I like the little insights into the movie and television profession that we get to see in this novel. Filming conditions bring Chu Jian and Jian Bianlin even closer together. And Little Chu Jian is just adorable.
*covering my ears and waiting for the shrieks that are going to rise up from all of you guys*
Chapter 7.4 — Your Eyes that Stir Me (4)
Having discovered that, once again, some agents had hired hordes of posters to inundate the internet with comments bashing Jian Bianlin, Xie Bin was right at this moment off to one side having a clash of words with a marketing company. The van door was pushed open. Jian Bianlin, his down parka in hand, jumped out.
“You two all finished up already?” Xie Bin’s word choice and tone was not at all tasteful.
In the black of the night, Jian Bianlin stared at him until Xie Bin got the willies. After pausing for a moment, Jian Bianlin put on the down parka and, from the pocket of Xie Bin’s coat, pulled out a cigarette.
Lighting up, he went off alone to go calm down.
Xie Bin’s eyes followed after the view of Jian Bianlin’s backside, his heart filled with nervousness. He remembered that the last time Jian Bianlin lit a cigarette, it had been because he and Chu Jian had quarreled. What was going on this time? My dear ancestor, you’re in a relationship, but it’s like I’m along on the roller coaster ride with you.
Agitated by the feelings of frustration caught in his chest, Xie Bin opened his mouth and immediately began telling off the person who was in the phone. “Trying to help fan the flames of his popularity? Do you think I need them to help me fan any flames of popularity? Don’t you know that my company’s Jian Bianlin is a flammable and explosive material in himself? Any little hints of anything and he’s plastered all over top news and searches for days. It’s not like he’s one of those internet stars. Can you get any lower? Over-exposure and over-promoting are bad for the works that he puts out, you know? You get your *ss moving and get him off the top trending topics pronto!”
Jian Bianlin aimlessly walked around outside, wandering here and wandering there down the side of a nearby road. He had pulled up the hood of his down parka, concealing his face, and he looked just like any unimportant supporting actor who might have temporarily stepped away from one of the filming projects in Hengdian. Eventually, he sat straddling a rock that was on the roadside and watched the cars that were coming and going.
He had lost control of things just now.
There were many things that Chu Jian did not know.
Those foolish things from his days of youth. He had thought that he had hidden them from everyone, but the one person he could not deceive was the he of more than ten years later, looking back upon that time.
First year of high school had been unlike middle school. In middle school, she had always waited for him to go home together after school was dismissed, but in high school, their relationship had naturally drifted apart and they had no longer been as close. Back then, Class No. 1 and No. 9 were at opposite ends of the hallway, each adjacent to one of the two stairwells that were on the sides of the teaching building. He could not see her, so every physical education, biology, and computers class, he would seize any opportunity to leave the teaching building and then circle back by going through the stairwell beside Class No. 9, thinking that this at least gave him a chance of seeing her.
If he was lucky, one out of ten times, he would be able to run into her.
During the school sports meet in their first year of high school, their two classes had also sat at opposite ends of the bleachers. He still clearly remembered how he had deliberately taken a seat in the first row because he had wanted to watch her run the 4 x 100 metres relay. A number tag had been pinned to her back with a paper clip, and dressed in shorts on that winter day along with two or three other girls, she had shivered as she jogged by in front of him. In a very surprised tone, she had tossed a question at him. “Jian Bianlin, you’re so tall but you’re still sitting in the first row. Aren’t you worried you’ll block other people’s views?” Once she said this, before she even had a chance to hear his answer, she was already hopping off the stairs and heading toward the athletic track.
With his right palm pressed against his forehead, Jian Bianlin could not help laughing.
The subsequent scenes that were shot in Hengdian all went very smoothly. In the past, Jian Bianlin had not filmed any romance movies. All his roles had either been ones focused on brotherhood or psychopathic characters where emphasis was placed on mental workings and internal struggles. In any case, because of past impressions of him, the director and other collaborators did not feel that there was anything wrong or out of the ordinary with his dislike for filming intimate scenes.
This was what one would call “an image that was established well”…
The scenes shot here were completed in less than five days. Next, they headed straight to a remote mountain village, which absolutely could not compare with the hotel in Hengdian. Regardless of whether it was a big shot celebrity or a director, a little supporting actor or an assistant, there was basically no difference in the room that each person stayed in. At most, the difference lay in whether it was several people staying in one room or one person staying alone. Even hot water was supplied for only two hours each day.
The most brutal part was that there were not enough rooms.
Chu Jian, as Jian Bianlin’s “wife,” was straight out arranged to stay in a room with him. Given that the lead actress was also sleeping in one room with her assistant, Chu Jian, as someone who was only here as a companion, could not request that she have a single room to herself, right?
Of course, even if she wanted a single room, there were none available.
Since stepping into the room and seeing the oversized single bed, Chu Jian had started to grow anxious.
But after carrying that anxiousness for the better part of the night, she finally fell asleep at some time past two in the morning with a magazine clasped against herself.
Beneath the dim yellow glow of that single light, the vague outline of a figure approached her. Jian Bianlin pulled off his coat and tossed it onto the small dresser in the corner of the room. Then, removing his shoes, he got onto the bed and fixed his gaze on the sleeping Chu Jian, who was half-sitting up and leaning against the head of the bed, still hugging the magazine. Slowly, he lay himself down and curled up his tall, 1.8-plus metre frame, his back against the wall and his face touching the part of her thigh that was outside the quilt. He slipped his arm around her waist, closed his eyes, and, making do with their surroudings, drifted off into sleep like this.
In the middle of the night, Chu Jian’s felt stifled. There was a persistent feeling that something was squashing down on her, and she suddenly awoke in a daze.
Her fingers needed only to shift slightly and then they would be able to touch his short hair. Her heart unexpectedly quivered. “Why haven’t you covered up with the blanket?” Though Jian Bianlin had been woken by her motions, he did not want to open his eyes.
Why haven’t you covered up with the blanket?
He felt as if he had returned to those days when he was a child, six or seven years old, maybe? His dad was away from home, in Zhoushan for half a month, and Jian Bianlin was staying with the Chu family in their home. During his afternoon naptime, there would constantly be an especially annoying voice saying over and over, “My mom says that if you don’t cover up with a blanket, you’ll catch a cold. Why haven’t you covered up with the blanket?” Irate from hearing her voice, he turned over, curled up, and continued sleeping. Before long, a little blanket carrying the unique scent of soap that was found on her was placed on top of him. While she was at it, she very annoyingly included a sentence with the action: “My mom said you’ll catch a cold.”
He had lain like this in a hazy state of drowsiness for an hour. Now, his waist was stiff, and he needed to wait for some time before he could straighten himself again. Pulling the pillow that she was resting against down from behind her back, he had her lie down first. Then, lifting up the corner of the quilt, he slipped in under it as well.
So warm. It was her body heat that had warmed it.
This series of actions had come naturally and uninterruptedly. When they were both lying together under a single quilt, Chu Jian suddenly became wide awake. Her heartbeat pounded harder as her feeling of anxiousness grew, and the memory of that night in the van was called up in her mind. In the end, Jian Bianlin had been unable to restrain himself and had pushed up her camisole—
Sleepiness was heavy upon him now. When his hand brushed against her waist, the motion of pulling her toward himself came very naturally.
“You’re not tired?” Chu Jian dared not breathe too loudly, having evidently misunderstood his intention.
Did this “mm” mean, yes, he was tired, or no, he was not tired?
It could have been because of her stiffness, because of her mistaken assumption, or because their bodies that were snugged tightly together had caused a natural physiological reaction in him—the reason could not be traced. Anyhow, that person who originally had been extremely sleepy was also unable to fall into a sound slumber…
His lips brushed against the short hairs atop her head and grazed across her forehead.
His hands that were beneath the quilt now, rather improperly, got rid of all the barriers and obstructions, either pulling them off or tossing them aside or shoving them out of the way with his knee, until they were all somewhere off of the bed…
Only when his watch knocked against the headboard of the bed and made a noise did he realize that he had thrown everything off the bed but had forgotten to take off his watch.
He was scared it would bump against her and hurt her.
Leaning over, he ferociously planted kisses on her while bringing both his hands behind his back, tugging off his watch, and tossing it onto the table.
When he grasped her hand and pressed it against the back of his bare waist, he even asked himself, was it too casual to do it here, like it was being viewed as unimportant? … But it was too late to stop. He could only fumble around for her hand, feeling each finger individually until he found her ring finger. That little pinky ring was slipped off of him and on to her.
Chu Jian, I love you.
His warm, moist lips caressed against her ear for a long while. Those words that were caught in his throat for so long still were not spoken—the weight of those three words was simply too great.
Chu Jian: “No, no, I can’t, I can’t. Stop for a sec. Feel my legs. Why are they shaking?”
Jian Bianlin’s throat was dry and tight. “……”
Chu Jian: “Wait! Tell me first, have you ever done it with anyone before?”
Jian Bianlin: “……”
He truly wanted to take his heart out for her to see.
Apart from her, who else could possibly be held in there?
Jian Bianlin’s voice was so terribly seductive as, huskily, he asked, “It’s here, right? Right here…”
She could only pretend to be a mute with these questions, so embarrassed she wanted to shove him off the bed. How could he actually ask something like that out loud, aaaah? …
His elbows were beside her face, pressing down into the pillow and leaving marks in it. His throat clenched… All those deadly, unfamiliar, tiny sensations that he was feeling were all madly declaring that she was his. It was all too real, yet it felt like a dream.
Later on, Jian Bianlin somewhat lost control of himself and ended up making her cry. Flustered, he picked her up into his arms, his heart aching terribly. Chu Jian lay against his bare upper body, her own body covered in sweat from the pain. This bed had been creaking the whole time…
Seeing her like this, the only feeling that remained in Jian Bianlin was heartache for her, and he could not be bothered to care about anything else. From the floor at the foot of the bed, he picked up his pants and slipped them on. Then, wrapping Chu Jian tightly in the quilt, he lifted her up onto his lap, where he enfolded her into his arms.
He could not shift his gaze away. His eyes were fixed on her, glistening brightly as if they had been bathed in water.
In the stillness, he stated softly, “I want to get married. Chu Jian, I really want to get married.”
Chu Jian could feel her eardrums quiver slightly. It felt as if a layer of moisture covered them.
Not getting a response from the person in his embrace, he tightened his hold a little. Still, that person in his arms did not make a sound. He began to pull open the quilt that was around her. The sudden feeling of cool air against her chest caused Chu Jian to find her soul again, and she yanked the quilt back against herself with all her might, stammering that she was cold.
He did not utter a word, only encircling her in his arms, holding her tightly, hugging her.
He had worn her out for two hours, and now, there was an indescribable dull pain in Chu Jian’s body. So uncomfortable. After sitting for a short while, her mind grew heavy, as if in a haze, and her head bobbed as she began to drift off to sleep.
When her head dropped forward, she would startle awake.
Jian Bianlin was still sitting at the edge of the bed with her enclosed in his embrace, watching as she dozed off.
From beneath the quilt, Chu Jian lifted out her arm and touched his face, but Jian Bianlin clasped her hand into his. Bowing his head, he placed a kiss in her palm.
Softly, she spoke up. “Why are you even rushing me? It’s not like we can get married here…”
水军 “shui jun.” 网络水军 “wang luo shui jun” literally translates as the “Internet Water Army” and is referring to hidden, paid posters/spammers, hired to “flood” the internet with specific content. This type of paid posting can involve thousands of hired individuals.
祖宗 “zu zong.” Literally means “ancestor.” In a situation where someone is acting in a way that you don’t like but there is nothing you can do about his actions, this person is like your “ancestor,” for even though he is doing something inappropriate, you cannot admonish him.
Ahem. *whistles* ♩♪♫ “Row, row, row your boat…”
It’s the third time that he’s mentioned marriage. Notice that the response is very different this time? Or rather, it’s an indirect “yes.”