Rippling with muscles just the same as his chest, his back looked so strong in a way that I didn’t notice or couldn’t expect. Though at least, while I was wiping his back, I was glad that he couldn’t see my expression.
I dipped the towel into the basin.
Trickle. The only things that could be heard were the sound of water being squeezed out of the towel and the sound of that towel being wiped over his back. Just as it usually was, the tower was quiet inside.
In no time, I successfully wiped his back without any problems.
“You can turn around now.”
Albert sat back on the headboard again. As he faced me, he raised one brow.
He called my name, and as I looked up at him, Albert’s hand gently swept over my forehead.
“This is nothing, Prince. You’re worse off.”
“That’s not true.”
A careful, slow touch caressed my skin.
Just as heavy as the atmosphere was, his touch lingered on me.
The same was true with his voice.
“It’s only natural. I also need to be mindful of your condition.”
Afraid of where this conversation would lead, I quickly picked up the clothes before anything happened.
“…Thank you. I’ll help you put on your shirt now.”
For fear of what else he’d say, I hurriedly finished dressing him. Soon enough, Albert succeeded in wearing the new shirt with my help.
It’s all done!
This had been a very long journey, but I was happy to see Albert wearing a new shirt now.
“Prince, go back under the sheets. You might feel warm now, so it’s okay if you cover just your lower body.”
As soon as I said this, I slightly tugged up the blanket on Albert’s bed.
He lay comfortably back in bed. Maybe it’s because I wiped off his cold sweat, but he looked better now compared to a while ago.
But I still couldn’t feel relieved. I knew that Albert would just continue saying he’s fine even though he’s enduring the pain.
“What time is it now…”
I lost track of time after focusing on taking care of him.
After looking at the clock, I saw that it’s now around five in the morning. It was the usual time that Albert woke up.
I was getting drowsy now, but I couldn’t go to bed yet because Albert didn’t look like he was in a stable condition yet.
Since I’ve stayed up all night anyway, I decided to make some simple porridge for him. His fever still hadn’t gone down yet.
Prince, look at my deep sincerity. Please acknowledge this.
While I was lost in thought, Albert called my name.
Albert held my wrist and pulled me towards him.
I inadvertently fell sideways beside him. It didn’t hurt because the bed was soft, but I was still startled. What’s up with him?
Looking up, I asked with a puzzled face.
Albert smiled as he ruffled my hair.
“I’m not hungry. I just want to have a deep, restful sleep.”
…Huh? Why are you telling me that? You… You’re not asking me to sleep with you, are you?
In a situation like this, the best course of action was to pretend to be tactless. With an innocent smile, as though I knew nothing of the world, I spoke.
“The bed is soft, Your Highness is feeling cozy, so I agree. It’s the perfect time to sleep.”
Albert narrowed his eyes. He noticed that I’m avoiding the matter at hand.
“The bed is also big.”
When has my intuition ever been wrong? I knew it. He wants to sleep together.
Albert moved slightly to cover me with the blanket.
“If you’re going to nurse me to health, then you’d better sleep here, too. Isn’t it better that I can call you right away like this?”
Gently coaxing me, Albert trapped me here.
“You must be feeling sleepy, too.”
It was such a sweet temptation. After all, sleep was one of the most basic human needs.
Even so, sleeping now was like leaving Albert alone while he was still sick.
I shook my head.
“Don’t worry. I’m not sleepy.”
At my firm answer, Albert eventually asked with a hushed voice. His tone was mixed with a little bit of mirth.
With the same hand that he used to cover the blanket over me, Albert held up two fingers.
“I’ll give you two options.”
I have two options, he said, but why was that making me nervous? While looking around for a bit, I nodded. What else could I do when the prince was giving me a choice anyway? I’ll listen to what he has to say.
“One, you’ll continue to lie down here. Two, you’ll kiss me.”
…The choices are weird.
No matter how much I tried to turn it over in my head, I don’t think this would ever make sense.
With a smile, I asked.
“Prince, I think you’re a bit sleepy now. I don’t know why you’re saying something like that?”
On the other hand, I felt so relaxed because the bed was soft. And maybe it’s because I did the laundry not too long ago, but the sheets were so fuzzy and cozy. I like how it smells, too.
But I don’t know if this nice scent was from the bed or actually from Albert.
Albert raised his brows. As though he was disappointed in how I was acting, he folded his arms.
“Just how much are you expecting from a sick person?”
Even at times like this, he knew how to play his strengths. I glanced up at him and replied.
“Until Your Highness stops saying things like that under the excuse of being sick.”
“If you keep twisting my sincerity like this, I’ll be sad, Rosé.”
Albert reached up and touched the lock of hair that was covering my face.
Then, he tucked it back behind my ear.
I could see his face clearer now. It’s like I was looking at a world-renown painting.
The deep gaze behind his eyes made it impossible for me to avert my own eyes.
The way he looked at me was so straightforward that I couldn’t pretend not to notice. We looked into each other’s eyes for a long time.
I was the first one to surrender and hold up a white flag.
“Prince, you said you wanted to sleep.”
“I think it’d be nice to stay awake like this.”
“It feels so comfortable being with you.”
As he leaned towards me, Albert’s low voice reverberated in my ears.
“I’m used to being sick and in pain, but I’m not used to being this comfortable. I just want to stay like this longer.”
A life that was filled with more pain than comfort.
For a while, as I contemplated it a lot, I decided to lie down.
“Then after just a little bit, I’ll stand up again.”
It’s not like Albert was trying to do anything with me, and it wasn’t that I was under the covers either. The fact that we’re still quite a distance apart also compelled me to give in and just lie down.
Comments for chapter "Chapter 51"
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