Chapter 16: Sweet Play
(…I’m feeling a little uneasy)
She had made an appointment with Elliott to go to the theater that morning.
Olivia is standing in front of the store’s large mirror.
She didn’t wear her usual long navy blue skirt suit today.
She is wearing a trendy blue dress with gathers around the waist, selected by Sally.
Her face, which usually does not wear make-up, is made up as taught in the beauty salon.
The hair is tied up in bunches to keep it out of the way, but some of it is let down on the advice of the hair salon staff.
(I’ve done my best to fully utilize the skills I’ve acquired for the first time, but… I don’t feel like myself.
I’ve never dressed stylishly from head to toe.
I feel like I’m being controlled by my clothes.
I’m not sure if I look good…)
just as she was getting worried.
The doorbell rings again, and a familiar voice says, “Hello.”
She thought as she opened the door.
From what she’s seen, Elliot doesn’t seem to care what Olivia is wearing.
Whether it suits her or not, he smiles politely and says, “It suits you.”
She believes it will do so again this time.
Her prediction, however, proved to be completely incorrect.
When he sees Olivia all dressed up, his eyes widen for a moment, and he smiles happily.
“I see you’ve changed your style—You looked beautiful.”
Olivia is stunned by the unexpected reaction.
Elliot looked at her with narrowed eyes and relaxed his mouth.
“Olivia is white, so the blue color suits her well. The color matches her eyes, and she looks very beautiful.
“T-Thank you very much.”
The answer is given in a slurred manner, with eyes swimming.
The unexpected high praise causes her to feel as if all of her blood is concentrated in her face.
Elliot looks at her with a loving expression on his face as she turns over with her cheeks dyed red.
He took Olivia’s small handbag and gently extended his hand.
“There’s a carriage waiting outside. Let’s go.”
(…Whew. I finally calmed down.
Following a brief ride in the carriage.
Olivia exhales softly as she looks out the window.
(I was really surprised earlier…)
Elliot, who doesn’t usually compliment her on her appearance, did so this time.
It was also an unexpected compliment.
(I’ve known him for about two years, but I’ve never received such a compliment on my appearance.)
Olivia wonders what’s going on as she looks out the glass window that reflects Elliot’s handsome profile.
The horse-drawn carriage carries them to the center of the city.
It goes through a series of large buildings before coming to a halt in front of a large white theater.
“All right, let’s go.”
Elliot is the first to exit the carriage and extends his hand to Olivia, who takes it and steps out.
“Thank you.” She thanks him and tries to pull her hand away, but Elliot gently holds it.
“Olivia, may I be your escort?”
Olivia’s eyes widened in response to this unprecedented offer.
(E-Escort? What’s the matter with Elliott today?!)
Elliott had previously assisted her in getting out of a carriage. But she’s usually on her own after that.
(I’ve never been escorted before, nor have I ever wanted to be.
Then why does he suddenly offer to escort me?)
Olivia is taken aback, and Elliot stares at her as if to say, “Can I?”
Olivia nodded awkwardly, unable to say no to the somewhat expectant look in his eyes.
Elliot twists his mouth in delight at her slightly squeaky response.
He took her hand in his palm and held it gently, as if it were something precious.
Olivia’s shoulders twitch as she is wrapped in his warm, large hands.
She feels strangely uneasy, possibly because she isn’t used to this.
Elliot smiles as he looks at Olivia, whose cheeks are slightly discolored.
Despite an unexpected escort upon entering the theater, the play ended normally.
After they exit the theater, Elliot takes Olivia to a trendy cafe with delicious cakes. But…
(I knew something was wrong…)
Elliott’s condition remained abnormal.
Always on the move, escorting.
She was eating her tart when she suddenly felt a gaze on her and looked up to see.
The gentle and sweet look directed at her caused her to fall on her face involuntarily.
(I know I’m always being watched while eating, but this time it’s different…)
She thought he was smiling at her strangely, but she didn’t think much of it.
But there was something about Elliot’s profile today that made Olivia blush.
(I-I wonder what’s going on.)
After the apple tart, she eats a banana tart and muses.
Elliot’s unusual behavior intrigues her.
Then she thinks for a while. She comes up with an idea.
(…I wonder if he is too tired and sleepy to be in a good mood, which happens to me occasionally.
Maybe he made time for me despite his busy schedule.
If that’s the case, I feel bad for him.)
And when dinner is finished, Olivia smiled gratefully at Elliot.
“Thank you, Elliot; the play was enjoyable, and the tarts were delicious, but…”
She averted her gaze.
“I’m worried that you’re very tired. You’ve been overworked, haven’t you?”
Elliot raised his eyebrows.
“I noticed Elliot was behaving differently than usual.”
“…What did you notice that was different?”
Asked calmly, Olivia crossed her arms and pondered.
“Hmm. There is something strange about it.”
Elliot babbled back involuntarily, placing a hand lightly on his brow and bursting out laughing.
“I see. Is that so?”
Olivia is taken aback to see him laughing as hard as she has ever seen him laugh before.
Elliot chuckles softly and mumbles.
“Well, I’ve stopped holding back, but it’s hard.”
“Excuse me,” Elliott said, apologizing to Olivia, who was perplexed because she couldn’t understand what he was saying.
He slowly opened his mouth after some hesitation.
“Let me ask you one question. Did I make you feel bad today?”
He appears to ask casually, but the atmosphere is tense.
Olivia was lost in thought, feeling the need to respond seriously.
Elliot was acting strangely today.
He was strangely flattering, companionable, and sweet.
(…But I didn’t feel bad about it.)
“I don’t think I had a bad time.”
“I see,” Elliot says, relieved by Olivia’s response.
He smiled at her.
“Well, don’t worry about it. I’m not exhausted. I’m in excellent health. I just haven’t quite figured out “my approach” yet.”
“I hope so,” Olivia says with a nod.
Following that, the dinner proceeds as if nothing had happened.
The topic of conversation is work, as usual.
Seeing Elliot speaking so normally, she felt relieved.
He was odd earlier, but now he appears to be back to normal.
(I guess we’re going to leave the store like this today and split up as usual.)
But things went in a different direction than anticipated.
On the way home that day.
at the entrance of Olivia’s Magic Stone jewelry store.
“Thanks for the ride. I really enjoyed it.”
“It was my pleasure. I had a good time as well.”
Following the usual conversation.
“Bye”. Olivia was on her way back to the store when Elliot stopped her.
“Could you please give me a minute, Olivia?”
Olivia comes to a halt, puzzled, “What’s the matter?”
Elliot exhaled lightly and appeared nervous.
“…May I say my goodbye?”
“What? Say goodbye?”
Olivia nodded subconsciously, not really understanding what was being said but at least saying goodbye.
Elliot smiled happily and gently took her right hand in his.
Olivia felt the touch and looked at her hand.
Elliot’s handsome face is at the end of the hand that is slowly lifted up.
The soft touch of his lips on her fingertips overwhelms her.
And the ensuing passionate gaze, visible even through the colored glasses.
Olivia is speechless; she can’t think of anything else to say.
He looks her in the eyes and says, “I’ll contact you later.” Elliot leaves with a regretful look on his face.
After seeing him off.
Olivia runs up the stairs to her room and throws herself into bed with an inaudible scream.
She rolled onto her back, clutching a pillow.
“Geez! What on earth was that?! Elliot, I knew he was weird!”
―And from that day forward, Olivia frequently blushed as a result of Elliot’s behavior.
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