Predatory Marriage - Chapter 279
Chapter 279 – Obsession (3)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Blain couldn’t speak. After saying Leah’s name, he was silent.
He had never expected her to return of her own will. He thought the only way to ensure her compliance would be through violence and coercion, as usual, but apparently he was wrong. He hadn’t done anything yet, and here she was. A silly thought popped into his mind.
“Why have you returned?” He asked, in front of all the puppet noblemen. Glancing at Count Valtein and Minister Laurent, seated along the table, a twisted smile appeared on his face. “You ran away with the barbarian as if your life depended on it, but you came back fearing the consequences.”
“I am only attending the Cabinet Council meeting as Princess,” Leah replied calmly. “It’s a duty I have to fulfill.”
Blain’s patience was at an end. He rose to his seat and walked over to Leah, seizing her wrist and dragging her out of the room. She only stirred after they left the room.
Blain stared at her expressionless face. He couldn’t begin to guess what she might be thinking. But suddenly, he felt the touch of a delicate hand on his wrist, and he loosened his grip on her. He remembered what Leah had said to him once before.
You have always given me delicious food.
She confused her memories of the barbarian with Blain. Maybe the savage had won her heart by feeding her good food. Blain couldn’t help asking.
“…Have you had lunch yet?”
“Let’s eat before we talk.”
Though it was a bit early for lunch, Blain led her to the dining room. The maids were puzzled at the King’s sudden arrival, but hurried to attend them.
The dining room of the main palace was reserved for the royal family, though occasionally a few guests were allowed to use it. But though he and Leah had often eaten together there, Blain was uncomfortable. Leah ate dutifully, and a strange tension settled in the silence. It made him thirsty, and he reached for wine.
Leah only set down her cutlery when his bottle was empty.
“Go, all of you,” he ordered without looking at the servants, and the maids filed out, leaving only the two of them in the dining room. Blain’s throat felt parched. As he reached for another bottle of wine, Leah took it first.
“I’ll pour it for you,” she said, holding the bottle. “I would like a little white wine to drink…”
Immediately, Blain rose to get a bottle of white wine from the wine rack in the corner of the room. Leah had already poured him a glass when he returned, and he downed it thoughtlessly, without even noting its taste. As soon as the glass was empty, Leah picked up the bottle again.
Blain looked at the white hand holding the bottle. There was a ring on one of those slender fingers. The engagement ring he had given her.
He couldn’t tear his eyes away from it. His eyes lingered on it, lost in thought, and slowly he raised them as Leah blinked her thick silver eyelashes. Her face was dazzling today.
“I hope you can reconsider our future,” she said.
Blain’s lips parted. Our. He repeated it to himself several times, captivated, as Leah’s voice went on.
“I don’t want to become a puppet. And I don’t want the people I care about to be hurt.”
Quietly, she explained why she had returned. She had not found a way to break the spells. She couldn’t abandon those who were left behind in the palace.
Blain had expected all that. Her words even sounded sincere. But her next declaration was completely unexpected.
“I will try to keep Your Majesty in my heart…” Gently, she squeezed his hand, which bore the engagement ring she had given him. “So please treat me kindly from now on.”
A whirl of thoughts filled his mind as soon as he heard that. Were there still remnants of the broken spell manipulating her feelings? It was possible that the spell manipulating her memory might have reactivated her feelings, if she thought too much of the past…
It was a ridiculous idea. He should have snapped at her to stop talking nonsense, but his mouth was already saying something else.
“How can I believe you?”
Leah was still staring at Blain, her full lips pressed together. He gazed at those lips for a long time until they finally parted, and her tongue moved as she spoke.
“Tonight…” Leah whispered. “Please hold me.”