July 22, 2016

In Which Morgan Finds Both Rain and Stone

August 27, 1201

"Yvanette!" Morgan kicked the door shut in case any prying eyes were about as she found her stepdaughter-in-law curled up on the bedroom floor. One of her gut feelings again. Given the progress of Yvanette's pregnancy, she'd thought it had to have been labor--a little earlier than expected, perhaps, but nothing unheard of. As she'd approached, however, it hadn't been moans or panting or half-constrained screams that greeted her. It hadn't even been sobbing.

Just silence.

"What happened? Did you fall? Are you all right?"

Yvanette shook her head--in keeping with her shivering, in contrast to her eerie stillness. Somehow, she was both rain and stone at once.

"Yvanette?"

She thought she heard some ghost of a gasped syllable, but it was faint enough that any content was lost. It was faint enough that it might have been in her own head.

"Darling, talk to me." Morgan dropped to her knees and settled on the rug across from Yvanette. Upon further scrutiny, the young woman's tight fetal position concealed her middle well--too well. Even if she'd already birthed the baby, evidence would linger for some time yet.

Somehow, though, Yvanette looked like she'd never been pregnant at all.

"I can't help you if I don't know what's wrong."

Yvanette hugged her legs close, her form smaller still. She didn't say anything--but, she did tug at her nightgown as a small dark tail peeked out from beneath it.

NEXT CHAPTER: