Guy walked at a leisurely pace down the road between home and one of the major cities. It was one of the biggest trade routes and had been plagued by bandits of late. His father and cousin covered his flank and all three of their senses were wide open, taking in every smell and sound. The sound of rustling brush on either side of them caught their attention, but they continued onward, pretending like they were nothing more than travelling merchants. They had disguised themselves accordingly, not wanting the bandits to realize who they were attacking. When the leader stepped out into their path, they all came to a stop, standing tall even when bandits circled them.
“We’ll be asking you to hand over your bags now.” The leader said.
“If you want them,” Guy said as all three of them dropped their packs on the ground, “then take them.”
The leader laughed, his men joining in. “Looks like we have us a band of heroes boys. You know what to do.”
Guy pulled the scarf wrapped around his head and face off as he moved forward, wrapping the cloth around the face of the first of his attackers and slamming him into another. He wanted to end this quickly and return to Nila. She had so much responsibility these days and he wished to take as much of the burden as possible, especially since she was pregnant. He knew what stress could do to his pups and he refused to risk them or her. He was sure she wasn’t resting as he had suggested, so hard working and stubborn, his beautiful, beloved mate. He would have to think of something to do for her when he returned.
They handled the bandits easily, making the road clear for people to travel safely. Guy tied them up and his father dragged them behind so they could lock them in jail for their crimes. They’d be further marked up by path, but they had hurt and stolen from so many people the wolves didn’t care and didn’t want to waste their efforts carrying them all the way back. His father spoke when they were near home, “I’ll take care of these miscreants, you go find your mate son.”
“She’s carrying my grandpups and I know she doesn’t rest unless you make her so hurry up.”
Guy ran off, only slowing when he entered the castle. He followed her scent, finding her in yet another meeting. Seeing him home she wrapped it up then asked, “How did it go? You don’t have a mark on you.”
“My father is locking them away as we speak. The way will be clear now for your people.”
“Anything to make your life easier. Speaking of which, come with me to our room, I’ll massage you.”
“Still worrying about me?” She asked with a loving smile.
“Always, especially since you’re carrying twins.” He reached up and gently tugged on the end of her braid. “You have so much responsibility, I just want to make things easier for you.”
“You go out and fight bandits and go on patrols, I just run meetings and sign papers.”
He rubbed their noses. “Keeping a kingdom running smoothly is much harder than what I do, trust me.” He picked her up and carried her to their room, hoping everyone in the castle knew to stay away unless it was absolutely necessary to interrupt them. He laid her gently down, unable to keep himself from pressing his lips into hers.
“I thought I was getting a massage.” She teased.
“There are many different kinds of massages.”
She laughed, rubbing their noses together. “Well maybe you’ll have to show me later.”
“Maybe, but first,” he said as he leaned back and pulled her feet into his lap, “let me rub you down.”
She smiled, soon feeling the tension of carrying twins and walking so much release from her feet. “Thank you Guy.”
“Thank you for giving me pups, I’m so eager to meet them.”
“These babies are the only thing that could possibly make my life more amazing. I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever.”
“I think that’s normal, especially for first time mothers.” He moved on to her legs, hating when she’d wince but kept on since he knew she’d feel better after. When he was done with her legs he laid down beside her. “Do you have anything else you’ll need to do today?”
“That meeting is the end of it.”
“Did you have any plans?”
“Just spending time with you.” He rubbed his nose in her hair, inhaling her scent. He let his hand slide over her belly, amazed at how rounded she already was. He tuned into their heartbeats, relieved that they sounded strong. “I miss you when I’m out working.” He let his lips brush her neck, grinning at the goosebumps that covered her skin. “I just want to come home and lose myself in you.”
“I miss you too.”
Her skin warmed and his lips moved up to her cheek then she turned her head so he could claim her lips. She turned fully into him and his hand cupped her breast, his thumb brushing her nipple through the soft material. Her breathy moan sent heat straight to his groin, hunger rising instantly in him for her. She was so much more sensitive in her pregnant state and had stopped wearing bras because they made her uncomfortable. Even though he enjoyed the easy access, he couldn’t help but feel a little jealous and territorial at the thought of other men knowing she was without one.
“I thought I was supposed to be relaxing.” She teased.
“You can’t relax under me?”
“Guy.” She giggled, her face bright red.
“Nila.” His voice was adoring and seductive, his hands gentle yet possessive as he slid them under her dress to squeeze her bottom. “Let’s go on a date, just us. It’s been awhile since we’ve actually been on one. I’ll take you anywhere my beautiful queen.”
“I’d like that a lot Guy.” He kissed her hungrily, his final attempt to seduce her. She smiled a moment then lost herself in the kiss. Guy could so easily seduce her, especially since he was amazing at making love. He kept it short and sweet, the two taking a nap together then heading for the library to find a good book to read together. On their way he said, “So our date, what should we do?”
“Hm, something far from the castle. That way work is far from our minds.”
“Alright, as long as you take traveling easy and allow me to carry you.”
“Of course I will.”
“Should we bring a healer just to be safe? I know you don’t like being fussed over, but if anything went wrong with our babies it would kill me.”
“One of the wolves then since they’re not, you know…”
“Shy?” Guy finished.
“Yeah, it’s not like they’d get too embarrassed about nudity or anything.”
He chuckled. “I’m surprised you’re not used to it. What are you going to do when the little ones are running around the castle naked, refusing to get dressed?”
“Hope I can catch them before they flash too many people.”
He laughed as he brushed a kiss to her cheek. “Maybe we’ll make you moon born and then you can be naked all the time.”
“Guy, stop being a perv.”
“I can’t help it, I love seeing you and feeling you, you’re the only one who can tame the beast.” He rubbed his nose against her ear, giving her goosebumps. “Thank you for letting me fuss. We’ll only bring the one healer, I promise. Let’s go somewhere beautiful and peaceful, there are a lot of lakes and waterfalls we can visit.”
After they had their book they prepared a fire, stoking it until it was burning bright and warming their library. Guy fetched a blanket as well which had her laughing. “Guy, its not freezing in here.”
“I want you comfortable my love.” They cuddled up to one another and Nila took the first turn reading out loud. Their night was peaceful and when Nila was sleeping Guy approached one of his wolves about coming with them the next day. “Sure, I’ll lay low too so it’s still like a date for you two.”
“We’re all eager to meet those pups. I’m honored to have the task of making sure she and the babies come home just as healthy as when they left.” Guy returned to his mate, pulling her into him protectively as he rested. The next thing Guy knew she was pushing away from him to rush to the bathroom, another wave of morning sickness hitting her.
He was close behind her, one hand rubbing her back as the other helped hold her hair back. The vomiting was one of the things he hated the most about her pregnancy. It came on so quickly, almost violently and the times she puked until she was dry heaving worried him the most. Once she had everything out and the toilet flushed, he helped her to her feet and she quickly brushed her teeth and washed around her mouth. “That sucked.” She said with a little laugh.
“Are you alright?” He lifted her and took her back to bed. “Want me to get the healer?”
She smiled. “Silly, just some water and crackers would be nice.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah and maybe you can see if we have some of that candied ginger.”
“Of course my love, anything you want.” She pulled him down for a kiss and he pressed their foreheads together for a moment before moving down to her belly and pressing a kiss to it. It nearly moved her to tears how sweet he was. “I’ll be right back.”
He hurried off to the kitchen. First he poured her a glass of water then grabbed a pack of crackers before searching the cupboards for candied ginger. Happiness rushed through him when he discovered some. He picked it up and began walking back to their room. “Oh you found some.” She said happily as she sat back up in bed.
“We’ll need more, but I was glad to find some for this morning.” She ate a few crackers, drank her glass of water then popped one into her mouth.
“You should tell the wolf coming with us we’re up.”
“Alright.” He kissed her temple then left the room again. By the time he returned she was dressed and ready to go. “I didn’t get to see you change, how unfair.”
She giggled, “Maybe that was to make sure we left this morning.”
He smiled, finding his own clothes he wanted to travel in and tugging them on. “Do you have an appetite?”
“Not yet, but I can sit with you while you eat.”
“I’ll make sure the cook packs you something light.”
“You don’t have to.”
“I want to.” He scooped her up and made his way to the dining room where their companion was already sitting and eating.” He smiled at them and gestured at the other plates sitting across from him. “I’ll take yours back real quick.” Guy said as he lowered her feet to the floor and pulled her chair out for her.
She smiled, shaking her head. “How are you feeling this morning, my queen?” The healer asked.
“I had a little morning sickness and please call me Nila uh…” She frowned. “I’m sorry, I’m drawing a blank on your name. I should spend more time with the wolves.”
“It’s quite alright, I am Galenos or Galen if you prefer, I was told it means calm.”
“It’s very nice to meet you then.”
Guy returned and sat down next to her, quickly pressing a kiss to her cheek before picking up his fork. “The cook says she’ll make you grilled chicken and salad to pack with us.”
“Thank you.” She rubbed her belly.
“If you like, once I’m finished eating, I can make you something for your morning sickness.” Galen said.
“Thank you, Galen, that way Guy doesn’t have to worry so much.”
“It’s no trouble.” Galenos quickly finished his food then excused himself from the table.
“Thanks again Galen.” Nila said and he smiled.
“It wont take me long.”
When it was them she said, ” He seems so nice, I really want to spend more time with the wolves when we get back.”
“You wont be able to keep them away once our pups come.”
“I’d like to see them more before that though.”
“Alright, we will then. They adore you, they really do even though they haven’t seen you much. You’ve been an amazing leader. A few have expressed they are glad I found a good mate to help me if my parents ever want to step down and let me guide the pack.”
“Do you want that?”
He shrugged. “I’m happy just helping you and my dad keeps me very involved in what he does too so I don’t much care if things change. I don’t see them ever wanting to regardless, especially since they had to take such a long break from this life when we ran with your family.”
Nila frowned and he quickly wrapped his arms around her. “Sorry.”
“Hey none of that Princess Nila, it’s not your fault.”
She felt her face warm even as she giggled. He hadn’t called her that since she had been crowned. “Stop, I’m not a princess.”
“Oh sorry, Queen Nila, forgive your King, he’s a bit of a dunce.”
“Guy, you dork.”
He grinned as he brought her hand to his lips then pressed it to his chest where she could feel his racing heartbeat. It still amazed her that she did that to him. “That’s better, laughter suits you so much better than sadness.”
“You’re really the sweetest.”
When Galen returned, he was carrying a bag with two containers in it as well as a cup with steam curling off of it and a white ceramic container. “The cook said one of these had your chicken and salad in it and the other has pastries.” He sat the bag on the table then put the cup in front of her. “That will help with your nausea, I also made extra so you can drink while we’re gone, it’s tea.”
“Thank you.” Nila said as she lifted the cup and took a sip. “It’s good.”
“I’m happy to make it any time.”
“You could always teach me too.” Guy suggested and Galenos said, “Alright, when we get back I will.” They waited for Nila to finish her cup before they headed out and she found herself ready to eat about an hour later.
“I love our kitchen staff, this is so good.” She noted and Guy smiled. “I’m just happy to see you eating.” Nila glanced around, sighing happily as she took in her gorgeous, now peaceful land. There were problems here and there but nothing that her amazing wolf and his pack couldn’t manage. They lingered, even after she finished her meal. They weren’t in a hurry and she stayed so busy she didn’t often just get to sit in the beautiful world around her.
“Do you two have an idea of where you would like to go?” Galenos asked.
“Not really, we just wanted to go.” Nila answered.
“I guess we got a little ahead of ourselves.” Guy added with a chuckle.
“Why don’t we take her to Hiwot Valley.”
“What’s that?” Nila asked, curiously.
“It’s also called the Valley of Life.” Guy said. “Healers like Galen often travel there to collect plants that are out of season. Anything can grow there and it gives off a very warm, peaceful energy.”
“I was told that sometimes couples who were having trouble conceiving would go there.” Galenos added. “It’s an amazing place.”
“Then lets go.” She agreed happily. Guy helped Nila to her feet, keeping her hand so he could hold it as they walked. He wanted to carry her, but she looked so happy. He’d let her walk for a short time then he’d lift her. After awhile she laughed, knowing that look. “Just pick me up.”
“You wont mind.”
“It’s sweet that you want to so much and I suppose I shouldn’t wait until I’m actually hurting.”
“How’s your stomach?” Galenos inquired and she answered, “It’s fine, I’m lucky in the fact its mostly only a problem right when I wake up.”
“Yeah, I’ve seen some women just ill constantly from carrying babies.”
“They’re good little pups.”
“Do you know what their names will be yet?”
“We both just want to be inspired when we look at them.”
“Do you know the sex yet?”
Guy nodded. “Luol said a boy and a girl. I’m hoping the latter isn’t nearly as beautiful as her mother or might have to kill someone.”
“Guy, be nice.” Nila giggled. “She’s not even born yet. Besides, they’re both going to be strong.”
“I know, I just also know how some races view their women.”
“She’ll have you and her brother and an entire pack of wolves and even guards behind her.”
“She’s right, we’d tear someone to pieces if they hurt your children.” Galenos said.
“I wouldn’t think a healer would hurt anyone.” Guy replied, his tone teasing.
“I may be a healer, but I’m also a wolf and part of the pack, I would defend your pups with my life. I’ll also make sure to keep my supplies fully stocked for any accidents they might have.”
Nila didn’t know if Guy felt comforted yet, but she for one had absolute faith that both her children would grow up safe and happy. They would probably be the most well protected children in the land and incredibly loved. She would give anything for them to come today so she could have them in her arms if it would be safe for them. She would never wish them early, she hoped they’d stay inside her the entire time they needed to so they’d be healthy. Giving birth of course made her nervous too. It was hard to imagine humans could actually fit through there, but obviously they could, countless women before her had done this so she’d just trust nature to do it’s job when her water broke.
It was noon by the time they got to Hiwot Valley and Nila immediately let out a surprised gasp. She could feel the warmth coming off of this place. It tingled over her skin in a wave of serenity. “Has this really been here the whole time?” She asked as Guy lifted her.
“Since before we were born and even before our parents. As far as I know it dates back to even before there were beings inhabiting this place.” He answered then brushed a kiss to her temple.
“It’ll do you and the babies good to spend time here.” Galenos said. “The life giving energy will ensure the health of your pups.”
“Everything looks so much more vibrant and that’s saying something. Can we look around?”
“Of course we can baby, but would you let me rub your feet first. You walked all the way here, you must be sore.” Guy said with an almost pleading look.
She wasn’t, but Nila couldn’t tell him no when he was making that face. He was so loving and attentive. “Alright, sounds good.”
He seemed so happy and it touched her heart that he would feel so eager to do something solely for her comfort. He was always like that, but it never warmed her heart any less. He sat there and rubbed her feet until he was sure they didn’t carry the slightest amount of pain then went onward to enjoy the beauty they had traveled to. He wanted to see it all with Nila and hoped in some small way his pups were enjoying this too. Maybe they were enjoying the smells through their mother or maybe even her happiness due to being here was giving them comfort in her stomach.
“I’m going to set up my sleeping area in the trees on the other side of the valley so you two can have privacy while we’re here. I’ll also be gathering herbs so if you need me, please call for me.” Galenos said. “You two take your time here.”
“You don’t have to separate yourself.” Nila replied.
“Please, you two need to spend as much time together as you can. When the pups get here it will be awhile before you will want to leave them with anyone.”
“He’s right, my love.” Guy said as he brought her hand to his lips.
“And please don’t worry, I won’t avoid you two. I just know that you both work hard for our world so please spend time together.”
With that Galenos walked over to the trees he was talking about so his sleeping area would be ready for him as soon as he was ready to rest for the evening. Guy ran his fingers down Nila’s arm. “It is good to have you to myself, mostly anyway for the moment.”
“What’re you thinking?” She asked, amusement in her voice.
He chuckled. “Nothing sexual my love.” he pulled her into his arms, giving Nila a long hug. “You’re my world Nila.”
“And you’re mine Guy.”
They cuddled together, hidden by the tall, soft grass, surrounded by the scent of sweet smelling flowers and the soft buzz of honey bees. Guy swept his fingers through her hair, reveling in its softness and the loving smile that pulled at her lips, lighting up her beautiful face. He loved moments like this where they could just be together uninterrupted. It didn’t happen often at the castle so he soaked up every second of it. He could hear Galenos moving around the other end of the valley and appreciated the healer giving them as much privacy as possible. He rested his hand on Nila’s belly and gently rubbed, hoping their little ones could feel how loved they were.
“What’s on your mind?” Nila asked softly.
“You and our pups. It’s nice getting this time with you. No meetings, no bandits, no one waking us up for any reason. Just us and this place.”
“And one very sweet healer.”
He chuckled. “I may get jealous at this rate if you keep acting so sweetly towards him.”
“I’m kidding my love, I promise. Even if I do want to watch over and protect you, I know no other wolf could take you from me.” He snuggled closer, pressing their foreheads together. “How are you feeling?”
“Wonderful. This place is just so calming.”
“We should bring our children when they are old enough to enjoy it.”
“I’m sure even as babies it could bring them calm, it’s truly not that far from home. They just have to be old enough for us to camp.”
“There are so many good places we can take them to play and explore.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to think of names?”
“We can if you like.”
“I was just asking, I’m happy to see their faces first.” They talked to one another as they laid cuddled up until Nila fell asleep. Guy covered her up before kissing her head and settling down to rest with her. In the morning they gathered some eggs and soon had breakfast.
“I can’t believe I didn’t throw up this morning.” She said with relief.
Galenos smiled before he spoke, “Would you like more tea anyway? Just to be sure?”
“I should be fine.”
“If you change your mind, please say so.”
“I think being here has been helping honestly.”
“It’s all that healing energy. May I check the pups?”
Galenos moved to sit next to her and rested his hand on her stomach. He closed his eyes, listening for their heartbeats and also feeling the life beneath his palm. He nodded, a smile pulling at his lips. “They’re very healthy and they seem to be enjoying this place.”
“So, find any names that stuck?”
“Not yet.” Guy chuckled. “Not for lack of trying.”
“Well, if it helps any, the girl’s energy is wilder than her brother’s.”
Guy groaned. “Oh please no. Why can’t she be shy?”
Nila laughed. “Guy, be good.”
His expression only made her laugh more. She was delighted to hear her daughter had a wild energy. She couldn’t wait to experience life with her and their little boy. Now she only wondered what he would be like. He may be wild too, just his sister’s stood out more for now. She could see Guy stressing over the two now while they performed daring stunts around their world. They talked about the babies a lot that day and over the rest of their visit, even as they started home, hoping their journey back would be as uneventful as their journey there. Nila was glad they had finally had some alone time and wasn’t sure she wanted to jump back to work when they returned, maybe she’d take it easier until they pups came.
Guy stayed closer as the months passed, making sure she rested when she needed too. As she drew closer to the end of her pregnancy, he asked Galenos to stay in the castle and his wolf became more protective, sometimes even whining to him. Even his parents and cousin came, wanting to be there for the birth of the pups. She was in the middle of a meeting when she went into labor and his heart nearly exploded with her first contraction. Galenos was calm and collected, directing him to get her up to their room. He was grateful for the wolf’s help and would find a way to repay him. Abeni, Brogan, and Luol came to the room once they had been alerted and Abeni sent her husband and nephew to get towels, water, and blankets while she assisted.
Guy sat behind Nila, his fingers laced with hers so she could squeeze his hands through the pain. He brushed kisses to her temple, coaching her through each contraction and push. Brogan and Luol stood at the ready and as soon as the first of the twins was out, Abeni getting her breathing and crying while Galenos clamped and cut her cord, Brogan had her in his arms and took her to clean her up.
“You’re doing so good, Nila, can you hear our daughter?” Guy said softly. “Now our son and then you can rest my love.” He could tell Nila was already exhausted, but she was so strong and had their son out after a couple of pushes. The little boy was handed to Luol and Abeni and Galenos started the process of cleaning up. “You did it baby, I’m so proud of you.”
Brogan and Luol brought the little ones over and Guy helped her hold them. Nila started crying as she pressed kisses to both of their heads and Guy felt himself tear up at how beautiful they both were. Their little boy was smaller than his sister and quieter than she was. She fussed and made little crying sounds while he slept. “I think I like the name Shula for her.” Nila said softly.
“That’s beautiful baby.”
“What about for him?”
“Stellan. I think it suits him.”
“The pack is going to be so excited.” Brogan said.
“I’ll say a blessing over them when you two are ready.” Luol said. “I know you’re all exhausted.”
“You can while my mother and Galen are cleaning up.” Guy replied.
Luol began his blessing, his face soft as he admired the adorable new pups. They waited a few days then began showing off their babies to everyone in the pack and the area around who wanted to come spend time with the little ones. Still emotional from being pregnant not long ago it brought Nila to tears just how happy everyone truly was about her little ones. She knew they would always be well loved and protected. This first week was going amazing and she would treasure every moment to come being their mother.
~ The End