“It was a great dinner.” Cade greeted the Marquis briefly before he stood up from his chair.

It was a blatant lie for he showed no interest in the various dishes laid on the table.

Immediately, a threatening shadow cast over Cherryl’s small frame.

She could tell that the Duke was tall from a distance, and when she sat next to him, she knew that he was strong as well.

However, the man’s physique looked so large up close that she could sense his overwhelming strength from his aura alone.

His broad shoulders seemed thick, and the chest in front of Cherryl’s nose appeared solid.

The tightness of his upper garment caught her sight one after another.

In her hopes of avoiding this walking disaster, Cherryl closed her eyes, turned her body around, and started walking.

However, Cade caught up with her in just one step and strode right next to her.

It was embarrassing to have a man follow her like he was her tail as she climbed the stairs, but perhaps, it was a good thing.

She had no idea that walking side by side with a man like him made her heart flutter.

Unfortunately, the guest room where Cade was supposed to stay was right next to Cherryl’s bedroom.

“Was the walk from the dining hall to this floor really that long?’

She had no idea that the hallway where she used to tread every day would feel this new.

Cherryl’s hand had pressed down on the constant pounding of her heart when she arrived in front of the guest room with him.

“You can stay here—” Cherryl, who had just attempted to open the door, rattled the handle in chagrin.

The door to the guest room was locked tight.

“Who locked this bedroom again?”

This particular room wasn’t used that often because it was only reserved for the most precious guests.

The metal inside the door handle was quite loose and rusty, and if someone messed with it even just a little, the door would be locked from the inside.

Perhaps, the cleaning staff made a mistake.

As she stood in the cramped space close enough for a part of her to graze the man’s shoulder, Cherryl admitted hurriedly, “Excuse me, Your Grace.
I think we have a problem.”

Instead of answering, Cade reached out a hand, and she stopped clattering the door handle.

His significant digits came into her view as if they would touch her seemingly masculine hand that had slender bones sticking out slightly more than usual.

She decided to step aside as Cade grabbed the doorknob with nonchalance.

His firm grip broke the metal in the doorknob like a toy, even if it didn’t look like he used force.

After opening the door easily, the Duke crept into the guest room as Cherryl gave the broken door a vacant stare.

This door would never be locked again until it was replaced.

“This is your room, Y—Your Grace.” Cherryl might have stuttered but she didn’t forget her manners.

After scanning the guest room, Cade flopped down at the  end of the bed, pulled at his collar and took a low breath as if frustrated.

Then, a bolt bone settled underneath his black shirt crept out.

Suddenly, Cherryl remembered her stepmother’s message to relieve the man’s fatigue.

Her heartbeat barely subsided and it pounded once more as the thought of getting out of this room filled her head.

“There’s a bathroom here in the guest room, Your Grace.
It wouldn’t be an inconvenience to do it.
Just call me if you need any help.”


Cade’s golden eyes, which she had immediately admired for their beauty, turned to Cherryl, and only then did she realize that her words sounded strange.

“Oh, my God, Your Grace! I’m not offering to assist you in your bath!” Cherryl recovered quickly.
“Please call me if you need any help, even if it’s not about helping you bathe.” She explained further.
“Not me, of course, but the servant.”

Cade watched her silently and one corner of his lips had curved upward.

Was he—

Did he just smirk at her?

Yet, it seemed subtly different from a smirk.

His expression felt similar to how someone would see a cute small animal.

Strangely enough, she didn’t find him scary as before.

Cade tilted his upper body and observed Cherryl with an eye smile.

Then, he opened his mouth to speak in such a sweet, low voice.
“You’re too nervous.”

The Duke swept his smooth black hair to the side.

His exposed forehead looked a bit wide, but it suited him.


As she appreciated his handsomeness,  she recalled that moment she accidentally hit that gorgeous forehead with her silver ring.

Cherryl’s shoulders, which had slowly loosened earlier, were angled sharply.

“You seemed nervous during the meal, so I jested to lighten you up.”


“Are you uncomfortable with me?”

Cade looked up at her with his loose hands close to his mouth.

She didn’t think it was a joke.

It was more of a threat that he would kill everything that bothered him.

In the original novel, he was a man who didn’t know how to or take a joke.

Trying to ease Cherryl’s tension, Cade seemed suspicious if she might say so.

“It’s not uncomfortable, Your Grace.”

Cherryl responded as if she was about to be decapitated.

Perhaps, the Duke would cut her hair first.

“I understand if you don’t like it.
You must have thought I was ugly.”

Cade avoided her gaze.

Surprised by the unexpected remark, Cherryl slightly opened her mouth.

His intense aura seemed a little scary and burdensome, but….

What did he mean by ugly?

Did he mean his face–his masculine and stoic appearance that a normal woman had to lose her soul over so that she could admire it forever.

“You must not like to be alone with me.
You may leave now.”

At that moment, the large and muscular man looked strangely lonely.

It was pretty different from the original novel that she knew.

Curiosity shot up inside her, replacing the fear.

Moreover, if she left like this, she admitted it was uncomfortable.

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