OMF V6C72 A Beautiful Dream

In the corridor outside the room, Jinde leaned against the wall and touched his forehead. Ah, that was something he shouldn’t have seen. Thankfully, he had left before Xin Lan noticed him. If he did … they might not be able to go on like before. Wouldn’t that be a pity?
He leaned his head against the wall and stared at the ceiling. What were the chances that Xin Lan hadn’t thought of him? That was his bed, after all. His scent was everywhere. Ah, maybe this wasn’t too strange. Xin Lan had been alone for a long time and he had never denied that he found him attractive. So maybe this was nothing more than that. A lonely man and the thought of a beauty. Yes, most likely, there was nothing more to it than that.
Jinde closed his eyes and held back a curse. All these years he had depended on Xin Lan. There were even things he had only shared with nobody but him. If this kind of thing got between them, he wasn’t sure how he would take it.
How had this suddenly happened? Hadn’t everything been alright before? There had never been anything between them other than trust and gratitude, a friendship that had slowly formed with the passing of time. And he had always believed that Xin Lan was alright with that. After all, he had known from the very beginning what his stance regarding this was.
Jinde turned his head and stared at the door that still stood open. He couldn’t help but think back to the time when they had just met. Back then it hadn’t been long since he became king and it had been even less time since Chun Yin rejected him and made clear that he couldn’t have both the throne and the man he loved. His heart had been heavy and he had thrown himself into everything that needed to be done in the realm and everything else he could do just so he wouldn’t have to think of the future.
Xin Lan … had originally been one of those things. Someone he picked up on the roadside and dragged back home to put his skills with medicine that he had learned for Chun Yin’s sake to good use. Stitching him back together, healing every scratch and stab on his body and easing his pain … for a long while, that had been what he spent his time with.
And Xin Lan finally woke up … Who knew what had gotten into him not to tell him who he was? Who knew what had possessed Xin Lan not to divulge his own identity? One who had given his heart away forever but had it broken and didn’t think it could be mended. One who didn’t like his heart since it could be taken back at any moment unlike everyone else’s. Maybe that was what had made them circle each other round for round until it got too serious to continue.
Even now, he felt like he could still feel Xin Lan’s breath brushing his cheek and his hand holding onto his wrist when he closed his eyes and thought back. His heart would still thump in excitement and guilt.
“I … There’s someone I like,” was what he said.
“Like?” was the answer that he got and he had nodded in shame.
Why had he pretended for that long? Because it felt good. For once, he wasn’t the one to chase after someone’s back. For once, he wasn’t left behind in the rain. For once, there was someone that looked at him with fiery eyes, making him feel that … he was beautiful. Desirable. Coveted. He had thrived in that feeling, reveled. And yes, for a while, he had led Xin Lan on like that. And only then had regret washed over him.
His throat hurt when he gulped and he nodded again, his cheeks burning. “Yes.”
“Just like? Or do you love him?”
“I … I love him. It’s just … he’s not my partner.” In other words: He doesn’t love me back.
“I wouldn’t mind.” Xin Lan had still leaned closer but Jinde had pushed him away and shaken his head.
“But I would.”
“That’s a pity.” Xin Lan said so but he had straightened up at once and even though there was a hint of regret, he never brought it up again and it seemed that he had accepted it.
Even when he saw him pine for the person that didn’t seem to reciprocate his feelings, even when he once again fell into that pit called love, Xin Lan had stood by and only helped him gather the pieces of his shattered heart the next morning. After those few weeks, there had never been any tension between them again. Not even when he made that unholy deal with Jian Heng.
Xin Lan had always just supported him quietly. Without demanding something, without blaming him for the things he had done in the beginning, without taking a single wrong step. If Chun Yin had been the flame that drew him toward it until he got burned, then Xin Lan was the pillar that he could hold onto for strength when his battered body threatened to give out.
He wouldn’t lose him because of some assumption. Even if it was true … Who could say if things would stay this way? Maybe meeting Chun Yin’s reincarnation had brought back memories and made him consider things for a bit. In a week or two things might look different. After all, rumor had it that Xin Lan hadn’t shied away from seeking sensual pleasure. But as easily as he was attracted to someone was also as fast as he lost interest in them. With a bit of time to cool his head and a few beauties crossing his way, this problem might resolve itself.
Jinde took a deep breath and turned around, quietly returning to the room and leaning in the doorway. Nothing could be seen of Xin Lan’s arousal and when he looked up, his gaze was calm and unperturbed.
Ah, maybe he had been thinking too much after all. Maybe he had just had a beautiful dream that had nothing to do with where he was.

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