Epilogue - Heir
“Breathe, baby. You’re doing great.” Asher murmurs as another contraction hits me.
I groan in pain, clenching his hands as he holds me. When the pain lessens, I sit back on my exercise ball and start to move from side to side. I’ve been in active labor since three in the morning, it’s seven now and I am only four centimeters dilated but my water did break. My mom will be arriving shortly to help me get through this as I’m in an intense amount of pain, even when I’m experiencing no contractions.
“Come on, let’s get you to the stairs.” Asher pulls me up gently, guiding me to the door.
The guards that would usually be standing in the hallway are all gone. Asher didn’t want them to be here while I’m in labor and only dressed in a light t-shirt and panties. I found that walking up and down the stairs helped my cervix dilate much quicker so I have been switching from the exercise ball to the stairs and back to bed rest whenever I become tired and out of breath.
Whimpering in pain, I rub my belly in an attempt to calm my son down as I make my way down the stairs and back up again. I make sure not to push myself too hard as I don’t want my body to be extremely tired when it comes to birthing. Asher is by my side, motivating me to keep going and rubbing my sore muscles when I stop to rest.
After I’ve walked up and down the stairs a few times, we go back to our bedroom so that I can rest. Doctor Maeve, a black-haired woman with deep chocolate skin, comes in and examines me to check my cervix after another two hours. She smiles and nods when I ask if everything is okay, telling me that I have dilated to six centimeters and that I can be moved to my room in the hospital wing now.
Sighing in relief, Asher grabs the hospital bag we had packed before helping me walk downstairs. I must stop several times due to intense contractions that are coming in fast now, holding my belly as the pain washes over me. Annoyingly, my teeth are chattering and all I want to eat is ice.
As soon as we enter the room, I see my mom waiting for me in a chair by the bed. Tears fill my eyes and I sob as I waddle over to her. Her tight embrace comforts me as she whispers words of encouragement and understanding in my ear, rubbing my aching back soothingly.
“Everything hurts so much, mom! I can’t do this!” I cry into her shoulder, my body wracking with sobs.
“Yes, you can honey. It hurts a lot more because he’s a hybrid, they tend to suck the life out of you.” She chuckles, a reminiscing look in her eyes. “I’ll be right here, okay? You’re going to be just fine. Both you and the baby will be healthy.”
“Why couldn’t he just stick to being either a vampire or a werewolf?!” I sniffle, whimpering when pain shoots down my spine.
“At least you know!” My mom laughs, putting my feet up and telling me to lie down. “I thought that was what labor pain was until my doctor told me that it’s because you two were hybrids!”
Groaning, I lay there and breathe through the frequent contractions and pain. It’s lunchtime now and I’m itching to push my baby out. Eventually, I can’t take it anymore and ask Asher to help me to the en-suite bathroom while my mom takes a call from dad. He takes the shower head and turns on the water, holding me as my cries get louder. I feel some relief as the water wets my belly and my core, feeling like they’re burning up.
“It’s okay, angel. Keep going, you can do this.” He kisses my temple, rubbing my naked back.
“You better be happy with just one child.” I growl, whimpering when another contraction hits me.
He helps me through it before turning the water off, a smirk on his lips. “We’ll see after you give birth. I heard women are –”
“Well, forget what you heard!” I snap, putting a clean bra back on and a new pair of panties. “I’m not going through this again and that’s final!”
He chuckles, carrying me to the bed and laying me down. I sigh tiredly, mumbling for him to get me some ice. Kissing my forehead, he waits for my mom to come back before disappearing. She comforts me, sitting beside me on the bed and stroking my hair. I cuddle up to her, waiting for my next examination.
Doctor Maeve comes and goes over the next few hours, announcing a seven-centimeter dilation to a nine and finally, ten centimeters. Her and the nurses fill the room, Asher standing beside me and holding my hand while my mom holds the other. My legs are being held up by stirrups and I can feel intense pressure in the lower part of my body.
Eventually, Doctor Maeve tells me to start pushing and I do. Holding my breath, I push and push until I hear her say that she can see the baby’s head and that I just need to push a little more. Asher and my mom encourage me with their words as I take a deep breath before going again, crying out when I feel like I can’t anymore.
“One more push, Ayla! Come on, he’s almost here!” Doctor Maeve calls, making me start again.
I push with all I’ve got for the last time, breathing tiredly when she tells me that he’s out. His cries fill the room and the sight of him brings tears to my eyes as she places him on my half-naked chest, wrapping a blanket around him to keep him warm. He has bright blue eyes but I can see some flecks of green in them and that’s what I assume his eye color will be after some time. Along with that, he has a full head of brown hair, a cute button nose and features that are a mix of Asher and I. My mom is crying softly and I look up at Asher to see him tearing up too.
Laughing joyously, he kisses my lips. “I love you so much and I’m really proud of you.”
“I love you too.” I sigh contently, soothing our son and hearing his cries quieten.
Staring down at him, fear grips me for a moment as I think about whether I will be a good mom. But as I look at his face and his eyes looking up at me in wonder, I promise myself to do whatever it takes to keep him happy and healthy. I vow to give him the world and strive to be a better parent, someone who he can come to no matter what. I promise to take care of him and love him till my very last breath.
Doctor Maeve and the nurses work away, stitching me up and cleaning everything. As soon as all the tests and checks are done to determine his weight and if he’s healthy, he’s back in my arms again in his cute baby clothes. He’s wide awake as Asher holds him for the first time, talking to him in hushed tones before passing him onto my mom. He’s over the moon and can’t keep his eyes off me or our son.
“What are you naming him?” My mom asks as she kisses her grandson’s forehead, pulling his hat down slightly. Asher and I look at each other with a smile before I nod at him to tell her.
“It’s perfect!” Mom squeals softly, kissing his covered feet when Lucien kicks his legs wildly.
Eventually, I get to hold him again as he feeds while mom calls everyone inside after I’m done. Sage, Helios, Vito, Corbin, Dimitri, Astra, Fabian, Doctor Ilias and Grace are all here and they fill up the room in an instant. He’s in his little crib sleeping soundly as everyone crowds around him, cooing softly and touching his little hands and toes. Eventually, the rest of my family arrive and congratulate us.
Ivan saunters in with a smug smile on his face. The moment my active labor started, I had been nonstop worrying about my brother. Because of our bond we can feel each other’s negative emotions and if one of us is in any pain. However, judging by the smile on his face I assume he found the pain bearable or better yet he figured out how to block it.
“Jezebel helped me block you out until tomorrow night.” He explains when he sees my concerned expression. “I’m glad she gave me that potion on time because you look like absolute shit.”
I hear dad growl and slap the back of his head, making Ivan smirk cheekily. I roll my eyes in a playful manner when he escapes another one of our father’s hits, pecking me on the cheek quickly before showering Lucien with attention.
Dad comes to sit beside me with a worried look, stroking my hair. “You okay, princess?”
“I’m good, dad.” I smile and nod, breathing in his familiar scent when he leans over to kiss my forehead.
I watch as everyone takes turns with Lucien, mom and dad helping my other siblings to hold him. Asher and I chose Ivan to be his godparent and he adores him already, talking about all the adventures they’ll have and what advice he’ll give to his little nephew.
It’s nine at night when everyone leaves the room, letting us three get some rest. But soon enough, Lucien wakes us up with a loud cry at midnight. Asher immediately picks him up since he wasn’t sleeping in the first place and I watch with half open eyes as he carries our son back to his chair. He bounces him lightly, rocking from side to side as he soothes Lucien. The sound of his dad makes him stop crying eventually and I see Lucien staring up at him in wonder. It’s enough to bring tears to my eyes over how precious both are to me.
Asher does everything he can to make him go back to sleep, the sound of his low voice and humming filling the room. When he starts to fidget and whimper, Asher tries to get him to calm down but eventually bites his lip before looking up at me. His eyes widen slightly when he notices that I’m awake, smiling sheepishly as he steps over to me. I take Lucien from him, pulling down my shirt and helping him latch on. We both sigh in relief when he starts to feed without a fuss before laughing at each other.
“I guess this is our life now, huh?” He grins happily, sitting by my side as he strokes Lucien’s head.
“Yep! Let’s be happy that he doesn’t need a diaper change yet.” I wink, resting my head back tiredly and closing my eyes.
“You’re okay, right?” He whispers worriedly after some silence, making me open my eyes.
“Just exhausted and in a lot of pain.” I sigh, looking down at my baby with a smile. “But I’ll be okay. Zoya’s working on healing me.”
“I’m proud of you, you know that right?” He asks, taking my hand in his. “I appreciate how much you’ve taken on just for our baby, no matter how much pain you were in or how miserable you felt.”
“I’d do it all again for him.” I murmur, kissing his little head.
“Oh, you would? Because I remember –”
“Shut it!” I hiss, glaring at his smug face.