The Pharmacist Lady's Secret Trading - Chapter 36
“I was going to rest today but received some news about an unsatisfactory state of work. Which is why I made a quick trip to the command center.”
“How have you been feeling? I think your smell has gotten a bit stronger.”
“I’m good. Your perfume has shown its result. Now, let us hurry inside.”
As April grew concerned, Ian ushered her inside the villa. Walking through the dark garden, April was greeted by a brightly lit lamp from the hall inside.
Even though this place had been left empty for a long time, everything seemed to be meticulously arranged.
“This is one of the spacious bedrooms here. Tell me if you want to share a room with me.”
“That doesn’t seem necessary at all.”
She gently placed her hand over his, clutching the door handle.
The door was pushed open to reveal a room a little smaller than Ian’s in his mansion at the Capital. It had smaller windows to beat the cold, and there was another door leading to a private washroom.
“Ian, give me a moment.”
As soon as April closed the door, she made him sit on the bed and scoured through her luggage to take out the items she needed as his benefactor.
The items were as follows: the calendar she made marked with his body temperature, the fountain pen he gave her, and the reagent she reinforced in her lab a week after he left.
“From your temperature, it seems the cycle has gone back to how it used to be. The duration of the cycle was shortened with your condition getting worse, but now it’s back to its original….. ack!”
April was muttering quietly while looking down at the dates when she was pulled by Ian’s strong arms. The notebook fell to the floor in the rush of movements. Ian laid down, casually pressing down April’s hands under his.
“Are you really doing this now? Your condition…..”
“Can’t you just stay like this for a bit?”
Those words calmed her down, whose spirit was burning with a sense of duty. Also, she could no longer express her opinion as a doctor because he looked quite grumpy.
“I’m fine. I told you. Once imprinted, there’s no pain I can’t endure.”
“But you never know.”
“It’s been like this every day regardless since we parted. Every day.”
Her shoulders shrank as his breath tickled her ear. His gruff yet gentle voice was as seductive as ever.
“I could lose my patience any moment.”
“If you set out to explore one thing, you’ll want to explore more, and once you start to like it, you’ll want it twice.”
“I can’t deny that.”
“But I won’t pressure it today. You must be tired from all that journey.”
He sounded regretful. April pulled him in for a deep kiss, gesturing that she also wanted him desperately.
First, her hands cupped his cheeks, while she clashed onto his lips. The rest, she left it to Ian. He gently kissed her, twisting her lips with his own between heavy breaths.
His heart – aching for her, regardless of his fever. Those feelings, delivered to April, sometimes through hot smooches and sometimes by burying her deep in his arms.
The night here proved to be colder than the Capital, so the servants became busy early to warm up the halls with lights. Ian guided April outside.
Unlike Ian’s mansion in the capital city, this Eastern annex was not large, but it had a small building that housed the rooms of the servants. This is why the servants were not seen wandering much in the main building.
“It’s cold outside, but it’s not dark. Come this way first. I want to introduce you to someone.”
The two headed to the dining hall.
There, onlooking the dinner preparations for the evening, was an old gentleman with his white hair on his head combed neatly. He seemed to have a role here similar to Klaus.
When Ian called out to him, he hurried his steps to where Ian and April stood.
“It’s such an honor to meet you.”
The man bowed down, gently greeting April. In return for his politeness, she bowed her head to pay silent tribute.
“This is Rudy Hall. He manages the annex.”
“He’s an uncle to Klaus. The Hall family has been deeply committed to serving our family for generations.”
At first, she did suspect Rudy to be looking strangely similar to somebody she knew, and when Ian stated his name, it only helped her figure out the similarities.
But she wasn’t surprised at meeting someone new. Since it’d been months she had seen Klaus as Ian’s butler.
“I knew that you looked like someone. My name is April. I look forward to your kind cooperation.”
“I hope your stay will be comfortable.”
“All thanks to your perfect presentation, Rudy.”
“I’m flattered, Master.”
Rudy gently bowed his head at Ian’s appraisal.
“Let’s go up, April.”
After April bowed to Rudy again, she climbed up the spiral staircase with Ian leading her to the second floor.
The windows on the walls were small with painting frames at regular intervals to avoid a tight atmosphere.
“Ian, I have a question to ask. This is the territory of the Reykis family, so why does it have a villa?”
“The Reykis family had previously served in the military based in the Capital. This place has been awarded for some military cause.”
“Ah, that’s why it’s managed by an agent.”
“That’s right. They are the most reliable people.”
Upon reaching the second floor, her eyes landed on a picture on the wall in front. It was the largest picture frame she had ever seen in her life.
The woman in the blue dress was sitting on a chair, while the man in white attire was standing next to her. The woman had her hand gently placed over the man’s hand on her shoulder. Both seemed to be around Ian’s age.
“Ian, by any chance…..”
When she pointed to the picture, Ian nodded.
“The previous Marquee couple, my late parents.”
“Ah, I see.”
She stood still and stared into the painting. The man had very similar features to Ian. His dark black hair was combed back and his eyes were golden.
His wife – Ian’s mother – had her voluminous golden hair tied up and adorned with a jeweled crown. One could feel the dignity from their expressions. They looked great together.
“I think it was drawn a while after their wedding. I’ve always seen it hanging here throughout my life.”
Ian’s voice eventually expressed his longing for the past. Perhaps, the past before he was left alone in the family with a fever at a young age.
“The second floor generally belonged to my parents. Their bedroom was over there, and both their studies were side by side on this…….”
He stopped, then turned his eyes to the tightly shut door of the study. Just what kind of memory did he retrieve that made him stutter so abruptly, April wondered.
April put her hand on his shoulder that caused him to grasp it tightly. He turned to her again.
“I’m sorry. This is where my mother came to the end.”
“I understand. It must’ve been the hardest time for you.”
“…….After Father passed away, she used to come here to avoid gazes.”
April knew that feeling. This was because she did the same to be alone.
With the early death of the Marquis, the Marchioness – a widow – must have received unwanted public attention.
For someone who had to endure the sadness of losing her love, it must have felt as large and heavy as the frame.
‘Mother used to say it, too……..’
April recalled vague features of her mother – Elise, who had to be stronger than any woman she knew. To avoid all those who despised her and to those who sought an opportunity to marry her.
“April. Would you like to visit the top floor? We have no library up there, but there is a large window that looks upon beautiful scenery.”
The two climbed up more stairs and walked down the end of the hallway of the top floor.
As Ian said, she could see the dark blue night sky through the large window.
It felt as if someone put up a picture of the sky. She suddenly thought this would be a better ballroom than anywhere else with the perfect lighting. Only for two people.
“Wow, it’s beautiful.”
As April approached the window, her eyes trained on the sky, Ian followed to hug her with careful arms. He snaked his arms around her waist, with his face slightly buried on her nape.
“Do you know, April? Your perfume, it’s good, but it has side effects.”
“Side effects? What side effects? Are you okay, Ian?”
April turned in surprise, widening her eyes at him. It forced Ian to pull back a little.
Ian shook his head to what she feared: some serious side effects to his physical condition.
“The effect is certain, but it made me recall you a lot. It felt like you were right next to me.”
April pushed his chest in embarrassment. When Ian smirked at her flushed expression, she shot him a glare.
But what he said right after melted away April’s anger at once, who wanted to complain that he made her worry.
“I don’t want to be apart from you anymore. I only want to be serious.”