T/N: This is the start of the raw VIP (paid) chapters. Like all my other projects. I'll start splitting chapters with > 3,000 words into 2 parts and > 5,000 words into 3 parts.
The referee announced the winner. The two teams shook hands with each other.
Following the award ceremony, everyone stood together for a group photo. Lin Yifei crouched down in the front row. Rex put his hand on his shoulder and smiled brightly. After the photo was taken, Chris gave Rex a warning glance and pulled Lin Yifei's hand away.
It was a tired and exciting day. After returning to the dormitory, Lin Yifei laid on the bed and looked at his medal with a smirk.
Chris folded a towel then walked over to sit down beside Lin Yifei. "It's gold-plated, not pure gold. I don't know why you're so happy."
"But it's still a gold medal!" Lin Yifei glanced at Chris with some dissatisfaction. Who knew that the other's fingers would actually hooked the opening of his pants and even dragged it down.
"Hello! Hello! What are you doing!" Lin Yifei put down the medal and grabbed his pants.
"Don't you have cramp? I'll apply a hot towel to it." Chris sighed, as if accusing Lin Yifei of being willful.
"Oh…" Lin Yifei slowly loosened his hand. Chris pulled down his pants and put the hot towel over his calf.
Lin Yifei thought Chris would say that he should warm up or drink more milk before the competition in the future, but the other party just silently massaged his calf with a towel. The strength of his fingers was just right. Lin Yifei narrowed his eyes and reveled in the comfort.
The hot towel gradually cooled down. Chris put it on the bedside table.
"Thank you. In fact, this cramp isn't so serious. It doesn't hurt now." Lin Yifei stretched out his hand to pick up the pants that Chris had casually thrown on the ground, but the other person just stepped on the pants directly.
"…I know you don't like this brand of pants, but you don't have to step on it to stop me from wearing…" Lin Yifei helplessly sighed.
Chris sat back on the bed. He held Lin Yifei's calf and kissed along its smooth curve, then took a soft bite at it. Lin Yifei tried to retract his leg, but Chris just bit harder.
"Hello! It hurts!" Lin Yifei shouted. He really doubted whether or not Chris was trying to make him bleed.
The other person slowly loosened his teeth. The tip of his tongue gently licked the bite marks. The pain and wet soft feeling mixed together made Lin Yifei shrink up his shoulder.
"You shrink your shoulders when you get emotional." Chris moved forward in a blink. His entire body laid on Lin Yifei.
"Go down! I don't want to get emotional with you now!"
"Yifei, how long will it take you to grow up?" Chris asked softly.
"Two years and three months!" Lin Yifei glared at him.
"It's still a long time." Chris put his head on Lin Yifei's shoulder and said in a muffled voice.
"I don't want to grow up so fast! Minors are privileged." Lin Yifei replied with a smile.
Two weeks later, Lin Yifei went back to Chen Lin Ji on the weekends. To his surprise, the restaurant door was closed. After walking through the side door, he saw father Lin, mother Lin and Uncle Chen morosely discussing something in the living room.
"Mom, I'm back."
Seeing Lin Yifei coming back, Uncle Chen said "I won't disturb your family getting together" and got up to go back to his room.
Father Lin and mother Lin squeezed out a smiling face, but Lin Yifei didn't give up questioning them.
"Nothing! Xiao Fei, all you have to do is study hard." Mother Lin tried to push Lin Yifei toward his room but he refused.
"Mom – I'm not young anymore. What can't you tell me?"
For a while, the living room was silent. Mother Lin sat there without knowing what to say, while father Lin lowered his head.
After a long time, father Lin finally raised his head and spoke: "Two days ago, someone complained that they ate cockroaches in our food…That person reported to the Department of Health. We have been inspected for two days."
"Have you ever seen the so-called cockroaches?"
"Of course not." Father Lin covered his eyes, "At least not more than the regulation. Besides, Xiao Fei, you also know that every time the restaurant closes, we always clean up the kitchen. How can customers eat cockroaches in our food?"
"So someone is looking for trouble with us?" Lin Yifei frowned.
"I don't know. I haven't received the notice of re-opening. The restaurant lost a lot of money these days." Father Lin shook his head.
"The efficiency of governmental agency here is always low, so don't worry too much, Dad." Lin Yifei comforted him.
Father Lin nodded. "I can only think this way."
Back at the Osbornes' villa, Chris saw old man DeNiro and Mr. Osborne sitting on the sofa as soon as he entered the door. He didn't know what they were talking since he had always been uninterested in the Osbornes' affairs. He was about to go upstairs when he was stopped by Mr. Osborne.
"Chris, come with me to the study."
The tone of Mr. Osborne's voice sounded very serious. Chris stirred up some displeasure through his brows, but he still went to the study with his father.
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He just didn't think that old man DeNiro would also follow them in.
Chris leaned back against the seat, looking cold and unruly.
DeNiro smiled and put a photo on the desk.
It was of Chris kissing Lin Yifei at the end of today's competition. The pixels weren't very clear. It seemed to be taken with a cell, but one could definitely tell who's in the picture.
"It is hard for me to imagine that you, a child who seems rational and indifferent, will have such a crazy side. Young people are really different from old people like me who are about to enter the coffin."
Chris looked at the picture. His expression became even colder.
"What do you want to say?"
"Leave this Chinese boy." DeNiro's voice showed no command and sounded more like advice.
"I can leave the Osbornes, but I will not give up on him." Chris was about to leave when DeNiro's voice rang again.
"True, you can leave the Osbornes, and I have the ability to destroy that boy's life."
"What do you want to do?" Chris's voice rose. His fingers gripped the chair.
"You can make a phone call to ask the boy. Their Chinese restaurant should be closed now? In fact, this is only a small effort. I can make their family bankrupt, expel him from school, and send his family back to China. I have plenty of ways to make him live in pain." DeNiro propped up his chin. "Chris, what can you do to help him with this?"
Chris widened his eyes as if he never thought that DeNiro would do these things to Lin Yifei.
"Don't you feel redundant doing these? After I give up the Osbornes' family, I believe that there're many people waiting to be its successor."
"Chris, do you think that you can be free after you give up the inheritance right? Think about how many people hate you now. Once you lose this position, there'll be many people waiting to make you feel worse."
"I don't want be separated from him."
DeNiro smiled, "don't want to" and "can't" are two different concepts. Even if you don't want to, you'll have to separate from him. Otherwise, you'll make him get hurt. If you're sure that this is what you want, I'll call the school next week and ask them to expel that Chinese boy. No school in the entire United States will dare to admit him."
Chris clenched his trembling fist.
"I'll give you a week to think about it. After the week is up, I'll make sure that Chinese boy is miserable. Do you all like fencing?" DeNiro stood up and patted Chris on the shoulder. "Can you accept it if he can never hold his sabre again because of you?"
After DeNiro walked out of the door, Chris lowered his head, gritting his teeth.
"Is what he said true?"
Mr. Osborne nodded his head.
"That's what he said to me before. If I go to see Sissie, or just give living expenses, DeNiro will make Sissie more miserable. If he does not approve of someone, he'll spare no effort to destroy them."
"Argh!" Chris sneered mockingly, "Then can I only follow the road he laid out?"
"Chris, do you know when a person has the most freedom?" Mr. Osborne asked.
Chris stared at him.
"Only when your power is greater than that of everyone can you choose the road you want to take and love the person you want to love." Mr. Osborne gripped his son's fingers. The helplessness in his voice could only be understood at his age. "Just like before, I knew clearly that your mother was having a bad life. I knew how she abandoned her dignity to save your life. But I have to endure it. Because once I helped her, DeNiro would make both of your life more miserable. I can only wait and endure until my wings are full-fledged and no longer under his control."
"What about now? Why should we be subject to his control?"
"My sister who's your aunt married the Taylor family. They hold a certain economic power in the Osborne family. If they really marry Elizabeth to your second uncle's son, coupled with DeNiro's support, the situation won't be good for us. Once this photo is shown to others and your status as the heir is questioned, others will use this as an excuse to unite opposition forces against us. When the time comes, it will be stormy. I can't protect you or Lin."
Chris sat there calmly, looking at the photo.
"… I'm afraid of being separated from him."
"Chris, Lin is a strong child. Think about what he said to you when you left New York with me."
Chris closed his eyes, triggering a depreciating smile on his lips.
"He asked me, 'We're only 12 years old. Do I know what it means?'"
"What's the answer?"
"It means that our life had just begun. We can still do many things to fulfill our unfinished wish, but we aren't strong enough to resist fate." Chris smiled wryly. "Four years later, I'm still not strong enough to resist fate."
"Then let yourself grow up. Falling love isn't a big deal. But do you have the ability to keep this love while enduring separation?"
This was the only dialogue between father and son in four years.
Mr. Osborne got up and left the study, leaving Chris sitting at the desk. Chris stayed there all night.
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