The Divorcee is a Wicked Black Belly Chapter 43: A marriage is announced


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The news that An Ning was carrying twins reached An Ma after Ceres told him about it. Ceres was overjoyed. She hadn't been able to detect the presence of the twins like Nyra did but since she had always considered herself a different breed of Amazon, her father after all was a powerful warlock, she didn't make a big deal out of it.

Not in the case of An Ma, however. He was livid and demanded that he and Han had a little talk. The little talk took place, as it turned out, in the river where Han was trying his hand in fishing. An Ma looked at him like he was a fool and demanded, without preamble, that he marry his daughter immediately or else.

Han, who was happily thinking of catching fish he and Ning Ning could later grill, was astounded. He listened in silence as An Ma raked his character like he was some kind of reprobate who seduced and abandoned girls by the thousands. An Ma questioned his motives, his background, cast aspersions on his family, even mocked his political views.

Han held on to his temper with an effort. An Ma was an old fashioned kind of guy who believed that pregnancy immediately led to marriage. He had lived by the same code all his life. He met Ceres, fell in love with her, got her pregnant and immediately married her without any regret. He had loved the woman he thought was Ceres and refused to leave even though the marriage went south not long after because he loved his daughter enough to be there for her whenever she needed him. That was the code An Ma lived by; that was the code he expects a man who loves his daughter should live by.

He hated Richard. Richard had not been the man he expected but An Ning had loved him and as a father he wanted his little girl to be happy so he stood by and watched as she threw herself at him, cried over him and finally married him.

And now, Richard was supposed to be dead and his body taken over by his brother, Han, whom he didn't know anything about. An Ma didn't trust the military. They're too much in the dark, involved in some schemes he didn't and doesn't want to understand. And An Ning nearly died because of Han. And here's the same guy, impregnating his precious daughter with twins and not even a peep from him about marrying her or not. Damn him.

"Cat got your tongue, huh?" An Ma mocked. "That's alright. When the twins are born they'll carry my last name anyway. So you know."

"The hell they will!" It was Han's turn to be livid. "They'll carry your name over my dead body!"

"Since I don't want them to be illegitimate, of course they'll carry my name," An Ma sounded reasonable, which further infuriated Han.

"We'll get married immediately after the twins are born, you old coot. I want a grand wedding and since An Ning doesn't want to go through the planning again, I'm left to plan all the preparations," Han suddenly smiled. "I actually like it. Ning Ning is bored with it all. She said to just let her know when the date is and she'll be there."

"Why marry before the twins are born?" An Ma frowned. "Why not marry now?"

"Because your daughter is a stubborn female. I'd marry her now if she'll have me but she said to postpone it until after the twins are born. I think she wants to lose the weight before walking the aisle so I'm humoring her."

"What about this thing with Yu Yan?"

"It will be over soon, don't worry."

"I'm just worried about Ning Ning," An Ma said. He hesitated looking at Han with a somewhat embarrassed look on his face.

"What?" asked Han. Oh god, he's not going to demand that I stop sleeping with Ning Ning before the wedding, is he? What the fuck? Was what Han was thinking but he looked calmly enough when he asked the question.

An Ma was slow to answer. He seemed to be drawing out the words, like he didn't want to say them but had no choice.

"What is it?" Han was starting to get perturbed as well. An Ma was unpredictable. He's probably thinking of other ways to make his life miserable before he could marry Ning Ning.

"Ceres and I are planning to get married soon," An Ma finally chewed the words out, his face totally red. "And I plan to take her traveling with me. Just a few cities we've heard about and wanted to see. It would be nice before we leave that everything is settled with you and Ning Ning. Put our minds at ease."

Han stared at him stupidly.

"What?" An Ma said, restlessly twisting his hand inside the pocket of the thin jacket he wore.

"Does An Ning know?" Han finally said, his lips twitching.

"Ceres is telling her as we speak," An Ma said. "It's over twenty years late for us but...Ceres and I....we have a child together and now we're going to be grandparents."

"Is that the only reason you're marrying her?"

An Ma was silent.

"No," he said, after a while. "We're both too old to pretend this is love but...I feel young when I'm with her. Like that seventeen year old boy with his first love and his first girl. The story of us...Ceres and I...never really came to anything. We met, fell in love, had a baby together and after that we spent our lives separate from each other.

"I spent the last twenty years with a woman whom I thought was her. And she spent the last twenty years living in a cave while spying on her child from afar. It's all been wasted years for all of us but perhaps now we can make up for it. Who knows, we might discover we don't really suit each other and after a while go our own separate ways or stay together and be grandparents to our grandkids but the thing is...we want to know. Yu Yan robbed us of the what could have been in our young lives...the whole process of choosing and deciding and moving on and that's really what's it all about."

Han listened to him, pondering the lives of two people interrupted by a woman's mad descent into insanity. If he hadn't been strong enough to fight fate, the story of them...his and An Ning's...would have ended in the same sad vein. He would have died and An Ning would most likely ended up remarrying Richard. The thought scared Han so much that he hurriedly congratulated An Ma, gathered his gear and went home to find An Ning.

An Ning was watching TV in the family room. Her attention, however, seemed to be somewhere else. When Han entered the room, her first words were:

"Have you heard? My parents are getting married."

Han walked over and gave her a kiss on her lips.

"Your father was telling me about it. The question is, how do you feel about it?"

"Honestly, I wanted to laugh," An Ning said, giggling.

"Huh? Why?" Han asked, startled.

"Because I knew it the first time I saw them together. And Dad was really awful to Mom and Mom was just...okay, meh," An Ning burst into loud laughter. "I could see Dad was intrigued. Yu Yan always treated him like 'you're the boss, honey' so he was obviously annoyed by Mom's indifference."

"Stop laughing at your parents," Han scolded, pinching her chin. "At least, that'll lay off your dad's attention on me. Who wants to bother about an insignificant future-son-in-law when you're with a beautiful woman like your mom, right?"

An Ning laughed even more. Han shook his head and stopped her the only way he knew how: by prying her lips open and sucking on her tongue. She was still convulsed with laughter when Han peeled her clothes from her body and loved her in a sinful fashion on top of a plush, tawny-colored accent rug by the open French door.

The wedding of An Ma and Ceres took place a week later out in the garden in the big house. Everyone was there, even Taey and his troops. Ceres wore a vintage red outfit first worn by Hippolyta during a peace talk with Li Cheung's great grandfather. The outfit nearly caused the fatal heart attack of several dignitaries who attended the banquet. It was figure-hugging, long slitted in one thigh, sparkled like red wine, and frankly, scandalous in all cultures and time.

An Ma nearly had a nose-bleed when he first caught sight of the dress. Ceres was unperturbed, walking towards her bridegroom while holding her daughter's hand. An Ma's eyes were turning red, like a bull catching sight of a moving red target. His fists clenched when he caught sight of several men ogling Ceres' long and shapely legs bared by the slit. Her white pale skin looked luminescent under the sun, her long hair streaming down her back in graceful waves of blue black tendrils.

An Ma's throat felt dry. He cast a helpless look around, meeting Han's amused gaze with a jolt.

"Here," Han said, handing him a small flask. "You look like you're about to faint."

An Ma took the flask and hurriedly took a sip. The feel of cold water running down his throat somewhat cooled down his heated blood. His body felt cooler and his mind clearer until he caught sight of Ceres and the blood again rushed to his head.

An Ma had no memory of what happened after that. The ceremony seemed to have gone well. He could fleetingly remember seeing An Ning's face, smiling and laughing as she said something to her mother. Han also seemed to be enjoying himself. That boy Taey was staring at Ceres which he didn't like. He drank, ate and made merry with the guests until finally he and Ceres were alone in the big bedroom they shared and Ceres was looking at him like she was unsure and confused by it all.

An Ma suddenly felt fear strike his heart.

"Don't be scared," he said, his voice cool. "I'm not about to jump on you like some inexperienced cowherd."

Ceres didn't answer. Just gathered up some clothes in the closet and went into the bathroom to wash up. An Ma was left feeling bitterly disappointed. He sat on a chair and looked at his hands. They were shaking with nervousness, with fear, with anxiety. He didn't know what to do. Maybe he was wrong and it was already too late for them.

The bathroom door opened and Ceres came out. An Ma nearly choked. Ceres was wearing a black short nightdress that revealed all he had been hoping to see and more. He had been insistent that he and Ceres share a bedroom from the very beginning and although they had slept together on the same bed, they had not done anything else other than sleep as innocently as two innocent babies.

An Ma had forgotten how devastating Ceres' beauty really was. Yu Yan's fakery didn't even plumbed the depths of the original copy's enchantment. He swallowed again, his eyes almost bursting out of their sockets. He slowly walked towards her like he was sleepwalking. He stopped in front of her and simply gazed into her eyes, unable to disguise the glow in his, the joy on his face.

There was an answering laughter in Ceres' eyes when she pulled his head down and kissed his lips. An Ma's arms tightened around her waist and he pulled her closer to him as his hungry mouth plundered hers. They fell to the bed still entwined, their bodies flowing together in harmony as if they had never known the many years of separation.

When An Ma entered Ceres' body, she tensed and suddenly burst into racking sobs, her entire body shaking with her tears, one arm covering her mouth as if she was in pain. An Ma was alarmed and tried pulling out of her, thinking he had hurt her but she tightened her legs around his waist and refused to be parted from him.

They stayed merged together not moving, Ceres' body still shaking softly, her sobs now more quiet and contained.

An Ma gazed at her, feeling an immeasurable tightening of his heart.

"Love," he said softly, "tell me what happened. Did I hurt you? I tried to be gentle but...We could stop now and do it again later? What do you think?"

"I think we should continue, don't you?" Ceres said, smiling thru her tears.

"But I hurt you...."

"No, I'm fine. You didn't hurt me," Ceres said, stroking his cheek.

"Then what is it? What made you cry like that?"

Ceres moved her body so that he found himself thrusting deeper into her, reigniting his lust and the overpowering need to possess and drown himself into her.

"I'm happy, love," Ceres said, her soft arms tightening around his neck and back. "I'm happy."

Her soft lips grinded against his, the feel of her tongue, the softness of her skin....An Ma's arms engulfed Ceres' body like he wanted to lose himself in her. He met her lips with a hungry groan, the tightness in his chest loosening until all that was left was the happiness and joy he felt as he finally made her his.

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