29.2 Extra: The Past (Ryan’s POV)
During our picnic on our day off, I realized that I had fallen for her.
Contrary to how calm she had acted, she was actually such a fun person. Merely taking a stroll around the city was enough to excite her.
Then, after Flores had left her seat, some women approached me. I felt uncomfortable—and was surprised when I realized that.
I had never felt uncomfortable by the existence of a woman.
At the same time, I never had any particular interest towards one.
I thought that it was normal at the time, and that I should continue to maintain that kind of stance towards women.
But that wasn’t the case.
Flores was special. Only Flores could stir my heart.
Before I knew it, I had become deeply attracted to her.
In retrospect, my attitude towards Flores was indeed strange.
Perhaps, I had fallen for her on the day I first saw her.
I wanted to approach her right away, but I was scared that I’d end up destroying our friendship once she saw through my motives.
Those short breaks I spent at her place were precious. They were also the reason why I was able to survive my busy days.
Terrified of losing our friendship, I refused to make a move.
She also had history dealing with the domineering Ricardo. Like Ricardo, I was also a duke. If I were to confess to her, those memories might awaken and she’d end up loathing me.
Besides, she cared a lot about her store.
Even if I were to successfully acquire her heart, the fact remained that I was a duke.
What if she avoided me?
Thus, I believed what we currently had was the best.
She was out of my reach, but as long as I didn’t restrict her freedom, I thought that everything would be fine.
How wrong I was.
That day, when I was about to lose an important subordinate due to my own mistake—
—I really wanted to see her. I couldn’t stand it. Before I realized it, I had arrived before her store.
She quickly saw me while I stood amidst the downpour, and she welcomed me inside.
Seeing how pathetic I was behaving, she might end up hating me.
At the same time, all I wanted was to see her face, perhaps to feel a little bit better.
My sly motive was undeniable.
From her perspective, a man had just told her an overwhelming story about the life and death of a person. It must had been a nuisance.
But she tried to cradle my heart and repeated words of comfort that some might find irresponsible.
She was an intelligent woman. She wasn’t one to make thoughtless statements.
I didn’t know of any other woman who was as kind and strong.
I discovered how special she was, and I realized that I didn’t want to lose her.
I couldn’t stand the idea of her being with someone else.
Soon, I started to act.
Of course, I didn’t just give up what I had. I also arranged everything properly.
I wanted her to be proud of me. I wanted to avoid being a burden to her.
Convince my parents to make my younger brother the successor was difficult. However, they themselves got married because of love. I explained in words that I really loved her, and that she was a wonderful woman.
Overtime, I persuaded my parents little by little. If it wasn’t her, I didn’t want to get married. If I didn’t get married, I wouldn’t be able to have an heir…
But what really persuaded my parents was hearing that Flores was Ricardo’s former fiancée.
My parents only knew the story of that day through rough hearsay.
When I gave details of what Flores did in an attempt appeal her charms to them, my parents burst out laughing and were very interested in her.
By the time I finished talking, they completely favored Flores. They had too been burdened by Duke of Sterling for a long time.
In the end, the two agreed. My younger brother thus become the successor.
At first, I was reluctant to tell them that story as it related to Flores’ honor. Now I regretted not telling them sooner.
I, of course, wasn’t completely being cut off. They promised to cooperate with me.
My parents and my siblings all told me that our bond as a family wouldn’t change.
I was so grateful, I was about to cry.
I had managed to win the right to leave the duke family. Thus, I rushed to Flores, full of satisfaction.
My intention to undergo a long-battle of persuading her collapsed easily—as it was unneeded. She reciprocated my feelings.
Being honest, I was so overjoyed, I almost fainted at that time.
It took a lot of courage for me to touch Flores.
Until I met her, I thought that intercourse was merely a temporarily means for satisfying urges and to refresh one’s mind.
A relationship with one’s lover was also a period of evaluation to determine whether or not the other party was worthy to be a part of the duke’s family in the future.
Towards men and women who were deeply passionate with each other, I wondered if that was worth it. Maybe, I even looked down on them a little.
After I met Flores, I soon realized how wrong I was.
In front of someone you love, it was inevitable that you’d become awkward and make a lot of mistakes.
I couldn’t even kiss her.
She laughed, and told me to do whatever I wanted. I was a coward who was unable to do anything because I was afraid of making her uncomfortable.
I was grateful to Flores for her generosity. She truly pushed me to do whatever I wanted.
I never imagined she was someone who’d ask for it so recklessly.
I was always discovering new sides to her.
I also discovered that she was full of irresistible charms.
If I had met Flores before Ricardo, I might had become like him. He was the worst. He wouldn’t hesitate to abuse his authority, and he would use it as a shield.
I might have become like him for the sake of Flores—because that was just how crazy I was about her existence.
I felt guilty to Flores, but I was grateful to Ricardo for providing me the worst example I could be.
Thanks to him, Flores was still with me even after a year.
She had grown more and more attractive. She was so beautiful, it was as if she was shining.
To cheat on her with another woman—how foolish of Ricardo!
For me, to let go of Flores over decades to come would be impossible.
***T/N: Where can I get a Ryan? Amazon??? Ebay????? There might be sth in Shoppee…