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The nausea had barely subsided by the time the doctor finished his examination.
"Can you give me something to help?"
Slowly the doctor removed his spectacles and regarded her. His sandy blonde hair was faded a bit but his demeanor was as gruff as ever.
"You'll feel better in a few months."
The breath she'd been unconsciously holding escaped her. "A few months?"
"Yes, that is generally how long it takes for a child to finish growing. You're already more than a third of the way there." He replaced his instruments in his black satchel as he spoke.
Adama sat thunderstruck by the physician's words. A child? Impossible! She looked at Sarah, who had the same expression upon her face, then back at the doctor. "Are you certain?"
"Majesty, I have been a physician for many years. I know a pregnancy when I see one." He softened a bit when he realized the shock had not yet left her. "As nearly as I can derive, you are at least three, possibly four months along. That would put your delivery somewhere near Harvest." He patted her hand gently. "I will send your servants a list of foods which will help with the nausea. Congratulations, Princess."
He stood and Adama nodded, dismissing him with her thanks.
Pregnant? She'd always thought herself barren. Not that she didn't wish to have children, but that had never been part of her future and she was uncertain how she felt. Things were dangerous here. There were forces prepared to overthrow her mother's government, and a child would be a powerful tool to use against her should anyone find out.
Adama needed a few moments alone. "Sarah, please go to my mother and ask her for amoment of her time?"
"Yes, my lady." Sarah turned and left.
The child's paternity was certain. She had spent one night in the arms of an Alliance commander during the last days of the war with BasSalaam. Unfortunately they had both been drunk and she'd released him the following morning, almost exactly four months ago, never knowing his name.
She sighed and stood, moving to the window and looking down upon the village below the castle. She never tired of the beautiful view. Her normal pleasure was somewhat blunted by the thought of what lay before her. She recalled the soldier and his beautiful smile, but very little of their tryst. Certainly she'd never suspected they had conceived. She placed her hands over her abdomen protectively. A child. She smiled ruefully, recalling how very much she'd wanted to become pregnant when she was married. It was all that Tengri had wanted, and the one thing she could not give him.
Perhaps it was just as well. It was likely they'd all be dead now had she remained in Tartak. The brutal war, which had begun with Tengri's death, had raged for nearly ten years. She knew Carcun had been laid to waste, and only now, more than ten years later, the country was slowly beginning to rebuild.
Queen Lucia entered the room, breaking into her thoughts, and Lady Sartos, her mother's closest advisor, accompanied her. Adama curtsied. "Good afternoon, Mother."
"Sarah said you needed to speak with me?" Lucia spoke as she continued walking into the room. She went to her daughter and took her hand. She knew Adama had not been feeling well of late, and her concern was obvious.
"Yes. Could we speak privately?" Adama looked at Sartos with a slight smile. She did not wish to be rude, but she also did not wish to share the news of her impending motherhood with the Council yet.
"Of course." Lucia turned to Sartos. "Excuse us, please." Together Adama and Lucia followed Lady Sartos to the anteroom of Adama's bedchamber. Adama seated herself upon a cushioned bench near a polished table, and looked out the single window.
When the councilor was gone, Lucia closed the door and turned to her daughter. "What is wrong?"
"Pregnant? But I thought you could not bear children." Lucia's surprise would have been amusing had it not been so genuine.
"Apparently I can." She turned and looked directly at her mother.
Lucia took a deep breath before speaking. "Adama, is this Christian's baby?"
"No, I haven't seen Chris for almost six months." Adama made an exasperated sound. "The child's father isn't the problem. The problem is what to do."
"What do you mean, what to do? You'll have your baby, and the child will take their rightful place in the line of succession as a prince or princess, just as you did." Lucia was somewhat irritated with her daughter's attitude. "Surely you're not thinking of aborting your baby?"
"No, no of course not." Adama waved off the thought. "But, you know I am still wanted in BasSalaam. A bounty man made an attempt not three weeks ago. It is not safe for me or for anyone near me while I'm here."
"We can increase security, Adama."
"And keep me and my child imprisoned."
"You'll hardly be--"
"It will be a gilded cage, Mother, but a cage nonetheless." She paused and smiled at her mother. "I will make arrangements and I will go to Andalos until the child is born. When it is safe, I will return, I swear it."
"It does not have to be this way, Adama." Lucia sat upon the bench beside her daughter.
Adama saw her mother was near tears. "Yes it does."
"At least let me arrange things for you. You shouldn't have to travel like a common foot soldier."
"If you can arrange it so no one knows where I am going or why, then yes, you may," Adama said.
Her mother smiled. "I will have Lucas see to the details. You know he is discretion itself."
Lucas Masters was Lucia's man at arms, and Adama suspected, her sometime lover as well. It was no matter. Lucia had remained alone since the death of Adama's father, Addar Draga. If her mother found comfort in Lucas' arms, so much the better. She knew Lucas was entirely devoted to her mother, and he had always been fond of her as well, giving her a father figure where she'd had none.
Adama knew if Lucas saw to her travel arrangements, no one would know.
"Adama, wherever you go, you will be in danger. If you stay here, I can see to your security."
"I will go to Andalos. Christian will be there. I will be safe." She gave Lucia a long hug. "I love you, Mother."