Elise fell silent, feeling as though he had taken control over her without her consent. Even when Rezette Kyrstan appeared disinterested in her, he seemed to understand her troubles with an eerie accuracy. He effectively silenced her, leaving her unable to find the right words to say.
After a moment of internal struggle, Elise reluctantly nodded once again. “Okay, if you insist, thank you, but…”
A subtle smile formed on Rezette’s lips as he noticed her annoyance. He knew he had to confirm certain things without raising her suspicions.
Elise’s defensive demeanor made Rezette wary of asking directly about any marks left by the emperor. Instead, he decided to investigate on his own. With her leaning against him, he saw an opportunity to find out the truth. His hand moved gently beneath her neck, where he felt the button holding the collar together from behind.
“Then let’s take a look,” he said with a smirk.
Elise’s eyes widened in surprise. “What?”
“Inevitable circumstances,” Rezette replied.
He undid the button at the back of her neck, causing a shiver to run down Elise’s spine as his rough fingertips brushed against her skin. The surroundings didn’t matter – the cooling food on the table, the blinding sunlight – she couldn’t hide or be concerned about such things.
Elise clutched his clothes, knowing she had to act when the opportunity presented itself. They were alone in the room, and nobody would enter without permission. She pressed herself closer to him.
Rezette slipped his hand between the open collar of her dress, causing it to slide down her snowy-white shoulders like falling petals.
With sensitive finesse, Rezette traced his fingertips over her skin, searching for the hidden magic. His touch explored the clavicle, the scapula, and the spine, hoping to find its source.
“I found it,” he whispered as he located a cluster of magic threads below her left scapula, invisible to the naked eye but chilling to the touch.
Drawing Elise closer, Rezette rested his chin between her shoulder and neck, revealing her delicate back waist embraced by the corset. He sensed more traces of magic there, larger and stronger than the ones near her scapula.
“This one has a much larger area,” he thought, realizing that the strange magic that had been troubling him flowed from this spot.
He narrowed his sapphire-blue eyes, realizing the source of his discomfort and displeasure. It wasn’t just because Argan was a rival of the Van Yela Empire. It was because someone had marked Elise’s body before he could, and that fact didn’t sit well with him, even if it was her twin brother.
Resolute, Rezette gently scraped off the magic from her skin with his fingertips. The threads unraveled easily. However, her waist proved harder to inspect due to the tight corset, securing her from chest to waist with criss-cross straps.
Rezette held the knot in his hand, his gaze fixed on the woman in his arms. She had trembling lips and determined eyes that refused to back down, with a flushed, round earlobe. Elise looked up at him, her eyes moist, and smiled slightly, catching him off guard.
“More, Rezette,” she whispered.
He hesitated, unsure of what to do, but she urged him on, “Get closer.”
Elise’s hand, resting on his waist, moved up his back, pulling him closer. Something inside Rezette snapped, and the purpose of exploring the magic on Elise’s body faded from his mind like a forgotten dream.
He leaned in, his lips grazing her earlobe that stretched down like a delicate line. The air was filled with the fragrance of flowers, and as he deeply inhaled her scent, she trembled slightly. Her veins pulsed rapidly along her long neck, driving his body into a heated frenzy. The member that had been half-awake before was now painfully solid.
His lips trailed lower, kissing the skin above her corset, which yielded slightly under his touch. The taste of her skin was tantalizingly sweet, and he couldn’t resist pressing his tongue against it.
Elise’s chest heaved, her breaths trembling as he caressed her skin. The intoxicating scent overwhelmed him, clouding his judgment. The primal instincts he had suppressed for so long suddenly surged back, awakening like a dormant beast.
Almost without thinking, Rezette placed Elise on the table, parting her legs with a fierce desire to explore her tantalizing flesh. His predatory nature, long suppressed, roared to life.
He was lost in the moment, his hand firm on her nape and the other venturing under her dress. Elise shivered, her breath caught in anticipation.
Then, a distinct sound pierced the air, a click that seemed to lock something shut.