Many Michelin restaurants focused on fine dining often used large plates and small portions to present their meals. This was not only in pursuit of the aesthetics and art of presentation, but also to highlight the flavor of the meal.
However, Shang Hao’s choice of restaurant didn’t have so many red tapes. It was still based on Chinese-style home-cooked dishes, where customers could pick whatever they wanted to eat.
The waiter left after serving the dishes. Most of the time, he and Shang Hao were the only two in the box. With the river view outside the window and the city lights slowly lit up, the experience was amazing.
Every dish was incredible. Lin Anran, who had never seen the world, liked all the dishes very much.
Lin Anran was still a little restrained at first. He sat on the chair, not daring to move. But as he was eating, his feet under the table could not help but begin to sway happily. Anyway, he and his boyfriend were the only people in this box.
This wasn’t a meal; it was simply a feast for the tastebuds.
The Spanish Iberian ham was downright delicious. The sweet and sour hawthorn and foie gras with a strong flavor refreshed his knowledge of food. The taste of oysters and caviar were even more outstanding. There was also a fried fish that was an explosion of tenderness, bathed in a secret sauce so delicious, it made people want to swallow their tongue too.
Although the number of dishes served were large, the quantity was still controlled for two people. The last desserts on the table were pear cakes and bird’s nest.
At the end of the meal, Lin Anran was very full, but he couldn’t bear the dessert in front of him no matter what, and picked up the small spoon to taste carefully.
Every bite was the taste of his little money.
With a happy, satisfied smile on his face, Shang Hao watched him eat.
“Ranran, we can come every day from now on.”
Lin Anran heard this and grew stiff, maintaining the posture of lifting the spoon. As a man, he couldn’t figure out how to respond to his beloved concubine’s ardent expectations.
Regarding that, just wait for him for another ten years. After ten years, he should be able to save enough money for a meal again, and they will definitely come back then.
As Lin Anran was thinking about how to reply to his beloved concubine’s words, Shang Hao picked up his free hand and stuffed something hard into it.
“Giving a gift in return,” Shang Hao said concisely.
Lin Anran had invited him to dinner, and this was his response to Lin Anran.
Lin Anran put down the spoon for eating bird’s nest and opened his palm to see that it was a black card with English words, a series of card numbers, and the image of a globe.
The Centurion Black Gold Card was recognized as the “King of Cards” in the world. The card was positioned at the very top and had no limit. The cardholders were typically multinational politicians, billionaires and celebrities who were invited by the institution to apply. Card applications would not be accepted otherwise.
“What is this?” he asked Shang Hao.
Shang Hao’s eyes were always smiling at him, as if it didn’t seem enough. He said, “It’s the secondary card.”
The secondary card? Was it like the secondary card of a mobile phone card?
However, the name “secondary card” made it seem like a humble and unimportant card, sounding very suitable for his humble younger brother identity.
Shang Hao said, “It’s for you.”
He seemed to want Lin Anran to accept it very much, but Lin Anran subconsciously knew that it wasn’t that simple. Suddenly, he felt that he could not accept it, and he immediately wanted to give it back to Shang Hao. Just then, the waitress entered to collect the dinner plates and present a bill.
This matter was more important, and now it was his turn to act. Lin Anran voluntarily raised his hand, like a primary school student robbing a question to answer in class. The waitress handed the bill over to him with both hands.
Lin Anran also took the bill with both hands, with a trace of solemnity and perseverance in his movements and expressions.
The strange thing was that Shang Hao didn’t rob it from him. He continued to look at him with that smile, his eyes full of constant affection.
Lin Anran glanced at the bill for the first time.
Boss Shang and the waitress waited for him quietly.
Lin Anran’s eyes widened silently.
After confirming that the two people around him had not discovered his reaction, he took a silent breath.
Who would have imagined that there would be so many zeros on such a light piece of paper? Let alone a meal, all the salary he’d saved wasn’t even enough for a bottle of his beloved concubine’s wine.
Lin Anran had a dilemma, and his uneasiness surged. The waitress waited patiently. Although she didn’t urge him, her presence was particularly strong. Lin Anran took a deep breath, and at that moment, he suddenly realized Boss Sheng’s intention in presenting him the card just now.
Why did Shang Hao wait until just before the check arrived to present the card? So that he could use it now. Lin Anran originally wanted to refuse this gift, but with a situation like this, he was driven like a duck to a perch, and so he had to accept the card even if he didn’t want to.
Lin Anran shed two lines of useless tears in his heart.
In the end, he stubbornly handed over his card and Boss Shang’s black card together, and whispered to the waitress, “Thank you.”
Even if the money in my savings card isn’t enough for even a fraction of the meal, I’d better trouble you to swipe it. QAQ.
Beloved concubine, this king is useless.
The waitress seemed puzzled, but she took the two cards and left, leaving only him and Boss Shang alone in the room. Lin Anran almost buried his head on the dining table and refused to lift it up.
Did you hear that? That was the broken dignity of a man smashing to the ground.
Shang Hao patted him on the shoulder comfortingly, as if to persuade him that it had already happened and to get over it.
What bad thoughts did Shang Hao have? He just wanted to force Lin Anran to accept an unlimited black card.
The same waitress returned with Lin Anran’s two cards and told him in a volume that only they could hear, “I apologize, Sir. The balance on this card wasn’t enough so we swiped the other one.”
Lin Anran: Huh.
Thank you for taking care of my emotions, but my dignity has long been pinched in the hands of the man next to me.
Why was it that this was obviously a meal he hosted, but in the end, not only did he not spend a penny but he also got a terrible black card?
Now that he was in debt, he couldn’t return the card that he’d just used to Shang Hao. He had to wait at least a few decades, when he saved enough to pay off the money spent. Only then would he have the face to return the card back to him.
After eating a high-end dinner, Shang Hao was in a good mood and suggested that they take a walk.
Lin Anran wasn’t familiar with this area at all, and so, of course, he followed Shang Hao closely. They walked along the side of the street, holding hands.
In addition to the steady flow of heat that came from Shang Hao’s palm, there was also a feeling of comfort.
In the past, as long as Lin Anran left home, he had to wear a mask and a hat. These were equipment used to protect himself. But right now, his mask was in his pocket.
His thought was to not spoil the atmosphere of dating. Relying on this idea to overcome his fear, he bit the bullet and rushed out of the house without wearing it.
But at this moment, as he was walking side by side with Shang Hao on the road, the two of them taking in the evening breeze, an unprecedented idea suddenly emerged in Lin Anran’s heart.
He thought that he could do it even without a mask and a hat.
Because Boss Shang’s light was around him, shining on him, he felt that he was also shining when he came into contact with the light. He began to breathe with more confidence, just to be with Shang Hao.
And, as they held hands and passed many pedestrians on the street, Lin Anran gained a new sense of vanity.
Everything he saw was novel and fun. The pedestrians were novel, the streets were beautiful, and even the cars driving by gave him a new, lovely feeling.
They would think that, with such a handsome boyfriend, Lin Anran would definitely not be so bad himself.
Lin Anran thought so.
Shang Hao thought that he was still worried about the meal, and so he comforted him that it wasn’t expensive and there were discounts.
Lin Anran found his words hard to believe. The last time he heard this statement from Shang Hao was not long ago, when he nervously asked him if they spent a lot on legal fees.
What Shang Hao said at the time was that, because they contracted the team of lawyers on an annual basis, they got a 20% discount.
So that was the case. Lin Anran conceded that Shang Hao was very good at deception, but he shouldn’t talk nonsense. Even with the last excuse, Lin Anran wasn’t completely convinced, and this time, he was even more skeptical.
Was “discount” a new word that Boss Shang learned? Although it wasn’t too hurtful, it was extremely insulting.
In order to divert Lin Anran’s attention, Shang Hao said he would buy water for them to drink. Of course, Lin Anran volunteered to pay by swiping his card for two bottles of water at the convenience store.
With Boss Shang standing like a big tree behind him, Lin Anran had enough confidence to walk outside and his action of rushing to pay was also very light.
At this time, they had wandered aimlessly to a place near an open park, so there were more people coming and going.
They just came out of the convenience store when an unfamiliar, pretty girl suddenly approached the two of them and asked if it was convenient for her to take a photo with her friend.
Lin Anran was in the middle of holding a convenience store bag in one hand and screwing the cap of the mineral water bottle in the other. The girl asked the Boss Shang next to him.
Lin Anran looked at Boss Shang. Boss Shang said, “It’s not convenient.”
He answered very simply, as if to say “You’re bothering me, I’m busy.”
He didn’t deliberately put on airs, but the fact was, this person’s arrogance was constant. Without the slightest bit of effort, this person was innately accustomed to bossing people around.
Shang Hao was indifferent, and he took the convenience store bag hanging from Lin Anran’s wrist.
Before they could leave, the girl froze and stared blankly at them. But her partner gave her a push, and she quickly reacted. Not willing to give up, she said okay and asked if they could add each other’s WeChat.
Lin Anran wasn’t very surprised. This was Shang Hao. How could he not attract people?
After rejecting the girl once more, Shang Hao immediately pulled him away.
The two of them found an empty bench and sat down to drink water, allowing the otaku Lin Anran to catch his breath.
The park was large, and the sky above them was exceptionally spacious and empty. There were many different kinds of trees planted in a disorderly fashion, and lush vegetation was everywhere. In the distance was the sound of elderly people singing karaoke, and there were families walking together at the park, as well as pairs of young lovers.
They didn’t speak. They just sat quietly with Boss Shang holding his hand.
Lin Anran was thinking about the person sitting next to him.
Regardless of whether it was believable or not, the two of them were lovers.
He recalled that girl just now. They’d just come out of the convenience store and hadn’t even had a chance to hold hands, and already, someone took a fancy to Shang Hao. As Lin Anran kept thinking, his head leaned against Shang Hao surreptitiously.
Because they were sitting so close, his cheek ended up pressing against Shang Hao’s shoulder.
Shang Hao moved. He wrapped an arm around Lin Anran’s shoulders, and kissed the top of his head very naturally.
Lin Anran was too close to Shang Hao and he immediately felt embarrassed. It was the first time he did something like this with his boyfriend out in broad daylight. The feeling it evoked was both nerve-wrecking and exciting.
Was it bad to do something like this in public? Lin Anran was thin-skinned and wanted to hide. Shang Hao said, “What are you afraid of?”
Lin Anran stopped struggling and quietly gave in to leaning on Shang Hao’s shoulder. The thought to himself that this felt so good.
With vague noises filling the background, Boss Shang murmured something that only the two of them could hear. He said, “I love you too.”
Lin Anran couldn’t help it. At that moment, gods and demons seemed to be at work, because he suddenly asked Shang Hao, “About that, how long will you love me?”
He liked Shang Hao so much that he felt as if he would explode with it, and he was already starting to hate the idea of parting with him.
Shang Hao was silent for two seconds. Lin Anran didn’t know what he was thinking, but he subconsciously knew that it was complicated.
Shang Hao finally said, “You want to ask me this, then tell me, how many years do I have left in this life? This is how long I will love you.”
The air at night was refreshing and cool. The color of the sky was gentle and soft, with scattered clouds floating idly. Sometimes, a few gray pigeons would flap their wings, land on the ground in front of them, and fly away before humans could approach.
Shang Hao moved his arm so that Lin Anran’s cheek was pressed to the muscles where his tattoo was. He heard Shang Hao’s voice asking him, “Have you never thought about why I got this tattoo?”
This tattoo was for a lifetime, and it was permanent. He had already said that Lin Anran was his sexual and aesthetic enlightenment. He met Lin Anran before ignorant feelings could develop, and later, these feelings grew up all around Lin Anran. In other words, Lin Anran was already entrenched in him.
Shang Hao sullenly said, “You have never experienced unrequited love, you don’t understand.”
He was the one who ought to be depressed, and he ought to be the one who should worry about how long Lin Anran would like him. As he thought this, he hugged Lin Anran’s shoulder tightly.
Lin Anran looked at him for a moment, then he retracted his gaze and leaned his head on him once more.
Dating was so good; he loved dating.