Jing He made a faint sound in surprise. Before he could gather his thoughts, Qiu Ling had already moved back though. He looked at him, completely at a loss. It wasn’t like Qiu Ling hadn’t done things like this in the past. It was rather … he usually wasn’t satisfied that easily.
Qiu Ling’s lips curved and he rubbed Jing He’s cheek with his thumb. “What’s the matter?”
“That …” Jing He started to speak but finally didn’t know what to say. Yes, what was there to say? If he really said what he thought … wouldn’t it seem like he was complaining about them not crossing the line more than this? That … that would be too indecent! He definitely couldn’t do it.
Qiu Ling chuckled and leaned down again, even his eyes curving while he looked at his beloved. “That was my revenge for that kiss you gave me before drinking the water of the River of Forgetfulness. You do remember that, don’t you?”
This time, not just Jing He’s cheeks flushed. That day … of course, he remembered what he had done. Well, sometimes, those last few memories would be a bit vague until the time the trial was fully remembered but in his case, it was as if that memory had been etched into his mind.
At that time, he hadn’t thought too much. At the very least, he hadn’t thought of the consequences it would have. He had only vaguely known that he needed to do something to show his feelings, to give Qiu Ling a reason to wait for him, and not hang his heart on somebody else while he was gone. Now, that moment came back to haunt him.
He lowered his head, trying hard to keep his heartbeat steady and calm down again. “I … That time, I …” He tried to explain himself but he couldn’t find the right words. In fact, the longer he thought, the more ashamed he felt of himself. Yes, how could he have done that? Now, what would Qiu Ling think of him? Especially if he thought about that kiss in combination with how he had allowed Qiu Ling to spend the night before at his palace … hadn’t he gone much too far?
Qiu Ling watched him and felt a faint notion of regret. Maybe he shouldn’t have brought it up. Just look at Jing He’s expression! Clearly, he was now having second thoughts.
He cleared his throat and brushed his beloved’s hair back, giving him a smile. “Don’t think too much. I was happy when you did. Even if it was short and you might have missed my lips by a bit, it meant a lot to me that you would do me that kind of favor before leaving. And anyway …” He reached down, taking Jing He’s hands again and holding onto them tightly. “Am I not your fiance? Since that is the case, what is a small peck on the cheek? You might as well be more straightforward.”
Jing He relaxed when Qiu Ling said that. Even though he knew that he shouldn’t have done it, just hearing Qiu Ling mention their engagement again made him feel that it didn’t matter too much. Yes, indeed, as soon as they got married for real, it wouldn’t matter any longer.
Qiu Ling also thought of that. He hesitated for a moment but then gently pulled Jing He up and into his arms. “Speaking of which … You’ll remember soon but we got married in your mortal lifetime.” He brushed back his hair again while looking into Jing He’s eyes and slowly sat down, pulling him onto his lap.
He had never dared to do this before but right now, it seemed like the right move. Anyway, this matter was something that worried him because there was no way to guess how Jing He would take it. But by showing him that this wedding had been about his feelings for him and how he couldn’t wait to marry him as a trueborn god as well … surely, he would be able to take it much better.
Jing He stared at Qiu Ling with wide eyes. He had subconsciously reached out and grabbed onto Qiu Ling’s robe when he suddenly pulled him to sit. Now, he felt that it wasn’t right to touch him like this but also didn’t dare to let go for fear of drawing more attention to it. Anyway, how could they sit like this? What if somebody came by and saw?
Those thoughts crossed his mind in a flash but then receded just as fast. Instead, he focused on what Qiu Ling had just said. “We … we got married?”
Qiu Ling nodded. “We did. I … I wasn’t sure if you’d be happy about that so I hesitated about doing it. In the end, it still seemed better to go ahead with it. We followed the customs of the mortal realm at that time so … Well, I hope you don’t mind?”
Jing He looked at Qiu Ling’s expression, unsure about what he meant. Why would he mind getting married to the man he loved? Even though it was a trial … he would still remember, no?
Qiu Ling noticed his confusion and gave a hum. “It’s good if you don’t. Just … I didn’t want to take the chance from you to experience it as you are for the first time. I guess preparing for our wedding will take too long to make it before you remember that part. The ceremony happened the morning of the day you died.”
“Oh.” Jing He lowered his head, once again noticing his hand lying on Qiu Ling’s chest. It seemed like Qiu Ling hadn’t realized though. “So it was like that.”
“Mn.” Qiu Ling watched him and then reached up, covering Jing He’s hand. “I guess when it comes to enjoying our marital bliss, we’ll have to wait until after our actual wedding.”
Jing He hesitated but then nodded. Anyway, this was what he had promised and he intended to make true on it for sure. It was just … “We haven’t told my father yet.” And judging by how his father had behaved throughout the last week, this might be even more of a problem than he had thought originally.