Mo Yuan profoundly sighed as he glanced around the dark bedroom. His heart felt heavy, dispirited and full of sorrow. The chamber he now shared with Bai Qian was quiet, and somber without a single lit candle. This silent blackness was presumably typical and most regrettably nothing new.
Bai Qian was now large, and round-bellied in the twenty-fourth month of her pregnancy with flourishing twins. Instead of being a glowing soon-to-be mother, she remained in bed in her nightgown all day, and night with tears streaming down the sides of her colorless face.
It was similar if not identical to when she was in her coma, the unconscious state after her rescue. Alike in a sense, Bai Qian stayed in bed twenty-four hours a day without speaking a word, or taking any of her meals and disregarding his presence altogether. She and Mo Yuan were legally married, shared the same bedroom, slept in the same bed yet…
…Mo Yuan was nonexistent in her eyes.
It shouldn’t have surprised him based on his wife’s headstrong personality, which he was well familiar with. However, Bai Qian’s emotional recovery was taking much longer than he had anticipated, and even without the evident proof of her suicide attempt, which was dangerously close to being a success. Mo Yuan realized it was an immense blow, but assumed she would come around after some time.
However, over a year had passed since she first learned of Ye Hua’s Fox bride, and the expectancy of their first child together. Still, there wasn’t any indication of Bai Qian’s profound grief or depression lessening. If anything, it seemed to grow more severe with every passing day.
Seeing her in such gloom and so miserable was unfortunate, but he couldn’t have been any more pleased with the situation. Mo Yuan didn’t have any involvement in Ye Hua’s seduction by Bai Qian’s cousin, but wished he had because it was the best case scenario for everyone. Young Ye Hua was speedily moving forward, and continuing to live a prolific life without her.
Mo Yuan applauded his mental and emotional resilience and capability. Ye Hua was doing everyone including himself a courtesy, since things would have been extremely inconvenient, and problematic had he insisted on hanging onto Bai Qian.
Moreover, it was as Mo Yuan had surmised from the very start exactly. His longstanding affections and love for her surpassed Ye Hua’s on every level. It was laughable. His Qian Qian… His Qian Qian was nothing but child’s play, puppy love for him. It was highly unlikely that he cared for, or loved her as he professed if he was able to let go so quickly…too readily release her without a real fight…
Unlike Mo Yuan who had gambled his very soul and put everything on the line to keep her…
In comparison to Mo Yuan’s emotional commitment and methods, Ye Hua was nothing but an inexperienced teenager. His infantile declaration of devotion was entertainingly comical, and his promise of eternal love for ‘his Qian Qian’ was a farce just like his actions.
How Mo Yuan had chuckled privately amused, after hearing his brother had the balls with the audacity to deflower and impregnate her distant cousin. Distant or not, she was nonetheless her relative. He had nearly laughed himself to tears at Ye Hua’s wild indiscretions. And like everything else in young Ye Hua’s colorfully life, there were many rumors about his very scandalous marriage.
He heard from his operatives two vastly different statements on the unexpected union. One was that, the Fox Clan were furious with Ye Hua for marrying after bedding a family member without permission, and the other account was quite contrary. Mo Yuan’s spies reported that the Fox Clan had intentionally planted her there to watch over A-Li. They were separated but Ye Hua and Bai Qian’s eldest son, A-Li, was a direct descendant of the ancient royal Fox bloodline and heir apparent to Qingqiu.
Either way, the cause failed to matter, only the outcome was significant, and Mo Yuan couldn’t have planned it any better if he had masterminded it entirely. Ye Hua’s brash actions created the perfect storm – like a hurricane – blew away the last glimmer of Bai Qian’s flickers of hopes for reconciliation with the father of her unborn children.
Ye Hua’s loss or abandonment of his so-called ‘love’ was the grandest trophy of Mo Yuan’s life. He was the undefeated victor, and Bai Qian was his wife in his bed. She was the Shimu of Kunlun Mountain.
Mo Yuan smiled to himself thinking of Bai Qian being known as the Shimu of Kunlun Mountain and spoke while removing his heavy garment. “Precious, it’s not healthy to stay in bed all day. You won’t have any strength to push when it comes time for your labor. It’s springtime and lovely outside. Why don’t we take a refreshing little stroll to the lower level of the mountain.”
He then lit the candles noticing that her trays of food were untouched again. He took hold of the most recent, the platter with her dinner, used his magic to rewarm the soup and sat gingerly on the bed beside her. Bai Qian flinched, recoiled away from him as usual, but he overlooked it and spoke lovingly.
“Shì Qī, you must eat something today. I can see that you haven’t touched any of your meals.” He lightly scolded with sweetness.
Mo Yuan slowly stirred the soup with the spoon, blew on the hot broth so not to burn the inside of her mouth then held it close to her lips. Bai Qian didn’t respond to him which was nothing out of the ordinary, and her vacant stare never left the ceiling.
“Zhe Yan said it’s dangerous for the babies, and if you insist on starving yourself, it will cause either bodily or mental deformations during their prenatal development. Have some soup. Do it for the babies.” Mo Yuan coaxed in his most persuasive voice.
Bai Qian’s pale pulled back lips trembled as she sucked in a quivered inhale then slowly, gradually brought herself into a sitting position. She refused to look at Mo Yuan, took the soup bowl from his hand and murmured ghostly, “I can feed myself.”
A discernment of melancholy overcame him, as he watched her dainty hand slowly scoop the soup before bringing it to her mouth. “Does it still hurt that much?” Mo Yuan asked as Bai Qian drew a shuddered breath through her trembling lips, after taking a sip of broth and her voice was barely a whisper, “Yes. It hurts me so much that I can’t even breathe and all I can feel is agony. I despise you for everything.”
Thick sections of soaking wet black eyelashes cast downwards with her watering eyes, as teardrops ran down her tear stained cheeks. Mo Yuan’s expression further softened with concern, as he wiped away the wetness with his thumb and tried to reason with her, “Shì Qī, your feelings are purely one-sided. It was never sincere or real for him if he was able to move on so quickly. You must let go of him as Ye Hua has unquestionably released you…”
She acted out before he finished talking. Her violent reaction was instantaneous. Ever since the day she heard the devastating news, any mention of Ye Hua’s name sent her into an uncontrollable frenzied madness. A savage-like attack now had Bai Qian furiously hurled the soup bowl against the wall. She began to wail hysterically while forcefully punching herself in the chest, which was extremely near, too close to her protruding stomach.
Her violent episodes scared the hell out of him. Mo Yuan immediately hugged her little body to his, and embraced her tightly to restrain her thrashing while consoling her. “I’m sorry… I’m sorry that I said his name. I won’t speak it again. Bai Qian, please calm down. Shhhh…”
He soothed in his gentlest voice while rocking her convulsing body. “Shì Qī, please stop screaming. Shhhh… Calm down.” Mo Yuan pleaded in earnest, but she was far past the point of calming. So he did as he had done in the past which was using his magic to put her to sleep, and now she was fast asleep limply in his arms.
Her little figure was slacked, and she didn’t require restraining anymore. But he held her to stop his own shaking because there were many moments like now, when Mo Yuan looked at her deteriorating condition, and couldn’t figure out for the life of him why he was keeping her against her will.
Mo Yuan clearly understood she didn’t love him as he did her but why couldn’t he let go? It was an obsession, and he recognized his illness, but he couldn’t release her. He empathically believed with all his body, mind and soul that he could change her mind about him. If Bai Qian would give him a chance to make her happy then…
Then… Time. Yes, she merely needed time, more time.
Time would naturally resolve her misunderstanding about him and his intentions…and everything else would fall in place. Bai Qian was his wife, hence, solely belonged to him and that would never change. This one selfish declaration ran through his brain, as Mo Yuan clutched her small frame closer to him, while jealous obsession flooded then coursed wildly through his body and mind.
Bai Qian was his precious wife sleeping peacefully in his greedy arms, and if it were up to Mo Yuan, he would let her slumber so he could hold her close to him all night. Something she would never allow in her conscious state. However, Zhe Yan had advised not to apply his sleep magic on her too often, and to avoid it if possible during her pregnancy. Thus, now Mo Yuan used a stirring spell to wake her while cradling her small body delicately.
It broke his heart that Bai Qian’s former luxuriantly voluptuous shape was now so delicate… Too small. Still, she had distinct curves currently being all pregnant belly and breasts. To Mo Yuan, she was forever beautiful, desirable and raising her nearer to his face; he deeply inhaled her mouthwatering scent. With his eyes shut he was breathing her in like oxygen because for him, she was his air when suddenly she whimpered.
The sonance was whisper faint as a light breeze, but she moaned from his touch. Bai Qian faintly moaned as she stirred awake from her brief rest. The fullness of her luscious breasts along with her delicious fragrance, and the provocative sound of her moan instantly brought heat to his loins.
Mo Yuan desired to caress her much more. But her hand suddenly clamped on the backside of his keeping it from moving any further, and she whispered with her eyes closed with tears running down Bai Qian’s face. “If… I become a proper wife to you, do you swear NEVER to touch or hurt my A-Li? Or the babies? Even if the twins are Black Dragon males, you won’t kill them? Can you swear on your life?”
His reply flew from his lips because it came from his heart, “My Precious Shì Qī, I would NEVER harm any of your children. I love them as my own because they are a part of you. I, Mo Yuan, God of War swear never to hurt any of your children, and even if you birth twin male Black Dragons, I vow to love and protect them with my life.”
Bai Qian weakly asked, but it was closer to pleading when in her softest pitch, she spoke. “Do you swear never to say his name to me ever again? Can you make and keep that oath to me forever?”
Mo Yuan’s voice noticeably vibrated from the sudden rush of emotions, and his boiling passions. But there was resolute determination when he returned without hesitation, “I’ll never speak his name to you ever again.”
“Shì Qī, I need very little from you. Your love, passion, and an heir. Give me a son, a beautiful son like A-Li, and there aren’t any boundaries for what I would do for you if you could…would love me again.” Mo Yuan replied.
His uncontrollable emotions overwhelmed him entirely. Mo Yuan was moved, touched beyond words, and his eyes watered from profound happiness. When Bai Qian without opening her sleepy eyes deliberately lifted his trembling hand from her shoulder and placed it directly on her breast, he began to cry.
Mo Yuan wept tears of joy when she wrapped her slender arms around his neck, then pressed her soft, supple lips to his.
At that moment, she merely wanted to feel something other than the killing pain, or the suffering that gnawed away at her day and night. Not feel the aching agony that made her wish she and the babies were dead, but then how foolish was she since he wouldn’t care if she lived or died.
He was someone else’s husband. He was the soon-to-be father of her cousin’s child, and he was someone who had nothing to do with Bai Qian or their… No, HER twins’ lives.
Bai Qian made Mo Yuan swear never to say his name ever again, before kissing her captor husband and beginning to remove her clothing for the first time since she had left Kunlun Mountain to seek Bàofù over two years earlier.
With her eyes closed tightly, Bai Qian found physical solace in the man who had the same face as him. A bodily refuge in the arms of the man with the twin facial features, like the one she would never call by name ever again.
To be continued…