TRWREUATDM Chapter 4
‘It’s also a matter of being able to sit at the negotiating table.’
Raeliana clenched her fists.
‘I have to hold my line.’
Raeliana opened her mouth, but before she could speak, Francis’s voice rang out.
Raeliana looked back and chewed her lips. At the edge of the garden, Francis Brooks stood looking at them with a stupid expression on his face.
‘Why did you have to appear now!’
He really was a man who was detrimental to her life.
In her head, Raeliana gave a man named Francis Brooks a life sentence. Even if he picked up a poor kitten caught in the rain on the road and take care of it, he would not be absolved.
‘What should I do now?’
One woman between the two men.
If oblivious people saw them, they would think the strange tension was caused by political drama. Well, as long as the other man involved wasn’t Noah, everyone might think so.
She alternated between Noah and Francis. Francis looked ready to take Raeliana away while Noah seemed to be enjoying this.
Francis looked at Noah as he called Raeliana.
Raeliana took a step back.
‘Since my luck has run out, should I wait for another opportunity? Or, perhaps–’
This could be a good opportunity. Maybe it was a scenario where she and Noah could look like lovers caught in a tryst. Raeliana could put an end to the countless dirty tactics she had been trying to make Francis break up with her.
While thinking of the ‘How to Say Goodbye to a Boyfriend’ book, Raeliana stood close to Noah and put on a shameless look.
“It looks like I can’t hide this anymore.”
“Sir Brooks, I need to apologize to you.”
Francis was flustered while Noah remained silent.
“I’m in a relationship with Duke Wynknight.”
Francis, who was about to approach her, stopped in his tracks. Noah looked down at her, and Raeliana quietly mouthed ‘royal seal.’
For a moment, he was taken aback.
Raeliana felt like she was holding onto a ticking bomb, wondering if it would explost or not. Her hands were damp and her head was spinning.
Francis was struck speechless. He turned to Noah with an expression asking if what she said was true.
It was then that Noah smiled, draped his arm over her shoulder, and pulled her close to him. Without saying anything, he answered Francis’s question.
‘Is it working? Is it?’
Raeliana peeked at Noah and wondered if she should be relieved or not.
There was a suffocating silence between the three. Francis, who looked like he had lost his mind, was about to speak but was interrupted.
“Milady! Where are you!”
It was Raeliana’s coachman.
John Dane McMillan put her on a strict curfew, and at that time, the coachman came to look for her.
She gave infinite thanks to her father for giving her a strict curfew, and to the coachman for coming to find her just in time. She had to go back and raise the coachman’s salary.
“Here! I’m here!”
As Raeliana raised her hands and waved it, the coachman approached her. He stood beside her, looked at the noblemen and bowed.
Raeliana cheerfully greeted him as if she didn’t just throw that bomb.
Francis grabbed her wrist as she was about to leave.
“Wait a minute, you can’t go like this–!”
Again? With a grim face, Raeliana stopped.
Confused, Francis chewed his lips and stared at her.
“Are you serious? What you said just now.”
“I am. I’ve been saying this before, but please break up with me.”
Francis interrupted her. Raeliana sighed softly and said.
“It’s late, so let’s stop here.”
He gritted his teeth.
“How dare you. Do you know what you’ve just said to me?!”
His voice, full of anger, rang out all over the garden. He breathed harshly, looking as he was ready to hit her.
That’s it. It’d be better if I got slapped.
Raeliana stood calmly, subtly offering her cheek.
Francis must have noticed this, because his hand raised unconsciously.
Noah held Francis’s wrist, and nodded to the coachman.
“You there. Escort the lady and go back.”
The coachman hurriedly agreed and led Raeliana to the carriage.
‘Will it be all right?’
She glanced back as she followed the coachman.
“If you’re late, I’ll be in trouble.”
The coachman kept murmuring all the way to the carriage, but Raeliana just ignored him. Her head was too full of thoughts to even notice.
The coachman opened the door of the carriage, and as soon as Raeliana stepped into it, she stumbled, her legs giving out.
“Miss? Are you alright?”
The coachman assisted her to her seat.
“I’m okay. I guess I’m just a little bit tipsy.”
Raeliana leaned her head on the sofa, her head spinning as if she was drunk.
“Oh my god, I’m crazy.”
After Raeliana left, a tense current flowed between the two men.
Francis Brooks, trembling in anger, shook off Noah’s hand and stepped back. So that’s why she was avoiding him.
“Not just any other man. Noah Wynknight?’
Until now, Francis always had the upperhand in the relationship. While her family had a lot of money, they were nothing. She was supposed to be begging for this marriage, not him! Her!
Francis glared at Noah. Family, wealth, looks, personality. Noah Wynknight truly had it all. Even if he couldn’t deny that Noah Wynknight would be a far better option to form an alliance with.
Noah, who had stolen someone else’s woman, stood calmly, his face betraying nothing. He always looked like that.. Even when he was pushed out of the throne, his expression never changed.
It was Francis Brooks who broke the silence.
“Even if you’re the Duke, you’re going too far!”
“I have nothing to say.”
“Lady Raeliana is my fiancée!”
“You have no right to call her fiancée anymore.”
Francis shuddered at the insult. He wanted to put his fist in that handsome face, but instead clenched his trembling fist.
The man in front of him was Noah Voltaire Wynknight. He’d be committing political suicide if he touched him and his woman.
He punched the wooden pillar and turned his back.
“I’m not going to let this slide.”
Noah didn’t answer. A dry wind with a scent of roses passed through his hair. The moonlight was overshadowed by clouds, and the garden was filled with deeper darkness.
Francis trundled away, leaving Noah in the rose garden. He glanced at his right hand which had pulled Raeliana close to him and chuckled.
‘You’re asking for a deal? With me?’
Those bold eyes were quite interesting.
‘The royal seal…’
How much did she know? Noah tapped his lips with his right hand and called for his people hidden in the shadows.
A man in black appeared from the bush.
“Investigate Raeliana McMillan. And put a person on that guy. If he appears to know anything, deal with it swiftly.”
Noah Wynknight again went through the rose garden. Beyond the voices of those hiding in the dark, the magic circle glowed, and they passed through a gate that was enchanted to look like a dead-end.
“Ah, it was because I ran into a puppy on the way.”
When asked what he was talking about, Noah merely smiled. He remembered Raeliana’s puppy-like hair and pale green eyes.
It was strangely pleasant.
Chapter Three: Their Contract
“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” – Franz Kafka
Raeliana woke up recalling a passage from Kafka’s novel. She felt like she had turned into a bug in bed because of her hangover.
Even when she lifted her heavy head, it kept falling down completely, and her eyelids were as heavy as metal.
She was on her stomach and wanted to sleep more, but the sound of the constant knocking interrupted her sleep.
Venia’s calm voice came from outside the room.
“Venia, let me sleep a little more this morning.”
When Venia heard the drunk voice, she opened the door and stepped in.
“My lady, wake up. The guest is here.”
“What kind of guest–”
“It’s Duke Wynknight.”
“I don’t feel well. Tell him to come back again.”
“My lady.” Venia sang her name as if appeasing her. Raeliana buried her face in the pillow, and then she rose up, wondering if she had heard wrong.
“Duke Wynknight is here.”
Raeliana clenched her teeth and stood up. “Why?! Ah–!”
‘I did it yesterday.’
Like a robot that ran out of grease, her head creaked and didn’t work well. Raeliana’s body was weaker to alcohol than ordinary people, so the hangover was particularly bad.
“Hurray, my lady.”
When Raeliana gently raised her arms, Venia took off her chemise dress and put on a corset and an elegant beige dress. Raeliana quietly entrusted her body to the hand of Venia, whose movements were flawless.
‘Yes, if you pull the knife, you have to see it to the end.’
Even if he’s the duke, he wouldn’t do anything bad to her in her house.
Her intention was to go straight to the point; tell him she knew his secret, and that they should cooperate with each other since she needed to get rid of her fiancé.
“But Venia, can I take off the corset? I don’t like it.”
Venia was determined.
Ah, I feel really sick. Even when Raeliana murmured, Venia didn’t listen.
Eventually, Raeliana, who was unfortunately wearing a corset, went outside. The butler looked like he had a lot to ask.
“The Duke is in the drawing room.”
He looked like he had overcome the temptation to bombard her with questions. Raeliana admired the butler’s self-control.
As Raeliana went downstairs, the maids had gathered in front of the drawing room to watch Noah. They gossiped as they looked at Noah through the small gap by the door, but they jumped away and squeaked as soon as they saw Raeliana.
‘Ah, my head.’
She was vulnerable to loud and high-pitched voices due to her hangover.
“Yes, I know.”
She smiled at them and walked into the drawing room.
Holding a bouquet, Noah stood in the middle of the drawing room. When he noticed Raeliana coming in, he peeked behind her before focusing his golden eyes on her, his gaze sweeping briefly from her head to her toes.
Why did she feel bad?
As Raeliana touched her belly, feeling nauseous, Noah smiled at her like a seasoned politician.
“Lady McMillan, I’m glad you got home safe yesterday.”
“It’s all thanks to Duke Wynknight.”
Unlike yesterday when it seemed like he could swallow a person whole with his lethal gaze, he was back as a charming gentleman.
“Are you unwell? You look pale.”
“No, I’m fine. I was just a little surprised.”
“I made an excuse because I wanted to see Lady McMillan as soon as possible. Please forgive me.”
“You flatter me.”
Noah’s words contained consideration and proper manners. The man who had talked to her with such a cold expression yesterday seemed like a dream.
Noah grabbed Raeliana’s hand and led her to the sofa where they could talk comfortably. She opened her mouth to suggest they move to her room or to her father’s study since there were a lot of eyes in the drawing room.
Noah made eye contact. Raeliana looked at him with a determined face but couldn’t continue speaking.