PDM Chapter 10
Despite Laura’s worried call, I kept my mouth shut and stared straight ahead. Sunset came and illuminated the table, yet no one entered the dark office. So I sat up all night on the sofa like an old tree guarding my seat.
Day after day, I visited his office.
Takan stared at me as if he were sick and tired of me.
Laura spoke carefully, her voice laced with pity.
“Madam, it’s late.”
“I will definitely meet him today.”
At my stubborn words and actions, Laura relented and backed away. I chewed my lips. As expected, he’s not coming today.
What if he knew I was waiting for him and deliberately avoiding him. Then was I bothering him?
I sighed and stared at my feet.
How long have I been waiting?
There was a loud noise outside and muffled voices speaking, but I heard someone swearing. Then, the door of the office violently opened, and there he was.
“Your Grace,” I said, my eyes wide in surprise.
It was a sight I never imagined I’d see – a drunken Kyle. It was the first time that he, who had always been sober, was inebriated.
Kyle rubbed his face and sighed. Then, after some time, he entered the office and made his way to me. Kyle raised his chin and slid his gaze as slowly as a snake.
At first glance, he didn’t stumble and lose balance the way a drunk person would.
“Yes, Your Grace.”
“Who told you to bring outsiders into the office?”
Kyle’s gray eyes stared at me coldly. It was not meant to rebuke Tarkan, but me, the outsider. Gripping the hem of my dress, I pulled myself off the sofa.
“I have something I wanted to tell you, so I waited. If I didn’t do this…”
I wouldn’t meet you. I held back that thought. My mouth tasted bitter, as if I tasted my dad’s strong liquor. As Kyle made his way to the sofa, Takan and Laura left the office.
He sighed and leaned back on the sofa. It was as quiet as if there was nothing in the world but him and me. I sat across from him, swallowed hard, and brought up the words I had been preparing.
“The Countess of Harden has sent me an invitation.”
At the mention of the Countess, Kyle trembled. He raised his gaze sharply like a predator that found its prey. His stare only touched me, but I felt the muscles all over my body stiffen.
“I’m planning to accept it.”
“I thought I told you not to be presumptuous.” Kyle tilted his head and growled. “Are you stupid enough to forget what I said?”
I bit my lips and bowed. “If I refuse, the Countess will be upset.”
Kyle suddenly straightened and looked me in the eye. Then, at once, the distance between us got closer.
“What are you going to say?” He was barely holding back tears.
“Don’t get me wrong. I won’t do anything to embarrass Your Grace.”
Kyle scoffed and looked away.
“That can’t be true. Why, do you want Hari to reject me instead?*” He said it sarcastically.
I calmed my pounding heart. Yes, I wanted to tell the Countess that the person I love loves you, but he’s already married to me. Please break his heart.
I expected Kyle’s cold attitude, but it hurt to experience it firsthand. I clenched my teeth and held back my tears so that I wouldn’t look ugly. My hand gripping the skirt was turning white.
“You seem to have drunk a lot. Then tomorrow–”
“But that won’t be my weakness. I’m married to you.” Kyle’s voice trembled as it reached the end of the sentence. It sounded like a self-deprecating laugh as if resigned to his situation.
“No matter what you say, Hari won’t believe you.”
Kyle gritted his teeth and raised his head. Was it because of the lantern, the moonlight, or the alcohol? If not, maybe because of his tears. Kyle’s eyes gleamed.
Kyle, who had always been strong, was shaking as if he was about to collapse. Looking at him made my heart feel like dozens of needles were stabbing it.
I suddenly remembered Kyle’s jovial face at the boutique. Dark lips drawn upwards, elegant eyes, and a friendly voice.
I envied the Countess for making Kyle like this, but my heart hurt, and my emotions soared.
“Your Grace.” I knelt at Kyle’s feet and looked up at him.
Unfocused gray eyes fell onto my face. Not long after, Kyle’s hand softly rubbed my lips. Moist gray eyes shone on me transparently like a lake. Who was he looking at, me or Hari?
I clenched my teeth and once more gripped the hem of my dress. “Your Grace, I’m not the Countess of Harden.”
“I wouldn’t mistake anyone for Hari,” Kyle vehemently denied.
No, you’re definitely mistaken. Otherwise, you won’t see me.
As if possessed, I reached out towards his face. My fingertips moved slowly to his chin, to his cheek, then finally to his lips. Kyle’s eyes moved along with my fingertips. Suddenly, Kyle’s hand that touched my lips fell lightly.
“Is it okay if I’m not her?”
It was an impulsive question. I was going to wait until Kyle’s heart fades after she rejects him. But, on the other hand, I had this cunning desire to capture his broken heart if I got the chance to comfort him.
But will I ever get a chance? Will I ever cross that impenetrable wall?
Just thinking about it made me feel impatient and frustrated. Desperate.
At that moment, Kyle’s eyes glistened with vivid color. He rubbed my lips slowly as if longing, not breaking eye contact.
“I don’t care who you are.”
There was a deep desire in his voice.
Kyle looked at me with glazed-over eyes. Did I catch his eyes? Or was he thinking of Hari?
“I don’t care.”
As he looked away, I could no longer tell what kind of expression he was making.
“Whoever you are.”
Soon after, Kyle’s face drew closer, and his eyelashes filled my vision. Was he really looking at me? I couldn’t push him away even though I had such doubts. I opened my mouth and welcomed him, and our breathing mixed.
He probably didn’t care who it was, unless the person he was holding in his arms was Hari.
I woke up and looked around. As I slowly turned and stared at the room, I could see scattered clothes. Then the memories of the night before that I had forgotten came crashing down like a wave.
I sighed and slowly closed my eyes. His office no longer felt foreign, and caressing his skin was no longer a miracle to me. I don’t have to feel thirsty for days when I can’t see his face.
Everything was my choice, so I have to endure these feelings of loneliness and emptiness.
But. I once more stared at the wreckage from the night before. I reached out and grabbed them, and let them go.
I didn’t want the same loneliness to come when my drunken father knocked on my door like he would break it or when my trusted brother abandoned me.
When I asked with a gentle smile, Laura fixed her gaze on me. Compassion and worry overflowed in her eyes. You must have heard the crying in the office that day. It was a while back, but Laura was still worried.
Laura was Kyle’s nanny, so she must have been aware of his feelings. She also probably knew my foolish heart was pining for him.
It was embarrassing that my feelings seemed so transparent to her. After a while, Laura looked away, knowing that I was feigning ignorance.
*I’m not too sure about this part. I’m sorry!