We’re a Couple*

This business of being alive is hard work! How did I ever manage when I was alive?  I guess I am out of practice.  Of course, it didn’t help having to spend the evening negotiating with a fae queen, in her king’s bedroom of all places, while the king lay unconscious didn’t help. Trade negotiations are tiring at the best of times, but when dealing with the fae…

I totally forgot what I was going to write there. But I don’t mind. I got I interrupted by a slightly hyper Gwyn, finally back from her survival training. Given that she came skipping in and saying everything three times – hello and guess what – I suspected for a moment that her training had included some dubious mushrooms. I made that one of my three guesses – well, she did ask three times – the other two being that Blaise had promoted her to blackboard monitor and that she missed me so much she was going to rip my clothes off right there in the bar. She admitted to the third, but settled for a kiss for fear of being interrupted.  Galaddan, or Dan as she now called him, had not made her eat worms, but had made everything taste like dirt so she had to cook it all twice.  Apparently, he is one of those tough guys who likes roughing it.  I gave her a brief summary of what had passed while she was away – the Dracula dream, starting trade negotiations with the Queen and now with Lady Twilight, being allowed in the sithen with an escort. She liked the latter idea, especially if she could be the escort, since her pillow needed refreshing. Given how long it has been since I last slept in the sithen, I hope she has had the pillow case washed, even if it did mean losing my scent.

She returned to the matter about which I was supposed to guess. That being that Princess Doesntknowalot, sorry, Aislyn is pregnant. Presumably by Blaise. I didn’t say that last bit out loud. I’m not sure Gwyn was entirely happy about it, but was trying to be because they were so happy. Given how rarely the fae conceive, or so I am told, I had to suppose it was a happy thing. Remembering our previous conversation about being a consort, I asked if this meant they could marry now, which she said was likely. There was still something bothering her a little. And, as I kind of suspected, it was that Blaise had promised her that she was still important, but she had hoped that she would have a little longer, so she could feel important. I could understand that, although I was too young when Gilbert was born to fully understand. I suppose I was lucky in that Mother always treated me as important, even when nursing Gilbert.

“You are smart, funny, kind, caring and beautiful, and the most important person in my life,” I reassured her. “And I am sure Blaise would not have adopted you if he did not think you important. You are important. You don’t need my approval, Blaise’s approval or anybody’s approval to be important.”  I chuckled as a thought occurred. “And I am sure you have time. Humans take nine months to produce a baby and knowing how bloody slowly the fae do everything else, I can’t see them producing babies quickly.” That seemed to be the right thing to say.

We tried to work out how long it would take based on what we remembered of Isabella’s pregnancy with Malachai. I would have checked my old diaries, but then, I wasn’t sure how far along she was when I started the diary. I suggested asking Astrid, but then realised that might not be an accurate guide since Ingrid’s father was human. She told me a little more about her survival training and the food she had eaten on it, wishing she could have a cheeseburger. I had to then tell her about the burger that Valene had brought me and how I had managed to prevent her from eating Ose.  She did look briefly at Nualla when I mentioned how the burger had been obtained, but she got short shrift there. I was just telling her about the cheesecake when we were interrupted by the arrival of Pasheeluu.

Evidently she had survived the disappearance of the portal, and presumably, the link to Cristof’s castle. It was odd seeing her looking so young, and with wings, which she had not had before. Evidently, from the gracelessness of her landing, she is still learning how to use them. Her speech was younger too, almost gabbling at times.  We exchanged greetings and enquiries about each others’ health.  She was fine apart from getting used to the wings and being hungry, so I ordered her some pork chops from Hal. She was still getting used to being alive, which I could relate to, so I explained what had happened to me, without mentioning Isabella.

The conversation turned to magic, as Paasheeluu was keen to get on with the teaching thereof.  She explained some magical things to Gwyn in a way that apparently made more sense than it did when Aislyn was teaching.  She managed to move the chair a few feet by magic.  Even more surprisingly, I managed to move it, using the horn crystal as a focus. Thinking of Sophia, I asked if she knew anything about the sort of magic that vampires would use, in particular, that which would allow a departed spirit to haunt somebody.  Blood magic, she said, she knew about and could tell me about, even though it was a rather dark subject. The other was necromancy, and that she had promised Aoibheann she would not touch.  That said; she still had a spell book about it in her saddlebags, which I could have. I will have to make a trip to the Unseelie sithen and see if the are still where I left them, as I did not bring them to the funeral, just the hat.

Gwyn was telling Paasheeluu how much easier the magic sounded when she explained it, compared to Aislyn. In the course of this, she made an affectionate remark to me. This stumped Paasheeluu for a moment. She looked back and forth for a moment, and then asked if we were a couple. For some strange reason, Gwyn found this highly amusing; in fact, she was doubled up with laughter, barely able to breathe.  I gave her a look and told Paasheeluu that yes, we were a couple, and had been for a while.  She congratulated us, saying how it made her miss Meeshii, but then her command of English failed her and she asked if we needed a midwife.

That sobered Gwyn up somewhat, as it did me. In all of our lovemaking, neither of us had given consideration to the possibility of pregnancy, on the sure and certain knowledge that a vampire could not father a child. But now, in my temporary living state, I did not know if that still applied. I was no expert on such matters, but I would have thought it might have taken a while for me to become fertile again, if at all, but then, when dealing with fae energies, who knows? I had fathered a child with Alex, but it had taken us some while to get her pregnant, but there was no way of telling if that was down to me or her.  We agreed we ought to be more careful while I was still breathing.

Paasheeluu, meanwhile, looked confused and embarrassed and asked if she had used the right word – thinking you needed a midwife to get married.  That started Gwyn giggling again as she explained what a midwife was for.  Paasheelu looked embarrassed and started cursing in her own language, translating, not very well, into English when Gwyn asked.  Gwyn gave her some tips in cursing – that is something she does know about – and then they started talking about weddings, and how different they were for equines.  I must admit, I wasn’t paying much attention, and indeed, I drifted off to sleep in my seat by the fire. By the time I awoke, they had both gone and I took myself back to the cottage to sleep properly.

I did wonder, thinking later, about the whole wedding business. From what Gwyn tells me, such things are less important in her time, so I don’t think she is necessarily having thoughts in that direction. Of course, here, it would be a different thing entirely, if people don’t get married until they are pregnant. Plus, the presence of Val in our relationship would probably complicate things. Somehow I doubt it is likely to be an issue, but I suppose I should bear it in mind, just in case.


*… couple of swells…



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