The only sound was his own heart thumping loudly. A foreign sensation washed into his body. Cold sank into his bones.
It wasn't like he and Bai Yu were in a real relationship, right? They never talked about it, and he should have known about this. It was his fault for being unsociable, not knowing things like this. Even as he tried to reason with his own heart, it fell cold. He felt strangely empty.
Luckily he only had some easy scenes words choked up in his throat. Maybe it was a good thing that he finished early, and Bai Yu came late today. For his heart beats painfully, and he couldn't even sort his own mind. He sat in cold silence on his way back home. Even his chatty manager seemed to realize his unwillingness to talk.
He stared blankly to the window, watching the Shanghai evening sky passed by. His phone rang several times, but as he watched that name on display, he couldn't bring himself to touch it. The hardest thing was not realizing where he stood on this relationship. The cold spread into his fingers as he realized.
There was no relationship in the first place.
Once again, he found himself staring at nothing, curled up on his sofa. He should've known, should've expected this. But it was his the first time doing this kind of thing, sleeping with another man without having a relationship in the first place. But maybe there was no place for him to stop this feeling towards someone who had been so kind.
His phone rang several times again; it wasn't Bai Yu's name on display. This time, he hesitantly picked it up. "Hello?"
"Your voice sounds strange. Why aren't you answering my chats? Are you okay?" fired Peng Guanying, his longtime best friend. He smiled emptily, not knowing how to answer. This giraffe always knows him too well. "Yilong?" he asked again.
Zhu Yilong stayed quiet. His friend understood, sometimes he needed his silence. They were friends for almost 12 years since college. They both went into acting, passionate idiots who knew each other too well. Even though in front of Peng Guanying's face, he always complaining about the man's excessive height, hence the nickname Giraffe.
His mouth felt locked. "Guanying…," The word was stuck in his throat, yet Peng Guanying was still waiting. "Have you ever.... slept with your co-star before?" asked Zhu Yilong hesitantly. Silence filled the air until a loud sigh rang through the phone as the man on the phone, wondering about this sudden question.
"Of course, I have…," said Guanying casually, as if it was a norm.
"You never told me about it…," said Zhu Yilong.
"I told you all about my girlfriends. Those actresses were just a fling…. "The word had struck him hard. A fling, it was such short and simple but it described his relationship with Bai Yu plainly.
"It is common in this industry, Long-er…" The familiar nickname seemed so tender, yet he didn't feel warmed. "It's hard for us, actors, to be in a relationship without becoming a scandal. Sleeping with co-stars was just a kind of mutual benefit…," Peng Guanying explained gingerly.
The whole apartment was still dark, and there he was sitting on the cold floor. His breathing was deafening in this silence, eyes unintentionally wet with frozen tears. However, this was not a drama scene; tears had no place in this place.
"Yilong…." Peng Guanying voice break through the silence. It wasn't the usual annoying nickname; it was the worried one.
He should speak, but words failed him. "Hmm…," at least noise came through.
"I… I never told you about it because you were never interested in this kind of thing…," said Peng Guanying gently. That question told him what this silence was all about.
"Who is it?" He knew his best friends well, and whoever it was Zhu Yilong sleeping with, he must be having real feelings towards this person. That wasn't good at all. "Forget her…," blurted Peng Guanying. He knew his best friend would only get hurt.
"I…" started Zhu Yilong.
"Whoever it was you're sleeping with, forget them…," cut Peng Guanying firmly. "They might be sleeping with you, but it was just sex. Back away, in this kind of relationship, you're supposed to be using each other, but if it's you…" Peng Guanying's voice sank into silence.
"You will only get hurt…," he said gently.
Zhu Yilong hugged his legs tightly, mouth opening, but no sound came through. His choked throat stuttering in pain, yet breathing was hard. He hugged his legs tightly, sinking to the walls.
It wasn't his betrayed heart who feels the hardest pain. It was the crumbling walls and broken trust.
"I…," he murmured. Maybe there was a single reason not to feel this cold. There wasn't one. And he could only close his eyes.
"Alright…." He whispered. His friend was right. He was never good at things like this; this aching heart painted him the truth.
Bai Yu might be a good friend for him, but they can't be friends with a relationship like this. This would only bring him more pain. He realized it was his own fault in the first place. He shouldn't be attached by a nonexistent feeling.
He was never loved in the first place.