How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 20. Special Ability
This chapter has been re-worked by Regan, we have picked up the novel from chapter 64
The attendants working in the royal palace were rigorously trained. They always stood up straight and were cautious in everything they did. Yet not just one, but four of them had all fallen asleep on duty at the same time. It was beyond inconceivable.
Feeling strange, Annette shook one of them awake, and just like Ludwig, the man started awake, bewildered. He couldn’t believe he had fallen asleep while serving a distinguished guest of the Crown Prince! He could offer no excuses even if he was beaten for his lack of discipline.
“No! Such disrespect! I’m so sorry, Marchioness Carnesis, I offer sincerest apologies for my behavior!”
The attendant apologized profusely to Annette, all the while kicking his colleagues hard to wake them up. Soon, all of them were on their feet and bowing their heads in apology. Seeing them swaying with waves of sleepiness, Annette waved her hand and pardoned them, promising it was fine.
Not knowing any better, the attendants looked at her with stars in their eyes. Lady Annette, who wasn’t angry with them, who showed mercy and smiled so kindly at them, must be an angel descended from heaven. It was such a pity that this kind woman would not be Crown Princess.
Annette’s thoughts were somewhat different. As soon as she turned away, the smile vanished, replaced by a grave expression. There was only one thought in her mind.
That book. It clearly said that regressors will have one special ability that they did not have before. Is mine to put people to sleep by singing?
A strange thrill went through her as she realized it. Once already, she had put Raphael to sleep when he was sleepwalking through his nightmares. At the time, she had just thought it was the effect of a good lullaby, but had she used her ability to put him to sleep?
She wasn’t sure of anything yet. Cautious by nature, she descended to test the theory first.
Though it was not a spectacular ability like the spirit skill, it might be useful.
Annette felt goosebumps rise. More than ever before, she finally felt sure that she had really returned to the past. She was living a new life. And her future was entirely in her hands.
* * *
The day had passed quickly, and the sun had already set. Before Annette knew it, it was dark, and the carriage was slower than usual, returning home. But deep in her thoughts, Annette didn’t realize any of this. She was already wondering how to test her new ability, and didn’t even realize when they arrived home.
“We’re here, madam,” the coachman called, and Annette stepped out of the carriage, distracted. Before her feet even touched the ground, suddenly her body was swept up into the air.
The shock of suddenly floating startled her terribly, especially when she had been so thoroughly lost in her own world. Instinctively, she yanked at whatever she could reach to hold on, and unfortunately that was Raphael’s coal-black hair.
Raphael did not look pleased. A low growl escaped between his lips, and Annette went very still.
“Oh, my! I’m sorry, I was so surprised, I…”
Quickly, she let go of his hair and apologized at once, trembling. She had been so startled, her heart was racing and she was still breathing in little gasps. Though he had been about to hurl out an insult, Raphael looked down at her and clenched his teeth, drawing a deep breath. He looked ferocious, as if there was a great deal he was holding back.
Why are you so angry?
The sight made anxiety overwhelm her. He wasn’t angry because she had pulled his hair. He had been waiting for her in a temper for some time, she could feel it by the cold collar under her fingers, chilled from the night air. Annette bit her lip. She had no idea why he was doing this, but his whimsical and violent temper had always been a difficult mystery for her.
“Who did you meet at the palace today?” Raphael asked, his face hard.
“What? I went to see my sister-in-law. Didn’t you see the letter I left?”
Annette responded automatically, but then realized what was wrong and lamented her foolishness. She couldn’t imagine how, but Raphael seemed to know she had met Prince Ludwig. That explained why he was furious, and she couldn’t really blame him. His wife had pretended to meet someone, only to sneak off and meet her old fiancé.
Looking at Annette’s embarrassed face, Raphael only felt more cold and empty.
“Your letter said you would be back early. Were you enjoying yourself so much, you didn’t notice how much time had passed? Did he treat you well?”
Those deep blue eyes were colder than North Sea ice. Even after returning from death, it still hurt to receive that hate. Lowering her eyes meekly, Annette reached to grip his collar.
“It’s not like that, Raphael. I ran into him on my way back from seeing Claire. Our engagement was broken off so suddenly, we never said goodbye to each other properly. I just wanted to end the relationship well. Now we will never have to face His Highness again, I promise.”
Lifting her head, she looked at him with earnest eyes. Raphael said nothing, meeting her gaze with a blank expression. Annette’s face was so innocent and gentle, anyone would fall for her lies.
But Raphael was not fooled. He was in a foul mood. He had gone to the palace after reading her letter, though it had been on his own business, rather than to pick her up. He had intended to meet his father to ask some questions about Annette, because the rumors the King had told him about before his wedding weren’t quite true. Raphael had wanted to figure out where the hell all these rumors had come from.
But Selgratis had refused to meet him. In public, the king acted as if he cared about Raphael, but privately wouldn’t give him the time of day. It was all just an act.
So he had returned empty-handed from the palace, and felt bad enough about it that he’d gone back for Annette, to take her home.
Apparently that had been a mistake on his part.
“What the f_ck were you doing in the Crown Prince’s palace?” he demanded.
He was furious when he found out where she was. He had wanted to see what the two star-crossed lovers were up to with his own eyes, but no one could enter that palace without the Crown Prince’s permission. Not even Raphael.
Turning his back to leave the palace, he had felt worse than before he had come. Once he was home, Raphael gritted his teeth and waited for her to return. Before, it hadn’t mattered to him where she was or what she did, but Raphael didn’t even realize the contradiction.
And now, looking down at Annette pinned in his arms, he felt an anger he couldn’t understand.
“Raphael, I’m telling you, nothing happened with His Highness, all we did was say goodbye. You can ask the servants of his palace, they’ll tell you the truth,” Annette pleaded, her eyes downcast.
But luck was not on her side today. The coachman had been looking over the carriage, and returned to her with something in his hand.
“Madam, you left this.”
When Annette saw the gold-wrapped box in his hand, she gave up. A hopeless laugh escaped her. God had decided to abandon her today.
Setting her down, Raphael took the box from her and opened it. He laughed too, when he saw its contents. The leather choker swayed in the air between his fingers as he dangled it in front of her.
“Yes, I’m sure I’d get a very interesting answer, if I asked the servants at the palace,” he spat icily.
“No! Raphael, that’s Claire…wait a minute…”
Humiliated by the misunderstanding, Annette hurriedly reached for the gift box, searching inside. Claire was the type that usually enclosed letters with her gifts, and Annette could only hope there would be a note inside to explain this misunderstanding.
Fortunately, she found an envelope inside the box. Quickly, she gave it to Raphael without even reading it.
“See, it’s a present from my sister-in-law. I really have nothing to do with the Crown Prince!”
Frowning, Raphael tugged out the note and read it. His deep blue eyes slowly skimmed back and forth. It only took a few seconds, but it felt like an eternity to Annette, and with a sardonic smile, he turned the note in front of her. There, in Claire’s unique, sharp print, a single sentence was written.
I hope you have an exciting night with him, Annette! Leash him tight and make him call your name!
Lots of love,
Silently, Annette covered her face with both hands, defeated. The letter made it clear it was a gift from Claire, but the he was disastrously unclear.
Between Claire’s note and the leather choker dangling between Raphael’s manly fingers, Annette was beyond embarrassed. She lowered her head and prayed to vanish from the world forever. Now. Please.
Again, her wish did not come true.
“All right. It must have been an exhilarating visit to the Crown Prince’s Palace,” Raphael said, with a cruel smile that bared all his teeth. “Let’s see how thrilling it was for you.”
He grabbed her arm.