How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 22. He’s So Mean
This chapter has been re-worked by Regan, we have picked up the novel from chapter 64
Raphael put down his glass of liquor.
Tonight, he couldn’t drink as he usually did. It had become a habit to chug down a glass before going to bed, but tonight, he was strangely reluctant. He thought it would be better to drink it slowly.
The sparkling golden liquor flowed through his red lips, and as he savored the taste and the aroma, his gaze turned to Annette sleeping deeply beside him, exhausted.
Her pale eyelids were closed and unmoving. Her mouth was slightly open as she slept, with shallow breaths escaping her parted lips, and he could see the pale pink inside. She looked so innocent, no one would ever suspect she had just been wildly f_cked.
In her sleep, she clung to his side, like a puppy nosing about for its mother. Her small hands were so light, he could barely feel the weight, but their tickling touch radiated through his whole body.
Raphael shoved her hand away.
Her face was stunningly beautiful. He could see why the Bavarias were so full of themselves, as if they were a separate race. The damned Duke of Bavaria was middle-aged, but still an elegant man with platinum-colored hair. His face alone would have been proof of his powerful lineage.
For no reason, Raphael reached to touch Annette’s cheeks, soft and round, where the faint redness of their encounter lingered. Looking at that flushed face, he could feel the blood pumping southward in his body. But if he gave in to his lust, he really would hurt her.
So weak. Useless.
Raphael clicked his tongue. He had never imagined such a relationship with this woman. His hatred for her father was too great.
Duke Allamand Bavaria had opposed Raphael’s title until the last minute. Raphael could still remember the old man’s contemptuous eyes. Duke Bavaria considered himself superior, and made it clear he disdained even breathing the same air as a bastard like Raphael.
That was why Raphael hadn’t fought this wedding. Even if Annette was a vicious woman and her relationship with the Crown Prince was a scandal, he didn’t care. Her lineage would compensate for his mixed blood, and it had been fun to see Duke Bavaria’s fury as he became Raphael’s father-in-law. It was also profitable to be able to observe his work. That was Annette’s only value to him, and how many couples in the world married for love, anyway?
Raphael didn’t believe in love. The only thing he could believe in was himself. He wanted to climb to the level of the nobles who mocked and despised him, and for that, he needed Annette. Other than that, he didn’t care what she did behind his back.
She was a noble Bavaria anyway. She would quickly be fed up with her disgusting, low-born husband.
But Annette had turned out to be different than he expected. She acted as if she actually respected him, and every time they quarreled, she tried sincerely to explain herself. He couldn’t tell yet whether she was actually serious, or just pretending.
Well, it didn’t matter anyway.
There was nothing wrong with her pretending to respect him; it was better for both of them. Languidly, Raphael swallowed down more alcohol. The leather choker was still wrapped around her elegant neck. He had left it on her because he was annoyed, but he didn’t mind it now. It seemed to mark her as his.
Raphael smirked at the thought of her naked white body. It seemed to be true that she hadn’t given herself to Ludwig, but it was still oddly upsetting to imagine them crying and bidding each other an affectionate farewell.
He couldn’t stand the thought of her with another man. He had thought he didn’t care what she did, but apparently that wasn’t true…
It didn’t matter what he felt, he would always be the crude brute who had crawled up from the bottom, and Annette was just the pitiful prisoner in his hand.
Perhaps sensing some of his unease, Annette whimpered in her sleep. Looking down at the woman sleeping deeply beside him, he slowly brushed her bottom lip with his finger, his eyes indifferent. The soft flesh pressed against his fingertips.
Mumbling in her sleep, Annette’s lips puckered, as if she were kissing the tip of his finger. She looked so cute. Raphael smiled. Bending, he whispered in her ear.
“Best you forget all about the Crown Prince, Annette. There’s nowhere for you to run now.”
His voice was low and harsh, and he bit her ears. Those little white ears were nice to see, with the marks of his mouth on them. Just like the choker wrapped around her slender neck.
* * *
Annette was devastated when she woke up and saw the afternoon sun coming through the window. The strict education of her family ensured she always woke up early, and sleeping so late was a reminder of what she had done the night before with Raphael.
Sighing, she rose from the bed, and suddenly found more evidence. The choker was still around her neck, and Annette blushed furiously at the memory.
He’s so mean.
There was a knife for opening letters on the table, and Annette used it to cut the choker off. She was sorry to damage the gift from Claire, but she knew Claire would have been satisfied, knowing the gift had fulfilled its purpose so well. Thinking of Raphael, she sighed again. Though he had seemed a little less angry afterward, he had been so displeased that she had met Ludwig.
She ought to do something to make him feel better.
No matter how little he liked her, it would still be unpleasant to catch her sneaking off for a private conversation with her ex-fiancé. Feeling guilty, she got dressed and went downstairs to find him.
“Do you happen to know where he is?” She asked a passing maid.
“Sir has gone out, madam. He said he was going to the palace,” the maid answered, politely bowing her head.
Annette nodded, passing by her with a serene face. It was a little disappointing that he had left without even a note, but he never liked to reveal his destination when he went out. And he was angry with her, so he had probably gone out to vent that anger.
Sighing inside, she decided to go to the study and try to find more information on regressors. But her plan was thwarted when she saw someone she did not expect, coming out of the reception room.
The tall, elegant young blond man was Gerard, her family’s butler. He had been rebuked so severely on his last visit, when he had come to return Raphael’s gifts, Annette had been sure he would never visit the Carnesis mansion again.
He hadn’t spotted Annette yet. As he headed for the front door with an indifferent expression, he told a nearby servant, “I will visit again when the Marquis is present.”
Annette’s eyes narrowed. Though Raphael was absent, the lady of the house was definitely present. Yet here he was, promising to return when Raphael was available. This seemed highly suspicious.
He wouldn’t try to insult Raphael again, would he?”
Annette had an ominous foreboding. If that was his plan, she couldn’t let him leave like this. If he came again when she happened to be out and provoked Raphael again, she would be the one to pay for it.
“Gerard!” She called, just as he was about to leave. Her voice sounded false even to her own ears. “What are you doing here? It’s good to see you again.”
“Greetings, Marchioness. Have you been well?”
Gerard seemed to make a quick decision, and bowed politely as if he had been meaning to meet her. With that businesslike greeting, he would have guessed he had served her for almost ten years?
Annette nodded gracefully. She also knew him very well, and she could see a little dismay in his smooth face.
“I was too stern the other day, wasn’t I?” She asked, pretending she hadn’t noticed. “But I won’t apologize. I wouldn’t be a good wife if I stood by and allowed someone to insult my husband. Let me offer a cup of tea, for old times’ sake. Come with me.”
Annette turned, assuming he would follow, but Gerard’s smile turned stiff. For some reason, he wasn’t eager to be alone with her.
“I wish I could, madam, but I must follow the orders of the Duke. I think I should go now, I beg your pardon.”
Sure enough, he refused her request. Annette’s eyes widened and she covered her mouth with her fingers, amazed. She looked at Gerard, hurt.
“Oh, my God! Did my father tell you not to even have a cup of tea with me? Is he keeping you so busy that my old butler doesn’t even have time to say hello? No, I can’t…I will write to him right now…”
Gerard was very embarrassed to have her appealing directly to her father. It was already a disaster to have met Annette instead of Raphael in the first place, and if she made a note of it in writing, it would be impossible to avoid punishment. Allamand was already disappointed in him. He would not forgive him twice.
“A cup of tea, then,” Gerard said, helplessly accepting her request. “Thank you for your kindness.”
With a victorious smile, Annette led him to the parlor. Now, through Gerard, she might find out what her father was up to.