Her faint voice quivered audibly then almost faltered, but Bai Qian gathered her nerve and declared, “I’ll be a good, proper…a real wife for you.” After months of blatantly snubbing her husband’s presence and affections, in the end, it was she who enticed Mo Yuan to her.
The last time they kissed had been before she left for Nine Heavens. That was when they last shared a lover’s moment…it was nothing like Bai Qian recalled. There wasn’t any demand or pressure nor was there either force or rush, just profound gentleness while his soft lips delicately brushed into hers, feather lightly as a whisper murmured in the wind.
It was surprisingly pleasing the way Mo Yuan continued kissing her with tenderness. It was slow teasing joining of lips without his tongue, and when her breathing quickened from the grazing of his mouth against hers, she became moist below from the sensation of his strong fingertips firmly pressing into the nape of her neck. Bai Qian felt like an offender for she was betraying another…
In Bai Qian’s mind and heart, she still felt as though her body belonged to him… Even after everything, she nevertheless desired him and couldn’t stop pining for him, but she commanded herself to forget. She ached for Mo Yuan to possess her from within to make her erase him from her body, heart and mind entirely. Eradicate all and any traces of him from her memories as if he never existed. Therefore with all her passion, with all her desire, with all her yearning, she kissed her husband with more intensity pushing her tongue into his mouth, then looped her tongue into his.
Mo Yuan’s arousal was thick and hard under her derriere. She sensed his stiffened sex and deliberately ground into him suggestively. But instead of taking her, he lifted her off his lap and stared into her eyes intently. His gaze was sympathetic, warm, caring and even with his heightened arousal, she saw his first sentiment which was…concern.
She saw genuine worry for her in Mo Yuan’s concerned and caring eyes.
Then his gaze matched his speech when Mo Yuan spoke in his faint voice warmly, “Precious, you don’t need to try so hard or force yourself into something you’re not ready to do. I can wait.” His warm embraces, and his thoughtful words were equally tender before he fussed over her, “You’re all skin and bones. I’m so worried about you and the babies’ health. If you’re this thin, imagine how tiny our twins must be inside your womb.”
Mo Yuan hugged her more and whispered, “If you really want to please me, why don’t you eat something and gain some weight? That would give me the most satisfaction.”
She didn’t understand. She couldn’t figure him out. Mo Yuan was a conundrum. Bai Qian studied this ambiguous man…her Shifu. He was the man who had betrayed, deceived, intimidated, murdered to keep her by his side, and she understood herself well enough to know that she would never…ever love him as she still did… No, it was all in the past. It was all ancient history now but as she HAD loved him… However, perhaps it was time to allow her husband to take the first step toward her broken heart.
One year later~
“Bai Qian, the twins are beautiful! Her mother’s soft voice trembled with emotions. Overcome was she after witnessing the miracle of birth, and also being one of the first to see her new granddaughters.
The Fox Empress gushed with the kind of brazen pride only a grandparent could have, when she declared to everyone present, “These girls are the most precious things I’ve ever seen in my entire life!”
Bai Qian smiled weakly listening to her bragging mother carry on, and on as her newborn daughters took their first breaths, and let out their first cries. After two long agonizing days of continuous labor, a sense of profound relief washed over her. And now that everything was finished, she allowed herself to rest her heavy lidded eyes finally giving into her exhaustion for the first time, since her water broke three days earlier.
Then she proceeded to do something entirely out of character. For a person who had been a light sleeper her entire life, for someone who needed unbroken silence, and absolute absence of movement to fall asleep; Bai Qian promptly fell into a deep state of slumber surrounded by a mass of active noisy people.
The women in attendance were a specially selected entourage of her mother’s most loyal ladies-in-waiting: midwives, pediatricians and servants who had served only the Empress for many millennia. There were also white witches who practiced lumination alchemy (light manipulation) and whitening enchantments within the assemblage.
The magicians of light were carefully snuck in under Mo Yuan’s extremely suspicious gaze dressed, as midwives because their attendance was most necessary. Somehow without prior discussion or requests from Bai Qian, her mother seemed to read her mind and knowingly brought everyone needed, clairvoyant.
That wasn’t all. The Empress also created a secure, isolated area for her delivery and postpartum care. Bai Qian knew it wasn’t a simple task for her mother to get her way. She had gone head-to-head against Mo Yuan to oversee, manage and restrict the twins delivery area to women only. This command caused an issue, because he wanted Zhe Yan to be present in the birthing chamber.
Luckily for Bai Qian, her mother was fearless, assertive, and persuasive enough to convince Mo Yuan of an all female medical assembly for the sake of decency. The Empress was highly vocal sharing her viewpoint on the profound inappropriateness of Zhe Yan, who was no different than an uncle to see Bai Qian’s unclothed, especially her female parts.
Her attitude was conservative yet held validity. Mo Yuan without options had no other alternative, but to back down to his mother-in-law, held his tongue, wordlessly heed her demands and wishes. In the end, it was only the Empress’s people near during the birthing allowing Bai Qian, and her mother required private time to handle a matter of the most significant importance clandestine.
Their secret act was concealing her twin daughters’ black Dragon Scales.
“Bai Qian, wake up and take a look at your angelic girls.” Her mother woke her from her brief rest with the babies cradled in her arms. She wasn’t going to take a peek at the babies afraid she would change her mind. But this would be the last time for her to see them in their true coloring, before the spell began.
Bai Qian granted herself a moment to drink in the precious sight of them with their black scales, while gazing at her twin daughters a feeling of sureness and pride overcame her. She was doing the right thing. It was to protect them and was it ridiculous to feel proud of herself, because it was a battle of an effort getting to that point.
Bai Qian’s entire pregnancy had been challenging and beyond miserable. Though now, seeing her daughters nothing else seemed to matter but them. Her circumstances with Mo Yuan were far from perfect. Still, she could and would live a full life by creating her world around the girls, and be the kind of mother to them she should have been to A-Li.
Looking at the twins, Bai Qian couldn’t help but wonder if A-Li had looked like them when he was a newborn. The girls were painfully beautiful. They resembled little porcelain dolls with thick, black hair; pale, snow white skin; rosy, pink, rosebud mouths and little slanted almond shaped eyes that were black as night.
The babies were both perfect and they looked just like…
She stopped her train of thought. It was too glorious a day to think of anything sad or depressing, and handed her bundles of joy back to her mother. The Empress stroked the wrinkled pink bottoms of their small feet with her index finger. Both she and Bai Qian laughed with teary eyes, when the girls curled their little toes at the same time.
Her mother’s smile suddenly became a sad expression of melancholy, and Bai Qian knew why. Her profound grief caused her voice to crack, when the Empress spoke with tears rolling down her face, “Bai Qian, are you sure about this? Are you certain there isn’t another option?”
The Empress spoke in a hushed secretive voice, even though they were all behind a privacy spell, “The white lumination talisman won’t be breakable, until the girls develop enough magic and cultivation to do it themselves. Meaning, they’ll stay white forever if they never ascend. If only we could tell him the truth. If Ye Hu…”
She intervened and cut her mother off from speaking his name. Bai Qian speedily interrupted her mother from saying anything else, and adamantly explained, “Mother, we must do this quickly before Mo Yuan recognizes or detect the illuminated spell. It’s to protect and keep the girls safe. Don’t worry about their cultivation.”
“The immortal blood that runs through the girls’ veins will provide them exceptional magic one day that will transcend yours, mine and maybe even Mo Yuan’s. Who knows what they’ll be capable of and when they’re older, I’ll tell them everything. Let them decide how they want to live their lives and who they want as their father.”
“Also, perhaps it’s meant to be like fate. If their scales stay white, they’ll be the same as their older brother, A-Li. And they might feel a sibling bond, even though they’re separated.”
Bai Qian spoke in a whisper saturated in wistful longing. The little smile on her haggard face was just as somber, as she watched the Empress delicately kiss the babies, before passing the girls to the witches.
The magicians performed the whitening spell. Then, flushed the very purest of Fox magic with the whitest and brightest of lights into the twins’ scales, changed them from midnight black into snow white Dragons.
The bells chimed all day continuously, endlessly. Up in Nine Heaven, Heavenly Lord Ye Hua overheard the tolling bells from Kunlun Mountain announcing the blessed arrival of Mo Yuan’s identical twin daughters.
The Shimu of Kunlun Mountain gave birth to double White Dragons; ChangChang (flourishing) and Changying (flourishing and luminous.)
Ye Hua wasn’t the only one who heard the bells of celebration. Crown Prince A-Li also listened to the loud chimes with a broad smile on his baby face that hung from one ear to the other. The smile widened as he tightly squeezed his mother’s magical Fox Tail in his clutch, and whispered to himself, “It’s time and there are things I need to do. It’s time for A-Li to grow up.”
To be continued…