< — Ducal couple — > (14)
TN: I love love love this chapter. Going back to old formatting just cuz.
As the words left the Duke’s mouth and he looked at them, the people around quickly flooded out of the receiving room, leaving Hugo and Lucia alone.
There was a brief silence between them as they sat side by side on the sofa. He suddenly realized that this was the first time they had ever been together at this time and in this way.
“Why did you lie?”
“…I did not lie.”
“You are hiding the truth from the doctor, aren’t you? Not saying it is the same thing as lying. Why are you trying so hard to lie when you can’t lie properly?”
‘How did he know?’ It was as though he was reading her mind when he looked at her.
He wrapped one arm around Lucia’s waist and pulled her into his arms then spoke like he could see inside of her.
“Your expression says ‘how did he know?’. You can’t lie, it’s too obvious.”
Lucia simply wanted to escape from this situation. She twisted her body as she pushed away from him and stood up from the sofa.
“…It’s a busy time for you at work yet you were interrupted. I’m sorry to have bothered you.”
He watched the standing Lucia silently for a moment as he remained on the sofa then spoke fiercely.
“Do you blame me for being here?”
“You don’t need to be worried.”
“I won’t get better anyways.”
He caught her wrist, pulling strongly and Lucia couldn’t help but fall into his arms.
She tried to struggle and get up but one of his hands held her arm in one place while the other hand held her chin, forcing their eyes to meet.
“What do you mean by that? Why should I be relieved if you won’t get better?”
“Didn’t I tell you from the start? That I cannot have children.”
Watching her wavering amber eyes, his red eyes also wavered.
Lucia twisted her chin and shook off his hand. His hand which awkwardly hung in the air for a bit, fell down.
She also moved and pulled out her arm which was held in his. Hugo felt bewildered in the face of her rejecting reactions.
“You weren’t interested nor did you ask why.” (Lucia)
“Why are you suddenly curious?”
He had only asked if she could prove it.
After that, he never asked if she truly could not have a child or if somewhere in her body was ill. Lucia thought that he had completely forgotten about it.
That his interest in her was only to that extent.
Therefore, it was pitiful that as the days went on, she could only continue to hope that her heart that was running to him would harden.
“Suddenly, huh. Is it bad for me to be curious?” (Hugo)
“Then I’m grateful.”
“…Don’t say it like that.”
Looking at her appearance as she gave short and icy answers then shut her mouth like she wouldn’t say anymore, his red eyes enlarged and flared up.
She was doing things she’d never done before and it was poking his nerves. He did not want to raise his voice as it was not a big deal anyways so he spoke in an even calmer voice.
“Vivian, do you want to quibble over something of the past?”
Lucia’s chest sank in disappointment.
‘If you call it something of the past then I can’t say anything.’
For him, it was just something of the past. Lucia just quietly shook her head.
“Right now, I am concerned about your body so, explain the exact symptoms to the doctor and get treated.”
His tone was even more affectionate than usual.
Even though she knew that he didn’t really have things like kindness or tender affection, every time she heard his affectionate voice, she would be entranced as though she had heard a love song then would wake up like she had been doused with cold water.
“I don’t want to do that.”
“If I do that, you would be troubled.”
“Why would I be troubled?”
“Because you don’t want me to have children!”
Her voice suddenly grew loud.
For a moment, Hugo could not say anything. It was not that he didn’t want her to have a child but that he did not want to continue his bloodline itself.
And as to whether she could have a child or not, pregnancy was impossible.
But to make her understand that, he would have to tell her about many things that were hidden.
However, he did not want to dig into his memory and talk about those things again. To him, those things weren’t just past events but a chilling nightmare.
Staring at Hugo who went silent, Lucia took his silence as confirmation and tried not to let her emotions get out of control.
“I misspoke. Accurately speaking, you’ve never had any interest.”
It was her intuition as a woman. He never wanted a child from her.
Despite that, his actions were contradictory as he never used any contraception. Lucia was rather bitter in that regard.
He wasn’t even that concerned about it.
She wondered what kind of attitude he would have if she had gotten pregnant by chance.
Whether he would take the child away, have no interest in the child or perhaps turn around and never look for her again.
Whatever choice it was, they were all terrible.
“About having no interest…” (Hugo)
‘Isn’t that you?’ Hugo mumbled inwardly. She had not even once, asked him about Damian. But, no matter how brazen he was, he knew he did not have the right to question her about that. He was married to her because he needed the status. not for her to take care of his son, they didn’t have a contract for that.
“I didn’t know you hoped for me to be interested.”
Lucia’s heart sank down heavily in her chest. Somehow, looking at him, he seemed tired.
Already, from the moment he said that he could see through her lies, she had been full of anxiety.
Her nerves were on edge, thinking that her heart could also be read.
If he were to have an inkling of it and say something cruel like what he had said to Sofia Lawrence at the victory party that day…
‘My heart will burst. It would hurt so much that I’d rather die.’
He was a man that was tender to a woman as long as she kept a reasonable distance.
Just like he’d done for her, how many lovers in the past had he smiled with and given presents to?
It was because of this tenderness that those women, when they were notified of their break up, could not throw away their lingering attachment and clung to him.
‘I don’t want to become one of his past women.’
It would be good to live like this forever. Just like this. A fully materialistic life. A husband that gave her tender smiles and held her passionately every night.
She would not be greedy for more. Her sweaty fists were clenched tightly.
“I…don’t hope for anything. I have not forgotten my contract with you.”