“Can ye help me with the broth?” Alana asked with a huff. It was getting difficult to move around. “When did I get this big? I cannae dae anything I want anymore,” she grumbled and sat back on the chair. She sighed at the relief she got from staying off her legs. She had also been getting lots of backaches lately.
Isla chuckled and poured some soup into a bowl. “Ye should be happy it will soon be over. Ye were nae like this with the twins,” she teased.
Alana rolled her eyes. “They were nae this big nor gave me issues with me body.”
Time passed so quickly, and the pregnancy of that time had resulted in two beautiful girls. She could still remember how happy she had felt in finally being able to see her children. It hadn’t compared to Kai’s happiness. That man had been the proudest father around, always talking about his two lassies. Ever since their birth, he showered lots of love and attention on them.
She had once teased him that they would grow on him and might never leave him. He hadn’t minded and replied, saying he preferred them to know they had someone who loved them most in the world. It would make him sad if his daughters looked to someone else for validation of love. She had understood what he meant. What had happened all those years ago popped up once in a while, and in their various ways, they were trying to avoid a repetition of such.
Here again, four years later, they were expecting another addition to the family. Alana didn’t even know if she was truly eager to see the baby or just wanted relief from how she was feeling. Her first pregnancy didn’t give her many issues, contrary to various pregnancy stories she had heard. She had been the envy of every other expecting mother.
But life got even with her at the second trial. She wished she had taken more time to enjoy it. It only made her wonder if it would be a boy. Their duty was already being cut out for them before birth.
Isla laughed at her words. “It is all part o’ the process. It is the end result that matters, after all.”
“It does have some advantages tae it. My skin feels brighter and food tastes much better.” Alana moaned as she scooped another spoon of broth into her mouth.
She shrugged and took more bread. Maybe she shouldn’t worry about it this time too. She looked up to see Isla watching her with amusement.
“Isnae me fault. The baby wants more,” she defended herself.
Isla chuckled, “Of course. You can have all ye want.”
She rolled her eyes and took a sip of water. “By the way, I have nae seen the twins an’ their faither since I woke up for lunch. Where are they?”
Isla titled her head to the side, “I dinnae know ‘bout—”
Speaking of which, their arrival was announced with a loud squeal, interrupting Isla’s response. Alana turned around to see her beautiful husband with their lassies, one on his shoulder and the other clutching his hand. She smiled at the thought of them being her safe haven, her home. When the one on his shoulder tugged at his hair, Kai made a silly face. They all burst out laughing. They were both adorable and mischievous.
Their names were Catriona and Fiona, named after Alana’s sister and Kai’s mother respectively. The bairns had been a gift to them, and Alana never stopped showing gratitude you to the fates. She got all she had ever wanted. Everything was a blessing. And with another blessing on the way, there was nothing more she could ask for.
Kai dropped the lasses and gave them a final tickle which kept them distracted enough for him to kiss Alana. When they recovered from their laughing fits, they also ran towards the table and planted a kiss on each of her cheeks.
She smiled and patted their heads in adoration.
“What have ye both been up tae?” she asked.
“Faither said he was going tae take us fishing. We have been looking at the tools,” Catriona explained. “I will get me own fishin’ rod, Mama. An’ I will catch many fish,” she squealed in excitement. Unlike her sister, Catriona was always impressed by little things and very eccentric.
“That’s nice tae ken. Maybe I will come along.” She smiled and looked up at Kai.
“Will it hurt the baby?” Fiona asked in worry, always thinking ahead of possible situations.
“Dinnae worry yer little head ‘bout that. Mama an’ the baby are fine,” Kai answered on her behalf. “How ‘bout ye both play in the courtyard?”
The girls didn’t hesitate, and she knew they’d go around forcing everyone to play with them. They were the castle’s princesses. They kissed Alana and dashed out of the great hall.
“An’ how are ye doing this fine afternoon, milady?” Kai asked, drawing her attention back to him. He placed another kiss on her lips. “Ye were sleeping when I came by earlier.”
“Tired but happy now that ye are here,” she whispered with a smile.
“I hope the baby is nae tirin’ ye more than usual,” his voice was laced with worry. He circled his hand over her belly and caressed it.
“There is naething I can do ‘bout it,” she replied. “It will all soon be over.”
Kai crouched and kissed her stomach. “I cannae wait tae meet him.”
She caressed his scalp and chuckled. “One would have thought ye would be kept busy with the twins. Is it nae too early tae start going on fishing trips?”
Kai settled on the chair beside her. “The earlier the better. I want tae have lots o’ memories with them as well as pass down many practices my faither thought me.”
Alana looked at Kai in adoration. He was the most sensitive and loving father she had met in her life. Perhaps it was because he came from a similar background, but he now knew more and was eager to learn. Despite everything, she knew he was acting this way because of one fear.
“Ye are different, Kai,” she said softly to get his attention. “I ken ye are doing all this tae try tae make up for all that went wrong in the past but ye will nae make such mistakes. I love ye this way, an’ I ken the girls dae as well. Dinnae worry tae much ‘bout probabilities.”
“I am glad that I will always have ye by me side,” he breathed, kissing her temple.
“Always,” Alana promised.
“I cannae wait tae see how the bairn will be,” Isla chipped in. She was smiling at them. “Looking at how everything is, I wouldnae be surprised if the bairn will have a temper calmer than the twins.”
Alana and Kai shared a glance and chorused, “We shall see.”
Alana smiled as she rubbed her stomach. She had a suspicion that this bairn would not be calmer. But it would all be revealed soon.
And two months later, the heir to the MacAdam lairdship was born: Ian Maverick MacAdam. It was the start of another adventure.
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