The sleep that night was very peaceful. Tong Yan woke up early in the morning, he couldn’t open his eyes or move his body. He felt that the quilt was still very hot, heat coming from all directions, he was being embraced– Zhuo Xiang Ming hadn’t left.
The days in the deep of winter were already very bright. Usually, at this time, even if Zhuo Xiang Ming hadn’t left the house, he should’ve cleaned himself up and gotten Tong Yan up for breakfast.
”Zhuo Xiang Ming.” Tong Yan still couldn’t open his eyes, struggling to feel out Zhuo Xiang Ming’s face, patting, “Late to work.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming tilted his head to kiss his wrist, hugging him full on: “Not going anywhere this morning.”
Tong Yan was very happy to hear this: “Why ah?”
”Why not?” Zhuo Xiang Ming kissed him aimlessly, “I’m taking a vacation.”
But Boss Zhuo, who was on vacation, couldn’t sleep any longer, because he was roused out of bed by Tong Yan. Staying at Zhuo Xiang Ming’s parents’ house, Tong Yan felt embarrassed to linger in bed. But Zhuo Xiang Ming wasn’t dissatisfied, because the two of them were squeezed into the small bathroom, and Tong Yan even sat on the counter top to help him shave.
”It smells good.” Tong Yan sniffed Zhuo Xiang Ming’s shaving foam, “I want to try it too.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming stroked his smooth face: “Where will you shave? Eyebrows? You can shave your eyelashes, they’re too long.”
Tong Yan rolled his eyes a little, pretending to kindly hold up a towel to wipe the droplets on his jaw, but in reality, he used great force. But when Zhuo Xiang Ming cried out in pain, he couldn’t be ruthless anymore, switching to wiping it gently.
It was not yet eight o’clock, the two were waiting in the small living room. It didn’t take long for Lin Yue Hua and Zhuo ZhengDe to come downstairs. Tong Yan didn’t know if the pinch marks he’d left on Zhuo Xiang Ming’s face were noticeable, sitting like a well-behaved child, saying good morning to Lin Yue Hua.
After exchanging a few words, Lin Yue Hua called Zhuo Xiang Ming to the kitchen. Recently, Tong Yan realized that the ‘calling to the kitchen’ event wasn’t really about taste testing. Lin Yue Hua just wanted to say something to Zhuo Xiang Ming. He’d figured this out by himself, so he felt like he’d gained a bit of life wisdom.
Taste testing and looking at something were about equivalent to a private chat.
Zhuo ZhengDe had also slipped away to somewhere, so only Tong Yan was left in the small living room. He automatically changed his sitting posture, reclining bonelessly.
A chandelier hung directly above the sofa, Tong Yan was so bored that he started counting the number of small light bulbs in each circle. When he’d counted up to half, Zhuo Jia Shuo’s face appeared above him.
”Good morning, Uncle.” Tong Yan said listlessly.
Zhuo Jia Shuo looked at him meaningfully: “So fatigued? Aiya, you’re still young, let my brother take a break.”
Currently, Tong Yan’s brain was moving sluggishly, so he didn’t get his meaning immediately, choosing to ignore him. But Zhuo Jia Shuo was probably also bored to death, because he poked Tong Yan and said again: “I’m really quite curious, you two, hmm …”
Tong Yan asked unhurriedly: “Who two?”
Zhuo Jia Shuo acknowledged that he and Tong Yan were both omegas, moreover, Tong Yan was even married. There was no taboo topic in this regard, so he shamelessly asked, “You and my brother duh, you guys have such different physiques, can you keep up?”
”Pervert!” Tong Yan abruptly said, “I’m telling my husband.”
He got up and bumped into Zhuo Xiang Ming as he was walking over: “What’s going on?”
Tong Yan hugged his arm and looked back at Zhuo Jia Shuo. Zhuo Xiang Ming immediately frowned: “I told you not to bully him.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo was relying on him for help, so he was temporarily very cooperative: “I got it, and I wasn’t bullying him. What did mom say?”
”Still mostly out of the question, but it’s not as impossible as last night.” Zhuo Xiang Ming said, “I’ve said everything I can, the rest is up to you.”
”Ay.” Zhuo Jia Shuo sighed, this time, he was the one who slumped into the sofa.
After that, the atmosphere at the breakfast table also wasn’t very good. Strangely, Lin Yue Hua looked deeply bothered, having no mood to chat with Tong Yan.
Tong Yan was also troubled, a little grateful that Zhuo Xiang Ming hadn’t gone to work.
It may be because they haven’t been married for long, but he really couldn’t consider this place his home. Ordinarily, he wouldn’t choose to come here without Zhuo Xiang Ming. At home, when Zhuo Xiang Ming wasn’t happy, he would coax him. Although those times were very few, almost none. But here, when someone was unhappy, he also felt discomfort, it was very difficult to remain in this environment.
After breakfast, they got ready to go back home. It seemed that Zhuo Xiang Ming wasn’t concerned with the gloomy atmosphere in the family, not planning to stay behind to resolve it.
Tong Yan stood by the door, Zhuo Xiang Ming was helping him tie up his scarf. For the first time, Lin Yue Hua didn’t try to persuade Tong Yan to stay longer. Holding Tong Yan’s hand, she said to Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Drive safe, take good care of Tong Tong.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “I know.”
Lin Yue Hua said to Tong Yan: “Come over whenever you’re bored.”
Tong Yan promised: “I’ll come in three days to pick strawberries.”
Yesterday, Lin Yue Hua told him that the strawberries in the greenhouse would be ready to eat in three days. They were currently half red, when they were ready, they would certainly be big and sweet.
Lin Yue Hua looked down and pursed her lips in a smile, but when she raised her head, the smile was still very broad, as if Tong Yan had told her a joke: “OK, I’ll preserve it for you.”
It was somewhat odd, but Tong Yan was unable to say where it was odd.
As soon as they got into the car, Tong Yan took out the key to the aircraft and showed it to Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Look, mom and Zhuo Jia Shuo sent me a present. I forgot to tell you about it yesterday.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming glanced at the key: “Is it an aircraft?”
Tong Yan hummed, looking down to fiddle with the square-shaped card.
”When will it be delivered?” Zhuo Xiang Ming asked, “How big?”
Tong Yan: “Zhuo Jia Shuo said it would be delivered last night, it should be parked on the roof of our house … I don’t know how big it is, he didn’t tell me.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming took the key and carefully examined it, saying: “It should be the type with a small bedroom, a recent model. The holder doesn’t need a flight permit, since the safety degree of its self-driving mode surpassed 95% of professional pilots … Actually, I also have one I was planning to gift you, but it’s not completed yet. Do you like it?”
”I’ve never thought about buying something like this before.” Tong Yan said, “I like it, I can try taking a nap in the sky sometime. Is this a wedding gift?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming thought about it: “It should be called a Gai Kou Fei.”
”Oh.” Tong Yan said, “Then, my dad should also give you a gift, right?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “I’ve already gotten the gift.”
Tong Yan didn’t know: “What was it?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming just looked at him, Tong Yan asked again: “What did he give you?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “You.”
Tong Yan blushed, trying to change the subject: “What did you and mom talk about just now?”
After asking this, he added: “You don’t have to tell me if it’s a secret.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming explained the matter about Zhuo Jia Shuo and Tong Yang to Tong Yan. Tong Yan wasn’t particularly surprised: “Are they getting married soon?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Let’s see what the elders decide.”
Tong Yan asked: “Is mom opposed?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “It’s not really opposition, it’s most likely the suddenness of it… my mom always thought that Zhuo Jia Shuo wasn’t seriously seeing anyone. They probably planned to matchmake him in a few years, but now, not only does he have a partner, he even wants to get married. Moreover…”
Zhuo Xiang Ming paused, Tong Yan knew what he’d planned to say next: “It’s to my brother…”
This relationship was very complicated, most people wouldn’t want to deal with it.
Tong Yan turned to look out the window. Opposite him was the ShiZhong Canal, which had just finished construction. After being lit up, the water became a gorgeous multi-colored river. It was a cascade of colors, deep and shallow, very beautiful.
He stared at it for a while. Zhuo Xiang Ming drove very slowly, but no matter how slowly he drove, they still eventually drove past it. Tong Yan shifted his attention to the birds flying across the horizon.
Zhuo Xiang Ming looked at his lost in thought expression, finding it adorable. He was obviously very thin, but his cheeks were a bit pouty, and his lips were a very light red. Girls often suspected that he was wearing lip balm, but Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t understand this explanation. At this, he recalled the sight of Tong Yan raising his head and coughing last night, and his lower body had an untimely reaction. He coughed.
”What’s wrong?” Tong Yan looked back and asked, “Cold?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming coughed again, saying, “It’s nothing.”
Tong Yan turned around and sat facing him: “I was thinking just now, it’s fortunate we got married first.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Huh?”
”Think about it, if my brother and your brother got married first, then wouldn’t we be the ones troubled right now? This outcome is best, we just need to watch a play.” Tong Yan hugged his arm, adopting a play watching pose. Zhuo Xiang Ming smiled, ruffling his hair: “You’re also pretty bad.”
Tong Yan laughed with him.
When they entered the house, Tong Yan felt that something was different. He looked around, then noticed a few sphere-shaped things on the ceiling and walls, metal, silver colored.
”What’s this?” Tong Yan stared at them for a while, but didn’t recognize what it was.
”What do you think it looks like?” Zhuo Xiang Ming replied.
Tong Yan looked again, then said: “It looks like the aromatherapy machine in my house. But why did you install so many?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Close enough.”
Tong Yan still wanted to examine, but Zhuo Xiang Ming grabbed his hand and said: “Don’t you want to go take a look at your aircraft?”
At this, Tong Yan remembered. He was still very concerned, following Zhuo Xiang Ming to the backyard and up to the roof of the small building nearby.
A dark-gray, standard circular aircraft with a metallic-gloss was parked there, “Property of TY” was inscribed on the lower right corner of the cabin door. Tong Yan walked a lap around the vehicle, Zhuo Xiang Ming taught him how to open the door and input identification information. There were some basic decorations inside, most of what remained required him to install his favorite style. Zhuo Xiang Ming followed behind him, listening to Tong Yan’s requests.
In the afternoon, Zhuo Xiang Ming still didn’t go to work. Tong Yan didn’t say anything, but he looked very happy. He hung out with Zhuo Xiang Ming. Xuan Gui, who was beside them, failed to find a sense of existence many times.
Tong Yan’s power station was already complete. He’d made it with Zhuo Jia Shuo yesterday. He installed the power station, but didn’t dare press the on switch, insisting on making Zhuo Xiang Ming press it. Zhuo Xiang Ming pressed it, Tong Yan held his breath and stared. Two seconds later, the lights in the Xicheng District gradually turned on, and one fifth of his Phantom City came to life. Even Zhuo Xiang Ming let out a sigh of relief, hugging the cheering Tong Yan.
”Aren’t I awesome?” Tong Yan said, “The stuff inside is very complicated.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Very awesome.”
Tong Yan blinked, then printed two kisses on his lips: “You also did a good job.”
But Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t know what his contribution was, pressing the on switch?
”Is it really okay to not go to the company today?” Tong Yan asked again, “It also seems like no one’s looking for you.”
Usually, even at home, Zhuo Xiang Ming would be sending and receiving emails, and answering a few phone calls.
Suddenly, Zhuo Xiang Ming’s smile dropped, his expression very serious: “Yes, I won’t go in for the next two weeks.”
”Ah?” Tong Yan looked back, “Two weeks?”
Tong Yan was sitting on his heels in front of Zhuo Xiang Ming, his face a little red because of the excitement just now. His eyes were sparkling, very attractive, very beautiful.
Zhuo Xiang Ming recalled how he and Tong Yan stood in front of the dressing mirror in the aircraft a moment ago. He had a realization when he saw their reflection in the mirror. He’d always known that Tong Yan was youthful and beautiful, but he didn’t know that there was such a huge contrast when he stood next to Tong Yan.
The vivid youthfulness of eighteen years old had flown far away from him many years ago. His body and thoughts were long used to wearing adult attire, even his facial expressions were the same.
Dazed and clever, fresh and old-fashioned, a radiant cape jasmine flower standing beside a cedarwood tree that had already experienced a severe winter. Thinking of this, his heart had immediately given birth to many moods, mixes of guilt and possessiveness.
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “The things installed at home are not aromatherapy machines, but pheromone collectors.”
Tong Yan opened his mouth slightly, many things flashing through his mind, soon coming to an understanding. When marking during estrus, in order to avoid disturbing others with the huge concentration of pheromones in the house, a pheromone collector was necessary.
But it was common to install just one or two units, at a glance, their home had at least four or five.
”Originally, I wanted to wait until your natural estrus, but I talked to the doctor a few times. He thought it would be safer for you to be marked during an estrus incited by an alpha.” Zhuo Xiang Ming shifted closer to Tong Yan, “A forced estrus is more intense, but because I’ll be directing the marking process, I can feel more confidence. Tong Tong …”
Tong Yan asked: “Did you tell mom about it?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming froze, he hadn’t expected this to be the first question he asked: “Yes.”
Tong Yan was dazed for a moment, then he leaned into his embrace, saying in a low voice, “I get it, why else would mom laugh when I said that I’ll come over to pick strawberries in three days. Why are you like this? How else can I pick them?”
”Do you know what we’re discussing right now?” Zhuo Xiang Ming felt affectionate and amused, looking down to pinch his pouty cheeks, “Can we not tell anybody when we won’t be leaving the house for so long? Your father also knows. There are many strawberry plants out there, I’ll definitely find a place to bring you to pick them.”
Tong Yan continued with the irrelevant chatter. Zhuo Xiang Ming sensed that he was nervous, but he also knew that he was just nervous, not opposed. The two chatted quietly for a while, then Tong Yan suddenly said: “T-then…” He pulled Zhuo Xiang Ming’s hand to his stomach, his face buried in Zhuo Xiang Ming’s shoulder socket, not allowing him to look at his face. His voice was almost inaudible, “If it’s not during estrus, the reproductive cavity, can it be opened?”
If the reproductive cavity doesn’t open, how could it be called ‘marking’? Zhuo Xiang Ming stroked his back, kissing his ear very dotingly: “Yes, we’re not in a hurry, take your time.”
Uncle- TongTong calls ZJS ‘Xiao Shu’ again, which means both ‘brother-in-law’ and ‘uncle’. Since it’s not something he usually calls him, I assumed he was teasing him again.
Gai Kou Fei- No English equivalent sorry. Definition: a gift of money given by parents on both sides after a wedding, to their new daughter-in-law or son-in-law. Funnily enough, it translates to bribing your son/daughter-in-law to call you mom/dad.
ShiZhong Canal- ShiZhong translates to ‘weightlessness’ and ‘canal’ was originally river. Idk if ShiZhong is the name of the canal or something else, so I left it in. Artificial rivers aren’t really a thing, especially in the middle of a city, and they’re usually called canals. So, there you go.
reproductive cavity- 生殖腔, lit. translation. I feel like translating it to womb, but idk. Maybe I’ll make TongTong say womb and ZXM say reproductive cavity, since that fits their personalities.
FOD vol 3 is completely re-translated. Go read it. It took a lot of hard work. I felt like smashing my keyboard every time I saw an idiom. Which was often.