Journey of Love & Life

Part 14

The rest of their time with Gabrielle's family was spent peacefully, no longer the battle they had expected to face and Xena truly enjoyed her time with Gabrielle's family. The news of her pregnancy had come as a shock to them, but they were really beginning to look forward to the birth of the baby and had agreed to come to the Amazons with them for their joining. Xena was most pleased about that because she knew it would make her bard very happy. Her mother and Hecuba got on really well and made sure she rested and ate well, eventually Xena was getting a bit annoyed at their fussing until Gabrielle explained it was because they loved her and the child growing within her, that they fussed over her and the knowledge had made her feel warm and happy inside knowing Hecuba loved her even though she was part of the reason Gabrielle stayed away from Poetaedia.

She was almost six moons gone when they made their way to the Amazons once again taking the journey easy and were surprised that they didn't encounter any problems on the way there. The journey took them about 5 days with Gabrielle insisting on them stopping every few hours again so that Xena could rest, Xena herself knew this was unnecessary as she had fought and lead an army up until the birth of her son, but she decided it couldn't hurt to take things easier, she knew it made Gabrielle feel better about things and she knew there was no reason for them to arrive at the Amazons at break neck speed. She still kept her senses alert, listening for danger always but felt more relaxed than she ever had, this pregnancy had not been nearly as rough on her besides the morning nausea as when she had been pregnant with Solan and she realised that was because she was taking the time to enjoy it and wasn't pushing her body to its limits all the time.

"Watch ya thinking about beautiful" Gabrielle asked her silent partner, she knew it was pretty normal for Xena to be quiet but lately she'd seen a different Xena emerging, one she could never dream she'd see, her beautiful warrior seemed more at peace and was gradually coming more out of her shell and talking a lot more. Her warrior had been very playful the last few days with her parents and she was glad Xena had let them see this part of her, a part that she didn't often get to see but was appearing more frequently lately.

"About how much easier this pregnancy has been on me, and how much I'm enjoying it, I know that things are probably going to be harder as I get further along, but I can't help but look forward to the birth of our baby no matter how much danger we might be in at the time" Xena told Gabrielle feeling still in awe of what was happening to her, every time the baby moved inside her she felt another part of her former stoic self leave her and she knew the changes that were coming were the same as the ones she went through when she had turned from evil, she was now coming out of the shell she'd used to protect herself, and although she was still scared of what it meant, she was ready to embrace the changes.

"I have noticed you're starting to come out of that shell you've always had around you, the one I'd begun to get used to, I can't believe how much you are changing, just when I thought I knew you, you start changing again" Gabrielle told Xena ruefully, but loving the changes in her warrior, knowing her love would always be a warrior underneath it all, it was her way and she had no desire to change that about Xena, that was part of what had made her fall in love with her warrior princess.

"I love you, sweetheart and so long as you are beside me when I give birth, it will be special, you are all I need" Xena told Gabrielle taking her into a passionate kiss, feeling her hormones begin to rage out of control again as the kiss turned from loving to fiercely passionate in just a few seconds. She felt her whole body tremble as Gabrielle's knee came in between them and pressed against her just below her growing belly. She almost growled when she heard the snicker and clearing of Lila's throat that signaled that Gabrielle's sister was near enough to them to see their kiss.

"Don't you two think you do enough of that already, better watch out Gabrielle you keep this up and Xena will give birth to triplets" Lila said laughing at the look of annoyance on her sister's face. She wasn't really sick of seeing them kiss, she actually loved that they showed the world how much they loved each other without care for what they thought, but it was rare that she got an opportunity to tease Gabrielle and she intended to make full use of this opportunity.

"You're just jealous cause you aren't getting any" Gabrielle retorted and then clapped a hand over her mouth, where did that come from? She thought as she caught Xena's amused look and laughed not able to take the mischievous grin coming from her warrior any more.

"You be quiet, I just happen to be changing too" Gabrielle said as Xena made a grab for her and began tickling her mercilessly, before she launched an attack on Lila and soon had both women rolling on the floor begging her to stop gasping for air.

"Okay you three, we'll never get to the Amazons if you keep mucking around" Herodotus stated mock seriously as he looked at his two daughters still struggling to get up and saw the mischievous look on Xena's face, Gods does she look 10 years younger when she smiles like that he thought watching as Xena lifted a hand to help her partner up.

"Okay I am so looking forward to when you can hardly see your feet, you still have way too much reach for a pregnant woman" Gabrielle laughed seeing the joy on her partner's face as she looked at Herodotus as he helped his other daughter up, and put an arm around Xena silently thanking her for bringing joy to his daughter's life. They looked at each other and smiled and Xena silently thanked whatever God had listened to them for changing Gabrielle's father's view of her. She thought of how good the last few days had been, with Herodotus slowly coming out of his shell more and showing where his daughter had gotten her bard abilities from by regaling them with a tale or two from his younger years and of how he romanced his wife.

"I somehow think that's not going to make much of a difference, you do take after you're mother with you're height sweetheart" Herodotus laughed at the look of indignation on his daughter's face at the mention of her height. He lead Lila away laughing deciding to give them some time alone while they set up camp for the night.

"I guess we should get to setting up camp huh?" Xena asked still trying not to laugh at how cute Gabrielle was when she was getting all indignant about her height, it made her just want to take her into her arms and kiss her, which was exactly what she did, this time hoping they wouldn't be interrupted until the kiss had fully run its course. She wasn't disappointed they were both breathing very heavily when the kiss ended and Xena felt like she was going to catch on fire she was that hot. It was another few minutes before either of them could think about setting up camp again and stayed locked together feeling each other's heart beating against their chests. When their hearts had finally calmed they set about fixing up their camp and joined Gabrielle's parents and Xena's mother for dinner.

"So girls, are you excited about the joining?" Hecuba asked looking over at Xena seeing the obvious joy light up on her face as she mentioned the joining, she could see how close they were, and knew that Gabrielle's hand was either resting on Xena's knee or Xena's stomach feeling the baby move.

"Excited isn't the word Hecuba, I can't wait to make this woman my wife" Xena told them, her love for her bard shining in her eyes as she looked at the woman who was her whole world, and knew without a doubt that she was where she was meant to be. She felt the baby move again within her and smiled even though she was hoping for a quiet night from the baby, she had some seriously hot plans for her bard after dinner.

"I still can't believe she asked for this, it came as quite a shock when she told me she willingly wanted to participate in an Amazon ceremony, they get pretty wild and now that their Queen is getting joined I'm anticipating a very big party" Gabrielle said still in awe at the changes in her warrior princess, she had once thought she would never get the stoic warrior to love her much less join her in an Amazon joining ceremony, what little she knew about the ceremony was enough to drive someone like Xena insane, she knew how much Xena hated crowds and parties, yet she'd asked for this, and above all that wanted to become an Amazon.

"Yeah those Amazon's sure like a party" Xena gulped remembering the few parties they'd participated in and hoped this wouldn't be anything like that, she knew full well she didn't have the stamina right now for a full blown Amazon party. Maybe they could sneak off before it really got fired up? She thought hopefully wondering what the baby would think of the thumping rhythm of the amazon dances. She hadn't really been around music much while the baby was moving, but knew from the music they had heard that the baby did respond to it. Great just what I need, drunk Amazons and a baby dancing on my bladder all night Xena groaned at the thought and then felt Gabrielle's hand grab hers and looked into worried emerald eyes.

"I was just thinking about how the baby would react to the Amazon music at the ceremony" Xena told her love seeing the worry quickly fade from those sparkling emeralds and smiled liking that Gabrielle worried about her and cared for her, the way she made sure Xena had enough padding underneath her to sleep comfortably, and the way she talked to the baby every night, reading it stories to get it to settle so Xena could sleep more soundly. Her eyes misted a little at all her bard did for her, but she didn't want to alarm Gabrielle so she blinked them back and listened to the woman that made her heart leap for joy.

"I never thought about that, do you think she'll like it? Maybe I should talk to Chilapa about toning the music down a bit, can't have our little one trying to dance her way out of you" Gabrielle smiled as she looked down at Xena's round firm stomach feeling a connection to her child that she had never thought she would feel, it was almost like carrying the baby herself, and she knew that no matter what the children they had would be theirs a part of both of them and she would feel a connection to all of them. She rubbed her hand over the top of Xena's belly feeling the roundness of it and how much bigger it was now, Xena was really beginning to show and she knew when they reached the Amazon's there would be no way they could hide it even if they wanted to.

"She likes that" Xena whispered softly pressing her hand against Gabrielle's keeping her hand there and felt the baby respond to the pressure, pressing up against Gabrielle's hand and smiled, she wanted Gabrielle to feel as much a part of this pregnancy as she was, she fully intended on getting Gabrielle to nurse the baby, once she was born, knowing the skin to skin contact would help their connection, even if Gabrielle wasn't really able to nurse her.

"I do too, it makes me feel more like a part of this, thank you my beautiful princess, I love feeling her move inside you" Gabrielle whispered and then realised she had missed her parents' and Lila's conversation.

"What was that Mother?" Gabrielle asked sheepishly feeling a blush creep onto her face as she realised that in that moment she had forgotten there was anyone else in the room. It was always like that with them, a look, a touch could make them forget where they were, forget who was with them, forget that anyone existed but the two of them.

"I was just remarking about how sure you two are that the baby is a girl" Hecuba smiled seeing the blush on her daughter's face and looked over at her husband and saw him smiling. The last few days had been good for them all, and Herodotus and Xena were really starting to get close, she had seen them talking animatedly quite a few times and it brought her such joy to see her whole family happy. She was really looking forward to being a grandparent and loved seeing Gabrielle and Xena sitting, both of their hands on Xena's growing stomach feeling the baby move. She knew how much Xena kept trying to make Gabrielle really feel a part of the pregnancy and it touched her at how thoughtful a person she had once hated could be. She looked over at Xena's mother and knew where that thoughtfulness came from. She and Cyrene were really beginning to forge a great friendship and she was enjoying the other womans company thoroughly

"It's Xena's fault really, she keeps calling the baby a girl and I've gotten so used to it that I can't call the baby anything else but she and her anymore" Gabrielle laughed at the look on her partner's face and knew Xena couldn't deny it, ever since the baby had started moving she had been calling the baby a she, saying she couldn't help it but she just sensed that the baby was a girl.

"Mother's intuition huh Xena?" Lila asked intrigued by how much change she saw in the warrior princess, she'd always liked Xena but the Xena she had been getting to know over the last few days was playful, cried at the drop of a hat sometimes and just really nice. She knew the crying thing was because of hormones, but the playful side of Xena was something she'd only seen on a rare occasion and it was mainly because of Gabrielle, but more and more it was coming out and not always because of Gabrielle. Today's tickle fight was proof of that, she never thought she'd be able to say that she'd had a tickle fight with Xena.

"Yeah something like that, I don't know I just feel in my gut that it's a girl and I've never been wrong about a gut feeling yet" Xena stated shrugging her shoulders, she was still getting used to a lot of the attention being on her because of the baby. It was times like these that she wanted to escape, change the topic from her, but for some reason couldn't act on the impulse, and she was getting better at dealing with being the centre of attention. She still felt a little weird when Gabrielle's Mum would suddenly come up and ask to feel the baby move, or start talking to her about the pregnancy and normal mum stuff. Guess it still hasn't hit me that I'm going to be a mother soon she thought and smiled as the baby began its nightly stretches and sighed knowing the baby would soon sleep and her plans for Gabrielle would take fruition.

"Getting sleepy my warrior princess?" Gabrielle asked knowing her warrior was anything but tired, but she knew the quickest way to get them back to their camp site was for the warrior to feign tiredness, endure a few moments of fussing from Cyrene and Hecuba and then her warrior and her would be alone and the plans she knew Xena had for them would come to fruition.

"Just a little, I think it's time I turned in, the way she is moving I'm sure it will take me a while to get to sleep" Xena said as she looked over at her bard's parents and her mother trying to gauge whether they believed their story which was partially true, the baby was still moving a lot even though she was going through her night stretches and would be asleep pretty soon leaving her bard and herself to get back to where they were before dinner.

"I don't believe either of you, we know exactly why you want to go back to your camp girls and as Lila said before if you keep going at it like rabbits Xena is going to end up giving birth to triplets" Cyrene laughed at the look on her daughter's faces and felt the others join in with her. She was glad they'd made this trip, she could see her daughter changing every day and knew she was going to be a wonderful mum and that this baby would be doted on by both of them.

"Well in that case Gabrielle and I are going to turn in and do some connecting, you guys don't like it that's fine with me, I'm sure Gabrielle and I will enjoy ourselves" Xena said playfully daring her mother to come back on that one, knowing her mum knew how important intimacy was when you were in love and hoped she would just let them get back to their camp. She was getting hotter by the second as she stood behind Gabrielle watching her shapely butt wiggle in front of her.

"Okay you two we'll see you in the morning, we should be Amazon territory tomorrow shouldn't we be?" Cyrene asked loving this playful side of Xena, she knew about the changes that were happening in her daughter, she'd already changed so much in her life and as much as she knew her daughter was always going to be a warrior she hoped that her daughter would take time to enjoy life now that she and Gabrielle had become a family. She knew Xena had been talking to Gabrielle about building a cabin somewhere between Amphipolis and Poetaedia and hoped that Gabrielle would agree, she'd love to be close to her grandchildren and be a part of their lives and her two daughters.

"Yeah somewhere after high noon, we sent word to the Amazon's that we were coming so I'm expecting there will be an escort to greet us when we arrive at the border of Amazon territory" Xena remarked sighing as she felt a wave of tiredness come over her, pushing down the arousal she was feeling. Gods I hate being pregnant sometimes, getting tired always seems to come at the worst time, I hope I can hold out I really want to just love her today Xena thought hoping her plans weren't going to come unstuck by the symptoms of her pregnancy. It was something that unnerved her a little, she would be fully alert sometimes and then all of a sudden she would begin feeling tired and would have to take a nap or just like today possible forgo other more pleasant activities in favour of going to sleep.

"Night everyone" Gabrielle said grabbing Xena's hand and leading her towards their camp, she had sensed Xena was getting tired and knew they only had a matter of an candlemark or so before Xena would have to give into her need to sleep and she intended on making full use of that candlemark by driving Xena to the brink and back as many times as she could. As soon as they reached their furs she pushed Xena down on them and took her into a passionate kiss and smiled as she saw desire begin to show in those baby blues again and the tiredness was pushed back for a while.

"Now you warrior princess are going to lay there and let me have my way with you understand me?" Gabrielle told the warrior and saw her swallow hard. She knew it wasn't very often that she got to take her warrior but lately she had been feeling the urge to do just that and knew Xena would be more okay with it, it had taken a little while for Xena to be able to give herself to Gabrielle but now it was something she found just as pleasurable as being in charge. Gabrielle did just that, for one full candlemark she took Xena to the brink of ecstasy and back as many times as she could and by the end of their love making her love had been in tears at the love they had shared. They ended up wrapped up together as much as they could without squashing the baby, with Xena's head resting on Gabrielle's shoulder and they fell asleep dreaming of their love and their baby who was due to make its appearance in just over four moons.

They awoke to the sounds of the camp being packed up and as Xena blinked up at the sky she realised that they had slept past when she had planned to sleep till. Sighing knowing she was going to have to get used to that at least for the next three moons or so, she helped Gabrielle pack up their camp and then they went over to see what Xena's mother had cooked for breakfast Gabrielle laughing as Xena's stomach grumbled at how much time it had been without food.

"Now I get to tease you about it, come on lets feed the baby and then we should set off, we lost some time with that sleep in huh?" Gabrielle asked seeing the relaxed posture on her soulmate and smiled it had taken her a long time to get Xena to relax a little more and now she was relaxed more often than not, she knew Xena was more than able to fight if needed but thankfully they hadn't reached any trouble yet and the need for Xena's legendary fighting abilities had been non-existent for a while now. It was like something was stopping the thugs and thieves they normally encountered on their travels from reaching them. Or it could be the way Xena is dressing these days she looks so beautiful in plain clothes, Gods she looks incredible in her armour as well but it's been nice to see her out of that for a while Gabrielle mused looking over her lover's body and taking in the changes, the most noticeable the round firmness of her stomach swollen with their child, her fuller breasts, the softness of her face all of it just made her more beautiful to Gabrielle and she knew that this was something she was going to get to experience more than once in her life, she doubted this baby would be the last child they would have, although she was sure Xena would want to have some space between them.

"Can I help it that I have a growing child to feed which is now dancing on my bladder, I'll meet you at Mum's camp" Xena told Gabrielle and then darted off into the bushes to relieve the pressure of the baby dancing on her bladder. She watched her love rush off and smiled, Xena was taking this pregnancy a lot better than she thought she would, aside from the initial morning nausea which was terrible, she had blossomed during the pregnancy and now had the radiant glow about her that she knew came from the pregnancy. She's beautiful and I have never desired her more than I do now Gabrielle sighed and then walked over to Cyrene's camp and stopped breathing in the smell of breakfast and realised she was starving, and I tease Xena about her appetite, I'm not even pregnant and I put away just as much food as she does Gabrielle laughed to herself and smiled as Cyrene motioned for her to have a seat as she brought over her breakfast.

"What were you laughing to your self about sweetheart?" Cyrene asked and smiled as she watched Gabrielle tuck into her food, it had always amazed her how much food the bard could put away and the only person who's appetite came close to matching hers now was Xena's and she knew that was because of the pregnancy.

"I was just thinking about how I tease Xena about her appetite now that she's pregnant and yet I put away more food than her all the time, always have" Gabrielle told Cyrene feeling a bit of sadness creep up on her as she made the statement, she would never know how pregnancy would affect her appetite, as much as she loved Xena doing what she was for them, a part of her didn't want to have to live vicariously through Xena's experience. It still hurt to think she would never feel a child move within her and she would never be able to give birth to one of their children.

"I know it seems like you should be grateful, the children you and Xena have will be a part of both of you, but it doesn't help does it" Cyrene stated quietly sensing the sadness from Gabrielle and quickly figured out what it was about, she knew Gabrielle should be expressing this to Xena, but knew how hard that was to express your unhappiness to someone you love.

"It hurts, Xena being able to carry my children makes it hurt a little less, but there is so much I'm going to miss out on, so much I can only experience from the outside, I wonder if this is how men feel knowing they can never be the ones to experience it all inside and out" Gabrielle said sadly, knowing she should be grateful and she was, but that didn't stop this from hurting any less, she knew that in time she'd come to terms with it and she would be happy being the one on the outside, she also knew that Xena had plans to involve her as much as she could with feeding and all of the things that will help her form a connection with the baby.

"I still feel like it's my fault, I should have been by your side, then Dahok would never gotten near you" Xena stated sadly, she knew there wasn't much she could do to ease the pain her soulmate was feeling about this situation, except to be there for her love and involve her as much as she could in the pregnancy and she didn't want anyone else delivering their children, it would be just her and Gabrielle welcoming their child into the world.

"You tried to warn me Xena, as well as I knew you then I should have seen that you didn't trust Kraftstar, your attitude towards him told me that you didn't, Xena we've both made mistakes, my daughter took your son from you, and you feel that without you Hope would never have been born, lets just concentrate on the here and now, this baby is more important than all of that, yes I am sad but I am so happy that you are having my baby and that when I see her she will have some of both of us in her" Gabrielle told Xena seeing tears in her soulmate's eyes and walked over to her and wiped them away kissing both eyes with reverence knowing she would gladly go through what she had in her short life if it meant being with this beautiful woman, she placed her hand on where the baby was resting inside her soulmate and then brought Xena's hand to join her hand, conveying with action that getting through this pregnancy and being a part of this baby's life was more important than living in the past.

"I love you Gabrielle" Xena told her soulmate knowing that she would never be able to live without this beautiful woman in her life, she spent less of her time questioning why Gabrielle was with her and more time enjoying the fact that she was these days and she was able to appreciate how precious this was to her, how much she needed Gabrielle and she knew Gabrielle needed her just as much.

"Well you two I say that's enough crying for this morning, we have a joining to get you both too and then you can both cry to your hearts content, you missy breakfast" Cyrene laughed sensing both of them needed a break from the memories the conversation had brought up.

"Yes mum, this looks so good" Xena told her mother, her mouth watering at the thought of food and the bad memories were forgotten. She watched Gabrielle tuck into the food she had left on her plate and they both ate with gusto savouring Cyrene's cooking. After breakfast they got the camp packed up and saddled Argo and began on their journey to the Amazons again, all of them thinking of the upcoming ceremony and thinking of the two women about to join their lives forever.

Cyrene and Hecuba walked together chatting about their daughter's and the baby, both of them were getting excited even though the baby's birth was at least three moons away, they both had plans to begin knitting and sewing clothes for the baby when they returned to their homes after the joining and both expressed their wish that Gabrielle and Xena would settle near them both. Xena and Gabrielle smiled knowing their mother's were talking about them and talked about the ceremony and the baby, about how excited they both were about becoming parents. Xena took this opportunity to talk to Gabrielle more about her plans to build a cabin somewhere between Amphipolis and Poetaedia.

"Just think we will be close enough to your parents, my mother and the Amazon's our children wouldn't want for anything, I could talk to the town Militia in Amphipolis and apply for a position there, you could do story telling in both Poetaedia and Amphipolis and you would be close to the Amazon's close enough that you could probably rule them from our cabin" Xena explained thinking of the possibilities that them settling in between both of their home towns would bring them both. She knew she wanted her mum close to her and now that she was getting on better with Gabrielle's parents she couldn't think of any reason not to do this.

"I'm not saying no Xena, I'd love this but how are we going to build a cabin before the baby is born, there is no way I'm letting you lift a finger to build anything, not even a cradle for the baby" Gabrielle said feeling her protective instincts towards Xena come out full force, it was a little silly she knew Xena could handle most anything that came at her, but when she thought of Xena exerting herself she thought of how Xena had almost lost the baby earlier on in the pregnancy and there was no way she was going to let that happen.

"We build it after the baby is born, we can stay with the Amazon's until the baby is born that should keep us safe enough from any threats, with the baby coming we'll need our parents close to us, and I'd rather not have to travel around anymore after the baby is born" Xena told Gabrielle admitting something she didn't really know she felt till she'd said it, saying it meant that she believed she'd atoned and she could now settle and look forward to life rather than putting the greater good above her family.

"We could just live with the Amazon's, okay I'm kidding Xena" Gabrielle giggled at the look on Xena's face at that suggestion, she wasn't against them settling down in between their home towns, she just wanted to make sure Xena had thought this through, this meant no fighting for the greater good at least not all the time and living regular lives again.

"I don't feel the need to atone anymore Gabrielle, I'm ready for us to be a family and getting down to normal everyday life" Xena told Gabrielle seeing the recognition in her love's eyes and smiled, tears of joy streaming down both of their faces.

"I always hoped I would hear those words but I never thought I'd hear you say them so soon, you amaze me, my beautiful warrior" Gabrielle told Xena taking her into a sweet kiss feeling their souls mingle together and knew that what her warrior had told her was true, as long as Xena stayed on the path of the warrior she would be saved and she didn't need to atone for her past anymore. She had no illusions that they'd live a peaceful life, people would still need their help and they would always be willing to fight for a just cause, she knew there was no way either of them could say no to that.

The rest of the journey continued with them all talking softly, getting to know each other and finally Xena signaled that they had reached Amazon territory. She smiled as she saw the Amazon's bow to Gabrielle looking at her bard rolling her eyes at the formality of things,

"Queen Gabrielle, we rejoice in you're return and are very pleased with your decision to be joined, we have made preparations to initiate Xena into the Amazon's" Chilapa told them all not quite expecting so many people to be with Xena and Gabrielle, she looked over at Xena and was shocked to notice that she was pregnant, she looked at Gabrielle and wondered why she would want to be joined with Xena when she had obviously cheated on her, she had a feeling this child wasn't planned, Xena and Gabrielle had only written to them a moon or so back saying they wanted to be joined.

"Gabrielle, in light of Xena's pregnancy we can't accept her as a member of our tribe, Atermis looks badly against those who betray the women they love with men" Chilapa said angrily, and then looked at the shock on Gabrielle's face. She knew Gabrielle loved Xena but she couldn't allow such a transgression to be looked over even if Gabrielle was Queen.

"Chilapa, you misunderstand, the child carries is mine, take me to the temple of Atermis and I will prove it" Gabrielle told Chilapa calmly she knew with a few words from Atermis' priestess this whole misunderstanding would be cleared up.

"As you wish my Queen, I will have the other guards escort Xena and you're other guests to some huts where they can wait for you" Chilapa told Gabrielle, knowing that out of all of them the only one that would be able to get an answer on this would be Gabrielle and she had to admire her Queen's belief in herself and her ability to solve this problem and watched as Gabrielle told Xena to go with the guards and soothed her partner, she saw the obvious love between them, love that in itself proved there was no way Xena had cheated on her partner.

Xena walked off still unhappy that she couldn't go with her partner but sure in the knowledge that Gabrielle would get this all straightened out. A wave of tiredness came over and she decided the easiest thing to do right now was go and lie down and have a nap, when she awoke the problem would be fixed and they would be able to go about planning their joining. She looked over at her mother and knew she wouldn't be able to get out of having a nap even if she wanted to. She fell asleep with her mother sitting next to her stroking her hair feeling more loved than she had ever felt in her life and dreamt only of the woman she loved and the child she carried.

Continued in Part 15

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