Cry, Even Better if you Beg - Side Story 17
The announcement of the Duchess of Herhardt’s pregnancy swiftly circulated amongst the upper echelons of Carlsbar and Ratz. While it’s not unusual for a vibrant and fertile couple to expand their brood, the tantalizing tidbit that the expectant Duchess is currently enrolled in college set tongues wagging with fervor.
“A child born of such brilliance is sure to be exceptional,”
Elysee von Herhardt shared her viewpoint, and Norma had a similar attitude. No matter what they thought, Matthias had already decided, so there was no point in arguing with him about it. His ability to create a happy union despite the apparent drawbacks of his previous marriage was actually a credit to his tenacity.
“If you do choose to proceed, give it your all,” During their recent phone call, Elysee mentioned something unexpected before they hung up. “This means that as a member of the esteemed Herhardt family, you must not allow anyone to disregard you. Is that clear?”
Leyla could now distinguish the intricacies in her mother-in-tone law’s despite her low voice. She saw that when it was conveying sincere feelings, it grew kinder and more deliberate.
“Yes, mother!” Leyla exclaimed with unbridled enthusiasm, unaware of the fervor in her voice. “I will give it my all. I promise to do my very best.”
Elysee sighed with a hint of concern, wondering if Leyla’s exuberance was too unladylike, but she refrained from voicing any complaints. Leyla was determined to keep her promise to her family, and she would try her hardest to do so. However, there are certain things in life that even an unwavering will cannot conquer, and morning sickness was undoubtedly one of them.
As the morning sickness resurfaced, Leyla found herself succumbing to exhaustion and sought refuge on the couch, covering herself with a throw blanket. Soon, she drifted off into a deep slumber. When she eventually stirred from her sleep, she noticed the fading sunlight filtering through the curtains and the comforting presence of Matthias by her side. A radiant smile illuminated her pallid features as she realized she was cradled in his embrace.
“Have you had anything to eat?” Matthias asked Leyla, as their eyes locked. He had asked the question with the regularity of a routine greeting ever since the beginning of her morning sickness.
“I managed to eat a bit today.” she replied, gently touching her stomach.
Matthias lifted his gaze and glanced the basket of peaches on the table. “Another peach?” he queried, noting that their bedroom had been perfumed with the sweet aroma of the fruit ever since Leyla became pregnant.
Leyla had announced her pregnancy during a late dinner they shared one night, her eyes sparkling with uncontainable excitement and anticipation, as if she were divulging a secret surprise. Matthias had to be cautious in concealing the fact that he already knew, putting forth a concerted effort to keep his composure.
As Matthias observed Leyla attempting to suppress what she wanted to divulge that morning, an inkling of apprehension stirred within him. By the evening, his intuition had been confirmed during a phone conversation with his physician, Dr. Feller.
“I believe my wife may be pregnant,”
Matthias disclosed over the phone. He requested an appointment with his physician, and as he relayed his suspicion, the doctor remained silent for a prolonged moment.
“Did you already have an inkling, Your Grace?” the doctor inquired, his voice betraying a sense of indescribable awkwardness. “The Duchess wishes to inform you of the news in person, so please maintain discretion…”
“Understood,” Matthias replied to the doctor, his voice calm but tinged with embarrassment. “I’ll feign ignorance.”
It wasn’t difficult to comprehend Leyla’s desire for secrecy, and so Matthias took it upon himself to safeguard the information.
“My wife had a rough time with her first pregnancy.” As the preliminaries were finished, Matthias spoke calmly about the subject at hand. His military wounds pale in comparison to the recollections of those times when he was powerless to save a Leyla who was nine months pregnant.
“I hope things go smoothly this time,” Matthias spoke in a soft voice that lacked its usual conviction. “Although, I trust that with Dr. Feller’s expertise, any worries I have will be rendered meaningless.”
The call drew to a close with formalities exchanged, but the weight of Matthias’ request lingered in the air. “Please take good care of my wife,” he repeated, a note of urgency in his voice.
After that, the doctor routinely visited the mansion without requesting a visit to check the Duchess’s health. They trusted Dr. Feller’s expertise and were comforted by the fact that Leyla and the baby were healthy, aside from the usual morning sickness.
But Matthias couldn’t shake off the feeling of anticipation and excitement as they headed back to the mansion that night. He knew the surprise that awaited him, yet Leyla seemed to be playing a game of cat and mouse with her words during dinner, teasing him with her hints.
As the night grew longer, Matthias’s expectations only grew stronger, fueling his eagerness to finally hear the words he had been waiting for.
Matthias felt relieved at Leyla’s response, but he couldn’t shake off the feeling that he should have reacted better.
‘How does he feel?’
Obviously, that was the simplest thing to answer.
‘He is happy.’
The miracle of life was growing inside the woman he loved, it was also Leyla’s fondest wish. He doubt Leyla had anything she was more excited for. They work hard at making child an actuality. And naturally, this would happen; it was predictable.
It wasn’t until Leyla’s confession after dinner that the missing piece fell into place. Matthias was struck with a mix of emotions, but Leyla’s joy and excitement were contagious.
“Can you give me a hug?” Leyla asked by showing her arms wide open “Please give me a hug,” Her emerald eyes sparkled brightly, filled with cautious expectations and tension. For him, hugging the attractive woman with all his strength wasn’t difficult at all.
Matthias gave Leyla an unexpected gift that day: a basket of luscious, juicy peaches.
‘I want sweet and crunchy peach. That look flawless and pretty.’
Leyla said seriously, staring at him who first struggled to understand the significance of her demand. But as Leyla described how crucial the sweet fruit was to satisfying her pregnancy cravings, as elusive as the wish was, Matthias was willing to grant it.
Leyla’s face beamed as she held a basket of peaches in her arms, which was hardly a gift. She carefully chose the best peaches for her beloved while maintaining a determined expression in her eyes. Over time, Matthias, who had been watching, started laughing
“You can have them all to yourself, Leyla,”
“Still…”Leyla’s serious expression remained unchanged as she extended a peach in each hand towards Matthias. “Which one do you think is the most beautiful?” Leyla claimed, implausibly, that in Matthias’s opinion, both peaches are identical.
“You pick one for me. I’m going to eat the prettiest one first.” Matthias chuckled at Leyla’s enthusiasm for peaches. He could see the joy in her eyes as she carefully inspected each one, trying to find the perfect one.
Matthias carefully examined the basket of peaches. Finally, his eyes landed on a particularly vibrant and luscious peach on the left-hand side of the basket. He held it up to Leyla with a sense of triumph.
As she gazed at the chosen peach, a mixture of emotions flickered across Leyla’s face. Matthias could sense her inner turmoil, but he didn’t pry. Instead, he stood by her side, offering silent support as she composed herself.
Soon enough, Leyla’s laughter echoed through the room, and she began to eat the peaches one by one with utmost care and reverence. Each bite seemed like a small ritual to Matthias, who remembered the sweet scent and sound of Leyla enjoying the fruit on a previous occasion.
As he watched her savor the peaches, Matthias couldn’t help but feel a surge of emotion. He knew that their child was growing inside Leyla’s belly, nourished by the same sweetness and care that she was now taking with each bite. It was a moment he would never forget.
“I ate peaches, and I ate other things.” Leyla spoke inaudibly, as if in a dream, and her voice was scarcely heard. In a trance-like state, Matthias continued to tenderly brush her head.
“What else?” Matthias leaned in with a curious expression, his eyes fixed on her face.
“A tiny chicken and an egg and a little bit of bread,” she murmured, her words barely audible as she snuggled closer to him.
Matthias gazed down at his wife with a furrowed brow, concern etched on his face. “Isn’t that food bad for you to eat when you’re not feeling well?” he asked, his voice laced with worry.
Leyla’s eyes widened with surprise as she looked at him “Don’t be quick to blame the servants for something I’ve already approved,” she said firmly. “I did my research and found out that a well-formed placenta can help alleviate morning sickness. Eating a lot of eggs and meat can also be beneficial for the baby’s development.”
“The thought of consuming it during bouts of nausea doesn’t sound appealing,”
“I need to focus on my studies, and I can’t afford to have this lingering pain distract me. It’s better to endure a shorter but more intense period of pain than to have it drag on indefinitely.” Leyla’s voice was resolute as she spoke, her eyes fixed on Matthias
“Ah, so it’s not just some random idea you came up with?” Matthias said teasingly.
With a mischievous giggle, Leyla propped herself up on the pillows, her eyes sparkling with amusement. “Well, that conclusion is sensible, isn’t it?” However, the glint in her eyes faded quickly as a wave of nausea washed over her once more. The morning sickness had returned, leaving her looking pale and sickly.
Matthias’ gaze softened as he looked down at Leyla, who was once again lying on his lap. “Why don’t you stay in bed, Leyla?” he suggested gently, brushing a strand of hair from her forehead.
“I’ll be fine here, maybe I’ll sleep here” Leyla shook her head stubbornly, snuggling closer to him, “For some reason, my morning sickness seems to worsen when I lie in bed. Maybe it’s the angle or something.”
“What sets apart a sofa from a bed?”
“I’m not sure about that, but it just seems like…… That is the feeling.”
Leyla’s words might have seemed illogical, but Matthias couldn’t help but find her adorable as she spoke with a glint in her eyes.
“I know It does seem a little implausible.” After close inspection, Leyla scrunched up her face in displeasure at her husband’s strange approach to treating nausea by eating eggs and meat while avoiding sleeping on a bed because of discomfort. “Unfortunately, I’m powerless in this situation. If morning sickness takes over, my ability to think logically goes out the window.” Her voice trailed off as she admitted. She squeezed her eyes shut tightly, despite having much more to express. Matthias placed a cold hand on her sweat-dampened forehead and let out a quiet exhale.
“Matthy, could you read me a book?” Leyla’s eyes fluttered open after a prolonged period of rest, and she addressed Matthias with a request. Her plea caused a crease to form on Matthias’ forehead, accentuating the worry lines etched there.
“Books?” Matthias echoed, slightly puzzled.
Leyla’s eyes fixated on a book laid out on the table, “Could you take a look at that book for me? I haven’t completed my test yet, and it might help if you read it out loud.” She gestured towards a paleontology book sitting adjacent to a basket of fresh peaches.
With a grin, Matthias opened the thick tome, bearing the remnants of Leyla’s fingerprints. As he began to speak, his voice resonated with a soothing quality, delving into the intricate details of ancient life’s evolution. The fragrance of the peaches mingled with the gentle cadence of his voice, permeating the stillness of the night air.
Leyla shut her eyes and listened intently, the occasional pang of nausea quelled by the pleasant atmosphere around her. It turned out to be a rather tranquil evening.
As the winter break drew near, Leyla von Herhardt’s reputation had taken a nosedive, earning her a notorious status. The Duchess, who had been held in high regard by her peers in the previous semester, was now viewed with a mixture of fear and disdain, as her visibly pregnant form made an appearance in the classroom.
Yet, as Leyla stood before a poster, her swollen belly proudly displayed, her face radiated with a bright aura of contentment, undaunted by the snide remarks and sarcastic congratulations thrown her way. Her joyous smile spoke volumes about her unshakeable spirit, defying the notion that she was as “crazy” as her husband.
“You’re not your average kid, are you?” Elysee von Herhardt’s voice crackled over the phone as she processed the news, yet, there was a hint of pride in her voice as she praised Leyla, “You’ve done an outstanding job, my dear.” As she bid her farewell, her tone softened, conveying a deep affection for her unconventional offspring.
Leyla replayed the brief conversation in her mind, relishing the joy it had brought her. And each time she did, she felt a fluttering sensation in her stomach, as if the child within was also sharing in her happiness.
“Matthy! Quick! Come here!” Leyla exclaimed, sensing the tiny life within her stir. She longed for Matthias to share in the moment with her, but he remained as composed as ever.
“It’s moving, can’t you feel it?” Leyla urged, pulling his hand to her abdomen, where the baby was kicking and squirming, almost as if it was eager to make its presence known.
Matthias acquiesced to his wife’s request, staying by her side as she excitedly shared the movements of their unborn child. Although it wasn’t their first pregnancy, there was still a sense of wonder and joy in seeing their child come to life within her.
Leyla finally released his hands once the baby settled down. He remained by her side, gazing at her lying in bed. The flickering flames of the fireplace danced across her body, casting shadows that accentuated her curves.
“Let me take care of you,” Matthias offered, his hand tenderly holding a towel as he approached her chest. Leyla hesitated at first but then relaxed as Matthias gently wiped her body, his touch conveying his love and care for her.
Leyla’s initial hesitation gave way to a rush of excitement as Matthias’ towel touched her skin, sending shivers down her spine. The warmth of the towel coupled with the tender touch of her husband ignited a fire within her, causing her heartbeat to quicken with each passing moment.
Matthias held back until Leyla’s cheeks were flushed with desire. His gaze lingered on her body, now carrying their child, giving him a sense of pleasure unlike any before. It was a contented feeling, a sense of fulfillment that left Leyla feeling drowsy yet satisfied.
As they lay in bed, intertwined and holding each other close, Leyla buried her face in the crook of his neck, relishing the comfort of his embrace. The once unfamiliar experience of sleeping in each other’s arms had become a nightly ritual, bringing them closer together as they awaited the arrival of their child.
Leyla’s voice trailed off into the quiet darkness of the room, her worries about her changing body weighing heavily on her mind. “Soon, I’ll resemble a penguin,” she whispered softly, almost to herself. “”Maybe I won’t look pretty anymore. But can you still tell me that I’m pretty?” Her question hung in the air, seeking reassurance.
Matthias’s gentle lips on her forehead was comforting as he listened to her concerns. Without hesitation, he answered her unspoken plea. “I will” His voice was filled with love and tenderness as he held her close, promising to shower her with compliments as much as she needed. “I’ll tell you’re pretty as many times as you want to hear it, Leyla.”