Chapter Nine: Family

The tension is so thick as I sit on the couch. I feel the eyes of Mimsy and Bernard burning into me, it makes me shift in the seat. “What’s going on Guinevere, dear?” Mimsy asks gently. Like taking off a band-aid, it would be best if I just get it over with.
“I’m pregnant.” I’m not quite sure what their reactions will be, but I brace myself for the slew of questions and demands.
“Who’s the father?” Bernard, of course, is the one to ask.
“That’s not important right now…there’s a reason for our privacy and I ask, as your niece, to respect it.”
“But you’re not just my niece, you’re my queen.” I roll my eyes and look to Mimsy for help. She just stays silent…useless.
“You’re right. I am the ruler. Not you. I only answer to you when it come to the welfare of my people. And this is not endangering my people. He’s a respectable man with good intentions.”
“Bah! Good intentions…why isn’t he here then?” My eyes narrow at Bernard. Maybe if I tell him the truth about this, he’ll let up and be supportive.
“Because he’s dealing with our other business. The Sixamian showed up just as I was leaving, so I trusted him in dealing with the shipment.” Bernard gives me a stiff nod. Ever since I sold the shop to Mimsy, I needed to make money other than modeling…so I resorted to growing plants from Sixam and selling the produce. It’s amazing money and paid for the penthouse many times over.

“Bernie…maybe instead of focusing on the father, maybe focus on the fact that this is the heir of the throne?” Mimsy finally speaks up. I feel my lips twitch in a brief smile.
“You’re right love.” Bernard lets out a joyous and deep laugh. “A prince or princess! If there’s anything you need, just ask and we’ll do it.” A sense of relief washes over me, the war may not be over but this battle had been won.
“I’ll keep that in mind, thank you.”
“Are you planning on having a baby shower? I can throw one.” Mimsy grabs my hand and squeezes gently.
“Yuki is planning it, so if you want in on that…call her. I would love to have it here if possible…it would be safer for the guests, I don’t have a safe sun-tight room in the penthouse.” Mimsy and Bernard nod in agreement.
“Alright, I’ll call Yuki tonight and we’ll figure it all out.”

I look at the time, Mortimer should be on his way home from work. “Who all have you told?” Bernard asks.
“I’ve told my new human, the father, and Yuki and Diego. The doctor that diagnosed it knows…and that’s about it. You can tell the kids if you want…but please let me tell the rest of the League at a meeting. That way I can answer all the questions in one sitting. I told you two now because you’re family.”
“Understandable. But please don’t dally in telling them, Gwenny. The longer you hide it, the more questions they’ll have.” Bernard’s concern is touching and I take his advice into consideration.
“We had no idea you were even seeing anyone. So I hope you understand our concerns…but also know that we’re extremely happy for you. You need this after-” Mimsy stops mid-sentence, she was going to bring up “losing” the last baby. I’m glad she didn’t because then I would feel guilty and a need to tell them the truth about that.
“I know.” I look at the time again. He should be home. “I need to go. Thank you for being here for me, and for understanding. Support is all I really need right now.” We all stand and hug goodbye before I leave for Goth Manor.

“What do you mean you’re pregnant?” Is the only thing Mortimer manages to say.
“Just because I’m a grandmother doesn’t mean I don’t have…relations.” He shudders and covers his face, looking away from me and Bella.
“I don’t want to hear about your relations, mum.” I laugh, he reminds me of those children from the movies that are grossed out about their parents. He uncovers his face and stare off ahead of him.
“Oh get over it Morty.” Bella teases. I sincerely love her fire and playfulness…I couldn’t have asked for a better match for my son.
“She’s a healthy and attractive woman. Of course she’s going to be having sex.” I feel the plasma rush to my face as a blush. Healthy, yes. But I did not find myself attractive anymore. Not after I changed.
“How could you do that to dad though?” Oh. So that is what’s bothering him. I try to be gentle, but the question hurts.
“That’s unfair to ask. He married Cornelia and left me. He made his choice and moved on.”
“What about mating for life?” Why is he so upset about this? What did Sam or Gunther tell him?
“It’s true for some vampires, not all. I will always be in love with Gunther…nothing will ever change that.” I take a deep breath, readying myself to speak of something I have never mentioned outside of the castle. “When your father and I broke up, I almost died. I was put in the mourning crypt for a month because they thought I was dying. The only thing that brought me back was my mother telling me it wasn’t time to go. I tried to move on after that, but he came back and we made you. After that, I knew he would be a part of me forever…My heart and soul will always be his, so in a way we are mated for life. But I am a queen, and I have a duty…much like your father had a duty. Unless you want to be king, I need an heir.”

“That’s so tragically romantic!” Bella gushes. “You should write a story about it.”
“Oh no. That’s a bad idea…I’ve never perfected the art of writing. Plus, I don’t want anyone to make the connection that Mortimer is my son until we’re all ready for that to come out. There are people from both sides that would hate that the two of you are married.”
“Right…” Bella’s voice is soft with a hint of sadness. “-but we didn’t know he was a vampire until after we were married.” If only that was the case, but it didn’t matter to ether side.
“They’d still force you to turn or for him to be cured.” I’m as blunt as could be. They deserved to know their fate if it came out.
“And if I’m your son? What would they push for?” I had never thought about it, but it wouldn’t change anything.
“Humans would want you cured, vampires would probably want Bella turned…depending on if they would accept you as the heir. You were born out of wedlock.” Though…his father was married. That could be a loophole!
“The vampires are the ones that want the law lifted, right?” I nod. This question reminds me that I need to get the signatures and finish the paperwork when I get home.
“The humans are being the unyielding ones this time.” First it was Van Gould…now it’s the Altos and the Landgraabs.
“I’ll see what I can do to sway the vote in our favor then. They still think I’m human, they’re unaware that Samuel is a vampire. The Goth name is still respected.” I wanted to hug Mortimer, but I stop myself.

“Enough talk about politics. There’s something I’ve been dying to tell you.” Bella’s smile lights up the room. “Can I tell her Morty?” I look from Bella to Mortimer, curiosity and wariness in my expression.
“Yeah.” He smiles and gives her a look I recognize. It was a look of love and amazement, the same look Gunther reserved for me.
“Well, Gwen. You’re going to be a grandma again…I’m pregnant too!” Excitement is all I can feel. Without thinking, I hug Bella.
“How far along?” It would be so weird but cool to be due around the same time.
“Almost the second trimester.” Mortimer speaks, pride in his voice.
“Me too! Oh this is exciting. I wonder how Cassandra is going to react.” I look to Mortimer again with pursed lips and a raised eyebrow. “Hopefully better than you.” His ears turn red and he looks away to the playing toddler.
“Speaking of. It’s bath time for her.” Bella chimes in. I take this as an opportunity to leave.
“I should go,” I  lean to the side to hug Bella. “I have sooo much paperwork to do.”  The hug ends and I stand.  Mortimer, too, stands and hugs me briefly. He then he reaches down for Cassandra.
“Nooo baff dada. Dollies!” She protests and squirms.
“Sorry kiddo. Bath then bed.” He carries her out of the room, still talking to her.
“Gwen…” Bella stands and together we walk to the door. “What’ll happen if this one is a vampire?” She’s concerned, and I couldn’t blame her. They were lucky with Cassandra, well…lucky if you feared for your family’s safety. A vampire baby in this situation was not ideal, but it was manageable.
“There’s glamours to hide the early effects of vampirism…like eye changes, fangs, vein discoloration. I recommend seeing Dina Lothario, she’s discreet and works with supernatural.” I watch as Bella walks to a drawer and pulls out a note pad and pen. She scibbles something that I can only assume is the name.  “I’m here for you, you know. Don’t hesitate, ever, to call me. You’re family, and I protect my family.”
“Thank you Gwen. I’m so glad Morty reached out to you.” Me too Bella, me too.


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