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Just as they arrived in the county town, Cui Dingchen saw that it was still early, so he parked the car at the entrance of the movie theater and took Xu Zhao and Xu Fan to wander the big and small streets of the county town for a while.
It was still during new years, so the county town was very lively. The small snack streets were also like this. People were selling Tanghulu, rice crispy treats, popcorn, and baked sweet potatoes everywhere. It smelled very good.
After recovering from his cold, Xu Fan hadn’t been able to have a big meal or drink all he wanted. He couldn’t stand the temptation, so his small meaty hand anxiously pulled on Xu Zhao’s pants. His soft milky voice came out in rambles as he shouted for food.
Xu Zhao lowered his head and asked, “What do you want to eat?”
Xu Fan looked at the tanghulu, rice crispy treats, then looked at the popcorn and said, “I want… I-I want to eat it all!”
He was so unrestrained!
Xu Zhao gently said, “That’s too much. You can’t finish it.”
Xu Fan persisted, “I can!”
Xu Zhao posed a difficult question to Xu Fan and asked, “What will you do if you can’t finish it?”
This hard question didn’t stump Xu Fan. Xu Fan said in a milky voice, “I-If I can’t finish, I’ll take home! I’ll eat again when I’m hungry.”
Thinking about how well-behaved Xu Fan has been recently, Xu Zhao decided to accept Xu Fan’s opinion. They’ll buy a bit of each snack, if they’ll take it home if they can’t finish. They could give it to Da Zhuang and Qiangqiang to eat as well. In a short period of time, they purchased a large bag of snacks, which Cui Dingchen carried.
Xu Fan’s face bloomed with happiness as he sat in Xu Zhao’s embrace. He ate a mouthful of roasted sweet potato, then showed a healing smile. “Wow, it’s so good!”
Xu Zhao asked, “Can you give Daddy a bite?”
Xu Fan immediately brought the sweet potato to Xu Zhao’s mouth.
After Xu Zhao took a small bite, he said, “Can you give your Second Grandpa Cui a bite too?”
Xu Fan lowered his head and ate his roasted sweet potato, pretending that he hadn’t heard.
Cui Dingchen blushed with shame.
Xu Zhao whispered to Xu Fan, “Everything you’re eating is paid with Second Grandpa Cui’s money. He’s also taking us to the movies later and to eat pig trotters. You won’t even give him a little bit of the roasted sweet potato?”
Xu Fan lifted his small head to look at Xu Zhao.
Xu Zhao asked again, “You really won’t give him any?”
It was only then that Xu Fan figured out that what he ate was Second Grandpa Cui’s. He immediately used his small hand to pinch a tiny piece of sweet potato with the skin and handed it to Cui Dingchen. He said in a milky voice, “Second Grandpa Cui, for you. Sweet potato for you to eat. It’s very good.”
It was already good that Xu Fan was willing to give him food. Cui Dingchen didn’t eat it. Like the other adults, he praised Xu Fan, then told him to eat it himself.
Xu Fan turned his head to look at Xu Zhao and said, “Daddy, S-Second Grandpa Cui won’t eat. I’m eating it.”
Xu Zhao was embarrassed.
Cui Dingchen smiled as he watched.
Xu Zhao was a bit embarrassed as he spoke to Cui Dingchen. In the past, he didn’t think that Xu Fan was stingy, since they were lacking back then, so he paid more attention. Xu Fan’s recent behavior made Xu Zhao think that he really wasn’t generous. So, he said that he would educate Xu Fan more in the future to share with others.
Cui Dingchen objected, “It’s fine. He’ll get better once he grows up.”
Xu Zhao questionly asked, “How do you know?”
Cui Dingchen smiled and said, “My son is of course like me.”
Hearing this, Xu Zhao’s heart couldn’t help but fill with sweetness. This showed that Cui Dingchen thought of Xu Fan as his family, but in the end, Xu Fan wasn’t Cui Dingchen’s biological son. As for whose son Xu Fan actually was, Xu Zhao never talked to Cui Dingchen about it before. Cui Dingchen didn’t look into it either or even asked about it.
Xu Zhao knew that this was Cui Dingchen’s way of showing him respect.
At this time, Xu Zhao suddenly had a desire to “talk”. He wanted to talk to Cui Dingchen about the mystery behind Xu Fan’s birth. However, it was too noisy here and it was hard to hear. It was better to wait until they finished watching the movie and went to eat.
Xu Zhao put this thought aside in his heart for now and continued walking around with Cui Dingchen and Xu Fan. He bought a lot of food and items for his family, which were all placed inside the trunk of Cui Dingchen’s car.
At this time, it was almost time for the movie. Xu Zhao, Cui Dingchen, and Xu Fan entered the movie theater with the movie tickets. They found seats in the front row and sat in consecutive seat numbers. The order was Xu Zhao, Xu Fan, then Cui Dingchen. Meaning that Xu Fan sat in between the two of them.
Seeing the large movie screen, Xu Fan suddenly became excited.
“Daddy! Big TV! Movie!” Xu Fan’s little milky voice sounded. “So amazing!”
“Mn, I know. I know. This is a public place, so speak quietly,” Xu Zhao softly said. “We can’t disturb others, got it?”
Xu Fan earnestly nodded.
Xu Zhao continued to say, “You can’t yell later either. Let’s be a cool little baby, okay?”
Xu Fan nodded again. After a moment, his little face turned to Xu Zhao. “Daddy, I can do it. I’m a cool little baby.”
Xu Zhao agreed with Xu Fan and said, “That’s right. You’re the best!”
“Mn, I’m the best!”
Xu Zhao praised the rules of the movie theater as he told them to Xu Fan to try and make him respect the rules while they watch the movie. Afterwards, he looked to Cui Dingchen. Cui Dingchen was looking over with gentle eyes. Xu Zhao was embarrassed and asked, “Youngest uncle, what are you looking at?”
Cui Dingchen said without blushing at all, “Looking at you.”
Xu Zhao: “…”
Cui Dingchen continued, “You really are very good looking.”
Cui Dingchen was always able to easily provoke Xu Zhao. Xu Zhao had no experience with resisting. The lights in the room had been turned off and the surroundings were dark. No one could see his reddish cheeks, but he stammered out, “W-watch the movie instead.” This exposed his restlessness to Cui Dingchen, causing him to laugh.
Xu Zhao was even more embarrassed.
Cui Dingchen seemed to like this very much and deliberately leaned his body toward Xu Zhao’s seat. He put his long arm on the back of Xu Fan’s seat and placed his large hand on Xu Zhao’s shoulder, either intentionally or not. His fingers also intentionally or not rubbed the back of Xu Zhao’s neck twice.
“Youngest uncle,” Xu Zhao called out softly.
Cui Dingchen looked at Xu Zhao with innocence.
Xu Zhao was speechless for a moment and said, “Watch the movie.”
Cui Dingchen simply agreed, but his hand didn’t move away. During the beginning of the movie, he didn’t even watch it but looked straight at Xu Zhao under the streaming lights and shadows of the movie.
Since the two had confirmed their relationship till now, they’d always been busy, especially since the new year. First, they were busy with the big greenhouse, then with celebrating the new year. They didn’t even have time for a simple hug.
Cui Dingchen wanted to hug Xu Zhao and wanted to kiss him even more. Thinking this, he moved his gaze away from Xu Zhao to Xu Fan. Although Xu Fan was usually talking nonstop, once he started doing something, he would focus all his attention on it. For example, when he was listening to the radio or watching TV. Besides the temptation of food, he would normally need to be called three to four times before he heard it.
Therefore, Cui Dingchen boldly passed Xu Fan, and while Xu Zhao’s head was turned, forcefully kissed Xu Zhao’s lips.
Xu Zhao tensed up for a moment. C-Cui Dingchen was so bold! Although there was nobody in the seats in front or behind them, this was still the movie theater. Moreover, Xu Fan was sitting right under them while they “kissed”.
This was too bold!
Afraid of disturbing others, Xu Zhao didn’t dare use any big moves to push Cui Dingchen away. He only quietly pushed Cui Dingchen’s shoulder.
But Cui Dingchen didn’t let go of Xu Zhao. Instead, he kissed him more greedily as if he wanted to swallow Xu Zhao right up. His entire body was on fire. The more Xu Zhao resisted, the harder he worked. With just a kiss like this, an image suddenly appeared in his mind. It was a scene from five years ago.
Five years ago during the construction of the hotel, in a room that was as dark as the one they were in now, and under the influence of alcohol, he’d uncontrollably kissed a man in a similar fashion. However, the scene quickly flashed through his mind before all his thoughts were filled with Xu Zhao.
It was full of Xu Zhao.
He had never liked a man this much. Someone who would make him hold on, never wanting to let go. While there was a shocking “explosion” during the movie, he finally let Xu Zhao go. Seeing Xu Zhao’s drowsy and blurred eyes, his heart melted. Only then was he able to relieve his longing from the past days. He said, “Let’s watch the movie.”
T-this man…Xu Zhao was a bit annoyed but happy at the same time. However, it all vanished when Cui Dingchen said “I want to kiss again”. He obediently watched the movie with Cui Dingchen until it finished.
Cui Dingchen asked Xu Zhao and asked, “Was it good?”
Xu Zhao said, “It was okay.”
Cui Dingchen asked Xu Fan, “Sanwa, do you think it was good?”
Xu Fan widened his eyes and replied positively, “It was good. Hmmm…the baby “banged” and turned the bad people into ashes!”
Turned into ashes!
Xu Zhao laughed.
Cui Dingchen couldn’t hold back his laughter either.
Afterward, Xu Zhao and Cui Dingchen listened to Xu Fan retell the plot of the wonderful movie and all the scenes. They got into the car while listening, then drove to the largest restaurant in the county town—Liberation.
Cui Dingchen usually sat in private room 206, but room 206 was already booked today.
Cui Dingchen could only take Xu Zhao and Xu Fan to sit in private room 205.They could next room 206 being very loud beside them. After asking the waiter, they found that they were having a class reunion next door.
The group of youngsters were being very loud. Cui Dingchen really didn’t like it. He asked Xu Zhao, and Xu Zhao didn’t like it either. The two took Xu Fan past room 206 to room 210. It was finally quiet now.
As soon as Xu Fan arrived at the foreign place, he would always be well-behaved for a bit. In fact, this was just the period that he was adjusting to the place. He would look around, acting cute and being very quiet.
Xu Zhao didn’t disturb Xu Fan while he adjusted.
Cui Dingchen handed the menu to Xu Fan and said, “Xiao Xu Fan, what do you want to eat? How about you order?”
Xu Zhao reached out first and took the menu. He heard Xu Fan say, “Daddy, I-I’ll order. I’ll order.”
Xu Fan dined at restaurants before, so he knew what “ordering” was. Every time an adult ordered, he would be able to eat lots of delicious food. He really wanted to try as well.
Xu Zhao didn’t say a word and pushed the menu in front of Xu Fan.
Xu Fan stared at the menu and looked it over before pushing the menu back to Xu Zhao and saying, “Daddy, y-you o-order.”
Xu Zhao smiled and asked, “Why don’t you order?”
Xu Fan thought for a second then answered honestly, “I-I’m baby. I-I haven’t started school yet. I can’t read.”