Predatory Marriage — Chapter 146. Palace (2)
Translator: Atlas / Editor: Regan
Ishakan’s spacious room had an incredible structure, with arched doorways covered in translucent curtains separating the rooms. If the ropes tying the curtains back had been undone, all the antechambers would have been hidden.
Laying Leah in an armchair near the bed, Ishakan only removed her outer robe, which was heavy with sand. She leaned back on the arabesque-patterned cushions and suddenly remembered the moment when she had first seen him in the palace in Estia. She also remembered how out of place he had looked.
The man who had not fit very well in delicate Estia was perfectly at home in Kurkan. The palace was elegant, magnificent, and refreshing, truly a place for Ishakan. Whereas here, Leah’s was the strange presence. She bit her lip.
She wondered what was happening in Estia now.
Though she had arrived in the Kurkan palace after crossing the whole desert, a corner of her heart was still tied to Estia. Her feelings for her homeland hung over her like a shadow. No matter how much the light shone, it would not disappear, and at the least prompting it loomed darker, strengthening its presence.
It made her think of her nightmare. The sensation of shackles around her ankles was still vivid. Maybe that was reality. This place, this happy dream, was an illusion.
—Have you ever strangled someone you love?
Cerdina’s smiling whispers echoed in her ears, and suddenly there was a sharp pain in her head and her breathing was ragged. A warm hand touched her forehead.
Leah squeezed her eyes shut. Slowly, her racing heart calmed down.
“Ishakan, I…” His hand lowered as she opened her eyes and stared at him, “…I’m still under spells. So at least stay away until I finish the treatment…”
His eyes narrowed, and Leah fell silent at the displeasure in his face.
“It takes time to remove the spells. I’m guessing it will take at least ten years to finish the treatment,” he said.
Ten years. The number made her jaw drop.
“It was hard to kidnap the bride, and now I have to leave her alone for ten years?” Before she could answer, Ishakan began to undress her. “You always think too much.”
Surprised, Leah tried to resist.
“Don’t move. I can’t lay you down on the bed covered in sand.”
Quickly, he stripped off the rest of her clothes and lifted her. They were in an enclosed room, but it was still broad daylight. Naked, Leah tried to cover her breasts with her arms, but it still left her lower body uncovered. The sensation of the wind blowing over her private parts made her tighten her thighs.
“And if someone is watching me!”
“Then that individual wants to die soon.”
As he carried her through multiple arched doorways, they came to a windowless bathroom, lit only with lamps. A bathtub filled with steaming water was in the center, and white flower petals floated on the surface. Leah sat in the water as Ishakan stripped off his clothes in front of her, revealing his well-developed muscles, a thick ribcage and well-defined abs. Leah gazed at his powerful muscles and then blushed as her eyes met his.
“Don’t do that, Leah. You need to bathe and get some more sleep.” Ishakan stepped out of his pants, revealing his manhood, which was already half erect. “You won’t be able to sleep if you keep looking at me like that,” he warned.
Quickly, Leah lowered her gaze. The surface of the water rippled violently as Ishakan stepped into the bathtub. Ishakan licked his lips as he looked at her white face and flushed cheeks. But fortunately he only stroked her cheek and then concentrated on washing.
Dried and dressed, they lay side by side on the bed, and exhaustion began to overtake her. It really did seem that her body had become so weak. Ishakan had closed the curtains so she could sleep and lent her his chest as a pillow.
It had been a long time since he had been home, so he should have had a lot of things to do, but he showed no sign of concern. Leah knew she should let him go, but she wanted to lean on him for a little longer. In his arms, she murmured sleepily.
“…I don’t know what to do now.”
“There’s no need to rush,” Ishakan whispered as he stroked her damp hair. “You should take some time to rest and recover, then you can decide calmly. If you want to do something, I can assign you some responsibilities. It would be a shame to waste your abilities.”
Leah lifted her head. She wanted to help him. Ishakan smiled at her interest.
“Coincidentally, there is a suitable position available,” he said cheekily. “Queen of Kurkan.”
Leah stared at him without any idea what to say, and he raised a challenging eyebrow.
“What will you do if I refuse…?” She muttered.
Ishakan smiled, bringing his face close to hers.
“Are you going to refuse, Leah?” His eyes curved. “Me?”