August 7, 2013

In Which Ashe Passes It Along

June 17, 1182

"I think somebody likes you!" The bags under Rona's eyes and the sweat holding her curls to her face did nothing to dampen her smile, or her beauty. Ashe had noticed the same after Yvanette's birth, and again after Darry's, but there was something a little different this time, more than just joy, some twist in the corner of her mouth that made him wonder if she was teasing. It wouldn't have been the strangest thing; who knew what a newborn liked and didn't? "I'm so glad one of them finally got your eyes."

He had to look down at the baby again. He'd been so swept up in that relief of a healthy birth that he hadn't noticed. "They look better on her."

"I think it's pretty close."

He didn't. But he didn't want to fight with her, and it was such a silly thing to argue about. Maybe he did have nice eyes. Was that so horrible, acknowledging that he had nice eyes? His thirdborn certainly had nice eyes, and if she got them from him...

"Uh. Does she have a name yet?"

Rona smirked. "Yes." But she left it at that.

Maybe it was his fault, framing it as a yes-or-no question. "All right. Are you going to tell me what it is, or...?"

Rona's mother--the only other in the room, thank God--leaned over to her daughter with a similarly sly smile. What were they playing at? "Isn't he cute, acting like he doesn't know her name?"

Rona giggled. The baby gave him some primitive newborn smile, a few tiny spit bubbles popping between her lips. That hadn't helped. "Uh... well, I kind of assumed that if it was a girl, we'd name her Celina..." But hadn't Rona's sister just had a Celina two months ago?

"Oh, please! You can name your next daughter Celina." The original Celina winked, as if Ashe was already supposed to be thinking about the next one. "That name would be better on a brown-eyed girl."

"I don't think it matters much--oh." Another frantic glance between his wife's grin and his baby daughter's eyes and he thought he might have probably had it. Maybe. She had said... but he'd never thought... "You don't mean..."

"Mm-hmm." Rona shared a quick giggle with her mother and nodded. "Well, unless it would be awkward for you."

Ashe grimaced. It would be awkward. But a lot of things were awkward for him and he suspected that many always would be. This might have been something he could get past. "Uh... probably not as awkward as shoving a baby out of... you know..."

His mother-in-law laughed. "Good answer! But really, dear, if you'd rather call her something else, you should say so now before the name sticks."

That did sound like the sort of thing he'd do, changing his daughter's name well after everyone already knew it. If he was going to be uncomfortable, he'd be best just admitting it and giving Rona free choice from every other name there was in the world.

But no one else was using that name, were they? Maybe it needed to be passed it on to someone else. The name wouldn't feel so odd if it belonged to someone who could make use of it. "No, I'll be fine."

"Oh, good!" Rona bounced on the bed, nearly giddy as that day she'd launched herself into his arms and told him she was pregnant with Yvanette, a reminder that she'd wanted the name even then. "Won't you give it to her officially, though? I mean, we're all thinking it, but she really should hear it first from you."

That was how passing things along worked. Nodding, he pulled the baby nearer and let her rest her little head against his fluttering heart. "Hello, Aspen."

NEXT CHAPTER:

5 comments:

Van said...

Aaaand I think you all saw that coming from a mile away. ;)

morgaine2005 said...

And I have only one thing to say:

Aspen Torgleid rides again!

May this little Aspen someday be as happy as her parents are, without having to go through all the crap they did to get there.

(And may she give Yvanette a run for her money in terms of cuteness. Let's see what a red-haired green-eyed baby can do! :) )

Van said...

If little Aspen Jr. does end up going through crap, it will be at least be of a very different variety from what her parents had to go through. It might be worth noting that she and her older brother Darry are quite close in age, so she may not have dodged the magic...

I haven't grown up Aspen yet, so she may very well be as cute as her big sister. ;) I'm hoping that she's not a total clone of the original Aspen, though.

Winter said...

I love the confidence Rona has here, and the camaraderie with her mother is so sweet. As much as Rona's the mother of three kids now, it almost feels like she's just coming into her own. Her personality is shining through here.

That castle is going to explode one day from all the cuteness going on.

Van said...

It took a while, but Rona is absolutely coming into her own now. The bond with her mother probably helps. ;)

I'm certainly hoping that these kids keep their looks when they grow up.