報復 Bàofù III: Homecoming: Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms Fanfiction Ch 12

Inner dialogue…..

He was deliberately advancing toward her but it was much more like stalking. Ye Hua was pursuing her like a prey as she carefully walked backwards. Bai Qian gingerly stepped rearward, until she smacked right into the cold stonewall behind her leaving her feeling trapped, and cornered precisely like a prey.

Suddenly an old saying came to her mind, ‘stuck between a rock and a hard place.’ Because she found herself precisely just that.

She was pressed against a rock and the hard place, as he progressed towards her and said, “Qian Qian, I must be blind because I was misreading, misunderstanding all your signals and signs. My darling wife, you have it bad for me, don’t you?”

Ye Hua’s unexpected teasing made her feel nervous. But Bai Qian firmly crossed her arms over her puffed out chest, and answered dis-trustingly. “I don’t understand what just happened. Weren’t we arguing a few seconds ago? Are you bipolar or what did my Shifu whisper to you that made you do a full 360?”

He was only a few strides away, perhaps three at the most when Ye Hua declared, “I think that you’re insanely in love with me, but I didn’t realize you were playing hard to get.”

With his last approaching step, he rushed her. Ye Hua pinned her body and taunted Bai Qian rather brazenly, “You despise Sujin, don’t you? Is it because you’re jealous?”

She gasped at his impertinence even before he finished his sentence. However, the mere mention of Sujin, and the casual way in which her nasty name came from Ye Hua’s mouth made her teeth grind audibly. Bai Qian’s jaw tensed involuntarily and she grumbled. Although, it was much closer to a hateful snarl saturated in contempt.

“Of course, I loathe that vile and repulsive woman but it has nothing to do with jealousy.” She muttered.

Then spontaneously her smooth cheeks crimsoned even more, as her soft skin appeared red and sunburned. Bai Qian’s shaking darkened pupils turned nearly black like coal from her intense inner rage. However, she expressed herself most nonchalantly with a calm, and untroubled voice most fitting of a High Goddess.

“Your obsessive and deranged lover, aka your side consort, caused me to lose my precious sight. I know of at least two attempts on my life. And because of Sujin and her filthy lies; you had to endure three long miserable years of lighting punishment.”

She spoke in the same neutral even voice, “And that demented psychotic bitch is so damn lucky that you woke up from your coma when you did, because if you hadn’t… Ye Hua, if you didn’t awake from your coma, I would have abandoned all my principled High Goddess standards and practices, to give her a full lobotomy but with my sharpened Fox claws.”

Bai Qian quickly extended all her Fox claws, made hooks of her index and third fingers, then scratched by Ye Hua’s head to show what she would have done.

Suddenly she was fired up and growled in a low, menacing voice, “I would have torn and ripped her brain out through her empty eye sockets!”

Momentarily Bai Qian stopped to reacquire her lost composure, further explained herself and her inner thoughts, “Ye Hua, you may not be aware of this but I grapple and struggle daily, sometimes minute to minute. I have to resist, and fight the strong urge to decapitate her with my fan when I see her ugly mug. I don’t understand what you ever saw in her but then they do say love is blind.”

Ye Hua pressed himself into her even more, slightly smiled and questioned. “You were that worried I wasn’t going to wake up?”

“Well, of course I was…” Bai Qian snapped but then immediately backtracked, “I was worried how your death would impact our son, A-Li. I’m indifferent but how it affects our son is another matter entirely.”

She played it cool and collected. But strangely Ye Hua didn’t seem convinced by her aloof act of indifference, and spoke sweetly to her the way one would talk to a child. “You have truly been struggling, haven’t you? You’ve suffered too much these past seven months hiding your true feelings from me.”

Ye Hua squeezed her cheeks with both hands and doted, “Qian Qian, my beautiful wife. I swear you’re so adorable but why didn’t I notice how cute you are until now?”

“Ye Hua, please stop calling me cute and I don’t know what you’re imagining, but don’t get the wrong idea. Also, you’re getting heavy so get off me. I don’t want to stay in my Shifu’s cave all day or better yet, why don’t you return home, alone.” Bai Qian tried to push him away, scrutinized his face because Ye Hua wouldn’t budge.

Instead, as she’d anticipated, Ye Hua wasn’t going to let things end unresolved between them, and pressed for more information. The playfulness vanished and deeply he sighed once then twice.

Forthwith he appeared reflective when he lightly touched his forehead against hers, and uttered faintly, “Qian Qian, tell me the truth because I can sense it. You’re waiting and biding your time… I sense that you’re always on the verge, and anxiously waiting for the right time to leave me. Why do you want to leave me?”

Inwardly, she wondered how could he have sensed such a thing? Bai Qian queried as she closed her eyes, breathed deeply and evaded Ye Hua’s question. She didn’t have a reason or at least nothing she wanted to share. It was difficult to lie and deny the truth about his keen observation directly to his face.

She said nothing. However, regardless of her stillness, he pressed on and his dark gaze was full of despair when Ye Hua asked, “Is it because you have another? Qian Qian, are you in love with my brother, Mo Yuan?”

“Also, do you recall telling me that you promised someone you would never fall in love with me? To whom did you make such a vow?” Ye Hua asked her all the complex questions she couldn’t answer.

Therefore, Bai Qian nervously squirmed and shifted her stare sideways. She looked off into the far distance to break their immediate bodily connection, then spoke to purposely steer the conversation in another direction, “Your side consort, Sujin, is obsessed with you. She’s highly dangerous and mentally unsound. I worry for your future consorts and concubines, as well as any imperial children you will have in the future.”

“I know Sujin is fixated with me. It’s an illness, but I don’t want to waste any of our precious time speaking about someone who means nothing to me. I’d rather talk about important matters like us, as in you and me becoming more than just what we are now. I need a real wife. A real marriage.”

“This business merger. Our political marriage isn’t enough for me and I feel it’s unfair to our son.” In earnest, Ye Hua implored with his longing gaze, almost as much as he did with his lips when he stated, “However, I sense a significant misunderstanding between us. I feel as if I’m missing something relevant. What am I overlooking, Qian Qian? Tell me, Is there anything going on that I don’t know is happening? What things are you keeping from me?”

She couldn’t say a word. Bai Qian didn’t or couldn’t bring herself to speak of what was on her mind, because it made her feel petty and narrow minded. It was her problem, since she had willingly walked into their marriage with complete knowledge of Ye Hua’s second wife, consort Sujin.

If anything, Bai Qian privately scolded, reprimanded herself for wavering and getting distracted by Ye Hua’s love confession. As she quietly stared back at him, there was a silent battle about to begin inside her, and somehow he saw, recognized it then spoke most appropriately.

He said, “I see the fight and struggle when you oppose me, but I don’t know why you’re holding back? All I can think is that there is someone else and if there is someone else, tell me. Tell me what do I have to do for you to give me a chance to move your heart, or at least pique your interest in me?”

Firmly Ye Hua tilted and held her chin up, shook it with some force to get her attention then said, “Qian Qian, look at me… No, instead of just looking at me, truly see me for who I am and recognize what you see.”

Intently he stared into her eyes and pleaded with her wordlessly. Bai Qian felt her skin flush with heat and warmth from their bodies intimate proximity, but Ye Hua wouldn’t budge or release her.

They stood chests firmly pressed to one another and after several moments, Ye Hua whispered, “Qian Qian, when you look at me, you should see the man who yearns to love and be loved by you.”

She tried to talk some sense into his head, “Ye Hua, you don’t love me. You barely know me and I barely know you. What you’re feeling is residual sentiments for SuSu, and if you do feel anything for me, it’s more of an infatuation. A crush or a passing fancy. Unfortunately, I am too old, seasoned and sensible to get swept away by a May to December romance.”

“Don’t take it personally. It’s me, not you. Also, I know you’re eager to fall in love again, and it’s not a crime to continue living after SuSu. However, don’t forget about the one who’s been waiting for you. Suj…”

Bai Qian couldn’t bring herself to vocalize her despised enemy’s name, and it took a few seconds for her scattered thoughts to refocus, before she tried again, “I know at your age love comes and goes like seasons, but it’s more complicated for me. Once I choose a mate, I’m forever bound to that person. So, I can’t make a hasty and impulsive decision because it will seal my fate eternally.”

Ye Hua’s gaze softened and he replied, “Are you afraid to choose me because of our past? I know you believe that you and SuSu are two different people. Reality is, you’re her and she’s you. And I’ve never loved anyone else. I’ll never love anyone else and I know you don’t trust me. You think my affections are fleeting and fickle but you are mistaken.”

“I had promised to love you forever and I’m going to keep that vow.” Ye Hua whispered and then lightly kissed her lips. He took her open palm and placed it directly above his heart then murmured, “Do you feel that? You make my heart throb.”

Bai Qian stood fast but he was making her weak in the knees. Ye Hua’s words, his kiss, his presence caused her weakening, and there wasn’t any denying that he was utterly desirable.

Her heart also pounded and reverberated powerfully in her ears. It hammered loudly and fast almost as quickly as his against her hand. In fact, it matched her heart’s racing pace precisely.

The shared sentimental moment between them moved her, and Bai Qian reached out without thoughts. She tenderly ran her thumb along his full right eyebrow and felt as if fell under a spell.

She was barely aware she was speaking when Bai Qian heard herself confessed, “I don’t know if I can handle or tolerate you having another woman or wife, other than me.”

Immediately he began to say, “I don’t have another wif…” However, Bai Qian swiftly covered his mouth and honestly expressed herself, “Please. It’s depressing enough that I’m in your harem. I am not too fond of uncertainty so let’s be precise with each other, Ye Hua. Deny as you may. You most certainly DO have a side consort. You could dismiss it a million, a trillion times but everyone in the eternal realm knows Sujin is your side consort.”

Ye Hua promptly clarified, “I never wanted anyone other than you. I didn’t desire to marry Sujin but I didn’t have a choice. My grandfather forced her on me and we didn’t even have a wedding ceremony. In all honesty, I make it a point to avoid her at all cost. Qian Qian, how could I stand the sight of her after what she did to you and us?”

Ye Hua’s persuasive declarations caused her determination to sway and waver. Bai Qian began to question everything she’d assumed to be true. Could she be wrong about Sujin? Were all the many rumors merely idle gossips? Was it possible that his romantic involvement with the side consort was nothing more than exaggerated fabrications?

Privately, Bai Qian’s inner dialogue initiated the battle of her heart and head…

However, if these matters were to be true, then what was she to make of the entirely contradictory impassioned narrative from Sujin? And how would Ye Hua explain the teary conversation SuSu overheard? Who was telling the truth? Who was being deceitful? If she turned to the past for the answers; he had withheld relevant information and kept her in the dark, but never had he lied to her. Unlike Sujin who tricked SuSu into killing herself…

Her heart boldly made the first strike…

It took a long deliberate moment for Bai Qian to decrease her internal barrier of defense, and permit Ye Hua to enter her heart. She took a single bold step toward him, instead of running and retreating in the opposite direction, as she had planned to do per usual.

For Bai Qian, that one single step toward Ye Hua meant she would have to take a pace away from her fears, paranoia and reservations she’d set after her traumatic events living as SuSu.

Bai Qian’s brain counterattacked…

Moreover, nobody would ever recognize, or understand the sheer courage it took to return to Ye Hua. And if she hadn’t given birth to their son, A-Li; Bai Qian suspected that she would have most likely hidden from him forever. Perhaps, even turned to her Shifu for comfort, because he looks just like Ye Hua but without the terrible memories.

She would never admitted aloud, but there were still times where she would see a flash of his black clothes, and felt afraid of him, before the terrifying image of him taking her eyes replayed in her memory.

Her heart continued to oppose and fight…

These were her most private thoughts that could never be shared or spoken aloud, because she had locked them far away. The only way she could ever open herself to Ye Hua, was to bolt away these random reflections in the deepest recesses of her brain.

Bai Qian’s brain continued to reinforce its defensive position…

It was second nature how efficiently Bai Qian’s consciousness shifted, and moved into autopilot. This defense mechanism triggered all her fears. Her apprehensions. Her sad remembrances as SuSu and this was her cerebral last line of protection.

She was drowning in her dark past when Ye Hua’s faint voice brought her out of her mental stupor, and into the present, “Hey, Qian Qian. I’m right here. Where did you go? Come back to me.”

Ye Hua broke the trance Bai Qian was under, “Huh? I’m sorry my mind strayed. What was I saying? Oh, now I remember…”

“Alright, let me reconsider and reevaluate everything. Please give me some time to resolve my feelings, because I do have a sense of how you feel about me. But we both know that I’m not there- just yet.”

“Also, Ye Hua, you don’t have to do anything more. You don’t have to do anything at all. Just stay right where you are and I’ll eventually catch up to you if I’m destined to do so.” Bai Qian spoke then wondered why she had used those specific words to him.

However, he smiled and Ye Hua replied, “You can take all the time you need. I’m not going anywhere and neither are you or A-Li. I know we’re going to be a big happy family. I’m already content but I want us to be happier…no, I want us to be euphoric.”

Bai Qian looked down demurely, nervously chewed on her bottom lip, fiddled with the neck clasp on his cloak then mumbled. “I’m sorry about leaving you my newest chapter. It was quite rude and inconsiderate of me. I’m sorry that it made you so angry and you were right. It is pure trash.”

Subtly Ye Hua chuckled and apologized, before he revealed the truth behind his outburst, “It’s not trash. The hm…erotica is quite vivid and sexy, but unfortunately it was about my brother and not me. Although, the reason I snapped was that there were painful truths that hurt me from shame.”

“There was a particular line that Mo Yuan said to Bai Qian. He said that he wasn’t me and he didn’t take your eyes or ever hurt you. That is more than correct. My brother has never harmed you. Plus you two share an uncommon bond, since you fed him blood from your heart for 70,000 years. I can’t help but feel a bit envious and insecure.”

“I saw the deep scar across your heart when you were nursing A-Li, and it would serve me right if you were having a love affair with him. However, if you are in love with Mo Yuan, Qian Qian, please stop. Don’t love him because it might… No, it will kill me.” Ye Hua stopped to breathe and his labored inhale shuddered as if he might cry.

Abruptly he hung his head low. His shoulders slumped and a giant teardrop slowly rolled down his cheek. He was crying. Poor Ye Hua was crying. Suddenly he looked so childlike and vulnerable, as his handsome facial features displayed all his remorse, shame and insecurities for her to see.

Bai Qian carried scars but so did he and her heart melted for him instantly. She urged, “Shhh, Ye Hua, don’t cry. Don’t think like that. You DID saved me too. Three long years of lighting punishment in my stead, remember? You must stop blaming and punishing yourself for things that were out of your control.”

“I know what we can do. Bàofù. We’ll punish everyone together and get our revenge on them. We can use our powerful magics and give them days, no, weeks of explosive diarrhea leads to massive hemorrhoids.”

Bai Qian chatted warmly to comfort him, “I can cast a doozy of a magic spell to make your grouchy old grandfather a chronic farter. Or I could bewitch him with a Nine-Tailed Fox love spell, then have him chase after the ugliest woman in Nine Heavens.”

“Granted, in my opinion, that lucky woman should be your offensive side consort, Sujin. But that’s just merely my judgment.” Most mischievously Bai Qian snorted, and giggled like a naughty schoolgirl after saying this to Ye Hua.

To her silly laughter, Ye Hua smiled without raising his teary eyes. He refused to look at her and wouldn’t meet her loving gaze but said, “I’m not a child and you don’t have to console me as if I’m a baby or a toddler.”

“Qian Qian, as long as you understand me, I’ll always be fine. For me, your judgment is the only one I’m concerned about, because I could care less what others think of me. I want to be the best husband and father to you and A-Li.” Declared Ye Hua.

“I understand you, Ye Hua. Now stop crying like a diaper wearing toddler, or you’ll have uncontrollable diarrhea compliments of Guuuguuu.” Bai Qian lengthened ‘Gugu’ so that it sounded like ‘Gooo-Gooo’. She teased then cupped his face with one hand, and wiped the wetness from his cheek with the backside of her other hand.

Eventually, Ye Hua slowly raised his head. He lifted his teary gaze and there was an inexplicable moment between them. A sublimed, perfect moment that was pure blissful simplicity and uncomplicated. Everything was clear and straightforward. He was only her husband and Bai Qian was just his wife. Furthermore, during that glorious time, there wasn’t anyone else existed.

They all magically disappeared. Sujin, SuSu, Heavenly Lord and everyone else in the world faded except Ye Hua. It was like a magic enchantment spell when he opened his love filled gaze, and intensely stared into her soul.

It was as if protective invisible hands encircled around her like an armour, and in an instant, Bai Qian forgot all about her fears. Her apprehensions- even SuSu. Intensely Ye Hua gazed directly into her heart, soul and successfully bewitched her.

To be continued…..

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