28. A Proposal
I stretched at my refreshening awakening.
I felt a little lazy—however, my entire body was satisfied.
As I relaxed and turned around, Ryan smiled at me. We were very close to each other.
“Good morning, Flores.”
“Good morning. You are awake.”
Feeling embarrassed, I said that while lowering my gaze.
Ryan kissed my forehead and caressed my head. His fingers were combing my hair.
“Indeed. Flores has a beautiful sleeping face.”
For him to reply without hesitation… I immediately pulled the blanket over myself due to the embarrassment.
Ryan embraced at my behavior while giving a refreshing laugh.
“I’m happy, Flores. I want to wake up beside you every morning.”
I immediately swooned.
“…Is that a proposal?”
When I said that with the intention of teasing him, Ryan straightforwardly denied it.
I was just joking… but his unexpectedly serious reply hurt me.
He was the duke’s son.
A marriage partner wouldn’t be something that easily decided for him.
Unlike Ricardo, the moronic son, Ryan properly fulfilled his duties as the eldest son of a duke’s family.
I understood that he truly loved me. But for aristocrats, love and marriage were two different things.
“I’m going to propose to you after getting dressed properly. …But, I just want to stay this way.”
Apparently, I was still asleep.
I couldn’t understand Ryan’s remarks well.
“But, Flores has already awakened. I have to get up as well. Today is a day the store opens.”
“That’s true, but there’s still time…”
Towards me, and my prepared rebuttal, Ryan recommended a shower. Still disoriented, I obeyed.
What was that…?
When I left the bathroom, I noticed that Ryan was completely dressed. He then came to me.
“Flores, it’s about before—”
—I was embraced from the front. Due to Ryan’s words, I lifted my head.
Ryan looked away once in a bashful manner. Then, he looked straight at me, and opened his mouth.
“As soon as you find it within yourself to forgive me, I want you to marry me.”
Ryan’s expression was so serious, it couldn’t be taken as a mere joke.
Apparently, I wasn’t dreaming. He was serious.
“Wait a minute, isn’t this too sudden?”
I got more confused.
Of course I was happy to receive his proposal, and I wanted to say yes to him.
However, there were too many difficulties and obstacles to overcome.
Ryan shouldn’t be so stupid that he didn’t know.
“I know it’s hasty, but I really want the opportunity to live with Flores.”
His straightforward words made me feel dizzy.
His passionate gaze filled me with the urge to nod.
“…I’m sorry, but let me think about it for a moment.”
I had said something extravagant towards a duke’s son.
If other people were to hear that, they’d be overwhelmed.
But, it was precisely because the other party was a duke’s son.
When it came to marriage, I should at least be a duchess to be deemed eligible by the Clifford family.
When I thought about a future with Ryan, and the fact that I could be with him, the hardships weren’t so overwhelming anymore.
But honestly, I didn’t feel that I was ready.
Because until yesterday, I hadn’t even thought about how my feelings would come true.
Moreover, if Ryan, who knew that I cared about the store, were to tell me to quit my job once I got married…
“You don’t have to worry about that.”
My breath paused due to his firmness.
What if he told me to leave my store?
Besides, Ryan would be succeeding his family, wouldn’t he? My future prospects suddenly felt concerning.
It was as if I could hear the thumping of my heart.
“…My younger brother is who will be succeeding the family instead of me.”
“We’re currently preparing and proceeding with the procedure.”
I was stunned when I was told that.
He had said something extraordinary. He’d chose marrying a woman who was almost like a commoner over succeeding his family?
But, with an unbelievably refreshing smile, Ryan reassured me.
“I’m not lying. That’s one of the reasons why I haven’t been able to visit this month.”
I was rendered speechless.
Ryan gently touched my cheek.
“W, why would you…”
“Because the title of the duke will only be a hindrance in proposing to you.”
Ryan smiled, and I had to immediately shake my head after I inadvertently thought of him as cute.
In the first place, I shouldn’t be laughing.
“Had I been rejected yesterday, I was going to show my sincerity and confess once again, that time revealing that I’m a duke no longer.”
He did that while thinking about me.
I could feel my face flushing.
He is so adorable…
How can he be this adorable?!
Stop it, I shouldn’t be swooning right now!
“Should you, decide that so easily…?”
“It isn’t a simple matter, of course. But to me, Flores is more important than being a duke.”
Being told so with such firmness, I started to waver.
“I could simply be deceiving you, right? Yet, you decided to give up your right for succession? Regardless of the result, that shouldn’t be a good thing…”
“There’s no point in me getting married if it isn’t to Flores. If I can’t leave an heir anyway, it’d be better for both sides for it to be abandoned early.”
He smugly said that with a face that was waiting to be complimented
His words went round and round in my head. I couldn’t find anything to say.
I couldn’t answer as easily.
It wasn’t something that shouldn’t be done. Perhaps, I should give up.
There was still time. He could still withdraw what he did. He could still throw me away.
But was there anyone who could deny a loved one, who could smile while saying that he didn’t need anything else as long as he could be with me?
“Flores, you don’t need to worry about the store.”
Stroking my cheek, Ryan said in a gentle tone.
“To Flores, this place is an important castle. I want to take care of what you care about.”
His sincere words grasped my heart. My tears were about to overflow.
Ryan must had understood by looking at my tearful eyes. He happily repeated his question.
“Will you marry me?”
Well, there was only a single answer.
The tears that I had endured overflowed, blurring my vision.
I wanted to reply as fast as I could, but I could only muster some muffled sobs.
I hugged him back after I finally managed to answer.
Ryan hugged the tearful me and wiped my tears with a satisfied smile.
“Our positions have been reversed.”
“How embarrassing, I’m crying like a toddler…”
“I love how cute you are.”
Ryan, who was much cuter than me, spoke with a fascinated tone.
Then, as I slowly closed my eyes, we kissed.
Let’s do our best to not make each other regret.
I swore that in my heart.
***T/N: Onward to the wedding scene puhleeeese!
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