"it's worse than I could have predicted Joseph." I hear the doctor murmur silently. He thinks I can't hear, but I can and it brings me joy.
"well, what are you going to do about it? You're the doctor right?" Joseph replies angrily. I pull on my straps. He turns to face me, concern etched on his face.
"There's only so much knowledge my profession allows me to obtain Sire. With Demetria's condition, I'm afraid I'm at a fork in the road. The best I could do is keep her sedated, at least until the baby is born." And with that he leaves me with Joseph who says nothing. He can't even look at me anymore.
"I told you my love, there's only one thing to do." The words leave my mouth involuntarily again. He turns to glare at me.
"I don't know what the hell has gotten into you, but that person strapped into the bed isn't the woman I married!" she says icily before retreating and leaving me alone. Its words like those that bring me back, and he leaves before I can actually speak to him. What have I done?
Seven Months Earlier..
"I'm just going into town Joseph, not sailing the seven seas!" I giggle as he encircles his arms around me, refusing to let me go.
"but if you leave I'll miss you both terribly!" he exaggerates, planting a soft kiss on my forehead.
"and we'll miss you too." I say caressing my tiny belly with our baby in there. "but I need to visit our people too. Being trapped in here is killing me!" I explain and he leads me into the carriage, giving me a final kiss before shutting the door and watching as I ride off. Once in the carriage I wince and let out the yelp I had been holding in. Phillip, who is steering the horses in front, stops at the sound.
"everything alright your highness?" he asks courteously, I breathe in slowly and compose myself.
"yes Phillip I'm alright, just the little one making a fuss in there." I try my best to mask the pain in my voice. He nods and continues our journey into town.
Once we arrive, I let Phillip know I'll only be an hour and he stations the carriage to await me. I walk along the cobblestone path, clutching at my abdomen. I arrive at the secluded lake, remove my shoes, and sit by the water. Joseph had brought me here when we met, it is my peaceful place that I like to escape to when it becomes too much. I look around and make sure I am alone before I lift the hem of my dress and examine the damage. The blotches had spread, they were darker now. I let my tears escape, I couldn't tell Joseph. No one knew about them except for me. They all thought I had been doing well with my pregnancy, but only I knew about the pain and these unknown blotches. I had made it a habit to come out here and deal with it alone. At least until our baby was born, I was doing this for him. I kept reminding myself, it was to make Joseph happy, that made me happy too.
"if daddy's happy then mommy is happy." I whisper to my belly, and almost as if listening, it moves, and I cringe. I turn sharply when I hear rustling by the bushes. I fix my dress and eye the bushes as a little brown haired child emerges from the opening and looks at me with curiosity.
"hello." I say smiling; I had never met a child here before. She waves timidly. "It's alright; you can come out and join me." And so she does, skipping over and sitting by me.
"Hi." She says shyly.
"What's your name honey?"
"That is a very pretty name, I'm Demetria, but you can call me Demi." I say and she smiles, but I notice her staring at my abdomen questioningly.
"It hurts you, doesn't it?" she asks taking me by surprise. I stare at her and she holds her hand out asking for permission, I nod tentatively. She places her palm on my belly and strokes it in circular motions, and almost instantly, the pain vanishes. My eyes widen, she giggles.
"how did you do that?" I ask her in relief.
"mommy showed me." She replies and removes her hand. The pain returns shortly after, I breathe in sharply. "It doesn't last very long though, that's why mommy has medicine." She continues.
"Medicine?" I ask eagerly, anything to make it go away interest me at the moment.
"Yes, it makes the hurt go away." She finishes and grabs my hand, pulling me up and leading me towards the cobblestone path again. I follow her in curiosity, relief. I cling to the word, it gives me hope.