18 18 - Recovery

Ren realised that Fang was a rather clingy person once their relationship had been affirmed. It befuddled him, because the Male Lead in the book hadn't been like that...but then, looking at Fang's smiling face and his shining eyes, Ren couldn't bring himself to complain. This little Male Lead had thoroughly won him over, he had to admit.

How to deal with the protagonist little brother was something he didn't want to think about. They'd cross that bridge when they got to it. For now, he was happy to nurture this excellent seedling of a Male Lead.

"What are you thinking?" Fang asked curiously.

Ren smiled up at him. "You'll probably be taller than me," he said.

"Really? You think so?" Fang asked eagerly. It was clear how desperately he wanted to be tall.

Well, according to the book, Fang should be a couple of inches taller than Ren.

"I do," Ren said. "Are you enjoying your training with Wolf?"

Fang nodded happily. The physical exercise was doing wonders for his body and his psyche. He looked healthier, ate more and having an outlet to vent stabilised his mood as well. Dr. Gordon was teaching him the piano and Ren himself was teaching him languages. Fang was just like a sponge, absorbing all the knowledge and training. Perhaps this was the heaven defying talent of the Male Lead.

He really was an excellent seedling. Ren was very satisfied with his progress.

"Shall we visit the office tomorrow and take a look at the modelling thing?" Ren asked.

Fang frowned. "You can't walk yet."

"I have a cool wheelchair," Ren replied. "There's no hurry, though. We can go next weekend."

Fang nodded absently. "Pax said it's not good for you to be out in public on a wheelchair," he muttered.

Ren chuckled. "Pax is too serious."

"He's right, though. You were attacked several times, weren't you?" Fang asked. "What if you're attacked again? I don't want you to take any risks."

"Yes, dear," Ren replied dutifully.

Fang blushed. Then he leaned down and planted a chaste kiss on Ren's cheek. "Be good," he said gently.

It was Ren's turn to blush. He really must be hopelessly besotted, he thought to himself...but then, he was also quite happy. Fang was an ideal partner and exactly his type...no, he was better than his type, even. Ren wanted Fang to grow up quickly and become an adult so they could move forward with their relationship properly.

Until then, he'd dote on the boy to his heart's content.

"Are you looking forward to returning to school?" Ren asked.

Fang nodded. All the nasty rumours had already been taken care of, and his classmates were even more enthusiastic about becoming friends with him now...after all, he was universally known as the famous CEO Ren's saviour now.

Pax had fudged up the facts again and with some ambiguous words and hints of the truth, Fang's classmates, who now saw Ren in a wheelchair, believed that Wade's tantrum the other day had somehow caused injury to Ren and his condition had relapsed, interrupting his recovery. Ren was quite amused, but didn't interfere with Pax's venting. Wade's attitude towards Fang had offended Ren very much and he had no intention of going easy on that spoilt, selfish brat. Protagonist or not, no one was allowed to malign Fang, not under Ren's villainous watch! All of Ren's people had now taken Fang as one of their own and were as protective of him as they were of Ren.

Ren smiled fiercely. "Don't put up with any nonsense from anyone, especially Wade. I won't have my Fang suffer losses!"

Fang was surprised. "But he's your brother."

Ren shook his head. "No brother of mine is allowed to bully you. You see how Pax treats you? That's the attitude a brother should have towards their brother's beloved."

Fang flushed yet again, making Ren laugh. Then he turned serious again.

"It is ok to have differences," he said firmly. "But I won't stand for anyone disrespecting you, Fang. No one, not even Wade." He sighed ruefully. "Wade being such a spoilt brat is partly my fault...but he needs to learn his lesson early and straighten himself out - that's good for him as well. Otherwise he'll be in trouble later on."

Fang chewed on his lip nervously. "But...I don't want you to fall out with your brother for my sake."

Ren blinked. "Why not? It is your right as my significant other to expect respectful behaviour from my brother. It's Wade's fault if he falls short. And I will not associate with anyone who slights you."

"But...he's your brother..."

Ren shook his head. "Even though I'm prone to deluding myself...I can see that we stopped being brothers a long time ago. It was my inability to let go that made me drag it out for all these years." He looked down. "I was probably... lonely and gloomy and unhappy about being abandoned by my parents. Even if we weren't related by blood...did the fifteen years of family relations mean nothing? I think I wanted to maintain the illusion of a family relationship by clinging to Wade. I was an idiot." This was more or less Ren's analysis of Ren-the-villain.

Fang grabbed Ren's hands. His beautiful purple eyes were filled with sympathy and care. "You were not an idiot," he said gently. "I think they were blind to let you go and must be regretting it very much now."

Ren chuckled and teased, "So you're never going to let me go?"

Fang nodded seriously. "Never, not unless you order me to leave."

Warmth spread over Ren's body, starting from his heart. Fang was absolutely adorable, he thought, and made a silent promise to himself that he would cherish and admire and love Fang for the rest of his life.

"Good," Ren said. "I'll promise you the same. Let's stick to each other and take care of each other for a long, long time."

Fang smiled. "Promise."

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