Ireland is beautiful. I’m told it remains beautiful all year long. Moving to Dublin had been a big adjustment for me and a rough one, with me being pregnant and all. Thankfully, I didn’t have to go through any of it alone. Liam had been a great help, Chase too. Now that my Aunt Lillian and my Mother Ava were gone, the members of the Celtic Coven seemed to be more at ease and dare I say it, happier. Most seemed to approve of my desire to create separate governing for each supernatural species in our area. I may have been destined to be the Queen of the coven and the leader of the Guardians but ruling over all of the supernatural beings in Ireland was too big of a task for me alone. Of course, I hadn’t been named the Queen yet. Much like a coronation the coven holds a formal ceremony called an Ascension Ceremony, where Liam and I were to be crowned the King and Queen of the Coven. The coven had never had a King before, only Queens, but I made it part of my demands that they accept him when I fought Lillian.
“Guinivere would like to speak to us about the ceremony.”
I hadn’t heard Liam approach me. It used to be that we knew where the other was through our telekinetic connection, but thanks to the unusual addition of Chase into our binding, we tried to use that connection as little as possible. Having one man able to read my thoughts and emotions was already too much, add another and I was sure it would drive me crazy.
“Okay, let her in.”
Liam opened the door to the conference room and signaled to Guinivere that it was okay to enter. It had been nine months since Guin lost her husband Jameson at the hands of Lillian, but she looked great. She appeared vibrant and full of life. She almost lost her life to Lillian as well, but my being a siphon saved her and she had become one of my most trusted friends ever since.
My powers give me the ability to steal someone’s magic, but it also gives me the power to reverse a spell used against someone, bringing them back to life. I wish I had the ability to bring just anyone I wanted back from the dead, like my friend Wendy, but it doesn’t work that way. The person had to have died as a result of magic and I had to be there before their soul left their body. Wendy had been brutally raped and eventually killed by a blade at the hands of Liam’s brother, Tieran. Of course, it had been done on orders from Lillian herself. Yep, I’m glad the hateful bitch is dead.
“What’s up Guin?”
I waved to her and signaled for her to take the seat across from me. Liam joined us, naturally taking the seat beside me. There is something special and unique about a woman’s appearance and radiance when she has a good man in her life. Her smile was exuberant and if I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought that there was a new man in her life that put that smile there. Jameson and Guin’s love had been epic, at least that’s what I gathered from the stories I had heard, so I found myself hoping that she had indeed found someone to love her just as Jameson had.
“I wanted to inform you that we were calling a meeting tonight to go over the best strategy for security at the Ascension Ceremony.”
Taking over the coven had left me little time to do anything else and since I hadn’t really been able to take part in the daily training of the Guardian’s due to my pregnancy, I placed Guinivere in the position of Interim Leader. She did the job well and the group respected her. She was perfect for the job.
“That sounds great, Guin. Liam and I will be there for sure.”
Liam leaned into me before he spoke to Guinivere. “Chase will be there too, of course.”
I had forgotten that Chase had been reinstated into the Guardianship when I had taken over leadership. Part of me had wished that he would just stay at the main headquarters because he had been unreasonably clingy since we had become bound to each other. It made me uncomfortable because my best friend was in love with him. You don’t go after your friends’ ex-boyfriends, no matter what. It’s girl code. A sharp pain seared through the center of my abdomen causing me to instinctively place my hands on the bulbous nuisance that had been my pregnant belly.
Liam leaned over to hold me up because the pain had doubled me over. Braxton-Hicks contractions can be a son of a bitch sometimes. They seemed to be getting stronger. Unfortunately, when they came on, I was usually in a meeting and it made me appear weak when I was supposed to appear strong. Oh well, Lillian made the mistake of underestimating me and look where that got her. Let someone else make the same mistake, I dare them.
“Are you sure you are going to be up for the meeting tonight? We can always try for tomorrow or maybe gather the Guardians here, so you won’t have to travel?” Guinivere was always so sweet to me, which is why I felt bad for the glare I had sent her way.
“I’ll be there.”
Liam walked Guin out and I made my way to the kitchen. My craving for blood had increased ten-fold once I hit the third trimester. There were so many questions left unanswered with this pregnancy. Was the baby a siphon? Was the baby a vampire-witch hybrid like myself? The only question we had asked that we had gotten an answer for was, was it a boy or a girl? We were expecting a bouncing baby girl. Finding out was exceptionally difficult. We weren’t sure if it was my magic or the baby’s interfering with the ultrasound equipment, but whenever we tried the screen would produce nothing but static induced snow on the screen.
The kitchen was empty except for Rebecca. Rebecca was for all intents and purposes, our head maid. She tended to the housework and the meal preparations. She was also very gracious about our special diet. Being a Normie meant that she was an outcast in our community, but Rebecca had shown a desire to become a vampire herself. It was Liam’s idea to move her in to show her all the reasons why that would be a bad idea. I was rather fond of her.
“Good evening, Rebecca.”
The sound of my voice startled her when I entered, causing her to jump and her hand to raise to her chest. “I’m so sorry ma’am. I didn’t hear you come in.”
I waved my hand at her to let her know that I was not offended in the least. “No worries, but please call me Saraid. I just came to feed my least pleasant of appetites.”
She said nothing as she walked to the pantry and reappeared moments later with a water bottle that now held the crimson liquid.
She stood and watched me expectantly through her two hazel eyes. I couldn’t help but to notice that she truly was a beautiful person inside and out. She had gorgeous auburn hair, olive skin, and a voluptuous body that boasted curves in all of the right places. Her generosity and compassion were proof of the beautiful soul beneath the surface.
“Will that be all? I can make you anything you’d like?”
See, she’s so sweet. How could I not grow fond of her?
“I think I’m ok for now. Liam and I, are getting ready to leave for a meeting anyway.” I offered her a quick smile before I exited the massive kitchen.
Liam was waiting for me in the main hall at the base of the stairs. Every time I looked at the huge staircase it made me long for an elevator. The staircase was split into two sets. One for the left wing and one for the right wing. Our room was in the right wing, all the way at the end of the hall. I had only ever been to the left wing once. It was home to a group of empty rooms that would soon be occupied with a mixture of Guardianship members and coven members since we were now making our home the “royal” court. I had only made it halfway up the stairs before the next set of contractions hit me again. Thank God Liam was with me or I may have went toppling backwards down the stairs. That would’ve been bad. I knew I could’ve healed myself, but I wasn’t sure if I could heal baby Maddox.
“That was close,” I stated, instinctively rubbing circles around the center of my stomach with the palm of my hand.
“Maybe we should think about moving downstairs until after the baby is born,” Liam suggested.
I knew his heart was in the right place, but I refused to let this pregnancy stop me from doing something as ordinary as climbing the stairs. “Nah, besides Amelia said that I need to get as much exercise as possible.”
Amelia is my mid-wife. Doctors are hard to find, especially when you are giving birth to a baby with unknown supernatural powers, so she found us. When I first met her, I thought Amelia was a Normie, but she’s a Nymph. Charming and beautiful and literally powered by nature, Amelia was hard not to like. Her personality reminded me a lot of Wendy, so outgoing and spontaneous.
“I’m pretty sure Amelia would be on my side if she knew that you almost fell down the stairs, besides it would only be temporary.”
I may have been pregnant and yes, that was a very close call, but nothing irritated me more than being treated like I was fragile.
“Let’s make a deal. If the contractions haven’t stopped by the time, we get home tonight then I will move downstairs, temporarily. If they do stop, you can’t bring it up again.”
“No deal. They could come back at any time, even after the meeting.”
The sigh that came from my mouth was louder than I had meant it to be. “Fine. We can move downstairs but only temporarily. I like our room.”
When I had decided to fight for the throne, Liam had immediately hired designers to redesign our bedroom just for me, as a surprise. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to see my face when I got to see it for the first time because Lillian had him kidnapped on our wedding day and tortured him until me and my army came to Ireland to rescue him.
“Of course, it’s only temporary, Princess.”
He squeezed me against his body and kissed my forehead. I loved it when he did that. I could argue that his pet name of Princess no longer applied since I was now to be the Queen, but I had grown rather fond of it too.
“I’m going to hold you to it.”
He smiled as he wrapped his muscled arm around my back to help me up the stairs. Thanks to him carrying most of my bodyweight, we had made it the rest of the way to the second floor in record time.
“Did you come up with any new possibilities for baby names yet?”
“No, it’s so hard to find an Irish name with an honest meaning.”
I wanted our baby to have an Irish name that didn’t sound awful. One that had a strong meaning but would also fit her personality. I was sure my Mother had named me Saraid because of the prophecy she was told, stated that I would overthrow the Queen and take my place as the rightful heir. My name means princess. It was her way of rubbing it in that even on the throne I would still in some ways, always be just a princess.
“I think that we should wait a week or so before we name her, so we can get a feel for her personality. So, we can give her a name that fits her.”
He seemed to like my idea because he had that beautiful look on his face that always melted my soul. “Sounds like a solid plan to me.”