“I’m at a construction site today.”
“Construction site? Are you crazy?!”
Doing hard labor with a woman’s body. Alec unknowingly raised his voice. It’s a very slim chance, but what if that woman got pregnant with my child?
While Alec was jumping around, Lauren remained calm.
“It’s a good fit for me, and it’s rewarding work.”
“Ha! Do you know what kind of accidents can happen doing such dangerous work?”
Even normal human men found it difficult, and construction sites were a place where even supernatural beings could get hurt.
Decisively, the construction site was not a place for men to fool around. As soon as Alec imagined Lauren in the midst of men, he felt boiling anger inside. It was probably because of his damn imprint that he was feeling such an unnecessary emotion.
But he didn’t want her to know how he felt.
“I’m a proud wolf. I’m as strong as most men. I even got praised by the boss last week.”
Lauren tapped her chest with a proud face.
“Don’t do that.”
“I said don’t do that work.”
“What does it have to do with you whether I work or not?”
“What does it have to do with me? Ha, what does it have to do with me? Did you just ask me that?”
Astonished, Alec glanced at Sasha. It was a gesture that meant did you hear what she said, but Sasha also didn’t understand Alec’s reaction.
Alec, who couldn’t find a reason in the end, just repeated a frustrated sigh. Sasha, who had been watching the situation quietly, handed Alec a half-empty cup of honey tea.
“Did you not sleep well last night and are low on energy, Alec? Do you want to drink this?”
“Who didn’t sleep well.”
“You. You almost stayed up all night.”
“I didn’t stay up. I slept deeply. And I don’t drink that kind of honey tea.”
Alec didn’t want to show that he was troubled by Lauren, so he immediately refused Sasha’s offer of kindness as he observed the sticky mark of Sasha’s lips on the coffee mug.
Lauren hesitated for a moment before returning to the kitchen.
Alec didn’t touch the meal he had ordered. He pushed aside the teacup, picked up a mug, and drank only strong coffee before tidying up the table.
Sasha, who had finished her meal, checked the bill and laughed loudly.
“Look at this, Alec.”
“We only spent 34 sillons and 9 cents. It’s an amazing coincidence.”
Alec checked the bill with arrogance.
34 sillons and 9 cents. He quickly recalculated, but there were no errors.
This couldn’t be my worth.
Alec reflexively looked at the table. The empty plates that held six pieces of bread and two cups of tea seemed to be mocking him.
He had no intention of paying such a price. If he did, it would mean that he admitted that his value for one night was only this much.
Alec tried to leave the tea shop without paying, but Lauren ran out of the kitchen and blocked his way.
“You’re leaving without paying?”
“The tea is ridiculously expensive.”
Lauren couldn’t understand. The man who had paid generously for tea and an umbrella not too long ago was now making a fuss over a smaller amount.
“A few pieces of bread and a few sips of coffee cost the same as what I dedicated for you last night. Isn’t that a rip-off unless it’s charity?”
“Charity? What are you talking about now…!”
Lauren’s face turned red, and she quickly looked around. It was fortunate that there were no customers. If there were, she would have said something like ‘the only thing I dedicated was to the kingdom’ like a retired soldier.
Watching her closely, Alec stared at her lips for a few seconds before clicking his tongue. He took out a few coins from his pocket and pressed them into Lauren’s hand.
“This is for payment. No need to give me change. Do you want to use the remaining money to buy something delicious?”
“How much is it…”
Maybe he give her silver coins.
Lauren tried to open her fist, but Alec wrapped his hand around hers tightly, so she couldn’t check.
“After work, come to the carriage parked over there. I have something important to tell you.”
Alec tapped Lauren’s fist that was holding the coins and left the shop.
Lauren watched his back quietly and then opened her hand that was holding five coins that added up to 9 cents.
She was still short on money.
* * *
In the afternoon, Lauren cleaned up the tea shop and walked over to the luxury carriage nearby, knocking on the window.
“Finally, you’re here, Lady.”
Sasha, who was in the carriage, opened the door as if she had been waiting for a long time. Alec, who was sitting across from her, arrogantly crossed his legs and looked out the opposite window.
“Have you been waiting for me until I closed the tea shop?”
She asked Sasha wearily, but the answer came from Alec.
“Do I seem so free that I’d wait for you all day?”
Alec grumbled, emphasizing how precious every minute of his time was. Nevertheless, he continued to stare out the opposite window. His golden eyes briefly met Lauren’s reflection in the window before losing focus again.
Lauren couldn’t help but chuckle at Alec’s behavior. After all, he been in this carriage motionless all morning, so he should have had plenty of free time.
‘No, it’s better not to ask any more questions. The snake people are naturally sensitive.’
Lauren decided to let go of the 9 cents incident. She knew that a broad-minded wolf had to make a concession to a sly snake.
Lauren sighed and took Sasha’s seat. She had to sit this way to talk to this dine and dasher1무전취식 means ordering food at a place such as a restaurant, eating it, and then running away without paying.
Alec frowned when he saw Lauren sitting so close to Sasha.
“You two seem pretty close.”
“Really? It seems like we might become good friends, Lady.”
Sasha, who had no sense of boundaries, extended her hand seeming to ask for a handshake. Lauren ignored Sasha’s hand and showed a formal smile before looking at the dine and dasher with a serious face.
“Stop sulking and tell me your business.”
“Me sulking? Really?”
Alec burst out laughing. He couldn’t believe that Alexander Zencaser was being treated like this.
Alec squeezed the backrest he’d been resting his arms on. At the sound of the creaking wood, Sasha, who was startled, moved to the other side of the seat, saying “You two should spend some quality time together.” The carriage door closed with a thud, and the carriage slowly began to move.
Lauren looked at Alec’s hand with bulging veins and spoke up.
“Why are you ruining an innocent chair.”
“I imprinted on you.”
Alec ignored Lauren’s nagging and went straight to the point. Lauren’s long eyelashes fluttered quickly.
“What did you just say…?”
“I said I imprinted on you that day. Me.”
Damn it. Alec swept his hair up and down with his hand gestures.
The white-faced Lauren rolled her eyes.
“Why?! Why did you imprint me?”
Imprinting was an act of making a mate. It was something that needed to be decided very carefully and cautiously, yet he imprinted her after just one night? Lauren was dumbfounded by the behavior of a virgin who had never held a woman’s hand before.
“I don’t know either… it just happened like that. Damn it.”
Alec turned and turned his words. It was not easy to confess honestly that he was enjoying it so much that he lost his mind, and when he came to, he found himself blocking her stomach and channeling his magic power.
Then Lauren’s expression darkened even more.
“I see. I didn’t know you were such a naïve boy. It’s my fault.”
“Naïve… what did you say?”
Alec narrowed his eyes in surprise at the expression he had never heard before.
“Didn’t you make a woman you spent one night with your mate? I didn’t know you were such a naive guy despite your appearance.”
What should she do? She had seduced a young and innocent male. The guilt of becoming a bad woman weighed heavily on Lauren’s heart.
“My appearance is not naive, is it? No. Forget it, forget it.”
Alec snorted at Lauren’s coldness.
‘What’s so good about this kind of woman!’
Alec roughly shook his head and looked up at the ceiling. But that was only for a moment. His raised eyes couldn’t resist and glanced at Lauren.
Her dull gray hair and lightly colored irises were clearly normal. She didn’t move with the seductive grace of a dancer, nor did she have the voice of a singer who could mesmerize you with a single phrase.
But Alec was excited. Just being alone with Lauren in this small space was enough.
‘Damn it, don’t you have any pride?’
He hated himself for feeling like he would go crazy every time she exhaled.
‘Yeah. It’s all because of the damn imprinting.’
Alec clenched his fist. No wonder it was so hard to face her in such a small, confined space.
‘I should undo the imprinting as soon as possible..’
He made up his mind once again.
“Remove the imprint.”
The proposal he had decided on came out of her mouth first.
“Did you intend to take me as your mate when you first saw me?”
“Well, not exactly.”
Alec briefly turned his gaze away. It was as the woman said. He had imprinted her more out of a one-night stand than a desire for a mate.
Some might say that meeting a woman who could be imprinted was lucky in itself, but Alec was a man who was far removed from love or companionship. The reason he created this situation in the first place was to remove the imprint as soon as possible.
But as soon as the words to remove the imprint came out of the wolf’s mouth, an inexplicable sense of discomfort settled heavily. Unintentional silence lingered bitterly in his mouth.
“I understand that different races have different ways of releasing the imprint. How do the snake people do it?”
In the case of wolves, the branding was released only when the other party died. If snakes were the same, it would be a headache. Lauren clasped her hands together and waited for Alec’s answer.
“First of all, I’m not a snake…”
Alec tried to correct himself, but he nodded with a chuckle.
“No, you’re a snake. A snake that burrows into the ground.”
With a soft click, a sleek lid opened, and Alec took out one of the fine cigarettes lined up side by side, placing it to his lips.
- 1무전취식 means ordering food at a place such as a restaurant, eating it, and then running away without paying