How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 24. I Hate You
This chapter has been re-worked by Regan, we have picked up the novel from chapter 64
“Let’s go upstairs, Raphael. Here, give me your hand.”
Annette was nervous, but didn’t show it, carefully taking his big hand. At first, he tried to shake her off, but was so dizzy he soon gave in. Annette supported him up the stairs to his bedroom.
Staggering, he flopped onto the edge of his bed, his sword falling alongside him. He was so drunk, he couldn’t support himself. There was no point in trying to ask him anything.
Pulling off his clothing, Annette gently laid him on the bed, and for once he silently accepted her help. His eyes were half-closed and his face was flushed from drinking. But even with that, he was so handsome, he only looked decadent and erotic.
“Go to sleep early tonight, Raphael,” Annette whispered, brushing back the black hair that had fallen over his smooth forehead. “I’ll tell the chef to make some hangover soup for you tomorrow.”
He looked very tired. He looked like someone who had been struggling with something for a very long time. As she looked down at him sadly, he suddenly caught her caressing hand and yanked her onto him. Annette tumbled forward so suddenly, she couldn’t even yelp.
His face was inches from hers, and his eyes were as blue as the North Sea. He blinked.
“I…hate you,” he muttered.
Her heart sank. She knew this. But it still hurt so much every time he said it, especially when she thought she had been getting along with him better this time. But that was only in her own mind.
Biting her lip, Annette pulled her hand away and tried to sit up, but he reached out and pulled her harder against his body until she was nearly embracing him. He lifted his other hand to stroke her cheek.
“You hate me, too,” he said.
She couldn’t understand what was going on in his head. But there was no point in getting angry at a drunk person. Annette lowered her eyes.
There were times in her last life that she had hated him. He was a temperamental man with poor self-control, and Annette had already been fragile from the shock of her father’s abandonment. The false charges, her sudden marriage to Raphael, all of it had been too much. The stress had made her sicken, and ultimately die young.
But even though their previous marriage had been terrible, there was one reason why she had been able to endure their quarrels for so long.
Because he was the only person who had stayed by her to the end.
When she had been healthy, he had been a terrible husband, but ironically he had improved drastically once she fell ill. For the two years she was bedridden, he had faithfully nursed her. Of course, his temper hadn’t changed, sometimes he would snap and throw her soup across the room, or yell at her. But he always crawled back into bed beside her with regret in his face, to check her temperature or help her dress.
When she remembered that, she couldn’t hate him as much as she had before. Even though she had no choice but to marry him again, she had still wanted to dream of a happy future. If possible, with him.
“I don’t hate you, Raphael. You’re my family,” she said, stroking his face with a bitter smile. But his sharp eyebrows furrowed and he pushed her hand away, coldly rejecting her touch.
“No, I am not your family. It’s the great Bavaria. Isn’t it?” He asked harshly, sharp-tongued even when he was soddenly drunk.
The cruel words made her want to cry. There was much she wanted to say, but the words couldn’t get past her misery. She had no one. Her father had abandoned her, her brother was across the sea in a distant Empire, and her new sister-in-law had just departed to join him. Raphael was all she had, and he hated her.
Seeing the shock of her hurt, Raphael reached out to cover her eyes.
“Don’t look at me like that, dammit,” he muttered. “Every time you look like that, I…”
Stubbornly, he shut his mouth instead of finishing the sentence. He didn’t want to look in those eyes. But they were filling with tears, dripping onto his palm, and he snatched his hand back as if they had burned him.
“Are you crying?” Drunkenly, his hazy eyes wove up to her face. Annette calmly wiped her tears away, swallowing her misery. She was a Bavaria, and used to hiding her feelings.
“I know why you’re saying that, Raphael,” she said. “I understand. But you’re my only husband, and I consider you my precious family. I mean it.”
She smiled, her eyes red. Raphael looked up at her with deepening disapproval.
“But I hate you,” he repeated.
Annette felt suffocated. Before she fell apart, she quickly slid off the bed and went back to her room. Maybe she was the only one who thought this marriage was improving.
She couldn’t sleep that night. She had been determined to protect Raphael from her father’s machinations, but after what he had said, she wondered. Was it even possible to protect him? The only reason he was suffering was because of her.
In fact, there was an obvious answer. She just hadn’t wanted to admit it.
His life would be comfortable if she left him. Her father wouldn’t be able to use her as an excuse to demand things of him, and Raphael wouldn’t have to deal with someone he hated so much. He would be much happier that way.
She laughed bitterly. She had lived two lives, but neither of them were peaceful. She tried her best, and still everyone treated her like a nuisance. Thinking of her father’s cold face, which she hadn’t seen for so long, only made her unhappier.
Yes. Let’s find a way tomorrow.
She could not hope for a new life without planning and preparation. Even if she had returned and improved things a little, she was still a hothouse flower, pampered and coddled. This time, before she tried to leave the hothouse, she was going to be ready. She wouldn’t wither like she had in her last life.
Annette squeezed her wet eyes shut, trying hard to fall asleep. Hopefully tomorrow would be a better day.
Raphael woke the next day clutching his head.
Between sleepwalking and his hangover, he was not in good shape. But he could not miss a day of training. Everything he had, he had earned at the point of a sword.
Surely it won’t be long before I become Sword Master.
Raphael washed his face and pulled on his training clothes, his eyes burning with exhaustion. He couldn’t afford to break now, when he was so close to his goal. He knew a number of other swordsmen who had failed at this final stage, and it made him more anxious than ever.
His face in the mirror looked terrible. The sockets around his blue eyes felt sore, his jaw was stubbled, and his skin looked dull. How could a woman like Annette Bavaria look at him, if he looked like a corpse?
She must hate it, too.
He had the oddest feeling that he had seen her before he went to bed last night. He couldn’t remember anything they had said, but he did remember seeing tears fall from her pink petal eyes. Reflexively, he looked down at his palm. The dread grew worse.
The truth was, she was doing much better than he had expected. Even though she was from the prideful Bavaria family, she wasn’t arrogant at all, and showed respect even though her husband was a bastard. She never got angry, no matter how mean he was. Raphael truly appreciated her incredible patience.
But he had made her cry. He must have said something terrible when he was drunk. He smiled bitterly. At this point, he had no right to protest if she wanted a divorce.
The thought of divorce made his heart sink.
Maybe he was just feeling like this because he was in a bad mood. But on his way downstairs, his footsteps paused as he spotted Annette by the window in the drawing room, humming softly. The moment he caught her eye, the humming stopped.
Are you angry?
Raphael looked at her impassively. It would be natural for her to hate a drunken husband who came home late and spat curses at her. As he waited for her to turn her back on him, he didn’t notice his fist clenching nervously at his side.
But she just smiled, as if nothing had happened at all. As she rose from her seat and approached him, there was no resentment in her eyes. He said nothing as she came to stand before him.
“Good morning, Raphael,” she said kindly. “Did you sleep all right? How are you feeling?”
His fists clenched tighter.
How could this woman smile and talk to him like this?