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    The moment Fu Luoyin saw him sliding down, all his anger vanished.

    He swiftly caught and steadied him, sternly calling out, "Lin Shuicheng!"

    A crash echoed in the room as the chief, startled by Fu's shout, tumbled out of the pile of book boxes with a pitiful meow.

    Lin Shuicheng said, "I'm fine, I'm fine, you..."

    Before he could finish his sentence, his knees gave way again. Attempting to push away Fu Luoyin, he stumbled, almost hitting his head on the corner of the table. Eventually, Fu roughly pulled him over. "Change your clothes. I'll take you to the hospital nearby. We'll talk later."

    Fu felt his temples pulsating, and even his usually rebellious stomach seemed to be twisting in agony, connected to some unknown source of pain.

    He assumed it was because of Lin Shuicheng's antics, but looking at his unfocused gaze and pale complexion, a strange panic—unfamiliar and unsettling—sprang up within him.

    Why was this happening?

    This uncontrollable turmoil also reminded him of the speech he had missed. He had heard that Lin Shuicheng had fainted on stage. That day, Lin called him from the infirmary, phone placed beside his pillow.

    He tried every trick to lull him to sleep, describing the deep winds and starry sky that day, even asking if he wanted a desert hare.

    It felt as if it had happened just yesterday.

    Lin Shuicheng panted heavily, finally managing to steady himself against a table. "I'm fine, I caught a fever from the rain. Why are you here?"

    Only now did he realize that Fu Luoyin seemed to have been waiting by the door all along.

    "Fuyu told me you were here," Fu Luoyin recalled, and the hostility in his eyes flared up once more. A chill crept over his entire body, turning him into a rigid statue standing there. All signs of his earlier vulnerability vanished, leaving behind an intense, restrained malice and dominance.

    "You left your key in the door before you left. Fortunately, it was me who came first. So, you're keeping such a clear account after our breakup, even planning your severance fee? How come you're the one who's so disoriented and lost?"

    Taking a step closer, Fu Luoyin's intimidating presence intensified.

    He lowered his head to look into Lin Shuicheng's eyes, almost glaring at him fiercely. It was as if by staring, Lin Shuicheng would inevitably plead for mercy and confess everything on his mind.

    Fu Luoyin believed that Lin Shuicheng couldn't live without him.

    That he loved him desperately.

    This was a chase where one side was destined to lose from the start. He would be the ultimate victor, but — why was he feeling so anxious himself?

    Lin Shuicheng was still breathing shallowly, his face unnaturally pale, but his lips and cheeks had an unusual redness due to his fever. The rain had drenched his hair, and raindrops clung to his eyelashes, making his eyes appear even brighter.

    Fu Luoyin had never seen Lin Shuicheng like this before. There was always a shimmer in his eyes, as if they held a sentimental glow or the madness of an obsessed patient. When he glanced over, it could send a slight shiver down one's spine.

    Lin Shuicheng struggled to lift his gaze and meet Fu Luoyin's. Everything he heard was muffled, so he could only strain to raise his eyes and lock eyes with Fu Luoyin.

    This look made it impossible for Fu Luoyin to maintain his composure. He growled again, lowly, "Lin Shuicheng!"

    He couldn't describe this feeling. In that instant, he almost believed that the person in front of him was about to dissipate like ashes at any moment. Before he could think further, he reached out and pulled Lin Shuicheng into his embrace.

    He felt Lin Shuicheng trembling, unsure if it was from the cold outside.

    Taking a deep breath, two desires intertwined in Fu Luoyin's mind at that instant. One was to let Lin Shuicheng go; he didn't care about the coming and going of a lover, just as he had never truly cared for him. Lin Shuicheng probably didn't realize what he was giving up – the love and future he had once vowed to offer as a partner. The other desire was to destroy him, just as he had done repeatedly during their two years together. He wanted to possess him completely, to assert his ownership, and hear him surrender in tears, which would bring him some twisted comfort.

    This suppressed darkness within him was like a scorpion lurking in the foggy shadows, and even Fu Luoyin himself was astonished by how Lin Shuicheng could evoke all his dark impulses at any given time.

    In the end, he did nothing. With somewhat rough movements, he carried Lin Shuicheng and threw him onto the bed.

    The air conditioner in the rental room seemed broken, failing to warm up and instead dripping water. Fortunately, the water heater worked, so Fu Luoyin filled a basin with slightly hot water, soaked a clean towel, wrung it out, and used the warm moisture to wipe Lin Shuicheng's body and change his clothes.

    Lin Shuicheng preferred warmer water. He was trembling uncontrollably and, after a long while, whispered, "I'm cold."

    Fu Luoyin had bathed him before and knew he liked to soak in slightly hot water. But today, Lin Shuicheng had a fever.

    With one hand, Fu Luoyin held him down. At first, Lin Shuicheng would flinch from the coolness, but later, either he adapted to the temperature or simply lost the energy to move, remaining motionless on the bed.

    Recalling how even a simple bath could make Lin Shuicheng's eyes brim with tears, Fu Luoyin tried his best to be gentle. After wiping him clean, he saw that Lin Shuicheng had buried his face in the blankets. So, he pulled him out again, holding his chin to check if he was crying.

    But there were no tears.

    Lin Shuicheng stared blankly at him, still shivering uncontrollably, his vision blurred.

    Fu Luoyin touched his forehead, noticing that it was still burning hot. He then asked, "Lin Shuicheng, where did you keep your medicine? Do you have any cold medication?"

    Lin Shuicheng didn't respond, only shaking his head. Lowering his head and closing his eyes, he seemed to be drifting off to sleep.

    "Don't sleep yet. Take the medicine first," Fu Luoyin instructed.

    Lin Shuicheng ignored him, or perhaps he didn't hear him clearly.

    He paused and said, "...Wait for me to come back."

    Fu Luoyin looked at him, took a deep breath, and found another blanket in the bedroom closet to cover Lin Shuicheng. Then, he braved the rain to go buy medicine.

    The Chief emerged from the darkness, following Fu Luoyin as if it wanted to accompany him out. Fu Luoyin noticed the tabby cat and gently blocked its way with his foot.

    It was convenient at Star University due to the large number of students, and many things were readily available.

    Fu Luoyin bought some fever medicine and ready-made ginger ale. Upon returning, he placed these items on the bedside table and helped Lin Shuicheng sit up.

    Lin Shuicheng was very obedient. He took the medicine when asked, not even complaining about the bitterness of the white pills. Fu Luoyin handed him the ginger ale, and he struggled to swallow it bit by bit.

    As the spicy drink rolled down his throat, it felt like a scorching burn. Under this pain, Lin Shuicheng regained some clarity. He looked at Fu Luoyin and said hesitantly, "Th... Thank you."

    Fu Luoyin felt that he was losing control of the malice simmering within him. With half-hearted sarcasm, he chuckled coldly, "A cup of ginger ale costs five yuan, and the fever medicine adds up to twenty-seven yuan. Shouldn't you remember to pay me back?"

    Lin Shuicheng was taken aback for a moment before searching for his phone. After a while, he realized that Fu Luoyin had put his phone on the bedside table while undressing him. He leaned over to reach for it. Just as he grabbed the phone but before he could open the transfer page, Fu Luoyin dragged him over and fiercely pinned him down on the bed!

    Fu Luoyin glared down at him with fury, "The hell do you really think you're returning my money? Do you think I need your measly amount? Who are you putting on this act for, Lin Shuicheng?"

    Lin Shuicheng remained silent, gazing at him calmly.

    "You live in this shabby place, run off alone and get sick, trying to evoke my sympathy – do you think that will work?" Fu Luoyin asked. "If you had the guts to directly ask me who that person in the photo is and why he's there, why didn't you?

    "Let me tell you, Lin Shuicheng, he was my ex-boyfriend. That wallet accompanied me when I went to serve in the Eighth District. But as soon as I graduated, he dumped me. I rarely used this second wallet, only keeping my old military ID inside. I simply didn't have time to take it out," Fu Luoyin enunciated each word carefully. "I didn't tell you before because I was afraid you'd overthink. Now that I'm telling you, no matter how you react or how you act, I can tolerate and spoil you. But what you're doing now is unacceptable. This kind of behavior is something I despise the most in people around me. Do you understand? If you apologize, I'll apologize too. We can go back to how things were."

    He stared intently at Lin Shuicheng.

    Lying supine on the soft bed, Lin Shuicheng's eyes still sparkled like stars – stars in the depths of a winter night, bright, serene, and with a hint of chill.

    Fu Luoyin noticed his lips move, then heard Lin Shuicheng speak.

    "I'm sorry," he heard him say.

    Followed by, "I really want to end this relationship, Fu Luoyin."

    The smile that had just flickered in Fu Luoyin's eyes froze.

    Lin Shuicheng spoke with some effort, yet his logic remained clear. Restrained in Fu Luoyin's embrace, he could only look up at him, entirely passive. However, he didn't seem flustered by the current situation; he was merely exhausted.

    "I wasn't in a romantic relationship with you from the start."

    Fu Luoyin was so close that his warm breath, tinged with the scent of mint, brushed against Lin Shuicheng's brows as if about to kiss him.

    For an instant, Lin Shuicheng was momentarily dazed before he paused and continued, "Due to certain reasons, I chose to stay by your side, but that was wrong. I'm sorry for wasting your time and money... Regarding the financial aspect, I'll try my best to compensate you. As for other favors, like helping E etc. connect with a hospital... If you're willing, name a price, and I'll do my utmost..."

    The room fell into a deep silence.

    Fu Luoyin stared at him without moving. Lin Shuicheng felt that dizzying sensation again and struggled to keep his voice from trembling like his body.

    Fu Luoyin's assertiveness, almost possessive dominance, and sharp isolation made him feel constantly exposed.

    He might see through Lin Shuicheng like a fragmented paper filled with incorrect formulas, his years of failed, indulgent life, and the disguise beneath his attentive infatuation, where those loving words were actually meant for someone else.

    Given Fu Luoyin's character, one couldn't predict what he might do once he saw through something.

    Lin Shuicheng lowered his gaze and repeated, "...I'm sorry."

    Moments later, Fu Luoyin rose abruptly, storming back without a word and slamming the door shut with great force!

    The windows rattled in response, their tremors suggesting that even the doorframe might shatter under such intensity.

    Startled once more, the chief meowed pitifully and leaped onto the bed, burrowing into Lin Shuicheng's embrace. However, Lin Shuicheng was now unable to offer any comfort.

    The instant Fu Luoyin left, Lin Shuicheng exhaled in relief as if the last vestige of strength had drained from his body.

    He still felt cold, a chill that permeated his flesh and bones. The warmth of the house seemed to have vanished abruptly, leaving him exposed to a relentless downpour. That rainstorm never truly ceased; it had been drizzling ever since he was stopped at the cemetery gates two years ago, persisting until this very moment.

    He still transferred the money for today's purchase, including the ginger ale and medication.

    Not long ago, he had deleted Fu Luoyin's text message thread, but they still had a WeChat contact. Fu Luoyin had added him while they were playing poker.

    The last recorded transfer was the gambling debt that Lin Shuicheng had lost.

    Huddled in bed, Lin Shuicheng struggled to stay awake, waiting for Fu Luoyin to accept the transfer.

    However, Fu Luoyin didn't accept it.

    Lin Shuicheng typed slowly, "I'm sorry, I'm not feeling well today, so my performance wasn't up to par. Please accept my apologies."

    Just as he was about to send another message, a red warning window popped up on his chat screen: "Message failed to send. You have been blocked by the recipient."

    Lin Shuicheng was slightly taken aback.

    When Su Yu went to Fu Luoyin's house to look for him that day, he had mentally prepared himself extensively.

    This time, Dong Shuoye didn't accompany him. Before arriving at Fu's place, Su Yu had deliberately bought a giant pink plush cushion to boost his confidence: If Fu were to devastate the world, he would shield himself with the cushion; if Fu managed to reconcile with Lin Shuicheng, he would give the cushion to them as a wish for their lasting union.

    Upon entering the house, Su Yu stepped down and heard a loud "crack."

    He lowered his head slowly and cautiously.

    Shimmering fragments littered the floor. Fu Luoyin's customized, state-of-the-art smartphone from the Fu Military Tech Company was now in pieces, having even left a shallow dent in the door.

    Author's Note:

    An irresponsible post-script after the main story:

    Little Lin: Reasonably speaking, it was you who first asked me for money. According to the script, I would definitely give it to you, right?

    Little Fu: Lin Shuicheng, you have no heart, you really don't.

    Little Lin: And if we're following the typical domineering CEO trope... I thought you'd pin me down and do all sorts of things? A bit disappointed here.

    Little Fu: You have NO heart!!! Lin Shuicheng, you just lust after my body!!!

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