He picked up his cane, turned around and walked towards his bedroom, “I’m going to get changed.”
There was air conditioning in the home set around twenty-two degrees, but Li Chuan was covered in sweat like he had just run for eight hundred meters. I followed him into his room. He turned around and said without needing to catch his breath, “I’m getting changed. Why are you coming in?”
“I’m going to watch you change.”
He was stunned for a minute, “What’s there to see?”
“I just want to watch.”
“You won’t give up, will you?”
“I mean good intentions. I’m here in case you need help,” I said sincerely.
“Oh, help?” he looked at me awkwardly and said uncomfortably, “I need a lot of help.”
He walked into an open U-shaped closet; suits and shirts were hung neatly in it. He casually picked out a t-shirt, a pair of light washed denim shorts, and stuffed them into my hands, “Hold them.”
He then took off his clothes one by one in front of me until he was only wearing a muscle shirt and shorts.
“Have you seen enough?”
“No,” I handed him the t-shirt and smiled brightly, “please continue.”
He ignored me, sat on the couch, and started putting on his pants. He took off his watch and handed it to me.
“Please hold the watch for me.”
I put the watch on my wrist. He took off his socks and stuffed them in my hands.
“Hey, why are you getting me to hold your dirty socks?”
“Throw them into the laundry basket over there.”
After I threw the socks into the basket, he was already done putting on his pants, but he pulled out the belt and gave it to me, “Get another belt. Over there, the one in brown.”
I found the belt and buckled it for him. He said, “Oh right, I forgot my wallet in the suit.”
I fetched it and put it into his pants’ pocket for him, “What else do you need, Young Master?”
“My cell phone and keys.”
“Oh…Where are they?”
“On that shelf.”
“It’s one foot away from you. Can’t you get it yourself?”
I grabbed it for him and said feeling annoyed, “Are you done?”
He pointed to the floor, “Cane.”
After that, I looked at him from head to toe, “Are you done changing?”
“Yes. Can you stop staring at my leg?”
“I’m staring at the healthy one.”
“Stop staring at that one too.”
“It’s windy outside and you’re dressed so little, won’t you feel cold?” The weather had been fluctuating a lot in Zurich. Although it was mid-April, it still felt as warm as in March. Li Chuan was not only wearing short-sleeves and shorts, he was also going barefoot. His long leg, arched foot, and pale ankle accompanied with a dark blue flip-flop with red straps. It looked extremely attractive. I immediately lost my focus and couldn’t help but stare at it, “Does your waist hurt? I’ll give you a VIP message tonight for free.”
“Stop kidding,” he sneered, still feeling vexed over what happened just a moment ago, “Don’t try to get close to me whenever you get the chance. How did the (Communist) party educate you? It’s like I’ve entered a spider’s cave [trap] whenever I see you.”
“Mister, it’s the cave of the silken web,” I corrected. I had read him the entire novel of “Journey to the West” before, yet he couldn’t remember it.
I didn’t wait for him to respond, “I need to go get changed as well. Although I’m not as good looking as you, I have nice looking dresses that are comparable to yours.” I skipped downstairs, took out a flower patterned white top, and a light purple long skirt. I said as I saw Li Chuan walking down the stairs, “Li Chuan, help me button the back.”
The buttons of my top were all on the back; there were about ten of them. After he had buttoned half of them, I felt weight on my shoulder; Li Chuan rested his head at the side of my neck. He started kissing me from behind. His chin nudged my collarbone and his gentle breath swept across my face. He continued kissing me and said, “I can’t, there are too many buttons…it’s too seductive.”
He turned my body around, held my face in his hands, and said in a haze, “Xiao Qiu, how much longer do you want to torment me, hm?”
“It’s what I want to ask you.” I lifted my head and looked at him straight in the eye.
He stared at me with mixed feelings, “Are you done messing around yet?”
“Stop seducing me!”
“Don’t call me again!”
“I will call whenever I’m free.”
“I won’t pick up!”
“If you won’t pick up, I’ll fly to Zurich…”
He sealed my lips. His tongue slipped through my teeth and he kissed me forcefully. In an instant, he took off all of my clothes and threw them on the floor. I struggled for a bit, and he held my wrists and pressed them hard against the wall. He leaned over me with his chest on top of mine, so I had to tilt my head upwards as my back hit the niche in the wall. A white transparent jade bowl fell out from it. It made a “clink” sound and broke into several pieces.
“It’s not real jade, is it?!” I looked at the shattered pieces out of fright.
“It’s a jade bowl from the Kangxi emperor era.”
“Ah!” I cried.
He bit my ear and said seductively, “How can it be more priceless than you?”
I was still in fright when he suddenly came inside of me. It hurt and I took a big breath, “Be more gentle, will you?”
“Since I make you hurt so much, don’t come looking for me next time,” he said coldly and became fiercer than usual.
“Ah! Ah! Li Chuan, please spare me!”
“No!” He twisted my arms so that I couldn’t break free. His fingers wrapped around my wrists so hard that they hurt. I tried to fight back by grabbing onto him tightly. My palms and the back of my hands were covered with his sweat. i couldn’t help but feel sweetness inside my heart. He let go of the pressure of his hands for a bit and I quickly escaped. But he pulled me to the sofa and continued. I could only feel him thrusting hard and pain that I never felt before.
I opened my eyes wide and accepted him at a loss.
“Do you hate me?” he asked provocatively. His sweat dripped from the tip of his nose to my face.
“No. I like you!”
He pressed me down out of anger and kissed me roughly. I could feel his heart beat through his skin.
We started panting harder and harder, and his body was shaking uncontrollably. I got a little worried, “Li Chuan, don’t be like this. You’ll hurt yourself.”
“Promise that you won’t come looking for me again then!”
“No, I want your baby.”
Those words were more effective than anything. He stopped on the spur of the moment and quickly backed out. He fell on top of me and didn’t move.
“Li Chuan,” I hugged him tightly. I pulled out my hand and caressed his hair, “Li Chuan.”
He was covered in sweat. His face was still against my chest when he replied me with “Mm.” He lay in my embrace out of exhaustion. After a long while, he got up and pulled me to the bathroom to take a shower. After I came out of the shower, I picked up my ripped clothes from the floor and couldn’t help but blame him, “Look, you ruined my best top and skirt.” I could only put on an ordinary t-shirt, which was white and had a Peking Opera mask printed on it.
“Did you get hurt just now?” he asked. He showed his usual care without any emotions.
“You want to go at it again tonight?”
“Are you masochistic?”
I looked at him in silence and then said, “Li Chuan, can you let me enjoy one day? Even if it’ll burst like a bubble in the end, I still want it.”
His cheeks twitched, and he didn’t respond.
Li Chuan said that we shouldn’t stay home because we would end up misbehaving. Therefore, he took me out.
We were both tired, but Li Chuan was even more tired. He switched to a crutch with armpit rest that he didn’t normally use. His free left hand held my hand.
I suddenly said to him at the door, “Li Chuan, lower your head. I have something to give you.”
I took out the jade that I was wearing and put it around his neck. The jade was shiny and still carried the warmth from my body. Li Chuan must have noticed it already from just now, but since I had a habit of wearing all kinds of beads and stones, he probably didn’t mind it too much.
“What is it?” he held the jade in front of himself and started observing it.
“It’s to get rid of bad luck. Did you know? This is a bad year for you, so you should wear it to help fend off the bad luck.”
His eyebrows twitched, “When did you become superstitious?”
“Don’t you think that you’ve been having a lot of bad luck lately?”
“Let me tell you. It’s because I’m the one bringing you all the bad luck!”
“You bring me bad luck?”
“You are water, and I am earth. Earth brings bad luck to water!”
He laughed, “What era are we in already? Why do you still believe in these things?”
“You don’t believe it?”
“I really don’t.”
Whatever, I decided not to continue the discussion with him since he did not believe it. I just needed to be more careful not to bring him more bad luck.
Li Chuan said that he would take me to the lakeside. We held hands together and walked down the gravel path. Li Chuan walked very slowly and practically took one step and a shuffle each time. He also needed to rest every few steps. In the beginning, he was the one holding my hands, but soon it was more like I was giving him a hand. The lakeside was clearly just in front of us, but it took us thirty minutes to get there.
It was at the peak of tourism, so there were many pubs at the lakeside. On the patio, someone was singing, playing a guitar, and there were other performances from artists. A lot of people walked barefeet on the wooden bridge. Everybody was very happy and lively.
“Ice cream! Haagen Daz! Li Chuan, over there!”
I was reminiscing on the Haagen Daz ice cream popsicle that I had at the airport, so I got excited when I saw an ice cream shop in the near distant. He walked with me to the place and said, “What Haagen Daz? You need to have Swiss ice cream, Movenpick, when you’re here.”
Li Chuan bought me a big cup of ice cream; one scoop was chocolate, and one scoop was pineapple.
“This is dark chocolate. It may be a little bitter, but once you get used to it, you’ll be addicted to it.”
“Yummy,” I responded with satisfaction and put another big spoonful into my mouth. I looked down and noticed there were two seven to eight year-old girls who were also holding a cup of ice cream and licking their spoons just like me. It made me feel a little embarrassed. I turned around and asked Li Chuan, “You’re not eating any?”
He shook his head, “I used to love eating it, but now…I can’t have too many sweets. Whenever I eat any, my doctor will find out. But I’m happy to just watch you eat it.”
Someone nearby suddenly shouted, “(English) Alex! Hello! Alex!”
We turned to see who was calling, and saw that it a beautiful blonde hair woman waving at us while standing behind the fence of the patio at a pub. Right after, she and a brown hair man held hands and jogged towards us.
Li Chuan gave each of them a hug and greeted them in German.
“Xiao Qiu, this is Sabrina and Auburn. They both were my classmates from middle school. They just got married last month,” Li Chuan introduced, “I bought them a gift, but unfortunately, I couldn’t attend their wedding.”
He then introduced me to them. I shook hands with them, and gave them my blessing in English.
“They don’t understand English. They just asked if you were my younger cousin. I used to bring Colette here for ice cream often.”
I wanted to faint. Did I really look that young?
I didn’t know what Li Chuan said to them, but after the introductions, they looked at me touched and full of sweetness. During his speech, Li Chuan wrapped his arm around my waist, showcasing our intimacy naturally. In order for me to understand what his friends were saying, he translated all their German words into English, his German words into Chinese, and explained them softly to me. He switched between the three languages constantly, yet he did not get lost by it.
“They asked if you would like to go for a drink. If you don’t want beer, you can have Apfelschorle. Apfelschorle is a kind of apple juice soda.”
I said quietly, “Li Chuan, you can’t drink. There are also a lot of people at the bar, so you shouldn’t go.”
Li Chuan nodded and said quietly, “It’s convenient to be with someone who’s sick, so that you can turn everything down easily. I’ll tell them that I can’t drink, while you still have jet lag, so we need to rest.”
He said a bunch of German and hugged each of them again as they said their goodbyes reluctantly.
I asked Li Chuan, “How come the German that you speak sounds so nice? It sounds just like French?”
“I’m not Hitler. Furthermore, German doesn’t sound bad.”
He held my hands again and we took a stroll on the lakeside. I followed him closely, but it felt a little unreal. Sigh……how many years had it been since Li Chuan and I had walked on the streets as a couple like this?
Swans and ducks were swimming in the calm lake. We stood under a tree, chatting. The wind blew over and I sneezed, feeling a little cold. Li Chuan stood closer to me with one hand resting on the tree trunk to shield me from the wind.
“Is it cold?”
“Stay in the sunlight, it’ll be warmer,” he said.
“After I’m finished with my ice cream.”
He giggled, “Look at you, your face is covered with chocolate.”
“Ah?” I was surprised, “Was I like this just now? In front of your classmates?”
“Mm. Why else would they have asked if you were my younger cousin?”
Embarrassing. I reached into my bag for a tissue, but I couldn’t find any.
“Here,” he said.
Before I could understand what he meant, he tilted my head and licked all the ice cream off my face.
“Is it okay now?” I was completely embarrassed. My heart pounded hard.
He sucked my fingers one by one.
“What are you doing? There are people here.”
“Are you going to eat ice cream again?”
“Yes, especially when you’re with me. Hehe.”