Looking for My Fiancé's Lover - Chapter 3
Nezar was sitting on a sofa in the drawing-room as usual. He was sitting still, reading a book, but as soon as I went inside, he slowly closed the book and looked up.
His dark-chroma red pupils gazed at me through the lens of the glasses. Although it was through a layer of glass, it still felt as if he was staring straight into my soul. Even though I saw his face again after only two days, his harmonious and splendid look suddenly seemed new and distant to me after all these years. He looked at me silently for a moment, then took off his glasses and placed them on the nearby table.
Those stiff eyes, and the tightly shut lips, were uncharacteristically bleak. Did something bad happen? I shut the door then turned to him.
“Oh, hello, Nezar. Have you eaten anything yet?”
There was no response to my greetings.
What? Nezar looked at me with his iconic cold face, just that this time his expression was more gloomy. I did not know why, but I wondered if it was my fault.
I stole a few glances at him, hovering near the door, not daring to approach.
“What are you doing?”
“Huh? Oh, just. I think it’s a little cooler around here…”
“Did you eat something off at lunch? Stop talking nonsense. Come and sit down.”
In seconds, I became a docile dog and threw myself into the seat in front of Nezar. As soon as we faced each other, I imitated Katrina in order not to get caught like at mealtime. In other words, it meant being noisy and annoying.
“What’s going on, Nezar? You don’t usually come here this often! Oh, I know, you came here because you missed me! Right? Right?”
I just went back to being myself two days ago, but I did not know why I already felt so exhausted. I had no idea how I could have been that energetic all the time.
My eyes glistened as I looked at Nezar, but his expression grew darker as if he had just witnessed a more ridiculous scene than ever before. Shuddered, I gently relaxed my forged eager face.
“Kate, I heard you were just reading a book.”
His question reminded me of the peaceful moment I was drinking tea just before I met Rick.
“Oh, that’s right. Rather than reading, to be precise…I was perusing it.”
“Why all of a sudden?”
Immediately, I fell into agony. It seemed like a minor question, but Nezar was not the type to talk about redundant trivial topics when he was in a bad mood.
What should I say? That I have to be a lady to find you a lover? That’s why I started reading?
It was an answer that would hurt Nezar’s pride in every way. I racked my brain to make up the most reasonable answer.
“I want a female friend.”
The atmosphere in the drawing-room fell silent.
During that tension, Nezar’s gaze was fixed on my face as he was observing my expression very closely. His composure was still maintained, but there seemed to be a small glint of doubt in his eyes. So persistent his gaze was that I felt my cheeks tingling.
In the end, I could not withstand it and quickly looked away to evade eye contact before cold sweat broke out. But Nezar’s intense gaze was still pricking on my face.
“Did I mishear? Did the young miss here just say that you want a playmate?”
“Uh, yeah, I only play with my brothers every day, so I don’t know how to get along with girls. That is why I ended up reading some liberal arts books related to tea party etiquette.”
“What’s with the abrupt change of heart? Until a week ago, you said that you did not need friends, you even declared that even if the world collapses you need nothing else but me.”
I clearly remembered saying that to him. Now looking back at it, I could not stress enough how ridiculously naive it sounded. There was so much in the world that I needed besides Nezar!
“Well,…on second thought, I think I need at least a friend or two. During times when you and my brothers are away, aren’t I always alone? It was kind of miserable. Don’t you pity me?”
That’s right, the feeling I had felt was not loneliness but misery.
In retrospect, I always appeared strong, pretended that everything was okay, but at some corner at the back of my mind, there always existed the sensation of shame and humiliation of my position as an outcast, a loner. I wanted to hide that feeling, that was why I clung onto Nezar even harder.
It felt a little awkward to admit my true feelings out of nowhere. But it was cool, I thought I was doing great as a new Katrina!
However, it looked like I was the only one who was cool about it. Even though I had confessed sincerely my innermost thoughts, which I concealed for quite a long time, Nezar’s look was persistently frosty.
“So that is why you are taking an interest in things that you have never paid attention to before? Including practicing embroidery, looking into famous boutiques, and memorising the names of good-looking young masters of nobility? Does that really help you make friends, female friends you say?”
For a moment, I felt like my blood was drained, I could literally sense my face turning pale.
“Whe-where did you hear that from?”
“From Lockherd. These days, every time we meet, he rambles about you, it makes my ears sting.”
Lockherd and Nezar were close friends, both were at the age of nineteen.
Shortly after Eden was chosen as the heir of the family, Lockherd left for the Imperial Academy to become Nezar’s sword — his knight.
That day was the starting point of all the hassles.
My passionate unrequited love for Nezar began when I fell in love with the young boy whom Lockherd brought home with him during his first year at the academy.
Of course, I was not aware that love would last for such a long time, to the point of leading to an engagement pledge.
I inhaled slowly and deeply, ready to flush out my anger. The problem now was not his knowing I had an interest in the handsome young Lords, but it was that Lockherd reported to Nezar every bit of my movements that I wanted to hide!
“Lockherd, you bastard!”
Instinctively, I clenched my fist and hit hard on the table’s surface out of frustration. But soon after, my shoulders stiffened. It did not take that long for me to come around, I hurriedly withdrew my hand.
“Umm, sorry for making you go through all that nonsense. From now on, I will make sure to keep Lockherd in check, or at least I will tell him to behave more mindfully.”
It must have been quite a daunting task to keep listening to stories of the opposite sex whom he had zero interest in. The image of Nezar listening to Lockherd’s story had already emerged vividly in my head. Bored, uninterested, and sleepy.
With his arms crossed, he stroked his chin and opened his mouth in a relaxed manner.
“So the answer to my question?”
“…Question? What question?”
“Is it necessary to memorise the names of good-looking young masters from renowned noble families to have a female friend?”