John took off his own gloves and leaned back against the ropes of the ring with his hands behind his head. “I’ve liked you since you were young. At the time, you had only just arrived at our house.”
“That’s impossible! I was only around seven or eight back then and you were maybe fourteen or fifteen. Your body probably wasn’t even mature enough yet to be thinking about such nonsense!” The words left my lips before I could stop them. When I realized what I had said, I blushed brightly.
He did not seem to mind as he stretched a little. Rubbing his nose, he gave me a bitter smile. “Back then, I was very envious of how Grandpa, Mom, and Dad liked you so much. Everyone was constantly around you and fawning over you. I kept thinking about how wonderful it would be if you married me. That way, I wouldn’t have to keep on studying every single day and learn all sorts of etiquette from the tutors. I wouldn’t have to live under the expectant gazes of everyone too.”
That’s right. At the time, the Quinn family had not gone bankrupt yet. Everywhere I went, I was treated like a princess. I could understand how John would be feeling the stress and pressure. His family had been cultivating him to be the successor to the company ever since he was young. Lucian had been too young back then for them to think about grooming him.
Shaking my head, I told him gently, “That’s not love you’re feeling.”
He smiled at me. “But that thought has become ingrained in me and has never changed even after so many years.”