The Prince's Pregnant Challenge(10)By: Leslie North
“Did you have a lover already?” the queen asked.
“No, your majesty,” Liane replied.
“Then you slept with someone you barely knew?”
“No, it was not like that either.”
“Then, what was it like?” The queen was losing her patience.
“Come out with it, Liane. Who is it? Do we know him?” Colonel LeBlanc asked while he squeezed his daughter’s hand. His tone was so gentle; as he watched Liane’s lips tremble. She was trying so hard not to cry. He faced the queen. “Does it matter now?” he asked her. “What’s done is done.”
“Yes, it does. Had this been a different century, I would have had her head on a pike by now,” the queen replied. Liane gasped as she took a deep breath.
“Jean Pierre,” she said quietly.
“What about him?” her mother asked.
“He is the father.”
Just for a second, everyone froze. No one could say anything. They thought they had heard wrong. Jean Pierre? As in the queen's nephew? Bridgette's son? The queen felt as if she was going to faint.
“What?” she asked quietly.
Prince Louis was in shock. How was his cousin responsible for this pregnancy? He looked at Macee. She shrugged her shoulders and looked down. She felt bad for not telling him but it was not her place to say anything.
“How is Jean Pierre responsible? This does not make sense,” Mrs LeBlanc began. Colonel LeBlanc sat there with his eyes closed. He was speechless.
“I know, it was irresponsible and I am sorry. Believe me,” Liane said.
“Does he know?” Prince Louis asked. “Of course he does, if you are keeping the baby then he must know,” he answered his own question.
“He does not.”
“Oh, Liane,” Mrs LeBlanc said. It was all too much for her. Her daughters were going to put her in an early grave.
“So, how did this exactly happen? No, spare me the details,” the queen said, as she held up her hand. She stood up and stormed out of the room. Bridgette was not going to be happy. She disliked the LeBlancs intensely, and now they were going to be linked together for life.
“Well that was a lot to process,” Prince Louis said. He looked at Liane, “Try not to worry. It will blow over.”
“Blow over? Liane, what were you thinking? Not an ordinary man, Jean Pierre!!” Mrs LeBlanc shouted. She banged her fists on the table. “Seriously, do you understand what you have done to our reputation? I did not expect this from you, never!”
“But from me, right, mother?” Macee asked. It was obvious to everyone in the family except Macee’s mother that she treated her differently. As the youngest of three sisters, while Macee was quick to rebel against her mother’s thirst for power and prestige, it still hurt her when her mother treated her as if she didn’t matter.
“You were going to say that this is behaviour that you would have expected from me, right? After all, you believed the stories that were shown on the news. It didn’t even occur to you that they would be false. But not Liane. Or Francesca. They would never do something like this? Well, guess what, mother? We are all human and we do make mistakes.. There is no point in yelling at Liane now.”
“There is very much a point because this should have never happened. Could you not control yourself? I raised you better than this,” she shouted
“Mrs LeBlanc, you will stop yelling this instant,” the Crown Prince demanded. “It is not good for the baby.” He called for a maid and asked her to take Liane to one of the guest rooms. At Macee’s urging, he had a room prepared for Liane, so that she would have a safe place to stay for as long as she needed.
“Do you want to stay?” Macee asked Francesca.
“No, I want to run out of here as fast as my legs will carry me,” she replied. Prince Louis started laughing. Everyone whipped their heads in his direction. It was not exactly the time for laughter.
“Excuse me, her reaction was really funny just now,” he said, as he laughed again.
Francesca smiled. “However, I will stay with Liane. Macee and I need to be there for her,” she said.
“Very well,” Prince Louis said. He lowered his head and kissed Macee. “I have to go to the office,” he told her and left.
“I am guessing the two of you knew about Jean Pierre?” Mrs LeBlanc asked her daughters.
“Dear, let us go,” Colonel LeBlanc said as he stood up.
“So, now you speak.”
“I will not ask you again.”
She stood up and left the palace without another word. Colonel LeBlanc kissed his daughters on their foreheads before he left. Francesca and Macee were left standing together. They looked at each other and sighed with relief.