It was far from a light kiss. His other hand naturally wrapped around my waist.
It really felt like I was being drawn into him entirely—
—In this moment where two people share each other’s breath.
As he kissed me deeper, it felt as though he wanted to explore everything about me.
And when I opened my eyes, his lips still on mine, I met his gaze, only an inch apart.
His eyes were half-lidded, cloudy.
He was focused on me and me alone at this very moment.
As soon as I realized what just happened, my face heated up. I felt embarrassed, so I turned away to get away from him, even a little.
But Albert didn’t even allow me to. As I turned away, he followed.
The gap that was created between us for a second disappeared as soon as Albert pulled me in once more and crossed his lips over mine gently.
I realized that the maid Rosé never truly experienced anything with Albert.
He wasn’t the kind of man who would only place his lips over another’s and wait for time to pass.
This was my only thought.
The kiss that followed was so breathtakingly intense, so utterly sweet that I was left with no choice but to focus on just this moment.
There was no room to think about anything else.
By the time my face had turned entirely red and when I needed to breathe, Albert pulled away. I gasped for air.
His eyes that were once veiled by his hair were now clearly curved into crescent moons. His ease and satisfaction seemed too apparent.
Half-lidded eyes looking at only me. His relaxed appearance, which was so different from mine as I continued to gasp, made him seem like a languid tyrant.
Still, he swept his fingertips over my lips, his touch leaving a trail of scorching heat. Albert had the same relaxed expression, but he was different from his usual self as he kept an appropriate line between us.
A tyrant. A king who reigned over all the land he wanted. A beast that would never let go of what it had sunk its teeth in.
The fingers sweeping over my lips lowered and stopped at the tip of my chin, and with this, I thought that he was going to kiss me again.
And I was a little afraid of that kiss.
…Just what the hell changed?
Because I was restrained by the contract, I couldn’t approach him.
Of course, I could ask if I could kiss him just as he did, but that would only make him lose his trust in me. I could never imagine the opposite from happening.
This was the second time Albert had asked me.
I looked up and stared at him.
As I saw him from below, him looking down at me, it seemed like there was a flicker of desire within his gaze that I had never seen before.
Was it something I didn’t notice?
Or has he been hiding it?
His gentle touch on my chin went in slow circles, but the arm wrapped around my waist was steady. After the kiss, I was still breathing heavily in his arms.
Albert smiled dazzlingly.
If his earlier expression was like winter, then right now, it seemed as though spring had come as flowers bloomed. It was a season that marked a new beginning for everyone.
As Albert always did, he stroked my head.
With the atmosphere still different, his voice was too low, too sultry.
“Maybe this is because of the contract.”
And these words pulled me back to my senses.
Pardon? The only thing I’m guilty of was following the Prince’s orders.
Complaining inwardly, I took a deep breath.
Now, this can’t just be regarded as me being overly self-conscious.
It was clear that this man was determined to bewitch me.
This was beyond just taking an interest.
From the moment he asked to kiss, the moment we shared each other’s breath.
It was a fact that Albert didn’t see me as just a maid.
A maid and a prince. It was nothing more than a contractual relationship, or a relationship with a power imbalance. Lightly, sneakily, the definition of that relationship had changed.
There was a rupture.
“I think we need to talk.”
Looking at me with his arms folded, Albert replied straightforwardly.
“If you want.”
“…And if I end up not wanting to?”
I’ve since given up trying to understand his actions—I didn’t want to know the reason behind his actions.
“That’s also your choice.”
There’s no way he didn’t know what I meant. I clenched my hands into fists, but I soon unclenched them to sweep them over my face, shaking my head.
“I’ll clean up first. Is it alright if you wait a little?”
Cutting his hair had long been forgotten between us. Albert nodded once. Just as I erased my usual playfulness and mischief while focusing on the conversation at hand, he did the same.
I cleaned up the hair that had fallen to the floor, then I placed the scissors back in the drawer. Even at that moment, my mind was a mess of complicated thoughts.
I brought another chair and sat down. Albert stared at me, touching his lips. This reminded me vividly of when he touched mine.
I spoke first.
“I prepared a hypothesis because I thought it would be too rude to ask Your Highness bluntly.”
“Why don’t you just ask, Rosé?”
“No, this is better. Would it be alright if you tell me if I’m right or wrong?”
I thought very hard on why he was doing this.
In fact, quite a few guesses came to mind. If I were to base his actions on what happened in the novel, I thought that he might be doing this in order to use me, just as he did with the maid Rosé.
However, the most circumstantial hypothesis was another reason.
This was a sudden hunch, but it was the only guess I could think of that would fit the way his attitude and gaze towards me changed.
It was the honest truth that would be burdensome to hear directly from his lips.
“Prince, perhaps… Do you have feelings for me?”
It was the matter of liking someone.
Comments for chapter "Chapter 32"
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