Twelve likes and one comment… I guess I can go ahead and post that sneak peek. 😉
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Still born. Ephraim stared at the maid who held his son. His dead son.
“My Lord…” She didn’t look Ephraim in the eye, but stood holding the still bundle of blood stained swaddling clothes concealing the boy.
The maid looked up.
“What’s wrong with Kathryn?”
A woman’s scream broke out from behind the drapes leading to the bed chamber. The maid, still holding the lifeless child, hurried back into the room. More cries and screams filled the chamber, then… the cry of a babe. Ephraim pushed back the drapes and stepped into the room. Kathryn, his wife, lay on the massive canopy bed, her face slick with sweat and her eyes closed. The physician turned to Ephraim, holding a live baby girl. He gave Ephraim a faint smile.
“Twins my Lord. Your wife has given you twins.”
The child was covered in blood, her face contorted in an aching cry.
Ephraim didn’t acknowledge, but rushed to his wife’s side. He knelt by the bedside and took her hand.
She didn’t respond.
“Hector,” Ephraim spoke to the physician. “Hector!”
In an instant, Hector was at his side.
“What is wrong?”
It was a moment before he answered. “I am sorry my Lord. We were not prepared for the second child, it was too much. Something was torn, she is bleeding and I cannot stop it.”
Ephraim gripped his wife’s hand. No. God, You cannot take her from me.
He rose to his feet and leaned over her. Reaching out, he gently stroked her wet forehead then kissed it, breathing in her scent. She still smelled of mint, like the day they first met.
“Kathryn,” he whispered. “My Kathryn.”
There was a flutter of movement under her eyelid. Slowly, she opened them.
“My Ephraim,” she whispered back, a small smile on her lips. Ephraim tried to smile back.
“The children,” she continued in a faint voice. “Our children… Ephraim?”
Ephraim glanced at Hector. The physician nodded, “She, the child lives me Lady.”
“She…” Kathryn breathed out. “Our daughter….the other?”
“A son,” Ephraim responded before Hector could say a word.
“A son… Ephraim,” she took a shaky breath. “What shall we call them?”
“Whatever you want my love.” Ephraim stroked her forehead with his thumb.
“Wrenna and Aaron.” she whispered after a moment. “You…you choose the rest.”
“Kristine and… Walter. Kristine for her mother and, Walter for my father. How is that my love?”
“Wrenna Kristine and Aaron Walter Fulton.” Kathryn smiled. “Fine names.”
She whispered something, so softly, he couldn’t hear her. He leaned in closer.
“I love you.”
A tear slid down his face. He laid his hand on her cheek and kissed her.
“I love you too.”
(Copyright L.E.R. Jenkins 2013)