Kyriala’s grip on my arm froze when the midwife said something sharp and the second baby was up and out of the water. Etana had the baby and passed it straight to Kaninjer who immediately put his mouth on the baby's face and sucked something out of the child’s lungs. I was holding my breath, mouthing my prayers to Dimae with suddenly no air to say anthing.
You want to live, child, you want to live. Fight. Little solas, fight for your life…
The silence. I am holding my breath, waiting, praying, trying to will that first breath to the baby. Niku clung to Virana-e and he breathed something to her, his eyes turned up to Kaninjer. All the joy froze, like the snow and ice outside. I was feeling the cold all around the place, threatening like the claws of the Summoner.
The Servant of the Ten hadn’t been here, close. He’d been shut outside and now… There was a tiny cough. Then another and a cry. A second breath and the baby bellowed his outrage that he hadn’t been able to breathe straight away.
“He likes breathing!” That was Vriah and all the children were yelling and cheering and I drew in a huge breath myself. Ky and I put our foreheads together, laughing.
I had to smile as they got Niku out of the water and dry and settled her in the bed on the one side of the room, and Kall seized Virana-e from behind and breathed in his ear. How much more joy could there be in this room? My cheeks hurt from smiling and I had to sink down on our bench to take it all in.
Skorsas was seeing to the emptying of the birthing tub and Kaninjer was shooing Virana-e into the bed with Niku so they could both cuddle the babies. And he had some bruising from something that had happened earlier, so it was a good idea that he listen to his healer.
“And the referendum count is today as well?” Kyriala was laughing. “This family is certainly interesting. Nothing ever dull!”
“We should let them all rest.”
“I love this house,” I said to Ky. “It feels like home, even though it is very strange.”
“You’ll fit right in.”
“When he asks you… and I will bet you a tapestry that fills this guest suite that he will… you’ll fit right in.”
“It’s almost full dark… we should get down there if we want to hear the results.”
“I’ll miss you, my friend.”
“I will too. But we’ll only be three days away.”
“Do you think he will ask me soon?”
“If he doesn’t he’s an idiot and he’s not an idiot.”
“If you’re wrong, I’ll laugh at you.”
“And if I’m wrong you have my heartfelt permission to laugh. We have to go down to the Assembly palace now if we are to hear the outcome we purportedly came to hear.”
“Oh, poo. The babies are far more important.”
“It depends on what the boys think.”
“Ky… is Minis going to ask you soon?”
“I don’t know. I want him to.”
“If he doesn’t… I’ll not only kick him on the training ground I’ll ask Kall to kick him too.”