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“I didn’t expect you here.”

Xenia turned and saw Nick standing at the entrance of the family mausoleum. From the corporate clothes she’d seen him wearing earlier, Nick is now wearing plain white shirt and cream cargo pants. He always looked charming no matter what he is wearing.

“Where’s Louis’ tomb? I haven’t seen it here.” Xenia asked him instead.

“He requested to be cremated if he dies, and that’s what we did. And because of the plans, we didn’t bury him here yet.” Nick replied and starting walking near the tombs. “He’s in the house in London. Have you met Mom?” He asked as he sits on the marble floor, in front of a tombstone with an angel beside it.

“Yes. We talked a lot about you,” Xenia replied, trying to add a joke in their conversation.

“Mom can be really feisty and talkative when meeting a new and interesting person,” Nick smiled on her joke. “I missed you, Mom.” He said to his mother. Xenia watched him traced the tombstone with his fingers. “She was a wonderful woman and we missed her so much. She groomed me into this responsibility ever since but I disregarded it because I thought that it would be impossible to become titled lord when I was born and grew up in the States. She died anyway and inherited this responsibility. I embraced it wholeheartedly, in memory of Mom. She had me prepared for everything.”

“I never met the rest of your family yet. Are they all in London?”

“Only Dad and Kevin are there. My youngest brother, Aaron, just flew back home to New York to continue his studies. I got three sisters back in New York. They wanted to see you but I told them that they have to wait until things are okay and Louis’ murderers have been caught.”

“Are your sisters the socialites in New York?”

Nick chuckled. “How charming as they are, no. Of course, they go to parties and stuff, but they are more focused on school first and the business they put up to themselves than doing publicity for everyone to see.”

“That was aside from their respect to their parents,” Xenia added. Nick looked at her and nodded. He stood up and went to her.

Xenia stepped back when he got near. She wanted to do anything to show Nick that she loves him, too. But now that Nick is right in front of her, she doesn’t know where to start.

Nick didn’t make any attempt to touch her. “I understand that you’re still mad at me.” He stared at her for a moment then left. Xenia watched him go. She couldn’t let the moment pass. This is her chance to set things straight with her husband.


Nick turned almost immediately as soon as she called him, as if he expected that she’ll be doing it. “Yes?”

“I can never be angry at you for too long. And I’m trying to understand the situation that you, and now I, are into right now. So let me tell you this before you leave,” a tear falls from Xenia’s face. “I love you, too. I love you, too.”

“Oh, Xenia.” Nick turned back and held her in a close embrace. “Thank you for loving me. I love you, too.” He embraced her and let her cry until she would have ran out of tears to shed. “That’s a lot of crying, sweetheart.”

“I cry when I’m happy, very happy,” Xenia replied as she pressed herself closer to Nick’s body. “I actually felt relieved being married to you and I never felt so in love like this before.”


Xenia locked the door of her husband’s office as soon as she gets inside. She felt Nick’s look upon her behind the mask, probably surveying her body from head to foot. Nick’s visitors have just left and she took the chance to sneak inside her husband’s office as soon as everyone is gone.

Nick was relieved that Xenia didn’t get mad at him for long or else, he would have to endure her anger indefinitely. For the past days, they’ve been on good terms. They even planned on having a delayed honeymoon somewhere in the Pacific Coast after everything is over. It would just mean of making their marriage ties stronger. “I could still remember how soft it feels to run my hand over your smooth skin,” Nick began as he takes off his mask. Xenia smiled and ran towards him, went around the large office desk and sat into his lap. She gives her husband a full, scorching kiss on the mouth.

“I missed you, darling,” Xenia whispered at him.

Nick chuckled huskily. “We just made love two hours ago. And I missed you, too, sweetheart. But we have to rest for now and save our energies later after dinner. I have to show you something.” He opened the top drawer of his desk and takes out the old book, in which Xenia had seen before. Nick opened it to the last written page.

Xenia, still sitting on Nick’s lap, looked over and read the last entry. “His Grace Nickolas Gene Carter-Dawson, Duke of Dawson, married. September 25, 2008. Miss Xenia Cassandra Wilkins of New York, Duchess of Dawson.” She looked at Nick, who is gripping her hand. “It feels good to see it written on the family’s logbook, Nick. And I’m excited for you to log the birth of our first baby.”

Nick smiled. “And now, you understand my eager anticipation for us to have a baby.” Xenia met his lips once again.

“The last other entries were the consecutive deaths of your uncle and Louis,” Xenia said as she faced the book again. “How’s the investigation?”

“We had suspects and Justine is one of them.”

“Justine is your cousin’s former girlfriend. What could be her motive?” She asked her husband while tracing his face with her fingers. She saw his brows furrowed in deep thinking, sighing before he answers her.

“I don’t know. But on the day that she went here and I took her back to the city, she laid out a plan.”

“What plans?”

“She wanted me to make you fall in love with me as the normal Nick whom everyone knows, so that I will be able to convince you to leave the duke. She, on the other hand, will try to win back her ‘ex-boyfriend’s’ attention so that ‘he’ can leave you for her.” Nick replied. “Of course, I agreed to her plan.” He began nibbling her ears as his hands caressed her breasts. “I had so many ideas on how to lure you away from your ‘husband’. At the same time, I’ll get to know her motive when she comes here to talk to me as ‘Louis.’”

“Well, I don’t like the idea of her talking to you,” Xenia pouted. “I could already imagine those painted hands crawling over you.” Nick swallowed when he heard her. Xenia eyed him curiously.

“She did crawl her hands on me before,” Nick admitted. “But I did nothing, promise.”

“I trusted you, not her,” Xenia told him. “I wished this would end so we could walk together as husband and wife, without your mask. So that every woman who wanted to go after you will realize that you’re already hitched. And I can tell everyone that a wonderful man like you married a crazy woman like me.”

“That makes me crazy, too,” Nick chuckled and kissed her.

“So, darling, how would you like it if I started crawling my hands on you right now?” Xenia purred, her hands are already taking off his shirt.

“Sweetheart, you know that is just one of my fantasies. I want you so much to do these kinds of things to me.” Nick huskily replied.

“Perfect. Then your wish is my command…” Xenia bent down her head as she started trailing kisses from his lips downwards.