Ever Ever After - Chapter 45
Chapter 45: Take Off Everything
Time passed without the two noticing. The apple pie had been baked to a golden-colored hue. It was caramelized and emitted a pleasant aroma.
Clint cut the pie moderately and gently placed it inside the picnic basket. He smiled, holding Ailea’s hand. She looked at him, eyes seeming to say “What are you doing?” She had pretty blue eyes. He could look into it forever, he thought.
“Well…” Clint coughed, scratching the back of his head. “I wanted to hold it for you, but I don’t think it suits me too well, so here. You hold it.”
“Let’s go on a picnic to celebrate your birthday, dear wife.”
He smiled, eyes looking at her lips. “Mhmm. You couldn’t leave the castle very often, could you? Because it’s your birthday, I thought it would be nice to take you out and enjoy the scenery. There’s a lake close by.”
Ailea’s blue eyes grew wide at his words.
While at a loss for words, Clint pulled Velvet out of the stable and jumped on his back. He reached his hand out and Ailea, under Clint’s guidance, slowly got on the horse.
“How’s it feeling? Riding a horse, I mean.”
“It’s… scarier than I thought…” Ailea flinched as Velvet moved.
Clint moved Velvet slowly for Ailea. He wanted her to get used to horseback riding.
The place they arrived at was a lake so bright that it’s waters were a clear, transparent blue.
Pointing to the inside of the lake, he said, “Over there is the hot spring water.”
Ailea lost her composure as she overlooked the scenic expanse of the beautiful lake. She had never seen anything like it.
Clint took off his jacket and laid it on the ground, flattening the creases. He pulled Ailea over.
“Your clothes are becoming dirty… what… what are you doing…?” Ailea asked, shocked.
“You need to soak your feet.” Clint grabbed Ailea’s little feet and took off her shoes. He tilted his head, looking curiously at her small, dainty feet. “How come your feet are so small? I’ve never seen anything like it…”
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“I can wrap my hand around your ankle,” Clint joked earnestly. Looking at her ankle charred with black spots, he rubbed it gently. “You’re still growing, right? Don’t tell me this is the biggest you can get.”
She pouted. “I’m… I’m all grown up, you know?”
Sun fell deeper from the horizon and painted the color of sunset. It was a sight, all the shades of reds mixed with blues and yellows.
Clint grabbed her hand and led her to the lake. Ailea was embarrassed, at first, but she secretly desired to dip her feet in the water. She quickly rolled up her dress with her other hand so it would not get wet and slowly dipped her feet in the hot spring water.
“Ah… it’s warm…”
Warm water wrapped her feet. Ailea was flying, her heart melting.
“Should I come in too?” Clint asked, letting go of her hand.
“Yes? Ah, w-wait a minute!”
Clint threw off his top and jumped into the spring water. Strangely enough, all but one side of the hot spring water was cold. Freshwater in May splashed and soaked Ailea wet. She covered her eyes with both hands in surprise. How can he boldly take off his clothes anywhere he pleases? Was there no semblance of etiquette in his head?
The sound of splashing water was good to hear. Ailea gently lowered her hand. She saw from the corner of her eyes Clint’s dazzling muscles bulging and water clinging to his skin. She wondered what sort of art could ever compare to this beautiful view. His muscular body took her breath away.
Clint swam in the lake beautifully and uttered, “The water’s clean. Come in. You like to take a bath, right?”
“I want to do that… but my clothes will get wet.”
“Take off everything.”