ing more.

   “A gift for my grandmother.”

   “Just get Karen to do it.”

   “No, I want to do it myself, can I?” Erna pleaded.

   Although Erna is mostly docile.
She had a way about her, a tenacious spirit that would always rise to the surface when she wanted to get her own way.
She looked at Bjorn with big, sparkling eyes and a hint of a pout.
She looked like she was about to cry at any moment.
Bjorn nodded and Erna’s face lit up again.

   “Thank you,” she said and wrapped her slender arms around his neck, “you know, once I got to know you, I could see that you are a much nicer person than you first seemed.”

   “Me, nice, are you okay?”

Bjorn laughed, even though he was overly generous with describing himself, he would never have called himself nice, but Erna nodded confidently.

   “You have always helped me when I needed it the most.
Any time I get upset, you seem to do your absolute best to cheer me up.
You might not think it, but you are really good at the things you put your mind to and you know your limits.
Whether you’re playing cards or speculating on horse racing, you play to win.”

   Bjorn felt like he had heard those words before, but not in a nice way, from Leonid.
He always said that Bjorn was cursed to die from alcohol poisoning, across a cards table, but Erna said it as if it were something to be proud of.

   “Don’t forget you, Erna, you’re working exceptionally hard too.”

   “Me?” Her eyes twinkled, “what about me?” She felt a blush of embarrassment.

   “You have a beautiful face,” he said, kissing her rosy cheeks, “and a beautiful chest,” he kissed her chest, even as he massaged a breast in his hand, “and a beautiful…”

   Erna’s bright smile narrowed as Bjorn went through his list and as his hand made its way down her front, she quickly kissed him to stop him from uttering the next words she didn’t want to hear.
Bjorn giggled through his lips as he returned her clumsy kiss.
She was now frowning a lot, but he thought it was cute.




  Lisa finally got the chance to show off everything she had learned from reading countless magazines and perusing shop windows.
Erna rarely wore any proper clothes, so when this mission came to her, right when she was getting bored, she jumped at the chance to dress Erna for her date.

   The Grand Duchess, the country bumpkin Princess was going to show everyone that she was more than just a rural girl, with a rural maid.
The results will be the most satisfactory.

   When she was done, she wanted to take a picture, so that she could remind the Prince of how beautiful his wife was.
He might have eyes on his head, but they might as well be on the other side of a cloud for all that he notices Erna.

   If anyone calls Erna an ordinary country girl today, Lisa would have to scrub their eyes, or get them glasses as they were clearly blind.


   “Go ahead, Erna,”


   The wicked prince broke Lisa’s heart once more.

  When going out as a couple, it’s proper to do things together.
What a horrible husband to make his wife travel all this way just to be left alone in a mall!

  Lisa ground her teeth.
Could this be happening? Was the Prince really going to break Erna’s heart like this?

Okay! By the way, Bjorn.” Erna’s eyes wandered the crowded lounge of the department store before returning to rest on Bjorn’s face.
The book he brought to read was already open on the table.
“Can I ask for some advice?” Erna said.

   “Advice?” Bjorn replied, not looking up from the book.

   “I want to get the Royal Family a gift, but I have no idea what to get them.”

   She had been thinking on this little problem all the way to the department store, but had no idea what she was going to get.
She thought it would be better if Bjorn was there with her, but it seemed like he had no mind to do any shopping together.

   “Well, I’m sure if there was something they wanted, they would just go out and get it,” Bjorn said absently. 

   Erna looked about the lounge of the department store, feeling a sense of loss.
The department store far outshone the one she used in Schuber.
It was a bright, colourful place, filled with well dressed men and women.
People were sat, having tea at a table around a palm tree and from somewhere, the sound of trickling water.
The sunlight shone in through tall windows and further doubled the atmosphere of peace.

   At first glance, they did not seem like the Grand Ducal couple from Lechen.
Bjorn didn’t like bringing too many people about with him, creating a fuss of people who would just hustle and bustle around him.
He liked it peaceful.

   Erna liked this fact.
It made her feel like a proper married couple, just out spending time together, but that just seemed like a pipe dream right now.

   “Well, what gift would you like to get?”

   “Money,” Bjorn nearly answered immediately, without giving it much thought.


   Erna stood up from the table, calm, before passing through the entrance of the lounge, Erna involuntarily turned around.
Bjorn was still just sat, reading his book, turning the page and sipping the tea he had just been served.

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