Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
It was the first time she had been outside at night since she had come to the villa. Under the moonlight, the peach orchard was quiet, unripe green fruits hanging from the trees, adding their round shadows to the branches and leaves. Ishakan bent his head toward hers.
“I’m very motivated right now,” he murmured, and smiled, her reflection glowing in his eyes. “When someone asks for help, it makes you want to do your best, right?”
She could imagine him reading her note with that same small smile.
“There she is!”
“She was supposed to be locked up! Who the hell is that?”
The intruders who had broken down the door peered out of the window at Ishakan and Leah, and no doubt more of them were coming back down the stairs. But Leah paid them no attention. The man in front of her captivated her, and to Ishakan, there was no one else. They gazed at each other as if they were the only people in the world.
There were so many questions she had to ask them. If she had tried to count them, she would have run out of fingers and toes. But when she opened her mouth, what came out was utter nonsense.
“All the time I think about you,” she whispered, reaching to cup his cheek in her hand, this man who looked as if he were made of every solid thing in the world. “Morning and night…” She hesitated and confessed, “and all day, every day…”
“Me too,” he said after a moment. His golden eyes were brighter than the moonlight. “I think about you all day long.”
Leah closed her eyes. Her heart and mind were not in alignment. She wavered, standing at the junction where two paths lay before her, beckoning her forward. But from the moment she’d decided to write the note, or perhaps even before…the balance had tipped toward her heart.
Her fingertips brushed his face. She stroked his forehead, his eyebrows, his sharp nose, his well-defined lips, even his firm chin. And he allowed it, closing his eyes as she touched his face, like a beast being caressed by his master. As he submitted to her touch, she suddenly thought:
I don’t know. I think I like this man.
It was embarrassing to come to that conclusion, but from the moment she met him, he had so quickly conquered her heart. The love she had built all her life had shattered, and she had to accept this new love that she had met only a few days ago.
It was madness. A torrent of criticism swept through her mind, demanding that she think of Blain, reminding her how much she loved him, but that was nothing compared to the river of emotion that surged through her for this man. It rushed through her, surged past its banks, and overflowed.
I would like him to be my husband.
She was so enchanted with this man, she even let him fool her with such a ridiculous lie. But she forgot all of that, listening only to the voice in her heart.
“I want to kiss you,” she whispered.
“Anything you want.”
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