The taxi Chen Yuncheng called came. The rain was still falling when they got back to Chen Yuncheng’s kiosk. Although it was not as bad as before, a lot of rainwater had accumulated in the low-lying areas of the ground. There were hardly any pedestrians along the way, and the shops were closed. All that was left was the annoying winter rain that misted the sky and the ground.

       As he got off the car, Chen Yuncheng took two steps around Ning Junyan’s parked car and scurried under the eaves of the house, crouched down and used the key to open the door. He opened the rolling shutter to half body height, turned back to look at Ning Junyan, waited for Ning Junyan to get in first, and then he followed.

       After he closed the shutter, Chen Yuncheng carried the heater into the inner room, reached out to turn on the light in the room, and first found a place to plug the heater in.

       This was the first time Ning Junyan had entered Chen Yuncheng’s bedroom. He stood by the door and silently surveyed the entire room.

       Chen Yuncheng stretched out his hand to him, “Go to the fire. Give me your coat, and I’ll wipe the water for you.”

       When he heard this, Ning Junyan looked at Chen Yuncheng, raised his hand and slowly took off the cashmere coat on his body and handed it to Chen Yuncheng.

       He was wearing a soft light grey cashmere sweater underneath, and a white shirt underneath. He unbuttoned two buttons on the collar of his shirt, rolled up his sleeves slightly to expose his wrists, and walked towards the heater.

       Chen Yuncheng took a hanger to hang up Ning Junyan’s coat, and at the same time turned around and said to him, “Sit by my bed,” He then went into the bathroom and took a dry towel to wipe off the rainwater on the coat.

       Ning Junyan sat down on the edge of Chen Yuncheng’s bed, glanced down at the light blue sheets, and pressed his palm against them, sliding them gently.

       It was a double bed, but it was only one and a half meters wide. There was only one pillow and one quilt on the bed, and only the scent of Chen Yuncheng alone could be smelled.

       A scent that was familiar to Ning Junyan.

       The raindrops on the coat were wiped off, but it was still slightly damp when touched. He looked at Ning Junyan and asked, “Are you cold?”

       Ning Junyan shook his head.

       Chen Yuncheng said, “Then you can put it on later, it will probably dry after hanging for a while.”

       Ning Junyan just said, “Okay.”

       It was already 9:30 pm. Chen Yuncheng remembered what he had just said about inviting Ning Junyan to drink. He went out to the kiosk to get two bottles of beer at the counter and found some snacks to drink.

       Back in the inner room, Chen Yuncheng moved the small table against the wall to the side of the bed, put beer and snacks on it, and pulled up a chair to sit opposite Ning Junyan. When he was about to open the bottle cap, Chen Yuncheng hesitated again. He said to Ning Junyan, “It’s so cold, why don’t we boil beer and drink it? Is it okay for you to drink?”

       Ning Junyan didn’t answer directly, but asked, “You know how to cook?”

       Chen Yuncheng smiled and said, “This is quite simple.”

       Ning Junyan said, “Fine.”

       Chen Yuncheng got up and found the induction cooker and a small soup pot that had not been used for a long time in the room. There was no other place to put them, and they could only be placed on the small table in front of the bed. He went outside to find red dates, wolfberry and a small bottle of rice wine. He came back and sat down at the table, opened the two bottles of beer, and poured them all into the pot that was cleaned completely.

       Ning Junyan watched his movements and said, “You have everything here.”

       Chen Yuncheng looked very focused, stared at the half-pot of beer in front of him and said, “Occasionally, the uncles and old ladies who live nearby also come to buy things. The nearest big supermarket is still quite far away, but it seems that a small supermarket is going to open up ahead.”

       With the opening of a small supermarket, Chen Yuncheng’s small kiosk might probably be even more out of business.

       Ning Junyan asked him, “What are your plans when the supermarket opens?”

       Chen Yuncheng shook his head, “If the business really can’t go on, the goods that can be returned will be returned, and I will do something else.” He hadn’t really thought about what exactly he was going to do.

       The red dates and wolfberry were added, and half a bottle of rice wine was poured into it. Chen Yuncheng turned on the induction cooker, and soon the hot and humid mist evaporated. The air was filled with the scent of beer mixed with a touch of sweetness.

       Chen Yuncheng stirred the pot with a spoon, and he asked Ning Junyan, “Are you busy with work?”

       Ning Junyan said, “It’s okay, I’m used to it.” After speaking, he added, “There is an operation today, which starts at ten in the morning and ends at four in the afternoon.”

       “That long?” Chen Yuncheng was surprised, “What if you were to have a meal in the middle?”

       Ning Junyan said, “I didn’t eat. I waited until the surgery was over before eating.”

       Chen Yuncheng asked, “You are standing beside the operating table all the time? Don’t you feel tired?”

       Ning Junyan said, “I’m too focused to feel it.”

       Chen Yuncheng gave him a thumbs up, “You doctors are amazing.”

       Ning Junyan didn’t say anything and just looked at him through the steaming mist. The hands that had just undergone the surgery today were resting on the bedside relaxedly. His fingers were long and thin, and the light blue blood vessels on the back of his hands were clearly visible. Further up was the wrist protruding from the edges of the sleeves, his wrist was not very slender but looked very strong, and the prominent carpal bones were clearly visible.

       When the beer was ready, Chen Yuncheng turned down the heat on the induction stove to keep it warm, took a spoon and ladled it into two glasses, then poured the peanuts and peas for the wine into a small saucer.

       He first picked up the wine glass and said to Ning Junyan, “I toast to you.”

       Ning Junyan also reached out and raised the cup in front of him, clinking with Chen Yuncheng, and calmly replied, “Thank you.” He put the cup to his lips and took a sip of warm and sweet beer.

       The room was very quiet, and the sound of the rain outside could be heard, as well as the occasional grunt of the induction cooker heating beer.

       Chen Yuncheng and Ning Junyan chatted as they drank.

       “I was sent to school afterwards,” Chen Yuncheng said, referring to his experience after separating from Ning Junyan. “It was one of those social welfare schools that let me study until I was eighteen. But I failed to get into university, so I just came out to work, and I have done a lot of work over the years.”

       He didn’t hear Ning Junyan’s response, he looked up and saw that Ning Junyan was looking at him intently, as if listening to him carefully, so he continued, “Then I met Zhou Yan. He was sent home at the time, but it seems he ran away before he graduated from high school, saying he didn’t want to stay in that home. At that time I let Zhou Yan follow me and work for someone outside.”

       Ning Junyan said, “I never heard from you.”

       Chen Yuncheng smiled when he heard the words, “It’s alright, it’s not like you’re the same as us.”

       They both drank a lot of alcohol, but the boiled beer has a very low concentration. Both of them were sober and only slightly drunk.

       Chen Yuncheng shook the small half glass of wine in the glass and said, “I remember the last time you came to me, you also said that you had an operation in the afternoon.”

       Ning Junyan gave a soft “um”.

       Chen Yuncheng asked him, “Do you want to relax after the surgery?”

       This time, Ning Junyan took a moment before answering him, “No, it’s not relaxation.”

       Chen Yuncheng looked at him curiously.

       Ning Junyan said, “It’s discontentment.”

       “Discontentment?” Chen Yuncheng shook his head, “I don’t understand.”

       Ning Junyan lay on his back on Chen Yuncheng’s bed, he took a deep breath, closed his eyes and said, “A dissatisfaction after high concentration and tension, do you understand, Chen Yuncheng?”

       Chen Yuncheng said, “I don’t understand.”

       Ning Junyan said, “I want more.”

       After saying this, Ning Junyan stopped talking. Chen Yuncheng thought he was drunk and was a little surprised that Ning Junyan was so bad at drinking.

       Chen Yuncheng stood up and walked around the table to the bed, looked down at Ning Junyan, reached out to pat his face, and called out his name softly, “Ning Junyan?”

       Ning Junyan suddenly reached out and grabbed his wrist, opened his eyes and asked calmly, “What time is it?”

       Chen Yuncheng was stunned for a moment and said, “It’s almost eleven o’clock.”

       Ning Junyan said, “I should go.”

       He said these words but never moved, and he didn’t release his grip on Chen Yuncheng’s hand for a long time.

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I have the urge to change the label of Qiangqiang1Refers to the strong gong and strong shou, I think this article may not meet many people’s definition of Qiangqiang

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