Home Post 958-chapter-123


‘This man is curious about my thoughts.’

“I wonder what kind of whim you’re going to have again.”

Pff. A chuckle brushed her ear.


Grace turned her head towards the man. Her face was so close that she could clearly see it reflected in his light blue eyes.

“What are you thinking?”

The man asked, staring at her for a long time with emotionless eyes.

“I’m curious about what you’re thinking.”

A shiver ran down her spine. She could only hope that the collar he had kindly pulled up would conceal her obvious reaction.

As she looked into those emotionless eyes, she understood the true meaning behind the question.

Initially, she had thought he was genuinely interested in her thoughts, filled with affection and concern. But now, the question ‘What are you thinking?’ sounded more like an interrogation, probing deeper into some hidden agenda.

“In other words, we both had the thought that we couldn’t trust each other.”

As Grace defended herself once again, the man smiled faintly, as he didn’t expect it.

“I guess it’s fate. Even standing at opposite ends, we have the same thoughts.”

His lips pressed together as he murmured the abominable words.

“Do you believe me when I say I love you?”

He asked, his lips pressed together. She stared at him intently before replying.


The man parted his lips and chuckled lightly.

“I can’t trust you, so why would I believe that? And usually, people don’t insist that taking me out once after keeping me locked up is proof of love.”

No, Winston. You’re doing well. So, open up even more than now.

Whether her provocation was effective or not, the man’s face turned slightly annoyed before he asked firmly.

“So, what do I have to do for you to trust me?”

“Love me like any other man would, normally.”

The man’s gaze turned icy.

Grace knew why this simple request bothered him.

In their twisted relationship, nothing was ever normal—beginnings, separations, and reunions. For ordinary lovers, they would never walk the swamp of death, betrayal, conspiracy, and hatred. In a relationship where everything was distorted, the distorted love was perhaps the only normal thing.

Paradoxically, ordinary love was brutally twisted.

The man, who had been silent for a moment, began to say with an expression that was truly twisted sarcastically.

“Ah, like Jimmy? Would you believe me if I said I loved you with poison like him?”

Even Grace’s judgment seemed to be distorted now.

“Why do you keep bringing up past stories?”

“I’m curious if it’s really all in the past.”

“Even you, too, have a fiancée…”

“It’s just a business transaction based on a thorough cost-benefit analysis, so don’t try to turn my engagement into something fundamentally different from yours, more than anyone else,”

Grace couldn’t hold back a tired sigh. She was dealing with a meticulous, sensitive, and even stubborn person. It was obvious from the beginning that she wouldn’t easily get away with using psychological tactics on him.

In the end, she gave up on changing the subject and rubbed her stomach, which she had found horrible even to touch until now.

“You’ve turned everything into the past, haven’t you?”

She tried not to cry. If even a little moisture clung to her eyes, that man would undoubtedly think she still had deep feelings for Jimmy. Then, all her efforts so far would be in vain.

Her hand, which had been going down along a gentle curve, touched the man’s hand. He overlapped their hands and interlocked their fingers one by one. Her hand, sandwiched between the swelled stomach and his large hand, seemed to be unable to move like a child held by him.

“I’m not satisfied with just you giving up.”

“You’re greedy. You’ve made sure there’s nowhere else for me to rely on now…”

“Do you really think that way? I’m curious.”

Of course, she didn’t think that way at all. In her mind, she revisited the faces of those who would gladly help her.

“Think carefully, darling.”

The man whispered in her ear.

“A man who tells you to die just because you’re caught by the enemy once. And a man who sacrifices everything to protect you despite being betrayed countless times.”


“Which one seems to love you?”

Sacrifice everything. Protect…

All of these were just wrong words. Still, Grace pretended to be swayed by his words, closed her eyes tightly, and sighed deeply.

“Well, you’ll change like Jimmy anyway.”

She muttered in a tone that didn’t sound provocative but rather mournful. However, in her heart, she repeated a different mantra.

No. Jimmy hasn’t changed. He won’t change. No way.

With determination, Grace opened her eyes and glanced at the man from the corner of her eye. His softened gaze indicated that he had succumbed to her persuasion.

“After all, there’s no man who loves only one woman for a lifetime. I don’t expect that from you either.”

“You say that to me, a man who’s fallen for the same woman three times and is still struggling.”

As Grace chuckled softly, Winston laughed along. It was a self-deprecating yet light laugh. He lightly whispered into her ear and gently bit her ear.

“We were destined to end up like this.”

Their interlocked hands gently caressed Grace’s stomach.

“I just corrected what went wrong. Though the method may have been drastic, you’ll understand later.”

At that moment, a gust of wind blew, tousling their hair. Grace closed her eyes tightly as if blaming the wind, suppressing her anger that was about to burst out.

“The wind is cold. Let’s go inside now.”

Guided by the man’s hand, they headed back towards the annex’s back door. Grace couldn’t take her eyes off the clear sky with no clouds and the rustling falling leaves.

“Can I take this with me?”

Just before entering the house, she raised the yellow leaf she had been holding in her hand all this time.

As expected, the man raised an eyebrow.

“Are you a beggar or a squirrel? No, even beggars and squirrels don’t pick up things like this.”

Grace mumbled, avoiding the hand, trying to snatch it from her and hiding the leaf behind her back.

“But I want to keep a memento of coming out after so long.”

The man, still with a look of disbelief, stared at her with eyes that said he couldn’t stand being beaten and said, after relenting.

“We can go for a walk anytime now.”

“Really? Good.”

As soon as she heard what she wanted, Grace unceremoniously threw away the leaf. She mumbled that she wanted hot cocoa with lots of marshmallows and hurried inside, and a faint chuckle could be heard from behind.

“You’ve always been strange. I can feel it even when you were young.”

Although the permission to go outside had only been granted today, it had been quite a while since she had been able to move freely within the building.

Of course, she still had to stick to him like a shadow when she went out.

She rested her chin on her hand, sat facing the man across the table and observed him with interest. He had been staring at the chessboard with a rather serious expression after losing the queen a while ago.

It was boring.

In addition, the warmth of the fireplace added to the coziness, making drowsiness overwhelm her.

With no soldiers and only one mute maid in the annex, it was as quiet as a haunted mansion. She didn’t appreciate the fact that the man, who had chosen the most discreet and quiet pastime, was now looking at her like that.

Grace had chosen billiards. But the man, who had sarcastically asked her what kind of billiards she could play, brought her to his study instead.

“What does pregnancy have to do with billiards?”

“I don’t think we’ll just be playing billiards.”

As Winston fixed his gaze on the chessboard and responded in a somber tone, she recalled what had happened in the study. That was right. He had avoided the billiards table because he thought he was about to pounce on her again.

‘Is it because I’m pregnant? Pretending to be considerate…’

Grace, who had frowned at him, burst into laughter when she remembered what had followed.

“Why? Were you scared that I might not just hit the billiards ball but also your head? Well, with this body, I can hit your head even more.”

“You seem quite confident.”

Twisting his lips, the man picked up a knight.

Even as her queen was captured, Grace chuckled and popped a piece of chocolate into her mouth. The crystal dish on the table was piled high with various types of chocolates. She picked up a heart-shaped chocolate and remembered a conversation from a few days ago.

“Did you eat the chocolate I gave you?”

She brought up old memories with a question about the chocolates she had given him at Abbington Beach.

The purpose of mentioning it was to force him to admit that she was not the same girl who had stolen his heart, broken it, and disappeared forever, but rather the woman who lay in the same bed and had his child.

…To break down the wall he had built by lying that Daisy, Sally, and Grace were different people.