Finally Tang Yi and Shen Fan walked out of the office and flashed hastily into the elevator one after another. When the elevator slowly descended two floors, Tang Yi raised his eyebrows and glanced at Shen Fan, gently dropping a single word, “Idiot.”
Shen Fan: “……”
Shen Fan was ready to vomit blood. After staring at Tang Yi for a while, he turned his head speechlessly. Just now, Tang Yi shed some tears, and he himself also cried in heartache… resulting in a shock to Tang Yi, who stared at him in amazement for a long time. When Shen Fan raised his head, his eyes were met with a magnified expression of unparalleled contempt and disgust.
The two of them had been in the office for too long, and Shen Fan was temporarily occupying the branch’s general manager’s office. The young girl from the administration department next door was sneaking back and forth on the pretext of going to the pantry, so even a fool could guess the people were dying to know what was going on and were eager to find out something.
The handsome and suave new boss, Shen Fan, had already tantalised the hearts of many, and Tang Yi still had to deal with the people in the branch in the future, so he quickly grabbed Shen Fan and fled while everyone was not paying attention.
At this moment, Tang Yi leaned against the elevator wall and scolded Shen Fan with a smile. The latter felt happy again; right now, even if they were not sure whether there was a blood relationship between them, they had already become much closer to each other.
In fact, there were many ways to determine whether they were related or not. But Shen Fan was previously worried that Tang Yi would not recognise him and kick him out as a psychopath, so he didn’t mention it. Now that he was recognised, he was afraid that they were not.
He was torn in his heart for a long time, unable to decide if they should go to do a test.
Let’s leave it at that for now, Shen Fan thought to himself, no matter if Tang Yi was his real brother or his adoptive brother, let’s just accept it like this for now.
Shen Fan thought very beautifully, but Tang Yi who went into the parking lot with him to pick up the car still called him ‘Director Shen’.
“…can’t you just call me ‘Brother’…“ Shen Fan suddenly didn’t want to move, feeling that he was happy in vain, “If nothing else, it’s not a loss to call someone older than you ‘Brother’!”
Tang Yi just smiled, looking at Shen Fan’s depressed face and called again, “Shen Fan!”
Shen Fan: “……”
“I’m hungry,” Tang Yi looked at him with a smile, “Hurry up.”
From the elevator to where Shen Fan parked, it was only a few steps in total. Tang Yi leaned against the wall and waited for Shen Fan to drive over. As Shen Fan drove the car, slowly approaching the waiting man, a thought suddenly came to him: Tang Yi, he was coquettish, right?
This realisation brightened Shen Fan’s mood again as Tang Yi jumped into the passenger side, still with a smile on his face. Shen Fan was also driving a gasoline beast, its degree of waste comparable to Zhou Hao’s.
Thinking of Zhou Hao, Tang Yi pondered the matters and gave Shen Fan a sideways glance, “What about the flowers?”
“The flowers,” Tang Yi propped his hand on the car window and squinted at Shen Fan, “Ninety-nine of them, I didn’t even take a look at them!”
It was better if he didn’t mention it; but once he did, Shen Fan was about to explode.
However, it was obvious that Tang Yi was a man amenable to coaxing but not coercion, and Shen Fan was not sure of Tang Yi’s temper for now, so he could only grunt, “I’m afraid of the bad influence. I threw them away.”
He looked at Tang Yi’s face and saw that the latter had no reaction, so he boldly prompted further, “Stay away from Gu Yanting!”
Tang Yi frowned when he heard Gu Yanting’s name. He paused for a moment and explained, “He and I have already broken up.”
“We broke up a while ago,” Tang Yi looked sickly, straightened up, turned his head and looked out the car window.
“Really, huh? That’s good.” Shen Fan was taken aback for a moment. His heart was greatly relieved, then tensed up again, “Then who sent the flowers this morning?”
His mind flashed and quickly sifted out a tall figure. This time, without waiting for Tang Yi to say anything, Shen Fan himself understood, “Zhou Hao is even less of a good thing!”
Tang Yi hadn’t known what it was like to have a family member before, but now this half-cooked relationship with Shen Fan made him vaguely excited. It couldn’t be said that he felt more affectionate but maybe he could tolerate some things a little bit more and could be more casual.
For example, he laughed and called Shen Fan an idiot, and Shen Fan counted out both Zhou Hao and Gu Yanting for being no good. It was more or less crossing the line, but it just felt novel and there was no feeling of offence.
After the two of them finished their meal, Shen Fan invited him to come home with him during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Tang Yi didn’t directly refuse but hesitated for a moment.
Shen Fan smiled and relieved his concerns, “If you’re afraid that I’ve made a mistake, we can go to the hospital for a test. By the way, you should also go for a medical checkup. Last time I heard Shen An say you stayed in the hospital for several days.”
“A medical checkup is not necessary.” Tang Yi smiled.
“That’s it, you won’t be any worse if you call me ‘Big Brother’ even in terms of age.” Shen Fan looked at him and said, “It’s only a matter of two days, but of course, if you have other arrangements, I won’t force you.”
Tang Yi had had other arrangements in previous years, and this year… he hesitated and sighed, “Okay, call me then.”
He had spent the Mid-Autumn Festival at Gu Yanting’s house for the past few years.
The first year they were together, whenever Gu Yanting’s parents asked him to come home, Tang Yi would pretend he was busy. Gu Yanting, who was a carefree guy, naturally didn’t question if he was really busy or not. When he saw that Tang Yi went out early, he would send him a text message or leave a note on the table, and then rush home head over heels.
On the day before the Mid-Autumn Festival, Tang Yi as usual helped Gu Yanting pack his clothes and the things he bought for the two elders. As a result, when he came home late that day, he found Gu Yanting still sitting in the living room.
When Tang Yi turned on the light, he was startled, and so was Gu Yanting. Both of them spoke almost simultaneously, “Why haven’t you left yet?”
“Why did you come back?”
Tang Yi came back late that day on purpose, thinking that Gu Yanting had already gone home for the Mid-Autumn Festival. He felt lonely going back, so he slowly walked around Jianghuai Road three or four times, and the streetlights were already on before he came home.
Gu Yanting’s mobile phone was on the coffee table, his face glowing with worry and anxiety. Tang Yi reached out, fished out his own mobile phone and looked at it, but it had long since run out of power and turned off.
However, Gu Yanting only frowned, not even huffing. He just sighed, rubbed his face and hugged Tang Yi, “Let’s go, wife, come home with me.”
In the three years since then, the Mid-Autumn Festival had become a particularly proud day for Gu Yanting and a particularly happy day for Tang Yi.
Gu Yanting’s parents were very good-natured and extraordinarily fond of their son. They closed the hotel as soon as the Mid-Autumn Festival arrived and squeezed in the house to cook for their child.
Dad Gu was a typical northern man. He also missed his child but was not good at expressing it. When Gu Yanting came back, he couldn’t find the words to say so he picked on Gu Yanting with a stern face. His words were not heavy, but they always made Gu Yanting impatient.
Later on, after Mom Gu lectured him a few times, Dad Gu would just grumble a little during dinner and then go out for a walk after he had eaten. Even so, he was happy to have his son come back.
The relationship between father and son only improved slightly after Tang Yi’s visit. Gu Yanting felt guilty for bringing his “wife” and was afraid that his parents would show their impatience with Tang Yi and make him uncomfortable, so he praised Tang Yi as much as he could.
“Tang Yi is amazing in school!”
“Tang Yi’s work is awesome!”
“See, he bought all this stuff! I told him my parents wouldn’t mind him coming over empty-handed, but he wouldn’t do it! He just wanted to buy all these things, and he bought the expensive ones!”
He giggled when Mom Gu said he was thin and underdressed, and he giggled when Dad Gu said he was stupid and had no sense of decency, without showing any impatience at all.
It was the first time Tang Yi had ever seen Gu Yanting smile shyly and patronise people. The rustiness of his actions made Tang Yi’s mouth twitch a few times as he turned his head to stifle laughter. But Gu Yanting’s parents were quite impressed, and when they took a look at Tang Yi’s talented and handsome appearance, they also liked it very much.
After dinner, Gu Yanting followed Mom Gu and continued to praise Tang Yi, and even washed the dishes for the first time. Dad Gu didn’t go out for a walk. There were guests at home, and he was a man, he had to entertain guests. So he took out the chess that he had been playing for many years and invited Tang Yi to play a game.
Tang Yi didn’t know how to play, but that didn’t stop him from learning. He had been defeated repeatedly at the beginning, but he made rapid progress, and by last year he was able to win a game or two.
He would occasionally go home with Gu Yanting, two or three times a year, coming one day and leaving the next day, but he rarely had time to play with Dad Gu.
Dad Gu always thought about the two games he had lost but was embarrassed to bother Tang Yi seeing how tired he looked sometimes. Finally, the last time Tang Yi was leaving, Dad Gu chased after him downstairs, panting and shouting, “Xiao Yi, mid-autumn! Let’s fight again when you come back for the Mid-Autumn Festival!”
Most of his daily life was a bland and tasteless old accounting book with little plot. Tang Yi thought that Gu Yanting failed him emotionally, but he also knew that he owed it to the Gu family in terms of affection and care. While maintaining Tang Yi’s relationship with Gu parents, Gu Yanting had repeatedly exceeded his expectations.
For example, Gu Yanting rarely called home in the past but after he met Tang Yi, he would basically call once or twice a month. At first Tang Yi didn’t notice, but then once he went to water the flowers on the balcony and heard Gu Yanting’s careless opening line, “Hey, Mom, I’m giving you a call, yeah, Tang Yi always urges me…”
Or when Gu Yanting went home, he always said that what he bought was bought by Tang Yi. Tang Yi knew how to be a guest, and he paid attention to buying classy and practical things, several grades higher than what Gu Yanting bought. Gu Yanting didn’t talk to him before each purchase, and when he got home, it all landed on his head, making him repeatedly hold his forehead speechlessly at the sight of a big red jacket and or a big red coat.
Only later did he vaguely understand what Gu Yanting meant; in some ways Tang Yi was conceited and sensitive, and Gu Yanting wanted to buy him his parents’ goodwill but didn’t know how to give him a prompt without causing him misunderstanding, so he did all these things for him.
After realising this problem, Tang Yi reflected for a while on whether he had been a little too self-absorbed in their relationship. Gu Yanting was often in a state where he didn’t dare to speak out even if he was angry, and this seemingly clumsy alternative was mostly a little way out after he had no way in.
Tang Yi had also tried to give in a bit, but unfortunately he didn’t receive any significant results. His desire to control and his authoritative style of dealing with things was the result of twenty years of habit. How could three feet of ice be broken in one day?
Soon after Shen Fan left, Tang Yi called the Gu family.
The phone was answered by Mom Gu, who cried out in surprise when she heard Tang Yi’s voice, and a smile immediately overflowed the phone line straight to Tang Yi’s ears.
Tang Yi smiled and asked the two elders how they were, then gently explained the reason for his call.
“Can’t come over, huh? Yanting just called this morning, saying he had to travel for the holidays and asked me to remember to call you to come over! Your Uncle Gu was even happy for half a day! Hey, this… why, no time, ah… Lao Gu!”
Mom Gu called out to Dad Gu, and Tang Yi heard a loud “hey!” from far away on the other end of the phone.
Tang Yi’s heart jolted. For a moment he didn’t know what to say, only sighed softly.
However, the sigh was still heard by Mom Gu. She didn’t wait for Dad Gu to come over and asked gently in a somewhat hesitant voice, “Xiao Yi, did you quarrel with Yanting?”