Tang Junhe instantly woke up in shock, his whole body was drenched in cold sweat with a sharp gasp in his chest. The hideous face in his dream was in front of his eyes and he couldn’t get rid of it.
He sat up, grabbed a glass from the bed and went to the water dispenser in the corner to drink a glass of water, then sat for a while until his thoughts calmed down. He pulled open the door to his room and tried to go to the bathroom.
The long strip of frosted glass embedded in the bathroom door reflected a faintly swaying black shadow— someone was in the shower. It was Yang Xuan, Tang Junhe thought. Tang Xiaonian and Yang Chengchuan’s room had a separate bathroom, so they should not come out to take a shower, not to mention that they always go to bed early.
Tang Junhe stopped dead in his tracks and looked at the frosted glass – in fact, he couldn’t see anything at all. The glass was near the door handle, and when you looked at it from the outside, you could only see the occasional elbow protruding or the arm stretching out to squeeze the shower gel.
But Tang Junhe remained still, staring blankly at the shadow reflected in the frosted glass. Standing for an unknown period of time, perhaps only two minutes, perhaps ten minutes, the shadow became steeply larger and darker, followed by the sound of the door handle turning, Tang Junhe snapped back to his senses—Yang Xuan to walk out.
He had a moment of panic, not knowing whether he should act as if nothing had happened and go toward the bathroom, or should flash to the room to hide first but before he could make a choice, Yang Xuan had already walked out of the door.
Yang Xuan was naked, his lower body surrounded by a bath towel. Through the faint moonlight, Tang Junhe vaguely saw the well-defined body, as well as the thin layer of muscles that covered it that did not lack a sense of strength.
His brain sped up, trying to find a reason to explain to Yang Xuan why he was standing motionless and looking in the direction of the bathroom before he could ask himself.
Various ideas flashes rapidly through his mind, interlaced and tangled, like a ball of wool that could not be torn apart, and he could not even find a thread to grasp.
“What are you looking at?” Yang Xuan walked toward him, looked him in the eye and asked, “Looking at me again?”
Tang Junhe smelled the vapor coming from him and he felt like he was going to drown, but his throat was dry and he couldn’t make any sound.
Yang Xuan looked down at the pair of eyes in front of him mixed with nervousness, bewilderment, innocence and longing and other emotions, and whispered, “Have I ever said that I do not like to be stared at?”
Tang Junhe remains silent, just looking at him, both nervous and fearless.
A thought flashed in Yang Xuan’s mind, followed by an interesting question, “Do you like men?”
Hearing him ask this, Tang Junhe’s gaze flickered and ducked away, saying sheepishly, “I-I don’t…”
“You didn’t download that video?”
Tang Junhe felt a little embarrassed, but he could not argue. The one who downloaded the video was indeed himself, although at that time it was just out of curiosity.
Yang Xuan laughed a little, and it was not difficult to hear the threatening tone in his deliberately low voice: “Stop staring at me, do you understand?”
“But I can’t help but look at you,” Tang Junhe said, almost driven by instinct, “I seem to understand why Zhou Lin is always staring at me.”
Yang Xuan froze for a moment, and the words caused him a little discomfort. He frowned, reached out and grabbed Tang Junhe’s jaw, forcing him to lift his head, then came closer and looked him in the eye to say, “Listen carefully, I don’t care what kind of mind you are carrying to look at me, or whether you are gay or straight, those have nothing to do with me. However, stop staring at me. You know clearly what kind of relationship we have.”
Yang Xuan finished, let go and turned into his room.
After Tang Junhe returned to his room, he thought back in the dark about what Yang Xuan had just said.
“You know clearly what kind of relationship we have.”
What does Yang Xuan mean by saying this? Is it an acknowledgement of the brotherly relationship between us? When he thought about it, he was even a little secretly happy. Yang Chengchuan was right that time, whether they admit it or not, this innate blood relationship can’t be denied.
But Yang Xuan forbade himself to stare at him again, so now what? He really can’t control his own gaze. During class, he can’ t help but look back to see what Yang Xuan is doing, and if he can’ t see it, he will unconsciously guess where he went and wait until Yang Xuan appears in his field of vision again before he settles down to do something else.
His eyes were pulled by Yang Xuan’s every move, and sometimes he did not even realize that his eyes follow Yang Xuan.
Therefore, what Yang Xuan had just asked was impractical, and Tang Junhe reasoned in his head—Yang Xuan told him to stand still and wait, then he would wait motionlessly because he could control his waiting behavior. But if Yang Xuan told him not to stare at him, then he might not be able to do it, because he could not control his unconscious behavior.
Tang Junhe consciously sorted this matter out inside his head, and only then did he sleep with confidence.
The next morning, Tang Junhe finished breakfast, put on his backpack, went downstairs ahead of Yang Xuan, and stood early at the entrance to the building waiting for him. He found that as long as he could stop Yang Xuan, Yang Xuan would not mind taking him to school— Yang Xuan did not seem to care about this at all and as long as Tang Junhe did not hum in that cheerful tone, whether he had his half-brother in the back seat or a sack, it was all the same to Yang Xuan.