69. Julia and Elliot (2)
“Milady, is the water hot enough?”
Hannah’s usual cheerful voice could be heard from behind the door. After hearing that, Amelia clapped her hands twice, signaling “It’s just right.”
From that day when she lost her voice, she always clapped her hands as a means to instruct Hannah.
Two claps would mean “yes” while three times meant “no”. Having said that, Hannah was very perceptive, therefore, there was rarely any need for Amelia to clap her hands.
Generally, maids would accompany their lady in the bath. As such, there would be no need to clap her hands—despite so, Amelia had her own personal habit of taking a bath alone.
Amelia had no intention of changing that habit now, even after she had become mute. Because she could wash her hair and body by herself. There was also the fact that she was trying to conceal her injury. The red bruise on her neck due to that man’s attack. Because she was a noble lady, such a thing could spell serious consequences.
While soaking in the hot water up to her shoulders, she thought of Nick. Lionel probably handed Nick over to the police afterwards. That said, he would probably just be charged for theft. The crime wasn’t so serious. He was also a mere child.
Nick’s father was likely to have died. Nobody was there for him.
If Amelia went directly to help him, then she might easily be able to help him be released by tomorrow.
After such a long time—she wondered if she needed to disguise herself as ‘Rosa’ again. Or, maybe, she should ask for Lewis’ help?
With that thought, she shook her head in refusal—that would be useless. Surely, Lewis wouldn’t let her do that. Because it had nothing to do with their contract—it had nothing to do with her objective. During the past two months, Lewis didn’t do anything to her. Maybe because Lewis thought Amelia was progressing along with the objective…
—even so, today, she had been acting suspicious.
If she acted without thinking properly again, she would arouse William’s suspicion for sure.
Why didn’t Lewis and William say anything about her behavior towards Nick?
First of all, why were they together?
—meanwhile Hannah was left behind in the city. Indeed, at first, Amelia thought it was merely a coincidence.
But, it seemed that it wasn’t so.
Lewis probably tried to run after Amelia. Afterwards, William and Hannah joined on the search.
Then… that would basically imply… Hannah and Lewis were following us?
She finally reached the truth. Her face was momentarily distorted. She didn’t notice at all. She even missed the signs. She truly had become duller in the last two months… well, the reason they tailed her was harmless, that was why she was at ease, but, still…
…She stared into the bathroom mirror.
—then, Lewis must’ve noticed.
Her relationship with Nick. Because after all that was said and done, Lewis had looked into her past. What she was planning to do with Nick, surely, he was aware… in that case—
—she quietly stood up from the bath. Amelia was reflected in the mirror—or was it Julia? Either was fine. But that red bruise on her neck was akin to a warning.
Even now, she swore to love William—it was still too early to be distracted. She didn’t think she had solved anything yet.
—at that time, when she was with Lionel, she was unstable. As such, she said something incomprehensible to him. She could’ve dealt with it more calmly… although she was sure he wouldn’t do anything that would threaten her. But, she had almost gotten him involved… that was really careless of her…She needed to make sure she won’t repeat the same mistake again in the future.
Therefore, she decided—she closed her eyes.
Then, just then, Hannah’s voice came from outside the bathroom.
“Pardon me, Milady. I shall fetch a towel for you immediately. Please wait for a moment.”
—that was right, that day, most of the servants of the mansion were absent. A bathrobe was there, but there was no towel to dry her hair.
She clapped in affirmation again. At the same time, Hannah disappeared from behind the door.
She confirmed that and got up from the bathtub, putting on her bathrobe. She wanted to hide that red bruise. She stood in front of the mirror and removed the lid of a jar small enough to fit in her hand. She then put the white powder on her finger and slowly spread it over her neck—
—at that moment.
“Amelia, are you there?”
Suddenly, William’s voice could be heard from behind the door. The doorknob started moving.
W, why would William—!?
She started panicking. She never thought someone would come in like that…!
Ah, no, don’t open it! I haven’t concealed this bruise, yet!
She thought so, and rushed to block the door. However, she was too late.
William appeared from behind the door, and his gaze soon found her.
William gazed at her, who was in bathrobe, for a moment, but returned to his sense immediately.
“…what, are you doing?”
With that said, William lifted his eyebrows.
—ah, he noticed…
The jar held in her hand, and the bruise on her neck, which was where William’s gaze was currently focused…
…once he realized what it was, his jade eyes widened. He muttered in a shaky voice.
“That bruise… did something happen, during the daytime…? You, you got strangled?”
Ah—she didn’t want him to notice it. Especially not him.
She couldn’t even muster a nod. All she could do was look down. But William didn’t allow even that.
His face was severely distorted. Very emotional… she had never seen him make such an expression before, it, it looked just like Elliot, on that day!
“Why didn’t you tell me about it—!? Why were you trying to hide it instead—!? Do you distrust me that much—!!”
His eyes wavered in regret. His lips trembled, as if he were about to cry. He reached for her, but stopped.
“—how selfish of me.”
Muttering so, William gritted his teeth. He lifted one corner of his lips in ridicule.
“…When I didn’t even reach you on time, as if you can rely on such a me…”
No, no, no, it’s not because of that!
Everything is because of my selfishness! That’s why, don’t make that face!
She stared straight at his wavering eyes. However, William turned his back on her without continuing.
He mumbled and moved away from her.
—wait, wait, don’t go, stay here—Elliot!!!!
Her heart screamed. Precisely, the Julia within her. But, her voice didn’t return. At the same time, it was as if her temple constricted in pain.
A dull, splitting, pain… because of that, she squatted down on spot.
Ah… why, why suddenly, am I like this? Don’t go, William, William…!
Even so, she could no longer move. It hurts! It hurts!
Voiceless, she could only stare at William’s back as her consciousness faded.
Then, fortune played its hand.
From her left hand, which was throbbing in pain, the bowl of white powder fell, clattering on the tiled floor. William turned around unexpectedly at the sound—when their gaze met, his face was distorted once again.
William shouted her name, and at the same time, approached her with a pale, blue, face.
It was strange… she suddenly wanted to smile—and so she did, at him.
“Is your head in pain!?”
William held her, his face turning impatient.
“…why didn’t you say anything!?”
That voice… it didn’t sound like William’s usual voice… it sounded like that day… like Elliot’s…
—why, why do you look like that? Why do you seem hurt?
Frowning, William carried her to his bedroom. Gently lowering her to his bed, he said in a low voice. “Call for a doctor.” He tried to leave once again—
She wouldn’t let him go anymore.
Desperately enduring the pain, she grabbed William’s shirt, and pulled.
William expressed confusion towards her actions. She wanted to tell him something—thus, her lips moved.
“’Don’t go’?” He parroted her lips movement.
—good, my voice reached him…
She relieved and nodded—again, she repeated those same words.
“Do you want me to stay here? Really?”
Why are you making such an expression, William?
What happened to you?
If you show that kind of face to me, I’ll misunderstand that I’m loved… but, if such a possibility exists…
She desperately reached out to William’s arm, who was stunned. Then, she gently pulled him, and planted a gentle kiss on his lips.
***T/N: Why would William just barge in without waiting for a sign to the shower!? Doesnt the first few chapters always make him out to be the perfect gentleman all ladies love!? Why is he suddenly the victim in this situation!? WHY!?