Chapter Two: Guilt

They had left Guinevere alone to say goodbye. She held the silent infant close and gently pressed her lips to the top of his head. Her nose rested on the patch of black hair and inhaled that scent that was uniquely newborn.
He started to fuss so she loosened her embrace. She looked down at him with a sad smile. “I never thought it was possible to love someone more than I love your father…but here we are.” She cooed, pushing back the sadness.
If he ever remembers this, I don’t want his only memory of me to be a crying mess. “That love is the only reason I can give you up.” She rocked him gently in hopes of stopping his fussing. “This is truly what’s best for everyone and I hope that if you ever remember me, you’ll be able to forgive me.” She kissed the top of his head again. “I hope you grow up to be kind and compassionate.” She stopped rocking him and held him close once more, etching this moment in her memory. “Be good and listen to your father and Cornelia.”

“Hold on…You’re telling me that your son just showed up and is wanting a relationship with you? Does Gunther know?” My heart stops at the mention of Gunther.
“Gunther’s Will wanted us to meet and get to know each other.” The mention of his will pales Yuki.
“I’m so sorry Gwen, I didn’t know. H-how are you doing?” I shrug and look away. Both she and Diego expected me to be over Gunther by now, but I just can’t let go.
“Okay I suppose. I only had him for three years and lived without him for thirty-three.”
“We had hoped you moved on, thirty-three is a long time.” I scoff and glare at her.
“Before you, Diego hadn’t moved on from Gianna and that was like…sixty years. I’m allowed to grieve! Gunther is-was the love of my life, and I gave him a son…I gave up my heir.”
Your heir?” Realization crosses Yuki’s face. “You don’t mean!?” She gasps and covers her mouth, her eyes wide. I nod with a sad smile.
“He’s a vampire. I didn’t expect it! I mean you of all people know how rare it is for a human turned vampire, let alone a human and a vampire, to have vampire children…one out of three?” Yuki nods with a sigh. She looks over to the bassinet next to her.
“It’s still to soon to know if Zeke is a vampire, but yeah…Zuri is the only one out of the triplets. I’m hoping the boys will decide to be vampires too, I couldn’t imagine seeing them grow old and wither away. Burying your own child is every mother’s worst nightmare.” She’s right. It was my biggest nightmare, and my child didn’t even die.

The contraction were close, it was almost time for her child to come into the world. She looked to Yuki, tears in her eyes. “I need you to go tell everyone this was a still birth.” Guinevere hadn’t told Yuki her plan, but it was time to put it in motion.
“But ma’am. Do you know it’-” Guinevere groaned in pain and shook her head.
“The baby is fine. I just don’t want anyone to ask questions as to why my child isn’t with me.” She spoke through gritted fangs.
“If you wish. I’ll go and let them know at once. I’ll tell them you would like privacy and I’ll keep them occupied by planning the mock funeral.” Guinevere grabbed Yuki’s wrist as she walked by.
“Thank you Yuki. You’re a great friend.” Yuki bent down and kissed Guinevere’s hand before leaving, sealing the fate of Guinevere’s child.

“So what are you going to do? Are you going to honor the will?” Yuki asks, leaving me with no choice but to say a truthful answer.
“I don’t know. I told him I would…but how do you deny your own child?”
“Easy, tell them no. It works for me.” I roll my eyes and laugh.
“It was impossible to tell him no. He looks like Gunther, and after thinking about it overnight, he looks a little bit like my brother. I loved both men so it’s difficult.”
“If you already told him yes, you better follow through with it! He’s your son. He’s a Straud, just as much as he is a Goth. And maybe, just maybe this will be closure for you to finally move on!” Ever since our relationship changed from employer and employee to matron and offspring, she had been more vocal about her opinions. And as much as I love her for it, it always made me feel like absolute shit.
“I’m not ready to move on.” My voice is small, I feel small. I was finally going to admit why I’m not ready. “I never really had a chance to say goodbye to Gunther. Every time we would say goodbye, we would find each other.” I stand and walk away. I start to pace as I continue. “The last time we saw each other was when I gave up Mortimer. I said my goodbye to both of them, and that was that. The fairies wiped their memories of me. They got their final goodbyes, but I still saw him everywhere! He would look right at me and nothing. It hurt.”

I stop pacing and wrap my arms protectively around myself. I hear Yuki stand from the couch and feel her behind me.
“If the fairies wiped their memories, how did they remember you?” That…is a good question. And it’s a question I’m going to get the answer to.
“I…don’t know. Mortimer never said. He did, however, say that Sam told him about me because he knew Cornelia wasn’t his mother. So maybe his vampire blood nulled the spell?” I turn to face Yuki. “But that still doesn’t explain how Gunther remembered me. I’d really have to ask him.” The fairies promised, and if they broke their promise…I would slaughter every single one of them without remorse.
“You can’t ask Gunther, he’s dead.” Yuki interrupts my daydream of a fairy and plasma fruit salad.
“I meant, to ask Mortimer. I know Gunther’s dead.” I can’t help snapping at Yuki. I don’t want to be reminded that Gunther is dead. “Sorry.” I say lamely.
“It’s okay. Really, Gwen, I know you’re grieving. But now you have a son! Think of the positives.” Again, she’s right. Damn you Yuki.
“I don’t know if I can face him. I’m not the woman he’s expecting. I’m cold, I’m not merciful…I’ve changed from that fiery redhead.” I hear a tut from Yuki.
“You don’t know what Sam has said. Maybe instead of sugarcoating, he told the uncensored truth. Maybe you’re exactly what he’s expecting. The question is: Is he what you were expecting? Are you afraid that he’s not going to live up to your expectations?”
“You’re right, like always.” Damn you Yuki! “I guess I have no choice but to get to know him.”
“Damn right.” Yuki looks to the clock, then suddenly we hear the front door open and the voices of three children and one thick Spanish accent. “The brood is home. Go say hi before you leave.”

“Guinevere! Darling. How are you?” Diego takes no time to hug me as soon as he sees me.
“Fine, I guess. I just needed some best friend time with Yuki, and baby time with Zeke.” Oh how I wish I could tell Diego about Mortimer, but as far as I knew, only Yuki and I know the truth.
“Good, good! PlaySim called, and they want another shoot. As your agent, I told them I would have to talk to you about it.” I shake my head.
“No. I told them it was one time thing. Plus, I’m in mourning.” Diego frowns and hugs me again.
“I heard, I’m so sorry love. I know how much you loved him. I’ll stop pushing you to move on.” I thank him and push him away gently.
“Be sure to tell your wife that.” With that, I turn into mist and fly to the penthouse “next door” – my castle in the sky.


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