Tong Yan’s clenched fist slowly released under Zhuo Xiang Ming’s hold, and his soft fingertips pressed against Zhuo Xiang Ming’s palm: “Then, you now …”
The teenager’s fair cheeks had turned red, the result of getting angry on Zhuo Xiang Ming’s behalf.
“I’m not finished explaining. He got angry at me, but actually, I also wasn’t very kind to him. He tore my notebook, and I pushed down his celebration cake … My personality at that time wasn’t much better than Zhuo Jia Shuo’s.” Zhuo Xiang Ming smiled and said in a relaxed tone, “And like I said, this happened many years ago.”
Tong Yan wasn’t convinced: “Really?”
He smiled at Tong Yan: “You cried after arguing with your big brother on Thursday night, but didn’t you feel better less than two hours later?”
Tong Yan was most afraid of Zhuo Xiang Ming brining up his crying: “That’s because I was too angry, got it?”
He turned his head away, thinking it looked natural, but actually, it was a very stiff way to end the dialogue.
The Zhou family house was getting closer, and the dazed Tong Yan suddenly remembered: “Brother, is Zhuo Jia Shuo home today?”
“I don’t know.” Zhuo Xiang Ming tapped the steering wheel with his index finger a few times, “It’s Saturday, so he should be, but I didn’t think to ask. What’s wrong?”
Tong Yan said anxiously, “Nothing.”
He wasn’t sure if it was a secret that Zhuo Jia Shuo was dating Tong Yang, and recently, he didn’t dare bring it up to Zhuo Xiang Ming. Last time, when he had dinner with Tong Yang, he was too busy quarreling to think about asking.
Moreover, Tong Yan was naturally on Zhuo Xiang Ming’s side. He suddenly heard about the terrible thing Zhuo Jia Shuo did in his childhood, and his mood was now mixed, he didn’t know how he should face him.
But this problem didn’t confuse Tong Yan for too long, because Zhuo Jia Shuo opened the door for them. This time, he was very well-behaved, he didn’t provoke Tong Yan, just obediently calling out to Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Brother, you’re back.”
“Yeah.” Zhuo Xiang Ming said, “Tong Tong was just asking after you.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo blinked: “Me? Whatever for?”
Tong Yan changed his shoes and straightened up, “Asking if you’re home or not.”
Behind Zhuo Xiang Ming, Zhuo Jia Shuo glanced at him warningly, but Tong Yan wasn’t afraid of him. He ran ahead and sat on the sofa next to Zhuo Xiang Ming.
Lin Yue Hua was busy watching the pot, she called out a greeting to them from the kitchen, but didn’t come out.
A few minutes later, Zhuo Jia Shuo tried to find an excuse to call Tong Yan aside: “Come here, I want to show you something.”
Tong Yan was alert: “Show me what?”
Zhuo Jia Shuo stood in front of him, hands on his hips: “Won’t you know if you see it?”
Tong Yan didn’t humor him: “Tell me first.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo said to Zhuo Xiang Ming, gloomy: “Can I eat him?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “You’re a grown adult, don’t always make fun of him.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo reluctantly sat down next to Tong Yan, but Zhuo Xiang Ming was soon called to the kitchen to taste something by Lin Yue Hua. Tong Yan moved to follow him, but was forcefully dragged back by Zhuo Jia Shuo: “I’d like a word with you!”
Tong Yan pushed his hand off and sat far away: “Fine.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo gritted his teeth and said: “That night… were you at the house?”
Tong Yan nodded: “You don’t remember? In the middle of the night, you entered the house and threw yourself at my brother.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo’s face stiffened, glaring: “You were seeing things!”
“Ah?” Tong Yan unhurriedly said, “I saw you guys kissing.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo’s jaw dropped, after a while, he blushed, stuttering: “I-impossible! ”
“How is it impossible? When you guys went upstairs, weren’t you kissing?” Tong Yan propped an arm on the sofa, his upper body leaning forward a bit, looking into Zhuo Jia Shuo’s eyes as he asked, “Are you guys dating?”
Zhuo Jia Shuo didn’t speak, so Tong Yan continued to ask: “When did it start? Don’t tell me, did you guys already know each other? Ah! When you got me drunk at the wedding, did you and my brother already…”
When all was said and done, Zhuo Jia Shuo was much older than him, he couldn’t remain cornered for too long. He quickly responded: “Pretty good, Tong Yan. Seems you’re not just a helpless little rabbit.”
Tong Yan: “You’re complimenting me for being cute and clever?”
” …” Zhuo Jia Shuo said, “You look good, but that attitude is so not cute. And this can only be called holding a grudge, clever is out of the question.”
Tong Yan didn’t think much about it before, content that Tong Yang was finally seriously dating someone, but now, thinking about it some more, it was rather strange: “I’m married to your older brother, and now you’re dating my older brother?!”
Tong Yan’s eyes opened round.
Zhuo Jia Shuo was sitting next to him, cross-legged. He choked, and stubbornly said, “Quiet down! And so what? You guys aren’t really married anyway.”
Tong Yan frowned: “What do you mean?”
Zhuo Jia Shuo said in a low voice: “We’re not in a hurry, when you and my brother divorce, we’ll make another deal.”
He asked Tong Yan: “Didn’t you guys make a deal before? When are you planning to divorce?”
Tong Yan: “…”
Tong Yan: “Go ask your mother.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo: “Every time I ask her, she just scolds me … you don’t feel it? She desperately wants you guys to become real.”
Tong Yan: “?”
Zhuo Jia Shuo: “It’s true, in fact, while he was still in university, big brother said that he wouldn’t get married, and planned to live by himself, but nobody took him seriously.” Zhuo Jia Shuo shrugged, “My mother only reacted in the last two years. Big brother isn’t the type to bluff, but it seemed a bit late.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo: “But whatever. If you guys are waiting for that project, all the documents should’ve already been handed over in these two months. Or, are you waiting for your illness to get better? Or after the college entrance examinations?”
Tong Yan was dazed by his interrogation. When are we getting divorced? He didn’t think that he and Zhuo Xiang Ming still needed a divorce.
But it was indeed the deal. Originally, in order to acquire the project, they only needed to conduct a wedding. Living together was already a “sacrifice” Zhuo Xiang Ming made, in order to help Tong Yan’s pheromone stress disorder.
His pheromone stress disorder was already not critical, if they wanted to, they could divorce at any time.
Zhuo Xiang Ming came out carrying two dishes: “What are you guys discussing? It’s lunch time.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo called out an acknowledgement, and walked a few steps forward, before rushing back to grab the still sitting Tong Yan. He hissed a warning: “You better keep your mouth shut, got it?”
Tong Yan refused to acknowledge him and walked away to sit down beside Zhuo Xiang Ming.
While eating, Zhuo Jia Shuo was very well-behaved, and no longer expressed any controversial opinions about Zhuo Xiang Ming feeding Tong Yan.
Zhuo ZhengDe returned home after lunch and directed a pickup truck to unload something in the backyard.
They all went to the backyard to take a look. Several workers were moving around some steel bars, very disorderly. Lin Yue Hua asked, “What is this?”
Zhuo ZhengDe wiped his sweat and said, “Twenty-six silkies, it was very difficult to find them. They haven’t eaten any fattening feed, so they’ll be good for your health.”
“It’s too many … this is troubling.” Lin Yue Hua smiled. “Fortunately, Xiang Ming and Tong Tong are here. I’ll stew two tonight. One for soup, another for them to carry back tomorrow.”
Zhuo ZhengDe hurriedly agreed.
There were many silkies, if all of them were killed right away, they would go stale, so Zhuo ZhengDe had decided to raise them in the backyard.
The workers were busy clearing the area to make a chicken cage. The smell wasn’t the best, so the group quickly entered the living room again.
Lin Yue Hua was pulling Tong Tong’s hand, and Zhuo ZhengDe on the other side asked her, “Did you take your medicine?”
Lin Yue Hua: “Yes. How about you? You left so early and mysteriously, have you eaten yet?”
Zhuo ZhengDe had a lot of dirt on his body and sweat on his face, he said, “Don’t worry. I’ll go up to get cleaned up first.”
He looked at Tong Yan, and Tong Yan said: “Hello, uncle.”
Zhuo ZhengDe nodded, then turned to Zhuo Xiang Ming, “Just stay the night, don’t be too quick to leave. There’s some free time now, take your wife up to rest.”
Lin Yue Hua released Tong Yan and smiled, “Yes, you guys should take a nap. Go up with him and rest well, let’s go out later.”
She asked Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Is there anything going on today?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “There’s nothing, but his school’s sports competition starts tomorrow.”
Lin Yue Hua: “That’s all right, just leave early tomorrow. Stay the night, okay?”
Before coming over, Zhuo Xiang Ming said that they might have to stay overnight, so Tong Yan nodded: “Okay, Auntie.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming’s bedroom was on the second floor, and Lin Yue Hua and Zhuo ZhengDe’s bedroom was on the other side of the third floor. The group went upstairs and separated. Zhuo Jia Shuo stayed by himself on the first floor, saying that he wasn’t sleepy, and that he was going to look at the chickens. Lin Yue Hua said, “Be careful. Don’t get pecked.”
He’d visited the Zhuo family house twice, but this was the first time he’d entered Zhuo Xiang Ming’s bedroom. The room wasn’t big, but it wasn’t small. There was a bookshelf, but there were not many books in it, some decorations, but no lived-in atmosphere. It was obvious that the owner wasn’t frequently present.
Zhuo Xiang Ming walked in behind Tong Yan. He closed the door and said to Tong Yan, who was standing beside the door: “Are you tired? Take a nap.”
Tong Yan nodded and walked over, lying face down on one side of the bed.
Zhuo Xiang Ming pulled the curtains closed, and placed a glass of water on Tong Yan’s bedside. Then he changed into a thin sweater and sat down on the other side of the bed: “Can we sleep together?”
Tong Yan’s face was buried in the pillow. He mumbled an agreement, patting the mattress: “Sleep here.”
After Zhuo Xiang Ming covered Tong Yan with a thin quilt, he laid down. Tong Yan pulled back his hand and tucked it under his stomach.
The two have never slept in the same bed, the light scent of cedarwood and cape jasmine quietly filled the closed room. It felt different, but not strange.
After a while, Tong Yan called out: “Brother.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming responded softly: “Yes?”
Tong Yan: “Never mind.”
But then he called out again: “Brother …”
Zhuo Xiang Ming chuckled gently: “What are you up to?”
Tong Yan didn’t respond, so Zhuo Xiang Ming reached out to scratch his neck: “What happened?”
Tong Yan cringed away: “Never mind.”
But Zhuo Xiang Ming refused to let him off, he got up, flipping Tong Yan over. The gap between their strength was too wide, after being held down by his shoulders, Tong Yan couldn’t move, and he also couldn’t reach Zhuo Xiang Ming with his legs. He could only glare: “Hurry up, let me …”
After the thick blackout curtains were closed, there was almost no light in the room, but Tong Yan’s face had been buried in the pillow, so his eyes had already adjusted to the darkness. After the short struggle, Zhuo Xiang Ming had gotten very close to him in order to hold him down, and his eyes were smiling: “Then say it, why were you calling me?”
Tong Yan felt his face heating up, his heartbeat was also too loud, quickly becoming abnormal.
For a split second, he was inexplicably afraid that Zhuo Xiang Ming would discover his nervousness, so he wanted to quickly come up with a reason to make Zhuo Xiang Ming let him go.
“M-my mouth hurts.” Tong Yan stuttered. “Maybe because, I just brushed my teeth. The guest room toothbrush was, um … too hard. My gums feel a little sore.”
“Really?” Zhuo Xiang Ming firmly said, “Let me take a look.”
He pinched Tong Yan’s cheeks, and Tong Yan trembled a bit, only to hear Zhuo Xiang Ming offhandedly ask, “Why is your face so hot?”
Tong Yan began to struggle in earnest: “It’s just a little hot … you’re pushing me down, it’s too hot.”
But Zhuo Xiang Ming was obviously more concerned about something else: “Are your gums bleeding?”
Tong Yan really wasn’t behaving, Zhuo Xiang Ming had no choice but to press down his legs with his own leg, “Behave, open your mouth for brother to take a look.”
Tong Yan stubbornly turned his face, refusing to cooperate. Zhuo Xiang Ming still coaxed him: “Tong Tong, come on, I’ll let you go after I take a look.”
Tong Yan knew that his mouth just felt a tiny bit sore, not even painful, and certainly not bleeding. But Zhuo Xiang Ming was so insistent, that Tong Yan had no choice but to open his mouth to show him.
The room was too dark to see clearly, so Zhuo Xiang Ming turned on the bedside lamp near Tong Yan.
He suddenly froze.
Tong Yan had already closed his eyes tightly, his eyelids and eyelashes were trembling, and, at Zhuo Xiang Ming’s request, his mouth was opened slightly, but his blush was so severe, it looked like he’d been bullied.
Putting away his blank look, Zhuo Xiang Ming pinched Tong Yan’s face to check inside his mouth, but the warm yellow light not only illuminated Tong Yan’s flushed skin, it also revealed the timid pink tongue in his mouth.
Zhuo Xiang Ming turned off the light again. When he let go, Tong Yan closed his mouth: “How is it?”
“Huh?” Zhuo Xiang Ming said, “Oh … it’s a little red, but there’s no bleeding. I’ll give you another toothbrush tonight.”
Tong Yan said, “We’re not going home tonight.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming said, “Yeah.”
He laid back in his former position, after a while, Tong Yan slowly shifted closer.
Zhuo Xiang Ming looked at his crappy pretending to sleep expression, and reached across the quilt to hug him: “Asleep?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming pinched his nose: “Little liar.”
After the awkward feeling passed, Tong Yan’s clinging gained more confidence, he moved closer again, completely burying himself in Zhuo Xiang Ming’s embrace, appearing very dependent, like an obedient small animal. His face stuck to Zhuo Xiang Ming’s chest, he mumbled: “Brother.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming lightly touched the back of his head: “Yes?”
Tong Yan whispered: “Will you divorce me?”
this is troubling- 这一通折腾的, unsure of translation
Progress boyos. Too bad ZJS was the one who instigated it.