Chapter 35 - Returning Home
“You were hit heavily by the rain a few days ago, weren’t you, Dylan? Are you feeling unwell?” Madam Jane asked, her voice tinged with concern. Once he came into view, she noticed that he had kept quiet the entire time, seemingly deep in thought.
Dylan simply shook his head. “No, I’m just worried about them, too.”
Upon receiving his answer, Madam Jane turned to Sir Crane as if to ask, ‘You feel the same, don’t you?’
However, Dylan’s thoughts were of a completely different variety.
He hadn’t understood why, ever since a few days ago, he had become so sleepless and riddled with indigestion. Even though he took Anna into his embrace and confirmed, once and for all, that she was his woman from then on, he still felt anxious. He was wondering what could possibly be making him feel like this when he realized, just yesterday, that David and Carol’s trip would soon come to an end.
Casey hurriedly ran in, yelling, “Master David has returned!”
Madam Jane shot up from her seat with a bright grin. Seeing her rise in such a way made Sir Crane click his tongue in mild annoyance. Dylan followed behind his parents as they left, his mind on Anna and how she was probably working elsewhere in the mansion.
“Did you have a good trip?” Madam Jane asked, greeting David and Carol intensely. It had been a month since she last saw them, after all. “Is Sir Adams still good and healthy?”
Carol answered with a smile. “Yes, we had a great trip thanks to you two. Father, Mother, we’re glad to see that both of you are still doing well,” she said. Although she had spent the month before her departure looking depressed and terribly weak, she looked brighter after visiting her original parents.
Madam Jane took Carol’s hands and gushed. “That’s great news.”
“I’m sure the trip here was a long one,” Sir Crane said. “It must have been hard on you, so how about we cut the greetings here and have a meal?”
If Sir Crane didn’t gracefully intervene, Madam Jane would have kept going. David and Carol’s welcome would’ve continued for way too long, leaving all of them standing by the front entrance.
Thankfully, Madam Jane didn’t notice Sir Crane’s intentions. She began guiding the two into the house since they were probably hungry by now. “Yes, your father is right. Let’s get your stomachs filled up first.”
“I’m not actually hungry at the moment, but she is,” David said, indicating Carol. “Since we were rattling around in that carriage the whole time, my stomach isn’t feeling very well. I’m afraid I’ll have to retire to my room.”
“Huh? I-I see. That can happen, of course. It must’ve been terrible for you since it rained all day and everything. Go ahead and rest in your room.”
Without sparing Carol even a single glance, David gave her the cold shoulder and ascended the stairs to his quarters. Madam Jane studied Carol’s reaction, noticing the uneasy tension flowing between them. Their relationship was already on thin ice. They were never seen close to each other, and on top of that, there has been no news of them receiving a child in over three years while other couples were having plenty of their own.
The reason why Madam Jane recommended they go visit Carol’s parents in the first place was in the hopes that the trip would help mend their relationship as husband and wife. There was a saying that a couple could develop some new love and affection for each other if they went on a trip and stayed together for a decent amount of time, after all.
However, Madam Jane didn’t know the truth. Sometimes trips can end up making relationships worse.
“Are you not hungry, Sister-in-law?” Dylan asked Carol, seeing as she had been left alone.
“No, I’m fine,” she answered. “I’m not hungry either, so I was hoping to dine later. Thank you again for your consideration, Mother.” She smiled warmly, then followed David up the stairs.
The remaining family members, left behind beyond the staircase, were unsure if they should worry about David’s terrible attitude or if they should rejoice in the fact that Carol seemed to have regained her smile.
Dylan rapped on the door to David’s personal study. He assumed that David would still be inside of it as opposed to the bedroom he shared with Carol. His assumption was correct.
“Who is it?” David’s voice called out.
“It’s me, Brother,” Dylan answered.
David stood by a desk placed next to the window. He had his back facing Dylan and he was divesting himself of his thick coat, depositing it on a coat rack. In the meantime, Dylan walked up to the desk and placed the book he brought with him down upon its surface.
David turned around and lifted the book up. “What is this?” he asked.