"Are you sure you don't want me to come with you?"
After a night spent at cuddling, I was quite hesitant whether I was ready to give up on Elia's warmth only a few days after finally reuniting with her. To be quite frank, back when I was in my modern life, I thought that if I were to ever get a wife, through at least the entirety of the first year of my marriage, I would be unable to think about anything but sleeping with her in the active meaning, yet to my surprise, just being able to hug her as we whispered our way through the part of the night when we were still awake was more than enough for me.
Whenever I held her close, I felt as if all the worries connected the tight schedule for all my projects, crammed in less than a blink of a human history… Simply disappeared. Even though she seemed to be a damned tomboy when I first met her, as our relationship grew stronger and stronger for every second when we grew older together, her entire self was turning more and more gentle.
It was as if the fire of the relationship made her someone far different than who she was before, driving away all the impurities that her harsh life forced in her. But when looking at myself, I could feel the changes in my entire mind appearing just as steadily as randomly.
Even though I was never someone to chase after the skirts, it didn't mean that I wasn't interested in this topic. Yet from the moment I met Elia, or rather, from the moment we turned out to be quite close in spiritual terms, it was as if all the other females in the world disappeared for me.
The same thing happened to my drive to focus on my lands alone. Back then, when I had first shy thoughts about developing my city, I thought that after securing some rational income, I would take my time to import all the required materials and do everything to keep my inventions closed away from the rest of the world for as long as it would take me to gain an edge over everyone.
And here I was, not even two months older than when I moved to this timeline, spreading inventions and worrying over leaving my inventions without guidance!
"No, I already thought that through. While it's relatively safe on the roads, especially since we will be travelling with quite a huge escort, I could never forgive myself if something were to happen to you on the road. And let's not get me started on how much I'm thankful for you overseeing our lands… To be honest, I don't think I could ever achieve what we already did without you."
Pulling Elia into one last hug, I made sure to memorise the feeling of her soft warmth, before abruptly pushing myself away. If I were to stay that close to her for any longer, I would be simply unable to let go of her, not carrying for all the serious reasons that forced me to take this damned decision to let her stay behind!
Yet before I could move away from her reach, she pushed herself forward, locking me back in her hug. Before I could even process what was going on, she pushed her lips against mine, uniting with me in a light, sensual kiss. Even without employing our tongues to this action, I felt as if my head was about to snap into several parts from all the thoughts that sprinted through it.
"I don't want to let you go…"
Hearing her breaking voice I felt my entire determination wavering, slowly coming to the realisation that I wasn't the only one who would feel anxious after parting with her.
Despite how much I wanted to be a good husband and partner for her, as soon as I was given the opportunity to realise my own dreams and objectives, I left her in a lonely castle to manage my already existing businesses, only calling for her help when I required something from my lands!
Thinking about this, I felt an overwhelming disgust towards myself.
Rather than being someone who I always thought I would be to this one partner I would settle for my entire life, I simply treated her like a damned subordinate, if not even worse - as a tool!
Even though this entire relationship started as just a simple transaction, there was no way it could continue like that!
Overwhelmed by my own realisation, I couldn't help but utter those words with her last words completely disappearing from my mind under the relentless onslaught of the guilty conscience.
"Ah… I'm sorry, I shouldn't keep you like that…"
Misunderstanding the meaning behind my words, Elia let go of her hold and took a few steps back with a clearly dejected look on her face, as if she was trying to force herself to not show how dispirited she was by my departure.
"No! It's not like that!"
Unwilling to let her bear this look on her face nor the thought that provoked it in her mind, I quickly closed the distance between the two of us, once again bringing her into a warm and wholesome embrace.
"I'm sorry for leaving you back in Tarnow. I wanted to deal with those mines as soon as possible and disregarded how you would feel being left all alone right after our wedding. I behaved like a damned idiot, and now I was about to make the same mistake as I did back then."
Holding Elia in my arms, I could feel how her body tensed when I first grabbed her as if she didn't want to feel my touch, wanting to steel her heart instead. Yet as my words flowed out of my mouth, her arms started to relax bit by bit, to the point where I could swear I felt a hint of moisture on my shoulder where her head was resting.
"I'm sorry that I made you feel like that, putting the worthlessness of this place before your feelings. I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me."
Letting go of Elia's shoulders, I pushed her lightly and reached for her hands, only to bring them up and place a light kiss on top of her delicate fingers.
With the tears now openly flowing out of her precious eyes, I was worried for a moment before I saw her lips curling up ever-so-slightly.
"Yet I want to ask for a favour from you right now. Listen, dear…"
Hearing this breakout word, that most of then than not was followed by a sentence that went in the completely opposite direction as anything stated before it.
'I like you but…'
'I did my homework yet…'
Sentences like those were the ones that most of the times, aimed to put hope in one's heart only to shatter it with the next part, albeit, in this case, I used it without such thought in my mind.
"I'm stupid. I'm inexperienced. I'm simple. That's why, from now on, if you want me to do something, don't like something I want to do, or have literally anything else you would like to tell me, please, don't hold it to yourself!"