Misadventures in Overland Chapter 13
Alannah squeezed Alice's hand, speaking softly to her. "You're going to be just fine, Alice. Mirana and I both know what we are doing, and I've given birth before. So just relax and let nature take its course."
They were in a bedchamber in Marmoreal. Alice had woken that morning with horrible contractions, and Tarrant had insisted that she go and see Mirana. Alannah had offered to accompany her, and together they had located the Queen. She had quickly determined that Alice was about to give birth, and had moved her to one of the nicer bedchambers.
Alice gritted her teeth in pain as another contraction raced through her, and she whimpered. Her pregnancy had fortunately been a very easy one, but now she was wondering if she was strong enough to give birth. "Alannah, I'm scared. What if something happens to my child? Or to me? What will Tarrant do?"
Alannah looked at her, a serious expression on her face. "Alice. Nothing is going to happen to either of you. You are a very strong woman, and that child is just as strong. You have nothing to fear. Now, how about we try and get your child born? Would that be agreeable to you?"
Alice laughed, and then winced. "Yes, extremely." She looked over at Mirana, who was standing nearby. "If it's possible, I'd like for Tarrant to be in here with me." Mirana smiled.
"That would be quite possible. Alannah, if you would go and fetch him, please? I do believe he's in his Shop at the moment."
Alannah nodded, and then left the chamber, heading towards Tarrant's shop. She stopped in front of the door, grinning as she heard him muttering in Outlandish.
"No, that's no good. Nor that. Och, I need tae create the perfect hat for my wee baibin."
Alannah shook her head in amusement and knocked briskly on the door. It was opened a few moments later, and Tarrant pouted at Alannah. "Yes, Alannah? Do you have something of vital import to tell me? Because if not..."
Alannah grinned. "Well, I suppose it is something quite important, at least to you, but in the grand scheme of things, no, it's not terribly important, but it is something quite wonderful. Alice is about to give birth, and she wants you with her."
Tarrant's jaw dropped. "She….she's….Calloo! Callay!" He whooped in joy, and then tore past Alannah, running as fast as he could towards the bedchamber. Alannah laughed, and then followed after.
Tarrant reached the bedchamber, and then flew over to where Alice lay. She smiled up at him. "Tarrant. You are just in time, love. Thank you so much for coming."
Tarrant gazed at her, his eyes a deep blue. "Alice, my little Alice. I would not have missed this for all the tea in Underland. I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am."
Alice smiled, and then gasped sharply as a strong contraction hit her. Tarrant looked at her in alarm. "Alice! Are you alright?"
Alice nodded, gritting her teeth. Alannah came forward, placing her hand on Tarrant's shoulder. "She's going to be fine, Tarrant. Why don't you go sit with her? I'm sure she could use the support."
Tarrant nodded, and then climbed into bed, wrapping his arms around Alice. She leaned into him, smiling. "You make a fine arm chair, love. Although I must say, there's a distinct lack of padding." Tarrant grinned.
"I like to stay in shape, love. Now, what happens next?" He looked at Alannah. "You've done this before. What does Alice have to do now?"
Alannah grinned. "She has to push. Tarrant, be prepared to have your hand squeezed quite tightly. Alice, you're ready. Go ahead and push."
Alice bit her lip, and then bore down, pushing with all her might. She screamed in pain, squeezing Tarrant's hand in a vice like grip. He whimpered, but otherwise remained silent. Alice panted in exertion, and then continued to push, Tarrant whispering words of encouragement in her ear. "You're almost there, love. Just a few more moments and we'll see our child."
Alice gritted her teeth, bearing down with every ounce of strength she had, and was rewarded by the sharp wail of an infant. "Is it a boy or a girl?"
Alannah came forward, gently wrapping the baby in a cloth. "It's a girl, Alice. And I do believe she's going to have her father's hair." She held the baby up, and Tarrant grinned. Sure enough, there was a shock of bright orange hair on her head. "Makes her look very distinctive, don't you think, Alice?"
Alice was about to reply when another contraction hit her, and she looked at Alannah in fright. "Should I still be having contractions? I thought they ended after the baby was born!" Alannah checked her, and then beamed.
"They do. Alice, you have another child coming. I do believe you are going to have twins!" Alice gawped at her.
"Twins? Oh! Tarrant! Did you hear that? We're having twins!"
Alannah laughed at the expression of shock and awe on Tarrant's face. "Not what you expected is it?" she laughed.
Tarrant shook his head, grinning. "No, but it is quite wonderful, quite marvelous, quite exciting, quite…"
"Tarrant!" Alice exclaimed. He blushed. "I'm fine. Has the baby been born yet?" He grinned wider as Alannah held up another child.
"Why, yes, Tarrant. I do believe it has been. I also believe that this one is a boy. Congratulations, you are the father of twins. Would you care to hold them?"
Alice and Tarrant nodded eagerly, and Alannah came forward, placing the girl in Alice's arms and the boy in Tarrant's. "There you are. They're both quite beautiful, if I do say so myself. I think the boy is going to have his mother's hair and eyes. Do you have names for them?"
Tarrant tore his gaze away from his son to nod to Alannah. "The names I told you in the kitchen of Alice's home. Arianna and Josiah, after my sister and brother."
Alannah smiled. "Those are excellent names, Tarrant. Again, my deepest congratulations to both of you. Now, I think perhaps Alice could do with a bit of a rest, and so could these little ones. Therefore, I shall say fairfarren." She curtseyed to Mirana, and then left the room. Tarrant and Alice watched her go, and then Tarrant returned his attention to Alice. "Well done, love."
Alannah walked into the cottage, collapsing on the couch next to Stayne. He smiled, pulling her into his arms. "How did the birth go? Was there any surprises?"
She laughed, nodding her head. "There was a very big surprise. Alice had twins. A boy and a girl."
Stayne grinned. "That's marvelous! I'm sure Katarina will be pleased to hear that. She kept insisting that Alice was going to have a girl."
Alannah smiled, and then kissed him. "She's a clever one. They both asleep?" At Stayne's nod, she grinned wickedly. "Good, because I plan on ravishing you."
Stayne grinned happily. "An excellent idea, Milady."