Predatory Marriage - chapter-24-intruder-1
Chapter 24 â€“ Intruder (1)
Leah felt her face flush from anger as she listened to the insults Blain
spat at her. She huffed out angrily and straightened up her posture,
fixing up her disheveled state of dress before shooting him a sharp glare.
â€œDonâ€™t worry, brother,â€ she hissed, â€œEven if Byun Gyongbaek
scares me, I wonâ€™t do that,â€ she reassured.
Blainâ€™s face had winced momentarily at the mention of Byun Gyongbaek,
before schooling his features into a scowl as he stared down Leah with a
â€œYouâ€™re good.â€ he said, â€œVery good at denying, even hiding in the
gardens with the King of Kurkans, no less,â€ he whispered. His face
drawing near until his mouth was a breath away from her ear.
He let go of his grip on her hair, hands trailing down, caressing her
cheek. His long, slender fingers patted her cheek gently, quirking his
head at her with a mocking concern.
â€œDid he tell you heâ€™s in love with you?â€ he asked, pouting at her,
which made Leah clench her jaw, â€œTell you to sleep with him?â€ Leah
forced her mouth to keep shut.
She wanted to tell him that he did, but she thought otherwise.
â€œNothing happened between us,â€ she told him, â€œHe was only
interested in me because I am Byun Gyongbaekâ€™s fiancأ©,â€ she finished
explaining. Blain only stared at her silently, observing her for any
signs of dishonesty. He didnâ€™t trust a single word, but for now,
heâ€™ll let it be.
They were close before, him and Leah. Back when they were still young.
Theyâ€™d take care of each other, as much as they would with a real
And Blain had absolutely adored Leah, gave her what she wanted and more,
granted her every wish. And Leah was the same, due to her lonesome
nature, she found a company with Blain. Eventually, people often mistook
them as siblings with exactly the same parents, and they never bothered
to correct them.
But like all families, with time, they eventually grew apart.
As Leah grew, he watched her discover her many talents, growing further
and further successful, needing him less and lesser. And it tore at
Blain, made him feel inadequate of standing beside her. Slowly, his
admiration turned into jealousy. His love turned into hate.
He didnâ€™t like how she was flourishing. He wanted to crush her at all
And as their relationship crumbled before her very eyes, Leah learned a
valuable lesson, which led to completely breaking off their once strong
Her motherâ€™s death was the key. When she realized the real reason, she
couldnâ€™t keep up with the pretenses anymore, and finally left Blain.
She couldnâ€™t reconcile what she knew of him now, to the person he used
And when Leah broke away, Blainâ€™s true colors began to shine.
After staring into his angry cerulean orbs, and seeing he had nothing
else to say, Leah shrugged off his grip on her chin, jerking her head
suddenly and pushed past him to leave. Blain stepped back when she did
and called out.
â€œLeah,â€ he said, and she paused. His voice made unpleasant shivers
run down her spine. His fingers once more found purchase in her hair, as
he tucked in some strands behind her ear, the callouses caressing her
â€œYou must learn to listen to me, sister.â€ he told her before giving
her a serious look, â€œAnd donâ€™t wander off where I canâ€™t see,â€ he
warned, and Leah gave him a terse nod.
All she wanted was for all of this to be over. She was so tired.
When Leah finally returned to the Princessâ€™ chambers, the maids were
already gathered, waiting for her, with Countess Melissa among their
ranks, standing in front of the maids.
As soon as the Countess had seen her, she immediately ran up to her with
â€œPrincess!â€ she exclaimed as she neared and paused in front of her,
fidgeting. â€œThe Crown Prince had been searching for you.â€ she
informed her, and Leah nodded.
â€œYes, Iâ€™ve seen him.â€ Leah replied with a soft smile, and Countess
Melissa stared at her agape, before closing her mouth, â€œThereâ€™s
nothing to worry about.â€ she reassured. But even with her assurance,
the worry was still present in the Countessâ€™ eyes. And as much as Leah
wanted to elaborate, she couldnâ€™t risk telling her more.
She remembered the way Blain had pulled her aside, grabbing her by her
hair, and she remembered she was still quite a mess. She hadnâ€™t been
able to think up an excuse to explain her poor state of dress. Nodding at
her, Countess Melissa soon pulled out a shawl, and draped it across her
Leah thanked her briefly before heading inside her chambers.
Once inside, the maids served her tea, whilst she sat on a stool and took
a sip. For now, the warmth of the liquid as it ran down her throat was
enough to soothe her racing heart. She felt her muscles loose then the
tension as she took a deep breath, savoring the sensation of the Countess
brushing her hair.
Halfway through her tea, the Countess broke the silence, albeit hesitant.
â€œPrincess, if I may,â€ she began while continuing to brush her hair,
â€œWhat happened with the King of Kurkans?â€
Leah paused at the question and set the cup of tea back down on the
table. It was very easy to lie her way out of this. And so with expert
ease, she put on a calm expression and a reassuring smile.
â€œHe was only curious of me.â€ she answered, â€œIt seemed that he was
highly curious on who is Byun Gyongbaek of Oberdeâ€™s fiancأ©,â€ She
finished and took another sip of the tea, and Countess Melissa nodded in
She didnâ€™t even doubt a single word.
â€œThatâ€™s a relief.â€ The countess sighed, her worries easing up,
â€œIâ€™ve been so worried, especially since itâ€™s been a while since
youâ€™ve disappeared. He seems too rough and stern,â€ she aired her
And Leah was content to let her ramble on as usual. Normally, the
countess would have told the nothings of her day, usually involving
Blain. But since she met Ishakan earlier today, it was so memorable that
she couldnâ€™t stop talking about it.
â€œOh, and his eyesâ€¦â€ the countess recalled, wistfully recalling
Ishakanâ€™s face from memory. But as she paused, she immediately
realized, with a frown, of how freely she had been speaking. She usually
took great care not to talk so casually towards the princess. Meanwhile,
Leahâ€™s hand stilled, the tea still unfinished, as she recalled the
golden eyes of Ishakan.