Thanks to Kelps (2/2) for the support!
After returning to the Capital, the Blanchett Family went on with their daily lives. Their very sweet daily life.
Gerard returned to the Imperial Palace as soon as he arrived in the Capital. He became preoccupied by the things he had put off during his leave. He had been able to review the details of the hunting festival and got a report about the new Tzuwai leader.
“Father, welcome home!”
Nevertheless, he managed to return home before dinner regularly. He wanted to have dinner with his wife and son.
Gerard lifted Abel up to hug him, and planted a kiss on the child’s plump cheek. Until then, it was no different than before.
However, there was one more thing he had been doing these days.
“Give this to Mother.”
Abel replied bravely to his father’s words. The child leaned toward Chloe, who was standing behind them.
Chloe hesitantly leaned towards Abel.
The small lips of the child planted a lovely kiss on his mother’s cheek. Chloe tried to control her expression, but she couldn’t help the upward movement of the corners of her mouth.
Gerard, who was watching, whispered in Abel’s ear.
Chloe pretended not to feel anything when seeing them whispering to each other, but she was actually disappointed.
After giving a nod to his father, Abel reached out to his mother to bring her closer.
Chloe brought her face close to Abel again. The child whispered in his mother’s ear.
“Father says he likes you a lot.”
Gerard’s eyes folded beautifully. Chloe’s eyes widened when she heard that. She made eye contact with her husband for a brief moment.
Chloe felt tickling delight all over her body. Everything that happened since she returned from the North felt like a dream. She swallowed hard as a choking feeling came up.
Wouldn’t it be fine for her to enjoy this breathtaking happiness? She thought she should be thankful just to have regained her precious daily life.
Then Abel shook Chloe’s arm as if urging her.
Chloe cleared her throat before replying to her son.
“What is it, Abel?”
Chloe asked as she wondered.
“You have to reply to Father!”
Abel scolded her for not thinking about it.
“That’s right. Good job, my son.”
Gerard cheered as he hugged his son.
“Please be quick.”
Abel puffed out his chest triumphantly when he was cheered on by his father. And he urged his mother once again.
Chloe, who glared at her husband, whispered in her son’s ear.
“Tell Father that Mother really likes him too.”
Abel smiled at her remark. It was a day filled with perfect happiness.
However, Chloe couldn’t completely shake off the uncomfortable feeling in the back of her mind. It felt like a warning that they would suffer a bigger problem later on.
The Blanchett couple put Abel to sleep and went out for a night stroll after a long time.
“It seems that the weather has already become cold. Shall I ask them to bring you something more to wear?”
“No, it’s fine. Isn’t it cool and nice?”
Chloe said, putting her arms in front of her to feel the cool breeze. At that moment, Gerard grabbed her hand.
“I want us to hold hands, Chloe.”
Gerard said with a wide smile. Then, he turned her hand and intertwined their fingers.
“Can I hold yours?”
Chloe nodded, bewildered, at their first time intertwining fingers.
Chloe’s heart beat harder at the distance from her husband, who was getting closer. Gerard Blanchett had begun to behave strangely recently. He was usually polite to Chloe, called her my Lady, and even used formal speech. However, when it was just the two of them, he acted as if he was a completely different person. He called her by name, used informal speech, and initiated intimate skinship.
Gerard began to walk slowly. He liked the scent of his wife, which was carried by the wind around them.
“With that said, I think it’s a little unfair.”
Gerard spoke carefully as they walked.
“Why am I the only one doing this?”
“You should also call me by name, Chloe. Wouldn’t that be fair?”
“Yes, my name.”
Gerard said while staring at Chloe.
Chloe had to slide her tongue across her dry lips at his gaze. Although she had mentally called his name several times, she was embarrassed to call him that way.
Gerard stared at his wife’s face, which became more flushed. The dimly-visible face under the moonlight couldn’t be more lovely. An expression filled with a hint of playfulness appeared on his face.
“If you think it’s so difficult, I will pronounce it for you. So, can you repeat each syllable after me?”
He really pronounced his own name with each syllable.
“…No need, Gerard.”
It was ridiculous. Chloe called her husband’s name prudishly and increased the speed of her steps. Gerard, who burst into a small laugh, hurriedly caught up with his wife’s pace.
Actually, he didn’t want his wife to only say his name. He wanted to hear ‘I love you’, and he also wanted to kiss her.
However, it would be useless to act impatiently. He was afraid she would be fed up if he rushed into anything. He encouraged himself to go slowly. Slowly. They still had a lot of time.
“Would you like to go to the exhibition with me this weekend, my wife?”
“Yes, I heard that Amone, the artist that you liked, is going to hold a solo exhibition this time.”
Gerard remembered his wife’s favorite painter from the past. He thought it would be nice to go see paintings together after a long time.
However, eight years had changed a lot of things. Amone, who was once an unpopular artist, had now become so famous that they could even afford to hold a solo exhibition.
Chloe, who loved painting, hadn’t held a brush for a long time.
“After seeing the exhibition, how about going to an art studio and buying some colors?”
Chloe’s husband wasn’t the one who discouraged her from doing what she was passionate to do. On the contrary, he made it clear that he completely supported Chloe if she wanted to paint.
However, Chloe Roem hadn’t painted since she became Chloe Blanchett.
There was no specific reason for this. At first, she thought it was difficult because she thought of Catherine whenever she drew. She thought painting wasn’t as fun as it used to be.
After that, she got married and became pregnant, which naturally drew her away from painting. It didn’t even come to mind for a while, perhaps because she had something that she loved more than paintings.
Then at some point, she wanted to paint again. However, having not drawn for a long time, her hand didn’t know what to draw. It felt painful to stare at the white canvas.
That was the reason Chloe put down the brush she had lifted again.
She felt the unfulfilled dream like a thorn stuck under the fingernails. She could live normally if she never had such a dream. However, whenever she saw things that reminded her of that dream, her heart ached.
“Uhm, it doesn’t have to be an exhibition… Can we go to the boutique and match our outfits?”
Chloe eventually became someone who couldn’t see artist’s works she liked. When she saw Amone’s paintings, she felt overwhelmed because she recalled the sparkling passion she had during her childhood.
“…As my wife wishes.”
Gerard wanted to say something, but he suppressed his question quickly. He decided to respect his wife’s wish.
The Blanchett family’s sweet life continued.
Gerard never came back empty-handed after he clocked out of work. Some days he brought back flowers he picked himself, some days he brought bread he’d bought at the night market, and sometimes he brought carefully written letters.
Chloe’s anxiety gradually subsided due to her husband’s constant affection. She thought it would be good to stay this way.
It was the weekend when they were supposed to go to the boutique. A fancy carriage arrived at the Blanchett’s residence.
“Everyone, I’ve arrived.”
The relaxed weekend at the Blanchett’s residence was interrupted by a lilting voice.
“Madame Helena is here!”
The Blanchett family, who were eating, went to the main hall to greet the owner of the voice.
Abel ran while calling for his grandmother.
“Oh, my baby!”
Hoisting Abel up in her arms, Helena patted her grandson on the back.
“You seem to be taller than last time.”
“Really? Did I really get taller?”
It was a touching reunion between grandmother and grandson.
“You’ve arrived, Mother? May you rest…”
Chloe, who followed them, was about to greet her formally. But Helena waved her hand while saying.
“That’s enough. What’s with the formal greeting between us?”
Gerard asked her without even giving her a greeting first.
“Why did you come without telling me in advance?”
“Oh, did I come somewhere I shouldn’t? Traveling and going on vacations has gone out of style recently.”
Helena had traveled to many places in the past eight years. When she felt exhausted because of her trips, she would vacation at Mannia Beach on the Blanchett’s estate.
Then she came like this when she suddenly wanted to visit her son’s family.
“I’m going to be in the Capital for social season during the fall. I wanted to spend time with my Abel.”
Helena said while stroking Abel’s hair.
“How many times have I told you to tell me in advance? You come here without saying anything…”
Gerard said with a straight tense brow. He was treating his mother as an uninvited guest. Helena’s expression became cold seeing her son’s attitude.
Chloe stepped in between them when the cold atmosphere increased.
“Mother, did you have breakfast?”
“No, not yet.”
“Then I’ll tell everyone to prepare it. Would you like to eat with us?”
Chloe signaled to Jane, who stood beside her. Jane noticed and headed to the kitchen to prepare Helena’s meal.
“Grandma, sit beside me!”
Abel said charmingly as she led Helena with intertwined hands. Helena, whose face had become stiff, became affectionate upon the sight.
“Yes, my baby.”
Abel and Helena headed to the dining room while holding hands.
Gerard’s eyebrows rose sharply when looking at them. Helena’s hand with Abel’s small, chubby hand. He didn’t know why he felt irritated at the sight of their hands together.