Chapter 20

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a/n: HI!!  Thank you all who have been so patient esp. those who so thoughtfully came to check up on me!! This kewpid is so happy that it was missed :P  And as promised, I have diligently produced this humble twentieth chapter :)

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Chapter 20

Nowadays, I spend most of my afternoons with Mistress Alvena in the garden. She prefers to go to where I first met her—the hidden garden.

When I remind her it is time for dinner, she'd only look up at the sky with a sad expression on her face before letting out a troubled sigh.

"What's wrong, Alvena?" I would customarily ask, hoping that one of these days, she would be a little more jovial.

"Sweet Evie," she would would say and then cross her hands over her baby bump. "If only I could run away."

I would then easily reply, "Mistress, you're seven months pregnant. It's best you stay put."

She would then pat her stomach and smile a sad smile. "It's best I stay put," she'd repeat after me, as if trying to convince herself the same.

But no matter how many things she tells herself, nothing seemed to override her feelings concerning what happened a month ago that caused all this frustration in the first place.

About a month ago, six months down motherhood, Alvena lived a perfect life. She had a great husband, though of a different species than her inferior human counterparts, who loved her dearly. Though a Mistress by title, everyone in the Dietrich castle cherished her as the direct lady of the house.

Everything was going fine. Master was happy. Mistress was happy. Lucien was happy. They said I looked happy so I guess I was happy too.

That was until we found Valerie waiting on our return to Argid. She came unannounced, surprising even Master.

Master, of course, was hospitable. Alvena didn't think much of her sudden arrival as anything more than just a celebratory visit as others have done.

However, Valerie was quick to let her know otherwise.

It was Master's will to keep their marriage a secret from Alvena until the Pureblood was born—even I heard that part. Thus, to ensure Master's words were followed, I accompanied my human mistress everywhere she went during the entire course of Lady Rosegarden's visit.

I never left Alvena's side until, on the day of sending our guest away, Master requested that I assist with some personal matters. And upon my return from the short break I took away from Alvena, it happened.

"Niko and I enjoyed your company these past few days," Alvena said with a friendly smile—those you'd give to a close visiting friend. "Please visit us again. And next time you drop by, please let us know ahead of time. You are very important to Niko so he's a little embarrassed too for not making grander preparations."

I'm sure Alvena meant it on amiable terms, but Lady Rosegarden didn't see it the same way.

"I can drop by Argid anytime I please. Alek never required me to first announce my arrival before visiting him. Do not mistaken me as a common outsider," Lady Rosegarden responded sharply.

I didn't say a word. I just hoped it wouldn't get messy.

"Of course not! Like I said, you're precious to Niko so you're precious to me."

Alvena is indeed innocent, yet even I can tell that her statement only challenged Valerie more.

Maybe because Alvena is just used to calling Master by his true name, she's just rather casual. But Valerie, until she is given permission, is not allowed to call him something as intimate as his personal name.

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