This week we are back to HW3 and the wedding. The chatty portion of this blog will be short this week. I have a problem with my right hand and typing is an issue. No offense to you all but I’d rather save the typing for the book and talking to my Scotsman. 😉
It is the morning of the wedding. “Morning” is relative – it’s just after noon. Anna is excited. What happens just as the day begins was just as much of a surprise to me as it is to everyone else.
Enjoy! I will speak to you again Monday morning.
The wedding day dawned brilliantly sunny with the slightest bit of frost in the shadiest parts of Stirling; not that any of them saw it until noon. It was then that Anna woke to her bladder and the kicking of three small babes. She completed her ablutions, wrapped a large silk robe around herself, then opened the door to the hall and found Jules sleeping on the floor outside her door.
She crouched awkwardly and touched Jules on the shoulder. “Jules, wake up. What are you doing here?”
Jules sat up, wide awake and completely alert. “Protection detail, Miss Anna.” She leapt to her feet and helped Anna straighten up.
Anna raised a brow. “Protection while asleep?”
Jules blushed. “After the sun rose I knew no Vamps could come close and there are other guards around the building. I’d have heard someone coming,” she added defensively.
Anna refrained from pointing out that she had opened the door against her back without waking her and simply smiled. “Thank you, Jules. I was heading to my mother’s room.”
Jules nodded. “This way.” She went up the hall, around a corner with Anna trailing her. She knocked gently on the door as Anna caught up.
Janelle opened up and Anna smiled back at her mother as she came into the hall and closed the door quietly behind her. “Good morning, Momma.”
“Good morning, princess. Have you eaten yet?” Janelle tucked her daughter’s hand into the crook of her arm.
“No. I believe I was promised breakfast and a spa day.”
Michelle nodded as she joined them. “There’s a breakfast feast being set up in the Alexander room. You’ll need to put clothes on to get to your spa day, my Alpha.”
Anna beamed at Chelle and hugged her. “Thank you so much for the earrings! They’re lovely.”
Chelle hugged Anna back, her usual gruffness set aside by the excitement of the day. “You’re welcome, though I’ll be expecting them back tomorrow.”
They all chuckled as they entered Anna’s room. They found Nuada waiting for them with a huge bouquet of tropical flowers, some of which were from her own garden.
“Oh! It’s beautiful,” Anna exclaimed. “Thank you!”
“I could do no less for my favourite friend. My father sent a gift for you and your groom but you must wait until later to open it.”
Anna looked curious and almost questioned Nuada about it but the babies kicked hard enough to double her over. She gasped in pain and would have collapsed if her friend hadn’t caught her.
The others rushed forward as Janelle helped Nuada get Anna onto the bed. Anna screamed and her belly stretched with hands and feet showing everywhere.
“What the hell is going on?” Chelle whispered the words.
“Get Liam. Now.” Janelle snapped out the command as she took control of her daughter’s mind and knocked her out. Even unconscious, Anna continued whimpering and writhing.
“Nuada, is there anything you can see?” Janelle.
“I will need a few moments.” Nuada climbed up on the bed and knelt beside her friend. She laid her hands on Anna’s belly and closed her eyes, seeking the source of the pain.
Liam barged in, snarling at the people near his Anna. They backed off, all but Nuada, who was deep in her exam of Anna. “What the hell is going on?” he unintentionally echoed Chelle. He tried to gather her into his arms but Nuada hissed at him. He backed away and growled deep in his chest, fear and fury in his eyes.
“We’re not sure,” Janelle said. “The babies moved and then she was like this,” she waved a hand helplessly.
“The babies did this?” Liam looked even angrier, something no one thought was possible.
“They did.” Nuada’s eyes snapped open. “They’ve grown again. Weeks of growth in minutes.” Her eyes hardened as she glowered at Liam. “You’ll not be letting her get pregnant again.”
“Don’t tell me what to do, Fae.” His voice softened. “Can I hold her?”
Nuada took no offense; she was scared too. “Aye. She’ll wake soon.” She slanted a look at Janelle. “Right?”
“Right.” Janelle released her grip on her daughter’s mind and watched as Liam climbed on to the bed and gathered Anna into his arms. “She looks so much bigger now. She’s going to be in pain until the babies come.”
Liam rubbed his hand over Anna’s belly, feeling the babies’ reaction to his touch, each of them reached for him. He looked at Nuada. “They’re all alright, the four of them?”
“Aye,” Nuada said patiently, “Sadira and the triplets are healthy. The growth spurt took her by surprise is all.”
“How long now, do you think?” Liam frowned.
“Days, a fortnight at most. She is almost to term now.”
They all gasped. No one was prepared for the babies to come so soon. “So soon?” Liam whispered the words. “This has caused her tremendous pain, hasn’t it?” Liam’s question was flat as he looked at each of the women.
None would look back and he growled.
“Lee,” Anna’s voice was soft, affectionate.
“Anna.” Her name was full of pain, guilt and love.
“Lee, what happened?”