It was just past summer and still in autumn. A thin quilt was enough.

Lin Yifei’s bed was wider than the single bed he used in New York, but he and Chris had both grown bigger. When sleeping together, it would still be a little crowded. Lin Yifei slept inside and Chris slept outside. Because Lin Yifei wasn’t very honest in his sleep. He preferred to sleep against the wall.

“It’s a little far from here to Griffith Institute tomorrow.” The two boys laid on their sides and face to face in bed while talking softly.

“It doesn’t matter.” In fact, Chris didn’t intend to go back to class at all.

Ha ha, I ran to the gate of your school some time ago, thinking that maybe I could meet you by luck.”

“You have been to Griffith…then why didn’t you go in?”

“I don’t know how to get in.” Lin Yifei grabbed his head, “If I just walk in, wouldn’t the guard carry me out? So then I thought, as long as I take part in the middle school fencing competition, I will have the chance to meet you. I will meet you in an open manner.”

Chris was silent. He just reached out and hugged Lin Yifei.

“Ha ha……” Lin Yifei twisted up, “Can you please don’t touch my waist…It’s so ticklish that I want to laugh…”

Hearing what he said, Chris simply kneaded Lin Yifei’s waist, while Lin Yifei curled up and tried to pull Chris apart. “Don’t play…ha ha…it really tickles…ha ha…”

Lin Yifei’s struggle was futile. When he resisted harder, Chris just used his entire body to pin him down and watched him laughing till his eyes closed.  

“Don’t play…I’m going to stitches…you are so heavy! Come down from me!” Lin Yifei was pressed by Chris and couldn’t move. “You didn’t just learn fencing! You must have learned judo!”

Chris moved off Lin Yifei.

“Go to bed early! I ask my mother to make tea eggs and cook them for one night. We can eat them tomorrow.”

Chris gave a gentle “um”.

Lin Yifei always went to sleep very fast. As long as he got quiet, he would soon fall asleep.

Chris looked at him quietly, just like when they slept together for the first time as children. There was a car passing by outside the window. Its lights flashed across Lin Yifei’s serene brow. Chris slowly reached out his finger and touched the tip of Lin Yifei’s nose, as if sketching an outline, before sliding between Lin Yifei’s lips and gently parted them. He could faintly see the tip of his tongue.

Like bewitched, Chris stretched his neck. His lip touched Lin Yifei’s upper lip. After a slight touch, he looked at Lin Yifei. The other party was still asleep and unaware of the world.

Such silence seemed to give Chris more courage. He carefully covered Lin Yifei’s upper lip again, pressing gently, before sliding the tip of his tongue through the gap between his lips and touching Lin Yifei’s tongue. When he finished the kiss, Lin Yifei just smacked his mouth and rolled over.

Chris’s forehead rested on Lin Yifei’s back. He slowly closed his eyes.

The next day, Lin Yifei got up with a yawn. Chris was already sitting at the table eating mother Lin’s breakfast.

Ah, you lazy brat. I called you for half a day and you just got up now. Manman is still waiting for you to go to school together!”

Lin Yifei tugged at the corners of his mouth. “Mom – my friend is still here. Can you give me some face?”

Sitting on the other side of the table, Manman, who had packed her schoolbag, burst out laughing.

After breakfast, Lin Yifei took Manman to the bus. Chris’s school was not on the way.

“Chris, you have to take bus number 23 here, then change to bus number 11, okay?” Lin Yifei carefully ordered Chris in case he took the wrong bus. “Do you have any change?”

“No.”

Lin Yifei dug in his pocket and found some coins. He dropped them on Chris’s hand. “It will be more convenient to get you a bus card next time.”

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Mmm.”

Chris stood under the station and watched Lin Yifei and Chen Manman board another bus. Lin Yifei’s head stretched out from the window and waved, laughing till his eyes couldn’t be seen.

After half an hour, Chris didn’t take the bus to Griffith, but to Lin Yifei’s school.

When he came to the school gate, class had already begun.

He casually covered his eyes with a sun hat and slept under a tree in the park not far from the school.

It was not until class was over at 4 p.m. that Chris stood at the school gate and looked at the bustling students coming out of school.

As soon as Lin Yifei and Chen Manman walked out of the school gate, they saw Chris. After all, Chris was too conspicuous. He was handsome and leaning against the school gate with a slight sense of aloofness. How many young girls couldn’t help but be moved.

“Chris, why are you here?” Lin Yifei was a little surprised. After all, even if Chris came to Lin Yifei’s school after getting off from Griffith, it would not be possible to get there so early.

“Waiting to go home together.” There was no stir in Chris’s tone.

Lin Yifei frowned and looked at Chen Manman behind him. “Manman, can you go home by yourself today?”

“But…” Manman revealed a pair of ‘don’t want to be left behind’ eyes. She already knew yesterday that Lin Yifei’s and Chris’s feelings were very close. She had no chance to insert between them.  

“I’m not going to play with Chris. I’ll go home for dinner.” Lin Yifei’s expression was very serious, Manman had to nodded her head.

Lin Yifei pulled Chris over and strode to the park. They stood under a tree. As the sun was setting, the shadows of the two were drawn out long and thin.

“Did you not go to school at all today?”

Chris didn’t speak. His silence was the default acknowledgement.

Lin Yifei took a deep breath and touched his head, “You tell me what’s going on? I feel a little strange when you come to me with your old bag on your back.”

Chris’s eyes didn’t evade. “I have left the Osbornes’ house and don’t intend to go back.”

“Ha-” Lin Yifei’s eyes widened, “What did you say? Not going back to the Osbornes’ house? Then when I asked if you ran away from home, why didn’t you admit it?”

“I don’t belong in the Osbornes’ family.”

“Then what about Mrs. Lynn? You ran away from home like this. What about her and your father…” Lin Yifei looked up to heaven, “What’s the problem between you and your father?”

“He hid away all your letters to me. He wouldn’t let George tell me where you moved. He promised me that he would help me find you, but he was only cheating me.”

“What? Mr. Osborne?” Lin Yifei was surprised to learn this based on his knowledge of Mr. Osborne before he was reborn. He should not have done these things.

“He thinks that you and I aren’t of the same class. You will hurt me.”

After all, Lin Yifei used to be an adult. He could vaguely understand Mr. Osborne’s worries, but he didn’t expect him to separate himself from Chris in this kind of extreme way.

“You are going back to class tomorrow.” Lin Yifei said, “No matter what problems you have with Mr. Osborne, you have to go back to class tomorrow.”

Chris looked at Lin Yifei, with eyes of ‘I don’t understand’.

“As I said to you when you left New York. We are all too young to resist fate. Therefore, it is better to follow the trend at this time and wait until you have full wings to fly. Before we have wings, we’ll have to muddle our way through. What else can we do?” Lin Yifei took Chris’s hand. “Let’s go home for dinner. My mother said that she will stew Zhouzi tonight.”

Chris’s finger grasped Lin Yifei’s.

“Do you know what a Zhouzi is?”

“I don’t know.”

“It’s the leg of a pig. Although it is fatty, it tastes so good after being stewed.”

So, the next morning, while Mr. Osborne was sitting on the sofa looking at the Financial Times, George came over, “Sir, the school said that the young master has gone back to class.”

Mr. Osborne put down the newspaper then paused. “Send Chris the school uniform.”

“Do you want to ask the young master if he will come back tonight?”

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“No. I’ll pick him up.”

That night, Chen Lin Ji was so busy that his mother didn’t even have time to prepare dinner for Lin Yifei. Lin Yifei was even more straightforward. He stood beside the chef with his plate.

“Smelly boy, come to rub rice to eat again!” Chef Liu smiled and deliberately made more dishes so that Lin Yifei could take a little and leave.

Carrying assorted dishes to the second floor, he saw Chris and Manman sat at the table.

Manman rarely had a chance to sit with an American teenager like Chris and had been quietly looking at his side face. When Lin Yifei saw this scene, he couldn’t help laughing. He put down his plate and joked, “Manman, if you look at Chris again, his face will be broken!”

Manman’s face suddenly flushed, “Brother Yifei, you are so bad!”

“Yes, yes, I’m the worst in the whole world. I even helped you get dried green beans!” Lin Yifei smiled and elbowed Chris aside. “Hey, did you take part in the interschool fencing competition?”

“Yes.”

“This weekend is a one-out match. I was divided into group C, how about you?”

“Group A.”

“Er, then we are all playing in the morning. It’s a pity that we can’t see each other’s matches.”

“It doesn’t matter, we will all win.” Chris said with certainty. Lin Yifei also laughed.

“Well, the most important thing is that we can play together in the finals.”

Middle school students’ homework was quite simple. Lin Yifei finished it quickly and watched TV with Chris.

Suddenly, the phone rang. Lin Yifei walked to answer it. Mother Lin called from the restaurant downstairs.

Xiao Fei, Chris’s father is here. Has he come to pick him up?”

“Ah?” Lin Yifei was stunned. Was Mr. Osborne here?

“Oh, good, I’ll tell him.”

Hanging up the phone, Lin Yifei looked back and saw Chris staring at himself.

“Chris, your father is here, downstairs.”

“Mmm.”

“You have to go back with him.” Lin Yifei came over and patted Chris on the shoulder. The other side caught his wrist.

“Yifei, I have always wanted to ask you. Why are you so calm every time you send me away?” Chris tilted his head slightly and revealed hurt in his eyes.


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