How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 158. It Was Always You (2)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Annette buried her face in Raphael’s chest. She wanted to hear whatever he was about to say, and at the same time she was terrified of it. Her hands were shaking as she clutched him, and her heart was speeding.
Neither was a phenomenon restricted to Annette. Raphael’s chest hitched with every breath, and the anxiety was making his blood pump hot through his body, until he was baking like wood in a fire. His heart was pounding so hard, it resounded in Annette’s ears.
“I have been thinking seriously about your question,” he said finally, and swallowed dryly. “You are first. My choice is you.”
Annette stared at him. Her eyes were red with tears. She must have misheard him. What had he just said?
The moment their eyes met, his face reddened, and it was such an unprecedented experience that he covered it with his hand, avoiding her gaze. In five years of marriage, Annette had never seen him behaving like this. She caught his hand, trying to pull it away from his face.
“Could you repeat what you just said?”
Though he allowed her to pull his hand away, Raphael avoided her eyes. His face had always been keen and impervious as a blade, but it was flushed now, and though he could not speak, his face spoke eloquently for him.
He loved her.
Annette’s eyes filled again. She couldn’t believe it. All at once, her fears that she would never be loved seemed to vanish, and the echo of her father’s voice warning her that Raphael would never choose her faced away. Posted only on NovelUtopia
“Only you,” Raphael said, awkwardly wiping her tears from her cheeks. “It was always you. The person who has been by my side.”
How could he help loving this woman? His mother’s background had given him a deep sense of unworthiness, and so he had tried to push her away, certain that such a perfect woman could never care for him. But it was like trying to hold back the sea. Annette had tamed a beast that knew no love. Her patience had been infinite. Again and again, she had shown him love and trust.
In the end, her warmth had tamed him. He would not trade this beautiful woman for anything.
“I love you, Annette.”
Gently, she stroked his cheek, her heart tightening at his tenderness. He pressed her small hand to his cheek.
“Please don’t leave,” he whispered. “Stay with me.”
He vaguely knew that she was considering it. How his heart had pounded when he discovered the ring for the Guild of Secrets in her jewelry box. Sometimes, his animal instinct was fortunate. If she had left him in the dark, it would have broken him.
“I know what’s troubling you,” he said. His eyes were pleading as his arms held her hard against him. “But I can fix it. I’ll protect you, I promise. So you don’t need to worry. Just wait a little longer.”
He had to clench his jaw to bite back the emotions that threatened to escape him. The love he had discovered so late was consuming him like a flame, and all Annette could do was gaze at him, bewildered. Had Raphael learned the truth of their marriage and his father’s machinations after all?
“My first priority is you,” Raphael whispered, as she looked at him with trembling eyes. “You…you are my family. You are the family I choose.”
Annette had to cover her mouth, her eyes bright with tears. No, it wasn’t a mistake, or a coincidence. He understood what he was saying. He was choosing her with his eyes open. Maybe he felt a debt to the king, but not affection. Raphael had followed the dictates of his heart.
Annette burst into tears.
She was so happy, and she was so sad. Now she knew how far Raphael had come, and her pity for the poor boy who had survived terrible abuse from his addict mother only to become the pawn of his ruthless father made her heart ache. How could she turn her back on him?
“Thank you,” she wept. “I will…always protect you. You are my precious family.”
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