…are you happy about it? About the baby?“ Outlawed in Scotland, barred from his own home, and with only vague prospects in France, he could pardonably have been less than enthused about acquiring an additional obligation.
He was silent for a moment, only hugging me harder, then sighed briefly before answering.
“Aye, Sassenach,” His hand stayed downward, gently rubbing my belly. “I’m happy. And proud as a stallion. But I am most awfully afraid too.”
“About the birth? I’ll be all right.” I could hardly blame him for apprehension; his own mother had died in childbirth, and birth and its complications were the leading cause of death for women in these times. Still, I knew a thing or two myself, and I had no intention whatever of exposing myself to what passed for medical care here.
“Aye, that–and everything,” he said softly. “I want to protect ye like a cloak and shield you and the child wi’ my body.” His voice was soft and husky, with a slight catch in it. “I would do anything for ye…and yet…there’s nothing I can do. It doesna matter how strong I am, or how willing; I canna go with you where ye must go…nor even help ye at all. And to think of the things that might happen, and me helpless to stop them…aye, I’m afraid, Sassenach.
“And yet”–he turned me toward him, hand closing gently over one breast–“yet when I think of you wi’ my child at your breast…then I feel as though I’ve gone hollow as a soap bubble, and perhaps I shall burst with joy.