“You know, this is not the best time for him to come to us,” Kasser said, staring at Enoch. They might have been brothers-in-law, but he was still a king. “It’s late.”
It was usually considered rude to intrude before mealtime, but there were a few instances where exceptions had to be allowed.
As a knight summoning an Anika at the behest of Sang-je, Pides did not have to abide by the rules of polite society. Although he didn’t come often, he could come and go as early in the morning or as late in the night as he wished.
“How urgent is this matter?” Kasser pressed.
Enoch grew flustered. He hadn’t thought to ask the knight that question. He had simply accepted that Pides was working under Sang-je’s command and there was nothing he could do about it. It wasn’t that he was uninterested in his sister’s affairs, he just believed it would become a problem if he tried to pry into a matter between Sang-je and an Anika.
He glanced at Eugene, wondering if she knew what to do.
Thankfully, she got the hint and piped in, “It probably isn’t a long message. I’ll go and meet him.” She turned to her brother. “Is he in the first-floor drawing room?”
“Yes.” Enoch nodded.
Before Kasser could say another word, Eugene grabbed his arm. “Sir Pides is just a delivery man,” she reminded him. “There’s no harm in seeing what he has to say.”
After everything she had told him about Sang-je, she had expected him to react negatively to everything related to the man. Although she hadn’t told him everything about her dream—it was far too massive to discuss all its details—she had told him enough.
“Sang-je’s intentions are too obvious,” Kasser said.
“What intentions?” she asked. “Sending Sir Pides as his delivery man? Are you displeased that he’s here?” She tried to catch his gaze, but he avoided her with all his might.
When he didn’t offer her an answer, she laughed. “Why? Does it still bother you? I already told you that I don’t have any feelings for him.”
That still didn’t seem to help Kasser.
It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Eugene. She was his wife. But the idea that Sang-je was trying to tempt her with Pides was insulting to him as her husband. He was annoyed by Sang-je’s shallow tactics and by Pides’ very presence.
In the past, the impostor had shown interest in Pides and everyone knew that. He wasn’t a fool, the knight knew exactly what he was doing when he accepted Sang-je’s request.
Pides was known to be a well-mannered knight, but if he truly was, then he should’ve known what Sang-je was doing.
It was difficult for Kasser to pinpoint what he felt for the knight, but what he did know was that he didn’t want the man anywhere near Eugene.
Eugene remembered how her husband had looked when he got off the carriage earlier that evening. There was a noticeable change in his demeanor for the briefest of moments, then, in the blink of an eye, it was gone and he was back to his old self. She had forgotten all about that strange expression by the time they went to greet her parents.
But now she remembered exactly what that face had looked like—because that’s how he looked as they stood in the hallway discussing Pides’ arrival.
She tried to recall what had triggered the expression the last time he made it, when they were in the carriage. Then, she remembered what he had said.
Memories from the night she had woken up before her long slumber came rushing back.
“Kasser,” she had said.
She stared at him for a moment as he avoided her gaze. Then, slowly, she said once more, “Kasser.”
His eyes widened as his face grew red. He looked away as Eugene broke into a laugh at his reaction. He knew he should’ve just told her that he liked it when she called him by his name, but it somehow felt like such an embarrassing thing to admit.
“Since he bothers you so much, I’ll make sure Sang-je sends another knight next time,” Eugene said.
Kasser stared at his feet. “You don’t have to do that.”
“Sang-je might ask him to explain. Who knows what he might say.”
“Then I won’t say anything,” Eugene told him. “Sir Pides might come again next time Sang-je has a message. Are you sure you’re fine with that?”
Kasser nodded. Pides might have bothered him just a few moments ago, but everything seemed so much better after she had called him by his name.
It was then that Eugene realized that there was a simpler side to Kasser. Beneath the respectable man that he was, he had a softness to him. He didn’t hold grudges, but he did hold onto other things. She couldn’t help but feel more love for the man whenever she learned something new about him. She wondered just how much more she could love him.