Chen Yuchuan had already impatiently opened the front door to leave. But Lu Yang changed the dog food and added water for Chubby. Before going out, he grabbed the two coats hanging on the hanger with one hand. One was his own suit jacket and the other was Chen Yuchuan’s windbreaker.
Chen Yuchuan was leaning against the passenger door. Now that the cold wind had passed, the temperature outside was slightly warming up. Even so, it was still cold at night.
Lu Yang glanced at the thin clothes on Chen Yuchuan’s body and threw the windbreaker to him. “Put it on.”
Chen Yuchuan caught the windbreaker and put it on. Once Lu Yang had unlocked the door, he opened it and sat in the passenger seat.
Lu Yang drove out of the community, turned right onto the main road, and continued heading east.
Chen Yuchuan had owned a small resort on the eastern suburbs for many years.
However, he now had another resort under construction on Wuling Mountain positioned at an altitude of 500 meters above ground. It had only been two weeks ago that he’d gone to see the construction, and it had now reached the follow-up finishing stage. Everything was going as planned, and it was expected to officially open next summer. But now, there was suddenly a collapse.
Two minutes after Lu Yang got into the car, their phones dinged one after another. Since Lu Yang was driving, Chen Yuchuan checked the phones. It was the person in charge of the resort reporting the progress of the accident to them.
While driving, Lu Yang said, “Xiao Chuan’er, please confirm with Jian Yongxin again whether anyone is injured.”
“I’ll ask.” Chen Yuchuan continued holding onto the two mobile phones. Just as he was done, Lu Yang’s phone dinged again.
He read the message Jian Yongxin sent. “It’s all been checked. No one was injured.”
“It’s good that no one’s injured,” Lu Yang said. “As for the cause of the collapse, as well as other ensuing problems and losses, we can talk about them later.”
It was 8 o’clock in the evening on a weekend, and naturally, the urban roads were a bit congested.
Jian Yongxin sent another message and Chen Yuchuan told Lu Yang, “Many reporters have arrived.”
Lu Yang’s eyebrows rose. “So soon?”
“It’s also possible that someone had tipped them very early on.” Chen Yuchuan quickly aired the problem.
The Lu family had a large enterprise, and they must contend with a great many competitors that operated both in the open and in secret. Even though the owner of Wuling Mountain’s resort was Chen Yuchuan.
He naturally didn’t think that he had the ability to make a business specifically target him. He believed it was likely the people he was dealing with or the people around him.
At the time, when Lu Yang took the land for the resort project, many people were interested.
Wuling Mountain was a tourist attraction, and the daily flow of people was huge during the tourist season. If a large-scale resort could be developed there, the subsequent profits could clearly be imagined.
Once they left the city, there were fewer and fewer cars. Chen Yuchuan kept answering the phones. When he looked up, he caught a glimpse of the sign on the side of the road, showing that there was a tunnel ahead.
“Brother Yang,” he said, subconsciously clenching the phones in his hands. “Let’s take another route. We can take a detour from the rural road in front.”
Lu Yang didn’t speak. His eyes were fixed on the road in front of him, his hands still holding the steering wheel in position. The car moved forward steadily.
“Brother Yang, shall we change paths?” Chen Yuchuan raised his voice a little, and there was a begging undertone in his voice.
“This is the closest route.” Lu Yang didn’t change direction; he kept driving forward. He didn’t turn at the fork and quickly drove into the tunnel.
The moment the car entered the tunnel, Chen Yuchuan’s vision suddenly darkened. The two-lane tunnel was very narrow, with the wall lamps at the top of the tunnel emitting bright white lights one after another.
A wind blew against the glass window, and Chen Yuchuan heard a low and deep echo buzzing in his ears. He didn’t know if it was his hallucination, but the echo became louder and louder, making panic bloom in his chest.
The tunnel wasn’t short, and he stared without blinking, looking for the exit ahead that he was unable to see.
After what seemed like a long time, he suddenly felt warmth on the back of his hand. Yu Lang held his trembling hand and said in a voice lower than the wind in the tunnel. But it was enough to calm him down.
“Xiao Chuan’er, close your eyes. It’s okay. We’ll be out soon.”
Lu Yang’s voice fell like magic, and Chen Yuchuan closed his eyes obediently. The psychological and physical discomfort he felt early was blown away.
Once the car drove out of the tunnel, Lu Yang withdrew his hand. “We’re out.”
Chen Yuchuan didn’t open his eyes. He turned his shoulders slightly so that he was facing out the window. Pulling up the collar of his coat, he lowered his chin and said, “Brother Yang, if at that time…”
“There’s no ifs,” Lu Yang interrupted. “You can’t always be afraid, and you can’t always make a detour around it. You can’t always avoid it. Sometimes, when you drive through these roads, you will have no choice but to go through it. What’s more, it’s already in the past.”
“How long ago?” Chen Yuchuan asked himself, eyes still closed. “It’s only been a little over half a year ago…”
It took another hour until they finally reached Wuling Mountain and drove up the winding road around the mountain.
As they approached the entrance of the resort, Chen Yuchuan lowered the passenger window, placed his arm on the edge of the opened window, and stretched out his neck to glance out.
There were many cars with flashing lights parked at the entrance of the resort, including police cars and fire trucks, as well as several cars with signs of the Tourism Bureau. People in uniform came in and out, and there were also many reporters with cameras and microphones.
“Brother Yang, do we want to take a detour and enter through the back entrance?”
“Let’s just go through the front gate,” Lu Yang said. “If we hide, it will give people one more thing to latch onto and make a fuss about. When I’m interviewed later, I’ll explain the problem that should be explained.”
“I’m the person in charge. I’ll go with you,” Chen Yuchuan said.
Lu Yang didn’t argue. Chen Yuchuan also knew that he wasn’t very good at facing a camera, and Lu Yang would do a better job at speaking.
When the car stopped, Chen Yuchuan left the car first. He leaned against the passenger door, took out a cigarette case from his pocket, and pulled out a cigarette. But soon, he felt his fingers go empty. Even his palm was empty.
Lu Yang took away the cigarette in his hand, along with the cigarette case and the lighter.
Chen Yuchuan’s empty fingers twitched, and he looked at Lu Yang with a smile. “I won’t smoke.”
First, they went to find out more about the current situation. Once the problem was cleared, Lu Yang turned around and walked towards the reporters.
The moment he lifted his foot, Chen Yuchuan grabbed his wrist.
“What’s wrong?” Lu Yang asked.
Chen Yuchuan held onto Lu Yang’s wrist. His fingers rested on Lu Yang’s pulse, feeling the slight throbbing through the layer of his sleeve. Then he raised his other hand and straightened the slightly crooked tie around Lu Yang’s neck.
“Your tie is a little crooked,” Chen Yuchuan said. He took another step forward, and he could hear Lu Yang’s breathing with the shortened distance.
Lu Yang looked down at Chen Yuchuan. Chen Yuchuan’s eyelashes were very thick and very long, and when he blinked and lifted his lids to look attentively at Lu Yang, Lu Yang couldn’t help but feel himself tremble slightly.
In fact, it was Lu Yang who had taught Chen Yuchuan how to tie a tie, and this happened not long after they started officially living together.
Once he’d learned how to tie a tie, he was always keen to tie Lu Yang’s tie for him. It was a rare, quiet time between the two of them.
Sometimes, after Lu Yang had already tied his tie himself in the morning, Chen Yuchuan would untie it on purpose and redo it for him.
Seeing them, some reporters began to walk over with microphones. Chen Yuchuan let go of Lu Yang’s wrist and tie and moved silently to a place not far behind him.
Lu Yang was soon surrounded by a group of reporters, and a female reporter in a black trench coat took the lead to stretch out her microphone. “Excuse me, President Lu, are there any casualties in this accident? What was the cause of the accident? Was there a problem with the quality of the project materials? With such an accident, will the resort still be able to officially open on time?”
“There are no casualties, and the cause of the accident is still under investigation. We will apply for a third-party investigation. We will take this accident seriously and resolve it just as seriously. As for the official opening time, we’ll decide based on the actual situation at the time.”
After Lu Yang calmly answered the female reporter’s question, another male reporter asked, “President Lu, if there are casualties, how will you explain it to the tourists who are already planning to visit the resort?”
Lu Yang fixed his gaze on the male reporter who had asked this question. His expression was calm, but the look in his eyes made the male reporter subconsciously take a step back.
“As a reporter, it is your responsibility to supervise and seek truthful reporting, not to make malicious speculations and incite public panic for something that hasn’t happened.”
Once he was done speaking, Lu Yang faced the camera once more and said, “We will fully cooperate with the investigation to find out the specific reason for the accident, and once the investigation is done, we will issue a statement as soon as possible to give an explanation to the concerned public…”
After answering the reporter’s questions, Lu Yang held several urgent meetings. It wasn’t until two in the morning, when all preliminary issues had been dealt with, that the fire fighters, the police officers, and the reporters all finally left.
Chen Yuchuan and Lu Yang had always had their own fixed room in the resort and so Jian Yongxin naturally made no other arrangements.
Their room was a suite with a study room and a conference room. The moment they entered their room, Lu Yang head straight to the study. He asked the company’s public relations department to send out a statement about the accident and called a few friends who had connections with various newspapers.
Meanwhile, the phone on Chen Yuchuan’s side also wasn’t silent. When his phone was completely out of power and turned off, he finally entered the study, only to find that Lu Yang was still looking through some documents.
Chen Yuchuan asked, “Brother Yang, what do you think?”
“We’ll wait for the quality inspection report and the geological inspection report from a third-party investigator. Fortunately, it happened at night when there’s no one on the construction site. If it had happened during the dayment, the consequences would be unimaginable.” After saying this, Lu Yang rubbed his temples. “We’ve managed to get here tonight, and we’ve done everything we can.”
“Then let’s sleep.” Chen Yuchuan turned and walked out.
“You sleep on the bed, I’ll sleep on the sofa,” Lu Yang said behind him.
The sofa here wasn’t as large as the one at home. Chen Yuchuan folded his arms and turned his head to say with a smile, “Brother Yang, we’ve slept together for 16 years. Why are you afraid of me now?”
Lu Yang was silent for a moment before saying, “Xiao Chuan’er, am I afraid of you, or are you afraid of me?”
The corners of Chen Yuchuan’s mouth lifted up. “Brother Yang, why should I be afraid of you? You’re not a tiger, so what is there to be afraid of?”
As if to prove his words, Chen Yuchuan walked back. He didn’t stop until he’d crossed the desk to stand between the desk and Lu Yang. Leaning against the edge of the desk, he kicked Lu Yang’s chair and then brushed his toes across the hem of his suit pants.
Lu Yang let Chen Yuchuan play, until he became more and more arrogant and even took a step forward to shorten the distance between them.
Chen Yuchuan grabbed the tie he’d just arranged for Lu Yang and wrapped it a few times around his fingers. Then he lifted the tie, which caused Lu Yang’s chin to tip up, and he stared at his lips.
He was still the same as he’d been before, unable to stare too long at Lu Yangs lips without wanting to kiss him.
Lu Yang watched as Chen Yuchuan’s face was getting closer and closer and his fingers gripping the desk tightened little by little. It wasn’t until Chen Yuchuan came close enough did Lu Yang finally speak, his voice obviously rough with need.
“Chen Yuchuan, the first time you teased me after our divorce, it was because you drank too much, so I didn’t mind. This is the second time. If you continue, it will be at your own risk…”
Chen Yuchuan watched as Lu Yang’s sexy and seductive lips moved, watching them open and close as they spoke those threatening words.
He smiled and no longer moved forward. His fingers released Lu Yang’s tie and he stepped back, putting some distance between them. Then he looked into Lu Yang’s eyes and said without hesitation, “Yes, Brother Yang is right. I’m afraid of you. I’m really afraid…”
He was just done speaking when he suddenly noticed that there was a little line at the corner of Lu Yang’s eye. It wasn’t deep and was, in fact, quite thin and light. If one didn’t look carefully, one wouldn’t have noticed it at all.
Chen Yuchuan no longer acted wildly. Instead, he brushed a fingertip lightly across the corner of Lu Yang’s eye.
It was as if, if he brushed over it lightly, he could smooth out the wrinkle at the corner of Lu Yang’s eyes.
Obviously, this was impossible.
Only then did Chen Yuchuan seriously remember that Lu Yang was already 38 years old this year, and they weren’t young anymore. The cruelty of time would often catch you unaware. For a moment you’ll panic, but in due time, you’ll have no choice but to accept it out of sheer desperation.
Although the lines at the end of Lu Yang’s eyes did not affect his charm at all, it added a bit of wisdom given by the years.
But Chen Yuchuan still felt as if his chest was being pinched and turned around.
Those fine lines were not recent, but he had never noticed them.
It seemed that he hadn’t looked at Lu Yang seriously for a long time.