43. Time Went Forward
As he barged into the room and shouted my name, William who saw me and Lionel became speechless for a moment.
He witnessed me lying on the bed; tears still apparent on my face. Lionel, with one of his knee on the bed, was tightly gripping my right hand from a distance too close to be called comfortable.
William soon returned to his senses and sent a death glare towards Lionel.
“—what in the name of, are you doing—“
William’s voice was so low it could be called a growl as he approached and grabbed Lionel by the collar.
“—what have you done to her—?!”
Anger filled his countenance—it was as if— …as if he was witnessing his own lover being harassed.
I couldn’t help but be surprised. William had no reason to make such a face—at least none that I’m aware of…
Hearing William’s false accusation, Lionel’s face also distorted for a moment, but he soon regained his calm. He stared back at William.
“…—Earl Falmouth, isn’t it? You can direct all your jealousy towards me—that is, if you want to lose your most important thing.”
The aura Lionel had just released—I was truly familiar with it. My entire body shook with nostalgia—
—it was certainly the aura of a person that was about to reap a life. William also felt the murderous aura and released Lionel instantly. He took a step back, and then another.
Lionel’s stare towards William was full of contempt. Without saying anything, he passed by William.
“Stewart, where’s the medicine kit?”
Lionel called the name of his butler, whom stood in astonishment. Stewart handed him the first aid kit.
I slowly sat up, staring at Lionel’s back. My bleeding had already stopped.
I stared at Lewis who didn’t say a word and stood behind William.
When Lewis noticed my gaze, he smiled—a smile that only I could comprehend.
A smile that was full of jet black madness, which crept up to his dark eyes.
His smile let me understand everything…
Everything—even the reason for William’s appearance, was strange. William’s eyes, which were staring at Lionel, were swirling in deep turmoil.
Deep conflict undoubtedly arose because of Lewis’ trickeries.
…In just one day.
It’s has only been a day since I signed that contract with Lewis—and in such a small amount of time…
…everything had changed, by the hands of Lewis, no doubt.
—this whole situation… so, I truly can’t go back, huh?
At the end of my line of sight, Lewis’ lips distorted—ah, yes, that was what he called ‘smiling’. He was jeering at me.
“…Amelia, you should lie down for a bit more.”
Lionel, while carrying the first aid kit, said to me.
However, I couldn’t hear him well.
A noise that was unbefitting to be called a voice leaked out of my throat.
William’s pained expression was directed at me—the same thing also applied to Lewis’ distorted mouth—my heart wailed.
—aah… enough already, I’m at my limit…
The moment I thought so, something warm dribbled down my cheeks.
My heart shattered into pieces.
The wall that I had been desperately maintaining until now—the armor that had protected my heart was smashed away.
My weak self—my true self, was exposed.
It hurts…! It hurts…! My heart hurts…!
Without my permission, my tears overflowed.
Lionel was peering into my face, which was drenched in tears. I couldn’t even see him anymore.
—Hey… Elliot… Elliot!! Where are you? Why aren’t you here? Why aren’t you here to hold me!?
As I cried, I stared at William’s face as if to seek consolation.
William’s expression wavered. His beautiful eyes swayed—full of conflict and also frustration as he uttered my name with a pained voice. His beautiful eyes, the color of my favorite, deep, forest.
Oh, Elliot… I love you, from the bottom of my heart, I love you…!
That day, I smiled at Elliot. Despite my tears overflowing endlessly, I showed William—my true, old smile.
—ah… what kind of terrible madness is this…?
William called my name with a touched expression. That alone made me happy—that alone I couldn’t hate, because I loved it.
William’s eyes shook. What was reflected upon them, I wonder? Was it love… or, sympathy?
But it mattered to me not.
Even though my vision was tearful, I kept staring at William. Tangled, our gazes met.
William squeezed his voice out and whispered;
“Amelia …I’m sorry. Please forgive me.”
His usually calm countenance was now palpable with remorse. He begged for my forgiveness, however, I didn’t quite catch what he meant—but…
When William kept uttering the same words over and over—regret clearly dying his tone, I couldn’t help but to cry even more. His words pulled my heartstring.
“—Amelia, I’m sorry.”
William whispered so again, and—with his trembling arms, gently embraced me.
—this was what I wanted.
For my entire life, this was what I had always wanted.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t believe in that happiness—the same way I still couldn’t believe that I was in his arms right now.
—a sigh leaked again from my throat. It surprised me—at the same time during when I felt pain, I also felt joy—and …being loved.
William’s voice touched my ears.
“Amelia… I’m terribly sorry. I wasn’t there to protect you. I’m very sorry…I regret for having left your side.”
Ah… how nostalgic.
—my dear Elliot—
—he’s holding me right now.
He’s touching me—my back, my hair …and my heart.
I love you…
I love you, I love everything about you—…
…—the same way my previous self-used to love you.
For whom was this love of mine—?
I no longer knew.
“I know you’ll never forget your old lover—but it’s fine. It’s alright. Please—from now on, let me protect you. I won’t ask you to forgive me. I don’t mind being hated by you.”
William’s voice trembled from suffering and conflict. His once trembling arms held me tight. It felt very warm… and also kind.
“Amelia, please… don’t hurt yourself anymore. Don’t cry anymore. From now on, I swear that I’ll protect you. I promise to love you.”
—oh… what nostalgic words those are!
The same words Elliot used to declare his deep affection to me that day…
Warm… It’s so warm…
This was the warmth I had been yearning since forever. I gave up, thinking that it would never come true. But now, I was definitely in his arms…
…it didn’t even matter that he was lying right now. I could sense that only part of what he was saying was the truth—but that was fine. I was happy enough.
I slowly returned his embrace—my arm encircling his back. I wanted to answer him—I wanted to answer him—that I loved him, too.
Then, he stared at my face, looking very surprised.
“—Amelia… are you saying, you’ve forgiven me?”
William looked at me incredulously. I still didn’t understand the reason for his apologize—but, I showed him my smile.
His jade-colored eyes widened. There was no longer any doubt in them, only seriousness.
“I’ll make you happy. I swear to God—never shall I leave your side again.”
His declaration reminded me of Elliot again.
I couldn’t suppress my emotions, and ended up burying my face on William’s chest.
“…Amelia, I love you.”
His voice tenderly filled my ears—the voice of my dear William.
—the town bell resounded—informing the daytime. The rain had stopped and the chimes of the bell rang clearly with blue skies as its backdrop. A Rainbow formed in all of its glory.
It was like a blessing for our reunion—again and again, the clear sound echoed throughout the room.
***T/N: Ugh, I knew she would still ‘choose’ William in the end. I already knew it. B-b-b-b-b-but why introduce so many other alternatives, then, Author??? Ugh, I still don’t get why Amelia is so hung up over William’s… true… soul…