Aren't You Ashamed?


When Tan Xiaoshi entered, the scene she saw was Shu Jingzhi leaning against his desk, obviously in a bad mood and with a gloomy aura.
Ying Ruoyun was sitting on the sofa reading a score, but it was held upside down.

It seemed that she had come at the wrong time.
Tan Xiaoshi was keenly aware that the atmosphere was not right: “Conductor Shu, I just came to ask if the orchestra's performance schedule and personnel arrangements for this weekend had been confirmed?”

“I'll send you the documents later,” Shu Jingzhi looked at her with an unfriendly expression, “is there anything else?”

“No, no, no,” Tan Xiaoshi said, “I'm off work, I'll go first.”

Ying Ruoyun immediately stood up, “Sister Xiaoshi, I'll go with you.”

Shu Jingzhi gave him a deep look.

Ying Ruoyun pretended to be oblivious and followed behind Tan Xiaoshi, slipping out of the office at a fast pace.

Back in the rehearsal hall, he took the violin from the instrument rack and put it into his case.
Tan Xiaoshi saw the 'Luis' painted on the outside of the case: “'Ruoyun, is that your English name?”

“Mm.” Ying Ruoyun slung the case over his shoulder, and suddenly remembered that the first day he arrived here, Shu Jingzhi had picked up his case and examined it, perhaps looking at the name.

“What a coincidence,” Tan Xiaoshi exclaimed, “my cousin's crush goes by that name too.”

“It's a male name.” Ying Ruoyun explained, “Maybe you're referring to Luise?”

“No, it's this Luis,” Tan Xiaoshi said, “He likes guys.
Are you prejudiced against such things?”

of course not.” Ying Ruoyun denied it in a hurry, even breaking out in some cold sweat.

“He happens to be picking me up today, would you be interested in meeting him?”

Seeing that she had already walked out of the Art Exchange Centre, Ying Ruoyun was just about to refuse when a voice that was somewhat familiar suddenly echoed in his ears, “You're back in China?”

Ying Ruoyun had never expected that Tan Xiaoshi's cousin was actually Pei Baixing, the doctor he had met in New York.

Tan Xiaoshi was surprised, “You know each other?”

“Mhm,” Ying Ruoyun explained, “I approached him for a consultation.”

Pei Baixing's brows showed some concern: “You've joined the A City Symphony Orchestra?”


Pei Baixing took out a business card and handed it to him, “I've also returned to work in China.”

Ying Ruoyun was just about to take it when Pei Baixing withdrew the business card, found a pen from the car and wrote a series of numbers on it, “This is my personal number in China, you can use this to contact me.”

“Okay, thank you.”

When they parted, Pei Baixing urged once again, “Make sure you remember to contact me.”

Ying Ruoyun agreed in words, but would not contact him.

When he first arrived in New York, not long after his breakup with Shu Jingzhi, his health was particularly bad.
Pei Baixing was a medical expert in neurology and had been his attending physician for a while.

In all conscience, Pei Baixing was a very competent doctor.
But he had seen far too many of his miserable conditions brought on by illness, and naturally Ying Ruoyun did not want to be associated with him anymore.

The next day was Saturday, and the orchestra had a recital at the Art Centre.

Because he was new to the orchestra, Ying Ruoyun was not scheduled to play in this performance.
However, he arrived at the rehearsal at 2 PM, not wanting to miss any opportunity to practise and improve.

It was the last rehearsal before the official performance, and it was the first time that Ying Ruoyun saw Shu Jingzhi dressed in a white tuxedo.
He looked particularly elegant and distinguished against the sea of black suits worn by the entire orchestra of musicians.

At half past two, Tan Xiaoshi received a phone call and said to Shu Jingzhi with a frown, “Conductor Shu, the principal second violin Zhao Runfei has caught a cold and can't be here today.”

The position of each member in the orchestra had already been arranged, and it was rather difficult to find a replacement on short notice.
Although the contingency plan included substitutes, the principal second violin's position was very important, second only to the principal first violin, and no one dared to take over.

The mood in the rehearsal room was anxious, with less than six hours left before the performance.

Ying Ruoyun spoke up, “Perhaps, I can try?”

“Ruoyun,” Tan Xiaoshi looked at him seriously, “the principal second's solo movement is quite a challenge.”

“I know,” Ying Ruoyun firmly said, “please let me try.”

Every night for the entire week, Ying Ruoyun had practised and polished all of the orchestra's rehearsals, especially the solo parts for the first and second violins, and he had the confidence and the courage.

“Okay, I believe you.” Tan Xiaoshi asked, “Conductor Shu, what do you think?”

Shu Jingzhi said, “Go and change into your performance uniform.”

Ying Ruoyun's performance greatly surpassed everyone's expectations.
Tan Xiaoshi's expectation was that as long as he didn't make any mistakes and could play the whole movement smoothly, it would be good enough.
But no one expected that he would be able to perform the second violin solo so beautifully, even more so than the original.

Tan Xiaoshi's solo was no less impressive, and the two of them played their respective parts in perfect harmony.
Under Shu Jingzhi's exquisite control and conducting, the movement was brilliantly rendered.

The performance was a great success.

After taking a bow, they came down from the stage.
Ying Ruoyun was calm and modest on the surface, but in reality, his shirt was drenched in sweat.
This time, he had been given the task of saving the orchestra from disaster and had naturally won the acceptance and congratulations of the orchestra members.

It was drizzling outside, and Ying Ruoyun had no umbrella.

He stood under the eaves, wondering how he was going to get home.

“The performance was brilliant.” Pei Baixing, holding a black umbrella, stood in the rain and smiled at him.


Pei Baixing was a typical Western-style doctor, smart and rational, strict and proper: “May I ask a few questions?”


“Have all of your symptoms cleared up?”


“There have been no signs of relapse in the past month?”


“Why didn't you contact me?”

Pei Baixing looked at him and Ying Ruoyun didn't know how to answer.

“Ying Ruoyun.” Shu Jingzhi, holding an equally black umbrella, approached slowly in the rain: “Come here.”

This scene was so embarrassing that his scalp tingled: “Conductor Shu, if I may ask, what is the matter?”

Shu Jingzhi did not answer him, but walked straight up to him, grabbed his wrist, and dragged the man away by force without any regard for his wishes.

Ying Ruoyun followed him through the crowd at the entrance of the Art Centre, through the traffic of the evening rush hour, as if there was no end to the road ahead.

“Conductor Shu,” Ying Ruoyun said, “please let go of me.”

The grip tightened instead, and Ying Ruoyun sulked a little: “Shu Jingzhi, what the hell are you trying to do?”

When they arrived at the concert hall office, he closed the umbrella, closed the door and pressed the man against it, “Ying Ruoyun, do you like to flirt around so much?”

Ying Ruoyun was furious, he and Pei Baixing had only spoken a few words.

Shu Jingzhi was no longer the same Shu Jingzhi he remembered.
The lover he once had never questioned him, never forced him to do anything, far less like he did now.

Therefore, he did not have to treat him like he did in the old days either.

He smiled, “What does this have to do with you?”

“It's only been a few days since you returned to China, and you already can't hold back?”

“Yes,” Ying Ruoyun said, “I not only can't help it, but I can't wait.”

Shu Jingzhi dropped his head and kissed him, roughly and passionately.
Ying Ruoyun punched him in the jaw, pulled open the door and was about to leave.
Shu Jingzhi wrapped his arms around his waist and closed the door again with a bang, placing his hands on top of his head and dropping hot kisses on the nape of his neck.

Ying Ruoyun fiercely bit his earlobe, pushed his knee against the small of his back and tried to break free when he loosened his grip.
However, Shu Jingzhi dropped him onto his back and the two of them rolled around onto the carpet, hitting the keys of the piano and making a long, crunching ‘do' sound.

Shu Jingzhi hugged him tightly, almost as if he were trying to squeeze him into his own flesh and blood.

The kiss was as breathtaking as it was lingering, and Ying Ruoyun wrapped his arms around his neck and ran his fingers through his hair.

At this moment, in the holy concert hall, in the intimate embrace of the strange lover in front of him, a fierce blasphemous feeling of pleasure surged up.

It was a forbidden pleasure, a rapid descent into the abyss, an unquenchable, poisonous thirst.

It was as if they had been transported back two years to a time when they had loved each other with all their hearts.

The darkness was so rich with the sound of gasping breaths that it blurred the boundaries of sanity.

Shu Jingzhi whispered in his ear, “Aren't you impatient? We can do it right here.”

“This is a concert hall, have you no reverence, no shame?”

“For you, there is no such thing.”

“Shu Jingzhi,” Ying Ruoyun looked at him, “we are already over.”

“The end of each movement means the beginning of a new melody.” Shu Jingzhi whispered, “Let's be together again, without talking about feelings, without talking about responsibilities, without talking about the future, only talking about sex.”

“Noble Conductor Shu, do you know what you are saying?”

Ying Ruoyun suddenly hated himself immensely, he couldn't do anything to push him away in the face of such bad behaviour and words.

Shu Jingzhi had turned into something terrifying that he could not have foreseen, and he was still defenceless against him.

He regretted it now, perhaps he should never have chosen to return to China.

Footsteps sounded in the corridor as the orchestra returned to the rehearsal hall, changing out of their uniforms and arranging their instruments.

The noise brought his thoughts back to reality and Ying Ruoyun finally regained some clarity.

The ambiguous silence was broken by the sharp ringing of a phone.

With great reluctance, Shu Jingzhi let go of him and went to his desk, unplugging the phone from the landline.

Ying Ruoyun took the opportunity to feel his way to the door and was about to leave when the office door was pushed open from the outside.
Under the moonlight, Tan Xiaoshi looked shocked: “Ruoyun, it's so late, what are you still doing in the office?”

Ying Ruoyun casually made something up and said, “I'm looking for a music score.”

Then Tan Xiaoshi saw Shu Jingzhi: “Conductor Shu is also here?”

Ying Ruoyun continued stiffly, “Mhmm, he was helping me look for it.”


Tan Xiaoshi asked, “In this darkness, why didn't you turn on the lights when you were looking for the score?”

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