WHERE DREAM AND REALITY MEET (3)
As Bruno was heading down to the first floor, he discovered Evangeline sitting down at the corner of the staircase. The sight of the girl resting her chin on her small hand seemed serious.
He got worried she might still be in a bad mood, so he approached her carefully. When he quietly sat down next to her, Eve turned around slightly and from what he could tell, she seemed okay.
Evangeline glanced at Bruno then she turned back again and sighed deeply, like a tired old man.
Bruno pressed his lips together to stop himself from laughing. The serious look on her face was so cute that he just wanted to hug her.
“Why do you look down? Are you still mad at Damian? Do you want me to scold him for you?”
“No. I’ve made up with big brother Damian.”
“Then what is it?”
“Pretty big brother.”
“I wish I had someone who likes me the most.”
“What? Of course, there’s someone who likes you the most, Eve. Both your parents and Damian, they love you a lot.”
“No, I know that. But Father loves mother the most. And big brother Damian loves mother more.”
Caught off-guard, Bruno couldn’t say anything. And he couldn’t reply that it was not just Evangeline complaining.
The Taran family’s father and son were both in the very tight grasp of the Taran Lady of the House. But it didn’t mean they didn’t love Evangeline. The familial love for Evangeline, and the other form of love for the Duchess were both absolute. Since Bruno could sense this, it was hardly possible that Evangeline couldn’t. On the contrary, because she was a child, she was more sensitive to it.
“Big brother, you like mother more than me too, don’t you?”
Bruno didn’t know what to do. He wondered how best to explain this in a way that wouldn’t hurt Eve’s feelings.
“You can’t compare who like who more when it comes to this. Eve, can you say you like one of your parents more than the other?”
Evangeline was quiet for a while then she muttered.
“…Jude isn’t like that.”
“Jude isn’t like what?”
“Jude said he likes me more. He said he likes me way more than his mom and my mom.”
Bruno lip’s twitched upwards crookedly. That little rascal.
“And so you like Jude?”
Ha, Bruno snorted. And he remembered the affable smile of Jude, the younger brother of his friend, Chris.
‘We shouldn’t underestimate him because he’s a child.’
Didn’t he sneakily ask Eve to marry him? He had thought it was just something an immature little boy said without really knowing what it was, but perhaps the boy’s intention was more cunning than he thought.*
Even if he was Chris’s little brother, Bruno couldn’t leave his precious little sister to be eaten up. Bruno’s fighting spirit burned against Jude.
“Then I will be the one Eve likes the most.”
Bruno smiled meltingly as he watched his sister’s eyes open wide. It was a sweet smile that might have caused the young ladies who were always peeking at him to faint from ecstasy if they saw it.
“Or do you like Jude but not me?”
Evangeline quickly shook her head. Then she grinned softly with rose cheeks.
How cute, Bruno rubbed Evangeline’s small head then he picked up the book next to her and stood up.
“Let’s go upstairs. I’ll read it to you.”
Evangeline took Bruno’s held out hand with excitement.
“But big brother. You’re really so pretty. You’re prettier than Patricia.”
Evangeline was still too young to fall for Bruno’s charming smile. So she expressed her appreciation from the viewpoint of a child. Patricia was a lovely princess doll that Evangeline cherished.
Bruno knew it was a compliment, but he let out a sigh. His complex mood couldn’t really be described as pleasant. He prayed for the day Evangeline would remove the title ‘pretty’ from his name.
* * *
“They say kids only listen when they’re kids.”
Hugo pulled her close and squeezed her shoulders. His large hand gently stroked her back.
“Are you still unhappy? Eve apologized and said she was sorry.”
“I’m not mad at Eve. It’s just…my heart feels lonely. She’s already so big…”
“It’s just a child’s tantrum. Don’t take it so seriously.”
“I guess I’ve only thought of Eve as a young child.”
“She is still young.”
“No. I think she’s grown up. I remember you saying this a while back: Even after raising them up, children will later go out to find their own path.”
Hugo laughed deeply as he listened to his wife’s grumbling. It looks like today, he was fated to appease both mother and daughter.
“I did say that. Let the kids grow. All I need is you.”
Actually, when he said it like that, Lucia was unwilling. Just as she couldn’t imagine a life without him, she couldn’t imagine a life without her children.
“Wow, you won’t say it back, even if it’s just lip service.”
“It’s fine. This is why they say the one who loves more loses.”
“Where in the world is that weird confidence coming from? Did you look into my heart or what?”
“Originally, the lacking side is the side that feels it.”
Lucia was silent for a while then she sat up.
Hugo felt like he could see her rigid expression despite the darkness in the room, so he grabbed her arms and pulled her back into his embrace.
“Why’re getting serious again? Guess I can’t say anything.”
“I love you. I don’t want you thinking that I love the children more than you.”
“I know. It’s just an issue that can’t be helped. You have a definite priority between me and the kids and I know you have a hard time distinguishing it. I have no intention of pushing you to feel exactly like I do. I just don’t want you to worry too much over the children’s issue. Don’t set your sight elsewhere when someone who’s always thinking about you is right next to you.”
“…Your smooth talk is getting better and better.”
Lucia burrowed into his chest. When she lost her mother at a young age, she thought she would never meet someone who would love her unconditionally like her mother did. Sometimes when she felt the overflowing love he had for her, her heart was overwhelmed.
 Not sure how to word this. From my (limited) understanding, he’s saying the side that wants more feels the lack of love?? That’s my best explanation. For anyone that knows KR, this is the raw: [“원래 부족한 쪽이 느끼는 법이야.”] If you have a better wording, please let me know.