She shall bring good fortune with two
Vanessa was laying down in bed when she heard the door knock. "Come in!"
"I can't do this anymore. I give up. Please let me give up," said a tired, drained young blonde women. Slowly walking over to the bed, she layed down next to Vanessa. She was anything but herself these days. She was set off by the simplest things and her once happy cheerful self was now sad and always exhausted.
"You can do it, Ashley. And I am not letting you give up."
"But please, look at me. I look horrible. How did I even managed to get married," she said pulling on her hair to try to make it look more presentable.
Vanessa turned her body to face the women who was on the verge of tears now, "First of all, Samuel is very lucky. And second you are pregnant Ashley, its okay if you don't look your best. But I still think you are beautiful. How is my niece doing today?"
"How are you so sure it's a girl?," Ashley asked with a smirk, "I don't even know what it could be. All I know is that I wish it was time to give birth. I love what is inside me, but they way I look not so much. You make me so jealous when I look at you."
"My niece or nephewwwwwwwww," Vanessa said emphasizing the fact that she could be having a boy, "needs time to grow. And you need rest, do you need anything?"
"A time clock so I can fast foward three months?" Ashley asked hopeful that Vanessa would say yes.
"Oh that? Give me three months to get it made," she said with a giggle. She turned her body back and was now staring at the ceiling again waiting for the day that it would be her with a huge stomach and a life inside her. She could not wait to be caring Zac's baby inside of her. It would be a wonderful miracle and something she realized she was ready for. Now it was only a matter of time.
She left Ashley sleeping like a baby, as she should be and slipped out of the royal suite that Samuel would sure find her in shortly. She always did have a habit of hiding from Queen Starla in there. And that was only because the Queen was possibly more excited about the birth of her first grandchild than Ashley or Samuel were - even though they were a bit excited when the news first came. Vanessa shut the door quietly and almost ran into Lady Monique and Sir Corbin running fast down the hall. "Hey Lovebirds! Watch it!" she giggled as they turned back briefly all to wave to her and be on their way.
Finding her way back to her and Zac's own wing in the enormous castle, Vanessa slipped off her shoes and started to undress out of the corsets and skirts that she had on her body - not hearing her husband sneak in behind her and softly shut the door.
"Did you know," he started, smirking at her mini-jump as his hands touched her bare shoulders, "that you are beautiful my Princess?" he kissed the back of her neck, helping her out of the clothing willingly.
"That kind sir, I did not. But I thank you for the compliment but you best get out of the suite before my husband catches us," she teased, turning in his arms and reaching for his own shirt. His hands covered her own as he stopped her.
"I best then, I shall leave," he let them go and started to back away from his wife, playing her and her own game.
"Not fair Zachary!" she yelped and ran after him, into his arms. Kissing him softly, she felt his smile against her lips as she felt her dangling legs hit the edge of the bed. "Hello, my Prince."
"Good evening my Princess," Zachary kissed the tip of her nose and let her loose from his arms as he went to change out of his clothes for the night. "How was your day today?"
"Full of a whiny Ashley and your mother. Do I need to explain any further?" she laughed, lying back softly on the bed they called their own.
"No, stop there. That's all I need to know," he smiled, turning back to see her exhale a deep sigh from her tiny body. "Is something wrong, my Princess?" he walked to her and laid beside her, brushing her obsidian locks out of the way of his view of her beautiful face.
"Oh, nothing," she turned on her side to face him; her hand fluttering over his thin shirt.
"No, there is. Tell me, please," his lips touched her forehead gently as his hand slithered over her body.
"It's just....I want to be whiny like Ashley."
"Well I think I can help you with that," Zac said propping himself up so his body was hovering over her. "But only if you don't whine." He teased her with a passionate kiss and then rolled back to his side of the bed with a smirk on his face.
"Me? Whine? I don't do such things, but I think you might in a few minutes," Vanessa said teasing him back. She had to get him back for leaving her before. Slowly she lifted the fabric of his shirt up and feathered kisses from his abdomen to his chest. His breathing was getting heavy so she knew her teasing was working. As soon as she got to his neck she stopped and jumped underneath the covers. "I think I'm going to bed."
Zac didn't know what happen. One minute he was getting lost in the kisses his wife was giving him the next his body was cold with no one touching it. He quickly shed his shirt which was no longer needed and got underneath the covers as well. He pressed his chest into her back and his hand lifted her nightgown up until his fingers were brushing against her now exposed stomach. He resumed kissing her neck and shoulder like before, but this time stopping at her favorite spots. She began whimpering, wanting more, as her hand found its way to the back of his head holding his lips in her favorite places. "No whining remember?" he whispered breathlessly.
"Okay," she said turning her body around and grabbing his face with her tiny hands and kissing him with all the pent up passion she had for him.
All the teasing between the two seemed to leave them hungrier for each other then usual. Zac ripped off the nightgown in one swift motion, while Vanessa removed his pants. Within seconds they were joined together, moving and moaning in pleasure. "I love..." he said got out before he lost his breathe again "...you."
The were woken up early in the morning with the light the sun shone into the room. Vanessa just buried her head into Zac's chest more trying to hide from the light. Zac pulled her closer to him and then grabbed her pillow and covered his facr way back to the direction of her own chambers.
"See, glowing," Vanessa nudged her sister-in-law, "told ya so." She didn't even give a second thought to maybe the Seer was talking about her.
It had been a week after the party and Ashley was almost into her seventh month. Her stomach had stretched considerably and all she would do now was complain that she could not see her feet. For most of the time that Ashley had been pregnant Vanessa was the one to calm her down and tell her everything was going to be okay. But the past few days Ashley had begun to get on her nerves. It took everything in her not to yell at Ashley everytime she whined. Something was changing in her and she felt it. Her moods were changing faster than ever before and she would be craving certain foods. Vanessa had never been one to boss people around, even with her high stature, so she continued to ignore her cravings and be nice to everyone.
The mood change, Vanessa rationalized was something that was inevitable when she spent everyday with Ashley. Being around her all the time she was just used to all her habits. Normally Vanessa would eat whenever she did and lay down when she did, just to keep her company. It never occured to her that their might be a reason her body and attitude was changing. The thought never entered her mind, since her and Zac had been trying for months with no result.
She walked into her room and exhaled a breath she didn't know she was holding. Vanessa was getting frustrated, with everyone including Zac. Since Ashley was pregnant the duties the Princess would have had handled now went to Vanessa as well as making sure her kingdom was okay. It was just getting to be too much.
"Hi beautiful," Zac said happily walking into her room and laying next to her.
"What?" Vanessa wasn't in the mood to flirt or be nice to anyone. She hoped that Zac wouldn't take it personally but she was tired of thinking about everyone else's feelings at the moment. She turned on her side facing away from Zac and tried to take in deep breaths to calm her down.
"What's wrong, Vanessa?" Zac asked worried. He knew when she was in a bad mood, but today she was just hanging out with Ashley he didn't know what caused her to get upset. He sat up and rubbed her back trying to sooth her.
As soon as she smelt him she began feeling nauseated. He was sweaty from being out in the sun and working with the horses. She got up as fast as she could and ran into the bathroom. The contents of her stomach soon were discarded and her body was now feeling more drained than before. She barely made it to the bed before she collapsed on it. Something was wrong with her and now Zac was scared, he needed to get her help.
He stood back as the royal physician looked over his wife who literally laid helpless in their bed. He checked her thoroughly and nodded to him to come closer, wanting to explain what he had observed to the both of them. Zac sat above her head and reached for her hand to clasp.
"Prince, Princess," the physician nodded and Zac couldn't contain himself, he had to know.
"What is it? Is she okay? Why did she get sick? Any medicines that could cure her and she can be back on her feet now?"
Vanessa smiled up at her husband, him being so worried about her warmed her heart and she squeezed his hand to stop him from the interrogation he was giving the doctor. "Go on, please," she nodded to the man looking between the two.
"You just need to rest a few days Princess. Nothing serious that I can tell for now. I can only tell that you are ill right now and you need all the rest you can get."
"What does that mean?"
"That means having Prince Zachary here waiting on you hand and foot for at least two days. I'm sure you wouldn't mind that, would you?"
"No, but he's got other things other than me. There's a truce meeting with the Concords from Grenway tomorrow and I don't want him to miss that," Vanessa voiced her concern for her husband's royal duties that were soon to come upon them both.
"But, my Princess," Zac made her look back at him. "You are my life - much more important than the truce meeting and I'm sure Samuel or any of my brothers can tell me the details after the fact." He smiled down at her, getting lost in her eyes rather quickly and broke the gaze fast to thank the doctor who was packing up his examination tools to leave them. "Doctor, thank you. I shall look after her with the utmost care."
"I'm sure you will Prince Zachary. I will check on you late tomorrow. Goodnight your Highnesses," he bowed slightly and exited the room, Zac following him as Vanessa bunched herself against the pillows and blankets sprawled over the bed.
"You, scared the life out of me," she heard her husband whisper and opened her eyes slowly to see him crawling in bed beside her. "Don't do that again."
"I'll try not to. No promises though."
"Come on, let's sleep. You need nothing but rest."
"But...Zac...making babies takes practice."
"And babies need a healthy mother. Rest, my Princess. I shall be here in the morning." He kissed her temple, blowing out the whimpering candle on their bedside and pulling her closer, needing, wanting and making sure she was safe.
Almost four months had passed since Vanessa's sick incident. Though she did become more sensitive to smells around her, she was doing very well holding in the contents of her stomach. Not only had her senses become more alert than usual, but her cravings had also. She was never one to make special requests for meals but suddenly, she would want chicken in the middle of the night or eggs for dinner. Zac was never one to deny her or her cravings. He would do anything to make sure she was not only feeling better, but stayed that way.
Vanessa had just come out of her bath and was now staring at herself in front of the mirror in the bedroom. She was examing her stomach wondering how it had gotten so big in the past few months. Her eating patterns hadn't changed that much or so she thought. She was also trying to figure out why her feet were swelling and her back ached so much.
"How did I get so fat?" she whispered out loud to herself thinking she was alone.
"You are not fat, beautiful," Zac whispered walking up behind her and placing his hands on her stomach. He knew how long her showers usually took and managed to sneak in right before she got out.
"How did this happen then?" she asked leaning her head back onto her husband's chest. No matter how horrible she was feeling at the moment, he made her feel so special and beautiful. There was something about his touch.
"I fed you too much. But I like you this way anyway," he replied rubbing her stomach and placing kisses down her neck before resting his chin on her shoulder.
"You did this to me? I knew it," she giggled. He knew how to make her feel better about herself. She was so lucky to have Zac in her life and she knew it. Everyday she fell in love with him more then she thought she possible could.
"You know Ashley told Mom you were glowing. Or so she thought. What does that mean?"
"I don't know Zac. But I think I want something," Vanessa said turning herself around in her husband's arms. He definitely had her under his spell. And the way he was touching her was sending shockwaves through her body. She needed him right now. And she wasn't going to take no for an answer. She kissed his passionately and then began to pull him towards the bed.
"Wow," he breathed out, his back hitting the soft, cool sheets of the bed, basking in their post-coital bliss. His breathing was heavy and starting to even out and he looked over at her, the sweat beading on her brow; her breasts rising as she breathed in and out as well and she looked back with a twitching smile on her mouth. "Wow..."
"When did you get that kinky?" he asked, recalling the places her hands went and his as well. But that was nothing new for him - his hands were always all over her. Her case though was a once in a lifetime thing.
"I don't know," she giggled, pulling the loose sheet over her chest and scooting closer to him. "I didn't hear you complaining though." She kissed his arm gently and pulled her arm under her head.
"I'm not, not in the least," he captured her lips and all was lost once again.
She felt great. Really great and she was beaming. Maybe a little too much. Vanessa headed down the corridor en route to Ashley and Samuel's wing to go and visit before Ashley popped out with her new niece or nephew, even though she was still betting on the niece part. The sun was shining, the music playing throughout the palace and this day for her could not be any better. Spying Zac and Lucas down the hallway, she smiled bigger. Just thinking of the twinkle in his eyes made her giddy and also made her want to pull him in an abandoned room and make love to him again.
She passed the library as well and was a little startled when the Seer came out with her father-in-law, books in hand. She stopped and stared at the Seer, who was in turn staring back at her with a bright smile. Placing the books she had into the King's hands, the Asian beauty stepped forward and covered Vanessa's hands softly. "You are the one. Twice-Blessed you will be. Very soon." She stared back, not knowing what to think of the Seer's words. "Twice-Blessed and Glowing."
Why is everyone thinking I'm glowing? Ashley is the only one glowing in this castle, Vanessa thought. She continued to make her way to Ashley's only stopping once more to look out at the garden was which was being lite by the sun. She made a note to go there later to just relax. Finally she reached Ashley and Samuel's quarters and knocked softly before letting herself in.
"You won't guess what the Seer told me. She said I was twice-blessed and glowing, Ashley. What does that mean? Is that code for something?" Vanessa said plopping down on the bed.
Ashley who was still laying down on the bed due to the doctors order, turned her head to see her friend. She indeed was glowing, more than Ashley ever had during this pregnancy, but she wasn't going to say anything. Figuring it was easier to question the former than the ladder, she asked, "Twice-blessed?"
"I know, what the heck is that supposed to mean? Maybe she meant that these two kingdoms are a blessing? Or the weddings were two blessings. I don't know but all this thinking is making me tired. How are you?" Vanessa asked staring off into the balcony that was open.
"I am tired of sitting! I want to walk, run, swim, anything!" Ashley proclaimed shifting her body to get comfortable in the bed.
"How bout we sit in the balcony? Are you allowed to walk 5 feet and not explode?," Vanessa smirked helping her very pregnant friend outside. They both stood quietly at the railing looking out at the beautiful landscape of the castle, until Vanessa felt someone grab her arm.
"Maybe getting up wasn't a good idea," Ashley said panting. Vanessa looked down at her feet and saw fluid leaving Ashley's. She was in labor. The baby was on its way and it was up to Vanessa to help her get through this. The look on Vanessa's face was pure terror. She did not know what to do or who to call, but first thing was getting her back inside.
"You weren't supposed to explode!" Vanessa shouted turning around to get Ashley back in bed as fast as she could.
"Emma Sofia Efron," her name was soft spoken by her mother as she cradled her in her arms and Samuel watched over them protectively. Already he was a proud father and Zac, even though he had been rivaling with his eldest brother since birth, was proud of him. Watching him and Ashley now, as Vanessa stood beside him watching on - hours after the untimely birth of a new princess in the kingdom. "Sam..."
"I know," he kissed his wife's head barely as she shifted their daughter into his arms. "She's so perfect."
"When are you two gonna have one of these Vanessa?" Ashley asked, stroking Emma's fine and wispy hair as she lie sleeping and content in her father's arms.
"We're practicing," Zac piped up only to be hit by Vanessa moments later. "What? We are."
"But you don't need to tell our whole family about it!" Vanessa raised her voice a little, leaving the royals laughing and Zac chasing after her as she left the room in a hurry that he wasn't expecting.
"Hey, Vanessa, come on...." he yelled down the hall that she disappeared, running to catch up with her now. Turning the corner as he predicted she would head back to their own wing, he saw her stopped in the middle of the hallway and holding the wall with her right hand. "Vanessa! What's...." Zac ran to her side only to see her other hand clutching her tummy and feeling for something that wasn't there. "What is it?"
She looked up at him with wide eyes, a tear piercing the one. "Zac...I felt something move."
"Move? What? Where?" Zac asked confused. She was still holding her stomach trying not to fall down onto her knees, so he scooped her bridal style and brought her to their bedroom. He gently laid her down he wiped the tears coming down her face and asked her again, "What happened, Baby?"
"Zac something moved...here," she said rubbing her stomach. "I think..."
"Really?" Zac asked cutting her off. His eyes widen like hers before and his mind began flooding with ideas. Was she really pregnant? How did they not know before? How far along was she? "Are you sure? How do you know?"
"Something moved!" she said with a little more force. That was all her mind kept thinking. She felt a little kick on the side of her stomach, something she had never felt before. She never thought she was pregnant but now her weight gain and her moodiness all made sense. Vanessa had all the same symptoms Ashley had had for the past 10 months. She knew know it wasn't because she was spending time with Ashley it was because she had her own little miracle inside of her. She was pregnant, very pregnant.
The look in her eyes said everything he needed to know. Neither one of them had said the words out loud yet, but they were both talking about the same thing. "Baby!" Zac screamed and leaned forward to kiss his wife with all the love inside him he could muster up. He needed to bring the doctor to her so they were both sure and make sure she was healthy. Zac was about to get up when Vanessa pulled him back down on top of her.
"You're not going anywhere yet, father-to-be," she smiled kissing him again.
"No, I have to listen to the mother of my child," he replied pulling off his shirt. "Not," kiss, "going," kiss, "anywhere."
"You sure about this?" Zac intertwined his wife and his fingers together as they ventured down to the dining hall, ready to tell not only both sets of parents soon to be grandparents, but the soon-to-be aunts, uncles, godparents and family friends as well. "I mean, both parents are one thing, this is another," he reasoned with her. But Vanessa just shook her head and smiled more, her other hand rubbing a spot on her belly lovingly.
"I'm sure, my Prince," she leaned up and placed a kiss on his cheek. "It's easier and better this way."
"If you say so," Zac shook his head as they entered the hall only to be greeted by a wealth of people and their parents seated on the other end.
"Vanessa! You have to see Emma!" Ashley beckoned her attention first.
"Zac! Where are your heirs?" his younger brother, Dylan, made him whip his head around.
Shouts and yells were heard all over the room and he turned back to his wife again. "Positive?"
"Yea. I think we should tell them now....oh, after I get my hands on that," Vanessa pointed to the roast in the middle of the table and her eyes lay upon it.
"I love you and your cravings," he chuckled.
"I love you even more once you feed me," she laughed as well, Zac pulling out her seat at the elongated table for the feast ahead of them between Lady Monique and Lady Olesya. "That has my name on it."
Gina and Starla stood before their husbands, gawking with eyes wide open at what the Seer had just sad to them. For the Queens were not like their offspring, for they believed the Seer without explanation. She, who did not age like them, had foretold the union of the kingdoms many moons ago, and even the foretelling of an heiress that would bring great light to the kingdom - whom they knew was Emma, the bouncy young darling in her father's arms.
"Twice blessed I bless thee, my Queens, Kings. She will give birth to two who will lead us from the dark into day with the Great Heiress who has been born. I bid you now peace and a good evening. King David, I shall speak with you tomorrow on the Sourceror." The Seer bowed gracefully and stepped with grace to the exit of the room, smiling lightly at Vanessa who was eating for her and her child now. "Dark into Day, you are the bringer of good fortune. Twice blessed, Princess," she whispered and exited as fast as Vanessa could look up.
There was still so much to learn.
Vanessa looked around the table with a confused look on her face. It wasn't that she didn't believe in what the Seer did, it was just she never understood what she meant. Not only was she twice blessed now, but she was dark into day. [i]Maybe the Seer had had to much wine tonight,[/i] Vanessa thought. After a few more minutes of eating, she finally leaned back in the chair happy and full. This baby knew how to eat, that was for sure. A giggle escaped her mouth as she felt another soft kick in her stomach.
Zac who was sitting across from his wife was just as confused by the Seer's remarks. However he never believed in what she would say so it didn't bother him. He couldn't keep his eyes off of Vanessa all night. She was glowing more than usual and he had never seen her look more beautiful than tonight. Learning that she was carrying his child just made him love him more than he ever thought was possible. A small smile formed on his lips as he knew why his wife was giggling. He got up from his seat and made his way around to her.
"Is my little guy bothering his mother?" Zac asked whispering into her ear.
Vanessa slowly slid back her chair to get up and interlaced her fingers with his. "My little princess isn't bothering me at all."
"Princess? I'm going to have two princesses? A man can only handle so much," Zac said quietly putting his other hand on his forehead for effect.
"Come on let's tell everyone! I can't keep it in much longer. And if you behave, you might get a reward," Vanessa smirked and pulled Zac towards the end of the table.
Zac didn't need to be told twice to behave. Another perk of Vanessa being pregnant was that right now all her hormones were working in his favor. He went to the front of the table where his brother was sitting and cleared his throat to get everyones attention. Every single person on the table looked up toward the young couple who were still holding hands wondering what was going on.
"We have an announcement to make!" Zac said with a big smile.
"She's leaving you?" Samuel asked trying to hold in his laughter. After all the wedding confusing, Zac and Samuel had become pretty close. They both women they loved in their lives and put everything that happened before behind them. Now it was only used in jokes. "She found a better kingdom, didn't she?"
"She loves me instead!" Dylan shouted still eating his pudding.
"Funny guys, really great. We have two comedians in the family," Zac said sarcastically with a laugh. "Actually," he looked at Vanessa,"you want to tell them?"
She gave his hand a squeeze and broke out into the same big smile Zac had a few minutes ago. "Emma is going to have a playmate very soon!" she squeeled. The table was so quiet trying to understand what Vanessa had just said you could hear a pin drop. After a minute, Ashley was the got up and gave Zac and Vanessa hugs and soon after the whole table broke into cheers and congratulations. It was a happy day for everyone. And for the mothers, the Seers words were finally starting to make sense.
"Do you feel up to this?"
Vanessa groaned and stopped in her tracks, swinging back around and glaring at Lady Monique with a vengence. This was how Ashley felt and she was suddenly feeling the need to apologize to her sister-in-law for all the times she asked her that. "I'm fine Monique, for the last time. Why does everything think I should stay in bed until this little one pops out? I am perfectly capable of seeing how the nursery is coming along. I am also perfectly capable of walking by myself!"
The ladies Kaycee and Olesya stepped back from the moody Princess and stood behind Lady Monique, a bit scared of what would happen next. Monique giggled a bit, looping her arm through the Princess' and smiling over at her. "Of course we do Vanessa. Now come, let's see this nursery that your husband loves to talk about."
"He does, doesn't he?" Vanessa leaned into her friend a bit as Olesya and Kaycee followed them. Heading into a room just beyond theirs, the workers were busy working on the new furniture for her child. The room was a shade of green, Vanessa's favorite, as Zac had remembered. Of course, her dropping hints every night was not for nothing though. The window was big, letting in sunshine for miles. She turned around, her eyes darting everywhere and her cheeky smile appeared on her face again. "I love this room!"
"And you'll be spending plenty time here too," Ashley appeared in the doorway without her own bundle of joy in her arms. "Trust me." She walked in and took a look around the nursery as well. "I like this room too. It's beautiful."
"As do we," the Queens responded in unison, looking in on the project.
"Wow, everyone wants to see," Vanessa moved towards her mother and mother-in-law.
"Of course we do. We are the grandparents-to-be," Queen Gina turned to face her daughter, "but you might want to think of more furniture. Two is a magical number."
"What do you mean two, mom?" Vanessa asked. Did she mean two of everything? Though the space was very big, she understand why putting two of the furniture would help.
"Honey..." Gina began, knowing that if she began to speak of the Seer, her daughter would be upset. Vanessa never liked the fact that she listened to an old women speak about the future like she had been there, but that was something that the older generation just understood. Gina had given up a long time ago to try and convince Vanessa or her sister that she the Seer was a very knowledgeable women.
"You know, Mom, I'm glad you are here! It is a great idea to get two of everything!" the very pregnant women said hugging her mom. She went from confused to happy in a matter of seconds. It had just hit Vanessa but now it was her mom's turn to be. "That way Ashley and I could watch both our babies together, right mom? That would be great. It could be Emma's second nursery!"
Her mother just nodded her head. She hoped her daughter would have at least one girl so the pink that was going into the room would be worth it.
Vanessa was know entering her 9th month in her pregnancy and she was as big as ever. The whole family, except the mothers of course, were shocked at large her stomach had grown. Vanessa's stomach made Ashley's stomach when she was pregnant seem like a little bump.
"Remember when I made you go into labor? That was cause I loved you, now please return the favor, Ash!" Vanessa whined. It was now her turn to be on bedrest for the rest of her term and she just couldn't stand laying down anymore. She never was one to rest, Vanessa liked her life being busy but right now she was going crazy.
"That is because you made me get up. You are not moving," Ashley said laying Emma down on the bed. "Hi, baby," the mother cooed tickling her daughter's stomach.
"I'm sorry," Vanessa said tearing up. Her emotions were getting the best of her today, she never meant for Ashley to go into labor earlier than the doctor had said, but she was thankful that Emma was perfectly healthy. She felt alone, Zac was off fulfilling his duties and now Ashley had Emma. Not that she minded, but at the moment she just wanted someone to spend some time with and there was no one.
Her mind kept turning as she just observed Ashley and Emma. Ashley was so natural being a mother and even Samuel adjusted well, but what if Vanessa didn't do a good job. Zac was going to be an amazing father, but what about her? She always wanted to be a mother and when she meant Zac she knew it was only a matter of time. But now she just didn't know what to expect or what to do. Her heart began racing as she kept thinking of all the things she could do wrong to her unborn baby, she wasn't ready. She needed a few more months before she would be to take care of this baby. But before she could say anything she felt a sharp pain in her stomach.
"Okay, Vanessa, the nails are sharp, nails are sharp!" Ashley almost yelped as Vanessa kept her breathing patterns up and she held on to her sister-in-law for dear life.
It had been two hours since her sharp pain and it wasn't lessening in the least. Instead, they were getting worse and Vanessa was scared for her life. She needed Zac here now and he wasn't. And she was one to know how long it took by horse to get back to the castle from where he was at - ages, nights even. He wouldn't be here in time for the birth of their child and even her wishing that was here to get her nail marks instead of Ashley wasn't helping any. "I," deep breath, "need Zac."
"I know sweetie, I know. Keep breathing. He'll be here soon," Ashley wiped her brow of the sweat beading on it and placed it back in the wooden bowl that Olesya was carrying. Ashley had let her father-in-law take Emma back to her nursery as Vanessa progressed and the pain got worse. She never went through this kind of pain with Emma and it was killing her to see her friend like this.
"No," pain, "he won't. Too far."
"Ssshhhh, just breathe. Deep and out, good. He'll be here Vanessa, I promise. And if he isn't, I'll murder him myself," Ashley said, earning a small smile from the Princess before another sharp pain deeper in her belly.
"Ash," Vanessa shut her eyes and wanted to ignore it, but it wasn't going away, "ley....This baby...is coming....now...."
"Not yet sweetie. Not yet. Almost but not yet..."
"Not without me it's not," Zac surprised the both of them, running into the room and discarding his coat as soon as he entered, taking a seat on the bed next to his wife who was in excruciating pain at the moment. Placing a kiss on her wet brow, he whispered on her skin, "I'm here. I'm here."
"But baby..." Zac softly protested, pushing some stray curls from her face.
"No, you wait til you have to push a baby out of you! I don't think I'm going to make it," Vanessa whimpered leaning back into her husband who was now right behind her so that she had more support. His long legs on either side of her had become her arm rests, as she tried squeezing his knees instead of his hands. Zac grimaced in pain and took both of her hands into his.
"Nails, Van. Your nails!" Zac was trying not to scream, though he swore he felt blood coming out of one of his knees. But he stopped complaining when his wife shot him a glare. "Sorry, you're doing so good. I am so proud of you." He kept kissing her head letting her know he was going to be there as long as she needed him.
"COME OUT!" Vanessa yelled at her stomach. The pain was starting to become unbearable and any minute now she felt she was going to pass out. If Zac wasn't behind her, wiping her sweat off with a damp towel and holding her, she knew she would've been out of it a while ago. She heard the murmurs of her family outside the doors as well. They were just as eager to meet the new addition to the family as she and Zac were.
"Princess Vanessa are you ready? I think its time," the doctor asked, readying himself to help her deliver. He had been through this many times in the kingdom, but for some reason he had a feeling this delivery was going to be special. After a few minutes of pushing and screaming and encouraging, the baby was welcomed into the world. Cleaning her airway, the doctor looked down at the two blanket next to him and picked up the pink one wrapping the baby with it. "Congratulations, it's a girl," the doctor replied.
"Hi Nat," Zac whispered as the doctor handed him to Vanessa. Giving Vanessa another kiss into her hair, he wrapped his arms around Vanessas' and just looked at the two women he loved most in the world. They had decided on a few names just in case for a boy or a girl. Natalie Alex Paige Efron, won for a girl and both parents knew instantly it was the right name. Vanessa was amazed at how instantly she loved her beautiful baby girl, but something was wrong. She held her daughter for a few minutes before handing her off to one of the doctors' helpers to clean her up. The pain before she gave birth to Natalie hadn't gone away just yet. Vanessa thought it was normal since she had never given birth before, but fear ran through her body as the doctor looked at her with a shocked look on his face.
"What did you just say?" Zac stared at the doctor wide-eyed as he murmured the words once again.
"I said, we're not quite finished here yet. You're going to feel another sharp pain Princess," as soon as the doctor warned her, Vanessa arched her back back into Zac's frame and quickly, safely handed little Natalie off to the attendant for safe keeping.
"Make it stop!" she screamed. Zac whispered on her wet brow and cupped her hands over his knees.
"I can only make it stop if you push Princess. There's another one."
"Another one what?"
"Baby, Prince Zachary. There are two."
As the doctor readied himself, Zac grabbed the towel to wipe his wife's head with and kissed her temple again. "Two, two children," he inhaled deeply. "One more time baby, just one more."
Vanessa dug into his knees and he squeezed back as she screamed bloody murder that echoed throughout the kingdom. Her body arched back further into his, the pain something she could live without for a lifetime. Breathing heavily, she shut her eyes close tight and prayed that soon her second born would be healthy and most of all, out of her body. Pushing for the last time, she could feel the blood rushing to her brain and wished for this to be the last.
"And...congratulations Prince & Princess, you have a boy."
The smile on Zac's face was enormous as Vanessa was just shocked and thanking every God above for making the pain go away. "Oh my God..."
"Oh my God..." her voice trailed off as the attendant delivered her tiny Prince to her and handed the tiny Princess Natalie to her father, "Twins...twice blessed."
"Twice Blessed," Zac nodded, kissing her fully and turning his attention back to his family in front of him. "Welcome to the world Jonathan Stephan Alexander."