Chapter 4

“But the guy you picked and chose is a fucking cobbler. You call this letter, the one that will bring you down, so important.”


“Admit it already. You’re seeing that shoemaker apprentice as my replacement.”

It was the first time Belviana had ever heard him utter such crude words; the Aiden of her memory was more aristocratic than most, and it was this demeanor of his, coupled with his lack of parentage, that had contributed to his acceptance as the ‘hidden illegitimate child’ of a powerful family. It was a strange thing, indeed, that such a lowly man could be so dignified in his demeanor. Belviana twisted her arm in his grasp.

“Wait, that hurts……. And I don’t know what you’re talking about, why would I see Liam as a replacement for you, he’s completely different from you……. Don’t smile like that. He’s never even been this forceful with me, and worst of all, he doesn’t look at me with those…… eyes, like you do.”

“Oh, really?”

Aiden repeated, amused. His golden eyes glowed like a beast in the darkness. Belviana spoke defiantly.

“Aiden, let go of me. I don’t like what you’re doing to me right now, and I am getting upset.”

“Do you want me to tell you with what eyes that son of a bitch is looking at you with?”

He grabbed both of her wrists and pinned her up against the wall. With his free hand, he yanked her chemise down roughly, as if to tear it off. Belviana struggled, startled, but his carefully calculated force, though not painful, gave her no chance to escape. Aiden yanked a little more of the tattered fabric from near her shoulders. He chuckled, and slowly brushed his fingers over the lingering redness at the nape of her white neck. He said coldly,

“Very chaste, my lady.”

Belviana wanted to bite her tongue in shame. A few days earlier, just before she and Liam had parted, he had buried his face in the nape of her neck. It had stung a little, but it was a bond not unlike a kiss on the forehead, and now Aiden was treating her like she was a woman who sold herself, that he was doing it in such a lowly way…….

“I have an idea.”

He’d been staring at the nape of her neck for a while, and suddenly he spoke. His graceful face was as cold as ever.

“You’re not even aware of your own feelings, and you chose him over me, even if you are cute in that stupid, naive way.”


“I’ll keep my mouth shut about your flimsy escape plan for now.”

Belviana looked up in delight, but her fair eyes narrowed at Aiden’s next words.

“Instead, I want you to come to my room for thirty minutes every day starting tomorrow night. If in a month you’re still under the illusion that you love him, then so be it. Do as you please, leave him or become a duchess.”

“What the hell are you going to do, at that hour?”

She’s going to be eaten, she thought as he ferociously pressed his lips to her collarbone. Where Liam had touched, he sucked, relentlessly. He clenched his teeth and licked, desperate to carve his mark. It was hot, wet, aching. It felt completely different from Liam’s softness. More wet, slimy, and…….

Belviana shuddered and moaned. Aiden tugged her chemise down a little further, then slid his lips along her ample breastbone. His breath was hot over her sensitive skin. He lifted the hem of her skirt and pulled one thigh up. His knee dug between her legs, squeezing her pussy. He rubbed it slowly against her gaping, squeezing vagina. She swallowed sharply.

Soon she couldn’t think at all as he bit down painfully on her nipple, which stood out hard through her clothes. He ran the tip of his tongue over the sensitive peak. Soon the sound of deep licking and sucking echoed in the silent room, and all she could do was push against Aiden’s shoulder and gasp for air. Aiden looked down at the disheveled mess that she is and smiled with satisfaction.

“I’m going to do this until your pretty mouth begs me to fuck you like crazy.”


“If you didn’t like this, you could have at least not picked a fucking cheater.”

He leisurely jammed the letter into Belviana’s shoulder. The word Liam on the envelope seemed to mock her. As soon as she was out of his grasp, she gathered up her torn clothes. Aiden laughed at her as she shivered like prey before a beast.

“Wise of you to keep your clothes on, lest your lover discover evidence of your infidelity, don’t you think?”

Belviana gritted her teeth. She doesn’t know what he thinks of her now, but she’s sure she must look pretty funny in his eyes. Belviana glanced down coldly at the trail of Aiden’s marks between her breasts. She spat out the last of her venom with a grimace.

“Thirty minutes? You think that’s enough?”

Aiden grabbed her wrist and pulled it up. He laughed low, pressing his lips to its soft inner part once more.

“Any longer and you’ll run away, any less than that and I’ll feel sorry. That’s good enough for me.”


“Anyway, you’ll end up begging me for more later on.”

* * *

Belviana finished her evening prayers and returned to her room, closing the door firmly behind her. She doesn’t even know where the hell the day went. By the end of it, she was so conscious of Aiden that she could barely focus on her food, let alone the conversation, at the dinner table. It wasn’t until she collapsed onto the couch that she realized her hands were shaking slightly.

If she let her guard down, memories of yesterday would flood back: his frosty eyes, his hot breath on the nape of her neck, his lanky frame casting shadows overhead……. The strangest thing of all was how her body reacted to it all.

She shook herself out of her thoughts and pulled out all the travel agent catalogs she had hidden among the thick stacks of her major books. Dozens of notes had been scribbled on each page, thanks to the sleepless nights she’d spent poring over them. The only hope she had left was this. To find a way to disappear right now, but no matter how hard she searched, she couldn’t find a ship, or a reliable way to get word to Liam.

With trembling hands, she turned to the last page of the last catalog, and a deep sense of helplessness washed over her. There wasn’t a single option other than a train ticket to Millton in a month’s time. The rest was a stopgap. Oljo, Dexen, Warnerton……. Those were the only three trains a week for now, and Lester had influence in all those towns. There was no way she could get past the gatekeepers, even if she could outrun the guards, for she was very strictly forbidden to go out, except to the cathedral for dawn prayers at hunting festivals and on the eve of wedding.

Climbing over the wall would be one way, but it would be too much for her to do alone. She would inevitably need another helper, and there was very, very little time left to find one. It was hard to find someone she could trust, and if Aiden were to run his mouth at her father in the meantime……. It wouldn’t take long for all her plans to go awry.

The ticking of the second hand pierced her like a needle. Velviana was so engrossed that she didn’t even hear the door open. So she was completely taken aback when she suddenly felt a knock on her door.

“Oh my, miss. Why did you lock the door?”

Her bedroom maid’s eyes widened at the sight of Belviana’s pale face. Belviana stammered, clutching the catalogs she’d opened in surprise.

“W, what happened? How did you open the door?”

“You didn’t answer when I knocked, so I went to……. I got a key from the maid, and I’m here for your veil for the wedding, so you can have one last look at it before you go to bed. You said earlier that you wanted some more dillo flowers embroidered on the veil, and a little less length.”

“That’s right. Look at me. I …….”

Belviana turned to face the maid and took out her thread and needle, but in her distraction, she hadn’t gotten the stitches in yet, and she was pricked five or six times. The maid watched anxiously, then tucked her veil behind her back as the bell rang to signal the end of the evening.

“You may rest for the day. I’ll embroider as many dilloas as you want. Are you cold? You’re shivering a bit, shall I bring you some warmed milk with some cinnamon?”

“I’m fine, thank you for your concern.”

Belviana replied calmly. When she was sure the maid was gone, Belviana reached into her drawer and pulled out the letter. Yesterday had been so uneventful that she hadn’t even bothered to check the letter. She deftly tore open the envelope with a letter knife. Her heart sank a little more miserably when she saw the train ticket enclosed. She opened the letter carefully. As if hurrying would blow away all the fragrance it contained.

In Liam’s clumsy handwriting, he wrote that he was leaving town for a while to find a place to settle down. That he missed her so much, that he loved her so much. She tried not to cry, but a couple of tears slid down her cheeks. Belviana pressed the letter to her chest. Her resolve, which had been unshakable all day, was now firm.

Their escape must be as close to complete disappearance as possible.

They must not be seen by anyone in the manor, and if they are, they must be silenced by any means necessary. If their tails were to be trodden, Liam would surely die at the hands of the Count. Belviana knew all too well the power and wealth of her family.

It was only a month.

Once she endures this, Liam will come to fetch her. ‘Spare me’. She had no intention of even uttering such vulgar words. No matter how terrible it is, it will end with a little mockery of her body. Belviana drew a cross sign and rose from her seat decisively.

Aiden had asked her to come to his room, but she didn’t know where it was. But even if she didn’t, she knew that lately he’d been helping his father with his paperwork in the study. The Count of Lester had recently said publicly that Aiden was unusually bright and that he intended to sponsor him to study at law school in Cambridge1Original was 케인브리즈.

Aiden had always loved books, even as a child. The Count of Lester was generous with his servants’ reading, allowing them to read any book as long as they kept a loan book. As a child, she would often sit by Aiden’s side, looking over his shoulder to watch him read. Then, when she would fall asleep, he would pick her up and carry her to her bedroom with a sigh.

Belviana pushed open the door to her study, trying to ignore the memories that kept coming back. Aiden was really there. In the same place they’d laughed and talked ten years ago.

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