PDM Chapter 21
“Then I will take my leave.”
After the doctor and Laura left, my rough breathing was the only thing that filled the silence in the room. I almost buried my face in the pillow because I didn’t know what kind of face to show Kyle.
No, actually, I was afraid of what kind of face Kyle would make.
I never thought I would ever have children. I didn’t mean to. What if he thought I approached him with the intention of conceiving the successor? I also wondered if Kyle despised or regretted getting married? Or was he happy that he now had an heir?
Thousands of thoughts rushed through my mind when I heard footsteps approaching the bed. I got up, supporting my upper body with both arms. I could see a dent caused by my hand on the bed linen.
“Your Grace, the baby…” I slowly looked up and stared at Kyle. My heart pounded even faster because I couldn’t read his face.
If he didn’t like children…
The thought terrified me. I felt the heat behind my eyes as it welled up with tears. With trembling hands, I caressed my flat stomach, anxious that the baby would disappear at any moment.
Funnily enough, I fell in love with the child shortly after I realized I was pregnant. For me, It was as easy as falling in love with Kyle.
How long had it been? Kyle sighed, rubbing his eyes. “The doctor said your body is unstable, so please rest.”
Kyle looked confused. I’d expected that he’d feel that way because he had an unwanted child with a person he didn’t even love. He must be frustrated and full of regret.
Soon after, I heard the sound of footsteps, and the door closed. Thank goodness. I could have the baby. It was good news, but my bitter heart didn’t go away.
I had a hunch Kyle wasn’t happy. Even I was caught off guard, but at the same time, I was worried about how difficult it would be for him. Besides, he’d just lost Hari.
Nevertheless, I stained the bed with tears. Tears of conflicting reasons fell as emotions flooded me.
I was relieved that I could have a child, but I felt sorry for the child because I could clearly see the consequences of my greed.
“Don’t worry. Mom will try harder.”
Whispering to the child who might be listening, I swallowed my tears.
Laura called me again, awkwardly grasping her face with both hands. It seemed like a warning to stop what I was doing.
“I’ll just finish this, Laura.”
“But you’ve been sewing for days now.”
“Ah…” I smiled awkwardly and looked down.
Even Laura couldn’t stop my obsession with children’s clothes. As I imagined and laughed at what I would dress my child when he was born, my hands created the clothes one by one. Of course, I didn’t know the baby’s gender, so they all looked the same, but I thought that the more clothes, the better.
When I put down the fabric and sewing tools, Laura handed me the book she was holding.
“Why don’t you read?”
I gently rubbed the pages with my hands as I accepted the book. Truthfully, I wanted to go for a walk or an outing for my child’s sake. Still, even if I went around the mansion, I felt uncomfortable around the employees, so I usually stayed in the library.
Even more so right after it was announced that I was pregnant.
Right, let’s read children’s books. I smiled bitterly and read the title of the book, “Quetrey Forest?”
I turned the pages and only closed the book after time had passed and the red sunset dyed my hair.
How mysterious, a forest that could erase memories. There were so many things I didn’t know in the world. When I raised my head with a smile, Laura was still there.
Did she stand there until I finished reading? You shouldn’t do that. Perhaps she read my expression because she simply smiled.
Ah, come to think of it. I could ask Laura. With that thought in mind, I said, “Laura, what do you think about me sponsoring an orphanage? I’m thinking of sending the necessary items to the children instead of money.”
Laura nodded. “I think grains or school supplies would be good.”
“I see. I’m not good at this, so I’d like to get some advice from Takan or Laura.”
Laura paused for a moment before speaking. “Sir Takan is on vacation for four days from today.”
“Is that so? That’s too bad,” I chuckled awkwardly. I guess I’d ask for his advice four days later.
While I was deep in thought, Laura stepped closer. “Why don’t you ask His Grace? His Grace has offered it, so I’m sure he’ll give you advice.”
“…May I?” I hesitated, extending the last syllable.
Perhaps the hope in my voice was too obvious because Laura quickly nodded. “This is also a social activity for the family, so His Excellency will give you good advice.”
I swallowed hard and licked my dry lips. After finding out I was pregnant, I didn’t have a chance to see Kyle. He seemed to avoid me, just as he did when we first got married, but whenever we’d run into each other, he’d forcibly greet me, perhaps because of the baby. I didn’t want to bother him, so I stayed in the bedroom or the study.
Distracted, I tapped the pages of the book.
“Laura, shall we go to His Grace’s office?” I asked out loud even though I didn’t need her permission.
I couldn’t get Kyle’s permission, so it made me feel like I would need someone’s consent to visit him.
It was only after Laura nodded did I leave the study, my stomach fluttering in relief and nervousness.
As the twilight night arrived, I fell asleep, tired of the long wait. But after a while, I opened my eyes in surprise as I suddenly woke up, trembling.
Before I knew it, lanterns were lit everywhere in the moonlit office. Nothing happened, but strangely, I felt chills down my spine.
I looked back to see Laura biting her lips awkwardly. I wondered what was wrong with her, but I turned in the opposite direction.
Kyle was on the sofa in front of me, leaning forward as he stared at me.
I hurriedly fixed my clothes and hair and fumbled my face with my hands because I was worried I might have drooled in my sleep. I was only able to face Kyle after making sure I looked presentable.
I bit my lips and closed my eyes tightly. I couldn’t believe I fell asleep waiting for Kyle in his office. It was because I was pregnant and slept more.
“Y-you’re here? First of all, ah, right. Laura, would you please get tea? His Grace must be tired…”
“I think you’re more tired.”
In an instant, the back of my neck and ears felt warm. I supported myself with my arms to get up from the sofa.
But before I could stand up, Kyle stood from the sofa and quietly said, “Sit down.”
“No, I’ll get up”.
“Are you going to make me feel uncomfortable?”
With that, I sat back down and stared at Kyle as he walked to his desk. I smiled shyly. Kyle looked over the papers on his desk and picked up some unknown documents.
“They said you came here for advice.”
“Yes, I need your advice on sponsoring an orphanage.” But, honestly, it was more of an excuse to see Kyle. I looked him in the eye and said, “I’m thinking about sending grain or school supplies to selected nurseries. What do you think?”
Kyle’s gaze fell from the paperwork. Then, he tilted his head and asked, “What about you?”
“What are you talking about…” I blinked.
After a while, Kyle put down the papers. “I mean, is there nothing you want?”
“This is also for the family, so you will need to be compensated for your performance. Tell me what you want.”
Was he going to give me a present? I looked at Kyle, who was leaning against the window, his arms crossed. His gray eyes languidly appeared and disappeared.
“What I want…”
That was the unexpected part. Could I tell you what I really wanted?
When I hesitated then stopped speaking altogether, Kyle sighed and uncrossed his arms. Did he read the expression on my face?
“If you want the necklace you wore at the wedding…”
At that moment, his gray eyes widened, and he turned towards me. Kyle, who was always indifferent and unconcerned, looked unusually startled. I clasped my hands and braced myself. “Let me call Your Grace by your name.”
I anxiously wriggled my toes in my shoes. He’d probably reject it. Was it an unreasonable request? I should have asked for something normal.
As the waves of regret crashed down on me, his voice suddenly rang out.
“I’ll allow it.”
I jumped and slowly looked up, my shoulders tense. It was the first time I’d heard such a warm tone from Kyle.
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