The Sleepless Night of the Maid — Chapter 23
Translator: Eonnicorn / Editor: Scarlet
A sudden utterance escaped Eva’s lips. So he invited her to see the moonlight garden. He was listening to her story intently. Because of a fragment of the past that spilled out, he intended to go there, much to her surprise, regardless of whether he said it for himself, not for her.
Eva’s heart began to pound at his appealing suggestion. It was a place she sorely missed but couldn’t bring herself to visit. As time went by, even in her dreams or waking up from it in a dazed state, that place always made her heart ache.
She wondered if she could go there.
Warnings that indicated danger rushed in. Considering the distance they would have to travel, she couldn’t stay there for long. If she delayed further, Pamela and the Baronetess would raise their voices and scold her. Most of all, she was most worried about going to a separate place with him alone.
Regardless, her anticipation of seeing the moonlight garden overtook her concerns.
“I can’t be late.” As if under a spell, Eva held his hand, answering with a trembling voice.
“Don’t worry.” Along with a convincing answer, Eva’s body was pulled lightly and seated behind his back.
“Ah!” Shrieking a short exclamation, she instinctively corrected her posture and grasped onto his waist. “The wind is cold at night.”
‘Hide behind my back so you won’t feel the wind head-on.’ His sheepish smile and words gave her the reason why he put her on the back.
Her heart throbbed once again.
Ruth’s horse galloped vehemently through the darkness. Eva was fine until she left the Baronet’s residence, passed by the fields, and crossed the Bale River that circled the downtown area. However, once they traversed the entrance of Bale Castle, where she parted with her father, and dashed through the Cyprus Tree that lined beside the path, she felt a twinge of pain. She could feel a hot sting behind her eyes, so she buried her forehead on his back unconsciously.
* * *
“Lord Holland is really great. I think he’s madly falling for you.”
The excited Baronetess said while looking at Pamela sitting on the parlor couch. Count Holland had been away for a while before joining them. She intentionally left Pamela and Count Holland alone. Every time she peeped, the atmosphere looked good. That’s why she’s dying to know. What they talked about, how much they clicked, and if they would meet again.
“He’s a gentle and kind man. But a bit…”
“A bit what?” The Baronetess made a fuss and sat closer to Pamela.
“No, nothing. He’s a gentleman. He’s nice to me.”
He spoke vaguely, but something perturbed Pamela. Count Holland was indeed kind, but maintained a distance between them, giving only civil answers when asked about himself, and glossed over politely when asked about the next meeting. What bothered her the most was that Count Holland kept asking about Eva. Since he didn’t seem to be interested in Pamela, she felt uncomfortable and it hurt her pride.
Although Pamela was the daughter of a low-status provincial aristocrat, she was known as the most beautiful woman in Crocs Field. Most of the men grovelled at her feet and they stiff-necked to get her attention. His behaviour, however, insulted and infuriated her.
“You have to do well. The ups and downs of our family depend on you. You know that, right?”
“I know. It’s just embarrassing.”
Pamela’s tone went frigid. Even if her mother didn’t tell her, she intended to seduce Count Holland. She had had enough of being stuck in the corner of the countryside as a temporary aristocrat.
Baronet title, not Baron title. By virtue of Count Massies’ recommendation, it was the position that was barely granted by the Imperial Family. It was a status that couldn’t be inherited if her father died. In other words, if she didn’t marry a noble family’s heir as soon as possible, she could return to being a commoner. Furthermore, she still had no assets and as the debt kept increasing, she had no foothold to back up her desire. She was sick and tired of everything.
“Okay, I got it. Speaking of, you said Eva is spending time with Sir Ruth?”
The Baronetess questioned while looking into Pamela’s eyes. A look of disapproval was written all over her face as soon as Eva’s name left her mouth. Considering what Eva had done to her over a bracelet, it made her teeth grind, and she couldn’t tell Pamela about it. For starters, Pamela would blame her for how poor her skill of stealing the bracelet was. Second, Pamela will scoff at her for not being able to slap Eva. That was how her daughter was. A child who judged the differentiation between good and evil by her own interests.
“Yes. So don’t look for her.”
“I see why you did that, but I’m a bit worried. If those two fall in love with each other…”
“It won’t ever happen. She knows her position very well.”
Pamela’s voice sharpened when her mother spoiled the mood. She appreciated her mother’s concern that Eva might seduce Sir Ruth, but Pamela didn’t fret over it. Eva wouldn’t go after Sir Ruth because Pamela had declared that she’ll seduce him. She was sure Cecil and Eva both knew the cost if that happened.