I hurried to the window. “Are you insane!? This is the third floor!” I said exasperatedly.
“I won’t get hurt even if I fall from the third floor,” he merely replied with a cheeky grin.
I stared at him with a deadpan look. How would he feel if I told him I’ve killed someone by pushing them off the third floor? But of course, it was possible because it happened on a construction site, where it was full of stone blocks below… Seeing as I can’t talk reason with this person, I eventually stepped back.
“Come in before you actually fall and I have to call a doctor. Amy, go out into the corridor and make sure no one comes inside.”
“What? Oh, but…”
Flustered, Amy switched from looking at me to Leon who was climbing through the window pane. To be more accurate, the Grand Duke of Glouster. I should call him that instead.
When his feet finally touched the solid floor, he swept down his clothing, despite not having a single dust, scratch or tear. I couldn’t help but wonder how he did it. No matter how nimble a person is, it’s difficult to do such things… unless he was experienced in it. Come to think of it, he did say that his muscles grew repeating the same exercise; he must have done this thing frequently.
My trail of thoughts eventually led my gaze to his body. Even if he was fully clothed, I could vividly remember his hard, muscular upper body underneath. Scared that my gaze would go lower, I hurriedly looked upwards to his face.
Seeing him after a long time made me treacherously think of how more handsome he became. Wisps of dark hair fell above his forehead, where arched eyebrows rested on top of a high nose. Below that was a slightly thin upper lip paired with a plump lower one… I already know what those lips feel like: softer than they look and even plumper when you bite them…
His hair has been cut short, exposing his solid neckline. He used to have long, wavy hair tied at his nape. I remembered the feeling of placing my arms around his neck and stroking his soft hair…
“My lady, I still need to stay here to – ”
My heart skipped a beat. I immediately halted my thoughts, momentarily coming to my senses at Amy’s words.
“I won’t do anything to bring shame to Miss Alice’s reputation, so you can leave without worrying,” he said. The timbre in his voice made me fluttery and shaky. ‘What’s wrong with me?’ I wondered, frustrated.
He lightly smiled at Amy and Amy’s face reddened for a moment. She hesitated after glancing at me and since I remained mute, she must have taken it as a sign of agreement. She quietly left the room and closed the door behind her.
I crossed my arms, sweeped all those disturbing thoughts in the corner of my head and glared at him.
“You won’t do anything to bring shame to my reputation?” I sarcastically said.
“What could I do to ruin your reputation?” he said, smiling mischievously. “When lovers who have already promised to marry act precariously, everyone regards it as youthful passion gone too far.”
I felt indignant hearing him speak brazenly. This man must have gone mad. I frowned at him. “Who promised to marry who?” I said.
“Miss Alice and I did,” he replied in a heartbeat.
He stared at me blankly and his shoulders suddenly drooped. “Ah… so Miss Alice only thinks of me as an object to relieve her desires. I thought it was the proof of our promise. It was my first time experiencing such passion…” he said, in a mock-hurt tone.
I couldn’t grasp what he was talking about. Is he trying to pin everything on me?
I glared at him. “You were the one who hugged and kissed me first! And now you’re trying to push that responsibility onto me? You’re preposterous!”
“How can that be? I can never do such an atrocious act such as to kiss a girl without her permission.”
I breathed in deeply. He was still smiling. It was a waste of time trying to argue with someone who sees reality differently.
“If you continue acting like that I might finally believe you’re some mad stalker,” I bluntly said. To my chagrin, he merely grinned and sat down in the chair Amy had left.
“How have you been?” he asked. “I heard suitors are lining up at your doors.”
“It’s not like that. We’ve been through the general candidates anyway.” I sat down and faced him.
“Which candidates? People who will make you a happy widow?”
“I made sure you’re included too.”
Choosing people was easy. The problem was the list became too long. But if I was in a hurry, I could easily choose those at the top of the list.
“Where is Hugo Duplo on that list?” he asked unexpectedly.
I raised my eyebrows. “Why would you ask?”
“I need to know. I might need to do some emulating.”
I felt the urge to laugh imagining him acting like Hugo. It felt akin to a tiger acting like a housecat so that you take it in.
“Why would you do that?” I asked him curiously.
He took a few seconds to answer. “I don’t know what type of men you like. So all I can do is follow everyone who you seem to show interest in,” he said.