"Lan Fan!"

The always peppy, somewhat annoying future emperor of Xing called out to his guard.

"What is it, your highness?" Lan Fan answered, coming to a halt in the corridor she was cutting through to get to her bedroom.

"I need to talk to you real quick!" Ling stated happily as he caught up to the pretty woman.

"Mm? About what?" Lan Fan inquired in her usual, quiet manner as she placed a single hand on her hip.

".. I don't want to have ten wives," Ling admitted, now unusually subdued. "I only love one person. I can't do that to myself. I want one wife."

"But, your highness, no offense intended, bu-"

"My name is Ling," The future emperor cut in.

"Hn?" Lan Fan answered intelligently.

"My name is Ling. Ling Yao. You know that as well as anyone. So stop calling me 'your highness.' I get enough of that. I want you to call me by my name, not by some generic, formal term that has no meaning or feeling to it!" The man burst out in one long breath.

"Your highn- Ling, I mean.. Why are you making such a big deal about this? I'm a low class guard. I don't have the right to call you by your first name," Lan Fan stated unsurely, her hands moving up to her hair tie, releasing her beautiful, black hair from its prison.

That's when Ling struck.

Taking both of Lan Fan's wrists in his strong grip, the young man swiftly pushed the woman against the wall of the corridor, pressing his lips briefly to hers. "I love you," he whispered.

Lan Fan's face became.. What? Sad? How could this be? "I.. Love you, too, Ling. But we can't be together; I mean, I'm just a guard and-"

"I'll make it work. Please.. Be my wife." His eyes were so full of hope, and joy because of her confession. "Please," he repeated.

"..Fine, but my grandfather will scream at me when I go to Hell.." she whispered, laughing softly. Oh, God, he loved her laugh.

"Good," he said, smiling and planting a long, lingering kiss of Lan Fan's lips. "Now, shall we go to your room?"