After they finished eating breakfast, Ning Junyan went to start the car and turned on the heater.
When Chen Yuncheng got into the car, the temperature in the car was already very high. Ning Junyan in the driver’s seat took off his thick down jacket, leaving only a slightly thin grey knitted shirt underneath.
The knitted sweater was actually not tight-fitted, but because of its thinness and how it seemed to drape down, it fit Ning Junyan’s body so well that one could clearly see the well-proportioned muscles on his shoulders and arms.
Chen Yuncheng also took off his jacket. He was wearing an old brown sweater, the sleeves and hem of which were frayed with fur balls and had been washed too many times and had long since lost their colour.
He subconsciously tidied up the badly worn-out cuffs and turned to look at Ning Junyan. Ning Junyan’s attention was not on him but on setting the navigation address on his mobile phone.
“Is it here?” Ning Junyan showed him the phone.
Chen Yuncheng saw that the destination Ning Junyan had set was the county of Zhou Yan’s hometown and nodded his head.
Ning Junyan put the phone on the bracket next to the steering wheel and turned the steering wheel to let the car drive off the side of the road and merge into the traffic on the street. He said to Chen Yuncheng, “Take a nap if you’re sleepy. It’s still early.”
Chen Yuncheng said, “I’m not sleepy.” He quietly watched the scenery outside the car window for a while, then turned around and said to Ning Junyan, “When you get tired, let me drive.”
Ning Junyan did not answer him.
Chen Yuncheng asked “Hm?” with some doubts, wanting to know what Ning Junyan was thinking.
Ning Junyan looked ahead and said in a flat tone, “Not tired.”
Although Chen Yuncheng said he was not sleepy, the inside of the car was too warm. After the car left the city and entered the highway, the scenery on both sides of the road became monotonous. Chen Yuncheng leaned on the back of the chair, and it didn’t take long for him to fall asleep.
He didn’t sleep deeply, but intermittently, occasionally waking up but still managing to fall back asleep.
Until one time, when he woke up, he found that the car was parked in the service area, and Ning Junyan, who was beside him, had disappeared.
Chen Yuncheng adjusted his movements and sat up straight, and found that his down jacket was covering his body. Probably because Ning Junyan had turned off the engine when he got out of the car, so he had covered him with a piece of clothing.
He opened the car door and got out of the car, and felt that the temperature here was at least three or four degrees lower than that in the urban area. The cold wind that suddenly blew on his face forced him to put on his jacket. He took out his mobile phone and glanced at the time. It was almost two hours had passed since their departure.
It was not the travelling season, and there were not too many cars and people at the service station.
As soon as Chen Yuncheng got out of the car, he saw Ning Junyan walking toward him from a distance, holding two bottles of mineral water in his hand.
Ning Junyan approached and handed him one of the bottles.
Chen Yuncheng took it and suddenly found that the bottle in Ning Junyan’s hand was still frozen. In this cold season, the bottle was also covered with a layer of water mist.
“Isn’t it cold?” Chen Yuncheng lowered his head and gestured to the ice water in his hand.
“No,” Ning Junyan answered him, then unscrewed the bottle cap, raised his head and took a sip of water, then continued, “I’m used to it.”
Chen Yuncheng knew that Ning Junyan studied abroad a few years ago and thought it was a habit he had developed at that time, so he did not continue to ask. Chen Yuncheng also unscrewed the cap himself. When the mineral water flowed into his throat, he realized that he was thirsty, so he drank half the bottle in one go.
Ning Junyan looked at him quietly.
When Chen Yuncheng moved the mouth of the bottle away from the corner of his mouth, he felt that there was still some water on his lips, so he turned to his side, slightly avoiding Ning Junyan’s sight, and wiped the corner of his mouth with his sleeve.
Ning Junyan asked him at this moment, “Still want to take a rest?”
Chen Yuncheng shook his head, “I don’t need to rest, do you want to sleep for a while and let me drive?”
Ning Junyan looked at him and still said, “I’m not tired.”
Chen Yuncheng suddenly felt that Ning Junyan’s gaze was too straightforward. He couldn’t help lowering his head as if to confirm whether the cap of the mineral water bottle was tightened, loosened it and screwed it again, and said, “Then let’s go.”
Ning Junyan asked him, “Do you want to go to the bathroom? The next rest area is quite far away.”
Chen Yuncheng looked back in the direction of the bathroom and nodded.
When he turned to leave, Ning Junyan suddenly raised his hand and grabbed his wrist. Chen Yuncheng was taken aback and looked at Ning Junyan.
Ning Junyan’s hand holding his wrist slid towards his palm, took the bottle he was holding in his hand, and said to him, “Don’t bring the water bottle in.”
Chen Yuncheng could only laugh to hide his surprise just now and said, “Okay.” He turned and walked towards the bathroom, putting both hands into the pockets of his down jacket, but the touch of Ning Junyan’s hand in his hand was still evident.
Ning Junyan’s palms and fingers had very rough calluses, perhaps worn out by the scalpel, but his palms were very hot, and it was like he was not in this cold winter weather at all.
When he came out of the bathroom to wash his hands, Chen Yuncheng saw a large mirror in front of the sink. He looked at himself in the mirror. He was a handsome young man, but his hair hadn’t been trimmed for a long time. He didn’t look very energetic as the hair covered his forehead when he put it down, and his clothes were old. The down-fill1Down is a fantastic insulator as the loft (or fluffiness) of down creates thousands of tiny air pockets which trap warm air and retain heat, thus helping to keep the wearer very warm in cold winter weather. in the down jacket had probably all run out, leaving only a thin layer on his body, which was not very warm.
He looked like the kind of man who worked in a car wash, and Ning Junyan was the owner of a luxury car who parked the car at the door of the car wash, handed him the car key, and would not even look at his face.
They were like people from two worlds.
Chen Yuncheng had nowhere to wipe the water in his hands, so he only shook the water off and walked directly to the parking lot. As he walked, he thought that if it weren’t for the accident that Ning Junyan encountered when he was a child, they would have been people from two worlds.
Back in the car, Ning Junyan was still driving. Chen Yuncheng sat on the passenger seat but lost his sleepiness and stared at the repeated scenery and roads with his eyes open.
Ning Junyan turned on the music in the car, it was all very peaceful and simple music.
Chen Yuncheng asked him, “Won’t you get sleepy listening to it?”
“No,” Ning Junyan answered succinctly.
Chen Yuncheng thought for a while and then said, “You are wasting your time.”
Ning Junyan’s posture seemed relaxed. He looked ahead and still replied, “No.”
Chen Yuncheng said, “You said your vacation is precious.”
Ning Junyan’s eyelashes drooped slightly, but his expression didn’t change, but there was a faint smile in his eyes, which could not be seen from Chen Yuncheng’s line of view. He said, “It’s not a waste if it’s for you.”
Chen Yuncheng was quiet for a moment, then slowly turned his face away to look at the car window on the right. His hand beside his leg clenched and loosened as he felt like he shouldn’t ask. So he stopped talking.
For the next three hours, there was music playing in the car, and Ning Junyan really didn’t show the slightest sign of fatigue as he said.
They only stopped at two service stations for a short time. They then drove down the highway all the way and got off the highway at the exit of Zhou Yan’s old county just before one o’clock at noon.
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