Chapter 1 Part 2

****

 

“Mother!”

 

Mariel came running right over with her arms wide open and hugged Rivianna. The daughter, whom Rivianna used to be able to lift easily, was now quite heavy. If the child grew up more, it would be difficult to hug her as she is now.

 

“Mariel, did you have fun today?”

 

Rivianna kissed Mariel’s plump cheek.

 

Mariel started to cackle and put her arms around her mother’s neck.

 

“I picked flowers in the garden with aunt today.”

 

“Flowers?”

 

“Because I want to make a bookmark for your book.”

 

“Bookmarks made of flowers? I’m really looking forward to it.”

 

“You can count on it. I picked only the most beautiful flowers in the garden, and I’ll give them to you when I’m done.”

 

Mariel lifted her chin proudly.

 

Rivianna kissed Mariel on the cheek again and made eye contact with Margaret, who was standing behind Mariel.

 

Margaret was an old friend of Rivianna who had been with her since she was a child, and Margaret had been taking care of Mariel for a few months now. 

 

“Mariel bothered you again today, didn’t she?”

 

Rivianna was busy preparing for a party at the end of the year, and Mariel’s nanny had just returned to her hometown.

 

She was having a hard time leaving Mariel unattended, but she was glad Margaret was there.

 

There were many servants at the mansion, but none of them could be trusted more than her old friend.

 

“Not at all. I’m having fun thanks to Mariel.”

 

“I have been playing well with aunt Margaret, how can I be troublesome!”

 

At Mariel’s voice of discontent, Margaret chuckled.

 

“That’s right. Mariel plays very well.”

 

“Did mother hear that?”

 

“Yes, I did.”

 

Rivianna put Mariel down and fixed her hair.

 

Even though she tied Mariel’s neatly every morning, her tomboyish daughter’s ribbons always got crooked when she was out of her sight.

 

“Mmmm, it’s beautiful.”

 

“I’m pretty even if I don’t do this.”

 

Marial pouted her lips in a cute expression.

 

“But it’s still good to be neat.”

 

“What’s good about being neat?”

 

“You can have your favorite snack today, strawberry cake from Non Bakery.”

 

Rivianna winked at Mariel.

 

A bright smile was already spreading across Mariel’s face at the word ‘cake’.

 

“Have you bought a cake?”

 

“You will eat it, won’t you?”

 

“Of course I will!”

 

Mariel quickly raised her hands and shouted loudly.

 

“Then let’s go wash our hands. We don’t want the cream to melt if we take too long. Hurry up and go wash your hands.”

 

“Okay, that’ll be a big problem! I understand! I’ll go wash my hands right away.”

 

Clink.

 

The moment the child turned around, there was a sound of something falling.

 

Rivianna reflexively turned to look.

 

There was a jewel on the floor.

 

“Mariel. What is this?”

 

Rivianna picked up the jewelry to check it out and found a thin split on the end.

 

What was dropped was  a pair of earrings.

 

“Oh, yes! That’s mother’s!”

 

“Mine?”

 

“I think mother dropped it and I picked it up, but I forgot to tell you.”

 

“This doesn’t belong to mother, though.” (Riv)

 

“No, it’s yours. I saw father had it a long time ago.”

 

Mariel shook her head resolutely.

 

Rivianna looked at the earrings again.

 

But no matter how many times she checked, it was the same.

 

It wasn’t hers.

 

“Did father tell you this belongs to mother’s?” (Riv)

 

“Yes! Father said he would give it to mother as a gift!”

 

Mariel’s answer naturally reminded Rivianna of the face of her husband Bake.

 

Her sweet husband used to give her gifts every now and then, even if it was not their anniversary.

 

He prepared the gifts without her knowing. It was not strange at all if he did.

 

Still, she felt strange.

 

She couldn’t tell why it was, but it bothered her.

 

‘What is it….?’

 

Rivianna touched the strings of the earrings that was wavering on her fingers and suddenly stopped. She finally realized what was bothering her. Her husband knew that she doesn’t wear long earrings.

 

***

 

Rivianna lifted the earrings and stared at it. 

 

Unlike her heart, the earrings were shining brightly.

 

She stared at the earrings and slowly placed it next to her ear.

 

But it was only for a moment, and she shrank reflexively at the sensation that soon grazed her neck.

 

Despite the long time that had passed, the sensation still grazed her neck was atrocious.

 

She could not wear this earrings.

 

This was not hers.

 

She sighed and touched her forehead.

 

The light reflected off the earring, making it even more distracting because it was beautiful and didn’t match her current situation. 

 

That was then…

 

She heard the door open behind her.

 

She quickly shoved the earrings into the dresser drawer and turned around.

 

“You aren’t sleeping yet?” (Bake)

 

“I’ve been waiting for you.” (Riv)

 

“…”

 

“Why?” (Bake)

 

Rivianna reflexively swallowed her dry saliva at her husband’s stare.

 

Nothing serious happened, but her heart was already pounding fast.

 

“Did I do something wrong?” (Bake)

 

“Why? Do you feel guilty?” (Riv)

 

Rivianna tried hard to smile. It was familiar to her to make a plausible face.

 

“No, no. It’s not possible. I was just asking because you look so serious.”

 

Bake approached Rivianna with a smile on his face.

 

The smell of alcohol wafted in the air.

 

“Have you been drinking?” (Riv)

 

“Yes. A little.”(Bake)

 

“….”

 

“I didn’t drink much.”

 

Bake took a step back, looking at Rivianna’s face.

 

Rivianna stared at him.

 

There was more than just the smell of alcohol in the air.

 

She could also smell a fragrance from him, though it was faint.

 

It was the scent of the perfume she personally bought and gave it to him.

 

When she smelled the scent, her pounding heart seemed to calm down.

 

There was a trust between them that had been built up over the years.

 

At least that was what she believed.

 

“Are you mad at me?” (Bake)

 

“No.” (Riv)

 

“I think you’re angry. Is it because I came home late?” (Bake)

 

“It’s not because of you.”

 

“Are you sure?”

 

Bake frowned.

 

He didn’t seem to believe her.

 

Just as she knew him well, he knew her well, too.

 

There was no way she could move on like this.

 

Rivianna struggled and eventually sighed deeply.

 

“It’s your fault, actually.” (Riv)

 

“What’s wrong with me? If there’s something I’ve done wrong, tell me and I’ll fix it right away.”  (Bake)

 

Bake whispered soothingly to Rivianna.

 

The eyes that stared at her were still full of affection.

 

That’s right. This was the kind of man her husband was. He couldn’t have done it.

 

Rivianna took a quick deep breath and quickly opened her mouth.

 

“Do you have a woman?”

Notes

N/A

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