Jessamyn sang sweetly to her infant son, and his tiny hands reached up to her face in delight at the sounds he could hear. She smiled to him absently, he was so beautiful. She had given birth in a matter of hours, with very little difficulty. The midwife had told her how lucky she was, being quite young to be having babies. But her pregnancy had gone smoothly, and the delivery was little more than a work out for her. If anything the pain would ease her desire for a few weeks, and that was something to look forward to.
“Jessamyn,” Padric Turnwhip cleared his throat.
She had heard him enter, but not bothered to turn and greet him. Instead she held her tiny boy close to the warmth of the fire, continuing her song to him. Slowly, her son’s eyes grew weary and she turned to lay him in his cot.
“It won’t be long now until the entire house is full of children,” she said dreamily. “The midwife said I have an excellent womb.”
Her father-in-law did not look amused, “I need to talk to you about a few things.”
She lowered her little boy into his cot, carefully tucking him up nicely. He had been born the smaller of the two, and the midwife had told her to keep him warm and comfortable at least for the first week or so.
“He has your eyes you know,” she said knowingly.
Padric nodded, moving to stand opposite the cot. He looked down at the babe, “He’s a fine boy.” He said, “I have to ask though, why did you change your mind about naming him Felyx?”
Jess grinned, “Well I wouldn’t want to have two children named after the Talismans.”
“You said you named her after yourself.”
“I did, in a way” she giggled to herself as she crossed the room.
Her daughter had been born first, and was a good length larger than her son. The little infant had vibrant red hair, and the matching eyes of her brother and grandfather.
Padric followed behind her, “Jessamae.” He said, “You named her for Mae Talisman.”
Jess nodded, “You know, it’s funny that both Max and Felyx have the same birthmark” she told him “On the upper thigh of the right leg, just below the pelvic bone.”
He stared at her as she scooped her daughter up, and she continued to smile boldly at the truth she had uncovered.
“You can’t tell him,” Padric said bluntly. “He believes his mother died during his birth.”
“What I’m curious to know is why you decided to even bother, and why is it such a secret?” Her daughter squirmed against her neck, and she smiled down at the infant.
“My wife was ill with child, she died but I needed an heir – I couldn’t bear the thought of remarrying.” Padric admitted, “Mae came along hoping for an investment to open a tavern. It was one of her tricks to get possible investors drunk, and I ended up confessing my tale to her.”
“It was her idea?”
He nodded, “She already had Felyx by then, and she understood what others did not. I couldn’t simply take another woman – whom I did not love.”
Jessamyn sighed, “There’s only one thing I’d like to know now.” She said gently, “How could a mother abandon her child, under any circumstances?”
She could tell that he was about to defend Mae and her actions, so she shushed him with a wave of her hand. She pulled her daughter away from her throat, and looked into the infant’s eyes. She was so fragile, so trusting and eager to live. And it was Jessamyn who had the responsibility and joy of protecting her until she was strong enough to live on her own. It was an opportunity she would not give up for any amount of investment.