How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 26. Sleepwalking
This chapter has been re-worked by Regan, we have picked up the novel from chapter 64
Railin Mosley was a stunning man of unknown age. One of the great supporters of Deltium, he ran the Secret Guild, which was not only limited to smuggling. He led a variety of organizations that handled illicit activities, including information guilds.
He was used to walking tightropes. Despite his fine appearance, he was an audacious and observant person. He could extrapolate much of a person’s character just from the way they spoke. But in his view, Annette was not easy to read.
Her bearing was elegant and serene, and she showed no excitement when talking about smuggling. She was like a person who had already seen the misfortunes of the world, and was looking for a way out. But it didn’t seem like a careless decision from a spoiled young lady, determined to run away.
She looked like a lady from a noble family, why would she want to?
Railin was very intrigued by her. Even though he was immersed in the underworld, he was very particular in his own tastes. He liked elegant things and beautiful things, just like the lady sitting before him. Her posture, the motions of her hands, even the way she breathed was filled with grace.
Annette had paid a large amount in advance in exchange for not revealing her identity. When Railin took it, she was sure he could use it to find a good job for her. But Railin didn’t want their relationship to end there. His business dealt with a wide variety of things; if he was lucky, he could see that they continued to meet.
“I understand,” he said, concluding the meeting without indulging his curiosity. “I’ll send you information about some of Osland’s nicer towns and jobs with as much detail as I can get. If you change your mind, or have more questions, you can use this ring to contact me.”
With a bright, business-like smile, he offered the ring. It had a large amethyst, engraved with an S logo in gold. That was the symbol of his Secret Guild.
Annette accepted it happily. If she were going to escape from Deltium, she would need to lay some groundwork. In Deltium, Annette Bavaria Carnesis needed to go missing, or maybe even better, meet with some accident. That way there would be no pursuit.
No. I don’t think I need to worry about anyone looking for me.
Under the veil, she smiled bitterly. There was no reason to believe the family that had abandoned her would wonder much at her life or her death. There was no point in thinking about it. Arjen and Claire, at least, wouldn’t worry; somehow she would let them know separately.
He had broken her heart. She thought of him last night, drunkenly repeating that he hated her. He was so unhappy. Maybe it was all because he married her. There were many things she was sorry for, and many things she had wanted to try to improve in their relationship. She had tried to get along with him, but impossible things were…impossible.
Annette bit her lips, squeezing the ring in her hand. If Raphael truly hated her so much, the kindest thing she could do was disappear. He wouldn’t be able to sleep at night, but he was strong. At least the source of his worries would be gone.
* * *
Even after she returned home, Annette couldn’t sleep. Her fingers traced the gold foil of her luxurious bed. Born to the Bavaria family, she took these beautiful objects for granted. She was afraid to be alone, which was going to happen soon.
She did think of going to the Chapelle Empire where Arjen and Claire lived, but if her escape were discovered, they would be in danger. They both held high government positions. She didn’t want either of them to get hurt because of her. No, it would be Osland.
Thoughtfully, she looked out the window, picking through the details of her plans for the future. She was surprised when she noticed how high the moon had risen.
Oh, I should be asleep.
Accustomed to her usual routine, Annette laid down in bed, but she couldn’t sleep. There were too many thoughts whirling through her mind. It would take at least a few months of preparation before she could leave Deltium.
The night was so quiet, she could hear the beating of her own heart. Annette lay in a daze, and suddenly pricked up her ears. It sounded like something was approaching, right outside her bedroom.
The sound of mysterious footsteps wandered from her bedroom to the adjacent hallways. Cautiously approaching her door, Annette pressed her ear against it and closed her eyes. She wasn’t imagining it. There were footsteps outside.
Oh my God, it’s not a ghost, is it?
Annette trembled with fear. For a moment, she wondered if it was a maid, but no maid would disturb their mistress’s sleep at this hour, doing chores outside her bedroom. And the footsteps were too heavy for a woman.
“Who’s there?” Annette asked, trying to calm her fear.
Of course, no one answered. The footsteps paused in an unsettling silence. She couldn’t breathe. She was terrified whatever was outside the door would barge through it. But just as she was about to shout, she heard a mumbling outside the door.
“No…I didn’t mean to leave you…it was the only way…”
The murmurs sounded confused, but Annette recognized that low voice immediately.
Her fear evaporated, replaced by worry. Of course, she was still hurt and angry at his treatment of her, but she was also terribly worried about him. He seemed to be sleepwalking again, lost in another awful nightmare.
Carefully, she pushed open the door, and the faint glow of lamp lit on his sculpted face. He was half-naked, his pants slung low on his hips. He must have just come from his bed. His eyes were squeezed shut, and sweat was pouring down his face.
“Robert, I wanted to save you…but the enemy was there, at the moat…I shouldn’t have, I abandoned you, I’m sorry…”
The tormented words burst out between ragged breaths, then disappeared, as if buried in the dark stillness of the night. He was blaming himself. She could see his eyes moving behind his closed eyelids.
“Raphael, are you all right?” Quickly, she went over to him, speaking softly. But there was no sign he heard her. Raphael was still trapped in his nightmare, leaning against the wall of the cold hall, his face lined with a frown. Then suddenly, he smashed his forehead against the wall.
”Coward. Weakling. Die. You should have died…”
He struck his head harder, excoriating himself. Whatever he was seeing was so terrible, but even the blows against his forehead couldn’t wake him. He was going to hurt himself if he kept doing this.
“Raphael! What’s wrong? Stop!” Annette lunged forward, trying to catch his head with her hand and blunt the impact, but instead it was smashed between his hard head and the wall. Annette bit back a scream.
He sagged into her arms, and she could feel how cold he was, his bare torso freezing. He must have been sleepwalking for some time. Pitying him, she tried her best to pull him away.
“Come here, Raphael. Come, it’s too cold and dark out here, isn’t it?”
Quickly, she moved him into her room before he could hurt himself again. Her room was softly lit with low lamps and filled with the scent of herb potpourri, to help her sleep well. Maybe he sensed it even when he was unconscious. His twisted expression relaxed.
Annette arranged him on her bed and then looked at her hand. At first, she had thought it wasn’t so bad. But her fingers were numb now, as if from a shock of electricity, and her third and fourth fingers were swelling.
She hoped it wasn’t broken. Annette looked at it anxiously as Raphael groaned again, still trapped in his confusing nightmare.
“I wanted…to save you, Robert…”
It would have been nice if he could have saved her fingers.