[Your Excellency, the madam was shot and rushed to a city hospital.
She is currently undergoing treatment.]


The papers crumpled in his hand.
A moment of silence passed.
Heiner put  down the papers and asked back briefly.


“What’s her status…”


[She’s unconscious, but  not in serious condition.
Um, and…]


“I’ll be right there.
I’ll ask the doctor directly.”


Heiner made it clear without further questioning the status of the accident.
His subordinates who had been reporting to him in the office looked at him with bewilderment.


“What hospital is it?”


[Lutheran Hospital in Lancaster.]


Heiner hung up the phone and pressed his pager.


“Have a car waiting downstairs.”


He stood up and put on his coat.
His subordinates looked at each other as their boss’s face sank completely.


 “I’ll listen to your report later.”


“Yes, sir!”


In response to the commander-in-chief’s short salute, his men raised their hands in attention.
Without looking at them, Heiner left the office in a great hurry.


With each step he took, he felt his feet were in danger.
He clenched his trembling hands tightly into fists.
Everything he heard felt like a terrible noise.


Heiner ran down the stairs without waiting for the elevator.
As soon as he got into the parked car, he immediately ordered.


“Lutheran Hospital.
As quickly as possible.”


He couldn’t hide his impatience all the way to the hospital.
He rummaged through his pocket and pulled out a cigar.
It wasn’t lit.


Heiner tilted his head back with the cigar in his mouth, his fingers tapping his thigh.


 Not in critical condition.
But unconscious.


The obvious questions of who, when, where, and why didn’t occur to him at this moment.


He didn’t feel sane.
Only the report he heard over the phone kept running through his head.


Heiner squeezed his tired eyes.
He felt a twinge in his neck and touched it involuntarily, but there was no relief.


The car soon arrived in front of the hospital.
He tossed his unlit cigar into the ashtray and got out.
He quickly entered the hospital and stood at the front desk.


“Annette Valdemar.
Gunshot wound patient.”


“Uh…yes! Yes, sir.
Um, to the A-4—Walter! Guide this gentleman!”


A staff member hurried out from the back and led him to the hospital room.
Heiner quietly followed him with a grim expression.


As soon as Heiner entered the private room, the doctor followed.
The doctor’s forehead was beaded with sweat, as if he had rushed to the hospital after receiving the report.


“Janice, ha, Schulze.
It is an honor to meet you, Your Excellency.”


Heiner did not look at the doctor, but at Annette, who lay pale.
His eyes traced her body obsessively.
He did not notice that his face was disturbed.


“How is she?”


 “She was transported here quickly and the gunshot wound was not deep, so I got it out without complications.
Her wound should heal in no time.”


The doctor hesitated, finding appropriate words.
However, Heiner was giving Annette his full attention and did not notice the signs.


“However, Your Excellency, I don’t know if you knew, but the Madam…”




“…she was pregnant…”




“It was still early, but unfortunately she miscarried…………..
the injury is expected to heal quickly, but there may be some aftereffects of the miscarriage ….”




Heiner abruptly turned his head and asked belatedly.



“What did you just say?”


 “Oh, um, that madam had a miscarriage…”


“You said she was pregnant?”


“Yes, yes.
It’s about 11 weeks …….
She was bleeding down there when they brought her in, and that’s why she lost consciousness.”


Heiner stood still and said nothing.
The doctor hesitantly added.


“I’m sorry, Sir, but in my opinion………..this incident will make it difficult for madam to conceive in the future.”




“Her body is weak, so even if she were to give birth, I think it would be difficult for her to have another child.”


Heiner listened to the doctor without breathing properly.
The words coming out of the doctor’s mouth felt like a nightmare.


Pregnant…… She’s pregnant?




The two words collided dizzyingly.
Heiner turned his head again, stunned.
His gray eyes shook as he looked down at Annette.


In the past, she had desperately wanted children.
She had not given up, even when doctors had found that it was difficult for her to conceive.


During the first year of their marriage, they often spent the night together, and even after the revolution, Annette sought his company.


Perhaps she had hoped to conceive.
A vain fantasy that once they had a child, things would return to the way they were before.


But despite Annette’s efforts, in the past four years she had never become pregnant.


Naturally, the child-related issue no longer surfaced.
Heiner had a vague idea that she was infertile.


However, she was pregnant.  Annette.


‘11 weeks ……?’


That was the last time they were intimate.

The reason was that Annette had never visited the bedroom again before or after she brought up the subject of divorce.


It was that time, of all times.


It was bad luck, as if someone had played a bad prank.
Bad luck was the only explanation.


Heiner went through the chain of events of this sudden accident with a sharp mind.


 Annette was pregnant, that time, this happened, she miscarried, she would never be able to get pregnant again…


His thoughts crumpled like paper.
It was neither coherent nor rational.
Heiner touched his mouth with a trembling hand.


“…… first, …… I understand.”


“Yes, Sir, the madam will wake up soon.
The byproducts in the womb will be excreted naturally.”




It was an extremely dry word that didn’t sound one bit like life.
Heiner found the word very offensive.
He did not know why.


“But if the bleeding doesn’t stop or she feels pain, she may need to undergo surgery to take out the byproducts.”


Heiner tried to take in every word the doctor said, but he wasn’t sure if his mind was working.


He struggled to part his lips when he heard about the possible aftereffects after a miscarriage.


“Please don’t let the miscarriage information leak out.”


“Yes, Your Excellency.
Do you have any further questions or needs?”


“…… My wife usually has insomnia, but it seems to have gotten worse recently.
Is this related to her pregnancy?”


“It varies from woman to woman, but there are many possible symptoms during the early stages of pregnancy.
If she has insomnia, it might worsen it.”


He could not recall when exactly Annette’s insomnia became worse.
He had made a conscious effort not to find out.


Heiner clenched his fists, then asked in a quiet voice, “Can she continue taking her existing medications?”


“If it’s the medicine she’s been taking without any problems, that would be fine.”


“Can you check it out? If there is a better medicine, please prescribe it.”


“I will do so, Sir.
If there is anything else you need, please let me know at any time.”


“Yes, thank you.”


Heiner’s gaze was still fixed on Annette as he replied calmly.


“Yes, then……”


The doctor glanced at the Commander-in-Chief’s large back and left the room.
Feeling like he shouldn’t make a sound for some reason, he closed the door quietly.






The doctor wiped the sweat from his forehead and adjusted his gown.
The rumored young commander-in-chief was more deadly than he had expected.
He was a remarkably handsome man, but with a great overpowering aura.


His wife was also one of the most beautiful women in Lancaster, but the pictures did not do her any justice.


Even though the stories about them were hideous, the couple really looked good together, minus all the newspaper stories and inside information.
And the way he looked at his wife………..


Remembering the commander-in-chief’s expression, the doctor tilted his head.
Didn’t they say the two had a bad relationship?



*past/ memory *




Annette moved her lips, standing in front of Heiner’s bedroom and holding the lamp.
The lamp’s pale light illuminated Heiner’s angular face.


“Are you busy today? If not….”


The end of her voice trembled slightly.
Heiner knew full well what Annette wanted.
She had visited him and demanded intimacy countless times over the past three years, but he was not used to this strange sense of shame.


Heiner looked at her in silence.
Annette bit her lower lip.
She felt suffocated on those ashen eyes.


If you don’t like me, just tell me.


If you don’t like it, refuse.


Don’t kiss me, don’t hug me, just get rid of me.


The words that had reached the end of her throat were swallowed again.


Annette lowered her head and gripped her skirt.
She wanted him not to say no.


She wanted him not to refuse.
She didn’t want him to kick her out.
She wanted to touch him.
She knew in her head that their relationship was already broken, but only when he held her did she feel like everything was okay.


Despite the fact that after the relationship ended, misery remained like a leftover.


Heiner’s gray eyes scanned her up and down.
His gaze reached her chest that was revealed between the loose gown.


Annette’s hand holding the hem of her dress trembled slightly.
With one last look at her hand, Heiner quietly led her into the bedroom.


The door closed silently.
Annette stepped into the room, feeling like being dragged.
Her form was slowly swallowed by the darkness. 


Inside, only one incandescent lamp was lit, not very bright.
Heiner walked over and turned off the light.
In an instant, the room darkened.


He sat down on the edge of the bed.
Annette approached him and removed her gown.
The smooth fabric fell easily off her shoulders.


Their bodies were pressed close together.
Large, hot hands wrapped around her bare waist.
His body heat was vividly felt in the pitch black darkness.


Heiner picked her up lightly and laid her on the bed.
There was the sound of him taking off his clothes.
His clothes fell to the floor and his bare skin grazed hers.

Annette closed her eyes tightly.


There was no conversation.
That was all there was.

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