Vronsky arrives at Anna’s country house and enters through the garden. He is excited to see her, but then he thinks about Seryozha, her son, and feels uneasy: the relationship between himself and Seryozha is awkward and strained. Today, however, Anna’s son is absent, and she is alone in the garden.
Although Vronsky is eager to see Anna in the flesh, not just in his imagination, he feels uncomfortable around Anna’s son, as the son is a constant reminder of Anna’s legitimate marriage.
Vronsky speaks to Anna in French, as “you” in Russian is either too intimate or too cold. He asks Anna what she is thinking about, as she is clearly preoccupied; a leaf she holds in her hand is shaking. She debates telling him, but finally admits that she is pregnant.
Vronsky and Anna have a private, shared, intimate language. The leaf shaking in Anna’s hand emphasizes her nervousness: like Frou-Frou, who is animated and lively just under the surface, Anna’s emotions are barely contained.
Anna thinks that Vronsky will understand the significance of the event in the same way that she does, but Vronsky interprets events differently: Vronsky sees it as a sign that they must stop living a lie, but Anna says that she is still her husband’s wife.
Anna believes that Vronsky will be compassionate and care for Anna’s well-being, but Vronsky takes the pregnancy as a sign that they should stop living a lie, even though this would ruin Anna’s reputation. This is important to recognize: Russian society doesn't care about Vronsky and Anna's relationship as long as they keep it discrete, despite the fact that everyone actually knows about it. But if they were to openly acknowledge their love, their true selves, Anna would be ostracized (though Vronsky wouldn't). Their society pushes them to hypocrisy.