Preparing the dough for the gingerbread went fast enough and soon, the two of them moved on to the last recipe.
“Ah, seems like we are in luck for once.” This was a recipe for ricotta cookies that didn’t require the dough to refrigerate or rest. After mixing the ingredients, you could directly portion it and bake the cookies.
Li Ming nodded. “With the preparation, the baking itself, and the icing, it takes about three-quarters of an hour. I’m afraid we’ll have some time to kill after that before we can continue with the gingerbread.”
Mo Fang nodded. “True. Well, if it’s too much, we can just do another one. Or maybe just rest for a while. Baking also isn’t easy.” Saying so, he stretched, and then started measuring the ingredients.
Li Ming helped at the side and the two of them soon finished preparing the dough.
Mo Fang smiled brightly and went to grab a spoon while Li Ming got the parchment paper ready. “According to the recipe, this should be enough for thirty cookies.”
Li Ming nodded. “We can never eat that many alone. Plus, there’s still the gingerbread and the Madeleines. Have you thought about what to do with everything?”
Mo Fang shook his head while transferring the first spoonful of dough onto the parchment paper. “I didn’t. I figured we should come up with a plan together. Anyway, it’s Christmas soon. I don’t think it’ll be difficult to find a use for these.”
Li Ming nodded. With this much, they couldn’t use it up even if the cookies would keep for a while. “I guess it would be best to gift some of them to friends and family? Speaking of which … How is your father?” He had naturally passed by the railroad station every now and then in the past five years but even though he had met some of his old co-workers, he usually didn’t run into Mister Mo.
Mo Fang pursed his lips. “Well, he’s not bad? I think he is just getting a bit anxious about me not dating.” He turned to look at Li Ming with a wry smile. “It’s weird. In the past, he felt that I was too perfunctory and shouldn’t only think about men and instead focus on my career. Now, I do that and he still isn’t happy.”
Li Ming couldn’t help but laugh. “That sounds about right.” Back then, Mister Mo had often bragged about his son but would also sigh all the time about how it wasn’t easy to raise a child and that he must have gone wrong somewhere. So really, he couldn’t say that he was surprised. “He’s probably hoping you’d find a balance between both.”
Mo Fang gave a hum. “True. Although I bet he’d still have something to argue about.” He sighed and focused on portioning the rest of the dough but his mind still couldn’t help but wander. “Come to think of it, if we really continue to date, we can’t tell him too early. He’ll be ecstatic to hear it and would be heartbroken if it doesn’t work out in the end.”
Li Ming chuckled again. “Did I leave that good of an impression on him?”
“Mn! I think out of all my boyfriends, he liked you the best.” He put the last spoonful of dough onto the parchment paper and straightened up, giving a smile. “Alright, that’s done. Into the oven then!”
He had already preheated the oven while Li Ming mixed the dough so now, the temperature was just about right. He carefully picked up the backing rack and transferred it over, smiling unwittingly when he looked at the dough through the glass. “Ah, I hope they’ll be tasty.”
Li Ming also came to crouch down beside him and nodded. “They should be. Even if they’re not though, we did our best. And it was fun.” He raised his brows and turned his head to look at Mo Fang, feeling like his heart was filled with warmth.
He hadn’t thought too far ahead into the future when he asked Mo Fang out. In his mind, this first date was just an attempt to see how things would go. Whether it worked or not, that was up to fate and he told himself that he wouldn’t mind either way. Now though, after spending a good hour with Mo Fang, he realized that it wasn’t as easy.
No, he wouldn’t be alright with any outcome. He wanted this to work out. Clearly, the two of them were a good fit. They hadn’t been back then but they certainly were now. How could they easily give up on that?
Mo Fang also turned to look at him and smiled. “You can’t look at me like that. It’ll make me think too much.”
Li Ming smiled in response. Clearly, Mo Fang was just trying to tease him but seeing what he had just thought about … “You’re not thinking too much.”
“Am I not?” Mo Fang turned back to the oven and shook his head. “The first date isn’t even over. How can you say something like this already?”
Li Ming continued to look at him and gave a thoughtful hum. “I guess I also learned a bit in the last few years. Even if we’re just a quarter through the date judging by the rest time of the doughs, I can already see that I like where this is going.”
Mo Fang couldn’t help but face him again, his expression a bit careful. “Are you sure this isn’t just the spirit of Christmas that’s making you feel nostalgic?”
Li Ming shook his head. “It’s not. I mean, maybe that plays a part but … I think it’s nice having a partner you can have that type of moment with. I can see that … in the past, it wouldn’t have worked. But I think right now, we’re at a similar place in our lives. Maybe not in what exactly we’re doing but at least we are in how we think and how we imagine the rest of our lives to be. Since that’s the case, isn’t it good?”
Mo Fang nodded. “Well, I’m not going to try and convince you otherwise. It’s in my favor, after all.”
Li Ming hummed but inwardly, he felt that it wasn’t that easy to say whose favor this was really in. Anyway, he felt that he also benefited a lot.
This is the end of Second Male Lead to One, Male Lead to Another. I hope you liked the story! I won’t be starting anything new for the time being since I’m behind on revisions and translations and there are still several other projects on-going anyway. Whenever I am working on something new, I’ll post an announcement for you!