Chapter 27 – Okay, Now Come Here (2)
It was hot and humid between as if it were summer. The moon emerged from clouds again and it wasn’t until the light fell on them that she realized that something unusual had passed between them, if only for a moment. This what Louise was absolutely wary of.
She had to survive in this world.
Louise smiled as if she were oblivious to what passed between them. It would be fair to say that she looked rather ridiculous. His pleading voice in the darkness didn’t mean anything.
“Will you go back to the party? “
“Yes. I have to help wrap up.”
Ian followed Louise’s mood and answered in a casual tone.
“There are quite a few people who want the flower arrangements.”
“If it’s the flowers…”
“Yes, your decorations. Everybody wants to brighten up a bleak dormitory.”
“Are we allowed to just give the students items bought on the school budget?”
“That’s why we’re going to have an auction as the closing event. It will be limited to low prices.”
“Do you have permission? “
“It was hard, but I managed to get Professor Lassen to give me permission.”
“You did the negotiations?”
“Who else is there?”
He lifted his shoulders proudly and Louise was willing to clap her hands to lift his smug expression. This wasn’t a big deal so she freely gave it to him.
“You’ll be quite busy tomorrow.”
He crossed him arms and looked down at Louise with a haughty face.
“The students who win the auction wouldn’t even know how to change a flower vase.”
Louise nodded understandingly. Only the proper nobles would have attended the party.
“The flowers would wither in a few days if it’s not cared for properly.”
“Yes, it would be a waste.”
“If you can make a list of the students who take the flowers, I can go visit each of them one by one.”
“If you do that, then many students will learn about you.”
She understood now. Ian would have the students bid on the flowers for Louise’s sake. She couldn’t attend the party, but she could still make herself known to them. That was the Sweeney style. She tried not to minimize the students as simply nobility or future decision makers, even though such an opportunity made her calculating side creep up.
“You’re welcome. This is…this is for my childhood friend.”
“You’re the best childhood friend.”
“And what about dance teacher? “
He held out his hand stubbornly but she lightly pushed it away.
“That’s a depressing answer,”
he sighed, and Louise responded with a grin. Ian, sick of that stupid smile, pinched Louise’s cheek and she gave a yelp of pain, loud enough to wake up the plants that were sleeping in the greenhouse. At the end of the day, they were two people cherishing their childhood.
After a brief passing, the deep emotion had disappeared through the clouds.
The lingering sensation and memory unexpectedly came to her. For example, in the bed where she wanted to sleep. Louise blinked up at the ceiling.
“A little longer…”
She recalled the low voice that had brushed against her ears and the hands that held her strongly. Her palms felt hot again. Or maybe it was her wrist, shoulder, and head.
A little longer. What?
Had it been a popular novel, it would have been the phrase, “I want to stay like this a little longer.” The atmosphere at the moment would have been perfect. What if she had chosen to go along with it? Louise imagined what would have happened in the other path. Maybe…
The fantasy deepened, and Louise sat up quickly. You’re crazy! You’re crazy, Louise Sweeney! She grabbed her shameless head. What was she trying to do with the president? He should be the most meaningless person to her in the world. That’s how it had to work.
Only then would Louise’s future will be safe.
Louise had sacrificed one night instead of protecting the future. That also meant that she couldn’t sleep well because she was trying to gain control over her thoughts. Louise yawned widely as she opened Claire’s “List of students who took flowers” that she had brought over after the party.
Louise blinked hazily until she saw a familiar name on the list then frowned.
“Why on earth is his name here?”
She picked up student list and left the dormitory room. The hallway was quiet. Most of the students were exhausted because of yesterday’s party and were taking a day off. She knocked loudly when she arrived in front of his room, but there was no reply. He was often weak in the mornings and she didn’t expect him to get up quickly.
When she pushed the door it yielded open. It was unlocked.
There was the sound of comfortable breathing from within the room. It seemed like Louise’s knock hadn’t aroused him. She could see his disheveled silver hair peeking from beneath the blanket while next to his bed was a suit stripped like a snake’s skin. Maybe he had taken off his clothes and stretched them out.
Next to the window was one of the flower arrangements in an exquisitely shaped glass vase. Louise walked over and inspected it. Ian had removed the slightly withered leaves and cut off part of the stems so that they could absorb more water.
Well, Ian did learn how to take care of flowers from her father. Ian had to be competent enough. But why did he write down that he needed help from Louise? Maybe he wanted to show off and say “I can do this perfectly.” She didn’t want to hear that.
Louise turned away quietly. She took a few quiet steps when suddenly something pulled at her waist. She didn’t even have time to scream.
Before she knew it she toppled backwards onto the bed. It was fortunate that she landed in a soft spot. Louise looked down at her waist and saw well-muscled arm wrapped around her.
She looked along the length of the arm towards Ian. She could see his bare upper body, the blankets disheveled near his waist. Louise then remembered his clothes that were near the bed.
‘…How much did he take off?’
What a useless idea. Louise turned to Ian’s face, suppressing her inappropriate thoughts.
He squinted his eyes to make sure he could open them properly, however, the mischievous smile on his lips was as clear as can be.
“It makes me sad to see my partner run away at dawn.”
“…W-what do you mean by partners! That’s ridiculous! “
“Partners, we danced together. Are you denying it?”
“Then let’s change the subject.”
He leaned forward and placed his forehead on Louise’s shoulders. He still sounded very tired.
he said desperately.