He felt so dirty, having a mistress. Yet it wasn't his fault, his advisors had told him it was necessary. The Queen had yet to produce an heir and she had had three years to do so. England needed an heir they needed to see the promise that their future was protected from a power struggle. The problem Derek had wasn't so much with having the mistress it was the fact that he had allowed himself to fall for her. Her beautiful golden locks in such strict contrast with his Queen's red ones. Her pale skin and young face a contrast with his wife's old wrinkles. It wasn't that his wife was unbeautiful it was just that no one could compare with the mistress he had found.
She was truly a perfect match for him in every way. The only time he did not enjoy her company was when she felt the need to temper her tongue around her father. When she did that he found her rather boring, not to the extent that he would disown her or turn his favor away from his girl but to the extent that he entertained conversations with her brother rather than her.
Yet because of recent developments he had more access to her. He knocked on her door and her brother George came to answer it like he always did. "Hello my liege," he greeted kindly as he always did.
"Hello George, I've come to see Meredith," he smiled.
"My sister is in her bed, just as the doctor ordered," George invited him inside.
"It is truly a hard occupation, being pregnant," Derek said stepping inside.
"I'm sure it'd be less of an ordeal if it were not the king's child she bore in her womb."
"Tis probably true," Derek chuckled and entered her room. "Hello my dear," he smiled. "I think you've grown once again," he sat on the side of her bed and stroked her round stomach.
"I have not," she smiled. "The doctor says I'm ready to pop any minute so there's no way I'm growing anymore," she said determinedly.
"Alright," he said holding his hands up. "Whatever you say," he leaned over and kissed her lightly. "Tell me Meredith," he looked deep into her eyes, "do you enjoy my visits?"
"Yes very much," she said her eyes looking troubled and confused.
"And making this," he stroked her stomach, "did you enjoy that as well?"
Her cheeks blushed crimson at him innuendo. "Yes," she stuttered a bit.
"Good well I-"
"My liege!" Rose's voice flooded the room.
"Oh hello," he turned from Meredith and looked at Rose. "How are you today miss?"
"Well I'm alright," she said batting her eyelashes. "I wanted to get some new things from the shops however but I don't have a male to escort me. I don't mean to be a bother but do you think you could help me?"
"You won't be long will you?" he asked.
"No not at all," she smiled at him. "I'm so grateful you're coming with me," she smiled.
"I'll be back," he smiled to Meredith and exited the house with her.
Meredith sat in her bed twiddling her thumbs. She was very nervous that her sister was going out with the king. Not just the king though he wasn't just that anymore, he was her king. He was the father of her baby.
Her eyebrows suddenly knitted together as she felt dampness between her legs. She reached her hand below the covers and felt the wetness beneath her nightgown. She brought her hand back up and saw blood, she instantly panicked.
"Derek!" she screamed. "Derek!" she was hoping he was still within earshot. She knew that George had gone out to the market, why hadn't Rose gone with him. "Derek!"
"Meredith," his voice burst through her house.
"Help!" she called. "Something's wrong!"
He burst through the door anxiously but he instantly looked calm once again. "Meredith darling nothing's wrong," he soothed.
"Look," she held her hand up showing the blood.
"Where's it from?" he rushed to her side concerned.
She threw the blanket from her body to reveal the blood pooling around her body. "Do you see anything?" she asked becoming scared.
"Um yes pardon my reach but," he pulled her panties aside. "Meredith sweety does your doctor live nearby?"
"No I don't think so, he always brings his horse," she said. "Why?" she asked nervously.
"Then pardon my reach," he said. "I was training to be a doctor," he began speaking calmly as he slid his hand into her most private area. "While my older brother was alive," he looked at her both to engage her in the conversation and to see her reaction.
"I'm sorry about your brother," she muttered in pain. "Where is my sister?"
"I left her when I heard you call me," he said.
"Derek," she asked and he looked up. "What's wrong, just tell me," she murmured.
He hesitated for a moment, "the baby is coming out but there's something wrapped around it. I think I can fix the baby but it may hurt you," he looked truly torn.
"Do it," she said and his eyes snapped up to hers. "Save our baby," she insisted.
He nodded somewhat dumbfounded by her blatant disregard for her own life. Didn't she know this was dangerous didn't she know that trying to manipulate the baby inside of her could kill her. He swallowed and began removing whatever it was from around the baby. When he was satisfied with his work he looked back at her. "Ok push," he urged her.
She nodded her brow already sweaty and her lip swollen and bloody. For a second Derek was confused. Oh, of course it was bloody she bit it to keep from screaming and alarming him while he was working. She hadn't wanted him to know it hurt because then he might have stopped. She was an incredible woman.
Soon Derek was holding his son in his arms. "Meredith," he said excited. "Meredith it's a boy," he was overjoyed. He looked to her and saw her eyes fluttered closed and her breathing shallow. "No, no Meredith don't do this, don't die," he said setting his boy on a pile of blankets.
"Where did you go?" he heard a voice ask.
"Don't come in here," he called back not wanting to alarm Rose with all of the blood and Meredith unconscious. He was focused on Meredith, on keeping her alive and with him, so much so that he didn't notice the figure slip in and out of the room. Meredith came back to him in gasping breaths. "Come on," he soothed picking her up. "I'm going to put you in an ice bath, it'll keep you conscious."
"What was it?" Meredith asked. "Our baby what was it?"
"It was a boy Meredith, you gave me a son," he kissed her head.
Tears began falling down her cheeks and a smiled painted itself on her face. "Where is he?" she asked.
"He's right," Derek stopped as a cold chill ran through his entire body. "Stay here," he ordered as he set her in the unfilled tub and sprinted from the room. His eyes darted everywhere wondering how this could have happened. For nine months he had kept her and it safe and then he looked away for nine seconds and he was gone. His heir was gone! Stolen.
Then he saw her, the thief. "Stop that woman!" he bellowed throughout the marketplace he had come upon. The shop owners looked at him alarmed. "She has stolen the heir to the throne!" he pointed accusingly at the back of Rose. What a horrid sister, what a horrid person. So desperate for power and advancement that she would steal a baby, with the intention to what? Kill him, the thought was too cruel to think.
Two guards instantly descended upon her. One took something from her while the other bound her afterwards. She was brought to him along with his son. Derek took his son thankfully from the guard, he gave the two guards promises of rewards and land. "You are deplorable," he spat at Rose. "Remove her from my sight and ensure she cannot reach the palace ever again."
With that Derek walked one way and Rose was dragged another. He entered the house again and heard audible sobs. His heart hurt for Meredith, her child taken and not a thing she could do.
"I'm sure he'll be back," Derek heard George's soothing voice. Such a fine man George was, a truly good person, one of few.
"He is back," Derek called walking into the bathroom. He noticed that George had drawn a cold bath for Meredith. "See he's right here," he tilted the tiny baby so Meredith could see him.
"He needs to be washed," she croaked around tears. "And clothed I'm sure he's freezing."
"Who wouldn't be in England's winter," Derek smiled and kissed her head. "My Meredith I've just recalled what I wished to speak to you about earlier," Derek said as he washed the child in the sink nearby.
"Yes?" she asked as George helped wash sweat and blood from her back which she could not reach.
"My advisors have found it," he paused, "advisable if I were to have a reproductive queen by my side. That I keep someone near me who can give me the things I want and need. The current queen Addison will be looked after of course, moved into the country side and housed, never want for anything. But I find it most desirable that you should fill her absent seat."
Derek heard George drop the rag he was cleaning Meredith with. "So we'd be like brothers then?" he asked facing Derek.
"George my back," Meredith said.
"Oh ya right," he picked the rag up again and went back to cleaning her.
"Yes George we'd be like brothers," Derek smiled.
"My liege it isn't that I'd be unhappy as queen, nothing would please me more, but as I'm sure you are aware my sister does fancy you."
"Your sister is no longer allowed near me, it was she whom took the heir, she who nearly ruined us Meredith, I have no interest in your sister friendly or otherwise."
Meredith was quiet for a long time and Derek decided rather than press his more serious question he would pose another of equal importance. "This little guy needs a name Meredith, it seems fit that it should come from you."
"Me?" she squeaked and looked over to where Derek held him now wrapped in a blanket.
"You almost died bringing him into the world, I do not know a mother more deserving of naming her child." He flashed her that leg-wobbling smile he always had and she looked back at the bath water.
"Grayson," she finally whispered.
"Grayson?" he asked tasting it on his tongue. "Grayson Shepherd," he paused still pensive. "I like it," he smiled at her. "It is a fitting name indeed, now if you'll dry her off George I'd like to introduce my queen and my child to my country." After taking the choice from Meredith's hands Derek walked from the bathroom to dress Grayson.