Chapter 84 – Through A Test (2)
She looked good even when shoveling dirt in the greenhouse. She was cute when she laughed so hard she doubled over at the waist. He always admired the way she respected things, no matter how small it was. Well, that kind of made him like Simon, but whatever.
“Then I went to the Academy first, and we didn’t see each other for some time. It very strange to see you again this year.”
It was true that he had been waiting for her for a long time.
“I felt relieved for a while because you seemed the same as before.”
Ian stiffened for a moment.
“But then you made me a very shocking request.”
It was as if their long relationship had been thoroughly discredited.
He dropped his gaze.
“I obsessed over you.”
There was something filthy and slimy about the word “obsessed.”
“I was too clingy. Maybe for a long time.”
He took in a shuddering breath and added the final word of what he wanted to say.
He swept the curve of her cheek with his hand and mouthed his apology again. There were so many apologies mixed up in his mind, but he didn’t bother to count them one by one. It couldn’t be helped. There was no turning back. But he couldn’t stop thinking about their families.
“But this is a pretty good arrangement. It’s more beneficial if we’re friends.”
The heir to the wealthy Sweeney family. The crown prince to the throne. If people on two sides worked together with absolute trust, how much greatness could be achieved? It would be to their mutual benefit. Perhaps that was why Ian’s father allowed his friendship with Louise.
The moment two people went beyond friendship, that would all lose its power.
“You are not so stupid as to be unable to calculate that. You and me.”
But this is what happened…
Louise’s deep breathing was the only sound in the room. He slowly pulled away his hand, not wanting to be rude any further. The soft tips his fingers seemed unable to give up though, and he drew a path across her pale cheek and chin .
Good night, my childhood friend. He kept repeating their long-time relationship. That way, emotions like desire wouldn’t dare raise their head.
At the moment his hand was about to fall away, another warmth enveloped it, as if it didn’t want to him to leave. She pulled their hands together. His hand yielded to her touch and allowed itself to be pulled against her bosom. His fingertips brushed against her white nightgown, and he imagined the softness beyond.
“…driving me crazy.”
His lips twisted. He tried to shake awake the sane part of him, and it seemed to have worked. He pulled away Louise’s wrist with his other hand, and unfortunately the trapped hand easily slipped out. No, not unfortunately. He was very fortunate indeed.
He looked around. If he didn’t give her something to hold, she’ll probably grab him again, and who knows if his mind would work properly again. He grabbed the rabbit doll, Alice, and placed it in her arms. Louise smiled as she snuggled with Alice. Ian managed to breathe out. Once he saw her holding the doll, the visual stimulus was reduced by half…
This was pretty as it is. Louise Sweeney, who always had the devil’s voice on her lips, must be the devil herself, putting a person through a test like that.
He sighed as he scratched with his hair. He passed the test anyway.
No, he didn’t pass?
…Professor Hewitt. Which one is it?
When Louise blinked her eyes open, she saw the early glow of dawn.
She sat up abruptly.
“There’s nothing to worry about. There’s still time before morning and we change shifts.”
She could hear a voice coming somewhere below her. When she turned to the side, she found Ian sitting on the floor and leaning against the bed. The last Louise remembered was that they were both sitting on the edge of the bed.
“Did I fall asleep?”
That was a stupid question. She had just woken up from her sleep.
“…When did I, uh, fall asleep?”
She quickly changed her question instead.
Ian pointed outside of the window. Where the clouds had cleared, she could see a hazy moon floating in the early morning sky.
He moved the tip of his finger a little, like he was trying to drag the moon into motion.
“It’s the president who should have been asleep.”
“I’m used to staying up all night, so I don’t mind. But some thanks would be appreciated.”
“Is there anything I should thank you for?”
Louise around her, and realized that she had been sleeping comfortably with Alice.
“Did you help tuck me into bed?”
“And you gave me Alice, too.”
Ian’s hand twitched. On second thought, he must have failed the test, otherwise he couldn’t explain this resentment burning in him. Anyway, he calmly answered,
“Alice symbolizes the virtue of the gentleman.”
As soon as he got back to the palace, he would create the “Gentleman’s Garden” and put up a statue of himself holding Alice. It would be enormous and grand. He had accomplished a feat that deserved to be revered by all today.
Louise, oblivious to his thoughts, answered casually as she fixed Alice’s somewhat flattened nose.
“Actually, I don’t have the habit of hugging anything when I sleep.”
“That can’t be true.”
She didn’t have a habit of hugging anything while sleeping? Then what was that eagerness with which she took his hand?
Ian turned around and rested his arms on the bed.
“Always try to sleep with Alice in your arms. Especially when I’m here.”
“Are you planning to come here again at that hour?!”
“Even in the dormitory?”
Louise teared up at his expression of disappointment.
“Why are you giving me a look like I’m messing with you?”
Ian froze for a moment like a man who realized something. He knew the source of the resentment and feeling of unfairness. This was not a test. It was a tease. Louise Sweeney to Ian Audmonial was an eternal rival that he could not afford to lose to. No matter how much their feelings and relationship changed, that would remain the same forever.
He would plan his sweet payback on her, one that would make her completely melt. Perfect, beautiful. That would be the plan.