Zhao Chen stared at Li Ming, his thoughts not catching up for a moment. So … was Li Ming angry at his last attempt at flirting? It … didn’t sound like it?
He had no idea what was going on but he still pulled out his phone and opened the picture of the schedule that Manager Quan had sent over. Handing it to Li Ming, he covered his mouth with his hand, trying to quietly think.
His schedule for the next few days … that should be because he wanted to spend time together? After all, even if he had gone a bit far by flirting like that, he shouldn’t want to evade him. So, even if that just now had been strange, it might be the opposite of what he had worried about. Maybe … Li Ming had really liked what he heard and was looking for a way to spend more time?
He wasn’t sure and he somehow felt that right now wasn’t a good moment to ask. Instead, he just quietly watched as Li Ming took out his own phone, apparently checking when they were both free.
Seeing this, Zhao Chen calmed down and lowered his hand. It seems he had really thought too much. Anyway, he shouldn’t be surprised. Li Ming was pretty easy-going. If he had really stepped on his toes just now, he wouldn’t get that upset. He would have just told him and then talked it out. He wasn’t one for tantrums.
Finally, Li Ming looked up. “We don’t have the same days off for this week or the next but you would be free on Thursday going by the schedule and I have the early shift that day and the evening shift on Friday. So … we could meet up. Unless you have a prior commitment, that is.”
“Prior commitment?” Zhao Chen smiled and shook his head. “There’s nothing like that. And … I’d love to meet up. Do you want to do something special?” Otherwise, that pause before still would have been strange. Could it be he had thought of something nice to do and pondered that idea? He could imagine that.
Li Ming handed his phone back and hesitated for a moment. “Well … how about meeting some of my friends? Or some of yours, if you’d prefer that.”
Zhao Chen stared at him, his gaze flickering. He also knew that Li Ming took things slow. Meeting his friends was a huge step forward. Sure, that might have to do with that wedding invitation he had told him about but the fact that he wanted to go through with it meant a lot. “I’d love that. And I’d be happy either way.”
He wanted to suggest the couple that was going to get married but he also felt like that would be rushing Li Ming into something. Instead, he figured he should go with something a little more open. “I guess who to see also depends on who has time. Our friends also need to work, after all.
“Why don’t you ask yours first? If somebody has time, we’ll meet up with them. If there’s no one available, I can ask my friends and check. In the worst case, we’ll just have a date with only the two of us.” He laughed and then cleared his throat. “Not that us having a date could ever be counted as bad.”
Li Ming gave a huff, suddenly relaxing. He had scared himself with those thoughts and tensed up. Now that Zhao Chen was joking around, he realized that he was worrying too much. Zhao Chen was flexible and not impatient at all. Even if he needed time, he wouldn’t run off immediately. He was the type of man who could take things one step at a time. So while being courageous and going forward was important, he could also take his time as long as he told him what was up.
Having made up his mind, Li Ming nodded. “Alright. Let’s do it that way.” He turned on his phone and scrolled through his list of contacts.
Meeting Rui Lan and Cang Gui Ying would be good if they really wanted to go to their wedding together. But then, there might be too much pressure if they were the first people they met together. No, it might be better to ask somebody unrelated and have Zhao Chen meet the two of them at a slightly later date.
Thinking for a bit, he felt like it might be best to ask somebody that they would have something in common with. “Hm, how about someone from the community? That way, it won’t be as awkward.”
Zhao Chen nodded. “Sounds good!”
Li Ming scrolled up and down, not sure who to pick. In the last two years, he had made it a point to meet up with his friends more regularly but even though, he wasn’t that close with quite a few. Those he knew from a few years ago might have trouble keeping up a conversation since they weren’t quite as familiar anymore. Rather than that, it might be better to choose somebody he was closer to now.
Thinking for a bit, he finally messaged Si Tao. He wasn’t completely sure about this choice either considering that Si Tao kind of was their boss’s boss but then, he had never really seen him in that capacity. He didn’t think that Si Tao cared too much about what was going on at the base either.
Li Ming: [Are you free Thursday evening?]
Thinking for a moment, he figured that he should still give a reason so he sent another message right after.
Li Ming: [I want to introduce my boyfriend to a few friends.]
He wanted to put the phone down but just when he did, the screen lit up with a message. Li Ming raised his brows but still checked whether it was already Si Tao. As it turned out, it was and his response really wasn’t that surprising.
Si Tao: [Sure! Can I bring Xiao Lan?]