Please be Patient, Grand Duke - Chapter 70.1
Claude released his grip on Kieran and went into the Palace. Kieran ran after him, calling out to understand what was happening, but Claude signaled the guards to stop him.
“Don’t let anyone in.”
The guards obeyed Claude’s order.
Kieran stood there stunned with his hand covering his wound. Claude didn’t look back at Kieran. With each stair he climbed he felt disgust at the bruises on Lia’s pure skin. The bruise along the edge of her undergarment wasn’t made overnight.
It hadn’t been Canillia’s decision to put herself in leather prison to hide her s*x, it was clearly the idea of the damn Marchioness—or that of Marquis Gliad.
Emotion had bubbled up in Claude once he saw the bruises on Canillia. He bristled at the thought that she had accepted the pain the disguise caused. Therefore, he left her room without touching her again. But the moment he turned to leave, he missed her. He thought himself to be completely insane.
There she was, in front of him, and he simply left the room. Unsure of what he was doing, all he knew was that he missed her. He really must be insane.
Claude pushed down his emotion as he stood outside her door. He knew he was capable of killing anyone who had just stood by watching Canilla’s charade. He would follow through on that if that is what she wants.
He opened the door with a fake smile. His eyes became cold as he stepped into the room. The fireplace was lit, but she wasn’t there. As he came to the middle of the room, he heard the sound of water hitting the floor. Her clothes were strewn about.
Claude picked up a robe and stepped into the bathroom. There she was, curled on the floor under a stream of water, trembling, weeping, as she tried to erase her bruises with her hands. Goosebumps appeared on her pale back and thin arms. She wiped tears from her eyes and stood up under the flow of water looking determined.
Claude’s heart sank upon taking in this sad scene. He was shaken. He dropped the robe and walked towards her. He felt the chill of the water. Rage welled up within him.
Claude took her arm and turned her around. She dropped the soap on the floor. Her empty eyes made his heart hurt. “What are you doing? This is stupid.” He covered her tiny frozen head, letting the water hit himself instead.
Trembling and teary, she blinked, but said nothing. She buried her face into his chest and then finally spoke.
“Everything about me. I’m not a man or a woman—”
Is that why she wants to erase the bruises?
To think that she was taking on the cold water just because of that! He wouldn’t leave her alone when she was like this.
He hugged her tighter.
“Just what are you saying?”
“Isn’t that why you left? Because I’m ugly?”
“Ugly? Canilla, stop!” Claude shouted too loud.
“Sir! The soap is—” she said through her sobs.
“I told you to stop.”
He shut the water off and carried a struggling Lia into the bedroom. She dug herself into him, embarrassed about revealing her naked body. Claude was trying his best to push down the sense of shame that in some way swallowed his sanity.
He took her to the sofa in front of the fireplace and their frozen bodies warmed by the fire.
“Are you insane? What if you caught a cold?”
“It wasn’t cold at all,” she replied.
“And no, not ugly. Not even a little,” he said.
Canillia looked up while her lips moved. She was lovely even when she cried or tried not to cry.
“Then, why? Why did you leave in a rage?”
“I was in a rage?”
“You were. And then you simply left.”
“You thought that was towards you? You really don’t know?”
“I don’t. Perhaps I am stupid. But, I can’t know if you don’t tell me.”
Claude caressed her cheek and gave her a playful bite on her nose. Canillia curled up in surprise.
He casually nibbled at her lips, chin, neck and into her collarbone. As he did, the water droplets at the ends of his hair dropped onto her pale skin. Claude watched the droplets slide down her alabaster skin. His lips and hot tongue traced the path. He licked her with care, like an animal would lick a wound.
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