Predatory Marriage — Chapter 59. Caught in the Act
The delicate atmosphere at the luncheon was thin ice that could be shattered at any moment. Between Leah, Ishakan, and Cerdina, a silent war raged. The subtle desire of each person to advance or protect the other was concealed by their facades.
Only the king, who was oblivious to everything, burst into a broad smile and announced the start of the luncheon.
A small bell rang out and an appetizer came onto the carefully arranged table. The day was warm and coming from the garden the scent of flowers was fragrant.
The dishes prepared by the palace’s cooks were also sincere enough to be admired. They contrasted the tension in the air. The precarious balance dancing at the edge of a cliff, could easily be toppled over.
The king and Cerdina led the conversation at the luncheon. Ishakan did not actively engage in it, but he responded moderately to what they said.
“It seems like Estia and Kurkan have been engaged in a useless war of attrition. If we had a chance to talk earlier, peace would be what we have in the present.”
“It’s indeed a pity, for our two nations to have sacrificed so much,” Cerdina let out a light scoff, apathy apparent in her tone. Blain, who was silently bringing his fork to a rest after finishing his food, twisted his mouth and laughed.
The luncheon continued with amble talk, and after the appetizer, the next main course was brought in. Leah, who was tasting the first dish, grilled herring with soft sour cream, felt as if a thorn had been lodged in her throat. She found it hard and painful to swallow, despite the smooth texture of the cream.
She hoped Blain would not mess with Ishakan, who was enduring for her, without causing a scene.
Something touched her foot. Unconsciously, she looked at the other side and Ishakan’s eyes curved into a slight smile. His twinkling, bright eyes, were full of mischief, Leah could only guess what he was up to. She nudged him back, her foot bumping into his shoes.
It was an outdoor garden, so the table at the luncheon used was a small one. With roughly eight people sitting around it, the table seating was strategically placed. It was a royal family strategy, for diplomatic means. The most important people were seated closest; by narrowing the distance, intimacy in their mutual relationship was emphasized.
Considering Ishakan’s build, he was tall enough to stretch his legs to the opposite side. Perhaps he had bumped into the chair because it was a little small for him.
Leah’s eyes widened as she was wondering if she should tell the servant to change the chair. However, her face heated up, thinking of the consequences. To her sheer horror, calling it a mistake at this point would be an utter embarrassment. The movement beneath the table had turned increasingly explicit.
A gentle touch pushed Leah’s shoes away. Her shoes came off, slipping from the smooth silk socks she was wearing.
The shoes, which had been dangling from the heel, escaped Leah’s feet and disappeared somewhere. She tried to wear them again by reaching out her feet in a hurry, but only stepped on the soft leaves of grass.
Her foot stumbled about on the grass, looking for her shoes, when suddenly, a weight gently bumped the tip of her foot. The toe of a solid, well-made shoe, gently touched Leah’s foot. She could feel the cool tanned leather under the silk that separated it from her foot. Then, it lightly tapped again on the top, so as not to hurt her, but enough to leave dirt.
Leah drew her feet towards her and looked down. A black stain was drawn before her eyes on the white silk socks. Leah cupped her toes, heat flaring up in her cheeks. Looking at Ishakan with her rosy cheeks and heated neck, she was slightly angered by his small antics. He seemed to be delighted that he could make fun of Leah and seeing her in trouble made him chuckle.
Again, she scuffled her feet and begged with her eyes, pleading him to not tease her like that. However, her moment of relief was short lived. Soon, a tickling sensation arose from her ankle. A soft light touch traced her bone, as the hard shoe cap gently slid up her calf and down again.
A strange tingling sensation arose from her lower abdomen. Without even realizing it, her thighs were shaking.
“Are you sick?” Leah, who was distracted by what was happening under the table, was surprised. Next to her, Blain was furrowing his eyebrows.
“Are you sick? Don’t make me ask twice.” Blain whispered to her lowly, an expression of concern flitted across his face.
From observing how red her face had become from the heat, he had misunderstood Leah to be sick. It was because he recalled how he had recently seen the scene of her throwing up blood and fainting in front of him.
Across them, the king and queen expressed no interest in the situation occurring, as they were too busy exchanging gazes and words of affection with each other.
Leah looked up and across her, feeling the gazes of Ishakan and Blain, she managed to lick her lips.
Her hands kept shaking, so she clasped the tableware tightly. She wanted to reach under the table and push his legs away, but it was etiquette to keep both hands on the table throughout the meal.
“You look sick,” Blain stated. His hand reached out to touch her cheek.
It was at this time, that the shoes that had been drawing circles on her ankles, dug into her skirt and swept up her calves. The immediate change in position and cool toe cap against her smooth calves caused her to take a small breath and stiffen.
Blain narrowed his eyes thinly. Slowly putting his hands away, he picked up some silverware lying in front of him and dropped it to the floor. The servants in the back ran and tried to pick it up, but he gestured to them, waving his hand briefly and personally bent down.
His action of picking up the tableware was slow, however, when he straightened his back again, clutching the silverware, Blain’s face was horribly distorted.
This chapter has not been translated by NovelUtopia, we have picked up the novel from chapter 69.
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