“It’s that bad?”
Jinde turned his head and smiled at his lover. “What do you think? After what happened with his parents, he didn’t dare return to the capital. He lived out there in the wilderness, all alone. He had to deal with his father’s death, with the fact that he himself killed his mother, with his mixed heritage that finally showed after killing her. There was a lot on his plate and nobody to help him through it.
“And that is only what I know about. That child didn’t talk about it much but I guess there are some other things that happened along the way. He won’t confide in me though. After all, there is still a part of him that wants to believe that things would have turned out differently if it wasn’t for me. If his father hadn’t loved me or if I hadn’t become king, then maybe his life could have been different. He might not say so but that is what he thinks nonetheless.”
“You don’t have to say it. I know it’s not true. But it’s what Qiu Ling thinks and I guess it’s understandable. His life is in shambles. Naturally, he wants to believe that there is some kind of reason for it. And Jian Heng is already dead. Even though he knows that it was his scheme all along, there is nothing he can do because I already killed him. He can’t take revenge, he can’t end it either. So he can only blame me in his heart.”
Leng Jin Yu’s grab on his lover tightened. “You don’t deserve this. You’ve also suffered a lot on Jian Heng’s hands. How can he —”
“Sh.” Jinde reached up and put a finger against his lover’s lips. “Don’t say anything. I don’t blame him. He was a child. In some aspects, he still is. He had to mature too soon but in a sense that also took the possibility of really maturing from him. Qiu Ling … He has no sense of responsibility, no sense of belonging, no real goal in his life or even some kind of vision of how he imagines it to be. Right now, the only thing he knows is that he loves the Son of Heaven and that he wants to stay with him. But even that is jeopardized because of his heritage.”
Leng Jin Yu frowned. “Right. He is part demon while the Son of Heaven … If someone found out, there would be endless troubles.”
Jinde nodded. “Yes. As far as I know, the Heavenly Emperor isn’t thrilled that Qiu Ling is going after the crown prince. He dotes on his son very much and I guess it would be difficult for any man to be judged as good enough. It’s even more so when it’s someone like Qiu Ling. He’s from another race, he’s strong and in a high position. All three things something that make it difficult to control him.
“The Heavenly Emperor probably feels that his son will be estranged from him if he lets him marry Qiu Ling. He’d very much prefer a spouse from his own race. After all, that man would be bound to listen to his commands. Even if the Heavenly Emperor refused to let him live with his son and only hold his hands once a day under supervision, a trueborn god wouldn’t dare to refuse even though he might be gnashing his teeth in secret. Qiu Ling though …”
Jinde sighed. “I’m sorry to say this but your son turned out to be a bear child. He doesn’t respect his Elders one bit and he certainly doesn’t take nicely to people telling him what to do. If the Heavenly Emperor ‘proposed’ something like that to him, he’d probably turn around and take his lover away without even bothering to leave a note. That’s just the kind of person he is.”
Leng Jin Yu’s lips twitched. Somehow he could imagine that very well even though he had only seen Longjun a few times.
Jinde smiled at his lover’s expression. “Awr, my dear husband, don’t take it too hard. Your child is just a little unruly. Nothing to fret about too much. I promise I’ll be well behaved instead.” He used the opportunity and leaned up, kissing his cheek. Mn, their conversation had taken so many twists and turns, it could probably be said that the mood was quite good right now. Maybe …
He turned in Leng Jin Yu’s arms again and encircled his neck. “Very, very well-behaved.” He pressed his lips onto Leng Jin Yu’s jaw this time, one of his hands slipping into his hair. Mn, this wasn’t too bad … Hadn’t Leng Jin Yu wanted to get to know each other better? Since they had already done that, there shouldn’t be anything speaking against this.
Leng Jin Yu took a deep breath. Ah, he had completely forgotten to return to the chair after he wrapped Jinde in his arms to console him. His husband had obviously stopped crying long ago. There hadn’t been a real need to stay this close. Now … there was no way to escape. Jinde certainly wouldn’t let go of him this time. Well, not that he really wanted him to do so.
Jinde’s lips continued to travel downward. From his jaw, they slowly made their way down the side of his neck, then to the front until they finally reached the hem of his robe just above his clavicle. Those gentle fingers tugged at the fabric, opening the two sides and exposing just enough skin to press another kiss onto it.
Leng Jin Yu sighed and his own hand reached up and grabbed onto Jinde’s golden hair. “Are you sure you’re up to this already?”
Jinde’s lips curled into a satisfied smile. Ah, look at this! It seemed his appeal was still greater than his husband’s self-restraint. He sat up straighter and his fingers trailed the hem of Leng Jin Yu’s robe down to the belt and then even further down until he finally reached the spot he wanted. He smiled at his husband with sparkling eyes. “Try me.”
Leng Jin Yu couldn’t help but smile back. He took a shaky breath and leaned down. His lips closed in on Jinde’s and then …
The door was thrown open. “Old geezer! I need your help!”
“It’s that bad?”