445 Will You Sleep With Me?
Yu Shisheng could not believe his eyes. It had been a while since he had seen a woman who was as cunning as his mother. They were so similar, it was too difficult to ignore. Or maybe, because their situations were too alike, thus, their lives sort of intertwined.
Regardless, not many women had earned this much respect from him. Not even the beautiful and intelligent Lady Ge had managed to do this, despite them knowing each other for so long.
"Right, you are just a weak woman from Wuyi," he repeated her words, his voice heavy with mirth. His eyes crinkled with a smile, as he slowly jutted his chin in the direction of the bedroom.
"My brother tired himself out by looking after you the past three days, to the extent that tiny noises no longer startle him awake. I don't know if I should be amused or worried," he added on.
Li Xueyue's attention shifted to the closed doors. She also didn't think Yu Zhen would sleep for this long, but it seemed he was truly exhausted.
"Perhaps both," she responded before slowly nodding her head again. "Well, it was pleasant conversing with you, First Prince."
The First Prince scoffed at her words. "It was far from pleasant, especially after I was swindled by you."
Li Xueyue's lips twitched. At least he was being honest. "Have a good day, First Prince," she said whilst guiding him to the door.
The First Prince curtly nodded his head. "You too, I suppose." He exited out of the estate and shut the doors behind him.
Li Xueyue let out a small sigh of relief. She approached her bedroom, and quietly slipped inside. She was surprised to see Yu Zhen was still asleep. He remained in the same position as before—he was seated on a chair, his head resting on the edge of the bed.
"I wish you will sleep for this long all the time," she whispered.
Li Xueyue approached the closet and pulled out a thick cloak lined with fur on the inside. She folded it over her forearm and brought it to Yu Zhen. Slowly, gently, she draped the cloak over his shoulders. But this tiny action, unlike her caress before, was enough for him to snap his eyes open.
Li Xueyue yelped when his hands roughly grabbed her wrist, holding it in place as he clenched upon it.
"How dare you—" Yu Zhen's voice died off.
Li Xueyue blinked once and he was out of the chair. There was a bewildered, disoriented look on his face. His eyes shook with disbelief.
"Xueyue," he whispered.
Before Li Xueyue could speak, he was already standing in front of her.
Yu Zhen yanked her into a rigid hug, holding her dearly against him. Her entire body was enveloped by his arms.
Li Xueyue's face was pressed against his chest, her arms hanging loosely on her sides. He had moved so quickly, she wasn't able to react in time. He was shaking. She could not recall a moment when he seemed so terrified like this. Her heart ached for him.
Slowly, surely, she wrapped her arms around him. Li Xueyue hugged him tightly, her palms pressing onto his upper back. She knew he needed this hug more than anything else.
"And before you ask," she whispered. "This is not a dream."
His chest rumbled with a small, low chuckle. "You know me so well, don't you, my Wangfei?"
Li Xueyue could do nothing but smile. Her eyes gently fluttered shut and she held onto him. "It is something I pride myself on."
Yu Zhen could feel his heart quickening at her words. She was proud of knowing so much… No one ever wanted to know much about him, for they couldn't even get close enough to him, much less, strike up a conversation about his personal life.
"You must've been so worried," she quietly said whilst stepping back a bit.
Yu Zhen's heart lurched. He tightened his grip on her, worried that she would slip through his fingers, like the nightmares that tormented him.
There were too many times that fate played a cruel trick on him. He had come too close to living in a world without her. He could not fathom a life in this world without her. Life would be so bleak and colorless again, a world of grey and black.
"I don't even know if I should scold you, or feel relieved," he bit out whilst settling both hands on her hips, squeezing it.
Yu Zhen peered down at her. She was pale and thin, but she had always been like this, giving the appearance of a glass castle threatening to come tumbling down. But there used to be a lot more color in cheeks, filled with life when she smiled.
"How about neither?" Li Xueyue whispered. She rested a palm on his shoulder and gently cupped the side of his face with the other.
Yu Zhen leaned into her touch. She always had a way of soothing him without knowing it. It was small actions like this that reminded him she was very much real, and it was not a dream.
"Just pretend that this is another morning as usual, and nothing happened." Li Xueyue's fingers trailed over the small stubble growing on his jawline.
"Well, this is certainly different…" she pointed out.
Yu Zhen laughed. He placed his palm over her knuckles, knowing it must've tickled her. "I was too occupied with you," he explained.
She pressed her lips together and curled it into a frown. "I appreciate that you stayed by my side during all this time, but please don't do it again. It places so much strain and stress on you."
"I will continue doing it—"
"Then, let's compromise, please? Seeing you in pain hurts me. My heart also aches when I see you so exhausted."
Yu Zhen held back a sigh. Why did she always know how to deal with him? She was getting better at it, it would have scared him if she wasn't his beloved wife. From knowing the right actions to calm him, to saying the right words during a negotiation, she had already learned all of his in and outs.
"Please?" she muttered, leaning closer to him.
"You can't just seduce me when I can't do anything to you," he grumbled out.
Yu Zhen was too consumed by fear to do anything for the past three days, except sitting here and watching over her. He was aggravated that she had pushed herself to this extent without telling him about any of her troubles. But something about her naivety told him she was ignorant of her own body.
"I'm not seducing you," she shot back, despite resting her head on his chest.
Yu Zhen cradled her head, his thumb stroked her hair, soft and silky, despite being unwashed for three days. Her roots were a bit oily, but it didn't even faze him. He was glad that she's awake and well now.
"And pigs fly," he scoffed.
"I'm sure there is a way of making them fly," Li Xueyue responded with a laugh. "Maybe in the future, someone will figure out a way."
Yu Zhen snorted at this. "I doubt it."
Instead of retorting, she peered up at him and flashed a smile that reached her eyes.
Yu Zhen could've sworn his heart leaped. Everytime he was with her, his heart would do strange things. It was indescribable, and he did not like how cliche it made him feel.
"Since you're so fond of taking care of me, and not yourself, whilst it's vice versa for me, how about you let me take care of you now?"
Yu Zhen narrowed his eyes. "What are you planning?"
Li Xueyue grasped his hand and brought him towards the bed again. She took a seat and patted the spot beside her. "I'm certain you did not sleep for long. You should take a nap."
Yu Zhen firmly shook his head. "No, you have not eaten a decent meal for a while. I need to ensure you consume at least a few spoonfuls of porridge."
Li Xueyue nodded her head a few times. "That is doable. Afterwards, will you sleep with me?"
Yu Zhen would have normally teased her for saying something as suggestive as this. But he didn't want to rile her up too much, especially when she had just recovered.
"My dear Wangfei, I will always sleep with you."