19 Good Times
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Shu Cheng walked over to the living room with a tray in hand, putting one of the glasses and a plate with cookies in front of his boyfriend before he sat down and picked up his iPad. Leaning back, he started to review the data for the upcoming product launch. He had to make sure that none of the departments slacked off!

After a while, his boyfriend nudged his leg with the tip of his toe. "Don’t forget your food."

Shu Cheng absentmindedly reached over, grabbing Qin Yang’s foot and squeezing it gently. "It’s cookies. I’m pretty sure they count as a snack at most."

"Want me to make you a real meal?"

"Nah, I’m good. We can eat together after I finish."

His boyfriend sighed, pulling his leg back. "Don’t mind it then. Just give me your cookies."

Shun Cheng lowered his iPad and raised a brow at him. "Are you sure you should be eating those as well?" He still reached for his plate and pushed it over to the other of the table though.

Qin Yang grabbed it and gave a cheeky grin. "If I get fat, there’ll just be more for you to love. And if you don’t, I’ll take it as you being shallow."

Shun Cheng laughed, shook his head, and went back to work. Qin Yang also picked up his phone, starting to browse through the Weibos of some of his peers and leaving comments, a beautiful smile spreading on his face.

The two of them worked in mutual silence, each focusing on their own thing. Half an hour went by and a notification symbol lit up in Shu Cheng’s taskbar. He had gotten a new email. He didn’t think much of it and clicked. Anyway, it wasn’t anything strange. There would be new messages around the clock coming in with new information on projects, the stock market, and relevant news. Sometimes it would also be business partners from other countries that messaged him despite how late it was.

He almost expected the latter when he saw that the sender wasn’t from their company or one of the usual ones. Maybe somebody was approaching them for a new project?

He glanced over the subject matter and his relaxed expression stiffened. This … was not what he had expected. He gulped but he couldn’t make his heart beat any less fast. He took a deep breath and read through the body of the email, the strange feeling in his heart getting even worse.

Shu Cheng looked up from his iPad with a complicated gaze. Qin Yang was still going through Weibo on his phone, not paying him any attention. He glanced back at the iPad and bit his lip. Should he say something? Or should he just reply to that email? But … this really was a one-of-a-kind opportunity. He at least wanted to talk about it for a moment and imagine how awesome it would be to accept. The changes to their life, the new freedom they might have, the way they could plan their future completely differently …

Then again, if they really did, he might loathe to let go of this even more. But he couldn’t. It wouldn’t work out. He didn’t need to think for long to understand that. There were too many uncertainties, too many hurdles. It wasn’t worth it.

His finger hovered over the answer button but he couldn’t bring himself to click it. Ah, just what should he do?

Qin Yang looked up when he noticed that the rhythmic typing and swiping on the other end of the couch had suddenly stopped. He watched his boyfriend for a moment and then furrowed his brows. "Did something happen?"

Shu Cheng looked over again and finally put the iPad next to the glass of water on the coffee table. He gave a long sigh that seemed to encompass all of his worries and regret and then slid closer to his boyfriend. He leaned propped his elbows up on his knees and rubbed his face before turning to the side again. "I got an email."

Qin Yang put the phone down too and turned to face his boyfriend. "Bad news?"

Shu Cheng shook his head. "On the contrary. It’s a job offer. Twenty-five percent more income for the same amount of hours, I’d have more responsibility, and the working conditions would also be better."

Qin Yang furrowed his brows. "But?" That sounded a lot like a dream job. So why was his boyfriend looking like this? "What isn’t good then? Do they have some inhuman requirements? Or is their reputation bad?"

Shu Cheng shook his head. "No, their reputation a splendid. They’re a leader in the market and they’re said to treat their employees really well. Especially those working in higher positions can gain a lot of benefits. Just a few years there might also open up other possibilities for the future."

Qin Yang had no idea what was going on anymore. "Since their reputation is good and the offer itself is good, why are you still hesitating?"

Shu Cheng sighed and reached over, brushing Qin Yang’s neck with his thumb. "It’s abroad. One needs to have a visa to go. It’s possible to get with the offer already made but …" He didn’t speak any further and just looked at his boyfriend.

"Oh." Qin Yang lowered his gaze. In other words, even though Shu Cheng wouldn’t have too much trouble getting that visa, it wouldn’t be the same for him. So if Shu Cheng accepted the offer, they would have to be in a long-distance relationship. Even though they had been committed since two years ago, there was no telling if their relationship would survive that. In fact, the chances might not be high. The requirements both of them had …

Qin Yang sighed as well when he thought of that. They had never wanted to be one of those couples. Shu Cheng had even tried not to work too much overtime, so that they would have more time with each other, even though that was more or less impossible in his line of work. Still, there had been the nights and the mornings and whenever he didn’t have to work, it would be just the two of you. If he went abroad now …

Qin Yang shook his head. Even if that was the case, this was an opportunity that Shu Cheng wouldn’t get again if he rejected it now. He would regret it if he didn’t try it at least. And looking at it from another perspective, he would have many more vacation days if he worked abroad so it wouldn’t be impossible to come back every now and then. And if he earned more, that wouldn’t even put a strain on their budget. Twenty-five percent was a lot. Especially at the amount of money Shu Cheng already made.

Qin Yang closed his eyes. This might be the chance Shu Cheng had waited for. He had always wanted more from his life. Even though the company he currently worked at had international relations, that wasn’t enough for him. He knew that he still felt trapped. It was too small for him and just didn’t give him the opportunity to truly put his knowledge to the test. For a passionate man like him, that was the worst.

Even if he was willing to give up on it right now, he might come to resent this decision later on. How would it have helped then?

He opened his eyes again, reached over and took his boyfriend’s hand, intertwining his fingers with his. "It’s a good offer. You should accept it."

Shu Cheng furrowed his brows. "What about you then?"

Qin Yang sighed once more and leaned over, turning around and falling into his boyfriend’s arms. "I’ll have to work hard then to make more money. If I get lucky, I can take a few more days off and can fly over to visit you. And you can come to visit me when it’s convenient for you. Since you will earn more, you should be able to pay for the flight, shouldn’t you?"

Shu Cheng chuckled and squeezed his hand. "You! Do you really think that would be enough? We’ve been together for three years now. Honestly, just imagining not having you around every day anymore … I don’t know if I want that. No, I definitely don’t. I want us to be together all the time if it’s possible."

"You know that’s a pipe dream."

Shu Cheng hugged his waist and leaned down until their cheeks touched. "It can be whatever dream it wants to be. One day, I’ll make it possible. Until then …" He raised his head and looked at the other side of the room where the photos from the trips they had made in the past three years hung. "I don’t want to give up on this. I don’t want to lose out on … us. Sure, that offer is good and I likely won’t get a chance like this anymore but what use is that if I can’t spend the money on you, mn?"

Qin Yang leaned his head back and gave him a wry smile. "There’s nothing we can do, is there? Well, maybe there’s a way for me to get a visa too. I mean even though I don’t have a job like you, it’s not like there aren’t other ways, is it?

"I’m sure we’ll be able to manage. Even if we have to lead a long-distance relationship, it might only be for a while. Maybe I can come over or you’ll get another offer from home that even beats this one. Who knows? Everything is possible. With the way you work, there will always be people who want you to be part of their team.

"So … you should accept the offer. Answer them that you’ll need some time to arrange everything and set the date for when you’ll start. And while you’re preparing for going abroad, I’ll look into ways for me to follow you."

Shu Cheng still furrowed his brows. "And what if you don’t find a way? What if you can’t follow me over and I don’t get a better job here? What if we’ll have to separate for several years?"

Qin Yang could only sigh. "If it’s like that, then we’ll deal with it when the time comes. Don’t think too much about it now. If you get such an offer, then you have to take these people up on it. Everything else can be dealt with somehow." He turned around, and inched closer, a mischievous smile on his lips. "In the worst case, you’ll have to put me in your luggage and smuggle me over." He hugged Shu Cheng’s neck and leaned down, giving him a kiss.

Shu Cheng couldn’t help but laugh. "Okay, okay. I’ll accept the offer. But I’ll only do so tomorrow, after we’ve checked about how can you can get a visa. That way, we can be a little more sure just how long we’ll have to wait until we see each other again. And if worst comes to worst, we can still refuse if it really won’t work out."

Qin Yang nodded. "Alright, then we’ll do it that way. Come on, let’s take a look right now." He picked up his phone, pulled Shu Cheng back into his embrace and the two of them started to prepare for this new episode in their life.