Luna had already made up her mind as to the fate of the baby several months before, and there was nothing anyone could say to change her way of thinking. Her husband, King Lance, did not support her and the choice she’d made, and he tried everything he could think of to alter the queen’s decision. She did not understand why her husband was against her when he had supported her the day before she went into labor, but she did not have time to attempt figuring him out. She would be leaving soon, and wanted their contact to be as limited as possible.
As she gathered the supplies necessary for the trip, Lance followed Luna in and out of each area of the castle she entered, voicing his opinions about the decision his wife had made, and he did not care who heard his latest tirade. Luna had begun to grow weary of Lance’s tantrums concerning the baby, and when he followed her into the main sitting room, she had heard enough of his complaining. With a few quick strides, she made it across the room in no time flat, and shoved Lance into the corner using her right forearm to hold him in place. She quietly studied his face, allowing a few heartbeats to pass time and then said, “I need you to know something, and I only plan to say this one time, so you had better listen up because I’ve got news for you. Over the last twenty-four hours since the baby made her appearance, you have been parading around in protest of how I choose to deal with her. I thought you’d support whatever decision I made, but you’ve made it perfectly clear that you do not. In the past day since giving birth to the baby, you have also made it seem like I do not love our child at all. This is where you need to hear me, and don’t ask me to repeat myself later because I do not plan to discuss this when I’m done. During the thirteen months in which I carried that baby, there was unintended bonding done by the two of us, and due to this reality, I have come to love the next queen of Interraton. As a matter of fact, I will take no pleasure in knowing that someone else will raise her, but you wouldn’t know that because we didn’t hardly talk the entire time I carried that little munchkin.
“Making the trip to ask my best friend if she will take care of our child as though Jasmine were her mother, is not something I am looking forward to, but it has to be done. The reason for that can be found in the promise we made to each other on our wedding day, which was that babies would have to wait until after we’d been queen and king for ten years. We have only sat in our thrones for seven years, which leaves us with three years before ever gotten through those ten years.
“That promise is the reason I’m determined to talk with Jasmine about raising our child. That promise is the reason I feel horrible about my decision before I make the trip. That promise is the reason we don’t have any children who are older than our girl. Don’t you see? Can’t you understand? I’ve chosen to give up our first born daughter, the next queen of the planet, because of that promise. Your tantrums are doing nothing more than allowing the help to see a weakness in our marriage bond, and I’d hate to think what would transpire if they tried to remove us from our positions.
“Your choosing not to support my decision, also causes doubts to swirl around in other minds that you and I have more problems in our union than just the one with the baby. Your undermining me is creating all sorts of issues with the citizens who work here at the citadel. Your decision to behave in the way you have been since our baby was born is absolutely disgusting and degrading. Now, I’ve got to be leaving in the next few minutes, and I’d like to hope that while I’m gone, you can figure out how to smooth things over with our staff members. If you leave that door open, you leave us open to all kinds of attacks from whomever dares to be so bold as to create problems out of something that should have been done as quietly as possible. You better pray that our servants and maids are gracious enough to let this end without any attempts to overthrow their queen and king. Believe it or not, I love you, and I love that little girl of ours. I’m leaving for Jasmine’s now. I hope you heard everything I said”. Luna removed her arm from Lance’s chest, kissed his left cheek, and left him to process her words. As she moved to exit the main sitting room, she grabbed the bearskin that once laid in front of the fireplace, and left Lance standing in horror at her reaction to his behavior.
In her mind, there was no other way to handle everything, and Lance was becoming someone who could easily be dismissed from her life. She was even beginning to think about doing something that had, up and until that point, never been done by any of the queens of Interraton while they were in active royalty service. She had never wanted to think that her marriage would ever end in divorce, but Lance’s lack of support towards her decision was enough to cause the queen to ponder what kind of uprising there could be from the populace.
Luna rapidly made her way to her sleeping chambers, still trying to grasp a logical reason Lance had chosen to do a complete about face and spat on the promises exchanged on their wedding day. She could not fathom anything being so important to either one of them that they would break their solemn vow, and since she did not have time to analyze it any further, she shoved it to the back of her mind. She had one objective on that evening’s agenda, make it to South Bosp with the baby, praying the entire way that the weather would remain light. Picking up the little one, she wrapped her in the bearskin, and kissed her forehead.
She had not given her daughter a name because if Jasmine took the infant as her own, the queen wanted to leave her best friend the right to bestow the lifelong title of their daughter. She turned to leave from her chambers, there in the doorway stood Lance with a look of incredulous proportions on his face. She wanted to physically remove the smile across his lips and feed it to her female novva wolf, Olyvya. That would get everyone’s attention, and show them what would happen if they spoke against her adopting the baby to her best friend. There was no one better, in the queen’s opinion, to take on this lifelong responsibility, and she would always abide by whatever decisions Jasmine made for her daughter since she’d no longer be her mother.
Instead, she asked him, “Are you thinking about trapping me in here so that I cannot leave? Let me warn you, I’ve already thought about and planned for that scenario. My loyal maids will release me as soon as you walk out that door. You, as the king, are not allowed to leave the throne without a body if the queen is incapacitated. Therefore, there’s no way you’re allowed to just stay in here with me to be sure I don’t leave. Since there were a couple of my maids on hand when I was in labor, the word has gotten out that the baby was born. Meaning, they know that I’ll be taking time to recuperate, and that leaves you in charge of the throne.
“Every scenario you come up with, I’ve already thought of and solved, I promise you that, my husband. My king. I have to be able to see each and every situation, its support system, its infrastructure, its strengths, its weaknesses. I have to simply annihilate every single thought of keeping me from my goal. I am not doing this because I don’t love that tiny, little, innocent baby. I’m doing this so that later, you don’t look at me with resentment in your eyes because we kept her with us. I’m doing it so that the time frame for having children is honored as per our wedding vows, and honestly, you’re not going to guilt me into changing my mind.
“I really wish you’d take my side on this most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make. I don’t want to break our vows now, and regret it later. To me, if we keep her, our bond will be obliterated, and the hurt will be too much for my heart to withstand. Or, you shall be cross because you did not really want to keep the baby, but at the risk of looking weak for not keeping to your word, you chose to act like you did not support my decision. Behaving as though you’re back in elementary school in order to make people believe one thing while you are doing something else behind closed doors, is treachery. Treachery will get you hung in my castle. Is that what you have chosen to do? Undermine my authority? I am the queen. Head female in charge. In the end, I have the last word. As would the king, if he was head male in charge, she looked at the window to her right. The sun had started to go down, if she didn’t leave immediately, the weather would turn from decent to terrible. She was not going to risk anything bringing problems to the baby like the weather making her catch cold. Luna could imagine the baby having a runny nose and a cough at two days old from exposure to bad weather caused by her untimely departure that night, and she was not going to catch the hollering that Jasmine would come to her with.
She didn’t take anymore time to say another word to her husband, and she would not allow him to speak to her. She kissed the little one more time, and told her that she loved her. Then, she tucked the bundle of bearskin and baby under her right arm, and went for the door. Expecting some kind of resistance from his royal highness, she prepared herself to physically remove him from the walkway just inside her room. When Lance did not create any obstacles to keep her and the baby within her sleeping quarters, Luna was stunned, and she thanked him silently as she exited.
Her heart was beginning to melt, and she had already begun to sweat from the hostility that caused anxiety to fester that Lance had created between them. She wanted to hate him, but couldn’t stop to do that. As she moved through the castle, there were personal hand maids and servants and kitchen staff members lingering in the shadows, and that bolstered her courage. Knowing that they all supported her in this hard time, showed the queen they’d support her through anything. It was nice to know that not even one of Lance’s staff members supported his tirades and tantrums, and a few had whispered something about a divorce being in order. She moved swiftly through the halls, and made it to the main exit in no time.
When her feet touched the wooden porch boards, she looked to the left to see that Cryer, one of Luna’s many servants, had the stallion, Arrow ready and waiting for the queen to depart. Luna carefully handed the baby bundle to another servant, Markham, and he held them carefully until the queen was comfortable on her mount. Then he passed the baby up to her majesty sitting on high, and he turned to wave as she rode off. There were six footmen who left beside, in front of and behind the queen’s massive steed, and each one of them would die before they allowed harm to come to mother or child.
After an hour, the eight of them who left the citadel at East Zeerk, found themselves just a few minutes’ ride to Jasmine’s house. Smoke billowing from the chimney looked inviting, they all left from their saddles to walk the horses onto the property. Considering the time of night they’d finally arrived, Luna was skeptical of Jasmine even bothering to answer her door. It was a chance she was willing to take since she had given herself a certain amount in which to speak with the magix community professor. She thought enough preparation had been done in order to keep her anxieties down, but her heart had begun to pound.
It was ten o’clock on the first night after the baby had been born, when she knocked on the door, but generally that was an ungodly hour, so Luna expected it when she heard some hollering as her friend made her way to the door. The fairy standing inside the house did not look as though she had been sleeping, but Luna would not ask. She was immediately directed to step inside and shut the door since the heat was getting out, and she moved upon the request.
As she pushed the door using her back, the queen began to explain, I’m sorry for coming by this late, but I need to talk to you about something that absolutely cannot wait, Jasmine. She slowly drew her next breath waiting for the fairy to do or say something to indicate she could further bother her to give up her time at such an hour.
Jasmine was angry to see that the idiot who had taken to wrapping their fist upon her front door was none other than the queen herself. It took a few minutes for the fairy to gather enough self-control in order to safely maintain her head. Eventually, she felt calm wash over her like a flood does on a valley, and she finally said, If you were anybody else in this wide world, Luna Garrick, I would take my horses whip to your backside for disturbing me at this hour, so you better get on with it and tell me why you’re here. She had motioned for her friend to come into the sitting room as they spoke with one another, and the queen had felt the obligation to fill the unspoken request. She would do whatever the fairy asked her to, even though she remained silent.
Holding the baby bundle at a safe distance, she inched closer to the fireplace, and this caused Jasmine to finally speak, What exactly have you tucked away from my sight, Luna Garrick? Please, won’t you be a dear and bring that bundle over here?. She didn’t mean to make the words rhyme, but felt the moment called for something to help break the ice. She wanted to ease into the queen’s intentions, but wasn’t quite sure how to go about everything. She watched as her best friend stood before her, eyes questioning, mouth held agape, and eventually spoke once more, Luna, what have you got wrapped up in there? Or maybe I should be asking who you’re trying to warm up in front of my fire? End the suspense, I’m practically dying here. I gotta know.
At first, the queen was worried about telling her best friend about Lance, and she hesitated to answer the fairy even though she knew proper etiquette was to be used at Jasmine’s house especially when Luna was there at the time, and she had to buy time enough to gather the nerve to fill the request in order to get the cover story about the baby. Then, the perfect thought moved into her head, she would turn the tables and tell Jasmine that Lance didn’t want the baby.
With that, Luna’s facial expression changed to one of possible hope she’d be capable of accomplishing her goal. As she moved towards the elf’s chair, she confessed, I’m not sure if were on the same page with what you’re thinking, however, knowing our friendship the way I do Ill take a chance and say, Yes, my absolute, and only best friend, what I’m holding does contain the one you’re asking about. Though she does not yet have a name, I know you’ll choose the perfect one by the time we’re done. She placed the baby in Jasmine’s arms, and stepped back to observe her initial reaction.
Jasmine searched the bearskin for the baby she knew was hidden inside, but could not locate the new bundle of joy. She looked at Luna and said, Okay, Interraton queen, find my little niece in this rat’s nest. I cannot find her, and my patience level is quite thin. Luna moved back to stand in front of Jasmine, and the fairy passed the bundle to her. After searching the bearskin more thoroughly, the queen located her baby, and pulled her out from within. She straightened the baby’s clothes, and placed another kiss on her forehead. Then, she placed the little girl in the arms of the fairy who would be responsible for her safety from that point on, and for the rest of the little one’s life.
Jasmine’s expression then changed, and instead of a look that read discontent, replaced by a smile that could’ve been measured as twenty miles wide. For the first few moments, she sat looking into the infant’s eyes with quiet amazement. She watched as the little one stretched, and opened her eyes. As Jasmine had expected, the little one’s eyes were different from both mommy and daddy’s colored aquamarine blue and emerald green. She enjoyed that the baby’s eyes were lilac purple, and even more that her hair was so dark purple it almost looked black.
The magix fairy had grown weary of waiting for her friend to begin her explanation, and asked, Are you going to tell me what’s going on or am I supposed to read your mind? No, I know, I’m supposed to already know somehow because you seem to think that my magix background, I have E. S. P. Let me save you the trouble, I do not have Extra Sensory Perception. Better yet, I only want to know one thing, What did you mean when you said you know I’ll choose the perfect name for her?
Luna looked her best friend in the eyes and lied, Well, you know that Lance and I made the promise to each other on our wedding day that we would wait to have children until wed been queen and king for fifty years; we still have seventeen years before we can start that process, and Lance has been having a conniption fit because he doesn’t want to keep her. I told him that I’d come talk to you and see if you would take her. That’s why I said you’d find the perfect name for her, but at the time I couldn’t throw in yeah if you take her. Id love to keep her myself, but you know the promise we made to each other wasn’t just a promise, Jazz, it was a commitment that hadn’t been practiced by a queen and king in over one thousand years. You know about the ritual and ceremony we both had to go through in order to make that oath. All he wants to do is keep the sanctity of our promises, and though I don’t like it, I support him.
“You are in support of me taking this beautiful baby girl and raising her as my own even though you know I have no children of my own? You don’t have to answer that question, and her name is Echo, but spelled E-C-K-O. Before you leave, I want you to know that we’ll have to come up with stipulations for you and Lance. No matter who did not want her, you’re both still expected to visit”, Jasmine said.
“Sure, Jasmine, anything you want. I mean, you’re only saving my entire marriage by taking on my child, I’ll do whatever it takes, Luna stated. She had been thoroughly entertained watching Jasmine with her new baby, but knew it was time for her to get back home. She stepped close to the new mothers chair, and kissed both her friend and the baby. Telling them goodbye was the hardest thing she’d ever had to do, and imagining the pain didn’t compare to actually experiencing the heartache. Within less than a minute, Luna had made it to and out of the door. She couldn’t take it anymore, she needed to cry, but would be damned if Jasmine saw tears fall on her cheeks.