Li Ming opened his eyes and turned to look out of the window next to him instead. To be honest, it wasn’t just Mo Fang’s expression just now that got him. It was the whole story. After all, contrary to Qiao Ya, he knew him well.
Even if their relationship had been built on lies, he believed that there had still been some truth in it, and after talking to Si Tao back then and later to Linghu Jiahao, he felt like he could identify which parts had been truthful and which parts hadn’t been. And in light of that, a lot of Mo Fang’s story made too much sense.
Why would he like a man more for rejecting him? Because in his eyes, it could prove that this man actually cared. He wasn’t dazzled by his appearance. No, if he actually went out with him, that would mean he liked him as a person. And while Mo Fang himself might not have been able to put that into words, that seemed to be what he craved. It seemed that his fiance had been able to give him that.
Qiao Ya had pulled herself out of her musings and decided that she didn’t care too much why Mo Fang had that type of odd reaction to being rejected. Maybe this was just a thing that had to do with self-esteem. If you were this beautiful, it might indeed ignite your fighting spirit until you managed to convince the other person. Even though she felt that she herself was pretty as well, she also couldn’t compare to Mo Fang.
She gave a hum and continued to ask. “You must have been together for a while if you even got engaged.”
Mo Fang nodded. “Mn, I guess. Although, in the end, it wasn’t even three years.”
Qiao Ya finally realized that something was wrong. She glanced at Li Ming next to her and found him staring out of the window blankly. Not finding any support, she turned back to the front but could only look at Mo Fang carefully. “You … you coming here alone … does it mean, he …” She finally couldn’t say it and just furrowed her brows.
She hadn’t wanted to believe it when Li Ming told her but maybe she should have. Indeed, from the moment Mo Fang appeared to the moment just now, he had always talked as if the matter with her brother was already a thing of the past. If nothing else, he should have mentioned where he was right now if he was still alive.
Mo Fang pressed his hands together and looked over his shoulders. His eyes were faintly red but he tried to keep his bearing while he nodded. “Yeah, he … passed away a few months ago. I returned to China after that … alone.”
“Oh.” Qiao Ya didn’t know what to say. She had only just found out about this brother of hers. She had liked the idea of having one but it wasn’t like she was too attached. Looking at Mo Fang’s red eyes though and trying to imagine the type of relationship you’d have after three years, she also knew it was different for him. “You … you must really miss him.”
Mo Fang smiled wryly. “I do. Anyway …” He turned to the other side and motioned down the street. “The restaurant is up there. Actually, there are two. One of them is a vegan restaurant, so …”
“Oh, no, no, I don’t care.” Qiao Ya hurriedly waved her hands. Right now, she was rather worried about whether they should even go to eat in a restaurant. Mo Fang didn’t look like he was up for that.
She hesitated for a moment but finally couldn’t help but lean closer again, carefully reaching out to poke his shoulder. “Are you sure this is alright? If … if you don’t want to go and out outside with other people around or … I don’t know, don’t talk about it at all, I’d also understand.”
Mo Fang took a deep breath and turned to look at her again, forcing a smile. “No, it’s alright. You don’t know but … even though Yu Ting loved his adoptive family, he always wanted to know where he came from and find any relatives he still had. It’s … something he would have wanted. So finding you … I’m really happy about it. It’s just … it’s just that there are some bittersweet feelings mixed in.”
Qiao Ya nodded and didn’t know what else to say. She turned to look at Li Ming, feeling that she should have listened to him earlier. Maybe then, they wouldn’t be in this situation.
Si Tao parked the car and then turned around to look at her, giving her a smile. “Don’t worry about it. Didn’t Xiao Fang say it’s my restaurant? Since I own it, we can eat wherever we want. How about going to my office? It’s nice and spacious and we can talk without anybody bothering us.”
Qiao Ya hurriedly nodded again. “Sure!” Her gaze slipped around, trying to find anything else to say, and could finally only comment on what seemed to be his job. “But whoa! I wouldn’t have thought you own a restaurant. You must be really rich.”
Si Tao just laughed, feeling that this girl was pretty cute.
Li Ming next to Qiao Ya glanced at Mo Fang and then at her and faintly raised his brows. “Actually, he even owns the hotel chain I work at. ‘Really rich’ probably doesn’t cut it as a description anymore.”
Qiao Ya’s eyes bulged and she hastily took her paws off the seat in front of her that she had been carelessly holding onto while leaning forward to look at Mo Fang. Suddenly, she felt like whatever she touched that this guy owned might put her into debt if she dared to scratch it. In this case, it was much better to be careful!
In the passenger seat, Mo Fang could only laugh. “Don’t worry about it. With the kind of money Ah Tao has, he doesn’t care at all. In the worst case, just ask him to show you a photo of his fiancee and say a few words more of praise. He’ll become best friends with you in no time.”
While Qiao Ya nodded in a daze, Si Tao just smiled. Anyway, it was good to see Mo Fang slightly distracted. Thinking of that, he gave Li Ming a grateful nod. Actually, having this guy along wasn’t as awkward as he had feared and might even help with getting through the rest of their talk.