“I can’t quite grasp what’s going on with you. To think that you’d be so concerned about me.”
“For someone who claims to care about me, you’ve got divorce on your mind.”
“With these lovely lips of yours.”
His voice carried an unmistakable reprimand, and Isabella couldn’t offer any excuses.
The finger that had been stroking her lower lip suddenly slipped into her mouth. Startled by the unexpected intrusion, Isabella pulled her head back, and Richt wrapped his other arm around her waist, pulling her closer. The distance between them grew closer, almost too intimate.
Richt became more surreptitious as he probed the inside of Isabelle’s mouth. After running his fingers over her neat teeth a few times, he playfully pressed her moist tongue. Helplessly held in place, Isabella could keenly feel his fingers.
Before she could finish her sentence, he forcefully pressed his lips against hers. The unspoken words slipped back down her throat. Richt’s hand firmly gripped her cheeks, forcing her mouth open.
His tongue was rougher than usual as it probed inside her mouth. The taste of alcohol lingered in his saliva.
His fleshy mass probed forcefully through her mouth, leaving traces as it teased her molars and palate, poked the inside of her cheeks, and sucked her tongue. The pulling force felt as if he wanted to pull it out from the roots, causing a tingling sensation.
When Richt bit down on her lower lip and nibbled at the inner flesh, Isabelle cried out, unable to contain herself. His movements were hot and intense, lacking consideration. He pressed forcefully, making her gasp for breath and sucking so hard that it hurt.
It wasn’t a kiss where they savored each other. It was more like an animalistic act solely to satisfy his desires, without any emotional connection, no regard for the other’s feelings. It was not intimacy but violation. Yet, Isabella didn’t dislike it, because it was Richt.
After Richt had satisfied his desires for a while, he released her lips and met her gaze. His eyes were sharp, like shards of glass. Isabelle’s chest heaved and her breathing became labored. Richt stared at her until her breathing steadied, then he spoke.
He muttered in a deep, subdued voice, his gaze deep, his cheeks dry, and eyebrows arched. There was a hint of flirtatiousness in the midst of displeasure.
Isabelle couldn’t understand why he would make such an expression. She thought that it may have been because she wounded his pride.
It might be difficult for him to accept the fact that the daughter of the failing county had demanded a divorce from Richt Calitheon, the duke of a noble family, first.
Or perhaps he thinks she’s irresponsibly fleeing without repaying her brother’s debts.
“I’ve always done my best.”
Isabella replied in a low voice. From his perspective, it wasn’t an inaccurate statement. Richt made sure they had everything they needed financially, he’d been loyal to her family, and he’d taken care of their affairs.
Not knowing what to say, Isabella bit her lip. She had to come up with an answer that would convince him without bruising his pride.
“Tell me. Why you suddenly decided to get a divorce.”
“Did you find another man while I was away?”
Isabella shook her head. It was absurd. There was no way.
Another man? Infidelity? In her world, it will always be Richt, now and forever.
A divorce would leave Isabelle alone, but that didn’t mean she had any desire to meet another man. She would probably spend the rest of her life longing for Richt.
He, on the other hand, would most likely remarry a young lady of another family. Diana Calitheon could arrange a new marriage for Richt, connecting him to a house that could provide leverage. Just the thought of him touching, embracing, and holding another woman made her heart ache.
As her mind wandered that far, a tear suddenly slid down her cheek. Isabelle turned away, angry at the feel of them on her cheeks. After proposing divorce, she was now shedding tears at the question of whether she had found another man.
Tomorrow, her husband would leave for the capital, and if that happened, today would be the last moment they’ll spend together. Yet, she showed such a pathetic side. She felt sorry for herself. Desperate to stop the tears, Isabelle steadied her breathing.
“Why are you crying?”
“I’m just…… tired of it.”
Richt spat out a short breath, as if in disbelief. It was an unexpected and unacceptable answer. A harsh rift appeared in his refined face.
“I’m tired. Of you, your family, everything. Every day here feels suffocating, as if I’m slowly withering away.”
“If I had known marriage was like this, I wouldn’t have wanted it. I want to go back to my family. So… just let me go.”
Not knowing what to say, Isabella blurted out her frustrations as best as she could. She couldn’t be honest with him.
How could she tell him that her mother-in-law, Diana Calitheon, had asked her to do this? The lie she’d blurted out settled on her like a huge boulder, crushing her chest.
“Then your tears are because you don’t like that I kissed you?”
“……Yes, and it’s not just the kissing, I don’t feel comfortable looking at you like this.”
Her heart ached as the untrue words pierced her like thorns. Though it was a lie, it was something she would eventually have to say. When Diana came to the conclusion that she was going to set Isabelle aside, it was a foregone conclusion.
“What should I do?”
“Seeing you cry makes me suddenly want to torment you.”
Richt, with his eyebrows raised and smooth lips twisted into a smile that felt eerie, sent chills down her spine. The surrounding air turned chilly. Until now, Isabelle hadn’t understood what he was planning to do.
Suddenly, Richt pulled up the hem of her dress. Startled, Isabelle grabbed his forearm to stop him, but he was uncharacteristically stubborn.
“What are you doing?”
“What married people do.”
Isabella’s pupils dilated, and her pale cheeks trembled ever so slightly.
“Why are you surprised?”
“We’re still a married couple.”
The hand that had briefly stroked her lower belly quickly slipped up her thin chemise and slipped inside.
“Don’t do this, honey.”