< — The Taran Duke’s Family Doctor — > (3)
TN: Was going to do “a refresh in 5 minutes for real chapter” but maybe next time 🙂
Although Kate was visiting without any prior notice, Lucia greeted her with a light hug and welcomed her in happily. The friendship of the two was just as before.
Despite the gap that existed between them as Duchess and daughter of a vassal, both of their personalities were able to destroy those barriers. With Lucia who didn’t assert her authority as Duchess and Kate who was straightforward and didn’t take advantage of her friendship with the Duchess, they simply treated each other as one person to another.
“Do you feel better now?” (Lucia)
“Yes. I have completely recovered so I came to see you.”. (Kate)
Kate had been stuck at home for nearly a month due to a cold fever.
“I wanted to go see you but…I’m sorry.”
Lucia was unable to go because Hugo completely refused to allow it. Even when she tried to explain that it was just a short visit so she wouldn’t catch a fever in that short amount of time, he acted like he wasn’t hearing anything. Rather, using the reason that there was a outbreak of cold fever, he prohibited outings altogether.
“What are you talking about? You did well in not coming.”
Kate could only fear for future problems if she had mistakenly passed her sickness onto Lucia. She didn’t wish to incur the anger of the Duke.
On the other hand, Kate was itching to tell Lucia about the changes in northern atmosphere these days. Apart from having a tea party twice or thrice a month, the Duchess had no other official activity and had unknowingly became a big shot in the social circles.
However, although she was a leading figure in the circles, she wasn’t in the spotlight.
It was similar to how the Duke of Taran ruled over the north but reigned virtually unseen. Lucia met as many as fifteen people at a time and the small scale tea party alone limited the public’s understanding of her psychology. Her presence was sought at the center of the northern high society more than she could guess.
Kate saw that the northern circles were on the lookout for news on the Duchess and had clamored to her great aunt about informing Lucia but was told off for being too hasty.
Madam Michelle strictly told her that if the Duchess were to hear such words from others before being conscious of her position, it would be difficult for her gauge her surroundings properly.
“His Grace is inspecting the fief?” (Kate)
“Yes. It usually takes around four to five days so he should be back by tomorrow. How is Madam Michelle?” (Lucia)
“Same as usual. The nagging has increased. I’m tired of hearing I should at least resemble half of the Duchess.”
“You know she’s just saying that. One knows how beautiful and charming you are Kate.”
“I think Lucia is much more charming.”
Looking at Lucia’s smile as though thanking her for the lip service, Kate didn’t stress that she really thought so. Even if she did, it would just be laughed off as pleasantries.
Every time she saw Lucia, she always felt oddly charmed. Lucia was not a stunning beauty but the more one looked, the more one’s eyes got drawn to her. It wasn’t a luxurious appearance but she herself was like a scent that drew people in. Like filling an enclosed space with flowers, even after all the flowers are removed, the view remained, resonating in one’s memory.
“The weather has gotten warmer so I was thinking of going fox hunting. Let’s go together.” (Kate)
“Is it okay to do that when you’ve just recovered?” (Lucia)
“Sure, there’s no problem. Although, since you don’t have a fox, you can only watch.”
“The experience alone is enough for me.”
The sound of a horn was heard.
“His Grace must have returned.”
Following those words, Kate began to stand up but was dissuaded by Lucia and sat down again.
“You’re a guest so it’s fine if you’re here. I’ll excuse myself for a bit.”
Lucia left and Kate was all alone in the receiving room so she relaxed comfortably into the sofa. She recalled watching Lucia’s face light up at the sound of the horn and a giggle escaped her mouth. It was an adorable sight.
Did she like her husband that much? While talking to Lucia, Kate often saw her become like a shy maiden when it came to her husband. The rumor that the ducal couple had a pretty good marital relationship was very widespread but people were in doubt as they hadn’t seen it personally.
The people who saw the Duchess tilted their head and carefully said that the Duchess was not that beautiful for the Duke to fall hard. However, Kate didn’t think one could understand Lucia’s charm after just sitting with her for tea one or two times. Kate could fully understand how the Duke fell for Lucia’s charms.
Around when the tea in her cup got lukewarm, the door opened. Kate turned to look and her eyes widened. A largely built, dark-haired man strode into the room, holding the Duchess by the hand and pulling her in. As soon as the Duchess stepped in, he pressed her onto the closed door and began to kiss her.
Unable to even think of turning away from the unexpected situation, Kate stared blankly at the display of affection in front of her. The Duke was conferred his title before Kate made her social debut and during the war, Kate had no chance to see the Duke’s face. After the Duke married and returned to the North some time ago, he had never attended a social gathering, so Kate had never seen the Duke personally.
However, the black-haired man holding and kissing the Duchess could only be the Duke.
‘The ducal couple’s relationship is pretty good?’
The rumor was wrong.
‘I don’t think this counts as just pretty good.’
Kate’s face gradually reddened. It wasn’t a short and refreshing kiss to share the joy of reunion. It was a kiss filled with hot passion and explicit desire to fling off one’s clothes and entangle one’s body with another.
The sofa Kate sat on faced the entrance in a slightly diagonal direction so she could see the face of Lucia leaning on the door. When her eyes widened, her gaze met with Lucia’s and as she watched Lucia’s face turn bright red, her face flushed red too. In spite of herself, a small laugh escaped her lips and she turned away.
Lucia had forgotten about Kate for a moment and after meeting Kate’s gaze, she could only feel intense embarrassment. She knocked on Hugo’s chest as hard as she could and Hugo feeling the fierce rebellion, withdrew his tongue from her mouth. He sucked on her lips, kissed the side of her mouth then moved away.
“Guest…There’s a guest…” (Lucia)
Her amber eyes were filled with embarrassment. Looking at her wet lashes that made it seem like she would tear up, Hugo really wanted to have her on the spot.
‘Can’t we just do it here? I can’t endure till evening.’
He wasn’t able to have her for a few days and his body was going crazy with want. She liked cleanliness so it was rare for her to allow him to have her without washing up and preparing first. She also disliked any location other than the bedroom.
Any attempt to send all the servants away and try it in the hallway or garden was met with rejection. Even when he was working in the office, he didn’t know how many times he’d suppressed to urge to carry her to his table and have his way with her. He certainly wanted to do it someday.
Hugo repeated after her and turned his head sideways to find a woman sitting on the sofa with her head lowered. But there was no change in his expression. His hand holding Lucia’s waist and hugging her remained as it was.
“Lady Milton…” (Lucia)
The famous one.
Hugo walked towards the sofa, his hand still on Lucia’s waist and Kate quickly stood up to give a deep bow.
“Greetings to Your Grace the Duke. I am Kate, daughter of Count Milton.”
“Pleased to meet you, Lady Milton. I seem to have interrupted your refreshments.”
He gave Lucia a light kiss.
“Have a nice time.”
He let go of the waist he’d been holding and left the receiving room. He was like a storm that blew in and disappeared as fast as it came. What was left was up to the people inside.
Lucia couldn’t be as shameless as Hugo and act like nothing had happened. She couldn’t hide her embarrassment and stayed silent, sipping the cold tea. Like that, the two of them sat there, not saying anything for a while.
“You…you were talking about hunting. When is this?” (Lucia)
“In…five days. I hope you can come.”
Their conversation continued clumsily and somewhat out of place.