Are you a gold-digger? (11)
T/N: Tues chappie but a little late 🙂
Aristine smiled awkwardly and opened her mouth, “Um, g-good morning?”
Aristine quickly lowered her hand. But as she did so, her finger swept over Tarkan’s muscular stomach.
“Uk…” Tarkan groaned through grit teeth then he growled, “Stop right there.”
“Oh, yes. Sorry.”
Losing its destination, Aristine’s hand hovered over Tarkan’s abdominal muscles aimlessly.
Tarkan’s stomach trembled and tensed even more.
“T, Then what should I do?”
Tarkan’s body was so close to hers that she couldn’t move her hand behind her back.
And they were wrapped tightly in a very thick blanket—.
“Hm? Wait, wait a minute.”
Aristine checked her condition with bewilderment.
Right now, she was naked, and she was being hugged by Tarkan, who was also naked, and they were wrapped in this blanket like a crepe.
“W-Why am I lying naked with you? And so close together at that, under one blanket?”
Shock, embarrassment, and absurdity flashed through Aristine’s eyes and after the wave of emotions, it firmly settled on distrust.
“I knew you were a pervert, but I thought you were a pervert with good morals.”
But you take advantage of my deep sleep to do such a thing?!
Aristine criticized him with a cold gaze.
Tarkan’s forehead creased, “Who do you think I did this for?”
Honestly, he was the one who was facing the most difficulty in this situation.
He had been in close contact with Aristine’s soft body for almost half a day and even his fingertips were not spared.
After her body temperature recovered somewhat, Aristine began tossing and turning…
It was only a slight twist of her body but to him, it was torture. He never knew someone could feel so soft, supple and smooth.
As if he wasn’t stimulated already, Aristine started moving her hand to touch his chest. He would be grateful if it was just groping but she even—.
“How can you even call me the pervert?” Tarkan asked, grinding his teeth.
Aristine was taken aback since she knew her crimes but soon became confident.
“If you didn’t do this in the first place, I wouldn’t have touched your chest. Who asked you to hug someone naked?”
“I did that to save you.”
When Tarkan said that, Aristine frowned.
“You had hypothermia, so I had no choice but to hold you.”
He emphasized that it was not of his own will.
‘I had hypothermia?’
At that very moment, she remembered what happened in the bathroom. She used the Monarch’s Sight to find a solution to the pig-iron monopoly, then she heard Tarkan’s voice calling her from outside the bathroom and then—.
Nothing after that.
She blacked out.
“Did I faint?”
‘Was I in there that long?’
She saw the monarch’s sight through her sense of perception, so time passed quickly. But to think a longer time had passed in reality.
‘I was focusing so hard and I finally found something.’
“Now you understand,” Tarkan said and looked at Aristine with confidence, “I did this purely for medical reasons.”
“The pervert here is you.”
Tarkan looked at Aristine with a gaze that said he felt refreshed just saying that.
Aristine felt pricked by that look and pursed her lips, then her eyes narrowed.
“Do you want me to show you what a real pervert looks like?”
Her fingers which were on Tarkan’s abdomen wriggled around. His tight muscles instantly clenched and contract.
“Don’t do it, I’m serious.”
“Why? Didn’t you call me a pervert? A pervert will do what perverts do!”
Aristine giggled and tickled Tarkan’s side.
“I said stop.”
Tarkan grabbed her wrists with one hand.
The blanket that was tightly wrapped around the both of them loosened.
Right. They were naked.
Aristine belated realized what that meant.
She quickly pulled up the blanket and mumbled, “Should we put on clothes first?”
Her face was hot.
* * *
The couple who were making a scene in the middle of the night, sat next to each other on the bed in their night robes.
They both acted fine but sat farther from each other than normal.
Unable to bear the continuing awkward silence, Aristine opened her mouth.
“How long was I asleep?”
“About 10 hours.”
“That’s a lot.”
“You should sleep more.”
That, she couldn’t do. In her current situation, she couldn’t afford to waste time.
She wanted to escape from this tense atmosphere too, so she got up and looked at Tarkan.
“It’s the crack of dawn, right?”
Then even if she went out now, it would be of no use.
Aristine sat back down on the bed.
She wasn’t looking at Tarkan but she couldn’t help but be conscious of him because the bed tilted slightly towards him.
The view of Tarkan’s body that she saw earlier rose into her mind.
His body had tiny scars scattered all over and it was filled with tight muscles. The sensation of her hand stroking his chest remained on her hand.
‘It was very bouncy…no!’
What am I thinking!
Aristine clenched her fist and cleared her throat for no reason.
“I didn’t think I’d collapse in the bath. To think I got hypothermia just because the water got cold…”
“It’s likely more because your body was under strain since you were overworked.”
Aristine tilted her head. Did she work that much?
“Yes, overworked. I heard you must have had a slight fever for the past few days. Didn’t you notice that?”
“Not at all.”
Tarkan looked at Aristine with dissatisfaction, “If you feel sick, say so.”
“No, I wasn’t exactly sick. I did think my head felt a little heavy.”
To Aristine, being sick meant getting burned or feeling so sick that death felt a few steps away. During her time in imprisonment, a minor fever was nothing more than a passing event.
“That’s what being sick is,” Tarkan said firmly.
He placed his large hand against Aristine’s forehead.
“From now on, even if it’s a fingernail bothering you, let me know you’re sick.”
“You’re very kind.”
Aristine laughed but swallowed the later part of her sentence.
‘To someone who bothers you.’
She lowered her head and shook off Tarkan’s hand.
For some reason, the more conscious she was of Tarkan, the more those words from earlier echoed in her mind.
He had never been called kind before. He’d only ever heard it from Aristine one other time, and she was being sarcastic.
This was the first time he’d heard those words being said with sincerity. Then again, this was also the first time he’d felt so anxious when someone was sick.
When he saw Aristine collapse before his eyes, his mind really went blank.
Tarkan was not a cruel master to his subordinates.
But earlier, he almost drew his sword at the court ladies for not taking good care of Aristine.
However, Tarkan was much angrier with himself. He should have noticed Aristine’s condition earlier.
“If your head feels heavy, tell me that. I told you to rely on me.”
“Aren’t I relying on you a lot already?”
Aristine tilted her head. Whether it was the merchant group or the blacksmiths, they were all thanks to his help.
“By calculating everything and repaying every little thing?”
Like she was drawing a line.
“I mean, I’m only trying to make sure you don’t suffer a loss. Would you prefer I wash my hand and eat all the money while using your forge and merchantry?”
I would love that.
How would Aristine react if he said that? He didn’t have to wonder. Because he knew she would give him a confused look and ask, ‘why?’.
“I am your husband,” Tarkan held Aristine’s hand and spoke as if pleading.
“That is true but…”
Aristine held back the words and avoided his gaze.
“Well, you know…we are not really a couple.”
**Bonus 2 is out~! Click next and password has been removed for ch171.