Spawn of the Night
Author's note: My own relationship that ended tragically when he passed away in a car crash inspired me as he... Show full author's note »
Home is where the Heart is. Isn't it?Spring of 1763, Daryn Nightshade/Richard of Montevoy
I re-read the letter from the mid-wife.
Your wife, Lucinda, has been taken to bed from childbirth after 7 months of pregnancy. I am sorry to inform you that she went through a miscarriage of a son in early spring. Lady Lucinda had been ill from the beginning but we believed she would recover. Alas, she did not and the baby is lost. We would appreciate it if you returned home as soon as possible.
Your humble servant in the eyes of God,
My wife was pregnant? I didn’t even know that. Now I was being told she had lost a baby after 7 months. My heart broke. My son... And Lucy was ill. I wanted to go home to the warmth of Lucy’s arms; the joy in her smile and her laugh; the laughter that rang through the hallways.
Home was deathly quiet. Sullen faces passed me with formal greetings. I was worried now; terrified. I wanted to see Lucy. Running up the staircase to her room, I thought about how she would welcome me home. When I threw open the doors, satisfied with my thoughts, I was taken aback. She wasn’t there with her arms wide open. She was curled up in the top right-hand corner, folded herself into a ball. Her skin was white and almost transparent. Her fair hair was now limp and looked pale. Her lips were blue and her face was sunken. This wasn’t my wife. This was a corpse that just looked like her. I took in the atmosphere of the room; it seemed that the air was stale, a perfume of rose oil hung in the gloomy room. I strode over and yanked the windows open, coughing slightly as the dust tickled my nose. At once, the corpse’s eyes fluttered open. “Daryn?” Lucy’s voice rang out. I cringed to hear how frail she sounded; how it was proof that the body was indeed my wife. “What happened, Lucy?” I asked, fighting the anger I felt. “You’re not even gonna say Hello?” she asked softly. “I asked you what happened?” my temper flared and she flinched. “I was ill. I lost our son. I’m sorry,” she whispered then collapsed into tears. I couldn’t find it in me to comfort her. “How did you lose my child? How did you get so ill?” I asked. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened! I tried to give you a son, I swear I did!” she cried out. “I forgive you, Lucy. But please, I’m begging you, don’t let this happen again. I don’t care that you lost the baby now, I only care that you get better. Can you do that for me?” I sighed. “I’ll do my best,” she sniffled. Now, my heart gave way to her and I pulled her into my arms. “I love you. Don’t ever forget that,” I kissed her brow. “I love you too,” she burrowed into my shirt and all I could do was to hold her tight against me to warm her; she was so cold.
I spent every waking moment I had with her, supporting her as she tried to walk around the room. She was so sick, it broke my heart to see her that way. Finally she was looking better. But she longed to go outside. I caught her many times looking out the window with tears in her eyes. Now that she could walk and stay awake for a whole day, I decided to spend the day with Lucy outside.
I packed three cotton blankets in a pack along with fruits and drink. Only then, did I wake my wife and inform her of my plan. She was overjoyed. I was pleased to see her smile so wide it seemed to split her face in two.
“Daryn, can we take a rest?” she asked after a day filled with riding, strolls, eating and her watching me swim. “Sure,” I tucked her hand in mine and led her to where I had stashed my pack. Letting go of her, I spread out the large blanket on the ground and the food. “You planned all this?” she was shocked. “Yes, Luce, I did. Come sit here and we’ll watch the sun set, hmm?” I smiled and she slid into my arms on the ground and lay her head on my chest. “I like to hear your heartbeat. It tells me you’re here with me. I miss that feeling,” she muttered against my chest. “I miss all of you,” I sighed. “Daryn, you haven’t kissed me since you came back,” she looked up at my face. “I’ll kiss you now then,” I pulled her up and smashed my mouth on hers.
She was fast asleep with her head on my chest. I looked down and saw that her shawl had slipped from her shoulder and that she was shivering. I pulled one of the extra blankets around her and she snuggled into it. I couldn’t help but smile at her.
“Daryn, can we go home?” she muttered. “You’re awake,” I smiled. “And I’m cold. Can we please go home?” she murmured. “Sure, let’s go. Can you stand?” I asked as she stumbled back down when I picked her up. She gripped my fingers tight as she tried again but her knees buckled and she fell to the ground. “I got you,” I scooped her up and brought her home.
Lucy slept fitfully through the night. Sweat rolled down her face and naked back. She woke up, panting, throughout the night. I finally gave up on trying to go to sleep myself and kept vigil with her till dawn. She was shivering again and her skin was burning. “Lucinda, please relax,” I begged as she sat still, her back straight. I pulled her back against me and she turned her face into my shirt. “What if I die, Daryn? What if my illness gets worse? Will you promise me one thing?” she asked, her voice muffled. “Don’t talk like that. You’re going to get better and you’re going to be stuck with me forever,” I chided but inside, my own mind was asking the same questions. “But will you promise me one thing?” she repeated, pulling away to look me in the eyes. “Depends,” I said, narrowing my eyes. “If I die, promise me you won’t mourn. Promise me you’ll fall in love and marry again and have fair haired babies. Promise to visit me every second sunday of the year,” she listed out. “That’s more than one thing,” my mouth and lips were dry. “But promise me!” her face was set stubbornly. “I promise to do only one thing; to love you forever,” I answered. “Daryn,” she started but I just dipped my head lower to kiss her and shut her up. My heart was pounding with pain. She was already planning to die; how could I have let it go that far?