Tenderness

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SILIN


I can't stop thinking of Taehyung.

The more I try to take my mind off of him, the more he distracts me. Even when I tell myself that he's nothing but a child, that nothing will go well if I become shaken like this.

Even in front of Han.

"What's on your mind, Princess?" He asks, not even trying to hide his unhappiness. "What's bothering you so much that you can't even give me a second of your attention?"

I murmur out an empty apology.

But he's a snake. He sees the emptiness in my words easier than he spits them out himself.

"Do you realize how long I've waited to have this conversation? And you are my fiancée. I am yours. I—"

He's rambling.

Why the hell is he rambling?

"My father was nearly assassinated yesterday." I growl, not even bothering to hide the annoyance on my face. "You would think that I'm a little distracted."

He scoffs.

And there I see it. The look that he gave me in the past, every time I'd ask him a single question. When he thought he was in complete dominance. When he thought that I wasn't anything but a piece of dust for him to step over.

Selfish bitch.

"I will have to understand. Women have such fickle emotions." He says, as he leans back into the couch. "Just an advice for you, my dear Princess."

"Rulers need to be strong. They need to be decisive, even in the face of their greatest challenge. Besides,"

"Everyone is bound to die in the end. One way or another."

I shouldn't even be surprised.

"You're right," I whisper. There's a smile on my lips. My eyes are fixed directly at him. "Everyone is bound to die. Whether they are young,"

My fingertip flicks against the edge of the table. The delicate, silken tablecloth is so weak, that it tears in half the moment I press my nails just a little harder.

"Or old. Only time will tell."

My gaze twinkles.

"What do you think?"

There's alertness back in his face now. He senses that something's wrong— something's not going the way that he wants it to. He senses it in the air.

"Think what, Princess?"

I play with the tablecloth. The rip deepens.

"For you."

My eyes raise, to meet his.




"How long do you think you'll live?"



_________________________________



My mood is black.

Every time I meet with Han, it becomes that way. Even if I end up leaving the room with an upper hand. There's still this taste in my mouth, like the aftertaste that lingers after having something terrible.

It had been like this for so long.

Except now, I had others to lift this thick cloud from my mind.

"My lady!"

The moment I turn the corner to head into my room, I'm met with something so unexpected that I almost instantly forget about Han.

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