When her words fell, Kasser’s eyes sunk, his gaze lackluster. Realization hit him like a basin of ice-cold water poured over his head. Indeed, he was being assertive and had even forgotten that she was ill. The pain and suffering of losing memories were unfathomable. Hence, his desperation in putting a baby in that belly of hers was truly inconsiderate.
“I apologize. I was being thoughtless.” He spoke softly, clearly remorseful of his action.
“No. Even with my situation, I have to keep my end of the contract.” Eugene’s voice was reserved as she spoke to the king. Her gaze landed everywhere but the royal visage.
“Is your memory… the same as it was?” He couldn’t shake off this suspicion. Has she regained her memory and is only putting on an act now?
Not quite satisfied, he added. “Is there something you remember?”
The whole time that they conversed, not once did his calculating gaze leave her face. It was as if he had placed her under intense scrutiny, looking for cues to call her bluff. Afraid that if he so much as blinked, he would miss the golden opportunity.
With a slight shake of her head, Eugene mumbled. “Nothing.”
“Do not worry. I won’t rush you anymore.” He ran his hand through his disheveled hair as dismissively said so.
“It’s all right. His Majesty can come tonight if he pleases.”
As soon as her words fell, their eyes met. To give his actions some justification, Kasser started to explain, but before he could utter a word, Eugene beat him to it. Having enough of the scruples, she all but raised her voice.
“We are uncertain of when my memory will return. Doesn’t His Majesty think we should hurry? What if I get my memory back, and I change my mind?”
Like a stone, the king only stared at her, not knowing how to react to her sudden outburst. Seeing that he remained unresponsive, Eugene interpreted his silence as an answer.
He must have agreed.
With the pressure becoming unbearable, Eugene stood from her seat and forced herself to say, “Can I leave now Your Majesty?”
He gave a short nod. Turning around, her back facing the king, dejection instantly laced Eugene’s straight face. On the first night they shared, everything was new and painful, but she thought she had made a deep connection with him back then.
Turns out, she was wrong.
She suddenly felt flustered at the foolish misconceptions she rather indulged in her head after that night. Today, reality had slapped her with evidence that it was all her wishful thinking and nothing more.
A forlorn figure, ambled down the empty halls, only the sounds of the sandals hitting the ceramic floor rang through the air…
In this quiet moment, she began to think of this fate she never knew she would suffer. Thanks to Jin Anika’s body, she now had an exquisite appearance and high status. But these bestowments were not without a curse. She had to take on all the bad things in Jin’s life as well. After all, the good came not without the bad.
If she had to guess, it was highly likely that the king abhorred Jin Anika. She was not interested in playing the role of a queen—spending a lot of money on her hobby and beating the maids to death. Clearly, she was not cut out for such atrocities. Perhaps, these few facts alone must have given the king a good enough reason to loathe her.
And no matter how much memory I lose… I’ll always be Jin in his eyes.
It was harder to mend a broken relationship than it was to build one anew. The relationship between Jin Anika, who betrayed her husband, and the king, who slew his wife with his own hands, was beyond saving.
She knows not if she could resolve this complicated problem alone.
What a relationship! I’m just glad he still doesn’t see me as his enemy.
Eugene was not optimistic that in this world, she would taste a happy ending. There was a possibility that Jin had committed an irreversible monstrosity that she herself could not fix, to say nothing of Eugene. However, there was no way to ascertain this conjecture.
That said, there’s one way to survive in this kingdom and avoid meeting Kasser’s sword—an heir. As long as she bore him the child he sought, she could breathe easy… hopefully.
Oh, I feel like absolute trash!
She smiled wryly at herself for thinking of her child as a means to an end.
Tonight, the room was dimly lit, adding to the anticipation of this quiet and restless night.
Eugene sat in the middle of her wide bed, awaiting the king’s arrival. She couldn’t pinpoint exactly what she felt at the moment, but she was indeed jittery. As if in testimony, at every sound coming from the door, she couldn’t help but jump.
Now, she was even more nervous than she was on the first night he visited her. That night… a day filled with thoughts of delaying their consummation of the marriage served as a precursor. That night, amidst the throes of passion, was apprehension, mistrust, and defiance.
But tonight was different. She knew exactly what would happen in the next hours to come.
“Your Grace, His Majesty has arrived.”
As if on cue, when the door swung open, and the king’s huge frame came in view, the tension in her heart reached its peak. As his gaze found her, he sent all the maids out of the room.
Now, only the two and a silent night remained.
As he walked in confident strides, never once peeling his eyes away from her, Eugene’s heart pulsed. He finally approached her and sat on the bed. For some time, he didn’t breach the silence, simply lowering his eyes and looking at Eugene’s anxious form. Just when things reached their culmination, looking at her squarely, he broke into a smile.
“Where is the woman who yelled at me to come tonight?”
At the sound of his voice, Eugene looked up and nestled close to the corner of the bed.
“I did not yell.”
“If you don’t want to, tell me. We don’t have to do anything tonight.”
“I do… I want to.” She insisted.
No more words were needed. Silence regained its footing.
Like a panther approaching its prey, lithely and decisively, Kasser’s form languidly crossed the distance between them. The closer he crouched, the faster Eugene’s heart beat…
Instantly, a red hue suffused Eugene’s cheeks.
Why is this man so natural?