Whether I flinched at his words or at his touch, I couldn’t tell. His hands, which were massaging my shoulder blades in a circular motion, slid down my back.
Was it because I needed to release the pent-up power?
As the heat radiating from his hands began to overwhelm my senses, his voice, which seemed to resonate in my head, poured down on me. While I was trying to understand what he was saying, he touched another sensitive spot.
The spot where the power was concentrated.
And as if he knew I would flinch, he massaged the area thoroughly. Every time his fingertips touched the sore spot, I let out a soft moan.
“Excuse me for a moment, Krua.”
My body, which had become limp, was now trapped between his knees. The moment I thought I could see his shadow in the dim light—
—His fingertips rubbed my back forcefully.
His hands moved down along my back muscles, sending a tingling sensation throughout my body. He seemed to know exactly where and how the muscles were connected. Such a delicate massage would be impossible otherwise.
No, more than that.
“Are you… covering your eyes?”
How could he do this with his eyes covered? Since he was behind me, I couldn’t look up.
I heard Diello’s low chuckle. It didn’t sound like he was laughing nearby, but his breath felt hot, as if it was touching me.
Whenever I felt a sensation that wasn’t caused by my own movements but by his touch, it took me a while to realize that it was the feeling of his clothes brushing against me. But perhaps because I couldn’t see, all my senses were heightened, and I was acutely aware of him.
His breath smelled sweet.
“Would you feel more comfortable if I brought you a mirror?”
Diello uttered as he moved away from me. When I looked back, he was touching the furniture around him.
Then, as if he realized where I was, he quickly brought a mirror and placed it in front of me.
“Will this work?”
I adjusted the angle of the mirror slightly before I could see his face clearly. A man with his eyes completely covered with black cloth dominating my back, and my flushed face looked up at him.
I covered my face without realizing it.
I fanned myself, and Diello smiled as he felt the breeze.
“Are you hot?”
Was a massage always this hot? When the maids massaged me, there was, of course, some heat, but it was nothing like this.
It felt so different.
“The muscles relax better when it’s warm.”
As he said that, he opened his hands.
As the red light that bloomed from his hands enveloped us, the air around us became cooler than before.
It definitely felt cooler. However…
My face was getting even redder.
Of course, it would.
When the temperature dropped, I felt it even more clearly. My cheeks were flushed not because of Argenta’s heat, though it was because of something else. And the area where he was touching me felt even hotter.
Still, I didn’t have time to feel it any longer. It was because Diello’s delicate fingertips touched my body again.
“It’s very tense. Your muscles, but also your power…”
Diello’s hands moved up to my arms. His soft yet strong movements caressed my arms.
“Originally, Krua, you don’t seem to have used such strong power. Am I right?”
I nodded unconsciously at Diello’s words. Of course, that would be the case. The Krua before I possessed her couldn’t have used such power.
“Then you must have pushed yourself for Argenta.”
Diello uttered with a hint of regret. His touch became even gentler.
Whether it was because of the fatigue or the massage, I felt like my body was melting.
Nonetheless, amidst the fatigue, there was something that kept me from falling asleep. It was the strange sensation that had been lingering on the back of my neck the whole time. I could see the corners of Diello’s lips, which were covered with black cloth, curving into a smile.
“Are you comfortable?”
In such a warm place, who wouldn’t melt like this? Diello whispered while lying on top of me.
“Then you can fall asleep, Krua.”
And he gently kissed the back of my exposed neck.
At that moment, I let out a short breath. The strange feeling that had been gathering at the back of my neck flowed throughout my body. My fingertips unconsciously scratched at the bedsheets. I was wide awake.
Diello laughed as I let out a short breath.
What? I didn’t have a chance to ask before he continued in a gentle voice.
“I won’t tease you anymore.”
Tease? I didn’t have a chance to ask again.
From the moment his lips touched the back of my neck, something, something that I had been barely holding back, felt like it was breaking free. A different sensation rose from where he had been massaging me. It was definitely just his hands loosening up the tense spots.
As he had said, he moved within the ‘boundaries of respect,’ never overstepping.
But sometimes, I couldn’t help but let out a hot breath.
“You can fall asleep.”
The more he said that, the more sensitive my entire body became, to the point where it felt strange. And every time he touched my body, that feeling gradually built up, causing rough waves to surge through my head.
The waves covered me in strange heat and moisture.
I couldn’t bring myself to look in the mirror, so I lowered my gaze, and I thought I heard Diello’s low chuckle again. That was why I couldn’t fall asleep even after he was done massaging me.
Instead, I just kept my head down and pretended to be asleep.
After he covered me with the blanket, I opened my eyes slightly as he left.
* * *
Diello left Krua’s bedroom and leaned against the wall. It felt like he was suffocating from the heat. However, that was all he could think about. If he just let himself be guided by his instincts, this suffocating feeling would probably go away.
“I was too greedy.”
He was confident that he could seduce her.
‘Please allow me.’
When he asked her that, he remembered the way she looked at him.
‘If I commit an offense that I shouldn’t even dream of committing, even more so.’
He said that and gave me his dagger. He also remembered her unwavering gaze that seemed to say, ‘You won’t do that.’
Did she really forget that night like a dream, the night when he had been desperate for her?
From the moment he entered the room with that fragrant oil, he had to work hard to calm my racing heart. He was afraid that she would look at him with eyes full of betrayal and resentment if he dared to take a deep breath without her permission.
On the other hand, he also had terrible expectations… that maybe she had tacitly approved of that night.
But she mercifully, or perhaps cruelly, forgot everything.
It seemed that for her, that night was just a dream, just as he had feared she wouldn’t forgive him.
He felt like he was trapped in a small space. For a fire, it was natural to devour anything in its vicinity, but Diello couldn’t bring himself to devour a single fragile woman in front of him, even if it meant burning himself instead.
She had called his name in surprise, and he was afraid that she would be filled with betrayal and disappointment.
It seemed like he couldn’t bear it. It felt like he would break down.
He hit the poor wall.
As his fingertips and his mind were throbbing from holding back his desire, he stood there for a long time before he could finally return to his study, not Krua’s bedroom.
It seemed like he wouldn’t be able to enter her room again today.