DTR - Chapter 2.2 (ENG)

 



CHAPTER 2 PART 2


Ash suggested the two meet at South Bank. Carlyle arrives at the venue exactly ten minutes before the appointed time, but Ash arrives early. It is not hard to find him.

Carlyle sees two omega men talking to Ash. Leaning on a pillar in the corner and arms crossed in front of his chest, he smiles gently at them. Looking relaxed and natural.

Carlyle misses the opportunity to intervene. Because every time he sees Ash, he realizes how different their world belongs.

'Smiling is his habit.'

According to Carlyle, Ash's smile is not a particular emotion depending on the other person, but rather a habit of rubbing against his body. So maybe it won't be that hard for Ash to make Carlyle smile later.

While his head wanders around other things, Ash notices Carlyle. He straightens his back up from the pillar and politely withdraws from the omegas. Then walk towards Carlyle.

"Have you been here the whole time, Carlyle?"

Ash's smiling face is looking at Carlyle. His friendly voice resounds. There is a subtle scent, a sweet kind of fragrant wood pheromone that dries well in the sun. It is nice and not too strong.

Carlyle lowers his gaze slightly with an odd feeling. Ash is dressed casually. Looking simple but stylish with just a white short sleeve shirt and jeans. Contrast to Carlyle who wears a summer suit. For a moment, Carlyle looks away from Ash's dashing body, but quickly remind himself to respond to the man's question.

"I'm afraid I was going to bother you."

"Bother?" Ash bends his eyes and laugh. "I'm here to see you, Carlyle."

Ash speaks in a friendly tone, but the content is quite indifferent. Carlyle is at a loss for words. He needs time to think about what kind of answer he should give to his remarks that seem like they are on a date. But then again, Ash simply told the truth. The two indeed promised to meet here.

"Have you had dinner?"

Carlyle checks on his watch. Six o'clock. He isn't hungry, but it is dinner time. And yes, he hasn't had dinner yet.

"Not yet. Have you, Mr Jones?"

"No, that's why I'm hungry. If you're fine, shall we start with a simple meal?"

What do we do after that? Carlyle realizes a vital fact. He answered Ash's message without knowing the purpose of this meeting.

"May I ask you a question?"

"Sure."

Ash stands beside Carlyle with a melancholy smile. His hand touches the other alpha's waist lightly as if about to touch Carlyle's back.

"We agreed to meet on the weekend, didn't we?"

"Yes, that's right."

Carlyle's eyes cast doubt. There is no significant change in his expression, but Ash, who catches the question from the brief silence, laughs aloud.

"Why did you even come out without knowing why I called you?"

Ash smiles as he lowers his eyes. Fingers stretch out and gently caress Carlyle's cheek and down to the chin.

"Carlyle has an innocent side, don't you think?"

"...if it's a joke, it's not funny."

"I mean it."

Carlyle never thinks that he looks naive, but is taken aback. The index finger that supports his chin slips down his neck, then brushing his Adam's apple before going back to its place. Ash leads him. Carlyle's mouth shut. He feels like he is being teased. It isn't insulting, but Carlyle doesn't know how he should react. He isn't very good at this kind of verbal play. He is not used to the aristocratic sarcasm of twisting words or judging others.

"I got a movie ticket, so I thought it would be nice to watch a movie together."

Now, it really is like a date.

"...Is it okay for you to spend such a time with me?"

"As I said, I don't intend to do it until I feel like it," said Ash. Carlyle looks at the man with a still unconvinced look. "That's what I said. I will do it if I know something more about the other person. And I haven't known you yet."

"What do you mean?"

"For example, what is your favorite thing to do and what you..."

As he keeps on talking, Ash takes Carlyle to a restaurant on the first floor of South Bank near River Thames. It is not the formal restaurant that Carlyle usually goes to, but the clean and simple image gives a peaceful feeling.

"So today you need to tell me about yourself. I'll tell you about myself, too." Ash guides them to their seat and pulls out a chair for Carlyle.

Carlyle who doesn't pay much attention, hides his bewilderment and shuts up. It feels like he is being dragged into the other man's pace without being allowed to use his own hands. Carlyle should have kept his cool without losing initiative, but the opposite happened.

'Wake up, Carlyle,' he blames himself.

Carlyle and Ash's hands touch the menu at the same time. Ash, who meets his eyes, naturally raises his mouth's corners. He clasps Carlyle's hand with a smile blooming like a flower.

"You choose first, Carlyle."

The gentle motion of their interlocking fingers is dizzying. Carlyle is held firmly by Ash's hand. After a few seconds of silence, he finally opens his mouth and returns to his composure.

"No, you choose first, Mr. Jones."

"Then shall we watch the movie together?"

Ash's hand is soft and firm. It has a pleasant temperature that Carlyle feels like his cold hand will melt. Ash nods his head without giving him time to answer.

Carlyle eventually turns his gaze to the menu by watching the man's slightly disorganized hair come down on his broad forehead. The weather is hot, albeit it is already afternoon.

Ash orders a salad and dessert. While Carlyle orders bread and soup. Will that do? Carlyle returns a similar question to Ash's question.

First, Ash talks about the movie for a short time. When Carlyle asks about his favorite genre, he struggles for quite a while. To Carlyle, enjoying art is merely an act of cultivation. And since this is a conversation that people should be known for granted, Carlyle doesn't have much anything to cover.

Well, there is one thing he doesn't like. Being troubled for a while, Carlyle reconsiders whether he should say this. This is because he doesn't remember ever telling anyone what he hates in the first place.

Tilting his head slightly, as if noticing a hesitation, Ash asks, "Is there anything you don't like?"

"That's not..."

"Tell me, Carlyle."

He wants to know. Ash wants to know the little details of what kind of movies Carlyle doesn't like.

He is somehow suffocated by the whisper that leads to the illusion that he is desperate. However, Carlyle makes up his mind. It's really a small thing. It is awkward, but it can't be a problem to say it.

"...I don't like zombies."

"Ahaha, really?"

Ash laughs as if Carlyle is adorable. He then continues asking with a joyful look.

"May I ask why you don't like it?"

Carlyle is a little suffocated. This thing is really trivial, normal, but at the same time difficult for Carlyle. Why?

Nobody ever asked. No one around would ever want to know Carlyle's private and trivial thoughts. In his world, where alpha aristocrats were mixed or pure-blooded, this kind of questioning is only allowed in the nobler forms of work.

"It's just..."

Carlyle glances slightly away. His eyes meet with a passing waitress. Knowing that Ash's eyes fix on his face, Carlyle raises his hand in a restrained gesture. The waitress comes to their seat. She nods when Carlyle asks for the receipt. Ash is still watching. And as the waitress leaves the receipt on the table and disappears, Ash says,

"Carlyle."

Carlyle flinches at the soft tone. Naturally, he pauses to take his wallet out of his pocket.

"You don't have to say what you don't want to say."

Ash's stretched hand grips Carlyle's wrist. His hand is dragged helplessly, missing his wallet.

"Let me."

Ash, clasping his wrist, rises from his seat. Then, putting down his pound on the bill.

"I—"

"You paid me the other day. It's my turn now."

Not trying to humiliate him, Carlyle knows Ash also has more money than any other citizen.

Ash pulls Carlyle, looking up at him with an incomprehensible face. As soon as Carlyle belatedly realizes that he is in the position as if about to be hugged by Ash, Ash leads him.

"Let's watch the movie. Shall we go?"

Carlyle turns his eyes forward while a firm touch is on his arm and back. It's the same alpha body. Ash's body is no different from his.

Feeling pathetic, Carlyle's face hardens. It should be nothing but he feels nervous. He is uncomfortable, unlike the usual him. Carlyle is disappointed in himself. Nevertheless, he doesn't want to push Ash away. His stomach is tangled up.

But apart from his troubled mind, their shoes keep on moving. And soon, they enter a cinema.



PREV | LIST | NEXT