When Xiang Mo returned to his bedroom after taking a shower, the person lying on the bed hadn’t left yet.

He removed the towel around his waist and put on his underwear, revealing the alluring curve of his round buttocks as he bent down.
It was a sight that was hard to look away from.

Tan Song pulled back the covers and got out of bed, wrapping his arms around Xiang Mo from behind and burying his face in his neck.
He asked softly, “Can I come again tomorrow?”

“No, you can’t,” Xiang Mo answered without hesitation and with a matter-of-fact tone.

Tan Song, as if used to Xiang Mo’s indifference, smiled nonchalantly.
“You really are cold-hearted.”

Xiang Mo never thought that he and Tan Song needed any emotional connection.
They were just fulfilling each other’s physical needs, and maintaining boundaries was the best way to get along.

“Recently, a new colleague joined the company,” Tan Song voluntarily took a step back, “He looks good and has a good personality.
Should I pursue him?”

Although it sounded like a new topic, Xiang Mo could feel that Tan Song was still testing his reaction.
It was as if he was not satisfied with the rejection earlier and wanted to get a somewhat unusual response from him.

At the beginning of their acquaintance, Tan Song wouldn’t act like this, but lately, he had been increasingly crossing boundaries.

“Like him? Then go pursue him,” Xiang Mo said, his expression calm and unchanged.

Tan Song sized up Xiang Mo for a moment before giving up with a sigh, half-jokingly, half-seriously saying, “Never mind, I can’t bear to lose you.”

Their relationship was solely about physical intimacy and not about love.
It was the understanding between Xiang Mo and Tan Song.

Both of them emphasized physical and mental well-being and never indulged in casual encounters.
After becoming regular bed partners, they had only been with each other.

This seemingly intimate and stable relationship was, in reality, quite fragile.

Xiang Mo knew only that Tan Song worked in a 4S car dealership, and Tan Song knew only that Xiang Mo managed an art studio.
Besides this, they understood each other no more than their individual friends.

If Tan Song decided to pursue his colleague, their bed partners’ relationship would naturally come to an end.

Xiang Mo didn’t care; for him, sex was a recreational activity, not a necessity.
Physical needs did not require immediate resolution.

However, his indifferent attitude seemed to be not what Tan Song wanted as a response.

After dressing up, grabbing his phone, and preparing to leave, Tan Song was met with a sudden “creak, creak” sound in the quiet bedroom.

The noise came from upstairs and sounded quite rhythmic.
If Xiang Mo didn’t guess wrong, it was the sound of a metal bed frame moving.

Tan Song couldn’t help but click his tongue a few times, teasingly saying, “The guy upstairs is quite energetic.”

A similar thought flashed through Xiang Mo’s mind.

Before Tan Song’s arrival, the upstairs had already begun “exercising,” and after a brief break, it now started the second round.

However, unlike Tan Song’s playful thoughts, Xiang Mo slightly frowned, and a hint of displeasure flashed in his eyes.

—He really hated noise.

The place Xiang Mo rented was an old three-story Western-style house.

At the entrance of the elegant courtyard hung a sign that read “Ink and Brush Art Studio.” Entering through the door, one would find the small studio hidden in the bustling city.

Inside the studio, there were long tables, easels, and various art tools.
The walls were decorated with many works by Xiang Mo and his students.

Ascending the wooden staircase in the middle of the studio, the room on the left side of the hallway, which was always closed, was Xiang Mo’s private bedroom.
On the right side, the open space was the shared kitchen and bathroom.

Xiang Mo had rented the first and second floors, leaving the bedroom and balcony on the third floor unoccupied.

Since the rent for the old Western-style house was high, the price of a single room was not cheap.
As a result, no one had lived on the third floor since Xiang Mo moved in.

A few hundred meters away was the most bustling area of the city.
Renting a small apartment there was even cheaper than renting the upstairs of Xiang Mo’s place.

If it weren’t for experiencing the leisure and tranquility of an old Western-style house or feeling the historical charm of this neighborhood, no one would spend thousands of dollars to rent such a small room.

Except for Du Chi, Xiang Mo’s new neighbor.

Not knowing if it was the influence of the noise from upstairs, Tan Song, who had already walked to the door, suddenly turned around and embraced Xiang Mo’s waist from behind.

Looking at the approaching lips, Xiang Mo instinctively turned his face away and frowned.
“Don’t do this, Tan Song.”

Kissing was not something that bed partners should engage in.
Xiang Mo could ignore Tan Song’s verbal tests, but if he kept crossing boundaries repeatedly, he would end this relationship without hesitation.

“Aren’t you considering taking it to the next level?” Tan Song stepped back, his expression somewhat helpless.
“I thought we were a good match.”

“That’s just what you think.” Xiang Mo didn’t want to complicate their relationship and chose to straightforwardly reject him.
“If you still want to come over, stop mentioning this.”

“Alright.” Tan Song wasn’t someone who couldn’t take a hint.
Seeing that Xiang Mo had made his stance clear, he stopped making meaningless attempts.

He walked to the door and turned back to Xiang Mo.
“See you next week.”

Whether they would see each other again remained to be seen, Xiang Mo thought.

He didn’t want to ponder whether Tan Song’s “can’t bear to lose you” was sincere or not because he wasn’t interested in investing emotions in such matters.

Many people believed that marriage was the grave of love, but to Xiang Mo, love itself was a grave.

If anyone wanted to drag him into their grave, he would draw clear boundaries without hesitation.

The next day was a workday, and the art studio only opened in the afternoon.

Xiang Mo was awakened by the sound of footsteps in his sleep, and as he gradually regained consciousness, he realized it was the “good neighbor” upstairs again.

The old Western-style house was quite old, and soundproofing was poor.
Du Chi also needed to use the kitchen and bathroom on the second floor, making it challenging for Xiang Mo not to be disturbed.

Looking at the time, it was just past six.

Du Chi had the habit of jogging every morning and would always take his Golden Retriever out at seven.

He had only moved in three days ago, and Xiang Mo had already been awakened three times by him.

Especially last night, he was disturbed by the annoying “creaking” sound until midnight before falling asleep.
He thought Du Chi wouldn’t go jogging this morning, but this person still went out as scheduled.

Endure for a while, and the storm will calm.
Retreat, and the sea will be wide and sky vast.

Xiang Mo repeated this phrase in his mind and gradually fell back asleep.

Adults often have frustrating times, and rational people tend to choose to compromise.
The anger caused by being awakened gradually dissipated with drowsiness.
However, after an unknown period, Xiang Mo was once again awakened by the sound of “ping, ping, pang, pang.”

He got up in annoyance, pulled back the curtains to find the source of the noise, and saw Du Chi squatting in the yard, using a wrench to tinker with his heavy motorcycle.

Sure enough, in the corner of Xiang Mo’s favorite courtyard, there appeared a black motorcycle that was completely out of line with the artistic atmosphere of the art studio.

Xiang Mo suddenly regretted; he should have rented the entire old Western-style house.
His income from selling paintings and running the art studio was considerable enough to afford the high rent.

If he had known he would encounter such a neighbor, he would have gladly spent more money for tranquility.

After freshening up in the bathroom, mechanically brushing his teeth, Xiang Mo’s annoyance gradually subsided.

—At least Du Chi was a clean person.

His toiletries were neatly arranged in the bathroom cabinet, distinctly separated from Xiang Mo’s.
He also cleaned the kitchen after use and didn’t leave behind dirty stains.

Meeting a roommate who valued cleanliness was rare.
However, Xiang Mo still couldn’t tolerate the noise.

From the second floor to the first floor, Sanmei, the third cat, was already waiting by her food bowl, meowing.
Sanmei had always been aloof, but she was different.
Raised in the art studio, she would rub against people’s legs and was famously friendly.

After putting cat food in Sanmei’s bowl, Xiang Mo brewed himself a cup of refreshing coffee and came to the yard with the cup in his hand.

“Morning, Mr.
Du Chi,” Xiang Mo greeted.

The mid-April weather was pleasant, and the sunlight on the skin had the perfect temperature.
If it weren’t for the smell of motor oil throughout the courtyard, Xiang Mo would have greatly enjoyed this serene morning.

“Good morning, Teacher Xiang.”

Du Chi had just finished his work, closed the toolbox beside his feet, and stood up from behind the motorcycle.

He was wearing a light gray short-sleeved shirt, with a slight mist on the back of his neck, indicating he had recently showered.

When Xiang Mo was washing up in the bathroom earlier, he caught a whiff of a pleasant shower gel scent.
He believed that if he got close enough to Du Chi right now, he would smell the same fragrance.

“Are you busy?” Xiang Mo asked.

A question without much substance, just a polite greeting.

“I’m done with work.
I was doing maintenance just now,” Du Chi said, lowering his gaze, preparing to take off his canvas gloves.

Xiang Mo stood on the first step, just at eye level with Du Chi.
In professional terms, Du Chi’s eyes were on Xiang Mo’s eye level.
When Du Chi lowered his head, Xiang Mo could clearly see the height of his nose.

Xiang Mo had painted many portraits, with some having plaster models and others from real people.
Proportions of three heads and five eyes were common in facial features.
However, someone like Du Chi, with such well-proportioned and three-dimensional facial features, was a rarity even for Xiang Mo.

Putting aside his thoughts, Xiang Mo got to the point, “That’s good.
I wanted to discuss something with you.”

Du Chi’s movements faltered as he took off his gloves.
He looked up at Xiang Mo, asking, “What is it?”

“The soundproofing of this old Western-style house is not good.
When you walk upstairs, could you be a little lighter?” Xiang Mo asked.

Compared to his irritation in the morning, Xiang Mo was being very polite.
After all, they were neighbors, and there was no need to be rude.

However, Xiang Mo didn’t want to waste his effort either.

Du Chi seemed like a laid-back person, and he didn’t seem to consider others much.
Afraid that Du Chi might not take his words seriously, Xiang Mo added with a hint of meaning, “It seems like the quality of your bed isn’t very good either.
It made noise all night yesterday.”

After saying this, Xiang Mo picked up his coffee cup and took a sip, lowering his gaze.

The “all night” was a bit exaggerated; it actually stopped around 1 AM.

Xiang Mo deliberately used an exaggerated expression to let Du Chi know that, although he was polite on the surface, he was actually very displeased.

Du Chi seemed to understand Xiang Mo’s reminder and chuckled lightly.
He continued to take off his gloves, “Alright, Teacher Xiang, I will be more careful in the future.”

Xiang Mo was surprised at how easily the matter was resolved.
He politely said, “Thank you,” and turned to walk back.

Behind him, he heard the sound of gloves patting the motorcycle seat, accompanied by Du Chi’s lazy voice, “Teacher Xiang.”

Xiang Mo stopped and turned to look at Du Chi.

“The soundproofing of the old house is indeed bad.”

Du Chi paused in his actions of patting the gloves, and his gaze met Xiang Mo’s.

In his sincere gaze, there was an inexplicable trace of teasing.
A bad premonition arose in Xiang Mo’s heart.

He subconsciously thought Du Chi would say something like, “I can’t do anything about it,” or “Let’s understand each other.” However, Du Chi’s lips curved into a smile, and he kindly reminded, “You make quite a bit of noise in bed.”

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