SML V5C52 Gathering Intel

“Oh, alright, take your time!”

Duan Zhi Hao took a quick glance at Zhu Yi’s expression but it didn’t seem to have changed much as if he really didn’t care. He heaved a sigh of relief, having expected the worst.

He had already met Li Ming’s boyfriend and they had talked about how he was especially happy at his current job because everybody was more tolerant. So he didn’t think that this would work out if Zhu Yi wasn’t able to accept his relationship. This was one of the worries he had also had after he blurted out that he might just know the right guy for the job.

But then, it had been too late to make sure of this otherwise and he wouldn’t have known how to do so in the first place anyway. So in the end, he could only hope for the best. Now, it seemed that he had never needed to worry at all. Zhu Yi didn’t seem like he cared much about this or even at all.

For a moment, Duan Zhi Hao blanked. Actually, if Zhu Yi was this nonchalant about it, could that mean that maybe he had misunderstood? He wouldn’t think that this was just an outing with a friend, would he? He really didn’t think that he should but then, it was sometimes wild what people were able to make up in their heads. He really would’ve liked to ask but that would’ve made it even more strange so he could only quietly sit and hope that he hadn’t misjudged this guy.

On the other end of the call, Li Ming turned to Zhao Chen and gave a wry smile. “Well, you heard most of that. Would you mind if …?”

Zhao Chen glanced at the screen of the laptop where they had just wanted to start watching the movie and figured that it wouldn’t run away. He leaned closer to Li Ming and lowered his voice so it wouldn’t carry over to the other side. “You want to do this, don’t you?”

Li Ming hesitated for a moment but finally nodded. Yes, to be honest, the more he heard about it, the better he felt about it. If he could get along with this Zhu Yi, this was something that he would like to try. But he also realized that right now wasn’t really a good moment to go.

Zhao Chen reached out, closed the laptop, and then motioned to the door. “Let’s go then. I’ll accompany you.” Anyway, he also knew Duan Zhi Hao. Since they were going to meet up at his office, he might as well tag along. While Li Ming and that Zhu Yi guy were busy, he could ask Duan Zhi Hao a few questions himself and gather some intel for his boyfriend.

Li Ming heaved a sigh of relief and raised the phone again, faintly clearing his throat. “Well, he doesn’t mind. We’ll come over right away then?”

Zhu Yi excitedly agreed while Duan Zhi Hao bid his farewell and then ended the call. Anyway, he could imagine that these two would like to have a chat about everything on the way to his office. So there really was no need to keep them on the phone any longer. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to talk freely. Having done that, he raised his brows at Zhu Yi. “Well, I guess that didn’t go too badly?”

Zhu Yi smiled brightly. “That’s an understatement, Mister Duan. Actually, from what I’ve heard so far, I really like him. If this works out, it will all be thanks to you!”

Duan Zhi Hao shook his head and hurriedly waved his hands. “No, no, I haven’t really done anything. I just … spontaneously thought of him when you described the ideal guy for the job. Li Ming is pretty much like that. Well, you heard it.” Maybe he was biased but he felt that Li Ming already sounded like a patient and considerate man. So he was pretty sure that after this phone call, Zhu Yi would indeed have a good impression of him.

Zhu Yi didn’t deny it and leaned back with a sigh. “Ah, I really hope this works out. I mean, I can do it on my own, but it would be nice if I had a second person working with me again.”

Duan Zhi Hao nodded, but he couldn’t help but also be a bit worried. Zhu Yi was mostly looking for somebody for one specific course. This meant that this wasn’t a full-time job right from the get-go. But doing this on top of his regular job … he was afraid that Li Ming would be pretty busy if he really did it regularly.

If it was just filling in once or twice because somebody else couldn’t make it, it wouldn’t be a problem. But no, this would be a regular thing. Maybe too regular to make it work with another job at the side.

But then, that was something that Li Ming would have to figure out himself. He could at most mention it to him or Zhao Chen when the two of them arrived later on so that they could really think it through.

He drummed on the top of the table with his fingers, wondering how they should fill the time until the two of them got here. From the sounds of it, Li Ming and Zhao Chen had been at home, and while he wasn’t exactly sure which of their homes that meant, he knew that Li Ming lived a little further away from his office. So they would need at least half an hour to make it here.

Before he could come up with anything to say, Zhu Yi was already faster. “Say … I hope I’m not being too nosy here but may I ask how the two of you met?” Anyway, when it came to the person that he might be working with in the future, he’d rather know more than less. And while most of that would be found out after interacting with Li Ming, there were a few questions that he felt he could ask ahead of time without a problem.

In this way, he would also have something to talk about with Li Ming when they met up later on. It sure couldn’t hurt. After all, even though there would be a lot of things that he should mention about the course and himself, there would be quite some time to fill and it was better not to run out of things to say at their first meeting.

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