RSH Stratagem 28: Be Yourself! (5)

Jing He’s cheeks reddened when he was suddenly asked a question like this. Indeed, what had he just thought? Or rather, how had he forgotten that something like this could not be said out loud? It should stay in his innermost thoughts. But now, the words were already out and he loathed to think that he would have to take them back so he just closed his eyes and pretended not to have heard.

Qiu Ling didn’t expose him. He just continued to hold him, then turned to the side, letting Jing He rest against his chest more easily. “If you are able to find any comfort in my arms, then go ahead and sleep. I will still be here when you wake up. I just want to see you happy and healthy. Just like before.” His voice had already sunk to a whisper. A whisper that was like a caress against Jing He’s heart.

He shuddered faintly, prompting the dragon king to pull the blanket higher up against his body, and gently tightening his grasp. Sitting this way, there really was no doubt that they had long stepped past what was acceptable for the kind of relationship they had. This was not the image of polite strangers, or of partners in an alliance, even friends wouldn’t behave like this. Clearly, this was already rather ambiguous. Indeed just like a pair of lovers.

Jing He worried deep down but at the moment, he was so weak that he felt like nobody should be able to say anything. Thus, he just continued to lean against Qiu Ling, giving himself over to that feeling of security that overcame him whenever he was around this man and wrapped in his embrace.

Qiu Ling realized that his lover was actually putting his weight against him now and realized that most likely, he would really fall asleep in his arms. Thinking of that, he once again shifted his position, actually pushing off his shoes while he was at it. Half lying next to him, he cradled him in his arms, his fingers gently brushing through his hair.

“These last few days, I was rather busy. I couldn’t come to see you often and didn’t realize that you weren’t doing well. I’m sorry about that. In the future, I will make up for it. While you are sick, I promise I will be at your side as much as I can. I hope you’ll get better soon.”

There was a faint smile on Jing He’s lips when he heard these words. He didn’t know if the dragon king was just trying to console him but in any case, these words of consolation were a balm for his heart. Oh, how he wished they were true! How he wished to be able to spend every day with him again. Having an excuse to do so made it even better.

Qiu Ling fell silent and continued brushing through his hair with his fingers. He thought for a bit and then continued to speak, hoping to calm Jing He’s mind. “When you have slept for a while and are doing better, I can tell you about the things that happened in the last few days. Maybe it’s not very interesting but I guess there isn’t much you can do right now so listening to a few old stories might not be that bad. In any case, lying around for a long time must be boring. You’d want to have some change every now and then I guess. I’ll try to think of some things.”

While he talked, he realized that Jing He’s breath finally evened out, signaling that his beloved had really fallen asleep in his arms once again.

Qiu Ling glanced down, feeling like seeing him like this was tugging at his heartstrings. On the one hand, Jing He looked incredibly vulnerable like this. But on the other hand, there also seemed to be some satisfaction in the curve of his lips as if he was content lying in his arms like this.

Just that thought made Qiu Ling’s heart thump loudly in his chest. In fact, he was wondering if it might be too loud for Jing He and would wake him up. But even though he thought that, he couldn’t bring himself to actually let go of Jing He and continued to hold him. Yes, if he could, he wanted to go on like this forever.

Forever … The thought had a lot of appeal. Qiu Ling reached up, wanting to touch his own chest and maybe really make sure that this would last forever but his beloved was currently resting against his chest, making it impossible to do so.

Qiu Ling sighed at that. Well, maybe it was still too early anyway. While he didn’t have any doubt, the same probably couldn’t be said about Jing He. He still hadn’t gotten a promise from him to actually be together and get married. Until then, he probably shouldn’t do it no matter how much he wanted to.

He sighed and then leaned down, gently kissing his forehead. “Someday in the future, we’ll be at that point. By then, there won’t be any questions more about whether or not I should. It will just happen naturally.

“I’m looking forward to that day. I hope that by then, our wedding won’t be far off anymore either.” He smiled when he thought of that possibility, really hoping that he wouldn’t have to wait too long anymore.

But right now, this really wasn’t the time for that. Clearly, Jing He wasn’t doing well. So right now, he shouldn’t think of this. He should only think of what he could do to help his beloved. To make sure that he would get his strength back soon and his beautiful smile as well.

He didn’t want him to suffer. He wanted him to be free of worries completely. So if there were problems, then he should first distract him from them. That way, Jing He could regain some strength. And after he had done that, then maybe they could try and confront whatever it was that had put him in this situation in the first place. And he would be there for him, always at his side, whenever he needed it.

Hopefully, that would be enough to help Jing He over his difficulties. Maybe it actually didn’t mean anything but he just wanted to try. He wanted to give this a chance. Maybe he really was able to do this for him. If that was the case, it would definitely make him happy.

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