10. A Calm Time
Going out with Ryan was more fun than I expected.
We usually only had about 30 minutes to ourselves. There were also days when I could barely talk to him because there were other customers.
…Yet, we were together for that entire day.
To be able to immerse myself in our conversation—it was truly exciting.
Ryan always smiled and spoke in a gentle voice.
He had such long legs, yet he still tried to match my pace.
When I bought something at the bakery, he paid for it. He didn’t hesitate to carry my bags for me either.
He was such a perfect escort, it made me feel awkward.
“I recommend this park. It’s very peaceful here.”
It was a little far away, but the park located in the suburbs had a nice landscape. There were only a small number of people around.
Ryan looked like a giant advertising tower, so a place with almost no people was for the best.
“Oh, that’s great, then.”
As expected, Ryan laughed happily.
After a short walk, we decided to have lunch on a well-maintained lawn.
“I’m sorry, I usually come here alone. I apologize if it’s too narrow…”
The seating I brought was so small, it was only big enough for one person.
“Then, I will sit on the lawn.”
“What are you talking about? Shouldn’t it be the opposite?”
Sure enough, Ryan tried to decline to sit in the seat, but there was no way I could let a duke sit on the ground.
In retrospect, the clothes I wore were cheap. They announced my identity as a commoner to the whole world.
Not long ago, I used to lie down in parks all over. I didn’t see anything wrong with that.
“I can’t let a lady do that.”
He considered me a lady?
Ryan stared at me strangely.
I was troubled because he didn’t mean it as a joke.
He obviously had no intention of giving that up.
“…Well then, let’s sit down together.”
“Next to me, side by side.”
I said that and sat on the other half of the horizontal seat.
My stretched legs were sticking out, but it was fine.
There was no one there to admonish us.
It didn’t even matter if I were to act close with Ryan.
“Come, you sit down, too.”
I urged Ryan who seemed bewildered.
After a moment of confusion, Ryan sat down next to me. “Excuse me…”
—our shoulders touched.
I was surprised at the unexpected proximity.
It seemed that the body of man was wider and thicker than a woman’s.
I only realized that now. The area around my upper arm, which was still touching his shoulder, began to tingle.
“Sorry, it’s narrower than I expected.”
A little nervous, I apologized.
Ryan only shook his head. “It’s alright. It isn’t that bad to be so close with Flores.”
“I, is that so?”
Ryan stared at me.
His amused expression was a reminiscent of a mischievous boy.
“…Indeed, because we usually sit across each other.”
“Now that you mentioned it…”
…If I were to be asked, it was indeed rare.
Ryan probably found the change interesting.
His smile gradually eased my tension.
While sharing and eating the several types of bread we had just bought, we had a mild conversation.
The relaxing time flowed.
We talked about each other without getting tired of watching the park’s scenery. We then listened to the sound of the trees swaying in the wind.
I occasionally sneaked a glance at Ryan’s face. I enjoyed looking at his happy expression.
Whenever he stared at me, the wrinkles on the corners of his eyes deepened.
The happy time passed peacefully. I vaguely wished time would stop.
***T/N: Yay, happy happy.
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