I Became My Son's First Love - Chapter 014
Eve examined her reflection in the mirror.
Her red hair was lustrous, her complexion was softer than when she first married, and at 22, she had fully matured into a lady, no longer the girl she was three years earlier.
“Time flies so fast.”
Perhaps it’s her carefree, affluent lifestyle, or perhaps it’s the luxury of money.
“My face is nothing to be ashamed of anywhere.”
Eve smiled comfortably at her own happiness.
She had maintained a prosperous and leisurely life during the previous three years.
She not only received monthly maintenance money from the Count’s home, but she also received a sizeable additional income from accompanying Count Hound to royal balls and other formal functions as his spouse.
The Count wasted no cost on such occasions.
Everything Eve wore was of the best quality, from expensive accessories to the latest trend outfits to shoes made by craftsmen dedicated to the nobility.
Per their agreement, the Count held Eve in high regard on such occasions.
In addition, he never brought other women into her presence, which was important given his previous behavior.
Despite the stories about Eve, this protected her from direct impolite questioning.
Of course, Count Hound continued to meet new women and appear on the covers of gossip magazines, but this no longer concerned Eve, who had stopped reading such publications.
Previously, passing the time meant reading third-rate newspapers or cheap gossip mags, but things had changed.
She now sought education when she was curious, went to locations when she wanted to see something and developed excellent hobbies.
Eve acquired an interest in patronage over the course of three years.
Becoming a patron and supporting budding artists did not decrease the dignity of the Hound family, making it an appropriate hobby.
She had an eye for talent, as the painters she financed rose to prominence, prompting the Count to grant her this passion gladly.
Eve Jenna, a previously impulsive rural noble, evolved into Lady Hound, a city noble with a proper demeanor and social navigation skills.
However, not every moment was enjoyable.
Count Hound has summoned Eve to his bedroom every night since that first night.
He would kiss her to satisfy himself, but he never went any farther with her.
There were constantly different women waiting in his bedroom, and Eve observed her husband’s intimacy with them.
However, that was not the central issue.
The issue was in her nightmares on those nights.
A dream creature contacted her after she witnessed the Count’s lovemaking.
A black-haired man with no face and herself drenched in his kisses.
It was something she couldn’t tell anyone about.
For a married woman like her to fantasize about such passionate meetings with someone other than her husband, and with whom could she possibly relate such tales?
“Even if I had friends, who would believe it’s due to frustration because Count Hound doesn’t touch me?”
Eve snuffed out the rare pang of need that swelled within her. It was well understood that one should not be unduly greedy.
A life in which every desire save sexual desire was satisfied was unusual.
So she chose to let go of what she couldn’t have and live in the moment.
“Yeah, it can’t get better than this….”
Someone came to Eve’s mind at that very moment.
Azazel, her stepson, who spent half of the year at the Count Hound’s mansion, was another presence that made her uneasy.
Although he tended to walk outside most of the time and they rarely met paths, he had an odd look for Eve.
His blue eyes, typically apathetic to the world, appeared to be seething with suppressed emotions or sinking indefinitely as if suppressing something.
Eve wondered if Azazel despised her, but it seemed improbable given that he constantly dined with her when he stayed at the Count’s mansion.
This appeared to be his method of showing Eve, his stepmother, that he cared.
Eve was able to solidify her position thanks to the respect of Azazel, the successor to the Seratin Duchy and the Count’s eldest son.
“It was a bit bothersome when Count and Azazel clashed, but at least he never took it out on me.”
When Count and Azazel were together, it felt like Eve was treading on thin ice, although she was never seriously hurt.
Given his rocky relationship with his father, Count Hound, Azazel was a gentleman towards her.
Although his gaze may be harsh sometimes, Eve found it more than enough.
Even if Azazel became Count, she believed having a distant but cordial relationship with him would keep her safe.
Eve was sure her future would be steady and satisfying, so she was taken aback when she was brought to Count Hound’s room late one night and told something she couldn’t believe.
It was strange enough that he hadn’t dressed her in her everyday suggestive nightgown.
Eve struggled to express what she had just heard.
“So, you’re saying you want a divorce?”
Her husband had abruptly terminated their contract.
Eve, caught aback by her husband’s abrupt divorce announcement, couldn’t help but wonder, “Why all of a sudden?”
“I’ve found another woman,” he said casually as if it were the most logical explanation in the world. Eve let out a hollow laugh. “That isn’t anything new. Throughout our marriage, you’ve been seeing other women.”
But, unlike his customary demeanor, while discussing his business, the Count appeared steadfast. “This time it’s different,” he asserted.
“Different? How?” Eve inquired, her voice doubtful.
“I think I’ve found true love,” he declared emphatically.
Eve repeated, her tone tinged with surprise.
The Count, who had always appeared aloof and indifferent, speaking of pure love with such a blank expression seemed ludicrous.
But it wasn’t his newfound love that was important to Eve.
It was the terms of their agreement.
“Have you forgotten the contract we have?”
She probed slowly.
He wouldn’t be able to bring up divorce so lightly if he remembered the contract.
He’d lose a lot of money if he broke the deal.
“No, I remember,” he answered, his impassive manner intact.
“Are you still looking for a divorce? Even if it means paying a fine?”
Eve was taken aback.
He was willing to spend a whopping 100 million gold to divorce her.
“Does your new love know about this?” she inquired, her tone tinted with curiosity and resignation.
“That’s none of your business,” he said flatly.
Eve shut her jaws as she realized the truth in his words.
She had no right or need to continue questioning the Count.
While not nasty, their relationship had never been exceptionally tight.
Her perspective of their link appeared to have been muddled by their amicable but distant marriage.