Chapter 24 Part 1
Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t answer at first, just pulling the thin quilt up a little to cover Tong Yan’s shoulders. Tong Yan again got closer, his fluffy hair brushing against Zhuo Xiang Ming’s chin. This time, his tone was a little bit aggrieved: “Will we divorce?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Why suddenly ask this?”
Tong Yan: “I can’t ask?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Of course you can … I just didn’t expect you to ask at this time.”
The two people were very close, it was completely the result of Tong Yan shrinking himself into Zhuo Xiang Ming’s embrace. The heat he exhaled hit Zhuo Xiang Ming’s neck, and his forehead occasionally brushed Zhuo Xiang Ming’s lower jaw and neck.
The scent of cape jasmine confidently invaded the area, and the alpha gave up good-naturedly, acquiescing to Tong Yan’s unintentional unrestrained behavior of occupying his territory.
“What do you mean?” Tong Yan asked.
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “When we just married, you were very reluctant …”
“No!” Tong Yan immediately retorted, “I had no reluctance!”
“None?” Zhuo Xiang Ming lightly patted his back through the quilt. He made soothing movements, and the familiar pheromones slowly made Tong Yan’s body relax, but he still refused to reveal his face.
Zhuo Xiang Ming continued: “It’s all right, anyone would feel uncomfortable. It’s just that, I thought you’d ask me about our divorce back then, so I thought about what I should say if you asked, but you never asked.”
Tong Yan remembered the half-month when he’d avoided Zhuo Xiang Ming, he didn’t even eat breakfast in order to not run into him. At night, he was also uncomfortable watching TV together. Dejected, he said, “Because at that time, I wasn’t familiar with brother.”
“True.” Zhuo Xiang Ming said softly, “Our Tong Tong is a kitten that doesn’t recognize strangers, and a little timid.”
Tong Yan objected: “I’m not timid.”
“OK, OK.” Tong Yan’s voice was already very quiet. He put his hand on Tong Yan’s nape and kneaded, “Sleepy?”
Tong Yan: “Hmm …”
Zhuo Xiang Ming again held his back and hugged him: “Then, go to sleep.”
Tong Yan asked: “What about brother?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming followed along with him and said: “Brother will accompany you.”
While eating, Zhuo Xiang Ming saw that Tong Yan was behaving oddly. He was very nervous, like a small territorial animal being threatened by outsiders. He was awkward with Zhuo Xiang Ming, but he also kept peeking at him. When Zhuo Xiang Ming gave him food, he said thank you, but his head was bowed, and he also refused to walk upstairs side by side. That lasted until he couldn’t help but squeeze into the arms of the person he really wanted to occupy, forcefully dyeing Zhuo Xiang Ming in the scent of cape jasmine.
Ten minutes later, Tong Yan fell asleep. Zhuo Xiang Ming pushed away the strands of his hair that was blocking his eyes, and quietly rose. But as soon as he took two steps away from the bed, he saw Tong Yan’s face wrinkle, and he groaned, the hand next to Zhuo Xiang Ming’s pillow grasping a few times, as if he was about to wake up.
With no choice, Zhuo Xiang Ming had to grab the shirt on the back of the chair, the one he’d taken off earlier.
He’d been wearing it all morning, there was a lot of alpha pheromones left over on it. Zhuo Xiang Ming carefully opened the quilt and placed it in Tong Yan’s arms. After that, Tong Yan’s face slowly relaxed, and he hugged the shirt, sinking into sleep.
The chicken cage in the backyard was just half-built. More than twenty chickens were temporarily squeezed into two small square cardboard boxes. The feathers were flying randomly and the smell was unpleasant, but Zhuo Jia Shuo stood there, watching in interest.
Seeing Zhuo Xiang Ming approaching, he called out, “Brother, how long do you say father can raise these chickens?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming hadn’t spoken yet when Zhuo Jia Shuo stared blankly, then he exaggeratedly fanned his hand in front of his nose, saying, “OMG, you smell like…”
Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t bat an eye: “If he wants to raise them, he’ll do it.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo teased: “What the hell did Tong Yan do to you? I guess if he licks you all over, you’d also get this effect.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming warned him: “Behave.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo immediately said: “Does your child have no plans? Bring a chicken back to play.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t chitchat with him: “What did you say to Tong Yan?”
Zhuo Jia Shuo replied innocently: “What could I have said to him?”
The two stood on opposites sides of the door. Zhuo Jia Shuo was leaning against the door frame, his legs crossed and posture relaxed. But Zhuo Xiang Ming stood upright, his hands naturally hanging by the sides of his body. His suit was taken off, and he only wore a thin shirt. His muscles were a little hidden, his shoulders broad and his waist narrow. Together with his frequently unsmiling face, he looked solemn even in home clothes.
After a short silence, Zhuo Jia Shuo said: “I asked him when you guys would get divorced.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Don’t try it again.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo pursed his lower lip, saying unapologetically: “You think I bullied him? How? Why did you guys get married? Everyone knows why, so what’s wrong with me asking?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming turned to look at him. At the start, Zhuo Jia Shuo returned his look, but not long after, he looked away, his jaw tight and his breathing short, his chest undulating.
Seeing him like this, Zhuo Xiang Ming also stopped oppressing him with pheromones, sighing, he said, “Your problem with Tong Yang has nothing to do with my marriage with Tong Yan. You should figure it out yourself, if you continue this way, you’ll only make yourself unhappy.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo wanted to retort, but Zhuo Xiang Ming said, “How much older are you than Tong Yan? If we weren’t married, and we met on the street as strangers, it wouldn’t be strange if he called us uncles. As an elder, you know that he’s sick, and he’s uncomfortable with pheromones. You couldn’t stand the way I oppressed you just now, is there anything wrong with doing this to him, think about that.”
“Wait! “Zhuo Jia Shuo frowned, “When did I ……?”
He had no hostility towards Tong Yan. He just saw how he obediently followed after Zhuo Xiang Ming, even consciously or unconsciously acting spoiled, and constantly calling out ‘brother’, and how Zhuo Xiang Ming always had a smile for him, but was always very polite yet taciturn to others. Plus, he was Tong Yang’s younger brother, he couldn’t help but want to constantly tease him.
Zhuo Jia Shuo tried to remember, when they were talking, maybe he unintentionally released an unfriendly concentration of pheromones … but it wasn’t deliberate.
Zhuo Jia Shuo: “I didn’t do it on purpose … Is he all right?”
“I know.” Zhuo Xiang Ming glanced at him, “If something went wrong, would you still be standing here watching chickens?”
The two of them were not lacking in fights, or more accurately, Zhuo Jia Shuo was not lacking in losing fights to Zhuo Xiang Ming.
As a child, Zhuo Xiang Ming was very reserved. He didn’t visit them often, and when he did, he was very cold, like he was looking down on them. Zhuo Jia Shuo was also despicable, when he saw this, he felt ruthless, and wanted to provoke him even more. But once Zhuo Xiang Ming was pissed off, he made him suffer. He had fists and pheromones to his advantage. In short, they didn’t meet often, and most of their meetings didn’t end well.
Zhuo Jia Shuo shuddered hopelessly.
The kitchen was behind them. Zhuo Jia Shuo went in to find two cans of beer in the refrigerator, and handed one of them to Zhuo Xiang Ming. Zhuo Xiang Ming took it but didn’t drink. Zhuo Jia Shuo looked at him, and Zhuo Xiang Ming said: “I have to go up soon.”
The implication was that he was afraid of stimulating Tong Yan.
“… It’s just a can of beer.” Zhuo Jia Shuo said, “We’re the same omega, but I’m not so blessed.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming said naturally: “He’s still young.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo: “Don’t tell me, you don’t even drink at home?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming declined to comment.
Zhuo Jia Shuo was even more surprised: “What about smoking? I thought you were a bit strange recently … Did you quit smoking?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming said impatiently: “He’s not only sensitive to pheromones, every irritant affects him.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo took a few sips of beer and said, depressed: “When I was eighteen, why didn’t mother send me to be a child bride? Sixteen is fine too. I was also pretty developed at fourteen.”
This shameless remark went unanswered, so Zhuo Jia Shuo kicked Zhuo Xiang Ming’s shoes: “What the hell, brother? Do you have a son or a wife? But … to me, it looks like Tong Yan doesn’t have that desire. Seems like he really thinks of you as a brother. How do you feel about that? Heart-broken?”
“Ah, I know!” Zhuo Jia Shuo squeezed his beer can until it caved in, “Did that little brat get anxious because of my questions? Wow … Then he’s also interested in you, right? You don’t have to show off, you already look so proud of yourself, no need to swagger around with his scent all over your body…”
Zhuo Xiang Ming stuffed the cold beer can back into Zhuo Jia Shuo’s hand, then turned to go upstairs, leaving behind some meaningful words: “If you learn to control your mouth, your and Tong Yang’s situation will get a hundred times better. Perhaps you guys would’ve gotten married three years ago, and I’d have a nephew by now.”
Chicken –lit. translation. But I think he’s implying something else. I know chicken is slang for a prostitute, but since there’s a box of chickens in front of them, I’ll give ZJS the benefit of the doubt.
To celebrate her story going VIP, the author made chapter 24 3x as long as a regular chapter, so it’s in parts.