AN: well this is the last chapter of this sequel and it was a pleasure writing all of it. Hoped everyone enjoyed these two stories and I will continue to write my other stories now ;) good luck and enjoy!
Xena and Gabrielle spent most of their time in Athens, observing the work being done to the palace. Solan opted to travel to Athens to stay with them since he was bored in Assyria. He had nothing to do there now that the war was dormant. He promised he would stop arguing with Samuel about the war even though he really wanted to win, he knew deep down that Persia and Assyria would lose to the Scythians, not because the army was not bad at combat but because they were running out of tactics against Nimrood and his men.
Solan had obviously underestimated the Scythian king and his army. They were quite ruthless when it came to attacking and they stopped at nothing to obliterate the Persians and Assyrians. It was going to be such a pain to share the borders with Nimrood because he wanted nothing more than to destroy the two kingdoms and spread his religion and politics across the eastern part of the world.
Now with the east wing finished as well as the north and south wings, everything was being brought in from Rome to fill the north and south wings. Xena wanted the east and west wings to belong to the public like she promised. What she really wanted was to move back to Athens permanently. The west wing was still in construction but at least it was three fourths completed, which Xena never thought they would be able to finish the palace so soon and quickly as they did in the last five months.
Solan plopped down on the sofa in the large atrium, much larger than the one in the previous Athenian palace. He stared up at the sky and Xena folded her arms, staring at her son relaxing. "Exhausted?" she teased.
He lifted his head and smiled at her. "Yeah, it's a big job sitting around all day watching the men move everything in here," he chuckled and she rolled her eyes. He sat up, "hey, have you heard anything from Eve?" he hoped.
She nodded, "yes and we should be leaving this week to go see her. I wanted to leave last month but everything got so busy!"
Solan stood up and hooked arms with his mother, walking out of the atrium. "She'll have her baby soon! Maybe it will be another girl," he wiggled his eyebrows.
Xena smiled, "maybe, we'll have to see. I hope Luca and Layla have adjusted alright."
Solan scoffed, waving his hand, "Please mother, they're probably driving Hatima crazy! They're wild children!"
"Layla isn't like Luca. She's very mature," Xena pointed out and he had to agree with her. "She must have gotten that from Samuel but she certainly didn't get that from Eve," she smiled shaking her head thinking of Eve as a child and how wild she could be.
Solan rolled his eyes, "mother, you have no idea! Since I was stuck babysitting her for many years, she always got into some kind of trouble while you were away!"
The empress frowned, not knowing any of the things that Eve had done while she was away. "Like what?" she asked and he nervously laughed. "What did she do?" she was really curious now.
"Well..when she was five, you and Gabrielle were in Thrace at the time and Eve decided she wanted to go on an adventure..." he recalled that time and it was so nerve-racking.
Twenty Three Years Ago
Solan sighed, folding his arms at his little kid sister. He had been searching for her for three hours and he was unable to find her. He saw Racha walking down the hallway and grabbed her arm. "Have you seen Eve?"
The maid shook her head, "no I haven't seen the little princess, your highness," she smiled and walked down the hall leaving Solan dazed and confused.
"Great!" he groaned. "Mother is going to kill me..." he muttered to himself and walked to Eve's room and checked again, for the fourth time. "Eve, this isn't funny anymore!" he yelled and still no sign of her except for that pet spider, Zoe, in her cage by Eve's bed. He bent down towards the furry spider, "have you seen Eve?" he grinned.
Zoe stared at Solan and climbed on the cage, clutching onto the side, blinking her eyes up at Solan. He shook his head, rubbing the back of his neck. "I'm talking to a spider..." he grumbled and left his sister's room to search elsewhere.
He came outside to the gardens and saw the bright sunlight beaming down on him. "Gods, Eve...I really hate when you do this!"
Eve pulled on the reins of her hose, Elijah, and came to the ocean only a few miles away from the palace. "Don't tell Solan about this Elijah," she whispered to the horse and she fed him some carrots. She giggled softly and rubbed the horse's nose. "Good boy," she took off her shoes and dipped her feet in the warm water. Slowly she kept walking into the sea getting her white dress soaked.
Elijah walked into the water with her and she groaned, pushing him away. "No, Elijah, stay on the sand!" she grunted and the horse pushed her with his nose and she fell into the water, squealing. "Elijah!" she rubbed her eyes from the salty sea water and now her hair was soaked. "You bad boy!" she frowned, splashing the water with her hands.
Solan came running outside and saw Eve swimming in the ocean. His eyes widened and he ran down the rocky hill. "Eve!" he called out and she turned to him, gasping, she swam out further into the sea. "Eve, no!" he grunted and hurt his ankle trying to run down the rocks, almost slipping in his path.
Eve swam out to the middle of the ocean and saw her older brother running towards her. She looked around and saw she was really far from the shore and Elijah laid down in the sand, watching her. She sighed and felt something grab her ankle. She yelped and curled her knees close to her, her heart beating faster. She glanced around and felt a fin graze her skin. She began breathing heavily, afraid of what might be below her.
Solan ran into the water, "Eve, don't move, I'm coming to get you!" he yelled out to her and dove into the water, swimming towards her.
Eve breathed heavily and saw a large fin rising above the water, swimming towards her. Her eyes widened and she began splashing trying to get away then saw another fin above the water, swimming behind her. "Solan!" she yelled as she felt trapped. "There's sharks!"
Solan frowned and dove under the water, swimming he saw two medium sized sharks circling Eve and kept rubbing against her feet. Eve kicked her legs in the water and he shook his head, swimming further, he went up the surface to breathe. "Eve, don't move!" he said and she looked at him with fear in her eyes.
He dove under the water and kicked one of the sharks in the face with his boot and the second shark came swimming towards him. His eyes widened and he felt his lungs tighten as he needed air. Eve kept swimming in place and the shark bit his ankle, refusing to let go. He screamed under water and punched the shark in his nose. The shark let go of his ankle and swam deeper into the ocean to the bottom of the floor.
He swam to the surface, gasping for air. He grabbed Eve, bringing her close to him. "What were you thinking?!" he yelled and she lowered her eyes feeling embarrassed of herself.
She wrapped her arms around his neck, "are you going to tell mother?" she asked quietly.
"It'll be our secret," he grinned and kissed her cheek. She smiled thanking her brother and kissed his cheek as he swam back with Eve holding onto him.
As they reached the shore Solan carried Eve and set her on the sand. He groaned and lifted his pants up to see a large gash on his ankle from the shark. Eve wringed out her dress from the water and saw the wound on her brother's ankle. "Solan!" she ran and knelt by him, touching his wound.
He hissed, "don't touch it!" he slapped her hand away and she frowned, feeling bad that her actions got her brother hurt. He cupped her cheeks in his hands, "Eve don't you ever do that again! You could have gotten hurt!"
Eve sighed heavily, "okay I promise I won't do it again. I'm really sorry, Solan," she muttered and he sighed, hugging her close to him.
Solan sighed as he told his mother the story that she never knew about. He felt his mother tense up at the shark part. "So, I decided not to tell you and promised Eve that I wouldn't."
Xena glared at him and hit his shoulder and he cringed. "You let her go into the ocean?!" she groaned.
He chuckled nervously, rubbing his arm, "it was a long time ago, mother! And she wasn't hurt either!" he tried to defend his little sister, though he saw his mother was upset, though she couldn't do anything about it now.
Gabrielle carried a box of scrolls and plopped the box onto the table. She swiped her brow and saw Xena walking with Solan. "This is the last of the scrolls from the library!" she smiled.
Xena came up to her and looked inside the box. "Wow, there's a lot of them. I never realized."
Gabrielle walked to Xena and grasped her shoulders firmly, "are we going to see Eve now?! I'm dying to see her and the children!" her eyes lit up and Xena smiled, nodding. "When do we leave?"
Solan folded his arms, "we can leave tomorrow morning?" he suggested.
"Sounds like a good idea," Xena smiled and Gabrielle hugged her tightly. "Gabrielle!" she laughed and now received one of those lung constricting hugs and realized that it wasn't super pleasant.
"I've been waiting for this day for five months, Xena! Don't spoil this moment for me," the blonde folded her arms, staring up at Xena.
Luca and Layla were sword fighting outside with wooden swords and Hatima sat outside watching them to make sure nothing happened. Luca smiled and growled at his sister, knocking her down on the hard sandy ground. "You are defeated, little sister!"
Layla frowned, "I'm not your little sister! We're born the same day, stupid!" she kicked her brother and he stumbled backwards into a large statue of a lion.
Luca groaned and rubbed his back. "I was born first! So that makes you my little sister!" he smiled and charged after her, climbing on top of her. Both of them dropped their swords and began rolling all over the ground together, fighting one another.
Samuel sighed and walked outside seeing his mother watch the two fighting on the ground. "Are they okay?" he felt worried.
Hatima smiled, "they're fine. They've been playing for two hours."
He folded his arms and watched Layla roll on top of her brother, fighting each other. "I don't want them to get hurt..."
His mother stood up and touched her son's cheek, "Samuel, they're children. You and your brothers would wrestle like this all the time." He sighed, nodding his head that his mother had a point. "Did you check on Eve?" she asked.
"Yes I did," he felt even more frustrated bringing that subject up. Eve was in her room taking a nap for the last hour and he spoke to her before she went to sleep. "The baby was supposed to be here two weeks ago!" he groaned, sitting down in his mother's chair, sulking to himself.
Hatima smiled and sat beside him in the empty chair, "don't worry about it, Samuel. The baby will come when it wants to."
He sighed heavily, folding his arms. "Is there something wrong? Is this normal?" he asked and she felt his anxiousness rising. She rubbed his arm and he felt a headache coming on as he kept thinking about Eve.
"If there was something wrong, I assure you, you would know," she kissed his cheek and he nodded, thinking to himself.
Luca and Layla ran up both of them, breathing heavily. Samuel smiled at them and Layla's hair was wild and they were both covered in sand. "Baba, did you see? I totally beat Layla!" Luca grinned.
Layla frowned, "I'll get you later," she brushed the sand off her sleeves and Samuel picked her up in his arms. Luca grabbed Hatima's hand and all of them walked back into the palace together. "Is the baby here yet?" she asked her father.
Samuel shook his head, "sorry Layla, no baby yet."
She sighed heavily, toying with her frizzy hair, "the baby is taking forever!" she exhaled dramatically and he smiled, kissing her forehead.
Hatima knelt down towards Luca, "I think you two need a bath," she ruffled his dark wavy hair and sand fell from his hair. She cringed and shook her hand from the sand left on her palm. "Definitely need a bath." She pat his back and he ran down the hallway to his bedroom. Samuel put Layla down and she ran after him.
"They are behaving much better than when they first got here," he mused and his mother wrapped her arm around him.
"Yes they're very good children!" she smiled. "I'm going to give them a bath before they get into any other messes again..." she sighed and hurried down the hallway to the twin's bedroom, hoping they didn't create a mess in the bathroom again.
As the sun set it began storming outside and a large clap of thunder erupted in the skies. Eve gasped, waking up in the bed then she turned and saw Samuel sitting in a chair close by the window, smoking out of his water pipe. "Samuel..." she called out softly and he blew out some smoke, turning towards her and a big smile crossed his face.
He walked over to her and leaned on the edge of the bed and kissed her gently, "you've been asleep for hours," he touched her cheek and she grinned, nestling her head back onto the pillows, laying on her side.
"How are the children?" she traced her finger along his bare arm and he laid beside her, sitting up against the pillows.
"They're with my mother. She's telling them stories. I checked on them an hour ago," he sighed and she scooted over closer to him and toyed with the laces on his sleeveless blouse. Her hand reached up under his tunic and his eyes widened, staring down at her. She had a sneaky smile on her face. "What are you doing..." he smirked.
She smiled and cupped his cheek, kissing his lips as her fingers started unlacing his blouse. She scooted closer and wrapped her leg around his. His eyes opened and he pulled her away for a moment. "Are you okay?" he asked skeptically.
Eve smiled and opened his blouse, her fingertips tracing along his bare chest. "Yes..." she whispered and kissed his lips again. He raised an eyebrow and touched her hair. She crawled on top of him and kissed his chest. His eyes widened and he cupped her cheeks.
"Eve, what about the baby?" he asked and she smiled, continuing to kiss his collar bone.
"What about the baby?" she asked, leaning down on his body and smiled up at him. He had a concerned look on his face and rested his hands on her hips.
He stammered, "well...I mean, I don't want to hurt you or anything," he said and she smiled, running her fingers through his hair.
"Samuel," she grabbed his hands off her hips and pinned his arms behind his head. "I'm fine, everything is fine," she grinned and kissed his lips again. He smiled at her feeling her breath against his cheeks.
A knock came to the door and Eve groaned, Samuel sighed. "What is it?" he called out.
The guard on the other side answered, "the Empress of Greece is here, your majesty!"
Samuel sighed heavily and was about to get up until Eve pushed him back down on the bed, still sitting on top of him. She chuckled under her breath and he blinked at her with wide eyes. "Tell her to wait!" Eve said and heard the footsteps of the guard disappear from the door. "Now...I have you to myself," she grinned deviously.
He didn't know what was going on with her but he wasn't about to push her away now. "I don't know what has gotten into you..." he said, surprised at the way she was acting and she continued kissing his neck softly.
Xena took off her soaked cloak and ran her fingers through her hair. Gabrielle took off her cloak as well and sighed, staring up at the empress. "It's really raining hard outside!" Gabrielle said with a smile.
Solan handed his coat to a maid and shook out his damp hair. "Yeah really," he groaned, feeling cold and wet. He always hated autumn in Persia, it rained far too much. "Where is Eve?" he asked, furrowing his brows, anxious to see his sister.
The guard ran into the hallway and bowed to all three of them. "Your highness," he said nervously and Xena lifted an eyebrow, "the princess is busy at the moment," he said kind of embarrassed. He was not expecting to hear her voice in the king's bedroom at all.
"She's...busy?" Xena asked, folding her arms and Solan frowned, not liking the sound of that and it probably meant that his sister was with Samuel.
Hatima smiled, walking into the entrance hallway. "Xena!" she said and the empress turned, smiling at the queen. "So nice of you to come! Eve is has been asking about you," she kissed Xena's cheek and the empress smiled anxiously, not quite used to the greetings the Persians did to their guests, even after all these years. The queen dismissed the guard and Solan's mouth gaped, he really wanted to know about his sister. "She's probably sleeping still," she offered and Xena folded her arms, not quite certain of that, though she really didn't want to know.
Xena sighed, "how is she?" she asked Hatima.
The queen shrugged her shoulder, "she's doing well, but Samuel has been worried about her." Xena and Gabrielle shared a concerned look with each other. Hatima smiled softly putting her hands up, "the baby was supposed to come two weeks ago and he's just worried about her that's all."
Gabrielle let out a sigh of relief and relaxed her elbow on Xena's shoulder. "I thought it was something serious!" she smiled and Xena smirked down at her. "Now...where are the little ones? I want to see them!" she grinned, too excited to contain herself.
Hatima chuckled at Gabrielle's excited face, "they're in the sitting room, reading together," she walked off gesturing them to follow her. Gabrielle skipped ahead and linked arms with the queen as they walked together.
Solan sighed, walking beside his mother, "I really wanted to see Eve," he said sadly.
Xena wrapped her arm around her son, "yes I know. Maybe she will come out of her room later?" she suggested and he nodded.
Luca and Layla sat on the sofa together, reading a sentence one after another in tandem. They heard the doors open and saw Gabrielle, Xena and Solan walk in with Hatima. "Gabby!" Layla jumped off the sofa and ran to her, hugging her legs tightly.
Gabrielle smiled and lifted the girl in her arms, "you are getting heavy," she said and Layla wrapped her arms around her neck, snuggling against her shoulder.
Luca ran up to Xena and she knelt down, wrapping her arms around the boy. He pulled away and touched her cheek, "where have you been?" he frowned.
Xena's eyes widened, "well, I've been very busy in Athens, working on the palace, you remember?" he nodded his head. "Maybe I will take you to see it once it's finished, would you like that?" she smiled.
"Yeah!" he grinned and tugged Hatima's dress, "teta Hatun, where is mommy?" he asked her.
Hatima bent down, touching the boy's cheek, "she's still in her room. I'm sure she'll come out later, okay?" she said and he sighed heavily. He hadn't seen her since this morning and she'd been in her room all day. He was very disappointed not being able to see her all day, though he did have fun playing with his sister and reading with his grandmother.
Gabrielle set Layla down and the girl grabbed her hand, pulling her to the sofa next to the large fireplace. "Gabby, come read with us!" she said and the blonde grinned, following her.
An hour after arriving Eve and Samuel entered the sitting room and Xena looked up with Luca sitting on her lap. Eve smiled seeing her mother and her brother as well as Gabrielle playing with the children. "Mother!" she walked forward and Xena set Luca down by Solan and embraced her warmly. "I was worried that you wouldn't come!"
Xena brushed Eve's hair behind her ears and kissed her forehead, "of course I was going to come!" she grinned and looked down at her daughter's belly and smirked, placing her hands on the baby. "So, two weeks late?" she lifted an eyebrow and Eve sighed.
Samuel folded his arms beside his wife and stared at Xena's subtle smirk on her face. "I wish it would hurry up and get here," he groaned, getting frustrated again. Eve squeezed his arm and smiled at him.
"Don't rush things Samuel," Xena said, "and don't worry I will be staying here awhile, just for you," she smiled impishly and pat the king's cheek. He cringed and looked to Eve for help but all she could do was laugh at his nervous face. She then was being pulled off by Luca again to join them in a game of chess. Samuel decided to teach them how to play since he had a lot of free time.
Samuel leaned in towards Eve, "your mother scares me," he whispered and Eve playfully hit him in the chest.
Solan left Layla's and Gabrielle's side to go greet his sister. He walked up to her with a sneaky smile and Eve's eyes widened. "Evie..." he extended his arms and she smiled nervously at him. He grabbed her and hugged her tightly.
"Solan!" she croaked as she could feel her breath leaving her body. He picked her up and she hit his arm. "Put me down!" she demanded.
Samuel frowned, "okay put her down, Solan," he said nicely, "be careful," he said softly and Solan put his sister back down on the floor. The blonde prince smirked at the king and wrapped his arm around him and the king winced, afraid he was going to hit him or something.
"You're taking good care of my sister, right?" Solan said and Samuel nodded. He pat Samuel's back harshly and the king grunted. "Good! You know, I'm starting to like you," he said and Samuel smiled nervously, adjusting his robes. "I would like you even more if you stop impregnating my sister, though," he folded his arms and Eve buried her face in her hands, shaking her head feeling embarrassed.
Samuel chuckled nervously, his cheeks reddening, "well, your sister is very beautiful," he said and brought Eve close to him.
Solan frowned, "I'll be watching you," he winked and ran back over to Gabrielle and Layla to observe how their game was going.
Samuel leaned in closer to Eve, "your brother is going to kill me one day," he hissed.
Eve laughed, "don't be ridiculous, Samuel." She grabbed his hand and walked over to sit by her mother and Luca.
A couple of days later Gabrielle and Xena decided to teach Luca and Layla the art of swordsmanship outside in the large atrium. Gabrielle held a large staff and swung towards Xena. The empress smirked, blocking her easily. The blonde lifted her eyebrow playfully and Xena swung her legs underneath Gabrielle, knocking her off her feet. The blonde yelped and fell on her back.
The twins giggled, covering their mouths. Xena twirled the staff in her hand, "and that is how you distract your enemy," she said and Gabrielle stood up, brushing the sand off her arms.
"She doesn't play nice," Gabrielle chided and Xena chuckled.
"What's the matter Gabrielle? Who's out of practice now?" she laughed and the children were enjoying the two arguing with one another.
Gabrielle laughed mockingly, "oh you're so funny," she swung the staff and wacked Xena's shins and then hit her in the spine. Xena groaned and jabbed the staff towards Gabrielle's midsection. Gabrielle's eyes widened and she kicked the staff before it came in contact with her. Xena's mouth gaped and Gabrielle took Xena's staff from her and twirled both of them in her hands. She then slammed the end of the staffs into the ground. "Lesson one, guys, subdue the enemy."
Xena frowned, folding her arms, feeling embarrassed of herself for letting her guard down once again. "Well played Gabrielle, but I will get you back later," she said with a subtle smirk.
Luca held his staff in his hands, "awesome! Teach me how to do that Gabby!" he grinned and Layla nodded her head, agreeing with her brother.
Gabrielle threw the staff back to Xena and winked at her. "Well you two need to learn the basics first," she leaned down and touched the back of Luca's neck. "This is a soft spot right here. If you hit your enemy in that exact spot, he will immediately become distracted." His eyes lit up in awe.
Xena smiled, "that is if you get close enough," she scoffed. Gabrielle rolled her eyes and then Xena wacked her rear end with the staff and Gabrielle yelped. The blonde's eyes widened and turned towards with her with a sneaky grin.
"You really want to lose again, don't you?" Gabrielle rubbed her backside feeling the stinging sensation.
Xena twirled her staff, "oh no Gabrielle, we are here to teach the children, remember?" she teased.
Eve sat with Hatima and Samuel in a small room, drinking mint tea together. Samuel kept talking to his mother about the lack of security around the border while Eve listened quietly to them both go back and forth. "I think we should arm the border with our men at all times, just in case. I don't trust Nimrood," Samuel said.
Hatima nodded, "alright, but what about Assyria? Allat can surely provide some security too since you are neighbors," she added and he rubbed his chin, thinking that would be a good idea, but then he would have to talk to Solan again and he wasn't looking forward to that at all. Solan was extremely hard headed like Xena was and it was almost impossible to convince that man to do anything against his original plans.
"Okay fine, but I don't want Solan anywhere near Allat when I talk to him!" he said and Hatima smiled, sipping her tea casually. Eve frowned, feeling a stabbing pain in her pelvis and she winced slightly, though the two monarchs kept talking with each other. Her eyes widened as the pain increased and she dropped the glass of tea on the floor, shattering into a million pieces.
Samuel turned around and frowned, seeing Eve gripping onto the arms of the chair. He set the glass down and came to her side, "Eve?" he brushed her hair away from her face and Eve closed her eyes, gasping loudly. He smiled, standing up, "finally!" he yelled aloud and Eve glared up at him.
Hatima stood up, "take her to her room," she said and her son nodded, lifting his wife out of the chair slowly, wrapping his arm around her.
They both made it out of the room and Eve stopped, bending over, clutching onto Samuel's arm. He held onto her firmly, "can you make it to the bedroom? It's not that far..." he said and she groaned loudly. "Alright then," he picked her up in his arms, carrying her down the hallway.
He gently laid her down on the bed and she frowned, trying to take off her caftan. "Take this off of me!" she said and Samuel hurried, taking the caftan off of her and threw it aside on a chair. She breathed heavily, her entire body becoming increasingly hot and it was not helping that she wore a long sleeved dress either. She reached behind her and tried unlacing the back of it.
Samuel sat on the bed, "let me help you," he offered and quickly untied the back of her dress as fast as he could. Eve's eyes widened and she grabbed his arm, squeezing tightly, moaning softly. "Holy God!" he cringed as her grip tightened. He shimmied the dress off her and threw it aside as well. He adjusted the straps of her black slip on her shoulder and he felt a little bit helpless.
Hatima came in with a bowl of water and tapped her son's shoulder, telling him to move. He stepped back and she sat down beside Eve, smiling at her. Eve clutched the sheets, bringing her knees closer to her she groaned in agonizing pain. "I want my mother!" she yelled out. Hatima turned towards her son and he nodded.
"I can do that," he grinned and hurried out of the room to go find Xena and Gabrielle.
If he remembered correctly both Xena and Gabrielle were still outside training the children and he ran outside hurrying to find them both. Gabrielle was showing Layla how to swing the staff properly while Xena was busy teaching Luca hand to hand combat.
He took a moment to catch his breath and called out, "Xena!" he said and the empress lifted her head at the breathless king. "Eve..." he exhaled, "she needs you."
Xena and Gabrielle shared a smile together. She knelt down towards Luca, "lesson is over for today, Luca," she pat his cheek and he had a look of disappointment on his little face. Xena walked briskly into the palace and Gabrielle kissed Layla's head before running off to catch up to Xena.
Layla and Luca dropped their staffs and ran towards their father as he was catching his breath, leaning on the column. Luca tugged on his pants, "where are they going?" he asked.
Samuel smiled bending down to see their confused faces. "They're going to help your mother," he explained and they frowned up at him.
Then realization hit Layla, "the baby is coming?!" she gasped, cupping her cheeks in her hands. Luca gasped as well and both of them ran inside the palace. Samuel groaned, not really happy about having to chase these two after all the running he did to get across the palace.
He ran inside and saw the two running to their mother's room. He caught up to them before they were about to open the door. He grabbed Layla by her dress and by Luca's blouse, lifting them both in the air. "You two are not going in there," he said and the children folded their arms. He set them down and saw the big frowns on their faces.
"But we want to see her," Luca pouted and Samuel smiled, kneeling down to their eye level.
"I know you do, but you can see her later, okay?" he said and both children sighed heavily.
Solan waltzed down the hallway and heard an ear piercing scream. He halted and his eyes widened hearing the sound of his sister. He saw the children standing beside Samuel and he grinned. "Well, it's about time, right?" Solan said and the children stood looking depressed that they couldn't see their mother. Solan knelt down in front of the two and smiled, "hey, do you two want to play a game?"
They both shook their heads, "no, we want to see mommy," Luca said and Eve screamed again. Both of their eyes widened and Solan chuckled seeing their shocked faces. He grabbed their hands and began walking off with them.
"Trust me guys, you don't want to go in that room," he said. "Do you guys want to pay chess?" he asked and Luca sighed heavily, both of them not really excited to play a game.
Samuel smirked and followed them and came to stand in front of them. "It's going to be awhile until you are able to see your mother, so why don't you go play a game?" he said and both children sighed deeply, obeying him, though they weren't too excited about it.
"Can we play marbles?" Layla looked up to Solan.
He nodded, "sure, whatever you want."
Luca gasped, pulling on Solan's arm, "can we also play jenga?"
Solan chuckled, "okay we can play that too."
Samuel watched the three walk off and exhaled heavily and slumped down in a chair outside of the room, waiting patiently. He already knew that this mother and Xena were not going to let him in like last time. He tapped his knee, waiting and waiting some more, though he heard Xena yelling at someone and that was never good.
Gabrielle exited the room and shut the door swiftly behind her and Samuel looked at her. She smiled nervously at him, "everything is fine," she said and then heard Xena yelling again and Samuel lifted an eyebrow.
"Are you sure about that?" he asked and she nodded.
"I need some...towels," she lamely said and he cringed in disgust. He waved his hand and brought over Kosem to direct her to give her the things that she needed. He watched her walk with Kosem to get the towels and he sighed, sinking down in the chair, folding his arms.
A few hours later Xena was in the room with Hatima standing beside her and Gabrielle sitting on the bed. Eve cringed as she felt another wave of pain hit her again. Xena took off her cloak and her blouse, feeling incredibly hot. She was in a tight long sleeved shirt and sighed, sitting on the edge of the bed. Eve grabbed her hand and Xena's eyes widened. Her daughter screamed and Gabrielle stuffed Eve's mouth with a cloth. Eve gripped her mother's hand tightly and Xena felt her bones begin to pop.
Gabrielle frowned sadly, "for Zeus' sake when can we give her the valerian root?!" she really didn't like to see Eve in pain and the three of them couldn't do anything about it.
Eve let go of her mother's hand and Xena gasped heavily, wiggling her fingers, her bones popping back in place. Xena rubbed her hand, "not yet," she sighed and Gabrielle took the cloth out of Eve's mouth. Xena smiled at her daughter and brushed her hair away from her face. "You're doing a great job, Evie," she winked.
Eve frowned, "I haven't done anything..." she said flatly. Hatima nervously stood behind Xena and kept picking at her nails. Xena turned around to see the queen's anxiousness.
"Hatima, would you stop?" Xena frowned and the queen quit picking at her fingernails. Eve cringed as she felt the pain return and Gabrielle stuffed her mouth with the cloth again.
"Xena, just give the root to her!" Gabrielle said and Xena sighed, standing up to crush the valerian root into the hot water. Once she was finished she sat back down on the bed and Gabrielle took the cloth out of Eve's mouth for the millionth time.
Xena held up the bowl towards Eve and her daughter shook her head, closing her lips. "I don't want to drink that!" she protested and Xena frowned.
"You will drink it!" Xena pinched Eve's cheeks and she kept refusing, pulling away from her mother. Eve slapped the bowl out of her mother's hands away and Xena gasped. "Eve!" she groaned and her daughter moaned out in pain.
Gabrielle slapped her forehead, feeling her blood pressure rising. "This is not the time to get angry, Xena," she reminded her and Xena glared at her.
Xena sighed, trying to calm her nerves, she reached beneath Eve's dress and Eve reared her head back on the pillows, clutching onto Gabrielle's hand. Xena pulled her hand away and wiped her arm off with a cloth. Hatima lingered behind her. "Something wrong?" the queen asked.
Xena shook her head, "forget the valerian root," she stood up and washed her hands thoroughly. "It isn't going to work," she said and Gabrielle looked confused.
Eve exhaled slowly and stared at her mother, "I want...Samuel," she pleaded, breathing heavily and Xena dried off her hands staring at her daughter. "Please!" she begged and Xena threw down the cloth on the bed and walked over to the door.
She opened the door and found Samuel sleeping in a chair. She kicked his leg and he was startled, jumping in the seat. "Wake up," Xena said and he blinked up at her. "You're wanted."
He stood up smiling, "really?" he asked and Xena lifted an eyebrow at him.
"Get in there before I change my mind," she said and he nodded, brushing passed her. She rolled her eyes and closed the door behind her, coming back into the room.
Samuel walked over to the bed and smiled down at Eve. She grinned up at him and he kissed her sweaty forehead, gripping her hand. "How are you?" he asked and she winced and he frowned seeing her in a lot of pain. Gabrielle scooted closer to her and pulled Eve's hair back behind her on the pillows.
Xena tapped Samuel's shoulder and he turned around. "You can sit there," she pointed to the chair next to the bed. He smiled and sat in the chair, still holding Eve's hand. Obviously, the king couldn't wipe that smile off his face and Xena sighed, sitting on the bed beside her daughter. "Alright Eve," she grinned mischievously and rolled her sleeves up, spreading Eve's legs apart.
Samuel's eyes widened and he heard Eve scream loudly and felt the bones in his hand cracking and popping. He was too busy, focusing on Xena he didn't even realize his wife's tight grip.
Three hours later Solan sat with the twins in their room and so far they had played three games of chess and he let Layla win one round and Luca another. Their skills were nothing compared to Eve's when she was their age, but they would learn, he thought.
Luca laid out on the floor staring at the ceiling. "What is taking so long?!" he griped and Solan chuckled. "It's dark outside!" he said and Layla crawled over to sit on her uncle's lap.
"Babies take a long time, sorry," Solan said and Luca sighed dramatically, rolling over on his stomach, toying with the King chess piece, completely bored. "You guys took two days to get here!"
Layla's eyes widened, "wow that's a long time," she admitted quietly. "Babies take their time," she said and Solan held in his laughter, though Layla was being completely serious.
"Hey, why don't we go take a walk outside?" Solan suggested and both of them smiled, getting off the floor running to the door. "Wait for me!" he said and grunted, running after them. He quickly grabbed their cloaks and ran to catch up to them. For such little creatures, they sure could run very fast. He hated chasing children and it reminded him of Eve when she was little.
Meanwhile, Xena sat in front of Eve, super concentrated and Samuel waited patiently in the chair beside the bed, holding Eve's hand. Xena's face broke out in a smile, "Samuel, come here," she said and he was reluctant.
He stood up, still holding Eve's hand and peered over next to Xena. His eyes widened, "dear God in heaven..." he muttered, seeing a lot of blood all over Xena's arms and on the sheets as well. He turned away and Xena grabbed his arm, pulling him closer.
"Stop being such a chicken," Xena teased and Eve groaned with the cloth in her mouth, holding onto Gabrielle's hand. Samuel looked down and finally, Xena held the baby in her arms and he smiled widely, staring at the small infant. Xena cleaned off the crying infant and wrapped him in a soft blanket. She looked up at Samuel's shocked face. "Do you want to hold him?" she asked.
Samuel blinked, "a boy?" he smiled and she gently handed him the baby and he carefully held the baby in his arms. Xena cleaned off her arms and looked over to Gabrielle with a smug grin on her face. He leaned over the bed and Eve sighed heavily. "Look, Eve!" he grinned and sat on the bed close to her. She grinned and sat up, leaning on the pillows.
He handed her the baby and Eve smiled down, looking at her son in her arms. She touched his head and frowned, "he has blonde hair," she said and Xena chuckled under her breath.
"I'm sure Solan will be happy to hear that," she said and got up off the bed, Gabrielle following her. She sighed and washed her arms in the water basin. "Thank the gods that is over," she teased.
Gabrielle grinned, "whatever Xena, you enjoyed it," she nudged her with her elbow.
A half hour later Solan walked inside the palace with the children walking beside him. They were not tired apparently but he was and these two were exhausting. He saw his mother and Gabrielle talking quietly outside the door and he smiled.
Xena turned and saw the children both yawning, quite tired. They approached her and she knelt down in front of the children. "Would you two like to see your mother now?"
Their eyes immediately lit up and weren't tired anymore. "Yeah!" both said and Xena put her finger to her mouth and they shut their mouths.
"You have to be really quiet, can you two do that?" she whispered and they nodded their heads excitedly.
Gabrielle grabbed both of their hands and went inside the room. They could barely contain their excitement and Xena sighed heavily. Solan smirked at her. "What?" she asked.
"So, tell me! Is it a boy or a girl?" he was eager to know.
She raised an eyebrow, "a boy," she said and he smiled brightly. "And he has blonde hair."
"Alright, finally!" he grinned and she rolled her eyes, shaking her head.
Gabrielle entered the room with the two anxious children, "I brought some visitors," she said and Eve smiled. Luca and Layla ran to the bed and climbed on top, crawling over to their mother.
Luca leaned in and saw the small baby in his mother's arms sleeping soundly. "Wow, it's so small!" he whispered and Samuel smirked.
"You two have a brother," Samuel said and Layla's eyes lit up and Luca smiled.
"I knew it was a boy!" the boy said and cuddled close to his mother. "What's his name?" he whispered.
Eve stared down at her son and smiled, "his name is Adam."
Layla crawled closer on the other side of Eve and looked at the small baby. "Adam," she repeated, "he's so cute," she grinned. She touched her baby brother's soft hair and couldn't stop staring at him, fascinated with him. "Hi," she whispered and Eve chuckled softly.
Gabrielle left the room leaving them alone for awhile. She came outside and saw Solan standing by the door and looked down to see Xena passed out in the chair. She covered her mouth, trying not to laugh. "wow," she couldn't believe it.
Solan nodded, folding his arms, "she's exhausted," he whispered.
"I see that," Gabrielle said and waved her hand over Xena's eyes but she was dead. "Yeah, she's gone."
Solan smiled and lifted his mother in his arms effortlessly. Xena's arm became limp and she lolled her head back. He walked to the guest room she stayed in and Gabrielle walked beside him. "She's going to kill you once she finds out you carried her to her room."
He shrugged, "she'll get over it," he joked.