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Titled? ~ 69

May 12, 2018 08:16PM

Chapter Sixty-Nine

Anna Margaret was quite pleased with how Frederick was handling everything, from dragging the baby everywhere to talking to reporters. The neighbour’s soup came in handy, because it could be eaten instantly and they turned out to be rather hungry.

After eating Frederick said he would cook up a light meal while she went to feed and change the baby. They had been putting him in pyjamas at night, although she was not exactly sure they were hugely different from his day clothes. He was a quiet little thing and protested only when he was being undressed or hungry. Today he had had his first trip outside the house, so she wondered if he was extra tired. She took him downstairs and laid him in his pram. They preferred to have him near when they were not yet ready for bed. She did not know if that was normal, but it seemed to work: the previous two days he had been awake, but quiet.

The previous two days, though, she had not had much to do during the day except read. Now, she had been away for most of it and there were things to catch up on. There were dishes, laundry and other small household chores. The cleaning lady would come tomorrow, but they could not leave everything to her.

It was overwhelming, though, and she suddenly felt like crying. She did not understand why. It should not be overwhelming at all. Everything was going well. She was reasonably organised and they were certainly all healthy.

“What’s wrong?” asked Frederick when he found her.

“I don’t know. I really don’t know.” She disliked this emotional mess immensely. There was absolutely no rational reason for her tears. “There’s nothing wrong.”

The doorbell rang. Frederick looked in the direction of the door, not that he could see it. “Should I have a look?”

“I’ll go upstairs.”

“OK.” He waited until she was gone.

She threw herself on her bed and wondered if she should have taken Alex with her. Suppose they had a visitor and the baby needed her? On the other hand it might be nice to take a shower and see if it calmed her down. Before she had decided on anything, Frederick appeared.

“Visitors,” he said, but it did not look as if he considered them unwelcome.

“Now?” She looked at the clock.

“It’s quiet now.”

She did not know what that meant. “And who have they come to see? You let them in?”


“Yes what?” She only wanted to cry.

“It’s only my mother and my sister.”

“I…can’t.” Anna Margaret felt incapable of talking to them sensibly without sniffling.

“Can I talk to them, though?”

“Of course.”

He gave her a hug and she was loath to release him, but the visitors would wonder where he was if she kept him here. She tried to recover when he was gone, but it was difficult. Of course she now also wondered what his mother and sister had come to do. A second later she told herself not to be stupid. They would have come to see the baby. But Isabelle? Had she heard that correctly? She pushed herself off the bed. She should not be weak when Isabelle was walking around.

The voices were coming from the kitchen. She wondered why. She had left Alex in the living room. He was still there and she carried him to the kitchen. Frederick had apparently not shown him yet. He might have waited for her to do it.

Anna and Isabelle were indeed in the kitchen. The latter was taking off a hat and a large scarf. “I thought I’d have a look at your son,” she said. “I heard you went to work today.”

“Yes, I…” Anna Margaret frowned. “But I heard you were tied to the bed.”

Isabelle wrinkled her nose, as if she did not quite like it that this bit of information had found its way out. “Not anymore. We haven’t announced the birth yet, so I figured this was the best time to go out. Tomorrow people will be watching.”

“They were outside too.”

“But they didn’t know it was me. So.” She unzipped her coat and turned out to have a bundle wrapped against her chest.

Anna Margaret stared. “You brought him?”

“Obviously. What if he gets hungry?”

Frederick ushered them towards the sitting room. “Sit down.”

Sitting down she again burst into tears without knowing why. Only Frederick looked alarmed, although he was the only one who had seen it before and who could have any reason to suspect it might happen.

“It’s normal,” said Frederick’s mother. “Isabelle will probably go tomorrow.”

“I will not,” Isabelle responded, sounding quite certain of it.

“But it will still be normal.”

Anna and Isabelle stayed only twenty minutes. Isabelle too was tired, although she claimed to be leaving so Anna Margaret could go to bed. The little boys had got acquainted – they had been placed side by side – and they did not differ much in size. There was not much else to say about them, but at least they looked sufficiently different for nobody to get confused.

“And now I have still not done the laundry,” Anna Margaret complained, feeling that the pile must be five metres high by now, even though nothing had been added to it in the meantime. She was also not satisfied that she had been sufficiently coherent to their visitors, although Frederick’s mother had appeared to be quite understanding.

“It’s only laundry.”

“But I should be able to do this.” It was a simple task, after all.


“Will you do it?”

“Maybe. There are other things that are more important. Get some sleep. You’ll have time for it tomorrow afternoon if it’s still there.”

That was a good way of saying he wanted her to come home from work in the afternoon. “All right,” she replied. She would come home on time tomorrow and not let anything persuade her to stay. “But it’s not time for a feed yet.” If she went to bed now, she would not be able to sleep.

“Try it anyway.”

To her surprise Frederick stayed with her until she fell asleep, very close.

That, at least, was what she assumed when Alex woke her. Frederick was now asleep and in his pyjamas. The baby’s sounds did not disturb him. She fed the baby and put him back, eager to get back under the warm covers.

In the morning he did not wake either. She was tired when the alarm on her phone woke her – it seemed as if Alexander had only just gone to sleep – but she got up to take a shower. The plan was to go to the office today, with the baby, although they had not really had the opportunity to discuss the particulars of the plan last night.

When she tossed a load of underwear and towels in the washing machine, it struck her that Frederick was not up. He usually was. It was not a problem to fix breakfast for herself, but when she had eaten it and went to dress the baby, neither he nor Frederick were awake. It felt cruel and highly impractical to wake Alexander and she hesitated. Five more minutes and the car would be here. It would wait, certainly, but that would not be considerate of her.

She went downstairs to pick up the car seat. It might work to transfer him asleep. As she passed the kitchen she took a few more sips of her coffee, remembering it was still standing there.

Frederick looked up when she lifted the baby. “Oh.”

“Sleep on,” she advised. “We’ll manage.”

She had tossed a few nappies in her bag, and the baby’s coat. He was still asleep, so it was impossible to get him into his coat. It was impossible even when he was awake, too. She supposed throwing a blanket over the car seat qualified as ‘managing’. When the car came for her, they were ready.

Of course, she realised as she was being driven through town, she had not packed a clean change of clothes for Alexander.

And no wipes. There were ways around that, of course, but it was hardly organised. Yesterday Frederick had packed and brought all these things and evidently he was much better at this than she was. It was George, of all people, who pointed out there were some things missing. She kept her face straight as she listened to him and handed him a banknote when he did not appear to think that wet toilet paper could do the same job as a specially manufactured baby wipe. Perhaps he was right. She had never tried it.

She sighed when she was alone in her office. It was not easy to be organised and in control. It was all new, that was true, and perhaps by the end of the week she would be able to pack everything without even thinking about it.

There were meetings in the morning, but she asked for the ones that involved only a few people to be rescheduled to her office. That was easier with the baby. He behaved himself very well and did not disturb them. When she had a meeting in another building, she left Alexander with George and the rest of her staff.

After that it was almost time to go home. When she had asked George to get her a car, she checked the news. The Palace had released the news of the birth of both babies. Frederick had already done it himself, but apparently they felt that an official confirmation was in order. The dates of birth were given and their names. Maximilian had several names; Alexander only one. It made her regret her insistence, but only for a second. Maximilian would not be using any of his other names for most of his life.

There was no picture of Maximilian, but there was one of Alexander that Frederick had provided. She had not paid attention to it, really, but her staff had. When she came out of her office hung with bags and a car seat, George questioned her.

“Is he all right? Prince Maximilian?”

“Why shouldn’t he be?”

“People are wondering on social media.”

Anna Margaret was glad she stayed away from social media for the most part. “Yes, he’s all right. Why do people think he’s not?”

“On account of the queen’s age. There’s no photo and she hasn’t been seen. Maybe they’re not well and that’s why you have to go there.”

“Go where?”

“I didn’t order your car, madam, because the Palace informed me you would be picked up by them.”

Anna Margaret raised her eyebrows. “And nobody informed me?”

“I’m doing that now, madam. They informed me only a few minutes ago.”

“All right.” She believed him. “I wonder why.”

“I was to cancel any meetings you might have,” he said hesitantly. “It sounded like an emergency.”

“I can’t imagine why. They were all right last night. I was supposed to go home and – oh crap.” Suddenly she realised exactly why she was being picked up.

Titled? ~ 69

LiseMay 12, 2018 08:16PM

Re: Titled? ~ 69

AlidaMay 13, 2018 03:32AM

Re: Titled? ~ 69

NickiMay 13, 2018 06:35PM

Re: Titled? ~ 69

Sarah WaldockMay 12, 2018 09:36PM


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