Tiberius joined us at the dinner table that evening. At first he sat a few chairs down from me but I insisted he sit beside me. He looked a little uncomfortable about how accepting I was but, like Angel had said, everyone deserves a second chance.

Sally was staring at him with an open mouth.

"Sally," Christina admonished and the little girl shut her mouth. "I'm sorry."

"It's quite all right, ma'am," Tiberius said quietly, meeting Christina's eyes.

Christina quickly went back to her plate and I smiled to myself. After dinner, Angel took me back to my room. When we were done with my stretches, she got into bed with me. I was tired from all the work I did that day and fell asleep right after taking the sleep and pain tonic.

Halfway through the night, though, I woke up to the sound of Angel crying. I sat up and looked over. She was on the edge of the bed with her face in her hands.

"Angel?" I whispered, moving closer to her and putting a hand on her back. "Angel, what is it? Did you have a-"

I managed to sit beside her and the color drained from my face. I struggled out of bed and to the rope. I pulled it and collapsed to the floor. Angel came to help me.

"Stay sitting," I ordered and she obeyed. "Get Dr. Amelia," I told the servant. "Now."

Dr. Amelia arrived in her nightgown almost immediately. "What-? Oh my God, Angel!" I sat as Amelia stood in front of Angel, looking at the blood flowing from her waist down to the floor. "When did this start?"

Her lower lip trembled and she looked at me fearfully. "Yesterday," she admitted and my eyes widened. "It-It would stop and start again. It's been doing this for a couple hours."

"Come to-"

"No," I interrupted. "Treat her here, please."

Amelia nodded and had Angel lay back down. She lifted her nightgown and I looked away, turning my eyes instead to Angel's pale face. I struggled to get beside her, holding her hand.

"Why didn't you tell me, Angel?" I asked and she cried.

"I was too worried about you."

I sighed and kissed her forehead. She winced as Amelia did something but I didn't look even though I was worried. The pain on Angel's face told me that, whatever was going on, it was incredibly painful and she gripped my hand tightly.

"What's going on, Doctor?" I asked over my shoulder.

"Get some towels from the closet," she said and I hurried to obey, hopping on one foot. "Angel, you're hemorrhaging."

"What caused it?" I asked but she shook her head.

"Angel, have you been under a lot of stress?" Amelia asked and she nodded. I kissed her, rubbing her arm. "I've been doing research into the female body ever since I found out that Angel can't have children. I was hoping to find a way to cure it. When put under a lot of stress, it can form... spots in your stomach or uterus. Have you been experiencing abdominal pain?" Angel nodded again. "Yes, I think that's what it is. A cyst has ruptured."

"But what does that mean?" I demanded.

She sighed. "The medical books are clear about this type of ailment, however new it is. A cyst is like a small sac, a bubble if you will, filled with fluid."

"And it's filled with blood?"

"No. I can see the fluid among this. The pressure from the rupture, though, seems to have caused her ovaries to bleed again. I don't know if the nurse you saw before who told you of your infertility explained much to you, but it's things like these that are causing it."

"How do we stop the bleeding?" I asked desperately.

"It's already stopped," she promised. "Angel needs rest, though. We can keep her in here if it will make both of you feel better."

"What do you say?" I asked, brushing hair from her face. "Do you want to stay here or will you rest better in your room?"

"I want to stay with you."

"You need to stop worrying about me so much, my love," I whispered and kissed her gently.

She nodded as servants came in to change the sheets. I sat on the chair and lifted Angel gently so she rested on my lap. She winced as pressure was put on her midsection and I immediately lifted her again. The queen ran in, also in her night clothes, as the doctor washed her hands.

"Oh, sweetheart," the queen cried, kissing her on the forehead. "Will she be okay?"

I nodded. "But she needs to relax."

The servants started a hot bath for Angel and I let them carry her there to clean her up. There was so much blood....

"Amelia, do you have any kind of light sedative for her?" I asked and she smiled a little, holding up a notebook she was scribbling in.

"I'm making one now."

"Will this happen often?"

"No," she promised and squeezed my shoulder gently when I still looked doubtful. "I swear to you, David, it won't happen a lot. If I had to guess, I would expect two or three more times in her lifetime. If she had told us sooner, though, it wouldn't have been this bad. I'm going to make a tonic she'll take when it happens to lessen the blood. I'll be right back with this sedative."

"Thank you," I said and she nodded.

When the sheets were changed, I limped back into bed. The remaining servant helped me into a sitting position and I waited anxiously for her to return. About an hour later, Angel was carried back in by her father. Both of her parents were pale with worry.

"I'm sorry," she said weakly as I moved the blankets.

"Don't apologize," I said firmly.

"I should have told you sooner."

I held her hand as the queen tucked her in before sitting beside her.

"Where's the doctor?" the king asked in a hoarse voice.

"She went to make a sedative for the both of us. If Angel keeps worrying about me so much, it could happen again."

"I can't help it!" she cried and I moved closer, wrapping her in my arms.

"I know it's hard, my love," I said. "But it's killing me seeing you like this."

The queen was crying freely and the king held her hand tightly. We all remained silent until Amelia returned with the medicine.

"Okay you two," she said softly, "drink these. David, you won't need it as often but Angel, you're to take it twice a day."

"I will," she whispered.

We each took a dose and it didn't take long for Angel to fall asleep. I finally let my tears fall. I held her close and sobbed into her hair. The king gripped my arm in support.

"She's okay," he whispered.

"Why didn't she tell us?" I cried quietly, trying to stop my tears.

The king handed me his handkerchief. "She's stubborn," he said. "When she was a child, she broke her arm. We didn't know about it until four days after it happened."

I finally got myself under control and took a few deep breaths.

"We'll leave you to sleep," the queen said. "We need to sleep, too."

"Don't worry," I said. "I'm going to take very good care of her."

The queen smiled. "We know you will."

They left and I pulled Angel as close to me as I could. I never wanted to let her go. I was almost certain I wouldn't be able to sleep; even with the sedative. I heard Tiberius talking to someone outside and I knew he was standing guard. The king and queen must have told him about the change.

I closed my eyes and drifted into an uneasy sleep.


I woke up before Angel. The sedative Amelia gave her must have been stronger than mine. I lifted the blankets and was relieved to see that there was no blood. She shivered in her sleep and I quickly tucked her back in.

"How is she?" Amelia whispered, helping me to my feet with the crutches.

"Still out like a candle," I whispered back. I nodded to Tiberius as we started down the hall. "I checked before we left and there wasn't any blood." I sighed. "I'm going to be so paranoid about that now."

"I know," Amelia said kindly. "But she'll be just fine. I swear to it."

When we got back to the bedroom, Amelia applied more ointment to m shoulders.

"These bruises look so much better," she said. "I think you'll be back to normal by next week." She looked at my ankle and sighed. "I don't know why it's taking so long for your ankle to get better."

"Maybe it's stubborn," I yawned. I glanced to Angel who was still sleeping. "I'm more worried for her."

"I think, if she takes her medicine as she should, then she'll be fine by the end of the week."

"Can you bring me some parchment and a quill?" I asked and she nodded, bringing a small tray for me to write on, too.

She put some pillows behind me so I could sit up comfortably and I started writing down plans for our wedding.

The End

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