Author's Notes: I was slightly miffed at how little everyone else was present after Dragon of Despair. I wanted to expand a little more on what happened to all those except Firekeeper, Blind Seer and Derian. Hopefully it isn't too bad. If anyone wants to critique it fine by me, no flames though. And I left all my books at home, so if there are any canon mistakes I will hopefully find them and fix, if not I won't be offended if they are pointed out. Enjoy!

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Sapphire hated Shad at the moment. Never has she felt such pain before, even from her mother's enchantments! The excruciating agony of her child clawing its way out of her body to join the world makes her want to cause her husband pain at least equal to that which she is experiencing. She hates Shad because he must only watch while she fights for her life during childbirth, his part long done. Later she will realize how unfair such thoughts are, after all e is worried for both her and their unborn child, but at the moment, the pain overrides logic and pushes her to the breaking point. Said husband is now pacing back and forth halfway across the room after Sapphire threw a cup at him moments ago.

"Push your majesty." The midwife orders. "Only a little more." The sweet voice of the older woman should be calming her nerves, but her temper gets the best of the Crown Princess of Bright Haven.

"You have been saying that for hours. I want this child out of me now." Sapphire sounds more a spoiled child than a Princess, and a warrior to boot.

"Dear one, she is just trying to help." He walks toward her again in the hopes of helping his wife. Shad's logical and lilting voice tries to give comfort, comfort she is not able to receive at the present time. Her anger is too close to the surface and the pain too sharp to allow her to think with a cooler head.

"This, this is your fault! I Hate YOU!" The last word turning into a rather loud scream when another contraction hits. Her energy almost spent, she allows herself to fold when it ends and the Warrior Princess looks rather defeated. There was little present of that fierce 

fighter that saved Shad's life during King Allister's War, or the woman who faced the pirate keep that killed her adopted sister a few years before.

Frowning the midwife snaps. "Nature does not care if you are royalty or common-born, the baby comes out when it is ready and not a moment sooner. Stop taking it out on your husband, it is your duty to carry this child, both for him and for your kingdoms. Stop acting like a child denied her sweets. Now push. I can see the head. Princess." The midwife's voice calms toward the end, mellowing down from her angry state now that she has said her piece and forced the princess to listen.

Sapphire's blue eyes widens to epic proportions, miffed because a commoner had the gall to order the Princess about. Then she realizes the woman has a point. This is her duty, without her child the succession would be thrown into chaos when she passes on to the ancestors. She owed it to her people, to her husband and to King Tedric who elevated her to Princess. Without her child it would be worse than Uncle Tedric's succession, because if she failed then two kingdoms would fall. The same two kingdoms that were supposed to become one when both Kings Tedric and Allister passed onto the ancestors leaving their heirs to rule over a single kingdom, all of this was on her shoulders to ensure the success of her elders' plans. Instead of chiding the woman for her rudeness Sapphire steels herself to make it through this ordeal. She has endured worse, she must tell herself over and over, after all she escaped Melina's hold over her mind and her life. With that she pushes and pushes until she hears a baby's wail and her husband cry of joy.

"Princess you have a healthy baby boy" are the last words said Princess hears before blacking out, more from exhaustion than anything else.

--

Still sweaty and sore Sapphire awakes an indeterminable amount of time later to see her young husband sitting at her bedside holding a small bundle wrapped in soft pale blue blanket.

"Look Sweetie, your mama is waking up. I am sure she will be happy to meet such a strong little boy." The former Naval officer seems right at home holding the small boy in 

his arms rocking him gently. His blue-green eyes sparkle with excitement as he glances back between his wife and son, a goofy smile similar to the one he wore for days after the wedding plasters his face making him look even younger than before. "You did wonderfully Sapphire, just wonderfully. And look it was worth it!"

Feeling sheepish for her earlier words, Sapphire opens her mouth, "Shad, how can you ever forgive me, I didn't mean those terrible things I said, the threats I made. I feel like such a fool." She folds her hands in her lap and hangs her head down so her blue black hair covers her face. Now that it is over she is lost, unsure what to do. She wants nothing more than to pick up her little boy, their future, but she doesn't feel worthy.

Smiling gently Shad carefully shifts the quiet baby to his left arm and pushes his wife's hair out of her face. "I took none of that seriously. I was the eldest of four and I can remember the twins being born. That was a sight, no sound to behold. I thought Mother was actually going to kill father, and I was on the other side of the house! You have nothing to apologize for, I wanted to take away your pain, but that is sadly a burden women must bear alone. Now hold your baby boy, he has been itching to meet his mama." With that the proud father hands over the bundle of joy to his slightly older wife. "The midwife gave her a little goats milk, but said you should feed him as soon as you awoke, the physician should be here any minute now that you have awoke to check on you."

Sapphire's face lights up when she lays eyes on her daughter, Shad was right, it was worth it. It was worth the morning sickness, the growing stomach, the mood swings, and the painful birth. It was worth all of that just to see her child, her beautiful baby girl. A tiny new life that would one day become the hope of a brand new nation. Smiling at the small baby now suckling her breast Sapphire felt the first maternal feelings course through her. The warrior Princess was still there, but she will step back for a little while, to allow Sapphire to enjoy being a mother.

"How about we call him Sun?"



Shad's smile grows wider. "I love it. I love you." And with that he kisses gently on the lips careful not to crush the newborn. The young couple relishing in their time alone to just enjoy each other's company before they had to once again had to become Crown Prince and Crown Princess with the hopes of two nations on their young shoulders.