COPYRIGHT © 2019 Miu
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, electronical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the Author.
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All pictures and multimedia used are not the author’s work and doesn’t claim any legal rights.
MATURE CONTENT and VULGAR words not suited for young readers below eighteen (18) years old.
On that winter day, inside the protective barriers of the amusement park, the lake was flat like a mirror reflecting the sky above. It lay peacefully with the occasional gentle ripples from the small wooden boats. Waters so pristine, transparent, and very clean enough to drink.
Various visible stones, corals, flora, and fauna and all kinds of fishes and turtles even swans and ducks created a mix of rainbow hues intensified by the atmosphere of virtual falling snowflakes. And highlighted it all were the falling vines of the gigantic willow trees, which created a cozy private space for lovers to hide from prying eyes.
Evangeline closed her eyes, savoring the artificial breeze on her face, blowing some strand of her hair. Without her sight, she could focus on the scent. Contrary to her expectations, the scent didn’t smell like slimy dead fish and damp moss. It was . . . fresher than she expected. The air was a little icy as it glided in her throat, adding a minty feel.
A beautiful woman sitting on a wooden boat across the lake created a heart-stopping view.
Mesmerized, Eric watched Evangeline, who was sitting opposite him. Her legs were neatly tucked, hand prompting her chin, elbow resting on her lap, and a soft smile on her pretty unblemished face. Her head was rolling back and forth, expression calm and peaceful, so serene it never failed to put a smile on his face.
Her skin was so tender and smooth with scattered hues of pink, almost like a porcelain doll made by a master artisan. Her lips, so full and tantalizingly red. How her slender fingers stroked the handkerchief on her lap made his imagination ran wild.
And when she opened her eyes and caught him staring, he scuttled away, arms resumed rowing, pretending to look at the scenery. But the heat creeping to his face didn’t hide what he was feeling. And the soft smile on her lips was replaced by one of cheekiness. He didn’t care. She was still adorable in his eyes.
“Eric . . . ,” she called.
He replied in an instant, heads snapping in her direction, cheeks a bit red.
“. . .” She didn’t resume talking right away. The crumpled brows on her forehead were enough indication that she was contemplating something.
“Never mind,” she said after a long silence.
It was visible that she had something to say, but was hesitant to speak about it. Maybe she didn’t want to ruin the mood?
“Eve . . . what is it?” Eric urged in a soft tone.
Fiddling with her handkerchief, Evangeline’s eyes shifted to it and back to Eric again and again before finally resting on her hanky.
“About . . . about us . . . I think that . . . it is unfair to you if we don’t. . . if we don’t define our relationship,” she said with a haughty voice, which turned low towards the end.
“It’s fine,” Eric answered right away, “I’m okay with it.”
Evangeline’s eyes flicked over and met Eric’s gaze. “But . . .”
“Eve . . . ,” Eric interrupted, no longer rowing the boat. “It’s fine, really. I’m already contented with our relationship of master and servant. As long as we both like each other, then . . . that’s already enough for me.”
Eric paused, his eyes dropped, and the familiar heat crept on his face once more when he realized he said something so mushy.
Shifting his head, hand stroking the back of his head, he asked, “Of course . . . that is . . . you like me . . . right?”
The handkerchief in Evangeline’s hand crumpled in a frenzied mess when her fingers fiddled around it. Didn’t know where to put her reddened face, she lowered her head and answered in a low whisper.
“. . . Mmm . . .”
Eric’s tensed body gradually relaxed. That was the longest seconds in his life!
“Then . . . that’s all that matters. Defining our relationship will only put restrictions and responsibilities upon you that I know you’re not ready to shoulder yet.” He smiled, eyes softening. “So it’s okay to remain like this. You don’t have to push yourself.”
“No! That’s not it!”
Evangeline’s sudden outburst not only stunned Eric but even herself. True that if they stayed the way they are, she would be free from the burden of commitment and needless responsibilities. She could do whatever she wanted without his restrictions, and she could leave him anytime she wanted without explanations.
But . . . That also applied to him . . .
If that were the case, she would rather tie herself to him and him to hers.
Still fiddling with her hanky, her eyes dropped to that piece of fabric. A moment of vulnerability appeared on her face. Didn’t know how to put her feeling into words.
“. . . Eric . . . I . . . I’m not . . . against it . . .”
“. . .”
Eric’s eyes were wide, staring at Evangeline, didn’t get the meaning of what she said. When it downed on him, he blinked, and his hand covered his lips. He shifted his head to the side, fighting a smile.
Evangeline was always prideful, independent, and carefree. She also had trust issues. He thought that defining their relationship, she would only feel restricted. Putting her in a tight spot because of the commitment attached to a status. Not to mention she and Daniel just broke up.
But . . . If she’s okay with it . . . if she’s ready to accept me . . . then . . .
He couldn’t be happier.
Eric took an intake of air to calm his nerves before he stared at her with a serious face.
“Evangeline Heart, will you be my girlfriend?”
Evangeline’s head snapped at Eric. Her wide eyes shook like it was melting, turning affectionate. Her quivering lips opened and closed until it rested in a tender smile. Her voice was soft and brittle as she answered.
“Yes . . .”
The clear water moves softly around Lilybella’s outstretched fingers as she caressed the serene transparent lake. She was feeling giddy and happy at the ripples she created, which attracted the fishes towards her fingers.
She sat there on the other edge of the small wooden boat. Her body took the shape of a slouching sack of water. Even her face was slack, grinning and giggling like an idiot.
My parents really hate me.
Daniel thought with a blank expression. Apparently still not over with his fiancée selection. No matter, I still have a year.
Though he could actually end it, he knew his parents would just find him another one. He could not escape it. On a brighter note, he would use Lilybella to ward off his parents while he dealt with his current relationship problems.
And besides, even though Lilybella wasn’t Queen material or woman material for that matter, he could tell she had a pure and kind heart. That reason at least made him tolerate her weirdness.
Fortunately, he just had to tolerate her until he returned to Burberry for the start of the class.
He stopped rowing the boat and stretched her shoulders and neck. For some reason, the stress kept piling ever since Lilybella came into his life, followed by the sudden arrival of Evangeline in Everland.
After cracking some bones and flexing some muscles, Daniel leaned, chin propping on his palm, elbow resting against his parted legs.
“Your Highness! Your Highness!”
Contrary to Daniel’s bored look, Lilybella’s face was full of vitality. “Look! Look! It’s a turtle! It’s so cute!”
“Ah! What’s that?!” She then pointed towards a blurry black thing that seemed to be a strange fish.
“Look! It’s moving its big bulging eyes! That’s so funny!”
She then continued to point at everything she saw that Daniel began to feel irritated at the noise, disrupting the quiet atmosphere.
Wanting to shut her up and destroy her enthusiasm, he spoke, interrupting her needless chatter.
“Miss Waltz, do you know there is a rumor about this place?”
That got Lilybella’s interest. Tilting her head to the side and pointing a finger on her chin, she asked, “Rumor?”
Daniel smiled. A rather sinister smile.
“Yes. Rumor had it that this lake is cursed.”
“That’s right. Whenever a boy and a girl ride a boat here in the lake, they would be cursed never to be together. Forever.”
“W-what? T-that can’t be true! Right?”
Daniel grinned, pointing at a boat, he said darkly, “Look around you. Don’t you find it strange that most who go boating here are either families or groups of friends?”
Sweeping her surroundings, Lilybella did found that except for their boat and Evanlgien’s, all others contained families and groups of girls and boys.
Her face went pale, and she shot to her feet.
“L-Lilybella want to get off!” she shrieked in a panic. Her sudden movement caused the small boat to sway left and right.
“I-idiot! Stop moving!” Fingers plastered on each side of the boat, Daniel tried to steady the small ship.
However, he too panicked when the small rocking of the boat turned violent when Lilybella could no longer balance herself, and the boat tipped to the other side, and the two of them fell in the water.
“Help! Help! I can’t swim!” Lilybella shouted, eyes closed, and hands flapping against the water before a force yanked her up by the arm.
“Stop messing around!”
At the sound of Daniel’s annoyed and angry tone, Lilybella opened her eyes and found the water didn’t even reach her breasts.
Looking up at Daniel, who had an indescribable expression, soaking from head to toes, she hollered.
“Your Highness! You’re wet!”
A vein popped on Daniel’s grim face. Could no longer restrain his anger, he drilled his fists on each side of Lilybella’s head.
“And whose fault do you think it is?”
“O-ouch! Lilybella is sorry! Lilybella is sorry!” Lilybella tried to pull her head away, but Daniel’s fists on each side of her head kept her in place. She could only apologize pathetically and beg for mercy.
“What are you two doing playing in the water?”
“Are you two, alright?”
Seeing Evangeline and Eric, especially Evangeline’s face, which was clearly enjoying the show, Daniel released Lilybella’s head. He didn’t answer and just shot a glare at the latter while Lilybella dryly laughed without humor.
In the end, the lover’s boat ride ended with a new couple and two drenching people.
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