A week had passed since the start of filming for Satan’s Alley. Aside from the first day when Tang Feng had almost been pushed to the breaking point by the director, it had been a smooth ride for him after his acting breakthrough. Although the film had two male leads, Tang Feng had more scenes than Gino. However, most of the publicity having to do with the film focused on its two biggest names, Director Li Wei and Gino, for promotional reasons.
For the first week, the film crew had mainly been going through Tang Feng’s own individual scenes. Tang Feng and Gino would only act together the day after tomorrow.
Hollywood’s filming style could be considered the most perfect system within the industry. It never stopped evolving, but there were still underlying rules that everyone followed. Tang Feng liked this very much. They had two days off every week. It had been written clearly in the contract that he’d signed. His salary had also been clearly stated in the clauses.
As a newcomer, Tang Feng would only be paid a small amount of five-hundred thousand dollars for his role. It was a scratch of what Gino was getting. As a Hollywood superstar, Gino was getting paid 12.5 million dollars, and that was after the friend price discount.
It was Tang Feng’s day off today. After working for the whole day yesterday, Tang Feng had greedily latched onto the and was going downhill with him. He didn’t know who it was that was hounding him in the early morning by pressing the doorbell and calling his phone nonstop.
“Charles…” Tang Feng called out incoherently, but no one answered him. He grabbed a pillow and pulled it over his head.
That was right. Charles had said yesterday that he had to go to New York for two days for a business deal.
“Lu Tian Chen, go open the door…” The doorbell was still ringing. Tang Feng yanked at the blankets and pulled them over his head, exposing his legs to the air. Once again, no one answered him.
Where did Lu Tian Chen go? He thought that someone had come over to his room last night to sleep beside him. If Charles was in New York, then it could only have been Lu Tian Chen. There was no helping it, Tang Feng fought a difficult battle with the sheets before climbing out of bed. Half sleepwalking, he opened the door and saw a black shadow flash in front of him. “Tang Feng, I brought breakfast!” A blond man carrying a white bag jumped into his vision. Gino was deliberately trying to be cute with his cheerful voice.
“Hmm…” Tang Feng shut the door in a daze and walked barefoot toward his bedroom. He was simply too tired. “You can take a seat, wherever is fine. I’m going to sleep for a bit more.” Compared to Gino’s bright smile, Tang Feng’s reaction was like a downpour of cold rain. There was no hint of surprise or shock to his voice, it was calm to the point of frustration.
Tang Feng left without waiting for Gino’s response. He lay on the bed and pulled the blankets over himself, falling asleep once again.
Tang Feng had planned to meet with Gino today to go over the script, but he hadn’t expected Gino to arrive this early.
Before going back to bed, he’d glanced at the clock on the wall. It was only seven-thirty in the morning. Please let him sleep for another hour.
Tang Feng woke up to the smell of food. He left his bedroom in his pajamas and found the figure of a young man busying about in the kitchen. The man turned around at his entrance, lifting his brows and raising the corners of his lips, exposing a row of teeth that gleamed like white shells.
When Tang Feng had first met Gino, he’d thought that the young actor was quite handsome. He recalled that Gino seemed to have filmed a toothpaste commercial a few years ago. His teeth certainly were straight and white.
“Awake? You can go shower first, and then come eat breakfast.” Gino flashed a smile at Tang Feng before turning around to face the stove again.
Tang Feng walked to the bathroom. He took off his clothes and turned on the shower, letting the water stream down his body. Thinking back to the image of Gino busying about in the kitchen, Tang Feng startled chuckling. Gino knew how to cook? In his past life, he had mostly lived alone. At certain times, a nutritionist would come over and plan out his diet. The recipes changed every month, but they were all the same type and flavor. Even the most delicious of foods would become bland after eating them repetitively for years.
After his shower, Tang Feng walked to the living room while wearing a bathrobe and rubbing his hair with a towel. He immediately noticed the colorful dishes displayed on the dining table. There were both vegetable and meat-based dishes, not only did they look pretty, they also smelled amazing. He wondered how they actually tasted.
“Did you make all of these? You know how to make Chinese food?” Tang Feng was hungry. He picked up a fried prawn and bit into it. The taste was rather authentic.
Gino caught sight of Tang Feng stealing bites from the table as he came out of the kitchen with two cups of soy milk. Tang Feng had already finished the prawn he’d snatched off the plate. Some bread crumbs from the coating were stuck to his fingers. He looked around for a napkin but couldn’t find one. He licked the crumbs off his fingers instead, his red tongue brushing over his pale skin.
Gino suddenly felt extremely hungry. His throat also seemed to be on fire.
“Soy milk?” Tang Feng turned to look at the cups in Gino’s hands. He didn’t remember there being any soymilk in the fridge.
“I bought a carton this morning. I’ve warmed it up, you don’t mind, right? I think you wouldn’t.” Gino smiled as he answered his own question, setting the cups on the table.
“I like soy milk.” Tang Feng held a cup in both hands and took a drink. The soymilk warmed him up from the inside. “I’m surprised that you can cook, and authentic Chinese food at that.”
Gino smiled and took a seat opposite of Tang Feng. “I have many good sides to me. Do I seem that horrible of a person to you?”
Tang Feng licked the soy milk mustache off his upper lip. “That’s because you’re so childish sometimes. You always like making trouble for everyone.” With his guard down, Tang Feng spoke of his past opinion on Gino.
Gino took Tang Feng’s words as a joke and didn’t take them to heart, similar to how aside from the initial surprise, Tang Feng didn’t linger on the fact that Gino can cook Chinese food.
Gino was a rather good cook, so much that Tang Feng ate more than usual. Smiling, Gino went to the kitchen to bring Tang Feng another bowl of rice. The two of them weren’t the type to talk while eating, even if they did talk, it was mostly work-related topics.
After breakfast, Tang Feng and Gino started cleaning up the table. As Gino had cooked, Tang Feng insisted that he would do the dishes. Gino didn’t fight with him. He merely leaned against the door frame with his arms crossed as he watched Tang Feng go about the job. In a deliberate teasing manner, his eyes trailed from Tang Feng’s neck, to his broad shoulders, to the elegant lines of his back, to his waist, and…
Tang Feng turned around and glared at him. “Go clean up the living room if you have nothing to do.”
“I’ve never noticed that you were quite fit.” Gino whistled and scratched his nose. He then smiled and ran out of the kitchen before Tang Feng threw a plate at him.
The two of them had gone over the script numerous times already. The scene they were going to film the day after tomorrow would be the one when Tang and Chris first come across each other. Carrying the urn of ashes with him, Tang had left his home for the first time and arrived in a foreign land. In that foreign land, he’d also met a man who would change the rest of his life.
When Gino had first received the script, he’d stayed up to read the whole thing. The story of Chris and Tang was captivating to him. The script had perfectly described complicated topics such as homosexuality and the clash of cultures in a religious environment that didn’t allow for much change or freedom.
The film was cruel and realistic, yet beautiful all the same.
While the two of them were reading over the script, Gino didn’t forget to praise his character, Chris, in front of Tang Feng. How many people would one person fall in love with during their entire life? There might be only one such person. A firm belief in religion was fine, and so were other pursuits. But in the end, they were all solitary lives. In the era they lived in, Chris was undoubtedly a courageous person. Even if he had lived in the modern world, people would still admire and be envious of his character.
“If I could be with someone I love, I’d be happy even if I had to become a farmer growing vegetables and raising cattle in a tiny village,” Gino expressed with a sigh.
Tang Feng paused for a moment, but then laughed. “That’s a good thought.”
“You don’t believe me?” Gino raised an eyebrow and glanced at the other. His exaggerated expression was quite funny.
“I believe you. Of course I believe you.” Tang Feng set the script down. He teased, “Then have you found the love of your life yet? Actually, you should probably go buy a farm first.”
“Hah!” Gino smiled craftily. “Aren’t you the one I love? I’m going to buy a dairy cow, and you’ll be responsible for milking her.”
“In a few weeks, we’ll have to act in more intimate scenes. I think the director means for us to film the bed scene first. Are you ready for it?” Gino dragged the conversation back to the movie. Scenes were never shot sequentially like the script was laid out. Most of the time, all of the scenes taking place in one location would be grouped and shot together. It saved a lot of time and money this way.
“I don’t think I’ll have any problems with it. I’m not the one getting the short end of the stick here.” Tang Feng’s mindset was still that of an old man going on forty.
“Hey, why does it sound like you’re the one taking advantage of me instead? Don’t talk as if you’re so innocent. All right, I admit I’m famous with a lot of fans, but I’m happy to kiss you nonetheless.” Gino smiled and blinked at Tang Feng. “Why are you so confident? Have you kissed a man before?”