Chapter 19

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He always considered his wife in bed, but due to the inevitable difference in their physique, there were times when even that was a bit overwhelming for her on sensitive days.

 

Ana, petite and delicate, was a full head shorter than Garcia, who, despite his elegant frame and noble bearing, was quite a manly figure. She often forgot that he, a graduate of the Imperial Military Academy, had served a few years as an officer when he was the head of his family.

 

To him, his small (by his standards) wife must seem especially fragile. However, until now, Ana has gratefully accepted his consideration and hasn’t resisted it. There was no reason for her, who usually followed a set pattern of behavior unless there was a special reason, to be whimsical.

 

Before Garcia’s puzzlement turned into suspicion, Ana hurriedly made a plausible excuse.

 

“Ah, I met some noble ladies during my outing today.”

 

Although she didn’t look up, Ana sensed that with his tranquil expression, Garcia was attentively listening to her.

 

“Some of them had brought their child out.”

 

It was true. Some of the ladies she passed had little gentlemen and young ladies in tow. She hadn’t thought much of it, but the scene came to mind. Ana felt Garcia’s hand, which had been stroking her back, suddenly stop.

 

“One of the ladies was even younger than me… I was just envious.”

 

This silence lasted a bit longer. Ana waited, slightly anxious. In truth, it was half sincere. She had been thinking about it since Madam Denian’s advice. They had never discussed having children before.

 

Ana felt a bit of self-loathing. She had planned to think more and discuss it later, but in her haste, it slipped out. She felt disappointed in herself. Thankfully, Garcia’s halted hand moved again. She sighed in relief.

 

“Do you want to have a child?”

 

This time, the answer came right away.

 

“Yes.”

 

Wasn’t it obvious? It was a duty and a necessary part of life, but Ana fundamentally liked children. She believed that one of the unique joys for women, though not for everyone, was the privilege of bearing children.

 

After losing her mother at a young age, she dreamt of creating her own family, filling the void, and in that vision, there was always a lovely child. How joyful and happy would she be to be able to hold a child of her own blood? It would be beautiful.

 

She wouldn’t mind if the child took after her, but if they inherited Garcia’s beautiful silver hair or golden eyes… Ah. Vividly imagining having a child brought an indescribable emotion.

 

All of the clouds that had been disturbed inside her cleared, and sunlight poured in. The lingering image of Siasen faded away.

 

My and Garcia’s child. Excited and thrilled, she swallowed dryly. What if they’re too lovely to let go? It was nice to just imagine it. Ana, utterly excited, raised her head to share this emotion with Garcia, the only person with whom she could.

 

Filled with anticipation and joy, Ana looked up only to freeze. It was because Garcia was silent. More precisely, he was not just uninterested but seemed almost repulsed by the topic, his expression cold and indifferent. Shocked, as she had never seen him look at her that way, Ana struggled to comprehend.

 

Garcia, always gentle and wise, never showed any common irritation or resentment, especially in her presence. Though his expression softened, and he responded affectionately when their eyes met, the brief flash of his cynical gaze lingered. It was icy and heartless for a look meant for his own child. But it was such a fleeting moment that Ana wondered if she had imagined it.

 

Feeling her scrutinizing gaze, Garcia gently caressed her cold cheek.

 

“Of course, we need a child. But Ana, you come first, not the heir. We can take our time, so don’t feel pressured.”

 

Normally, she would have been moved by his prioritization of her. However, Ana felt alienated hearing him mention ‘need’ instead of saying they wanted to have a child. It was the most pronounced feeling of distance she had ever felt from her affectionate husband.

 

But he wasn’t wrong, was he? Was it an illusion? Did I see it wrong? As she noticed a slight anxiety in Garcia’s face, repeating not to feel pressured, her frozen heart gradually thawed.

 

Yes, it must be a misunderstanding. He’s always concerned about her health, so he might have been worried. Or maybe he’s not ready for children yet. After all, he’s a man of great responsibility.

 

As Ana slowly nodded, Garcia finally relaxed and kissed her forehead. The gentle kiss melted the chill on her skin. Soon, his face was buried in her neck, his soft silver hair tickling her, making her sigh lightly.

 

The affectionate caress quickly aroused her again. It was their second intimate encounter of the day. Amidst warm breaths, tender calls, and dizzying pleasure, Ana moaned softly. He held her for a long time, and as her head cleared and she was about to fall asleep, a single tear of pleasure rolled down her cheek. Garcia kissed it like a predator savoring a pure dewdrop. It was a climax that shattered all residual emotions.

 

Drained and lax, Ana fell into a defenseless sleep, feeling his warm lips on her cheek. It was warm yet left a cold aftertaste. Ana realized the unmet expectations and resulting disappointment remained like tiny shards within her but soon lost consciousness. The powerful tide of sleep and pleasure’s aftermath covered everything. She wasn’t even fully aware of how hurt she was. Gently stroking and kissing her, Garcia’s warmth brought her one last thought. After all, this was who he was.

 

Chapter 2 – Rupture

 

It was as if she had dreamt. A strange emptiness and melancholy, like gray mold, clung to her. She didn’t know how to escape this lethargic feeling that crept up from her ankles.

 

Standing in front of the mirror, she blankly stared at her beautifully groomed face, resembling a doll. Through the window beside her, she saw a faceless black-haired boy, standing still and then running off, holding a small girl’s hand, escaping the lavish garden to the world beyond. Ana watched them, motionless.

 

* * *

“Ana.”

 

She flinched in her half-sleep as dry lips touched her drowsy cheek. Long fingers tenderly brushed over her, then lifted like a cloud. No further touch followed, but Ana knew Garcia lingered beside her, touching her hair.

 

“Would you like to sleep more?”

 

Blinking dazedly, she turned to see Garcia, dressed in trousers, a shirt, and a vest, asking softly. He sat on the edge of the bed, sunlight streaming behind his broad shoulders. Staring blankly at his shiny silver hair, she shook her head slightly.

 

His skilled hand reached under her waist, helping her sit up as she felt the drowsiness fade away. Garcia then spoke in response to her slow response.

 

“Maybe I should have let you sleep longer.”

 

“No.”

                    

She had slept enough. As usual, her morning schedule would be delayed after spending the night. Even if Garcia was busy and woke up first, he would let his wife sleep longer and wouldn’t wake her up for just any reason.

 

Suddenly curious, Ana glanced at her husband, who was wrapping a white towel around her neck, handed to him by a maid carrying water for washing.

 

“Isn’t today your day to go to the Imperial Court?”

 

“I’ll go in the afternoon today.”

 

“I want to have breakfast with my wife.”

 

After kissing Ana’s forehead, Garcia left the room, leaving behind the maids coming in to assist the lady of the house with her preparations. A large silver tray was filled with various small porcelain and silver bowls for grooming.

 

Brushing her hair with an ivory brush and wiping her face with a towel moistened with rosewater seemed to finally bring her senses back. An patted her cheeks with fragrant toner and massaged her feet and hands with lavender oil to reduce the morning swelling.

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We’ve opened a kofi-shop for this novel, where you can read chapters in advance for a whole month! Tier 1 consists of 5 advanced chapters, and Tier 2 of 8. 

Tier 1 (updated till chapter 22): Link

Tier 2 (updated till chapter 25): Link

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Notes

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