“Ye Hua…” She called his name into the wind as she did every morning. Then the first verse of her daily repertoire drifted from her lips, as Bai Qian gingerly laid one hand on her protruding stomach, which was starting to round and form in the ninth month of her pregnancy, finally. “How did you and A-Li sleep last night?”
Due to the smallness of her body, Bai Qian detected the babies movements early on, and she was considerably smaller than she had been with A-Li. Even though this time there were twins. “Me? I slept alright, I guess.” A sad smile came to her lips, “Although, the babies seem to take after you and are night owls…Dragons.”
Bai Qian’s soft voice trailed off into a whisper as she wiped her tears away. Then stood on her tiptoes for added stretch and cracked, swung open the large double window fully. She closed her eyes, exhaled until her breath bottomed out, and her lungs hollowed before deeply inhaling the sweet morning air.
Her daily routine. She did this every morning with her eyes heavenward. Bai Qian greeted the ones she most longed for and sent her love to the wind. After her morning hello, she stood at the shutters sometimes for hours enjoying the clean breeze from outside, as it drifted in through the windows and filled the small chamber. It was her personal space from her days as a Kunlun Disciple, and it was her bedchamber again as Mo Yuan’s wife.
Bai Qian refused to share his bedroom or join in his bed, which was a constant source of disappointment for him yet he indulged her for now… For now, Mo Yuan indulged her but used magic to come into her room freely, even when she locked the door.
Like now, while changing from her nightwear, Bai Qian heard the distinct clicking of the lock being picked. She purposely turned away from the entrance and continued to dress, while feeling his hungry gaze scanning the back side of her nearly nude body. Mo Yuan lingered at the doorway with his fixed eyesight tracking her every movement. In quiet stillness, breathing her presence in like air while watching her dress for the day. This odd behavior was his morning custom.
She spoke first, “Did you need something?” Bai Qian’s tone was withdrawn and distant but he never seemed to notice or cared. He didn’t answer so she acted as if Mo Yuan wasn’t there, sat at her vanity and brushed her hair that now past her shoulders. It was still too short for an up-do so she wore a plain fabric headband.
Without glancing up at the mirror, she continued with her minimalist makeup, as the faint sounds of light footsteps tapped in the background. She didn’t bother to raise her gaze when she heard Mo Yuan walking towards her. Next, he placed his big hands on her shoulders.
Mo Yuan massaged her shoulders tenderly and hummed in his soft voice, “Precious, why did you send all the maids away? You should have someone help you dress. Soon, you won’t have a choice and will need assistance once your stomach gets bigger.” He kissed the top of her head, profoundly inhaling the scent of her hair while his right hand caressed her round, and hard pregnant belly.
“Pregnancy truly suits you, Shì Qī. You’ve never been more beautiful than you are now.” He punctuated his verbal appreciation of her changing figure with another kiss, but this time on her cheek.
Bai Qian raised her eyes from the vanity to be greeted by his reflection in the mirror standing behind her. Mo Yuan’s gaze when he looked at her was warm, tender even soft…unquestionably loving. It was Ye Hua staring back at her yet not Ye Hua, and this awareness filled her with rage suddenly.
This immediate fury, she experienced it daily, hourly, often every minute and she couldn’t hide her real feelings. Written all over her face was her resentment. Bai Qian’s brows snapped tense over her swimming in pools of unshed tears of angry eyes, and her lips compressed into a tight flat line.
However today, her adverse reaction to him was more severe when she heard Mo Yuan say, “Shì Qī, it wasn’t that long ago when you used to love me. We spent 200 years kissing, touching and savoring each other…open your heart to me and let me in. I want you to start sleeping with me as a proper spouse. How long must I wait to make you my true wife?”
She wanted to scratch Mo Yuan’s eyes out but instead composed herself, and replied with a fake smile, “I’m pregnant and I get up very often to use the restroom at night. It will disturb your sleep.”
Now playing on his emotions, Bai Qian allowed her eyes to well up with tears overflow, roll down her cheeks as she whimpered, and it was natural to say because it was all truths, “Furthuemore, after my kidnapping, I can’t stand being in a room without windows. I need to be able to see outside away so this room suits my needs. As for joining your bed, I’m not ready to be touched yet. I’m still traumatized from being tortured, and can’t stand to feel anyone lay their hands on me or touch me.”
“My poor Precious.” Mo Yuan reacted sympathetically as she had anticipated, and delicately picked her up in his arms, then took the seat at her vanity with Bai Qian cradled in his lap. He held her face close to his chest patting her back with slow even taps, as parents do with fussy babies and covered her forehead with light kisses.
“Shì Qī, it’s been two months since we married and I’ve reopened Kunlun Mountain to others. Which means Ye Hua will probably… No, he will come to find you. You must make yourself clear so that he won’t return EVER.” Mo Yuan embraced her tighter…too tightly and went on in his droning voice. “I would hate it if he suffered an unforeseen ‘accident’ on Kunlun Mountain. I trust you’ll know what to say to make him go away. It’s for his own welfare. You don’t want him to get hurt or possibly killed by accident, do you?”
She caught a quick glance of a glared reflection, when he drew his sword stealthily perhaps sensing another Dragon’s cultivation. Mo Yuan’s sermon-like speech was abruptly interrupted by loud yelling outside, when Ye Hua bellowed, “Where is she?! I’m not leaving until I see MY Qian Qian! I’ll tear this whole mountain down if she isn’t brought to me! I know she’s being kept here against her will!”
“Qian Qian, where are you!? It’s me, Ye Hua! I’m here to take you home!” He barked in a growling voice, as he stomped down the corridor with thunderous footsteps.
To be continued…