Daniel’s planned perfect date and confession was ruined due to the mood that plummeted from being bright and sunny to dark clouds and thunder.
Disappointed, Sisley was angry and frustrated at the halted confession and turn of events.
The two finished their meal in silence, hurrying to get out of the place.
Once Daniel paid for their food, he quickly grabbed Sisley’s hand and walked out of the restaurant.
. . .
. . .
“Sorry . . . ,” Daniel muttered after an awkward silence as they walked wherever inside the mall with no particular destination in mind.
Closing her eyes tight, Sisley was unwilling to end their first date and very unwilling to let it be ruin by Evangeline. She squeezed Daniel’s hand, smiling at him.
“Hey. Let’s just have fun and forget that encounter ever happen.”
Daniel stared at her. With an adorable face like that, his mood was revitalized, and a smile blossomed on his handsome face.
“You’re right. Come, I still have somewhere to bring you.”
Pulling Sisley along, they went to their next destination. Though he didn’t have the chance to confess, he still had enough time later in their private backyard dinner.
“I’m sorry, Eva I left something in the restaurant. Let me get it first. I’ll be back before you know it.”
“Make it quick,” Evangeline said with a dismissive wave of her hand. She then entertained herself at overlooking the grand lobby of the luxurious mall.
Asher flashed her a smile and dashed back inside the restaurant. However, instead of heading to their table earlier, he made a side turn towards the man with messy dark hair and thick eyeglasses, who was carrying a tray of drinks.
At the corner of his eyes, Eric saw the silhouette of an approaching man, and before he could see his face –– a right fist connected to his jaw.
Eric stumbled and fell on the ground with a busted lip while broken glass scattered on the marble floor. With his knuckles, he wiped the blood from his lips while Asher stared down at him with a warning glare.
“Stay away from Evangeline if you know what’s good for you!” Asher spat, voice hissing through the gap of his gnashing teeth.
He grabbed his wallet and threw a few thousand dollars on Eric’s face. “For the broken plates.” He then turned and left the restaurant.
Typically, Asher was not this hot-blooded towards men that Evangeline laid eyes on. He knew that beautiful cousin of his was only looking at them like servants and pawns on a chess board than something else.
Yet somehow, he was angry at how his dear Evangeline looked at that particular man. So different from the rest.
Meanwhile, Eric cleaned the cluttered broken glass with a blank look on his face, not even minding the pain on his left cheek. And when he passed on a particular spot to get a mop, his silver eyes caught something on the chair where Evangeline was sitting a while ago.
Sighing helplessly, he grabbed the handkerchief and ran towards the exit of the restaurant.
“Finished?” Evangeline asked, arms crossing in front of her chest.
Asher gave a refreshing grin and nodded. “Yes.”
And like a model on a runway, Evangeline sauntered forward, radiating elegance and poise, attracting everyone’s attention.
Evangeline skid to a stop when that familiar voice tickled her ears. Turning, she looked at the man with messy hair, who was running towards her.
She blinked many times for she seemed to see sparkles and sunshine surrounding Eric that she momentarily lost grip of reality.
She beamed her sweetest. But she was smirking inside upon seeing Eric’s panting face. His silver eyes reflecting her and only her.
Eric wheezed an inaudible sigh, trying his best to ignore the deadly glares thrown by Asher at his direction.
Asher couldn’t believe that after all his threat and that jaw-breaking punch, the bastard still didn’t learn his lesson.
It looks like I have to break every bone of his body!
Holding the silky lavender handkerchief, Eric offered it to Evangeline. “Is this yours?”
“Yes.” Evangeline beamed, taking her handkerchief back, accidentally brushing her fingers against Eric’s palm.
She didn’t forget her handkerchief. She purposefully left it there, gambling that Eric would return it to her.
It works every time. She inwardly snickered.
Her brows twitched, however, when she spotted Eric’s busted lip and the fresh bruise adorning his left cheek. Before she could stop herself, she blurted out the words even before she could think.
“What happened to your face?”
Not batting an eyelid, Eric answered with a straight face, “The man beside you punched me.” He then bowed slightly and left.
“. . .”
“. . .”
Asher was profusely sweating when Evangeline threw a dead glance at him, chilling even the inside of his bones. Without saying anything, Evangeline turned her back on him and walked away.
Evangeline didn’t know why she was upset and angry at Asher for hitting Eric. Feeling conflicted, disapproving of her cousin’s actions towards the man.
Every Queen will feel upset when her servant is bullied.
. . . Yes, that’s right. She nodded to herself.
She dismissed her new found feelings and continued walking, ignoring Asher, who was frantically explaining and pleading to her.
She didn’t give her emotions much thought. Not realizing that she was never this angry at Asher for beating someone before, not even if he terrorized her servants.
“Daniel, I-I can’t . . . This is too expensive.”
Sisley tried to dissuade Daniel, who was buying her a lavish stunning necklace with a rare diamond at the center, flunked by golden interwoven laces, forming a heart.
“Sisley, I insist. I want to repay you from all you’ve done for me. All those foods I consumed and for all those times you stayed by my side.” Smiling, Daniel grabbed Sisley’s hand when the latter was about to walk out from the exclusive member-only jewelry shop, Rozienheim.
“D-Daniel . . . I did it out of my own free will without expecting anything in return.” Sisley didn’t surrender her stand.
She dropped her gaze on the floor, afraid that Daniel might see the hurt in her eyes. She didn’t like the feeling that others could casually burn half a million like it was nothing while she scraped her allowance to last her a month. She felt demeaned for she could not even afford a hundred-dollar dress from her pocket money. She had to beg for her father or wait for her brothers to buy her one from their monthly payroll.
Sisley was busy with her own thoughts and didn’t pay any mind that what she said was a lie. She woke up very early in the morning everyday to prepare his lunch. She waited for him every single day and supported him every step of the way. Saying she did it out of her free will without expecting anything in return was a joke. Everything she did was because she loves him and expected in doing so, he would reciprocate her feelings.
Daniel took notice the changes of Sisley’s mood. He gently pinched her chin, raising her head to meet his eyes.
“Please allow me to at least show you how grateful I am to you.”
“Y-you . . . you don’t have to. W-we’re not even . . .”
Sisley bit her lip before whispering, “We’re just . . . friends.” She changed her sentence at the last second, voice sounding brittle.
She pulled her head away from Daniel’s grasp and shifted her eyes at the floor once more.
Her meaning, though not stated, was evident. The impatience hidden beneath her soft voice and the sad expression of her face.
Daniel let out a breath, feeling guilty. It didn’t escape his notice at what Sisley was trying to imply. That she didn’t have any right in accepting anything from him for the reason that she was not his girlfriend.
It was subtle. If he didn’t know her, he would think she was rushing him in making their relationship official.
“Alright,” Daniel said after the heavy silence that settled between them. “From now on, I won’t eat your meals anymore.”
Sisley eyes snapped at Daniel. Her cheeks puffing, looking aggrieved.
Daniel’s fist covered his lips, supressing a laugh as he shifted his head to the side.
After a minute, he tried to coaxed once more, “Please Sisley . . . accept it.”
Another round of coaxing and Sisley finally gave in. Couldn’t take another second at watching Daniel’s handsome face pleading to her. She nodded a bit, cheeks red in bashfulness.
“My Queen, it’s not my intention of hurting him. I didn’t punch him. It just happened that his face landed on my fist.”
Daniel and Sisley’s happiness was sapped out when they heard those familiar voices.
Evangeline laughed a little by how idiotic Asher’s explanation had become. Nonetheless, she continued to ignore him and zoomed in the direction of those oh so familiar faces. She gave a half smile at Daniel and Sisley, the ones she gave to strangers. Stopping beside Sisley, she checked the latest jewelry while Sisley unknowingly stepped back, bowing from submission.
Daniel frowned. He didn’t like that Sisley was easily intimidated. But he couldn’t blame her. Evangeline’s aura was just that imposing. Even he was swallowed by it sometimes. He could only imagine when a normal girl stood beside her. He then flicked his attention at the pair of gorgeous man and woman.
Are they following us?
Daniel’s brows furrowed even deeper when Asher didn’t even give him a glance as the man continued to coax and pleaded while Evangeline ignored all of his advances.
The onlookers jaw dropped.
Daniel and Sisley watched in amazement when Asher, without a second thought, went on one knee, eyes never leaving Evangeline.
Evangeline ignored everyone. With a straight iron back, face calm, her icy gaze ran along the new arrival of expensive pieces of jewelry. She then pointed what she like.
“This one, this one, this one and that one.”
The sales lady gawked for the alluring woman chose their most expensive jewelry. And they were in set!
Not sparing an eye at the gawking onlookers, Evangeline turned to Asher with a raised brow.
Asher rose to his feet and threw a sharp look at the sales lady. “Well, didn’t you hear what my Queen said?”
Asher’s snapping tone jolted the sales lady out of her shock. She carefully, meticulously wrapped the set of jewelry that was worth a few millions.
Without a second thought, Asher fished his card in his pocket, and paid for Evangeline’s jewelry on the spot. Not a moment of hesitation.
Those pieces of jewelry were worth a fortune, but compared to the fortunes of the entire Cole’s clan that were accumulated over generations and generations –– it was like a single hair on Winter’s fluffy fur.
But no one knew that. The world only knew that the Cole’s were operating a simple food company in BlackPine Country. They were rich, yes. But none exactly know how rich. Only a few knew that the Cole’s have percentages in all establishments and businesses in BlackPine, and that they mostly controlled everything in the said country.
“For you, my Queen.”
Asher offered the tote bag to Evangeline like a peace offering. But instead of accepting it, Evangeline stood to her feet.
“Not enough,” she said, swaying her voluptuous hips as she went out of the store.
Asher grinned and ran after her. “Of course, whatever my Eva wanted, this humble servant shall buy it all for you.”
“. . .”
“. . .”
It was already a moment that the pair disappeared from everyone’s sight, but the shop remained dumbstruck at what happened. It was like watching a play of a Prince trying to vie the attention of his Princess. They couldn’t believe it was real.
Standing like a fool, Daniel refuse to believe that a cool manly man like Asher just kneeled without a second thought. Not at all embarrass, pleading and begging to a girl. Not at all ashamed at following Evangeline’s every beck and call and whims.
It was more like. He was enjoying himself.
Daniel was left at a loss. He was taught since young to live proudly and with dignity, never to lower oneself to anybody. Much less a royalty like him. He was so sure every man wouldn’t allow themselves to be treated like a servant. To be degraded as nothing but an errand boy.
All the men he knew were like that. His father was like that. His Uncles were like that. All his friends were like that.
But this Asher can do it –– why?
Daniel was so lost in his thoughts and didn’t notice Sisley’s face twisting in jealousy. Whether she admitted it or not, she also wanted to be treated that way. The way that Asher treated Evangeline. To be held at, like no one mattered but her. To be served at without reservation. And to be loved without hesitation.
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