PDM Chapter 11
I smiled shyly and wiped the back of my neck with my hand. I was sweaty, and my palms were glistening. I first saw Kyle in the winter, but the season had already turned to summer.
Since then, the hot summer has passed by. What happened to us soaked in the sultry summer air, yet I still haven’t had much time with Kyle.
Instead, I frequently go out to meet Kyle, who came back from wherever he went and look at him from a distance. It was because Kyle came home earlier than before and was in the office more often.
I waited for him in the mansion, not attending a single social gathering. It was also because I was afraid I’d cause trouble to the family by accident.
I never knew when Kyle would return home, so waiting for him had become my one pleasure in life.
Above all, I didn’t want to make Kyle nervous. If I showed my face to society, many people would likely approach me to get acquainted with the Duke. I didn’t want to disturb him with anything.
On such a leisurely afternoon, I was sitting in the garden and having a peaceful time.
Before we got married, my afternoons were busy helping with chores at the flower shop or sewing in a small room, relying on the sunlight streaming through the window. A trivial thing like leisurely embroidering, I knew my life had changed.
I fanned my hands and looked up at the sky. Did I have to be greedy on a hot day? Laura must be feeling warm. I invited her several times to sit across from me, but she refused.
Ah, Come to think of it. I looked up at the sudden thought.
“Laura, is there any correspondence from Viscount Carena?”
“Nothing arrived, Madam.”
“That’s fortunate.” I smiled softly and nodded.
After I informed my father and severed ties with him, I expected that he would keep calling me, but it’s been quiet so far. Maybe he’s trying to clean up his drunken and homeless life and live a better life.
“That would be a relief.”
Laura must have realized I was talking to myself because she didn’t answer. I shook off my thoughts and focused on embroidering on the practice handkerchief.
I needed a gift to repay the favor of the Countess of Harden. I didn’t know what to give her, so I decided to sew one for her.
Kyle hasn’t given his permission yet, but he knew that Countess Hari would be very upset if I refused.
The needle pierced the tip of my finger, and blood formed like dew. I was about to lick the wound out of habit, but Laura wrapped her handkerchief around the area where the blood had formed.
I usually never bothered mending wounds and just left it to scar, but now that the environment and location had changed, so did the way of dealing with it.
After the blood stopped, I smiled and pulled back the hand Laura was holding.
“Unlike simple sewing, embroidering is difficult.”
“I’m here to help.”
“No, it’s fine. I have to do it myself to improve my skills.”
Laura stepped back and said she’ll be back with iced tea.
“Alright,” I nodded and concentrated on my embroidery.
Aelle. Embroidering my name was difficult. Could I embroider someone else’s name?
It was the first time I embroidered someone’s name. I wish I could have sewed Kyle’s name instead. But I couldn’t dare embroider his name without permission. I wonder if he’d even let me if I asked.
And so, I chose my name instead.
It’s been a while. I could hear someone making their way through the lush grass in the distance—Laura’s back. I pulled the needle out of the fabric and tied the end of the thread. As I cut the excess thread, it fluttered down.
I placed the needle on the table and removed the handkerchief from the embroidery hoop. I lifted the cloth to stare at my handiwork and clearly saw the crooked embroidery. Basic sewing and embroidery really were different. I smiled in embarrassment and tilted my head back.
“Laura, look at this. My name looks messy, doesn’t it?”
It wasn’t Laura’s voice. I narrowed my eyes and finally saw the figure blocked by the glare of the sunlight.
I straightened my head and turned around. Since I had limited movement from sitting in a chair, Takan shifted to the side to make it easier to see him.
“You were here.”
Takan placed one hand on his chest and bowed politely. His hair fluttered like waves in the summer breeze.
He looked up, his face not revealing anything. There was an unknown document in his hand.
“Please check the statement for the quarterly maintenance costs that must be submitted to His Grace because it appears to be incorrect.”
Ah. I sighed and looked away. Takan handed me the document, but I didn’t pick it up nor push it away. There was nothing to fix.
“I was only at home, so I had no use for it.”
For a moment, Takan furrowed his brows before returning to his usual poker face. Still, when our eyes met, he looked curious.
Was it a problem because I didn’t want to waste the family’s fortune? Or did Takan think I was embezzling funds?
Normally, when nobles purchase items, they sign them under the family’s name and have the statement sent to their mansion.
You knew I couldn’t embezzle funds because I didn’t actually have any money in hand… I didn’t know why he was suspicious that I spent nothing.
Oh, I’ve heard that sometimes, whenever a noble wife purchases something for the sake of dignity, it will go into their possession, then when she files for divorce, she will give it to her relatives.
They’d purchase jewelry but put it as something else on the statement, or when it went over the budget, they’d forego adding it on the statement altogether.
And even if the receipt sent to the mansion differed from the written statement, nobles who wanted to save face would pay the price without much fuss. And the spending budget for the wife was maintained.
Maybe Takan thought I had exceeded the budget and didn’t write the details.
I looked at him without saying a word, and after a while, Takan stepped back. “I see. Then I’ll report it as is.”
Just as he did when he appeared, Takan put his hand on his chest and bowed. He seemed to have come to a conclusion while contemplating how to explain the misunderstanding. However, rather than resolving the misunderstanding, he must have dropped it because he had no evidence.
I nodded and pursed my lips. At times like this, the one who keeps their mouth shut won’t raise any suspicion.
With a sigh, my gaze involuntarily traveled to the sleeve of Takan’s vest. The button on the edges of the sleeves was swaying as if they were about to fall off.
“Takan, the button…”
He turned around as if he hadn’t heard me. Then, while looking through the needles and threads, I casually said, “Takan, can you take off your top?”
Takan flinched and trembled as if he had heard a gunshot from the forest. A few moments later, his body creaked like a wooden doll.
His eyes twitched, and he looked agitated. If I read his expression correctly, it was a look of shame and contempt.
After a while, as if he had finished grasping the situation, Tarkan sharply raised his scarred eyebrows.
“If His Grace finds out about this, he’ll be angry, so please be careful,” Takan gritted.
What? His words had me speechless. I was so flustered, I stuttered, “That’s not what I meant.”
He just wrinkled his face at my answer. So, I took a breath to calm myself and said, “The button on your sleeve is about to fall off, and I wanted to mend it.”
“Madam will?” Takan turned his face and listened. Suspicious eyes roamed to the thread and needle on the table, the handkerchief in my hand, and finally, my face.
Takan wiped the back of his neck with her hand and looked away.
“Please tell me clearly so I won’t misunderstand.”
Seeing the back of his neck and the tips of his ears flush red, I had to hold in my laughter. Takan glanced at his sleeve and shook his head.
“I can’t leave this to Madam.”
“There’s no time. Hurry up before Laura comes,” I ignored what he said and passed the thread to the eye of the needle. Just as I was embroidering and doubting my sewing skills, the perfect prey appeared.
I could hear his sigh. He took off his top and handed it to me, and I detached the button from the sleeve and sewed it back on.