Luo Lin stared at Shen Lei’s confused expression, and finally, his eyes teared up. He couldn’t help it. He didn’t want to cry in front of him and make more trouble since his lover was clearly dealing with a lot on his own but seeing him alive and actually able to talk normally, he just couldn’t help himself.
He wanted to turn away but Shen Lei reached out, grabbing his arm and pulling him back.
“Where are you going, little fairy?”
Luo Lin turned back, looking at him with a tear-streaked face, not sure what to say. Little fairy … hearing that familiar pet name made him feel as if nothing had happened at all. They might as well have been back at his house in the Teng Yong Sect. But the memory of that moment when he opened the door to receive the horrible news and finally found him was too real to entertain that idea.
Shen Lei clicked his tongue, feeling that a beauty was really a beauty, no matter what they did. In fact, when crying, Luo Lin was especially beautiful. He had always had a pair of expressive eyes but he had never seen them like this. It really was a look that tucked at his heartstrings.
He smiled faintly and then reached down to take Luo Lin’s hand, interlacing their fingers. “You know, I don’t know how but it seems I’m still alive and pretty well. It’s a small miracle at least. I feel like that deserves to be celebrated.”
Luo Lin nodded, squeezing his hand tightly. It definitely was! He still didn’t know what to say though.
Shen Lei looked at him, his gaze softening. “You know, when I thought that I would die, I had only one regret. Want to know what that was?”
Luo Lin actually didn’t care at all but he still nodded, feeling that it probably meant a lot to Shen Lei if he brought it up like this.
Shen Lei’s smile brightened and he looked up at the ceiling again, losing himself in memories for a moment. When he turned back, his eyes sparkled with joy. “When I saw you for the first time, it was the beginning of winter. You were so beautiful in that red robe of yours with that fur coat on top. Seeing you, I was sure you had to be a fairy that descended from Heaven. One look and I was … completely smitten.”
Luo Lin smiled at that, squeezing his hand again. Between the two of them, Shen Lei had noticed him first. He knew that even though they hadn’t talked much about it. He didn’t know the actual details, just how things had turned out after that. For him, that had always been enough but it was still nice to hear him mention it.
Shen Lei really hated the fact that he couldn’t move that well right now with his thigh and his arms and being in such a condition but holding Luo Lin’s hand was at least something. “Back then, I didn’t know how to go about things. One of the first steps I took was to go and ask a friend for some advice. I still remember how I ran to his house and gave him a bribe so he wouldn’t throw me right out, and then told him that I had seen you and that I wanted to marry you.”
At this, Luo Lin stared at him dumbfounded. This was definitely a part of the story that he had never heard.
Shen Lei sighed deeply. “I guess I was getting a little ahead of myself. Seeing you once, that probably wasn’t the type of thought I should have had. But I couldn’t help myself. I just … felt like that was the only acceptable outcome.
“But after we got together, I actually lost courage. I never asked you the question. I wanted to, I wanted to all the damn time. I had everything prepared for the big moment.
“But every time, I lost my courage again because I wasn’t sure if you would say yes. In fact, I always thought you would say no. Even though you’ve never told me, I know that you don’t really believe in marriage, do you?” He gave him a worried look but before Luo Lin could say anything, he shook his head. “No matter what, when I was lying there, I couldn’t help but regret that I hadn’t tried at least. Because even if you had said no, I at least would’ve had my answer. Going without knowing … it seemed to be worse.”
Luo Lin stared at him, the tears falling quietly. He had no idea what to say. He had always thought that Shen Lei didn’t have any intentions to stay with him. Sure, they had been together for much longer than he had ever been with any other man but still, he had thought that it would be over one day.
No, he hadn’t thought that Shen Lei would want to stay around. And now … now, he actually heard such a story. From the beginning, his lover had intended to stick around. He could hardly believe it. Why had it taken for Shen Lei to almost die for him to find out?
Shen Lei faintly raised his brows, pulling at Luo Lin’s hand. “Not that I’d want to guilt trip you or anything but … if I were to ask you now, would you say yes?”
Luo Lin nodded, not hesitating for a single moment.
Shen Lei smiled and pulled his hand closer, pressing a kiss on the back. “Right. Then I’ll ask you when I’m healed. You know, I wouldn’t want to be tied down in this way while I ask you.”
Luo Lin nodded, squeezing his hand in return. “I wouldn’t mind though.” His voice sounded a little husky, making Shen Lei turn back to him.
He smiled and then let go of his hand, reaching up to brush back his hair instead. “Well, if you’re saying it like this … Luo Lin, do you want to marry me?”
Luo Lin leaned down, gently cupping his cheeks and then pressing a kiss onto his lips that was as soft as a butterfly’s touch. “I do.”
Shen Lei rubbed the back of his head and then pulled him closer, making Luo Lin finally lie down next to him on the bed, snuggling up against his side. “Well, I’ve asked. And I’m even still alive so I guess after we return to the sect, we can have that wedding as well. Ah, there’ll be so much to organize.”
Luo Lin smiled, rubbing his cheek against Shen Lei’s shoulder. “A simple one would be enough.”
Shen Lei nodded but inwardly, he couldn’t help but think that Luo Lin definitely wouldn’t get away with just a simple wedding. No, for his little fairy, he would do something special. After all, he had waited more than long enough for this to happen. More than a decade … it was hard to believe that it had already been that long that he saw him walk through the snow that day.