War for Uyrilia

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Chapter 12

Chapter 12

Robert sighed as he stood watching as all the nobles gathered in the command tent to talk about a strategy to use. It never ended very well when they were all together, especially not when Liliana was forced to be in the room. He looked beside him at his wife as she stood with her arms crossed and her fall coat hanging around her. At least the nobles would not notice her growing belly and start making claims as they usually did when one of their rank becomes pregnant with no known father. he was going to have his job cut out for him today. At five months, pregnant Liliana had little tolerance for ignorance and this tent was filled with it. Again, he heaved a sigh.

“Thank you all for coming.” Jaxton called out over the talk making everyone go silent. “We are here to make a strategy to hopefully land a hard blow against Zinnia. We have located a base that we believe is a command base, one that all commands branched through. If we are able to take it out, they will have a period of chaos where we can pick them off and clear out some of her followers. Our meeting is about how to do just that.”

“Send the twins in!” Someone yelled making Robert tense as Liliana and Jace scanned the faces of the nobles. “They can destroy it with their powers and get out without anyone dying.”

Jaxton looked at Liliana as Robert took her hand as it dropped to her side. He looked back at the crowd. “No, they cannot infiltrate this base.”

“Oh so you won’t put your own children in harm’s way but you had no trouble taking mine from me. Is that how it is?” Called out a man with ash brown hair and angry light brown eyes. He walked closer to Jaxton who stood firm. “You put my daughter in harm’s way and got her killed and you’ll put other children in harm’s way all to protect your precious twins?”

“You’ve got it wrong!” Liliana yelled as she stepped forward. Robert took a breath he knew there was no stopping her and he knew this was one battle he would rather see her fight than stay silent. “He didn’t put your daughter in harm’s way. If anyone did it was my brother and I since we are the ones she is after so you can stop blaming my father for the death of our mother.” She stopped in front of him with a hard glare. “It is not that he doesn’t want to put us in danger, we simply cannot just infiltrate this base. It is not possible for us to do that.”

“You have no idea what you’re talking about girl.” The man glared back at her. “You have no right to be in this meeting, you have no right to speak and you have no right to tell me who is to blame for the death of my daughter. Until you lose a child you have no right to speak to me about any of it!” He yelled. Robert made fists at his side as Jaxton and those who knew what had happened glared and restrained themselves. Jace and Robert shifted seconds before Liliana lunged and slammed the older man against the center post of the tent, holding him there with her arm across his throat.

“You have no right to speak to me of loss!” She yelled at him. “You have not lost what I have; you have not seen what I have. Until you have watched your mother slain in front of you as a child, or being sent away for nearly your entire life, never able to see your family just to stay Alive. Or to watch your newborn be ripped from your arms by a crazy monster only to be cut and sliced to pieces to get something she wanted, YOU have no right to speak to me!” She yelled in his face as he scrambled to get her arm off him. She pulled back letting him dropped to the ground. She glared a moment longer before she started to turn away.

“A brat like you…. dares to speak to me like that?” He yelled as he landed a punch to her stomach making her cry out and drop into Ryan’s arms as Robert and Jace had the man pinned to the ground with their swords drawing lines of blood.

“The prince defending his sister is understandable but the prince of Kothus drawing his blade on a nobleman of another country… surely you understand this can be cause for war, young prince.” An elf said as he stepped forward. Robert did not need to look up to know it was King Aymon from Lilheneas. “What could cause you to bring these terms to your land?” He wondered but Robert did not answer, he never took his cold blue eyes from the man under his blade until he heard his brother’s voice.

“Robert…” He turned to look at him as Liliana curled holding her stomach with Christoph, Arthur and Jaxton around her. Maximus glared with fire in his eyes as he drew his own sword and took a step only to be stopped by Jaxton.

“Max.” He glanced at his friend before looking back at his daughter. “Not now. Jace.” He said but his son did not move. “Jace.” He said more harshly making him glance at his father. “Come. Robert, go with them.” Robert was torn he wanted to hurt this man for hurting Liliana and possibly their child but he wanted to be with his wife. Jaxton laid a hand on his shoulder. “Go help with what you can.” He just nodded as he slid his sword back into its sheath. He knelt beside Liliana and pulled her into his arms before walking with the others out of the command tent.

“Jaxton…” Christoph and Arthur walked closer.

“Go take care of Lily.” Was all he said as the nobleman sat up holding his throat.

“Dad, go, you’re more help than I am, I’ll watch over him.” He said softly before Christoph nodded and was gone.

“She has been attacked worse than that before.” The man said as he pushed to his feet.

Jaxton narrowed his eyes at the nobleman, his father-in-law. “You have attacked a member of the royal line, you will be held until a determination is found.” Several guards marched forward pulling him away as he yelled. Jaxton looked around. “I, King Jaxton of Atren am calling a meeting for strategy, not accusing. We are here to defeat a common enemy. Many of you are friends and some sit on the blurred line. If you are to harm any member of my family or a friend you will learn the wrath of house Summergale.” Jaxton took a breath as he closed his eyes to control his anger and worry. He knew if his father-in-law had hit Liliana hard enough and in the right spots, he could potentially damage the growing baby or even kill it. He would not stand for it.

“Does anyone have any suggestions?” Arthur called out, getting the meeting back on track for his brother.

After the meeting finished, Arthur and Jaxton made their way to Liliana and Robert’s tent. They walked in to find everyone gathered all around watching as she slept. “How is she?” Jaxton asked as he walked to his daughter’s side.

“She’ll be okay.” Robert answered as he looked from his wife to his father-in-law. “The baby seems okay from what Jace can tell but time will tell.” He closed his eyes as he took a breath to control the anger burning just below the surface. “I hope you did something with him, because if you didn’t I will.”

“Relax.” Jaxton said putting a hand on his shoulder. “I’ll take care of it. A prince attacking a nobleman of another country no matter the reason is a cause for war. He is a duke of my kingdom, until it is revealed you are also in the royal line of Atren you cannot intervene without it causing a war between him and Kothus. Even if no one follows, he is able to do some damage in his own right. He is the grandfather of the twins, he is part of the reason they are so powerful.”

Robert nodded. “I just…”

“I understand. Stay with her until she’s well.” Jaxton said making his son-in-law nod before Jaxton turned calling everyone from the tent. “We will wait until we know for sure what will happen to the child. We will have a punishment even if everything comes out fine, but if the child dies we will have a trial.”

“If he lives that long.” Jace said making his father look at him. “There’s no way you’re going to hold Robert, Me, Lily or any of us back if that baby dies because he hit her, and you know it.” Jaxton sighed. “Let’s just pry the child is fine.” Everyone nodded.

“Your majesty, Jaxton.” They heard making them see the elf King Aymon walk over. “What news of the princess?”

“Time will tell.” Jaxton answered.

Aymon raised a brow. “What pray tell has happened? Briar was correct when he said she had taken much worse attacks.”

“She’s with child.” Jace spoke up making Jaxton’s eyes snap to him. “Your majesty Aymon, I know you are wise and understand the reasons we have acted as he did. You see my sister has made many friends and as close as we all are we knew she was with child. We knew the cost of harming her growing belly and so acted to protect our friend, my sister.” Aymon looked at the young prince a moment and nodded. “And you understand why we have hidden the truth from those around us, I am sure. For if our enemies should find the truth we fear a repeat of the last child she bore.”

“The child taken from her and sliced apart, I presume you are referring to.” Aymon watched as Jace nodded. “I understand the need for caution and secrecy, but you must understand if a war were to break between nations it would cost us the war with Zinnia and end all life. Although protecting a dear friend is just cause, it is not wise in the center of nobles and royalty from around the world.”

“Yes, I understand, sir and we will try to contain ourselves if anything like this were to happen again.” Jace explained.

Aymon bowed slightly. “You are understanding and brilliant beyond your time young prince of Atren. You will do well as you grow. Please keep me informed of your dear sister’s condition. I will pray she makes a fast recovery.” Again, he bowed before Jace lowered his head in an honorable bow. Aymon walked away and all eyes turned to Jace who smirked.

“What was that?” Ryan asked shocked.

Jace chuckled. “Not too bad at this court talk huh?” He laughed. “Guess Lily and I are opposites.”

“I suppose so.” Jaxton smirked. “That was very good. You did extremely well fending that problem. Perhaps I’ll put you in charge.”

“No way.” Jace shook his head. “I don’t want to be in charge. At least not yet. I’m not old enough to be a king; I mean you have to have gray hair and all…” Jaxton rolled his eyes.

“Would you get out of here?” He shooed the younger ones off. “We will need to keep a close eye on events in the camp until we determine what to do with Briar.” Jaxton said as Christoph, Maximus and Arthur nodded and they wandered off leaving Robert to care for Liliana.

Jaxton looked up from the table of nobles as Robert helped Liliana into the tent. Jaxton ran to her side making her smile. “I’m fine, dad. Just sore.” She told him. “I’ll survive and so will the baby.” She said making the nobles whisper around the table.

“You’re with child?” A woman asked as she stood up. Liliana looked over to find a tall elf with blond hair and bottle green eyes looking at her shocked.

“Yes.” Liliana said taking her own weight and walking to her brother’s side as she rested a hand on her belly. “I am five months along.” She announced.

“Who is the father?” a man with auburn hair and sea green eyes asked.

Liliana smiled as she locked her amber eyes with his green ones. “That is none of your concern. Who I lay with is not a discussion topic for board nobles to chat about.” She looked around the table seeing Robert had taken his own seat as she spoke. “I thought this was a strategy meeting not interrogate a princess of her private affairs meeting.”

The nobles looked away as Arthur began explaining ideas and Jace helped her down into her seat. “You should be resting.” He whispered. “You and the baby are okay but you never know what could come up later. You need rest.”

“I’m okay, really. Besides, we talked about it and we both need to be here. As long as I promise to sit still and no more instigating fights I can stay.” She smiled making him chuckle softly. Liliana and Jace knew the nobles closest were eavesdropping and the needed to be sure not to drop any names or hints as to who exactly was the father.

“As long as you both are in agreement.” He smirked as they turned their attention back to the ideas.

After the meeting, the nobles were to spend several days at the camp thinking over what was discussed and finding new ideas. Jace helped Liliana back to her feet and walked with her out of the tent. They knew they were being followed so he took her walking slowly through the camp with small talk about the weather and what names she was going to pick until the nobles got bored and left them be. He helped her to her tent where Robert was already waiting to take over caring for her. He hated it. They were back to hiding again.

“Let me know if you need me.” Robert nodded as he helped her lay on the cot.

“Try to get some rest.” He gave a small smile as he laid beside her, wrapping her in his arms before they were both fast asleep.

The next several days were filled with arguments, comments, and nosing around. The nobles did not seem to see any boundary as they pushed and often asked flat out who the father was and if the family was ashamed, she was a whore. It was taking everything in Robert not to just come out and end it All but Liliana’s soft smile and gentle touches helped to calm him. Since there was no sign that the baby had been harmed Jaxton had decided to leave Briar go with a warning that if he were to stick out at the family again he would be put to trial. Briar nodded but never stopped glaring as he left to return to his wife.

Jaxton walked back towards the tents he and his family used and found Liliana sitting outside holding Sylvan as Jace and Robert sat in front of her talking. He smiled; it was a sight he never thought he would see. A sight he was saddened his wife would never get to see, their children grown with families of their own. He walked over and joined them as Liliana passed Sylvan to him.

“You let him go?” Liliana asked and watched her father nod. “Good.” She glanced back at the two men talking. “He’s swung before and I’ve always moved or caught it, he had no idea I was pregnant.”

“I know.” Jaxton nodded. “But all the same he should not be trying to harm you at All. You’re his granddaughter after all. Whether he likes it or not.”

“He’s lucky.” Robert said as the two turned to the father and daughter. “If something had happened, if he had caused damage to the child there is no where he could run that would be safe. I don’t care if it would cause some war or not.”

“You do care if it would cause a war, but I fully agree with you.” Jaxton said giving him a small smile. “I highly doubt he will be swinging at anyone again, although I cannot stop him from running his mouth.”

“Words can land him in a lot of trouble too.” Jace shook his head. “We better get going. We have to talk to the dwarves about their ideas. They want to work on helping to build our weapons and anything we may need mechanically. I think it’s a great idea for them to do it. They are master smiths.”

“Yes but don’t let the elves hear you saying that.” Robert smirked. “We don’t like dwarves very much.” Jace raised his brow as Liliana laughed softly. “They are wild, dirty and most of the time rude. Elves stand for order, manors and elegance. The two nations have never gotten along and usually when they are both involved in something it starts a new war.” He explained.

“I’m sure we can find something for the elves to contribute. They are very smart after all and their armor is light and easy to wear but the strongest sword could not break it.” Jaxton said. “Perhaps we can have them fashion some armor for the men while the dwarves make the weapons. The humans will make the bases of plans and ideas and all three races will decide the strategy to protect the people of Uyrilia.”

“I like that idea.” Liliana smiled. “Everyone has a hand and no one is lower than another. I think it will work well if only we can get everyone on direct speaking terms.”

“That one will be harder.” Jace smirked knowing she was mostly referring to their grandfather. “We’ll have to figure something out on that.”

“I’ll watch Sylvan until Rebecca’s done helping that villager.” Liliana said as she took her nephew back into her arms. “I think we’ll take a walk, what do you think Sylvan?” He cooed and smiled up at her as she stood.

“I’ll join you. Never know who’s lurking around with so many new people in the camp.” Robert added and watched his wife nod. As they walked, Liliana could not help but smile brightly as her nephew looked around cheering and laughing at the surroundings. “You’re happy that your dad let your grandfather go free?” Robert asked watching as Liliana nodded with a small smile.

“I can’t stand that man but we’re in the middle of the biggest war the world has ever seen. If we were to imprison him or anything it will cause more issues than he’s worth.” She explained. “It’s better to keep him close and control him until the war is settled and taking care of him won’t cause such an uproar within ourselves.”

Robert sighed and agreed as they went silent and continued walking through the camp. “You are one special princess.” He smirked making her smile at him, that special smile she only held for him. “I don’t think I know any other high ranking official who would be able to step back and let that man roam free.”

“You’re not that bad.” She said making him turn his blue eyes on her. “No matter what ever happened in all the time I’ve known you, I have never seen you treat anyone other than what they deserve.” As they turned to walk through the woods, she leaned into him. “You’re a compassionate husband, a caring friend, a wonderful man and I know you will be a great father to our child.” She gently placed her hand on her belly.

“And you’ll be a great mother.” He said softly as he pulled her into a loving kiss. Pulling back they heard Sylvan babble making them smile as he took the boy into his arms and they walked out back into the camp, rounding back around to their cabin where Rebecca was walking up to them with a smile. Sylvan started giggling when he caught sight of his mother. “Looks like someone wants his mom.” Robert chuckled as Liliana passed the little boy over.

“Did you have a good day with your aunt Lily and Uncle Robert?” Rebecca smiled at her son. “Thanks for watching him for us.”

“It’s no trouble at all.” Liliana smiled. “We had a good day relaxing and then we took a walk through camp and the woods.” She smiled happily looking back at her nephew. “Let us know if you need us to watch him again.” Rebecca nodded and left to find Jace, leaving husband and wife alone.

~~~~~~~

Robert and Ryan ran through the camp and to the command cabin where they found their mother standing with Marc both standing tall and regal. Robert and Ryan glanced at each other as they heard their mother in a fit.

“I had heard rumors but I did not think you would allow this to happen. The princess of Atren pregnant out of wedlock with an unknown father. This is a dishonor to your house.”

“You will hold your tongue.” Jaxton roared making her flinch. Erna looked about to back up as Jaxton stood in front of her to his full height. “My family is of no concern of yours and this is not a dishonor. It is a joy to know the family line lives on, to know my daughter is happy and to be able to see and hold grandchildren. You should learn of joy and happiness before you lose all of your chances.” She narrowed her eyes as she straightened.

“You have put a kink in the plans but we will still accept the marriage between your daughter and my son Marc. He will be named as the child’s father and raise it as his own while a legitimate heir is created.” She said and Robert could see Liliana tighten her fists at her side as Jaxton clenched his jaw to stop himself from causing a war between the two nations. Ryan looked at his brother beside him and could see the anger growing in his eyes as he started forward only to have Ryan grab his arm and stop him.

“You really think storming out there is going to fix anything?” Ryan said making Robert look at him. “You go out there, there will be a fight, you announce your marriage and that you’re the father there will be a war. You need to wait. This isn’t the time or place to tell mother about this.” He pleaded with his older brother, begging and praying he would back down.

Robert looked back at Liliana and Jaxton before he took a breath and relaxed his muscles. “You’re right.” He told Ryan. “It will cause a war if we tell her here and now. I just… I can’t sit back as she tries to take her and our child from me. I won’t let her.”

“Neither will I but we have to plan this better.” Ryan said before both looked back at their mother. “Come on, let’s interrupt and turn her conversation like we always do.” Ryan smirked making Robert give a quick chuckle before the two brothers walked closer.

“Mother.” Robert interrupted the argument between his mother and his father-in-law. “If I had know you were coming I would have greeted you at the entrance. You are looking well.” He gave her a quick bow before he leveled his eyes with hers. “Have you had a chance to see the expansion of the camp?”

“Not now, Robert.” She said sternly. “There are matters if court that must be discussed.

Robert glanced at Liliana. “Perhaps it will be better discussed in private and after you’ve time to rest. I am sure the travel to come here has taken its toll on you.”

“Would you like me to show you to a cabin, Mother?” Ryan chimed in. “We have ones that were just finished yesterday that are rather nice.” Erna looked between her two sons before looking at Jaxton and Liliana.

“Perhaps you are correct. A rest will do some good.” She looked at Ryan. “Show us to those cabins you spoke of. And give one to your brother as well.”

“Of course Mother.” Ryan gave a bow and led the way out of the meeting cabin as Robert sighed, resting his hand on his hip as he watched them leave.

“You two are brave interrupting her in the middle of an argument.” Jaxton said walking to his side.

Robert shrugged. “It was either that or listen to her try to take Ana and our child from me.”

Jaxton gave him a smirk and rested his hand on Robert’s shoulder. “I would never let that happen. My daughter has chosen who she wanted to be with to be happy and I think she has chosen wisely. I couldn’t be more happy you are with her. Trust me, that mother of yours will never get what she wants.”

“Just don’t cause a war over it.” Liliana said walking up with her hand on her swollen belly. “We will find another way, no matter how much I would like to slap that woman.”

Robert laughed, wrapping his arm around her waist as Jaxton smirked. “Well be careful.” Jaxton told the two. “If she finds out I believe there will be no stopping her. And Robert, watch out for this one.” He indicated his confused daughter. “No telling when she will strike out and there will definitely be no stopping her.” Liliana glared at the two men as they laughed.

“Well if you two are done.” She looked at Robert. “I need some help in the camp, if you would be so kind to stop laughing at me.” Robert smirked as he kissed her cheek.

“Your wish is my command, Princess.” He gave her a deep bow only to have her swat at him and storm off. Robert followed with a smile on his lips as they wandered through the camp only to run into Marc. The man looked at Liliana with those cold eyes, eyes that still held lust in them even seeing her swollen belly. Robert rested his hand on his sword handle as his brother walked over to Liliana.

“Robert.” He said before looking at Liliana beside him. “My lady.” He gave a bow and gave her the smile she never liked seeing. Liliana just gave a stiff nod watching as he straightened and kept his eyes on her. “I would be honored if you would walk with me, your highness.”

“I’m sorry I have responsibilities to attend to.” She told him

He looked at her a minute and they could see a flash of something before he spoke. “It’s a shame to have you still working as with child as you are. Allow me to walk with you and aide you.”

“I have Robert with me if I need anything. Thank you for your consideration.” She gave a small, forced smile before she started walking passed him. Suddenly he gripped her arm tight making her turn and look into his Hazel eyes, eyes that still terrified her. “Let go.” She said softly as Robert stepped forward. She reached out telling him to wait as she stared straight into Marc’s eyes.

“You have dishonored your family and me. I am willing to over look that but you will do as I say.” Marc said with a low growl. Liliana tried to pull her arm back again. “You will follow what you’re told.” His grip tightened. “Or there will be consequences starting with that abomination.” He twisted her arm making her brow furrow. That was enough; Robert refused to hold back any longer.

Stepping forward he glared at his brother. “Let go of her arm.” Marc ignored him. Robert grabbed his wrist and squeezed. “Let go.” He said low as Marc winced being forced to let go of Liliana’s arm. “I’ve kept my mouth shut and played nice but the next time you come near her, the next time you even think about her I will make you regret it.” Marc glowered at him. “Don’t test me. You know what I’m capable of doing and you won’t have mother there to stop me this time.” Marc just looked at Robert as Robert shoved him away. “Come on.” He said as he put his hand on Liliana’s back, leading her away from Marc and deeper into the camp towards Ryan’s cabin. “You okay?” He asked as he led them into the cabin.

“I’m fine.” She said as he took her arm and looked at it, seeing a bruise setting in already. “Rob, you didn’t have to step in. He would have let go.”

“After he hurt you more. I won’t let him get to you again, and he’s not getting anywhere near our child.” He said gently putting his hand on her belly to feel a kick. He gave a little smile as his blue eyes met with her amber ones and she could not help but give him a smile before their lips connected.

“You know you have your own cabin to do that.” They backed up seeing Ryan walk in with a grin. “Trying to hide?”

“Had a run in with Marc.” Robert answered as he pointed at Liliana’s arm. Ryan frowned looking at the bruise. “I took care of it, but I don’t think he’s going to ever back off.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of.” Liliana broke in. “He’s Always freaked me out since we first met but after the time he somehow took my powers…” She trailed off shaking her head as Robert put his hand on her back to calm her.

“He’s not going to go anywhere near you.” Robert told her. “It’s just a matter of time before he leaves with mother. There’s no way she’ll leave him wander around without some way to make sure he doesn’t cause a war.”

“Mother is keeping him on a tight leash, so don’t worry so much.” Ryan smiled. “Now can you two go to your own cabin and do whatever you were doing?”

“I think we should take him up on that.” Liliana said as she smirked up at Robert who chuckled before the two left to walk through the camp a little more before finding their spot again.

“Lil?” They heard as Jace walked into their spot. “Dad’s looking for you.”

Liliana, Robert and Jace walked into the master cabin meeting Jaxton, Christoph, and Arthur. “Jace said you were looking for me?”

“Yes.” Jaxton said as they walked closer. “Because of Marc being in the camp I think it might be safer if I send you two on a mission to talk to those in the surrounding towns. I’ll let you know as soon as they decide to move out.”

“You heard didn’t you?” Liliana asked raising her brow as she looked at her father.

“Yes. Several of the villagers here were concerned and came to me. I don’t think it will be safe to keep you here in camp without a war starting, and if anyone finds out it will cause a war. The best option for everyone is to have you two hide out until they leave to avoid any issues that could possibly lead to a war between the two lands.” Jaxton explained and watched Liliana and Robert nod in agreement. “I have a carriage getting set up so when you’re ready you’ll head out. I’ll stay in touch.”

“We’ll keep you updated.” She said as she put a hand on her swollen belly before she and Robert left to gather a few things before leaving.

“Jace in a few weeks if they don’t leave I want you to go to them. With how far along she is, it’s anytime. If they’re not gone in a few weeks I’m going to have to start pushing her and the less people around to start with the better. She won’t go after the people; they are too beneath her so it’s the nobles she will go after.” Jace nodded before he went to meet his sister at her tent.

“You two really okay with doing that?” Jace asked as he helped Robert carry the two bags the two carriages.

“I think your dad is right.” Robert said as he put the bags in. “After the run in with Marc its clear he’s not going to stop and right now Ana can’t really take care of herself if something breaks out so until the baby is born and she’s able to fight back I think it’s good to keep her as far away from him as possible.”

“True.” Jace agreed. “Just keep up in the loop if something happens while you’re out there.”

“We will.” Liliana said as she walked over to them. “Don’t worry about us; just get them out so we can come home. I don’t like running and hiding because of that creep.”

Jace chuckled. “I’ll do what I can.” He watched Robert help her into the carriage. “Take care of my sister and niece or nephew.” Robert nodded as he shook Jace’s hand and climbed in beside Liliana and they were off.

After two weeks and no word that they could go back to camp Liliana and Robert were surprised to see Jace, Rebecca and Sylvan show up. They were going to stay with them for a while and Jace explained why their father wanted to try to clear the camp of those that Erna could start a war with. Liliana was glad to have them there. She would walk the little town with Rebecca and Sylvan, introducing all of them to the old couple who married her and Robert.

Robert smiled as he climbed into the bed next to Liliana who had gone to bed early. He watched her sigh in her sleep before turning over. “You okay?” He asked her as she looked up at him.

“Yeah. The baby just doesn’t want to sleep tonight.” She said as he rested a hand on her belly feeling the baby kick. “Seems like the little one’s going to hyper.”

“You sure you’re okay? I mean last time when you couldn’t sleep…” He trailed off remembering when their daughter had been born. Liliana reached up and rested her hand on his check with a small smile. The memory still hurt them but they would never forget their daughter.

“I’m fine. The baby is just really active. Get some sleep; the baby will let me sleep eventually.” She smiled. Robert smirked as he kissed her and relaxed back onto the bed letting her cuddle into his side as he fell asleep and she tried to sleep through the kicking and movements of her unborn child. A gasp made her sit up waking Robert beside her.

“Ana.” He said sitting up beside her. “What’s wrong?”

“I think…” She paused holding her belly. “I think it’s time.” She said looking at him with a small smile. Robert felt the fear and anxiety he had before. “We have to get to go to Raelyn like she told us.” He nodded as he jumped from the bed, pulling on pants and a loose shirt before pulling a blanket around her and picking her up, leaving the little rented house to find Raely’s house.

“Yes?” The old woman answered rubbing her eyes. When she saw Robert holding Liliana she smiled. “Come. It’s time for the child to enter the world.” She led them to the birthing house where he had to lay her on the little bed before he was kicked out.

“You’re strong, Ana. You can do anything.” Robert told her softly. “I love you.”

“I love you too.” She smiled with a kiss before he was kicked out. Once outside he ran to wake Jace and Rebecca and tell them about Liliana being in labor. In a matter of minutes Robert and Jace sat outside the house and a message was sent out to Jaxton.

Jace sat with his brother-in-law and Ryan as they waited for any news from the little house. The three stared at the door, willing someone to come out. “You know staring at the house isn’t going to make this go any faster.” They heard making them turn to see Jace’s wife Rebecca walk over with their son in her arms. She smirked as the three turned back to the house.

“I still don’t understand why I couldn’t be in there. I was the one who…” He trailed off and Jace put his hand on his shoulder.

“Because you’re a man.” Rebecca said, pushing passed the painful memory for him. “Men aren’t allowed in the birthing house. They’ll end up messing it All up and next thing you know you’ll have a child with three hands.” She smirked as Robert rolled his eyes and the other two smirked. “Just have patience. It will be over before you know it and you’ll be a dad.” Robert glanced at her then settled his blue eyes on the house.

“Finally someone who will know my pain.” Jace laughed as Rebecca sat next to him. Their son looked at him with bright brown eyes and a bright smile before he reached for him. “Yeah, I know.” He mused as he took his year old son. “You can’t wait to meet your cousin, can you, Sylvan?” He said making her boy giggle.

“We got here as soon as we heard.” Jaxton said as he, Arthur and Maximus ran over. “Any word?”

“Nope.” Jace shrugged. “We’re still waiting. And they won’t even let Robert in to sit with her.” Robert shifted and crossed his arms, still keeping his eyes locked on the house. “I mean they could at least let him sit with her until it was time to you know… have the baby.” He shrugged.

“It will be over soon. I swear men have no patience. You would think you’re the ones giving birth wanting to have it done and over with.” The men looked at her as she shrugged. “It’s not something women would want prolonged if they could help it. Excruciating pain for hours on end only to use all your strength to push something the size of a watermelon out of you… I’m just saying you should be the ones with the patience.” She looked at her son as he sat in his father’s lap looking around happily. “But it is definitely all worth it.” She ran her hand over his head with a smile.

The group fell silent All waiting for any word from the little house when suddenly the door swung open. An older woman walked out with a bright smile. “You can go in for a little while.” She announced and watched as they all jumped from their seats and moved quickly into the little house to see Liliana propped up against pillows holding a little bundle in her arms.

She looked up with bright amber eyes and locked with crystal blue as he went to her side. He looked down at the baby resting in her arms before he kissed her damp forehead. “He’s perfect.” She said softly as she played with the baby’s hand.

“He is.” Robert smiled as she gently handed their son to him. The boy fussed and opened his blue eyes to look up at his father before settling back down. He turned to let the others look at the baby for the first time. He smiled as he looked at his brother. “Uncle Ryan, would you like to hold him?” Ryan’s face lit up as he reached out with a quick nod. With a chuckle, Robert gently shifted to hand his son to Ryan.

“Have you picked a name?” Rebecca asked looking at Liliana as she watched the baby be passed around.

Liliana smiled as she looked at Robert as he spoke with the men. “We said that if it was a boy his name would be Jamie.” She smiled happily. “Jamie Alabyran, a prince of two countries.”

“He’s going to be popular with the ladies, being so cute.” Rebecca laughed making Liliana giggle. “How do you feel?”

“Utterly exhausted and sore.” She smiled at her sister-in-law.

Rebecca nodded. “I know how you feel. After a good night’s rest, you’ll be better. But seeing that little face makes it All melt away.” Liliana nodded as she looked back at Jamie being passed to Maximus who chuckled.

“You’re going to need to get practice with babies for when Maximus comes back.” Jace laughed. “Then you can act like you know everything and amaze him.” The men laughed as the two women rolled their eyes. Jace still held his son in one arm as he walked closer to Maximus to see his nephew. “Sylvan, meet your cousin Jamie.” The boy looked down at the sleeping baby before giving a small smile.

“Alright. It’s time to let baby Jamie and the new mommy and daddy rest.” Rebecca said as she gently took Jamie into her arms. “All you men out.” She said looking from her husband to her father-in-law, Arthur and Maximus. “Let’s go.” She told them before she turned to hand Jamie to Robert as the others complained. “Lily needs a lot of rest and Jamie should sleep for a while but stay with them in case they need anything.” She smiled as she gave Jamie back to his father who just nodded. “Out.” She demanded, making the others file out, leaving Liliana and Robert Alone with their newborn son. She smiled up at him as he sat on the side of the bed holding the boy.

“I never thought I could feel this happy again.” Liliana shook her head as tears came to her eyes.

He wrapped his free arm around her and she leaned against him. “I thought I would never feel like that again but this little guy just proved us all wrong.” He smiled. “He’s been proving us wrong since you found out you were pregnant. We didn’t think we should have a child until we figured out the war and how to work around the courts, but then he showed up. Growing for the last nine months, he showed us we were wrong to try to put it off. I love Rylea and I’ll never forget her but not giving her siblings was just wrong.”

“He really has proven us wrong.” She laughed before giving a yawn. “Why don’t you lay him down and them come lay with me. I’m sure we can both use the sleep.” She smiled knowing he had been up and waiting outside for nearly sixteen hours now. He nodded before gently laying their son in his little crib and joining her in their bed for some much-needed rest while they could.


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