July 4, 2015

In Which Octavius Allows for Optimism

November 22, 1192

"Ta-da!" Gennie wasted no time between bursting through the nursery door and depositing the sturdy pink infant into Fred's arms. "Mother is doing very well, and this little fellow stopped fidgeting just long enough for us to get him cleaned up and swaddled."

Octavius indulged himself in a private smirk. With no one putting pressure on Jeda, the hope for this baby had been the basic, altogether sufficient happy and healthy--but it was a delicious irony that the one time with a man other than Ietrin had been enough to make the son that asshole had never gotten.

"He looks just like her," Fred sighed, though Octavius struggled to see it. Hollie and Gennie had both looked far more like Jeda when they'd been born; this baby, from what he could tell, seemed to take after Fred's side more. "Did she name him?"

"Not officially, but she said that since he's your first child, you can name him after your father if you like. Her only condition is that if you have another son, she wants to name him for my Uncle Sparron."

"Of course." Fred kissed the baby's brow and bounced him a little, just enough to his feet stirring in his blankets. "Hello, Rickard. Some day, your mother and I will give you a little brother named Sparron--or a little sister. Or perhaps both!"

A little optimistic, at Jeda's age--but then again, Renata had birthed Clia at the ripe old age of fifty-one, and it seemed that Ietrin had indeed been the problem where reproduction in Jeda's first marriage had been concerned. "Provided sufficient breaks between births, I think Jeda would like that."

"On our wedding night, she told me she wanted ten! So... here's hoping the next one is twins?" Fred laughed. "Come and see your grandson."

Happy to oblige, Octavius rose from the couch and waved to the little fellow. "Hello there, little Rickard."

Rickard gurgled--probably the closest a newborn could really come to smiling.

"He has your eyes, Fred." Yet another reason it was so lucky a thing Ietrin was dead and buried.

"Maybe, but he wears them better." Fred gave his son one last loving look, then handed him over to Octavius. "I think he gets that from Jeda."