They’d all been beautiful women. Their extraordinary faces and luscious bodies would surely lure any warm-blooded man. When they approached him with such temptation, there should’ve been no option but to succumb. Yet, not once had Kalion reacted to such blatant sed*cti*n.
This was why he suspected that something was wrong with his body. But, after waking up to find his m*nho*d about to burst through his pajama pants, his doubts were set at bay. Since his body had never reacted to seeing a beautiful woman, he worried if he’d be able to be intimate with Erna at all. The difference between not wanting to do it and not being able to do it was immense.
He irritably rubbed his hands on his face as he looked down.
“What the hell is going on?” he said out loud.
Normally, he’d be looking at all the documents presented to him without any of these embarrassing thoughts in his mind. He felt like a student with a dunce hat on right now, ashamed and miserable.
He should’ve consulted with Cedric. Kalion thought of his deputy, a commoner with a foul mouth and perhaps one of the knights who wouldn’t lose to anyone with lewdness, although he was said to be frivolous. Despite this, Cedric was talented and worked well.
If Kalion had received advice from him about this evening, what would he have said? Perhaps something like ‘Sir, are you worried that you can’t keep it up?’ and then chuckle at him all year, or worse, look at him with genuine pity?
Kalion shook his head and took another swallow of whiskey. Despite rarely ever drinking, he wasn’t drunk, even after a few glasses and he realized how resilient his body was to alcohol.
His thoughts were interrupted when he heard the sound of another door opening out in the hallway.
The instant he lifted his head, he fell speechless. There stood Erna, hovering in the doorway, wearing a thin white silk negligee which clung to her form in all the right places. Her hair was wet and looked a darker shade of gold than usual, and her pale face glowed without the addition of any makeup.
Kalion had to admit it, Erna looked beautiful and he caught himself glancing at her twice. Beautiful to the point where, if she approached someone looking the way she did now and beckoned– with even just a flick of the hand– so many men would fall on their knees with that single gesture.
But to Kalion, it was ‘homely’ Erna. No matter how beautiful she was, all he thought of, was a young girl who had glared at him ten years ago as if she were ready to shoot daggers at him from her big wide-set eyes.
“You’re here,” she said almost dismissively.
Kalion rose from the sofa, after recovering his senses, which had been momentarily shaken. He wanted to finish this quickly. According to the book on reproduction, pregnancy could occur at once, but it may also take several months. How would he be able to keep this up for months? He hadn’t even started yet and his neck already felt tense.
Standing in front of Erna, he looked down at her small frame, had she always been this small? Usually, in the grand duke’s castle, they kept their distance from one another. The closest they’d ever gotten was in the meeting room. Though even then, they had sat at opposite ends of the table. As a result, Kalion thought she looked bigger whenever he saw her standing among others. But, standing like this in front of her now, surprisingly, the top of her head barely touched his shoulder. Of course, with others she came up only to their chests, so she was indeed short but he felt somehow strange at how small she was compared to him, considering that she was taller than him when he’d first met her. At their wedding ceremony–wearing her dazzling white wedding gown that had looked like it was about to burst–Erna had been taller than Kalion. He vividly recalled having to get on his tiptoes to kiss her after their vows had been exchanged.
While gazing at her, lost in thought, Erna suddenly turned on her heel and headed briskly out the door. He was startled and confused by her sudden behavior.
What was that about? Did she think he couldn’t perform because he hadn’t been able to utter a word to her as yet? He sank back into the sofa and wondered if he should go after her, and ask why she had left, but she just as quickly returned. In her hand was a fruity liqueur that Kalion had seen before. She poured some in a glass and gulped it down. Kalion twisted his face at her. It was a hell of a hard drink. Taking it like that would make his throat sting. But she had drunk it like it was water.
Sure enough, Erna’s eyes were soon at ease. Kalion stared at her unpredictable behavior. Then all of a sudden she jumped into the bed and said to him,
“Hurry up and do it. You know how to, right?”
The dreaded moment had arrived. About to remove his clothes, he stopped dead instead, then turned to get off the bed. But Erna’s hand latched onto him from behind.
“Where are you going? Do it quickly!”
Turning his head around, he saw her eyes beginning to well up. Kalion remembered seeing her like this. Exactly ten years ago, in this room, on that night. Erna, who had been sitting with a blanket wrapped around her, loathing everything, had had the same sad and distant look on her face as she did now.