WEI LI LIAN
The place they were at was noisy with base sounding voices that scathed her ears. Li Lian could smell all sorts of soapy scents which bubbled the air.
As Yuwen Hong entered a certain room, that she recognised by tiled floor, she heard hoarse cheers, whistles and laughter.
"Can I have some part of that meat, Grand General?"
"How much would you charge to lend her to me?"
"What brothel sells such kind?"
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Yuwen Hong stopped mid step and the room instantly turned eerie quiet. Li Lian could hear them disperse and leave by the shuffling of their feet.
Aiya. He didn't do anything to them, yet they were running away like wimps.
He took a couple of more steps, before he put her down on an elevated comfortable chair. She felt dizzy because of the effect of staring at the floor for the past few minutes.
It was after blinking a few times that she realised that she was in the men's bath chambers. The exorbitant wide room was a flush of white and gold color, curtains draping all over around the blue pools. The noise of the bubbling pools that rung in the air was almost musical.
'Heaven help me!'
Behind him were generals walking in and out nakedly exposed.
How shameless. Why did he take her to this place? She lifted her hand to smack him again though he caught it expectantly.
"Easy," his voice was hoarse, "I deserved only one."
"Really? And why exactly did you deserve it?"
She would love it if he admitted that it was wrong to make false promises but it would take much to have that from him. He took her hand to his nose and breathed in the scent of it. He bent it and started to lovingly kiss her temple.
"Yuwen Hong!" she warned. It was the first time that she was using his name on him.
He stubbornly continued to usher her with kisses. The opposite of what she anticipated. She was not in any comfortable position to feel anything with naked men running out and about behind him.
Some generals dipped themselves in the pool, others were being massaged by maids, soaked themselves in soap and the rest walked in and out. The wide room seemed to have doors that led to many more rooms.
Yuwen Hong agitatedly sighed, feigning exasperation.
"Earth to Li Lian," he waved her back to him.
It was the first time that he was also saying her name with her fully conscious and functional. She loved how it rolled on his plush lips and had the aura of possession when he said it.
'Say it again, Yuwen Hong' she wanted to whisper, but rather she asked, "Why am I here?"
"For you and I to have space," he replied matter of factly.
Space? In a place like that? Two men chasing each other in cotton underwear caught her sight. The one behind hit the one in front, and a girly scream pierced the air.
Maybe she understood him. These men didn't seem to care about them at all. It was like her and him were among a den of animals minding to themselves.
"Focus on me, Li Lian." He repositioned her head so she could look at him. "I'm all that matters," he coyly smiled.
Hazel met with amber. His gaze was digging through her eyes into her soul. With Yuwen Hong, everything was easy. It was a simple thing to connect with the other, so why did things have to be complicated?
"Are you not going to ask me how I know your name?" She brought back the main topic at hand.
"Grand Consort Shu?" His hot breath was like lava on her skin.
Yuwen Hong was reacting cooly than she wanted him to. Did that mean he had nothing to hide?
"She told me everything." It was her attempt to intimidate him.
He looked up at her and smiled. It was that sort of smile that reached his eyes. The one that said, he was fascinated. "If she told you what I don't want you to know, you would be on your knees and not slapping me."
He was playing mind games that she couldn't understand.
"I will never bow before you," she declared and he broke into laughter.
"Oh you will, Little Fox, you will." He pushed her hair to one side from her neck. His thumb began to caress the curve of it smoothly, then worked down to her collar bone before coming up to her face.
"I like this," he touched her nose, "and this," he touched her eyes, "and this too," he touched her lips.
"How are you close to Grand Consort Shu?" She ignored his words of flattery that made her stomach flip.
"She said you like me."
"I lust after you," he clarified.
It stung but she made sure to keep a neutral expression as if it didn't affect her. At least he was being honest about his feelings.
"Right," she sucked in air and looked aside. She could not hide her feelings from gracing her face any longer.
Being the beast he was, he took advantage. He moved in for a kiss, grazing her ear with his lips then kissing her ear lobe with just the right passion. She knew what would follow. He would hungrily thrust his tongue into her ear, so with as much control she pushed him away.
"I need space," she muttered.
He looked back at her through his heavy lashes. "It's not just lust, I kind of like you too." Yuwen Hong was realising the blunder of his words when it was too late.
"Kind of?" She groaned in disbelief. "And you expect me to freely give you my body when you say such ignorant words."
"I really like you then." His hands held her waist to push her to him.
The Grand General was clueless when it came to wooing her with words. She rolled her eyes and pushed him off her. "Can't we speak without you being all over me?" Li Lian was irritated. She was trying to be angry and there he was touching her and breaking all barriers.
"Why must we?" He asked innocently as bit by bit he was moving back to her.
"Hong'er, I belong to the emperor."
"You belong to me," he whispered covering the left distance between them.
He narrowed his head back to her neck. She could feel his breath fan her and it made her hypersensitive. His lean body pressed against her, his burning lips making contact. The kiss lingered softly at first then it became hot and urgent. His fingers brushed her hair, lowered to her waist and pulled her close to his scented body. Now all she could breathe in was him, him, him.
He was deliciously dishing revenge on her neck in relation to how she left a love bite on him the other day.
Her mind was spinning and she lost her train of thought. Maybe what made it more thrilling was that they were in public. It was reckless and they could get in trouble with people walking in and out.
"Yuwen… Hong," she moaned, arching her back a little. He nibbled on her weak spot and she stifled her breath, biting her lips. She pushed him back aggressively, her cheeks heavily tinted.
Yuwen Hong's eyes were flashing with desire and he was relentless like he had looked on the battlefield. He aimed for her lips and she quickly looked aside, his lips landing on her cheek.
"Please," he was frustrated with her denial.
"You are a married man with a child." They were probably dozens of children.
"I'm not in love with her."
"Good. Same way I'm not in love with you." She shoved him aside and stepped down. He quickly took her wrist.
"Let me go!" she harshly snapped.
"Go out with me tomorrow."
No, no, no. He wanted to court her? Hah, she wondered how much he was willing to give just to have her in his bed.
Li Lian was there to seduce the emperor not the Grand General. Then again she kind of enjoyed his attentiveness towards her.
"Don't you want to finish this off somewhere else?" His voice was hoarse, his eyes searching for a glimpse of 'yes' from hers.
Apparently the Grand General thought she was that easy. For the past few weeks he had been a rebel, yet he expected to have his way with her. Unbelievable.
"Apologize," she commanded, using the same exact tone he liked to use on others.
"Excuse me?" He was obviously caught back by her tone.
Good. She enjoyed it that way.
"You heard me." Li Lian rolled her eyes. "Apologize for your lies in jail! For killing―"
"Lies? When did I lie?" He was not backing down either.
"Shénme? You said if I kissed you, it was a sealed promised that you would have me released."
"What?" he laughed ruefully, his whole body revibrating in an uproar.
You see, there was something significant when the Grand General expressed himself.
He didn't hold back.
If he was angry, unfazed, displeased, irritated; you could tell. And that also applied to when he laughed. The laughter was in his eyes, his posture, how his face relaxed and for once he looked like the whole burden he always carried was lifted off him.
"Apologize for what, when that wasn't a kiss?" he heartily guffawed, still clutching her wrist.
"It was!" she protested.
"Was not." A dopey gorgeous grin lit his face as he took an intended step closer to her. Any woman would be able to tell that he was about to prove to her what a real kiss was.
She attempted to snatch her hand out of his grip but he held her tightly and pulled her, making her breasts hit on his hard chest. She quivered at the impact and made an audible sound. He took that as permission and returned to making love to her nape.
This time he took her earlobe, tonguing, licking and nipping as if he was testing to see which motions got the most results from her. She loved it when his tongue traced the shell, but she also shook against him when he bit down gently on her earlobe.
"Will it also help to change your mind if I told you I will bring your pendant?" he whispered and went on to lick her ear.
Her pendant? What a joke!
He was obviously lying but nevertheless she said, "Alright." It would not hurt to. "As long as you keep your hands to yourself."
The past few days, he had taken care of her and with that he dug a spot for himself in her heart. Now she was making incautious decisions.
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