She was due at any time now. Though Khryssa was now officially on maternity leave, she was walking through the front doors of Harcard Industries anyway. She had a date with Xavier for lunch. Walking through the security check point she was accosted by the guard.
“Ma’am, we need you to step over to the side please.” The guard spoke to her.
“You did not sign in.”
“I never have before.”
“It is a new policy Ma’am.”
Shaking her head, she chuckled softly. With expansive penmanship Khryssa signed her name to the roster. Khryssa Leigh Hart Harcard, M.D. The guard looked at the signature and at her.
“Who are you here to see?”
She gave the guard a strange look. “Xavier Harcard of course.”
“Ma’am do you have an appointment? I am going to have to see some identification.”
“You do realize that I am Xavier’s wife and I work here, yes?”
“Ma’am then you must scan your badge to enter.”
“I am on maternity leave; I didn’t bother to bring my badge with me.” Khryssa was started to get exasperated.
“Please do not argue Ma’am.”
“I did not bring my purse with me.” She said, pinching the bridge of her nose with fingertips. I am getting a headache from this already, she thought.
“I cannot allow you to enter Ma’am.”
“Oh for the love of Pete, call Xavier Harcard and let him know I have arrived then.”
“I am not permitted to bother Mr. Harcard. You will have to come back another time.”
She lifted a brow. The darkness arched high; she was trying to control her temper. It was not easy. “Then call Greta. That is Mr. Harcard’s assistant.”
“Ma’am I cannot do that. If you would please just return with proper identification, this can be sorted out.”
At that moment, one of Khryssa’s staff members came in, recognizing her.
“Khryssa! I am surprised to see you here! You look wonderful!” The woman gave Khryssa a hug, smiling warmly at her boss.
“Thank you Jackie.” She smiled gently. “Mind if I borrow your cell phone for a moment please?”
Handing over the small electronic item, Jackie noted that her boss looked frustrated. “Is everything okay?”
Taking the cell and dialing Greta’s private line, she spoke to the other woman first. “It will be momentarily.” She shook her head. “Greta, hello this is Khryssa Harcard.” She smiled and answered. “Yes I am doing well, thank you. Can you please send Xavier down to the lobby post haste?” She nodded at the response. “Thank you kindly Greta.” After a quick brush of a fingertip to disconnect the call, it was handed back. “Thank you very much Jackie, it seems that I am having a bit of a problem getting in the building.”
Jackie stared wide eyed at the guard. “You are kidding me?”
“I wish I was.” Khryssa responded dryly.
Turning to the guard Jackie spoke to him. “You do realize that this is Dr. Khryssa Harcard yes? Otherwise known as Mrs. Xavier Harcard?”
“Dr. Simmons, this woman does not have proper identification. I do not know her. I cannot permit her to enter.”
Jackie gave Khryssa pat on the shoulder. “I am sorry Khryssa, when I get up to the office I will have someone come down.”
“No need Jackie, Xavier is on-“She stopped when she saw her husband. Motioning for Jackie to go on, she waited.
Xavier stepped off of the elevator, with a look of confusion. Seeing his wife, he went through the security checkpoint and asked. “Is everything okay Sweetheart?”
“Well your security people are doing a damned good job in the fact no one can get in without their badge or without an appointment.” Even while irritated, Khryssa was still mildly amused by this.
“Thomas? What is the meaning of this?” Xavier asked the guard.
“Mr. Harcard Sir, I was unable to identify this woman. She claimed be an employee and your wife. Yet, she had no way of verifying that.”
“You could not have looked her up on the company database and compared the picture and her signature? You would not take the word of another high ranking staff member? You could not have called me directly or my assistant? Why is it that I have to come down here and rectify this situation?” Xavier was not pleased.
The guard stayed stony-faced. “We have protocols Sir.”
“I will deal with you later Thomas.”
“Come on my love, let’s go upstairs.”
Xavier led his wife to the private elevator that went to the top floor, and to his office. Shaking his head, he smiled. “I thought that the guard was going to stop you from going up with me for a moment. That would have been a mistake on his part.”
Khryssa winced, she felt a sharp pain. “Ah it is fine Xavier, he was doing his job. I find it comical that I was not recognized though. Why did you put on extra security?”
“There have been some security breaches. So we added a bit more protection.”
She nodded. “What sort of breaches?”
“It is nothing to worry over my wife.” He didn’t want her to worry would have been more of a correct answer. There had been threats, to both Xavier and his family. It appeared to have been taken care of, but he wanted to make sure it stayed that way.
They walked off the elevator and into the main waiting area of his office. The staff that was gathered outside of Xavier’s office smiled to Khryssa. They enjoyed having the doctor around, especially because Harcard was much less impulsive with her there. Khryssa smiled in return and then disappeared into the office.
Wincing again in pain, Khryssa took a quick seat. Xavier looked up sharply.
“Is everything okay?”
“Ah. Maybe?” There it was again. Standing up, she wanted to check something. Upon standing there was a rush down her legs to her feet. She looked down at the mess upon the floor and the side of the sofa. She was dumbfounded. It took Khryssa a moment or two before she realized exactly what was happening.
“Xavier, my water just broke.” Swallowing, her eyes widened. Trying to stay calm wasn’t easy. She actually was a bit frightened. While Khryssa knew what to expect, it was all theoretical in a sense. She had never had a child before.
Xavier rushed over and picked her up. He started to head out of the office.
“Put me down!”
“We need to get you to the hospital.”
“I can still walk Xavier.” At least I think I can. Thank god that Xavier does not have the ability to read my mind.
Setting Khryssa back on her feet, they walked out of the office. Xavier hovered over her, holding his wife. There was a bit of fear in his own heart. Soon he would have a son.
He started calling out orders to Greta as he passed. “Greta, get the hospital on the phone. Tell them we are on our way. Tell the driver we will be down in less than two minutes. Clear my schedule for at least a week and get someone to clean my office please.”
Khryssa started to giggle as they went down the elevator. Tilting her head back to get a better look at Xavier she started to grin.
“What is so funny?”
“Only you would think about having your office cleaned because my water broke. Well that and you said please.”
Smiling at her, he did not answer. Instead he kissed the tip of her nose. They walked out to the car and to the waiting driver. Settling Khryssa in the back seat first, he climbed in and told the driver to hurry. They reached the hospital in no time at all. There was already a wheelchair waiting for them outside. Khryssa climbed into the chair and winced again. Labor pains, she decided, were not fun. The hospital staff took Khryssa into be prepped and examined. While this was going on Xavier was trying to catch his breath and made a few calls. The first one was to his personal physician.
“Gavril, listen to me. Khryssa is in labor and this is my child. I need you to arrive at the hospital as soon as you can.” Finally getting a response from Dr. Gavril Vlaicu, he hung up and started making other calls. Henrik Helsing was the next call; Henrik agreed to tell the children. The next one was more difficult. It was perhaps one in the afternoon. That would be seven in the morning eastern US time. Khryssa’s parents would be up. He had no doubt about that. It was just telling them the news that was difficult.
“Hart.” Came the terse reply from the other end. Xavier, at least, knew where Khryssa got her telephone skills.
“James, it is Xavier” He was cut off by his father-in-law’s chipper voice.
“My son! How are you doing? It is a surprise to hear from you so early in the morning.”
“I am well, thank you. James it is Khryssa. She is in labor.” There was a tremble in his accented voice. Xavier himself was not sure if it was excitement or fear.
“I will get Jael, we will be there as soon as we can.”
“Everything is fine; there is no need to rush.”
“Jael will kill me if I did not get there in time for her first grandchild’s birth. We will be there as soon as we can.” James Hart abruptly hung up.
Xavier paced for a few minutes while waiting to be allowed into the room with his wife. The earliest that the Harts' would arrive would be around midnight. The charge nurse spotted him and came over.
“Mr. Harcard, you can go in and be with your wife now.”
“Thank you.” He said the two simple words graciously and walked into the room where Khryssa was.
It was after well midnight, February 14th. It was now Valentine’s Day. Khryssa looked exhausted. In full labor now, she was completely dilated. Xavier gripped her hand and she squeezed back tightly. The ob/gyn patted Khryssa’s bare foot.
“You are doing fine Khryssa, push again for us.”
Bearing down, she did. Taking cues from her body and the doctor, it was almost over. Xavier moved lower. His hands never left her body though. He wasn’t sure who needed the connection more, him or Khryssa. He spoke soothingly; the words of encouragement were welcomed.
A nurse popped her head in the door. “Dr. Harcard your parents have arrived.”
Khryssa nodded and let out a cry. Xavier responded for her. “Let them in, please.”
Jael and James Hart entered the room and kept back. There was a bit of shock seeing their daughter in pain. James put his arm around his wife and smiled to his daughter. With one more cry that pierced the early morning, the newborn child was in his father’s hands. Khryssa fell back against the bed, exhausted. She was smiling. Xavier kissed his newborn son on the forehead and turned the child over to the waiting nurses to be cleaned up and checked.
“Happy Valentine’s Day Xavier.” Khryssa spoke with awe as her newborn son was placed in her arms. Xavier sat on the edge of the bed and looked down with amazement.
“It is a very happy Valentine’s Day indeed my love.” He smiled.
“Do you have a name picked out Khrys?” Jael gently inquired.
Xavier kissed wife and then his son before speaking. “Andon Zachary Harcard.” He smiled proudly.
“A beautiful name for a beautiful boy, many congratulations you two!”
James came over and hugged his daughter and son-in-law. He brushed a finger against his grandson’s cheek. “Henrik and the kids are outside, would you like for them to come in?”
“Yes Dad, please.” Khryssa couldn’t take her eyes off of her son. It was hard to believe something so perfect was in her arms.
“Would you like to hold your son Xavier?” Maneuvering into a better position she lifted Andon into his father’s arms.
Xavier Harcard, known through the ages as Dracula, was one of the most powerful vampires ever created. Even in today’s day and time he was one of the most powerful men in the world. A man that was able to invoke sheer terror in most, he sat with his wife and newborn son and was awed at the love he felt for his family.
Henrik, along with Christoph, Tess and Benedict, entered the room. Tess squealed at the sight of the new baby boy. They each took turns talking to the child and touching his tiny little hands. It was a moment to be remembered, always.
The next couple of days flew by so fast that neither Khryssa nor Xavier knew how it all happened so quickly. During this time Dr. Gavril Vlaicu came and looked over Khryssa and Andon. He was pleased with the progress. Now, it was time to go home.
The baby was bundled for winter. Xavier held him with such awe and affection as they went down to the car. The baby seat was in the back already; he put his new son into the seat and buckled the child in. Khryssa sat on one side and Xavier the other. Leaning over the baby, they kissed. Their already passionate kiss grew deeper that day. Filled with a love shared and a love for their child, they drove off into the afternoon sun.