For a moment, Jing He didn’t know what to say. When it came to Qiu Ling and the things he said, somehow, they always turned into a love confession halfway through. This time wasn’t any different. One moment, they were still talking about what they feared, and the next moment, Qiu Ling was once again telling him sweet words.
Well, he was not unhappy about it. In fact, in the last few months, the constant reassurance from Qiu Ling that he loved him had made him worry less. Yes, it seemed that no matter what his own thoughts were and whether he could understand it or not, the dragon king loved him and would continue to do so. There was no need for him to get anxious.
He smiled faintly and finally couldn’t help but reach out, gently grasping onto Qiu Ling’s arm. He usually didn’t take the initiative but this time, it felt wrong not to do something. “It is difficult for me to imagine that there would be anything you’re afraid of.
“To me, you’ve always seemed so strong and … reliable. Thank you for sharing this with me.” Just judging from the way he himself thought, this wasn’t easy to talk about. And taking into consideration how much the dragon race valued strength, it was probably worse for the dragon king. Qiu Ling still being willing to admit that he had fears really made him realize just how much this person cared about him.
Qiu Ling smiled, feeling that he wasn’t doing much. When it came to the fears he had, this surely wasn’t the only one. It was just that this was one that he could admit to rather freely. The others would be more embarrassing. “I’m glad if it is able to help you feel better about your situation. To be honest, this isn’t the only thing I’m afraid of. I just … I don’t want you to think less of me.” This much, he could admit to. Knowing Jing He, he would be forgiving about this matter so he didn’t think that it would change much. Especially not if he didn’t give any details.
Jing He looked at him, having a lot of trouble imagining that. Yes, in his mind, what was there that Qiu Ling couldn’t do? For this man to be afraid … it really was difficult to imagine. But then, he didn’t say anything about it and just continued to hold onto his arm, the warmth slowly seeping through Qiu Ling’s sleeve. If he could, he would’ve held onto him forever.
Qiu Ling glanced at the slender fingers on his arm, realizing what Jing He was currently doing. Considering everything that had happened so far, this was probably the first time that Jing He was taking the initiative without special circumstances. To see this naturally made him happy. Even though he had wanted to see this kind of progress five years ago, it was still good that they had finally reached this point.
He thought for a moment and then reached out, covering Jing He’s fingers with his hand. “Being open with each other like this is good. I’m just afraid that talking about the things we fear doesn’t fit the occasion very well. An outing like this, it should be filled with happy things, shouldn’t it?”
Jing He nodded, wondering if he should pull back his hands now. Touching Qiu Ling’s arm when they were separated by the fabric of the robe was different from right now. His sleeves had slipped back slightly with his movement before so with Qiu Ling’s hand on top, skin was touching skin. It made him feel numb.
Qiu Ling could see what he was thinking about and figured that he shouldn’t make him worry about this matter too much. He pulled have back his hand on his own but held it up, motioning at the ring on his forefinger. “This reminds me, last year, this was what you picked out for my coronation’s anniversary. I’ve been wearing it ever since. Today is probably the first time that it comes in handy for something we are doing together. It makes me happy.”
Jing He looked at the ring on Qiu Ling finger, his heart thumping faster. This was a symbol of love from his family. To see it on the finger of the man he loved, of course, he was happy about that as well. “I’m glad that you like it.” He looked up at him and immersed in the current atmosphere, he couldn’t help but speak up again. “Qiu Ling.”
There was nothing he wanted. Just … just calling out to him, to feel the connection between them, to be able to say his name, that was all there was to it. The feeling it gave him was very good. Saying his name like this seemed to shorten the distance between them even further. And that even though currently, there didn’t seem to be much distance in the first place.
Qiu Ling gave him a deep look, feeling the same. He reached up, brushing through Jing He’s hair with his fingers, the silky strands gliding over his skin. “This whole day makes me happy.” He didn’t say more about it, not wanting to embarrass Jing He.
It was rare that he was taking the initiative in any way so he would cherish this. If he tried to make too much use of it, his beloved would pull back. That wasn’t the outcome he wanted to see. No, it was better to silently let him continue like this instead of calling him out on it, lest he be self-conscious about it. If he treated it as a normal thing, then maybe Jing He would as well. He was hoping for that.
Giving him another smile, Qiu Ling took out a small table, putting it down in front of the two of them, and then added the dishes that he had brought over from the dragon realm. “I remember the last time, I brought over some specialties from the dragon realm. I still did so this time but I made sure that there would be different things from the last time. I figured it would be more interesting this way. In the future, we can just take the things that you like and add a few new things at the side for you to have a taste.”
Jing He nodded, feeling that Qiu Ling was really too thoughtful. Yes, he always wondered just how he deserved this man. He was taking him into consideration all the time, never failing to think about what he might like or need. Then, when a situation occurred, he was long prepared. How could that not make his heart flutter?
Qiu Ling had no idea how well-received his choice was and just started to pick a few things up and put them in Jing He’s bowl. “Have a taste!”
He looked at Jing He with a smile, satisfied when he saw him pick up his own chopsticks and do as he said. Actually, the real surprise was still waiting for later. Right now, it wasn’t a good time to take it out yet. No, he also had a sense of measure.
Later, he’d see how the situation was. If it fit, he would do it. If not, there would be other opportunities in the future. Anyway, he had learned to be more patient in the last six years. By now, whether he waited for another one or two to put a certain plan into motion, it didn’t matter much. No, the only thing that mattered was that he was with his beloved and that the person he cherished so much was happy and did not want for anything.