04| Sweet Tea

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"Tell me, Erin, why did she come here to you?" I ask.

She seemed like a lady from the village, or most probably, from the town.

"Because I'm rich" Erin answers and my rigid shoulders went slack.

"And?" I request further.

He lets out a snort, suddenly showing a foul temper. "Shall I ring for tea?" I ask in a small voice.

He covers up his face with his hands and shakes his head. Seems like something unusual happened to him.

"Mind if I have one?" I ask again, lowering my voice more.

He uncovers his face and without glancing at me, he looks around for a guard and calls him to us. "Get her a cup of sweet tea." he orders him and the guard walks off after bowing his head.

I wanted no sweet in it, though.

A servant arrives and offers me the cup of tea after pouring it into it until its edges.

It's a cup that shines pure gold. I like the design it has carved on it. It depicts the traditions and culture of Lichelle.

I take a sip, causing a small spurting sound. Oops.

"She came here to see me and ask that I marry her."

I spit my tea a little over my gown.

"Why would a lady offer you to marry her? I mean, I know you surely are captivating enough to set one's eyes at... but a marriage proposal like this?!"

"I guess you're just pulling my chain" I add.

"I'm not the one she precisely wished to marry. She wanted fifty thousand pounds to pay the debt to the man who has kidnapped her brother" he says sensually.

Oh. Why do I feel like I'm hearing about my future?

"So she offered herself to you in exchange for money? She looked glamorous, bold, and perfect for you. Now I know why you're feeling so keyed up; wedding preparation and dealing with everybody to explain all this may be hard, but it would be worth it" I blab.

A scowl shows up on his face, "There would be... no wedding and no need to deal with anybody."

I shift forward to face him properly, "You didn't just turn down that lady, did you?"

"Is that even a question to ask, Blair, of course, I did! I couldn't take advantage of her in such a situation" he raises his voice a little.

"How could you do that to her? You know how hard it must have been for her to gather up the courage to come here and ask you for help! She even accepted to sell herself to a stranger to collect money for her brother" I say, feeling how hellish this situation must be for her.

I find it hard to gulp another sip of my tea.

"Yeah, that's why I decided to solve it all differently, I offered her the needed amount of money either way," he says and I stop myself from spitting out another mouthful of tea.

I swallow.

"I know you must be used to giving away money to the needed in orphanages and poor villagers, but that lady hardly seemed like fitting in a charitable category," I say.

"You women are so complicated. What I'm supposed to do here? Well, I did offer her the money. And she refused it so badly..." he side eyes the shredded silvers of paper hurled on the desk. I guess this was the contract he signed for her to use and get money.

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