A Secret Romance Chapter Four
This is the fourth chapter of a world war 1 inspired story, based round Manfred Von Richthofen (more commonly known as the red baron) and a women called Sofia. This is a story that is highly sexual in places so please only read if your 18 and over. Although there are some things relevant to things going on during ww1, this is more a fiction romance based. If you haven't already read chapter three follow the link here: https://vocal.media/filthy/a-secret-romance-chapter-three here is the link for chapter two https://vocal.media/filthy/a-secret-romance-chapter-two also the here is the link for chapter one: https://vocal.media/filthy/a-secret-romance-chapter-one
Chapter Four. A trinket of Hope.
As the sun began to rise giving a wintry haze upon the landscape outside the window, Manfred awake carefully casting his eyes down to the beautiful women still laid asleep beside him on the rug of the floor. He knew that it wouldn't be long before the bugle played out in the morning light to awaken the men ready for their day preparing them for another chancing glance, risking their lives and giving death across the war fronts.
Manfred carefully leaned towards his sleeping lover gently kissing her neck while running his fingertips across her side, her smooth skin like silk underneath his touch. It was clear that Sofia was not for waking up as she moved against him still half asleep, her voice mumbling and clearly not wanting to be disturbed. “Manfred let me sleep.” She uttered as she curled up trying to keep warm against the cool morning air. Manfred could not help but smile to himself seeing how much Sofia did not enjoy mornings. He carefully scooped her up from the floor carrying her towards his bed before gently laying her down pulling the covers over her as he sat on the edge of the bed watching her sleeping for a few moments absorbing her most serene elegance in a picture perfect view for his mind.
Sofia being still in the dreamland state was somewhat under the belief that the night before had all been just a dream and that she was laid in her bed back at the hotel, as she curled up into the covers of the bed in a comfortable state of bliss.
The morning light still crept up as Manfred finally heard the sound of the bugle playing outside in the crisp morning haze. He knew that it would not be long before he would be needed down at inspection for his uncle, a major like his own father, who would check Manfred's uniform and the uniform of his fellow comrades. The bugle was a rather disappointing sound in reality to Manfred's mind, as it was a sound that meant he was going to need to leave the women he loved sleeping and he knew as much as he wished to stay with her, he had duties to preform, the war was still raging no amount of blissful love that the men found.
He stood from the edge of the bed, beginning to pour water in a small basin as he began to wash himself while every now and then looking back over his shoulder to his beloved sleeping beauty, before he began to pull his freshly pressed uniform over his athletic chiseled body. It was not long before Manfred could hear footsteps in the corridor outside his room, along with the sleepy voices of his friends, when there then came a loud knock from the solid door of his room, before Nilhelm wandered in not waiting for Manfred's response. Nilhelm was assigned to Manfred as his personal valet even though Nilhelm was also in a military position, he was such a poorly skilled officer that he was rather more skilled at maintaining the dignity of those few pilots who required a valet. That's not to say that Manfred was not prepared to do the more common housekeeping skills for himself as he had done so while attending the academy, but Manfred's superiors thought it best to maintain his statues as a Freiherr.
Mortiz was not helping with Manfred's morning blues, as Mortiz was whimpering for his breakfast and although Manfred had fed him by now of which Mortiz had eaten, he was now sat beside Manfred's bed protecting Sofia.
Manfred could not help feeling blue it was as though every corner of the world was conspiring against him, trying to stop him watch over the women he loved so deeply while she remained asleep. He had ignored Nilhelm with his tray containing the large collection of adoring letters to Manfred from people showering him with chocolates and cigarettes with praises of success and honour feeling cards and letters. Manfred was to busy gazing at the sight of his lover to really care for the letters and gifts, as the silver tray was carefully put on the table in front of the couch.
Nilhelm was careful not to glance across to Manfred's bed, having notice Sofia sleeping tenderly within the bed. Nilhelm knew it would be of great insult to stare at the women that clearly had stolen the affections of his higher ranking officer. He merely went about gathering Manfred's clothes from the night before that now currently lay dormant on the floor, placing them neatly in a basket beside the door to be taken to the laundry room. Nilhelm also picked up Sofia's dress placing it neatly on the couch, as he noticed Mortiz become bored with watching Sofia and then go stand by his master, looking up at Manfred with his puppy dog eyes, clearly wanting attention.
Neither men uttered a word that could risk waking Sofia, but they stepped outside into the corridor as they began heading down for inspection. Manfred lighting a cigarette from the silver case that always lived in the pocket of his jacket, as he began instructed Nilhelm that Sofia was to be allowed to rest as long as she needed. Manfred knew that during the past few weeks Sofia had clearly struggled to truly rest and he wanted her to be comfortable and well rested to gain her strength once again.
The inspection went as normal before the men knew they had to head to their areas of skill, the pilots gathering together in a number of cars all traveling to the various areas of the aerodrome near by. Manfred could not help the strong feeling of melancholy that was clearly falling over him, he knew he was very much in love and the women he loved returned his affections just as deeply. He was fortunate for this but he was going into the air again to once again do battle against the allied enemy forces and while he was considered to be one of the better pilots, he was also still learning and grieved the lose of his proud tutor.
Manfred also knew that one stray bullet, a tiny mistake or misjudgement would end his life in the blink of an eye. He had made it this far through the war because there had been no love to distract him, but now there was someone that would moan his lose more harder than any other women could, save perhaps his own mother and older sister.
A few hours passed by when Sofia finally wake up, the chamber she was laid in was clearly now empty as she slowly sat up in the bed, becoming aware of her surroundings. Mortiz had joined Manfred and the other pilots to the aerodrome leaving the room rather quiet. Sofia carefully clambered out of the bed feeling she was intruding, as she washed and dressed herself before tidying the bed she had been sleeping in, she knew she had to leave the room although she wished to spend longer with Manfred she really did not feel safe on her own in his chambers. Writing a note to her beloved Manfred for him to find upon his return as her note merely explaining that she had returned to the hotel to get clean clothes and tidy herself in a more comfortable manor.
Yet the day itself seemed to drag on, Sofia had returned to the hotel by eleven that morning and having bathed in the hot bath water in the security of her hotel room. Sofia's mind was swimming with so many thoughts, it was hard to tell if she was truly aware of her surroundings.
By lunch time Sofia had dressed in her usual black floor length skirt, her skirt matching her uniform jacket and with a soft blue blouse underneath. While her under garments held her stockings to her shapely legs, to help keep her warm against the bitter cold wind that now seemed to blow more harshly as had winter evidently come in to its full power, to which Sofia suspected would not be long before there was snow on the ground. She knew that the day itself would seem longer if she were to purely sit around waiting for Manfred's return, so she went out into the town wandering freely as she noticed how people seemed to greet her warmly. It seemed as though she was a completely different women to what she had been a few days before, it was clear that the press had released the fact she was innocent and that meant she was in a more comfortable footing with the people of the imperial state.
Sofia gazed into shop windows looking at the adorning items to buy, when she came across a jewellers shop and there sat neatly in the window was a beautiful little blue crystal glass dog, with the most beautiful eyes. It was not expensive considering the heighten price of such trinkets and without a second thought, she had every intention to buy the little dog, but not for herself. As a gift of protection for her beloved who was flying high in the skies.
Sofia knew that it was common for men at war to have little trinkets from their loved ones and she could not help feeling that this little blue dog was a true token of her affection to Manfred, giving their love of hunting and having been often around hunting dogs, she knew that this trinket would mean a great deal. It also meant that Manfred would always have a piece of her with him, as if she was protect him and in some ways she rather hoped it would give him some comfort knowing he always had a piece of her with him.
By the time Sofia stepped back out from the shop, she saw that snow was beginning to fall from the heavily clouded sky above. Although the morning had started with a wintry sun, it had cast over with clouds and now seemed to have started snowing with light sugar snow that dusted the ground but was quick to fade away.
Sofia wandered up the path that lead towards the aerodrome though the woodland, she had no intention of going too close as she did not want to disturb Manfred while he was busy with his duties. Yet she watched from a safely hidden distance as the planes returned to the Jasta 2 air field. The safe hiding space she had found was an area that was secured by the trees along the edge of the woodland as she knelt down watching the day to day goings of the aerodrome.
Sofia then noticed a small group of children that clearly came from the near by town that were sat not that far away from herself. These young children could all be no more than between the ages of eight to ten and all seemed to be doing exactly the same thing as herself, so she carefully sat with them as she began teaching them different things about the aerodrome that she herself knew as they all sat hidden, watching the aerodrome rather carefully.
They sat huddled together for another hour before the roar of engines echoed though the air, Sofia looked carefully just to be sure she did not need to suddenly get the child into a safer location, but she was relieved to see that it was the proud Jasta 2 planes as they came back to the aerodrome as they seemed to land carefully.
The children from the town that had been sat with Sofia suddenly rushed to their feet and off across the field to meet the pilots, hero's of great esteem. Sofia was unable to stop the children rushing across the tall grass from the woodland, but she was rather thankful that they waited till all the planes had returned. However she remained in her hiding spot watching the children from a distance as they talked with the pilots, until she noticed two of the children pointing back to where they had been watching the aerodrome, which was still where Sofia was sat.
It was clear that the children, although being talked to by the pilots and engineers of the aerodrome, were also being scolded for being there, but the children did not seem to care at all as they were meeting their hero's.
Sofia had notice that Lothar, Manfred's younger brother, and Nilhelm had started walking over to the location the children had pointed out, soon followed by a few other pilots. This was a rather alarming sight to Sofia, as she carefully crawled away out of sight before standing up right and rushing down the path away from the aerodrome, knowing that she could get in just as much trouble as the children had done should the men of the aerodrome have deemed her spying. And in some way's she had been spying, but she just watched for her lover to see him land safely and she knew that if she should say that to who ever found her it would probably mean Manfred would gain crude jokes to deal with which he would soak up like bullets as he was no different when it came to other men he worked with and their lovers.
However Manfred at the moment was drunk from glory as he had downed two planes during that flight and although he enjoyed the company of his fellow pilots cheering to his success and the small town children having wished to meet him, he was rather in need of solitude.
He watched as the children led his fellow comrades to where they had been sat spying on the air field, before Manfred himself slipped away finding somewhere quite so he could sit with a shot of whiskey. It was in this moment that a rather strong dimensional shift seemed to change within him, as sadness taking hold of him.
He had imagined what it would be like for those he killed that day and the horror of which would soon come by the news of their deaths to those they would not return to. He had thought of this before so it was unlike he was suddenly developing a heart, but rather more empathy. Although he was in love with Sofia, he now felt the world more profoundly while he sat quietly smoking his cigarettes and drinking the whiskey to warm himself from the cold air which had whisked round him while flying. Each sip of whiskey seemed more satisfying than the previous as the burning taste and warmth seemed to course through him, while his mind played flashes of memory's the night before, to which the thought of seeing Sofia again fired his blood deep within.
Yet Manfred could see the flipped side of the coin, he felt life more deeply than before and what it meant to have the absence of life, whether those he downed in a dog fight or those of his friends he witnessed fall in battle.
He then thought of his own absence should he himself be killed, and for those who would moan him but it was merely a thought of his own mortality.
He once again emerged from where he had be sit quietly. Although his eyes were keen, as he observed the grounds of the aerodrome, hoping that he may find Sofia lurking and watching him, but much to his disappointment he could not find her. He had indeed suspecting that it was her that had sat with the children of the town, but Nilhelm and Lothar had returned having found no one else watching the base. It was clear that the men were planning to return to town to enjoy a more tasty hot meal from the hotel and high delights of the fast approaching night, rather than the bland meals from the base as Manfred agreed to join them back to town, rather hoping he could slip away and find Sofia.
Sofia had been careful with her return from the aerodrome, as she once again wandered the streets of town when she heard the auto-mobiles drive past her. Seeing the men laughing and merry along with the children that the highly regarded men were make sure arrived to town safely. Some of the children ran across the street from where the cars parked, as they ran to Sofia, before telling her about tales the pilots had told them with beaming smiles across all the children's faces. Sofia smiled as they told her everything yet she know that it was now clear to any of the observant men of the base, that she had been sat with the children watching the aerodrome.
Sofia was unaware of Manfred watching her with the children, until she told the children to rush home to their mothers and to be brave little warriors, protecting their mothers while the children's fathers and older brothers were away at war. Sofia knew that any mother worried for their children, and that Sofia did not wish the mothers to worry to much for the care of their younger children. She then turned to walk up towards the hotel seeing Manfred leaning against the wall, his arms folded over his chest keeping himself warm within the heavy leather jacket, his face seemed as though he had a smirk of a smile looking at her, he was rather amused of what she was like with children. “Hello my love.” Sofia said as she walked closure towards him.
Manfred was about to speak when a young bell boy rushed over from inside the hotel carrying a letter to Sofia to which she thanked him for the letter, before opening it in front of Manfred, a letter which would contain disappointment for both of them.
The letter had been sent by Sofia's grandfather, General Hans who was rather proud that Sofia had been found innocent but insisted that she return to the estate that very evening, as he had found her work in his stables. His estate was used currently for hunting and farming mostly, however the stables were used by the messengers to be able to rush messages from the front lines to the commanding officers, a task of which Manfred had preformed before transfer as a pilot.
Sofia knew that if a horse was too old or badly damaged then they would often be sent as farming horses or shot if too ill to not waste resources in nursing to health. But the fact that General Hans had found Sofia work upon the estate was better then having her work as a nurse, she really did not wish to work as a nurse again in a field hospital nor in a hospital for the more intensive care patients. But it was clear that Sofia would have to leave town, which meant being apart from Manfred as her eyes seemed to become more withdrawn as she folded the letter once again, wondering if her grandfather wished her to be nearer to the estate due to his own poor health that had become worse over the past year, Sofia looked up trying to hide her disappointment from Manfred.
Manfred was not blind nor was he any kind of fool as he had glanced at the letter while Sofia had been reading it and he had watched her disappointment as it washed across her face, a look that she had tried to hide but failed in doing so, a look to which had already left him crestfallen.
To Manfred the letter could only mean bad news by her reaction, he knew that the only real power to take Sofia away from him was that of the Kaiser or her own grandfather, although the letter did not have the seal of the Kaiser's mark, Manfred knew that her grandfather was most likely instructing Sofia to return to his estate. “My love, what is it?” Manfred asked, trying to stay positive as he looked at Sofia as her eyes seemed to sparkle more than usual while Manfred's fingertips gently ran across her jaw. He could see her gaze piecing his own and although he could trace her features for hours without wanting anything other than to hold her attention, he observed her smile that seemed rather weak as though she herself was heart broken. “My grandfather wishes me to return to his estate. He wishes me to work in the stables of the farm, yet I fear his health is becoming worse and more than likely he wishes to keep me near.” Sofia replied her eyes dropped slightly as though she did not wish to show Manfred her disappointment in her rather untimely departure from his company. Yet Manfred had his own logical possibility that would mean they could spend more time together and ease the thought of being apart for sometime while she remained at General Hans estate as Manfred returned to his patrols of the skies, as he knew he was not expected to fly for the next few days due to his plane once again needing maintenance and him having no replacement to fly. “Sofia, I will not be going into the air again for the next few days, I had rather planned to spend every minute with you. Perhaps I could accompany you to your Grandfather's estate?” Manfred suggested, he knew he did not wish to play games and rather sought for Sofia's eyes to once again look at his own. He also knew that the next few days with him on forced leave would give him a chance to build a strong bond with Sofia that he had desired for years, it would most likely allow them to both find comfort in the stresses that would soon follow with his rather hectic career.
Sofia smiled at his suggestion, it was sweet and somewhat romantic, but she also knew her grandfather would most likely ask questions about her and Manfred's rather blossoming relationship. “Would you be truly comfortable around my grandfather? He may question us?” Sofia replied as she watched Manfred smile before gently kissing her left cheek that was rosy and cold from the winter air. “I will be comfortable because I'm with you.” Manfred replied as he escorted the young women into the hotel while following her to her hotel room so she could beginning packing her items in order so she could return to her grandfather's estate.
Manfred had caught sight of Nilhelm while he walked with Sofia, as Manfred told Nilhelm to return to his personal chambers and gather clothes for the next few days as Manfred planned to be away, while Mortiz followed Manfred and Sofia up to the hotel room proudly standing next to the open suitcase watching every item being placed neatly inside.
Manfred could not help but breath a sign of relief knowing that Sofia was not going to use her grandfather as an excuse to run from his company, but Manfred could also not help chuckling to himself about the mere thought of Sofia as a stable hand. Although it would be good for her to do something rather than be waiting upon Manfred returning from his flights, he could not help but think of Sofia and himself taking time in the forests around her grandfathers estate perhaps hunting together, but he rather suspected that once he saw Sofia sprawled out in the tall grass that there would be little hunting other than for each other lips.
Sofia merely continued to pack her things, knowing that Manfred would tell her his thoughts soon enough as she heard him chuckle to himself. She knew he had been part of the carvery before becoming a pilot, so she rather expected him to be amused by her grandfather's work placement for her. Both Manfred and Sofia had enjoyed horse riding as young teenagers, but Manfred was by far more skilled on horse back than Sofia as he seemed to have a gift with horse. Manfred was not just a keen marksmen and skilled pilot let alone his skill in his horse riding having won awards for racing with his 'proud beasts' which he would often call the proud creatures he held in high respect. But then he was also a strong gymnast, his athletic body giving him strength and although somewhat average in height he found most men taller than him which he made up for with his rather more muscular frame, which was far more a surprise to other men in what he could achieve. Manfred's passion for fitness gave him access to other pursuit's which in turn gave him more favoured pleasure in the eyes of the Kaiser and those who adored and admired him. Sofia's mind could not think fully as she felt the little trinket box in the pocket of her jacket, yet she felt that this current moment was perhaps not the right time for her to give her gifted to Manfred, they were to some extent of her Grandfather's rather urgent letter, pressed for time.
Sofia fought with the clasps of the suitcase finally managing to get them locked in place before she felt Manfred's arms loop around her stomach as he inhaled the scent of her perfume while kissing her neck tenderly, he seemed no longer shy to show his affections towards her but he was also unsure how many times they could be intimate. They could spend every waking moment together over the next few days, for him to return to the air and never come back. If that were to be the case Manfred rather know that Sofia was fully aware of how much he loved her. His lips that glanced the skin of her neck, gently moved towards her ear whispering softly. “I love you Sofia.” His voice calm and joyful, knowing that he was intoxicated in her presence and that he had a reason to never stop wishing his own safe return. Sofia could not deny that she felt safe in Manfred's touch as she saw the snow once again falling from the winter clouds while her eyes looked out the window, before turning her head to face the man she loved holding her gently, as a delicate smile brighten her face. “We should start traveling, specially before the light becomes to poor.” Sofia said softly as Manfred smiled back at her before letting go of her and picking the suitcase up from the edge of the bed, as he heading for the door watching Sofia leave the room before him followed by Mortiz as they headed to Sofia's car outside the hotel.
Manfred saw Nilhelm rush towards them as they reached the car, Nilhelm clutching a small suitcase containing Manfred's own personal effects for the next few days. As Nilhelm reached Sofia's car taking the keys from her hand before opened the back seat door of the D-type auto-mobile for Manfred and Sofia to sit in comfort on their journey to Sofia's grandfathers estate. It was clear that Nilhelm was as loyal as Mortiz and would not allow Manfred to leave with out himself, as Nilhelm observed them both take their seats in the back of the car before Mortiz jumped in and sat beside Manfred's feet.
With them all now safely in the car, Nilhelm began the long drive to Sofia's grandfather's estate. The drive was long which led across the country roads, some of which were rather battle worn and slowly gathering snow that was continuing to fall.
Sofia was not looking forward to returning to her grandfather's estate, she was not yet prepared for the onslaught of questions he would no doubt ask when he became away of Manfred having joined Sofia at the estate. She also knew that it would not be long before Manfred's own family were informed of Manfred's discussion to accompany her, let along how close the pair had become, not helped by Sofia having openly spoken with Ilse by letter the previous afternoon about the pairs plans for dinner. Sofia knew in time it would no doubt become a pressure to both of them as their families would put continued pressure on them both to marry and they would either crumble under their elders wishes or end up lost to their own families by being outcast, but Sofia rather suspected that her grandfather would be more glad to know she was at least courting someone rather more stable that her previous attempts at courting any man.
For most of the long drive the pair sat rather quietly, cuddled up from the cold, it was at this moment that Sofia thought it maybe a safer place to give Manfred her gift as she rather suspected that he would need her good luck with them attending General Hans estate together. Sofia took the small trinket box from her jacket pocket, inside contained the small blue crystal craved dog with its beautiful eyes. She carefully handed the little box to Manfred who sat beside her watching her sudden movements. “This is for you.” Sofia announced as she observed Manfred take hold of the small box from her hand and open it, he smiled with the slightest blush to his cheeks, which temporarily unmannered his face by the beautiful gesture of which his lover had bestowed upon him. “I will treasure it always, but I fear you have best me once again, as I would've preferred to be the one to give you the first gift, but it seems I have been a sloth in this action.” Manfred said as he looked at the small trinket, Sofia merely smiled knowing that Manfred was happy with her gift. “You have been busy, I had time to walk though the town and I knew it would be kind to give you a small trinket of my affections, that way you will always be safe in the air and you will always return to me.” Sofia replied as she watched him with great delight as he observed the small gift.
By the time they reached the large estate of Sofia's grandfather, it had become nightfall and the large house glowed with lights that spilled out from the windows. Nilhelm parked the car out front the house near the front entrance hall so that Sofia and Manfred could get out of the car before walking inside to greet General Hans. The large entrance hall was well light and it was clear there were rather a lot of hospital personnel who seemed to enter veriest doors from the west wing of the large estate house, while one of the house guards informed Sofia that her grandfather, General Hans was in the drawing room awaiting her arrival.
Sofia carefully walked though the drawing room doorway seeing her grandfather sat on one of the large chairs, his cigar filling the room with its pungent scent with the evening paper open wide before him as he continued to read having not noticed the door open at all. “Hello Grandfather.” Sofia said as she went to take a seat on one of the other chairs in the room. Sofia had rather forgotten how warm and comfortable the family estate was as she carefully watched her grandfather as she rather hoped he would not start his usual lecture to her. But he merely folded his news paper and placed it neatly beside him on the empty seat, Sofia could not help but glance at the headline of the news paper that had not only her name but also Manfred's, as her anxiety began to race knowing that the papers were already spinning their tales of rumour mill idea's. Sofia quickly looked towards the fire that crackled with wood, hoping to find some comfort in the glowing light of the burning ambers.
General Hans sat quietly for a moment as he looked at Manfred, who stood to attention as though he was due for inspection, and then to his granddaughter Sofia. This visitor to the house was unexpected and lead Hans mind to questions he would need answered, before he finally began to speak with his loud commanding voice. “I was not expecting you Richthofen! You may well know that your father is here also, as we have been discussing the Christmas hunt for Jasta 2 in honour of all your hard work, as well as for the memory of your founder and others who have fallen in the few short months. However I must say I'm rather surprised by you joining my granddaughter here.” General Hans said while he watched Manfred rather more carefully. Sofia was rather haunted by the choose of a Christmas hunt for Jasta 2 in memory of Oswald Boelcke, as it had been his misfortune that caused Sofia's elder brother to lose his faith in life, yet Sofia could not truly hold it against Boelcke times during war were hard and life was lost on all sides. However Sofia knew that her brother had been close with Boelcke, just as much as he had been close with Manfred, but her brother Wilhelm had always been rather sensitive and his choice to take his own life was rather haunting to Sofia. She knew that Boelche had hand picked his 'cubs' as he had often called those under his personal command, of which Manfred had been one along side Wilhelm.
But Before Manfred could even respond to General Hans the door to the drawing room once again opened as Major Albrecht Von Richthofen strode into the room with his head held proud as he seemed to almost cast a scathing look to his eldest son, still stood as though awaiting inspection.
Sofia could not help but now feel rather trapped, as though some strange out of control force was working against her and Manfred. She knew that her Grandfather would of questioned them about their situation, but for Manfred's own father to be present at the estate as well meant that the questions would clearly be somewhat more intense. And although both General Hans and Major Albrecht were retired from war action due to poor health, they still held their high ranks with strong esteem and pride, as they often did things for the men at war to keep up moral. Things such as gathering the men from different camps for hunting trips for a day or afternoon, events to keep them amused and bring some much needed laughter back to them while they tried to switch off from the horrors they faced daily. Sofia looked timidly towards Major Albrecht as he took a seat next to her grandfather, clearly wanting to observe Sofia and Manfred. “Major Von Richthofen I did not know you would be here visiting my grandfather at this time.” Sofia said as though trying to make polite conversation, however it was clear that her anxiety was growing by the second. It was also very clear that Major Albrecht was observing her far more intently then she felt comfortable with, just as General Hans was observing Manfred. It truly was as though both of them were on trail before their family superiors and it was clear that Major Albrecht was not planning to respond to Sofia's stunned comment.
Manfred was still stood as though he was undergoing inspection, yet Sofia could not help but feel in the strange situation that seemed to be unfolding around them, that they were both under inspection by the sharp glances of their superiors. She almost hoped that someone would walk in the drawing room and defuse the rather uncomfortable feeling that had fallen over the room that although warmed by the bright fire, felt rather cold to Sofia. It was clear that her and Manfred were now going to have to be rather careful about how much they showed their affections for each other, it was too early to really allow their families to start casting flowers and joyous news of their courtship. Yet Sofia could not help feeling that perhaps it would have been better if Manfred had not accompanied her to the estate, but she also knew that it would of killed them both deep down if they had been unable to spend just a little more time together.
Manfred just continued to stand to attention, looking no were other than the window opposite him. He was rather used to standing in this manor and knew due to the rather unusual reasons for his visit to the estate, that he would do best to show the up most respect, let alone his form and well trained manor.
It was no secret that General Hans was a high ranking officer just like Manfred's own father and although Manfred was clearly just as successful in his own career, Manfred had not expected the news of his father being present at the estate and wondered if his mail that morning had contained a letter from his father or mother discussing the goings on within family affairs. Yet this news was still rather alarming to Manfred as he imagined it would be just as alarming to Sofia, he couldn't help feeling that the news had sent a cold panic though his blood. Manfred dare not look anywhere but at the window although he could feel General Hans stony eyes watching him, he knew sooner or later there was going to be an onslaught of explaining that Manfred was going to be expected to reveal, if not to his own father but to Sofia's grandfather. To which he was already dreading what questions would be asked of both himself and Sofia, he rather hoped that nothing was asked that evening, however that seemed unlikely.
Major Albrecht glanced at his son still stood to attention as his gaze was just as harshly questioning Manfred as it had been to Sofia, but Major Albrecht was rather sick of seeing his son stood to attention. “Oh do sit down Manfred, you are going to give me a headache seeing you stood to attention all evening.” Said Major Albrecht with his commanding voice, while pointing to the seat beside him for his son to take. It was clear that Manfred and Sofia were at this point not allowed to seat beside each other, but that was probably for the best considering they were probably about to become bombard by their family superiors.
Manfred carefully moved to the seat and he really could not deny the rather uneasy feeling about the whole situation, as it seemed that in no time at all his world was about to completely unwrap. In all honesty Manfred had planned to not tell his family about his new found courtship with Sofia, at least not for a few more weeks if not months. They had in all fairness only really begun to blossom into their relationship, but Manfred knew that neither he nor Sofia would be able to hide anything from their families should they be questioned about the relationship now. Manfred could feel the small trinket box safely hidden in his pocket, he was even moreglad that Sofia had given it to him while they were still in the car as he suspected that it would cause rather more fruitful suggestions about the pair if she had been caught giving it to him at the estate. Manfred wondered if the little crystal dog would protect him from Sofia's grandfather, as he was clearly not letting up on his rather stern gaze that had followed Manfred to his seat.
Although Manfred was not taken back from his father being present and although it did unnerve him knowing he would have to be a little more careful about his affections to Sofia, he could tell that the fact his father was present was more uncomfortable for her. Once Manfred had sat down his father handed him one of his freshly cut evening cigars, as a butler of the house walked in carrying a tray of drinks for them all, scotch for the gentlemen and sherry for Sofia. Manfred planned to be masterful in his conversation and pleasantries that were exchanged between the gentlemen while Sofia remained rather more silent, clearly awaiting the news that dinner was ready.