“I—“but what would she say?”
                “What?” he shuffled towards her and placed a hand upon hers. “Tell me—“ the seving girl appeared then and cut him off. She placed a plate filled with fresh pork and an array of vegetables. Her other hand held a pitcher of wine which she poured into his goblet.
                He growled at the serving girl but took a swig of wine.
                “Father, how is mother?” His hand froze half way to placing the cup on the table.
                “She...” this time he couldn’t speak.
                “I went to see her yesterday. Father she looks like this child is killing her!” her voce had risen as she spoke, becoming almost shrill as the emotion choked her.
                “That woman has borne four wonderful children. She can handle one more methinks.” His voice was like adamant, but his eyes betrayed his own fear.
                And her mother was just the beginning of all her worries. Devlin was in dire peril in the capital what with the tournament and whatever Lord Damyen had planned. Edaran was distraught, she was leaving home once more to live with Eldin, and whilst she loved him, he was often so distant or so angry, and she could not guess what little Deglan felt about all of this.
                In the end, what could she do about any of it. She felt so helpless.
                But it would do no good to dwell.
                She stood up from the table.
                “May I be excused?” she asked heavily.
                “I suppose so.” Eglan hacked at his pork. She left him to it. Once she’d left the room, she couldn’t hold the emotion. She fell into the wall, one hand upon her stomach, breathing hard. She could already feel the tears coming when she heard a shy, small voice.
                Dalaena turned around to see Deglan looking at her, his head cocked like some dog. He was a cute little boy, with short chestnut hair most often messy. He looked much like Edaran, with big brown eyes.
                She had to be strong, at least for him. She pulled in the pieces she’d allowed to get away in her moment of weakness and walked over to him. Kneeling to his eye level, he gave her neck a hug.
                “You are going today?” he asked.
                “Yes I am.” She held him away and smiled. “I will miss you little Deglan.” She placed a hand on his cheek and he clasped it in his own, so tiny.
                “I’m glad you could come visit us, will you come again soon?” he asked, plenty of hope in his high voice.
                “Of course!” she kissed his cheek and stood up. “I must go now. We will speak soon.”
                He gave her a toothy smile and ran away to food.
                She couldn’t help but laugh as he ran.
                With a heavy heart however, Dalaena kept on walking. She had to visit her mother again. This could be that last time they spoke, or not, but she had to do something. Ever since Laurel had birthed a stillborn, she had been so quiet. The woman she called mother had a big heart but it had cracked and chipped away since then. But now she was having another child, maybe her body had not recovered from that tragedy.
                She had to go talk to her. 

The End

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