This vignette is dedicated to my cousin Sorelliena.

Happy birthday, Sorelliena! May all your wishes come true and you get to party all night long!

Your Lady Yin

I knew from the very beginning that love was hard to come by. More so, with people like us. I, the eldest daughter of a looked-down-upon family, and you, the crowned Head of a prestigious clan. You were like the night to my star, all encompassing, all devastating, all bearing. In many ways, we could not have been. We were, still are, so different.

Why, then, did you look at me that night?

You, beside the emperor as his closest confidant, and I, surrounded by over-eager men wanting a hard, fast, unfeeling evening… Why did your pale-moon irises seem to bypass all those between to meet mine so sharp, so even, so irrevocable? What made you find me? What made you see me?

But one look was enough, for both you and I. It was enough for you to turn and enough for me to wonder, almost fearfully, if you saw what I have been hiding. Tell me, did you know, then, what I was seeking? Did you know, then, that I wanted more than just a hard, fast, unfeeling evening filled with after-tears and hope, hope that maybe, just maybe, this one could be the one that I have been waiting for?

Thus, with one look you have sealed the Fates for both of us. In that one moment where you looked away, where you disregarded me, I set my sights on you. I don't have to tell you, dear, but I have always been a good huntress, no matter how good a stag you are, were, no matter how well you could run or hide – you know that I have always found you. Whether you were storming the gates of one of your foes, I was there to greet you in his bed, and then offer you his body – dead body – as both a gift and an insult, an insult for how cool you had turned away from me that night. Whether you were overseeing the newest recruits for His Majesty's army, I was there to wheedle out the most weakest and carnal of the bunch, teaching you that, perhaps, it was not only cold stares that could get the men to fear, sometimes it was a show of a porcelain thigh.

Whether you were in your office at four in the morning… alone and silent… overlooking some papers… I was there with a cup of green tea because, I knew, green was your favourite… and sometimes alone is not what you wanted.

Perhaps the most defining moment of our strange, sporadic game was when she came, touching you there, whispering in your ear, dragging you across the room and across the room again. I did not notice how you let her, how you did not spare a glance at me or even how you didn't seem to mind at all. My dear, you were a foolish man, a weak man, because you had let her kiss you. In which case, being the superior goddess-like mortal that I am in the room, I decided to spare you from further embarrassment. You should really thank me for grabbing her hair and pushing her onto that cold, marble floor. Of course, the scuffle (or some may say "cat fight") that ensued soon after was not a part of my plan. She was a bitch, admit it.

At the time, I didn't know how I did it, or why I said it. I turned her into a pig and staked my claim on you like any good huntress would a stag. I said to her, very clearly, "He's mine, bitch!"

But I didn't feel very accomplished afterwards when, imagine my astonishment, you turned away from me as if I had not done anything for you! As if I did not save you from her death grip! So, naturally, I grabbed you by the collar and made you think of me. I gave you a mind-blowing kiss as you staggered under my weight, but you have always been a sneaky, little bastard, haven't you? Because, just when I was about to draw back and grace you with a cheeky smirk, I felt your arms snake around my waist, the silk of your shirt whispering across the intricate knot of my bodice.

Steady, warm and ever so sure of yourself, you pulled me in like a black hole, shoulder to shoulder, breast to breast and hip to hip. You moulded my lips to yours, soft and steady, and I felt your tongue slip in like the rascal you are, trailing like fire across the roof of my mouth, my teeth and prodding ever so inquisitively on mine. You must have cast a spell on me, for the only music I could hear was the even pace of your heart playing bass to the melody of my erratic soprano. How did you do it, my dear? How did you make my legs cave beneath me under all that silk and tulle of my dress? How is it, that when you drew back, you looked so calm and composed and I so glassy-eyed? How is it, that even to this day, when your warm breath settled upon my cheeks, I felt the express desire to jump your bones?

So I did.

But, might I remind you, my dear, you did not stop me. In fact, in my flawless perfect memory, I remember you doing some jumping yourself. You didn't, after all, hesitate to drag me out of the ballroom, arm around my waist, to your room. You didn't stop to consider how expensive my dress was when you tore at the bodice. You were even eager, if I may say so myself, in kissing me there, there and there. But, I know, that the most satisfying moment of that night for you was when I sat in the moonlight, naked from the waist up, and unpinned my hair, letting my strands fall like a curtain over my porcelain shoulders and back. No, you do not have to explain the look you had that moment, because I had planned it. There is nothing more beautiful to a man than a woman with her hair down and naked. You do not honestly think, my dear, that I would come to you and blossom into the brightest star to your night without the proper training, did you?

Thus, you took me as much as I had taken you. In that evening, in those brief few hours of the night, I didn't even have time to think. Every action and every kiss, I made sure you knew that I was the one in control. No, no, you did not make me cry out in ecstasy. I made you think you had done that to me. Us women are more intelligent than we look, my dear, but I confess… when at last we fell onto the bed, when you draped the feathered comforter across my shoulders… I thought you would leave. I thought, once again, I would be in tears in the morning, left with a small hope that… maybe, just maybe, this one could be the one that I have been waiting for.

And I did cry, when the sun rose and revealed unto me your pale-moon eyes looking into mine. You did not smile or even look aghast at my tears, but you pulled me in close and let our hearts meld, skin to skin. I realized then, my dear, that you were not as untrained as I had first thought. You knew exactly what to do, because you did not leave me. In fact, you have not left me since. Even at my most trying of times, those late-night snacks during my pregnancies, those hot-headed ramblings of a pms-ing-woman, those boy toys I keep in my garden – you have never left my side.

Even when they talked about us, you had never wavered. Because no sooner had we left your room together, did the whole court speak of us. Rumours spread at light-speed, and many of your suitors eyed me spitefully. Do not worry, my dear, I had never felt wary for my life, not when you held me so close, not when I had thousands of destructive spells at my arsenal… and I had very good aim, my dear, that's how I won you, didn't I? Perhaps that was one of the reasons why you had not let me go, fought for me to stay. You knew I was the only one who can stand beside you and win, devilishly so.

That wasn't to say, of course, that we had not faced any adversaries. Many had accepted us being partners at social events, being lovers in bed and being companions at war, but anything beyond, anything more, was enough to have the empire speak for weeks. But those were only imaginations; I knew that at the time. My parents had warned me to not go too deep, to not play too hard, to not believe in you. They didn't think we could have what they have. As I had said before, in many ways, we could not have been. We were so different.

But you didn't care when you went on one knee. You didn't care when you drew out that small, velvet box. You didn't care when you revealed that beautiful, faultless, expensive diamond ring. You didn't give a damn when you asked me to marry you. And you knew, didn't you, my dear? That you had made me an offer I couldn't refuse? Because when I saw that you were not lying, when I saw you were not playing, when I saw that you felt what I felt, whole and true, I didn't give a damn either.

I said yes.

I would have been a fool to refuse you.

And just like that, the world shifted, the scales became unbalanced. Our being together was not society's norm; us being together did not conform to anyone or anything of that time. Even now, our story would turn heads. And as expected, no head turned faster than the Elders of your clan. How could I, the eldest daughter of a looked-down-upon family, marry you, the crowned Head of a prestigious clan? They would have settled for us being companions or lovers, or even my being one of your countless concubines, but you would not hear of it. I think I could have compared you to being my hero, but that would be an insult. You are my darkest villain, stealing my heart and my body and my soul.

That was why my parent let you have me. Tell me, dear, were you nervous when you first met them? I know you did not show it with your blank expression and cool politeness, but did you think that once you had overcome your clan that you could overcome mine? I am sure you were surprised at how much of a hard time they gave you, a crowned Head of a prestigious clan, what with my brother making snarky comments, my father giving you underhanded insults while my mother brushed them aside. I'm sure you didn't appreciate it like you do now when you see it in our children, always so protective of each other.

Is it not strange how your Elders thought so less of me until I proved my worth, with my might over the elements and my summoning of Hell dragons? Truth be told, my dear, I laugh everyday knowing that I have given your clan the most capable children they have seen in centuries. A terrifying heir and a devious spare. A cruel girl in our fourth and a merciless baby boy. And our third... Oh, our third.

My dear, sometimes I worry over her, our third. She is just like that night when you looked at me and I, you. It was spontaneous, Fate-defying and made everything so much clearer and definite. Like that one look, she can disregard all those in front of her and see the one thing that matters. Like us, she has overturned the world and made it her own. But sometimes… she cries because she does not have what I have, someone by her side.

Even now she comes to me, so close to tears.

I open my eyes and meet the dark canopy of our bed. The servants did not get to the curtains yet for they are closed. Was I so tired that none dared to disturb me? Did you tell them to let me sleep, my dear?

I look to the door and see our third's faint outline, hesitant. Did you tell our children not to interrupt my sleep, my dear?

"N-Nocte?" I welcomed. Even my voice sounds tired, but I am glad for some company. It seems that lately I've been so tired… and alone.

She comes forward and takes my hand. I try to smile, so tired, at her actions. Of all our children, dear, I think she would be the first to fly back if we called. She is the only one who has no other responsibilities, only us and our family. But lately, everyone has been so busy. Even you. Where have you been, my dear?

"Hey, mom," she whispers and brushes the hair from my forehead. She does not want the servants to think she is disturbing me. Such a good child we have, don't we? "How are you?"

"Hm… good," I sigh, wanting to sleep, but also wanting to see her. "I haven't seen you for months."

She smiles. "Sorry, mom. I've been busy."

"So Occult has told me," I say.

"I'll try to visit you more occasionally," she promises.

I see tears in her eyes and want to hold her, but I am so tired that I can't move.

"I don't see why you can't see me more often, hun," I chide lightly, wanting to see a smile. "We live in the same house."

She stills and looks thoroughly frightened, as if I said something wrong. Did I make a mistake? "Měi Fèng sent me off to a rice farm, remember mom? Laurel Tree? Remember? I told you back in March."

"Oh?" I try to remember. I think it involved you, my dear, and I told her so. "I think your father has mentioned something like that."

Our third appears quite stricken. Have you scolded her, my dear? Have you told none to visit me because I am so tired? Perhaps she fears to overstep the boundaries you've given her? Oh, my dear, you have always been ridiculous… Have we not given her enough boundaries? Anymore, and she will not speak to us anymore.

I see her force a smile and hear her say, "Y-Yeah, he did."

I frown. "Well, that new empress is sure keeping you two busy."

Yes. Busy. Of course. That is why you are not here, my dear. You are off at court and seeing to your duties. Of course.

You have never left my side.

I yawn. So tired.

"I should let you sleep, mom," she says.

Such a good daughter, isn't she, dear?

"Mm…" I hum and close my eyes. "Good night, Nocte. And if you see your father, tell him to visit. I miss him…"

I miss you, my dear.

"O-Okay…" she says and then plants a kiss on my head.

I wonder, dear, why you chose me. I make it seem like I was the one who chose you, that I was the one who decided on you, that none of this would have happened without my say so. But the truth was, is, that it was you all along who chose, and decided, and made everything happen. That night when you looked at me, your pale-moon eyes on mine, my Fate was sealed – my red string was tied to you. There had been so many others; you had so many other options. Why, then, did you look at me that night? Why, then, did you notice me out from the other stars?

And what made you stay? Was it my sexual appeal? Was it my deviousness? Or was it my cruelty? Or, perhaps, it was the same reasons why I stayed with you? The warmth of your lips, the safety of your arms, the feeling that with you, I can do anything.

And why did you fight so hard to be with me? My dear, if you wanted it, I would have gladly conceded to being your companion, your lover or even one of your countless concubines. But you didn't. You didn't want that. You did not take me for a lover, a companion or a concubine. You took me for everything.

You took me for your wife.

Your Lady Yin.

I open my eyes; the curtains are still closed, but I like them closed. I look to my right and do not see you there. Why, my dear, does the bed feel so large without you? Why does the world feel so small in your absence? Why does my life feel so empty when you are dead?

My dear, why did you leave me?

If I knew that it was going to hurt this much to want something so beautiful, so whole and so true, I would not have met your eyes that night. If you knew that it was going to hurt me so much when we part…

Why, then, did you look at me that night?

I close my eyes against the tears. I am tired because I want to be tired. As long as I am tired, I can sleep. As long as I sleep, I can live my life with you. In my dreams, you are alive still. In my dreams, I can still hear your voice, feel your breath at my neck, taste your lips against mine own…

In my dreams I am still your Lady Yin.

And you my Lord.

I knew from the very beginning that love was hard to come by. More so, with people like us. I, the eldest daughter of a looked-down-upon family, and you, the crowned Head of a prestigious clan. You were like the night to my star, all encompassing, all devastating, all bearing. In many ways, we could not have been. We were, still are, so different.

Why, then, did you look at me that night?

- - -

Okay, not going to lie. I cried like a baby. I don't even know why. It just… sorta happened. Anywho, hoped you liked it. And for those who don't know, this is based off of my Nocte Yin series. See my profile!

the point

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