He did not voice these concerns, simply stood by the door, statuesque, still impassive if clearly a little tense. Around Elina, who had seemed convinced ever since the Raoul incident that he was a madman and a murderer (both rather true), he did not want to bring up the Vicomte’s name, nor the possibility that that was what this was about. He would simply wait for the doctor to tell him.
As a doctor, Alrik was more than used to breaking bad news to his patients, but Erik and his wife were different. Perhaps it was being aware of just how close to death Christine had been during the hours of her labour, or the intensity with which he saw Erik look upon his wife…either way, it was not something he wished to do. Elina was an excellent midwife, and her thorough knowledge of child development hadn’t failed her when she spotted something amiss with Lovisa. The fact was that their offer to take her out was merely a ruse for him to examine the child without alarming her parents, especially the father. Alrik suspected that he was not a man who enjoyed being suprized. The examination had confirmed his worst fears, but he needed to know just how much her parents suspected. “Have you noticed anything…odd about your daughter?” Realising that this could be misconstrued as a remark about her birth defect (obviously inherited from her father), he hastily clarified himself. “Her eyes…have you noticed anything…unusual about them?” Taking a deep breath, he braced himself for the worst. “Erik…your daughter is blind.”
In the little bedroom, Christine could only hear snatches of the conversation, which she paid no heed anyway. The little infant at her breast was making hasty work of her meal, and Christine was, as usual, daydreaming. One day, they would have a big house with many rooms…and Lovisa would have her own little room, with a beautiful crib, and Erik and she would have a large bedroom with a huge bed, and they would be able to spend the nights as they once did, without having to worry about there being a baby in the room…
Lovisa finished suckling, bringing Christine back to reality. “Ah, little one…” she sighed “when will you start to sleep through the night? Your poor mother has been much deprived since you came along…” Hoisting the child to her shoulder, she gently winded her and returned to the parlour, fixing a hospitable smile on her face for her guests. But everyone looked so sullen…what was the matter?