Chapter nineteen

Dr. Octavia Drabble.

She read the name in front of her. She looked it up on the internet. Some obscure website said she had a child herself with a gay man. And she never told anyone who the baby daddy was. That might be someone Sam appreciated.

Just when she thought that she heard a knock on the door. "Come in," she said. It was Sam.

"Hi," she said. "My mother suggested someone by the way. And from what I've just looked up it sounds like an interesting woman. She would certainly know what it is to be discrete."

He kissed her. "And I got you a new cup of tea. And I did wonder if you felt well enough to keep some food in. You do need to eat after all."

"I feel a bit better," she said. "What do you have in mind?"

"Telling my parents over lunch?" he tried. "I suppose they'll understand better than yours. Especially mother, considering the compromising position she found us in that morning."

She nodded. "Will she be terribly disappointed that we didn't do this the right way round?"

"Not a chance. She's been a bit jealous of dad and his first wife for already having a grandchild. This will even things out nicely in her book." He grinned. "Speaking of which, Syrane called me this Saturday. She said Collignon couldn't stop talking about 'auntie'."

She smiled and drank her tea, while he waited patiently and held out her coat for her. "Where are we meeting them for lunch," she asked trying to ignore the stares from the rest of the office. Luckily she had taken the slip of paper with the name on it with her. All they could see was that she was researching the good doctor.

"Dad was all for meeting in the city, but mother rather wanted to meet at home. So Edgecombe Estates it is. We'll drive there with him," he said. And indeed there was a big car waiting for them at the entrance to the building.

The door swung open. "Do get in you two," Henry said from inside the car. Aivlis got in first followed by Sam. As Sam sat down she laid down with her head in his lap, like they had in the morning. She had always had a case of motion sickness, but she didn't want to make this worse. So that was why she lay down. If his father had questions he didn't say anything, but Aivlis was sure he had his suspicions.

Sam kept stroking her hair while they drove home. It felt good doing this and they'd be together for real now. And whereas he didn't want to blare all the particulars out to the whole world some of them would be necessary. "We're here," he whispered softly as they arrived at the house. "Let's do this."

Henry got out of the car first and Sam followed him, so he could help her out. "Can you walk or do you want me to carry you?" he asked.

"I can walk," she said before softly whispering in his ear. "But you can carry me if you wish. I'll probably be too heavy when it's tradition to do so."

He nodded. He had his own plans, but he wasn't going to share them. Although they soon became apparent. He let his father walk in front to the door so they could have some more private time. And when they got to the door of his house he just took her in his arms and carried her over the threshold, before setting her down again. "Nicely done," she whispered.

"Mom, dad?" he said as he squeezed her hand.

"In the kitchen dear," his mother called.

Aivlis took a deep breath. For some reason this felt much scarier than she had imagined. At least she had Sam by her side. She leaned into him as they walked to the kitchen.

They were barely seated in the kitchen when there was his father's voice asking the question they were here to answer. "What is it? Why have you called me away from work to have lunch here?"

"I'd like to know that too," his mother said.

"It's more because it's a family situation that I asked to have lunch here," he began.

"Then why is she here and not Drahcir?" his father asked.

"SHE IS FAMILY!" Samoth said angrily, drawing attention to every single word. "And Drahcir isn't here, because this concerns you two more than him."

His father's head turned red. Suited him just right.

He waited until his father's head had turned a slightly better color before continuing. "My first concern is Aivlis and our unborn child. Which is why I asked her to move in with me."

The silence in the kitchen was deafening.