“Lady Rihannan, is there a chance you’ll come back to Arundell?”
“Yes, maybe. I do not know.”
Jeffrey let out a faint sigh. He had watched her since she was a babe. It pained him to know the child he had known since for and ever would be leaving so soon.
“I had thought all this time that you’d end up marrying a good man and have a child with him, but now, I can’t bring myself to do so.”
Rihannan laughed briefly at Jeffrey’s words, one that was full of regrets.
“I don’t intend to get married. And a child? I don’t want one.”
“What do you mean?”
“You think I’m young and that I don’t know much, but that’s not true. Jeffrey, I really don’t want to get married or have children. I mean it.”
Rihannan clasped her hand together.
When there was life in her belly, it only brought her pain and suffering.
When it was revealed a new seed of life sprouted in Rihannan’s belly, her world changed quickly. The Queen’s Palace was crowded with thousands of people and nobles who secretly respected Rihannan visited her with a congratulatory greeting and showered her with expensive gifts.
And above all, Igor was elated. He’d visit her whenever his schedule permitted him to and often checked her health, asking if she had eaten yet.
She shook her head, smiled, and softly muttered, “I didn’t know the King has this side of him.”
And from then on, it seemed like the cold years between them began to melt rapidly.
Awaiting the birth of their child, they’d frequently have a conversation for the first time.
“I wonder if we’ll have a son or a daughter.”
One day, he placed his hand on her growing belly and said softly.
Unlike Igor, who was full of expectations, Rihannan thought so otherwise and she shrunk a little at his words.
“Please be a boy.”
It mattered not to Rihannan whether her unborn child was of a specific gender. No matter the outcome, she intended to pour every drop of her love, but she knew the hardships her child would face if born a princess. And knowing the hardships of bearing a child, Rihannan did not believe she’d be pregnant again. Perhaps, this child would be her first and last.
Rihannan looked at Igor gently and said, “I won’t care if we have a son or a daughter.”
But her answer was unthinkable to Igor. Rihannan looked at him with eyes of curiosity. Igor, in return, smiled.
“Of course. Never mind the child’s gender. You’ll slowly find out what I mean.”
She wasn’t sure what he meant, but she was somewhat relieved. At least she knew he’d not turn a blind eye if the unborn child was born a princess.
And come to think of it, those were the happiest moments she spent with Igor. He’d been nothing but friendly to Rihannan, and her father and Leticia kept mum and silent after it was known that she was soon to bear Igor’s child.
As time passed, her body gradually became heavier and she needed more and more rest. Rihannan left the royal palace and vacated herself in the seasonal palace. There, she spent most of her time reading books or knitting clothes for the child she was expecting, breaking away from the duties of a Queen. There were times when a loud ruckus would occur outside, but her servants usually took care of the matter quickly and so she never needed to worry.
Then, one day, Rihannan voluntarily visited Igor’s office in the royal palace. The thought of her doing so would have been inconceivable before, but given their restored and renewed relationship, it seemed natural to visit him.
At least she thought so.
But what she saw caused her trauma.
There, in that office, she saw a man and a woman. There, was a woman with red hair lying obliquely on the royal desk with legs wide open and moaning in deep-seated pleasure. And the man, he stood in between her legs, inserting his all inside her. The woman had her arms twirled around his neck like a coiled snake and her red lips pressed on his collar.
In Rihannan’s eyes, Igor seemed willing to enjoy the woman’s caress.
The two turned their heads to find Rihanann’s presence before them. Igor donned a look of surprise whereas, Letica wore a smile full of sneering satisfaction.
So it was like that…