LTBE - Chapter 487.2: Inescapable Embrace (2)
Breakfast and dinner were viewed to be the two most important meals on the Sia Continent. This was not just arbitarily decided; it was tied to how the labor force functioned too.
Regardless of whether one was a diligent farmer or an astute shopkeeper, a good meal in the morning granted them the energy required to last through the day. Work naturally concluded at sunset due to the exorbitant price of lighting, and workers would return home to have a hearty dinner.
In contrast, the middle child known as lunch wasn’t as highly regarded, often thought to be something to ‘get it over and done with’. However, the truth was that lunch was important, especially to patients.
At the dining table, Charlotte’s face was still slightly flushed from her earlier bath, though her complexion looked worse than before. Roel wasn’t too surprised as Grace had already given him a heads up that Charlotte was relying on cosmetics to appear like her usual self.
“Does my complexion look horrible?”
“Of course not.”
“Liar. I can see the worry in your eyes.”
Charlotte’s eyes drooped as she self-consciously touched her own face. After a moment of hesitation, she decided to redo her make-up to conceal her unsightly complexion. But before she could do anything, Roel stepped in and stopped her.
“Do you honestly think that I would stop worrying once you conceal your complexion? That’s impossible. That’ll only make me feel more uneasy from not knowing your true condition.”
“No buts. Charlotte, I don’t you to conceal your condition from me anymore… or is my worry burdening you?”
“Of course not!”
“It’s settled then.”
“… Darling, you can be cunning at times.”
Persuaded by the smiling Roel to return to her chair, Charlotte grumbled with an annoyed pout. She felt like she had lost to his sharp tongue. Her rare show of disgruntlement amused Roel, evoking a chuckle from him.
He knew that he was persuasive, but he wasn’t so conceited to think that he was a match for Charlotte, who had been brokering business deals from a young age. She could be scathing if she wanted to, as shown from their very first meeting. As a matter of fact, he was only winning these verbal fights thanks to a crucial advantage he had over her—his feelings of affection.
The sincere feelings he relayed through his words made it impossible Charlotte to counterattack with her venomous tongue.
At this, he couldn’t help but think that Charlotte had the traits of an ideal partnerand a virtuous wife. If he had to point out a flaw in her, it would be how she always prioritize the needs of those whom she cherished over her own, and this was further exacerbated by her sensitive nature.
“It’s more like you have been restraining yourself. Sometimes, I do wish that you can act more wilful in front of me…” said Roel.
Charlotte’s pupils dilated upon hearing those words. She lowered her head for a lengthy dilemma before she finally looked up at him.
“Is that really what you wish?” asked Charlotte.
“Yes, it is,” Roel replied affirmatively.
“… You won’t find me hateful?”
“I don’t think that there’s anything you can do that I’ll find hateful.”
“Hmph, you and your glib tongue… But since you’re saying so, there’s one thing I would like to try.”
Charlotte rose to her feet and nervously walked over to Roel’s side. Her face further reddened till she was blushing to the tip of her ears. She took a while to muster her courage before she slightly lifted her skirt and sat down on his knees.
Once, while she was reminiscing Roel, she came across a book that depicted the mushy scene of two lovers dining in each other’s embrace. That intimate display of affection she pictured deeply moved her heart, to the point where she even dreamt of Roel holding her like that. Ever since then, she found it dissatisfying how Roel was always beyond her reach at the dining table.
Of course, it was a breach of noble etiquette for a lady to sit on a man’s lap during dinnertime. Nobles were expected to be refined and graceful. However, she had checked in with Grace, who resolutely told her that such acts were fine for couples.
It was just Charlotte could never bring herself to make the request, especially when she considered how Roel was a high noble of the Theocracy. She was afraid that he would find her action disgraceful and scorn her, as slim as the possibility was.
But if I was given a chance to be wilful…
Charlotte leaned in and meekly divulged her wish. She nervously assessed Roel’s reaction, only to be alarmed by his silence. Worried that he was displeased by her insolent request, she tried to get back to her feet and call the whole thing off, only to be blocked off by a firm arm.
“Charlotte, you were the one who asked for this.”
Before Charlotte could formulate a proper response, Roel had already wrapped his arm around her slender waist and pulled her all the way in.
“R-Roel? W-wait a moment!”
The demure Charlotte had sat down on his knees, but Roel went ahead to drag her all the way into his inner thigh, pressing her back against his body. From his rough touch to his scent, the sudden sensory overload left Charlotte’s face heating up. Flustered, she tried to voice her opposition, only to have her mouth pre-emptively sealed.
Roel had chosen to use his mouth instead of words to explain his actions. The sudden kiss made Charlotte’s eyes widen in astonishment, but she soon succumbed to his overflowing affection.
A long time later, their lips finally parted ways.
By then, Charlotte’s body had already slackened in Roel’s arms. While gasping for air with a reddened face, she directed Roel a sharp glare to express her dissatisfaction, only for the latter to mischievously blow at her ear.
“Ah! You can’t!”
Still feeling sensitive from the kiss, Charlotte covered her ears in a panic. Roel revealed a victorious smile.
Tok tok tok!
Before they could proceed to the second round, a series of knocking sounded.
Charlotte’s body stiffened up upon hearing the knocks. She instinctively tried to stand up and return to her seat, but to her astonishment, the arm Roel had around her waist wasn’t budging in the least.
“Darling? What are you…”
“Lord Roel, lunch is ready to be…”
While Charotte was still panicking, the maid outside entered upon receiving Roel’s permission. She was immediately faced the sight of the two intimately embracing lovers, which made her blink in shock. Her voice slowly trailed off into silence, and it took a moment before she snapped out of it.
“M-my apologies, Lord Roel and Lord Charlotte! I didn’t mean to interrupt…”
“Don’t worry about it. Begin serving lunch.”
The blushing maid practically fled from the room.
It took her a while to catch a breather. This was exciting news to not just her but all members of the RoelXCharlotte fan club members, who hadn’t seen any progress for many years now. Naturally, the first thing she did was to share the joy about the rekindled flame between the two lovers to their leader, Grace.
Back to the room, Charlotte was on the verge of exploding from embarrassment.
“… Why didn’t you let go? She saw everything!”
“That’s my intention. They should get used to it. There’s bound to be more since I’ll be taking care of you till you recover.”
“B-but… this is so sudden…”
“You were so adorable when you leaped up in shock earlier.”
“… You baddie,” Charlotte grumbled with a pout.
In a rare tantrum, she ignored Roel and returned to her seat. Seeing that, Roel quickly apologized to her, but she wasn’t buying into it at all. Over the course of lunch, she continued to give him the cold shoulders.
Is she really angry?
With a soft sigh, Roel could only carry on with his duties and pray that her anger would subside soon.
It was naptime after lunch.
Charlotte returned to her bedroom and changed into a pair of cute pajamas with laces at its edges. On the other hand, Roel changed into another shirt and long pants.
Looking at the auburn-haired woman who had been ignoring him for half an hour now, Roel solemnly walked up and apologized once more. Charlotte wanted to keep him on tenterhooks for a while longer, but her heart caved in when she saw his guilt-ridden eyes.
“I-I’ll let it slip this time! But if you dare to make fun of me again, even if it’s darling…”
“No, it wasn’t my intention to make fun of you. You were just so adorable that I couldn’t hold it in.”
Those words were spoken with such an earnest expression that Charlotte’s face reddened yet again. Her heart was beating so hard that she was worried that he could hear them loud and clear.
“I-it’s about time. I’m going to sleep!”
Charlotte dived into the blanket as if she was escaping from a monster.
Roel smiled at that sight. He walked to the other side of the bed and slipped into the bed as well. Before he could say a word, he abruptly felt a familiar pang of danger striking at his heart.