CHAPTER 35

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Xerxes brought Saya up to his chambers, both of them enjoying a bath together.

"How did you know my tears were fake?" she asks, drying herself. "Your breathing pattern is different when you lie," he replies, getting out of the bath.

Her breathing pattern? "You can...notice the change in my breathing pattern?"

"I guess, it's probably my instincts," he hugs her from behind, pulling her against him, kissing her cheek, and shoulder.

She turns around looking at him with a straight face, "I'm serious, how did you know?"

Xerxes doesn't reply staring at her. Saya rolls her eyes and heads to the bed. She grabs her nightgown and slips it on, lying on the bed, backing him. She feels him lie on the bed after a few minutes, his hand snaking around her but she slaps it away.

"You can't touch me till you tell me the truth," she says hiding her smile. When Xerxes doesn't reply, she wears a straight face and turns to him only to see he's staring at her. "You don't get to stare either," she adds reaching out to close his eyes, but he grabs her hand pulling her against him, his hand successfully wrapping around her waist. "No, you need to be punished for not telling me the truth," Saya says, struggling to free herself from his grip. Xerxes just lays there, watching her, clearly amused at her baby strength. Saya gives up catching her breath, he is strong!

"Just tell me...please," she says looking up at him.

"I already did"

"That you listened or watched my breathing pattern?" she asks arching an eyebrow at him. He doesn't say anything confirming her question. Her breathing probably changes during different events like lying, anxiety, joy, etc. If so, him noticing the change is actually very unique and amazing.

"Oh, you've probably been at war so often that your ears are extra sharp!" she says pulling one of his ears. Xerxes frowns in shock, his eyes dilated at what she just did. Saya laughs at his reaction, he did not see that coming. For some reason, she feels so carefree with him now, probably because he knows about her secret, and is okay with it. Her playful side is definitely showing.

"...My Love, you know you're an old man," she says, drawing on his chest. She looks up and sees his frown making her giggle.

"I'm 29"

"Exactly old," she says through her giggles. This woman really has a mouth, not that he is complaining, her giggles and laughs, are like music to his ears, but she thinks he's old? No one has ever said that to him.

"That means, I'll have to look for a younger man soon."

"You wouldn't dare"

"On the contrary, I would. I don't think I can handle when wrinkles start to show, which they will anytime soon. 29 is not a young number at all!" she teases.

She looks up at him and sees he's actually thinking about what she's saying, his frown deepening.

"By the heavens my love! I'm only teasing you!" she laughs hugging him. She breaks the hug and sees he's still staring at her intensely, "You think I will want any other man?" she asks, caressing his cheek.

"Baby and I are content with the man right here," she points at his chest, smiling. Xerxes kisses her forehead, his hand moving to her little bump.

"How is she?"

"You said she was a he last time," she giggles, her hand resting on his.

"Which do you want?"

"Either one is great for me," she replies. "I'm just happy you're the father," Saya smiles at him. Xerxes kisses her forehead again, but Saya lifts her head, pressing her lips against his. His facial hair is growing out, she likes it.

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