Every new day without seeing the King feels like torture for Soyong. She promised herself that she would give him space to think everything through, but as time passes by she becomes more and more distressed. She is so anxious these days that Court Lady Choi and Hong Yeon start worrying for her health.
Soyong gave Cheoljong an uneasy task, she understands that. He needs to make an important and life-changing decision. But at the same time, she is scared. She knows now that even without the King’s love she will be able to find her happiness inside the palace. But her heart aches for his love. Craves it.
She wants to finally stop overthinking Cheoljong’s every longing gaze and facial expression. Are they for her? Did he love her? she wonders.
And as if the emotional struggle wasn’t enough, her body was also acting up. She yearned for her husband so much lately that it was starting to get uncomfortable. They hadn’t been together since that one night when they conceived their son. Soyong wasn’t completely sober at that time and shared blurred memories with Bong Hwan. Since she became the sole owner of her body, she and Cheoljong weren’t intimate again.
They shared a fair amount of kisses – some tender, some passionate. But nothing more than that. They had to be cautious with her pregnancy after she almost lost their child. Fear of miscarriage led Soyong to be so careful that even Court Lady Choi had little to nag her about. And it tells something, since on Soyong’s memory it was the first time.
After she finally gave birth to their beautiful and healthy boy, the last thing she wanted was to be touched. Their son occupied all her attention and she barely had time for catching up on the affairs of the inner court. But as time goes by, she feels like her desire grows with each passing day.
Soyong tries to distract herself with long walks, enjoying the early spring days and making new friends among scholars. It is fun while it lasts, but the moment she is left alone, her thoughts go back to her last talk with the King and she starts feeling gloomy again.
She attempts to tide herself over with her romantic novels for the time-being. She’s thankful her attendants and concubines also share her hobby so they can discuss the books together in glee. But it’s one thing to read about intimacy and another to experience it. And for that, she needs the man she loves.
Maybe it is alright to break the silence between us? Soyong wonders to herself late at night. Going to the King at this hour seems unreasonable, so she settles on writing him a letter.
Soyong sits at her desk, takes a small brush, and freezes for a moment.
What should I write?
As a noble lady she knows many beautiful love poems, but they can’t fully describe what she feels right now. Those poems depict affection and pure love. They are too innocent for her liking, as what she feels is far more passionate.
Fortunately for her, she still retains some memories from her time-travelling friend. She recalls Bong Hwan’s fondness for women wearing revealing clothes and singing catchy rhythms.
I can’t stop this trembling On and on and on
I wanna throw my all into your world Look at me look at me now
You are burning me up like this I can’t turn it off
Our love that’s like playing with fire
That is more like it, Soyong thinks proudly, humming the song to herself. But after putting the letter into an envelope, she begins to question herself.
Isn’t it too much? I’m the Queen of Joseon, I shouldn’t write things like that!
Cursing herself for being too well mannered for her own liking, she puts the letter on the table.
What is so bad about desiring my own husband? Is the Queen not a human?
But Soyong also has a nagging fear that Cheoljong doesn’t share her desires. Her letter would only make things more uncomfortable between them. She resolves to be more patient.
Discouraged, she calls for her maids and asks them to prepare a bath before she goes to sleep. She feels a bit better as she relaxes in the hot water with her favorite floral aromas surrounding her. She begins to feel hopeful that she can have a good night’s sleep for a change. The last few days were draining on her and she could use a night of peace.
“Your Highness,” Court Lady Choi breaks Soyong’s thoughts. “I apologize for interrupting, but I just learned that His Majesty came by each of the past few days looking for Your Highness.”
“What?” Soyong turns around to look at her friend. “Why didn’t anyone tell me earlier?”
“The maids forgot to mention it and His Majesty only asked about where to find Your Highness. His Majesty didn’t give instructions to deliver any messages. I apologize again.”
Soyong shifts deeper into the water. Suddenly she realizes she doesn’t want to hear what Cheoljong has to say. She doesn’t feel ready to face him yet. The past few days have felt like the longest in her life, but now she thinks that he made up his mind too fast.
She hopes that he will choose her. She asked him if they will be friends or lovers, but now she doubts if she could really just be his friend. She would still see him from time to time to discuss certain domestic affairs. She enjoys being part of his political decisions and likes that he asks her opinion on his ideas. Most importantly, they would have to spend time together as they raise their son.
A real no-touchi relationship would torment Soyong after what they have been through together. In a way, his coldness was easier to handle when there was seemingly no hope for a real relationship. But now that she has felt his love, it’s difficult for her to think about living without it. Soyong knows she’s strong enough to overcome that heartbreak, but it would be a long and hard path nevertheless.
Feeling down again, she finishes bathing and asks Hong Yeon to help her dress for sleep. When Soyong is in her room again, her gaze slides over her table and to her horror she doesn’t find the envelope with the letter sitting there.
“Yeon-ah,” the Queen calls. “I left an envelope on the table, did you see it?”
“Yes, Your Highness, I asked to have it delivered to the King,” she says with a proud smile. “You probably forgot to send it. You are so scattered lately-” Yeon stops mid-sentence as she turns around and realizes the Queen isn’t in the room anymore.
Soyong is running as fast as she can across the palace grounds. If she hurries, she can intercept the letter before the King has an opportunity to read it.
She realizes she’s too late as she sees the Head Eunuch leaving the King’s bedchambers. Quickly, Soyong runs through the doors, not giving anyone the chance to announce her arrival.
She instantly detects the King in his white and gold sleeping robe, sitting at his table with a few books strewn about. But in his hands isn’t a book, it’s her letter.
“Oh no!” she breathes out before running towards him. She leans with one knee on his table and snatches the letter from his hands. She tears it apart in an instant and takes a deep, relieved sigh.
The King on the other hand looks shocked as he inspects her disheveled appearance from his sitting position. She’s still hovering over him, breathing heavily for a few moments before she comes to her senses. She stands in front of him with her back straight and bows.
“I apologize for interrupting your evening, Your Majesty” she says politely as if the formal tone can save the situation. “Please, forget that happened.”
Too embarrassed to even look into his eyes, she turns around to leave. She wants nothing more than to disappear at this moment.
“Don’t go,” Cheoljong calls to her in a low voice that makes Soyong weak in the knees.
When Soyong turns around, the King is already on his feet, coming closer to her. He puts one hand on her waist to pull her against him as he cups her face with the other. Cheoljong looks deep into her eyes with such fondness that she knows his answer at last. She smiles as she leans into his touch. His thumb strokes her cheek and Soyong kisses the side of his palm.
After a moment that feels like eternity they finally meet for a kiss. It’s slow and sweet at first, but eventually their need for one another can’t be hidden anymore. As Soyong’s breath quickens between kisses, her desire becomes more evident. And Cheoljong is no better in hiding his growing eagerness.
He pushes her up against the nearest wall with a thud, pressing his body into hers, attempting to be even closer as if it is possible. Soyong lets out a little moan as she feels warmth build up in her lower abdomen. And when he lifts her leg up onto his hip, pressing into her even more, she feels how much he wants her as well.
This is when the rational part of her mind (that’s surprisingly still working) thinks it’s not going to work best by the wall. Soyong puts her hands on the sides of his head and gently pushes him away from her. Cheoljong doesn’t seem to want to be interrupted, but reluctantly pulls away. She swears she hears a little whimper from him – so un-king like, though she knows he would never admit that.
“Wh-what’s wrong…?” Cheoljong doesn’t finish his question as Soyong pounces on him, her legs crossing behind his back. He almost misses the moment to catch and support her, but is able to do so just in time.
“Are you intent on using me as your ride, My Queen?” he teases her with a smirk.
“Do you have any objections, Your Majesty?” she teases back, raising an eyebrow.
“I would not dare,” Cheoljong says with false seriousness. “Where to?”
“To the bedding,” Soyong commands, pointing her finger in that direction.
Cheoljong is happy to oblige, lifting her up in his arms more comfortably before carrying her all the way to the plush bedding. He takes advantage of the opportunity to kiss her exposed neck and collarbone. Soyong giggles as they fall onto the mattress together, but her laugh quickly sticks in her throat when she sees Cheoljong’s gaze. They meet for a kiss again, their mouths sliding in perfect tandem. Soyong is enjoying it, but she thinks it would be better if they had fewer layers of clothes between them – preferably none. She pushes his white robe off his shoulders and Cheoljong starts to get the idea of what he needs to do as well.
They are both in a rush to untie all the knots from each other’s undergarments, eager to finally touch bare skin. The cold air of the room gives Soyong goosebumps at first, but once Cheoljong’s hand caresses her bare waist and hips, she feels like she’s on fire. While his mouth is busy sucking at the curve of her neck, she grabs his hair and her back arches into his touch.
Not wanting to wait any longer, Cheoljong positions himself between her legs, ready for more. They stop for a moment to look into each other’s eyes. Soyong gazes at him, hardly believing this is happening for real. Cheoljong brushes his nose on hers as a sign to relax and stop overthinking.
Soyong lets out a little whimper as he slowly slides into her welcoming heat. They move in rhythm, studying each other’s reactions, remembering every sigh and moan. They take their time, knowing well that it’s only the beginning. The night is young and their vigor seems endless after so many days of waiting and longing for one another. And the moment Cheoljong breathes out her name at the peak of his pleasure, Soyong knows, there is no one but each other for the both of them.
- Bong Hwan is BLACKPINK’s biggest fan and no one will convince me otherwise;
- It’s my first attempt to write something close to M rating, but I need more practice. I’ll try improve in next works;
- Unfortunatelly this is last chapter, next is Afterword.