How to Tame My Beastly Husband — Chapter 28. Why am I doing this?
This chapter has been re-worked by Regan, we have picked up the novel from chapter 64
Leaning back in a chair by the bed, Raphael uneasily stroked his chin. The practitioner had nearly been dragged to the mansion by its employees, and was now trembling as he examined Annette. It was the same man who had been summoned before, to prove her…innocence.
Before Raphael, the young man in his thirties was as nervous as a rat before a snake. Under his ferocious eyes, the practitioner drew back to offer a nervous opinion.
“The fever is from inflammation from the break. The fracture has been set, so if madam takes the anti-inflammatory drug I prescribed and rests, she will improve quickly.”
The doctor scribbled a shaky prescription, eying Raphael as if he had something else on his mind. Raphael glared back fiercely.
“What are you looking at?” He growled.
He expected that the man wanted to say something like, are you sure you haven’t been beating your wife? Of course, that was just Raphael’s guilty imagination, but it felt very unpleasant nonetheless. Because there was a chance…
All Annette ever held in that small hand was a book and her shawl. Surely neither of those were dangerous enough to break her fingers. And considering the fact that she had been fine yesterday afternoon, the culprit was probably him.
Raphael’s eyes, aching from his disturbed night, became grim.
Actually, despite Raphael’s suspicions, the practitioner did not doubt him at all. Though he was intimidated by Raphael’s menace, he still pushed something at him with trembling hands. It was a letter of introduction.
“There is a very capable female practitioner nearby, and we practitioners like to stick together. It seems madam has a weak constitution, so wouldn’t it be better for her to be cared for by another woman? If you wouldn’t mind, I will arrange the meeting.”
Despite his fear, he made a strong recommendation for his colleague, and then rapidly departed the mansion as if he were fleeing. Looking at his swiftly vanishing back, it seemed unlikely he would ever set foot in it again. His recommendation had probably just been an attempt to offer up a scapegoat to suffer in his place.
“Stick together? That’s a bad joke.” Frowning, Raphael resisted throwing away the letter of introduction. As the man had said, Annette was very small and delicate. It wasn’t a bad idea to contract a female practitioner as the chief physician for the Carnesis family. Most noble families had their own doctors, but Carnesis was a newly-acquired title awarded solely for Raphael’s abilities, and he was the first Marquis Carnesis in Deltium. This mansion had only been built a few years ago and still smelled like a new house, and he had not had time to hire a doctor for it.
Clicking his tongue, he set the letter aside. When Annette woke up, he would ask what she thought.
He didn’t notice, but this was the first time he had ever considered her opinion.
Annette was confused.
Initially, it was from the fever and inflammation of her broken hand, but the multiple shocks of death, regression, marriage, and Raphael had built up a mountain of stress and fatigue, and after the exertion of planning to have herself smuggled out of the country, it had all exploded. Already delicate by nature, Annette became ill.
Raphael sat in a narrow chair beside her bed, frowning. Two days had passed since her fever had begun. All the furniture in her room was small, for her comfort, but a large, well-built man like Raphael had to fold himself up to sit in them. Uncomfortable in many ways, Raphael looked at her wryly.
Her bandaged right hand was outside the blanket, so thickly wrapped that her slender wrist looked as if it ended in a mitten. It looked ugly to him, and he nudged it under the blanket, not wanting to see it. Automatically, he reached out to take her temperature.
“That damn quack,” he muttered ferociously. “He said she would get better soon.”
Her fever did not go down easily even when she took the prescribed medicine. Raphael had never taken care of anyone before, but it felt strangely familiar to be nursing Annette. Carefully, he woke her up, gave her her medicine, and then wiped down her neck and face with a damp towel. He did it all deftly, as if he had had a great deal of practice.
The hands that had only before held weapons were surprisingly adept at tending someone. Annette had stabilized quite a bit. But there was one problem…
Why am I doing this?
It was a question he had repeated countless times. He would have been excused for handing her over to the countless maids that worked in this mansion. If he had wanted, he could have rotated a new maid in every hour, to ensure Annette was receiving the most attentive possible care.
Why couldn’t he leave her? Why was he taking care of her himself?
With this question in mind, he locked himself in his room and tried to drink it away, but even then, he found himself staggering drunkenly back to her room. He felt anxious whenever he was away from her. He couldn’t explain it to himself, but he couldn’t bear to leave her, as if she might stop breathing if he wasn’t there.
He didn’t know what the hell was wrong with him. Looking at the sick Bavaria woman, who still looked so lovely, he wondered if he was losing his mind.
Well, she is truly very beautiful.
His deep blue eyes went over her face, and even though she hadn’t washed for two days, she looked so pretty, he was ashamed. Before she married him, she had been considered one of the best bridal candidates in the kingdom. He didn’t know that he was worthy of her.
This was all because of that wicked little face. She was so ridiculously pretty, it must be a mistake that she had ended up with a bastard like him.
His teeth gritted, and he looked down at her with bloodshot eyes. She must have sensed it, because she frowned in her sleep, her forehead wrinkling. A soft groan of pain escaped her.
Her lips parted a little, too red for her white face. It made him feel awkward and irritated to see her sleeping comfortably with her lips softly parted, oblivious to his troubles. Frowning, he reached forward to brush those luscious lips with his finger.
Her lips closed, sucking gently at the tip of his finger. She must have been dreaming that she was eating something. Those petal-soft lips wrapped around his finger, her small, moist tongue moving as if she were sucking a piece of candy. The way her tongue felt on his fingertip was so hot and sweet, he felt like he was going crazy.
Raphael stiffened and looked at that innocent face with her lips wrapped around him, sucking gently. Watching her lips devouring him, he wanted to put something else between them.
Suddenly, he was hard. Raphael jerked as if he had been burned and quickly removed his finger, departing at once from her bedroom and cursing himself without even understanding his sudden anger. It was clear to him that one day Annette Bavaria was going to creep into his heart and burn it all down.
Annette’s head was blank, and she woke feeling like she had been eating something delicious. Groaning, she lifted heavy eyelids. The bright afternoon sunlight was blinding, and she blinked.
The first thing she saw was her familiar bedroom, with small particles of dust floating in the air. Her hearing lagged a step behind her vision, and she heard a strange sound.
It was a metallic sound, a repeated ting as it repeatedly struck a hard surface. Annette turned her head in that direction and found Raphael sitting there, looking cold and sharp, with a dissatisfied expression. He looked a little awkward in the cream-colored chair that was far too small for him, and Annette looked at him blankly, wondering.
He was making the noise with something in his hand, a bored motion of his hand. She shifted her eyes to see what it was, and was startled.
It was the ring of the Secret Guild that she had accepted from Railin. She was sure she had hidden it in a drawer, how had Raphael found it? Surprised, she sat up automatically, and Raphael turned his head.
“Good. You’re finally awake.”
With an inscrutable face, he rose from his chair.