Lara slightly smiled. Her shining eyes were as big as a cat’s. Demian sighed and swept up his hair with one hand.
“On the battlefield.”
“I already know about that.”
“The demon kidnapped him, so I chased him and rescued him.”
It was the first time she heard it. She could not believe the Crown Prince Acerus had been kidnapped by the demon. That was why he was so obsessed with the war against the demon forces.
“So you were the hero who rescued the empire’s damsel in distress from being taken by the demon lord.”
“I have heard that about a hundred times in the Empire and now I’m used to it. At that time, I was younger and my hair was pretty long…”
“What? You had long hair?”
“I even got weird misunderstandings.”
Demian frowned as he was genuinely annoyed. Rather than those weird misunderstandings, Lara was even more curious about the younger Demian with his long hair fluttering in the wind.
“I think you would have looked sexy.”
“Is that a compliment?”
“Yes, a sexy man is charming.”
Demian laughed out loud. Surprised by its owner’s laughter, the horse neighed.
The fog clung to Lara’s hair and made it wet. Her wavy hair was soaked with dew and became more curly. Lara swept her hair with one hand and looked at Demian’s straight hair with envy.
When she returned home, Konny was hanging out with Valentine without sleeping again. As she hung out with Valentine—who slept during the day and was awake at night—Konny’s sleep schedule ended up all over the place.
“Konny, hurry up and sleep. You can wake up late, so have a good sleep.”
“I was just about to go to bed.”
Konny smiled with a cute face and ran to her room.
Lara’s whole body was wet because of the fog. Even wearing a cape was of no use. She rubbed her wet face with her fingers and then rubbed her hand again on the hem of her clothes. Then, Demian held her hand. His fingers were cold and damp like her. The same went for his eyes.
“Once I take you to the Empire, my mission with Acerus will be considered done.”
Demian looked at Lara without even moving. It was dark all around, but bluish light stayed only in his eyes.
Her fingertips trembled. Demian lightly scratched Lara’s finger with his fingernail. When Lara put her finger together, he grabbed her hand again. Tension lingered in his fingertips.
“Ask that question again.”
Demian did not answer, but Lara quickly noticed what he was saying. So she asked again without thinking long about it.
“Is there any place…that you think you have to go back to someday?”
Demian’s fair complexion shone like the moon. With his long outer corners of eyes slightly folded, light shone from his blue eyes, and his red lips gently pulled up, he whispered to Lara.
It was a smile that Lara had never seen before. Lara stared at Demian blankly as if she had lost her words. He, who had always worn a savage smile because he did not know how to smile properly, was smiling like the moon in the night sky. Mist formed into dew on his thin eyelashes. He looked like a twinkling fairy of the night.
Lara approached him one step closer without realizing it and swept his eyelashes with her other hand. Water droplets were on it.
She had to say it. She had a thought that she had to say it now.
“I like you.”
In the past, she thought that words had no power. Lara had given all of her pure love to the Prince so she thought all she had left was distrust and hatred. Only burnt ash remained in her empty heart, seeming like it would scatter away by the slightest wind. She thought she could never love again.
“I like you.”
So she had to say it. Because something that seemed impossible had happened. Because a miracle happened. Because she came back to the past and met him again. Because she realized who the man she really loved was.
‘It’s crazy. What is this feeling?’
She wanted to smile, but she felt like crying. She just said that she liked him but it felt like she just said that she loved him. She did not know those three words could shake up a person into a mess like this. She did not even hear it from him, it was she who blurted it out. She liked him even more because it felt good saying those three words.
There was a flood in her chest. It was like an overflowing river or a swollen flower. Her heart might explode if it pounded even faster than here. Just like a bursting flower, it released its fragrance and seed to its fullest. She did not know how she managed to hide, ignore, and put up with it until now.
She liked Demian. She really liked Demian. She could not stand not saying it.
“I liked the past you. I longed for him and I missed him. I was obsessed with him. I wanted him.”
Someone who was within reach but she could not do so. She knew the Demian in the past and the Demian in the present were no different. Even if he denied it, he was still the same person to Lara.
“You’re just one person to me. It is you. Both of them are you.”
She realized that she should have said this, not just saying sorry. Lara realized that Demian’s hand was heating up at a high speed.
Darkness sank on his smile that was as gentle as the moon. It was dangerous darkness. Demian’s breath was rough. He scratched Lara’s palm gently with his finger.
Demian said. In a low voice, he told her to enter her room.
Lara asked back. When she raised her head and looked at Demian’s face, he sharply contorted his eyes.
Why is he smiling like this again?
It was a savage smile like before. Lara did not avoid Demian’s gaze. She was not afraid of him. Even when he came back from the battlefield and she saw him covered in blood and flesh, even when she saw him kill people with an indifferent face, she had never avoided him. Even when he became the demon lord covered with the demon’s blood, she was extremely upset, but she did not think that he was scary.
“I want to kiss you.”
Lara’s scarlet eyes shone provocatively. Her eyes, covered in pure darkness, were as red and fragrant as a pomegranate.
“You said you wanted me.”
Lara let go of Demian’s hand first. She put her palm on his cheek and touched the tip of his lips with her thumb.”
“Didn’t you hear me?”
And she got a little closer. They were close enough that Demian’s lips were touching the tip of Lara’s nose.
“I like you.”
She wished she had known how to seduce a man in advance. She wished someone had taught her something like that. She had all sorts of dirty rumors surrounding her all this time, but Lara actually knew nothing about men. She did not know anything about how to capture Demian’s heart. She had never felt this way before.
And so she could neither measure nor calculate it. Lara simply looked at Demian’s blue eyes and closed her eyes first. Then she put her lips on his lips.
“I like you.”
Lara had no idea that her actions were driving him completely crazy.
Demian had never trusted his patience. He was born and lived on the battlefield and sometimes regarded himself as a beast crazy for fighting. So he was not angry even if someone said he was a slave bastard that was no different from a beast. Everything in the world was insignificant in his eyes. He just thought of them as things that tried hard to live, when in the end, they would all rot and disappear after they died anyway.
But not this woman.
Lara dominated him arrogantly, heated him up, and drove him crazy. She had been like that from the very first time he saw her. He was completely captivated by her sharp eyes. She shook him up to his soul and told him to always endure and to wait.
He thought that there was no way he could endure. When Lara kissed Demian first in the arena, all he wanted to do was to leave far away with her in his arms, leaving behind Acerus’s request and everything.
It was ridiculous and bizarre. At that moment, Demian had already imagined kidnapping Lara and taking her to the end of the world.
But he endured it. He persevered. He was careful because he did not want Lara to run away from him and he was afraid that Lara would avoid him. It was the same when he found out about her past and the miracle she had been through. He was angry that the Demian whom Lara had missed was not him, but at the same time, he was actually able to understand him more deeply than anyone else.
Demian Rhode Drake would have stayed with Lara on purpose. Prince Sidhar was nothing to him. No matter how harsh the Prince threatened him, it was clear that he would let his words go in one ear and out the other. Demian Rhode Drake was just crazy about Lara. Because Lara was there, because she asked him to fight, and because he loved her.
He endured and waited. He just desperately hoped and hoped that she would come to him.
“I like you.”
The moment Lara said so, her eyes that were covered in darkness and as red as a pomegranate erased Demian’s world.
Her lips were provocative and seductive. There was a subtle warmth in her eyes that resembled that of a cat’s. Her breath, voice, and everything were all too sweet. His back muscles tightened. He could feel an exhilarating feeling everywhere he came into contact with Lara. Even when he won a dangerous battle or even when he defeated a demon whom he did not think he could ever overcome, his body was not this hot.
You say you like me.
‘How long do I have to endure?’
His body moved first before he had even finished his thoughts. Demian held Lara’s body tightly and swallowed her lips.
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