Li Ming gave him a long look.
“Now you’re just sweet-talking me.”
Zhao Chen gave a hum. “Well, is it working?”
Li Ming sighed, looking up at the ceiling. He didn’t want to admit it but … “Actually, it might. Although I guess the question is what you’re trying to achieve.”
Zhao Chen didn’t answer immediately and focused on finishing his food. Pushing away the bowl, he looked up at Li Ming again. “I’m not sure if you’ll believe this but it’s nothing specific.
“Anyway, we’re already together and I don’t think you’re the type that is that easily swayed. If I wanted something specific, I’d probably have the best chances if I just asked directly.” In fact, now that Li Ming had told him about his relationship back then, he was sure that an extra dose of honesty would get him pretty far in this relationship.
Yes, even if he had something that wasn’t nice to hear, Li Ming would always prefer the full truth. That really wasn’t bad. He liked that kind of honesty. For some people, it might seem daunting at first, but actually, it could make a lot of things easier. After all, if you were open and honest with each other, wouldn’t that reduce the chance of misunderstandings? So yes, in his eyes, this was a plus.
Li Ming watched his expression and couldn’t help but shake his head. “Well, I guess you’re not wrong.”
Zhao Chen’s eyes lit up with a smile. “So, me sweet-talking you is just for the sake of doing it. Or maybe I like the way you look afterward. Ah, I guess I might have a hidden agenda after all.”
Li Ming gave a low hum. “Oh, if it’s only that, then I guess I don’t need to worry too much. If you were really trying to butter up to me for something specific, I might need to pay closer attention before I step into your honey trap.”
“Is it a honey trap?”
Li Ming tilted his head and blinked his eyes. “If the person doing the sweet-talking looks good, it’s naturally a honey trap. Actually … no matter what you say, it might be a honey trap.”
“Oh. I guess we trapped each other then.”
“That seems to be the case.” Li Ming picked up the glass to the side and couldn’t help but give it a look. Maybe they should have gotten a beer instead. But then, since getting together, he felt like he had become a bit more health-conscious. Zhao Chen sure seemed to always go for the healthy options and over time, it was rubbing off on him. Well, that wasn’t the worst thing.
Zhao Chen’s gaze darted around when Li Ming didn’t say more and suddenly fell quiet. Had his flirting gone too far just now? But until a moment ago, Li Ming had flirted back without issue. Had he stepped onto a landmine accidentally?
He didn’t know what it was and rubbed his neck in confusion. He wasn’t sure if he should apologize. Anyway, if he had misunderstood Li Ming, that’d be too awkward. After thinking for a moment, he faintly cleared his throat. “What’s wrong?”
Li Ming looked up, feeling a little stunned. He hadn’t even noticed when he fell silent. Those thoughts had just come up like that and then he hadn’t been able but to drift further away.
Noticing how Zhao Chen’s behavior had subtly influenced him these days, he realized that they were actually closer than he had imagined. Looking back on his relationships so far, that was usually a sign that he was falling deep. He might like to take it slow but there were just some people in front of whom he was powerless. Mo Fang had been like that and Zhao Chen seemed to be similar. It was just that this time, he wasn’t being manipulated. He just … simply liked him a lot.
When Li Ming arrived at that conclusion, he had tuned out everything around him, trapped in his own thoughts. It might sound odd. After all, they had been together for a bit. Of course, he liked him. But it was only at this moment that it hit him just how much he was into Zhao Chen.
Only when he heard Zhao Chen’s voice and noticed the worry in his tone did he manage to pull himself out of his thoughts. He looked up, not knowing what to do or say for a moment. He lowered his head and poked at the remainder of his food, unable to look Zhao Chen in the eye.
Experience told him that rushing into relationships wasn’t a good idea. Anyway, he had always taken things slowly and it had gone well. The one time he hadn’t, everything had gone up in smoke shortly after. Since the matter with Mo Fang ended, he had managed to turn his life back around but in terms of dating, it had still left a shadow.
He knew that. It had made things more difficult and he had to admit that he was even more cautious now. If he was honest, then he might be keeping others at arm’s length because he was afraid to get hurt again. But in the course of doing so, he was hurting himself.
If he didn’t open up, if he didn’t allow himself to trust the other person, if he always worried about the worst happening … how could he be a good partner to the other person? No, if he wanted this to work, then he needed to open himself up with all the possible outcomes that involved. He couldn’t be afraid. And … he wanted to do just that. If it was Zhao Chen, then he wanted it.
Even if it hadn’t been a long time, even if there were still many things he didn’t know yet, he wanted more. He wanted this to work out and he could see that happening. He just needed to give it a chance.
Li Ming finally put the chopsticks down and glanced up at Zhao Chen, his throat feeling a bit tight. “So … what’s your schedule for the next few days?”