Time seemed to freeze briefly between the two of them. Chen Yuncheng kept looking at Ning Junyan. He felt that a long time had passed, but in fact, it was only a minute or two.
Nevertheless, Ning Junyan let go of Chen Yuncheng’s hand. He remained silent, threw Chen Yuncheng’s wrinkled jeans on the edge of the bathtub, and untied the belt that tied Chen Yuncheng’s wrist.
Because it was too tight, it took Ning Junyan himself some time to loosen the belt completely.
Chen Yuncheng lowered his head and saw two deep marks on his wrists, which were already red and purple in colour.
Ning Junyan stretched out his hand to pick up Chen Yun Cheng, who was still kneeling in the bathtub. Chen Yuncheng’s body was visibly tense, and he pushed Ning Junyan with his hand, who said, “I won’t touch you.”
Chen Yuncheng was carried to sit on the bed and then watched Ning Junyan go into the bathroom and take out his pants.
Ning Junyan squatted down beside the bed and helped Chen Yuncheng put on his pants.
Chen Yuncheng could have done it himself, but he didn’t stop Ning Junyan. He knew that Ning Junyan was feeling bad, and he himself was feeling equally bad.
The tools that Ning Junyan had brought back were still scattered on the bed, and Chen Yuncheng felt upset after seeing them.
After he helped Chen Yuncheng put on his trousers, Ning Junyan went to get Chen Yuncheng’s coat. The corners of his eyes were still slightly red, but his expression was cold, and after putting on the coat to Chen Yuncheng, he said, “Let’s go, wherever you want to go, I will drive you.”
Chen Yuncheng nodded.
Ning Junyan drove Chen Yuncheng away. Chen Yuncheng planned to go to the commercial market to find a daily rental house first, so he asked Ning Junyan to take him directly to the market, but Ning Junyan said nothing and drove Chen Yuncheng there in silence.
It was only the seventh day of the Chinese New Year, and although many people had already started working, for many others, the year was not yet over.
There were not many cars on the streets, and the area of the trade market was also deserted.
Chen Yuncheng sat in the passenger seat, rubbed his strangled wrist subconsciously, and stared out of the car window, mentally exhausted.
Ning Junyan parked his car in the parking lot outside the trade market, which was empty, with hardly any cars.
Chen Yuncheng looked at him and said, “Thank you.”
Ning Junyan opened the car door, got out of the car and helped Chen Yuncheng take out the suitcase.
Chen Yuncheng took the suitcase and put it at his feet. When he saw that Ning Junyan turned to get into the car, he reached out and grabbed Ning Junyan’s sleeve.
Ning Junyan stopped and looked down at his hands.
Chen Yuncheng said, “There is one thing I haven’t had time to say before. That Yu Jie. Tell your mother to be careful about him.”
“Which Yu Jie?” Ning Junyan’s voice was a little hoarse.
Chen Yuncheng said, “The one who was eating at your house that day. Although I don’t know what he is doing now, he had cheated on my friend before and was doing illegal business at that time. I’m afraid that something will happen if your mother does business with him.”
Ning Junyan nodded, he didn’t say anything and opened the driver’s door to get in the car.
Chen Yuncheng had been standing on the side of the road looking at him, with two suitcases leaning against his legs.
After Ning Junyan got into the car, he didn’t look this way again. He reversed the car sharply, then turned the car around, and drove the car out of the parking lot.
The speed was too fast, Chen Yuncheng subconsciously stepped forward to tell him to drive carefully, but he couldn’t say it out.
Chen Yuncheng knew that there was no way to get out of Ning Junyan’s place easily today, but he hadn’t expected it to come to such a state.
When Ning Junyan was being harsh, he was very angry. He couldn’t accept Ning Junyan treating him like this. At that time, every word said at that time was from his heart, but once Ning Junyan compromised, he immediately softened his heart, like he had done something wrong to Ning Junyan. The bruises on his wrist were still clearly visible and he was already starting to feel guilty.
Chen Yuncheng pushed his two suitcases and walked slowly outside the parking lot.
The trade market was on the outskirts of the northern city. It was a newly developed site with very few high-rise buildings around it. There were still old buildings and narrow streets on the outskirts of the city. It was easy to rent a room in such a place, and it was all very cheap.
Chen Yuncheng rented a daily rental room, which the landlord had partitioned from a large room, with no windows and only a pale white fluorescent light overhead.
He had little appetite for lunch, and Chen Yuncheng didn’t leave the room until evening to find something to eat.
The New Year was not yet over, and many shops were open during the day but closed early in the afternoon, so it was not easy to find a small restaurant that was open.
As Chen Yuncheng walked outside, he didn’t know if it was in his mind, but he felt that the temperature here was even lower than in the city centre, and when the cold wind blew over, he unconsciously wrapped his thin down jacket tightly.
Later, he found a small restaurant, which was opened by an outlander. When he sat down to eat, Chen Yuncheng chatted with the owner. The owner said that he hadn’t been back for the New Year, and the restaurant was open for the whole New Year.
He asked for a gaifan1Gaifan or gaijiaofan is a type of dish in Chinese cuisine typically offered in low-cost establishments. It consists of a fish, meat, or vegetable topping served over rice..
At this time, he was the only customer in the store, and the owner put the plate of gaifan on his table, and sat not far away, staring at the empty street outside in a daze.
Chen Yuncheng mixed the rice with a spoon.
The boss turned his head and saw the mark on his wrist. He let out an “ouch”, and asked, “What happened to your hand?”
By this time, the strangle marks were completely bruised and looked a little gruesome.
Chen Yuncheng smiled and said, “It’s nothing, I accidentally hurt it.”
The owner asked him, “You’re working before the end of the year?”
Chen Yuncheng said, “Yes, I have to eat.”
The owner nodded and seemed to empathise with him. He lifted one leg and bent it over the other, saying, “Money is not easy to earn.”
After eating, Chen Yuncheng went back to the daily rental place alone.
At this time, the sky was completely dark, and most of the houses on the side of the road were closed and their lights were turned off. Only the cold white street lamps illuminated the road in front of them.
When Chen Yuncheng walked halfway, his phone rang. He stopped, took out his phone and took a look, and saw that it was Guan Anlin calling.
After he answered the phone, the two chatted for a while, Guan Anlin heard that he had moved out, and asked him if he was going to start work.
Chen Yuncheng said, “Boss Sun said that some workers would be back tomorrow, so he asked me to keep an eye at it. After the Chinese New Year, the store can almost open for business.”
Guan Anlin heard the words and said, “Then I’ll come back early.”
After they chatted a few more words, the two hung up the phone.
Chen Yuncheng was still standing on the side of the road, with a lonely back. He swiped his fingers in the phone address book for a long time, finally found Ning Junyan’s number, and called Ning Junyan.
He had said before that even if he moved out temporarily, his relationship with Ning Junyan would still not change. He didn’t know whether Ning Junyan believed him or not, but he hoped to put Ning Junyan’s mind at ease.
But Ning Junyan didn’t answer the call.
Chen Yuncheng raised his head and looked at the street back and forth in a daze. He waited for a long time until the phone hung up automatically, then he put the phone back into his trouser pocket, put his hands into his jacket pockets and continued walking towards the front.
He had grown up with more experiences than others, and he often told himself to be content, or he would be unhappy. So he asked for less than other children, and he felt satisfied when his foster parents gave him a bite to eat.
It was not that he was cheaper than others, it was just that he would not be satisfied if he expected too much. So it was better to ask for less and live happily instead.
He used to tell others that he wanted to find an ordinary girl to be with, but he had never found one, and he had always resisted the relationships, fearing that the more he invested, the more he would be hurt in the end. He sometimes felt that his way of thinking was unhealthy. This might be related to the fact that he had no parents and no complete family. On the surface, he was all about giving and did not need others to reciprocate, but in reality, he was afraid of not getting anything in return, so it was better not to ask for extravagant things.
Ning Junyan’s way of thinking was also unhealthy in Chen Yuncheng’s view. Chen Yuncheng thought of his parents and the four years they lived and grew up together. Perhaps Ning’s dysfunction was also due to his lack of a sound family.
So they were both very insecure and while Chen Yuncheng’s lack of security led him to resist, Ning Junyan was overly solicitous. Their mental health brought them to where they are today. Chen Yuncheng just wanted to take a step back to calm himself down, but he didn’t know if Ning Junyan had decided to give up.
Chen Yuncheng was very sad.
At the same time, Ning Junyan had a headache. He sat on the bed alone, wrapped the metal chain around his wrist twice, and watched the end of the chain hang down, dangling in front of him.
He also ordered a pair of handcuffs and a collar, both of which were made of metal and covered with a layer of soft leather. Although he let Chen Yuncheng go, he did not intend to return them.
The headache started in the afternoon. He was standing by the bed trying to pack up the things in the toolbox, but he started to have a headache after half of the packing. He didn’t continue and just lay down on the bed and fell asleep.
It was already dark when he woke up, and Ning Junyan did not want to eat. He sat on the bed and fiddled with the chain he bought. He originally planned for one end to be fixed into the wall, and the other end was movable and could be replaced with handcuffs or a collar that could be worn on Chen Yuncheng’s body, so that Chen Yuncheng could move around from the room to the bathroom, and the lock cannot be unlocked without his key.
He knew it was against the law. He had studied for many years, and his legal knowledge was more abundant than many people, but when he was doing this, his mind was empty, and his only thought was not to let Chen Yuncheng leave.
He was not afraid of breaking the law, but he was afraid that Chen Yuncheng would not forgive him, so he still failed to do so.
When the mobile phone on the bedside table rang, Ning Junyan turned his head to take a look. He saw Chen Yuncheng’s name, but he didn’t answer it.
At this moment, he had a headache again. He threw the metal chain aside, went to the medicine box outside to find a painkiller, and then went back to the room and slept directly on the side where Chen Yuncheng slept. The pillow seemed to still smell of Chen Yuncheng, Ning Junyan lay on his side, pulling the quilt over his head. Before he fell asleep, he thought about how he had to work tomorrow and how he had scheduled an operation in the morning, and how his custom-made collar was coming soon, so he really wanted to put it on Chen Yuncheng himself…
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