THE IRON PRINCE

An Iron Fey Fanfiction
The Iron Fey written by Julie Kagawa

I stood in front of the mirror, in a bathroom that connected to the bedroom that I shared with my faery knight. I stared at my pale reflection, my fingers trailing over the long scars that still remained after my near death experience against the former Iron King, Ferrum. Even though the Iron Realm had healed me of my injuries, it hadn't been enough to take all of the reminders away; it had still left me with the ugly scars that trailed across my chest and stomach. They disturbed me each and every day; every day that I had to look at them was just another reminder of what I had almost lost. My life and my husband.

Ash knew they made me uncomfortable and he told me I was beautiful every day, that the scars were just another part of me that he loved. "My bravery," He had said to me once, before brushing a kiss to one that just poked out from under my shirt.

I shivered at the memory and drew my bath robes around me, obscuring the ugly white lines from view.

Ash was sitting up in bed when I emerged, a worn book in his hands. He glanced up at me when I approached, a soft smile gracing his features. Never could I get over how much I loved him; never could I ever figure out how this former winter prince was mine and nobody else's; never could I ever figure out what he saw in me to love me so much.

I settled beside him on the covers, curling up against his side so that we fit together like two puzzle pieces. He planted a kiss on the top of my head, one hand coming up to stroke my hair as he continued to read.

I must have dozed off for a little bit because the next thing I knew, I was being awoken by a knock at the door and a voice calling for me. I drew myself up and travelled to the door where Glitch waited on the other side.

He glanced down at what I was wearing; hair tussled and looking like it hadn't been brushed for years; bath robe that was crumpled; probably lines on my cheek from the fabric of Ash's shirt. I glanced back at the silent faery on my bed and saw that he was watching us silently, silver eyes bright.

"Good evening, Your Majesty. I don't mean to interrupt but have you forgotten your plans for this evening?"

A look of confusion passed across my face and then it popped into my head. "Oh my gosh! It's the dinner with my father tonight!" I began to hurry around the room, opening and closing drawers, pulling out pieces of clothing. "Thanks Glitch! I will be out in a few minutes."

The door closed behind him as he left and then I was faced with Ash who clambered out of the bed to stand in front of me, his hands firm on my shoulders. "What's this dinner with your father thing?"

"Crap, I forgot to tell you." I muttered and cursed myself. I had been forgetting many things lately and this was only just one of them. "We are going to the Summer Realm to have dinner with Oberon and Titania."

"Both of us?" He questioned as I reached into my closet and pulled out a floor length royal blue gown. I tossed it onto the bed, turned to answer but stopped as I felt a rush of nausea flood over me. I clutched the edge of the bed for balance and watched as Ash's silver eyes turned concern. He moved cautiously towards me, his arms outstretched in front of him as if he was confronting a wild, scared animal. "Meghan… are you alright?"

I bolted, ignoring his voice as he called out my name. I barely made it to the bathroom before I was emptying the contents of my stomach. I felt Ash's cool hands touch my back lightly and as he pulled my hair away from my face, his fingers lightly brushing the knobs of my spine in a comforting way. Finally I pulled away from the toilet and leaned heavily against my knight's chest.

His hand moved up to cup my forehead, checking to see if I had a fever. I shivered at his touch. "Meghan… maybe you shouldn't go tonight…"

I shook my head and pushed against him, using him to help me stand. I washed my mouth out quickly and ran the bristles of my toothbrush along my teeth, trying to dislodge the bitter aftertaste.

***PAGE BREAK***

Glitch was waiting for us beside a carriage when we emerged from the bedroom, hand in hand. Ash had tried several more times to get me not to go but every time I had refused. My father would not look kindly on me if I didn't arrive, no matter what the circumstances. And honestly, I felt fine now.

We stepped up into the carriage and I felt it begin to move. I leaned back against Ash's chest as we moved, feeling his steady heartbeat through my dress. I tossed some situations around in my head as we went, thinking of all of the reasons why I had felt sick, why I had been so tired and forgetful… it popped into my head when we weren't far away from my father's realm and I considered discussing it with Ash, but it wouldn't have been fair to him, to burden him with my thoughts when we were minutes away from dining with Oberon, the Summer King, my father.

I was grateful for Ash's silence along the way too. I could sense him wanting to talk to me, wanting to ask what was wrong with me, but he didn't, just left me alone with my thoughts. I don't think he will ever realise how grateful I was of it in that moment.

Oberon greeted us as we swept into the dining room, my arm linked with the former Winter prince's. My father talked small talk with us, mostly about politics though. He sensed that there was something happening between Ash and I, so he wrapped things up early.

On the carriage ride home, Ash and I barely spoke a word and it wasn't until we had gone into the privacy of our bedroom that we began to speak.

"Ash…" I began, unsure how to say the next few words that had been on my mind all night. He glanced at me, silver eyes bright and concerned. He urged me on with his eyes, pleading with me to tell him what was wrong. I took a big breath in, preparing myself for his reaction and then let it blurt out so fast that surely he wouldn't have been able to catch it. "I'm pregnant."