We invited Jon to dine with us, despite of the news he brought. Yet Jon declined, saying that duty required more messages of him and he did not have time to dwell. Soon it was just myself and Lukas left in the house, the children still playing outside.
Lukas looked up from his letter. "It is as Jon says, I am required for a building project. They say I should be able to return home afterwards though."
"Well that is good news," I replied, turning back to the vegetables I had been chopping before Jon's arrival.
"Indeed it. I should be able to have young Harry Matthews come check on the farm in the meantime, and his father will be able to assist if there's any trouble," Lukas explained, as if he had the whole thing planned out. Knowing him, he had already made preparations should anything like this happen. It seemed he was soon to be disappointed.
"That won't be necessary dear. I should be able to handle the farm on my own, and if there are any issues I am perfectly capable of sending for help," I told him, still facing the vegetables.
A few seconds of silence passed during which I could feel my husband staring at me, finally he reached out a hand to touch my shoulder, prompting me to turn to face him.
"Helena, you can't stay here, not alone. No, you must go to town and stay with your mother," he stated.
I shook my head, determined to stand my ground. "And let the farm fall into ruin? Harry is near of age, and his father is not too old himself to be called away. What will happen to this place then?"
"We'll manage somehow. What is important is keeping you safe," Lukas replied, his voice beginning to sound somewhat anxious.
I reached out a hand, placing it on his cheek. "You worry too much dear husband," I told him. "I know how much this place means to you, how much you want to keep it in the family and gift it to Dominic one day. For that reason I have to stay." Lukas looked like he was willing to interrupt, to try and convince me out of staying. "I will not be leaving Lukas, and nothing you can say will convince me otherwise. Besides, you yourself said you should only be gone a short time. Surely I can manage until then, and with a camp being built nearby there will soon be extra protection in the region. The children and I will be okay here, you have nothing to worry about. Whereas if you force me to leave you'll only have to worry about how soon it'll be before I sneaky back."
"I only worry for good reason Helena. I don't know what I would do if I were ever to lose you or the children," Lukas said quietly, staring at me with love in his eyes, his hand cupping mine where it still rested on his cheek.
"Well luckily that is something you don't have to worry about," I replied, turning my hand around so that it clasped his between us. "I can look after myself and the children."
A smile crossed Lukas's face. "Alright then. I can see when you're beaten. But I am still going to have young Harry come around each day, even if just to assist you if necessary. Allow me that much."
"I suppose I can agree to that," I replied, before letting go of his hand and making a shooing gesture. "Now off you go. You have work to do and preparations to make, and I have vegetables to finish chopping if we wish to eat dinner tonight. Leave me to my work and go about yours."