Books, Characters, Location, Research

MacDougal Snippet, Christmas 1871, part 5

Following their wedding, Ross and Amelia MacDougal have joined for the first time in weeks, celebrating the discovery that she carries twins

Ross grasped Amelia’s hand with his, unable to think.

When the room stopped spinning and the hiss in his brain had faded, he ran his hands over her amazing belly. Amazing as it contained not one child, but two.

“I haven’t slept that deeply in…I don’t know when,” she said.

“Raven sang lullabies to you. You dropped right off and stayed that way.”

She didn’t reply. While she accepted the bird, she didn’t understand what the raven meant to him. So far she hadn’t asked him to choose between her and the bird. That was not a decision he wished to make.

“You and that bird understand each other, in a way I can’t.” She stopped his roving hand and pressed in against her.

“We understand each other, but I don’t know whether you can or not. What do you think about the dream you had?”

“What dream?”

“You said something when you woke.”

She shrugged. “Don’t remember. Was it important?” He stomach growled.

“Not as important as getting some food into you to feed those boys,” he said.

She gasped and rolled to glare up at him. “I agree that there’s probably two in there, but who says they’re boys? They could be both girls, or one of each, or—”

“I love Gillis’ daughter, Hope. I will also love whatever children we have. But it would be best for the M-D to have a boy first.”

“Why?” When he didn’t answer she narrowed her eyes. “You’re keeping something from me, aren’t you. I am the one growing two babies for the M-D, and I have a right to know!”

He raised her hand to his mouth and kissed her fingers. “If one of us, Gillis, me and Nevin, don’t have a son before my father dies, the M-D and everything on it goes to my oldest brother, Finan.”

Her eyes opened. “But, he’s a brute!”

“Yes, but he’s the oldest son.”

She looked away, then back to him. Her eyes shone with fury, not tears.

“For everyone’s sake, let’s hope I’m carrying at least one son. Because otherwise, dear husband, you can send Nevin east to look for his own wife. Don’t count on me having another child as fast as Beth. It’ll be a couple years before I’m willing to go through this again!” She looked down and groaned. “I can’t even see my feet. If I’m this big now, how am I going to last for a whole nine months?”

“Auntie will ask the grandmothers for advice.”

“I thought they didn’t travel much in winter?”

He thought back to something Auntie said recently. He hadn’t been paying a lot of attention as he watched a very upset Amelia try to hide her quivering chin while cutting potatoes. He’d left her alone in respect, thinking she’d come to him with her worries. Another lesson in marriage that Trace told him about and he’d ignored. Next time he’d ask her what’s wrong and, no matter what she said, he’d listen. He’d listen with all his senses, not just his ears. Worrying was not good for a woman growing a baby.

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