The duke’s voice was gruff as he spoke, “I heard Ivetsa hurt her arm.” The news seemed to darken Elise’s face, as she had hoped to avoid any injuries. However, she felt relieved that it was only her arm that was hurt. “Since there are no other female servants in the mansion, I will help for the time being,” he continued.
Elise was taken aback, “What? Female servants…?” she muttered in surprise. Rezette, who had been standing by her side, gently guided her to lie down on the circular carpet beside the bed. As his body warmth dissipated, Elise’s body began to tremble. “But sharing the same bedroom…” she trailed off, her mind racing.
“It’s not unusual for a husband and wife to share the same room,” Rezette replied, his tone firm. Elise’s cheeks flushed at the reminder that she was indeed married to the duke, despite their hasty arrangement.
As Elise pondered her predicament, the duke approached her and began to undo the layers of her robe that enveloped her. Startled, Elise instinctively blocked his hand. “I-I can do it,” she stammered.
Rezette observed her trembling form and spoke again, “Your body is an ice box. I can see how hard it is for you to lift a finger.” Elise was rendered speechless, unable to offer any resistance. Her arm, which had been blocking the duke’s hand, dropped limply to her side. Without wasting any time, Rezette covered Elise’s cheek with his palm.
After a moment of intense heat, Elise realized how cold her body was now. The Grand Duke muttered something, and for a moment, Elise detected a hint of nervousness in his expression. “Your body temperature…” he trailed off, his gaze fixed on her.
Elise’s earlier insistence of being able to handle things on her own now seemed futile. Rezette deftly removed her soaking wet cloak, which made a heavy thud as it hit the ground. Her drenched dress was next, and he untied the waistband and undid the buttons from her collarbone to her spine in one fluid motion.
As the dress fell to the floor with a thud, Elise felt a weight lifted off her body. However, her chemise and undergarments were also drenched and translucent, offering no protection to her modesty. Her cheeks flushed red with embarrassment. It’s all going to be visible, she thought, pushing her wet hair aside in an attempt to cover herself.
But Rezette didn’t stop there. He fumbled behind her neck and unbuttoned her blouse before deftly grabbing both her underwear and blouse straps at once. Elise was taken aback by his sudden boldness, and she startled at his touch. “H-Hey…?” she protested, her voice trailing off as her heart raced.
As Elise shrank back, her prominent breastbone became even more pronounced within the transparent chemise. Rezette’s voice cut through her thoughts, “You shouldn’t keep wearing wet clothes,” and he draped a thick fur around her soaking wet body.
Gently, he slid his hand under the fur to remove the last piece of clothing that was sticking to her skin. “It will take time to heat up the water. If you keep waiting, your body temperature will keep dropping,” he explained.
Elise hesitated, unsure of what to do next. Suddenly, Rezette’s hand was lingering on her bare waist, and she gasped in surprise. She was now completely naked under the fur, and Rezette’s hand was still under it, touching her skin.
As she stood there, frozen in place, he let out a short, deep breath. “Grandel’s dragon, Sameshita, was known as a thunder dragon, but also had a flame attribute. I have the same ability,” he explained, his voice low and intense. Elise was left speechless, unable to find an excuse to refuse him. She was drawn in by Rezette’s embrace, unable to back away, as he used his power to warm her chilled body.
As Rezette held Elise’s back to keep her from retreating, his other hand slipped under the fur. Elise’s gaze wandered aimlessly, unsure of how to react to his touch as his fingers trailed down her spine, spreading warmth everywhere they touched. A dizzying sensation overcame her, perhaps from the sudden invasion of heat into her body.
This was the first time someone other than a maid had touched and caressed her in this way. But Elise realized that there were certain things she would have to do with this man in the future, and it didn’t make sense for her to be ashamed to show her naked body when she had boldly suggested being the first to bear his child. She tried to relax her body as much as possible, but every time his fingers moved, her body twitched involuntarily. Her mouth went dry, and her toes curled up on their own.
Rezette’s touch was agonizingly slow, and every path his fingers traced sent waves of sensation through her body. As Elise writhed in his arms, Rezette squeezed her tightly, almost as if he was tying her up.
His hand had already reached her thigh, and the heat on her bare skin was making her senses go into overdrive. She felt suffocated, not just because of his touch and the heat, but also because of his unsettling demeanor.
Elise took a small breath and lifted her head to look at him. His grip was so tight that she could only see his chiseled jawline. He was gritting his teeth hard.
Was he angry…?