Li Ming had no idea what kind of fish that was so he could only ask. “Why that one? Actually, I don’t think I’ve seen one before.”
“Oh, you’ve missed out then! This is one of the few fish I actually know.” Mo Fang smiled brightly and took out his phone, opening Baidu to let Li Ming have a look at the picture search. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it?”
Li Ming leaned closer and couldn’t help but agree. The fishes shown had bright colors and a flowing fin that seemed to float in the water like feathers might in air. It really was a beautiful sight to behold. He couldn’t help but wonder though if that was the reason why Mo Fang had chosen this fish. “How do you know about this fish?”
“Oh, I saw it in a magazine once. There was a photographer that was doing underwater photography, trying to link up models with sea life. He also had some of these crown tail bettas. I felt that there were quite a few beautiful fishes there but this one was definitely the best. They’re elegant and bright, just super eye-catching. Don’t you think so?”
Li Ming nodded but he still couldn’t help but have some worries at the back of his mind. “So, the reason you would pick this one is because it’s beautiful?”
“Beautiful and photogenic, just like me.” Mo Fang smiled brightly, fishing for a bit of a compliment.
Unfortunately for him, Li Ming really wasn’t the type of person to do that. Instead, he looked at Mo Fang, trying to find a way to express what he was thinking without hurting him. After a while, he gave an awkward smile. “I’m sure that you have a lot more redeeming qualities than just being beautiful and photogenic.”
Mo Fang blinked his eyes, unsure how he was supposed to react to that. If there was one thing that everybody in his life had always agreed on that it was his good looks. Why was his hot new boyfriend of all people not praising him for that? Although … what he said had sounded nice.
Thinking of that, he gave a smile and then hugged Li Ming’s arm. “That’s so sweet of you but I’m still thinking of myself as more of a model. So what’s bad about being beautiful and photogenic? It’s a good thing, isn’t it?”
Li Ming hurriedly nodded. “Of course. I didn’t want to downplay your achievements.” He was a little worried though. Beauty was often short-lived after all. While Mo Fang was still young and the photo of his mother that he had shown him the other day suggested that there was a good chance he would still be this beautiful in ten or maybe even twenty years, it still was nothing that would be forever.
If his whole self-worth relied on being beautiful … Wasn’t that just asking for it to end in tragedy? What if he wasn’t able to deal with aging? In a world as shallow as theirs and especially among gay men that were often obsessed with having young-looking lovers, this wasn’t something that could be taken lightly.
Even though Li Ming thought that, he didn’t know how to bring it up. Actually, he likely shouldn’t anyway. After all, they had only gotten together today. Thus, they didn’t know each other too well. He had no basis to criticize anything even if this made him worried.
No, instead, it would be better to just leave it be for the time being and then see about this again when they had been together for a while longer. It would help with making sure about some things. After all, maybe he was overreacting and this wasn’t actually what Mo Fang felt. Maybe he was just a little insecure after his recent breakup and so he just referred to something where he felt he had achieved something special. That was something he shouldn’t downplay.
Thinking of that, he finally gave Mo Fang an easier smile. “Well, I haven’t seen any of your photos yet. When we have a bit of time, you should show them to me. I’m curious about what kind of work you’ve been doing.”
Mo Fang’s expression lit up as soon as this was mentioned and he clung to Li Ming’s arm even more tightly. “Really? Then I can show you tomorrow. I’ll pick them out as soon as I get home today and then when we meet up tomorrow, you can see them. Also, when my next job is lined up, you can come and accompany me. They don’t mind if I bring my boyfriend along. Do you want to?”
Li Ming was a bit surprised at Mo Fang’s excitement but he still nodded. “Of course. This is something that is important to you. Naturally, I’d like to learn more about it.”
“Great!” Mo Fang leaned closer and pecked his cheek before retreating just as fast. “Right! I’m sure you’re also very photogenic. Since this is our first date, do you think we should take a selfie? I’m sure we’ll look great together.”
Li Ming glanced around, taking in how the room wasn’t that well lit. “Are you sure we’ll be able to take a nice one in here?”
“Ah, I’m sure of it.” Mo Fang turned around in Li Ming’s arms, pressing his back against his chest. He reached up, snaking a hand up his shoulder and into his hair. He tilted his head up and then raised his phone, taking a quick shot.
At that moment, Li Ming still hadn’t been prepared for it and was actually looking at Mo Fang and not at the phone.
Mo Fang laughed and raised his head, giving Li Ming a bright smile. “Silly, you’re supposed to look at the camera and not me.”
Li Ming laughed as well and then looked at the phone,. “Alright, let’s do another one then.”
Mo Fang looked at him and then turned his head, kissing his cheek while he pressed the button again. Li Ming’s eyes widened, causing Mo Fang to laugh when he looked at the photo.
“I was right. You’re definitely photogenic. Even surprised, my boyfriend is still very handsome.” Saying so, he gave him yet another peck on the cheek, causing Li Ming to be completely stunned speechless.