Shen Jin watched as the love of her life, the most handsome man she had ever laid eyes on and the one who owned her entire heart touched the Hawk Princesses cheek. She struggled to maintain her composure at the feast arranged in the Princesses honour. She had barely been able to touch a morsel of food since her husband was seated by the young, tempting guest of honour and she had been placed five seats away. She drummed her fingers on the table before her and tried not to imagine clawing at the pretty girls porcelain skin. How dare she ask the General to help her wipe her face. How dare she!
Rou Rou glanced across the table and caught sight of her lady’s flame filled eyes. She hurriedly took up a position behind her employer and beloved best friend and rubbed gently at her tense shoulders.
“Miss, calm down,” Rou Rou whispered softly. She accidentally caught SuSu’s attention as he sat opposite them. Rou Rou blushed as she remembered the night before when she had used those same hushed tones to whisper sweet nothings in SuSu’s ear. Judging from the look on his face as he gazed at her, and the red blooming on his cheek, he was remembering the very same thing. She looked away as heat started to pool in her stomach. Now was not the time. Her lady needed her.
Suddenly, Jin’s fingernails dug into Rou Rou’s left hand causing her to squeal and pull back. SuSu looked desperately concerned and made to stand, but Rou Rou shook her head and offered him a small smile in order to calm him as she nursed her wound. She looked up to see what had caused her lady’s reaction and noted the General was now escorting the Princess out of the room. The moment they disappeared from sight, Jin rose from her seat and flew out of a separate entrance. Rou Rou followed closely behind.
“Men!” Jin screamed as she stomped across the courtyard, her blue and white robes swirling behind her as she seethed.
“Miss, stop!” Rou Rou called after her.
Jin turned to face her with a thunderous look. “I won’t stay to watch this, he can replace this wife with another! But I won’t stay to watch!”
Rou Rou caught her hand and spun her around. “Miss, you know he loves only you.”
Tears glistened in her lady’s sad eyes as their gaze unified. “How can he love me, Rou Rou? My own father didn’t love me, my sisters do not care for me, I’m a castoff, a discarded, unwanted item. Who could want me?”
“I want you.”
Rou Rou and Jin turned to see the General striding purposefully towards them. His eyes were fixed firmly onto Jin’s. He reached Rou Rou’s side and smiled down at her kindly.
“Rou Rou, you can go now. I will take care of my lady.”
Rou Rou hesitated and looked at Jin, silently asking for permission. Without moving her eyes from the General’s, Jin nodded and Rou Rou gratefully dismissed herself.
Jin let out a shaky breath as the General walked towards her and placed his hands on her shoulders.
She knocked his hands away and folded her arms over her chest. “I don’t want to talk to you.”
He sighed. “Please…”
“Please what?” she shouted. “Please watch while you seduce another woman? I won’t do it!”
“I would never...”
Her wild eyes stopped him mid sentence. “You don’t see it do you? You don’t need to do anything. You seduced me without a drop honey. Don’t you understand how wonderful you are? Don’t you see how afraid I am? How terrified I feel that someone is going to take you from me?”
His hand enclosed around her wrist and he pulled her towards him, wrapping his arms tightly around her waist as she allowed her head to fall against his strong, white robe encased chest. She cursed herself for being so weak and surrendering, but it felt so good to be in his arms. Her heart warmed as he kissed the top of her head.
“I want only you, Jiner.”
“I want to believe that,” she whispered softly into the crisp night air, thinking he wouldn’t hear her. But of course he heard her, he heard every word she shared with him even the unspoken ones. He looked down at her and tipped her chin up towards him with one slender finger. He smiled at her pouty lips. His beautiful, fire fuelled Jiner. How could he be mad at her for loving him too much? He kissed the end of her nose and put his forehead against hers.
“I vow never to leave your side, Jiner. I see no other woman but you. You fill my thoughts and my heart.”
“I want a signed declaration,” she muttered as she snuggled into him and wrapped her arms around his waist. He sighed with relief. He had won her over this time. The win was all the sweeter because his wife did not easily admit defeat. His incomparable love was as fierce as she was beautiful and he knew there would be many battles to come.
“Come back to our room, my love.”
“Not without the document.”
He chuckled and took her hand, gently leading her towards their quarters. “Come, you can sit by me as I write.”
She nodded and allowed him to lead her.
Later, as the candles melted and the document had been drawn up and signed, his lady, now satisfied in her mind and body, lay contentedly in her General’s arms. He drew her warm, unclothed form close to hold her tightly against him, still marvelling that he had such a perfect creature to share his bed and his nights with. She turned in his arms to face him, her captivating eyes shining up at him in the dim moonlight.
“Don’t ever leave me, my General.” her plea almost broke his heart and his arms wrapped around her tighter still. His reply was a breathy whisper as he swept a reassuring seal of a kiss against her forehead.
“Never, my love. Never.”