Si Tao didn’t waste any time. Seeing the two of them and recognizing Li Ming, he happily pulled Tong Lan’s hand and the two of them came over.
“Brother Si!” Li Ming got up to greet him and nodded at his fiancee afterward. “Sister Tong.” He actually wasn’t too familiar with her but he had at least seen her a few times so he also didn’t feel that awkward.
“Eh, don’t be polite! I still can’t believe you invited us to go out together. Let’s sit down and get to the main course.” He laughed and indeed pulled out a chair after making sure Tong Lan was sitting, his gaze immediately circling to Zhao Chen. “So, you’re brother Li’s new boyfriend?”
“Mn, Zhao Chen.” Zhao Chen nodded, finally feeling a bit nervous again after all. Actually, Si Tao didn’t look like that much of a big boss but just knowing that he was … it was easy to ignore if he wasn’t in front of him but now that they were sitting at the same table, it had gotten a lot more difficult.
Li Ming noticed his gaze and felt that he should probably help out. “He also works at the hotel. That’s where we met. It’s not been that long but … well, it’s different this time so I wanted to introduce him to some friends.”
Si Tao gave a hum. “I figured there had to be something like that.” Looking at Zhao Chen, his eyes sparkled. “You know, you can really count yourself lucky! I know he’s been dating again but in two years’ time, you’re the first one he is introducing to anyone. That sure says something about you and your relationship.”
Zhao Chen chuckled. Out of those two years, Li Ming clearly hadn’t been dating for more than a couple of months. Still, he knew that this was meant as a compliment and while he didn’t really think that there was something special about him that had caused Li Ming to suddenly be willing to go a step further, he was still happy that they had gotten to this point. “Well, I do feel honored.”
Si Tao looked from one person to the other and then leaned closer to Li Ming. “Did you tell him …”
Li Ming raised his brows, not sure what he meant.
Si Tao hesitated when Li Ming didn’t catch his drift and then cleared his throat. “Ah, well, forget it.”
Li Ming was still confused but Zhao Chen was able to figure it out and laughed. “You mean about the ex you share? Yeah, he told me when he mentioned who we’d be meeting. Actually, he also told me a bit about the two of you already. I hope you won’t mind.”
Si Tao heaved a sigh of relief. “That’s good. You know, I’m really not good at keeping things to myself but I really don’t want to make things awkward by mentioning things I shouldn’t so …”
“No problem.” Zhao Chen shook his head. “Honestly, if I wouldn’t stay around after hearing a story like that, Li Ming would be better off without me.”
Si Tao tilted his head from side to side and couldn’t help but quietly agree with him. He knew guys who had trouble keeping their tempers in check when getting into touch with a boyfriend’s ex or even just hearing about their current partner’s past. Those guys … he had always felt that it was better to stay far, far away from them. That was one of the reasons why he had been so happy when Mo Fang broke up with Lan Heng back then.
Ah. Si Tao blinked his eyes, stopping himself from thinking about that. This was a double date with Li Ming’s new partner. It was okay to ask about Mo Fang once just so he was aware whether he could mention how they had gotten to know each other originally but he sure couldn’t pull out all these old stories and dwell on them. That would just be too awkward.
He cleared his throat and finally shook his head. “No, it’s no problem. Although I guess now I don’t know what to say. Xiao Lan and I actually talked about it on the way here and she said to just talk about how everyone met at first and then see where that would get us. Now, I’m afraid your boyfriend already ruined that.”
Li Ming laughed. “Don’t worry, I only gave him the short version. Also, I actually don’t know how you and sister Tong met.” He raised his brows, daring Si Tao to bring up that story.
As expected, Si Tao’s expression immediately changed. When it came to his current fiancee, then even after these two years, he was still head over heels for her. Being able to talk about their first encounter? This also made him happy!
Tong Lan laughed at his expression but patted his arm to interrupt him before he could even start. “You can tell them but let’s order some food first. Anyway, talking is nice but I guess neither of us ate dinner yet.”
Li Ming and Zhao Chen synchronously shook their heads. Of course, they hadn’t eaten yet.
Tong Lan smiled and then nodded at her fiance. Anyway, it was his restaurant so he might as well order for them.
Si Tao knew what she was thinking and waved one of the waiters over.
One of the perks of owning this kind of place was that you always got the best service. So, not only did somebody come over to immediately take their order, but they also didn’t need to wait long to get the food.
In the meantime, Si Tao used the opportunity to already start telling his story. Even if he needed to stop in-between, it was still good. Anyway, he just wanted to brag a bit about how lucky he was with Tong Lan. Nowadays, there just weren’t enough people around anymore who hadn’t heard the story yet.