Ivy’s pregnancy was taking a huge toll on her body and she generally felt too tired to do anything. She had wanted to get some fresh air in the garden, under the roofed terrace but found the spot already occupied by Ange.
– I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude…
– Not at all. Please come and have a seat next to me.
She felt a bit awkward around Nathaniel’s parents. His father was impressive and although his mother looked nice, she couldn’t help thinking she had imposed herself on the family. She didn’t know how Ange felt about her being pregnant with her son. But Ange smiled kindly upon her and asked: “How are you feeling, dear?”
Ivy never knew her mother, and she never had close girlfriends so she wasn’t used to discuss female topics. But Ange’s thoughtfulness made her relax a bit.
– I… I’m okay. Just a little bit tired, I guess.
– Don’t push yourself too hard then. You should listen to your body.
– What about you? I heard… Nathaniel told me you had health issues for some time.
– Yes, but it was nothing alarming fortunately. I’m glad we now have a garden, I find it very relaxing.
There was an awkward silence, broken by Ange.
– We never had the opportunity to discuss, you and I, haven’t we? I meant to tell you how I am happy Nathaniel has found someone like you to be by his side.
– R… really?
“Yes. I know your father worked for my husband, and that as a consequence, you were raised in a… male and rough environment. Maybe you don’t realize it yet, but it truly is an asset in this family. I for one wasn’t made for all this. That’s why I’m grateful that you are with Nathaniel. I hope he’ll take good care of you.”
“I’ve never thought myself as being strong, but I can’t say I’m weak either. Nate… I mean, Nathaniel, is sometimes over-considerate with me. I’m not used to that.”
“But it’s my decision in the end, you know? I like to be with him, so I’ve decided to trust that feeling.”
“You are so much stronger than I will ever be, Ivy.”
That night, Ivy and Nathaniel were alone in the house. That didn’t happen often.
– You know… I really think… it suits you to be from the mafia…
– Why’s that?
“Because… despite the appearances… you’re nothing but a naughty boy…”