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35 Passionate Lovers

 "NIA, did you ask the reporters to omit the fact that Lady Belington and the other ladies bullied Lady Prescott?"

"I did," Nia answered while lighting up a candle with a matchstick. "I know that Lady Prescott is upset but if the fact that she got bullied gets leaked out, the noblewomen will be criticized heavily. I can't let that happen." She turned to her brother who was standing beside her. "I know that you treat Captain Kiho as your little brother, Aku. But I hope you understand why I needed to do what I did. The most important thing is that Lady Prescott's innocent was proven anyway. Am I wrong?"

"You're the queen of social circle so I'll trust your judgment," Aku said. Then, he caressed her face with the back of his hand. "Nia, Lady Prescott is your friend, right?"

"Yes, she's one of my closest friends," she said. "Why do you ask?"

"I was just wondering about what Lady Belington said a while ago," he said, his red eyes glowing. "You didn't spread the rumor about Lady Prescott and Captain Denver, did you?"

[I hate how perspective you are, brother.]

There was only one way to stop the emperor from doubting her. To be honest, she hated using this "tactic" but she was left with no choice. After all, her mind control would never work on her powerful brother.

So she just acted like she was hurt and let her tears fall silently.

Aku's red eyes immediately stopped glowing. "Nia," he said in a voice laced with worry. "Why are you crying?"

"Because I'm upset with you," she said while glaring at him. She hated herself for acting that way but she needed to stop Aku from doubting her. If using her tears as a weapon would do the trick, so be it. "I didn't mind when Lady Belington tried to shift the blame on me because I know that she's desperate. But to be accused by my brother... by my beloved..." She covered her face with her hands while sobbing loudly. "I didn't know that you think so lowly of me."

"That's not true, Nia," he denied in a panicky voice. "I didn't mean it that way. I'm sorry."

If the emperor's advisors heard him apologize to her, they would probably faint.

[Thankfully, my brother is weak against my tears.]

"Hey, stop crying," he said gently while wrapping his arms around her. Then, he kissed the top of her head. "Please forgive me, hmm?"

She pulled her hands away from his face to look up at him with a pout. "Brother."

"Call me by my name, Nia."

"Aku," she corrected herself. "Do you like Lady Prescott?"

He raised an eyebrow at her question. "Are you jealous?"

Of course not.

But she would be at disadvantage if her brother became fond of Lady Prescott.

"I can't blame you if you like her," she said while trying to make her face look as pitiful as possible. "Lady Prescott is beautiful, smart, and-"

Aku shut her up with a kiss on the lips.

"Nia," Aku said seriously when he broke the kiss. "You're the only one I love. Never question that again, okay?"

"Okay," she said. "I'm sorry for doubting your feelings."

The emperor smiled and kissed her on the lips again. "Can I stay overnight?"

"You can't," she said. "The High Priest is yet to decide the date of our wedding. That means we're forbidden from spending the night together."

As per tradition, the High Priest would wait for the oracle that would tell them when they should get married. Only on their first night as a wedded couple could they sleep together. That was because for two Moonchesters to conceive a child, it required a meticulous preparation.

Both Nia and Aku possessed very strong Mana. If they became one, she'd have to absorb some of his Mana. Her body might not be enough to contain two powerful auras inside so the High Priest must prepare a spell that would ensure her safety.

There wouldn't be a wedding or a honeymoon until everything was ready.

[Thank goodness my union with my brother takes a long process.]

Because that meant she had more time to stop the stupid wedding.

"Maybe I should visit the High Priest," Aku said, his red eyes glowing in anger. "He's taking his sweet time deciding for the date of our wedding."

"He's not his fault that the oracle hasn't arrived yet," Nia said gently. Then, she kissed his cheek to appease him. The last time her brother threw a tantrum, half of her room was destroyed. "Aku, be patient."

***

[HE finally left.]

Nia rolled her eyes when she saw in the mirror how swollen her lips were. Her brother also left a trail of kiss and bite marks all over her neck and shoulders. Thank goodness Captain Sherwood came to pick him up.

[Aku's obsession with me is getting worse day by day.]

"Your Royal Highness."

Nia turned to Lahara who appeared before her with one knee on the ground. "What is it?"

"We have a problem," Lahara said. Then, she opened her palm. A few moments later, the hour glass with a candle inside materialized. "The flame disappeared."

She felt an ungodly amount of rage when she saw that Lahara was telling the truth. The red flame was now gone. It could only mean one thing. "Lady Prescott is happy," she whispered to herself. "Only genuine happiness could extinguish the flame created by her wrath."

"According to the spy that I sent to follow Lady Prescott, Captain Kiho gave an engagement ring to her," Lahara informed her. "That must be the cause of her happiness right now."

"Only wrath and misery can wake up the heart of the phoenix," she said while gritting her teeth in anger. "Lady Prescott can't be happy."

"Your Royal Highness, we should get rid of Captain Kiho."

"We can't touch them for the meantime," she said firmly. "My brother may act like a fool around me, but he's not stupid. If Lady Prescott and Captain Kiho were attacked again after the rumors, he will definitely be suspicious of me. We should lie low for now."

"Then, will you let Lady Prescott win tonight?" Lahara asked. "What a lucky woman. She cleared her name, got compensated for the bullying she experienced, and now she received an engagement ring from Captain Kiho."

"That pisses me off," Nia said. Then, she opened her palm and waited for a cube-shaped red diamond materialized. It was a piece of Lady Prescott's "heart" that she got from a very useful ally. A faint smile appeared on her face when she remembered what she could do with that tiny piece. "I suppose a little payback shall appease me, Lady Prescott."

After saying that, Nia closed her fingers tight until the cube was crushed in her hand.

***

TILLY suddenly felt like her heart was crushed by a strong force while she was walking with Kiho back to their carriage. She clutched her chest tight while trying to breathe properly. For some reason, she was suddenly out of breath.

"Tilly?" Kiho asked worriedly. "What's happening?"

"I can't breathe," Tilly said, then she turned to Kiho. He was already blurred in her vision. And at the same time, she felt like she would drop anytime. "Baby, catch me."

***

TILLY woke up with a bad mood.

First, she hated the fact that she was in the hospital again.

Second, she read the newspaper that morning and she was disappointed to see that the part where the other ladies bullied her was omitted.

Third and foremost, she wasn't able to have sex with Kiho last night.

[We were both ready, dammit! The mood last night was perfect for making love. Plus, the way Kiho kissed me then told me that he wanted more.]

Did someone curse her sex life?!

"Tilly, you're awake?"

Tilly smiled as soon as she saw Kiho enter the room. She opened her arms to him. "Baby, love me."

Kiho stopped walking towards her. He even took a step backwards as if he was nervous to approach her. "Tilly, Doctor McMillan travelled all the way here to check on you. He reminded me that we can't do it because your Mana depleted again."

"What?" she complained, then got up from frustration. "But my body is feeling okay. I'm ready!���

The captain put a finger on his nose. "Shh, baby. Duke Prescott might come in anytime. Your father just went out to buy your medicine."

She blew the strand of hair on her forehead. "This is so frustrating."

"I understand, Tilly. But your health comes first," he comforted her. "Doctor McMillan said that we should hold back until our wedding night."

"That's still a month from now," she whined, then she turned to her with a pout. "Kiho, can you wait that long?"

"Yes," he said, his face and ears red from embarrassment. "Of course, I want to make love with you as soon as possible. But I don't want to hurt you."

She just went back to lying down on her back to stare at the ceiling, then she whispered to herself. "Someone definitely cursed my sex life."

But kidding side, the state of her Mana wasn't normal.

[Should I consult with a priest?]

The priests in the empire were more knowledgeable with Mana than the doctors. Plus, she could asked for a prayer to make her body physically stronger.

[Wow, someone is horny.]

To be honest, she wasn't just frustrated because she wanted to conceive Winter as soon as possible. She was feeling this way because she wanted to do it with Kiho.

[You'd feel this way if you have a hot boyfriend.]

"Tilly?" Kiho called her carefully. Then, he sat on the stool beside her bed. "Are you upset?"

"Not anymore," she lied. [Well, I don't want him to know how ~thirsty~ I am for him.]

"You'll cheer up once you hear this," he said. When she turned to him, he continued. "A famous reporter wants to interview us about your engagement ring. I thought you could use that as an opportunity to advertise the jewelry collection that you're working on since you'd be talking about your ring."

She gasped at his suggestion. Then, she got up to give him a hug. "You're amazing, baby. You know how marketing works."

"I know a little about it," he said in a shy voice, then he wrapped her arms around her waist and pulled her until she was sitting on his lap. "Have you cheered up?"

She nodded before pulling away from his hug to look up at him. But of course, her arms remained wrapped around his neck. "Thank you for cheering me up, baby."

"Don't be too upset, baby," the captain said while caressing her cheek with the back of his hand. For some reason, his golden eyes started to glow. "I'll make it up to you on our wedding night. You can look forward to it."

He gently touched her face while running his thumb over her lower lip lightly. Now she knew what the glowing of his golden orbs mean- it was hunger. It looked like her libido had awakened the beast in him.

[Kiho is a gentleman in the streets, but a beast in the sheets.]

"You're not the only frustrated here, Tilly," Kiho said in a low, sexy voice while gazing down at her lips like he wanted to devour them. Then, he looked up at her face with sultry eyes. "I have so many things that I want to do to you so you better be prepared on our wedding night, okay?"

Hot.

[That's so f*cking hot.]

Tilly melted into his body and buried her flushed face against his neck. "I won't be satisfied unless we do it at least five times, Captain."

Her lewd joke was rewarded by a rare hearty laugh from Kiho.

[I was half-serious though.]

***

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