The Only Female
“Congratulations, Karl. I never expected you getting down the aisle this soon.” Mr. Anderson said to Karl as soon as they shake hands. Karl gives the old man a little nod and firm handshake. Mr. Anderson forcefully patted Karl’s back a couple of times before wasting no time to greet Karl’s new bride, Alice. He’s all smile as he saw Alice Valkros up-close for the first time.
“And you too, Mrs. Valkros. What a lovely bride you turned out to be. It’s a shame that I lose that bidding so soon. With a beauty like you, I would love to have you married into my family. Imagine the grandchildren you will give to me and my wife.” He utters without reservation. Mr. Anderson continues to stare at Alice, probably a few minutes too long, before being interrupted by Karl.
“Mr. Anderson, have you tasted the lobster yet? I heard it’s quite divine. You should try some if you haven’t.” Karl suggested. Mr. Anderson quickly turned his head towards the banquet table. As a self-proclaim foodie, his smile widens at the sight of such delicacies. He might be old and grey, but his ever-ferocious appetite never slowed down. However, before he leaves them for good - Mr. Anderson turned his head back towards Karl and Alice. He raises his glass and suddenly give a toast to Karl and Alice.
“May I wish you both – a happy, happy marriage. The road maybe long for you two crazy kids, but may it all be worth it.” He toasted with a sly grin. Karl took one champagne from the tray and raise it too. Seeing Karl taking the glass from the tray, Alice also follows suit.
“Thank you, Mr. Anderson for your kind wishes. Please enjoy the rest of the party.” Karl replied politely. Mr. Anderson finishes his drink before walking away. Alice bring out the glass closer to her mouth, only to be stopped by Karl mid-way.
“No. Don't drink. There's still a long night ahead of us.” He said and quickly take the drink away from her hand. Alice blinks her eyes at him a couple of times and give him a sweet smile. Too sweet, he thinks. Like she's hiding something for him. But, is she now?
Well, maybe that's just him over-thinking. There's no way someone as young and sweet like Alice Fredricka have something hidden underneath her sleeves.
As Karl is looking at Alice under his watchful eyes, she is also doing the same thing to him. Karl Vakros, 18 years old, the sole heir for Valkros Liquor House. That means his families come from Old Money. They made most of their money from selling alcohol. Before they were married, Alice is told that the moment she is married to a Valkros - all her problems is going to go away. They got money, connection and everything else. But, that's not what worrying her.
She been far more worried about her missing governess than Karl or the Valkroses.
It's not hard to see that Karl didn't like her. His presence alone already confirms that. Just like Alice, he too seems to be displeased with this marriage. But, what can she do? Even if Karl hates her, his grandfather is crucial in their pairing. He can blame it on the old man for all she care.
“I’m hungry. I think I wanna go over there to eat.” Alice suddenly said. She began to make her way to the banquet table, but before she gets to do that; Karl already grabbed her hand. He watches her face for a few seconds before lowering his head. Then, he too, swiftly lowered his head before whispered into her ears;
“Can’t you wait for a bit? There are a few more people left for us to greet.” he said. Alice smiles again. Barely a few hours after becoming his wife and Karl already shows who's the boss. Well, well - two can play at that game.
"Sure. But, if I fainted - that would be on you." she said. Karl sighs.
"Just a couple of minutes more, please." he said. His voice no longer stern as before. She smiles, cutely this time. He rolled his eyes and grab something from his tuxedo pocket.
“Fine. If you’re really that hungry, you can have this first.” He said. Karl opens his hand and Alice looks at him. Her face, a little puzzled.
“Is that… a chocolate truffle?” she asks. He nodded and put it on her hand.
“Do you like chocolate?” he asked nonchalantly. She nodded her head.
“I love them, but I wasn’t allowed any.” She said as she begins to inspect the little chocolate truffle on her hand. It’s just a simple milky one without any toppings nor filling. But her eyes continue to look at it with wonder. One would think that he just gifted her with gold or something precious, by the way she’s acting.
“Why you keep staring at it? It's edible, you know.” He said. Alice smiles again before finally popping the truffle inside of her mouth. He looks at her face as she chews on the truffle and swallowed it.
"How was it?" he asked. She nodded.
“It’s very delicious. Thank you.” She responded. A couple of guests who passed by them to congratulate the newlywed. a certain look. Karl didn’t want to draw anymore attention, so he grabbed Alice hand and ushered her to the chair nearby. As soon as Alice takes a seat, Karl went to the banquet table all by himself. He began to put a couple of food on the plate. Karl didn’t know what she likes so he put every bit of everything. Then, he slowly makes his way towards her. He handed the plateful to Alice with a fork.
“On the second thought, I think it’s better if you eat first. We don’t want any fainting incidents happening on this wedding party now, do we?” he said. Alice blinked her eyes at him a couple of times.
“Are you sure?” she asks. He nodded. Alice picks up the fork and was about to put a small piece of lobster inside of her mouth before she stops. She looked at Karl again and decide to offer that small piece to him.
“Why don’t you have the first bite?”
“No, thank you.”
“But I feel bad eating this plateful all by myself. Why don’t you sit down and eat with me?”
“That wouldn’t be a good idea.” He replied. Alice frowns.
“I am allergic to shellfish.”
“But, if you can’t eat it, then why bother have it in the menu at all?” she asks. Karl crossed his arms and give a faint smile.
"Ah, that's my grandparents wanna to show-off. That’s the reason for all of this." He explained. She put down the fork and put the plate on the side.
“You are not eating?” Karl asks. She shakes her head and pointed at Karl's grandparents. Karl turned his head and look at them.
“Karl, your grandpa and I will be going home first. We better get there before your grandpa becomes too drunk and cause a scene. Call us if you need anything.” Karl’s grandma said and planted a kiss on his cheek. Karl seems a little embarrassed by her display of affection, but she doesn’t care. After kissing her grandson, she turned her attention to Alice. She looked at her for a moment before giving her a warm hug.
“Take care, dear sweet Alice. Welcome to the family. Do take care of each other after we’re gone.” She said while patting Alice hand. Alice blinked her eyes a couple of times before looking at Karl. He only looks at her without saying anything.
“You too, maam.” She said. Karl grandma look at her for a moment. She caresses Alice cheek and break a smile at her.
“Call me, nana.”
“Yes. That’s what Karl used to call me too. Nana. You can call my husband Grandpa Earl. Isn’t that right, darling?”
“Of course, old girl. Call me grandpa Earl, my dear. Just like Karl over here.”
“Is that alright, sir?”
“Of course! We are all family now. I would be super delighted, my dear. Anyway, look at the time… We best be going now, Marianne.”
“Right. Goodbye my dear and good luck on your marriage.” Karl’s grandma said before leaving. As soon as they leaves, Alice heard a deep sighs coming out from Karl mouth. He seems a bit relaxed. Soon enough, he's smiling.
“Are you okay?” she asks. Karl turned at her and nodded.
“I’m okay.” He said. Now that they’re both standing side-by-side; Karl finally had a better look at Alice. She is a pretty young girl, but frail. Realizing that Karl had been staring at her for too long; she clears her throat.
“Why are you looking at me that way?” she asks. He immediately shakes his head.
“Nothing. I was just thinking, that’s all.”
“About us. And things we gonna do afterwards as a couple."
"Yes. A POWER COUPLE."
-End of Chapter 2-
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