27. Only You
We held each other for a long time.
I was brimming with happiness. My melancholy had entirely been blown away.
Slowly, I lifted my face up, stared into his eyes, and smiled.
Eventually, his lips approached mine. When our lips met, my heart melted as its beat rushed.
After repeating the brief kisses a few times, I took a bit of distance to calm my uneven breathing.
“…Hey, Ryan. I live upstairs. Let’s have a slow conversation there.”
I looked around the store with unease.
The store was also my domain, but it was still embarrassing. After all, it was still the place customers came and went. Moreover, if someone were to peer inside the window, they could easily see what was happening inside the store.
Ryan fumbled with his words.
Suddenly, I recalled something.
“Oh, I’m sorry, you mentioned that you have something to do after this. I completely forgot about that.”
“Actually, I have no plans…”
“Is that so? You were saying something about having to return soon…”
“That’s… I said that because I fully believed I’d get rejected, thus I’d have to go home shaken.”
Towards his words, I involuntarily laughed.
It seemed that he truly confessed while fully believing that he stood no chance.
“Then, please come upstairs. I still want to be with you.”
As expected, after I said that in a sweet tone, Ryan flushed instantly.
“I want to do that, too. But in my current state, it isn’t a good idea to be alone with you in a private space.”
I somehow understood what he was implying, but I still pretended to be oblivious.
Unaware of my pettiness, and after a brief period of confusion, he opened his mouth as if he had decided.
“…Because I’ll end up treating you unscrupulously.”
For him to say that with a face as if he was about to jump off a cliff, he’s just too cute!
I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. It was clear that Ryan was being serious.
I was grateful for his good intentions, but it was also a little frustrating.
Thus, I inched closer and gently kissed his lips once again.
“Well, I’m inviting you to treat me unscrupulously.”
To Ryan’s embarrassment, I laughed.
Unlike me, Ryan was experienced—or so I heard.
Of course, not from the person himself, but from a friend whom was eager to collect rumors. I wasn’t jealous when I heard it. Because with his appearance and awesomeness, it’d be strange if he was inexperienced.
In fact, he seemed to have escorted a considerable number of women, each of them with their respective charm.
So, I was delighted at being able to make such an experienced man so flustered.
“If that’s your only reason, I’ll welcome you without hesitation.”
I kissed him once again, and closed the lock to the store entrance without waiting for a counter argument.
As I smiled, Ryan immediately lifted both of his hands with a troubled face.
For a humble daughter like me to take initiative towards a man who had experienced the battlefield, it must had been a rare occurrence.
In the meantime, I shall enjoy Ryan’s reaction.
“…I see, do you hate someone who was formerly someone else’s?”
“…I could never hate you.”
Finally relenting, Ryan embraced me tightly.
With my eyes closed, his kisses began to descend upon me, over and over.
Our fingers entwined.
It was supposed to be a familiar place for me, but with Ryan being there, it had become a special place.
Towards his gentle call, my eyes fluttered open.
Ryan narrowed his eyes and pressed his forehead against mine.
“I still can’t believe it… for me to be able to become your man…”
To be honest, I was also a bit anxious.
To assure him that it was indeed reality, I kissed him again.
“I also feel like I’m dreaming. What a strange feeling…”
I could feel the sensation that came from intertwining our fingers—yet, at the same time, it still felt unreal.
My head, no, my entire body felt light. I might had become paralyzed from too much happiness.
If it was actually a dream, the moment I woke up, I wouldn’t be able to live with the despair and emptiness that would follow.
Ryan touched my cheek.
His hands were so gentle, the place he touched tingled.
I so wanted to believe that it was real, but the way he gently caressed me, as if handling a glass sculpture, was as if he didn’t want to shatter a dream.
“You don’t have to be so careful, I won’t break.”
With a bitter smile, Ryan’s expression became troubled.
“I don’t want to be like a certain someone who ignored you and did whatever he pleased.”
His expression turned a bit unpleasant, and I quickly realized that he was talking about Ricardo.
Ryan didn’t even want to mention his name.
“I will never let that person touch me, or do whatever he likes.”
I immediately denied it and touched his cheeks as if to calm him down.
Ryan’s face shone briefly, but he soon became confused,
“…I don’t think you’ll want to hear this, but how did you resist that man’s cunning hands? Or, was he the one who managed to endure well in front of Flores…?”
Because it sounded as if he was praising Ricardo, I unintentionally retorted.
Certainly, Ricardo wasn’t the poster boy for the word patience.
In fact, despite his clear intention about not desiring to marrying me, he tried seizing any opportunity he could to lay his hands on me.
In the first month after being forced into a relationship with him, his offenses exhausted me both physically and mentally.
“Fufufu, which is precisely why Ricardo’s mother loathed me. For I, a lowborn, managed to tempt her cute son.”
When I recalled that, I laughed.
Even though Ricardo was a full-fledged swordsman…
…Well, that was usually the case with parents of high-ranking aristocrats. There was no way they’d just let their son, who inherit their precious bloodline, just marry a woman without anything behind her name.
Even so, her way of scolding me was just terrible.
“Hence, I pretended to be a straight and humble daughter. ‘I want to stay true to my love, so I want to protect my chastity until marriage. Please cooperate with me, mother.’”
“I see, then she went along with your plan?”
I squinted happily as I caressed Ryan’s cheeks. As I did so, he seemed about to laugh.
“Indeed, every time I was forced to go with him on a date, she hired a watchman. Therefore, whenever he attempted something, the watchman was there to stop him.”
My chastity was largely safe because of that.
At that time, I merely refused because I didn’t want to be touched by Ricardo. But as of the present, I was relieved at not having let anyone touch me.
After all, Ryan seemed pleased because of that.
“I’m grateful towards the Duchess of Sterling.”
“Yes, me too.”
Although she was unusually strict and biased, she arranged for me to learn etiquette and manners to complement Ricardo’s lack of dignity. It was completely for the sake of appearance, but thanks to that, I could perform well in those fields.
At that time, I was tired of being treated so badly. But when I thought about it now, I owed my present livelihood to those days.
“Maybe those days weren’t entirely bad.”
“I’m not sure how to feel about you talking fondly about your memories with him.”
Ryan said with a sulky face.
In front of his subordinates and colleagues, he had a stern face. But in front of me, he obediently showed various expressions.
Does he know how happy I am to hear that?
“You fool, I’m weighing the pros and cons. Those can’t really be considered good memories. But thanks to them, I was able to meet you.”
I kissed his forehead to calm him down. The furrow between his eyebrows diminished.
“I’ve never been so happy.”
“…May I touch you?”
“Yes, I have no objection at all. I want you to touch me.”
“If you keep giving me all these excuses, I’ll be the one who pushes you down.”
As I laughed provocatively, Ryan made a frustrated look.
“…It’s a fascinating proposal, but that would dishonor my title as a knight.”
I smiled and dropped a kiss on his cheek.
“Well then, Sir Knight—make me yours.”
As I caressed his nape to invite him, Ryan’s expression became passionate.
He kissed me deeply, and my head became numb.
I didn’t have to say anything anymore.
***T/N: C, call an ambulance… I’ve developed an immunity to insulin because I injected too much of it due to this chapter…
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