The wind kissing my neck felt like the third prince's feathery fingers, the hum of insects and birds echoed prince Julong's voice within them. It felt like a delirious hallucination of having his presence everywhere. It made me restless and anxious, twisting and turning to pay attention to everything.
Bailing loosened and exasperated breath, watching me depleted her patience. "The heck is the matter with you?" I whipped my glance over to her, her face drawn into an annoyed scowl. "You've been tossing around like a deranged cat."
"Nothing you need to know, Bailing," I responded.
She bared her teeth in a teasing grin, aware of the reason for my distress. "I see you getting along with the third prince. It's a dangerous game you two are playing, Jasmine." Her eyes lifted to meet mine. "He isn't the one you are to marry."
I breathed, she needn't have to remind me of it. "I know, we shouldn't talk about him. I didn't know he was going to be there."
"Toying with him like that can get you killed. You have no idea how powerful these princes are. There're plenty of women here. Let him give his attention to someone else."
"Do you think the second prince will have me killed if he found out?"
"I don't know. I'm just saying..."
Our conversation melted distracted by a group of concubines coming from the opposite direction. Trickles of melodic laughter fanned across the pathway. There's three of them, each one beautiful and elegant as the other. They looked like veteran concubines that had been a resident in the palace for a while.
The giggles paused as their attention focused on me. My chest pounded. Their criticizing glares poured into mine as they loudly announced the malicious thoughts swirling in their minds.
My eyes dropped, like a prey caught in a predator's penetrating glare. I didn't want to get tangled up in any confrontation, not with them. I knew how these women are, they will come for me, they will toy with me, and they will break me, and indulge my misery. They're bullies, and they probably did this to every newly arrived girl in the palace.
"Look who it is," The prettiest one purred. She stalked soft, effortless steps to my direction. "One prince not good enough for you?"
The other concubine followed. "Have you seen her flirting with the third prince this morning?"
"She wants all of them for herself." The third concubine murmured.
They circled me before I knew it.
"I wouldn't doubt she's fucking both."
"I bet her pussy is all stretched out."
A wave of cruel laughter veiled the air, the concubines tossed their heads back having the time of their life at my emotional expense. I withdrew a step back as I kept my mouth shut, getting ready to walk away.
I began to leave when I felt a hand on my shoulder, Bailing held me back, and I saw the rage in her. Her twisted face, her malicious sneer. Her face was red
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