His Majesty's Devious Sins

Chapter 35 - Awkward Silence


Chapter 35 – Awkward Silence

“I-I think you’re smart,” Adeline finally responded in a small voice.

Elias rolled his eyes. “I’m more than smart.”

“—and shameless,” she finished.

Elias scoffed. She made it sound like a bad thing. What was wrong with being proud of achievements? Being humble was useless.

Regardless of their clashing views, he jutted his chin towards the door. “Follow me. I’ll take you to your surprise.”

Adeline nodded. She trailed after him, and once they left the room, she forced herself to catch up to him. He was always walking too fast for her to catch up. But she trudged onwards, even if she had to resemble a wadding penguin. Soon, she was beside him, completely unaware of his tender, yet amused smile.

– – – – –

Elias could not believe he was doing this. He rarely made a rash decision, but this was one of the stupidest ones. Everything was calculated, everything went flawlessly. His life was dictated by perfection, for all of his decisions were always right.

So, why did he feel like an idiot with a plate of freshly baked lemon cookies? She gawked at the dessert, her nose twitching a bit. Then, she peered up at him, awestruck with parted lips.

“It’s a cookie,” he deadpanned.

“I know what it is,” she responded.

“So take it.”

Elias didn’t know her interest had shifted to lemon meringue tarts. As a child, she always enjoyed lemon desserts. For the love of God, he could never find out why. Lemons were tart and always made people’s lips pucker up. But she gobbled it down without hesitation, declaring it was interesting that something so sour could be turned into something sweet. He felt like she was referencing someone.

“Is this the surprise you were talking about before?” Adeline curiously asked.

Adeline’s fingers itched to grab one of the soft and chewy lemon cookies. Without a doubt, it would melt in her mouth. She salivated at the thought, but could not dare to eat it.

“Did you expect something else?” he harshly asked.

Adeline noticed his displeased expression. She was thrown off by it. Did she say something wrong?

“It’s not lemon meringue tart,” he said with a frown.

Adeline instantly understood. He thought she wanted a tart, over this cookie. In all honesty, both were her favorite treats. S

“I’ll have it discarded.”

Adeline’s eyes widened. She watched in horror as he grabbed the plate from the dining room table and began handing it to one of the maids. She rushed forward and grabbed onto his arm.

“N-no, I like lemon cookies as well,” Adeline rushed out.

Elias glanced down at her with a scowl. “Don’t lie to me.”

Adeline rapidly shook her head. “I-I’m not lying!”

“Then show me,” he demanded.

Panicked that he would waste food, Adeline hurriedly grabbed one of the cookies. She took a small bite, like a tiny hamster, then showed him the cookie. Indeed, the pastry was delectable. Her lips trembled with how good it was, but she feared chewing down on it.

The perfect blend of sweet and sour burst upon her tongue. Her taste buds were tingling.

“So, it’s not good,” Elias muttered. He shook his head and beckoned her maid forward. “Jane, have these trashed.”

“No!” Adeline whimpered. She took a larger bite until half of the bright yellow cookie was gone. Then she showed it to him, visibly chewing upon the food. Then, she swallowed and presented him with a bright smile.

“S-see, it’s delicious,” she whispered.

“Why are you whispering?”

Adeline blinked. She covered her mouth as if eating was supposed to be a secret and a forbidden thing for her to do.

Elias frowned down on her. “Jane—”

“Jane, I-I’ll enjoy the cookies,” Adeline interrupted.

Adeline finished the one in her hand and grabbed another off the plate. It was warm and squishy, the crackled top was sprinkled with a condensed milk glaze. She was in Heaven, whilst taking another bite to show him the gift was appreciated.

“Hmm, have some more,” Elias ordered. He let her hold upon his tucked arm, as she eagerly ate the cookies from the plate. He watched her as she slowly licked the crumbs off her lips, chewed, and then swallowed. His eyes centered upon her soft, rosy lips.

“See, it’s good,” Adeline said. She revealed her empty palm. She had eaten two cookies.

Adeline could feel all eyes on her. She nearly glanced back, but was too captivated by Elias’s intense stare. If he could, he was undressing her with his eyes.

“Then eat more, darling,” he murmured.

“I-I’m full.”

“Surely, you can take some more.”

Adeline rapidly shook her head. Two cookies were more than enough. “You should try some as well,” she stated in a hesitant voice.

“My hands are occupied.”

Adeline glanced down, realizing he was holding the plate with both hands. She felt like he was strong enough to hold it with one hand.

“Then eat it later?” she said.

Elias raised a brow. “What? Are your hands busy too?”

“W-well—”

“Feed me.”

Adeline swallowed. She glanced around them, her face flaming a bit. Goodness, what did the maids and butlers think of her? She was holding onto his arm like a lost child, eating cookies without hesitation. Strangely, everyone was either looking upon the ground or the ceiling.

When she glanced back at Elias, she noticed his eyes had narrowed into a warning glare. Was it directed at her?

“You’re not a baby bird, Elias,” she finally said.

Elias gawked in disbelief. “If you can’t eat more, and I can’t eat at all, we can throw the cookies away. There is no use for it anymore,” he said.

Elias expected the same, panicked reaction. He knew Kaline and Addison raised their daughter well. She never wasted food, for someone worked hard to make it. That was why he knew this guilt-tripping technique would work. It was a dirty move. But he has forsaken all pride and dignity to get her to take a small bite.

Elias didn’t need her to starve to death in front of him.

“I think it can be shared amongst the servants,” Adeline said with determination.

“I’m pretty sure there is an extra batch in the kitchen they can eat,” he added on.

“T-then this can be handed to uhm…” Adeline trailed off, thinking of something to say. “The guards?”

“Stop making excuses and eat the cookie, Adeline.”

Adeline’s grip tightened upon his arm. She peered upon the plate of cookies, the delectable smell of lemon wafting into her nose. The pastry reminded her of the ones made in Kastrem. The thought made her unhappy. All the cooks, the maids, and butlers… where are they now?

She heard a loud, aggravated sigh.

“What’s wrong—!” he shoved the cookie into her mouth.

Adeline gaped up at him, refusing to bite down on it, but held it with her lips. She heard his loud, howling laughter. She must’ve looked like a fool. Irritated, she chewed the dessert and glared up at him.

“I’m not hungry,” she defiantly said.

And just then, her stomach decided to make itself known. A loud grumble echoed down the quiet dining hall. An awkward silence ensued.


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