A month and a half later.
The shortlist for the China Peak Movie Awards was published online.
‘Special Operations’ was nominated for five awards in one fell swoop. The most eye-catching one was the duo of Ji Yunqi and Yuan Yifei, who were both nominated for ‘Best Actor.’
Ji Li saw the shortlist in his RV and slightly raised an eyebrow. “The shortlist for the China Peak Movie Awards is out?”
Yu Fuya heard this and couldn’t help glancing at Baozi. They knew about the appearance of this list earlier than Ji Li.
Baozi hesitated to speak. “Brother Ji, don’t be sad. I heard that the producer nominated all three of you.”
“I know. What is there to be sad about?” Ji Li saw Baozi’s embarrassed look and knew what he was thinking.
There were only four nominations for ‘Best Actor’ at the China Peak Movie Awards. If one movie took up three nominations, how could the male protagonists of the other movies live?
Ji Yunqi and Yuan Yifei were the two male protagonists on the positive and negative axis of the movie, and they were more suitable to be shortlisted.
At the very beginning, Ji Li’s Chen Xi was only meant to be the second male lead. Later, Qin Yue and the investor Yuexing broke the rules and raised him up by a level.
In Ji Li’s thoughts, this role was a bit lacking in terms of being ‘qualified’ for being nominated.
“Isn’t there the second part for ‘Special Operations’? In addition, I have other male protagonist movies. If I work hard enough, some awards will come sooner or later.”
The shortlist of the awards ceremony was decided by the organizing committee. After comprehensive consideration, there was no need to take the gains and losses of a single awards ceremony so seriously.
Yu Fuya saw that he really didn’t care and smiled again. “It is good that you have a normal heart. Besides, it isn’t like we have nothing.”
Xiang Suian from ‘Time Lobbyist’ was shortlisted for Best Supporting Actor, and Ji Li was also entered into the competition for ‘Most Popular Actor.’ There was still a good chance of winning a trophy.
Ji Li nodded and simply forwarded the list published on the Internet to the trio’s WeChat group.
“Congratulations, fierce gong and cool brother.”
Ji Yunqi was the first to appear. “I am just an escort. Let Yuan Bao win the award.”
He had always been carefree, but now he was actually a bit restrained.
Yuan Yifei popped up quickly. “Forget it. I am used to being an escort.”
Ji Li had to smile at the back and forth between the two of them and easily exposed their cautious behavior. “Why an escort? Stop this.”
“I sincerely congratulate the two of you. I don’t feel uncomfortable not being nominated. For this year’s Best Actor, there is a 50% chance that our crew will win it. No matter who is chosen, you have to treat me to a meal.”
They were true friends, and he didn’t like polite words.
Ji Li was very clear that Yuan Yifei and Ji Yunqi were trying to take care of his emotions.
However, he didn’t want to let his friends lose their joy of being shortlisted to worry because of his ‘lost selection.’
The three of them chatted in the group for a while. They quickly got rid of this small bump and agreed to meet in the capital and have dinner at the beginning of the month.
He was shortlisted for the Peak Move Awards, so Yu Fuya had already discussed with the organizers about the hotel accommodation in advance.
“Qin Yue’s movie will finish filming in two days, right? I think he is one of the invited guests of the Peak Movie Awards.”
Ji Li’s eyes froze slightly when he heard this.
Yu Fuya had her eyes on her phone and didn’t notice his emotions as she continued to ask, “Ask him what hotel he has arranged. I will ask the organizer to arrange for your suite to be on the same floor. Then it will be convenient for you…”
Baozi sensed something was wrong and called out to stop her in time.
In just 30 seconds, Ji Li’s smile had completely froze, and there were some inexplicable and unclear emotions on his face.
Yu Fuya thought her baby was being bullied and instantly raised her fighting spirit. “Ji Li, what’s wrong with you and Qin Yue?”
“It’s nothing much. We have both been busy filming during this time, and there is a time difference, so it is difficult to talk for long,” Ji Li replied while his eyes fell on his phone’s WeChat.
During this period of time, his chats with Qin Yue had always been intermittent.
The two of them still communicated with each other about their daily events and exchanged good mornings and good nights during their free time, but it vaguely felt like something had changed.
“…I’ll ask him another day.” Ji Li paused, and for the first time in his life, he said insincere words. “We don’t necessarily have to stay on the same floor.”
He still remembered last year’s One Hundred Images Awards. The trivial hotel accommodation matters were directly arranged by Qin Yue.
Yu Fuya was about to ask something. Then she noticed the exhaustion and pressure in Ji Li’s eyes and abruptly stopped the topic.
As the male protagonist of ‘Demon Monk’, Ji Li was busy filming every day. In his spare time, he hung on the wire and practiced martial arts moves. This type of work intensity was a bit overloaded.
“I will ask the crew for four days off once it is time for the Peak Movie Awards. Putting aside the back and forth time and the day of the awards, you will be able to rest well for the rest of the time.”
Yu Fuya was silent for a while. Then she gave rare advice as someone who had been in this position.
“Ji Li, you can’t delay or shrink back when it comes to emotional matters. If you think there is a problem between the two of you, talk about it as soon as possible so as to not hurt yourself or others.”
“Sister Yu, I know what you mean.”
It was a pity that he and Qin Yue were in different countries and were busy with their own careers.
Ji Li wanted to find an opportunity to talk about the problem, but he never had a chance. During this time, he finally understood why the breakup rate between couples in the entertainment industry was so high.
Some problems that could be solved in a single meeting were worn down by the day to day work and eventually became nowhere to be found.
Ji Li thought about how the word ‘break up’ might be applied to him and Qin Yue and fell into unprecedented confusion.
He had no experience and didn’t know how to balance his career and love. The restraint he had honed over his years in the entertainment industry seemed to drag him down in this matter.
A week later, the Xiangyun Star Hotel in the capital.
This was the hotel arranged by the organizers of the Peak Movie Awards for the celebrities. Of course, many celebrities might choose to stay in other places.
Ji Li didn’t want to fuss over these trivial matters. The hotel environment was in line with his needs, so he let the organizer directly arrange his accommodation.
This was Qin Yue’s room number that Yu Fuya told him.
Qin Yue had flown directly to the capital after he finished filming the day before yesterday and had also settled in this hotel.
Ji Li found the corresponding room number and hesitated to enter.
He had discovered, through the fans’ messages, when the other person finished filming..
He had known, through the agents of both of their parties, when the other person had checked into the hotel..
Their WeChat messages were stuck on a day ago.
-Have you got off the plane yet?
-Yes. I want to see you.
-When I arrive in the capital and check into the hotel, shall we meet?
Since Qin Yue wanted to see him, why didn’t Qin Yue come to see him as soon as possible? Why did they have to be separated by this door right now?
Ji Li took a deep breath and tried to adjust his mood. Before he could ring the doorbell, the closed door of the room suddenly opened.
Qin Yue, who he hadn’t seen in a long time, was standing in the doorway. He looked stunned and flustered when he saw Ji Li standing outside the door.
Ji Li noticed Qin Yue’s emotions, and his heart seemed to be gripped by a pair of big hands. He quickly broke away from this helpless pain.
“Qin Yue, are you planning on going out?”
“I…” Qin Yue stopped talking, as if there was some secret he wanted to say but couldn’t confess.
Their meeting was actually so awkward after a month and a half? Were they still a couple?
Suddenly, the two of them seemed to have become strangers.
Ji Li suppressed the sourness in his eyes. The acting skills he developed over the years reached their peak at this moment. He pretended to calmly step forward as he asked, word for word.
“Qin Yue, are we going to break up like this?”
There was a suffocating silence.
Ji Li had already thought of his words, but at this moment, he suddenly lost the motivation to speak.
Once Qin Yue withdrew his initiative, Ji Li was left in a dilemma like a fool. How bold and assertive was he in his career, and how wandering and confused was he in terms of emotions?
However, Ji Li had finally made up his mind in this situation. He couldn’t let go of this relationship. Even if Qin Yue really agreed to break up, he would shamelessly stick to this person.
“Qin Yue, actually, I…”
Before Ji Li could say anything, Qin Yue hugged him.
The door was slammed shut.
“Ji Li, don’t break up with me.”
A trembling request rang in his ears.
“I admit that I have been negligent as a lover recently. I-I-I just don’t know how to confess to you.”
The strength of his embrace increased, and the side of Ji Li’s neck was stained wet. This stemmed from Qin Yue’s fear and uneasiness that immediately poured into Ji Li’s heart.
“Qin Yue?” Ji Li was startled and hugged him back.
Qin Yue seemed to feel some relief from this, and his trembling voice softened when he spoke again.
“The script of ‘Long Island Iced Tea’ was sent to you by me. I despicably set a trap to make you fall in love with me. I know I was wrong…’
“I was always afraid that you would enter into the act too deeply. I was afraid that your feelings for me were just Lu Yao’s replacement for Wen Qiong.”
Ji Li’s acting career wouldn’t end here. He would meet more crews and more actors to cooperate with in the future.
The emotions of the characters belonging to ‘Long Island Iced Tea’ would expire sooner or later. At that time, the love for Wen Qiong would also be gone.
Ever since he discovered this problem in the crew, Qin Yue tried to restrain himself over the past month and a half in an attempt to figure out the best way for the two of them to go on in the future.
Qin Yue was afraid of being too proactive and creating an unnecessary burden on the other person.
Qin Yue was even more afraid that Ji Li would use this month to realize that his relationship with him was dispensable.
“Ji Li, I just didn’t know how to be honest with you. I was afraid you would hate me for my deception. No, I felt guilty and uneasy.”
“I told myself that even if you hate me and want to break up with me after learning the truth, I wouldn’t stop you.”
How could a relationship built on a trap be expected to last forever? It was only right to blame himself. He was the one who bound himself in this cocoon.
In fact, just now, Qin Yue had been on his way to find Ji Li. He hadn’t expected to find his loved one standing outside the door.
Ji Li’s sentence ‘are we going to break up like this?’ completely broke through the line of defense in Qin Yue’s heart. It turned out that he couldn’t let go at all.
“Ji Li, give me one more chance, okay? Even if it means pursuing you again as Qin Yue.”
“I want you to love me, not Wen Qiong.”
Qin Yue’s pleading voice was eager and trembling. He was obviously the proud son of heaven in the entertainment industry, but he made himself so humble. Anyone who listened to his plea would understand that he loved Ji Li miserably.
“Qin Yue.” Ji Li patted his lover’s back.
What he was most afraid of was that Qin Yue suddenly didn’t love him. Now that he found the opposite was true, the small haze of unease was completely dispelled.
“Huh?” Qin Yue still held him tightly, not showing any signs of letting go.
Ji Li’s heart was filled with this person’s laugh, and he couldn’t help chuckling. “Who is jealous of his own character to the point of crying?”
“Do you think I didn’t know about the script of ‘Long Island Iced Tea’? In fact, I already know.”
Now it was Qin Yue’s turn to be confused. “W-What do you mean?”
“Director Cameron’s new movie needed Chinese actors, and he happened to find you and me? Is there really such a coincidence in the world?”
If it was really a coincidence, Ji Li was willing to believe that he and Qin Yue were born with a destined fate.
On the contrary, someone had done it deliberately.
“Before the last scene, I sat with Director Cameron and chatted with him. He said that Adolphe took the initiative to recommend me, but the script of ‘Long Island Iced Tea’ had always been kept a secret.”
“If Director Cameron didn’t mention it himself, how could Director Adolphe have known about it?”
So in order to verify his conjecture, Ji Li took the initiative to ask Director Adolphe and got the answer from the other person’s mouth.
Sure enough, this was all secretly arranged by Qin Yue.
However, the other person didn’t force him to sign the contract. He just gave Ji Li the choice of selecting the script.
The moment when he learned the truth, Ji Li didn’t have the slightest bit of anger about being deceived. He just felt inexplicably lucky.
“…Fortunately, I accepted this role or you would’ve acted with another actor. Perhaps your feelings for me would’ve transferred to that actor.”
Due to these words, a trace of warmth broke into Qin Yue’s heart that had been frozen by fear.
Wasn’t this just what he thought?
If Wen Qiong’s role was changed to another actor, would Ji Li have fallen in love with that actor?
“Qin Yue, there is one more thing I want to tell you.”
Qin Yue let go of Ji Li slightly, but he still stared at him out of fear that Ji Li would suddenly slip away from his arms.
“My feelings for you started far earlier than ‘Long Island Iced Tea’.”
“In the beginning, I respected and admired you. After acting with you twice, my perception of you started to become a bit special.”
It was so much so that on the day Xie Yan finished, when Ji Li heard Qin Yue’s voice saying good night, he momentarily blushed and his heart beat rapidly increased.
“I could sense your special feelings toward me when I was filming ‘Special Operations.’”
Saying goodnight with a code every night, the specially prepared hot pot, Qin Yue’s nervousness and worry after the dye got into his eyes, hugging him after drinking at the finale party…
Ji Li wasn’t a fool. He could feel the emotion in all of this.
In the face of such an outstanding person like Qin Yue, it would be a lie if Ji Li said he didn’t have any thoughts of making a movie with him. However, he valued his career that was on the rise and didn’t dare to easily start a relationship.
‘Long Island Iced Tea’ was a temptation and gamble for Qin Yue and a secret attempt for Ji Li.
He wanted to use the excuse of the script to try and get along with Qin Yue in a close way.
“…I won’t deny the influence that the character of Lu Yao brought to me on the day of the finale, and I admit that I was uncontrollably deep in the act, but that was just a moment of empathy. It didn’t last forever.”
Qin Yue understood all of this and had a hidden ecstasy in his eyes.
“Qin Yue, I know very well everything you’ve done for me.” Ji Li wiped away the moisture at the corner of the other person’s eyes and expressed all his hidden affection.
“The person Lu Yao loves is Wen Qiong, and the person Ji Li loves is Qin Yue.”
This sentence loudly rang out.
Qin Yue stayed where he was, and the uneasiness he had felt for the past few days suddenly disappeared.
He felt his heart beating wildly like a drum and felt the blood boiling all over his body. There were a thousand words in his mind, but once he opened his mouth again, it became a stupid sentence.
“Ji Li, can you say it again?”
“Qin Yue, I love you. It isn’t just a simple liking.”
Ji Li reached out to hook his arm, smiling as he approached. “This is the first time I have fallen in love, and it is inevitable that I have no experience. You have to give me another chance, okay?”
“I know I was wrong. I enjoyed your initiative and love too much this year and forgot that you could also feel uneasy. I will definitely change, so don’t be angry.”
Qin Yue was wrapped in Ji Li’s unprecedented initiative and affection, and it felt like he was in a huge sea of cotton. It was hot and drowsy.
He tentatively rubbed against the tip of Ji Li’s nose. Unexpectedly, the other person kissed him more directly.
Ji Li learned from Qin Yue’s previous actions. He carefully pried open his lover’s lips and teeth, and his tongue tentatively licked to please the other person.
He worked hard for a few seconds and found that Qin Yue was still as indifferent as a piece of wood. Therefore, he simply wrapped his hands and feet around this person. “Qin Yue, are you still angry?”
Qin Yue saw Ji Li’s slightly trembling eyelashes, and softness surged in his heart.
He wrapped an arm around his koala-like lover while grabbing the back of Ji Li’s head with the other hand, instantly deepening the kiss.
There was a trace of savage momentum in his kiss.
Ji Li didn’t have the slightest fear and hugged him even tighter.
The two of them kissed passionately. By the time they came back to their senses, they had already fallen down on the bed.
Qin Yue half propped up his body and stared at Ji Li’s bright and seductive lips that were kissed by himself. Suddenly, there was an indescribable sense of satisfaction. “Li Bao, I’m very happy.”
The simplest words contained the strong smell of honey.
After what had just happened, Ji Li obviously felt there was nothing to hide. He tentatively kissed Qin Yue’s Adam’s apple. “There is something even happier we can try. Do you want to try it?”
Qin Yue was stunned for a few seconds. He was eager to trap this person in his arms for the rest of their lives, but he still pretended to be a gentleman.
“The day after tomorrow is the movie awards. I’m afraid you won’t be able to slow down tomorrow.”
Ji Li hugged him relentlessly, filled with half longing and half teasing emotions. “But we haven’t done it for a long time. You really don’t want it?”
Perhaps he was influenced by the role of the demon monk, but Qin Yue always felt that his every word and action carried the ability to make his body burn. Qin Yue was hooked and charmed by him.
Qin Yue’s eyes completely darkened. “Don’t cry and beg for mercy later.”
Facts proved that he still had to cry when it was time to cry.
Ji Li originally thought that two or three times was the limit. He didn’t expect for Qin Yue to break through the bottom line of abstinence and be like a completely changed person.
In the end, no matter how much he raised his voice and begged for mercy, it was difficult to contain the other person’s ferocity.
He was so tired that he couldn’t take it anymore and fell asleep. Once he woke up again in confusion, he could only be pulled back into the bottomless abyss of desire.
By the time Ji Li woke up, it was already 5 o’clock in the afternoon of the next day.
His waist and back hurt as if he was an assembled toy that would completely fall apart if he wasn’t careful.
Qin Yue was no longer in the room. There was only a glass of water on the bedside table and a note pressed under the glass.
-I have a magazine shoot that was set two months ago, and it ends around 7 o’clock in the evening. I asked room service to bring up some steak, remember to eat it (if it is cold, you can order another one. Be good).
Ji Li remembered that when he was sleepy, Qin Yue had explained this in his ear. Qin Yue was probably afraid he wouldn’t remember and repeated it again in a note.
Looking at this battle, those who didn’t know anything would think he was a scumbag who slipped away once he was full.
Ji Li found that the quilt and his body were all clean and refreshed. It was obvious it was Qin Yue who had dealt with it.
He drank cold water until his hoarse and dry throat was relieved. Then he ordered a meal again.
The hotel’s room service was fast.
In less than half an hour, another freshly cooked steak was delivered.
Ji Li looked slowly while reading through WeChat on his phone.
Ji Yunqi had sent a message in the group three hours ago. “I’m getting on the plane. Both of you are in the capital, right? Shall we have dinner again tonight?”
Three hours passed without a response.
Ji Li was just about to reply when Ji Yunqi’s crackling messages poured out.
“I say, what are you two big names doing? I got off the plane and found that you guys haven’t even replied to me?”
The accompanying picture was a funny meme: [The clown was actually me.JPG]
Ji Li smiled and quickly replied. “I was catching up on sleep today. Shall we make the appointment after the end of the awards ceremony tomorrow? Or make it the day after tomorrow? I won’t return to Hengcheng until the day after that.”
“You just got off the plane. Aren’t you tired? You should go back to the hotel early to rest.”
Ji Yunqi responded quickly.
“Okay, then let’s meet tomorrow.”
“@World’s Number One Attack, what about you? There has been no response from you for most of the day.”
Ji Yunqi’s question toward Yuan Yifei was still like a stone sinking into the sea.
Ji Li and Ji Yunqi exchanged a few more messages before ending the short chat. After all, Ji Yunqi had to take a car from the airport to the hotel to check in.
The large amount of physical exertion made Ji Li so hungry that it felt like his chest was pressing against his back. He quickly finished the table full of food.
It was a quarter past six.
Ji Li was just about to relax on the bed and watch a movie when he received a WeChat notification.
Ji Li thought it was from Qin Yue who finished work, and casually picked up his phone to check it. The moment he saw the WeChat message, he was completely shocked and straightened up.
Yuan Yifei, who had been silent all day, suddenly threw a location link in the group.
There were only two simple words at the bottom:
TL: Advance chapters are available over on my Patreon. You can go check out the details on my Patreon page.