Ch. 91 Are You Nervous? (1)
Elena finally gave up eavesdropping on their conversation and left. She didn’t feel like she needed to hear anything more.
So far, Carlisle had helped Elena in numerous ways. He assigned Kuhn to her, sent her dresses and jewelry, and stopped the rumors that Helen had spread. She always thought he was a good choice as a marriage partner. But this time, something was different. She really felt like she was really being taken care of as a woman. She had never felt this way, and it was strange to her.
“Oh? Sister, are you back already?”
Mirabelle looked at Elena curiously as she approached her. Elena nodded, the numbness in her mind fading away.
I thought I would get caught if I stayed too long. They didn’t say anything.”
“Yes. Let’s go back now.”
Elena took the lead, and Mirabelle followed behind. She had a strange expression on her face.
“But sister…Why is your face so red?”
Elena quickly raised her hand to touch her cheek.
“Yes. Did something happen?”
Mirabelle was anxious about her sister, but Elena shook her head.
“It’s really nothing. It…it must have been hot.”
It was a cool windy day, but Elena just smiled awkwardly and hastened her steps. Mirabelle followed with a questioning look.
“Something’s strange…ah, wait for me!”
Mirabelle ran to catch up to her sister.
Elena was sitting in her room. She didn’t sleep well the night before Carlisle’s visit, and she was exhausted. She was gathering her thoughts and resting, when suddenly a knock on the door interrupted her. There were so many things to worry about over Carlisle’s visit. She thought something might have happened, so she hurriedly straightened her posture and answered.
The door opened. She thought it would be one of the maids, but to her surprise it was Carlisle who entered. Elena leapt from her seat. She didn’t expect him to have already finished playing chess with Alphord, but even so, he should’ve gone to the drawing room afterwards.
“How did you–”
“They showed me to your room.”
Her mouth opened and she stiffened. Perhaps it was a mischievous maid who sent him. Although they were supposed to be lovers, it was not their true relationship and Elena was a little uncomfortable with his sudden visit. She remembered the conversation she overheard between Carlisle and her father earlier and couldn’t help but feel more awkward than usual.
“Please, come in.”
It was rude to keep Carlisle waiting at the entrance, however, so Elena cautiously allowed him into the room. Carlisle then looked around as he walked in.
“Is this your room?”
“It’s very simple.”
It was a brief compliment, but he wasn’t wrong. It must look frugal for an aristocrat in Carlisle’s eyes.
“But it’s my style.”
Elena looked at him in surprise.
“Maybe because it’s your room. I like it for some reason.”
Carlisle glanced around. Her face felt hot again. To avoid being alone with him, she hurriedly offered an excuse.
“Please have a seat. I’ll get you some tea.”
“No thank you. I’ve already had some with your father.”
Carlisle sat down opposite of her where she stood and stared at her.
“What are you doing? You should sit down too.”
Elena was forced to take her seat. The original plan was to take control of the situation with some tea, but even that had failed.
For a moment there only silence between the two. Carlisle had a knack for making his opponents nervous, but this position was particularly uncomfortable.
“Why are you fidgeting so much?”
“Are you nervous? Because I’m here to meet your family?”
He was exactly right, but that wasn’t the only reason. It was also because of the way Carlisle had been so emotionally open to her father. It was all done by the terms of the contract, of course, but the words remained lodged in Elena’s heart, confusing her. After a moment of hesitation, Elena replied a beat later.
“No, it’s not that–
At her remark Carlisle gave a low chuckle. Then, he leaned his upper body away from the chair towards her. Currently, the two were seated facing each other with a small table between them, but as Carlisle leaned over the presence of the table became meaningless. The two were so close they could touch each other. As Carlisle narrowed the gap between them, Elena reflexively leaned back. He spoke in a low voice.
Elena’s eyes widened. Such a word was reserved for a charming and lovely girl like Mirabelle. Up until now Elena had grown up listening to other people say she was smart or reliable.
“What are you talking about–”
“You look cute when you’re nervous. Do you think I would harm your family? It’s not like they’re against the marriage.”
There was something strange in the meaning of his words, as if he would hurt them if they did. Carlisle’s face was getting nearer.
“Why do you keep coming so close?”
Elena was about to get up when Carlisle narrowed the distance even more. Carlisle gave a small smile at her nervous expression.
“What are you thinking? I’m just trying to remove dust from your hair.”
“Where did you go when I was away? You didn’t have this on your hair before.”
She suddenly remembered that she and Mirabelle went through a narrow alley on the way to Alphord’s study. There was probably a lot of dust because people did not go there often. At that time she was so absorbed that she didn’t check what had gotten on her hair.
“I’ll do it myself.”
Carlisle’s long fingers touched her golden hair. His palm was thick and rough from the battlefield, but his fingers were very long and delicate. The tendons on the back of his hand seemed strangely attractive. Elena stared innocently at the floor, not knowing where to look.
Carlisle brushed away the dust, but paused and looked down at her trembling eyelashes. When Carlisle did not move at all, Elena raised her eyes in curiosity. Their eyes met in midair. Carlisle’s blue irises were right in front of Elena, burning with a mysterious heat.
At that moment, Carlisle’s large hand that was touching her hair slid down to the back of her chair. He bent his arm, and their faces, already so close, drew in even closer.