Li Xueyue arrived home in time to bid the Duke and Duchess goodnight before she retired into her room. A hot bath was instantly drawn for her with ylang-ylang oil and a sprinkling of Jasmine petals that floated on the water.
When she poked at the petals out of boredom whilst a maidservant cleaned her hair, she heard a sharp intake of air.
"M-my lady, your back!" the maidservant cried out.
"What happened?" Li Xueyue asked, sitting up straighter in the enormous bathtub.
"There's light bruising on your upper back."
Li Xueyue groaned internally. Wen Jinkai's tree slam must've caused it. "Just ignore it."
"Does it hurt? We can call for a physician immediately so it wouldn't leave any permanent damage."
"No, it's fine," Li Xueyue curtly said, turning around to firmly stare at the maidservant. "Don't mention a word of this to anyone. Is that clear?"
Instantly, the maidservant nodded her head, but she was worried for her mistress. "N-not even to Master and Madam?"
"Especially not to the Duke and Duchess," Li Xueyue huffed out, "And the twins as well. Is that understood?"
There was hesitation and awkward shuffling from her part before she nodded her head. "Y-yes, I understand."
Li Xueyue nodded in reply and allowed the maidservant to continue cleaning her hair. Once it was done, her wet hair was hand dried by towels, but was still damp and resting on her shoulders by the time she had excused the maidservant.
It was an exhausting day that she could not wait for it to be over. Walking to her large vanity, she took out a quill, ink jar, and her half-filled book, deciding it would be a great time to start formulating another plan.
"What to do…" she hummed to herself.
Unfortunately for her, she didn't have any ideas tonight. Her fingers tightly held the ink-dipped quill pen, but it didn't move. There were small traces of ink smears on her fingertips from holding the quill improperly for too long without movement.
She decided to head elsewhere to clear her thoughts.
Dressed in a loose and light nightgown, Li Xueyue sat down on the small couch directly under her large circular window. She leaned her cheek upon the window sill and glanced up at the night sky, infinite and beautiful, but unreachable and desolate.
"The moon is beautiful tonight," she said to no one in particular.
She wondered how many times she had sat by this window and stared into space, pondering her next moves. She had humiliated the Bai Family today, but it was not enough for her. She wanted more. Greed for vengeance consumed her and she feared she would succumb to her demise if she went to great lengths to ruin them.
"What shall be done?" Li Xueyue said to herself whilst her fingers drew on the window sill. She didn't realize she was writing until the ink smears under her fingertips formed a haphazardly written "Commander." She had stopped herself before a name was actually formed. Deep down, she knew which name she'd write—the one who offered her sound advice.
She yelped when something flew through her window, terrifying her. Her heart raced when she looked at the item that came tumbling to the floor. A pebble. What the hell?
She heard a curse and peered down. To her horror and surprise, it was a man. Instantly, she stood up, the throw pillows beside her fell down.
Li Xueyue turned and began fumbling to fasten her nightgown before she would scream for a guard.
Her trembling fingers paused at the familiar voice. 'Oh yeah, I'm definitely calling a guard,' she thought to herself, rushing to the other side of the room.
"Don't call for a guard," Wen Jinkai demanded.
Li Xueyue swiveled around. To her pure fright, he had effortlessly and quickly scaled high enough to reach her window sill. There he was, hanging from her favorite spot with an awkward smile.
"Can I come in?"
"Do I have a choice?" Li Xueyue snarled, wrapping her arms around herself, praying that this nightgown wasn't too thin. She didn't like thick sleepwear—it was too suffocating after a while.
"Well, I might fall from here and hit my head."
"I'd prefer if you fall, hit your head, and it cracks open," Li Xueyue seethed, hugging herself when his eyes flashed with an apology. She had expected him to be angered by her words, but he was the least offended.
"I've come to deliver a present." He easily hoisted his lower body up until he was sitting on her window sill whilst his legs comfortably dangled from it. He was careful to not dirty her seat.
"I don't want it. I don't want anything from you." Li Xueyue shook her head, pointing to the window he easily climbed through. "There were guards downstairs, lining the walls. How did you get past them?"
Wen Jinkai smiled. "Is that even a question?" he asked, arching a perfect brow. "I'm not a Commander for show, Little Fawn."
Wen Jinkai reached into his pocket and presented her with a porcelain white jar. It was tiny and there were blue watercolor drawings upon it.
"Come closer, Little Fawn, I'm not going to hurt you."
"What is that?" Li Xueyue didn't budge from her position. She preferred this safe distance between them. She was near the door and it would be incredibly easy to notify the guards outside.
"It's a cream for injuries."
"So you're aware."
"That you've injured me," Li Xueyue snapped.
"I didn't mean to." Wen Jinkai's stony face softened just for her. His proud shoulders were slightly hunched, almost in a defenseless manner. His eyes were filled with remorse, even though he had just knocked out five guards by himself.
"It won't happen again, I promise."
"You're never going to uphold that promise." Li Xueyue's voice was mellow and soothing to his frantic heart. He couldn't read her. She was too guarded tonight, her walls higher than ever.
"Xueyue, I will—"
"No, you won't." Her tone grew harsher. "You have a horrendous temper and it blinds you from reality."
"I'll control it."
Li Xueyue rapidly shook her head which caused him to worry for her neck. She could've gotten a whiplash.
She snarled, "I don't believe you."
He frowned. "I swear, I'll never hurt you again, Little Fawn. Please, I just want to help."
Li Xueyue wished she never experienced the déjà vu  that slammed into her like a violent wave. Zheng Leiyu once told her the same thing. He promised he'd never hurt her when he stole her first kiss. And now, look at what he had done to her.
The pain of his betrayal had hurt beyond the surface. It left a permanent scar on her heart, reminding her that the faster it beat for another man, the faster she ran towards death's doors.
Years of pent up frustration and pain from treachery began surfacing. Memories of their innocent youth flashed through her head. The first kiss in the garden, his gentle touch upon her head, his caging arms, everything that reminded her of him came rolling back to her before she could stop it.
She shook her head again. "Get out."
"Little Fawn, please," Wen Jinkai pleaded while he maneuvered into the room, his shoes narrowly dodged the plush seat. When his foot touched her floor, she panicked.
"I'm serious, Wen Jinkai."
"I despise the sight of you."
He stiffened. She was always surprising him in ways that drove him crazy. "Why?"
"I hate seeing you, it brings back the feelings I tried so hard to forget." The words left her mouth before she could even control it.
Wen Jinkai convinced himself to be level-headed despite being slapped by the fact that she had loved another man. That she had feelings for another man prior to him. It was a foolish reason to feel frustrated by. The past was in the past. Which young maiden had never fallen in love before?
"You cross too many boundary lines. 'No' means 'yes' to you and you never respect my wishes. I can never trust a man like you." Li Xueyue left out his dangerous personality, too bipolar for her to properly pinpoint.
Wen Jinkai placed the small jar onto the window sill. "Let me help you, Little Fawn." His placid voice was a soothing spell beckoning her forward. His eyes were filled with understanding and compassion.
"I'll help you forget the pain," he said whilst he stretched his hand to her, "Come here."
Without warning, she felt a thunderbolt of revelation struck her. Perhaps she was reading too much into the situation, but she suddenly realized something.
He had the ability to make everything his. This was her room, but he behaved as if she was the guest intruding upon him. This was supposed to be her territory, but he still commanded her. He crossed her boundary lines, not because he wanted to, but because he can.
Please go to https://www.qzxyzy.com/The-Rise-of-Xueyue/
to read the latest chapters for free