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(Why do you care the idiot)

Jacob carefully held her up and served her water as he patted her on the back. He looked at her with concern and said, "Here, Emily. Drink some water."

He wished to hold Emily in his arms, but he was afraid that his excitement would get the best of him and he'd end up hurting her. Having thought of her well-being first, he decided to sit beside her for now.

"Emily, how are you feeling? Are you still dizzy? Do you feel cold? Are you hungry?"

Out of concern, Jacob reached out and touched her forehead as he was talking, and he found that her fever had subsided. Jacob let out a sigh of relief and said, "I will call Mr. Barefoot to check up on you."

Emily caught his hand and pulled him back just as he stood up to leave, and she said, "I'm fine now. You don't have to bother him."

Finding it difficult to understand what Emily was saying, Jacob had to lean forward because her voice was so faint.

"Just for my peace of mind, please let him come and run some tests. He's the best doctor in the village."

"But I just want to spend some time alone with you, okay?" Endearment glimmered in her eyes, and her smile made up for the paleness of her face.

How could Jacob ever refuse Emily?

With a bit of reluctance, he sat back and said, "Oh, all right."

Warmth came over Emily's eyes as she leaned on his shoulder. Her long eyelashes quivered as she insisted, "Hug me, Jacob, please."

Jacob turned to her and tilted his head just a bit to look into her eyes, trying his best to control his emotions and answered, "I, I can't."

"Why not?"

Surprise flooded her face. Emily would have believed his unwillingness from his answer if he hadn't brazenly asked her for a kiss before.

"I, I'm afraid of hurting you, accidentally."

Jacob was telling her the truth. Mr. Barefoot had told him earlier not to take any chances because Emily was too weak to withstand any harm. She was like a fine but brittle porcelain doll. Even the slightest breeze could topple her over and break her.

No matter how badly he wanted to take her in his arms, he couldn't take any chances. Jacob become mindful and cautious every time he touched her.

"Come on. That's a bit too much. Don't you think? How could your hug hurt me?"

Emily giggled and leaned in forward to embrace him. She rested her head on his chest to listen to the strong beat of his heart. "I had a long, immersive dream, but I couldn't see you there. I've missed you so much," she said.

Emily's words warmed his heart and gave him comfort. He put his long arms around her and whispered, "I've missed you too. You don't know how afraid I was. I was so scared that you weren't ever going to wake up."

"I wouldn't do that to you." Emily said with determination, "We've just found each other. How could I die and leave you alone?"

A look of horror came over Jacob's face and he pressed his finger on her lips and said, "Don't ever say that word again."

"Fine. I promise I will never say such things, but neither can you." Emily nodded her head and smiled at him.

Suddenly, she remembered something and said, "Don't use your finger to cover my mouth again."

Jacob didn't understand what she had meant and asked, "Why's that?"

Emily kissed his finger and looked up to smile back at him. Like plums blossoming in winter, her smile could warm the coldest of nights.

Her kiss gave Jacob an electric shock which ran from his finger to his entire body, lighting fire to his senses.

It was a marvellous, warm gesture that stopped Jacob's heart for a moment. He peered into Emily's eyes and tried to kiss her pale lips, when a noise from outside interrupted him.

"Please! Please! I beg of you! Please help! Doctor! Bear! Miss Beauty!"

The faint voice wasn't easily recognizable but Emily could tell that it was Donny. In a voice of drowned feeling, she asked, "Who is it? Is it Donny?"

"Leave him alone. He's just here to make trouble."

Jacob didn't want Emily worry about what was happening outside. However, he regretted not throwing that idiot out and said, "Forget about him. Let's just focus on us."

When Jacob closed in to kiss her, Emily put her hands on his chest to stop him, but she was too weak to push him away. Jacob frowned, looking disappointed by her refusal to listen to his words.

Emily patted his chest and said, "Would you go out and see what he wants, please? I'm a bit worried about him."

A feeling of jealousy came over him and he refused, "No!"

"Are you jealous?" Emily smiled and teased him.

Jacob clamped his mouth and expressed his displeasure in silence. Deep within his own pupils, a heavy black liquid swirled in a strange whirlpool pattern. He disliked that fact that Emily showed concern for someone else other than him.

Emily was like a magnet for people. Everyone was attracted to her.

Jacob wanted her as well, but he wanted her all for himself. He wished to hide her away from the world, as if she were his secret treasure.

Meanwhile, Donny kept begging incessantly, "Please! Please! My mother is dying! Please help us! Please!"

His trembling voice touched Emily, and she said to Jacob, "He said Mrs. Yang's dying. What's wrong with her?"

Jacob held her little hand slowly and put it on his chest. A hint of coldness flashed in his eyes, and he said, "Do you know why you got bit by that snake? It was because of that woman."

"Mrs. Yang?" Emily stopped short and her eyes were wide with shock. She shook her head in utter disbelief and asked, "Why would she do that?"

"Who knows? But the snake is hers, so she has to accept the punishment. She brought it upon herself."

Coldness gripped her heart, and she sat there thinking, as her eyes focused on nothing in particular. "What... What about her now?"

"Don't worry about it. She won't be able to hurt you again. She got bit by snakes and she probably would be dead by tonight," he said, touching her back and comforting her.

Emily looked up to him at once, and asked, "Snakes? In winter? How could that be? Jacob, was it you?"

Jacob kept silent. Emily's voice alerted him to the possibility that he had said something he shouldn't have.

Emily immediately understood that his silence meant yes. Although she had no sympathy towards the woman who tried to kill her, she didn't want Jacob to become a murderer because of her.

Moreover, the woman was Donny's mother.

Even though her morality was questionable at best, she loved her son very much. And how would Donny live his life without the help of his mother.

"Jacob, why don't you ask Mr. Barefoot to help her?" Donny's desperate cries evoked her sympathy.

He reminded her of Beryl. She thought about what would happen to Beryl if she had died. Emily knew better than most how painful and dreadful it was to lose one's parents, and she didn't want Beryl go through the same feeling again. Just for that reason alone, she would strive to protect herself.

Donny's heart was pure and innocent, and Emily had always considered him as her own child.

Jacob showed no signs of agreement to her suggestion and refuted, "But she's the one who tried to kill you."

"I know that now." Emily put her finger on his thin lip and slowly touched it along the line, and she said, "But Donny is innocent, and he can't lose his mother. Moreover, I'm fine now. Mrs. Yang just got bit by snakes, so she has had her punishment."

Jacob looked into her eyes, speechlessly. His emotions, like rolling dark clouds, changed in his face. His voice was full of jealousy. "Why? Why do you care so much about that idiot?"



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