Qi’s Group was once a reputable and influential business in C City, but Qi Zhenguo’s misguided leadership resulted in massive internal losses, and the firm has fallen on hard times. Qi Zhenguo was discovered later that day laying in bed, having had a heart attack. Qi Heng’s takeover of the corporation was mandated when the situation became dire. Solving Qi’s Group’s internal issues was simply a matter of time, the most pressing of which was the absence of financial linkages.
Due to the enormous size of the Qi’s Group deficit, which is on the verge of reaching astronomical proportions, no business or financial institution is ready to accept the risk of investing in the company. For the last two years, Qi Heng has sporadically sold off various properties owned by the Qi family in an effort to reverse the downturn of Qi’s Group. He realizes deep down that this is merely a temporary fix to a pressing problem. If this situation persists for another year, Qi’s Group will be forced to formally submit a bankruptcy declaration.
Around this time, Qi Heng often had sleeplessness. Qin Mu watched him but was unable to help him, so he accompanied him quietly by his side.
Jokingly preparing for the worst, he said, “We’ve all gone through those bad days before. If this turns out to be significant, we’ll have to start over from the beginning. I’m confident you can make a comeback.”
While listening, Qi Heng’s face flashed a series of complicated expressions. Rubbing his index finger over Qin Mu’s face, he whispered, “No, the Qi family must not collapse.” His dad worked tirelessly to establish the Qi family business. As his father’s illness has become so bad, he cannot afford to disband the Qi group.
Yet no matter how hard he tried, Qi’s family would never be able to change the situation without massive financial backing.
Qin Mu got up and poured himself a glass of water since he felt a bit thirsty, but before he could get more than a few feet away, a hoarse, deep voice called out to him from his right: “Qin Mu.”
Qin Mu glanced up in surprise, but it was Qi Heng shrunken on the couch with his pale face and dark eyes, and dozens of cigarettes he had just smoked littered in the crystal ashtray on the glass coffee table.
When he looked over, he saw Qi Heng’s right hand resting on the couch, his fingers gripping the burning cigarette; as the smoke curled up, the room filled with a heavy smell of tobacco.
Qin Mu frowned and walked up to Qi Heng, snatching the cigarette from his fingers and promptly putting it out in the ashtray. “When you return, why don’t you just wake me up?”
Qi Heng contacted him last night to let him know that he would be out of town for a few days and would not return until later.
“You were sleeping comfortably, and I don’t want to disturb you.”
Qi Heng’s lips were dry and there was no blood on his face, maybe due to his lack of rest.
“Do you want anything to eat? I’ll prepare breakfast first ……”
Qin Mu felt his arm tighten, and Qi Heng dragged him onto the sofa and held him from behind before he finished speaking.
Qi Heng said while wrapping his arms around Qin Mu’s neck and resting his small, pointed chin on Qin Mu’s shoulder: “Qin Mu, I’m sorry.”
An itching sensation arose when the hot air blew into his ear canal.
Troubled by Qi Heng’s restlessness, Qin Mu reached out to gently rub his sideburns and inquired, “What’s wrong? Why are you apologizing to me?”
Why is Guo Guo acting so strangely today? Not only did he come back having smoked a lot of cigarettes with no words to say, but he also uttered something completely specious to him.
“Nothing, just missing you.”
Qi Heng buried his face in Qin Mu’s neck socket, avidly inhaling the man’s distinct breath. The long, delicate strands of his eyelashes hung over his eyes that were complicated and contradictory. Qin Mu laughed out loud at hearing this, pinched Qi Heng’s earlobe, and said, “It’s just been one night since we last saw each other; you’re so grown up; why do you still talk like a child?”
Without saying a word, the young man’s grip on Qin Mu tightened a little more.
Qin Mu became slightly out of breath by his arms and, without thinking, grasped his wrist, saying, “Guo Guo, let go; I can’t breathe.”
Then, as if waking from a trance, Qi Heng let go of his grip on Qin Mu’s shoulder and followed Qin Mu’s gaze with his eyes. The man’s sea-like pupils mirrored his blank, pale face as if he were afraid to look into the depths of Qin Mu’s eyes. Qi Heng closed his eyes and reached out to gently massage Qin Mu’s cheek.
The man spoke softly into Qi Heng’s ear, sounding somewhat concerned: “Guoguo, what’s wrong with you?”
As his eyes opened again, he beheld the guy with the most stunning features and the kindest soul. He was certain that anybody who met Qin Mu would fall in love with him as much as he had. In his hands right now is a unique and unmatched treasure that can never be replaced. He won’t be able to protect Qin Mu if he isn’t powerful enough.
“Are you still concerned about the company’s affairs?”
Qin Mu expertly stroked the young man’s temples with his fingers. Even if he had no way to assist Guo Guo, at least this would alleviate some of his stress.
“No.” Qi Heng dropped his gaze and responded with a whisper.
Three days later, Qin Mu got a strange phone call.
He was in the middle of making dinner at the time. He wanted to make up for the fact that Guo Guo had lost a lot of weight recently. The ringing phone caused him to put out the fire and check the caller ID to see who was calling. His eyes lit up with a smile as he said, “Guo Guo, what time will you be back tonight?”
What was said on the other end of the phone was unclear, and the smile on Qin Mu’s face gradually faded away.
There was no brightness in his black eyes.