You Promised To Divorce Me - Chapter 43
“Can I sit down?” Olivia touched the seat of the sofa embroidered with subtle floral patterns.
“If I say no, would that stop you?”
“Of course not.” She smiled bashfully and sat.
The soft texture felt pleasant against her back, and the irregular crackling sounds from the fireplace were calming.
She smiled. “This place is very cozy and comfortable.”
Lennox observed her peaceful face.
“The scenery is nice, it’s quiet, and the house is just the right size. We should come here more often… wait—” Olivia shot up, looking at the mantel. “Oh my…”
The cute wooden animal carvings lined up above the fireplace caught her eye. A cat with two paws together, a puppy wagging its tail, a rabbit with its ears pricked up… They were delicate and elaborate, the craftsmanship of a master. Each characteristic was expressed so lovingly.
“Cute… Where did you buy them?”
“I made them.”
“What?” Olivia whipped her head around to face Lennox.
“I make them in my free time, so there’s quite a lot.”
“You’re kidding, aren’t you?”
Lennox grinned as she looked back and forth between him and the mantelpieces.
“This is one of your talents?” She ran to him and grabbed one of his hands with both of hers. Olivia touched his knuckles lightly, admiring his long, elegant fingers. “You can make those with this big hand?”
The animals were all dainty, only as tall as his pinky finger was long.
Lennox nodded in affirmation, and she gasped. His lips curled upwards in response to her honest reaction.
It was amazing that it wasn’t unpleasant to him that she expressed her thoughts and feelings without reserve. It felt so natural.
“So cute and pretty.”
“You can have them. I don’t mind.”
“Can I really have them?” Her large green eyes widened. “Such precious things?” she added timidly, though her eyes now glittered with expectation.
Clear and vibrant green, full of life. Like a boatman drawn to a siren’s song, Lennox found himself drawn to her.
His heart ached.
He stepped back reflexively, only a little because Olivia still had his hand.
The ache disappeared instantly, though the sensations lingered.
Olivia, apparently, misunderstood his actions. “You’ve worked so hard on them, so it’s hard to let them go, right? I’m happy just looking at them.”
“No, it’s really alright.” Lennox shook his head.
It was for the best that someone would cherish those things that had been neglected by their creator.
“Are you serious?” she asked carefully
He smiled, and her face was transformed by sudden delight.
“Thank you!” Immediately, her gaze shifted to those little carvings.
Lennox felt a little sorry that their eyes lost contact so soon.
“It seems fair to only take one, but which one should I take? Ugh, they’re all adorable…” Olivia murmured softly, cheeks flushing with excitement and a joyful agony.
He stretched out his arm, enchanted, fingers almost touching her face. Embarrassment struck, though, and Lennox withdrew his hand, eyes uncharacteristically troubled.
What was happening to him? He’d never wanted to touch anyone willingly before, much less unconsciously. There were now more and more exceptions to his rules.
His hands clenched. He felt his nails dig into his own palms. A little painfully.
Lennox tensed at the sudden realization, his composure cracking.
It couldn’t have been real.
He repeated his disbelief to himself even as he stared at his hand as he opened it—the movement unusually slow. As soon as his hand fully opened, a huge wave of shock crashed against him. His eyes shook violently.
“Lennox?” Olivia, who found him just in time, had surprise and intrigue coloring her voice. “You don’t look so good. Is everything alright?”
He finally came to his senses and managed to get his expression back to his usual confident one, if not his mind.
“Are you okay?” Those clear green eyes looked at him with anxiety and tenderness.
They shook his resolve without him knowing it. No, he knew it and he welcomed it.
“It’s nothing,” he said hoarsely.
“I just thought of something briefly. Don’t mind it.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yes, yes, and you don’t need to choose just one. You can take them all; at least they’ll have someone to take care of them now.”
Although she was still worried, Olivia nodded reluctantly.
“You must be tired, so get some rest. The wedding’s tomorrow, so it’s going to be hectic.” Lennox swerved away from the drawing room, too fast for her to catch up to him.
He shut his bedroom door roughly, leaning against it and dropping his pretense of calm. After wiping his face agitatedly, he looked down again at his hand, his perpetually trimmed nails.
It was so pathetic that he hadn’t noticed it earlier.
It was meaningless to ask when it had begun because he knew what exactly it was that was causing this change.
Or rather, who.
The promised savior.
His eyes closed slowly, thick eyelashes trembling lightly.
The time that was lost due to an irreversible sin. The providence that he thought would never come back.
At last, it began to flow again.
Deep into the night, the Kravant villa was silent. Olivia and her little bird were fast asleep.
Lennox, however, was not.
“Your Highness, it’s Nishir.”
“Come on in.”
Nishir had a silver jewelry box in his hand.
Lennox opened the lid and checked its contents. “It’s not bad,” he commented.
His aide swallowed a sigh of relief. The sudden request left all the shadows on high alert. Fortunately, there was something they could work with in the duke’s treasure room. It’d been unused for a long time, but it was in good condition.
When the craftsman, who had been urgently hired, polished it a little, the set of ornaments sparkled as if it had just been made.
“And the temple?”
“The instructions have been delivered. In addition, it is now firmly guarded by our people.”
“Just in case, place shadows appropriately on every street corner.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
The silver box was closed with a click, then placed on the oak desk.
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