Eugene said as she watched the carriage pass through the gate, looking out from her window.
“How strange. It was only yesterday when we came to visit.”
She went on as she turned to look at Kasser.
“But I feel so different now as we leave—”
Eugene didn’t end up finishing her sentence as her body got pulled all of sudden. Finding herself locked tightly in his arms, a look of surprise crossed her face before she put her arms around his back. The smile didn’t seem to leave her face. His chest, pressed tightly against her face, was broad and hard. It was a familiar feeling of compression around her body that she had missed so much.
However, Eugene’s eyes began to falter with puzzlement as he continued to embrace her in silence.
‘Is something wrong?’
She wasn’t sure but there was something different about him today.
In spite of her concerns, Kasser was only trying to suppress his surging emotions while he held onto her. He felt a strong urge to shower her with kisses, while he also felt like drifting off with her in his arms. It was such a complex feeling that cannot be defined with one word.
[To our home.]
[I want to go home and eat with him.]
Just now, Eugene regarded their royal manor as ‘our home’ as if it was the most natural thing for her to say. Which means she no longer sees the Arse manor as her home.
The royal manor in the Holy City had always been a white elephant to him as it was such a nuisance to keep such a big manor managed. Moreover, it was left empty most of the time since he hardly paid a visit to the Holy City. However, as getting rid of it was out of the question, Kasser had only regarded it as a costly accommodation.
But then, all of a sudden, it started to hold a great meaning to him as it was now ‘their home’, where he and his wife could return to.
Unhurriedly, Kasser savored every astonishing change that was happening inside him. Like a tree waking up from dormancy in the warmth of spring, he felt the warmth of his blood as they ran through his veins once again. It was such an inexplicable sensation that he couldn’t think of better ways to describe it.
Besides, he was not emotional by nature in the first place. Even as a child, he seldom threw a tantrum or cried like most children do in a way to express their feelings. He wasn’t trying to hold back his feelings by force. He wasn’t easily enraged hence, he merely supposed that he was made to feel less emotional than others.
As a matter of fact, he was not disquieted even after his encounter with his birth mother yesterday. On the contrary, he simply shrugged it off as if it was just another trivial incident in his everyday life. His mind never faltered once even as he worked late into the night, carrying out his last inspection around the manor for renovation.
After that, he had his dinner and went to bed just as usual although it took him some tossing and turning before he could eventually fall asleep. But he simply gathered that it was only because the bed seemed unusually empty without her by his side.
But now as he indulged himself in the warmth of her body, it finally occurred to him that he was in fact unusually dispirited the whole time since his birth mother paid him a visit. This was indeed his first time learning what it truly meant to feel ‘lonely’.
There were no better words than “loneliness” to describe his inexplicable feelings from yesterday, as well as the occasional moments from his life where he felt like he was standing alone in the middle of the desert from time to time.
If anything, his days had always been forlorn that he simply regarded such feelings as nothing but the weight of the responsibility which a king was destined to bear. But now that he thinks of it, it’s been quite a while since he had last felt the hollowness in his heart, and it was Eugene who was at the starting point of all these changes.
Before he knew it, her existence had sunk deep within him, taking up his heart to the point where he can no longer imagine a life without her.
‘My home… my wife…’
He would have lived just fine if he hadn’t known it at all. But now that he got his clarity, there was no turning back to the times where he was ignorant of his loneliness.
Eugene was however facing a dilemma of her own while being locked in embrace. Her mind muddled more than ever as she had never seen him behaving queerly before. She wasn’t bothered enough to push him away, but she wanted to sound him out without making the air heavy around them.
“Are you that excited to go home with me?” She asked with a hint of jest in her tone.
“Yes. I am.” The smile faded from her almost instantly when she was caught off guard by his unexpectedly plain reply. She felt a sudden tightness across her chest upon hearing the word ‘Yes’ coming from his mouth.
But she was soon flustered, feeling ashamed of herself for taking his word in a different way. She was relieved that he couldn’t see her right now. Doubtless it must have been an unseemly sight for her face to flush red with indecent thoughts of her own.
They stayed nestled in each other’s arms all the way back, as the carriage headed to their royal manor. And as time progressed, it roused a strange feeling in her as they stayed fixed in an innocent embrace, without leading to a kiss or caress.