After the Rain (22)
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Aristine slowly opened her eyes, feeling warm.
The wool rug felt soft on her chest where she lay down. And pressed against her bare back was Tarkan’s thick chest.
Her arms were woven with Tarkan’s arms from where she could see. And Tarkan was hugging tightly to himself.
Their overlapping bodies felt hot.
Aristine tried to move away then gave up.
Every inch of her body felt stiff and rattly.
That was only natural.
Aristine’s cheeks flushed red when she remembered last night.
‘I don’t think I’ve done that position in my life…’
Was it because such a thought crossed her mind? It felt as if something was revealing its presence against her body, staying motionless.
‘…No, not as if, it’s actually there.’
Aristine called Tarkan in a disgruntled tone.
Her voice was hoarse. And it wasn’t just because she just woke up from sleep.
Tarkan asked, wrapping his arms around her waist and planting a kiss on her temple.
Seeing him feign ignorance, Aristine turned her head to the side and glared at him.
“I’m serious, no more.”
“You said that so many times last night, but you ended up liking it.”
She had nothing to say to that because it was true.
Aristine stubbornly pursed her lips and spat out, “Well, this time it’s real.”
Tarkan burst out laughing and kissed her shoulder.
He didn’t plan on bothering Aristine anymore either. His desire was still there but this feeling would probably never go away. Even if he filled it up, it was a well that would never get full.
Aristine spun around to face him.
As soon as she stretched her arms, he took her into his embrace.
“So, how do you feel seeing your first love again?” Aristine looked slightly mischievous as she asked.
Tarkan chuckled. “What do you think?”
Aristine blushed as he hugged her deeper. The mischievous look on her face instantly disappeared.
“Wait, we really can’t. I’m so tired. In there, you know…”
“This should show you my feeling about our reunion, right?”
“Okay, I got it…”
At that declaration of surrender, Tarkan smiled and pulled away. He was joking but slight regret remained on his face.
Aristine pursed her lips and pushed his shoulder.
“I have been looking for you for so long.” Tarkan spoke sighingly and hugged her.
Like he was trying to feel that it was Aristine in his arms.
“But you didn’t even recognize me. Remember what you said to me?
His feelings swept over her so Aristine embarrassed and grumbled under her breath.
She was picking on Tarkan’s actions and the words he said to her, not only before their marriage, but also on their first night.
Aristine had unaffected and preferred something straightforward, so she figured a business relationship was better.
However, if it were any other bride, they would have been hurt, even if this was an arranged married. She was merely teasing but a serious shadow was cast over Tarkan’s face.
Bitter regret flashed in his eyes.
Aristine was startled because she didn’t expect such a reaction and she smiled awkwardly.
“Well, my hair and eye color were different, so of course you didn’t recognize me.”
“You’re the same.”
Aristine slowly closed her mouth.
His golden eyes captivated her completely. “You are just the same as back then.”
Obviously, unlike the blonde hair and green eyes she had back then, Aristine now had silver hair and purple eyes.
But she was the same.
Tarkan saw that girl in Aristine many times.
But like an idiot, he denied it every time, claiming that they didn’t look alike at all.
He tried hard to stop paying attention to her, telling himself that she was a strange woman and that was it.
But when he came to his senses, he couldn’t keep his eyes away.
Because it was you.
My foolish eyes didn’t know it was you, but my heart recognized you.
In fact, she felt special from the very moment they met.
Enough to wrap her in the most expensive silk and carry her in his arms because he was worried about the dust on her appearance.
It bothered him so much to see her walk through those thorny gazes with her two small feet, that he held her to his chest and walked in her stead.
He told himself that he was just protecting her because she was now one of his people but that wasn’t true.
If that was the only reason, he would have acted differently.
He dismissed the overlapping traits as nonsense and felt regret towards his past self for only realizing when a situation that resembled the past arose.
She was so close to him, yet he didn’t recognize her and said hurtful words.
Giving her everything and cherishing her wouldn’t be even enough.
Aristine felt like her throat was clogged.
She thought it was a dream. That those days spent on the plains were nothing more than a half-day daydream that she had in a feverish state.
The more she longed for and cherished that dream, the more loneliness and pain stung her heart. Because it was just a fantasy.
Hence, Aristine buried that memory deep down.
She consciously tried to stop it from surfacing.
From that moment on, that memory sank deep and never rose to the surface.
But Tarkan seemed to have lived by reminiscing and longing for those few days that they were together for nearly 10 years.
It broke her heart to think of how lonely he must have been.
“What did you want to do when you met me again?”
“I wanted to ask you for your name.”
At that, Aristine laughed. “My name is Aristine. What’s yours?”
“You can call me Rineh, Khan.”
The moment Aristine said those words, Tarkan’s eyes shook slightly.
And the next moment, he swallowed Aristine’s lips.
Aristine gladly welcomed him and hugged him tighter.
After a long kiss, they pressed their foreheads together.
It was just a pet name but why did it feel so fulfilling?
Tarkan was baffled. But despite the absurdity, a smile was on his lips.
Aristine smiled back at him, then something caught her eye.
There was something strange about the tent ceiling which was dropping to the side.
“Hey, let me ask.”
Aristine studied the ceiling with a face that said, ‘it can’t be.’
“The ceiling of the tent looks a little odd… is it just my imagination? It kind of looks like it’s tilting to one side…”
Her voice trailed off.
The bed had already collapsed.
The camp bed could not withstand all the movement and collapsed.
Tarkan personally proved his words, ‘I have never tried it, but I can break it if I try.’
Things were so hectic yesterday, and Aristine was so swept away, that she just continued what she was doing regardless of whether the bed collapsed.
Furthermore, the floor of the tent was covered with luxurious carpets, and when the bed collapsed, the blankets also spilled onto the floor.
So, they just rolled onto it. Aristine, and of course, Tarkan, didn’t care about the state of the bed; they didn’t even separate for an instant.
In that state, they were too busy longing after each other to care about other things.
On the contrary, they even used what was left of the bed to do a new position…
‘I must have lost my mind.’
Aristine’s eyes widened as she recalled what happened yesterday.
Why did she do that?
She already couldn’t look people in the eye if the bed collapsed, but if the tent broke too…
Aristine’s face sank.
**I went with Khan instead of Kan for Tarkan’s nickname. Khan works better than Kan in translation and my patreon cupcakes seem to prefer Khan haha.
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