WHERE DREAM AND REALITY MEET (1)
The brooch Lucia planned to give Hugo as a birthday present took much longer than she expected to be completed. The craftsman who sketched the design was injured in a sudden accident and had to stop working for a while.
The jeweler sent a letter explaining the situation and stated that they could hand over the design to another craftsman if it was needed urgently.
Lucia considered it for a while, but for some reason, she didn’t want to have another craftsman in charge of making it. So she decided to leave the design to the original craftsman even if she had to wait longer.
Just when she had almost forgotten about it, the completed brooch was delivered to the mansion.
Lucia placed the brooch wrapped in luxurious velvet on the table and press her hand on her turbulent heart to regulate her breathing. Then she carefully picked it up, like it was a very precious treasure, and brought it closer to her face.
‘I’m right. It’s the same.’
Lucia didn’t make any other further requests of the craftsman nor did she ask the craftsman to add anything at all. She only left it to the craftsman and waited. In other words, the brooch was completely the craftsman’s creative work.
Despite that, it looked exactly like the item that Lucia kept for many years in her dream. No matter how she looked at it, even when she closed her eyes to remember, it looked the same. As she stared at the item in her hand, she felt like she was going back and forth between dream and reality.
‘Was this originally his…?’
If that was the case, then she really had no idea how his thing found its way into her jewelry box.
Lucia didn’t have any relationship with him in her dream. She had really never touched his collar even once. And as for him, he probably didn’t even remember that someone like her existed. In her dream, he was someone completely out of her reach.
Jerome carefully approached her as she was lost in thought.
“Milady. The two young masters are back.”
“Only the kids are back?”
Lucia wrapped the brooch in velvet again and put it in the box.
“Yes. I only saw the two of them come down from the carriage.”
“He didn’t say he would be returning late today…”
Lucia gave the box to her maid and told the maid to take it to her bedroom, then she left the receiving room.
* * *
Damian entered the mansion and a smile bloomed on his face as he watched the girl who was rushing down from the second floor. He was ready to hug his sister, running to him with her dazzling golden hair fluttering behind her. Damian opened his arms, but his sister betrayed his expectations.
Evangeline came to a stop just a few steps away from Damian and screamed at him.
“Elder brother, did you stop Jude from coming?!”
Evangeline’s pearly cheeks were flushed red. Her expression wasn’t that a cute sister joyfully greeting her returning brother but of fury and indignation.
The unfamiliar look on his younger sister’s face made Damian pause and he couldn’t say anything. Because he was so taken aback, he didn’t even really hear what Evangeline said.
“I heard elder brother stopped Jude from coming here! Did you really do that?”
Seeing the raging figure of the girl before him, Damian searched his mind for why his sister was angry.
Jude. He felt the boy was now much older, so it wasn’t right to keep allowing them to behave so familiar, which is why he advised his parents to restrict the boy’s access. His father agreed with him on that and when his father chose to do something, his mother usually respected his father’s will.
Damian didn’t personally block Jude’s visits, but it was true he played a decisive role in making it happen.
“…Yeah. I told father he should.”
Despite her anger, Evangeline wanted to believe that her brother wouldn’t do such a thing but hearing this, her expression frozen with shock.
“Why? Why can’t I play with Jude?”
“Eve. You and Jude aren’t children anymore, you cannot keep playing together forever.”
“Why aren’t you allowing my friend to come to our house? I’ve never told any of your friends not to come here. I like big brother Chris and big brother Bruno too, but why does elder brother hate Jude?”
Even though Evangeline finally called his name properly, Bruno unfortunately couldn’t be happy about it because of the current situation. As he watched the thunderous war-like atmosphere between the two brother and sister, Bruno slowly stepped backwards. He didn’t want to be caught up in it for no reason. He certainly didn’t want to be tied to Damian and draw Evangeline’s hate.
“It’s not because I hate Jude, Eve. There’s a reason why this was necessary. If you just get angry like this, we can’t really talk properly.”
“I won’t talk! I hate you!”
A firm voice cut off the girl’s angry cries. Evangeline turned her head with a start. Her lips trembled when she saw her mother not smiling at all. Whenever her mother scolded her, she always called her Evangeline instead of Eve.
“What is this rude behavior towards your brother?”
Lucia had raised Evangeline relatively freely. She didn’t enforce formal attire like it was commonly done for noble young misses, nor did she make her practice covering her mouth modestly when she laughed.
Instead of that, she thoroughly enforced education in etiquette and manners. Her daughter’s act of screaming and throwing a tantrum at her older brother, who was much older than her, in front of the servants, was something completely against Lucia’s education philosophy.
“Apologize to your brother and go to your room.”
Evangeline bit her lips and lowered her head. Her mother usually didn’t get angry but when she was scolding someone, she was strict. Most of the time when Evangeline was scolded, she admitted her fault. But not this time. What her elder brother did was far more wrong than rude behavior towards him.
Lucia frowned, seeing that her daughter was stubbornly insisting on keeping her mouth shut.
When Lucia said ‘Evangeline’ one more time, with anger seeping into her voice, Evangeline abruptly lifted her head.
“I’m not at fault. Why are you only like this to me, Mother?”
Lucia was really caught off-guard by her daughter’s reply. She suddenly couldn’t think of anything to say and just stared at her daughter.
Damian cut in with a fixed expression. Damian didn’t care if his sister yelled at him or anything, but he couldn’t just watch her act rude to their mother.
“How can you talk to Mother like that?”
Attacked from both sides, Evangeline had nowhere to escape. Tears began to fill the girl’s amber eyes.
Bruno’s hand subconsciously moved, wanting to wipe the child’s tears, then he quietly brought it down. Even though they were staying together as a family, his fundamental circumstances didn’t allow him to cross the family border. So he had no choice but to simply watch a situation like today’s unfold.
Evangeline’s shoulders heaved as she began to cry. She shut her mouth, as if showing her stubbornness while tears fell from her eyes.
Although Lucia was taken aback by her daughter’s defiance, she felt sad to watch her sob her heart out. But even if that was the case, she couldn’t just let this behavior pass over like this.
Damian sighed heavily as he alternated gazes between his troubled mother and the crying Evangeline. Normally, Damian was the one hugging and appeasing Evangeline, but right now, he couldn’t do anything.
‘I should have talked to Evangeline first and made sure she fully understood before talking to my parents.’
Damian chided himself for his actions that ultimately hurt Evangeline.
Evangeline was crying while Lucia and Damian were helplessly trying to figure out how to solve this situation. A servant hesitated upon sensing the mood in the air but eventually relayed the news.
When she saw that her husband had returned, Lucia felt it was actually good timing. She couldn’t retreat first in this scenario and she didn’t want to hurt her daughter by pushing her even more.