Heiner’s back was facing the moon so his expression in the shadow was difficult to see.


For some reason, Annette’s legs weakened as soon as she heard his voice.


Heiner grabbed a firm hold of her arms as she staggered.
Once she gained her balance, he led her ashore.


Annette stood on the sand and looked up at Heiner cautiously.


In the moonlight, his face was shadowed by the high bridge of his nose.
His figure was pale and beautiful, like a perfect statue.


His jaw tightened as he met Annette’s gaze.
His gray eyes sank a layer as if they were sinking.


Annette murmured.


“You’re late.
I thought you’d come to get me sooner.”


 “Put on your shoes and pack your things.


Heiner ordered, looking completely adamant.
With a small nod, Annette tried to carry her feet but stopped.
She felt pain from her foot.


She had accidentally stepped on something and blood was oozing out.
Annette wondered if she should ask him to bring her shoes.
It was hard to open her mouth casually, even though it was not a big request.


Heiner, who was watching her, sighed somewhat agitatedly.


“Just stand there.”


He walked over to where her luggage was and picked up her shoes and a paper bag.
Annette inadvertently accepted the paper bag held out in front of her.


The next thing she knew, her body suddenly lifted.


Annette let out a short scream and grabbed Heiner’s coat.
Heiner’s one hand was supporting her back and one under her knees with her shoes dangled from his fingers.


“I’ll walk…!”


Annette exclaimed in panic, but he did not answer.
The hem of her dress, which had gotten wet in seawater, soaked Heiner’s clothes.


“It’s not like I can’t walk.
Put me down, Heiner.”


Annette said repeatedly, but he didn’t even pretend to hear her.
She eventually gave up and relaxed her body.


Heiner hurried off the beach, holding Annette and her shoes.
The cold sea breeze slowly dried the water.


They arrived at a nearby hotel.
Even when they were at the hotel entrance, Heiner did not seem inclined to let her down.
Annette twisted her body slightly and tried to escape.


“You really need to let me down.
I’ll put on my shoes………….”


 “Hold still.”


He cut Annette off in a gloomy voice.


Heiner’s mood seemed very low.
Annette wondered as she looked at his neck, where the faint veins stood taut.


‘Did I run away and make him angry………… Why?’


She didn’t expect him to be angry.
She thought Heiner would send his attendants to catch her, give her a few words of warning, and lock her in her room.


‘This time I might end up in a mental hospital.’


While Annette was nonchalantly foreseeing the future, Heiner strode into the hotel.


When they came under the bright lights, Annette buried her face in his chest.
She was afraid that someone would recognize her.


Heiner’s unique body scent became thicker.
Annette remained still with her nose in his chest.
She could feel his body faintly stiffening.


Heiner would not like it, but it couldn’t be helped.
It was he who had refused her request to let her down in the first place.
If he didn’t want to be in close contact with her, he could have just let her walk.


However, only Heiner’s lips harden slightly, still holding her firmly.


After being handed a key to a vacant room at the front desk, Heiner got into the elevator.
They didn’t talk even after they reached the room.


As soon as Heiner entered the room, he roughly tossed her shoes aside.
He also snatched the paper that Annette was carrying and threw it carelessly.
Her handbag, which she had placed in the paper bag, fell out on the floor.


Heiner raised his eyebrows when he saw the black handbag.


“Did you leave it on the beach? What if someone stole it?”




She didn’t think.
It sounded stupid, but she really didn’t.
Annette had never once thought that someone could “steal” her things.


It was a very uneducated and vulgar act to steal someone’s things.
She had never imagined such an act.
There was nothing missing, so there was nothing to steal.


Also, Annette always had servants.
Naturally, they protected her luggage.
It was something she did not need to worry about.


While Annette was immersed in her newfound enlightenment and shock, Heiner took her and headed for the bathroom, still with her in his arms.


He pushed down the tin tub that was standing against the wall and placed Annette in the tub.
Annette leaned against the wall with her injured foot slightly raised.


 “I’ll do the …… washing.”


 At that, Heiner stared at her face for a moment.
Then he quickly turned and left the bathroom.
The door remained open.


Annette hesitated for a moment, then rolled up her skirt and washed only her legs and feet.


With the open door, she could only do that much.
There was no hot water anyway, and a bath was going to be difficult.


The water washed away the blood and the sand.
The wound was deeper than she expected.
When she checked it with her eyes, the pain she had forgotten about surged back in.
Annette looked away from the wound.


At the entrance to the outer room, she heard Heiner talking to someone.
It seemed to be his attendant.
Annette hastily wiped the water off with a towel.


By the time she left the bathroom, Heiner had already turned on the oil stove and even laid out the first aid kit.
He gestured, as if telling her to come and sit down.


As Annette carefully sat on the bed, Heiner silently examined the wound on her foot.
His hand wrapped around her leg was particularly large and hot.


For some reason, Annette couldn’t bear the embarrassment of this situation.


Despite the fact that they were a married couple, they had never once looked at each other’s bodies properly.
It was only a foot, but the embarrassment was the same.


Heiner’s face was as hard as ever.
The series of actions of disinfecting the wound, applying medicine, and then bandaging it seemed familiarly done, as if it were an old habit.


While tying the knot in the bandage, Heiner spoke in a cold tone.


“What on earth were you thinking?”




“Was it so important to come to a place like this that you had to deceive the attendants?”




“Why, did you have an appointment here with Ansgar Stetter?”


Heiner sat with one knee on the floor and looked up at her with angry eyes.
But the hand that held her little foot was gentle.


a place like this.”


Annette opened her mouth quietly.


It’s only a place like this.”


Their clashing gazes caused a small ripple in the air.
Annette tilted her head.


“So why should I ask your permission to come to a place like this? I thought so.”


“Permission or no permission, have you forgotten that you are the wife of the Commander-in-Chief? Are you in your right mind to walk out without an attendant?”


“That’s why I asked for a divorce.

Because I don’t want to be the wife of the Commander-in-Chief anymore.”


“So is your little getaway a rebellion to get a divorce?”


“Not necessarily, no.
I just wanted to see the ocean…..”


Heiner sighed and put her foot on the floor.


 “Well, it didn’t seem like you simply came here just to see it.”




“Were you planning on swimming in the ocean this evening?”




Annette opened her mouth to refuse, but could not think of a suitable answer.
She finally clamped her lips shut again.


Annette wasn’t sure why she had done it.
She definitely didn’t intend to drown herself right there and die.


But that didn’t mean she was thinking of living like this…


“…… I just wanted to soak my feet.”


Annette, distressed, simply replied.
She didn’t feel any reason to have to explain to him how she felt, how she was feeling, and what was going on in her mind.


 Heiner raised one corner of his mouth with an expression of unknown mischief.


“I suppose you’re right.”


He spoke slowly, as if trying to convince himself.


“You are afraid of many things.
The dark, heights, water…”


Annette stared at him blankly.
Heiner’s words were half right, half wrong.


She was still afraid of many things.
But the examples Heiner mentioned were in the past.


Annette was no longer afraid of the dark.
Now she rather liked the dark even more than the light.
No one could see herself.


She was no longer afraid of heights.
Seeing that she went into the water earlier without hesitation, perhaps she was no longer afraid of water either.


It was a slightly different kind that Annette was afraid of now.


“While we are all afraid of insignificant things…..
you don’t even worry about what might happen to you in the absence of attendants.
I always hated your guts every time this happened.” (Heiner)




“You can’t even assume that someone might steal your stuff, that innocent thought.” (Heiner)




“The world has changed, but you are still the same.
As frustrating as it is, nothing has changed.
Just like that disgusting woman back then.”


Heiner finished his words as if he were chewing each word.
He didn’t look relieved at all after he let it out.


What an old emotion, Annette thought idly.
One corner of her chest ached as if it had been dug in, but her mind was as calm as if it was malfunctioned.


Annette retraced her memories.
How old was his hatred? When exactly had it been? Was it from the moment they first saw each other? Or was it before they even knew each other existed?




And togetherness.


“You must have been laughing at me.”


What on earth did he think when she confessed her love?

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