Chapter 27 - Uncertain Future
End of first month.
I woke up this morning, in a lot of pain as usual. Feeling the nausea swirl uneasily inside me as I struggle to sit up, I get up from the bed and make my way over to the bathroom. While I'm emptying my stomach of last night's dinner, Asher comes up behind me and holds my hair up. His hand rubbing circles into my lower back is a soothing relief that lasts only temporarily as I finish and slump against the tiled wall. He picks me up and supports me as I stand by the sink, brushing my teeth and washing my face.
"Are you okay?" He asks in a hushed tone, turning me to face him.
I shake my head as I look down at the floor, tears brimming my eyes as I bite my bottom lip to stifle a sob building in my throat. "Everything hurts...really bad."
"I know." He hushes, pressing a kiss to my temple. "I'll run you a bath, okay? And we can go to the garden after if you'd like? The baby always calms down there."
"Thank you, you're the best." I sniffle, hugging him as much as I could with my bump.
The first month of my pregnancy will be over by tonight and I underestimated how difficult it would be. I'm constantly weak and tired due to the baby growing rapidly, he or she is taking a lot more from me than usual and it's been draining. Doctor Ilias has put it down to the fact that the baby is more likely to be born a hybrid and needs more nutrients to help with growth and development. When my parents visited, my mom said that she had experienced the same when pregnant with Ivan and I.
Having a dangerously low amount of iron in my body has also caused problems. I always feel sharp pain all over my torso and I become tired quicker, feeling miserable all the time. Ever since Doctor Ilias prescribed me medication, I have been feeling much better though. I just hope it gets easier from here, I want to enjoy this pregnancy as much as possible instead of remembering nothing but negativity.
If a human were to look at me, it would seem like I'm three months pregnant right now. That's how big my bump is now and my breasts have also become slightly heavier and fuller. Of course, Asher is loving the changes that are happening to my body. He's become extremely overprotective when it comes to me but I kind of love it. Added onto the fact that he's constantly horny and can't keep his hands off me.
Because of my pregnancy and how much it's been affecting me, he asked Dimitri to help shoulder some of the workload. That means Asher can be with me as much as possible and help me get through this. He doesn't leave for his office as early anymore and instead helps me get ready for the day, returning earlier and pampering me until we fall asleep. Like the rest of our mornings, he always gets up earlier than me since he doesn't really need sleep.
I've also cried an insane amount of tears due to my hormones over him being the perfect mate. My emotions have been all over the place and every time I become frustrated and end up snapping at Asher, I burst into tears right after because I feel like a horrible person. That makes him laugh and every time, he reminds me that he understands how I'm feeling and he never takes it to heart.
"Ayla, come on. I've got the bath ready." He calls, bringing me out of my thoughts.
I strip and carefully get into the tub, resting my head against the edge with a content sigh as the warm water soothes my aching body. He brings around a stool and unravels my hair from the messy bun I had it in for the night, lathering it with shampoo once it's wet. Humming while he works, I find his voice soothing me to sleep. Last night had been rocky as I kept tossing and turning, so I didn't get much sleep. He washes my hair and a small moan escapes me at the feel of him running his fingers through my wet strands. Chuckling, he puts the shower head back in its place before proceeding to pamper my body with a citrus-smelling shower gel.
After I'm fully clean and relaxed, he picks me up out of the tub and sets me on the carpet. Drying my body and hair, he carries me to our bed and helps me change into a loose dress. When I felt and saw the significant changes starting to happen to my body I realized I hated anything that felt restricting. I refused to put on the clothes I had before and instead, wore anything that made me feel free.
Putting some brown sandals on with the green dress, I leave my hair open to dry as Asher and I head to the garden. Vito and Corbin follow us, asking how we are. We've become more close over the past few months and now they're like brothers to me. And along with Asher, they are also very protective of me and my baby. It's frustrating at times when they go overboard but I understand how important it is for them.
As we make our way through the hallways, people greet us. But I don’t miss the way their eyes glance at me worriedly as they take me in. I shift uncomfortably, knowing that everyone in the castle is aware of how difficult I’m finding this pregnancy and the problems I’m having.
But regardless, I smile back at everyone just so I can reassure them that I’m doing better. I talk regularly with my mom who always tells me about her pregnancy, how difficult she found it and the risks she had. She also tells me about other mothers who have also gone through a hard time and even had miscarriages. It doesn’t make me feel as alone I used to feel and I find myself being more grateful to have so many people taking care of me.
Opening the door, I step in first with Asher following behind. Vito and Corbin take up their posts outside as usual. Breakfast is waiting for us inside the gazebo and my tummy instantly growls loudly at the smell. Blushing in embarrassment, I swat Asher's arm when he teases me, reminding him that I'm eating for two. There's a stack of blueberry pancakes with other fresh fruit, maple syrup and whipped cream. A plate of eggs and bacon are also on the table with toast and freshly squeezed orange juice. Taking a seat at the table, we dig in immediately and I eat until I feel like I won't be able to walk anymore.
After, we lay down on the grass and I take my shoes off to feel the soft green blades tickle my feet. Asher hovers above me, his knees on either side of my hips as he pushes up my dress to reveal my baby bump. There's a tender yet protective look in his eyes as he caresses my swollen belly, peppering kisses all over it.
"Boy or girl? What do you think?" He looks up at me with a smile, happiness shining in his chocolate brown eyes.
"I'd like a boy first." I smile, placing my hand over his. "Someone to protect our daughter. But as long as the baby is healthy, I don't really mind I guess. What about you?"
"A little princess." He grins boyishly, eyes shining with excitement. "I'd want her to be just like her mama, sweet yet strong."
"We'll just have to wait and see then." I giggle as his lips meet mine in a gentle kiss.
"I can't wait. I'll give them the world, Ayla. I'll protect and love you both until my very last breath." He murmurs, making me tear up a little. "And I'm so fucking proud of you, angel."
"I said no swearing!" I laugh, making him roll his eyes playfully.
"Sorry." He winks devilishly, nudging my nose with his.
"I appreciate you being here for me." I reply softly, taking his hand. "You and our child are the only ones giving me the strength to keep going. I love you, Ash."
"I love you too, little butterfly." He smiles handsomely, capturing my lips in a lingering kiss. "I'll do anything for you.”
Three weeks later – in month two.
Vito and Corbin are helping me set up the nursery today. Asher painted the room last month and we picked out some furniture to be delivered to the castle. As Vito grumbles to himself in the background while trying to build the crib, Corbin is helping to build the chest of drawers that has a changing bed on top. I'm sitting on the floor and unpacking a box of decorations since the boys have banned me from doing any strenuous work.
Standing with the stuffed toys, I whimper when a sharp pain shoots through my belly. Rubbing the sore area, I nod to Vito and Corbin who are instantly alert, asking me if I'm okay and if they should call Asher. It's just some temporary pain, I don't want to disturb Asher over it.
Placing the toys on the rocking arm chair for now, I move to take out some baby clothes to store them in the wardrobe. While Asher and I were in the city one day, we found a clothing store for babies and popped in for a quick look. I had bought a few bits and pieces that were mostly white as we will be finding out the gender of our baby next week.
But just as I turn back to the boxes on the floor, my heart starts to race and cold sweat breaks out onto my forehead. I feel like it's too warm suddenly and start making my way towards the window to let some fresh air in. But before I can even reach the middle of the room, my vision blurs and I cry out Vito's name right before I lose my balance and everything turns dark.
I wake sometime later in the middle of chaos, Vito holding me up as Corbin crouches before me with a glass of water. Both are worried and when they see my eyes open they sigh audibly in relief. Sitting up, I take small sips of the water that Corbin makes me drink while Vito rubs my back. He tells me that he caught me in time, thankfully.
At that moment, Asher bursts through the door of the nursery, his bright red eyes burning with concern. Immediately, I'm swept up into his arms and he brings me to the arm chair, holding me tight.
"What happened?!" He snarls protectively, his hand splayed over my belly.
"I-I'm okay." I breathe shakily, cuddling into him. "Just fainted."
Dimitri runs in with Doctor Ilias in tow who takes out his tools to check my vitals. His brows are furrowed in concentration before he pulls down my waterline and checks the palms of my hands, sighing heavily.
"This baby sure does like his iron." He mutters, backing away. "I'm going to prescribe you something stronger but it's likely that you'll have a lot more fainting spells, Ayla. Are you in any pain?"
"I felt strong pain around my belly before I fainted, it's gone no – oh!" I freeze, my eyes widening when I realize that the baby just kicked. Laughing breathlessly, I place my hand over the spot and giggle when the baby kicks again, stronger this time. "The baby's kicking! Asher!"
I take his hand and place it over my belly, watching him as we wait for the baby to kick again. And sure enough, he feels the strong kick as the baby moves, his eyes widening in surprise. A sweet smile graces his lips as his warm brown eyes meet mine, awe shining in them. Laughing joyously, I let everyone feel the baby kick and watch their expressions of amazement and happiness.
"There's a strong baby in there!" Doctor Ilias chuckles, pulling his hand away. "We'll run some tests and checks to see if he or she is okay and then I'll talk to your mother about how she was in her third month. That way, I'll know what to expect and how to help you through the process."
"Thank you, Ilias. I appreciate your help." I smile, watching him grin as he puts his tools away.
"I'll send for you tomorrow morning, rest for the day and as usual get lots of green, leafy vegetables in your body." He instructs before leaving for the hospital wing.
"Dimitri, take over my duties completely." Asher orders as soon as he's out the door, making me turn to him in shock.
"What?! No, I'm fine Asher!" I argue, huffing when he snarls at me lowly.
"You are not fine! I refuse to let you get hurt. I'm going to be with you for the rest of your pregnancy and that's final!" He glares at me when I open my mouth to protest.
"But you're so annoying." I mumble lowly, realizing that everyone heard me when Vito, Corbin and Dimitri cover up their laughs.
"I'll make you take that back!" He seethes, picking me up and carrying me out of the room. "You two! Have this nursery done when I return!"
"You're mean too." I huff, pouting up at him.
He speeds to our bedroom and locks the door, laying me down on our bed gently. Ripping my dress off in one tug, his eyes brighten in heady desire at the sight of my heavily pregnant and very naked body. Taking off my bra, he snarls thunderously when he realizes that I have no panties on.
"I don't like the way the material itches me down there!" I snap, glaring back at him.
"And I don't like the idea of other men seeing what's mine!" He retorts angrily, snarling loudly as I rip his clothes off. "Ayla!"
"Are you going to fuck me or not?!" I whine, taking hold of his hardened member.
"Shit!" He groans, slamming into my weeping core.
Both of us forget what we were arguing about in a matter of seconds, the room echoing with sounds of harsh panting, gasps and groans. We spend the night making love to each other, finally falling asleep around four in the morning.