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The Enigmatic Return novel Chapter 172

Jean was aware that the situation was making Neera feel awkward. Noticing how uncomfortable she looked, he decided that he would make some excuse to send his parents on their way.

However, before he could say anything, Frederic stalled him, looking unhappy. "Please don't try to change our minds. You know how distressed your mother and I get when your condition flares up; we can't stop worrying. We'll stay just to make sure everything is alright. If nothing happens tonight and you're okay, we'll go home tomorrow."

In the face of this, Jean had no choice but to swallow his words and let the matter rest.

Once Neera and Jean went back to the bedroom, they stared at each other awkwardly, completely at a loss for words.

Neera broke the long silence. "I understand we've got to at least act as if we're husband and wife on occasion, and I have no problems with that. But we can't…do this all the time, you know."

Jean pursed his lips wryly. "I'm sorry about this. My parents only visit on rare occasions; they won't always show up to keep an eye on us. Regardless, I'm afraid you'll be somewhat inconvenienced tonight. You can take the bed."

Neera felt so exasperated she could scream. The issue wasn't who slept on the bed and who slept on the floor! Both of them were in a sham marriage; sleeping together like this in the same room made it seem as if they were truly husband and wife after all…

Nonetheless, desperate times required desperate measures. This situation had been forced upon them; she had no choice but to continue playing her part.

In resignation, she called the triplets to inform them what was going on.

"Mommy's not going to be back till much later tonight. The three of you go to bed first and don't wait up for me. I'll say goodnight now, alright? Be good."

When the three children heard this, they were delighted. "Oh, that's great! It's fine, Mommy! You don't need to worry about us, we'll go to bed like good little kids. You just take care of Uncle Jean; it's fine if you're not able to come home tonight!" With that, they hurriedly hung up, afraid that Neera would regret her decision.

Neera stared at the phone blankly. Why did she get the feeling that those three little rascals didn't want her to go home?

Once the call ended, she recalled what she had been intending to do before the Beauvorts interrupted the proceedings. "I need to give you a second injection, so brace yourself for a bit. Since your condition just flared up last night, you might still feel considerable discomfort after your medication. I'll increase the dosage, but for best results, I'll also need to do some therapeutic massage to increase your blood circulation. It might be uncomfortable, so just bear with it for a while, okay?"

Jean nodded. "That's fine." He stripped and lay face down on the bed so Neera could treat him.

Since the injection dosage had been increased, the risks of adverse reactions were also higher. Neera was extra alert and cautious; as the massage progressed, she constantly checked on how Jean was feeling. "Does it hurt if I do this?"

Jean's face was half-buried in the pillow; his voice was muffled but he seemed to be bearing up under whatever discomfort he might be experiencing. "It's fine, go ahead. I can take it."

His voice, already deep at the best of times, was now even lower and slightly gravelly, his breathing a little strained and unsteady.

All this while, the bedroom door had been unlocked.

Frederic and Wrenn stood outside the threshold, rooted to the spot in shock. They had come to check on Jean but now felt as if they had inadvertently intruded into an awkward situation.

After a while, both parents exchanged glances, then stole back to the guest room, feeling slightly resentful and put out. Frederic could not help contrasting his son's day-to-day aloof, reserved behavior with this sudden unexpected display of blatant indecency…

Jean was unaware that his parents had completely misunderstood what was going on. By the time his treatment was done, he was covered in sweat, and his face was pale. Neera gave him a pill to take, then sent him to the bathroom with a sachet of herbs, instructing him to take a herbal bath in the tub for a specific amount of time.

Jean did as she asked. He emerged from the bathroom only when the time was up, his hair still damp. He had put on a dressing gown which gaped slightly at the neck, revealing a glimpse of his lean, muscled chest.

Try as Neera might, she could not keep her eyes off him. There was something irresistibly alluring and sensual about Jean currently, and she found herself eyeing him with interest for a moment…

Jean began toweling his hair dry. Glancing at Neera, he commented, "You can go take a bath now."

Neera hesitated but did not budge. "I don't have a change of clothes."

At this hour, Zuniga was likely asleep; she could not very well go back and wake her up just to get some clothes.

Jean blinked. "Well, you can bring a few outfits by next time and leave them here, just in case you need them in the future."

Neera pursed her lips slightly in a moue of disapproval. "Your parents are already asleep by now; I can leave, right?"

Jean shook his head. "I think you'd better stay. Knowing them, they'll come by sometime again tonight to see how I am. If you're not here, that'll be difficult for me to explain away."


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