Bian Huan was surprised at that request, especially since he had believed that Li Ming would be very much familiar with the photos. But then, remembering how surprised Li Ming had been that the pictures were already finished, and how Mo Fang had asked him to lie before, he figured that this wasn’t that astounding after all. Actually, he should have realized that this was a possibility. In any case, he would never tire of showing off his works!
Thus, as soon as he realized that Li Ming would see the result of the photoshoot for the first time, his expression lit up with a splendid smile. “Give me one moment! I’ll get them immediately!”
With that, he jumped to his feet and rushed past Duan Zhi Hao and the cat who both looked up at him, one being a little confused, while the other one seemed annoyed. A moment later, Bian Huan already rushed back, still not paying any attention to them, while he carried a laptop with him.
Actually, he would’ve preferred to show Li Ming the photos on a bigger screen or maybe even as a printed poster, feeling that this was something that could be so much better appreciated if it wasn’t just on a small screen. But for now, this would have to do.
He put the laptop down, and then pulled his chair to the other side of the table, sitting next to Li Ming, his expression even more excited than a moment ago. “You will love this!” He opened up the laptop, navigated to the folder he had created for that photoshoot, and opened up the first picture.
Li Ming stared at the screen in a daze. This … it wasn’t as bad as he had expected. No, it was even worse. Looking at Mo Fang’s face, those glittering eyes, and that smile, he still couldn’t believe that they had broken up.
Heaven, he had loved him so much! But then, that hadn’t been the real him. This was something he had to tell himself over and over again. No, he had not loved Mo Fang. He had loved the person Mo Fang had pretended to be. But his actual, ideal lover was not a liar. Not like the one he saw on the screen.
He clenched his hands into fists and took a deep breath, trying to calm down. Instead of focusing on the other person, he instead looked at himself, trying to figure out how much of his face was visible in each picture.
Keeping his name out of this was one safety measure. People wouldn’t be able to just go and look his name up on Baidu and find out who he was. This way, he wouldn’t have to worry about any future employer running into this when they wanted to know who he was.
But if these pictures were made public, there was always a chance that somebody who knew him would see him. If not everything of him was visible, then they might doubt themselves and not speak up about it though. He needed to try and make sure of that because it needed just a few comments somewhere to still tie these pictures to his name. And he didn’t want that. It could be tied to Mo Fang alright but not to him. He didn’t want that.
There were a lot of pictures that showed his face, either from the front or the side, but there were also many that didn’t. In fact, some pictures had been shot in a way where only his back and maybe a small part of his cheek were visible. Even he himself wouldn’t be sure that it was him if he hadn’t been there when the photo was taken.
When they reached the last picture, Bian Huan turned to him, raising his brows as if asking for praise. “What do you think?”
Li Ming turned to him, hoping that his expression didn’t give away just how much this had actually impacted him. “They are all very beautiful.”
“I knew you would say that just from your expression! You look as if they are so beautiful you could weep!”
Li Ming nodded, even though that had more to do with seeing his ex-boyfriend than anything else. “Anyway, you’re probably not going to like what I’m going to say next.”
Bian Huan’s expression immediately fell. “Don’t tell me you won’t sign?”
Li Ming shook his head, not wanting to dash his hopes immediately. “That’s not it. I just … Is it alright if we didn’t take all of them and just a few? More precisely, would you be alright with just taking the ones where my face isn’t shown in full?”
Bian Huan froze, not having expected that. He had always thought that for Li Ming, this would be an all-or-nothing kind of situation. But some pictures were definitely better than none.
He turned back to the screen, going through them again, for the first time making sure which of them actually showed much of Li Ming’s face. When he saw that most of them actually had his full face, he couldn’t help but hit the top of the table. “I should have known this beforehand! In that case, I could have planned them differently.
“Now, what do we do? Can the two of you come in for another one?” He turned to Li Ming, noticing how he stiffened this time. He tilted his head, not quite sure what to make of this. “What’s the matter? Aren’t you up for another shoot? I mean, yes, you were a little stiff in the beginning but I think you did pretty well toward the end. And if you’re not even going to show your face in the camera, your expression won’t matter either.”
Li Ming smiled wryly. “I’m sorry, brother Bian, this isn’t about my skills as a model. Mo Fang and I … we broke up. You know that, don’t you? I just don’t think that we can do something like this together again. In fact, I’d be happy if I don’t have to see him anymore.”
Bian Huan raised his brows, but then just shook his head and turned back to the screen. “Well, I guess there’s no chance then. It’s a pity. But anyway, I guess I should’ve known. I was wondering why you were still here when he had already left.”
At this, the one who tilted his head and looked surprised was Li Ming. “Left?” Just what … was that supposed to mean?