Strengthened by the adrenaline pounding through my veins, I kicked the opened the door. My eyes fixed on the woman – Ophelia – sprawled out across the bed. Surrounding her body were the white bed sheets stained crimson.
Blood! So much blood! My face pales as I rush towards her, fighting back vomit. For her sake I must remain calm. Though calm is exceptionally hard to be when I notice her pasty white face and unmoving body.
From the corner of my eye I catch the sight of bright red hair. Emerald, the manor’s doctor’s daughter, came dashing towards the opposite side of the bed.
“My father will be here soon,” she attempts to reassure me in a breathless voice. It was obvious that she had run here as soon as she heard the house maid holler. “I am going to check for a pulse.”
The seconds she took finding it seemed to drag on. When her expression remained solemn I feared the worse. I could feel my heart begin to split and it would not be long before it shattered into a million tiny pieces.
“She’s alive,” Emerald said, putting me out of my misery. “But it’s low. I cannot be certain, I’ll have to wait to my father checks her over, but I think she has suffered a miscarriage.”
Emerald’s wide mouth kept moving, her eyes flicking nervously from side to side, but I could not hear any more words. Miscarriage... It spun around in my head, echoing off the walls of my mind. Ophelia was pregnant? She never told me. Did she think she could not trust me? I left the manor behind and entered the world of questions.
It was late in the evening. I was sitting by Ophelia’s bedside. The blood drenched sheets had been replaced and she was still unconscious. The maid fussing beside her kept shooting me disapproving looks. Eventually she plucked up the courage to ask me when I was going to retire to my chambers. I shrugged and told her that she could leave. After giving me one last suspicious look – the words ‘evil eye’ came to mind – she finally left.
At the sound of the door closing, Ophelia groaned and her eyes flickered. I considered calling back the pernickety maid, but I needed to say some things better said in private.
“So Sleeping Beauty awakes from her coma,” I mumbled bitterly.
“Jacque,” she murmurs, her face mingled with exhaustion and confusion.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were pregnant,” I ask, more vehemently than I meant.
“Is that why you came back to the Manor? You got yourself up the duff and you needed a place to stay?” My words were harsh and my tone trembled with anger. Her sallow face became more and more haunted. When I finished my rant, she spoke again. This time her voice was strained and she wore an appalled expression.
“I was raped,” she said.