Wednesday, January 5, 2011

On the way back to the tavern Alise was exhausted. She thought Ike and Pandora would shop all night if they could. It was very different buying a dress now from when she had been a young girl. Back then a dressmaker would come to your house, take measurements, bring samples of fabric and a week or so later your dress was delivered. She was happy with the dress she bought for the ceremony and they had dropped it off at Rowans so Stoney would have no chance of seeing it. Pandora said she had some jewelry that would match the dress and Ike helped her pick out some clothes that fit her and should hopefully up until the babies were born. Alise left a new outfit on, the pants were more comfortable at this point than a skirt. They had passed a baby shop and Alise couldnt help but pick out a few things for the babies. She didnt like to spend money on herself, but they had nothing yet for the little ones. She knew Stoney wouldnt mind. Pandora asked her if she had thought about cribs yet and laughed at the blank look on Alises face.

“Where will they sleep if you dont have cribs?” Pandora asked.

Alise replied, “We have a big bed, they will sleep with us.”

Ike tried to explain that nowadays people used the cribs right away for the babies but Alise got that stubborn look on her face and just shook her head. Ike was beginning to realize you couldnt argue with Alise once her mind was made up and she let it go.

When they arrived at the tavern, Monty told Alise that Stoney was on the roof talking to Ob. She decided that this would be a good time to talk to Raina if she wasnt busy so she thanked Ike and Pandora for all their help and went upstairs.

Standing at Rainas door with her hand raised and ready to knock Alise pauses. I hope she is alone, its not that late... She knocks lightly remembering the last time she wanted to talk to Raina and had seen Gunnaar sprawled naked across the bed. She hears Raina yell “Come in.”

Alise opens the door slowly, “Are you alone? Or do I need to close my eyes?”

Laughing, Raina opens the door wide, “Yes, I am alone. Just doing some cleaning and straightening up. It was kind of a mess in here after the other night. Cute top, you must have been shopping. Whats in the bag?”

Alise sits on the bed and shows Raina what she bought for the babies. “Can I ask you something? Stoney said to talk to Rowan and I will but I know you will tell me the truth and not try to make less of it.” Alise tells her about her earlier conversation with Stoney and the movies she had seen at Mortuis'. “I didnt want Stoney to know I was scared but he can tell. Is it really that awful? I dont want him to think I am a silly little girl...”

Raina pauses, not sure how much to tell her. She is asking you because she knows you dont lie to her. Now isnt the time to start...

“Well for starters, it isnt anything like those movies, so get that out of your head. And I never had any kids so all I can tell you is what I have seen. It isnt pain like when you were whipped or beaten. Not that sharp excruciating pain. Its just different and hard to explain. Your body is working really really hard, so its more like muscle pain, but its over a large area because your whole belly contracts to push the babies out. You have to work with it, not against it and things will go much easier. I am sure Rowan can explain this better than I can. She has probably seen a thousand births … I only helped with the women in my family but no one was screaming in agony like in those movies. Groaning maybe, screaming, no.”

Alise nods, “I just dont want Stoney to think I am weak. His family, all the gargoyles, they are so strong and I am not like them.”

Raina pulls her close, “Being human doesnt make you weak and I know Stoney doesnt think that. How could you think that after everything you have been through?”

“But I cried, everyday I cried. When I was locked in that cell I cried until there were no tears left in me and I thought I was just going to die. I dont want to be like that again.”

Suddenly it dawns on Raina, if this is the only other experience she can remember involving pain no wonder she is scared. She has nothing else to compare it to.

“Okay, I get it now. But this will be totally different Alli, not the same kind of thing at all. And you wont be alone. Rowan will be there and call me, I will come if you want me to. And Stoney is planning on being there for the whole thing isnt he?” Gods, he better be or we are gonna have some words.... I wish I was better at that mental thing so he knew why she was feeling this way...

“I think he wants to be there....” Alise wasnt sure if he had meant only mentally when they talked earlier. “Are you sure you dont mind if I call you? I would like you to be there.”

Raina laughs, “I dont mind at all, call me anytime, day or night.”

Nodding Alise glances at the floor next to the bed, “Raina, what are those things on the floor? They look like....”

Laughing Raina gathers her toys and puts them in a drawer. “Not today little one, I am out of explanations. Another time we can talk about sex toys..”

Raina ducked the first pillow but the second one caught her right in the head and the pillow fight was on.....

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