I feel the scrutinizing glare of Diego before I see it. “Don’t give me that look Diego. I’ll be getting it enough from everyone else I have to tell.” He blinks twice and the look is replaced with one of guilt. “And I know what you and everyone else is going to think or ask.” I clear my throat and try to mock Diego’s voice. “‘But Gwen, who is the father? Where is he?'” My eyes narrow. “My reply will be the same for everyone, ‘just wait. I’ll reveal him when we’re ready. Until then, give us space.'” I admit, I’m being a little defensive, but I just know someone is going to mention it.
“Naturally we’re going to wonder.” Yuki smiles, trying to break the tension. “Friendship aside, you’re still our queen. And the people will wonder and speculate…and worry.”
“Yeah. Worry.” Diego crosses his arms and sits back. “I worry if this man is good enough.” Yuki slaps his leg. He uncrosses his arms and continues to look at me.
“Stop being rude honey. Mysterious father or not, this is joyous news! Who have you told?”
“Roxanne and the father. You two are the first outside of the household to know.”
“Wait, wait! He lives with you?!” Diego is on the edge of his seat, on the verge of standing. “And no one has even seen him?”
“Roxanne has…plus it’s a big penthouse. I don’t even see him half the time.” I simply shrug and sit back. He follows suit.
“She’s a big vampire Diego, trust her and for fuck’s sake, stop arguing. You two are supposed to be best friends.”
“Trust her? Last time, the father left. Sorry if I don’t trust her judgement on the men she chooses.” I can feel that anger burning deep down. I take deep breaths to calm myself before replying.
“I let him go…and I didn’t even tell him un-” I stop myself, remembering Diego didn’t know that Mortimer Goth is mine. “I didn’t tell him. So he never had a chance to leave.” Yuki speaks before Diego does, thankfully.
“Ignore him. He’s been a sourpuss since Zeke was born.” Diego’s glare turns to Yuki. “You’ll have to let me know the due date so I can plan a baby shower.” A baby shower sounds nice, considering I never had one with my last pregnancy.
“Of course. Thank you Yuki.” I smile at the kind offer. I would have to put together a guest list for her, and since I was actually keeping this baby, it would be a guest list with high prolific vampires from all over. I wonder if Cleopatra is still in Al Simhara. “Speaking of baby, has Zeke started teething yet?” Yuki nods with a pained look. Oh no…
“I forgot how sharp baby fangs were.” My smile broadens. Two out of four, that was good odds. I place my hands over my womb and wonder if this child would be a vampire or not. Before Yuki can speak again, the wails of Zeke echo down the hall. “Talk about timing.”
“I should get going anyway, I need to feed before I plan my visit to the castle and the Goths.” Yuki and I stand and hug each other.
“You’re going to do fine. I have faith in you.” I’m thankful she doesn’t ask which Goths I was going to visit, because I planned on telling Sam at the League meeting. I feel that Mortimer needs be told he’s going to be a brother before I tell the League.
Yuki leaves us. I head for the door without a word to Diego, but he follows. “I’m sorry Gwen. I didn’t mean to be so…angry. Do you forgive me?”
“I don’t know. I told you and Yuki first because I had hoped for support…because you two are my best friends. But obviously I was mistaken on the support from you.” I don’t even try to hide the malice and hurt in my tone.
“I really am sorry. I’m happy for you, truly. I’m just…worried. Like you say, we’re best friends. Best friends tell each other things.” I hold my hand up to stop him.
“I’m not going to tell you who he is. He and I discussed this…I’m going to respect his wishes. And frankly, no one needs to know who I’m fucking. Just have faith in me. Okay?”
“I’m not worried about you. I’m worried about Wogan, Bernard, and Caleb and what they’ll demand. If you thought I was overbearing, imagine them.”
“I’m worried about them too. That’s why I’m telling Bernard as soon as I can, to get him on my side.” Diego hmm’s and nods.
“If you need help coming up with something…I’m here, just like last time.” I shake my head, remembering his help from last time.
Guinevere and Diego took an opportunity before the League meeting to take a stroll. Now in the middle of the second trimester, Guinevere waddled and feeling the intense changes to her body. “Gwen,” Diego placed his hand on the small of her back. “-you need to sit. Here, let’s go play chess.” Diego escorted her to the chair. He pulled the chair out for her, she sat and he kissed the top of her head before taking the seat across from her.
“Thank you.” She looked at him fondly, then winced. “This child is restless and growing so fast. My bones feel their age…brittle and dust-like.” Guinevere laughed wryly and placed her hand over her womb. “I still don’t know what I’m going to tell the League tonight. I suspect Caleb will know who the father is, but the other two…they’ll demand to know. And if they find out, I have no idea what they’ll do.” Diego hmm’d and picked up the king piece.
“Name me as the father. I’ll marry you if I need to.” Diego looked from the piece to Guinevere. “We’re intimate enough for them to not question.”
“Yo-you would do that? But what about your mysterious love?” Guinevere didn’t want to intrude on another relationship.
“She won’t leave her obligations…things have changed in that obligation and she’s needed more than ever now.” Sadness filled his eyes, and bitterness in his voice. He set the piece down and looked at the board.
“I’m so sorry Diego.”
“It’s not your fault, don’t apologize.”
“If there’s no chance of it working out, I’ll accept your offer. I’m desperate.” Guinevere kept her voice low as she saw Caleb leaving his house.
“Then it’s settled. Let’s go tell them.”
“This is something I need to do on my own. But thank you Diego.”
“So…since you can’t tell us about this guy, can you tell us if there’s something wrong with him and that’s why he’s hiding?” I shake my head with a light laugh.
“There’s nothing wrong with him. In fact, he couldn’t be more perfectly suited for me.”
“Just a few months ago you were against moving on from Gunther…and now this mystery person is here. Are you sure you’re not moving too fast?” The mention of Gunther stings my heart, I can never truly move on from him.
“I’ve known this person for a while, so it’s not moving too fast.”
“Okay, okay. Last question…what is he?”
“Uh…” How exactly am I supposed to answer? He’s a lot of things but I decide on the safe answer, “Newly turned vampire? Like…turned before I got pregnant.”
“This next question isn’t about him…it’s about you. What are you going to do if you lose this baby too?” It’s time to tell him the truth, because he’ll find out eventually.
“Diego…I never lost the first baby.” He gasps and his eyes widen. I can tell Diego had a million different questions just by the rapid expression change on his face. But it all ends on one not-so-simple question.
“W-what do you mean?” There’s so much I want to say to answer, but I can only sum it up in three words.
“Gunther raised him.” Diego apologizes again, I can only assume it’s for implying Gunther was a dead-beat.
“Mortimer Goth…he’s your son?” I nod. “Does anyone else know?”
“Yuki. She’s known this entire time. Sam knows, I have no idea how. I’m sure Caleb and Agnes know because Cornelia couldn’t have children. And Mortimer knows. You can’t tell anyone.” He nods and hugs me. I feel relieved and like a weight has been lifted. I can only imagine how it’ll feel when I don’t have to hide the baby’s father.