Tang Xiaonian had seen Zhou Lin, and she wouldn’t have mistaken them for being in love – she might, however, have stood up on the spot, gone to the kitchen, grabbed a kitchen knife, and rushed out to cut Zhou Lin down.
Nevertheless, Yang Chengchuan would stop her. Tang Junhe then thought of this and his heart fell a little. Tang Xiaonian didn’t need to do anything herself now, she only needed to say a few words to her vice mayor husband and she would be able to take care of Zhou Lin’s matter.
That’s fine, Tang Junhe thought, if Yang Xuan really did that, then Yang Xuan is handing this matter to them and it won’t affect him personally.
However, YangXuan seemed to just pick up his phone and return a message, then put it back on the table. It seems that this action of taking the phone was just to show his impatience.
After lunch, Yang Chengchuan went back to his study, while Tang Junhe and Tang Xiaonian went back to their respective rooms to take a nap.
Once he was in bed, Tang Junhe remembered that dream from last night – his underwear was still hidden in the drawer and unwashed. He quickly took them out and walked gingerly to the bathroom when no one was in the living room, then locked the door from the inside.
As he was washing his underwear, he consoled himself with the fact that while sitting at the dinner table, he didn’t have any special feelings for Yang Xuan, let alone lust for him, and that last night’s dream was merely an accident.
Yang Xuan was a man, and his biological brother, he wouldn’t be the same as Zhou Lin.
He rinsed his frothy underwear under the running water and heard footsteps coming from the living room, followed by the sound of a door slamming shut. A rectangular piece of frosted glass window was embedded in the bathroom door, and he looked over slightly, recognizing the blurred figure as Yang Xuan.
Yang Xuan went out.
Tang Junhe hung his clean underwear out on the balcony and opened the bathroom door, wanting to go back to his room to take a nap. As he passed by the living room, he caught a glimpse of the cigarette case and lighter lying quietly on the coffee table.
He remembered the smell of cigarette smoke when Yang Xuan was close to him, and it smelled good. He used to hate the smell of cigarettes, but this time it was unusual, was it due to the brand of cigarettes?
He went over and sat on the couch behind the coffee table and, as if under some bewitching spell, picked up the box of cigarettes, flipping them over and over to read the fancy words printed on the black cigarette case.
He didn’t know any of the words on the cigarette case, and figured it wasn’t English. He saw a half-smoked, unfinished cigarette in the ashtray and couldn’t help but reach out and pick it up, staring at it a little out of the corner of his eye.
Is this the same cigarette that Yang Xuan smoked last night? He picked up a metallic lighter from the side, held it in his hand and studied it twice, then scratched the top cover with his thumb and flicked the sparkwheel, and the flame leaped up out of nowhere and made him jump, making him rush to let go.
Settling on the cigarette, he held the only half-used butt in his right hand, the lighter in his left, and struck the fire again. He brought the cigarette close to that leaping flame and lit it, and little golden sparks appeared on the charred tip, and then a thin curling plume of white smoke came out.
Is this the smell? It didn’t seem …… he stared at the cigarette butt and took a deep breath into the air, concentrating on discerning the smell of smoke.
At that moment, the door behind him suddenly opened, and his hand shook, then he turned to look over.
—It was Yang Xuan.
Yang Xuan came up to get a cigarette. When he was walking downstairs, he felt a little bored and couldn’t help but want to have a cigarette, but he touched his empty pocket and realized he had forgotten his cigarette case. When he was changing his shoes just before leaving, he left the cigarette case on the coffee table temporarily and forgot to take it with him.
He walked up the floor, pushed the door and looked over to the coffee table. And then unexpectedly saw his half-brother, pinching the half of his leftover cigarette, staring out at it.
Do you want to learn how to smoke? Yang Xuan wanted to laugh. With that mother who’s always around him, would he be allowed to smoke?
Perhaps not expecting to be caught in the act, Tang Junhe looked at him fixedly with some shortness of breath.
Yang Xuan walked over, picked up the cigarette case from the table, looked at him and smiled, and said in a low voice, “A good student like you shouldn’t learn to be bad and fail your mother.”
Tang Junhe remained in his original position, holding the lighter in his left hand and squeezing that half-smoked cigarette in his right, the sparks burning upward without stopping, burning a long trail of ash.
Yang Xuan spread his palms towards him, “Lighter.”
“Oh.” Tang Junhe responded, immediately placing the lighter in Yang Xuan’s hand, then swiftly withdrew his hand and gulped down his throat.
Yang Xuan looked at him and smiled again, then took his lighter and cigarette case and walked out.
The door closed, and as if feeling a shock, the ashes fell off, landing on Tang Junhe’s fingertips, so hot that he cringed.
He hurried back to his senses, pressed the half-cigarette into the ashtray and stubbed it out, then pulled out a paper towel to wipe the coffee table clean and hurried back to his room.