Li Ming and Zhu Yi were of the same mind when it came to this matter. Thus, they called the test at the gym quits and returned to Duan Zhi Hao’s office together. After a short conversation with everyone, they bid each other goodbye. While Zhu Yi returned home, Li Ming and Zhao Chen stayed for a while longer to catch up with Duan Zhi Hao before they also left for their apartment.
When they arrived, Li Ming sighed deeply and then went to wrap his arms around Zhao Chen’s shoulders. “I hope you’re not angry about our date being cut short like that.”
Zhao Chen shook his head and leaned closer, pecking Li Ming’s lips. “I said it was okay to take the call and even accompanied you there, didn’t I? Anyway, you looked really interested when Zhi Hao told you what this was about.”
Li Ming nodded and the two of them went further inside. They hadn’t really managed to touch the dishes before so Li Ming heated them up again while Zhao Chen sat down and relaxed.
“I asked Zhi Hao about him. He seems like a good guy, very … passionate about what he does, apparently, but also somebody you can chat with. I guess you’d get along well.”
Li Ming nodded. “That’s exactly the impression he gave me as well.”
Zhao Chen nodded. “Zhi Hao also said he had a girlfriend.”
Li Ming nodded again and glanced over his shoulder. “Yes, he mentioned her. Apparently, they originally wanted to give these courses together but she had an accident. He didn’t mention any details but it must have been bad if she hasn’t recovered. It did sound like it had been several months at least.”
Zhao Chen gave a hum and propped his arms up on the table. “You know, I was relieved when I heard about her.”
Li Ming raised his brows, not sure what he meant. “Relieved?”
“Well, when we came in, he was constantly staring at you. You know I’m not the jealous type, usually, but that was intense. I asked Zhi Hao afterward and even he said he felt uncomfortable with how he was ignoring the two of us. For a moment, I really thought I would have to worry about him hitting on you.”
Li Ming couldn’t help but chuckle. “Well, he was really relaxed about me being gay and having a boyfriend so I guess that thought is not too far-fetched.”
Zhao Chen actually felt worried again when Li Ming brought that up. “You don’t think he’s really interested in you, do you?”
Li Ming shook his head but focused on the food to make sure he wouldn’t burn it. Meanwhile, he reflected on their first meeting though. “I think there is some interest but it’s not that kind. Honestly, I think it’s because like you said: He’s passionate about his job. Now, his girlfriend’s situation has put this in jeopardy and I am sure that if she’s doing badly, he feels the need to perform better for her as well.
“I mean, just try to imagine that: They were ready to open a business together. Maybe they even both gave up a well-paying jobs. Suddenly, she’s injured and he can hardly make the business stand on his own. At the same time, who is going to pay her medical bills?”
“I guess that’s true.” Zhao Chen sighed. “Ah, am I getting paranoid?”
Li Ming just laughed and started plating the food. “Well, he was pretty intense.” He carried the bowls over and then sat down opposite Zhao Chen, giving him a smile. “Anyway, a bit of jealousy can be cute as long as you don’t overdo it.” He pondered for a moment and then got up, leaning over the table to give him a kiss.
Zhao Chen gave a hum in return and then picked up his chopsticks. “I know, I know. Anyway, I also realize there’s nothing more to it. Even if there was, I trust you so that’s that. More importantly, how did the tour at the gym go?” They hadn’t talked much on the way or with Duan Zhi Hao before, so he actually wasn’t sure.
Li Ming pondered for a moment how to describe it. “Well, he tested my skills. Of course, there was no problem with that. So for now, he’s happy with what he’s seen and I’ve agreed as well. It still remains to be seen whether I am up to help him teach or at least supervise though. So next week, I’ll go and take a look at the actual course to see how it works and whether I fit in. After that, we can see further.”
Zhao Chen nodded. “Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. Zhi Hao mentioned the schedule though. Apparently, there are two courses each week?”
Li Ming pulled out his phone with Zhu Yi’s schedule and turned it around so his boyfriend could see. “That’s his whole schedule. I didn’t look too closely before but it seems like both are in the evening. From that gym to the hotel, it’s about an hour. It’s not that little but doable. I’ll go to Manager Quan and ask if we can arrange something for those two days.”
Zhao Chen gave a hum and looked over the timetable. “He’s really doing a lot. Makes you wonder how he even has time for anything else.”
“Yeah.” Li Ming lowered his chopsticks and stared at his bowl with a worried expression.
He knew that Zhu Yi wanted him to take on more if possible but the time constraint was exactly what he was worried about. He currently enjoyed the work-life balance he had and how it allowed him to spend quite a bit of time with Zhao Chen. With this added responsibility, a lot of that time would be gone. If he really took on more … well, that was something to consider later. For now, he first had to see if he could even do this one course satisfactorily.