The next day, Sorsha was nervous as she made her way out of the palace to visit Octavian. She walked slower through the woods than usual, taking time to think things over once again in her head. Finally, her thoughts overran her heart and she began to cry just before reaching Octavian. He saw the tears streaming down her cheeks and immediately began comforting her.
"Shhh, things are going to be alright. I promise," he said reassuringly.
"No they are not. We have a child coming into this world and I haven't even broken the news to my parents that I am married. How do you think they are going to react when I not only tell them that I'm married, but having a child as well?" Sorsha cried.
"If your mother and father are the kind people you have portrayed them to me as, they will forgive you and rejoice in the situation. Don't fret until we are sure of how they will react," Octavian said as he lovingly wrapped his arms around her waist, resting them on her stomach as if to protect their child.
Sorsha sighed and rested her head against his shoulder. Perhaps he was right. Even as a child, her parents were always forgiving when it came to herself and Lizzie. For right now, she was content to be affectionate with her husband whom she had not seen in days. She loved the way he caressed her cheek just before he kissed her. He picked her up and carried her into his hut.
Later, she lay stretched out on the bed. Octavian was tracing patterns with his fingers along her stomach where the baby was. As he traced the patterns, he was smiling at the thought of his child. Sorsha loved it when he smiled because he rarely did so. Being a warrior, he didn't really smile at most things that normal people would. In these instances, Sorsha thought smiling softened his features more. She wondered that once the baby had come, would he smile more? For now, she didn't know, but she definitely hoped so.
After lying down for a while, Sorsha realized that it was time to go.
"I have to get back to tell them," she replied as she gently pushed through the bombardment of kisses begging her to stay. "Come with me. I want them to meet you right away if they are not too angry with me."
"Alright," he replied, "I will come with you on one condition."
"What is that?" she asked.
"No matter what they say, you come home with me. We have not spent one whole night together since we were married and I would like to have you to myself without the fear of being caught," he said.
"I agree," Sorsha said kissing him again.
"Let's go then," Octavian said.
They set off for the palace together. The walk back to the palace was quicker than the walk to Octavian's house Sorsha noticed. Once they had arrived back at the palace, Sorsha immediately took Octavian to her room to keep him safe and unseen. Once she was sure that he was fine, she set off to find her parents to tell them.
She found them in the library. Her mother was reading quietly and her father was studying some maps to figure out where he should go hunting next. Both of them noticed her coming in and smiled.
"Good morning sweetheart," Dani said.
"Good morning mother, good morning father," Sorsha replied.
"Good morning," he father said.
"You weren't at breakfast this morning, are you feeling alright?" Dani asked in concern for her daughter.
"I was not feeling very well this morning, but I am better now," Sorsha said, "There is something important that I must discuss with both of you."
"What is it dear?" Lancelot asked.
"Well, do you remember telling me that one day I would marry someone of my choosing?" Sorsha asked cautiously.
"Yes," both of her parents replied in unison.
"I did find someone that I choose," she started before being interrupted.
"That's wonderful!" exclaimed Dani. "We'll start making wedding plans right away. Oh, this is so wonderful, a daughter getting married."
"Congratulations," Lancelot said, "I am so proud of you."
"No, you don't understand," Sorsha said.
"What don't we understand sweetie?" Dani asked.
"I'm already married!" Sorsha exclaimed.
The room went totally silent for a few agonizing moments. Sorsha watched as her parents stared at her in disbelief. Silently, she prepared herself for her parents' wrath to come down upon her. She reminded herself not to get upset and remember the baby's health as well as her own. After a few more moments, her parents finally broke the silence.
"Explain yourself," Lancelot said, controlling his anger.
"I have been seeing a man for several months and three months ago he asked for my hand in marriage and I accepted. He is a Woad, so we married in a Woadish ceremony," Sorsha explained.
"So, instead of waiting until you turn eighteen, you run off and get married to a Woad?" Lancelot screamed.
"Darling, don't be too harsh. She fell in love, just like we did. And you forget, I'm a Woad as well, so don't judge her choice when you made that same choice years ago," Dani said, trying to be the voice of reason.
"I love him, father, and he loves me. You've always told me that the day Lizzie and I were born, you promised us that we could marry whomever we choose. I choose Octavian because I love him," Sorsha said as tears fell down her cheeks. "I am happy with him and we're going to have a child as well, but it seems you don't want to be a part of my new life."
Almost instantly, Lancelot's anger towards his daughter softened and he said, "I'm sorry I acted like that. I am just so afraid of losing you and Lizzie. You are my only children and I love you so much."
"It is alright father, I understand that you were only trying to protect me, but that is no longer your job. That is Octavian's job now and he's done a great job at it so far," Sorsha said embracing her parents in a hug.
"When can we meet him?" Dani asked.
"Right now if you would like to," Sorsha replied.
"Let's meet him then," Lancelot said.
Sorsha led her parents down the hall to her room and opened the door to reveal Octavian standing there. At first he didn't know how to react, but Sorsha motioned for him to come out of her room. He came out and joined Sorsha with her parents. Introductions were given and they began to talk. Sorsha was happy to see that her father and husband were getting along. The men began to have their own conversation about hunting so Sorsha and Dani decided not to disturb them. After all, the whole point was to get them to get along. Sorsha placed her hand protectively over her stomach as she watched her father and husband talk.
"I used to do that before I had you and Lizzie," Dani said.
"It helps me feel closer to the baby," replied Sorsha, smiling at her mother.
"You know, this is going to be the start of something new for you. A new life coming into this world is one of the best things that can happen to you. I remember the day you and Lizzie came into my life. You two were the most beautiful little girls that I had ever seen in my life. Then, I watched you grow everyday of your life until now. You're all grown up and having a child of your own. I prayed for this kind of happiness for you and your sister the day you were born," Dani said.
"I want you there when this child comes into the world. I want you, Lizzie, Rose, and Aunt Guinevere there with me," Sorsha requested.
Dani nodded and replied, "Of course we'll be there. Nothing would keep me away from you on that day. It is one of the most important days of your life," Dani said as she embraced her daughter.
(Many months later)
Octavian stood outside a wooden door, pacing the floor back and forth. There was a look of anxiety written on his face. Never in his life had he felt this nervous about anything and he was a warrior. Lancelot and Arthur sat against the wall, watching young Octavian pace the floor and quietly chuckling at him.
"Come and sit down son, everything will be fine. She's in good hands, now just be patient," Lancelot said as Arthur nodded in agreement.
"I can't just sit down knowing she's in there without me, doing through this ordeal alone," replied Octavian.
"But she's not alone. Lizzie, Rose, Guinevere, and Dani are all in there with her, so everything will be fine. Don't tire yourself out before your child even arrives. Trust me, you'll need all the energy you can get once the little one gets here," Arthur said, nudging Lancelot's side and laughing.
Octavian continued to pace the floor in worry for his wife and unborn child.
Inside the room, Sorsha had been in labor for several hours and was tiring out fast. The midwives were buzzing about the room, getting things ready such as blankets, hot water, and a tiny cradle by Sorsha's bed. Dani sat beside her daughter, taking a damp cloth and wiping her face. Lizzie sat near her twin, holding her hand through each wave of pain that she felt. After a few more waves, the midwife looked up at Sorsha with a glimmer of optimism in her eyes.
"My lady, are you ready to see your child?" she asked.
"Yes," Sorsha said.
"Push," the midwife said as Sorsha pushed down with all of her might.
The pain was excruciating and Sorsha began to cry in agony. Dani calmed her down.
"It's almost over, sweetie. Just a few more moments and you'll see your baby," Dani said comfortingly.
"One more push, my lady. Just one more," the midwife urged.
Sorsha pushed down one last time with all of her might. Just as she thought she would die of pain, she heard a tiny cry.
"You have a baby," the midwife said.
Sorsha laid her head back in relief on the pillow behind her. Hearing the baby's cry was music to her ears. It was a welcome relief.
"What is it?" Sorsha asked as the midwives were cleaning the baby up, but she got her answer when they turned around to bring the baby to her. The tiny babe was wrapped in a pink blanket. Sorsha reached out and took her baby into her arms for the first time. She was perfect.
After being cleaned up, Sorsha was allowed to rest. The midwife opened the door and let Octavian, Lancelot, and Arthur in. Octavian rushed to his wife's side.
"Isn't she beautiful?" Sorsha asked as Octavian kissed first her forehead, then their daughter's.
"She is perfect," he replied.
"I think I'm going to call you Alysa Marie," Sorsha said kissing the baby's nose.
"I like that name," Octavian said.
The rest of the family looked on with joy. The next generation had been brought into the world and all was at peace. Three generations of family stood within one room. The past, present, and future.
A/N: And so ends our tale here. I hope you have enjoyed reading this story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let me know if you think there should be a sequel or companion story to this. This final chapter is dedicated to all my readers who have reviewed and given me encouragement. Thank you.