HAPPILY EVER AFTER(9)
As Damian came down from the carriage, he smiled at the girl running towards him with her golden blonde hair fluttering in the wind. Damian caught his sister as she ran towards him with all her might then he hugged her tightly, lifted her into the air and placed her down.
The sound of the girl’s boisterous laughter spread in the air. Damian’s heart felt full every time he heard his sister’s clear laughter.
“Pretty big brother!”
Evangeline hugged Bruno tight too and greeted him. Evangeline had three big brothers, so she called them in a different way. For Damian, it was simply ‘elder brother’, for Chris, it was ‘Jude’s big brother’, and when Evangeline first saw Bruno, she shouted.
[It’s a pretty big brother!]
And since then, Bruno’s name became pretty big brother. Bruno sighed as he stroked his cute little sister’s head.
“Eve. Can’t you change the way you call me? You can just call me big brother. Or call me by my name rather.”
“Okay, pretty big brother.”
Bruno suspected she was doing this on purpose since she was definitely at an age where she could understand his meaning now. She had a wide smile on her face and her expression was full of mischief. Bruno chuckled as if saying it was his loss.
Selena had run over like Evangeline but couldn’t hug them like Eve did, so she stood some distance away with envy in her eyes. Selena also had elder brothers of similar age like the two in the ducal residence, but there weren’t many chances to come out and greet them.
She felt very envious to see Eve’s elder brother look at Eve with a gaze full of affection, hug her and indulge her. And above all, Eve’s brother, Damian was far cooler and awesome-r than Selena’s older brother. To Selena, he was a prince dreamy beyond words.
“It has been a long time, Princess.”
When Damian greeted her, Selena hesitantly approached them, picked her skirt slightly and returned the greeting.
“It has been a while, Sir. Damian. Lady Eve, I believe it’s time to say my regretful goodbyes.”
“Lady Selena, goodbyes are really regretful. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Damian and Bruno glanced at each other with a strange look in their eyes then they turned away and tried their best not to laugh.
* * *
After watching the carriage leave with the children that came to visit, the three siblings turned around. The fox, Asha, who had at some point, noticed that her owner was home, came to rub her head at Damian’s feet.
Damian picked Asha up and hugged her. She was now quite old, and her movements were not as fast as before. Asha closed her eyes, enjoying the feeling of Damian caressing the back of her neck.
“Ah, right. Elder brother, what is marriage?”
“Marriage is…uh…when a man and a woman come together to make a family. Like mother and father. Father and mother got married and so Eve, you were born.”
“Hmm, I see. So if I marry, my little sibling will be born?”
“That’s not how it wo…wait, Eve. Why are you suddenly curious about this?”
“Jude asked me to marry him. Can I?”
Damian and Bruno shouted at the same time.
* * *
Hugo’s discussion with the king took longer than he expected. After managing to reject the King’s invite to dinner, Hugo returned home later than usual. As soon as he entered the mansion, he approached his wife who came to greet him like usual.
“What of Eve?”(Hugo)
“She’s asleep. She played hide-and-seek with her friends for quite a while so she must be tired. You’re hungry, right?”
He was hungry indeed, but he wasn’t sure which hunger it was. Hugo decided to deal with the urgent one first. He wrapped an arm around her waist, pulled her to his chest and covered her lips as her eyes widened in surprise. He sucked her soft lips and breathed in the sweet air around her. Her scent tickled his nose. His thirst for her could never be satisfied.
When she wriggled hard in his embrace, Hugo was a little unhappy. It was still not enough. He pressed her with a fiery kiss. She smacked his chest and pushed against him with all her strength.
Hugo didn’t removed his firm hand on her waist, but he had no choice but to loosen his embrace and take his lips away. When he saw the angry amber eyes that met his, he found it really cute. He seriously considered just taking her to the bedroom like this.
“What are you doing? The kids are here.”
Lucia whispered through clenched teeth. It was only then that Hugo lifted his gaze and took notice of the two boys who were standing with their heads lowered. When he saw the boys, he remembered what he had asked them to do.
“Did you get the cake?”
Lucia glared at him, prudishly. She couldn’t help but be moved by her husband’s consideration of her. He had asked his son to bring the cake because he felt he would be late. The anger and embarrassment she felt because the children had witnessed that shameful sight, lessened slightly.
“I got it. It was delicious. Thanks, honey.”
Lucia pecked him on the cheek. Just before Hugo could go after her lips again, Lucia covered his lips with her palm and shook her head minutely. Tch, he grumbled inwardly and gave the tactless disturbers a fierce look.
“If you finished the errand I sent you on, then you’re done. You don’t have to report to me.”
“They came out to greet you.”
“Hm? No need. Next time, you don’t need to come out. Since you’ve greeted me, go up.”
The three men usually came back together, but when Damian and Bruno came back first, they would normally come out to greet Hugo with their mother. He was just being unreasonable. Lucia knew he was simply grumpy because their kiss was interrupted.
“Where should they go? The kids haven’t had dinner yet.”
His plan to eat dinner alone with his wife on the second floor fell apart. Hugo frowned.
“Why haven’t you guys eaten yet?”
“Geez, I’m embarrassed to face the kids. Just come here.”
Lucia quickly pulled Hugo’s arm and headed for the dining room. Hugo followed like he was helpless while grumbling.
“Next time, let them eat first.”
The two young men’s expressions were very weird as they watched the two go to the dining hall. They felt both taken aback and in disbelief. The same person who said he would hear the report of the meeting when he got home seemed to have now forgotten about it.
The two looked at each other and burst into laughter.
“Why aren’t you coming in?”
Lucia’s voice calling them could be heard from the dining hall.
“Yes, we’re coming.”
Damian and Bruno replied in a loud voice and walked to the dining hall.
*Evangeline calls Chris, Damian and Bruno the same term, aka ‘Orabeoni’. She attaches something different in front for each though. I wanted some distinction, so I used big brother for Chris and Bruno.