With her hope shattered and a broken heart, Sophia turns to the one man she would never dream of turning to in hope to be healed/
“Inspector, Madame Sophia has lost the child. We tried everything we could,” she said softly, “it would have been a baby boy, sir. I’m sorry.”
Meanwhile, Sophia, despite her aching body, was lying on her front weeping into the soft pillow of the bed she was occupying; she had lost her son and a blow for her. She had been holding onto the hope that a child would bring her and Javert closer together. But it had pleased God to take their child away. She heard her husband enter the room and she looked over her left shoulder. Javert, she could sense, was just as upset as she was, except that he was trying to remain emotionless and composed.
“Monsieur Madeleine is outside with Beauvais; he wishes to meet you, once you are well enough,” he said calmly. He sat down on the bed and took her in a tender embrace. She cried into his chest.
“I am sorry, Etienne. I’ve failed you as a wife,” she said softly, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“No, Sophie, don’t be like that. You haven’t. You are young and you are healthy. But the pregnancy was at a delicate stage when we moved,” he begun, and paused to kiss the top of her head, “we have time.”
Sophia spent the next couple of days recovering from the miscarriage. Soon enough, after she had lost the baby, the news that Madame Javert had miscarried spread around the town like it was wildfire. It had been the same when it was discovered one of the female workers at the brick factory had a bastard child, who lived with an innkeeper and his wife. Many were surprised that Javert even had a wife, let alone a pregnant one; he did not seem the kind of man to be married, after all. But it made sense: the pretty blonde pregnant woman who some of the townswomen had seen at the market arrived around the same time as the Inspector. The only people who were not surprised that he was married were the gendarmes, the nuns and Valjean- everyone who knew counted, it would have been only approximately thirty to forty people.
As winter grew colder, Sophia's grief was slowly dissolving. She had made the house she and Javert occupied more of a home. It was small, but enough to raise one to three children. As a girl of French aristocracy, Sophia never learned how to cook, but she slowly begun to learn as she tried to adapt to the completely different lifestyle in Montrieul-sur-Mer compared to that of the Parisian one. Whilst Sophia was trying to be more of a wife, Javert was making an effort too. In that winter and spring, the majority of the time, he would not go to his night shifts early when he had them. Occasionally he stayed behind later, but he let her know in advance. Likewise, he would bring work home occasionally but would only work on it when Sophia was busy. When he stayed behind at the station, she, who was fast becoming the devoted wife, would take dinner over to him. This period of domestic happiness is what many would call their ‘honeymoon period’. Everyone, especially Beauvais, wondered how this couple, who had once been so distant from one another, could be so close in the blink of the eye. Many thought it was the miscarriage, but Beauvais wondered if it was something else. Of course, reader, the miscarriage had brought the couple closer together but it was also something else.
Javert had begun showering his young wife with his utmost attention, and they had begun making love on a regular basis, although he had been reluctant at first. He once believed that men like him - and men like that criminal 24601, Jean Valjean- could never change; that reform was just a discredited fantasy. But that had dissolved since his former life of depravation and chastity had been fast fading –and for the better. As he and Sophia became more accustomed to sex, they grew closer and happier. Like many people who had violent tendencies, he had terrible mood swings, but they were becoming less frequent, and Sophia was soon able to deal with them when he did have them. She knew to ask him what was wrong, gently, and if he did not want to talk to her, she would not press the matter. When he got stressed, she’d sit behind him and give him a backrub to make his muscles loosen. And he soon got used to her when she had her monthly course. Before this strange period of intimacy and bliss, when she was menstruating, they had violent arguments because then, she was prone to mood swings as much as Javert was. Now, he knew to tread carefully, give her sympathy if she was aching.
One evening, on January 10th to be exact, Javert arrived home earlier than normal. It had been quiet all day and he had seen no reason why he should stay behind when Sophia was at home, preparing dinner. He placed his bicorne hat on the table and draped his black redingote over the sofa. He unbuttoned his jacket and went into the bedroom, where Sophia was putting some clean washing away.
“Hello Etienne,” she said with a smile. He kissed her on the cheek and hung up his jacket. She pulled him over onto the bed and began unbuttoning his waistcoat and shirt. He swiftly caught Sophia’s hand and put it behind her head. His other hand ran down her thigh and hitched it around his waist. She unzipped his trousers and he let out a small moan as she cupped his manhood. He pushed himself up into her and she let out a small cry. They kept a steady rhythm between them. There was a tear of fabric and she realised that was his shirt. She made a mental note to mend it the next day. She closed her eyes and let Javert do the work. She was almost senseless in pleasure until he gave out a final cry and they rolled off the bed onto the floor. They stayed there, their naked bodies entwined, for a couple of minutes until he moved to get off her. He sat against the bed and looked at the tear in his shirt.
“I’ll fix it tomorrow,” she told him, slipping on her shift and then dress. But the bodice was pretty much torn to shreds. She sighed and took off the dress, exchanging it for another. Once Sophia had recovered from the spontaneous lovemaking, she went into the kitchen. Javert put his hand to his heart and felt it beating fast. He was not used to sex being so animalistic, so it made his heart race faster than normal. Or was it his feelings for that siren he married? He did not know...he was not used to feelings....
When he had recovered from the spontaneous animalistic sex, he entered the kitchen; she was just dishing up dinner. He kissed her neck and cupped one of her breasts.
“Leave off,” she said, playfully but still trying to concentrate on what she was doing. She handed him his plate of food. She always looked anxious at dinner, he noted. It must’ve been the fact she was still learning how to cook. He gave her a reassuring smile.
“At least you did not burn it,” he told her. She smiled back at him and came over with her dinner and a bottle of wine. She poured herself a small amount.
“Do you want some tonight, Etienne?” she asked.
“No, Sophie. I’ve got a late shift again. Beauvais says there are more whores than ever outside the tavern, so I said I’d stand with him tonight. I hope you don’t mind.” She took a sip from the wine glass, holding it by the stem as she remembered and looked up at him.
“I don’t. It’s your job. I understand that now, dear. I know I didn’t at first...are you having a day off at all this weekend?”
“Sunday to Thursday, actually; why do you ask?” he replied.
“I...I’d just like us to spend a day together, not having to worry about anything else. Give us time to try conceive another child.”
He sighed, “are you sure, Sophia? You are still quite young; I suggest you shouldn’t be a mother until you feel you are fully ready to commit to a child.”
“Etienne, we have a couple of vacant rooms. I get lonely during the day, you know I do. I see the mothers with their children when I am at the market and it feels like I should be there with them...I think I am getting broody...and I think I’m ovulating.” He choked on his food.
“I’m sorry, darling, but is this really proper dinner conversation?”
“It’s not like we have guests. I’m being frank and I want a baby.” She flashed him her most seductive smile, “how come you’re off till Thursday, then?”
“I am going to Paris on Monday for a few days. Tuesday and Wednesday would be spent in Paris, the other two for travelling,” he said, “the Paris prefecture approved of my idea of the detailed census and want to ask further questions on it.”
When Javert mentioned Paris, Sophia’s heart leapt.
“May I come?” she asked, “so I can see Papa whilst you’re working?”
“I don’t see why not. It looks like you need new dresses. That’s the fifth one in January,” he begun but trailed off as she guessed what else he was going to stay. A couple of days in Paris, supposedly the most romantic city in Europe, away from Montriuel-sur-Mer meant they could try for a baby. Once they had finished dinner, they washed and dried up the dinner plates and such like. He glanced at the time. It was eight in the evening.
“You might as well go now,” she told him, “it’s payday. Meaning it is going to be rowdier than normal, doesn’t it?”
He nodded, “I suppose you’re right, Sophie. But shall we go for a walk first, whilst it is still quiet?”
She was going to put on her bonnet, but he stopped her from doing so.
“Why?” she asked with a smile as she buttoned up her coat.
“Because I want to see my wife’s angelic face,” he replied, kissing her fully on the mouth. He wrapped his arms around her waist and she let out a small gasp as his hand cupped her right buttock.
“Do we have to go for a walk?" she mumbled as their lips crushed each other.
"No..." He picked her up and carried her into the bedroom....