The maids left his bedroom, leaving him and Adeline alone. She was wearing a white dress with golden stripes. Her red hair was braided beautifully behind her back. The color of her eyes was so enchanting as if he could just drown in them. He never saw such a captivating pair of eyes. It was an electric blue color. Stefano felt like he was staring into a pair of eyes with lightning trapped in them.
“You look enchanting, my love.” He complimented her, trying to see her reaction.
Adeline spun around to meet his warm gaze. There was no sign of recognition inside her eyes just yet. As he said before, he had to plan his steps carefully. No rush. They had an eternity to figure this out. Better started slowly than risk losing her sanity.
“My love?” Her tone was unsure of the nickname.
He approached her slowly. Even his small gesture was giving her fear. He wanted to change that. There was no need for her to fear him. He would never hurt her. He could never hurt her. Not even a strand of her hair. What kind of a man would he become if he hurt her?
If he was planning to hurt her, he shouldn’t have resurrected her from the dead.
“Your name is Adeline Domenico. You are my wife.” He told her with a cautious tone. “I am Stefano Michelangelo de Lucca. That makes you the Mistress of this house.”
He extended his hand to her. With a trembling hand, she put hers on his before he guided her to the sofa and sat down. Adeline looked at their intertwined hands. It felt weird to touch his hand.
“I could not remember anything.”
He pushed the loose strands of her hair, “You were involved in an unfortunate accident. Clavier Hubert, the man who was here earlier, is a doctor. He told me that you might suffer complication with your memories.”
“Adeline,” She repeated the name.
That couldn’t be her name. Something was wrong with the name. Everything here felt wrong. Felt new and alien to her. And she didn’t like it. If her name was really Adeline, this place was her home and this man was her husband, why she felt like a stranger? Why did it feel like she was never been here?
Maybe it was her memory problem. After all, he said she was involved in an unfortunate accident. Maybe she could give herself some time to think.
“How long I was unconscious?” She asked.
“A week. Your head injured really bad.”
Then, she felt pain on her head. Sensing her pain, Stefano put both of his hands on the sides of her head, easing the pain by sending it to himself. He took a sharp breath when he felt her pain was entering his mind. After a few seconds, he put his long fingers under her chin and tilted her head up to meet his gaze.
“Easy, my love. You must not rush your mind,” He mumbled with a hint of commanding her. “You are still healing. Do not rush it.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t remember who you are.”
He kissed both of her hands, “Don’t worry about that, my love. You would remember when the time comes. You must be hungry.”
Adeline nodded shyly, “Yes.”
“Josef, bring some foods to the garden.” Stefano linked to the housekeeper.
“Yes, My Lord.” The housekeeper replied instantly.
“While we wait for the servants to serve the foods, would you like a walk at the garden?”
“That would be nice.”
Stefano escorted her out of the bedroom. With so much real Adeline’s photos in the castle, he made sure this one didn’t see them yet. So, he opted to use another route than the usual. No need to rush her to think she was the real Adeline. He had all the time he needed to convince her. Stefano wanted her to feel comfortable around him. That was a first thing he must do. He knew she felt like a stranger around him but he would change that soon. The first thing he needed to do was making her felt comfortable with him. That was the most important one. Once that was done, the next step would follow easily. He didn’t want her to feel afraid around him just because she didn’t know him.
Along the way he told her stories about the garden — the very same garden the real Adeline created from the scratch.
“You always loved the flowers especially the white roses.”
“I did?” Her eyes looked skeptical.
She was questioning the information once more inside her mind. Did she really love white roses? Nothing inside her mind confirmed this.
“Of course. You planted all these flowers,” He gestured to the massive garden.
There were many kinds of flowers but mainly white roses. Could she really plant all these? It seemed impossible to her. She inhaled deeply and felt the sweet scent of the flowers was beginning to soothe her mind.
“This is very beautiful,” Adeline mumbled, reaching for the white rose.
“Careful, my love. Roses have thorns.”
They walked around the garden. Stefano pointed out each type of the flower and why she chose to plant them there. They walked up a tower which had an overlooking view of the garden. That was when she saw the reason why. The flowers weren’t planted randomly. Each was planted carefully to make sure when it bloomed, it would make a big image of a couple if the watchers looked at it from a higher ground such as the tower. An image of Stefano and a blonde woman looked like her.
“Wow,” Adeline said, amazed. “I was blonde?”
“You colored your hair once,” he lied.
“How did I plant those like that? It seemed impossible,”
He smiled. “It wasn’t an easy task but with every help, you did it.”
“My Lord, the foods are served,” Josef informed him.
“Come on, my love. The lunch is ready.”
He walked her towards the gazebo in the middle of the garden. Stefano pulled a chair for her, gesturing for her to sit down. Adeline touched the cutlery on the table. Everything she touched had no sense of familiarity with her.
“I’m sorry, I just—” She paused.
“It is alright. We have all the time we need. Soon, you would remember a thing or two.” Stefano said to her assuredly.
Josef served the foods and poured two glasses of wine. Stefano proceeded on telling her a few stories about them. He didn’t want to overwhelm her with any information yet. Just the ones easy for her mind to digest. Adeline slowly eased around him during the entire lunch. At least she didn’t reject his gestures. That was a good start.
Sooner, she would accept her new identity. That he could sure of. Until then, he must proceed carefully.