Chapter 99: Using You
As she talked to him, the prior nervousness and tension corroding her body faded. She extended her glass to him.
“Don’t worry. I know we’ll argue sooner or later, but I’ll do all my duties faithfully as your wife during this one-year-contract,” Rihannan smiled, waiting for another glass of drink.
Igor took back her wine glass.
Her icy-blue eyes immediately widened. “Why’d you take it? I wanted to drink some more.”
“I gave it to you to relax, not to get drunk.”
“I wasn’t nervous. And I’m not drunk.”
“You’re not now, but one more drink will send you to the edge. Besides, you’re freer to talk to and you’re open to talking about your thoughts when drunk. It’s not bad, but not tonight.”
He set down the glass on the table and approached her.
“It’s time,” she thought.
Though, originally, drowning in carnal pleasure should have begun as soon as he entered the room, but it had been delayed due to their conversation.
He’ll soon entangle his body with hers. She knew what it was now and the fears she once had lessened. Moreover, she was not pressured. There were no witnesses and there would never be. And Igor was a changed man – more kind and thoughtful. He’d not do anything that would hurt her.
Not on purpose.
His large hands reached out and cupped her flushed cheeks. She accepted his touch without repulsion. His hands were warm, heating her slightly cool cheeks.
“…I admit that my methods was and is abominable in the first place. What I’ve done to you is no different than our ancestors… kidnapping and forcing you to marry me.”
At his remark, she raised her head angrily. She realized she made a huge mistake, a slip of the tongue for she was swept away by the spirit of alcohol and the carefree atmosphere that she had unconsciously criticized him without notice.
As her lips opened to make an excuse, he said, “So I’ll give you a choice.”
She was puzzled. “…What choice?”
“You don’t have to spend the night with me if you want.”
She was unsure what he meant. Was he not going through the wedding ceremony or did he have plans to nullify the marriage?
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“If you’re unable to accept this, now and in the future, we don’t need to do it. You’ll sleep on the bed and I’ll sleep on the couch over there. It’s your choice, Rihannan.”
“But if that happens, our marriage will…”
“I told you… my words are law and more important than witnesses. If I say I’m married to you, then I’m married to you,” he said gently, “but remember, if you accept me, I won’t stop. I won’t stop holding you, each and every part of you. So… think about your answer carefully.”
Rihannan looked at him, her eyes trembling. His words were sincere. Those eyes, those purple eyes spoke with much honesty. He could have lied, but she knew he was honest.
Perhaps it is as he said – that they’ll pass through the night without committing to themselves.
“…I was the one who suggested this marriage in the first place. I asked you to marry me.”
But how long could their relationship remain fair in the battle, in the royal court full of intrigues and debauchery? Rumors of the king who had turned his back on his queen… rumors that she was held hostage… that he had never sought her body would spread like a sea of flames.
The nobility was toxic. They had eyes everywhere and always on the ready to trample the weak, the royalty, too, when an opening came. It was something she herself had gone through in the past and her life spent in Chrichton.
“I said to you that I would faithfully fulfill my obligations without the slightest intention of running away.”
She raised her head and placed her hand on top of his.
‘Igor, I feel as if I’d be using you knowing what I know…’
She held his hand tight and looked straight into his eyes.
“So hug me, Igor.”