If I Disobey the Duke - Chapter 29
Rewards and Punishments (2)
Lily buried her face between her knees. “What should I do… I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know?” A deep, low voice spoke right in front of her.
It was Vlad.
Lily was so startled that she fell backwards, the bed wobbling.
Immediately, a heavy weight pressed down on her. His familiar body scent hit the tip of her nose.
“Uh, when did you arrive? Vlad… Ah!”
He buried his face in the nape of her neck, inhaling deeply. A warm breath tickled her neck.
Vlad bit her neck lightly enough to not leave teeth marks, then soothed the area with a kiss.
She trembled at his long, persistent caress.
Tristan’s words came to mind.
[Not showing his face… means that he doesn’t trust you yet. He’s just touching you little by little, right?]
At that moment, Vlad’s lips fell from her neck. “It’s been a long time, my wife,” he greeted, excitement coloring his tone.
Lily nodded. “Yes. Have… you been well?”
His fingers stroked the fine hair on her forehead, making her heart pound at the unexpectedly gentle touch.
“Did you manage to train well? Did you incur any injuries…? Do you feel any pain? Maybe a fever, or tiredness…”
“Did you keep thinking like that while you were alone?
Lily nodded slightly.
Vlad’s body pressed down on her with even more weight. His firm chest touched her hand.
There seemed to be no injuries. It felt awkward to imagine him fainting from fatigue or pain, especially when his muscles felt like part of his armor.
Feeling embarrassed and nervous at the body heat that was coming closer and closer, Lily tried twisting away. “Y-you’re heavy.”
He quickly rose. Lily’s body came in contact with the cold air.
His handling of Lillie was not at all rough or abusive.
Rather, he was cautious, as if he was dealing with glass that would break if touched carelessly.
She was gently lifted and placed on a hard thigh.
“My wife has a lot of interesting ideas,”
Lily could almost hear the smile at the end of his sentence. It was an unfamiliar feeling.
Judging from his demeanor so far, he neither loved nor hated her.
I don’t hate it, but why are you being so friendly? Are you happy since you’re back from the expedition?
Anyways, whatever the reason was, it was a relief. He didn’t seem to be offended or upset that she had let guests in.
“How was it with your younger brothers? It’s late, so I’ll have to share my greetings with them tomorrow.”
Lily was startled. While he never showed his face to her, he wanted to meet her brother.
Well, she was used to it. Men often discussed among themselves without bringing women into the conversation.
Lily was simply afraid that he would face them.
It was clear that she would be exposed as a failure.
Lily tilted her head toward his. “I… I have something to ask you.”
Vlad didn’t answer. He seemed to be silently waiting for her to speak.
“Why do you keep covering my eyes?” She felt his body stiffen. Lily unconsciously clasped her hands. Her palms were clammy with cold sweat.
She remembered the first night he cut off her words resolutely.
Her mouth went dry as if she had said something that shouldn’t be mentioned.
Vlad looked quietly at Lily.
The feathery light woman was thinner than ever.
Her delicate fingers twitched nonstop, as if she had used all her courage to tell him that she wanted to see his face.
“Can you tell me? Vlad…”
After a brief silence, he spoke slowly, “It would be better for you not to look.”
Rather than satisfying Lily’s curiosity, it was an answer that only fueled it.
He quirked his brow slightly. She was the kind of woman who would step back once she got an answer, but she was quite persistent today.
Nevertheless, it was a weak stance that would succumb once again if he refused.
The words of Priest Nerva suddenly came to mind.
[The fastest way to grow close to a woman is honesty.]
Vlad turned his gaze away, as if he was not confident to look at her even with her eyes covered. “When you see me, you’ll find this marriage even more terrible than it is now.”
He sounded pained.
Her hands trembled.
Lily had undergone three unwanted marriages, but this one was pretty good compared to the last two.
It didn’t matter to her what her husband looked like.
[Disobey him. Prove that you don’t care what his face looks like with your actions.]
She really wanted to prove that she didn’t care what his face was at all.
Lily raised her hand and slipped off the blindfold.