6 6 - Warm Protection

The first thing Ren asked about when he woke up was Fang.

"Fang just woke up," Pax informed him. "Would you like to accompany him for breakfast? Dr. Gordon is checking on him now."

The attendant had reported Fang's nightmare and Ren's care to Steward Paul and Dr. Gordon as soon as his shift ended in the morning. Both older men were surprised, to say the least. The Ren they knew had always been somewhat unsocial and misanthropic...and mysophobic as well. He had gotten worse since his family had abandoned him five years ago, and was loathe to touch anyone, even his cherished little brother. While they had noticed slight improvements in the young man in the last two months, they were rather shocked by how well Ren was treating Fang. Could it be that Ren had developed a soft corner for orphans because he was one himself? He had, after all, treated Wolf and Pax rather well over the years. Did he associate with the mafia simply because they worked like a family...?

Dr. Gordon and Steward Paul reached a silent understanding. They needed to pay more attention to Ren. After all, no matter how brilliant he was, he was still hardly more than a teenager himself. Behind the the facade of a domineering CEO was just a young man of twenty. If he hadn't been thrown out by his family, he'd be a college student now...still in his parents' care and worrying about nothing other than his grades and perhaps a minor romance. Instead, he was running his own company and was responsible for the livelihood of thousands of people around the world!

Ren raised an eyebrow enquiringly when he saw Dr. Gordon and Steward Paul standing outside Fang's room in a daze. He greeted them politely.

The two older men patted his shoulders and the look in their eyes was quite strange...as if they were comforting a favourite nephew.

"You did well," Dr. Gordon said. "Very well indeed!"

"Master Ren, you are an outstanding young man!" Steward Paul declared. "We are very proud of you!"

Ren blinked, surprised. What on earth was wrong with these two?

"Er... thank you," he murmured. "How is Fang now?"

"Much better," Dr. Gordon said and explained the results of his morning check up quickly.

Ren was quite relieved.

"Shall we go in?" Pax asked.

Dr. Gordon immediately led them in while Steward Paul went to arrange for breakfast.

Fang looked like a bright eyed and bushy tailed young puppy. His cheeks turned red as soon as he caught sight of Ren.

Ren smiled and greeted him.

Fang responded shyly. Then he muttered in an embarrassed manner, "I've caused you trouble...I'm sorry. And thank you for looking after me."

Ren chuckled and ruffled the boy's hair. "Don't worry about it. You can comfort me the next time I have a nightmare in return."

All eyes in the room turned to Ren, but he didn't notice; his golden gaze was fixed on the teenager in front of him.

Fang appeared to be quite shocked. "You... you have nightmares, too?"

Ren shrugged nonchalantly. "Of course I do. Most people do. Our minds are unguarded when we sleep, so our worries, our sadness, our fears...all these come to haunt us in our dreams," he said seriously. Then he smiled. "So do our hopes, our little joys and pleasures...so we should try and make as many happy memories during our days as we can, so that we may sleep and dream better at night!"

Fang nodded eagerly. "I will!" he declared.

"Excellent!" Ren said. "Shall we go downstairs for breakfast, then? You must be bored, being cooped up here since yesterday afternoon."

"I'm not bored," Fang refuted shyly. "But if it's ok, I'd like to join you."

Since Fang had been unconscious when Ren and Pax had brought him home the previous day, he hadn't seen anything of the house other than the room he was in. Ren pointed out a few things as they walked down and promised to show him the around the house properly after breakfast.

"Don't you have to go to work?" Fang asked curiously.

Ren leaned forward and winked surreptitiously. "I have the phenomenal Pax doing all the work," he said in a stage whisper. "I only need to show my face occasionally. I can take a day off easily!"

Fang looked suitably impressed and Pax rolled his eyes. No one knew better than Pax what a workaholic Ren had been in the last two months, even when he was injured and recuperating in bed.

Breakfast was a happy affair with a lively table of four - Ren, Fang, Pax and Dr. Gordon. Ren usually ate alone, and suddenly Steward Paul felt that it was too lonely and gloomy for Ren to continue doing that. He decided to ask Pax to join Master Ren for breakfast regularly...of course, it'd be nice if this young teenager could stay as well. Jules the cook finally had a chance to play the hero and take up the challenge of nutritious and lip-smacking food for the malnourished Fang. Last evening, Dr. Gordon and Jules had spent over an hour drawing up charts and tables and graphs on the subject. Jules would surely treat it as a personal failure if he couldn't feed Fang enough to raise his weight to a healthy average!

Besides, this was the first time they had seen Master Ren so happy!

"Oh yes, about your school - Pax got you a couple of weeks off," Ren told Fang.

"Thank you," Fang said gratefully.

"Some of your classmates will come by later to drop of notes and homework for you," Pax said. "I've informed the Headmaster that you were injured while helping Ren when he was attacked, so he brought you home to recover. Remember that when you speak with them."

Fang stared at him and then turned to Ren. "But..."

Ren smiled encouragingly. "It's fine, isn't it?"

I promise I will protect you. Ren didn't say it out loud, but his expression said it so clearly that everyone could see it including Fang.

A warm feeling filled Fang's heart. Was this the warmth of a big brother's protection?

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