Of Tales and Sorrow: The Curse by DarkandLovely
Summary:

All he had to do was keep the agreement. Enduring life without her was hell enough but one more lifetime and she'd finally be his for good. 

 

 

 


Categories: Original Fiction Characters: None
Classification: General
Genre: Drama, Erotica, Fantasy, Friendship, Historical, Mystery, Romance
Story Status: Active
Pairings: None
Warnings: Adult Situations, Character Death, Dark Fic, Extreme Language, Graphic Violence, Original Characters, Racism, Rape, Sexual Content , Strong Sexual Content , Un-betaed , Work in Progress
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 15 Completed: Yes Word count: 31744 Read: 4313 Published: July 16 2020 Updated: August 07 2021

1. foreward by DarkandLovely

2. by DarkandLovely

3. by DarkandLovely

4. by DarkandLovely

5. by DarkandLovely

6. by DarkandLovely

7. by DarkandLovely

8. by DarkandLovely

9. by DarkandLovely

10. by DarkandLovely

11. by DarkandLovely

12. 十一 by DarkandLovely

13. 十二 by DarkandLovely

14. 十三 by DarkandLovely

15. 十四 by DarkandLovely

foreward by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MY BRAIN IS WRACKED WITH ALL OF THESE IDEAS... MORE THAN HALF OF THEM GOING IN MY ANTHOLOGY. I had the desire to write a story revolving around a mermaid/merman?? Don't ask me why lol. I'm on a roll baby and I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into some of these ideas! Once school starts, I hope I'm gonna have time to write! (cause ya know it's a stress reliever and alla dat haha) Okay PLOT TIME! 

 

 

 

This will be short two part tale. Split up between two time periods. It answers the question: How far is one willing to go for love, freedom and safety? It involves a Chinese merman and an enslaved woman of African descent. First tale is named The Curse. it’s setting is in San Fransisco. The year is 1853. 

 

 

 

It is very obvious to Li Jie that when he comes to the New World, things aren’t as they were promised. Having left his life and his adopted family behind in Beijing, he sets out to make a better life for himself in the ‘Land of Gold’ as it’s known back home. He was promised gold. Land. A wife. To which none were given. Instead, he finds himself brutally discriminated against, struggling to keep his head above water on land. Thankful for the other few but growing number of Chinese that flock to the small city of Encinitas, he finds refuge within the depths of the sea nearby. Having been turned into a creature of the sea long ago, he has time and time again been slave to her depths. Only a few share his secret and it is one he is content with it until he sees a woman wandering the beach one evening. She throws herself into the sea, anguish and pain meeting the deep blue. A part of him wants no part of it. But another part of him decides to save her. That night begins everything. 

 

小冷…子 as Li Jie (22)**

 

 

Eminta (Ah-min-tah) is a woman seeking freedom. She escaped from her plantation in Mississippi and by the grace of God finally made it into California with the hopes of earning enough to buy her own freedom. Having seen the worst of a human being, she tries to create a sense of her own humanity, finding work as a domestic and companion. Grateful for the tight knit community that takes her in she finally feels like she can breathe. But the feeling does not last long as slave catchers catch her scent and her only saving grace is a proprietor of an inn, Mr. Kelly Grace. Grace recognizes her from the posters. He catches the thick deep Southern twang in her voice. He knows. And yet.. he offers her a way out. For a price.

Either she serve as his night companion and domestic by day or he turn her in to the slave catchers. Her days of joy quickly turn into days and nights of hell and she wonders if coming to California was a mistake. Perhaps it would have been better if she’d ended it all back in Mississippi. Perhaps it would be better to just let the waves of the beckoning sea quiet her into sleep. 

 

**(19)

 

 

** I have NO idea what these two individual's names are. Trust me, I tried to find them. I literally (not exaggerating) spent all day and part of the night last night trying to find the male protagonist's name and what I got were the characters! I don't know what it translates to in English but I think it's his name! For the sistah, it was all to no avail. *long sigh* 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TEASER ONE: 

 

 

    At first he thought he had imagined it. The sound of weeping. Surely he must have. But as he surfaced again, he heard it once more and it sent a stabbing pain right to his heart. To whom did the somber sound of suffering and anguish belong to? Sinking below the surface, he gave his fins a firm beat and soon he inched closer to shore. There stood a woman, dark in color, cheeks shiny with tears. He was far enough away that he couldn’t quite make out all of her features yet. The woman sobbed as she lifted small dark hands to her hair. Taking it loose, she sniffed as she continued to stare out at the waves rolling in. His breath caught in his throat as she slowly began to undress, peeling her garments away from her with ease… with care. 

    Leaning her head back, she looked up into the sky but for a moment. He dashed underwater and hid behind a cluster of small rocks, closer to where she was. She began to walk towards the quiet lulling waves, eyes now filled with a sad resignation. He curiously watched as the water began to rise from her ankles to her knees. Dark eyes roamed the naked flesh of the woman also…curiously. It resembled a black pearl; smooth, silky and intoxicating. She possessed a small heart shaped face, high but round cheeks and a pair of delicate lips, full and inviting. Pert conical breasts, dark nipples and a small waist. Small endearing pudge of a stomach and thick thighs.  

     She was beautiful… in a way he’d never before seen. What disturbed him was how there seemed to be deep lashes marring the otherwise satiny flesh. They littered across her thighs in mismatched lengths and depth, deep black from scarring. Eyes lifted to her face now as the water drew up around her waist. So, she was to end her life on this night. The hell she called a human life had been too much for her to bear. Lifting fingers out to grasp onto the warm slippery rocks, he watched as she took a breath and slowly allowed the sea to claim her. Her thick coily hair was the last to disappear and for a moment he watched air bubbles rise to the top. 

    Gripping the rocks, he turned and prepared to swim off when he was stopped by that deep sharp pain. Clutching his chest, he tightened his jaw and eyed the spot where she’d went down. He didn’t understand why he felt the need to save her but damn it all his fins started to beat and he sunk below the surface, swimming towards her rapidly drowning body. 

 

 

 

 

TEASER TWO: 

 

 

    “May I help you?” Lifting eyes from the beautiful trinkets on the display table, she felt her heart start to pound. There stood in front of her a Chinaman with beauty unlike anything she’d ever reckoned seeing. He had an otherworldly countenance about him, aided by features one would say were quite feminine. Thick shapely eyebrows, hooded chestnut eyes, encased in a tantalizing almond shell, handsome broad nose and pouty pink lips. It was a wonder he hadn’t been mistaken for a woman. 

    “Miss?” His deep accented voice was pleasant to the ear and it sent a shiver down her spine. Swallowing, she forced her eyes away from him back onto the table, desperate to bring anything else into sight but him. 

    “What’d I tell you about running off huh?” Feeling her body grow stiff, she turned to look at Grace who was approaching looking none too pleased. 

    “I’m sorry Grace… I…I just had to look at these items here.” A firm hand struck her and she felt the skin of her lip tear, blood starting to dribble down her chin. 

    “I don’t like you disobeying me Aurora. Seems you don got too gotdamn comfortable huh girl?” Scoffing, the man reached into his pocket and threw a handkerchief at her. 

    “Fix yourself up and let’s go.” 

    “Yes Grace.” She said softly, glancing up at his retreating form. Embarrassment covered her hot and heavy and for the first time, she noticed he wasn’t looking at her. The curious yet friendly look of before was gone. Now, he looked out right pissed as he stared at the back of Grace’s head. Those darkening eyes of his drifted back to her and another chill fell down her spine. 

    “Aurora!”

    “C-Coming Grace!” Drawing herself away from him, she swallowed up the humiliation, tears and anger she felt and forced it down to the ground. That man… he’d most definitely been the one to save her. But Grace was so far as she knew the only one keeping her alive. She’d endure this for as long as she could… just enough to buy her freedom. 

 

 

 

TEASER THREE: 

 

 

    “Why you always out here?” Lips smiled and eyes teased her as they took her in their sight. 

    “Why?”

    “Yeah.”

    “I guess you can say…I’m drawn to the waves.” He answered, lips forming a small smirk. 

    “That right?”

    “Mmhm.”

    “I see.” She’d lifted her dress and let the cold water lap at her hot toes, soon wiggling them around in the wet sand. 

    “How is one ‘drawn’ to the waves Jie?” At that, he laughed softly and the sound of it warmed her belly. 

    “I’m afraid if I tell you that…” Coming behind her, he lifted his hands to cover her eyes. 

    “I’d have to kill you.” He whispered into her ear, smiling against it at her inhale of breath. 

    “I’m as good as dead anyways so it don’t make much a difference.” She said softly, lifting those small fingers to wrap around his wrists. 

    “So, you wish for death again.” It wasn’t a question. An observation. A fact. Perhaps. 

    “I wish for my freedom. But if death is all that’s gonna give it to me then…I have no choice.” He pulled his hands away from the woman and slowly walked around to face her. 

    “You’re a morbid one aren’t you?” 

    “Yeah and you ain’t? I seen the way they strung up that Chinaman friend of yours the other day. Hung him just like a nigger they did. What’d he do?” At that, his gaze dropped and for a long while he stared out at the gentle waves, the whole of the sea blue-green. Endless. 

    “Perhaps I don’t wish for death Bòhé. Perhaps I wish for freedom too.” 

    “Hm. From what? You ever been in chains Jie?” His gaze had grown dark almost black with intensity, the shiny inky depths chilling her. 

    “Indeed. They suffocate me more and more each day.” At that, she hummed, coming to wrap her arms around herself. 

    “Bòhé.”

    “What?”    

    “Tonight, I will show you what I mean.” She stood quiet as he began to undress, feeling her cheeks grow warm at the sight of his firm pectorals, biceps, and abdomen all covered in that creamy alabaster skin. She’d never seen him without clothing…and as he bared his broad muscular back, long legs and the round toned cheeks of his buttocks she could honestly admit that she was taken aback. He reached up and untied his topknot, allowing the thick dark strands to tumble down his back. Without another word he entered the water and soon dove beneath its depths. She held her breath, clutching her dress nervously when she didn’t see him surface. A dark head popped up and eyes now focused on her. 

    “Come.” He beckoned, outstretching his hand towards her. She didn’t move, apprehension making her stomach tight. 

    “Jie…I…I don’t know what you’re tryna do but-”

    “I told you I would show you. Let me.” Biting her lips near to shreds, she slowly came toward the outstretched hand. 

    “Do I gotta strip down too?” At that, he laughed. 

    “Not if you don’t wish to.”

    “Hm.” 

    “Come.” The water felt good on her ankles and she took a deep breath before walking further in. Taking his hand, she gripped tight as he pulled her closer. 

    “Good. Closer.” 

    “J-Jie…”

    “You are safe bòhé.” She couldn’t explain how it seemed they were drifting further and further away from shore and so quickly but at the moment, she was trying not to touch him anywhere that would be deemed inappropriate. 

    “Closer bòhé. Come closer.”

    “I am closer.”

    “No.” He lifted an arm and wrapped it around her waist, pulling her flush against him. She gasped, gripping him at the shoulders. 

    “It’s imperative that you stay close bòhé.”

    “W-Why?”

    “Can you feel anything beneath your feet?” He asked, soon lifting his other arm to encircle it around her waist. 

    “N-No…”

    “That’s why.” She let out a small whimper and pressed her face against his neck. 

    “Why we so far out? What’s this gonna prove? This makes no sense.” 

    “It will xiǎo jiāhuo.” Lifting a hand, he pressed it against her pinned braids, gently massaging her scalp with the pads of his fingers. 

    “You are safe with me. It’s all right. There’s no need to fear.” He reassured with a soft gentle voice, smiling as her arms slid around his neck. His fingers left her hair and breezed across the back of her neck, securing a gentle grip. At that, she lifted her head. 

    “Jie…” 

    “Here we both can have what we most desire.” She couldn’t reply because he’d taken the pad of his thumb and breezed it across her bottom lip. 

    “You can have freedom and I, having bondage that appears free, can have my chains removed.” 

    “H-how do you propose we obtain it?” Those enchanting black depths drifted upwards from her lips to her eyes and they had an unexplainable hold on her. Caressing her cheek, he drew nearer, carefully, lips seeking hers. When they met, she felt an explosion travel through her, setting her aflame from the roots of her hair follicle to the soles of her feet. It wasn’t but a simple kiss but it left her insatiable, hungry for another. And another he granted her, another and another until her very skin seemed to melt from her bones and her mouth opened, panting for breath, welcoming his warm slick tongue afterward. 

    “Take a deep breath and hold tight to me w’ de ài.” Letting air fill her lungs, the water covered them as he pulled her down deeper into the depths.

 

End Notes:

A/N:Yeahhhh I'm liking this one~ lol. What y'all think? Ion know what's with this mythical theme I'm on right now but I'm just gon ride the wave lol. I've got translations down below. As it needs to be said, I am NOT FLUENT in Chinese (any of the variations, dialects) so there's that! But I am down to be repectfully taught and corrected should anything be wrong. I'm gettin the translations from translation sites. LOL. It's all a sistah got. lol. Okay going back ghost. See y'all soon! 

 

P.S- THANK Y'ALL FOR ALL Y'ALL SUPPORT. I know I been posting a LOT of story ideas lately and I want to assure you that favs like Yeonwang WILL be completed! And newbies like Delphine will be started. There's a method to the madness lol. Okay DL OUT!

~DarkandLovely 

 

bòhé- Mint. 

xiǎo jiāhuo- Little one 

w’ de ài- My love 

 

And more pictures of this gorgeous man okay because literally when I saw him, my breath caught in my throat. 

 

一 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:


one

 

The waters were vast and quiet, as far as the eye could see a deep blue stretched across the horizon and clear waves lapped against bare toes. Eyes took in the familiar scene and felt a tug in the heart. As always… once again… there was that persistent never-ending pull towards the mysterious depths. Even now chains seemed to tighten around the flesh of his neck. 

    “Professor Yi?” Turning eyes away from the sea, his eyes found the face of a woman looking at him. She was familiar and mostly quiet. 

    “Will you take me back to campus now? The views are beautiful but I do have to get studying.” Tightening his jaw, he acquiesced and slid wet feet back into his nearby sandals. 

    “Forgive me. I’ve kept you all this time.”

    “No, it’s okay…really. I…I wanted to come see. Get a chance to escape for a while.” Nodding, he cleared his throat and began to lead her away from the tranquil waters. She had asked him about his knowledge of living things underneath the surface, her interest in that of marine biology. He’d told her that he was very familiar as he liked to ‘swim’ quire a lot. The young pupil of his had dared to ask the question of ‘other’ beings that were rumored and fabled to live alongside the crustaceans and reefs. To which he decided to tell her of its truth. She seemed bright, young and curious… non judgmental and open minded. Perhaps, she’d learn more than she bargained for. It would be his pleasure to give that knowledge to her. But also it would be his duty to warn her. 

    “Fei-hua, have you heard about the curse of the sea?” The girl looked up at him, interests piqued and shook her head. He licked his lips as they neared his car. 

    “Should you wish to continue down this path, it is imperative that you become aware.” 

    “Oh?” Eyes grew intense as they left her face to gaze back outward towards the beckoning waves. 

    “Perhaps your interests would surely die off once you know. Perhaps it will be better. But then, the choice is always yours to make. That’s the one thing no one can take from you.” 

 

*** 

 

    It sickened him how the thrill of the swim always seemed to pulse through his veins. It disgusted him. And yet the deeper into the waves he grew, the more his entire body seemed to light up with an unexplainable energy. It wasn’t until he surfaced that the reality of it all hit him like a train. When he surfaced, it was then that he was faced again with his solitude, pain and heartbreak. Coming to shore, his eyes drifted up above to the many stars that twinkled and shined above him. Nights like this made him want to end it all. 

    When the crisp cold air froze his bare wet skin and the breath came out as a barely-there mist, his tears too froze upon his cheeks. Should they talk, should they have voice they would scream. They would cry and anguish would run deep into the earth. If he could, he’d reach inside his chest and take out the heart so full of sadness and pain and cast it too into the sea. Just a bit longer. Just a bit more. Yet as he tried to reason with himself it always pained him more and more. To have had to live without her. 

 

*** 

    “Professor?” Dark somber eyes turned to look upon the young bright and curious girl. 

    “Yes?”

    “Why do you always look so sad? You look like you will cry.” Lips turned up into a smile but it never did reach his eyes. 

    “Do I?” 

    “You look heartbroken.” A sharp pain sliced through his heart and he attempted to smile again but found that he couldn’t. 

    “…You could say that.” He admitted, a hand bringing up a cup of coffee to his mouth. Fei-hua looked sad as she watched him drink, cheeks aglow with a girlish blush nevertheless. 

    “Who broke your heart?” Sitting the cup of coffee back on the plate, he swallowed thickly. 

    “The question is not who. It’s what.” 

 

 

*** 

 

 

    Dark beautiful eyes watched him. Dark red lips curved upwards in a smile. He was handsome. Breathtakingly so. She could see why his father kept him hidden. For if he were not careful, the boy would surely come under the most dangerous circumstances at the hands of a woman. Eyes traced the smooth yet sharp jawline and his shapely nose. There blushing lips made themselves home on his mouth and his long girlish lashes fluttered against the tops of rosy cheeks. He hadn’t moved and yet the breath of every woman seemed at a stand still.

     Some looked at him in envy. Others distain. But she… no… she looked at him with an appreciative and muted desire. It had been a long time since she’d seen one so beautiful. As if the gods had crafted and carved him out of cloud and jasper. As a slim wrist lifted, fan in large delicate hand, she sat back, lips curving upward once more. She’d watch him more a bit longer. She’d wait until he grew just a bit more. 

 

*** 

 

    “How long ago was it that you met her?” He’d grown tired. Already his heart beat rapidly inside of his chest and the smallest trickling of fear licked at his neck. She won’t believe you. She’ll think you’re insane. 

    “A very long while ago.” He chose to answer, not sparing any specific details. 

    “Was she your first love?” 

    “No.”

    “Then?” 

    “It all started with her. My life began and ended all at the same time.” 

    “How?” 

    “A struck of curiosity and a black starless night.” At that, Fei-hua closed her mouth and played with the edge of her napkin. Hence, there was her warning. She was far too curious and for that he feared for her. Should she not tame the burning desires to know the unknown he worried that the poor girl would bite off far more than she could chew. And by the time she realized what had become of her, it would be too late. 

    “I’ll take you home. It’s quite late.” He offered, leaving the now cold coffee in the cup. Blinking, she began to hurry, grabbing her jacket and attempting to catch up to his much taller form. She found that her heart beat wildly in her chest when she was around him. It was true that she liked him. Every girl in class liked Professor Yi. He was something like out of a wuxia drama or something. His features were simply out of this world… he didn’t even look real most times. But when he would speak, when he would open his mouth, a dark sadness would spill out from his pleasantly deep tone. It seemed to be there as a persistent shadow that hung over him. He never smiled and almost never stayed past the time of class. 

    But to the jealousy of the other classmates, she’d convinced him to stay. She’d convinced him to take her on this journey and now…now she burned with desire. The desire to know everything about him. The desire to be graced with a smile. The desire to have and hold his body in hopes that with her his heart could grow warm again. It was foolish she knew to desire it all. But as she glanced at him out of the corner of her eye, his large beautiful hands on the stirring wheel, she felt powerless to the hold he seemed to have on her. Biting her lip, she stared down at her own hands until he pulled up to her apartment. 

    He expected her to get out. But when she didn’t, he glanced at her. She was rosy cheeked and her fingers were gripped tight together. 

    “What’s wrong?” He asked, slightly turning to face her. Of course he knew what was wrong. He knew that the girl beside him had tasted the cup of desire and now she burned with a fire that would not be quenched so easily. He hated himself for it… for having this effect on her. 

    “Professor Yi…I…um…” 

    “There will be no class tomorrow if you’re worried. I have cancelled it.”

    “No, it’s not that…” 

    “Then what is it?” He hated the question. He could feel the longing within her to have him. It was innocent. Sweet. She desired an intimacy that he’d never be willing or able to give her. He pitied her…pitied himself. 

    “The story you told me…back at the sea. About mermaids.”

    “Yes?”

    “Are there such a thing as mermen too?” He was quiet for a while before, 

    “Yes. They exist.” Her eyes turned towards him. 

    “Are you….do you…” Don’t ask that question. Please don’t. 

    “Goonight Fei-hua.” He dismissed rather abruptly, forcing shock and a slight hurt to flash across her features. Gathering her bag, she swallowed thickly. 

    “I’m sorry for prying. I…I just want to know more about y-about the sea.” Hands now gripping the steering wheel, he gave her another cold detached smile. 

    “It’s no problem. Really.” She went to open the door but to his surprise, leaned back into the car, pressing an impulsively rushed kiss against his lips. He grew still, eyes on hers now closed. Pulling back from him, she immediately looked regretful and without a word more got out of his car. Slamming the door shut, she ran into the apartment building. He sat there in the parking lot for a little while, blankly staring at nothing. His lips tingled from the contact and he stabbed the flesh with his teeth to cease it. Putting the car in gear, finally he got onto the road.

Tonight was a dark starless night. Only the light of the faint moon shined above. It would be the perfect night to hide within the depths of the sea, in hopes that she would drown and choke the miserable life from him. Bare feet met the cool sand and fingers began to remove his clothing. Naked now, he slowly approached the waves and soon they covered him until he was no more. 

End Notes:

A/N: Wow what a way to start! I felt a pull from Jie and Eminta so hard today LOL. I was not even gonna start write Of Tales so soon after finishing Monster LOL. Like I thought okay lemme rest up a lil bit before I jump in. But here we are. LOL. The chapters are short as this will be a short novel. I hope y'all like this intense start hehe. It's gonna be real haha. Thoughts? Love y'all and see y'all next chapter. 

OH! P.S- any text in italics is either implied Mandarin or past tense! Thank you hehe. 

D&L~ 

 

二 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

two

 

In his dreams she still lived. There, he was tormented most grievously. He wished never to wake from them and tears would stain his pillow upon the morning light. There… there she rested in his arms and time seemed to be endless… not existing or mattering at all. There he could surrender to his heart’s deepest desires. He could cry, laugh and smile. He could love, listen and speak. He could touch, take, have and possess. She was his again and he could be greedy and eat of her all he wanted. He could ache, long and sigh and the sounds of their love, their passion, their need of one another drifted across the waves, a song stitched into the fabric of the heavens and stars, more beautiful than even the siren. 

 

    *** 

 

    Fingers slipped into his hair and slowly massaged his scalp. 

    “Jie…” Her voice was soft, lilting…sweet. Opening his eyes, he took her into his visage and sighed in contentment. Her smooth skin was bare and glistened with the spray of the ocean…how it beckoned his kiss and her breasts beckoned his tongue. Her lips, what a glorious pathway to the wine of his love flowing, how he wanted to taste of them again. Pretty white teeth melted him as she smiled and leaned down to press her forehead against his. 

    “You sleep so soundly.” She whispered against him, lips smiling. Reaching up, he took hold of a small slim wrist. 

    “I only can when I’m with you.” He answered with another sigh. 

    “I have to return to Grace you know. I can’t-” He lifted up and pushed her back against the sand, fingers gripping wet clumps in between them. Her beautiful brown eyes, slightly wide looked up at him. His hair fell down and around them, seeming to block out everything around them, a halo of black silk. 

    “Don’t mention him.” Biting her lip, she lifted a hand and caressed his cheek. 

    “Jie…”

    “No. You’re not in his possession. You’re in mine.” 

    “You’re right.” Down below, she had lifted a leg and draped it across his lower back. 

    “I’m sorry.” Lips met and with his tongue, he accepted her apology, reaching down to lift her other leg to rest around his back. 

    “He’s not deserving of you. The thought of him makes me want to kill him.” He breathed against her lips, eyes dark and intense. 

    “Jie…” She breathed, not a moment later moaning at his entry. Slipping hands around his wrists, she let him break the chains around her neck, each thrust into her body severing link by link. Arching her back, she let the freedom take her whole body into the sky and at a loud muffled groan against her neck, closed her eyes in hopes that she never returned to earth. 

    “Don’t let me go.” She breathed against him, arms wrapping him up in safe warm bliss. 

    “Promise that we can stay like this for a little longer.” Soft sweet kisses against her answered her and the sound of the waves crashed against them, filled with their love the same. 

 

 

*** 

 

    It seemed to occur more and more frequently now as of late and each time he would wake with tear stains on his pillow. Suffering still but not enough. It was never enough. He’d silently get up and go into the bathroom, turn on the shower and allow the water to rain down on him. Slowly, he’d lift his hand and stroke himself, eyes squeezed shut, mouth sometimes panting quietly… teeth stabbing his lip others. He was silent and full of disappointment, even as he’d release and open his eyes, watching the silky clear testament to his misery drift down the drain. Stiffly, he would wash his body and get out, comb his hair, now no longer down his back and brush his teeth. He’d shave and get dressed. Unplug his phone and charger. Grab his keys and ignite the engine. All the while eyes blank and unfeeling. 

 

 

*** 

 

    Her heart pounded wildly in her chest the minute he walked in. Guilt flushed her and she gripped her pencil tightly as their eyes met. His gaze pierced her but it did not stay for long, withdrawing and pointing downward to his briefcase. She should not have kissed him. She didn’t even know what had possessed her to do something like that. Kiss her professor….want to do more than that. It frustrated her that he made her feel these things. And yet he seemed to have no desire to hold himself responsible for his actions. The wanting and yearning within her was going to drive her insane. His hair looked so good today, the strands to his split bangs teasing his eyebrows. He wore a simple dress shirt and slacks, the fabric emphasizing the long length of his legs. 

    “Good morning class.” 

    “Good morning Teacher Yi.” Nodding, he began to jump right into his lesson and his eyes did not happen across her again. 

 

*** 

 

    “Professor Yi!” His body wanted to ignore her and keep going but his legs stopped. His back was stiff and eyes staring ahead of him. 

    “Can…can we talk please? Just for a moment.” Swallowing, he turned and looked at her. 

    “I’m…I’m sorry. For…what I did the other night. I don’t know what got into me.” She started, lifting nervous fingers up to slide some loose hair from her bun back behind her ear. 

    “I think it’s um… pretty o-obvious by now…that I-I-that I like you.” Lifting shy guilty eyes upward, they stared into his empty ones. 

    “I know it’s inappropriate but I can’t stop my feelings.” He didn’t move… didn’t do anything but stare at her. 

    “Say something!” She demanded, the nervous fingers now visibly shaking. 

    “You asked me if I was a merman.” Her eyes now filled with tears widened. 

    “The answer is yes. I am. The fabled creatures you are so interested in exist. The idyllic fairytales surrounding them do not.”  She could not speak, mouth dropped open in shock. 

    “It is a very lonely existence. We are alone and we wish for death more days than not. We are cursed beings, enslaved to the sea and her call. We are but servant to the moon and her phases.” The girl began to cry and he wished that he could console her. 

    “You asked me to tell you my story. My life. Since you burn with such damning curiosity, I’ll allow this much. All else you desire of me I cannot give you.” 

    “But….but you’re so sad. I just… I just want to take it all away from you.” She sobbed, lifting hands up to her eyes to stop the onslaught of tears that wracked her. 

    “You can’t. It is my price to pay for going against the law of the sea.” 

    “The law of the sea?” 

    “Tonight, I will take you there. I will answer your questions.” At that, he turned away from her and began to walk away from her. 

 

***

 

    The night was cooler than normal and she shivered, closing her jacket. There he stood up ahead, back facing her. Looking out towards the sea. 

    “Professor-”

    “My birth name is Yi Zhaojie. I was born in the year 715 A.D to wealthy noble parents.” 

    “What?” Her voice exposed her shock and disbelief. 

    “There’s no way you could have been born that long ago! If you’re trying to be funny… Professor Yi I don’t… I don’t appreciate it.” At last, he turned towards her, his eyes mysterious and appeared black in the night. 

    “This is what you wanted. Don’t doubt my words now.” Swallowing thickly, she watched as he turned back to the lapping waves that now glided across his bare feet. 

    “I have lived on this earth for a very long time. And more than half of it has been alone.” 

    “Why?” She asked, sniffling. 

    “Because the woman with the heart of death gave me my first kiss. It was she who lured me into the waves of destruction.” She was now quiet as he continued, 

    “I was 22 cycles when it happened. And it was then that my life both stopped and began.” 

End Notes:

A/N: I know it's short y'all listen LOL. Y'all know I'm not used to writing such short chapters. But in my head they are appearing like short little episodes LOL. so I gotta go with the flow here. I feel torn up about Jie. He's in so much pain... the longing he has for Eminta is heartbreaking. *sigh* Soon, our leading lady will make her appearance though hehe. See y'all one more chapter! 

D&L~

 

三 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

three 

 

734 A.D 

Tang Dynasty 

 

    “Zhaojie!” Eyes turned from the sparkling waters to a small girl, eyes and smile wide. Returning her smile, he knelt as she ran into his arms. 

    “Little Sister…why are you roaming around here in the sun? Your skin will burn.” The girl giggled against him and accepted his full lift up into his arms. 

    “Mama and Papa are in meetings and I’m bored!” Chuckling, he turned back towards the waters of the fountain. 

    “Well, I will have to entertain you somehow hm?”

    “Right!” Laughter filled the atmosphere and soon the two left from the pavilion, hand in hand. 

 

*** 

 

    “The elders used to scare us as children warning young men not to happen by water at night. They claimed that beautiful women would rise out of the water and take your soul. If they had your soul, you could not reach Nirvana.”Now, amidst the lapping waves they both sat, her eyes turned to him. 

    “It was the most terrifying thing we’d ever been told. And yet now… I wish I had listened.” 

    “What happened? What did you do?” Turning eyes from the water, he looked at her.     

    “I made the mistake of going there. Alone, I had not been prepared for what met me.” 

 

*** 

 

    His heart beat wildly in his chest as he ran, silk boots having been thrown off. Eager for the wet mushy sand, they sunk slightly as he ran to the water edge. Reaching up, he hastily removed the suffocating hat and threw it too on the ground. It was all too much sometimes. While others enjoyed the attention from the female upper court, he preferred to stay back… away from the fray of it all. Many a woman had tried to seduce him, many his parents had tried to convince him to marry. But nevertheless, he had refused time and time again. 

    Reaching up, he pulled the pin to his hair free and allowed the strands to fall down his back. Taking off his robe, he stood in silk. For just a moment, he wanted to escape it all. For just a moment. Tentatively, he tested the water temperature with his toes. Surprisingly, it wasn’t as cold as he had expected. It was just after dusk so perhaps the waters were still warm from the blazing sun of day. Sighing, he took a step into the water. Growing deeper now by his hips, he sighed, drifting eyes upward to the stars. How aplenty they were and they shined bright this night. A slick smooth tickle ran across the back of his leg and he froze. Glancing down, he saw nothing and dipped underneath. Surfacing, he smoothed his hair back from his face and closed his eyes feeling the toss and pull of the water. There, again that tickle happened by his leg and he turned to see nothing, reaching down to feel nothingness. Perhaps it was not a good time to swim for the fish were thinking to make him a meal. He’d gotten back to the shallow banks when he’d heard a voice. 

    “You should be home.” Turning, he found a woman, leaning up against the banks, arms crossed. Eyes wide, he couldn’t hide his shock at seeing her mouth agape. She was naked, smooth wet milky skin shining like the ember of the moon. Her hair was unbound and fell down and across her shoulders, down past the visage of the lapping water. Her lips were painted red and her almond shaped eyes were big and beautiful. There upon her forehead rested a delicate huadian. 

    “Who are you? What are you doing here?” He asked, lifting his robes to cover private area. The woman laughed and lifted up slightly out of the water, exposing small white breasts. He swallowed thickly as she pulled the hair covering them away and to the side, enjoying his blushing cheeks. He seemed to grasp his robes there at the apex of his thighs a bit tighter to her chagrin. 

    “You are the one not in his proper place, boy.” 

    “Excuse me?” She admired him openly from head to toe, pausing at the held robe. 

    “What a gift this is. To offer me such a beautiful and handsome man.” 

    “Why do you swim after dark?” He tried to ask but she answered him with another question. 

    “Why do you think the old men told you not to venture near water at night?” He swallowed and his Adam’s apple bobbled. 

    “They claim women are there who will steal our souls.” 

    “And do you believe that young one?” He tried to focus on his clothing but for some reason, his gaze drew once again to her exposed chest. He couldn’t help the rising excitement of his male member, not with the sight of her small pink nipples now erect. 

    “I…I don’t know…” He struggled to answer, feeling his body grow warm. 

    “I’ve waited for you Zhaojie.” Even her voice held an erotic quality to it and it seemed to send blood rushing in between his legs. 

    “Waited for me?” 

    “I’ve wanted you for a long time. I’ve watched you grow up from a boy to now a man.” 

    “What?” His feet seemed to have a mind of their own and they took a step towards her. Glancing down at his feet, he tried to stop them by will but he failed. The robes fell from his hands and she licked her lips at what had been exposed to her. 

    “My, what a beautiful offering you bring me. You may have tried to fight the yearnings of being a man but I think it most cruel to deny yourself what is only in your nature.” She hushed as he drew closer to her. 

    “What have you done to me? Why do I move without wanting to?” He questioned, forehead now beaded with sweat. He felt so hot to the touch, like he had swallowed the sun. 

    “I’ve not done a thing. It is your will that brings you to me.” 

    “No! No it’s not…” Slowly, he knelt above her, hands gripping the grass. 

    “What man are you that you fight against your desires?” She asked, lifting fingers to skim across his stomach appreciatively. 

    “Stop.” 

    “Zhaojie…I want to show you an existence where you won’t want to hide.” Leaning forward, she pressed a feather soft kiss against his now fully erect manhood, the action making him gasp. Upward she kissed his body until their eyes met, lips a hair length apart from each other. 

    “With me, you can be free. You can know no pain, sorrow or death. You can do whatsoever you desire. Not bound by traditions of this world, you can make your own destiny.”  

    “My own destiny?” 

    “Yes young one… the world will be yours.” She pressed herself against him, chest to chest, wrapping arms around his neck. 

    “Trust me…” She whispered against his lips, eyes drowning him. Slowly, she kissed him once. Twice. Three times more before deepening the kiss with her tongue. His kiss was awkward and inexperienced but she smiled against him as his hands lifted to her breasts. 

    “There you are. Doesn’t that feel better than trying to fight it?” 

    “Let…let me go…” Licking her lips, she kissed his neck, pulling him closer and closer. Before he knew it, her lips were back on his and she’d pulled him underneath the surface of the water. 

 

***

 

    “It was that night that I drowned. Cruelly, she hovered above me, watching as the water filled my lungs and I thrashed to and fro.” 

    “My God…”

    “I was a moment from death when she bit into my neck. Her nails were as claws and something hot radiated from her hands as they hovered over my legs. Too weak, I could not fight against her and succumbed to the pull of the water.” 

    “Professor Yi…”

    “When I woke up, I was on dry land. The grassy marshes of the lake tickled my skin. My robes there a little ways from me. I tried to reason with myself and convince myself that it was all just a sickening nightmare. But the damage had already been done.” She was quiet as she took him in. How sad he seemed recounting his tale. 

    “When I returned to the Palace I found bloodshed. My entire family had been slaughtered. Members of court. Government officials…it was a complete blood bath.” Lifting eyes up from his hands, he swallowed. 

    “I remember kneeling over the body of my sister. Still warm, her cheeks still held a rosy color though blood seeped out from her small lips. I cried against her; cried against my parents for what seemed to be hours. When I glanced up there was a man standing there watching me. His eyes were sad and his face still. He told me to get up and follow him.” 

    “Where did he take you?”

    “He took me to a village far away from the palace. People who I later learned were just like me. He listened patiently as I explained what happened and did not interrupt as I grieved my now lost family. He told me that the same had happened to him and those else in the village. He told me that now I would feel a pull to the seas and should I not go, my soul would be eaten by the one who claimed it.” Fei-hua covered her mouth, eyes teary. 

    “Professor Yi…that’s…that’s horrible…”

    “Yes. It was. I had no choice but to live this new immortal life. Throughout the way, I’ve lost many friends. I’ve learned many painful lessons.” The girl was contemplative for a while, clutching her fingers together. 

    “Is that why you’re afraid to let someone into your heart? Is it because you know you’ll lose them?” 

    “Yes.” He admitted with a melancholy sigh. 

    “Have you ever let someone in?” That took a while before he answered. His voice sounded tortured… pained…as though with each word he spoke his very heart shattered piece by piece. 

    “Once. Only once.” 

    “Never before?” She asked, pulling her knees up to her chest. 

    “Of course I had my share of sexual experiences throughout the years. But no.” 

    “Then she must have been someone you really truly loved…” His eyes were away from her now. 

    “Who was it?” Licking her lips, she glanced at him again as he began to stand. 

    “Wait!” She hurried to put on her shoes. 

    “I’ll take you home. It’s getting late.” He didn’t seem to care about the sand on his feet as he slipped into his shoes once again. Nearly running to catch up to him, she huffed. 

    “Please? You’ve told me all of this thus far.” She begged, hands on her knees out of breath. To her surprise, he chuckled and went to get into the car. The sound was weird but it was delightful and warm and she bit her lip as she got in. 

    “Her name was Eminta.” Starting the ignition, he began on the journey to take her home. 

End Notes:

A/N: So first off the whole entire way this man got lured into the merman life was creep as hell. Kay, and secondly that mermaid lady need to be kicked in the fin or something. Total predator vibes *shudders* It's sad that this has happened to our Jie... his life ended in heartbreak only to begin in heartbreak. The foundation has been set guys. Now, our story will commence and Eminta will make her appearance! I hope you've liked it so far! Take care and stay safe! God bless! 

D&L~

 

Huadian* 

*taken from online* 

-The Huadian or forehead decoration was said to have originated in the South Dynasty, when the Shouyang Princess was taking a walk in the palace in early spring and a light breeze brought a plum blossom onto her forehead. The plum blossom for some reason could not be washed off or removed in any way. Fortunately, it looked beautiful on her, and all of a sudden became all the rage among the girls of the commoners. It is therefore called the “Shouyang makeup” or the “plum blossom makeup.”

source: https://ziseviolet.tumblr.com/post/136648773227/hello-i-was-wondering-if-i-could-ask-you-a

 

四 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

four

 

1853

Mississippi

 

 

    The sound of the dogs grew closer and sweat soaked her body from head to toe. In the tears that fell down her face lied desperation, fear and determination. RUN FASTER. Her legs had grown so tired but she pushed them forward, cutting through a thicket of branches and trees. The pain from the scratches were nothing compared to the awaiting jaws of the hungry blood thirsty dogs that would rip her apart. Eyes darted rapidly around her surroundings and quickly she shot left. Please God… let me survive. Please. Her breath wheezed and strained but by God she caught the sight of a locomotive passing. Darting out into the open field, she screamed as a shot rang out. 

    “You as good as dead nigger! You ain’t gon get far!” Another shot rang out and she ducked slightly, pushing her legs past their limits. Hands outstretched, she grabbed hold to a handle and pulled herself up to stand in between the cars. Her legs shook and threatened to give out but she held onto the rails with an iron grip. Her heart felt like it was going to beat right out of her chest and the tears kept coming, now of thankfulness. Eying the car in front of her, it appeared empty thanks to God. Lifting shaky fingers to the door, she shoved the door open and slipped inside. 

    Looking for a place to hide, she quickly looked around. Brown cloth bags and what appeared to be foodstuffs filled the car. Pulling herself in between two tall bags, she crouched down on the floor. I made it… I got away. The fear of being caught licked at the back of her throat but her jaw tightened. She’d die before she went back. 

     Attempting to calm her breathing, she leaned her head back, listening to the whistle and roar of the engine. She wondered how long she’d be in here… and how long the trip was. She just prayed it was in a place where she could rebuild. She knew of places where runaway slaves went, having built their own communities. The unknown scared her but being forced to go back to her plantation scared her even more. One thing at a time. One minute…one day at a time. 

 

*** 

 

    “We’re here.” She didn’t move yet but she could feel a slight breeze on her feet. The heavy tarp was pulled away from her and bright sunlight near blinded her. A white face looked down at her. She didn’t say anything as she slowly climbed down from the wagon, putting more than enough distance between her and the small group of settlers. 

    “Here you should find work.” A woman said, a crisp white bonnet on her head. They called themselves Shakers, a strange religion where the women did not bear any children or marry and the men believed all men were created equal in the sight of God.  She had never seen people such as they. They had caught sight of her in Wyoming and had invited her on their journey. She had been hesitant at first but they told her that they were not slave hunters…they didn’t believe in it at all. She didn’t know why but she went with them. She didn’t completely trust them… didn’t completely trust any white person for that matter. It was this distrust that kept her isolated from them. But they shared their meals with her, left her be to bathe and dress and alone when the time called for it. 

    “This is the land of Gold. There is opportunity for you here.” The woman took hold of her hands and gave it a friendly squeeze. 

    “May God be with you. For the sake of those who kept you in captivity, let us pray that God has mercy on their souls.” Letting go of her, the men and women got back into their buggy and with a sharp tap on the back of the horse, they left her standing there in the road. Swallowing, she began to feel her dress stick to her with sweat. Encinitas. What a strange name for a town. Straightening up, she wiped her moist palms onto the front of her dress and started for the bustling town. It had taken her a couple months of running, hiding…months of complete terror. But here she was. In this land they called California. Here, she’d try… she’d have no choice but to jump into the unknown. 

 

*** 

 

    “Professor Yi?” Blinking out of his reverie, he turned dark eyes unto his faithful listener, her expression that of complete fascination. Her curiosity would end her he reasoned. 

    “My apologies. Where was I?”

    “You were telling me about the woman you loved…”

    “Ah. Right.”

    “So this Eminta woman… she was…she was an enslaved African-American?” 

    “Yes.” The surprise on her face was so tangible but she quickly reigned it in. 

    “How did you come to meet her?” He knew what she really wanted to ask was how did that happen? It was surely not as uncommon as she perceived. Those times were different. The demand for a wife meant that one took who he had access to. He glanced down at the coffee in his cup, steam still wafting up. Even so, even now it would not matter. It didn’t matter of the time… this one or that one. He’d still give his heart to her. Lifting his cup, he took a drink. 

    “I had arrived in California at that time. There had been a demand for Chinese men, the call to action promising good pay, a wife and land. Hundreds of our brethren flocked to the New World, leaving behind poverty and their families. I too had left those I had come to call family…” She was quiet as he continued, 

    “Once I arrived, however, I quickly discovered that all we had been promised had been nothing but a lie.” 

 

 

*** 

 

    Eyes took in the madness that was in front of him. For a moment, he felt out of place. Awkward. Unsure of if he had made the right decision. Standing alone in the street, he took in the people. There were those who shared the same face as he yet their skin was dirty and brown. They wore clothes of sack cloth and other poor materials. Some of the women sat outside, breast bared as they nursed hungry children.

    “Are you new?” Turning, he faced a man about the same height as he yet he looked like the rest of this place’s people. 

    “Yes…”

    “Where from?”

    “Beijing.”

    “Ah.”

    “You?” 

    “Chengdu.” Nodding, he swallowed and was sure that he looked as uneasy as he felt. The man lifted a hand and clapped his shoulder. 

    “You, friend, are welcome here.” Turning eyes back onto the man he was about to speak when he noticed a familiar flash in the man’s eyes. The heart of the sea. Seeing understanding spring up to replace the uneasiness, the man smiled and invited him to enter his house. 

    “What is your name, friend?” 

    “Zhaojie. Yi Zhaojie.” 

    “No doubt they will shorten it. They will give you another identity should you not hold onto your own.”

    “They?” He asked, eyebrows knitting together. 

    “The whites.” 

    “Hm.”

    “They cannot be trusted.” The man opened the door and let him inside. A dirt floor and a place for a fire in the center of the room was there, a pallet for sleeping and a large black pot and wok for cooking. 

    “It’s humble but it beats being completely outside.” The man replied to his surprised silence, going to sit by his pallet. 

    “Come, friend. Sit.” He obliged, crossing his legs. For a long while the man just stared at him and he in return. 

    “You must have come a long way no doubt you are tired. Rest.”

    “Wait…you are?” The man smiled. 

    “Liu Donghai.” 

    “Thank you.”

    “Rest. It will get busy here soon. I will need you to help.” 

    “With what?”

    “I am a merchant here.”

    “You don’t work on the railroad?” 

    “Only mortal men who wish to die work on the white man’s rail.” Donghai said no more as he left him in quiet. Slowly, he laid back against his pallet, eyes up on the wood roof of the house. It pleased him to know that there were those like him here… already. At least here he would not have to hide. He could be just as they were. Together they could form a piece of their homeland in this New foreign land. His journey here could not be in vain. 

 

End Notes:

A/N: Minty has arrived! Whew what a tulmultous start! Our two have finally been put in position! hehe. Eminta said NAWL BIH I'm getting on that train. The stage is starting to be set hehe. 

~D&L

五 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

five

**DISCLAIMER: mentions of derogatory names for those of Asian descent. In no way shape or form do I, the author, share any of the racist views presented in this body of work. Thank you** 


 

She knew she’d made a mistake. She’d grown tired of being in the village around the children. She wanted to go out and make something for herself. She knew it wasn’t safe…not with the price for her head rising by the day. The womenfolk had kept her good and hidden but she’d grown restless. She’d been in this small fugitive community for three months now and she thanked heaven for it. To see people who looked like her… to share her story and hear of theirs. It was sobering…heartbreaking…even reassuring. But…she needed to go out there and find herself. This was the Land of the West they told her. Lots of former slaves had found work here or found gold. Enough to buy their freedom and those of their loved ones. Women could choose what they wanted to do. They had a freedom here that existed no where else as far as she knew. She wanted that for herself. 

    She’d ventured out, making sure she tied her hair with a rag and walked into what she assumed was a town square. It was busier than the field at high noon, squawkers, merchants and people walking to and fro. Swallowing, she nervously walked on the side, away from the whites and came by what appeared to be a store. Walking past the horses tied to their posts, she entered the store, eyes wide at all the foreign things in front of her. She reached out to pick up a jar of food, turning it around curiously. What was it? Putting it back, she furthered her exploration, choosing to head towards the furthest corner of the store. In her looking, she hadn’t been aware of a set of eyes watching her. 

    “You lost?” Her whole entire body froze. 

    “I asked you a question girl.” Turning, she felt sweaty. A white man stood there, eyes like that of a snake, mouth sneering. 

    “N-no suh I ain’t lost…” He drew closer, humored in the way she backed up against the shelf. Taking her chin in his hands, he made her look at him. 

    “Please suh I ain’t-”

    “You that runaway ain’t you?” By now her heart beat up into her ears and her mind ran a thousand minds a minute. 

    “That fugitive from Alabama right?” She knew better than to speak, squeezing her eyes shut as his hot breath came closer to land on her cheek. 

    “Nawl…I think it was Mississippi. Yeah that’s right.” His eyes slipped down her form.

    “They didn’t say you was gonna be nice and pretty. Good build. Young.” She reached behind her to grab hold of one of those jars. He’s gonna kill you. Taking a shuddery breath, she opened her eyes and looked at him. 

    “You gon turn me in?” She asked, gripping the jar behind her to filth. 

    “I should shouldn’t I?” Letting go of her cheek, he grinned. 

    “But I tell you what you a damn pretty one. Tell ya what…I strike a deal with you.” She didn’t move, didn’t even blink as she stared him down. 

    “I won’t turn you in. In return you gotta do a little something for me.” Taking a deep breath, she let go of the jar behind her and clutched her dress behind her. 

    “What’s that?” The man took a finger and slid it across her cheek, making her yank her head away. Chuckling, he grabbed her by the neck, forcing her to look at him. 

    “I’m sure you came out here sniffing for some work. You just got yourself a job at my inn.” Before she could say anything else, he let her go. 

    “I expect my repayment to be more…private what do you say?” He asked reaching down to touch her waist. Not a chance in high he-

    “Yes suh.” 

    “That a girl. Now you get it. Good then.” Backing away, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a tin can. Sticking a brown lump into his mouth, he waved his hand around. 

    “Get whatever you like now. Don’t matter what it is.” She still hadn’t moved and the confusion on her face humored him. 

    “That’s right you don’t know what the hell you lookin at huh? Well, I’ll get it then.” 

    “Suh…”

    “Grace. Kelly Grace.” How ironic. Swallowing thickly, she followed him as he went throughout the store, picking up items along the way. When they reached the counter, she stood back aways from him, trying to decide how far she’d get if she ran. 

    “Come on Aurora.”

    “Suh?”

    “It’s sir. And that’s your name now.” Silent, she followed him outside and remained quiet as he mounted his horse. 

    “Let’s go before the catchers come this way. I heard they were in town.” He said with a slap to the reigns. Walking behind his horse, she felt the palms of her hands grow moist and looked up at the man in front of her. What the hell had she gotten herself into? Something told her that she’d just made a deal with the devil. 

 

 

*** 

 

    “So how long did you work as a merchant?” 

    “A year.”

    “Was it hard work?” 

    “Very strenuous yes. Donghai had a horse stable and put me in charge of them. When I was done with the tending, we would go into the town square down by the piers and try to sell items we’d acquired in our many travels. They never knew that it was by our hand that they held exotic finds.” 

    “Amazing.” 

    “I began to see what Donghai spoke of…how the men with pale colored skin would lie, cheat and harass. In particular, they seemed to hate us…our people. It never made sense to me why. They were the ones who had recruited our help. Yet they despised the hand that supplied them.” 

 

*** 

 

    “Damn coolie bitch!” An uproar brought their attention away from the sale. Ahead, a woman was being beaten, her dress was being ripped apart and the hands of men grabbed her and held her down against the dirt. He felt fury ignite in his chest and prepared to go to help her when Donghai’s hand stopped him. 

    “Mind what is your business Jie.’’ He spoke quietly, with his free hand gathering what trinkets hadn’t been sold and piling them up. 

    “We cannot let her be taken advantage of like this! She’s one of us.” He hissed, yanking his hand back. 

    “That is her price to pay.” Eyebrows knit together. 

    “What price?”

    “For breaking the law of the sea.”

    “I’ve heard of no such thing. That can’t be true.” The screams of the woman drew their gazes back toward her, now being viciously raped, the pale skin of the man on top of her growing red as a fire. He grunted and howled like a raving beast, lifting his hand to slap her face and her breasts. 

    “I will explain soon. Let’s not make trouble.” Donghai continued quietly, gathering what was unsold and placing it in a basket. Angry, his heart shattered as her cries grew louder, one man done only to encourage another. He clenched his teeth and grabbed the pouches and table, quietly slipping away from the scene. 

    When they had made it back to Donghai’s hut, he threw the pouch on the ground. 

    “Explain to me why the hell we didn’t help her?” He demanded, eyes narrowed. 

    “One thing you have yet to learn my friend is that in this land we do not reign supreme.” 

    “That doesn’t answer my question!” He hissed, crossing his arms. 

    “This is the land of the white man. It is his territory and in it he reigns over all.” He began to put away the items, brushing past the angry man. 

    “We are but shit to them. They find us lower than them and yet just a mark above the Negro.” 

    “Negro? What is that?”

    “They are the dark skinned people you see in the town square. Most of them exist in a cruel reality, not having their freedom.”

    “How can one dictate who is able to live as a mortal and who cannot?”

    “That indeed is the question.” Blowing out hot air from his nostrils, he knelt and took hold of a beautiful sea shell that he had plated with silver. 

    “Wan’er’s price to pay is heartbreaking yes. And any one of us wishes to defend her. But we cannot. To interfere with the price is to die.”

    “What was her crime that she must be treated as no more than a whore in daylight?” 

    “She fell in love with a mortal man.”

    “That is a crime?”

    “No. But conceiving a half mortal child is.” He swallowed, watching as Donghai went to start a small fire. 

    “The man was white. And he convinced her that he would take care of her. She became his bride only to face hell. He abused her, told her that she wasn’t worthy of any good thing. She was meant to be his bed slave, created by the God of this country for that reason.” 

    “Nonsense!”

    “And what has happened to the men of this village when we defend what little of our women we have? We find ourselves brutalized in ways not even a dog would be subjected to.”  He clenched his jaw as he watched the man unwrap a packet. From the smell of it fresh fish. 

    “They hang us as if we are but twisted fruits bared by the earth. Mortal or sea dweller. It matters not. They kill us all with a frightening blood thirst.” The sound of the fish being placed in the wok filled the hut. 

    “As you know we cannot die. And so, they take those who don’t die by hanging and throw us into water; with the rationale that we will drown.” 

    “And when they discover that we won’t?”

    “They capture us and cut off our tails. They let us bleed our blood and then that is when our souls are eaten.” The entire story served to chill him to the bone and at that, he let the anger inside escape by breath through his nose one last time. 

    “Wan’er made the last woman we had. She traveled all the way from our homeland just to meet her end. That is the life we’ve been cursed with. It never ceases to end.” Coming to sit next to him, he watched as he turned the fish until it grew nice and golden brown thanks to the fat he’d greased the wok with. 

    “I caught this meal for us today. I hope the fish ate well.”

    “I shall catch more for us.” 

    “Enjoy.” Quietly, he began to eat, Donghai’s words seeping down into his very soul it seemed. 

End Notes:

A/N: this was crazy. I imagine the 'Wild West' to have been a very cutthroat dog-eat-dog world. Everyone had to be hard in order to survive. Women weren't excluded. In fact, I'd reckon that the women were in some cases harder than the men. Don't surprise me there lol. We women are tough. We will begin to see Minty's growth...now she's fresh... everything is fresh. She's susceptible to everything. And in the same token so is Jie. Right now it's a learning/ trial and learn season. *sighes* hehe. Okay, more? Sure! <3 :D 

~D&L

六 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

six

**WARNING: graphic language, verbal abuse**

 

 By now the squeak of the bed was easy to drone out alongside the grunts of the man above her. She avoided looking at him most times but this time, she allowed herself to look up at the man who plowed into her so hard it stung. The pain was greater at first but as time went along, it too became easy to drone out. Grace’s hair was starting to grey in some places, the strands still rich brown otherwise. Sweat beaded up on his forehead and slipped down the sides from his temples and his nose scrunched up as if he smelled something rancid. There on his chest laid a patch of hair, the same brown as his hair. She felt the urge to vomit and at that moment turned her eyes away. He had her wrists above her in an iron grip but soon let them go. Panting, he pulled out of her. 

    “Bend over.” He ordered watching as her face soon met the bedding rife with his stench. He chuckled some and laid a blow against one of her cheeks, making her bite the blankets. 

    “There ain’t nobody built like you I swear.” He said with another chuckle, slapping her other cheek. 

    “Saving you was one of the best things I’ve ever done.” She clenched her teeth as he took two fingers and opened her up, stretching her abused cavern even more. Ouch. 

    “You like when I fuck you hard huh? You’re throbbing.” No, she hated it. Hated every minute of it. 

    “It looks like a fish’s mouth when it gasps for air.” He commented with a grin, fingers leaving her. 

    “You’re too gotdamn stubborn to admit that you like it. But your pussy doesn’t lie.” He grunted as he slipped the head of his cock inside. 

    “See? It’s trying suck me in…dirty little nigger. You deserve to be fucked like the worthless slut you are.” His hand laid another slap to her already tender cheek. Grabbing hold of her waist, he began to pound into her, his grunts growing louder and more gruff. He was close. She’d made the mistake of requesting he not finish inside of her once and her reward had been being beaten almost half to death. Each time she prayed to God that she didn’t conceive. She’d been down this road before and had conceived twice. As a young girl of 13 and 15. The process of aborting the child had nearly ruined her. The pain had almost killed her. But she refused… she refused to birth a child only to have it suffer the same fate as she. To her surprise, he pulled out of her and released on her bottom, smearing the semen across her raw red cheeks. 

    “Bitch.” He laughed and his weight left the bed. He sighed with what sounded like contentment and she heard him get dressed. 

    “Clean yourself up and go downstairs. Tonight should be busy.” His heavy footfalls left the room and descended downward. Slowly, she lifted up from the blankets. Throat tight and eyes misty with tears, she began to get dressed. Though she was used to it by now…it never failed. Her eyes always filled with tears. She never shed them. Rather, she blinked them away and kept moving. She had no choice. She had to keep going. She had to keep surviving. At least that is what she kept telling herself. But the truth of the matter was that she didn’t know what was worse. Having to suffer this or being back on the plantation. It was no different. She’d risked her life to come all the way across the country to have the exact same thing happen to her. Perhaps she should have just ended it all back in the swamps. It would have been easier to let the crocodiles eat away at her flesh and bones than give access to the hounds. It would have been easier to let the dirty swamp take her up into the sky. 

 

*** 

 

    He had returned to the hut later than normal, his entire body in pain. It had not been his lucky day. He’d been picked out from amongst the merchants and forced to the railways to work. The back breaking process of laying the tracks, digging out the pathway in the dirt and blowing the mountains to bits had him sore beyond words. He’d seen the horrors that lied within the wake of the deceitful promise of rail work. He’d watched a man be crushed by the debris of the mountain. He’d watched another be blown apart of a faulty stick of dynamite.  The overseers didn’t think it necessary to feed them or hydrate them properly and because of that it made them weak. Those who collapsed he simply shot them in the head as though they were mere animals to be put down. 

    “Donghai?” 

    “I’ve laid supper there for you.” The man answered quietly in the dark and he swallowed his hunger down. 

    “I will go.” He didn’t need to explain where. 

    “Return speedily.” Is all he was given. His eyes could see perfectly in the night and he grabbed the small parcel of food. Closing the door behind him, he ate as he followed the path illuminated by the moon’s glow. 

 

*** 

 

    She waved a hand in front of his face, blew on him and poked his forehead. Nothing responded except a deep snore. He’d been drinking all night and now he’d passed out in a drunken sleep. Good then she’d be quick. She’d been to the town square more times than not and had seen piers there though they had never ventured towards them. Taking a quiet breath, she made sure the door closed behind her. When she was sure that she was enough away from the inn, she took off running, finally allowing all the tears of the past five months to fall. Tonight would be the night she finally met her lost children. Her parents. All those who had been taken from her and those she’d been forced to sacrifice. She’d make it right with them all. 

 

*** 

 

 

    The slick coolness of the water against his skin sent a rush of euphoria through him and he closed his eyes, allowing the current to pull him in whatever way it desired. Taking a deep breath, he slowed his pace, eying where they had previously had luck finding fish. With a forceful beat of his fins he descended, catching a couple in his hand. Plump, he was pleased to see that it appeared they were eating well. A good meal for a later date. Sticking his sharp nails into them, he brought them to the surface, watching as they fought to breath, eventually growing limp. Eying where he’d laid out netting, the fish plopped wetly against the wet sand. With no haste spared, once again he dived underneath the surface, intent on bringing plenty as thanks for all Donghai had done. After a while, he’d gathered up enough to cook and dry and he allowed himself the reward of a free swim. In the water, his body did not know hurt. It did not know fatigue. He felt as though he could swim forever and be content. The thought made him laugh. What a falsehood. What shit. 

    He’d learned long ago to never trust what he felt when he swam. Every bit of contentment and pleasure could be deceiving. At the end of the day, he was what he was. A cursed being. Having dived deep under, enough to glide among the reefs and coral, he surfaced. Far out, he could see just enough of the shore line to know it. Leaning to float on his back, he looked up at the stars. It was quiet and the night was crystal clear but for a moment it sounded like one was crying. 

    Closing his eyes, he let it drift away as did the waves. So did his heart cry also. But then again…there it was. Opening his eyes, he swallowed. At first he thought he had imagined it. The sound of weeping. But as he dipped beneath and surfaced again, he heard it once more. The sound of it sent a stabbing pain right to his heart. To whom did the somber sound of suffering and anguish belong to? Sinking below the surface, he gave his fins a hard beat and soon he inched closer to shore.             

    There stood a woman, dark in color, cheeks shiny with tears. He was far enough away that he couldn’t quite make out all of her features yet. The woman sobbed as she lifted small dark hands to her hair. Taking it loose, she sniffed as she continued to stare out at the waves rolling in. His breath caught in his throat as she slowly began to undress, peeling her garments away from her with ease… with care. 

    Leaning her head back, she looked up into the sky but for a moment. He dashed underwater and hid behind a cluster of small rocks, closer to where she was. She began to walk towards the quiet lulling waves, eyes now filled with a sad resignation. He curiously watched as the water began to rise from her ankles to her knees. Dark eyes roamed the naked flesh of the woman also…curiously. It resembled a black pearl; smooth, silky and intoxicating. She possessed a small heart shaped face, high but round cheeks and a pair of delicate lips, full and inviting. Pert conical breasts, dark nipples and a small waist. Small endearing pudge of a stomach and thick thighs.  

     She was beautiful… in a way he’d never before seen. What disturbed him was how there seemed to be deep lashes marring the otherwise satiny flesh. They littered across her thighs in mismatched lengths and depth, deep black from scarring. Eyes lifted to her face now as the water drew up around her waist. So, she was to end her life on this night. The hell she called a human life had been too much for her to bear. Lifting fingers out to grasp onto the warm slippery rocks, he watched as she took a breath and slowly allowed the sea to claim her. Her thick coily hair was the last to disappear and for a moment he watched air bubbles rise to the top. 

    Gripping the rocks, he turned and prepared to swim off when he was stopped by that deep sharp pain. Clutching his chest, he tightened his jaw and eyed the spot where she’d went down. He didn’t understand why he felt the need to save her but damn it all his fins started to beat and he sunk below the surface, swimming towards her rapidly drowning body. 

End Notes:

A/N: whew this was hard to write. Yeah...wow. Um. Yeah. The only saving grace was in Jie meeting and saving Eminta. That's all. Kelly Grace is an animal that needs to be put down. That's it. See y'all next chapter~ 

 

D&L~

 

七 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

seven

 

    “Did you regret it? Saving her?” It almost made him laugh, how engrossed in the story she was. Since their last meeting, they had met at what was proving to be a routine spot for coffee. He had to admit to himself it felt a bit nice to talk to her about it all. After all, keeping so many tales to yourself was never fun. It felt as though he was writing out his life story upon the pages of her ears and in them he felt he would never be forgotten. 

    “Initially yes. I did. But as I looked at her, the more I realized that we had a lot in common.” Fei-hua gave a solemn nod and reached for her cup of tea. 

    “I envied her. Envied that she had the ability to end her own life with such ease, such carelessness. Whereas I was bound. I could not even if I wanted to. And I wanted to.” 

    “What a sad way to live.”

    “Indeed.” The two were quiet for a while before, 

    “Professor Yi?” He looked up at her. 

    “That wasn’t the end of it obviously. Did you see her again?” 

    “Yes. I did. A couple weeks after.” 

 

 

*** 

 

 

 

 

    The sun was high and the square was rippling with activity. Sweat beaded up on his forehead and he smiled at several onlookers, curiously most of them being women. They openly gawked at him and he inwardly sighed. It never failed. No matter what time period. No matter where he was. He always seemed to attract the attention of women. Were he another kind of man he might take advantage of it, enjoy it and abuse it. But he didn’t. It had never much interested him. There hadn’t been but a few who he found could excite him and then and only then did he indulge. 

    “Jie,”

    “They are visitors from a wealthy town. Draw them to us.” Donghai said with a smile. 

    “How do you propose I do that?” He quipped back, cutting his eyes at him. His friend, the fox, grinned. 

    “You have ways I’m sure.” Sighing outwardly now, he cleared his throat. He was not good at this, had had the hardest time learning, grasping..even forming the syllables. But he opened his mouth with a kind smile. 

    “Greetings my Ladies. May I entice you with exotic treasures?” It was almost instant, the way the necks grew pink, cheeks growing equally flushed. Eyes once wide now grew lidded with desire. They began to walk towards them and Donghai chuckled to himself at his chagrin. 

    “My what have you here?” 

    “Freshwater pearls able to be made into necklaces, bracelets and rings. Pink seashells dipped in melted gold and black and green jade from our homeland.” The women gawked down below, more times than not finding his eyes before playing coy. 

    “The jade is lovely. I did not know it could be another color.”

    “Yes in my homeland there are many beautiful things.” 

    “I can see that. I’m looking at one.” One bold woman answered, eyes slipping across him. 

    “Clare! Mind your manners!”

    “For a coolie, he’s awfully handsome.”

    “He looks like he could be a woman doesn’t he?”

    “No, better than that.”

    “I’m sure what he has under that robe is better than anything we could offer anyone.” The women laughed and giggled. 

    “What’s your name?” He bowed his head with a smile. 

    “Jie ma’am.”

    “Jie. Hm….interesting.”

    “You know we gotta get back to the saloon! Madam is gonna have herself a fit if we’re not back in time. Clare, flirt with him later!” The tall red haired woman bit her lip, eying him like a cat about to pounce on its prey. 

    “I’ll come again Jie. Maybe you could sell me some of these pearls.”

    “Of course madam.” Winking at him, she hurried off to join her friends. Clearing his throat, he ignored the growing grin from Donghai. 

    “Seems you have the hang of it now. I’ll be back.” He pursed his lips in annoyance. 

    “Where are you off to?”

    “I have to go.” Understanding well what he meant, he nodded and watched him leave, gripping the table in front of him. It was going to serve to be a long day ahead. 

 

*** 

 

    “Get dressed. We’re going out.” She waited until the door slammed in front of her to relax. Standing there nude, she lifted arms to wrap around herself. He’d been furious. She’d been taken to the town doctor and that’s when he’d been called. An older Negro assigned to the Negro patients. He had told Grace what spectators had seen. She’d been found unconscious, naked as if she’d just washed up ashore. He surmised correctly that she had attempted to commit suicide by drowning. Grace’s entire face had lit up red like a fire and he dismissed the man without so much as a thank you. Though she laid in the infirmary bed, it didn’t stop him from putting his hands around her neck and choking her. 

    “Troublesome bitch! I should have let them drag you back down to Mississippi and hang you!” She gagged and dug her nails into his forearms for what seemed like an eternity before he let her go, mouth snarled up at her ragged intake of breath. 

    “Hurry up. I don’t have all day to be waiting on you.” And like that he was gone, leaving her to weakly get up, cough and get dressed. From that day forward, he made sure everywhere she was he was there. He didn’t let her out of his sight not once. For anything. Even when she found she had to relieve herself, he was there to watch it trickle out of her. Her memory had been blurred and she could only remember bits and pieces. It was strange. The one bit she did remember was seeing a man’s face. His eyes were beautiful and his mouth was moving but she couldn’t hear what he was saying. She could feel what appeared to be water but wasn’t sure.       

     Lifting hands to her throat, she looked over her body. At what point did she cease to be his disgusting whore only good to fill with his come? Worth nothing more than a hole for him to abuse and pummel? 

    “Aurora! Get out here! Now!” Sighing with a sad resignation, she put on her dress and climbed down the stairs. Sometimes when he was drunk he’d throw money at her as if to complete the act of his defilement and she’d lay there, fingers reaching for the bill and coin. How much longer would she have to play this role? What was her freedom in living when there was a much more permanent freedom in death? Keeping her eyes on the ground, she walked behind him as they headed into town. Lifting eyes upward to the man inappropriately named Grace she bit the corner of her lip. It all passed her by, the people, the talk, everything. 

    Sighing, she tried to keep up with him but too many people from all directions separated them, forcing her away. Her mouth opened to call for him but soon closed. No. This was good. For a moment she could do whatever she wanted. Just for a moment. Eying the many different stations, a glimmer of gold caught her eye and she found herself drawn to it. 

    “May I help you?” Lifting eyes from the beautiful trinkets on the display table, she felt her heart start to pound. There stood in front of her a Chinaman with beauty unlike anything she’d ever reckoned seeing. He had an otherworldly countenance about him, aided by features one would say were quite feminine. Thick shapely eyebrows, hooded deep chestnut eyes, encased in a tantalizing almond shell, handsome broad nose and pouty pink lips, it was a wonder he hadn’t been mistaken for a woman. 

    “Miss?” His deep accented voice was pleasant to the ear and it sent a shiver down her spine. Blinking, she forced her eyes away from him back onto the table, desperate to bring anything else into sight but him. 

    “What’d I tell you about running off huh?” Feeling her body grow stiff, she turned to look at Grace who was approaching looking none too pleased. 

    “I’m sorry Grace… I…I just had to look at these items here.” A firm hand struck her and she felt the skin of her lip tear, blood starting to dribble down her chin. 

    “I swear one of these days I’m going to kill you. Wash my hands of you.” Scoffing, the man reached into his pocket and threw a handkerchief at her. 

    “Fix yourself up and let’s go.” 

    “Yes Grace.” She said softly, glancing up at his retreating form. Embarrassment covered her hot and heavy and for the first time, she noticed he wasn’t looking at her. The curious yet friendly look of before was gone. Now, now he looked right out pissed as he stared at the back of Grace’s head. Those darkening eyes of his drifted back to her and another chill fell down her spine. 

    “Aurora!”

    “C-Coming Grace!” Drawing herself away from him, she swallowed up the humiliation, tears and anger she felt and forced it down to the ground. That man… he’d most definitely been the one to save her. 

*** 

 

    “I’m so curious now…with this man looming over the two of you… how did you two ever find time to get to know one another?” There, the sight she’d been wanting for so long. A smile, though small graced her presence, his lips softly curved upward. For a moment, she stared at him, simply in awe.     

    “Your curiosity…has it drifted over to your assignment I have asked you to complete?” The poor girl’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment and she eyed her tea. 

    “Ah….yes?”

    “Don’t lie.”

    “Okay no. Not…not yet.” 

    “Hm.”

    “Your story is much more exciting than that paper.” 

    “I’m sure.” Leaning back into her chair. A part of her felt envious of this woman named Eminta. She still very much held his heart. Even the memory of her had him smiling. But at the same time… she felt sad. Sad that he had been forced to live so long with out her. It was obvious that at one point and time, the woman had brought him an everlasting joy. A joy that he now was devoid of…that he was so far from. It made her wish that once again, they could be reunited. Impossible she knew. But still. A girl could hope. 

    “Professor Yi…thank you.” The man blinked, smile gone as if it had never been there. 

    “For?”

    “Sharing your life with me. I know it’s very personal. And…well…not many people would believe it.” He nodded and lifted his cup to his mouth. 

    “Get your bags now. I’ll drop you off at home.” Smiling prettily, she did as he bade and soon the two of them headed to his car. 

End Notes:

A/N: our babies MEET hehehehehehe. I love this chapter simply for that hehe. Captivated by each other's beauty the heart wanted to know more! hehehehehehe. I love Fei-hua and Jie's playful banter. He's opened up (surprisingly) enough to feel somewhat comfortable with her. Perhaps in a way she reminds him of Eminta. Slightly. He teases her just as he did with her. hehe. I think it's cute lol. I'm glad that even in the modern day, he has something of a friend. For our Jie is otherwise so very lonely. Okay, I'll see y'all next one~ 

D&L~

八 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

eight

 

She’d been watching him for the latter part of twenty minutes. He found it humorous that she had stood in the same spot, eyes on his every move. Donghai had commented on it with a grin but left it alone, stating that he had to go on a journey. No questions were asked and he would assume responsibility of his home while gone. Lifting up from picking a horse’s hooves, he wiped the sweat from his brow with the back of his arm. Turning, he found her standing there, eyes watching still. Clearing his throat, he grabbed the reins of the stallion and slowly approached her. She grew still as if someone had dumped icy water on her. 

    “Are you going to remain there?” He asked, a smirk forming. She at once dropped her gaze, finding her feet interesting. 

    “If you fear the horse, I am here to assure you. He won’t hurt you.” Licking her lips, she lifted those beautifully enchanting eyes of hers and met his gaze. 

    “Why?” His eyebrows knit together. 

    “Why…?”

    “Why did you save me?” His heart leapt in his chest at her sweet voice, thick with an accent like that of honey. 

    “Should I not have?” How quickly he answered, greedily wanting to hear another word come from her mouth. 

    “It wasn’t your business.” Lifting his eyebrows, he took her in. 

    “I see.” Taking her eyes off of him, she eyed the horse. 

    “I thought your kind only worked on the railroads.” He smirked again, leaning against the stable barrier. 

    “You thought wrong Miss.” There a cute little nose scrunch and her lips pursed. 

    “How do you know English so well? I thought-”

    “You do a lot of thinking don’t you?” The purse on those delectable lips grew deeper. 

    “What’s your name?” She asked, eyes leaving the horse now. Their eyes met again. Letting the reins to the horse go, he leaned forward a bit more. 

    “Jie.” She was quiet and he could see she was trying to figure out how to pronounce it. She bravely attempted to repeat it. 

    “Jie…” There his heart went, beating faster. 

    “And yours?” 

    “Aur-I…I mean…Eminta. My birth name is Eminta.” He smiled at her before pushing off of the barrier. 

    “Eminta. It’s pretty.”

    “You think so?”

    “Just like you.” Though her cheeks blushed, that purse was back. 

    “You use that line on all the ladies?” Chuckling, he couldn’t help a grin. 

    “You’ve exposed me.”    

    “Mmhm.” It was his turn to watch her now as she walked up to Bao. Gently, she reached out to pet his nose. 

    “What were you doing out there at night?” She inquired, turning those eyes back up at him. 

    “That’s not your business.” He replied with a playful smirk. Eating her own medicine, she smiled against Bao who seemed to be enjoying her attention and let him go. Without another word, she left him entering into an inn. Her eyes said so much that her mouth didn’t need to speak. Grabbing hold of Bao’s reigns, he began to walk him back to the hoof station. He hoped like hell she decided to come by again. 

 

*** 

 

    He had driven her mad. It didn’t make sense why the beautiful stranger consumed her thoughts for going on a week now. She’d seen him now more often than before as Grace was pitching for business. She had never seen a man like him before. Out of all the Chinamen she’d come across there was something about him that was different. Call it a hunch but she just felt it. She’d been trying all week to figure it out. He worked the same as everyone else. She couldn’t say that he looked the same though. No, he looked unreal at times. 

    His beauty surely not of this world. How was it that he had such an attractive build and yet delicate features as though given to a woman? She’d watched him oftentimes as he removed shoes from the horses, she’d seen the way his arms glistened with sweat, the muscle there thick and hard. She’d watched a bead or two of it slip down his broad nose, his temples saturated with it. She’d even watched as breaths left his mouth, his pouty lips a pretty shade of pink.  

    “What you lookin at?” She heard a voice and turned away to face Mable, a freedwoman. 

    “Ah…nothin.” Smiling, her eyes lifted from her face outward. 

    “He is pretty ain’t he? I’m sure he gets in a lotta trouble with both men and women.” Feeling her cheeks grow warm, she straightened up and attempted to walk by her but a hand stopped her in her shoulder. 

    “I felt somethin for you on your bed. You’ll find it very useful.”

    “Miss Mable-I-” The woman leaned down and pressed her lips against her ear. 

    “This ain’t Mississippi. This here is the Wild West. You can have whatever you desire. Be it that Chinaman or not.” Smiling at her knowingly, the older woman pressed a kiss against her forehead and walked away from her, entering out into the road and down. Swallowing, she wiped her hands on her dress and left the window, eager to get to her room. She suppressed it knowing it would have to wait. 

 

*** 

 

    “The next time I saw her, it was at the market. It surprised me that she was alone, the shadow of her overbearing overseer gone. I hadn’t been used to seeing them apart but I took full opportunity of the moment.” 

 

*** 

    She stood in an aisle, reading something. A small straw hat sat atop her head hiding her hair. The simple cream patterned dress she wore was light and airy, feminine and girlish. She was simply beautiful. He hadn’t been aware that she was so short, his guess that she stood at a delicate 5 foot. Smiling to himself, he watched as her eyebrows scrunched up in confusion. 

    “Need help?” Gasping, she jumped and turned towards him. Relief entered her features at her recognition of him and lifted a hand dainty hand to rest on her chest. 

    “My God…you shouldn’t scare a girl like that Jie….goodness sake…” Biting his lip in a grin, he easily peeked over her to the jar she held in her hand. 

    “Indigestion issues?” He asked, plucking the jar from her hands. 

    “What? No!” He couldn’t resist the chuckle that escaped him. 

    “I was just lookin is all.” Handing it back to her, he watched in amusement as she placed it back on the shelf. 

    “What brings you out here other than to bother me?” She asked, cutting her eyes at him. 

    “None other reason than that.” Sucking her teeth, she called herself storming away but her steps were so short he caught up to her in more than half the time. 

    “Where’s your overseer?” He asked, voice losing some of its playfulness now. Picking up on it, she sighed as they entered another aisle. 

    “Grace is away for a bit.”

    “He didn’t think to take his most precious possession with him?” She stopped walking and looked up at him. 

    “Should he have?” The flutter of butterflies danced in his stomach. It had been such a long time since a woman had roused a reaction out of him. And how easily she did it with those gorgeous eyes of hers and the slight part of her full plush lips. 

    “Perhaps.” He found himself answering, delighting in a pale red blush that decorated her high cheeks. 

    “Well, I don’t think so. I’m glad to be free of him.” She pushed past him. 

    “How long will he be away?” He asked, bowing his head at those he brushed past now trying to catch up to her little body as it attempted to run away. 

    “A few days time.” She answered, turning a corner. 

    “Then we have time.” 

    “Time for what?” He barely stopped himself from crashing into her as her turn was abrupt. He’d lifted his hands to the rack above her head to give himself halt, his heart now beat rapidly in his chest. Up close, she was even more lovely than afar and here he could see that she carried a small little beauty mark oft by the right side of her mouth, just under her bottom lip. And yet another, peeking out from the round necked collar of her dress above her collarbone. 

    “Time to know each other.” He breathed, eyes intense and lidded. 

    “You want to know a Negro slave?”

     “I want to know you.” She lifted a hand to his chest, gently pushing him back.

    “And why would you want to do that?” For once, he couldn’t answer and she took the opportunity to slip out of the close proximity. 

    “I don’t know if every Chinaman is as bold as you are. But being bold in a place like this can get you killed if you’re not careful.” Lifting those eyes up to his one last time, she decided not to say a thing else and quietly walked away from him, leaving him there watching as she left the store.  

End Notes:

A/N: Jie said I SEES YA AND I WANTS YA. *busts out laughing* Okay I quit. Minta tryna play hard to get but baby she know she like her some him too LOL. She know she do lol. Have I mentioned how much I love them?! LOL One note, Jie is really going to be important to her later on for a number of reasons. Y'all see what I'm talking about when we get to that chapter~ hehe. 

D&L~

九 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

nine

    Sitting on her bed, she ran fingers across the gift given by Miss Mable. At first, she’d cried and then the shock set in. Surely, this had to be a dream. A small stack of bills and coin she’d wrapped in parchment paper, a small little note attached. She’d read it over and over now and still again. 

 

    Think of this as a payment owed to you for the many nights you laid underneath him, treated as nothing more than a voiceless enslaved harlot. It took me my whole life of enduring the same before I finally grasped my freedom with both hands. You are not alone. I see you. And I will support you. If you can, take hold of courage for a little while longer. 

 

    Mable 

 

 

    Tears welled up in her eyes and she wept, pressing her face against the money. It was more than enough for her, never knowing anything about it…never once having any to call her own. A sweet joy took hold of her and for the longest time she laid there against the parcel, lifting hands with it up in front of her. It was worth something right? All that she’d gone through. All that she’d endured..suffered…lost. Her parents had never known the joy of having, keeping or holding their own money. It being something only thought, assumed and given to white folks. I’ve got to save it. Lifting up, she neatly wrapped it back up and shoved it underneath her mattress. Getting up, she went to stand in front of her floor length mirror. For a little while yet. Maybe… maybe she could. 

 

*** 

 

    It was early in the afternoon when she came. He’d just finished cleaning the troughs and feeding the horses. There, she stood in her usual spot eying him. Going to the water pail, he washed his hands and smoothed the hair that had come from his bun back and behind his ears. 

    “Are you enjoying the view?” He teased, coming to lean against the barrier. She blushed but offered no other word, instead letting her eyes fall onto the horses behind him. 

    “Do you like them?” Her eyes finally met his again. She appeared nervous, skittish…apprehensive. 

    “I’ve…never got on one. They’ve always scared me.” She admit, clutching her hands tightly. He was quiet as she continued, her voice soft. 

    “When I was a girl, I watched a slave be trampled by one. The beast crushed his legs, his arms and then his head.” Letting her gaze drift again, she took the horse into her sight. 

    “I was always scared. But something about them still… it interests me.” 

    “They are beautiful.” He input with a soft friendly smile. 

    “Yes. Dangerous.”

    “Friendly and tamed under the right training.” He finished, pushing up from the barrier. 

    “Bao. The stallion you pet once. I trained him myself.”  Her eyebrows lifted in surprise. 

    “He’s a good horse. And,” Smirking, he crossed his arms. 

    “I think he likes you. He would not protest to a ride.” 

    “A ride? I didn’t say nothin bout a ride…”

    “Isn’t that why you come? To conquer your fear?” He teased, knowing damn well it wasn’t. She licked her lips and visibly gulped, making him chuckle. 

    “Come now bòhé. Give yourself permission.” 

    “Bow-huh?” 

    “Bòhé.” He repeated with a small laugh. 

    “What is that?”

    “It means mint.” 

    “Oh…I see.” Extending his hand, he waited with a smile on his face. 

    “Let’s conquer your fear. While you have time.” At first, she didn’t do anything but look at his hand and he could see an array of conflicting emotions on her face. 

    “I don’t know…It’s past the time I should be back anyhow. I think I’d look silly on a big ole horse.” 

    “It is only silly if you don’t try.” Biting her lips, she slowly reached out and grabbed his hand, allowing the slow gentle pull towards him. 

    “How am I gonna get over this thing?” She asked, voice anxious. Lifting her hand, he placed it on his shoulder and motioned her other to do the same. Slowly, she did and he grabbed hold of her waist. Gasping as he lifted her up, he brought her up and over with ease, placing her feet back onto the ground. Letting go of all but one hand, he gently led her to the stallion. 

    “Jie….I…I’m scared.”

    “It’s okay. He will not hurt you.” 

    “But-”

    “I will not let you fall.” She meant to protest again but he quieted it as he took her hand to Bao’s side, slowly gliding it across his coat. 

    “He is content.” He said softly, smiling as Bao sighed, his back leg cocked. He was quiet, intently watching her face as she slowly began to relax, the sight of their intertwined fingers bringing a comfort to her. 

    “Are you ready to mount?” He asked, taking in the suddenly panicked eyes. 

    “I don’t know…”

    “He can sense your fear. He does not want you to be scared.” As if to affirm what he said, Bao let out a slight whinny, making her chuckle some. 

    “It is as if you two understand each other.” He said nothing else and came to draw closer to her. She swallowed tightly as he once again lifted hands to her waist. He lifted her up, forcing a tiny squeak to leave her mouth and placed her up on Bao’s back. 

    “Oh goodness…oh my…” She gripped his shoulders now, nervous at how high up she was. 

    “Breathe bòhé. I am here.” She closed her eyes and took deep breaths, her grip on his shoulders easing up a tad. 

    “Good. Now, you may hold my hand. I’m going to lead him into a walk.” Licking her lips, she gave a nod as slowly, Bao began to move. She let out a nervous sound and gripped his hand firmly. 

    “I have you.” A couple steps forward and her grip on his hand loosened. With her free hand, she gripped Bao’s mane. He led him around in a slow circle before speaking again, 

    “You did amazing. You have ridden a horse.” She slowly let his hand go and let it grasp Bao’s mane with a shaky smile. 

    “Again?” He asked, teeth smiling at her. 

    “One more time.” 

 

*** 

 

    “From that day, I began to see her more and more. The presence of her enslaver returned and seemed to loom over her. Sometimes, we could only glance at each other, others smile in passing. I wanted so badly to spend time with her again. One such day, late evening, I got my wish.” 

 

*** 

 

    He’d packed up the collection of the day and put it into small boxes. As he knelt down to pick it up, he noticed a pair of small boot covered feet standing in front of him. Lifting his gaze, he felt his entire body grow warm at the sight of her. Dressed in a long white dress, her thick coily hair resembled a cloud and  her shoulders were bare. 

    “Bòhé…” She appeared as though she had been crying and he felt his heart break into a million pieces. Lifting up with the box, he spoke with concern in his voice. 

    “What is wrong?” She lifted small fingers to her cheeks and wiped away her sorrow. 

    “Nothin. I um…I wanted to come see you.” He wanted to dry her eyes. From the moment he’d heard her weeping by the sea he hated the sound. It caused such a pain inside of him. 

    “I am going home now.”

    “Oh…”

    “Come with me?” She sniffed yet gave a brave smile. 

    “Sure.” They walked in silence, him glancing at her from time to time. She seemed jumpy and nervous. 

    “Jie?” 

    “Yes?”

    “How come your head isn’t half bald like the other Chinamen I see?” He smiled at her innocent question. 

    “I come from a time not like the current one. Those rules will never apply to me.”

    “Oh…”

    “My homeland became too restrictive. Many wars erupted. It is why I came here to the New World.” 

    “I see. Escaping one hell only to enter into another.” He was quiet as he opened the door to Donghai’s hut. She stood outside, fingers clutching the dress at the stomach. 

    “You may come in.” Stepping in, she shut the door as he went to light a fire. Encinitas nights he found grew cool and with her not wearing anything to cover her shoulders he feared that she would catch a cold. She stood by the door, watching him. Sighing, he sat down and stoked it gently. 

    “Something is bothering you bòhé.” She didn’t move, didn’t make a sound. Turning to face her, he caught the shine of tears on her cheeks and slowly stood. To his surprise, she didn’t pull away from him as he wrapped his arms around her. She folded into his embrace, tucked nice and warm against his chest, lifting hands to press against his cheongsam. 

    “Kū yě méiguānxì. Ràng nǐ de yǎnlèi liú zài w’ de xīnlǐ ér bùshì nǐ de liǎnjiá.” Spoken softly against the crown of her head, he stood still as she wept, her tiny body shaking and trembling so. 

    “Good. Let it out.” And so she did until she sniffed against him, her fingers having gripped him at the chest. Lifting a hand, he gently caressed her hair, pleased in the soft fluffy feeling of it. She didn’t pull away from him, instead seemed to further melt against him and he smiled at her need for comfort. At long last, he pulled away from her. 

    “Better?” He asked with a tender smile. 

    “Mmhm.” Lifting his hand he lightly took hold of her cheek, smoothing his thumb across the satiny soft skin. 

    “I am your friend?” Leaning into his palm, she smiled prettily, sniffing once more. 

    “Yes. You’re my friend.” 

    “Thank you.” 

    “No… thank you…” Letting go of her, he grabbed her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. 

    “Can you stay?” Pouting slightly, she shook her head. 

    “No.. it’s late already as it is. I should be headin back.” He let his sadness at that fact dwell in his face and she giggled some. 

    “Don’t look all sad Jie. Why don’t we meet in a day’s time?” 

    “A day’s time?” He repeated, eyebrows scrunched in confusion. 

    “Yes. Around midday. Grace has been so busy lately. I will have some time to steal away then.” 

    “Okay. You promise?”

    “I promise Jie.” Nodding, he let go of her hand and bit his lip in a smile as she slipped out of the door. 

End Notes:

A/N: Mable. Miss Mable is a gem. Powerful start! And...powerful finish. Minty conquers her fears thanks to Jie and their friendship has started to blossom most beautifully. I love when they're together. They just...bring out the best in each other. hehe. Okay, here we go. I wanna upload this in completion so y'all can read all the way through from start to finish heehe. 

~D&L

 

P.S

translation of the mandarin above: it's okay to cry. Let your tears reside in my heart instead of on your cheeks.

P.S.S-

Here is Jie's visual (one of two lol. His original visual with the most perfect picture for this chapter!!! The smirk and the playful eyes does it for me. When I saw it I was like YESSS that's ZHAOJIE BABY BOOM. hehe the horsey is cute too hehe. Two cuties. Okay lemme go. LOL

 

 

十 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

ten 

 

    Midday came and she waited there by the beach. Hearing a clearing of the throat, she turned to find him standing behind her with a charming little smile. His hair had been piled up into a messy bun, a dark red stick of sorts holding it all together. He wore a dark navy dress, black pants peeking from underneath. The collars of the sleeves were a crisp white and it outlined his long body well. His eyes teased her as she drifted them down. 

    “Is something wrong?” He asked, voice deeply humored. She snapped her eyes back to his, the telltale sign of a blush warming her cheeks. Chuckling he came closer lifting her chin. 

    “You are so shy sometimes. Why? Do I make you nervous?” Sucking her teeth at him slightly, she reached up and tossed his hand away from her, lips pursed. 

    “No.” But he just smiled and watched as she drew closer to the waves. 

    “I thought escaping here would be a better life for me. But it has only resulted in absolute hell.” 

    “I feel the same way.”

     “How so?” His eyes no longer rested on her, instead they fell onto the slowly crashing waves ahead of them. 

    “I was promised a lot of things when I made the trip here. Land. Good pay. A wife.” At that she was quiet, eyes following him as he started to walk towards the water shore. 

    “None of those things I received.” Swallowing, she came to sit next to him, pulling her knees up against her chest. 

    “Instead, the men of this land have spit in my face, called me names that do not belong to me and have taken advantage of our need for a better life.” Slowly, she leaned to the side, allowing her head to rest on his shoulder. 

    “You work so hard…just to be rewarded with hatred and discrimination.” Still, she was quiet and he let out a frustrated breath. 

    “Eminta…” 

    “Hm?” 

    “What is a yellow monkey?” Biting her lip, she could not answer. Reaching, she took a finger or two of his hand resting there on his leg. 

    “The same as a black one.” She said quietly, giving his hand a squeeze. 

    “The same?” He genuinely sounded confused and it broke her heart. 

    “The white man calls my people monkeys too. They liken us to be savage beasts.” He turned to look down at her, a solemn expression on his face. 

    “What’s even worse…they think the women are wild sex crazed animals. They say it is in  my nature.” He didn’t say anything, instead lifting his arm to pull her closer. 

    “We are the same.” Looking up at him, she couldn’t help herself. Lifting fingers, she breezed them by a smooth pale cheek. 

    “You are just a different color monkey than I.” Reaching up, he took hold of her hand and brought it down to rest in his lap, their fingers intertwining. The waves crashed against the shore for a while before she spoke again. 

    “Jie?” 

    “Yes?”

    “Have you ever been married?” Smiling, his beautifully shaped eyes looked down at her. 

    “No.” No? She found that hard to believe. He was far too gorgeous to have never belonged to a woman. Eyes took in his playful gaze, handsome broad nose and pouty smiling lips. Perhaps he liked men. With a countenance as his, she could see men fighting to get at him. 

    “How come?” He sighed and leaned his head back, exposing a long slender neck. 

    “I never found a woman worthy marrying.” He answered simply, eyes closed. 

    “You never-”

    “Of course.” He interrupted opening his eyes now. They were now intense as they looked down at her. 

    “I’m well versed in the art of pleasure.” She felt a thread of desire hit her, taking in those tempting lips tongue licked and now smirking at her. 

    “Pleasure is an art?” She asked, removing her hands from him. Lifting up, she wrapped them around the underside of her knees. 

    “Very much so.” He answered, outstretching his arms back to lean in a sit.  

    “Your world is so very different than mine.” 

    “Why do you say that?” His voice had dropped an octave, making her feel butterflies. 

    “In your world…sex is something to study. Something to take serious.” Humored, he listened to her theory. 

    “But in my world it’s nothing more than fucking. Nothing but mindless humping.” 

    “Humans make it so wherever they go. But few have ever known the art of it.”

    “How does one know the art of it?” He closed his eyes once more. 

    “You must feel genuine affection for your partner. You must desire their pleasure before your own. You must be willing to be vulnerable and allow your energy to mingle with theirs.” Glancing down at her, he gave a small smile. 

    “When you do that…when you want to do that…the experience is beautiful. It satisfies and fulfills.”

    “I see.”

    “It doesn’t matter how you hunger for them. With that person it’s acceptable. Because only they can take the hunger and thirst away.” Giving a small nod, she swallowed thickly. 

    “I will never experience that in my lifetime.” Sighing, she smiled as a gentle wave or two lapped at her feet. 

    “Having my freedom will be more than enough.” Lifting to stand, she brushed off the sand from her dress and outstretched her arms as if she were to take flight. Getting up, he surprised her with a hug, wrapping arms around her shoulders. Relaxing against him, she lifted hands to take hold of his forearms, smiling at the press of his chin against the top of her head. 

 

*** 

 

    “The days blurred together and I ached more and more to see her. In my heart, I had reached a conclusion that was most frightening. Somehow, some way I had fallen in love with the tiny mortal woman. Her smile, her laughter, her desire for life inspired me. Where my existence longed for death, Eminta brought sun and rain crashing into me. I began to desire a life with her. A foolish desire at that. But I did not care. I wanted her to be mine. Completely and irrevocably.” Hands clenched themselves tighter. 

    “Did she come to know of your secret Professor?” Eyes had turned from her and they stared out into the now black night. Seeing and yet not seeing at all. 

    “I revealed it to her a few weeks later.”

    “How did she respond? Was she scared?” 

    “She was.”

    “But?”

    “So was I. We were both frightened beings trying to push past our fear. In all my years, she had been the second human I’ve ever revealed myself to. But she was the first to accept it.” 

 

*** 

 

    “Why you always out here?” Lips smiled and eyes teased her as they took her in their sight. 

    “Why?”

    “Yeah.”

    “I guess you can say…I’m drawn to the waves.” He answered, lips forming a small smirk.

     They’d fallen into a routine. He’d paid attention to the times they met, mostly at midday or a little after late afternoon when she stepped out of the inn to run a few errands. She’d convinced the man she called Grace to start letting her out little by little. Always bringing another woman with her as proof to her not taking off. Somehow that woman always seemed to know and would leave them alone just to meet up so they could walk together back to the inn.

    “That right?”

    “Mmhm.”

    “I see.” She’d lifted her dress and let the cold water lap at her hot toes, soon wiggling them around in the wet sand. 

    “How is one ‘drawn’ to the waves Jie?” At that, he laughed softly and the sound of it warmed her belly. Donghai had warned him. Warned him to be careful. Of what was forming between them.

    “I’m afraid if I tell you that…” Coming behind her, he lifted his hands to cover her eyes. 

    “I’d have to kill you.” He whispered into her ear, smiling against it at her inhale of breath. What good did warning do when he didn’t want it? Perhaps the earth under which they stood had sucked out his sense and in return left a reckless man in the wake. In the land they called the Wild West…he had become most greedy. He wanted what he wanted. And that was her. 

    “I’m as good as dead anyways so it don’t make much a difference.” She said softly, lifting those small fingers to wrap around his wrists. 

    “You wish for death again.” It wasn’t a question. An observation. A fact.

    “You know I want my freedom. If death is all that’s gonna give it to me then…I have no choice.” He pulled his hands away from the woman and slowly walked around to face her. 

    “You’re a morbid one aren’t you?” 

    “Yeah and you ain’t? I seen the way they strung up that Chinaman friend of yours the other day. Hung him just like a nigger they did. What’d he do?” At that, his gaze dropped and for a long while he stared out at the gentle waves, the whole of the sea blue-green. Endless. Donghai. It hadn’t been long since his returning. And yet they all had a price to pay for breaking the sea of the law. His came in the form of being hung from one of the posts near the General Store. While his death did not initially come that way, he knew that the water ultimately claimed him. 

    “Perhaps I don’t wish for death Bòhé. Perhaps I wish for freedom too.” 

    “From what? You ever been in chains Jie?” His gaze had grown dark almost black with intensity, the shiny inky depths chilling her. 

    “Indeed. They suffocate me more and more each day.” At that, she hummed, coming to wrap her arms around herself. 

    “Bòhé.”

    “What?”    

    “Today, I will show you what I mean.” She stood quiet as he began to undress, feeling her cheeks grow warm at the sight of his firm pectorals, biceps, and abdomen all covered in that creamy alabaster skin. She’d never seen him without clothing…and as he bared his broad muscular back, long legs and the round toned cheeks of his buttocks she could honestly admit that she was taken aback. He reached up and untied his hair, allowing the thick dark strands to tumble down his back. Without another word he entered the water and soon dove beneath its depths. She held her breath, clutching her dress nervously when she didn’t see him surface. A dark head popped up and eyes now focused on her. 

    “Come.” He beckoned, outstretching his hand towards her. She didn’t move, apprehension making her stomach tight. 

    “Jie…I…I don’t know what you’re tryna do…”

    “I told you I would show you. Let me.” Biting her lips near to shreds, she slowly came toward the outstretched hand. 

    “Do I gotta strip down too?” At that, he laughed. 

    “Not if you don’t wish to.”

    “Hm.” Hastily, she unbuttoned her dress and gripped her shift. It would be easier without the added weight of the dress.

    “Come.” The water felt good on her ankles and she took a deep breath before walking further in. Taking his hand, she gripped tight as he pulled her closer. 

    “Good. Closer.” 

    “J-Jie…”

    “You are safe bòhé.” She couldn’t explain how it seemed they were drifting further and further away from shore and so quickly but at the moment, she was trying not to touch him anywhere that would be deemed inappropriate. 

    “Closer bòhé. Come closer.”

    “I am closer.”

    “No.” He lifted an arm and wrapped it around her waist, pulling her flush against him. She gasped, gripping him at the shoulders. 

    “It’s imperative that you stay close bòhé.”

    “W-Why?”

    “Can you feel anything beneath your feet?” He asked, soon lifting his other arm to encircle it around her waist. 

    “N-No…”

    “That’s why.” She let out a small whimper and pressed her face against his neck. 

    “Why we so far out? What’s this gonna prove? This makes no sense.” 

    “It will little one.” Lifting a hand, he pressed it against her pinned braids, gently massaging her scalp with the pads of his fingers. 

    “You are safe with me. It’s all right. There’s no need to fear.” He reassured with a soft gentle voice, smiling as her arms slid around his neck. His fingers left her hair and breezed across the back of her neck, securing a gentle grip. At that, she lifted her head. 

    “Jie…” 

    “Here we both can have what we most desire.” She couldn’t reply because he’d taken the pad of his thumb and breezed it across her bottom lip. 

    “You can have freedom and I, having bondage that appears free, can have my chains removed.” 

    “H-how do you propose we obtain it?” Those enchanting black depths drifted upwards from her lips to her eyes and they had an unexplainable hold on her. Caressing her cheek, he drew nearer, carefully, lips seeking hers. When they met, she felt an explosion travel through her, setting her aflame from the roots of her hair to the soles of her feet. It wasn’t but a simple kiss but it left her insatiable, hungry for another. And another he granted her, another and another until her very skin seemed to melt from her bones and her mouth opened, panting for breath, welcoming his warm slick tongue afterward. 

    “Take a deep breath and hold tight to me ai di.” Letting air fill her lungs, the water covered them as he pulled her down deeper into the depths.

End Notes:

A/N: Anddddd here we are at my favorite teaser moment from the foreward hehehehe. Man, Some deep conversation had this chapter huh? Yes indeed, my stuff ain't just about smut lol. I love how the seeds of love are starting to take root within Minta and Jie. They are pulled to each other as a moth to a flame... or as him to the sea. It's irresistable, palpable and cannot be stopped. The tenderness he shows her is just *chef's kiss* hahaha. LOVE THESE TWO THEY SO CUTE. 

D&L~

 

P.S THANK YOU TO SHANAT for getting me together with the Chinese translations. I told y'all I ain't fluent in Chinese hehehe. She got a sistah together hehe. 

 

Bòhé- Jie's nickname for Eminta. It means mint.

Ai di- love. 

十一 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:


eleven 

 

    “Eminta?” Nothing as yet.

    “Eminta!” Jumping, finally the young woman turned to face her. She looked taken aback, her pretty dark brown cheeks flushed red. 

    “M-Miss Mable…hi there.” Smiling, she lifted fingers to the poor girl’s forehead. 

    “You’re awfully warm this mornin. You sure you’re okay?” 

    “Um…yeah. Yes.” Lifting an eyebrow, she watched as the girl brushed past her, hurried up in fact to get to her room. What was that about she wondered? 

 

*** 

 

    Back pressed against the door, she leaned her head back, eyes closed shut. What manner of madness was this? To wake as if Grace had just had her…as if one of the many patrons who frequented her had had her. Biting her lip, she took a shaky breath. She’d never before had nothin like this happen before. Opening eyes, she set them on her bed. It was strange how at once though no one was in it, she could hear the old dusty springs squeak and shake. She could hear her sighs and groans of pleasure. She could see the strong broad back, the slim pale waist and round firm cheeks. The big hands taking hold of her ass, long black hair down his back like a stream, the way he fucked was animalistic, his thrusts hard and wild…hungry. 

    Forcing herself to turn around, she tried to calm her deep breathing. Already there, in between her legs she felt wet. Like she kept a small warm pool nestled there. What kind of dream was that to have of him? In her work, there wasn’t much left to be embarrassed about. But that… oh God she couldn’t bare to look him in the face. 

    “Minty?” She heard Mable’s voice ask from the other side and straightened up. That was enough now… for now. Clearing her throat, she smiled and opened the door, surprising the woman. 

    “Miss Mable…come on in. Sorry I had to come get somethin I had forgot.” The woman smiled in return, taking in the frumpled sheets behind her. 

    “Is there somethin you wanna talk about?” She asked, watching the woman shift her feet. 

    “No…I’m fine. Why somethin wrong?” 

    “Well normally you nice and neat in here. Your bed…”

    “Oh! Oh yeah that’s what I forgot!” With a nervous laugh, she darted towards the bed and began to tidy up. The heeled click of Mable’s boots entered the room and she heard the door behind her close. Standing up, she turned around face full of confusion. 

    “I notice you and your Chinaman real close nowadays.” There. She’d hit a nerve. She couldn’t hide the way her cheeks blossomed in pretty color. 

    “He’s not my man…” She said quietly, plucking at her dress. 

    “It’s okay to want him. Even to like him. I told you that Minty.”

    “Yeah I know. Out here anything goes.”

    “Right. And nobody care bout nothin.”

    “Long as we know our place.”

    “It can get blurred sometimes.” 

    “Hm.” 

    “Why haven’t you ever brought him to the inn?” At that, she laughed. 

    “You gotta be kiddin. What I look like bringin him to a whore house?” The woman watched the way she had started to unravel a loose thread or two. Nervous. 

    “You’re ashamed?” She pursed her lips. 

    “I do what I have to. Fucking a couple men a day enables me to survive.” 

    “Nice workin girl then. I’m sure he’d appreciate that.” The purse fell flat and she clenched her teeth. 

    “You do all this work and yet Grace pays you nothing.”

    “We nigger whores don’t deserve no pay. That’s what he always tell me.” 

    “But them lily white ones he put on those advertisements do.”

    “Soiled doves.”

    “And you one of the same…just a prettier kind of dove.” Mable came to sit next to her on the bed. 

    “I wanted to show you somethin. I figured Grace hadn’t shared it with you.”

    “Shared what?”

    “Why did you want to come to California Eminta?” 

    “Cause I heard they had gold out here.” Accepting her answer, she reached into her small purse and pulled out a paper. 

    “Did he teach you how to read?”

    “Read and write. Guess that’s one thing he’s been good for.” 

    “Good then. Here.” Pressing the paper into her hand, she pressed a kiss to her forehead. 

    “I’ll leave your parcel on your pillow later.”

    “Miss Mable-”

    “When you are ready, let me know. I’m sure we can work out some figures and get the ball runnin.” 

    “Ball runnin on what?” But the woman had already stood up and closed the door, leaving her in confused silence. Lifting tentative fingers to the paper, she opened it and read. 

 

 

    1849, California 

 

    “Neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude, unless for the punishment of crimes, shall ever be tolerated in this State.”

 

*** 

 

    Entering the empty hut, he sighed. Today had been exhausting. Since Donghai’s murder the hut was silent… cold and lifeless. Some of the other members of their small community had allowed the sea to draw them to different shores and coasts. And yet he stayed in this piece of shit shack. He had roots that he was trying to plant here. A life he was trying to make reality. A gentle knock on the door broke his attention. Going to open it, he felt his heart begin to race. Eminta. She smiled and her cheeks were warm. 

    “I wasn’t sure if you were gonna be home.” 

    “I just got in.” 

    “Long day?” 

    “Very much so.” 

    “Were you gonna go swimmin later tonight?”

    “Did you want to join me?” He answered her question with another one, watching as her cheeks grew even more red. 

    “If..that’s okay.”

    “Of course it is.” Sitting down his bag, he closed the door behind him and outstretched his hand for her to take. She slowly did and together they walked down to the beach. 

    To his surprise, she’d taken off her dress, leaving her in a peculiar set of clothes. They were crisp white and a matching contraption held her around the waist and what appeared to be two large lacy fins branched outward from each leg just above her knee. He was at a loss for words as she reached up and undid her hair, the mass of thick pillowy hair resembling a moon around her head. 

    “Um…Jie..”

    “Yes?”

    “I um…I need your help here.”

    “How can I help?” 

    “Come to shore.” The fear in his heart wasn’t a match for the beckoning gaze that drew him in and he came closer. For a moment, she didn’t speak or move, her eyes wide with shock. In his haste, he hadn’t realized he’d completely come ashore and gripped the sand underneath his fingers. 

    “Jie…” He prepared for the fear, the judgment and the run. It happened once before and for that he had been most cautious afterward. But she drew closer until she stood above him. Slowly kneeling, she swallowed, eyes following the length of his tail. 

    “The waves of the sea chain me and I can not break free from her.” He said quietly, eyes downcast. 

    “I am not…I am not the same as you. I am a creature. A cursed pitiful creature.” 

    “Jie, stop it.” His entire chest burned with the fear of rejection and he for the first time could not bear to look at her. 

    “Look at me.” Her voice was sweet and soft and it caused him to grip the sand that much harder. 

    “Please look at me.” Slowly, his fearful eyes lifted. Hers however were warm like melted wax and they burned him severely. 

    “You’re not a creature.”

    “I-”

    “Shh.” She hushed against his mouth, pressing a tender kiss against his lips. His eyes fluttered closed and his hands let go of the sand, lifting to rest on that strange contraption around her waist. 

    “Bòhé..”

    “You told me here we could have what we both desired. Right?” He was slow to speak, gripping her waist a bit tighter as her lips kissed his jaw. 

    “Yes…I did.”

    “I have the sea to thank then.” She whispered against him with a lip bitten smile. Desire slipped down and around his entire body and he tried to control his breathing as she turned, back facing her. 

    “Can you unlace my stays?” She sat still in front of him, patiently waiting. Hands awkwardly lifted to the strings. 

    “How?” He asked, voice throaty. 

    “Your thumb. Stick it in between the strings and pull until they loosen.” Doing so slowly, the contraption began to slacken and he heard her audible breath of relief. 

    “Miss Mable always laces me so tight.” She complained, turning slightly to grin at him. 

    “Thank you.” Entire face flushed now, he could only nod as she pulled it off of her body. Sighing, she faced him again and for a moment they just stared at one another. Her hand started for his tail but she brought it to a pause. He grabbed hold of it and brought it to his chest, right above his heart. At her swallow, he knew she could feel how fast it beat. 

    “Because of you I don’t feel alone anymore. I don’t feel that I should hide.” Letting her hand go, he stayed still as she began to touch him. Smooth ivory skin delighted her fingers, defined rows of firm muscle down on his stomach making her warm. What beauty. Licking her lips, she paused right underneath his belly button, the pads of her fingers slightly digging into the flesh. He could feel her apprehension and nervousness and gently took her hand in his again. Carefully, their fingers glided across the bottom half of him. 

    She was surprised by the glossy feel of them and looked up at him only to find his eyes on hers already. The dark inky depths of his eyes set her ablaze and the warm wetness started to well between her legs. Was it a dream or…The same ferocity he had in her dreams…there it cutting into her. It was an open and unashamed gaze yet brimming with palpable desire and hunger. She couldn’t understand it. The way he looked at her was different. It wasn’t obscene nor did it make her feel disgust. Rather, she felt light as air…she felt as though she were but a goddess in his eyes. A form of being that he wanted to worship over and over again.

     Forcing her eyes down, she watched the way their intertwined fingers continued to roam, glide and touch more of his tail. How something so simple could be so erotic she didn’t know. Maybe it was the way their skin clashed. Maybe it was the way his hand seemed to swallow hers up until it disappeared, only the tips of her fingers visible. Maybe it was the feeling of his tail itself..slick and soft. But oh what a pretty tail it was. A pastel white covered the entirety of it, a silky cream flanked two smaller fan shaped fins on either side of him. Flecks of gold dotted along the way, shining like the sun itself. And further down by the large massive fin at the bottom…it shimmered with pure iridescence, the scales glimmering like pale pink, blue and clear beads of glass. It took her breath away. 

    He had long since removed his hand now and instead took hold of her face, bringing her gaze upward. His eyes seemed to say what his lips could not. I want to kiss you. She leaned in slightly, giving him the consent he needed. At once their lips met and she became as wet sand, leaning against him. Fingers slipped into his sleek ebony strands as yet again they shared another kiss, this one deepening slightly. His tongue stroked hers for but a moment and his mouth pulled away from her with a soft wet suck of her bottom lip. She could hear her heart inside of her ears and heard the way her breaths came as pants. Slowly, he leaned her back against the sand and glided a thumb against her lips. His hair slipped forward and around them, covering her hands from view. 

    “Piàoliang…” He spoke, his voice making the hairs on her body stand up. 

    “Qīngróu…” His lips pressed another kiss against them. Leaving her face, he skimmed fingers across her chest, ripping a gasp from her as he brushed a hardened nipple. God…what was he saying… Each word from his tongue made her grow wetter and she bit her lip to stop herself from moaning as his lips soon brushed the sensitive little nub. 

    “Jiānyìng…” He breathed against it, the heat from his mouth driving her nearly insane with want. Kissing the outline of the nipple, he paid the other the same respect before nearly devouring the abundance of skin gifted to him. Her hands lifted and slipped across his shoulders as he kissed there by her collarbone and further to the side of her neck. She couldn’t contain the slight moan that left her lips as he licked and sucked the skin. 

    Closing her arms around him, she allowed him to taste her, nibble and softly bite at her, stake his claim to whatever was in his path. When it was that his breaths mirrored her own and their foreheads touched, he pulled away. Licking his lips, he watched as she soon began to enter the water, her hair soon disappearing beneath the surface. Drawing into the invigorating waves, his head too soon disappeared and so his tail afterward, the large fin slapping the surface on his descent. 

End Notes:

A/N: Whew it got spicy in here all of a sudden. LOL. Anybody else hot? So, ole UGLY Grace has purposely withheld from Minta that California is "technically" a free state, thereby meaning that all who enter into the state are FREE PERSONS. As I was doing research, I found out that there was a caveat to that. As it is 1853, technically the Fugitive Slave Law would have been passed in 1850. If we're being TECHNICAL. But see the way MY BRAIN SET THIS UP, my brain bascially said yeah we don't care. That's good fine and dandy you know for historical sake but um... this what we doing. LOL. So, yeah there is that lol. 

The whole scene at the sea was entirely DREAMY. I loved penning it hehe. Jie's insecurity was endearing yet heart breaking. He loves her so much *tears up* The WHOLE thing was sweet. Tender. But sexy all at the same time. Justttt like our Jie. Not gon lie though, those utterings in Mandarin would have had the legs open. I'm sorry. Yeah so ummmm next chapter? hehehe. Follow me then loves~ 

what did those sayings mean sunhalo? here you go (praying they are actually the correct meanings... I searched hard for this LOL:

Piàoliang- pretty 

Qīngróu-soft, pliable 

Jiānyìng- Hard

十二 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

twelve 

*SPICY MATERIAL AHEAD FOLKS. IT'S WILD WEST NASTY*

 

 

Eyes stared up emptily at the ceiling, the room in a shade of black. It was so long ago and yet he felt as if he could still feel her skin beneath his fingers, smell the fragrance that lied there at her gate of heaven, his tongue eager to taste it once more. It was his price. Every creature of the sea… every soul damned to the dark murky waves had his own consequence. Closing his eyes, he turned onto his side and looked out of the window. He missed the conversations they had…the laughter they shared. He missed everything about her. Restless, he shoved the covers off of him and sat up, lifting a hand to scratch his head. Shaking his messy strands, he sighed and got up. On a night like this one he had to find something to keep him busy. Heading into the living room, he clicked on a light and sat down at his desk. Opening up his laptop, he began to work on his next lecture. 

 

*** 

 

    Fei-hua laid awake after about a good three hours of tossing and turning. Her brain was on overload from the past month. She’d gotten her wish to know more about Professor Yi…but in doing so… felt a deep sadness. She had never expected him to tell her that he was a mystical fabled merman. She hadn’t expected him to tell her that he was over 1320 years old. She’d never expected for him to have had so much misery and torment inside of him. Sighing, she turned onto her side and welcomed the snuggle of her cat Rui Shi. 

    It was a wonder that she was still able to turn in her assignments and conduct experiments and he be able to grade them. Her thoughts were consumed by his tale. She couldn’t stop thinking about the latest conversation they’d had at their usual spot. Her heart shattered into a million pieces the more she listened to him and at the end of the meet she wanted even more to take all of his pain away from him. He deserved to be happy again. He deserved to love again. 

 

*** 

 

    Standing in front of the courthouse, she felt her palms sweat. A gentle hand came up to take hold of hers. Miss Mable. 

    “The time has finally come. Are you excited?” She was at a loss for words, every fear running through her mind. 

    “Today you will be free. Today starts the first day of your life.” She felt tears well up in her eyes but by the grace of God held them back. Swallowing them back down her throat, she gripped Mable’s hand and the two began to ascend up the stairs. 

 

*** 

 

    Sweat dripped down his nose as he lifted the plow. His hair messily caressed his neck and framed the sides of his face. This was the last row. And then he’d be done. He had already set up his table in the town square and he was set to go there after planting these seeds. The dry desert dirt was difficult to plant in but with some persistence and attention, he was sure he could get the plants to grow. The Master of the farm he was tilling was due to return in the coming months and he wanted to make sure everything was appropriate. Striking the earth once more, he scattered the seeds in the trenches. As he covered them up, he heard a clearing of the throat.

     Lifting up, he wiped his brow, his straw hat providing circles of sunlight and shade to dance on his face. Bòhé. She stood there by the plot entrance, hands crossed. She appeared different. She wore a becoming dress, a lovely green gingham pattern, a delicate ruffle decorating each side from the collar to waist. Elegant bell sleeves fans out from her elbows. On her head, she wore a simple straw hat. 

    “You are beautiful bòhé.” He said with a grin as he approached, pleased in the blush that lit up her cheeks. 

    “Thank you…”

    “Is there a special event?” He asked, coming to slip hands around her waist. 

    “Yes. I believe there is.”

    “Oh?” The smile that graced her lips was the biggest one he’d ever seen on her face and she jumped up into his arms. 

    “I’m free Jie!” He blinked in shock as she jumped up and down against him, her laughter full of elation and joy. 

    “Free? You are free?” He asked confused. Stopping her jumping, she ran fingers across his cheongsam. 

    “Grace no longer owns me. My former Master doesn’t own me. I’m a freed woman now.”  Finally he understood and his shit eating grin matched hers. He grabbed her and twirled her around once or twice good. 

    “Bòhé! My God this is an amazing day!” Giggling, she nodded, letting his hands come up to caress her face. She couldn’t try to stop the tears from coming even if she wanted to and she hugged him, letting the tears of joy soak into his very heart. 

    “I never thought.. I never thought I would live to see this day.” She wept against him. He held her close, lifting a hand against her hat. 

    “All that you endured…the reward was worth it?” Pulling away from him, she nodded again with a huge smile. Lifting her hands to his face, she leaned up on her tip toes to kiss him. 

    “That’s not all.” She spoke against his mouth. Nuzzling his nose, she sighed happily. 

    “Miss Mable helped me purchase Grace’s inn.” 

    “That’s good?”

    “He hasn’t been managing it properly the past few months. Been spending all his money gambling and drinkin. I haven’t seen him in about a good couple weeks anyhow.”

    “Hm.”

    “He sends some representative to the inn to survey it all but that’s it. That’s how I been able to see you so much lately.”

    “I see.” Leaning back, she lifted her small hands to wipe her tears. 

    “I’m a free woman. And I now got my own inn.”

    “This Maybell woman…is she a friend of yours?” Laughing softly at his pronunciation, she nodded. 

    “Miss Mable used to be a slave herself. But she came here to this land and worked in Grace’s inn. She earned enough to buy her freedom and start her own business too.”

    “Wah…” 

    “Yeah. She’s like a big sistah to me. She’s looked out for me all this time.” 

    “I’m glad you have her.” Biting her lip, she reached for her hand. He blushed, the heat from the sun growing hotter. 

    “I…I um…I want you to come see where I been workin. Where I been stayin.” Swallowing thickly, he allowed her to pull him away from the farm. When he took in the sight of the house, he gripped her hand tighter. It was a two story house there just a ways from the town square. It was in a strange style but oddly pretty. 

    “Come on.” She urged, pulling him towards the door. Upon entering, he was met with a handful of women, all dressed in revealing dresses. She let go of his hand and at his surprised expression, clutched the dress behind her. He still stared at the women, their eyes on him the same. 

    “Minty who this?”

    “He a cute Chinaman. Where’d you find him at?”

    “I ain’t seen one so attractive before.” Turning eyes back to her, he opened his mouth to speak but found that he couldn’t. 

    “He’s a really good friend of hers. Y’all know she been dodging Grace for a while just to go see him.” She took his hand. 

    “It’s a nice change of pace seeing one of his kind in here. Hell, we welcome every kind of cock as long as it brings money with it.” 

    “Come on.” She gently urged leading him upstairs. 

    “Have fun now!”

    “Make sure you get all his bills!” Biting her lip, she led him up further and down the hall, passing a couple women here and there. The sounds of sex drifted up from underneath some of the doors and still she brought him closer to one particular door. With a shaky hand, she opened it and stepped aside to let him in. Slowly, he entered in and found the door behind him closed. 

    “I was scared you know.” She spoke behind him. Turning, he clenched his jaw as she took off her hat. 

    “I didn’t want you to know…I ain’t want you to judge me…think me less of a woman for what I do.” 

    “I’d never think that bòhé.” She continued talking, going to sit at her small vanity. 

    “For a while I felt ashamed. Maybe if I was a laundress I’d feel better about showin you. Maybe a farm hand same as you. But,” Unlacing her boots, she slipped a foot out of one. 

    “Knowing how much you feared tellin me…showin me who you are…I couldn’t continue bein scared. It would not be fair to you.” Kicking the other boot off, she sighed. 

    “You can sit on the bed if you want. I promise it’s clean.” He licked his lips and lowered himself down, eyes watching her intensely. 

    “As much as I wish it were different… this is the life I been dealt. The the only option I been given.” She reached up to unbutton her dress. 

    “Sex is all I know. It’s the only skill I been good at. Havin it forced on me at 12 it should be.” Her fingers continued to unbutton and slowly she stood up. Lifting hands to her arms, she shrugged out of the dress and let it fall to the ground. 

    “I’ve carried child twice in my life.” She spoke quietly now, unlacing her stays. Tossing it away from her, she turned to look at him. 

    “Both times I aborted them…I didn’t… I couldn’t bring them into this world knowin what hell awaited them. I did not want to be that kinda mother…” Taking a shaky breath, she leaned down to pull the cotton leggings off of her legs and pulled the shoulders of her shift down to expose her shoulders. 

    “You deserve to be with a good woman Jie. A respectable one. One who doesn’t fuck like a bitch in the street. You shouldn’t be with a worthless cock stuffed nigger whore.” 

    “Stop it.” He spoke, cutting her pity party short. The entire time he had been gripping her pressed bedsheets as he listened to her talk. 

    “That’s enough.” He spoke firmly, eyes intense and glittering with emotion. Slowly he stood and without another word began to lift his cheongsam up over his head, exposing his chest and midsection. His cheeks were a shade of rose and a healthy color had spread to his upper chest, decorating his collarbones with kisses of pure love. 

    “I am not Grace.” He said vehemently, his name hissed like a cat. She swallowed as he crossed the room and took her hand. 

    “I don’t care what he has told you. None of it is true.” Tears welled up in her eyes as she found herself pulled back towards the bed. Taking a seat, he breathed through his nostrils, letting her hand go in favor of her waist. Pulling her closer, he pressed his head against her stomach. 

    “You are not a whore. You are not worthless. You are not a piece of property and you are not something only created to be violated.” His voice was hard and serious and her throat felt heavy and thick with tears. 

    “You are not a bad woman for having to choose survival. You are not a bad woman for deciding mercy and peace was better for your unborn than to know the horror of being in chains.” There, the tears started to fall and she began to sob. 

    “You are not an animal. You are not a beast that knows no conscience. You are not an uncivilized nigger.” Lifting his head, his nostrils flared and his eyes cut into her. 

    “You are kind. Gentle. Sometimes shy.” Leaning up, he kissed her sweetly. 

    “Intelligent. Passionate. You are worth more than the rarest pearl in the sea.” She sniffed and allowed him to pull her up onto his lap to sit. His hands didn’t move from her waist and she reached up to wipe her eyes. 

    “You are Eminta.You’re my little bòhé…the one I desire most in this life.” Her gaze met his. 

    “Jie-”

    “I love you.” Her heart felt like it was gonna beat its way out her poor chest and the weight of his words slammed into her like a locomotive. Caressing his cheek, she bit her lip. 

    “I want you.” His voice breathed against her, tone now throaty. Filled with that persistent desire she too felt. He leaned forward and kissed her neck once, again, making her sigh. 

    “I want to have you. I want to make you mine.” 

    “I want you to make me yours too.” She confessed, feeling him kiss her bared skin. Forcing him away hurt her but only for a moment as she stood in front of him. 

    “Today will be first day I really take what I want. Starting with you.” She pulled the shift down to expose her breasts, enjoying the way he feasted on the sight of them, his tongue rushing forward to lick his lips. Further down past her stomach. Down to her hips. And finally down her legs to her feet. She stood in front of him, allowing him to see her for all she was. 

    “Piàoliang…” He breathed, eating away at the full bush of hair nestled on her triangle. She could see that his excitement had formed a tent in his pants and she felt a rush of desire hit her belly. Slowly she came back into his arms with a gentle kiss, relieved as his hands left her face to drift across her shoulders. 

    “I wanna share a life with you Jie…” She breathed as his hands came further down to tenderly fondle her breasts, lips leaning down to press kisses against them both. 

    “I wanna be your woman and you…mmm…you be m-my man…” For a moment she lost her train of thought as the warm wetness of his tongue lapped at her nipples. Leaning her head back she moaned softly as he drew it into his mouth, running a soft thumb across the other. Another moan drifted into the room as he pinched gently. Slowly she began to grind against his lap. Letting of her nipple with a soft wet suck, he leaned up to kiss her before giving the same attention to the other. 

    “Mmm Jie…Mm.” Her sighs pleased him. The sounds of her pleasure made his member throb; filled with enough blood to make it erect. Letting go of her plump breast, he intended to take hold of her equally plump bottom but she pulled away from him. His breathing matched hers, their eyes filled with the same love and desire for one another. 

    “Today you and I shall marry.” He spoke, voice gruff with want. 

    “Yes…” She replied, kneeling in front of him. 

    “I shall take you as my wife.” His breath stopped for a moment as she began to pull at his pants and he lifted his hips, aiding in their removal. For a minute she just stared at it, watched it bob and twitch. He couldn’t resist the smirk that slid across his lips and he chuckled, leaning forward to kiss her. 

    “Surprised?” He teased, eyebrow lifted. 

    “No…” But he knew she was. The lies the mouth the men of this land told in an attempt to prevent interracial breeding, marriage and union. The last few hundred years had seen a falsehood presented. That those originating from the Asian continent were less endowed than their European counterparts. It was a stereotype he rather enjoyed disproving. She was to devour him. He could tell by the lick of her lips and the glossy eyes. Kissing her again, he pulled away only to shiver as her tongue softly licked up his shaft. Running the wet appendage alongside the veins made him jerk, his head now falling back against his shoulders. She gently grabbed hold of his genital sac and gently squeezed, bringing forth a tantalizing groan from his throat. Kissing and licking her way across and around his length, she let her breath fan across the top of him. 

    “I call this now mine. As we are now to be husband and wife.” She hushed, the heat from her mouth making him crush the sheets underneath them in his fingers. 

    “Yes ai di. All of me is yours. Have all you like.” Glancing up at him, she smiled to herself. Indeed, she’d exist in her freedom starting here and now.

End Notes:

 

A/N: Whew. Minta and Jie are beautiful man. I'M IN LOVE WITH THEMMMMM STOP IT AND LEAVE ME ALONE LOL. There's so much to unpack hereeeee omggggg. So remember couple chapters back I told you Jie would be important to Eminta for another reason? it's no surprise but in being abused so severely by Grace, she began to conform to the abused identity. DEEP. I KNOW. Notice couple chapters back when he asks her her name she almost answers Aurora. This chapter he seems to shake Grace's authority and influence off of her. He gives her back her identity. It's so beautiful omg. omgomgomg. 

Also, we see Minty finally being just as vulnerable as Jie was. It's a complete scene of anxiety, fear yet desire to trust and love fully. With her newly gained freedom, she also gains the authority to have what she wants. For the first time in her life that choice and decision is HERS and HERS ALONE. I imagine it would be scary.. not knowing what to do first. 

Minta has become more bold and vocal since her dealings with Grace. To his displeasure. But I believe that women in the West simply did not hold their tongue. As they should not have okay? lol. FREEDOM OF SPEECH. WE ARE WOMEN HEAR US ROAR LOL. Let me qUiT. LOL. I told you guys this was going to be short and when I said that I meant short. There are only two chapters left to finish out this part of Of Tales and Sorrow LOL. I didn't expect myself it to be THIS short but hey... I gotta go with the flow. Y'all ready? 

sunhalo~

 

Eminta's dress: 

 

Jie's visual as he appears in the chapter: 

十三 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:

 

thirteen 

 

*Okay y'all it's bout to get EXTREMELY itchy kitchy (read: NASTY AF) in here lol. What happens in the Wile Wile West stays in the Wile Wile West* LOL 

 

Out of all the cocks she’d had in her lifetime, his had to be perhaps the most beautiful one she’d seen. She’d have to take her time and work him inside, his length deliciously thick. He had the perfect breadth and width. He’d stretch her out but she throbbed in anticipation of it. She wanted him to. She wanted him to make her feel so full that she wouldn’t be able to tolerate it. Her womanhood throbbed and leaked at the thought of it and she glanced up at him. Kissed by Cupid, his breath came in short hard pants and his long slender neck glimmered with beads of sweat. He was so beautiful… so ethereal it made no sense. He stole her breath simply by being. Kissing the pretty rose colored head, she gently allowed her tongue to circle it. He groaned again, louder than before and it gave her the most thrilling rush. Even his moans were gorgeous. Hand still on his sac, she gave another little squeeze, making his hips jerk once more. He lifted his head, eyes nearly black with desire. Fingers gently caressed her coils as she began to slowly draw it into her mouth. He bit his lip in a groan as she eased more of him into her mouth. 

    “Tā mā de….ah…..gan…” She moaned against him suddenly, the sound of his mother tongue exciting her down below. His fingers were still gentle but now they gripped her hair as she began to bob, her free hand taking to stroke him as she sucked. More of what she assumed were expletives bubbled out of his mouth, followed by a couple open mouth groans and grunts, his head once again thrown back. The wet sound of slurping pierced the otherwise quiet room and she felt his sac begin to throb. He was close. His native tongue ran so close together and she enjoyed the pure ecstasy on his face as he came, filling her mouth with his release.

     Gladly, she took it down her throat, lifting up away from him with a loud short pop. Licking the corner of her mouth, she slowly lifted up onto her feet and pulled him in for a kiss. His hands slid down her waist and grabbed hold of her ass cheeks, gripping nice and tight. Pulling out the pin that held his hair, it cascaded down at once. Sliding his bangs back from his face, she gently coaxed him to lie on his back. Soon, she soon climbed on top of him. He caressed her cheek with gentle yet passionate eyes. 

    “Wo ai ni.” Blushing, she let him push her onto her back, eyes staring down into hers. 

    “Wo ai ni…” He said again, pressing kisses to her neck and throat. 

    “What are you sayin…” At first he didn’t answer simply showering her body with kisses and gentle sucks, making her arch her back. Her heart beat so hard inside of her chest and she glanced as him as he furthered his descent, adorning her body with appreciation and love. This…this was new. It wasn’t something she was used to. Her brain was so filled with the anticipation of their fucking that it hadn’t stopped to just…be. 

    “Jie…” But he didn’t answer as he kissed her stomach. He wasn’t put off by the small little pudge of fat there from her past pregnancies. Instead he seemed to kiss there the longest yet before finally reaching her triangle. His kisses there sent small delicate threads of pleasure through her body. Slowly, he opened her legs, spreading them enough to see the whole of her glistening soaked sex. 

    “You don’t have to….it’s not proper…” But there was nothing dirty about the way he kissed her there, there was nothing unorthodox about the way he licked and sucked her outer lips and ran his tongue across her aroused little button. It drove her crazy… the way he made her feel. Tears welled up in her eyes and her fingers had taken hold of his hair as he pressed his face against her. 

    “Oh….Jie……mmm yes…oh…” The feeling of his finger slipping into her made her eyes roll back and her moans filled the room as he stroked deep and slow, soon adding another. Her hips tried to draw him in more, gyrating against his palm. She felt a deep burning sensation in her belly and felt like it was going to swallow her up and kill her. His mouth was back on her and his fingers played faster. It was the low moans that vibrated against her that caused the feeling to snap suddenly and an intense sensation crash into her. The funny urge to urinate hit her and she tried to stop it, tried to warn him. 

    “Jie…Jie I’m gonna pee…OH!” Wetness erupted from her and soaked the blanket beneath them. The wave of pleasure had her stunned, had her nearly paralyzed and she couldn’t do anything but sob, tears slipping down her cheeks. Breath smashed into her, uneven and loud as his hand paused before withdrawing his fingers. 

    “So pretty.” She heard him murmur, his mouth going in to feast for a second time. She slightly pulled his hair, making him laugh against her. He lifted up on all fours and took possession of her mouth, reaching for her. Together, they both fell back the way they had been before. He now underneath her. Sliding hands from his firm pectorals to his defined stomach, she began to grind against him nice and slow. 

    “You make me feel so good…” She breathed, a crimson blush in her cheeks. Leaning forward to kiss him, she pressed flush against him, both hands entangled in his velvety tresses. 

    “I don’t understand it…” His hand left her back and slipped down to brush the head of his cock against her wet opening. Gasping, she gyrated against him, wet enough for him to slide right in. 

    “This is the way it should be.” He replied, lips kissing the tears from her cheeks. She panted against him, closing her eyes suddenly. 

    “I don’t understand this…What this is…” His lips smiled against her and made her look at him. 

    “We are feeling all there is to feel. Enjoying one another. Living the moment of us.” The look in his eyes made her throb and she stole another kiss from his intoxicating mouth. 

    “We, ai di, are making love.” 

    “Making love?” 

    “Mmhm.” Smiling against him, she sat back up teasing him with her wetness once more before slowly sinking down, pulling him in nice and easy. 

    “Fuck…ah fuuuuck…” He groaned out, hands on her cheeks again. Her head had been thrown back and her mouth ajar in a silent scream. The stretch was slow and gentle and it had her at a loss for words. She dug her nails into his stomach, just enough to pinch slightly as she slipped down all the way to the hilt. At last, the sob she’d been holding let itself depart from her throat and her eyes rolled back. For a moment she couldn’t move, her thighs trembling. He shifted and his lips were against hers, their moans in unison as she slowly gyrated. 

    “That’s it ai di…nice and slow….” He breathed against her ear, his tongue inching forward to run against her ear lobe. She wrapped her arms around his neck and mewled at the feelings coursing through her. He guided her slow and steady, hand on her cheek. 

    “Wo ai ni…” He whispered against her temple, a soft little grunt following. Gently, she pushed him back to lay, enjoying the way his hands slipped up her back. 

    “Whoa eye knee…” She tried to repeat, now starting to ride him sweet and gentle. He groaned and she bit her lip, starting now to rock faster. More…faster…she let the love inside of her build and soon, she took flight as she crashed into him. The bedsprings started to squeak and protest but the wet slick clap of their bodies meeting drowned it out. He took hold of her bobbing breasts, lifting to pull the nipples into his mouth. 

    “Jie….oh God Jie….” Wrapping an arm around her waist he held tight to her hair, he pulled her down to lay and lifted his hips to thrust up into her violently. She screamed, tears welling up there again in her eyes. 

    “Oh yes….fuck me…. just like that….” A loud groan ripped out of his throat and he held her close and tight as the burning fire in his lower belly threatened to eat him alive.  

    “Bòhé….I’m gonna come…fuck!” She shattered moments later…the feeling of his shaft throbbing and coming inside of her made a wet warm gush follow. Growing limp against him, she welcomed his lips against her as she slowly came back down. Completely relaxed, the two of them shared a couple tender kisses, both of their cheeks warm. 

    “I love you.” His voice hushed against her. 

    “I love you too…” She replied with a shy little smile. Laying in the afterglow, they basked in it, knowing they’d play some more soon. 

 

 

 

***

 

    Callous fingers loaded bullets into the revolver. Boots were put on and legs lifted up into the horse saddle. With a hard slap to the reins, they were off. Dark furious eyes scanned the area and upon setting sights on what he wanted, he slowed the horse down eventually to a stop. Dismounting, he slipped a piece of chewing tobacco into his mouth and waited. The gallop of horses came nearer and he sneered. Right on time. Three men pulled up, dismounting from their horses. 

    “Afternoon gentleman.”

    “Howdy.”

    “Let’s get to business shall we?”

    “Who are we lookin for?” Lips smirked. 

    “Poster says an able bodied fertile bitch with a wild bush for hair.” The group of men chuckled. 

    “It don’t say that shit. Give it here.” 

    “I’m surprised you still have one of them posters. They stopped postin them after a while.” 

    “Yeah musta thought she died or somethin.” Eyes took in the publishing. 

    “Eminta. That’s the bitch’s name?” 

    “Mmhm.” 

    “By the looks of her she kinda pretty.”

    “Yeah well y’all can each have a turn when you get hold to her. She’s real obedient. Letcha have her any kinda way you want.” Lips were licked. 

    “Well alright then. Before we do this, we want our money.” Reaching into one of the satchels he pulled out three coin purses, all filled with coin and bills. 

    “Good. Now, let’s do some nigger huntin.” 

 

*** 

 

    “Ms. Eminta…I don’t know about this…” 

    “Come on now. Everybody gotta do it. Open up.” Slowly, the girl opened her legs and watched as the woman took a small rag and wiped her outer lips. 

    “When I was working we ain’t have a nice madam.” Gently, she took a small object about the size of a walnut and slowly pushed it inside of her. The deeper she got the more pronounced the winces were on the girl’s face.

    “She wouldn’t take her time. She’d shove the sponge up into our insides. “ She spoke, pushing it back until she couldn’t feel it go anymore. Carefully, she withdrew her finger and wiped her fingers with another rag. 

    “With the Negro girls, she especially loved torturing us. She’d take a silver syringe full of alum and thrust it into our bodies.” The girl paled at the thought, soon closing her legs. 

    “We’ve made enough money in the past couple months to afford sheepskin coverings. Any client wanting to patronize our establishment will be required to use one.” She smiled, offering her hand to help the girl sit up. Doing so, the girl sighed. 

    “You’ve done such a great job Ms. Eminta… the girls like you. You take care of us well.” Lifting a hand to squeeze her cheek, the older woman grinned. 

    “I have to make sure y’all well and healthy.”

    “Yes ma’am.”

    “Now, I know you’re nervous Pat but you’ll do well. I select only those who I think will make y’all first times sweet.”

    “Oh…” The girl blushed. 

    “He should be here any moment. Go on and get dressed. Real pretty like.”

    “Yes ma’am.” Watching the younger woman run up the stairs, she sighed. This had been hard. She was inexperienced at first but Miss Mable had been there to guide her through the ropes. Slowly, she’d started to wean her presence and for the first time she had been on her own. She hadn’t known what the hell she was doing, relying on her good rapport with her fellow girls. They for the most part supported her but there were some who had tried to take advantage of her. She’d quickly learned to not let shit fly, no matter who you were.

     Clearing her throat, she glanced at her appearance in the mirror. My, what a long way that little Negro girl had come. Instead of rags and cloth sacks…now she was clothed in finery. A light brown dress, delicate in its pattern, cuffs and flap collar that of real cow hide. Slim pieces of smooth hide formed a deep yet slim V shape, a light pleated cotton shirt underneath. The skirts ruched in a sweeping motion. Upon her head, she wore a grand hat, pinned on top of her hair to tip slightly to the right. Lace, taffeta and an arrangement of custom beige and brown flowers adorned the front of it. Swallowing thickly, she smiled at her reflection. Mama would be proud of her. Hearing the carrying on around her, she decided to go wake her husband. Smirking to herself, she took her time climbing the stairs. Had she not had work today, she’d still be sleeping too. Perhaps not sleeping. 

    Working still as a merchant, Jie came home faithfully every night. She knew he was tired when he’d come into her room. She tried her best to draw a bath for him with being that water was scarce. Sometimes, she’d have to send someone to fetch from the nearest well. He’d just smile and tell her that the trouble wasn’t needed. He had the sea to wash him. Ah yes, how could she forget the endless abyss that claimed the one thing she could never have. His soul. When he’d feel the call, sometimes he’d be gone for days. But when he returned, there she was to welcome him back in. 

    “Jie?” Opening the door, she paused. He was up and had started to get dressed. Leaning against the door, she chuckled. 

    “Need help?” Turning, he frowned, lips in a cute pout. 

    “Yes. Please.” Closing the door, she came behind him and took hold of the sloppily tucked shirt. Pulling it nice and taunt, she tucked it neatly into his pants. 

    “I don’t think I will ever get used to this.” He sighed as she came to the front of him. 

    “You did a good job all things considered.” She grinned with a wink, tucking the shirt neat in the front. Smoothing out the fabric on his stomach, she gently pressed down and straightened his collar. 

    “I’m proud of you sweetheart. You’re doin just fine for me.” He remained still as she fixed his suspenders. 

    “There…all better.” He glanced at himself in the mirror and the frown deepened. 

    “I look out of place bòhé.” 

    “No you don’t. You look handsome. Now fix your face.” She reached up and squeezed his cheeks together, making his lips poke out. Grinning, she pulled him down to kiss her before letting him go. 

    “All that’s left is your hair.”

    “I’m not changing it too. The clothes are enough.” 

    “I ain’t said nothin bout changin it. Come on down and sit. Lemme comb it for you.” He obliged and let her detangle the long strands. She took her time, the teeth to the comb working out the slight snags here and there before gliding through nice and smooth. 

    “That soap I made you, is it keeping them bugs away?” She asked softly, eyes on her task. 

    “Yes.”

    “Good. Hair looks nice and shiny… good and healthy.” Smiling, his gaze softened as he watched his wife attend to him so gently. 

    “Bòhé.”

    “Hm?” 

    “I want a child.” Her hand paused but for a moment and resumed combing. 

    “You think we ready for that?” His hand lifted and stopped hers from combing. Bringing it around, he pressed a kiss to it. 

    “I’m ready if you’re ready.” Feeling her cheeks grow warm, she wrapped arms around his neck and pressed a kiss against there. 

    “I know it can be madness managing this house. I have considered continuing to wait. I don’t want to make things more stressful.” He commented, finding her gaze in the mirror. 

    “Don’t worry about it. Really.” Smiling against him, she turned his head so she could kiss him. 

    “I’m ready for you to make me a mother Jie.” Licking his lips, he felt his groin throb as she pulled away. Gathering up his hair, she twisted it up into a sleek ponytail. 

    “Why don’t we go downstairs and eat somethin for lunch?” Standing up, he answered with a dizzying kiss. 

    “After you ai di.” 

 

*** 

 

    They made it to the top of the stairs when they were stopped by the barrel of a shotgun. 

    “Going somewhere monkey?” She gripped Jie’s hand tight and tried to keep composure. Her eyes drifted past the three intruders to find a collection of her girls there at the bottom of the stairs, all wide eyed with fright. 

    “I am. Down stairs. If you would move.” She spoke fearlessly, her tone not revealing the horrible twisting of her stomach. 

    “I don’t think so nigger bitch.” The two of them were forced to back up as the barrel finished its ascent up the stairs and the two other men entered into the hallway, revolvers and shotguns at the ready. 

    “You thought wouldn’t nobody find you?”

    “And she got a yellow monkey here too. They all stick together don’t they?” Jie’s fingers gripped hers just as tightly. 

    “Look at him trying to be somethin he’s not. Dressed like one of us.” 

    “If y’all came for me then I’m sorry y’all made it here for nothin. I’m not going.” The men whistled and hollered with laughter, forcing them to take step after step back. 

    “If you ain’t gon go nicely then we gon have to force you to.” 

    “This here was Kelly Grace’s place at one time. How’d you come to have it?” 

    “I earned it fair and square. Just like I did my freedom.” 

    “Bullshit! You ain’t heard of the Fugitive Slave Law? When you got here you was a slave. And a slave you will return to the good ole state of Mississippi. That piece of paper you got don’t mean a damn.” 

    “I will not go!” She hissed, eyes hard with anger. 

    “Insolent bitch!” Grabbing Jie’s hand, she turned and ran towards their room just as a shot rang out, narrowly missing them. Slamming the door, she quickly turned and went to grab the revolver she kept under her pillow. He hastily opened one of the drawers to her vanity and retrieved a short blade. 

    “Eminta…” Turning eyes onto her husband, she felt her heart speed up. He looked angry. Furious actually. She hadn’t seen that look since he’d watched Grace walk away the day they’d met in the market. 

    “Here nigger nigger nigger…” The men taunted with jeers and laughs, banging the barrel of their guns against the door. They shook the door knob.

    “Don’t worry sweetheart. Ain’t nothin gon happen to me.” Their eyes separated as the door was kicked open. Her entire body grew still as Grace walked in. His blue eyes resembled hard unyielding ice and they froze her. His face was red with fury and his lip was curled up into a tight sneer. 

    “Been a while huh Aurora?” She didn’t reply, just cocked her gun. He laughed at the sound and leaned back against the wall. 

    “I been gone for a couple months and this the shit you pull. I can’t believe it.” 

    “You’re a drunk gambling piece of shit.” She hissed, lifting the weapon to aim at him. 

    “Yeah and you’re a no good disobedient bitch. I should have delivered you to them slave hunters in pieces.” 

    “And why didn’t you?” She retorted, the anger she felt about to explode. 

    “You had the tightest little pussy, pretty and pink. I couldn’t say no. That was my downfall.” At that, Jie gripped his blade tighter. The fury on his face would have given her chills had she been looking at him. 

    “You took my cock in so good. Your pussy was so good to fuck and use. I miss having the access.”

    “Hún dàn mā le ge bā zi!”  (Bastard motherfucker.) He hissed, nostrils flared wide. His jaw was tight and hard, body stiff. His eyes fell to him, having completely ignored him. At the intensity poking into his skin, he laughed and it taunted him. 

    “I leave you alone for two seconds and you go and fuck a diseased yellow baboon.” She fired, a bullet hole forming right above his head. 

    “Talk your shit about me Grace I don’t care. But don’t you dare talk about him.” He snickered, eyebrows lifting. 

    “Pretty faced bastard. Small tiny cock bastard.” Spitting at him, he laughed again as he whistled. The three men standing outside came into the room. 

    “Now, this is where things go easy or hard.” Grace grinned, crossing his arms. 

    “You either go nice and trouble free with these here gentleman. Or they kill your little lover over there and string you up put you on a horse and ride you to the nearest locomotive.” 

    “I don’t know what you don’t get. I. Ain’t. Leaving.” 

    “Fine then. Fellas,” She shot one of them just as he started to aim at her, hole through the head. He went down and Jie used the opportunity to tackle another as he had looked at the fallen comrade. Balling up his fist, he began to punch the guy, laying a good solid lick against his jaw. Forcing him down with his body weight he took the knife in his other hand and stabbed, watching as the man cried out. Grabbing hold of his throat, he continued his assault, randomly piercing him wheresoever the knife landed. Lifting it up he slit his throat, a spray of blood squirting up to paint his skin red. Breathing harshly, he got off of the man, eyes intent on finding Eminta. She had been thrown to the ground and the other man wrestled with her, trying to get her revolver. She gave an enraged yell and tried to bite his fingers. 

    “Wild animal bitch!” He reached up to slap her, the hit making her dizzy. Groaning, the man lifted her up and slammed her against the wall, hands around her neck. Grace chuckled at the sight of her little legs and feet kicking against the wall. 

    He let out an enraged yell and ran full force towards him, knife in hand. A puff of smoke rang out and he ducked, sweat making him hot. 

    “Now now now, don’t interfere. She’s gotta learn to back up her shit talk.” Grace said with a smirk. The sound of her struggling to breathe ruined him and her feet started to kick less and less. He desperately clutched the knife and instead ran towards him. Ducking just as he fired, he fell to the floor and swung his legs around in a circle, knocking him to the ground. The thud distracted the man and he turned to look. 

    “Grace-” But a shot rang out, blood and brain spraying into the air as she weakly pressed the barrel against his chin and pulled the trigger. She fell to the floor, eyes full of tears. Taking deep haggard breaths, she kept her eyes on him…watched as the two of them struggled. He’d forced the gun away from him and now they were entangled in a bare handed fist fight. They’d both suffered hits and yet Jie was able to grab hold of his blade. Tightening his grip, it hovered over Grace’s face. 

    “Fucking….coolie….” Grace hissed through clenched teeth, nails digging into his wrists. He was quiet, teeth grit together as he tried to bring the blade further down. 

    “Jie…” Her voice was weak, so quiet he couldn’t hear her. 

    “Jie…” She tried again but all to no avail. Slowly, she watched as Grace’s arms grew weaker. The moment the blade pierced his throat, she audibly gasped. He gargled wetly, hands trying to reach for his neck. Soon, he laid limp, arms falling to his sides, fingers still gnarled. For a moment Jie was still, having sat back against the now slack legs. His hair wetly misting over his face. She slowly got up and at her approach, turned to look up at her his expression that of shock and disbelief. Slipping the wet hair out of his face and behind his ears, she pressed a soft kiss against his forehead. He didn’t say anything, just wrapped arms around her waist and pressed his head against her stomach. 

    “It’s okay Jie…You were just protectin me.” At that, he pulled his head away and again his gaze looked up. This time they hardened with a firm resolve. 

    “We have to go.” He spoke, voice gruff and hard. 

    “Where we goin?” Letting go of her, he stood to his full height. Taking her hand, he nearly yanked her down the stairs. To the surprise of the frightened girls downstairs, he hurried her outside. 

    “Jie wait! Tell me where we’re goin!” 

    “The sea.”

    “What?” 

    “We have to clean this off of us.” It didn’t make sense. But she had no choice but to follow him as he led her to the beckoning waves. 

End Notes:

A/N: Perhaps this is my longest chapter yet LOL. I told y'all that it would get nasty lol. But it's kinda.... a good? nasty? Ion know. Even though it was vulgar (in places) overall I think the scene was absolutely beautiful. Minta is so used to one way of having sex. And the moment Jie switches it up on her and does what she doesn't expect... she's like what the *beep* is this? I think the open honest and blunt conversation between them is probably more erotic than the other stuff lol. She spoke entirely too soon when she said she'd never experience the art of pleasure. Jie made sure that she knew very well about it. And I'm so glad he set a new standard for her. A new expectation. AS HE SHOULD HAVE. 

Let's thank Mable for getting our 'working girl' into a 'business woman' lane! *APPLAUSE* Minta as a madam... UGH. I literally almost cried thinking about it. Like... listen... my girl out here running a successful, healthy (as much as the West would allow at the time.. it was NOT a sanitary time) business. She said nawl we doing health checks, the clients gon use condoms or get out. She was not playing. I read that oral sex on men and women was considered taboo back in the Wild West. Can y'all BELIEVE THAT?! RIGHT. I was like wow. It's like kinda a given...expected?? nowadays. But back then there was a stigma against it.

Also, condoms (invented by the French) were EXTREMELY expensive so nine times out of ten women did not have any form of birth control. They got pregnant and took poisonous substances to kill the fetuses and other more painful methods (yeah we don't wanna go into those LOL) *sniff let's say a prayer for the lost little preciouses* but yeah. I've learned so much in creating this story haha. 

Grace's ole grimy sneaky snakey A** mannnnn listen. The whole way he proceeded to force the Fugitive Slave Law on her when he felt like it was disgusting. Eminta worked hard for her freedom and her buiness. The sad thing was that realistically, there was nothing formerly enslaved men and women could do. I mean they could go to court. Some won succesfully. A lot of times they didn't. The whole system was inhumane. I've talked enough now lol. Last chapter of this part (part one) ahead hehe. 

D&L~

 

Wo ai ni- I love you.

Tā mā de- I read this means like 'damn it' 

Gan- I read it means 'f**k'

 

 

PICTURES: 

Eminta's dress and hat 

 

Jie's clothes: 

十四 by DarkandLovely
Author's Notes:


fourteen

 

He’d gone ahead of her, eager to rip off the strange clothes. There was a shaky exhilaration lingering there in his belly. Hastily pulling the shirt up, he unbuttoned it and threw it aside. Already he had removed his shoes, the sand nice and warm under his toes. 

    “Jie, what in the hell has gotten into you?”

    “I…I don’t know what came over me just then. I’ve never wanted to do that before.” He spoke seemingly out loud, tossing aside the suspenders from his arms and reaching down to unbutton his pants. At once they too met the other discarded clothes and he at last felt like he could breathe. Turning, he looked at her still in her dress. She glanced down his body but found her gaze brought back up by way of his hands. 

    “Get undressed bòhé.” He whispered against her mouth, drawing her breath. 

    “The waves will make us clean again. Once they do, we’ll go from there.” 

    “But,”

    “I don’t care where I have to travel to. As long as you’re safe… as long as we’re together I don’t care.” He pressed his face against her neck with a shaky uneven sigh. 

    “I know you’re scared sweetheart. Was that the first time…you ever did somethin like that?” He didn’t answer but she felt him nod against her. Licking her lips, she drew him closer in a hug. 

    “We’ll go for a nice swim right?” Smiling at her, he lifted his head. 

    “Yes. For a little while.” 

    “Okay.” He watched as she began to undress, casting aside the outer dress and reaching behind her to unlace her corset. Once she stood in her shift, boots and stockings, she reached up to carefully pull the hat and its pins from her hair. It all met the sand. Leaning down, the stockings slipped down her small slender lower legs and the boots too were strewn. Just the shift left, she reached for his hands and he came to her, leaning down to kiss her. It was his hands that pulled the shift down and once she was fully nude, he lifted her up into his arms. Slowly, her arms and legs came around him and he walked them towards the softly lapping waves. Soon they crashed into them.

 

*** 

 

    He let the water wash away the blood from his face and hair and outwardly sighed. Opening his eyes, he found her still underwater, seeming to float in mid air. Smiling, he swam towards her and gave his fins a gentle flutter as he playfully circled her. Wrapping arms around her, he lifted them to surface. 

    “Do you feel better?” She asked, breath starting to grow heavy. 

    “Mmhm.” He answered against her neck. 

    “Good.” 

    “I’ll do it again.” He murmured against her skin. 

    “If I have to I will.” Turning in his arms, she sighed against his shoulder. 

    “I know honey. I know.” Sighing deeply against him, she pulled back with a playful smirk on her face. 

    “Think you can outrace me back to shore?” He snorted with a grin. Obviously. 

    “Shall we see?” 

    “On my mark. Get set. GO.” They both dove underwater. He eyed her up ahead and decided to give her a running start, slowly slipping his fins alongside the current. He watched her as she went to surface for a moment and came back down. Now. Pushing hard, he gave himself a fast shove forward and she disappeared from view as he propelled straight like an arrow. Laughing to himself, he saw the dunes of the sand shore just up ahead and grinned as he came up for air. Smirking, he waited for her to surface, knowing she was sure to be a bit tired from all the extra peddling from her arms. Soon, she did and her breath huffed loudly. 

    “Are you surprised I won?” He teased, laying his lower body against the sand beneath the water line. 

    “Oh hush. You don’t have to brag about it.” Snickering, he took her in as she took a breath and dove a final time under. A few minutes or two passed and his smile now started to wan. When he didn’t see her appear, he sat up straight, eyes starting to scan the waters. 

    “Bòhé?” Her head popped up but only for a moment and it appeared as though she had tried to speak, the water silencing her. Shit. Quickly, he dove back under. There a bit aways from him she was. He was certain that she had been closer than she appeared. As he drew closer, his fins pumping frantically, his heart stopped. 

    It looked like she was fighting something. To his horror, hundreds of hands seemed to arise from the deep dark waters even further below them and they grabbed hold of her. NO! He got close enough to where he could grab her but suddenly was repelled by an invisible forcefield. It sent him north, his body flying through the water like a rocket. When the bubbles cleared around him he felt a hand wrap itself around his neck and pull, bringing him up to shore. 

    “You know the price you have to pay for that little stunt don’t you?”  Eyes widening, the woman with the huadian from all those years ago… the one who had lured, killed and cursed him was in front of him, her claws digging into his neck. 

    “Let me go!” Those unchanging red lips smirked. 

    “You didn’t think about the rules did you?” 

    “Falling in love with her isn’t a crime. I’ve done no wrong!” He hissed, reaching up to rip her hand away from him. But alas, pain ripped instead through his neck and shoulders and she gripped even tighter, a grip inhuman. 

    “No but killing a mortal is.” At that he visibly paled and the veins in his neck and shoulders appeared blue. 

    “He was going to kill her. I had to do something.” He tried to reason but it was to no avail. 

    “You’ve got two strikes against you now.”

    “What else is there?”

    “Fathering a half mer child.” He blinked his confusion and again tried to rip her hand away from him. 

    “You’re insane! Let me go.” 

    “You didn’t know?” Those lips drew into a sneer. 

    “The human you love is carrying your child. And she, poor thing, is dying.” The last time he had ever cried was when he had held his sister’s corpse in his arms…and yet he could feel the grief and agony start to chip away at him minute by minute that he was prevented from going to her. 

    “She will die here and the sea shall claim her.” Lifting arms up, he slapped her and shoved her head away from him, an action she allowed. Watching through half lidded eyes, she took in the way he dove underwater, his fins slapping the water firmly on his descent. He was the same foolish boy now as he had been all those years ago. Because of his actions, the consequence of it would be forced to sit in his chest and dwell in his belly for four generations from that day forth. 

 

*** 

 

    His tears fell as he swam to her, his heart ripping in two. No… no no no this was not the plan… They were supposed to run to another land… a land where they could live without the threat of other humans. It was supposed to just be the two of them… Heart shattering, he found her still and limp against the sea floor, body lying against a pretty bed of multicolored reefs. 

    The sorrow and anguish he felt materialized as small pearls that gently fell upon her face. He had needed more time. More time to figure it out. Figure out how to make her like him. If she was like him then time would not matter. The lore be damned. The law of the sea be damned. As endless as the waves were so they would be. Coming to her, he lifted her up into his arms, lifting a hand to caress her hair. Eminta….More pearls slipped down her body and drifted into the sand below them. He let out a tortured scream, the fish at once around them scattering. Holding her tightly, he began to go up.  Up to the beach. 

 

*** 

 

    Tears welled up in Fei-hua’s eyes as she listened to the story, her hands clasped so tightly in her lap. 

    “When I got her to the beach, I could finally let the deep agony inside me free. I wept like a child… the same when I found my sister slain… my parents slain. No, it was worse. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that way before her and not after her.” 

    “Professor Yi…” His throat was tight and his hands were stiff as one lifted the cup of steaming hot coffee to his mouth. 

    “The fact that she had conceived…it still torments me in my dreams.”

    “Do you think she knew?” It was a very long while before he spoke, his eyes not on her now. They looked out the window, a pained expression on his face. 

    “No.” Is all he had the patience and will to answer. 

    “My God…”

    “It didn’t matter what it was. Half mer. Half mortal. If it was a piece of her I would have been pleased. As long as the child knew that with her and I it had been created with love in its purest form.” 

    “Professor Yi… I’m…I’m so sorry…” 

    “For the longest time I laid there next to her, my mind and soul now empty. I laid against her, pressing my face against her stomach that would never grow round. The water had made her skin cold wet and clammy. Her body had started to grow hard as though solid stone lived beneath her skin.” Turning eyes away from the window, he glanced down into his cup of black abyss. 

    “You asked me once the same as she did. Why do I always go to the sea? Why do I go to a particular beach in Encinitas when there are so many others?” Sad eyes looked up at her. 

    “There is where I revealed myself to her. There is where we laughed, talked and held hands. On that beach is where we made love and…on that beach is where she lay dead.” It hurt to swallow. 

    “I wanted to bury her…bury our unborn child there. But instead, I offered her up, finally let her go…let them go to the sea. I held her head above the water and pressed a kiss against her lips now grey. Placing the pearls that I’d cried around her, I tried to make her as beautiful as I could…even with the tears of agony. And then…then I let the waves carry her wheresoever they desired until I could no longer see her.” The girl in front of him wept, hands lifted up to hide her face. Her shoulders shook with her grief. 

    “It’s been four generations since she was taken from me. Now…now I wait.”

    “W-wait for what?” 

    “Until we are reunited again.”

End Notes:

A/N: PLEASE DO NOT COME FOR ME OKAY LOL. This ruined me too and I am the writer lol. The fact that Minta was actually pregnant CRUSHED ME. They both wanted a child together so bad and this happened. Everything abou it is MESSED UP. In the original dream I had of this story, this is where it ended LEGIT LOL. Like... Jie continued to live without her and eventually died of heartbreak/grief. What a depressing a** dream y'all. HOWEVER. lol. I am NOT gon do y'all like that. Not at all. I'm going to be doing a PART 2! Set in 2021. Modern day baby! whoo wooooo! I know you guys are going to like it whenever I start it. I actually don't intend (but y'all know when the creativity hits, I gotta go with the flow* this any time soon lol.

My intention is to keep my goal of finishing Yeonwang this year. So yeah! I know this was heart breaking. But rest assured... Jie will be reunited with his love again. hehe. Thank you guys for reading this. I know with all the language, imagery and subject matter it was N-O-T easy. It wasn't an easy read as it was not an easy write. People forget that the creatives are people too. We feel just like y'all do. We don't wanna be writing stuff that makes us uncomfortable. But I DO because being umcomfortable means that I will GROW. Stay tuned for Of Tales and Sorrow: The Promise (pt. 2). Love you all. God bless you richly! 

D&L~

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