24. First Selfishness
“Sherry, please open your mouth.”
“B, but that’s…”
While enduring both the pain and shame in my chest, I opened my mouth a little. While smiling in satisfaction, Noel put the strawberry on my tongue.
For Noel to offer such a service… I wondered if it was my birthday that day. I was too happy to comprehend why. For him to let me eat strawberry straight from his hand… it was as if the fruit had transformed into a mere lump of sugar.
…Ever since I was discharged from the hospital, Noel, who was awkward at first, seemed to have become accustomed to me once again. His attitude kept getting sweeter by the day. As such, it felt as if I was having a seizure every day.
I was wondering if I could get used to him if I kept living with him. However, no matter how much I looked at him, his clear skin remained the same and so were his long eyelashes. I made too many discoveries, and instead of getting used to him, I was getting worse.
“Sherry, what do you want me to do?”
“…I’m so happy, to want more out of you… that will be my express ticket to hell!”
“Even in hell, I’ll chase you anywhere you go, so don’t worry.”
Noel was sly.
At that rate, I’d be spoiled senseless!
“If it’s towards his beloved, a man will indulge her selfishness.”
“…I’ll think about it.”
“I will be looking forward to it, then.”
However, I was happier than ever every day. What else could I possibly want? With that in mind, I continued to mull over it for the next few days.
“Simply put, don’t talk to any other men. All you need to do is stand beside me and smile. Dancing is also out of the question.”
“Yes, I understand.”
That day, I was participating in a social gathering with Noel for the first time in a while. It was a night party hosted by his acquaintance.
Being told to not get involved with other men in such way made me happy. I realized that I was pretty much loved. By the way, he said the same thing while we were in the mansion, and in the carriage. Regardless, my reaction upon hearing that remained the same. I just wanted to jump. I loved him so much.
I did as I told, and only greeted people. When I took a break, I happened to find a lady whom was my friend back in the magic academy. Noel, whom realized that I was looking at her, gave me permission to chat with her.
I decided to accept his words. After parting with Noel, I approached my old friend. With a glass of champagne in one hand, I was blooming in the nostalgic stories of my school days. Then, I suddenly found Noel, whom was smiling happily, at the edge of my vision.
The moment I saw the person he was talking to, a sharp pain ran in my chest.
It was because he was talking to a breathtakingly beautiful woman. She had a mature charm to her, and she had a refined body. She was completely different from me. Even from a distance, I could see that they made a good pair. Above all, Noel seemed to be showing her a genuine, heartfelt, smile. Their conversation didn’t seem formal at all.
Just looking at them suffocated me. It was as if my heart was being crushed. Until now, I wasn’t bothered when he talked to others. Gradually, something like a black haze engulfed my chest.
—Noel is mine.
My mind went astray. I hurriedly tapped my cheeks, realizing how cheeky I was.
After that, I failed to get immersed in the conversation with my friend. I was only concerned about the mysterious beauty. After I had drank the champagne that was provided from nearby, I said that I needed to breath some air, and left the place.
“What happened, you’re sighing loudly.”
To cool my head a little, I went to the balcony alone and leaned against the railing. My face was a little hot because I downed the alcohol all at once.
The moment I sighed, I was so surprised because I suddenly heard Noel’s voice. As a result, I let out a strange voice.
“Why are you here…?”
“I saw you going out to the balcony alone.”
When I asked for how long he had been watching me, he said. “For a long time.”
Even though I kept sneaking glances at him, I didn’t notice at all.
However, I was sure it was part of Noel’s amazingness.
“I, is that woman you talked with previously alright… I mean, you left her—”
“—It’s alright, because nothing is more important than Sherry.”
Due to his words, my anxiety vanished in an instant. I truly hated my previous narrowmindedness.
“…Is there a problem?”
When I saw how concerned Noel was, my vision became blurry. Due to the alcohol, my lacrimal glands might had been weakened.
Somehow, I felt like crying because I loved him too much.
“…C, can I be honest with you?”
“Of course. If there’s anything I can help with, I’ll do whatever I can.”
The kind Noel gently caressed my head. Because of that, my tears overflowed.
“D, don’t look so happy when you’re talking to other women…”
At that moment, Noel’s well-shaped eyes widened in astonishment. He stopped moving entirely.
However, when I was about to correct myself—
—I was embraced tightly by Noel. I was surrounded by his scent—it was my favorite smell in the world.
“I’m so happy, I’m about to cry.”
As he muttered so, his grip on me strengthened.
Apparently, he wasn’t annoyed. On the contrary, he seemed to be pleased and also relieved from the bottom of his heart.
“Well, if I don’t annoy you, I’m glad…”
“Shouldn’t that be obvious? I don’t mind such an adorable selfishness. I also don’t care if I’m not able to talk to other women except for you for the rest of my life.”
As his smile widened, he lightly kissed my eyes, where my tears were afloat.
“By the way, the one I was talking to earlier is my cousin.”
“Yes. We just happened to meet. I was already thinking about introducing the two of you once you finished talking to your friends.”
It appeared that the beautiful woman was a cousin of Noel’s. The reason why that woman was so enchanting became clear in an instant. I wondered if all his relatives were beautiful.
Even so, what I did was foolish. Even if I was unaware, I was jealous of his relative! I became even more embarrassed, and I covered my face with both hands.
Looking at me as I was acting, Noel smiled.
“Now that I recall, you’ve always acted weird whenever I spoke to another woman. Did you believe that I’d leave you to be with them?”
“Well, that stings.”
Noel pressed his forehead against mine. I was embarrassed because of the distance. We were so close, the tips of our noses touched. I lowered my gaze in a hurry.
Noel held my chin and sealed my lips with his own, not allowing me to escape. I was so happy, I kept failing at getting used with him over and over again.
My tears overflowed once again.
“…A, aren’t you scared of spoiling me senseless? Once that happens, I might become too selfish…”
“You can be selfish with me as much as you want.”
“Be more selfish, and yearn for me more. For Sherry’s wish is my command.”
That, that wasn’t good.
Noel’s words, his smile—I was about to melt because of them!
I was truly happy—I loved him so much!
I leaped into his chest with all my might.
“…Thus, someday, I hope you can’t live without me.”
His muttering softly dissolved into the night without reaching my ears.
***T/N: :> Nowadays I just got heebie-jeebies reading these two’s interactions.