The Dawn

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Chapter 18

“She’s so small,” Ciaran said, smiling down at the newborn baby asleep in Serena’s arms.

The sun was beginning to rise outside, coloring the sky in shades of pink and blue. Smoke was also in the sky, but most of it had dissipated since the battle’s end. The enemy had been defeated and all of the creatures destroyed. There was no sign of the red-haired man or the cloaked man on the hill. They somehow managed to vanish in the middle of the chaos. It left an uneasy feeling with Serena, but she was too tired to focus on it. Right now, she just wanted to enjoy this moment with her husband and their new child.

“She has wonderful timing,” Serena remarked with a soft laugh. She gently rubbed the back of her finger along her daughter’s soft cheeks. “Looks like she might have hair like yours. It’s much lighter than mine.”

“And eyes like yours. I’m very certain I saw blue.”

“It was too dark for you to see anything.”

“So I have a feeling they’re blue.” He grinned. “She’s still ours.”

“What should we name her?”

Ciaran sighed. “I’m not sure. It’s not like we’ve had much time to think about that.”

Serena leaned her head against his chest. “Well, we have plenty of time before we decide. I’m just glad I didn’t have to give birth to her in that cage. That would have been horrible!”

“How are you feeling?” Renefaire peeked her head inside the wagon.

“Much better, thank you,” Serena replied.

Renefaire’s eyes lit up as she looked at the baby. “She’s so cute!”

“How is Kay doing?”

She frowned. “Not very well, but he’s getting his rest. He might have died if we hadn’t arrived when we did. The healers think that with time he should regain his strength. Jïera is with him right now with the boys. You’ve all been through so much.”

Ciaran nodded. “You should tell us how you managed to make it out of that battle. I didn’t even see you get away.”

“That’s Sorrel for you,” Renefaire replied. “He’s a fast runner.”

“I don’t suppose you’ve been back to the village yet?”

Renefaire frowned and shook her head. “There wasn’t really anything for me to go back to. I didn’t even know that you all were still alive until recently.”

“Where were you this whole time?”

“I was found by these nomads who are skilled with medicine. They travel all over Aleron and heal anyone who’s ill. I learned from them, and was able to help the healers last night with the others. Helaine and Faeliel still have fevers, so I made some broth to help them. I could bring you both some if you’re hungry.”

“That would be nice,” Serena said. “Maybe an extra blanket, too. I want to keep the baby warm.”

Renefaire nodded. “Of course. Tell me when you give her a name. I’m dying to spoil her with a lot of love.” And with that, she bounded away, leaving Ciaran and Serena alone once again.

“Well, at least she hasn’t changed much,” Ciaran said with a smile.

“I think I figured out a name.”

“What is it?”

“How does Caerly sound?”

“That was your grandmother’s name, wasn’t it?”

Serena nodded.

“I like it. It’s a perfect name for her.”

“You really think so?”

“If you like the name, then so do I.”

Rays of sunlight began to shine into the wagon, warming the family from the pressing cold outside. No longer did they have to worry about the enemy, which held them for months. They were now surrounded by friends and allies. They were able to start a new life together, and they would never again be alone.

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