< — Love, Understanding and Family — > (7)
“The family registering process isn’t that complicated so it should be done within a day or two.”
Lucia’s heart fluttered. Damian was really becoming her son. Now that Damian was on the register, he was family now. It wasn’t an adoption but an entry as a biological child so their relationship couldn’t be dissolved.
Even if she divorced her husband, her son in the family register was forever her son. She couldn’t claim custody rights over Damian as she had already handed over those right but whether or not she had those rights would not affect their mother-son relationship.
“He’s my son…”
“That is correct. He’s your son so you can do as you like. Can bully him if you want.”
“…Hah? You are such a bad father.”
Lucia’s eyes widened and she criticized him.
“Are you trying to persuade me to be the evil stepmother now?”
Her choice of words made him laugh.
“Do you have the ability to be hard on him?” (Hugo)
“What do you mean?”(Lucia)
“I mean it’ll be the boy causing you distress instead.”
“Damian will not cause me distress. You still don’t know Damian, he’s such a nice child.”
Hugo chuckled lightly. Even if the boy looked meek and docile, he was of Taran blood. His brother seemed like the kindest person one could ever meet but had enough malice to murder his biological father.
“Plus he’s your son.”
Lucia thought she had mumbled that to herself but when he fixed an odd gaze on her, she realized she had spoken out loud.
“…to whom do you have faith in?” (Hugo)
“…Damian…who is very much…like you.” (Lucia)
He moved closer placing his head close to Lucia’s face. Then he spoke in a subdued tone as though making a threat.
“If he is like me then you should be more careful. Haven’t you heard the rumors about me?”
“…rumors that you drink blood?”
Lucia was flustered. She didn’t mean to say that but the words suddenly escaped from her mouth.
“Ah, erm… I mean…the rumors of you…”
“Say that I drink blood?”
Hugo studied her face as she nodded her head then he turned towards her, took her into his arms and buried his head in her shoulder. Then he began to laugh.
Thanks to Fabian’s constant reports, Hugo knew about all sorts of rumors concerning himself but as for someone telling him directly that he drinks blood? She was the first.
“I know it’s just a rumor.”
Lucia’s face was burning with shame and she gave an excuse.
“It’s not completely a lie. When at war, you have no choice but to take it in sometimes.”
“Were you curious about that?”
“No…maybe a little…but that was a long time ago. I definitely don’t think about that now.”
He just kept on laughing. Lucia was glad he wasn’t offended but she didn’t think her words were that funny. She just couldn’t understand his laughing code.
“What of other rumors?”(Hugo)
“…I don’t know.”(Lucia)
“You are really such a daring woman. What were you thinking asking a blood-drinking monster to marry you?”
Listening to his teasing, Lucia blushed in silence. Since she was the one that misspoke, she couldn’t say anything.
“Is it really okay if I meddle with things concerning Damian?”
“Do as you like.”
“You told me not to last time.”(1)
“When did I?”
“You said, ‘Although it’s nice and cute, don’t go over the line’.”
“Like I said, when did I?”
Lucia blinked, studying his expression which had ‘what in the world are you talking about?’ written all over it. His expression was telling her that he really had never said that before.
Lucia carefully scoured her memory. When she thought about it, he really did not use the expression ‘go over the line’. But he did say something like that.
She had a hunch about something and had been wanting to ask, but now, she finally realized that instead of guessing his thoughts, it would be much better to just ask him outright.
“By any chance…do you hate Damian?” (Lucia)
“I do not.” (Hugo)
Lucia gathered her courage and asked this question very carefully and in return, he answered very readily.
“Then…why did you send Damian to boarding school?”
“I already told you. I couldn’t take care of him so I sent him there.”
“But still, there hasn’t been a precedence of a child being sent to boarding school like that. Moreover, a child that is a duke’s heir.”
“I don’t care what others do.”
“…What you mean is, you determined that to be the best course of action to take.”
Lucia felt as though something had been lifted off her chest. Like she’d been wandering in the dark and her fingers finally grasped onto something.
‘I think…I know about him a little bit more now.’
When you thought about it, whenever Lucia asked, he did not delve into a generous explanation but most of his answers were concise.
“Why did you send Damian to boarding school and not contact him once?”
“A report on what the boy does arrives on my desk every week so I know he’s doing fine.”
It was fascinating. His incomprehensible actions all had a reason behind them and when she asked, he told her everything.
Lucia’s mind was racing. To what extent would he keep answering? Would it be okay to ask slightly more difficult questions?
He lowered his head, biting her neck and she let out a little scream in response.
“Can you stop talking about another man?”
“…What? He’s your son, an eight year old child. He’s not a man!”
“So ruthless. Do you know how much those words have crushed the boy’s pride?”
“…Goodness me. I was too rash.”
Even though Damian was a child, he was a boy. If she were to change positions with the young boy and put herself in his shoes and someone were to tell her, ‘since you’re young, you are definitely not a lady’, her feelings would be hurt.
It was unintentional but she couldn’t help but wonder how much she must’ve hurt Damian’s feelings.
‘Truly this child. He could speak his mind and tell me he didn’t like it.’
When she thought about it, Damian wasn’t the type of child speak up about something like that. Then, could it be that he told Hugo? Since when did their relationship become so close?
“Did Damian say so?”
“How do you know then?”
“If I were in his position, that’s how I’d be.”
Lucia narrowed her eyes at him. But he wasn’t wrong. Since he was a man, he would understand the male mind better. Lucia began to wonder whether she had made any other mistake with Damian. In the meantime, Hugo’s hand kept wandering around.
His sneaky hands fumbled across her waist, while his lips trailed persistent but light kisses from her ear to her neck.
“You should get back to work.”
At the same time, her words came out spoiling his exploration, and his expression crumpled intensely.
“You left due to an urgent matter, didn’t you? And whenever you return from your outings, you get busier.”
Hugo’s expression was full of obvious complaints but Lucia simply took his hands off her waist and stood up. She knew what he wanted but she was exhausted all day due to a number of reasons and had no confidence in handling him right now.
“My head feels a little heavy so I want to take a walk.”
Hugo tries a few more times but was turned down so he eventually headed to his office with unwilling steps. He hadn’t found work enjoyable before but today, he really did not want to work.
He didn’t comfort her in hopes of being rewarded but still it wasn’t right to repay one for one’s services in this way. He continued grumbling till he reached his office.
1) For those curious, Chapter 38 [part 2] was where they had this discussion.
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