Chapter 7

It had been less than a week later, when Katina once again found herself standing outside of Luke's apartment. She wasn't as nervous this time as she knocked on the door.

Mr. Nussear had given Katina a few days off to go back to Paris, once Graciella opened her mouth and told him about "Alaine's husband". In a way, Katina was grateful

"What are you doing here?!" exclaimed Luke happily, as he answered the door.

"The Nussears gave me time off to come visit my 'husband'." said Katina. Luke's smile grew.

"Come in." he said as he opened the door wider. Katina followed Luke into the apartment and took her usual seat on the couch. Luke sat down on the rocker across from her.

"I'm so glad you came back. I don't like losing you." said Luke. He brushed his hand through his sandy brown hair. Katina said nothing, staring off into the apartment. Her eyes wandered over to the bed, and she began to blush.

Luke turned to see what Katina had been staring at, he half-smiled.

"Thinking about what almost happened last time?" he teased.

"N-no." stammered Katina.

Luke got up from his seat and sat down next to Katina. He brushed her cheek with the back of his calloused hand. Katina shivered from his touch.

"Why'd you get so mad the last time you were here?" asked Luke. Katina stayed quiet.

"Please, tell me." continued Luke.

"I've fallen in love with you." murmured Katina.

"What?"

"I've fallen in love with you, Luke Fleming." With that, Luke pressed his mouth passionately against Katina's.

"I've fallen in love with you too." he breathed into her mouth.

"Luke, I want you here. Now. I don't want anyone else."

Katina held Luke's face in her hands.

"Are you sure?" he asked. Katina nodded and smiled.

Just like last time, Luke carried Katina over to his bed. He hesitated before he began to unbutton his shirt. Katina reached for him and slid his shirt off of his broad shoulders. Luke's hand trembled as he slid it up Katina's thigh, underneath her dress.

Katina wrapped her arms around Luke's neck, pulling him on top of her, their two bodies becoming one.

One Month Later

September, 1918

Everything was back to normal at the house once Mrs. Nussear's ankle healed and she stopped complaining. Katina often thought of Luke, and the last night they spent together, and even about going to see him, but there was no way she'd be able to leave, especially with the way she hadn't been feeling the past few days.

"Maybe it's small pox." said Graciella feeling Katina's forehead, "You're warm."

"I've been throwing up so much-ooh, is that cinnamon buns I smell?" said Katina getting sidetracked.

Mrs. Kostner continued folding clothes and let out a small chuckled.

"What's so funny Mama?" asked Graciella.

"I think I have a feeling I know what's been ailing Alaine. If it were small pox, she'd have spots." said Mrs. Kostner. She stopped what she was doing and grabbed Katina's arm.

"Stay here Graciella." she growled at her daughter. Still gripping Katina's arm, she pulled Katina over to the stables.

"Graciella told me that you have an American husband in Paris, is this true?" asked Mrs. Kostner folding her arms across her chest.

"Yes, but what does this have to do with anything?" asked Katina confusedly.

"Have you been together recently?"

"Mrs. Kostner, I don't understand what you are saying."

"Alaine," began Mrs. Kostner, "you're pregnant."

*****

"Alaine? Alaine?"

Katina slowly opened her eyes. Graciella was hovering over her.

"What?" asked Katina groggily.

"Are you alright? You fainted! Mama went to go get you a warm washcloth to put on your forehead." said Graciella helping Katina to her feet.

"Mama told me what happened…" said Graciella

Katina swallowed hard.

"It is true then?" she asked.

"What do you mean?"

"I thought it was just a nightmare."

"No, it's true." said Graciella. She helped Katina over to a bench near one of the gardens.

"What are you going to do?"

"I-I don't know." stammered Katina.

"You can't hide it forever from the Nussears, and Lord knows they won't let you keep working here." said Graciella. Tears began to fill Katina's eyes.

"I know." she said, trying to keep from crying.

"Are you going to tell your husband?" asked Graciella.

"I don't know!" cried Katina, the tears came rushing down her face.

*****

Mrs. Kostner did all she could to make Katina's pregnancy go smoothly, without the Nussears finding out.

It was a beautiful September morning. Katina was working hard in the garden, her face and hands smudged with dirt, her dress full of grass stains and the late summer sun beating hard on her back.

She had lost all track of time, taking in the beauty of the flowers and buzzing of the bees. Katina stopped for a second to take a break. She sat down in the dirt and closed her eyes. When she opened them, a shadow of a person was looming above her. Katina stood up and turned around to see Luke standing there.

"What are you doing here!?" asked Katina confusedly.

"I had to see you. You haven't been in Paris in so long and I just needed you." said Luke romantically.

"But Luke-" Katina was cut off by a sharp pain in her stomach. She fell to the ground, on her hands and knees. Luke dropped down beside her.

"Katina! Are you alright?!" he asked frantically. Katina nodded and stood up, trying to push Luke away.

"You should see a doctor." said Luke.

"I don't need one." said Katina dryly.

"You don't need one!? You just fell to the ground, clenching your stomach for Christ's sake!" yelled Luke.

"I know what it is." growled Katina. She turned away to continue with her work, but Luke grabbed her arm and spun her back around.

"Well then what is it?" asked Luke folding his arms across his chest.

Katina starting tearing a bit. She turned to walk away, but Luke ran in front of her.

"Katina?" asked Luke. Katina broke into heavy sobs, and fell into Luke's arms.

"I'm pregnant!" she cried, burying her face into Luke's shirt. Luke pulled Katina away so that she staring him in the eyes.

"What?" he asked.

"I'm pregnant." said Katina once more.

"P-Pregnant?" he repeated. Katina nodded.

"Pregnant!" cheered Luke. He pulled Katina back into his arms and embraced her tightly. He leaned down and kissed her forehead.

"That's wonderful!" he exclaimed.

"What are we going to do?" sobbed Katina.

"I'm going to take care of you! I'll bring you back to Paris and we'll have our baby!" Luke exclaimed excitedly.

"But-" began Katina. Luke hushed her by kissing her lips sweetly.

"I love you Katina. I love you so much." he said longingly.

Katina wiped a tear from her face.

"I love you too." she said smiling.

"Where are the Nussears?" asked Luke grabbing a hold of Katina's hand.

"In the house." replied Katina confusedly.

Luke smiled and began to pull Katina toward the house. He barged into through the front door and headed straight into the sitting room where both Mr. and Mrs. Nussear were.

"Alaine?" asked Mr. Nussear.

"Hi. I'm Luke Fleming and I'm Alaine's husband." said Luke happily. He gave Mr. Nussear's hand a hearty shake.

"Pleasure to meet you Mr. Fleming. What brings you here?" asked Mr. Nussear confusedly. He looked over at his wife, who had the same confused look on her face.

"We want to spend the rest of our lives together and I'm taking her away with me back to Paris!" exclaimed Luke.

"I beg your pardon?" asked Mrs. Nussear.

"Alaine and I are leaving." said Luke. The Nussears looked at Katina stunned.

"Alaine?" asked Mr. Nussear.

"I love Luke. I want to resign my position as your servant girl." said Katina.

Mr. and Mrs. Nussear exchanged glances once more and then Mr. Nussear spoke up.

"Alright, you may leave with both of our blessing. I wish you both the very best of luck." he said. He shook Luke's hand.

A big grin appeared on Luke's face as he picked Katina up and swung her around the room. He grabbed her hand and pulled her back outside.

"We'll leave for the train station as soon as you pack up." he said to Katina.

Before Katina could respond, Graciella and Mrs. Kostner came running out of the house.

"You can't leave!" cried Graciella. She threw her arms out and clung to Katina.

"Graciella, let the girl go. It's her choice." said Mrs. Kostner sternly. She turned toward Katina and smiled.

"My dear, you've been like a second daughter to me. Please take care of yourself and your baby." she said holding Katina's hand, "Promise me we'll hear from you again."

Katina shook her head and said, "I promise."

*****

"So where shall we go?" asked Katina as she and Luke arrived at the train station.

"Back to Paris. I don't have to meet up with my regiment for awhile, which gives us plenty of time to get settle in with the baby, and get married." said Luke, half smiling.

"Married!?" exclaimed Katina, her eyes grew wide.

"I know you've had a hard life and I just want us to be able to start over." he said romantically.

Katina squealed with glee. She jumped up and wrapped her arms around Luke's neck.

"I love you Luke." she whispered in his ear.

Luke kissed Katina's forehead and then headed over to the ticket desk to get two tickets to Paris. He joined Katina once more and they boarded the train.

Katina placed her trunk underneath the little bed in their cabin and sat down it. She looked up at Luke who was hovering over her smiling.

"Luke," began Katina, "I've come to realize that I know nothing about you."

Luke sat down on the bed next to Katina and took her hands in his.

"What do you want to know?" he asked her.

"Anything." replied Katina.

"Well, I'm Irish, twenty-three years old, I have brown hair and blue eyes." he teased. Katina made a face.

"And?"

"And what?"

"And, what about your family? Your schooling? Anything?"

Luke let out a deep sigh.

"I'm not like you Katina. I didn't have money or anything to my name."

Katina pulled her hands away from Luke and stared down at the floor.

"I didn't have it as great as you thought I did." she said, eyes still glued to the floor.

"Oh?" asked Luke, raising an eyebrow in disbelief.

"I was taught how to act like a proper lady. I was never allowed to have any fun, like my brothers did. I was always kept in the house with my sisters to learn the ways of a proper countess. I never got to experience a childhood." said Katina, almost angrily.

"Wait, did you say countess?" Luke stared at Katina for a long moment, waiting for her to say something. "Yes." she finally said, "I'm a countess. My mother and father were relatives of the Czar of Russia. They were killed, along with the rest of my family, during the October Revolution."

"You have got to be kidding me." said Luke, dropping his face into his hands, "You were some little rich snob and you never said anything to me!?"

"Don't judge me for my background, you know nothing about it!" she sneered.

Luke's jaw slightly dropped. He stood up from the bed.

"I'm tired. I'm going to sleep." said Katina dryly, pulling down the blankets. She situated herself under the covers without taking a single look at Luke.

Luke came over to the bed and scooted in beside Katina. He leaned over to give her a kiss, but she turned away.

"Goodnight." he mumbled.

Katina ignored him and stared at the wall in front of her.

*****

Katina woke up to the sound of running water coming from the tiny extended bathroom. She sat up groggily and turned toward the sound. Luke was standing in front of a mirror shaving.

Once he noticed Katina was awake, he stopped what he was doing, splashed some water on his face and joined Katina on the bed.

"You better get out of bed. We've just arrived in Paris, and we need to go get breakfast." said Luke.

"Oh."

Katina sighed heavily and flopped backwards onto the pillow, before she could actually fall back asleep, Luke had grabbed her hand and pulled her up out of bed.

The two headed toward the dinning car and took a seat at one of the little dinning tables against the wall.

Katina fit in perfectly with the wealthy people because of the dress she was wearing. It had been one of Mrs. Nussear's old dresses. She had given Katina a few of them to have while she worked for her. Luke on the other hand, still had on his old brown pants and suspenders with a brown jacket that had a small hole in one of the arms.

"You seem uncomfortable." said Katina glancing up from her menu.

"Uh, yea.." said Luke.

"Is there something wrong?" asked Katina.

"I stand out a little bit." said Luke gesturing at his attire.

Before Katina could say something else, two French soldiers boarding the train and walked straight over to Luke.

"Monsieur Luke Fleming?" asked one of the officers. Luke stood up from his seat.

"Yes?" asked Luke.

"We have strict orders from our American allies that you must come back to fulfill your duties." said the other officer.

"But, I was told we don't regroup until the winter." said Luke.

"Orders have changed." said one of the officers.

"I don't understand the meaning of this." said Katina, standing up as well.

"Go grab your things and come with us."

Luke glanced over at Katina and smiled slightly. He followed the officers down the train, back to his room to gather some of his belongings, and then off of the train. Katina rushed over to a window and watched as Luke got into an automobile with the officers.

"No!" she cried. She ran back to her room and grabbed her trunk, dragging it off the train with her. She set it on the ground and looked around for the automobile but saw it was gone. She was too late.