Light In The Deep Alley
Light In The Deep Alley: Chapter 80

Chapter 80

The embrace lasted for a long time. Jiang Ji lowered his head, his arms crossing over Qin Qingzhuo’s back, his palms tightly gripping his shoulders.

Being hugged so tightly, Qin Qingzhuo’s previous overwhelming sadness had turned into an extremely sour feeling.

Having experienced such fluctuating emotions tonight, he now felt like he was dreaming.

Just a few minutes ago, he stood in front of Jiang Ji, listening to his confessions, feeling like his heart was being torn apart. But now they were together.

He was in an extremely eager mood, a feeling he had never experienced before, as if all the emotions of this period were condensed into his chest, all the joys and sorrows purified, with a hint of sourness, bitterness, and a little bit of sweetness.

Every part of his body was soaked in this emotion, making him feel like crying.

Jiang Ji must feel the same, no, Jiang Ji’s emotional intensity must be higher than his own.

After holding each other like this for quite some time, Jiang Ji slowly released Qin Qingzhuo.

He looked at Qin Qingzhuo, raised his hand, gently brushed aside the wet strands of hair on Qin Qingzhuo’s face. “Your hair is wet.”

“Yeah, it’s raining,” Qin Qingzhuo also looked at him, “Your hair is wet too.”

Although Jiang Ji’s face showed no expression, just staring straight at him, Qin Qingzhuo always felt like he might cry at any moment.

Jiang Ji now seemed like he had suffered a lot of grievances, like a child who suddenly got what he wanted but was at a loss, wanting to cry. Qin Qingzhuo had never seen him like this before.

He raised a hand and touched Jiang Ji’s face. “Do you want to go in first?”

“Yeah.” Jiang Ji finally came to his senses a little, took a deep breath, as if calming his emotions.

He turned around, took out the key, and unlocked the glass door lock of the bar.

As the door closed and the rolling shutter outside slowly descended, Jiang Ji groped to turn on the light at the front desk.

But he didn’t immediately come over. Leaning against the glass door, he still looked at Qin Qingzhuo with a gaze that seemed heavy.

Although they had been in love, under this gaze, Qin Qingzhuo suddenly felt a little at a loss. “…Do you want to go upstairs?”

“I…” Jiang Ji’s voice was hoarse. He cleared his throat before continuing, “I need a moment.”

Qin Qingzhuo walked over to him, held his hand, and asked softly, “What’s wrong?”

“I feel like crying a little.” Jiang Ji looked at him, his voice hoarse, “Qin Qingzhuo, am I embarrassing myself now…”

“How could that be,” Qin Qingzhuo raised his hand to touch his face again, “At nineteen, everything is normal.”

He then lowered his eyes and chuckled self-deprecatingly, “If we’re talking about embarrassment, I’m even more embarrassed. I’ve already celebrated my twenty-ninth birthday, and I was just crying in front of you.”

“Whatever you do is natural,” Jiang Ji held Qin Qingzhuo’s hand covering his face side, “at least it is for me. Thirty-nine, forty-nine… all the same.”

“Yeah,” Qin Qingzhuo smiled, “all the same.”

For some reason, even though they were already together, that feeling of wanting to cry couldn’t be stopped from welling up inside.

“Let’s go upstairs,” Jiang Ji tightened his grip on his hand, “I’ll dry your hair.”

The two walked hand in hand towards the stairs, and the sound-controlled lights in the corridor came on, casting a dim light on the slightly steep staircase.

No one spoke as the clear sound of footsteps echoed in the corridor, light and heavy, like an erratic heartbeat.

Upon reaching the second floor, Jiang Ji opened the door, but before he could turn on the light, Qin Qingzhuo suddenly saw a dark shadow swiftly flash past his feet.

“Was that a rat?” Qin Qingzhuo was somewhat surprised. “It ran so fast. Did you see it?”

“It’s a kitten,” Jiang Ji pressed the switch for the ceiling light. “Don’t be afraid.”

The ceiling light came on, and Jiang Ji used his eyes to search the floor of the second floor. Holding Qin Qingzhuo’s hand, he walked towards the corner of the wall. “There it is.”

Qin Qingzhuo lowered his head to look, and there was a small black kitten curled up in the corner, its body only the size of two adult fists. At first glance, it looked like a black ball of fur, and if not for its glass-like black eyes reflecting the light, its eyes would be almost invisible. At the moment, its fur was all standing up, looking ready to attack.

“So cute,” Qin Qingzhuo bent down to look at it. “Where did it come from?”

“Rescued from the nearby drainage pipe,” seeing Qin Qingzhuo reaching out to touch the little black cat, Jiang Ji reminded him, “Be careful, it’s quite fierce.”

“Yeah,” Qin Qingzhuo tentatively approached, his fingers touching the kitten’s body, gently stroking its fur twice.

The kitten let out a soft “meow” in response.

The small furry ball felt soft to the touch, and Qin Qingzhuo already liked fluffy things. At this moment, his attention was drawn to the little black cat, and the emotions in his chest from earlier were diluted quite a bit. “Not fierce, quite obedient.”

Jiang Ji looked at Qin Qingzhuo, inexplicably exhaling a sigh of relief. The feeling of wanting to cry that he had just suppressed seemed to dissipate a bit now.

“It’s fierce to others, but it doesn’t seem to fear you,” Jiang Ji said.

Qin Qingzhuo approached a little closer, half crouching down, cupping the kitten’s belly with his palm, and lifting it up. He said to Jiang Ji, “Is it scared of you? Try touching it.”

Jiang Ji bent down, reaching out his hand towards the little cat, but as soon as he approached, the kitten turned its head, bared its teeth and hissed at him, its demeanor completely different from when Qin Qingzhuo touched it just now.

Even Qin Qingzhuo was a little surprised, “It’s still fierce.”

He tried to stroke the kitten again, but it didn’t react at all. He looked up at Jiang Ji, “Maybe you’re too fierce, and it got scared.”

“I’m fierce?” Jiang Ji said.

His gaze was dark and heavy, but at the moment, he looked quite innocent, innocent to the point of being cute, completely different from the expressionless and difficult-to-deal-with boy he appeared to be before.

He had been feeling a bit like crying before, but now Qin Qingzhuo couldn’t help but chuckle.

“It’s not fierce at all, quite obedient,” he said.

Jiang Ji pursed his lips but didn’t say anything.

The kitten in his hand struggled a bit, and Qin Qingzhuo let it down, standing up. “Let’s go, don’t you want to find a towel to dry my hair?”

“Yeah,” Jiang Ji held his hand again, pulling him back to his own room.

He opened the closet door and took out a clean white towel, handing it to Qin Qingzhuo.

Qin Qingzhuo took it but didn’t move for a moment, just looking at him.

“Sit on the bed and dry your hair,” Jiang Ji said.

Qin Qingzhuo finally reminded him, with a hint of laughter in his tone, “Jiang Ji, shouldn’t you let go of my hand first?”

Jiang Ji seemed to realize only then that he had been holding Qin Qingzhuo’s hand all along. He muttered a low “oh” and let go of his fingers.

Standing by the bed and wiping his hair with the towel, Qin Qingzhuo couldn’t help but smile.

Jiang Ji had always appeared mature in front of him, seemingly never at a loss like this before.

He really was… quite cute.

Jiang Ji stood beside him for a while, then reached out and took the towel from his hand. “Let me do it for you.”

Qin Qingzhuo didn’t refuse, lowering his hand and letting Jiang Ji help him dry his hair.

The rain and snow just now weren’t heavy, and Qin Qingzhuo’s hair wasn’t too wet. Jiang Ji carefully dried the water droplets on the surface of his hair.

He saw that Qin Qingzhuo’s hair was slightly messy from being rubbed by the towel, hesitated for a few seconds, then put the towel aside and gently ran his fingers through Qin Qingzhuo’s hair from top to bottom, smoothing it out.

Qin Qingzhuo lowered his head, feeling Jiang Ji’s movements were careful, as if afraid of hurting him.

Close to each other, Jiang Ji deliberately softened his breathing, making Qin Qingzhuo feel the genuine sense of being liked.

The intoxication that had been blown away by the cold wind just now gradually resurfaced, and he suddenly felt like teasing Jiang Ji.

With that thought, he shook his head to toss his hair, flicking off the water droplets.

Looking up, Jiang Ji was indeed caught off guard by the splash of water on his face, but luckily his hair was almost dry already, and there weren’t too many droplets on Jiang Ji’s face.

Usually, when someone is suddenly splashed in the face with water, even if they don’t react immediately, they’ll instinctively dodge afterward. But Jiang Ji didn’t move at all, still lowering his head and looking at him.

There are actually such cute moments ah… Qin Qingzhuo couldn’t help but chuckle again.

He suddenly felt very good, better than he had in the past month.

In the emotions that had been condensed and purified in his chest, the sourness, bitterness, and astringency all dissipated, leaving only a high concentration of sweetness.

“Why don’t you dodge…” He raised his hand to help Jiang Ji wipe away the droplets on his cheek, but Jiang Ji suddenly grabbed his wrist and leaned down to kiss him.

Different from the two light pecks before, this time it came down decisively and heavily, with an unmistakable meaning.

There was no probing or hesitation; as soon as their lips met, tongues followed suit without hesitation.

This somewhat aggressive kiss caught Qin Qingzhuo off guard. After passively enduring it for a few seconds, he responded to the kiss by meeting the tongue with his own.

Jiang Ji lifted one hand to wrap around Qin Qingzhuo’s waist, pulling him closer, while the other hand slid into the hair at the back of his head, the warm palm pressing against his scalp, deepening the kiss.

The kiss was both tender and intense, fierce and unrestrained, as if Jiang Ji wanted to devour Qin Qingzhuo whole.

The air outside was cool, and Qin Qingzhuo’s face and lips were cold from the run.

But the breath exchanged between their lips and tongues was hot, burning Qin Qingzhuo’s face.

The heavy and rapid breaths sounded clearly in their ears, mixed with the sound of lips and tongues intertwining and saliva mingling.

The phone in his pocket suddenly vibrated. For a moment, neither of them paid attention to it, continuing the intense kiss until the vibration persisted for several tens of seconds, gradually waking them from their immersed state.

As their lips parted, their hot breaths still entangled, swirling back and forth in the narrow space.

With their foreheads touching, they calmed their emotions for a few seconds. Qin Qingzhuo whispered, “I’ll take the call.”

Jiang Ji softly responded with an “mm-hmm,” then pecked his moist lips again.

Qin Qingzhuo took a deep breath, walked to the window, and checked his phone.

It was a call from the driver, and the vibration had stopped by now.

He calmed his emotions and dialed back.

The call connected, and the driver said he could turn around at the intersection, asking if Qin Qingzhuo still needed to be picked up.

“No need,” Qin Qingzhuo tried to make his breath sound normal, “You go back and rest early.”

After hanging up the phone, he still felt his breath was somewhat rapid, his cheeks burning, his tongue aching, and a hint of a metallic taste in his mouth. That kiss just now was truly out of control…

He looked up at Jiang Ji. In the time he had been on the phone, Jiang Ji’s gaze hadn’t moved away from him.

After that kiss just now, being stared at so intensely by those deep and focused eyes, Qin Qingzhuo felt his face burning even hotter.

Jiang Ji walked over to him, suddenly wrapped his arms around his waist, and lifted him up, settling him onto the windowsill.

The windowsill was quite high, so when Qin Qingzhuo sat down, he was slightly taller than Jiang Ji.

Looking down at Jiang Ji from this angle, Qin Qingzhuo inexplicably felt that Jiang Ji seemed a bit obedient, but that kiss just now told him that it was definitely just an illusion.

“Qin Qingzhuo,” Jiang Ji reached out and touched his flushed cheek, “Your face is so red.”

His eyes were deep and dark, as if they could draw people in when he stared at them.

Qin Qingzhuo instinctively touched his hot face with his hand.

“Did you run over here just now?” Jiang Ji asked again.



Under the gaze like that, Qin Qingzhuo couldn’t lie: “The intersection ahead was too congested, I couldn’t wait, so I ran over by myself.”

After saying this, Jiang Ji looked at him, not saying anything for a while.

Then his gaze fell upon Qin Qingzhuo’s lips. The lips, previously flushed from alcohol, were now moistened by the recent kiss, shimmering with a glossy sheen, like ripe cherries—soft to the touch and inviting.

“You said you regretted it,” his voice carried a husky tone again, “What do you regret?”

“Hmm?” Qin Qingzhuo paused for a moment, then realized, “Of course, it’s the question you asked me last time.”

“Be more specific,” Jiang Ji looked back into his eyes.

Initially, Qin Qingzhuo hesitated to speak. At his age, he was actually somewhat ashamed to straightforwardly say the words “I like you.” However, under such fervent scrutiny, all he wanted to do was respond with equal fervor.

“I like you,” Qin Qingzhuo took a deep breath, locking eyes with Jiang Ji, “Jiang Ji, I lied last time. I like you.”




Certified member of the IIO(International Introverts Organization), PhD holder in Overthinking and Ghosting, Spokesperson for BOBAH(Benefits of Being a Homebody), Founder of SFA(Salted Fish Association), Brand Ambassador for Couch Potato fall line Pajama set.

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