“It won’t take that long…” Charlotte was well aware that he would not let her leave for a month, so she settled for less to appease him. “It’ll take two weeks at most. We’ll see how it goes then.”
“Two weeks is too long.” Zachary had grown accustomed to having her by his side.
“We’ll cross the bridge when we come to it. I’ll try my best to return soon,” Charlotte coaxed. “The children would be waiting for me at home. I can’t possibly stay away from them for so long.”
Zachary conceded, convinced by her reasoning. Even if she could bear being separated from me, she would miss the children.
“I’ll have Ben take care of it. It’s time for bed now,” Zachary said as he tucked her in.
Charlotte let out a satisfied hum and buried herself in Zachary’s embrace like an adorable kitten.
Caressing her hair, Zachary planted a kiss on Charlotte’s forehead and drifted off with his arms around her.
Charlotte barely got any rest for the first half of the night. So, when sleep eventually came for her, she knocked out cold, slipping into a slumber so deep that she did not notice when Zachary left.
Charlotte woke up to an empty room. She stretched lazily before heading to the bathroom to wash up.
She found nothing amiss when she stared at her reflection as if everything that happened the night before was no more than a dream.
She gave herself a once-over. As expected, there was nothing unusual apart from the fact that her period was late.
Anxiety brewed within Charlotte at this realization, but she quickly dismissed the intrusive thought. Maybe the poison is the cause of my delayed period…
A knock on the door snapped her back to reality. Mrs. Berry’s voice rang from the other side. “Miss, are you awake?”
“Yes,” Charlotte responded. “Come in, Mrs. Berry.”
Mrs. Berry had brought her breakfast. “How are you feeling? Does it still hurt?” Mrs. Berry asked, her tone tinged with concern.
“I’m fine now.” Charlotte exited the bathroom, rubbing her hands with lotion as she walked out. “The pain comes in pangs; it’ll go away on its own after a while. No marks are left after each episode, almost as if it never happened at all.”
Mrs. Berry glanced at the door and whispered, “I think you should see Dr. Felch.”
“Yes, I’ll give Mr. Judd a call right now.”
Charlotte shut the door and dialed Jeffrey’s number.
Jeffrey was delighted to hear from her. He ecstatically reported that the two factories had assembled enough workforce to start work soon.
Charlotte was glad to receive the good news. She then requested Jeffrey to help her seek out Dr. Felch.
Jeffrey grew concerned at the mention of Dr. Felch. “What’s wrong? Are you sick?”
“No…” Charlotte was reluctant to disclose her illness. “It’s Mrs. Berry. She’s been getting treatments at the hospital, but her condition isn’t improving, and it’s rather worrying. Dr. Felch came to mind all of a sudden, so I was hoping that he could help Mrs. Berry out.”
“Oh, I see! Alright, I’ll be right on it,” Jeffrey assured.
“Try to be discreet about it; I don’t want too many people finding out. If it’s not too much trouble, I hope to hear from you as soon as possible,” Charlotte urged.
“Don’t worry, I know what to do.”
After ending the call, Mrs. Berry helped Charlotte to a chair. “Have some breakfast. It’s already nine now. You shouldn’t leave your stomach empty for so long.”
Charlotte had no appetite for food and only took a few sips of milk. “I talked to Zachary last night. I think it’s best if we leave earlier. That way, I can visit other doctors while I wait for Dr. Felch.”
“Alright, I’ll prepare your luggage right now.”
While Mrs. Berry was packing up Charlotte’s belongings, she heard a knock on the main door. Mrs. Rawlston was at the door as she announced, “Ms. Windt, your evening gowns have arrived.”
“Evening gowns?” Charlotte echoed, perplexed. I didn’t buy any evening gowns.
Mrs. Berry opened the door to reveal Mrs. Rawlston standing at the entrance with two designers in tow. Behind them were several design assistants, each of them carrying trunks filled with clothes.
The designer greeted Charlotte politely, “Good morning, Ms. Windt. Mr. Nacht placed a custom order for these gowns and jewelry. Please check if it’s satisfactory.”
A glance was all it took for Charlotte to recognize the head designer for Princess Consort. She had picked out some clothes at the boutique previously.