Chapter 4 - Stolen Kiss
‘Hey, where did he go?’
Isabel looked around and searched for Agares.
‘Oh no. I lost him.’
She shouldn’t have picked the handkerchief up. That way, she wouldn’t have lost him. But, on second thought, she could not be sure she would have been able to stop herself from picking up something he had dropped.
Isabel moved restlessly and agilely even in her shoes and was able to find him a short while later. There was someone else lurking in the dark shadows of the mansion. She could only see the person’s long legs and back, but that alone clued her in on who he was.
‘That’s him. It’s him.’
Her heart pounded. The man who had changed Isabel’s world simply by existing—but something was off. Looking down upon others with his height and becoming physique, he had always had confident steps. Up until a little while ago, however, she had thought that he was moving a little slow, but now Agares’ steps seemed somewhat unstable.
That was not the only peculiar thing. Usually, when he was with a woman, he would spend some time with her in the guest bedroom of whichever mansion the banquet was being held in that day. Otherwise, he always returned to the grand duchy with his attendant. Today, he was neither accompanied by a woman nor his attendant.
It was really strange. He was not the type to leave his banquet companion and come to such a secluded place alone.
Agares shook his head lightly. He opened the door to a random room and entered.
Isabel hesitantly walked to the door he had disappeared behind. She reached out and retracted her hand multiple times before stretching her fingers out carefully. Her outstretched hand was visibly trembling as she held her breath and wrapped her hand around the doorknob.
Would the door be locked?
He did not seem to be in his right mind. It was highly likely that he had not locked it, but, of course, there was a chance that he had. If the door was locked, then she would just turn around and leave. She was already satisfied with the fact that she was able to see him today, and her mind would probably be in chaos later thinking about him until she fell asleep.
But, what if the door was unlocked?
What would she do if the door was unlocked? Though she asked herself that question, she could not come up with an answer. Isabel could not figure out whether she wished for the door to be locked or unlocked.
She tightened her grip and turned the knob, which twisted smoothly. The door was unlocked.
‘What do I do?’
She knew it was only right for her to leave upon discovering this; however, this was the first time she had seen him venture alone into a room like this. She pushed the door open very, very carefully. It swiveled in without a sound. All was quiet, but her heart seemed to have dropped to her stomach. She had no idea what to do and relaxed her grip in her confusion. The door swung open. She felt faint and lightheaded.
Isabel tightly squeezed her eyes shut. Her surroundings were silent. Slowly, she opened her eyes. The interior of the dark room entered her field of view. She couldn’t see him.
‘This is it. You can’t go further than this, Isabel.’
The thought seemed to be chains that shackled Isabel’s feet. As if she was nailed in place, she found herself unable to advance inside nor retreat. She had no courage to step inside, yet she admired him too much to take a step back. She knew that an opportunity like this would never come again.
Just then, she heard footsteps approaching. Someone was coming.
‘W-what to do?’
As Isabel fumbled like a headless chicken, the sound of the incoming footsteps startled her, and she quickly stepped into the room. Isabel instinctively closed the door behind her carefully. Her lips quivered as she entered the pitch-black room.
‘This is crazy! I’ve gone crazy!’
Although Isabel had told herself she had gone insane, the thought of actually leaving the room did not cross her mind. She took a step forward. The carpet beneath her was soft, but Isabel took her shoes off for extra precaution. Her eyes instinctively searched for him. The room didn’t have a separate lounge and bed chamber. Rather, the two areas were combined. Someone had collapsed on the bed in the innermost part of the room. Isabel rose on her tiptoes and approached the figure, as silently and stealthily as a feline.