A low whisper tickled my ears.
Lakis who had drawn close to me at some point was holding me. His hair which covered his forehead slightly, his straight nose beneath it, and his gracefully curved lips were all transmitted to me very clearly.
His throat had recovered somewhat so he now spoke briefly without writing it down. Of course, there was still some roughness to his voice so the stuff he said was usually limited to situations like this, where he couldn’t use a pen or paper.
Lakis held me with one arm and gently lowered me to the floor.
It felt a little awkward for some reason, but I thanked him first.
Lakis quietly stared at me, then his eyes crinkled as he gave a thin smile. It was an enchanting smile capable of bewitching people. It also gave me a slightly different sense of danger from when I fought him some nights ago.
That feeling soared when Lakis began to tidy up my hair which had gotten a little messed up because of what just happened. Whether it was his eyes looking down at me, his hands slowly moving in my hair, or even his Adam’s apple above his shirt, it felt like they were all leaking pheromones.
Then when I met his eyes for the second time, I suddenly had a thought that didn’t match the situation at all.
‘If he acted like this to Anne-Marie in the novel, wouldn’t the male lead actually be Lakis Avalon…?’
At that thought, I felt a little sorry for the son of a bit…I mean, for the brute Lakis Avalon who didn’t know love in the novel.
Right then, someone called at the door. It was a very rare for someone to come looking for me so early in the morning. But the voice I heard at the door sounded familiar.
Lakis’ eyes seemed to grow cold for a moment when it moved to the entrance. He quickly erased such signs from his face but the look in eyes seemed to be because he was annoyed at being disturbed. However, he soon went back to looking harmless and took a step back.
I immediately walked to the entrance. When I opened the door, the bright morning sunlight poured in.
“Hello, Yuri unni. Good morning.”
Standing at the door, was a girl in a white dress and a cute flower ribbon in her glossy silver hair.
It was Hestia who I last saw at the festival. As expected, her adorable features were just like her elder sister’s. However, Anne-Marie was a little more expressive while Hestia had a calm and mature atmosphere unlike that of a child.
“Hello. I see you got up early, Hestia.”
“When you’re an adult, you naturally lose your morning sleep.”
Even now, Hestia was replying like a grown-up. But obviously, she didn’t know that referring to herself as an adult when she was only 12 years old made her seem more like a child.
But honestly, I didn’t hate this sort of conversation with the little girl.
“Not quite. Not all adults lose their morning sleep.”
“Yeah. Personally, I sleep in when I don’t have to go out.”
“Then I’ll correct myself. I’m an adult without morning sleep so it’s normal for me to be up at this time.”
In the end, I just curled my lips and smiled at her.
“So what brings you here so early?”
“We’re out of eggs at home. May I borrow just two?”
Hestia’s reason for coming was to run an errand for Anne-Marie. This was not the first time.
Unlike me who had regular work hours, Anne-Marie often came home late because of the situation at the clinic. So when she couldn’t do grocery shopping in the evening and there was something missing the next morning, they would come borrow ingredients from me.
It’s not like our relationship was so bad I couldn’t lend them simple eggs. Plus Anne-Marie usually made stuff for me, like the pastry from last time.
So I readily nodded at Hestia.
“Come in and give me a second.”
“I’m right next door though.”
After I said it, I remembered Lakis was inside and paused. However, I couldn’t leave a child out alone in the cold morning air.
“Alright then. Please excuse my intrusion.”
But when I entered the house with Hestia, Lakis was not on the couch. Maybe he went to the bathroom? But either ways, this was good. However, when I entered the kitchen to get eggs, the back view of the man standing ahead caught my attention.
I stopped for a moment.
The sight of the villain holding the pot ladle under the morning sun was something that went together much better than I expected. It didn’t feel out of place at all.
‘So he was still in the kitchen?’
Oddly enough, Lakis was making my familiar little kitchen feel like a sacred place. He wore a white shirt, his blonde hair looked naturally untidy, and his handsome face shone brilliantly under the sunlight.
‘No wait, why is it sparkling like that?’
I thought, slightly puzzled.
Lakis sensed my presence and turned around. Then he explained.
“There was a burning smell.”
“Oh, is that so?”
His physical condition was certainly much better than before, and he didn’t look uncomfortable in the kitchen. When I approached, Lakis shook his head to stop me. Then he slightly pushed me away as if telling me to leave this to him.
So I left the kitchen with eggs, feeling dazed for a moment.
“Thank you, Yuri unni.”
I put the eggs into a small basket so they wouldn’t mistakenly break. Then Hestia bowed deeply to thank me. As I looked at her small head, my mouth opened.
“Hestia, do you want candy?”
Once I asked that, the atmosphere around Hestia changed. But she replied maturely:
“If you eat too much candy, your teeth will decay. Above all, I’m not a kid who likes candy.”
“But, it is bad to refuse someone’s kindness so I will gladly take it if you give me.”
Before I could even finish, Hestia quickly followed up in a clever voice.
Well, I knew this would happen, so I quietly reached into my pocket. Hestia still had a dignified expression like a precocious child, but her eyes were twinkling as she followed my hand.
“Oh. I guess this is all I have today.”
But when Hestia saw my hand the next moment, light faded from her eyes.
Ah, she’s disappointed now.
If Hestia had animal ears like Leo, I wonder if I they would be drooping right now.
“Thank you, Unni.”
Hestia swiftly put her disappointment away and politely took the candy from me. She was really a respectful child. I had no idea if it was because of her parent’s education or Anne-Marie’s education.
“Hm, wait, there’s something else in my pocket.”
I looked at Hestia and pretended to dig through my pocket. Then I held out both hands like I found what was hiding.
“This is your favorite, isn’t it?”
Hestia’s eyes lit up with sparkles again. Honestly, I purposely acted like I didn’t have her favorite candy to see this expression. Although, even I know this was a bad habit. Anne-Marie was definitely a top contender but when Hestia was like this, she also looked exactly like Coco.
“I’ll give you both of them. Have a nice day.”
I said while petting Hestia’s head.
Then Hestia took the candy with her face obviously much brighter than before.
“Have a nice day too, Unni.”
As I watched Hestia leave, I thought I definitely have to buy more of her favorite candy tomorrow.
‘Oh, the kitchen.’
Then I remembered Lakis who I left a while ago and turned around.
* * *
When Yuri entered the kitchen moments later, she found Lakis standing at the table and putting down a cup of water.
Because the scene just looked so natural, she once again paused before stepping into the kitchen.
“You did all this, Mr. Lakis?”
There was already a completed dish on the table. Lakis calmly nodded at her question. Led by his gaze, Yuri unconsciously moved to the table and took a seat.
[Eat before it gets cold.]
Apparently, it was too much for him to talk continuously. Lakis was holding up the paper he had brought in at some point. It seemed he had written down what he wanted to say while Yuri was dealing with Hestia.
Yuri looked over the dish Lakis made.
It was certainly the dish she made halfway through, but it looked like something completely different. What Lakis made looked just like food sold in restaurants.
For now, Yuri did as Lakis said and tasted it. After which she was very surprised.
It was delicious.
Not only that, it was very delicious.
‘Strange. All the ingredients should from my house?’
“Mr. Lakis, you’re good at cooking?”
Because it was something so unexpected, she couldn’t help but be surprised.
“This is delicious.”
At that, Lakis’ eyes curved as he grinned. He looked just like a satisfied cat.